Tuesday, 19 January 2016

"Here’s One You Didn’t Know About: From The RPM & Kent Vaults" by B.B. KING (2015 Ace CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...



"...You May Want To Release It..." 

Hardly surprising that following Blues Boy’s passing in May 2015 aged 89 - the market was flooded with myriad compilations of material out of copyright. But typical of Ace Records – they honour the great Bluesman memory with an absolute stormer! 25-tracks, 23 of which are Previously Unreleased, a near 80-minute playing time, properly copious and intelligent liner notes and 12 of these suckers in glorious STEREO! Here are the Bluesy details...

UK released 27 November 2015 (December 2015 in the USA) – "Here's One You Didn't Know About: From The RPM & Kent Vaults" by B.B. KING on Ace Records CDTOP 1457 (Barcode 029667074322) is a 25-track CD compilation of mainly Previously Unreleased material and plays out as follows (79:52 minutes):

1. Catfish Blues (aka Fishin' After Me) – Alternate Version of Kent 351
2. Be Careful Baby
3. Growing Old – Take 2 of Kent 470
4. Gotta Find My Baby (aka They Call The Blues) – 1960s Version, Take 8
5. Long Nights (The Feeling They Call The Blues) – Take 4 of Kent 389
6. Loving you In Vain (aka Heartache And Pain) – Alternate Take To a version That First speared on the UK CD compilation "Blues In My Heart" by B.B. KING released 2004 on Ace CDCHM 966
7. Shut Your Mouth – Take 1 of RPM 430
8. Sweet Little Angel – Version 1 – Alternate of RMP 468
9. Sweet Little Angel – Version 2 – Take 1 of a track on 1957's "Singin' The Blues" LP on RPM 3005
10. Bad Case Of Love – Take 6 of Kent 362
11. Talkin' The Blues – Take 2 of RPM 435
12. Whole Lot Of Lovin' (1963 Re-Record) – Take 1 of Kent 388
13. You Know I Go For You – Alternate of Kent 301
14. You’ve Been An Angel – Take 1 of Kent 315
15. Be Careful With A Fool – Take 1 of RPM 494
16. When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer – Take 1 of RPM 412
17. Don't You Want A Man Like Me – Take 3 of RPM 411
18. Early In The Morning – Take 2 of RPM 486
19. I Wonder Why – Take 4 of Kent 447
20. Partin' Time – Take 3 of Kent 346
21. Soul Beat (aka Powerhouse) – Take 1 of Kent 475
22. Why Not – Take 8-A of a track that first appeared on the 2002 4CD Box Set "The Vintage Years" by B.B. KING on Ace ABOXCD 8
23. The Woman I Love (Copper Colored Mama) – Take 3 of RPM 408
24. Whole Lotta Meat (aka Hey Little Girl) – Take 10 of a Track that first appeared on the 1987 UK LP "One Nighter Blues" on Ace CHD 201
25. Going Down Slow (1959 Version) – Take 2 of a track on the 1963 US LP "16 Of The Best Of B.B. King" on Galaxy G-8202

NOTES:
All Tracks are 2015 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Except Tracks 9 and 17 which appeared in 2014 on "Speak Easy: The R.P.M. Records Story Volume 2 – 1954-57" on Ace CDTOP 1421
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 are STEREO
Tracks 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 23 are MONO

Compiled and researched by ROGER ARMSTRONG and DICK SHURMAN - the 16-page booklet features wonderfully detailed new liner notes by DICK SHURMAN whose knowledge and affection for B.B. seems to know no bounds. And on the audio evidence presented here – his joy is hardly surprising. This is a quality release for King fans and Shurman knows it. In between the text are wickedly evocative pictures of Scotch Magnetic Tape Master Boxes along with some snaps of his backing band in the studio.

It’s the usual classy presentation from a label that’s been doing this for 40 years – but you have to say that Sound Engineer DUNCAN COWELL has excelled himself here. The audio on this baby is awesome – and never more so that on the 12 cuts that come at in glorious STEREO – each version filled with a huge in-your-living- room vibe to the sound and genuine excitement to the listen. Not only is B.B.'s playing fluid and impressively cool – the band is cooking and you can literally feel they know it. We’ll done to all involved...

The title of the compilation comes from dialogue B.B. speaks at the beginning of "Catfish Blues" – clearly enjoying his mojo and the band's company in the studio. The Version 1 of "Sweet Little Angel" on here shows his best playing too. Some great "...pulse is weak..." studio patter at the beginning of the infectious "Bad Case Of Love" – boogie-woogie in fabulous Stereo. We get a tad Elmore James slasher side for "Whole Lot Of Lovin'" where B.B. tells us of his gal's "dreamy eyes" which are clearly affecting the man's mental stability and other parts of his manly frame (fab Stereo too). Gutsy Blues comes at you for the Mono "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer" – and even though its Take 1 – it seems finished to me (gorgeous piano playing too). It ends on the near eight minutes of "Going Down Slow" where the vocal is a tiny bit rough – but the power of the playing and the sympatico band more than win the day. 

A wonderful reissue for B.B. KING fans and surely one of the 'Blues CD Reissues Of 2015'...nice one boys...

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