LIZ PHAIR - Exile in Guyville (1993) [15th Anniversary Edition] & Whip-Smart (1994)
Elizabeth Clark Phair is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She began her career in the early 1990s by self-releasing audio cassettes under the name Girly Sound, before signing with the independent record label Matador Records. Her 1993 debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to acclaim; it has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Ten years after the release of her debut, Phair's fourth album, Liz Phair, was released on Capitol Records and her music began to move in a more pop rock-oriented direction. Phair has sold nearly three million records worldwide. Her latest album, Funstyle, was released on July 3, 2010.
Exile in Guyville is American indie rock singer-songwriter Liz Phair's debut album. It was released in June 1993 to widespread critical and commercial success, still appearing today in many critics' best-of lists. It is also considered a landmark in alternative rock music, and was ranked at 327 by Rolling Stone in their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Whip-Smart is the second album by American singer-songwriter Liz Phair, released in 1994, the follow-up to Phair's critically well received debut, 1993's Exile In Guyville. Despite not being as critically well received as her previous record, Whip-Smart debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200 and ultimately achieved gold status. As of July 2010, it had sold 412,000 copies. At the time of its release Whip-Smart received generally favorable reviews from music critics, figuring inside end of year lists, including those by the Los Angeles Times and Q Magazine. The album was ranked sixth for its year inside The Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll. Although obscured by its famous predecessor, the album has gained more recognition with time and is largely considered a key record to Phair's legacy as an artist, along with her other two Matador Records releases and the Girly Sound tapes. In 2003, the German version of Rolling Stone magazine placed the record at 95 on its list of greatest records since Autumn of 1994. In 2014, Rolling Stone named Whip-Smart the 18th greatest album of its year – considered by the magazine the peak of mainstream alternative rock.
ROBERT PLANT - Carry Fire (2017)
Carry Fire is the eleventh solo album by English singer, songwriter and musician Robert Plant, released on 13 October 2017 on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records. It is Plant's second studio album with the Sensational Space Shifters serving as his backing band, although the name of the band is not credited on the front cover. Like a retiree who, after a period of aimlessness, discovers new pastimes and an improved relation to life, Plant has come into his own. He’s always going to be remembered as Led Zeppelin’s singer, but now he’s clearly his own man as well. Though his voice can’t reach the aching summits of his rock-star prime, in recompense he’s gained a lower, darker register, a tone ideally suited to evoke the wonder, and embody the weight, of passing time. Fans may dislike his refusal to reunite Zeppelin for a reunion tour when Page and Jones are plenty willing, but the truth is that what made that band great was its willingness to face forward. It’s no accident that so many of their lyrics focus on departure and the exhilaration of endless travels, nor a coincidence that Plant was responsible for most of those lyrics. So long as that questing impulse remains strong in his own music, he’s honoring the spirit of the band far more than any reunion ever could.
NEIL YOUNG - Hitchhiker (2017)
Recorded over the course of one lazy, stoned day in Malibu in 1976, Hitchhiker was never bootlegged, unlike Homegrown and Chrome Dreams, its unreleased cousins from the mid-'70s. Neil Young first let its existence be known in 2014, when he mentioned a 1976 solo acoustic session recorded with longtime producer David Briggs that was "a complete piece." Most of the songs from that complete piece drifted out in different versions over the years, starting with the appearance of "Campaigner" on 1977's Decade -- the only time a song from this session saw the light of day prior to its complete release in 2017 -- running through three songs on Rust Never Sleeps and ending in 2010, when "Hitchhiker" showed up on Le Noise. At the time of the release of that Daniel Lanois-produced record, Young claimed that "Hitchhiker" was left "unfinished" until 2010, but any longtime Young watcher knows he's at his best when he doesn't tie up loose ends, which is one of the reasons Hitchhiker is compelling. Although Young is correct when he claims Hitchhiker is a "complete piece" -- it sustains a dusky sweetness from beginning to an end -- it is certainly not a polished album. Often, it feels as if Young is singing with no intention of his music being heard by a wider audience, but the presence of Briggs at the board means this doesn't sound like a ragged demo. Instead, Hitchhiker holds together as a mood piece, an album where Young slowly reckons with a new dawn after surviving a hectic mid-'70s. It is the epilogue to his "Ditch Trilogy," the descent into darkness that began with 1973's Time Fades Away and ended with 1975's Tonight's the Night, an album where the melancholy undercurrent never overwhelms the sestion of cautious optimism. This delicate tone is what separates Hitchhiker from the shelved Chrome Dreams or Rust Never Sleeps, the two records that rely so heavily on shared material with this album. Those records are assured and confident, the work of somebody who has shaken off the ghosts who were stalking him. On Hitchhiker, Young still isn't certain if he's exorcized those demons, and that unease gives just enough complexity to the album's soothing ebb and flow.
