The Very Best Of Chris Barber
(Compilation double-CD issued in 2007 by Bell Records, BLR 89 022).
The Very Best Of Chris Barber is a compilation double-CD from Bell Records which includes twenty-four tracks selected from two specific periods in the band’s development.
The first is the late 1960s/early 1970s “experimental” phase in which the controversial Drat That Fratle Rat LP was recorded, followed by the less controversial but still experimental double album, Get Rolling. Both of these albums (three LPs in total) were subsequently brought together in a 3-CD set from Bell Records, The Outstanding Album.
The second period is 1979-1980 in which the band began to take advantage of new recording technologies, the first of these being Direct-to-Disc, and the second the embryo changes that were taking pace leading to modern digital recording technology. The Direct-to-Disc recordings were released on two LPs, and later CDs with the same name, Come Friday and South Rampart Street Parade, and were also combined in a 2-LP set, Creole Love Call. Concert 80 and another CD, Concert 80 Volume 2 were billed as “the first digital recordings”. Finally, tracks from another CD, Who’s Blues, were selected for the present compilation.
In all, the seven original releases (see below for a complete set of cover scans with links to relevant other places in the Chris Barber website) included a total of 62 tracks, so The Very Best Of Chris Barber, while by no means a complete reproduction of these recordings, is a very good sampler (24 tracks, or 33%) and one that is well worth having if you do not wish to search for and purchase the full CDs.
Ed Jackson, November 2011