Marianne Faithfull – Weill – The Seven Deadly Sins (1998)

FrontCover1Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull (born 29 December 1946) is an English singer and actress. She achieved popularity in the 1960s with the release of her hit single “As Tears Go By” and became one of the lead female artists during the British Invasion in the United States.

Born in Hampstead, London, Faithfull began her career in 1964 after attending a Rolling Stones party, where she was discovered by Andrew Loog Oldham. Her debut album Marianne Faithfull (1965) (released simultaneously with her album Come My Way) was a commercial success followed by a number of albums on Decca Records. From 1966 to 1970, she had a highly publicised romantic relationship with Mick Jagger. Her popularity was further enhanced by her film roles, such as those in I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname (1967), The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), and Hamlet (1969). However, her popularity was overshadowed by personal problems in the 1970s. During that time she was anorexic, homeless, and a heroin addict.

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Noted for her distinctive voice, Faithfull’s previously melodic and higher-registered vocals (which were prevalent throughout her career in the 1960s) were affected by severe laryngitis, coupled with persistent drug abuse during the 1970s, permanently altering her voice, leaving it raspy, cracked and lower in pitch. This new sound was praised as “whisky soaked” by some critics and seen as having helped to capture the raw emotions expressed in Faithfull’s music.

After a long commercial absence, Faithfull made a comeback with the 1979 release of her critically acclaimed album Broken English. The album was a commercial success and marked a resurgence of her musical career. Broken English earned Faithfull a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and is often regarded as her “definitive recording”.

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She followed this with a series of albums, including Dangerous Acquaintances (1981), A Child’s Adventure (1983), and Strange Weather (1987). Faithfull also wrote three books about her life: Faithfull: An Autobiography (1994), Memories, Dreams & Reflections (2007), and Marianne Faithfull: A Life on Record (2014).

Faithfull is listed on VH1’s “100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll” list. She received the World Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Women’s World Awards and was made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. (wikipedia)

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The Seven Deadly Sins is a studio recording of the Kurt Weill opera of the same name by British singer Marianne Faithfull, released in 1998.

Marianne Faithfull had already performed The Seven Deadly Sins live at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Brooklyn,[3] but it was only after working with Dennis Russell Davies on 20th Century Blues that the idea of recording the opera came to her. Davies agreed to collaborate again with her, and the album was recorded in June 1997 at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Davies conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony orchestra.

The recording also includes other songs by Weill & Brecht like the “Alabama Song” and songs from The Threepenny Opera, which Marianne Faithfull also performed live in 1992 at the Dublin Gate Theater, playing the role of the prostitute Jenny and interpreting the famous Pirate Jenny song. (wikipedia)

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If you’re looking for the angelic Marianne Faithfull of As Tears Go By, or the angry diva of Broken English, or the lusher but piercingly acute imagery of her work with Angelo Badalamenti, you will not find it here. What you will find, though, is a fully orchestrated work that she has been selling out the house with in Europe — a parable of commerce called The Seven Deadly Sins, with the Vienna Radio Orchestra and Dennis Russell Davies conducting. These are the songs of Kurt Weill, composer, and Bertolt Brecht, lyricist. This work, it would seem, is a perfect match of voice timbre and sound wished for by the composer. The husky and weary voiced Faithfull does these songs as they were intended to be done, her voice a beautiful match in tone and color. It is the heavy and somber tone of the music that blends so perfectly with her voice here.

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Weill’s music tends toward a formality and somberness that shadows the concerns of the songs. Here Brecht’s lyrics tell the moribund story of a girl placed on a tour by her family to earn money for their luxury; her voice reflects the weariness that becomes the ideal vehicle for her travails and lacerations. According to the tabloids, if they are to be believed, Marianne has spent her life researching this work. She displays that rare intelligence that allows all “misfortunes” to be converted to her benefit. There is a detachment that allows one to be intimately involved with, but not consumed by this type of work. This is her best work in quite some time. She deserves all the accolades that come her way as a serious singer who can pull off the piece. A wonderful disc from one whose live presence we must count as miraculous considering what she has lived through. (by Bob Gottlieb)

Recorded live at the Konzerthaus Vienne/Austria, June 5, 1997 (01. – 08.)
Recorded at the Grosse Sendesaal Radiokulturhaus Vienna/Austria,
Februay 9, 1998 (09. – 12.). 

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Personnel:
Marianne Faithfull (vocals)
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Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies
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Peter Becker (Baritone)
Mark Bleeke (Tenor)
Hugo Munday (Tenor)
Wilbur Pauley (Bass)
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Hudson Shad (background vocals)

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Tracklist:

The Seven Deadly Sins:
01. Prologue (Prolog) 3.50
02. Sloth (Faulheit) 3.57
03. Pride (Stolz) 4.49
04. Anger (Zorn) 4.47
05. Gluttony (Völlerei) 3.29
06. Lust (Unzucht) 5.22
07. Covetousness (Habsucht) 3.02
08. Envy (Neid) + Epilogue (Epilog) 5.55

Kurt Weill Songs:
09. Alabama Song 2.54
10. The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency 2.35
11. Bilbao Song 5.03
12. Pirate Jenny 4.24

Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bert Brecht
Translation:
W. H. Auden & Chester Kallman (01. – 08.)
Michael Feingold & Frank McGuinness (09.- 12.)

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Robbie Williams – The Ego Has Landed (1999)

FrontCover1Robert Peter Williams (né Conway; born 13 February 1974) is an English singer and songwriter. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995, and achieved commercial success after launching a solo career in 1996. His discography includes seven UK No. 1 singles, and all but one of his 12 studio albums have reached No. 1 in the UK. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the UK, with two of them in the top 60, and he gained a Guinness World Record in 2006 for selling 1.6 million tickets in a single day during his Close Encounters Tour.

Williams has received a record 18 Brit Awards, winning Best British Male Artist four times, Outstanding Contribution to Music twice, an Icon Award for his lasting impact on British culture, eight German ECHO Awards, and three MTV European Music Awards.[2][3] In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the Greatest Artist of the 1990s.

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According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), he has been certified for 20.2 million albums and 8.4 million singles in the UK as a solo artist. Five of his albums have also topped the Australian albums chart, and has sold 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He additionally topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart. His three concerts at Knebworth in 2003 drew over 375,000 people, the UK’s biggest music event to that point. In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour.

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After 15 years, Williams rejoined Take That in 2010 to co-write and perform lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second-fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time. The subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams’ solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history when it sold 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In 2011, Take That frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although he stated that the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future. Williams has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances, and collaborated with Barlow on a number of projects such as the West End musical The Band. (wikipedia)

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The Ego Has Landed is a compilation album by English singer Robbie Williams. After the success of Williams around the world, especially in Europe, Williams was signed to Capitol Records in the United States, which was a part of EMI at the time. The album was released in May 1999 in the United States and Canada, and later issued worldwide. All tracks were previously released on Williams’ first two albums, Life thru a Lens (1997) and I’ve Been Expecting You (1998).