JOHN DAVID SOUTHER - John David Souther (1972) & Black Rose (1976)
John David Souther was among the first artists signed to David Geffen's Asylum Records imprint, joining the likes of other SoCal talents Judee Sill, Jackson Browne, David Blue, and the Eagles. Souther's on-again/off-again collaborations with fellow Detroit, MI native Glenn Frey began when the pair formed a folk duo called the Longbranch Pennywhistle. Their sole outing is definitely worth finding as it boasted contributions from the likes of James Burton (guitar), Ry Cooder (guitar), Doug Kershaw (fiddle), Jim Gordon (drums), Larry Knechtel (keyboards), and Joe Osborn (bass). For Souther's 1972 debut, the singer/songwriter enlists the aid of not only his one-time partner Frey, but also a few other notable names consisting of Ned Doheny (guitar), Gib Guilbeau (fiddle), former Things to Come member Bryan Garofalo (bass), and soon-to-be-session musician extraordinaire Gary Mallaber (drums). John David Souther (1972) bears the same earthy Southwestern textures that are inextricably linked to the roots of the country/rock subgenre. "The Fast One" commences with a midtempo rocker that bears the sonic stamp of Guilbeau's unmistakable fiddling. "Run Like a Thief" follows with a prime example of Souther's often underrated lyrical capacity. He draws upon sacred themes during "Jesus in 3/4 Time" with a feel that isn't too far removed from the Gram Parsons-era Byrds.
"Kite Woman" is a love song for codependents, reiterating an understated craftsmanship within Souther's wordplay as he reflects on one whose "got you strung-out somewhere down the line." "Some People Call It Music" is marked by some superlative string work from Souther and Doheny, with the former's harmonies practically predicting the compact, rural vocals that the Eagles would adopt in fairly short order. Joel Tepp (harmonica) -- whose recent résumé listed a guest shot on Crazy Horse's Loose -- provides a few greasy harp licks to the blues-fuelled "White Wing." The palpable loneliness of "It's the Same" and the concluding "Lullaby" are countered by the rocker "How Long." Although the latter title was initially issued by Souther as a single from this album, it resurfaced some 36 years later on the Eagles' reunion studio platter Long Road out of Eden (2007). It would become a Grammy award winner for them under the "Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" category. The nod reinforced an already prolific collaboration between Souther and the combo, as he supplied several key LP cuts for them during the '70s, including co-writing "The Best of My Love," "New Kid in Town," and "Heartache Tonight."
LEVON HELM - Levon Helm (1978) & American Son (1980)
Produced by Donald "Duck" Dunn of the legendary Booker T. & the MG's, and featuring Steve Cropper and the Muscle Shoals session crew, this outing ought to cook with some serious funk and soul, and that it only occasionally does so is the big surprise. Helm's Arkansas drawl gives his singing an authentic sounding expressiveness, but somehow nothing here has the easy, natural sounding ring that was the trademark of his best work with the Band. Not that there aren't solid tracks here. Covers of Allen Toussaint's "Play Something Sweet," Tony Joe White's "I Came Here to Party," and the Cate Brothers tune, "Standing on a Mountain Top" (which boasts Earl and Ernie Cate on harmony vocals), all have wonderful horn charts and soulful approaches. But something intangible is missing, as if these tunes simply sound like they have soul without actually possessing it. True, Helm's version of Al Green's "Take Me to the River" brightens things up here, but the song is so good and durable that not even a Muppet could blow it as long as the arrangement is followed. It's interesting that Dunn himself doesn't play bass on this album. Maybe that's what's missing. Again, this isn't a bad album, just a surprisingly lifeless one, given the talent involved.
