Blues Traveler

Travelogue: Blues Traveler Classics

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With the release of Travelogue: Blues Traveler Classics, Blues Traveler completes its major-label trajectory. Signed to A&M Records in 1990, the group achieved modest but increasing sales with its first three albums, Blues Traveler, Travelers & Thieves, and Save His Soul, then hit the big time with the six-times-platinum Four and its Top Ten single "Run-Around." A concert album, Live from the Fall, and a studio follow-up, Straight on Till Morning, each went platinum, but then during a four-year break bassist Bob Sheehan died of a drug overdose and morbidly obese singer/harmonica player John Popper solved his chronic health problems by having his stomach stapled. When Blues Traveler returned to action in 2001 with Bridge, the disappointing sales led to a parting of ways with A&M. And here, as sure as death and taxes, is the "greatest hits" album. Blues Traveler didn't really have many hits in the conventional sense; in addition to "Run-Around," only "Hook" made the Top 40, while the band achieved significant airplay with "Conquer Me," a live version of "But Anyway" (the studio version is included here), "Carolina Blues," and "Most Precarious" (the most notable omission here). Compilation producer Mike Ragogna fills up the nearly 80-minute running time with such album tracks as "Mountain Cry," on which Popper duets with Gregg Allman, and "The Mountains Win Again," which features slide guitar work from Warren Haynes. The only rarity is the non-LP B-side "Regarding Steven." Blues Traveler fans may miss personal favorites, but this is a good one-disc summation of the band's A&M catalog.

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