Sunday, 20 January 2019

Percy Sledge - 1968 - Just Out Of Reach FLAC


Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)/Hard To Believe/You-re Pouring Water On A Drowning Man/When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)



Percy Sledge will forever be associated with "When a Man Loves a Woman," a pleading, soulful ballad he sang with wrenching, convincing anguish and passion. Sledge sang all of his songs that way, delivering them in a powerful rush where he quickly changed from soulful belting to quavering, tearful pleas. It was a voice that made him one of the key figures of deep Southern soul. Sledge recorded at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, where he frequently sang songs written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. Not only did he sing deep soul, but Sledge was among the pioneers of country-soul, singing songs by Charlie Rich and Kris Kristofferson in a gritty, passionate style. During the '70s, his commercial success faded away, but Sledge continued to tour and record into the '90s.

While he worked as a hospital nurse in the early '60s, Sledge began his professional music career as a member of the Southern soul vocal group the Esquires Combo. On the advice of local disc jockey Quin Ivy, he went solo in 1966. Ivy fancied himself a record producer and he agreed to help shape Sledge's song "When a Man Loves a Woman" into a full-fledged single, hiring Spooner Oldham to play a distinctive, legato organ phrase. Ivy released the single independently and quickly licensed it to Atlantic Records, who quickly bought out Sledge's contract. "When a Man Loves a Woman" became a huge hit in the summer of 1966, topping both the pop and R&B charts. It was quickly followed that year by two Top Ten R&B hits, "Warm and Tender Love" and "It Tears Me Up," which were both in the vein of his first hit. Although few of his subsequent singles were hits -- only "Take Time to Know Her" reached the R&B Top Ten in 1968 -- many of the songs, which were often written by Dan Penn and/or Oldham, were acknowledged as classics among soul aficionados.

Despite his strong reputation among deep soul fans, Sledge's sales had declined considerably by the early '70s, and he headed out on the club circuit in America and England. In 1974, he left Atlantic for Capricorn Records, where he returned to the R&B Top 20 with "I'll Be Your Everything." Instead of re-igniting his career, the single was a last gasp, as far as chart success was concerned. Over the next two decades he continued to tour, and in the late '80s "When a Man Loves a Woman" experienced a resurgence in popularity, due to its inclusion in movie soundtracks and in television commercials. Following its appearance in a 1987 Levi's commercial in the U.K., the single was re-released and climbed to number two. Two years later, he won the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Career Achievement Award. Sledge was able to turn this revived popularity into a successful career by touring constantly, playing over 100 shows a year into the '90s. In 1994, he released Blue Night, his first collection of new material in over a decade, to uniformly positive reviews, and after the turn of the millennium he returned with Shining Through the Rain in 2004. The following year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Percy Sledge died in April 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 73.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Percy Sledge - 1968 - When A Man Loves A Woman FLAC


Love Me Tender/Take Time To Know Her/Warm And Tender Love/When A Man Loves A Woman



Sledge was born on November 25, 1941, in Leighton, Alabama. He worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.



Sledge's soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages". "When a Man Loves a Woman" was Sledge's first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. According to Sledge, the inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached No. 1 in the US and went on to become an international hit. When a Man Loves a Woman" was a hit twice in the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at No. 2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge's career, and was followed by "Warm and Tender Love" (covered by British singer Elkie Brooks in 1981), "It Tears Me Up", "Take Time to Know Her" (his second biggest US hit, reaching No. 11, the song's lyric was written by Steve Davis), "Love Me Tender", and "Cover Me".

Sledge charted with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

P.J. Proby - 1966 - Maria FLAC


Mission Bell/Let The Water Run Down/She Cried/Maria



 Born and mostly raised in Texas, rock & roller P.J. Proby never really hit it big in his homeland, but his trouser-busting stage antics helped make him a genuine pop star in England at the height of the British Invasion. Proby was born James Marcus Smith in Houston on November 6, 1938, and grew up listening to country and black gospel; later on, he became fascinated by rockabilly, and his stepsister even dated the young Elvis Presley. After graduating from military school in 1957, he moved to Hollywood hoping to make it in the music business. Through his boyhood friend, teen-idol singer Tommy Sands, Smith made some connections that included songwriter Sharon Sheeley (who was dating Eddie Cochran and had written "Poor Little Fool" for Rick Nelson), and he soon began recording singles under the name Jett Powers, with little success. In the meantime, he worked as a demo singer and also did a bit of acting, appearing in several Westerns and an episode of Gunsmoke.



Meanwhile, Smith was working on his own original songs, which earned him a composition contract with Liberty at the end of 1959; his material was recorded by Johnny Burnette ("Clown Shoes"), the Searchers, Leroy Van Dyke, Rick Nelson, and Jackie DeShannon, among others. He also briefly joined producer Kim Fowley's studio group the Hollywood Argyles in 1960. In 1961, Smith (probably wisely) changed his alias from Jett Powers to P.J. Proby, the name of a childhood friend of Sharon Sheeley. Proby cut several singles from 1961-1963, ranging from rock to pop to country, again without much luck or promotion. With the single "Wicked Woman," he even resorted to changing his name to Orville Woods in hopes of getting played on R&B radio stations.

