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Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Country - Released September 21, 2018 | Capitol Records Nashville

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
More than eight and a half hours of music! Bobby Gentry absolutely deserves such a generous celebration, even though her glory years only really lasted about a decade. Retiring in the early 1980s into total anonymity, this great voice of the 1960s and 1970s is presented here in a deluxe selection. Across 8 records, 177 tracks are brought together: her six studio albums for Capitol (Ode to Billie Joe from 1967, The Delta Sweete and Local Gentry from 1968, Touch ‘Em With Love from 1969, Fancy from 1970 and  Patchwork from 1971), the record she made with Glen Campbell in 1968 and over 70 unreleased tracks including alternative takes, demos, BBC live recordings and all kinds of rarities! Hidden behind the mystery of her premature retirement and the cult following which has only grown with time remain these songs. Bobbie Gentry was more than just a simple country, folk and pop singer like so many others of her generation. Only Bobby could’ve written hits like Mornin' Glory, Fancy, Okolona River Bottom Band, Chickasaw County Child and most famous of all, covered the world over, Ode to Billie Joe, the fascinating story of the suicide of the mysterious Billie Joe McAllister who leapt from Tallahatchie Bridge. In France, Joe Dassin would go on to put a French spin on the song: Billie Joe became Marie-Jeanne and the Tallahatchie Bridge became the bridge over the Garonne…There is class, freedom and striking sensuality in Bobbie Gentry's voice. There are also brilliant arrangements and an instrumentation that line up perfectly with the songs, from slightly kitschy lounge strings (but they're so cool) to a simple guitar that clings to the contours of her voice. Bobbie Gentry was never fully country, fully pop, fully soul or fully folk. She was Bobbie Gentry. Full stop. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Country - Released October 16, 2015 | Charly

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Country - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A revelation upon its release, this album is now a collection of standards: "Illegal Smile," "Hello in There," "Sam Stone," "Donald and Lydia," and, of course, "Angel from Montgomery." Prine's music, a mixture of folk, rock, and country, is deceptively simple, like his pointed lyrics, and his easy vocal style adds a humorous edge that makes otherwise funny jokes downright hilarious. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Country - Released April 3, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Blues - Released February 24, 2015 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
Born in 1888, Huddie Ledbetter was the son of a sharecropper; he was born on a Louisiana plantation and learned to play guitar after long days working on his father's farm. After he struck out on his own at the age of 16, Ledbetter's life was full of adventures, both good and bad and including a murder conviction, but while in prison he picked up the nickname Lead Belly, and after writing a handful of great songs (and learning a hundred more) that he made his own with his passionate vocal style that melded blues and folk styles and his distinctive 12-string guitar work, he was freed and became one of the most influential folk artists in American music. Lead Belly recorded literally hundreds of songs over the course of his career (including a number of archival sessions recorded for the Library of Congress), and his music would influence a striking array of artists, from Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Odetta to Van Morrison, John Fogerty, and Kurt Cobain. The Smithsonian Folkways Collection is a five-disc box set that represents the first attempt to offer a career-spanning overview of the career of a giant of American music, including 108 tracks, 16 of which see their first release on this collection. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Country - Released October 3, 2014 | Sony Special Products

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Billy Joe Shaver slipped onto the recording scene very quietly in 1973. He was already heralded a fine songwriter by Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, but even they'd recorded one or two songs of his up to that point. After the issue of this debut album, however, the floodgates opened for Shaver with the aforementioned trio and Johnny Cash himself recording Billy Joe's songs -- a trend that continued 30 years later. Old Five and Dimers Like Me reveals a songwriter at the height of his power, a songwriter who undersells his case via quiet melodic music steeped in Texas country, folk, and the blues. While the title track is best known and the most often recorded (Waylon based his entire Honky Tonk Heroes around that track as the basis for an album of Shaver's tunes), each of this CD's 14 songs are gems. "Fit to Kill and Going Out in Style" became an anthem of the outlaw movement, and "Black Rose" echoes the Band's "Cripple Creek" with its funky country shuffle. The old-time honky tonk blues of "Played the Game Too Long" features a Dixieland horn section in the middle, and "Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me" became David Allan Coe's theme after "Long Haired Redneck." And "Low Down Freedom" is the most poignantly written song about what it costs others when a man decides he needs to be free. Shaver was a study in contradictions on this album and proved to be so in life as well. He was a big man on the cover, a rough and tumble farmer who liked his music hot and simple and wrote words like a poet laureate. His performances of his own songs have been derided in the past because of the supposed limitations in his voice. But though he may not produce the performance drama that some of his peers can, his versions of these songs are far more poignant than any cover version of them. Shaver has always possessed an elegant and humble sense of dignity; it's on this recording, and on each one that followed. Old Five and Dimers Like Me is a masterpiece not only as a genesis for outlaw country, but of American songwriting at its very best. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Blues - Released March 31, 2014 | Ace Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Two songs into Every Day I Have the Blues, T-Bone Walker starts singing a slow-crawling 12-bar blues about "Vietnam," a pretty good indication that this 1969 LP belongs to its era. That's not the only way this record evokes its time. Released on Bob Thiele's newly launched Bluestime imprint, this is redolent of every production trend of the late '60s: topical songs compete for space with fuzz guitar, tracks that stretch out, way out, as both Walker and his supporting band get a lot of space to solo. Compared to other LPs from Bluestime -- including The Real Boss of the Blues by Big Joe Turner and Otis Spann's Sweet Giant of the Blues, both reissued in 2014 simultaneously with this Walker record -- Every Day I Have the Blues is more about the sounds and feel of 1969, which makes sense. Turner belonged to the '50s and Spann was an amiable session man but Walker was a frontman ready to ride the wave of fashion, hopefully getting toward the charts but, more realistically, garnering just enough attention to get back into the studio one more time. Every Day is filled with his signature single-note runs -- he was never less than a consummate guitarist -- and he amiably plays with the burbling organ, slightly too bawdy horns, and too loose rhythms. What's fun here is that very distant disconnect, how Walker doesn't fully embrace his new surroundings but is game anyway, playing up a storm on otherwise undistinguished instrumentals like "T-Bone Blues Special" and launching a cut called "For B.B. King" that is inexplicably based on Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue" and finds T-Bone playing in his own style, never once attempting B.B.'s runs. Then again, much of the pleasure of this record is hearing Walker stay true to himself, no matter what his band does. He's happy to groove, he'll weather the fashions but he won't change his style, and that makes for an enjoyable listen. [Ace's 2014 reissue is augmented by two tracks originally released on the live 1970 LP Super Black Blues, Vol. 2.] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released November 5, 2013 | Omnivore Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Omnivore's 2013 double-disc set Buck Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967) provides an interesting spin on Buck Owens: through a collection of mono singles, live tracks, alternate takes, early 45s, and other rarities, it tells an alternate history of Buck's prime years. If there's a hit on this 50-track collection, it's almost always in a version that's slightly different than what usually shows up on a standard greatest-hits. "Second Fiddle," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," and "Before You Go" are all in mono, there's an early version of "Ain't It Amazing Gracie," and "Act Naturally" is live, so they're familiar enough to not feel jarring and they do provide the core of a collection that winds up wandering into some pretty interesting territory. This is one of the rare comps to take into consideration, sides Owens recorded before he signed to Capitol -- or, in other words, before he developed Bakersfield and his signature train rhythm -- opening with the pure honky tonk of "Down on the Corner of Love" and the rockabilly swing of "Hot Dog." With these pip singles included, the birth of Bakersfield Country is all the more dramatic and, as this ends in 1967 when Buck & the Buckaroos were still riding high on top of the country charts and before Owens' stardom was slightly tarnished by the cornpone Hee Haw, this focuses directly on his prime, when he was undoubtedly the biggest country star in America. True, Buck 'Em! may not have all the hits and it may take a few detours, but those detours are picturesque and necessary for fleshing out what winds up as a potent portrait of Buck at the peak of his powers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Released October 7, 2013 | Dixiefrog

