Don Grusin & Dave Grusin – Sticks And Stones (1988)

FrontCover1Sticks and Stones is an album by American pianist Dave Grusin with his brother Don Grusin. It was released in 1988, recorded for the GRP label. The album reached No. 14 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. (wikipedia)

This set works very well. Dave Grusin and his younger brother Don Grusin use a variety of keyboards to create a series of colorful duets. Other than Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind,” all of the fairly spontaneous yet well-planned performances are originals by one or both of the brothers. Even listeners who are not that much into electronics will find much of interest on this melodic and funky, yet often unpredictable set. (by Scott Yanow)
“Sticks and Stones” is a very special album musically and personally. The year was 1988 and Dave Grusin’s GRP label was off in full force producing one unique recording after another. One of the album’s released during this peak period is this one.

Dave Grusin and brother Don produced and played everything on “Sticks and Stones” themselves and with the exception of the dual piano rendition Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind”, they wrote all the music as well.

Don Grusin

The Grusin’s employed what was then the very latest in keyboard technology on this album. Several of the sounds on the album, especially the rhythm tracks, don’t sound synthetic at all. Listen for the snare drum marches on the closing Celtic-tinged track “North-Tribal Step Dance” or the bass-lines on “This Little Pig’s Got The Blues” and you’d swear they were the real instruments instead of from synths or drum machines.

The music on “Sticks and Stones” is quite varied. Beside the two tracks mentioned above, Dave’s TV/Film Theme style is heard in the opening track “Birds With Long Legs” as well as “River Song”. “Pico Pica” and the title track both have a slight Brazilian Jazz feel to them while “Good Ol’ Boys” has a humorous country quality to it. Dave and Don also team up for two acoustic piano duets – one of which is the above mentioned “Southern Wind” and the other being a bluesy gospel-tinged romp entitled “Dog Heaven”.

Lee Ritenour Band , Featuring : Dave Grusin

With all this said, Dave and Don Grusin’s “Sticks and Stones” is a highly entertaining album which brings back some great memories for this reviewer. The CD is unfortunately out-of-print and has been for many years. However, it is still highly possible to find it used at a decent price.

If you’re looking for some pleasant yet eclectic instrumental music with a good relaxing feel, look no further that this album. It’s a great CD and it sounds like the Grusin brothers just had a plain ball making it together. (by Louie Bourland)

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Personnel:
Dave Grusin (all instruments)
Don Grusin (all instruments)
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Dori Caymmi (vocals on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Birds With Long Legs (Dave Grusin) 5.05
02. Pico Pica (Don Grusin) 4.57
03. Sailing At Night (Don Grusin) 4.19
04. River Song (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 5.13
05. Sticks And Stones (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 6.10
06. Glissade (Dave Grusin) 5.19
07. Good Ol’ Boys (Don Grusin) 7.29
08. This Little Pig’s Got The Blues (Don Grusin) 5.29
09. Dog Heaven (Don Grusin) 4.52
10. Southern Wind (Caymmi) 4.19
11. North-Tribal Step Dance (Dave Grusin) 4.50

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Don & Dave

Sam Brown – Stop ! (1988)

FrontCover1Samantha Brown (born 7 October 1964) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and record producer.

Brown is a ukulele player and was a blue-eyed soul and jazz singer. She came to prominence in the late 1980s as a solo artist, releasing six singles that entered the UK Singles Chart during the 1980s and 1990s. Her solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love included “Stop!”, “This Feeling”, “Can I Get a Witness”, “Kissing Gate”, “With a Little Love” and “Just Good Friends”. She worked as a session backing vocalist, working with artists such as Gary Moore, George Harrison, Small Faces, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), The Firm and Nick Cave.

Brown released her debut album Stop! in 1988. Since then, she has released five studio albums, one EP and three compilation albums, as well as three albums as part of the group Homespun, but lost her singing voice in 2007.

Samantha Brown was born on 7 October 1964, in Stratford, east London, England. She is the daughter of musician Joe Brown and session singer Vicki Brown. Brown’s first work in the music industry was in 1978 at the age of 14, when she sang backing vocals on the final studio album by the Small Faces, 78 in the Shade. She also worked as a backing vocalist with several other bands, including Spandau Ballet and with her mother on former Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s third solo album Before I Forget.

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Brown signed a recording contract with A&M in 1986. Her most successful song with A&M was “Stop!”, released as a single in 1988. She issued an album of the same name that same year.[1] Other singles taken from the album included “Walking Back to Me”, “This Feeling” and her cover version of “Can I Get a Witness”. The album Stop! has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide,[2] doing particularly well in the UK and Australia. Brown’s second studio album, April Moon (1990), included two hit singles, “Kissing Gate” and “With a Little Love”. Three further singles were released from the album: “Mindworks”, “Once in Your Life” and “As One”. She also played the ukulele.

Brown’s third studio album, 43 Minutes…, was made around the same time that her mother was dying from breast cancer.A&M, Brown’s record label at the time, were not satisfied with the album and wanted some potential hit singles recorded and added to the track listing.[2] Brown, unwilling to compromise and after a protracted legal battle, bought back the master recordings of the album and released them in 1992 on her own label Pod Music, a year after the death of her mother. Few copies were initially released, although it was re-issued in 2004.

