Billy Bauer was an accomplished studio guitar player whose only studio date as a leader was this release, finally reissued as a part of the Verve Elite Edition limited edition CD series in 2000. Throughout the CD he is never overpowering, but a solid rhythmic player, whether essaying a gently swinging "Too Marvelous for Words" or a more sprightly "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Bauer also wrote several originals for the date, including the easygoing bop vehicle "Lincoln Tunnel," the tender ballad "Night Cruise," and the unaccompanied "Blue Mist." Accompanying Bauer is bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, and the obscure pianist Arnold Ackers. While this won't be an essential CD for every jazz fan, those who acquire it will not be disappointed.
Billy Ocean was one of the most popular and successful R&B singers living in the UK during the 70s and 80s. Born In Trinidad and Tobago in 1950, Ocean moved to England at the age of 8 where after learning his trade singing on the London club scene Billy Ocean released his first single in 1972. Four years later he recorded his first album and captured the #2 spot on the UK pop charts while scoring #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with single, Love Really Hurts Without You. Red Light Spells Danger returned him to the UK #2 spot a year later in 1977.
The Greatest Hits Volume III album includes hits from 1983 to 1997. Two previously unreleased studio tracks are included, "To Make You Feel My Love" and "Hey Girl", while the third new track, "Light as the Breeze", was originally recorded for a Leonard Cohen tribute album known as Tower of Song in 1995. All three tracks are newly recorded covers (a rare occurrence in his catalogue). Chronologically, Greatest Hits Volume III overlaps slightly with Volume II, as the first two tracks, "Keeping the Faith" and "An Innocent Man", first appeared on his album An Innocent Man.
Glyndebourne has a proud association with the operas of Benjamin Britten, however until 2010 had never staged Billy Budd. The all-male opera with a libretto co-written by E.M. Forster, is based on the battle between pure good and blind evil, and is set on a British man-‘o-war ship. Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, chose this work to make his long-awaited operatic debut. Sir Mark Elder returned to conduct, marking the 100th opera production in his illustrious career.
Although it's missing a few important (not to mention big) hits, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 is an excellent retrospective of the first half of Billy Joel's career. Beginning with "Piano Man," the first disc runs through a number of early songs before arriving at the hit-making days of the late '70s; some of these songs, including "Captain Jack" and "New York State of Mind," weren't strictly hits, but were popular numbers within his stage show and became radio hits…