Bill Withers

The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums

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Better late than never. The ideal time to release something of this scope was 2009, around the time the Bill Withers documentary Still Bill came out. Between then and the November 2012 release of this box, many of Withers' albums were reissued by BBR (U.K.) and Reel Music (U.S.) with great care. So, after all that, here's an all-encompassing package that features each one of Withers albums -- 1971's Just as I Am through 1985's Watching You Watching Me -- all newly mastered from the original analog tapes. A compact clamshell box contains the discs with replica LP sleeves that reproduce the front and back covers. The front of the Still Bill sleeve cleverly has that "window style" slit down the middle. The 39-page booklet should seal the deal for those whose funds haven't been depleted by the later wave of reissues. It features a typically humble note from Withers, an essay from Michael Eric Dyson, dozens of pictures, and full recording details. For beginners, this nine-disc box is a plunge, and not every album is a classic, but it retails for around the price of a typical five- or six-disc set.

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