dimanche 30 septembre 2012

The Jimmy Castor Bunch - It's Just Begun (Funk)

A1 Creation (Prologue) 
 A2 It's Just Begun 
 A3 Troglodyte (Cave Man) 
 A4 You Better Be Good (Or the Devil Gon' Getcha) 
 A5 Psyche 
 B1 L. T. D. (Life, Truth & Death) 
 B2 My Brightest Day 
 B3 Bad 
 B4 I Promise to Remember 
 B5 Creation (Epilogue)

samedi 29 septembre 2012

Tower Of Power - In The Slot (Funk)

1. Just Enough And Too Much 
2. Treat Me Like Your Man 
3. If I Play My Cards Right 
4. As Surely As I Stand Here 
5. Fanfare: Matanuska 
6. On The Serious Side 
7. Ebony Jam 
8. You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous 
9. Vuela Por Noche 
10. Essence Of Innocence 
11. The Soul Of A Child 
12. Drop It In The Slot 

 Anyone who really knows TOP, knows, that Lenny Williams was the most incredible lead vocalist TOP has had, or will ever have. With that being said, new vocalist Hubert Tubbs had a tough act to follow, and filled the space admirably. His vocals on this album really are soulful, gruff, funky and moving. The songs here, 3 or 4 being instrumentals, are all first-rate TOP. The horn and rhythm section on this album is the BEST that TOP has ever had, period! Along with the albums "Bump City", "Tower Of Power", "Back To Oakland", "Urban Renewal" and "Live And In Living Color", this album is truly a gem among those other TOP classics!! And most important, it is funky like a mo-fo!

vendredi 28 septembre 2012

Greensleeves - Various Artists 12" Rulers: Henry Junjo Lawes (Reggae)

1. Gunman - Michael Prophet 
2. Wa-Do-Dem - Eek-A-Mouse 
3. Look Youthman - Barrington Levy 
4. Saturday Night Jamboree - Wayne Jarrett 
5. Fire House Rock - Wailing Souls 
6. Slavemaster - Flick Wilson
7. Give Another Isreal a Try - Barry Brown 
8. Mr. False Preacher - Triston Palma 
9. Another One Bites the Dust - Clint Eastwood 
10. Who Can Make the Dance Ram - Yellowman 
11. Diseases - Smiley 

 I'll keep this short because I'm too busy enjoying the music. No filler here -- just great 12" versions that will rock your party. High points include "Wah Do Dem" by Eek-A-Mouse, "Look Youthman" by Barrington Levy and my personal favorite, a stunning 7:56 long version of "Firehouse Rock" from the Wailing Souls, which closes out with about three righteous minutes of crackling, rocking dub. If you've only heard the LP versions of these songs, you haven't really heard them. The 12" versions are so much better, combining the original hits with necessary B-side dub remix versions in all their trance-inducing fury. What I especially love about the musical period represented here is that the electronics never got in the way of the melodies or the performances, in contrast to the often over-processed sound of today's music. This is a fine additon to your conscious party. Enjoy and peace.

dimanche 23 septembre 2012

Esther Phillips - What A Difference A Day Makes (Soul)

1. One Night Affair
 2. What A Difference A Day Makes
 3. Mister Magic
 4. You're Coming Home
 5. I Can Stand A Little Rain
 6. Hurtin' House
 7. Oh Papa
 8. Turn Around, Look At Me
 9. What A Difference A Day Makes

samedi 22 septembre 2012

24 Carat Black - Ghetto Misfortune's Wealth (Funk/Soul)

1. Synopsis One: In The Ghetto / God Save The World 
 2. Poverty's Paradise
 3. Brown-Baggin'
 4. Synopsis Two: Mother's Day
 5. Mother's Day
 6. Foodstamps
 7. Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth
 8. 24-Carat Black (Theme) 

