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Archive for the ‘Albert King’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of June 4

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DylanGHVol2SACDBob Dylan, Greatest Hits Volume 2 (SACD) (Audio Fidelity)

A double hybrid SACD version of the classic Dylan compilation, mastered by Steve Hoffman. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hello AngelSandie Shaw, The Sandie Shaw Supplement Reviewing the Situation Hello Angel: Expanded Editions (Salvo)

Sandie Shaw’s late ’60s and ’80s material gets newly remastered and expanded. Smiths alive! (Click on the post above for a full breakdown and order links.)

BF5 LiveBen Folds Five, Live (ImaVeePee/Sony Music)

The power piano-pop trio’s first live disc, culled from dates in 2012 and 2013. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

10 SoundtrackMason Williams, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record / Mason Williams, The Mason Williams Ear Show / Surf Punks, Locals Only / The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Stacked Deck/Too Stuffed to Jump / Dickey Lee, Original Greatest Hits / Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys, Albion Doo-Wah / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 23 – Baltimore Civic Center Baltimore, MD 9/17/72 / Henry Mancini, “10″ Original Soundtrack  (Real Gone Music)

The latest from Real Gone, yours to read about here.

Roadhouse BluesAlbert King, Roadhouse Blues (Stax/Concord)

A reissue of King’s 1991 hits compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

ClownAroundClownaround: The Original Show Album (Masterworks Broadway)

The studio cast recording of this 1972 Gene Kelly musical is now available exclusively at, as a made-to-order CD-R.

Review: Albert King, “Born Under a Bad Sign”

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Albert King - Bad SignThe familiar cover artwork to Albert King’s 1967 Stax album Born Under a Bad Sign hardly gives any indication as to its heavy contents.  A calendar reading Friday the 13th, the Ace of Spades, snake eyes on the dice, and an almost-cute black cat (!) adorned with a skull and crossbones all reinforce the title of the album but offer precious little hint as to the smoking electric blues within the sleeve.  Following 2012’s reissue of King’s 1972 Stax album I’ll Play the Blues for You, Concord Music Group has turned its attention to Born Under a Bad Sign, delivering another handsomely-expanded edition.

Born Under a Bad Sign, King’s first long-player for the Memphis label, is one of the watershed albums in the development of electric blues; backed by Stax house band Booker T and the MG’s as well as the Memphis Horns and Isaac Hayes on piano, King’s soulful tones blurred the lines between R&B and the new “rock” (sans the “and roll”).  The debt to Albert King has been recognized by such icons as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, and indeed, the influence of his music on those players and others is readily apparent when revisiting the eleven tracks that formed the LP.  (Some of these tracks had actually appeared in single edits before being compiled as part of the full-length album.)

Just how “bad” (and by “bad,” we mean “good,” or “great!”) was Albert King?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 2, 2013 at 10:04

Posted in Albert King, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of April 2

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Alexander O'Neal vinylThe S.O.S. Band / Cherrelle / Alexander O’Neal, “Tabu Reborn” Vinyl Editions (Wave 1) (Tabu/Edsel)

The start of a lengthy reissue campaign from Demon Music Group, these are 180-gram vinyl reissues of The S.O.S. Band’s III (1982), Cherrelle’s 1984 debut Fragile, and Alexander O’Neal’s self-titled debut from 1985. Expanded editions of these albums come out on CD next week, followed by a great many more waves of product throughout 2013 and into 2014!

S.O.S. Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Cherrelle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alexander O’Neal: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Martha and The Vandellas Singles CollectionThe Four Tops / Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collections (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Two new lavish sets collect all the single sides worldwide by two of Motown’s most underrated vocal groups – and in the case of Martha & The Vandellas, there’s a bonus disc of unreleased “lost and found” content to enjoy, too!

