ANA POPOVIC - Like It On Top (2018) & Live For Live (2020)
Super tasty, slinky good fun. Shades of Steely Dan meet hardcore funk and blues on this collection that finds Popovic exploring different sides of female empowerment and feminist issues. Popovic delivers a strong performance with juicy guitar licks, funky rhythms and spot on, lively vocals. Popovic shares about the album’s title, “Being on top is about achieving your own potential. Succeeding in jling work, family, social life, expectations of the others, of the society, while pushing limits. Renewing yourself and inspiring others. Like It On Top celebrates those women who take initiative, develop, inspire and motivate. It’s about feeling good about yourself and what you do.” Its 10 songs cover topics that are partly autobiographical and partly broader statements aimed at every women—desire and fantasy, feeling empowered about your craft, confronting dominant macho male attitudes, escaping an abusive marriage and how to have a strong man as your partner.
In the year that sees Ana Popovic celebrating 20 years as a touring musician, the award winning guitar player, singer and songwriter releases 'Live for LIVE', an exciting, versatile CD demonstrating why she's proudly looking back at a career of thousands of shows worldwide. This high-energy concert showcases not only Ana's mesmerizing guitar skills but also her fabulous band, successfully merging musical styles. Ana's passion on stage is so evident that the title sums it up, this is what she lives for! About the recording Popovic says: 'Playing live is the best feeling in the world, it's like sacred time to me. A moment my mind is free. I'm one with my guitar and when the music takes me over, it's like fuel to my soul. My drive has always been the unconditional love to play my instrument. As a performing artist you gotta push your limits. It's ultimately about what YOU want to achieve. And, in order to do that, you need to surround yourself with musicians that are searching for the same. Having a great band on stage with me is absolutely necessary. I get my inspiration from how well my band plays. Always striving for higher heights. This live album features an evening in France with my 6-piece band. We tried to capture some of the joy and magic that a live show brings. Can you feel it?
RY COODER - 1970 - 1987 (2013)
Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's song writing and chameleon-like fretted instrument expertise have led to a career spanning over nearly five decades. His work incorporates an incredibly eclectic range of musical styles, including Rock & Roll, Blues, Folk, Tex-Mex and R&B. Famous for his slide guitar work, Ry Cooder has been highly ranked in both Rolling Stone magazine and Gibson’s Greatest Guitarists of All Time polls. His talent has seen him collaborate with many noted musicians including Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Neil Young. This neatly packaged box consists of 11 of Ry Cooder’s albums from 1970 – 1987 in a compact boxset, including the first pop album digitally recorded for a major-label, Bop Till You Drop.
MUDDY WATERS - The Complete Muddy Waters (1947 - 1967) 
McKinley Morganfield (1913 – 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who was an important figure in the post-war blues scene, and is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues". His style of playing has been described as "raining down Delta beatitude". Muddy Waters grew up on Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi, and by age 17 was playing the guitar and the harmonica, emulating the local blues artists Son House and Robert Johnson. He was recorded in Mississippi by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941. In 1943, he moved to Chicago to become a full-time professional musician. In 1946, he recorded his first records for Columbia Records and then for Aristocrat Records, a newly formed label run by the brothers Leonard and Phil Chess. In the early 1950s, Muddy Waters and his band—Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Elga Edmonds (also known as Elgin Evans) on drums and Otis Spann on piano—recorded several blues classics, some with the bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon. These songs included "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and "I'm Ready". In 1958, he traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. His performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 was recorded and released as his first live album, At Newport 1960. Muddy Waters' music has influenced various American music genres, including rock and roll and rock music.
No, this mammoth nine-disc compilation - 205 tracks in all - isn't actually complete, since alternate takes have since turned up of a couple of items. Further, the sound quality is decidedly spotty, and Charly's legal right to put Chess material on the market at all has long been in question. But this is the only place CD enthusiasts are currently going to find more than a few indispensable 1950s sides that MCA hasn't gotten around to releasing quite yet. And the final disc holds some enlightening alternate takes (including a whopping eight runthroughs of "Woman Wanted" and nine versions of "Read Way Back") that may never see domestic light of day. For aficionados only, make no mistake!
THE YOUNGBLOODS - The First Three... (1967-1969)
The Youngbloods could not be considered a major '60s band, but they were capable of offering some mighty pleasurable folk-rock in the late '60s, and produced a few great tunes along the way. One of the better groups to emerge from the East Coast in the mid-'60s, they would temper their blues and jug band influences with gentle California psychedelia, particularly after they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. For most listeners, they're identified almost exclusively with their Top Ten hit "Get Together," but they managed several respectable albums as well, all under the leadership of singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young. Young got his start on the folk circuits of Boston and New York, and had already cut a couple of solo albums before forming the Youngbloods. John Sebastian was one of the supporting musicians on Young's second LP, and comparisons between the two -- and between the Youngbloods and the Lovin' Spoonful -- are inevitable. Both groups offered good-timey folk-rock with much stronger jug band influences than West Coast rivals like the Byrds, though the Youngbloods made greater use of electric keyboards than the Spoonful, courtesy of the enigmatically named Lowell "Banana" Levinger. The Youngbloods didn't craft nearly as many brilliant singles as the Lovin' Spoonful, but (unlike the Spoonful) endured well into the hippie/psychedelic era.
While Young was always the focal point of the band, their first two albums also had songwriting contributions from guitarist Jerry Corbitt. Produced by Felix Pappalardi (who also worked with Cream), these records (The Youngbloods and Earth Music) were engaging and mature, if inconsistent, folk-rock. Corbitt's "Grizzly Bear" was a small hit, as was "Get Together," a Dino Valenti song that had previously been recorded by Jefferson Airplane. The Youngbloods' slow, soulful interpretation of "Get Together" was definitive, but it wouldn't reach the Top Ten until it was re-released in 1969, after the song had been used in a television public service ad. By that time, Corbitt had left, and the Youngbloods, reduced to a trio, were living in Marin County, CA. 1969's Elephant Mountain was produced by, of all people, Charlie Daniels. Reflecting the mellowing influence of San Francisco psychedelia, it was their best effort, featuring some of Young's best songs. The group broke up in 1972, and Jesse Colin Young had a long and moderately successful career as a solo singer/songwriter.
