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:
More

The official website:
Website

Des’ree – Mind Adventures (1992)

FrontCover1Desirée Annette Weekes (born 30 November 1968), known by her stage name Des’ree  is an English pop recording artist who rose to popularity during the 1990s. She is best known for her hits “Feel So High”, “You Gotta Be”, “Life”, and “Kissing You” (from the soundtrack of the film Romeo + Juliet). At the 1999 Brit Awards she received the Brit Award for Best British female solo artist.

Des’ree was born in Croydon, South East London, England, on 30 November 1968. Her mother is from British Guiana (now Guyana), and her father is from Barbados. She was introduced to reggae, calypso and jazz music by her parents. At the age of 22, and with no connections in the music industry, she was signed in 1991 to Sony 550 when she asked her boyfriend to send a demo to the label, and they quickly contacted her.

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Des’ree’s debut single, “Feel So High”, was released in August 1991, a mere 12 weeks after her signing. The single did not initially reach the UK top 40, but hit #13 when it was re-released in January 1992. Her debut album Mind Adventures was released in February 1992. It received good reviews and hit the top 30 in the UK. She spent in 1992 touring as the opening act to Simply Red. In 1993, Des’ree collaborated with Terence Trent D’Arby on the song “Delicate”, which was released as a single and hit the UK top 20 and the US top 100. She ended the year singing with a host of other artists at the first concert of secular music at the Vatican City, on 23 December 1993, which was aired on Italian TV. The concert, named Concerto di Natale, has been held with different artists every Christmas in the years since.

Des`ree01In 1994, her single “You Gotta Be” hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 5, peaking at number 5, and was a hit in the UK three times. “You Gotta Be” became the most played music video on VH1 and remained on the Billboard Recurrent Airplay Chart for 80 weeks. Following the single’s success, Des’ree’s second album, I Ain’t Movin’, sold in excess of 2.5 million copies worldwide. Her success led to an American tour with Seal in 1995. The following year, she contributed the song “Kissing You” to the soundtrack of the film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. She appears in the film singing the song. In 1997, her song “Crazy Maze” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Nothing to Lose with Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins. In the same year she provided vocals on “Plenty Lovin'” on Steve Winwood’s album Junction Seven.

In 1998, her single “Life” became a hit in Europe, reaching number 1 in many countries, as well as in Japan. In 1999, she won a Brit Award for the British Female Solo Artist category. The album from which the single was taken, Supernatural, was also released in 1998 to mostly positive reviews. It was somewhat successful in the UK, but was a commercial flop in the United States. In 2007, Des’ree also notably won a BBC poll for the “worst lyrics ever” for the single, the offending lyrics being “I don’t want to see a ghost/it’s the sight that I fear most/I’d rather have a piece of toast/watch the evening news”.[7] In 1999, she sang The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” at a concert in honour of Linda McCartney. At the concert, she met the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and she collaborated with them on a cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which was released in late 1999. After that, Des’ree put her music career on hold to focus on her private life and disappeared from the public eye.

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A compilation of rare songs and live tracks, Endangered Species, was released in 2000. In 2001 she contributed vocals to the charity single “Wake Up The Morning”, which was released in honour of the death of Damilola Taylor. Billed as Together As One, other contributors to the song were Gabrielle, Andrew Roachford and Courtney Pine. In 2002, she contributed a sung sonnet from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to the various artists album When Love Speaks. Sony released Dream Soldier in 2003. Only one track from the album was released as a single, “It’s Okay”, which peaked in the UK at number 69. The single did not chart in the US. The video, directed by Jake Nava, was shot in London’s Notting Hill. “Dream Soldier” was not a critical or commercial success. Des’ree was subsequently dropped by her label, Sony/550 Music, following the release of the album in March 2003.

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Shortly afterwards, she took a hiatus from music to focus on her interest in naturopathy, also training as a nutritionist. In 2008 she came out of her hiatus to perform at the O2 Arena for Young Voices’ “The Big Sing” charity concert. She helped break the record for “most people simultaneously singing the same song” by leading 600,000 schoolchildren across the United Kingdom in singing “You Gotta Be”. In 2011, she performed “You Gotta Be” at the wedding for George Medal recipient Paul Jacobs.[citation needed] That same year, she sung a lullaby on naturopath Julie Langton-Smith’s sleep therapy CD Sleep Talk Lullaby.

In September 2019, it was revealed that her fifth album, her first in sixteen years, would be titled A Love Story and would be released by her own label Stargazer Records on 11 October 2019. She had begun work on the album in 2012, but took a break to care for her mother.

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“Silent Hero”, written by Des’ree and Prince Sampson, featured in Spike Lee’s 1995 film Clockers, “Feel So High”, written by Des’ree and Michael Graves, featured in the 1996 film Set It Off, and “You Gotta Be” featured in The Object of My Affection and The Next Karate Kid. In 1997, Des’ree’s hit “Feel So High” was interpolated into the Janet Jackson song “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” from Jackson’s CD The Velvet Rope without due credit to Des’ree as a contributor. The maxi single, however, lists Des’ree and Michael Graves as two of the song’s writers, after winning a lawsuit against Jackson. She also considered suing Robyn and Cleopatra due to the similarities between their songs (“Show Me Love” and “Life Ain’t Easy” respectively) and “Feel So High”; however, nothing came of it. In 1999 she recorded a duet with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on a cover of the Bill Withers song “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

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Des’ree has won several awards, including a Brit Award, an Ivor Novello Award, World Music Award, Urban Music Award and a BMI Award for over five million plays of “You Gotta Be” in America alone. Des’ree also won a BBC poll for “Worst Pop Lyricist” for the 1998 single “Life”, though it went to number 1 in Japan, Spain and several other European countries.
Personal life
Des’ree is a vegetarian. In 2002, she did short courses in photography and ceramics at the Camberwell College of Arts.

