Historians and some Duke Ellington fans look askance at the brief period he spent on Capitol Records (1953-55). This was a hectic period in jazz, with bebop in the near-view, hard bop coming along as well, and the big band was considered by many to be a relic of bygone eras. Yet Ellington persevered, and not without another adversity: the temporary loss of signature alto player Johnny Hodges, who was off leading his own bands. The resulting five CDs worth of material collected here show an Ellington band more aimed at repetition, both of its own repertoire, which had sounded better in the 1940s, and of other bands' material.
Billy J. Kramer's Listen is one of the more important non-Beatles Liverpool albums of its era, and also one of the better ones. Additionally, it's almost as much a tribute to George Martin's skill as a producer as it is to anything that Billy J. Kramer or the Dakotas brought to the sessions. It shows off the mixture of driving beat, heavy guitars, and emotionally expressive, American-style vocals that characterized the sound of the city, along with the lyrical balladry that the Beatles (especially McCartney, in Martin's hands) had added to the formula. Only a tiny handful of the tracks, such as "Sugar Babe," "Great Balls of Fire," and perhaps "Da Doo Ron Ron," really qualify as a classic, thumping Liverpool rockers, shouters with a heavy bass and raw vocals…
2019 two CD set, the twelth volume in the So80s series. The finest collection of original classic 12" club & extended mixes.
"Celebrate the '80s in style" was the premise Blank & Jones started the So8os (So eighties) Project under circa ten years ago. Since then, the two '80s born artists have been digging through countless archives of old master tapes of legendary '80s maxi versions of famous songs for this series - building up an impressive fanbase while releasing 11 entries so far under the moniker So8os. Thanks to the massive renaissance of this colourful decade and the success of series such as Stranger Things also open to a broader and younger audience these days. Volume 12 includes tracks by Wham, Sheena Easton, Sade, Visage, New Order, Billy Joel, Saga and many others.