Archive for May 21st, 2013
The Beach Boys, Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour (Capitol)
Townes Van Zandt, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt / High, Low and In Between (Omnivore)
You heard the demos, now rediscover these great country albums, on CD or vinyl!
A dozen or so new entries in the Playlist series are coming your way this week. Watch this space tomorrow for a full breakdown on them all!
Following its 2012 reissue of R&B songstress Meli’sa Morgan’s Capitol Records debut Do Me Baby, Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records imprint has turned its attention to Morgan’s second long-player for the label. Good Love built on the success of Do Me Baby. Besides boasting a No. 1 R&B title track, the album established the Queens-born Morgan as a top R&B talent in her own right. She had previously sung on background vocals for the likes of Whitney Houston and Kashif, and fronted the groups Shades of Love and High Fashion, but her rendition of Prince’s song sealed the deal and proved that she was a viable headliner.
Like Do Me Baby, 1987’s Good Love counted Paul Laurence among its producers. Morgan and her frequent co-writer Lesette Wilson handled production on five tracks themselves, and multi-hyphenate talent Kashif also brought his expertise to a handful of tracks. His magic touch worked. Kashif produced, played and duetted with Morgan on soul man Skip Scarborough’s “Love Changes,” originally a 1978 hit for Mother’s Finest. Whereas the Mother’s Finest recording made it to a not-too-shabby No. 26 R&B, the Morgan/Kashif version reached No. 2 on the chart. It wasn’t the only success from Good Love, though. Paul Laurence’s uptempo dancer “If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!” escalated the R&B chart almost simultaneously with the duet, also hitting the No. 2 spot. “Here Comes the Night,” produced by Kashif with its writers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, also went Top 20 R&B.
SoulMusic’s reissue returns Good Love to CD, and adds six bonus tracks, all various remixes. These include club and dub mixes of “If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!,” an extended remix and remix edit of the album’s title track, and an 8+-minute Special Club Opus mix of “Here Comes The Night,” along with its edited version. Justin Kantor has written new liner notes drawing on interviews with Morgan and Kashif, and Alan Wilson has remastered.
The expanded edition of Good Love is available now and can be ordered after the jump, where you’ll also find a track listing with discography. Plus: what’s the latest reissue from the legendary Nancy Wilson? Read the rest of this entry »
Water has always played a key role in the California myth of The Beach Boys – whether via the inviting waves of “Surfin’ USA,” the blue seas of “Hawaii,” or the dark imagery of “Surf’s Up.” But the water onstage for the group’s 50th anniversary tour was of a different sort: it was water under the bridge. If perhaps only for three or so hours each night last summer, all of the oft-publicized tensions that have beset America’s Band over the years seemed to melt away in full view of the audience. So it’s only fitting that Capitol Records’ souvenir of the landmark reunion, Live – 50th Anniversary Tour, is bathed in a warmly nostalgic glow of family and friends adding some music to their day and yours. That this 2-CD set could be preserving the final shared appearance of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks adds a bittersweet note to the celebration, but then again, the exuberant and the melancholy have always co-existed in the music of the boys from Hawthorne.
When 50th anniversary tour concluded last September in London, it was on a triumphant note despite the confirmation that the group would again splinter. For the second-to-last performance of September 27, the Boys played a staggering 61 tunes. And for the final Wembley Arena show on September 28, the total number was a rather still impressive 55. The new CD set presents just 41 songs for over two hours’ of music – not bad, but not quite a representation of the marathons played last year. But needless to say, these discs have plenty to offer, and not just for those who were in attendance.
The Boys’ first current live album since 1973’s The Beach Boys in Concert, 50th Anniversary features a larger array of onstage talent than any of their previous live recordings. The five core members are joined by guitarist/vocalist/co-musical director Scott Totten and guitarist/vocalist John Cowsill of Love and Johnston’s Beach Boys band, plus seven members of Brian Wilson’s own remarkable collective: Jeffrey Foskett (guitar/vocals), Scott Bennett (keyboards/vocals), Nelson Bragg (percussion/vocals), Mike D’Amico (bass/vocals), Probyn Gregory (guitar/vocals), Paul Mertens (horns/vocals/co-musical director) and Darian Sahanaja (keyboards/vocals). The versatile multi-instrumentalists of Wilson’s band bring a new dimension to the live performances, one imbued with youthful energy as well as a deep knowledge of the original record productions. Taken as one fourteen-person unit, this Beach Boys line-up was filled with reverence and yes, nostalgia, but the group never approached the music like museum pieces.
The two discs, largely adhering to the concert tour’s two-act format and setlist running order, offer a well-sequenced blend of the timeless surf/car/teenage-themed songs and the later, more introspective and adventurous material. The crisp, bright sound of the new album might confirm that there has been some post-concert in-studio sweetening, but it’s hardly a deterrent. Though the sound here is much more polished than that of the raw, harder-rocking unit on the 1973 live album (with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar joining Love, Jardine, and the late Carl and Dennis Wilson), there’s plenty of spirit from the get-go.
Catch a wave with us after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »