Looked at in the cold light of day and from some years' distance, Gene Loves Jezebel would seem like the last band whose work would stand the test of time. Weird thing, though – in all their "everything goes" exuberance, from abstract goth wailing to balls-out Sunset Strip rock, the Aston brothers, much like their labelmates in the Cult, made everything work somehow. Not all the time, certainly, but Voodoo Dollies wisely draws on the best and biggest hits of the group, not to mention a couple of rarer items for the hardcore fanbase, to make an enjoyable career overview (certainly better than Some of the Best of Gene Loves Jezebel). Following a straight chronological order and enjoying the usual high quality of Beggars Banquet remastering, the 18-track collection is a fine treat. Besides the obvious numbers like "Desire (Come and Get It)," "The Motion of Love" (appearing here in a single mix), and "Jealous," the less well-known songs help to really flesh out the band's freaked-out, glammed-up appeal.
Mud (now Mud II) are an English glam rock band, formed in February 1966. Their earlier success came in a pop and then glam rock style, while later hits were influenced by 1950s rock and roll, and are best remembered for their hit singles "Tiger Feet", which was the UK's best-selling single of 1974, and "Lonely This Christmas" which reached Christmas number 1 in December 1974. After signing to Rak Records and teaming up with songwriters/producers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, the band had fourteen UK Top 20 hits between 1973 and 1976, including three number ones.
Free were an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song "All Right Now". They disbanded in 1973 and lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to become a frontman of the band Bad Company along with Simon Kirke on drums. Lead guitarist Paul Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler in 1975, but died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 25 in 1976. Bassist Andy Fraser formed Sharks. The band became famed for their sensational live shows and nonstop touring. However, early studio albums did not sell very well until the release of Fire and Water, which featured the massive hit "All Right Now". The song helped secure them a place at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, where they played to 600,000 people. By the early 1970s, Free became one of the biggest-selling British blues rock groups; by the time the band retired in 1973, they had sold more than 20 million albums around the world and had played more than 700 arena and festival concerts.
Before she’s truly freed from the shackles of EMI, Joss Stone must endure one final indignity: that standard end-of-contract ploy, a greatest-hits album, covering her six years with the label. Every one of her 12 singles for the label is here, with the Jamie Hartman duet “Stalemate” – originally released on Ben’s Brother’s 2009 album – added as a concluding track. If this doesn’t dig deep, it nevertheless hits all the highlights – her White Stripes cover “Fell in Love with a Boy,” her Top Ten U.K. hit “You Had Me,” “Don’t Cha Wanna Ride,” her only charting U.S. single “Tell Me 'Bout It,” the Common duet “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now” – drawing a picture of the decade when Stone was always on the cusp of stardom yet never quite truly there. As introductions go, it’s a solid one, capturing her potential and promise, alternating between singles frustrating and fun.
The Alan Parsons Project is a "project" of acclaimed English producer Alan Parsons, best known for his works as an engineer with with names such as the Beatles (Abbey Road, the Get Back roofttop concert) and Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, Atom Heart Mother). Along with songwriter Eric Woolfson, Parsons created a series of 10 (and counting) albums of progressive rock, employing a rotating cast of session musicians to do most of the performing (Parsons does play keyboard and sings on some tracks.). He creates the concept, writes some of the music and hires the artists, while Woolfson writes the lyrics, some of the music and sings on many tracks.
36 tracks are collected on this expansive compilation album from these prog rockers, which is a neat way to review their impressive career.
British pop-jazz-blues crooner Elkie Brooks (born Elaine Bookbinder) dominated U.K. radio in the late '70s with a series of hit singles that established her as "the biggest-selling female album artist in the history of the British pop charts." The Manchester native, who grew up in an extremely musical family, left school at the age of 15 to join a dance band in London. She eventually mad the jump to radio, as well as numerous appearances with legendary jazz bandleader Humphrey Lyttelton, before embarking on a career in pop music. The early '60s saw the budding young singer releasing singles for Decca and EMI, as well as opening for everyone from Carl Perkins to the Beatles, but commercial success remained elusive.
There's a certain relief that this 2009 Rhino reissue of 2002's double-disc set The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac doesn't even attempt to dabble in the early blues work of the Peter Green band, and treats the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks as ground zero. The two eras of the band don't sit well together, and it's best to isolate them, since those who want the hits don't need to hear the blues. Here, it's the prime of the platinum years, with almost all of the big songs in their original hit versions (the one real exception is a live version of "Big Love" from 1997, but most listeners aren't going to be too upset with the substitution).
Although several other hard rock acts have seen their hits repackaged more times than Kiss (namely the Who, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, etc.), the masked quartet certainly isn't far behind, as 2002 saw the group's latest in a long line of collections, The Very Best of Kiss. Despite recycling many of the same selections over and over on these sets (1978's Double Platinum, 1988's Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, 1997's Greatest Kiss, etc.), fans will flock to the stores to buy any piece of Kiss merchandise to complete their collections, hence the arrival of another of hits. While The Very Best of Kiss does contain a smattering of songs to make their debut on a hits collection…