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Waiting To Exhale SoundtrackMasterfully Produced And All But One Track Written By Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Featured R&B Divas Old School (Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan) And New School (Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J. Blige)
Released In Purple Vinyl (Whitney Houston's Favorite Color)
Waiting to Exhale was a phenomenon on so many levels. First, it was a literary phenomenon, as the 1992 novel launched author Terry McMillan to superstardom. Then, when the feature film based on the book was released in 1995, it became a broader cultural phenomenon-a mainstream Hollywood film focusing on the lives of four African-American women was a genuinely revolutionary act at the time. And, finally, it was a musical phenomenon, as its soundtrack seamlessly blended female R&B divas new school (Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, etc.) and old school (Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan) in a masterful suite of songs composed and produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.
Critical and commercial reaction to the soundtrack was over the top; The New York Times deemed the album one of the Top Ten releases of the year, and the record topped the Billboard Pop and R&B charts for five and ten weeks, respectively, spawning the #1 hit singles "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," "Not Gon' Cry," and "Let It Flow." Yet, because the album came out in 1995 at the height of the CD era, Waiting to Exhale never came out on LP in the U.S., and was released in Europe as a low-budget 2-LP set with both records stuffed inside a single album jacket pocket.
Now, Real Gone Music is releasing this landmark '90s R&B album on vinyl in America for the first time in a limited edition (of 1000) gatefold double-LP package sporting a luminous photo of the movie's four principal actors (Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine) on the inside spread and pristine vinyl pressed in purple (Whitney's favorite color).
Gently pulsating and seductive, Waiting to Exhale is Babyface's masterpiece, one of the great make-out records of all time; now you can get that slow jam groove in the grooves!LP 1
1. Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Whitney Houston
2. Why Does It Hurt So Bad - Whitney Houston
3. Let It Flow - Toni Braxton
4. It Hurts Like Hell - Aretha Franklin
5. Sittin' Up In My Room - Brandy
6. This Is How It Works - TLC
7. Not Gon' Cry - Mary J. Blige
8. My Funny Valentine - Chaka Khan
1. And I Gave My Love To You - Sonja Marie
2. All Night Long - SWV
3. All Night Long - Chante Moore
4. My Love, Sweet Love - Patti LaBelle
5. Kissing You - Faith Evans
6. Love Will Be Waiting At Home - For Real
7. How Could You Call Her Baby - Shanna
8. Count On Me - Whitney Houston & CeCe Winans$35.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Classic Christmas '80s AlbumThe Classic Christmas '80s Album features your favorite holiday songs from the 1980s as performed by Whitney Houston, Hall & Oates, The Waitresses, Wham!, Run-DMC and more!1. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
2. Last Christmas - Wham!
3. Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
4. Christmas in Hollis - RUN-DMC
5. Jingle Bell Rock - Daryl Hall & John Oates
6. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Whitney Houston
7. Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You - Billy Squier
8. Run Rudolph Run - Dave Edmunds
9. Zat You Santa Claus - Buster Poindexter and His Banshees Of Blue
10. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - The Pointer Sisters
11. Christmas Time Is Here - Ray Parker Jr.
12. The Twelve Days of Christmas - Bob & Doug McKenzie
13. This One's for the Children - New Kids On The Block
14. Slick Nick, You Devil You - Fishbone
15. Silent Night - The Hooters$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
With hard-rock guitar riffing and vocal melodies with pop sensibility and memorable choruses, technician/guitarist/composer Tom Scholz and his band Boston topped the international charts with this debut. Until 1986 Boston's debut album was the best selling debut album ever (only to be dethroned by Whitney Houston) with over 17 million units sold in the US alone.
This album contains the international chartbuster More Than A Feeling. When Epic (who signed the band in 1975) demanded the songs should be re-recorded, Tom just rented an L.A. Studio and recorded Brad Delp's vocals there. The rest of the album is just derived from his basement studio demo's.1. More Than A Feeling
2. Peace of Mind
3. Foreplay/Long Time
4. Rock & Roll Band
6. Hitch a Ride
7. Something About You
8. Let Me Take You Home Tonight$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
In The Lonely Hour (Drowning Shadows Edition)Sam Smith has just announced that he is re-releasing his award-winning (and chart-topping) debut album In The Lonely Hour as the new, double-LP set In The Lonely Hour: The Drowning Shadows Edition -- a move that he calls his final bow before his second album.