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Mind Adventures is the debut album by British soul singer-songwriter Des’ree.[3] It was released on 17 February 1992 on the Sony Soho Square record label, and features the UK top 20 hit, “Feel So High”. The album became Des’ree’s first top 40 album, peaking at number 26 on the UK Albums Chart.

The album was not released in the United States at the time. It got a belated release on 4 April 1995, after Des’ree’s second album I Ain’t Movin’ had been released there the previous year and she was achieving success with the single “You Gotta Be”. Since “Feel So High” had been included on the US edition of I Ain’t Movin’, the US edition of Mind Adventures excluded it from its track list. (wikipedia)

The US edition:
USEdition

They have become rare, the true singer/songwriters: singers who can also compose. That’s why the black Londoner with the exotic stage name Des’ree, although only born in 1969, can consider herself in the top group of this rather mature genre. And probably also for lack of real competition. Des’ree’s third album, meaningfully titled Mind Adventures, like its two predecessors, sounded strongly of peace, joy, campfires and a fierce longing for a balanced, spiritually-oriented life. The tack was almost entirely acoustic and extremely sparsely orchestrated, which brought the soulful, smoky voice of its performer all the more to the fore. Des’ree, for all her funk and reggae leanings, certainly seemed like the calm herself: Mind Adventures, these are peaceful songs in an extremely peaceful ambience. The established competition looks old in comparison. The real adventures take place in the head. (Michael Fuchs-Gamböck)

Singles

This album is one of the earlier outputs from Des’ree’s incrediblely successful career. There is no mammoth hits on this album as these come later, but it is a wonderful collection of subtley different songs, each with their different melodies and each portraying a different message. Track 4 ‘why should I love you?’ in my opinion is the gem of the album, which is the classic des’ree ballad which shows just how bountiful her voice is. A close second is the upbeat track 6 ‘Competitive world’ which makes you feel positive and it’s very catchy.
Throughout the album des’ree’s voice appears to become stronger, and the low, sensual tones of her voice are like no other and sure to melt even the strongest cynics heart. I would recommend this ablum to any soul music fan – it takes a few listens to fall into the album fully, but once you do it will be a favourite for a very long time! (Pixiedeviluk)

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Personnel:
Ian Alleyne (guitar)
Gary Barnacle (saxophone)
Des’ree (vocals)
Pete Hinds (keyboards)
Ashley Ingram (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards)
Nick Ingram (strings)
Malcolm Joseph (bass)
Phil Legg (drums, bass, guitar)
Greg Lester (guitar)
Harry Morgan (percussion)
Trevor Murrell (drums)
Glenn Nightingale (guitar)
Fionn O’Lochlainn (bass)
Jeff Scantlebury (percussion)
Ritchie Stevens (drums)
Pete Wingfield (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Average Man (Des’ree/Graves) 5.07
02. Feel So High (Des’ree/Graves) 3.55
03. Sun Of ’79 (Des’ree) 5:14
04. Why Should I Love You (Des’ree) 4.17
05. Stand On My Own Ground (Des’ree/Graves) 4.09
06. Competitive World (Des’ree/Graves) 5.32
07. Mind Adventures (Des’ree) 4.46
08. Laughter (Des’ree) 4.49
09. Save Me (Des’ree) 5.30
10. Momma Please Don’t Cry (Des’ree) 4.28

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The official website:
Website

Macy Gray – On How Life Is (1999)

FrontCover1Natalie Renée McIntyre (born September 6, 1967), known by her stage name Macy Gray, is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actress. She is known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday.

Gray has released ten studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. She has appeared in a number of films, including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild, For Colored Girls, and The Paperboy. Gray is best known for her international hit single “I Try”, taken from her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is.

MacyGray01Natalie McIntyre was born in Canton, Ohio, the daughter of Laura McIntyre, a math schoolteacher, and Otis Jones . Her stepfather was a steelworker, and her sister is a biology teacher. She has a younger brother, Nate, who owns a gym in West Philadelphia and was featured on the season five finale of Queer Eye. She began piano lessons at age seven. A childhood bicycle mishap resulted in her noticing a mailbox of a man named Macy Gray; she used the name in stories she wrote and later decided to use it as her stage name. She was late developing and did not learn to hold conversation until just before her tenth birthday

Gray attended school with Brian Warner (later known as musician Marilyn Manson) although they did not know each other. She attended more than one high school, including a boarding school which asked her to leave due to her behavior.

She attended the University of Southern California and studied scriptwriting.

While attending the University of Southern California, she agreed to write songs for a friend. A demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer, but the vocalist failed to appear, so Gray recorded them herself.

I started forming bands and writing songs just for fun and then I really got into it and got attached to it. Then a friend of mine asked me to be a singer in his jazz band. He gave me all these jazz CDs and I studied all these different singers and I kind of taught myself how to sing for a gig, but I didn’t take it seriously until later.

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She then met writer-producer Joe Solo while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a collection of songs and recorded them in Solo’s studio. The demo tape gave Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Although Gray did not consider her unusual voice desirable for singing, Atlantic Records signed her. She began recording her debut record but was dropped from the label upon the departure of A&R man Tom Carolan, who had signed her to the label. Macy returned to Ohio but in 1997 Los Angeles based Zomba Label Group Senior VP A&R man Jeff Blue, convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels. In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records. She performed on “Love Won’t Wait,” a song on the Black Eyed Peas’ debut album Behind the Front.

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Gray worked on her debut album in 1999 with producer Darryl Swann. Released in the summer of 1999, On How Life Is became a worldwide smash. The first single “Do Something” stalled on the charts, but the second single “I Try” made the album a success. “I Try” (which was originally featured in Love Jones and the Jennifer Aniston-starring romantic-comedy Picture Perfect in 1997) was one of the biggest singles of 1999, and subsequent singles “Still” and “Why Didn’t You Call Me” ensured the album became triple platinum in the US and quadruple platinum in the UK.

