Thursday 27 September 2012

80's Hair, Top 10

(1) Kix - Don't Close Your Eyes (1988)

(2) Cinderella - Nobody's Fool (1986)

(3) David Lee Roth - Goin' Crazy! (1986)

(4) Poison - Talk Dirty To Me (1986)

(5) Ratt - Wanted Man (1984)

(6) Def Leppard - Photograph (1983)

(7) Twisted Sister - The Price (1985)

(8) Dokken - Just Got Lucky (1984)

(9) Whitesnake - Here I Go Again (1987)

(10) Skid Row - 18 & Life (1989)

Tuesday 25 September 2012

70's Glam, Top 10

(1) Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies (1973)

(2) Silverhead - Underneath The Light (1972)

(3) Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now

(4) Mott The Hoople - All The Way From Memphis (1973)

(5) The Move - Don't Make My Baby Blue (1970)

(6) Sweet - The Sixteens (1974)

(7) T-Rex - The Groover (1973)

(8) Thin Lizzy - Emerald (1976)

(9) David Bowie - Life On Mars? (1971)

(10) Skyhooks - Living In The 70's (1974)

Seventies Glam & Eighties Hair

As an interlude I'm going to put up a quick list of the Top 10 Glam Rock bands from the 70's and the Top 10 Hair Bands from the 80's (extra cheese warning). 

Monday 24 September 2012

1954 Chet Baker - Chet Baker Sings

Info: Chet Baker (1929-1988) is described in 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die as the Monet of the music world as "a master of mists and gentle inflections". Dropping out of high-school at 16, he joined the army and was sent to Berlin in 1946 for 2 years where he played in the 298th Army Band, following another stint in the army in the early fifties Baker started playing trumpet with various bands and performers before going solo in July, 1953. The following year the above album, Chet Baker Sings, was released, having traditionally been solely a trumpet player, many of Baker's fans who were jazz purists were alienated by him singing on the album as well, indeed as observed in the liner notes of the album, "Is Baker a trumpet player who sings, or a singer who plays trumpet?". Key tracks are; 'My Funny Valentine', 'My Ideal', 'But Not For Me' and 'Time After Time', above. Baker became addicted to heroin in the 1950's, and it started to really impact on his career by the 1960's, he was imprisoned many times in different countries, particularly West Germany and France where he spent much of his time, he also began accepting any recording offer that was put before him, merely to feed his addiction, which sadly diluted the quality of his output. Baker died in Amsterdam in 1988 when he fell from a window at the Hotel Prins Hendrik following a cocaine and heroin binge, a plaque in his honour (below) can be seen at the entrance to the hotel.

Track Listing:

1 That Old Feeling
2 It's Always You
3 Like Someone In Love
4 My Ideal
5 I've Never Been In Love Before
6 My Buddy
7 But Not For Me
8 Time After Time
9 I Get Along Without You Very Well
10 My Funny Valentine
11 There Will Never Be Another You
12 The Thrill Is Gone      
13 I Fall In Love Too Easy
14 Look For The Silver Lining

1953 Duke Ellington - Ellington Uptown

Louie Bellson incredible drum solo from Skin Deep, 1957 (below)

Info: It is widely accepted that Duke Ellington is the greatest jazz composer of all time. The son of a White House butler, he first learned the piano aged 7 and would go on to become a mainstay of the jazz music scene from the 1920's, right through to his death from cancer and pneumonia in 1974, when his son Mercer took over the Ellington band. Ellington Uptown is ranked #2 for 1953 on RYM and 4.5/5 stars on The standout tracks for me (granted there are only 5) are 'Skin Deep' above, mainly for Louie Bellson's amazing drum solo  and evolutionary double-bass drum techniquewhich begins at 3.15 in the video of the song, however, I also came across a video of him performing the same solo just to get a better appreciation, he would have strolled into McFly that lad. The second song I particularly liked was 'Take The "A" Train', which features vocals from Betty Roche, who regularly appeared with Ellington's band in the early 50's. For background music or maybe when cooking a 15 minute meal, track 4, 'A Tone Parallel to Harlem (The Harlem Suite)' fits the bill.

