Friday, April 14, 2017

Livingston Taylor - The Colonial Theater, Phoenixville, PA, 4/01/2017; Taylor is a Total Charmer as He Celebrates His Fifty Year Career




After Susan Werner and an intermission, it was time for Livingston Taylor. Taylor's set was either a delightful batch of songs performed in celebration of his now fifty year career, or his set may have been a master class in the popular song, giving the crowd a taste of what it might be like taking one of his courses at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In actuality, Taylor's set was a little of both.

A little more than half of his selections were originals, and although he didn't draw many songs from his early days, Taylor's compositions showcased his finely tuned sense of melody with all the lyrical humor and poignancy that his fans have come to expect.

After leading off with "Blame It On Me", Taylor got right to it, talking about Jerome Kern (1885-1945). "He was the grandmaster of the popular song. All he wanted to be was a pop writer, and boy was he ever. He had so much grace and so much dignity that all the young pops that came after him, Richard Rogers, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, they looked at Jerome Kern and said, 'Well if he wants to be a pop writer, so do I', and boy weren't they too."

With that he sang the delightful "Pick Yourself Up", which the more you hear it, the more you realize that it is a perfect pop song. As a standard, it's been done by most of the major pop singers over the years; I've always been partial to the Nat King Cole version. During the set, Taylor came back to this subject a number of times.

Some of the other pop standards in Taylor's set came from the movies, "Never Never Land" from Peter Pan, "It Might As Well Be Spring" from State Fair, and "Merry Old Land Of Oz" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" both from The Wizard of Oz. Singer-songwriter Susan Werner, who performed earlier, came back out to join Taylor on "It Might As Well Be Spring" contributing vocals and piano. For the final encore song Taylor sang the medley from The Wizard of Oz and Werner added guitar.

There was so much humor in this set it was the kind of concert that keeps you smiling. Taylor's "Olympic Guitar" never gets old and the same can be said for "Railroad Bill", which had the crowd howling with laughter. There were also plenty of favorites from Taylor's records such as "Life is Good", "Pajamas", and "City Lights".

During the introduction to "I Must Be Doing Something Right", Taylor talked about the joy he gets from teaching, then he brought out singer-songriter, musician, and arranger Matt Cusson. Cusson played piano for the rest of Taylor's set, adding his vocals to "City Lights". He returned to the stage during the encore for a rousing version of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely". Cusson did the lead vocals and if you weren't looking at the stage, you might have thought that Stevie himself had dropped by to sing. Cusson is highly regarded as an artist and collaborator. He released his self-tittled debut album in 2009.

Livingston Taylor has achieved a body of work in his fifty year career with the excellence of both his songwriting and his cover choices. In any given concert, he can only scratch the surface. Earlier when Taylor was describing Jerome Kern he used the terms grace and dignity, I think that these terms apply equally well to Livingston Taylor. I can say without reservation, after having seen Taylor any number of times, that in performance he is always nothing less than charming.

Many thanks to the Colonial Theater for the sound and lights. Thanks to Beverly Kates for camera work and to Lindsey Mitchell for video production.

Watch "Pick Yourself Up"


Setlist: Click linked song titles to watch
01. Blame It On Me
02. Pick Yourself Up (Jerome Kern)
03. There I'll Be
04. Never Never Land (Peter Pan)
05. Everybody's Just Like Me
06. I'm Writing A Book
07. Never Lose Hope
08. Olympic Guitar
09. Pajamas
10. Railroad Bill (Andy Breckman)
11. I Must Be Doing Something Right w/ MC
12. Penny Lane (Beatles) w/ MC
13. City Lights w/ MC
14. Life is Good w/ MC
15. It Might As Well Be Spring (State Fair) w/ SW
16. Isn't She Lovely (Stevie Wonder)
17. Would You Mind w/ SW & MC
18. Merry Old Land Of Oz (Wizard of Oz)
19. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) w/ SW & MC



Livingston Taylor's Website
Livingston Taylor's Facebook
Livingston Taylor's Twitter
Livingston Taylor's Instagram

Matt Cusson's Website
Matt Cusson's Facebook
Matt Cusson's Twitter
Matt Cusson's Instagram

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Susan Werner - The Colonial Theater, Phoenixville, PA, 4/01/2017; A Superb Set of Decidedly Necessary Songs




The Colonial Theater crowd was the beneficiary Saturday night April 1st as Point Entertainment booked a pair of headliners to perform, Livingston Taylor and Susan Werner.

Susan Werner did the opening set, even though she's been headlining her own shows for many years. I've been to her shows a number of times, but as she played this time it occurred to me that I had somehow forgotten just how good she is. At the outset, Livingston Taylor came out and introduced her with tons of praise.

Werner started strong with "Kicking the Beehive," the lead track from the album of the same name (2010). She followed with "The Last of the Good, Straight Girls", which led into "I Can't Be New", all three seeming like signature songs, in a way.

One of the things I like best about Werner is the way that she unapologetically writes her views into her material, no matter whether the topic is political, religious, or social. Her next two songs opened a few eyes (and ears), the first one coming from an album called Eight Unnecessary Songs. "Just what you don’t need! Eight little tunes on topics ranging from cosmetic surgery to the extraordinary properties of cheap beer to global warming. At turns facile, petty and uncharitable, these songs offer a kind of comfort to those of us falling wayyy short of Mother Teresa out here." Watch Susan perform "Dog" and you'll see what I mean. Although "Herbicides" comes from her latest album Hayseed, she introduced it saying something about it also being unnecessary. I thought about quoting some lyrics here, but just watch the video.

After "Red Dress" her set got even more topical starting with a track from her The Gospel Truth album, one that she considers “agnostic gospel”. From that album she drew "(Why Is Your) Heaven So Small", a song that hits the nail on the head in so many ways. While she sang it, I kept thinking that the song could not be more relevant now. Then I realized that I thought the exact same thing when she first released that album in 2007, which may be the last time I'd seen her. But then that's the beauty of songwriting like this, it's timeless.

Her set culminated in another true Werner gem, "My Strange Nation". Based on recent events, she has updated the song with a new verse about Donald Trump. See video below.

There was a lot of love in the Colonial Theater for Werner. She stuck around and came back out to sing a couple of tunes with Livingston Taylor at the end of his set. If you haven't seen Susan Werner, or haven't seen her lately, I heartily recommend going to her website and catching up with her.

Many thanks to the Colonial Theater for the sound and lights. Thanks to Beverly Kates for camera work and to Lindsey Mitchell for video production.

Bonus video: Werner posted her 2017 version of "My Strange Nation".




Susan Werner's Website
Susan Werner's Facebook
Susan Werner's Twitter

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Anuhea - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 3/22/2017: A Delightful Bit Of Hawaii Heats Up A Frigid Night, Plus Sets By Mahi & WonderBoy




Anuhea played at the upstairs venue of World Cafe Live for the second time on Wednesday, March 22nd. It was four years less one day since her last show there on March 23, 2013. We arrived nice and early, which was good for a couple of reasons. We got a great location right up front, which you'll see in the videos. We had time for a leisurely dinner. The World Cafe menu is always interesting, and the food is always good. And finally, as we sat down, Anuhea began her soundcheck, which was a nice and lengthy version of "Higher Than the Clouds", the song that she chose to close her set. She left the stage to her guitarist Mahi, who played some dazzling lead guitar.

The show began with an opening set by Philly local BoyWonder (Andre Coles), who sang accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. According to his bio, he grew up in West Philadelphia, "Andre was exposed to a myriad of music genres Blues, Jazz, Motown, Philly International, and Gospel yet the Police remained his number one inspiration." He did a wide ranging set of mostly originals that was quite enjoyable; watch the videos of "Love Struck" and "Toxic (Britney Spears cover)" shot at the show.

After a break, Anuhea's band took the stage. Guitarist Mahi warmed up the crowd, accompanied by Jason on bass and Revelation on drums. Mahi played "Kissing You", a great sounding original, composition and a number of soul covers starting with a terrific version of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly". Even if he was possibly covering The Fugees version, the result was excellent just the same. Jason then began the iconic bass riff that opens "My Girl" (Temptations) and Mahi knew he had another crowd pleaser. In light of the music's innate appeal, Mahi perhaps didn't need to come on so strong with audience participation, but the crowd liked him regardless. When taking requests some fan who knew his music made him a happy man by asking for another of his original tunes, but the request he wound up settling on was a Jackson 5 oldie. Check out videos "Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack cover)", "Kissing You", "I Want You Back (Jackson Five cover)", and Shining Star (The Manhattans cover).

When the band started the next number, Mahi introduced Anuhea who launched into her set with "Come Over Love". Her set was so well constructed that it seemed like, for the first half hour, each new song began as the previous song ended, some even overlapping like a good radio segue.



Anuhea's band was superb. Jason on bass and Revelation on drums were so rock steady that I think they could have given any song the full Jamaican reggae treatment. They played some mighty fine "riddim". Mahi is an enormously gifted guitarist whether he's dazzling on his Fender Stratocaster or voicing beautiful moodswings on his acoustic. He also sang with Anuhea on a couple of tunes. This band is talented, tight, and you can see why Anuhea brings them with her from Hawaii.

When she played "Island Inside Me" from her first album, she mentioned that it had been eight years since that debut was released in 2009. That record put her on my map, making my list of the ten best albums of that year. She has a great singing voice with a facility for rap, which she busts out from time to time, like on the encore when she introduced and invited each band member to take a solo. Anuhea is naturally at ease with the audience, telling long stories over the intros, which sounds quite like an old friend bringing you up to date on what she's been up to.

Anuhea is also a super songwriter. Her music blends rock, pop, soul, and reggae into something that comes out decidedly Hawaiian. She can more than hold her own with more well-known singer songwriters. Anuhea said that she's been doing some recording in L.A. for her next album and she plans to go back next month to do more. She also mentioned that it will be on a new label (her third). I think that with the right exposure, Anuhea could see the breakthrough that her music deserves.

Many thanks to World Cafe Live for the excellent lighting and sound.
Many thanks also to Beverly Kates for camera work and to Lindsey Mitchell for video production.

Watch "Come Over Love"


Setlist: Click song to watch.
01. Come Over Love
02. Only Man in the World
03. Looking for Love
04. Big Deal
05. I Just Want You Around (including Drop, Baby Drop)
06. Forever Summer
07. Sweet Thing
08. Island Inside Me
09. Simple Love Song
10. Shoulders
11. Higher Than The Clouds
12. Send My Love (to your new lover)[Adele Cover] w/ band solos



Anuhea's Website
Anuhea's Facebook
Anuhea's Twitter


Mahi's Facebook
Mahi's Twitter

BoyWonder's Facebook
BoyWonder's Twitter

Monday, March 20, 2017

Murray McLauchlan – Love Can't Tell Time; McLauchlan Delivers An Exquisite Set Of "New" Standards



Photos courtesy of Murray McLauchlan

New Music Friday: Many singers, at some point in their career, find their way to the Great American Songbook. Some go to that well more than once, such as Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan. Of all the standards albums I've heard, I don't think that anyone has produced one more enjoyable than Love Can't Tell Time by Murray McLauchlan, released Friday, March 17th. And this isn't even a standards album, it only sounds like one.

Murray McLauchlan is a Scottish born Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician with eighteen previous albums to his credit. I started listening to him back in the early 70s when men were men and records were made of vinyl. I enjoyed a number of visits to Montreal in those days, including a mid January honeymoon. There is a lot to like in Montreal: there's the food, the metro system, the diversity of international cultures, and the shopping, not the least of which is some fine record shopping.

Among my many finds there, I usually came home with McLauchlan's latest LP. I don't know if it was the switch to CDs in the 80s, or if I just didn't get into Montreal that often, but I lost track of McLauchlan... until last Friday when I noticed his familiar name on the list of new releases. Listening to it this morning flooded me with good feeling, hence this article.

The concept could not be simpler, or more well done. A batch of first rate material gets a thoroughly organic arrangement of acoustic guitar, voice, and bass with some of the sweetest swinging violin you've ever heard. McLauchlan says that the basic tracks where recorded "live off the floor" with the violin and some pedal steel added later. Click either the Spotify link or a track below to listen and you'll see what I mean.

The first track is "Pick Yourself Up", written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. This version is so good that McLauchlan actually reclaims the song from Breaking Bad, which used it to soundtrack a sequence of prison killings with Nat King Cole's version. That image was so disturbing that I hadn't been able to disassociate the scene from the song, at least until now.

Next up is the title track plus two more originals that are so well written, and so well played, that the first time through I didn't even realize that these were not simply standards that I didn't recognize.
"Of the songs I wrote or co wrote," says McLauchlan, "Love Just Can't Tell Time and Little White Lies have a special place in my heart. They were co written with my friend Alison Gordon, a take-no-prisoners gal who was a sportswriter, a novelist, a broadcaster and a great critic when any of us got off the rails. She passed away before I finished this record but she lives on in these songs."

"Hey There" and "Come Fly With Me" are two more covers of standards that are every bit as delightful as "Pick Yourself Up". Regarding those three covers, McLauchlan says, “They’ve been around for quite a while but they are my songs, in so much as I have made them my own. They’ve seen me through some dark times and helped me celebrate seeing the clouds from the other side..."

The album concludes with a string of four more originals. Beyond the beauty of the performances, arrangements, and production, the real genius of this album is the relentlessly high quality of the songwriting. The lyrics are wordy and use the language in a way that we don't hear much anymore. Combined with melodies that seem to be of a piece with the classics, it's no accident that this album plays like a standards collection; it can be hard to tell the difference. What I'm getting at is that Murray McLauchlan's Love Can't Tell Time offers seven original songs on par with the three standards he covers, so let's just refer to this as an album of "new" standards.

Murray McLauchlan – Love Can't Tell Time
Buy at Amazon
Buy at iTunes
Stream on Spotify







Tracklist: Click song name to listen.
01. Pick Yourself Up
02. Love Just Can't Tell Time
03. The Luckiest Guy
04. My Martini
05. Hey There
06. Come Fly With Me
07. Little White Lies
08. I'm Not Gonna Waste a Minute of My Life
09. The Second Half of Life
10. When You're At The Top




Bonus Interview: by Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen, February 23, 2017
Murray McLauchlan preview: 'The most important thing is always the song'

Canadian singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan is gearing up to release his 18th studio album this spring. Lynn Saxberg talked to the veteran musician, 68, about the no-frills recording, and how a sojourn in Italy rekindled his love of playing guitar.

Q: Tell me about the new record.

A: It’s called Love Can’t Tell Time. It’s related in a way to the last one I did, Human Writes, insomuch as it’s recorded in a very basic way. My motto is, “As the world gets noisier, I keep getting quieter.”


Q: Did you work with a producer?

A: Are you kidding? I’m Canadian. What would I do with a producer?

Q: I don’t know. Maybe take orders?

A: Well, no.

Q: Fair enough. What was your goal in the studio?

A: I wasn’t really planning so much on making a record. I was just going in to lay down some stuff in this really kind of no-frills, no-artificial-preservatives-or-flavours manner, which is the way I like to hear music. I like to hear that it’s not possible to fake the fact that you can actually play.

Q: You’ve reworked some old songs and written new ones, including some co-writes with Alison Gordon, who’s not known as a musician.

A: Alison was a really dear friend who passed away before it got finished. She was a journalist, the first woman journalist on the baseball circuit. They nicknamed her the pecker checker. We wrote songs kind of on a bet. We’d been sitting on a patio at Allen’s restaurant on the Danforth, with some friends, and Alison sorta got on to the subject of how hard can it be to write songs. So I brought her into the process, and she fell in love with it. The title song is a co-write with her, and the idea of the song is that love just doesn’t happen for people who are the age of Romeo and Juliet. It can happen in a Chartwell home to people who are 85, and it’s just as intense.

Q: What about the song, The Luckiest Guy?

