R.E.M – Out Of Time (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgOut of Time is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on March 8, 1991 by Warner Bros. Records. With Out of Time, R.E.M.’s status grew from that of a cult band to a massive international act. The record topped the album sales charts in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom, spending 109 weeks on American album charts and enjoying two separate spells at the summit, and spending 183 weeks on the British charts and a single week at the top. The album has sold over four and a half million copies in the U.S. and over 18 million copies worldwide. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992: one as Best Alternative Music Album, and two for the first single, “Losing My Religion.”

Out of Time combines elements of pop, folk and classical music heard on their previous album Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992’s Automatic for the People.

Preceded by the release of “Losing My Religion”, which became R.E.M.’s biggest U.S. hit, Out of Time gave them their first U.S. and UK No. 1 album. The band did not tour to support the release. In Germany, it is the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, reaching 5×gold.

The album was featured in Time magazine’s unranked list of The All-Time 100 Albums.


In July 2014, radio show 99% Invisible said that because of this packaging, Out of Time is “the most politically significant album in the history of the United States.”[7] They said that three weeks after the album’s release, “they had received 10,000 petitions, 100 per senator, and they just kept coming in droves,”[7] and a month following its release, the campaign’s political director and members of KMD “wheeled a shopping cart full of the first 10,000 petitions into a senate hearing.” The bill was eventually passed in 1995 by Bill Clinton; one commentary later said this happened “in no small part because of R.E.M.’s lobbying.” (by wikipedia)


Hiding political tics behind faux-formalist boilerplate, pop aesthetes accused them of imposing Solidarity and Agent Orange on their musical material, but in fact such subjects signaled an other-directedness as healthy as Michael Stipe’s newfound elocution. Admittedly, with this one beginning “The world is collapsing around our ears,” I wondered briefly whether “Losing My Religion” was about music itself, but when Stipe says they thought about calling it Love Songs, he’s not just mumbling “Dixie.” Being R.E.M., they mean to capture moods or limn relationships rather than describe feelings or, God knows, incidents, and while some will find the music too pleasing, it matches the words hurt for hurt and surge for surge. The Kate Pierson cameos, the cellos, and Mark Bingham’s organic string arrangements are Murmur without walls–beauty worthy of DeBarge, of the sweetest soukous, of a massed choir singing “I Want To Know What Love Is.” (by Robert Christgau)


Bill Berry (drums, percussion, bass, piano, background vocals)
Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin)
Mike Mills (bass, keyboards)
Michael Stipe (vocals, melodica)
Peter Holsapple (bass guitar on 01., + 03., guitar on 02., 06., 07. + 09.)
Ralph Jones (bass on 01., 03.- 06., 08. + 09.)
Kidd Jordan (saxophone)
John Keane (pedal steel guitar on 09. + 10.)
Kate Pierson (vocals on 04., 06. + 11.)
Cecil Welch (flugelhorn on 05.)
David Arenz – Ellie Arenz – David Braitberg – Dave Kempers
Andrew Cox – Elizabeth Murphy
Reid Harris – Paul Murphy
KRS-One – rapping on 01.)
Scott Litt (echo-loop feed on 01.)


01. Radio Song (featuring KRS-One) 4.16
02. Losing My Religion 4.29
03. Low 4.56
04. Near Wild Heaven 3.20
05. Endgame 3.50
06. Shiny Happy People 3.46
07. Belong 4.07
08. Half A World Away 3.28
09. Texarkana 3.40
10. Country Feedback 4.09
11. Me In Honey 4.06

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe




Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you and you are not me
The lengths that I will go to the distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I set it up
That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you and I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper of every waking hour I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool, fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I set it up
Consider this, consider this, the hint of the century
Consider this the slip that brought me to my knees, failed
What if all these fantasies come flailing around?
Now I’ve said too much

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you and I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough

But that was just a dream
Try, cry, why try?
That was just a dream, just a dream
Just a dream, dream

Nils Lofgren – Keith Don’t Go (2013)

FrontCover1.jpgGiven his high profile status as a pianist and guitarist for both Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, it’s sometime forgotten that Nils Lofgren enjoyed a 4 year span with Grin, before embarking on his on-going solo career in 1975. ‘Keith Don’t Go – Live at the Town & Country Club, London 1990’ dips back into his early career, for an acoustic to eclectic sweep of his formative years.

