Content tagged 'Singer Songwriter'
Verities & Balderdash (Album of the Day)
On his fourth studio set, Harry Chapin serves up an appealing mix of VERITIES & BALDERDASH. The nine originals on the 1974 Elektra album range from the romantic (“I Wanna Learn A Love Song”) to the topical (“What Made America Famous”) to the comedic ("30,000 Pounds of Bananas"), with a No.1 hit - “Cat's In The Cradle” - included for good measure. With producer Paul Leka at the helm, the collection benefits from polished, ambitious arrangements and the work of top studio musicians; all of Chapin's other albums feature his touring band. The versatile singer-songwriter was born on this day in 1942, and we'll remember Harry Chapin with his most commercially successful release, VERITIES & BALDERDASH.
Sail Away (Album of the Day)
Randy Newman's debut album featured orchestral arrangements, 12 SONGS a rock band setting, and a live follow-up was just the singer-songwriter and his piano. “Then came SAIL AWAY, in which I combined the three elements that made the earlier albums such failures,” joked Newman of his third studio collection. While not a commercial hit on release (it's been a consistent seller in years since), the 1972 Reprise release drew reams of critical praise, and justifiably so. From the opening title track to closing “God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind).” this is among the darkest, funniest and most insightful set of songs ever recorded. SAIL AWAY was named one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone, and we'll give the sardonic masterpiece another spin today in honor of Randy Newman's birthday.
The Very Best of The Everly Brothers (Album of the Day)
Never For Ever (Album of the Day)
"We must tell our hearts that it is 'never for ever,' and be happy that it's like that,” noted Kate Bush of the joyous and sorrowful songs of her third studio album, NEVER FOR EVER. The first release co-produced by the U.K. artist shows Bush broadening her signature sound with some effectively deployed synthesizers and drum machines as well as a richer variety of arrangements. The 11 originals – including U.K. Top 20 singles “Breathing,” “Army Dreamers” and the classic “Babooshka” - give influences from literature and film thoughtful new spins and wonderfully theatrical vocal performances. NEVER FOR EVER became the first album by a female solo artist to top the British chart (entering at No.1) on this day in 1980, and it confirmed Kate Bush's status as one of the decade's most distinctive singer-songwriters.
The Complete Reprise Sessions (Album of the Day)
Singer-songwriter Gram Parsons passed briefly through such groups as The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, leaving just a handful of albums - but planting the seeds of country rock wherever he went. At the end of his all-too-brief life, Parsons cut a couple of solo collections for Reprise that are shining examples of the form: 1973's GP and 1974's GRIEVOUS ANGEL. Rhino's 2006 boxed set THE COMPLETE REPRISE SESSIONS adds a disc's worth of alternate takes and interviews to these two fine releases. Gram always kept good musical company, and performers heard here in support include singer Emmylou Harris, guitarists James Burton and Barry Tashian (of The Remains), fiddler Byron Berline and Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadon. Gram Parsons died on this day in 1973, and we'll remember the “cosmic American music” pioneer with the 3-CD set THE COMPLETE REPRISE SESSIONS.
City To City (Album of the Day)
Happy Sad (Album of the Day)
Tim Buckley ranks among the most adventurous singer-songwriters, and 1969's HAPPY SAD shows his talent in full bloom. After two albums working with lyricist Larry Beckett, the Elektra collection is the first of all-Buckley originals, and these six songs reflect a growing fascination with jazz (opener “Strange Feelin'” was inspired by Miles Davis). Predominantly acoustic, the relaxed arrangements include some fine guitar work by Lee Underwood and vibraphone playing by David Friedman, but the most impressive instrument here is Buckley's highly elastic voice. Produced by Zal Yanovsky and Jerry Yester (of Lovin' Spoonful fame), this set was Tim Buckley's highest charting release and is an ideal way to remember the visionary performer, who passed away on this day in 1975.