James Taylor – Classic Songs (1987)

LPFrontCover1James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single “Fire and Rain” and had his first No. 1 hit in 1971 with his recording of “You’ve Got a Friend”, written by Carole King in the same year. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million copies in the US alone. Following his 1977 album JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over 1 million copies. He enjoyed a resurgence in chart performance during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number-one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

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Taylor is also known for his covers, such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “Handy Man”, as well as originals such as “Sweet Baby James”. He played the leading role in Monte Hellman’s 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop.

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Classic Songs is the second compilation album by James Taylor. Only available in Europe it was, for a long time, the only compilation album to feature original versions of Taylor’s classics. It spanned from his original work to his That’s Why I’m Here album from 1985. (wikipedia)

For a long time, Classic Songs was the only compilation to feature the original versions of all of James Taylor’s classics from his debut up through 1985’s That’s Why I’m Here. Unfortunately, it was only available in Europe, yet it long remained the best, most comprehensive collection of his work. (by Chris Woodstraby Chris Woodstra)

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Personnel:
James Taylor (vocals, guitar)
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many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Fire And Rain (Taylor) 3.24
02, Mexico (Taylor) 3:00
03, You’ve Got a Friend (King) 4.30
04. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (Hollan/Dozier/Holland) 3.36
05. Carolina In My Mind (Taylor) 4.00
06. Something In The Way She Moves (Taylor) 3.09
07. Shower The People (Taylor) 4.31
08. Sweet Baby James (Taylor) 2.52
09. That’s Why I’m Here (Taylor) 3.38
10. Everyday (Holly/Petty) 3.12
11. Up On The Roof (Goffin/King) 4.20
12. Your Smiling Face (Taylor) 2.43
13. Her Town Too (Souther/Taylor/Wachtel) 4.25
14. Handy Man (Blackwell/Jones) 3.17
15. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Taylor) 2.36
16. Only A Dream In Rio (Taylor) 4.57

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A low budget reissue from 1992:
Re-Issue

More from James Taylor:
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The official website:
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Roger McGuinn – Peace On You (1974)

FrontCover1As the frontman of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn and his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker guitar pioneered folk-rock and, by extension, country-rock, influencing everyone from contemporaries like the Beatles to acolytes like Tom Petty and R.E.M. in the process. James Joseph McGuinn was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, where by his teenage years he was already something of a folk music prodigy. After touring with the Limelighters, in 1960 he signed on as an accompanist with the Chad Mitchell Trio, appearing on the LPs Mighty Day on Campus and At the Bitter End; frustrated with his limited role in the group, he soon joined Bobby Darin’s group when the singer moved from pop to folk.

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After appearing on sessions for Hoyt Axton, Judy Collins, and Tom & Jerry (soon to be known as Simon & Garfunkel), McGuinn began playing solo dates around the Los Angeles area, where he soon formed the Jet Set with area musicians David Crosby and Gene Clark. After a failed single under the name the Beefeaters, the group recruited bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, changed their name to the Byrds, and set about crystallizing McGuinn’s vision of merging the poetic folk music of Bob Dylan with the miraculous pop sounds heard via the British Invasion. McGuinn was the only member of the Byrds to play on their landmark debut single “Mr. Tambourine Man,” but his jangly guitar work quickly became the very definition of the burgeoning folk-rock form; still, despite the Byrds’ immediate success, both commercially and critically, the group was plagued by internal strife, and following the release of their 1968 country-rock breakthrough Sweetheart of the Rodeo, McGuinn was the only founding member still in the band.

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Under the direction of McGuinn — who had changed his first name to Roger after a flirtation with the Subud religion — the Byrds soldiered on, delving further and further into country and roots music before finally dissolving in February 1973. That same year, McGuinn issued his self-titled solo debut, an ambitious, eclectic affair which explored not only folk and country but surf and even space rock. 1974’s Peace on You and 1975’s Roger McGuinn & His Band preceded a stint with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, which helped revitalize his standing within the musical community. 1976’s Cardiff Rose was regarded as his best solo effort to date, but the next year’s Thunderbyrd, which featured a cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” failed to connect with audiences.

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In late 1977, McGuinn reunited with Byrds mates Chris Hillman and Gene Clark; the resulting LP, 1979’s McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, notched a Top 40 pop hit with the McGuinn-penned “Don’t You Write Her Off.” Midway through recording the follow-up, 1980’s City, Clark departed, and the album was released under the name “Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman Featuring Gene Clark.” Following another effort, 1981’s McGuinn/Hillman, they went their separate ways. After undergoing another religious conversion, this time becoming a born-again Christian, McGuinn spent the remainder of the 1980s without a recording contract and performing solo dates.