 Finally, in late 1963, Proby met British producer Jack Good, who happened to be putting together a TV special on the Beatles that was to feature several other up-and-coming artists. Proby's demo tape impressed Beatles manager Brian Epstein enough for him to make the cut, and Good outfitted Proby as an aristocratic fop, complete with ponytail, frilly shirt, tight velvet pants, and buckled shoes. After the special aired worldwide, Proby's first British single, "Hold Me" -- a rocked-up rearrangement of a 1939-vintage pop ballad associated with Dick Haymes -- rocketed into the U.K. Top Five in early 1964. Proby's next two singles, "Together" and West Side Story's "Somewhere," took a similar tack, and both reached the British Top Ten as well. In early 1965, Proby was booked as part of a package tour, and on one of the London dates in late January, his pants ripped open from the knee all the way up. Proby claimed it was an accident, but when the same thing happened at the next show (much to the audience's delight), the censors descended and banned Proby from performing on television or in theaters. Rushed out shortly after the ban, "I Apologise" just missed the Top Ten, though his detractors didn't take its sentiments to heart.

 Proby continued to release singles over the next two years, scoring another Top Ten hit with another West Side Story cover, "Maria," in late 1965. (Oddly, the preceding single, "That Means a Lot," flopped despite being penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.) The lack of promotional opportunities began to hurt Proby's chart placements, though, and he was also beset with financial problems. He attempted to crack the American market in 1967 and actually did land a Top 40 hit with "Niki Hoeky," which proved to be the extent of his success in his native country. Proby was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1968; in 1969, he recorded an album, Three Week Hero, that featured studio backing from all four future members of Led Zeppelin. By this time, though, the hits had dried up. Thanks to Jack Good, Proby appeared in Catch My Soul, a musical version of Othello, in 1970, and subsequently became a regular on Britain's cabaret circuit.

 In 1973, Proby cut a less-than-stellar album, I'm Yours, under somewhat shady circumstances for Ember. He also made headlines with his engagement to Dean Martin's daughter Claudia, and his subsequent arrest for brandishing a shotgun. Proby re-emerged in 1978 to record an album with the Dutch prog rock group Focus, Focus Con Proby, and shortly thereafter starred in a Jack Good-produced musical about Elvis Presley (from which he was fired for improvising). Proby recorded sporadically during the '80s, including a series of more contemporary covers, and was also beset by marital difficulties and occasional run-ins with the law over flashes of temper. He nearly died after collapsing in 1992, and went completely sober afterward; in 1993, he appeared in the Jack Good biographical musical Good Rockin' Tonite, and two years later in the Roy Orbison tribute show Only the Lonely. Proby attempted a recording comeback in 1997 with the EMI album Legend.






Saturday, 15 December 2018

Lesley Gore - 1965 - Lesley Gore FLAC


 It's My Party/She's A Fool/You Don't Own Me/Judy's Turn To Cry




 Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015), known professionally as Lesley Gore, was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16 (in 1963) she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "She's a Fool", "You Don't Own Me", "Maybe I Know" and "California Nights".

Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.

 She was born Lesley Sue Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York City, into a Jewish family, the daughter of Leo Goldstein and Ronny Gore. Her father was the owner of Peter Pan, a children's swimwear and underwear manufacturer, and later became a leading brand licensing agent in the apparel industry. She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, and attended the Dwight School for Girls in nearby Englewood.

When she recorded her version of "It's My Party" with Quincy Jones in 1963, she was a junior in high school. It became a number-one, nationwide hit. Gore's version sold over one million copies and was certified as a gold record. It also marked the beginning of a time when fans would show up on her front lawn.

"It's My Party" was followed by many other hits for Gore, including the sequel, "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US No. 5); "She's a Fool" (US No. 5); the feminist-themed million-selling "You Don't Own Me", which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "That's the Way Boys Are" (US No. 12); "Maybe I Know" (US No. 14/UK No. 20); "Look of Love" (US No. 27); and the Grammy-nominated "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (US No. 13), from the 1965 movie, Ski Party. In 1965 she appeared in the beach party film The Girls on the Beach in which she performed three songs: "Leave Me Alone", "It's Gotta Be You", and "I Don't Want to Be a Loser".

Gore was given first shot at recording "A Groovy Kind of Love" by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine with a melody borrowed from a sonatina by Muzio Clementi, but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Mercury subsidiary Smash Records, refused to let Gore record a song with the word "groovy" in its lyrics. The Mindbenders went on to record it, and it reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

 Gore recorded composer Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", on May 21, 1963, while "It's My Party" was climbing the charts. Her record producer from 1963 to 1965 was Quincy Jones. Jones' dentist was Marvin Hamlisch's uncle, and Hamlisch asked his uncle to convey several songs to Jones. "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" was released on the LP Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts, but did not surface as a single until June 1965. Hamlisch composed three other Gore associated songs: "California Nights", "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" and "One by One". "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" was recorded September 21, 1963, at A&R Studios in New York; it was released as the B-side of "That's the Way Boys Are" and appeared on the LP Boys Boys Boys. "One by One" was an unreleased track recorded on July 31, 1969, in New York and produced by Paul Leka; it first appeared on the Bear Family five-CD anthology of Gore's Mercury work entitled It's My Party (1994).

Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures, and placed in the National Film Registry in 2006. Gore had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including "It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me", and "Judy's Turn to Cry".

 Gore performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman television series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions. In the January 19 episode "That Darn Catwoman", she lip-synched to the Bob Crewe-produced "California Nights", and in the January 25 episode "Scat! Darn Catwoman" she lip-synched to "Maybe Now". "California Nights", which Gore recorded for her 1967 album of the same name, returned her to the upper reaches of the Hot 100. The single peaked at No.16 in March 1967 (14 weeks on the chart). It was her first top 40 hit since "My Town, My Guy and Me" in late 1965 and her first top 20 since "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows". Gore also performed the single "We Know We're in Love" ten months earlier on the final episode of The Donna Reed Show, which aired on March 19, 1966.

After high school, while continuing to make appearances as a singer, Gore attended Sarah Lawrence College, studying British and American English literature. At college folk music was popularly lauded as 'chic', whereas pop music was often derided as 'uncool.' "Had I been tall with blonde hair, had I been Mary Travers, I would have gotten along fine." She graduated in 1968. 



Gore signed a contract with Mercury Records for five years, which carried her obligations to the company through the spring of 1968. Her last big hit had been twelve months prior to this time, but Mercury still saw promise in her as an artist, and believed that one of her singles would make it, like they had in the past. They offered a one-year extension on the initial contract, and Gore was formally contracted to Mercury for a sixth year. During this time, "He Gives Me Love (La La La)", a single release based on a Eurovision Song Contest winner, rose to #96 on the Music Business charts, while bubbling under the hot 100 in Billboard. Mercury took out a full page ad in the trades to support the single, but its airplay was spotty, becoming a hit in only a few major markets. She was then paired with the successful soul producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell for two singles that took her into the "soul" genre: "I'll Be Standing By" and "Take Good Care (Of My Heart)." These songs did not fit the image Mercury had crafted for her, and the singles were not played. Her contract with Mercury ended after the release of "98.6/Lazy Day" and "Wedding Bell Blues" failed to make headway on the charts.

In 1970, she signed with Crewe Records and was reunited with producer Bob Crewe, who had produced her album California Nights. None of the Crewe releases charted.



                                                          Lesley with Bob Crewe




James Brown - 1968 - The Incredible James Brown FLAC


Night Train/Love Don't Love Nobody/You've Got The Power/Think



"Night Train" is a twelve-bar blues instrumental standard first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951.
James Brown recorded "Night Train" with his band in 1961. His performance replaced the original lyrics of the song with a shouted list of cities on his East Coast touring itinerary (and hosts to black radio stations he hoped would play his music) along with many repetitions of the song's name. (Brown would repeat this lyrical formula on "Mashed Potatoes U.S.A." and several other recordings.) He also played drums on the recording. Originally appearing as a track on the album James Brown Presents His Band and Five Other Great Artists, it received a single release in 1962 and became a hit, charting #5 R&B and #35 Pop.

A live version of the tune was the closing number on Brown's 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Brown also performs "Night Train" along with his singing group the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth) on the 1964 motion picture/concert film The T.A.M.I. Show.

"You've Got the Power" is a song written by James Brown and Famous Flames member Johnny Terry and recorded by Brown with Bea Ford as a duet in 1960. Released as the B-side of Brown and the Famous Flames' hit recording of "Think", it also charted, reaching #14 R&B and #86 Pop. It was Brown's first recorded duet and his first hit B-side. Brown briefly performs the song in a medley on his 1963 album Live at the Apollo.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

B. Bumble And The Stingers - 1962 - Instumental FLAC


Bumble Boogie/Boogie Woogie/School Day Blues/Near You




B. Bumble and the Stingers were an American instrumental ensemble in the early 1960s, who specialized in rock and roll arrangements of classical melodies. Their biggest hits were "Bumble Boogie", which reached number 21 in the US, and "Nut Rocker", which reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in 1962. The recordings were made by session musicians at Rendezvous Records in Los Angeles, but when they became successful a touring group was formed led by R. C. Gamble (3 November 1941 – 2 August 2008) as "Billy Bumble".

In 1959, Earl Palmer, René Hall and Plas Johnson, all African American musicians from Louisiana, were the house band at Rendezvous Records. According to Palmer, the three friends “always talked about how we could make some money and not leave the studio. One day I said, 'Let's do a rock version of "In the Mood"'. The single, credited to the Ernie Fields Orchestra, became a hit, reaching # 4 on the US pop charts in early 1960.

Hall then came up with the idea for B. Bumble and the Stingers, taking the same approach to a piece of classical music. Prompted by record producer Kim Fowley, he approached pianist Jack Fina, whose 1946 swing arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee" for Freddy Martin and his Orchestra, called "Bumble Boogie" (RCA Victor 20-1829), had reached # 7 on the charts and been used in the 1948 Walt Disney animated film Melody Time. Using Fina's arrangement, Fowley recorded pianist Ernie Freeman on two tracks, one using a grand piano for the rhythm part, while the other featured a "tack piano", a modified upright piano with tacks attached to the hammers to create a tinny "honky tonk" sound. The other musicians on the session, at Gold Star Studios, were Palmer on drums, Red Callender on bass, and Tommy Tedesco on guitar.

"Bumble Boogie" went to # 21 on the Billboard charts in June 1961. Because the session musicians all had other studio commitments, a teen band from Ada, Oklahoma, who had played no part in the recording itself, were recruited to handle promotion and public appearances. Their names were given as Fred Richards, Don Orr, and "B. Bumble", a pseudonym for guitarist R. C. Gamble.

 Follow-up records "Boogie Woogie", with Freeman's tack piano double tracked, and "Caravan", were less successful, and Rendezvous seemed to lose interest in B. Bumble and the Stingers. Fowley then secured the copyright to an arrangement of the march from Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker, and took this to local entrepreneur and pianist H. B. Barnum, who recorded it under the name "Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks" on the small Del Rio label. When Rod Pierce of Rendezvous heard it, he convinced Fowley that his label could do a better version with their own band.