 Dale Warren, the leader of this musical project, was one of those talented musicians and producers who eventually was overwhelmed by personal problems. But in the short time he was recording music he delivered this amazing album in 1973. "Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth" is a mesmerizing musical concoction; a blend of soul and funk and pop and rap. This music was light years ahead of its time. Warren and crew did not play sweet, short singles, but long and funky numbers, stained by tears and pain, with socially concious lyrical content. Nope, not your basic Top 40 formula. But this is music that lasts, and despite some of the 70s lamentations on here, it has aged very, very well. Still powerful stuff. In addition to the funky jams, there are some raps and vocals on a few track by Warren's wife. And the album's closer, the instrumental "24-Carat Black" (Theme) is a monster track, a true rhythm delight! Fans of 70s funk and soul; Don't miss this one!

jeudi 20 septembre 2012

The Soul Children – Best Of Two Worlds (Soul)

A1 Bring It Here 
 A2 Thanks For A Precious Nothing 
 A3 Put Your World In My World 
 A4 Give Me One Good Reason Why 
 A5 Got To Get Away From It All 
 B1 The Hang Ups Of Holding On, Parts 1 & 2 
 B2 Wrap It Up Tonight 
 B3 Let's Make A Sweet Thing Sweeter 
 B4 Finish Me Off 
 B5 Don't Break Away

lundi 17 septembre 2012

Nice & Smooth - Ain't A Damn Thing Changed (Rap)

1. Harmonize
 2. Cake & Eat It Too
 3. Down The Line
 4. Sometimes I Rhyme Slow [Explicit]
 5. Paranoia
 6. Sex, Sex, Sex
 7. "Billy-Gene"
 8. How To Flow
 9. Hip Hop Junkies
 10. One, Two And One More Makes Three
 11. Pump It Up
 12. Medley: Step By Step

Released back in 1991, this was an underrated debut album from the duo known as Nice & Smooth. The two offer some of the most creative hip-hop of all-time, especially with songs like "Hip-Hop Junkies". Of course, most people have never heard anything like the voice of Greg Nice, but that's the beauty of this album.

dimanche 16 septembre 2012

Jacob Miller - Who Says Jah No Dread (Reggae)

1. Keep In Knocking
2. Knocking Version
3. False Rasta
4. Hungry Town Scanc
5. Baby I Love You So
6. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
7. Who Sa Jah No Dread
8. Jah Dread
9. Each One Teach One
10. Each One Teach One Version
11. Girl Name Pat
12. Girl Name Pat Version

This showcase collection features all six of Jacob Miller's Augustus Pablo produced single A-sides back to back with their respective dub versions. It's a great collaboration: Miller's impassioned vocals, Pablo's uniquely strong rhythms, melodies and arrangements played by some of Jamaica's finest musicians; plus the legendary King Tubby at the mixing desk. All the tracks were recorded over an 18 month period (1974-75) at Randy's and Dynamic studios and provided much of the source material for the landmark "King Tubby meets rockers uptown" album, after being mixed at King Tubby's studio by the master himself. Miller was still a teenager when he started working with Pablo, but handles each vocal performance with an assurance that belies his youthful inexperience, whether it's the dread lyrics of tracks like "False rasta" or love songs like "Baby I love you so", and Tubby's dub mixes beautifully complement the A-sides. Dub was still a relatively new phenomenon when these recordings were made and hardly known outside of Jamaica. The idea of stripping a track down to its bare bones, adding effects such as echo and reverb, and dropping its constituent musical elements in and out of the mix was pioneered by Tubby, opening the door to a whole new world of sonic exploration. It's difficult to pick favourite tracks on a compilation as good as this one. The most famous of these singles is undoubtedly "Baby I love you so" or rather its dub version "King Tubby meets rockers uptown", which was one of the first examples of dub to make any sort of impact internationally. But from the opening "Keep on knocking", which begins with a statement of intent by Miller ("This is rockers! Original rockers!") it's non-stop quintessential mid-70's reggae from start to finish. Miller wanted to make more records with Pablo (who can blame him?) but given Pablo's dire financial status (he was often dependent on many of the musicians playing on his records for free on the basis that he would do the same for them), the promises of fame and fortune from other producers soon became too tempting. Before long Miller would become hugely successful with his band Inner Circle, but artistically at least, he never surpassed the recordings on this album. Sadly he was killed in a car crash in 1980, while Tubby was tragically gunned down outside his studio in 1989 and Pablo died a decade later in 1999. Although the rhythms collected together on "Who say Jah no dread" are all available elsewhere, these are the definitive versions and if you only ever buy one Augustus Pablo record make sure this is it. In view of the album's title it's also pertinent to mention that Pablo was a deeply religious man who often credited Jah as co-producer of his works and this one is no exception. On the sleeve, after the words "produced by Augustus Pablo" you can read the following in parenthesis: "produced by King Selassie I through his divine powers working through I and I to manifest these inspirations". What more can I say?