Williams embarked on a US Promotional Tour and when his first American single, “Millennium” was released, it peaked at No. 72 in the Billboard Hot 100. The album The Ego Has Landed was released in May 1999 in the United States and peaked at No. 63 in the Billboard albums chart, not having the success that he enjoyed in Europe. Despite this, Williams enjoyed good video airplay and received a nomination for the MTV Video Music Awards for “Best Male Video”; he did not win, but the exposure helped the sales of the album.

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Capitol Records, trying to make Williams a bigger star, released a second single from the album, the ballad “Angels”, for which Williams shot a new video. When it was released in the autumn of that year, the song became a somewhat bigger hit than “Millennium”, charting at No. 53. However, this was not enough for Williams, so he concentrated on the rest of the world where he was already an established act. The album went on to sell 598,000 copies in the United States[7] being certified Gold by the RIAA in November of that year.

The compilation was released worldwide (as a limited edition in Europe, pressings for the album are still going strong in Latin America, Asia and New Zealand to this day) and was a huge success in New Zealand, reaching No. 1 on the Official Albums Chart.[9] It went on to sell 140,000 copies being certified 9× Platinum. In Australia, the album ensured platinum sales over 70,000 copies. The album was promoted in Latin America as well. Williams recorded a Spanish version of his hit “Angels” and it was included as a bonus track on the album and then released as a single (almost two years after its original release in English). The Spanish version was a substantial hit in most Latin American countries, but as the single had already been big in 1997, most video and radio outlets focused on the tracks from his album I’ve Been Expecting You. Despite this, the compilation proved to be a medium success giving him Gold sales in Argentina.(wikipedia)

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Robbie Williams was an international superstar at the end of the millennium, a recognizable icon in all countries but one — the United States. Traditionally, this is a problem for British superstars, who are able to amass a large global following but are hard pressed to break down the doors to America for a variety of reasons, many of which are inexplicable. For Williams, it was because his records weren’t released in the U.S., probably because his former band, Take That, never developed into a commercial powerhouse in America. Once the group split, conventional wisdom suggested that lead singer Gary Barlow would become the star, but after Williams delivered back-to-back smashes (Life Thru a Lens, I’ve Been Expecting You), he seemed like the genuine star.

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It was time for America to become acquainted with the lovable rock & roll rascal, hence the brilliantly titled The Ego Has Landed. Containing six songs from Life and eight from I’ve Been, The Ego Has Landed isn’t a perfect compilation, but it’s not half bad either. Since it’s culled from just two records, it doesn’t have great momentum or pacing, but it does contain a very good cross section of his two albums, leaning a little toward the mid-tempo and ballad side. The pacing is a little off, but the songs are there: the clever showmanship of “Let Me Entertain You,” the endearingly silly “Old Before I Die,” the crooning “No Regrets,” the propulsive “Man Machine,” and “Millennium,” Willliams’ bid for sampadelic hipness — everything that illustrates why he is a perfect post-alternative, post-Brit-pop, post-ironic pop star. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Guy Chambers (keyboards, background vocals)
Alex Dickson (guitar, background vocals)
Fil Eisler (bass, background vocals)
Gary Nuttall (guitar, background vocals)
Chris Sharrock (drums)
Robbie Williams (vocals)
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background vocals on 03.:
Neil Hannon – Neil Tennant

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Tracklist:
01. Lazy Days (Williams/Chambers) 3.52
02. Millennium (Williams/Chambers/Bricusse/Barry) 4.04
03. No Regrets (Williams/Chambers) 5.10
04. Strong (Williams/Chambers) 4.37
05. Angels (Williams/Chambers) 4.25
06. Win Some Lose Some (Williams/Chambers) 4.19
07. Let Me Entertain You (Williams/Chambers) 4.20
08. Jesus In A Camper Van (Williams/Chambers/Wainwright III) 3.38
09. Old Before I Die (Williams/Bazilian/Child) 3.53
10. Killing Me (Williams/Chambers) 3.58
11. Man Machine (Williams/Chambers) 3.37
12. She’s the One (Wallinger) 4.18
13. Karma Killer (Williams/Chambers) 4.28
14. One Of God’s Better People (Williams/Chambers) 15.01
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15. Angels (Spanisch version) (Williams/Chambers) 4.28

Tracks 1, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 14 are from Life thru a Lens (1997).
Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 13 are from I’ve Been Expecting You (1998).

“One of God’s Better People” runs 3:36. After 10 minutes of silence, Williams recites a poem called “Hello Sir”, addressed to a teacher who berated him for wanting to become a pop singer. This previously appeared as a hidden track on Life thru a Lens.

Latin American editions of the album include the spanish version of “Angels” as track 15.

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Robbie Williams – I’ve Been Expecting You (1998)

FrontCover1Robert Peter Williams (born 13 February 1974) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995, but has achieved greater commercial success with his solo career since 1996. His discography includes seven UK No. 1 singles, and all but one of his 12 studio albums have reached No. 1 in the UK. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the UK, with two of them in the top 60, and he gained a Guinness World Record in 2006 for selling 1.6 million tickets in a single day during his Close Encounters Tour.

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Williams has received a record 18 Brit Awards, winning Best British Male Artist four times, Outstanding Contribution to Music twice, an Icon Award for his lasting impact on British culture, eight German ECHO Awards, and three MTV European Music Awards.[2][3] In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the Greatest Artist of the 1990s. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), he has been certified for 19.9 million albums and 8.2 million singles in the UK as a solo artist.[4] Five of his albums have also topped the Australian albums chart, and has sold 75 million records worldwide. He additionally topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart. His three concerts at Knebworth in 2003 drew over 375,000 people, the UK’s biggest music event to that point.[5] In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour.

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After a 15-year hiatus from Take That, Williams rejoined the group in 2010 to co-write and perform lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time. The subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams’ solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history when it sold 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In 2011, Take That frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although he stated that the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future. Williams has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances, and collaborated with Barlow on a number of projects such as the West End musical The Band.

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I’ve Been Expecting You is the second studio album by English recording artist Robbie Williams. It was released on 25 August 1998 through Chrysalis Records. The album spawned five singles, including lead single “Millennium”, which became Williams’ first UK number-one hit.

A critical and major commercial success, it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, marking Williams’ second consecutive chart-topper, and has been certified 10× Platinum.