A recording date was quickly arranged, but on the day, Freeman did not appear. In his place, guitarist and arranger René Hall rushed pianist Al Hazan into the Rendezvous office, which was rigged up as an improvised studio. According to Hazan, "Rod decided to record the first take while I was still trying to practice the piece with the other musicians. Because I was so rushed to learn 'Nut Rocker', I was not happy at all with my performance on that first take. However, in spite of my asking Rod to let me do it over again, he said he liked it just fine the way it was." Released as "Nut Rocker" in February 1962, the record went to # 23 in the US and # 1 in the UK.[1] Del Rio struck a deal with Randy Wood of Dot Records and re-released what they were now calling "(The Original) Nut Rocker" by Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks, but it was not a hit.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Dionne Warwick - 1967 - The Windows Of The World FLAC


The Windows Of The World/Walk Little Dolly/(I Never Knew) What You Were Up To/Blowing In The Wind



Dionne Warwick, original name Marie Dionne Warrick, Warwick also spelled Warwicke, (born December 12, 1940, East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.), American pop and rhythm and blues (R&B) singer whose soulful sound earned her widespread appeal. She is perhaps best known for her collaborations with such high-profile artists as Burt Bacharach and Barry Manilow.

Warrick was raised in a middle-class, racially integrated community in East Orange, New Jersey. Her family was both spiritually and musically inclined—her mother managed a renowned gospel choir, the Drinkard Singers, and her father became a gospel record promoter—and Dionne, as everyone called her, began singing in church at a young age. She often played piano or organ for the Drinkard Singers, and she sometimes sang in place of absent adult members. As a teen, she formed a group called the Gospelaires with her sister, Dee Dee. The group enjoyed relative success, singing backup for a number of musicians in local venues and on recordings. Warrick continued to perform with the Gospelaires after enrolling at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1959. She often made trips to New York to record with the group, and during one of these sessions she met composer and producer Burt Bacharach, who invited her to sing on some demos he was recording with lyricist Hal David. Her singing caught the attention of an executive at Scepter Records, and Warrick was soon signed to the label. In 1962 she released her first single—“I Smiled Yesterday,” with the more popular B side “Don’t Make Me Over”—written and produced by Bacharach and David. Warrick’s surname was misspelled as “Warwick” on the record, and she adopted the mistake as her name thereafter.

 
 The single proved relatively successful, and Warwick subsequently began touring worldwide. In the mid-1960s she began appearing in popular nightclubs and theatres and also on television, including appearances on Hullabaloo and The Red Skelton Hour. Warwick continued to release hit singles and albums throughout the 1960s, largely collaborations with Bacharach and David. Top 10 singles from this period included “Walk On By” (1964), “I Say a Little Prayer” (1967), and “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls” (1968), the latter of which, by reaching number two on the Billboard pop chart, pushed Warwick further into the spotlight. In 1969 she earned her first Grammy Award, for best female contemporary pop vocal performance, for “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” (1968). A second Grammy, for best female contemporary vocal performance, followed two years later for “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”

After a decade of successful collaborations, Bacharach, David, and Warwick quarreled and parted ways. From 1971 Warwick rendered her surname “Warwicke” on the advice of astrologer friend Linda Goodman but reverted the spelling to “Warwick” some five years later. She had few hits for the majority of the 1970s, with the notable exception of “Then Came You” (1974), a collaboration with the Spinners that topped the charts. Her popularity increased once more in 1979 with the songs “Deja Vu” and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” which garnered her Grammy Awards for best female R&B vocal performance and best female pop vocal performance, respectively. She maintained this popularity through the 1980s, and during that time she eventually reconciled with Bacharach, performing on his “That’s What Friends Are For” (1985), which also featured Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. The song, the proceeds of which went to funding AIDS research, earned Warwick her fifth Grammy.


 Warwick’s commercial success dwindled in the 1990s, and she instead gained attention as the spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network, hosting their infomercials. In addition to her music, Warwick devoted much of her time to entrepreneurial endeavours—including a skin care and fragrance line and an interior design group—and to charity projects.

Warwick continued to record into the 21st century. Her releases included the gospel album Why We Sing (2008) and two collections of duets, My Friends & Me (2006), on which she sang her old hits with such artists as Cyndi Lauper and Reba McEntire, and Feels So Good (2014), on which her partners included Jamie Foxx and Cee Lo Green. In 2010 she published an autobiography, My Life, As I See It (cowritten with David Freeman Wooley).

The Ventures - 1962 - Play Telstar And Lonely Bull FLAC


Telstar/Red River Rock/The Lonely Bull/Percolator



The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. The band, a quartet for most of its existence, helped to popularize the electric guitar in the United States and across the world during the 1960s. While their popularity in the United States waned in the 1970s, the group remains especially revered in Japan, where they tour regularly to this day. The classic lineup of the band consisted of Wilson (rhythm guitar), Bogle (initially lead guitar, switched to bass), Nokie Edwards (initially bass, switched to lead guitar), and Mel Taylor (drums).

Their first wide-release single, "Walk, Don't Run", brought international fame to the group, and is often cited as one of the top songs ever recorded for guitar. In the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band's albums charted in the US, ranking them as the 6th best album chart performer during the 1960s, and the band had 14 singles in the Billboard Hot 100. With over 100 million records sold, the Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time.

The Ventures have had an enduring impact on the development of music worldwide. The band was among the first to employ and popularize fuzz and flanging guitar effects, concept albums, and twelve-string guitars in rock music. Their instrumental virtuosity, innovation, and unique sound influenced a large number of musicians and bands, earning the group the moniker "The Band that Launched a Thousand Bands". Their recording of "Walk, Don't Run" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its lasting impact, and in 2008 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Shangri-Las - 1968 - Leader of the Pack FLAC


Leader of the Pack/Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)/ I Can Never Go Home Anymore/Give Him a Great Big Kiss



The Shangri-Las, American girl group whose string of hits in the mid-1960s included the bad-boy anthem “Leader of the Pack” (1964). The group was formed in 1963 by two pairs of sisters: Mary Weiss (b. 1946, Queens, N.Y., U.S.) and Betty Weiss (byname of Elizabeth Weiss; b. 1948, Queens, N.Y.) and twins Margie Ganser (byname of Marguerite Ganser; b. Feb. 4, 1948, Queens, N.Y.—d. July 28, 1996, Valley Stream, N.Y.) and Mary-Ann Ganser (b. Feb. 4, 1948, Queens, N.Y.—d. March 14, 1970, Queens).


The quartet, who all attended the same high school in Queens, began performing at area nightclubs in 1963 and had achieved some local success when they were noticed by producer George (“Shadow”) Morton. Morton, who was auditioning for work with the newly formed Red Bird label, recruited the Shangri-Las to perform his song “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” The label promptly hired Morton and signed the Shangri-Las to a recording contract. With Mary in the lead, and the others providing backing vocals, a reworked version of “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” reached the Top Five in the summer of 1964. Morton then enlisted songwriting veterans at the Brill Building to provide the group with material. The Shangri-Las’ next single proved to be their defining hit. “Leader of the Pack,” which topped the charts in 1964, was a tale of rebellion punctuated by the crack of a motorcycle engine. Around that time, Betty left the band, but the Shangri-Las continued as a trio, touring throughout 1965–66 and scoring a Top Ten hit with “I Can Never Go Home Anymore” (1965). Red Bird folded in 1966, and the Shangri-Las, unable to find success at another label, disbanded two years later.

Friday, 26 October 2018

The Everly Brothers - 1958 - They're Off And Rolling FLAC


Maybe Tomorrow/Brand New Heartache/I Wonder If I Care As Much/Hey Doll Baby



The Everly Brothers were not only among the most important and best early rock & roll stars, but also among the most influential rockers of any era. They set unmatched standards for close, two-part harmonies and infused early rock & roll with some of the best elements of country and pop music. Their legacy was and is felt enormously in all rock acts that employ harmonies as prime features, from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to legions of country-rockers as well as roots rockers like Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe (who once recorded an EP of Everlys songs together).

Don (born February 1, 1937) and Phil (born January 19, 1939) were professionals way before their teens, schooled by their accomplished guitarist father Ike, and singing with their family on radio broadcasts in Iowa. In the mid-'50s, they made a brief stab at conventional Nashville country with Columbia. When their single flopped, they were cast adrift for quite a while until they latched onto Cadence. Don invested their first single for the label, "Bye Bye Love," with a Bo Diddley beat that helped lift the song to number two in 1957.


"Bye Bye Love" began a phenomenal three-year string of classic hit singles for Cadence, including "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Bird Dog," "('Til) I Kissed You," and "When Will I Be Loved." The Everlys sang of young love with a heart-rending yearning and compelling melodies. The harmonies owed audible debts to Appalachian country music, but were imbued with a keen modern pop sensibility that made them more accessible without sacrificing any power or beauty. They were not as raw as the wild rockabilly men from Sun Records, but they could rock hard when they wanted. Even their midtempo numbers and ballads were executed with a force missing in the straight country and pop tunes of the era. The duo enjoyed a top-notch support team of producer Archie Bleyer, great Nashville session players like Chet Atkins, and the brilliant songwriting team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Don, and occasionally Phil, wrote excellent songs of their own as well.
 
 In 1960, the Everlys left Cadence for a lucrative contract with the then-young Warner Bros. label (though it's not often noted, the Everlys would do a lot to establish Warners as a major force in the record business). It's sometimes been written that the duo never recaptured the magic of their Cadence recordings, but actually Phil and Don peaked both commercially and artistically with their first Warners releases. "Cathy's Clown," their first Warners single, was one of their greatest songs and a number one hit. Their first two Warners LPs, employing a fuller and brasher production than their Cadence work, were not just among their best work, but two of the best rock albums of the early '60s. The hits kept coming for a couple of years, some great ("Walk Right Back," "Temptation"), some displaying a distressing, increasing tendency toward soft pop and maudlin sentiments ("Ebony Eyes," "That's Old Fashioned").



Don and Phil's personal lives came under a lot of stress in the early '60s: they enlisted into the Marine Corps Reserves (together), and studied acting for six months but never made a motion picture. More seriously, Don developed an addiction to speed and almost died of an overdose in late 1962. By that time, their career as chart titans in the U.S. had ended; "That's Old Fashioned" (1962) was their last Top Ten hit. Their albums became careless, erratic affairs, which was all the more frustrating because many of their flop singles of the time were fine, even near-classic efforts that demonstrated they could still deliver the goods.



