King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II

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King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II
Compilation album by Robert Johnson
Released 1970
Recorded November 1936 and June 1937
Genre Blues
Length 41:00
Label Columbia
Producer Don Law (original recordings),
Frank Driggs (Reissue Producer)
Robert Johnson chronology
King of the Delta Blues Singers
(1961)
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II
(1970)
The Complete Recordings
(1990)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
The Hartford Courant (favorable)[2]
Los Angeles Times (favorable)[3]
New York Times (favorable)[4]
PopMatters (favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[6]
Sing Out! (favorable)[7]
Stereo Review (favorable)[8]
Virgin Encyclopedia 5/5 stars[9]

King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II is a compilation album by American blues musician Robert Johnson, released in 1970 on Columbia Records. It is considered one of the greatest blues releases ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 424 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10]

Music[edit]

The album compiles sixteen recordings, ten of which were previously available as 78s on the Vocalion label, originally recorded during five sessions in 1936 and 1937. Through the course of the 1960s, blues music had become more visible in the popular music landscape of the day. Songs from Johnson's first album had been covered by popular rock artists in the late sixties, including Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin, who based their "Lemon Song" partly on "Traveling Riverside Blues." The Rolling Stones placed a version of "Love In Vain" on their 1969 landmark Let It Bleed before it had been released on LP, having heard the song on a bootleg recording circulating at the time.

Columbia decided it was time to issue another Johnson album, scoured the vaults again and came up with nine additional Vocalion masters, four unreleased alternate takes and one unreleased track. Likely finding no further acceptable recordings, to bring the number of tracks to the same sixteen as on Volume I, the alternate of "Ramblin' On My Mind" and masters of "Kind Hearted Woman Blues" and "Preachin' Blues" from the earlier LP were issued again. Although not quite as popular or influential as its predecessor, it includes recordings of two Johnson songs that have become blues standards, "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Love in Vain." In contrast to the deeply emotive songs released on the 1961 album, many of the tracks on Volume II display Johnson's lighter side.

King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II was reissued on August 10, 2004 by the Legacy Records subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, with the master version of "Ramblin' On My Mind" appended as a bonus track. The original recording engineer was Vincent Liebler.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

Track Recorded Catalogue Released Song Title Time
1. November 23, 1936 Vocalion 3416 1937 Kind Hearted Woman Blues 2:28
2. November 23, 1936 Vocalion 3475 1937 I Believe I'll Dust My Broom 2:57
3. November 23, 1936 Vocalion 3601 1937 Sweet Home Chicago 2:57
4. November 23, 1936 Columbia CL 1654 (alternate take) 1961 Ramblin' On My Mind 2:50
5. November 23, 1936 previously unreleased 1970 Phonograph Blues 2:38
6. November 27, 1936 Vocalion 3563 1937 They're Red Hot 2:56
7. November 27, 1936 Vocalion 3475 1937 Dead Shrimp Blues 2:29
8. November 27, 1936 Vocalion 4630 1939 Preaching Blues 2:49

Side two[edit]

Track Recorded Catalogue Released Song Title Time
1. June 19, 1937 Vocalion 3723 1937 I'm a Steady Rollin' Man 2:35
2. June 19, 1937 Vocalion 3623 1937 From Four 'Til Late 2:22
3. June 20, 1937 unreleased alternate take 1970 Little Queen of Spades 2:16
4. June 20, 1937 Vocalion 3665 1937 Malted Milk 2:20
5. June 20, 1937 unreleased alternate take 1970 Drunken Hearted Man 2:26
6. June 20, 1937 unreleased alternate take 1970 Stop Breakin' Down Blues 2:21
7. June 20, 1937 Vocalion 4002 1938 Honeymoon Blues 2:16
8. June 20, 1937 unreleased alternate take 1970 Love in Vain 2:20

2004 reissue bonus track[edit]

Track Recorded Catalogue Released Song Title Time
17. November 23, 1936 Vocalion 3519 1937 Ramblin' on My Mind 2:23

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Greenberg, Adam. Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II. Allmusic. Retrieved on August 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Starger, Steve. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". The Hartford Courant: 8. April 10, 1971.
  3. ^ MH. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". Los Angeles Times: M50. December 20, 1970.
  4. ^ Marcus, Greil. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". The New York Times: 506. November 22, 1970.
  5. ^ Cober-Lake, Justin. Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II. PopMatters. Retrieved on August 7, 2009.
  6. ^ Goodwin, Michael. Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on August 7, 2009.
  7. ^ Tearson, Michael. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". Sing Out!: January 1, 2005.
  8. ^ Columnist. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". Stereo Review: v. 26. 1971.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin. "Review: King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
  10. ^ Columnist. RS500: 424) King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. II. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on August 7, 2009.

References[edit]

External links[edit]