The Complete Collection Review

artist: Robert Johnson date: 01/10/2007 category: compact discs
Robert Johnson: The Complete Collection
Release Date: 1998
Label: Prism Leisure
Genres: Slide Guitar Blues, Prewar Blues, Prewar Country Blues, Country Blues, Delta Blues, Acoustic Blues
Number Of Tracks: 29
This is an excellent low-budget collection to introduce the listener to blues legend Robert Johnson.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 9.5
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) 7 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
The Complete Collection Reviewed by: al45, on october 23, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Just one man playing the Blues. These are old recordings so the clarity of the sound is not great. This however just adds to the atmosphere of the tracks. Many well known guitar players consider Robert Johnson a major influence. The lengend of Robert Johnson is that he sold his soul to the Devil and there is much mystery regarding his early death. Johnson only recorded 29 songs during his short life and this album contains them all. Personally I don't buy into lengends. Johnson was simply a fantastic player and singer and his sound is what you would expect from 1930's blues, only better. // 10

Lyrics: Sadly blues players spend a lot of the time waking up in the morning. Many of the phrases used in the songs have become cliched and greatly overused. They wake up the morning only to find that their woman has left them and they become very depressed. Johnson however is emotional and the way he tells his tales is very clever. He uses different vocal sounds to keep your attention and wails, whispers, moans and cries. The playing is good but the way Johnson carries his songs is phenominal. // 8

Overall Impression: With this album I hate the fact that it is too long to listen to at once but I also love the fact that it is too long. The second half of the CD is still to be properly discovered. I also love the fact that Johnsons playing is difficult as this gives me something to aspire to. All the songs are pretty good, Terraplane Blues being a particular favorite. The most well known song is Sweet Home Chicago. As a Blues fan I would have to say that this is my favorite Blues album. It is very difficult to be critical when he has inspired so many blues and rock players of today. Keith Ricards and Eric Clapton being obvious examples. The only real hate is the poor recording quality due to the technology at the time. This album however cannot be praised enough. This is Bules at its most raw, passionate, emotional, soulful and gritty best. // 10

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overall: 8.7
The Complete Collection Reviewed by: fronkpies, on january 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Robert Johnson is cited as a major influence by so many artists, both old and new, that it's hard to speak about his music in an unbiased context, but for anyone in any doubt about the quality then let the music speak for itself. Raw and brutal, powerful rather than harsh guitar work and stinging vocals all help take you back to a time when things were a lot simpler. I wouldn't expect to sit down and be able to listen to this collection all the way though in one go, the blues by it's very nature is repetitive, and all the songs contained within were only ever released as singles, You would listen and flip to the B side or put on something completely different altogether. // 9

Lyrics: Johnson's voice was made for the blues, or was the blues was made for Johnson? Well whichever it was it definitely works. His vocals are clear on every track, and he has a surprising vocal range, from mellow phrases to high pitched squeals. You have your standard blues lyrics in here, and then you have your really extra special stuff, Me and the devil blues for example. The references to Satan are what I love most, maybe because of the legend that goes with it, but it just feels 'new' somehow. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a must for any blues fan. Uncomplicated, raw music at it's best. There isn't anything to dislike about the album, It was made in a time when there wasn't the best equipment available, so the music really had to count, and it does. I would Buy again if it were stolen. // 9

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