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Hardbopjazz

Was this the first box set?

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In April 1949, Mercury Records announced that it was soon to release a $25 jazz album made up of six 12-inch 78-rpm records, together with thirty-two 12 x 12 in. photos of top jazz stars taken by Life photographer Gjon Milli. They confirmed that material for this project had been in preparation for the last three years by Norman Granz. Granz having started the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series in 1944 had become a record producer and was heading up Mercury’s jazz division as well as issuing records under his own label Clef, through Mercury.

This is without question one of the most important albums to be issued in the 78-rpm album era, and it arguably created a template for much that followed in the recording industry, from LP box sets to the deluxe editions of today with books, CDs and all kinds of other attractive ephemeral assets that appeal to the collector. Granz and Mercury planned to limit the output to just 5,000 numbered limited editions...

The Jazz Scene – Most important Album You’ve Never Heard

JS

More on this. https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/jazz-scene-important-album-youve-never-heard/

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Thanks for a good read. I bought the cd reissue many years ago and must give it a play.

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Norman Granz's Jazz Scene

For a long time I thought of the 1961 Fletcher Henderson A Study In Frustration collection as the first box-set, or perhaps the Glenn Miller AAF set of LPs that RCA put out in the mid-1950s.  Interesting question.

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56 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Norman Granz's Jazz Scene

For a long time I thought of the 1961 Fletcher Henderson A Study In Frustration collection as the first box-set, or perhaps the Glenn Miller AAF set of LPs that RCA put out in the mid-1950s.  Interesting question.

I'd vote for the Stan Kenton "The Kenton Era" 4-LP box set (Capitol T-569) released in 1955. It must have been among the first in jazz in the VINYL era.

A close runner-up probably was "Satchmo - A Musical Autobiography of Louis Armstrong" (4 LPs on Decca, 1956).

 

As for 78 rpm "box sets", when (i.e. what minimum number of records) does a multi-disc "album" (of which there were plenty) become a "box set"?

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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What about the Chicago Jazz album of 78s from Decca?  Wasn't that a specific album project c. 1939/40 from the young George Avakian?

(PS:  my copy of the Granz package -- numbered somewhere around 4500ish -- is in much better shape that the copy shown above.  Was a mouse chewing on it???)

Edited by Ted O'Reilly
addition

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1953: https://www.discogs.com/Glenn-Miller-And-His-Orchestra-Limited-Edition/release/4781757

59 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

Norman Granz's Jazz Scene

... the Glenn Miller AAF set of LPs that RCA put out in the mid-1950s. 

1955, and technically a "real" box.

I've seen box sets of operas that appear to be a bit on the aged side, but no idea when that began or with what.

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How about Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music which I believe was released on 1952?

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4 hours ago, medjuck said:

How about Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music which I believe was released on 1952?

6 LPs - that should indeed qualify. But I, for example, had understood the original intention of the thread to refer to jazz releases.

So if we take the above 1953 Glenn Miler box set to be jazz, are there any earlier ones in the vinyl era?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Yeah, I don't see calling a 78 album a box set, generally. But The Jazz Scene is so over-the-top deluxe that it certainly provided the template for limited edition box sets in the LP era.

When I finally found a near-mint copy of the original 78 set, I justified my purchase by noted that, adjusted for inflation, I was paying less that the original price.

 

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There were a few LP box sets in the 1950's on Columbia, like the Fletcher Henderson - Mildred Bailey and a nice 52nd Street anthology:

R-2025276-1362273241-6280.jpeg.jpg

R-3641455-1491818485-8375.jpeg.jpgR-9521232-1482012025-8361.jpeg.jpg

But the one that started it all in the 1980's probably was this one:

R-1773085-1509019180-3246.jpeg.jpg

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But these Columbia/Epic sets came out much later than the 50s ...:mellow:

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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As always, cereal leads the way to start the day.

s-l1000.jpg

 

il_570xN.339994409.jpg

a3eff8fa4e861006776b12f8e7b0c029.jpg

K

E

Double L

O

Double Good

Kellogg's Best to You!

And look at this -Hardware and Software all in the same package. Battle Creek clearly on top of their box set game!

21461.3L.jpg

 

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25 minutes ago, JSngry said:

As always, cereal leads the way to start the day.

 

It depends ... :D

31822016ml.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That looks like an online-only Public Domain reissue. :g

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My attention was caught on the cusp of the '60s with Columbia's Henderson, Bailey, Holiday and Ellington boxes, but their first was:

R-4786617-1477715808-4932.jpeg.jpg

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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I remember my parents buying a record player in 1953 or '54.  When they did, they also purchased a box set (a true box) of RCA recordings called "Music America Loves Best."  These were not LPs, but 45 rpm EPs.  Two songs I remember were Perry Como's Faraway Places and The Three Suns' Twilight Time.

