Anastacia – Not That Kind (2000)

FrontCover1Anastacia Lyn Newkirk (/ˌænəˈsteɪʒə/ AN-ə-STAY-zhə; born September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, producer and former dancer. Her first two albums Not That Kind (2000) and Freak of Nature (2001) were released in quick succession to major success. Spurred on by the multi-platinum, global smash “I’m Outta Love”, Anastacia was awarded as the ‘World’s Best-Selling New Female Pop Artist’ in 2001. Her commercial success continued with international hits such as “Paid My Dues”, “One Day In Your Life” and the official song of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, “Boom”. After recovering from cancer, she returned with 2004’s Anastacia which deviated from previous albums into pop-rock. Peaking at number one in 11 countries, it became Europe’s second-biggest-selling album of the year. Its lead single “Left Outside Alone” remained at number one on the European Billboard chart for 15 weeks and helped Anastacia launch the most successful European tour by a solo artist that same year. The album also provided another three singles: “Sick and Tired”, “Welcome to My Truth”, and “Heavy on My Heart”.

In 2005, the multi-platinum compilation project Pieces of a Dream was released, which spawned the chart-topping duet with Eros Ramazzotti, “I Belong to You (Il Ritmo della Passione)”. Her fourth studio album Heavy Rotation (2008) produced the songs “Absolutely Positively”, “Defeated”, and “I Can Feel You”. Her cover album It’s a Man’s World (2012) was followed by a sixth studio album Resurrection (2014), which reached the top ten of several European charts. Her Ultimate Collection was released in 2015 and peaked in the top ten of the UK charts, giving the singer her sixth top-ten album in Britain. In 2017, Anastacia released the studio album Evolution and its lead single “Caught in the Middle”. Anastacia has established herself as one of the best-selling international female singers of the 2000s and 2010s. As of 2016, she has reported worldwide sales of more than 50 million. She has had five top ten singles on U.S. Billboard’s Dance Club chart and three albums on its Top Album Sales chart.

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Known for her powerful mezzo-soprano voice and her small stature of 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm), she has been dubbed “the little lady with the big voice”. She underwent corrective LASIK surgery in August 2005, although she still frequently wears the glasses for which she became noted when she first became famous.

During her life Anastacia has battled many health problems. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was 13, breast cancer at the age of 34, and supraventricular tachycardia aged 39. In 2013, Anastacia was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. In recognition of her decade-long charitable efforts in breast cancer awareness, Anastacia became the second woman ever to be presented with the Humanitarian Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2013.

Anastacia was born in Chicago, Illinois; her late father Robert Newkirk (of German descent) was a club-singer and her mother Diane Hurley (of Irish descent) an actress on Broadway. Her parents split up when she was five years old. After her father (who had bipolar disorder) left the Newkirk family, they moved to New York City when she was a teenager. She enrolled at the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan. After graduation, she worked jobs at restaurants and hair salons while pursuing a career in the music industry.

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Anastacia was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was thirteen. Despite her ongoing health problems Anastacia continued to pursue her ambitions for the next decade. Anastacia started her career in 1983 as a dancer for hire. Her first claim to fame was as a professional dancer (dancer for hire), making regular appearances in the mid-1980s and early ’90s on MTV’s Club MTV. She appeared in two videos for American hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa (“Get Up Everybody (Get Up)” in 1988 and “Twist and Shout” in 1989). In 1990, she started her musical career as a backing vocalist. She sang back-up vocals on pop star Tiffany’s New Inside album in 1990. In 1991, she featured in music video My Fallen Angel of Dominican singer/actor Coro. In 1992 she gained her first break as a solo singer on BET’s ComicView, singing Oleta Adams’ “Get Here”.

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In 1993 she moved to Los Angeles to record the song One More Chance for the producer OG Pierce, it resulted however in no record deal. That same year the singer recorded a collaboration with David Morales called “Forever Luv”. Throughout the mid 1990s producers claimed to be intrigued by her voice’s unusual tone, Anastacia would be continuously told that ‘her sound just didn’t quite fit into any category’. In 1994, she sang back-up vocals on Jamie Foxx debut album Peep This, and in 1995 Anastacia sang back-up vocals on Paula Abdul’s third studio album Head Over Heels. By 1997, Anastacia had become a member of a band called The Kraze which she remained a part of until 1999. In 1997 she also sung in the background choir for Kurt Carr’s gospel vocal ensemble called The Kurt Carr Singers on their album No One Else. She had two duet songs with Cuban composer Omar Sosa in 1998, performing “Mi Negra, Tu Bombón” and “Tienes Un Solo” in 1999. Eventually in 1998, before turning 30, Anastacia attracted the interest of record labels after making the finals of the short-lived MTV talent show The Cut hosted by rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes . Anastacia signed a contract with Daylight Records, a custom label of Sony Music Entertainment’s Epic Records in March 1999.

Anastacia05Anastacia met Lisa Braude (who later became her manager) in 1997. She encouraged her to join MTV’s talent show The Cut in 1998. She made her way to be one of the ten finalists, performing her own composition entitled “Not That Kind”. Even though she did not win the contest, she had successfully impressed some notable artists, such as Elton John and Michael Jackson as well as the show’s judges that included David Foster and Faith Evans. This afterwards led her to sign with Daylight, one of Epic’s labels, by March 1999. Backed up by leading American producer/writers, she released her debut album, Not That Kind on June 13, 2000. The album reached the top ten in eight countries in Europe and Asia. It went four times platinum in Europe and triple platinum in Australia; her debut single “I’m Outta Love” was a global smash hit in 2000, topping the charts in Belgium, Australia and New Zealand, peaking at number two in France, Switzerland, Italy and Ireland as well as also reaching number six both in Germany and the UK. In the U.S., it was only a minor radio hit. The second single “Not That Kind” reached number 11 in the UK[29] and became a top 10 hit in Italy. It also entered the top 20 in Switzerland and France.[30] “Cowboys & Kisses” was released as the third single from the album, charting in the top forty in some European countries. As the last promotional only single, “Made for Lovin’ You” charted in the UK at number twenty-seven and in France at number seventy-two. While “I’m Outta Love” was a top ten hit on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the United States, “Not That Kind” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100; however by the end of the year Anastacia would go on to be the World’s Best Selling New Female Pop Artist at the 2001 World Music Awards.

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Not That Kind is the debut studio album by American singer Anastacia. It was released on June 16, 2000, by Epic Records and Daylight Records. The album features production by Sam Watters, Louis Biancaniello, Ric Wake, Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Rickey Minor, and The Shadowmen.

