The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band – Blues’n Dues Et Cetera (1991)

FrontCover1George Gruntz (24 June 1932 – 10 January 2013) was a Swiss jazz pianist, organist, harpsichordist, keyboardist, and composer known for the George Gruntz Concert Big Band and his work with Phil Woods, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Don Cherry, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, and Mel Lewis.

Gruntz, who was born in Basel, Switzerland, was also an accomplished arranger and composer, having been commissioned by many orchestras and symphonies. From 1972 to 1994, he served as artistic director of JazzFest Berlin.

He died at the age of 80 in January 2013. (wikipedia)

George Gruntz01

Born in Basle, Switzerland in 1932 he began his career as member of the Newport International Band at the Newport festival in 1958. During the sixties Gruntz toured throughout Europe as keyboarder for such as Dexter Gordon, Roland Kirk, Chet Baker, ohnny Griffin, Art Farmer. In 1968 and 69 he worked and recorded with Phil Woods European Rhythm Machine. 1973 The World Jazz Opera commissoned by the Paris State Opera – a collaboration with poet Amiri Baraka, several works of a similar scope followed. From 1970 to 1984 Gruntz was the musical director of the Zurich State Theatre and from 1972 to 1994 the artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Festival.

George Gruntz02

The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band (GGCJB) was founded by George Gruntz, Flavio and Franco Ambrosetti, Daniel Humair and manager Gérard Lüll in 1972. Over the course of the years the cream of modern jazz musicians played the compositions of GG in this unique orchestra (Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones, Bennie Wallace, Lee Konitz, John Scofield and many more) touring the globe. The GGCJB was the first large jazz orchestra to tour China with great acclaim in 1992 appearing in Bejing, Shanghai, Canton and Hong Kong. (


Pianist/composer George Gruntz had led his Concert Jazz Band for nearly 20 years at the time of this Enja CD. Although the personnel changes to a large extent every year, Gruntz’s principles for his music (all of which he arranges) have remained the same: utilize flexible virtuosi on a repertoire of originals drawn entirely from the band. This particular release combines such major players as altoist Chris Hunter, guitarist John Scofield, trombonist Ray Anderson, trumpeters Wallace Roney, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Michael Mossman, Marvin Stamm, John D’Earth and Franco Ambrosetti and tenors Bob Mintzer, Bob Malach and Jerry Bergonzi on a diverse and well-rounded set of unpredictable music. Anderson’s “Rap for Nap” is particularly odd. It’s well worth investigating. (by Scott Yanow)


Franco Ambrosetti (fluglhorn on 03.)
Ray Anderson (trombone on 02., 06. + 09.)
David Bargeron (euphonium on 01., 03. – 05., 07. – 09., trombone on 02., 06. + 09.)
Art Baron (trombone on 02., 06. + 09.)
Jerry Bergonzi (guitar on 01., 04. + 05.)
Randy Brecker (trumpet on 01., 04. + 05.)
John Clark (french horn on 01., 03. – 05., 07. – 09.)
John D’earth (trumpet on 02., 06. + 09.)
Jon Faddis (trumpet on 02., 06. + 09.)
George Gruntz (piano)
Chris Hunter (saxophone on 01., 02., 04., 05. + 09.)
Howard Johnson (tuba)
Bob Malach (guitar on 01., 02. 04., 05. + 09.)
David Mann (saxophone on 02., 04. + 09.)
Bob Millikan (trumpet on 01., 04. + 05.)
Bob Mintzer (guitar on 01., 04. + 05.)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Jerry Peel (french horn on 01., 03. – 05., 07. – 09.)
Jim Pugh (euphonium on 01., 03. –  05., 07. – 09.)
Mike Richmond (bass)
Wallace Roney (trumpet on 02., 06. + 09.)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone on 02., 04. + 09.)
John Scofield (guitar)
Marvin Stamm (flugelhorn on 03., 07. + 08., trumpet on 01., 02., 04. – 06. + 09.)
Dave Taylor ( (trombone on 02., 06. + 09., vocals on 09.)
The Lucifers Brass Ensemble (on 02., 06. + 09.)


01. Q-Base (Gruntz) 4.21
02. Datune (Anderson) 4.54
03. Forest Cathedral (Gruntz) 10.43
04. Blues ‘N Dues Et Cetera (Gruntz) 6.32
05. Two Friends (Gruntz) 8.52
06. Rap For Nap (Gruntz) 6.48
07. Sentimental Over Mental Food – In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington/Gruntz) 4.59
08. Giuseppi (Gruntz) 9.12
09. General Cluster (Gruntz) 10.48



George Gruntz04A

Natalie Cole – Unforgettable- With Love (1991)

FrontCover1Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She was the daughter of American singer and jazz pianist Nat King Cole. She rose to success in the mid-1970s as an R&B singer with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable” (1975), and “Our Love” (1977). She returned as a pop singer on the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”. In the 1990s, she sang traditional pop by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable… with Love, which sold over seven million copies and won her seven Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.

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Cole announced in 2008 that she had been diagnosed with hepatitis C, which is a liver disease that is spread through contact with infected blood. Cole attributed having the disease to her past intravenous drug use. Cole explained in 2009 that hepatitis C had “stayed in [her] body for 25 years, and it could still happen to addicts who are fooling around with drugs, especially needles.”

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Four months after starting treatment for hepatitis C, Cole experienced kidney failure and required dialysis three times a week for nine months. Following her appeal for a kidney on the Larry King Show, she was contacted by the organ procurement agency One Legacy, in May 2009. The facilitated donation came from a family requesting that, if there were a match, their donor’s kidney be designated for Cole.

Cole canceled several events in December 2015 due to illness; her last musical performance was a short set of three songs in Manila. She died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on December 31, 2015, at the age of 65. Cole’s publicist said the singer’s death was the result of congestive heart failure, which her family said was a complication of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which she had been diagnosed with after her kidney transplant in 2009. Her family said in a statement, “Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived… with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain unforgettable in our hearts forever.”

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Cole’s funeral was held on January 11, 2016, at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Eddie Levert, Mary Wilson, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Jesse Jackson, Angela Bassett, Denise Nicholas, Marla Gibbs, Jackée Harry and Freda Payne were among the mourners at the funeral. After the funeral, she was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Her grave is located in the central lawn area of the ‘Court of Freedom’ section, Garden of Honor; there is no public access to her grave. (wikipedia)

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Unforgettable… with Love, also known as simply Unforgettable, is the thirteenth studio album by American singer Natalie Cole. Released on June 11, 1991, the album includes covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. It was also her debut for Elektra Records, after being given her release from EMI Records.


