Michael Bolton is no fool, and when he broke through to platinum sales with The Hunger, nobody had to tell him to record a follow-up devoted to more of the same. Bolton produced most of the record himself, and he teamed with the cream of the era's romantic rock ballad writers, people like Diane Warren (who gets five co-credits here) and Desmond Child, while the R&B copy this time was Ray Charles' version of "Georgia on My Mind." He also reclaimed "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" from Laura Branigan. The result was five Top 40 hits and millions of albums sold. Maybe Bolton wasn't the king of the hockey rinks, but his voice was now stoking the romantic fires in bedrooms across America, which is nice work if you can get it.
Young Singer of the Year at the 2015 Opera Awards, Nicky Spence joins the highly praised accompanist Malcolm Martineau, just honoured with an OBE, in this unique collection of French songs from the turn of the last century, a repertoire that was very rarely performed in public at that time, the concept of the song recital still in the future.
No one except psychedelic Renaissance man Alexander "Skip" Spence could have created an album such as Oar. Alternately heralded as a "soundtrack to schizophrenia" and a "visionary solo effort," Oar became delegated to cut out and bargain bins shortly after its release in the spring of 1969. However those who did hear it were instantly drawn into Spence's inimitable sonic surrealism. As his illustrious past in the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Moby Grape would suggest, this album is a pastiche of folk and rock. In reality, however, while these original compositions may draw from those genres, each song has the individuality of a fingerprint. As a solo recording, Oar is paramount as Spence performed and produced every sound on the album himself at Columbia Records studios in Nashville in the space of less than two weeks.
Thomas Spence's 'Grand Repository' differs from the many English pronouncing dictionaries produced in the late eighteenth century firstly in that it was intended primarily for the lower classes, and secondly in that it used a truly 'phonetic' script in the sense of one sound = one symbol. In this unique account, Joan Beal pays attention to the actual pronunciations with a view to reconstructing what was felt to be 'correct' pronunciation in eighteenth-century Britain.