Swing Out Sister – Breakout (2001)

FrontCover1Although Swing Out Sister’s music is unashamedly commercial pop, their impeccable indie credentials (keyboardist Andy Connell and drummer Martin Jackson were formerly of A Certain Ratio and Magazine, and singer Corinne Drewery had no professional experience at all before joining), jazz-tinged arrangements, and knack for clever hooks move them closer to the indie dance territory of St. Etienne or late period Everything But the Girl than to the cookie-cutter dance-pop of Kylie Minogue or Paula Abdul.

Connell and Jackson formed Swing Out Sister in their hometown of Manchester, England, in 1985 as a studio-based partnership set to refine the jazzy funk of A Certain Ratio and Magazine’s quirky reimaginings of old-fashioned middle-of-the-road pop. Nottingham-born singer Drewery joined the duo just in time for their first single, “Blue Mood,” in late 1985. That single didn’t do much, but the follow-up, “Breakout,” was a Top Ten hit in Great Britain and Japan in the fall of 1986.

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The trio belatedly completed debut album It’s Better to Travel in 1987; its U.S. release scored a pair of hits with “Breakout” and “Twilight World.” Jackson demoted himself to partial contributor on 1989’s Kaleidoscope World, which emphasized the remaining duo’s debt to lush ’60s pop by hiring the legendary Jim Webb to arrange and conduct the orchestra. Though the singles “You on My Mind” and “Waiting Game” were U.K. hits, the album didn’t attract much attention in the U.S. In Japan, however, both albums were big enough hits that a special Japan-only collection of remixes, Another Non-Stop Sister, was released in late 1989, followed by the similar Swing 3 in 1990, which also collected early B-sides and other rare tracks.

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Released in 1992, Get in Touch with Yourself returned Drewery and Connell (Jackson had by this time bowed out completely) to the U.S. and U.K. charts with their cover of Barbara Acklin’s “Am I the Same Girl,” a ’60s pop hit based on the famous instrumental “Soulful Strut” by Young-Holt Unlimited. The single was even bigger in Japan, where Swing Out Sister were by this time one of the most popular acts in the country. Another remix compilation, Swing Out Singles, and a live album, Live at the Jazz Cafe, were released in Japan that year. After 1994’s The Living Return failed to chart in Great Britain, the U.K. office of Mercury Records put out 1996’s The Best of Swing Out Sister but failed to release 1997’s Shapes and Patterns, 1999’s Filth and Dreams, or 2001’s Somewhere Deep in the Night in the duo’s native country — this despite Swing Out Sister’s continued success in Japan and a devoted cult following in the U.S. and Europe.

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EMI was the worldwide label for 2004’s Where Our Love Grows. Live in Tokyo appeared a year later, followed in 2008 by Beautiful Mess, the group’s ninth studio album. In 2010, Swing Out Sister issued Private View, a hits collection that was available exclusively through their Facebook page. The year 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut album, It’s Better to Travel, which was reissued as a deluxe two-disc set. Later that year, Private View (with two bonus tracks) saw CD release through normal distribution channels. As the culmination of a PledgeMusic project, the group released a studio album, Almost Persuaded, in 2018. (by Stewart Mason)

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And here´s a nice compilation of tracks released originally 1985-1994. All tracks are album versions, except 2 and 15. Tracks 5, 6 & 16 are early B-sides.

Not really necessary but of course a part of the history of British pop.

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Personnel:
Andy Connell (keyoards)
Corinne Drewery (vocals)
Martin Jackson (drums)
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many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Breakout (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1986) 3.47
02. Fooled By A Smile (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1987) 3.41
03. Blue Mood (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1985) 4.16
04. Communion (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1987) 4.36
05. Another Lost Weekend (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1986)3.38
06. Fever (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1987) 4.30
07. Coney Island Man (Connell/Drewery) (1989) 3.42
08. Tainted (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1989) 3.57
09. Am I The Same Girl? (Record/Sanders) (1994) 4.06
10. Precious Words (Connell/Drewery) (1989) 4.11
11. Between Strangers (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1989) 4.04
12. Get In Touch With Yourself (Connell/Drewery/O´Duffy) (1994) 5.07
13. Who Let The Love Out (Connell/Drewery) (1992) 4.38
14. Circulate (Connell/Drewery) (1992) 4.54
15. Notgonnachange (Connell/Drewery/O´Duffy) (1994) 4.17
16. Wake Me When It’s Over (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1985) 4.34
17. Surrender (Connell/Drewery/Jackson) (1987) 3.54
18. The Kaleidoscope Affair (Connell/Drewery) (1989) 3.09

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The official website:
Website

Bette Midler – Experience The Divine – Greatest Hits (1993/1996)

FrontCover1Bette Midler ( born December 1, 1945) is an American actress, comedian, singer, songwriter and author. Throughout her career which spans over five decades, Midler has received numerous accolades, including four Golden Globe Awards, three Grammy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards and a Kennedy Center Honor, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards and a British Academy Film Award.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several off-off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following.

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Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist, selling over 30 million records worldwide, and has received four Gold, three Platinum, and three Multiplatinum albums by RIAA.[3][4] Many of her songs became chart hits, including her renditions of “The Rose”, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, “Do You Want to Dance”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, and “From a Distance”. She won Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “The Rose”, and Record of the Year for “Wind Beneath My Wings”.

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Midler made her film debut with the musical drama The Rose (1979), which won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She went on to star in numerous films, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Big Business (1988), Beaches (1988), Hocus Pocus (1993), The First Wives Club (1996), The Stepford Wives (2004), Parental Guidance (2012), and The Addams Family (2019). Midler also had starring roles in For the Boys (1991) and Gypsy (1993), winning two additional Golden Globe Awards for these films and receiving a second Academy Award nomination for the former.

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In 2008, Midler signed a contract with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for a residency, Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On, which ended in 2010. She starred in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, which began previews in March 2017 and premiered at the Shubert Theatre in April 2017. The show was her first leading role in a Broadway musical. Midler received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. (wikipedia)

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Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits is a compilation album by American singer Bette Midler, featuring many of her best-known songs. The fourteen track compilation was released on Atlantic Records in 1993.

While several greatest hits albums with Midler had been released in the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan throughout the 1970s and 1980s, such as The Best of Bette (1978) and The Best of Bette (1981)—two different compilations with the same title—and Just Hits (1987), this was the first career overview to be released worldwide including the US and Canada, some twenty years after Midler recorded her first studio album for the Atlantic Records label. The album included one new recording, Midler’s Emmy Award-winning rendition of “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”, sung to retiring talk show host Johnny Carson on the penultimate Tonight Show in May 1992. Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits peaked at #50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 1993 and was three years later certified platinum for one million copies sold in the US.

Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits was re-released in Europe, Australia and New Zealand in 1996 with a slightly altered track list, then also including two of Midler’s biggest hits which for some reason had been left off the 1993 edition; “Favorite Waste of Time” and the Rolling Stones cover “Beast of Burden”, both from the 1983 album No Frills. The 1996 edition also included two versions of the US hit single “To Deserve You”, taken from what became Midler’s final studio album for Atlantic, 1995’s Bette of Roses. (wikipedia)

The frontcover of the 1996 edition:
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Placing the raw beginning of her career (beautifully represented by the stark resignation of “Hello in There”) against the brassy persona she has since cultivated (“Miss Otis Regrets”) against the overblown A/C cuts that have been her biggest hits (“From a Distance,” “Wind Beneath My Wings”), Bette Midler shows on this album why she is a legend and not just a popular recording artist. Being able to raise those enormously popular ballads from muck simply by rising above the production with her expressive, sterling vocals, thus making bland material classy, is one thing. But pulling off the coarseness of “When a Man Loves a Woman” as well as the sultry “Do You Wanna Dance?” in practically the same breath, while never overstating the steadfast certainty of “The Rose,” shows range that most pop “stars” can’t even spell.

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Despite that, giving listeners an overview of a 30-year career with more good material than hit singles would be difficult in any case, and some of the choices for this album seem almost arbitrary, considering the single “Beast of Burden” from No Frills and classic cuts like “Come Back Jimmy Dean” from the same album and the wrenching “Superstar” from her stellar debut, The Divine Miss M, are missing. On the plus side, Experience the Divine includes “One for my Baby (And One More for the Road),” which Midler performed as the chosen final guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Atlantic did a sound job of culling from her repertoire, and this album represents all that most casual fans would need to get an understanding of the vocalist beyond her hit singles, but, as with any true artist, to truly experience the Divine, you would need to check out each of her albums to find all of the gems. (by Bryan Buss)

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Personnel:
Bette Midler (vocals)
+
many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:

The 1993 edition:
01. Hello In There (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Prine) 4.17
02. Do You Want To Dance? (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Freeman) 2.44
03. From A Distance (from the album “Some People’s Lives”, 1990) (Gold) 4.38
04. Chapel Of Love (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Barry/Greenwich/Spector) 2.54
05. Only In Miami (from the album “No Frills”, 1983) (Gronenthal) 3.57
06. When A Man Loves A Woman (from the soundtrack album “The Rose”, 1979) Lewis/ Wright) 4.54
07. The Rose (Single version) (from the soundtrack album “The Rose”, 1979) (McBroom) 3.34
08. Miss Otis Regrets (from the album “Some People’s Lives”, 1990) (Porter) 2.39
09. Shiver Me Timbers (from the album “Live at Last”, 1977) (Waits) 4.43
10. Wind Beneath My Wings (from the soundtrack album “Beaches”. 1988)  (Henley/Silbar) 4.53
11. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (previously unavailable on album hit 45 version) (Raye/ Prince) 2.19
12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (live) (previously unreleased. Recorded and aired on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on May 21, 1992 (Arlen/  Mercer/Shaiman/Midler) 4.06
13. Friends (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Klingman/Linhart) 2.55
14. In My Life (Single version)  (from the soundtrack album “For The Boys”, 1991) (Lennon/ McCartney) 3.12

The 1996 edition:
01. To Deserve You (single remix) (from the album “Bette Of Roses”, 1995) (McKee)  4.11
02. Beast Of Burden (from the album “No Frills”, 1983) (Jagger/Richards) 3.50
03. Favorite Waste Of Time (from the album “No Frills”, 1983) (Crenshaw) 2.41
04. Hello In There (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Prine) 4.17
05. Do You Want To Dance? (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Freeman) 2.44
06. From A Distance (from the album “Some People’s Lives”, 1990) (Gold) 4.38
07. Chapel Of Love (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Barry/Greenwich/Spector) 2.54
08. Only In Miami (from the album “No Frills”, 1983) (Gronenthal) 3.57
09. When A Man Loves A Woman (from the soundtrack album “The Rose”, 1979) Lewis/ Wright) 4.54
10. The Rose (Single version) (from the soundtrack album “The Rose”, 1979) (McBroom) 3.34
11. Miss Otis Regrets (from the album “Some People’s Lives”, 1990) (Porter) 2.39
12. Shiver Me Timbers (from the album “Live at Last”, 1977) (Waits) 4.43
13. Wind Beneath My Wings (from the soundtrack album “Beaches”. 1988)  (Henley/Silbar) 4.53
14. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (previously unavailable on album hit 45 version) (Raye/ Prince) 2.19
15. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (live) (previously unreleased. Recorded and aired on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on May 21, 1992 (Arlen/  Mercer/Shaiman/Midler) 4.06
16. Friends (from the album “Divine Miss M”, 1972) (Klingman/Linhart) 2.55
17. In My Life (Single version)  (from the soundtrack album “For The Boys”, 1991) (Lennon/ McCartney) 3.12
18. To Deserve You (from the album “Bette of Roses”, 1995)) (McKee) 5.14
+
19. Red (taken from the album “Broken Blossom”, 1977) (Carter/Hagar) 3.20

CDs

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More from Bette Midler:
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The official website:
Website

Barbra Streisand – Duets (2002)

FrontCover1Barbara Joan Streisand (born April 24, 1942), known professionally as Barbra Streisand, is an American singer, actress, and filmmaker. With a career spanning over six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment, and is among the few performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).

Streisand began her career by performing in nightclubs and Broadway theaters in the early 1960s. Following her guest appearances on various television shows, she signed to Columbia Records, insisting that she retain full artistic control, and accepting lower pay in exchange, an arrangement that continued throughout her career, and released her debut The Barbra Streisand Album (1963), which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Throughout her recording career, Streisand has topped the US Billboard 200 chart with 11 albums—a record for a woman—including People (1964), The Way We Were (1974), Guilty (1980), and The Broadway Album (1985). She also achieved five number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100—”The Way We Were”, “Evergreen”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “Woman in Love”.

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Following her established recording success in the 1960s, Streisand ventured into film by the end of that decade. She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl (1968), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Additional fame followed with films including the extravagant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969), the screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc? (1972), and the romantic drama The Way We Were (1973). Streisand won a second Academy Award for writing the love theme from A Star Is Born (1976), the first woman to be honored as a composer. With the release of Yentl (1983), Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical. Streisand also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, becoming the first (and for 37 years, the only) woman to win that award. Streisand later directed The Prince of Tides (1991) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).

