Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ChangesBowie...David Bowie

Known as "The Chameleon" of Rock music, David Bowie's career has seen many "changes". Starting in the early 1960's, he has created some of the most varied and always interesting music of his time and never fails to attract attention. This hits compilation contains 18 of the Thin White Duke's finest from 1969-1990. Includes 'Space Oddity', 'Changes', 'Suffragette City', 'Rebel Rebel', 'Young Americans', 'Golden Years', 'Ashes To Ashes', 'Let's Dance' and 'Blue Jean'.

Friday, February 22, 2013

River Rescue: The Very Best of Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder has many influences - from the early days as part of Taj Mahal's backing group (Ryland P Cooder, Rhythm Guitar) to the global success of Buena Vista Social Club. This collection pre-dates the latter and post-dates the former. It features 19 of his best tracks from his recordings on Warner from, 1972-1994. Includes 'Paris, Texas', 'Little Sister', 'The Pearls/ Tia Juana' and more!

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock and roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, Rand B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder began his career in 1963 in a blues band with Jackie DeShannon and then formed the short-lived Rising Sons in 1965 with Taj Mahal and Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy. Cooder met producer Terry Melcher through the Rising Sons and was invited to perform at several sessions with Paul Revere and the Raiders. During his subsequent career as a session musician, Cooder's trademark slide guitar work graced the recordings of such artists as Captain Beefheart (Safe as Milk), Randy Newman, Little Feat, Van Dyke Parks, the Rolling Stones (Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers), Taj Mahal, and Gordon Lightfoot. He also appeared on the soundtracks of Candy and Performance.

Cooder made his debut as a solo artist in 1970 with a self-titled album featuring songs by Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, and Woody Guthrie. The follow-up, "Into the Purple Valley", introduced long time cohorts Jim Keltner on drums and Jim Dickinson on bass, and it and Boomer's Story largely repeated and refined the syncopated style and mood of the first. In 1974, Cooder produced what is generally regarded as his best album, Paradise and Lunch, and its follow-up, Chicken Skin Music, showcased a potent blend of Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, gospel, and soul music, and featured contributions from Flaco Jimenez and Gabby Pahinui. In 1979, Bop Till You Drop was the first major-label album to be recorded digitally. In the early '80s, Cooder began to augment his solo output with soundtrack work on such films as Blue Collar, The Long Riders, and The Border; he has gone on to compose music for Southern Comfort, Goin' South, Paris, Texas, Streets of Fire, Alamo Bay, Blue City, Crossroads, Cocktail, Johnny Handsome, Steel Magnolias, and Geronimo. Music by Ry Cooder (1995) compiled two discs' worth of highlights from Cooder's film work. (This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.)

1. River Come Down (PKA Bamboo)
2. UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto
3. Low-Commotion
4. Smack Dab In The Middle
5. Tattler
6. Dark End Of The Street
7. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor)
8. Going Back To Okinawa
9. Money Honey
10. Why Don't You Try Me
11. Paris, Texas
12. Chloe
13. The Pearls/Tia Juana
14. I Think It's Going To Work Out Fine
15. Down In Hollywood
16. Which Came First
17. Crazy 'Bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know)
18. Get Rhythm
19. Little Sister

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Billie Holiday...Legacy (1933-1958)


Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an African American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday "changed the art of American pop vocals forever." She co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow", and "Lady Sings the Blues". She also became famous for singing "Easy Living", "Good Morning Heartache", and "Strange Fruit", a protest song which became one of her standards and was made famous with her 1939 recording. Music critic Robert Christgau called her "uncoverable, possibly the greatest singer of the century".

Her distinctive delivery made Billie Holiday's performances instantly recognizable throughout her career. A master of improvisation, Billie's well-trained ear more than compensated for her lack of music education. Her voice lacked range and was somewhat thin, plus years of excessive drug use eventually altered its texture and gave it a prepossessing fragility. The emotion with which she imbued each song remained not only intact but also profound. Her last major recording, a 1958 album entitled "Lady in Satin", features the backing of a 40-piece orchestra conducted and arranged by Ray Ellis. 

With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.

If you haven't heard or heard of Billie Holiday or "Lady Day" as she was affectionately known, then this 70 track collection of her finest recordings is a good place to start. Every track is a classic and there is no mistaking that unforgettable voice.....


Friday, February 1, 2013

The Hollies...All the Hits and More..The Definitive Collection

From 1963 through to the mid-70’s, the Hollies had more hits than the Beatles. In that period alone, they had 17 Top ten hits, while “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” gave them a second No 1 hit when re-released in 1988. “I’m Alive” had been their first chart topper back in 1965. At the heart of the band since 1963 are two original members, drummer Bobby Elliott and guitarist and singer Tony Hicks. Former members include Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Pete Wingfield.They formed in Manchester in the early 1960s, although the majority of the band members came from towns in East Lancashire. Known for their distinctive vocal harmony style, they became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and early 1970s. They enjoyed considerable popularity in many countries. This 40 track compilation features all their hits and more..



The Band...To Kingdom Come..The Definitive Collection

For about six years, from 1968 through 1975, the Band was one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the public) as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Their albums were analyzed and reviewed as intensely as any records by their one-time employer and sometime mentor Bob Dylan. For a long time, their personalities were as recognizable individually to the casual music public as the members of the Beatles.

They were famous as Bob Dylan's musicians but they also (eventually) had their own career, brilliantly represented on this collection, which includes extensive liner notes. The music they made on their own was very different to Bob's.This compilation is worth tracking down if you are interested in guitar rock music of the late sixties and early seventies. No subsequent compilation does as much justice to The Band as this one.

(text source: Amazon)