#1 The Velvet Underground
6 CD Boxed Set on UMG - Universal Music Group
27 minutes and 56 seconds of a wonderful "The Nothing Song" concludes this set, though it is hard for a critic to gush when the "box" is visible on the internet for 5 listening sessions and a time limit! I guess major corporations do not realize that sometimes it takes days and days to get a handle on the music being communicated. That being said, I'll get more information out on this important new Velvet Underground release.
See the tracking here:
As with the gorgeous camerawork in the Robert Zemeckis epic film Flight, the stunning visuals in Skyfall set the tone for the owners of the 007 franchise to go back to what a Bond film is all about: intrigue, drama, a superb score, breathtaking scenery and our hero up against a mentally deranged, maniacal and thoroughly damaged human being.
So what if Daniel Craig comes off less the suave spy and more like a hard-hitting blood ‘n guts detective Mike Hammer from Mickey Spillane’s novels…the film is pure Bond that we know and love from days gone by. And what is an interesting aspect of 007 lore is that without the huge marquee attractions of Sean Connery, Roger Moore (TV’s The Saint) and Pierce Brosnan (TV’s Remington Steele), great stories became the “stars” replacing those big names. Some of the best of these stories were written for the lesser-known Bonds – George Lazenby’s serious (and truly underrated) 1969 performance as 007 in the thrilling On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – directed by Peter R. Hunt with editing by John Glen (who also worked on the TV series “Secret Agent”), Timothy Dalton’s smooth acting in 1987’s very good The Living Daylights with an even better storyline to follow in License to Kill (1989)…and now, Skyfall. Important to note that the aforementioned Glen went from editing Bond films (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and others) to directing both License to Kill and Living Daylights. Read more here:
Flight: Taking Drugs And Flying PlanesZemeckis' latest offering will have you grasped to your seat and is one you'll have to see more than once at the Cinema.
As I told Bob Zemeckis during an interview for this film the late Jimmy Miller, producer for Traffic and The Rolling Stones, would be most pleased with the inclusion of his tracks “Sympathy For The Devil” and the aforementioned “Shelter” from the Stones as well as Traffic’s rendition of Dave Mason’s “Feelin’ Alright”.
“Alright” appears at the beginning courtesy of Joe Cocker, then we get Denzel Washington doing his version on the plane sans band, and Traffic’s over the closing credits. Read more here:
4)Etta James Live at Montreux
Live At Montreux 1993
“Take It To The Limit” goes from the slow Eagles ballad to a bountiful blues number that would have been preferable on pop radio. Four years after the Staple Singers had a 1971 hit with “Respect Yourself” it got Ettazized – and a testament to the hard-working performer is how consistent her voice is across the decades, 70s, 80s and 90s all providing a perfect picture of Ms. James ability to communicate material in a way foreign to the multitude of lesser talents.
“Sugar on the Floor” was the flip side of Elton John’s 1975 45 RPM “Island Girl”, a Kiki Dee composition from her 1973 album “Loving and Free” (see my review on Allmusic.com) In Etta’s hands it is absolutely amazing, and something Kiki has got to be very proud of.
“Tell Mama”, a terrific Cadet single from Etta – re-established by Janis Joplin on her final concert tour which included the now-famous Festival Express – is re-worked here along with the 1967 flip side to that treasure, “I’d Rather Go Blind” (Cadet #5578 for you completists! I’ve got my copy). Etta-heads everywhere will adore each and every track, and it brings back the glorious memories for those of us lucky enough to have seen her in concert.
5)DVD Review: The Who Live in Texas ’75The Who when they were great, with Keith Moon slashing away on the drums, vintage stuff that starts off with a superb rendition of “Substitute” followed by “I Can’t Explain” Even the deplorable “Squeeze Box” sounds good in this setting and on this outing…thankfully followed by the antidote… “Baba O’Reilly”.