Not That Kind failed to make an impact in the United States, where it peaked at number 168 on the Billboard 200. Nevertheless, it was commercially successful overseas, reaching the top 10 on the majority of the charts in Europe and Oceania. By May 2002, the album had sold over seven million copies worldwide. (wikipedia)

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As revealed in the multiple pictures in the CD package and in the video featured as part of the disc’s multi-media content, Anastacia is, in appearance, yet another teen dream with cascades of blonde hair and an exposed navel (though perhaps her ever-present, and ever-changing, spectacles are supposed to signal a higher intellectual content). But her musical models aren’t Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, they are Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Martha Wash. Anastacia possesses a big, expressive alto voice that her many co-writers and producers (primarily Rik Wake;Celine Dion, Mariah Carey) and the team of ex-Color Me Badd member Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello, though Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, authors of ‘N Sync’s “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You,” have two tracks) use in updated R&B, dance, and funk tracks. “I’m Outta Love,” which just missed topping the dance charts, is an aggressive dancefloor item, and its follow-up, the title song, is in a funk style reminiscent of Aretha Franklin’s ’80s work.

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“I Ask of You” is one of those slow, deliberate big ballads that recalls “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as well as that song’s singer, Jennifer Holliday. And so it goes. The only real misstep on the album is the inevitable Diane Warren adult contemporary romantic ballad, “Late Last Night,” which forces the singer to rein in her voice, though even then she doesn’t really negotiate its lyrical complexity. Despite her toothsome appearance, Anastacia may be too old school to break through in the U.S., though this album has been a commercial success overseas. (The American version has been altered from the foreign one, with a couple of tracks added and dropped.) But Macy Gray demonstrated that a broad audience may respond to an older style if the singer herself is distinguished enough. Anastacia doesn’t have the kind of unique timbre that Gray does — in fact, the minute she opens her mouth she starts reminding you of other singers, especially Aretha Franklin — but she is clearly a big talent, and that should count for something. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Anastacia (vocals)
Rob Bailey (guitar)
Tom Barney (bass)
Louis Biancaniello (drums, keyboards)
Vernon Black (guitar)
Chris Camozzi (guitar)
Kevin Cloud (drums)
Luis Conte (percussion)
Russ DeSalvo (guitar, keyboards)
Chris Goercke (guitar)
Rayford Griffin (drums)
Gary Haase (bass)
Loris Holland (organ)
Herman Jackson III (piano)
Paul Jackson Jr. (guitar)
Bashiri Johnson (percussion)
Richie Jones (drums)
Eric Kupper (guitar, keyboards)
Ricky Lawson (drums)
Diane Louie (keyboards)
Rickey Minor (bass)
Chieli Minucci (guitar)
John “Noodle” Nevin (bass)
Leon Pendarvis (piano)
Carl Potts (guitar)
Carl Sturken (all insruments on 04., 09. + 12.)
Sam Watters (drums, background vocals)
Steve Wolfe (drums)
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violin:
Ann Leathers – Belinda Whitney-Barratt – Joel Pitchon – Regis Iandiorio – Shirien Taylor
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background vocals:
BeBe Winans – Audrey Wheeler – Craig Derry –  Cindy Mizelle – Evan Rogers, Katreese Barnes – Kevin Owens – Valerie Pinkston – Keith Fluitt – Nicky Richards – Rob Mathes- Sam Watters – Audrey Martells – Barbara Laurie – Angela Brusegar – Sharlotte Gibson -Lynn Davis – Lynne Fiddmont-Linsey – Valerie Pinkston – Katreese Barnes

Booklet02ATracklist:
01. Not That Kind (Anastacia/Wheaton/Young) 3.21
02. I’m Outta Love (Anastacia/Watters/Biancaniello) 4.03
03. Cowboys & Kisses (Anastacia/Jive/Pennachio) 4.41
04. Who’s Gonna Stop The Rain (Rogers/Sturken) 5.00
05. Love Is Alive (Wright) 4.07
06. I Ask Of You (Anastacia/Watters/Biancaniello) 4.27
07. Wishing Well (Jive/Rich/Bieck) 3.58
08. Made For Lovin’ You (Anastacia/Watters/Biancaniello) 3.36
09. Black Roses (Anastacia/Rogers/Sturken/Ruffin) 3.37
10. Yo Trippin’ (Anastacia/Potts) 3.35
11. One More Chance (Anastacia/Pierce) 4.39
12. Same Old Story (Anastacia/Rogers/Sturken) 5.32

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More from Anastacia:
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The official website:
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The Corrs – In Blue (2000)

FrontCover1The Corrs are an Irish family band that combine pop rock with traditional Irish themes within their music. The group consists of the Corr siblings, Andrea (lead vocals, tin whistle, ukulele), Sharon (violin, keyboards, vocals), Caroline (drums, percussion, piano, bodhrán, vocals) and Jim (guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals). They are from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

The Corrs have released seven studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached Platinum in many countries, and have sold 40 million albums worldwide. Talk on Corners, their most successful album to date, reached multi-Platinum status in Australia, and in the UK it was the highest selling album of the year. The band is one of only a handful of acts who have held the top two positions simultaneously in the UK album charts, with Talk on Corners at number one and Forgiven, Not Forgotten at number two. The latter was the year’s third highest selling album in Australia. Their third studio album, In Blue, went to number one in seventeen countries.

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The Corrs have been actively involved in philanthropic activities. They have performed in numerous charity concerts, such as The Prince’s Trust event in 2004 and Live 8 alongside Bono of U2 in 2005. The same year, they were awarded honorary MBEs for their contributions to music and charity. The band was inactive for almost ten years because Jim and Caroline were raising families, while Andrea and Sharon were pursuing solo careers while raising families of their own. According to Sharon, it was uncertain if and when The Corrs would reunite. Rumours of a reunion sparked in early 2015 and in a radio interview with Chris Evans in June 2015, Andrea confirmed that The Corrs were working on a new album and would play the BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park festival.[6] Their sixth studio album, White Light, was released on 27 November 2015, and was accompanied by a European tour. After two years, their seventh studio album, Jupiter Calling, was released on 10 November 2017.

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In Blue is the third studio album by Irish pop rock band The Corrs, released in 2000 which saw the band become known in the United States. The title of the album comes from a lyric in the song “Give Me a Reason”. As well as the UK number one single “Breathless”, the album also contains new versions of “Radio” and “At Your Side”, which had appeared on their previous album The Corrs Unplugged. Mutt Lange co-wrote and produced three songs from the album.

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Several of the tracks were used in various television programmes and films: “Rebel Heart” as the theme for the TV miniseries of the same name; “One Night” in Mad About Mambo; “At Your Side” in Say It Isn’t So and the trailer for the film The Holiday; and “All the Love in the World” in the film America’s Sweethearts. As of 2017, the album has sold 9 million copies worldwide. (wikipedia)

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A very straightforward release from the Corrs, who spend the majority of this outing in full-blown pop mode, with the Celtic elements mostly being relegated to the backgrounds of several songs. The one exception is the closing instrumental, “Rebel Heart,” which stirs itself up full-bloodily to provide the album with an anthem. In Blue is a bright, peppy set that bears more than a few comparisons to the work of bands such as the Bangles and Fanny, though the Corrs have an additional advantage in that Caroline Corr is an impressively muscular drummer. (by Steven McDonald)

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I’ve heard so many fans saying they dislike it. Yet the songs are catchy, the band sounds they are enjoying. For me, it is their second best album, only behind “White Light” which was also made this kind of way. When the band sounds enjoying it, I am more willing to enjoy it. Their first two albums are good but this one sounds prefessional, and there are not many fillers. The Celtic elements are not as strong as during the first albums. The music should be about melodies and vocals, and lyrics – and rhythm of course – the opening song “Breathless” has their best rhythm – my favorite song from this band.

