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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

Country - Released September 21, 2018 | Capitol Records Nashville

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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 July 24, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

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Country - Released January 1, 1966 | RLG - Legacy

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Blues - Released February 24, 2015 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

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Blues - Released March 31, 2014 | Ace Records

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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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Blues - Released October 7, 2013 | Dixiefrog

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Blues - Released August 26, 2013 | Fremeaux Heritage

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Country - Released February 26, 2013 | Nonesuch

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

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Old-school blues, that from the 20s and 30s, is more than music. It’s a thing of magic and story-telling, in which tales are conjured up and you are left to fill in the grey areas. Here is  Charley Patton, less well-known than Robert Johnson, the star of vintage blues. And yet, without offending Bob, we can say the he is no less important. As his predecessor, he had released records in 1929 compared to 1936 for Robert Johnson. From the famous Dockery plantation in Mississippi, which produced as many bluesmen as it did cotton, Patton was the mentor of not only Robert Johnson but also John Lee Hooker, Son House, a young Howlin’ Wold and Pop Staples, founder of Staple Singers. His discography is vast and diverse like that of Robert Johnson and this first volume is an excellent starting point. With its trembling slide guitar, croaky vocals, primal but rock-solid and intense emotion, and a repertoire and style that seems to ail from an ancient time older than even the oldest blues. All his biggest hits are on here: Pony Blues, A Spoonful Blues, Mississippi Boweavil Blues, Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues… Songs of a Delta bluesman, from the safety of the church and out on the road like a stray cat… Charlie Patton released his 78 tracks on Paramount, a label infamous for the bad technical quality of its productions. The sound on these tracks is therefore rather rugged but the magic that is evoked is pure and unharmed. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Blues - Released January 25, 2013 | Epic - Legacy

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Folk - Released September 1, 1969 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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It's little wonder why Drake felt frustrated at the lack of commercial success his music initially gathered, considering the help he had on his debut record. Besides fine production from Joe Boyd and assistance from folks like Fairport Convention's Richard Thompson and his unrelated bass counterpart from Pentangle, Danny Thompson, Drake also recruited school friend Robert Kirby to create most of the just-right string and wind arrangements. His own performance itself steered a careful balance between too-easy accessibility and maudlin self-reflection, combining the best of both worlds while avoiding the pitfalls on either side. The result was a fantastic debut appearance, and if the cult of Drake consistently reads more into his work than is perhaps deserved, Five Leaves Left is still a most successful effort. Having grown out of the amiable but derivative styles captured on the long-circulating series of bootleg home recordings, Drake imbues his tunes with just enough drama -- world-weariness in the vocals, carefully paced playing, and more -- to make it all work. His lyrics capture a subtle poetry of emotion, as on the pastoral semi-fantasia of "The Thoughts of Mary Jane," which his soft, articulate singing brings even more to the full. Sometimes he projects a little more clearly, as on the astonishing voice-and-strings combination "Way to Blue," while elsewhere he's not so clear, suggesting rather than outlining the mood. Understatement is the key to his songs and performances' general success, which makes the combination of his vocals and Rocky Dzidzornu's congas on "Three Hours" and the lovely "'Cello Song," to name two instances, so effective. Danny Thompson is the most regular side performer on the album, his bass work providing subtle heft while never standing in the way of the song -- kudos well deserved for Boyd's production as well. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Mercury Nashville

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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

Folk - Released October 31, 2011 | Spinney Records

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Blues - Released August 16, 2011 | Delmark

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Junior Wells’ first album released in 1965, Hoodoo Man Blues is one of the pillars of Chicago blues. The kind of pillar that holds up the ceiling in a smoky club on the West Side, with a leather-clad pimp leaning up against it. It's like being at Theresa’s Lounge, the legendary club in Chicago where Junior Wells spent his evenings blowing into his harmonica with his guitarist and friend Buddy Guy. Junior Wells is one of the greats of the blues harmonica, to the point of having won a long contract in Muddy Waters' band, replacing Little Walter. But on his first album, he doesn't get out his CV nor show off his skills. He's content with playing as if he was in a club with his band. In other words, it's funky. Tight, sensual, tense. Junior Wells and his band of dancing blues experts never overdo it, each note is in its place. All the magic of this record lies in the interaction between the musicians, like in jazz. Junior Wells is not the type to demonstrate his technical skills as a harmonica player. But he still explodes here on a virtuosic cover of Chitlins Con Carne, a piece by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. The direct links between jazz and blues at the time are rare enough to deserve a mention. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Folk - Released May 13, 2011 | WM Spain

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Blues - Released April 22, 2011 | Columbia - Legacy

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Blues - Released March 23, 2011 | Fremeaux Heritage

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The first great harmonica player of the modern blues era, Sonny Boy Williamson stood right at the junction of country blues and the rapidly emerging urban blues sound, and Williamson's signature songs like "Good Morning School Girl," "Sugar Mama Blues, " "Ground Hog Blues" and "Stop Breaking Down" became virtual templates for the Chicago blues. His call and response harmonica lines were a huge influence on Little Walter, Junior Wells, Rice Miller (who actually billed himself as Sonny Boy Williamson following the original Williamson's death in 1948) and literally every blues harp player who ever picked up the instrument in the later half of the 20th century. He was also a disarmingly good singer, managing to sound casual and approachable (a trait he may have picked up from Sleepy John Estes, a one-time traveling companion on the Southern juke circuit) even as his harp continually brought the heavy gravel. Williamson recorded over 120 sides for RCA's Bluebird Records between 1937 and 1948, and this two-disc set has most of the essential ones, including the above mentioned template pieces. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Blues - Released March 21, 2011 | Charly Records

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Blues - Released March 10, 2011 | Fremeaux Heritage

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Folk - Released October 18, 2010 | Columbia - Legacy

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