The release's second LP will be filled with one-off tracks and covers, as well as a brand-new song called Drowning Shadows. Produced by frequent Smith collaborators Jimmy Napes and Steve Fitzmaurice, Drowning Shadows is a stripped back, heart-wrenching ballad per the press release (would you expect anything less?).
Also included are covers of Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, as well as Smith's collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Disclosure, and more.
--Natalie Weiner, billboardLP1
1. Money On My Mind
2. Good Thing
3. Stay With Me
4. Leave Your Lover
5. I'm Not The Only One
6. I've Told You Now
7. Like I Can
8. Life Support
9. Not In That Way
10. Lay Me Down
12. Latch (Acoustic)
13. La La La
14. Make It To Me
1. Drowning Shadows
2. Love Is A Losing Game
4. How Will I Know?
5. Omen (Acoustic) feat. Disclosure
6. Latch feat. Disclosure (Live from Madison Square Garden, New York)
7. Stay With Me Feat. Mary J Blige
8. I'm Not The Only One Feat. A$AP Rocky
9. Lay Me Down Feat. John Legend$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Let Them Fall In LoveThe best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans has long since cemented her status as one of the most accomplished and celebrated women in modern music history. It'd be easy to look back and rest on such illustrious laurels, but Winans has always had her eyes fixed firmly on the future, so it should come as little surprise that she jumped at the opportunity when her son, Alvin Love III, proposed she record the generation-bridging new album 'Let Them Fall In Love.' Her first in nearly a decade, the record finds Winans returning to the studio with gusto, working for roughly three years to craft her most confident, adventurous collection yet.
Recording and performing as both a solo artist and as a duo with her brother BeBe, CeCe has influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists over the course of her astonishing career. Her mantel today holds a staggering 10 GRAMMY Awards, 20 Dove Awards, and 7 Stellar Awards. She's been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more. She's sold in excess of 5 million albums in the US, topping the Gospel charts repeatedly while crossing over with smashes like "Count On Me," her stunning duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum 'Waiting To Exhale' soundtrack, which sold 2 million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts. She touched millions more with inspirational performances everywhere from Oprah to The White House, and even showed off her acting chops on television series like '7th Heaven' and 'Doc.'
While collaborating with family is nothing new for Winans, the recording sessions for 'Let Them Fall In Love" found the Detroit native working for the very first time with her son in the producer's chair.
"Alvin shared with me a vision that he had of a record that was bold and a little different than anything I'd ever done before," remembers Winans. "When I heard the songs he'd been writing, I got so excited. He has great ears and great style and a unique way of writing and thinking things through. It made it extra special that two generations of family were able to come together on this record."
Bringing together generations is Winans' specialty, and she drew inspiration for the album from her extensive work with the young men and women who attend the church she and her husband founded in Nashville.
"It's really important to me to share where I've been and to encourage young people to understand that they can go even further," reflects Winans. "I wanted to make an album that ties us together, something that young people would be able to learn from and be inspired by."
Written primarily by Alvin and co-produced by Alvin along with Winans' long-time collaborator Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt), 'Let Them Fall In Love' was mixed by Dae Bennett (Tony Bennett, Amy Whinehouse, Olivia Newton John) and Jimmy Douglass (Pharrell Williams, Micheal Buble). The album, recorded both in Nashville and New York City, finds Winans more confident than ever before, merging eras and genres in a glorious blend of past and present that simultaneously recalls the heyday of Motown and still sounds undeniably modern. Big band horns meet strings from the Nashville String Machine as Winans' soaring voice hits new heights, fueled in part by the encouragement and motivation of her son.
"Alvin was hard on me in the studio," remembers Winans. "He'd really work me during the songs, and I knew that was a good thing because it meant he was pressing me to get the best performances possible. Now I listen back and I know he was right. It was so important to get the right interpretation of each song."
Winans is able to inhabit each song on the record so fully in part because she's lived their stories. She describes album opener "He's Never Failed Me Yet" as "my personal testimony," "Run To Him" as her frequent act of refuge, and "Marvelous" as a musical embodiment of the black church. On "Hey Devil!," she's joined by fellow gospel powerhouses The Clark Sisters for a playful rebuke of temptation, while "Peace From God" is a prayer for light in an increasingly dark world, and "Lowly" is a lesson about pride and humility aimed at the young men who might need it most. Winans' eclectic ability shines through on the pedal steel country waltz of "Why Me," a song she discovered when she was invited to perform it live with its writer, Kris Kristofferson.