“Give Me A Reason”, “All the Love in the World”, and “Irresistible” are songs most fans like. “Radio” is good too but the unplugged version is better.

“No More Cry”, “At Your Side”, “Hurt Before”, and “Rebel Heart” are my favorite non-hit songs. (by Reijo Piippula)

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Personnel:
Andrea Corr (vocals, tin whistle)
Caroline Corr (drums, bodhran, piano, vocals)
Jim Corr (guitar, keyboards, piano, vocals)
Sharon Corr (violin, vocals)
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Anthony Drennan (lead guitar)
Keith Duffy (bass)
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Ronan Dooney (trumpet)
Paul Duffy (saxophone)
Billy Farrell (keyboards)
Mitchell Froom (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Breathless (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 3.28
02. Give Me A Reason (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.29
03. Somebody for Someone (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.01
04. Say (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.34
05. All The Love In The World (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 4:22
06. Radio (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.14
07. Irresistible (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 3.40
08. One Night (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.38
09. All In A Day (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.43
10. At Your Side (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.55
11. No More Cry (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 2.59
12. Rain (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.15
13. Give It All Up (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.28
14. Hurt Before (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.05
15. Rebel Heart (instrumental) (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.06

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Tom Jones – Reload (1999)

FrontCover1Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE (born 7 June 1940), known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s. He has toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011). Jones’s voice has been described by AllMusic as a “full-throated, robust baritone”.

His performing range has included pop, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel. In 2008, the New York Times called Jones a musical “shape shifter”, who could “slide from soulful rasp to pop croon, with a voice as husky as it was pretty”. Jones has sold over 100 million records, with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US, including “It’s Not Unusual”, “What’s New Pussycat?”, the theme song for the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, “Delilah”, “She’s a Lady”, “Kiss” and “Sex Bomb”.

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Jones has also occasionally dabbled in acting, first making his acting debut playing the lead role in the 1979 television film Pleasure Cove. He also appeared as himself in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks!.[6][7] In 1970 he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination for hosting the television series This Is Tom Jones. In 2012, he played his first dramatic acting role in an episode of Playhouse Presents.[8] Jones received a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, an MTV Video Music Award in 1989, as well as two Brit Awards: Best British Male in 2000 and the Outstanding Contribution to Music award in 2003. Jones was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music in 2005. Jones experienced a resurgence in notability in the 2010s due to his coaching role on the television talent show The Voice UK from 2012 (with the exception of 2016).

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Reload is the 34th album by Tom Jones, released in 1999. It contains fifteen duets with a range of artists including Van Morrison, Cerys Matthews, Stereophonics, Robbie Williams and Portishead, recorded with their usual record producers and in their usual studios. The tracks are mainly cover versions, with a new version of one of Jones’ own songs, “Looking Out My Window” (1968), and one original track, “Sex Bomb”.

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. Its biggest single was the collaboration with Mousse T, “Sex Bomb”, which reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, and was later used in a 2003 episode of The Simpsons (a show Jones had guest starred on in 1992). The album has sold more than four million copies worldwide. The album was not released in the US; instead the compilation Reloaded: Greatest Hits was issued there in 2003 and featured highlights from Reload.

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The album was released on 16 September 1999 in the UK by Gut Records and was released a little later in the US by V2 Records. Five singles were released from the album: “Burning Down the House” (September 1999), “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (December 1999), “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (March 2000), “Sex Bomb” (May 2000), and “You Need Love Like I Do” (November 2000)

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. (wikipedia)

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It had been six years since Tom Jones released his last stateside record, but this one scored big in England and on the Continent, for good reason. Ultra-modern and topical, Reload suggests you can easily ignore Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?” past. Not only does Jones deliver one of the more invigorating workings of modern pop here, his selection of material and choice of mates prove that in addition to his routinely extraordinary performances, he’s still recording quite potently, thank you. Like 1994’s underrated “The Lead and How To Swing It,” a lesser seller from the Interscope label, “Reload” finds Tom in collaborative mode. But where The Lead stressed original tunes and producer chops (everyone from Teddy Riley to Flood to Trevor Horn weighed in), Reload focuses on contemporary artists and cover songs. The artists are a motley, and very talented, crew indeed. Jones more than holds his own, turning the tunes into unusually personal and expressive vehicles.

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Jones launches the disc with Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” working it brisk and funky with the Cardigans and lending David Byrne’s opaque lyrics a fresh vigor. Then, with Stereophonics, he resurrects Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” refreshing the Three Dog Night chestnut with unexpected lasciviousness. The selections are as peculiar as they are successful, spanning “Sometimes We Cry” (a sparsely arranged duet with Van Morrison), a sharp interpretation of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” with Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders, and a fruity, truly bizarre take on the George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag” with Barenaked Ladies. Jones probably doesn’t do knee drops anymore, but he sure as hell does vocal swoops; check out “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall or his resurrection of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” with Zucchero for throat acrobatics. Jones is in the uncomfortable position of being a retro novelty, and although he may not ignite the U.S. charts anymore (his last notable effort here was his great collaboration with the Art of Noise on the Prince tune “Kiss,” in 1988), his music is as contemporary and driving as ever. (by Carlo Wolff)

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Personnel:
Tom Jones (vocals)
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many, many other musicians (more details in the booklet)

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Tracklist:
01. Burning Down The House (with The Cardigans) (Byrne/Weymouth/Frantz/Harrison) 3.39
02. Mama Told Me Not To Come (with Stereophonics) (Newman) 3.00
03. Are You Gonna Go My Way (with Robbie Williams) (Kravitz/Ross) 3.27
04. All Mine (with The Divine Comedy) (Barrow/Gibbons/Utley) 4.00
05. Sunny Afternoon (with Space) (Davies) 3.26
06. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (with James Dean Bradfield) (Kesler/Taylor) 3.40
07. Sex Bomb (with Mousse T.) (Mousse T./Rennalls) 3.32
08. You Need Love Like I Do (with Heather Small) (Whitfield/Strong) 3.50
09. Looking Out My Window (with James Taylor Quartet) (Jones) 3.20
10. Sometimes We Cry (with Van Morrison) (Morrison) 5.01
11. Lust For Life (with The Pretenders) (Pop/Bowie) 3.43
12. Little Green Bag (with Barenaked Ladies) (Visser/Baker) 3.49
13. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love (with Simply Red) (Parker/Banks) 2.42
14. She Drives Me Crazy (with Zucchero) (Gift/Steele) 3.35
15. Never Tear Us Apart (with Natalie Imbruglia) (Farriss/Hutchence) 3.08
16. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Cerys Matthews) (Loesser) 3.41
17. Motherless Child (with Portishead) (Traditional) 5.09

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The official website:
Website

Tears For Fears – Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92) (1992)

FrontCover1Tears for Fears are an English pop rock band formed in Bath, England, in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, Tears for Fears were associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s, and attained international chart success. Tears for Fears were part of the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US.

