Early work from Yma Sumac – with that moody mix of other worldly vocals and semi-Latin instrumentation that made her a popular one with the early exotic crowd. Yma runs up and down the vocal scale, while Moises Vivanco leads the band in a set of crashing dramatic orchestrations with a Peruvian feel. Tracks include "Sunray Surita", "Mamallayi", "No Es Vida", "Ccori Canastitay", and "Kon Tiki". CD
(Out of print.)
Ornette Coleman & Prime Time —
Virgin Beauty ... CD Portrait, 1988. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Brilliant later work from Ornette Coleman – quite adventurous stuff, too! By the late 80s, the shock of the new of Ornette's harmolodic sound had worn off enough that majors like CBS/Portrait were more than willing to invest in it – but for every catchy modern groove here, there's a left turn into more subtly daring territory! A few tracks feature Jerry Garcia – "3 Wishes", "Singing In The Shower", and "Desert Player" – and his jazz-folk-psych improv guitar style is a pretty wild match for Ornette and Prime Time. We didn't give those cuts nearly enough credit to over the years! The Garcia-less tracks show Ornette's awareness of hip hop and funky fusion, but he doesn't cop to trends. It's more that he's showing his continuing relevance in the 80s landscape. The group features Denard Coleman on percussion and keys, Calvin Weston on drums, Al MacDowell and Chris Walker on bass, Bern Nix and Charlee Ellerbe on guitars, and Ornette on alto, trumpet and violin. Other tunes include "Happy Hour", "Bourgeois Boogie", and "Spelling The Alphabet". CD
Atmospheric electronic pop from Air – one that really steps up the spacier avant pop touches, after some of more ethereal, almost symphonic touches on both their proper albums and soundtrack work in the preceding few years. Lots of trippy electronic touches on this one, but still with the delicate vocals and layered bits of guitar and other strings, for a nice blend of sounds. Solid work from the always adventurous duo. Includes "Venus", "Cherry Blossom Girl", "Run", "Universal Traveler", "Mike Mills", "Surfing On A Rocker", "Another Day", "Alpha Beta Gaga", "Biological" and "Alone In Kyoto". LP, Vinyl record album
(180 gram EU Parlaphone pressing, including the heavy inner sleeve.)
The fantastic first album from Benjamin Clementine – one of the most unique talents we've heard in years – and a singer with a sound that's as wonderful as it is hard to describe! At some level, there's a bit of jazz in Clementine's music – at least in the way he can croon along with his piano – but his song structure and overall presentation of the music has these deeper, richer currents – almost painterly at times, especially on some of the more string-laden numbers here – yet with earthier currents that both evoke an older European tradition, and maybe elements of the Caribbean as well. Although all these words really never do the album justice – because it's a shining jewel of its own, deserving of a full, rapturous listen – which should immediately lead to another. Titles include "Winston Churchill's Boy", "Gone", "Quiver A Little", "London", "Then I Heard A Bachelor's Cry", and "St Clementine On Tea & Croissants". CD
One of the most unique artists we've heard in years – and one who will no doubt be setting the world on fire for years to come! Benjamin Clementine's a singer, but also a poet – inspired by jazz and classical music, yet working here in neither – and instead, finding a path that's completely his own – borne out with incredible creative energy right from the very first note, and continuing through amazing territory with each new song on the set! There's some deft work on piano and electric harpsichord on the record – but there's lots more waves of dark textures and other tones – all to showcase Clementine's vocals, which are unlike any other singer we can think of. Benjamin's hardly just another voice with downtempo rhythms or modern production – as his lyrics are far richer, and his sound here already speaks volumes of his experiences on both the Paris and London scenes – although we're betting he's going to take the whole world by storm soon. Like nothing else you've ever heard – and we mean that in the best way possible – with songs that include "One Awkward Fish", "Farewell Sonata", "Better Sorry Than Asafe", "God Save The Jungle", "Phantom Of Aleppoville", "Paris Cor Blimey", "Jupiter", and "Ode From Joyce". CD
