THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 3.

THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 3.

GROOVE WITH A FEELING-SOUNDS OF MEMPHIS-BOOGIE, SOUL AND FUNK 1975-1985. 

By 1975, soul music was no longer as popular as it had once had been. Executives running the Sounds Of Memphis label realised this; and between 1975 and 1985, the label released a much more eclectic selection of music. Boogie, funk and soul were recorded and released by Sounds Of Memphis during that period. This includes the nineteen tracks on Groove With A Feeling-Sounds Of Memphis-Boogie, Soul and Funk 1975-1985, which was released by BGP, an imprint of Ace Records. It shows a very different side to Sounds Of Memphis.

Not only did Sounds Of Memphis’ evolve musically, but they incorporated the new technology that was making its way into studios across America. By the late-seventies, this included drum machines, synths and sequencers. They were playing a much more important part in music. Sounds Of Memphis am braced this technology which can be heard on Groove With A Feeling-Sounds Of Memphis-Boogie, Soul and Funk 1975-1985. It documents how music evolved during this ten year period. No longer was Sounds Of Memphis a soul label. Instead, the music they released was much much more eclectic  and included the captivating collection of boogie, funk and soul that features on Groove With A Feeling-Sounds Of Memphis-Boogie, Soul and Funk 1975-1985.

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HAPPY LOVIN’ TIME-SUNSHINE POP FROM THE GARPAX VAULTS.

By 1967, Gary S. Paxton was one of L.A.’s top producers. His production skills had the uncanny ability to transform an artist’s reputation and fortunes. However, Gary wasn’t just a producer. He was also an A&R man, arranger, engineer, musician and songwriter. Versatile described Gary in more ways than one. Gary didn’t just specialise in one type of music. He was just as comfortable producing garage rock, psychedelia, R&B, country or the sunshine pop that features on Happy Lovin’ Time-Sunshine Pop From The Garpax Vaults. It was released by Big Beat Records, an imprint of Ace Records.

Happy Lovin’ Time-Sunshine Pop From The Garpax Vaults features twenty-four slices of sunshine pop, including thirteen previously unreleased tracks. This includes a mixture of familiar faces and hidden gems.  Among the artists on Happy Lovin’ Time-Sunshine Pop From The Garpax Vaults are Augie Moreno, The Black Box, The Chocolate Tunnel, Jim Gordon, The Jaybees, The Bakersfield Poppy Pickers, The Lords, Mary Saxton and Dave Antrell. They’re part of what’s a glorious compilation of perfect sunshine pop, produced by the multitalented Gary S. Paxton.

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HENRY STONE’S MIAMI SOUND-THE RECORD MAN’S FINEST 45S.

Henry Stone’s Miami-Sound-The Record Man’s Finest 45s features a total of twenty tracks. This includes contributions from Little Beaver, Milton Wright, Lynn Collins, Wildflowers, Funky Nassau, Oceanliners and T-Connection. That’s just a tantalising taste of the music on Henry Stone’s Miami-Sound. There’s much more awaiting discovery. How about Jimmy “Bo” Horne, Leno Phillips, Robert Moore and Friday, Saturday and Sunday? These tracks were  described as “The Record Man’s Funkiest 45s” on the cover.

Compilers Ian Wright and Euan Fryer have dug deeper into the T.K. Records’ vaults than previous compilers. In doing so, they’ve eschewed the obvious and familiar. That’s no bad thing. Now was the time to scratch below the surface. This meant forgotten releases, rarities, B-Side,  plus a few familiar faces. Then there’s a few glittering, hidden gems, on a compilation that has something for everyone. Whether you like your music funky, soulful or dance-floor friendly, then there’s something for you on Henry Stone’s-Miami Sound. All these tracks have one thing in common…their quality. Henry Stone’s-Miami Sound oozes quality and soulfulness, and as the cover states, features “The Record Man’s Funkiest 45s.”

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HERE TODAY!-THE SONGS OF BRIAN WILSON.

Here Today!-The Songs Of Brian Wilson features twenty-five cover versions of Brian Wilson songs. These songs have been covered by Darian Sahanaja, Bobby Vee, The Tokens, The Castells, Jan and Dean, The Tymes, Keith Green, Peggy March, Betty Everett, Carmen McRae and Kirsty MacColl. Among the twenty-five tracks are six cover versions of songs from Pet Sounds. That’s fitting as Pet Sounds was Brian Wilson’s progressive, psychedelic Magnus Opus.

The twenty-five tracks on Here Today!-The Songs Of Brian Wilson, which was recently released by Ace Records, is a reminder of the quality of songs Brian Wilson wrote in his heyday. He was, without doubt one of the most talented songwriters of his generation. That’s indisputable. However, for some people, Brian Wilson was much more than a songwriter. They describe Brian Wilson as the closest thing music has had to a genius. Certainly Brian Wilson was a visionary who has influenced two generations of music. This includes the artists on Here Today!-The Songs Of Brian Wilson, which was released by Ace Records.

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HIGHLIFE ON THE MOVE-SELECTED NIGERIAN AND GHANIAN RECORDINGS FROM LONDON AND LAGOS-1954-1966.  

Highlife documented the pre and post independence period in Ghana and Nigeria. Musicians provided a voice for the people of Ghana and Nigeria, voicing their fears and hopes, hopes for the future of countries newly reborn. This can be heard on Highlife On The Move-Selected Nigerian and Ghanian Recordings From London and Lagos-1954-1966, which covers the pre and post independence periods in Ghana and Nigeria. This however, is no ordinary music.

