Monday, April 30, 2012

Elton John Tumbleweed Connection



Tumbleweed Connection

Tumbleweed Connection is the third album by English international recording artist Elton John. It is a concept album based on the country and western/Americana themes. All songs are written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John, with the exception of "Love Song" by Lesley Duncan. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, England in March 1970 and released in October 1970. It peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. In the U.S. it was certified Gold on 3/22/1971 and Platinum on 8/26/1998 by the R.I.A.A.
In 2003, the album was ranked #463 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson appear for the first time together on this album as the rhythm section on "Amoreena." Olsson had played on one track on "Empty Sky" for John in 1969. This album marks Dee Murray's first appearance on an Elton John studio album.
In 1975, the movie Dog Day Afternoon featured "Amoreena" in the opening sequence. In 1998, a bootleg CD was released called Tumbleweed Collection. This was a collection of piano demos and live tracks.
No singles were released from the album, though one of the songs recorded during the sessions, "Into The Old Man's Shoes" was released as a b-side for at least one single issue of "Your Song." An early version of "Madman Across the Water", featuring Mick Ronson on electric guitar, was also recorded during the sessions for the album. It was released on several albums and reissues of Tumbleweed Connection, though the track was ultimately re-recorded for the Madman Across the Water album.

All songs were written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.
Side one
"Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" – 4:59
"Come Down in Time" – 3:25
"Country Comfort" – 5:06
"Son of Your Father" – 3:48
"My Father's Gun" – 6:20
Side two
"Where to Now St. Peter?" – 4:11
"Love Song" (Lesley Duncan) – 3:41
"Amoreena" – 5:00
"Talking Old Soldiers" – 4:06
"Burn Down the Mission" – 6:22

Elton John – piano, organ, keyboards, vocals
Madeline Bell – background vocals
Paul Buckmaster – conductor
Caleb Quaye – guitars
Roger Pope – drums
Dee Murray – bass, backing vocals
Tammi Hunt - background vocals
Nigel Olsson – drums, backing vocals
Dave Glover – bass, backing vocals
Barry Morgan – drums
Tony Burrows – background vocals
Brian Dee – organ
Ian Duck – harmonica
Lesley Duncan – acoustic guitar, vocals, background vocals
Mike Egan – acoustic guitar
Herbie Flowers – bass
Kay Garner – background vocals
Dusty Springfield - background vocals

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets


Here Come the Warm Jets

Here Come the Warm Jets is the debut solo album by Brian Eno. Produced by Eno, it was released on Island Records in 1974. The musical style of Here Come the Warm Jets is a hybrid of glam rock and art rock, similar to Eno's previous album work with Roxy Music but with songs that are more quirky and experimental. The album features various guest musicians, including Robert Fripp of King Crimson and members of Roxy Music, Hawkwind, Matching Mole, and The Pink Fairies. In developing the album's words and music, Eno used unusual methods such as dancing for his band members and having them play accordingly, and singing nonsense words to himself that would form the basis of subsequent lyrics.

Here Come the Warm Jets peaked at number 26 on the United Kingdom album charts and number 151 on the U.S. Billboard charts, receiving a number of positive reviews. It was re-issued on compact disc in 1990 on Island Records and in 2004 on Virgin Records, and continued to elicit praise. Critic Steve Huey of Allmusic stated that the album "still sounds exciting, forward-looking, and densely detailed, revealing more intricacies with every play".

Here Come the Warm Jets was recorded in twelve days at Majestic Studios in London during September 1973 by recording engineer Derek Chandler. It was mixed at Air and Olympic Studios by Eno and audio engineer Chris Thomas. The album's title was originally described by Eno as a slang term for urination. However, in an interview with Mojo magazine in 1996, Eno explained that it came from a description he wrote for the treated guitar on the title track; he called it "warm jet guitar...because the guitar sounded like a tuned jet."

Eno enlisted sixteen guest musicians to play on the album with him, including John Wetton and Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Simon King from Hawkwind, Bill MacCormick of Matching Mole, Paul Rudolph of Pink Fairies, Chris Spedding and all the members of Roxy Music except vocalist Bryan Ferry. Eno selected them on the basis that he thought they were incompatible with each other musically. He stated that he "got them together merely because I wanted to see what happens when you combine different identities like that and allow them to compete.... [The situation] is organized with the knowledge that there might be accidents, accidents which will be more interesting than what I had intended".