"I ended up getting sick and I couldn't perform it with him at the show, but my son heard it and knew it would be perfect for the album," explains Winans. "It's so different for me in this whole new field of country music, but it spoke to my heart and I felt like it was written just for me."
On the album's other cover, "Dancing in The Spirit," Winans is joined by Hezekiah Walker and his choir for a jubilant celebration, while "Never Have To Be Alone" finds her taking a far more somber approach, singing to the young members of her congregation. It's the album's closer and title track, though, that seems to light Winans up more than any other.
"That was the first song for this album and I knew right away that I wanted the record to be named 'Let Them Fall In Love,'" she explains. "I told my son that it had to be the heartbeat of the album. There's a lot of different styles and a lot of strong messages on there, but all of them are to bring us to this point. It's why I came back and recorded another album, to express my heart and my desire that people young and old can listen and fall in love with the higher power, fall in love with love, and fall in love with faith and joy and peace."1. He's Never Failed Me Yet
2. Run To Him
3. Hey Devil! (feat. The Clark Sisters)
4. Peace From God
5. Why Me
7. Never Have To Be Alone
8. Dancing In The Spirit (feat. Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir)
10. Let Them Fall In Love$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
My Dream DuetsMy Dream Duets gives superstar Barry Manilow the opportunity to fulfill his musical fantasy of singing with many of his heroes.
These duets with some of music's all-time greatest performers is Barry's way of celebrating the legacy of these legendary artists when they were at the
prime of their careers.
Manilow's genius as an arranger shines through when he takes the original vocal performances of these iconic stars and recasts them in duet settings
with newly recorded tracks.
Hearing Barry Manilow's singing in harmony with voices that are instantly recognizable, affords the listener a chance to hear their signature songs in way
that is instantly familiar yet decidedly new.
Through his inspired choice of songs and the way he's interwoven his own vocals with those of his remarkable duet partners, Barry Manilow's My Dream
Duets puts a spotlight on the dynamism of Judy Garland, the raw emotion of Whitney Houston, the sentimental croon of Andy Williams, the electrifying
R&B of Frankie Lymon, the life affirming joy of John Denver, the show-biz pizzaz of Sammy Davis, Jr., the sultry soul of Dusty Springfield, the exuberance
of Jimmy Durante, the warm hearted style of Mama Cass, the seductive whisper of Marilyn Monroe and the ambassadorial good will of Louis Armstrong.
Barry Manilow's My Dream Duets is a testament to the fact that although the singers may be gone, their songs live on forever.1. The Songs Gotta Come From The Heart - Barry Manilow, Jimmy Durante
2. Goody Goody - Barry Manilow, Frankie Lymon
3. Dream A Little Dream Of Me - Barry Manilow, Mama Cass
4. I Believe In You And Me - Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston
5. Sunshine On My Shoulders - Barry Manilow, John Denver
6. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart - Barry Manilow, Judy Garland
7. Moon River - Barry Manilow, Andy Williams
8. The Look Of Love - Barry Manilow, Dusty Springfield
9. The Candyman - Barry Manilow, Sammy Davis, Jr.
10. I Wanna Be Loved By You - Barry Manilow, Marilyn Monroe
11. What A Wonderful World / What A Wonderful Life - Barry Manilow, Louis Armstrong$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
JoleneJolene is Dolly Parton's 13th solo studio album, produced by Bob Ferguson. The title track, Jolene, tells the tale of a housewife confronting a beautiful seductress who she believes is having an affair with her husband. It became Parton's second solo number-one country single; it also was a moderate pop hit for her, and also did well in the United Kingdom. It has been covered by numerous performers.
The album was released around the time Parton was embarking on a solo career, after having spent seven years as part of Porter Wagoner's weekly TV series and road show, and one of the album's songs, I Will Always Love You, was reportedly written to express the remorse Parton felt over the professional breakup. Released as the album's second single, it also became a number-one country single. In 1992, Whitney Houston's version of I Will Always Love You was a mega-hit pop ballad.
