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Jeff Beck: Live At The Hollywood BowlRecorded at the Hollywood Bowl in LA in 2016, the show is a 50 year celebration of Jeff Beck. Illustrious career
highlighted with songs from The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group and his solo career. Jeff is a 7 time Grammy winner
and named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock. Billy Gibbons, Buddy
Guy, Steven Tyler, Jan Hammer and more perform with Jeff playing his classics and covers including The Beatles
"A Day In The Life" and Prince's "Purple Rain".1. The Revolution Will Be Televised [Live]
2. Over Under Sideways Down [Live]
3. Heart Full Of Soul [Live]
4. For Your Love [Live]
5. Beck's Bolero [Live]
6. Medley: Rice Pudding / Morning Dew [Live]
7. Freeway Jam [Live]
8. You Never Know [Live]
9. Cause We've Ended As Lovers [Live]
10. Star Cycle [Live] 11.Blue Wind [Live]
12. Big Block [Live]
13. I'd Rather Go Blind [Live]
14. Let Me Love You [Live]
15. Live In The Dark [Live]
16. Scared For The Children [Live]
17. Rough Boy [Live]
18. Train Kept A-Rollin' [Live]
19. Shapes Of Things [Live]
20. A Day In The Life [Live]$55.99Vinyl LP + DVD - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Live At The Hollywood Bowl (Awaiting Repress)In the summer of 2016, guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck celebrated 50 years of his musical career with an extraordinary concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Beck set the stage ablaze with incredible live versions of "For Your Love", "Beck's Bolero", "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Big Block", "Over Under Sideways Down", "A Day In The Life", "Blue Wind", and more. The night also included a legendary list of special guests including Steven Tyler, Billy F. Gibbons, Jan Hammer, Beth Hart, Jimmy Hall and Buddy Guy and concluded with a group encore of "Purple Rain" in honor of Prince.LP 1
1. The Revolution Will Be Televised (feat. Rosie Bones) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
2. Over Under Sideways Down (feat. Jimmy Hall & Todd O'Keefe) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
3. Heart Full Of Soul (feat. Jimmy Hall & Todd O'Keefe (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
4. For Your Love (feat. Jimmy Hall & Todd O'Keefe (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
5. Beck's Bolero (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
6. Medley: Rice Pudding / Morning Dew(feat. Jimmy Hall) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
7. Freeway Jam (feat. Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
8. You Never Know(feat. Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
9. Cause We've Ended As Lovers (feat. Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
1. Star Cycle (feat. Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
2. Blue Wind (feat. Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
3. Big Block (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
4. I'd Rather Go Blind (feat. Beth Hart & Jan Hammer) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
5. Let Me Love You (feat. Buddy Guy) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
6. Live In The Dark (feat. Rosie Bones) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
1. Scared For The Children (feat. Rosie Bones) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
2. Rough Boy (feat. Billy Gibbons) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
3. Train Kept A-Rollin' (feat. Steven Tyler) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
4. Shapes Of Things (feat. Steven Tyler) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]
5. A Day In The Life (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
6. Purple Rain (feat. Jan Hammer, Beth Hart, Rosie Bones, Jimmy Hall & Steven Tyler) [Live At The Hollywood Bowl]$44.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Songs of Rapture and Redemption: Rarities & Live (Pre-Order)Brand New Collection Includes Demos And Live Tracks Making Their Debut On Vinyl
2x 180-Gram Colored Vinyl Pressed At Record Industry
Includes A Tip On Gatefold Stoughton Jacket
Individually Numbered And Limited To One Pressing
Born October 7, 1944, and hailing from California, Judith
Lynn Sill was an American singer-songwriter who learned
how to play piano in her father's Oakland bar. She met,
befriended and started opening shows for Graham Nash
and David Crosby in the mid-to-late 1960s.
After a bit of interest from Atlantic Records, David Geffen
offered Judee a contract and she became the first artist to
sign with his then-fledgling Asylum label. During her early
days at Asylum, she sold her song "Lady-O" to the Turtles and
was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Graham Nash
produced her first single, "Jesus Was A Cross Maker," off her
self-titled debut album which was released on September
15, 1971 and engineered by Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell). The
song was inspired by her romance with singer-songwriter
JD Souther, who later wrote the song "Something In the
Dark" about her. The album featured Sill's voice in multiple
overdubs, often in a four-part chorale or fugue. Her debut
album was not a commercial success, despite good reviews.
Sill took over orchestration and arrangements for her
second album, Heart Food, which was released in March
of 1973. The album was critically acclaimed but sold poorly
and ended her association with Asylum and David Geffen.
Judee continued to write songs and in 1974 began to record
new material planned for a third album that was never
finished. Sill continued to struggle with drug addiction
and health problems, eventually dropping out of the music
scene completely. Judee tragically died of a drug overdose
on November 23, 1979, at her apartment in North Hollywood.
Sill's music was not commercially viable at the time but
was incredibly influential as well as ground-breaking and
many notable songwriters such as Andy Partridge, Liz Phair,
Warren Zevon and Shawn Colvin have been fans of her work.
Her songs have been covered by the Hollies, Cass Elliott,
Warren Zevon, Beth Orton, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy,
Ron Sexsmith, The Fruit Bats and many more.LP 1
1. Intro/The Vigilante*
3. Enchanted Sky Machines*
4. The Archetypal Man*
5. Crayon Angels*
6. The Lamb Ran Away With the Crown*
7. Jesus Was A Cross Maker*
1. The Pearl**
2. The Phoenix**
3. Jesus Was A Cross Maker (home demo)
4. The Desperado (Outtake from the Heart Food sessions)
5. The Kiss***
6. Down Where The Valleys Are Low***
7. The Donor***
8. Soldier Of The Heart***
9. The Phoenix***
10. The Vigilante***
11. The Pearl***
12. There's A Rugged Road***
* Live at Boston Music Hall, 10/3/71
** Outtake from the album Judee Sill
*** Solo demo for Heart Food$36.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Piano & A Microphone 1983 (Pre-Order)New official Prince album features unreleased recordings
Recorded in 1983 at Prince's Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, MN & engineered by Don Batts, Piano & A Microphone 1983 is a nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano. The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince s creative process as he worked through songs which include 17 Days and Purple Rain (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell's A Case Of You, Strange Relationship (not released until 1987 on his critically acclaimed Sign O' The Times album), and International Lover.
The album also includes a rare recording of the 19th Century spiritual Mary Don't You Weep, featured during the end credits of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. For fans of Prince s spontaneous live medleys, tracks 1-7 of the album are presented in that same format as they were originally recorded.1. 17 Days
2. Purple Rain
3. A Case Of You
4. Mary Don't You Weep
5. Strange Relationship
6. International Lover
8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine
9. Why The Butterflies$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Nothing Compares 2 UNothing Compares 2 U contains the original version of the iconic song. This previously unreleased version was recorded in 1984, six years before 1990's classic reimagining by SinÉad O'Connor and before Prince started performing the song live. The track was recorded at the Flying Cloud Drive 'Warehouse' in Eden Prairie by Prince's long-time engineer Susan Rogers, and originally composed, arranged and performed in its entirety by Prince, aside from the backing vocals by Susannah Melvoin and Paul St. Paul Peterson. Also featured on the original track is saxophone work by Eric Leeds.1. Nothing Compares 2 U (Edit)
2. Nothing Compares 2 U$9.997 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
Piano & A Microphone 1983 (Deluxe Edition) (Pre-Order)New official Prince album features unreleased recordings
Recorded in 1983 at Prince's Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, MN & engineered by Don Batts, Piano & A Microphone 1983 is a nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano.
The Deluxe CD+LP format will include a 12 booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince's then engineer Don Batts, as well as candid shots of Prince including never before seen images.
The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince s creative process as he worked through songs which include 17 Days and Purple Rain (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell's A Case Of You, Strange Relationship (not released until 1987 on his critically acclaimed Sign O' The Times album), and International Lover.
The album also includes a rare recording of the 19th Century spiritual Mary Don't You Weep, featured during the end credits of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. For fans of Prince s spontaneous live medleys, tracks 1-7 of the album are presented in that same format as they were originally recorded.1. 17 Days
2. Purple Rain
3. A Case Of You
4. Mary Don't You Weep
5. Strange Relationship
6. International Lover
8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine
9. Why The Butterflies$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
PlectrumelectrumPLECTRUMELECTRUM is a classic band record, with 3RDEYEGIRL which include Prince, Donna Grantis (guitar), Hannah Ford Welton (drums) and Ida Nielsen (bass). Recorded live and in analog the album is an electrifying funk-rock statement. Many of the tracks from PLECTRUMELECTRUM were performed live on the 'Hit & Run' tours of the UK earlier this year - incendiary performances in a series of historic venues - which led The Guardian to declare ''These are performances by one of the greatest funk-rock bands ever.'' The group was showered in 5-star reviews from all major reviewing media.1. Wow
12. Funknroll$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Single)12 Maxi-Single Reissue
Featuring I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man And Hot Thing
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man is a song originally recorded in Prince's home studio in 1982. The song is an upbeat pop number featuring a combination of live drumming with two drum machine patterns. Also featured are two guitar solos, one wild and energetic and one more bluesy and subdued in the full album cut. The lyrics paint the image of a woman seeking a man to replace the one who left, while Prince refuses, saying that she would not be satisfied with a one-night stand. The music and accompanying music video pushed this song to the top 10 in the US.
The 12-inch single includes the full album version of I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, as well as several remixes of Hot Thing. One of these was included on the Ultimate compilation album in 2006. Hot Thing received enough airplay by DJs to chart on its own, reaching #63.1. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
2. Hot Thing (Edit)
3. Hot Thing (Extended Remix)
4. Hot Thing (Dub Version)$12.9912 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
Trust NowTrust Now is the keystone album of Brooklyns Prince Rama. The album takes the kaleidoscopic mysticism of ancient devotional music and focuses it through the fierce urgency and archetypal language of pop, forming an environment that is both accessible and impenetrable.
Deep synths rise from a sparkling sea of gamelans and prayer bells as tribal drums pound the earth with the hypnotic power to heal or destroy. Voices carry captivating and haunting melodies that shine like the diamond jewels of old Bollywood soundtracks spilling over dark wave dance floors.
First conceived as a ritual to be performed live, the songs were fittingly recorded inside a 19th century church in Seattle by Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire). As their 5th full-length album, and first as a duo, Trust Now is perhaps Prince Ramas most focused, cohesive and powerful album to date.1. Rest in Peace
2. Summer of Love
6. Golden Silence$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Best TroubadorWith Best Troubador, Bonnie 'Prince Billy pays homage to a long-time and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard. A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle song, Bonny has often cited his work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009.
Merle's body of work was considered by Bonnie for a record such as this for some time, but his passing in April of 2016 almost put a stop to it. The goal was to participate in the handing forward of the songs of a living legend, as Merle had done so many times in his own career. With Merle gone, some of the impetus for the project was in peril. A plan to make the album in Nashville studios was abandoned. The songs still called to be played again, however - and so sessions were endeavored at home, capturing feeling, memory and new expression in familiar confines with the full-hearted playing and singing of the Bonafide United Musicians: Van Campbell, Nuala Kennedy, Danny Kiley, Drew Miller, Cheyenne Mize and Chris Rodahoffer, with special guests Mary Feiock, Emmett Kelly, A.J. Roach and Matt Sweeney.