A: I wrote it for Denise (Donlon, his wife). It’s straight and simple: I am the luckiest guy. There’s a lot I could say about how quality of a person she’s been in my life. It’s not the first song I’ve written for her, but it’s one of the best. I like that line, “You stand out in any crowd of thoroughbred city girls.”

Q: It also has some cool guitar playing on it. Where’d that come from?

A: It’s sort of a progression of what started in early 2013, when I was living in Italy. I had time to reflect a bit, and fell in love with playing guitar and music again. During that time, I started learning this whole new language on guitar, which dovetailed nicely with my love of great guitar heroes, like Django Reinhardt. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Paris Hot Club records, and I’ve always loved Texas swing music. Now I find I can sit down and play along with Count Basie and his orchestra and I’m a very happy guy.

Q: Why were you living in Italy?

A: Well, I don’t know if you need a reason to go and live in Italy. It’s one of the greatest places in the world to hang out. It wasn’t that I was mad at Canada or anything, but I just wanted to get out of here for a while because if you’re here too long, it becomes too small a place and you have to get out every so often to get some perspective on different ways of living, and different thoughts. I also really wanted to try to get past the journeyman Rosetta Stone Italian I’ve been working on so I figured the best way was to go live there for a few months. And Denise had some time because she was working on her book.

Q: You weren’t planning to write songs there?

A: Nope. I didn’t have a plan other than to stretch out and open up my head. I absolutely fell in love with the place. It was not the first time I’d been there.

Q: What made you realize the recordings were turning into an album?

A: The results. The songs came out much better than I ever hoped they would. To me, the most important thing is always the songs. They’re at the centre. Whatever the technology, whatever you dress it up with, if there isn’t a good song at the centre of the exercise, it isn’t really worth it.

Q: You’re still touring consistently. Is it still fun?

A: I don’t not like it. I like playing music. That’s what I do. If I don’t do that, all kinds of bad things could happen.

Q: Anything else on the go?

A: Well, as a footnote to the “why do you record?” thing, I’ve been talking to a lot of people in the recent past and a lot of the conversation is, “How are you surviving?” It wasn’t really by any particular instinct, but suddenly when everyone is running around with their hair on fire, I made a little record, that if you sit down and listen to it for 45 minutes, it’s a chance to actually feel good.


Murray McLauchlan Facebook

True North Records Website
True North Records Facebook
True North Records Twitter

Friday, March 10, 2017

Svetlana & The Delancey Five At Joe's Pub, NYC, Saturday 3/04/2017; Swing for Spring – A Birthday Celebration!




Early last Saturday, I posted this: "I'm excited to see Svetlana & The Delancey Five tonight at Joe's Pub. If you're in the New York area, there are only a few tickets left and you must see this delightful singer and her amazing band. I don't see how music can get any better than this." Within about three minutes at Joe's Pub, I answered my own rhetorical question. The only thing better than the music on the debut LP by Svetlana & The Delancey Five might be hearing it live. No matter how good a recording may be, even a live one, there is no substitute for being right there in the moment to experience a great singer and band. There's nothing else quite like it.

Svetlana & The Delancey Five were in fine form for her birthday show Saturday night, March 4th at Joe's Pub. This is one of the best venues in New York, in that it's small and intimate, with excellent lighting and sound. Svetlana voice was clear, true, and strong. The band was tight, loose, and played some superb solos.

The opener was an instrumental, "Bernie's Tune", a jazz standard written by Leiber and Stoller with Bernie Miller (hence the name). Svetlana followed with the first of five songs that she drew from her debut album Night at the Speakeasy, which I included in my top 10 list of Best Music of 2016. "Sometimes I'm Happy" was the first such song, a totally delightful standard: "Sometimes I love you, sometimes I hate you / But when I hate you it's 'cause I love you." It was also a pleasure to hear "It's All Good" and "Lady Be Good", the latter also featured tap dancer DeWitt Fleming Jr. who, at one point, seemed to duet with the drum solo. I had momentarily forgotten that Svetlana had done a Beatles' cover on the album, so when she said that the next song would take her to Liverpool and New Orleans, I was pleasantly surprised by the New Orleans-style treatment of "Because" from the Beatles Abbey Road, so good. The fifth song from Night at the Speakeasy was the encore, and we will get to that shortly.

There were two new originals, which got their world premiere at the show. "Baby I'm Back" featured a horn arrangement with piano, including a piano solo. The song's two best features are the melody (by Svetlana and Ryan Shea Smith) and lyrics (by Svetlana). I knew I liked it when I first heard it; with repeat listens to the video, my appreciation only grows. The other new song was "It Is You" (music by Svetlana / Ryan Shea Smith + lyrics by Svetlana). Both her introduction and the song itself was so sweet, sincere, and tuneful you could not help but fall in love with it. These new songs are so good that I can not wait for the second album.

In addition to the opener, there were three more cover songs not from the record, and they were all great to hear. The full house at Joe's Pub was treated to some fine genre bending on the "Tennessee Waltz", a country standard written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King, which got an uptempo horn arrangement with some swinging solos on sax, trombone, and trumpet. "Pure Imagination" was sweet in more ways than one. The song was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the original version of the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory; it was sung by Gene Wilder in the film. The Irving Berlin standard "Blue Skies" closed the show, complete with solos from Michael Hashim on sax, Charlie Caranicas on trumpet, Corey Wallace on trombone, William Test on piano, Endea Owens on upright bass, and Robert Garcia on drums (who also duetted again with Fleming on tap). Oh, and the exuberant vocals were by Svetlana.

The band returned to the stage minus Owens and her bass (who had to leave after "Blue Skies"). I really enjoyed Svetlana's subtle sense of humor when she introduced her last song, "You Are Like A Song", sung in Russian. "...For those of you who don't speak Russian ...yet." This beautiful song capped off an excellent set by Svetlana & The Delancey Five. I had been wanting to get up to New York to see this group play live for a long time, and I am quite glad that the birthday show at Joe's Pub presented an opportunity that I could not pass up.

Many thanks to Svetlana Shmulyian for the setlist, musician credits, and for an incredible night.
Many thanks to YouTube user WANDERMIND for the videos of tracks 3, 5, and 6.
Many thanks to Bev Kates for camera work and to Lindsey Mitchell for video production on tracks 7-11.
Whatever these videos lack in sound quality, they more than make up for with live energy.

Watch "Baby I'm Back", live at Joe's Pub.


Set List: Click song name to watch.
1. Instrumental - Bernie's Tune
2. Sometimes I'm Happy - Arranged by Adrian Cunningham (from Night at the Speakeasy album)
3. It's All Good - m/l Svetlana Shmulyian, arranged by Wycliffe Gordon (from Night at the Speakeasy album)
4. Lady Be Good - with special guest on tap dancing, DeWitt Fleming Jr. - arranged by Rob Garcia (from Night at the Speakeasy album)
5. Baby I'm Back - new original - music Svetlana Shmulyian / Ryan Shea Smith + lyrics by Svetlana Shmulyian, arranged by Jay Rattman
6. Because (the Beatles) - arranged by Rob Garcia (from Night at the Speakeasy album)
7.Tennessee Waltz - arranged by Rob Garcia
8. Pure Imagination - arranged by Rob Garcia
9. It Is You - new original m/l by Svetlana Shmulyian and Ryan Shea Smith, arranged by Wycliffe Gordon
10. Blue Skies - with special guest on tap dancing, Dewitt Flemming Jr , arranged by Svetlana Shmuylian and Seth Weaver
11. You Are Like A Song - Eddie (Ady) Rosner (from Night at the Speakeasy album)

Svetlana & The Delancey Five - Night at the Speakeasy
Buy at Amazon
Buy at iTunes
Stream on Spotify







Svetlana & The Delancey Five Website
Svetlana & The Delancey Five Facebook
Svetlana & The Delancey Five Twitter
Svetlana & The Delancey Five Instagram

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Stevie Nicks Expanded Remasters: Bella Donna (3CD) & The Wild Heart (2CD); These Excellent Sounding Remasters Come With Rare Tracks Aplenty Plus A Legendary Live Show



Photo courtesy of Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks joined a growing group of artists, which include The Who, Phil Collins, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and many others, who are seeing their catalogs revamped with double disc reissues of remastered albums containing rare material as a bonus. Nicks wrote and sang some of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs including "Landslide" (Fleetwood Mac), "Silver Stream" (Rumours B-Side), "Beautiful Child" and "Sara" (Tusk).

