On her debut solo album, English-born actress cum chanteuse Jane Birkin asserted her role as a scandalous androgyne courtesy of the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier (who co-wrote some numbers with Gainsbourg). Birkin allowed her image to be molded by the willfully scandalous Gainsbourg, who understood her persona entirely and helped to create an image of her as woman in a young boy's body -- one that Birkin claims she held all along but only Gainsbourg understood. That woman played roles both innocent and decadent; she was celebrated in film, but in the U.S., her thin voice resembled a choirboy's and underscored her physical presence.
The rare 1970 album from obscure UK rock band Someones Band. Acoustic guitars meet wild electric guitar solos with a vocalist reminiscent of Steamhammer's Kieran White. Bluesy with a spacey production this should appeal to fans of 60s UK blues and heavy 70s progressive UK rock. Eleven tracks including "Blues For Brother E" and "Manhunt". This group got together via word of mouth and an advert in Melody Maker. They made a demo for Decca, who then sanctioned this album, which is now a monster rarity. Given that it was recorded in the course of a single night, it's a surprisingly polished and varied collection of progessive blues and soul…
Frank Bolaers & Brice Berard from Paris, as Electroslide, following the recent trends of Parisian fusion like the Gotan Projects’ Argentinean / French electro dub, have produced a modern album of incredible jazz dubs and funk fusions. From the initial piano lines of "Pick Me Up" to the street tough bass lines of "I'm A Cadillac" the album has a certain "savoir-faire" typified by French artists such as St. Germain with his jazzy "Blue Note" blends and Kid Loco with his dubby trip hop. "Near Life Experience", is the second release for Twisted Records sub-label Backroom Beats Recordings and the album, with its selection of smoked beats, smouldering in a Parisian café is a perfect follow up to the initial compilation, "Backroom Beats" with it’s tendency towards modern dubs, trip hop, and other beats & pieces for the chill out room.
Mr. Gil didn't prove himself a great popular songwriter until 1967 or so; like most artists, he didn't arrive full-blown and had to learn his craft and make a living. In the early 1960's, while studying business administration at the University of Bahia in Brazil, he cut a few songs under the direction of Jorge Santos, who mostly recorded commercial jingles; that period is laid out for all to hear on the album "Salvador, 1962-1963" (Warner Brazil). These rare singles contain some sweet, bouncy Carnival marchinhas and samba ballads, but no incredible songs; one of the records, "Povo Petroleiro," was financed by an executive at Petrobras, Brazil's major oil company, and contains the lyric "our petrol is Brazilian gold; it's the pride of a petrol people." But as an early look at a great artist in the making it's instructive, like Andy Warhol's 1950's shoe drawings.
Although the cover art might suggest that this compiles, features, or in some way includes material from Michael Nesmith's four-year (1966-1970) tenure as a Monkee, this isn't the case at all. Additionally confusing matters is that the same 25 tracks on this collection are replicated – right down to the exact running order – on the unimaginatively titled Best Of: Original Hits. Regardless, the contents of both have been culled from Nesmith's first half-dozen post-Monkees long-players. The tune stack is well represented by the First National Band LPs Magnetic South (1970), Loose Salute (1970), and Nevada Fighter (1971) – plus, to a much lesser extent, Tantamount to Treason (1972), And the Hits Just Keep on Comin' (1972), as well as Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973). Nesmith's penchant for penning quirky country & western-flavored pop songs can be directly traced back to his Monkees material, such as "St. Matthew," "Good Clean Fun," and "Magnolia Simms." During this period he was also woodshedding material for future endeavors.