THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 6.

THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 6.

SWEET THINGS FROM THE ELLIE GREENWICH AND JEFF BARRY SONGBOOK.

Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry formed what would prove to one of the Brill Building’s most successful songwriting partnerships. So much so, that it’s taken Ace Records three compilations to celebrate the Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry partnership. The latest volume is Sweet Things From The Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry Songbook, was recently released on Ace Records.

Sweet Things From The Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry Songbook features twenty-four tracks. There’s contributions from Darlene Love, The Crystals, Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, The Shangri-Las, The Ronettes, The Strangeloves, Wilson Pickett and Freddie Scott, to name but a few. These artist help celebrate one of the most  successful and prolific songwriting partnerships ever, on Sweet Things From The Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry Songbook.

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THE BIRTH OF SURF VOLUME 3,

The Birth Of Surf Volume 3 was a twenty-six track compilation. It was compiled by Alan Taylor and Dave Burke of Pipeline Magazine. They also put their extensive knowledge of surf rock to good use, when thy wrote the sleeve-notes. They’re detailed and informative, which is ideal for the newcomer to surf rock. What better way to learn out the genre, than through Ace Records The Birth Of Surf compilation series. 

This lovingly compiled compilation series  guaranteed to whet the appetite of veterans and newcomers to surf rock. No wonder. It features some of the genre’s best known names, plus a few new names. The Best Of Surf Volume 3, with its mixture of familiar faces and hidden gems, is not just a welcome addition to the series, but the perfect primer to surf music. 

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TOJOURS CHIC! MORE FRENCH GIRL SINGERS OF THE 1960s.

Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s, which was recently released by Ace International. It’s the third in Ace Records’ series which looks back at France’s vibrant ye-ye scene. The series began nearly five years ago, when C’est Chic: French Girl Singers Of The 1960s was released in November 2010. Just under three years later, and Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s followed in July 2013. Since then, compiler  Mick Patrick has been working on Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s. The result is a twenty-four track compilation that features not just the great and good of the French ye-ye scene, but some new names.

Among the twenty-four tracks on Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s France Gall, Annie Philippe, Valérie Lagrange and Françoise Hardy rub shoulders with Brigitte Bardot, Charlotte Walters, Christie Laume, Fabienne, Laura Ulmer, Pussy Cat, Sheila Stone and Zouzou all feature. The majority of the tracks were released between 1964 and 1970. That’s apart from Laura Ulmer’s Amoureux D’une Affiche. It’s never been released before, and makes its debut on Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s. 

The tracks on Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s are reminder of a  thriving, exciting, vibrant  and colourful. It was also a cosmopolitan scene. Many of the artists, including Françoise Hardy, were happy to record their singles and E.P.s in numerous languages. They could switch between German, Italian, Portuguese, English and French. This helped the ye-ye scene to spread the length and breadth of Europe. This proves that ye-ye music was far from the throwaway pop its critics would have you believe. That’s why the ye-ye music scene lasted longer than most musical genres. It lasted the whole of the sixties, and in the process, outlived even The Beatles. However, ye-ye music didn’t have the same impact or enjoy the same success. Many artists careers lasted just two or three years. Then they turned their back on music. However, for a few short years, ye-ye music, including that on Tojours Chic! More French Girl Singers Of The 1960s, succeeded where generations of politicians had failed to do, and unified Europe.

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TOO SLOW TO DISCO VOLUME 2.

In 2014, How Dare You Are Recordings released Too Slow To Disco. It was compiled by DJ Supermarket. Featuring nineteen tracks, Too Slow To Disco was like a who’s who of the West Coast sound. So it’s no surprise that Too Slow To Disco caught the attention of music lovers. In a compilation market full of third rate compilations, Too Slow To Disco was a glittering gem. Surely there had to be a followup?

Just over a year later, and Too Slow To Disco Volume 2 was released in June 2015. Just like Too Slow To Disco, it featured a glittering array of artists, including Daryl Hall and John Oates, Jimmy Gray Hall, Eric Kaz, Dave Raynor, Paul Davis, Michael Omartian and Michael Nesmit. These artists were part of compilation that was a fitting addition to the series, and ensure that the resurgence in interest of the West Coast sound continues. If that continues to be the case, then Too Slow To Disco Volume 2 won’t be the last in the series.

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WARREN STORM-THE BAD TIMES MAKE THE GOOD TUNES-CLASSIC TEXAS RECORDINGS 1964-1986.

Warren Storm first worked with Huey Meaux in 1964. They worked together right through until 1982. However, Warren Storm had recorded so much music with Huey Meaux, that there was plenty of music left in the vaults. Right through to 1986, singles Huey Meaux produced for Warren Storm were being released. Many of these singles Huey Meaux produced for Warren Storm feature on a recent compilation released by Ace Records, The Good Times Make The Good Tunes-Classic Texas Recordings 1964-1986. It documents the most successful and productive period of Warren Storm’s career.

This became part of Warren Storm’s musical legacy. It is a rich one. However, some of the best music of Warren Storm’s career was recorded with producer Huey Meaux. It’s featured on  The Good Times Make The Good Tunes-Classic Texas Recordings 1964-1986, which was recently released by Ace Records. The Good Times Make The Good Tunes-Classic Texas Recordings 1964-1986 features the best music of Warren Storm’s long and illustrious career.

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ZAKARY THAKS-IT’S THE END-THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION.

One name looms large in the history of Texan garage rock,  Zakary Thaks. They’re now regarded as the Kings of Texan garage rock. That’s why recently, Big Beat, an imprint of Ace Records, released It’s The End-The Definitive Collection, a twenty-two track compilation of Zakary Thaks’ music. 

It’s The End-The Definitive Collection was, without doubt, the most comprehensive compilation of Zakary Thaks’ music.ever released It features singles, B-Sides, alternate takes, rarities and unreleased tracks. This makes It’s The End-The Definitive Collection, the perfect introduction to Kings of Texan garage rock, Zakary Thaks.

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So that’s my fifty-five best compilations of 2015. It’s a six part guide to what were the best compilations of 2015. It was a good year for compilations. I could easily have picked sixty or seventy compilations. However, I limited myself to fifty-five of the compilations I reviewed. The compilations I reviewed were the creme de la creme. Mind you, I had plenty to choose from.

Last year, Even more compilations were released than previous years. They came from all over the world, and feature just about every genre possible. Some are from major labels, other are from a variety of independent labels. While some of the compilations feature familiar music, many others feature  music that will be new to most people. Sometimes, one of these compilations take the listener on a voyage of discovery, where they investigate a label or artist’s back-catalogue.

That’s the beauty of compilation, they introduce people to new music. For that, we should be grateful to the people that spend countless hours compiling a compilation. Often, it’s for little or no reward. Don’t be fooled into thinking that every compilation that’s released makes someone rich. Far from it. Sometimes, compilations lose money, and often, those that are involved, do do  for the love of the music. For that we should be grateful, and hope they’ll continue to do so for years to come. 

2016 looks like being another good year for music, compilations included. However, before you look at 2016s releases, check out the compilations released during 2015, there might be something that’s escape your attention. The way to do so, is by checking out this six part series that will be published over three days.

 

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