Brown provided backing vocals for Pink Floyd on their fourteenth studio album, The Division Bell, released in 1994 and accompanied them on their tour to promote the release.[2] Her involvement was documented on the following year’s Pink Floyd release, Pulse, in which she sang backing vocals and was the first lead vocalist on the song “The Great Gig in the Sky”. In 1995, she had a minor chart hit with a duet with fellow singer-songwriter Fish, entitled “Just Good Friends”. In 1997, Brown returned with her fourth studio album Box, released via the independent record label Demon Music Group. Tracks on this album included “Embrace the Darkness”, “Whisper” and “I Forgive You” which was co-written with Maria McKee. McKee’s version of the song originally appeared on her second album, You Gotta Sin to Get Saved.

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In 2000, her fifth studio album ReBoot was released via another independent label, Mud Hut, and the single “In Light of All That’s Gone Before.” In 2003, Brown formed the band Homespun with Dave Rotheray,[1] releasing three albums. Brown also released several solo recordings in this period, including an EP, Ukulele and Voice.[1] In 2004, Jon Lord released Beyond the Notes, for which she wrote almost all the lyrics.[3] In late 2006, she undertook an extensive UK tour as special guest of her father, Joe Brown. The shows also included appearances by her brother, Pete Brown.

In 2007, seven years after her last album, Brown released Of the Moment. She also returned to the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart in October 2007, when “Valentine Moon” was included on Jools Holland’s hit album Best of Friends.

That same year she lost her singing voice, and for as yet unknown reasons has not been able to sing since. In an interview from 2013 she explained that “I can’t get vocal cord closure and achieve the proper pitch simultaneously. It feels like there are some muscles that aren’t working.” After a cyst was found on her vocal cords, she had the cyst successfully removed, but problems with her voice persisted, leaving her unable to hold a note.

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Brown currently runs the International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common, the North London Ukulele Collective and the People’s Ukulele Brigade (PUB).[5] Brown is also a patron of Tech Music Schools in London, made up of Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Keyboardtech and Drumtech.

As well as her solo career, Brown has had a successful career as a backing vocalist and collaborator with other artists. She has worked with the band Barclay James Harvest (1984), David Gilmour (David Gilmour in Concert) and Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra), Jon Lord, The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave. She has often appeared as a member of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and achieved further prominence with her 2002 performance at the Concert for George, which was a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death,[6] where she sang “Horse to the Water”. This song is included in the film of the concert, not on the album. In 2002, she was a backing vocalist at Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II’s concert, Party at the Palace.

In 2015, Brown started teaching backing vocals classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, Surrey, a school for rock and pop musicians.

Singles

Stop! is the debut studio album by the English female singer-songwriter Sam Brown. It was originally released in June 1988, on the label A&M, and was distributed by Festival in Australia. Produced by Sam Brown, her brother Pete Brown, Pete Smith, Danny Schogger, and John Madden the album was recorded at the Power Plant, in London, England, with then-Pink Floyd member David Gilmour’s guitar parts on “This Feeling” and “I’ll Be In Love” being recorded at Greene Street Studios, in New York, United States. The track “Merry Go Round” has lyrics slightly adapted from W. H. Davies poem “Leisure”. The CD edition of the album includes cover versions of Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get a Witness and Ike & Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits.

On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics. Brown’s most commercially successful solo album, it went on to peak at #4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached #13 on the Australian ARIA Charts. The album also reached the top ten in five other countries including Austria, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The album launched three charting singles in the UK. “Stop!” peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart; “This Feeling” peaked at #91; “Can I Get a Witness” at #15. The album has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide.[3] The album was certified platinum by Music Canada. In the UK, it sold more than 100,000 copies and was certified gold by the BPI.( by wikipedia)

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A fine debut, full of original songs with much more depth and things going on than your average pop record. A few songs like “This Feeling”, I’ll Be in Love” and “High as a Kite” may be slightly pedestrian, but there’s nothing here I would call filler. (by Kim Alsos)
Sam Brown is a Superb artist…and this album was her debut release from 1988, though it spawned a couple of top twenty hits she has spent little time in the charts since but continues to produce some great work.

She has a huge cult following and has become an artist on the fringe of the mainstream which is a place many artists chose to be, and I believe she may be one of them; here they do not have to bow and scrape to popular demands and the whims of record producers. Here they can work freely, develop a strong fan base and maintian robust artistic integrity.

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“Stop!” is recognisable now because Jamelia released it last year for the film, “Bridget Jones the edge of reason”, but she has not even half the depth and richness of voice to belt the song out like Sam does on this original. It’s an oldy but a goody and a descriptive work in terms where British pop/soul was headed in the late 80’s before the manufactured craze took over. Listen “Stop!”, and you won’t stop with Sam Brown! (by S. Hebbron)

