For my 460th review, I am proud to report on the album My Favorite Joints, a fantastic album by The Force MDs, an American R&B vocal group that was formed in 1981 in Staten Island, New York and was released July 7, 2017, on Goldenlane Records and distributed by Cleopatra Records. This great band returns with their first new recordings in over 20 years! Their vocal style and harmonies are still strong as noted in such tracks as Let’s Get It On (originally recorded by Marvin Gaye) Love and Happiness (originally recorded by Al Green) Just My Imagination (originally recorded by The Temptations), End Of The Road (originally recorded by Boyz II Men), Ain’t No Stopping Us Now (originally recorded by McFadden and Whitehead) and many others. Two notable tracks that I have heard for the first time was People Make The World Go Round and Whip Appeal. This is one album I can listen to over and over again and would love to hear their earlier material. I am very impressed with how well this album was performed, recorded and produced. If you are a fan of the older R&B, you will want to add this one to your music library.
I have been a fan of swing music for a long time whether it is Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Asleep at the Wheel or my newest swing favorite Bryan Cumming. The February 2017 album Come Out Swinging caught my attention right away. This album has a mixture of Big Band Swing and Texas Swing. I was wondering, would this album be considered as Tennessee Swing? There are some standards on this album, such as Straighten Up And Fly Right (made famous by Nat King Cole), Blue Skies (made famous by Willie Nelson) and It Had To Be You (made famous by Paul Whiteman and others). There are also two originals written by Bryan, the title track Come Out Swinging and End Of The Day. Also, he co-wrote the songs Hungry Jack and Why Can’t I Have You. Other notable tracks on the album were Sweet Sue and Just You. This album is well performed, recorded and produced. I highly recommend this album to anyone’s swing library.
Smashes, Thrashes & Hits is a greatest hits album by the American hard rock band Kiss. Of the 15 songs on the album, two were new compositions Let’s Put The X In Sex and (You Make Me) Rock Hard, and three were released after the band’s unmasking in 1983. The remaining 10 were all released during the band’s years in make-up. The song Beth was re-recorded with lead vocals by drummer Eric Carr, who had replaced the original drummer Peter Criss in 1980. It was Carr’s first lead vocal on a Kiss album. This is one of the few albums that I enjoyed every single song from start to finish, whether it is tracks like Calling Dr. Love, Detroit Rock City, I Was Made For Loving You, Deuce, Strutter and more. Many the songs on this album are remixes but still sound as good as the originals. This compilation is very well performed, recorded and produced. If you were only to add one kiss album to your collection, this would be the one.
The Ann Wilson Thing #2 by Ann Wilson, lead singer of the renowned rock group, Heart, returns with the second EP in her ongoing series under the moniker, the Ann Wilson thing!. In addition to two new originals Frighten For Life and Anguish, Ann records classics by Peter Gabriel Don’t Give Up and Jimi Hendrix Manic Depression. Ann Wilson’s voice infused here with smoky, bluesy grit makes this EP worth listening. I am impressed on how well this album was performed, recorded and produced. This is a great addition to anyone’s Heart or Ann Wilson library.
Live In Boston, 1982 is the fifth live album and my third review for George Thorogood and The Destroyers, released by the Rounder Records label on July 27, 2010. This 1982 concert captures the band at a remarkable high point, hot off a tour opening for the Rolling Stones. Among the great songs on this thirteen-track album were Move It On Over, One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, One Way Ticket, Nobody But Me and more. For a live album, this album this concert well performed, recorded and produced. You have to add this album to your George Thorogood collection.
Rattle and Roar is the second review I have written for the bluegrass band The Earls of Leicester, an all-star band, punningly named for Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt, released on July 15, 2016, on Rounder Records. Thing morning I decided to listen to this one while I was having my morning cup of coffee and it woke me up more than my cup of coffee. My foot went into the full tapping mode and I bet if I were standing up, I would go into a full clogging mode. The songs I loved the most off this album were The Train That Carried My Girl From Town, Why Did You Wander?, Will You Be Lonesome Too, and Flint Hill Special. There was a great song to waltz to Branded Wherever We I Go on this album. This album is well performed, recorded and produced by Jerry Douglas. I highly recommend this album to anyone’s bluegrass library.
American Fool is the fifth studio album by John Mellencamp, released under the stage name John Cougar in April 1982 on the Riva Records label. The album was his commercial breakthrough, holding the #1 position on the Billboard album chart for nine weeks. This album spawned two major tracks Hurts So Good and Jack and Diane as well as some notable tracks Hand To Hold On Too, Weakest Moments and others. This release is well written, performed, recorded and produced. I highly recommend this album to one’s record library.
Deep Fried and Sanctified is the second album by American blues musician, comedian, and writer Reverend Billy C. Wirtz. This is an album that was crude and irreverently hilarious with great bluesy performances was released March 1993 on the Hightone Records label. Among the great songs on this nine track album is Tennie Weenie Meanie, Inbred, Beep Tone Blues, Your Greens Gives Me The Blues and my favorite track off this album, Roberta. This album is well written, recorded, and produced. Whether your thing is a comedy or the blues, you will want to add this album to your record library.
Best of B.T.O. (So Far) is a compilation album by Bachman–Turner Overdrive, a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba that contains material from their first five studio albums. This album was released July 1976 on the Mercury Records label. Who can forget some of hard driving songs on this album such as Taking Care of Business, Hey You, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Let It Ride and much more. This album has great guitar riffs, powerful vocals. It was also well written, recorded and produced. If you want to add one album to your library by B.T.O., this is the one.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by English rock band The Beatles, released 2 June 1967 in the United States. It has been fifty years ago that this great album was released and on 27 May 2017, a fifty-year anniversary edition of this album was released. The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo sourced directly from the four-track masters at Abbey Road Studios in London and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin. This fifty-year anniversary collection is a two album collection consists of the original album and the second one a collection of outtakes on every song on the original album. The cover of the LP is one of the most famous record artwork in history which included a colorful collage featuring the Beatles in costume as the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, standing with a group of life-sized cardboard cut-outs of famous people. Who can forget such great tracks as With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, A Day In The Life, the title track Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band which starts and finishes this album. You may have the original album in your library but you still want the fiftieth-anniversary edition in your collection.