The appearance of a faux Byrds led by Michael Clarke prompted McGuinn to reform the group with Hillman and David Crosby in 1989, resulting in a series of club performances, an appearance at a Roy Orbison tribute, and a handful of new recordings for inclusion on a box set retrospective. In 1991 — the same year the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — McGuinn issued his first new solo recordings in over a decade, the all-star Back to Rio, which was met with great public and critical acclaim. Live From Mars, a retrospective of songs and stories, appeared in 1996. (by Jason Ankeny)

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Peace on You was Roger McGuinn’s second full-length solo album, released in 1974. The album peaked at number 92 in the US in October 1974.

The solo career of this great rock artist took a while to gather some steam; his 1976 album, Cardiff Rose, showed that with at least some consistent production and a tight backing ensemble, he could put across a powerful musical vision without having to rely totally on re-creating the sound of the Byrds. For this 1974 album his focus is as wandering as a glaucoma patient who has just gone through a two-hour field test. Many different influences come into his musical world, like strange cooks passing through a kitchen and dropping odd things into the stew. There is heavy collaborating with songwriter Jacques Levy, who like McGuinn was part of Bob Dylan’s chaotic music world during this period.

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While Levy has fans who feel he brought great riches to the kingdoms of artists such as McGuinn, the offerings from the McGuinn and Levy songwriting team on this album, such as “Together” and “The Lady,” are packed with corny images and shallow sentiments — in other words, not exactly what one is used to hearing from McGuinn in his practically angelic role as a lead vocal spokesman for the Byrds. A bit of Turtles sauce goes in courtesy of vocal contributions from Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman — it doesn’t add much, but at least doesn’t detract, which is more than can be said for the song contributions of session pro Al Kooper or the wimpy Dan Fogelberg. The title of the former artist’s tune is a gift to critics and the public alike: “(Please Not) One More Time.” One Donnie Dacus offers another pair of nothing songs, while the album’s title number, courtesy of country singer Charlie Rich and hyped to the hilt via the album’s artwork, is also pretty much a disappointment, a one-idea song that badly muddles the all-important opening track parade. (by Eugene Chadbourne)

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Personnel:
Donnie Dacus (guitar, vocals)
Dan Fogelberg (guitar, vocals)
Paul “Harry” Harris (keyboards)
Al Kooper (guitar, piano, clavinet)
Russ Kunkel (drums, percussion)
Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar, bass)
Al Perkins (pedal steel-guitar)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Tommy Tedesco (flamenco guitar)
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background vocals:
Jorge Calderón – Brian Russell – Tim Coulter – Brooks Hunnicutt – Mark Volman – William McLeish Smith -Gwendolyn Edwards – Brenda Gordon – Howard Kaylan – Paul Stallworth

Inlets

Tracklist:
01. Peace On You (Charlie Rich) 4.02
02. Without You (McGuinn/Levy) 4.07
03. Going To The Country (Dacus) 3.16
04. (Please Not) One More Time (Kooper) 3.23
05. Same Old Sound (McGuinn) 3.31
06. Do What You Want To Do (Dacus) 3.01
07. Together (McGuinn/Levy) 3.40
08. Better Change (Fogelberg) 2.58
09. Gate Of Horn (McGuinn/Levy) 2.47
10. The Lady (McGuinn/Levy) 4.17

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More from Roger McGuinn:
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Average White Band – Show Your Hand (1973)

FrontCover1The Average White Band (also known as AWB) are a Scottish funk and R&B band that had a series of soul and disco hits between 1974 and 1980. They are best known for their million-selling instrumental track “Pick Up the Pieces”, and their albums AWB and Cut the Cake. The band name was initially proposed by Bonnie Bramlett. They have influenced others, such as the Brand New Heavies, and been sampled by various musicians, including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, TLC, The Beatnuts, Too Short, Ice Cube, Eric B. & Rakim, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Leena Conquest, Christina Milian, and Arrested Development, making them the 15th most sampled act in history. As of 2020, 48 years after their formation, they continue to perform.

AWB was formed in early 1972 in London by Alan Gorrie, and Malcolm “Molly” Duncan, with Owen “Onnie” McIntyre, Michael Rosen (trumpet), Roger Ball, and Robbie McIntosh joining them in the original line-up.

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Hamish Stuart quickly replaced Rosen. Duncan and Ball, affectionately known as the Dundee Horns, studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (now part of the University of Dundee, but which at the time was part of the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology, now known as Abertay University), and were previously members of Mogul Thrash. Gorrie and McIntyre had been members of Forever More. McIntyre and McIntosh were used as session musicians on Chuck Berry’s recording of “My Ding-a-Ling”.

According to Duncan, members of the band had played together before in Scotland, but had moved to London separately and met up by chance at a Traffic concert. They decided to jam together; a friend heard them and remarked: “This is too much for the average white man,” which became adapted as the name of the band.

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The band’s breakthrough was a support slot at Eric Clapton’s comeback concert in 1973. MCA Records released their debut album, Show Your Hand (1973), which sold poorly.[1] Bruce McCaskill, who was Clapton’s tour manager, liked the band’s music and agreed to manage them. He borrowed money to take them to the US and to promote them. McCaskill had many contacts from his days with Clapton and managed to get Atlantic Records to sign them. The band relocated to Los Angeles and released the follow-up, AWB, better known as The White Album. It reached No. 1 and was the first of many with renowned producer Arif Mardin.