 
Virtually alone among first-generation rock & roll superstars, the Everlys stuck with no-nonsense rock & roll and remained determined to keep their sound contemporary, rather than drifting toward soft pop or country like so many others. Although their mid-'60s recordings were largely ignored in America, they contained some of their finest work, including a ferocious Top 40 single in 1964 ("Gone, Gone, Gone"). They remained big stars overseas -- in 1965, "Price of Love" went to number two in the U.K. at the height of the British Invasion. They incorporated jangling Beatle/Byrdesque guitars into some of their songs and recorded a fine album with the Hollies (who were probably more blatantly influenced by the Everlys than any other British band of the time). In the late '60s, they helped pioneer country-rock with the 1968 album Roots, their most sophisticated and unified full-length statement. None of this revived their career as hitmakers, though they could always command huge audiences on international tours and hosted a network TV variety show in 1970.

 
 The decades of enforced professional togetherness finally took their toll on the pair in the early '70s, which saw a few dispirited albums and, finally, an acrimonious breakup in 1973. They spent the next decade performing solo, which only proved -- as is so often the case in close-knit artistic partnerships -- how much each brother needed the other to sound his best. In 1983, enough water had flowed under the bridge for the two to resume performing and recording together. The tours, with a backup band led by guitarist Albert Lee, proved they could still sing well. The records (both live and studio) were fair efforts that, in the final estimation, were not in nearly the same league as their '50s and '60s classics, although Paul McCartney penned a small hit single for them ("On the Wings of a Nightingale"). One of the more successful and dignified reunions in the rock annals, the Everlys continued to perform live, although they didn't release albums together after the late '80s. Phil Everly died on January 3, 2014 from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; he was 74 years old.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Jerry Lee Lewis - 1965 - Whole Lotta Shakin FLAC


Whole Lotta Shaking Going On/Great Balls Of Fire/High Heel Sneakers/High School Confidential


 Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock & roll's first great wild man."

A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis. "Crazy Arms" sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with "Great Balls of Fire", "Breathless" and "High School Confidential". However, Lewis's rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin.

 He had minimal success in the charts following the scandal, and his popularity quickly eroded. His live performance fees plummeted from $10,000 per night to $250. In the meantime he was determined to gain back some of his popularity. In the early 1960s, he did not have much chart success, with few exceptions, such as a remake of Ray Charles's "What'd I Say". His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic. His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by music journalists and fans as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever. In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as "Another Place, Another Time". This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis has had 30 songs reach the top 10 on the "Billboard Country and Western Chart". His No. 1 country hits included "To Make Love Sweeter for You", "There Must Be More to Love Than This", "Would You Take Another Chance on Me", and "Me and Bobby McGee".



Lewis's successes continued throughout the decade and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" and Mack Vickery's "Rockin' My Life Away". In the 21st century Lewis continues to tour around the world and still releases new albums. His album Last Man Standing is his best selling to date, with over a million copies sold worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man, which has received some of the best sales of Lewis's career.





Lewis has a dozen gold records in both rock and country. He won several Grammy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid. In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology number 242 on their list of "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2004, they ranked him number 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Lewis is the last surviving member of Sun Records' Million Dollar Quartet and the Class of '55 album, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley.

Dion - 1962 - Twist With Dion FLAC


Runaround Sue/Dream Lover/The Majestic/ Kansas City



Bridging the era between late-'50s rock and the British Invasion, Dion DiMucci (born July 18, 1939) was one of the top white rock singers of his time, blending the best elements of doo wop, teen idol, and R&B styles. Some revisionists have tried to cast him as a sort of early blue-eyed soul figure, although he was probably more aligned with pop/rock, at first as the lead singer of the Belmonts, and then as a solo star. Drug problems slowed him down in the mid-'60s, yet he made some surprisingly interesting progressions into blues-rock and folk-rock as the decade wore on, culminating in a successful comeback in the late '60s, although he was unable to sustain its commercial and artistic momentum for long.

When Dion began recording in the late '50s, it was as the lead singer of a group of friends who sang on Bronx street corners. Billing themselves Dion & the Belmonts (Dion had released a previous single with the Timberlanes), their first few records were prime Italian-American doo wop; "I Wonder Why" was their biggest hit in this style. Dion's biggest single with the Belmonts was "A Teenager in Love," which pointed the way for the slightly self-pitying, pained odes to adolescence and early adulthood that would characterize much of his solo work.

 Dion went solo in 1960 (the Belmonts did some more doo wop recordings on their own), moving from doo wop to more R&B/pop-oriented tunes with great success. He handled himself with a suave, cocky ease on hits like "The Wanderer," "Runaround Sue," "Lovers Who Wander," "Ruby Baby," and "Donna the Prima Donna," which cast him as either the jilted, misunderstood youngster or the macho lover, capable of handling anything that came his way (especially on "The Wanderer").

In 1963, Dion moved from Laurie to the larger Columbia label, an association that started promisingly with a couple of big hits right off the bat, "Ruby Baby" and "Donna the Prima Donna." By the mid-'60s, his heroin habit (which he'd developed as a teenager) was getting the best of him, and he did little recording and performing for about five years. When he did make it into the studio, he was moving in some surprisingly bluesy directions; although much of it was overlooked or unissued at the time, it can be heard on the Bronx Blues reissue CD.

 In 1968, he kicked heroin and re-emerged as a gentle folk-rocker with a number four hit single, "Abraham, Martin and John." Dion would focus upon mature, contemporary material on his late-'60s and early-'70s albums, which were released to positive critical feedback, if only moderate sales. The folk phase didn't last long; in 1972 he reunited with the Belmonts and in the mid-'70s cut a disappointing record with Phil Spector as producer. He recorded and performed fairly often in the years that followed (sometimes singing Christian music), to indifferent commercial results. But his critical rep has risen steadily since the early '60s, with many noted contemporary musicians showering him with praise and citing his influence, such as Dave Edmunds (who produced one of his periodic comeback albums) and Lou Reed (who guested on that record). 


