Another reissue of seminal blues material under the guise of UME Blues Classics series is this from Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Two Steps From The Blues. To understand the release of this LP is to know that it was a compilation of his already successful singles out on Houston's Duke label. No less than six Top Ten R & B charters appear here, and the remainder represent equally well-known selections. This reissue, as well, features two heretofore unreleased tracks from the same sessions.
Bobby Bland became one of the nation's most revered singers with his string of charting hits from 1956-1960. His standard blues approach had been softened and somewhat redirected by his bandleader and trumpeter, Joe Scott. Foreseeing the coming soul stance of the sixties, Scott and Bland pioneered soulful R & B throughout the decade!
Songs found on the original vinyl include the title song, "Cry Cry Cry," "I'm Not Ashamed," "Don't Cry No More," "Lead Me On" (a cut utilizing full backing orchestration for the first time with Bland), "I Pity The Fool" (his #1 smash hit), "I've Just Got To Forget You," "Little Boy Blue," "St. James Infirmary," "I'll Take Care Of You," "I Don't Want No Woman," and "I've Been Wrong So Long." Fourteen total tunes comprising a best-of-selection process. Revamping, cleaning up, and re-upping this release is certainly a wise choice. Bland's work has become synonymous with soul blues, or soul-based R & B. It also became and remains the stylistic fodder for numerous chanteurs appearing after him.
MCA Records; 2200 Colorado Avenue; Santa Monica, CA 90404: or, www.umusic.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Cole, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
Click button to join
our mailing list!