Monday, 24 April 2017 13:48 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast year musicologist/sociologist/journalist JON SAVAGE published an acclaimed history of 1966. He examined those seminal 12 months via that year's best popular music and tried to show how it impacted (and itself was impacted) on culture politics and economics. It was hefty tome (over 650 pages) and I found it a difficult read... more university treatise than music journalism. I've always believed that when discussing music it's better to let the music to do most of the talking and thankfully good old Ace Records issued a 2CD album to accompany the book and it helped put Savage's words into context.

We've been told there won't be a "1967" book any time soon but that hasn't stopped Jon and Ace getting together again to select a bumper 48 tracks that they hope show what was important musically in 1967; "the year pop divided" as Savage describes those 12 months.

In the sleeve notes Jon describes how in 1967 revenue from albums overtook revenue from singles even though the market for 45s remained very, very strong and the tracks selected for '1967' attempt to illustrate the differences between the two markets as well as touching on "the Summer of Love", how drugs impacted on music and much, much more.

Heavy stuff again but why not just enjoy '1967' as a rather superior compilation of not so obvious music... Soul wise there's music from people like Gladys Knight, Rex Garvin, Aretha, Joe Tex, James Brown, Dyke and the Blazers and the Sandpebbles alongside classic pop from artists like The Move, The Fortunes, The Spencer Davis Group, Sonny and Cher and the Searchers. There's also plenty of psychedelic stuff of varying quality.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 April 2017 13:56



Friday, 21 April 2017 19:32 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOne of 2015's biggest UK soul albums was 'Life's So Sweet' from Mather and Kingdon and though we were promised a follow up, the pair, it seems, have since pursued solo paths. Mr Kingdon has enjoyed success with a series of quirky instrumentals while (Stuart) MATHER released a great solo album 'No Looking Back' which featured the charting singles 'Butterflies' and 'I Can't Forget About You'.

Right now Mather is preparing the release of brand new single.... 'Some Like It Hot'. The chirpy tune has nothing to do with the classic Jack Lemon movie, rather it's a pleasing summery pop-soul vibe with a catchy melody. Indeed it was those uncluttered melodies that were the hallmark of 'No Looking Back'. If you like that album, you'll love 'Some Like It Hot'.

Mather - Some Like It Hot released 21st April as a download only on DSG.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 April 2017 19:38



Friday, 21 April 2017 19:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'BACK ON THE STREET AGAIN' is the title of a never less than interesting 20 track compilation from Australia's Festival Records. The album collects together a mixed bag of sounds from Australian artists of the 60s and 70s. They range from top jazz drummer John Sangster to cabaret artist Al Styne, heavy rock bands Tamam Shud and Blackfeather through to more soulful performers like Jeff St John who fronted a band called ID. Their contribution here is a Northern flavoured stomper, 'Feel Awright' .

Other cuts to interest soul folk are Ray White Revival's funky cover of Stevie's 'Superstition' and Billy Thorpe's 'Back On the Street Again' for which the album's named. That one by the way is a 'Shaft' influenced slab of psycho-soul.

BACK ON THE STREET AGAIN... is out now on Festival Records.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 April 2017 19:39



Friday, 21 April 2017 19:28 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTony Cannam's SOULNATURALS won loads of friends with their recent 'Love Says Yes!' long player. One of the album's toughest tunes was the funky 'I Got Sunshine (Enough For The World)' featuring Jo Kelsey on vocals.

The tune's just won three remixes with the first coming via Hungarian mix meister Opolopo who delivers a classy jazz fuelled soulful house groove. The second tweak comes from Moscow's Valique who keeps things deep down in Funkville while the third is a retooling from French muso Chicky Boom who puts the tune in a Euro house setting. So three new European perspectives on the cut but all three keep Ms Kelsey's committed vocal right up front.

The single and mixes of 'I Got Sunshine (Enough For The World)' will be released on May 12th 2017 on British Soul Standard.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 April 2017 19:40



Friday, 21 April 2017 19:25 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

altTHE MELTDOWN are a Melbourne-based band who specialise in Southern flavoured country soul and you can sample their take on the genre via their new eponymous long player which has just won release on Hope Street Records.

The Meltdown's focus is singer and main songwriter Simon Burke and he shows a mature soulfulness on the album's two best cuts... the Memphis meets Nashville cocktail that is 'Colours In The Sky' and the brassy Hi pastiche 'Don't Hesitate'. Little wonder that both tunes were selected as the album's first two singles. Their appeal won The Meltdown plenty of bookings on the Aussie festival circuit as well as a feature on the US cable TV show 'The Rosewood'. Both tunes are well worth investigating.

The album's other highlight is 'Secret Life' – a searing, dramatic, melancholic ballad.

THE MELTDOWN; THE MELTDOWN is out now on Hope Street Recordings.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 April 2017 19:40


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