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In 2001, Gray won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “I Try”, which was also nominated for “song of the year” and “record of the year”.[26] She then collaborated with Fatboy Slim, the Black Eyed Peas, and Slick Rick (on the song “The World Is Yours,” from the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack), as well as acting for the first time, in the thriller Training Day. In August 2001, Gray was booed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game after forgetting the lyrics to the American national anthem.

Singles

On How Life Is is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Macy Gray. It was released on July 1, 1999, by Epic Records and Clean Slate. Produced by Andrew Slater, it became Gray’s best-selling album to date, selling 3.4 million copies in the United States and seven million copies worldwide.

The album’s second single, “I Try”, became an international success, topping the charts in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, while reaching number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001.

On How Life Is was met with highly positive reviews from music critics upon its release, with many praising Gray’s songwriting and vocal performance. Q rated the album four out of five stars, calling it a “confident, bluesy soul debut […] with a lived-in sound – as if Rod Stewart were a girl.” (wikipedia)

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Macy Gray is such an assured, original vocalist that it’s hard to believe On How Life Is is her debut album. She recalls a number of other vocalists, particularly jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, but she is unquestionably from the post-hip-hop generation, which is evident not just from the sound of the record, but the style of her songwriting, which is adventurous and unpredictable. Thankfully, she’s worked with a producer (Andrew Slater, who pulled a similar trick with Fiona Apple’s debut, Tidal) that lets her run wild and helps her find sounds that match her ideas. That’s not to say that On How Life Is is a perfect album — at times, Gray attempts more than she can achieve — but it’s always captivating, even during its stumbles. And when it works, it soars higher than most contemporary R&B. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)BackCover1

Personnel:
Steve Baxter (horn on 06.)
Jon Brion (organ on 02., 03., 08. + 10., synthesizer on 03. + 08., guitar on 03. – 06., 08. – 10., piano on 04. + 10.. marimba on 08.)
Lenny Castro (percussion on 01., 02., 07. – 09.)
Matt Chamberlain (drums), percussion on 01., 03., 09. + 10.)
Macy Gray (vocals)
Charlie Green (horn on 06.)
Michael Harris (horn on 06.)
Ngozi Inyama (saxophone on 08.)
Rami Jaffee (synthesizer on 05., piano on 10.)
Jay Joyce (guitar on 07.)
DJ Kiilu (turntables on 02., 08. + 09., programming on 08.)
Jinsoo Lim (guitar on 01. + 02.)
Arik Marshall (guitar on 01., 07. – 10.)
Blackbyrd McKnight (guitar on 05.)
Gabriel Moses (guitar on 05.)
Dion Derek Murdock (bass on 02. + 06.)
Greg Richling (bass on 06. – 10.)
Jeremy Ruzumna (organ on 01., 04.- 06., 08 + 10.., piano on 01., 02., 07. + 1., synthesizer on 02., clavinet on 03., background vocals on 01.)
Darryl Swann (guitar, background vocals on 03., programming on 01. – 03., 05., 06., 08. – 10.)
Miles Tackett (guitar on 06.)
David Wilder (bass on 01. + 04., background vocals on 01.)
Bendrix Williams (guitar on 04.)
Patrick Warren (vibraphone on 02., organ on 02. – 04., 07., 08 + 09. synthesizer on 03.).
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background vocals:
Dawn Beckman – Musiic Galloway – Sy Smith

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Tracklist:
01. Why Didn’t You Call Me (Ruzumna) 3.12
02. Do Something (Brown/Murray/Wade/Gipp/Burton/Benjamin/Patton/Mays/Barnes/ Ruzumna/Swann/Barnett/Murdock/Clinton/Shider/Worrell) 5.00
03. Caligula (Gray/Swann/Ruzumna) 4.38
04. I Try (Gray/Ruzumna/Lim/Wilder) 3.59
05. Sex-o-matic Venus Freak (Ruzumna/Murdock) 3.57
06. I Can’t Wait To Meetchu (Ruzumna/Swann/Tackett) 5.19
07. Still (Ruzumna/Esses) 4.15
08. I’ve Committed Murder (Swann/Beckwith/Ruzumna/Harris/Lai/Sigman) 5.00
09. A Moment To Myself (Ruzumna/Tackett/Morales/Wimbley) 4.01
10. The Letter (Sherrod/Houston) 5.37

“Do Something” contains a sample of “Git Up, Git Out” by OutKast and “Funky for You” by Nice & Smooth.
“I’ve Committed Murder” contains a sample of “Live Right Now” by Eddie Harris and an interpolation of “(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story” by Francis Lai & His Orchestra.
“A Moment to Myself” contains a sample of “Human Beat Box” by The Fat Boys, excerpts of “The Wildstyle” by Time Zone, and a sample of “Entropy (Hip Hop Reconstruction from the Ground Up)” by DJ Shadow & the Groove Robbers.

All lyrics are written by Macy Gray

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German sticker:
Sticker

The official website:
Website

The Pointer Sisters – Love Songs (2002)

FrontCover1The Pointer Sisters are an American R&B singing group from Oakland, California, that achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s. Their repertoire has included such diverse genres as pop, disco, jazz, electronic music, bebop, blues, soul, funk, dance, country, and rock. The Pointer Sisters have won three Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. The group had 13 US top 20 hits between 1973 and 1985.