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Personnel:
Jim Abbiss (steel-guitar)
Bob Andrews (organ)
Dave Bishop (drums)
Stuart Brooks (saxophone)
Joe Brown (guitar, mandolin)
Pete Brown (guitar, keyboards, percussion, background vocals)
Sam Brown (vocals, keyboards)
Ken Craddock (organ)
Danny Cummings (percussion)
Dinesh (percussion)
Paul Fishman (keybords)
David Gilmour (guitar, background vocals)
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion)
Jakko M. Jakszyk (guitar, background vocals)
Roland Vaughan Kerridge (drums)
Jim Leverton (bass)
Ian Maidman (bass)
Kevin Mazpas (synthesizer)
Richard Newman (drums, background vocals)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
Ed Poole (bass)
Danny Schogger (keyboards)
Danny Thompson (bass)
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background vocals:
Vicki Brown – Margo Buchanan – Amy Caine – Helen Chappelle – Philip Saatchi – Peter Smith – Billy Vanderpuye
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horn section:
Jeff Daly (saxophone)
Christopher Dean (trombone)
Simon Gardner (trumpet)
David Hancock (trumpet)
John Huckridge (trumpet)
Rex O’Dell (trombone)
Chris Pyne (trombone)
Steve Sidwell (trumpet)
Peter Smith (trombone)
Stan Sulzmann (saxophone)
Jamie Talbot (saxophone)
Alan Wicham (trumpet)
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string section:
Peter Esswood (cello)
Kate Musker (viola)
J. Stringle (cello)
Bobby Valentino (violin)
Mark Wazton (violin)

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Tracklist:
01.Walking Back To Me (Brown/Sutton) 3.44
02. Your Love Is All (Brown/Buchanan) 4.09
03. Stop! (Brown/Sutton/Brody) 4.56
04. It Makes Me Wonder (Brown/Buchanan) 4.36
05. This Feeling (Brown/Buchanan) 3.17
06. Tea (Brown) 0.45
07. Piece Of My Luck (Brown) 2.57
08. Ball And Chain (Brown/Schogger) 4.36
09. Wrap Me Up (Brown/Schogger) 3.13
10. I’ll Be In Love (Brown/Schogger) 5.16
11. Merry Go Round (S.Brown/V.Brown) 3.09
12. Sometimes You Just Don’t Know (Brown/Malloy/Brennan) 3.08
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13. Can I Get A Witness (E.Holland/Dozier/B.Holland) 3.01
14. High As A Kite (Brown/Schogger) 3.26
15. Nutbush City Limits (Turner) 3.14

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Accordions Go Crazy – Overboard (1988)

LPFrontCover1Accordions Go Crazy was a six piece band formed in 1985 by the accordionist, pianist and performance artist Mike Adcock including Clive Bell, Dean Speedwell Brodrick, Nicola Hadley, Sylvia Hallet and Stuart Jones. The group featured the accordion as the lively, fresh and fun-loving instrument it was always meant to be. On occasion every member played an accordion, but usually the group presented two or three accordions complemented by combinations of bass guitar, drums, voices, violin, flute, piano, trumpet and trombone.

The music ranged from dance to folk to pop to experimental. As a dance band,
Accordions Go Crazy presented Cajun two-steps, French waltzes, Norwegian folk dances, rock’n’roIl and original material. For a Concert situation a wider range of pieces were available, maybe a Romanian birdsong scherzo compete with a forest full of larks, or an aching Roy Orbison baIIad. The band’s experimental side was much less predictable, venturing boldly into the uncharted territory of the avantgarde accordion.

They recorded three albums on the Trikont label: Overboard in 1988, Zombie Dancer in 1989 (with Nicola Hadley replaced by drummer Ann Day), and The art of paper folding in 1991, with Stuart Jones replaced by Ruth Bitelli on bass guitar. Gradually people got more involved in other projects, and Accordions Go Crazy last played on a short tour of Italy in 1991, with Dan Brown replacing Ruth on bass. (last.fm)

Accordions Go Crazy01

An offshoot from the London Musicians’ Collective, Accordions Go Crazy, formed 1985, included musicians then playing with Kahondo Style, the English Gamelan Orchestra or British Summer Time Ends, as well as other British performance groups. They released 3 LPs on the German Trikont label between 1988 and 1991, this one being the first. Members Sylvia Hallett and Clive Bell also included one of the band’s compositions on their 1988 Golden Apples compilation, posted here.

All members (Mike Adcock, Clive Bell, Dean Speedwell Brodrick, Nicola Hadley, Sylvia Hallett and Stuart Jones) play accordion alternatively, in addition to various instruments. Overboard is a joyous celebration of the accordion’s ebulient potentialities through evocative, festive and multi-colored dancing numbers sourced from Cajun, Bulgarian, Romanian and Klezmer traditions. In line with the accordion’s generosity and profuse output, the arrangements favor musicians’ virtuosity and interplay, a trait further enhanced by live-in-the-studio recording conditions. Of course, the title of the band doesn’t imply the instruments are crazy but rather that the accordions will drive you crazy. You’ve been warned. (continuo.wordpress.com)

What a great and funny album !

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Personnel:
Mike Adcock (accordion, piano, vocals)
Clive Bell (accordion, flute, khene, vocals)
Dean Brodrick (accordion, percussion, bassoon, vocals)
Nicola Hadley (accordion, percussion, vocals)
Sylvia Hallett (accordion, violin, trombone, vocals)
Stuart Jones (accordion, bass, trumpet)

Mike Adcock

Tracklist:
01. Symphony For Massed Bands No. 1 (Hallett) 4.02
02. Cotswold Twostep (Adcock) 2.48
03. Tango René (Adcock) 2.20
04. Halinka’s Fall (Brodrick) 4.06
05. Violin Solo “The Red Shred” / Imalamayka (Hallett/Traditional) 4.31
06. See My Baby Jive (Wood) 4.33
07. The Falcon Waltz (Adcock) 3.24
08. Ciocirlia “The Lark” (Traditional) 3.11
09. Lebedik un Freilach (Traditional) 2.18
10. Colinda (Traditional) 3.05
11. The Delta (Adcock) 2.18
12. Sea Cruise (Smith) 2.25
13. Diamond Tongued (Bell) 1.34
14. The Third Coming (Adcock) 5.16

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Joe Bonner – New Beginnings (1988)

FrontCover1Joe Bonner (April 20, 1948 – November 20, 2014) was a hard bop and modal jazz pianist, influenced by McCoy Tyner and Art Tatum.

