Disciples Of The 36 Chambers: Chapter 1
Legend Of The Wu-Tang: Wu-Tang Clan's Greatest Hits
label: sanctuary | bmg

production: the rza, allah mathematics

year of release: 2004
website: wutangcorp.com
There are two 'Best Of Wu-Tang Clan' compilations gearing up to conquer the Christmas everybody-gets-to-do-a-Best Of-album market. Just sort of though, because as on is sold as that, and the official title is "Legend Of The Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang Clan's Greatest Hits", the second one is actually a live recorded album. It's called "Disciples Of The 36 Chambers: Chapter 1" and features twenty-seven songs from the Wu catalogue, which they performed in San Bernadino, CA on July 17th 2004 at a live show.
And yes, everybody showed up. Everybody. What makes this record somewhat of a consolation after all those shows where only a few of 'em showed up. And that, is actually the biggest merit of this record. Because other than that, you will not listen to this again and again. Why? Because it's kinda like a 'you had to be there' experience. The sound quality - while definitely professional - is not outstanding. The beats suddenly have kicks and hits that are way too loud, the voices are all hoarse and while clear, still muffled. There's very little crowd participation and the Clan does not even address it that often to get some response. The one time they really try, they ask the crowd to join the Clan in a pseudo 'Moments In Love' corny Wu-Tang chant. So there's only a few moments of that, what makes this sound like a bad demo recording, rather than something with a couple of thousand people in attendance.
Plus, what's good about a live album? If something happens that didn't happen in the studio. So you change up something in a song, extend it, or you play new songs, or improvised songs, etc. All of that is pretty much impossible to do for a rap group. What makes too many rap performances boring, and makes a live recording mostly a number of not so well performed previously known songs. Considering that there's a DVD of this performance, with the same name, maybe that's a better choice than to buy this CD. Because you can at least look at their mugs when they walk up and down the stage.
Nevertheless, this is somewhat of a historic document. You have everybody on stage and they go through songs like "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'," "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' Ta F' Wit," "Triumph," "Hood," "Gravel Pit," and "Tearz." At the same time, the members get to perform their own classics too, so there's "Bring The Pain" by Method Man, "Incarcerated Scarfaces" and "Ice Cream" by Raekwon, GZA gets to do "Liquid Swords", Ghostface does "Ghost Deini" and "Run". Obviously happy that Ol' Dirty Bastard was with them too, he gets to do "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". The Clan however does not do "Protect Ya Neck." Now what the…
The second record is - as said - "Legend Of The Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang Clan's Greatest Hits". It also goes through all the usual suspects. But if there's one really interesting observation, then the following: of the sixteen songs, seven are off the first album, three are from soundtracks or compilations ("Sucker M.C.s" is off "In Tha Beginning…There Was Rap" and "Diesel" is off the "Next Friday" and "Shaolin Worldwide" is off the "Soul In The Hole" Soundtrack). So, ten songs gone, leaves six and they are from the three remaining Wu-Tang album. Now that of course says a lot about the status of the albums after "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)".
The compilation is further spiced up a little bit, with "Method Man" appearing in the 'Skunk Mix' version (which was already on some versions of the album) and "Protect Ya Neck" is on here in a 'Bloody Version.' Whatever the difference to the original may be. So, basically, everybody will already have everything. And if you don't, you're probably reading the wrong webpage.
However, there's something about collecting everything artists do. So, you might wanna add these two albums to your collection too. It will be good to have them.
review: tadah
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