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With sales exceeding 150 million records worldwide, Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 68.5 million certified album units tying with Mariah Carey. Billboard ranked Streisand as the greatest female artist on the Billboard 200 chart and the top Adult Contemporary female artist of all time. Her accolades include two Academy Awards, 10 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes.

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Duets (retitled Star Collection in some countries) is a compilation album by American singer Barbra Streisand, released on November 26, 2002, by Columbia Records. The collection features nineteen duets from Streisand’s career, including two newly-recorded ones: “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” with Barry Manilow and “All I Know of Love” with Josh Groban. The former song was released as the album’s lead single on November 4, 2002, as a streaming-only exclusive for AOL Music website members. Duets was reissued in South American countries in 2013 under the title Star Collection with new artwork.

The compilation was executively produced by Streisand and her manager, Jay Landers. Music critics highlighted the album’s duets with Ray Charles, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra, but were disappointed by her decision to release another compilation album following The Essential Barbra Streisand, which was released earlier in 2002. Commercially, the album peaked within the top ten of record charts in Denmark and the Netherlands; it also entered the Billboard 200 at number 38 and became certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 500,000 copies. Duets has gone on to sell 1.5 million records worldwide.

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During 2002, Streisand and Columbia Records released two compilation albums, with the first one being The Essential Barbra Streisand, a greatest hits album mostly consisting of the singer’s top ten hits and top forty hits. Later that year, on November 26, she released Duets, a compilation of nineteen duets from her music catalog. The collection was executively produced by Streisand and her manager, Jay Landers.

Fourteen out of the album’s nineteen tracks were originally featured on previous Streisand studio albums. In addition, the singer included three songs that were originally performed live with another artist. “I’ve Got a Crush on You”, with Frank Sinatra, initially appeared on his 1993 Duets album, while her rendition of “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” with Harold Arlen was first released on his 1966 studio album Harold Sings Arlen (With Friend). Her medley of “Get Happy / Happy Days Are Here Again” with Judy Garland was originally performed live on The Judy Garland Show in 1963. With eighteen of the album’s songs being duets with other musicians, Streisand’s medley of “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House Is Not a Home” is a duet with herself, first released on the 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand.

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Streisand recorded two new tracks for the album: “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” with Barry Manilow and “All I Know of Love” with Josh Groban. The former track was written by Richard Marx and Manilow, while the latter was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson.

“I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” was released as the album’s lead and only single on November 4, 2002, as an exclusive download for AOL Music website members. Although the track was not released commercially, “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” was distributed as a promotional CD single on January 6, 2003. With the release handled by Columbia Records, the CD was sent exclusively to United States radio stations and includes the “Radio Version Edit” and “Radio Version” releases of the song. In 2013, Sony Music Entertainment rereleased the compilation in South American countries with a new cover art, but identical track listing, under the title Star Collection.

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Duets entered and peaked on the Billboard 200 at number 38, during the week of December 14, 2002. It was the chart’s eleventh highest debut and would go to spend fourteen weeks on the listing. On January 9, 2003, it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for physical shipments of 500,000 copies, and during the year-end Billboard 200 chart in 2003, the compilation was listed at number 176. As of June 22, 2007, Duets has sold 561,000 copies in the United States, outselling its predecessor (The Essential Barbra Streisand) by 55,000 copies. In Oceania, the album peaked in Australia and New Zealand at numbers 13 and 11, respectively. In the two aforementioned countries, it received a Gold certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 35,000 copies and a Platinum certification by Recorded Music NZ for shipments of 15,000 copies.

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The album entered several record charts across Europe as well. According to the Official Charts Company, it peaked at numbers 39 and 30, in Scotland and the United Kingdom, respectively. In the latter country, the compilation spent 6 weeks charting during 2002 and was ranked on the year-end sales charts at position 89. In Denmark and the Netherlands, Duets peaked within the top ten at numbers 10 and 9, respectively. The album reached number 26 in Spain and received a Gold certification by PROMUSICAE for shipments of 50,000 copies. Its lowest peak positions were achieved in France, Germany, and Switzerland, where the compilation peaked at numbers 44, 53, and 88, respectively. The album has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

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In her lengthy career, Barbra Streisand has never shown much inclination to share the spotlight. In the movies, she must endure a leading man, but in her recordings, she has gone it alone for the most part. In 1978, however, a disc jockey edited together her and Neil Diamond’s recordings of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” and she and Diamond quickly cut a real duet, resulting in a number one hit. Thereafter, she cannily coaxed others into sharing the microphone, resulting in chart singles with Donna Summer, Barry Gibb, Kim Carnes, former boyfriend Don Johnson, Bryan Adams, and Celine Dion, and album tracks with Johnny Mathis, Michael Crawford, and Vince Gill. The material mostly consisted of mediocre adult contemporary ballads that were outshone by the star power of the singers.

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This album collects all those duets, plus a couple of newly recorded mediocre adult contemporary ballads sung with Barry Manilow and Josh Groban, and a few stray tracks from the 1960s and early ’70s when Streisand joined another singer. Her unsuitability to the duet format is repeatedly evidenced, as she seems virtually incapable of shutting up when her partner is trying to take a solo, invariably humming in the background to draw attention back to herself. The only real exception to this rule is the version of “I’ve Got a Crush on You” recorded for Frank Sinatra’s own Duets album, a track Streisand did not control. Naturally, the best performances occur when she is paired with a singer who is more than just a cipher — Sinatra, Ray Charles, or Judy Garland, the latter two in TV performances. Then, of course, there’s the medley of “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House Is Not a Home” on which she finally finds the perfect duet partner, her overdubbed self! (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Barbra Streisand (vocals)
+
many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. I Won’t Be The One To Let You Go (w/Barry Manilow) (Marx/Manilow) (new recording; 2002) 4.40
02. Guilty (w/Barry Gibb) (B.Gibb/R.Gibb/M.Gibb) (1980) 4.25
03. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (w/Neil Diamond) (A.Bergman/M.Bergman/Diamond) (1978) 3.25
04. I Finally Found Someone (w/Bryan Adams) (Streisand/Hamlisch/Lane/Adams) (1996) 3.42
05. Cryin’ Time (w/Ray Charles) (Owens) (1991) 2.18
06. I’ve Got A Crush On You (w/Frank Sinatra) (G.Gershwin(I.Gershwin) (1993) 3.23
07. Tell Him (w/Celine Dion) (Foster/Thompson/Afanasieff) (1987) 4.53
08. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (w/Donna Summer) (Jabara/Roberts) (1979) 4.43
09. What Kind Of Fool (w/Barry Gibb) (B.Gibb/Galuten) (1989) 4.07
10. I Have A Love / One Hand, One Heart (w/Johnny Mathis) (Bernstein/Sondheim) (1993) 4.45
11. One Less Bell To Answer / A House Is Not A Home (Dubbed Duet) (Bacharach/David) (1971) 6.32
12. Lost Inside Of You (w/Kris Kristofferson) (Streisand/Russell) (1976) 2.55
13. Till I Loved You (w/Don Johnson) (Yeston) (1988) 4.17
14. Make No Mistake, He’s Mine (w/Kim Carnes) (Carnes) (1984) 4.11
15. If You Ever Leave Me (w/Vince Gill) (Marx) (1999) 4.38
16. The Music Of The Night (w/Michael Crawford) (Webber/Hart/Stilgoe) (1993) 5.38
17. Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead (w/Harold Arlen) (Arlen/Harburg) (1966) 1.54
18. Get Happy / Happy Days Are Here Again (w/Judy Garland) (Arlen/Koehler/Yellen) (1963) 2.22
19. All I Know Of Love (w/Josh Grobin) (Foster/Thompson) (new recording; 2002) 4.29