THE BROTHERS - March 10, 2020 / Madison Square Garden / New York, NY (2020)
The Brothers consists of founding Allman Brothers Band (ABB) drummer Jaimoe as well as longtime ABB guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones, along with Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks and keyboardist Reese Wynans. Former ABB keyboardist (and longtime touring member of the Rolling Stones) Chuck Leavell joined as a special guest for many of the jams he helped create with the ABB. The March 10 show is the last major concert to have taken place in New York before being shut down because of Covid-19. In a post-show interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jaimoe said, “It just felt like no BS, and all about music and love…I wanted to play music with my brothers. Everyone else is paying homage to the Allman Brothers music—and some of us are still here.” American Songwriter, (which described the show as a “massive success”) talked to Warren Haynes who said, “It was a very surreal night I think for all of us. It would have been under normal circumstances. But as we got closer and closer to show date, we were all wondering if we’re going to be allowed to play. We barely got in under the wire and then the next couple of days, they basically starting shutting down everything and canceling shows everywhere. It’s very bizarre that we turned out to be the last big show like that…I’m really glad that we were able to celebrate the 50th. When (original band member) Jaimoe called everybody and said that he thought that we should do something for the 50th, we all instantly agreed and thought, yeah, let’s do this. In a lot of ways, it was a show that we had talked about doing as the Allman Brothers Band but it never came to fruition. From the first moment of rehearsal it felt wonderful, and it just got better and better. I was very proud of everyone. From a musical standpoint, the band sounded wonderful. But there was so much more at play.”
PINK FLOYD - A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968) [The High Resolution Remasters, 2019]
A Saucerful of Secrets is the second studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 29 June 1968 by EMI Columbia in the United Kingdom and on 27 July 1968 in the United States by Tower Records. During recording, the mental health of singer and guitarist Syd Barrett declined, so David Gilmour was recruited to complement him; Barrett left before the album's completion. While Pink Floyd's debut album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), had been driven by Barrett as the band's leader and principal songwriter, A Saucerful of Secrets drew more diverse influences, with every member contributing songwriting and lead vocals. Gilmour appeared on all but two songs, while Barrett contributed to three. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is the only song on which all five members appeared together. A Saucerful of Secrets reached number nine in the UK charts, but did not chart in the US until April 2019, peaking at number 158. The album received mostly positive reviews, though many critics have deemed it inferior to The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Limited Edition of 300 numbered copies incl. a 12 page booklet
PINK FLOYD - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967) [The High Resolution Remasters, 2019]
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is the debut studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released 4 August 1967 by EMI Columbia. The only album made under founding member Syd Barrett's leadership, it takes its title from chapter seven of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and was recorded at EMI Studios in London from February to May 1967 with producer Norman Smith. The band at the time consisted of Syd Barrett (lead vocals, lead guitar), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). Barrett also served as the band's primary songwriter, though two tracks on the album are credited to the band collectively and one track was written by Waters. The album was produced by Norman Smith, who would go on to produce two more albums for Pink Floyd. In the United States, the album was released in October on Tower Records, with an altered track listing that omitted three songs and included the UK non-album single "See Emily Play". In the UK, no singles were released from the album, but in the US, "Flaming" was offered as a single. Two of its songs, "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive", became long-term mainstays of the band's live setlist, while other songs were performed live only a handful of times. Since its release, the album has been hailed as a pivotal psychedelic rock album. In 1973, the album was packaged with the band's second album A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) and released as A Nice Pair to introduce new fans to the band's early work after the success of The Dark Side of the Moon (1973). Special limited editions of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn were issued to mark its thirtieth, fortieth, and fiftieth anniversaries, with the former two releases containing bonus tracks. In 2012, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was placed at number 347 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
PINK FLOYD - 1965 [Their First Recordings] (2015)
"1965: Their First Recordings" is an EP of Pink Floyd music (at the time called The Tea Set), containing songs recorded around Christmas 1964 by the band. The drums and guitars were recorded "straight off," while the vocals and piano were recorded at a later date. It was released as a special edition set of two 7" vinyl records, limited to 1,050 copies (1,000 retail and 50 promotional) available only in the EU, to extend the copyright of the recordings. These are the only officially released songs featuring guitarist Rado Klose and Juliette Gale, Richard Wright's first wife. This release consists of the earliest Pink Floyd recordings available commercially, with five original songs written by Syd Barrett and Roger Waters, and one Slim Harpo cover. The tracks were later included in the 1965–1967: Cambridge St/ation portion of the boxset The Early Years 1965-1972.
All vocals by Syd Barrett, except for "Walk with Me Sydney" by Syd Barrett, Juliette Gale and Roger Waters.
FLEETWOOD MAC & PETER GREEN - Fleetwood Mac & Peter Green (2008)
Fleetwood Mac co-founder and influential blues rock guitarist Peter Green has died aged 73. RIP
Peter Green was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green's songs, such as "Albatross", "Black Magic Woman", "Oh Well", "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)" and "Man of the World", appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians. Green was a major figure in the "second great epoch" of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats." Eric Clapton has praised his guitar playing; he is noted for his use of string bending, vibrato, and economy of style. Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". His tone on the instrumental "The Super-Natural" was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.
V.A. - The Golden Age Of Underground Radio Featuring Tom Donahue (1989)
Based around the late Tom Donahue, one of the gurus of freeform FM Stereo radio on the West Coast of the US, this is a radio show of fabulous music, laid back links, and general groovyness. The idea of freeform radio in the late 60s and early 70s was that there were no playlists - it was up to the individual D.J. to use his/her skill and judgement in creating a whole listening experience, and Tom was a master. Despite being a giant bear of a man, he had a soothing gentle voice, and a sincere love of the music. The Golden Age of Underground Radio featuring Tom Donahue on KSAN Radio 1968-1972. All songs complete and uncut in stereo. Digitally mastered for compact disc by Steve Hoffman.
V.A. - The Golden Age of Underground Radio, Vol. 2 - featuring B. Mitchell Reed (1997)
A logical and proper extension of the first volume of the series (which spotlighted FM underground pioneer Tom Donahue), Golden Age of Underground Radio, Vol. 2 features recordings of the legendary Los Angeles disc jockey B. Mitchell Reed, who was one of the mainstays on KMET FM, as well as an extremely important mover and shaker in the city in its prime. Taken from shows of the 1968-1971 period, the CD showcases what FM radio was, as well as its necessity and artful production. Around fabulous (full-length) versions of FM staples by Love ("Alone Again Or"), Donovan Featuring the Jeff Beck Group ("Barabajagal"), and about a dozen other turntable hits, Reed keeps the flow going with smooth, hip, and very honest raps that capture the moment in tact and in real time. Commercials of the era (such as "The Hip Bagel") and news reports only add to the period charm and transport the listener to a very real evening of music and intelligent thought. Like Donahue, Reed started in AM radio, during its loud, fast, mile-a-minute Top 40 heyday. The metamorphosis that he and the audience were going through at the dawn of the 1970s is captured here in all of its glory, making this an exquisite social, spiritual, and political document, not to mention an artistic one as well.
