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Mick Fleetwood – The Visitor (1981)

Michael John Kells “Mick” Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician and actor, best known for his role as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged with that of John McVie to form the name of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

00a - Mick Fleetwood - The Visitor (1981)_Front“The Visitor” is an album by Mick Fleetwood, released on the RCA Records label in 1981. All the songs were recorded in Accra, Ghana between January and February 1981 at the “Ghana Film Industries, Inc. Studio” and produced by Richard Dashut, and were later on mixed in various studios in England.
Mick Fleetwood’s solo debut reveals more diversity and depth of feeling than any of Fleetwood Mac’s multi-platinum monsters. Six of the tracks are not overt attempts at worldbeat, instead using a variety of West African musicians as sidemen, sidewomen, and, in the case of drum ensemble Ebaali Gbiko, sidechildren. Of these six tracks, several stand out. “Walk a Thin Line,” first appeared on the 1979 album “Tusk”, written by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, is an infectious pop song blending Adjo Group’s enchanting backing vocals with guest George Harrison’s lush 12-string and slide guitars. Another Fleetwood Mac veteran, Peter Greenbaum (aka Peter Green), accompanies a multinational percussion section for a remake of his “Rattlesnake Shake,” originally found on “Then Play On”. Even the Buddy Holly classic “Not Fade Away” gets supercharged with a percussion ensemble made up of Fleetwood on drums and Lord Tiki and Adjo Group on hand drums and percussion.
The West African tracks that make up the remainder of the album are pure pleasure. “Super Brains” is a funk instrumental with a groove James Brown would be proud of; “The Visitor” features a synthesizer soaring above and growling beneath the Ghana Folkloric Group’s vocals and polyrhythmic percussion; and “Amelle” is a lovely finale that again showcases Adjo Group’s vocals. An underrated gem, The Visitor rewards repeated listening and deserves a wider audience.


Track listing

01.  “Rattlesnake Shake”   (Peter Green)  – 3:49
02.  “You Weren’t in Love”   (Bill Field)  – 3:55
03.  “O’ Niamali”   (Nii Amartey)  – 2:47
04.  “Super Brains”   (A. B. Crentsil)  – 4:07
05.  “Don’t Be Sorry, Just Be Happy”   (Todd Sharp)  – 4:24
06.  “Walk a Thin Line”   (Lindsey Buckingham)  – 3:19
07.  “Not Fade Away”   (Charles Hardin, Norman Petty)  – 2:22
08.  “Cassiopeia Surrender”   (George Hawkins)  – 4:34
09.  “The Visitor”   (C. K. Ganjo)  – 4:05
10.  “Amelle (Come on Show Me Your Heart)”   (Nii Amartey)  – 4:35

Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion, gong
George Hawkins – vocals, bass guitar, piano, organ, guitar
Ian Bairnson – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Todd Sharp – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Peter Green – lead guitar, lead vocals on “Rattlesnake Shake”
George Harrison – slide guitar, 12-string guitar and backing vocals on “Walk a Thin Line”
Ebaali Gbiko – vocals, hand drums
Adjo Group – vocals, percussion
Lord Tiki – hand drums, percussion
Superbrains – vocals
The Ghana Folkloric Group – vocals, percussion
Mike Moran and Andrew Powell – arrangement on “Rattlesnake Shake” and “You Weren’t in Love”
Executive producer – Mickey Shapiro
Produced by Mick Fleetwood and Richard Dashut
Engineered by Bill Doudelman, Randy Ezratty, and Richard Dashut

Recorded: Ghana, Africa – January–February 1981
Genre:  Rock
Length:  38:28
© 1981

Label – RCA Records


Roberta Flack – I´m The One (1982)

Roberta Cleopatra Flack (born February 10, 1937[1] or 1939[2]) is an American singer, and musician who is notable for jazz, Pop, R&B, and folk music. She is best known for her classic #1 singles “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, and “Feel Like Makin’ Love”; and for “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You”, two of her many duets with the late Donny Hathaway.

roberta flackWith the release of “I’m The One” in 1982, Roberta Flack’s transformation from virtuoso performer to MOR artiste was complete. Trashed by critics for its non-descript but seamless and radio friendly blandness, “I’m The One” produced a couple of moderate sized R & B chart hits but was otherwise headed for oblivion. Produced by Ralph McDonald, Flack herself and a couple of others, the album doesn’t seem all that bad with hindsight. Compared with the techno programmed music excess of “Set The Night To Music”, there is an understated charm about it.
The album opens up with the sweetly lilting title track and continues in much the same vein with a string of ballads until the Bacharach/Bayer Sager composed and produced “Making Love”, easily the worst cut on the album. By then, Bacharach was a shadow of his former self. He was no longer writing memorable, timeless and breathtakingly beautiful ballads for 60s divas like Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield. In partnership with his then new wife, Carole Bayer Sager, he was only capable of churning out songs with pedestrian melodies like “Making Love”.
A real shame. It’s also difficult to pick winners or highlights from an album whose main characteristic is eveness in terms of performance and production values. The only time I truly wish it were less blandly MOR is when Grover Washington Jr comes on with his Kenny G inspired soprano sax, turning basically decent songs like “In The Name of Love” and “My Love For You” into elevator muzak. “I’m The One” may not have been one of Roberta’s prouder moments, but it sure beats some of her later efforts on which she is made completely subservient to the music of the times.


Track listing

01.  “I’m the One”   (William Eaton, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter)  – 4:05
02.  “‘Till the Morning Comes”   (Casey Daniels, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter)  – 3:54
03.  “Love and Let Love”   (William Eaton, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter)  – 4:34
04.  “Never Loved Before”   (Bobby Caldwell, Henry Grumpo Marx)  – 3:58
05.  “In the Name of Love”   (Ralph MacDonald, William Salter, Bill Withers)  – 4:00
06.  “Ordinary Man”   (Peabo Bryson)  – 4:26
07.  “Making Love”   (Burt Bacharach, Bruce Roberts, Carole Bayer Sager)  – 3:43
08.  “Happiness”   (Harriet Schock, William D. Smith)  – 3:22
09.  “My Love for You”   (Brenda Russell, William D. Smith)  – 3:22

Vocals – Roberta Flack
Backing Vocals – Diva Gray, Frank Floyd, Kasey Cisyk, Vivian Cherry, William Eaton, Zack Sanders
Bass – Marcus Miller
Drums – Steve Gadd
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Richard Tee
Guitar – Eric Gale
Percussion – Ralph MacDonald
Synthesizer [Obx] – Paul Griffin
Arranged By – William Eaton
Art Direction – Bob Defrin
Coordinator [Production] – Jacklyn Brown, Janaire Boger, Kirk D. Fancher, Renee Bell
Illustration – Kinuko Y. Craft
Engineer – Carla Bandanni, Ed Rak, Elliott Scheiner, Brad Lee, Ollie Cotton, Richard Alderson
Engineer [Assistant] – Anthony McDonald, Eddie Heath*, Kendall Brown, Lamont Moreno
Engineer [Remix] – Elliott Scheiner
Producer(s) – William Eaton, Roberta Flack, Ralph MacDonald, William Salter
(except “Making Love”: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager)

Recorded at: Rosebud Recording Studio, New York
Strings recorded at: A&R Recording Studio, New York
Release:  June, 1982
Genre:  Soul
Length:  35:24
© 1982

Label – Atlantic Records


Elvis Presley – Elvis By The Presleys (2005)

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”.

cd_elvisbypresleys“ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS” is a two-disc audio companion to the 2005 television documentary of the same name. Selected by Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, the songs here underscoring thoughts about Elvis from his family’s perspective. The accompanying booklet, full of home photographs and liner notes, explains the selection of songs, so that “Heartbreak Hotel” can be heard anew as a testament to Elvis meeting Priscilla, and “Hawaiian Wedding Song” as an allegory of their nuptials.
The liner notes also suggest that certain songs point to aspects of the King’s personality, such as his spiritual, “seeking” nature (“Peace in the Valley”). Disc Two features five previously unreleased recordings, including alternate takes of “Jailhouse Rock,” “You’ll Be Gone” (a song distinguished by a rare Elvis songwriting credit), and “Anything That’s Part of You” (with vocal accompaniment by the Jordanaires). On the two private home recordings, however–takes on Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me To Do” and Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”–the listener truly has the sense of eavesdropping on the King behind closed doors. This lovingly assembled package is ideal for casual fans and completists alike.


Disc 1
01.  Trying To Get To You  – 2:34
02.  Heartbreak Hotel  – 2:09
03.  I Want You, I Need You, I Love You  – 2:41
04.  I Got A Woman  – 2:26
05.  Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do  – 2:33
06.  (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)  – 3:23
07.  Trouble  – 2:18
08.  Hawaiian Wedding Song  – 2:51
09 . Indescribably Blue  – 2:48
10.  In The Ghetto  – 2:47
11.  Suspicious Minds  – 4:32
12.  I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)  – 4:34
13.  Bridge Over Troubled Water  – 4:30
14.  You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling  – 4:26
15.  It’s Over  – 2:19
16.  Seperate Ways  – 2:37
17.  Always On My Mind  – 3:38
18.  My Way  – 4:34
19.  Burning Love  – 2:51
20.  Welcome To My World  – 1:56
21.  Steamroller Blues  – 3:03
22.  I Got A Feelin’ In My Body  – 3:35
23.  If I Can Dream  – 3:10
24.  Elvis Vs JXL – A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix)  – 3:31

Disc 2
01.  It Wouldn’T Be The Same Without You   (Demo)  –  2:03
02.  Jailhouse Rock   (Takes 3-5)  – 4:57
03.  Anything That’s Part Of You   (Take 9)  – 2:15
04.  You’ll Be Gone   (Take 2)  – 2:30
05.  Too Much Monkey Business   (Takes 4, 10)  – 4:22
06.  Baby What You Want Me To Do   (Private Recording)  – 2:23
07.  I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry   (Private Recording)  – 1:51
08.  Blue Christmas   (Live 1977)  – 1:59

Elvis Presley – vocals, guitar
Kathy Westmoreland, The Blossoms, The Imperials Quartet, The Jordanaires, The Sweet Inspirations – vocals, background vocals
J.D. Sumner, The Stamps, Ben Speer, Gordon Stoker, Millie Kirkham, Brock Speer – vocals
J.D. Sumner & the Stamps – background vocals
Arranger – Bergen White
Producer(s) – Ernst Mikael Jorgensen; Roger Semon; Chips Moman; Felton Jarvis; Joan Deary; Sam Phillips; Steve Sholes; Ernst Mikael Jorgensen (Compilation); Roger Semon (Compilation)
Engineer(s) – Dick Baxter; Robert Ferris; Sam Phillips; Jim Malloy; Al Pachucki; Rick Ruggieri; Thorne Nogar; Bill Porter; Bones Howe

Release Date: May 03, 2005
Studio/Live Studio, Mono/Stereo Stereo
Genre: Rock & Roll
Length: 98:00
© 2005

Label – BMG Heritage


Junkie XL – Radio JXL: A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin (2003)

Tom Holkenborg (born December 8, 1967), better known as Junkie XL or occasionally JXL, is a Dutch multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and engineer. He uses the name JXL in cases where the term “Junkie” might cause offense. Holkenborg says of his name: “I called myself Junkie XL from the point of view that once you’re completely overworked, you never want to go there again. The ‘XL’ stands for expanding limits; broadening up your vision.”

