This set collects the Hollies' first two U.S. albums, 1964’s Here I Go Again and 1965’s Hear! Here!, on a single disc. Both LPs were originally released in the States by Imperial Records, a label founded in 1947 by Lew Chudd, who had sold his rights in the imprint to Liberty Records in 1963. Liberty began leasing material by popular U.K. artists for U.S. distribution that same year, which led to the Hollies' initial single in the American market, a cover version of Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' 1960 hit “Stay.” Although several of the cuts found here got extensive radio airplay in the U.S. at the time, “Just One Look” and “Here I Go Again” from 1964 and “I’m Alive” and “Look Through Any Window” from 1965 among them, the Hollies didn’t really break through on the continent until a year later in 1966 with the hits “Bus Stop” and “Stop Stop Stop,” and neither of those songs is found here. Aside from the singles, most of the cuts on these two albums are covers of American R&B tunes that are done capably but without a whole lot of originality. The end result is a portrait of a promising band just beginning to come into its own.
In 2000, Koch reissued Don Covay's two classic mid-'60s albums, Mercy and See-Saw, on one tremendous CD. The term "classic" is thrown around haphazardly in pop music, but these are two sublime records that earn the term, even if they're not as roundly celebrated as platters from Otis Redding or even cult favorite James Carr. Though he racked up a number of singles on the R&B charts, he never had a huge crossover hit, but his music stands as some of the most effervescent, infectious soul of the '60s (not to mention that his vocal style was a clear inspiration to Mick Jagger). What makes his music so remarkable is how it's earthy Southern soul, kicking really hard in its rhythms and with plenty of growl in Covay's voice, but is as nimble, tuneful, and sunny as the sounds coming out of Chicago and Detroit during the mid-'60s. Perhaps that's why he never quite got a huge single – he straddled the two popular sounds without fully being part of either. It may have not resulted in big singles, but it resulted in splendid music. If there's not much difference stylistically between Mercy and See-Saw – they're both pretty much cut from the same cloth – there's also little difference in quality. It's all tremendous, enjoyable, sweet Southern soul. Razor & Tie's Mercy Mercy: The Definitive Don Covay provides the definitive overview, but for a pure concentration of Covay at his peak, this is irresistible and essential.
With the exception of the title cut on the first album, Those Were The Days (which is given a rather stodgy treatment), this CD is vintage Percy Faith. The second LP, Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet, came out in 1969, when Faith's new sound of orchestra with female chorus had just hit its stride. The trademark harpsichord is there, too. I had this album on LP when I was eight years old, and am pleased to discover that it is absolutely delightful all these years later. The two tunes from Hair are highlights of the album, brimming with energy and delicacy at the same time. Faith also commemorates the tenth anniversary of his big instrumental hit, Theme from A Summer Place, by writing a new version with female chorus. It doesn't displace memories of the original, but it is a welcome piece on this album. If you like your '60's music in a form that is evergreen, this Percy Faith CD is for you.
This 2-on-1 disc features two of Ray Conniff's best instrumental albums. Both were previously issued on their own CDs in 1988 but were deleted a few years ago.Recorded in 1958, HOLLYWOOD IN RHYTHM never sounded right on Lp. There was something wrong with the mix and the chorus was barely audible. Thirty years later the correct mix was finally released on CD and fans could finally hear the album the way it was supposed to sound. Fortunately, that same mix was used on this reissue. - Amazon -