U2 – Achtung Baby (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgAchtung Baby  is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 18 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by criticism of their 1988 release, Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate influences from alternative rock, industrial music, and electronic dance music into their sound. Thematically, Achtung Baby is darker, more introspective, and at times more flippant than their previous work. The album and the subsequent multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour were central to the group’s 1990s reinvention, by which they abandoned their earnest public image for a more lighthearted and self-deprecating one.

Seeking inspiration from German reunification, U2 began recording Achtung Baby at Berlin’s Hansa Studios in October 1990. The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. After tensions and slow progress nearly prompted the group to disband, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song “One”. Morale and productivity improved during subsequent recording sessions in Dublin, where the album was completed in 1991. To confound the public’s expectations of the band and their music, U2 chose the record’s facetious title and colourful multi-image sleeve.

Achtung Baby is one of U2’s most successful records; it received favourable reviews and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 Top Albums, while topping the charts in many other countries. Five songs were released as commercial singles, all of which were chart successes, including “One”, “Mysterious Ways”, and “The Fly”. The album has sold 18 million copies worldwide and won a Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Achtung Baby has since been acclaimed by writers and music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. The record was reissued in October 2011 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its original release. (by wikipedia)

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Having spent a good part of the Eighties as one of the most iconic bands in the world, U2 hardly needs to resort to a cheekily absurd title to draw attention to its first album in three years. Then again, subtlety has never been one of the group’s virtues. In its early days and in its basic musical approach — a guitar, a few chords and the truth, to paraphrase one of Bono’s more garish assertions — U2 fell in with other young bands that cropped up in the wake of punk. But U2 immediately distinguished itself with its huge sound and an unabashed idealism rooted in spiritual aspiration. At their best, these Irishmen have proven — just as Springsteen and the Who did — that the same penchant for epic musical and verbal gestures that leads many artists to self-parody can, in more inspired hands, fuel the unforgettable fire that defines great rock & roll.

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At their worst … well, the half-live double album Rattle and Hum (1988) — the product of U2’s self-conscious infatuation with American roots music — wasn’t a full-out disaster, but it was misguided and bombastic enough to warrant concern. With Achtung Baby, U2 is once again trying to broaden its musical palette, but this time its ambitions are realized. Working with producers who have lent discipline and nuance to the group’s previous albums — Daniel Lanois oversees the entire album, with Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite assisting on a number of songs — U2 sets out to experiment rather than pay homage. In doing so, the band is able to draw confidently and consistently on its own native strengths.

Most conspicuous among the new elements that U2 incorporates on Achtung are hip-hop-derived electronic beats. The band uses these dance-music staples on about half of the album’s twelve tracks, often layering them into guitar heavy mixes the way that many young English bands like Happy Mondays and Jesus Jones have done in recent years. “Mysterious Ways” is a standout among these songs, sporting an ebullient hook and a guitar solo in which the Edge segues from one of his signature bursts of light into an insidious funk riff.

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Elsewhere, as in the fit of distortion and feedback that opens “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” Edge evokes the cacophony and electronic daring of noise bands like Sonic Youth. Indeed Edge’s boldness on Achtung is key to the album’s adventurous spirit. His plangent, minimalist guitar style — among the most distinctive and imitated in modern rock — has always made inspired use of devices like echo and reverb; his shimmering washes of color on “Until the End of the World” and soaring peals on “Even Better Than the Real Thing” and “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” are instantly recognizable. But other tracks find the guitarist crafting harder textures and flashing a new arsenal of effects. On the first cut, “Zoo Station,” he uses his guitar as a rhythm instrument, repeating a dark, buzzing phrase that drives the beat while his more lyrical playing on the chorus enhances the melody. Similarly, “The Fly” features grinding riffs that bounce off Adam Clayton’s thick bass line and echo and embellish Larry Mullen Jr.’s drumming.

Bono’s task, then, is to lend his sensuous tenor and melodramatic romanticism to expressions that match this sonic fervor. He announces on “Zoo Station” that he’s “ready to let go/Of the steering wheel”; what follows are the most fearlessly introspective lyrics he’s written. In the past, U2’s frontman has turned out fiercely pointed social and political diatribes, but his more confessional and romantic songs, however felt, have been evasive. On Achtung, though, Bono deals more directly with his private feelings — not to mention his hormones. “The hunter will sin … for your ivory skin,” he sings on “Wild Horses,” and boasts on “Even Better Than the Real Thing” that “I’m gonna make you sing/Give me half a chance/To ride on the waves that you bring.”

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Almost as surprising, and even more affecting, are Bono’s reflections on being an artist. On “Acrobat,” over an arrangement that recalls the apocalyptic frenzy of “Bullet the Blue Sky,” he pleads for inspiration: “What are we going to do now it’s all been said?” On “The Fly” self-doubt gives way to self-indictment: “Every artist is a cannibal,” he sings in a whispered groan, “every poet is a thief.” Squarely acknowledging his own potential for hypocrisy and inadequacy, and addressing basic human weaknesses rather than the failings of society at large, Bono sounds humbler and more vulnerable than in the past. “Desperation is a tender trap,” he sings on “So Cruel.” “It gets you every time.”

That’s not to say that U2 has forsaken its faith or that Bono has abandoned his quest to find what he’s looking for. On the radiant ballad “One,” the band invests an unexceptional message — “We’re one/But we’re not the same/We get to carry each other” — with such urgency that it sounds like a revelation. Few bands can marshal such sublime power, but it’s just one of the many moments on Achtung Baby when we’re reminded why, before these guys were the butt of cynical jokes, they were rock & roll heroes — as they still are. (by Elysa Gardner)

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Personnel:
Bono (vocals, guitar)
Adam Clayton (bass)
The Edge (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Larry Mullen Jr. (drums, percussion)
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Duchess Nell Catchpole (violin and viola on 06.)
Brian Eno (keyboards on 03., 09. + 12.)
Daniel Lanois (guitar on 01., 03. + 09., percussion on 04. + 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Zoo Station 4.36
02. Even Better Than The Real Thing 3.41
03. One 4.36
04. Until The End Of The World 4.39
05. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses 5.16
06. So Cruel 5.49
07. The Fly 4.29
08. Mysterious Ways 4.04
09. Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World 3.53
10. Ultraviolet (Light My Way) 5.31
11. Acrobat 4.30
12. Love Is Blindness 4.23

Music: Bono – Adam Clayton – The Edge – Larry Mullen Jr.
Lyrics: Bono

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Mick Clarke – Live At The Village (1991)

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Mick Clarke has become an established name on the international touring scene and has played regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA. Praised for his fiery “straight from the wood” guitar sound, Mick is the winner of the 2014 Artist Aloud Awards “Best International Act” and appeared at Sweden Rock Festival in June 2018, sharing the bill with metal legends Iron Maiden.

The Mick Clarke Band was established in the early 80s and has appeared on numerous festivals with artists such as Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa. Recent shows have included festival appearances in Italy, Belgium and India, and in July 2017 Mick appeared at the Mostar Blues & Rock festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mick has released nineteen solo albums so far.

Mick began his career with KILLING FLOOR part of the British blues boom of the late 60s. The band backed Texas blues guitar star Freddie King and toured with legends Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann and Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. Two albums were released – the first, “Killing Floor” is one of Classic Rock Magazines “20 greatest British blues albums 1967-1970”. In 2003 Killing Floor reformed for recording and tour projects, and recent live work has included several European blues and rock festivals.

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In the mid 70s Mick co-formed SALT with British singer Stevie Smith, a powerful blues-rock act who were a big hit in the UK playing regularly at London’s Marquee Club and other top venues. The band played at the Reading Festival and also opened for Muddy Waters at his first major London concert. In 1978 the band morphed into RAMROD with ex Rory Gallagher Band members Lou Martin and Rod De’Ath, touring in Ireland and again playing extensively in London, opening for Muddy at his Rainbow Theatre concert.

THE MICK CLARKE BAND originally started working around the London area in the early 80s, but quickly received offers of work from mainland Europe and the United States. Early festival appearances such as the Belgium R&B Festival in Peer confirmed their appeal for continental audiences, while the US tours established a world wide reputation for the band.

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Mick’s first solo album “Looking For Trouble” came out on the Italian label Appaloosa in the early 80s and sold well. More albums quickly followed including “West Coast Connection” recorded in Portland, Oregon with an all star line-up including Curtis Salgado, Rod DeAth (Rory Gallagher Band) and Dover Weinberg (Robert Cray Band). Later releases were on the German label Taxim, including the classics “No Compromise” and “Roll Again”. “Happy Home” on Mick’s U.S. label Burnside featured just Mick with Lou Martin on piano and some old favourite songs. “Live in Luxembourg” was Mick’s first live album, recorded in 2002 at the “Big Blues” in Luxembourg, and the 2007 “Solid Ground” contains thirteen original blues rock compositions.

