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Monday, November 30, 2009


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Through his work as producer, composer, arranger and consummate session man, New Orleans native Allen Toussaint has truly earned living-legend status. He's collaborated on landmark recordings for such artists as Ernie K. Doe, Lee Dorsey, Dr. John, the Meters, the Pointer Sisters and Labelle and released acclaimed albums of his own. The 70 year-old pianist, already a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, was the recipient, on the recent Grammy Awards telecast, of the Recording Academy s prestigious Trustee Award, honoring a lifetime in the studio, both behind the scenes and in front of the mic. On The Bright Mississippi, his Nonesuch debut, Toussaint continues to break new ground with his first jazz-oriented set, displaying the same effortless swing and relaxed charm he brought to his classic rock and roll sides. He salutes Big Easy stars of a previous generation, the jazz greats who, in the early 20th century, built the genre from the ground up and turned the ears of the world to New Orleans.

1. Egyptian Fantasy
2. A Dear Old Southland
3. St. James Infirmary
4. Singin' The Blues
5. Winin' Boy Blues
6. West End Blues
7. Blue Drag
8. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
9. Bright Mississippi
10. Day Dream
11. Long, Long Journey
12. Solitude


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The surprise success of "At Budokan" bumped this album, which was already complete, to the back burner while the hits ran their course. Likely because of a budding backlash from the post Budokan overexposure and increased expectations, "Dream Police" took an unjust drubbing at the time. But it was really the sound of the band evolving. The almost disco thump of "Gonna Raise Hell" and the nightmare vision of the title track proved Cheap Trick still had the brains, "Way Of The World" and "Need Your Love" provided the brawn.
It was just that the band had become so competent that some of the edgy charm had slipped away. "Voices" was the kind of ballad that Cheap Trick might not have been able to pull off prior to this, and there were a few who viewed this kind of open balladeering as selling out. They missed the point.
Cheap Trick was exploring their range on "Dream Police." Be that in Robin Zander's polished vocal on "Voices" or in that Tom Petersen took to the mike for the stunning "I Know What I Want," "Dream Police" became a showcase for the boys from Rockford IL. If you compare the Tricksters' sound here to new wave acts like Blondie and the Cars that were now in the same arena (Blondie's "Eat To The Beat" arrived roughly the same time as "Dream Police" and covers a lot of the same ground), you'll see how "Dream Police" remains an excellent album from a band in their prime.
For the bonus tracks, I actually like the live material, particularly Tom's live stand on "I Know What I Want." The "no strings" version of the title cut is a misnomer, essentially it's just a demo. Regardless, "Dream Police" is a great record.

1. Dream Police
2. Way Of The World
3. The House Is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems)
4. Gonna Raise Hell
5. I'll Be With You Tonight
6. Voices
7. Writing On The Wall
8. I Know What I Want
9. Need Your Love
Bonus Tracks
10. The House Is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems) (Live)
11. Way Of The World (Live)
12. Dream Police (No Strings Version)
13. I Know What I Want (Live)


HEADS (1972)
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Osibisa, the West African high-life band from Ghana, waxed their first LP in 1971 and continues to spit them out. Their longevity can be attributed to a vibrant sound and the ability to inject humor into music. They don't allow themselves to become mired in social issues as did the short-lived but often brilliant Cymande, whose LPs were essentially political statements. Osibisa's only agenda is making good music, and if it happens to strike a political or social nerve, fine, but it's not what they're totally about. "Wango Wango" starts slow but evolves into a wicked jam that's heavy as P-Funk. Pleasant flute and trumpet riffs accent the lovely "So So MI La So." The bands' tribute to America, the floating "Sweet America," teases and tantalizes. Percussion heads will appreciate "Ye Tie Wo" and "Che Che Kule." The deepest slabs of social commentary are the thought-provoking "Sweet Sounds" and "Did You Know." All tracks were written by all or various members of Osibisa, who share production credit with John Punter.

1. Kokorokoo
2. Wango Wango
3. So So Mi La So
4. Sweet America
5. Ye Tie Wo
6. Che Che Kule
7. Mentumi
8. Sweet Sounds
9. Do You Know


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When documentary producer Luc Jacquet contacted Emilie Simon about contributing music to his award-winning 2005 documentary March of the Penguins, he might have felt a little uneasy — somewhere in the conversation, he would have to let on that he found her sound well-suited to themes of ice and snow. If he did hesitate before making the call, though, he needn't have: Simon was already working on new songs that would conjure images of ice when she first met the director in 2003. Though The Flower Book, Simon's acclaimed 2006 U.S. debut, established her as a rising electro-pop star and, more specifically, one with a penchant for merging concepts from the natural world with beats rooted firmly in technology, it didn't let on that the Parisian artist was so skilled at dreaming up frost-covered soundscapes. In the 15 songs on March of the Empress, Simon evokes both the beauty and bitterness of winter: "Song of the Sea" captures the fun of slush, "Mother's Pain" recalls the hushed energy that attends a coming blizzard, and "Antarctic" finds hope in the stillness of a world frozen over by polar cold; other standouts include the tense "The Sea Leopard" and the menacing but moving "The Attack of the Killer Birds." Though the soundtrack (which did not make it onto the U.S. and U.K. film versions of March of the Penguins) was originally intended to be strictly instrumental, Simon's Kate Bush-reminiscent voice surfaces on five English tracks. They all reinforce a sense that whether the scenery that surrounds her is pastoral or frozen solid, she infiltrates it fully, until she is able to echo it down to the last thunderclap or whistling wind.

1. The Frozen World
2. Antarctic
3. The Egg
4. Song Of The Sea
5. Baby Penguins
6. Attack Of The Killerbirds
7. Aurora Australis
8. The Sea Leopard
9. Song Of The Storm
10. Mother's Pain
11. To The Dancers On The Ice
12. All Is White
13. The Voyage
14. Footprints In The Snow
15. Ice Girl
16. Antarctic (Extended version)


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Although Kings of Convenience are keen to play down any blatantly self-evident similarities to Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, and Belle and Sebastian, the winsome and placidity-favoring Norwegian duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe have probably already got the subway buskers of tomorrow lining up to lend an ear. Studentlike in appearance (one of them has a duffel coat and John Major specs) and unashamed to softly impart such nonrock lyrics as "put the kettle on" and "using The Guardian as a shield to cover my thighs against the rain," the weightless and airy acoustic guitar muse of Quiet Is the New Loud isn't a million miles from Radiohead's "Nice Dream" or Pink Floyd's "If" with a subliminal swish of bossa-nova rhythm. A contentedly purring cello, a plaintive touch of piano, and the muffled sound of a trumpet add necessary sonic depth, and the results are as pleasant and civilized as a little light conversation over tea in the drawing room.

1. Winning A Battle, Losing The War
2. Toxic Girl
3. Singing Softly To Me
4. I Don't Know What I Can Save You From
5. Failure
6. The Weight Of My Words
7. The Girl From Back Then
8. Leaning Against The Wall
9. Little Kids
10. Summer On The West Hill
11. The Passenger
12. Parallel Lines

Sunday, November 29, 2009


VOLUME 2, 1968-1971 (1993)
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In May of 1968, Stax was in a dilemma. The distribution deal with Atlantic Records ceased to be since Stax opted out of the Atlantic/Warner merger. Thus, they lost the lion's share of their back catalogue to Atlantic plus Sam & Dave, who were merely loaned to Stax and were initially Atlantic artists, not to mention Otis Redding from the December '67 plane crash that took his life. A prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement had also been brought down: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and it was in the Memphis area. With so much on their plate, it could have been the end of the line for Stax.

However, with the mighty audacity and go-power of Al Bell, Stax was going to start from scratch and rebuild their catalogue under their new distributors, Gulf+Western. Their first record on the new label with the finger-snap logo (replacing the stack-of-records) was provided by none other than Booker T. and the MG's; it was a Caribbean-influenced number called "Soul Limbo." It was a hit right off the bat. With more hit singles following, Stax was off to a promising rebirth.

Much of the earlier part of this 9-disc set that chronicles 1968-1971 sounds like a direct continuation of the first set. Though, it isn't long when the Stax sound begins to change gradually with the influences of Stax's new order of business and mass production including more outside production from the North and in places like Muscle Shoals. The changing times also affect the tone of the music as it becomes more funkier but somehow loses its down-home grit that was omnipresent in the first set. With new producers at hand and the aim for assembly-line production, the sound on this set begins to become permeated with polish and gloss. The new artists that came during this period like the Emotions and the Dramatics were saddled with this ordeal and lyrics to many songs were gravitating more towards social and domestic awareness.

Nonetheless, the Stax veterans, namely Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor and Booker T. & the MG's still managed to keep Stax's primal grittiness intact. The Bar-Kays were reformed by the two surviving members and as a result they increased their level of funkiness. Isaac Hayes goes from Stax session musician and principal song writer and rises to stardom as one of Stax's most successful artists ("I Stand Accused" is his best work, period. The sound clip provided here on this page is awesome). The Staple Singers provide moments of inspiration and renewed hope. With the absence of Otis Redding and Sam & Dave, that initial high-power energy is sorely missing and it wasn't long when Booker T. & the MG's were drifting away from Stax. That's the gap that these swarms of new artists like the Soul Children, Margie Joseph and Ernie Hines were aiming to fill, and do great jobs in their own respect, but you'll know something is still noticably missing.

At 216 tracks among 9 CD's, each containing more than 70 minutes of music and showcased in crisp, meaty stereo sound, Vol. 2 is definitely worth the listen. Though, I found that on the first box I could categorize all the songs into those that I loved/really liked and those that I could at least appreciate. On the second box, it's about the same, however there were about six tracks that I just didn't care for such as The Nightingales "I Don't Want to Be Like My Daddy", and Jeanne & the Darlings' "It's Time to Pay for the Fun", and Calvin Scott's "Shame on the Family Name." So, 6 out of 216 isn't bad, now is it?