The songs sung on Best Troubador are pulled from all over - from Haggard's third album in 1967 though to his 47th in 2011 - but this is no simple hits compilation. Capable only of occupying a shared space between himself and Merle Haggard, Bonny chose personal favorites to find Merle and himself together in the music. Moving from 1978 to 1969 to 2003 to 1981 and so on allows the album to circle Haggard's music in a simulation of thought and memory, slipping around from spot to spot as if they were discrete impressions, unknown but knowable yet. Dedicated to new life and old, Best Troubadour is wistful and bittersweet, for the triumph of a life spent in unending pursuit of the goal: new and expressive music, as our inspirations and heroes once sang it.LP 1
1. The Fugitive
2. I'm Always On a Mountain When I Fall
3. The Day the Rains Came
4. Haggard (Like I've Never Been Before)
5. I Always Get Lucky With You
7. My Old Pal
8. Roses In the Winter
1. Some Of Us Fly
2. Wouldn't That Be Something
4. That's the Way Love Goes
5. Nobody's Darling
6. What I Hate (excerpt)
7. I Am What I Am
8. If I Could Only Fly$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
CaerTwin Shadow, the project of George Lewis Jr., is back to announce his new album. Caer (pronounced: ka-air) is the artist's fourth album to date, and is set for release via Warner Bros. Records.
About Twin Shadow and Caer:
Sometimes I feel like I have to take a fall to essentially get to the next phase of my life, Lewis says
about Caer. It's happened over and over. I've been through so many musical phases and through
so many relationships with friends and lovers. I always feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff,
looking down and thinking, 'This is the only way forward: onto the next thing.' It's sort of destructive,
but I guess I thrive on rebirth.
Falling is a theme that surfaces throughout the album, which is why Lewis called it Caer - the
Spanish word for to fall. The album serves as a powerful lens through which Lewis explores his
own personal sense of falling, as well as what he has observed about a world that feels as if it's
declining. On a larger scale, Caer feels extraordinarily current, given what's going on culturally and
politically right now. The patriarchy is falling apart, Lewis says. Our perceptions of who we are as
human beings, because of technology and machines, are falling apart. We're living at a breaking
point, and a lot of the themes on the album are talking about these fault lines. Lewis refers to such
fissures on Saturdays (which features Haim). It's a love song, he says. 'Saturdays' is the heaven
place you go to when you're in love or even with friends, feeling your youth. But it's also about my
feeling that the world is starting to tear itself apart and maybe we're falling through the cracks. But
when you're laying in bed next to someone you care about, none of that seems real.
Lewis feels that Caer is something of a sister record to his 2010 debut album, the lush, gauzy
Forget, in that it's a record with hidden doorways and secret passages more is revealed the more
time you spend inside of it.
Lewis is part of a lineage of artists who constantly experiment but still manage to create the
soundtrack to people's lives, like Prince and David Bowie. Those are the artists who just keep
giving it to you forever. It's 'forever' music. To me, that's the greatest thing in the world.1. Brace (feat. Rainsford)
2. Saturdays (feat. Haim)
3. Sympathy (feat. Rainsford)
4. 18 Years
5. Little Woman
6. When You're Wrong
7. Twins Theme (Interlude)
8. Littlest Things
9. Too Many Colors
10. Rust (Interlude)
11. Obvious People
13. Bombs Away (RLP)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Voodoo (Awaiting Repress)First Vinyl Release Since its Original Release in 2000!
With Original Artwork and New Liner Notes Featuring Interviews with ?uestlove, Pino Palladino, and More!
Ranked 488/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Voodoo hit store shelves on January 25th 2000. But the first great album of the new millennium was born in the 1990s, and its muggy grooves capture the sound of premillennial anxiety. The album is the product of perfectionism, obsession and paranoia. 1995's debut Brown Sugar had already strategically positioned D'Angelo-born Michael Eugene Archer and Virginia-raised to a Pentecostal preacher father-as the next Hendrix-like deity in black music, after Prince and maybe Lenny Kravitz.
Though inspired by the birth of his children and trips back to Virginia, Voodoo's roots are in 1960s, '70s and '80s funk and soul; a nostalgic nod to the ideas and inventions of black music trailblazers powered by avant-garde hip-hop and jazzinfluenced rhythms. D'Angleo's aim, he said, was to reclaim R&B. He wanted to be like Sly Stone, George Clinton and Al Green. And most of all, he wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix.
The concept behind Voodoo was simple. Put together a brilliant ensemble of R&B musicians bent on grooving together. Record them live, in real-time, jamming face-to-face in an effort to capture their conviviality and chemistry. For Voodoo's core rhythm trio, D'Angelo recruited his friend and colleague, The Roots' visionary drummer Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson, plus Welsh journeyman Pino Palladino to hold down the bass. It was a combination that gelled immediately.1. Playa Playa
2. Devil's Pie
3. Left & Right
4. The Line
5. Send It On
6. Chicken Grease
7. One Mo'Gin
8. The Root
9. Spanish Joint
10. Feel Like Makin' Love
11. Greatdayindamornin' / Booty
12. Untitled (How Does It Feel?)
13. Africa$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
180-Gram Electric Blue Vinyl
"'Adult Diversion' is a whimsical dream jam and brings "feel-good" to
a staggering high." - Consequence of Sound
"...a complete collision of everything we already love: singalong
lyrics, a guitar-driven backbone, and a sun-drenched vibe..."
"Alvvays make wistful, jangly, Brit-tinged indiepop."
"...somewhere between the sun-drenched shores of California and
the preppy Scottish countryside."
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a
love of jingle-jangle. Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up
as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as
did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar
noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding
Alec O'Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac.
Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since
since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading
off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed
and twilit -- nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death
in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.
With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O'Hanley's songs
were recorded at Chad VanGaalen's Yoko Eno studio and mixed
by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth,
Dinosaur Jr., kurt Vile). The resultant album is loud and clear and
sure. Flood your ears.1. Adult Diversion
2. Archie, Marry Me
3. Ones Who Love You
4. Next of Kin
5. Party Police
6. The Agency Group
8. Atop a Cake
9. Red Planet$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: Volume 1 (Colored Vinyl)
Limited Edition Purple Colored Vinyl
Unforgettable Musical Collaborations Like Tom Petty With Prince And Mick Jagger With Bruce Springsteen
Original Members Of Cream Take The Stage For The First Time In 25 Years For A Blistering "Sunshine Of Your Love
Includes performances from legends like Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cream, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Tom Petty, Green Day, James Taylor, Al Green, Chuck Berry and more
Jam-filled performances of chart-busters like "Johnny B. Goode, "Ironman", "Blitzkrieg Bop, "Can't Get No Satisfaction, and a show-stopping performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
For over a quarter century, rock and roll's biggest stars have gathered annually on one special evening for an exclusive party: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. Honoring music's most influential figures with the most prestigious of awards, it's also an evening where both artists and fans celebrate rock and roll with once-in-a-lifetime performances. For the first time on vinyl, Time Life has pressed a selection of the most memorable moments in the history of the induction ceremony, previously only available in digital and physical formats. ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME LIVE: VOLUME 1 is a unique, collectible vinyl album featuring an unforgettable "set list" including the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.1. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry With Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1995)
2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1999)
3. A Change Is Gonna Come - Al Green (1995)
4. The Train Kept-A-Rollin' - Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea And Metallica (2009)
5. Iron Man - Metallica (2006)
6. Woodstock - James Taylor (1997)
7. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream (1993)
8. Blitzkrieg Bop - Green Day (2002)
9. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen And The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Band (1988)
10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison And Prince (2004)$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WARB-NON-3555xDavid Byrne and Brian Eno
My Life In The Bush Of GhostsNow approaching its 25th anniversary, Brian Eno and David Byrnes My Life in the Bush of Ghosts appears downright visionary. With its found vocals, cut-and paste arrangements, funked-up rhythms and embrace of influences from all around the globe, the duos controversial work anticipated the creative cross-pollination and technological innovation of contemporary electronic dance music, world music, hip hop and alternative rock. You can hear echoes of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in the anthems Moby built around vintage vocal samples, in the outrageously exotic beats of Missy Elliot and Timbaland, in the Middle Eastern-accented chill-out tracks of Thievery Corporation or Bjorks otherworldly soundscapes.
Back in the day, however, critics were divided and audiences were, well, confused. Eno and Byrne themselves didnt know quite what they were looking for at first. They shard an enthusiasm for African music, especially the hypnotic grooves of Nigerian Feka Kuti, and a desire to free themselves from the constraints of conventional songwriting. They embarked on a nomadic journey through studios in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The players who accompanied them on these sessions included drummers Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) and Prairie Prince (The Tubes), bassist Bill Laswell (Material) and Tim Wright (DNA), avant-garde percussionist Dave Van Teighem and conga player Steve Scales, part of the Remain In Light live band. The result of their labors was an album that married West African and American R&B rhythms with the impassioned voices of talk-show hosts and evangelists taped off the radio or the evocative sound of prayerful singers culled from Middle Eastern field recordings. Byrne recalls their entire adventure in fascinating liner notes that detail the recording process and address the resulting critical furor. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was cut between Talking Heads Fear of Music (1979) and Remain In Light (1980), but sample clearance issues, an almost unheard-of-problem in the analog era, kept it on hold until 1981.1. America is Waiting
2. Mea Culpa
4. Help Me Somebody
5. The Jezebel Spirit
6. Very, Very Hungry
7. Moonlight in Glory
8. The Carrier
9. A Secret Life
10. Come With Us
11. Mountain of Needles$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Far Field"This is the kind of band that makes you wish other bands tried
harder." - Pitchfork
"An absolute and unqualified triumph" - Stereogum
"Mournful, triumphant, heroic" - Complex
The Far Field refines and builds on the breakthroughs of the
Baltimore-based trio's 2014 album Singles, bursting with undeniable
hooks and disarmingly honest lyrics written by Samuel
T. Herring (vocals, lyrics), William Cashion (bass, guitars) and
Gerrit Whelmers (keyboards, programming).
After the success of Singles and the hundreds of Future Islands
shows played in that period, the band began writing new material
on the coast of North Carolina, and continued throughout
the year in Baltimore before road-testing these songs at a series
of secret shows under fake names. Later that year, they traveled
to Los Angeles to record with Grammy Award-winning producer
John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound, where everyone
from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces.
With string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn,
The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live
drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational
performance of "Seasons (Waiting On You)" on
David Letterman's late night TV show. Blondie's Debbie Harry
also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate
Across The Far Field's twelve chest-pounding love songs and
odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band's
central themes they've been exploring for the last decade: that
there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way
to laugh and cry in the same breath - and be stronger for it.1. Aladdin
2. Time On Her Side
4. Beauty of the Road
6. Through the Roses
7. North Star
8. Ancient Water
10. Day Glow Fire
11. Shadows (feat. Debbie Harry)
12. Black Rose$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wheedle's Groove: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogie: Volume II 1972-1987In 2004, the first volume of Wheedle's Groove shone a light on the formerly unheralded soul scene in 1960s and '70s Seattle, followed by a new album in 2008, and then an award winning feature-length documentary film. The on-going Wheedle's Groove series continues to present a vast chapter of the city's musical heritage that has little to do with long-haired rock dudes with guitars. No - in the world of Wheedle's Groove, platform shoes and pimp hats were the order of the day.