“The Rambunctious Blues Experiment” was recorded at Mick’s home studio in Surrey, “Rockfold” and features Mick with Russell Chaney on drums and Dangerous Dave Newman on harp. “Ramdango”,”Crazy Blues” and 2015’s “Shake It Up” were also recorded at Rockfold, but by Mick alone, on a variety of instruments – real drums, but not MickClarke03necessarily all at once. The live “Ruff’n’Roar” showcases the band’s down home blues side, live in a small club with Chris Sharley on drums and Eddie Masters on bass. “Diggin’ Down”, “Bent Frets” and the current “Steppin’ Out” have continued Mick’s solo approach to studio recording, although “Steppin’ Out” features a guest appearance by harp player Dangerous Dave Newman.

Recent tours have included appearances at the Baden Blues Festival in Switzerland, “Blues Express” Luxembourg, “Rock at Sea” in Stockholm, Sweden, “Seven Nights to Blues” in France and the Bragdoya Blues Festival in Norway. In 2014 the Mick Clarke Band headlined the “Simply The Blues” Festivals in Mumbai and Bangalore, India. Recent European festival dates have included the Mostar Blues and Rock Festival, Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 2017.

In the U.S.A. Mick has appeared with artists such as Johnny Winter, Canned Heat, Foghat and C.J.Chenier. The Southern California Blues Society called him “One of the finest blues players to come out of England”.

The Mick Clarke Band usually features Chris Sharley on drums and Eddie Masters on bass, either as a three piece or augmented with Dave Lennox on keyboards or Dangerous Dave Newman on harp.

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In June 2018 Mick played at Sweden Rock Festival, one of Europe’s major rock events, with Chris Sharley and Stuart McDonald (Killing Floor) on bass. The festival was headlined by Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. A new single, Rick Derringer’s “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” was released on 24 May 2019 and In July 2019 the band headlines the Blues Night at the Karlshamn Baltic Festival, Sweden. (marshalamp.com)

And here´s a pretty good audience recording from 1991, done by my own … (shame on me … smile) … it was recorded live The Village , a small club in a very small village near Munich/Germany …

And if you love these fucking old hot and dirty Blues-Rock… you should listen …

Mick Clarke at his best …

MickClarkeBand1991The Mick Clarke Band, 1991, Zürich/Switzerland

Personnel:
Kerry Canfield (keyboards)
Mick Clarke (guitar, vocals)
Mike Hirsh (drums)
Dave Newman (harmonica)
Mick Phillips (bass)

And Mick Clarke is still alive and wel. Here´s a screentshot from his official website:

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Tracklist:
01. She Don´t Bother Me (unknown) 5.30
02. Looking For Trouble (Clarke) 4.52
03. Crazy Bout A Woman (Clarke) 4.31
04. Gypsy Woman (Morganfield) 8.24
05. Walking Blues (Johnson) 4.51
06. It Hurts Mee Too (James) 5.00
07. You Need Love (Dixon) 6.34
08. It Ain´t Easy (unknown) 5.22
09. Unknown track 5.02
10. I´m In The Mood (Hooker) 6.58
11. Nothin´ But A Fool (Clarke) 5.08
12. Walking My Myself (Rodgers) 4.44
13. TV Blues / Gone Too Long (Clarke) 8.10
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14. Live At The Village (Part 1) (uncut version) 42.06
15. Live At The Village (Part 2) (uncut version) 42.48

MC2A

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Ten Sharp – Under The Water-Line (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgTen Sharp is a Dutch band, sometimes labeled as a one-hit wonder group, because they are best known for their early 1990s hit song “You”, a hit in some European countries in 1991 and in others (such as the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 10) in 1992. The two band members are Marcel Kapteijn (vocals) and Niels Hermes (keyboards).

Niels Hermes also worked with Attie Bauw on the first single by Esther Amadea.

Streets was a local band formed in the beginning 1982, when the two rival bands Prizoner and Pin-Up came together in the same room. Influenced by Thin Lizzy, they started writing symphonic rocksongs and played mainly in Purmerend and around.