When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974, listeners immediately found their one album called Buckingham Nicks that had come out in 1973. When the reformulated Fleetwood Mac released their self-titled (white album) in 1975, fans marveled at the way in which Fleetwood Mac seem to have adopted the Buckingham Nicks sound. That album and its follow-up, Rumours, were both huge hits selling millions of copies and making Fleetwood Mac a household name.

Nicks remained a member of Fleetwood Mac when she established a solo career, releasing Bella Donna, her first album (1981). Its follow-up, The Wild Heart, was released in 1983. Both albums were majorly successful, both were certified platinum for having sales in excess of a million copies. These are the first Stevie Nicks albums to be remastered and released in expanded deluxe editions.

Bella Donna Remastered, Deluxe 3CD Edition
Buy at Amazon
Buy at iTunes
Stream on Spotify

First off, I'll say that the live concert on Disc 3 is worth the price of purchase all by itself. Disc 1 is the remastered album, and it sounds great. Driven by four hit singles, Bella Donna went on to sell over six million copies. "Edge of Seventeen" has become her signature song. Two of the singles were duets: "Leather and Lace" featured the Eagles' Don Henley; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers both wrote and performed on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". "After the Glitter Fades" was the forth single.

Disc 2 has the rarities. There are four alternate versions, the most interesting of which is a solo Nicks version of "Leather And Lace". The other alternate versions will probably be most valuable to fans and collectors. There's a demo of "Bella Donna" and an early version of "Edge of Seventeen". In addition to the above, this disc also includes three songs that were previously unreleased. Finally, there are two songs that appeared on movie soundtracks, "Blue Lamp" is from Heavy Metal and "Sleeping Angel" is from Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Disc 3 contains the live concert, recorded on December 13, 1981 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, on the last night of a short Bella Donna tour. The performances are excellent, and the set includes a number of Fleetwood Mac songs in addition to the tracks from Bella Donna. The finish is especially nice with a powerful "Edge of Seventeen" leading into Nicks' "Rhiannon" from Fleetwood Mac. The performance included a guest appearance by Roy Bittan from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. "Rhiannon" opens with an acoustic first verse, which Bittan plays on piano while Nicks sings; then the full band kicks in.

Watch the official music video for "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"


Track Listings - Click song title to listen
Disc: 1
01. Bella Donna (Remastered)
02. Kind of Woman (Remastered)
03. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) [Remastered]
04. Think About It (Remastered)
05.Edge of Seventeen (Remastered)
07. How Still My Love (Remastered)
08. Leather And Lace (Remastered)
09. Outside The Rain (Remastered)
10. The Highwayman (Remastered)

Disc: 2
01. Edge of Seventeen (Early Take)
02. Think About It (Alternate Version)
03. How Still My Love (Alternate Version)
04. Leather And Lace (Alternate Version)
05. Bella Donna (Demo)
06. Gold And Braid (Unreleased Version)
07. Sleeping Angel (Alternate Version)
08.If You Were My Love (Unreleased Version)
09. The Dealer (Unreleased Version)
10. Blue Lamp (From "Heavy Metal") [Remastered]
11. Sleeping Angel (From "Fast Times At Ridgemont High") [Remastered]

Disc: 3
01. Gold Dust Woman (Live 1982) [Remastered]
02. Gold And Braid (Live 1982) [Remastered]
03. I Need To Know (Live 1982) [Remastered]
04. Outside The Rain (Live 1982) [Remastered]
05. Dreams (Live 1982) [Remastered]
06. Angel (Live 1982)
07. After The Glitter Fades (Live 1982) [Remastered]
08. Leather And Lace (Live 1982)
09. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (Live 1982) [Remastered]
10. Bella Donna (Live 1982)
11. Sara (Live 1982) [Remastered]
12. How Still My Love (Live)
13. Edge Of Seventeen (Live 1982) [Remastered]
14. Rhiannon (Live 1982) [Remastered]

Bonus Video - The concert which appears on Disc 3 was also filmed, and a shortened version appeared on HBO.


The Wild Heart Remastered, Deluxe 2CD Edition
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Disc 1 is the remastered album. The Wild Heart spawned three singles on its way to selling over two million copies. Guests on the album included Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Sandy Stewart (who also did some songwriting), and Paul Buckmaster (Elton John) who arranged and conducted the strings on the closing track, "Beauty And The Beast". Steve Lukather (Toto) played on the album's biggest single, "Stand Back", and according to Wikipedia, an uncredited Prince played synthesizer on the track.

Disc 2 contains the rarities. There are two alternate versions, "Sable on Blond" and "Wild Heart", which is labeled as a "session" version. "Violet And Blue" came from the movie Against All Odds, it also previously appeared on the Stevie Nicks box set. There is one demo, "Are You Mine", one B-side, "Garbo", plus four tracks that were previously unreleased.

Watch the official music video for "Stand Back"


Track Listings - Click song title to listen
Disc: 1
01. Wild Heart (Remastered)
02. If Anyone Falls (Remastered)
03. Gate And Garden (Remastered)
04. Enchanted (Remastered)
05. Nightbird (Remastered)
06. Stand Back (Remastered)
07. I Will Run To You (Remastered)
08. Nothing Ever Changes (Remastered)
09. Sable on Blond (Remastered)
10. Beauty And The Beast (Remastered)

Disc: 2
01. Violet And Blue (From "Against All Odds") [Remastered]
02. I Sing For The Things(Unreleased Version)
03. Sable on Blond (Alternate Version)
04. All The Beautiful Worlds (Unreleased Version)
05. Sorcerer (Unreleased Version)
06. Dial the Number (Unreleased Version)
07. Garbo (B-Side) [Remastered]
08. Are You Mine (Demo)
09. Wild Heart (Session)

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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Rolling Stones - Havana Moon, The Stones Rock Cuba on 3/25/2016; With Their Career In It's Sixth Decade, The Rolling Stones Truly Take A Licking And Keep On Ticking; Still The World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band



Photo: Steve Atkins

The Rolling Stones played a free concert in Havana, Cuba on March 25, 2016, capping off an historic week in which the thawing of relations between Cuba and the United States was celebrated with an official visit by President Barack Obama. The concert had it all: history for one thing, Cuba had never seen a rock concert on the scale of this magnitude. The concert had a huge audience; estimates varied but it's a safe bet that the Stones played to several hundred thousand people. The Rolling Stones are never short on drama, but this one had drama to the max. The one thing this concert had that may be surprising is that the Stones, despite their advanced ages, gave a superb performance, much more about that below.


Photo: NME

First, about the event:
“Finally, the times are changing,” proclaimed Mick Jagger to a vast, euphoric crowd in Havana on Friday night, as the Rolling Stones completed their Latin American tour with a concert that may well prove a pivotal moment for a generation of Cubans.

Hundreds of thousands thronged to the Ciudad Deportiva stadium to see the British rockers, who follow hard on the heels of a visit by Barack Obama, in a week that few on this island are ever likely to forget.

Amid growing hopes of reform and further opening, the Stones frontman emphasised how far the country has already come in cultural opening from the 1960s, when their songs were considered ideologically divergent.

“We know that years ago, it was difficult to listen to our music in Cuba, but now here we are in your beautiful land,” Jagger said in Spanish. “I think that, finally, the times are changing. That’s true, no?” The crowd roared their agreement.

It was the closest to an overt political statement in the two-hour concert, which some democracy activists feared would be used by the one-party state to perpetuate its hold on power.

The Stones – who long ago made the transition from youth rebels to rock aristocrats – avoided any hint of criticism of the current government of Raúl Castro. Instead, they largely let their music – and spectacular special effects – speak for themselves about the benefits of greater engagement. Their fans had still bigger expectations.