Still, being an avid Stax fan, there was much to enjoy on this second set. It's R&B; it isn't afraid to express itself and the lyrics are still down-to-earth and didn't have to be created from hard, exasperating efforts. Everything from Booker T. & the MG's, the Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes and Johnnie Taylor and many of the Soul Children's material were my favorite tracks and obviously there are too many to mention. I also enjoyed songs from renowned artists who had brief stints with Stax like John Lee Hooker, Barbara Lewis, The TSU Toronadoes, Darrell Banke, Jimmy Hughes and even Delaney & Bonnie of "Never Ending Song of Love" fame. On disc three, you'll hear MG guitarist Steve Cropper sing(!) on "Water" as he plays guitar alongside Pops Staples and Albert King. The first three discs and the last one on their own were the strongest in the set; everything spread out in between those mentioned still contained a lot of great songs and rare gems but in the midst were some weaker and uninspired numbers.

Granted, Stax was in the swing of things during this time and the sound became funkier and yet still glossy making the first set (particularly the earlier parts of it) sound primitive. The new beginning was an opportunity to use the new recording equipment acquired and here that is quite relevant. Chart success, in comparison, was about the same with less than half the singles presented being able to make the charts with everything else failing to even make a dent despite the arrival of subsidiary labels like Enterprise (mainly a jazz division), Respect and We Produce.

The next chapter in Stax's golden history awaits you; R&B music was in its last golden years before disco took over. The end of those magic times came with the close of Stax records. Meanwhile, all involved in R&B and particularly southern soul was riding high at this point. So, if the first Stax set left you starving for more, this second set should satisfy you plenty if not overwhelm you.

Disc 1
1. I Was Born to Love You - Shirley Walton
2. Precious, Precious - Isaac Hayes
3. Send Peace and Harmony Home - Shirley Walton
4. Soul Limbo - Booker T. & the MG's
5. I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) - Eddie Floyd
6. It's Been a Long Time Coming - Delaney & Bonnie
7. What a Man - Linda Lyndell
8. I Like Everything About You - Jimmy Hughes
9. Stay Baby Stay - Johnny Daye
10. Private Number - William Bell, Judy Clay
11. So Nice - The Mad Lads, Madlib
12. Long Walk to D.C. - The Staple Singers
13. Give 'Em Love - The Soul Children
14. Funky Mississippi - Rufus Thomas
15. Lovin' Feeling - The Charmels
16. Where Do I Go? - Carla Thomas
17. Bed of Roses - Judy Clay
18. Bring It on Home to Me - Eddie Floyd
19. It's Unbelievable (How Do You Control My Soul) - Jeanne & the Darlings
20. Who's Making Love? - Johnnie Taylor
21. Mighty Cold Winter - Dino & Doc,
22. Hang 'Em High - Booker T. & the MG's
23. You're Leaving Me - Ollie & the Nightingales
24. Copycat - The Bar-Kays
25. I Forgot to Be Your Lover - William Bell
26. Running Out - Mable John
27. My Baby Specializes - William Bell, Judy Clay
28. I'll Understand - The Soul Children

Disc 2
1. Ghetto - The Staple Singers
2. Blues Power - Albert King
3. Echo - The Epsilons
4. Funky Way - Rufus Thomas
5. Take Care of Your Homework - Johnnie Taylor
6. I Like What You're Doing (To Me) - Carla Thomas
7. I've Got to Have Your Love - Eddie Floyd
8. Let 'Em Down Baby - Jimmy Hughes
9. Love Is Here Today and Gone Tomorrow - The Mad Lads, Madlib
10. It Ain't Long Enough - Judy Clay
11. Mellow Way You Treat Your Man - Ollie & the Nightingales
12. Private Number - Sonny Stitt
13. Time Is Tight - Booker T. & the MG's
14. Double or Nothing - The Mar-Keys
15. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay - The Staple Singers
16. So I Can Love You - The Emotions
17. Don't Stop Dancing (To the Music) - The Bar-Kays
18. One More Chance - Margie Joseph
19. I Wanna Be Good (To You) - Jimmy Dotson
20. Finger Lickin' Good - Art Jerry Miller
21. Tighten up My Thang - The Soul Children
22. My Whole World Is Falling Down - William Bell
23. Testify (I Wanna) - Johnnie Taylor
24. Drownin' on Dry Land - Albert King
25. Do the Cissy - The Stingers
26. Don't Tell Your Mama (Where You've Been) - Eddie Floyd

Disc 3
1. Mrs. Robinson - Booker T. & the MG's
2. Love's Sweet Sensation - William Bell, Mavis Staples
3. Just Because Your Love Is Gone - Darrell Banks
4. Chains of Love - Jimmy Hughes
5. Happy - William Bell
6. Challenge - The Staple Singers
7. Soul-A-Lujah - William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Andy Staples, Mavis Staples, Pervis Staples, Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas
8. Never, Never Let You Go - Eddie Floyd, Mavis Staples
9. Just Keep on Loving Me - Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas
10. I Need You Woman - William Bell, Carla Thomas
11. I've Got a Feeling - Ollie & the Nightingales
12. It's Time to Pay for the Fun (We've Had) - Jeanne & the Darlings
13. I Could Never Be President - Johnnie Taylor
14. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - The Mad Lads
15. Long and Lonely World - Colette Kelly
16. Midnight Cowboy - The Bar-Kays
17. I've Fallen in Love With You - Carla Thomas
18. Slum Baby - Booker T. & the MG's
19. Best Part of a Love Affair - The Emotions
20. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Isaac Hayes
21. Walk on By - Isaac Hayes
22. Tupelo - Steve Cropper, Albert King, Roebuck "Pops" Staples
23. Water - Steve Cropper, Albert King, The Staples
24. Sweeter He Is, Pt. 1 - The Soul Children
25. You're Driving Me (To the Arms of a Stranger) - Mavis Staples

Disc 4
1. Open up Your Heart (Let Me In) - The Newcomers
2. Why Is the Wine Sweeter (On the Other Side) - Eddie Floyd
3. When Will We Be Paid - The Staple Singers
4. Grinder Man - John Lee Hooker
5. Born Under a Bad Sign - William Bell
6. What You Gonna Do (When Your Love Is Gone) - Margie Joseph
7. I'm So Glad - Jimmy Hughes
8. Beautiful Feelings - Barrell Banks
9. Your Love Was Strange - The Dramatics
10. Love Bones - Johnnie Taylor
11. Hard to Say Goodbye - Delaney & Bonnie
12. Got to Get Rid of You - J.J. Barnes
13. Habit Forming Love - Reggie Milner
14. My Thing Is a Moving Thing - T.S.U. Toronados
15. Stealing Love - The Emotions
16. When Tomorrow Comes - The Emotions
17. Wrapped up in Love Again - Albert King
18. Do the Funky Chicken - Rufus Thomas
19. California Girl - Eddie Floyd
20. Tribute to a Black Woman - Bernice Hayes
21. Sang and Dance - The Bar-Kays
22. Hold On! I'm Comin' - The Soul Children
23. Love's Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, Part1 - Chuck Brooks
24. Help Me Put Out the Flame (In My Heart) - Ernie Hines
25. Black Boy - Roebuck "Pops" Staples

Disc 5
1. Bracing Myself for the Fall - Ollie & the Nightingales
2. All I Have to Do Is Dream - William Bell, Carla Thomas
3. Singing About Love - Jeanne & the Darlings
4. Goodies - Chris & Shack,
5. Just the Way You Are Today - Barbara Lewis
6. Creeper Returns - Little Sonny
7. Guide Me Well - Carla Thomas
8. Give a Damn - The Staple Singers
9. Steal Away - Johnnie Taylor
10. Your Sweet Lovin' - Margie Joseph
11. I Forgot to Remember - Jones & Blumenberg
12. Can't See You When I Want To - David Porter
13. Never Be True - Carla Thomas
14. Can't You See What You're Doing to Me - Albert King
15. Sixty Minute Man, Pt. 2 - Rufus Thomas
16. Preacher and the Bear - Rufus Thomas
17. Something - Booker T. & the MG's
18. Seeing Is Believing - The Mad Lads, Madlib
19. You're My Only Temptation - Roz Ryan
20. What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me - Paul Thompson
21. Right, Tight and Out of Sight - Branding Iron
22. (What's Under) The Natural Do - John Ka Sandra

Disc 6
1. My Girl - Eddie Floyd
2. I Have Learned to Do Without You - Mavis Staples
3. Play the Music Toronadoes - T.S.U. Toronados
4. Lonely Soldier - William Bell
5. Heart Association - The Emotions
6. I Stand Accused - Isaac Hayes
7. Brand New Day - The Staple Singers
8. Sweeter Tomorrow - Margie Joseph
9. Cool Strut - Bernice Hayes
10. You Put the Sunshine Back in My World - The Newcomers
11. Montego Bay - The Bar-Kays
12. Got It Together, Pts. 1 & 2 - Rudy Robinson & the Hungry Five
13. Wade in the Water - Little Sonny
14. You're Movin' Much Too Fast - The Nightingales
15. Best Years of My Life - Eddie Floyd
16. I Am Somebody, Pt. 2 - Johnnie Taylor
17. I Loved You Like I Love My Very Life - Carla Thomas
18. Soul Machine - Reggie Milner
19. (Follow Her) Rules and Regulations - The Temprees
20. (Do the) Push and Pull, Pt. 1 - Rufus Thomas
21. Love Changes - Charlene & the Soul Serenaders
22. Put Your World in My World (Best of Two Worlds) - The Soul Children
23. Love Is Plentiful - The Staple Singers