McIntosh died of a heroin overdose at a Los Angeles party on 23 September 1974. Gorrie also overdosed, but Cher kept him conscious until medical help arrived.[10] The NME reported in January 1975 that AWB played a benefit show for McIntosh’s widow at the Marquee Club in London. McIntosh was replaced by Steve Ferrone, previously of Bloodstone, who had replaced McIntosh before in Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express. (wikipedia)

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how Your Hand is the first album by Scottish funk band Average White Band, likely recorded at R.G. Jones Studios, Wimbledon, London and released in 1973 by MCA Records. After the success of AWB, the album was re-issued in 1975 with a new title, Put It Where You Want It, a different opening track and new cover artwork. The re-issued version finally made it to the Billboard Top 200, peaking at #39. (wikipedia)

Re-issue edition, 1975:
Re-Issue

Show Your Hand was where it all began for the Average White Band, which turned out to be one of the hottest funk/soul outfits of the mid- to late ’70s. But when MCA released this debut LP in 1973, the band’s commercial success was still a year away — it wasn’t until they joined the Atlantic roster in 1974 that they exploded commercially. Show Your Hand, in fact, was among 1973’s neglected R&B releases. In retrospect, it’s easy to point the finger at MCA and say, “You dropped the ball; this album should have done better.” Atlantic successfully broke AWB in 1974, so why weren’t MCA’s promotions and marketing people able to accomplish that the previous year? But in all fairness to MCA, breaking AWB was a challenge — imagine trying to convince ’70s soul stations that a white band from Scotland played first-class funk and soul.

Ad from Zig Zag, 1973:
Ad (from Zig Zag)

Back in 1973, a lot of program directors at R&B stations probably took one look at this LP and assumed that AWB was a rock band; it took Atlantic to convince those programmers that the name Average White Band was meant to be ironic. Of course, anyone who gave Show Your Hand a serious listen in 1973 realized that AWB certainly wasn’t typical of the era’s long-haired white bands — stylistically, they inspired comparisons to the Isley Brothers and Tower of Power, not Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or Mahogany Rush. Whether AWB is turning up the funk on “T.L.C.” or chilling out on the smooth soul of “Twilight Zone,” there is no getting around the fact that Show Your Hand is very much an R&B album. Show Your Hand (which MCA reissued as Put It Where You Want It in 1975) never became as well-known as AWB’s subsequent recordings for Atlantic, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive a debut for Hamish Stuart and his colleagues. (by Alex Henderson)

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Personnel:
Roger Ball (piano, clavinet, saxophone)
Malcolm Duncan (saxophone)
Alan Gorrie (bass, vocals)
Robbie McIntosh (drums, percussion)
Onnie McIntyre (guitar, background vocals)
Hamish Stuart (guitar, vocals)

Review Melody Maker, 1973:
Review (Melody Maker)

Tracklist:
01. The Jugglers (Gorrie) 4.51
02. This World Has Music (Bramlett/Gorrie/Ware) 5.57
03. Twilight Zone (Ball/Gorrie) 5.28
04. Put It Where You Want It (Sample/Gorrie/Layne) 5.15
05. Show Your Hand (Gorrie) 4.28
06. Back in ’67 (Ball/Gorrie/McIntosh) 4.10
07. Reach Out (Ball/Duncan/Gorrie/McIntosh/McIntyre/Stuart) 4.04
08. T.L.C  (Ball/Duncan/Gorrie/McIntosh/McIntyre/Stuart) 8.07
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09. How Can You Go Home (Gorrie) 3.06

The album was first released in 1973 under the title Show Your Hand, then re-released in 1975 under the title Put It Where You Want It, with the only difference being the first track (“The Jugglers” replaced with “How Can You Go Home”).

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Ad from Melody Maker:
Ad (Melody Maker)

More from the Average White Band:
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The official website:
Website

Michael Bublé – It’s Time (2005)

FrontCover1Michael Steven Bublé (born September 9, 1975)[1] is a Canadian singer. His first album reached the top ten in Canada and the United Kingdom. He found a worldwide audience with his 2005 album It’s Time and his 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible – which reached number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the US Billboard 200, the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and several European charts. Bublé’s 2009 album Crazy Love debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 after three days of sales, and remained there for two weeks. It was also his fourth number one album on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart. His 2011 holiday album, Christmas, was in first place on the Billboard 200 for the final four weeks of 2011 and the first week of 2012, totalling five weeks atop the chart, it also made the top 5 in the United Kingdom. With this, Christmas became his third-consecutive number-one album on the chart. To Be Loved was released in April 2013, followed by Nobody but Me in October 2016 and Love in November 2018. Bublé has sold over 75 million records worldwide, and won numerous awards, including four Grammy Awards and multiple Juno Awards. Bublé is a dual citizen of Canada and Italy.

