October 19, 1990 at 04:00 AM EDT

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings

Current Status
In Season
Robert Johnson
Reissues, Blues
We gave it an A+

Robert Johnson lived fast, died young, and left a body of music that has been so widely covered it serves as a cornerstone of the blues. Whether he created or merely adapted such songs as ”Cross Road Blues,” ”Dust My Broom,” and ”Milkcow’s Calf Blues,” the Mississippi singer-guitarist’s passion-filled recordings have influenced and inspired performers from Howlin’ Wolf to Eric Clapton. Depsite the noisy sound quality on some of these 1936-37 sides, the soul-felt truth of Johnson’s performances is crystal clear. The Complete Recordings is exactly as billed: 41 takes of 29 songs, all of Johnson’s surviving studio work. An exceptional tribute to a richly deserving artist. A+

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