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Marvin Gaye Live'
Marvin Gaye LiveA beautiful 12" picture vinyl of live performances by one of the most captivating performers and
R&B legend, Marvin Gaye, that includes stunning renditions of "Let's Get It On," "What's Going On,"
"Sexual Healing," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and many more!Side A
1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
2. Come Get To This
3. Let's Get It On
4. What's Going On
5. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
1. Medley: Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing / Your Precious
Love / Love Twins / If This World Were Mine / If I Could Build
My Whole World Around You
2. Rockin' After Midnight
3. Sexual Healing$26.99Vinyl LP Picture Disc - Sealed Buy Now
On Stage is Marvin Gaye's third Motown album and first live date. He sounds refreshed, energetic, and triumphant! Nothing better than Marvin Gaye live!1. Blueberry Hill
2. Honey Chile
3. What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasing You
4. Blue Monday
5. So Long
6. La La
7. Troubles Of My Own
8. You Done Me Wrong
9.Reeling And Rocking
10. The Fat Man's Hop
11. Poor Poor Me
12. Trust In Me$27.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Donny Hathaway had one of the strongest voices in Soul, both in mere vocal prowess and in his lyrical abilities. The Ghetto, one of his most beloved songs, is on par with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (incidentally also a famous cover by Hathaway, as featured on this Live album) or Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up.
1972's Live cemented Hathaway's reputation as one of the forerunners of Soul, giving wonderful Jazzed-up interpretations (two of them running over the 10-minute mark) of classics. Hathaway plays with the audiences of the Troubadour in Hollywood and the Bitter End in New York like a preacher from the pulpit; their call-and-response is one of the elements that makes this album a classic of epic proportions.1. What's Goin' On
2. The Ghetto
3. Hey Girl
4. You've Got A Friend
5. Little Ghetto Boy
6. We're Still Friends
7. Jealous Guy
8. Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP -Sealed Buy Now
What's Going On (Half-Speed Master) (Awaiting Repress)Abbey Road Half-Speed Master
Pressed On 180 Gram Vinyl And Housed In A Hard Card Slipcase
Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, released on May 21st, 1971, is regarded by many as one of the best soul albums of all time. Recorded in several locations, including the famous Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit and The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, it was also the first album to give a credit to Motown's legendary house band, the Funk Brothers.
The original album consisted of nine songs mainly focused on the suffering and injustice in the US in the late 1960s from the eyes of a US veteran who'd returned home after fighting in Vietnam. The 2xCD Deluxe Edition released in 2001 brought together the original LP, the Detroit Mix of the album (which was rejected at the time), plus a live recording from The Kennedy Center Washington from May 1st, 1972. The Kennedy Center date was Gaye's first live performance following the death of close friend and singing partner, Tammi Terrell.
Both versions of the album, the Kennedy Center recording, plus several other tracks - including mono versions of the singles taken from the LP - are all featured on this 4xLP deluxe vinyl edition of What's Going On.
About These Abbey Road Half-Speed Masters:
These releases will offer a superior vinyl experience with Half-Speed Mastering from Abbey Road. They have been exclusively re-mastered at Half Speed to bring you a new level of depth and clarity.
This limited edition range, all pressed on 180-gram vinyl, come in deluxe packaging. The initial releases are all iconic deluxe edition titles from great Universal artists - Amy Winehouse, The Who, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Mike Oldfield.
