Various Artists

Ace 30th Birthday Celebration: Blues and R&B

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Founded in 1975 by record dealer Ted Carroll, former Horslips manager Roger Armstrong, and industry vet Trevor Churchill, Britain's Ace Records -- its name borrowed from producer Johnny Vincent's legendary American label -- reigns among the world's most ambitious and rewarding reissue imprints, restoring to print untold numbers of long-lost R&B, soul, and rock & roll classics overlooked by major labels in their rush to endlessly repackage the same shopworn hits. One of four anniversary compilations issued in celebration of Ace's 30th birthday, this 20-track compilation spotlights the label's jaw-dropping blues and R&B catalog, which includes material licensed from such seminal American labels as Specialty, Modern, Stax, and Old Town -- no other label treats this music with as much reverence and affection, and while the track listing may contain rarities and minor hits, few compilations so effectively translate the true scope and spirit of the golden age of rhythm and blues. Highlights include Big Duke Henderson's "Hey Dr. Kinsey," Joe Hill Louis' "Boogie in the Park," Elmore James' "Hand in Hand," and Ike Turner's "Twistin' the Strings."

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