“This will be one of those weeks that people will use to measure other events. In the future, they’ll ask, was it before or after the Stones played,” predicted Tania Livia, a businesswoman attending the concert. “This is the biggest moment in my life,” said tattooed club owner Ferrer Castillo, who had travelled 200km by bus and taxi to see his heroes.

“For me, this is a historical moment on the same level as Nelson Mandela walking out of prison,” suggested Francoisse Fraissenet, a French woman who said she has seen at least 25 gigs by the Stones. Another fan from Brazil pushed her way to the front to ask: “Where do I get a concert T-shirt?”, but it wasn’t that kind of gig.

This was a free concert, rushed into being in just a few months. There were no seats, no refreshment kiosks and only a handful of rusty metal portable toilets. With no turnstiles, estimates of the crowd size were largely guesswork. Some said 200,000. Others more than half a million. All this observer can report is that it was dense, stretched in all directions as far as the eye could see, and was extremely good natured.

When it came to the staging, no expense was spared. Even before the music started, the lighting and video displays were breathtaking. While many Cubans have to make do with small, old grainy televisions in their homes, here they were suddenly in a field staring up at giant high-definition screens.

Considering the paucity of time that the team had to unpack the 85 container loads of equipment, set up the stage and erect the lighting rigs and screen towers, there were remarkably few glitches. Jonathan Watts for The Guardian, in Havana, Cuba, Saturday 26 March 2016.
Note: The above is an excerpt, the complete article appears in the booklet to the concert CD/DVD/BRD, The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon..


Photo: MQLTV

The Rollings Stones: Havana Moon
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For the record, when the Rolling Stones took the stage at Ciudad Deportiva stadium on March 25, 2016, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were both 72, Charlie Watts 74, and Ronnie Wood 68. I am sure that when they were in their thirties, they never imagined themselves as rocking septuagenarians. So, then, it is a little bit amazing to report that Havana Moon is as good a live Stones record as they have ever done. Yes, I know that's a rash statement, but if you listen to any track in this tight two hour set you will hear a band playing like they mean it. Perhaps most incredibly, you will hear Jagger doing a vocal in which he doesn't sound any older than when the song was first recorded; it doesn't matter whether it's a rocker like the set opener "Jumpin' Jack Flash" or a sensitive ballad like "Angie".

The band sound is very muscular and the mix is excellent. The guitar work by both Richards and Wood is phenomenal; you might think these two have played together before. Watts' drumming is always just what the song needs, so reliable. The Stones have said in interviews that they consider every concert to be an opportunity to continually get better, to outdo everything they've done before. This might sound like hyperbole, but I would say that the evidence is right there in the proverbial grooves.

Those are the primary members. The support musicians have been with them a long time and they excel as well, especially Chuck Leavell on piano; he also serves as the band's musical director. They have Darryl Jones on bass and backing vocals, Karl Denson and Tom Ries play saxes (Ries doubles on keyboards), and Bernard Fowler and Sasha Allen handle vocals. At this point they play like a well oiled machine.

The setlist for this show could not have been better. For early singles they did "Satisfaction" and "Painted Black". There were the middle period rockers such as "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Honky Tonk Women", and "Brown Sugar"; the explosive guitar work was most satisfying. From Exile On Main Street, Jagger ripped it up on "All Down the Line" and "Tumbling Dice". After "Honky Tonk Women", Jagger did all the band intros, speaking what sounds like fluid Spanish I might add. The intros are edited out of the CD except for the last one in which he introduces Keith Richards. Jagger then gave the spotlight to Richards, who took the lead vocal on the next two songs, a very bluesy "You Got the Silver" and a rousing "Before They Make Me Run".

There were later hits like "Miss You" and "Start Me Up", still sounding shiny and new. There were the concert staples from the Let It Bleed album, a fiery "Gimme Shelter" with nice vocals by Sasha Allen and a very long "Midnight Rambler". In the entire set, my only quibble would be that the call and response between Jagger and the crowd (at the peak of "Midnight Rambler") drained the song of its usual drama and danger in that moment. That's a small nitpick. Considering all the factors, I'm guessing that it added to the audience enjoyment.

They saved "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the encore. Entrevoces, a Cuban choir, started the song beautifully, then the Stones played a version that was ridiculously good. Then they closed the night with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". Jagger spoke to the audience in Spanish quite a bit. In about two hours of performance, The Rolling Stones made an excellent case for the continuation of their title of the world's greatest rock and roll band. I think there are several hundred thousand Cubans who would agree.

The setlist from the concert is shown below, courtesy of setlist.fm. Havana Moon offers the entire concert, in correct running order on two CDs, which is my ideal for a live album. The director of the film was quoted as saying that he wanted a program that could be broadcast on television throughout South and Central America. Apparently, for the purpose of time, five songs were omitted from the program, but those same songs are included on the DVD as bonus tracks. The package is also available with two CDs plus Blu-ray disc.

Havana Moon is the latest in a series of archival Stones concerts, which they have made available at very reasonable prices. There is a touch of irony in this because tickets to the Stones' regular concerts are so expensive. Still, the archival releases are to be applauded and encouraged. The street price for Havana Moon with DVD is about $21 or with Blu-ray disc $25. The DVD and Blu-ray disc have two sections that are not on the CDs. One is an introduction with shots of Havana, Cuba and the site of the concert, the set-up of the stage and speaker towers, etc. The other is an interlude of interviews with the band during which a performance of "Loving Cup" plays in the background; this song is not part of the live set.

Watch "Brown Sugar"


There are three more tracks from Havana Moon available as videos: "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)", "Paint It Black", and "Out of Control".

SETLIST
01. Jumpin' Jack Flash
02. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
03. Tumbling Dice
04. Out of Control
05. All Down the Line (by request)
06. Angie
07. Paint It Black
08. Honky Tonk Women (followed by introduction of band members)
09. You Got the Silver (Keith Richards, lead vocals)
10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards, lead vocals)
11. Midnight Rambler
12. Miss You
13. Gimme Shelter
14. Start Me Up
15. Sympathy for the Devil
16. Brown Sugar
Encore:
17. You Can't Always Get What You Want (with Cuban vocal group 'Entrevoces')
18. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

Bonus Videos
Watch the Out Now! trailer


Watch Havana Moon, Behind the Scenes posted by Sergio Barone


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Ronnie Baker Brooks - Times Have Changed & Delbert McClinton - Prick Of the Litter, Two New Must-Hear Albums That Seem Like They Were Made For These Times





The rich keep getting richer,
We can't feed our poor.
The whole wide world,
About to go to war.

Times have changed
Times have changed
Nothing remains the same
Today is a brand new game
Times have changed

So sings Ronnie Baker Brooks on the title track of his new album Times Have Changed. Brooks and Delbert McClinton have released the first new albums to get me excited in 2017. These are not specifically blues albums, but both are steeped in the blues. I don't know if periods of political and social turmoil are specifically conducive to the blues, but I do know two things. Times definitely have changed, and these two records sound especially good right now.


Photos courtesy of Ronnie Baker Brooks

Ronnie Baker Brooks - Times Have Changed
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Ronnie Baker Brooks (RBB) has been called "Chicago Blues Royalty" referring to his lineage as the son of blues legend Lonnie Brooks. His younger brother, Wayne Baker Brooks, has also made his mark as a blues guitarist. According to his bio, RBB first picked up the guitar at age six; at 19 he joined his father's band where he played with many of the guitar greats. Since going solo in 1998 he has made four albums, the latest of which is Times Have Changed, just released. Produced by Steve Jordan, Times Have Changed is as strong a soul album as it is a superb blues album.

The album opens with a familiar (if you were around in 1968) cover version of Joe Tex's "Show Me". Brooks' version is so true to the original that I went back and played both for comparison, and the Brooks version is far and away better. Brooks' vocals are not only perfect but I love when he calls out guitarist Steve Cropper, who was such an integral part of the house band at Stax Records in Memphis. I'm not going to try to single out each and every track here, I encourage you to listen to them all, either with the track list below, or using the Spotify link above.

