50 GREAT BRITISH BLUES RECORDINGS – Part 2

6) Eric Clapton – Sessions for Robert J (2004)
Eric Clapton’s second tribute to Robert Johnson is vastly superior to his first one, Me and Mr. Johnson (also from 2004) — and it comes with a DVD. I think Eric’s best here are “Milkcow Calf’s Blues”, “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” and “Stop Breakin’ Down Blues”.

7) Climax Chicago Blues Band – A Lot of Bottle (1970/2013)
The Climax Chicago Blues Band’s third LP was a solid return to their blues roots, recorded years prior to their breakthrough mainstream hit (as the Climax Blues Band), “Couldn’t Get It Right”. The 2013 CD adds 4 appropriate cuts to the original album. Check out “Country Hat”, “Every Day”, “Brief Case”, “Alright Blue?” and “Seventh Son”.

8) (This should be an “8“; I don’t know how to disable these damn emoticons) Kevin Coyne – Dandelion Years 1969–1972 (2007)
This box set collects Kevin Coyne’s two Siren LPs and one solo LP (plus 5 bonus tracks) by this unique, eccentric blues artist:

Siren (1969)…

Strange Locomotion (1971)…

…and Case History (1972). In some ways Coyne became a kind of Captain Beefheart of the UK. Try “Get Right Church”, “Rock Me Baby”, “Wasting My Time”, “Some Dark Day”, “Lonesome Ride”, “Evil Island Home” and “Araby”.

9) Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967/2004)
A progressive blues classic, the 2004 Deluxe Edition is a 2-CD set with 30 tracks. My favorite blues tracks: “Strange Brew”, “Sunshine of Your Love”, ”Outside Woman Blues” and “We’re Going Wrong”.

10) Cream – Fresh Cream (1966/1976)
Cream’s first LP is nearly all blues. The mono version is far superior to the stereo mix (especially “I Feel Free”). The 1976 13-track Polygram (mono) CD includes all the tracks from both the UK and American versions of the LP. Best track: “I Feel Free”. Best blues tracks: “Sleepy Time Time”, “Spoonful”, “Cat’s Squirrel”, “Four Until Late”, “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” and “I’m So Glad”.

More To Come…

6 Responses to “50 GREAT BRITISH BLUES RECORDINGS – Part 2”

  1. Aaron says:

    Hey Mr. Stout,

    Thank you for the recommendations. The Sessions for Robert J collection and the two Cream recordings may go on my Christmas list if I don’t pick them up myself. I am curious though as to why you prefer a mono recording over stereo? Is the quality different?

    Best wishes,
    Aaron

  2. Bill says:

    @Aaron: The mono version of Fresh Cream has a huge, round, full sound to it. The sound separation of the stereo version makes the music sound sparse and empty; stereo robs it of its power. Those recordings are so much better blended. After listening to it in mono for years, I was painfully shocked and disappointed when I first heard the stereo version of my favorite Cream song, “I Feel Free”.

    For convenience’s sake, pick up Cream’s 4-CD Those Were The Days box; it contains all of their officially released output as a band (albums, singles, rarities, etc,) — but it’s in stereo.

    The same goes for The Who Sell Out LP. The mono version has the power of thunder; the stereo version is a light shower. The stereo version is just OK; the mono version of The Who Sell Out is my favorite Who LP (and one of my favorite records) of all time. Some of the backing tracks are different (and better) on the mono version as well (more of Pete’s guitar).

  3. Belmo says:

    Bill,
    I have a few of these but I can see that I have my work cut out for me. Really looking forward to find the Fleetwood Mac and the Spencer Davis Group material. Rock on!

  4. Grant says:

    Bill,

    This is off-topic, but many years ago I read that you were involved in the development of a dinosaur museum in China, and had lots of clever ideas for it. Did anything ever come of that?

  5. Bill says:

    @Grant: Yes, I did indeed design a dinosaur museum for Zigong, China, a Chinese fossil hotspot. As soon as I finished that gig, I moved on to my next job. I don’t know if they built the museum or not. Obviously, if they did, I don’t know whether or not they used my designs.

  6. Grant says:

    Thanks Bill! It looks like the museum does indeed exist — http://www.zdm.cn/en/

    I’d love to see some of your designs if you’d be allowed to post them. I remember a Prehistoric Times interview where you talked about showmanship, and that really intrigued me.

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