This 16-track compilation covers Senegalese singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Youssou N'Dour's Columbia Records period, from 1991 to 1996. Perhaps the most popular pop culture figure in Senegal's history, N'Dour created a music of his own from various sources, which he called "mbalax" and which incorporates everything from jazz, soul, hard R&B styles, hip-hop, and even Cuban samba, and juxtaposes them with the folk melodies and polyrhythms of his native land. The cuts here, particularly "Old Man," "New Africa," "Yo le Le, (Fulani Rhythm)," and the covers of Smokey Robinson's "Don't Look Back," and Lennon and McCartney's "Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da," reveal N'Dour's idiosyncratic, yet very accessible grasp and integration of Western and African pop styles.
Recollections of Britain's arch-glam gods generally inspire two theories of their producers, Mike Chapman and his partner, Nicky Chinn. Either they knew just what they were doing and calculated accordingly, or blindly hit pay dirt, following toothless early singles like "Funny Funny" (none of which grace this disc). By this reckoning, Sweet was a '70s-era pinup band or a closeted hard rock quartet who only got their due after breaking the Chapman/Chinn combination…
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
Austin-to-L.A. transplants the Textones were one of the few post-new wave "roots rock" bands of the mid-'80s to deserve the appellation. (Unfortunately, they're mostly remembered, if at all, only as the band Kathy Valentine left to join the Go-Go's.) Unlike the terribly overrated Lone Justice or the beer salesmen in the Long Ryders or the Del Fuegos, Carla Olson and company came off like a punkier version of the Gram Parsons-era Byrds, with a poppy edge on unexpected covers like the Searchers' "Silver" and Neil Sedaka's "Keep a Walkin'."
A 32-track retrospective that'll make fans of this band's unique pop/jazz/rock sound so very happy! Every hit single is here- You've Made Me So Very Happy; And When I Die; Spinning Wheel; Hi-De-Ho; Lucretia MacEvil; Go Down Gamblin'; Lisa, Listen to Me; So Long Dixie; Got to Get You into My Life , etc.-plus key album tracks and two unreleased cuts that trace this band's career from the early Al Kooper days on. Notes, rare photos, complete discography and personnel info rounds out this long-overdue collection.
This 15-track single-disc collection was culled from Canned Heat (1967), Boogie With Canned Heat (1968), Living the Blues (1968), Hallelujah (1969), and Future Blues (1970). Arguably, Canned Heat Cookbook (1969) – a hits package in its own right – could be lumped in since it was the first full-length platter with "Going Up the Country," which was initially only issued on a 45-rpm single. During this era, the Heat was inhabited by Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), and Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals). Frank Cook (drums) contributed to the band's self-titled debut prior to being replaced by Aldolfo "Fito" de la Parra (drums)…
Nellie Lutcher was at the peak of her fame during her period with Capitol (1947-1951). A fine swing-based pianist, Lutcher was best known for her unique vocal style, which included witty asides that often sounded spontaneous. This well-conceived CD has 18 of her recordings from 1947 and one apiece from 1949-1951. Highlights include "Hurry on Down," "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else," "He's a Real Gone Guy," "Chi-Chi-Chi Chicago," "The Song Is Ended," "Fine Brown Frame," and two previously unissued numbers. With sympathetic and swinging backing from various guitarists (including Ulysses Livingstone and Irving Ashby), bassists, and drummers, the spotlight is on Nellie Lutcher throughout. This highly recommended disc is easily her definitive CD.
Donna Summer's title as the "Queen of Disco" wasn't mere hype. Like many of her contemporaries, she was a talented vocalist trained as a powerful gospel belter, but she set herself apart with her songwriting ability, magnetic stage presence, and shrewd choice of studio collaborators, all of which resulted in sustained success. During the '70s alone, she topped the Billboard club chart 11 times with high-quality, often-high concept material that included the rapturous "Love to Love You Baby," the innovative "I Feel Love," and a radically transformed "MacArthur Park." These crossover hits embodied the disco era with audacious musicality and uninhibited eroticism. Indeed, she was the ultimate disco diva.