Disc 7
1. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom) - The Staple Singers
2. Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas? - The Staple Singers
3. Too Many Lovers - Shack
4. Black Christmas - The Emotions
5. Mistletoe and Me - Isaac Hayes
6. Ask the Lonely - Barbara Lewis
7. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone - Johnnie Taylor
8. Finish Me Off - The Soul Children
9. Oh, How It Rained - Eddie Floyd
10. Look of Love - Isaac Hayes
11. Electrified Love - Ernie Hines
12. Melting Pot - Booker T. & the MG's
13. That's the Way I Like It (I Like It That Way) - Barbara Lewis
14. Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight
15. You Make Me Want to Love You - The Emotions
16. Stop! In the Name of Love - Margie Joseph
17. I Don't Wanna Lose You - Johnnie Taylor
18. (Girl) I Love You - The Temprees
19. World Is Round - Rufus Thomas
20. Penny for Your Thoughts - William Bell
21. Never Can Say Goodbye - Isaac Hayes
22. I Don't Want to Be Like My Daddy - The Nightingales

Disc 8
1. You've Got to Earn It - The Staple Singers
2. Hold on to It - Limitations
3. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get - The Dramatics
4. Born Too Late - Branding Iron
5. Just Ain't Strong as I Used to Be (You Done Fed Me Sumpin') - Jimmy Hughes
6. That Other Woman Got My Man and Gone - Margie Joseph
7. If You Think It (You May as Well Do It) - The Emotions
8. Shame on the Family Name - Calvin Scott, Calvin Scott
9. Blood Is Thicker Than Water - Eddie Floyd
10. Hijackin' Love - Johnnie Taylor
11. Sweetback's Theme - Melvin Van Peebles
12. Breakdown, Pt. 1 - Rufus Thomas
13. Pin the Tail on the Donkey - The Newcomers
14. Them Hot Pants - Lee Sain
15. If That Ain't a Reason (For Your Woman to Leave You) - Little Milton
16. It's Good to Be Careful (But It's Better to Be Loved) - Shack
17. Where Would You Be Today - Ilana,
18. Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven - Albert King
19. Got to Get Away from It All - The Soul Children
20. Love's Creeping up on Me - United Image
21. Show Me How - The Emotions
22. If I Give It up, I Want It Back - David Porter
23. Woman Named Trouble - Little Sonny

Disc 9
1. Losing Boy - Ed Giles, Eddy "G" Giles
2. Respect Yourself - The Staple Singers
3. I'll Kill a Brick (About My Man) - Hot Sauce
4. You Think You're Hot Stuff - Jean Knight
5. All for the Love of a Woman - William Bell
6. Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes
7. Jamaica, This Morning - Booker T. & the MG's
8. Gone! The Promise of Yesterday - The Mad Lads, Madlib
9. Girl, Come on Home - Major Lance
10. (Let Hurt Put You in the) Loser's Seat - Joni Wilson
11. My Baby Love - The Temprees
12. How Do You Move a Mountain - The Leaders, The Leaders
13. Black Nasty Boogie, Pt. 6 - Black Nasty
14. Do the Funky Penguin, Pt. 1 - Rufus Thomas
15. You've Got a Cushion to Fall On - Carla Thomas
16. Get up and Get Down - The Dramatics
17. Son of Shaft - The Bar-Kays
18. Don't Cha Mess With My Money, My Honey, or My Woman - L.V. Johnson
19. I Can Smell That Funky Music - Eric Mercury
20. Sadness for Things - Calvin Scott, Calvin Scott
21. That's What Love Will Make You Do - Little Milton
22. Standing in for Jody - Johnnie Taylor

Saturday, November 28, 2009


320 KBPS

In West Africa, the last name "Diabaté" is a bit like the surname "Smith." It's common, as it traditionally connotes an occupation, in this case a musical caste, with the holder part of a long line of singers and oral historians-- griots, or, among Mali's Manding people, Jali. Indeed, Toumani Diabaté comes from a long line of kora players. One cousin is the well-regarded Maya Sona Jobarteh. Another is Mamadou Diabaté. Diabaté's name and his skills allegedly span 70 generations. Yet the rising crossover popularity of Toumani Diabaté stems as much from the instrument he plays itself as it does from his mastery of it. The kora is a 21-string harp, of sorts, crafted out of a halved calabash gourd, cow skin and fishing line. Watching someone play it is not unlike watching someone weave, with the results as beautiful as an intricate tapestry.
It's a wonder the delicate sounds of the kora and Toumani Diabaté's playing weren't lost in his last project, a recording with his long-simmering Symmetric Orchestra. An African big band featuring Diabaté and over 50 other musicians, the Symmetric Orchestra is an overt attempt on Diabaté's part to modernize the traditional role of the griot in Mali. The Mande Variations-- only Diabaté's second solo record, and his first since 1988-- couldn't be more different. Here it's just Diabaté and his unadorned kora, recorded with maximum clarity as he pays tribute to his roots and peers.
Backing up a tad, it is truly remarkable that a musician as revered and respected as Diabaté has really only recorded a pair of solo records, with a 20-year gap in between. Obviously he's stayed busy, what with collaborations with everyone from Björk to his Malian peer Ali Farka Touré (honored on a new song named after him). It's a real testament to Diabaté's talent that an instrument as distinctive as the kora can be made to fit in such disparate surroundings, and indeed The Mande Variations works as a sort of crash course in the kora's versatility.
Even sans overdubs, the 10-minute "Si naani" hints at everything from jazz to chamber classical as Diabaté's lush polyrhythms and melodies overlap. "Elyne Road" (named after a street in London, and reportedly inspired by hearing UB40 on his first visit to England) begins as a beautiful ballad before evolving into something wholly more complex. The elaborate, improvised trills of "Ali Farka Touré" pay tribute to the style of the late guitarist (with whom Diabaté worked on 2005's In the Heart of the Moon).
"Kaounding Cissoko" could pass for the tricky ragas of John Fahey, with its drone undercurrent, while "Djourou Kara Nany" swings, however gently. Less successful is the explicit Ennio Morricone quote that starts "Cantelowes"-- the familiar theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, no less-- but that very, very brief digression is the nearest The Mande Variations ever comes to pushing the listener out of Diabaté's world. No, this disc is the real thing, casually captivating from start to finish, with Diabaté's modesty and restraint keeping his virtuosity and the rigor of his compositions from calling conspicuous attention to themselves. It's haunting stuff, no doubt, not in the "ooh, scary" sense, but in the awe inspired by hearing music this pure woven from the hands of a man.

1. Si naani
2. Elyne Road
3. Ali Farka Toure
4. Kaounding Cissoko
5. Ismael Drame
6. Djourou Kara Nany
7. El Nabiyouna
8. Cantelowes


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Coming to prominence in the '70s with a string of outstanding recordings on the French Saravah label, Brigitte Fontaine became a cult figure of world music, avant-pop, and folk before vanishing into obscurity after the extraordinary Vous et Nous album, which was released in 1977. Surfacing sporadically in the '80s, Brigitte Fontaine and longtime partner and collaborator Areski Belkacem were legends in their own time and highly influential on groups such as Sonic Youth and Stereolab. The pair resurfaced in 1990 and continued to produce and record throughout the decade with a newly revived career that was equally as idiosyncratic as their '70s work. Le Nougat was released in 1990, then another hiatus ensued until this album was released in late 1997. The influence of electronica and modern pop is evident in the heavy programming and drum'n'bass-inflected rhythms that may have the Brigitte Fontaine purist pining for the candid ambience of her '70s work, though more open-minded fans will find these exploratory directions delightful to hear.

1. Ah Que La Vie Est Belle
2. La Cour
3. Les Palaces
4. Chat
5. Le Musée Des Horreurs
6. City
7. L'île
8. Ali
9. C'est Normal
10. Délices Et Orgue
11. La Symphonie Pastorale


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Dizzy Heights, singer, songwriter, and producer (Echo & the Bunnymen, the Fall, Sleeper) Ian Broudie's fourth album under the moniker Lightning Seeds, further refines his attempts to meld There Are But Four Small Faces and the Pet Shop Boys. Predictably ravishing on the surface, the results can also claim quite a lot of bite, snippiness, and even sorrow. "Imaginary Friends" spews more believable Kinks-style bile than other contemporary competitors have mustered, while "Sugar Coated Iceberg" is a sneering appraisal of the pop scene that only an indignant true believer could manage. "Waiting for Today to Happen," cowritten with Nicky Wire, seems at least partly informed by the disappearance of Wire's fellow Manic Street Preacher Richey James. Broudie, though, is solely responsible for what proves the most affecting moment here, "Touch and Go." Both a celebration of friendship and a lament for those who have drifted into other lives, the song is an anthem for former new wavers who've long since left childish things--e.g., college and its shifting allegiances--behind for office jobs. That our emotional tour guide was born to be a light-handed chronicler of loss, innocence, and lost innocence is further underscored by the ambivalent tone of his karaoke turn at the Turtles' "You Showed Me" from the Austin Powers soundtrack, but "Touch and Go" sits at this record's heart.

1. Imaginary Friends
2. You Bet Your Life
3. Waiting for Today to Happen
4. What If.....
5. Sugar Coated Iceberg
6. Touch and Go
7. Like You Do
8. Wishaway
9. Fingers and Thumbs
10. You Showed Me
11. Ready or Not
12. Fishes on the Line


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Classy compilation from Aretha's early years. A good way to hear lady soul befor she even became lady soul. Sure, this is not as good as the classic Atlantic years, still, that infectious rythm'n'blues sang by one of the greatest voices is a real treat for any music lover. And, since those songs are not as known as Aretha's big classic hits, it has a fresher feel that will content everyone. A must hear if you haven't heard the original albums and a quality selection if you have.