This is an amazing trip back with an 8 page booklet to boot and film footage that is in the style of the old TV show, Rock Concert. The material is at the mercy of the stage lighting but it feels real and sounds excellent. Roger Daltrey is in good voice and after so many Superbowl and other high-profile gigs of the new millennium it’s amazing how those pounds and wrinkles just melt away. This is a raw, hungry Who, superstars with a mission and playing an enormous amount of hits for their fans. Pete Townshend strains for the notes on his part in “O’Reilly”, but the youthful abandon of The Who as the entertainers in their teenage wasteland is amazing…November 20th 1975 at The Summit in Houston, Texas is now etched in stone with selections from the rock opera Tommy as well as essential hits and a splashy and very exciting “Roadrunner.”
This is the Who as I remember them when they played Boston in 1973…there was nothing quite like it…and by the time Quadrophenia rolled around, so did a bit of the magic, which pretty much evaporated with the passing of Keith Moon.
This IS the magical Who that we know and love with Moon in great form…and his bandmates orbiting his controlled chaos. It’s simply wonderful and essential for your collection.
Some notes: Keith Moon passed away on September 7, 1978, less than 3 years after this performance captured the madman drummer in his prime. Born on August 23, 1946 he had just turned twenty-nine and here on this tape a true force, making this an essential snapshot of one of the all-time great rock drummers at the absolute peak of his power. Read more here:
6)Music Review: Steve Gilligan – Jacob’s WellSteve Gilligan of The Stompers and Fox Pass has put together one of the most musical albums of the year, a lengthy 15 track disc that covers multiple genres. I call it New Wave Celtic Folk, pretty sounds from stringed instruments with the perfect performances we expect from this veteran Boston area musician and his friends. Two tracks feature a Stompers reunion (WMWM DJ Doug Mascott loves that!) while an instrumental, “Niki’s Blue Waltz,” sounds like an out-take from September Song or Lost in the Stars, two notable Kurt Weil tributes discs “Little Willow” could be a lost Jethro Tull track while “Waiting for Winter” is drawn from Neil Young’s Harvest “well.” And while the collection is most consistent the final chapter, “Wounds”, seems a bit out of place, almost going into a quasi-Velvet Underground third album moment in conflict with most of the other music presented here.. “What’s a Little Rock & Roll Between Friends” also throws you for a curve, a sort of rockabilly moment amidst the borderline classical sounds.
The title, Jacob’s Well, probably references the karstic spring located in Texas Hill Country north of Wimberley Texas (according to Wikipedia), not to be confused with Jacob’s ladder. Eleven of the fifteen tracks are under four minutes, most of them short bursts of joyous ideas that features playing which is simply exquisite. Conspicuous in their absence are the members of Fox Pass, though Mr. Gilligan may have wanted to stretch a little and present a different side of his personality. When added to the duo CD with Jon Macey, Everything Under the Sun, and work with folk trio City of Roses as well as Fox Pass, Jacob’s Well – along with FP frontman Jon Macey’s current release, Intention (15 more tracks – even lengthier than Jacob’s Well), one gets a clearer since of the vibrant and knowledgeable parts that make up the endearing New England groups Gilligan, Macey and their comrades are part of.
7)Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Gary DeCarlo
Some artists become synonomous with the song they are famous for - Little Joe Cook is inseparable from "Peanuts" and he calls himself the "peanut man" with a big Cadillac - the Peanut mobile; Bobby Hebb toured with the Beatles and co-wrote the Grammy winner for Lou Rawls - "A Natural Man", and has the mega Northern Soul hit "You Want to Change Me", but "Sunny" is what tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of people around the world know him by. Jimmy Buffet takes his huge following to "Margaritaville" while Ian Lloyd of Stories is Mr. Brother Louie himself.
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye: The Story Behind the Record" by Marie Rose Scinto is chock full of photos of DeCarlo and gives long time fans of the song a very intimate portrait of the singer that one can never get from hearing a #1 hit. Hopefully it will generate more interest in both DeCarlo and the immortal song.
Fancy "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
(this is a disco act, not the group Fancy who hit with "Wild Thing")
Authorhouse page on the book
Gary DeCarlo sings "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
8)THE BLUES BROADS
9) GENYA RAVAN CHEESECAKE GIRL
What is a "Cheesecake Girl" ?
