July 27, 2015

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Barbra Streisand - Superman (1977)

Artist:  Barbra Streisand
Title:  Superman
Release:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86030

Appearing only seven months after “A Star Is Born”, “Streisand Superman” seemed to continue much of its rock-oriented feel, even including several songs that had been intended for the film. It was unusual in featuring all recently written songs, many first recorded here. Streisand co-wrote the rockish “Don’t Believe What You Read,” an attack on her negative press coverage, while Alan Gordon contributed both the disco-ish “I Found You Love” and the album’s Top Ten single ballad “My Heart Belongs to Me.” “Streisand Superman” seemed to be an unusually personal album for the singer, reflecting her feelings and viewpoints.

Side one
1.  Superman  (2:47)
2.  Don’t Believe What You Read  (3:37)
3.  Baby Me Baby  (4:26)
4.  I Found You Love  (3:50)
5.  Answer Me  (3:16)

Side two
1.  My Heart Belongs to Me  (3:21)
2.  Cabin Fever  (3:14)
3.  Love Comes from Unexpected Places  (4:10)
4.  New York State of Mind  (4:44)

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UB40 - Present Arms (1981)

Artist:  UB40
Title:  Present Arms
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 85126

“Present Arms” is the second album by UB40 and was released in 1981. An album of original songs, it spawned two top 20 hits in “One In Ten” and “Don’t Let It Pass You By/Don’t Slow Down”.
Like their first album “Signing Off”, “Present Arms” contained many socially and politically charged lyrics, from the anti-militant title track to ‘Sardonicus’ which was linked to both President Ronald Regan and Risus sardonicus, an ironic smile on tetanus victims’ faces, The UK top-ten hit “One In Ten” was an attack on Thatcherism. The album also touches on a subject very dear to UB40’s heart: “Lamb’s Bread” and “Don’t Walk On The Grass” are written as part of the band’s longstanding campaign for the legalization of cannabis. Musically, the album continued in the heavy, reverb-drenched, mellifluous style of the debut.
The title track has been used to open UB40 concerts from the mid 90s onwards, usually with the blasting horn section beginning the concert.
A Dub version of this Album called “Present Arms In Dub” was released soon after.

Side one
1.  Present Arms  (4:08)
2.  Sardonicus  (4:29)
3.  Don’t Let It Pass You By  (7:45)
4.  Wildcat  (3:04)

Side two
1.  One in Ten  (4:32)
2.  Don’t Slow Down  (4:28)
3.  Silent Witness  (4:15)
4.  Lamb’s Bread  (4:48)

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Crosby, Stills & Nash - CSN (1977)

Artist:  Crosby, Stills & Nash
Title:  CSN
Release:  1977
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic Records
Catalog#  ATL 50369

“CSN” is a Crosby, Stills & Nash album released in 1977, the fifth album by the group, the second by the trio configuration and the first without Neil Young since his entry into the band. 2 singles taken from the album, “Just A Song Before I Go” and Stills’ “Fair Game”.
“CSN” featured strong writing from all three members, the last time for seventeen years that the band would compose songs and handle vocals without major assistance from outside sources. The production of the album fit in well with the ruling aesthetic of the time as featured in other blockbusters such as the Eagles’ Hotel California, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours: well-crafted, melodic songs played with precision and balance, essaying the personal travails of the authors.
Many of Stills’ songs on the album echo his marital problems, with “Dark Star” returning to the Latin rhythms he had favored all the way back to his Buffalo Springfield days.
Crosby continued the existential probings consistent with much of his past work, and Nash offered both a radio-ready acoustic ballad with “Just a Song Before I Go”, and an elaborate set piece re-creating a vision of an LSD experience that he had in Winchester Cathedral with “Cathedral”. Many tracks were sweetened with a string section, a first on a CSNY project.