JXL_Broadcast_from_computer_hell_cabin“Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin” is the third studio album by Dutch electronic music producer Junkie XL. Released in 2003, the double album features collaborations with a number of other artists. The songs on the first disc (“3PM”) are generally short and vocally-driven much like modern pop, though many of them have the strong beat and fast tempo characteristic of dance music. The second disc (“3AM”) consists mostly of progressive house songs.
On his first album since striking worldwide gold with a remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation,” Junkie XL gathers a clever group of collaborators and celebrates the “anything goes” spirit of the digital age. Before you go thinking that “Radio JXL” is another flashy exercise in excess like the Elvis single, check the excellent “Tennis,” a laid-back and loose groover that shows tasteful restraint. Unlike the glittery Funkstar de Luxe who started the trend of remixing the dead with multiple Bob Marley mixes Junkie XL has vision and ideas that go well past cheeky rebirths. One of the best is having the snarl of former Republica vocalist Saffron on three tracks.
Her cool and cocky style sits well on top of Junkie’s cinematic and driving music, and a full-length from the two would be more than welcome. Elsewhere a lost Peter Tosh track gets respectfully housed, Dave Gahan, Gary Numan, and Grant Nicholas from Feeder deliver emotive epics, and former Specials-man Terry Hall goes completely boisterous and bonkers on a bouncy and infectious rave-up. The Chuck D and Solomon Burke appearances are disappointingly moderate, but a second disc of spacious and chilled beats that flows extremely well makes up for it. You don’t have to stop there if you follow Junkie’s plan. The liner notes point to a website he’s constructed around the album with two more discs to download and a 24-hour radio station that streams alternate mixes and unreleased “Radio JXL” tracks day and night.
The only quibble is that sticking the Elvis cut on the American version is a tacky record company move that messes up the flow of the album a bit while sacrificing some rather good collaborations with Infusion. Still, it’s an exciting album in both execution and concept with much more substance than expected.


Track listing

Disc 1
01.  “Intro 3PM  – 0:50
02.  “Tennis  – 6:20
03.  “Crusher   (Vocals: Saffron)  – 5:29
04.  “Don’t Wake Up The Policeman   (Vocals: Peter Tosh, Various)  – 4:53
05.  “Reload   (Vocals: Dave Gahan)  – 4:54
06.  “Spirits   (Vocals: Saffron)  – 4:23
07.  “Angels   (Vocals: Gary Numan)  – 4:19
08.  “Perfect Blue Sky   (Vocals: Robert Smith)  – 4:11
09.  “Between These Walls   (Vocals: Anouk)  – 4:12
10.  “Access To The Excess   (Vocals: Chuck D)  – 3:27
11.  “Catch Up To My Step Up   (Vocals: Solomon Burke)  – 4:13
12.  “Never Alone   (Vocals: Terry Hall)  – 3:41
13.  “Configuring Audio System  – 0:24
14.  “A Little Less Conversation   (Vocals: Elvis Presley)  – 3:33
15.  “Beauty Never Fades   (Vocals:  Saffron)  – 3:34
16.  “Broken   (Vocals: Grant Nicholas)  – 3:41
17.  “JXL Radio Technical Support  – 1:17

Disc 2
01.  “Intro 3AM  – 0:55
02.  “Chilled  – 2:27
03.  “Dubzilla  – 5:04
04.  “Casio  – 5:20
05.  “Angels (12 Inch Cut)   (Vocals – Gary Numan)  – 8:16
06.  “Breezer  (Co-producer – Sasha)   – 7:26
07.  “Nudge   – 7:05
08.  “Red   – 11:00
09.  “Beauty Never Fades (12 Inch Cut)  (Vocals – Saffron)  – 12:34
10.  “Cosmic Cure  – 8:32
11.  “Rehsurc  – 4:34

Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Mastered By – Junkie XL
Crew [Live Crew] – Ampco, Andre Ettema, Barney Pronk, Hugo Scholten, Nicolai Sabottka
Programmed By [Additional], Sounds [Additonal] – Andre Ettema, Cheekypaul, Mark Drillich, Paul Mook, Simon Wright
A&R – Alain Verhave
Advisor [Additional Running Order Advising By] – Andre Ettema, Cheekypaul, Erik Saaman, Rod Chong, Sasha
Artwork – Sharon Matarazzo
Booking [Agent USA] – Jimmy van Malleghen
Booking [Agent] – Cris Hearn
Management – Michiel Groeneveld

Released: 2 June, 2003
Genre:  Electronica, Electronic Rock
Length: 2:16:34
© 2003

Label – Roadrunner Records


Fantastic Four – Alvin Stone (The Birth And Death Of A Gangster) (1975)

The Fantastic Four (also known as Sweet James and The Fantastic Four) were a Detroit based soul group, formed in 1965. “Sweet” James Epps, brothers Ralph and Joseph Pruitt, and Wallace “Toby” Childs were the original members. Childs and Ralph Pruitt later departed, and were replaced by Cleveland Horne and Ernest Newsome.

fantastic fourThe Fantastic Four were a Soul Group from Detroit, formed in 1965. They were nightclub legends who never made the big time, members came and went, with lead singer James Epps the only constant. “Alvin Stone (The Birth and Death of a Gangster)” remains the brightest star of a lackluster career.
The cover depicts the front page of a newspaper with a headline announcing the death of Alvin Stone. The title track chronicles and glorifies the life of fictional gangster Alvin Stone; it has good lyrics worthy of a gangsta rap update, a throbbing beat, and a great vocal from Epps.
Three churning ballads, some of the group’s best ever, also make this LP essential: “Words” speaks of the power of words as weapons good creative stuff; “Let This Moment Last Forever” displays the group at their best, singing about love on a number loaded with sentiment; the tempo of “My Love Won’t Stop at Nothing” changes from slow to fast, climaxing at the end. Only six songs, but each is a powerhouse.


Track listing

01.  “Alvin Stone (The Birth And Death Of A Gangster)”   (Al Kent, Calvin Colbert)  – 7:50
02.  “Have A Little Mercy”   (Al Kent, Calvin Colbert)  – 5:35
03.  “County Line”   (Al Kent)  – 3:25
04.  “Let This Moment Last Forever”   (Al Kent, Calvin Colbert)  – 6:00
05.  “Words”   (Al Kent)  – 6:00
06.  “My Love Won’t Stop At Nothing”   (Al Kent)  – 8:30

Lead Vocals, Keyboards – James Epps
Vocals – Ernest Newsome, James Epps
Tenor Vocals – Cleveland Horne
Baritone Vocals – Joseph Pruitt
Drums – Joseph Pruitt
Arranged By – Paul Riser
Art Direction, Design – Jack Levy
Engineer – Ken Sands
Mastered By – Howard Craft
Producer – Al Kent

Produced for Westbound Records, Inc.
Recorded at Alvin Fields Studio, Detroit, Motown, Detroit
Mastered at, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre:  Funk / Soul
Length:  36:17
© 1975

Label:  Westbound Records


Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg – Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun (1973)

Paul Lorin Kantner (born March 17, 1941) is an American rock musician, known for co-founding the counterculture era psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane and its spin-off band Jefferson Starship. He was born in San Francisco, California.

paul kanter“Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun” is an album by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg from Jefferson Airplane. It was released in 1973 on Grunt/RCA.
Credited to Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg, “Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun” was the first album made by these erstwhile members of Jefferson Airplane since the breakup of that group.
The record was issued at the same time as Jefferson Airplane´s “Thirty Seconds Over Winterland” album.
All the members of the 1972-era Jefferson Airplane make an appearance on the album. However, on most of the tracks, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead performs lead guitar and Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers performs bass.
Like such other spin-off projects as “Blows Against the Empire” and “Sunfighter”, this one featured a supporting cast of San Francisco Bay Area musicians including present and former members of a variety of groups, such as The Grateful Dead (lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, percussionist Mickey Hart, and lyricist Robert Hunter, who wrote the words to “Harp Tree Lament”), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (singer David Crosby), and The Flying Burrito Brothers (bassist Chris Ethridge), as well as other former members of The Airplane and future members of Jefferson Starship.
The Pointer Sisters even guested on one track. Despite the co-billing, the album’s guiding force was Slick, who sang on every track and wrote or co-wrote six of the ten songs, though there was still room for the unbilled Jack Traylor to write, play acoustic guitar, and sing lead vocals on the song “Flowers of the Night,” a celebration of monarchial overthrows throughout history.
Perhaps more outside songwriting should have been employed, since the compositions here were second-rate. The public was catching on, too: Kantner’s “Blows Against the Empire” had reached the Top 20, but “Baron von Tollbooth” didn’t come near the Top 100. The team would attempt one more splinter project, Slick’s “solo” album Manhole, before reorganizing as Jefferson Starship in 1974 with the notable return of singer/songwriter Marty Balin.
“Your Mind Has Left Your Body” was the final studio track to feature Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady until the 1989 Jefferson Airplane reunion album.
The album cover was illustrated by Drew Struzan, under the direction of Ernie Cefalu.


Track listing

01.  “Ballad of the Chrome Nun”   (Grace Slick David Freiberg)  – 3:59
02.  “Fat”   (Slick)  – 3:13
03.  “Flowers of the Night”   (Jack Traylor)  – 4:13
04.  “Walkin'”   (Kantner, Slick)  – 2:31
05.  “Your Mind Has Left Your Body”   (Kantner)  – 5:45
06.  “Across the Board”   (Slick)  – 4:34
07.  “Harp Tree Lament”   (Robert Hunter, Freiberg)  – 3:34
08.  “White Boy (Transcaucasian Airmachine Blues)”   (Kantner)  – 4:13
09.  “Fishman”   (Slick)  – 2:40
10.  “Sketches of China”   (Kantner, Slick)  – 5:13

Paul Kantner – vocals, rhythm guitar, glass harmonica
Grace Slick – vocals, piano
David Freiberg – vocals, piano, keyboards
John Barbata – drums, percussion
Chris Ethridge – bass
Jerry Garcia – guitar, steel guitar, banjo
Craig Chaquico – lead guitar
David Crosby – vocals
Jack Traylor – acoustic guitar, vocals
Jack Casady – bass
The Pointer Sisters – vocals
Papa John Creach – electric violin
Mickey Hart – gongs on, water phones
Jorma Kaukonen – lead guitar

Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg – producer
Bob Matthews, Betty Cantor – recording engineer, mixdown engineer
Jim Gaines – recording engineer
Al Schmitt – mixdown engineer
Daggett – equipment head
Drew Struzan, Bill Garland – illustrations
Jim Marshall – eye photography
Pacific Eye & Ear – album design
Bill Thompson – management

Recorded and Mixed at Wally Heider’s, San Francisco
Recorded: November–December 1972 at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco
Mastered at: The Lacquer Channel, Sausalito
Genre:  Psychedelic Rock
Length:  40:22
© 1973

Label:  Grunt Records


Burning Sensations – Burning Sensations (1983)

Burning Sensations formed in 1982 and disbanded in 1987. The founder and leader of Burning Sensations, Tim McGovern, was previously a member of The Motels. He later became a member of the classic rock band Knucklehead in the Pacific Northwest.

burning sensationsBurning Sensations’ self-titled debut combines a jaunty blend of Caribbean, Latin, and African textures, all delivered with a dose of good old bar-band muscle and a great sense of fun. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and chief songwriter Tim McGovern (ex-Pop and ex-Motels) guides the band through a unique collection of songs that somehow manage to be evocative of both Mondo Bongo-era Boomtown Rats and Golden Age of Wireless-era Thomas Dolby.
Rockers like “Sea Shanty” and the rousing hit single “Belly of the Whale” sit nicely among more slick-sounding numbers like “Maria (You Just Don’t Know What You’re Dealing With)” and the Los Lobos-meets-Oingo Boingo throb of “Envy.”
Throughout the album, heavily treated guitars and alternately rhythmic and atmospheric keyboards tastefully mix with organic and electronic percussion elements, adding plenty of groove and drive without cluttering up the arrangements.
It is this, more than anything, that serves to separate the group from the overindulgent, hippie-jam ethnicity that seems to pervade so many other bands with similar, pan-cultural sensibilities: Burning Sensations actually rocks.