He was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and studied at Virginia State College,[4] but indicated that he learned more about music from musicians he worked with. In the seventies he played with Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw and Billy Harper, among others. (by wikipedia)

A fine pianist who was originally heavily influenced by McCoy Tyner, Joe Bonner is an excellent interpreter of modal-based music and advanced hard bop. He studied music at Virginia State College and early on played with Roy Haynes (1970-1971), Freddie Hubbard (1971-1972), Pharoah Sanders (1972-1974), and Billy Harper (late ’70s). Bonner, who recorded as a leader for Muse, Theresa, and most prominently Steeplechase, has been based in Colorado since the 1980s and remains a talented improviser. (by Scott Yanow)

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An Under-appreciated Masterpiece:
I have always loved this album. I suspect that the reason that this wonderful set does not get the respect that it deserves is Joe Bonner’s overdubbing of his solo piano with a shadow Fender Rhodes. As distracting as that sounds on paper, it’s restrained use doesn’t overshadow the remarkable musicality that he displays on this almost therapeutic recording. It only makes me wonder why he thought it was necessary.

The accompanying cello and vocal on “Soft Breeze” sound completely appropriate to the nature of the music and this track has a calming effect that permeates the whole album. There is something graceful in Bonner’s style that is apparent even when he goes moderately up-tempo as he does in sections of “The Revolution.” His solo treatment of Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” is heartfelt and sublime. The nicely structured title track features the cello in melodic unison on the head only and the Fender Rhodes discretely in the background. “Primal Scream” undermines its title by being a romp in the park indicating that this is a scream of joy. “Ode To Trane” waltzes us off the floor without bringing the Fender Rhodes into the mix; a fitting climax to an album that ends too soon. The feeling that a tender and even spiritual mood is about to pass makes me want to listen to it again.

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Joe Bonner’s style of harmony and rhythmic attack are immediately recognizable; upon a few hearings it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick him out in a blindfold test. Trouble is that he never settled into the top tier of piano masters who are widely recorded and who get airplay on the few jazz radio stations left. This recording is an easy introduction to the music of Joe Bonner for those who have never heard him. His use of the Fender Rhodes almost caused me to remove one star from this review but this album is so listenable that I relented.

New Beginnings is a rare treat and should not be missed. (George F. Bailey)

Oh, what a peaceful album !

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Personnel:
Joe Bonner (piano)
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Laurie Antonioli (vocals on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Soft Breezes 6.24
02 The Revolution 6.57
03. A Child Is Born 5.32
04. New Beginnings 5.41
05. Primal Scream 6.23
06. Ode To Trane 7.13

Music composed by Joe Bronner,
except 03. which was composed by Thad Jones

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Joe Bonner (April 20, 1948 – November 20, 2014)

Toad The Wet Sprocket – Bread And Circus (1988)

OriginalMCFrontCover1.jpgToad the Wet Sprocket is an American alternative rock band formed in 1986. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss. They had chart success in the 1990s with singles that included “Walk on the Ocean”, “All I Want”, “Something’s Always Wrong”, “Fall Down”, and “Good Intentions”. The band broke up in 1998 to pursue other projects but in 2006 began touring the United States again for short-run tours each summer in small venues. In December 2010, the band announced their official reunion as a full-time working band and started writing songs for their first studio album of new material since their 1997 Columbia Records release, Coil. Their most recent full-length album, New Constellation, was released on October 15, 2013.

Bread & Circus is the debut album by Toad the Wet Sprocket, originally self-released on cassette only in 1988, and re-released in 1989 by Columbia Records on CD, Cassette and Vinyl with altered artwork. The album was recorded while the four members were still in high school for a total cost of $650. The album shows a more youthful and emotional side of their music. Singer Glen Phillips wrote most of the lyrics when he was only 15 years old.

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In May 2009, the band announced plans to re-release Bread & Circus, out of print since 2001, in a remastered edition with expanded artwork and bonus tracks culled from the album sessions that didn’t make it onto the album. Their sophomore record, “Pale” would also get the same kind of re-issue. In 2010 the band signed a deal with Primary Wave to handle their back catalog and licensing. These reissues had been confirmed by lead singer Glen Phillips via Toad’s “Fan Questions” portion of their official website for release in 2011, but never occurred. Instead, a remastered vinyl LP reissue of fear and Dulcinea were released in 2018 through the band’s online store. (by wikipedia)

Toad’s first LP, Bread And Circus, was recorded independently (for $650) as the band played local bars. The band was soon signed with Columbia Records on the condition that Bread And Circus be released “as-is” – and it was in August, 1989. The band then hit the road to promote themselves and the LP. (by rockonthenet.com)

