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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
When New York-born, London-settled vocalist Joy Marshall died in November 1968, her obituaries unsurprisingly concentrated on the salacious aspects of her death, which in retrospect, seemed all but inevitable considering the fast lane in which she lived her life. But today, with decades having passed, one can more fairly evaluate Marshall's career solely on her art. Based on the upcoming release due May 18 from Cherry Red's Turtle imprint of When Sunny Gets Blue: Spring '68 Sessions from The
This year, Chicago announced a first in their touring history. The band would play their second album, Chicago (or Chicago II), in full, at each concert to mark the group's ongoing 50th anniversary festivities. The celebration has continued via archival releases as well, and following last year's stellar Quadio, Rhino Records has just issued VI Decades Live: This is What We Do, the first-ever box set of live recordings from the band's storied history on four CDs and one DVD. Perhaps
Welcome to our annual rundown of Must-Haves for this year's Record Store Day event! Once you're through reading, let us know what you're most looking forward to picking up tomorrow at your favorite local independent retailer! Our list features just a sampling of our favorites from our friends at Legacy Recordings, Varese Sarabande, Rhino Records, Real Gone Music, Demon Music Group, Walt Disney Records, Omnivore Recordings, and more! Joe's kicking things off with five essential picks (in
RECORD STORE DAY PREVIEW! Minky Records Uncovers Early ’70s Latino Soul from God’s Children; Wrecking Crew Featured
"All God's children got rhythm," went a popular standard performed by Judy Garland, Stan Getz, and many others. In the case of the East L.A. group called God's Children, that lyric certainly was true. Music is the Answer: The Complete Collection is the name of their first-ever long-playing release, available tomorrow from Minky Records on CD and this Saturday on limited edition brown vinyl for Record Store Day. This holy grail of Latino soul and Chicano rock presents their released sides plus
Few artists have bridged the worlds of rock and theatre as successfully as Murray Head. Singing the music of others, actor-singer Head scored two major hits on both sides of the Atlantic with 1973's "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar and 1984's "One Night in Bangkok" from Chess. Far lesser known, however, is his discography as a singer-songwriter. Head imbued his own compositions with the same vibrant life as those famous songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny
I Said, She Said, Ah Cid: With this delightfully offbeat release, Cherry Red's Grapefruit label has turned in one of the year's most intriguing releases. Ah cid, or acid, is in the air on this trippy 3-CD jaunt through the vaults of Alshire Records, the California-based budget label best known for the long-running 101 Strings series. As the subtitle - The Exploito Psych World of Alshire Records 1967-1971 - indicates, this set is focused squarely on the brief period in which Al Sherman's
Charlie Rich (1932-1995) finally achieved superstardom when his laid-back readings of "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl" ascended in 1973 to the top spot of the Billboard Country chart and crossed over to Pop - the latter to Number One on that chart, too. Although those songs kicked off a new chapter in the career of the man known by that point as the Silver Fox (for his mane of gray hair and wizened appearance), Rich's repertoire could hardly be defined by their mellow sound.
Chris Hillman is surely one of rock's largely unsung heroes. A veteran of groups including The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Desert Rose Band, and supergroup The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, Hillman last year released the acclaimed album Bidin' My Time - only his seventh solo album. Produced by Tom Petty (one of the late superstar's last projects) with one foot in the past and another in the present, the LP reaffirmed the artist's deserved place in the pantheon. Now, Omnivore
Who, What, When, Where, Why: Rupert Holmes’ “Songs That Sound Like Movies” OUT TODAY from Cherry Red [UPDATED]
There are songs that sound like movies/There are themes that fill the screen/There are lines I say that sound as if they're written/There are looks I wear the theatre should have seen... With those words, Rupert Holmes welcomed listeners into his singular musical world - one in which the only limits were those of the singer-songwriter's boundless imagination. In other words, there were no limits to Holmes' finely crafted, elaborately realized pop dramas. His 1974 Epic Records debut,
Love In Action: Todd Rundgren’s “All Sides of the Roxy” Presents Complete, Star-Studded 1978 Concert
For his first live album, the 1978 double-LP Back to the Bars, singer/songwriter/sonic auteur Todd Rundgren returned to his roots with a collection of lean, tight, intimate performances recorded in the clubs of New York, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. This was Rundgren at his most accessible, playing his most universally beloved songs over his first decade of music-making, with a band including Utopia veterans Mark "Moogy" Klingman, John Siegler, and Willie Wilcox, plus his old friends from