Lonnie Brooks guests on the instrumental "Twine Time" and you will have as much fun listening as they were obviously having in the studio when this was recorded. The title track follows, which is an RBB original, and his observations are as perceptive as his presentation is powerful. The tune features heartfelt lyrics, an indelible melody, and a pleasing finish provided by Memphis rapper Al Kapone, who Brooks calls a bridge between the blues and hip-hop.

The legendary Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland joins RBB for a positively stunning version of the Eric Clapton/Robert Cray composition "Old Love". This is so good that I am certain it would turn Clapton into a fan, if he's not already. "Come On Up" is an unstoppable powerhouse RBB original that features guests Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals) and Lee Roy Parnell. The album closer, "When I Was We", sounds like the great lost 60s soul track and this glorious finish was also written by Brooks.

This is one of those albums on which every track excels. I urge you to check out the album trailer, below, then listen to some of it. If you find this music at all appealing, you might be fascinated, as I was, to read Ronnie Baker Brooks' description of making the album. I'm going to give you a little of it below, just to whet your appetite; read this excerpt then follow the link at the end to read the full story.
...“We used the same mics that Al Green used on his record”, says Brooks. “Matter of fact, we were using much of the same band! It kind of took that vibe.” The first track recorded was a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly hit Give Me Your Love. The second, Twine Time, the instrumental jam from Alvin Cash.

“To be honest with you, when Steve said ‘Man, we need an instrumental,’ the first person I thought of was Freddie King. Steve wanted something more appealing to all people, not just guitar players. He said ‘What about Twine Time?’’ I said, ‘Is he serious?’ Yeah, Twine Time. But that song was a key to this album. Man, that just lit the fire for this record. It became one of the funnest tracks we did"...
Read the full story.

Watch the album trailer:


Track List - Click on song name to listen.

01. Show Me (feat. Steve Cropper)
02. Doing Too Much (feat. “Big Head” Todd Mohr)
03. Twine Time (feat. Lonnie Brooks)
04. Times Have Changed (feat. Al Kapone)
05. Long Story Short
06. Give Me Your Love (Love Song) (feat. Angie Stone)
07. Give The Baby Anything The Baby Wants (feat. “Big Head” Todd Mohr & Eddie Willis)
08. Old Love (feat. Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland)
09. Come On Up (feat. Felix Cavaliere & Lee Roy Parnell )
10. Wham Bam Thank You Sam
11. When I Was We (feat. Archie 'Hubby' Turner)

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Photos courtesy of Delbert McClinton

Delbert McClinton - Prick Of the Litter
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Delbert McClinton is a well respected Texas blues musician, who over the course of decades has been honored with three Grammy awards. The Lubbock native has mastered a blend of blues, rock, and country that perfectly fits his weathered voice.

I first encountered him in the early 70s, when I was working as an FM D.J., and McClinton was part of a duo named Delbert & Glen. After they split, McClinton's solo albums could always be counted on for quality. But now, over fifty years into his career, he has added something new to the mix, it's jazz and it suits him incredibly well. Thom Jurek from allmusic.com explains how McClinton put together the musicians for this project.
The Self-Made Men are a studio and live group assembled by singer and songwriter Delbert McClinton for his 19th album, 2017's Prick of the Litter. The singer assembled them for the purpose of capturing a softer, jazzier side of his sound, inspired by the tunes and music of Johnny Mercer and Nat King Cole. The core band is comprised of seasoned studio and road veterans. The core of the group includes guitarist Bob Britt, keyboardist Kevin McKendree, bassist Mike Joyce, drummer Jack Bruno, and trumpeter Quentin Ware.
The album opens with "Don't Do It" a track that both rocks and swings with a soulful swagger. The song features guest turns by Lou Ann Barton on vocals and Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. McClinton's voice strikes me as somewhere between Louis Armstrong and Steve Forbert.

I love, love, love the band sound that kicks in on track two, "Doin' What You Do", and continues for the rest of the record. The key is the sound of the electric guitar combined with the keyboard, which in this case is electric piano. The rhythm section is right on time, and with McClinton's endearing vocals in a song that begs to be replayed, this tune (by all rights) ought to be his next Billboard charting single.

Everything I just wrote about track two, also applies to track three, "Middle of Nowhere", except that on this one his voice leans more toward a cross between Forbert and Rod Stewart. It's similarly easy to love "San Miguel"; on this one the vocals remind me of Toy Caldwell singing "This Ol' Cowboy" with the Marshall Tucker Band. "Pulling the Strings" is a slow and bluesy number that opens with the great line, "Life's a bitch but it's so sublime, I'm going nowhere but I'm making good time." McClinton's talky vocal reminds of Mark Knopfler's similar humorous persona ("Hot Or What" from Privateering).

"Neva", another deliciously bluesy jazz number, again with McClinton's talky vocal, reminding this time of Tom Waits at his smoothest. "Waits at his smoothest" is not quite the oxymoron that it may seem. On Waits' soundtrack to One From the Heart, his vocals are very reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, so, if we filter them back through Steve Forbert, we've come full circle.

I've cited quite a few touchstones that come to mind listening to this album, and I haven't even mentioned yet Dan Hicks, Southside Johnny Lyon, or Dr. John. It's not that McClinton sounds specifically like any one of these talents, it's just that the songs are so good, the band is so right, and the vocals are so perfect for this material that they inspire comparisons. Every track on this record is another solid reason to love Prick Of the Litter by Delbert McClinton.

Track List - Click on song name to listen.

01. Don't Do It (feat. Jimmie Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton)
02. Doin' What You Do
03. Middle of Nowhere
04. Skip Chaser
05. San Miguel
06. Pulling the Strings
07. Neva
08. Like Lovin' Used to Be
09. Jones for You
10. The Hunt Is On
11. Bad Haircut
12. Rosy

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Twelve Inch Eighties: The Complete Collection, Demon Dazzles With Eight New Triple Disc Collections Of The Decade's Best






Demon Records has just released a group of albums under the title Twelve Inch Eighties that collects extended twelve inch versions of some of the 80s best songs. This is a great concept, whether you are are an eighties fan or a record collector. Twelve inch singles proliferated during the eighties (until they were supplanted by CDs); these long versions were often remixes as well, and they rarely appeared on the regular album releases of most artists.

Twelve inch singles were known to have the best sound quality and terrific bass. This had something to do with the fact that a 12" vinyl record had plenty of physical room for the grooves so they wouldn't be packed as tightly as they were on a typical LP. Twelve inch singles usually ran at 45 rpm, which allowed for even more vinyl real estate of per minute of groove. Whatever the technical reason, when I listened to these Demon collections I was quickly reminded of the 12" reputation for sound quality. Demon did a phenomenal job with the production and mastering of these releases. They just sound great.

Twelve inch singles were designed for club play; some of them are even called club mixes. I guess that makes them disco records by default, but these are decidedly not disco collections, per say. I'm sure there are plenty of disco compilations out there, but instead the Twelve Inch Eighties releases present a lineup of excellent rock, pop, and soul tracks for your enjoyment. Feast your eyes on the complete track lists below, and check out the sample song or album trailer for each collection. These songs have an average length of more than six minutes each and there are ten songs per disc. With three CDs per album, you are receiving thirty semi-rare tracks for a retail price that works out to less than five dollars (US) per CD.