The band’s debut album, The Hurting (1983), reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. Their second album, Songs from the Big Chair (1985), reached number one on the US Billboard 200, achieving multi-platinum status in both the UK and the US. Songs from the Big Chair contained two Billboard Hot 100 number one hits: “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. The latter song won the Brit Award for Best British Single in 1986.

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After the release of their platinum-selling third album, The Seeds of Love (1989), Smith and Orzabal had an acrimonious split in 1991. Orzabal retained the Tears for Fears name as a solo project, releasing the albums Elemental (1993) and Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995). Orzabal and Smith reconciled in 2000 and released an album of new material, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, in 2004. The duo have toured on a semi-regular basis since then. After almost a decade in development, the band’s seventh album, The Tipping Point, has been announced for release in February 2022.

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Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82–92) is a greatest hits album by the English pop/rock band Tears for Fears. It was released on 2 March 1992 by Fontana Records. Preceded by the single “Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)”, the album contains the band’s UK and international top-20 singles (except “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”). It has been certified double platinum in the United Kingdom, platinum in the United States, and gold in several other countries including Canada, France and Germany.

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Tears Roll Down originally peaked at number one in Italy, number two in the UK and France and reached the top 10 in several other countries upon its release, but re-entered the UK top 10 at number six in 2004 for several weeks following the success of Gary Jules’ cover version of “Mad World”. (wikipedia)

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Capturing some of their chart-topping smashes and other key tracks, Tears for Fears marks a monumental career with their collection Tears Roll Down: Greatest Hits 82-92. Toward the end of the praise surrounding their third album, 1991’s Seeds of Love, Curt Smith left the band. Roland Orzabal was left to sail the ship alone, and the strong success dwindled years later. However, this dozen-track compilation showcases some of the band’s early tracks heavily dominated by pulsating bass drops and heavy synth beats. (by MacKenzie Wilson)

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Personnel:
Manny Elias (drums, percussion)
Roland Orzabal (guitar, vocals keyboards)
Curt Smith (bass, keyboards, vocals)
Ian Stanley (keyboards, background vocals)
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more musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Sowing The Seeds Of Love (Orzabal/Smith) (from The Seeds Of Love; 1989) 6.19
02. Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Orzabal/Stanley/Hughes) (from Songs from the Big Chair;1985) 4.11
03. Woman In Chains (Orzabal) (from The Seeds of Love; 1989) 6.29
04. Shout (Orzabal/Stanley) (from Songs from the Big Chair; 1985) 6.33
05. Head Over Heels (Orzabal/Smith)  (from Songs from the Big Chair, 1985) 4.14
06. Mad World (Orzabal) (from The Hurting; 1983) 3.29
07. Pale Shelter (Orzabal) (from The Hurting: 1983) 4.39
08. I Believe (Orzabal) (from Songs from the Big Chair; 1985) 4.50
09. Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down) (Orzabal/Bascombe) (previously unreleased) 4.45
10. Mothers Talk (Orzabal/Stanley) (from Songs from the Big Chair: 1985) 4.59
11. Change (Radio Edit) (Orzabal) (full length version from The Hurting, 1983) 3.54
12. Advice For The Young At Heart (Orzabal/Holland) (from The Seeds of Love, 1989) 4.54

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The official website:
Website

Luciano Pavarotti – Pavarotti & Friends (1993)

FrontCover1Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed and loved tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for his tone, and achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs”.

As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Madama Butterfly. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007.

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Pavarotti & Friends was a series of benefit concerts hosted by Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti between 1992 and 2003 in his home town of Modena, Italy. Proceeds from the events were donated to humanitarian causes including the international aid agency War Child[1] and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The concerts featured Pavarotti performing with special musical guests[3] and each concert was released as a compilation album and DVD under London Records/Decca Records.
Ten benefit concerts were held between 1992 and 2003. The concerts have been broadcast in various countries and each concert was released as a compilation album and DVD under London Records/Decca Records. The Pavarotti & Friends Collection: The Complete Concerts, 1992–2000, a DVD featuring the first eight concerts, was released in November 2002 under Decca.

Pavarotti&Friends01The first Pavarotti & Friends concert was held on 27 September 1992, featuring guest stars Sting, Bob Geldof, Brian May and Mike Oldfield. A compilation album and DVD was released under Decca Records. The compilation album sold 120,000 units in the US and around 1.5 million units worldwide. (wikipedia).

From left: journalist Vincenzo Mollica, Luciano Pavarotti, Lucio Dalla & Zucchero (1992):
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On the one hand a nice mixture of different music styles, on the other hand this music is too weak and shallow for me … not my kind of stuff !

Recorded live at the Venue Parco Novi Sad, Modena, Italy, September 27, 1992

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Personnel:
Orchestra da Camera “Arcangelo Corelli conducted by Aldo Sisillo

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Tracklist:
01. Luciano Pavarotti & Sting: Panis Angelicus (Franck) 3.52
02. Luciano Pavarotti & Zucchero: Miserere (Bono/Zucchero) 4.14
03. Zucchero & Sting: Muoio Per Te (Sting/Zucchero) 3.54
04. Luciano Pavarotti & Lucio Dalla: Caruso (Dalla) 5.19
05. Neville Brothers: One More Day (C. Neville/Wolinski/G. Neville) 4.41
06. Aaron Neville: Ave Maria (Schubert) 4.40
07. Suzanne Vega: In Liverpool (Vega) 4.38
08. Mike Oldfield: Sentinel (Oldfield) 3.53
09. Zucchero: L’Urlo (Brown/Moss/Zucchero) 3.20
10. Brian May: Too Much Love Will Kill You (May/Lamers/Musker) 4.28
11. Sting: It’s Probably Me (Clapton/Kamen/Sting) 5.01
12. Bob Geldof: Room 19 (Geldof) 4.40
13. Patricia Kaas: Les Hommes Qui Passent (Kaas) 3.39
14. Luciano Pavarotti, Lucio Dalla, Brian May, Zucchero & Sting: La Donna E’ Mobile (Piave/Verdi) 2.25

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The Beautiful South – Welcome To The Beautiful South (1989)

LPFrontCover1The Beautiful South were an English pop rock group formed in 1988 by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, two former members of the Hull group The Housemartins, both of whom performed lead and backing vocals. Other members throughout the band’s existence were former Housemartins roadie Sean Welch (bass), Dave Stead (drums) and Dave Rotheray (guitar). The band’s original material was written by the team of Heaton and Rotheray.

After the band’s first album (recorded as a quintet), they were joined by a succession of female vocalists. All of the following artists performed lead and backing vocals alongside Heaton and Hemingway – Briana Corrigan for albums two and three after appearing as a guest vocalist on one, followed by Jacqui Abbott for the fourth to seventh albums, and finally Alison Wheeler for the final three Beautiful South albums.