Instead, the music on Highlife On The Move-Selected Nigerian and Ghanian Recordings From London and Lagos-1954-1966 is also celebratory joyous, pensive and uplifting. It features songs about hardship, hope, love and religion. There’s songs from the Windrush Generation, telling of their new life. Meanwhile, Steve Rhodes and His London Hi-lifers take Highlife in the direction of gospel, which shows yet another side to Highlife. That’s why Highlife On The Move-Selected Nigerian and Ghanian Recordings From London and Lagos-1954-1966, which was released by Soundway Records, is best described as a lovingly compiled, and eclectic compilation, that charts the development of Highlife between 1954 and 1966, which was a hugely important period in Ghanian and Nigerian history.

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HUNG ON YOU-MORE FROM THE GERRY GOFFIN AND CAROLE KING SONGBOOK.

Nowadays, the Goffin and King songwriting partnership is one of the most celebrated. No wonder. They were a truly prolific partnership, who throughout the sixties and early seventies, enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial. So much so, that to pay homage to Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s songwriting partnership, it’s taken Ace Records eight years and four compilations. The latest was, Hung On You-More From The Gerry Goffin and Carole King Songbook. 

It featured an eclectic selection of tracks, with The Righteous Brothers and Dusty Springfield rubbing shoulders with Skeeter Davis, The Shirelles, Dion, Bobby Vee, The Drifters, Walter Jackson and and The Crystals. Sixties girl and soul groups sit side-by-side with pop, soul and R&B singers on  Hung On You-More From The Gerry Goffin and Carole King Songbook. It’s a captivating and eclectic collection that shows how versatile the Goffin King partnership were. They could write songs for anyone. Many of their songs became timeless classics, including some on Hung On You-More From The Gerry Goffin and Carole King Songbook, which isa perfect reminder of one of the greatest songwriting partnership ever.

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JOHN WETTON-ANTHOLOGY-THE STUDIO RECORDINGS VOLUME 1.

Not many artists have been a member of several successful groups. John Wetton has. He’s been a member of Family, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, progressive rock supergroup UK, Wishbone Ash and Asia. Somehow, John Wetton has found time to enjoy a successful solo career.. Thirty-two tracks from John’s solo albums features on the recently released Anthology-The Studio Recordings Volume 1. It was recently on the Primary Purpose label, and and is an introduction to John Wetton’s solo work.   

 John Wetton is an ambitious and innovative artist, who pushes musical boundaries, mixing musical genres and influences. Seamlessly, they morphed into something new, magical and often quite beautiful. Other times the music is dramatic, rocky and progressive. That’s the case throughout Anthology-The Studio Recordings Volume 1 which was recently released by Primary Purpose. Anthology-The Studio Recordings Volume 1 is the perfect primer, and a welcome reminder of a true musical innovator’s four decade solo career.

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JON SAVAGE’S 1966: THE YEAR THE DECADE EXPLODED.

1966 was a game-changer. Nothing would ever be the same again. Jon Savage explains why in his forthcoming book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded, which will be released by Faber and Faber on the 19th November 2015. To compliment his book, Jon has compiled a double album. This forty-eight track  compilation Jon Savage’s 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded was recently released by Ace Records. It features an eclectic selection of the music that made 1966 such an influential and important one.

From folk, rock, pop and psychedelia, to soul and funk, Jon Savage’s 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded is a truly eclectic, must-have compilation. It’s representative of 1966. There’s contributions from innovators like The Association, The Velvet Underground, The Seeds, Freaks of Nature and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Love and The Human Expression. Rock royalty The Who and The Yarbirds feature on 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded. So does a young David Bowie, who was just beginning his journey to stardom. Folk singer Tim Hardin’s Hang On To A Dream which provided a hopeful anthem to this new beginning as a new musical era, which was about to unfold.

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KARIN KROG-DON’T JUST SING-AN ANTHOLOGY: 1963-1999.

One of the most overused words in music journalism is innovative. That’s been the case throughout the last forty years. However, innovative describes Karin Krog, the veteran Norwegian jazz singer. She is a true innovator, who has pushed musical boundaries to their limits, and sometimes, way beyond. Despite this, Karin Krog is almost unknown outside of Norway. That’s despite being a prolific recording career that began in 1963.  Part of Karin Krog’s recording career is celebrated on Don’t Just Sing-An Anthology-1963-1999, which was released by Light In The Attic Records.  It featured sixteen tracks, and includes collaboration Steve Kuhn, Dexter Gordon and John Surman. These are just three of the artists that have worked with Karin Krog during her long and illustrious recording career.

Now aged seventy-eight, Karin Krog’s recording career has spanned six decades. Continually she ha pushed musical boundaries to their limits, and sometimes, way beyond. That’s apparent on Don’t Just Sing-An Anthology-1963-1999. Despite being one of music’s true innovators, Karin Krog is almost unknown outside of Norway. That’s despite releasing over one-hundred albums. Sadly, that’s often the case with musical innovators. Often their music is way ahead of its time, and its only much later, that it’s understood and appreciated. Maybe that will be the case with Karin Krog, and the release of Don’t Just Sing-An Anthology-1963-1999 will result in her music being understood and appreciated by a much wider audience.

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