Skip to content

Recent Articles

26
Aug

Brooke Hogan – The Redemption (2009)

Brooke Ellen Bollea (born May 5, 1988), better known by her stage name Brooke Hogan, is an American reality television star, actress, singer, and media personality. She is the daughter of famous professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Brooke took an early interest in music, and began working on her first studio album in 2002.

BrookeHogan“The Redemption” is her second studio album, and was released on July 21, 2009 under SoBe Entertainment and Fontana Records. Brooke collaborated with several artists for the album, including Stack$, Colby O’Donis, and Flo Rida.
No doubt about it: the Hogan family had a rough time after the fall 2006 release of Brooke Hogan’s first album, Undiscovered. Within one year, her parents’ marriage dissolved and her mom ran off with a boyfriend younger than the 21-year-old Brooke, sparking a very ugly public divorce not helped at all by her brother’s arrest for reckless driving. It was a heaping dose of TMZ-fueled gossip, but Brooke herself wasn’t at the root of either scandal, prompting the question of what exactly Brooke needs to be redeemed from on her Redemption.
The answer is as unclear as the reason why she chose to immortalize herself as a ’70s van mural for the album’s artwork, and these are the only mysteries on “Redemption”, for Brooke Hogan is a pretty simple, sweet girl who only wants love and understanding. In another era, she’d be Sandra Dee singing about holding hands, but in 2009, she’s a Britney wannabe singing about “BeDDable” boyfriends and rough sex, laying bare the explicit thoughts BritBrit only hints at. But where even Britney at her most addled (i.e., Blackout, a clear sonic template for Redemption) gives the impression that she’s signed off on the direction her pop persona is taking, Brooke only seems in control on her vitriolic attack on her mother, delivered completely with an actual argument pasted over the bridge, and the ominous self-empowerment of the title track.
Apart from this, Brooke happily embraces whatever role handed her, not really caring that most of the songs are only suited for Florida strip clubs, not really caring that her singing is filtered through impenetrable layers of Auto-Tune, not really caring that she winds up making music every bit as classy as her cover art. In a sense, there’s a crass purity to the bad taste of Redemption, as it’s nothing more than the product of a pretty, curvy girl who just wants to sing, and producers who create tracks to fit those curves, and if it’s not a lot of fun to hear Hogan and team race toward the same goal on parallel tracks, at least it produces a whole lot of bewildered fascination.

 

Track listing

01.  “Intro”   (Keith Pittman, Yannique Barker)  – 1:01
02.  “Strip”   (Brooke Bollea, Derek Allen)  – 3:16
03.  “Hey Yo!”   (Pittman, C.O’Donis, C.Harris, Jr., Bollea, Barker)  – 3:38  (feat. Colby O’Donis)
04.  “Trust Me”   (Bollea, Trevor James)   – 3:45  (feat. Urban Mystic)
05.  “Falling”   (Bollea, Allen)   – 3:04  (feat. Stack$)
06.  “All I Want Is You”   (Ken Gioia, Michael Goodman)  – 3:26
07.  “Dear Mom…”   (Bollea, Raymond Diaz)  – 4:35
08.  “Handcuffed”   (Bollea, Jared Hancock)  – 3:37
09.  “Ruff Me Up”   (Bollea, Diaz, Tramar Dillard)  – 3:11  (feat. Flo Rida)
10.  “BeDDable”   (Bollea, Warren Felder)  – 3:57
11.  “You’ll Never Be Like Him”   (Aaron Accetta, Kenneth Gioia, Goodman, Amanda Ventrice)  – 3:09
12 . “The One That Got Away”   (Bollea, Barker, Hancock)  – 3:33  (feat. Stack$)
13.  “Redemption”   (Bollea, Pittman Keith) – 3:54
14.  “Finish Line”   (Bollea, Pittman Keith) – 3:33

Credits
Flo Rida
Colby O’Donis
Stack
Urban Mystic
Artwork [Front & Back Cover] – Gary Smith (26)
Mixed By – Niko Marzouca
Photography By – Gary James
Executive-Producer – Yannique Barker
Recorded By – Niko Marzouca, Rick Bryant
Producer – Keith Pittman, Derek Allen, Trevor James, Ken Gioia, Shep Goodman, Raymond Diaz, Jared Hancock Oak, Aaron Accetta

Notes
Release date: July 21, 2009
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hip Hop, R&B
Length:  47:35
© 2009

Label – SoBe Entertainment

26
Aug

Amy Holland – Amy Holland (1980)

Amy Holland (born Amy Celeste Boersma; May 15, 1953) is an American pop-rock singer. She received a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist in 1981, following an eponymous debut album containing the Billboard Hot 100 song “How Do I Survive”.

Amy-Holland-Amy-Holland-559824“Amy Holland” is Amy Holland’s self-titled debut album. The album was released on LP record in 1980, and was produced by Amy’s future husband Michael McDonald. One of the songs on the album “How Do I Survive” (a song originally sung by The Paul Bliss Band) became a big hit and made it to the Top 30 chart. Amy Holland would often perform “How Do I Survive” live on music TV shows such as Music Fair (a Japanese music show) and Young Oh! Oh!. Those live performances of the song can be found on YouTube. Holland mostly recorded some song covers for this album, with one of them being Annette Hanshaw’s 1928 jazz-standard Forgetting You The success of the song How Do I Survive helped Amy earn a Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist in 1981, but she did not win the award however. Some of the songs on the album have been written by Michael McDonald such as “Here In The Light” and “Show Me the Way Home”. “How Do I Survive” was a hit peaking at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. Three years later Amy would release another studio album called On Your Every Word.

 

Track listing

01.  “How Do I Survive”   (Paul Bliss)  – 4:00
02.  “Strengthen My Love”   (Timothy H. Moore)  – 3:58
03.  “Here in the Light”   (Michael McDonald, Patrick Henderson)  – 3:56
04.  “Stars”   (Dan Fogelberg)  – 4:11
05.  “Don’t Kid Yourself”   (Amy Holland, Patrick Henderson)  – 3:48
06.  “I’m Wondering”   (Stevie Wonder, Henry Cosby, Sylvia Moy)  – 3:01
07.  “Looking for Love”   (Matthew Moore, Tom Kosta)  – 3:37
08.  “Holding on to You”   (Bill Martin)  – 3:46
09.  “Show Me the Way Home”   (Michael McDonald)  – 3:36
10.  “Forgetting You”   (B.G DeSylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson)  – 2:33

Credits
Amy Holland – lead vocals
Hadley Hockensmith – guitar
Patrick Henderson – piano, electric piano
Michael McDonald – backing vocals, piano, clavinet
Gary Grant – trumpet
Ollie Mitchell – trumpet
Plas Johnson – saxophone
Tom Scott – saxophone, lyricon
Richard “Slide” Hyde – trombone
John Bay Pierce – bass
Mike Baird – drums
Lenny Castro – percussion
Wendy Waldman – backing vocals
Chet McCracken – vibraphone
Donald Boyette – bass
Charity and Linda McCrary – backing vocals
Cornelius Bumpus – saxophone
Bill Payne – synthesizer
Nick DeCaro – strings
Bill Martin – backing vocals
Maureen MacDonald – backing vocals
Norton Buffalo – harmonica
Michael Porcaro – bass
Jim Petteway – guitar
Trey Thompson – bass
Michael Hossack – drums
John McFee – steel guitar, acoustic guitar
Brian Mann – accordion
Michael McDonald – producer

Notes
Released: 1980
Genre:  Pop, Country
Length:  36:58
© 1980

Label – Capitol Records

24
Aug

The Incredible Bongo Band – Bongo Rock (1973)

The Incredible Bongo Band, also known as Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band, was a project started in 1972 by Michael Viner, a record artist manager and executive at MGM Records. Viner was called on to supplement the soundtrack to the B-film The Thing With Two Heads. The band’s output consisted of upbeat, funky, instrumental music. Many tracks were covers of popular songs of the day characterized by the prominence of bongo drums, conga drums, rock drums and brass.

R-557980-1134116668_jpegThere’s a fun story behind this album, retold in detail in the liner notes. In 1972, Michael Viner was an executive at MGM Records. Asked to put together some music for the soundtrack of an upcoming B-movie horror film, The Thing with Two Heads, he called on songwriter Perry Botkin, Jr., and the two of them whipped up a pair of songs called “Bongo Rock” and “Bongolia.” By the middle of 1973, the songs, attributed to the Incredible Bongo Band, began to take off, both in Canada and on the U.S. R&B and pop charts, so Viner and Botkin took the concept to the next obvious level and cut an album, also titled Bongo Rock. Successful enough to scrape into the bottom of the Billboard album chart, the pair put together The Return of the Incredible Bongo Band in 1974 before fizzling out. There are some other pertinent details worth knowing, for example, that Jim Gordon, of Derek & the Dominos fame, was one of the key drummers on the project, and that Ringo Starr supposedly stopped in to bang out a few beats. But some of the best stuff happened long after the demise of the IBB, when early hip-hop DJs such as Kool DJ Herc and Grandmaster Flash, and then the Sugarhill Gang, Massive Attack and others, discovered the Incredible Bongo Band’s recordings and began using samples from them.
What started as a tossed-off filler session for a crummy flick took on a life of its own. This CD reissue contains not all, but most of the tracks from the two original albums, plus two remixes, “Apache (Grand Master Flash Remix)” and “Last Bongo in Belgium (Breakers Mix).”
Interesting as it is to hear how the bongo-centric beats were toyed with by the hip-hoppers, the original recordings stand up on their own as classically kitschy cheese-rock. Bongos aren’t the only sound heard, naturally, and fans of both lounge-rock and that crisp, reverby guitar sound prominent in old spy movies and Ventures records will dig what the IBB were all about.
Their version of “Apache,” the classic ’60s instrumental made famous by the Shadows, is the equal of any other, and while that can’t be said of their takes on “Satisfaction,” “Raunchy,” “Wipeout” or even “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” these studio musicians most of whom the creators of the IBB don’t recall but which may or may not have included some heavyweights sure had a good time stepping out on their nights off.

 

Track listing

01.  “Let There Be Drums”   (Podolar, Nelson)  – 2:38
02.  “Apache”   (Jerry Lordan)  – 4:54
03.  “Bongolia”   (Perry Botkin Jr.)  – 2:14
04.  “Last Bongo In Belgium”   (Viner, Botkin Jr)  – 6:55
05.  “Dueling Bongos”   (Viner, Botkin Jr.)  – 2:56
06.  “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”   (Doug Ingle)  – 7:42
07.  “Raunchy ’73”   (Justis, Manker)  – 3:23
08.  “Bongo Rock ’73”   (Egnoian, Epps)  – 2:35

Credits
Arranged By – Michael Viner
Drums – Jim Gordon
Horn – Steve Douglas
Keyboards – Michael Omartian
Mastered By – Youichi Aikawa
Percussion – King Errisson
Artwork [Artwork Arranged By] – Kazunori Uemura, Satoru Yonekawa
Producer, Executive Producer – Michael Viner, Perry Botkin, Jr.

