Various Artists

Century of the Blues: The Definitive Country Blues Collection

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The idea is simple enough -- celebrate a century of blues by releasing a four-CD box set with the 100 greatest blues tracks ever. And, to be fair, they have the artists, everyone from Bessie Smith to Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters to Mississippi John Hurt. But quality is always in the ear of the beholder, and these aren't always the greatest tracks. Plus, if you're going to subtitle your set "The Definitive Country Blues Collection" then what is someone like Bessie Smith doing there in the first place? She might have been the greatest of the early blues singers, but no one would readily call her music country blues. However, it does recover from that, to make a good -- if not definitive -- statement, helped by the inclusion of a detailed, 64-page booklet. As blues compilations go (and a few blues compilations can go a long way) it's fair, although not outstanding.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:03
2 3:10
3 3:03
4 3:13
5 2:58
6 2:47
7 3:28
8 2:49
9 3:13
10 3:20
11 3:13
12 3:09
13 3:02
14 3:00
15 2:46
16
3:02
17 3:15
18
3:38
19 3:10
20 3:03
21 2:44
22 3:11
23 2:55
24
2:53
25 3:12

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:04
2 2:49
3 3:01
4 3:00
5
2:54
6
2:51
7 2:55
8 3:12
9
2:49
10 2:58
11
3:06
12 2:36
13 2:56
14 3:02
15 3:03
16 2:13
17 2:53
18 3:06
19 2:57
20 2:47
21 3:14
22 3:04
23 2:33
24 2:56
25 3:02
blue highlight denotes track pick