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
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Blues - Released August 26, 2013 | Fremeaux Heritage

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Country - Released February 26, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Blues - Released February 15, 2013 | Document Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Blues - Released January 25, 2013 | Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Folk - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Folk - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Mercury Nashville

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Grammy Awards
Kacey Musgraves could easily be contemporary country's next big thing. She's a sharp, detailed songwriter with a little bit of an edge, and while it's tempting to think of her as another coming of Taylor Swift, say, she's got the kind of relaxed sureness about what she's doing as a songwriter and performer that puts her closer to a Miranda Lambert. On her first nationally distributed album, Same Trailer Different Park, she definitely sounds more on the Lambert side of things, with a sparse, airy sound that lets her lyrics shine, and she'd as soon use a banjo in her arrangements as a snarling Stratocaster. From her debut single, the marvelous "Merry Go 'Round" (which is included here as the third track), Musgraves showed an intelligent, careful writing style that is as pointed as it is poignant, and even though the song seems to skewer small-town country life, it does it without malice or agenda, and is really more just telling it true than anything else, a trait that ought to be treasured in Nashville but usually isn't. Nashville wants one to tell it true as long as that telling conforms to the template, which Musgraves isn't likely to do. "Merry Go 'Round" might be the best song here, but there are others that are nearly as good, like the lilting, wise opener, "Silver Lining," the implausible "Dandelion" (one wonders how she manages to make such a winning song out of such a metaphor, but she does), and the gutsy (and again, wise) "Follow Your Arrow," all of which feature clear-eyed observations, unintrusive but appropriate arrangements, and a certain flair for telling it like it is and making it sound like bedrock, obvious wisdom. Musgraves has a sense of humor, too, and all of these traits add up to make Same Trailer Different Park more than a collection of songs just aiming for the country charts. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Folk - Released October 31, 2011 | Spinney Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
About five years after briefly surfacing as part of Andrew Loog Oldham's stable, Vashti -- now billing herself with her full name, Vashti Bunyan -- made her only album. A folkier and more serious-minded effort than her initial mid-'60s recordings, it is a pleasing yet overly dainty slice of British rock-tinged folk, produced by Joe Boyd. A certain similarity to some other acts under Boyd's supervision, such as the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, was assured by contributions from the ISB's Robin Williamson and Fairport's Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol. For good measure, there were string and recorder arrangements by Robert Kirby, who had done some string arrangements for Nick Drake, another Boyd-produced artist. Comprised solely of original material, Just Another Diamond Day contained dignified yet slightly sad ruminations with a pastoral, indeed rural feel, imbued with images of solitary meditations upon rain, wind, sunsets, and open fields. The drum-less, acoustic arrangements yielded an intimate ambience well-suited for Vashti's fragile, measured, almost despondently wispy vocals. These were rather in the manner of Marianne Faithfull's highest and most whispery early efforts, albeit with far folkier setting and more vivid lyrics. The CD reissue of this rarity (on Spinney) is enhanced by four bonus tracks that, with an oh-so-slight poppier bent, actually rate as the best material on the disc: the 1966 B-side "Love Song," a pair of unreleased 1966-1967 acetates, and a 1969 version of "Iris' Song" (to be redone as "Iris's Song for Us" on the LP). It's too bad, though, that the other three songs from her official 1965-1966 singles weren't added, as well, to make this a more complete retrospective. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released August 16, 2011 | Delmark

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Blues - Released June 28, 2011 | Shout!

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Folk - Released May 13, 2011 | WM Spain

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography