Saturday, December 22, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
A very raw recording by the boogie king from 1960.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
His cause of death was not immediately known, said his manager, Scott Hanover.
After years of obscurity, Turner was on a comeback trail of sorts. He won his first Grammy in 35 years this past February for an acclaimed blues album and had been collaborating on musical ideas with producer Danger Mouse, one-half of the pop-soul duo Gnarls Barkley.
The one-time disc jockey arguably invented rock 'n' roll with his 1951 song "Rocket 88," and he enjoyed huge fame in the 1960s and 1970s as the Svengali behind Ike and Tina Turner, a R&B revue that dazzled audiences with high-energy performances of such tunes as "Proud Mary" and "River Deep Mountain High."
But Ike Turner was also a violent man, according to his ex-wife and others including Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who said he saw him pistol-whip a fellow musician.
"Ike acted like a goddamned pimp," Richards told Vanity Fair in 1993.
Tina Turner's memoir, "I, Tina," and a 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do With It" turned Ike Turner into one of the most notorious villains in the music industry.
The singer said her ex-husband regularly abused and humiliated her for 16 years, and drove her to attempt suicide in 1968. He cracked her ribs, threw hot coffee in her face, burnt her with a cigarette and punched her in the nose so often she had to have surgery, she said.
Ike told a New York news conference in 1993, "I only punched her with my fist once. I have slapped her, and the times where I slapped her were when she was looking sad."
A spokeswoman for Tina Turner, who lives in semi-retirement in Europe, said, "Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in over 30 years."
Ike & Tina Turner: Nutbush City Limits and Sweet Rhode Island Red both from 1973's Nutbush City Limits and countless Best of compilations.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Roy Ayers: Aragon
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Halloween is my favorite times of year and I've got a few tunes to spice up your Halloween parties. Dig these!
Dusty Springfield: Spooky
You gotta love Dusty's cool delivery on this track from 1968. Originally recorded by Classics IV, I think Dusty's version is the definitive one. You can find it on the re-release of Dusty....Definitely.
Nina Simone: I Put A Spell On You
Something about Nina Simone's voice makes this cover completely eerie. While the Screamin' Jay Hawkins original is comical, this version is dead serious. Supposedly The Beatles got the bridge for Michelle after hearing this tune. You can find this track on Nina's great 1965 release I Put A Spell On You.
Frank De Jo Jo: Turn Off The Lights
This cover of the Larry Young's 1975 sexual classic takes on a whole new scary vibe at Halloween. This track is taken from Ubiquity's first Rewind! compilation.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Aretha Franklin: Pledging My Love/The Clock
Here's one Alisen hasn't heard yet. It's a beautiful cover from the brand new Rhino collection entitled....(take a deep breath)...Aretha Franklin Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of The Queen of Soul. This collection a real treasure and a must own for any fan of soul music.
James Brown: For Once In My Life
One of my wife and my's many favorites taken from JB's 1970 big band explosion Soul On Top. It's tough to beat Stevie's original but Mr. Brown sure comes close.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
One of John's first "trippy" songs from 1966's Revolver LP is soulfully covered by Memphis bluesman Junior Parker. You can find this haunting rendition on 1971's Love Ain't Nothin But a Business Goin' On.
Here's a somewhat slick, but definitely funky cover of John's Abbey Road composition. You can find this track on The Brothers' 1976 LP Look Out For #1.
This is a tune I often turn to to remind me of John Lennon's genius. It never fails to move me and Jackie Robinson sweet vocals captures the nostalgia of the lyrics. You can find this track on Trojan's uneven Beatles Tribute Box Set.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
This track from 1994's Live From San Francisco proves what a great singer can do. I'll honestly tell anyone who asks "I HATE THE F_in' EAGLES!" but what Etta does here is simply astonishing. She actually makes me rethink my entire anti-Eagle lifestyle....Then I hear Hotel California and I realize I was right!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Ray Charles: Living For The City
This groove is arguably deeper than Stevie's original. Released as a single in 1975, you can find this track on The 1997 Ray Charles box set Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection.
