Bessie Smith The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Bessie Smith on Limited Edition 180g LP + Download w/ Bonus Material
Bessie Smith was the first superstar of the blues with one of the greatest voices of the twentieth century. Dubbed ‘The Empress Of The Blues’, her majestic delivery and indomitable spirit were unsurpassed. Bessie sang with a kind of heartfelt emotion and raw unfiltered passion that could only come from someone with first-hand experience of the deep dark shades of the blues. In her short but kaleidoscopic life Bessie knew poverty, fame, wealth, love, lust, and the dangerous lure of liquor all too well.
Now you can enjoy an excellent compendium of Bessie’s finest work remastered on this Rough Guide release. Her seminal version of "St Louis Blues" featured here includes Louis Armstrong’s immortally strong cornet playing. The dream duo play in a perfectly anguished yet languorous mood. Bessie is also equally at home investing syrupy Tin Pan Alley songs with a deep level of emotion.
Bessie’s debut recording from 1923, "Down Hearted Blues" is an upbeat tinkling piano line underpinning her honeyed vocals which wind around the blues scale with ease. "Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out" is a lackadaisical slow-paced cover of the well known song. Bessie’s version is soaked in a thick and treacly half-hearted attitude that conveys the hopeless sentiment of the song perfectly.