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The official website:
Website

Roberta Flack – Softly With These Songs – The Best Of Roberta Flack (1993)

FrontCover1Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated — all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough to get a music scholarship and eventually, a degree from Howard University. After a period of student teaching, Flack was discovered singing at a club by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic.

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Her first two albums — 1969’s First Take and 1970’s Chapter Two — were well received but produced no hit singles; however, that all changed when a version of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to number one in 1972 and remained there for six weeks, becoming that year’s biggest hit. Flack followed it with the first of several duets with Howard classmate Donny Hathaway, “Where Is the Love.” “Killing Me Softly with His Song” became Flack’s second number one hit (five weeks) in 1973, and after topping the charts again in 1974 with “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” Flack took a break from performing to concentrate on recording and charitable causes.

Roberta Flack05She charted several more times over the next few years, as she did with the Top Ten 1977 album Blue Lights in the Basement — featuring “The Closer I Get to You,” a number two ballad with Hathaway. A major blow was struck in 1979 when her duet partner, one of the most creative voices in soul music, committed suicide. Devastated, Flack eventually found another creative partner in Peabo Bryson, with whom she toured in 1980. The two recorded together in 1983, scoring a hit duet with “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love.”

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Flack spent the remainder of the ’80s touring and performing, often with orchestras, and also several times with Miles Davis. She returned to the Top Ten once more in 1991 with “Set the Night to Music,” a duet with Maxi Priest that appeared that year on the album of the same name. Her Roberta full-length, featuring interpretations of jazz and popular standards, followed in 1994. As she continued into the 21st century, Flack recorded infrequently but released albums like 2012’s Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles, which showed that her poise and balanced singing had aged well. Varese Sarabande released a lovingly remixed version of Flack’s fine 1997 holiday album Christmas Songs (it had originally appeared from Capitol Records under the title The Christmas Album) that same year, adding in an additional track, “Cherry Tree Carol.” (by Steve Huey)

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And here´s a nice compilation album:

Roberta Flack was blessed with one of the loveliest, most soothing voices in the music industry. In the 1970s, she not only appealed to pop and R&B audiences, but also fit in with the era’s more serious, sensitive singer/songwriters. She scored some of the decade’s biggest hits with classics such as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” and “Feel Like Making Love,” as well as her legendary duets with Donny Hathaway, all which have gone on to become standards in the pop pantheon. This single-disc set attempts to collect her best and most successful recordings from the 1970s to the 1990s, when she enjoyed the success of another Top Ten hit with Diane Warren’s “Set the Night to Music” (with Maxi Priest).

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However, this ambitious collection, even with such stellar material, proves a little frustrating due to the omission of several key tracks from Flack’s catalog, among those “Jesse,” “If I Ever See You Again,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and several others. It does, however, manage to incorporate other Flack collectibles, including her soundtrack hit “Making Love,” her hit with Peabo Bryson, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love,” her lovely, breezy, chart-topping 1988 R&B hit “Oasis,” and a sleek 1990s house track, “Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes).” This ambitious yet frustrating collection not only highlights Flack’s long, illustrious career, but also brings to attention the fact that a multi-disc retrospective on this legendary singer would be a most welcome addition to her catalog. (by Jose F. Promis)

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Personnel:
Robert Flack (vocals)
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many, many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01.The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (from “First Take”;1969) (MacColl)  5.22
02. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (from “Quiet Fire”; 1971) (King/Goffin) 4.07
03. Where Is The Love (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway”; 1972) (MacDonald/Salter) 2.44
04. Killing Me Softly With His Song (from “Killing Me Softly”;1973) (Fox/Gimbel) 4.48
05. Feel Like Makin’ Love (from “Feel Like Makin’ Love”;1975) (McDaniels)  2.54
06. The Closer I Get to You (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Blue Lights In The Basement”;1977) (Lucas/Mtume) 4.42
07. More Than Everything (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Live & More”;1980) (Bryson/ Flack) 4.03
08. Only Heaven Can Wait (For Love) (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Live & More”;1980) 5.47
09. Back Together Again (duet with Donny Hathaway) (from “Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway”;1980) 4.51
10. Making Love (from “I’m The One; 1982) (Bacharach/Sager/Roberts) 3.44
11. Tonight, I Celebrate My Love (duet with Peabo Bryson) (from “Born to Love”; 1983) (Goffin/Masser) 3.31
12. Oasis (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Miller/Stephens) 6.10
13. And So It Goes (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Flack/Miles/Angelou) 3.36
14. You Know What It’s Like (from “Oasis”; 1988) (Flack/Russell/Miles) 4.45
15. Set The Night To Music (duet with Maxi Priest) (from “Set The Night To Music”; 1991) (Warren) 5.24
16. My Foolish Heart (from “Set The Night To Music”; 1991) (Washington/Young) 4.41
17. Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes) (Steve Hurley’s House Mix) (single version; 1989) (Ashford/Simpson) 5.14

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More from Roberta Flack:
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The official website:
Website

Rod Stewart – If We Fall In Love Tonight (2001)

FrontCover1Sir Roderick David Stewart CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK, 6 of which reached number one. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.

