The Essential ()

by

Show Synopsis

Chet Atkins is more esteemed as a session musician and producer than as a solo artist, and critics have rightly noted that much of his immense catalog as a solo artist is unimpressive. It might thus be assumed that it would be difficult to pick a two-CD, 40-track career-spanning retrospective that would both represent much of his finest solo output and appeal to the general listener, not just the country music scholar. Happily, this set manages the difficult feat of doing exactly that, owing to intelligent selection of a ...

Track Listing
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  1. Guitar Blues (Pickin' the Blues)
  2. Bug Dance
  3. Dizzy Strings
  4. Centipede Boogie
  5. Mainstreet Breakdown
  6. Root, Hog or Die
  7. Jitterbug Waltz
  8. The Third Man Theme
  9. Black Mountain Rag
  10. Country Gentleman
  11. City Slicker
  12. Mister Sandman
  13. The Poor People of Paris (Jean's Song)
  14. Big D
  15. Trambone
  16. Should We Tell Him
  17. Hidden Charm
  18. Oh Lonesome Me
  19. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
  20. Slinkey
  21. Boo Boo Stick Beat
  22. Hot Mocking Bird
  23. The Slop
  24. Man of Mystery
  25. Wheels
  26. Teen Scene
  27. Freight Train
  28. Satan's Doll
  29. Yakety Axe
  30. A Taste of Honey
  31. Drive In
  32. Get on with It
  33. Cannonball Rag
  34. Take Five
  35. Is Anything Better Than This
  36. It's Been a Long, Long Time
  37. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
  38. Poor Boy Blues
  39. Sneakin' Around
  40. Big Foot
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Customer Reviews

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WayneRobin

Feb 10, 2009

on the other hand...

Given the condescending official review, it's hard to imagine wanting to listen to this disc. It's like a chat board troll. An unhinged, out-of-control response is entirely justified, but I'll stay in the pocket.

Chet Atkins did not win thirteen grammies as a performer, invent the Nashville sound and change the world, on the strength of uninspired solo work.

Every guitarist who followed, without exception, is influenced by him, and I'm quoting a rock and roll hall-of-famer. George Harrison collected every Chet Atkins album, and it wasn't because Chet was a soulless technical speed monkey. He inspired, and continues to inspire, many people to devote their lives to music. McCartney traveled to Nashville to record with Atkins. Earl Klugh decided to play guitar after hearing Chet Atkins. Forget trying to make a list.

The selections on this disc are great. It's a great collection. And, superb as it is, the life within it is far greater, an unfathomable source. Nashville sound became what it is by trying to copy him. Too bad, it is easier to simulate Chet Atkin's incredible technique than to grasp his emotional intensity, his restraint, his intimacy, his mystery. The original here, is alive and wild.

This collection is, like any collection, lacking cohesion. Raw country, breakdown blugrass, Stax-style memphis groove, Broadway, etc. It's all over the place, but you can't wrap up anything final or even

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