2019/02/18

The Cure/Seventeen Seconds (1980) *

The Cure/Seventeen Seconds (1980)

An English rock band led by Robert Smith (guitars, vocals) and formed in Crawley in 1976, the Cure’s second album (#20 on the UK album charts). The first of dark and gloomy goth rock-tinged trilogy in the early 1980s. Experimental post-punk featuring spatial sound with simple and minimalist texture, centered on mechanical drums like drum machine, and introspective lyricism filled with feelings of melancholy and emptiness. Includes the single "A Forest" (#31 on the UK charts). Co-produced by Mike Hedges and Robert Smith.

Seventeen Seconds

| Music: C |

2019/02/15

The Monkees/Headquarters (1967)

An American rock and pop band formed in Los Angeles in 1965 by the audition for the TV series "The Monkees", the Monkees' third album (#1 on the US album charts. #2 on the UK charts). The first album with songwriting and instrumental performances by members of the group. They wrote about half of the songs and played all the instruments except bass (played by Chip Douglas of the Turtles), string and horn sections. A good pop album including elements of folk rock, garage rock, psychedelia and country. "Shades Of Gray" is a beautiful ballad written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Produced by Chip Douglas.

Headquarters

| Music: M |

2019/02/07

Gato Barbieri/Last Tango in Paris (Expanded Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2016/1972)

The original soundtrack of the film "Last Tango in Paris" (1972) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. An elegant and romantic film score including the elements of Latin-jazz, fusion and tango. Composed by Argentinian-born composer and saxophonist Gato Barbieri. Orchestrated and conducted by American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and composer Oliver Nelson. The main theme featuring Barbieri’s smoky sax became a hit. The 2-CD expanded edition released by Quartet Records (Spain) in 2016. The disc 1 features the complete original score as used in the film. The disc 2 features a re-recording in 1972 released as an album in 1973 by United Artists Records.

Last Tango in Paris (Expanded Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack)

2019/02/01

Van der Graaf Generator/Pawn Hearts (1971)

An English progressive rock band formed in 1967 in Manchester, Van der Graaf Generator's fourth album. Dramatic and symphonic prog-rock including melodic beauty and avant-garde, aggressive elements. Featuring Peter Hammill's theatrical vocals, including the style like David Bowie, with electric organs, piano, acoustic guitar, saxophone and flute. Originally conceived as a double album, but released a single album. The remastered edition was released on CD in 2005 with five extra tracks.

Pawn Hearts

| Music: V |

2019/01/27

(Various Artists)/A Brief History of Ambient Volume 1: 152 Minutes 33 Seconds (1993/1973-1993) *

A compilation (a double CD, 29 tracks) released on the Virgin Records label, as part of their Ambient series. A collection of tracks in ambient music genre. Not a comprehensive collection, because it consists only of the recordings on the Virgin Records and its sub labels, but it is worth listening to as a sampler of the roots of ambient music (from the pioneering works in the 1970s to ambient techno since 1990s), lots of tracks recorded from the 1970s to 1990s in the genres such as prog-rock, experimental electronic, Krautrock, post-punk, ethnic fusion and others. The artists are Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Faust, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Holger Czukay, David Sylvian and others.

A Brief History of Ambient Volume 1: 152 Minutes 33 Seconds

2019/01/17

Elvis Presley/The Sun Sessions (1976/1954-1955)

A compilation album of early recordings by Elvis Presley, an American singer/actor who became one of the pioneers of rockabilly and rock & roll with mixing rhythm and blues with country music in the 1950s. Includes the tracks recorded in 1954-1955 at the studio of the Sun Records, an independent record label, before he debuted in the major label RCA Records. Includes singles, "That's All Right" (a cover of blues singer Arthur Crudup's song), "Good Rockin' Tonight" (a cover of Roy Brown's jump blues song), "You' re A Heartbreaker", "Baby Let's Play House" (a cover of Arthur Gunter's blues song), "Mystery Train" (a cover of Junior Parker's blues song), "I Forgot To Remember To Forget", and others.

The Sun Sessions

| Music: P |

2019/01/11

King Crimson/Red (1974) *

An English progressive rock band led by Robert Fripp (guitar, Mellotron) and formed in London in 1968, King Crimson's seventh studio album. Prog-rock featuring aggressive sound with heavy and metallic guitar riffs, like hard rock. A masterpiece and the last album of their improvisation-oriented period in the mid-1970s. Also including thrilling improvisation in the jazz/contemporary music style, beautiful sound with use of Mellotron, dark lyricism and catchy vocal melodies.

Red

| Music: K |

2019/01/03

Wagner/Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle Complete) (Solti, 1958-1965)

An 19th-Century German composer/conductor known as the consummator of the style of the Romantic opera, Richard Wagner's "Bühnenfestspiel (stage festival play) "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (complete) (Decca). A cycle of four music dramas, "Das Rheingold" (The Rhinegold), "Die Walküre" (The Valkyrie), "Siegfried" and "Götterdämmerung" (Twilight of the Gods), based on the epic poem written in Middle High German "Nibelungenlied" (The Song of the Nibelungs), Scandinavian myths such as "Edda" and others. The total playing time of about 15 hours. Too long and large-scale, but the whole is constructed as a big complex by the use of leitmotifs. The opening of the Act 3 of "Die Walküre" is famous sequence known as the "Der Ritt der Walkueren" (Ride of the Valkyries). The first stereo studio recording of the complete cycle by the conductor Georg Solti and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A dramatic performances including sound effects. A set of 14 CDs.

Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle Complete)

2018/12/13

Schubert/4 Impromptus D899 & D935 (Pires, 1996/1997)

Includes two sets of four impromptus composed by Franz Schubert, the Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras, in 1827 in his last days (Deutsche Grammophon). Character pieces for piano solo, full of poetic sentiment, sensitive lyricism and beautiful melodies. The most popular ones among Schubert's piano pieces. "Four Impromptus" D.899 (Op.90) features beautiful melodies in a free form. "Four Impromptu" D.935 (Op.142) features constructivity like a sonata. Piano performed by Maria Joao Pires, a pianist from Portugal.

4 Impromptus D899 & D935

2018/12/07

(Various Artists)/Boogaloo A Go-Go (1992/1964-1969)

A Japanese original compilation (Discoteca) that consists of 18 boogaloo songs. Boogaloo is a style of Latin music and dance fusing R&B, soul and rock with Cuban/Caribbean Latin American music such as mambo. It originated in and around New York among young Latinos, and became prevalent during the mid-to-late 1960s. The artists are Ray Barretto, Ricardo Ray and others. Ray Barretto's "Watusi '65" is a remake of his 1962 hit. You can enjoy boogaloo songs, which were revalued in the context of club music since the 1990s, as happy and funky dance music. Compiled by Takashi Harada (the proprietor of world music disc shop "El Sur Records" in Shibuya, Tokyo, and a music critic). Recommended to those who like Latin music and Latin soul.

Boogaloo A Go-Go