A 50-CD set of legendary recordings celebrating the world-renowned Decca Sound. Classic-status pioneering stereo recordings from the past 60 years and starring a galaxy of internationally-acclaimed artistic talent.
This studio recording was made in 1989 coinciding with a memorable production from the Metropolitan Opera, later captured on DVD. It's a delightful performance, and a wonderful highlight of Pavarotti's later career. Kathleen Battle's sparkling soprano is a brilliant accompaniment to Pavarotti's still-ringing tone.
"Pavarotti's voice was still beautiful and pliable, his phrasing exquisite. And he loved the role of Nemorino and always seemed happy with both its comedy and pathos–he steals every scene he's in, and no one minds…Kathleen Battle sings Adina with perfect, pearl-like tone, absolute fluency and commitment, and a trill to die for…Enzo Dara is an ideal Dulcamara, just the right combination of huckster and sentimentalist, with ease in every register and with fast music."
– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
This set was recorded in 1970, first appeared in 1971, and now is re-issued on CD as Decca - London ,there is just SOMETHING about the freedom and vocal ease of the 35-year-old Pavarotti (pre-beard!). The high notes shine and soar and he just seems to be the young, impetuous King. Milnes shows us why he was the logical American baritone successor to Tibbett, Warren, Weede, Merrill and MacNeil in the great Verdi roles .Grand Dame Renata Tebaldi as Amelia and Regina Resnik as Ulrica–both at the end of their best years; don't forget, their careers started in the mid-1940s ,the ladies acquit themselves well enough vocally and also add involved characterizations of their roles.
From 1992 Pavarotti annually hosted the "Pavarotti and Friends" charity concerts in his home town of Modena in Italy, joining with singers from all parts of the music industry, including Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sting, Bono, Queen, Deep Purple, Sheryl Crow, the Spice Girls, and Jon Bon Jovi, to raise money for several UN causes.
The finest of Labelle's original albums, Nightbirds was recorded in New Orleans with funkmeister Allen Toussaint handling the production chores and, one assumes, members of the Meters taking care of the session work. Worth the price of admission for the Bob Crewe-written "Lady Marmalade" alone, the album veers between the strutting New Orleans, horn-laden singles and more mainstream pop material.
A classic album by a group that helped rock music find its new direction. The Cars, Heartbeat City, was released in 1984 and immediately shot up the charts to Number 3. The album produced several songs instantly recognizable as classics that will forever be among the greatest pop songs ever recorded. Heavy beats. Cool lyrics. Lots of keyboards. This album represents 80's music at its peak, and was a forerunner of New Wave becoming pop and pop becoming New Wave.
R.I.P. Arthur. In Memoriam. Given the urban title of alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe's debut Columbia album, it's quite a shock when he and his red-hot band of collaborators that include James Blood Ulmer on guitar, Bob Stewart on tuba, flutist James Newton, bassist Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette open with the decidedly funky Latin breaks on "Down San Diego Way." It's not a vamp and it's not a misleading intro, the first of four tracks showcases not only the deep versatility of the rhythm section, but Blythe's own gift as both a composer and as a soloist. He states the melody, handing off the harmonics to Ulmer and Newton and then flies high into the face of its chosen changes, allowing the beat to change under him several times before bringing back a theme and letting Ulmer solo.