Following his magnificent recording of J.S. Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias for BIS last year, the Japanese harpsichordist/organist/conductor Masaaki Suzuki here offers more revelatory performances of some of Bach's equally well known (as well as some lesser known) masterpieces. With this collection, simply titled Fantasias & Fugues, Suzuki provides a grand overview of Bach's lifelong sporadic exploration of the Fantasia genre.
Following abortive collaborations with David McAlmont and Richard Ashcroft, ex- Suede guitarist Bernard Butler finally heeded his wife's advice and took centre stage for his solo debut. Not surprisingly, wide-eyed positivism is the presiding sentiment here–so much so, that, at times, People Move On seems to be about little more than itself. Save for that melodically slight Top 10 hit "Stay" though, it's hard to raise much objection in the face of such sustained inspiration. Highlights? Well, "You Just Know" will be better known to football fans as the plaintively catchy riff used during the 1998-9 season on Match Of The Day. "Change Of Heart" crashes along some beautiful George Harrison-style playing. Best of all though are "Autograph" and "Woman I Know"–not least for the way their gothic grandeur exposes the limitations of Butler's old band.
The 20th century has not been kind to most standard classical music forms. The piano sonata, the concerto, the symphony – none of them have disappeared entirely, but none remain in a state that could be called even remotely healthy. The same was true of the string quartet until 1973, when violinist David Harrington got some friends together to play contemporary music and offered his old high-school composition teacher a bag of donuts if he'd write a piece for them…
The quirky music of the Microscopic Septet defies classification, other than it is swinging jazz blended with R&B and a host of other influences, full of twists and turns, yet remaining very catchy and accessible. Their debut LP originally came out on the Press label and was finally reissued as a Koch CD in 1998. Much like the musicians that made up Spike Jones' City Slickers in the 1940s, only some very talented players could follow these demanding charts; yet unlike the comparison to Jones' records, there is nothing that is obviously or purely cornball about this music.
Bring It On is the debut album by English band Gomez. Gomez entered the recording studios in late 1997 to turn their demos into an album. During this time they also toured the UK with Embrace. The first single, "78 Stone Wobble" was released in March 1998 with the album following a month later. Bring It On was well received on both sides of the Atlantic with Spin calling it a "damn beautiful album" and Allmusic's Greg Prato comparing "78 Stone Wobble" to Nirvana's unplugged version of Meat Puppets' "Plateau". The album experienced a further boost in popularity when it won the 1998 Mercury Music Prize for best album, beating the favourites Massive Attack's Mezzanine and The Verve's Urban Hymns. "Get Myself Arrested" and "Whippin' Piccadilly" were later released as singles. While Gomez toured the US as the support artist for Eagle Eye Cherry, Bring It On is the only Gomez album so far not to make the US charts although the album did make the Australian album charts. "Bring It On" is also the name of a song on Gomez's following album, Liquid Skin.
Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is the debut studio album by American death metal band Nile. The album was released on April 28, 1998 through Relapse Records. The album is considered to be their breakthrough record. In contrast with the following album, Black Seeds of Vengeance, the songs are much shorter in length than the songs featured on later Nile albums.