The group broke up in January 2007, claiming the split was due to “musical similarities”, having sold around 15 million records worldwide.

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Welcome to the Beautiful South is the debut album by English band The Beautiful South, released in October 1989 by Go! Discs and the next year in the United States by Elektra Records. Three singles were released from the album, which became top 40 hits in the United Kingdom: “Song for Whoever” (#2), “You Keep It All In” (#8) and “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone” (#31).

The original album cover depicted two pictures by Jan Saudek, one of a woman with a gun in her mouth, and another with a man smoking. Woolworths refused to stock the album, in the words of the band, to “prevent the hoards [sic] of impressionable young fans from blowing their heads off in a gun-gobbling frenzy, or taking up smoking”;[6] An alternative cover featuring a picture of a stuffed toy rabbit and a teddy bear was therefore made. A second alternative cover was also prepared for the Canadian edition of the album; this version omitted the picture of the woman, and featured only the smoking man.

NME included it in their “Top 100 Albums You’ve Never Heard” list in 2012. (wikipedia)

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The Beautiful South’s 1989 debut would be important if only to mark the partial continuance of the Housemartins’ legacy. But when vocalist Paul Heaton and drummer Dave Hemmingway greeted the world with Welcome to the Beautiful South, the handshake came with a Cheshire grin. Nothing in the Beautiful South was as it seemed. Where there was jaunty, jazzy pop, crossed fingers warned of murderous lyrics. If a single featured a fluttering flute, it was filled with familial terror. “Woman in the Wall,” featuring one of the year’s most memorable melodies and Heaton’s plaintive lead vocal, also featured lines like “He’d enjoyed the thought of killing her before” and “when the rotting flesh began to stink.”

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But even in the album’s most gruesome moments, the streak of cynical, caustic sarcasm running through it was as clear as crop circles. This fact only made Welcome’s twee goodness that much more fun, for with each well-placed barb it further proved what the Housemartins had started: pop didn’t have to be stupid. (by Johnny Loftus)

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Personnel:
Paul Heaton (vocals)
Dave Hemingway (vocals)
Dave Rotheray (guitar)
Dave Stead (drums)
Sean Welch (bass)
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Gary Barnacle (saxophone, flute)
Briana Corrigan (vocals)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
John Thirkell (trumpet, fluglehorn)
Peter Thoms (trombone)
Mel Wesson (keyboards, drum programs)
Pete Wingfield (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Song For Whoever 6.10
02. Have You Ever Been Away? 5.12
03. From Under The Covers 4.04
04. I’ll Sail This Ship Alone 4.40
05. Girlfriend 2.54
06. Straight In At 37 (MC and CD bonus track) 4.29
07. You Keep It All In 2.54
08. Woman In The Wall 5.16
09. Oh Blackpool 3.01
10. Love Is… 7.04
11. I Love You (But You’re Boring) 4.31

All songs written by Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray,
except 05.: written by Antonio Reid & Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

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More from The Beautiful South:
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Mika – Life In Cartoon Motion (2007)

FrontCover1Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. (born 18 August 1983), known by his stage name Mika (/ˈmiːkə/ MEE-kə, stylised as MIKA), is a Lebanese-born British singer-songwriter.

After recording his first extended play, Dodgy Holiday, Mika was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2007 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2007. Mika released his first full-length studio album, Life in Cartoon Motion, on Island Records in 2007, which sold more than 5.6 million copies worldwide and helped Mika win a Brit Award—winning Best British Breakthrough act—and receive a Grammy Award nomination. He topped the UK Singles Chart in January 2007 with “Grace Kelly”. He has since gone on to record four more studio albums (most recently My Name is Michael Holbrook released in October 2019), as well as serve as judge/mentor on both the French version of The Voice and the Italian version of X Factor. Mika has also starred in his own television variety show in Italy, Stasera Casa Mika [it], which won the 2017 Rose d’Or Award for Entertainment.

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Life in Cartoon Motion is the debut album released by British recording artist Mika. The album was produced by Greg Wells and Mika himself, mixed by Wells, with co-production on two songs by Jodi Marr and John Merchant. The album was released via Casablanca Records on 5 February 2007 in the United Kingdom, and on 27 March 2007 in the United States. The album’s lead single, “Grace Kelly”, stayed at number one on the UK Singles Chart for five weeks straight and became a number-one hit in many countries.

The Life in Cartoon Motion album cover has since been used in a commercial for the iPod Touch. It was the ninth-best-selling album in the world during 2007.
Prior to obtaining his record deal, Mika sent demos to many record companies in Britain, but was never signed. One record label in particular claimed that Mika had a good voice, but insisted he write more conventional songs like Robbie Williams in order to become more commercial. Mika rejected this advice. The song “Grace Kelly” was inspired by these problems. In 2006 Mika signed with Island Records and began recording his debut album. His musical influences are based in classical music. Before Mika released his debut album, he promised the media that “It was a magical world that you could live in. A parallel universe for people that is illusory and enchanting and amazing.”

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Some songs on the album are sexually ambiguous, which prompted some questioning regarding Mika’s sexuality. On this, Mika commented that he has no taboos about what he can use to tell a story or what stories he can actually tell, and said that while he believes that sexualising music is great, politically sexualising music and making the artist’s sexuality the defining point of someone’s music is “boring”. He said about his own sexuality: “laying myself out on the table to almost a tabloid level and kind of sharing my entire personal life, I’m really not into that.” The songs on the album have different subjects. “Grace Kelly”, as stated before, is about the struggle of getting a record deal. Mika stated that the song is important because “it’s a flagpole for the record in terms of lyrical content and the whole pop vision I wanted to get across.” The cover for the album and booklet were designed by Mika’s sister, Yasmine, who works under the pen name DaWack, Richard Hogg and Mika himself. In March 2007 the album was released in the United States. Before its release there was much publicity about the album, mainly due to its success in Europe. Mika commented on the hype by saying: “I think I’m lucky. Hype can be good and hype can be bad. The good thing that’s happening to me is that the hype is about the project, it’s about the music … I’m not the son of anyone famous, I haven’t really slept with anyone particularly well-known … it’s really just about music, and that’s something I think is very healthy.”

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The original version of the album, released in the United Kingdom and Europe on 5 February 2007, contains a total of 12 tracks, including the hidden track “Over My Shoulder” and the bonus track “Ring Ring”. It also includes an enhanced section, with links to music videos and live performances, as well as other exclusive content. The version released via the iTunes Store in Europe features three additional acoustic recordings as bonus tracks. The American version of the album, released on 27 March 2007, is essentially the same as the British release, however, it includes the exclusive bonus track “Erase”, not included on the original release. American versions of the album bought at Best Buy stores also carry two exclusive bonus tracks – acoustic versions of “Love Today” and “Satellite”, while the American iTunes Store version also includes an exclusive acoustic version of “Grace Kelly”. The version of the album released in Japan is essentially the same as the original British release, however, it also includes the American exclusive track “Erase”, as well as the Japanese exclusive track “Your Sympathy”, and an enhanced element containing the music video for “Grace Kelly”.