Notes
Recorded At – Can-Base Studios
Genre:  Rock, Funk, Surf
Length:  33:28
© 1973

Label – MGM Records

23
Aug

Bonnie Hayes with The Wild Combo – Good Clean Fun (1982)

Bonnie Hayes is an American singer/songwriter, musician and record producer from San Francisco, California. Her songs have been recorded by Cher, Bette Midler, Natalie Cole, Robert Cray, David Crosby, Adam Ant and Booker T and the MGs.

bonnie hayesMuch more so than the contemporary New York or London scenes, California punk was very open to female singer/songwriters. From Penelope Houston of the Avengers to Exene Cervenka of X, the San Francisco and Los Angeles punk scenes were emphatically female-friendly, treating women as active, leading participants rather than novelties or pretty faces. It was no accident that the Go-Go’s and the Bangles, from Los Angeles, succeeded where so many New York- and London-based female-fronted bands failed. Singer/songwriter and keyboardist Bonnie Hayes was the leader of the Punts, one of San Francisco’s best punk bands, but Hayes had more on her mind than the usual three-chord ramalama. Coming from a musical family well-steeped in jazz, blues, and soul (Bonnie’s brother Kevin, the Punts’ drummer, later joined Robert Cray’s band; another sibling, Chris, was lead guitarist and a major songwriter in the R&B-laced pop powerhouse Huey Lewis & the News) and clearly fond of Spector-style ’60s girl groups, Hayes took the Punts in a more melodic and musically varied direction; renaming themselves Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo, the group signed with LA’s Slash Records and released 1982’s Good Clean Fun, probably the finest album of the entire early-’80s California girl pop scene.
Yes, even better than Beauty and the Beat or All Over the Place. First and foremost, the songs on Good Clean Fun are almost embarrassingly catchy. The first two tracks, “Girls Like Me” and “Shelly’s Boyfriend” (both used to fine effect in Martha Coolidge’s 1983 cult film Valley Girl), are three-minute classics with more vocal and musical hooks than many whole albums. While the other eight tracks are slightly less immediate, every single one of them has a catchy chorus or appealing riff that imprints itself in the listener’s memory.
The Hayes siblings, along with guitarist Paul Davis and bassist Hank Maninger, also have the instrumental chops to pull off considerably more sophisticated tunes than anyone was likely to find on, say, a Josie Cotton album. Able to slip from the restrained turmoil of the surprisingly non-whiny indie band lament “Coverage” to the impassioned hard rock of the devastating closer “The Last Word,” Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo also reveal an unexpectedly jazz-influenced bent on the extended instrumental sections of “Dum Fun” and “Raylene.” Aside from the musical heft of the album, Hayes is an acute lyricist with a knack for both clever Elvis Costello-style wordplay and vividly realistic imagery. “Shelly’s Boyfriend” is a sympathetic portrait of the frustrations of teenage love, but the immediacy of the lyrics lifts it above similar tunes.
Other songs, like “Inside Doubt” and “Separating,” deal with more complex emotions without losing the power pop bounce that makes the album so instantly appealing. Good Clean Fun works brilliantly on every level, and only Slash Records’ limited distribution muscle and possibly the unfortunately cheesy cover art kept it from being a hit. As it stands, Good Clean Fun is a neglected ’80s pop masterpiece.

 

Track listing

01.  “Girls Like Me”   (B. Hayes)  – 3:04
02.  “Shelly’s Boyfriend”   (B. Hayes/Savage)  – 3:40
03.  “Separating”   (B. Hayes/Savage)  – 3:39
04.  “Dum Fun”   (B. Hayes/Savage)  – 3:17
05.  “Coverage”   (B. Hayes)  – 4:00
06.  “Inside Doubt”   (B. Hayes/Savage)  – 3:42
07.  “Joyride”   (B. Hayes)  – 3:21
08.  “Loverboy”   (B. Hayes)  – 3:34
09.  “Raylene”   (B. Hayes)  – 3:47
10.  “The Last Word”   (B. Hayes)  – 3:25

Credits
Vocals, Keyboards – Bonnie Hayes
Guitar, Vocals – Paul Davis
Bass, Vocals – Hank Maninger
Drums, Vocals – Kevin Hayes
Engineer – Brian Risner, Garry Creiman
Engineer [2nd Engineer] – Ricky Lee Lynd, Skip Sitkin
Producer – Bonnie Hayes, Steve Savage, The Wild Combo

Notes
Released: 1982
Genre:  Pop Rock, New Wave
Length:  35:29
© 1982

Label – Slash Records

22
Aug

Gypsy – In The Garden (1971)

Gypsy was a American progressive rock band from Minnesota, formed as The Underbeats (1962–1968). Gypsy was the house band at the Whisky a Go Go, West Hollywood, California for about eight months from September 1969 to 1970.

cover“In the Garden” is the second album, their second for Metromedia. It peaked at #173 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts in 1971.
Most of Gypsy’s music was composed and written by guitarist and singer Enrico Rosenbaum. Drummer Bill Lordan went on to play with Sly & the Family Stone and a long career with Robin Trower. Keyboardist James Walsh continued the band in various incarnations as The James Walsh Gypsy Band.
The band, from Minneapolis MN with a following in St. Louis area, was centered around an outstanding singer/guitarist/song-writer, Enrico Rosenbaum, guitarist/vocalist James Johnson, and keyboard/vocalist/composer James (Owl) Walsh. This trio went to LA in 1970 to stake out their musical fortunes and created beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies, and could really rock. Rosenbaum’s vocals are reminiscent of Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), and the group harmonies like CSNY. This album has more vocal solos and instrumental solos, and less soaring harmonies than their double-album debut, called “Gypsy”. But the songs themselves are all outstanding. “Around You” (5:27) – fast paced, guitar and organ “As Far as you can see” (12:07) .. extended jamming, tempo changes, dual-guitar soloing, great vocals “Here (in the Garden) part one” (6:43)..slow paced, acoustic, great vocals, goes into a drum solo “Here (in the Garden) part two” (3:07) has the signature soaring Gypsy vocal harmonies “Blind Man” (3:59) A real hidden gem. beautiful mid-tempo vocal, acoustic guitar, solo electric guitar and organ, a great chorus, “Still I’m fooling myself believing I really don’t know if I need you” “Time will make it better” (2:53) Solo piano and vocal by James Walsh, a lovely tune.
All songs were written by Enrico Rosenbaum, except the last by James Walsh. Rosenbaum died later in the 70’s. Walsh and Johnson have re-organized the group in the late 90’s, and recorded new material true to the original style.

 

Track listen

01.  “Around You”  – 5:27
02.  “Reach Out Your Hand”  – 2:33
03.  “As Far As You Can See (As Much As You Can Feel)”   (intro by Lordan/Walsh)  – 12:09
04.  “Here in the Garden I”  – 6:43
05.  “Here in the Garden II”  – 3:07
06.  “Blind Man”  – 3:59
07.  “Time Will Make It Better”   (Walsh)  – 2:53

All songs by Enrico Rosenbaum except as noted.

Credits
Enrico Rosenbaum – guitar, vocals
James Walsh – keyboards, vocals
James Johnson – guitar, vocals
Bill Lordan – drums
Willie Weeks – bass
Joe Lala – percussion
Produced by – Clark Burroughs
Engineered by – Jerry Barnes

Notes
Release date: July 1971
Recorded at: Larrabee Sound, Los Angeles, CA
Genre:  Progressive rock
Length: 36:51
© 1971

Label – Metromedia Records

22
Aug

David + David – Boomtown (1986)

David + David was an American rock duo composed of Los Angeles-based studio musicians David Baerwald and David Ricketts. They are best known for their debut single “Welcome to the Boomtown”.

david__david_-_boomtownDavid + David’s “Boomtown” is a hard look at urban life in the 1980s, a time when many were fulfilling the American Dream of financial success and upward mobility. It is not an easy album to listen to, as the characters depicted in the songs are often dealing with major problems such as drugs and domestic violence. But it is an artful record, full of poetry and convincing stories of the hard times that many silently endured. At times the record is full of pop hooks, and at other stages a more bleak sound dominates. The vocals of David + David are also effective in telling the tales, as often there is a shrill, despondent quality that complements what is being related to the listener. In particular, the drums have kind of a hushed sound to them, and the guitars often purvey sounds of doom through distortion or other means. “Welcome to the Boomtown” is the hit off the album, and is one of various cuts that convincingly detail the many trials of the characters such as Kevin, who “deals dope out of Denny’s keeps a table in the back.” Although there are often hints of hope and seemingly a sense of compassion toward the subjects in the songs, it is not apparent that most will eventually pull themselves out of their predicaments. One may not want to listen to this record to lift the spirit, but it is a strong reminder of difficult situations faced during what can be perceived by many as the best of times
David & David disbanded shortly after “Boomtown”, and Baerwald and Ricketts continued to work with other musicians. They both collaborated with Sheryl Crow on her debut LP, “Tuesday Night Music Club”.

 

Track listing

01.  “Welcome to the Boomtown”  – 5:31
02.  “Swallowed by the Cracks”  – 4:16
03.  “Ain’t So Easy”  – 4:51
04.  “Being Alone Together”  – 5:31
05.  “A Rock for the Forgotten”  – 4:26
06.  “River’s Gonna Rise”  – 4:29
07.  “Swimming in the Ocean”  – 4:00
08.  “All Alone in the Big City”  – 4:42
09.  “Heroes”  – 3:10

All songs written by David Baerwald and David Ricketts. “Heroes” Written by David Baerwald

Credits
David + David – vocals, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, dobro, piano, drums, keyboards, harmonica, lap steel guitar
Toni Childs – additional vocals
Noland Void – additional vocals
Camille Henry – additional vocals
Judy Clapp – assistant engineering
Paulinho da Costa – percussion
Ed Greene – drums

Production
Bernie Grundman – mastering
John Beverly Jones – engineering, mixing, recording
Melanie Nissen – photography, design, art direction
John Philip Shenale – programming
Davitt Sigerson – production
Chuck Beeson – art direction

Notes
All songs written by David Baerwald and David Ricketts. “Heroes” Written by David Baerwald
Recorded 1986 at Skyline, A&M, Mad Hatter and Capitol Studios.
Genre:  Pop rock
Length:  40:56
© 1986

Label – A&M Records

22
Aug

Perry Farrell – Song Yet To Be Sung (2001)

Perry Farrell (born Perry Bernstein; March 29, 1959) is an American musician, best known as the frontman for the alternative rock band Jane’s Addiction.

MI0001760797“Song Yet to Be Sung” is the second album by vocalist Perry Farrell, released on July 16, 2001, on Virgin Records. The album features collaborations from Farrell’s former bandmates Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Martyn LeNoble. It was originally titled “The Diamond Jubilee”.
Even though Perry Farrell didn’t disappear in the latter half of the ’90s, it sure felt like he had. Lollapalooza dried up not long after he left, his follow-up festival was stillborn, Porno for Pyros never achieved the high profile or respect of Jane’s Addiction and when Jane’s did reunite in 1997, its companion album and tour were a distant memory a year later. So, he seized the opportunity of silence by laying low, developing a new sound for a new project namely, a solo career. During his self-imposed exile he, like many members of the alt-rock generation, became convinced that electronica was the next bold step forward, so he absorbed the sounds and learned how to make it himself, crossing it with worldbeat and new age spirituality for his ambitious comeback record, “Song Yet to Be Sung”. Part of the problem of working in isolation for a prolonged period of time which he essentially was, even if he worked with a number of different collaborators is that the end product feels somewhat hermetic whenever it’s released.
This can be a good thing, since it can help protect an individual vision, which is somewhat true of Song. Farrell certainly has his own brand of mysticism, globe-spanning electronica, and he keeps his focus throughout the record, letting the moods change slowly with the flow of the rhythms. It’s easily the most consistent record he’s cut since Ritual de lo Habitual, and it has a generous spirit that’s brand new to Farrell’s music. This all makes for an interesting listen and, if you’re coming from a similar vantage, it could be quite compelling. Yet despite the idiosyncratic, individual vision Farrell displays throughout the record, it isn’t exactly visionary, especially compared to records released during his prolonged absence from music-making.
No matter its accomplishments, it sounds strangely dated, sharing more with Andrew Weatherall productions from the early ’90s than such late-’90s rock-electronica hallmarks as Homogenic. This doesn’t discount what Farrell’s accomplished here, since this holds its own against Jane’s Addiction far more than any Porno for Pyros record, but it feels more like a product of the ’90s than a new millennium.
The title track,”Song Yet to Be Sung” was the official song for trailers of the series premiere of Smallville.

