The Royal Opera is a company based in central London, resident at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Along with the English National Opera, it is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968. It brought a long annual season and consistent management to a house that had previously hosted short seasons under a series of impresarios. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet.
Just a generation ago, posterity hadn't quite made up its mind about Franco Corelli. Corelli was an operatic oddity, a self-trained singer with movie star looks who largely learned his craft from listening to old records of his predecessors. Corelli made up for what he may have lacked in conventionally trained, "beautiful" tone with an approach that emphasized power and electric energy over all, and gradually rose through the ranks of tenors to become a major star of Italian opera. This EMI collection, The Very Best of Franco Corelli, concentrates its focus on recordings Corelli made in the 1960s during the height of his popularity. As these selections are "bleeding chunks" drawn from recordings of complete operas such as Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Tosca, and others, this is kind of an odd sampling of Corelli.
Christophe Goze, Openzone Bar, Jojo Effect, Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestra, The James Taylor Quartet, Brenda Boykin and many more.
The Best of A Flock of Seagulls is an excellent 12-track roundup of A Flock of Seagulls' best material. Their catalog wasn't particularly deep outside of the hits "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" and "I Ran (So Far Away)," but they did do some good new nomantic synth pop, particularly on cuts like "Nightmares," "A Space Age Love Song," and "Telecommunications," all of which are here. As a matter of fact, this really does contain all of the group's best material, and while new wave fetishists will likely go for the actual albums anyway, most listeners will be more than satisfied with this.
Released not long after Warren Zevon announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer, perhaps some could argue that the single-disc Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon exploits his tragedy by recycling his catalog. The argument holds no water, because not only is it worth celebrating the work of this singer/songwriter, but his catalog was calling out for a collection like this. Although there was the double-disc set I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and a 1986 hits collection, there was no set produced during the CD era that chronicled not just his heyday, but his late-'80s comeback while cherrypicking highlights from the '90s. This does exactly that over the course of a generous, sharply selected 22 tracks. Given the space, it's inevitable that some great songs are missing, but if you're looking for a comprehensive overview, turn to the two-disc set. If you're looking for an introduction or simply a stellar selection of highlights, this suits the bill perfectly.