Eno directed the musicians by using body language and dancing, as well as through verbal suggestion, to influence their playing and the sounds they would emit. He felt at the time that this was a good way to communicate with musicians. The album credits Eno with instruments such as "snake guitar", "simplistic piano" and "electric larynx". These terms were used to describe the sound's character or the means of production used to treat the instruments. After recording the individual tracks, Eno condensed and mixed the instrumentation deeply, resulting in some of the tracks bearing little resemblance to what the musicians recorded during the session

All songs written and composed by Brian Eno, except where noted.
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Needles in the Camel's Eye" (Eno, Phil Manzanera) 3:11
2. "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch" 3:04
3. "Baby's on Fire" 5:19
4. "Cindy Tells Me" (Eno, Manzanera) 3:25
5. "Driving Me Backwards" 5:12
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "On Some Faraway Beach" 4:36
2. "Blank Frank" (Eno, Robert Fripp) 3:37
3. "Dead Finks Don't Talk" (arr. Paul Thompson, Busta Jones, Nick Judd, Eno) 4:19
4. "Some of Them Are Old" 5:11
5. "Here Come the Warm Jets" 4:04

* Brian Eno – vocals, synthesizer, guitar, keyboards, treatments, instrumentation
* Chris Spedding – guitar on tracks 1 and 2
* Phil Manzanera – guitar on tracks 1, 2, and 4
* Simon King – percussion on tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10
* Bill MacCormick – bass guitar on tracks 1 and 7
* Marty Simon – percussion on tracks 2, 3, and 4
* Busta Jones – bass guitar on 2, 4, 6 and 8
* Robert Fripp – guitar on 3, 5, and 7
* Paul Rudolph – guitar on 3 and 10, bass guitar on 3, 5 and 10
* John Wetton – bass guitar on tracks 3 and 5
* Nick Judd – keyboards on tracks 4 and 8
* Andy Mackay – keyboards on tracks 6 and 9, saxophone septet on track 9
* Sweetfeed – backing vocals on tracks 6 and 7
* Nick Kool & the Koolaids – keyboards on track 7
* Paul Thompson – percussion on track 8
* Lloyd Watson – slide guitar on track 9
* Chris Thomas – extra bass guitar on track 2

Production

* Brian Eno – producer, mixer
* Chris Thomas – mixer
* Derek Chandler – recording engineer
* Denny Bridges, Phil Chapman, Paul Hardiman – mixing engineers
* Arun Chakraverty – mastering

Friday, April 13, 2012

George Harrison All Things Must Pass


All Things Must Pass [BOXED EDITION]

All Things Must Pass is a triple album by George Harrison, recorded and released in 1970, the first solo work from him since the break-up of The Beatles in April that year. The original vinyl release featured two LPs of rock songs as well as Apple Jam, a third disc of informal jams. All Things Must Pass was the first triple album released by a solo artist, if not the first three-record set in the history of rock music.

In regards to the album's size, Harrison stated: "I didn't have many tunes on Beatles records, so doing an album like All Things Must Pass was like going to the bathroom and letting it out."

The album was critically acclaimed and, with long stays at number 1 in both the US and the UK, commercially successful. It was certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2001.

Harrison had been accumulating the songs he recorded for the album as far back as 1966; both "Art of Dying" and "Isn't It a Pity" date from that year. He picked up several more songs in late 1968 while visiting Bob Dylan and The Band in Woodstock, New York. Harrison and Dylan co-wrote "I'd Have You Anytime" and "Nowhere to Go" (also known as "When Everybody Comes to Town") at this time, and Dylan showed him "I Don't Want to Do It". All three songs were attempted at some point in the sessions for All Things Must Pass, but only "I'd Have You Anytime" was included in the album.

