28 November 2006

Barry White - Greatest Hits

Barry White is soulmusic of course but even more 'Love'. The man's repertoire is about 'Love', 'Love' and nothing but 'Love'. Another reason for inclusion is that he made some really good music and is an artist just as much as a man behind the scenes, like James Brown and Ike Turner.
Barry White started his career as producer, engineer and A&R man in the 60's, giving him an opportunity to also showcase his talents in singing, piano playing and songwriting.
His empire he then built on Love Unlimited, the vocal group, Love Unlimited Orchestra and the hits he released under his own name.
The voice you can't miss, the overload of strings neither. 'Love' has its distinctive sound. It's worth keeping an eye out for old records of the BW empire, some records have fantastic portraits of BW looking like a dressed up gorilla (no disrespect intended, it's what it really looks like) or a pink-hearts-and-flowers design to emphasize the 'Love' theme, which makes you want to switch your eyes to black and white vision. 'Love' has its distinctive looks too!
This CD is a re-release of an LP from 1975, design minimal and info, other than titles and writers, absent.
PolyGram / Mercury, 1990

Barry White's Greatest Hits

23 November 2006

Bombshell Baby Of Bombay

"Vol 2, Bouncin' Nightclub Grooves From Bollywood Films 1959-1972".
The focus is a little different, the musical period is different. The music is just as... 'Bollywood', I suppose.
And why do you need to buy these albums (2LP/CD)? Why shell out full price (approx. 20 euro) when you can have the mp3s for free? Because albums put together with this much love and care are rare.
The package is beautiful, a cardboard cover, flaps out to left and right, with a booklet on the inside.
The linernotes start with a broad introduction to the music, the artists and the composers. Every song is treated on its own pages with information about the movie, artists, composer and synopsis of the song and movie. Lyrics are provided with translations in English.
And pictures, pictures and even more pictures. You'll find photographs of artists, composers, recording sessions, pictures from the movies and images of filmposters.
The selection of music is done with great care and some effort has been put into improving the sound quality where needed. Equal care was put into the packages, thus creating an entrance course in the world of Bollywood, made by a tourguide who's taken every liberty to share his hobby and enthousiasm through these releases. The 2 volumes are easily on a par with the best Soul Jazz releases.
And if that's not enough, and it isn't, there are 4 more volumes scheduled by the looks of it...
Bombay-Connection / Normal records, 2006

Bombshell Baby Of Bombay

21 November 2006

The Bombay Connection

A long time ago, as a result of the Ghostworld post, there was a question about Indian music, Bollywood to be precise. This is a CD filled with Bollywood tunes: "Vol 1, Funk from Bollywood Action Thrillers 1977-1984". Imagine the best Indian meal you've eaten, turn it into music and you'll get something like this CD. The volume 2 is out already, I'll get that up here aswell.
It's sometimes spicy, sometimes sweet but exceptionally tasty and distinctive. It may not be to everyone's taste (it won't, in fact) but this may well be the best you've heard in a loooong time.
Try it. Like the music? Buy/order the CD, I'll explain later (this week).
The id3 tags are taken from an on-line database, the artist is the singer or the composer when it's an instrumental. You probably don't know any, though. Website: bombay-connection.com
Bombay-Connection / Normal records, 2006

The Bombay Connection

Ike Turner - His Woman, Her Man

Don't let the artist fool you: it's full on Ike & Tina. One reason may be mr. Turner unwilling to release this material any way but under his own name. Another is this album's focus on the musical approach by Ike.
The music is from the late 60's to 1973, the couple's most funky stuff. The songs are some Ike & Tina classics but also music not immediately associated with them. Ike experimented with a string section on some but the real interesting aspect of this CD lies in his use of electronics, like early synthesizers and a drum machine.
Details can be found in the linernotes, in which you'll find excerpts of interviews with Ike. To give you an idea: "... while I patched my ARP through a wah-wah pedal. That's why the notes bend when you hear the ARP". Did I mention btw this is funky stuff?
Funky Delicacies, 2004

Ike Turner - His Woman, Her Man

17 November 2006

Nouvelle Vague - Bande A Part (limited edition)

Do coverbands deserve to have a hit? It's a really lame concept, imho, and my natural reaction is to cry "Boooh!". An exception can be an artist who's proven him/herself and now releases an album with the songs that inspired or that can have an original new interpretation.
The coverband approach is even worse when some of the songs can't be covered, simply because the original is the definitive version. The mere idea of covering New Order's 'Blue Monday' has me screaming "Sacrilege!". If you really want to show of your exquisite taste in music, make a compilation CD (or start a blog, of course :-P).
My opinion on Nouvelle Vague is therefore obvious, except it isn't. Their taste is exquisite, the songs did inspire countless other musicians, their version is as original as the original version. And I play the CD 'grey', in LP terms. These fairly grim songs (tracks, scroll) get a soft loungy, triphoppy treatment, too sweet to some maybe, and the result is a nice, warm, organic feel. Added bonus: I didn't know some of the original songs and have been looking them up.
This limited edition looks a bit nicer than the CD, it has a poster with details about the original artists, the performing artists and the reason why they like to play it. Plus 4 bonus/live tracks.
Time for me to re-evaluate my stance on coverbands, I suppose.
Peacefrog / PIAS, 2006

Nouvelle Vague - Bande A Part

When A Man Cries

This isn't about me whining (thanks for all the nice comments!), these are professionals.
"The deep soul of Scepter/Wand and Musicor/Dynamo", a soul compilation with tracks from 1965 to 1971. The suffering varies; it's deep soul alright, with all sorts of aspects of love gone wrong but some songs have a ray of light in their tempo or lyrics. On the other hand, here and there you'll find a song which could also qualify as blues and The Masqueraders' 'Let's Face Facts' never fails to send a shiver down my spine (I think it's them on the cover). All in all scary good music.
The booklet has more info on the artists, labels and their backgrounds, with some pictures.
Kent / Ace, 1999

When A Man Cries
(98 + 7 MB)
part 1
part 2
(I finally got my RS.de account to .com. RS.com seems to have the 100MB limit in place, part 2 contains 2 songs and is independent of part 1)