Over the past few months you've probably heard us mention Vinyl Me Please. The subscription-based record club frequently partners with the major labels to create exclusive pressings from across genres. They also curate Records of the Month for subscribers - available in three tracks: Classics, Essentials, and Hip Hop - specially selected by their staff to spotlight albums of importance in pop, rock, soul, world music, jazz, and beyond. This year, the offerings ran the gamut from The Stooges,
Pick Up The Pieces: Edsel Releases Multi-Disc Average White Band Anthology
In selecting a name, the Average White Band certainly was modest. Over a career spanning nearly 50 years, the Scottish band recorded thirteen studio albums and seven live sets; charted nine hits in the U.K. and U.S. and a further 15 songs on the U.S. R&B survey; scored a million-seller with "Pick Up the Pieces;" and had so many songs sampled that the group was ranked the fifteenth most sampled artist in history as of around a decade ago. The AWB is still active today under the auspices of
Ace Round-Up, Part One: London American and Westbound Records Anthologies
Having previously chronicled 1956-1966 over eleven volumes, Ace has returned to its London American Label series for a last (?) hurrah. The London American Label Year by Year: 1967 is packed with 28 stellar selections to illuminate a year in which the label was in steadfast decline. London had long been the destination for great American records, but the major U.S. companies were launching their own U.K. arms and declining to license to London. This led London to release fewer 45s from
Earwig Music Unearths Trove of Chicago Blues and Soul on "Cadillac Baby's Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection"
Chicago in the '50s was overflowing with skilled bluesmen, vocal groups, gospel singers, not to mention the mom-and-pop labels eager to make a hit off the artists. There are the now-famous labels - Chess, Delmark, and Vee-Jay among them. But the Windy City was so teeming with talent (and entrepreneurial hucksters trying to launch their own careers) that small, independent labels were plentiful. Earwig Music Company celebrates one such label in its ambitious new box set, Cadillac Baby's Bea
Check Out Grover: SoulMusic Records Collects Columbia-Era Grover Washington, Jr. Titles on "Sacred Kind of Love"
During the '70s, '80s and '90s, there were few jazz musicians as popular and influential as Grover Washington, Jr. The talented reed-man's skilled saxophone work (he could bring the funk on soprano, alto, baritone, tenor, and even flute) was matched by a pop sensibility that made him an instrumental figure in jazz-fusion as it morphed into smooth-jazz. His music was funky, danceable, accessible, and always smooth. His groundbreaking work in the '70s and early '89s has been well-documented --
Review: Craft Latino Invites You To Take A Far-Out Trip With "Fania Goes Psychedelic"
Get ready for a freak-out, because Craft Recordings has announced a new 15-song compilation of experimental and far-out treasures from the legendary Latin music label Fania! Entitled Fania Goes Psychedelic, this crate-digger's fantasy is part of Craft Latino's ongoing celebration of the influential imprint that became a home to the Latin-soul fusion "boogaloo" tunes that were coming out of the barrios. Originally founded by musician Johnny Pacheco and lawyer Jerry Masucci in 1964, the label
Review: Cheryl Lynn, "Got To Be Real: The Columbia Anthology"
Last month, Cherry Red's SoulMusic imprint released an exciting new compilation of Cheryl Lynn classics. Got To Be Real: The Columbia Anthology brings together 31 of the powerhouse vocalist's most enduring tracks. The 2-CD set not only represents tracks from her classic Columbia albums Cheryl Lynn (1978), In Love (1979), In the Night (1981), Instant Love (1982), Preppie (1983) and It's Gonna Be Right (1985), but also features rare 12" remixes; dance versions; soundtrack selections; and duets
Run Out Groove Round-Up: Dr. John's "Funknology" and Marshall Crenshaw's Live "Thank You"
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,
Party Is a Groovy Thing: People's Choice Philly Soul and Funk Collected by BBR
Philadelphia International Records, home of The Sound of Philadelphia, wasn't always the most hospitable label for bands. After all, the label's "house band" MFSB featured some of the finest musicians anywhere, so self-contained units such as Instant Funk, Force of Nature, or even the venerable Soul Survivors inevitably played second fiddle to the vocal groups supported so deftly by MFSB. But of all the Philly International bands, one rose above the rest. People's Choice scored an R&B
Oh, Honey: Big Break Celebrates 40 Years of Delegation with Two New Releases
Over the course of just four albums released between 1977 and 1982, Delegation established a reputation and a following that continues to this very day based on the group's sleek brand of soulful, dance-infused R&B. The trio, still active today as led by founding member Ricky Bailey, has long been a mainstay of Cherry Red's Big Break Records label. That association which has recently culminated in a pair of potent releases: the definitive, double-disc anthology In Love's Time: The
Review: Prince and The Revolution, 'Purple Rain: Deluxe Expanded Edition'
Dearly Beloved It exists. It really exists. That may be the most astounding thing about the deluxe expanded edition of Prince's masterpiece Purple Rain (Warner Bros./NPG Records 547374-2). And believe me, there's a lot to be astounded by. This set features the first remaster of any Prince album in the compact disc era, a fully-stocked disc of officially unreleased tracks from the vault, a complete offering of sides (edits, remixes and B-sides) from all five singles released from the
'Til You're Satisfied: Big Break Collects The Best of B.T. Express On New 2-CD Set
Big Break Records has just boarded the B.T. Express - destination: the crossroads of funk, soul, and disco. Give Up the Funk: The B.T. Express Anthology 1974-1982 is a comprehensive, career-spanning 2-CD, 31-track chronicle of the band that scored ten U.S. R&B chart entries (including two No. 1s) and five on the Pop chart (two top 5s). B.T. Express was formed by Richard "Rick" Thompson on guitar, Bill Risbrook (tenor saxophone), Carlos Ward (alto saxophone), Louis Risbrook (bass), Dennis
Dance to the Music! Sly and the Family Stone Vinyl Box Arrives
A little more than a week ago, on March 15, Sly Stone turned 72. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and multi-hyphenate artist has survived more than his share of ups and downs. But for a staggering period of nearly 50 years, Sly's work as composer, singer, producer and musician has continued to take listeners higher with his groundbreaking blend of funk, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, psychedelia, jazz and pop. Epic Records and Legacy Recordings have recently reissued the first five albums from Sly
BBR Goes For The Total Experience with Gap Band, Billy Paul Reissues
Today we're taking a look at two recent reissues from Big Break Records. Both Billy Paul's Lately and Gap Band VII were originally released by Total Experience Records, and both were the production work of Jonah Ellis. Big Break has expanded and remastered both albums. Billy Paul, Lately (Total Experience, 1985 - reissued Big Break CDBBR 0224, 2013) Could anyone among us have an inkling or a clue, what magic feats of wizardry and voodoo you can do? And who would ever guess what powers
Do The (Salsoul) Hustle: Big Break Celebrates Salsoul Records Legacy with Four Reissues
By 1975, Philadelphia soul had become too big even for the City of Brotherly Love. In the first half of the decade, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff had, along with the third member of their Mighty Three, Thom Bell, reinvented the sound of soul music. The Pennsylvania city had become synonymous with sweeping strings, punchy horns and the hi-hat cymbal of drummer Earl Young, offering up music that could be dramatic, sweet and funky, sometimes all within the same three-minute song! Bell had long