The record was very successful in the pop, jazz, and R&B markets and was considered the major comeback recording that had been brewing since Cole’s late 1980s releases. The album was certified 7× platinum as of 2009 by the RIAA. The album won the 1992 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Engineered – Non-Classical, while the track “Unforgettable” (duet with her father Nat King Cole) won three additional Grammys: Record of the Year, Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and Arrangement Accompanying Vocals. The album also won Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Female the same year.


Two albums prior to this one (1987’s Everlasting and 1989’s Good to Be Back) also moved to Elektra after Cole signed with the label. Her uncle Ike Cole plays piano on the album.

As of 2016 the album has sold 6.2 million copies in the United States according to Nielsen Music.(wikipedia)

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A major change of direction for Natalie Cole, Unforgettable found the singer abandoning the type of R&B/pop she’d been recording since 1975 in favor of jazz-influenced pre-rock pop along the lines of Nat King Cole’s music. It was a surprising risk that paid off handsomely — both commercially and artistically. Naysayers who thought that so radical a change would be commercial suicide were proven wrong when the outstanding Unforgettable sold a shocking five million units. Quite clearly, this was an album Cole was dying to make. Paying tribute to her late father on “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” “Route 66,” and other gems that had been major hits for him in the 1940s and early ’50s, the 41-year-old Cole sounds more inspired than she had in well over a decade.


On the title song, overdubbing was used to make it sound as though she were singing a duet with her father — dishonest perhaps, but certainly enjoyable. Thankfully, standards and pre-rock pop turned out to be a primary direction for Cole, who was a baby when the title song became a hit for her father in 1951. (by Alex Henderson)


I was too lazy to type out all these names:


01. The Very Thought Of You (Noble) 4.16
02. Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) 3.25
03. Route 66 (Troup) 3.01
04. Mona Lisa (Evans/Livingston) 3.46
05. L-O-V-E (Gabler/Kaempfert) 2.31
06. This Can’t Be Love (Hart/Rodgers) 2.14
07. Smile (Chaplin/Parsons/Turner) 3.38
08. Lush Life (Strayhorn) 4.20
09. That Sunday That Summer (Sherman/Weiss) 3.31
10. Orange Colored Sky (Delugg/Stein) 2.27
11. A Medley: For Sentimental Reasons/Tenderly/Autumn Leaves (Best/Gross/Kosma/ Mercer/Prévert/Watson) 7.32
12. Straighten Up And Fly Right (Cole/Mills) 2.40
13. Avalon (DeSylva/Jolson/Rose) 1.51
14. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) 2.34
15. Too Young (Dee/Lippman) 4.32
16. Nature Boy (Ahbez) 3.24
17. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Sosenko) 3.25
18. Almost Like Being in Love (Lerner/Loewe) 2.11
19. Thou Swell (Hart/Rodgers) 1.50
20. Non Dimenticar (Dobbins/Galdieri/Prévert/Redi) 2.57
21. Our Love Is Here To Stay (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.29
22. Unforgettable (Gordon) 3.28



More from Natalie Cole:

Natalie Cole03

The official website:

Nigel Kennedy – Brahms – Violin Concerto (1991)

FrontCover1Nigel Kennedy (born 28 December 1956) is an English violinist and violist.

His early career was primarily spent performing classical music, and he has since expanded into jazz, klezmer, and other music genres.

Kennedy’s grandfather was Lauri Kennedy, principal cellist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra,[1] and his grandmother was Dorothy Kennedy, a pianist. Lauri and Dorothy Kennedy were Australian, while their son, the cellist John Kennedy, was born in England. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in London, at age 22, John joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, later becoming the principal cellist of Sir Thomas Beecham’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. While in England, John developed a relationship with an English pianist, Scylla Stoner, with whom he eventually toured in 1952 as part of the Llewellyn-Kennedy Piano Trio (with the violinist Ernest Llewellyn; Stoner was billed as “Scylla Kennedy” after she and John married). But they ultimately divorced, and John returned to Australia.

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Kennedy was born in Brighton. A boy prodigy, as a 10-year-old he picked out Fats Waller tunes on the piano after hearing his stepfather’s jazz records.[3] At the age of 7, he became a pupil at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music.[4] He later studied at the Juilliard School in New York City with Dorothy DeLay. While there he helped to pay for his studies by busking with fellow student and cellist Thomas Demenga.

Kennedy has about 30 close relatives in Australia, whom he visits whenever he tours there. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 16th album:

Cards on the table: I don’t greatly care how Nigel Kennedy chooses to present himself, either on the concert platform or on his record covers, provided he plays musically. I remember his reading of the Berg Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra last year, when he appeared looking like a misplaced extra for the Rocky Horror Show—and delivered a very creditable performance. Nor does the discovery that this disc bears the UK number NIGE3 send my blood-pressure soaring. That Kennedy’s name should be set in larger, bolder type than that of the composer on the front of the booklet (and on the disc) is a minor irritation, but anyone who is hoping that this review will turn into an extended rebuke Nigel Kennedy03for frivolity before the throne of high art is going to be disappointed.
So too, I have to say, are those who are hoping for a critical rave. Technically Kennedy’s playing as represented on this disc is beyond reproach—anyone who can play the finale’s flying thirds and sixths with such dash and precision plainly knows how to get what he wants out of the instrument. The performance is, as you would expect, highly idiosyncratic, though fortunately there’s nothing to match the controversial stylistic excursions of his Four Seasons (EMI, 11/89). Kennedy supplies his own cadenza for the first movement, but restricts himself to material already heard, and the working-out contains no big surprises—though I admit I expected something a little flashier.
But while there are no shocks, there are passages which require some indulgence. It isn’t just the very slow tempo of the first movement that bothers me—Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic put up a very good case for it—but the way that in places where the orchestral contribution becomes less obviously important, Kennedy seems inclined to treat the movement as a kind of colossal accompanied cadenza. He pulls the tempo about pretty freely, and brings his full resources of colour and expression to bear in a way that can yield beautiful passing details but more often saps passages of any sense of forward movement. Perhaps the most striking example comes in the coda. Many other violinists have taken Brahms’s tranquillo to imply a broadening out, but in his concern to wring the juices from every note, Kennedy brings the music near to stasis. Two other young players, Xue-Wei on ASV (see below) and Anne-Sophie Mutter on DG, are both fairly expansive here, but in both versions what really holds the attention is the way the high-soaring violin line seems to emerge in a single flight—it makes you want to hold your breath until the D major resolution at the animato. Hold your breath for Kennedy and you risk suffocation.