Track listing

01.  “Not Cloudy All Day”   (McGovern)  – 2:11
02.  “Beat Temptation”   (Prescott, Swanson)  – 3:43
03.  “Belly Of The Whale”   (McGovern  – 5:02
04.  “Maria (You Just Don’t Know What You’re Dealing With)”   (McGovern)  – 4:12
05.  “Sea Shanty”   (McGovern)  – 3:26
06.  “Is This What You Mean?”   (Lacques, McGovern)  – 3:20
07.  “Down On The Corner”   (John Fogerty)  – 3:06
08.  “I Don’t Live Today”   (Jimi Hendrix)  – 3:20
09.  “Afrobilly (Live It Up)”   (McGovern)  – 3:30
10.  “Envy”   (McGovern)  – 3:28

Tim McGovern – lead vocals, guitar synthesizers
Rob Rio Hasick – bass, guitar, synthesizer
Barry “The Hatchet” Wisdom – Drums
Morley Bartnof – keyboards, backing vocals
Jeff Hollie – saxophones, backing vocals
Michael Temple – hand-drums-timbales, percussion
Jeff Hollie – Saxophone [Alto, Tenor & Baritone], Vocals [Background]
Engineer – David Jerden
Mastered By – Eddy Schreyer
Mixed By [Assisted By] – Carolyn Collins, P.J. Newman
Producer, Mixed By – David Jerden, Tim McGovern

Recorded at Eldorado Recording, June-July 1983
Engineered at Eldorado Studios, Hollywood-Summer ’83
Mastered at Capitol Records
Genre: Rock
Length: 34:44
© 1983

Label:  Capitol Records


Sacred Spirit – Chants And Dances Of The Native Americans (1994)

Sacred Spirit is a musical project by Claus Zundel, Ralf Hamm and Markus Staab. The music is of electronic, new age, world and ambient genres. Sacred Spirit’s total worldwide album sales estimated to be over 15 million copies. For each album sold, a donation was made to the Native American Rights Fund, the non-profit Native American organization devoting all its time to restoring the legal rights of the native American people.

R-863143-1166656597_jpeg“Sacred Spirit: Chants and Dances of the Native Americans” is an 11-song journey bridging the gap between ancient and contemporary history, tradition and modern instrumentation. While it is impossible to fully realize such scope on a single disc, Sacred Spirit makes the choice to represent all indigenous Americans rather than become mired in the potentially divisive bog of politics and tribal allegiance. All but two melodies are entirely traditional, bringing together flute, drums, and vocals with a cello and keyboard wash. This marriage is most effective on the lovely bowing of “The Cradlesong,” and the looping electro-acoustic beauty of “Wishes of Happiness & Prosperity.” “Sacred Spirits”, IMHO, is one if the most successful blends of Native American Chants and Dance songs with “contemporary” musical instruments I have had the pleasure to personally experience. It touches the heart and soul in a very deeply primal and yet etheric way.This is not the usual haphazardly produced and repetitive Native Flute and/or drums music that all begins to sound the same real quick. It far surpasses anything else I’ve heard in the Native American genre.
There is thoughtfulness here, and craftmanship and a sense of great care taken, both in the chants and prayers and in how the music underscores and enhances the words. The strings are hauntingly beautiful, especially the cello, and blend astonishingly well with and enhance both the traditional drumming and the voices. The arrangement of each track is superb.
This is a disc to spin over and over. The music truly has a sacred feeling about it, and it has a healing and soothing quality as well. It is grounding and uplifting at the same time. Your spirit will soar with these songs.


Track listing

01.  How The West Was Lost (Intro & Prelude)  – 3:00
       Arranged By [Co-arranged], Written-by [Co-written] – Peter Kater
02.  Winter Ceremony (Tor-Cheney-Nahana)  – 6:58
03.  The Counterclockwise Circle Dance (Ly-O-Lay Ale Loya)  – 5:14
       Arranged By [Co-arranged], Written-by [Co-written]  – Peter Kater
04.  Celebrate Wild Rice (Ya-Na-Hana)  – 7:05
05.  The Cradlesong (Dawa)  – 4:18
06.  Advice For The Young (Gitchi-Manidoo)  – 6:01
07.  Wishes Of Happiness & Prosperity (Yeha-Noha)  – 4:02
08.  Elevation (Ta-Was-Ne)  – 2:38
09.  Intertribal Song To Stop The Rain (Heya-Hee)  – 7:37
10.  Heal The Soul (Shamanic Chant No.5)  – 1:31
11.  Brandishing The Tomahawk (Yo-Hey-O-Hee)  – 6:16

Claus Zundel
Markus Staab
Ralf Hamm
Producer, Mixed By, Arranged By – The Fearsome Brave
Written-By – Traditional

Release Date:  July 28, 1998
Genre:  Native American, World & Country
Length:  54:40
© 1994

Label:  Virgin Records


Face To Face – Face To Face (1984)

Face to Face was a new wave quintet from Boston, Massachusetts.
Guitarist Stuart Kimball formed the band in New Hampshire during the late ’70s with a close group of friends. The band consisted of Laurie Sargent on vocals, Kimball on guitars & keyboards, Angelo Petraglia on guitars & keyboards (identified on their albums as simply ‘Angelo’), John Ryder on bass and Billy Beard on drums. They moved to Boston in 1980 and played there until signing with Epic Records in 1982.

fface_to_fab499d85a59aaf1d3a10e21“Face to Face” is the self-titled debut album of the Boston new wave band Face to Face, originally released in 1984. The album It peaked at #126 on the Billboard pop album charts in the summer of 1984.
With help from dance producer Arthur Baker and Rings musician Michael Baker, “Face to Face” craft their first and best of three albums (four, if you include the Streets Of Fire soundtrack). There’s nothing like a hit record, and “10-9-8″ is a great hit, though nationally it failed to make the Top 20 and hovered in the 30 range of chart action, it follows “Under the Gun” on side two in terrific fashion. “10-9-8″ is a mesmerizing song with little nicks from Chic’s 1979 tune “I Want Your Love”; it has groove, passion, and solid production work from Arthur Baker. Though Jimmy Iovine, Gordon Perry, and Michael Baker produce four of the songs, it is the two by Arthur Baker which resonate loud and clear. That probably led to Baker’s producing eight of the ten tracks with Ed Stasium on the follow-up album, Confrontation, an album which had three producers and Bob Clearmountain mixing, but no songs as memorable as the three noted in this review from the band’s debut. Michael Baker adds his Rings magic on “Don’t Talk Like That,” the rock & roll which would evaporate on subsequent albums cutting through the electronic drums.
Though “Out of My Hands” opens up the self-titled Face to Face disc with power and intensity, the basic problem that haunted this band is the thin rhythm section poor William Beard hardly sounds like he’s playing on the vinyl, and John Ryder’s bass doesn’t have the Jack Bruce bottom needed to add some color to the magical sounds Angelo and Stu Kimball weave around Laurie Sargent’s excellent gritty voice. She helps “Out of My Hands” rise above its limitations. “Face in Front of Mine” might be the best song on side one. It borrows heavily from Fleetwood Mac’s “Sarah,” which came out five years earlier. “All Because of You” and “Pictures of You” suffer when Sargent’s not fronting it was like Janis Joplin taking a back seat to Big Brother & the Holding Company on the first Mainstream album  when you’ve got a Sinatra who wants to hear the opening act? If anything, the semi-duets and male vocals really prove it was Laurie Sargent’s show.
The strengths of this album are the hits, “Under the Gun” and “10-9-8,” especially when Laurie Sargent goes into high gear. “Face in Front of Mine” is a close third and the album and band should have caught on. To find another group taking their trademark years later says something about how music isn’t always treated as the art that it is.


Track listing

01.  “Out of My Hands”   (Angelo Petraglia/Michael Baker)  – 4:48
02.  “All Because of You”  – 3:45
03.  “Face in Front of Mine”  – 4:35
04.  “Pictures of You”  – 3:58
05.  “Over the Edge” 3:06
06.  “Under the Gun ”  (Face to Face/Arthur Baker)  – 4:35
07.  “10-9-8″  – 3:54
08.  “Don’t Talk Like That”   (Angelo Petraglia/Michael Baker/Stuart Kimball)  – 3:57
09.  “Heaven on Earth”  – 3:23
10.  “Wreckless Heart”  – 3:54

CD Re-issue bonus tracks
11. “10-9-8 (12″ Dance Mix)” 5:42
12. “Under the Gun (12″ Dance Mix)”

All songs written by Angelo Petraglia, except where indicated.

Laurie Sargent
Stuart Kimball
Angelo Petraglia
John Ryder
Billy Beard
Producer: Arthur Baker, Michael Baker, Jimmy Iovine, Gordon Perry

Released: 1984
Genre:  Synth-pop, New wave
Length:  53:26
© 1984

Label – Epic Records


Jakob Dylan – Seeing Things (2008)

Jakob Luke Dylan (born December 9, 1969) is an American singer and songwriter, and son of Bob Dylan, who rose to fame as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The Wallflowers, with which he has released six albums since 1992.

500-Jakob_Dylan-Seeing_Things“Seeing Things” is singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan’s first solo studio album.
When the songwriter from a songwriter-driven band steps out on his own the question always hangs in the air: did he need to forsake his band in order to cut this set of songs? In the case of “Seeing Things”, the first album Jakob Dylan has released outside of the confines of the Wallflowers, he most certainly did. Quiet, reflective, based almost entirely on acoustic guitars, “Seeing Things” is intimate in a way the road-ready Wallflowers never were, although the tunes are as sturdy and plainspoken as Dylan’s songs for the band. Indeed, there’s always been a modesty at the core of his writing, so he benefits greatly from this humble setting, masterminded as so many big-budget down to basics departures are in the 2000s by Rick Rubin, known for his stripped-down reinventions of Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. Seeing Things isn’t nearly as spare as American Recordings or 12 Songs; anchored on acoustics though he may be, Dylan isn’t on his own, as bass, harmony vocals, and keyboards are gently woven into the fabric. This gives the music warmth, but the simplicity of the setting helps focus on Dylan’s unassuming, well-crafted songs, songs where melodies are gently insinuating and words are so carefully sculpted it’s easy to overlook how nicely he turns a phrase. Like many of his peers, Dylan is casting a wary eye on a war-ridden new millennium, but these aren’t protest songs, they work on an emotional level and are appropriately balanced with lighter moments, like the lazy shuffle of “All Day and All Night.”
All through his career, Jakob Dylan has never pushed too hard; he simply lays it out there, so he’s uncommonly suited to Rubin’s unadorned production. In Rubin’s hands, Seeing Things plays like a songwriter playing his newest songs in your living room a seductive feeling that no Wallflowers record ever captured, which is an excellent reason for Dylan to step out on his own.


