Billboard (p.40) - "[I]t's the gems among the lesser-known album tracks that fully underscore Withers' eloquence as a gifted poet laureate/storyteller..."
Liner Note Authors: Michael Eric Dyson; Joe Johnson ; Bill Withers.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (10/06/1972); Bill Withers' Home (10/06/1972); Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (10/06/1972); Conway Recording Studios (10/06/1972); Dijobe Sound, Orange, CA (10/06/1972); Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA (10/06/1972); Red Wing (10/06/1972); Room 335 (10/06/1972); Rosebud (10/06/1972); Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA (10/06/1972); The Complex (10/06/1972); Wally Heider Recording Studio (10/06/1972); Yamaha R&D Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (10/06/1972).
Illustrator: Lou Beach.
Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Michael Ochs; Hal Wilson; Don Hunstein; Len Steckler; Norman Seeff; Bob Gruen; Joe Harris ; Bill Jackson ; Sam Emerson; Harry Goodwin; Elliot Gilbert; Roz Levin; Norbert Jobst; Fred Anderson .
Better late than never. The ideal time to release something of this scope was 2009, around the time the Bill Withers documentary Still Bill came out. Between then and the November 2012 release of this box, many of Withers' albums were reissued by BBR (U.K.) and Reel Music (U.S.) with great care. So, after all that, here's an all-encompassing package that features each one of Withers albums -- 1971's Just as I Am through 1985's Watching You Watching Me -- all newly mastered from the original analog tapes. A compact clamshell box contains the discs with replica LP sleeves that reproduce the front and back covers. The front of the Still Bill sleeve cleverly has that "window style" slit down the middle. The 39-page booklet should seal the deal for those whose funds haven't been depleted by the later wave of reissues. It features a typically humble note from Withers, an essay from Michael Eric Dyson, dozens of pictures, and full recording details. For beginners, this nine-disc box is a plunge, and not every album is a classic, but it retails for around the price of a typical five- or six-disc set. ~ Andy Kellman
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