The group had its origins when sisters June and Bonnie Pointer began performing in clubs in 1969 as “Pointers, a Pair”. The line-up grew to a trio when sister Anita joined them. Their record deal with Atlantic Records produced several unsuccessful singles. The trio grew to a quartet when sister Ruth joined in December 1972. They then signed with Blue Thumb Records, recorded their debut album, and began seeing more success, winning a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best Country Vocal Performance for “Fairytale” (1974). Bonnie left the group in 1978 to commence a solo career with modest success.

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The group achieved its greatest commercial success in the 1980s as a trio consisting of June, Ruth, and Anita. They won two more Grammys in 1984 for the top 10 hits “Automatic” and “Jump (For My Love).” The group’s other U.S. top 10 hits are “Fire” (1979), “He’s So Shy” (1980), “Slow Hand” (1981), the remixed version of “I’m So Excited” (1984), and “Neutron Dance” (1985).

June Pointer, the youngest sister, struggled with drug addiction for much of her career, leaving the group in April 2004 prior to her death from cancer in April 2006, at the age of 52. She was replaced by Ruth’s daughter Issa Pointer. This trio had a number two hit in Belgium in 2005, covering “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” with Belgian singer Natalia.

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Between 2009 and 2015, the group consisted of Anita, Ruth, Issa, and Ruth’s granddaughter Sadako Pointer. While all four women remained in the group, they most often performed as a trio rotating the lineup as needed. In 2015, Anita was forced to retire due to ill health, leaving Ruth the sole member of the original sibling line-up.

In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked them as the 80th most successful dance artists of all-time. In December 2017, Billboard ranked them as the 93rd most successful Hot 100 Artist of all-time and as the 32nd most successful Hot 100 Women Artist of all-time. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a nice compilation with “Love Songs” (most of them are from the Eighties) … maybe a good idea to discover this group:

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Personnel:
June Pointer – Bonnie Pointer Anna Pointer (vocals)
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many, many studio musicians

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. I’m In Love (May/Butler) (1987) 4.18
02. Slow Hand (Clark/Bettis) (1981) 3.50
03. Echoes Of Love (Ramdle/Simmons/Mitchell) (1978) 2.56
04. Moonlight Dancing (Warren) (1988) 4.54
05. He’s So Shy (Snow/Weil) (1980) 3.35
06. See How The Love Goes (Britten/Shifren) (1982) 4.05
07. I Will Be There (Tyson/Schwartz) (1988) 3.35
08. All I Know Is The Way I Feel (Regoboy/Levitt) (1986) 4.43
09. Heart Beat (Henderson/Bolotin/Armour) (1982)
10. Fire (Springsteen) (1978) 3.26
11. I Feel For You (Prince) (1982) 3.58
12. Dirty Work (Becker/Fagen) 3.37
13. Someday We Will Be Together (Ballard) (1981) 4.35
14. Got To Find Love (Wilcox/Lasley) (1981) 4.06
15. I Need You (O´Byrne/Feldman/Black) (1983) 4.00
16. Easy Persuasion (Roberts/Goldmark( (1984) 4.32

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The official website:
Website

En Vogue – EV 3 (1997)

FrontCover1En Vogue is an American R&B/pop vocal group whose original lineup consisted of singers Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones. Formed in Oakland, California, in 1989, En Vogue reached No. 2 on the US Hot 100 with the single “Hold On”, taken from their 1990 debut album Born to Sing. The group’s 1992 follow-up album Funky Divas reached the top 10 in both the US and UK, and included their second US number two hit “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” as well as the US top 10 hits “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and “Free Your Mind”.

In 1996, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” became the group’s third, and most successful single, to reach number two in the US, and became their sixth number one on the US R&B chart. Robinson left the group in 1997 shortly before the release of their third album EV3, which reached the US and UK top 10. Jones left the group in 2001, Amanda Cole joined shortly thereafter. However, in 2003, Cole left the group, and Rhona Bennett joined the group during the recording of their album Soul Flower. In 2005, the original members briefly united before disassembling again. In 2009, the original members once again reunited for their “En Vogue: 20th Anniversary”. Shortly after the tour, Robinson and Jones again departed from En Vogue, with Bennett rejoining the group as a trio.

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En Vogue has sold more than 30 million records worldwide to date, and are often considered one of the best female vocal groups of all time. The group has won seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and received seven Grammy nominations. In December 1999, Billboard magazine ranked the band as the 19th most successful recording artist of the 1990s. They ranked as the second most successful female group of the 1990s.  In March 2015, Billboard magazine named the group the ninth most-successful girl group of all-time. Two of the group’s singles ranks in Billboard’s most successful girl group songs of all-time list, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” (#12) and “Hold On” (#23)

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EV3 is the third studio album by American female vocal group En Vogue. It was released by East West Records on June 17, 1997, in the United States. Recorded after a lengthy break during which the band members became mothers or established solo careers, the album was En Vogue’s first project to include a diverse roster of collaborators including credits from Babyface, David Foster, Diane Warren, Andrea Martin, Ivan Matias, and Organized Noize along with regular contributors Foster & McElroy. It marked their first album without Dawn Robinson, who decided to leave the group late into the recording of EV3 in favor of a solo recording contract, prompting the remaining trio to re-record much of the material for the album.

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Upon its release, EV3 received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom praised the band’s vocal performances but were critical with overall production of the album. In the US, the album debuted at number eight on both Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200 with sales of 76,500 units, the band’s highest first-week numbers. Internationally, EV3 entered the top forty on most charts it appeared on and remains En Vogue highest-charting effort to date. Certified Platinum by the RIAA and Silver the BPI, the album produced three pop and R&B hit singles, including “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, “Whatever” and “Too Gone, Too Long”.