John Bush of AllMusic rated the album four stars out of five, and stated that the album is both a “studied” and “more mature, calculated album” than its predecessor Life Thru a Lens (1997) “from a pop star who’s often gloried in being immature and spontaneous.” He noted the album “may suffer from comparisons to its excellent predecessor, but it also finds Robbie Williams weathering the sophomore storm quite well.” NME rated the album 8/10, saying “boy, what a record” and that Williams’ “writing skills have improved enormously”. The reviewer also noted the album’s “impressive diversity” and concluded that “sure, Robbie’s still more Michael Barrymore than Michael Stipe, and he’ll never be ‘cool’ by that constipated, soul-crushingly snobbish James Lavelle definition. But he’s a natural-born star and he wants you to love him. I’ve Been Expecting You provides 12 good reasons why you should.”

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Williams and Chambers started the writing process of the album in Jamaica in the spring of 1998. I’ve Been Expecting You was released in October 1998. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and went on to become the UK’s best selling album for that year. According to the Music Week, the album has sold 2,582,016 copies in the UK as of November 2016,[6] and has been certified 10× Platinum for shipments of 3 million copies, making it Williams’ best-selling album in the country.

The album also received attention outside the United Kingdom, particularly in continental Europe and Latin America, and has sold a total of five million copies worldwide.[7] Williams finished album promotion with an extensive European tour in the autumn of 1999. I’ve Been Expecting You was ranked 91st in a 2005 survey held by British television’s Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.

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“Millennium”, a song which was inspired by John Barry’s music from the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, became Williams’ first solo number-one single in the United Kingdom when it was released in September 1998, knocking All Saints from the top spot. Williams commented that “Someone had to be knocked off and it may as well be the wife” as Williams and Nicole Appleton were engaged at the time. The song went on to sell over 400,000 copies in the UK being certified Gold by the BPI in November 1998.[9] The song also became a top twenty hit in many European countries as well as in Latin America and Australia.
“No Regrets”, a collaboration with Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant and The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, was released as the album’s second single in November 1998, reaching number four in the UK Singles Chart, backed with the cover of Adam and the Ants 1981 hit “Antmusic”. The song became a substantial hit around the world and went on to sell over 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom, where it was certified Silver in October 2004, almost six years after its original release.

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“Strong”, a song written in a hotel in Cologne, Germany, inspired by some of Williams’ more manic admirers whom he admitted “scared the living daylights” out of him, was released as the album’s third single. The song debuted at number four in the United Kingdom and number nine in New Zealand. The track became a hit, peaking within the top forty around Europe and many other countries around the world.
“She’s the One”, a cover of the Karl Wallinger track from the album Egyptology, was a favourite song of Williams’ after his time in rehab. The song was released as the album’s fourth single, becoming his second number-one hit in the United Kingdom. The song went on to win a number of awards around the world, including a BRIT Award for ‘Single of the Year’ and a Capital Radio Award for ‘Best Single’. The single was released as a double A-side with “It’s Only Us”, the official theme for EA Sports’ video game FIFA 2000. The single sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone and was certified Gold by the BPI in early 2000.

“Win Some Lose Some” was released as the album’s fifth and final single in March 2000, with an exclusive release in Australia and New Zealand. The song achieved some success there, and the physical copy of the single has since become a very sought-after item amongst fans.

Singles

In 1998, Williams was sued by Ludlow Publishing over the song “Jesus in a Camper Van” because it lifted lyrics from the Loudon Wainwright III song “I Am the Way”, from his album Attempted Mustache. The lyric to “I Am the Way” is as follows: “Every son of God has a little hard luck sometime, especially when he goes around saying he’s the way.” The lyric to “Jesus in a Camper Van” in question is: “Even the son of God gets it hard sometimes, especially when he goes around, saying I am the way.”

Williams claimed that he had heard a young man say the line whilst in rehab, and only found that it was a line from Wainwright’s song after he had already recorded it. Williams’ agents called Wainwright to notify him about this, but Wainwright had little say in the matter; “I Am the Way” was a parody of the Woody Guthrie song “New York Town”; Ludlow Publishing owned the line’s copyright. In 2002, Ludlow Publishing won the lawsuit, receiving 25% of the income that “Jesus in a Camper Van” garnered, and subsequently, the album was re-issued replacing “Jesus in a Camper Van” with “It’s Only Us”.

During a show at the Roundhouse London in October 2019, Williams performed the song and also revealed, “That lyric cost me £2.5 million! Truth to God!” (wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Guy Chambers (keyboards, vibraphone, synthesizer, guitar, bass synth)
Alex Dickson (guitar, vocals)
Fil Eisler (bass, guitar, vocals)
Gary Nuttall (guitar, vocals)
Chris Sharrock (drums)
Robbie Williams (vocals)
“Planet” Claire Worrall (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
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Nicole Appleton (telephone voice)
André Barreau (guitar, background vocals)
David Catlin-Birch (guitar, bass guitar, background vocals)
Andy Duncan (percussion, loops)
Steve McEwan (guitar, background vocals)
DJ Slice (scratching)
Jeremy Stacey (drums)
Steve McEwan (guitar, background vocals)
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background vocals:
Neil Hannon – Claudia Fontaine – Bevereley Skeet – Neil Tennant – Nicole Patterson
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London Session Orchestra conducted by Gavin Wright

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Tracklist:
01. Strong (Williams/Chambers) 4.39
02. No Regrets (Williams/Chambers) 5.10
03. Millennium (Williams/Chambers/Bricusse/Barry) 4.07
04. Phoenix From The Flames (Williams/Chambers) 4.02
05. Win Some Lose Some (Williams/Chambers) 4.18
06. Grace (Williams/Chambers) 3.13
07. Jesus In A Camper Van (Williams/Chambers/Wainwright III) 3.39
08. Heaven From Here (Williams/Chambers) 3.05
09. Karma Killer (Williams/Chambers) 4.28
10. She’s The One (Wallinger) 4.18
11. Man Machine (Williams/Chambers) 3.35
12. These Dreams / Stand Your Ground (hidden track) (Williams/Chambers) / Stalker’s Day Off (I’ve Been Hanging Around) (hidden track) (Williams/Chambers/Eisler) 31.23

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The official website:
Website

Gary Brooker – Within Our House (1998)

FrontCover1Gary Brooker MBE (29 May 1945 – 19 February 2022) was an English singer-songwriter, pianist and founder and lead singer of the rock band Procol Harum.

Brooker was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on 14 June 2003, in recognition of his charitable services.

Born in Hackney Hospital, East London, on 29 May 1945, Brooker grew up in Hackney before the family moved out to Middlesex (Bush Hill Park and then to nearby Edmonton). His father Harry Brooker was a professional musician, playing pedal steel guitar with Felix Mendelssohn’s Hawaiian Serenaders, and as a child Brooker learned to play piano, cornet and trombone. In 1954 the family moved to the seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, where Brooker attended Westcliff High School for Boys. His father died of a heart attack when Gary was 11 years old, forcing his mother to work in order to make ends meet, while Brooker himself took on a paper-round. When he left school, he went on to Southend Municipal College to study zoology and botany but dropped out to become a professional musician.