Track listing

01.  “Evil Is Alive and Well”  – 3:56
02.  “Valley of the Low Sun”  – 3:57
03.  “All Day and All Night”  – 3:28
04.  “Everybody Pays as They Go”  – 3:00
05.  “Will It Grow”  – 4:49
06.  “I Told You I Couldn’t Stop”  – 4:14
07.  “War Is Kind”  – 3:08
08.  “Something Good This Way Comes”  – 3:39
09.  “On up the Mountain”  – 3:45
10.  “This End of the Telescope”  – 3:59

All songs written and composed by Jakob Dylan, except “I Told You I Couldn’t Stop” composed by Dylan and Matt Sweeney.

Jakob Dylan – bass, guitar, vocals
Rick Rubin – producer
Z. Berg – musician
Mathieu Bitton – art direction, design
Jason Boesel – musician
Lindsay Chase – production coordination
Rich Egan – management
Jason Lader – engineer, mixing
Dana Nielsen – engineer
Vlado Meller – mastering
James Minchin – photography
Mark Santangelo – assistant

Released: June 10, 2008
Recorded at the Hollywood Hills home of producer Rick Rubin
Genre: Folk Rock
Length: 37:55
© 2008

Label – Columbia Records


George Duke – Don´t Let Go (1978)

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music.

george dukeA rare and preeminent talent, George Duke has contributed much in the realm of Jazz, Funk, Pop, Fusion & R&B as a performer, writer and producer. His most prolific artistry from an R&B/Jazz prospect spanned from the late 70’s well into the mid 1980’s, with several masterful recordings resulting from Brazilian influenced jazz to electronic funk. 1978’s “Don’t Let Go” reflected George at an inspirational apogee, a set as consummate and stylistically diverse as any in his long and illustrious career. “Don’t Let Go”, along with “Reach for It”, its predecessor, represent a transitional period in George’s creative output, where more experimental fusion is supplanted with gorgeous, R&B driven balads and infectious, hard-hitting funk. Also notable are the increased use of Latin instrumentation and rhythmic influences, a continuing and identifiable trait among many Duke compositions of the late 1970’s. “Don’t Let Go” is a masterpiece in the modern era of R&B/Jazz, arguably George Duke’s finest, most enduring work.
The percussion section is pretty potent, staffed by Leon “Ndugu” Chancler and Sheila Escovedo in her pre-pop star days; they even get a Latin workout of their own simply titled “Percussion Interlude.” While some of Duke’s considerable keyboard and electronic prowess breaks through now and then, this album is mainly aimed at the R&B market, as the preponderance of soul vocals indicates. As such, it is a cut or two above the routine fare of the time, though not as infectious as its predecessor “Reach for It”.


Track listing

01.  “We Give Our Love”   (Leon “Ndugu” Chancler / George Duke / Byron Miller)  – 4:33
02.  “Morning Sun”   (George Duke)  – 4:15
03.  “Percussion Interlude”   (George Duke)  – 2:02
04.  “Dukey Stick”   (George Duke)  – 6:07
05.  “Starting Again”   (George Duke)  – 4:30
06.  “Yeah, We Going”   (Leon “Ndugu” Chancler)  – 3:41
07.  “The Way I Feel”   (George Duke)  – 4:45
08.  “Movin’ On”   (George Duke)  – 4:22
09.  “Don’t Let Go”   (George Duke)  – 3:26
10.  “Preface”   (George Duke)  – 1:29
11.  “The Furture”   (George Duke)  – 3:25

Keyboards, Vocals – George Duke
Vocals – Josie James, Napoleon M. Brock
Backing Vocals – Pattie Brooks, Petsye Powell
Bass – Byron Miller
Congas, Percussion – Sheila Escovedo
Drums, Timbales – Leon Ndugu Chancler
Guitar – Charles “Icarus” Johnson
Violin – Carol Shive
Art Direction – Glen Christensen
Engineer – Kerry McNabb
Engineer [Assistant] – Mitch Gibson
Mastered By – John Golden
Photography By – Norman Seeff

Produced for George Duke Enterprises, Inc.
Studio: Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles
Mastered at:  Kendun Studios
Release Date:  1978
Genre:  Jazz-Funk
Length:  42:37
© 1978

Label – Epic Records


Front 242 – 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (1993)

Front 242 is a Belgian electronic music group that came into prominence during the 1980s. Pioneering the style they called electronic body music, they were a profound influence on the electronic and industrial music genres.

front  242 - 06 21 03 11 up evil“06:21:03:11 Up Evil” is an album by Front 242, released in 1993.
The first of two releases for Front 242 in 1993, “06:21:03:11 Up Evil” (aka F*ck Up Evil) found the foursome rebounding from the somewhat sterile “Tyranny (For You)” with a varied, vicious assault. Incorporating guitar noise more readily than ever before, but most often chopped up and heavily treated for the band’s own particular purposes, “06:21:03:11 Up Evil” contains some of the band’s most virulent, explosive songs. All titles are one-word long, simple, and straightforward, with names like “Flag,” “Mutilate,” and “Crapage.” There’s almost a straight-up rock feel to a number of tracks as well, as the drumming on “Waste” and the quite anthemic “Melt” shows. It’s hardly Front 242’s grunge move, though — Jean-Luc de Meyer and the generally little-heard Richard 23 may have a more openly emotional rasp and rage in their voices, especially de Meyer, but the relentless beat of industrial/electronic body music lives on. Leadoff single “Religion” continues the group’s winning vein on that front, feedback roars and a huge beat setting an edgy pace before a body slam of a chorus kicks in, de Meyer raging over the top, “Let me burn you down!” The winning secret of the album is that a fair number of songs also demonstrate a careful subtlety, as with the sly mood-setting of “Skin,” with its chopped-up electro/hip-hop beats providing the propulsion behind desperate whispers and ominous synth buzzes. The immediately following “Motion” provides an even more upfront blend of styles, with a quiet start and gentle singing suddenly shifting into a pounding call-to-arms percussion attack, all while de Meyer chants, “progress, progress!” again and again. Other successes in this vein include the strange prettiness of “Stratoscape,” featuring a low, purring bassline and crisp beats offset against soft keyboard sparkles and chimes, and “Fuel,” which includes minimal ambient buzz, more upfront dance/beat chaos, and varying combinations of the two.


Track listing

01. “Crapage”  – 4:57
02. “Waste”  – 4:12
03. “Skin”  – 3:34
04. “Motion”  – 3:50
05. “Religion”  – 4:05
06. “Stratoscape”  – 4:34
07. “Hymn”  – 3:26
08. “Fuel”  – 4:46
09. “Melt”  – 3:30
10. “Flag”  – 5:08
11. “Mutilate”  – 4:10
12. “(S)Crapage”  – 6:11
13. “Religion” (Pussy Whipped mix)  – 6:06

All songs written and composed by Front 242.

Daniel Bressanutti – Producer
Patrick Codenys – Producer
Jean-Luc de Meyer – Vocals
Craig Leon – Director, Engineer
Rob Sutton – Engineer
J. G. Thirlwell – Producer, Remixing
Andy Wallace – Mixing
Cassell Webb – Director, Vocals (background), Engineer

Released: May 25, 1993
Genre:  Industrial, Electronic
Length:  58:30
© 1993

Label – Epic Records


Paula Cole – Courage (2007)

Paula Cole (born April 5, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Her single “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997, and the following year she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Her song “I Don’t Want To Wait” was used as the theme song to the television show Dawson’s Creek.

paula cole“Courage” is Paula Cole’s fourth studio album. It marks her return to the music scene after nearly a decade-long hiatus. The album is a bit of a departure from her previous albums towards more of a jazz and folk sound this time. “14” was the first single from the album, while “Comin’ Down” was released to Triple A radio in the US in early August. It also features the song “It’s My Life” which was featured in Mercury automobile commercials.
Once ubiquitous, as her “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” was a staple on adult alternative radio and “I Don’t Wanna Wait” served as the soundtrack to turn of the millennium teen soap Dawson’s Creek, Paula Cole suddenly disappeared after her third album, “Amen”, failed to live up to the commercial expectations set by her 1996 breakthrough, This Fire. Throughout the 2000s she stayed quiet, raising her newborn daughter as she worked toward reviving her muse, eventually resurfacing in 2007 a decade after the peak of her popularity with “Courage”, her first album for Decca and her first album in eight years. Immediately, it’s apparent that this is worlds away from the stylized worldbeat and vague electronica leanings of “Amen”, never sounding as self-consciously restless as that album. Not that Cole has abandoned her refined eclecticism she dabbles in gentle bossa nova beats on “Hard to Be Soft,” duetting with Brazilian singer Ivan Lins but never once does Cole sound as strained in incorporating hip-hop beats and electronic textures as she did on Amen. Instead, she sounds relaxed as she eases into a subdued collection of songs jazzy enough to justify Herbie Hancock’s cameo on “Lonely Town.” Such casual sophistication reigns here, but Courage doesn’t sound like a clean break from her past, or a contrived attempt to refashion herself for Norah Jones’ audience; the opening “Comin’ Down” and the Patrick Leonard collaboration “14” sound like This Fire, only a little more settled yet managing to sidestep slickness while emphasizing her gentle, insinuating melodies. While Courage may stray into sleepiness on the ballads, it nevertheless always flows naturally even at its slowest moments and that comfortable feel is the most appealing thing about the record, since it’s evident in the unhurried songs and the unstrained performances. It may be low-key, but “Courage” certainly qualifies as a successful comeback from a singer/songwriter who had seemed lost to the Lilith Fair era.