Side one
1.  Shadow Captain  (4:32)
2.  See the Changes  (2:56)
3.  Carried Away  (2:29)
4.  Fair Game  (3:30)
5.  Anything at All  (3:01)
6.  Cathedral  (5:15)

Side two
1.  Dark Star  (4:43)
2.  Just a Song Before I Go  (2:12)
3.  Run from Tears  (4:09)
4.  Cold Rain  (2:32)
5.  In My Dreams  (5:10)
6.  I Give You Give Blind  (3:21)

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Soundtrack - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

Artist:  Soundtrack
Title:  Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Release:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Virgin Records
Catalog#  205494

The film is notable for its soundtrack, by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The main score, which bears the same title as the movie, ranks among Sakamoto’s most well-known songs and made him known to a broader public. The soundtrack also contains the vocal version of this title track, better known as “Forbidden Colours” with lyrics sung and composed by David Sylvian.
“Forbidden Colours” was the single released to promote the movie. It sounds as if Sakomoto and Seigen Ono created the entire instrumental soundtrack in Tokyo, but then the western producer decided a vocal-based track was needed for the single. I would guess that the opening instrumental track was sent to David Sylvian (singer from the band ‘Japan’!), who then pasted his vocals over the top.

Side one
01.  Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence  (4:36)
02.  Batavia  (1:18)
03.  Germination  (1:49)
04.  A Hearty Breakfast  (1:22)
05.  Before the War  (2:15)
06.  The Seed and the Sower  (5:01)
07.  A Brief Encounter  (2:22)
08.  Ride, Ride, Ride (Celliers’ Brother’s Song)  (1:04)
09.  The Fight  (1:29)

Side two
01.  Father Christmas  (2:07)
02.  Dismissed  (0:09)
03.  Assembly  (2:17)
04.  Beyond Reason  (2:01)
05.  Sowing the Seed  (1:54)
06.  23rd Psalm  (2:02)
07.  Last Regrets  (1:43)
08.  Ride, Ride, Ride (Reprise)  (1:05)
09.  The Seed  (1:03)
10.  Forbidden Colours (Vocals by: David Sylvian)  (4:42)

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Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart (1983)

Artist:  Stevie Nicks
Title:  The Wild Heart
Release:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  WEA Records
Catalog#  250071-1

“The Wild Heart” is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks. Recording began in late 1982, shortly after the end of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage Tour. After the death of her best friend, Robin Anderson, and with new appreciation for her life and career, the recording took only a few months and the album was released in June 1983, preceded by the single “Stand Back”, to much critical acclaim. The album was released on June 10, 1983, a year after Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage. It peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts.
The album is notable for its array of prominent guest musicians. Tom Petty made a return to write “I Will Run to You”, on which his bandmates from the Heartbreakers performed. Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac bandmate, drummer Mick Fleetwood, made an appearance on the track “Sable on Blond”. Toto’s Steve Lukather contributed some of the guitar work on what would become the album’s biggest hit single, “Stand Back”, which also features an uncredited contribution from Prince, who played the synthesizer track. Nicks also worked with friend Sandy Stewart, who wrote the music for three tracks on the album and performed on several.
The album’s final track, “Beauty and the Beast”, features a full string section.

Side one
1.  Wild Heart  (6:08)
2.  If Anyone Falls  (4:07)
3.  Gate And Garden  (4:05)
4.  Enchanted  (3:05)
5.  Nightbird  (4:59)

Side two
1.  Stand Back  (4:18)
2.  I Will Run To You  (With Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers)  (3:21)
3.  Nothing Ever Changes  (4:09)
4.  Sable On Blond  (4:13)
5.  Beauty And The Beast  (6:02)

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Jon & Vangelis - The Friends Of Mr. Cairo (1981)

Artist:  Jon & Vangelis
Title:  The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog#  2383609

Jon and Vangelis is the collaborative effort between the singer Jon Anderson (the lead vocalist of the progressive rock band Yes) and the Greek synthesizer musician Vangelis Papathanassiou. Together they released a number of successful albums in the 1980s.
“The Friends of Mr Cairo” is the second album by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1981. There are two editions of this album, with different sleeves. Both versions were released in 1981 within a few weeks of each other. The title track, “The Friends of Mr Cairo”, peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian singles late 1981, though this track was not a hit elsewhere. The second edition of the album includes the single “I’ll Find My Way Home” and “State of Independence” was later a hit single for Donna Summer.
The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era most notably Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Jimmy Stewart.