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It’s Time is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer, Michael Bublé. It was released on February 8, 2005 by 143 Records and Reprise Records. With arrangements by David Foster, the album contains cover versions of songs from traditional pop and contemporary pop: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Stevie Wonder, and The Beatles. And it includes “Home”, a song co-written by Bublé.

Despite some unfavorable reviews, the album was a commercial success, topping the charts in Canada, Italy, and Spain, while peaking in the top ten in eleven other countries. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it three-times platinum, for shipments of three million copies across the United States. In Australia, the album was certified five times Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales of 350,000 copies sold, and in Canada it was certified six times Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for sales of 600,000 copies.

In the U.S., “Home” reached No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[2] while topping the Adult Contemporary chart. It also reached the top forty on the Adult Pop Songs[4] and Digital Songs charts.

“Home” peaked at No. 35 in Australia, No. 31 in the UK, and No. 1 in ten countries.

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Bublé credits the success of It’s Time, which sold six million copies by 2011, to “Home.” It was the most played song on Canadian radio in 2006.[10] It’s Time sold well in Japan, Italy, and Australia, and charted in the top ten singles in both the U.K. and U.S. charts. Bublé said that during the recording of It’s Time he “came into [his] own as a songwriter” and hearing his own song on the radio made him feel “like a true artist.” He acknowledged that a downside to producing covers of well-loved songs is that people often compare them to the original; in writing his own song, he says, he found a sense of freedom. Bublé feels that the Michael Bublé01song is distinct in comparison to the other songs on the album because of its “country-pop twang” and more-relatable lyrics. The song was written collaboratively with Amy Foster-Gillies, Nashville native and daughter of successful Canadian musician David Foster. In his 2011 autobiography, Onstage Offstage, Bublé states that then-girlfriend Debbie Timuss was his inspiration for the song. Timuss sang backing vocals on “Home” and appeared in the music video, which was filmed in the Orpheum Theater in Vancouver, Canada. “Home” won the 2006 Juno Award for single of the year. A cover version was recorded by American country singer Blake Shelton. Shelton’s version of Bublé’s song landed him top of the charts for R&R Singles Chart and MediaBase Singles. Shelton was quoted in saying,” I loved ‘Home’ the first time I heard it, and I really love it now,” said Shelton. “I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought it was a country song. I’ve had the honor of performing “Home” with Michael Bublé on a couple of occasions and can honestly say he is a really great guy, and I think as a writer he’s probably pretty excited that it’s reached number one, too.”

Bublé attributes the song’s popularity to its universal theme, stating that “[w]e all know what it’s like to be homesick. It’s one of the worst feelings. I know about that as well as anybody.”[9] “Home” was also featured on the soundtrack of the 2005 American romantic comedy The Wedding Date along with other songs from Bublé’s albums.

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“Feeling Good” was released as the first international single from the album on April 4, 2005. Although the single failed to chart in the United States, it managed to chart on the Austria Singles Chart at No. 66 and on the Dutch Singles Chart at No.62. It also charted in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 69.

Woodrow Wilkins from All About Jazz commended how It’s Time was “relevant to today’s audience” and noted that Bublé “delivers [the songs] with the heart and passion that only a person who claims ownership of these titles can muster”.[20] However, Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian didn’t appreciate the album’s composition of jazz and pop covers, saying that “Sinatra is turning in his grave”. Amy Lichty of the Daily Emerald said that “Bublé’s clear voice and smooth rhythms keep the CD moving along”, but also noted that he “is simply no match for either Sinatra or Connick” (wikipedia)

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Although it took more than a year of concerts and promotional appearances, Michael Bublé’s 2003 debut disc of swinging pop standards finally ascended the Billboard album chart and landed at number 47. That peak may not seem impressive at first, but in a musical world dominated by rap or the latest flavor of alternative rock, Bublé’s upper chart appearance was a real accomplishment and it sparked a renewed interest in music associated with great vocalists like Frank Sinatra. With his second studio disc, It’s Time, Bublé builds upon the musical foundation he laid with his debut and demonstrates that he is much more than a flavor-of-the-month celebrity. Like his debut, It’s Time mines the rich history of pop music as Bublé applies his own technique to classic standards and incorporates his Rat Pack sound into modern pop songs. Other pop vocal giants have made attempts to reinterpret the pop songs of their day with appalling results (Mel Tormé’s version of “Sunshine Superman” comes to mind), but Bublé has the knack for selecting the right songs that he can properly transform into edible works that avoid a cheesy aftertaste. Having a standard like “A Foggy Day (In London Town)” share space with the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” may seem like a lounge lizard joke waiting to happen, but the arrangements (most courtesy of producer David Foster) and performances are seamless. Therefore, the quiet groove of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” can sit comfortable next to Bublé’s smoky version of Leon Russell’s “Song for You,” featuring Chris Botti on trumpet.