Listen to the Thompson Twins "Hold Me Now" (12" Version)


Hold Me Now - A collection of classic love songs extended, remixed and reimagined

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CD 1:
01. Through The Barricades (Extended Version) - Spandau Ballet
02. Every Time You Go Away (Extended Remix Version) - Paul Young
03. Whistle Down The Wind (12" Version) - Nick Heyward
04. Hold Me Now (12” Version) - Thompson Twins
05. I Second That Emotion (12” Version) - Japan
06. See The Day (12” Version) - Dee C. Lee
07. World Without You (Extended Worldwide Mix) - Belinda Carlisle
08. When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?(12" Version) - Deacon Blue
09. The Taste Of Your Tears (Breaker Heart Mix) - King
10. Fantastic Day (12" Version) - Haircut 100
CD 2:
01. State Of Independence (Full Length Album Version) - Donna Summer
02. Do What You Do (12" Remix Version) - Jermaine Jackson
03. How 'Bout Us (12” Version) - Champaign
04. Shake You Down (Extended Club Mix) - Gregory Abbott
05. If You Were Here Tonight (Soft Version) - Alexander O'Neal
06. I Need You (12" Version) - The Pointer Sisters
07. Wishing Well (Three Coins In A Fountain Mix) - Terence Trent D'arby
08. Rain Or Shine (Remix) - Five Star
09. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You (Long Version) - Milli Vanilli
10. In And Out Of Love (12” Version) - Imagination
CD 3:
01. Keeping The Dream Alive (Solang' ManT räume Noch Leben Kann) (Extended Version) - Münchener Freiheit
02. Broken Wings (12” Version) - Mr. Mister
03. I Get Weak (12” Version) - Belinda Carlisle
04. If She Knew What She Wants (Extended Remix) - The Bangles
05. One On One (12" Version) - Daryl Hall & John Oates
06. Change Of Heart (12" Extended Club Remix) - Cyndi Lauper & The Bangles
07. Never Knew Love Like This (Extended) - Alexander O'Neal & Cherelle
08. Tell Me If You Still Care (12" Version) - The S.O.S. Band
09. (You Are My) All And All (Take Twenty Three) - Joyce Sims
10. Ring Of Ice (Extended UK Remix) - Jennifer Rush



When The Going Gets Tough - A collection of extended Pure Pop excellence

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CD 1:
01. Leave A Light On (Extended Version) - Belinda Carlisle
02. Walk Like An Egyptian (Extended Dance Mix) - The Bangles
03. Maneater (Extended Club Mix) - Daryl Hall & John Oates
04. More Than You Know (Dance Mix, Pt. 1) - Martika
05. Cross My Heart (Dance Mix) - Eighth Wonder
06. I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Extended Mix) - Paul Young
07. If You Let Me Stay (Extended Version) - Terence Trent D'arby
08. You Got It (The Right Stuff) (12" Version) - New Kids On The Block
09. I Owe You Nothing (Club Mix) - Bros
10. Warning Sign (12" Version) - Nick Heyward
CD 2:
01. Fake (Extended Version) - Alexander O'Neal
02. When The Going Gets Tough (Extended Version )- Billy Ocean
03. Eyes (Extended Remix) - Donna Summer
04. Stay Out Of My Life (12" Version) - Five Star
05. Bad Boy (Remix) - Miami Sound Machine
06. Whenever You Need Somebody (Lonely Hearts Mix) - Rick Astley
07. The Goonies 'R' Good Enough (Dance Remix) - Cyndi Lauper
08. Just Got Lucky (12" Version) - Jo Boxers
09. Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Heavy Times Mix) - King
10. Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) (12" Version) - Haircut 100
CD 3:
01. John Wayne Is Big Leggy (Groovy Long Version) - Haysi Fantayzee
02. Happy Birthday (Dance Mix) - Altered Images
03. You Take Me Up (Machines Take Over Me)(12" Version) - Thompson Twins
04. Fantasy Island (Almighty Mix) - Tight Fit
05. When We Were Young (12" Club Mix) - Bucks Fizz
06. The Promise You Made (Extended Version) - Cock Robin
07. Brother Louie (Special Long Version) - Modern Talking
08. Call Me (Viva Mix) - Spagna
09. Handful Of Promises (12" Version) - Big Fun
10. I Only Wanna Be With You (Extended Version) - Samantha Fox

Trailer for Twelve Inch 80's Digging Your Scene & Can You Feel It


Digging Your Scene - A collection of classic 12” remixes straight from the edge of the 80s

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CD 1:
01. Pretty In Pink (Berlin Mix) - The Psychedelic Furs
02. I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock Of Seagulls
03. European Son (12") - Japan
04. Einstein A Go-Go (12" Mix) - Landscape
05. Brilliant Mind (12" Mix) - Furniture
06. (Feels Like) Heaven - Fiction Factory
07. The First Picture of You (12" Version) - The Lotus Eaters
08. Love All Day (And Night) - Nick Heyward
09. Lover Come Back To Me (Extended Remix) - Dead Or Alive
10. Love On Your Side (No Talkin') (12" Version) - Thompson Twins
CD 2:
01. Love & Pride (Body And Soul Mix) - King
02. Apollo 9 (Francois K Splashdown Mix) - Adam Ant
03. I Could Be Happy - Altered Images
04. Shiny Shiny Dance (12 Inch Version) - Haysi Fantayzee
05. Chihuahua (12" Version) - Bow Wow Wow
06. Don't Fall In Love (I Said) (Extended Mix) - Toyah
07. Nobody's Fool (12" Version) - Haircut 100
08. Bridge to Your Heart (The Unabridged Version) - Wax
09. (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star (Extended) - Bill Wyman
10. Love of the Common People (12" Mix) - Paul Young
CD 3:
01. Digging Your Scene (Long Version) - The Blow Monkeys
02. Funky Town (Dance Mix) - Pseudo Echo
03. E=MC2 (12 Inch Remix) - Big Audio Dynamite
04. Real Gone Kid - Deacon Blue
05. Radio Africa (Extended Version) - Latin Quarter
06. Skin Deep (Extended Version) - The Stranglers
07. I Feel Free (Extended) - Belinda Carlisle
08. In Your Room (12" Remix) - The Bangles
09. Method of Modern Love (Extended Mix) - Daryl Hall & John Oates
10. Bop 'Til You Drop (Remixed) - Rick Springfield



Can You Feel It - A collection of some of the biggest 80s dance classics

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CD 1:
01. Can You Feel It - The Jacksons
02. Inside Out (12" Version) - Odyssey
03. Body Talk (Album Version) - Imagination
04. (What Can I Say) To Make You (Hateful Club Mix) - Alexander O’Neal
05. She Won't Talk To Me (12" Extended) - Luther Vandross
06. Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car (Extended Version) - Billy Ocean
07. Indestructible (Extended Version) - The Four Tops featuring Smokey Robinson
08. Who's Zoomin' Who? (Dance Mix) - Aretha Franklin
09. Funkin' for Jamaica - Tom Browne
10. Seasons Change (12" Version) - Exposé
CD 2:
01. I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt (Extended Version) - Donna Summer
02. Together Forever (Lover's Leap Extended Remix) - Rick Astley
03. Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now (Extended Version) - Samantha Fox
04. Toy Boy (Extended Bicep Mix) - Sinitta
05. Blame It on the Boogie (PWL Mix) - Big Fun
06. Love Pains (Steve Hurley's Remix) - Liza Minnelli
07. My Heart Goes Bang (American 'Wipe Out' Mix) - Dead Or Alive
08. I'm so Excited (Extended Version) - The Pointer Sisters
09. Let's Hear It for the Boy (Extended Version) - Deniece Williams
10. Lost In Emotion (F.F. Remix) - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
CD 3:
01. Get On Your Feet (Pop Vocal) - Gloria Estefan
02. The Slightest Touch (The Pettibone Touch Remix) - Five Star
03. Walk Away (12” Club Mix) - Joyce Sims
04. Prove Your Love (Extended Remix) - Taylor Dayne
05. Roses (12" Version) - Haywoode
06. This Is The Right Time (Extended Version) - Lisa Stansfield
07. Girl You Know It's True (Maxi Version - Super Club Mix) - Milli Vanilli
08. Deep in Vogue (Banjie Realness) - Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
09. What's Going On (Club Version) - Cyndi Lauper
10. Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) (Extended Club Mix Version) - Paul Young



Rhythm is Gonna Get You - Collects even more classic Pop anthems from the 80s in all their alternatively mixed beauty.

