Friday, 28 September 2012

Johnny Hallyday: Johnny History 1959-2006

Another major retrospective release by Johnny Hallyday, with the 23 CD box set Johnny History 1959-2006

The collection includes over 400 titles, including career highlights along with rare and unreleased recordings.

The first 14 disc is a collection of 269 songs from throughout his career. A further five discs each take a themed approach to his work - cinema and TV, Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm and blues, country and blues.

The third part of the collection features unreleased and rare material. One disc is unreleased and rare 1970-79, another from 1980-2003. The final two discs come frmo the archives of Europe 1, one a concert from Grenoble in 1968, recorded to coincide with the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble in February '68, the final disc being a concert from the Olympia in 1973.

As a collection it's quite an item, although smaller than the 42 disc collection that was released to mark his 50th birthday.

An item like this is quite an investment, and I'm sure there are some who would question its release as one monolithic item.

I'm sure there are fans who would want to get explore his back catalogue without the need for the rarities, and I'm certain there are completists who want the rare and live material and who already have multiple versions of the previously available material.

Meanwhile, some might say it's not complete enough. Where is his most recent material, for example?

But how can you adequately collect the works of an artist like Hallyday? The sheer amount of material he's released over the years could intimidate many from exploring beyond the familiar material, never mind the cash and time it would take to track down the original releases.

Until his record label releases an iPod shuffle with every recording he's released, this looks as good an account of his career as we'll get.

With a new album being recorded in LA at the moment, and live dates scheduled in coming months, there's no sign of Johnny slowing down

The collection, selling for 199 euros, is released on October 22

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