BLACK SABBATH - Born Again (1983) [Deluxe Edition, 2011]
Born Again is the eleventh studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Released in August of 1983, it is the first and only album the group recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, best known for his work with Deep Purple. It was also the last Black Sabbath album for nine years to feature original bassist Geezer Butler and the last to feature original drummer Bill Ward, though Ward did record a studio track with the band fifteen years later on their 1998 live album Reunion. The album has received mixed reviews from critics, but was a commercial success upon its 1983 release, reaching No. 4 in the UK charts. The album also hit the top 40 in the United States. A re-mastered 'Deluxe Expanded Edition' of Born Again was released in May 2011, which included several live tracks from the 1983 Reading Festival originally featured on BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show. Though the release was remastered, it was not remixed. Tracks 3-11 recorded live at the Reading Festival on Saturday, August 27, 1983 and first aired on Friday Rock Show via BBC Radio 1.
RORY GALLAGHER - Check Shirt Wizard: Live In '77 (2020)
The New York Times obituary for blues rock guitarist Rory Gallagher says he was known for his “flashy guitar work,” which, while certainly true, is a dramatic oversimplification of Gallagher’s legacy. But the tribute, coming in at a scant 150 or so words, also crystalizes Gallagher’s career: misunderstood in the United States, underappreciated, and seen as one-dimensional by those who didn’t choose to delve into his full body of work. Check Shirt Wizard – Live in ‘77, a compilation of four European shows, won’t change Gallagher’s stature in the eyes of the public at large, but it does serve as a strong reminder of just what made him so great. Gallagher’s live work is well-documented. There’s 1972’s Live In Europe, Irish Tour ’74, and 1980’s Stage Struck, plus some posthumous live releases. So it’s hard to say where Check Shirt Wizard fits into those other shows, other than as a great excuse to delve back into Gallagher’s catalog. And one thing that comes across Check Shirt Wizard is that while Gallagher was a gifted guitar player, he was also a soulful singer. The vocal performances are impressive. I was particularly struck by “Calling Card,” with Gallagher, notoriously critical of his own abilities, sounding both relaxed and confident. While there’s plenty of “flashy” guitar punctuating the track, the piano and Gallagher’s weathered voice make it special. Clocking in at twenty generous tracks, you get to hear Gallagher cover a lot of stylistic ground in-depth. There’s a nice run of acoustic songs, which make you feel like you’re hearing Gallagher in a pub. “Barley and Grape Rag,” just Gallagher and his acoustic guitar, sounds like Gallagher is performing across the room from you, a tribute to his ability to convey intimacy, and to the quality of the recording. “Too Much Alcohol,” the J. B. Hutto tune Gallagher tackled with a full band on Irish Tour ’74 is performed here as a Delta blues.
Gallagher also hits some surprisingly glam notes that I wasn’t expecting. “I Take What I Want,” a Sam and Dave soul cover, sounds like Sweet in Gallagher’s energized hands. “Walk on Hot Coals” has a similar power, with an abandon that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Led Zeppelin track. And here too, you have to be impressed with Gallagher’s vocals, which have a sexy smokiness. The joke is that European rock singers try to sound American and American singers try to sound British, but Gallagher, across the entire album, does a beautiful job of sounding like his true Irish self, but organically channeled through the American south. As someone who doesn’t pay for the music being reviewed, I feel funny criticizing the length of an album, but at 20 tracks there’s a lot to process here. “Bullfrog Blues,” a fun tune with some vintagely wild Gallaher slide, clocks in at almost 10 minutes, largely because Gallagher introduces the band during the performance. It’s cute the first time, but as you might expect, the same introduction loses its charm over repeated listenings. It hardly detracts from what is a very strong album, but it would also be nice if labels understood that the things that make a one-time live show work don’t translate across the board for live albums.
RORY GALLAGHER - Irish Tour '74 (1974) [2018 Edition]
Irish Tour '74 is the sixth album by Rory Gallagher. It is a live album compiled from performances during Gallagher's Irish Tour in January 1974. The source concerts were recorded at Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema and Cork City Hall using Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio. "Back on My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)" was recorded from a jam session during the tour. Irish Tour '74 has sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. An article in a Belfast daily newspaper stated: "Rory Gallagher never forgot Northern Ireland, he returned throughout the '70s when few other artists of his calibre dared come near the place." Compiled from live recordings made at concerts on an Irish Tour in January 1974 at Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema and Cork City Hall. Back On My Stompin' Ground (After Hours) and Just A Little Bit taken from sessions during the tour, on the Lane Mobile Unit.
Gallagher's 1974 tour of Ireland coincided with one of the most tumultuous times in Belfast. Violence from IRA was erupting throughout the city even at rock concerts. As a result, most rock acts refused to play in the city. The day before Gallagher's scheduled concert in Belfast ten bombs went off at various locations around the city. Everyone expected Gallagher to cancel as all the other big names had but he went on with the concert and was rewarded with one of his best shows. A local Belfast journalist writing to describe the concert and the feeling said: "I've never seen anything quite so wonderful, so stirring, so uplifting, so joyous as when Gallagher and the band walked on stage. The whole place erupted, they all stood and they cheered and they yelled, and screamed, and they put their arms up, and they embraced. Then as one unit they put their arms into the air and gave peace signs. Without being silly, or overemotional, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It all meant something, it meant more than just rock n' roll, it was something bigger, something more valid than just that."
STRAY - On The Top Of The World (2005)
Stray is an English hard rock band formed in 1966. Vocalist Steve Gadd, guitarist Del Bromham, bass player Gary Giles and drummer Steve Crutchley formed the band whilst all were attending the Christopher Wren School in London. Richard "Ritchie" Cole replaced Crutchley in 1968. They signed to Transatlantic Records in January 1970. The group's brand of melodic, hook-laden hard rock proved to be a popular draw on the local club scene during the early 1970s. However the band did not have commercial success with its record releases. At one stage Charlie Kray (brother of the Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie), was their manager. Gadd left the band in 1975 due to artistic differences and was replaced on vocals by Pete Dyer. The group's early musical style consisted of blues rock, acid rock and psychedelic rock. They then went on to join the hard rock and progressive rock movement.
It is 2001 Stray are back and well established again in the clubs on the circuit and knock out this raw and in your face rock album. The Rock starts the album off in fine style, rocking the house down and has a great chorus. On Top Of The World builds impressively and there is a slight pause with the acoustic blues of Georgia. The highlight for me is Sleepy Time Blues which is a Hendrix style slab of electric blues and has great feel to it, the guitar work by Del Bromham is something special. Years is another top tune that really rocks with a great lyric and shout along chorus. Everthing else on here is good though making for a very consistent and enjoyable album which really does rock - the band caught a mood here where they they just went for it, really good. Live: In Yer Face is real good hard rock "live" recording by a real good hard rock band. The guitar star kicks ass, as you would expect. Most well recorded "live" albums are better than most studio albums in my opinion and this "live" release stands up to Stray's better studio platters. Suicide is a monster track.
