Monday, March 28, 2016

On Bootlegs, Limited Editions, Pirates Or Whatever They're Called

A word of warning to those who are not familiar with "Limited Editions" from the 60's-70's.  Pressed in small numbers by collectors using whatever they had lying around the turntable, taped or borrowed. The sound quality and mastering varies from OK to crap.
Gatemouth Brown on Python sounds like he's on speed, J.B. Lenoir , also on Python, is  muffled under 10 blankets but the rest get a bit better. The other UK labels Highway 51, PWB etc. are reasonable quality but don't expect hifi.
Negro Art is a French label and the quality is reasonable and it covers a wide range of styles. Gerard Herzhaft gave the background on Negro Art some time ago and I'll post that again with the Negro Art postings.

I would like to thank Stefan Wirz's  for his discographies that I'll be linking to and also for the Keith Briggs article "Bootin' 'em About".
So download at your own risk, don't post comments complaining about the quality, some have been posted earlier  and thank your lucky stars things got better. In total 44 lp's of dubieus quality and background.


Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope you won't waste time on the Otis Rush set.
I was one of innumerablee people who complained about the mains hum through over under and every way but loose of the tracks included.
We were told this was unavoidable but the charitable mood which got the proprietor off vanished in the complete silence .. rather than that damned bum tape hum ... which came with the same material shortly after reissued on Blue Horizon and officially....

Fortunately a couple of years later I was offered two nice Scandinavian LPs for my copy of that ghastly Otis Rush -- and I bade the rubbish good riddance!
I think that was the worst bootleg I encountered.

I did find oddity of oddities a white label copy of a Buddy Guy LP without a sleeve but I believe the same as what came out in 99 copies on RED LIGHTNING
The weird thing was that this turned up in an Asian bargain shop in Glasgow which so far as I could make out sold no other second hand LPs. I have no idea how the thing got there ... was it a test pressing or what?

Xyros said...

Unfortunately I don't have the Otis Rush on Python but I do have it on Blue Horizon which has a couple of tracks extra. I'm a sucker for crappy sound and covers.
The Buddy Guy is almost a straight release on Red Lightnin' but I've never seen a white label copy.
Strange place indeed to find a copy of this LP. I once found a mint copy of UK psych group Open Mind (800 euro plus now) in small box of lp's in a glass shop in Amsterdam in the late 70's. Sold it almost straight away for maybe 200 euro then. Children had to be fed :-).

Bob Mac said...

Hi guys, on the subject of Python & Red Lightnin' LPs. I got my hands on as many as I could back then, most I ordered through the Australian Blues Society. There was also a specalist record store in Perth that imported several copies directly from the UK.

I had the following Python LPs. All had plain white covers that someone had written the title on with a felt-tip pen.

Gatemouth Brown: Vol 1 Python PLP2 & Vol 2 Python PLP27
Freddie King: Live Performance 1 & 2 Python/Black Bear BB904/5
J.B. Lenoir: J.B. Lenoior Python PLP25
Muddy Waters: Rare Live Recordings Vol 1 Python/Black Bear PLP-BB901 & Rare Live Recordings Vol 2 Python/Black Bear PLP-BB902
Fention Robinson/Larry Davis: Blues Python PLP24
Blues From The Windy City Python PLP21
Blues Today Southern Style Python PLP-KM16
The Downhome Blues Vol 3 Python PLP22

The original Red Lightnin' LPs also had plain white covers with the titles written with felt pens. I had the following:

Buddy Guy: In The Beginning Red Lightnin’ RL001
Little Walter: Quarter To Twelve Red Lightnin’ RL002
Albert Collins: Alive & Cool Red Lightnin’ RL004

Unfortunately I no longer own any records at all. I had to sell them off some years ago. Today I have an enormous collection of MP3 music but no vinyl.

Xyros said...

That was a nice collection you had back then. I know some came in white sleeves but I hadn't relized it was that many and also some Red Lightnin's.
That you could buy them in Australia makes me wonder if the 99 copies limited might be just for UK tax exemption at the time. Some titles turn up on a regular basis while others just never come around.

Some of the titles you had will be turning up on the blog so you can go down memory lane while listening to them.

Bob Mac said...

Xyros. The 99 copies may well be correct. The record store in Perth was 78 Records and one of the owners was a serious blues fan. He had good connections with blues record dealers and was getting us some of the good stuff as soon as it appeared. By no means did the average Aussie record shop get anything like Pythons/Red Lightnin'. Also the Aussie Blues Society had all the right connections and were ordering several copies of things as soon as they appeared. But in either case I doubt if 78 records or the ABS imported more than a dozen copies of any one album, more than likely just half a dozen copies.

The fact some of these albums are still around probably has more to do with serious blues collectors looking after their collections. I know I guarded mine like it was the crown