A bit academic, but still pretty darn beautiful! This early instrumental release by Eno was part of Island's short-lived series of modern music from the mid 70s – and it's the first time that Eno really explored his farther-reaching ideas on record. The set features 2 pieces: "Discreet Music", a long work that relies on a simple system of delay and recall, with slight variations occurring over the space of time, due to slight occasional interference from the composer; and "Three Variations On The Cannon In D Major By Johann Pachelbel", which works along similar lines, taking this very familiar classical theme, and breaking it down into simple components, which are then interwoven and played in repetition, creating a strange little bit of romantic minimalism. CD
A compilation LP of sorts – though at the time of its release most of this material had not been heard in this form! The album's more or less part of the "Ambient" series Eno had started that year with Music For Airports – and it's presented with similarly simple, elegant packaging – a cool divergence from the more striking Eno of a few years before. The set is made up of various bits, record either exclusively for film use, or that in one way or another found their way into films – and contains mostly short tunes, some thematic, others purely sonic wallpaper, but always compelling! 18 tracks, including "M386", "Aragon", "Two Rapid Formations", "Slow Water", "Sparrowfall", "Evenings In Dense Fog", "A Measured Room", "Strange Light", and "Final Sunset". CD
Massive 4 LP collection Gang Starr's greatest hits plus three new tracks and some b-side only tracks that didn't appear on any of their LP's. 20 full-length tracks spread over four pieces of vinyl for dj-friendly play. New tracks: "Full Clip", "Discipline", "All For The Ca$h", Non-LP tracks include the classics "Credit is Due" and "The ? Remains" plus "Jazz Thing", "Gotta Get Over", "So Wassup", "1/2 & 1/2", "You Know My Steez (Three Men & A Lady remix)", "The Militia II (remix featuring Rakim)." LP, Vinyl record album
Nice late 70s work from Gong – and a record that's much more jazz fusion based than some of the group's earlier work! Pierre Moerlen's still handling an awful lot of percussion – including vibra, timpani, glock, and marimba – but he's joined here by Mino Cinelou, who adds an additional tighter level of rhythm, plus guitarist Allan Holdsworth, whose ripping style on his axe almost gives a funky feel to a few of the tracks on the set. Titles include "Percolations", "Shadows Of", "Esnuria", and "Expresso". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a promo stamp and tracklist sticker.)
You ... LP Virgin, 1974. Very Good- ...
Lots of heavy percussion from Pierre Moerlen – plus guitar from Steve Hillage, and moog and other keyboards from Hi T Moonweed! Titles include "Perfect Mistery", "The Isle Of Everywhere", "You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever", and "Magick Another Invocation". LP, Vinyl record album
(UK pressing. Cover has clear tape along the top & bottom seams.)
The third solo album from Steve Hillage – a much more focused effort than before, and a record that features production from Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band! The album's still got plenty of trademark Hillage guitar work, but it's also got a fair bit more focused tunes than before too – a bit less jamming and more hook-heavy vocals – all wrapped up in some nicely fuzzy production from Cecil. The album's still a fair bit darker than you might guess from the cheesy cover – and titles include "Saucer Surfing", "Octave Doctors", "Not Fade Away", "Motivation", "Hello Dawn", and "Light In The Sky". LP, Vinyl record album
(US pressing. Includes the printed inner sleeve. Cover has a promo stamp and tracklist sticker.)