Side one
1.  The Friends Of Mr. Cairo  (12:04)
2.  Back To School Boogie  (5:06)
3.  Outside And Inside  (5:00)

Side two
1.  State Of Independence  (7:53)
2.  Beside  (4:08)
3.  The Mayflower  (6:35)

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Pablo Cruise - Reflector (1981)

Artist:  Pablo Cruise
Title:  Reflector
Release:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLK 63726

Pablo Cruise is a pop/rock band currently composed of David Jenkins (guitar and vocals), Cory Lerios (keyboards and vocals), Steve Price (drums) and Larry Antonino (bass and vocals) and formed in 1973.
“Reflector” is their sixth studio album. While the group doesn’t necessarily sound burned-out, there just simply isn’t a lot of spark to the record. Not that you’re looking for spark with Pablo Cruise they are, after all, a quintessential soft rock group but the songcraft doesn’t shine as it does on the previous albums “A Place in the Sun” and “Worlds Away”. That said, it does have its fair share of its moments, including the Top 20 single “Cool Love,” the really nice “One More Night,” and “Slip Away,” and the entire thing has an appealing early ’80s soft rock sheen, which will mean that it will satiate collectors of the genre and the group.

Side one
1.  This Time  (3:38)
2.  Cool Love  (3:52)
3.  Don’t Let The Magic Disappear  (5:14)
4.  One More Night  (3:58)
5.  Jenny  (3:45)

Side two
1.  Slip Away  (3:46)
2.  That’s When  (3:53)
3.  Inside/Outside  (3:07)
4.  Paradise  (2:58)
5.  Drums In The Night  (5:50)

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Julio Iglesias - Emociones (1979)

Artist:  Julio Iglesias
Title:  Emociones
Released:  1979
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  83703

Julio Iglesias is a Spanish singer and songwriter who has sold more than 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released more than 80 albums, and more than 2,600 gold and platinum records certified. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is the best selling Latin music artist in history world’s best-selling artists of all time.
In 1978 he released “Emociones”, one of his greatest albums. The album spawned the hitsingles, “Quiereme Mucho” and Quiereme.

Side one
1.  Me Olvide De Vivir  (4:51)
2.  Voy A Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor  (4:37)
3.  Spanish Gir l (3:39)
4.  Pobre Diablo  (2:55)
5.  Quiereme (Basada En Las Danzas Polovtsianas De “El Principe Igor”)  (2:48)

Side two
1.  Preguntale  (4:55)
2.  Quiereme Mucho  (4:07)
3.  Con Una Pinta Asi  (3:23)
4.  No Vengo Ni Voy  (3:26)
5.  Un Dia Tu, Un Dia Yo  (3:04)

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Randy Crawford - Abstract Emotions (1986)

Artist:  Randy Crawford
Title:  Abstract Emotions
Release:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  925423-1

“Abstract Emotions” is the 8th solo album from Randy Crawford, released in 1986.
Randy put together 10 outstanding cuts to define “Abstract Emotions.” Her vocals are first class Randy, emotional without being heavy handed (“Can’t Stand the Pain”), understated (the original version of “Almaz”), and joyful (“Higher than Anyone Can Count”). The song “Don’t Wanna Be Normal,” is a declaration of living life on your own terms, set to a driving beat. After hearing this jam, you wanna do as Randy says and “grab a little glory.”

Side one
01.  Can’t Stand the Pain  (6:05)
02.  Actual Emotional Love  (5:06)
03.  World of Fools  (5:00)
04.  Betcha  (4:32)
05.  Higher Than Anyone Can Count  (4:15)

Side two
01.  Desire  (5:27)
02.  Gettin’ Away with Murder  (4:05)
03.  Overnight  (5:20)
04.  Almaz  (4:07)
05.  Don’t Wanna Be Normal  (5:17)

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Bee Gees - Main Course (1975)

Artist:  Bee Gees
Title:  Main Course
Release:  1975
Format:  LP
Label:  RSO Records
Catalog#  2479139