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This is the first taste of Toad the Wet Sprocket’s brand of California-flavored thinking man’s pop. Bread and Circus is a collection of songs Toad had worked up over two years of playing the Santa Monica club circuit, and the album doesn’t have the cohesive flow the band would find with later releases like Pale and Fear, but the songs are good from the get-go. “When We Recovered” and “One Little Girl” show two emotional sides to the band’s songwriting, and the superb “Know Me” portends Toad’s future efforts in one track — plaintive acoustic strumming, acerbic minor-key angst, and a soaring, defiant chorus. (by Troy Carpenter)

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Personnel:
Dean Dinning (bass, background vocals)
Randy Guss (drums)
Todd Nichols (guitar)
Glen Phillips (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Way Away 3.07
02. Scenes From A Vinyl Recliner 4.12
03. Unquiet 2.54
04. Humble/Know Me 5.13
05. When We Recovered 2.52
06. One Wind Blows 3.26
07. Pale Blue 3.22
08. Always Changing Probably 4.49
09. One Little Girl 3.25
10. Covered In Roses 4.26

All songs written by Dean Dinning – Randy Guss ´- Todd Nichols – Glen Phillips

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And he band ist still alive and well (pic from their website in 2019):

website

 

Sam Brown – Stop ! (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgSamantha Brown (born 7 October 1964) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and record producer.

In a music career spanning more than 30 years, Brown is a ukulele player, and was a blue-eyed soul and jazz singer. Brown came to prominence in the late 1980s as a solo artist, releasing six singles that entered the UK Singles Chart during the 1980s and 1990s. Her solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love included “Stop!”, “This Feeling”, “Can I Get a Witness”, “Kissing Gate”, “With a Little Love” and “Just Good Friends”. She worked as a session backing vocalist, working with artists such as Small Faces, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave.

Brown released her debut album Stop! in 1988. Since then, she has released five studio albums, one EP and three compilation albums, but lost her singing voice in 2007 and has since been unable to sing. She has married once and is the mother of two children.

Samantha Brown was born on 7 October 1964, in Stratford, east London, England. She is the daughter of musician Joe Brown and session singer Vicki Brown. Brown’s first work in the music industry was in 1978 at the age of 14, when she sang backing vocals on the final studio album by the Small Faces, 78 in the Shade. She also worked as a backing vocalist with several other bands, including Spandau Ballet and with her mother on former Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s third solo album Before I Forget.

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Brown signed a recording contract with A&M in 1986. Her most successful song with A&M was “Stop!”, released as a single in 1988. She issued an album of the same name that same year. Other singles taken from the album included “Walking Back to Me”, “This Feeling” and her cover version of “Can I Get a Witness”. The album Stop! has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide, doing particularly well in the UK and Australia. Brown’s second studio album, April Moon (1990), included two hit singles, “Kissing Gate” and “With a Little Love”. Three further singles were released from the album: “Mindworks”, “Once in Your Life” and “As One”. She also played the ukulele.

Brown’s third studio album, 43 Minutes…, was made around the same time that her mother was dying from breast cancer. A&M, Brown’s record label at the time, were not satisfied with the album and wanted some potential hit singles recorded and added to the track listing.[2] Brown, unwilling to compromise and after a protracted legal battle, bought back the master recordings of the album and released them in 1992 on her own label Pod Music, a year after the death of her mother. Few copies were initially released, although it was re-issued in 2004.

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Brown provided backing vocals for Pink Floyd on their fourteenth studio album, The Division Bell, released in 1994 and accompanied them on their tour to promote the release.[2] Her involvement was documented on the following year’s Pink Floyd release, Pulse, in which she sang backing vocals and was the first lead vocalist on the song “The Great Gig in the Sky”. In 1995, she had a minor chart hit with a duet with fellow singer-songwriter Fish, entitled “Just Good Friends”. In 1997, Brown returned with her fourth studio album Box, released via the independent record label Demon Music Group. Tracks on this album included “Embrace the Darkness”, “Whisper” and “I Forgive You” which was co-written with Maria McKee. McKee’s version of the song originally appeared on her second album, You Gotta Sin to Get Saved.

In 2000, her fifth studio album ReBoot was released via another independent label, Mud Hut, and the single “In Light of All That’s Gone Before.” In 2003, Brown formed the band Homespun with Dave Rotheray,[1] releasing three albums. Brown also released several solo recordings in this period, including an EP, Ukulele and Voice. In 2004, Jon Lord released Beyond the Notes, for which she wrote almost all the lyrics. In late 2006, she undertook an extensive UK tour as special guest of her father, Joe Brown. The shows also included appearances by her brother, Pete Brown.

SamBrown04

In 2007, seven years after her last album, Brown released Of the Moment. She also returned to the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart in October 2007, when “Valentine Moon” was included on Jools Holland’s hit album Best of Friends. That same year she lost her singing voice, and for as yet unknown reasons has not been able to sing since. In an interview from 2013 she explained that “I can’t get vocal cord closure and achieve the proper pitch simultaneously. It feels like there are some muscles that aren’t working.”

After a cyst was found on her vocal cords, she had the cyst successfully removed, but problems with her voice persisted, leaving her unable to hold a note.

Brown currently runs the International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common, the North London Ukulele Collective and the People’s Ukulele Brigade (PUB). Brown is also a patron of Tech Music Schools in London, made up of Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Keyboardtech and Drumtech.