Best known as flamboyant guitarist occasionally given to trampolining – hence the album title of his last big label album ‘Flip’ – Lofgren is also a consistent song writer with a penchant for ballads and melodic pop rock as well as firebrand rocking.

And while this live set might disappoint some fans, especially as its light on material from his best studio albums ‘Cry Tough’ and ‘I Came To Dance’, he does a good job of reinvigorating some early career gems. The acoustic ‘Secrets In The Street’ and ‘Keith Don’t Go’ are given new spark while the autobiographical melodic pop-rock of ‘The Sun Hasn’t Set (On This Boy Yet)’ comes from his early Grin era.

The equally old ‘See What Love Can Do’ puts the accent more on a reggae/funk feel with a fiery vocal performance and inspired ensemble playing.

Nils Lofgren

Given this live album represents 50 odd minutes of a full show, there’s still an integral dynamic to a set that builds incrementally. The band smoulders on ‘Rock And Roll Crook’ – one of the few songs that doesn’t sound much better with the passing of time – before igniting on the up tempo rocking of ‘Moon Tears’.

The song originally received its greatest exposure on the ‘I Came To Dance’, but goes back to the first Grin album, and is a riff driven gem with jangling, unison guitars and sparkling band interplay.

Inevitably there’s room for some lyric driven ballads such as ‘No Mercy’ and the love song ‘Shine Silently’ before Nils climaxes the show with the guitar driven ‘I Came To Dance’. The audience response suggests it’s that facet of his music that his fans love best.

This album is a decent snap shot of an in demand session musician with a rich solo career of his own. (by petefeenstra)

Or, just simple: An excellent album !

Recorded live at The Town & Country Club, London 1990
Digitally remastered from the original British television recording.


Larry Cragg (guitar, organ)
Nils Lofgren (guitar, vocals)
Tommy Lofgren (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Newmyer (bass)
Max M. Weinberg (drums)


01. Secrets In The Street (N.Lofgren) 4.00
02. Keith Don’t Go (N.Lofgren) 5.41
03. Goin’ Back (Goffin/King) 4.11
04. Rock And Roll Crook (N.Lofgren) 3.05
05. Moon Tears (N.Lofgren) 3.57
06. The Sun Hasn’t Set (On This Boy Yet) (N.Lofgren) 2.57
07. Anytime At All (Lennon/McCartney) 2.38
08. No Mercy (N.Lofgren) 4.21
09. Shine Silently (Wagner/N.Lofgren) 7.30
10. See What Love Can Do? (N.Lofgren) 6.46
11. I Came To Dance (N.Lofgren) 7.33




The neons are hot tonight baby
Light me up, take me in your arms
There’s so much we ought to learn baby
That ain’t in books or schools of charm
Ain’t in any university standin’ right atop the law’s long arm
Out in the streets you can get a real view and hope is the charm

The secrets in the street are waiting to remind you
Secrets in the street, high hopes will never blind you
Secrets in the street, they’ll teach you about survival
Secrets in the street and not the self denial we’ve been sold

Been so uninspired and lonely
Been studying hard
The values of pain bottomed out, went waikin’ at midnight
The streets breathed life
I danced with the rain
Gotta move my mind and heart from the celler
Out in the street where you get a real view
In the street where you find the real dreams
Know that some do come true

