Content tagged 'Pop'
Release: Further Listening 2001 - 2004 (Album of the Day)
Pet Shop Boys were nearly two decades into their still-ongoing career when they released RELEASE, and the 2002 album has the sound of a band catching its second wind. The outgrowth of recordings made to fill out a greatest hits collection, these songs (“Home And Dry,” “I Get Along,” “London” and seven others) have the worldly sensibilities and catchy melodies for which the U.K. synth-poppers are famous but with a little something extra – guitar work by the great Johnny Marr. As part of a catalog upgrade, RELEASE has just been reissued with two "further listening" albums of additional tracks from the era, including previously unreleased songs, John Peel performances and a cover of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" featuring Elton John.
Break Every Rule (Album of the Day)
BREAK EVERY RULE was the title of Tina Turner's sixth solo album, but it might also have described her approach to music – there weren't a lot of R&B singers successfully submitting videos to MTV two decades into their career. This follow-up to her comeback smash PRIVATE DANCER will please fans of that earlier collection while throwing in a few new curves; trusty hitmakers Graham Lyle and Terry Britten produced half the set while luminaries including Rupert Hine, Bryan Adams and Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler helmed the other (additional famous friends like Steve Winwood and Phil Collins lend instrumental support). The 1986 collection spun off a string of memorable singles - “Typical Male,” “What You Get Is What You See" and “Two People” among them – driving BREAK EVERY RULE to platinum sales status.
There's Gonna Be A Showdown (Album of the Day)
Born in Henderson, Texas on this day in 1944, Archie Bell made some of the most joyously danceable soul music of the 1960s with his group, The Drells. Their final album for Atlantic Records, THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN, was one of their best, with such highlights as “Girl You're Too Young,” “Go For What You Know” and the Top 40 title track. The material and arrangements are strong throughout; the 1969 collection was produced by future Philadelphia International hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who cowrote eight of the dozen tracks here along with frequent collaborator Thom Bell (no relation to Archie). The infectious and funky fun of THERE’S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN makes it perfect for a party, so we’ll use it to wish Archie Bell a happy birthday!
The Spirit Room (Album of the Day)
With 2001's THE SPIRIT ROOM, Sedona, Arizona, native Michelle Branch made an impressive and precocious major label debut – she was just 18 when it was released. The Maverick collection would sound assured coming from a singer-songwriter twice that age; the 11 originals are insightful and melodic, and Branch proves a versatile and passionate vocalist. Producer John Shanks applies bright polish to the consistently catchy material, and the result was irresistible to radio: “Everywhere,” “All You Wanted” and “Goodbye to You” were all Top 40 singles, driving the album to double-platinum sales status. Michelle Branch made a welcome return to record stores in April after several years away, and while she still has a long career ahead, THE SPIRIT ROOM shows great talent was there from the beginning.
The Innocents (Album of the Day)
Erasure's third studio album proved the charm; THE INNOCENTS became the commercial breakthrough for U.K. synth-poppers Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. Released as a single on this day in 1988, opener “A Little Respect” reached the U.S. Top 20, as did “Chains Of Love”; with “Ship Of Fools,” the duo had another signature song. In England the collection was even more successful, becoming the pair's first No.1 and helping Erasure earn a Brit Award for Best British Group. There isn't a dud among the 11 originals here, and producer Stephen Hague adds just the right amount of polish to the soulful vocals and punchy arrangements. The multi-platinum THE INNOCENTS remains one of Erasure's very best, and a must for any '80s fan.