The latest in-store compilation from Starbucks Entertainment is the perfect summer sampler, an 18-track collection of old and new surf tunes, from classics of the genre like Dick Dale's "Miserlou," the Marketts' "Out of Limits," and the Chantays' "Pipeline" to tracks from surf revivalists like Laika & the Cosmonauts' "N.Y. '79," making this set a nice introduction to all that is surf and summer.
"Make It Big" is the second studio album from British pop duo Wham!, released in 1984. It was mostly recorded at Studio Miraval in Southern France to escape the press and enable George Michael to work peacefully and mixed at Good Earth Studios in London and Marcadet Studios in Paris. In comparison to their earlier work, the duo had more control over the album's production, as George Michael became the sole credited producer, a position he would subsequently hold on all future releases until the group split in 1986.
All of King's recordings for the Bobbin label are on this 22-track disc, including everything from his 1959-1963 singles for the label and previously unissued alternate takes of "Why Are You So Mean to Me," "The Time Has Come," and the previously unissued "Blues at Sunrise." While these are decent journeyman urban blues/R&B, they're not up to the level of his subsequent recordings for Stax. Albert King just sounds too much like the records another King – B.B. King, that is – was making during the same era. There are similar horn arrangements and alternation of stinging guitar with smooth, confident vocal phrasing. It's a tribute to Albert King's abilities, in a way, that it does sound confident, and not the work of an imitator, despite the similarities.
CAROL WILLIAMS, from Montclair, New Jersey, was the first female singer to sign a solo recording contract with the legendary disco label Salsoul Records. With Williams vocal audition trumping all other hopefuls, allied with her extensive experience in the industry due to being an integral member of soul groups The Geminis and The Del-Rios, she was the obvious choice for the label who were looking for their equivalent of Gloria Gaynor who was riding high at the time with the success of her disco smash “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Williams soon got to work with legendary producer and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Montana, Jr. and his incredible Salsoul Orchestra, contributing not only several track selections but also co-writing three of the cuts on her debut offering.
If The Hurting was mental anguish, Songs from the Big Chair marks the progression towards emotional healing, a particularly bold sort of catharsis culled from Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's shared attraction to primal scream therapy. The album also heralded a dramatic maturation in the band's music, away from the synth-pop brand with which it was (unjustly) seared following the debut, and towards a complex, enveloping pop sophistication…