The Paramounts: Gary Brooker, BarrieWilson, Robin Trower, Diz Derrick:
The Paramounts

Brooker founded The Paramounts in 1962 with his guitarist friend Robin Trower.[9] The band gained respect within the burgeoning 1960s British R&B scene, which yielded The Beatles, The Animals, The Spencer Davis Group, The Rolling Stones, and many others. The Rolling Stones, in particular, were Paramounts fans, giving them guest billing on several memorable shows in the early 1960s.

In 1966, Brooker founded Procol Harum with his friend Keith Reid. “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is the worldwide hit for which Procol Harum is best known, but Brooker’s melancholic vocals and emotive, eclectic piano playing were a key part of Procol’s musical mix for the entire course of the band’s career. In the early years Brooker, Hammond organist Matthew Fisher and Trower were the guiding musical forces behind the band, but after disparities in style became too much and Fisher and Trower left, Brooker was the clear leader until the band broke up in 1977. Brooker started a solo career and released the album No More Fear of Flying in 1979.

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The same year, Brooker joined friend and neighbour Eric Clapton’s band. With Brooker in the lineup, they released the studio album Another Ticket. Clapton fired the entire band in 1981, but he and Brooker remained good friends afterwards, and were for many years neighbours in the Surrey Hills. Brooker joined Clapton for several one-off benefit gigs over the years. Brooker sang lead vocal on the Alan Parsons Project song “Limelight”, on their 1985 album, Stereotomy. Brooker sang the lead vocal of the song “No News from the Western Frontier”, a single taken from the album Hi-Tec Heroes by the Dutch performer Ad Visser.

A new incarnation of Procol Harum, led by Brooker, continued touring the world, celebrating its 40th anniversary in July 2007 with two days of musical revels at St John’s Smith Square in London. Brooker also toured with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band in 1997 and 1999, and he was also a member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings for several years, appearing on three of their albums and touring with the band. On 28 September 1996, as the Gary Brooker Ensemble, he organized a charity concert to raise funds for his local church, St Mary and All Saints, in Surrey. The resulting live CD of the concert, Within Our House, originally released on a fan club CD in a limited run of 1000 units, later became a collectable recording. His guests and supporting artists included Dave Bronze, Michael Bywater, Mark Brzezicki and Robbie McIntosh.

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Also in 1996, Brooker appeared in the Alan Parker film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ Evita starring Madonna, Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas. Playing the part of Juan Atilio Bramuglia, he sang the song “Rainbow Tour” with Peter Polycarpou and Antonio Banderas. Brooker said that his greatest single earning in his career was from his appearance in the film.

On 29 November 2002, he was among musicians and singers participating in the George Harrison tribute concert, Concert for George, at which he sang lead vocals on their version of “Old Brown Shoe”. Brooker contributed to Harrison’s albums All Things Must Pass, Gone Troppo and Somewhere in England.

In April 2005, as the Gary Brooker Ensemble, he played a sell-out charity concert at Guildford Cathedral in aid of the tsunami appeal, playing a mixture of Procol Harum and solo songs and arrangements of classical and spiritual songs. His guests and supporting artists included Andy Fairweather Low and Paul Jones (ex-Manfred Mann).

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On 28 October 2009, Brooker was presented with a BASCA in recognition of their unique contribution to music.

In May 2012, Procol Harum were forced to cancel the remainder of their dates in South Africa after Brooker fractured his skull following a fall in his hotel room. The fall came on Brooker’s 67th birthday. The band was part of the British Invasion Tour of South Africa along with the Moody Blues and 10cc. He recovered sufficiently for the band to undertake an extensive US tour with Yes and to play concerts in Europe in 2013, several with symphony orchestras.

In July 1968 Brooker married Françoise Riedo (“Franky”), a Swiss au pair, whom he met circa 1965. The couple had no children.

Brooker died from cancer at his home on 19 February 2022, at the age of 76.

Brooker was a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and played concerts to raise funds for the organisation. (wikipedia)

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And here is a brilliant live album:

Procol Harum singer and pianist Gary Brooker organized a benefit concert at and for his local church, St. Mary’s and All Saints, in Surrey, England, on September 28, 1996, and released a recorded version on his own mail-order label Gazza Records. Now picked up by the German Repertoire label, the album presents the unplugged, five-piece Gary Brooker Ensemble, whose members include former Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh and Big Country drummer Mark Brzezicki, accompanied by a chorus and string quartet playing a combination of classical pieces, gospel adaptations, and songs from Procol Harum’s catalog.

St. Mary & All Saints, Surrey, England

(The title song is a newer one written by Brooker and his lyric collaborator Keith Reid.) The result is a charming chamber work with wonderfully detailed sound that illuminates the roots of Procol Harum’s music in its classical antecedents. Neatly marking the 25th anniversary of the group’s popular album Procol Harum Live in Concert with The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, it manages to define the inevitable closing song, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” as part of a tradition including Vaughan Williams and even that noted composer Henry VIII. (by William Ruhlmann)

Recorded live on 28th September 1996 at St. Mary & All Saints, Surrey, England.

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Personnel:
Dave Bronze (bass)
Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)
Mark Brzezicki (drums, percussion)
Robbie McIntosh (guitar)
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Michael Bywater (organ)
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The Chameleon Arts Chorus conducted by Andrew Phillips
The Chameleon Arts String Quartet

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Intro by Revd. Geoffrey Willis 0.55
02. Pastime With Good Company (Henry VIII) 1.27
03. Mattachins (Warlock) 1.21
04 Linden Tea (Williams) 2.56
05. Holding On (Brooker/Reid) 4.17
06. A Salty Dog (Brooker/Reid) 6.01
07. Hide And Seek (McIntosh) 3.39
08. Within Our House (Brooker/Reid) 5.11
09. Steal Away (Traditional/Bawden) 3.38
10. Gospel Train (Traditional/Bawden) 1.30
11. Peace In The Valley (Dorsey) 3.30
12. Nothing But The Truth (Brooker/Reid) 3.32
13.The Long Goodbye (Brooker/Reid/Fisher) 4.30
14. Jesus On The Mainline (Traditional) 4.51
15. Psalm For St.Mary (Brooker) 4.53
16. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 6.46

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Chris Rea – The Blue Cafe (1998)

FrontCover1Christopher Anton Rea (born 4 March 1951) is an English rock and blues singer-songwriter and guitarist from Middlesbrough, England. He is of Italian and Irish descent. He is known for his distinctive, husky singing and slide guitar playing, with the Guinness Rockopedia describing him as a “gravel-voiced guitar stalwart”. After learning to play the guitar relatively late, a short burst of local band activity led to his launching a solo career in 1978.

