California may be the largest state in the Union, but it's only one state nuzzling one ocean, with only so many people living near the coastline, and a small minority of them have attempted to navigate waves on a board, much less possess the fetching physique to do so in public. Obviously, then, surf music isn't for surfers. If it were, Rhino would put out a greatest-hits EP instead of a four-disc box set. Cowabunga! is all the permanent-wave stuff most people will ever need.
2016 four CD set. Cooking Vinyl 1986 - 2016 brings together 70 of the finest tunes so far released by the Cooking Vinyl label including tracks by Oysterband, Cowboy Junkies, Tom Robinson, Bhundu Boys, Jackie Leven, Billy Bragg, The Wedding Present, Ani Difranco, Bert Jansch, The Church, Hayseed Dixie, American Music Club, Frank Black, Madness, Gary Numan, Amanda Palmer, Suzanne Vega, The Orb, Alison Moyet and many others.
Fame was a film directed by Alan Parker, a serious auteur (some would say overly serious, especially in light of the work that came later) who designed the film for posterity, and the same attitude carried over the music. Yes, the production techniques often do sound dated – the over-reliance on state-of-the-art synthesizer ironically now sounds helplessly tied to the year of its creation – but the music by Michael Gore is dynamic, varied, and alive, sung with real passion and vigor, and it still retains its essential spark 23 years after it was a pop culture phenomenon. Sure, it's glitzy and glossy, sounding like show tunes, but that's the tradition of this music, and it was done better than most Broadway tunes and movie soundtracks of the '80s. Years later, this still has the spark and vitality of kids trying to make their big break, no matter the kind of music they're singing, and that's one of the main reasons (along with Gore's fine compositions) Fame retains its power and entertainment value years later.
With most classic R&B acts, we feel lucky to get one genuine live recording – in the case of Ike & Tina Turner, by contrast, we have an embarrassment of riches in the way of concert recordings from the early- to mid-1960s, and it started with this Kent Records release. Issued in 1964, soon after they left Kent, it captured 35 minutes of their live act, from the Club Imperial and the Harlem Club in St, Louis. In addition to Tina Turner in an extended rap attached to "Please, Please, Please," we also get Jimmy Thomas in a rousing version of "Feel So Good," Venetta Fields' mournful, magnificent "The Love of My Man," Bobby John on the smooth, soulful, soaring "Think," Stacy Johnson doing "Drown in My Own Tears," Robbie Montgomery's "I Love the Way You Love," and Vernon Guy singing "Your Precious Love".