Content tagged '60s'
In The Midnight Hour (Album of the Day)
Wilson Pickett's much-covered soul classic "In The Midnight Hour" debuted on the charts today in 1965; it became the title track of the singer's first album for Atlantic Records. The bulk of that collection was drawn from singles by the performer going back to 1962, and are among the grittiest and most passionate Pickett ever recorded - such as “I Found A Love,” a Top Ten R&B hit from his tenure with The Falcons. A gifted writer as well as a powerhouse vocalist, The Wicked One wrote or co-wrote most of these dozen songs, including several (“Don't Fight It,” “I'm Not Tired”) with guitarist Steve Cropper, whose Booker T. & The M.G.'s bandmates Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson Jr. can also be heard here on bass and drums. IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR was prime time for '60s soul, and the incendiary set served notice that both Pickett and Memphis' Stax studios were forces to be reckoned with.
Insight Out (Album of the Day)
INSIGHT OUT was the beginning of The Association's stint with Warner Bros. after two longplayers for Valiant, and it was a winning combination of group and label - the album reached the Top Ten and quickly went gold. It was also the sextet's first album with producer Bones Howe (who had helmed hits for The Turtles) and the first to lean on the session aces of The Wrecking Crew. With the band's focus on harmonies and material, The Association came up with a beautifully sung collection of folk-rock and sunshine pop, including such fine originals as “When Love Comes To Me” and the ambitious “Requiem For The Masses.” Of course the most famous tracks here are “Windy” and “Never My Love,” which hit the first and second slots, respectively, on the Billboard singles chart in the summer of 1967. In honor of the 50th anniversary of “the Summer of Love,” INSIGHT OUT has just been reissued on colored vinyl, and it remains among The Association's strongest albums.
Alice's Restaurant (Album of the Day)
The son of legendary folksinger Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie has fashioned a musical legacy of his own over the last half century. His debut disc, ALICE'S RESTAURANT, took an appropriately circuitous route to Platinum status - sales kicked into overdrive after the 18-minute title track was adapted into a film two years later. That ambling, autobiographical story-song became a counterculture anthem, but the remaining six tracks on the album are also excellent examples of the singer-songwriter's sly humor and musical craftsmanship. Produced by Fred Hellerman of folk icons The Weavers, the 1967 Reprise collection has just been reissued on vinyl in mono to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “the Summer of Love.”
Dusty in Memphis (Album of the Day)
With her group The Springfields and solo, Dusty Springfield recorded a string of pop hits in the 1960s to emerge as one of Britain's finest female vocalists. But she'd always loved R&B, and after signing with Atlantic Records, she decamped to Tennessee with the label's Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd to make a full album in the style. DUSTY IN MEMPHIS features backing vocals by The Sweet Inspirations and instrumentation by the Memphis Cats (both of whom worked with Elvis Presley), and tracks like “Just A Little Lovin',” “The Windmills of Your Mind” and the Top Ten hit “Son of a Preacher Man” simmer and sizzle with soul. Cited by the likes of Rolling Stone, VH1, NME and Mojo as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time, DUSTY IN MEMPHIS has just been reissued on 180-gram vinyl.
Trane: The Atlantic Collection (Remastered) (Album of the Day)
An outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent, John Coltrane made boundary-shattering music that continues to impact and influence people around the world. The new anthology TRANE: THE ATLANTIC COLLECTION features recordings the saxophonist made for Atlantic Records between 1959 and 1961, a time when Coltrane was moving away from the life of a sideman and embracing the role of bandleader. These nine tracks include some of his finest work, such as the wise blues of "Equinox," a bright, swinging version of "My Shining Hour," the exuberant "Giant Steps" and the hit single "My Favorite Things." With the release of the recent Chasing Trane documentary, this is an ideal time to discover (or rediscover) John Coltrane, and TRANE: THE ATLANTIC COLLECTION is a superb encapsulation of the revolutionary music of the "heavyweight champion" of jazz.
Groovin' (Mono) (Album of the Day)
Released a half-century ago today, GROOVIN' shows The Young Rascals reaching musical maturity; it would be the final album the New York quartet released before dropping “Young” from their name. The 11 tracks on the Atlantic collection neatly bridge the gap between the garage and blue-eyed soul of their first recordings and the psychedelic and progressive sounds in the air in 1967. As adventurous as it was, the set was still packed with hits, including Top Ten singles “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Girl Like You” and the No.1 smash title track, which radiates feel-good summertime vibes as well as any record ever made. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Gold-certified GROOVIN' has just been reissued on vinyl in its original mono mix.
Young Brigham (Album of the Day)
Born on this day in 1931, Ramblin' Jack Elliott was a disciple of Woody Guthrie and later a role model for Bob Dylan; with a career spanning more than 60 years, he remains one of folk music's most enduring treasures. YOUNG BRIGHAM was the singer's first of two albums for Reprise Records, cut in Nashville with producer Bruce Langhorne in 1968. Though heavy on traditional material and Guthrie songs, the 11 tracks also include more contemporary singer-songwriter fare (“If I Were A Carpenter”), a Rolling Stones cover (“Connection”) and a touch of the roundabout storytelling that earned the performer his nickname. Johnny Cash, who wrote the liner notes to this set, once said of Ramblin' Jack, “He's got a song and a friend for every mile behind him,” and you can feel Elliott's heart and humor in every second of YOUNG BRIGHAM.
Love (Album of the Day)
Led by quixotic singer-songwriter Arthur Lee, Love was the first rock act signed to Elektra Records, and helped set the scene for the groovy Sunset Strip sounds of the mid-1960s. The quintet's eponymous debut offers a heady mix of garage and folk-rock; along with a pair of terrific covers (“My Little Red Book,” “Hey Joe”), the 14 tracks include such fiery originals as “Can't Explain” and “My Flash On You” as well as moody ballads like “A Message to Pretty” and “Signed D.C.” LOVE has just been re-released in honor of the 50th anniversary of “the Summer of Love,” and it's the perfect way to remember the great Arthur Lee, who passed away on this day in 2006.
Aretha Arrives (Album of the Day)
Technically, Aretha Franklin had already “arrived” by the time of her second Atlantic album – ARETHA ARRIVES was released in the wake of her breakthrough hit “Respect.” But the 1967 collection did make it clear that this was a talent destined to last. Aretha's magnificent voice works wonders on 11 songs ranging from blues and country chestnuts like “Going Down Slow” and “Night Life” to more recent rock (“Satisfaction”), and the Queen of Soul added another jewel to her crown with Top 10 single “Baby, I Love You.” As on her label debut, producer Jerry Wexler marshaled such session aces as King Curtis and Spooner Oldham in support, but Franklin's singing and piano playing could stand confidently on their own. Released 50 years ago today, ARETHA ARRIVES captures one of the 20th century's defining vocalists in peak form.
There's Gonna Be A Showdown (Album of the Day)
Born in Henderson, Texas on this day in 1944, Archie Bell made some of the most joyously danceable soul music of the 1960s with his group, The Drells. Their final album for Atlantic Records, THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN, was one of their best, with such highlights as “Girl You're Too Young,” “Go For What You Know” and the Top 40 title track. The material and arrangements are strong throughout; the 1969 collection was produced by future Philadelphia International hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who cowrote eight of the dozen tracks here along with frequent collaborator Thom Bell (no relation to Archie). The infectious and funky fun of THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN makes it perfect for a party, so we’ll use it to wish Archie Bell a happy birthday!