Content tagged 'Album of the Day'
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Bananamour (Album of the Day)
Kevin Ayers was the first member of legendary Canterbury group Soft Machine to launch a solo career, and his four albums for Harvest remain unheralded progressive rock gems. The last of these, BANANAMOUR, filters some of the singer-songwriter's most accessible material through his relentlessly diverse approach; the 1973 collection shifts effortlessly from psychedelia to glam to punchy R&B and beyond. Gong guitarist Steve Hillage and former bandmates Mike Ratledge and Robert Wyatt can all be heard here, while a couple of Ayers' other musical friends helped inspire songs: Syd Barrett (single “Oh! Wot A Dream”) and Nico (the ethereal epic “Decadence”). BANANAMOUR turns 45 this month, and ranks among the British eccentric's crowning achievements.
Double Vision (Expanded) (Album of the Day)
Though half the band was British (hence the name), America embraced Foreigner with open arms in the late 1970s. Founded by journeyman guitarist Mick Jones and powered by Lou Gramm's strong vocals, the group was an immediate smash, their debut album going multi-platinum. Foreigner's follow-up was even more successful; 1978's DOUBLE VISION ruled the U.S. Top Ten for half a year thanks to the hit singles “Hot Blooded,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day” and the title number. The Expanded Edition of this arena rock classic adds swaggering live versions of “Hot Blooded” and rare song “Love Maker” to the original 10 tracks. In honor of Gramm's birthday, we'll give DOUBLE VISION another spin today.
Life After Death (Album of the Day)
The Notorious B.I.G. rose quickly to the top of East Coast hip-hop with a brilliant debut; unfortunately, Biggie's reign was brief - he was killed just weeks before the release of follow-up album LIFE AFTER DEATH. The acclaimed collection picks up right where READY TO DIE left off, and like its predecessor, is peopled with thugs and playas trying to survive some very mean streets. As befits its epic 24-track length, the set features a small army of talented producers (Sean "Puffy" Combs, RZA, Easy Mo Bee) and guest rappers (Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) while remaining the product of a singular vision. Though filled with violent drama, LIFE AFTER DEATH also sets its sights on mainstream radio with the catchy beats of "Mo Money Mo Problems,” the unexpected optimism of “Sky's The Limit” and “Hypnotize,” which became a posthumous #1 hit on this day in 1997.
Always & Forever (Album of the Day)
Randy Travis' debut took the country world by storm, and a year later he very nearly topped it with ALWAYS & FOREVER. The 1987 Warner Bros. set boasted strong songs across the board, and “Too Gone Too Long,” “I Won't Need You Anymore (Always and Forever),” “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “I Told You So” each topped the Billboard Country chart. Travis' sturdy baritone is remarkably pliant; he wrings every drop of emotion from these ten tracks, and Nashville production gloss is kept to a minimum. An album of undeniable quality, ALWAYS & FOREVER helped country music cross over to a mainstream audience, and we'll cue it up again now to wish Randy Travis a happy birthday.