The first gig was at the Hutspop festival on March 3, 1982. The band at this stage was Marcel Kapteijn on vocals and guitar, Niels Hermes on keyboards, Martin Boers on leadguitar, Ton Groen on bass and Joop van de Berg played the drums. In the summer of ’82, Joop van de Berg was replaced by Wil Bouwes from Neon Graffiti. This would be the line-up until the break-up in 1987.

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In October 1982, the group was invited to record three songs at Vara’s Popkrant, which resulted in national airplay. In April 1983 they played live at KRO Rocktempel which brought them to several record companies, but no one seemed to be interested. Around the summer of 1983, Niels Hermes’ good old Fender Rhodes and ARP monophonic synthesizer were stolen. This resulted in buying the polyphonic Roland JX-3P and Yamaha DX7 synthesizers which caused a big change in sound.

Driven by this new impulse, they locked themselves in Fort Spijkerboor to write new songs to impress the record companies. When they got out in February 1984 with a brand-new demo, finally there was interest at CBS Records. In September 1984 they recorded three songs in Studio Spitsbergen with Michiel Hoogenboezem including a demo-version of “When The Snow Falls”. The plans were there to release the first single, until the record company found out there was already another band in the USA called TenSharp02Streets. The band had to change its name in October 1984. Ten Sharp was chosen because of the sound of the name.

“When The Snow Falls” was the first single, released in January 1985. The song ended up in the Tip-parade and Vara’s Verrukkelijke 15. It gave the band a lot of attention on radio and television. The second single “Japanese Lovesong” ended up in the charts (number 30) in July 1985, while having a busy schedule with live-performances through the club-circuit in the Netherlands. The next single “Last Words” failed to hit the charts and ended up in the Tip-parade in January 1986. The band shot their first video for the song.

After a year of recording demo’s and touring through the Netherlands, they recorded their fourth single “Way Of The West” in February 1987, a guitar-heavy rocksong which failed immediately. CBS Records was not happy with the song and dropped the band.[citation needed] On October 17, 1987 they played their last show in Hazerswoude as a 5-piece band.

Niels Hermes and Ton Groen did continue writing songs for other artists. In 1989 they contributed two songs for the National Songcontest, without success, and Niels played in the band of Conny Vandenbos.

After two years of songwriting, they asked Marcel Kapteijn to sing on the demos that already included “You” and “Ain’t My Beating Heart”. When Sony Music heard the demos they were very interested in the songs sung by Marcel, who was still fed up with the music business. Ten Sharp would be Marcel Kapteijn on vocals, Niels Hermes on keys and songwriting, and Ton Groen who provided the lyrics.

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It was the end of 1990 when they recorded 6 songs for “Under The Water-Line” at Studio Spitsbergen with producer Michiel Hoogenboezem. The name “Under The Water-Line” was chosen because of the way they liked to work: in the background.

The album was released on April 13 from 1991, together with the single “You”. The song became a national hit rapidly, and so did the album. By the time the single “Ain’t My Beating Heart” was released, the 7-track album was expanded to a 10-track full album. Also for release in other countries. After the singles “When The Spirit Slips Away” and the re-release of “When The Snow Falls” they released the song “Rich Man” in March 1992, which resulted in their third hit from the album. At this time, “You” was just released across Europe, enjoying a lot of success. The band toured through Europe to promote the single on TV and radio stations. Because of the line-up, live performances were done only with piano and vocals, sometimes joined by Tom Barlage on saxophone. This continued until the fall of 1992.

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Under The Water-Line is the debut album from the Dutch band Ten Sharp and contains the hit singles “You”, “Ain’t My Beating Heart” and “Rich Man”. The album was released in March 1991 with 7 tracks, but by the time “You” became a national hit the album was expanded in April of the same year with three new songs to make it a full 10-tracks album. The album itself entered the top ten in Norway, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.

The LP version of this album plays an early version of “Rich Man”. This version is half a minute longer.

The song “When the Snow Falls” was previously released as a single in January 1985. The version that appears on the album contains the single version combined with the atmospheric intro of the extended version. (by wikipedia)

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I watched the Ten Sharp’s single from this album, YOU in 1992 at MTV. This dutch band has created an amazing album which has surprisingly not broken records, inspite of songs like “Ain’t my beating heart” and the mesmerising “When the spirit slips away”. Wish their record label Epic / Columbia invested more in marketing this album. We would have perhaps heard more of this group. (by Anurag Pathak)

I guess, this album is more for romantic women, but not for me … even I´m a romantic guy, too.

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Personnel:
Niels Hermes (all instruments, programming)
Marcel Kapteijn (vocals)
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Tom Barlage (saxophone)
Martin Boers (guitar on 09.)
Wil Bouwes (drums on 09.)
Hugo de Bruin (guitar on 03.)
Ton Groen (bass on 09.)
Rob Jansen (drums on 03. + 10.)
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Stylus Horns (horns on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. You (Hermes/Groen) 4.34
02. When The Spirit Slips Away (Hermes/Groen) 4.45
03. Rich Man (Hermes/Groen) 4.14
04. Ain’t My Beating Heart (Hermes/Groen) 4.15
05. Lonely Heart (Hermes/Groen/Kapteijn) 4.55
06. Who Needs Women (Hermes/Groen) 4.41
07. Some Sails (Hermes/Groen) 4.16
08. Ray (Hermes/Groen) 4.01
09. When The Snow Falls (Hermes/Kapteijn) 5.15
10. Closing Hour (Hermes/Groen) 3.58

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Ten Sharp is still alive and well … here´s a screenshot from the website in 2019:

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Bryan Adams – Waking Up The Neighbours (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgWaking Up the Neighbours is the sixth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams, released on 24 September 1991. The album was recorded at Battery Studios in London, and at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, mixed at Mayfair Studios in London, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk in New York City. The album reached the number one position on the album charts of at least eight countries. Its first single, “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” was number 1 on the British charts for a record sixteen weeks. The album sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.

The album was recorded at Battery Studios in England and the Warehouse Studios in Canada. Recording began in March 1990, and along with mixing, finished in June 1991. Robert John “Mutt” Lange, previously known for his work with AC/DC, Foreigner, and Def Leppard, was helping Adams writing the songs for his next album. Adams spent much of his time in Hindhead and London, England with Lange working on his sixth album.

“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” was the most successful single off the album, and has become one of the most successful songs of all time, having spent seven weeks at number one in the United States’ Billboard Hot 100, sixteen consecutive weeks at Bryan Adams1number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, eleven weeks on the Dutch Top 40 and nine weeks at number 1 on the Canadian singles chart in Canada. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television at the 1992 Grammy Awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song of 1991.

The song came about when Adams was approached to write something by the producers of the then-upcoming Kevin Costner film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and was asked to work on a theme song. He was provided a tape of orchestration written by the composer of the film score, Michael Kamen. With this, he and Lange used a section of Michael’s orchestration and created “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, which was then placed deep into the closing credits of the film when it opened on June 14, 1991. The song went to number 1 in the United Kingdom the week before the film’s British release and went on to top the charts in 16 countries and sold over 10 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the biggest selling singles of all time.[8] The song was nominated for an Academy Award but won a Grammy Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture. Years later when the BBC asked Bryan (about the recent acoustic live version from his Bare Bones CD), “Do you ever get bored of hearing your record-breaking hit ‘Everything I Do’?” Bryan said “Of course not. What a silly question.”

“Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” was the second single from the album. A rock song in contrast to “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Prince’s “Cream”. “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” received two nominations at the Grammy Awards of 1992 for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, Solo, winning none.

Singles

“There Will Never Be Another Tonight” was the third single from the album. The title came from a fragment Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance wrote in late 1980s. The phrase was written into the song in the end of 1990 and released on Adams’ album in 1991.

“Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven” was the fourth single released from Waking up the Neighbours. Written by Mutt Lange and Bryan Adams the song was the first song written for the album. “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven” reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #14 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. In the UK, it reached #8.

“All I Want Is You”, “Do I Have to Say the Words?” (#11 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “Touch the Hand” were also released as singles but didn’t get the heavy rotation as the first four singles released.

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Waking Up the Neighbours was co-produced by Adams and Mutt Lange, and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200. The album was released in September 1991 and album and single topped the charts in many countries with “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” spending record-breaking 16 weeks at number one on UK Singles Chart and topped the charts in 17 countries. It also made record-breaking sales of 4 million copies in the US.[18] Canadian content regulations were revised in 1991 to allow radio stations to credit airplay of this album towards their legal requirements to play Canadian music. The album has become Adams second best-selling album worldwide. Adams won a Grammy Award in 1992 for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television for “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”. (by wikipedia)

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Although not as good as Reckless, Bryan Adams’ 1991 album, Waking up the Neighbours, signaled his commercial apex. Bridging the time gap between ’80s arena rock and ’90s angst-ridden grunge, the album also ushered in an era in which Adams became more known for his sweeping power ballads than his straight-ahead rock tunes. This album, filled with nearly 75 minutes of showstopping arena rockers and mid-tempo ballads, churned out no less than five hit singles, the most notable being the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves theme “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” That ballad spent seven weeks atop the U.S. pop charts, becoming the longest-reigning American chart-topper since Prince’s “When Doves Cry” seven years earlier. The song also became a phenomenon in Europe, becoming Adams’ biggest hit ever.

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Other singles which followed included the joyous rocker “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,” which became a number two hit, the mid-tempo ballads “Do I Have to Say the Words” and “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven,” and the fun, straight-ahead rocker “There Will Never Be Another Tonight.” Waking up the Neighbours was co-produced by Robert Jon “Mutt” Lange, and as a result, many of these songs sound as though they could have easily been Def Leppard recordings, especially “All I Want Is You,” which sounds like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” part two. Nonetheless, Waking up the Neighbours is a fun album and perfect for those who expect nothing more than an old-fashioned good time from their rock & roll. (by Jose F. Promis)

Oh yes … Bryan Adams knows how to rock … listen and enjoy the power of Bryan Adams !

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Personnel:
Bryan Adams (vocals. guitar)
Mickey Curry (drums)
Tommy Mandel (organ)
Keith Scott (guitar)
Dave Taylor (bass)
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Robbie King (organ)
Larry Klein (bass)
Phil Nicholas (keyboards, programming)
Bill Payne (keyboards)
Ed Shearmur (keyboards)
The Tuck Back Twins (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya? (Adams/Lange) 4.40
02. Hey Honey – I’m Packin’ You In (Adams/Lange/Russell/Scott 3.59
03. Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (Adams/Lange) 4.29
04. Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven (Adams/Lange) 5.48
05. Not Guilty (Adams/Lange) 4.12
06. Vanishing (Adams/Lange) 5.03
07. House Arrest (Adams/Lange/Vallance) 3.57
08. Do I Have To Say The Words? (Adams/Lange/Vallance) 6.11
09. There Will Never Be Another Tonight (Adams/Lange/Vallance) 4.40
10. All I Want Is You (Adams/Lange) 5.20
11. Depend On Me (Adams/Lange/Vallance) 5.07
12. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You (Adams/Lange/Kamen) 6.34
13. If You Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come Too?) (Adams/Lange) 4.43
14. Touch The Hand (Adams/Lange) 4.05
15. Don’t Drop That Bomb On Me (Adams/Lange) 6.02

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Wayne Kramer – Death Tongue (1991)

FrontCover1As one component of the legendary MC5, guitarist Wayne Kramer helped create the soundtrack for a revolution that never came — but not for lack of trying. With its proto-metal-cum-free-jazz-scree rock’n’roll, the Five gave voice to the dope, guns and fucking in the streets discourse that exploded from Detroit, homebase of the radical White Panther organization for which they served as de facto house band. When the MC5 sank into a morass of drug abuse and lethargy after adviser John Sinclair was sent to prison on drug possession charges (a predicament that befell the guitarist a decade or so later), Kramer went into semi-retirement.

The counter-counterculture agitator re-emerged around 1980 to join Johnny Thunders in Gang War, a dead-end partnership documented only on a ten-years-after album of live tracks and studio scraps. Collaboration with writer/ex-Deviant Mick Farren proved far more successful. Following a mid-’80s live album as the resurrected Deviants, the pair created “an R&B musical,” Who Shot You Dutch?, which flourished in live performance in New York for a good while; musically, the songs documented on the 12-inch hold up today.

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With Farren and New York scene vet John Collins (guitar/vocals) billed and pictured on the cover, Death Tongue is a literal continuation of that project. “Who Shot You Dutch?” appears on the ten-track CD, along with a ludicrous put-on version of “MacArthur Park” and originals written by various permutations of the trio. Cheap production and dime-store drumming keep Death Tongue in the margins, but the down-in-the-mouth rockers (“Spend the Rent”), resistible come-ons (“Take Your Clothes Off”), angry missives (“Negative Girls”), poignant reflection (“The Scars Never Show”) and the cheery MC5-like riptide of “Fun in the Final Days” do limber Kramer up for his next major campaign. (Farren and Collins, meanwhile, continued on as Tijuana Bible.) (by Trouser Press)

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Personnel:
John Collins (vocals, guitar)
Mick Farren (vocals)
Wayne Kramer (guitar, bass, vocals)
Sgt. Jeff McGowan (piano, synthesizer)
Ed Steinberg (drums)
Sgt. Herman Wright (saxophone)
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background vocals:
Ellard Boles – Hank Bones – Sherryl Marshall

on “Who Shot You Dutch”:
Ellard Boles (bass)
Charlie Giordano (keyboards)
Wayne Kramer (guitar, vocals)
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vocals:
Dave Diario – Ellard Boles – Henry Beck – Ina May Wool – Sherryl Marshall

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Tracklist:
01. Take Your Clothes Off (Collins/Farren/Kramer) 3.26
02. Spike Heels (Collins/Farren/Kramer) 4.03
03.  Spend The Rent (Collins/Farren/Kramer) 4.43
04. Negative Girls (Kramer) 4.38
05. Death Tongue (Collins/Farren/Kramer) 5.13
06. Leatherskull (Farren/Kramer) 4.45
07. The Scars Never Show (Collins/Farren) 4.42
08. MacArthur Park (Webb) 5.16
09. Fun In The Final Days (Collins/Farren/Kramer) 3.31
10. Who Shot You Dutch (Farren/Kramer) 6.21

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Wayne Kramer

Wind Machine – Voices In The Wind (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgSince its inception in 1986, Wind Machine has excelled at creating guitar-based music that dabbles in styles ranging from blues and bluegrass to jazz, rock, and new-age atmospherics. Core members Steve Mesple, Joe Scott, and Blake Eberhard utilize a vast arsenal of instruments ranging from mandolin, dobro, banjo, and some of their own guitar-hybrid inventions to trombone, harmonica, and fretless bass. (by Linda Kohanov)

Silver Wave was the place in the early ’90s for artists whose music was a little light to be jazz, but a bit too interesting to be new age. After wonderful efforts that year by Peter Kater and Steve Haun, another Colorado band hit the melodic mark in the form of Wind Machine. Voices in the Wind is smooth and delectable if hardly challenging, and the most remarkable thing is that the least impressive aspect of the guitar driven ensemble is the guitar work. More remarkable are the keyboard and bass solos. Acoustic and electric guitarist Steve Mesple is a fine composer, though he tends to play it safe, and his son Taylor’s acoustic work gives the disc atmosphere, while Michael Olson’s fluid basslines provide some moodiness. Rounding out the Mesple family affair is second son Ethan with the unobtrusive percussion. (by Jonathan Widran)

Last week my mother-in-law passed away, today I have to go the funeral … this is the perfect soundtrack for this event.

Wind Machine

Personnel:
Ethan Mesple (percussion)
Steve Mesplé (guitar, vocals)
Taylor Mesple (keyboards, saxophone, vocals)
Michael Olson (bass, vocals)
Joe Scott (guitar, guitjo, vocals)
Larry Thompson (drums)
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Blake Eberhard (bass)
Greg Fisher (vocals)
Franklin Quezada (vocals)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Voices In The Wind (T.Mesple/S.Mesplé) 5.59
02. Millwood Junction (S.Mesplé) 4.20
03. River Of Lost Souls (S.Mesplé) 5.30
04. After The Storm (S.Mesplé) 4.43
05. Franklin (S.Mesplé) 5.47
06. Our Salvadoran Brothers (Nuetros Hermanos de el Salvador) (S.Mesplé) 4.06
07. Cottonwood (S.Mesplé) 5.11
08. Sixth Sense (S.Mesplé) 5.10
09. Sunset Crossing (S.Mesplé) 5.32
10. Highway To The Sun (S.Mesplé) 4.39
11. Postscript (S.Mesplé) 4.52
12.  Soldiers Of Destiny (S.Mesplé) 4.42

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Helen Merrill – Live At The Château Beychevelle (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgHelen Merrill (born Jelena Ana Milcetic July 21, 1930) is an American jazz vocalist. Her first album, the eponymous 1955 release Helen Merrill, was an immediate success and associated her with the first generation of bebop jazz musicians. After a prolific 1950s and ’60s when she recorded with Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown, Merrill spent time recording and touring in Europe and Japan, falling into obscurity in the United States. In the 1980s and ’90s, a contract with Verve Records and high-profile performances in America returned her to prominence. Noted for her emotional, sensual vocal performances, her career continues in its sixth decade with concerts and recordings.

