The U.K. label Ace has produced this exhaustive compilation of B.B. King's early recordings, beginning with "3 O'Clock Blues" (1951) and concluding with "That Evil Child" (1971). The four-CD boxed set

RELEASE DATE: July 30

The U.K. label Ace has produced this exhaustive compilation of B.B. King's early recordings, beginning with "3 O'Clock Blues" (1951) and concluding with "That Evil Child" (1971). The four-CD boxed set includes a booklet that chronicles King's early career, including many vintage pics, as well as providing photos of famous "chitlin' circuit" clubs. Also included is an extensive discography, and notes on every track in the collection, written by Colin Escott. The Vintage Years is a must for fans and collectors. To sit back and listen to these four CDs is to hear the coming of age of one of the most important blues artists in the history of the genre. This music was born of zillions of hours on the road, gigging in smoky dancehalls and juke joints, playing the blues in good times and bad. The Vintage Years is an authoritative, particularly well-engineered, compilation. History never sounded so soulful. Distributed in the U.S. by Navarre.—PVV