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The demo version of the album, issued to media journalists and critics, has a very different track listing than any of the main versions of the albums. It does not include the tracks “Lollipop”, “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” and “Over My Shoulder”, but does include the Japanese only bonus track “Your Sympathy”, as well as including “Gave It All Away”, Mika’s original version of the track, before it was given to Boyzone. Mika’s version had never appeared on any other release, until the release of the Asian Tour Edition in March 2008, which includes the eleven standard tracks from the British album, the European bonus track “Ring Ring”, “Gave It All Away” from the demo version, “Erase” from the American version, “Your Sympathy” from the Japanese edition, and the B-side recordings “Satellite”, “Only Lonely One” and “Instant Martyr”. The album was also packed with a bonus disc, including six acoustic recordings, four live recordings, and the single mix of “Happy Ending”.

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The album had significant success in Europe, with the album achieving 1.65 million certified sales in the United Kingdom and 1.45 million in France. The album was certified five-times platinum in Belgium and two-times platinum in Switzerland, and three-times platinum in Ireland, also achieving gold and/or platinum status in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Greece. The album also charted in the Czech Republic and was certified in Japan. In Oceania, the album was certified two-times platinum in Australia and gold in New Zealand. In North America. the album was certified two-times platinum in Canada. (wikipedia)

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Mika’s vivid, aptly named debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion, borrows and builds on the glittery, glamorous, and not-so-secretly sentimental musical territory carved out by Elton John and Freddie Mercury, or more recently, Rufus Wainwright and the Scissor Sisters. Fortunately, his name-dropping, shape-shifting pop is usually good, and genuine, enough to come across as eloquent homage rather than blatant thievery or a tired rehash. Mika’s singles are his most charming moments, especially the instant sunshine of “Grace Kelly,” which crams tap-dancing rhythms, filmic dialogue, Elton’s pianos, Freddie’s vocal harmonies, and Brian May’s guitars into just over three minutes. “Relax (Take It Easy)” is in the same vein of hypnotic, danceable melancholy as the Scissor Sisters’ reworking of “Comfortably Numb,” albeit less showy, while “Billy Brown”‘s brass arrangement, flowing melody, and soft-shoe rhythms give it the feel of an unusually witty show tune about pre-life crises and living in the closet. As Life in Cartoon Motion unfolds, it reveals more of Mika’s musical identity, both for better and worse.

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His classical piano training gives the album an appealing fluidity, especially on “Any Other World,” and lilting, Afro-pop-inspired guitars and harmonies pop up here and there, most effectively on “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful).” However, while Life in Cartoon Motion has lots of enthusiasm and creativity, it doesn’t have a lot of nuance. On songs like “Lollipop” and “Love Today,” Mika straddles the line between adorable and annoying. And as the overly long, overwrought “Erase” shows, he also doesn’t have quite the masterful touch with gentler songs that his influences possess. As admirable as Life in Cartoon Motion’s eclecticism is, it could use more focus — something that songs like the jaunty breakup song “Stuck in the Middle” and angry rocker “Ring Ring” suggest Mika is developing. While more restraint could’ve taken the album from good to great, its Technicolor, everything-at-once, borderline overdone feel makes it a fitting portrait of Mika as a young artist. (Heather Phares)

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Personnel:
Matt Chamberlain (drums)
Derek Cintron (percussion)
Mika (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion, programming)
Tim Pierce (guitar)
Dan Rothchild (bass)
Dylan Schiavone (guitar)
Fabien-Waltmann (programming)
Greg Wells (guitar, bass, drums, programming, percussion, keyboards)
Lyle Workman (guitar)
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background vocals:
Zuleika Penniman – Paloma Penniman – Fortuné Penniman – Audrey Moukataff – Alexander Millar – Ida Falk Winland
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The Spoon Orchestra of Chiswick conducted by Paul Buckmaster
Studio Gospel Choir
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Larry Corbett (cello)
Lee Thornburg (horns)

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Tracklist:
01. Grace Kelly (Mika/Marr/Merchant/Warner) 3.08
02. Lollipop (Mika) 3.03
03. My Interpretation (Mika/Marr/Supa) 3.35
04. Love Today (Mika) 3.55
05. Relax, Take It Easy (contains a prelude to “Any Other World” at the end) (Mika/v.Eede) 4.30
06. Other World (Mika) 4.19
07. Billy Brown (Mika) 3.14
08. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) (Mika) 4.08
09. Stuck In The Middle (Mika) 4.09
10. Happy Ending / Over My Shoulder (hidden track) (Mika) 10.21

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The official website:
Website

Shania Twain – Come On Over (1997)

FrontCover1Eilleen “Shania” Twain (born Eilleen Regina Edwards; August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of Country Pop”. Billboard named her as the leader of the ’90s country-pop crossover stars.

Raised in Timmins, Ontario, Twain pursued singing and songwriting from a young age before signing with Mercury Nashville Records in the early 1990s. Her self-titled debut studio album was a commercial failure upon release in 1993.[8] After collaborating with producer and later husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Twain rose to fame with her second studio album, The Woman in Me (1995), which brought her widespread success. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, spawned eight singles, including “Any Man of Mine” and earned her a Grammy Award. Her third studio album, Come On Over (1997), became the best-selling studio album by a female act in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Come On Over produced twelve singles, including “You’re Still the One”, “From This Moment On”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and earned Twain four Grammy Awards. Her fourth studio album, Up! (2002), spawned eight singles, including “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”, “Ka-Ching!” and “Forever and for Always”, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, also being certified Diamond in the United States.

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In 2004, after releasing her Greatest Hits album, which produced three new singles including “Party for Two”, Twain entered a hiatus, revealing years later that diagnoses with Lyme disease and dysphonia led to a severely weakened singing voice. She chronicled her vocal rehabilitation on the OWN miniseries Why Not? with Shania Twain, released her first single in seven years in 2012, “Today Is Your Day”, and published an autobiography, From This Moment On. Twain returned to performing the following year with an exclusive concert residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Shania: Still the One, which ran until 2014. ShaniaTwain03In 2015, she launched the North American Rock This Country Tour, which was billed as her farewell tour. Twain released her first studio album in 15 years in 2017, Now, and embarked on the Now Tour in 2018. In 2019, she started her second Las Vegas residency, Let’s Go! at the Zappos Theater.

Twain has received five Grammy Awards, a World Music Award, 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.[18] According to the RIAA she is the only female artist in history to have three (consecutive) albums certified Diamond by the RIAA[19] and is the sixth best-selling female artist in the United States. Altogether, Twain is ranked as the 10th best-selling artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era. Billboard listed Twain as the 13th Greatest Music Video Female Solo Artist of all time (42nd overall)

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Come On Over is the third studio album recorded by Canadian country music singer Shania Twain. It was released on November 4, 1997, and became the best-selling country album, the best selling album by a Canadian and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the biggest-selling studio album by a solo female artist, and the best-selling album in the USA by a solo female artist. It is the ninth all-time best-selling album in the United States, and worldwide. It is also the sixteenth best-selling album in the United Kingdom.