Stewart’s music career began in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In 1963, he joined The Dimensions as harmonica player and vocalist. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars before moving to the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Joining Faces in 1969, he also maintained a solo career releasing his debut album that same year. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B.[5][6] His third album, 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story, was his breakthrough, topping the charts in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, as did its ballad “Maggie May”. His 1972 follow-up album, Never a Dull Moment, also reached number one in the UK and Australia, while going top three in the US and Canada. Its single, “You Wear It Well”, topped the chart in the UK and was a moderate hit elsewhere.

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After a handful more UK top ten hits, Stewart announced the breakup of the Faces in 1975. His next few singles were ballads with “Sailing”, off the 1975 UK and Australian number-one album, Atlantic Crossing, becoming a hit in the UK and the Netherlands (number one), Germany (number four) and other countries, but barely charting in North America. A Night on the Town (1976), his fifth straight chart-topper in the UK, began a three-album run of going number one or top three in North America, the UK and Australia with each release. That album’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” spent almost two months at number one in the US and Canada, and made the top five in other countries. Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977) featured the major hit “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” as well as the rocker “Hot Legs”. Blondes Have More Fun (1978) and its disco-tinged “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” both went to number one in Canada, Australia and the US, with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” also hitting number one in the UK and the top ten in other countries. Stewart’s albums regularly hit the upper rungs of the charts in the Netherlands throughout the 70s and in Sweden from 1975 onward.

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After a disco and new wave period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stewart’s music turned to a soft rock/middle-of-the-road style, with most of his albums reaching the top ten in the UK, Germany and Sweden, but faring less well in the US. The single “Rhythm of My Heart” was a top five hit in the UK, US and other countries, with its source album, 1991’s Vagabond Heart, becoming, at number ten in the US and number two in the UK, his highest-charting album in a decade. In 1993, he collaborated with Bryan Adams and Sting on the power ballad “All for Love”, which went to number one in many countries. In the early 2000s, he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”. A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at No. 33 in Q Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and he was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.

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If We Fall in Love Tonight is a ballad album released by Rod Stewart on 12 November 1996 (see 1996 in music). It includes mostly previously released songs. The album was released in both the US and UK, though the versions differ slightly. It was released by Warner Bros. Records, and produced the singles “If We Fall in Love Tonight” and “When I Need You”.

The title track, If We Fall in Love Tonight, written for this album, had some legal wrangles regarding its copyright and track title which have now been resolved. The album includes three newly recorded cover versions of hit songs: “Sometimes When We Touch,” originally sang by Dan Hill; “When I Need You,” originally sang by Leo Sayer; and “For the First Time,” originally sang by Kenny Loggins. Two other songs had not been previously released on a Rod Stewart album: “So Far Away”, originally by Carole King, which had been released as a single in 1995 from that year’s Carole King tribute album, Tapestry Revisited, and “All for Love,” sang with Bryan Adams and Sting, from the 1993 film soundtrack The Three Musketeers. Additionally, two songs were revamped for If We Fall in Love Tonight: “Have I Told You Lately”, originally by Van Morrison and initially released on Stewart’s Vagabond Heart, was remixed here; and “Forever Young”, initially on Stewart’s Out of Order, which was completely re-recorded. The remaining tracks were all previously released on various Rod Stewart albums. (wikipedia)

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Taking its cue from Madonna’s ballad collection Something to Remember, Rod Stewart’s If We Fall in Love Tonight combines several of his biggest ballads with three new songs. If We Fall in Love Tonight is targeted directly toward an older, adult contemporary audience who no longer wants to hear Stewart’s harder-edged material. Which means that not only is “Maggie May” not included, but neither is “This Old Heart of Mine,” since both are a bit too uptempo for this collection. Instead, the album is nothing but ballads, going back as far as “Tonight’s the Night,” “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” “I Don’t Want to Talk About It,” and “You’re in My Heart,” but concentrating on ’80s and ’90s hits like “Downtown Train,” “All for Love,” “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” “Have I Told You Lately,” and “Broken Arrow.” The compilation also contains rarities like the Sting and Bryan Adams collaboration “All for Love” and the Carole King cover “So Far Away,” a new version of “Forever Young,” a cover of Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You,” the James Newton Howard song “For the First Time,” and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis collaboration “If We Fall in Love Tonight.” The new songs are good adult contemporary radio fodder, yet they pale next to his classic ’70s cuts. Nevertheless, If We Fall in Love Tonight is a very enjoyable soft rock collection. It may not draw an accurate portrait of Stewart’s career, but it does offer a good overview of his soft rock hits. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Rod Stewart (vocals)
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many, any studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. If We Fall in Love Tonight” (new original song; previously unreleased) (Jam/Lewis) 5.42
02. For the First Time (new cover song; previously unreleased) (Friedman/Rich/Howard) 4.02
03. When I Need You” (new cover song; previously unreleased) (Sager/Hammond) 4.50
04. Sometimes When We Touch (new cover song; previously unreleased) (Mann/Hill) 4.25
05. Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) (previously released on Stewart’s A Night on the Town) (Stewart) 3.33
06. I Don’t Want To Talk About It (original version on Stewart’s Atlantic Crossing; this version taken from Stewart’s Storyteller – The Complete Anthology: 1964–1990) (Whitten) 4.50
07. Have I Told You Lately (studio version remix) (new remixed version; previously unreleased) (Morrison) 3.58
08. Broken Arrow (previously released on Stewart’s Vagabond Heart) (Robertson) 4.21
09. Forever Young (1996) (new re-recorded version; previously unreleased) (Stewart/ Cregan) 4.52
10. You’re In My Heart (previously released on Stewart’s Foot Loose & Fancy Free) (Stewart) 4.28
11. My Heart Can’t Tell You No (previously released on Stewart’s Out of Order) (Climie/ Morgan) 5.11
12. The First Cut Is The Deepest (previously released on Stewart’s A Night on the Town) (Stevens) 3.50
13. Sailing (previously released on Stewart’s Atlantic Crossing) (Sutherland) 4.20
14. Downtown Train (previously released on Stewart’s Storyteller – The Complete Anthology: 1964–1990) (Waits) 4.36
15. Tom Traubert’s Blues (Waltzing Matilda) (previously released on Stewart’s Lead Vocalist) (Wits) 6.10
16. All For Love (with Bryan Adams & Sting, previously released on The Three Musketeers Soundtrack) (Lange/Adams/Kamen) 4.41

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits (1993)

FrontCover1Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. Formed in 1976, the band originally comprised Tom Petty (lead singer, guitar), Mike Campbell (lead guitarist), Ron Blair (bass guitar), Stan Lynch (drums), and Benmont Tench (keyboards). In 1981, Blair, weary of the touring lifestyle, departed the band. His replacement, Howie Epstein, stayed with the band for the next two decades. In 1991, Scott Thurston joined the band as a multi-instrumentalist—mostly on rhythm guitar and second keyboards. In 1994, Steve Ferrone replaced Lynch on drums. Blair returned to the Heartbreakers in 2002, the year before Epstein’s death. The band had a long string of hit singles including “Breakdown”, “American Girl”, “Refugee”, “The Waiting”, “Learning to Fly”, and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, among many others, that stretched over several decades of work.

