While it's true that Oscar Peterson compilations appeared with regularity form the early '60s on, only a few of them – as with most recording artists – have any real merit. This two-disc collection from the Concord Music Group's Telarc label, is one of them. Appearing less than a year before his death, this compilation concentrates on recordings issued from the '50s through the middle of the '80s on Dizzy Gillespie's Pablo label, and those made for Telarc between 1990 and 2000. Many live dates are included here from both labels, including "Tenderly" with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown at the J.A.T.P. concerts in Japan; the trio dates at Zardi's in 1955 ("How High the Moon"), in Copenhagen with Joe Pass, Stéphane Grappelli, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen in 1979, and Mickey Roker in 1979 ("Nuages")….
The Allman Brothers Band compilation album, released on the Japanese label Buena Suerte, is part of the Super Stars Best Collection series. Partially unofficial release.
The Very Best of Frank Sinatra is a simple double-disc collection of 40 Sinatra classics from his Reprise Recordings. For casual fans wanting something more than the single-disc The Very Good Years but don't want the four-disc The Reprise Collection, The Very Best of Frank Sinatra is ideal, since it contains all of the true essentials he recorded during the '60s and '70s, including "Summer Wind," "Strangers in the Night," "My Way," "It Was a Very Good Year," and "Theme From New York, New York."
Over the course of three albums and an EP, Ugly Kid Joe managed to parlay their pronounced Guns N' Roses fixation into something of a career. On their best songs – "Everything About You," "Neighbour," and "Milkman's Son" – they blended cartoon rebellion and a sense of humor best described as pre-adolescent into powerhouse singles full of tasteless good fun. Perfect for that time of life when all one wants to do is go around breaking things. Though routinely flagged as a hair band, their twin-guitar attack and fondness for funky, bottom-end heavy riffing also places Ugly Kid Joe among the forefathers of the late-'90s rap-metal explosion. As Ugly as They Wanna Be showcases the band in all their juvenile glory – from their surprise hit version of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" to their tight cover of Black Sabbath's "NIB" to "Busybee" – pretty much the best Guns N' Roses song Guns N' Roses never recorded – all the hits are here, present and accounted for.
Tom Jones became one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the British Invasion. Since the mid-'60s, Jones has sung nearly every form of popular music – pop, rock, show tunes, country, dance, and techno, he's sung it all. His actual style – a full-throated, robust baritone that had little regard for nuance and subtlety – never changed, he just sang over different backing tracks. On-stage, Jones played up his sexual appeal; it didn't matter whether he was in an unbuttoned shirt or a tuxedo, he always radiated a raw sexuality that earned him a large following of devoted female fans who frequently threw underwear on-stage. Jones' following never diminished over the decades; he was able to exploit trends, earning new fans while retaining his core following.
If anyone needs conclusive proof that the brothers Gibb weren't always the chest-medallion-flashing kings of mainstream disco or, since about 1980 on, meaningless AOR washouts, the nearly 40-minute collection of the Bee Gees' earliest hits will suffice in spades..
Innovatively fusing traditional ethnic musics with state-of-the-art rhythms, the work of Deep Forest was best typified by their 1993 "Sweet Lullaby," which brought together the contemporary sounds of ambient techno with a haunting traditional lullaby from the Solomon Islands. The project was primarily the work of the French keyboardists and programmers Eric Mouquet and Michael Sanchez; after the latter returned from Africa with boxes of records he'd picked up across the continent, he and Mouquet began sampling the native sounds for use with their atmospheric dance tracks, and with the aid of producer Dan Lacksman, their eponymous debut LP appeared in 1993…