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In 1992, En Vogue released their second studio album Funky Divas (1992). A major success, it sold 3.5 million copies worldwide and generated three top ten singles. Following extensive touring in support of the album, the quartet started what would become a longer hiatus. While band members Cindy Herron and Maxine Jones went on maternity leave, Terry Ellis reteamed with regular En Vogue contributors Foster & McElroy to work on her solo album Southern Gal which was released to lackluster success in November 1995. In the meantime, En Vogue lent their vocals to the collaborative single “Freedom (Theme from Panther)” (1995) and recorded “Don’t Let Go (Love)” for the soundtrack to the motion picture Set It Off (1996). Released in the autumn, it became the group’s biggest hit yet, selling over 1.8 million copies worldwide and becoming certified platinum by the RIAA.

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In response to the large commercial success of “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, the group steadfastly went to work on its third studio album. Originally called EV4, it marked En Vogue’s first project that was not fully produced by McElroy and Foster, with additional production coming from Babyface, Andrea Martin, David Foster, Diane Warren, and Ivan Matias to provide the group with a new modern sound. As the album was nearing completion, Dawn Robinson chose to leave the group in April 1997 for a solo recording contract with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records after difficult contractual negotiations reached a stalemate. Her abrupt departure from En Vogue forced the remaining trio to re-record several of her original lead vocals; however, not every track was re-recorded, with Robinson’s leads remaining intact on several tracks and her background vocals still appearing on every song with the exception of “Does Anybody Hear Me”. The track “Let It Flow” reuses the main riff of the 1977 hit single “Slide” by funk band Slave.

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In the United States, EV3 debuted at number eight on both the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200 in the issue dated July 5, 1997. Selling approximately 76,500 copies in its first week of release, the album marked the band’s highest debut on both charts as well as their biggest first week sales yet. On August 26, 1997, EV3 was awarded platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), indicating sales in excess of 1.0 million copies. Elsewhere, the album entered the top forty on most charts it appeared on. EV3 reached top ten in Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom becoming the band’s second top ten album after Funky Divas.

EV3 spawned three hit singles. Lead single, “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, was a worldwide hit and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single sold 1.3 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The second single, “Whatever” peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was certified gold by the RIAA after sales of over 500,000 copies.[15] “Too Gone, Too Long”, the album’s final single released, was a top 40 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 at number 33 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 25. (wikipedia)

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The sound of En Vogue isn’t greatly affected by the departure of Dawn Robinson for their third album, EV3, since the group’s harmonies remain remarkably supple and soulful. Instead, the group are hurt by its selection of producers and songwriters. En Vogue have decided to work with Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy only occasionally on EV3, choosing to hire such professional songwriters and producers as Babyface, David Foster, Diane Warren and Ivan Matias, who arranged their hit single “Don’t Let Go (Love).”

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At times, these pairings work: Babyface’s “Whatever” is funkier than his previous work, and Matias brings a gospel-drenched sensibility to his songs. In the cases of Warren and Foster, they reshape En Vogue as an adult contemporary band, sapping the group of any of their energy or style. Still, there are enough strong moments scattered throughout the album to make it worth the wait. (by Leo Stanley)

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Personnel:
Terry Ellis – Cindy Herron – Maxine Jones – Dawn Robinson (vocals)
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Garry Barnes (bass)
Babyface (synthesizer, piano, drum programming)
Dennis Bolden (organ, programming)
Chanz (piano)
Mark Coleman (guitar)
Preston Crump (bass)
James Earley (guitar, bass)
Jason Eckl (guitar)
David Foster (keyboards)
Denzil Foster (keyboards, background vocals)
Giuliano Franco (synthesizer, drum programming)
Bernard Grobeman (guitar)
JAH (rap vocals)
Pro-Jay (programming)
Lil John (drums)
Tommy Martin (guitar)
Marlon McClain (guitar)
Thomas McElroy (keyboards, drum machine, background vocals)
Bill Ortiz (trumpet)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Nate Phillips (bass)
Adrion Sinclair( programming)
Norbet Stachel (saxophone)
Martin Terry (guitar)
Michael Thompson (guitar)
Kevin Wyatt (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Whatever (Edmonds/Andes/Franco) 4.20
02. Don’t Let Go (Love) (Martin/Wade/Murray/Brown/Matias/Etheridge) 4.52
03. Right Direction (Bolden/Eckl) 5.07
04. Damn, I Wanna Be Your Lover (Martin/Matias/Pro-Jay) 5.24
05. Too Gone, Too Long (Warren/Foster) 4.42
06. You’re All I Need (Matias) 3.36
07. Let It Flow (Foster/McElroy) 5.38
08. Sitting By Heaven’s Door (Foster/McElroy) 4.34
09. Love Makes You Do Thangs (Foster/McElroy) 4.28
10. What A Difference A Day Makes (Foster/McElroy) 4.12
11. Eyes Of A Child (Foster/McElroy) 4.32
12. Does Anybody Hear Me (Ellis/Herron/Jones/Matias) 3.09

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The official website:
Website

The Manhattan Transfer – Tonin’ (1995)

FrontCover1The Manhattan Transfer is a Grammy award-winning jazz vocal group founded in 1969 that has explored a cappella, vocalese, swing, standards, Brazilian jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music.

There have been two editions of the Manhattan Transfer, with Tim Hauser the only person to be part of both. The first group consisted of Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Pat Rosalia, and Gene Pistilli. The second version of the group, formed in 1972, consisted of Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, and Laurel Massé. In 1979, Massé left the group after being badly injured in a car accident and was replaced by Cheryl Bentyne.