Track listing

01.  “Comin’ Down”   (Paula Cole, Dean Parks)  – 4:01
02.  “Lovelight”   (Cole, Hassan Hakmoun, Jeff Lorber)  – 4:57
03.  “El Greco”   (Cole, Mark Goldenberg)  – 4:40
04.  “Lonelytown”   (Cole, Jeremy Lubbock)  – 4:40
05.  “14”   (Cole, Patrick Leonard)  – 3:38
06.  “Hard to Be Soft”   (Cole, Goldenberg)  – 4:53
07.  “It’s My Life”   (Cole)  – 5:31
08.  “Safe in Your Arms”   (Cole, Greg Phillinganes)  – 4:56
09.  “I Wanna Kiss You”   (Cole, Goldenberg)  – 5:05
10.  “In Our Dreams”   (Cole, Lubbock)  – 4:17
11.  “Until I Met You”   (Cole)  – 5:03

Vocals – Ivan Lins, Paul Buchanan, Paula Cole
Bass – David Piltch, David Piltch , Ian Walker, Jimmy Johnson, Tony Levin
Drums – Billy Kilson, Jay Bellerose
Dulcimer – Dean Parks
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Billy Childs
Guitar – Chris Bruce, Dean Parks, Mark Goldenberg, Steve Khan
Handclaps – Paula Cole
Keyboards – David Palmer, Jamshied Sharifi, Jeff Lorber, Jeff Lorber, Mark Goldenberg
Organ – Jeff Lorber
Percussion – Brahim Fribgane, Jay Bellerose
Melodica – David Palmer
Piano – Billy Childs, David Foster, David Palmer, Herbie Hancock, Paula Cole
Steel Guitar [Pedal] – Greg Leisz
Strings – Caroline Buckman, David Stenske, Edmund Stein, Gina Konstadtt, Janna Jacoby, Melissa Hasin, Rudolph Stein, Shari Zippert, Susan Chatman, Tim Christensen
Trumpet – Chris Botti

Arranged By – Jeremy Lubbock
Arranged By [Strings] – Peter Bernstein
Art Direction – Pat Barry
Conductor – Jeremy Lubbock
Conductor [Strings] – Peter Bernstein
Contractor [Strings] – Kathleen Robertson
Coordinator [Package] – Leif Covington, Tom Arndt
Design [Package] – Gloo Design
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Kevin Killen
Photography – Fabrizio Ferri
Producer – Bobby Colomby
Recorded By – Al Schmitt, Bill Smith, Dean Parks, James Farber, Jeff Lorber, Pablo Munguia, Steve Genewick
Recorded By [Additional] – Fredrik Sarhagen, Kevin Killen, Todd Whitelock

Released: June 12, 2007
Genre:  Alternative Rock
Length:  51:41
© 2007

Label – Decca Records


Deadsy – Commencement (2002)

Deadsy is an American Industrial metal band from California. The band is known for its visual iconography and signature characteristics assigned to each band member. Each musician is identified by a specific color, stage name, and graphic tied into the band’s theatrical nature.

deadsy - commencementDeadsy began in 1995, when Elijah Blue Allman (son of Cher and Gregg Allman), also known as Phillips Exeter Blue I, started recording a handful of demos (including “Dear” and a cover of “Texas Never Whispers”) with Alec Puro (Alec Püre) and later sent a Juno 106 keyboard to Renn Hawkey (Dr. Nner) as an invitation to join the band. The three members evolved their sound in the studio and sought out a record deal out of “adolescent necessity.”
“Commencement” is the second studio album and major label debut by American rock band Deadsy, released on May 14, 2002. After initially being suspended upon distribution changes at Sire, the album was officially released through DreamWorks under the Elementree sub-label. It includes the single “The Key to Gramercy Park” which gained minor attention for its music video. Despite featuring various guest musicians and the support of popular industry figures such as Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst, Commencement was a commercial disappointment, and Elementree folded shortly after.
It’s another time-warp trip back to the heyday of synth pop, as Deadsy returns with another fusion of dour monotone vocals and heavy-tread drums sandwiched between buzzsaw bass and spectral, high-register keyboards. A guest shot by Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis on “The Key to Gramercy Park” reminds listeners of the band’s currency, but it’s easy to mistake Commencement for an ’80s artifact. The impression is only made clearer by the Eno textures that drape the stately intro to “Winners” and the unlikely cover of “Tom Sawyer,” complete with full Rush flavoring in the 7/8 interlude and roaring bass work. Fans of vintage electronica will wallow blissfully in the album’s many sinkholes of subsonic analog sound, but for those who favor the digital muse (or, for that matter, bands that have kicked the keyboard habit), Commencement may pose a few challenges.


Track listing

01.  “The Key to Gramercy Park”   (E. Blue)  – 3:13
02.  “Winners”   (E. Blue / Brian Eno)  – 4:22
03.  “Brand New Love”   (Lou Barlow)  – 4:34
04.  “Mansion World”   (E. Blue)  – 5:02
05.  “Lake Waramaug”   (E. Blue / Elijah Blue)  – 4:24
06.  “The Elements”   (E. Blue / Elijah Blue)  – 5:20
07.  “Flowing Glower”   (E. Blue / Elijah Blue)  – 4:58
08.  “Future Years”   (E. Blue / Elijah Blue)  – 5:26
09.  “She Likes Big Words”   (E. Blue)  – 3:59
10.  “Cruella”   (E. Blue / Elijah Blue)  – 5:55
11.  “Seagulls (The Macroprosopus)”   (E. Blue)  – 5:57
12.  “Le Cirque En Rose (Obsolescence)”   (E. Blue)  – 4:55
13.  “Tom Sawyer”   (Pye Dubois / Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart)  – 4:53
14.  “Commencement”   (E. Blue)  – 5:16

Phillips Exeter Blue I – vocals, guitar, bass, programming, synthesizers
Dr. Nner – synthesizers, programming, guitar
Alec Püre – drums and percussion
Creature – bass guitar
Carlton Megalodon – Ztar

Additional personnel
Craig Riker – additional bass guitar
Jonathan Davis – additional vocals on “The Key to Gramercy Park”
Jay Gordon – additional vocals on “Seagulls” and bass on “Flowing Glower,” “Future Years,” and “Cruella”
John Taylor – additional bass on “She Likes Big Words”
Troy Van Leeuwen – additional lead guitar on “She Likes Big Words” and “Mansion World”
Ritchie Birkenhead – additional vocals on “Brand New Love”
Sunny Levine – additional break beats on “The Key to Gramercy Park”
Jed Whedon – additional piano on “Winners”
Jay Baumgardner – producer, mixing
Ron Handler – A&R
Josh Gabbard – design/art direction
Producer – Josh Abraham, Jay Baumgardner and Elijah Blue

Released: May 14, 2002
Recorded: 2001 at Nordic Estates B.C., Westlake Audio, N.R.G, The Enterprise, Scream, Josh’s Garage, Cher’s house, A&M, Dreamland
Genre:  Synthrock, alternative metal, dark wave, nu metal
Length:  68:20
© 2002

Label – DreamWorks Records


Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca (2009)

Dirty Projectors are an American musical group, consisting of David Longstreth (vocals, guitar), Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Haley Dekle (vocals), Nat Baldwin (bass), Olga Bell (vocals, keyboards), and Michael Johnson (drums).

DirtyProjectors-BitteOrca“Bitte Orca” is a studio album by American experimental rock band Dirty Projectors, released on June 9, 2009 on Domino Records. The word “bitte” is a German word for “please,” and “orca” is another name for a killer whale. Frontman Dave Longstreth states that he liked the way the words sound together. Longstreth notes that the music contained within the album “felt very [much] about colors, and their interaction,” and that the music was written with the notion of the band, as a whole, in mind.
Dirty Projectors’ mastermind David Longstreth appears to be attracted to sounds that will simultaneously draw in and confound the average listener; he has a clear, sweet voice and a gift for well-crafted harmonies and melodies that bring out the innate beauty of his music, but he often weds them to fractured time signatures that cause the songs to shift gear at the least expected moments, and he tosses in sudden bursts of atonal skronk that are either bracing or puzzling, depending on your point of view. 2009’s Bitte Orca certainly follows in this tradition, and there’s enough aural shapeshifting on this set to keep anyone guessing on first listen. Despite that, in many respects, “Bitte Orca” is one of Dirty Projectors’ most accessible efforts to date; the slinky “Stillness Is the Move” could almost pass for mainstream R&B with its potent groove, lush harmonies by Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, and elegant string coda, though with Longstreth’s wiry juju guitar leads floating over the top, this ain’t quite Beyoncé, and the placid semi-folkie grace of “Two Doves” (which bears a certain melodic resemblance to a-ha’s MTV-driven hit “Take on Me”) is truly lovely even when the dramatic dynamics of the string section seem intent on calling attention to some darker undercurrents. On the other side of the coin, there’s “Useful Chamber,” which combines bent vocal samples, wheezing synthesizers, steadily chugging beatboxes, and sudden blasts of overdriven electric guitar to form a pocket concerto of beauty and noise, and “The Bride,” where Longstreth’s guitar hops back and forth between polite acoustic strum, bluesy slide work, and shards of noise while the rhythm section ties to keep up and the vocals drift past the foreground like a cloud. “Bitte Orca’s” nine tracks all seem to be bursting with ideas that they can barely contain, but despite the sometimes fractured synapses of this music, the songs are at once surefooted and agile, and “Remade Horizon” and “No Intention” are joyous and funky in their own curious way, and you can dance to them if you’re in the right frame of mind. David Longstreth isn’t quite trying to make things easy for his listeners on “Bitte Orca”, but there’s far too much pleasure in this music for its eccentricities to put off anyone who is open to its gleeful, eclectic, internationalist heart.


Track listing

01.  “Cannibal Resource”  – 3:55
02.  “Temecula Sunrise”  – 5:05
03.  “The Bride”  – 2:49
04.  “Stillness Is the Move”   (David Longstreth, Amber Coffman)  – 5:14
05.  “Two Doves”  – 3:42
06.  “Useful Chamber”  – 6:28
07.  “No Intention”  – 4:17
08.  “Remade Horizon”  – 3:55
09.  “Fluorescent Half Dome”  – 5:45

All songs written and composed by David Longstreth, except where noted.

David Longstreth
Amber Coffman
Angel Deradoorian
Brian McOmber
Nat Baldwin
Haley Dekle

Additional musicians
Jordan Dykstra – string quartet director, viola (“Stillness is the Move”, “Two Doves”, “Remade Horizon”, “Fluorescent Half Dome”)
Caleb Russell – violin (“Stillness is the Move”, “Two Doves”, “Remade Horizon”, “Fluorescent Half Dome”)
Andrew Todd – violin (“Stillness is the Move”, “Two Doves”, “Remade Horizon”, “Fluorescent Half Dome”)
Anna Fritz – cello (“Stillness is the Move”, “Two Doves”, “Remade Horizon”, “Fluorescent Half Dome”)

Recording personnel
David Longstreth – producer, mixing, drum recording,
Robby Moncrieff – recording engineer
Nicolas Vernhes – additional production, mixing
Brian McOmber – drum recording
Joe Lambert – mastering
Jason Frank Rothenberg – original cover photograph
Rob Carmichael – album layout

Released: June 9, 2009
Genre:  Indie rock, art pop, baroque pop, R&B, experimental
Length:  41:08
© 2009

Label – Domino Records


Alice Cooper – Pretties For You (1969)

Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and occasional actor whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by fans and peers alike to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”; he has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a theatrical and macabre brand of rock designed to shock people.

alice cooper“Pretties for You” is the debut album by the Alice Cooper band. At this time, the name “Alice Cooper” referred to the band, not its lead singer, though the lead singer was also known as Alice Cooper. The music has a psychedelic flavor to it; the group had yet to develop the more concise hard rock sound that they would become famous for. Most of the tracks feature unusual time signatures and arrangements, jarring syncopation, expressive dynamics, sound effects, and an eclectic range of music influences. A few songs, such as “Levity Ball,” show the influence of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, with whom Alice Cooper hung out during the British group’s U.S. tour. Too bizarre and avant-garde for its time, “Pretties for You” was a critical and commercial failure, only briefly denting the Billboard Top 200, and none of its songs have ever been played live by Cooper.
The song “Reflected”, Alice Cooper’s first single, was later rewritten as “Elected” (which featured on their 1973 album “Billion Dollar Babies”). The band also performed during a party scene in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970).
The artwork for this album was hanging on the wall of the living room in Frank Zappa’s house. However, his wife Gail Zappa claims that it was later stolen from them. The original painting was done by Edward Beardsley.