Detroit underground hits the mainstream – in a seminal album of crossover dance tracks! Kevin Saunderson and vocalist Paris Grey, along with help from Juan Atkins, craft a set of tunes that managed to hook the rest of the world on the electro sound that had been bubbling under in the Motor City for most of the 80s. And sure, there's more hooks and less darkness than on some of Saunderson's earlier work – but is that such a bad thing? Not to our ears, as lots of these tunes have still held up quite well over the years. Titles include "Paradise", "Ain't Nobody Better", "Big Fun", "Do You Love What You Feel", "Good Life", and "Secrets Of The Mind". CD
A nice bit of Detroit Techno – one that really crossed over into the mainstream, hitting all the stops on the remixes here with one from Derrick May, another from Juan Atkins, another from Steve Silk Hurley and the radio version of the original from Kevin Saunderson! 12-inch, Vinyl record
A load of remixes of tracks off Janet's Janet LP, which had been released a few years before this collection. Many house versions, but a few mid and down tempo ones too: "That's The Way Love Goes (CJ FXTC club mix)", "If (Brothers In Rhythm house mix)", "Because Of Love (Frankie & David treat mix)", "And On And On", 'Throb (Morales badyard dub)", "You Want This (E-Smoove's house anthem)", "Any Time, Any Place (CJ's 12" mix)", "Where Are You Now (Nellee Hooper mix)", " "70's Love Groove", "What'll I Do (Dave Navarro mix)" and "Any Time, Any Place (R Kelly mix)". 12-inch, Vinyl record
You know, we tend to beat up CJ Mackintosh a bit over on the hip hop pages because his UK remixes always veered a bit too far into the mainstream for our tastes, but when you're taking on an artist that's already squarely in the pop soul charts like Janet, it's not like you're doing that much damage. He adds some nice energy here with his house mix and a nice R&B version to complement the new jack original. 12-inch, Vinyl record
Frankie goes for the charts, but still with a very nice groove – and a deep bubbling under kind of sound that stays true to his Chicago roots! Still wish he would have used a real whistle, though! 12-inch, Vinyl record
One of the coolest records to come from the British scene in the 70s – a very unique offering from Canterbury poet and singer June Campbell Cramer – done in very close collaboration with the great Kevin Ayers! The style here is near some of Ayers' own recordings, but a lot more far-out overall – and Kevin produced the set, and adds in plenty of musical elements himself – including guitar, bass, piano, harmonium, and even "foot in the windscreen" on one track! Brian Eno also helps out a bit – playing electronics in a few spots, and singing on one tune – but the clear star is the Lady June herself – who comes across in this wonderful mix of speaking and singing passages, with an offbeat vibe that could almost make her a trippier female version of Ivor Cutler on record. Titles include "Everythingsnothing", "Some Day Silly Twenty Three", "Reflections", "Tunion", "The Tourist", "Am I", "Bars", "The Letter", "Optimism", and "Touch-Downer". LP, Vinyl record album
Easily one of the most successful albums of the British jazz rock years – but still a longtime favorite of ours as well! Mike Oldfield sets a whole new standard here for concept rock – not only by working on a single album-length composition that spans all of sides one and two, but also by playing all instruments himself – in a one man symphony of sound that's pretty darn great! The main theme of the piece will be recognizable from it's stripped-down use in The Exorcist – but we really love Oldfield's expansion on it here in a range of different overdubbed instruments, which are also sometimes processed – and then introduced by Mike in a spoken part that's one of the highlights of the album. CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)
OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark) —
Dazzle Ships ... LP Virgin (UK), 1983. Very Good+ ...
Rip Rig & Panic —
God ... LP Virgin (UK), 1981. Near Mint- 2LP ...