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Perhaps it is due to this formula working so well that Bublé has incorporated more of his unique takes on modern pop than on his debut. He even ventures into R&B territory with older hits like “Try a Little Tenderness” and “How Sweet It Is,” all the while giving these songs a retro freshness that breathes new life into these gems. Pop starlet Nelly Furtado sounds lovely and elegant in the duet “Quando, Quando, Quando,” while Bublé ends the disc with a beautiful reading of Stevie Wonder’s “You and I.” Another positive step forward is the inclusion of the lovely original tune “Home,” a somewhat autobiographical “too long on the road” song co-written by Bublé. The success of this ballad provides yet another direction that he can explore and expand upon. Throughout the disc Bublé emits the feeling that he loves these songs and truly enjoys what he is doing. He sounds pure of voice and pure of heart. Those are rare commodities in the recorded world and they, along with Bublé’s talent and vision, help to make It’s Time a wonderful listening experience. (by Aaron Latham)

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Personnel:
Michael Bublé (vocals)
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George Bohanon (trombone on 07.)
Chris Botti (trumpeton 11.)
Brian Bromberg (bass)
Lee Callet (saxophone on 07.)
Frank Capp (drums on 12.)
Gilbert Castellanos (trumpet on 07.)
Alan Chang (piano on 03.)
John Chiodini (guitar on 12.)
Jeff Clayton (saxophone on 07.)
Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)
Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet on 07.)
Neil Devor (programming)
Keith Fiddmont (saxophone on 07.)
David Foster (keyboards on 04., piano on 05., 08., 11. + 13., bass on 08, + 10.)
Nelly Furtado (vocals on 04.)
Brian Green (guitar on 02., 03. 05. + 09.) (2, 3, 5)
Jeff Hamilton (drums on 06., 07. + 10.)
Tamir Hendelman (piano on 06., 07. + 10.)
Dan Higgins (flute, saxophone on 04.)
Robert Hurst (bass on 06.)
Brandon Jenner (guitar on 08.)
Christian McBride (bass on 07.)
Ira Nepus (trombone on 07.)
Charles Owens (saxophone on 07.)
Kye Palmer (trumpet on 07.)
Rafael Padilla (percussion on 01., 02.,04. – 06. + 08.)
Dean Parks (guitar on 01., 03., 05. 09. + 10.)
Heitor Pereira (guitar on 04.)
Ryan Porter (trombone on 07.)
Bill Reichenbach Jr. (bass trombone on 07.)
Jochem van der Saag (programming on 01., 05.,06., 08. +10., organ on 06. + 10., harmonica on 10.)
Michael Thompson (guitar on 08. + 12.)
Debbie Timuss (backing vocals on 05.)
Dave Tull (drums on 02. + 13.)
Randy Waldman  (piano on 01., 02., 09. + 12.)
Bijon Watson (trumpet on 07.)
Anthony Wilson (guitar on 07.)
Rickey Woodard (saxophone on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Feeling Good (Bricusse/Newley) 3.56
02. A Foggy Day (In London Town) (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 2.31
03. You Don’t Know Me (Arnold/Walker) 4.13
04. Quando, Quando, Quando (duet with Nelly Furtado) (Renis/Testa/Drake) 4.45
05. Home (Bublé/Chang/Foster-Gillies) 3.45
06. Can’t Buy Me Love (Lennon/McCartney) 3.14
07. The More I See You (Gordon/Warren) 3.47
08. Save The Last Dance For Me (Pomus/Shuman) 3.38
09. Try A Little Tenderness (Campbell/Connelly/Woods) 4.05
10. How Sweet It Is (L.Dozier/Holland/E.Holland) 2.58
11. Song For You (feat. Chris Botti) (Russell) 4.42
12. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Porter) 3.40
13. You And I (Wonder) 3.54

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The official website:
Website

Heart – Bad Animals (1987)

FrontCover1Heart is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Seattle, Washington, as The Army. Two years later they changed their name to Hocus Pocus. The year following they changed their name to White Heart, and eventually changed the name a final time to Heart, in 1973. By the mid-1970s, original members Roger Fisher (guitar) and Steve Fossen (bass guitar) had been joined by sisters Ann Wilson (lead vocals and flute) and Nancy Wilson (rhythm guitar, backing and occasional lead vocals), Michael Derosier (drums), and Howard Leese (guitar and keyboards) to form the lineup for the band’s initial mid- to late-1970s success period. These core members were included in the band’s 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Heart rose to fame with music influenced by hard rock and heavy metal, as well as folk music. The band’s popularity declined in the early 1980s, and the band began a successful comeback in 1985 which continued into the mid-1990s. Heart disbanded in 1998, resumed performing in 2002, went on hiatus in 2016, and resumed performing in the summer of 2019.[5] Heart’s US Top 40 singles include “Magic Man” (1975), “Crazy on You” (1976), “Barracuda” (1977), “What About Love” (1985), “Never” (1985), and “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” (1990), along with no. 1 hits “These Dreams” (1986) and “Alone” (1987).

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Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide, including approximately 22.5 million albums in the United States. They have placed top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990 and 2010s. Heart was ranked number 57 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and ranked number 49 on Ultimate Classic Rock’s Top 100 Classic Rock Artists.

