In many ways Etta James resembled a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and sound that was all her own, and she did this throughout a five-decade career that is impressive for its consistency. This 25-track set (mostly drawn from her time with Chess Records) is hardly definitive (it doesn't have classic James' tracks like "Anything to Say You're Mine," "Don't Cry Baby," "Something's Got a Hold on Me," or the girl group pop of "Two Sides (To Every Story)," for instance, or any of her late-career blues tracks), but it does do a good job of spotlighting James' range and versatility by collecting sides like her signature "At Last," the soul-pop masterpieces "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," and saucy versions of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" and Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On," all of which offer ample proof that James was one of the best singers of her generation – in any style.
Nick Cave is a singular figure in contemporary rock music; he first emerged as punk rock was making its presence known in Australia, but though he's never surrendered his status as a provocateur and a musical outlaw, he quickly abandoned the simplicity of punk for something grander and more literate, though no less punishing in its outlook…
Songwriter and pianist Anne Clark has been a cult figure since the early '80s and has amassed a rather sizable catalog despite her small but rabid following. She writes nearly-Gothic love songs full of obsession and pathos, and pretty orchestral settings with clever instrumental figures and stinging piano runs and minor-key epiphanies. She's a consummate artist, playing to her strengths while trying to subtly, but surely, extend her reach, and always following her own muse, even when it takes her into dissonant territory. Most of her albums are out of print even on CD, and sell for collector's prices when they can be found. This is too bad, because Clark has assembled a solid, if quirky, and passionately honest body of work. This best-of issued by Beehive is truly that. It features 24 tracks and clocks in at over 75 minutes. Many of these are Clark's most lovely songs, such as "The Sitting Room," "All Night Party" (with Vini Reilly of Durutti Column), the "12" remix" of "Our Darkness," and "The Last Emotion," as well as instrumental themes such as "Swimming" and "An Ordinary Life".
UK compilation from the British Rock legends featuring 20 of their classic '60s hits for the Pye label. Includes 'You Really Got Me', 'All Day And All Of The Night', 'Tired Of Waiting For You', 'Till The End Of The Day', 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion', 'Lola', 'Victoria' and many others.