Two of the album's songs had been released on previous Parton albums: Early Morning Breeze was a remixed version of a recording which had first appeared on 1971's Coat of Many Colors album (the Jolene version was remixed to more prominently feature the bass and electric steel), while Lonely Coming Down had first appeared on Parton's Wagoner tribute album, My Favorite Songwriter: Porter Wagoner, from 1972.1. Jolene
2. When Someone Wants To Leave
3. River Of Happiness
4. Early Morning Breeze
5. Highlight Of My Life
6. I Will Always Love You
8. Living On Memories Of You
9. Lonely Comin' Down
10. It Must Be You$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Our Version Of EventsOur Version of Events is the debut album by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli SandÉ. The album was released on 13 February 2012 by Virgin Records, following SandÉ's winning of the Critic's Choice Award at the BRIT Awards 2012. Though Our Version of Events is her first release, SandÉ has been active in the industry since 2009, most notable appearing on singles by Chipmunk (Diamond Rings) and Wiley (Never Be Your Woman). The album features R&B and soul music. SandÉ began working on the album when she was eleven years old.
SandÉ began working with Alicia Keys for the album, and for Keys' upcoming album. She also expressed interest in working with Nicki Minaj on the album. Naughty Boy was a major collaboration with SandÉ from the day she began creating music professionally. Mike Spencer, Paul Herman and Professor Green also got involved with the production of the album. She wrote every track on the album, saying that the key to a good song when writing is using honesty and raw emotion. Upon the release of the album, SandÉ's vocal ability has been compared to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, BeyoncÉ and Annie Lennox. Tracey Chapman, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill are all major influences for her album. Madonna also expressed interest in SandÉ's music.
Heaven was released in August 2011, as the first single from the debut album, the song charted at number-two on the UK Singles Chart and later became an international success, charting within the top-ten in many European countries. SandÉ released Read All About It with Professor Green in November 2011, which resulted in her writing Read All About It (Pt. III). Daddy was released in November 2011, which charted at number twenty-one on the UK Singles Chart, however the single also became an international success. Easier in Bed, a non-album promotional single was released onto iTunes in December 2011. Next to Me was the third single released, which became a global hit. Entering the UK Singles Chart at number-two and the Irish Singles Chart at number-one. My Kind of Love was released as the fourth single from the album in June 2012 and appeared on The Voice UK in order to promote the single. Upon release of the album, the album debuted at number-one on the UK Albums Chart and remained at the top spot for five non-consecutive weeks. the British Phonographic Industry certificated the album 2× Platinum, making it the fastest selling album by a British recording artist since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream in 2009.
The album also debuted at number-two on the Irish Albums Chart.
A re-release of the album occurred on 22 October 2012 including three new tracks, a remix and a cover of Imagine (originally by John Lennon), replacing SandÉ's version of Abide with Me. Wonder (a song credited as Naughty Boy featuring Emeli SandÉ which is featured on the US version of the album) is the lead single of the re-release. It also serves as the lead single from collaborator Naughty Boy's album, Hotel Cabana. In September 2012, Our Version of Events became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK overtaking Adele's 21.1. Heaven
2. My Kind Of Love
3. Where I Sleep
6. Daddy (feat. Naughty Boy)
9. Breaking The Law
10. Next To Me
13. Hope$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mack DaddyMack Daddy is the third album from Sir Mix-a-Lot. It was originally released on February 4, 1992, on Def American Recordings and features the hit single, Baby Got Back. The single spent 5 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and sold more than 2 million copies. Only Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You sold better in 1992. Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing this album back on vinyl after being out of print for over 10 years1. One Time's Got No Case
2. Mack Daddy
3. Baby Got Back
4. Swap Meet Louie
5. Seattle Ain't Bullshittin'
7. The Boss Is Back
9. A Rapper's Reputation
10. Sprung On The Cat
11. The Jack Back
12. I'm Your New God
13. No Holds Barred$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SurprisesSurprises is a beautiful Soul Jazz album by flutist Herbie Mann, featuring singer Cissy Houston. Released on Atlantic Records in 1976, the album peaked at #32 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart, #56 on the Billboard R&B Album chart, and #178 on the Billboard 200.
Emily Cissy Houston (born September 30, 1933) is an American Soul and Gospel singer. After a successful career singing backup for (albums of) such artists as Wilson Pickett, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Donnie Hathaway, Paul Simon and Aretha Franklin, she embarked on a solo career, winning two Grammy Awards for her work. She is the mother of the late Whitney Houston, aunt of Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and a cousin of opera singer Leontyne Price.