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Bad Animals is the ninth studio album by American rock band Heart, released on June 6, 1987, by Capitol Records. The album continues the mainstream hard rock style from the band’s 1985 self-titled release, all while enjoying similar success. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 in August 1987, and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 4, 1992. Internationally, Bad Animals charted within the top five in Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The album spawned the US number-one single “Alone”, while “Who Will You Run To” reached number seven, “There’s the Girl” reached number 12, and “I Want You So Bad” reached number 49. Bad Animals received a nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards in 1988.

The album features a few cover songs: “Alone” was originally recorded by the duo i-Ten on their 1983 album Taking a Cold Look, while “Wait for an Answer” was originally recorded by Dalbello on her 1984 album Whomanfoursays.

The album’s name refers to a situation the band encountered at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ann Wilson’s dog was at the hotel with her, and hotel security informed the band that a North Carolina law made it a crime to bring an animal into a hotel room. The band’s tour manager solved the problem by going outside with the dog for three hours. (wikipedia)

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Switching from Epic to Capitol with 1985’s Heart proved to be a wise move for the Wilson sisters, who experienced a major resurgence in popularity and gained many new followers. Heart’s arena rock sound had become even glossier, and the band was selling more albums than ever. But for all its production gloss (courtesy of Ron Nevison) and pop slickness, Bad Animals comes across as sincere rather than formulaic or cynical. From the rockers “You Ain’t Too Tough” and “Easy Target” to the power ballads “Alone” and “Wait for an Answer,” all of the songs are quite memorable. The folk elements and acoustic leanings that characterized many of Heart’s early ballads were long gone, and the Wilson sisters keep the volume high but slow the tempo. (by Alex Henderson)

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Personnel:
Mark Andes (bass)
Denny Carmassi (drums)
Howard Leese (guitar, keyboards, background vocals)
Ann Wilson (vocals)
Nancy Wilson (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
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Duane Hitchings (keyboards)
Mike Moran (keyboards)
Tom Kelly (background vocals)
Holly Knight (keyboards)
Efrain Toro (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Who Will You Run To (Warren) 4.06
02. Alone (Kelly/Steinberg) 3.39
03. There’s The Girl (N.Wilson/Knight) 3.50
04. I Want You So Bad (Kelly/Steinberg) 4.22
05. Wait For An Answer (Dal Bello) 4.32
06. Bad Animals (A.Wilson/N.Wilson/Carmassi/Andes/Leese) 4.54
07. You Ain’t So Tough (Kipner/Beckett) 4.06
08. Strangers Of The Heart (Hitching/Shifrin/Andes) 3.42
09. Easy Target (A.Wilson/N.Wilson/Ennis) 3.59
10. RSVP (A.Wilson/N.Wilson/Ennis) 3.39LabelB1*
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Singles

Moby Grape – Live – Historic Live Moby Grape Performances 1966-1969 (2010)

FrontCover1Moby Grape is an American rock band founded in 1966, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting, which collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz with rock and psychedelic music. They were one of the few groups of which all members were lead vocalists. The group’s first incarnation ended in 1969, but they have reformed many times afterwards and continue to perform occasionally.

Moby Grape’s success was significantly impeded by decades-long legal disputes with their former manager, Matthew Katz. Legal difficulties originated shortly after the group’s formation, when Katz insisted that an additional provision be added to his management contract, giving him ownership of the group name. At the time, various group members were indebted to Katz, who had been paying for apartments and various living costs prior to the release of the group’s first album.

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Despite objecting, group members signed, based in part on the impression that there would be no further financial support from Katz unless they did so. Neil Young, then of Buffalo Springfield, was in the room at the time, and kept his head down, playing his guitar, and saying nothing. According to Peter Lewis, “I think Neil knew, even then, that this was the end. We had bought into this process that we should have known better than to buy into.”

The dispute with Katz became more acute after the group members’ rights to their songs, as well as their own name, were signed away in 1973, in a settlement made without their knowledge between Katz and the band’s manager at the time (and former producer), David Rubinson. It was also a settlement made at a time when Bob Mosley and Skip Spence were generally recognized as being legally incapacitated due to the effects of schizophrenia.

As described by Jeff Tamarkin, “The Grape’s saga is one of squandered potential, absurdly misguided decisions, bad luck, blunders and excruciating heartbreak, all set to the tune of some of the greatest rock and roll ever to emerge from San Francisco. Moby Grape could have had it all, but they ended up with nothing, and less.”

