Buddy Guy today remains one of the true international superstars of the Blues. One of his musically most glorious periods was the three classic albums he cut for JSP Records ("D.J. Play My Blues" "Breaking Out" and "Live at the Checkerboard Lounge") and the guesting on brother Phil Guy's wonderful debut album "Red Hot Blues". This compilation features some of the best cuts from that period and those albums. Buddy plays some hot guitar here and is stylistically moving forward from his sixties stuff to the ultra commercial things of today. Buddy always knew that the world would catch up eventually and he would become a superstar - the music here will tell you why.
This single-CD compilation doesn't do too much more than scratch the surface of the band's sound at its most popular points, but it does do one thing that no prior Moody Blues compilation ever did – it includes "Go Now," which, as the notes point out, is still the group's top-charting single in England. What it doesn't do is get "Go Now" in really good sound (no one seems to have a proper master source) or include their even better follow-up single, "From the Bottom of My Heart." Still, this body of work is pleasing and, thanks to its extension back to the original lineup, even a little bit informative, and it was the first Moody Blues compilation to be mastered in 20-bit audio. The dominant personality is Justin Hayward, who has provided the band with most of its hits, followed somewhat distantly by John Lodge, whose songs began to shine as the '70s dawned – a pair of Hayward/Lodge songs and one solo Hayward release fill out the 17 tracks, which showcase the soulful, the mystical, and the psychedelic aspects of their music in equal parts. It's a good intro to their history, and anyone who wants more can jump to the Time Traveller box.
An intensely powerful singer and guitarist, Elmore James did not start his recording career until he was 33, and he only lived to be 45, but he made a very strong impact during his dozen years on records. Some of his finest work was cut for the Fire label during 1959-1961, roughly half of which is included on this single CD. Other than a final outburst of selections during February 1963, these were James' last studio sessions, and he is heard at the peak of his powers throughout. Among the best-known performances are the hit "Shake Your Moneymaker," "The Sky Is Crying," and a remake of his famous "Dust My Broom," but all 16 selections are full of passion and fire. This is an essential acquisition for blues collectors, at least until a more complete James on Fire reissue comes out.
This single-CD compilation doesn't do too much more than scratch the surface of the band's sound at its most popular points, but it does do one thing that no prior Moody Blues compilation ever did – it includes "Go Now," which, as the notes point out, is still the group's top-charting single in England. What it doesn't do is get "Go Now" in really good sound (no one seems to have a proper master source) or include their even better follow-up single, "From the Bottom of My Heart."
Simply a grand and eloquent performance put together by Verve records highlighting the best years of Ella Fitzgerald – that sassy, charming legendary singer in jazz. The Best of the Songbooks features a captivating lineup of some of jazz's greatest composers and arrangers. It is here that Fitzgerald records and sings songs of Cole Porter, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer.
Though her career stretched from the '30s to the '80s and she's widely considered possibly the greatest female jazz singer or all time, Ella Fitzgerald will probably forever be best known for a mid-'50s collection of albums collectively called the Songbooks, where she devoted entire albums to the works of such composers as Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. THE BEST OF THE SONGBOOKS: THE BALLADS is one of the many compilations based on these recordings, and one of the best. From its beautiful, informative packaging to its gorgeously remastered sound, this 16-track, 64-minute collection treats the material with the respect it deserves. The material, of course, is first-rate, wall-to-wall standards from Johnny Mercer's wistful "Laura" to Ellington's sly "Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me." Fitzgerald's performances are equally outstanding, as are the mostly big-band arrangements. This is as good as jazz ballad collections get.
Blue Oyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection brings together the group's 14 official Columbia Records albums–including newly-mastered editions of On Your Feet or on Your Knees, Fire of Unknown Origin, The Revolution by Night, Mirrors, Cultosaurus Erectus, Extraterrestrial Live, Club Ninja and Imaginos–alongside two newly-curated bonus discs: Rarities and Radios Appear: The Best of the Broadcasts (a special collection of classic live performances).