samedi 15 septembre 2012

Crown Heights Affair - Dreaming A Dream (Funk/Soul)

A1 Dreaming A Dream (Disco) 
 A2 Foxy 
 A3 Every Beat Of My Heart 
 A4 Na, Na, Hey, Hey 
 B1 Dreaming A Dream (Vocal) 
 B2 I Am Me 
 B3 Feeling Tall 
 B4 You Smiled 
 B5 Picture Show

jeudi 13 septembre 2012

Southside Movement – Moving South (Soul/Funk)

A1 Ain't Gonna Watch You No Mo' 
 A2 Do It To Me 
 A3 Funk Talk 
 A4 Ain't It A Shame 
 A5 Love Is For Fools 
 B1 I've Been Watching You 
 B2 Only Time Has Changed 
 B3 Country Girl 
 B4 Just Moving 
 B5 Acknowledge The Mind

samedi 8 septembre 2012

Clarence Carter - Testifyin' (Soul/Funk)

A1 Bad News
 A2 Snatching It Back
 A3 Soul Deep
 A4 I Smell A Rat
 A5 Doin' Our Thing
 A6 You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure
 B1 Instant Reaction
 B2 Making Love At The Dark End Of The Street
 B3 The Feeling Is Right
 B4 Back Door Santa
 B5 I Can't Do Without You

jeudi 6 septembre 2012

MC5 - Back In The USA (Rock)

1. Tutti-Frutti 
2. Tonight 
3. Teenage Lust 
4. Let Me Try 
5. Looking At You 
6. High School 
7. Call Me Animal 
8. The American Ruse 
9. Shakin' Street 
10. The Human Being Lawnmower 
11. Back In The USA 

 OK kids, it's rockin' time! Detroit's MC5 kicked off the '70s with a bang on Back in the USA, released January 15, 1970. A roadmap for punk's class of '77, the album condensed the epic, throbbing sprawl of Kick Out the Jams into the pure essence of rock & roll: machine gun blasts of pure energy and hooks, with nods to the founding fathers (Chuck Berry and Little Richard) and freshly-minted teen anthems for the ages ("Shakin' Street," "High School," "Tonight," "Teenage Lust," etc., etc.).

mercredi 5 septembre 2012

The Staple Singers - Be What You Are (Soul)

A1 Be What You Are 5:01
 A2 If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) 4:27
 A3 Love Comes In All Colors
 A4 Tellin' Lies 8:49
 A5 Touch A Hand, Make A Friend 4:02
 A6 Drown Yourself 4:39
 B1 I Ain't Raisin' No Sand 6:32
 B2 Grandma's Hands 2:41
 B3 Bridges Instead Of Walls 4:03
 B4 I'm On Your Side 3:57
 B5 That's What Friends Are For 4:12
 B6 Heaven 

 The Staple Singers enjoyed a brief spell when their popularity reached beyond the Soul fraternity and into the Pop charts and thus they are well known for a few classic singles. One of those appears here, "If You're Ready(Come and Go with Me)" and it gives you an idea of the quality contained in this album. With a resolutely Southern Soul feel, this represents the best album the Staples ever recorded. While it seemed the rest of the Stax roster were busy extending the boundaries of Black music, the Staples kept faith with the elements of the music which had elevated the label to pre-eminance in the 60's. So you won't find overblown orchestration, or proto-disco here. What you will find are magnificent lead vocals (Mavis Staples has few equals), superb harmonies, and production which lets those voices take centre stage. The Staples also kept faith with their Gospel roots, and there are a couple of tracks here that fit that profile - "If you're Ready" is essentially Gospel and "Heaven" has an ambiguous lyric which could be secular, but which in Mavis' hands must be a hymn to her God. Stand out tracks are many, their version of Grandma's Hands for example is excellent and "the aformentioned "Heaven" is exactly that. But I would recommend this in it's entirety as an example of Soul at it's 70's best and as a musical counterpoint to the way some of their contemporaries were developing Black music.