SamBrown05

As well as her solo career, Brown has had a successful career as a backing vocalist and collaborator with other artists. She has worked with the band Barclay James Harvest (1984), David Gilmour (David Gilmour in Concert) and Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra), Jon Lord, The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave. She has often appeared as a member of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and achieved further prominence with her 2002 performance at the Concert for George, which was a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death, where she sang “Horse to the Water”. This song is included in the film of the concert, not on the album. In 2002, she was a backing vocalist at Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II’s concert, Party at the Palace.

In 2015, Brown started teaching backing vocals classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, Surrey, a school for rock and pop musicians.

Brown has two children, Vicki (1993) and Mohan (1995), with her ex-husband, producer and musician Robin Evans.

On 16 June 1991, Brown’s mother Vicki Brown died at 50 from breast cancer.

Stop! is the debut studio album by the English female singer-songwriter Sam Brown. It was originally released in June 1988, on the label A&M, and was distributed by Festival in Australia. Produced by Sam Brown, her brother Pete Brown, Pete Smith, Danny Schogger, and John Madden the album was recorded at the Power Plant, in London, England, with then-Pink Floyd member David Gilmour’s guitar parts on “This Feeling” and “I’ll Be In Love” being recorded at Greene Street Studios, in New York, United States. The track “Merry Go Round” has lyrics slightly adapted from W. H. Davies poem “Leisure”. The CD edition of the album includes cover versions of Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get a Witness and Ike & Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits.

On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics. Brown’s most commercially successful solo album, it went on to peak at #4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached #13 on the Australian ARIA Charts. The album also reached the top ten in five other countries including Austria, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The album launched three charting singles in the UK. “Stop!” peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart; “This Feeling” peaked at #91; “Can I Get a Witness” at #15. The album has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide. The album was certified platinum by Music Canada. In the UK, it sold more than 100,000 copies and was certified gold by the BPI.

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A fine debut, full of original songs with much more depth and things going on than your average pop record. A few songs like “This Feeling”, I’ll Be in Love” and “High as a Kite” may be slightly pedestrian, but there’s nothing here I would call filler. (by Kim Alsos)

This is indeed a real nice album featuring pretty good songs with a touch of Soul music and featuring musicians like David Golmour, Jim Leverton and Danny Thompson.

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Personnel:
Jim Abbiss (pedal stell-guitar))
Bob Andrews (organ)
Dave Bishop (drums)
Stuart Brooks (saxophone)
Joe Brown (guitar, mandolin)
Pete Brown (guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals)
Sam Brown (vocals. keyboards)
Ken Craddock (organ)
Danny Cummings (percussion)
Jeff Daly (saxophone)
Christopher Dean (trombone)
Dinesh (percussion)
Peter Esswood (cello)
Paul Fishman (keyboards)
Simon Gardner (trumpet)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals)
David Hancock Trumpet
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion)
John Huckridge (trumpet)
Jakko M. Jakszyk (guitar, vocals)
Roland Vaughan Kerridge (drums)
Jim Leverton (bass)
Ian Maidman (bass)
Kevin Mazpas (synthesizer)
Kate Musker (viola)
Richard Newman (drums, vocals)
Rex O’Dell (trombone)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
Ed Poole (bass)
Chris Pyne (trombone)
Danny Schogger (keyboards)
Steve Sidwell (rumpet
Peter Smith Trombone)
J. Stringle (cello)
Stan Sulzmann (saxophone)
Jamie Talbot (saxophone)
Danny Thompson Bass
Bobby Valentino (violin)
Mark Wazton (violin)
Alan Wicham (trumpet)
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background vocals:
Vicki Brown – Margo Buchanan – Amy Caine – Helen Chappelle . Philip Saatchi – Peter Smith – Billy Vanderpuye

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Tracklist:
01. Walking Back To Me (Brown/Sutton) 3.44
02. Your Love Is All (Brown/Buchanan) 4.09
03. Stop! (Brown/Sutto/Brody) 4.56
04. It Makes Me Wonder (Brown/Buchanan) 4.36
05. This Feeling (Brown/Buchanan) 3.17
06. Tea (Brown) 0.45
07. Piece Of My Luck (Brown) 2.57
08. Ball And Chain (Brown/Schogger) 4.36
09. Wrap Me Up (Brown/Schogger) 3.13
10. I’ll Be in Love (Brown/Schogger) 5.16
11. Merry Go Round (Brown/V.Brown) 3.09
12. Sometimes You Just Don’t Know (Brown/Malloy/Brennan) 3.08
13. Can I Get A Witness (E.Holland/Dozier/B.Holland) 3.01
14. High As A Kite (Brown/Schogger) 3.26
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15. Nutbush City Limits (Turner) 3.13

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And here´s a pretty good acoustic version of “Stop” from 2003:

 

Sinéad O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgI Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got is the second album by Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor, released in March 1990 on Ensign/Chrysalis Records. It contains O’Connor’s version of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which was released as a single and reached number one in multiple countries. The album was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1991, including Record of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Music Video, Short Form for “Nothing Compares 2 U”, winning the award for Best Alternative Music Performance. However, O’Connor refused to accept the nominations and award.

The critically acclaimed album contains O’Connor’s most famous single, “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which was one of the best selling singles in the world in 1990, topping the charts in many countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. This rendition of the Prince song reflected on O’Connor’s mother who lost her life in an auto accident five years earlier.[5][6] The single “Emperor’s New Clothes” found more moderate success, although it did top the Modern Rock Tracks chart in the US.