Track listing

01. “Titanic Overture” – 1:12
02. “10 Minutes Before the Worm” – 1:39
03. “Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio” – 5:42
04. “Today Mueller” – 1:48
05. “Living” – 3:12
06. “Fields of Regret” – 5:44
07. “No Longer Umpire” – 2:02
08. “Levity Ball” – 4:39
09. “B.B. on Mars” – 1:17
10. “Reflected” – 3:17
11. “Apple Bush” – 3:08
12. “Earwigs to Eternity” – 1:19
13. “Changing Arranging” – 3:03

All songs written by Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith.

Alice Cooper – lead vocals (all but 3), harmonica
Glen Buxton – lead guitar
Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, backing vocals and lead (3) vocals keyboards
Dennis Dunaway – bass guitar, backing vocals
Neal Smith – drums, backing vocals
Producer – Ian Underwood and Herb Cohen

Among the keyboards played by Michael Bruce on this album is the mellotron, featured most prominently on “Titanic Overture”. The mellotron was most likely hired out for this recording, as it is unlikely that the band used it on tours.

Released: June 1969
Genre:  Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Rock
Length:  36:10
© 1969

Label – Straight Records


Natalie Cole – Don’t Look Back (1980)

Natalie Maria Cole (born February 6, 1950) is an American singer, songwriter, and performer. The daughter of Nat King Cole, Cole rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as a R&B artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable”, and “Our Love”.

natalie cole - don´t look back“Don’t Look Back” is an album by Natalie Cole, released in 1980 through Capitol Records. The album reached peak positions of number 77 on the Billboard 200 and number 17 on Billboard ’s R&B Albums chart.
Natalie Cole entered the ’80s with “Don’t Look Back”, which Marvin Yancy produced with Gene Barge. This LP marked the first time that Chuck Jackson didn’t co-produce one of Cole’s studio albums, and it was also the first time that one of her albums was uneven and disappointing. “Don’t Look Back” does contain a few enjoyable tracks, including two adult contemporary ballads (“Beautiful Dreamer” and the major hit “Someone That I Used to Love”) and an interpretation of the standard “Stairway to the Stars.” Arranged by Nelson Riddle, the latter has nothing to do with R&B or adult contemporary it’s vocal jazz, and Cole’s scat singing is right out of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. In the early ’80s, Cole was still unwilling to take the plunge and record an album that emphasized jazz or jazz-based pre-rock pop; she was still fearful of people thinking that she was trying to ride on her late father’s coattails. Nonetheless, she did record the occasional standard in the late ’70s and early ’80s and when she did, it was clear that she was making a big mistake by not recording more of them. “Don’t Look Back” has its moments, although most of the time, Cole is saddled with mediocre, pedestrian material and sounds uninspired. Definitely not one of the singer’s more consistent efforts, Don’t Look Back is strictly for completists.


Track listing

01.  “Don’t Look Back”   (Fred Allen, Marvin Yancy, Natalie Cole)  – 4:08
02.  “(I’ve Seen) Paradise”   (Marvin Yancy, Natalie Cole)  – 4:31
03.  “Hold On”   (Kevin Yancy, Marvin Yancy, Natalie Cole)  – 4:50
04.  “Stairway to the Stars”   (Frank Signorelli, Matty Malneck, Mitchell Parish)  – 3:08
05.  “I’m Getting Into You”   (Chuck Bynum, Marvin Yancy, Natalie Cole)  – 3:57
06.  “Someone That I Used to Love”   (Gerry Goffin, Michael Masser)  – 4:05
07.  “Danger Up Ahead”   (Natalie Cole)  – 6:30
08.  “Beautiful Dreamer”   (Natalie Cole)  – 4:10
09.  “Cole Blooded”   (Gene Barge, Natalie Cole)  – 4:56

Vocals, Keyboards – Natalie Cole
Alto Saxophone – Jackie Kelso, Marshall Royal
Backing Vocals – Anita Anderson, Colettes, The, “N” Sisters, The
Baritone Saxophone – Bill Green
Bass – Larry Ball, Leland Sklar
Contractor – John Fresco
Drums – James Gadson, Norm Jeffries, Rick Schlosser
Guitar – Chuck Bynum, Michael Clinco, Steve Hunter
Keyboards – Linda Williams, Marvin Yancy, Michael Masser
Piano – Linda Williams
Tenor Saxophone – Curtis Amy, Ernie Watts
Trombone – Chris Riddle, Garnett Brown, George Bohanan, Robert Payne
Trumpet – Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findlay, Oscar Brashear

Arranged By – Gene Barge, Nelson Riddle
Arranged By [Orchestra] – Lee Holdridge
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Chuck Bynum, Gene Barge, Larry Ball, Marvin Yancy, Michael Masser, Natalie Cole
Art Direction, Design – Glen Christensen
Engineer – Paul Dobbe
Engineer [Assistant] – David Ahlert, Jerry Hall, Reggie Dozier, Rick Surber
Engineer [Chief, Remix] – Gerry E. Brown
Mastered By – Wally Traugott
Photography By [Personality] – V. Hughes Frye
Photography By [Still Life] – Georgina Karvellas
Producer – Gene Barge, Marvin Yancy, Michael Masser
Producer [Assistant] – Chuck Bynum

Recorded at – Scott / Sunstorm Studios, Hollywood, California, United Western Studios, Hollywood, California
Released: May 15, 1980
Genre:  Soul, rhythm and blues
©  1980

Label – Capitol Records


David Crosby – Thousand Roads (1993)

David Van Cortlandt Crosby (born August 14, 1941) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of three bands: The Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN, who are sometimes joined by Neil Young as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young [CSNY]); and CPR. Crosby has been depicted as emblematic of the counterculture.

david crosbyFor his third solo album, “Thousand Roads”, David Crosby increased the participation of his guests and attempted to redefine himself as an artist. Where previously, regardless of who was playing or singing on the track, the song was a Crosby composition, on “Thousand Roads” Crosby acts primarily as an interpretive singer, penning only one of the ten songs and contributing to two others. The result certainly is a craftsmanlike set of songs written by pop professionals Phil Collins, Jimmy Webb, Marc Cohn, John Hiatt, Paul Brady, Stephen Bishop and produced by the cream of pop producers Don Was, Glyn Johns, Phil Ramone.
Given that, it’s fitting that Crosby has enlisted support from some of the songwriters who have lent their talents to Bonnie Raitt’s most recent projects: John Hiatt’s “Through Your Hands,” with its warm verses and inspiring refrain, is a highlight, while Paul Brady contributes the fragile ballad “Helpless Heart,” and Bonnie Hayes lends “Coverage,” which alludes to Crosby’s previous inclination to get press for all the wrong reasons.
The failings were, first, that Crosby’s individuality was lost and, second, that, as the list suggests, his choices were more calculated than inspired. The problem with David Crosby as a solo artist was not how to make him sound more conventional, it was how to make his unconventionality work. Thousand Roads solved the wrong problem; the album was Crosby’s least successful in the record stores.


Track listing

01.  “Hero”  (featuring Phil Collins)   (Phil Collins, David Crosby)  – 4:39
02.  “Too Young to Die”   (Jimmy Webb)  – 5:45
03.  “Old Soldier”   (Marc Cohn)  – 4:58
04.  “Through Your Hands”   (John Hiatt)  – 4:33
05.  “Yvette in English”   (Joni Mitchell, David Crosby)  – 5:53
06.  “Thousand Roads”   (David Crosby)  – 4:31
07.  “Columbus”   (Noel Brazil)  – 4:26
08.  “Helpless Heart”   (Paul Brady)  – 4:18
09.  “Coverage”   (Bonnie Hayes)  – 3:22
10.  “Natalie”   (Stephen Bishop)  – 4:55

David Crosby – lead and backing vocals
Pino Palladino – bass guitar
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, keyboards and backing vocals
Jeff Pevar – guitar
Leland Sklar – bass guitar
Jim Keltner, Russell Kunkel
Benmont Tench, Bonnie Hayes, C.J. Vanston – keyboards
Jimmy Webb – acoustic piano
Michael Landau – electric guitar
Bernie Leadon – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Graham Nash – harmony vocals, harmonica
Jackson Browne – harmony vocals
Stephen Bishop – harmony vocals
Kipp Lennon – harmony vocals
Marc Cohn – acoustic piano
John Leventhal – guitars
Jeff Porcaro – drums
Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
Craig Doerge – keyboards, arrangements
Luis Conte – percussion
Dean Parks – guitars, flute
David Watkins Clarke – bass guitar
Ethan Johns – drums, percussion, additional electric guitar
Andy Fairweather Low – electric guitar
Paul (Wix) Wickens – keyboards, accordion
David Campbell – string arrangement
Suzie Katayama – contractor, cello
Armen Garabedian – concertmaster, violin
Dimitrie Levici, Berj Garabedian, Ruth Johnson – violin
Evan Wilson, Scott Haupert, Maria Newman – viola
Larry Corbett, Daniel Smith – cello
David Young – acoustic bass
Art Direction – Graham Nash
Artwork [Cover Art] – Mac Holbert
Executive-Producer – Jan Crosby
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Photography By [Cover] – Guido Harari
Producer – Phil Collins, Don Was, Dean Parks, David Crosby, Glynn Johns, Stephen Barncard, Phil Ramone

Released: May 4, 1993
Genre:  Soft Rock, Folk Rock
Length:  47:30
© 1993

Label – Atlantic Records


Hear ‘N Aid – Hear ‘N Aid (An All-Star Album For Famine Relief) (1986)

Hear ‘n Aid was a one-time collaboration of various individual heavy metal/hard rock artists in 1985 to raise money for famine relief in Africa. According to Ronnie James Dio’s MySpace profile, the project raised $1 million within a year.

Hear 'N Aid_booklet frontOn May 20 and 21, 1985, 40 artists from the hard rock music community gathered at A&M Records Studios in Hollywood, California, to participate in the making of a record called “Stars” as part of a very special project known as Hear ‘N Aid. The “Stars” single, coupled with the album, a video documentary on the making of the record, and other ancillary products will release money for famine relief efforts in Africa and around the world.
40 artists and hunderds of voluteers donated their time and talent over four months to make Hear ‘N Aid a reality.
“Stars” is a plea for unity in the fight against world hunger.
The project included contributions from Ted Nugent, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tommy Aldridge and members of Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Queensrÿche, Blue Öyster Cult, Vanilla Fudge, Y&T, Rough Cutt, Giuffria, Journey, W.A.S.P. and Night Ranger as well as the parody band Spinal Tap.
Lead vocals were shared between Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Kevin DuBrow, Eric Bloom, Geoff Tate, Dave Meniketti, Don Dokken and Paul Shortino. Vivian Campbell, Carlos Cavazo, Buck Dharma, Brad Gillis, Craig Goldy, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Ojeda and Neal Schon all added guitar solos. A documentary was shot of the recording process and released simultaneously.


