Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence – much like Ray Charles – to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records.
To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story is a 3 CD Career Retrospective (1957-1993) including her work for Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA, CTI and Elektra, PLUS a DVD featuring the 1970 Emmy-nominated never-before-released documentary. This package includes 54 songs, 8 previously unreleased tracks, including some never recorded elsewhere. The box includes all chart hits (U.S. and U.K.) and her most famous signature songs. An added bonus are liner notes which include track-by-track commentary from Simone biographer, David Nathan, and introduction by Ed Ward, NPR's "rock & roll historian", and never-before-seen photos from her family archives, recording sessions and performances.
For those who have never heard of W.E.T. the band comprise of Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals and keyboards, Erik Mårtensson on rhythm/lead guitar and backing/lead Vocals, Robert Säll on keyboards/guitar & backing vocals, Magnus Henriksson on rhythm/lead guitar and backing vocals, Robban Bäck on drums and Andreas Passmark on bass. So if any of those names means anything to you, you will know that the band has on paper the highest pedigree, being something of an AOR supergroup.
It's almost astonishing that it took until 2012 for Strange Euphoria, the first multi-disc retrospective box set of Heart's five-decade-plus career, to arrive. The set contains three CDs and a live concert DVD entitled "The Second Ending," shot between February and March of 1976 for Washington State's KSWU-TV. Strange Euphoria is nearly everything a retrospective like this should be…