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1971 Real Thing Live Original recording remastered, Live


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 10 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • ASIN: B00004XSUY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fishin' Blues
2. Ain't Gwine To Whistle Dixie (Any Mo')
3. Sweet Mama Janisse
4. Going Up To The Country And Paint My Mailbox Blue
5. Big Kneed Gal
6. You're Going To Need Somebody On Your Bond
7. Tom And Sally Drake
8. Diving Duck Blues
9. John, Ain't It Hard
10. She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride
11. You Ain't No Street Walker Mama, Honey But I Do Love The Way You Strut Your Stuff

Product Description

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Taj Mahal's been chasing the blues around the world for years, but rarely with the passion, energy, and clarity he brought to his first three albums. Taj Mahal, The Natch'l Blues and The Real Thing are the sound of the artist, who was born in 1942, defining himself and his music. On his self-titled 1967 debut, he not only honors the sound of the Delta masters with his driving National steel guitar and hard vocal shout, but ladles in elements of rock and country with the help of guitarists Ry Cooder and the late Jessie Ed Davis. This approach is reinforced and broadened by The Natch'l Blues. What's most striking is Mahal's way of making even the oldest themes sound as if they're part of a new era. Not just through the vigor of his playing--relentlessly propulsive, yet stripped down compared with the six-string ornamentations of the original masters of country blues--but through his singing, which possesses a knowing insouciance distinct to post-Woodstock counterculture hipsters. It's the voice of an informed young man who knows he's offering something deep to an equally hip and receptive audience.

