Fun Lovin' Criminals are the sound of cigarettes being lit. Ever since England embraced the New York band as its own, the Criminals have tailored their sound like you would a good suit – tweaking the seams of the grooves for continued late-night appeal. Sly frontman Huey's bedroom voice slithers with a threatening tone; you can't trust this handsome criminal, but damn does he throw great parties. Similarly, most of Welcome to Poppy's is like watching a 1968 Lincoln Continental drive by in slow motion – nice and easy, and ultra cool. If this is all starting to sound like the treatment for Guy Ritchie's next East End crime caper, then the Criminals have likely done their job. "Stray Bullet" sells the same street-level politics as Moby's "South Side," but sexes it up with the disco thump of Stereo MC's' "Connected." "Lost it All" stylizes East Coast hardcore by marrying its gritty guitar aggression to more calculated whispering from Huey – that this is successful at all proves the instrumental chops that stabilize FLC's affected veneer.
Buddy Guy today remains one of the true international superstars of the Blues. One of his musically most glorious periods was the three classic albums he cut for JSP Records ("D.J. Play My Blues" "Breaking Out" and "Live at the Checkerboard Lounge") and the guesting on brother Phil Guy's wonderful debut album "Red Hot Blues". This compilation features some of the best cuts from that period and those albums. Buddy plays some hot guitar here and is stylistically moving forward from his sixties stuff to the ultra commercial things of today. Buddy always knew that the world would catch up eventually and he would become a superstar - the music here will tell you why.
As part of MCA's Chess Records 50th Anniversary series, Buddy's Blues sweats Guy's multi-disc retrospective, The Complete Chess Studio Recordings down to a scintillating 15-track package and comes up with a bare-bones winner. There are loads of great guitar on classics like "First Time I Met the Blues," "Let Me Love You Baby," "Pretty Baby," "My Time After Awhile," "Stone Crazy," and Guy's voice is at its whiplash exuberant best. Unexpected bonuses pop up in the comp's kickoff track, a full-length version of "Worried Mind," issued here without the overdubbed applause and crowd noises that accompanied its original release on Folk Festival of the Blues (see Muddy Waters' entry)…
In May 1940, while covering the retreat from Dunkirk, a Mark 1 Spitfire flown by RAF ace Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson was shot down and crash-landed on a beach in northern France, where it slowly sank into the sand.