Another few batches of Universal's eye-rolling ICON series are on the way - and while they offer a few genuine surprises, there's a lot, perhaps even more than usual, to shake one's head over. The big surprise right off the bat is that the mid-price compilation series will now chronicle not only Universal-controlled catalogue artists, but EMI-controlled ones as well. This is hardly a surprise, given the past year's big story of music business restructuring that's leaving the world with three
The "Lowdown" On Friday Music's Expanded Reissue of "Chicago III"
In his recently released memoir The Soundtrack of My Life, Clive Davis speaks rhapsodically about one band he signed to Columbia Records who went on “to be one of the best-selling bands of the seventies…[and] successful in every succeeding decade, selling millions of albums along the way.” The mogul added, “They’re still active, and every year their fans lobby relentlessly for them to be nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor the band very much deserves.” Davis
An Apple A Day: Fifth Fab Volume of Apple Publishing Demos Arrives From RPM
Those were the days, my friend. In June 1967, The Beatles opened Apple Publishing in a one-room office on London’s Curzon Street, predating even the birth of Apple Records. Soon, the publishing concern moved to new quarters at 94 Baker Street, and later to 3 Savile Row. In that heady period when anything seemed possible, the Fab Four signed a multitude of talented young writers to Apple, many of them discovered by Terry Doran. Doran, a 27-year old Liverpool native who had previously owned an
Review: "Classic Singles" of Merle Haggard, George Jones and Wanda Jackson
What makes a (living) legend most? Based on the label's three most recent releases, Omnivore Recordings certainly has some ideas. Omnivore has just issued singles anthologies from three tried-and-true country titans: Merle Haggard's The Complete '60s Capitol Singles, George Jones' The Complete United Artists Solo Singles, and Wanda Jackson's The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles. All three titles reiterate the eclectic label's commitment to reissuing some of the most significant C&W
The Fantastic Expedition of Gene Clark: Omnivore Unveils Previously Unheard Demos from Late Byrd
Though Gene Clark first made his mark as an original member of The Byrds, where he penned such classic folk-rock songs as "Feel a Whole Lot Better," he left behind as rich a legacy as a solo artist as he did with The Byrds. Clark's tenure as a Byrd wasn't a long one; though the group rose to prominence with its 1965 Columbia debut Mr. Tambourine Man, Clark left the band in early 1966 amid interpersonal strife and a dislike of touring. He re-emerged quickly on a 1967 Columbia set with The
Review: The Miles Davis Quintet, "The Bootleg Series Volume 2: Live in Europe 1969"
“Directions in music by Miles Davis,” read the subtitle of the trumpeter’s late-1968 Columbia album Filles de Kilimanjaro. It was the first, but not the last, of his albums to bear those words. But listeners couldn’t have been expected to know which direction Davis would take with each album. Nefertiti, recorded in June-July 1967 but released in March 1968, turned out to be Davis’ last fully acoustic LP, with its follow-up Miles in the Sky (recorded January and May ’68 and released in
Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars: Él Collects Vintage Gilberto, Jobim, Bonfá on CD
Fewer images in music are more evocative than that of the tall and tan and young and lovely girl from Ipanema, walking like a samba and inspiring passersby to go, "Aaaah." Jazz musicians of every stripe and every instrument latched onto Brazil's bossa nova sound after it exploded to popularity in the wake of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luis Bonfá, Vinicius de Moraes and João Gilberto's soundtrack to the 1959 film Black Orpheus. Though Black Orpheus was the breakthrough, it wasn't the birth of bossa
Review: Dick Jensen, "Dick Jensen" - A Lost Philadelphia Soul Classic
When Dick Jensen was signed to ABC’s Probe Records label in 1969, only one album title seemed appropriate: White Hot Soul. The Hawaiian-born entertainer’s stage moves earned him comparisons to James Brown and Jackie Wilson, while his voice recalled the booming sonorities of Tom Jones or Engelbert Humperdinck. Tucked away on Side Two of that Don Costa-produced LP, Jensen included The Soul Survivors’ “Expressway to Your Heart” as part of a medley. That 1967 Top 5 hit, of course, was written by
Big Break Serves Up Soul, Jazz and Funk from Carmen McRae, Billy Paul, Azteca and More
