Tag: Compilation

Jackie DeShannon – What the World Needs Now Is…Jackie DeShannon – The Definitive Collection

ARTIST: Jackie DeShannon                          220px-JDeShannon_Definitive

TITLE:  What the World Needs Now Is…Jackie DeShannon – The Definitive Collection

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Charting: Faded Love (#97), Needles & Pins (#84), When You Walk Into the Room (#99), What the World Needs Now Is Love (#7), A Lifetime of Loneliness (#66), Come and Get Me (#83), I Can Make It With You (#68), The Weight (#55), Put a Little Love in Your Heart (#4), Love Will Find a Way (#40)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not really.

LINEUP: Jackie DeShannon and session musicians.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A singer and a songwriter, DeShannon was held in high acclaim by many in the 60’s but somehow only hit the charts a few times, which isn’t her fault.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Jackie DeShannon started out as an interpreter of songs under Jackie Lee or Jackie Shannon, but found success, at Liberty Records working with Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche as a songwriter and opened for the Beatles in the US. She also made friends with influential people and finally had some success on her own with a Burt Bacharach tune that became her signature.

DeShannon’s material covered the gamut of the 60’s style, and her songs were covered extensively. This collection may be lengthy (as it covers her work from 1960 to when she left Liberty / Imperial in 1969) but it’s worthwhile to hear her in full, except for a couple of supper-club type songs.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: She dated Elvis and Jimmy Page.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. There are some shorter collections but they give her the short shrift 

GRADE: B+: It may be too lengthy for some fans, but this is the overview she needs.

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King Curtis – Soul Twist: The Complete Enjoy Sessions

ARTIST: King Curtis                                                                    king curtis

TITLE:  Soul Twist: The Complete Enjoy Sessions

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Soul Twist (#17, #1 R&B), Wobble Twist

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Piping Hot

LINEUP: King Curtis, the Noble Knights

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Jazz and session sax player moves to soul and R&B full time and hits it with the lead single.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After recording as a jazz sax player, and before he became the go-to in the Atlantic / Atco soul stable, King Curtis branched out and recorded a set of sides for the Enjoy label. One track, “Soul Twist”, made a big impression on the R&B and pop charts in 1962.

The rest of the tracks are in the same mode. Curtis’ sax wails but doesn’t overtake the sound of the Noble Knights, his backing band, especially on their version of “What’d I Say”. Curtis’ playing has a lot of jazz elements, of course, but stays within the soul / R&B idiom.

Curtis would later record for Capitol and then Atlantic / Atco before his unfortunate death in 1971. This was the introductory tracks to the pop market and it served well.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He moved away from jazz to make more money. His career choices were always about getting paid.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: B: Great for those who love 60’s souls sax.

The Ruts – You’ve Gotta Get Out of It

ARTIST: The Ruts                         R-378405-1519852396-4830.jpeg

TITLE:  You’ve Gotta Get Out of It

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: In a Rut, Bablyon’s Burning (#7 UK), Something That I Said (#29 UK), Jah Wars, Staring at the Rude Boys (#22 UK), West One (Shine on Me) (#43 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not

LINEUP: Malcolm Owen, Paul Fox, John Jennings, Dave Ruffy

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Compilation featuring singles and the first album from an exciting UK punk band snuffed out too early due to the untimely death of Malcolm Owen.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With their first single (“In a Rut”), the Ruts got noticed by John Peel and others in the industry, and with “Babylon’s Burning”, the UK took notice of the group that combined punk energy with some reggae flashes. 220px-Ruts_-_The_Crack_CD_album_cover

Malcolm Owen wasn’t the most tuneful singer, but his lyrical smarts, passion and energy carried the band far. The band has a lot of versatility, able to play reggae and dub along with standard punk rock, with bassist “Segs” Jennings doing yeoman’s work. It’s a shame that Owen struggled with addiction and health issues, and died of a heroin overdose soon after sessions were completed for their second batch of singles. Ironica220px-Ruts_-_Grin_And_Bear_It_album_coverlly, the b-side of their first single was “H-Eyes”, which Owen told of the effects of heroin use. (“H-Eyes gonna fuck your brain…”)

This compilation contains singles, and their entire first album The Crack, as well as the singles that were compiled in a second record soon after Owen’s death.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The band carried on, in a different direction, as The Ruts DC (as in Da Capo –from the beginning)

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There is a version with three additional B-sides. 

