Tuesday, 30 March 2010

MARVIN GAYE - THAT STUBBORN KINDA FELLA (TAMLA 1962) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and instrumentalist with a three-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the sixties.
"That Stubborn Kinda Fellow" released on the Tamla label in 1962. The LP yielded several hit singles including "Stubborn Kind of Fellow", "Hitch Hike" and "Pride and Joy" and helped to establish Marvin as a rising star on the R&B music scene.
An unreleased single, "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)", became a popular standard and was later covered by British singer Paul Young and his version became a hit in the UK in 1982...

MARVIN GAYE - RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE (TAMLA 1963) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Marvin Gaye's "Recorded Live on Stage" was the first glimpse of a live Marvin Gaye show. Released as an album on September 9, 1963, it firmly stamped Gaye's place as Motown's leading male hitmaker with only Mary Wells outselling him. And though he would often complain of stage fright, when Gaye sang, it seemed like all the fear went away as he took control of the audience especially during the hit numbers. Gaye wouldn't record another live album until 1974 when he was making his comeback on stage after nearly a three-year exile following the death of his beloved duet partner, Tammi Terrell. This album was released in 2009 only in japan...
While the selections and overall production are spotty, there's nothing erratic or uneven about Gaye's vocals. This was his third Motown album and first live date, and he sounded refreshed, energetic, and triumphant. This came close to equaling his late '70s live set done in London and is among the best '60s live albums that Motown released.[allmusic]

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


With the songwriting and production team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller behind them, the Coasters were easily one of the most interesting vocal groups of the late '50s and early '60s, and their singles always featured inventive arrangements and great sound, managing to deliver gritty R&B while simultaneously wooing a mainstream audience and climbing the pop charts. Coast Along with the Coasters collects the group's Atco singles from 1959, 1960, and 1961, and was originally released on LP in 1962. Most of the songs are Leiber & Stoller compositions, naturally, but the group also covers material written by Bobby Darin ("Wait a Minute"), Doc Pomus ("The Snake & the Bookworm"), and Willie Dixon ("My Babe") in this set, and the continually fresh-sounding vocal and instrumental arrangements give the album a more cohesive, thought-out feel than most LPs released at the time. Among the highlights are the shuffle rock of the opener, "(Ain't That) Just Like Me," the social statement of "What About Us" (which contrasts the haves with the have-nots), and the truly bizarre "Run Red Run," which tells the story of a beer-drinking, card-playing monkey who tries to shoot his keeper for cheating at poker. Gotta love these guys. ~ Steve Leggett
The bonus tracks on this CD mop up the remainder of tracks (1961-62) up to their penultimate Atco session on 8 September 1965. ~ Georgie H. Here

Sunday, 21 March 2010

WALTER WANDERLEY - BATUCADA (VERVE 1967) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Fortunately, Walter Wanderley sticks mostly to Brazilian standards on Batucada, and though his lounge-organ sound occasionally veers close to the edge where cool jazz becomes easy listening, the album is well-recorded. His organ is occasionally more reminiscent of a hockey rink accompanist than a jazz improviser, but he slips and slides around on the keys and employs an endearing and quintessentially Brazilian less-is-more approach. Brazilian mastermind Marcos Valle guests on guitar, and percussion is well-handled by Paulinho, Dom Um Romao, and Lu Lu Ferreira. Talya Ferro's vocals on "Wave" are solidly in a jazz vein, though rather transparently postured to captivate an American crossover audience. Obviously, an album like Batucada isn't a prime example of Brazilian pop, but fans of Wanderley's work on Astrud Gilberto's A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness will enjoy this as background music.[allmusic]

ASTRUD GILBERTO/WALTER WANDERLEY - A CERTAIN SMILE... (VERVE 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

When Astrud Gilberto (wife to the great singer and guitarist Joao Gilberto) sang the now-classic "The Girl from Ipanema" in 1964, she'd had no formal vocal training. It mattered little, as her laid-back sensuality overflowed through the song and propelled her on to several more musical projects. This 1966 collection with the small combo of organist Walt Wanderley, guitarist Joao Gilberto, bassist Jose Marino, and Claudio Slon on drums features Gilberto's reposed voice in such a seductive, warm light, one thinks they've died and gone to drink martinis in a Rio lounge. The album includes a mix of classic bossa nova tunes ("So Nice" and "Call Me") sung in both English and Portuguese. Astrud was as cool as a cucumber and her untrained, nonchalant grace gave her singing its unique charisma. It wasn't until the late 1980s that the world heard this sort of passive, detached persona again in the bewitching vocals of Cesaria Evora, proving once again that style and delivery are just as important as distinct vocal tone. Astrud Gilberto taught us great singers aren't made on a voice alone. --Karen K. Hugg

Monday, 8 March 2010

ANN PEEBLES - STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART (HI 1972) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

One of the greatest soul records of the 70’s by a woman.
A diminutive singer with a powerful voice and an even stronger attitude, Ann Peebles was one of the artists who defined Willie Mitchell’s legendary Memphis soul label Hi Records, along with Al Green and, later, O.V. Wright. Easily the best female singer in the Hi stable, Peebles ranked among the finest deep Southern soul singers of the decade.
"A lean, tough set that was not only a triumph for Peebles, but illustrated how the Hi label had surpassed its crosstown Stax rival for quality Memphis soul in the early '70s. The guitars are spare, funky, and bluesy, the horn section punchy, and the material far earthier and down-home than the increasingly formulaic grooves at Stax. There were three modest R&B hits on the album ("Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love," "I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home," "Somebody's on Your Case"), much of which was penned by Peebles or her husband Don Bryant. Peebles' vocals were convincingly biting, and she never, unlike many other singers of the era, tried too hard for her own good. The main flaw of the record is its length (26 minutes), which was short even by early-'70s standards." [All Music]

STYLISTICS - STYLISTICS (H&L 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

The debut album of the Stylistics is an outstanding example of the classic R&B music of the early 70's. There are 5 essential songs by the group on this album - "Stop, Look, Listen (to Your Heart), "Betcha By Golly Wow (full length version), "You're a Big Girl Now", "You Are Everything", and the simply amazing full length version of "People Make the World Go Round". Even the filler is very good, "Country Living" and "Ebony Eyes" are upbeat cuts that are similar to "Rockin' Roll Baby". "Point of No Return" is a midtempo song that will keep feet tapping and "If I Love You" is a solid love song that might have been a hit in its own right had it not been on an album with so many other great songs. "The Stylistics" is essential listening ("Round 2" is also a 5 star record) and is absolute proof of Thom Bell's genius.
The Stylistics saw their first song, 1971's "You're a Big Girl Now", reach success on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart peaking at #7, whilst it peaked at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, their second release, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)", peaked at #39 (U.S. Pop) and #6 (U.S. R&B). The song was sung by the Stylistics' falsetto frontman, Russell Thompkins, Jr., and was produced by Thom Bell.