DAY: CD Reviews: Classic Early Recordings Which Helped BB King Become the King of the Blues

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Byline: christopher rees

THE VINTAGE YEARS BB King (Ace) At 76 years of age BB King is undoubtedly the oldest living Ambassador of the Blues. For more than half a century he has embodied the very essence of the music he holds so dear and still continues to make award winning albums and tour the world in front of adoring audiences.

In tribute to his legendary career, this luxurious 4 CD box-set explores the landmark early recordings he made during the 1950s and 1960s for labels like RPM, Kent and Crown. Including an extensively researched 74-page book and over 100 vintage tracks, it follows BB King from his first hit 3 O'Clock Blues in 1951 right the way through his work in Memphis with a young Sam Phillips (the founder of Sun Records) his dexterous period of swing, R&B, jazz and rock'n'roll during the mid to late '50s and his final sessions for Kent and Crown in the 1960s. Clearly documenting how he developed his inimitable guitar style and voice on his way to becoming an international star, it's a comprehensive package and an extraordinary body of work that further endorses BB King's reputation as the King of the Blues.

10/10

FUNKIER THAN A MOSQUITO'S TWEETER Ike & Tina (Stateside/EMI) The turbulent relationship between Ike and Tina Turner was graphically depicted in the 1993 film What's Love Got To Do With It, but although it was a painful period in Tina's life, it did produce probably the best music of her career. During the late '60s and early '70s, they created some of the dirtiest funk/soul around. Ike's musical leadership with Tina's explosive vocal abandon was a pretty compelling combination and this new compilation highlights some of their finest moments together.

9/10

THE BEACH BOYS CLASSICS The Beach Boys (Capitol/EMI) Not that there isn't already enough Beach Boys compilations available, Brian Wilson's recent return to the live stage has renewed interest in their back catalogue. …