Booklet04AAfter this very slow first movement, the equally expansive Adagio (Kennedy takes two minutes longer than Xue-Wei, who isn’t exactly pacey himself) sounds dangerously close to more of the same. Nevertheless, there’s a stronger sense of shape and flow, and Kennedy’s plaintive soliloquizing can be effective. His direct, passionate manner in the F sharp minor central episode is quite stirring. I have to say though that there’s still a great deal here that I find over-coloured or over-characterized. Again, both Xue-Wei and Anne-Sophie Mutter present an ardent, young person’s view of this music, but they also manage to make of it something dramatically tauter. My ideal here—and in that wonderful first movement coda—is Oistrakh: less inclined to wear his heart on his sleeve, but leaving one in absolutely no doubt that he has one. Any of his three currently available versions (with Konwitschny for DG, Klemperer for EMI and Kondrashin for Le Chant du Monde/Harmonia Mundi) will show how restraint and expressive power can be a deadly combination. All the same there’s more than one way of approaching this music, and both Xue-Wei and Mutter show that you can be generous without giving too much away. Kennedy, for all his evident conviction, often weakens his expressive effects by working too hard at them.

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In the finale Kennedy comes rather closer to his two young rivals. There’s brilliance, zest and—at last—real drive. But while Xue-Wei doesn’t sound quite as polished, and the ASV recording is less pleasing, his is the performance that seems to take the risks—and to bring them off. In fact, the ASV disc feels more like a performance: not without its rough edges, but genuinely alive, and the coupling adds greatly to the appeal. Mutter’s disc is even shorter than Kennedy’s (a mere 40’13”), and again the sound falls short of the EMI refinement, but musically it’s better value. Having just listened to the Kennedy again for the fourth time, I’m more convinced than ever that what it lacks most of all is what Xue-Wei, Mutter and Oistrakh all—in their different ways—embody triumphantly. For want of a better expression, I’d call it a sense of wholeness. Kennedy’s recording has its good things, particularly in the second and third movements, but the feeling grows with each successive hearing that the overall impression is significantly less than the sum of the parts.’ (by Stephen Johnson)


Nigel Kennedy (violin)
The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Klaus Tennstedt


01. Allegro non troppo 26.12
02. Adagio 11.18
03. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace 9.16

Music composed by Johannes Brahms



Liner Notes

More from Nigel Kennedy:

Bob Dylan, Keith Richards & Friends – Something Else – Sevilla (1991)

FrontCover1A real rare and fine bootleg:

Guitar Legends was a concert held over five nights, from October 15 to October 19, 1991, in Seville, Spain, with the aim of positioning the city as an entertainment destination to draw support for Expo ’92 beginning the following April.

Five 90-minute shows and a one-hour documentary were broadcast. Forty-five countries showed at least one live show. Later, broadcasters in 105 countries broadcast one or more programmes. (

Festival Poster

.. a superb three-song acoustic set. A slightly-at-a-loss Richard Thompson embellishes Dylan’s plaintive singing and light strumming with some virtuoso acoustic guitar work. If ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’ might seem an obvious choice, covers of “Across the borderline’ and ‘Answer Me’ transcend their original selves. (Clinton Heylin; A Life of Stolen Moments)

What a line-up !!!

And listen to Dave Edmunds and his “Sabre Dance” … wonderful !

Recorded live at Auditorio de la Cartuja. Seville, Spain, 17 October 1991
(Leyendas de la Guitarra)


Jack Bruce (bass)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Robert Cray (guitar, vocals)
Steve Cropper (guitar)
Charlie Drayton (bass)
Bob Dylan (guitar, vocals)
Dave Edmunds (guitar, vocals)
Steve Jordan (drums)
Chuck Leavell (keyboards)
Edward Manion (saxophone)
The Miami Horns (horns)
Phil Manzanera (guitar)
Simon Phillips (drums)
Keith Richards (guitar)
Richard Thompson (guitar)
Terry Williams (drums)


01. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 6.09
02. Boots Of Spanish Leather (Dylan) 3.21
03. Across The Borderline (Cooder/Hiatt/Dickinson) 5.15
04. Answer Me, My Love (Winkler/Rauch/Sigman) 3.25
05. Shake, Rattle And Roll (Calhoun) 3.41
06. Goin Down (Nix) 5.16
07. Something Else (Sheeley/Cochran) 2.55
08. Connections (Jagger/Richards) 2.25
09. I Can’t Turn You Loose (Redding)
10. Sabre Dance ( Khachaturian) 3.55
11. Standing At The Crossroads (Jupp) 4.03
12. Phone Booth (Walker/Cray/Cousins/Vannice) 3.53
13. Going Back Home (Johnson/Green) 4.15



Chris Farlowe & Roy Herrington feat. The Rhythm ‘N’ Blues Train – Live In Berlin (1991)


Chris Farlowe always seemed destined for great things as a singer — and based on the company he kept on-stage and the people he worked with in the mid-’60s, he did succeed, at least on that level. Born John Henry Deighton in Islington, North London, in 1940, he reached his early teens just as the skiffle boom was breaking in England, and was inspired by Lonnie Donegan to enter music. His first band was his own John Henry Skiffle Group, where he played guitar as well as sang, but he gave up playing to concentrate on his voice, as he made the switch to rock & roll. He eventually took the name Chris Farlowe, the surname appropriated from American jazz guitarist Tal Farlow, and was fronting a group called the Thunderbirds, as Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds. They built their reputation as a live act in England and Germany, and slowly switched from rock & roll to R&B during the early years of the ’60s. Their debut single, “Air Travel,” released in 1962, failed to chart, but the following year, Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds (whose ranks included future star guitarist Albert Lee) were signed to EMI’s Columbia imprint, through which they issued a series of five singles thru 1966, all of which got enthusiastic critical receptions while generating poor sales.


In 1966, with his EMI contract up, Farlowe was snatched up by Andrew Oldham, who knew a thing or two about white Britons who could sing R&B, having signed the Rolling Stones three years earlier, and put him under contract to his new Immediate Records label. Immediate’s history with unestablished artists is mostly a story of talent cultivated for future success, but with Farlowe it was different — he actually became a star on the label, through the label. His luck began to change early on, as he saw a Top 40 chart placement with his introduction of the Jagger/Richards song “Think,” which the Rolling Stones later released as an album track on Aftermath. That summer, he had the biggest hit of his career with his rendition of the Stones’ “Out of Time,” in a moody and dramatic version orchestrated by Arthur Greenslade, which reached number one on the British charts. Farlowe had enough credibility as a soul singer by then to be asked to appear on the Ready, Steady, Go broadcast of September 16, 1966, a special program featuring visiting American soul legend Otis Redding — he’d covered Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful” on an Immediate EP, and now Farlowe was on stage with Otis (and Eric Burdon), and got featured in two numbers.