Dion continued to be active as the 21st century opened, releasing Déjà Nu in 2000, Under the Influence in 2005, and Bronx in Blue in 2006. His first major-label album since 1989's Yo Frankie, Son of Skip James was released by Verve in 2007, while 2008's Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock saw him tackling 15 songs from the classic rock & roll era. Influenced by a conversation with rock critic Dave Marsh about his long and still relevant career, and a dare from his wife Susan to prove it, Dion cut Tank Full of Blues, producing and playing the guitars himself on the recording and writing or co-writing all but one track on the set. Issued on Blue Horizon, it is the final recording in the trilogy that began with Bronx in Blue.

Dion signed to Instant Records in 2015 and immediately set to recording a new studio album. Entitled New York Is My Home, its first single and title track -- a duet with Paul Simon -- was pre-released in November digitally and as a striking video. The album was issued in the winter of 2016. 


Then the singer/songwriter and Norton Records surprised everyone. In 1965, DiMucci was signed to Columbia, and had cut 15 new songs -- all produced by Tom Wilson, who was recording Bob Dylan in the same studios at roughly the same time -- for an album that the label, for whatever reason, decided not to release. Dion left the label over the decision. Some tracks were issued on singles, others later on various compilations. But for over 50 years, the tapes sat. That's where Norton's Miriam Linna and Billy Miller came in. They received the rights to release the entire record as it was originally intended, completely remastered from the original tapes. Featuring ten originals, one by Mort Shuman (who had co-written "Teenager in Love" with Doc Pomus for Dion & the Belmonts), and three by Dylan (who had been enamored with Dion since the '50s). Though Miller passed before it was issued, Kickin' Child: The Lost Columbia Album 1965 was released by the label in May 2017.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Hollies - 1964 - The Hollies FLAC


 Rockin' Robin/What Kind of Love/Whatcha Gonna Do 'Bout It/When I'm Not There



The Hollies, five-piece rock group from Manchester, England, that enjoyed many hits in the 1960s both before and after losing singer-guitarist Graham Nash to a more-celebrated partnership with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young. The principal members were Allan Clarke (b. April 5, 1942, Salford, Lancashire, England), Graham Nash (b. February 2, 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire), Tony Hicks (b. December 16, 1943, Nelson, Lancashire), Eric Haydock (b. February 3, 1943, Burnley, Lancashire), Bernie Calvert (b. September 16, 1943, Burnley), and Terry Sylvester (b. January 8, 1947, Liverpool, Merseyside).

Like most of their contemporaries in the British beat boom, the Hollies found their earliest influences in American rhythm-and-blues artists. Their first hits in the United Kingdom, in 1963–64, were with cover versions of the Coasters’ “(Ain’t That) Just Like Me” and “Searchin’,” Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay,” and Doris Troy’s “Just One Look.” Under the influence of Bob Dylan, however, their approach broadened, including diluted elements of folk music, to the particular benefit of Clarke.
 
 A strong lead singer, he received fine support from the harmony singing of Hicks, Nash, and, after the latter’s departure in 1968, Sylvester on “Here I Go Again” (1964), “I’m Alive” (1965), “Bus Stop” (1966, their first entry into the American top 10), and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969). At their best the Hollies established a clear balance between the various components at play in their music, developing (like their Liverpool contemporaries the Searchers) a style that provided a useful template for a new generation of power pop groups, many of them American, such as the Raspberries and the Rubinoos. Unlike most groups of their vintage, the Hollies had their greatest successes in the 1970s, with “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)” (1972) and “The Air That I Breathe” (1974). The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Johnny Winter - 1970 - Rollin' and Tumblin' FLAC


Rollin' and Tumblin'/Bad Luck and Trouble/Broke Down Engine/Black Cat Bone




Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas, on February 23, 1944. Winter and younger brother Edgar (born 1946) were nurtured at an early age by their parents in musical pursuits. Johnny and his brother, both of whom were born with albinism, began performing at an early age. When he was ten years old, the brothers appeared on a local children's show with Johnny playing ukulele.





 His recording career began at the age of fifteen, when his band Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to see performances by classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland. In the early days, Winter would sometimes sit in with Roy Head and the Traits when they performed in the Beaumont area, and in 1967, Winter recorded a single with the Traits: "Tramp" backed with "Parchman Farm" (Universal Records 30496). In 1968, he released his first album The Progressive Blues Experiment, on Austin's Sonobeat Records.


Winter caught his biggest break in December 1968, when Mike Bloomfield, whom he met and jammed with in Chicago, invited him to sing and play a song during a Bloomfield and Al Kooper concert at the Fillmore East in New York City. As it happened, representatives of Columbia Records (which had released the Top Ten Bloomfield/Kooper/Stills Super Session album) were at the concert. Winter played and sang B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" to loud applause and, within a few days, was signed to what was reportedly the largest advance in the history of the recording industry at that time—$600,000.




Winter's first Columbia album, Johnny Winter, was recorded and released in 1969. It featured the same backing musicians with whom he had recorded The Progressive Blues Experiment, bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, plus Edgar Winter on keyboards and saxophone, and (for his "Mean Mistreater") Willie Dixon on upright bass and Big Walter Horton on harmonica. The album featured a few selections that became Winter signature songs, including his composition "Dallas" (an acoustic blues, on which Winter played a steel-bodied, resonator guitar), John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's "Good Morning Little School Girl", and B.B. King's "Be Careful with a Fool".

