Your favourite Bear Family releases

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GodBlessTinyTim, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. GodBlessTinyTim

    GodBlessTinyTim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Be they box sets, ongoing series, or single-disc titles, what are your most played and treasured releases from Bear Family Records? I know this label gets plenty of respect as is, but they really do deserve it. As for my picks,

    Individual CDs:

    > Johnny Burnette Trio - Rockbilly Boogie (Arguably the greatest collection of any rockabilly act's work)
    > Allen Toussaint - The Complete 'Tousan' Sessions (A young Toussaint performing joyous, jubilant piano instrumentals like a hopped-up Tuts Washington. Relaxes me like nothing else.)
    > Sonny Burgess - Classic Recordings 1956-1959 (Unhinged rockabilly with near-impenetrable hillbilly vocals and occasional Dixieland horns, one of the few who never switched to country or pop-rock in search of a hit)
    > Jimmy McCrackin - Mercury Recordings (Upbeat, late-50's R&B/borderline rock 'n' roll, plus the funkiest "Folsom Prison Blues" you'll ever hear. It's a travesty that only 13 of the 24 songs he recorded for Mercury survived. Leave it to Bear Family to bother chronicling such a worthy-yet-minor phase of a lesser-known bluesman's career.)


    > Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music - Any Old Way You Choose It (The most impressive box set I own, and a suitable testament to his legacy)
    > Fats Domino - Out of New Orleans (Even though the last couple discs run a little weak, Domino's 200-song run on Imperial is a blast to listen through repeatedly. The notes really heightened my respect for Dave Bartholomew.)
    > Don Gibson - The Singer, the Songwriter (Particularly the first two volumes when Gibson was at his creative peak. All it's missing is a book of lyrics)
    > Charlie Rich - Lonely Weekends: The Sun Years 1958-1962 (It's fascinating to hear him weave through so many styles - and so adeptly - over such a short span of time. The undubbed versions of his Sun singles are a godsend.)
    > Roy Orbison - Orbison 1955-1965 (Bought almost solely for his Monument recordings on discs 4, 5, and 6, but worth every penny nonetheless.)
  2. pnreum

    pnreum Forum Resident

    I will second the Chuck Berry set, and also speak up for the Sun Boxes (Rock & Roll, Country, & Blues)......
    Clanceman likes this.
  3. GodBlessTinyTim

    GodBlessTinyTim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake in getting The Complete Sun Singles rather than those three boxes. Both tell the same story, in different ways.
  4. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    For a box with music that is under-represented on all other CDs:
    Lefty Frizzell
  5. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    For a box with the most amazing books:
    Black Europe
  6. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    For a box that is out of print and very hard to find:
    Clyde McPhatter
    ILovethebassclarinet likes this.
  7. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    Geez, there are so many - I think I had 50 or so at last count. I have no room for them anymore. One's favorite Bear Family boxes usually align with one's favorite artists. In other words - you'll like the boxes representing the artists you admire the most.
    misko and GodBlessTinyTim like this.
  8. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Sterling, VA
    I'm fond of the Howlin' Eolf CDs.
  9. Grampire

    Grampire Forum Resident

    29 Palms
  10. Kkfan

    Kkfan Forum Resident

    Music City, USA
    Jim Reeves
    Ernest Tubb
    dalem5467, melstapler and Mr. H like this.
  11. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain Forum Resident

    Bangkok, Thailand
    I like their series of R&B related singles, which include:

    Doo-wop - Street Corner Symphonies
    R&B - Blowin' the Fuse, and
    Soul - Sweet Soul Music

    Superb selection and excellent sound quality. They have forced me to repurchase tunes I already had on inferior or earlier compilations.
  12. Coppertop Tester

    Coppertop Tester Forum Resident

    The two Kingston Trio boxes covering both the Dave Guard and John Stewart eras. When these first came out, Capitol and Folk Era both had KT reissue programs under way, but there was a wealth of rarities that appeared on the BF sets that still haven't been duplicated elsewhere on single/double disc releases. This includes an entire disc of all their 7-Up commercials and jingles.
  13. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Reopened by request

    The Carter Family - In The Shadow of Clinch Mountain
    Willie Nelson - Nashville Was the Roughest
  14. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    All the Marty Robbins. Jim Reeves is my favorite though since he is my favorite singer of all time.
  15. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    That Nashville Willie is some primo forgotten Willie.
  16. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    I enjoy all of the Bear Family box sets that I have and a few of my favorites are:

    Lesley Gore "It's My Party!"
    Eartha Kitt "Eartha Quake"
    Rick Nelson "The American Dream" and "The Last Time Around"
    Dean Martin "Return To Me"
    Everly Brothers "Studio Outtakes"
    Nat King Cole "Stardust" and "L*O*V*E"

    and one called "Phoenix Panorama", which has many early Lee Hazelwood related recordings!