Ray Charles: The Jealous Kind
You may be familiar with Joe Cocker's rendition of this Robert Guidry tune, but I think Ray really nails it. Released on his out of print 1977 LP True to Life. The album that includes an array covers from Johnny Nash to Lennon/McCartney to Gershwin.
Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles: Spirit In The Dark (reprise)
This one's a real treat also found on Genius & Soul. An outtake from Aretha Franklin's legendary show at the Fillmore in 1971. Even though he's not too concerned with the lyrics at the start their chemistry is undeniable as Ray takes over offering the hippie crowd a lesson in soul their sure not to forget. "I CAN FEEL IT!!!"
Sunday, September 16, 2007
B.B. King: Hummingbird
Here's Bee's soulful rendition of a Leon Russell staple. Heartfelt vocals and searing fret work lead up to a triumphant gospel choir. Find this track on one of B.B.'s best, 1970's Indianola Mississippi Seeds.
B.B. King: Ghetto Woman
Eager to repeat the success of his crossover hit The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. seemed to try the same formula for several years to no avail. One result was this moving, though string heavy track co written with Dave Clark from the 1971 In London LP.
B.B. King: I Like To Live The Love
One of my favorite B.B. soul tunes from 1973's To Know You Is To Love You. Backed by the same Philly rhythm section that powered The O'Jays, The Stylistics, & The Spinners B.B. lays a smooth infectious groove.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
A very groovy and desperate cover of the Eddie Cooley standard from the early 70's. Find it on the Ace compilation Living in the Streets, Vol. 2.
·Horace Andy: Fever
Classic 1970 Studio One track. Find it on many best of's. Why not try 1997's Skylarking
Relentless Afro Beat from the Last King of Scotland soundtrack.
·Toots & The Maytals: Fever
Toots at his soulful best on the 1976 gem In The Dark.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
He underwent surgery so that a stent could be fitted to help blood flow to his heart. He was moved from intensive care to cardiac care on Tuesday morning, Clary said.
Diddley, whose real name is Ellas Bates [actually Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel:BWM], suffered a stroke in May. It left no physical disability, but it impaired his speech and speech recognition, his manager said at the time. In recent years he also lost some toes to diabetes.
Diddley helped lay the foundation for rock 'n' roll in the mid-1950s when he developed a syncopated "hambone" beat -- known as the "Bo Diddley" beat -- that was aped by Holly on "Not Fade Away," the Who on "Magic Bus," George Michael on "Faith" and U2 on "Desire."
He topped the charts in 1955 with the song "Bo Diddley" and went on to enjoy such hits as "Mona" (covered by the Rolling Stones), "Who Do You Love," and "I'm A Man."
He also cut an imposing figure on stage, sporting a pair of thick spectacles and playing a rectangular guitar. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, alongside bluesman Muddy Waters, and soul icons Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. But he never received the same sort of mainstream recognition as his peers, and frequently complained that he never received a royalty check.
·Bo Diddley: Gun Slinger
Monday, August 20, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The latest from an old favorite. Planet Earth is certainly not Prince's greatest album, but you can always count on at least one solid funky number. I dare you to sit still on this one.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Lloyd Charmers: Darker Than Blue
Friday, July 13, 2007
Taken from the 1971 London Howlin Wolf Sessions featuring Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones and Steve Winwood. While generally panned by blues purists, this album was one of my first introductions to The Wolf and still one of my favorites.
