The Stanley Brothers The Complete Mercury Recordings (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: August 25, 2003
- Originally Released: 2003
- Label: Mercury
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.(Say) Won't You Be Mine
- 2.This Weary Heart You Stole Away (Wake Up, Sweetheart)
- 3.I'm Lonesome Without You
- 4.Our Last Goodbye
- 5.Poison Lies
- 6.Dickson County Breakdown
- 7.I Long to See the Old Folks
- 8.A Voice from on High
- 9.Memories of Mother
- 10.Could You Love Me (One More Time)
- 11.Nobody's Loves Like Mine
- 12.I Just Got Wise
- 13.Harbor of Love
- 14.Blue Moon of Kentucky
- 15.Calling from Heaven
- 16.Cose By
- 17.Hard Times
- 18.Baby Girl
- 19.Say You'll Take Me Back
- 20.I Worship You
- 21.You're Still on My Mind
- 22.I Hear My Savior Calling
- 23.Just a Little Talk With Jesus
- 24.So Blue
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.You'd Better Get Right
- 2.Tragic Love
- 3.Lonesome and Blue
- 4.Orange Blossom Special
- 5.Clinch Mountain Blues
- 6.Will He Wait a Little Longer
- 7.Big Tilda
- 8.Angel Band
- 9.Who Will Call You Sweetheart
- 10.The Cry from the Cross
- 11.I'm Lost, I'll Never Find the Way
- 12.Let Me Walk, Lord, By Your Side
- 13.A Lonesome Night
- 14.Fling Ding
- 15.I'll Never Grow Tired of You
- 16.Loving You Too Well
- 17.Daybreak in Dixie
- 18.If That's the Way You Feel
- 19.A Life of Sorrow
- 20.I'd Rather Be Forgotten
- 21.The Flood
- 22.No School Bus in Heaven
- 23.Maple on the Hill
- 24.Little Maggie
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
/The Clinch Mountain Boys.
The Stanley Brothers: Carter Stanley (vocals, guitar); Ralph Stanley (vocals, banjo).
Recorded between 1953 & 1958. Includes liner notes by Mary Katherine Aldin.
Personnel: Carter Stanley (vocals, guitar); Ralph Stanley (vocals, banjo); Bill Lowe, Curley Lambert (vocals, mandolin); Ralph Mayo (vocals, fiddle); John Shuffler, George Shuffler (vocals); Charlie Cline (guitar); Roy Wiggins (steel guitar); Darrell "Pee Wee" Lambert, Jimmy Williams , Bill Napier (mandolin); Chubby Wise, Joe Meadows, Howard Forrester, Art Stamper, Benny Martin (fiddle).
Liner Note Author: Mary Katherine Aldin.
Photographers: Ray Flerlage; Julie Snow.
Major label Universal, which controls the catalog of Mercury Records, has taken a welcome, if belated, interest in the recordings made for Mercury by the Stanley Brothers during their tenure there from 1953 to 1958, issuing a full-priced compilation, Angel Band: The Classic Mercury Recordings in 1995, and an entry in the midline-priced 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection series of artist best-ofs in 2002. Annotator Mary Katherine Aldin makes no bones about the reason for Universal's decision to plump for this two-disc set of the Stanley Brothers' complete Mercury recordings, mentioning the appearance of the track "Angel Band" on the multi-million-selling O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack in the opening paragraph of her liner notes. The success of that 2000 album has opened the reissue floodgates for more than one bluegrass act, and this is one of the happier results. The Stanley Brothers (with the varying personnel of their three-or four-piece backing group, the Clinch Mountain Boys), were still-young bluegrass veterans when they arrived at Mercury in 1953, guitarist Carter about to turn 28, and banjoist Ralph 26. Recording was not the primary element in their career; they managed only 46 tracks in 12 sessions in four-and-a-half years (the last two selections come from an undated session for Smash, a label acquired by Mercury). But that gave them time to come up with excellent original material; 37 of the songs here were written by one or both of the brothers. The cover songs include standards like "Orange Blossom Special" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky." The subject matter consisted mostly of songs of love gone wrong, with religious statements providing some relief from the romantic grief. The playing, fast or slow, is consistently impressive bluegrass picking on guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and bass, and Carter's lead vocals, with Ralph chiming in on high tenor, are the epitome of bluegrass singing. This is classic work of its type. (The collection includes four tracks previously unreleased in the U.S.) ~ William Ruhlmann
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