Along with Lucifer's Friend, Blackwater Park, and other bands even more obscure, Epitaph were members of a curious fraternity of '70s German bands that featured British singers. Founded in Dortmund in late 1969 by vocalist/guitarist Cliff Jackson and his compatriot James McGillivray, plus locally bred bassist Bernd Kolbe, Epitaph were originally named Fagau's Epitaph, but decided to shorten it after moving to Hanover, where they eventually signed with Polydor. Second guitarist Klaus Walz joined the fold halfway through the sessions for their eponymous debut (released in 1971), which, along with its successor, Stop, Look & Listen (1972), contained only five lengthy tracks, largely comprised of post-psych progressive rock, spiced with occasional jazz accents and widespread twin-guitar harmonies.
Neither LP succeeded at introducing the band to a significant audience, though, and McGillivray had quit by year's end, being replaced by German drummer Achim Wielert, just as Epitaph were beginning to experiment with a more compact and direct hard rock style. This was previewed by the two singles they released in 1973, but Polydor still decided it was time to cut their ties to the group, who surprisingly headed off to America almost immediately, drawn by the promises of a start-up indie label called Billingsgate. Epitaph wound up recording their third and most critically acclaimed LP, 1974's Outside the Law, in Chicago, afterwards embarking on a tour of the U.S. with ex-Karthago drummer Norbert Lehmann only to have it rudely interrupted when Billingsgate went bankrupt. Drained by their string of bad luck and feeling lucky simply to escape back to Germany without being held responsible for Billingsgate's debts,
Epitaph called it quits in January of 1975. But Cliff Jackson couldn't resist reviving Epitaph just a few months later, gradually rebuilding their damaged reputation until a revamped band rounded out by guitarist Heinz Glass, keyboardist Michael Karch, bassist Harvey Janssen, and drummer Fritz Randow finally re-emerged with 1979's Return to Reality album. Now pursuing a semi-heavy metal angle, this edition of Epitaph recorded two more, poorly received LPs (1980's oddly named See You in Alaska and 1981's Live), and then Jackson reunited the Outside the Law lineup for 1982's Danger Man. Also given to heavier rock sounds, and also unsuccessful, the latter finally proved to be Epitaph's, well, epitaph, barring very rare concert reunions thereafter.
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM - Solo Anthology: The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham (2018)
Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham is a compilation album released by American musician and former Fleetwood Mac vocalist-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, released on October 5, 2018. The album draws from all six of Buckingham's studio albums, spanning from 1981's Law and Order to 2011's Seeds We Sow. "Hunger" and "Ride This Road" were previously unreleased songs recorded in 2012. The most recent addition of the set is "Sleeping Around the Corner", from the 2017 duet album, Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie. Alternate editions of the set include an abridged single-disc version, and a deluxe 6xLP deluxe vinyl set. One reviewer praised the contrast between some of Buckingham's more unusual material alongside some of his more commercial cuts potentially suitable for Fleetwood Mac, such as "Love Runs Deeper" and "You Do or You Don't". The unbalanced representation of Buckingham's solo records is criticized, noting that Out of the Cradle boasts eight tracks, while Law and Order has just one featured on the compilation.
CARL PERKINS - Go Cat Go! (1996)
Go Cat Go! is a 1996 album by American rockabilly musician Carl Perkins. For most of the songs, Perkins performs with other artists. The album includes recordings from all four ex-Beatles, with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr recording new material, while John Lennon's version of "Blue Suede Shoes" comes from his album Live Peace in Toronto 1969. Jimi Hendrix's version of the same song is also an archive recording. The album was produced by Bob Johnston. Also performing with Perkins on the album are Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Bono, Paul Simon and John Fogerty.
Go Cat Go! is a curious mixture. It isn't a solo Carl Perkins album so much as an all-star tribute album with some of the big-name guests recording with their hero. Both John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix appear via previous recordings, contributing their own versions of "Blue Suede Shoes." (Lennon's appeared on Live Peace in Toronto 1969, while Hendrix's was also recorded live.) Carl works in tandem with live guests Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Bono, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Fogerty, and Paul Simon in right fine fashion. But the bottom line is that the real star of the show is Perkins himself, just playing and singing in a most masterful and rockin' way. If stars of this magnitude are tipping their hat, Carl shows on this waxing that their idolatry is well-placed.
ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION - The Best Of Atlanta Rhythm Section (1991)
Often described as a more radio-friendly version of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, the Atlanta Rhythm Section was one of many Southern rock bands to hit the upper reaches of the charts during the late '70s. Hailing from the small town of Doraville, Georgia, the beginning of the Atlanta Rhythm Section can be traced back to 1970. It was then that a local recording studio was opened, Studio One, and the remnants of two groups (the Candymen and the Classics Four), became the studio's house band. One of the facility's head figures, Buddy Buie, soon began assembling the session band singer Rodney Justo, guitarist Barry Bailey, bassist Paul Goddard, keyboardist Dean Daughtry, and drummer Robert Nix. After playing on several artists' recordings, it was decided to take the band a step further and make the group of players a real band, leading to the formation of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Buie soon became an invisible fifth member of the fledgling band; he served as their manager and producer, in addition to providing a major hand in the songwriting department. Finding time between sessions to record their own original material (which was initially, entirely instrumental), an early demo wound up landing the band a record deal. The group's first few albums failed to generate much chart action (1972's Atlanta Rhythm Section, 1973's Back Up Against the Wall, 1974's Third Annual Pipe Dream, 1975's Dog Days, and 1976's Red Tape), but it was during this time that Justo was replaced with newcomer Ronnie Hammond, which would eventually pay dividends for the group. Although they had gained quite a bit of radio airplay down south, their record company began to put pressure on the quintet to deliver a single that would break them nationally. The demand worked the Atlanta Rhythm Section scored a Top Ten single, "So Into You," on their next release, 1976's A Rock and Roll Alternative, which was the group's first album to reach gold certification.
But this wouldn't be the group's commercial peak, as they scored the highest charting album of their career in 1978, the Top Ten Champagne Jam, which spawned two hit singles "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" and "Imaginary Lover." To keep up their high profile, the Atlanta Rhythm Section soon became one of the hardest touring bands of the entire Southern rock genre (including a performance at the White House for then-president Jimmy Carter). But the group's commercial success would be fleeting it appeared as soon as mainstream rock fans embraced the Atlanta Rhythm Section, they just as quickly forgot about them. Each subsequent album -- 1979's Underdog and live set Are You Ready, 1980s The Boys from Doraville, and 1981's Quinella sold less than the previous one, resulting in the band's split shortly thereafter. In the wake of their split, the Atlanta Rhythm Section has reunited sporadically for tours (although only a few original members would be present), and issued their first all-new studio album in more than a decade in 1999, Eufaula. Additionally, some of country-rock's biggest names have gone on to record Atlanta Rhythm Section covers Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd, and Charlie Daniels, among others.