That was to be his peak year, however. The subsequent single releases on Immediate, including his version of the Stones’ “Ride on Baby,” failed to match the success of the first two singles, and he last charted for Immediate with “Handbags and Gladrags,” written for him by Manfred Mann’s Mike d’Abo. The label, always in dire financial straits, tried repackaging his songs several different ways on LP, but after 1967 his recording career was more or less frozen until the label’s demise in 1970. After that, Farlowe’s story became one of awkward match-ups with certain groups, including the original Colosseum on three albums, and Atomic Rooster (post-Carl Palmer). Following a car accident that left him inactive for two years, he made an attempt at re-forming the Thunderbirds in the mid-’70s, and “Out of Time” kept turning up in various reissues, but he saw little new success. Farlowe was rescued from oblivion by his better-known contemporary (and fellow Immediate Records alumnus) Jimmy Page, appearing on the latter’s Outrider album in the ’80s, which heralded a BBC appearance that brought him back to center stage in the public consciousness for the first time in two decades.


Farlowe followed this up with new albums and touring with various reconstituted ’60s and ’70s groups, and although he never saw another hit single, his reputation as a live performer was enough to sustain a career — nor did the release of his Ready, Steady, Go appearance with Otis Redding on videotape and laser disc exactly hurt his reputation; indeed, that was the first time many Americans appreciated just how serious a following he’d had in England. His recent albums, including The Voice, have gotten respectable reviews, and his Immediate Records legacy was finally getting treated properly in the 21st century, as well. Along with Manfred Mann’s Mike d’Abo and Paul Jones, Farlowe remains one of those voices from 1960s England that — with good reason — hasn’t faded and simply won’t disappear. (by Bruce Eder)


And Chris Farlow played for many years with Roy Herrington and his band:

Roy Herrington has been “on the road” for over 30 years – under his own name with his own band, as a guitar duo with Jens Filser and in collaboration with Supercharge, Chris Farlowe, Pete York, Jimmy Carl Black and others. Comparisons with other guitarists are superfluous:

“Roy the Boy” has long had his own style – sometimes bluesy and angry, sometimes rocky and snotty, but always with a good feeling and an amazing show.

Since some time, Roy Herrington live in Hattingen/Germany.

Roy Herrington01

“Live in Berlin” was recorded at Berlin/Franz Club, Germany on 17th & 18th of October 1991. The album is is a great blues/R&B album from the lesser known blues guitarist Roy Herrington from the small former coalmining town of Featherstone, Yorkshire, England. (“they say the blues is black”). Roy has been on the road for over 20 years with various R&B artists including Spencer Davis, Gene Conners and the Route 66 Allstars, as well as his own band. Roy´s guitar style was influenced by artists like Pat Martino, Link Wray, Barney Kessel and Buddy Guy. Roy penned two songs, Chris one. The remaining seven tracks are covers of blues/R&B standards by artists including Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker, and Michael Price and Dan Walsh. “Born in West Yorkshire” is a nine minute long guitar virtuoso piece by Roy but his guitar work throughout the album is terrific. The album also includes a great version of Chris singing “Stormy Monday Blues”. This album has been called “The best blues album ever made by a Yorkshireman.” (

The vinyl edition:

For the vinyl edition they limited themselves to the 6 best tracks of the concerts. The CD contains 4 tracks more. The beginning of the album with “Born In West Yorkshire” spreads a rousing live feeling. The atmosphere of cheering and screaming from the audience is captured very well. This is followed by “Thrill Is Gone” where Chris and Roy shift down a gear, making the imaging of voice and instruments more transparent without the music losing any of its tension. “Shakey Ground” is in no way inferior to the first tracks, simply great blues rock. Side B starts with “Ain’t No Love” this as well as the last two tracks are performed so rousingly that I can’t help but bob along. The recording is very well done for a live recording. The musicians are well represented on the imaginary stage. The live atmosphere is very well preserved, which gives this recording an authentic sound. What a pity not to have been there. But with this record I can conjure up an impressive blues-rock performance in my room at any time. Great fun for blues fans, I promise! (Sven Fandrich)

Recorded live at the Franz Club, Berlin, 17 /18 th October 1991


Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Roy Harrington (guitar., vocals)
The Rhythm ‘ n ‘ Blues Train:
Christoph Nehrer (bass)
Mickey Nehrer (drums, background vocals)
Bernd Rosenmeier (guitar)
Martin Schulz (keyboards, vocals)


01. Born In West Yorkshire (Herrington) 9.03
02. Crosscut Saw (Ingram/Walker/Ford/Moss/Sanders) 6.13
03. Thrill Is Gone (Darnell/Hawkins) 6.52
04. Shakey Ground (Boyd/Hazel/Bowen) 4.03
05. Chris´ Shuffle (Farlowe) 3.54
06. Ain´t No Love (In The Heart Of The City) (Walsh/Price) 7.27
07. Closer To You (Herrington) 4.38
08. Superstitious (Dixon) 4.28
09. Stormy Monday (Walker) 7:38
10 Givin´t Up For Your Love (Williams) 5.28




More from Chris Farlowe:

The official Chris Farlowe website (now deleted):

The official Roy Herrington websie (now deleted):
Herrington website

Randy Travis – High Lonesome (1991)

FrontCover1Randy Bruce Traywick (born May 4, 1959), known professionally as Randy Travis, is an American country music and gospel music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.[3]

Active from 1978 until being incapacitated by a stroke in 2013, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including 16 that reached the No. 1 position. Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, which sold more than four million copies. The album established him as a major force in the neotraditional country movement. Travis followed up his successful debut with a string of platinum and multi-platinum albums. He is known for his distinctive baritone vocals, delivered in a traditional style that has made him a country music star since the 1980s.

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By the mid-1990s, Travis saw a decline in his chart success. In 1997, he left Warner Bros. Records for DreamWorks Records and then for Word Records, where he began recording more Christian material. Although the career shift produced only one more number-one country hit “Three Wooden Crosses”, Travis went on to earn several Dove Awards, including Country Album of the Year five times. Since his stroke, which severely limited his singing and speaking ability, he has released archival recordings and made limited public appearances. In addition to his singing career, he pursued an acting career, appearing in numerous films and television series, including The Rainmaker (1997) with Matt Damon, Black Dog (1998) with Patrick Swayze, Texas Rangers (2001) with James Van Der Beek, National Treasure 2 (2007) and seven episodes of the Touched by an Angel television series. He appeared in two episodes of the crime solving television series, Matlock.