The albums were cut from high-resolution digital transfers from the best-known analogue tapes by Abbey Road mastering engineer Miles Showell, one of the foremost practitioners of this artisan process in the world today. Only minimal sympathetic equalization was applied to the transfers to keep everything as pure as possible. Also, as these are vinyl-only releases, Miles did not apply any digital limiting. This is added to almost all digital releases to make them appear to be loud and is responsible for the so-called "loudness war" and in almost every case is anything but natural and pure sounding.LP 1: Original LP Release
1. What's Going On
2. What's Happening Brother
3. Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)
4. Save The Children
5. God Is Love
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7. Right On
8. Wholy Holy
9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
LP 2: Original Detroit Mix
1. What's Going On
2. What's Happening Brother
3. Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)
4. Save The Children
5. God Is Love
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7. Right On
8. Wholy Holy
9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
LP 3: Live At The Kennedy Center (May 1st, 1972)
1. Sixties Medley: That's The Way Love Is / You / I Heard It Through The Grapevine / Little Darling (I Need You) /
You're All I Need To Get By / Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing / Your Precious Love / Pride And Joy / Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
2. Right On
3. Wholy Holy
4. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
5. What's Going On
6. What's Happening Brother
LP 4: Additional Tracks
1. Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)
2. Save The Children
3. God Is Love
4. Stage Dialogue
5. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Reprise)
6. What's Going On (Reprise)
7. What's Going On (Single version)
8. God Is Love (Single version)
9. Sad Tomorrows
10. Head Title (AKA Distant Lover)
11. What's Going On (Rhythm & Strings mix)$54.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 4 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Allen Stone (Awaiting Repress)From backwoods barbecues and community gatherings, Allen Stone emerges to share personal melodies, telling tales of life after just 24 years. Originally getting his start singing at his father's church in small-town America, Stone's intense passion for music was instantly ignited by the great soul music of Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, and eventually by the confessional lyrical fashion of the '60s-'70s singer/songwriters.
Since releasing his self-titled album digitally in early 2012, Stone has sold more than 16,000 units at iTunes completely independent of a label. ATO Records is now presenting Allen Stone's eponymous album for the first time in physical form. In addition to the original 10-song set, this vinyl edition from ATO also includes a bonus 10 featuring exclusive new tracks recorded live-in-the-studio at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, WA and live at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA.LP
2. Celebrate Tonight
3. What I've Seen
4. Say So
5. The Wind
7. Contact High
8. Nothing To Prove
9. Your Eyes
1. Figure It Out (Recorded live-in-the-studio at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, WA)
2. Six Years (Tingsek cover/Recorded live-in-the-studio at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, WA)
3. Satisfaction (Recorded live at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA)
4. Unaware (Recorded live at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA)$19.99Vinyl LP + Bonus 10 Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
What's Going On (Pure Pleasure)In 2006, exactly a year after Katrina, in the aftermath of a vicious natural disaster that displayed the incompetence of the Crescent City's infrastructure, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Government, they addressed the tragedy in the only way they know how, by re-creating the same kind of bewilderment and anger that Marvin Gaye felt and witnessed in 1971 by issuing their own take on Gaye's classic album What's Goin' On. This is a question that is proved all the more poignant given the efforts of an entire region trying not only to rebuild homes and businesses, but trying to preserve a culture as this recording was released. The Dirty Dozen recruit a number of vocalists to help out on the hinge tunes. The samples of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's voice in the aftermath of the hurricane usher in the brass slip-sliding along the dark funky overtones of Gaye's signature tune. Guitarists Doug Bossi and Ben Keeler dig into the groove, as does drummer Terence Higgins and keyboardist/producer Anthony Marinelli, as Chuck D raps the refrain in the context of modern history, the disaster, and the ineptitude and even hostility of a government who wages war and ignores domestic problems. It's a news report from the front lines as the horns cut the melody, the harmony, and the deep, steamy funk groove. What's Happening Brother, closes the funk from the inside, turning the groove back in on itself not only playing the rage, but echoing it in the grain of Bettye LaVette's vocal, which dares to spit out the truth with questions and observations in the pain of a first person narrative. The airy arrangement of Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky) is nearly mournful, nostalgic for a more innocent time, but is all the more poignant for that longing. The deep tribal drums Mardi Gras Indian-style, with the skronky saxophones, tight guitar groove, and screaming narrative in Save The Children give way to the smoothness of Gaye's melody. It's a bewildered tune, sad