SPARKS - Hippopotamus (2017) & A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (2020)
Sparks are an American pop and rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1967 by brothers Ron (keyboards) and Russell Mael (vocals). Known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks' music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell's animated, hyperactive frontman antics and Ron's deadpan scowling. They are also noted for Russell Mael's distinctive wide-ranging voice and Ron Mael's intricate and rhythmic keyboard playing style. While achieving chart success in various countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the United States, they have enjoyed a cult following since their first releases. During the late 1970s, when in collaboration with Giorgio Moroder (and Telex subsequently), Sparks reinvented themselves as a new wave/synth-pop band, and abandoned the traditional rock band line-up. Their frequently changing styles and visual presentations have kept the band at the forefront of modern, artful pop music.
Hippopotamus is the 23rd studio album by American rock group Sparks. It was released on September 8, 2017, through BMG Rights Management and The End Records, their first record issued on a major label for decades. Following the 2009 radio musical The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman and Sparks' subsequent collaboration with Franz Ferdinand in FFS, the release of Hippopotamus marked a return to the traditional Sparks format of "short, literate, witty pop songs", mixing elements from the band's various stylistic periods. Hippopotamus was met with critical acclaim, and entered the UK Albums Chart at no. 7, Sparks' first UK top-ten appearance in over 40 years.
A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip is the 24th studio album by American rock group Sparks. It was released digitally on May 15, 2020, through BMG Rights Management, with the physical release following on July 3, 2020. The album was universally acclaimed by critics. It entered the UK iTunes chart at number 8 - also charting in the US, Germany, France and Canada and the UK Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100 at no. 13. Upon release of the physical formats, it entered the UK charts at number 7, making this the group's second consecutive UK Top 10 studio album and their fourth overall.
MARK FARNER & DON BREWER - Monumental Funk (1974)
Monumental Funk is an amazing record that Don Brewer and Mark Farner have every right to be very proud of. While Grand Funk Railroad's manager, Terry Knight, may have been a fine producer and a marketing genius, his own efforts at songwriting and singing were the worst aspects of the Pack. Here Farner and Brewer absolutely shine, their version of "Harlem Shuffle" more fun than the hit version by the Rolling Stones. When Don Brewer formed Flint and released a disc on Columbia in 1978, he covered the Supremes' "Back in My Arms Again." Here Mark Farner trumps him with "Come See About Me," a great non-Motown version by these Michigan boys. Farner's original, "We Gotta Have Love," is worthwhile, as is the tremendous rendition of "Hey Everybody." Yes, this record was released to cash in on the fame of Grand Funk Railroad, and there is even a picture disc version of it. The release of this music made the boys in the band angry, but there is a silver lining. Monumental Funk shows that Grand Funk Railroad was no fluke and that Mark Farner was a major talent before Capitol Records signed him and brought him to the attention of millions of fans.
MARK FARNER [BAND] - Mark Farner (1977) & No Frills (1978)
Mark Farner is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad, and later as a contemporary Christian musician. Farner began his career in music by playing in Terry Knight and The Pack (1965–1966), The Bossmen (1966), The Pack (aka The Fabulous Pack) (1967–1968), before forming Grand Funk Railroad with Don Brewer (drums) and Mel Schacher (bass guitar) in 1968. Craig Frost (keyboards) joined the band in 1973. Farner has Cherokee ancestry from his maternal side. Farner was the guitarist and lead singer for Grand Funk Railroad as well as the songwriter for most of their material. One of his best-known composition is the 1970 epic "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)". He also wrote the 1975 hit "Bad Time", the last of the band's four singles to make the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
After Grand Funk initially disbanded in 1976, Farner released his self-titled debut solo album in 1977, and his second, No Frills, in 1978 (both Atlantic Records). In 1981, Farner and Don Brewer launched a new Grand Funk line-up with bassist Dennis Bellinger and recorded two albums, Grand Funk Lives and What's Funk? Farner went solo again with 1988's Just Another Injustice on Frontline Records. His third Frontline release was 1991's Some Kind of Wonderful, which featured a revamped Jesus version of the Grand Funk classic of the same name. Farner enjoyed success with the John Beland composition "Isn't it Amazing", which earned him a Dove Award nomination and reached No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian music charts.
ROXY MUSIC - Live At The Apollo (2002)
Recorded live at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, Roxy Music performs their greatest hits, fronted by the always mesmerizing Bryan Ferry with original band members Andy MacKay and Phil Manzanera. Spend a glamorous, glorious evening with the band that defined modern musical romance, heartbreak and grace. Songs: Re- Make/Re-Model, Street Life, Ladytron, While My Heart Is Still Beating, Out of the Blue, A Song for Europe, My Only Love, In Every Dream Home a Heartache, Oh Yeah!, Both Ends Burning, Tara, Mother of Pearl, Avalon, Dance Away, Jealous Guy, Editions of You, Virginia Plain, Love Is the Drug, Do the Strand, For Your Pleasure.
Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera mused in a 2003 interview about being "considered old dogs that were about to be shot and put out of their misery" before the band embarked on this 2001 tour, their first in some 18 years. He needn't have worried. Manzanera and fellow original members Bryan Ferry and Andy Mackay, joined by an array of excellent musicians, singers, and even dancers, are in fine fettle for this 110-minute London concert (a documentary is also included). It certainly helps to have a clutch of stylish, appealing songs available, ranging from early hits like "Virginia Plain" and "Do the Strand" to later fare like the seductive "Avalon" and "Dance Away." OK, so the urbane, ever-dapper Ferry may not be the world's greatest singer, and these tunes are hardly world-changers... but with Roxy Music it's all about the vibe, and these folks have it in spades. Cheers, fellows.
SLADE - When Slade Rocked The World 1971-1975 (2015)
When Slade Rocked the World 1971-1975 is a compilation box set by the British rock band Slade, released by Salvo in November 2015. The box set, housed in a 12-inch box, covers the band's commercial heyday from 1971 to 1975, with a mix of reproduced vinyl LPs, 7" vinyl singles, a two-disc CD, a scrapbook-style book and a reproduced edition of the book The Slade Story, written by George Tremlett. When Slade Rocked the World was first announced in July 2015 and was made available for pre-order on PledgeMusic. A limited edition version of the box set was made exclusively available through the platform, which included an exclusive set of reproduced Slade in Flame film lobby cards. Speaking of the project, BMG's Steve Bunyan later commented to Music Managers Forum: "We wanted to put something together that the band, fans and media would all think was a worthy summary of Slade at the peak of their powers. I think we achieved it." In September 2016, the box set won "Special Catalogue Release of the Year" at that year's AIM Awards. It was also nominated for the Classic Rock Awards "Reissue of the Year".
