This four-CD, 100-song set is the best representative body of work ever assembled (or ever likely to be assembled) of the R&B and soul releases from Henry "Juggy Murray" Jones' Sue Records. The range of sounds runs the gamut from ex-Drifter Bobby Hendricks' first hit for the company ("Itchy Twitchy Feeling") in 1959, through the string of hits by Ike & Tina Turner, to the company's last hits some seven years later. Not only is every chart single that the label ever had represented, but so are club hits from the mid-'60s and solo sides by uniquely New York-associated figures. The contents of the box are almost ideal, along with their arrangement – in contrast some other box sets, this one follows strict release order, which is a great way to follow the history of the label (though not ideal for anyone, apart from owners of multi-disc players, who simply wants to hear the label's best-known tracks in one sitting).
If the notion persists that Nigel Kennedy is the enfant terrible of classical music – too rebellious or facile to be taken seriously – then perhaps it is time to reconsider his categorization. Kennedy's varied interests certainly take him beyond the boundaries of the typical classical performer, and his performance style may be too flamboyant to suit some listeners' tastes. But East Meets East is far from shocking, if understood as an exploration of Eastern European music, presented in a fusion of popular styles without pandering to the classical audience with crossover concessions. Fans of world music and open-minded listeners of any stripe may find something to appreciate here. Appearing with the Polish folk band Kroke and surrounded by several guest artists of international reputation, Kennedy shows that his involvement with this ethnic music is honest, if not always inspired.
This collection of instrumentals offers a stark reminder of the sheer mind-boggling scope of David Bowie's sound and vision. Most of these 16 brooding soundscapes are plucked from Bowie's hugely influential 1977 albums, Low and Heroes. Taking his cue from Kraftwerk, Bowie enlisted ambient pioneer Brian Eno and decamped to Berlin. It's no exaggeration to say that the resulting albums were integral in defining the path of modern music. Throughout, there's a palpable sense of foreboding, perhaps best exemplified by "Sense of Doubt," a truly unsettling mesh of booming piano and spookily spiraling synths. That the Thin White Duke's Berlin material still dazzles is no surprise. However, it's the remarkable revelation–provided by a clutch of slightly more recent tracks–that he can still cut it that'll hearten disillusioned Bowie fans everywhere.
Sigur Rós’s ambitious plan to make a film for every track on last year's ‘Valtari’ album drew to a close in December with one of the series’ most ambitious submissions from director Floria Sigismondi. The flyblown 10-min mini-epic features indie movie stars Elle Fanning and John Hawkes, as father and daughter, one of whom may be dead. The sixteenth film in the series, it renews Sigur Ros's relationship with Sigismondi, who in 2003 won the European MTV video of year for the band's ‘Vaka', in which gas-masked school children played in the black snow of a nuclear winter. This new package sees all 16 Valtari films collected together on DVD or Blu-ray as the ‘Valtari Film Experiment’. The release includes all 14 films commissioned by the band, alongside the two winning entries from a parallel public competition, plus three additional making-of features.
George Martin is one of the world's most famous record producers and yet, despite a long and varied career, he is most celebrated for his era-defining work with the Beatles. The six-CD box set Produced By George Martin commemorates his 50 years behind the desk. The discs are in chronological order and loosely themed–early years, comedy recordings, 60s hits, orchestral, etc. While generally presented in a chronological fashion, each disc is likewise aptly subtitled. Disc one – "Crazy Rhythms" – features pre-rock & roll big band ("High Society"), skiffle ("Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O"), and dance music ("Scottish Polka" and "Saturday Jump"). In addition, there are tracks from other well-known yet rarely heard artists such as Jimmy Shand ("Bluebell Polka") and Rolf Harris ("Sun Arise"). The "Transports of Delight" on disc two highlight spoken-word and comedy sides produced by Martin in the '50s and '60s.
This triple box features all 13 singles released during their first four years including seven inch single mixes, extended mixes and b-sides. Features the hits 'Rio', 'Hungry Like The Wolf', 'The Wild Boys', 'Girls On Film', 'Save A Prayer', 'Is There Something I Should Know', 'The Reflex' and many more. Even if you already own 'Decade' or 'Greatest' this compilation is still worth getting, since it contains so many great remixed/extended versions of classic Duran tracks. I particularly like the 'night versions' (shouldn't that be 'nite versions'?) of the 'Duran Duran' and 'Rio' singles, which I much prefer to the 'dance mixes' of the later singles (I'm sure I read somewhere that in the early days, the band would actually re-record the extended versions of their singles from scratch).