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Travis sold over 25 million records and has won seven Grammy Awards,[4] six CMA Awards, eleven ACM Awards, 10 AMA Awards, eight GMA Dove Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2016, Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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High Lonesome is the seventh studio album by American country music artist Randy Travis, released on August 27, 1991. Four singles were released from the album: “Forever Together” (#1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts), “Better Class of Losers” (#2), “Point of Light” (#3), and “I’d Surrender All” (#20). All of these singles except “Point of Light” were co-written by Travis and Alan Jackson. Conversely, Travis co-wrote Jackson’s 1992 #1 “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)”, from his album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love). (wikipedia)


High Lonesome is a mature record by a seasoned, forward-thinking country artist. Randy Travis, like George Strait and Alan Jackson, saw the new young bucks heading his way up the charts with a watered-down version of the country music he held sacred. And Travis is a direct descendent of the greats like George Jones and Merle Haggard as well as Jim Reeves and Ernest Tubb. Travis wanted to articulate his vision of the music further and entrench it deeper in its roots, which were beginning to give way to the faux rock and pop styles of Garth Brooks and his dire ilk, who wore bachelor pad curtains for shirts. Travis co-wrote five of the album’s ten tracks, including a trio with Jackson. Of those, “A Better Class of Losers” is the song that Brooks wishes he could have written. This is the angry side of the George Jones/Tammy Wynette version of “We’re Not the Jet Set.” Stinging dobros and Booklet03Apedal steels underline every one of Travis’ indictments of yuppie culture. In addition, “I’d Surrender All” shows the pair digging deep into the territory Conway Twitty inhabited before he urbanized his sound, and their “Forever Together” is as fine a country love ballad as the 1990s produced; it’s a song Hag would have been proud to record back in the day.

Another highlight is the mandolin and fiddle-driven waltz that comprises the title track. Written by the criminally undersung Gretchen Peters, it’s the long, slow ballad with dobros ringing in the background that was made for Travis’ amazing voice. He expresses without stretching; each phrase rings as true as the last. Kyle Lehning’s production is unobtrusive and clean, setting Travis in perfect balance with a band that feels live. Not to be outclassed in the honky tonk department, “Allergic to the Blues” is a politically incorrect swinging barroom anthem written by Jackson and Jim McBride. Keeping a woman hostage because of an unwillingness to experience pain and rejection is hardly tasteful, but this is a country song and the tongue is firmly placed in cheek in Travis’ read. The set closes with “I’m Gonna Have a Little Talk,” an awesome a cappella duet with Take 6. It’s country gospel elevated by the 6 to high tension rather than to differing versions of rural gospel. Take 6 is thoroughly modern, sophisticated, and glossy. Travis is so country he couldn’t be city if he tried to buy it. This wouldn’t have worked anywhere near as well if he had recorded the track with the Blind Boys of Alabama, but in this context, it puts a slick finishing touch on a fine album.(by Thom Jurek)


Russ Barenberg (guitar)
Eddie Bayers (drums)
Dennis Burnside (piano)
Larry Byrom (guitar)
Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Jerry Douglas (dobro)
Buddy Emmons (Pedal steel-guitar)
Steve Gibson (guitar)
Doyle Grisham (pedal steel-guitar)
Rob Hajacos (fiddle)
David Hungate (bass, emulator, trombone, trumpet)
Kyle Lehning (clarinet)
Chris Leuzinger (guitar)
Paul Leim (drums)
Larrie Londin (drums)
Mac McAnally (guitar)
Terry McMillan (harmonica, percussion)
Brent Mason (bass, guitar)
Mark O’Connor (fiddle)
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano)
Randy Scruggs (guitar)
Harry Stinson (drums)
Randy Travis (vocals)
Billy Joe Walker Jr. (guitar)
John Willis (guitar)
background vocals:
Carol Chase – Dennis Wilson – Curtis Young – Sherilyn Huffman – John Wesley Ryles – Lisa Silver – Dianne Vanette – Cindy Richardson-Walker
background vocals on 10:
Take 6

01. Let Me Try (Cannon/Shamblin) 4.02
02. Oh, What A Time to Be Me (Travis/Schlitz) 3.36
03. Heart Of Hearts (Henderson/Welch) 2.41
04. Point Of Light (Schlitz/Schuyler) 3.34
05. Forever Together (Travis/Jackson) 3.06
06. Better Class Of Losers” (Travis, Jackson) – 2:41
07. I’d Surrender All” (Travis, Jackson) – 3:36
08. High Lonesome” (Gretchen Peters) – 3:27
09. Allergic to the Blues” (Jackson, Jim McBride) – 2:28
10. I’m Gonna Have a Little Talk with Jesus” (Schlitz, Travis)- 2:42
featuring Take 6



More from Randy Travis:

The official website:

R.E.M. – Automatic For The People (1992)

FrontCover1R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from some of the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style; Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence, and obscure lyrics; Mills’s melodic bass lines and backing vocals; and Berry’s tight, economical drumming style. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left the band in 1997, the band continued its career in the 2000s with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011 with members devoting time to solo projects after having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music acts. (wikipedia)


Automatic for the People is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released by Warner Bros. Records on October 5, 1992 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and on the following day in the United States. R.E.M. began production on the album while their previous album, Out of Time (1991), was still ascending top albums charts and achieving global success. Aided by string arrangements from John Paul Jones, Automatic for the People features ruminations on mortality, loss, mourning and nostalgia.

Upon release, it received widespread acclaim from critics, reached number two on the US Billboard 200, and yielded six singles. Rolling Stone reviewer Paul Evans concluded of the album, “This is the members of R.E.M. delving deeper than ever; grown sadder and wiser, the Athens subversives reveal a darker vision that shimmers with new, complex beauty.” Automatic for the People has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide.


What would become Automatic for the People had its origins in the mixing sessions for R.E.M.’s previous album Out of Time, held at Paisley Park Studios in December 1990. There, demos for “Drive”, “Try Not to Breathe” and “Nightswimming” were recorded. After finishing promotional duties for Out of Time, the members of R.E.M. began formal work on their next album. Starting the first week of June 1991,[13] guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry met several times a week in a rehearsal studio to work on new material. Once a month they would take a week-long break. The musicians would often trade instruments: Buck would play mandolin, Mills would play piano or organ and Berry would play bass. Buck explained that writing without drums was productive for the band members.[14] The band, intent on delivering an album of harder-rocking material after Out of Time, made an effort to write some faster rock songs during rehearsals, but came up with less than a half-dozen prospective songs in that vein.

The musicians recorded the demos in their standard band configuration. According to Buck, the musicians recorded about 30 songs. Lead singer Michael Stipe was not present at these sessions; instead, the band gave him the finished demos at the start of 1992. Stipe described the music to Rolling Stone early that year as “[v]ery mid-tempo, pretty fucking weird […] More acoustic, more organ-based, less drums”. In February, R.E.M. recorded another set of demos at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studios in New Orleans.


The group decided to create finished recordings with co-producer Scott Litt at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York, starting on March 30. The band recorded overdubs in Miami and New York City. String arrangements were recorded in Atlanta. After recording sessions were completed in July, the album was mixed at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle.