Edited by GA Russell

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9 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

My attention was caught on the cusp of the '60s with Columbia's Henderson, Bailey, Holiday and Ellington boxes, but their first was:

R-4786617-1477715808-4932.jpeg.jpg

These "thesauruses" must have been all the rage in the early 60s. German Brunswick did this one in 1962:

https://www.discogs.com/de/Various-The-Golden-Book-Of-Classic-Swing/release/6657195

and followed it up with this one in 1963:

https://www.discogs.com/de/Various-The-Golden-Book-Of-Classic-Swing-Volume-2/release/3650829

But the 60s are several steps away from early or even earliest vinyl box sets. ;)

 

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Posted (edited)

Classical sets go back to the 20s The biggest 78 set I have is Handel's Concerto Grossi Op 6 by Adolph Busch. 25 records. 50 sides. 1947

Edited by Bigshot

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On 14/02/2018 at 1:30 AM, GA Russell said:

I remember my parents buying a record player in 1953 or '54.  When they did, they also purchased a box set (a true box) of RCA recordings called "Music America Loves Best."  These were not LPs, but 45 rpm EPs.  Two songs I remember were Perry Como's Faraway Places and The Three Suns' Twilight Time.

This is another RCA box of 45s. I reconstructed it from a Chronological Classics CD. Image is from Discogs.

What I think is interesting is that this was deliberately recorded as an album; all 6 tracks were recorded on 10 Jan 1950, when sessions were normally for four tracks. In those days, few boxes or albums were being recorded; the emphasis was on reissuing the past classics.

Someone at RCA Victor made a bit of an effort.

MG

Erskine Hawkins plays WC Handy for dancing front.jpg

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RCA engaged in a "speed war" with Columbia for a while. RCA was fighting for 45 RPM albums, Columbia for 33 1/3. In a good used store, you can still find "plenty" of the 45 albums.

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Certainly true; but were they stuff that was deliberately recorded to be an album, like the Hawkins, or a bunch of old singles slammed together? (Like the Perez Prado I have.)

MG

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

RCA engaged in a "speed war" with Columbia for a while. RCA was fighting for 45 RPM albums, Columbia for 33 1/3. In a good used store, you can still find "plenty" of the 45 albums.

So for a while these 45 box sets were not available on 10 or 12 inch Lps?   And were the first Lps all 10 inch? When did the 12 inch ones appear? 

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26 minutes ago, medjuck said:

So for a while these 45 box sets were not available on 10 or 12 inch Lps?   And were the first Lps all 10 inch? When did the 12 inch ones appear? 

That's a good question for which I do not have an immediate answer.

Here's some WikiHistory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LP_record

Research began in 1941, was suspended during World War II, and then resumed in 1945.[10] Columbia Records unveiled the LP at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria on June 18, 1948, in two formats: 10 inches (25 centimetres) in diameter, matching that of 78 rpm singles, and 12 inches (30 centimetres) in diameter.[11] The initial release of 133 recordings were: 85 12-inch classical LPs (ML4001 to 4085), 26 10-inch classics (ML2001 to 2026), eighteen 10-inch popular numbers (CL6001 to 6018) and four 10-inch juvenile records (JL 8001 to 8004). According to the 1949 Columbia catalog, issued September 1948, the first twelve-inch LP was Mendelssohn's Concerto in E Minor by Nathan Milstein on the violin with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Bruno Walter (ML 4001). Three ten-inch series were released: 'popular', starting with the reissue of The Voice of Frank Sinatra (CL 6001); 'classical', numbering from Beethoven's 8th symphony (ML 2001), and 'juvenile', commencing with Nursery Songs by Gene Kelly (JL 8001). Also released at this time were a pair of 2-LP sets, Puccini's La Bohème, SL-1 and Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, SL-2.[12]

then

The LP was soon confronted by the "45", a 7-inch (180 mm) diameter fine-grooved vinyl record playing at 45 rpm. It was introduced by RCA Victor in 1949. To compete with the LP, boxed albums of 45s were issued, along with EP (Extended Play) 45s, which squeezed two or even three selections onto each side. Despite these efforts, the 45 succeeded only in replacing the 78 as the format for singles.

Here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA_Records it says that RCA began issuing LPs in 1950, after seeing Columbia dominating at 33 1/3, , but I can't readily find when they stopped issuing 45 RPM boxed albums. I know I've seen some from a lot later than that. I do know that RCA pushed hard on 45s for longer than most, maybe because they had invested in changer technology.

f7822744b4bed84545fb25650e918d2e.jpg

 

 

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