The band in 1977:
from left: Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Tom Petty, Stan Lynch, and Benmont Tench:
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The band’s music was characterized as both Southern rock and heartland rock, cited alongside artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp as progenitors of that genre that arose in the late 1970s and 1980s. While the heartland rock movement waned in the 1990s, the band remained active and popular, touring regularly until Petty’s death in 2017, after which the Heartbreakers disbanded. Their final studio album, Hypnotic Eye, was released in 2014.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, their first year of eligibility. Although most of their material was produced and performed under the name “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers”, Petty released three solo albums, the most successful of which was Full Moon Fever (1989). In these releases, some members of the band contributed as collaborators, producing and performing as studio musicians.

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Greatest Hits is a compilation album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1993. It is Petty’s best-selling album to date and was certified 12× Platinum by the RIAA on April 28, 2015. The single “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” became one of Petty’s most popular songs, reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The other new song on the album is a cover of the Thunderclap Newman hit “Something in the Air”. The album contains no songs from 1987’s Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). However, three songs from Petty’s 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever were included.

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On its original release in November 1993, the album debuted at No. 8 on Billboard 200, and first peaked at No. 5 on the chart in February 1994. It reached a new peak of No. 2 following Petty’s death in 2017.

The new tracks “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Something in the Air” were the band’s last recordings with drummer Stan Lynch. (wikipedia)

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Greatest Hits is a lean yet complete overview of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ biggest singles from their first prime. Sure, it’s possible to pinpoint a few great songs missing, but the group had a lot of great songs during the late ’70s and ’80s. This rounds up the biggest hits from that era, and in doing so, it turns into a succinct summary of the band at the top of its game. Everything from “American Girl” to “Free Fallin'” is included, with 18 tracks proving that Petty was one of the best rockers of his time. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Ron Blair (bass on 01. – 08.)
Mike Campbell (guitar, bass, keyboards, squeeze box)
Howie Epstein (bass, background vocals on 10. – 12, 15.-18.)
Stan Lynch (drums, percussion, background vocals on 01. – 11., 15. – 18.)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, percussion)
Benmont Tench (keyboards, background vocals on 01. – 11., 15. – 18.)
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Dean Garcia (bass on 11.)
George Harrison (guitar, background vocals on 12.)
Phil Jones (drums, percussion on 12. – 14.)
Jeff Jourard (guitar on 02.)
Jim Keltner (percussion on 05.)
Jeff Lynne (bass, guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, background vocals on 12. – 16.)
Daniel Rothmuller (cello on 11.)
Phil Seymour (background vocals on 01. + 02.)
David A. Stewart (sitar, keyboards, background vocals on 11.)
Chris Trujillo (percussion on 17. + 18.)
Alan “Bugs” Weidel (piano on 11.)
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background vocals on 11.:
Sharon Celani – Marilyn Martin – Stephanie Sprull

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Tracklist:
01. American Girl (Petty) (from: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) 3.33
02. Breakdown (Petty) (from: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) 2.43
03. Listen To Her Heart (Petty) (from: You’re Gonna Get It!, 1978) 3.03
04. I Need To Know (Petty) (from: You’re Gonna Get It!, 1978) 2.23
05. Refugee (Petty/Campbell) (from: Damn The Torpedoes, 1979) 3.22
06. Don’t Do Me Like That (Petty) (from: Damn The Torpedoes. 1979) 2.42
07. Even The Losers (Petty) (from: Damn The Torpedoes, 1979) 3.38
08. Here Comes My Girl (Petty/Campbell) (from: Damn The Torpedoes) 4.25
09. The Waiting (Petty) (from: Hard Promises, 1981) 3.59
10. You Got Lucky (Petty/Campbell) (from: Long After Dark, 1982) 3.36
11. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Petty/Stewart) (from: Southern Accents, 1985) 5.04
12. I Won’t Back Down (Petty/Lynne) (from:  Full Moon Fever, 1989) 2.57
13. Runnin’ Down A Dream (Petty/Lynne/Campbell) (from: Full Moon Fever, 1989) 4.23
14. Free Fallin’ (Petty/Lynne) (from: Full Moon Fever, 1989) 4.15
15. Learning To Fly (Petty/Lynne) (from: Into the Great Wide Open, 1991) 4.02
16. Into The Great Wide Open (Petty/Lynne) (from: Into the Great Wide Open, 1991) 3.44
17. Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Petty) (new song) 4.33
18. Something In The Air (Keen) (new song) 3.18

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More from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:
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Aerosmith – Big Ones (1994)

FrontCover1Big Ones is one of the many compilation albums by the American rock band Aerosmith, released on November 1, 1994. Big Ones featured 12 hits from the band’s three consecutive multi-platinum albums, Permanent Vacation (1987), Pump (1989), and Get a Grip (1993), as well as the hit, “Deuces are Wild” from The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience (1993), and two new songs, “Blind Man” and “Walk on Water”, which were recorded during a break in the band’s Get a Grip Tour. These songs were also included on the band’s 2001 compilation album, Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology. Big Ones is the band’s second best-selling compilation album, reaching #6 on the Billboard charts, and selling four million copies in the United States alone. The album quickly became a worldwide hit reaching the Top 10 in nine countries before the end of the year. (by wikipedia)

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Big Ones serves up the hits and nothing but the hits; Aerosmith’s excellent debut for Geffen, Done with Mirrors, is conveniently overlooked. So what’s left is some of the finest mainstream hard rock of the late ’80s and early ’90s — the fruits of one of the most remarkable comebacks in rock & roll history. Unfortunately, there’s precious little of the classic Aerosmith raunch; in fact, the two new tracks are the hardest, slinkiest tracks here.