    I would LOVE to hear Chuck Berry's "disco" version of "Havana Moon", but I'm just not enough of a fan of Chuck to buy a box set so full.

    I have to admit, that I am a bit pumped for the upcoming Herman's Hermits set, which will feature new stereo mixes, which I normally wouldn't care about remixes, except that Ron Furmanek is the guy who is doing them and I'm a big fan of his other stereo "remixes". In my opinion, nobody does "remixes", as well as Ron does them and I thank him and anybody who hires him, for allowing him to make more of these fun remixes for us! FYI, I realize that the original mono mixes are the usual "go to" mixes, but Ron brings a new breath of stereo fun to the songs that we all know in mono and we always have the mono versions to go back to, so no harm or foul of history because of his work.
  17. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    I understand the respect and praise Bear Family gets for their box sets and other releases. However, they also released duds like this one below .
    Who wants an original album minus two songs ? Another thing I don' t like is that on the Johnny Cash box Come along and ride this train the credits for ach song mention the label number but not the actual album title the songs were taken from - I know this is common practice with reissues but never understood why.

    melstapler and Clark V Kauffman like this.
  18. Mychael

    Mychael Forum Resident

    This is one of the things that get attention in Bear Family productions in the last 8 or nine years: now catalog numbers and album titles are listed with the cover pictures, and in some cases (like the third Rick Nelson box or the Hermits release) the original album track listing is given. These things are also added to (redesigned) reprints of old books - see Webb Pierce, the second Cash box, the Louvin Brothers, the Classic Jerry Lee, and others. (A new version of the "Come Along And Ride This Train" book is in preparation)
  19. Kkfan

    Kkfan Forum Resident

    Music City, USA
    That makes two of us! :wave:
  20. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Are the Jim Reeves fans upset with the recent unauthorized overdubs being bootlegged and the producer of those overdubs efforts to slander Bear Family?
    .crystalised. and melstapler like this.
  21. Tony Jonaitis

    Tony Jonaitis Forum Resident

    Leslie Gore, Lefty Frizzel, the first Wanda Jackson box (there are two), and the Ann-Margaret set. Can't wait for the Patsy Cline box!
    .crystalised., melstapler and Mr. H like this.
  22. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    While on the subject of favorite Bear Family boxes, how about your favorite "bricks and mortar" shop where you can see Bear Family. I have been to a few warehouses that stocked Bear Family, though often in the cardboard shipping containers that didn't allow you to see the actual box. I have also been to a few shops that may have had as many as a dozen boxes. But as far as my experience, all around the USA, I have only seen one shop - right off the sidewalk - that had ALL of them on display. That is Cheapo Records in Cambridge, Mass (Boston). However, the owner has not been able to justify stocking the recent titles. It was always an overwhelming experience to look at them all. I suppose County Sales may let you browse, if you visit their mail order business, but that is not the same as an off-the-street record store, and they focus on the country sets. Cheapo's stock has diminished over time, but I applaud them for standing by Bear Family all these years. Whenever I go in a collector's shop, I ask them if they have any Bear Family - the answer is usually (or almost always) NO.

    DEAN OF ROCK Forum Resident

    Hoover, AL
    Ernest Tubb's store in Nashville used to have a great selection of BF country titles. Not sure if that is still the case.
    spanky1, melstapler and Kkfan like this.
  24. Mr. H

    Mr. H Forum Resident

    I have not heard of them smearing BF, if so then that's a shame. Those kind of recordings are typically not my cup of tea.
    The Killer, melstapler and Kkfan like this.
  25. mesfen

    mesfen Forum Resident

    lawrence, ks usa
    Hard to narrow down; louvin, all Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs boxes, Jim and Jesse (chuck berry bluegrass covers actually work), Ray price, hank Thompson, and jerry lee Lewis Classic (religion discussion with Sam Phillips and other tasty studio dialogue is priceless), 1st Cash box and fats Domino. I'll stop I could praddle dozens more. It would be much easier to list the ones that I haven't liked.

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