by Oliver Amnuayphol
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know that vinyl has firmly established itself as the software format of choice for those who really love music. Why? Because 1) It sounds better than digital; 2) it looks cooler than anything digital; 3) it almost forces you to listen to a whole album, unlike digital; and 4) it lets you to savor the cover art from your favorite albums in all its original graphic glory--unlike digital. So: Even if, after all of the well-thought-out and supremely analytical reasons I listed, you claim to be a music lover but still ain't spinning them vinyls, lemme mention just one more reason, perhaps THE HUGEST, MOST GINORMOUS reason this year, why you should be marinatin' to your music from vinyl LPs: Because Robert Johnson, The Complete Original Masters, is now available, exclusively from Acoustic Sounds.
Released to coincide with the legendary blues king's 100th birthday, Original Masters is, according to Acoustic Sounds, "Recreated in the historical look and feel of the 12 10" 78-RPM discs that originally carried Robert Johnson's music into the world in 1936 and 1937 (only playing at 45 RPM)." What's more, this individually numbered collector's set (strictly limited to 1,000 copies) is "housed in an actual 78-RPM album book - each "page" being a sleeve holding a single disc - and each vinyl disc is outiftted with reproductions of the original record labels. Also included is a unique booklet with a new 1,500-word essay written by Ted Gioia, Texas-based pianist and music historian, and the author of Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music (2008); Work Songs (2006); and The History Of Jazz (1997), telling the story of Robert Johnson, complete historic track annotation and discographic data and photos."
As if that weren't enough, this box set also includes The Robert Johnson Centennial Collection (two CDs); Rarities From The Vaults (a two-CD set that includes Rare Victor Blues, recordings from the Sony/Victor vaults, as well as Also Playing, which is other performers who recorded on the same day); and The Life And Music Of Robert Johnson: Can't You Hear The Wind Howl (DVD). And yeah, $350 ain't exactly chump change; but for all that goes into this set, it's very fairly priced. Seriously, I'm saving my pennies to buy this one; check out the video below and see if you don't agree. Available now.