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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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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 February 15, 2013 | Document Records Ltd.

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Blues - Released January 25, 2013 | Epic - Legacy

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Blues - Released August 16, 2011 | Delmark

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Blues - Released June 28, 2011 | Shout!

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Blues - Released April 22, 2011 | Columbia - Legacy

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Blues - Released August 17, 2009 | Universal Music Mexico

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Blues - Released June 18, 2009 | Alligator Records

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Ice Pickin' is the album that brought Albert Collins directly back into the limelight, and for good reason, too. The record captures the wild, unrestrained side of his playing that had never quite been documented before. Though his singing doesn't quite have the fire or power of his playing, the album doesn't suffer at all because of that -- he simply burns throughout the album. Ice Pickin' was his first release for Alligator Records and it set the pace for all the albums that followed. No matter how much he tried, Collins never completely regained the pure energy that made Ice Pickin' such a revelation. © Thom Owens /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 18, 2009 | Alligator Records

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Blues - Released July 7, 2008 | Ace Records

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Blues - Released August 30, 2005 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

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Ford "Snooks" Eaglin's first released recordings, the ones collected here, suggested to the world that Eaglin was a great lost country blues player when he was, in fact, an excellent electric guitar player and a gospel-influenced singer who much preferred playing R&B with a band. When folklorist Harry Oster heard Eaglin busking with his guitar on a street in the French Quarter in 1958, he whisked him over to Louisiana State University and recorded the tracks collected here, either assuming that Eaglin was a folk artist or possibly even asking him to portray one for the sake of the recording. Either way, New Orleans Street Singer was a revelation when it was released by Folkways Records a year later in 1959, presenting to the world a gifted guitar player and a naturally soulful singer who brought a kind of jazzy New Orleans feel and groove to the folk-blues standards he was covering. The album is no less a revelation in the 21st century, although hindsight allows listeners to realize that the folk stance was probably more Oster's preference than Eaglin's. The guitar work is quick and fluid, with lead bursts that surprise and delight, continually settling on unexpected but highly effective chordal resolves, and the singing throughout is steady and informed, sounding a bit like Ray Charles, with tinges of both gospel and jazz phrasing. In Eaglin's hands traditional fare like "Mama, Don't You Tear My Clothes" (a variant of "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down") become reborn and re-formed into definitive versions. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Blues - Released March 4, 2005 | Silvertone

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This Grammy-winning comeback set brought Buddy Guy back to prominence after a long studio hiatus. There are too many clichéd cover choices -- "Five Long Years," "Mustang Sally," "Black Night," "There Is Something on Your Mind" -- to earn unreserved recommendation, but Guy's frenetic guitar histrionics ably cut through the superstar-heavy proceedings (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Mark Knopfler all turn up) on the snarling title cut and a handful of others. © Bill Dahl /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 2004 | Delmark

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Blues - Released January 1, 1997 | Geffen*

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Blues - Released June 18, 1992 | Legacy - Columbia

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After being rediscovered by the folk-blues community in the early '60s, Son House rose to the occasion and recorded this magnificent set of performances. Allowed to stretch out past the shorter running time of the original 78s, House turns in wonderful, steaming performances of some of his best-known material. On some tracks, House is supplemented by folk-blues researcher/musician Alan Wilson, who would later become a member of the blues-rock group Canned Heat and here plays some nice second guitar and harmonica on several cuts. This two-disc set features alternate takes, some unissued material and some studio chatter from producer John Hammond, Sr. that ocassionally hints at the chaotic nature inherent to some of these '60s "rediscovery" sessions. While not as overpowering as his earlier work (what could be?), all of these sides are so power packed with sheer emotional involvement from House, they're an indispensable part of his canonade © Cub Koda /TiVo
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Blues - Released April 1, 1991 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

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Blues - Released August 28, 1990 | Columbia

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If you're following the 30-plus year career of Bill Broonzy and already have the two early compilations available on Yazoo, here's where you go next. These are basically ensemble works covering the time frame between 1930 to 1940 and Broonzy sounds very comfortable in the company of Blind John Davis and Joshua Altheimer. The 20 tracks compiled here (culled from various Vocalion, ARC and Columbia sessions) sound pretty great, benefitting mightily from modern sound restoration devices. © Cub Koda /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1990 | Vanguard Records

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The guitarist's first album away from Chess -- and to be truthful, it sounds as though it could have been cut at 2120 S. Michigan, with Guy's deliciously understated guitar work and a tight combo anchored by three saxes and pianist Otis Spann laying down tough grooves on the vicious "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "I Can't Quit the Blues," and an exultant cover of Mercy Dee's "One Room Country Shack." © Bill Dahl /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 6, 1989 | Epic

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Blues - Released January 1, 1986 | Mercury Records

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