On September 29, 2014, at 81 years old, Cissy sang backup to a standing-ovation performance with Aretha Franklin of Adele's Rolling in the Deep' and Ain't No Mountain High Enough on the Late Show with David Letterman.
As the '76 liner notes say: Cissy Houston. Only now is she beginning to emerge from her cocoon after so many years with the Drinkards and the Sweet Inspirations. Cissy...is showcased here like a star-in-waiting.1. Draw Your Breaks
2. Cajun Moon
4. Easter Rising
5. Asa Branca
6. The Sound Of Windwood
7. Cricket Dance
8. The Butterfly In A Stone Garden
9. Anata (I Wish You Were Here With Me)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
StillsTwo years following the release of noise-pop duo Gauntlet Hair's self-titled debut LP, the band have announced a follow-up. Titled Stills, it drops July 16 through Dead Oceans.
A press release notes that the band uprooted themselves from Denver and moved back to their hometown of Chicago since the release of Gauntlet Hair. The move apparently spiralled drummer Craig Nice and singer/guitarist Andy R. into a wave of nostalgia, which ultimately influenced their latest song cycle.
I started listening again to the stuff I would have in my discman in the back of my mom's car, Nice said in a statement. White Zombie, Marilyn Manson - the production on those records is so amazing. Nothing sounds like that anymore.
Recorded by Unknown Mortal Orchestra member Jacob Portrait at his Cave studio in Portland, the LP also apparently takes influence from INXS, Depeche Mode and Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), and diffuses all that into a garden of dark delights.1. Human Nature
4. Bad Apple
5. New To It
6. Obey Me
9. Falling Out
10. Waste Your Art$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Love Your Dum And MadApollo Records are proud to announce the hotly anticipated debut album from Nadine Shah. Recorded with and produced by Ben Hillier, (Blur, Depeche Mode, The Horrors), Having set the tone and incredible pace over the past 12 months with two critically acclaimed EPs 'Dreary Town' and 'Aching Bones', Love Your Dum and Mad not only continues to mark Nadine as an emerging talent but offers a complete, beautifully formed artistic statement. Of Norwegian and Pakistani ancestry and hailing from the north east town of Whitburn, this young London based artist's compositions lean towards the dramatic, with all 11 tracks finding themselves imbued with an understated unease, a deep personal connection to their author and a real triumphant streak beneath the darker hued material. Musically, she is reminiscent of early Bad Seeds material and the bruised honesty of a sheen-less Broken English by Marianne Faithful. Vocally, Nadine counts her inspirations as Nina Simone and Maria Callas by way of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, while lyrically her classic tales of love and loss find their roots in personal experiences, filtered through abstracts of William Hogarth, and Frida Kahlo. Nadine has taken these influences and has created a work which blends her rich and husky classic jazz streak with fantastical, organic instrumentation and the twisted industrial sounds of modern life.1. Aching Bones
2. To Be A Young Man
4. The Devil
6. All I Want
7. Used It All
8. Dreary Town
10. Filthy Game
11. Winter Reigns$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!In that mythical era known as the 90's, five brave young men emerged from the legendary halls of some of the mightiest bands on Fat Wreck Chords with a single mission: make all the rest of these dildo punk bands covering popular songs obsolete. They crowned themselves Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the world rejoiced. Now, seven records, scores of singles and nearly a thousand years later, having tackled every genre under the sun, the bold young knaves known colloquially as the Gimmes have ridden their success hard, and decayed into desiccated, old divas. Yet, the diva, she is immortal. And thus, imbued with the old-world, Mystic Pizza-esque swagger of Cher, the modern pop-art sensibility of Lady Gaga and the enthusiasm-for-drug-consumption of Whitney Houston, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have returned from their beauty rest, busting out of their sequined gowns, and throwing vases at their assistants in order to present you with their latest opus, entitled Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, slated to be released on none other than Fat Wreck Chords. And you'd best believe, whether because of their tantrums or their virtuosity, once you hear these fat ladies sing, there's not gonna be a dry eye in the house.
For the uninitiated, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consist of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Shiflett brother (and Foo Fighter) Chris Shiflett on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Fat Wreck-head-honcho/NOFX main-dude Fat Mike, and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson. Together, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes-an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band-contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it's a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other's eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause.
