Cover image for Martin Scorsese presents The best of the blues
Martin Scorsese presents The best of the blues
Johnson, Robert.
Publication Information:
[Place of publication not identified] : UTV Records, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
A 21-song overview to the TV series, The blues.

Compact disc.

Program notes by Martin Scorsese and Mark A. Humphrey, inserted.
Cross road blues (Robert Johnson) -- Muddy water (A Mississippi moan) (Bessie Smith) -- Devil got my woman (Skip James) -- Evil (is going on) (Howlin' Wolf) -- (I'm your) Hoochie coochie man (Muddy Waters) -- Boom boom (John Lee Hooker) -- Death letter blues (Son House) -- Hard times (no one knows better than I) (Ray Charles) -- I'd rather go blind (Etta James) -- The thrill is gone (B.B. King) -- All your love (John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton) -- One good man (Janis Joplin) -- Red house (Jimi Hendrix Experience) -- One way out (live) (The Allman Brothers Band) -- Pride and joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble) -- Am I wrong (Keb'Mo') -- Just won't burn (Susan Tedeschi) -- Voodoo music (Los Lobos) -- Vietnam blues (Cassandra Wilson) -- Round and round (Bonnie Raitt) -- I pity the fool (live) (Robert Cray & Shemekia Copeland).
Subject Term:
Added Uniform Title:
Martin Scorsese presents The blues (Television program)
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1251338.2) Compact Disc Audio Visual

On Order



A massive media campaign comprising seven documentary films broadcast on public television and released as a DVD box set, plus accompanying soundtrack albums, a 13-part radio series, a companion book, 12 individual artist compilations, and a five-CD box set, The Blues, executive produced by filmmaker Martin Scorsese, threatened to be even more all-pervasive than Ken Burns' Jazz project, after which it was clearly patterned. And you might say it all boiled down to this single-disc distillation, which draws upon the vaults of major labels Universal and Sony. Even if all of that other material didn't make it clear, the absurdity of reducing the blues to a one-hour, 17-track album would be obvious anyway. But the way one judges this disc may depend upon whether it is trying to be "the best of the blues" or "the best of 'The Blues.'" It hasn't much hope of being the former, but as a one-CD sampler of the five-CD set, it does just fine. At the very least, it contains many indisputably classic blues performances by some of the indisputably major blues artists. Purists may object reasonably that it covers a very wide range, from the rural blues of Robert Johnson to the Southern rock of the Allman Brothers Band and the -- what can one call it? -- designer blues of Keb' Mo'. But that is in keeping with the series of films on which the five-CD set and this highlights disc are based. If the album doesn't really work as a collection, despite the individual talents and performances included, that may suggest that "the blues" has long-since become an umbrella term covering many different musical styles, not all of which work well together. And that only demonstrates its pervasive influence. ~ William Ruhlmann