A pin-up chick! Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, WayneJayne County, Marilyn Monroe...you get the picture
10)OUR FLAWS REMAIN
Elizabeth Borg - Vocals/Lyrics/Misinformation
Aaron Dlugasch - Guitar/Bass/Drums/Synth/Negotiations
Through And Through - Total Brutality Mix (rough)
Creative and unique, Our Flaws Remain is at times minimalist, other times overwhelming. "Play With Me" bridges the gap between synth and hardcore, something that would make Lord Manuel the Astral Warrior proud. Elizabeth Borg's vocals sounds like they were recorded on a Borg ship from Star Trek the Next Generation, Dlugasch's vulgarities straight out of Wendy O'Williams inside her chainsaw going rap. Almost hypnotic but with enough irritants to keep you from falling asleep. The march of the clones in Star Wars' Clone Wars, it takes "Mazeh?" with its incessant, repetitive quirks to bring you further down the rabbit hole. "New Toys" is one of my favorites, dreamy E Borg vocals over angry sounds that don't just underscore her communications but are mixed in like a chocolate and vanilla cake mix, both sounds swirling through the batter as the egg beater descends to throw it into a number of directions...and dimensions. Good stuff.http://ourflawsremain.com/
Listen to this radio show
Music Review: Spot Mary Full Of Grace – Joey AmmoArlocor Music has released a 5 song maxi-CD from Joey Ammo, recorded at New Alliance Audio in Cambridge. It is a terrific outing from the former lead singer of Boston area legend Birdbrain in a nice compact package rife with the obligatory religious overtones. Opening with a quick burst of “Love Me”, in all its glorious two minutes and fifty seconds, the authoritative riff brings Seattle-styled alt rock to this era with the gritty determination that was such a big part of Birdbrain. The unrequited love hook is followed by Badfinger/Eric Clapton/Cream kinda jangles. Mike Davy and Ammo are a charging guitar duo with lines that flourish, Davy and Alan Ferix (bass) also adding great vocal harmonies.
“Glue” is even shorter (and heavier) on the Beatles melody flavors and absolute George Harrison guitar lines that are a delight and make this possibly my favorite track of the half a dozen tunes offered – 5 official titles and one “bonus track.” What is it with this “bonus track” mania? Steve Gilligan of Fox Pass/The Stompers has one on his new release, Jacob’s Ladder, and like…people?…can we just call these 6 song or 15 track releases? Now that we’ve got that out of the way…”Glue” has all the elements of a hit single, nice vocal break, great hook and a quick fadeout. “Bigger” clocks in at 2:35 and it crosses a plodding Black Sabbath riff with the original New York Dolls after the Dolls learned how to play. It’s menacing and would be great for the next Godzilla flick. Read more here:
12) The Rolling Stones
"Doom and Gloom"
13)Jon Macey "Look Both Ways"
a song from the cd INTENTION
Published on May 20, 2012 by timcasey76
Video from the Jon Macey album "Intention" on Actuality Records. Concept by Jon Macey; execution and editing by Tim Casey.
SEE FULL REVIEW AT #30 on this blog
SEE FULL REVIEW AT #30 on this blog
14)David Smale of Yardbirds at Tupelo Hall with Joe Viglione on Visual Radio Sept. 9, 2012
15) HITCHCOCK From Anthony Perkins to Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock (the film) is an improvement over Toby Jones portrayal of Hitch in the TV movie “The Girl”, both playing “the Master of Suspense” – the 60 year old “most famous director in the history of the medium” as the trailer brags. This Hitchock movie puts its emphasis on Psycho, the film that emerged after Hitch picked up the rights to Robert Bloch’s classic and what we get is, essentially, a big budget look at author Stephen Rebello’s work -Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho – with mixed results.
Hopkins fares better here than Leonardo DiCaprio taking on J. Edgar Hoover, the subject matter of each film having rather large larger than life figures. But one needs to suspend belief in both instances, and that’s where other elements take center stage – Helen Mirren as Alma Reville Hitchcock, as well as the selling, promoting and story of the legendary black and white film, Psycho.