The January 1969 Get Back sessions saw early appearances of several other songs that would be considered for All Things Must Pass, including the title track, "Hear Me Lord", "Isn't It a Pity", "Let It Down" and "Window, Window", but nothing came of them at the time. The tense atmosphere fuelled another song, "Wah-Wah", which Harrison wrote in the wake of his temporary departure from the band. He began writing "My Sweet Lord" while touring with Delaney & Bonnie in late 1969, and would later utilize their backing group "Friends" as an important part of the All Things Must Pass sound. He made one last detour before beginning work on All Things Must Pass, visiting Dylan while the latter was starting sessions for New Morning in May 1970, learning "If Not for You" and participating in a now-bootlegged session

Original release
Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I'd Have You Anytime" George Harrison, Bob Dylan 2:56
2. "My Sweet Lord" Harrison 4:38
3. "Wah-Wah" Harrison 5:35
4. "Isn't It a Pity" (Version 1) Harrison 7:08
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "What Is Life" Harrison 4:22
6. "If Not for You" Dylan 3:29
7. "Behind That Locked Door" Harrison 3:05
8. "Let It Down" Harrison 4:57
9. "Run of the Mill" Harrison 2:49
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Beware of Darkness" Harrison 3:48
2. "Apple Scruffs" Harrison 3:04
3. "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" Harrison 3:46
4. "Awaiting on You All" Harrison 2:45
5. "All Things Must Pass" Harrison 3:44
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "I Dig Love" Harrison 4:55
7. "Art of Dying" Harrison 3:37
8. "Isn't It a Pity" (Version 2) Harrison 4:45
9. "Hear Me Lord" Harrison 5:46
Side five (Apple Jam)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Out of the Blue" Al Aronowitz, Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon, Harrison, Bobby Keys, Jim Price, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, Gary Wright 11:14
2. "It's Johnny's Birthday" (Based on "Congratulations") Bill Martin, Phil Coulter; new lyrics by Mal Evans, Harrison, Eddie Klein 0:49
3. "Plug Me In" Clapton, Gordon, Harrison, Dave Mason, Radle, Whitlock 3:18
Side six (Apple Jam)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
4. "I Remember Jeep" Ginger Baker, Clapton, Harrison, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann 8:07
5. "Thanks for the Pepperoni" Clapton, Gordon, Harrison, Mason, Radle, Whitlock 5:31

The following musicians are credited on the 2001 release:

* Guitars: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Dave Mason
* Bass: Klaus Voormann, Carl Radle
* Orchestral arrangements: John Barham
* Keyboards: Gary Wright, Bobby Whitlock, Billy Preston, Gary Brooker
* Drums and percussion: Ringo Starr, Jim Gordon, Alan White, Phil Collins, Ginger Baker
* Harmonica: George Harrison
* Pedal steel guitar (with talk box): Pete Drake
* Tenor saxophone: Bobby Keys
* Trumpet: Jim Price
* Rhythm guitars and percussion: Badfinger
* Rhodes piano and backing vocals ("I Live for You") and ("My Sweet Lord (2000)"): Dhani Harrison
* Tambourine ("My Sweet Lord (2000)"): Ray Cooper
* Additional lead vocals ("My Sweet Lord (2000)"): Sam Brown
* Tea; sympathy and tambourine: Mal Evans
* Produced by George Harrison and Phil Spector
* Engineered by Ken Scott and Phil McDonald

Engineers:

* Ken Scott & Phil McDonald

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Big Star #1 Record


#1 Record/Radio City

#1 Record is the debut album by the American power pop group Big Star. It was released in 1972 by Memphis-based Ardent Records. Though many critics praised the album's elegant vocal harmonies and refined songcraft (frequently drawing comparisons to the British Invasion groups of the 1960s, including The Beatles, The Kinks and The Who), #1 Record suffered from poor distribution and sold fewer than 10,000 copies. However, like Big Star's follow-up albums Radio City and Third/Sister Lovers, #1 Record has more recently attracted wider attention, and in 2003 it was ranked number 438 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Rolling Stone magazine also ranked the song "Thirteen" as number 396 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The singles released from the album were "When My Baby's Beside Me" and "Don't Lie to Me". The B-side of the former included a version of "In the Street" which until 2005 was only available on the single. It is now included on the 20 Greats from the Golden Decade of Power Pop compilation CD and the 2009 reissue of #1 Record/Radio City.

#1 Record is the only Big Star album on which group founder Chris Bell is officially credited as a member, though he did make some contributions to its follow-up, 1974's Radio City. Bell had a major hand in the record through both songwriting, vocals, and guitar work.

In 1992, Fantasy Records released #1 Record and Radio City together on a single compact disc with alternate versions of "In the Street" and "O My Soul" as bonus tracks.