The album includes O’Connor’s rendition of “I Am Stretched on Your Grave”, an anonymous 17th century poem, originally written in Irish and translated into English by Frank O’Connor and composed by musician Philip King in 1979.[7][8] The first song on the album, “Feel So Different”, starts with The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.

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The inner sleeve notes acknowledge Kabbalah teacher, Warren Kenton: “Special thanks to Selina Marshall + Warren Kenton for showing me that all I’d need was inside me.”

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got received critical acclaim. In 2003, the album was ranked number 406 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.(by wikipedia)

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got became Sinéad O’Connor’s popular breakthrough on the strength of the stunning Prince cover “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which topped the pop charts for a month. But even its remarkable intimacy wasn’t adequate preparation for the harrowing confessionals that composed the majority of the album. Informed by her stormy relationship with drummer John Reynolds, who fathered O’Connor’s first child before the couple broke up, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got lays the singer’s psyche startlingly and sometimes uncomfortably bare.

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The songs mostly address relationships with parents, children, and (especially) lovers, through which O’Connor weaves a stubborn refusal to be defined by anyone but herself. In fact, the album is almost too personal and cathartic to draw the listener in close, since O’Connor projects such turmoil and offers such specific detail. Her confrontational openness makes it easy to overlook O’Connor’s musical versatility. Granted, not all of the music is as brilliantly audacious as “I Am Stretched on Your Grave,” which marries a Frank O’Connor poem to eerie Celtic melodies and a James Brown “Funky Drummer” sample. But the album plays like a tour de force in its demonstration of everything O’Connor can do: dramatic orchestral ballads, intimate confessionals, catchy pop/rock, driving guitar rock, and protest folk, not to mention the nearly six-minute a cappella title track. What’s consistent throughout is the frighteningly strong emotion O’Connor brings to bear on the material, while remaining sensitive to each piece’s individual demands. Aside from being a brilliant album in its own right, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got foreshadowed the rise of deeply introspective female singer/songwriters like Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan, who were more traditionally feminine and connected with a wider audience. Which takes nothing away from anyone; if anything, it’s evidence that, when on top of her game, O’Connor was a singular talent. (by Steve Huey)

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Personnel:
David Munday (guitar, piano)
Philip King (background vocals)
Sinéad O’Connor (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, programming)
Marco Pirroni (guitar)
John Reynolds (drums)
Andy Rourke (guitar, bass)
Steve Wickham (fiddle)
Jah Wobble (bass)
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unknown orchestra conducted by Nick Ingman

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Tracklist:
01. Feel So Different (O’Connor) 6.48
02. I Am Stretched On Your Grave (Anonymous/King) 5.33
03. Three Babies (O’Connor) 4.47
04. The Emperor’s New Clothes (O’Connor) 5.16
05. Black Boys On Mopeds (O’Connor) 3.53
06. Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince) 5.11
07. Jump In The River (O’Connor/Pirroni) 4.13
08. You Cause As Much Sorrow (O’Connor) 5.05
09. The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance (O’Connor) 4.40
10. I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (O’Connor) 5.47

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Randy Newman (feat. Mark Knopfler) – In Sessions At The BBC Concert Hall (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgLand of Dreams is a 1988 album by Randy Newman featuring vignettes of his childhood in New Orleans. The best-known song on the album is “It’s Money That Matters”, which rose to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart for two weeks (and peaked at #60 on the Hot 100), to become Newman’s only number one hit on any U.S. chart; it features Mark Knopfler on guitar (by wikipedia)

In November 1988, Randy Newman recorded his album Land of dreams on which Mark Knopfler played on several tracks. As a promotion for the album, Randy and Mark appeared in various shows and played some tracks. Some rare recordings and rarely performed songs. Very interesting interview, mainly with Randy Newman but also with Mark Knopfler.

And here is this very intimate session.

What a great treat – Randy Newman and Knopfler !

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Personnel:
Mark Knopfler (guitar)
Randy Newman(piano, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Dixie Flyer 3.44
02, Inteview with Randy and Mark 4.50
03. Roll With The Punches 3.37
04. Interview with Randy and Mark 3.21
05. You’ve Gotta Move On 3.49
06. Interview with Randy and Mark 3.48
07. Blue Monday 1.28
08. Interview with Randy and Mark 1.31
09. Bad News From Home 2.55
10. Interview with Randy and Mark 2.48

All songs written by Randy Newman

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Sade – Stronger Than Life (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgStronger Than Pride is the third studio album by English band Sade (Adu). It was released by Epic Records in the United States on 5 April 1988 and in the United Kingdom on 3 May 1988. In September 2018, Pitchfork placed the album at number 37 on its list of The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s. (by wikipedia)

After two LPs with little or no energy, Sade demonstrated some intensity and fire on her third release. Whether that was just an attempt to change the pace a bit or a genuine new direction, she had more animation in her delivery on such songs as “Haunt Me,” “Give It Up,” and the hit “Paradise.” Not that she was suddenly singing in a soulful or bluesy manner; rather, Sade’s dry and introspective tone now had a little more edge, and the lyrics were ironic as well as reflective. This was her third consecutive multi-platinum album, and it matched the two-million-plus sales level of her debut. (by Ron Wynn)

Like Wally Pipp, who took a day off from the Yankee lineup and was permanently replaced by Lou Gehrig, Sade has risked usurpation by more talented players during her long weekend away from recording. In that three-year break, the soft-female-soul market, which the remarkable success of her 1984 debut stimulated, has been filled by a rush of other artists, some far superior (Anita Baker, Regina Belle), some nearly inept (Swing Out Sister). But Sade needn’t worry about being eclipsed by more talented singers – the key to her appeal is not the pure prowess of her voice but its poise and presence. In lieu of Baker’s gospel-based emotions, Sade offers cool composure. She has designed a distinctive sound and established herself as a diva simply by assuming the image of one.