 

Track listing

01.  “Happy Birthday Jubilee”   (Perry Farrell, Brendan Hawkins, Karl Leiker)  – 4:39
02.  “Song Yet to Be Sung”   (Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins)  – 4:54
03.  “Did You Forget”   (Perry Farrell)  – 4:10
04.  “Shekina”   (Perry Farrell)  – 4:53
05.  “Our Song”   (Perry Farrell)  – 4:21
06.  “Say Something”   (Perry Farrell, Brendan Hawkins)  – 3:45
07.  “Seeds”   (Perry Farrell)  – 3:48
08.  “King Z”   (Perry Farrell)  – 3:31
09.  “To Me”   (Perry Farrell, Karl Leiker)  – 2:59
10.  “Nua Nua”   (Perry Farrell, Brendan Hawkins, Karl Leiker, Stephen Perkins)  – 4:37
11.  “Admit I”   (Perry Farrell, Karl Leiker, Stephen Perkins)  – 4:23
12.  “Happy Birthday Jubilee (reprise)”   (Perry Farrell, Brendan Hawkins, Karl Leiker)  – 2:40

Credits
Perry Farrell – vocals, guitar, harp, drums, keyboard programming
Alex Brown – vocals, background vocals
Max Lavilla, Ray McVeigh, Joel Shearer, Noko, Jennifer Turner – guitar
Dave Aron, Michael Mattioli, Willie Waldman, Maurice Spears – horns
Lonnie Jordan – piano
Patrick Warren – organ, chamberlin
Karl Leiker – drums, programming, keyboard programming
Brendan Hawkins – drums, keyboard programming
Stephen Perkins – drums
DJ Garth, Eric James, Alexis Smith, Marius de Vries, Thomas Johnson – programming
Mad Professor, Maxi Anderson, Monalisa Young – background vocals
Audio Mixers: DJ Garth; Eric James; Greg Collins ; Brendan Hawkins; Alan Moulder; Mad Professor; Perry Farrell; Carmen Rizzo.
Producer Perry Farrell, Krish Sharma, Brenden Hawkins, Marius DeVries, Mad Professor, Karl Leiker

Notes
Recording information: Blue Barn, England; Golden Robot Studios, Beverly Hills, CA.Battery Studios; Grayhound Studios, El Cerrito, CA; Henson Recording, Hollywood, CA; Moutn Moriah Studios, Venice, CA; Record Planet, Sausalito, CA; Village Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Yobel’s Way, Venice, CA. Photographer: David LaChapelle. Arranger: Brendan Hawkins. Personnel includes: Perry Farrell (vocals, harp, keyboards, programming); Dave Navarro, Dave Marlot, Noko (guitar); Willie Waldman (horns); Lonnie Jordan (piano); Patrick Warren (Chamberlain, organ); Karl Leiker, Bikki Johnson (bass); JuJu (percussion); Brenden Hawkins, Steve Pagan (programming); Mad Professor (background vocals). Producers: Krish Sharma, Marius De Vries, Mad Professor.
Genre:  Alternative Rock, Electronic
Length:  48:34
© 2001

Label – Virgin Records

18
Aug

Pandora´s Box – Original Sin (1989)

Pandora’s Box was a female pop music group assembled by Jim Steinman in the 1980s. Some of its members had previously worked with Steinman, in the ensemble Fire Inc., on the album Bat Out of Hell, on live shows and on other studio recordings.

MI0000657341“Original Sin” is a concept album performed by Pandora’s Box and produced by Jim Steinman. Steinman wrote the majority of this album, although there are a couple of cover versions.
Although the album was not a commercial success (except in South Africa), many of the songs have gone platinum with other artists. Steinman is said to be very proud of the songs on this album,
This gothic rock epic was the brainchild of Jim Steinman, the writer/producer behind Meat Loaf and the 1980s resurgence of Bonnie Tyler. This time, Steinman ups the musical ante by utilizing a quartet of powerful female vocalists (including former Meat Loaf backup singer Ellen Foley). Fittingly, Original Sin bears all the hallmarks of the Jim Steinman style: epic-length songs, over-the-top and romance-obsessed lyrics, and plenty of rock & roll bombast. A great example of this approach is the opening track, “Original Sin”; this moody rumination on romantic obsession starts as a piano ballad but soon transforms into a rock song and continues to build until it becomes a rock-operatic aria. Another highlight in the same vein is “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” a tormented ballad about romantic loss and regret built on a spooky yet heart-wrenching piano melody. The latter song is also notable because it would later become a massive hit when covered by Celine Dion. Other songs explore a danceable style enhanced by electronic touches: the most notable example is a cover of the Doors’ “Twentieth Century Fox,” which tarts up this classic with several layers of synthesizer effects, a Jimi Hendrix sample, and musical quotes from “In the Midnight Hour” and “Light My Fire.” These songs are vividly brought to life by the album’s four vocalists, who lend gospel-fueled firepower to the uptempo songs and a surprising emotional vulnerability to the quieter ballads. The resulting album is an odd but fascinating combination of dark humor, heartfelt emotion, and ornate instrumentation. It is not for all tastes, but is well-crafted throughout and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed Jim Steinman’s hits with Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler.

 

Track listing

01.  “The Invocation”  – 0:21
02.  “Original Sin” (The Natives Are Restless Tonight)  – 6:27
03.  “Twentieth Century Fox”   (Written-By – The Doors)  – 4:50
04.  “Safe Sex”  – 6:23
05.  “Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)”  – 6:24
06.  “Requiem Metal”   [Excerpt From “Messa Da Requiem”]  – 0:50
07.  “I’ve Been Dreaming Up A Storm Lately”  – 3:03
08.  “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”  – 8:22
09.  “The Opening Of The Box”  – 1:58
10.  “The Want Ad”  – 2:43
11.  “My Little Red Book”   (Written-By – Burt Bacharach, Hal David)  – 4:11
12.  “It Just Won’t Quit”  – 6:36
13.  “Pray Lewd”  – 3:38
14.  “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be”  – 10:33

All songs written by Jim Steinman, except where indicated.

Credits
Elaine Caswell – Vocals
Ellen Foley – Vocals
Gina Taylor – Vocals
Deliria Wilde – Vocals
Jim Steinman – Keyboards
Eddie Martinez – Guitars
Steve Buslowe – Bass Guitar
Tony Levin – Bass on “Original Sin (The Natives Are Restless Tonight)”
Roy Bittan – Grand Piano
Steven Margoshes – Piano on “Pray Lewd”
Jeff Bova – Synthesizers, Keyboards, Programming
Jimmy Bralower – Drums, Programming
Todd Rundgren, Eric Troyer, Rory Dodd, Holly Sherwood, Laura Theodore – Backing Vocals
Curtis King, Tawatha Agee, Vaneese Thomas, Brenda King, Darryl Tookes – Additional Backing Vocals
New York Philharmonic (conducted by Steven Margoshes) – Orchestra on “The Opening of the Box”
Producer – Jim Steinman; co-produced by Roy Bittan & Larry Alexander

Companies etc
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Virgin Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Virgin Records Ltd.
Printed By – TOPAC
Recorded At – Power Station
Mixed At – Power Station
Mastered At – Sterling Sound

Notes
Released: 1989
Recorded:  The Power Station, New York City
Genre:  Gothic Rock, Wagnerian rock
Length:  1:07:12
© 1989

Label – Virgin Records

17
Aug

Jane’s Addiction – Strays (2003)

Jane’s Addiction is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. The band consists of Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitar), Stephen Perkins (drums) and Chris Chaney (bass).

janes_addiction-strays“Strays” is their fourth album, and third full studio on Capitol Records. “Strays” is the first album to feature bassist Chris Chaney. Regarding the decision to record a new studio album after such a long hiatus, drummer Stephen Perkins stated that the band had already completed two reunion tours performing old material, and that Jane’s was ready for “a new challenge. Vocalist Perry Farrell states that the band “went into the studio thinking fast, hard, modern and to the point.”
The last time that Jane’s Addiction headlined Lollapalooza behind a high-profile album was, of course, 1991. Much changed in 12 years, though, and the declining fortunes of Perry Farrell’s breakthrough festival during the summer of 2003 were matched by a desultory return from three-fourths of the original Jane’s Addiction lineup on its third full album, “Strays”. Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins, and bassist Eric Avery (who declined his reunion invitation) had been a vision of ’80s musical heaven since their studio debut, 1988’s Nothing’s Shocking. Farrell’s art-school intelligence and originality made the band interesting, while Navarro’s and Perkins’ background in heavy metal (they’re both significantly younger than Farrell) gave the band punch, adding the melodicism of power pop and the constant riffing of thrash. Though “Strays” possesses all these characteristics it’s undeniably a Jane’s Addiction record, and a powerful one at that it also illustrates that the group’s formidable musical talents have been subsumed by an apparent quest to save its legacy. For “Strays” is, most of all, a safe record. Farrell’s regal, echo-laden vocals are intact (and out in front like never before), as are Navarro’s ragged, lyrical guitar solos, but the songs lag far behind. In fact, they never even approach the level of any Jane’s material from their two proper albums. This isn’t a record that would allow a throwaway stunner like “Been Caught Stealing” (the tossed-off jam that became the band’s biggest hit) or the majestic ten-minute epic “Three Days.” In their place is a set of majestic jams influenced by Farrell’s second Porno for Pyros LP, “Good God’s Urge”, a mystical mishmash of musical feelings and textures, not songs. The allure of Jane’s Addiction is undiminished by “Strays” (this is still a band creating music unlike any other group on earth).

 

Track listing

01.  “True Nature”  – 3:49
02.  “Strays”   (Farrell, Navarro, Perkins, Ezrin, Aaron Embry, David J)  – 4:32)
03.  “Just Because”  – 3:51
04.  “Price I Pay”  – 5:27
05.  “The Riches”  – 5:44
06.  “Superhero”  – 3:58
07.  “Wrong Girl”  – 4:32
08.  “Everybody’s Friend”  – 3:18
09.  “Suffer Some”  – 4:14
10.  “Hypersonic”  – 3:32
11.  “To Match the Sun”  – 5:25

All songs written by Farrell, Navarro, Perkins, Ezrin, LeNoble, Embry, Chaney except where indicated.