Timeless soul music knows no regional boundaries, at least based on the latest quintet of releases from Cherry Red's Big Break Records imprint. With this group of reissues, you'll travel to Philadelphia by way of Hawaii, Oakland, Harlem and Chicago. All of the titles previewed below are available now in the U.K. and next Tuesday, February 5, in the U.S.! Two new titles hail from the Philadelphia International Records catalogue. Perhaps most exciting is the first CD release outside of Japan
Reviews: Buck Owens, "Honky Tonk Man: Buck Sings Country Classics" and Don Rich, "Sings George Jones"
With its two latest releases, Omnivore Recordings continues its great Bakersfield rescue mission. Texas-born and Arizona-raised, Buck Owens made his mark in that California city, answering the prevailing “countrypolitan” style with a return to a pure and unadorned honky-tonk sound. But that “natural” sound had roots that ran deep in Bakersfield. Yet Owens’ parallel career as the avuncular, perpetually joking co-host of television’s cornpone Hee Haw may have caused audiences to take his
Review: Roger Cook, "Running with the Rat Pack"
The rules of pop music were changing, and Roger Cook didn't want to be behind the times. The songwriter of such nuggets as "You've Got Your Troubles," "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," "My Baby Loves Lovin'" and "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" had long balanced his work as a behind-the-scenes songwriter with a singing career. As one-half of David and Jonathan (with co-writer Roger Greenaway) and a member of Blue Mink, Cook was a familiar vocalist, and as a background singer, he added
Dusty Groove Label Returns From Real Gone Music with Steig, Humphrey, Harris
The venerable Blue Note Records label was founded in 1939, and from the late 1940s onward emphasized what was most modern about jazz. Blue Note became well known, of course, for the hard bop classics recorded under its aegis. But the varied influences that created hard bop led Blue Note to explore how the avenues of soul, rock and blues intersected with that of jazz. Three new releases from Real Gone Music and the reactivated Dusty Groove Records label explore three sonically-diverse titles
Little Bit O'Soul: Thelma Houston, Syreeta, Nancy Wilson, Brecker Brothers, George Duke Reissued
Soul music was alive and well in 2012, and some of the finest reissues arrived courtesy of Cherry Red's SoulMusic Records label. With the label already looking forward to 2013 releases from artists including Ronnie Laws, Patti Austin, Stephanie Mills, George Duke, Gwen Guthrie and Freda Payne (more on those soon), the time is right to revisit some of the year-end titles that might have fallen under the radar! In addition to celebrating the post-Motown recordings of Mary Wells at 20th Century
Mahalo, Elvis! King's Hawaiian Retreat is Latest Expansion from Legacy
Tomorrow is Elvis Presley's birthday, but we're celebrating with good news today! America said Aloha to Elvis Presley in between a trip to the Dark Side of the Moon and a visit to the Houses of the Holy when the once and future King’s Aloha from Hawaii album earned a berth between Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin atop the Billboard chart. Presley’s Honolulu concert of January 14, 1973, preserved on an RCA long-playing record, was monumental in every respect. The most expensive entertainment
Now Sounds Unearths Lost Leon Russell-Produced Psych-Pop Classic "Daughters of Albion"
Before he actually became The Master of Time and Space to his fans, Leon Russell was manipulating everything but time and space on a psychedelic pop opus that nobody heard. The fantastically imaginative Daughters of Albion was, well, DOA in the commercial sense upon its initial release in 1968. Its blend of dense lyrics, elaborate vocal arrangements, shifting moods and an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-oh-hell-we'll-throw-that-in-too approach to the musical accompaniment might have been too
Holiday Gift Guide Reviews: Etta James and Sarah Vaughan, "Complete Albums Collections"
Etta James and Sarah Vaughan: by any and all accounts, two formidable women of song. Now, these late legends are both receiving the deluxe treatment from Legacy Recordings on two box sets as part of the Complete Albums series. Though Etta James' most enduring recordings were made during her sixteen years (1960-1976) at Chess Records, including her oft-imitated but never-topped perennial "At Last," the former Jamesetta Hawkins recorded for over fifty years in a variety of genres for a variety
Play Something Sweet: Ace Taps R&B and Rock Legends for "The Allen Toussaint Songbook"
What is success? For Allen Toussaint, it's been a career that's lasted for over fifty years in which he's created some of the most memorable music ever committed to tape: "Mother-in-Law." "Whipped Cream." Lady Marmalade." "Working in the Coal Mine." "Southern Nights." "Yes We Can Can." The latter song, a hit for the Pointer Sisters, took on added significance when it became associated with Barack Obama's 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign. As writer, producer, vocalist and arranger, Allen
