Among the credits for Elvis Costello and The Imposters' Look Now is a simple acknowledgment: In Memphis - Mary Isobel O'Brien. The onetime Ms. O'Brien, of course, is better known as Dusty Springfield, and the credit from Declan MacManus and his band makes clear the inspiration for this stunning assemblage of what the artist, correctly, deems "uptown pop." Dusty in Memphis is one of the benchmarks of that style: pop with a dash of soul, or is it soul with a dash of pop? It doesn't hurt that
Upon its release in July 1968, some might have found the title of The Doors' third album, Waiting for the Sun, to be ironic. After all, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore, were hardly ever in pursuit of anything remotely sunny. But the album, with its rather bucolic cover shot, most certainly struck a chord with listeners in the year between The Summer of Love and Woodstock. Waiting for the Sun became the band's only No. 1 album, and included the No. 1 single "Hello,
The A-side of Electric Light Orchestra's first 45 had been originally written for The Move, but once it was recorded, it was clear to songwriter-producer Jeff Lynne and his co-producer and bandmate Roy Wood that "10538 Overture" was the sound of a different band altogether. Wood had overdubbed what he later remembered as a "cheap Chinese cello" onto the driving track which the two singers/multi-instrumentalists had created with the aid of Bill Hunt on French horn and Steve Woolam on violin.
Upon its release in August 1995, the eponymous debut of Ben Folds' quirkily-named trio sounded like nothing else you might have found in the racks of your local Tower, HMV, or Sam Goody. Filled with rich melodies, inescapable riffs, the most aggressive piano this side of Jerry Lee Lewis, and a youthful dose of attitude, Ben Folds Five channeled Todd Rundgren, Elton John, and Queen - with a dash of Randy Newman here and George Gershwin there. Now, more than 23 years later, the (sorta) angry
Last week, Willie Nelson made headlines when he announced that he would be playing a concert in support of Texas' Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Beto O'Rourke. News outlets made much of the fact that some of the artist's conservative fans perceived a betrayal, but in truth, Nelson has always followed his heart and stayed true to his own convictions. He shared that in common with the late Frank Sinatra, his friend and onetime duet partner. The appropriately-titled My Way is a heartfelt
Had Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson written nothing but "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," the duo would have found their place in the musical pantheon assured. But the reality is that the husband-and-wife team also wrote such American pop standards as "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," "You're All I Need to Get By," "California Soul," and "Solid (As a Rock)." They were so prolific that even top-notch material was left on the shelf; Second Disc
When Solomon Burke died in 2010 at the age of 70, American song lost one of its most towering talents. With a figure as imposing as his deep voice, The King of Rock and Soul sat upon his throne for decades, spreading the gospel...not just the gospel of music, but the Gospel itself. Tapping into his roots in church music, jazz, blues, and country, Burke was one of the pioneering artists who bridged the gap between "R&B" and "soul," and he did it at Atlantic Records. Run Out Groove's new
Analog Spark has had a busy summer. The label contributed a number of exclusive releases to Barnes and Noble, including stellar reissues of the classic Broadway cast recordings to Hello, Dolly! (1964, RCA), Cabaret (Columbia, 1966) and Hair (RCA, 1969) as well as Dave Brubeck's delightful Dave Digs Disney (Columbia, 1957) in its original mono mix. The vinyl specialists have recently turned their attention to a title of a more modern vintage from a venerable American troubadour, James Taylor.
The house on Parnassus Lane, formerly Stoll Road, in West Saugerties, New York might be one of rock and roll's least likely landmarks, with its unassuming residential façade distinguished only by its pink siding. But the colorful house bore witness to the birth of some of the greatest songs in American pop history when Bob Dylan and his band - soon to be The Band - recorded "The Basement Tapes" there. When Capitol Records subsequently signed Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rick
May 1978 was certainly Linda Clifford's month. The Chicago songstress had taken to the top of the Billboard Disco chart - and wasn't about to let it go for five consecutive weeks. The bold reinvention of Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields' Sweet Charity showstopper "If My Friends Could See Me Now" established Clifford in the top tier of disco superstars, and now Blixa Sounds is revisiting that golden era. On Friday, the label will reissue four of Clifford's albums for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom
Michael Nesmith always traveled to the beat of a different drum. While serving as one-fourth of The Monkees, Nesmith was expanding his musical horizons beyond the group's infectious Brill Building pop stylings. "I wanted beautiful music wherever I could find it," he writes in the liner notes to his new release on 7a Records. "But if I wanted to sing it myself and write it myself, I had to have an understanding of what that music was, and how to get to it. So, the first place I looked was in
Though he's been - and continues to be - the subject of numerous reissues and releases, Gene Clark still remains somewhat of an enigma. The founding member of The Byrds (1944-1991) only released six solo studio albums within his too-short lifetime, bolstering a discography also containing group and collaborative efforts. But he left behind what seems like scores of unreleased tracks, much of which has been mined in the years since his death. In 2013, the Omnivore label issued his demos for
Surprise, surprise...it's Cilla here! Today's the day on which Cherry Red's Strike Force Entertainment has launched a new series dedicated to remastering and expanding Cilla Black's discography. These deluxe, lavishly expanded reissues go a long way in upgrading the late superstar's catalogue on CD. The first 2-CD set pairs 1969's George Martin-produced Surround Yourself with Cilla with 1976's It Makes Me Feel Good, produced by David Mackay (Cliff Richard, Blue Mink, The New Seekers). The
My Music Is Hot: Lalomie Washburn exuded confidence with the very title of her 1977 LP debut. With a husky voice entrenched in the spirit of the blues and a keen sense of herself as both a singer and songwriter, she seemed a prime candidate for soul stardom. While solo fame eluded Washburn, she left behind a great legacy of music that's gone overlooked for far too long. Happily, Cherry Red's Robinsongs label has just resuscitated My Music Is Hot for its first-ever CD version. This edition is
Oh yeah, I'll tell you something I think you'll understand... At the height of Beatlemania in 1964, some members of the so-called "older generation" still hadn't caught on to what made the Fab Four more than the latest passing teenybopper fad. But Keely Smith was ready to make them understand. For her third album at Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, the smoky-voiced chanteuse set out to have the adults in the room "meet the Beatles" in a new way. Keely Smith Sings the John Lennon-Paul
Today, as we celebrate the fourth of July, we're spinning new reissues from two members of the quintessentially American band, Creedence Clearwater Revival! Before Creedence Clearwater Revival split in 1972 amid acrimony, Tom Fogerty had already departed the band which he had co-founded with his younger brother John, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford. Fogerty launched his solo career early that same year on the Fantasy label with a self-titled debut, and in October released his sophomore set.
