The Definitive Collection

The Definitive Collection

by Bobby "Blue" Bland


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Bobby "Blue" Bland is closing in on sixty years as a professional singer (he cut his first single way back in 1951), and while his technical singing range has shrunk with age, he has more than compensated for it with his elegant sense of phrasing and his intelligent use of appropriate melisma, a trait that any number of contemporary would-be R&B singers (who all too often seem to strangle the ends of melody lines rather than glide naturally through them) would do well to emulate. Starting out as a raw blues shouter, Bland instinctively understood the benefits of balance and refinement, and by the time of his first big hit, "Farther Up the Road," which he cut for Don Robey's Duke Records in 1957, he wasn't just shouting anymore but giving his material real emotional breathing room, and developing his gospel-informed crying style, which put the blue back in the blues. This excellent 22-track selection spans Bland's career, beginning with key sides from his long stay at Duke like "Farther Up the Road," "I Pity the Fool," "Who Will the Next Fool Be?" and his brilliant re-imagining of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday Blues," which was a surprise hit for Bland in 1962, as well as his later hits for the ABC imprint Dunhill Records (Robey sold Duke Records to ABC in 1973 and Bland's contract was included in the deal), "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" and "I Wouldn't Treat a Dog (The Way You Treat Me)," both from 1974. Generally presented as a blues singer, Bland is equally at home in the R&B, soul and gospel areas, and when presented with a good pop ballad, he knows exactly what to do with it. Truthfully, there's as much Perry Como in his musical DNA as there is T-Bone Walker, and the mix makes Bland a completely unique singer. The bottom line here is that Bland is a singer's singer, and he has never strangled the life out of a song in his life. That's how you last nearly sixty years in a business that is always looking for the next big thing.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/27/2007
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0602517169364
catalogNumber: 000816102
Rank: 14662

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bobby "Blue" Bland   Primary Artist,Vocals
Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson   Trumpet
Johnny Young   Piano
Larry Carlton   Guitar
Pete Christlieb   Horn
Red Holloway   Tenor Saxophone
Jerome Richardson   Baritone Saxophone
Phil Upchurch   Bass
Clifford Scott   Alto Saxophone
Rudy Aikels   Bass
Anita Kerr Singers   Background Vocals
Jimmy Beck   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ben Benay   Guitar
Ginger Blake   Background Vocals
Johnny Board   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Oscar Brashear   Trumpet
Skippy Brooks   Piano
Garnett Brown   Trombone
Rayfield Davers   Baritone Saxophone
Pluma Davis   Trombone
Wilton Felder   Bass,Bass Guitar
Bobby Forte   Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Freeman   Drums
Ed Greene   Drums
Clarence Holliman   Guitar
Milton Hopkins   Guitar
Jim Horn   Horn
Paul Hubinon   Horn
John Kelson   Horn
B.B. King   Guitar,Vocals
Lew McCreary   Horn
Michael Omartian   Organ,Piano
Ray Parker   Guitar
Dean Parks   Guitar
Harold Potier   Drums
Benny Powell   Trombone
Sid Sharp   Concert Master
Hamp Simmons   Bass
Gerald Sims   Guitar
John Starks   Drums
Tony Terran   Horn
James Toney   Organ
Louis Villery   Bass
Maxine Willard Waters   Background Vocals
Ernie Watts   Horn
Snooky Young   Trumpet
Teddy Reynolds   Piano
Julia Tillman   Background Vocals
Joe Scott   Trumpet
Connie Mack Booker   Piano

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Charlie Rich   Composer
Brook Benton   Composer
Billy Eckstine   Composer
Earl Hines   Composer
Steve Barri   Composer,Producer
Bob Crowder   Composer
Esmond Edwards   Producer
Deadric Malone   Composer
Andy McKaie   Producer
Michael Omartian   Composer
Don Robey   Composer
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Jim McCrary   Tray Photo
Jay Wellington   Arranger
Fleecie Moore   Composer
Joseph Scott   Composer
Sam Theard   Composer
Pearl Woods   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Ahmet Nugetre   Composer
Joe Veasey   Composer
LaCharles Harper   Composer
Michael Price   Composer

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