Four Tops: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mad Season - AboveMad Season, Above: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

This short-lived grunge supergroup, featuring Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley and members of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees, only put out one record, but it’s been expanded as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring unreleased tracks (with vocals by Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan) and live audiovisual content. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Born Under a Bad SignAlbert King, Born Under a Bad Sign: Expanded Edition (Stax/Concord)

One of the Memphis’ label’s most celebrated blues albums is remastered and expanded with five unreleased alternate takes! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

David Gates - Early YearsDavid Gates, The Early Years: The Early Songwriting Genius of David Gates (Rare Rockin’)

Before leading Bread, Gates was a talented singer-songwriter whose early works were covered by a myriad of vocalists – many of which are making their CD debuts on this compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Simple Minds CelebrateSimple Minds, Celebrate: The Greatest Hits (Virgin/EMI)

As the ’80s hitmakers embark on a new tour, this new hits compilation – available in double and triple-disc variants – was made available in the U.K. last week. (A U.S. release is reportedly slated for later this spring.)

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

RKivesRilo Kiley, RKives (Little Record Company)

A collection of rare and unreleased material from the now-defunct L.A. band.

Margaret Whiting - Wheel of HurtChet Atkins with The Boston Pops, The Pops Goes Country/The Pops Goes West / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 24: Cow Palace, Daly City, CA – 3/23/1974 / Tom Jans, Take Heart/Tom Jans / Barbara & Ernie, Prelude To… / Steve Lawrence, Winners!/On a Clear Day / Don Nix, Living by the Days / Eydie Gorme & The Trio Los Panchos, Amor/More Amor / Margaret Whiting, The Wheel of Hurt: Deluxe Edition Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore/Pop Country / Alfred Newman, The Diary of Anne Frank: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The latest wares from Real Gone: plenty of two-fers, a rare Alfred Newman soundtrack, a new Dead reissue and expanded works from country-pop singer Margaret Whiting.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mills MercilessJerry Butler, Love’s on the Mend/Suite for the Single Girl / Stephanie Mills, Merciless: Expanded Edition / Donna Washington, Going for the Glow: Expanded Edition / Nancy Wilson, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/Now I’m a Woman (SoulMusic)

A slew of great titles from SoulMusic are out this week, including a Stephanie Mills album produced by the late Phil Ramone. Check out the above post for details.

Jerry Butler: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Stephanie Mills: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Donna Washington: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Nancy Wilson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Anita WardCaston and Majors, Caston and Majors / Fern Kinney, Groove Me / Arthur Prysock, All My Life / Anita Ward, Songs of Love (Big Break)

And the latest expanded titles from Big Break include some Motown and T.K. rarities, including Anita Ward’s megahit “Ring My Bell.”

Caston and Majors: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Fern Kinney: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Arthur Prysock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Anita Ward: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Judy Garland CreationsJudy Garland, Creations 1929-1962 (JSP)

A four-disc U.K.-only compilation of “the songs that Judy Garland sang first.” (Amazon U.K.)  U.S. customers may order at CD Universe or Collectors’ Choice Music for April 9 release.

eagles_boxEagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (Elektra/Rhino)

Every one of the California hitmakers’ original studio albums, in a handy slipcase. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Wu-Tang’s RZA Compiles Classic Stax for “Shaolin Soul”

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RZA Shaolin SoulA new compilation of music from Stax Records is coming courtesy of a most interesting source: rapper/producer/actor/director RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan.

The man born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs has rarely slowed down in the 20 years since Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was released in the winter of 1993. Besides producing most of his group’s early records and solo projects (including ODB’s Return to the 36 Chambers, GZA’s Liquid Swords, Method Man’s Tical and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…), RZA has also made a name for himself in prose (writing and co-writing Wu-Tang guidebooks The Wu-Tang Manual and The Tao of Wu) and film, turning in solid performances in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarrettes, Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, and most recently The Man with the Iron Fists, a martial-arts flick he also co-wrote and directed.

