No. 1 in Heaven is the eighth album by the American rock band Sparks. Recorded with Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder, it marked a change of musical direction for the group and became influential on later synth-pop bands.
Issued in 2007 on the 4AD label, THE BEST OF LISA GERRARD collects many of the finest tracks by the former Dead Can Dance vocalist/multi-instrumentalist. While the compilation includes a few tracks by that revered act, most notably the mystical "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)," a song that showcases Gerrard's striking voice, it primarily focuses on her solo work and film compositions, which both draw from music across the globe. On these pieces, Gerrard often collaborates with fellow Australian native Pieter Bourke, as on the passionate "Swans" and the expansive "Sacrifice," the latter from the INSIDER score. Although this anthology is a mere fraction of Gerrard's recorded output, it does serve as an excellent introduction to her impressive catalogue.
Arista remastered Graham Parker's masterpiece, Squeezing Out Sparks, for CD reissue, adding the previously promotional-only live album Live Sparks as an added bonus. Though it is somewhat disconcerting to hear the same songs in the same order in a row, it's an excellent addition for hardcore collectors, especially since the sound on the original album is considerably improved. And, Live Sparks is a nervy, energetic live recording, especially with the addition of "I Want You Back (Alive)" and "Mercury Poisoning".
Lisa Batiashvili is a wonderful violinist, and this fine album of Prokofiev’s two concertos marks another milestone in a career that leaps from mountain peak to mountain peak. She characterizes each work with great insight and style, clearly attuned to the biographical background of this most complex of 20th-century composers. What’s also striking is the range of color and volume with which Batiashvili and Nézet-Séguin invest the music, unusually faithful to the score—the opening of the Second Concerto is done with great imagination and some stunning solo and orchestral playing. Three short Prokofiev pops are delightful extras.