While recording a few songs for the movie Coal Miner's Daughter, in which he played Loretta Lynn's father, Levon Helm and friends just kept the tape rolling. American Son offers ten songs (the single "Blue Moon of Kentucky" b/w "Working in a Coal Mine" offers two more) from those productive sessions. A band of Nashville veterans replaces the superstar lineup of Helm's first two albums. The resulting record has a relaxed groove that kicks in with "Watermelon Time in Georgia" and doesn't let up. The terrific "Hurricane" evokes the Band's second album, while "Violet Eyes" and "China Girl" are highlighted by engaging harmonies. American Son is considered by many to be Levon's best solo album.
MARK KNOPFLER - Singles Collection 1987 - 2009
1987 - Storybook Love (feat. Willy Deville)
1996 - Cannibals (DJ CD)
1996 - Darling Pretty (Promo)
1996 - Darling Pretty (HDCD)
1996 - Ruediger (Promo)
1998 - Wag The Dog (Promo)
2000 - Silvertown Blues
2000 - What It Is (HDCD)
2002 - Why Aye Man
2004 - Boom, Like That (Promo)
2004 - Boom, Like That
2005 - All The Roadrunning (feat. E. Harris)
2006 - This Is Us (feat. Emmylou Harris)
2007 - True Love Will Never Fade (Promo)
2009 - Border Reiver (Promo)
FLEETWOOD MAC - Love That Burns - The Blues Years (2017)
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time. In 1998, selected members of Fleetwood Mac were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The two most successful periods for the band were during the late 1960s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist Peter Green and achieved a UK number one with "Albatross" and from 1975 to 1987, as a more pop-oriented act, featuring Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac were formed in July 1967 in London when Peter Green left the British blues band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Peter Green had replaced guitarist Eric Clapton in the Bluesbreakers, and received critical acclaim for his work on their album A Hard Road. After he had been in the Bluesbreakers for some time, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could replace Aynsley Dunbar. Green had been in two bands with Fleetwood—Peter B's Looners and the subsequent Shotgun Express (which featured a young Rod Stewart as vocalist). John Mayall agreed and Fleetwood became a member of the band. The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and Mayall. Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, in which Fleetwood, McVie and Green recorded five songs. The fifth song was an instrumental which Green named after the rhythm section, "Fleetwood Mac".
MARK KNOPFLER - This Is Not Enough For Me (2017)
01. Silvertown Blues (Soundcheck - Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany, June 13, 2001)
02. Portobello Belle (Soundcheck - Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany, June 13, 2001)
03. Reagge Romeo (Soundcheck - Vista Alegre Bullring, Bilbao, July 3, 2001)
04. Pyroman (With Bonnie Raitt, Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, May 20, 2001)
05. Wag The Dog (Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, May 20, 2001)
06. A Place Where We Used To Live (Opera House, Boothbay Harbor, MN, Sep.20, 2006)
07. Whoop De Doo (Opera House, Boothbay Harbor, MN September 20, 2006)
08. Devil Baby (Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, Holland, March 30, 2008)
09. Behind With The Rent (The Hurlingham Club, London, UK, September 9, 2009)
010. Redbud Tree (Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon, Canada, October 8, 2012)
011. Occupation Blues (Chalke Valley History Festival, Wiltshire, UK, July 2, 2016)
012. Playtime Deluxe (O2 Indigo, London, UK, October 28, 2016)
13. Two Skinny Kids (Blair School Of Music, Nashville, TN, June 25, 1998)
14. Its Been A While (Blair School Of Music, Nashville, TN, June 25, 1998)
15. Terminal Of Tribute To (Elstree Studios, London, UK, May 12, 2015)
A collection of rare and unreleased tracks.
LIVERPOOL EXPRESS - The Albums [1976-1979] (2017)
Liverpool Express was a successful pop/rock quartet that formed out of the remnants of Rockin' Horse, a short-lived early-'70s oldies-oriented band organized by '60s Liverpool music veterans Jimmy Campbell and Billy Kinsley. Kinsley restarted Rockin' Horse in 1975 with Tony Coates on guitar and vocals, Roger Scott Craig on keyboards, and Derek Cashin on drums, while Kinsley played bass. Signed to British Warner Bros., they had a slow start with the abortive debut single "Smile," but scored with their second record, "You Are My Love," which reached number 11. They became fixtures in the mid-level of the U.K. charts for more than five years, with the occasional run up to the Top Ten, and in later years Cashin was succeeded by Pete Kircher and Coates was replaced by Kenny Parry. Their history came to an end when Kinsley rejoined his '60s outfit the Merseybeats in the early '90s. They are best known for songs such as "You Are My Love" (which Paul McCartney once declared one of his favourite songs), "Every Man Must Have A Dream", and for charting several hits.