Louder magazine calls Rea “rock’s ultimate survivor”, given his recovery from several bouts of serious illness. He has produced twenty-five solo albums, with several from his later blues period – such as Blue Guitars (2005) – having multiple discs. British Hit Singles & Albums says that Rea was “one of the most popular UK singer-songwriters of the late 1980s” and “already a major European star by the time he finally cracked the UK Top 10 with the release of the [1989] single “The Road to Hell (Part 2)…” his 18th chart entry.” Two of his most successful studio albums, The Road to Hell (1989) and Auberge (1991), topped the UK Albums Chart.

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His other hit songs include “I Can Hear Your Heartbeat”, “Stainsby Girls”, “Josephine”, “On the Beach”, “Let’s Dance”, “Driving Home for Christmas”, “Working on It”, “Tell Me There’s a Heaven”, “Auberge”, “Looking for the Summer”, “Winter Song”, “Nothing to Fear”, “Julia”, and “If You Were Me”, a duet with Elton John. Rea was nominated three times for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

Rea has never toured the United States, where he is best known for the 1978 single “Fool (If You Think It’s Over),” which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. This success earned him a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist in 1978. A decade later, Working On It topped the Mainstream Rock chart. As of 2009, Rea had sold more than 30 million records worldwide.

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The Blue Cafe is the fourteenth studio album by British singer-songwriter Chris Rea, released in 1998. The singles released for the album were “The Blue Cafe”, “Thinking of You”, “Sweet Summer Day” and “Square Peg, Round Hole”. There was also a Japanese version with three bonus tracks, “Kyoto Blue”, “Ameno Nakano Kiirono Herumetto” and “On the Beach”. It was Rea’s sixth successive album to reach the UK Top Ten, peaking at No. 10.

The Irish Times noted the “menacing atmosphere” evident on the album, “rooted mostly in Rea’s sandpaper voice. And the twisted blues lines he plays on guitar”. Shadows Of The Big Man is “focused, multifaceted…But best of all is the title song, The Blue Cafe. An album that is bound to be a pure delight for fans of the man.”

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A confident and consistent album, The Blue Cafe combines Rea’s atmospheric songwriting with larger doses of his slide guitar playing than usual. An overlooked talent of his, it underlies this collection of contemporary sounding songs rooted in dance beats and blues (a strange combination, but it works). Two songs from different sides of the spectrum illustrate the album well: “Sweet Summer Day” is one of the best from a master of summer anthems (“On the Beach,” “All Summer Long,” etc.), while “Where Do We Go From Here?” is a bitingly perceptive indictment of the emptiness of consumer culture laid against a cool, smooth backing track. All in all, this is one of Rea’s most introspective albums and a strong addition to his catalog. (by Rob Caldwell)

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It’s back to basics for Rea, following his foray into film-making. And you really can’t get more basic than this album’s opening track, Square Peg, Round Hole, which has a guitar riff and lyric that will thrill at least the less demanding fans of bands like Status Quo. Likewise, Miss Your Kiss. Is Chris kidding us, or what? More focused, multifaceted and better by far is Shadows Of The Big Man with its menacing atmosphere; indeed, even the seemingly straight-ahead love songs such as Since I Found You have a slightly menacing undercurrent, rooted mostly in Rea’s sandpaper voice. And the twisted blues lines he plays on guitar. But best of all is the title song, The Blue Cafe. An album that is bound to be a pure delight for fans of the man. (by Kevin Courtney)

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Personnel:
Martin Ditcham (drums, percussion)
Sylvin Marc (bass)
Max Middleton (keyboards)
Chris Rea (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Square Peg, Round Hole 3.58
02. Miss Your Kiss 4.05
03. Shadows Of The Big Man 4.50
04. Where Do We Go From Here? 4.32
05. Since I Found You 4.38
06. Thinking Of You 3.31
07. As Long As I Have Your Love 4.45
08. Anyone Quite Like You 4.49
09. Sweet Summer Day 4.45
10. Stick By You 4.05
11. I’m Still Holding On 4.56
12. The Blue Cafe 4.49

All songs written by Chris Rea

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More from Chris Rea:
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In 2000, Chris Rea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and underwent surgery which resulted in the removal of part of his pancreas and gall bladder.

Since having this surgery, Chris has had issues with diabetes and a weaker immune system, requiring over 30 pills and seven injections a day. He has had several operations since then.

Despite the setback, he stayed positive, saying: “It’s not until you become seriously ill and you nearly die and you’re at home for six months, that you suddenly stop, to realize that this isn’t the way I intended it to be in the beginning.

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“Everything that you’ve done falls away and you start wondering why you went through all that rock business stuff.”

Chris Rea had a stroke in 2016, which left him with slurred speech and limited movement in his arms and fingers.

He soon quit smoking to halt further strokes, and thankfully was well enough to record more music and tour.

In September 2017, he released his 24th album, Road Songs for Lovers, and went on tour across Europe.

However, in December, Chris collapsed during a performance at the New Theatre Oxford. He was taken to hospital where his condition improved. (smoothradio.com)

The (now deleted) website:
Website

The Beautiful South – Quench (1998)

FrontCover1The Beautiful South were an English pop rock group formed in 1988 by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, two former members of the Hull group The Housemartins, both of whom performed lead and backing vocals. Other members throughout the band’s existence were former Housemartins roadie Sean Welch (bass), Dave Stead (drums) and Dave Rotheray (guitar). The band’s original material was written by the team of Heaton and Rotheray.

After the band’s first album (recorded as a quintet), they were joined by a succession of female vocalists. All of the following artists performed lead and backing vocals alongside Heaton and Hemingway – Briana Corrigan for albums two and three after appearing as a guest vocalist on one, followed by Jacqui Abbott for the fourth to seventh albums, and finally Alison Wheeler for the final three Beautiful South albums.

The group broke up in January 2007, claiming the split was due to “musical similarities”, having sold around 15 million records worldwide.

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Quench is the Beautiful South’s sixth original album, released in the UK on 12 October 1998. Including the compilation Carry On Up The Charts, it was the band’s third album in a row to reach the top of the charts.

The cover depicts a boxer by Scottish painter Peter Howson. Commissioned for the album, the original painting can be seen in the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. After the band cropped the image and used it in merchandise and promotional material, Howson took legal action against the band, receiving around £30,000 in damages.[6] Whilst the first two singles from the album also have artwork by Howson, “How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry?” and “The Table” do not. (wikipedia)

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In what has become a familiar pattern, Quench, the Beautiful South’s sixth regular album release (not counting the singles compilation Carry on Up the Charts), entered the British charts at number one in October 1998, following the number two success of its single, “Perfect 10,” while in the U.S. its release was delayed until July 1999, when it made no commercial impression at all. As usual, Paul Heaton and his comrades take a jaundiced look at the world while crooning melodically over pop, rock, and cocktail jazz tracks.

