"Road Runner/The Chess Masters 1959-1960", the major new BO DIDDLEY 2-CD compilation set released by Hip-O Select, is garnering rave reviews. Currently available directly from the Hip-O select website at http://www.hip-oselect.com/ it will also be available on-line from outlets such as Amazon.com and CD Universe from Tuesday August 12th 2008.
The CD Edition of "Road Runner/The Chess Masters 1959-1960" is limited to 5,000 non-numbered limited edition copies.
This second Hip-O Select volume of BO DIDDLEY's classic Chess recordings stands as a reminder of how endlessly creative and groundbreaking "The Originator" was. The 52-track volume covers all of his 1959 home and Chess studio recordings, plus half of his first 1960 session. And it shows BO DIDDLEY expanding his musical base far and wide, including adding a second guitarist, emphasizing melodies very different than his original blues base and working on a number of intriguing guitar and rhythm-based instrumentals.
The turn of the decade marked another milestone in BO DIDDLEY's career, as he began recording and producing his own material at his newly-completed home studio in Washington, DC. Throughout January and February 1960, BO DIDDLEY and his band, augmented by various friends and associates, laid down dozens of tracks, some of which he sent to his record company in Chicago. Self-production - especially by black artists - was unheard of at the time.
Although his music was steeped in the blues, BO DIDDLEY was now increasingly exploring different musical directions, incorporating elements of folk music and contemporary pop into his compositions and experimenting with new sound effects.
The huge and varied array of material presented here demonstrates that there was a lot more to BO DIDDLEY than meets the eye and it's even more amazing when you realize that everything included in this set was cut within the space of twelve months. As his recorded legacy demonstrates, BO DIDDLEY at his peak was one of the most creative forces within rock 'n' roll.
Recent reviews of BO DIDDLEY's "Road Runner/The Chess Masters 1959-1960" compilation (Hip-O Select 2-CD):
Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, Midwest Record:
BO DIDDLEY/Road Runner-Chess Masters 1959-1960: It’s hard to realize how ground breaking these sides were at the time. The civil rights movement was dawning and here was a black man that was being allowed to produce his own records. And they were successful on top of being ground breaking. In the context of the times, this was pretty heady stuff. In the annals of pop culture, it’s essential rock. Whether gunslinging or road running, Diddley was laying down the Bo Diddley beat as only he could before it became the co-opted rock signature causing him endless grief over beats not being subject to copyright. Essential and elemental, this survey covering the next few years in his hit streak is a killer.