Despite R.E.M.’s initial desire to make an album of rocking, guitar-dominated songs after Out of Time, music critic David Fricke noted that instead Automatic for the People “seems to move at an even more agonized crawl” than the band’s previous release. Peter Buck took the lead in suggesting the new direction for the album. The album dealt with themes of loss and mourning inspired by “that sense of […] turning 30”, according to Buck. “The world that we’d been involved in had disappeared, the world of Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, all that had gone […] We were just in a different place and that worked its way out musically and lyrically.” “Sweetness Follows”, “Drive”, and “Monty Got a Raw Deal” in particular expressed much darker themes than any of the band’s previous material and “Try Not to Breathe” is about Stipe’s grandmother dying.


The songs “Drive”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”, “Everybody Hurts” and “Nightswimming” feature string arrangements by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Fricke stated that “ballads, in fact, define the record”, and noted that the album featured only three “rockers”: “Ignoreland”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” and “Man on the Moon”.

“It pretty much went according to plan,” Litt reported. “Compared to Monster, it was a walk in the park. Out of Time had an orchestral arrangement—so, when we did Automatic, judging where Michael was going with the words, we wanted to scale it down and make it more intimate.”
A live version of “Drive” recorded at this November 19, 1992 show appears on Alternative NRG.
A live version of “Drive” recorded at this 11/19/1992 show appears on Alternative NRG.


Automatic for the People was released in October 1992. In the United States, the album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The album reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom, where it topped the UK Albums Chart on four separate occasions. Despite not having toured after the release of Out of Time, R.E.M. again declined to tour in support of this album. Automatic for the People has been certified four times platinum in the US (four million copies shipped), six times platinum in the United Kingdom (1.8 million shipped), and three times platinum in Australia (210,000 shipped). The album has sold 3.52 million copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan sales figures as of 2017.

Automatic for the People yielded six singles over the course of 1992 and 1993: “Drive”, “Man on the Moon”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Nightswimming” and “Find the River”. Lead single “Drive” was the album’s highest-charting domestic hit, reaching No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles charted higher overseas: “Everybody Hurts” charted in the top ten in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.[29]

A live, harder, version of “Drive” appears on the Alternative NRG, recorded at Athens’ 40 Watt Club on November 19, 1992, during an invitation-only concert supporting Greenpeace Action. A re-recorded, slower version of “Star Me Kitten”, featuring William S. Burroughs, was released on Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files. (wikipedia)

A live version of “Drive” recorded at this 11/19/1992 show appears on Alternative NRG:
Greenpeace Action

Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record — “Nightswimming,” “Everybody Hurts,” and “Sweetness Follows” have a comforting melancholy, while “Find the River” provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Bill Berry (drums, percussion, keyboards, bass, background vocals, melodica on 12.)
Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin, bass, bouzouki on 07.)
Mike Mills (bass, guitar, keyboards, accordion, background vocals)
Michael Stipe (vocals)
Scott Litt (harmonica, clavinet)
Deborah Workman (oboe on 01., 03., 04. + 11.)
Denise Berginson-Smith – Lonnie Ottzen – Patti Gouvas – Sandy Salzinger – Sou-Chun Su –  Jody Taylor

Knox Chandler – Kathleen Kee – Daniel Laufer – Elizabeth Proctor Murphy

Reid Harris – Paul Murphy – Heidi Nitchie

01. Drive 4.31
02. Try Not To Breathe 3.50
03. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite 4.09
04. Everybody Hurts” 5.20
05. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 2.16
06. Sweetness Follows 4.21
07. Monty Got A Raw Deal 3.17
08. Ignoreland” 4.27
09. Star Me Kitten 3.16
10. Man On The Moon 5.14
11. Nightswimming 4.18
12. Find The River 3.49

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



More from R.E.M.:

The official website:

Aretha Franklin – What You See Is What You Sweat (1991)

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.

Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. While her career did not immediately flourish, Franklin found acclaim and commercial success once she signed with Atlantic Records in 1966. Commercial hits such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”, propelled Franklin past her musical peers.

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Franklin continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976), before experiencing problems with the record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. The singer appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985) and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the Top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose”; later, she released an album with the same name.

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Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on the US Billboard charts, including 73 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles. Besides the foregoing, the singer’s well-known hits also include “Ain’t No Way”, “Call Me”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (a duet with George Michael). Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (1968–1975), a Grammy Awards Living Legend honor and Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked Franklin number one on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.[6] In 2019, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded the singer a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”. In 2020, Franklin was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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What You See Is What You Sweat is the thirty-third studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, released on June 25, 1991, by Arista Records. It peaked at #153 on Billboard’s album chart, dropping off after seven weeks. This was Aretha’s first new release in the Nielsen SoundScan era. (wikipedia)


“Yo, gang! let’s kick the ballistics!” shouts Aretha Franklin in the opening moments of “Everyday People,” her spirited house-music remake of Sly Stone’s classic hippie anthem. The song, which is heard in regular and remixed versions on What You See Is What You Sweat, is one of the high points of an album that credits nine producers and production teams. Although the material runs a gamut of styles, Franklin infuses her personality so indelibly into every song that somehow it all holds together.


“I Dreamed a Dream,” a stentorian ballad from the Broadway musical Les Miserables, is turned into an obstacle course of vocal challenges, with Franklin tossing around saucy embellishments and shivering melismata and bearing down so convincingly on the line “Tigers tear your dreams” that you can almost feel the teeth and hear the rips. Two Burt Bacharach-Carole Bayer Sager ballads, “Ever Changing Times” (a duet with Michael McDonald) and “Someone Else’s Eyes,” about the changes and identity crises in relationships, are effectively milked for their last drops of pop-psychology truth.


On the funky side, there is “Mary Goes Round,” a grown-up “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which sassily examines serial heartbreak. Two decent Franklin originals, the feisty “You Can’t Take Me for Granted” and the contemplative “What Did You Give,” find Franklin demanding respect with an intensity that has hardly diminished in more than two decades. The album’s biggest disappointment, “Doctor’s Orders,” is a trivial up-tempo duet with Luther Vandross that is too choppy to allow their voices to synchronize interestingly.

