Known for his solo hits in the 1980s as well as his hits with the band Smokie in the '70s, Chris Norman is a British soft rock singer with an international following whose career spans several decades. As Smokie's popularity trailed off around the turn of the decade, Norman split from the band and made his solo album debut in 1982 with Rock Away Your Teardrops. While his debut album was fairly unsuccessful, his second full-length effort, Some Hearts Are Diamonds (1986), was another story, spawning the international Top Ten smash hit single "Midnight Lady." Norman's popularity was greatest in Germany, where he racked up several additional hits during the late '80s, among them "No Arms Can Ever Hold You," "Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)," and "Broken Heroes."
One of the most subtly satisfying electric blues albums of the '70s. Fenton Robinson never did quite fit the "Genuine Houserocking Music" image of Alligator Records – his deep, rich baritone sounds more like a magic carpet than a piece of barbed wire, and he speaks in jazz-inflected tongues, full of complex surprises. The title track hits with amazing power, as do the chugging "The Getaway," a hard-swinging "You Say You're Leaving," and the minor-key "You Don't Know What Love Is." In every case, Robinson had recorded them before, but thanks to Bruce Iglauer's superb production, a terrific band, and Robinson's musicianship, these versions reign supreme.
His Japanese fans reverently dubbed Fenton Robinson "the mellow blues genius" because of his ultra-smooth vocals and jazz-inflected guitar work. But beneath the obvious subtlety resides a spark of constant regeneration – Robinson tirelessly strives to invent something fresh and vital whenever he's near a bandstand. The soft-spoken Mississippi native got his career going in Memphis, where he'd moved at age 16. First, Rosco Gordon used him on a 1956 session for Duke that produced "Keep on Doggin'." The next year, Fenton made his own debut as a leader for the Bihari Brothers' Meteor label with his first reading of "Tennessee Woman." His band, the Dukes, included mentor Charles McGowan on guitar. T-Bone Walker and B.B. King were Robinson's idols.
George Fenton delivers on his soundtrack for Anna and the King with an instrumental score that deftly mixes sweeping orchestrations with ethnic percussion. The main theme "Arrival at the Palace" begins with a very exotic violin solo that quickly blossoms into an epic orchestral movement seemingly ready to crescendo at a moment's notice (and it does!). Shorter cues such as "Letter of the Week" and "The House" are passages that perfectly convey the movie's exoticism and its melancholic moods. Throughout, Fenton's music seems to balance between excitement and sadness–the perfect sonic interpretation of The King and I's classic tale. Obviously, many folks will turn to this soundtrack for Joy Enriquez's Babyface-produced single "How Can I Not Love You," included at the very beginning of this disc. One hopes they'll stick around long enough to enjoy the film's score, one of Fenton's very best.
Après plusieurs années de recherche, ayant eu accès à des sources jusqu'alors inexploitées et recueilli les confidences inédites des principaux témoins, Philip Norman a réuni une masse d'informations nouvelles sur la vie maintes fois chroniquée du fondateur des Beatles. Monumental et passionnant, son livre s'impose comme LA biographie de référence - le livre le plus pénétrant, le plus humain, le plus complet jamais écrit sur John Lennon et la fresque de toute une époque. …