Various - Capital Gold Blues Legends
It's hard to overstate the influence of the blues on today's popular music, and, certainly for the uninitiated, this compilation does a fine job of tracking the genre back to the 1950s.
CD1 concentrates on more recent material, more recent meaning late 1960s onwards, and features the likes of Fleetwood Mac (before they turned into the massive-selling, drug-stuffed soft rock act), Canned Heat and Gary Moore. For any bloke with a guitar fetish, this should be enough, although some may want to mind the ponderous solos.
It is CD2 which makes this compilation worthy of a recommendation, the focus here the 1950s and early 1960s. Blues is a genre that arguably works better the further back you go; there's a raw, sometimes grizzled authenticity to many of these recordings, yet a pop brevity in the song-writing. Accompanying the expected tales of woe and lost love is the sort of sublime sexual power demonstrated by Slim Harpo's I'm A King Bee and Etta James' I Just Want To Make Love To You.
Later inclusions might be occasionally laboured, but the earlier tracks are often timeless and should make at least an interesting diversion for anyone wanting a break from today's production-rules music. Plenty of classics here.