The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records: Volume Two, 1928-1932
Volume Two contains the following:
- 6 x 180-gram LPs pressed on label-less alabaster white vinyl, each side with its own hand-etched numeral and holographic image View complete LP track list.
- 800 newly remastered digital tracks, representing 175 artists and accessible via a first-of-its-kind music and image player app containing all tracks and ads, housed on custom metal USB drive View digital track list.
- 250-page clothbound, large-format hardcover book featuring original Paramount art and the label's curious tale
- 400-page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist bios and portraits as well as a full Paramount discography
- 90+ fully-restored original 1920s-30s Paramount ads from The Chicago Defender
- Polished aluminum and stainless steel cabinet inspired by Machine Age design and upholstered in sapphire blue velvet
The first volume in this collection was called "spectacular" (New York Times), "unprecedented" (Rolling Stone), "breathtaking" (Boing Boing), and "a cabinet of wonder, indeed" (Pitchfork). Third Man and Revenant Records now proudly bring you the second and last installment, The Rise & Fall of Paramount: Volume Two, which was hailed by Wired as "the ultimate box set of iconic American music."
Volume One (1917-1927) chronicled Paramount's improbable rise from a furniture company to jazz-blues juggernaut, launching the recording careers of giants like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter, Blind Blake, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey, Papa Charlie Jackson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Fats Waller. (You can order it here.) But just as it seemed Paramount might be losing steam, it began a second act that threatened to dwarf its first. This astonishing second act is the subject of The Rise & Fall of Paramount: Volume Two, 1928-32, the final chapter in our commemoration of America's greatest record label.
In its final 5 year push, Paramount embarked on a furious run for the ages, birthing the entire genre of Mississippi Delta blues and issuing some of the most coveted records in the history of wax - a staggering playlist including Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Willie Brown, King Solomon Hill, Tampa Red, Lottie Kimbrough, Rube Lacy, Meade Lux Lewis, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Jaydee Short, George "Bullet" Williams, Cow Cow Davenport, Clifford Gibson, Ishman Bracey, Louise Johnson, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, The Mississippi Sheiks, and hundreds of other artists.
Paramount simply killed. But more than that, it changed how this country thought of itself. It was the first enterprise of any kind to capture what America really sounded like in the 1920s and 30s - on its street corners, at its fish fries and country suppers, in its nightclubs and dance halls and showtents. In the process, it was this profit-minded side of Paramount - and not a preservationist body like the Library of Congress - that inadvertently created the most significant repository of this young nation's greatest art form.
Co-produced by leading Paramount scholar Alex van der Tuuk and with all masters issued under license agreement with GHB Jazz Foundation, this compendium features the same breadth of fascinating material as you came to expect with the first but turns its focus to the label’s last and most prolific years.
Product Note: Unlike the brushed aluminum chassis used by modern product manufacturers - a process which dulls the finish to hide the slight irregularities naturally occurring in the process of molded aluminum forms - we have elected to treat the aluminum finish in a manner appropriate to the Machine Age era. All aluminum surfaces have undergone several polishing stages to maintain a mirror-like finish and have then been anodized for durability and high gloss. This anodization process can reveal subtle surface irregularities in the aluminum form which would be absent in a more muted finish, but we do not regard these as defects and think the payoff in overall character is worth it