But unlike Volume I, Seattle's soul scene did not stop in 1975. A new volume, Wheedle's Groove Vol. II, documents the period from 1972 to 1987, when funk was superseded by disco and modern soul. Heading into the '80s, artists in the Emerald City caught wind of the hip-hop and electro scenes that were growing in bigger cities across America, and gave the music their own distinct spin.
As the years unfurl in the tracks of Wheedle's Groove Volume II, so does the recent history of American music, the songs tracing technological changes and social change, and music's move from the club to disco as live bands moved aside for DJs. Witness Septimus, on the cusp of both, blending a live drummer with a Roland drum machine and cutting 'Here I Go Again' on a disco-friendly 12" single.
Separated from the major centers of soul music, Seattle was a scene that developed out of the gaze of the mainstream music industry, but one that moved just as fast. As John Studamire of the band Priceless remembers, "A lot of the groups around town would have to incorporate that disco sound or you'd sound totally dated."
Seattle's size and location had a great effect on its sound. Artists on the scene were accustomed to playing small, discreetly segregated club shows and pressing short runs of 45s for local radio stations. Touring happened mostly on a regional scale and artists popped up in a variety of different bands. Fans of Volume I will recognize some familiar names here: Robbie Hill's Family Affair turn in the soul-jazz gem 'Don't Give Up' and Cold, Bold & Together present the undeniable vocal beauty of 'Let's Backtrack.'
Compiled and sequenced by Seattle's DJ Supreme La Rock, this 18-track compilation will also introduce you to the long-forgotten blue-eyed soul boy Don Brown ('Don't Lose Your Love') and frustrated talents Push, overlooked for record deals on account of singer "Big Joe" Erickson's larger-than-life heft ('You Turn Me On'). There's Frederick Robinson III and his gospel-funk protest tune 'Love One Another', Tony Benton of Teleclere being Seattle's answer to Prince ('Steal Your Love') and Seattle Mariners baseball star Lenny Randle recording a tribute to their infamous stadium.1. Epicentre - Get Off The Phone
2. Priceless - Love In Your Life
3. Don Brown - Don't Lose Your Love
4. Deuce featuring Clevon - Your Love Is Fine (Lovin' Fine)
5. Push - You Turn Me On (Portland Session)
6. Seattle Pure Dynamite - I Wonder Love
7. Septimus - Here I Go Again
8. Priceless - Look At Me
9. Lenny Randle & Ballplayers featuring Rashawna - Kingdome
10. Malik Din - Trouble In Mind
11. Romel Westwood - I'm Through With You
12. Teleclere - Steal Your Love
13. Steppen Stones - Darlin Oh Darlin
14. Cold, Bold & Together - Let's Backtrack
15. Unfinished Business - Holding On
16. Frederick Robinson III - Love One Another
17. Bernadette Bascom - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
18. Robbie Hill's Family Affair - Don't Give Up$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hardly CriminalCrash's story unfolds with that particularly Southern swagger and with a tale of a Louisiana boy bred on Waffle House breakfasts and monster truck rallies, local Rodeos and the flicker of family bonfires. There was college for a hot minute, there was a move to the Irish Channel, there was the soaking in of all that is New Orleans, wet heat and Sazeracs, the wailing horns of jazz funerals, the teetering handmade floats of Mardi Gras, crawfish and etouffee and howling at the moon. There was work where he could get it, toiling as a PA on the studio sets, Hollywood coming south for the tax credits. It was on these film productions where crash earned his nickname, something to do with a questionable work ethic and repetitive tardiness (he admits you d have to ask one Ms. Rita Wilson for the real deal details). And yet despite his reputation (or perhaps because of it), he was anointed "assistant" to Johnny Knoxville during The!Dukes!of!Hazzard s run. (One can only imagine ) crash later joined the critically adored local act The Deadly Syndrome as lead singer and frontman, bringing his gris gris into the beautiful belly of the L.A. beast. Since then, crash has been barreling ahead, recording prolifically with The Deadly Syndrome, working with famed producer Daniel Lanios, composing a live stage score, acting in a few national commercials, and finally, after Deadly disbanded in 2013, heading out on the road with his pals, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, as percussionist and angelic vocal accompaniment. And somewhere in that heady mix in that combination of the rolling road, of California eucalyptus sway and dark NOLA mysteries, he discovered his true self - the wildaeyed, slyatongued, strutting, winking and wonderful crash of this here solo debut. Produced and engineered by the multitalented Ed Sharpe lead guitarist, Mark Noseworthy, (and featuring friends from the Zeros, Dawes, The Mystic Valley Band and more ) Hardly Criminal is the culmination of all that is strange and sad, hilarious and harmonious, about crash s own true tale. It is story a moving, funny, weird, and stunningly beautiful. You can hear the South, yes, Neville swing and Dr. John juaju, but you can also hear smooth soul, booty funk, and ragged folk, a mix of sounds taken from his past and pushed into the future, all accompanied by a deadpan storytelling prowess and a voice like a Cajun Prince (as in "The Artist Formerly Known As"). Hardly!Criminal! is the sum of crash s best parts - the sonic celebration of his story so far. So, set down a spell, cool yer bones, cher... and listen1. Hardly Criminal
2. Motion Animal
3. All My Friends
4. High Wall
5. Mine Always, Lioness
6. Britches Catch Fire
7. Song For The Birds
9. Mad At The Clouds
10. If God Was A Cajun
11. Almighty Equal$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Late Night Tales Presents Automatic SoulIt is 1983 and you've just stepped into your Ford Capri with your girlfriend Julie. You live in Harlow, but in your head you're really somewhere near Salou in Spain, next to your yacht. But the thing you really love is soul and they play nothing but at Sups in Loughton. OK, so It's not 1983 at all. It's 2014, but listening to
this electrofied soul, will put you back in the zone. Tom Findlay, one half of Grammy-nominated Groove Armada, has put this collection together: a stamp of authenticity in itself. Tom has also put a few of these through the edit wringer, reworking many of the tunes for maximum towelling sockability.
