Recorded in the U.S. with arranger Teddy Adams, What's Going On embraces in full the American influences that shape it – the polemical R&B of James Brown and Marvin Gaye looms heavy via covers of "Ain't It Funky Now" and the title cut, while the sound and sensibility clearly draw from West coast soul-jazz innovators like Les McCann and Gerald Wilson. But the curiosity and estrangement inherent in the album's stranger-in-a-strange-land origins are in fact its dominant element: Takehiro Honda doesn't simply channel his myriad influences, he also dissects them, taking them apart and putting them back together to understand how they work. The result is a wonderfully eccentric and heartfelt interpretation of American funk rendered in distinctly Japanese terms – studious but a bit goofy, formal yet passionately groovy.
In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement where spirits may not have been high, Nina Simone walked onto the stage and used her raspy voice to send a message. That message is there's always tomorrow and the future is bright. It's a live album that features Simone singing some of her biggest songs as well as other songs that she was fond of at the time. It also features a lot of dialogue from Simone on issues facing black Americans at the time.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Michael Jackson featuring 2009 digital remastering. Part of a five-album Michael Jackson Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue series featuring the albums "Off The Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous," and "History." Also includes application card (valid only in Japan). The downside to a success like Thriller is that it's nearly impossible to follow, but Michael Jackson approached Bad much the same way he approached Thriller – take the basic formula of the predecessor, expand it slightly, and move it outward. This meant that he moved deeper into hard rock, deeper into schmaltzy adult contemporary, deeper into hard dance – essentially taking each portion of Thriller to an extreme, while increasing the quotient of immaculate studiocraft. He wound up with a sleeker, slicker Thriller, which isn't a bad thing, but it's not a rousing success, either. For one thing, the material just isn't as good.
Night was a loose, L.A.-based band, whose personnel were veteran British-based session musicians, including Stevie Lange, who sang behind Graham Bonnet and Elton John; Chris Thompson, who contributed to War of the Worlds and worked for Manfred Mann's Earth Band; and keyboard wizard Nicky Hopkins, who played with everybody. This Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Night includes both albums that were recorded by band, includes a bonus tracks, and featuring 2011 24-bit remastering.
Arguably the first underground rock group of all time, the Fugs formed at the Peace Eye bookstore in New York's East Village in late 1964 by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, with Ken Weaver on drums. Soon afterward, they were joined by Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber of the Holy Modal Rounders. Kupferberg named the band from a euphemism for "fuck" used in Norman Mailer's novel, The Naked and the Dead.