Ernestine Anderson – Live At The Concord Jazz Festival Third Set (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgAlthough there is no official leader on the CD, this is really an Ernestine Anderson date. Pianist Gene Harris and his quartet (with guitarist Ed Bickert, bassist Lynn Seaton and drummer Harold Jones) romp through Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet” and then the singer takes over for the final six numbers; Frank Wess guests on tenor during “I Should Care” and altoist Marshall Royal is heard from on “Skylark.” Ernestine Anderson is in top form during her well-rounded set with highlights including the lengthy “I Should Care,” a swinging “There Is No Greater Love,” “On My Own” and a definitive 15-minute version of “Never Make Your Move Too Soon.” (by Scott Yanow)

One thing Concord Jazz cannot be accused of is failing to document Ernestine Anderson’s live performances. When the veteran jazz singer was recording for Concord in the late ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s, the label put out several live albums that featured her extensively. Here’s the thing: Not all of those albums were released under Anderson’s own name — she was employed as a featured vocalist for pianist George Shearing, the Frank Capp/Nat Pierce Juggernaut, and a band that was billed as the Concord All Stars. Anderson’s live performances of 1987-1990 are the focus of this excellent two-CD set, which Concord assembled in 2002 — and none of the recordings are from the singer’s own albums. The all-star release Live at the 1990 Concord Jazz Festival (Third Set) is heard in its entirety. (barnesandnoble.com)

Ernestine Anderson1

Ernestine Anderson (vocals)
Ed Bickert (guitar)
Gene Harris (piano)
Harold Jones (drums)
Lynn Seaton (bass)
Marshall Royal (saxophone on 05.)
Frank Wess (saxophone on 03.)

01. Blues In The Closet (Pettiford) 7.32
02. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart (Ellington/Mills/Nemo/Redmond 4.42
03. I Should Care (Stordahl/Weston/Cahn) 10.22
04. There Is No Greater Love (Jones/Symes) 5.23
05. Skylark (Mercer/Carmichael) 7.14
06. On My Own (Sager/Bacharach) 4.58
07. Never Make Your Move Toon Soon (Hooper/Jennings) 15.15



Ernestine Anderson2.jpg

Ernestine Anderson (November 11, 1928 – March 10, 2016)

Phil Collins – Serious Hits … Live (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgSerious Hits… Live! is the name of Phil Collins’ 1990 live album, released on vinyl and CD. It is also the title of the 2003 DVD video release of his concert at Berlin’s Waldbühne on 15 July 1990. (The original 1990 VHS and Betamax version of the video was titled Seriously Live.) The songs on the CD version are taken from various concerts during the Seriously, Live! World Tour. At the Brit Awards in 1992, the album brought Collins a nomination for British Male Artist.

When compiling the tracks for the album, instead of providing the experience of a complete live concert, the producers took the approach of putting together a “hits only” selection of songs. On the final song of the album, Collins thanks the fans in Chicago.

The live video and DVD version features one entire concert. The live performance at Berlin’s Waldbühne has been hailed by Collins as his best performance due to the energy of the German people after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The DVD presents an in-depth look at his solo concert experience. Special moments include the crowd not allowing the concert to continue with prolonged applause after “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” and the lighter vigil during “Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore”. (by wikipedia)


Along with being a multi-talented musician and an excellent songwriter, Phil Collins is one of the best live performers in rock. His songs usually stay true to their original form, he puts plenty of fire into his vocals, and best of all, every one of his in-concert qualities transfers well into album form. Serious Hits…Live! is a wonderful example of this, with not only 15 tracks, but 15 of Phil’s best tracks, performed with an overcharged amount of enthusiasm and energy. There’s an equal number of ballads and fast songs on the album, but even on the slow stuff, Collins puts a lot of passion and feeling into the lyrics. Efforts such as “One More Night,” “Do You Remember?,” and especially his best ballad, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” are heartfelt and unhindered. His moods shift easily without any false emotional dramatics, which in turn enhances the ambience of the songs. The tracks are taken from a number of shows during his Serious Tour in 1990, but his performance level remains enthusiastic the whole album through and the change of venues goes unnoticed, which is again another plus.


Collins is just as sharp on the quicker tunes, with some wonderful percussion filling in behind him. The drumming is stellar on “Easy Lover” and again on “Sussudio,” but the album’s only downfall is its lack of credits, leaving the identities of the musicians a mystery. The album makes up for this with a spine-chilling version of “In the Air Tonight” as Collins does a good job of capturing the song’s haunting air, and from here the album switches gears with “You Can’t Hurry Love” but doing so with undefiled perfection. Almost all of the songs here broke Billboard’s Top Ten, and five of these tracks hit number one, which makes Serious Hits…Live! truly live up to it’s name. (by Mike DeGagne)


Brad Cole (keyboards)
Phil Collins (vocals, piano, drums)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Daryl Stuermer (guitar)
Chester Thompson (drums)
The Phenix Horns:
Rahmlee Michael Davis (trumpet)
Harry Kim (trumpet)
Don Myrick (saxophone)
Louis “Lui Lui” Satterfield (trombone)
The Seriousettes (background vocals):
Bridgette Bryant – Arnold McCuller – Fred White


01. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (Collins/Stuermer) 5.00
02. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)  (Collins) 3.29
03. Who Said I Would (Collins) 4.28
04. One More Night (Collins) 5.49
05. Don’t Lose My Number (Collins) 4.42
06. Do You Remember? (Collins) 5.40
07. Another Day In Paradise (Collins) 5.36
08. Separate Lives (Bishop) 5.17
09. In The Air Tonight (Collins) 6.35
10. You Can’t Hurry Love (Dozier, E.Holland/B.Holland) 2.54
11. Two Hearts (Collins/Lamont/Dozier) 3.07
12. Sussudio (Collins) 7.14
13. A Groovy Kind Of Love (Bayer-Sager/Wine) 3.30
14. Easy Lover (Bailey/Collins/East) 4.46
15. Take Me Home (Collins) 8.39




The Christians – Colour (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Christians are a musical ensemble from Liverpool, England, who had the highest selling debut album of any artist at Island Records and international chart hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The name of the band refers to the surname of the three brothers that were originally in the line-up, and is also coincidentally guitarist Henry Priestman’s middle name.

Garry Christian (born 27 February 1955, Liverpool) (lead vocals), Roger Christian (born 13 February 1950; died 8 March 1998 from brain tumour) (vocals, instrumentalist), Russell Christian (born 8 July 1956) (keyboards, saxophone, vocals), and Henry Priestman (born Henry Christian Priestman, 21 June 1955, in Kingston upon Hull, brought up in Liverpool) (keyboards, guitars, vocals) formed the band in 1985. Paul Barlow (drums), Mike Bulger (guitar/vocals) and Tony Jones on bass were also early members. Because of a reluctance to tour, Roger left in 1987.

TheChristians01In Rock: The Rough Guide, critic Charles Bottomley, described them as “The Temptations in ripped jeans, producing gritty-centred songs in a sugary vocal shell”.

Colour is the second album by British soul group The Christians. It was released in January 1990 by Island Records and peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart. It also reached the Top 20 in several European countries due, notably, to the success of its lead single “Words”. (by wikipedia)

Given the obvious talent at the Christians’ disposal, it’s odd how uninspiring their music is. Gary Christian has a remarkable voice, soulful without resorting to the showy mannerisms that derail so many lesser singers. In his previous band, the Yachts, keyboardist Henry Priestman revealed himself to be one of the wittiest and most melodically subtle songwriters of the post-punk age, as well as one of its most immediately distinctive instrumentalists. The subtle melodicism is still there on 1990’s Colour, but the cleverness and distinctive personality are pretty much gone. The lyrics are uniformly po-faced and mushily inspirational, with none of the sparkling wit of the Yachts, and Laurie Latham’s ultra-slick production doesn’t even have the over-the-top sonic gimmickry of his earlier albums for Squeeze and Paul Young, making Colour musically indistinguishable from the likes of Phil Collins and Simple Minds.