A version of "In the Street" by Ben Vaughn was used as the theme song of That '70s Show, which was changed to a version by Cheap Trick (titled "That 70s Song") after the first season. "Thirteen" has also been used in several episodes of That 70's Show.

Eight years earlier in 1964, when their home town of Memphis, Tennessee became a tour stop for The Beatles, primary songwriters Alex Chilton and Chris Bell were thirteen years old. Heavily influenced by the UK band, the pair—Bell in particular—wanted to model their songwriting on the Lennon–McCartney partnership, with the result that they credited as many songs as possible on Big Star's debut album to "Bell/Chilton". In practice, they developed material incrementally in the studio, each making changes to the other's recordings. Drummer Jody Stephens recalled, "Alex would come in and put down something rough and edgy and Chris would come in and add some sweet-sounding background vocals to it." The pair also each contributed songs individually composed before Big Star was formed, Bell bringing "Feel", "Try Again" and "My Life Is Right", and Chilton, "Thirteen", "The Ballad of El Goodo", "In the Street" and "Watch the Sunrise".

On its release in June 1972, #1 Record immediately received widespread acclaim, and continued to do so for six months, although an inability by Stax Records to make the album available in stores meant it sold fewer than 10,000 copies. Record World called it "one of the best albums of the year", and Billboard commented, "Every cut could be a single". In a lengthy and positive review, Rolling Stone critic Bud Scoppa felt that while the music wasn't new, using "well-defined forms" such as those explored by the Byrds, Moby Grape, and had a Beatles influence, it was "exceptionally good", and compared well with those producing similar music such as Badfinger, the Raspberries and Todd Rundgren. Cashbox described it as one where "everything falls together as a total sound" and one which "should go to the top". The River City Review's reaction to the album was to state that "Big Star will be around for many moons"

All songs by Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, except where noted.

Side one

1. "Feel" – 3:34
2. "The Ballad of El Goodo" – 4:21
3. "In the Street" – 2:55
4. "Thirteen" – 2:34
5. "Don't Lie to Me" – 3:07
6. "The India Song" (Andy Hummell) – 2:20

Side two

7. "When My Baby's Beside Me" – 3:22
8. "My Life Is Right" (Bell, Eubanks) – 3:07
9. "Give Me Another Chance" – 3:26
10. "Try Again" – 3:31
11. "Watch the Sunrise" – 3:45
12. "ST 100/6" – 1:01

Big Star

* Chris Bell – guitar, vocals
* Alex Chilton – guitar, vocals
* Andy Hummel – bass guitar
* Jody Stephens – drums

Guests
* Terry Manning – electric piano

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nirvana In Utero


In Utero (180 Gram Vinyl)

In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 13, 1993, on DGC Records. Nirvana intended the record to diverge significantly from the polished production of its previous album, Nevermind (1991). To capture a more abrasive and natural sound, the group hired producer Steve Albini to record In Utero during a two-week period in February 1993 at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The music was recorded quickly with few studio embellishments, and the song lyrics and album packaging incorporated medical imagery that conveyed frontman Kurt Cobain's outlook on his publicized personal life and his band's newfound fame.

Soon after recording was completed, rumors circulated in the press that DGC might not release the album in its original state, as the record label felt that the result was not commercially viable. Although Nirvana publicly denied the statements, the group was not fully satisfied with the sound Albini had captured. Albini declined to alter the album further, and ultimately the band hired Scott Litt to make minor changes to the album's sound and remix the singles "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies".

Upon release, In Utero entered the Billboard 200 chart at number one and received critical acclaim as a drastic departure from Nevermind. The record has been certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and has sold 3.58 million copies in the United States alone.

In a Melody Maker interview published in July 1992, Cobain told the English journalist Everett True he was interested in recording with Jack Endino (who had produced the group's 1989 debut album Bleach) and Steve Albini (former frontman of the noise rock band Big Black and producer for various indie releases). Cobain said he would then choose the best material from the sessions for inclusion on the group's next album. In October 1992, Nirvana recorded several songs (mainly as instrumentals) during a demo session with Endino in Seattle; many of these songs would later be re-recorded for In Utero. Endino recalled that the band did not ask him to produce its next record, but noted that the band members constantly debated working with Albini. The group recorded another set of demos while on tour in Brazil in January 1993. One of the recordings from this session, the long improvisational track "Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip", was included as a hidden track on non-US copies of In Utero.