Track Listing:

A1   Skin Deep                                                         
A2   The Mooche                                                        
A3   Take the "A" Train                                               
B1    A Tone Parallel to Harlem (The Harlem Suite)      
B2    Perdido                                                             

Thursday 20 September 2012

1952 Milt Jackson - Wizard of the Vibes

Info: First off, I suppose I wouldn't be a massive fan of the rather large xylophone which is actually a vibraphone, but if it sounds like elevator music, it's very good elevator music! Favourite tracks for me are 'Lillie' and 'Willow Weep For Me' and the album is ranked #2 for 1952 on RYM. 

Milton "Bags" Jackson was born a few months before Bud Powell in Detroit, Michigan on January 1st, 1923, and he would also end up having very close ties to the famous Dizzy Gillespie, who discovered him in 1946. Milt is best known as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, an influential music group established in 1952 and for most of their long career composed of John Lewis (piano, musical director), Milt himself (vibraphone), Percy Heath (double bass), and Connie Kay (drums). His nickname "Bags" was given to him by a bassist in Detroit, in reference to the bags under his eyes as a result of him being fond of staying up all night. He died on 9th of October, 1999 and was buried in the Bronx, aged 76.

Track Listing:

A1 Tahiti                   
A2 Lillie                     
A3 Criss-Cross                        
A4 Willow Weep for Me                    
B1 What's New?                   
B2 Bags' Groove                   
B3 On the Scene                   
B4 Eronel

1951 Bud Powell - The Amazing Bud Powell

Info: Ranked #1 on for 1951, and an artist I can definitely see myself getting more into, Bud Powell's albums of the 50's feature highly in Top 10's, either as solo or collaboration works, again, I don't know much about him, and this is the only album I know, but I'm looking forward to more. My favourite tracks are the above video, 'Over The Rainbow', 'It Could Happen to You' and track 7, 'You Go To My Head'. 

Real name Earl Rudolph 'Bud' Powell, he was born in September 1924 in Harlem, New York, his main influences were Art Tatum and Thelonius Monk, who he became a close friend of. Powell's father was also a pianist and when Bud was aged 5, he paid for piano lessons for him, by the age of 10 he began to show an interest in jazz which he frequently heard in his neighbourhood, by 15 he was playing in his brother William's, a trumpet player, band. Bud spent much of his career performing in his home city of New York, followed by a period in Paris between the years 1959-1963, before he contracted tuberculosis. Powell returned to New York and soldiered on, but eventually the TB, along with malnutrition and alcoholism got the better of him and he died on 31st July, 1966, several thousand people followed his funeral procession through Harlem. 

Track Listing:

A1  Un poco loco                    
A2  Over the Rainbow                         
A3  Ornithology                      
A4  Wail                     
B1  A Night in Tunisia                           
B2  It Could Happen to You               
B3  You Go to My Head                       
B4  Bouncing With Bud

1950 Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Sings Gershwin

Info: Ella Fitzgerald's first album, accompanied on piano by Ellis Larkins, an African-American jazz pianist from Baltimore, Maryland. All music composed by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin, this album is currently ranked #2 in the album charts for 1950 on

Track Listing: 

A1  Someone to Watch Over Me                    
A2  My One and Only                            
A3  But Not for Me               
A4  Looking for a Boy                           
B1   I've Got a Crush On You                              
B2   How Long Has This Been Going On?                       
B3   Maybe                
B4   Soon

Favourite Albums 1950-2012

Today I will be starting to review an album from each year from 1950-2012, not necessarily the best album from each year, but maybe lesser known ones as well that you may enjoy also. Admittedly my knowledge of music from the 1950's is pretty poor and I haven't heard that many albums from that decade, but I have been making more of an effort by listening to the top ten from each year of the fifties (which is ongoing) over the last few months and have come across some good albums that are very cheap to buy on CD online, I hope you find some tunes you like.