Wikipedia reports that Rebello “wrote additional drafts that shifted the story’s focus to the complex personal and professional relationship of Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, during the filming of Psycho.” Interesting that the author got to participate in the major motion picture, and if this was of anyone but Hitchcock, some of the lethal criticisms would never even be entertained. It’s not as bad as some critics might think at first glance (Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe comes to mind as someone in that category), and as stated in part 1 of this series, it’s nice to have the Hitchcock brand getting some recognition 32 years after his April 29, 1980 passing.
Read more here:
16) THE GIRL - Toby Jones and the silly putty effect
What sounds like a movie version of the Marlo Thomas TV series, That Girl, is a title lacking in distinction for the HBO British offering (distributed by the BBC) in advance of the Anthony Hopkins feature film, Hitchcock. And with attention focused on a multitude of iconic collectibles this autumn – the 6 CD Velvet Underground boxed set, books on Rod Stewart, Kenny Rogers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the timing is right for the Alfred Hitchcock brand to go mainstream again. Problem is that both The Girl and the Hitchcock films in some way dilute rather than add to the legend, though both flawed works have their redeeming qualities. This two-part series will focus on the made for TV film, which I’ve watched numerous times now only to come away with one provocative line that quickly defines what this exercise is all about – “You will make yourself sexually available to me at all times.” That sums up and exposes the lurid “shock” director Julian Jarrold went for – National Enquirer-type sensationalism rather than a focus on the horror of thousands of birds pecking away at your head.
The “redeeming value” is that this film also, inadvertently, gives us a look into the making of The Birds which, along with Psycho, is one of the greatest one-two punches in cinematic history. With the Alfred Hitchcock Hour on television, 93 episodes from 1962-1965, there was great activity from Hitch in between 1960′s PSYCHO and 1963′s The Birds. The TV series reads like a who’s who of Hollywood at the time, it’s library containing huge, celebrated names for directors, stars and writers. “Off Season”, the 29th episode of Season 3 was directed by William Friedkin eight years before 1973′s The Exorcist and stars John Gavin of “Psycho” while being written by Robert Bloch, who authored the book Psycho (not the screenplay).
Read more here:
17) Rolling Stones Some Girls Live
18) Muddy Waters / The Rolling Stones
(From the publicity sheet) Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones: Checkerboard Lounge Live
On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Buddy Guys’ club, The Checkerboard Lounge, to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn’t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time.
19) Chris Byers of New England Studios on Visual Radio
20)Black Diamond Groundhogs
With the opening chords of "Body Talk" on Black Diamond, this pop/rock collection of Tony "T.S." McPhee tunes is a decidedly different affair from the Groundhogs of the 1960s. Sure, "Fantasy Partner" has an updated blues feel, but the longtime rhythm section of bassist Pete Cruickshank and drummer Ken Pustelnik are replaced here by Martin Kent and Mick Cook, respectively, with Rick Adams added on guitar to complement McPhee's interesting playing. The foursome surround a white pyramid on the back while McPhee stares out from the cover alone, looking like Carlos Santana in the throes of musical ecstasy. It's not to say that the music on Black Diamond isn't the Groundhogs. The original trio did do an admirable job of interpreting the blues. This edition of the band is sort of like Bob Welch taking over Fleetwood Mac Read more here:
21)Groundhogs Blues Obituary 1969
- Live At The Astoria
New York, NY (August 28, 2012)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the September 18 DVD release of Live At The Astoria by The Groundhogs [Pre-book Order Date August 24, MSRP $11.98].