lundi 3 septembre 2012

Chocolate Milk - Blue Jeans (Funk)

A1 Blue Jeans 
A2 Like My Lady's Love 
A3 Running On Empty 
A4 Honey Bun 
B1 Let's Go All The Way 
B2 I've Been Loving You Too Long 
B3 Video Queen

dimanche 2 septembre 2012

Jr ewing - Pure premium vol. 1 (Rap)

Side A:
01. Intro
02. Frankenstein - Frankenstein's Pain
03. Saukrates - Father Time
04. Royal Flush - Worldwide
05. Concrete Mob - Boiling Point
06. Pop Da Brown Hornet - Black On Black Crime
07. 5 One 6 - Rap Attack
08. ACD - In The City
09. Dutchmin - Get Your Swerves On
10. Company Flow - Infokill
11. Mixed Elements - FX
12. Bbo - Pose A Threat
13. Dredknotz - Concentration

 Side B:
01. Intro
02. Hi-Tech - Book Of Life
03. The Alamo - Never Judge A Book
04. Tomorrowz Weaponz - Molosted Doves
05. Cover - Underground Flow (Remix)
06. Sparrow - Rhyme Impotence
07. One Deep - Crime Stories
08. Mr. D Original - Now Ya Da Man
09. The Candy Store - Local Scarface
10. Q. Ball & Curt Cazal - My Kinda Moves
11. The East Flatbush Project & Des - Tried By 12
12. Microphone Terrorists - Green Paper
3. Siah - Repetition
14. Yeshua Da Poed - The Essence
15. Dirty Work & Bo Beretta - Lowereastrider

JR Ewings 1st of 4 tapes. Strictly underground shit and from the 90s. A must have.

Skyy - Skyy (Funk)

01. This Groove Is Bad 
 02. First Time Around 
 03. Lets Turn It Out 
 04. Fallin' In Love Again 
 05. Stand By Me 
 06. Disco Dancin' 
 07. Lets Get Up (S-k-y-y) 
 08. First Time Around (Remix) 
 09. First Time Around (Disco Mix) 
 10. First Time Around (Special Remix)

samedi 1 septembre 2012

Mary J Blige - What's the 411 Remix Album (RNB)

1. Leave A Message
 2. You Don't Have To Worry
 3. My Love
 4. Real Love
 5. What's The 411?
 6. Reminisce
 7. Mary & Andre
 8. Sweet Thing
 9. Love No Limit
 10. You Remind Me
 11. Changes I've Been Going Through
 12. I Don't Want To Do Anything 

 Of course, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul got her start with What's the 411? in 1992 along with a blowout single 'Real Love' that proved she wasn't just an ordinary R&B singer. With famed success, of course we knew that she'd release a remix CD for her hit album (common back in the day) a year later to create a teaser for her November 1994 album 'My Life', which was evident from Diddy repeatin 'In 94, we got somethin new 4 yo azz'. All the remixes are the bomb, especially with teaser beats on the beginning of 'Real Love' & 'Love No Limit'. Mary also has appearances from Heavy D, Biggie Smalls, Sean Combs, Grand Puba, Craig Mack, & her alter-ego Blige J. Blige. They replaced Intro Talk & Slow Down with You Don't Have to Worry & Slow Down, which is kinda weird seeing as Mary/Andre is kinda useless & you could just have 13 tracks instead of 12. Nonetheless, my favorite is Changes I've Been Going Through which has a better beat than the original & the pain in Mary's voice is so tender. Hardcore fans this is for you. New fans, I'd recommend that you get this album, the original CD, & My Life seeing as the 1991-1996 period was her best experience.