Thighs and Whispers is the fifth studio album by American singer Bette Midler. Released in 1979, the album reached #65 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
For their expanded 2002 reissue of Randy Newman's classic Sail Away album, Rhino/Reprise unearthed five previously unissued gems. Of these, arguably the most notable is the studio version of "Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong," originally released on the stop-gap Randy Newman Live album; it was left off the album because Newman and his producers felt that he didn't capture the song but, decades later, this sounds every bit as good, if not better, than the issued live version. Of the remaining four bonus tracks, only "Let It Shine" isn't an alternate version or demo, and while it's not quite up to the high standards of the other songs on Sail Away, it's still quite strong. If the early version of "Dayton, Ohio – 1903" isn't radically different, the early version of "Sail Away" is – bouncy and bluesy, its humor more apparent. Finally, the demo of "You Can Leave Your Hat On" is a little rawer than the album version and wholly welcome. Though these five bonus tracks are the main attraction for Randy Newman fans, the remastered sound, the liner notes by David Wild, introduction by Randy, and rare photos make this another wonderful reissue in Rhino's line of Newman expanded editions.
Ellis recorded Music from Other Galaxies and Planets (1977) after returning from a hiatus caused by a severe heart condition. With this new ensemble – appropriately named “Survival” – Ellis covers very little new musical territory on the release, which has become maligned by many Ellis fans. However, according to Hank Levy, the album is the result of hasty decisions made by Ellis’s new label Atlantic Records.
This five disc, U.K.-only box set includes a remarkably solid quintet of full albums from Randy Newman, including his eponymous 1968 debut, 1970's 12 Songs, 1972's Sail Away, 1973's Good Old Boys, and 1977's Little Criminals, the latter of which featured the novelty hit "Short People."
An anomaly among early-'70s singer/songwriters, Randy Newman may have been slightly influenced by Bob Dylan, but his music owed more to New Orleans R&B and traditional pop than folk. Newman developed an idiosyncratic style that alternated between sweeping, cinematic pop and rolling R&B, which were tied together by his nasty sense of humor. Where his peers concentrated on confessional songwriting, Newman drew characters, creating a world filled with misfits, outcasts, charlatans, and con men…
Clapton Chronicles ignores Eric Clapton's 1983 Reprise debut, Money and Cigarettes (which sounded more like an RSO album, anyway), starting with the pair of Phil Collins-produced mid-'80s albums, Behind the Sun and August. Though these had a pop sheen, they were album rock holdovers. Clapton didn't get the balance between hard rock and commercial gloss right until 1989's Journeyman, whose featured songs – "Before You Accuse Me," "Bad Love," and "Pretending" – form the heart of this compilation. Journeyman was overshadowed by the phenomenal success of "Tears in Heaven" and 1992's Unplugged…
Within a refined setting of easy listening pop ballads and lightly funky up-tempo selections produced by Al McKay, Henderson proves himself an assured vocalist with mastery of clarity and phrasing. The problem here is the material isn't challenging enough – it's often formulaic and derivative of other early-'80s releases. Even a contribution from Stevie Wonder, "Crush on You," wanders into oblivion. But the singer's debonair tone and elegant, polished diction makes the weaker sound stronger. A perfect example is the mid-tempo "I'd Rather Be Gone," which suffers from a sleepy melody and clichéd rhythm arrangement.