Robert Johnson CDs?

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lukpac
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Robert Johnson CDs?

Postby lukpac » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:20 pm

From what I can gather, the following CDs are available:

Complete Recordings box set (1990)
reissue/remaster of above box set (?)
King of the Delta Blues (1997)
King of the Delta Blues Singers (1998; newly found take of Traveling Riverside Blues)
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2 (2004?)

I've got the original 1990 set. Have any of the newer sets actually made improvements in sources/mastering? Differences between the reissues?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

damianm
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Postby damianm » Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:44 pm

Try these threads.. I *think* I remember the CDs being discussed rather extensively at some point over at SHtv -

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... rt+Johnson

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... rt+Johnson

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... rt+Johnson

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showt ... rt+Johnson

Bottom line is 'get the 78s' :D.

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Postby lukpac » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:58 pm

I did listen to some clips on Circuit City's website today. Even through my tiny computer speaker the KOTDBS disc did sound quite a bit better than the box set. Perhaps I'll have to pick both up.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Andreas » Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:06 am

damianm wrote:Bottom line is 'get the 78s' :D.

Where can I order them?

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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:46 am

In one of those threads somebody said something to the effect of "on TKOTDBS it sounds like Johnson is in the room with you." Normally I'd scoff at something like that, but listening with headphones the clips on Circuit City's website totally blow away the 1990 set, even when listening on CD. I still wouldn't pick 78's as a recording format of choice, but it sounds like the new discs might actually be enjoyable to listen to, unlike the 1990 box.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:21 am

Once again, gotta love the All Music Guide:

The Complete Recordings
The problems aren't in the music itself, of course, which is stunning and the fidelity of the recordings is the best it ever has been or ever will be.


King of the Delta Blues Singers
The official 1998 edition of the original 1961 album was certainly worth the wait, remastered off the best-quality original 78s available, of far superior quality to any of the source materials used on even the 1991 box set. Johnson's guitar takes on a fullness never heard on previous reissues, and except for a nagging hiss in spots on "Terraplane Blues" (the equalization on this disc is extreme to even sport some minute turntable rumble in the low end), this really brings his music alive.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby MK » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:42 pm

I've got the remastered box set, the one with the SBM logo on the fat jewel case and issued in 1996 or so. I know somebody with both volumes of King... Next time I see them, I'll bring the box set and do a few comparisons.
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Postby the 801 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:22 pm

I have an import copy of 'King Of The Delta Blues' (part of Columbia's Mojo Workin' series) but I'm sorely tempted to pick up this one next time I see it:

Image

All Music sez:
This single-disc, 29-track collection of Robert Johnson's blues is yet another in the countless dozens that have already been issued. While it adds nothing new — simply because there is nothing new to add — the package is attractive, the price is right, and the sound is as good as the Sony CDs. The other plus for a novice would be that there are no alternate takes or other track duplications.

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Postby MK » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:45 pm

Buyer beware. I doubt All Muzak's view regarding sound, and Proper hasn't gotten good buzz over at SH.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:07 pm

Still not audiophile, but quite a difference. 1990 box set first, KOTDB Singers second:

Cross Road Blues
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby the 801 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:47 am

MK wrote:I doubt All Muzak's view regarding sound


As do I -- they might be referring to the 1990 box set for all I know...

MK wrote:Proper hasn't gotten good buzz over at SH.


No surprise there... :roll:


My 1997 Columbia 'King Of The Delta Blues' import is 24 tracks marked with both SBM & No-Noise logos. It certainly doesn't come across like the KOTDBS part of the sound sample...

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Postby Chris M » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:08 am

lukpac wrote:Still not audiophile, but quite a difference. 1990 box set first, KOTDB Singers second:

Cross Road Blues


That is a big difference with KOTDB being much better. IIRC the KOTDB reissue was mastered from the 78's and the '90 box was mastered from a tape copy of the 78's. Not sure if that's accurate though.

There has been some debate regarding the correct speed of the RJ recordings. Many think that ALL RJ CD's and LP's run way too fast. If you slow it down it sounds more 'normal'...I have a file on my computer somewhere with some 'speed corrected' RJ. I'll see if I can find it.

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Postby MK » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:19 am

Luke, when you say the 1990 box set, you mean the older one that comes in an actual (long) box, right? Not the later, remastered version?
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Postby the 801 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:30 am

Chris M wrote:There has been some debate regarding the correct speed of the RJ recordings. Many think that ALL RJ CD's and LP's run way too fast. If you slow it down it sounds more 'normal'...I have a file on my computer somewhere with some 'speed corrected' RJ. I'll see if I can find it.


Here's a link to the site with sound-clips:

http://www.touched.co.uk/press/rjnote.html

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Postby lukpac » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:09 pm

MK wrote:Luke, when you say the 1990 box set, you mean the older one that comes in an actual (long) box, right? Not the later, remastered version?


Yes.

As far as the clips go, as I told Chris earlier, they do seem a bit *too* slow to me. Kind of like the slow YMB on the new O&S. Maybe I'm just used to them faster.

Also, I take issue with this:

The sound of a man, first of all: this dark-toned voice would no longer lend credence to the youth of seventeen or eighteen that Don Law, the only person to record him, thought he might be. Now, especially in the dip of his voice at the end of a line, we can hear the follower of Son House, and the precursor of Muddy Waters.


He was only 25 or so when those recordings were made. So, yeah, a little older than Don Law thought, but not that much.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD