Night Ark is a group that draws from so many fields of music it proves difficult to label. Many (but not all) of the instruments featured on this release originated in the Middle East; leader Ara Dinkjian's specialty is the oud, but he also occasionally plays guitar and piano, along with the less-familiar canoon and cumbus. The music includes exotic originals by the group, each of which merits repeated listening.
Price moved to Jet Records in 1977 and recorded a series of successful albums throughout the rest of the decade. In 1980, he crossed the big pond to record an unusual album in Los Angeles: entitled Rising Sun, it included a reworking of the song The House Of The Rising Sun, which picked up quite a bit of air play in the UK.
This is a very good live album from Alan Price which features a good mix of his old and new original material and a nice set of covers, such as Simon Smith and I Put a Spell on You. While the songs from O Lucky Man would be the best known, there are other gems here, such as Between Today and Yesterday (the LP which followed O Lucky Man) and the set as a whole is great listening. The musicians are top-notch and the production sounds really good; the drum sound is well captured, for example. Alan is in fine voice and sounds as if he's really enjoying the show(s). Highly recommended for fans of Alan Price, R&B or Randy Newman type songwriters.
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.
Flashback is the second box set compilation by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 2000. In 2000, Jeff Lynne found a new impetus to work on the music of his old band and returned to the recording studio to work on an ELO project for the first time in some 15 years just prior to the comeback album Zoom in 2001. This work resulted in a digitally remastered compilation released in late 2000. Unlike its predecessors, this project, Flashback, was personally approved and endorsed by Lynne. The set includes songs featured from all 11 studio albums up to that point, including an edit of "Great Balls of Fire" from their live album The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach, plus some new recordings amongst the band's extensive back catalog, most notably a reworking of Lynne's only UK number one hit "Xanadu".