Credits
Perry Farrell – lead vocals, programming
Dave Navarro – guitars, piano
Stephen Perkins – drums, percussion
Chris Chaney – bass
Bob Ezrin – mixing, additional keyboards, percussion, orchestral arrangements
Dionna Brooks-Jackson – backing vocals
Scott Page – saxophones
John Shanks – mandolin
Mike Finnegan – organ
Aaron Embry – keyboards, kalimba
Zack Ray – keyboards
Kim Hill – backing vocals

Production
Brian Virtue – engineer, mixing, programming
Alex Gibson, James Murray – additional engineering
Brian Humphrey, Alex Uychocde – assistant engineer
Joe Bishara – programming
Brenden Hawkins, James Murray – additional programming
Leanna Sterios – orchestral arrangements
Brian Gardner – mastering
Producer – Bob Ezrin and Brian Virtue

Notes
Release date – July 22, 2003
Recorded – 2002–03 at Henson Recording Studios
Genre – Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal
Length – 48:22
© 2003

Label – Capitol Records

17
Aug

The Dream Syndicate – Medicine Show (1984)

The Dream Syndicate is an American alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California, active from 1981 to 1989. The band is associated with the Paisley Underground music movement; of the bands in that movement, according to the Los Angeles Times, it “rocked with the highest degree of unbridled passion and conviction”.

00a_ The Dream Syndicate - Medicine Show (1984)_FrontThough never commercially successful it met with considerable acclaim, especially for its songwriting and guitar playing.
After waves of positive press, A&M Records signed the Dream Syndicate and they went into the studio with producer Sandy Pearlman, who spent five months in the studio guiding the band through their second LP.
Given their sudden rise to success, the Dream Syndicate probably would have dealt with a certain amount of critical backlash no matter how their sophomore effort turned out, but “Medicine Show” was greeted with openly hostile reviews, largely because it sounded practically nothing like the album that sent tongues wagging two years earlier. Where The Days of Wine and Roses was a raw but passionate fusion of Highway 61-era Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground at their most primal, Medicine Show sounded big and polished, but also dusty and weathered, with the terse, nose-thumbing lyrics of the debut replaced with dark, complex narratives full of bad luck and bad blood backed with booming drums and roaring guitars that were significantly more rockist than what Steve Wynn and Karl Precoda brought to their earlier recordings.
Viewed in the context of Wynn’s career, Medicine Show marks the spot where the lyrical themes and musical approach of his later work would first come into focus, but it still doesn’t bear much resemblance to what the Dream Syndicate would create on their subsequent albums in its grand, doomy tone and obsessive but curiously unobtrusive production style. Medicine Show isn’t a grand failure as its initial detractors claimed, but it isn’t the triumph some revisionist fans imagine it to be, either; there are a few great songs scattered throughout (especially “Merrittville” and “Armed with an Empty Gun”), and once it works its way in, the 8:48 of “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” is as potent a guitar workout as anything this band would ever release. But in most respects, this finds Wynn and his bandmates reaching for something they couldn’t quite grasp, and Tom Zvoncheck’s keyboards, for all their drama, never really find their way into the music. Lots of bands let loose with a major-label budget for the first time have made lavish records that didn’t quite work, but unlike most of them, “Medicine Show” doesn’t sound like a grandiose waste of money. Instead, it’s a widescreen guitar spectacle with the soul of a Jim Thompson paperback, and if it doesn’t always work, enough of it does to make it worthy of serious reappraisal.

 

Track listing

01.  “Still Holding on to You”  – 3:39
02.  “Daddy’s Girl”  – 3:02
03.  “Burn”  – 5:34
04.  “Armed with an Empty Gun”  – 3:56
05.  “Bullet with My Name on It”   (Karl Precoda)  – 6:20
06.  “The Medicine Show”  – 6:29
07.  “John Coltrane Stereo Blues”   (Dennis Duck, Dave Provost)  – 8:48
08.  “Merritville”  – 7:20

All songs written by Steve Wynn, except where indicated.

Credits
Steve Wynn – guitar, vocals
Karl Precoda – lead, rhythm guitars
Dennis Duck – drums
Dave Provost – bass
Tom Zvoncheck – piano, Hammond B3 organ
Sid Griffin – background vocals
Stephen McCarthy – background vocals
Paul Mandl – background vocals
Gavin Blair – background vocals
Mastered By – George Marino
Mixed By – Dave Wittman
Engineer – Eric Van Soest, Ken Huncovsky, Paul Mandl, Rod O’Brien
Producer – Sandy Pearlman

Notes
Recorded at: Time Enough and World Enough Studios, S.F., CA,
Mixed at: The Automatt, S.F., CA.
Mastered at: Sterling Sound, New York, N.Y.
Recorded By – Paul Mandl
Recorded By [Drum Tracks] – Rod O’Brien
Genre:  American Underground, Alternative rock
Length:  45:08
© 1984

Label – A&M Records

17
Aug

Fever Ray – Fever Ray (2009)

Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson (born 7 April 1975 in Nacka, Sweden) is a Swedish musician. She was one-half of the electronic music duo The Knife, formed with her brother Olof Dreijer. Andersson was previously the vocalist and guitarist of the alternative rock band Honey Is Cool.

Feverray“Fever Ray” is the debut solo album by Fever Ray, an alias of Karin Dreijer Andersson of Swedish electronic music duo The Knife.
At first, it’s a little difficult to determine where the Knife ends and Fever Ray begins. On paper, it’s clear the Knife is the project of Karin Dreijer and her brother Olof, while Fever Ray is Karin with co-producers Christoffer Berg, Van Rivers, and the Subliminal Kid but the differences aren’t as distinct when listening to Fever Ray the first few times. Initially, the album’s dark, frosty atmosphere feels like a continuation of the Knife’s brilliant Silent Shout, and the oddly bouncy rhythms on songs like “Triangle Walks” and “Coconut” recall the duo’s exotic-yet-frozen Nordic/Caribbean fusion. Eventually, though, Fever Ray reveals itself as far darker and more intimate than anything by the Knife. the Knife’s spooky impulses are usually tempered by vivid pop instincts that Fever Ray replaces with a consistently eerie mood, particularly on “Concrete Walls,” which feels like an even grimmer cousin of Silent Shout’s “From Off to On.” However, Fever Ray’s mix of confessional lyrics and chilly, blatantly synthetic and often harsh sounds make this album as successful an electronic singer/songwriter album as Björk’s Homogenic.
These are some of the most alluring and disturbing songs Dreijer has been involved in making: the excellent album opener “If I Had a Heart” explores possibly inhuman need with a churning, almost subliminal synth and murky bass driving Dreijer’s pitch-shifted vocals (which sound more like a different part of her psyche than a different character in the song); when her untreated voice comes in, keening “will I ever ever reach the floor?” she sounds even more frail and desperate by comparison. The rest of Fever Ray follows suit, offering fragile portraits and sketches that walk the fine line between intimate and insular. Dreijer further expands on the storytelling skills she developed on Silent Shout: the characters in her songs feel even more resonant and unique, especially on “When I Grow Up,” which is as fascinatingly fragmented as a child’s train of thought, skipping from sentiments like “I’m very good with plants” to “I’ve never liked that sad look by someone who wants to be loved by you.”
She also has an eye for unusual details, as on “Seven”‘s “November smoke/And your toes go numb.” It all comes together on the haunting “Now’s the Only Time I Know,” where the low end of Dreijer’s voice sounds especially vulnerable and the lyrics fill in just enough to be tantalizing. At times, Fever Ray threatens to become a little too mysterious, but it never sounds less than intriguing, from the layers of claps and castanets that make up the beat on “I’m Not Done” to “Keep the Streets Empty for Me”‘s almost imperceptible guitars.
With almost tangible textures and a striking mood of isolation and singularity, Fever Ray is a truly strange but riveting album. The album produced four singles “If I Had a Heart”, “When I Grow Up”, “Triangle Walks” and “Seven”. “Stranger Than Kindness” and “Keep the Streets Empty for Me” were released as promotional singles.

 

Track listing

01.  “If I Had a Heart”  – 3:49
02.  “When I Grow Up”  – 4:31
03.  “Dry and Dusty”  – 3:45
04.  “Seven”  – 5:10
05.  “Triangle Walks”  – 4:23
06.  “Concrete Walls”  – 5:40
07.  “Now’s the Only Time I Know”  – 3:59
08.  “I’m Not Done”  – 4:20
09.  “Keep the Streets Empty for Me”   (Fever Ray, Cecilia Nordlund)  – 5:40
10.  “Coconut”  – 6:48

All songs written by Fever Ray, except where indicated.

Credits
Fever Ray – vocals, engineer, mixing
Hampus Lundgren – double bass
Cecilia Nordlund – vocals
Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid – engineer, mixing
Christoffer Berg – engineer, mixing
Henrik Jonsson – mastering
Martin Ander – cover design
Producer – Christoffer Berg, Fever Ray, Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid

Notes
Release date: March 24, 2009
Genre: Electronic, Ambient
Length: 48:05
© 2009

Label – Rabid Records

17
Aug

Dread Zeppelin – Un-Led-Ed (1990)

Dread Zeppelin is an American band best known for performing the songs of Led Zeppelin in a reggae style as sung by a 300-pound (140 kg) Las Vegas Elvis impersonator. Over the years they would also perform songs originally by Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and The Yardbirds. The group toured extensively around the world during their tenure with I.R.S. Records and spread their patented “zeppelin-inna-reggae-style.”

dread zeppelin“Un-Led-Ed” is the debut album by Dread Zeppelin, released in 1990.
Despite singer Tortelvis’ reputed propensity for gas, there is no denying that, initially, Dread Zeppelin was a breath of fresh air in a stale music scene which oftentimes took itself way too seriously. Anyone jaded enough to think they had seen it all in rock & roll was forced to think again when faced with the band’s improbable reggae renditions of Led Zeppelin classics, performed by an overweight caricature of the King himself, the aforementioned Tortelvis. Together, these disparate elements provided an aural and visual cocktail of Spinal Tap proportions but in this case, it was all for real. Of course, none of it could possibly have worked had it not been so cleverly well thought out in advance, and then expertly executed. Make no mistake, behind the sextet’s comedic façade lies a highly competent group, featuring solid musicianship, great arranging talent, and, face it sheer balls and audacity. Having said that, the sextet’s first album, 1990s “Un-Led-Ed”, is a gag-infested tour de force where almost every dubious musical moment is safeguarded by a healthy dose of humor and vice versa. Instantly catchy, and often hilarious renditions of such Zeppelin staples as “Black Dog” and “Heartbreaker” (cleverly spliced with “Hound Dog” and “Heartbreak Hotel” for added flavor) are, for the most part, perfectly valid interpretations from a musical standpoint. (Just listen to guitar player Carl Jah as he peels off scorching leads that would make Jimmy Page proud during “Whole lotta Love” for further proof.) And ultimately, what greater endorsement could one hope for, then the one bestowed by Zep vocal legend Robert Plant, who claimed that he actually preferred Dread Zeppelin’s take on “You’re Time Is Gonna Come” over the original. In the end, there is a very fine line between “sexy clever” and “sexy stupid,” and though they would soon cross that line never to regain their way, at least with Un-Led-Ed, Tortelvis and company were taking care of business.
The album received a public endorsement by Led Zeppelin vocalist, Robert Plant, who claimed he preferred Dread Zep’s version of “Your Time Is Gonna Come” to Led Zeppelin’s original.