Upon release, Vive Le Rock described the set as the "ultimate box set", adding that it "deserves a place in every self-respecting rock 'n' roll and glam rock-loving home." Daily Mirror praised the compilation as a "sumptuous vinyl box set", describing it as "major[ing] in roof-raising pop glories" and being the "perfect Yuletide gift for the discerning rock 'n' roller". The Sunday Times noted the set stood out for its "spectacular packaging, humour and reproduced curios". David Cavanagh of Uncut wrote: "As we hear time and again on When Slade Rocked the World, they weren't just churning out chart fodder to fill the nostalgic dancefloors of future school discos. They were better musicians than that for a start; a tight, syncopated four-piece, they could swing viciously and attack with force."
ARGENT - Original Album Classics (2009)
After the Zombies broke up, keyboardist/songwriter Rod Argent formed his own band in 1969, which incorporated more classical, jazz, and art rock influences in accordance with Argent's musical training. The group's other members were guitarist/songwriter Russ Ballard, bassist Jim Rodford, and drummer Bob Henrit. Argent's first two albums, Argent and Ring of Hands, received a fair amount of critical acclaim, but their real breakthrough came with 1972's All Together Now, which contained the Top Five smash "Hold Your Head Up"; In Deep produced a minor hit in "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You," which was covered by Kiss in 1992. By 1974, Ballard had developed his songwriting talents enough to leave for a solo career (Three Dog Night had a Top Ten single in 1971 with his "Liar," from Argent), and was replaced by guitarist John Verity and string player John Grimaldi. Without Ballard, the group lost its focus and indulged its tendencies toward extended art rock passages and improvisational solos to somewhat excessive levels. Argent broke up in 1976; Rodford joined the Kinks, while Argent himself recorded several solo albums and became a record producer, working with Tanita Tikaram, among others.
SUZI QUATRO - The First 4... (1973/76) [Remastered, 2011/12]
Susan Quatro is an American rock singer-songwriter, bass guitarist, and actress. In the 1970s, Quatro scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland. She reached no. 1 in the UK and other European countries and Australia with her singles "Can the Can" (1973) and "Devil Gate Drive" (1974). Following a recurring role as bass player Leather Tuscadero on the popular American sitcom Happy Days, her duet "Stumblin' In" with Smokie's lead singer Chris Norman reached No. 4 in the US. Between 1973 and 1980, Quatro was awarded six Bravo Ottos. In 2010, she was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame. Quatro has sold over 50 million albums and continues to perform live, worldwide. Her most recent studio album was released in 2019 and she also continues to present new radio programmes.
Suzi Quatro is the debut solo studio album by the American singer-songwriter and bass guitarist of the same name. The LP was originally released in October 1973, by the record label Rak in most territories. The album was released under Bell Records in the United States and Canada, EMI Records in Japan, and Columbia Records in some European countries. It was titled Can the Can in Australia. The album was a critical and commercial success, achieving international popularity upon its release, reaching the top 50 in the charts in several territories.
Quatro is Suzi Quatro's second album released in October 1974 from Rak Records as SRAK 509., with the exception of the United States and Canada where the record was released under Bell Records, in Japan the album was released under EMI Records, and in several territories in Europe it was released from Columbia Records. The album achieved success in several territories, topping the Australian charts and remained in the charts there for six weeks. The album also entered into the US charts, reaching the top 150. "Devil Gate Drive" became a major hit, reaching the No. 1 spot in the UK and Australian charts, becoming her second number one in both countries.
Your Mamma Won't Like Me is the third studio album by Suzi Quatro. Released in May 1975 by record label Rak in most countries, in the US the album was released through Arista Records instead of Bell Records which distributed Quatro's first two previous releases in that country. The LP marked a change in the hard rock sound from the singer's previous albums Suzi Quatro and Quatro, instead displaying a more funk-oriented rock sound.
Aggro-Phobia is the fourth studio album by Suzi Quatro, recorded in the Autumn of 1976. It is the only one of her albums to be co-produced by Mickie Most. The song "Tear Me Apart" reached No. 27 on the UK singles chart in October 1977. Writing for Bomp!, music critic Ken Barnes called it "excellent" and "superior to [her] earlier hits".
STEELY DAN - Discography 1972-1977
Steely Dan is an American jazz fusion band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). Blending rock, jazz, latin music, reggae, traditional pop, R&B, blues, and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981.
Recruiting guitarists Denny Dias and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, and keyboardist/vocalist David Palmer, Becker and Fagen officially formed Steely Dan in 1972, releasing their debut, Can't Buy a Thrill, shortly afterward. Palmer and Fagen shared lead vocals on the album, but the record's two hit singles -- the Top Ten "Do It Again" and "Reeling in the Years" -- were sung by Fagen. Can't Buy a Thrill was a critical and commercial success, but its supporting tour was a disaster, hampered by an under-rehearsed band and unappreciative audiences. Palmer left the band following the tour. Countdown to Ecstasy, released in 1973, was a critical hit, but it failed to generate a hit single, even though the band supported it with a tour.
Steely Dan replaced Hodder with Jeff Porcaro and added keyboardist/backup vocalist Michael McDonald prior to recording their third album, Pretzel Logic. Released in the spring of 1974, Pretzel Logic returned Steely Dan to the Top Ten on the strength of the single "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." After completing the supporting tour for Pretzel Logic, Becker and Fagen decided to retire from live performances and make Steely Dan a studio-based band. For their next album, 1975's Katy Lied, the duo hired a variety of studio musicians -- including Dias, Porcaro, guitarist Elliot Randall, saxophonists Phil Woods, bassist Wilton Felder, percussionist Victor Feldman, keyboardist Michael Omartian, and guitarist Larry Carlton -- as supporting musicians.
Katy Lied was another hit, as was 1976's The Royal Scam, which continued in the vein of its predecessor. On 1977's Aja, Steely Dan's sound became more polished and jazzy, as they hired jazz fusion artists like Wayne Shorter, Lee Ritenour, and the Crusaders as support. Aja became their biggest hit, reaching the Top Five within three weeks of release and becoming one of the first albums to be certified platinum. Aja also gained the respect of many jazz musicians, as evidenced by Woody Herman recording an album of Becker/Fagen songs in 1978.
THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND - Hits Of The South (2013)
Charlie Daniels, Country and Southern rock legend dies at age 83... RIP.
