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OSBORNE BROTHERS '1956-1968' BCD-15598-4CD

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This fine 4-CD boxed set from the amazing, prolific German Bear Family label gives us 114 songs & tunes from the Osbornes' early career --including all of their classic MGM recordings with Red Allen and many of their most influential early Decca recordings. With the usual fine booklet included (this one a 24-page collaboration between Neil Rosenberg & Eddie Stubbs), this will be a huge treat (if not a necessity) for fans of Bob & Sonny. The Osbornes got into some hokey stuff at various times, and two of the 4 CDs here are not exactly essential for most Bluegrass fans, but disc 1, the early MGM cuts, is superb music and disc 3 contains many of their most important & most influential Decca cuts --songs like TAKE THIS HAMMER, THIS HEART OF MINE, MAKING PLANS, UP THIS HILL & DOWN, KENTUCKY, BIG SPIKE HAMMER, MEMORIES, HEY HEY BARTENDER, THE CUCKOO BIRD and I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LONESOME. Despite some Nashville influences like drums, these are good performances with great solo & trio singing. The box is worth the price just for the 16 great songs cut for MGM with Red Allen in 1956-58, gems like RUBY ARE YOU MAD, MY ACHING HEART, TEARDROPS IN MY EYES, SHE'S NO ANGEL, IS THIS MY DESTINY, ONCE MORE, HO HONEY HO, etc. The set cuts off shortly after their recordings of ROCKY TOP and MY FAVORITE MEMORY (1967). Includes discography. An impressive collection.