Chuck Berry fanatics, your ship has come in, and it’s the Queen Mary — or maybe we should call it the Queen Maybellene. As you’d expect from the Bear Family label, which specializes in gargantuan reissues, this 16-CD, 396-song box doesn’t simply span Berry’s career, it embraces virtually every musical note the man has ever issued. You’ll find all of his released album tracks and singles, starting with an obscure 1954 recording and including everything from the Chess, Mercury and Atco labels, plus every surviving alternate take. Also here are five CDs’ worth of concert performances from 1956 to 1972.
Alongside Willie Mae Ford Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market – by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel…
To simplify my life considerably, I'm going to combine the "reviews" of all six Stage releases into a single entry, even though they were released individually. Also, to save a lot of time and effort, I'm not going to give complete track listings of the twelve discs, or do song-by-song reviews (hey, we're talking over 800 minutes of music here, give me a break). If you need to know the track listings, they're probably available through an on-line music sales site like CDNow, or an information site like the All Music Guide. There's probably a few other Zappa sites that list them as well. Maybe one day when I have the time, I'll come back and expand this section to really cover all twelve discs in detail. Until then, I'll just give some general facts and opinions, focusing on highlights and material unique to the Stage series.
Sun Lu [孙露] is Chinese pop singer …with amazing and unique voice, melodious and deep, hot and strong, pure and elegant.
The Complete Motown Singles has been a dream project of Motown and soul fanatics for many years, ever since the first decade of Stax/Volt singles was compiled in an impressive nine-disc box set in 1991. The Complete Motown Singles might have seemed like a logical move to soul collectors and fanatics, but it remained in the realm of fantasy for many years because, as enticing as that set was, it was difficult to create.