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If it’s possible, Stronger Than Pride is even wispier than Sade’s two previous albums; it’s so thin and understated that it leaves a mist hanging over the turntable (or, more likely, the CD player). Her lyrics are mostly brief pillow notes, with their hooks chanted over and over.

Serving as producer for the first time, Sade curbs Stuart Matthewman’s dramatic sax lines, the crucial ingredient of “Smooth Operator,” in favor of an ensemble grace centered on the deft bump of Paul Denman’s bass. Brisk urban tracks like the hit “Paradise” alternate with acoustic material inspired by Brazilian bossa nova, but the sensual ambiance is soon spoiled by the dearth of melodies; the album is so tasteful and restrained it’s dull. (by Rob Tannenbaum – Rolling Stone Nr. 532)

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Personnel:
Sade Adu (vocals)
Paul S. Denman (bass)
Andrew Hale (keyboards)
Stuart Matthewman (guitar, saxophone)
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Martin Ditcham (drums, percussion)
Gordon Hunte (guitar on 02. + 08.)
Jake Jacas (trombone)
James McMillan (trumpet)
Leroy Osbourne (vocals)
Gavyn Wright (violin on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Love Is Stronger Than Pride (Adu/Hale/Matthewman) 4.20
02. Paradise (Adu/Hale/Matthewman/Denman) 4.05
03. Nothing Can Come Between Us (Adu/Matthewman/Hale) 4.25
04. Haunt Me (Adu/Matthewman) 5.53
05. Turn My Back On You (Adu/Hale/Matthewman) 6.09
06. Keep Looking (Adu/Hale) 5.24
07. Clean Heart (Adu/Matthewman/Hale) 4.04
08. Give It Up (Adu/Matthewman/Hale) 3.53
09. I Never Thought I’d See The Day (Adu/Osbourne) 4.16
10. Siempre Hay Esperanza (Matthewman/Adu/Osbourne) 5.16

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Tanita Tikaram – Ancient Heart (1988)

LPFrontCover1.JPGAncient Heart is the debut studio album by Tanita Tikaram. The record was initially released by Warner Music Group on 13 September 1988. The album had huge success and was a hit globally, launching Tanita’s mainstream career. Guest musicians included Rod Argent, Mark Isham, Peter Van Hooke, Dave “Clem” Clempson,Paul Brady, and Brendan Croker. Argent and Van Hooke produced the album. The record includes four singles.

It was the best selling album of 1989 in Germany (by wikipedia)

Singer/songwriter Tanita Tikaram’s debut album, Ancient Heart, stands as one of the most underappreciated albums of the 1980s, and she, along with Tracy Chapman, preceded the 1990s’ onslaught of female singer/songwriters by almost a decade. Tikaram, who was only 19 when this album was released, created a melancholy and wistful work, mature beyond her years, of startling originality and honesty. While this album may be considered folkish and artsy, it never stoops to the clichés that dominated those styles of music in the later Lilith Fair years. Her near perfect signature song “Twist in My Sobriety” is a stark, sinuous, desperate torch song that managed to garner a bit of radio and video airplay in its day and sounded like nothing else then or since.

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Other highlights include the lovely and more upbeat “Cathedral Song,” “World Outside Your Window,” and “Good Tradition”,” as well as the jazzy “For All the Years” and the haunting “I Love You” and “Valentine Heart” — the latter being one of the album’s true highlights. Ancient Heart is a smoky, world-weary album, that, years after its initial release, does not sound one bit dated and has effortlessly stood the test of time. The definite highlight of Tanita Tikaram’s career. (by Jose F. Promis)

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Personnel:
Rod Argent (keyboards)
Pete Beachill (trombone)
Paul Brady (mandolin)
Clem Clempson (guitar)
Mark Creswell (guitar)
Brendan Croker (guitar)
Mitch Dalton (guitar)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
John Georgiadis (violin)
Keith Harvey (cello)
Peter van Hooke (drums)
Mark Isham (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Ian Jewell (viola)
Noel Langley (trumpet)
David Lindley (violin)
Rory McFarlane (bass)
Malcolm Messiter (oboe)
Helen O’Hara (violin)
Brendon O’Reilly (violin)
Marc Ribot (guitar)
Tanita Tikaram (vocals, guitar)
Philip Todd (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Good Tradition 2.52
02. Cathedral Song 2.54
03. Sighing Innocents 3.34
04. I Love You 2.45
05. World Outside Your Window 4.54
06. For All These Years 5.16
07. Twist In My Sobriety 4.52
08. Poor Cow 1.58
09. He Likes The Sun 5.29
10. Valentine Heart 4.06
11. Preyed Upon 5.05

All songs written by Tanita Tikaram

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