with undercurrents of rage. Ivan Neville's arrangement for God Is Love is a stunner, full of deeply imaginative hues and colors and gospel grooves. G. Love helps out on Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), where the musicality in Gaye's vocal disappears but is supercharged in the horn charts, and Love's vocal sounds confused, displaced, out of time against the instruments. Right On is both militant and celebratory. It's got the funk, but it's also got gospel, rock, and deep soul blaring from the trombones and the repetitive riff in the rest of the brass section. Guru from Gang Starr cuts out from the moody, spectral introduction of Inner City Blues, when Higgins drums play counter to Kirk Joseph's deep blues sousaphone on the bassline. Frustration is everywhere and the horns point fingers to this truth which Guru lays out: that today is the same and perhaps even more so than it was in Gaye's time. The desolation in Gaye's lyric isn't lost but it is fleshed out over the chart so that they are merely the ghosts from the past preaching and exhorting in this new generation. Never has party music sounded so poignant, so utterly damning and hopeful and unbowed. This is the next step in the Homecoming that was a funeral for a friend; this is the aftermath, the sound of angry resurrection coming out with the sun, one where the revolution may be televised but bursts out of the edges in the screen and makes itself known by the medium understood by the people who have to live its realization. With killer grooves that take no prisoners, What's Goin' On is the most fitting tribute yet to Gaye, because not only does it prove the timelessness of the music itself, it echoes that what is indeed goin' on (Gaye's dedication to Detroit as its decline became a reality with no onlookers interested in doing anything) is even more true today than it was in 1971.
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. What's Going On feat. Chuck D
2. What's Happening Brother feat. Bettye Lavette
3. Flying High (In the Friendly Skies)
4. Save the Children
5. God is Love feat. Ivan Neville
6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7. Right On
8. Wholy Holy
9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Something To RememberSomething to Remember is Madonna's second greatest-hits collection, compiling a selection of the singer's ballads. Several of her biggest hits are included, including the number ones Crazy for You, Live to Tell, This Used to Be My Playground, and Take a Bow, as well as a handful of first-rate album tracks (a remixed Love Don't Live Here Anymore, Something to Remember, and three new tracks, most notably a version of Marvin Gaye's I Want You recorded with the British trip-hop group Massive Attack. Only two tracks on the album overlap with The Immaculate Collection, and the disc also marks the first appearance of This Used to Be My Playground and I'll Remember on one of Madonna's albums. Throughout the album, Madonna proves that she's a terrific singer whose voice has improved over the years. Not one of the tracks is second-rate, and the best songs on Something to Remember rank among the best pop music of the '80s and '90s.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music Guide)1. I Want You
2. I'll Remember (Theme from the Motion Picture With Honors)
3. Take A Bow
4. You'll See
5. Crazy For You
6. This Used To Be My Playground
7. Live To Tell
8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Remix Version)
9. Something To Remember
10. Forbidden Love
11. One More Chance
13. Oh Father (Alternate Album Version)
14. I Want You (Orchestral Album Version)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDI-BOD-1514xSamo Sound Boy
Begging PleaseBody High is set to release Begging Please, the debut solo album from label head Samo Sound Boy. In an unprecedented approach for an album rooted in club culture, Begging Please, is an honest and unguarded story, relatable to many, but a singular achievement in its unique delivery and detail. Citing Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear as a key influence, Samo uses his own distinct language to tell a vivid and personal narrative. Lush synth work, jagged percussion, and hauntingly soulful samples, bring us into his autobiographical account of love slowly breaking down and falling apart. The idea that dance music could be considered one-noted or lacking in depth has never made sense to me. I think the very simple way it builds up and down is so fundamentally reflective of living in the world, Samo said recently. What's dark and brooding can give way to the most ecstatic moments, all because one small thing is added or subtracted. Begging Please is a story about the last couple years of my life, told the best way I know how. Following his collaborative DJ Dodger Stadium LP with Jerome Potter, Samo wrote and recorded Begging Please during the second half of 2014 in Los Angeles, California.$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The ClassicI'm in the best place I've ever been in my life, declares Joan Wasser, and she's just recorded the album that proves it. The Classic, the fourth album of originals by the uniquely charismatic artist known as Joan As Police Woman, builds on the creative impetus and success of its 2011 predecessor The Deep Field, on which Joan strove to create music rooted in an intimate, elemental and uplifting brand of soul combined with her own unique serene, torch-singing temperament, with a more liberated feel than ever before. The result is a perfect reflection of her efforts to address - and solve - personal issues and so reject the singer-songwriter's traditional melancholic disposition for an unashamed lust for life. As graffiti in the artwork of her 2006 debut album Real Life read: Evolve and Be Brave.