You'll probably recognise a few tunes. There's Mtume's incredible 'Juicy Fruit', still sounding advanced and modern, while 'I Specialize In Love, mixed by disco legend Tee Scott, is even older yet sounds equally perky.
The 1980s was a period that was pretty much owned by Minneapolis thanks to Prince and former cohorts Jam & Lewis and the latter weigh in with a pair of killer productions, Thelma Houston's
'You Used To Hold Me So Tight' and Alexander O'Neal's 'What's Missing'. And since this is Late Night Tales, there is always our exclusive cover version, this time done by Findlay and Tim Hutton's Sugardaddy, who've delivered an ace version of 'Don't Look Any Further'.
Automatic Soul, like my previously compiled Late Night Tales Music For Pleasure, is based very much on a sound. It's a sound that I feel has been overlooked: 80s R&B-infused music, with drum machines, synths and invariably brilliant vocals. It's formed the bedrock of my rare groove sets for all the years I've played.
It's not the most fashionable, but to me it's the perfect marriage of technology and soul, hence the title for this album, Automatic Soul. There are plenty of songs I could have included, and no doubt some that I shouldn't, but I've tried to represent what's best to me from this era. It's not a classic Late Night Tales. It's
a pretty personal journey, which I hope some of you might be willing to share
- Tom Findlay Groove Armada September 2014Unmixed Tracks
1. Rene & Angela - I'll Be Good
2. Zapp - Heartbreaker - parts 1 & 2
3. Timex Social Club - Rumors
4. Mtume - Juicy Fruit
5. Sugardaddy feat. Ronika - Don't Look Any Further
6. Meli'sa Morgan - Fool's Paradise
1. George Franklin Smallwood & Marshmellow Band - You Know I Love You
2. Royalle Delite - I'll Be A Freak For You
3. Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop the Music
4. Donna Allen - Serious (
5. Change - Change Of Heart
6. The Gap Band - I Owe It To Myself
1. 52nd Street - You're My Last Chance
2. Thelma Houston - You Used To Hold Me So Tight
3. Alexander O'Neal - What's Missing
4. Aurra - You And Me Tonight
5. Samson & Delilah - I Can Feel Your Love Slippin' Away
6. Sharon Brown - I Specialize In Love$35.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Child Of Lov180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl
For Fans of: Gnarls Barkley, Beck, J Dilla, Gorillaz, Danger Mouse
There's something about Cole Williams's voice that conjures pictures in the mind.
Not only through the intense and compelling vocals of his recordings, either.
There's a catch to it, a rugged rasp weathered beyond his years, that shows that his
singing style - rich in the cadences of funk, blues and soul. Spend any time with
them, and it's abundantly clear that Cole - or if you prefer, The Child Of Lov - is a
true modern soul man.
This much we know: Cole has lived in London, Paris and Amsterdam where he's
currently based. He has, for various reasons, spent a good deal of time alone with
music. His first inspirations were his mother's Stevie Wonder albums. By the age
of 13 he was listening to hip hop and neo-soul, and began to try and make his own
beats on his computer, and initially to rap. At 14, he began to teach himself guitar
and piano, and became obsessed with the off-kilter hip hop beats of J Dilla and
especially Madlib, the master of the thickly-layered psychedelic groove. Inspired
by the combination of unorthodox musicality with hip hop attitude, as he picked
out his own melodies and slowly developed his instrumental skills; it all came
So here we are: from those years' worth of self-disciplined musical study and
practice recordings, then a period of adjusting to their exposure to the world, have
come the tracks that became The Child Of Lov album. They're layered with all
the intensity and dedication that Cole has put into his listening and learning, and
with his passion for the influences. Check out "Give Me" - the peculiar stutter of
his abstract hip hop heroes Madlib and Dilla is there, but so is his first inspiration
Stevie Wonder as well as brilliantly discordant hints of Prince and even Tom Waits
in full junkyard prophet mode. Listen to the powerfully defiant "Fly" and wonder
that the powerful, gospel-infused voice is that of a young man, and not a soul
veteran beaten but unbowed by life's tribulations and soak up the mournful opener
"Call Me Up" - the sort of track you'd always hoped Sly Stone might pull himself
together and make one day1. Call Me Up
3. One Day [feat. Damon Albarn]
4. Living The Circle
5. Give Me
6. Go With The Wind
7. Owl [feat. DOOM]
10. Give It To The People$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 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
Shape Shift With MeFour years is a measurement of time that America has used for centuries to indicate change. Presidential terms last four years; high school diplomas and college degrees typically take four years apiece, too. It's not an arbitrary thing, either: It typically takes that much time from the declaration of something changing for it to actually change.
Meet Laura Jane Grace. Four years ago, the Against Me! frontwoman came out as transgender; 18 months later, she released the band's sixth album, the fiery Transgender Dysphoria Blues, one which she began working on before her transition and helped document the struggles she was facing. It was an intensely personal record that took on a life of its own, connecting with thousands of new listeners drawn to Grace's honesty and complexity while still pleasing Against Me!'s dedicated fanbase.
Now, four years after Grace's public reintroduction, Against Me! is ready to release their new album, Shape Shift With Me, on Total Treble. While much has changed in the lives of Grace and her bandmates-guitarist James Bowman, bassist Inge Johansson and drummer Atom Willard-in that time period, it's clear that those intervening years have done wonders for creativity.
