Celebrating sixty years since the launch of one of the most successful independent record labels in US Popular music. Received wisdom would have us believe that before Motown, no black-owned record company had made a significant impact on the US mainstream. However, the actuality is something else entirely. Way back in the early 50s, long before Berry Gordy had written his first song, VEE-JAY RECORDS - a black, family owned and run, Chicago-based label - was establishing itself via a steady stream of Blues, R&B, DooWop and Gospel hits.
Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1974. They have enjoyed success since the release of their debut album Van Halen (1978). As of 2007, Van Halen has sold 80 million albums worldwide and have had the most number-one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart…
It's called Van Halen II not just because it's the band's second album but because it's virtually a carbon copy of their 1978 debut, right down to how the band showcases their prowess via covers and how Eddie Van Halen gets a brief, shining moment to showcase his guitar genius…
Following the 2013 release of Betty’s S.F. Blends, Volume One and their third full-length album, 2014′s Phosphorescent Harvest, Chris Robinson Brotherhood are back with an exciting double-LP: Betty’s Blends, Volume Two: Best From the West. Taking cues from Volume One, the CRB once again joined forces with Betty Cantor-Jackson, legendary archivist for the Grateful Dead, and allowed her to curate the new live album.
Betty Davis' second full-length featured a similar set of songs as her debut, though with Davis herself in the production chair and a radically different lineup. The openers, "Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him" and "He Was a Big Freak," are big, blowsy tunes with stop-start funk rhythms and Davis in her usual persona as the aggressive sexual predator.
Light In the Attic have outdone themselves again with this latest reissue of what is surely Betty Davis' best and most coveted work. Her iconic voice is transported by the legendary productions of, to name a few, a couple of peeps by the name of Miles Davis, Teo Macero and Herbie Hancock. According to the label, what is special about this release is its pioneering stance on jazz, where across nine songs these greats pretty much already started and finished the free-jazz sound. For the late 1960s, this is some truly special and forward-thinking material; a clear precursor to the mad, improvisational - and often misinterpreted - seminal album by Miles Davis himself, On The Corner. This is mostly unreleased material, and the LP comes with a booklet of interviews and rare photos. Unmissable.
Although they're only remembered today for their 1964 hit "Hippy Hippy Shake," which charted on both sides of the Atlantic – the Swinging Blue Jeans were actually one of the strongest of the Liverpool bands from the '60s British Invasion; and, indeed, the Blue Jeans' earliest incarnation goes back about as far as the roots of the Beatles as the Quarry Men. "Hippy Hippy Shake" – a cover of an obscure '50s rocker that was actually done much better by the Beatles on tapes of their BBC performances – was their only Top 30 entry in the U.S….
It's not like Mark Oliver Everett (hereafter known as E) hasn't dealt with these themes before. His whole recording career, most of it done under the Eels moniker, has been full of brilliantly crafted pop songs that tour death, terminal illness, regrets, lost dear ones, a veiled belief in better days and times overlaid by thick angst, and now and then, actual bursts of bouncing joy and humor. So there's nothing really new thematically on the 11th Eels album, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, and even its sparse, stripped-down, and lightly orchestrated acoustic folk feel is something E has often visited. He turned 50 while writing these songs, so maybe that has something to do with the heavy and regretful tone that washes through these rather muted, weary, and almost whispered musings, few of which even rise to the tempo of a slow shuffle.
This fun collection celebrates that old-time rock 'n' roll. The nostalgic Malt Shop Memories includes 150 songs that defined the era from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s. The five-volume set comes in a decorative box fashioned to look like a malt shop and includes radio and jukebox favorites by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, Bobby Darin, and the Supremes.