The Classic is named after one of its ten tracks. Part is to do with the way we recorded mostly live; the way records used to get made, she explains. But I wrote 'The Classic' itself as a classic girl-group doo wop song, and the lyric refers to classic old songs like Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell 'You're All I Need To Get By', Stevie Wonder's ' Joy Inside My Tears' and Danny & The Juniors' 'Rock'n'Roll Is Here To Stay'. And at the end, I spell out the name of the song, like Aretha Franklin did with 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T'! The song begins 'I am home in your arms' and it's solely joyful, expressing jubilation. Melancholy is still part of my life, but it's no longer leeching energy from my life.1. Witness
2. Holy City
3. The Classic
4. Good Together
5. Get Direct
6. What Would You Do
7. New Year's Day
10. Ask Me$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Golden Butter: The Best Of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The First Time Audiophile Vinyl 40th Anniversary Presentation Of Their Legendary Elektra Recordings
Mastered Impeccably From The Original Elektra Records Tapes by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios & At Capitol Records With Ron McMaster
Features The Original Gatefold Cover Album Art & Essay by Tony Glover
Along with fellow superstars Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Band and The Grateful Dead, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one of the first powerhouse rock acts of the sixties. With their phenomenal brand of Chicago blues music unlike any band before or after them, they helped to usher in the progressive underground rock movement.
With its core line-up of Paul Butterfield (harmonica/lead vocalist), Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Elvin Bishop (guitar), Sam Lay(drums), Mark Nataflin (keyboards) and Jerome Arnold (bass), this amazing band truly delivered many legendary blues and rock recordings during their successful reign at Elektra Records.
Blues masterpieces of the era still resonate today as Paul Butterfield and Co. foretold with their classic signature tunes like Born In Chicago, Look Over Yonders Wall, Mellow Down Easy and the mammoth blues prog-rocker East West. With the superstar talents that made up this band over the years, it was not uncommon to hear radio stations play entire sides of their revolutionary albums during the dawn of FM and underground radio.
Later albums would reveal even further extensions of the blues rock genre with classic renditions like Marvin Gaye's One More Heartache, Michael Nesmith's Mary Mary, plus more of their own prolific standards like Last Hope's Gone, Morning Blues and of course their Woodstock 1969 anthem Love March.
Elektra awarded The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and their huge fan base with a very extensive and amazing "Greatest Hits" package called Golden Butter back in 1972. Right from the start you get a healthy serving from their first monster release The Paul Butterfield Blues along with more solid tunes from other fine albums like East West, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, In My Own Dream, Live and Keep On Movin'.
Out of print on vinyl for many years, it is with great pride and honor to announce the first time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl release of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band classic Golden Butter - The Best Of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band on Friday Music.
As a first installment in the Paul Butterfield/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series, this amazing album features 18 of their most important songs from their legendary albums from1965 through 1973. From the early blues rock sounds of Shake Your Money-Maker and the lengthy live epic Driftin' and Driftin' to later day album radio favorites like Blind Leading the Blind, One More Mile and the pivotal Willie Dixon favorite Spoonful, this album truly shows the relevance and importance of this sorely missed iconic band.
Mastered impeccably from the original Elektra Records tapes by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and at Capitol Records with Ron McMaster, this super limited edition album also boasts the original gatefold cover album art and wonderful essay by Tony Glover, not seen in years!
The two HQ vinyl LP's are also protected by polylined sleeves as well as a polybag to help keep the album cover and albums in great condition for your blues collection.
