This overstuffed box not only includes all three of Tony Joe White's initial albums for Monument, but adds dozens of extra songs and outtakes, most of which have never been heard before, and includes a fourth disc of previously unreleased live and studio tracks.
It's a cornucopia of material, nearly all of it worth hearing, but due to its near obsessive vault clearing, the hefty list price, and its limited-edition status (only 5000 were pressed), it is clearly geared to the obsessive White enthusiast.
Even though the singer/songwriter/guitarist was signed to Monument in 1966 (both sides of his rare debut single appear as extras on this set's version of Black and White), his first album was not recorded until 1969.
By that time White had pretty much nailed the distinctive and ultimately trademark swamp sound that he mined for the rest of his career.
The musky yet melodic songs, evocative lyrics and mid-tempo rhythms married to White's baritone voice reveled in his scrappy Louisiana roots.
His first disc kicks off with "Willie and Laura Mae Jones", a steaming slice of the backwoods pop that, like most of his finest work, effortlessly combined blues, country and folk.
While others had worked similar territory previously, in particular Bobbie Gentry (her "Ode to Billy Joe" was a major inspiration for White), he infused a rock and R&B sensibility that drove the music with gritty authenticity and his "whomper stomper" wah-wah pedal.
Most impressive is the amount of material recorded during the period 1969-1971, the three years covered here.
Of these 64 studio tracks and outtakes, all but approximately 20 are originals and most are well worth hearing.
Billy Swan remained White's producer throughout these albums, and even though some critics find his strings and horns to be unnecessary embellishments, the sweetening seldom overwhelms the music.
White rather reluctantly agrees in his interview available in the informative 36-page book that brings additional value to this compilation.
The fourth disc features his entire seven-song performance at 1970s Isle of Wight concert.
White is joined by Jeff Beck's drummer Cozy Powell, who he had first met earlier that day, and the duo burn through a sizzling set highlighted by a six-minute version of his biggest hit, "Polk Salad Annie".
The compilers also unearth a previously unreleased, solo, ten track studio session recorded in Paris in March of 1969 where White covers Gentry's "Mississippi Delta" along with Bob Dylan, Don Covay and Joe Tex, along with a few originals.
Not quite essential, it's still more than worthwhile and fans will enjoy experiencing White in his most stripped down format.
It's a fitting coda for a long overdue and neatly packaged appreciation of Tony Joe White's significant influence on American roots music. (by Hal Horowitz from amg)
CD 1 (Black And White, 1969)
01.Willie And Laura Mae Jones
04.Whompt Out On You
05.Don't Steal My Love
06.Polk Salad Annie
07.Who's Making Love
08.Scratch My Back
09.Little Green Apples
11.The Look Of Love
12.Willie And Laura Mae Jones [Alternate Version]
14.A Man Can Only Stand Just So Much Pain
15.Toil & Trouble [Early Version]
17.It's Not What You Got
19.Hung Up On You
20.Ten More Miles To Louisiana
21.Let The Party Roll On
22.Watching The Trains Go By [Alternate Version]
23.Georgia Pines [Alternate Version]
24.Baby Please Don't Go
CD 2 (...Continued, 1969)
01.Elements And Things
02.Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin)
04.Rainy Night In Georgia
05.For Le Ann
06.Old Man Willis
07.Woman With Soul
08.I Want You
09.I Thought I Knew You Well
11.Watching The Trains Go By [Single Version]
12.Old Man Willis [Single Version]
16.Toil & Trouble
17.What Does It Take
18.This Guy's In Love with You
19.Woodpecker [Alternate Version]
20.Laying Out All Night
21.I Want Your Sweet Love
22.Keep A Movin' Train
CD 3 (Tony Joe, 1970)
02.High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parrish
05.Save Your Sugar for Me
06.Hard To Handle
07.What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
13.Do You Want My Love
15.I Hate To See You Cry
17.I Can't Stand It
CD 4 (Isle Of Wight Concert & Unreleased, 1970 & 1969)
Barclay Studio, Paris 03/1969
02.Chain Of Fools
04.The Ballad Of Hollis Brown
06.Tobacco Road/Dead End Street
07.Caress Me Babe!
09.Just Look At You
10.Skinny Legs & All
Bonus Tracks (isle of Wight, 28/08/1970)
11.Boom Boom [Live]
12.Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin)[Live]
13.I Want You [Live]
14.Groupy Girl [Live]
15.Stud Spider [Live]
16.Polk Salad Annie [Live]
17.Save Your Sugar for Me [Live]
[ Rip and scans by COR ... many thanks mate ]
HERE (password is : phrockblog)