As of 2020, Come On Over has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, shipped over 20 million copies in the United States, with over 15.7 million copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, and another 1.99 million through BMG Music Clubs. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and stayed there for 50 non-consecutive weeks and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the album with the most weeks at No.1 on the US Top Country Albums chart. It stayed in the top ten for 151 weeks. Ten of the sixteen tracks hit the top 20 of the Hot Country Songs chart, eight of which hit top 10, including three No. 1s.

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Seven of the tracks also made the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Twain promoted the album with television performances and interviews. It was further promoted with the successful Come On Over Tour, which visited North America, Oceania and Europe. Out of the album’s sixteen tracks, twelve were released as singles, including “Love Gets Me Every Time”, “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”, “You’re Still the One”, “From This Moment On”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”. The album was also promoted with a succession of music videos for the singles. The fifth single, “When”, was the only single from the album to not be released in the United States.

The album was nominated for six awards at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album. “You’re Still the One”, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 2, was nominated for four awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, winning the latter two. The album received a further three nominations at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for “You’ve Got a Way”, Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and Best Country Song for “Come On Over”, winning the latter two.

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After releasing and promoting her breakthrough album The Woman in Me, Come On Over saw Twain entirely collaborating with producer and then husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange on a variety of country pop numbers, mostly uptempo. Given much more creative freedom than for its predecessor, Twain and Lange sought to break the conventional country music formula on the album and explore the country pop genre to its fullest extent.

Twain decided not to tour off The Woman in Me partly because she felt she needed more powerful music to do a powerful show. Twain and her husband commenced songwriting material for the album as early as 1994, and often wrote apart to later intertwine their ideas. The recording process was intensive, with Lange dedicating overzealous time and patience to each individual track. Though the singer indicated her sonic preferences, she ultimately ceded all production to Lange. On the international version, Twain and Lange revisited the tracks to strip them of country influences and increase the album’s marketability beyond the US and Canada.

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The album was a blockbuster success, becoming the biggest-selling studio album of all time by a female artist, the biggest-selling country music album, the biggest-selling album by a Canadian act and the ninth biggest-selling album in music history. Three different versions of the album were released, the original country version, released in 1997, and the revised pop/international versions released in 1998 and 1999. The album was also supported by an extensive world tour by Twain.
Twain topped her own record with the release of Come On Over, beating out her previous Diamond selling album The Woman in Me, as the best-selling country music album ever released and the best-selling studio album ever released by a female artist in any genre. Debuting at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 with a moderate 172,000 copies (3,000 units behind Mase’s Harlem World), the album showed its consistency when it moved another ShaniaTwain01170,000 copies in its second week (a 1.2% decrease) to stay at No. 2 again behind Barbra Streisand’s Higher Ground. The RIAA certified Come on Over Gold, Platinum and 2× platinum on December 23, 1997. It sold more than 100,000 units in each of 62 weeks. During the Thanksgiving week of 1999, the Come On Over: International Version was released in conjunction to Shania’s Thanksgiving CBS special, Come On Over that week earned the Billboard chart “Greatest Gainer” title, jumping 24–11 on the Billboard 200, a 246% increase in sales from a 57,000 the previous week to a 197,000 the week after. The album’s best sales week was its 110th week, during which it sold 355,000 units to settle at number ten (Christmas 1999). The album stayed on the top 10 for 54 weeks, set a record for longest stay in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 of 112 weeks, and in top 40 for 127 consecutive weeks. Come On Over topped the Billboard Country album chart for a record 50 weeks, finishing second to Garth Brooks’ Sevens in 1998, finishing first in 1999, and third in 2000 behind Dixie Chicks’ Fly and Faith Hill’s Breathe. It was certified diamond by the RIAA on April 7, 1999. Despite its considerable sales, the album never reached the top of the Billboard 200.

Come On Over was the first album to reach both 14 million (in September 2001) and 15 million (in August 2004) in sales in the US since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales. It ranks as the second best-selling album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the US, with over 15.73 million copies sold by October 2017, behind its nearest rival, Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album (16.1 million as of 2015).[23] However, these figures do not include sales through such entities as BMG Music Club, where Come on Over has sold 1.99 million copies while Metallica has sold fewer than 298,000 copies.

The album topped the charts for 11 weeks in the UK. The album is one of the highest-selling albums ever in Australia, reaching 18 times platinum and spending 19 weeks at No. 1 and 165 weeks in the top 100 (or more than three years). It is still the best-selling album of the 1990s in Australia.(wikipedia)

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Shania Twain’s second record, The Woman in Me, became a blockbuster, appealing as much to a pop audience as it did to the country audience. Part of the reason for its success was how producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange — best-known for his work with Def Leppard, the Cars, and AC/DC — steered Twain toward the big choruses and instrumentation that always was a signature of his speciality, AOR radio. Come on Over, the sequel to The Woman in Me, continues that approach, breaking from contemporary country conventions in a number of ways. Not only does the music lean toward rock, but its 16 songs and, as the cover proudly claims, “Hour of Music,” break from the country tradition of cheap, short albums of ten songs that last about a half-hour.

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Furthermore, all 16 songs and Lange-Twain originals and Shania’s sleek, sexy photos suggest a New York fashion model, not a honky tonker. And there isn’t any honky tonk here, which is just as well, since the fiddles are processed to sound like synthesizers and talk boxes never sound good on down-home, gritty rave-ups. No, Shania sticks to what she does best, which is countrified mainstream pop. Purists will complain that there’s little country here, and there really isn’t. However, what is here is professionally crafted country-pop — even the filler (which there is, unfortunately, too much of) sounds good — which is delivered with conviction, if not style, by Shania, and that is enough to make it a thoroughly successful follow-up to one of the most successful country albums by a female in history. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Bruce Bouton (pedal steel-guitar, lap steel guitar)
Larry Byrom (slide guitar)
Joe Chemay (bass)
Stuart Duncan (fiddle)
Larry Franklin (fiddle)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar, “cosmic steel”
Rob Hajacos (fiddle)
John Hobbs (piano)
Dann Huff (guitar, bass, sitar, organ)
John Hughey (pedal steel-guitar)
John Barlow Jarvis (piano)
Robert John “Mutt” Lange (background vocals)
Paul Leim (drums)
Brent Mason (lead guitar)
Joey Miskulin (accordion)
Michael Omartian (piano
Eric Silver (mandolin)
Arthur Stead (keyboards, synthesizer)
Shania Twain (vocals)
Biff Watson (guitar)
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Bryan White (vocals on 05.)
Carl Marsh and David Hamilton (strings on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! 3:53
02. I’m Holdin’ On to Love (To Save My Life) 3.27
03. Love Gets Me Every Time 3.34
04. Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) 3.34
05. From This Moment On 4.41
06. Come On Over 2.54
07. When 3.39
08. Whatever You Do! Don’t! 3.49
09. If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask! 4.04
10. Still The One 3:34
11. Honey, I’m Home 3.35
12. That Don’t Impress Me Much 3.39
13. Black Eyes, Blue Tears 3.40
14. I Won’t Leave You Lonely 4.12
15. Rock This Country! 4.22
16. You’ve Got A Way 3.30