Filmed in London on February 20, 1998, with audio in Dolby Digital Stereo, this 12-song 81-minute excursion
A comic book hero idea put to music with Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas' Jim Dandy, the Who's John Entwistle, Justin Hayward, Carmine Appice, Eddie Jobson, Keith Moon, Nicky Hopkins, Kenny Jones, the then-hip backing vocalist of the Thunderthighs, Bill Bruford and others add performances here which remind one of the film project Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The problem with Flash Fearless is that it is all names and no substance, the songwriting subpar. Elkie Brooks has a great voice, but the song "Sacrifice" has little to offer, Terence Hillyer and Dave Pierce's music and lyrics pedestrian at best. John Entwistle's vocal on "To the Chop" sounds like it is straight from Rocky Horror Picture Show, Leslie Duncan, Doreen Chanter and Jill Mackintosh's background vocals are way out in the mix, in a song that can't decide if it is '50s, '60s or perhaps out of place on this strange project. Read more here:
24)GEORGE MARTIN DVD
Review: George Martin DVD goes deep into record producer's career
25) A QUESTION OF TIME Jack Bruce
A Question of Time is an album to appreciate, as Jack Bruce nicely wraps his diverse styles up in rock & roll packaging. Willie Dixon's "Blues You Can't Lose" is extraordinary noise, the late Nicky Hopkins bringing his unmistakable piano to a mix of Albert Collins' leads, Jimmy Ripp's slide and rhythms, Bruce's bass, harmonica, and voice, and the strong drumming of Dougie Bowne. In its slow dirge statement, "Blues You Can't Lose" is as powerful as the blistering Bruce tune that opens the set, "Life on Earth." "Make Love" is a great change of pace; the first of eight Pete Brown/Jack Bruce collaborations, it utilizes innovative percussion, subtle keyboards, and -- surprise of surprises -- effects on Bruce's voice. Ginger Baker toured with Bruce at this point in time, and though Bowne is admirable on the epic pop/rock of "No Surrender," it is Baker's contributions to "Hey Now Princess" (with Ripp doing his best Clapton) and his definite drums on "Obsession" (with guitars by Allan Holdsworth and Vivian Campbell) that bring this disc to the Cream level. The transition from "Hey Now Princess" to the Willie Dixon tune is just lovely, while "Obsession" is perfect Disraeli Gears-type music. Read more here:
26) Frank Dello Stritto and Joe Viglione discuss Alfred Hitchcock, "The Girl", and the Anthony Hopkins film HITCHCOCK on Visual Radio November 23, 2012
27) Sophia Loren in Two Women discussed by Frank Dello Stritto and Joe Viglione on WinCAM Movies, broadcast at 9 PM in Winchester, Mass
28)Demos That Got The Deal for Harriet Schock, Visual Radio November 2, 2012
29) The Demo That Got The Deal for Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter Solo
30) INTENTION by Jon Macey
Review by Joe Viglione
“Trapped (By My Own Creation)” - the Frankenstein complex gone pop – opens Intention, the Fox Pass co-founder taking things to a different space – a big departure from his work with Steve Gilligan on 2007’s Everything Under The Sun, veering off into a Velvet’s Third direction and away from the powerful sound generated by Fox Pass. And therein occurs the dilemma for long-time Fox Pass fans, with the band tight and solid my preference would be for less gigging and more recording. Intention seems to cry out for the full band sound, the songs here like black and white sketches of what could be. Take “Fourth Time’s the Charm” for example, the pretty guitars beg for accompaniment. Perhaps the band can take these performances and go for that mystical 3rd Velvet Underground sound, the muted guitar, the jazz-band feel behind some of Lou Reed’s most introspective deliveries after the onslaught of “Sister Ray” the album before.
“As the Twig is Bent” could come to life with a slippery bass line and throbbing Moe Tucker boom boom sounds. The seven and a half minutes of “Jefferson County, Early November” seeming like a cross between Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 Nebraska and Bob Dylan’s The Great White Wonder bootleg, certainly parallel to the influences that Fox Pass draws from, but not fully finding the sparkle. “All These Ghosts” and “This is Just a Song” would both benefit from additional guitars, a Badfinger sound backing up the essayist to delight the audience that is drawn to this type of poetry put to music. The 5:37 of “Paris Street” seems like a man lamenting something but not quite sure of what’s absent in his life, the melancholy picked up quickly by the 3:46 of “Look Both Ways.” With Fox Pass taking one track here, maybe “Right in Front of Your Eyes” or “Look Both Ways”, and seeking a “hit single” (whatever that is in the 21st century), the message would get out to a wider audience. Spruced up and ready for radio is what some of these titles cry out for. The CD Baby site notes that the disc is “Veteran Boston songwriter/producer's new solo album featuring philosophical folk rock minus the rock.”