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Otherwise, the up-tempo tracks bog down in over-production (“Love in an Elevator”), and the frequently embarrassingly overwrought power ballads (“Angel” and “Crazy”) dominate too much of the album. So what’s left? The band’s best stab at social commentary (“Janie’s Got a Gun”), a sublime slinky throwaway (“Deuces Are Wild”), deliciously sleazy blues-rockers (“Rag Doll,” “[Dude] Looks Like a Lady”), and their best ballads (“What It Takes” and “Cryin'”). (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Hamilton (bass, background vocals on 02.)
Joey Kramer (drums)
Joe Perry (lead guitar, backgroun vocals, pedal steel guitar)
Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica)
Brad Whitford (guitar)
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Drew Arnott (mellotron on 14.)
Paul Baron (trumpet)
Desmond Child (keyboards on 12.)
Henry Christian (trumpet)
Bob Dowd (background vocals on 02.)
Bruce Fairbairn (trumpet, background vocals on 02.)
Don Henley (background vocals on 08.)
Tom Keenlyside (saxophone, clarinet)
Ian Putz (saxophone)
Bob Rogers (trombone)
Richard Supa (keyboards on 08.)
Jim Vallance (organ on 03.)
John Webster (keyboards)
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Polynesian log drums on 13.:
Mapuhi T. Tekurio – Melvin Liufau – Wesey Mamea – Liainaiala Tagaloa – Sandy Kanaeholo – Aladd Alatina Teofilo, Jr.

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Tracklist:
01. Walk On Water (previously unreleased) (Tyler/Perry7Blades/Shaw) 4.57
02. Love In An Elevator (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Perry) 5.23
03. Rag Doll (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Perry/Vallance/Knight) 4.25
04. What It Takes (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.12
05. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 4.26
06. Janie’s Got A Gun (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Hamilton) 5.30
07. Cryin’ (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Rhodes) 5.10
08. Amazing (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Supa) 5.59
09. Blind Man (previously unreleased) (Tyler/Perry/Rhodes) 4.02
10. Deuces Are Wild (from the album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience) Tyler/ Vallance) 3.37
11. The Other Side (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Vallance) 4.04
12. Crazy (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.17
13. Eat The Rich (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Vallance) 4.13
14. Angel (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Child) 5.08
15. Livin’ On The Edge (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Hudson) 6.19
+
16. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (Live) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.10

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Various Artists – More Good Whiskey Blues – Tennessee Vol 2 (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgThe concept of TALKING WITH THE BLUES is based on a view of the various US states as blues regions. Even casual blues listeners are familiar with the fact that there is Chicago Blues or Mississippi Blues and the gripping social history of the music is very much marked by its geography. But there is much more that just those two places and to this day blues music stays committed to local styles. Moreover, many US states are endowed with a unique cultural identity grown out of the prevailing social, historical and ethnic realities. Reflections of these specific identities are also expressed in the blues.

Contemporary American blues practice is not limited to just a handful of states and comes in many shapes and colors. Blues is part of everyday culture and people from all walks of life choose it as their favorite soundtrack for social activities. Blues culture can be found in many places, especially in the network-like multitude of bars, live music clubs and juke joints. These blues strongholds are mostly dominated by local heroes who do not lag behind when compared with the big names of the business. Many of these contemporary and still to be discovered artists are the cornerstones of this anthology.

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The notion of a recurring blues renaissance in the US is misleading and deceptive inasmuch as the blues has never disappeared. The infrastructure of the blues scene is not based upon the music industry’s PR efforts but kept alive by the inherent qualities of the music and the profound dedication of blues lovers all over the country. Good blues does not have an expiration date. Blues is soulful, emotional, direct and intense. The best of contemporary blues is blessed with the special kind of truthfulness that can turn the affairs of everyday life into something special. These are features which seem to have more or less disappeared from the world of modern pop music.

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Neglecting the theoretical baggage of blues scholarship TAXIM aims at presenting an entertaining and regionally relevant cross-section of fine contemporary US blues like it is blossoming on the fringes of the music industry. So get ready for exceptional talent from a multitude of blues regions. TALKING WITH THE BLUES is about the special qualities that can still turn this music into a way of life. Put together with expertise and thought, these compilations feature artists who disprove the prejudiced notion of blues as a music paralyzed by cliches. The blues is alive and well. Not only in Texas, Chicago or Mississippi but everywhere from Shreveport to Milwaukee, from San Diego to Jersey City. Welcome aboard. (jazznblues.club)

And here´s the 2nd Tennessee edition … oh yes … I love this good old fucking blues …

.. And I love the cover, too …

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Personnel.

Metropolitan All-Stars:
Rick Baldwin (bass)
Caroline Dahl (piano on 05. + 12.)
Rodney Hatfield (harmonica)
Keith Hubbard (organ on 05.)
Frank Schaap (guitar)
Nick Stump (guitar, vocals)
David White (drums)

Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder:
Gary Kubal (drums)
Johnny Neel (keyboards, programming on 14.)
Rusty Russell (bass)’
Camille Schmidt (background vocals)
Tim Wagoner (guitar, vocals)
Jim Wilson (keybboards)

Hypnotics:
Richard Fleming (guitar, vocals)
Jimi Foglesong  (drums)
Casey Lutton (lead guitar)
Geoff Newhall (bass)
Tom Pallardy (saxophone)

Dean Hall:
Dean Hall (guitar, vocals)
Tim Loftin (bass on 08.)
Milton Sledge (drums)
Terry McMillan (harmonica)
Peter Newland (harmonica on 08.)
Bill Swartz (drums on 08.)
Willie Weeks (bass)
Jamie Whiting (piano on 08.)

Planet Rockers:
Eddie Angel (leadguitar)
Sonny George (vocals, guitar)
Bill Swartz (drums)
Mark Winchester (bass)

Chip Vandiver:
Dave Pomeroy (bass)
Milton Sledge (drums)
Chip Vandiver (guitar, vocals)
Biff Watkins (keyboards)

Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds:
Bruce Flett (bass on 13.)
Buddy Flett (guitar, vocals)
Carey Hunter (drums on 13.)
Steve “The Loser” Kilmer (drums)
Chris Michaels (bass)

Johnny Neel:
Dale Armstrong (drums)
Tim Loftin (bass)
Johnny Neel (vocals, harmonica, keyboards)
Jack Pearson (guitar)

Lost In Detroit:
Bob Babbitt (bass)
Dennis Locorriere 8guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Rod Smarr (guitar)
Steve Turner (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Metropolitan All-Stars: Devil Gets His Due (Stamper) 6.20
02. Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder: Make It Rain (Russell/Wagoner) 5.17
03. Hypnotics: Blues Patrol (Fleming) 4.35
04. Dean Hall: I Know Something ’bout The Blues (Hall) 3-30
05. Metropolitan All-Stars: Strom Comin’ Thru’ (Schaap/Stamper) 4.50
06. Planet Rockers: Tennessee Woman (unknown) 3:30
07. Chip Vandiver: Love Ain’t Never Satisfied (unknown) 2.47
08. Dean Hall: My Milkman Was Freddy King (Hall) 3.52
09. Metropolitan All-Stars: I Would Do For You (unknown) 3.01
10. Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds: Blues In A Honkey Tonk Key (Flett) 3.34
11. Johnny Neel: While She’s In Love (Neel) 4.20
12. Metropolitan All-Stars: Bad Situation 5:19
13. Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds: Third House On The Left (Flett) 3.21
14. Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder: 
My Old Friend The Blues (unknown) 4.05
15. Lost In Detroit: I Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 7.15

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Various Artists – Sacred Souls – A Hunting Selection Of Traditional And Contemporary Native American Music (2001)

FrontCover1The tracks featured on this compilation have all been selected from the vaults of Canyon Records. Formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1951 Canyon Records was the first company to market albums specifically to Native Americans. From an initial recording of Ed Lee Natay, son of a Navajo leader and medicine man, by Ray Boley who owned the first recording studio in Phoenix, Canyon has gone on to record over 400 albums of Native American flute music, healing songs, pow-wow, jazz classical and contemporary songs on Native themes.

Until Canyon, most ethnic recordings were for the benefit of scholars, ethnomusicologists and libaries, Canyon released what Native Americans were singing and wanted to listen to, including Country-Western, Rock n Roll, Gospel and “chicken scratch”; the popular dance music of the Tohono O´odham people.

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Canyon´s music broke down the stereotypes of what “Indian” music was imagined to be. Our compilation cannot do justice to the enormous wealth of material recorded by Canyon over the last five decades but we hope that the tracks featured highlight some of the many captivating forms and styles of Native American music. (take from the original liner notes)

Indeed … a wonderful compilation … an if you are interested in World Music, than you have to listen … what a magic kind of music !

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Tracklist:
01. Philip Cassadore: Mountain Spirit Dance (1998) (Traditional) 1.41
02. Clan/Destine: Crazy Horse (1996) (Poocha/Gatlin/Montour/Harris/Sanchez) 5.38
03. R. Carlos Nakai: Shaman’s Call (1987) (Nakai) 2.52
04. Joanne Shenandoah: Mother Earth Speaks (1994) (Shenandoah) 2.33
05. Robert Tree Cody, Rob Wallace & Will Clipman: White Buffalo (1996 (Cody/ Wallace/Clipman) 4.44
06. Keith Mahone: Hualapai Bird Song (1995) (Traditional) 2.18
07. Nakai, Eaton, Clipman & Nawang: A Gathering Of Eagles (2000) (Nakai/Eaton/ Clipman/Khechog) 7.46
08. Sharon Burch: In The Balance (1995) (Burch) 3.10
09. Robert Tree Cody: Lakota Lullaby (1993) (Cody) 5.53
10. Judy Trejo: Manuel Popeye McCloud’s Flag Song (1997) (McCloud) 2.01
11. R. Carlos Nakai: Amazing Grace (1992) (Traditional) 2.19
12. Black Lodge Singers: Intertribal (1997) (Robe) 3.55
13. William Eaton Ensemble, The Drepung Monks & Robert Tree Cody: The Fire Within (1996) (Eaton/Cody/Tulip/Ames/Monks) 7.17
14. Patsy Cassadore: Goodbye, I’m Leaving (1998) (Cassadore) 1.09
15. Robert Tree Cody: Farewell (Aria For Native American Flute) (1999) (Cody) 3.16

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Etta Baker – Railroad Bill (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgThe “premier woman Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist” is a wordy but accurate description of 87-year-old Etta Baker of Morganton, NC. One of the last pickers who was around when the music was first being recorded, Baker’s 83 years of practice is manifested in these wonderful recordings of traditional folk ballads. One highlight follows another, and although “Brown’s Boogie” trips up the album’s gentle flow, the rest is front-porch perfect. This is music you never get tired of listening to. Newcomers to guitar should buy this album, both to marvel at the intricate technique and to amuse themselves with how frustratingly difficult it can be. (by Jim Smith)

Railroad Bill was the folk hero of the turpentine workers in the Red Hills of Alabama. These ‘woods-riders’ bleed the trees on great slash-pine plantations, collect the resin, and manufacture turpentine in crude stills. Living in camps far out in the piney woods, turpentiners were often held to their poorly paid jobs by a system of peonage. Thus the legend of Railroad Bill was born and his ballad traveled out of Alabama into the mountains, becoming a guitar-picker’s showpiece.

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Baker, of Morganton, N.C. was born in 1913 and has been playing guitar since the age of four. She is the premiere Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist. Her only contemporary was the late Elizabeth Cotton of Carrboro, N.C.

Music Maker master mind Tim Duffy sits in on second guitar on the track “John Henry.” Otherwise, the rest of the CD’s 18 inspiring cuts are comprised of Baker performing solo in or outside her home along with the sounds of Mother Nature live in the background. Some real tasty Piedmont blues here folks that should not be overlooked. -(by Matt Alcott)

Recorded at Etta Baker’s home in Morgantown, North Carolina
on 5/95, 11/95, 2/96 and 6/98

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Personnel:
Etta Baker (guitar)
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Timothy Duffy (guitar on 18.)

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Tracklist:
01. Carolina Breakdown (Traditional) 3.12
02. Railroad Bill (Traditional) 2.43
03. I Get The Blues When It Rains (Johnson) 3.04
04. Careless Love (Traditional) 3.26
05. Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (Traditional) 2.38
06. Sunny Tennesse (Baker) 1.48
07. Mint Julep (Traditional) 3.09
08. Browns Boogie (Traditional) 2.34
09. Lonesome Road Blues (Traditional) 2.15
10. Goodbye Booze (Traditional) 2.00
11. Nobody’s Business (Traditional) 1.54
12. One-Dime Blues (Traditional) 1.43
13. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (Traditional) 2.38
14. Candyman (Traditional) 2.23
15. Miss A Little Miss (Baker) 2.12
16. Baby Let Me Lay It On You (Traditional) 2.52
17. Chilly Winds (Traditional) 2.22
18. John Henry (Traditional) 3.17
19. Cripple Creek (Traditional) 1.57

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Etta Baker (March 31, 1913 – September 23, 2006)