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Moby Grape Live is a 2010 album, released by Sundazed Records, of previously unissued live recordings of the band Moby Grape. Included are recordings of the band in its prime in 1966 and 1967, as well as 1969 recordings, subsequent to the 1968 collapse and departure of founding member Skip Spence. A particularly notable inclusion is the band’s performance at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival. (wikipedia)

“After the essential debut record, this is the Moby Grape record I would recommend next.” (therisingstorm.net)

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Moby Grape made several good albums in their day, but only one inarguably great one (their classic 1967 debut), and getting their special magic on tape in the studio seemed to be a tricky affair. But the group apparently had better luck with their muse on-stage, judging from the evidence contained in this album. Featuring material from five concerts spanning a period that predates the first album and ends shortly before the recording of Truly Fine Citizen (the album that preceded their first breakup), Moby Grape Live: Historic Live Moby Grape Performances captures the energy and spirit of the band as well as anything they released during their heyday. This collection starts out with seven songs from a show at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom in 1967, and if the performances aren’t quite as precise as what they achieved in the studio, the interplay between guitarists Peter Lewis, Jerry Miller, and Skip Spence is exciting and brimming with imagination, while the five-part harmonies are terrific and all the more impressive for the fire of the band’s attack. Next up is the first authorized release of Moby Grape’s short set at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, and though the band might have been better advised to start with something more rousing than “Indifference” and “Mr. Blues,” the group is in fine fettle and the closing version of “Omaha” rocks out.

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After a gritty 1967 blues workout on “Sweet Little Angel” that leaves plenty of room for guitar soloing, the album jumps forward to 1969 and a five-song session recorded for RAI Radio during a tour stop in the Netherlands. By this time, Spence was out of Moby Grape, but if there’s a little less electricity in the band the passion is still there, the harmonies are spot-on, “Trucking Man” rocks furiously, and the extended version of “Omaha” shows this group was still finding new wrinkles in their classic repertoire. And finally, a 1966 Avalon Ballroom tape unearths the otherwise unrecorded “Dark Magic,” an epic-scale guitar workout that runs over 17 minutes in this version. Given that concision was one of Moby Grape’s great virtues, a quarter-hour guitar freakout wouldn’t seem to play to their strengths, but if “Dark Magic” meanders just a bit, the interplay between the musicians is little short of amazing and they wind enough twists and turns into the song to keep it exciting throughout. While Moby Grape’s studio work might offer a clearer picture of the strength of their songs, Historic Live Moby Grape does a brilliant job of revealing what made them great as a band, and the best tracks here should prompt any serious fan of late-’60s rock to reaffirm Moby Grape’s status as one of the finest acts of their time. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Peter Lewis (guitar, vocals)
Jerry Miller (lead guitar, vocals)
Bob Mosley (bass, vocals)
Skip Spence (guitar, vocals)
Don Stevenson (drums, vocals)

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Tracklist:

Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 1967:
01. Ain’t No Use (Miller/Stevenson) 1.34
02. Rounder (Spence) 2.00
03. Looper (Lewis) 2.25
04. Bitter Wind (Mosley) 1.48
05. Changes (Miller/Stevenson) 4.36
06. Indifference (Spence) 2.47
07. Someday (Miller/Stevenson/Spence) 3.22

Monterey International Pop Festival, 1967:
08. Introduction by Tommy Smothers 1.19
09. Indifference (Spence) 3.16
10. Mr. Blues (Mosley) 1.52
11. Sitting By The Window (Lewis) 2.56
12. Omaha (Spence) 2.54

San Francisco, 1967:
13. Sweet Little Angel (Bogan) 4.50

RNW Radio, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1969:
14. Murder In My Heart For The Judge (Miller/Stevenson) 4.51
15. I Am Not Willing (Lewis) 5.31
16. Trucking Man (Mosley) 2.05
17. Fall On You (Lewis) 2.14
18. Omaha (Spence) 6.05

Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 1966:
19. Dark Magic (Spence) 17.27

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More from Moby Grape:
More

Nestor Amaral And His Continentals – Holiday In Italy (1957)

FrontCover1Back from my holidays in Italy:

Nestor Amaral (São Paulo, 16 September 1913 – Los Angeles, 26 February 1962) was a Brazilian musician, composer and singer.

An accomplished Brazilian musician, Nestor Amaral had a career in Argentina and was part of the Bando da Lua – replacing Aníbal Augusto Sardinha – accompanying Carmen Miranda to the United States in the early 1940s. Alongside Carmen and the Moon Gang, Amaral appeared in films such as It Happened in Havana (1941), My Brazilian Secretary (1942), Between the Blonde and the Brunette (The Gang’s All Here) (1943), and Copacabana (1947). Besides having participated in the soundtrack of the film Você Já Foi a Bahia? where he sings the English lyrics of the song Na Baixa do Sapateiro by Ary Barroso. Other participations include: The Promised Song alongside Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo, and in Romance on the High Seas (1948) where she sings with Doris Day the song It’s Magic, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 1957, he released the album Holiday in Brazil already as Nestor Amaral And His Continentals.