1. Unforgettable
2. My Guy
3. Sweet Lover
4. Today I Sing The Blues
5. Maybe I'm A Fool
6. All Night Long
7. Nobody Like You
8. If Ever I Would Leave You
9. Soulville
10. The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)
11. Lee Cross
12. Operation Heartbreak
13. Misty
14. Trouble In Mind
15. God Bless The Child
16. Runnin' Out Of Fools
17. Muddy Water
18. What A Difference A Day Made
19. Walk On By
20. Try A Little Tenderness
21. Every Little Bit Hurts
22. Mockingbird
23. People

Friday, November 27, 2009


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While his studio albums are of good quality, it's in concert that Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine really shines. This live, recorded on the tour supporting 1995's "Fragments d'hébétude", is another vivid proof of that and, though it doesn't have the emotional value of Thiéfaine à Bercy (a live recorded to celebrate Thiéfaine's discographic 20th birthday) it has a tracklist that offers enough surprises and classics to content the die-hard fan as well as the newcomer.
Those already familiar with Hubert-Félix poetic mix of chanson and rock already know what a pleasure it is to hear him live and since "Paris Zénith" can also be seen as a good introduction to the man's work, it certainly is something not to miss even more with its two long medleys offering snipets of song seldom played live. A nice live album and a worthy addition to Thiéfaine's catalogue.

Disc 1
1. Y'A Quelqu'Intro
2. La Terre Tremble
3. Paranoid Game
4. Est-Ce La Premiere Fin De Millenaire
5. Animal en quarantaine
6. Les Mouches Bleues
7. Les Dingues Et Les Paumes
8. Pulpe, Mescal Et Tequila
9. Medley 1
Loreilei Sebasto Cha, Mathematiques Souterraines, Exil Sur La Planete Fantôme, La Fille du Coupeur de Joints
10. Enferme Dans Les Cabinets (Avec...)
11. Fin De Partie
Disc 2
1. La Deche, Le Twist Et Le Reste
2. La Solitude
3. Alligator 427
4. Je T'En Remets Au Vent
5. Crepuscule Transfert
6. Medley 2
Was Ist Das Rock'N'Roll, Bipede A Station Verticale,Narcisse 81,Soleil Cherche Futur, Sweet Amanite Phaloïde Queen
7. Serie De Sept Reves En Crash Position
8. Encore Un Petit Cafe
9. Pogo Sur La Deadline


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Quincy Jones came up with another classy-sounding pop album loaded with his ever-growing circle of musician friends. Disco was king in 1978 and Jones bows low with the ebullient dance hit “Stuff Like That” — which is several cuts above the norm for that genre — along with a healthy quota of elegantly produced soul ballads. Yet amidst the pop stuff, Jones still manages to do something fresh and memorable within the jazz sphere with a gorgeous chart of Herbie Hancock’s “Tell Me a Bedtime Story.” Hancock himself sits in impeccably on electric piano, and violinist Harry Lookofsky painstakingly overdubs one of Hancock’s transcribed solos on 15 violins. Despite the cast of hundreds that is now de rigueur for Quincy Jones, the record does not sound over-produced due to the silken engineering and careful deployment of forces.

1. Stuff Like That
2. I’m Gonna Miss You in the Morning
3. Love, I Never Had It So Good
4. Tell Me a Bedtime Story
5. Love Me by Name
6. Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)
7. Takin’ It to the Streets


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Swedish rock vamps Sahara Hotnights spent their teenage years discovering music and making a band. They obviously paid close attention to the raw form of those who came before: Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, and PJ Harvey. Sisters Jennie (guitar) and Johanna Asplund (bass), Josephine Forsman (drums), and Maria Andersson (vocals/guitar) eventually derived a '70s-inspired, guitar-driven sound by the time they reached their twenties. They arrived in America in fall 2002 to release Jennie Bomb, and the timing was perfect. Pop kids were mad for the likes of the White Stripes, the Hives, and the Vines, but Sahara Hotnights gave the new millennium rock push a bit more swagger. Jennie Bomb is a punk-glam mix and it's a heavy disposition for such a young band, but equally impressive. There's a lot of attitude as well, but in good measure. Album opener "Alright Alright" kicks things off with snarling guitars and quick-stepped drumming. Andersson is a vocal vixen delivering a tough impression with tough lyrics. "On Top of Your World" bounces with punk-styled pop, whereas "Fall Into Line" highlights Jennie Bomb's undeniable elasticity. It's infectiously energetic and free of modern rock's catchy radio hit. Sahara Hotnights composed an entire album of sophisticated rock songs and it's a solid effort, musically and vocally. They're certainly giving the boys a run for their money, too.

1. Alright Alright (Here's My Fist Where's The Fight?)
2. On Top Of Your World
3. Fire Alarm
4. With Or Without Control
5. Keep Up The Speed
6. No Big Deal
7. Down And Out
8. Only The Fakes Survive
9. Whirlwind Reaper
10. Fall Into Line
11. Are You Happy Now?
12. Out Of The System
13. A Perfect Mess


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Oxford's Supergrass have relaxed into a comfortable sort of middle age, the youthful rush of their early albums replaced by a muscular, if somewhat conservative breed of rock'n'roll. Diamond Hoo Ha, however, shows their early mischief hasn't entirely deserted them. The opening "Diamond Hoo Ha Man" surfs out on a distinctly White Stripes riff, Danny Goffey's drums beating out a distinctly Meg-like pulse; Gaz Coombes' lyrics, meanwhile, rock out with tongue firmly planted in cheek: "When the sun goes down, I just can't resist… bite me!" Supergrass' sixth album continues along such playful lines: "Bad Blood" melds swooning melodies and gloomy lyrics ("Milk and honey!/Won't heal my heartache") to lolloping, upbeat glam riffs, "Rough Knuckles" gets surprisingly funky with some great keyboard work from fourth member Rob Coombes, and the hilarious "Whiskey & Green Tea" is a gonzoid rock number peppered with horns and lyrics about "being chased by Chinese dragons". The heartfelt "Ghost of a Friend", meanwhile, is a Dylan-tinged number that mourns the loss of an old acquaintance to the "vultures, peacocks and hounds"--a veiled diss at celebrity culture?--and throws some grand shapes towards the close.

1. Diamond Hoo Ha Man
2. Bad Blood
3. Rebel in You
4. When I Needed You
5. 345
6. Return of...
7. Rough Knuckles
8. Ghost of a Friend
9. Whiskey & Green Tea
10. Outside
11. Butterfly


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At their best, the Atombombpocketknife consists of sonic grooving indie rock layered with effectsy, Sonic Youth-ish vocal styles and Future of What-era Unwound-style guitar work and patterns. An album with solid drive, mathy but not too complex, and just enough rough edges to keep it interesting. College rock with the Chicago edge watered down to something a bit more easy to swallow.

1. A Room Full Of Perfect People
2. Like A Laser
3. Gamma Rays Forever
4. Scan Dramatics
5. The Methadone Actors
6. Pair Of Evil
7. Tripwire Tonight
8. Transfusion Infinity
9. This Dixie Crash/That Whiskey World
10. Violet Encryptions (We Only Move Backwards)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


EASTER (1978)
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Patti Smith came back from the year-and-a-half break caused by her fall from a stage in January 1977 without having resolved the art-versus-commerce argument that had marred her second album, Radio Ethiopia. In fact, that argument was in some ways the theme of her third. Easter, produced by Bruce Springsteen associate Jimmy Iovine, was Smith's most commercial-sounding effort yet and, due to the inclusion of Springsteen's "Because the Night" (with Smith's revised lyrics), a Top Ten hit, it became her biggest seller, staying in the charts more than five months and getting into the Top 20 LPs. But Smith hadn't so much sold out as she had learned to use her poetic gifts within an album rock context. Certainly, a song that proclaimed, "Love is an angel disguised as lust/Here in our bed until the morning comes," was pushing the limits of pop radio, and on "Babelogue," Smith returned to her days of declaiming poetry on New York's Lower East Side. That rant (significantly ending, "I have not sold my soul to God") led into the provocative "Rock n Roll Nigger," a charged rocker with a chorus that went, "Outside of society/Is where I want to be." Smith made the theme from the '60s British rock movie Privilege her own and even got into the U.K. charts with it. And on songs like "25th Floor," Iovine, Smith, and her group were able to accommodate both the urge to rock out and the need to expound. So, Easter turned out to be the best compromise Smith achieved between her artistic and commercial aspirations.

1. Till Victory
2. Space Monkey
3. Because The Night
4. Ghost Dance
5. Babelogue
6. Rock N Roll Nigger
7. Privilege (Set Me Free)
8. We Three
9. 25th Floor
10. High On Rebellion
11. Easter
Bonus Track
12. Godspeed


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Coining a name with connotations both cosmic and catastrophic, Rob Mazurek’s orchestra promises much in the way of revelatory large scale organized sound. Whether or not the Chicago 12-piece ensemble lives up to the intentionally-aggrandizing mantle remains debatable, though We are All From Somewhere Else, the 2007 Thrill Jockey debut by the band, did find its way on to dozens of reviewers’ lists as one of the best of the year. What is less open to conjecture is the inspired fit that occurs with the addition of guest Bill Dixon on this self-titled follow-up.
Both Dixon and Mazurek have made careers pushing the parameters of brass instruments. Here, their musical affinity blurs the borders where one’s playing begins and the other’s ends, though Dixon occupies the majority of foreground space, his otherworldly vocabulary of slurs, smears, hiccups and belches sometimes delay-treated and other times reliant solely on the echo-chamber properties of his brass. Other members of the ensemble rise and recede in the frequently fleeting and nebulous sections of interplay with brief statements, but the overall dynamic remains that of principal soloist with active orchestral commentary.”
The set’s three pieces are massively slab-like in size with two distinct versions of Dixon’s “Entrances” framing the disc centerpiece, Mazurek’s “Constellations for Innerlight Projections.” Among the veritable constellation of musical referents, comparisons to Sun Ra’s Arkestra are fairly easy to posit, but the parallels are particularly prominent on the second third of Mazurek’s piece, when Nicole Mitchell’s mellifluous flute guides the group in conjunction with Jason Adasiewicz’s luminous tubular bells. A spoken introduction by Damon Locks of the Chicago dub rock group The Eternals also communicates a heady context of cosmic imagery.
Elsewhere, fanfare-like swells alternate with passages of free-ranging ensemble expression. Dixon caps the piece off with an uncompromising soliloquy of coarse eructations. In both of its incarnations, Dixon’s composition relies initially on the populous rhythm team of tandem drums, tympani, and both breeds of bass. Relentless forward momentum eventually leavens in favor of a more diffusive deployment of instruments that constitute and complement the murky merger of swirling brass with revolving acoustic and electronic elements. The stylistic similarities to some of Mazurek’s work with his Chicago Underground ensembles are striking and epitomize, again, the close artistic confluence between the two composers.
Dixon continues to attract criticism from certain segments of the jazz intelligentsia who ascribe him everything from a rampant ego to a charlatan’s desire to cover up lagging chops with gimmickry. This challenging set once again contravenes such claims, suggesting instead that the aging trumpeter is at the top of his game, particularly when blessed with the company of a contingent of like-minded artists.

1. Entrances/One
2. Constellations For Innerlight Projections (For Bill Dixon)
3. Entrances/Two


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Following the success of Crowded House's debut and the band's grueling promotion schedule, Neil Finn was clearly showing signs that he was no longer happy being New Zealand's zany ambassador to the U.S. While the material on Temple of Low Men demonstrates great leaps in quality over its predecessor, it is a darkly difficult album, especially for those expecting Crowded House, Pt. 2 — in short, there are no immediately accessible singles. Instead, Finn digs into the depths of his emotional psyche with obsessive detail, crafting a set of intense, personal songs that range from the all-too-intimate look at infidelity of "Into Temptation" to the raucous exorcism of "Kill Eye." Through all of this introspective soul-searching, Finn reveals most of all his true mastery of melody.

1. I Feel Possessed
2. Kill Eye
3. Into Temptation
4. Mansion In The Slums
5. When You Come
6. Never Be The Same
7. Love This Life
8. Sister Madly
9. In The Lowlands
10. Better Be Home Soon



Two albums from Frenchman Rob. Coming from the Versailles scene - just like Phoenix, Daft Punk, Mellow, etc. - Rob gives us his own version of the French touch. It's pompous, over the top, richly orchestrated. In a way, it's a little bit as if Queen was doing a Serge Gainsbourg album. There are many other influences, most of them coming from the 70's: you have some Ten CC, Electric Light Orchestra, Burt Bacharach, Beach Boys, Ennio Morricone etc. It sometimes is a little clumsy but in a good way as it gives the music a little more charm.
As far as I know (but I might be wrong) these are Rob only two albums. A real shame as it showed many promises so, if you like music that doesn't take itself too seriously, that has lush arrangements and a sense of humour, you ought to yourself to try it.

DON'T KILL (2000)
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1. De la musique
2. Power glove
3. Amours
4. Sitar fight ego
5. Je t'aime
6. xx
7. Chanson pour mes enfants
8. Don't kill
9. Don't Kill dub
10. Running for the gold
11. Asnière au soleil
12. Sweet femke
13. Fourteen metal
14. Don't kill me

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1. Introducing a satyred love
2. Godspeed
3. You & I & my song
4. King lover
5. Never enough
6. The wedding day
7. Mermaid deluxe
8. Love bizarre
9. Do you mind if I keep on watching you
10. Unilarme
11. Godspeed reprise

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


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I really didn't know what to expect from Tori Amos' new album "American Doll Posse." To be perfectly blunt, I didn't really care for her last album "The Beekeeper" (2005). While "The Beekeeper" wasn't a horrible album, I just couldn't get into it. There were some great ideas, and most of the songs had a great deal of potential, but the album just seemed kind of aimless and flat.
While I was hoping Tori Amos would rebound for her new album, I was really surprised by how much I love "American Doll Posse." Although the piano is still front and center, "American Doll Posse" is more guitar, rock oriented than much of her previous work. The album is much, much more cohesive than "The Beekeeper" and the songs are far tighter. It's amazing that an album of this length, nearly 80 minutes, has nearly no filler. While there are some songs like the ultra-catchy "Bouncing off the Clouds" and the dreamy, Beatle-esque "Mr. Bad Man" that stand-out as potential singles, every song really works.
While I enjoyed the equally long "Scarlet's Walk" (2002) as well as her later 90s work, "American Doll Posse" is Amos's first album since "Under the Pink" that I could thoroughly get into, from start to finish. That's not to say every album since "Under the Pink" wasn't good, as I think most of her work is great. Rather, I feel that with "American Doll Posse," Amos has created a great piece of work that lives up to the classic first two albums.

1. Yo George
2. Big Wheel
3. Bouncing off Clouds
4. Teenage Hustling
5. Digital Ghost
6. You Can Bring Your Dog
7. Mr. Bad Man
8. Fat Slut
9. Girl Disappearing
10. Secret Spell
11. Devils and Gods
12. Body and Soul
13. Father’s Son
14. Programmable Soda
15. Code Red
16. Roosterspur Bridge
17. Beauty of Speed
18. Almost Rosey
19. Velvet Revolution
20. Dark Side of the Sun
21. Posse Bonus
22. Smokey Joe
23. Dragon


BLUES (1991)
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A skilled pianist (listen to her Chopin in the opening of the Cd), powerful and emotional vocalist and, above all, a true rebel, Colette Magny died in 1997. Blues is her final album and what an album! A while back, I posted "Mélocoton", her debut, on which her unique talent to mix blues, jazz and chanson was not yet assured but still very promising. On Blues, she reminds us all that and a little more through originals and covers on which her powerful voice shines.
Colette never had the success she deserved, her bad temper and strong character, her political left-wing activism, unwillingness to conform to commercial standards and, let's face it, her rotund figure only lead her to a cult following but, not unlike her male counterpart Léo Ferré, she didn't need more and remains a well kept secret and a unique artist and Blues a terrific testament.

1. Etude, Opus 10 N°2 "Révolutionnaire" De Chopin
2. Strange Fruit
3. You Go To My Head
4. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
5. The Meeting
6. My Man
7. The House Of The Rising Sun
8. All Of Me
9. Young Woman's Blues
10. Melocoton
11. Prison


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Following their two first albums for Roadrunner Records, French band Treponem Pal keeps exploring the industrial realms on Excess & Overdrive. Everything in this album is an aggressive and frontal assault on the listener's ears and the production task, held by none other than Young Gods' leader Franz Treicher fits the bill perfectly.
Some might find this album a tad monotonous, I'd rather praise it as a monolithic work, a journey into sonic aggression and, tough I prefer the diversity later displayed on Higher, I won't dismiss the qualities of this one. Just keep in mind that Excess & Overdrive bears its name quite well and is, thus, not really something I'd call ear-friendly.
Embarck at your own risk but, if you like industrial rock and/or extreme metal, you might very well be up for a nice surprise.

1. Out of reach
2. Pushing you too far
3. Excess and overdrive
4. For progress
5. Crimson garden
6. Stoned
7. Nowhere land
8. Blow me out
9. Sometimes
10. Full moon
11. Excess (trance mix)


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Phil Collins is regularly thrashed in the press for playing it safe and churning out predictable dependable music for yuppies. He was once accused of being "a rich superstar whose music only sounded good in a BMW." On A Hot Night in Paris, Collins again jumps into the shallow end of the pool and comes up playing Le Jazz Hot, with a 20-member band including a Count Basie arranger and some old-timers he borrowed from Buddy Rich's band to augment his regular players. To his credit, Collins worked out to a video designed for jazz drummers to get in shape for the project, but his muscular timekeeping lacks the color and subtleties of players born to the art form. Also, there is very little of what he does best: singing. The only vocals on this album are a few grunts and moans during an almost-note-perfect rendering of the Average White Band's funk classic, "Pick up the Pieces," which almost rescues the album from banality. Thrown in for recognition value are instrumental renditions of some of his better known solo chart-toppers, such as "Sussudio," "I Don't Care Anymore," and "Against All Odds." But more surprising, the former Genesis skinbeater threw in four numbers from the rock band's extensive songbook, including a swing version of the eccentric "Los Endos Suite." The only thing missing from this CD, recorded live in Paris and Montreux, is the clinking of cocktail glasses.

1. Sussudio
2. That's All
3. Invisible Touch
4. Hold On My Heart
5. Chips & Salsa
6. I Don't Care Anymore
7. Milestones
8. Against All Odds
9. Pick Up The Pieces
10. The Los Endos Suite


9012: LIVE, THE SOLOS (1985)
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Definitely a Yes afficondio album...but well worth the listen! Jon Andersons solo of "Soon" is truly amazing. And Trevor Rabin's guitar solo is equally appealing...Too bad one cannot find more of Trevor's material in recorded format. The last tune "Whitefish" the band gets really rockin! I would still recommend this album even to the casual Yes fan and even more in the japanese remastered form displayed here.

1. Hold On
2. SI (Tony Kaye)
3. Solly's Beard (Trevor Rabin)
4. Soon (Jon Anderson)
5. Changes
6. Amazing Grace (Chris Squire)
7. Whitefish (Squire & White)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


YANKEES (1983)
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Excellent collective improvisation by Derek Bailey,guitars, George Lewis, trombone, John Zorn, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinets, and game calls. Imagine a baseball team playing with no manager, but all of the players knowing what to do by a wonderful intuition and knowledge of the game, translate that into music (if you can) and you'll have this splendid music. The 3 musicians are masters and magicians in their field. Highly recomended for open minded and adventurous listeners.

1. City City City
2. Legend of Enos Slaughter
3. Who's on First?
4. On Golden Pond
5. Warning Track


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This is reissue of the first self-titled "Betty Davis" album, originally released in 1973 on the Just Sunshine label.
"Something like Madonna, something like Prince. She was the beginning of all that..." So wrote Miles Davis of the one-woman erotic Swat team whose amazing first two albums - the long-lost libidinal high-water marks of early Seventies funk - have just been reissued They Say I'm Different and Betty Davis.
And Miles should have known. He was (briefly) married to her, after all !!
Former Mrs. Miles Davis, the "Nasty Gal" of funk, Betty is an ex fashion model who started singing in the early 60s prior to her Miles Davis (and Jimi Hendrix) affiliations.
And even though she and Miles divorced before 1973, Betty Mabry kept her famous last name and released three fabulously funky discs from '73-'75.
..."After the break-up with Miles, she was linked with many other musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Masekela, Eric Clapton, Robert Palmer, and Michael Carabello of Santana. A gifted songwriter, she continued to pen songs for herself and others, but her personal relationships with jazz & rock's elite no doubt opened other doors, and proved particularly useful when it came time to gather session musicians for her first album.
Betty headed out to San Francisco in 1972, where Carabello introduced her to Sly Stone's rhythm section. Funk bassist Larry Graham and drummer Greg Errico were tapped for Betty Davis, along with guitarists Neal Schon (Santana) and Doug Rodrigues (Mandrill), and organist Hershall Kennedy (Graham Central Station). Back-up vocalists included Sylvester, the Pointer Sisters, Patryce Banks (Graham Central Station), and Kathi McDonald (Insane Asylum), among others. As if that weren't enough, the horn section featured Tower of Power regulars Greg Adams, Mic Gillette, and Skip Mesquite. The result was a unique combination of heavy funk grooves underlying Davis' gritty, piercing vocals. The standout track on the album, said to be "the classic bad girl anthem and one of the funkiest recordings ever made" was "Anti Love Song", penned by Davis and possibly directed at Miles ("No I don't want to love you / 'Cause I know how you are / Sure you say you're right on and you're righteous / But with me I know you'd be right off / `Cause you know I could possess your body / You know I could make you crawl / And just as hard as I'd fall for you, boy / You know you'd fall for me harder / That's why I don't want to love you")...(
With her giant Afro and space-vixen wardrobe, Davis was the missing evolutionary link between Eartha Kitt and Kelis, but her marvellously feral vocal style falls tantalisingly between 'Nutbush City Limits'-era Tina Turner and AC/DC's Brian Johnson. And while her first album contains her best-known tune - the bittersweet seductress manifesto of "Anti Love Song" - it's 1974's self-produced follow-up that is undoubtedly her finest work.
Classic raw and heavy '70s soul funk rock with serious attitude.

1. If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up
2. Walkin Up the Road
3. Anti Love Song
4. Your Man My Man
5. Ooh Yeah
6. Steppin In Her I. Miller Shoes
7. Game Is My Middle Name
8. In the Meantime
Bonus Tracks
9. Come Take Me (Previously Unreleased, 1974)
10. You Won't See Me In the Morning (Previously Unreleased, 1974)
11. I Will Take That Ride (Previously Unreleased, 1974)


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The Cardigans were not even twenty years old when " Emmerdale " was released in Sweden yet they were already able to write lushious, well-crafted pop gems. What was most striking about them was that sense that these kids were in another time - maybe the 60's. Just remember the video-clip of " Sick And Tired ": the long-sleeve shirts , the flower mini skirts, them having a quiet pic-nic by the sea. It was full of images as far as possible from celebrity-like attutude and pop stardom.
What about the album now? Well ,lead singer Nina Persson looks and sings like an angel and combined with Peter Svensson's first class songwritting, the results are mostly exceptional. Already widely known hit singles "Rise And Shine" and "Sick And Tired" are pure pop perfection while "Over The Water" has this fearless carefreeness in it, it's almost magic."Cloudy Sky" 's daydreaming ("...i've wrote some poems for you") and "Our Space" with it's hypnotic, somehow psychedelic rythym also stand out. A must hear.

1. Sick and Tired
2. Black Letter Day
3. In the Afternoon
4. Over the Water
5. After All...
6. Cloudy Sky
7. Our Space
8. Rise and Shine
9. Celia Inside
10. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
11. Seems Hard
12. Last Song


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Counterfeit² proves that Martin Gore has exemplary taste in music. The Depeche Mode songwriter's first full-length solo excursion is a covers album in the tradition of David Bowie's Pin-Ups. The 11 selections range from obviously classic works by rock lords Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, and John Lennon; to a pop-trash wildcard--a winsome version of David Essex's "Stardust." What’s more, most of the songs fit in with Depeche Mode’s fascination with masochism, drugs, decay, and disillusion. The problem lies in Gore's lack of emotional and musical range. Fans will take great comfort in the set's familiar moody minor chords, electronic touches, echoing darkness, and Gore's vocals. But the end result is uniform in texture and tempo, and songs as originally powerful as "In My Time of Dying" or Cave’s "Loverman" just seem to float into the background, deprived of edge and individuality. Still, Gore plays Weill’s "Lost in the Stars" piano-and-strings straight, and seekers of tasteful ambience may enjoy the idea of various cult rock, folk, and country songs being transformed into Mode-ish mood music.

1. In My Time Of Dying
2. Stardust
3. I Cast A Lonesome Shadow
4. In My Other World
5. Loverman
6. By This River
7. Lost In The Stars
8. Oh My Love
9. Das Lied Vom Einsamen Madchen
10. Tiny Girls
11. Candy Says

Monday, November 23, 2009


E.S.P. (1965)
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E.S.P. is an inventive post-bop treasure that finds Mr. Davis totally re-energized by the young guns of his second quintet. Davis's first album of new material in six years (most of it written by the band), E.S.P. is a brilliantly-executed treatise on the workings of tension and release. The songs are predominantly modal and the structures themselves are different, with a minimalist bent and more emphasis placed on melodies that are repeated, fractured, improvised upon, and released into the ether of total, free sound. The supple rhythm section--powerhouse drummer Tony Williams and bassist Ron Carter--provide ample room for Davis, Hancock, and Shorter to explore interlocking melodies, notably on the jaunty "Eighty-One" and the sweet lullaby "Iris." On "Agitation," Williams brings the noise, grafting the rhythmic freedom of the day's free-form music to the group's tuneful and "out" playing.

1. E.S.P.
2. Eighty-One
3. Little One
4. R.J.
5. Agitation
6. Iris
7. Mood


320 KBPS

Eric Chenaux has been kicking around the Toronto music scene for nearing two decades now. He's released work and performed both as a solo artist, and alongside a huge stable of different artists and groups, including Sandro Perri, The Reveries, The Draperies, and Drumheller. After starting out in the punk rock scene, his style has morphed over the years, and Sloppy Ground finds him continuing the semi-fragmented, bluesy rock style that he worked out on Dull Lights, his debut for the Constellation Records label.
One big difference, though, is that this newest release is much more accessible than previous work, although it's still prone to long, sprawling guitar solo flights of fancy and other fits of experimentation. At times during past releases, though, these flights would often veer completely off path, where Sloppy Ground always manages to sound like it's heading somewhere with more of a purpose. The impressionistic "Am I Lovely" opens things, and wheezes of accordion, spare percussion, and some sketchy guitar loosely spool together as Chenaux adds reflective vocals that add another breathy layer. "Love Don't Change" lopes forward with a bit more of a rhythm, but even it feels drunk and woozy as multiple layers of guitar twang and hiccup along before launching into an amazing guitar solo section that lets off a few sparks without ever really getting too loud.
Along the way, a trio of tracks tap into the same sort of gassed-out summer feeling as the opener, and their titles all fittingly nod to the evening (with "Arms, Legs And Moonlight" even containing a field recording of crickets). Mixed in with these quieter songs are slightly more rocking tracks, but as mentioned above, nothing really blows out the amps. Musically, "Have I Lost My Eyes" is one of the most interesting, with sitar and strings blending with the guitars to give the track a touch of psych feel, while "Boon Harp" melds oddly catchy vocals to an odd time signature and a soft tension as rolling snares keep time under a wonky melody. Unconventional and enjoyable, Sloppy Ground is another nice step forward from Chenaux.

1. Am I Lovely
2. Love Don't Change
3. Rest Your Daylights
4. Have I Lost My Eyes
5. Arms, Legs and Moonlight
6. Boon Harp
7. Old Peculiar
8. Dreaming of Stars
9. Sloppy Ground


HIGHER (1997)
320 KBPS

The French industrial outfit Treponem Pal had been laboring for years in the underground, making hard-edged metal-infused records for a decade before they made their major-label debut with Higher. And that's quite a change of pace for them. Of course, the industrial influences are still here but there's also heavy hints of funk and dub that's been added to spice up their mix.
Producer Sascha Konietzko (of KMDFM) did a good job delivering the baby and from the groovy tornado "Cyberfreak" to the closing cover of "Funkytown" it's a heavy dance party you're embarcking on. Sure, this album is not as influential and essential as Treponem Pal first two albums (released in their time on Roadrunner records) but what it's lost in originality, it gained in efficiency making it one hell of an album and a must hear for those who like to dance 'til their neck breaks.

1. Cyberfreak
2. Renegade
3. Unchained
4. The Struggle
5. Lose Control
6. Panorama
7. Freetribe
8. Funk Me
9. Sick Train
10. Belief
11. Sweet Vibes
12. Psycho Rising
13. Funky Town


320 KBPS

The fifth studio album from Iceland's supremely inventive dreamscapists is their poppiest outing to date.
A happy album from Sigur Rós sounds like an unlikely concept.
The band specialise in music that is about as sunny as an Arctic winter - vast tundras of sound, dark with melancholy and loneliness. So their fifth album comes as a surprise.
The brisk opener, "Gobbledigook", all jumped-up drums and manic vocals, sets the tone: its poppy energy crackles on through much of this collection.
But then along comes a song that changes everything. From innocuous beginnings - Jónsi Birgisson's fragile voice, a lone piano - "Ára Bátur" swells into an epic, swallowing a whole choir and the London Sinfonietta.
It is so ambitious and successful a piece of music that it threatens to overwhelm the surrounding tracks, making what came before seem frivolous and what follows, almost inconsequential.
No matter: for this one uplifting, goosebump-raising moment, it is worth checking the whole album.

1. Gobbledigook
2. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
3. Gódan daginn
4. Vid spilum endalaust
5. Festival
6. Med sud í eyrum
7. Ára bátur
8. Íllgresi
9. Fljótavík
10. Straumnes
11. All Alright

Sunday, November 22, 2009


VOLUME 1, 1959-1968 (1991)
320 KBPS

"Knock On Wood", "Soul Man", "Gee Whiz", "Green Onions," "Last Night", "Hold On I'm Comin'", "Walkin' The Dog" and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay." What do all these songs have in common? Sure, they're great soul and rhythm & blues tunes, but something more. What do Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and Albert King have in common? Rhythm & blues and soul superstars, yes, but that same something is also true. These songs and these artists all recorded for the "little label that could": STAX. In the '60s, Stax became a local R&B music giant in Memphis. The company was founded and ran by Jim Stewart, a country fiddle player and former banker, who was first exposed to R&B when he recorded a local doo-wop group called the Veltones with their song, "Fool In Love." As Rufus Thomas a local disc jockey heard the song, he and daughter Carla cut "Cause I Love You", a great R&B gem for Jim. When the record got out, Atlantic Records heard this fresh new sound and got in on the distribution deal with Stax that would exist as a handshake deal to a documented deal up until May 1968. What also happened during that time? Musical history.

At nine CDs, this set offers the complete history of what made Stax absolutely phenomenal. As you listen all the way
through, hopefully not all in one sitting since it's quite exhaustive unless you end up loving it that much, you'll notice as you start from disc one the experimental stages at trying to find and develop a distinct sound and progressing towards it. Some of the songs on disc four display it and from there on all the way to disc nine, it's there and ever-driving as can be. This is the ultimate example at what a box set is all about: covering as much material as possible. That doesn't even begin to describe what's presented here; it's too good because it is what it is: complete. There are 244 tracks in all and each CD has 25+ tracks clocking in with 70+ minutes of music on each.
It's complete all right for it features every A-side released by Stax and the subsidiary Volt along with a few well-known B-sides. That means every Stax or Volt record released by the stars like Rufus Thomas, ("Walkin' The Dog", "Can Your Monkey Do The Dog", "Jump Back", "Sophisticated Sissy", etc.), Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz", "B-A-B-Y", "Stop! Look What You're Doin'", "Pick Up The Pieces", etc.), Otis Redding ("These Arms of Mine", "Mr. Pitiful", "Respect", "Try a Little Tenderness", etc.), Booker T. & the MGs ("Green Onions", "Jelly Bread", "My Sweet Potato", "Hip-Hug Her", etc.), Sam & Dave ("You Don't Know Like I Know", "Hold On! I'm Comin', "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby", "Soul Man", etc.), Eddie Floyd ("Things Get Better", "Knock On Wood", "Raise Your Hand", "Big Bird", etc.), William Bell ("You Don't Miss Your Water", "Never Like This Before", "Share What You Got", "Eloise Hang On In There", etc.), Albert King ("Laundromat Blues", "Crosscut Saw", "Born Under A Bad Sign", "Cold Feet", etc.) plus so many, many more. So if you know that those artists who were very consistent at Stax, there's pratically a full CD's worth of their songs here spread throughout the nine discs. Whether they were hits or not, everything is here including some unusual numbers that seem to break the normal Stax scheme like Macy Skipper's "Goofin' Off" which is humorous dee-jay kind of track, Cheryl and Pam Johnson's "That's My Guy", which sounds like a show-bizzy, TV commercial kind of tune, Nick Charles' "Sunday Jealous" and "The Three Dogwoods" which sound like soft, dry pop songs of that era,
and the Del-Rays' "Don't Let Her Be Your Baby" which tries to emulate the Beatles or the Dave Clark Five. This has got everything, so calling all collectors! It comes with a little 80-page book that could be worth about $15 separately so getting this with music is a bargain. The book has liner notes about the artits, the music, some real nice photos of the stars plus a track by track listing including the original catalog number and chart position (for those applicable) for each song.

Is it worth it? Absoultely. Pricey, but worth it. Finding this kind of music is getting rarer and rarer. Especially considering that about less than of these tracks didn't chart at all. Sure, the well-known hits can be found on smaller collections. This is the only collection that I know that has all the other stuff with it. Don't worry about parting with that kind of money. Being a musician and music fan, I can't think of a better investment, and if it's something you really enjoy, that makes it even more worthwhile. Here they are preserved on CD forever.

It's more than music to listen to. It's music you can dance to and groove to. Just listen to the sizzlin' guitars, the deep, pumping bass, the tight drums, the soulfulness of the vocalists and just the whole formula of each song. The sound quality is not's perfect! Though everything is in big fat mono, since these were from the master tapes used on the original 45s (hence "singles" in the name), the sound is crisp and crystal clear. It sounds amazing on a system with adjustable bass output. Just crank that bass up, baby; it's practically what makes R&B. Every song is worth listening to for they help tell the story of Stax. They are all little gems. If a record didn't chart at all or it charted very low, so what? These people made music at leisurely paces and were great improvisers and just wanted to get out there, jam and do their own thing. If it sold and it was a hit, fantastic. If not, well, it was worth a shot. There is a good balance of the fast songs as well as the slow ballads. These are practically the unsung heroes of soul music; absoultely raw, gritty, rock-solid, vital and energetic they were. It was the opposite of Motown, their seemingly unbeatable giant of a competitor that was more slick and stylized in soul music. What's important lies in the musicality of the musicians and singers. Truly, this is what soul music is all about; it tells a story and expresses every human being's innermost and outermost feelings. Musicians can learn so much from this, for everyone involved here shows true musicianship. The thing was to make people appreciate and, yes, make them move to it. You can laugh with it, cry with it, and feel absolutely "soulified." It could make everyone, young and old, black and white, get up and dance and throw their cares away. It didn't matter what they were singing like Rufus Thomas on songs that have silly-sounding titles or lyrics like "Somebody Stole My Dog", or "I Think I Made A Boo Boo", you can just get up and let the driving music move you. You can laugh, but you'll find that you're laughing because it makes you feel good. So, they weren't Dylan or Lennon & McCartney. One listen to this entire set is all it takes, and you're hooked. Give this to a six year old and he or she will be a fan for life. Really, you'll never get tired of this music. The '60s were a time of social change and civil rights awareness. If only this music could have been more well-known and all these songs could have been hits, this would have brought everyone together to dance the day and night away. There's nothing like soul music. What more is there to say except that if you would like to have just one box set for your music collection, you just found a gold mine. That being said, if American music was the equivalent of a jewelry collection, all these songs would be the rare, precious and priceless gems.
So, to quote from a Mar-Keys' song, "grab this thing" because you'll want to keep it forever. It is thee essential and complete relevance of why Stax was the "little label that could"...and did!

Disc 1
1.Fool in Love - The Veltones
2.'Cause I Love You - Carla & Rufus
3.Gee Whiz - Carla Thomas
4.You Make Me Feel So Good - The Chips
5.Love of My Own, A - Carla Thomas
6.Last Night - The Mar-Keys
7.I Didn't Believe - Rufus & Friend
8.I'm Going Home - Prince Conley
9.Wish Me Good Luck, (Mama, Mama) - Carla Thomas
10.Morning After - The Mar-Keys
11.Life I Live, The - Barbara Stephens
12.About Noon - The Mar-Keys
13.Burnt Biscuits - The Triumphs
14.I Kinda Think He Does - Carla Thomas
15.Foxy - The Mar-Keys
16.You Don't Miss Your Water - William Bell
17.Formula of Love - William Bell
18.Goofin Off - Macy Skipper
19.Wait a Minute - Barbara Stephens
20.Sunday Jealous - Nick Charles
21.That's the Way It Is With Me - Barbara Stephens
22.No Tears - The Tonettes
23.Pop-Eye Stroll - The Mar-Keys
24.Three Dogwoods, The - Nick Charles
25.Why Should I Suffer With the Blues - The Canes
26.Whot's Happenin'! - The Mar-Keys
27.Just Across the Street - The Del-Rios
28.There's a Love - The Del-Rios
29.Can't Ever Let You Go - Rufus Thomas

Disc 2
1. Green Onions - Booker T. & The MG's
2. Behave Yourself - Booker T. & The MG's
3. Any Other Way - William Bell
4. I'll Bring It Home to You - Carla Thomas
5. Sack-O-Woe - The Mar-Keys
6. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
7. Teardrop Sea - The Tonettes
8. Dog, The - Rufus Thomas
9. Jelly Bread - Booker T. & The MG's
10. I Told You So - William Bell
11. Bo-Time - The Mar-Keys
12. Home Grown - Booker T. & The MG's
13. My Imaginary Guy - Deanie Parker & The Valadors
14. Just as I Thought - William Bell
15. What a Fool I've Been - Carla Thomas
16. Hawg, The (Part 1) - Eddie Kirk
17. Don't Be Afraid of Love - Oscar Mack
18. That's My Guy - Cheryl & Pam Johnson
19. Chinese Checkers - Booker T. & The MG's
20. Somebody Mentioned Your Name - William Bell
21. What Can I Do - Bobby Marchan
22. That's What My Heart Needs - Otis Redding
23. What Can It Be - The Astors
24. Bango - Billy & The King Bees
25. Them Bones - Eddie Kirk
26. Walking the Dog - Rufus Thomas
27. I'll Show You - William Bell

Disc 3
1.Pain in My Heart - Otis Redding
2. Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas
3. Mo'onions - Booker T. & The MG's
4. Frog Stomp - Floyd Newman
5. Can Your Monkey Do the Dog - Rufus Thomas
6. You Won't Do Right - Bobby Marchan
7. Wondering (When My Love Is Coming Home) - The Drapels
8. Each Step I Take - Deanie Parker
9. Honeydripper, The - The Van-Dells
10. Who Will It Be Tomorrow - William Bell
11. Come to Me - Otis Redding
12. Don't Leave Me This Way - Otis Redding
13. I Don't Want You Anymore - Eddie Jefferson
14. Restless - The Cobras
15. Somebody Stole My Dog - Rufus Thomas
16. Big Party - Barbara & The Browns
17. That's Really Some Good - Rufus & Carla
18. Night Time Is the Right Time - Rufus & Carla
19. Security - Otis Redding
20. Dream Girl - Oscar Mack
21. Closer to My Baby - Dorothy Williams
22. I've Got No Time to Lose - Carla Thomas
23. Young Man - The Drapels
24. Soul Dressing - Booker T. & The MG's
25. After Laughter (Comes Tears) - Wendy Rene
26. Can't Explain How It Happened - Ivory Joe Hunter
27. Bush Bash - The Mar-Keys
28. Please Return to Me - The Fleets

Disc 4
1. Jump Back - Rufus Thomas
2. Chained and Bound - Otis Redding
3. In My Heart - Barbara & The Browns
4. Spunky - Johnny Jenkins
5. Bar B-Q - Wendy Rene
6. Sidewalk Surf, The - The Mad Lads
7. Can't Be Still - Booker T. & The MG's
8. Woman's Love, A - Carla Thomas
9. Yank Me (Doodle) - Baracudas
10. That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding
11. Mr Pitiful - Otis Redding
12. Don't Let Her Be Your Baby - The Del-Rays
13. Can't See You When I Want To - David Porter
14. My Lover - Barbara & The Browns
15. Got You on My Mind - The Admirals
16. How Do You Quit (Someone You Love) - Carla Thomas
17. Biggest Fool in Town - Gorgeous George
18. Banana Juice - The Mar-Keys
19. Little Sally Walker - Rufus Thomas
20. Place Nobody Can Find, A - Sam & Dave
21. Goodnight Baby - Sam & Dave
22. Boot Leg - Booker T. & The MG's
23. Outrage - Booker T. & The MG's
24. I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) - Otis Redding
25. I'm Depending on You - Otis Redding
26. Candy - The Astors
27. Give You What I Got - Wendy Rene

Disc 5
1.Stop! Look What You're Doin' - Carla Thomas
2.Willy Nilly - Rufus Thomas
3.Don't Have to Shop Around - The Mad Lads
4. Crying All by Myself - William Bell
5. I Take What I Want - Sam & Dave
6. When You Move You Lose - Rufus & Carla
7. Respect - Otis Redding
8. Make It Me - The Premiers
9. World Is Round, The - Rufus Thomas
10. In the Twilight Zone - The Astors
11. Blue Groove - Sir Isaac & The Do-Dads
12. You Don't Know Like I Know - Sam & Dave
13. Grab This Thing (Part 1) - The Mar-Keys
14. Be My Lady - Booker T. & The MG's
15. Comfort Me - Carla Thomas
16. I Can't Turn You Loose - Otis Redding
17. Just One More Day - Otis Redding
18. I Want Someone - The Mad Lads
19. Birds & Bees - Rufus & Carla
20. Philly Dog - The Mar-Keys
21. I Had a Dream - Johnnie Taylor
22. Satisfaction - Otis Redding
23. Things Get Better - Eddie Floyd
24. I'll Run Your Hurt Away - Ruby Johnson
25. Hot Dog - The Four Shells
26. Let Me Be Good to You - Carla Thomas
27.Hold on I'm Comin' - Sam & Dave

Disc 6
1. Laudromat Blues - Albert King
2. Sugar Sugar - The Mad Lads
3. Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need) - William Bell
4. Marching Off to War - William Bell
5. My Lover's Prayer - Otis Redding
6. Your Good Thing (Is About to End) - Mable John
7. I Got to Love Somebody's Baby - Johnnie Taylor
8. I Want a Girl - The Mad Lads
9. Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd
10. B-a-B-Y - Carla Thomas
11. My Sweet Potato - Booker T. & The MG's
12. Booker Loo - Booker T. & The MG's
13. Oh, Pretty Woman - Albert King
14. Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody - Sam & Dave
15. Never Like This Before - William Bell
16. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-(Sad Song) - Otis Redding
17. Patch My Heart - The Mad Lads
18. Sister's Got a Boyfriend - Rufus Thomas
19. Come to Me My Darling - Ruby Johnson
20. When My Love Comes Down - Ruby Johnson
21. Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
22. Crosscut Saw - Albert King
23. Little Bluebird - Johnnie Taylor
24. Toe Hold - Johnnie Taylor
25. Jingle Bells - Booker T. & The MG's

Disc 7
1. You Got Me Hummin' - Sam & Dave
2. You're Taking up Another Man's Place - Mable John
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Carla Thomas
4. Please Uncle Sam (Send Back My Man) - The Charmels
5. Something Good (Is Going to Happen to You) - Carla Thomas
6. Raise Your Hand - Eddie Floyd
7. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) - Johnnie Taylor
8. I Don't Want to Lose Your Love - The Mad Lads
9. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby - Sam & Dave
10. Let Me Down Slow - Bobby Wilson
11. Hip Hug-Her - Booker T. & The MG's
12. Everybody Loves a Winner - William Bell
13. Mini-Skirt Minnie - Sir Mack Rice
14. When Tomorrow Comes - Carla Thomas
15. Spoiler, The - Eddie Purrell
16. I Love You More Than Words Can Say - Otis Redding
17. If I Ever Needed Love (I Sure Do Need It Now) - Ruby Johnson
18. Same Time Same Place - Mable John
19. Tramp - Otis & Carla
20. Soul Finger - The Bar-Kays
21. Knucklehead - The Bar-Kays
22. Shake - Otis Redding
23. Born Under a Bad Sign - Albert King
24. Soothe Me - Sam & Dave
25. I Can't Stand Up - Sam & Dave
26. Don't Rock the Boat - Eddie Floyd

Disc 8
1. My Inspiration - The Mad Lads
2. Love Sickness - Sir Mack Rice
3. Sophisticated Sissy - Rufus Thomas
4. I'll Always Have Faith in You - Carla Thomas
5. How Can You Mistreat the One You Love - Jeannie & The Darlings
6. Love Is a Doggone Good Thing - Eddie Floyd
7. Groovin' - Booker T. & The MG's
8. Slim Jenkin's Place - Booker T. & The MG's
9. Glory of Love - Otis Redding
10. I'm a Big Girl Now - Mable John
11. Wait You Dog - Mable John
12. You Can't Get Away From It - Johnnie Taylor
13. Eloise (Hang on in There) - William Bell
14. Knock on Wood - Otis & Carla
15. I'm Glad to Do It - C.L. Blast
16. Double Up - C.L. Blast
17. You Can't Run Away From Your Heart - Judy Clay
18. I'll Gladly Take You Back - The Charmels
19. Soul Man - Sam & Dave
20. Daddy Didn't Tell Me - The Astors
21. Give Everybody Some - The Bar-Kays
22. On a Saturday Night - Eddie Floyd
23. Don't Hit Me No More - Mable John
24. Somebody's Sleeping in My Bed - William Bell
25. Winter Snow - Booker T. & The MG's
26. Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday - William Bell
27. What'll I Do For Satisfaction - Johnny Daye
28. Pick up the Pieces - Carla Thomas

Disc 9
1. Down Ta My House - Rufus Thomas
2. As Long as I've Got You - The Charmels
3. Soul Girl - Jeannie & The Darlings
4. Cold Feet - Albert King
5. I Thank You - Sam & Dave
6. Wrap It Up - Sam & Dave
7. Dock of the Bay, (Sittin' On) The - Otis Redding
8. Don't Pass Your Judgement - The Memphis Nomads
9. Lovey Dovey - Otis & Carla
10. I Got a Sure Thing - Ollie & The Nightingales
11. Big Bird - Eddie Floyd
12. Hard Day's Night, A - The Bar-Kays
13. Next Time - Johnnie Taylor
14. Tribute to a King, A - William Bell
15. Every Man Oughta Have a Woman - William Bell
16. Able Mable - Mable John
17. Memphis Train, The - Rufus Thomas
18. I Think I Made a Boo Boo - Rufus Thomas
19. What Will Later on Be Like - Jeannie & The Darlings
20. Hang Me Now - Jeanne & The Darlings
21. Soul Power - Derek Martin
22. Bring Your Love Back to Me - Linda Lyndell
23. Dime a Dozen, A - Carla Thomas
24. Whatever Hurts You - The Mad Lads
25.Happy Song, The (Dum Dum) - Otis Redding
26.Lucy, (I Love) - Albert King
27.I Ain't Particular - Johnnie Taylor