Essentially, this 17-track album is a second-volume Queen's Greatest Hits, picking up the story from that album's 1981 release and taking it to the end of Queen's career. But the album also contains a few tracks – "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Keep Yourself Alive," and "Under Pressure" – that appeared on that first set, as well as a couple – "Stone Cold Crazy" and "Tie Your Mother Down" – from the same era…
The Blues Masters series, much to Rhino`s credit, adopts an expansive definition of blues, allowing the likes of Count Basie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters and even Louis Prima admission. There is none of the purist`s quibbling over strict 12-bar form or the relative significance of prewar and postwar styles.
What Rhino delivers instead is the blues in all its myriad guises. This music is old and new, black and white, acoustic and electric, folksy and jazzy, performed by women and men, and yet it is all still blues at its core.
This is a Great Classical piece for the lovers of classical, as well as the ones who may hate it. These Adagios CDs get beter and better each time there is a new release. I must warn you there some good as well as some bad ones. There is a certain Adagio flavor for everyones.
Just about all of the seasonal favourites are here on a disc of carols that exudes a decidedly Christmassy glow. What makes this one stand out from the crowd of festive offerings is the standard of the performances from the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, which sings with a superb sense of ensemble, perfect tuning and crystal clear diction under Richard Marlow. The solo treble who begins "The Holly and the Ivy" gently eases the listener in to the 80-minute-long programme. Marlow takes an almost devotional approach to some carols (notably "Away in a Manger" and "While Shepherds Watched"). The account of "God rest ye merry, gentlemen" is warm and affectionate, traits that could be said to characterise the disc as a whole. The various arrangements by David Willcocks are as familiar and welcoming as an old pair of slippers: one never tires of their imagination and finesse. A disc of traditional Yuletide offerings, this disc is admirably recorded and performed with real affection by one this country's top choirs.
On the third of five volumes (the first four are double-CD box sets) that reissue all of her recordings, the great Bessie Smith is greatly assisted on some of the 38 selections by a few of her favorite sidemen: cornetist Joe Smith, trombonist Charlie Green, and clarinetist Buster Bailey. But the most important of her occasional musicians was pianist James P. Johnson, who makes his first appearance in 1927 and can be heard on four duets with Bessie, including the monumental "Backwater Blues." Other highlights of this highly recommended set (all five volumes are essential) include "After You've Gone," "Muddy Water," "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight," "Trombone Cholly," "Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair," and "Mean Old Bed Bug Blues." The power and intensity of Bessie Smith's recordings should be considered required listening; even 80 years later they still communicate.
Very rivals Behaviour as Pet Shop Boys' best album, so it's appropriate that the "further listening" bonus disc on Very's installment in the 2001 expanded-edition series rivals the further listening disc for Behaviour, and perhaps even surpasses it. Like that disc, this collection doesn't rely on remixes for bonus tracks and those that do make it are quite good (a previously unreleased 12" mix of "Go West" and the hacienda version of "Violence"). The rest of the record consists of B-sides and non-LP singles (including "Absolutely Fabulous"), none of which have been collected on a disc before since they all date from an era that the double-disc set Alternative didn't cover…