In the wake of the recent, superb box set, it's hard to imagine a single disc being definitive of one of Britain's great folk singing groups. At best, you can touch on their different facets and legacy. But Definitive Collection actually does a splendid job. There are the hymns, the traditional songs, and some of the permutations (Lal and Norma, Mike, even the late Peter Bellamy), as well as tracks by Waterson: Carthy and Blue Murder, who carry on the flame of the original Watersons in many ways (especially Blue Murder, which is essentially Waterson:Carthy plus Barry Coope, Jim Boyes and Lester Simpson). The tracks are from their "Topic" albums (which means, because of licensing, nothing from the original, wonderful Bright Phoebus release is here), but all of those that are here are wonderful, and sung with such naturalness that they epitomize what folk singing should be about. There's no sense of premeditation about their performances. This is simply who they are, and their way of expressing themselves. It's not Mighty River of Song, which really is definitive, but as an introduction to the Watersons, and an overview of their massive achievements in folk music, this works excellently.
The 2005 double-disc set Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection is the second Def Leppard compilation to be released in the U.S. The first, Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits, appeared ten years earlier, and while the band was active in the decade separating the two albums, charting fairly consistently, it didn't have any major hits during that time, so the chief appeal of Rock of Ages versus Vault is that it covers more ground. Vault had 15 songs. Rock of Ages has 35, including all of the songs on Vault…
She is one of the Top Ten charting female country singers of all time, the first to win an American Music Award, the first to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden, and was a regular on TV, starring on broadcasts ranging from The Lawrence Welk Show to The Tonight Show to Starsky & Hutch. Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present a collection that finally does justice to the superstar career of Lynn Anderson: 40 tracks, 38 hits, her classic Chart and Columbia sides, lovingly remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios. The Definitive Collection starts with her first hit, “Ride, Ride, Ride,” and continues with every other notable song, including “Rose Garden,” “You’re My Man,” “How Can I Unlove You,” “What a Man, My Man Is,” “Keep Me in Mind,” “Mother, May I” (with her mother, Liz Anderson), “That’s a No No,” “Cry,” “Listen to a Country Song,” “Fool Me,” and many more hits both major and minor. Great, great ‘70s country from an oft-overlooked artist (why isn’t Lynn in the Country Music Hall of Fame?)!
Indian masters connect jazz, classics and national melodies. This is fusion.
Heaven knows, the Scotsman born Donovan Leitch was ripe for ridicule, even when he was hitting the charts with regularity. He was the ultimate flower child, and his airier pronouncements made cynics want to tighten up those love beads around his neck. Listening to Troubadour, however, it's striking how versatile, melodic, and agreeable most of his material sounds decades after "Mellow Yellow" has faded into a jaundiced yellow. Clearly under the sway of Bob Dylan early on in his career, Donovan nevertheless was capable of directing his reverence into something as enchanting as "Catch the Wind." Amping up as the '60s progressed, he assembled a series of psychedelic-pop classics, including "Season of the Witch," the "Hey Jude"-like sing-along "Atlantis," and the uncharacteristically driving "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (the latter features three-quarters of what was to become Led Zeppelin providing stellar support). This two-disc anthology may be more Donovan than some desire, but the booklet, seven previously unreleased tracks, and expansive perspective it provides makes it a more-than-worthy overview for those who take their paisley folk-rock with a beatific smile.
Whoa. There are many Etta James collections out there. The standard-bearers thus far have been the Chess Box and the Essential Etta James. This set attempts to do something else and goes deep into her catalog to dig out the gems from her years with Modern, Argo, Cadet, Chess, Warner Brothers, Island, and Private Music/BMG, and presents the full spectrum of her five-decade career. As such, there are many different kinds of songs here revealing the complexity of the vocalist herself, and as such, thus becomes a real portrait of the artist. Juxtapose, for instance, early sides like "The Wallflower Dance (Dance With Me Henry)," with its wild R&B bravado and the deep soul-blues of "All I Could Do Is Cry," the balladry of "The Man I Love," the bone-crushing blues of "The Sky Is Crying," and the torch song ballad technique on "My Dearest Darling," and the despairing soul inherent in songs such as "All the Way Down," and the listener begins to get an idea of just how vast and deep James talent really is. These 23 cuts give a fine and full picture of all that diversity without sacrificing a note of quality.