All songs written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange

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Let me let you in on a secret
How to treat a woman right
If you’re lookin’ for a place in her heart
It ain’t gonna happen overnight
First you gotta learn to listen
To understand her deepest thoughts
She needs to know you can be friends
Before she’ll give you all she’s got
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
You must start from the heart and then
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask
A little physical attraction
Romantic, old-fashioned charm
And a lot of love and tenderness
Is gonna get you into her arms
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
You must start from the heart and then
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask
Let me let you in on a secret
How to treat a woman right
If you’re lookin’ for a place in her heart
It ain’t gonna happen no it ain’t gonna happen
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask

The offical website of Shania Twain:Website

Stephen Michael Schwartz – Same (1974)

FrontCover1Stephen Michael Schwartz, a composer / recording artist who performs live music throughout the world to a wide range of audiences both young and old, joins a unique group of musicians who have made a living with their music for over forty years.

Stephen’s reputation as a superlative singer-songwriter-performer came into focus as one of the three original members of the award-winning children’s musical group, PARACHUTE EXPRESS. The first group ever to be signed to Walt Disney Records Music Box Series, PARACHUTE EXPRESS released six albums and performed on some of the biggest stages while associated with Disney. Their roots came from a long-lasting partnership with San Francisco-based Gymboree Corporation, providing music for their Play & Music Centers throughout the world and where Stephen, to this day, continues to appear with over 100 cities in China under his belt.

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To date, Stephen and Parachute Express have sold well over a half million CD’s, securing a rarified position in the world of children’s entertainment. As founding member of the group, Stephen co-wrote and produced twelve award-winning albums, receiving numerous prestigious awards including first place in the International Songwriting Festival, the NAPPA Award, the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Indie Award and the Toy Industry Association’s Toy of the Year Award and performed at The White House over half a dozen times and at The Kennedy Center where he shared the stage with President Clinton. Stephen also was the main composer and sang the title song for the popular PBS animated show, “JAY JAY THE JET PLANE”. He has also created Book and Tape projects for “Hello, Kitty” (Sanrio), produced various Disney products including “Mickey Mouse’s Greatest Hits” and had the honor of being chosen to co-write and produce the highly acclaimed “Tales From The Rails”, for The Smithsonian Institute featuring country music star, Trace Adkins.

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As an accomplished live performer, Stephen continues to perform to sold-out venues throughout the world and has shared the stage with such children’s music luminaries as Raffi, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Mister Rogers, Bob McGrath from Sesame Street, and even Kermit the Frog.

Stephen has continued performing and writing his own music with four solo CDs, all of which have garnered multiple awards and much critical acclaim.

“Stephen’s lyrics are Broadway-quality, with sparkling rhymes and clever, evocative wordplay. The melodies are among the best out there, anywhere”.

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Other achievements in his illustrious career include a solo recording contract with RCA Records at age 20, starring in two television sit-coms, “Please Stand By” for NBC and “The Music Shoppe” (Cable), and winning six Ovation award nominations (one win) for his musical, “It Came From Beyond!”. Co-written with Norman Thalheimer and Cornell Christianson, “It Came From Beyond” made it’s Off-Broadway debut in 2019.

Whether acting, writing, singing or producing, Stephen has shown his talents to be as varied as his creativity is boundless. His original compositions, filled with both humor and sensitivity along with his unusual talent to engage and put an audience totally at ease, make Stephen Michael Schwartz an unforgettable experience … no matter what your age. (taken from his website)

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And here´s his debut album:

The album drew industry attention to Stephen’s talent both as a songwriter and a solid vocal performer. The single, “ROCK ME AWAY”, generated favorable airplay on local FM stations around the country and classified Stephen’s musical genre as “Funk/Soul”.

Given the musical climate at the time and disco’s stronghold on radio play, one song off the album that received the most “buzz” was “GET IT UP FOR LOVE”.

It was just the beginning of a long and fruitful recording career. (Stephen Michael Schwartz)

A real good Pop album with many catchy melodies and “Musical Storm ” comes with a real great bass line ! A typical product of the Seventies.

Check the lineup !

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Personnel:
Larry Carlton (guitar)
Wilton Felder (bass)
Ed Greene (drums)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
Jim Horn (horns)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Michael Omartian (keyboards)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Reinie Press (bass)
Stephen Michael Schwartz (vocals, guitar)
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Kim Carnes (vocals on: B3)

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Tracklist:
01. Easily (Metter) 2.48
02. Rock Me Away (Moore) 3.27
03. Love Me Busybody (Schwartz) 2.32
04. Finest Thoughts (Schwartz) 2.49
05. Long Tail Cat (Dixie Holiday) (Loggins) 3.25
06. Doctor’s Daughter (Schwartz) 2.40
07. You Say It’s Me (I Think Maybe It’s You) (Schwartz) 3.04
08. Get It Up For Love (Doheny) 4.06
09. Musical Storm (Schwartz) 2.28
10. I Believe I’m Gonna See You Again (Schwartz) 3.07
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11. Now That I´m Without You (Schwartz) 2.40
12. Da Doo Run Run (Barry/Greenwich/Spector.) 2.36

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Sonny & Cher – The Beat Goes On + 3 (1967)

FrontCover1Sonny & Cher were an American pop duo of entertainers made up of husband and wife Sonny Bono and Cher in the 1960s and 1970s. The couple started their career in the mid-1960s as R&B backing singers for record producer Phil Spector.

The pair first achieved fame with two hit songs in 1965, “Baby Don’t Go” and “I Got You Babe”. Signing with Atco/Atlantic Records, they released three studio albums in the late 1960s, as well as the soundtrack recordings for two unsuccessful movies, Good Times and Chastity, with Cher contributing vocals to one cut, “Chastity’s Song (Band of Thieves)”. In 1972, after three years of silence, the couple returned to the studio and released two other albums under the MCA/Kapp Records label.

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In the 1970s, they also positioned themselves as media personalities with two top ten TV shows in the US, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show. The couple’s career as a duo ended in 1975 following their divorce. In the decade they spent together, Sonny and Cher were nominated for two Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million records worldwide. Rolling Stone ranked them No. 18 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.

Performing under her first name, Cher went on to a highly successful career as a solo singer and actress, while Sonny Bono was eventually elected to Congress as a Republican U.S. Representative from California. The two performers were inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, following Sonny’s death in a skiing accident. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a nice French EP with thei hit “The Beat Goes” and three more tracks (taken from their album “In Case You´re In Love”

Sonny & Cher were a real beautiful pop duo … with lots of good songs.

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Personnel.
Sonny Bono (vocals)
Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Tjhe Beat Goes On 3.30
02. Love Don´t Come 3.00
03. Living For You 3.37
04. Monday 2.57

All songs written by Sonny Bono

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More from Sonny & Cher:
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