John Fahey / Blind Joe Death

The original 1959 release:

Circa 1965:

The 1968 release:

Circa 1970:

Circa 1972 (monaural):

Circa 1972 (stereo):

Circa 1977:

Circa 2005 reissue of 1959 release:

For the photos of the labels for the original 1959 release, my thanks to Glenn Jones. The recent reissue of that version appeared in two pressings, one a basic pressing and the other on audiophile 180gm vinyl. Both are pressed from the same master and I can discern no difference in the (very good) sound. They are a wonderful opportunity to listen to a record that has never been available before, other than that rare and now absurdly valuable original pressing.

Five of the tracks from the 1959 sessions did not make it onto the later releases, nor the CD, but you can find these here as downloads, plus the full St Louis Blues, which was shortened for the 1964 release:

West Coast Blues

St Louis Blues

In Christ There Is No East or West

The Transcendental Waterfall

On Doing an Evil Deed Blues

I have to put in something of a caveat on the final track; it is almost certain that 'Desperate Man Blues' was not re-recorded for the '64 release. The track that I recorded has a sound that is very lacking in top end, but the performance itself does appear the same. However, the muddy sound here (compared to the '64) does not replicate on 'St Louis Blues', despite both being presumably recorded from the same source. Fahey was certainly capable of delivering performances that border on the identical when he was of a mind to; nevertheless I definitely favour the notion that the track was not re-recorded. But it's here anyway, so you can judge for yourself.

Desperate Man Blues

I am grateful to Paul Bryant for pointing out that 'The Transcendental Waterfall' on the 1967 recording of this album is not, despite the information on the CD liner notes, an edited version of the 1964 recording, but an entirely fresh performance. Here is a link to download the 1967 stereo recording:

The Transcendental Waterfall


Anonymous said...

this is great, the information I´m looking for! I do need the original 1959 and the boolteg version!
ebay pseudonym: doctorp.

Stephen said...

I've now established that the 1959 reissue was not a bootleg, but a legitimate release licensed from Fantasy.

Robert Zimmerman said...

Links are dead :(

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have links to the mono lp's, or can anyone upload? Much appreciated