 

Track listing

01.  “Black Dog”   (J.P. Jones, Page, Plant)/Hound Dog (Leiber, Stoller)  – 5:21
02.  “Heartbreaker (At the End of Lonely Street)”   (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) / Heartbreak Hotel  (Axton,
        Dursden, Presley)  – 4:46
03.  “Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (She’s Just A Woman)”   (Page, Plant)  – 3:45
04.  “Your Time Is Gonna Come”   (Jones, Page)  – 5:09
05.  “Bring It On Home”   (Page, Plant)  – 4:34
06.  “Whole Lotta Love”   (Bonham, Willie Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant)  – 4:34
07.  “Black Mountain Side”   (Page)  – 2:01
08.  “I Can’t Quit You Baby”   (Willie Dixon)  – 6:02
09.  “Immigrant Song”   (Page, Plant)  – 2:53
10.  “Moby Dick”   (Bonham, Jones, Page)  – 4:19

Credits
Carl Jah – Guitars, Maharishi and Background Vocals
Jah Paul Jo – Guitars, Keyboard and Background Vocals
Put-Mon – Bass and Background Vocals
Tortelvis – Lead Vocals and Drums on “Moby Dick”
Ed Zeppelin – Conga, Percussion & Toast
Cheese – Drums and Percussion
Fresh Cheese ‘n’ Cheese – Drums on “Black Dog”
I-Lar-E Treadwell – Telephone Harmonic Convergence On “Black Dog”
“Colonel” Ron Kane – Spoken Introduction to “Moby Dick”
Bun-E Slopes – Blues Harp on “Bring It On Home”
The Memphis Hornies (Saxwell, Raji And Spam Acid) – Horn Section on “Black Dog”
The Dreadettes – Background Vocals
Michael Jordanaires – Background Vocals
Producers – Jah Paul Jo, Rasta Li-Mon
Engineer – Rasta Li-Mon
Mastered – Plant ‘n’ Paige at Love Cave

Notes
Art Direction: Bryant Fernandez (Birdcage Records), Hugh Brown (I.R.S. Records)
Photography: Bruce Fernandez, Andy Castro, Fred Davis
Charlie Haj is the man who hands Tortelvis his water and towels on stage.
Genre:  Hard rock, reggae rock
Length:  43:24
© 1990

Label – I.R.S. Records

13
Aug

Golden Smog – Another Fine Day (2006)

Golden Smog is a loosely connected group of musicians comprising, at various times, members of Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Wilco, The Jayhawks, Run Westy Run, The Honeydogs and Big Star. The group took their name from a nickname given to Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones episode “Hot Lips Hannigan”, which, in turn, was a parody of singer Mel Tormé’s nickname (The Velvet Fog).

GoldenSmog-AnotherFineDay-FrontIn 1998, when Golden Smog released their second full-length album, “Weird Tales”, they were the premier supergroup of the alt-country movement, featuring key members of two of the scene’s biggest acts, Wilco and the Jayhawks, as well as roots-friendly guitarist Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum. Eight years later, things are different for everyone involved with the band; alt-country never enjoyed the commercial breakthrough many were expecting, Wilco evolved into a noise-friendly prog-pop band, the Jayhawks got less twangy and more expressively hooky on the road to breaking up, Soul Asylum effectively dropped off the map for close to a decade, and 2006’s “Another Fine Day” audibly reflects the many changes these musicians have gone through. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco is now easily the biggest name in this band, and significantly, he’s more stingy with his time; his songwriting credits amount to two songs penned with Jayhawk Gary Louris, and he only appears on six of the disc’s 15 tracks. However, the more adventurous musical palate that Wilco has embraced is certainly felt, with a veneer of tastefully applied noise noticeable on numbers such as “Beautiful Mind” and “You Make It Easy.” The real creative movers behind the album are former Jayhawks Marc Perlman, Kraig Jarret Johnson, and Gary Louris; they wrote the bulk of the material as well as dominating the instrumental credits, and their work here suggests a slightly more “out there” variation on the expressive pop textures of Sound of Lies and Smile. (Oddly, “Listen Joe,” which Louris wrote with Tweedy, more closely resembles the more subtle approach of Rainy Day Music.) In this context, Dan Murphy sounds more like a hired gun than anything else, though he’s clearly simpatico with the other players and when he gets a chance to come to the forefront his rock gestures and well-controlled feedback are a welcome part to the band. One of the results of Tweedy’s lesser degree of participation on these sessions is Another Fine Day sounds less scattershot and more unified than Golden Smog’s earlier efforts, which makes sense since the core of this band had been working together for years, and the results seem less like a genially thrown-together side project than the work of a real band. The only drawback for fans is this Golden Smog doesn’t bear much aural resemblance to the band that made Down by the Old Mainstream and Weird Tales; then again, the bands who make up Golden Smog’s membership don’t sound much like they did back then, either, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

 

Track listing

01.  “You Make It Easy”   (Gary Louris, Kraig Jarret Johnson)  – 4:12
02.  “Another Fine Day”   (Louris, Dan Murphy)  – 4:18
03.  “5-22-02”   (Louris, Johnson, Marilyn)  – 3:46
04.  “Long Time Ago”   (Jeff Tweedy, Louris)  – 2:59
05.  “Corvette”   (Golden Smog)  – 3:46
06.  “Beautiful Mind”   (Louris, Johnson)  – 6:20
07.  “Listen Joe”   (Louris, Tweedy)  – 5:13
08.  “Cure for This”   (Marc Perlman)  – 3:44
09.  “Hurricane”   (Murphy)  – 4:04
10.  “Strangers”   (Dave Davies)  – 3:22
11.  “Frying Pan Eyes”   (Johnson, Louris)  – 4:22
12.  “Gone”   (Louris)  – 5:12
13.  “Never Felt Before”   (Murphy)  – 3:42
14.  “I Can”   (Johnson, Louris, Ackerson)  – 3:34
15.  “Think About Yourself”   (Johnson, Louris)  – 5:24

Credits
Daniel Murphy – piano, guitar, vocals
Kraig Jarrett Johnson – vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, piano
Gary Louris – piano, guitars, banjo, Wurlitzer, piano, SK-60 keyboard, synthesizer, Mellotron
Marc Perlman – bass guitar, guitar
Ed Ackerson – percussion, piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer
Jeff Tweedy – guitars, banjo, vocals, screwdriver guitar solo, backing vocals
Linda Pitmon – drums
Jody Stephens – drums, percussion
Holly Marilyn – backing vocals
Jose Guillanot – trombone
Francis Salas – saxophone
Miguel Angel Minoz – trumpet
Jim Boquist – backing vocals
Muni Camon – vocals (“Cure For This”)
Mixed By – Ed Ackerson, Stuart Sikes
Producer – Golden Smog, Paco Loco

Notes
Release date: July 18, 2006
Recorded At – Paco Loco Studios, Flowers Studio
Genre: Alternative, Country Rock
Length: 1:04:03
© 2006

Label – Lost Highway

12
Aug

Louise Goffin – Kid Blue (1979)

Louise Lynn Goffin is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and Producer. Goffin’s parents are songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

louiseAt the age of 14 she and her sister Sherry provided vocals for the song “Nightingale” on her mother Carole King’s album, Wrap Around Joy, released in 1974. She also sang backing vocals on Carole King’s 1975 release, “Really Rosie”. Goffin’s debut public performance was opening for Jackson Browne at the Troubadour when she was 17 years old. Her debut album “Kid Blue”, produced by Danny Kortchmar, was released on Elektra/Asylum in 1979
“Kid Blue” suffered by unfair comparison to her mother Carole King’s work. Not as good as “Tapestry” was the lazy, myopic verdict, and the album failed to take off. What no one thought to point out was that Goffin was 16-years-old at the time, while King made “Tapestry” in her late twenties. A more sensible comparison could have been drawn by measuring “Kid Blue” against King’s first recording “Baby Sittin’”, made when she was 16. By that score, “Kid Blue” is a commendable effort; Goffin’s lyrical concerns apart from the teen bluster of “Jimmy and the Tough Kids” are far more ambitious than King’s adolescent Brill Building records, and both Goffin, on vocals, piano, and guitar, and her band turn in sophisticated, polished performances. True, the songs (mostly written or co-written by Goffin) are good, rather than brilliant. Most mine a crunchy guitar rock vein (“Red Lite Fever,” “Kid Blue”), although there are some interesting surprises, particularly the Shangri-Las cover “Remember (Walking in the Sand”) and the delightfully tuneful “Singing Out Alone.”

 

Track listing

01.  “Kid Blue”   (L. Goffin, B. Hipple)  – 3:14
02.  “All I’ve Got to Do”   (J. Lennon, P. McCartney)  – 2:55
03.  “Hurt by Love”   (D. Kortchmar)  – 3:40
04.  “Red Lite Fever”   (L. Goffin, D. Kortchmar)  – 3:46
05.  “Remember [Walking in the Sand]”   (G. Morton)  – 3:41
06.  “Jimmy and the Tough Kids”   (L. Goffin)  – 3:46
07.  “Angels Ain’t for Keeping”   (L. Goffin)  – 3:29
08.  “Long Distance”   (L. Goffin)  – 3:50
09.  “Trapeze”   (L. Goffin)  – 3:47
10.  “Singing Out Alone”   (L. Goffin, B. Hipple)  – 3:51

Credits
Louise Goffin – Vocals, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Carole King – Background Vocals
Peter Asher – Percussion
Mike Baird – Drums
Jorge Calderon – Background Vocals
David Campbell – String Arramgement
Curtis Coleman – Background Vocals
Dean Cortez – Bass
Kenny Edwards – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Andrew Gold – Organ, Synthesizer
Don Grolnick – Organ, Electric Piano
Don Henley – Background Vocals
David Kemper – Drums
Danny Kortchmar – Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar Solo
Russ Kunkel – Drums
Michael Landau – Guitar, Guitar Solo
Steve Lukather – Guitar
Bob Mayo – Piano
David Paich – Organ, Piano
John Pierce – Bass
Mike Porcaro – Bass
Peter Robinson – Electric Piano, Synthesizer
Leland Sklar – Bass
J.D. Souther – Background Vocals
Waddy Wachtel – Guitar, Guitar Solo

Production
Art Direction, Design – Ron Coro
Engineer – Dennis Kirk
Engineer [Second] – Butch Lynch, Gale Veltri, George Ybarra, Rick Powell, Serge Kreyers
Photography By – Gary Heery
Producer – Danny Kortchmar

Notes
Recorded At:  The Sound Factory
Genre:  36:13
Length:  Rock, Pop
© 1979

Label – Asylum Records

12
Aug

Martin L. Gore – Counterfeit (EP) (1989)

Martin Lee Gore (born 23 July 1961) is an English singer songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, producer, remixer, and DJ. He is a founding member of Depeche Mode and has written the majority of their songs. His work now spans over three decades.

martinReleased in 1989, Counterfeit is a six-song E.P. of cover songs, hence the name, implying that the songs were not written by Gore. “Counterfeit” was recorded during a band hiatus after recording and touring for the album “Music for the Masses”; bandmate Alan Wilder also recorded and released Hydrology under the pseudonym Recoil during this period.
Although Martin Gore had written almost every song in Depeche Mode’s catalog since the band’s second album, 1982’s “A Broken Frame”, his first solo effort is an EP of remakes. Counterfeit’s opening track, a version of Joe Crow’s “Compulsion” is a bouncy pop confection that wouldn’t sound out of place on 1981’s Speak and Spell, but he slows things down for the rest of the album, which includes material previously recorded by Sparks (“Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth”) and the   Comsat Angels (“Gone”). Gore’s voice is heard only in a handful of Depeche tunes like “A Question of Lust” and “People Are People,” but he possesses a sweet tenor with more range than that of Depeche Mode frontman David Gahan. Despite the wide variety of sources (the traditional “Motherless Child” is the most surprising cover here), Gore’s underwhelming arrangements undermine the material, making Counterfeit sound like an album of demos. Gore was at least able to inject his personality into the music, which is often quite beautiful. While not an essential purchase for the casual listener, Counterfeit is a must for Depeche Mode fans, since it allows the band’s true creative mastermind to step up front for a change.