The album's success coincided with Imperial Records picking up The Progressive Blues Experiment for wider release. The same year, the Winter trio toured and performed at several rock festivals, including Woodstock. With brother Edgar added as a full member of the group, Winter also recorded his second album, Second Winter, in Nashville in 1969. The two-record album, which only had three recorded sides (the fourth was blank), introduced a couple more staples of Winter's concerts, including Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited". Also at this time Johnny entered into an intimate, albeit short-lived affair with Janis Joplin, which culminated in a concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, where Johnny joined her on stage to sing and perform.

 
In 1970, when his brother Edgar released a solo album Entrance and formed Edgar Winter's White Trash, an R&B/jazz-rock group, the original trio disbanded. Johnny Winter then formed a new band with the remnants of the McCoys—guitarist Rick Derringer, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Z (who was Derringer's brother, their family name being Zehringer). Originally to be called "Johnny Winter and the McCoys", the name was shortened to "Johnny Winter And", which was also the name of their first album. The album included Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" and signaled a more rock-oriented direction for Winter. When Johnny Winter And began to tour, Randy Z was replaced with drummer Bobby Caldwell. Their mixture of the new rock songs with Winter's blues songs was captured on the live album Live Johnny Winter And. It included a new performance of "It's My Own Fault", the song which brought Winter to the attention of Columbia Records.


 Winter's momentum was throttled when he sank into heroin addiction during the Johnny Winter And days. After he sought treatment for and recovered from the addiction, Winter was courageously put in front of the music press by manager Steve Paul to discuss the addiction candidly. By 1973, he returned to the music scene with the release of Still Alive and Well, a basic blend between blues and hard rock, whose title track was written by Rick Derringer. His comeback concert at Long Island, New York's Nassau Coliseum featured the "And" line-up minus Rick Derringer and Bobby Caldwell. Also performing on stage was Johnny's wife Susie. Saints & Sinners and John Dawson Winter III, two albums released in 1974, continue in the same direction. In 1975, Johnny returned to Bogalusa, Louisiana, to produce an album for Thunderhead, a Southern rock band which included Pat Rush and Bobby "T" Torello, who would later play with Winter. A second live Winter album, Captured Live!, was released in 1976 and features an extended performance of "Highway 61 Revisited".



 In live performances, Winter often told the story about how, as a child, he dreamed of playing with the blues guitarist Muddy Waters. He got his chance in 1974, when renowned blues artists and their younger brethren came together to honor the musician (Muddy Waters) responsible for bringing blues to Chicago, and the resulting concert presented many blues classics and was the start of an admired TV series: Soundstage (this particular session was called "Blues Summit in Chicago"). And in 1977, after Waters' long-time label Chess Records went out of business, Winter brought Waters into the studio to record Hard Again for Blue Sky Records, a label set up by Winter's manager and distributed by Columbia. In addition to producing the album, Winter played guitar with Waters veteran James Cotton on harmonica. Winter produced two more studio albums for Waters, I'm Ready (with Big Walter Horton on harmonica) and King Bee and a best-selling live album Muddy "Mississippi" Waters – Live. The partnership produced three Grammy Awards for Waters and an additional Grammy for Winter's own Nothin' But the Blues, with backing by members of Waters' band. Waters told Deep Blues author Robert Palmer that Winter had done remarkable work in reproducing the sound and atmosphere of Waters's vintage Chess Records recordings of the 1950s. 


 After his time with Blue Sky Records, Winter began recording for several labels, including Alligator, Point Blank, and Virgin, where he focused on blues-oriented material. In 1992, he married Susan Warford. In 2004, he received a Grammy Award nomination for his I'm a Bluesman album. Beginning in 2007, a series of live Winter albums titled the Live Bootleg Series and a live DVD all entered the Top 10 Billboard Blues chart. In 2009, The Woodstock Experience album was released, which includes eight songs that Winter performed at the 1969 festival. In 2011, Johnny Winter released Roots on Megaforce Records. It includes Winter's interpretation of eleven early blues and rock 'n' roll classics and features several guest artists (Vince Gill, Sonny Landreth, Susan Tedeschi, Edgar Winter, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks). His last studio album, Step Back (which features appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Brian Setzer, Dr. John, Paul Nelson, Ben Harper and Joe Perry), was released on September 2, 2014. Nelson and Winter won a Grammy Award in the Best Blues Album category for Step Back in 2015. Nelson said Winter knew it was an award winner and Winter told him "If we don't win a Grammy for this, they're nuts." 


 Winter continued to perform live, including at festivals throughout North America and Europe. He headlined such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, the 2009 Sweden Rock Festival, the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Rockpalast. He also performed with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in New York City on the 40th anniversary of their debut. In 2007 and 2010, Winter performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Two guitar instructional DVDs were produced by Cherry Lane Music and the Hal Leonard Corporation. The Gibson Guitar Company released the signature Johnny Winter Firebird guitar in a ceremony in Nashville with Slash presenting.

Winter was professionally active until the time of his death near Zurich, Switzerland, on July 16, 2014. He was found dead in his hotel room two days after his last performance, at the Cahors Blues Festival in France on July 14, at the age of 70. The cause of Winter's death was not officially released. According to his guitarist friend and record producer Paul Nelson, Winter died of emphysema combined with pneumonia.