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  • Various - I’ve Got the Blues But I’m Too Damn Mean to Cry – Protest in Early Blues & Gospel 4CD Boxset (CD)


    Protest, resentment, despair. Well, it’s the blues after all. But frequently the message is expressed with wit and humour, so that the object of the various barbs would have no idea who or what was being criticised. Occasionally, as with both the Mississippi Sheiks and the Memphis Jug Band – who complained about police corruption – the sentiments were unambiguous. And, as it happens, never so relevant as today. But these tracks were cut primarily as entertainment – the musicianship and wordplay is generally stunning. Listen for that reason. The sociology’s a bonus.

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  • Diddley Bo - The Bo Diddley Collection 1955-1962 (3CD) (CD)


    Bo Diddley, also known as Ellas McDaniel, was one of the most distinctive and influential artists in the transition of popular music from blues and R&B through to rock n roll during the 1950s. His music was best-known for his use of the guitar riff based on the 3/2 clave, sometimes known as shave and a haircut, two bits, and it was a motif taken up by many artists after he popularised it with his early hits. Although he did not have a huge number of hits, his songs, such as Im A Man, Pretty Thing, Who Do You Love and Mona have inspired and been recorded by a huge number of artists. This great value 86-track 3-CD collection comprises the A & B sides of all his singles for the Checker label from his 1955 debut through to 1962, plus the tracks which were not included on his singles from his first seven albums – Bo Diddley, Go Bo Diddley, Have Guitar Will Travel, In The Spotlight, Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger, Bo Diddley Is A Lover and Bo Diddley Is A Twister. Its thorough overview of his crucial first few years of recording, which established his unique position as one of the pioneers of the genre.

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