 

Track listing

01. “Compulsion” – 5:26
(written and originally recorded by Joe Crow)
02. “In a Manner of Speaking” – 4:19
(written by Winston Tong, originally recorded by Tuxedomoon)
03. “Smile in the Crowd” – 5:02
(written by Vini Reilly, originally recorded by The Durutti Column)
04. “Gone” – 3:28
(written by Fellows/Glaisher/Peake/Bacon, originally recorded by Comsat Angels)
05. “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth” – 3:02
(written by Ron Mael, originally recorded by Sparks)
06. “Motherless Child” – 2:48
(traditional)

Credits
Engineered by Rico Conning
Produced by Martin L. Gore and Rico Conning

Notes
Release date: June 12, 1989
Recorded at: Sam Therapy Studios, London
Genre:  Synthpop
Length:  24:25
© 1989

Label – Mute Records

7
Aug

Archie Bell & The Drells – There’s Gonna Be A Showdown (1969)

Archie Bell & the Drells was an American R&B vocal group from Houston, Texas, and one of the main acts on Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records.

MI0003604061“There’s Gonna Be a Showdown” is a 1969 album by American funk band Archie Bell & the Drells, released by the record label Atlantic.
The Houston vocal group’s final LP for Atlantic Records is 28 minutes of merriment. Their next two appeared on Philadelphia International. This finale continued the good vibes established on their two previous Atlantic albums. Producers/writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff employ the same lighthearted production on the Drells as they did the Intruders. The joyous title track isn’t about gang-banging, but a dancing confrontation that Gamble & Huff spice with a convoluted but infectious break. The cutesy, compelling “My Balloon Is Going Up” warms your heart for no apparent reason; it’s just a good, happy sound. Speaking of the Intruders, “Girl You’re Too Young,” a Gamble, Archie Bell, and Thom Bell song, has the “Cowboys to Girls” guys written all over it; “Here I Go Again,” another R&B hit, is more formulaic. “Houston, Texas” pays homage to Archie Bell & the Drells’ hometown, but they didn’t write it non-Texans Gamble, Huff, and Bobby Martin did. Others deserving a shout-out include Archie Bell’s “Mama Didn’t Teach Me That Way,” Mikki Farrow and Mervin and Melvin Steals’ “Green Power,” and the Steals’ tutorial “Go for What You Know.” As Mystro and Lyric, the Steals later wrote their biggest record, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” for the Spinners.
Just a few years later these same people became responsible for a new sound that came out of Philadelphia. It was called the “Philly sound,” or TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia).

 

Track listing

01.  “I Love My Baby”   (Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble)  – 2:42
02.  “Houston Texas”   (Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, Bobby Martin)  – 2:41
03.  “(There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown”   (Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff)  – 2:44
04.  “Giving Up Dancing”   (Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, Bobby Martin)  – 2:22
05.  “Girl You’re Too Young”   (Archie Bell, Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble)  – 2:23
06.  “Mama Don’t Teach Me That Way”   (Archie Bell)  – 2:39
07.  “Do the Handjive”   (Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble)  – 2:27
08.  “My Balloon’s Going Up”   (Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff)  – 2:27
09.  “Here I Go Again”   (Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff)  – 2:15
10.  “Go For What You Know”   (Melvin Steals)  – 2:07
11.  “Green Power”   (Melvin Steals)  – 2:23
12.  “Just a Little Closer”   (Archie Bell)  – 3:25

Credits
Archie Bell
Lee Bell
Joe Cross
Willie Parnell
James Wise
Lucious Larkins
Billy Butler
Producer – Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, L.J.F. Productions

Notes
Release Date: July, 1969
Genre:  Funk, Soul
Length:  30:44
© 1969

Label – Atlantic Records

7
Aug

Brooklyn Funk Essentials – Cool And Steady And Easy (1995)

Brooklyn Funk Essentials is a music collective who mix jazz, funk, and hip hop, featuring musicians and poets from different cultures.

brooklynThe band was conceived in 1993 by producer Arthur Baker and bassist and musical director Lati Kronlund. In the mid-1990s, the group became a staple of the New York City club scene. Their debut album Cool And Steady And Easy (1995) scored an underground hit with the rendition of Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan”. This is one funky album. Its funky but not too hip-hoppy, not too acid jazzy either. A solid rythm section holds the bottom end while horns and/or vocals literally bounce and float over the top. The Brooklyn Funk Essentials are more funky and jazzy with some reggae and world beats thrown in. This is outstanding funk with a spiritual, “feel good” influence. Check out tunes like “The Creator Has a Master Plan” and “Take the L Train.” Brooklyn Funk Essentials is able to shift gears between instrumental jazz (“Take the L Train”), jazz-influenced funk (” The Creator Has A Master Plan,” “Bop Hop,” “Blow your Brains Out”), and tracks like “The Revolution Was Postponed Because Of Rain,” that are just funny. The latter song describes the many pitfalls that befall a group planning a revolution, including being delayed by a new trainee cashier at a fast-food restaurant who wails, “Ahh, where’s the button for the fries?” as the revolutionaries’ moment of opportunity slips away. The musicians are excellent (they were all professional studio musicians before forming BFE), as are the vocalists. The sampling is appropriate to the music and adds texture – too many groups don’t seem to be thinking when they throw in another James Brown sample. The music is loaded with energy as opposed to the more mellow offerings by other jazz-influenced groups like Morcheeba or Massive Attack. A good soundtrack to an urban summer, this album showcases the flamboyant side of New York (“Big Apple Boogaloo” can be heard in the film “Party Girl”) and is appropriate for just about any occasion.

 

Track listing

01.  “Take The L Train (To B’klyn)”   (Kronlund)  – 5:50
02.  “The Creator Has A Master Plan”   (Thomas, Sanders)  (Vocals by: Joi Cardwell)  – 5:51
03.  “The Revolution Was Postponed Because Of Rain”   (Kronlund, Allen) (Vocals by: David Allen)  – 4:59
04.  “Bop Hop”   (Arthur Baker)  – 5:13
05.  “Brooklyn Recycles”   (Baker, Roseman)  – 5:25
06.  “Mizz Bed-Stuy”   (Arthur Baker)  – 4:10
07.  “A Headnaddas Journey To The Planet Adidi-Skizm”   (Baker, Shapiro, Sha-Key)  (Vocals by: Sha-key)  – 6:15
08.  “Big Apple Boogaloo”   (Baker)  – 6:21
09.  “Blow Your Brains Out”   (Baker, Parker)  (Saxophone [Tenor] by: Maceo Parker)  – 4:59
10.  “Stickman Crossing The Brooklyn Bridge”   (Baker, Brockman, Allen)  (Vocals by: David Allen)  – 7:27
11.  “Dilly Dally”   (Sylvester, Roseman)  – 5:10
12.  “Take The L Train (To 8th Ave.)”   (krolund)  – 4:05

Credits
Vocals – Everton Sylvester, Papa Dee, Paul Shapiro
Bass, Guitar, Keyboards – Lati Kronlund
Drums – Yancy Drew Lambert
Featuring [Samples] – Arthur Baker
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Bassy Bob Brockmann
Flute, Saxophone – Paul Shapiro
Percussion – E.J. Rodriguez
Scratches [Turntables] – DJ Jazzy Nice
Synthesizer – Kristoffer Wallman
Trombone – Joshua Roseman
Vibraphone – Bill Ware III

Production
Produced-by: Arthur Baker, Lati Kronlund
Engineer [Editing]: Jim Betteridge, Sam Park
Engineer [Mix]: Bassy Bob Brockmann, Louis Scalise
Executive Producer: Arthur Baker, Bill Coleman, Lati Kronlund
Mastered By: Miles Showell
Mixed By: Arthur Baker, Bassy Bob Brockmann, Lati Kronlund, Louis Scalise

Notes
Released: 1995
Genre:  Funk, Acid Jazz, Hip Hop
Length:  65:45
© 1995

Label: RCA Records

7
Aug

Gentle Giant – Free Hand (1975)

Gentle Giant were a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was known for the complexity and sophistication of its music and for the varied musical skills of its members. All of the band members, except Malcolm Mortimore, were multi-instrumentalists. Although not commercially successful, they did achieve a cult following.

Freehandcover“Free Hand” is an album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant that was released in 1975. It also marked their first album under their new label, Chrysalis Records in the U.K. This album is noted for its high production values, and a less dissonant, more accessible feel than their previous album “The Power and the Glory”.
“Free Hand” is perhaps Gentle Giant’s most realized effort. After the excellent “In a Glass House”, the group further developed its Renaissance-medieval approach, producing one of the most creative and complex recordings in progressive rock history. Their vocal approach to the four-part fugue “On Reflection” was revolutionary for its time and is looked upon as one of the genre’s defining moments. Despite the complexity of the arrangements, the music never sounds academic and in fact is very accessible thanks to several melodic hooks. The combination of superb musicianship, dry wit, and creative compositions make this an essential and historical recording.

 

Track listing

01.  “Just the Same”  – 5:33
02.  “On Reflection ” – 5:43
03.  “Free Hand”  – 6:14
04.  “Time to Kill”  – 5:08
05.  “His Last Voyage”   (R. Shulman, Minnear)  – 6:26
06.  “Talybont”  (instrumental)  – 2:43
07.  “Mobile”  – 5:03

All songs written and composed by Kerry Minnear, Derek Shulman, and Ray Shulman, except where noted.

Credits
Derek Shulman – vocals, recorders, sax
Ray Shulman – bass, violin, recorders, vocals
Gary Green – guitars, vocals
Kerry Minnear – keyboards, vocals
John Weathers – percussion

Production
Engineer – Gary Martin
Assistant engineer – Paul Northfield
Graphics artwork by – Richard Evans
Producer – Gentle Giant

Notes
Release date: July 1975
Recorded: April 1975, Advision Studios, London
Genre:  Progressive Rock, Progressive Folk
Length: 36:50
© 1975

Label – Chrysalis Records

7
Aug

The Gipsy Kings – Este Mundo (1991)

The Gipsy Kings are a group of musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France who perform in Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Although group members were born in France, their parents were mostly gitanos, Spanish gypsies who fled Catalonia during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. They are known for bringing Catalan rumba, a pop-oriented music distantly derived from traditional flamenco music, to worldwide audiences. Their music has been described as a place where “Spanish flamenco and gypsy rhapsody meet salsa funk”. The group originally called itself Los Reyes.

gipsy kings“Este Mundo” is the fifth studio album by the Gipsy Kings, released in 1991 in US and Europe, both versions are identical.
Formed in France, but rooted in Spanish flamenco tradition, the Gipsy Kings began incorporating pop into their buoyant Latin sound in the late 1980s, eventually leading to massive international success. Released in 1991, “ESTE MUNDO” finds the ensemble offering up a potent set of acoustic guitar-driven tunes that are marked by percussive strumming, dexterous lead work, and the husky, emotive vocals of bandleader Nicholas Reyes. The core group of six-string players is bolstered on some songs by bass, horns, and/or drums, giving “ESTE MUNDO” a vibrant atmosphere, particularly on songs such as the surging “Baila Me” and the dreamy title track. Although much of the album is upbeat, the Gipsy Kings also ease into a few mellow instrumental numbers, including the gentle “Lagrimas” and the slightly funky “Ternuras.” One of the most consistent and confident outings in the Gipsy Kings’ catalogue, “ESTE MUNDO” is sure to please flamenco aficionados and many other world music fans.