Jelena Ana Milcetic was born in New York City in 1930 to Croatian immigrant parents. She began singing in jazz clubs in the Bronx in 1944 when she was fourteen. By the time she was sixteen, Merrill had taken up music full-time. In 1952, Merrill made her recording debut when she was asked to sing “A Cigarette For Company” with the Earl Hines Band; the song was released on the D’Oro label, created specifically to record Hines’ band with Merrill. Etta Jones  was in Hines’ band at the time and she too sang on this session, which was reissued on the Xanadu label in 1985. At this time Merrill was married to musician Aaron Sachs. They divorced in 1956.

Helen Merrill01Merrill was signed by Mercury Records to their EmArcy label. In 1954, Merrill recorded her first LP, an eponymous record featuring trumpeter Clifford Brown[9] and bassist Oscar Pettiford. The album was produced and arranged by Quincy Jones, who was twenty-one years old. The success of Helen Merrill prompted Mercury to sign her for an additional four-album contract.

Merrill’s follow-up to Helen Merrill was the 1956 LP, Dream of You, which was produced and arranged by arranger and pianist Gil Evans. His arrangements for Merrill laid the foundation for his work with Miles Davis.

After recording sporadically through the late 1950s and 1960s, Merrill spent much of her time touring Europe, where she enjoyed more commercial success than she had in the United States. She settled for a time in Italy, recording an album there and doing concerts with jazz musicians Piero Umiliani, Chet Baker, Romano Mussolini, and Stan Getz. In 1960 arranger and composer Ennio Morricone, noted for his film scores, worked with Merrill on an EP, Helen Merrill Sings Italian Songs, on the RCA Italiana label.

Parole e Musica: Words and Music was recorded in Italy with Umiliani’s orchestra in the early 1960s while Merrill was living there. The LP features the unusual additions preceding each song, of spoken translations of eloquent Italian word lyrics, complementing the ballads and torch songs.

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She returned to the U.S. in the 1960s, but moved to Japan in 1966, staying after touring there and marrying Donald J. Brydon (of United Press International) in April 1967. She developed a following in Japan that remains strong to this day. In addition to recording while in Japan, Merrill became involved in other aspects of the music industry, producing albums for Trio Records  and co-hosting a show on FEN (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service) with Bud Widom in Tokyo.

Merrill returned to the U.S. in 1972. She recorded a bossa nova album, a Christmas album, and a Rodgers and Hammerstein album. In 1987, she and Gil Evans recorded fresh arrangements of Dream of You released under the title Collaboration, becoming the most critically acclaimed of Merrill’s albums in the 1980s.

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In 1987 she co-produced Billy Eckstine Sings with Benny Carter. In 1995 she recorded Brownie: Homage to Clifford Brown. Jelena Ana Milcetic a.k.a. Helen Merrill (2000) draws from her Croatian heritage as well as her American upbringing. The album combines jazz, pop, and blues songs with traditional Croatian songs sung in Croatian. She released the album Lilac Wine in 2003.

Merrill has been married three times, first to musician Aaron Sachs, second to UPI vice president Donald J. Brydon, and third to arranger-conductor Torrie Zito.

She has one child from her first marriage, known professionally as Alan Merrill, who is a singer and songwriter who wrote and recorded the original (1975) version of the rock classic “I Love Rock N Roll” as lead vocalist of the British band Arrows. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a nive,very intimate concert from 1991 with a lot of classics from the golden days of Jazz  … what a great Lady of Jazz !

Recorded live at the Château Beychevelle, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, France; May 25, 1991. Very good FM broadcast.

Gordon Beck

Personnel:
Gordon Beck (piano)
Helen Merrill (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. My Favorite Things (Rodgers/Hammerstein II) 3.56
02. When Lights Are Low (Carter/Williams) 3.43
03. 
Time After Time (Cahn/Styne) 5.24
04. 
Just Friends (Klenner/Lewis) 3.17
05. 
Summertime (Gershwin/Heyward) 4.30
06. 
When I Look In Your Eyes (Bricusse) 7.23
07. 
What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter) 3.27
08. 
Bill (Beck) 5.50
09. 
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (Porter) 3.49
10. 
The Thrill Is Gone (Brown/Henderson) 3.34
11. 
Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) 3.07
12. 
I Love Paris (Porter) 4.53

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