Now, he’s taking a small detour by overseeing this new compilation of Stax tracks through his own label, Soul Temple. The RZA Presents Shaolin Soul Selection Volume 1 (not to be confused with a similarly-titled 2001 compilation on the Koch label consisting of soul songs sampled by the Clan) will span two CDs or three vinyl LPs and feature 24 tracks by Isaac Hayes, The Meters, Albert King, The Emotions, William Bell, Booker T & The M.G.’s and many more.

A mix of selections from the compilation, due out March 19, has been commissioned by DJ 7L, and can be heard on the above video or on Soul Temple’s Bandcamp page, where special album and t-shirt bundles are currently up for sale. The full track list and Amazon links for the regular CD set are after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 20, 2013 at 15:49

Review: Albert King, “I’ll Play The Blues For You”

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It wasn’t that Albert King couldn’t play music other than the blues…but even when crooning in his most velvety-rich style, there was just something inherently lived-in, worldly, and commanding about that voice…in other words, something bluesy.  And though that underrated voice would be enough for a lesser artist, King’s greatest gift was as a guitarist.  Perhaps the best display of both of those titanic talents was the 1972 Stax album with the apt title of I’ll Play the Blues for You, just reissued and expanded by Concord Music Group (STX-33716, 2012).

A towering six-foot-four, King hailed from Mississippi but spent his youth in various spots before settling in Memphis in 1966 where he was signed by Stax.  A transitional period for Stax was just around the corner.  Otis Redding and members of Stax mainstays The Bar-Kays tragically perished in a plane crash in December 1967, and then the company’s distribution deal with Atlantic Records ended a year later.  Both events contributed to the formation of a new Stax with a leaner, meaner, even funkier sound.  King’s 1967 Born Under a Bad Sign, recorded for Stax with “house band” Booker T. and the MGs as well as the Memphis Horns, became one of the most influential blues albums of all time.  Further releases followed, including 1968’s Live Wire/Blues Power, recorded far from Memphis at San Francisco’s Fillmore, and a 1970 tribute to another King, Elvis Presley.  But I’ll Play the Blues for You, produced and arranged for King by Allen Jones and Henry Bush, was a landmark.  It provided King with a new signature song via the title track, as well as showcasing all sides of his musical prowess.

Hit the jump to delve into Concord’s remastered edition of this seminal album! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 31, 2012 at 13:36

Posted in Albert King, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Albert King Will “Play the Blues for You,” with Vault Material

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Here’s a title for Stax fans to mark on their calendars: a reissue of Albert King’s I’ll Play the Blues for You (1972), expanded with four bonus tracks in anticipation of the album’s 40th anniversary.

King was already revered for his work with Stax Records, which he had been signed to since 1966. It was a boom period for the Memphis label, with Otis Redding earning high marks for his crossover performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Sam & Dave entering the pop charts with some timeless singles. On I’ll Play the Blues for You, King worked with a different set of musicians than usual, partially out of necessity (most of the members of his band before 1967 were members of The Bar-Kays, and perished in the same plane crash that took Redding’s life). The new Bar-Kays and Isaac Hayes’ backing band The Movement, including bassist James Alexander and drummer Willie Hall, joined King on these decidedly funkier sessions, as did The Memphis Horns.

What followed was, according to music journalist Bill Dahl’s liner notes in the new reissue, “a typically brilliant mixture of pile-driving blues and hot Memphis soul grooves…one of Albert’s best long-players.” The disc featured a number of extended jams, including the two-part title track, which would become one of King’s signature numbers, as well as a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I’ll Be Doggone” and the standard “I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home.”

This new disc, part of Stax’s ongoing reissue and remaster campaign, features four bonus tracks released for the first time anywhere, including alternate takes of “I’ll Play the Blues for You” and “Don’t Burn Down the Bridge” and two entirely unreleased compositions. It’s out May 22 and can be ordered here.
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Written by Mike Duquette

April 9, 2012 at 12:41

Posted in Albert King, News, Reissues