Since October 2012 going through to February 2014 and beyond - Warner Brothers Music Japan has been engaged in a massive reissue campaign covering all the labels under the Atlantic Records umbrella - it's called the "Atlantic 1000: R&B Best Collection" series. The 1000 refers to the Yen price - most are about 950 yen and at current exchange rates averages about 8 to 10 dollars or 5 to 6 pounds - with P&P - they can cost as little as 8 to 10 pounds per disc - which is cheap for quality like this.
The genres covered are Blues, Rhythm 'n' Blues, Soul, Funk, Fusion, Disco, Gospel and some Jazz. Others labels featured are STAX, ELEKTRA and CURTOM as well as tiny Atlantic subsiduaries like Cat. Each release is in a jewel case - the artwork is reproed in the booklet - there's an Obi strip around the outside and the CD label itself ususally mimics the original vinyl album design. The big news however is not just the breath of the titles issued - but that all are 2012 to 2014 DSD remasters from the original tapes.
And that's where this wonderful CD reissue for the fab Joe Turner comes in...
Released 30 March 2013 on Warner Brothers WPCR-27627 (Barcode 4943674136933) - "Big Joe Rides Again" is an exact repro of his 1959 10-track STEREO album on Atlantic SD 1332 (total playing time 41:27 minutes). The front cover of the 12-page booklet repros the front sleeve while the last page is the rear with all the recording details. Inbetween is a Japanese essay and the lyrics in English and naught else. The label (like the other 2) is Green. But the big news is the sound...
I've already reviewed Bear Family's superb "Rocks" CD by Joe Turner - and these remasters surpass them. The STEREO sound quality here is unbelievable. When the Side 1 opener "Switchin' In The Kitchen" kicks in with the brass and ryhthm blasting - it's not just atmospheric - it feels like the entire band is literally in your living room (lyrics from it title this review). Both "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" and "I Get The Blues When It Rains" are slow shufflers while "Rebecca: is a third re-working of his fabulous "Roll `Em Pete" which he did with Pete Johnson way back in 1938 and then revisited with Atlantic for "The Boss Of The Blues" album in 1956. There's considerable hiss on "When I Was Young" but it still sounds huge in Stereo - slinky piano and crystal clear brass. "Time After Time" is unusually sentimental for him and "Pennies From Heaven" is workmanlike rather than inspired. But the album ends on a wonderful high - the smokey barroom sleaze of "Here Comes Your Iceman". Again the audio quality is an absolute wow.
Big Joe Turner and his Atlantic sides are GOD in our house and this fabulous sounding remaster does him rocking proud.
PS: Here are some of the Blues and R'n'B titles available in this series so far:
1. LaVern Baker [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957) - LaVERN BAKER
2. The Wildest Guitar (1959) - MICKEY BAKER
3. Ruth Brown [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957) - RUTH BROWN
4. Late Date With Ruth Brown (1958) - RUTH BROWN
5. Yes Indeed! (1960) - RAY CHARLES
6. The Coasters (1958) - THE COASTERS
7. The Clovers (1956) - THE CLOVERS
8. Dance Party (1959) - THE CLOVERS
9. Don't Turn Me From Your Door (1963) - JOHN LEE HOOKER
10. Have Tenor Saxophone Will Blow (1959) - KING CURTIS
11. Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1956) - CLYDE McPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS
12 The Boss Of The Blues (1956 Mono) - JOE TURNER [see REVIEW]
13. Joe Turner [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957 Mono) - JOE TURNER [see REVIEW]
14. Big Joe Rides Again (1959 Stereo) - JOE TURNER [see REVIEW]
15. T-Bone Blues (1959 - includes 4 Bonus Tracks) - T-BONE WALKER
16. The King Of The Stroll (1958) - CHUCK WILLIS
A list of all 200 + titles in the series are on my Blog Site if you want a deeper look.
Google "Atlantic 1000: R&B Best Collection" (too big to fit in the comment section attached to this review).