Gone Digital: Arif Mardin, Phreek, Five Thirty, Jane Child, and the Stalk-Forrest Group
If it’s Tuesday, then it must be time for Gone Digital, our weekly look at five albums which may not even realize are part of Rhino’s digital catalog. As ever, the types of music we’ll be covering will be all over the place, but that’s Rhino for you: we’re all about variety!
• Arif Mardin, GLASS ONION (1970): Arguably one of the greatest music producers of all time, and certainly one of the best to be involved with Atlantic Records, Mardin occasionally ventured into a solo career, and this was his debut album. Yes, the title track is a Beatles cover, and the album is full of Mardin’s instrumental versions of other ‘60s tunes, including “Proud Mary,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Walk on By,” “Strange Brew,” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
• Phreek, PATRICK ADAMS PRESENTS PHREEK (1976): If you don’t know Adams, here’s a couple of sentences from the Amazon listing for this album that should answer the question: “Born in Harlem, N.Y.C., Adams has contributed to no less than 32 gold and platinum releases, primarily for Salsoul and Prelude Records as well as major labels such as Atlantic. Adams has worked with some of the premier vocalists and musicians in dance music including Sister Sledge, Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown and Leroy Burgess to name only a very few, as well as bands such as Musique, Logg and Universal Robot Band.” Got it? Good. Adams actually leads Phreek, and it’s some great disco goodness, so if you like that sort of thing, hit “play” and shake your groove thing accordingly.
• Five Thirty, RED (Expanded Edition) (1991): Although these guys hail from the UK and found chart success in the early ‘90s, these guys weren’t so much Britpop as they were Britrock, which...isn’t really a thing, per se. And although this album, which was their lone full-length LP, wasn’t released until 1991, Five Thirty actually formed way back in 1983, believe it or not, releasing their debut single, “Catcher in the Rye,” in ’85. Give this album a spin and enjoy the early ‘90s goodness through singles like “13th Disciple,” “You,” “Abstain,” “Super Nova,” and “Air Conditioned Nightmare,” but be appropriately giddy over the inclusion of that aforementioned ’85 single and its B-side, “Catcher in the Rye.”
• Jane Child, HERE NOT THERE (1993): This Canadian singer-songwriter made waves in 1989 with her self-titled debut album, earning a top-5 single in both her homeland (#4) and in the U.S. (#2) with “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love,” plus a second minor hit on both sides of the border with “Welcome to the Real World.” It took four years for Child to release her sophomore LP, however, by which point the sun had mostly set on her chart success, but you may recognize the minor hit “All I Do,” which hit #25 on the Billboard Dance Singles chart.
• The Stalk-Forrest Group, ST. CECILIA: THE ELEKTRA RECORDINGS (2001): If this group’s name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s no surprise, since they recorded this album in 1970, only for their label to decline to release it. On the other hand, if their name does ring a bell, then it probably means that you’re a Blue Oyster Cult fan, since that’s the band that the Stalk-Forrest Group evolved into in 1971, at which point they actually did manage to get an album released: their self-titled debut.