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77: Superstition
For most of the second half of the '60s, Sergio Mendes was the top-selling Brazilian artist in the United States, charting huge hit singles and LPs that regularly made the Top Five. Here he is with his 1977 Brasil incarnation performing one of three Stevie Wonder covers found on Vintage '74.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
This is as funky as it gets from Mr. Clinton and the gang's 1978 release One Nation Under A Groove. Funk Patriotism at it's finest! Mmmmm...that's tasty bass!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Lloyd Charmers: Just My Imagination
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Kip Anderson: You'll Lose A Good Thing
Actually recorded in South Carolina in 1967, this single broke the Billboard R&B Top 40 charts. Unfortunately his heroin addiction forced Excello to drop Anderson a couple years later. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1977 where he formed a gospel group. He later hosted a a daily gospel show on an AM radio station.
Jerry Washington: Right Here Is Where You Belong
I love the scene acted out at the start of this track recorded in 1972. This was a minor hit for Excello but the biggest hit for Washington.
Both of these tracks can be found on The Excello Story, Vol. 4: 1961-1975
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Prince: Honky Tonk Woman
Opening with a super crunchy guitar, Prince still manages to keep it funky on this Stones cover.
Prince with Lenny Kravitz: Fly Away
This track is taken from Prince's 2000 New Years Eve show and features Larry Graham's thumping bass. "Don't hurt nobody, Larry!"
Prince: A Whole Lotta Love
I was shocked when I first saw this Led Zeppelin track listed on Prince's Live at The Aladdin DVD. I'll call this one interesting and leave it at that. The concert is great, but the DVD features horrible video quality and worse audio. You may have to turn up your speakers for this one.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
Jimi Hendrix: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
This track was recorded the same month as Sgt. Pepper's release. It is the title track of the guitarist's 1967 release.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Bettye LaVette: Your Turn To Cry
This track is possibly Betty LaVette's greatest side recorded at Muscle Shoals in 1973.
Marlena Shaw: California Soul
Found on her classic 1969 LP Spice of Life, Marlena shines on one of my favorite tunes written by Ashford & Simpson.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Jose Feliciano: Golden Lady
A great version of Stevie's Innervisions song. Fellow blind musician Jose Feliciano adds his signature style and energy making this song his own. You can find this track on 1974's And the Feeling's Good.
Lionel Hampton: Where Were You When I Needed You
Here's a real smooth cover by the great jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. Released on 1974's Stop! I Don't Need No Sympathy Hamp's often overlooked collection of soul arrangements.
Hugo Montenegro: You Got It Bad Girl
More well known for his movie and TV scores Mr. Montenegro does some mad Moog explorations on this track. Taken from his Stevie Wonder cover album from 1974 Hugo in Wonder-Land we're sent off into space...well, at least 1974's vision of space!
Friday, May 11, 2007
B.B. King: Nobody Loves Me But My Mother
One of my mother's personal favorites. B.B. shows the humor so prevalent in the blues. This is a demo version with a rare appearance of Bee on piano. You can find this track on his stellar 1992 box set King of the Blues. (Mine is autographed!)
Prince: Make Your Mama Happy
Here is Prince's outright impersonation of Sly & The Family Stone. Great stuff from 1998's collection of previously unreleased material Crystal Ball.
Sizzla: Thank You Mama
A self explanatory tune from Sizzla's 2006 release The Overstanding.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Gil Scott-Heron: Winter In America
The title track from his 1973 album summarizes the events which ultimately lead to the dangerous situations in 1973 Watergate America. Powerful lyrics and soulful music with a killer flute makes this a Gil Scott classic
Gil Scott-Heron: It's Your World
This is definitely one of his funkier tunes from his 1976 double album It's Your World. There is an undeniable Santana-like energy from the start with an uplifting message. You are truly free.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Soul Brother Number One, the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. Dynamite...There's nothing I can say about James Brown that hasn't been said a thousand times before. Any regular visitor of this blog is well aware of his importance to popular music. So in celebration of his 74th birthday I give you James Brown at his funky peak in 1971. Recorded at the Olympia in Paris, France, this is the only live recording with the original JB's. You can hear it all on the 1992 release Love Power Peace. 'Ain't it funky now'.