The Paul Butterfield Band Golden Butter First Time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Sounding blusier than ever Nothin' But Some Of The Finest Blues Ever From Chicago exclusively from your friends at Friday Music! In My Own DreamLP 1
1. Born In Chicago
2. Shake Your Money-Maker
3. Mellow Down Easy
4. Our Love Is Drifting
5. Mystery Train
6. Look Over Yonders Wall
8. Walkin' Blues
9. Get Out of My Life, Woman
10. Mary, Mary
2. One More Mile
3. One More Heartache
4. Last Hope's Gone
5. In My Own Dream
6. Love March
7. Driftin' and Driftin'
8. Blind Leading the Blind$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Buy Now
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil ConnectionLegacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection, an innovative new collection of 12 beloved vocal recordings re-experienced through new samba and bossa nova arrangements created by iconic Brazilian musicians and The Berman Brothers.
Embracing the All In One Rhythm™ Theme of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection blends 12 iconic performances--from Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Sly & The Family Stone, The Isley Brothers, Mel TormÉ, Nina Simone, Johnny Nash, Dave Brubeck with Carmen McRae, Andy Williams and Sarah Vaughan--with new, samba and bossa nova arrangements and production inspired by the spirit of Brazilian music.
Working on Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection project, the Berman Brothers sought out the original multi-track masters and utilized an all-new, state-of-the-art separation technology from Science of Sounds to extract exquisitely pristine and detailed vocals. The newly isolated vocals were then melded with brand-new, authentic backing arrangements played by Studio Rio, an all-star cast of Brazilian musical pioneers from the bossa nova and samba genres, including Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roberto Menescal and Brazilian musical legend Marcos Valle.
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection is the latest innovative musical project from the Berman Brothers (Frank and Christian), a production team whose previous work includes Rhythms Del Mundo (2006), a cross-cultural album summit which which fused an all-star cast of Cuban musicians including Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club with US and UK artists and superstars such as U2, Coldplay, Sting, Jack Johnson, Maroon5, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and others. Rhythms del Mundo was released in more than 61 countries and received multiple sales awards worldwide.
During the past 20 years, the Berman Brothers have received more than 90 gold and platinum awards, two BMI Awards, a Golden Globe nomination, a Grammy nomination (for Love One Another, recorded by Cher) and a place in history for their production and remix of the Baha Men's colossal hit, Who Let the Dogs Out. As producers, writers and publishers, the Bermans have worked with an array of international superstars including Coldplay, Sting, Cher, Real McCoy, Dido, Maroon5, Sophie B Hawkins, Reamonn and members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.
Music is the heart and soul of Brazil, celebrating with syncopated beats and beautifully expressive melodies. It's the life force of the entire culture, wrote the Berman Brothers in their notes for Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection. We have always had a huge appreciation of Brazilian music. Between us, we have a massive collection of bossa nova and samba recordings, new and old, a lot which we found in flea markets in Amsterdam, Paris, and London.... Once you get into this music, there really is no way to stop. It was this joyful and timeless music that inspired the idea for this collection. Our goal was to bring the Brazilian joie de vivre to iconic performances by well-known American artists like Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, and many others. What would these classic songs sound like had they been recorded in the studios of Rio De Janeiro in the first place, with the best Brazilian musicians and arrangers?"
"It was an amazing journey-bringing together these American classics and the vibrancy of Brazilian music with the help of so many talented musicians, arrangers and a dedicated production team. We learned many things putting together this music including what was the most important, and least surprising lesson of all: Brazil is the most musical place we have ever been in our lives.1. Lovely Day (Studio Rio Version) - Bill Withers with Studio Rio
2. Walk on By (Studio Rio Version) - Aretha Franklin with Studio Rio
3. Sexual Healing (Studio Rio Version) - Marvin Gaye with Studio Rio
4. You've Changed (Rio Music Collective Version) - Billie Holiday with Studio Rio
5. Family Affair (Rio Music Collective Version) - Sly & The Family Stone with Studio Rio
6. It's Your Thing (Rio Music Collective Version) - The Isley Brothers with Studio Rio
7. I've Got You Under My Skin (Studio Rio Version) - Mel TormÉ witb Studio Rio
8. I Can See Clearly Now (Studio Rio Version) - Johnny Nash with Studio Rio
9. Take Five (Studio Rio Version) - Dave Brubeck & Carmen McRae with Studio Rio
10. Music to Watch Girls By (Studio Rio Version) - Andy Williams with Studio Rio
11. Summertime (Studio Rio Version) - Sarah Vaughan with Studio Rio$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Home AgainFew records make such an instant impression as Home Again, the debut album by Michael Kiwanuka, winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 prize. Immersing the listener in a sound that is both modern and at the same time as familiar as the classics, it manages to strike the balance between being contemporary and somehow utterly timeless. For Kiwanuka, key musical touchstones include Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack's First Take, Bill Withers' Live At Carnegie Hall and D'Angelo's modern soul landmark Voodoo.
