Fame was a film directed by Alan Parker, a serious auteur (some would say overly serious, especially in light of the work that came later) who designed the film for posterity, and the same attitude carried over the music. Yes, the production techniques often do sound dated – the over-reliance on state-of-the-art synthesizer ironically now sounds helplessly tied to the year of its creation – but the music by Michael Gore is dynamic, varied, and alive, sung with real passion and vigor, and it still retains its essential spark 23 years after it was a pop culture phenomenon. Sure, it's glitzy and glossy, sounding like show tunes, but that's the tradition of this music, and it was done better than most Broadway tunes and movie soundtracks of the '80s. Years later, this still has the spark and vitality of kids trying to make their big break, no matter the kind of music they're singing, and that's one of the main reasons (along with Gore's fine compositions) Fame retains its power and entertainment value years later.
With most classic R&B acts, we feel lucky to get one genuine live recording – in the case of Ike & Tina Turner, by contrast, we have an embarrassment of riches in the way of concert recordings from the early- to mid-1960s, and it started with this Kent Records release. Issued in 1964, soon after they left Kent, it captured 35 minutes of their live act, from the Club Imperial and the Harlem Club in St, Louis. In addition to Tina Turner in an extended rap attached to "Please, Please, Please," we also get Jimmy Thomas in a rousing version of "Feel So Good," Venetta Fields' mournful, magnificent "The Love of My Man," Bobby John on the smooth, soulful, soaring "Think," Stacy Johnson doing "Drown in My Own Tears," Robbie Montgomery's "I Love the Way You Love," and Vernon Guy singing "Your Precious Love".
The French label Barclay Records, with which singer/songwriter Jacques Brel was associated for most of the 1960s and '70s, released a compilation of recordings of his songs in March 2004 that differs significantly from this U.S. edition. The French version of Next Brel has 15 tracks to the American 12, but that doesn't mean simply that three tracks have been deleted. In fact, there are six tracks on the French album not found on the American one: "If We Only Have Love," by Dionne Warwick; "Amsterdam," by Anne Watts; "If You Go Away," by Emiliana Torrini; "Next," by Gavin Friday & the Man Seezer; "The Desperate Ones," by Nina Simone; and "Seasons in the Sun," by Terry Jacks (a number one hit in the U.S.).
14 Track compilation album featuring Jamiroquai, Benjamin Zephaniah & others.