"Everything with Shape Shift With Me has been really about keeping momentum going," she says. "In between every tour we did for Transgender Dysphoria Blues, I would have a couple songs I had written and we would demo them. At the end of two years of touring, we had an album ready to record. Usually, you come off of touring for a record and you're back at square one. But this was so fully formed it felt like there was no choice but to go ahead and record the songs."
Shape Shift With Me has the distinction of the first album Grace has written truly from the heart, with no metaphorical cloaks cast over the lyrics. It's an album about love, that deceptively complex emotion we all struggle with yet has somehow eluded most of Grace's songwriting for the past 20 years.
"Tons of people have written about love. But while love is clichÉ, it's infinitely relevant. For me, having always been in a punk band that was expected to be political, I never felt like I had that option to write about feelings in that way. That's what I ended up being drawn to this time. It's writing in a way I thought I could never write before, and not giving a shit about expectations."
As such, Shape Shift With Me is a loose concept album about traveling the world and falling in and out of love, with Grace serving as the narrator. But even though she was opening herself up to new songwriting topics, she knew what her mission was from the start.
"Is there a record that is about relationships from a trans perspective?" she asks rhetorically. "There needs to be more records about trans rights and everything like that, but feeling like I already did that, I wanted to move on to write commentary on living from a trans perspective. I wanted to write the transgender response to the Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St., Liz Phair's Exile In Guyville and the Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free. All those records are relationship records. There's been an infinite amount of records talking about what love means from a cisgender perspective. I wanted to present the trans perspective on sex, love and heartbreak."
With Grace's new motivation came a new outlook on the band, as well. Previous albums found the songwriting process to be a largely solitary experience, but she embraced the spirit of collaboration for Shape Shift With Me-so much so that when Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers sent her some demos of songs he was working on for another project, she became inspired and ended up co-writing "Boyfriend" and "Norse Truth," two of the album's most memorable tracks, with him.
"It was just about opening up to whatever comes my way karmically," Grace says. "Whatever everyone in the band is willing to offer, I just wanted to be open to it. I didn't want it to be like what it was in the past where it may have felt closed. I want it to be different."
In a career already full of classic punk records, Shape Shift With Me feels like the definitive Against Me! album-it's poppy and catchy ("Rebecca," "Suicide Bomber"), aggressive and in-your-face ("ProVision L-3," "Dead Rats"), sentimental and longing ("Crash," "All This And More"). Moreover, it's the culmination of four years of existence as Laura Jane Grace-there's no going back now, so she might as well embrace it.
"While I've always wanted the moon and the stars, I have a certain amount of humbleness," she admits. "I just want to play shows and make records and write songs. That's what I've always wanted to do. Of course I always want the biggest and best things for those shows and records and songs, but when it comes down to it, I just love doing it. I have no other ambitions or career goals.
"David Bowie put out 27 full-lengths. Prince put out 39 full-lengths," Grace remarks. "That is so inspiring to me-working, creating art, creating records and let everyone else sort it out. That's what I've always wanted to do and that's what I will keep on doing."1. ProVision L-3
5. Delicate, Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be
7. Haunting, Haunted, Haunts
8. Dead Rats
10. Norse Truth
11. Suicide Bomber
12. All This And More$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wayne CochranWayne Cochran! The exclamation point is there for a reason. Known as "The White Knight of Soul," Cochran was flamboyant in both voice and attire. Crowned by a swooping white pompadour, he held back nothing on stage. His performance style was very reminiscent of fellow Georgia native Little Richard Penniman. Like Penniman, music led Cochran to his current career as a minister. Anyone who's ever witnessed a fire-and-brimstone southern gospel service can see the connection between gospel's passion and r&b's groove.
Issued by Chess Records in 1967, Wayne Cochran! captured the outrageous energy of his live show within the album's grooves. This explosive collection of songs proved that Cochran deserved to share the label home of r&b greats like Etta James, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Rather than a traditional artist portrait, the front cover features an outline of his white pompadour against a black background. Simple and direct, it stood in stark relief against the sea of day-glo, psychedelic imagery of the day. To put it another way, the cover art clearly conveyed that this album was all killer, no filler.
The original mono version of this LP is incredibly rare and changes hands for princely sums. However, there is no need to empty the savings account now that Sundazed Music has prepared a righteous reissue, in glorious mono! Sourced from the original analog master tapes, this Sundazed edition is 180gm of concentrated soul. Just add a turntable and watch the party spring to life!1. Get Ready
2. Boom Boom
3. The Peak Of Love
4. You Don't Know Like I Know
5. Some-A' Your Sweet Love
6. I'm Leaving It Up To You
7. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover
8. Big City Woman
9. Little Bitty Pretty One
10. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
11. Get Down With It
12. When My Baby Cries$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
Ranked 316/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
They say you can never go home again.
Yet, on their new Interscope Records release and fifth album, Rock Steady, No Doubt has embarked on a globe-spanning musical adventure that proves, once and for all, that home is where the heart is.
At the heart of the quartet's fifteen-year musical journey is a sound, a style and a sensibility that celebrates their enduring bond with millions of fans worldwide: the sheer pleasure of pure pop - danceable, hummable, instantly accessible songs that have become indispensable additions to the soundtrack of our life and times. And now with Rock Steady, that soundtrack signals a return to some of the key creative elements that have made No Doubt one of today's most popular and enduring bands. Simply put, No Doubt is ready to party.
"It's the hardest thing in the world just to be simple, to let the music and the words speak for what you're feeling and, hopefully, to share that feeling. And the feeling we all shared on this album turned out to be pretty simple, too: we were in a good mood."