Charlie Daniels accomplished something few other musicians did: he made the leap from session musician to superstar. The song that made him famous was "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," a roaring country-disco fusion that became an international smash in 1979. It wasn't Daniels' first hit that would be "Uneasy Rider," a sideways social satire that became a Top 10 novelty smash in 1973 nor was it a song that showcased the full-throttled attack of the Charlie Daniels Band, his roving band of Southern rockers who pledged allegiance to the gospel of the Allman Brothers Band. Despite this, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is the song that defined Daniels, introducing him to the millions of listeners and giving him a career that spanned decades. In its wake, Daniels quietly shifted his emphasis from Southern rock to country, eventually embracing a role as a conservative commentator, transitions that obscured his considerable influence as a Southern rocker and sideman. In both roles, he helped shape the sound of country-rock. His big breakthrough came when he played on Bob Dylan's 1969 LP Nashville Skyline, a credit that opened the doors for the multi-instrumentalist to play with Leonard Cohen and Ringo Starr. Daniels parlayed this behind-the-scenes success into fronting his own band. Along with the Allmans and the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band fused rock, country, blues, and jazz into a distinctly Southern blend, and they prized improvisations: not for nothing did Daniels launch a series of concerts called Volunteer Jam. Beginning in 1974, these Volunteer Jams ran into the 2010s and their endurance, combined with his 2016 induction into the Country Hall of Fame, are the clearest signs that Daniels weathered fashions, trends, and politics to become a beloved American music institution.
COMMANDER CODY & HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN - Found In The Ozone (2020)
Rare, early live recordings of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, captured by the Grateful Dead’s legendary soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley, including songs never-before officially released. Featuring a complete show (March 28, 1970) at the Family Dog, plus bonus tracks from 5 other nights at the Family Dog (February 27-March 29). With more than 40 tracks, each CD is more than 75 minutes, and spans a variety of musical styles, including country western, rock’n’roll, blues, rockabilly, zydeco, and more. The most extensive collection of Commander Cody’s work from this time period, featuring rare and seldom played songs, 20-page booklet featuring original cover art by Chris Shaw and original, unpublished artwork by Commander Cody himself and 11 rare, unpublished photos of the band from the relevant time period. Liner notes by former Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas G. Meriwether. The band consists of Commander Cody (piano, vocals), Billy C. Farlow (vocals, harmonica), Bill Kirchen (guitar, vocals), Andy Stein (fiddle), Steve Davis, aka “The West Virginia Creeper” (pedal steel guitar), Paul “Buffalo” Bruce Barlow (bass), and Lance Dickerson (drums). Recorded live at the soundboard by the legendary Grateful Dead soundman, Owsley Stanley, a/k/a Bear, who is known for the purity of his “Sonic Journals” recordings These tapes were transferred and restored to the most exacting audiophile standards, utilizing state-of-the-art Plangent Processes techniques to remove any subtle timing distortions created by the recording and playback devices. The mastering was done by Jeffrey Norman (Mockingbird Mastering), long-time collaborator with the Grateful Dead and Owsley Stanley.
ENNIO MORRICONE - A Fistful of Film Music (1995)
Ennio Morricone, Italian legendary film composer, dies aged 91... RIP.
Ennio Morricone (10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in a wide range of styles. Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone's films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore's films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento's Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley's Game and The Hateful Eight. After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for Westerns and—with an estimated 10 million copies sold—Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling scores worldwide. From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives, and in 1969 he co-founded Forum Music Village, a prestigious recording studio. From the 1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing for prolific American directors such as Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino. In 1977, he composed the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He continued to compose music for European productions, such as Marco Polo, La piovra, Nostromo, Fateless, Karol and En mai, fais ce qu'il te plait. Morricone's music has been reused in television series, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and in many films, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. He also scored seven Westerns for Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari's Ringo duology and Sergio Sollima's The Big Gundown and Face to Face. Morricone worked extensively for other film genres with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Mauro Bolognini, Giuliano Montaldo, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henri Verneuil. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986) was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums. Morricone's best-known compositions include "The Ecstasy of Gold", "Se Telefonando", "Man with a Harmonica", "Here's to You", the UK No. 2 single "Chi Mai", "Gabriel's Oboe" and "E Piů Ti Penso". In 1971, he received a "Targa d'Oro" for worldwide sales of 22 million, and by 2016 Morricone had sold over 70 million records worldwide. In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." He was nominated for a further six Oscars. In 2016, Morricone received his first competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino's film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d'Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. Morricone has influenced many artists from film scoring to other styles and genres, including Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead.
STREETWALKERS - 1974-1977
Streetwalkers were an English rock band formed in late 1973 by two former members of Family, vocalist Roger Chapman and guitarist John "Charlie" Whitney. They were a five piece band which evolved from the Chapman Whitney Band. In the winter of 1973/1974, only months after the dissolution of Family, Chapman/Whitney completed a duo album called Streetwalkers with a loose collection of famous musical friends. The album was released in May 1974, followed by a single in June (“Roxianna”/”Crack”). A touring oufit was formed using Bob Tench on guitar, Tim Hinkley on keys, Mel Collins on sax, Ian Wallace on drums, and Phil Chen on bass. Incidentally, Whitney, Wallace and Hinckley found time to back up Tim Buckley on his 5/21/74 “Old Grey Whistle Test” session, featuring “Dolphins” and “Honey Man”. During this period keyboard player Blue Weaver appeared with them at concerts, such as the Reading Festival in the summer of 1974. Bobby Tench from The Jeff Beck Group and Hummingbird was also featured in their fluid, informal touring band line up and appeared at concerts such as in Hyde Park, London, the same year. Some tryout gigs were performed, including one at Leicester Polytech. In August more gigs followed: the Reading festival (second on the bill, under Barclay James Harvest) and London’s Hyde Park festival. In February 1975 they put together a solid backing band, and dubbed themselves the Streetwalkers. The sound was solidified by the only member of the previous line-up that they kept: Bob Tench. The rhythm section of Jon Plotel (bassist, ex-Casablanca) and the previously unknown drummer “Nicko” McBrain lent more funk, heavy R&B, and 70’s-style hard rock to the mix. Tench, McBrain and Plotel had previously appeared on a European broadcast for the German TV show Rockpalast with Chapman and Whitney earlier the same year, billed as The Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers. In October they released Downtown Flyers (known simply as Streetwalkers in the US), and toured the UK and Europe, where they became quite popular.
“Raingame”/”Miller” was released as a single. The band did not achieve the anticipated success in USA, although interest in Europe was more encouraging. The band cut Red Card in May of 1976, but this lineup was broken up by July; “we wanted a tighter rhythm section” according to Chapman. The single for this album, “Daddy Rolling Stone”/”Hole In Your Pocket”, came out in June. The band performed at a series of concerts entitled Who Put The Boot In appearing at UK Football stadiums, during May and June 1976. The billing for these concerts included The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws, Widowmaker and Streetwalkers were the last act to appear before The Who performed.