GRADE: A: Gone too early, the Ruts could have carried the punk / reggae crossover further into the 80’s.

Steinski – What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective

ARTIST: Steinski

TITLE:  What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective steinski

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Payoff Mix

LINEUP: Steve Stein (Steinski), Doug DiFranco (Double Dee)

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the greatest mixers and samplers in hip-hop has his collection of sample collages and mixes.compiled in one place.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting with a contest entry for Tommy Boy Records (“Lesson 1 – The Payoff Mix”), and continuing through the 90’s and 00’s, Steve “Steinski” Stein (along with his early partner Doug “Double Dee” DiFranco) was the mix and sample master of early hip-hop.

Their first three lessons took the community by storm, even if they were basically uncleared samples, and after the sampling controversy the releases of these Lessons were very hard to find. Steinski kept going, though, creating mixes and mashups that were just as clever as the original mixes, and inspiring so many DJs and producers on what turntables, a record collection, and a studio could go.

The technical wizardry is impressive, and the mixes have a natural flow. For anyone wondering about hip-hop mix and remix culture, here’s one of the pioneers that needs to be checked out. rough mix

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The track that got them their start (“Lesson 1 – The Payoff Mix”) was based around “Play That Beat, Mr. DJ” by G.L.O.B.E and Whiz Kid.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: A-: It can be overwhelming, but it’s so stunning and groundbreaking.

 

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Super Hits

ARTIST: Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam      R-1750416-1392531071-6785.jpeg

TITLE:  Super Hits

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: I Wonder If I Take You Home (#34 US, #6 R&B, #1 Dance, #12 UK), Can You Feel the Beat (#69 US, #40 R&B, #6 Dance, #97 UK), All Cried Out (#8 US, #3 R&B), Head to Toe (#1 US, #1 R&B, #1 Dance, #82 UK), Lost in Emotion (#1 US, #1 R&B, #8 Dance, #58 UK), Someone to Love for Me (#78 US, #7 R&B), Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star (#29 US, #3 R&B, #90 UK), Let the Beat Hit ‘Em (#37 US, #1 R&B, #1 Dance, #17 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s 8 of the 10 tracks.

LINEUP: Lisa Velez, Alex Moseley, Mike Hughes, other studio players (including Full Force, of course)

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A compact selection of a short-term hit maker that seems to have faded from view.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: 1987 was the year of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Their 1985 debut  (credited with Full Force as well), was a minor hit until “All Cried Out” became a smash. Then “Head to Toe” and “Lost in Emotion” hit #1 and they were huge in that one year.

Two more records came and went, and while there was a couple of great tracks (“Let the Beat Hit ‘Em” and “Something ‘Bout Love” (not a single!)), they fizzled out.

There’s nothing revolutionary about Lisa Lisa – they were typical late 80’s pop hitmakers in the dance / R&B style. Just put this one and remember, remember, remember.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Full Force was a band and a production team that wrote the first three records for the group and half of the last one.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B-: Well crafted 80’s dance pop that’s good for short nostalgic bursts.

The Miracles – The 35th Anniversary Collection

ARTIST: The Miracles

TITLE:  The 35th Anniversary Collection mircales 35

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 5: Shop Around (#2 US, #1 R&B), You Really Got a Hold on Me (#8 US, #1 UK), Mickey’s Monkey (#8 US, #3 R&B), Ooo Baby Baby (#16 US, #4 R&B), The Tracks of My Tears (#16 US, #2 R&B, #9 UK), My Girl Has Gone (#14 US, #3 UK), Going to a Go-Go (#11 US, #2 R&B, #44 UK), (Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need (#17 US, #4 R&B, #13 UK), More Love (#23 US, #5 R&B), I Second That Emotion (#4 US, #1 R&B, #27 UK), If You Can Wait (#11 US, #3 R&B, #50 UK), Special Occasion (#26 US, #4 R*B), Baby, Baby Don’t Cry (#8 US, #3 R&B), Point It Out (#37 US, #4 R&B), The Tears of a Clown (#1 US, #1 R&B, #1 UK), Do It Baby (#13 US, #4 R&B), Don’t ‘Cha Love It (#78 US, #4 R&B), Love Machine (#1 US, #5 R&B, #3 UK), Crusin’ (Smokey Robinson solo) (#4 US, #4 R&B), Being with You (Smokey Robinson solo) (#2 US, #1 R&B, #1 UK), One Heartbeat (#10 US, #3 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Many, since a lot of tracks on this were also recorded by other Motown stars.

LINEUP: Smokey Robinson, Claudette Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Marv Tarplin, Ronald White, Pete Moore, Billy Griffin with the Funk Brothers and other session players.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The heart and soul of Motown Records.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There are lots of other compilations around, but this gigantic set not only gets you the hits from the entire career of the Miracles, along with some Smokey Robinson hits, it demonstrates why they were so important to that label.

The Miracles not only were great performers, they all wrote and arranged material for Motown. All of the Miracles were key elements to the Motown sound, and their albums were chock full of deep cuts that were hits in waiting.

Without this group, Motown and the music industry wouldn’t be the same. It’s interesting that some great songs by them, like “The Tracks of My Tears” didn’t chart higher, but they were competing against their own songs at time.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Tears of a Clown” was released as a single as Smokey Robinson was phasing out his involvement with the group. It was a mere deep album cut from 1967 that became their first #1 on the pop charts. Don’t sleep on the deep cuts.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But there are 96 tracks to choose from! 

GRADE: A+: Maybe some of the early tracks are a bit shaky, but they hit it huge in 1960 with “Shop Around” and from then, they were a juggernaut.

The Prisoners – Hurricane: The Best of the Prisoners

ARTIST: The Prisoners                 R-2612519-1398136963-2932.jpeg

TITLE:  Hurricane: The Best of the Prisoners

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Hurricane, There’s a Time, Whenever I’m Gone, Shine on Me

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh, no.

LINEUP: Graham Day, James Taylor, Allan Crockford, Johnny Symons

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: UK retro-garage / mod band didn’t have much success but had influence and a true retro sound.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Jam had mined a neo-mod sound when they first arrived on the scene, and the Prisoners followed a few years later, planting themselves firmly in the 60’s garage-mod scene with the use of a Vox Continental and a retro feel to their originals.

They didn’t find a lot of success in the record shops, but they were leaders of a scene that influenced quite a few later bands, due to their sharp sounds, organ work, and melodies.

The Prisoners weren’t as mannered or pretentious as some of the US revivalists, and this sincerity helps their records.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released two of their records on their own label, and they weren’t happy with the results of their other two albums

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a version not streaming with four extra tracks. 

GRADE: B+: This collection has made me want to explore their entire catalog in full. So those reviews will happen in due course.

 

Little Richard – The Little Richard Collection 1951-1962

ARTIST: Little Richard

TITLE:  The Little Richard Collection 1951-1962 Little Richard collection

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 10: Tutti Frutti (#17 US, #2 R&B, #29 UK), Long Tall Sally (#6 US, #1 R&B, #3 UK), Slippin’ and Slidin’ (#33 US, #2 R&B), Rip It Up (#17 US, #1 R&B, #30 UK), Reddy Teddy (#44 US, #8 R&B), Heeby-Jeebies (#7 R&B), She’s Got It (#9 R&B, #15 UK), The Girl Can’t Help It (#49 US, #7 R&B, #9 UK), Lucille (#21 US, #1 R&B, #10 UK), Send Me Some Lovin’ (#54 US, #3 R&B), Jenny, Jenny (#10 US, #2 R&B, #11 UK), Miss Ann (#56 US, #6 R&B), Keep A-Knockin (#8 US, #2 R&B), Good Golly Miss Molly (#10 US, #4 R&B, #8 UK), Baby Face (#41 US, #12 R&B, #2 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hey Hey Hey, Kansas City, Ooh! My Soul, True Fine Mama