For guitarist Dennis Coffey, music was no mere day job. While plying his trade each day as a member of the Funk Brothers, laying down funky licks on some of Detroit's finest records, Coffey was spending his evenings at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge as one-third of organist Lyman Woodard's instrumental trio. With Woodard and drummer Melvin Davis, Coffey treated patrons to sizzling renditions of the day's hits as well as original songs. One of the trio's 1968 sets was issued last year on
BUY DVD NOW FROM OFFICIAL WEBSITEDuring his all-too-short lifetime, Bert Berns never received the kind of fame afforded many of his contemporaries on the New York music scene such as Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, or Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Yet, across the pond, young men like Paul McCartney and Keith Richards were taking notice whenever they saw the Berns imprimatur on one of their favorite 45s. McCartney and Richards are just two of the luminaries who lined
"Yesterday's Gone": the song by folk-pop duo Chad and Jeremy opens the first of the six discs comprising Cherry Red and RPM's new box set Fab Gear: The British Beat Explosion and Its Aftershocks 1963-1967. It's a most appropriate opener, as yesterday really was gone for an entire generation of artists swiftly rendered obsolete by the emergence of The Beatles. As the box eloquently explains, the Fab Four "in name, song, band structure, image, defined this new Beat music...Until 1967, when The
If there was any doubt that history could be engaging as well as informative, such doubt would be dispelled by a listen to Bear Family's new release, the 4-CD box set Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War. Make no mistake, the handsomely slipcased collection is as imposing and heavy as a textbook, as its four discs are housed within a lavish, 160-page hardcover tome. But this immersive journey can't help but thrill in its scope and execution. It follows previous Bear
With summer just a little over a week away, two purveyors of musical sunshine have teamed up for their first collaborative album - and it delivers on its implied promise of sun, surf, and tropical breezes. Singer-songwriter Jeff Larson has joined with his longtime collaborator, Jeffrey Foskett of The Beach Boys, for 'Elua Aloha, an upbeat and inviting celebration of the California sound in all its many colors. Larson has written all but two of the songs on this New Surf release, and produced
Though it's been over six years since his untimely passing at the age of 66, the music of Davy Jones still endures. 7a Records, the U.K.-based label devoted to all things Monkees-related, has just delivered another treat for longtime fans of the band and its charismatic, perennially boyish singer with the mop top. "Rainbows" b/w "You Don't Have to Be a Country Boy to Sing a Country Song" is a limited edition (500 units) 7-inch, 45 RPM single pressed on red vinyl. Both sides of the single
Today, we're looking at two of Run Out Groove's most recent releases! Now is also the time to order the label's next release: Vagabonds: Expanded Edition, from Gary Louris of The Jayhawks! Pre-orders close on June 7, so don't miss out, and don't forget to vote on ROG's next release. Will it be Luna's Lunafied, Fred Neil's Bleecker & MacDougal, or Billy Byrd's Lonesome Country Songs? Vote now! It's not called Funknology for nothing! Run Out Groove's recent release from Dr. John,
Forever Changes, the third album from the Los Angeles band Love, arrived on Elektra Records in November 1967 - the same month as The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed, Cream's Disraeli Gears, The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing at Baxter's, The Hollies' Butterfly, and The Monkees' Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones. Psychedelia was in the air, not to mention creativity and experimentation in music at an all-time high that is still largely unrivaled.
Back in 2013, Ace Records launched its first collection of Motown Girls, spotlighting previously unreleased tracks from the legendary ladies of Motown Records. A second installment arrived in 2015, and now, we're finally the recipient of a third volume in the series. The 24-song anthology Baby I've Got It! More Motown Girls boasts 16 previously unreleased tracks, with the remaining eight drawn from the Motown Unreleased compilations (all of which have been digital-only except for the one