So says vocalist, lyricist and glorious gamine Gwen Stefani on the inspiration that ignited the dozen deliriously entertaining new tracks comprising Rock Steady. With all-original material penned by Gwen and No Doubt's dynamic songwriting duo of Tony Kanal and Tom Dumont and a roster of producers that pretty much covers the cutting edge of the studio art, Rock Steady, recorded in such far flung locations as London and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Jamaica, is without question the most eclectic, wide-ranging and stylistically diverse offering in the band's extraordinary career. It is also a loving tribute to the musical roots that have nourished No Doubt from their very inception.
"We were on tour pretty much all of last year," explains drummer Adrian Young, "and whenever we had some down time, we found ourselves listening to lots of dancehall. It was kind of like getting back to where we once belonged." Dancehall, the exuberant evolution of reggae, ska and calypso currently rocking the clubs and studios of Jamaica, proved a potent point of departure for the group when they convened in early 2001 to begin work on a new album. "We were part of the whole ska revival back when we first got together," continues Adrian. "The fact is, we had to work hard to prove we had a wider range, and I guess we did that. Because this time around we didn't feel like we had anything to prove. The whole point was to follow the music, wherever it led."
"Following the music" would lead the quartet to a variety of exotic locales as they indulged their instincts and experimented with sounds and settings that would capture the sensational new music beginning to emerge. "This album was less about technique and more about attitude," asserts Tony. "We took it one day at a time and it became a very spontaneous process. Tom had set up a studio at his place in L.A. and we'd meet there just to try out different ideas. Whereas before we'd write everything with a guitar or bass, this time we started with just beats and grooves and keyboards and built from there. After a week or two of songwriting, Gwen had a trip planned to London. Since we were having such a good time we just packed up and followed her over there. We knew we were onto something."
"It felt like starting over," is Tom's assessment. "We had spent two years working on Return Of Saturn because we felt it was important to prove we could do a record that had depth and substance. Once we got that out of our system it was time to have some fun."
Return Of Saturn, the group's smash 2000 release, did indeed establish No Doubt's ability to fashion songs of substance as well as style. It also conclusively demonstrated that the group's 1995 breakthrough release, Tragic Kingdom was more than a flash in the pan, although it was a distinctly dazzling flash that elevated the group to world class status with a solid string of hit singles. "We'd already done most of what we'd set out to accomplish," continues Tom. "We wanted try something fresh."
Something fresh and, as it turned out, something tried and true. "With all the dancehall we'd been listening to it was only natural that some of that rhythm would seep into our new songs," Gwen adds. "We ended up going to Jamaica without really knowing exactly what we'd find when we got there. That was the whole plan from the beginning not to have a plan."
What No Doubt found in the lush musical environs of the island was a creative collaboration with some of Jamaica's most revered producers including the legendary team of Sly & Robbie who sat behind the board for the album's debut single "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All," a tune written by Gwen with Eurthymics mainstay Dave Stewart during the group's London sojourn. They would also go on record with the fast rising dancehall duo of Steely & Clevie, who worked their magic for the incendiary selection, "Start The Fire." Remarks Tom, "Going to Jamaica and working with the great artists there had always been a dream of ours. Having that opportunity is one the best things about having some success. It's more important than any amount of fame or fortune."
As the spring of 2001 turned to summer the pace of recording stepped up, along with the group's increasingly bold ventures into new creative territory. In Los Angeles they added hip-hop to the mix with the streetwise sensibilities of The Neptunes, co-writers on the album's opening track, the scorching "Hella Good." Next they huddled with high-profile mixmaster Nellee Hooper on Rock Steady's title track as well as such standout selections as "In My Head," "Running," "Detective" and the above mentioned "Hella Good." Along the way they logged time with William Orbit for "Making Out," Ric Ocasek on "Platinum Blonde Life" and "Don't Let Me Down," and the inimitable Prince who co-produced and provided backing vocals on the drop dead gorgeous "Waiting Room."
But mixing and matching songs and producers was only part of the creative evolution that took place with Rock Steady. Says Tony, "Our attitude from the beginning was that we'd do whatever it took to make the music work. We've always been a very self-contained unit. This time we wanted to open it up, to find out what other people could bring to the party."
"The whole album was an exercise in spontaneity," adds Gwen, "and that challenged me to write more directly from my thoughts and feelings. I threw away my thesaurus and put aside my influences, everyone from Joni Mitchell to Sylvia Plath. I wanted to write songs about how it felt to be alive right now and that feeling, despite everything that going on in the world, is optimistic and full of hope. This is a time to affirm what's good and positive in our lives and if we can convey even a small part of the fun and excitement we had making this music, then we've done what we set out to do."
Hot on the heels of Rock Steady's release comes news of an extensive touring schedule that includes select dates with U2 as well as an extensive itinerary of international headlining dates. "We're primarily a live band," comments Tony. "That's how we started and that's how we maintain contact with our fans. Over the past couple of years, as the No Doubt machine got bigger, it's been more difficult to maintain that connection. But this time around,we're determined to stay true to the spirit of the music. It's about having a good time, about dancing in aisles and singing along. We all need that and it's what this tour is going to be about."
"After fifteen years together you naturally create all kinds of rules about how things should be," concludes Gwen. "There comes a time when you've got to throw the rules out and start all over again. That's what keeps it fun and interesting. For us that time has come."
It's a sentiment that gets to the heart of the brilliant music on Rock Steady, an album that finds No Doubt comfortable at home with the risks and rewards of true originality. It's also proof positive that, when No Doubt throws a party, everyone's invited.LP1
2. Hella Good
3. Hey Baby
4. Making Out
5. Underneath It All
7. Don't Let Me Down
1. Start The Fire
3. In My Head
4. Platinum Blonde Life
5. Waiting Room
6. Rock Steady$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now