LINEUP: Little Richard and a lot of session players

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The singles from Little Richard’s prime period, starting with his first sides on RCA, going through to his ‘comeback’ in 1963.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Yeah, yeah, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis. Sure, they’re influiential. But Little Richard? My goodness me. Take a look at the list up there in singles, and other songs you know, and think about how many artists covered them. He was a wild child on stage and in the studio, and was a consummate performer.

This collection nabs all the Little Richard most everyone needs, and more. It’s got some of his religious singles, and some of the numbers he did early in his career and as a singer with some bands (those are bit more restrained). But the meat of the package are those wonderful sides he cut for Specialty in just three years – enough rock and roll to fuel bands evermore.

Yeah, you gotta have this. It’s hot, steamy, sexual, and true rock-and-roll.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: In 1962, he toured Europe with Sam Cooke. That’s when he met the Beatles and advised them on how to do his songs.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. 

GRADE: A+: Hey Hey Hey Hey!

The Impressions – Their Complete Vee-Jay Recordings

ARTIST: The Impressions          impressions vj

TITLE:  Their Complete Vee-Jay Recordings

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Charting: For Your Precious Love (#11, #3 R&B), Come Back My Love (#29 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not really, no

LINEUP: Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks, Arthur Brooks

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Early work from the long-standing soul vocal group – this features original lead singer Jerry Butler and focuses mostly on their ballad work.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “For Your Precious Love” was one of the classics in the doo-wop era, and rightfully it propelled the Impressions and Jerry Butler’s career. It’s sublime and elegant, and doesn’t focus on many tropes that vocal groups relied on in that era.

Still, follow-up records didn’t do much, and Butler got an offer to split, so he did. Curtis Mayfield helped Butler with his solo career, made some bank, and got the Impressions back on track with his vision of 60’s soul.

Had the Impressions not been such an important group, I probably would have made this a quick hitter. Nothing else really stands out and they do get formulaic after a while, though Mayfield’s guitar work does stand out a bit. For a non doo-wop junkie, you can pass on most.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They were originally The Roosters.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. 

GRADE: C: They really get formulaic and stuck in the sleepy ballad mode for a long time. I exiled most of this.

Elvis Presley – Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II

ARTIST: Elvis Presley              Commandperformancesset

TITLE:  Command Performances: The Essentials 60’s Masters II

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 40: Flaming Star (#14), Can’t Help Falling in Love (#2), Rock-a-Hula Baby (#23), Follow That Dream (#15), King of the Whole Wild World (#30), Return to Sender (#2, #5 R&B), One Broken Heart for Sale (#11, #21 R&B), Bossa Nova Baby (#8, #20 R&B), Kissin’ Cousins (#12), Do the Clam (#21), Puppet on a String (#14), Frankie & Johnny (#25), Spinout (#40), Clean Up Your Own Backyard (#35)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Long Legged Girl (with the Short Dress On), A Little Less Conversation

LINEUP: Elvis with beaucoups session players

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A follow up to the comprehensive 60s Masters collection, this focuses on the ‘good’ songs from his movies.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: If you ever want a document of the decline and fall (and slight rise) of Elvis, this is for you.

Most people know that as the 60’s moved on, Elvis was mostly a movie star that made soundtrack albums. And those soundtrack albums were much like the movies – slapped together and featuring a disinterested Elvis.

It wasn’t until the NBC Special in 1968 that he snapped out of his torpor, and his work with songwriters Mac Davis and Billy Strange were better than the glop he sang on most of his album soundtracks.

This is good for history, as most of the songs you really know and want you can find elsewhere.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: For some reason this was deleted from streaming, but each and every movie soundtrack is out there, in case you wanted to hear some of the others, like “(There’s) No Room to Rumba in a Sports Car”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: C: Remember, these are the ‘good’ songs from his movies