Morello Label Rescues Rare Glen Campbell with Bobbie Gentry and Anne Murray, Brings Helen Schneider to CD
The Morello imprint of Cherry Red Records has kept busy of late. Following its initial slate of country releases from George Jones, Marty Robbins and Lacy J. Dalton, the Morello team reintroduced gems to the catalogue from Crystal Gayle and Dan Seals, respectively Crystal Gayle / Somebody Loves You, and Rage On / Rebel Heart. Though Dan was England Dan in the pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, Rage On and Rebel Heart were both excursions into pure country. For its latest two releases,
Still On The Line: Glen Campbell's "American Treasure" Box Set Arrives This Month
Way back on August 6, we confirmed a delay to Surfdog Records' box set An American Treasure, a limited edition box and gift set dedicated to the life and career of Glen Campbell. We're happy to report that this 3-CD/1-DVD limited edition of 1,000 units is finally available for pre-order, with delivery guaranteed before Christmas for domestic purchasers. To bring you up to date: An American Treasure will mark only the second box set to be devoted to the entirety of Campbell's career; the
Reviews: Bunny Sigler and Billy Paul's Philadelphia International Classics from BBR
When Philadelphia International Records turned 40 this past year, there was no single campaign to recognize the milestone. In the U.S., Legacy Recordings offered up the sizzling rare concert Golden Gate Groove, and the U.K.'s Harmless label delivered the most comprehensive box set to date of the label's music. But a great deal of the heavy lifting has come from another U.K. label, Big Break Records. The BBR team has delivered a selection of generously expanded, beautifully designed album
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Elvis Presley, "Prince from Another Planet"
"I'm not kidding myself. My voice alone is just an ordinary voice. What people come to see is how I use it. If I stand still while I'm singing, I'm dead, man. I might as well go back to driving a truck." Though Elvis Aron Presley's vocal instrument was one of the greatest in the entirety of American popular music, the singer wasn't simply being modest. Whether threatening staid fifties culture in a pair of tight pants, shaking his famed pelvis, or taking to the Las Vegas concert stage in
Holiday Gift Guide Review: The Comedy and Music of Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams
Welcome to 2012's Second Disc Holiday Gift Guide! We'll use these special reviews to highlight not only seasonally-themed releases, but box sets, deluxe reissues and other special titles that might make the perfect gifts under your tree this holiday season! Groucho Marx once observed that "marriage is a wonderful institution," before adding, "but who wants to live in an institution?" A few lucky couples have not only thrived in that institution, however, but also in the world of comedy:
T.S.O.P., The Early Years: BBR Collects The Three Degrees on Roulette
Big Break Records, an imprint of the U.K.'s Cherry Red Group, doesn't have an office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But it might as well. Much of the remarkable music that emanated from ZIP Code 19107 has been revisited of late by BBR, and the latest title is one of the most fully loaded in the label's catalogue. The Three Degrees' Maybe actually combines two early albums from that "When Will I See You Again" trio, both from the catalogue of Roulette Records: 1970's Maybe and 1975's So Much
Rip It Up! "The London American Label: 1956" Spotlights Rock and Roll from Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, More
Did any label impact the taste of record-buyers in the United Kingdom in the early rock-and-roll era than that of London? Ace Records has been chronicling the activities of the London American label on a series of definitive releases culling the best of the label's 45s from one given year. Previous volumes have covered every year between 1957 and 1963, and for the most recent addition to the series, Ace has turned the clock back to 1956. In that year, London's output included American singles
Reviews: Dion's "Complete Laurie Singles," David Cassidy's "Romance"
Today, we're taking a look at two recent releases from Real Gone Music! Dion DiMucci greeted the 1960s on his own, just 20 years old but already a chart veteran with soon-to-be-classics like “I Wonder Why” and “A Teenager in Love” under his belt. Those songs, though, were recorded with his friends The Belmonts. When Carlo Mastrangelo, Angelo D’Aleo and Fred Milano wanted to emphasize doo-wop harmonies and Dion wanted to rock and roll, Dion and the Belmonts split. How would the Italian kid
- « Previous Page
- Next Page »