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.
Like many eponymous albums, Shakira's self-titled 2014 set marks a new beginning: a new album for a new label after she got a new job. The new job was as a co-host on the hit American televised musical contest The Voice, the new label was RCA, and the new album was her first full-fledged pop album since She Wolf, the rather brilliant, hard electronic dance record that stiffed in 2009. She bounced back in 2010 with Sale el Sol, but that album wasn't made with the U.S. market in mind, something that certainly can't be said of Shakira. Opening up with a duet with Rihanna, and later finding space for her Voice co-host Blake Shelton, Shakira is determined to appeal to all audiences here: don't like the relentless dance of "Dare (La La La)"? Stick around for the reggae collaboration with Magic! on "Cut Me Deep," or maybe the appealing faux-folk of "23" or the full-bore adult-pop assault of "The One Thing," which may be the best cut here.
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.