Because Franklin brings more spirit than usual to the record, What You See Is What You Sweat stands as one of her better albums. If the songs are uneven, they don’t prevent the Queen of Soul from exuberantly expressing the breadth of her musical personality, from regal pop-gospel diva to funky everyday person. (Stephen Holden)


Nat Adderley Jr. (keyboards)
Skip Anderson (keyboards)
Burt Bacharach (keyboards)
Jean-Marc Benais (guitar)
Dominique Bertram (bass)
Louis Biancaniello (keyboards, programming)
Vernon Black (guitar)
Michael Boddicker (keyboards, programming)
David Boruff (saxophone)
André Ceccarelli (drums)
Paulinho da Costa (percussion)
Candy Dulfer (saxophone)
Hubert Eaves III (keyboards, drum programming)
Thierry Eliez (piano)
David Foster (keyboards, programming)
Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano)
Larry Fratangelo (percussion)
Rick Iantosca (guitar)
Paul Jackson Jr. (guitar)
Oliver Leiber (keyboards, drum programming, guitar)
Michel Legrand (synthesizer)
Gene Lennon (programming)
Buster Marbury (drums)
Jason Miles (keyboards)
Marcus Miller (bass)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Onita Sanders (harp)
Charles Scales (synthesizer)
Peter Schwartz (keyboards)
Rudolph Stansfield (piano)
Joshua Thompson (keyboards, guitar, synthesizer)
Franck Thore (pan pipes)
David Townsend (guitar)
Al Turner (bass)
Guy Vaughn (drum programming)
Narada Michael Walden (drums, programming)
Randy Waldman (keyboards)
Teddy F. White (guitar)
Larry Williams (programming)
Elliot Wolff (keyboards, drum programming)
Bobby Wooten (keyboards, drum programming, synthesizer)
background vocals:
Cindy Mizelle – Jesse Richardson – Sandra Feva – Brenda Corbett – Fonzi Thornton – Diane Green – Sherry Fox – Portia Griffin – Margaret Branch – Jarvis Barker – Nikita Germaine – Skyler Jett – Jeanie Tracy – Tony Lindsay – Gwen Guthrie – Tawatha Agee – Donna Davis – Marj Harber – Esther Ridgeway – Gloria Ridgeway – Gracie Ridgeway

01. Everyday People (Stone) 3.51
02. Ever Changing Times (duet with Michael McDonald) (Bacharach/Conti/Sager) 4.56
03. What You See Is What You Sweat (Conley/Culler/Lennon/Thompson) 4.25
04. Mary Goes Round (Wolff/Leiber) 3.08
05. I Dreamed A Dream (Boublil/Kretzmer/Natel/Schonberg) 4.19
06. Someone Else’s Eyes (Roberts/Bacharach/Sager) 4.58
07. Doctor’s Orders (duet with Luther Vandross) (Vandross/Eaves III) 4.37
08. You Can’t Take Me For Granted (Franklin) 5.13
09. What Did You Give (Franklin) 5.02
10. Everyday People (Shep Pettibone Remix) (Stone) 4.08




More from Aretha Franklin:

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R.E.M – Out Of Time (1991)

FrontCover1R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from some of the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style; Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence, and obscure lyrics; Mills’s melodic bass lines and backing vocals; and Berry’s tight, economical drumming style. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left the band in 1997, the band continued its career in the 2000s with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011 with members devoting time to solo projects after having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music acts.


R.E.M. released its first single, “Radio Free Europe”, in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. It was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band’s first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years with similarly acclaimed releases every year from 1984 to 1988: Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant, Document and Green, including an intermittent b-side compilation Dead Letter Office. Don Dixon and Mitch Easter produced their first two albums, Joe Boyd handled production on Fables of the Reconstruction and Don Gehman produced Lifes Rich Pageant. Thereafter, R.E.M. settled on Scott Litt as producer for the next 10 years during the band’s most successful period of their career. They also started co-producing their material and playing other instruments in the studio apart from the main ones they play. With constant touring, and the support of college radio following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit with the 1987 single “The One I Love”. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.


R.E.M.’s most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), put them in the vanguard of alternative rock just as it was becoming mainstream. Out of Time received seven nominations at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, and lead single “Losing My Religion”, was R.E.M.’s highest-charting and best-selling hit. Monster (1994) continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three of the band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract ever. The tour was productive and the band recorded the following album mostly during soundchecks. The resulting record, New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), is hailed as the band’s last great album and the members’ favorite, growing in cult status over the years. Berry left the band the following year, and Stipe, Buck, and Mills continued as a musical trio, supplemented by studio and live musicians, such as multi-instrumentalists Scott McCaughey and Ken Stringfellow and drummers Joey Waronker and Bill Rieflin. They also parted ways with their longtime manager Jefferson Holt and band’s attorney Bertis Downs assumed managerial duties. Seeking to also renovate their sound, the band stopped working with Scott Litt, co-producer and contributor to six of their studio albums and hired Pat McCarthy as co-producer, who had participated before that as mixer and engineer on their last two albums.


After the electronic experimental direction of Up (1998) that was commercially unsuccessful, Reveal (2001) was referred to as “a conscious return to their classic sound” which received general acclaim. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in its first year of eligibility and Berry reunited with the band for the ceremony and to record a cover of John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” for the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur to benefit Amnesty International’s campaign to alleviate the Darfur conflict. Looking for a change of sound after lukewarm reception for Around the Sun (2004), the band collaborated with co-producer Jacknife Lee on their last two studio albums—the well-received Accelerate (2008) and Collapse into Now (2011)—as well as their first live albums after decades of touring. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, with former members having continued with various musical projects, and several live and archival albums have since been released.


Out of Time is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on March 12, 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 United States and the United Kingdom, spending 109 weeks on U.S. 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 more than four and a half million copies in the United States and more than 18 million copies worldwide.[2][3] 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 the band’s previous album Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992’s Automatic for the People. It features guest appearances by KRS-One and Kate Pierson from The B-52’s.


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, although it did make occasional appearances on television or at festivals. In Germany, it is the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, reaching 5×gold.[5] Out of Time was the first R.E.M. album to have an alternative expanded release on compact disc, including expanded liner notes and postcards. In Spain, a contest was held to have a limited edition cover with the winner being an abstract oil painting.