 

Track listing

01.  “Baila Me”  – 3:47
02.  “Sin Ella”  – 4:00
03.  “Habla Me”  – 4:06
04.  “Lagrimas”  (Instrumental)  – 2:58
05.  “Oy”  – 4:51
06.  “Mi Vida”  – 3:52
07.  “El Mauro”  – 4:39
08.  “No Volvere”  – 3:52
09.  “Furia”  (Instrumental)  – 2:40
10.  “Oh Mai”  – 3:14
11.  “Ternuras”  (Instrumental)  – 3:26
12.  “Este Mundo”  – 4:12

Credits
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Nicolas Reyes
Guitar – Diego Baliardo*, Paco Baliardo
Guitar [Solo Guitar] – Tonino Baliardo
Guitar, Backing Vocals – André Reyes, Canut Reyes
Painting [Guitars Painting By] – Alex Jordanov
Photography [Cover Photo] – Franck Cortès
Artwork By – Bronx Agence

Notes
Release date: July, 1991
Genre:  Flamenco, Latin World Music
Length: 45:05
© 1982

Label – Columbia Records

7
Aug

The B.B. & Q. Band – The Brooklyn Bronx & Queens Band (1981)

B.B. & Q. Band (which stands for the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens Band), was an American post-disco/funk band, which formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1986.

bb-q-bandGuadaloupean business man Jacques Fred Petrus emerged as a successful disco producer in the late 70s together with his musical partner, Italian Mauro Malavasi. In 1980, they achieved a major breakthrough with the studio project Change featuring the cream of Italian session musicians and New York studio singers. It was also in New York where Petrus was introduced to bassist Paris Ford and his band, and the idea to do something together arose.
Mauro Malavasi was the main composer of the material, and together with Change musicians Davide Romani (bass) and Paolo Gianolio (guitar), he laid down most of the backing tracks in Bologna, Italy. It is uncertain how much Ford’s band actually played on the resulting album, Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band, as they christened themselves. Regardless of this, their debut single “On the Beat” became a #8 R&B hit in the summer of 1981, followed by the dreamy “Time for Love” and the bouncy “Starlette” originally intended for Change – featured vocals by Fonzi Thornton, Gordon Grody and Diva Gray.
By 1982, most of the original members of the B. B. & Q. Band (as the name was abbreviated to) had left. Jacques Fred Petrus was notorious for not paying his musicians. Only keyboard member Kevin Nance remained, and a new line-up was assembled for their second album.

 

Track listing

01.  “On the Beat”   (Paul Slade)  – 5:56
02.  “Time for Love”   (Paul Slade)  – 6:06
03.  “Don’t Say Goodbye”   (Tanyayette Willoughby)  – 3:48
04.  “Starlette”   (Davide Romani, Paul Slade)  – 4:58
05.  “Mistakes”   (Davide Romani, Tanyayette Willoughby)  – 4:41
06.  “Lovin’s What We Should Do”   (Jay Hoggard)  – 5:07
07.  “I’ll Cut You Loose”   (Rudy Trevisi, Tanyayette Willoughby)  – 5:22

Credits
Lead Vocals – Ike Floyd
Vocals [Solo], Backing Vocals – Bobby Douglas, Gordon Grody
Backing Vocals – Diva Gray, Fonzi Thornton, Luther Vandross, Robin Clark
Bass – Davide Romani, Peewee Ford*
Drums – Dwayne Perdue, Terry Silverlight
Guitar – Abdul Wali Mohammed*, Paolo Gianolio
Keyboards – Kevin Nance
Saxophone – Denny Trimboli, Rudy Trevisi
Strings – Goody Music String Ensemble, The
Trombone – Bob Alexander
Trumpet – Earl Gardner, Victor Paz
Piano, Synthesizer, – Mauro Malavasi

Production
Engineer – Michael H. Brauer
Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Hoffman
Engineer, Synthesizer [Assistant] – Maurizio Biancani
Art Direction – Roy Kohara
Mastered By – Jay Maynard
Producer, Executive Producer – Jacques Fred Petrus

Notes
Recorded at: Fonoprint Studios, Bologna, Italy
All vocals recorded & mixed at: Media Sound Studios, New York City
Mastered at:  Capitol Records
Genre:  Soul, Funk, Disco
Length:  35:14
© 1981

Label – EMI Music Distribution

6
Aug

The Gregg Allman Band – Just Before The Bullets Fly (1988)

The Gregg Allman Band, also known as Gregg Allman & Friends, is a Southern rock/blues rock group that Gregg Allman established and has led since the 1970s, during periods when Allman has been recording and performing separate from the Allman Brothers Band and has chosen not to perform exclusively as a solo artist. 1988’s

front1988’s “Just Before The Bullets Fly” is the second of The Gregg Allman Band. If you’re an Allman Brothers fan, of course this will be a good addition to your collection. On the other hand, if you’re not a Brothers fan, this is still an excellent album to have. What’s the difference, you may ask. Well, first of all; the producer, Rodney Mills. The sound on this album is far clearer than most Brothers albums. Secondly, and no offence to Dickie Betts; Dan Toler (once a Brothers member) is doing such a terrific job of his guitar playing. All through the album, in fact. The music? Typical Gregg Allman blues with hints of funk (Thorn And A Wild Rose, Island).
Essentially, the album is I’m No Angel, Pt. 2, with the same glossy mixes and straight-ahead rock & roll. This isn’t a bad thing, in theory, and the execution is solid. It’s just that the songs aren’t there. There are a couple of moments that work namely, the opening punch of “Demons” and “Before the Bullets Fly” but most of the tunes aren’t terribly memorable, and the ultra-slick production doesn’t help matters. Given this tepid effort, it’s little wonder that it took Allman nearly ten years to deliver a sequel. This album was recorded just prior to the great Allman Brothers Band reunion that started in 1989, which has produced 5 suprisingly wonderful ABB albums. Although this album has some great songs on it, the majority of the music is overproduced – including synthesizers taking the place of real backup horns. Some of these songs he still plays with his current solo band (Slip Away, Before the Bullets Fly) and they have an honest, roots-type R&B sound to them when performed in concert nearly 10 years later. Too bad he didn’t record these songs that way.

 

Track listing

01.  “Demons”   (Gregg Allman, Dan Toler, David Toler)  – 3:28
02.  “Before the Bullets Fly”   (Warren Haynes, John Jaworowicz, Williams)  – 3:41
03.  “Slip Away”   (William Armstrong, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur Terrell)  – 4:31
04.  “Thorn and a Wild Rose”   (Tony Colton, Dan Toler, Bruce Waibel)  – 4:14
05.  “Ocean Awash the Gunwale”   (Gregg Allman, Tony Colton, Dan Toler)  – 4:53
06.  “Can’t Get Over You”   (Billy Burnette, David Malloy)  – 3:28
07.  “Island”   (Gregg Allman, Tony Colton, Johnny Neel, Dan Toler)  – 4:17
08.  “Fear of Falling”   (Gregg Allman, Tim Heding, Jeffrey Townsend)  – 3:35
09.  “Night Games”   (Gregg Allman, Tony Colton, Dan Toler)  – 3:53
10.  “Every Hungry Woman”   (Gregg Allman)  – 4:33

Credits
Gregg Allman – Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Lead Vocals
Tim Heding – Keyboards, Background Vocals
Dan Toler – Guitar, Keyboards
David Frankie Toler – Drums
Chaz Trippy – Percussion
Bruce Waibel – Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
Christopher Austopchuk – Art Direction
Caroline Greyshock – Photography
Jeffrey Dean – Set Design
Mike Gallo – Electronics
William Perkins – Direction
Michael Caplan – Executive Producer
Rodney Mills – Producer, Engineer, Mixing

Notes
Release: 1988
Genre:  Southern rock
Length:  40:11
© 1988

Label – Epic Records

6
Aug

Richard Betts – Highway Call (1974)

Forrest Richard “Dickey” Betts (born December 12, 1943) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.

highway-call“Highway Call” is the debut solo album by Dickey Betts (under the name Richard Betts) of The Allman Brothers Band. It was recorded in 1974 in Macon, Georgia at Capricorn Studios. On this album, Betts further develops and perfects the country sound that emerged on the Allman’s 1973 album “Brothers and Sisters”. The standout tracks are “Long Time Gone”, “Highway Call”, and the extended country jam “Hand Picked”. Guest musicians include Vassar Clements on fiddle and Jeff Hanna on acoustic guitar.
“Highway Call” is, in essence, the second chapter in Betts finding his own voice as not only a singer, but also as a songwriter as well. At a brief half-hour in length, Highway Call is nonetheless an emotionally powerful slice of small country life offered with a vast emotional landscape. The tone is nostalgic in that each of the songs here reflects memory and the yearning for a simpler, less cluttered life lived in the open spaces, away from the chaotic roil of rock stardom and all of its trappings. The title track reflects an acceptance of Betts’ life as an itinerant musician, destined to play out his hand on the road. There isn’t a hint of regret in the ringing, slippery guitars and harmony vocals, but there is a sense that life could have been different. On “Let Nature Sing,” Betts calls forth the spirits of America, from its rock and crags, its lakes and panoramic vistas, and from the ghosts of the people who’ve traipsed through Betts’ life, leaving an emotional and indelible impression upon him. Each song here, such as “Rain,” with its sideways pedal steel, or “Long Time Gone,” with its runaway slide, or even the aforementioned “Let Nature Sing,” with its glorious dobro and fiddle (courtesy of Vassar Clements) underscoring Betts’ lead and the ringing pedal steel of Jon Hughey is a testament to the pastoral in American life. And for Betts, the rambler, gambler, and hard living guitar man, there is no contradiction. All of his cards are on the table in “Hand Picked,” a nearly 15-minute country swing romp through Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, the Allmans, and bluegrass, Betts creates the ultimate road instrumental. The listener can hear Clements and Betts roaring down the two-lane blacktop on the back of a flatbed truck, ripping this one out with easy abandon. Highway Call stands as the artist’s finest solo moment, one that holds his true voice easily expressing itself far from the madding blues wail of the Allmans, deep in the center of a Georgia holler with the sun beating down on the peach trees or on the incessant babble of a backwoods creek calling his listeners to the mystery inherent in simple living and in playing honest, heartfelt music.