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CD 1:
01. State Of Shock (Dance Mix) - The Jacksons
02. Rhythm Is Gonna Get You (Special 12” Dance Mix)- Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
03. Love’s About To Change My Heart (Clivillés & Cole 12” Mix) - Donna Summer
04. Freeway of Love (Rock Mix) - Aretha Frankli
05. Stop To Love (12” Mix) - Luther Vandross
06. Hitmix (The Official Bootleg Megamix) - Alexander O’Neal
07. Just The Way You Like It (Long Mix) - S.O.S. Band
08. Touch Me (I Want Your Body) - Samantha Fox
09. Cuddly Toy (Extended Mix) - Roachford
10. Dignity (Extended Version) - Deacon Blue
CD 2:
01. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
02. We Built This City (Special Club Mix) - Starship
03. Out of Touch (Club Version) - Daryl Hall & John Oates
04. Kyrie - Mr. Mister
05. Eye of the Tiger (Special Extended European Version) - Survivor
06. Playing with the Boys (12” Version) - Kenny Loggins
07. Human Touch (Extended Mix) - Rick Springfield
08. Hazy Shade Of Winter (Purple Haze Mix) (Clean Version) - The Bangles
09. She Bop (Special Dance Mix) - Cyndi Lauper
10. Circle In The Sand (Beach Party Mix) - Belinda Carlisle
CD 3:
01. Go Wild in the Country (12” Version) - Bow Wow Wow
02. See Those Eyes (Dance Mix) - Altered Images
03. Life in Tokyo (12” Extended Version) - Japan
04. Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) (Extended Version) - A Flock Of Seagulls
05. We Are Detective - Thompson Twins
06. Alone Without You (Scorcher Mix) - King
07. Fight For Ourselves (Extended Remix) - Spandau Ballet
08. Medicine Show (12 inch Remix) - Big Audio Dynamite
09. Hey Manhattan! (JFK Version) - Prefab Sprout
10. Dreamtime (Extended Remix Version) - Daryl Hall



Let's Groove - The first dip into the classics 80s Disco scene. These extended hits will keep you in your platforms all night long.

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CD 1:
01. This Time I Know It's For Real (12" Extended Remix) - Donna Summer
02. Jump (For My Love) - The Pointer Sisters
03. Let's Groove (Special Remixed Holiday Version) - Earth, Wind & Fire
04. Walk Right Now (12" John Luongo Disco Mix) - The Jacksons
05. Party All the Time (Special Version) - Eddie Murphy
06. Use It Up and Wear It Out (12" Single Edit) - Odyssey
07. Never Too Much - Luther Vandross
08. Fake 88 (12" House Mix) - Alexander O'Neal
09. Love Come Down (12" Version) - Evelyn "Champagne" King
10. Take Your Time Do It Right (12” Version) - The S.O.S. Band
CD 2:
01. That's The Way (I Like It) - Dead Or Alive
02. Tell It to My Heart (Club Mix) - Taylor Dayne
03. It's Raining Men (12" Mix) - The Weather Girls
04. So Macho (Extended Club Mix) - Sinitta
05. The Time Warp 2 (Brand New Extended Version) - Damian
06. Don't Drop Bombs (Remix) - Liza Minnelli
07. Hey Music Lover (Spatial Expansion Mix) - S'Expres
08. Doctorin' The House (Vocal Verse) - Coldcut feat. Yazz & The Plastic Population
09. Baby Don't Forget My Number (Pennsylvania Six-Five-Thousand Heart Line Mix) - Milli Vanilli
10. Go Deh Yaka (Club Mix) - Monyaka
CD 3:
01. The Eve of the War (Deep Space Mix) - Ben Liebrand
02. All Around the World (Long Version) - Lisa Stansfield
03. Tribute (Right On)(The Screaming Cat Mix) - The Pasadenas
04. All Fall Down (Full Length Version) - Five Star
05. Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) (Extended Mix) - Billy Ocean
06. Loco In Acapulco (PH Balance Mix) - The Four Tops
07. Conga (Dance Mix) - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
08. Let's Go Round Again (12" Version) - Average White Band
09. Another Night (Dance Mix) - Aretha Franklin
10. Move Closer (New Mix) - Phyllis Nelson

Trailer for Twelve Inch 80's You Spin Me Round


You Spin Me 'Round - 80s pop classic anthems in their glorious alternatively mixed editions.


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CD 1:
01. You Spin Me Round (12” Murder Mix) - Dead Or Alive
02. I’m Not Scared (Disco Mix) - Eighth Wonder
03. Losing My Mind (Extended) - Liza Minnelli
04. Never Gonna Give You Up (12” Cake Mix) - Rick Astley
05. I Feel The Earth Move (Club Mix) - Martika
06. Criticize (12” Remix) - Alexander O’Neal
07. The Finest (12” Extended) - S.O.S. Band
08. Dinner With Gershwin (12” Extended Version) - Donna Summer
09. 1, 2, 3, (Extended Version) - Gloria Estefan
10. Can’t Wait Another Minute (12” Mix) - Five Star
CD 2:
01. Safety Dance (12” Version) - Men Without Hats
02. Quiet Life (12”) - Japan
03. Love Plus One (12” Version) - Haircut 100
04. Doctor Doctor (Long Version) - Thompson Twins
05. 99 Red Balloons (12” Club Mix) - Nena
06. Don’t Talk To Me About Love (Extended) - Altered Images
07. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Extended Version) - Cyndi Lauper
08. Break My Stride (Remix/Club Version) - Matthew Wilder
09. Live It Up (12” Remix) - Mental As Anything
10. Down Under (Extended) - Men At Work
CD 3:
01. Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Heavenly Version) - Belinda Carlisle
02. Manic Monday (Extended Remix) - The Bangles
03. Holding Out For A Hero (Club Mix) - Bonnie Tyler
04. I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (Extended Club Mix) - Daryl Hall & John Oates
05. Celebrate Youth (Dance Mix) - Rick Springfield
06. Come Back & Stay (12” Mix) - Paul Young
07. Take That Situation (Rhythm Mix) - Nick Heyward
08. My Favourite Waste Of Time (12” Jumbo Remix) - Owen Paul
09. When Will I Be Famous (12” Infamous Mix) - Bros.
10. My Camera Never Lies (12”) - Bucks Fizz

Trailer for Twelve Inch 80's People Hold On


People Hold On - A collection of some of the biggest 80s dance classics in their full extended 12” form

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CD 1:
01. People Hold On (12” Disco Version) - Coldcut Ft. Lisa Stansfield
02. Theme From S’Express (12” Version) - S’Express
03. Beat Dis (Extended Dis) - Bomb The Bass
04. Love Can’t Turn Around (12” Extended Version) - Farley “Jackmaster” Funk
05. Promised Land (Club Mix) - Joe Smooth
06. Rock It (12”) - Herbie Hancock
07. I Wonder If I Take You Home (Extended) - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
08. Alice I Want You Just For Me! (12”) - Full Force
09. Got To Get (Extended) - Rob N Raz Ft. Leila K
10. Body Work - Hot Streak
CD 2:
01. Just Be Good To Me (12” Extended) - S.O.S. Band
02. The Lovers (12” Extended Version) - Alexander O’Neal
03. Come Into My Life (12” Mix) - Joyce Sims
04. I Really Didn’t Mean It (12”) - Luther Vandross
05. Love Is In Control (12” Dance Remix) - Donna Summer
06. Jump To It (Original 12” Mix) - Aretha Franklin
07. Shake It Up Tonight (12”) - Cheryl Lynn
08. Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt (Walk The Body Mix) - Lisa Marie with Malcolm McLaren and The Bootzilla Orchestra
09. Love House (12” Black Pyramid Mix) - Samantha Fox
10. I’ll House You (Gee St. Reconstruction Mix) - Jungle Brothers
CD 3:
01. Dr Beat (Long Version) - Miami Sound Machine
02. Automatic (12” Special Remix) - The Pointer Sisters
03. Saturday Love (12” Version) - Cherrelle & Alexander O’Neal
04. Roots Suite - Odyssey
05. Lovely Day (88 Remix 12” Version) - Bill Withers
06. Dance Little Sister (TTD’s Remix) - Terence Trent D’Arby
07. Living In America (Extended R&B Dance Mix) - James Brown
08. System Addict (M&M Remix) - Five Star
09. Lover Boy (12” Extended Mix) - Billy Ocean
10. Just An Illusion (Extended) - Imagination


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