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The CD booklet contains only one photograph, an out-of-focus shot of a barroom, and as the album’s title implies, Quench is awash in alcohol. Its most telling self-portrait may be “Look What I Found in My Beer,” in which Heaton views his musical career as his salvation from alcoholism and self-loathing. “Look what I found in the mic,” he sings, “An end to screwed-up drinking and a Paul I actually like.” But he often uses metaphors to get across his viewpoint, notably on such songs as “The Slide,” “The Table,” and “Window Shopping for Blinds.” Singer Jacqueline Abbott serves as his foil and expands the dramatic possibilities, especially on the album-closing “Your Father and I,” in which parents tell conflicting stories about a child’s conception and birth, only to conclude, “Your father and I won’t tell the truth.”

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If the Beautiful South’s early work mixed biting sarcasm with pop riffs, Quench finds the group playing in less of a pop style, while Heaton’s lyrics have become more bitter and self-pitying, but no less witty. Still, American recognition continues to seem unlikely for a writer who likes to make puns involving Peter Lorre and a lorry (that’s a truck to us Yankees). (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jacqui Abbott (vocals)
Paul Heaton (vocals)
Dave Hemingway – vocals
Dave Rotheray (guitar)
Dave Stead (drums)
Sean Welch (bass)
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Damon Butcher (keyboards)
Gary Hammond (percussion)
The Kick Horns (brass)
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The London Community Gospel Choir (background vocals on 06.)
Paul Weller (guitar on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. How Long’s A Tear Take To Dry? 4.37
02. The Lure Of The Sea 4.00
03. Big Coin 4.13
04. Dumb 3.45
05. Perfect 10 3.38
06. The Slide 5.02
07. Look What I Found In My Beer 3.36
08. The Table 3.10
09. Window Shopping For Blinds 4.07
10. Pockets 4.08
11. I May Be Ugly 3.41
12. Losing Things 3.26
13. Your Father And I 5.05

All songs written by Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray

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A Beautiful South website:
Website

Peter Green Splinter Group – Soho Session (Live At Ronnie Scotts) (1999)

OriginalFrontCoverA1Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum, 29 October 1946 – 25 July 2020) was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oh Well”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World”, appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians.

Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing; he was noted for his use of string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.

Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.[9] His tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.

Soho Session is a live album by the British blues band the Peter Green Splinter Group, led by Peter Green. Released in 1999, this was their third album. Green was the founder of Fleetwood Mac and a member of that group from 1967–70, before a sporadic solo career during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Recorded on 5 April 1998 at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, the double album featured new versions of various songs from the group’s previous albums, and also some of Green’s Fleetwood Mac songs. On the same night, the group’s previous drummer Cozy Powell was killed in a road accident.

This was the group’s last album to feature bass guitarist Neil Murray. (wikipedia)

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Recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, London, this two-disc set captures much of the essence of Green with the Splinter Group, his backing outfit for the last several years. And it’s an interesting mix of material they come out with, from blues covers, a set of Robert Johnson material, as well as a trawl through the old Fleetwood Mac songbook — which might well be the big draw here.

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However, welcome as it is to have Green back as a regular performer, he’s not the man he once was, and it’s notable the guitar solos aren’t defined — you can never tell who’s playing, as colleague Nigel Watson has his tone and style down perfectly. In many ways, the most satisfying segment comes with six Robert Johnson tracks, which arrive without Green baggage or expectation, and really do satisfy, while the addition of the Street Angels, a gospel group, on vocals, strengthens the sound, which already has plenty of backbone. “The Supernatural,” once one of Green’s most incisive instrumentals, seems to have lost its bite — but that’s true of all the old material. “Green Manalishi” was heavy as lead when it originally appeared, and now it’s weightless, while the subtleties of “Albatross” have vanished, and “Black Magic Woman” seems oddly formless. This isn’t to say it’s a bad album by any means. It’s perhaps unfortunate that Green has to deal with his own history. There are moments when the old genius shines, but they’re few and far between. He’s lived the blues, but his ability to transform that into music has mostly vanished. Satisfying if you take it on its own terms and don’t expect the god-like playing that once defined Peter Green, the Soho Session is a British blues outfit with taste, chops, and occasional transcendent moments. (by Chris Nickson)

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Personnel:
Roger Cotton (keyboards)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Neil Murray (bass)
Larry Tolfree (drums)
Nigel Watson (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. It Takes Time (Rush) 5.17
02. Homework (Clark/Perkins) 3.45
03. Black Magic Woman (Green) 7.07
04. Indians (Watson) 4.08
05. Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut (McDaniel) 6.19
06. The Supernatural (Green) 3.37
07. Rattlesnake Shake (Green) 5.00
08. Shake Your Hips (Harpo) 5.16
09. Albatross (Green) 3.30

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CD 2:
01. Travelling Riverside Blues (Johnson) 3.58
02. Steady Rollin’ Man (Johnson) 3.13
03. Honeymoon Blues (Johnson) 3.04
04. Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Johnson) 3.19
05. Terraplane Blues (Johnson) 3.47
06. If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day (Johnson) 4.27
07. The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown) (Green) 5.38
08. Goin’ Down (Nix) 7.36
09. Help Me (Williamson) 4.49
10. Look On Yonder Wall (James/Sehorn) 6.45
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11. Peter Green 1998 ‘Soho’ Session (uncut edition) 1.22.26

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More Peter Green:
More

 

PeterGreen03Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum, 29 October 1946 – 25 July 2020)

RIP

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (Ton Koopman) – Easter Oratorio – Magnificat (Bach) (1998)

FrontCover1Bach’s celebration of Easter is a mostly joyous one, opening with a three-movement sinfonia, richly orchestrated, and complete with trumpets and drums: the third movement includes the chorus inviting listeners to rejoice and hasten to the tomb of Jesus, “For our Savior has awakened.” There follow recitatives and arias for Mary Magdalen, Mary, the mother of James, Peter, and John. Each character goes through grief to love and gratefulness, and Bach’s endlessly inventive scoring, melodic lines, and changing orchestral textures take us on a rich, 40-minute musical journey to peace. Only a too-long soprano aria tends to wear. The Oratorio is coupled on this CD with Bach’s justly famous 12-movement setting (in 25 minutes) of the Magnificat text from Luke. Also elaborately scored, with the vocal choices, tempos, and mood changing every couple of minutes, this is one of the great works of Western liturgical music (Gardiner’s masterly reading of this work is a must-have). The performances, on Baroque instruments and with crisp, clean, unsentimental Baroque style, are exemplary. Rejoice! (by Robert Levine)