Track listing

01.  “Hear’n Aid – Stars”   (Jimmy Bain, Ronnie James Dio, Vivian Campbell)  – 7:15
02.  “Accept – Up To The Limit (Live)”   (Accept, Deaffy)  – 5:01
03.  “Motorhead – On The Road (Live)”   (Kilmister, Burston, Gill, Campbell)  – 4:55
04.  “Rush – Distant Early Warning (Live)”   (Peter Henderson, Rush)  – 5:06
05.  “Kiss – Heaven’s On Fire (Live)”   (Desmond Child, Paul Stanley)  – 4:25
06.  “Jimi Hendrix – Can You See Me”   (Jimi Hendrix)  – 2:33
07.  “Dio – Hungry For Heaven (Live)”   (Jimmy Bain, Ronnie James Dio)  – 5:45
08.  “Y&T – Go For The Throat”   (Dave Meniketti, Joey Alves, Leonard Haze, Phil Kennemore)  – 4:30
09.  “Scorpions – The Zoo (Live)”   (Klaus Meine, Rudy Schenker)  – 6:17

Art Direction – John Coulter
Coordinator [Album] – Donna Fetchko
Design [Logo Designs] – Bill Fergusson
Executive-Producer – Bas Hartong, Michael Brokaw
Liner Notes – Sharon Weisz
Mastered By – Greg Calbi
Photography By – Gene Kirkland, Jacki Sallow, Jodi Summers Dorland, Mark Weiss, Pier G. Brunelli, Tom Farrington
Photography By [Cover And Merchandise] – Gene Kirkland

Released: 1986
Recorded at: the A&M Records Studio in Hollywood, California
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Length: 45:00
Producer: Various
© 1982

Label – Vertigo Records


Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Black Moon (1992)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, were an English progressive rock supergroup power trio[1] who sold over forty million albums. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). They were one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands.

ELP_-_Black_Moon“Black Moon” is a studio album by progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer released in 1992. It was the first studio album by the band since 1978.
Its closest sonic cousin is the mid-’80s album Emerson and Lake recorded with drummer Cozy Powell. Sharp digital electronics replace Keith Emerson’s classic analog synthesizer sounds, and the fanciful, classical-influenced prog-rock epics of yore are streamlined into a more accessible mainstream rock format, though some traces of the trio’s vintage flash still pop up.
The original trio’s first studio album in a dozen years suffers from the inevitable aging and darkening of Lake’s voice, and a lack of real impetus, although it does contain one first-rate classical adaptation, The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.


Track listing

01.  “Black Moon”   (Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer)  – 6:56
02.  “Paper Blood”   (Emerson, Lake, Palmer)  – 4:26
03.  “Affairs of the Heart”   (Geoff Downes, Lake)  – 3:46
04.  “Romeo and Juliet”   (Sergei Prokofiev)  – 3:40
05.  “Farewell to Arms”   (Emerson, Lake)  – 5:08
06.  “Changing States”   (Emerson)  – 6:01
07.  “Burning Bridges”   (Mark Mancina)  – 4:41
08.  “Close to Home”   (Emerson)  – 4:27
09.  “Better Days”   (Emerson, Lake)  – 5:33
10.  “Footprints in the Snow”   (Lake)  – 3:50

Keith Emerson – keyboards, piano
Greg Lake – bass, vocals, guitar, harmonica
Carl Palmer – percussion, drums

Producer: Mark Mancina, Ian Morrow, John Van Tongeren
Engineers: Steve Kempster, Stephen Marcussen, David Mitchell
Assistant engineers: Anthony Danbury, Gil Morales, Marnie Riley, Brett Swain, Charlie Watts
Mixing: Steve Kempster, David Mitchell
Mastering: Stephen Marcussen
Digital editing: Jay Rifkin
Programming: Tim Heintz, Gary Hodgson, Ian Morrow, John Van Tongeren
Keyboard technician: Willie Alexander
Vocal arrangement: Mark Holding

Released: June 27, 1992
Recorded: Marcus Studios, Front Page Recorders, mixed at Conway Studios, 1992
Genre:  Progressive rock
Length:  48:28
© 1992

Label – Victory Music


Temple Of The Dog – Temple Of The Dog (1991)

Temple of the Dog was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. It was conceived by vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as a tribute to his friend, the late Andrew Wood, lead singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. The line-up included Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Jeff Ament on bass guitar (both ex-members of Mother Love Bone), Mike McCready on lead guitar, Matt Cameron on drums, and Eddie Vedder providing some lead and backing vocals.

temple of the dogFeaturing members of Soundgarden and what would soon become Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog’s lone eponymous album might never have reached a wide audience if not for Pearl Jam’s breakout success a year later. In turn, by providing the first glimpse of Chris Cornell’s more straightforward, classic rock-influenced side, Temple of the Dog helped set the stage for Soundgarden’s mainstream breakthrough with “Superunknown”. Nearly every founding member of Pearl Jam appears on Temple of the Dog (including the then-unknown Eddie Vedder), so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the record sounds like a bridge between Mother Love Bone’s theatrical ’70s-rock updates and Pearl Jam’s hard-rocking seriousness. What is surprising, though, is that Cornell is the dominant composer, writing the music on seven of the ten tracks (and lyrics on all). Keeping in mind that Soundgarden’s previous album was the overblown metallic miasma of Louder Than Love, the accessibly warm, relatively clean sound of Temple of the Dog is somewhat shocking, and its mellower moments are minor revelations in terms of Cornell’s songwriting abilities.
It isn’t just the band, either he displays more emotional range than ever before, and his melodies and song structures are (for the most part) pure, vintage hard rock. In fact, it’s almost as though he’s trying to write in the style of Mother Love Bone which makes sense, since Temple of the Dog was a tribute to that band’s late singer Andrew Wood. Not every song here is directly connected to Wood; once several specific elegies were recorded, additional material grew quickly out of the group’s natural chemistry. As a result, there’s a very loose, jam-oriented feel to much of the album, and while it definitely meanders at times, the result is a more immediate emotional impact.
The album’s strength is its mournful, elegiac ballads, but thanks to the band’s spontaneous creative energy and appropriately warm sound, it’s permeated by a definite, life-affirming aura. That may seem like a paradox, but consider the adage that funerals are more for the living than the dead; Temple of the Dog shows Wood’s associates working through their grief and finding the strength to move on.


Track listing

01.  “Say Hello 2 Heaven”   (Chris Cornell)  – 6:22
02.  “Reach Down”   (Chris Cornell)  – 11:11
03.  “Hunger Strike”   (Chris Cornell)  – 4:03
04.  “Pushin Forward Back”   (Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard)  – 3:44
05.  “Call Me a Dog”   (Chris Cornell)  – 5:02
06.  “Times of Trouble”   (Gossard)  – 5:41
07.  “Wooden Jesus”   (Chris Cornell)  – 4:09
08.  “Your Saviour”   (Chris Cornell)  – 4:02
09.  “Four Walled World”   (Gossard)  – 6:53
10.  “All Night Thing”   (Chris Cornell)  – 3:52

Jeff Ament – bass guitar
Matt Cameron – drums, percussion
Chris Cornell – vocals, banjo, harmonica
Stone Gossard – rhythm guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar
Mike McCready – lead guitars
Eddie Vedder – backing vocals, vocals
Producer – Rick Parashar, Temple of the Dog

Recorded at: London Bridge Studios, Seattle, Washington
Genre:  Grunge, Alternative Rock
Length:  54:59
© 1991

Label – A&M Records


Gene Clark & Doug Dillard – G&D (1975)

Harold Eugene “Gene” Clark (November 17, 1944 – May 24, 1991) was an American singer-songwriter and founding member of the folk rock band The Byrds. Douglas Flint “Doug” Dillard (Salem (Missouri), 6 maart 1937 – Nashville (Tennessee), 16 mei 2012) was an American banjovirtuoso and acteur. Together with his brother Rodney Dillard he formed the country- and bluegrassband The Dillards.

dillard & clarkDillard & Clark was a country rock duo which featured ex-Byrds member Gene Clark and bluegrass banjo player Doug Dillard.
In 1968, Clark signed with A&M Records and began a collaboration with banjo player Doug Dillard. Guitarist Bernie Leadon (later with The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles), bass player Dave Jackson and mandolin player Don Beck joined them to form the nucleus of Dillard & Clark. They produced two albums: “The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark” (1968), and “Through the Morning Through the Night” (1969).
The album “G&D” was a Dutch-only 10-track LP compilation, housed in a unique picture sleeve with notes exclusively in Dutch on the reverse. It contains songs from their two albums: The Fantastic Expedition Of Dillard & Clark and Through The Morning Through The Night.


Track listing

01.  “Git It On Brother (Git In Line Brother)”   (Lester Flatt)  – 2:50
02.  “She Darked The Sun”   (Clark, Leadon)  – 3:12
03.  “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”   (C. Monroe)  – 2:49
04.  “Four Walls”   (G. Campbell, M. Moore)  – 3:39
05.  “With Care From Someone”   (Leadon, Dillard, Clark)  – 3:49
06.  “No Longer A Sweetheart Of Mine”   (Reno, Swift, Smiley)  – 3:12
07.  “The Radio Song”   (Leadon, Clark)  – 3:03
08.  “Through The Morning, Through The Night”   (Clark)  – 4:04
09.  “Don’t Come Rollin'”   (Leadon, Dillard, Clark)  – 2:49
10.  “Don’t Let Me Down”   (Lennon-McCartney)  – 3:52

Gene Clark – vocals, guitar, harmonica, harp
Doug Dillard – vocals, banjo, guitar, fiddle
Jon Corneal – drums, tambourine
Bernie Leadon – guitar, bass, banjo
Chris Hillman – mandolin
Sneaky Pete – steel guitar
David Jackson – vocals, bass, piano, cello
Donna Washburn – vocals, tambourine, guitar
Byron Berline – fiddle
Andy Belling – harpsichord electronic
Don Beck – resonator guitar, mandolin
Producer – Larry Marks

Released: 1972
Genre: Country Rock, Bluegrass
Length:  33:31
© 1975

Label – A&M Records


Maxwell – Maxwell´s Urban Hang Suite (1996)

Gerald Maxwell Rivera, (born May 23, 1973), better known by his stage name Maxwell, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. Along with fellow musicians D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, Maxwell has been credited with helping to shape what has been termed the “neo soul” movement that rose to prominence during the late 1990s.

Maxwell Front - kopie“Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” is the debut album of American recording artist Maxwell, released April 2, 1996 on Columbia Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1994 to 1995 at Electric Lady Studios, RPM, Sorcerer, and Chung King Studios in New York City and CRC Studios in Chicago. The album contains a mellow, groove-based sound and incorporates elements of funk, jazz, smooth soul, and quiet storm. A concept album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite is composed of a song cycle that focuses on an adult romance, which Maxwell based on his own personal experience.  After being shelved for nearly a year, due to label issues and record executives’ doubts of its sales potential, the album was released to considerable commercial and critical success. Despite an initial lack of mainstream interest, “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” experienced a boost in sales with the help of the single “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)”. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised it as a departure from the mainstream-oriented R&B of the time, and it earned Maxwell several accolades and comparisons to soul singer Marvin Gaye.”Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” has been recognized by music writers for providing commercial visibility to neo soul.


