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Jim Reeves-Complete Abbott Recordings, Plus

Jim Reeves

Complete Abbott Recordings, Plus

Format: CD   Release Date: 07/08/2014
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Bear Family released Welcome to My World, a 16-disc box of Jim Reeves' complete recorded work, in 1996, so it would seem that the 2014 three-disc compilation The Complete Abbott Recordings, Plus would be redundant. That's not the case. Where Welcome to My World told Reeves' story in full, this triple-disc set focuses on the first act and tells it in detail. This detail includes a host of alternate takes, studio chatter, and false starts -- basically, everything that's in releasable form is released here, totaling some 76 tracks. Without exception, this is for the hardcore: Bear Family makes no bones about attempting to replicate the experience of listening to studio tapes, packaging the entire box as a mini-tape box where the individual discs have artwork that looks like tapes. This is indeed some of Reeves' most vital music -- it has his breakthrough hits "Mexican Joe" and "Bimbo" -- and there are sparks in some of these alternates, showcasing the snap in his band and the confidence in his voice. All the same, this is solely for the hardcore and for the historian: it takes effort to get through a single 25-track disc in one setting, let alone all three. Nevertheless, those listeners will be satisfied by the exacting detail, which extends all the way to the liner notes that include some little-told stories of Reeves' Abbott years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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