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.
Infusing traditional gospel music with Memphis soul, Detroit-based singer Rance Allen helped pave the way for the secularized gospel sound of the '80s and '90s. After signing with Stax in 1969, Allen and his group proceeded to bring their hip brand of gospel to the masses by scoring several chart hits and opening concerts for the likes of Isaac Hayes. This hits package covers the group's successful run in the '70s, spotlighting Allen's incredibly flexible and powerful voice (one listens to cuts like "Ain't No Need of Crying" and "Gonna Make It Alright" and it's easy to figure out where Prince picked up his misty falsetto from). The selections include Allen's biggest Stax hit, "I Got to Be Myself," the spiritually reconfigured cover "Just My Imagination (Just My Salvation)," and modern gospel pioneer James Cleveland's "That Will Be Enough for Me."
Yeah, Kingdom Come were a bit too enamored with Led Zeppelin on their first album, and their career didn't last much longer after that, but at the very least they were one of the very examples of what was storming the rock charts back in 1987-1988. Zep-styled riffs and that sorta watered-down boogie-guitar swagger were everywhere, and Kingdom Come were just one of the many bands getting loads and loads of criticism from purists. Oddly, though, the kids (for a short time) loved it, and the records sold enough to convince those at Polydor to release this collection of some of their more well-known tunes…
Barcelona Nights: The Best of Ottmar Liebert, Vol. 1 gathers the nouveau flamenco guitarist's early career highlights, including the title track and "Heart Still/Beating," both from his 1990 debut Nouveau Flamenco, as well as Borrasca's title track and "Dancing Under the Moon."
Rare Limited Vinyl Issue. Manufactured in EU as a 180 gram digitally remastered vinyl pressing. Brilliant greatest hits album in that it manages to sound like a mega concept album in the way that the music from different stages of the band's history and development are woven together so seamlessly like …as if in a dreamscape. The edits of Echoes and Shine on you Crazy Diamond as well as samplers of briefer lesser known compositions (that segue between the famous songs) are really well done.