 

Track listing

1.  “Long Time Gone”   (Betts)  – 4:31
2.  “Rain”   (Betts)  – 3:40
3.  “Highway Call”   (Betts)  – 4:26
4.  “Let Nature Sing”   (Betts)  – 5:10
5.  “Hand Picked”   (Betts)  – 14:20
6.  “Kissimmee Kid”   (Vassar Clements)  – 3:13

Credits
Dickey Betts – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro, lead vocals
Vassar Clements – fiddle
Chuck Leavell – piano
Tommy Talton – acoustic guitar
John Hughey – steel guitar
Walter Poindexter – banjo, background vocals
Leon Poindexter – acoustic guitar, background vocals
Frank Poindexter – dobro, background vocals
Stray Straton – bass, background vocals
Johnny Sandlin – bass
Oscar Underwood Adams – mandolin
David Walshaw – drums, percussion
Jeff Hanna – acoustic guitar
Reese Wynans – harmonica
The Rambos (Buck, Dottie, and Reba) – background vocals

Production
Producer: Johnny Sandlin/Dickey Betts
Recording Engineer: Sam Whiteside/Johnny Sandlin
Remixing: Johnny Sandlin
Photography: Sydney Smith

Notes
Recorded at: Capricorn Sound Studios, Macon, Georgia
Genre:  Southern rock / Country rock
Length:  35:28
© 1974

Label – Capricorn Records

6
Aug

Frank Sinatra with Quincy Jones And Orchestra – L.A. Is My Lady (1984)

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998 was an American singer, actor, director, and producer. Frank Sinatra’s final studio album of the ’80s arguably the last true original album Sinatra recorded was an uneven but surprisingly enjoyable set that tried to adapt the singer’s style to contemporary pop standards.

frank sinatra“L.A. Is My Lady” is a 1984 studio album by Frank Sinatra, featuring arrangements by Quincy Jones. It was the last solo album that Sinatra recorded, though Sinatra recorded three further songs, which were unreleased until The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. Frank Sinatra’s final studio album of the ’80s arguably the last true original album Sinatra recorded was an uneven but surprisingly enjoyable set that tried to adapt the singer’s style to contemporary pop standards. Under the direction of arranger/producer Quincy Jones, the album incorporated more synthesizers and slick production techniques than any previous Sinatra album, but the result usually doesn’t sound forced, especially on the hit title song. When the album does fail, it is because Jones’ overly ambitious and commercial production — such as the insistent dance beat of “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” prevents the song from taking root. Nevertheless, everyone involved, from Sinatra and Jones to the band themselves, sounds like they’re having fun, and that sense of joy effortlessly translates to the listener. The sessions were filmed, with a small audience, and released as Frank Sinatra: Portrait of an Album (1985). The documentary shows Sinatra meeting Michael Jackson for the first time, with Jones affectionately calling Jackson “Smelly”. Eddie Van Halen, Donna Summer and David Lee Roth make cameo appearances in the video for “L.A. Is My Lady”, which in turn made moderate rotation on the fledgling MTV Network.

 

Track listing

01.  “L.A. Is My Lady”   (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lipton Jones)  – 3:12
02.  “The Best of Everything”   (Fred Ebb, John Kander)  – 2:45
03.  “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”   (A. Bergman, M. Bergman, Michel Legrand)  – 3:49
04.  “Teach Me Tonight”   (Sammy Cahn, Gene de Paul)  – 3:44
05.  “It’s All Right With Me”   (Cole Porter)  – 2:39
06.  “Mack the Knife”   (Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill)  – 4:50
07.  “Until the Real Thing Comes Along”   (M- Holiner, A. Nichols, Cahn, S. Chaplin, L.E. Freeman)  – 3:03
08.  “Stormy Weather”   (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)  – 3:38
09.  “If I Should Lose You”   (Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin)  – 2:36
10.  “A Hundred Years from Today”   (Joe Young, Ned Washington, Victor Young)  – 3:04
11.  “After You’ve Gone”   (Henry Creamer, Turner Layton)  – 3:15

Credits
Frank Sinatra – Vocals
Quincy Jones – Conductor
George Benson – Guitar
Lee Ritenour – Guitar
Tony Mottola – Guitar
Lionel Hampton – Vibraphone
Bob Crenshaw, Marcus Miller – Bass
Ralph MacDonald – Percussion
Producer – Quincy Jones

Notes
Release date: August, 1984
Recorded at: New York City, Los Angeles, California
Genre:  Classic Pop, Vocal Jazz
Length:  36:35
© 1984

Label – Qwest/Warner Bros. Records

4
Aug

Jimmy Page – Outrider (1988)

James Patrick “Jimmy” Page, OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and leader of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

jimmy page“Outrider” is an album by Jimmy Page, released by Geffen Records on 19 June 1988. It is his first solo studio album.
This was originally intended to be a two album release. However, during the early recording stages of this album, Page’s house was broken into and amongst the items stolen were the demo tapes which had been recorded up to that point. Page didn’t record any demos prior to recording the album itself.
For those dogs that like their Led Zeppelin without any frills, this is the bone for you. Years after the tragic end to Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page released “Outrider” to very little fanfare, but if guitar rock is your thing, then this is definetly one for you, not a single keyboard used, and don’t let that fool you into thinking the sound isn’t full, think again this is Mr. Jimmy Page we’re talking about here. Jason Bonham occupies the drum stool for seven of the nine tracks, and a more than adequate job he does of it to, you can never compare two musicians fairly, but let us just say that his father would have been more than proud. To these floppy ears it’s the instrumentals on the album that really take the biscuit, showing the likes of Eric Johnson & Kenny Wayne Shepherd how to play with flash but keep it interesting. Although all the songs sound as if they have been recorded by a band who’ve known each other for years, actually Jimmy uses 2 drummers, 3 bassists & spread over the 6 vocal tracks 3 vocalists, the very underrated John Miles (he of “music” fame) handles the first brace with his usual aplomb. Chris Farlowe (“Tears Go By”, Atomic Rooster & Colosseum) takes the final curtain calls, when he engagingly stutters his opening delivery of “I’ve be a b-b-b-b-b-bad b-boy and I’ve been a bad boy all night long” you can actually hear him smirk & wink over Page’s bleeding electric guitar, of course after this the lyrics descend even further into bloke rock, and the guys seem to be having the time of their lives. The final vocalist used is of course Jimmy Page’s old sparring partner, Percy himself Mr. Robert Plant, and it’s a credit to the other two that this song is not the stand out track of the album, I think that has to go to the 12-bar of “Prison Blues”, if Mott could get his paws round a guitar neck, this is the way he’d play guitar, with legs astride, head thrown back, in front of 250,000 screaming women. As in the last quote this album may be a little self indulgent, but they sure don’t make albums like this anymore, and to make sure it was just right Jimmy Page even produced the whole thing himself, at his personal studio The Sol.

 

Track listing

01.  “Wasting My Time”   (Page, Miles)  – 4:28
02.  “Wanna Make Love”   (Page, Miles)  – 5:20
03.  “Writes of Winter” (Instrumental)   (Page)  – 3:27
04.  “The Only One”   (Page, Plant)  – 4:27
05.  “Liquid Mercury” (Instrumental)   (Page)  – 3:04
06.  “Hummingbird”   (Leon Russell)  – 5:22
07.  “Emerald Eyes” (Instrumental)   (Page)  – 3:20
08.  “Prison Blues”   (Page, Farlowe)   7:10
09.  “Blues Anthem (If I Cannot Have Your Love…)”   (Page, Farlowe)  – 3:24

Credits
Jimmy Page – guitars, synthesizer, vocals, production
Barriemore Barlow – drums, percussion
Jason Bonham – drums, percussion
Chris Farlowe – vocals
Tony Franklin – bass guitar
Felix Krish – bass guitar on
Durban Laverde – bass guitar on
John Miles – vocals
Robert Plant – vocals

Production
Peter Ashworth – photography
Dick Beetham – assistant engineering
Steve Hoyland – assistant engineering
JL – artwork and cover co-ordination
George Marino – mastering at Sterling Sound, New York
Leif Mases – engineering, mixing
Jimmy Page – producer

Notes
Release date: 19 June 1988
Recorded: Early 1987, The Sol, Cookham, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Genre:  Blues Rock
Length:  39:50
© 1988

Label – Geffen Records

3
Aug

KMFDM – Xtort (1996)

 KMFDM (originally Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, loosely translated as “no pity for the majority”) is an industrial band led by German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project. KMFDM has released nineteen studio albums and two dozen singles, with sales of more than two million records worldwide.

KMFDM“Xtort” (stylized as XTOЯT), released on June 25, 1996 on Wax Trax!/TVT, is the ninth studio album by industrial rock group KMFDM. It was recorded in Chicago, Illinois, from the end of 1995 through early 1996, shortly after the death of Wax Trax! co-founder and band friend Jim Nash. Xtort features a variety of guest artists from the industrial music scene and studio musicians from other genres, but includes limited participation from core member En Esch.
The album was massively promoted by TVT Records, which pressed tens of thousands of free copies of the first single, “Power”. Band leader Sascha Konietzko created his own form of promotion, issuing a press release that both disparaged and lauded the coming set. Xtort was generally well received by critics, with many calling it superlative, and is the highest charting and best-selling KMFDM album to date. After the original release went out of print, a remastered version was released in 2007.
“XTORT” doesn’t sound markedly different than KMFDM’s other releases there are still the bruising mechanical drum beats and numbingly drilling guitars, combined with barked vocals. What’s noticeable about XTORT their first album since industrial broke into the Top 40 with Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral is how the band made no concessions to the pop/rock mainstream whatsoever. They are still the same grimy, dank heavy dance band they were in the ’80s. For some listeners, that means they’re keeping the flame burning and, to a certain extent, they’d be right KMFDM sounds as good as they ever have, and several tracks rank among their best. But, over a decade into their career, it would be nice to hear the band branch out and start to experiment a little bit more.

 

Track listing

01.  “Power”   (Sascha Konietzko, Günter Schulz)  – 5:26
02.  “Apathy”   (Mark Durante, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 3:11
03.  “Rules”   (Chris Connelly, Durante, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 4:07
04.  “Craze”   (Connelly, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 3:34
05.  “Dogma”   (Nicole Blackman, F. M. Einheit, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 4:06
06.  “Inane”   (Durante, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 5:30
07.  “Blame”   (Connelly, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 4:06
08.  “Son of a Gun”   (Konietzko, Schulz, Jon Van Eaton)  – 4:23
09.  “Ikons”   (Connelly, Einheit, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 4:12
10.  “Wrath”   (Konietzko, Schulz, Van Eaton)  – 5:29
11.  “Fairy”   (Jr Blackmail, Konietzko, Schulz)  – 4:27   (originally a hidden track at the end of “Wrath” on Wax Trax!/TVT release)

KMFDM
Mark Durante – guitar
Sascha Konietzko – vocals, bass, synthesizers, programming, drums, mixing
Bill Rieflin – drums
Günter Schulz – bass, guitar, piano, mixing, photography

Additional personnel
Dorona Alberti – vocals
Bruce Bendinger – voice
Bruce Breckenfeld – Hammond B3 organ
Jr Blackmail – narration
Nicole Blackman – vocals
Michael Cichowicz – trumpet
Chris Connelly – vocals
F. M. Einheit – whipping, banging, and breaking stuff, lawnchairs, rubble, rocks and dirt (
En Esch – voice, guitar solo
Steve Finkel – saxophone
Jennifer Ginsberg – background vocals
Jack Kramer – trumpet
Ron Lowe – drill and vacuum cleaner
Bob Samborski – trombone
Jon Van Eaton – noise
Cheryl Wilson – vocals

Production
Chris Shepard – production, engineering, mixing
John Van Eaton – assistant production
Ron Lowe – assistant engineering
Claudine Pontier – assistant engineering
Konrad Strauss – mastering
Brian Gardner – remastering
Paul Elledge – photography
Justin Gammon – photography
Brute! – cover art
Produced – Sascha Konietzko, Günter Schulz, Chris Shepard

Notes
Released: June 25, 1996
Recorded: Late 1995 – early 1996 (Chicago, Illinois)
Genre:  Industrial Metal
Length:  48:46
© 1996

Label – Wax Trax!/TVT

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: