Tag: Compilation

Suede – The Best of Suede

ARTIST: Suede                                          BestofSuede

TITLE: The Best of Suede

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: #31 UK

SINGLES: Top 10: Metal Mickey (#7 US Modern, #17 UK), Animal Nitrate (#7 U), Stay Together (#3 UK), Trash (#3 UK), Beautiful Ones (#8 UK), Saturday Night (#6 UK), Lazy (#9 UK), Filmstar (#9 UK), Electricity (#5 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Brit-pop fans know the B-sides and album tracks here

LINEUP: Brett Anderson, Mat Osman, Bernard Butler, Simon Gilbert. Richard Oakes replaced Butler halfway through their hit tenure. Neil Codling joinde on keyboards later.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the original Brit Pop bands (taking the UK over from the Madchester scene), Suede’s singles were at times rock, pop, and bombastic prog all rolled into one.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: A combination of sex, drugs, and glammy rock-and-roll, Suede’s influence and popularity in the UK is greater than we’ll ever know here in the US. Yet, the band was a tinderbox due to tensions through recording and touring. and the drug use of singer Brett Anderson.

Britpop didn’t make much of a ripple over hear (Oasis and the odd Blur track notwithstanding), and while the themes of Suede’s music had an audience here. At times Suede were too bombastic and really worshiping at the altar of Bowie and Marc Bolan. When Bernard Butler left, Anderson didn’t quite have the musical partner he needed.

This is a good introduction for most of the curious in the US, as it covers most all of their A-sides from their classic period, and has a few B-sides and album tracks. That second disc does drag a bit and lowers the grade, as some songs are definitely exile-worthy..

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Here, we have to officiallycall them the London Suede, but I’m not going to.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The first disc is the hits. The second are Brett Anderson’s favorites.

 GRADE: B : Had it been the first disc, it’s definitely an A-. The second disc has some duds.

Family – History

ARTIST: Family                                                     MI0003672214

TITLE:  History

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: No Mules Fool (#29 UK), The Weaver’s Answer (#11 UK), In My Own Time (#4 UK), Burlesque (#13 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not here, not at all

LINEUP: Roger Chapman, Rob Townsend, John Palmer, Charlie Whitney were constants from 1969-72. Others included Jim Cregan, Jim King, Ric Grech, John Weider, John Wetton and Tony Ashton.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Popular in the UK in the early 70’s, this collection hits their proggy and rock highlights.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first thing you notice about Family is that vocalist. Roger Chapman bleats and yowls with a heavy vibrato, which could be a deal breaker for some folks. The band, though, despite their various incarnations of drummers and multi-instrumentalists, were solid and swung between pure prog and a definite prog and rock hybrid (especially when John Wetton was on board)

They do tend to extend themselves and their tracks, psychedelic at first, then jazzy later on, and that wears you down after a while. They had good ides but didn’t have much of an edit function on tracks.

Obscure in the US, except for a loving cult, Family’s albums charted well in the UK (three Top 10’s and two others at 14 and 15). But because of Chapman’s vocals, you probably want to stick to this compilation to start until you’re sure about them.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They reformed  the 1972 lineup of Chapman, Thownsend, Palmer and Creagan and are out on the boards in the UK and Europe.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

 

GRADE: B: I can’t say you won’t be turned off by Chapman’s vocals. They’re probably much better with live records than on studio.

The Chi-Lites – 20 Greatest Hits

ARTIST: The Chi-Lites                        612mBXog7mL._SX355_

TITLE:  20 Greatest Hits

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 10: Give It Away (#88 US, #10 R&B), Are You My Woman (Tell Me So) (#72 US, #8 R&B), (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People (#26 US, #4 R&B, #32 UK), Have You Seen Her (#3 US, #1 R&B, #3 UK), Oh Girl (#1 US, #1 R&B, #14 UK), The Coldest Days of My Life (#47 US, #8 R&B), A Letter to Myself (#33 US, #3 R&B), Stoned Out of My Mind (#30 US, #2 R&B), Homely Girl (#54 US, #3 R&B, #5 UK), There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is at the Conference Table) (#63 US, #8 R&B), Too Good to Be Forgotten (#10 UK), Toby / That’s How Long (#78 US, #7 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s about everything right there.

LINEUP: Marshall Thompson, Robert ‘Squirrell’ Lester, Eugene Record, Creadel ‘Red’ Jones.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Outstanding early 70’s soul vocal group was almost equal to the Temptations of the time.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: While each hit by the Chi-Lites falls into pretty distinct categories (funky, pleading, socially aware) and each category has a similar sound (especially when “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl” hit it big), the Chi-Lites Brunswick singles catalog is deep and mighty.

Eugene Record was the mastermind behind most of the hits – writing and producing the tracks sometimes with help by Barbara Acklin. The sound was great with Red Jones with the bass lines, and Record with the soaring tenor and funky backing musicians from Chicago. During their heyday they were snappy dressers with matching suits and afros. They had it all – for a while.

Their later hits featured some missteps, and thankfully this ends after they started to shed members due to Brunswick’s trouble. This is a good collection for those who dig the early 70’s soul sounds.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Marshall Thompson still has a version of the group going.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

 GRADE: A-: A couple of meh tracks, but when they were on top of their game they were great.

Sylvester – Mighty Real (Greatest Dance Hits)

ARTIST: Sylvester                                         R-5480744-1394461410-3536.jpeg

TITLE:  Mighty Real (Greatest Dance Hits)

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Over and Over (#18 Dance), Dance (Disco Heat) (#19 US, #4 R&B, #1 Dance), You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (#36 US, #20 R&B, #1 Dance, #8 UK), Body Strong (#4 Dance), Stars (#4 Dance, #47 UK), Can’t Stop Dancing (#43 R&B, #2 Dance), I Need You / Sell My Soul (#6 Dance)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No

LINEUP: Sylvester, the Weather Girls, Disco sessioneers

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Disco, Disco, Disco!

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sylvester James had a San Francisco glammy type band, but they broke up after two records. He sound found the Weather Girls who became his backup singers and close friends, and went to the disco genre and became the gay undergrounds disco star in the late 70’s, particulary for “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”.

The late 70’s were his time – especially on the dance charts. He was a star in the disco realm, but tried to change up in early 1980 to more of a soul and gospel groove, and bombed out. He sued his producer for unpaid royalties and released a few more albums before his death due to AIDS in the late 80’s.

This collection is a good throwback to that carefree disco era of the 70’s.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He played on the Late Show with Joan Rivers, and corrected her when she referred to him as a drag queen.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B-: Good disco tracks with some high points, but as most disco albums the cuts are long and repetitive – good for dancing grooves, not much of intense listening.

Rick Derringer – Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Derringer

ARTIST: Rick Derringer                     71++RgMezdL._SX425_

TITLE:  Playlist: The Very Best of Rick Derringer

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Charting: Hang on Sloopy (#1 US, #5 UK), Rock and Roll, Hootchie Koo (#23 US), Teenage Love Affair (#80 US), Let Me In (#86)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Still Alive and Well

LINEUP: Rick Derringer and various session people, plus his own group called Derringer, which existed in the mid-70’s

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Guitarist and vocalist for the McCoys, Johnny Winter, and Edgar Winter’s solo career is compiled in a single disc that illustrates the problems he had sustaining a solo career.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There’s no doubt Rick Derringer’s a good wingman, as his worth with both Winter brothers and Weird Al show. He’s also got a good rock-and-roll voice. But as a songwriter, he’s got few highlights outside of “Rock and Roll, Hootchie Koo”.

“Still Alive and Well” works well, and various dribs and drabs from his group Derringer are decent enough. But his 70’s solo albums found him straddling glam and hard rock, with no real purpose, and some of his tracks are just cringeworthy (who the hell thought “If I Weren’t So Romantic, I’d Shoot You” was a song title that would be both a single AND the title of an album???)

I was quite disappointed here – but it illustrates why you’ve not heard much besides his big solo hit.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He recorded a version of “Real American” for Alex Jones’ show. I don’t need to say more.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: C: Many tracks exiled. Just not great

Jackie Wilson – The Ultimate Jackie Wilson

ARTIST: Jackie Wilson                           jackiewilson

TITLE:  The Ultimate Jackie Wilson

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 10: Reet Petite (#62 US, #6 UK- #1 UK on re-release), To Be Loved (#22 US, #7 R&B, #23 UK), Lonely Teardrops (#7 US, #1 R&B), That’s Why (I Love You So) (#13 US, #2 R&B), I’ll Be Satisfied (#20 US, #6 R&B), You Better Know It (#37 US, #1 R&B), Talk That Talk (#34 US, #3 R&B), A Woman A Lover A Friend (#15 US, #1 R&B), Night (#4 US, #3 R&B), Doggin’ Around (#15 US, #1 R&B), Alone at Last (#8 US, #20 R&B, #50 UK), Am I the Man (#32 US, #10 R&B), My Empty Arms (#9 US, #25 R&B), I’m Comin’ Back to You (#19 US, #9 R&B), Baby Workout (#5 US, #1 R&B), Whispers (Gettin’ Louder) (#11 US, #5 R&B), (Your Love Keeps Lifing Me) Higher and Higher (#6 US, #1 R&B), I Get the Sweetest Feeling (#34 US, #12 R&B, #9 UK, #3 UK on re-release), (I Can Feel Those Vibrations) This Love Is Real (#56 US, #9 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: He covered a lot of popular hits late in the 60’s

LINEUP: Jackie Wilson, some very white background singers, session musicians, and some help by Lavern Baker, the Chi-Lites and Count Basie.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the best early soul / R&B singers of the rock era is well, almost too well, documented here.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Jackie Wilson was a natural entertainer, and as a singer he evoked emotion and joy. “Mr. Excitement” on stage, many times his records were middle-of-the-road glop more suited for a crooner than someone with his vocal range and style. Even his blues records were over-produced with strings and white-bread backing vocals.

Still, when he was allowed to cut loose he was one of the best. The list of singles is impressive, but more impressive is his influence on his contemporaries and those who followed. Elvis and Michael Jackson were huge admirers. James Brown and Solomon Burke no doubt looked at his stage show and formulated how they could match or top it.

Wilson’s life was tragic in many ways, but his legacy makes him well-remembered. This collection has all of the highlights, and while it’s a bit bloated it’s the best overview around.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He collapsed on stage in 1975, and was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes in various states of comas until he passed away in 1984.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: None

 GRADE: B+: I hate to give this a higher grade because of the glop he sang that Brunswick made him (so he could crossover to the easy listening market), but there’s enough of that stuff on there that makes this a slog at times. Still, you need plenty of Jackie Wilson in your collection.

Tom Jones – Gold

ARTIST: Tom Jones                                       tomjones gold

TITLE:  Gold

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 20: It’s Not Unusual (#10 US, #1 UK), With These Hands (#27 US, #13 UK), What’s New Pussycat (#3 US, #11 UK), Once There Was a Time (#58 US, #18 UK), Green Green Grass of Home (#11 US, #1 UK), Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings (#49 US, #7 UK), I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (#6 US, #2 UK), I’m Coming Home (#57 US, #2 UK), Delilah (#15 US, #2 UK), Help Yourself (#35 US, #5 UK), A Minute of Your Time (#48 US, #14 UK),  Without Love (There Is Nothing) (#5 US, #10 UK), Daughter of Darkness (#13 US, #5 UK), I (Who Have Nothing (#14 US, #16 UK), She’s a Lady (#2 US, #13 UK), Till (#38 US, #2 UK, The Young New Mexican Puppeteer (#80 US, #6 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Thunderball (#25 US, #35 UK)

LINEUP: Tom Jones and majestic pop orchestras

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Welsh singer, who made your mom and grandma all excited and stuff, had a deep catalog that fit his overly dramatic voice and style.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: As cheesy as some of these songs are, they also show the talent of Tom Jones to interpret songs and make them his own. From 1965 through 1972, when he really started to focus more on shows than recording and the pop styles moved away from his forte, he was an international star on TV and the radio, and sold a lot of records.

This collection is from his peak period, from his first single “It’s Not Unusual” in 1965 through 1975. While it may be a lot to plow through, it hits every twist and turn Jones navigated through those years and how he kept contemporary (somewhat) in those times.

Tom Jones is a legend, and oh, call him Sir Tom Jones. He’s still out there hoofin’ it on stage when he can.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He did have a hit with the Art of Noise covering “Kiss” in 1988, and sang “You Can Leave Your Hat On” for the soundtrack of the Full Monty. You can find those easily.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B: Good, cheesy, fun.

Kid Creole & the Coconuts – Kid Creole Redux

ARTIST: Kid Creole & the Coconuts                    creole redux

TITLE:  Kid Creole Redux

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Charting: I’m a Wonderful Thing baby (#18 Club, #44 R&B, #4 UK), Stool Pigeon (#25 Club, #7 UK), Annie I’m Not Your Daddy (#18 Club, #2 UK), There’s Something Wrong in Paradise (#35 UK), The Lifeboat Party (#49 UK), Endicott (#21 Club, #80 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Yolanda, Animal Crackers

LINEUP: August Darnell, Coati Mundi, Adriana Kaegi and a huge cast of other characters

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Retrospective of fun 80’s band that mixed disco, tropical rhythms, and a cavalier attitude.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: August Darnell formed Kid Creole and the Coconuts and became the persona of Kid Creole, a bon vivant ladies man with a slick tongue and a sartorial flair. They were New York and club favorites, and  had some great success in the UK, and were always a party to see live.

Their albums weren’t always the hallmark of consistency, but there were fun live and in small doses a joy on the dance floor. This collects their most noteworthy songs on their albums (except it misses “Mister Softee” which they did on SNL).

It’s hard to explain a band like them, except to listen to “Stool Pigeon” or “I’m a Wonderful Thing, Baby” and you’ll get it. Morris Day owes Kid Creole something for his schtick.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They never hit higher than #145 in the album charts, despite club play and fun videos.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: B: It’s a fun collection, but could be a bit longer and more in chronological order.

Hypocrisy – Beast of Hypocrisy

ARTIST: Hypocrisy                        hypocrisy

TITLE:  Beast of Hypocrisy

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They’re definitely a niche band, so if you like their niche, you know their stuff.

LINEUP: Peter Tagtgren, Mikael Hedlund. Lars Szoke was the main drummer. Horgh replaced him in 2004. Tomas Elofsson, Andreas Holma, and Masse Broberg also contributed

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long standing death / black metal band from Sweden releases a compilation that shows their musical evolution.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Riffs, solos, growly unintelligible vocals, madcap drumming – all of the aspects of regular death / black metal were there in early Hypocrisy. But after they let go of their original singer Masse Broberg, they started an evolution to using more melodic passages and sonic textures to break up the monotony.

If one is a connoisseur of such sounds, then Hypocrisy is one of the go-to bands in the subset of death metal that is “melodic death metal”, which isn’t an oxymoron. Yet it still features some brutal sounding vocals intertwined with the melodic passages and the guitar riffs.

Even some metalheads can’t wrap their heads around this extreme kind of metal, even with melodic tendencies. That’s understandable, but give Hypocrisy some credit. They are one of the best at what they do, and even if you (like me) can’t abide the growling vocal styles, there’s other stuff here to enjoy.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They were going to break up in 1997, but fans convinced them to stay the course. They are still together but haven’t released an album since 2013.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. There is a 2001 collection that has many of the same tracks, and three not on this one.

 GRADE: B: After a while, it’s repetitive even with the melodic tracks. I’m exiling this for my collection, but metalheads may want to check them out.

Otis Rush – The Essential Otis Rush: The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-58

ARTIST: Otis Rush                                                              R-3756830-1343140013-2995.jpeg

TITLE:  The Essential Otis Rush: The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-58

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: These are the A’s and B’s of his Cobra singles. I Can’t Quit You Baby hit #6 on the R&B Chart.

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Double Trouble

LINEUP: Otis Rush, possibly Willie Dixon, Ike Turner, John Williams, and others.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Chicago blues singles from influential bluesman.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Along with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, Otis Rush had the distinctive Chicago Blues sound from his guitar. Playing lefty with the guitar strung for a righty, Rush’s bent notes and tones were influential for many bluesmen in Chicago, and those who followed in the US and UK.

In the three years at Cobra, he recorded eight singles that were influential and somewhat popular with the blues audience. However, Cobra’s financial problem somewhat limited their ability to promote Rush and others on the label. Still, enough heard him to make his songs mainstays for blues bands going forward.

None of these tracks were on an album until the CD era, so they were only available on compilations or if you happened to chance across a 45. While Rush’s sound was more commercial than some other bluesmen (with horn sections and arrangements softening it up a bit), he’s still an important figure shaping the blues rock and blues movement.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Chicago declared June 12, 2-016 at Otis Rush Day.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There are some alternate takes at the end of the collection. 

GRADE: A-: An influential blues figure – Jimmy Page was a fan for good reason.