James Brown: Intro/Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now
Mr. Brown tears up one of my favorites, Sunny
Friday, April 27, 2007
When John Lee Hooker died in 2001 he left behind a musical legacy that includes an overwhelmingly huge discography having recorded under several pseudonyms for many labels. Throughout his nearly 60 years of recordings he always displayed the John Lee Hooker signature style. There is however one album that is dramatically different. Call it "John Lee Gets Funky",1974's Free Beer and Chicken has a more exploratory feel with flutes, violins, synthesisers and even an African kalimba. Unfortunately the complete list of guest artists has been lost when the record company skimped on including an insert credit list with the original release. There are known appearances by Joe Cocker and violinist Sam Rivers. Like Muddy Waters' psychedelic Electric Mud and Howlin' Wolf's hard to find This Is Howlin Wolf's New Album..., Free Beer and Chicken was universally panned by blues purists, but I find it refreshing to hear new interpretations by the master. I also appreciate knowing that John Lee was always open to push the envelope and explore in different directions with a wide variety of musicians. Many of the tracks are edited and feel much too brief. I would love to hear the uncut master tapes. Maybe someday an expanded edition will be released, but seeing how hard this CD or vinyl is to find I'm not holding my breath.
John Lee Hooker: Make It Funky
The title says it all. John Lee brings the funk.
John Lee Hooker: Homework
"Get Down...do that funky sh-t!" John Lee directs. Something tells me he's not talking about school.
John Lee Hooker: 714 Blues
This is the tail end of 713-714 Blues. I'm not sure why they chopped the 714 bit into it's own track. The tune fades as JL gets us ready for 715. Kinda makes me wonder how long the jam continued...768 Blues?!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Roy Ayers Ubiquity: Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Here's the 1976 classic from the album of the same name.
R.A.M.P.: Everybody Loves The Sunshine
This mellower version is taken from the hard to find German import Cafe del Mar, Vol. 2. Originally released on the even harder to find Roy Ayers Music Project's 1977 release Come Into Knowledge.
Roy Ayers: Sunshine (Demo)
A demo version featured on 2005's compilation of unreleased material Virgin Ubiquity II.
Roy Ayers featuring Erykah Badu: Everybody Loves The Sunshine
An appealing take with Ms. Badu from Kinkysweet's 2005 Midnight Soul compilation.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Little Royal: Keep On Loving
These tracks by the mysterious Little Royal were previously unissued until they were found in the Excello Records vaults and released on 1996's Funky Tales. They were most likely recorded sometime in the mid sixties during the "Freeze" dance craze. Born in Durham North Carolina and raised in Washington DC, Royal Torrence started his career with his uncle's gospel group where he was discovered by James Brown and earned himself a spot on The James Brown Revue. James Brown's influence is apparent on these sides. Little Royal & The Swingmasters cut numerous sides for Tri-Us and Black Pride labels and had a moderate hit with the 1972 single Jealous. Subsequent recordings failed to reach the same heights but Little Royal continued to be a crowd pleaser for several more years.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Gary Nesta Pine & Dollarman: Money
I hate gimmick records. For example, let's cover every track of Pink Floyd's 1973 classic Dark Side of the Moon, but with reggae artists. Sounds stupid, but 2003's Dub Side of the Moon is actually good. Here's the Easy Star All-Stars version of Money. The choice to replace the intro cash register with a bong is a little juvenile, but I definitely dig the rap break.
The O'Jays: For the Love of Money
It's a little overplayed and probably ruined forever by that hump Donald Trump, but I always liked this Gamble & Huff ode to all things greed performed by The O'Jays from their 1973 masterpiece album Ship Ahoy. Dollar bills y'all.
Prince - Money Don't Matter 2 Night
Prince's shot at Philly Soul from his 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls.
Dennis Brown - Money In My Pocket
Here's Mr. Brown's 1972 hit single. You can find it on about a thousand Best ofs and Reggae Hit compilations. One of my favorites is the 1993 box set The Story of Jamaican Music from Mango.