Soon, Mahal turned his multicultural vision of the blues even further outward. The live 1971 set, The Real Thing, finds him still carrying the Mississippi torch, while adding overt elements of jazz and Afro-Caribbean music to its flame. But it's overreaching. His band sounds under-rehearsed, and the arrangements seem more like rough outlines. Nonetheless, these albums set the stage for Mahal's career. (For a condensed version, try the fine The Best of Taj Mahal.) Today, he continues to make fine fusion albums, like 1999's Kulanjan, with Malian kora master Toumani Diabate, and less exciting but still eclectic recordings with his Phantom Blues Band. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "douglasnegley" on Sept. 13 2003
Format: Audio CD
Yeah, man, the "official" reviewer just doesn't get it AT ALL. This is one of the best ROOTS recordings EVER - and I don't say that lightly. Remember...this is 1971...LIVE, a 2 LP recording, at the Fillmore...I mean, the Allman Brothers - WITH DUANE - did their recording that same year. Now, how many acts could have gotten away with playing a tune with nothing but a banjo and a TUBA, for cryin' out loud! ("Tom And Sally Drake")? Taj Mahal, that's who. Taj engages the audience as well as anyone ("Gimme some help...GIMME SOME! - You can do it...if you're jacked up to it...) and standouts here are the norm. "You're Goin' To Need Somebody On Your Bond" is the groover, with Taj 'gettin spiritual' with the blues, and doing the back and forth with the crowd. Also a highlight is "Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie No Mo'", where every band member gets a piece of the action, and my spine tingles at the thought of John Simon groovin' on the piano, and John Hall doing a GREAT guitar solo, and ending, with Taj whistling over the many horns. No, if you don't get it, you don't get it...but I was 15...and I got it. This is Taj's moment in Time, Live - History, I believe it's called - and he grabs on and holds tight. Any fan of blues, jazz, roots, gospel, or African-American music History has to consider this a MUST HAVE CD. Period.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent Taj Mahal CD. The album is fun and relaxing and must have been a great show to see. The quality of the music is great considering it was taken from a live performance. Although, a few times on the CD when Taj is talking between songs, the sound drops very quiet for a short time but quickly shoots back up to a good volume. The use of horns is a great change on this album and the other musicians on the stage sound great throughout. This is a good CD which will spice up any blues collection by providing a sound different from most other blues albums.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A-MEN, brother reviewer... Sept. 13 2003
By "douglasnegley" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yeah, man, the "official" reviewer just doesn't get it AT ALL. This is one of the best ROOTS recordings EVER - and I don't say that lightly. Remember...this is 1971...LIVE, a 2 LP recording, at the Fillmore...I mean, the Allman Brothers - WITH DUANE - did their recording that same year. Now, how many acts could have gotten away with playing a tune with nothing but a banjo and a TUBA, for cryin' out loud! ("Tom And Sally Drake")? Taj Mahal, that's who. Taj engages the audience as well as anyone ("Gimme some help...GIMME SOME! - You can do it...if you're jacked up to it...) and standouts here are the norm. "You're Goin' To Need Somebody On Your Bond" is the groover, with Taj 'gettin spiritual' with the blues, and doing the back and forth with the crowd. Also a highlight is "Ain't Gwine Whistle Dixie No Mo'", where every band member gets a piece of the action, and my spine tingles at the thought of John Simon groovin' on the piano, and John Hall doing a GREAT guitar solo, and ending, with Taj whistling over the many horns. No, if you don't get it, you don't get it...but I was 15...and I got it. This is Taj's moment in Time, Live - History, I believe it's called - and he grabs on and holds tight. Any fan of blues, jazz, roots, gospel, or African-American music History has to consider this a MUST HAVE CD. Period.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Blues Rev Speaks Aug. 8 2001
By Blues Rev - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I completely wore out my original double LP album listening to The Real Thing. And "REAL" it is. This is my favorite Taj Mahal album and one of the top five of my favorite blues albums of all time, considering that my Blues LP and CD collection exceeds 350 albums. The ochestration of traditonal blues songs played with by a typical blues band coupled with the backing brass section of Mr. Howard Johnson and friends, is more powerful than a B-52 air raid. I'm going to purchase a second copy of this album for my archives because I know I'll wear out this CD before long.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A classic finally resurfaces! Sept. 7 2000
By Thomas B. Alleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Taj, an American original, put this band together in 1970 and toured with it during the winter of 1970-71. I saw them in an absolutely amazing concert in which they left an audience of college students hollering for more. After a set of Taj on steel bodied guitar, the four horn players came on stage, each holding a tuba! Blues with tubas! The horn players included Howard Johnson, a legendary sideman, and as you might expect, the tubas were replaced with a more traditional array of horns before too long. I went out and bought this album as soon as the campus record store opened the next day. I wore it out and bought another, which I've kept ever since.
Originally issued as a two record set, this disc consists partially of Taj playing his steel bodied guitar -- "Fishin' Blues" -- and partly cuts by the band -- "Sweet Mama Janisse," "Ain't Goin' To Whistle Dixie No Mo'," and "Goin' To Move Up To the Country and Paint My Mailbox Blue," among others.
Taj on steel bodied is entirely unique; no one does it better, and he has been the premier proponent of this genre of music for many years. These are good live cuts.
The horn band material is casual, even raucous, and entirely ecstatic. The sound is completely spontaneous and upbeat -- it doesn't even sound rehearsed. Don't expect studio sound or deeply introspective performances. This is a band out there jammin' and having fun. To me that's what makes this album special -- there's just no way to be sad while you picture four guys strutting around on stage with tubas, while the leader whistles or plays a penny whistle or harp, with a honky tonk piano on the side. Blues With a Feelin' indeed.
Glad to have this back again. I didn't know how I was going to replace my old vinyl version.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Live Album. Sept. 11 2012
By Mac - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is something magical and revealing about a live recording. There's no place to hide, no second takes, no over-dubs, no studio tricks. The other reviewers discuss "The Real Thing" as a blues album. Why limit it to a genre? It is simply one of the greatest live recordings, ever, right up there with The Who's "Live at Leeds"; Hendrix' "Band of Gypsies"; "Sinatra at the Sands" (with the Basie Band, Quincy Jones conducting); Duke Ellington's "The Great Paris Concert"; Miles Davis' "My Funny Valentine"; B.B. King's "Live at the Regal"; Art Blakey's "A Night at Birdland, Vol. 2"; Dexter Gordon's "Swiss Nights Vol. 1"; and Carmen McRae's "At the Great American Music Hall".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't get much better than this Oct. 14 2000
By Joe Brodnicki - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'd been waiting for the CD release to replace two well-worn vinyl copies of this energetic, unique live performance. from the first time I heard this recording nearly 30 years ago, its become a treasure.
Taj Mahal and his back up band perform a variety of "great American folks tunes" with an intensity and ease seldom found in any performance. The music, no matter how old the tunes are, sounds fresh and displays a lack of datedness, pretense or restraint.
The instrumentation and arrangements are unusual (a banjo and tuba duet, for instance) and full of joy.
Great music and great fun---this is "The Real Thing"


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