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1723-25 were powerful, productive years for Bach in Leipzig as Kantor. In 1723-24 Christmas, comes this Magnificat. Especially attractive to me is track 14, “Aria” “Quia respexit humilitatem” which is a powerful soprano and oboe movement aided by the full chorus piping in “To all Generations!”
The Easter Oratorio was a gift for an honorarium by Duke Christian composed around four aria recitatives for Mary Magdelene, Mary, John and Peter. The opening Sinfonia is breathtaking with its gracious oboe work by Marcel Ponseele.
Building to the heights of the finale, “Praise and Thanks” ends in triumphant declaration by full choir “The Lion of Judah approaches in triumph!”
Strong vocalist performances by soprano Lisa Larsson and bass Klaus Mertens. Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Chorus directed by Ton Koopman is well done with passion and pace.
With translation in French, German and English, this is excellent performance of important Sacred Large-Scale Composition for soloists, choir and orchestra. (by rodboomboom)

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

This recording is full of energy and joy. The period instruments sound so wonderful and lush. It was recorded in just the right environment and sounds superb.
The approach to both pieces is spot on and you will want to listen to this recording many times just for the sheer fun of it.
The provided booklet provides some helpful notes on the background of the pieces – when and why Bach wrote them. And also the libretto (which is ALWAYS nice to have). I like to have all that information available and knowing when and why can deepen our appreciation of the music. However, the first and most important thing is to hear the music.
This recording is among the best of these works. So, you would do well to begin here! (by Craig Matteson)

Antonius Gerhardus Michael (Ton) Koopman (born 2 October 1944) is a Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist. He is also professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. In April 2003 he was knighted in the Netherlands, receiving the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

Koopman had a “classical education” and then studied the organ (with Simon C. Jansen), harpsichord (with Gustav Leonhardt), and musicology in Amsterdam. He specialized in Baroque music and received the Prix d’Excellence for both organ and harpsichord.

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Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979 and the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992, now combined as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. Koopman concentrates on Baroque music, especially that of Bach and is a leading figure in the “authentic performance” movement. While a number of early-music conductors have ventured into newer music, Koopman has not. He has said, “I draw the line at Mozart’s death” (1791). One exception is his recording of the Concert Champêtre of Francis Poulenc, written in 1928.

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Personnel:
Bogna Bartosz (Alto on 12. – 23.)
Lisa Larsson (Soprano)
Elisabeth von Magnus (Alto on 01. – 11.)
Klaus Mertens (Bass)
Gerd Türk (Tenor)
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soprano vocals:
Annemieke Rademaker – Caroline Stam – Francine van der Heijden – Henriette Feith –  Johannette Zomer – Loes Groot Antink – Maria-Luz Alvarez – Mariette Bastiaansen – Vera Lansink
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tenor vocals :
Geraint Roberts – Henk Gunneman – Jeremy Ovenden – Joost Van Der Linden – Otto Bouwknegt
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Margreet Bongers (bassoon)
Margaret Faultless (solo violin)
Wilbert Hazelzet (solo flute)
Stephen Keavy (solo trumpet)
Jan Kleinbussink (organ)
Jaap ter Linden (solo cello)
Luuk Nagtegaal (timpani)
Nicholas Pap (bass)
Marcel Ponseele (solo oboe d´amore)
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Alto vocals:
Annemieke Cantor – Hugo Naessens – Martine Straesser* – Peter De Groot – Stephen Carter
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Bass vocals:
Donald Bentvelsen – Hans Wijers – Matthijs Mesdag – Mitchell Sandler – René Steur
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violin:
Alida Schat – Carla Marotta – Foskien Kooistra – Marc Cooper – Marshall Marcus – Nicola Cleminson – Tjamke Roelofs
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viola:
Jane Rogers – Martin Kelly
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cello:
Jaap ter Linden – Jonathan Manson
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trumpet:
Jonathan Impett – Robert Vanrijne – Stephen Keavy
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flute:
Marc Hantaï – Marion Moonen – Wilbert Hazelzet
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recorder:
Marion Verbruggen – Reine-Marie Verhagen
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oboe d’amore:
Marcel Ponseele – Michel Henry
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The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (leader: Margaret Faultless) conducted by Ton Koopman
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The Amsterdam Baroque Choir conducted by Simon Schouten

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Tracklist:

Easter Oratorio BWV 249 (41.02):
01. Sinfonia 4.01
02. Adagio 3.16
03. Chorus: “Kommit, Eilet und Laufet” 4.46
04. Recitativo: “O kalter Männer Sinn!” 1.04
05. Aria: “Seele, deine Spezereien” 11.01
06. Recitativo: “Hier Ist Die Gruft” 0:47
07. Aria: “Sanfte soll mein Todeskummer” 6.17
08. Recitativo: “Indessen seufzen wir” 1.05
09. Aria: “Saget, saget mir geschwinde” 5.47
10. Recitativo: “Wir sind erfreut” 0.40
11. Chorus: “Preis nd Dank” 2.20

Magnificat BWV 243 (25:18)
12. Chorus: “Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum” 2.50
13. Aria: “Et Exsultavit Spiritus Meus In Deo” 2.27
14. Aria: “Quia Respexit Humilitatem” 2.23
15. Chorus: “Omnes Generationes” 1.14
16. Aria: “Quia Fecit Mihi Magna Qui Potens Est” 2.07
17. Aria: “Et Misericordia” 3.14
18. Chorus: “Fecit Potentiam In Brachio Suo” 1.49
19. Aria: “Deposuit Potentes De Sede” 2.17
20. Aria: “Esurientes Implevit Bonis” 2.44
21. Chorus: “Suscepit Israel Puerum Summ” 1.22
22. Chorus: “Sicut Locutus Est Ad Patres Nostros” 1.18
23. Chorus: “Gloria Patri, Gloria Filio” 1.47

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750)

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Karl Jenkins – Imagined Oceans (1998)

FrontCover1Sir Karl William Pamp Jenkins CBE (born 17 February 1944) is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist and composer. His best known works include the song “Adiemus” and the Adiemus album series; Palladio; The Armed Man; and his Requiem.