Nirvana ultimately chose Albini to record its third album. Albini had a reputation as a principled and opinionated individual in the American independent music scene. While there was speculation that the band chose Albini to record the album due to his underground credentials, Cobain told Request magazine in 1993, "For the most part I wanted to work with him because he happened to produce two of my favorite records, which were Surfer Rosa [by the Pixies] and Pod [by The Breeders]." Inspired by those albums, Cobain wanted to utilize Albini's technique of capturing the natural ambiance of a room via the usage and placement of several microphones, something previous Nirvana producers had been averse to trying. Months before the band had even approached Albini about the recording, rumors circulated that he was slated to record the album. Albini sent a disclaimer to the British music press denying involvement, only to get a call from Nirvana's management a few days later about the project. Although he considered Nirvana to be "R.E.M. with a fuzzbox" and "an unremarkable version of the Seattle sound", Albini told Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad he accepted because he felt sorry for the band members, whom he perceived to be "the same sort of people as all the small-fry bands I deal with", at the mercy of their record company. Before the start of recording sessions, the band sent Albini a tape of the demos it had made in Brazil. In return, Albini sent Cobain a copy of the PJ Harvey album Rid of Me to give him an idea of what the studio where they would record at sounded like.

All songs written by Kurt Cobain except where noted.

1. "Serve the Servants" – 3:36
2. "Scentless Apprentice" (Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic) – 3:48
3. "Heart-Shaped Box" – 4:41
4. "Rape Me" – 2:50
5. "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" – 4:09
6. "Dumb" – 2:32
7. "Very Ape" – 1:56
8. "Milk It" – 3:55
9. "Pennyroyal Tea" – 3:37
10. "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" – 4:51
11. "tourette's" – 1:35
12. "All Apologies" – 3:51

Bonus track

13. "Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip" (Cobain, Grohl, Novoselic) – 7:28

This song is included on non-US pressings of the album.

Nirvana

* Kurt Cobain – guitar, lead vocals, art direction, design, photography
* Dave Grohl – drums
* Krist Novoselic – bass guitar

Additional personnel

* Steve Albini – producer, engineer
* Robert Fisher – art direction, design, photography
* Alex Grey – illustrations
* Adam Kasper – second engineer
* Michael Lavine – photography
* Scott Litt – mixing
* Bob Ludwig – audio mastering
* Karen Mason – photography
* Charles Peterson – photography
* Kera Schaley – cello on "All Apologies" and "Dumb"
* Neil Wallace – photography
* Bob Weston – technician

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beck Sea Change


Sea Change

Sea Change is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock artist Beck, released on September 24, 2002. Recorded over a two month period at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles with producer Nigel Godrich, the record includes themes of heartbreak and desolation, solitude and loneliness. "Lost Cause" and "Guess I'm Doing Fine" were released as singles, respectively.

For the record, much of Beck's trademark recondite, ironic lyrics were replaced by more sincere, simpler lyrical content. He also eschewed the heavy sampling of his previous albums for real, live instrumentation. In interviews, Beck cited the breakup with his longtime girlfriend as the major influence on the album. Sea Change, which itself is an idiom for broad transformation, peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200, later being certified gold in March 2005 by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album received overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim upon release, with several reviews regarding it as Beck's magnum opus. Reviewers parsed the change in style from the sonically experimental to simple and emotional.

No. Title Length
1. "The Golden Age" 4:35
2. "Paper Tiger" 4:36
3. "Guess I'm Doing Fine" 4:49
4. "Lonesome Tears" 5:38
5. "Lost Cause" 3:47
6. "End of the Day" 5:03
7. "It's All in Your Mind" 3:06
8. "Round the Bend" 5:15
9. "Already Dead" 2:59
10. "Sunday Sun" 4:44
11. "Little One" 4:27
12. "Side of the Road" 3:23
Total length:
52:24

Musicians

* Beck Hansen – vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, percussion, synth, glockenspiel, banjo, harmonica, keyboards, piano, string arrangement, wurlitzer
* Smokey Hormel – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic slide guitar, percussion, background vocals, bamboo saxophone, megamouth, piano, tape recorder
* Justin Meldal-Johnsen – electric bass, upright bass, percussion, background vocals, glockenspiel, electric guitar, piano
* Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – clavinet, synth, background vocals, percussion, piano, wurlitzer, banjo, Indian banjo, glockenspiel, harmonium
* Joey Waronker – drums, percussion, background vocals, beatbox drums
* James Gadson – drums
* Jason Falkner – electric guitar, background vocals, percussion
* David Campbell – string arrangement, conducting
* Nigel Godrich – keyboards, percussion, string treatment, synth
* Suzie Katayama – cello

Production

* Nigel Godrich– production, engineering, mixing
* Paul Bishow – executive producer
* Darrell Thorp – assistant engineering
* Bob Ludwig – mastering
* Elliot Scheiner – SACD/DVD-A surround sound mix

Artwork

* Autumn de Wilde – cover photo(s)
* Jeremy Blake – artwork
* Kevin Reagan, Beck – art direction, design
* Ekaterina Kenney – creative director

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Will the Wolf Survive? - Los Lobos



How Will the Wolf Survive

How Will the Wolf Survive? is the major label debut album of Los Lobos. In 1989, it was ranked #30 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 461 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

"Don't Worry Baby" - Burnett, Perez, Rosas – 2:43
"A Matter of Time" - Hidalgo, Perez – 3:55
"Corrido #1" - Rosas – 2:42
"Our Last Night" - Hidalgo, Perez – 3:08
"The Breakdown" - Burnett, Hidalgo, Perez – 4:12
"I Got Loaded" - Camille – 3:20
"Serenata Nortena" – 2:53
"Evangeline" - Hidalgo, Perez – 2:43
"I Got to Let You Know" - Rosas – 2:35
"Lil' King of Everything" - Hidalgo, Perez – 1:19
"Will the Wolf Survive?" - Hidalgo, Perez – 3:41

I became aware of Los Lobos during the early 1980s with the release of their EP "...And a Time To Dance" and made sure I saw them live when they were doing the promotional tour for this album. They have since become a national act but How Will The Wolf Survives stands as one of the most enduring albums of its day. With the airwaves awash in glamrock and corporate-rock powerhouse groups, Los Lobos was a breath of fresh air. Its infectious mix of hard-driving roots rock, country, and blues judiciously tinged with the pulsing accordion of David Hidalgo provided an antidote to the stale pap being cranked out in the top-40 and AOR formats. My favorites are the irresistable Don't Worry Baby, I Got Loaded, the country-ish Our Last Night and, arguably the best song on the album, the accordion-driven The Breakdown. I think the title cut and the two Norteno songs are mediocre but the quality of the rest of the music gives it the five stars. How Will the Wolf Survive stands as the best mostly English-language album issued by Los Lobos. It is a landmark album that has yet to be matched by any of the band's subsequent releases except for the fabulous La Pistola y El Corazon. If your tastes run to the eclectic with a strong leaning toward the southwest, then this comes highly recommended. And by the way, the accordion is an important component of the music, so if you don't like accordions, you are not going to like this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Live in Europe - Otis Redding



Live in Europe

Live in Europe is a live album from soul singer Otis Redding. It was Redding's first live album as well as the only live album released during his lifetime, issued exactly five months before his death on December 10, 1967. The album was recorded during the Stax/Volt tour of Europe and Redding is backed by Booker T. & the MG's. Recorded at the Olympia Theatre, Paris; March 21, 1967.

The album is currently available on CD, digitally remastered by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch as part of the Atlantic & Atco Remasters Series. In 2003, the album was ranked number 474 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Respect" Otis Redding 3:00
2. "Can't Turn You Loose" Redding 3:20
3. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" Jerry Butler, Redding 3:40
4. "My Girl" Smokey Robinson, Ronald White 2:44
5. "Shake" Sam Cooke 2:51
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 2:53
7. "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" Steve Cropper, Redding 3:37
8. "These Arms of Mine" Redding 2:57
9. "Day Tripper" John Lennon, Paul McCartney 2:54
10. "Try a Little Tenderness" James Campbell, Reginald Connelly, Harry M. Woods 5:00

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay


A Rush of Blood to the Head

A Rush of Blood to the Head is the second studio album by English rock band Coldplay. Released on 26 August 2002 in the UK through the label Parlophone, the album was produced by the band and British record producer Ken Nelson. Recording started after the band became popular worldwide with the release of their debut album, Parachutes, and one of its singles in particular, "Yellow". Attitudes to songwriting were affected by the September 11 attacks in the United States, which occurred the week before recording started. The songs featured in the album have a greater use of piano and electric guitar than its predecessor.