In the past, The Gimmes have tackled such disparate genres as Motown, country, show tunes and even Japanese pop (sung in real live Japanese!) but none of that enabled them to truly soar as high above the eagles as they desired, feeling the wind of other, lesser bands beneath their wings. So this time, the Fat (Wreck) Five decided to take on the un-take-on-able and hit us with cuts from the likes of Celine (gasp!) Christina (Sigh!) and Paula Abdul (oh no you di'int!) among others. And as Spike's baritone somehow manages to make Whitney Houston's (Dolly Parton-penned) Theme Song To The Bodyguard EVEN MORE EPIC, you will be moved to tears. You will find joy. You will shake in your very skin as the music of these divas gently takes you by the hand and shows you how to love again. AND! You'll buy tickets to see 'em on tour.
Because that's right folks! Nothing says 'diva' like coming to your town to bask in the torrential, gushing blasts of your love, and the Gimmes will be hitting the entire world in support of Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, except maybe Mike, who's such a diva that he's got substitutes on hand! So grab those flowers off of your grandma's grave and head out now, to check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on wax and in your town, before these five outrageous harpies either kill each other or wind up as a Vegas destination act, bloated, high on pills and uh, nevermind that last part. Just go see em, eh? It's a helluva time.
- Troy Michael (Innocent Words)1. I Will Survive
2. Straight Up
5. My Heart Will Go On
6. I Will Always Love You
7. Top of the World
9. Karma Chameleon
10. Crazy for You
11. On the Radio
12. The Way We Were
$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Leon RussellPressed On 180-Gram Translucent Blue Vinyl
Leon Russell was born in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1941. He studied classical piano as a boy and took up trumpet in his teens. Not too many years later, he was on the road as a sideman to Jerry Lee Lewis and Ronnie Hawkins and ended-up on the west coast.
Leon remained in Los Angeles and quickly became one of the city's more prominent studio musicians also often working as an arranger, conductor and producer. Russell was one of Phil Spector's, "Wall of Sound" session people, he also played on The Byrds', "Mr. Tambourine Man," and arranged and co-wrote most of the big hits of pop star, Gary Lewis including She's Just My Style" and "Everybody Loves a Clown."
Leon Russell gained a higher public profile when the 1969 Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett album, "Accept No Substitute" became a major hit. Leon had arranged the album and played piano and guitar in his now distinctive style that became such a part of the sound of the group called Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.
Russell really skyrocketed when he got involved with Joe Cocker who was already a star. Cocker's producer, Denny Cordell hired Leon to arrange and co-produce the new Cocker album which included more hits for Joe including Leon's song, "Delta Lady." When Cocker set out to tour the US he logically recruited Leon to serve as bandleader and arranger for the now legendary 1970 "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour. That renowned cross-country tour has been preserved as a feature film and live album.
Following the critical success of the tour, Russell's reputation was strong enough that he and Cordell formed their own record company - Shelter - and launched the label with this very Leon Russell, "Leon Russell" album. The album features the first ever recording of "A Song For You" which has become one of Russell's best-known songs with versions released over the years by more than 40 different artists including the Carpenters, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Willie Nelson, Helen Reddy, Whitney Houston, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway and Christina Aguilera.
The rest, as they say, is history for Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2011 followed a few months later with induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.1. A Song For You
2. Dixie Lullaby
3. I Put A Spell On You
4. Shoot Out On The Plantation
6. Delta Lady
7. Prince Of Peace
8. Give Peace A Chance
9. Hurtsome Body
10. Pisces Apple Lady
11. Roll Away The Stone$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Broken PeopleAmerican music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.
The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.
With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.
North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.
"To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.
Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.
She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.
"I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.
"The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.
"The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.
"We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."
"We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.
As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.
Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.
"Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."
"It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."
"Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."
"We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.
And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.1. Broken People
2. Brother, What Happened?
3. Got It Goin' On
4. Why Don't You Stay
5. Take Me Home
6. Shine On!
7. It Ain't Easy
8. I Need A Man
9. Devil's Teeth
11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Psychic Temple IIIt may seem hard to imagine a place where indie rock visionaries like Sufjan Stevens and Castanets' Ray Raposa could meld minds with the genius of Brian Wilson, where death metal pioneer Paul Masvidal might wield his legendary six-string chops on a blissed-out soul ballad, where adventurous young jazz players like Kris Tiner and Devin Hoff share credit with Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens and singer/songwriter Aaron Roche.