This long-time listener wants the artist to put the rock back in.
Jon Macey and Fox Pass released seventy-two and a half minutes on Intemporel, the 17 track 2nd full-length Fox Pass CD in 2010. The follow-up a year later, Intention, is Macey solo , 15 songs – close to seventy-two additional minutes (71:56 to be precise), which CD Baby lists as “urban folk”. It’s an enormous amount of sound for critics to consume, especially with other artists of the genre issuing dozens of titles – Fred Gillen Jr. with 11 on Match Against a New Moon (2010; 39 minutes, 21 seconds) or his 17 tracks on 2012’s Silence of the Night or the 12 tracks on Christopher Brown’s Characterist, which leads me to believe the CD single is the way for veteran artists like Jon Macey to go. Get Fox Pass to take on a couple of these songs, have Macey put on his substantial producer’s hat, and let the music play.
31) Gallagher on Visual Radio with Joe Viglione October 11, 2011 at WinCAM
32) CHAOS ON THE SET OF VISUAL RADIO
17th Season of Joe Viglione's Visual Radio - a quick pre-production clip January 5, 2012
33) Mitch Ryder
The Detroit-Memphis Experiment
Mitch Ryder's voice is in great shape as Steve Cropper takes over the production reigns from industry legend Bob Crewe. There are more than a few digs at Ryder's past in the liner notes, but the music is truly the voice from Detroit meeting the sound of Memphis. The 12 songs here are statements, all clocking in under four minutes and above two and a half. These compact tunes like "I Get Hot" and the Cropper/Levise original "Long Long Time" -- not the Linda Ronstadt hit -- have Ryder/Levise pouring his well-known voice all over the grooves. "Boredom" is the strangest, and prettiest, song in the lot, written by Matthew Fisher, Gary Brooker and Keith Reid of Procul Harum bringing a British progressive pop sound to this rhythm and blues album, to good effect. Island vibes pervade this departure from the expected Mitch Ryder as well as Booker T sound. It's a delight. "Push Aroun'" would be fine for Wilson Pickett but it sounds like early Lou Reed circa Cycle Annie, Ryder's voice smoother than usual, with super little guitar licks bubbling under and over the hot rhythm. Cropper says in his liner notes that this started as an "Experiment" but became the "Detroit Memphis Experience." That is a more accurate description. The blues/gospel touches of "I Believe" and the Cropper/Redding co-write "Direct Me" on the second side blend nicely with the subtle rendition of "Raise Your Hand," a tune Janis Joplin performed with her Kozmic Blues Band and which obtained more noteriety because of the rekindled interest in her through the magic of box sets. "Sugar Bee" and "I Get Hot" are fine little numbers. Read more here:
34) KIKI DEE LOVING AND FREE
Mention my review of Kiki Dee's LOVING & FREE in my new Etta James Blu ray areview as she covers SUGAR ON THE FLOOR
37)Everything Under the Sun - Jon Macey / Steve Gilligan
Steve Gilligan and Jon Macey are two veterans of the Boston music scene as well as half of the band Fox Pass, and their debut CD as a duo, Everything Under the Sun, features a dozen fine original compositions that are democratically split -- five from each songwriter with two collaborations. The title track is one of those co-writes and it features an uptempo Everly Brothers harmony à la the Beatles on "Two of Us" from the Let It Be CD, and is one of the poppier episodes before the singers touch upon the other musical worlds they fancy. With longtime producer Barry Marshall intentionally keeping the production sparse, it allows Gilligan's superb use of mandocello, mandolin, Dobro, and harmonica -- as well as Jon Macey's dulcimer playing -- to shine under the perfect guitar strums. When experienced live in concert, it is those exotic instruments coupled with the strong songwriting that help the pair create a magic that their friend and colleague Jonathan Richman sought when he traded the loud underground rock in for the flamenco guitar. But where Richman tells his song-stories from the protagonist's point of view, Macey and Gilligan indulge their passion for the music of Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, the Louvin Brothers, and, deliberate or not, Bob Dylan, in a reverent way that keeps their personalities from overpowering the material. Read more here:
38) Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon
Review by Joe Viglione
Elektra Records and their superstar, Carly Simon, repeated Paul McCartney's July 1973 feat of reaching #2 with a James Bond theme four summers later as Elektra single #45413, "Nobody Does It Better", bubbled under the top spot on the hot 100 for a few weeks (hitting #1 for a long stretch on he Adult Contemporary charts). The singer's distinctive voice which opens and closes the James Bond Spy Who Loved me soundtrack lp (with an instrumental version included on the album as well, naturally) was written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager giving Carly that cachet of being included in the very exclusive club that is the world of 007 film music. It is one of the many impressive Bond themes, a song eventually covered by Julie Andrews, Mantovani, London Pop Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, Captain & Tennille and so many others. The 1977 Spy Who Loved Me film's score garnered nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Academy Award, while the Hamlisch/Sager song was nominated by both organizations that year as well. Perry Mason may have lost only one case, but as Sean Connery says in Never Say Never Again, James Bond has never lost. Read more here:
39)Yvonne Elliman Night Flight
Night Flight is a gorgeous album containing Yvonne Elliman's only number-one hit, "If I Can't Have You," written by the three Bee Gees brothers, from the film Saturday Night Fever. It is a pop masterpiece, the only track on the album produced by Freddie Perren. Perren gives the song a big production, which sounds like the Bee Gees's work with Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, and the hardworking singer from Honolulu gets a much deserved chart topper to help spread her gospel. She opens the album with Neil Sedaka's "Baby Don't Let It Mess Your Mind," featuring a slow tempo more laid-back than the composer's version, and simply delightful. She covers "Prince of Fools," a song co-written by Nickey Barclay from the group Fanny, Stephen Bishop's moody "Sailing Ships," her distinctive and powerful voice gliding over Robert Appere's shimmering production work, and Mentor Williams' "I'll Be Around," not the much covered Spinners' hit but a nice ballad co-written by the famous producer and Jack Conrad. There's a taste of reggae with "Lady of the Silver Spoon," and a truly elegant adult contemporary number, "Down the Backstairs of My Life." As Grace Slick left the sexual ambiguity in "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," so too does Elliman on this rendition, and good for her.
read more here:
40)Endless Flight Leo Sayer
Richard Perry's production on Endless Flight, coupled with the tremendous song selection, makes it superior to the 1977 follow-up, Thunder in My Heart (also produced by Perry, but with not as much heart), with this project remaining big through most of that same year. The two number one hits, a catchy Vini Poncia/Leo Sayer co-write, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," and a cover of the title track to Albert Hammond's 1976 disc, When I Need You, are essential career components that sound great years later. It's amazing how much more substantial this album is over the somewhat contrived Thunder in My Heart which followed. Opening the disc with a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Leo Sayer song like "Hold on to My Love" is how to get yourself into the history books before the record is even out of the box. The Barry Mann/Leo Sayer composition "How Much Love" on side two was the third chart single, going a bit beyond the Top 20 in the U.S. With strings arranged by Gene Page, Ray Parker on guitar, and Steve Gadd on drums, Sayer had a leg up on the competition. There's a cool photo of the tall Richard Perry walking down the street with the smaller-framed Sayer, and their working relationship reached its commercial zenith here. Willie Weeks provided the bass to "When I Need You" with Jeff Porcaro on drums, David Bowie's guitarist Earl Slick on guitar, and Michael Omartian and James Newton Howard on keys (Omartian and Larry Carlton both show up on Albert Hammond recordings as well); it's perfect musicianship and perfect timing for this most artistic project by Sayer. Read more here:
PREVIEW OF DECEMBER