“Main Course” is the 12th album released by the Bee Gees in 1975 for the RSO label, under its distribution deal with Robert Stigwood. This album marked a change for the Bee Gees as it was their first album to include disco influenced songs, and it created the model for their output through the rest of the 1970s. “Main Course” was the first album to feature keyboardist Blue Weaver.
The group’s earlier LPs, steeped in a dense romantic balladry, were beautifully crafted but too serious for any but hardcore fans. “Main Course” had a few ballads, such as “Songbird” and “Country Lanes,” but the writing was simpler, and the rest of it was made up of catchy dance tunes (heavily influenced by the Philadelphia-based soul music of the period), in which the beat and the texture of the voices and instruments took precedence over the words. The combination proved irresistible, and “Main Course” driven by the singles “Jive Talkin’,” “Nights on Broadway,” and “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” attracted millions of new listeners. It also repelled fans of the group’s earlier style, which was a bit ironic. Barry Gibb’s falsetto voice, introduced on this album, was startling at first, and became an object of ridicule in later years, but the slow break on “Nights on Broadway” and songs like “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” and “Baby As You Turn Away” were as exquisitely sung as “Lonely Days” or “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” and they had the same sense of romantic drama, leavened by a layer of sheer fun; one had less of a sense that the singer was dealing with the love of a lifetime, so much as a conquest for the evening, which was in keeping with the sexual mores of the mid-’70s. And the spirit of fun was no accident producer Arif Mardin, seeking to rescue the group’s stagnating career, had gotten the Bee Gees to turn their talents in a musical direction that they’d always loved but never embraced. Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb had been fascinated by R&B and soul for years. Not only didn’t they seem ridiculous, but they took to it as easily as they’d absorbed the Beatles’ harmony-based rock sounds in the late ’60s.
It was a liberating experience for the entire group Blue Weaver, newly added to the lineup with an array of electronic keyboards and ideas that ended up shaping lots of the songs here; Alan Kendall, playing in a funky guitar style; and drummer Dennis Byron, playing more complicated patterns than he’d been asked to in years, were also delighted with the new direction, and they constituted the instrumental core of the band for the next six years. Years later, “Main Course” holds up as well as anything the group ever did, and with killer album cuts like “Wind of Change” (featuring a superb Joe Farrell tenor sax solo) and “Edge of the Universe” all over it, demands as much attention as any hits compilation by the group.

Side one
1.  Nights on Broadway  (4:31)
2.  Jive Talkin’  (3:43)
3.  Wind of Change  (4:54)
4.  Songbird  (3:35)
5.  Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)  (4:02)

Side two
1.  All This Making Love  (3:03)
2.  Country Lanes  (3:29)
3.  Come On Over  (3:26)
4.  Edge of the Universe  (5:21)
5.  Baby As You Turn Away  (4:23)

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Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

Artist:  Iron Butterfly
Title:  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Release:  1968
Format:  LP
Label:  Atlantic
Catalog#  ATL 40022

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is the second studio album by the American rock band Iron Butterfly, released in 1968. It is most known for the title track, a simple composition which, due to an extended jam, occupies the whole of Side B.
With its endless, droning minor-key riff and mumbled vocals, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is arguably the most notorious song of the acid rock era. According to legend, the group was so stoned when they recorded the track that they could neither pronounce the title “In the Garden of Eden” or end the track, so it rambles on for a full 17 minutes, which to some listeners sounds like eternity.
But that’s the essence of its appeal it’s the epitome of heavy psychedelic excess, encapsulating the most indulgent tendencies of the era. Iron Butterfly never matched the warped excesses of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” either on their debut album of the same name or the rest of their catalog, yet they occasionally made some enjoyable fuzz guitar-driven psychedelia that works as a period piece. The five tracks that share space with their magnum opus on "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" qualify as good artifacts, and the entire record still stands as the group’s definitive album, especially since this is the only place the full-length title track is available.

Side one
1.  Most Anything You Want  (3:44)
2.  Flowers and Beads  (3:09)
3.  My Mirage  (4:55)
4.  Termination  (2:53)
5.  Are You Happy  (4:31)

Side two
1.  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida  (17:05)

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