Jenkins was educated in music at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music: of the latter, he is a fellow and an Associate. He was a member of the jazz-rock band Soft Machine. Jenkins has composed music for advertisement campaigns and has won the industry prize twice. (by wikipedia)

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This work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins (now Sir Karl Jenkins) was inspired by thirteen lunar mare for which the tracks are titled. The musical style is similar to Jenkins’s Adiemus compositions and each track explores the meaning of its Latin name through various musical techniques. Unlike most of the Adiemus pieces, the lyrics for Imagined Oceans consist of syllables from the tracks’ titles rather than invented text. (IC B. (icberry))

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Karl Jenkins’ successful combination of new age, jazz, and classical influences continues with Imagined Oceans, a musical interpretation of 13 of the Latin-named areas of the moon which were once believed to be vast stretches of water. The recorder of Pamela Thorby features heavily throughout, as does the imaginative use of voices; three female singers with a collected range of over three and a half octaves furthers the ethereal feel. There are as many highlights in this dense and complex collection as there are impenetrable sections that will require several listens.

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The pizzicati “Mare Vaporum (Sea of Vapours),” distinguished by the use of steam-like cymbals and a mesmeric flute part; “Mare Australis (Southern Sea),” a Mozart-influenced piece featuring Australian didgeridoo; and “Lacus Pereverantiae (Lake of Perseverance),” driven by a relentlessly repetitive (syncopated) rhythm, are among the best tracks. The musical metaphors are strewn throughout and ably continued with “Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers),” punctuated by pizzicato string raindrops. Jenkins goal, “To create a world of aquatic fantasy,” is ably achieved with this intricate and involved collection. (by Brendan Swift)

In other words: Another masterpiece of the one and only Karl Jenkins.

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Personnel:
Karl Jenkins Ensemble conducted by Nic Pendlebury
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Heather Cairncross (Alto)
Sarah Eyden (Soprano)
Micaela Haslam (Mezzo-Soprano)
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Pamela Thorby –(recorder)

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Tracklist:
01. Mare Crisium Introitus (Sea Of Crises) 2.53
02. Lacus Serenitatis (Lake Of Serenity) 4.54
03. Mare Vaporum (Sea Of Vapours) 4.28
04. Mare Australis (Southern Sea) 6.44
05. Lacus Somniorum (Lake Of Dreams) 2.40
06. Lacus Pereverantiae (Lake Of Perseverance) 8.45
07. Lacus Doloris (Lake Of Sorrow) 4.55
08. Mare Undarum (Sea of Waves) 4.58
09. Palus Nebularum (Marsh Of Mists) 3.11
10. Sinus Iridium (Bay Of Rainbows) 2.15
11. Mare Imbrium (Sea Of Showers) 4.48
12. Lacus Temporis (Lake Of Time) 5.14
13. Lacus Lenitatis (Lake Of Tenderness) 3.26
14. Mare Crisium (Sea Of Crises) 5.40

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Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgWide Open Spaces is the fourth studio album and the major label debut of American country music band, the Dixie Chicks. It was their first record with new lead vocalist Natalie Maines, and became their breakthrough commercial success. It received diamond status by the RIAA on February 20, 2003 in the United States, having shipped 14 million units worldwide, while spending more than six years in the Australian ARIA music charts Country Top 20.

At the 41st Grammy Awards, the album was awarded 2 Grammy Awards out of 3 nominations.[5] It was awarded Best Country Album (the first of what would be 4 trophies in this category: they would later win for Fly in 2000, Home in 2003, and Taking the Long Way in 2007) and for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song “There’s Your Trouble”. This is an award the Chicks would win 5 times: in 2000 for “Ready to Run”, in 2003 for “Long Time Gone”, in 2005 for “Top of the World” and 2007 for “Not Ready to Make Nice”, a feat only matched by The Judds. In addition, the Chicks were nominated for Best New Artist in 1999.

“Once You’ve Loved Somebody” had previously been recorded by John & Audrey Wiggins on their 1996 album, The Dream. (by wikipedia)

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The Dixie Chicks spent the first half of the ’90s toiling away on the independent bluegrass circuit, releasing three albums on small labels, before sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Robison decided to revamp their sound in 1995, adding Natalie Maines as their lead singer and, in the process, moving the group away from bluegrass and toward a major label with Sony/Columbia’s revived Monument Records imprint. All of this seems like the blueprint for a big pop crossover move and, to be sure, their 1998 major-label debut Wide Open Spaces was a monumental success, selling over ten million copies and turning the group into superstars, but the remarkable thing about the album is that it’s most decidedly not a sell-out, or even a consciously country-pop record. To be sure, there are pop melodies here, but this isn’t a country-pop album in the vein of Shania Twain, a record that’s big on style and glitz, designed for a mass audience. Instead, Wide Open Spaces pulls from several different sources — the Chicks’ Americana roots, to be sure, but also bits of the alt country from kd lang and Lyle Lovett, ’70s soft rock (any album that features versions of songs by J.D. Souther and Bonnie Raitt surely fits this bill), even the female neo-folkies emerging on the adult alternative rock stations at the end of the decade.

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In other words, it hit a sweet spot, appealing to many different audiences because it was eclectic without being elitist but they also had a true star in Natalie Maines, whose powerful, bluesy voice gave these songs a compelling center. Maines was versatile, too, negotiating the twists and turns of these songs without a hitch, easily moving from the vulnerability of “You Were Mine” to the snarl of “Give It Up or Let Me Go.” The same goes for the Dixie Chicks and Wide Open Spaces as a whole: they are as convincing on the sprightly opener “I Can Love You Better” or the bright, optimistic title song as they are on the breezy “There’s Your Trouble” as they are on the honky tonk shuffle of “Tonight the Heartache’s on Me” and the rocking swagger of “Let ‘Er Rip.” It’s a remarkably wide range and it’s effortlessly eclectic, with the Dixie Chicks bringing it all together with their attitude and understated musicality — as debuts go (and this does count as a debut), they rarely get better than this. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Emily Erwin (guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals)
Natalie Maines (vocals, banjo)
Martie Seidel (fiddle, mandolin, vocals)
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Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Bobby Charles, Jr. (bass)
Joe Chemay (bass)
Billy Crain (guitar)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar)
George Marinelli (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar)
Paul Worley (guitar)
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Tommy Nash (guitar on 12.)
Tony Paoletta (steel guitar on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can Love You Better (Hayes/Kostas) 3.54
02. Wide Open Spaces (Gibson) 3.43
03. Loving Arms (Jans) 3.37
04. There’s Your Trouble (Selby/Sillers) 3.13
05. You Were Mine (Erwin/Seidel) 3.37
06. Never Say Die (Ducas/Foster) 3.57
07. Tonight The Heartache’s On Me (Francis/MacRae/Morrison) 3.26
08. Let ‘Er Rip (Crain/Ramos) 2.51
09. Once You’ve Loved Somebody (McHugh/Miller) 3.29
10. I’ll Take Care Of You (Souther) 3.40
11. Am I the Only One (Who’s Ever Felt This Way) (McKee) 3.25
12. Give It Up Or Let Me Go (Raitt) 4.56

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