This box set containing the remastered, expanded editions of all five of Simon & Garfunkel's original LPs on five CDs just – but only just – misses a top rating, by virtue of its packaging. The sound is, as with the individual editions of each title, a significant improvement over any prior releases of this material and proves to be utterly impeccable, and the annotated booklet, containing the original credits and notes off the albums as well as the lyrics and all of the new annotation for each individual album by Bud Scoppa, is fairly handy…
This Dutch blues band was formed in the Hague around 1967, becoming a regular outfit from 1969. The early line-up included Bjorn Toll (vocals), John Lagrand (harmonica), Ted Oberg (guitar), Ruud Fransen (bass) and Niek Dijkhuys (drums) but although the name remained wholesale changes soon took place, bringing in a new singer, Nicko Christiansen, and new bass and drums, Peter Kleinjan and Beer Klaasse, the latter pair being swiftly replaced by Gerard Strutbaum and Cesar Zuiderwijk, while keyboard player Henk Smitskamp was added. Other changes followed through the 70s, by which time the band’s repertoire was more inclined towards rock. Musicians involved included bass players Ruud van Buuren, Jan van der Voort, Jaap van Eijk and André Reynen, drummers John Lejeune, Herman van Boeyen, Cor van Beek, Michel Driessen, Kenny Lamb and Arjen Kamminga; the latter pair played in the band simultaneously for a spell. Smitskamp sometimes played bass, singer Johnny Frederiksz came in, as did organist Paul Vin and guitarist Ron Meyes.
Electronic Meditation, Tangerine Dream's debut album, features the lineup of Edgar Froese, Conrad Schnitzler, and Klaus Schulze (his only album with Tangerine Dream). The album is not without its flaws, but it's strong in many ways and shows abundant promise. Wildly experimental timbres, passages, and textures dominate this sound world. Bringing a rock & roll effort to a decidedly avant-garde sound, the album manages to be very accessible and hard to dislike. Of those who were working at the same time, Electronic Meditation is most similar to the music of Pink Floyd and Amon Düül.
Contrary to what its title suggests, The O'Jays in Philadelphia isn't a live album. Rather, the title of this studio date refers to the beginning of their association with Philly's R&B scene and producers/songwriters Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. What they didn't know in 1969 was just how long and fruitful that association would end up being. This album wasn't the major hit that Back Stabbers would be, but not for lack of strong material. From "One Night Affair" to "Let Me in Your World," this superb album is quintessential Philly soul. While Eddie Levert's gospel-influenced belting is as gritty as anything that came from Stax Records, the production is as notably sleek. A few years later, Gamble & Huff would produce a longer, heavily syncopated version of "Affair" for Jerry Butler that some soul historians exalt as the first disco single.