Vinyl Vlog 220

Vinyl Vlog 220

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Thursday, 11 May 2017
COLUMN

ROBERT JOHNSON
The Centennial Collection – The Complete Recordings Vinyl 3LP (Record Store Day)

Photo: Turntablelab.com

 

What do you expect from a legendary bluesman who reportedly sold his soul to the devil? Who knows if it’s true (who are we kidding — probably not), but Robert Johnson’s impact on music and pop culture can be felt to this day. Although some feel his music had little impact on black music, one can’t imagine bands like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin (granted: all white bands) sounding the way they do without Robert Johnson. That delta blues sound is all over their music. However, the name Robert Johnson doesn’t seem to appear once in Chuck Berry’s Wikipedia page. So Robert Johnson’s influence on modern music is something that might be up for debate, but preserving the music is something, I’m sure, we all agree is of the utmost importance.

 

Sometimes when you’re in love with something you want to find out where it came from. Music lovers can trace the influence in their favorite genres as far back as they want and it’s possible at some point they’ll end up with the delta blue. Now I’m not a blues and jazz man (at least not enough to know what I’m talking about), but even I can recognize how the foundation of folk and rock is in the songs of Robert Johnson. And it’s one thing to be derivative or to borrow or reinterpret, and another altogether to be the bona fide real deal. That’s purity for you, and these songs are about as distilled as you can get.

 

Legacy has done us all a favor and reissued the complete Robert Johnson recordings on a beautiful 3LP collection for Record Store Day. Housed in a beautiful double gatefold sleeve, all 42 of Robert Johnson’s songs recorded in 1936 and 1937 are collected for the first time here on a complete vinyl collection. This package includes extensive liner notes and even a reproduction of the 78 RMP singles labels on a poster truly giving this collection the feeling of a document.

 

You can’t have a music collection without Robert Johnson and this Legacy collection does both the label’s and Robert Johnson’s name proud. A wonderful edition of the Centennial Collection and a must-have for music fans.

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