Rip Rig & Panic's first album – and one of the most brilliant post punk albums to come of the early 80s UK scene – mixing up global rhythms, avant jazz horns and winds, and spiritually resonant stream of consciousness vocals! Gareth Sanger paved the way with his earlier work in Pop Group – which melded punk, funk, dub and otherworldly textures into a primal sound all its own – and at this early point, Rip Rig & Panic does that and more – bringing in all this eclectic percussion, out jazzy clarinet, sax and trumpet, and both male and female lead vocals for a more expansive personality. RR & P's female voice is a young Neneh Cherry – and her father Don Cherry guests on trumpet, as he would again on the follow-up. Includes "Constant Drudgery Is Harmful To Soul, Spirit & Health", "Through Nomad Eyeballs", "Totally Naked (Without Lock Or Key)", "Howl! Caged Bird", "Those Eskimo Women Speak Frankly", "Shadows Only There Because Of The Sun", "Mis Pib" and more. This 2013 remastered CD edition has 6 bonus tracks: "Bob Hope Takes Risks (7" Version)", "Go, Go, Go! (This Is It)", "Billy Eckstein's Shirt Collar" and more. LP, Vinyl record album
Snide, surly and cathartic genius from the Sex Pistols – a record with a legacy as eternal as any rock album, punk or otherwise – all the more stunning, given it's the band's lone studio album! The main album is one classic after another, and really stands the test of time, a defiant statement to this day. Includes "Holidays In The Sun", "Bodies", "Anarchy In The UK", "No Feelings", "Problems", "Pretty Vacant", "God Save The Queen", "New York", "EMI", "Liar", "Submission" and "Seventeen". This 40th Anniversary box set edition is a stunner, too – with a second disc of studio rarities, Dave Goodman demos and Chris Thomas demos, with 21 tracks. Disc 3 features 2 separate 1977 concert recordings, one in Norway the other in Sweden. Includes a DVD, too, with the legendary Riverboat Party, plus more live footage from Cornwall and Stockholm, plus bonus material including promo videos and a BBC interview. CD
A great single that signalled the return of pure funk to the charts. Jazzie B takes a classic James Brown-esque groove, filters it through some hip hop production, and comes up with this nice track that has a deep deep bottom, and a slow funky groove. Offered up here in a number of different mixes, the last two of which offer some nice bits for putting into a mix! 12-inch, Vinyl record
The final album from Working Week – a cool British group who mixed up soul and jazz years before Sade – but never got the fame they deserved! The sound here is a bit fuller than on the previous records – maybe more soul touched with jazz than the other way around – although the core of the group still features great woodwinds from Larry Stabbins and guitar from Simon Booth – all fronted by the great vocals of the lovely Juliet Roberts, who really ties the sound together and gives it the special sound that made the group so great. Stabbins and Booth wrote most of the tracks – and titles include "Dancing In Motion", "Friend", "Too Much Time", "Soul Train", "Shot In The Dark", "South Africa", and "Touching Heaven". This 2CD version features 13 more bonus tracks – from all those great 12" singles and EP releases that made the group even stronger than their few albums. Additional titles include "Why Me", "Walking The Tightrope", "Rodrigo Bay (12" dance mix)", "Rodrigo Bay Boogaloo (dub mix 12")", "Soul Train (extended)", "No Cure No Pay (live)", "Inner City Blues (live)", "Don't Touch My Friend (extended)", and "Too Much Time (sax mix)". CD
A great addition to the David Bowie catalog – a set of key recordings for the BBC that stand strongly with the rest of his studio material from the time! The BBC format was always handled in a relaxed, but professionally-done way – which means that the quality of the recordings is excellent, and Bowie's able to provide slight variations on the tunes, often in ways that reflect the intimacy and charm of the radio studio, in contrast to his bigger concert performances of the time. There's also some nice surprise tracks here – such as his versions of "I'm Waiting For The Man", "White Light/White Heat", and "Amsterdam" – alongside tracks that include "Almost Grown", "Looking For A Friend", "Eight Line Poem", and "Bombers" – and classics that include "Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud", "The Supermen", "Changes", "Oh You Pretty Things", "Andy Warhol", "Ziggy Stardust", "Queen Bitch", "Good Knows I'm Good", "Width Of A Circle", "Rock N Roll Suicide", and "Space Oddity". CD
(Out of print.)