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He died of a heart attack on 26 February 1962, and was buried in Los Angeles, California.[3]
Personal life

Nestor Amaral was the brother of São Paulo singer Roberto Amaral, and settled permanently in the United States, where his son, designer producer Roy Alan Amaral was born on 25 September 1950. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a nice “holiday” album with beautiful melodies from the old Italy … sweet memories …

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Personnel:
Nestor Amaral (violin, guitar, mandolin)
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his Continentals

Nestor Amaral03Tracklist:
01. O Sole Mio! (My Sun) 2.24
02. Funiculi Funicula 2.17
03. Oh, Marie 2.48
04. Anema E Core (With All My Heart And Soul) 2.37
05. Vieni, Vieni 2.10
06. Torna A Surriento (Come Back To Sorrento) 2.52
07. Ciribiribin 2.23
08. Chitarra Romana (Roman Guitar) 2.54
09. Vieni Sul Mar (Come To The Sea) 2.13
10. Tango Delle Rose (Tango Of Roses) 3.00
11. Reginella Campagnola (Woodpecker Song) 2.15
12. Te Voglio Bene (I Love You So) 2.42
13. Mattinata (I’m Always The One) 2.52
14. La Spagnola 1.54

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Cherie & Jim Schwall – A Wedding Present From Cherie & Jim Schwall (1973)

FrontCover1Jim Schwall (November 12, 1942 – June 19, 2022) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, and photographer. He was best known as a co-founder and member of the Siegel-Schwall Band.

Jim Schwall was born in Evanston, Illinois. A singer-songwriter, he played guitar, as well as mandolin, bass guitar, accordion, and other instruments. He studied music at Roosevelt University. There he met Corky Siegel, and became interested in electric blues music. Schwall and Siegel formed a blues duo in 1964, playing at Chicago bars and clubs. They performed regularly at Pepper’s Lounge and at Big John’s, where well known, established blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Willie Dixon would often sit in. The duo expanded to a quartet and became the Siegel-Schwall Band. Schwall’s amplified Gibson B-25 acoustic guitar was a distinctive component of the band’s sound.

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The Siegel-Schwall Band became quite popular, and by 1967 were touring nationally, performing at large venues like the Fillmore West and sharing the bill with well-known rock bands.[9][10] Between 1966 and 1974, they released at least ten albums. They were also noted for their collaborations with Seiji Ozawa, combining blues with classical music. After 1974, they disbanded, but the band re-formed in 1987. They played occasional live dates and released two albums of new material over the following decade.

Siegel-Schwall Band (L-R: Rollo Radford, Corky, Sam Lay, Jim Schwall):
SiegelSchwall Band01

Schwall was also the leader of his own blues-rock band, the Jim Schwall Band. This band formed in the mid-1970s, and versions continued playing live on an intermittent basis into the 2000’s.

Schwall was also involved in numerous other musical projects. He played guitar and accordion in the band So Dang Yang, and was the bassist for the Cajun Strangers. He held a PhD in musical composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993, and taught music at the college level. As a composer, he specialized in ballet, opera, and other music for the stage.

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Schwall was also a professional photographer, and did different types of photography. In his later years he worked at creating art prints that combined human figures and natural landscapes. He sometimes used 19th-century photographic techniques such as kallitype, cyanotype, and gum printing, non-silver techniques that predate the gelatin silver process.
Political activism

Schwall was active in progressive political causes. In 2002 he ran for mayor of Madison, Wisconsin.

After retiring and settling in Tucson, Schwall took to writing. At the urging of friends, he wrote a memoir titled “My So-called Career(s)” still unpublished, and was working on a novel tentatively titled “Organ Pipe Incident.” (wikipedia)

Famed Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Jim Schwall — co-founder of the influential and popular Siegel-Schwall Band — died of natural causes at his home in Tucson, Arizona on Sunday, June 19, 2022. He was 79. (wikipedia)

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In 1970, Jim Schwall (of the famed Chicago blues-based Siegel-Schwall Band) got married, and along with new bride Cherie recorded and privately pressed A Wedding Present From Cherie & Jim Schwall, (released in 1973). As described on the back cover, the album was home recorded on a Sony reel to reel at a number of parties and contains mostly first takes. It is acoustic, sparse, and bluesy, featuring hard left and right panning in the mix (which lends to the separated and isolated feeling of the music). “Thinking Of You” is exceptional in that it strays away from the blues territory of the album, and veers into a more psych-folk direction. Serving as the only known composition credited to Cherie Schwall, one can’t help but wonder what could have been. (Bosavi)

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Personnel:
Cherie Schwall (vocals)
Jim Schwall (guitar, vocals)
+
Peter Szillies (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Everything Is Going To Be All Right (Moss) 3.21
02. Thinking Of You (C.Schwall) 3.59
03. Can I Play With Your Poodle? (unknown) 1.54
04. It Won’t Be Long (McFarland) 2.48
05. Blues For A Lady (J.Schwall) 4.07
06. I’m Getting Old (J.Schwall) 3.56
07. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 6.13
08. Cadillac Ford (J.Schwall) 2.33
09. Wanderin’ (Kaye) 4.38

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People should know, Jim was a beautiful humanitarian and a one-of-a-kind musician.
(Corky Siegel)

More from Siegel-Schwall
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The official website (now deleted):
Website