Worst of all, the songs are absurdly elongated, stretching three minutes’ worth of musical and lyrical content into tracks that tend to stretch into the five- to seven-minute range. Despite the title, Colour is stultifyingly monochromatic. The closing “In My Hour of Need” is a charming sendoff, though, by far the most memorable track on the album. (by Stewart Mason)


Garry A. Christian (vocals)
Russell Christian (saxophone, vocals)
Henry Priestman (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Steve Ferrone (drums)
Pino Palladino (bass)
The London Community Gospel Choir (on 09.)


01. Man Don’t Cry (Priestman) 4.46
02. I Found Out (Priestman) 4.30
03. Greenbank Drive (Priestman) 4.25
04. All Talk (Priestman) 4.37
05. Words (Traditional/Priestman) 7.04
06. Community Of Spirit (G.Christian) 5.13
07. There You Go Again (Priestman) 6.00
08. One More Baby In Black (Priestman) 5.42
09. In My Hour Of Need (Priestman) 6.24



Labels.jpgThe labels of the vinyl edition


Strunz & Farah – Primal Magic (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgStrunz & Farah is a guitar duo with an eclectic sound that has been described as a cross between world fusion and flamenco.

Jorge Strunz, born in Costa Rica, and Ardeshir Farah, hailing from Iran, met in the United States in 1979. Jorge Strunz was one of the founders of the Latin jazz band Caldera. Caldera combined jazz, funk and rock with a wide variety of Latin music, influenced by 1970s fusion explorers like Return to Forever and Weather Report. The four albums Caldera released (none of which have been reissued on CD) did not sell, and the band called it quits in 1979.

Having both played guitar professionally since their early teens, Strunz and Iranian guitarist Ardeshir Farah soon teamed up and released their self-produced first album, “Mosaico”, in 1980, which started their own label, Selva Records. They soon caught the attention of Richard Bock, an important figure in jazz radio, who helped the duo land a contract with the jazz label Milestone.

Strunz & Farah have since released nineteen recordings together, several albums as a duo and collaborating with Rubén Blades (“Joseph and His Brothers” BMG, 1993) and with L. Subramaniam on two tracks (“Confluence” and “Shadow of Heaven”) on their debut recording, “Mosaico”.

The duo also worked with Sting on the album The Living Sea: Soundtrack from the IMAX Film as session musicians.

Their latest album, “Tales of Two Guitars”, was released in July 20, 2018. (by wikipedia)


Ottmar Liebert seemed to have the 1990 flamenco guitar market cornered, but a great promotional push helped L.A. club vets into the limelight with this tasty and contagious collection of jungle-fusion gems. What makes S&F work so well is the rapport their guitars have. Like Acoustic Alchemy with more ethnic elements, their nylon string flamenco stylings blend in a breezy yet melodic manner, accented with just the right amount of Rippington-esque percussion (by Long John Oliva and Luis Perez Ixoneztli) and touches of Charlie Bisharat’s violin on smoothies like “Twilight at the Zuq” and “Anochecer.” Heightening the excitement is the world music element — Strunz is from Costa Rica, Farah is from Iran, and their guest musicians hail from such eclectic lands as Colombia, Mexico, Cameroon, Cuba, and the U.S. This potpourri of influences makes Strunz & Farah’s sound one of the freshest in world music, even if the similar tempos of several of the tunes makes them hard to tell apart at times. Primal Magic creates this and much, much more. It’s a fun, involving listen, something to add to your “something unique” drawer. (by Jonathan Widran)


Charlie Bisharat Guest (synthesizer, violin)
Ardeshir Farah (guitar, percussion)
Leon Granados Engineer, Mixing
Guillermo Guzman (bass)
Joe Heredia (drums)
Luis Perez Ixoneztli (percussion, synthesizer, vocals, wind instruments)
Juanito Oliva (percussion, cajon)
Jorge Strunz (guitar, percussion)
Paul Tchounga (drums)
Katia Esperanza Tirado (percussion)


