Courtesy of drdadsephemera.blogspot.com
This November, Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant Records are due to release Volume 2 of their luxurious box set collection (or “Wonder-Cabinet” as Third Man calls it) called The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records. Volume 1, released November 19th of 2013, features years 1917 through 1927, while Volume 2, which is due for release on November 19th of this year, will focus on labels Paramount released between 1928 and 1932. Alex van der Tuuk, a Paramount historian, also co-produced the collection.
Volume 1, which you can purchase here for $400, contains 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, which embody 172 Mississippi Delta Blues artists (including Charley Patton, Skip James, and Son House), as well as over 200 fully-restored original 1920’s ads and images for the recordings. In addition, there are six vinyl LPs pressed on rustic burled chestnut colored vinyl that makes the records look as if they were made of wood, sleeved in white birch LP folios. There will also be a 250-page hardcover art book along with a 360-page encyclopedia-style softcover “field guide” containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography. To house and shelter all these treasures, each Volume arrives in a handcrafted, box modeled after a 30’s portable turntable and since we are living in the digital age, there is also a USB and an app included.
Now, for Volume 2 the luscious luxury continues, with another six LPs that will each have a holographic image and a hand-etched numeral on them, a USB, an illustrated “field guide” containing recording info and bios for the artists, a hardcover book, 90-plus hand-drawn ads from the Chicago Defender, all housed in another sleek case. Just before the first volume was released last year, White told Rolling Stone that the second volume will explore, “The zenith of Paramount – recording Charley Patton.” He further explained, “They recorded the grandfather of the blues, of modern music. He didn’t seem like a real person. He seemed like he wasn’t from Earth.” As a matter of fact, the whole idea of producing the lavish box set was inspired by Charley Patton. “Charley Patton’s presence led us to this idea,” White said. “But as we got into more obscure songs, we realized this is just too good a story. You have so many pieces of America involved in this one thing: a company that’s going out of business, looking to stay afloat, so they decide to go into the record business.”