Unlike many Paul Robeson collections of recordings that have been licensed or otherwise obtained and reissued by small labels, this one comes from EMI and purports to be "a collection of his greatest hits." That isn't strictly true, if only because Robeson had few "hits" in the accepted sense, but the 20-track, hour-long album is a good sampler of Robeson's studio recordings made between 1928 and 1939, starting with his signature song, "Ol' Man River." After an earlier association with Victor Records in the U.S., Robeson lived in England and recorded for EMI during this period, and the label gave him supportive symphonic arrangements of traditional material and songs crafted to resemble the spirituals theRead more singer favored. This album is sparsely annotated, and the sound is full of hiss and crackles that later sound technology could remove. But as an accessible, well-chosen compilation of Robeson's best, it earns high marks.
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