Mariah Carey —
Glitter ... LP Virgin, 2001. Used 2LP ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
... LP, Vinyl record album
Voodoo ... LP Virgin/Modern Classics, 2000. New Copy 2LP Gatefold (reissue)...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Sweet and gritty soul from D'Angelo – who takes a huge step into deeper territory on Voodoo – and it's one of the most monumental records of its time! On one level, Voodoo works as a nicely stripped-down session with a very classic soul feel. Gone are the overzealous flourishes that sometimes overwhelmed his earlier songs, and in their place are some sweetly crafted vocal parts with a classic Marvin Gaye/Al Green feel. That warmth is probably what made Voodoo a massive popular success – but what makes it such a creative triumph are the darker undercurrents – which hint at a troubled soul struggling for spiritual truth. One of the rare cases in popular music when great art became music for the masses! Titles include "Left & Right (feat Method Man & Redman)", "The Line", "Spanish Joint", "Africa", "Feel Like Makin Love", "The Root", "Playa Playa", "Devil's Pie", and "Greatdayndamornin/Booty". LP, Vinyl record album
(2012 2LP gatefold edition with new liner notes by Jason King and interviews with ?uestlove, James Poyser, Charlie Hunter and others.)
A new wave crossover classic from The Flying Lizards – one of the quirkiest groups of their era! The group were European, but have a sound that resonates strongly with the most playful post-disco work of the New York scene of the time, particularly the acts on Ze Records – a groove that mixes equal part punky and clubby rhythms, often topped with lyrics that are cold, but clever, done in the same ironic arty style of Cristina, or Devo. This album's the group's standout opus – and features their classic covers of "Summertime Blues" and "Money" – as well as originals "The Flood", "TV", "The Window", and "Russia". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout hole.)
Gang Starr —
Ownerz ... LP Virgin, 2003. Used 3LP ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
The Ownerz, indeed. The first Gang Starr full length after a 5 year break, and only their third in the preceding decade picks up exactly where Guru and Primo left off. It's Hip Hop 101 from the purists with love to the believers, and a proud, healthy disdain for the pretenders. Premier's production is everything – he's kicking serious, soulful sample genius even in the days of difficult rights clearance – none of that robot $*!t here. Guru and his cast of guest players (Freddie Foxxx, Krumbsnatcha, Fat Joe, M.O.P., Snoop, NYG's, Smiley and others) aren't pulling any punches with the industry knocking – Clipse's "Grindin'" gets redone in a skit as "(Hiney)", and in a guest spot, Jadakiss spits the line "I invest in haze and dope, because currently I'm a slave to (insert rhyming major label here.)" You already know that Gang Starr was one of the longest running, repeatedly successful groups in the game, and Ownerz lived up to their legacy. Other tracks include "Put Up Or Shut Up" with Krumbsnatcha, "Sabotage", "Peace of Mine", "Deadly Habitz", "Who Got Gunz" with Fat Joe and M.O.P., "Riot Akt", "The Ownerz", "Zonin'", "Same Team, No Games" with NYG'z, the singles "Nice Girl, Wrong Place" & "Skills", and more. LP, Vinyl record album
The fourth album from Roxy Music – and quite possibly their best to date! The album has the group moving strongly past the Eno years, into a tighter framework that still contains many of the darker themes of earlier records. Ferry's lead vocals are incredibly majestic – rising to heights to match the European greats of years past who were his inspiration – and the group's tight blend of reeds, guitar, and moody keyboards gives the whole album an off-kilter sense of instrumentation that really sets it apart from the pack. There's an artfulness here that's never overdone, and the whole thing comes together with a magic that's impossible to describe, but which is Roxy at their best. Titles include "Out Of The Blue", "The Thrill Of It All", "ThreeAnd Nine", "Triptych", "Casanova", and "Prairie Rose". LP, Vinyl record album
Features Glass on Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes – with Dickie Landy on soprano and tenor sax, and Joan LaBarbara and Gene Rickard on voices. Titles include "River Run", "Victor's Lament", "Etoile Polaire", "Are Years What", and "Ave". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a bumped corner, a cutout, and a promo stamp.)