ERIC CLAPTON - Double Image 1 & 2 [Bootleg] (1998)
Sound quality: SB7. No, the sound quality rating above is *not* a typo. 'SB6' is the highest rating, and this release shattered that barrier, earning a 'SB7', with performances to match all around. A perfect, incredible release. Absolutely essential to have. Also check out front and back scans of the cards included with the set. Hats off to Mid Valley!
LINE UP: Eric Clapton / Andy Fairweather Low (Guitar) / Nathan East (Bass) / Alan Darby (Guitar) / Tim Carmon (Keyboards) / Kenneth Crouch (Keyboards) / Steve Gadd (Drums) / Katie Kissoon (Vocals) / Chyna (Vocals) / Charlean Hines (Vocals)
Edmonton Coliseum, Alberta, Canada, 1998, September 11
DISC 1: 01. My Father's Eyes 02. Pilgrim 03. One Chance 04. River Of Tears 05. Going Down Slow 06. She's Gone 07. Driftin' 08. Alberta 09. Tears In Heaven 10. Layla 11. Change The World
DISC 2: 01. Old Love 02. Crossroads 03. Have You Ever Loved A Woman 04. Tearing Us Apart 05. Wonderful Tonight 06. Cocaine 07. Sunshine Of Your Love
Earls Court Arena, london, England, 1998, October 15
DISC 3: 01. My Father's Eyes 02. Pilgrim 03. One Chance 04. River Of Tears 05. Going Down Slow 06. She's Gone 07. Driftin' Blues 08. Tears In Heaven 09. Layla 10. Change The World
DISC 4: 01. Old Love 02. Crossroads 03. Have You Ever Loved A Woman 04. I Shot The Sheriff 05. Wonderful Tonight 06. Cocaine 07. Before You Accuse Me 08. You Were There
RONNIE MONTROSE, RICKY PHILLIPS & ERIC SINGER - 10X10 (2017)
Before his untimely death in 2012, renowned American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose began recording an ambitious passion project with bassist Ricky Phillips (Styx, Bad English) and drummer Eric Singer (Kiss, Alice Cooper). The idea was to record 10 songs with 10 different singers and call the album 10X10. Sadly, Montrose was unable to see the album through during his lifetime. Instead, Phillips made it his mission to finish the songs by enlisting a small army of Ronnie’s musician friends to record the vocals and the guitar solos for each song, completing the album in recent years. Phillips says the songs represent some of Montrose’s best work. “His songs still have the fire and angst of a young rebel, but with some added wisdom and foresight voiced in his own unique language of ‘guitar-speak.’ On 10X10, we hear Ronnie at the top of his game, from the opening crunch guitar of ‘Heavy Traffic,’ all the way to the closing song, ‘I’m Not Lying,’ which was Ronnie’s tip of the hat to his friend Robin Trower.” 10x10 features inspired pairings, like Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes with Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen (“Still Singin’ With The Band”) and singer Sammy Hagar with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather (“Color Blind”). Legendary blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa also showcases his guitar talents on the track “The Kingdom’s Come Undone” with Ricky Phillips on vocals. A few artists both sing and play, like Edgar Winter (“Love Is An Art”) and Tommy Shaw (“Strong Enough”).
