A more succinct and straightforward anthology of the Housemartins than 1988's Now That's What I Call Quite Good!, 2004's The Best of the Housemartins is a 14-track overview that sticks to the basics. While it does not contain the significant BBC sessions, B-sides, and album cuts featured on Quite Good!, it does feature superior sound and all the material (such as "Happy Hour," "Sheep," "The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death," and their cover of the Isley Brothers' "Caravan of Love") that casual fans truly need. Most of the band's biggest fans will tell you, of course, that the two studio albums are absolutely necessary.
In many ways Etta James resembled a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and sound that was all her own, and she did this throughout a five-decade career that is impressive for its consistency. This 25-track set (mostly drawn from her time with Chess Records) is hardly definitive (it doesn't have classic James' tracks like "Anything to Say You're Mine," "Don't Cry Baby," "Something's Got a Hold on Me," or the girl group pop of "Two Sides (To Every Story)," for instance, or any of her late-career blues tracks), but it does do a good job of spotlighting James' range and versatility by collecting sides like her signature "At Last," the soul-pop masterpieces "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," and saucy versions of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" and Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On," all of which offer ample proof that James was one of the best singers of her generation – in any style.
Openzone Bar, Paul Hardcastle, Weathertunes, Lemongrass, JoJo Effect, Cosmic Orient, Eskadet, Five Seasons and many more.
Nick Cave is a singular figure in contemporary rock music; he first emerged as punk rock was making its presence known in Australia, but though he's never surrendered his status as a provocateur and a musical outlaw, he quickly abandoned the simplicity of punk for something grander and more literate, though no less punishing in its outlook…