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The group’s long-time pianist, Yaron Gershovsky, accompanied the group on tour and served as music director. Trist Curless from the Los Angeles a cappella group m-pact became a permanent member in October 2014 following Hauser’s death. (wikipedia)

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Tonin’ is a studio album by The Manhattan Transfer. It was released in 1995 on Atlantic Records. The expression “tonin'” is associated with the vocal groups of the 1950s and 1960s. The songs on this album are favorites of the band’s from that era. Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro makes one of her last performances on this recording. (wikipedia)

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The idea on Tonin’ was to turn the Manhattan Transfer loose on a baker’s dozen of good old 1960s pop and R&B hits in league either with the original artists or prominent guests from that period and beyond. And yes, it’s a stellar list, guaranteed to stir warm and fuzzy memories, and the tunes echo the old lament of an earlier age, “they don’t write songs like they used to.” For almost any other vocal group, this would be an entertaining coup, yet for the hugely gifted, compulsively adventurous Transfer, this is just a detour into the tent of nostalgia that they had long outgrown (though they would do better in the retro arena with 1997’s buoyant Swing).

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Moreover, they really have nothing new to bring to these tunes; they serve as background singers to Smokey Robinson on his “I Second That Emotion,” to Felix Cavaliere on his “Groovin’,” or — good grief — Phil Collins subbing for Marvin Gaye on “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.” Indeed, “The Thrill Is Gone” can serve as its own epitaph; even with B.B. King’s authentic guitar obbligato and Ruth Brown’s rap, the Transfer’s smooth vocal harmonies turn this gritty blues into pap. However gutsy Arif Mardin’s productions were in Atlantic’s 1960s heyday, he just goes through the crisp-sounding motions here. (by Richard S. Ginell)BackCover1

Personnel:
Cheryl Bentyne – Tim Hauser – Alan Paul – Janis Siegel
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Mike Baird (drums on  02., 03., 08. + 11.)
Herb Besson (trombone on 01. + 04.)
Edwin Bonila (percussion on 01.)
Ruth Brown (vocals on 07.)
Robbie Buchanan (keyboards, synthesizer (on 02., 03., 05., 08. – 11.)
Tony Cadlic (trumpet on  01. + 04.)
Jorgé Casas (synclavier programming, bass on 01.)
Lenny Castro (percussion on 02., 04. + 08.)
Felix Cavaliere (vocals on 02.)
Phil Collins (vocals on 06.)
Luis Conte (percussion on 01.,02. + 08.)
Paulinho da Costa (percussion on 11.)
Mike Finnigan (organ on 11.)
Jim Hines (trumpet on 01. + 04.)
Chris Hunter (saxophone on 01. +  04.)
Paul Jackson Jr. (guitar on 04. + 06.)
Jimmy Johnson (bass on 09. + 11.)
Randy Kerber (keyboards, synthesizer on 04.)
Chaka Khan (vocals on 08.)
B.B. King (guitar on 07.)
Ben E. King (vocals on 10.)
Robbie Kondor (keyboards on 09., programming on 10. + 11.)
Abraham Laboriel (bass on 03.)
Michael Landau (guitar on 02., 03, + 08.)
Will Lee (bass on 05.)
Mark Mann (programming on 02., 03., 08. – 11.)
Joe Mardin (programming, percussion on 05., drums on 06.)
Dave Marotta (bass on  07.)
Harvey Mason (drums on 07.)
Bette Midler (vocals on 03.)
Tommy Morgan (harmonica on 02.)
Laura Nyro (piano, vocals on 05.)
Clay Ostwald (keyboards, synclavier programming on 01.)
Chris Parker (drums on 05.)
Dean Parks (guitar on 09., 10. + 11.)
Joel Peskin (saxophone on 03 + 10, flute on 09.)
Greg Phillinganes (keyboards on 07.)
Mike Porcaro (bass on 10.)
Tom Ranier (synthesizer on 04.)
John Robinson (drums on 04. + 09.)
Smokey Robinson (vocals on 04.)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone on 01. + 04.)
David Spinozza (guitar on 05.)
Steve Skinner (programming on 02., 04., 06.,08. + 09.,  (2, 4, 6, 8, 9), keyboards on 02., 06., 08. + 11.) (2, 8, 11)
Neil Stubenhaus (bass on 04 + 06.)
James Taylor (vocals on 10.)
Michael Thompson (guitar on 04. + 09.)
Rene Toledo (guitar on 01.)
Frankie Valli (vocals on 01.)
Carlos Vega (drums on 10.)
Danny Wilensky (saxophone on 06.)
David Williams (guitar on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Hang On (Crewe/Linzer/Randell) (with Frankie Valli) 4.41
02. Groovin’ (Brigati/Cavaliere) (with Felix Cavaliere) 4.09
03. It’s Gonna Take A Miracle (Randazzo/Stallman/Weinstein) (with Bette Midler) 3.57
04. I Second That Emotion (Cleveland/Robinson) (with Smokey Robinson) 3.40
05. La-La (Means I Love You) (Bell/Hart) (with Laura Nyro) 4.36
06. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby (Whitfield/Strong/Bradford) (with Phil Collins) 4.44
07. The Thrill Is Gone (Hawkins/Darnell) (with Ruth Brown & B.B. King) 6.07
08. Hot Fun In The Summertime (Stewart) (with Chaka Khan) 4.17
09. Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer) – 3:34
10, Dream Lover (Darin) (with James Taylor) 4.54
11. Save The Last Dance For Me (Pomus/Shuman) (with Ben E. King) 4.05
12. God Only Knows (Wilson/Asher) 2.47

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The official website:
Website

Etta James – Rocks The House (1963)

FrontCover1Jamesetta Hawkins (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012), known professionally as Etta James, was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz, and gospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as “The Wallflower”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind”. She faced a number of personal problems, including heroin addiction, severe physical abuse, and incarceration, before making a musical comeback in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch.

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James’s deep and earthy voice bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Rolling Stone magazine ranked James number 22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time; she was also ranked number 62 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Billboard’s 2015 list of The 35 Greatest R&B Artists Of All Time includes James, whose “gutsy, take-no-prisoner vocals colorfully interpreted everything from blues and R&B/soul to rock n’roll, jazz and gospel”.