The album was made available in August 2002, two months after its original planned release date. It was released on 27 August in the United States through Capitol Records. Capitol released a remastered version of the album in 2008 on a 180-gram vinyl record as part of the "From the Capitol Vaults" series. The album debuted and continued their huge commercial legacy, an ongoing pattern that began with Parachutes which made Coldplay one of the best-selling bands worldwide. It topped the UK Album Charts upon its first week of release in the United Kingdom, and became the eighth biggest-selling albums in the 21st century in the UK. The British Phonographic Industry has since certified the album 9x platinum for its accumulated sales of over 2.7 million units in Britain and over 15 million worldwide. The album spawned the hit singles "In My Place", "The Scientist", "Clocks", and "God Put a Smile upon Your Face".

A Rush of Blood to the Head has been critically acclaimed, and it won the band the 2003 Grammy for Best Alternative Album for the second time in a row, successive to their previous win in the same category, and the 2004 Grammy for Record of the Year for the song "Clocks". The album is considered to be the band's magnum opus. In 2003 it was ranked number 473 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

No. Title Length
1. "Politik" 5:18
2. "In My Place" 3:48
3. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" 4:57
4. "The Scientist" 5:09
5. "Clocks" 5:07
6. "Daylight" 5:27
7. "Green Eyes" 3:43
8. "Warning Sign" 5:31
9. "A Whisper" 3:58
10. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" 5:51
11. "Amsterdam" 5:19

Coldplay

* Chris Martin – vocals, guitar, keyboards
* Jon Buckland – guitar
* Guy Berryman – bass
* Will Champion – drums

Production

* Produced by Coldplay and Ken Nelson
* Engineered and mixed by Coldplay, Ken Nelson and Rik Simpson
* Additional production and mixing by Mark Phythian

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Def Leppard Hysteria



Hysteria

Hysteria is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Def Leppard. It was released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records. It is the band's best-selling album to date, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and spawning six hit singles. The album charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the UK Albums Chart.

Hysteria was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The title of the album was thought up by drummer Rick Allen, relating to his experiences during the time of his auto accident, and the worldwide media coverage that followed. It's also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark, but their next album, Adrenalize is the last to feature his songwriting.

The album was the follow-up to the band's 1983 breakthrough Pyromania. Its creation process took over three years having been plagued by many trials, such as the 31 December 1984 car accident that cost Rick Allen his left arm. Subsequent to the release of the album, Def Leppard published a book entitled Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke on the recording process of Hysteria over the 3+ years it took to record the album and the tough times the band went through.

The album has earned critical acclaim from a number of sources. In 1988 Q magazine readers voted Hysteria as the 98th Greatest Album of All Time, while in 2004, the album was ranked at number 472 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Women" 5:41
2. "Rocket" 6:37
3. "Animal" 4:02
4. "Love Bites" 5:46
5. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" 4:25
6. "Armageddon It" 5:21
7. "Gods of War" 6:37
8. "Don't Shoot Shotgun" 4:26
9. "Run Riot" 4:39
10. "Hysteria" 5:54
11. "Excitable" 4:19
12. "Love and Affection" 4:37

* Joe Elliott – lead vocals
* Steve Clark – guitars
* Phil Collen – guitars
* Rick Savage – bass
* Rick Allen – drums

Additional personnel
* The Bankrupt Brothers (another joking reference to Def Leppard themselves) – backing vocals
* Philip Nicholas – Fairlight programming

Production
* Robert John "Mutt" Lange – producer
* Nigel Green – engineer, assistant engineer, mixing
* Erwin Musper – engineer
* Ronald Prent – engineer
* Mike Shipley – mixing
* Bob Ludwig – mastering
* Howie Weinberg – mastering
* Ross Halfin – photography
* Laurie Lewis – photography
* Mark Flannery – tape operator

Artwork design
* Andie Airfix @ Satori