Ray Charles' seminal recordings for Atlantic have been boxed once before, as the triple-disc 1991 set The Birth of Soul. That box contained 53 tracks, the best moments of what is arguably the best period of Charles' career, but Rhino/Atlantic's 2005 seven-disc sequel, Pure Genius, doesn't bother with merely the highlights: as its subtitle makes clear, this is The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959). This is undeniably a major historical release, since it gathers all of the recordings Charles made at his creative peak, not just as a leader, but as a sideman for his saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and sides he recorded with jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson.
Formed in Berlin in 1968, Birth Control were known for a progressive hard rock sound fused will elements of jazz, psychedelia and Krautrock. A surreal concept work from 1976 recorded by legendary producer Conny Plank, Backdoor Possibilities arguably marked their final creative peak, combining rock, jazz and avant-garde stylings with intricate polyrhythmic textures and lyrical nods to Faust and Odysseus. This expanded double disc edition has been remastered by Zeus B. Held and features three bonus live tracks recorded in Korbach on 1 May 1977, as well as a bonus live disc taped at the famous Sartory Saal in Cologne on 24 September 1976.
Many tend to overlook the fact that there exists a cross between prog and soul – they have the point, when only a few get there as convincingly as Mike & The Mechanics. John Carson, the former singer with Arena, got it right having delivered this songs collection with a help of his friends who don’t include a drummer. Solemn “Entre Millenia”, a wonderful chorale-like intro, shows all the beauty of John’s voice to lead directly into “Millenia” – attacking here and soothing there. Off the prog and into soul for “Wounded” acoustic softness – that’s another world, George Michael would score a hit with this classy one…
Birth Of A Being (Expanded) presents the essential first studio recordings of incomparable tenor saxophonist David S. Ware as a bandleader. This work was created in New York, in April 1977, when Ware was 27 years old. The first disc features material originally released on LP in 1979 by the Swiss label, hat Hut Records, and has been out of print for over 30 years. The second disc is a full additional album of top-shelf material from those same sessions that have never been released in any form. This definitive edition was sourced from the original analog 8-track tapes, and was newly mixed & mastered in 2015. Crucial material. Stunning performances & fidelity.
Originally released in 1983, the debut album from Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, otherwise known as Tears For Fears, instantly blasted off one of the most stellar careers of the 1980s. Immaculately produced, stunningly sequenced and comprised of a sequence of timeless electronic pop classics, ‘The Hurting’ sympathetically explored themes of childhood angst, adolescent heartache and the struggles of the transition from boy to man. It also gave birth to four of the era’s essential singles – ‘Suffer The Children’, ‘Pale Shelter’, ‘Change’ and the landmark megahit ‘Mad World’. Compiled with the full involvement of Roland and Curt, ‘The Hurting – 30th Anniversary Edition’ brings together the original album remastered at Abbey Road studios, plus all of the relevant B-sides, edits and remixes from the period, many of them available for the first time.
Bruce Dickinson is an English musician. He is best known as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and is renowned for his wide-ranging operatic vocal style and energetic stage presence. During his first tenure in the band, they issued a series of US and UK platinum and gold albums in the 1980s, resulting in Dickinson gaining worldwide fame, and becoming one of the most acclaimed heavy metal vocalists of all time. Accident of Birth is a heavy metal album released in 1997 by Bruce Dickinson. This is the second album made in collaboration with guitarist/producer Roy Z. In 2005, Accident of Birth was ranked number 338 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.
Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis Borgia, Fourth Duke of Gandia, Jordi Savall and Alia Vox offer a visually lavish and artistically comprehensive new release entitled Dinastia Borgia. Savall’s latest musicological/historical quest focuses on music from the time of the Borgia dynasty, including works by composers such as Isaac, Dufay and Morales, from Pope Alexander VI/6 and two of his children, Cesare and Lucrezia, through to Francis Borgia, Jesuit priest and, perhaps, composer. For five centuries, scholars have studied and debated the role of the Borgias in Renaissance history. Although their name is synonymous with Papal corruption and they were undoubtedly malevolent and immoral, as patrons of the arts, the Borgias were also instrumental in the period’s explosive growth of culture.
Three Tales is a video-opera in three acts (titled Hindenburg, Bikini and Dolly) with music by American composer Steve Reich and visuals by Beryl Korot, his wife. It is scored for two sopranos, three tenors, string quartet, percussion, keyboards, and pre-recorded audio. Its premiere was at the Vienna Festival on May 12, 2002; the BBC had commissioned a version for television broadcast four months later. The 12-minute tale Hindenburg had been written (and recorded) in 1998, while the remaining tales were completed (and recorded) in the year of the premiere.