"Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning, I sit around..." Summer may be over, but Edsel's given Bananarama fans quite the reason to sing and dance: on October 22, they will reissue all six of the London girl group's London Records albums as 2CD/1DVD sets. Known for their spunky, tomboyish image, powerful unison vocals and a style with one foot in both the past and the future - hits included covers of "Really Saying Something" by The Velvelettes, Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him
Review: Sly and the Family Stone, "Higher!"
Sly Stone was a sponge. After leading Bobby "Do You Wanna Dance" Freeman to a hit record with 1965's "C'mon and Swim," the writer-producer-artist formerly known as Sylvester Stewart knew he had hit on a good thing. Hence, "I Just Learned to Swim." Then, "Scat Swim." But on the latter, Stone was already showing off his stylistic diversity, interrupting the beat to "slow it down a little so everybody can swim" and then speeding it back up again. He had soaked up the fertile creative
Review: The Beach Boys, "Made in California"
If everybody had an ocean... Rarely have five simple words in pop music held such promise. The message at the time was an invitation squarely aimed at teens: “If everybody had an ocean, across the USA/Then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califor-ni-a...” But ultimately, the promise and California dream embodied by Hawthorne, CA’s native sons came to mean so much more than mere surfin’. The sound of The Beach Boys – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks,
Review: Dionne Warwick, "We Need to Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters"
We need to go back to the songs we used to sing... - Nickolas Ashford and Valarie Simpson, “We Need to Go Back” What’s remarkable about the 19 outtakes on Dionne Warwick’s We Need to Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters (Real Gone Music RGM-0170) is that they’re every bit as good as – and in many cases, superior to - the music actually released during Warwick’s stormy five-year stay at the label. Every one of the soulful stylist’s Warner albums is represented with outtakes save 1972’s
Review: Dionne Warwick, "The Complete Warner Bros. Singles"
Dionne Warwick’s 1972-1977 tenure at Warner Bros. Records has long been a subject of much confusion. Why couldn’t the Burbank giant yield any hit records with the superstar artist after signing her to a record-breaking deal? Sure, the “triangle marriage” of Warwick, Burt Bacharach and Hal David was breaking up, but Warner paired her with some of the most famed names in soul music: Holland-Dozier-Holland, Jerry Ragovoy, and Thom Bell among them. Bell scored a hit for Warwick with “Then Came
Review: Elvis Presley, "Elvis at Stax"
The distance from 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard , or Graceland, to Stax Records' headquarters at 926 East McLemore Avenue is just a little over 5 miles. So when RCA Records came calling on the once and future King in mid-1973 to fulfill an obligation to record 24 songs (a 10-song album, four single sides, and a 10-song "religious album"), the studio founded by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton seemed to be the perfect locale. Recording at home in Memphis had always brought something special to
Make Way For Dionne Warwick: 23 Scepter and Warner Bros. Albums To Be Remastered and Expanded [NOW WITH UPDATED TRACK LISTINGS]
UPDATE 8/6/13: WEA Japan's deluxe mini-LP editions of Dionne Warwick's Scepter and Warner catalogue have finally arrived, but many purchasers have been surprised to find numerous alterations in the albums' bonus material. Originally-listed bonus tracks have been added, dropped, and reshuffled between albums. By the numbers, there are 5 more bonus tracks than originally listed, but some songs are absent with others taking their place. Below, in BOLD, we'll let you know exactly what you'll
SoulMusic Records Is "Born to Love" With Reissues from Peabo and Roberta, Nancy Wilson and Tavares
With its latest batch of reissues, including titles from Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack, Tavares, and Nancy Wilson, Cherry Red's SoulMusic Records imprint can truly be said to cover a wide swath of the soulful spectrum. Duets have long been staples of great R&B. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, James Ingram and Patti Austin, and Otis Redding and Carla Thomas - just to name a few in the pantheon - all proved that "it takes two." (That title, in fact, gave
Review: Nilsson, "The RCA Albums Collection"
A largess universal like the sun His liberal eye doth give to every one, Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night. - William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV He's a pretty nifty guy Always looks you in the eye Everybody passing by will sigh For Harry... - Eric Idle, "Harry" Harry Nilsson had the voice of an angel, and raised hell like the devil. A consummate songwriter, he had his biggest hits with two songs
The Anita Kerr Singers Step Out of the Background On Reissue of "The Genius in Harmony"
The release of director Morgan Neville's documentary 20 Feet from Stardom has rightfully placed the spotlight on those dynamite vocalists who toil in the shadows on record and onstage, often without credit. Background singers are part and parcel of the story of popular music, and Neville's film has given richly-deserved attention to Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear, Judith Hill, and other greats of the field. The story of background groups like The Breakaways, The Jordanaires, The
Release Round-Up Special: James Taylor, CSN, "Blade Runner" Released by Audio Fidelity
In lieu of a standard Release Round-Up this week, here's a look at the major three titles that are out today: the latest gold discs and SACDs from Audio Fidelity. The titles released today are Crosby, Stills & Nash's CSN, James Taylor's Gorilla and Vangelis' soundtrack album to Blade Runner. The third studio album by the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash, released in 1977, is crucially different from the ones before - this time, there's no contribution from Neil Young. (Young
Wherever He Lays His Hat: Cherry Pop Collects Paul Young's "Remixes and Rarities"
For Daryl Hall, "Every Time You Go Away" might have been "the one that got away." Hall recorded his song on Hall and Oates' 1980 album Voices, where it languished as an album track in the shadow of hit singles "Kiss on My List," "You Make My Dreams," "How Does It Feel to Be Back," and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." But you can't keep a great blue-eyed soul ballad down. In 1985, Hall's composition became the centerpiece of British-born Paul Young's sophomore album The Secret of
