Content tagged 'Blues'
Big Joe Is Here (Album of the Day)
Born in 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri, Joseph Vernon Turner Jr. started singing in his teens, and his booming voice helped shape blues, swing and rock 'n' roll across the decades. While performing in New York in 1951, Big Joe Turner was recruited by the then-new Atlantic Records label, for which he cut a string of R&B hits. The 1959 collection BIG JOE IS HERE gathers some of these popular singles (“The Chill Is On,” “Don't You Cry,” “Rock A While”), but the bulk of these 10 tracks emphasize the K.C. jazz of his youth. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer passed away 31 years ago; while his powerful presence is much missed behind the microphone, these passionate sides ensure BIG JOE IS HERE whenever you hit the play button.
Hotline (Album of the Day)
La Bamba (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album of the Day)
Though he was only 17 when he died (in the same plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper), Ritchie Valens was an inspiration for Latino rockers, particularly in his native Los Angeles. So it's only fitting that when producers of a Valens biopic needed to recreate eight of his songs, they turned to L.A.'s own Los Lobos. While the film includes some fine period music, the new recordings on the LA BAMBA original motion picture soundtrack are truly something special; Los Lobos' versions of “Come On, Let's Go!” and the title track became two of the band's biggest hits (Marshall Crenshaw and Brian Setzer also offer wonderful covers of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran classics, respectively). A feel-good look at the early days of rock 'n' roll, both the movie and its music were successful – the LA BAMBA soundtrack reached No.1 on the Billboard album chart on this day in 1987.
All In The Name Of Love (Album of the Day)
Formed in White Plains, New York in the late 1970s, Atlantic Starr relocated to Southern California and recorded a string of albums for A&M Records before switching to Warner Bros. for ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE. Anchored by brothers David, Wayne and Jonathan Lewis, the quintet also featured percussionist Joseph Phillips and Barbara Weathers, whose sultry vocals helped turn ballad “Always” into a No.1 pop single. With such additional gems as R&B Top 10 hit “"One Lover At A Time” and “Armed And Dangerous” (the Maurice White-produced title song for the John Candy film), the 1987 collection couldn't miss, and it became the group's best-selling album. Atlantic Starr singer, songwriter and guitarist David Lewis celebrates a birthday today, and we'll serenade him with the Platinum smash ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE.
AWB (Album of the Day)
The band name may have been self-effacing, but these six white guys – from Scotland, no less – cut one of the funkiest records of the 1970s in AWB. Certainly some of the credit for the band's Atlantic Records debut goes to veteran R&B producer Arif Mardin, but one listen to the set's No.1 hit “Pick Up The Pieces” reveals some serious instrumental chops at work here. In Alan Gorrie and Hamish Stuart, the group also had a pair of talented vocalists, and the original material on this 1974 collection, including such tracks as “Person To Person” and “You Got It,” was tailor-made for dancefloors. Gorrie was born 70 years ago today, and we'll celebrate the birthday with another spin of the chart-topping AWB.
Born Under A Bad Sign (Album of the Day)
La Bamba (Album of the Day)
Though he was only 17 when he died (in the same plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper), Ritchie Valens was an inspiration for Latino rockers, particularly in his native Los Angeles. So it's only fitting that when producers of a Valens biopic needed to recreate eight of his songs, they turned to L.A.'s own Los Lobos. While the film includes some fine period music, the new recordings on the LA BAMBA original motion picture soundtrack are truly something special; Los Lobos' versions of “Come On, Let's Go” and the title track became two of the band's biggest hits (Marshall Crenshaw and Brian Setzer also offer wonderful covers of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran classics, respectively). A feel-good look at the early days of rock 'n' roll, both the movie and its music were successful – the chart-topping LA BAMBA soundtrack was released on this day in 1987.
Brothers in Arms (Album of the Day)
Led by Mark Knopfler's sinuous guitar work and Dylan-esque vocals, British rockers Dire Straits had already built a sizable following by the time they released BROTHERS IN ARMS. And while you wouldn't think such sophisticated sultans of swing would connect with ADD-affected MTV viewers, the album became an international hit thanks to a computer-animated video of “Money For Nothing” (that the collection featured other fine songs like opener “So Far Away” and Top 10 single “Walk Of Life” helped too). On this day in 1985, Dire Straits scored their second U.K. No.1 album with BROTHERS IN ARMS, which would also top the chart in the U.S. and go on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.
King of the Blues Guitar (Mono) (Album of the Day)
Born on this day in 1923, Albert King was a major influence on both blues and rock guitar players. A Mississippi native, he launched his career in Arkansas and performed all over the Midwest, but the guitarist's best recordings were made for the Memphis-based Stax label and feature backing from house band Booker T. & The M.G.'s. THE KING OF THE BLUES GUITAR compilation rounds up the axeman's best '60s sides for Stax, including the classic BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN album (“Laundromat Blues,” “Crosscut Saw”) and six single sides (like the wonderful talking blues “Cold Feet”). If you don't know the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's work, this is the place to start – all hail the King!
One More River To Cross (Album of the Day)
Formed in the mid-1960s by a group of Los Angeles blues aficionados, Canned Heat became the music's ambassadors to the hippie generation, scoring Top 40 hits and performing at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals. After securing their liberty from original label Liberty Records, the band signed to Atlantic for ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS. Cut in 1973 at Muscle Shoals Sound with producers Barry Beckett and Roger Hawkins, the collection features the studio's famed horn section in support, but the sextet's powerful blues-rock remains center-stage throughout, with Bob “The Bear” Hite's vocals and Henry Vestine's guitar work particularly outstanding. The 10 tracks strike an appealing balance between originals (“Bagful Of Boogie,” “I Need Someone,” the supremely funky “You Am What You Am”) and favorites by the likes of Leiber & Stoller and Fats Domino, making ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS an album to warm the heart of any Heat fan.