The band returned in September of 1976 with a new rhythm section (David Dowle – drums; Michael Feat – bass) and a full time keyboardist, Brian Johnstone. A short European tour before a UK debut at the Roundhouse. Chappo still had manic stage-presence, and on December 19th there was yet another legendary occurrence when he fell off the stage and broke his foot, spending Christmas on crutches. He finished the show, of course!
They put out their last studio effort Vicious But Fair in January 1977, but by then their label Vertigo had shifted their commercial emphasis to the musical trends of Punk rock and New Wave music.
WYNTON MARSALIS SEPTET - United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas (2018)
The Wynton Marsalis Septet are joined by a host of iconic musicians for this compilation album featuring the Best of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas. Guest artists include Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Natalie Merchant, Lenny Kravitz, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks and more! Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing finds an unparalleled array of music talent that collectively boasts 94 Grammy Awards joining Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis (a nine-time Grammy Award winner himself) and some of the world’s top jazz musicians to perform blues-inflected versions of iconic American repertoire. Those one-night-only, live performances have never been released before. They include Lenny Kravitz performing Marsalis’s hypnotizing, New Orleans-inflected arrangement of Kravitz’s own song, "Are You Gonna Go My Way"; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks uniting for a stirring, infectious take on Civil Rights anthem "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"; Bob Dylan adding harmonica licks to a deeply felt, in-the-pocket rendition of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"; and Ray Charles taking the stage for one of his final performances to play "I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town." Together these artists raise their voices to highlight jazz’s importance to America’s cultural heritage and to remind us that, even in divided times, music can unite us all.
V.A. - Ruf Records Anthology: 12 Years Of Where Blues Crosses Over (2006)
Ruf Records is proud to present THE RUF ANTHOLOGY: 12 YEARS OF RUF RECORDS. Born on a late night in a small village bar in the Black Forest of Germany, Ruf records has release 100 albums in 12 years and has become one for the premier blues labels around today. With an impressive artists roster including Bernard Allison, Canned Heat, Sue Foley, Omar & the Howlers, the Night Hawks and Walter trout, Ruf has raised the bar constantly in the world of blues.
This 12-year retrospective is the definitive compilation to date and includes a best-of collection of 13 great songs on CD 1. Plus, at no extra price, there's a DVD with 12 tracks taken from Ruf Records' 12 best DVDs. The collection was compiled personally by the founder of the label.
V.A. - Newport Folk Festival: Best of the Blues 1959-68 (2001)
Newport Folk Festival: Best of the Blues 1959-1968 presents live performances from many of the top blues players of the era. From Skip James to Mance Lipscomb to Memphis Slim, these musicians play mostly acoustic blues before an appreciative audience. From the first disc, Mississippi John Hurt's six-song set is a standout. Piedmont fingerpicking and resonant vocals highlight "Sliding Delta," "Candy Man," and "Pallet on Your Floor." Muddy Waters delivers fine versions of "Walkin' Blues" and "I Can't Be Satisfied," but his acoustic guitar lacks the rude punch that usually flavors his blues. Still, these songs make for interesting comparison to his electric work. Disc two finds Reverend Gary Davis belting out "Samson & Delilah" and "I Won't Be Back No More." Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry offer a rousing set, including a previously unreleased version of "Drink Muddy Water." Their spunky "Key to the Highway" proves once again that the blues can sometimes be joyful, while "My Baby Done Changed the Lock on the Door" reminds one to keep an eye on one's girl and best friend. Lightnin' Hopkins brings an urban touch along with -- shocking though it may be -- an electric guitar. Always laid-back and relaxed, there is something timeless about his performance of "The Woman I'm Loving, She's Taking My Appetite" and "Baby Please Don't Go." Like John Lee Hooker, his timing and approach are all his own. Many players like Son House had been brought back from obscurity thanks to the folk revival, so the historical value of this music cannot be overstated. With nearly three hours of music and a live audience, it is also the next best thing to having been at Newport during these exciting years. These discs are highly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in acoustic blues.
BOB DYLAN - Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020)
Rough and Rowdy Ways is the 39th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on June 19, 2020, through Columbia Records. It is Dylan's first album of original songs since his 2012 album Tempest, following a trio of albums that covered traditional pop standards. The album was preceded by the singles "Murder Most Foul", "I Contain Multitudes", and "False Prophet". Rough and Rowdy Ways was released as a double album, with the entirety of the second disc being dedicated to "Murder Most Foul". It features contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.
Initial reviews were overwhelmingly positive, earning a 95/100 rating from Metacritic based on 22 reviews. Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph awarded the album five stars out of five. Anne Margaret Daniel, reviewing for Hot Press, said "Rough and Rowdy Ways is a record we need right now, and it will endure." Mikael Wood, in the Los Angeles Times, said the album "rolls out one marvel after another." Writing for Slate, Carl Wilson called the release Dylan's best in "many years, maybe decades" for the breadth of its cultural references and the depth of Dylan's lyrics and songwriting. Jon Pareles, chief music critic for The New York Times, labeled the album a "Critic's Pick," describing its songs as "equal parts death-haunted and cantankerous," rivaling "the grim, gallows-humored conviction of his albums Time Out of Mind (1997) and Love and Theft (2001)." Writing for The Telegraph India, Jaimin Rajani said this release brings respite and diversity. Ken Tucker of NPR's Fresh Air gave the release a positive review for its musical diversity.
BAD COMPANY - Desolation Angels (1979) [40th Anniversary Edition, 2020]
Desolation Angels is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Bad Company. The album was released on March 17, 1979. Paul Rodgers revealed on In the Studio with Redbeard (which devoted an episode to Desolation Angels) that the album's title came from the novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac. The title was almost used 10 years previous to name s was recorded at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey, England in late 1978. It is considered the last strong album by Bad Company with the original lineup, mostly because it contains their last major hit, "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy", written by Paul Rodgers and inspired by a guitar synthesizer riff that Rodgers had come up with. "Gone, Gone, Gone", written by bassist Boz Burrell, also received substantial airplay on rock stations. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard album charts in 1979 and went Platinum in 1979 and Double Platinum subsequently. A cover version of "Oh, Atlanta", written by Mick Ralphs, was recorded by Alison Krauss and appears on her 1995 album Now That I've Found You: A Collection. The original version was used in the open to The Nashville Network's 1993 broadcast of the Motorcraft 500 when ABC (which originally had the broadcast) could not find time to air the race, which had been postponed six days by a snowstorm in the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The album was remastered and re-released in 1994. In 2020, Rhino put out a deluxe edition (40th Anniversary Edition) to honor the 40th Anniversary with many alternate versions and bonus tracks.
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