Ring Ring! ABBA's Debut Album Gets the CD/DVD Treatment This Fall
It's been four decades since Agnetha Fälksog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad came together to change the face of pop music. This fall, the first album by the group the world now knows as ABBA is getting an expanded CD/DVD treatment - and those who are interested as to how the quartet came together will have a lot of bonus tracks to discover and enjoy. When the single "People Need Love" was released in 1972, it was intended as a one-off collaboration between three
Jerry Lee Lewis, The Ronettes, Del Shannon, Louis Armstrong Feature On "The London American Label 1964"
1964 will forever be remembered on American shores as the year of Beatlemania, when those four moptops from Liverpool led the British Invasion to the top of the pop charts. That tale has been chronicled many times, but one of the most recent releases from U.K.-based label Ace tells the story of the year's American Invasion - via the American records imported to London on the London American label. This latest volume in the long-running series (which now features an entry for each year between
Gene Pitney Is "Looking Through the Eyes of Love" On New RPM Two-Fers
After a long hiatus, Cherry Red's RPM label is continuing its series of reissues dedicated to the late Gene Pitney ("Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa," "Town Without Pity," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"). The singer's long out-of-print albums for Aaron Schroeder's Musicor label were reissued on CD in a series of two-fers by Sequel Records in the late 1990s, but upon their deletion from the catalogue, they began commanding high prices on the second-hand market. Since then, the Pitney
The Bright Side of Life: Harry Nilsson's "Flash Harry" (Finally!) Comes To CD In Expanded Form
What should have been a new beginning became a rather inauspicious end to a remarkable career. Harry Nilsson's final studio album, 1980's amusingly-titled Flash Harry, was his first on the Mercury label. It followed a decade-plus stint at RCA and signaled a fresh start. But despite its starry array of musicians, and typically solid songwriting, the album produced by Stax guitar legend Steve Cropper with engineer Bruce Robb was withheld from release in North America. Flash Harry only was
Don't Walk On By: Dionne Warwick's "Unissued Warner Bros. Masters" Joins "The Complete Warner Bros. Singles" On CD
When Dionne Warwick signed on the dotted line with Warner Bros. Records, the possibilities must have seemed endless. The singer had embraced change, after all. A new decade was in its infancy. She had traded a feisty New York independent (Scepter) for a Burbank giant. She had even added an "e" to her surname on the advice of an astrologer. And although the exact amount wasn't disclosed, Warwick had reportedly signed the biggest deal ever for a female vocalist. What didn't change, at least
She's Got The Beat: Belinda Carlisle's Deluxe 2-CD/1-DVD Reissues Due in August (UPDATED WITH TRACK LISTINGS)
The Tabu catalogue isn't the only major acquisition of late for the Demon Music Group. Back in March, Demon - home to labels including Edsel, Harmless and Music Club Deluxe - announced that a deal had been struck for much of the solo catalogue of onetime Go-Go Belinda Carlisle. Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? Demon picked up rights to four of Carlisle's studio albums, the rights to which had previously resided with Virgin (part of the former EMI). Demon's agreement covers the
What's It All About: Burt Bacharach Celebrated On PBS, Lost Song Included on "Dionne Warwick Sings Burt Bacharach"
The first voice you’ll hear on My Music: Burt Bacharach’s Best, now airing on PBS stations nationwide, is that of The Maestro himself. “What’s it all about, Alfie?,” he sings in his familiar, quavering tone, finding the fragility in the Hal David lyric that he calls his favorite. Then comes “What the World Needs Now is Love,” sung by its composer with an assist from that International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers (Mike Myers). It’s appropriate that the solo Bacharach introduces this
Good Love: SoulMusic Expands Two From Nancy Wilson and Meli'sa Morgan
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
Review: The Beach Boys, "Live - 50th Anniversary Tour"
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
Hi-Def "Help!": Beatles Film Coming to Blu-Ray
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TPE-VRXaQw] The Beatles' second feature film, 1965's Help!, is making its Blu-Ray debut this June. Reuniting with A Hard Day's Night director Richard Lester with a bigger budget (for one, they shot in color), Help! finds The Fab Four in yet another set of wacky predicaments - this time, Ringo can't seem to get a ring unstuck from his finger, and an evil cult want said ring for their own purposes. Silly stuff, for sure - and, at perhaps the most
Return to "The Promised Land": Elvis Presley's Stax Sessions Collected In New Box Set
On August 6, 2013, RCA and Legacy Recordings will release a box set fit for a King. Elvis at Stax: Deluxe Edition compiles three CDs of master takes and alternates all drawn from Presley's July and December 1973 sessions at Stax Recording Studios on McLemore Avenue in Memphis. Elvis was right at home; he could even take Elvis Presley Boulevard to "Soulsville USA" on McLemore. These final major studio sessions of Presley's storied career yielded tracks for three albums: Raised On Rock/For Ol'
Run for Cover: Basia's Debut LP to Be Expanded by Cherry Pop
One of the Cherry Pop reissue label's newest titles for May is a greatly-expanded edition of Time and Tide, the solo debut album by Polish singer/songwriter Basia. Basia Trzetrzelewska first caught the public eye in England as the lead singer for sophisti-pop band Matt Bianco alongside vocalist Mark Reilly and keyboardist Danny White. Their similarities to Sade and Everything But the Girl, as well as their Top 30 hits "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed" and "Half a Minute," earned them widespread
The Legacy of Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis and More Anthologized On "Essential" Releases
Today, Legacy Recordings issues a number of titles from some of music's greatest artists as part of the label's ongoing Essential series of anthologies. We're taking a look at the collections from Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Seeger, Mott the Hoople and Midnight Oil! Plus: we have track listings for all titles! A 2010 documentary posed the question, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? Well, if you don't already know the answer, The
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