In an age of excess, 12" singles were a prime place for a band to preen, play out their pretensions, and indulge their every passing fancy. Programming the drum machine for an extra two minutes of tedium or allowing the rhythm section to carry on (and on) without the rest of a band was a popular maneuver for the creatively challenged (I mean you, Thompson Twins), with few bands actually utilizing the space in a meaningful manner…
There's a good reason why the Move's eponymous 1968 debut album sounds like the work of two or three different bands – actually, befitting a band with multiple lead singers, there's more than one reason. First, there's that lead singer conundrum. Carl Wayne was the group's frontman, but Roy Wood wrote the band's original tunes and sometimes took the lead, and when the group covered a rock & roll class, they could have rhythm guitarist Trevor Burton sing (as they did on Eddie Cochran's "Weekend") or drummer Bev Bevan (as they did on the Coasters' "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart")…
Some of Grant Green's hottest moments as a jazz-funk bandleader came on his live records of the era, which were filled with extended, smoking grooves and gritty ensemble interplay. Live at the Lighthouse makes a fine companion piece to the excellent Alive!, though there are some subtle differences which give the album its own distinct flavor. For starters, the average track length is even greater, with four of the six jams clocking in at over 12 minutes. That makes it easy to get lost in the grooves as the musicians ride and work them over.
For those whose exposure to Soft Cell has been limited to the glorious and inescapable "Tainted Love," the duo's 1984 swan song This Last Night in Sodom should feature a warning sticker. Singer Marc Almond and keyboardist Dave Ball don't attempt to recapture the Top 40 magic of that hit here.
Cosmic Baby (aka Harald Blüchel) has always walked a fine line between serious music and entertainment music. On the one hand he has remixed pieces from Sven Väth, Vangelis and Yello, yet on the other hand this classically trained concert pianist has embued his Trance tracks with a completely new dimension that deserves the title of "Techno-art". "An album shouldn't be just a collection of good pieces - it must also have a concept behind it," says Cosmic Baby about his album, "Heaven". The 14 tracks are cleverly ordered in dramaturgical fashion, each taking you away to fantastical tonal worlds all of which could make up the sound-track of a dream. The music wiith a lot of snorkelling and distortion. Sometimes classically overdone, then suddenly set to pronounced drumbeats, a revision of seven years of Cosmic Baby on the one hand and the unmistakable influence of electronic pioneers like Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre on the other.
Kazumi Watanabe is a jazz and jazz fusion guitarist, from Tokyo, Japan. Watanabe learned to play guitar from Sadanori Nakamure, one of Japan's grandmaster guitarists. He released his first recording in 1971, and quickly became a promising guitarist in his own right. In 1979, he formed an all-star band with some of Japan's leading studio musicians, and recorded the album Kylyn, which is considered a masterpiece in fusion music.
The Three Pyramids Club is the second solo album by a British singer Suggs known from second wave ska band Madness. It was released in 1998 and reached no. 82 on the UK album chart.
A warm welcome back for this 1977 recording of Handel’s most successful opera, which ran, in 1727, for an unprecedented 19 performances. Curtis and his team were visionary 20 years ago. Recitative is lively, declaimed rather than fully sung; vocal decorations sound spontaneous, period instruments are played with zest and polish – barely a sour note from the handful of strings; colours include a trio of oboes and bassoon and, accompanying Bowman in fine voice, a pair of horns for what Dr Burney described as ‘one of the best and most agreeable hunting songs that was ever composed’. Jacobs reflects the volatile title role, impassioned in his death-bed scene which opens the opera, virtuosic elsewhere, though his affected swoops become rather predictably mannered. Yakar and Gomez sing Alceste and Antigone, roles which Handel wrote for Faustina and Cuzzoni, whose jealous rivalry led them, on stage, to ‘call Bitch and Whore’ and ‘pull each other’s coiffs’! Here, Faustina could not more beautifully have ‘sung adagios with great passion and expression’ than Yakar, while Gomez surely matches Cuzzoni’s ability to ‘conceal every appearance of difficulty’ – contemporary descriptions of their outstanding powers. You may want to tweak tone controls to moderate the bright, remastered sound. (George Pratt BBC Music Magazine)