ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 1 - PABL001

This album is included in the following sets:

ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 1 - PABL001

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Composed and performed by Robert Johnson

Recorded San Antonio, Texas, November 1936 and Dallas, Texas, June 1937
Total duration: 51:41

This set contains the following albums:

"The most important blues musician who ever lived"
Eric Clapton on Robert Johnson

Newly restored using XR remastering technology 

This experimental release came as a result of a late-night conversation with the head of another classical record company, following discussion of the wider possibilities of Pristine Audio's XR remastering system. As XR relies on modern reference recordings to precisely re-equalise older recordings in order to correct the inadequacies of vintage recording systems, it's often hard to use outside of the classical sphere. However, the music of Robert Johnson has been widely recorded, and it was possible to find modern equivalents of many of these recordings, from which I was able to derive further equalisations for the remaining tracks.

What emerges from this process is quite remarkable - for perhaps the first time one is able to hear the full range, power and versatility of both Johnson's singing and playing in a sound quality that is more 1950's or 1960's than the 1930's hotel room, where these immensely influential recordings were made.

The sample chosen here, Ramblin' On My Mind, gives a very good indication of what to expect from the rest of the tracks, sound-wise. One or two of them have emerged even better from the remastering process than this. The overall effect of this collection is stunning to hear, especially for anyone used the thin sound of all previous Johnson reissues. Once you've heard this remastered collection you will not wish to return to anything else.

N.B. Due to a compilation error, track 8 "When you've got a good friend" appears twice on this issue, and another song, prepared for this release, was omitted. This missing song appears on Volume Two of our Robert Johnson Legendary Blues releases (PABL002), which will complete the entire set of his recordings.

Andrew Rose

  1. Sweet Home Chicago
  2. Phonograph Blues
  3. Travelling Riverside Blues
  4. 32-20 Blues
  5. Come On In My Kitchen
  6. Me and the Devil Blues
  7. Preachin' Blues
  8. When You Got A Good Friend
  9. Ramblin' On My Mind
  10. They're Red Hot
  11. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man
  12. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  13. Milkcow's Calf Blues
  14. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
  15. Terraplane Blues
  16. Walkin' Blues
  17. When You Got A Good Friend
  18. Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  19. Little Queen of Spades

A listener writes

No doubt in my mind these blow everything else out of the water, unless you're a surface-noise purist to the point of masochism. You can hear so much more in Johnson's voice. Conversely, I'm less impressed by his guitar playing than before, now I can hear the stumbles he makes. But what a great expressive voice he has.

- From online forum discussion