Album Reviews rss

The Whispers: One For The Money/Open Up Your Love/Headlights (Robinsongs)

August 13, 2018

Whispers were one of the finest 1970s R&B bands, and these three albums from the latter part of the decade find their star on the rise, thanks to the superb harmonies and lush arrangements they had to offer.

Craig Smith: Love Is Our Existence (Maitreya Apache Music)

Love Is Our Existence is a collection of recordings by Craig Smith, a 60s musician who was lost to mental illness and drug use before he could really establish himself as the talent he was. This collection of rough demo and Acetate recordings find him an angelic-voiced singer with a wide-eyed innocence that betrays the dark tragic life he would soon lead.

Cilla Black: Surround Yourself With Cilla/It Makes Me Feel Good (SFE/Cherry Red)

The second album in the first installment in the Cilla Black reissue campaign is a satisfying collection of two of her more modest albums.

Matt Bianco: Indigo (Deluxe Edition) (Cherry Pop)

For their third album, British jazz pop group Matt Bianco took their sound in a decidedly Latin direction, in hopes of breaking big in America. This deluxe reissue is expanding with a whopping 37 bonus tracks, over three CDs, and shows just how hard they tried.

Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan Live 1962-1966: Rare Performances From The Copyright Collections  (Columbia)

This no-frills two CD collection offers up choice cuts from Bob Dylan’s first era of live performances, with a set list that sticks to well-known and beloved songs that help remind the world just how to consummate a performer he was in his early days.

Gathered From Coincidence: The British Folk Pop Sound of 1965–66 (Grapefruit Recordings)

This wonderfully rich three disc set gathers up 79 songs all inspired by one man: Bob Dylan.

Gene Clark: Gene Clark Sings For You/The Rose Garden: A Trip Through The Garden (Omnivore)

Two recently released collections document what former Byrds guitarist Gene Clark was doing immediately after leaving the band. One collection finds him sorting out ideas on tape, the other highlights his willingness to work with a young group. While these recordings are rough and probably more for the devoted Byrds fans, they do provide an interesting look into an artist’s creative process.

Cilla Black:Cilla: All Mixed Up/Beginnings: Revisited (SFE)

In 2009, two digital-only releases from legendary British pop singer Cilla Black appeared–a remix album and a reconfiguration of a 2003 collection––to mixed results. They would prove to be her final releases, and are compiled in a physical format for the first time as part of an extensive career reissue campaign.

Bobby Bare: The Travelin’ Bare/Constant Sorrow/The Streets Of Baltimore (Morello Records)

Country singer Bobby Bare Will forever be known for his fine material from the 1970s, but his earlier material is no less grand, either; this two CD set collects three of his mid-1960s albums and is a delightful reevaluation of an often overlooked part of his career.

Paul McCartney & Wings: Wings Greatest (Capitol Records)

Though the usefulness of this recently reissued greatest hits package raises certain questions, it doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a perfect, bare-bones collection of Sir Paul McCartney’s absolute greatest hits.