Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader. The brilliance of his 1950s and '60s work, however, can't obscure the fact that he made few classic tracks after the mid-'60s, though he recorded often and performed until the year before his death.
15 complete original Sinatra albums and 43 bonus tracks on a limited edition 9CD box set. Legendary records from Frank Sinatra's golden age as a popular sophisticated vocalist released on Capitol with three on the singer's own label Reprise - with accompaniment from orchestras conducted by Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Johnny Mandel. Digitally remastered. Includes detailed booklet.
Away from the World is the eighth studio album by Dave Matthews Band (DMB), slated for release on September 11, 2012. Steve Lillywhite produced Away from the World, which marks his first released studio album with the band since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets. A series of failed sessions with Lillywhite led to the leaked Lillywhite Sessions in 2001 and Lillywhite's departure from the band's work.
Deluxe three CD clamshell boxed collection. Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks from the Echo Observatory set features three albums, all recorded at Bill Nelson's Yorkshire home studio, the Echo Observatory, in 1981 and 1982 - Sounding the Ritual Echo (originally issued as a limited edition bonus LP with Bill's 1981 album Quit Dreaming and Get On the Beam), Das Kabinet (a soundtrack to a production of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari by The Yorkshire Actors Company issued as an LP on Bill's Cocteau label in 1981) and La Belle et La Bete (a soundtrack to a stage production of Jean Cocteau's classic 1946 film Beauty & the Beast, first issued as a limited edition bonus LP with Bill's 1982 album The Love That Whirls).
This set represents Rafael Kubelik’s art in a wholly positive way. His Mahler and Dvorák cycles are very well-known. The Dvorák remains, along with those by Rowicki and Kertesz, one of the three reference editions of the complete symphonies, and the only one featuring a Czech conductor.
If Steven Wilson’s remixes of albums by Yes and XTC aren’t enough surround sound excitement for you, then check this out: Jethro Tull’s third album, 1970′s Benefit, is being reissued as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring the talents of the Porcupine Tree frontman. Benefit was, perhaps, the first step in Tull’s immersion in the greater world of progressive rock. The quintet moved away from the blues influences of their last two records toward a more heavier sound.
This three-disc set of all of the studio recordings of Mozart's piano concertos and sonatas made by German pianist Edwin Fischer between 1933-1947 may elicit different responses from his fans than from listeners not already persuaded of his greatness.
Weighing in at 15 CDs, The Studio Albums 1969-1983 is a hefty box set but, at $85, it is relatively affordable considering that it contains everything Alice Cooper – both the band and the man – recorded at Straight and Warner. Whatever bonus material attached to CD reissues over the years has been stripped away – nothing from the 2001 deluxe edition of Billion Dollar Babies, then – and there are no new remasters of the albums, but this set isn't bare bones. The mini-LP replicas contain a few inserts carried over from the vinyl and, more importantly, those early Straight Records are present, which is good because they were out of print for a while. Not everything here is great – he did have a rough patch in the late '70s and early '80s – but it's all interesting, and it's especially nice to be able to get the entire catalog so easily and cheaply.