Les Paul

The Legend and the Legacy

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If you're going for the big gulp, you could do no better than this excellent four-disc box set, which covers all the highlights of Les Paul and Mary Ford's tenure with the label. Sparkling sound abounds throughout (even on the old acetate masters like "Lover"), with the first three discs covering not only the best issued Capitol masters, but three of Paul and Ford's radio shows for NBC and assorted catchy radio commercials for Robert Hall clothiers and Rheingold beer. The fourth disc in the set features no less than 34 previously unreleased tracks (most worked up for the Les Paul & Mary Ford at Home television show) with absolutely no letdown in the quality, musical or otherwise. Combined with all this great music is a booklet that is exemplary in its scope, chock-full of great photos, the best liners you could ask for on the duo by Stephen K. Peeples, and, best of all, a track-by-track running commentary from Les himself, right down to what guitar he used. Exhaustive and illuminating, both legend and legacy are served well here.

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