01. Bola (Strunz) 5.08
02. Twilight At The Zuq (Farah) 4.50
03. Ida y Vuelta (Strunz) 4.07
04. Rainmaker (Farah/Ixoneztli) 6.11
05. Huixamatli (Luna Llena) (Ixoneztli) 2.24
06. Canto Al Sol (Ixoneztli/Strunz) 5.10
07. Anochecer (Nightfall) (Strunz) 3.53
08. Tierra Verde (Strunz) 4.35
09. Zumba (Strunz) 3.46
10. Amazonas (Strunz) 6.42



Roy Hargrove – Diamond In The Rough (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgRoy Hargrove was a hard bop-oriented musician (and acclaimed “Young Lion”) who became one of America’s premier trumpeters during the late ’80s and beyond. A fine, straight-ahead player who spent his childhood years in Texas, Hargrove met trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis in 1987, when the latter musician visited Hargrove’s high school in Dallas. Impressed with the student’s sound, Marsalis allowed Hargrove to sit in with his band and helped him secure additional work with major players, including Bobby Watson, Ricky Ford, Carl Allen, and the group Superblue. Hargrove attended Berklee for one (1988-1989) before decamping to New York City, where his studio career took flight.

In 1990, the young Hargrove (he was only 20 at the time) released his first of five recordings for Novus. He often toured with his own group, which for several years including Antonio Hart. In addition to Novus, Hargrove also recorded for Verve and served as a sideman with quite a few notable figures, including Sonny Rollins, James Clay, Frank Morgan, and Jackie McLean, and the ensemble Jazz Futures. His Verve album roster includes 1995’s Family and Parker’s Mood. Habana (a Grammy-winning album of Afro-Cuban music) and Moment to Moment followed at the end of the decade. Hargrove also went on to contribute to well-received R&B albums by Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, but he also remained indebted to hard bop with such albums as 2008’s Earfood. A year later, Hargrove returned with his 19-member big band on Emergence. Sadly, Hargrove died in November 2018 at the young age of 49; he had been on dialysis for well over a decade and died from cardiac arrest associated with his kidney disease.


Trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s debut as a leader found him occasionally recalling Freddie Hubbard but already sounding fairly original in the hard bop genre. On a quartet version of “Easy To Remember,” Hargrove shows restraint and maturity in his lyrical ballad statement while featuring his strong bop chops on most of the other selections. Among the many other up-and-coming voices heard on this 1989 set are pianist Geoffrey Keezer (who contributes three originals and shows what he had picked up from McCoy Tyner), the fluid altoist Antonio Hart and drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr. Tenor-saxophonist Ralph Moore, pianist John Hicks and drummer Al Foster are also in the notable supporting cast. The one fault to the CD is that the performances and solos are often a little too brief, with all but “Whisper Not” in the 4-6 minute range. But for a debut, Roy Hargrove can still be proud of Diamond In The Rough. (by Scott Yanow)


Scott Colley (bass)
Al Foster (drums)
Roy Hargrove (trumpet)
Antonio Hart (saxophone)
John Hicks (piano)
Ralph Moore (saxophone)
Charles Fambrough (bass on 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)
Geoffrey Keezer (piano 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)
Ralph Peterson Jr. (drums on 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)


01. Proclamation (Keezer) 6.12
02. Ruby My Dear (Monk) 6.12
03. A New Joy (Hargrove) 6.03
04. Confidentiality (Hargrove) 4.59
05. Broski (Fambrough) 4.11
06. Whisper Not (Golson) 7.40
07. All Over Again (Hargrove) 5.47
08. Easy To Remember (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 6.06
09. Premonition (Keezer) 5.38
10. BHG (Keezer) 6.04
11. Wee (Best) 4.10




Roy Anthony Hargrove (October 16, 1969 – November 2, 2018)