Long Beach composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist (not to mention truck driver) Chris Schlarb has not only imagined such a place but has now made it manifest for a second time. Released by Asthmatic Kitty, Psychic Temple II is a labor of love, envisioned by Schlarb to bring his most far-ranging inspirations to life - as he puts it, "a dream ensemble that could never actually exist." The ensemble's sophomore release was painstakingly constructed over more than a year with the cooperation of some of the most progressive musical minds from a staggering variety of genres.
"I love interesting juxtapositions, where you bring together people from different communities," Schlarb says. He cites iconoclastic predecessors like Bill Laswell's ever-changing group Material, which once brought together a young Whitney Houston with jazz legend Archie Shepp and future Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers producer Michael Beinhorn to cover a song by Hugh Hopper of English prog-rock pioneers Soft Machine. On 2010's Psychic Temple, Schlarb assembled a 29-member ensemble that included Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, vocalist Julianna Barwick, and pianist Mick Rossi of the Philip Glass Ensemble.
"It seems like a crazy combination of people," Schlarb says, "but they're all just musicians. Why not bring them all together? It may not always work, but it's always worth reaching further."
Psychic Temple II reaches beyond the long-form experiments of its predecessor for a more tightly focused yet conceptually dense collection whose songs are no less exploratory for their briefer durations. "I never see the point in continuing to regurgitate," Schlarb says of the new album's unique direction. "What was natural at that time would now feel contrived. I have to keep moving forward."
Schlarb also includes three cover songs by composers who share his boundary-demolishing mindset: Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," Frank Zappa's "Sofa No. 2," and Brian Wilson's "'Til I Die," a gorgeous, lesser-known Beach Boys song that features vocals by Sufjan Stevens, Castanets' Ray Raposa, and Cryptacize's Nedelle Torrisi.
Psychic Temple had its origins in Create (!), a large improvising ensemble with which Schlarb used to perform. The free-form group would often incorporate multiple drummers, a concept that Schlarb decided to pursue in a more composition-oriented setting. No matter how much Psychic Temple mutates from track to track, the rhythmic possibilities of its two drummers (in this case, Tabor Allen and Andrew Pompey) remain intact.
Schlarb's imaginative leaps are evidenced from the outset of Psychic Temple II, on the intoxicating opening track, "Seventh House." Featuring the sinuous vocals of Sarah Negahdari, who recently served as touring bassist for Silversun Pickups, the song weaves together lyrical and musical references to Neil Young's "Will To Love," to the Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers album Pisces, and to Sheena Easton's notorious Prince-penned pop hit "Sugar Walls."
Then there's "The Starry King Hears Laughter" and "She Is the Golden World," two songs that pay simultaneous homage to poet William Blake and jazz legend Bill Evans; or "Solo in Place," Schlarb's attempt to filter classic soul through his own "weird prism," a missing link between the Isley Brothers and the Alan Parsons Project that features guitar wizard Paul Masvidal of the death metal bands Death and Cynic.
Despite such a mind-blowing array of talent from the farthest reaches of the musical spectrum, Psychic Temple II is a surprisingly cohesive album, a testament to Schlarb's clear controlling vision. "One of the fundamental flaws of modern music is the idea of the record as a pastiche," he says. "With hip-hop and R&R records starting in the '90s, you had ten tracks with ten different producers so every track sounded completely different. There was no aesthetic where you could just put on a record and listen to it beginning to end. I admire people who are control freaks."
Schlarb has wielded control over a number of vastly different projects himself. The New York Observer called his debut solo album, Twilight & Ghost Stories, "40 minutes of avant-garde bliss," while Interoceans, recorded with experimental jazz duo I Heart Lung, was chosen by NPR as one of the top five jazz albums of 2008. He composed the score for Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren's video game Nightsky and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Meet the Composer. In 2001, Schlarb founded the eclectic Sounds Are Active record label, which has released music by the likes of Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Castanets.1. Seventh House
2. The Starry King Hears Laughter
3. Solo In Place
4. Bird In The Garden
5. 'Til I Die
6. She Is The Golden World
7. Steppin' Out
8. All I Want Is Time
9. Sofa No. 2
10. NO TSURAI
11. Hyacinth Thrash Quarter$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now