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.”[8] 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,”[8] 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.”[8] The bill was eventually passed in 1993 by Bill Clinton and was in effect January 1, 1995; one commentary later said this happened “in no small part because of R.E.M.’s lobbying.” (wikipedia)


The supporting tour for Green exhausted R.E.M., and they spent nearly a year recuperating before reconvening for Out of Time. Where previous R.E.M. records captured a stripped-down, live sound, Out of Time was lush with sonic detail, featuring string sections, keyboards, mandolins, and cameos from everyone from rapper KRS-One to the B-52’s’ Kate Pierson. The scope of R.E.M.’s ambitions is impressive, and the record sounds impeccable, its sunny array of pop and folk songs as refreshing as Michael Stipe’s decision to abandon explicitly political lyrics for the personal. Several R.E.M. classics — including Mike Mills’ Byrds-y “Near Wild Heaven,” the haunting “Country Feedback,” and the masterpiece “Losing My Religion” — are present, but the album is more notable for its production than its songwriting. Most of the songs are slight but pleasant, or are awkward experiments like “Radio Song”‘s stab at funk, and while this sounds fine as the record is playing, there’s not much substantive material to make the record worth returning to. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


This Stephen Thomas Erlewine review is fairly ridiculous in that they only give this classic REM album only 2.5 stars. Yet they go on to say in the review that there are indeed multiple all-time great pop songs on this record. Please. Any album with this many great songs, whether they be “over produced” or not, should get 4 stars minimum. (by David Haab)

There are not enough words to describe the beauty of “Out of Time”: the compositions, the lyrics, the soul imprinted in each moment of music. The AllMusic review and rating (?!) couldn’t be more off in so many ways… It’s true that it is mellow and experimental, but these songs will grow deeply into you. It’s a remarkable balance of southern rock, folk and pop. The more I listen to it (+20 years), the more I appreciate its subtlety and great execution. Not to forget that it contains two of the most iconic songs of R.E.M. (Losing… & Shiny…) (by Diego Felipe Reyes)


Bill Berry – drums, percussion, bass guitar on 08- + 10., piano on 04, background vocals)
Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin on 02. + 08.)
Mike Mills (bass, keyboards, percussion, vocals on 04. + 09.)
Michael Stipe (vocals, melodica on 05.)
Peter Holsapple (bass on 01. + 03., guitar on 01., 02., 06., 07., + 09.)
Ralph Jones (bass on 01., 03. – 06., 08. + 09.)
Kidd Jordan (saxophone, clarinet)
John Keane (pedal steel-guitar on 09. + 10.)
Kate Pierson (background vocals on 01., 06. + 11.)
Cecil Welch (flugelhorn on 05.)
violin on 01., 03. – 06., 08. +09.:
David Arenz – Ellie Arenz – David Braitberg – Dave Kempers

cello on 01., 03. – 06., 08. +09.:
Andrew Cox – Elizabeth Murphy

viola on 01., 03. – 06., 08. +09.:
Reid Harris – Paul Murphy

KRS-One (rapping on 01.)
Scott Litt (echo-loop feed on 01.)


01. Radio Song” (featuring KRS-One) – 4:12
02. Losing My Religion” – 4:28
03. Low” – 4:55
04. Near Wild Heaven” – 3:17
05. Endgame” – 3:48
06. Shiny Happy People” – 3:44
07. Belong” – 4:03
08. Half a World Away” – 3:26
09. Texarkana” – 3:36
10. Country Feedback 4.09
11. Me In Honey 4.06

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




The official website:

The Commitments – The Commitments Vol. 2 (1992)

FrontCover1The Commitments is a 1991 comedy-drama film directed by Alan Parker. A film adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel of the same name, the film tells a story of working class Dubliners who form a soul band. With a screenplay adapted by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, and Doyle himself, The Commitments is an international co-production between companies in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It was filmed on location in Dublin.

Jimmy Rabbitte aspires to manage the world’s greatest band, with only one music in mind: soul. Disgusted with bands in Ireland, he assembles a soul band in the tradition of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson MoviePoster1Pickett. Jimmy holds auditions at his parents’ home and assembles a group of young musicians. Unlike his idols, Jimmy’s band is white. With the help of Joey “The Lips” Fagan, the veteran musician of the band who has unlikely stories about meeting and working with famous musicians, Jimmy begins to whip the members into shape – coming together beautifully onstage, only to have the group fall apart in a clash of egos.

The Commitments gained a positive reception from critics, as it holds an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews.

The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.

An image of four of the actors, in character, was featured on an Irish postage stamp as part of the Ireland 1996: Irish Cinema Centenary series issued by An Post.[9] The image includes band manager Jimmy Rabbitte (portrayed by Arkins), along with the three female backup singers Imelda Quirke (portrayed by Ball), Natalie Murphy (Doyle) and Bernie McGloughlin (Gallagher).


And here´s the soundtrack, Volume 2:

Alan Parker’s adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s crackerjack novel The Commitments kept its focus on the music — the classic American R&B and soul the titular workingman band cranked out in pubs across Ireland. As a book and film, The Commitments was all about love of music, so it didn’t matter if the soundtrack offered workmanlike versions of oldies the band and audience knew by heart: as long as it was done with some, well, soul, the film would work, and the soundtrack would too.


In that sense, the Commitments were a cousin to the Blues Brothers, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s tribute to the very same music but where Jake and Elwood managed to hire Stax’s house band (such are the perks of stardom) , the group Parker assembled were working Irish musicians. This would seem to lend The Commitments some degree of authenticity and it does to a certain extent, as these guys can crank out familiar favorites without missing a step, but the description of working musicians suggests that there is some grit here, which there’s not. After all, this is music for a movie, so it is cleanly produced: the horns have a punch, the guitars are crisp, the drums tight and neat, all the better to showcase the bar band growl of Andrew Strong — his Otis worship comes out like Rod Stewart crossed with Mick Hucknall — and Maria Doyle’s salute to Aretha Franklin. All of this sounds fine, if a bit generic: these are great songs performed ably and if they’re not distinctive, they at least suit the spirit of the film’s open-hearted hero worship.(by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


The actors:
Andrew Strong – Angeline Ball – Bronagh Gallagher – Dave Finnegan – Dick Massey – Félim Gormley – Glen Hansard – Johnny Murphy – Kenneth McCluskey –  Maria Doyle –  Michael Aherne – Robert Arkins

The musicians:
Alex Acuña (percussion)
Angeline Ball (vocals)
Conor Brady (guitar)
Paul Bushnell (bass)
Robbie Casserly (Titel: A2 to A6, B3, B5)
Ronan Dooney (trumpet)
Eamonn Flynn (keyboards)
Carl Geraghty (saxophone)
Félim Gormley (saxophone)
Andrew Strong (vocals)
Fran Breehan (drums on 01., 07., 08. +10.)
Mitchell Froom (keyboards on 02. – 06., 09. + 11.)


01. Hard To Handle (Jones/Isbell/Redding) 2.24
02. Grits Ain’t Groceries (Turner) 3.44
03. I Thank You (Porter/Hayes) 3.40
04. That’s The Way Love Is (B.Strong/Whitfield) 4.08
05. Show Me (Tex) 2.57
06. Saved (Leiber/Stoller) 2.55
07. Too Many Fish In The Sea (Holland/Whitfield) 2.45
08. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) (Redding/Cropper) 2.52
09. Land Of A Thousand Dances (Domino/Kenner) 3.16
10. Nowhere To Run (Holland/Whitfield) 3.40
11. Bring It On Home To Me (Cooke) 3.42





More from The Commitments: