Content tagged 'Pop'
Groovin' (Mono) (Album of the Day)
Released a half-century ago today, GROOVIN' shows The Young Rascals reaching musical maturity; it would be the final album the New York quartet released before dropping “Young” from their name. The 11 tracks on the Atlantic collection neatly bridge the gap between the garage and blue-eyed soul of their first recordings and the psychedelic and progressive sounds in the air in 1967. As adventurous as it was, the set was still packed with hits, including Top Ten singles “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Girl Like You” and the No.1 smash title track, which radiates feel-good summertime vibes as well as any record ever made. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Gold-certified GROOVIN' has just been reissued on vinyl in its original mono mix.
Love (Album of the Day)
Led by quixotic singer-songwriter Arthur Lee, Love was the first rock act signed to Elektra Records, and helped set the scene for the groovy Sunset Strip sounds of the mid-1960s. The quintet's eponymous debut offers a heady mix of garage and folk-rock; along with a pair of terrific covers (“My Little Red Book,” “Hey Joe”), the 14 tracks include such fiery originals as “Can't Explain” and “My Flash On You” as well as moody ballads like “A Message to Pretty” and “Signed D.C.” LOVE has just been re-released in honor of the 50th anniversary of “the Summer of Love,” and it's the perfect way to remember the great Arthur Lee, who passed away on this day in 2006.
Release: Further Listening 2001 - 2004 (Album of the Day)
Pet Shop Boys were nearly two decades into their still-ongoing career when they released RELEASE, and the 2002 album has the sound of a band catching its second wind. The outgrowth of recordings made to fill out a greatest hits collection, these songs (“Home And Dry,” “I Get Along,” “London” and seven others) have the worldly sensibilities and catchy melodies for which the U.K. synth-poppers are famous but with a little something extra – guitar work by the great Johnny Marr. As part of a catalog upgrade, RELEASE has just been reissued with two "further listening" albums of additional tracks from the era, including previously unreleased songs, John Peel performances and a cover of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" featuring Elton John.
Break Every Rule (Album of the Day)
BREAK EVERY RULE was the title of Tina Turner's sixth solo album, but it might also have described her approach to music – there weren't a lot of R&B singers successfully submitting videos to MTV two decades into their career. This follow-up to her comeback smash PRIVATE DANCER will please fans of that earlier collection while throwing in a few new curves; trusty hitmakers Graham Lyle and Terry Britten produced half the set while luminaries including Rupert Hine, Bryan Adams and Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler helmed the other (additional famous friends like Steve Winwood and Phil Collins lend instrumental support). The 1986 collection spun off a string of memorable singles - “Typical Male,” “What You Get Is What You See" and “Two People” among them – driving BREAK EVERY RULE to platinum sales status.
There's Gonna Be A Showdown (Album of the Day)
Born in Henderson, Texas on this day in 1944, Archie Bell made some of the most joyously danceable soul music of the 1960s with his group, The Drells. Their final album for Atlantic Records, THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN, was one of their best, with such highlights as “Girl You're Too Young,” “Go For What You Know” and the Top 40 title track. The material and arrangements are strong throughout; the 1969 collection was produced by future Philadelphia International hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who cowrote eight of the dozen tracks here along with frequent collaborator Thom Bell (no relation to Archie). The infectious and funky fun of THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN makes it perfect for a party, so we’ll use it to wish Archie Bell a happy birthday!
The Spirit Room (Album of the Day)
With 2001's THE SPIRIT ROOM, Sedona, Arizona, native Michelle Branch made an impressive and precocious major label debut – she was just 18 when it was released. The Maverick collection would sound assured coming from a singer-songwriter twice that age; the 11 originals are insightful and melodic, and Branch proves a versatile and passionate vocalist. Producer John Shanks applies bright polish to the consistently catchy material, and the result was irresistible to radio: “Everywhere,” “All You Wanted” and “Goodbye to You” were all Top 40 singles, driving the album to double-platinum sales status. Michelle Branch made a welcome return to record stores in April after several years away, and while she still has a long career ahead, THE SPIRIT ROOM shows great talent was there from the beginning.
The Innocents (Album of the Day)
Erasure's third studio album proved the charm; THE INNOCENTS became the commercial breakthrough for U.K. synth-poppers Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. Released as a single on this day in 1988, opener “A Little Respect” reached the U.S. Top 20, as did “Chains Of Love”; with “Ship Of Fools,” the duo had another signature song. In England the collection was even more successful, becoming the pair's first No.1 and helping Erasure earn a Brit Award for Best British Group. There isn't a dud among the 11 originals here, and producer Stephen Hague adds just the right amount of polish to the soulful vocals and punchy arrangements. The multi-platinum THE INNOCENTS remains one of Erasure's very best, and a must for any '80s fan.
PLAYBACK: THE BRIAN WILSON ANTHOLOGY (Album of the Day)
Brian Wilson's eponymous solo debut for Sire in 1988 launched an extended period of renewal for the iconic Beach Boys songwriter. The new Rhino collection PLAYBACK: THE BRIAN WILSON ANTHOLOGY is the performer's first-ever solo career-spanning collection and covers more than 30 years of music with selections from nine of Wilson's solo albums. The set's 18 tracks mix live and studio recordings and feature such highlights as the classic "Love And Mercy," “Heroes And Villains” from the Grammy®-winning BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE and “Gettin' In Over My Head” from the 2004 album of the same name. PLAYBACK also includes a pair of previously unreleased cuts: "Run James Run," a new song Wilson wrote and recorded for this collection, and "Some Sweet Day," a gem he wrote with Andy Paley in the early 1990s for an unfinished project.