Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:32 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

level_42As UK soul and funk band LEVEL 42 embark on a major national and international tour, Universal Records have released a four CD box set that's stuffed with a whole host of goodies for the group's countless fans. The set features all 34 of LEVEL 42's singles along with long lost studio recordings, rare demos and cuts that were only ever released on vinyl. The BIG bonus, though, comes on the fourth CD. Here there are ten new acoustic recordings of ten of the band's biggest songs - including 'Lessons In Love' and 'Something About You'. They feature MARK KING on bass and vocals along with MIKE LINDUP on keys and vocals. The box is completed by extensive sleeve notes by a busy MARK KING and journalist PAOLO HEWITT. The collection is called 'LIVING IT UP' and is out now. Go to our reviews section for an in-depth review.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 July 2010 15:39



Sunday, 11 July 2010 13:12 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

greg_blackmanTill a few years ago GREG BLACKMAN was an illustrator working in and around South East England. Music, though, was a passion and after some session work he set about recording his own album which ended up featuring a collection of songs he'd written around the time he'd met his soon-to-be wife. GREG calls the music on 'The Price of Love' "simple and sincere" with its reference point being the soul and funk sounds of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Indeed there's plenty of variety on the album – Cameo style funk, Maze –like swayers, sweet ballads that might recall Howard Hewett – even a Bob James style instrumental on which GREG shows his virtuosity on the Rhodes electric piano. GREG BLACKMAN'S 'The Price Of Love' can be downloaded via the usual portals and it can also be purchased direct from CD Baby. Full review on SJF very soon.



Friday, 09 July 2010 15:05 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

prince-20ten-album-artwork Prince's new album, '20ten' is available tomorrow (Saturday July 10th) in the UK and Ireland via the Daily Mirror newspaper. It's not the first time the purple one – who recently celebrated his 52nd birthday - gave away his music in a newspaper: in 2007, his album 'Planet Earth' was given away with the Mail On Sunday.

'20ten' features 10 tracks: 'Compassion,' 'Beginning Endlessly,' 'Future Love Song,' 'Sticky Like Glue,' 'Act Of God,' 'Lavaux,' 'Walk In Sand,' 'Sea Of Everything,' 'Everybody Loves Me,' and 'Laydown.'

Here at SJF we've had a sneak preview of the album, which we can reveal is his best long player for some time and shows a return to the minimalist '80s style that served him well on albums like '1999' and 'Parade.'

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 July 2010 15:42



Thursday, 08 July 2010 14:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

PG9-Harvey-FuquaAmerican news agencies are reporting that all-round soul pioneer HARVEY FUQUA has died in a Detroit hospital from a heart attack. He was 80.

FUQUA, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 27, 1929, had a long, varied and distinguished soul career. With friends from Louisville he began that career in a doo-wop vocal group called CRAZY SOUNDS. After working with notorious DJ ALAN FREED they changed their name to the MOONGLOWS and recorded for his Champagne label. After a spell with Chance Records, the group were signed to Chess where they enjoyed a smash hit with 'Sincerely'. Later recording as HARVEY AND THE MOONGLOWS, sometime group members included, MARVIN GAYE and CHUCK BARKSDALE. In 1958 HARVEY left Chess to join Anna Records in Detroit where he worked with LAMONT ANTHONY (DOZIER) and JOHNNY BRISTOL. In 1961 he started his own labels – Tri-Phi and Harvey whose rosters included the SPINNERS, JUNIOR WALKER AND THE ALL STARS and SHORTY LONG.

Frustrated by the problems of running a small, indie label he joined BERRY GORDY'S Motown Empire as head of the Artists Development department. Though that section was charged with grooming the artists' performance, FUQUA got to write and produce too – most notably with the SPINNERS and JUNIOR WALKER (who he brought to Motown) and DAVID RUFFIN and MARVIN GAYE and TAMMI TERRELL. FUQUA'S influence can also be heard on GAYE'S production work with the ORIGINALS and his own 'What's Going On', which featured the distinctive "blow harmonies" that GAYE had learned during his stint with the MOONGLOWS.

In 1971 HARVEY FUQUA joined RCA where he worked with h the NITELIGHTERS and NEW BIRTH. In 1972 he reformed the MOONGLOWS and ten years later he was working with GAYE again on his 'Midnight Love' project. In 2000 FUQUA started a new label – Resurging Artists Record ad released an album 'TVOX – The Voice Of Experience' and he was made a Trustee of The R&B Foundation... and no on would argue that he wasn't perfectly suited to the role.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 July 2010 14:40



Sunday, 04 July 2010 09:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

conaretha__oPtIn what, on paper at least, appears to be an odd pairing - ARETHA FRANKLIN is to play a live concert with former US Secretary of State, CONDOLEEZZA RICE. The pair will be getting together in Philadelphia on July 27 for a charity concert in aid of an Inner City Children's Charity. RICE , apart from her politics, is a celebrated classical pianist (she's played for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, no less) and at the Philly concert the pair will team up for a selection of operatic arias and versions of 'Natural Woman' and 'I Say A Little Prayer'. ARETHA (now 68) is putting aside any political differences, "Ms Rice is a consummate classical pianist and since I sing the arias, I thought we could do something bipartisan for our favourite charities."


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