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Etta James Rocks the House is the first live album by the American singer Etta James. It was recorded live on the nights of September 27 and 28, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, and was released on December 13, 1963.

Hot with the releases of At Last! and The Second Time Around, Etta James Rocks the House became the artist’s first recorded live album under Argo Records. The concept was to catch James in a raw and fiery performance outside the recording studio. The album is among her finest live recordings. (wikipedia)

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Though the studio albums Etta James made for Chess in the 1960s usually had the blues singer surrounded by lush production and string-heavy arrangements, this live date finds her performing with only a rhythm section, organist, guitarist, and tenor saxophonist. The singer seems to respond to both the stripped-down setting and the enthusiastic audience with noticeable abandon. In fact, James the classy balladeer, a role she sometimes plays on her studio albums, is nowhere to be found on this blazing set. The only time the band slows down is on the tearjerker story-song “All I Could Do Is Cry” (though what the tune lacks in tempo it makes up for in emotional intensity).

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The rest of the set is straight-edged blues and R&B, including covers of some hits of the day, like “Money (That’s What I Want)” and Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do” (on which James does a growling, harmonica-imitating vocal solo) steps up the blues quotient, as does the band’s finale of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” with James’ gospel-drenched pipes wailing all the while. Etta James Rocks the House indeed. (by Rovi Staff)

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One of the most appropriately titled live albums of all time. Etta James’s Rocks the House ranks up there with James Brown’s Live at the Apollo, 1962 and Sam Cooke’s Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 as being one of 60’s soul music’s greatest ever live documents. These are albums that still kick with vitality and fun, gritty, danceable music decades after being recorded and Rocks the House is among them. Throughout this album, Etta shows us a different side of her that we don’t usually hear on her studio recordings, one of wild, gritty, energetic soul blues/blues soul (not unlike the Sam Cooke on Live at the Harlem Square Club, but with a much bluesier sound) by ripping through a series of frenetic, wild numbers like her revved up version of her hit Something’s Gotta Hold on Me and her covers of Ray Charles What’d I Say, Barrett Strong’s Money (That’s What I Want), and B.B. King’s Woke up this Morning among others. One has to wonder why this album isn’t on more “essential” and “must hear before you die” albums lists. (by R.S.)

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Personnel:
Freeman Brown (drums)
Gavrell Cooper (saxophone)
Vonzell Cooper (organ)
Etta James (vocals)
David T. Walker (guitar)
Richard Waters (drums)
Marion Wright (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction/Something’s Got A Hold On Me (James/Kirkland/Woods) 5.03
02. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Reed) 4.14
03. What’d I Say (Charles) 3.15
04. Money (That’s What I Want) (Bradford/Gordy, Jr.) 3.22
05. Seven Day Fool (Davis/Gordy, Jr./Woods) 4.20
06. Sweet Little Angel (McCollum) 4.15
07. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Hill) 4.05
08. Woke Up This Morning (King) 3.38
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09. Ain’t That Loving You Baby (Reed) 2.52
10. All I Could Do Was Cry (Davis/Fuqua/Gordy, Jr.) 3.21
11. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 3.40

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More from Etta James:
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Aretha Franklin – A Natural Woman & Other Hits (1997)

FrontCover1Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist.

Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she has twice been placed ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

With global sales of over 75 million records,

Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a low budget sampler with many of her hits.

It´s never too late, to discover Arthea Franklin (again).

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Personnel:
Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano)
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many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. 1 (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Goffin/King/Wexler) 2.45
02.The House That Jack Built (Lance/Robbins) 2.21
03. Son Of A Preacher Man (Hurley/Wilkins) 3.17
04. Spirit In The Dark (Franklin) 4.01
05. I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach/David) 3.37
06. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 5.34
07. Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing (Ashford/Simpson) 3.50
08. Without Love (Hunter/Franklin) 3.48
09. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 2.37
10. Rock Steady (Franklin) 3.13

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More from Aretha Franklin:
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Roberta Flack – Softly With These Songs – The Best Of Roberta Flack (1993)

FrontCover1Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated — all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough to get a music scholarship and eventually, a degree from Howard University. After a period of student teaching, Flack was discovered singing at a club by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic.

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Her first two albums — 1969’s First Take and 1970’s Chapter Two — were well received but produced no hit singles; however, that all changed when a version of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to number one in 1972 and remained there for six weeks, becoming that year’s biggest hit. Flack followed it with the first of several duets with Howard classmate Donny Hathaway, “Where Is the Love.” “Killing Me Softly with His Song” became Flack’s second number one hit (five weeks) in 1973, and after topping the charts again in 1974 with “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” Flack took a break from performing to concentrate on recording and charitable causes.

Roberta Flack05She charted several more times over the next few years, as she did with the Top Ten 1977 album Blue Lights in the Basement — featuring “The Closer I Get to You,” a number two ballad with Hathaway. A major blow was struck in 1979 when her duet partner, one of the most creative voices in soul music, committed suicide. Devastated, Flack eventually found another creative partner in Peabo Bryson, with whom she toured in 1980. The two recorded together in 1983, scoring a hit duet with “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love.”

