Content tagged 'Album of the Day'
Upstairs at Eric's (Album of the Day)
Between stints with Depeche Mode and Erasure, keyboardist Vince Clarke teamed with soulful singer Alison Moyet to form Yazoo. The British synth-poppers (known as Yaz in the U.S.) quickly became dancefloor favorites with such songs as “Don't Go,” which got plenty of airtime on the then-new MTV. It's the lead-off track to the duo's 1982 debut UPSTAIRS AT ERIC'S, which also includes the U.K. hit “Only You” and such distinctive recordings as “Bad Connection” and “Winter Kills.” Produced by Eric Radcliffe (whose studio inspired the title), the album rose to the No.2 spot on the U.K. album chart and was one of the first to successfully combine electronica and R&B, influencing such hitmakers as Deee-Lite and the Pet Shop Boys. Vince Clarke celebrates a birthday today, and in his honor, we'll spend a little time UPSTAIRS AT ERIC'S.
America (Album of the Day)
Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek met as teenagers in London, where their fathers were stationed with the U.S. Air Force. Though one of them was English, the trio christened themselves America, and their sound owes much to the soft rock then becoming popular on the U.S west coast. The band's self-titled debut for Warner Bros. features rich harmonies and inventive acoustic guitar work on a fine set of originals including “Sandman” “Three Roses” and “I Need You.” The collection was originally released at the end of 1971, but after the group's “Horse With No Name” topped the U.S. singles chart, that track was quickly added to the album, which itself reached No. 1 and went platinum. Today we'll give another spin to one of the very best '70s soft rock albums in celebration of AMERICA.
Spirit (Album of the Day)
In the wake of a smash debut, Jewel Kilcher's second album was among the most anticipated of the decade, and SPIRIT did not disappoint. The 1998 Atlantic collection glows with the same beautiful voice, heartfelt poetry and appealing melodies that had won the singer-songwriter millions of fans three years earlier, but the production here (by Peter Collins and Patrick Leonard) frames these virtues with much more professional polish than did PIECES OF YOU. Singles “Hands,” “Down So Long” and “Jupiter” were certainly highlights, but the title of another song, “What's Simple Is True,” may better explain what made this set another multi-platinum hit. If Jewel's success was part of the '90s wave of “women in rock” (she was a headliner at Lilith Fair 20 years ago today), it's the directness and honesty of SPIRIT that continues to resonate.
40 (Album of the Day)
Following its self-titled debut in 1977, Foreigner went on to record some of rock’s most enduring anthems; the group has 10 multi-platinum albums to its credit and is one of the best-selling bands of all time, with worldwide sales in excess of 75 million. Rhino celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of rock’s most popular acts with the new career-spanning compilation 40, a double-disc set that features 40 hits from 40 years. The collection brings together the best songs from Foreigner’s nine studio albums, including all 16 of its Top 30 hits: “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold As Ice,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Hot Blooded,” the #1 smash “I Want To Know What Love Is” and more. All prior recordings have been remastered, and 40 also features two new tracks recorded especially for this release, “Give My Life For Love” and a new version of “I Don’t Want To Live Without You.”
Images And Words (Album of the Day)
Few bands fused prog rock and heavy metal more brilliantly than Dream Theater, and IMAGES AND WORDS just might be their masterpiece. The Boston quintet's first album for Atco was also their first with James LaBrie at the microphone, and his wide-ranging tenor meshes perfectly with the Berklee-trained instrumentalists playing behind him. From MTV favorite “Pull Me Under” to epics like “Metropolis - Part I: 'The Miracle and the Sleeper'” and “Learning to Live,” these songs are intricate and ambitious without ever losing the listener. Released 25 years ago today, the Gold-certified IMAGES AND WORDS remains Dream Theater's most commercially successful set, and a true progressive metal landmark.
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.
Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie (Album of the Day)
As longtime members of Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie have written, recorded and performed some of the most popular and enduring music of all time. The two have now joined together for their first-ever album as a duo, LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM/CHRISTINE McVIE. The collaboration began three years ago, when McVie rejoined the Mac for the group’s “On With The Show” concerts; the pair went in to record new material prior to rehearsals for the tour and their natural creative chemistry was reignited. Led by the single “In My World,” the new album features 10 songs cut at Los Angeles' The Village Studios (where Fleetwood Mac recorded several classic albums), and bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie joined the duo for the sessions. A showcase for their stunning talent, LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM/CHRISTINE McVIE will be loved and enjoyed by Fleetwood Mac and music fans the world over.
Madonna (Album of the Day)
Released this month in 1983, Madonna's self-titled Sire Records debut brought dance music out of the doghouse to which it had been consigned since the last days of disco. Cut with remixer/producer Jellybean Benitez, the collection reflects the sounds of New York's trendiest clubs, with the latest synthesizers and drum machines prominent in the mix, though there are plenty of old-school hooks in these songs - “Holiday” and Top 10 singles “Borderline” and “Lucky Star” would've been hits in any era. Add in the singer's girlish appeal (and tireless work ethic), and the set's 10 million worldwide sales become inevitable. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named MADONNA one of the ten best albums of the previous quarter-century, and even a cursory listen makes the point tough to argue.
Star (Album of the Day)
With stints in Throwing Muses and The Breeders behind her, Tanya Donelly was more than ready to front her own alternative rock band, and Belly captured the spotlight even more firmly than those previous groups. Filled out by three musical cohorts from Donelly's Rhode Island home base, Belly made an impressive debut with STAR; the 1993 Sire set included a Modern Rock chart-topper in “Feed The Tree,” another MTV favorite in “Gepetto,” and brought the quartet two Grammy nominations. These 15 originals give indie dream pop plenty of appealing hooks - even if the album's sweet-sounding vocals sometimes sing about rather strange stuff. Today we'll wish upon a STAR in honor of Tanya Donelly's birthday.