TRACKS: 01. Heavy Traffic (feat. Eric Martin & Dave Meniketti) 02. Love Is An Art (feat. Edgar Winter & Rick Derringer) 03. Color Blind (feat. Sammy Hagar & Steve Lukather) 04. Still Singin' With The Band (feat. Glenn Hughes, Phil Collen & Jimmy Zavala) 05. Strong Enough (feat. Tommy Shaw) 06. Any Minute (feat. Mark Farner) 07. The Kingdom's Come Undone (feat. Joe Bonamassa) 08. One Good Reason (feat. Bruce Turgon & Brad Whitford) 09. Head On Straight (feat. Davey Pattison & Marc Bonilla) 10. I'm Not Lying (feat. Gregg Rolie, Tom Gimbel & Lawrence Gowan)
PAUL BUTTERFIELD - Put It In Your Ear (1976)
Paul Butterfield was the first white harmonica player to develop a style original and powerful enough to place him in the pantheon of true blues greats. It's impossible to overestimate the importance of the doors Butterfield opened: before he came to prominence, white American musicians treated the blues with cautious respect, afraid of coming off as inauthentic. Not only did Butterfield clear the way for white musicians to build upon blues tradition (instead of merely replicating it), but his storming sound was a major catalyst in bringing electric Chicago blues to white audiences who'd previously considered acoustic Delta blues the only really genuine article. His initial recordings from the mid-'60s -- featuring the legendary, racially integrated first edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band -- were eclectic, groundbreaking offerings that fused electric blues with rock & roll, psychedelia, jazz, and even (on the classic East-West) Indian classical music. As members of that band -- which included Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop -- drifted away, the overall impact of Butterfield's music lessened, even if his amplified harp playing was still beyond reproach. He had largely faded from the scene by the mid-'70s, and fell prey to health problems and drug addiction that sadly claimed his life prematurely. Even so, the enormity of Butterfield's initial impact ensured that his legacy was already secure.
Put It in Your Ear was originally issued in 1975 & features David Sanborn, Eric Gale, plus Garth Hudson & Levon Helm from the Band.
TRACKS: 01. You Can Run But You Can't Hide 02. (If I Never Sing) My Song 03. The Animal 04. The Breadline 05. Ain't That A Lot Of Love 06. I Don't Wanna Go 07. Day To Day 08. Here I Go Again 09. The Flame 10. Watch 'Em Tell A Lie
DAVID BOWIE - Who Can I Be Now [1974-1976] (2016)
Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) is a box set by David Bowie, released on 23 September 2016, which covers the artist's "American Phase". A follow-up to the 2015 compilation Five Years (1969–1973), Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) covers the period of Bowie's career from 1974 to 1976 over twelve compact discs or thirteen LPs. Exclusive to the box sets is The Gouster, a previously unreleased album that eventually became Young Americans, and Re:Call 2, a new compilation of non-album singles, single versions and B-sides that serves as the sequel to Re:Call 1 from Five Years. It also includes remastered editions of Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station to Station (in original and 2010 mixes), David Live (in original and 2005 mixes), and Live Nassau Coliseum '76, a live album of his 23 March 1976 concert at Nassau Coliseum during his Isolar Tour 1976 in support of Station to Station, previously only available on the 2010 special and deluxe editions of Station to Station. The box set comes with a hardcover book that includes photos from Eric Stephen Jacobs, Tom Kelley, backup singer Geoffrey MacCormack, Terry O'Neill, Steve Schapiro, and more, as well as liner notes penned by Bowie’s close collaborators Tony Visconti and Harry Maslin and a handwritten note from Bowie about The Gouster.
TITO & TARANTULA - Live At Rockpalast (2017)
Latin rockers Tito & Tarantula comprised singer/guitarist Tito Larriva, previously best known for founding the seminal Los Angeles punk band the Plugz. Larriva was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico but spent his early years living outside Fairbanks, Alaska; his family later relocated to El Paso, Texas, where he studied violin and flute as a member of his school orchestra. After high school he flirted with attending Yale University before landing in L.A. during the mid-'70s; there Larriva formed the Plugz, which in 1979 released their debut LP Electrify Me, the first album to emerge from the city's thriving punk scene. Shortly after scoring Alex Cox's 1984 cult classic Repo Man, the Plugz were rechristened the Cruzados, signing to Arista to release a self-titled 1985 LP; After Dark followed two years later, and the group disbanded in 1990. From there Larriva continued writing film music, also turning to acting; with guitarist Peter Atanasoff and a host of other L.A. session vets he eventually formed Tito & Tarantula, which quickly emerged as a major favorite on the local club scene. Among their most vocal supporters was filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who not only enlisted the group to contribute material to his movies Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn, but also found small roles for Larriva in both; Rodriguez additionally helped produce 1997's Tarantism, released on the band's own Cockroach label. Hungry Sally & Other Killer Lullabies followed in 1999.
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