Track listing

01.  “The Urban Theme”   (MUSZE)   2:42
02.  “Welcome”   (MUSZE, Stuart Matthewman, Stuart Matthewman)  – 5:18
03.  “Sumthin’ Sumthin'”   (MUSZE, Leon Ware)  – 4:18
04.  “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)”   (MUSZE, Itaal Shur)  – 5:46
05.  “Dancewitme”   (MUSZE, Hod David)  – 6:15
06.  “…Til the Cops Come Knockin'”   (MUSZE, David)  – 6:56
07.  “Whenever Wherever Whatever”   (MUSZE, Stuart Matthewman)  – 3:45
08.  “Lonely’s the Only Company (I & II)”   (MUSZE, Stuart Matthewman)  – 6:22
09.  “Reunion”   (MUSZE)  – 4:53
10.  “Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)”   (MUSZE, Hod David)  – 4:48
11.  “The Suite Theme” (ends at 6:00; hidden track at 12:06)   (MUSZE)  – 13:47

Maxwell – Vocals
Gary Foote, Jonathan Maron, Mike Neal, Stuart Matthewman – Bass
Erik Friedlander, Rufus Cappadocia – Cello
David Gamson, Itaal, Musze, P.M., Stuart Matthewman – Drums
Gene Lake – Drums, Percussion
Vincent Chauncey – French Horn
H, Wah Wah Watson, Musze, Stuart Matthewman – Guitar
Amp Fiddler, David Gamson, Federico Pena, Itaal, Musze, Stuart Matthewman – Keyboards
Bashiri Johnson, Gregory Marsh, Karl Vanden Bossche – Percussion
Stuart Matthewman – Saxophone
Clark Gayton – Trombone
Kevin Batchelor – Trumpet
Producer: MUSZE (Maxwell), P.M., Stuart Matthewman

Released: April 2, 1996
Recorded at: Electric Lady Studios, RPM, Sorcerer, Chung King Studios, New York, New York
Genre:  R&B, Neo Soul, Funk
Length:  64:47
© 1996

Label – Columbia Records


M83 – Saturdays = Youth (2008)

M83 is a French electronic music band led by Anthony Gonzalez and currently based in Los Angeles, California, United States. Formed in 2001 in Antibes, France, the band initially was a duo featuring Nicolas Fromageau.

saturdays__youth_m83“Saturdays = Youth” is the fifth studio album by French electronic band M83, first released on 11 April 2008. The album was produced by Ken Thomas, known for his work with Sigur Rós, The Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, and Suede, with co-production by Ewan Pearson (who has also produced for Tracey Thorn, The Rapture, and Ladytron) and M83 leader Anthony Gonzalez.
The album yielded four singles: “Couleurs, “Graveyard Girl”, “Kim & Jessie” and “We Own the Sky”.
Like fellow Frenchmen Air and Daft Punk, M83’s Anthony Gonzalez has the knack for making sounds others might think of as outdated, or even tacky, into music that feels stylish and fresh. “Saturdays=Youth” lives up to its evocative title, but the youth it captures is filtered through nostalgia for the unrepentantly fake sounds of the ’80s, transforming them into delicate fantasy pop. Synths whoosh like wind tunnels and ping like lasers, guitars are whipped into ethereal froth, the drums are robotic and proud of it, and the production reproduces the cleaner-than-clean, almost brittle style of the era almost too perfectly. The largely instrumental “Couleurs” races through the night on synth and drum swells that haven’t been heard since Miami Vice’s heyday, while “Skin of the Night” sounds like it borrows Phil Collins’ kit from No Jacket Required. Though “Saturdays=Youth” often plays like a love letter to artists ranging from the Cocteau Twins to Mr. Mister, it never seems like an exercise designed to just re-create those sounds. The cinematic feel of Before the Dawn Heals Us is stronger than ever here, from the 11-minute finale “Midnight Souls Still Remain,” which unfolds like closing credits, to the Breakfast Club-meets-fashion shoot album cover, which makes “Saturdays=Youth” appear to be the soundtrack to the most glamorous film John Hughes never made. This hyper-stylized teen romance and angst drive the album, taking it to the highest highs and the lowest lows. “We Own the Sky” is jubilant, stretching out into a summery haze of airy vocals and synths; “Too Late” contemplates the end in melodramatic, ultra-romantic fashion, ending with a whispered “you, always.” Saturdays=Youth also features some of M83’s purest pop yet, which provide many of the album’s standouts. “Kim & Jessie” heart-racing young love is one of Gonzalez’s finest sonic confections, along with “Graveyard Girl” and the Kate Bush-worshiping “Up!,” a sci-fi fairy tale that boasts some fittingly unearthly singing by guest vocalist Morgan Kibby. As super-stylized as its sounds and emotions are, “Saturdays=Youth” always seems genuine, even when it feels like its songs are made from the memories of other songs. For all of its nostalgic haze, it’s some of M83’s most focused music.


Track listing

01.  “You, Appearing”   (Anthony Gonzalez)  – 3:39
02.  “Kim & Jessie”   (A. Gonzalez, Yann Gonzalez, Morgan Kibby)  – 5:23
03.  “Skin of the Night”   (A. Gonzalez, Kibby)  – 6:12
04.  “Graveyard Girl”   (A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez)  – 4:51
05.  “Couleurs”   (A. Gonzalez)  – 8:34
06.  “Up!”   (A. Gonzalez, Kibby)  – 4:27
07.  “We Own the Sky”   (A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez)  – 5:02
08.  “Highway of Endless Dreams”   (A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez)  – 4:35
09.  “Too Late”   (A. Gonzalez, Kibby)  – 5:00
10.  “Dark Moves of Love”   (A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez)  – 3:18
11.  “Midnight Souls Still Remain”   (A. Gonzalez)  – 11:11

iTunes bonus track
12.  “Until the Night Is Over” (A. Gonzalez, Nicolas Fromageau) – 6:10

Anthony Gonzalez – vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar, piano, co-producer, mixing, pre-production, art direction
Morgan Kibby – vocals, piano, keyboards
Loïc Maurin – drums, percussion, guitar, bass, keyboards
Jolyon Thomas – guitar technician
Tom Bailey – mixing assistant
Anouck Bertin – sleeve photography
Roland Brown – management
Louise Downer – design
Richard Matthews – assistant engineer
Ewan Pearson – co-producer, additional keyboards, pre-production
Paul A. Taylor – art direction assistant
Ken Thomas – producer, mixing
Producer – Anthony Gonzalez, Ewan Pearson, Ken Thomas

Released: 11 April 2008
Recorded: 2007 Rockfield Studios (Monmouth, Wales)
Genre:  Electronic, Shoegazing, New Wave
Length:  68:22
© 2008

Label – Virgin Records


Sarah McLachlan – Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff Vol. 2 (2008)

Sarah McLachlan - Rarities, B Sides And Other Stuff Vol.02 - Front“Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff Volume 2” is the second compilation album of rarities by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, released in April 2008, twelve years after its predecessor. It was produced by longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand.
In 1996, before she had blown up into the AAA luminary she later became, Sarah McLachlan issued the first volume of “Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff”, which was a nice, albeit remix-heavy, collection of some of the Canadian chanteuse’s harder to find material. In 2008, with superstar status cleanly attained, the second volume was released, with little fanfare or to-do, most likely at the behest of her label, Nettwerk (a subsidiary of Sony BMG). As it turns out, there’s little to get excited about here, as it’s the kind of compilation that appeals mostly to the serious fan as opposed to the casual listener, who may enjoy listening to “Angel” on the radio, even Surfacing, but has little desire to hear DJ Tiësto’s version of “Silence,” her hit song with Delerium, which was already released on the 2001 album Remixed anyway. In fact, all of the songs here have seen the light of day in one way or another, be it on a soundtrack (“When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2, “Ordinary Miracle” from Charlotte’s Web, “Blackbird” from I Am Sam, “Don’t Let Go” from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron), or as a guest on someone else’s album (“Time After Time” is from Cyndi Lauper’s The Body Acoustic, “Homeless” is from Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Long Walk to Freedom, and “Pills” was released as a single by the Perishers, who opened for the singer in 2005). The other tracks are from other assorted compilations or singles, and while there are a couple of nice things here (the lovely “Prayer of St. Francis,” the aforementioned “Blackbird”), Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff, Vol. 2 will only excite the very people who already have all of this material anyway, which makes it…well…not very exciting to anyone.


Track listing

01.  “Ordinary Miracle”   (from Charlotte’s Web)   (David A. Stewart/Glen Ballard)  – 3:06
02.  “Blackbird”   (from I Am Sam)   (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)  – 2:21
03.  “Time After Time (with Cyndi Lauper)”   (Cyndi Lauper/Rob Hyman)  – 4:19
04.  “River”   (Joni Mitchell)  – 4:02
05.  “When She Loved Me”   (from Toy Story 2)   (Randy Newman)  – 3:04
06.  “Don’t Let Go (with Bryan Adams)”   (from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron)   (Bryan Adams/Gavin
        Greenaway/R.J. Lange/Gretchen Peters)  – 4:04
07.  “Just Like Me (with D.M.C.)”   (Harry Chapin/Sandy Chapin)  – 5:12
08.  “Angel (Live) (with Emmylou Harris)”   (Sarah McLachlan)  – 5:57
09.  “Pills (Live) (with The Perishers)”   (Ola Kluft/Mans Lundberg)  – 3:56
10.  “Homeless (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo)”   (Joseph Shabalala/Paul Simon)  – 4:15
11.  “The Rainbow Connection”   (Paul Williams/Kenneth Ascher)  – 3:32
12.  “Prayer of St. Francis”  – 2:02
13.  “Unchained Melody”   (Alex North/Hy Zaret)  – 4:50
14.  “Silence”  (DJ Tiësto’s in Search of Sunrise Remix) (with Delerium)  (Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber/
        McLachlan)  – 11:37

Sarah McLachlan – vocals, piano
Ashwin Sood – vocals, toy piano
Cyndi Lauper, Emmylou Harris, Ladysmith Black Mambazo – vocals
Jamie West-Oram – guitar
Glen Ballard – guitars, keyboards
Dave Stewart – guitars
Sean Ashby – acoustic guitar
Stewart Cole – trumpet
Rob Hyman – organ
Pierre Marchand – keyboards
Simon Smith, Mark Egan, Brian Minato – electric bass
Matt Chamberlain, Sammy Merendino – drums
Chris Potter – bass drum
Ned Douglas – programming
Tiësto – Remix, Producer [Additional] (the song “Silence”)
Arrangers – Randy Newman; Randy Kerber
Producer – Pierre Marchand

Released: April 29, 2008
Recorded at: Warehouse Studio, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Widsky Studios
Genre:  Alternative Pop
Length:  1:02:14
© 2008

Label – Arista Records


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