Born in Muswell Hill to Ugandan ÉmigrÉ parents, Kiwanuka was brought up in a home from which music was largely absent, with his first introduction to rock (Nirvana, Radiohead) arriving at the same time as he began to hang with the skater kids in the north London suburb during his early teenage years. Later coming across a soul compilation album given away with a music monthly, he was enthralled by the sound of Otis Redding's studio talkback discussions with his engineer while recording an outtake version of (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay. From this point on, he resolved to make music that sounded raw and authentic.
Though deeply into soul and jazz, he found real inspiration in the cross-pollination of the two styles with folk in the music of Bill Withers. "Bill Withers was very rootsy and earthy," he points out, "but people branded him as a soul singer. To me, he was a folk artist. So that encouraged me to keep going, 'cause I didn't know where I would fit in as a black guy with an acoustic guitar."
While performing on the acoustic circuit around London, Kiwanuka quickly attracted interest and made connections, not least with his current manager who in turn garnered the attention of Communion Records, the label that in 2011 released the singer's first two acclaimed EPs, Tell Me A Tale and I'm Getting Ready. Both of these EPs, as with Home Again, were produced by Paul Butler (The Bees) in his vintage equipment-stuffed basement studio at his house in Ventnor on the Isle Of Wight. Together the pair played almost every instrument to be heard on the album, with Butler's remarkably intimate, detailed productions adorned with everything from flute to brass to sitar to aching strings, perfectly matching Kiwanuka's visions for his songs.
"The way we made the record was very modern," the singer points out. "There was loads of editing. We manipulated it to get exactly what we wanted." From the opening bars of the stirring Tell Me A Tale, it is instantly clear that Home Again is a very special album. While its more upbeat characteristics are embodied in the Prince Buster-like loping of the lovelorn but irresistibly catchy Bones and the rolling soul groove of I'll Get Along, elsewhere it proves itself to be a record of real stripped-down beauty.
In I Won't Lie, with its gospel-infused echoes of The Staples Singers, Kiwanuka offers something akin to a modern spiritual, while in Rest he turns in a tender love lullaby and in Always Waiting, he blends classical elements with the confessional intimacy of Roberta Flack. It is with the title track of Home Again, however, that Michael Kiwanuka feels the record's sounds and themes are ultimately encapsulated. "That's the song that really for me ties everything together," he says. "It's one of the earliest songs I wrote for the album and even though I progressed and changed stuff in the studio, it was the one I could never throw away. Like a lot of them, it's a hopeful song. I use home as the metaphor for contentment and peace within."
Other parts of the record, on the other hand, find Kiwanuka struggling for peace of mind and using his songs as a form of self-empowerment, not least in the soulful I'm Getting Ready, the darker, unburdening Any Day Will Do Fine and the self-explanatory Worry Walks Beside Me. "It can really paralyze you, if you worry too much," the singer admits. "I do tend to overthink things. All of these songs are me talking to myself, really. Trying to encourage myself to believe."1. Tell Me A Tale
3. I'll Get Along
4. Home Again
5. I'm Getting Ready
7. Always Waiting
8. I Won't Be Long
9. Any Day Will Do Fine
10. Worry Walks Beside Me
11. Lasan$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now