Although vintage British psychedelia is viewed by many these days as an Alice In Wonderland-style enchanted garden full of beatific flower children innocently gathering flowers or chasing butterflies, there was always a more visceral element to the scene. Pointedly free of such fripperies as scarlet tunic-wearing gnomes, phenomenal cats and talismanic bicycles, the power trio format that was popularised by the likes of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience spawned a host of imitators. As the Sixties drew to a close and pop evolved slowly but inexorably into rock, psychedelia gave way to a sound that was harder, leaner, heavier, louder.
The Turtles enjoyed eighteen US hit singles between 1965 and 1970, three of which (“Happy Together”, “She’d Rather Be With Me” and “Elenore”) were also huge hits in the UK. From their original incarnation as surf band The Crossfires, all the way to their final single, the Turtles traversed several different musical paths during their career. It is precisely this power through diversity that makes the Turtles’ body of work one of the most rewarding and enjoyable of the 1960’s – they never met a genre they didn’t like. Edsel Records is proud to present the band’s six albums, each as a 2 CD digipak set.
Through the decade of the 1990's, director John Singleton was known best, of course, for 1991's Boyz N the Hood, and his 2001 companion film Baby Boy is a similarly structured urban drama involving the disadvantages and trials of African American black men in urban settings. The film is once again a challenging look at the central themes that Singleton often raises in his projects, and while critics praised his ability to maintain a realistic perspective within the genre, many black audiences were less than pleased about the stereotypical portrayals of gang-tempted blacks in predictable and disappointing situations. Many viewers agreed, however, that Singleton's film presented far more questions than answers. An interesting answer to one question was David Arnold, whose hiring to write the music for the project was considered a curious move by the fans of the composer only familiar with his small body of soundtrack work. The British composer was widely recognized as the composer of several very large-scale orchestral film scores of the 1990's in America, and the last genre that came to mind when most fans thought of Arnold was rhythm & blues. And yet, Arnold's fans should never have been surprised that he could pull it off, because his ability to adapt his talents to several different genres, whether pop, electronica, jazz, or orchestral, is well established.
Behind the 8 Ball (1965). Behind the 8-Ball was Baby Face Willette's second album for Argo and - unfortunately - the last one he would record as a leader, for reasons that aren't well-documented. Compared to his past releases, Behind the 8-Ball is short on original compositions (only two of eight tracks), but the emphasis here is more on Willette's deep roots in gospel and R&B, two circuits he worked extensively during his pre-Blute Note dues-paying days. This perhaps accounts for the brevity of the album - only two cuts top the five-minute mark - but it also provides a chance to hear Willette at his most soulful, playing the music he grew up with…