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Flack spent the remainder of the ’80s touring and performing, often with orchestras, and also several times with Miles Davis. She returned to the Top Ten once more in 1991 with “Set the Night to Music,” a duet with Maxi Priest that appeared that year on the album of the same name. Her Roberta full-length, featuring interpretations of jazz and popular standards, followed in 1994. As she continued into the 21st century, Flack recorded infrequently but released albums like 2012’s Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles, which showed that her poise and balanced singing had aged well. Varese Sarabande released a lovingly remixed version of Flack’s fine 1997 holiday album Christmas Songs (it had originally appeared from Capitol Records under the title The Christmas Album) that same year, adding in an additional track, “Cherry Tree Carol.” (by Steve Huey)

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And here´s a nice compilation album:

Roberta Flack was blessed with one of the loveliest, most soothing voices in the music industry. In the 1970s, she not only appealed to pop and R&B audiences, but also fit in with the era’s more serious, sensitive singer/songwriters. She scored some of the decade’s biggest hits with classics such as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” and “Feel Like Making Love,” as well as her legendary duets with Donny Hathaway, all which have gone on to become standards in the pop pantheon. This single-disc set attempts to collect her best and most successful recordings from the 1970s to the 1990s, when she enjoyed the success of another Top Ten hit with Diane Warren’s “Set the Night to Music” (with Maxi Priest).

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However, this ambitious collection, even with such stellar material, proves a little frustrating due to the omission of several key tracks from Flack’s catalog, among those “Jesse,” “If I Ever See You Again,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and several others. It does, however, manage to incorporate other Flack collectibles, including her soundtrack hit “Making Love,” her hit with Peabo Bryson, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love,” her lovely, breezy, chart-topping 1988 R&B hit “Oasis,” and a sleek 1990s house track, “Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes).” This ambitious yet frustrating collection not only highlights Flack’s long, illustrious career, but also brings to attention the fact that a multi-disc retrospective on this legendary singer would be a most welcome addition to her catalog. (by Jose F. Promis)

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Personnel:
Robert Flack (vocals)
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many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01.The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (from “First Take”;1969) (MacColl)  5.22
02. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (from “Quiet Fire”; 1971) (King/Goffin) 4.07
03. Where Is The Love (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway”; 1972) (MacDonald/Salter) 2.44
04. Killing Me Softly With His Song (from “Killing Me Softly”;1973) (Fox/Gimbel) 4.48
05. Feel Like Makin’ Love (from “Feel Like Makin’ Love”;1975) (McDaniels)  2.54
06. The Closer I Get to You (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Blue Lights In The Basement”;1977) (Lucas/Mtume) 4.42
07. More Than Everything (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Live & More”;1980) (Bryson/ Flack) 4.03
08. Only Heaven Can Wait (For Love) (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Live & More”;1980) 5.47
09. Back Together Again (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway”;1980) 4.51
10. Making Love (from “I’m The One; 1982) (Bacharach/Sager/Roberts) 3.44
11. Tonight, I Celebrate My Love (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Born to Love”; 1983) (Goffin/Masser) 3.31
12. Oasis (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Miller/Stephens) 6.10
13. And So It Goes (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Flack/Miles/Angelou) 3.36
14. You Know What It’s Like (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Flack/Russell/Miles) 4.45
15. Set The Night To Music (duet with Maxi Priest) (from “Set The Night To Music”; 1991) (Warren) 5.24
16. My Foolish Heart (from “Set The Night To Music”; 1991) (Washington/Young) 4.41
17. Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes) (Steve Hurley’s House Mix) (single version; 1989) (Ashford/Simpson) 5.14

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More from Roberta Flack:
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The official website:
Website

Percy Sledge – When A Man Loves A Woman (1993)

FrontCover1Percy Tyrone Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015) was an American R&B, soul and gospel singer.

He is best known for the song “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA.

Having previously worked as a hospital orderly in the early 1960s, Sledge achieved his strongest success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a series of emotional soul songs.

In later years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a low budget sampler with some classic tunes by Percy Sledge.

I guess some tunes are not the original version, but re-recorded version 8like “Whan A Man Loves A Woman”).

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Personnel:
Percy Sledge (vocals)
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many, many studio musicians

Single

Tracklist:
01. When A Man Loves A Woman (Lewis/Wright) 3.58
02. Make It Good And Make It Last (Pickett/Carr) 3.20
03. Take Time To Know Her (Davis) 5.06
04. Walking In The Sun (Barry) 3.28
05. Warm And Tender Love (Robinson/Berger) 3.21
06. Out Of Left Field (Penn/Oldham) 3.20
07. Behind Closed Doors (O`Dell) 3.35
08. Just Out Of Reach (Stewart) 3.32
09. I Believe In You (Mitchell) 3.58
10. The Good Love (Waldman) 4.23
11. Bring It On Home To Me (Cooke) 3.32
12. It Tears Me Up (Pennington/Oldham) 2.50
13. I Don’t Want To Be Right (If Loving You Is Wrong) (Banks/Hamplon/Jackson) 3.56
14. I’ve Been Loving You To Long (To Stop Now) (Redding/Butler) 3.00
15. Cover Me (Green/Hilton) 2.52
16. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (Cropper/Redding) 2.34

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As a young man I was very impressed by this lyrics:

I found a woman
I felt a true in love
She was every thing
I’d ever been dreaming of
But she was bad, I didn’t know it
Her pretty smile never did show it
All I knew is what I could see
And I knew I wanted her for me
I took her home to Mama
Mama, wanna see my future bride
Well, she looked at us both

And then she called me to her side
She said, “Son, take time to know her
It’s not an overnight thing
Take time to know her
Please, don’t rush into this thing”
But I didn’t listen to Mama

I went straight to the church
I just couldn’t wait
To have a little girl of mine
When I got off from work
The preacher was there
So was my future bride
He looked at us both

And then he called me to his side
He said, “Son, take time to know her
It’s not an overnight fling
You better take time to know her
Please, please, don’t rush into this thing”

But it looked like every thing’s
Gonna turn out all right
And then I came home
A little early one night
And there she was
Kissing on another man
Now, I know what Mama meant

When she took me by the hand
And said, “Son, take time to know her
It’s not an overnight thing
Take time to know her
Please, don’t rush into this thing”
Take time to know her
It’s not an overnight thing

Percy Sledge02