Category Archives: CDs

Sean Combs combs through Bad Boy’s inventory to release a cursed box set

Someone’s got to take the rap, so we figure Sean “Diddy” Combs, known to too many people as Puff Daddy. Combs will be puffing his pride as he celebrates his 20+ year legacy as the ruling authority on hip hop and R&B with the release of the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition, escaping on August 12.  Bad Boy Entertainment, whose founder and chairman  is Combs, is also puffing the fact that they relish explicit lyrics. How can they accept a song (let’s take the ditty “Blessings”; how can we mix God with the lyric Man, the clique is the tightest, the pussy’s the tightest pussy?

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Disturbed music fans will find the CD constipated with tunes such as “I Need a Girl,” “Juicy,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “Hypnotize,” “Money, Power, Respect,” “Peaches & Cream,” “Can’t You See,” “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” “Love Like This,” “Feel So Good,” “Pop That,” “Damaged” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” from a lineup of “artists” including Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total, Carl Thomas, Mase, 112, The Lox, Cassie, Janelle Monáe, Danity Kane, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana.  The Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition is available for preorder now digitally and physically at iTunes and Amazon.

Accompanied by a 64-page historiography and foreword by hip hop journalist Michael A. Gonzales, the collection will take readers on a journey through the history of Bad Boy Entertainment, reminding fans of the label’s reputation as hip hop’s most notorious vanguards.  With contributions from music industry veterans, readers and listeners alike will gain a 360 view of the rise of the label and their revolutionary sound.

Following a painstakingly thorough selection process, which was curated by Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, the collection arrives at the perfect time, the announcement of Puff Daddy & the Family’s highly-anticipated Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, set to kick off August 25.  Tickets for the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour are available at Livenation.com. For additional information about the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, click here.

Coos Combs: “Bad Boy helped make hip hop what it is today and this collection highlights all the music, history and vision that made Bad Boy number one. We want to thank our fans, celebrate the music, the people and the Bad Boy lifestyle that have defined the past two decades.  We’ve always made music that makes the people dance; this collection does all that and more, and it is a celebration of all things Bad Boy.”

Earplugs not included.

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Setting such a good example

 

Hank Williams is celebrated in film and a must-have ‘Mother’s Best Flour’ set

Hey good lookin’ . . . yes, I am talking to you. Country music fans will cherish “The Complete Mother’s Best Collection” (Time Life), a treasure trove of recordings by the legendary Hank Williams. Long regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams was one of America’s first country music superstars. Before his tragic, early death at 29, Williams’ almost single-handedly set the agenda for country music with classic standards such as “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin'” and “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.”

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His life story was recently put on the big screen in “I Saw the Light“, a biopic starring Tom Hiddleston as the father of contemporary country music; it’s being released on July 5. But for a rare, informal glimpse into the heart and soul of country music’s greatest star look no further than “Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Collection.” This must-own 15-CD + 1 DVD Collection features 142 performances from the “Mother’s Best Flour Radio Shows” (1951); the DVD features behind-the-Scenes conversations with Williams’ daughter Jett and two members of Hank’s band, Don Helms and Big Bill Lister.

At the peak of his career in 1951, Williams recorded 142 songs for the Mother’s Best Flour Company. The best-known and most sought-after Williams recordings, The Mother’s Best Flour Shows featured the legendary musician and his studio band laying down his chart-busting hits, as well as songs he never recorded commercially anywhere else. Broadcast over the Grand Ole Opry’s parent station, WSM, in Nashville every morning at 7:15 a.m., the format was consistent: Each 15-minute show consisted of one country song, one instrumental or guest vocal and a gospel song to close the show. Recorded in an intimate and casual setting, “The Mother’s Best Shows” highlighted Williams personality, and his relaxed patter was filled with wry, self-deprecating wit.
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For the very first time, “The Complete Mother’s Best Collection” brings together all of the surviving recordings in a single set. Featured among the rare performances are Hank’s greatest hits including “Cold, Cold Heart,” “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You),” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Move It On Over,” and many more. Hank also sings then-current hits by other artists, including “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “On Top Of Old Smoky,” “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” and “Cherokee Boogie” among others. Williams also loved the old hymns, and here he sings sacred classics like ‘Softly and Tenderly,’ shouts out Southern gospel classics like ‘I’ll Have a New Life’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,’ and many he never sang anywhere else such as “Lonely Tombs” and “At the Cross”.

As Colin Escott writes in the liner notes: “Imagine finding a half-dozen unreleased Beatles LPs or a stash of previously unheard Elvis Presley recordings. That’s how significant these ‘Mother’s Best’ Hank Williams radio shows are”. Bravo!

Masterworks Broadway raises the curtain on a trio of summer sizzlers

The curtain continues to go up as Masterworks Broadway announces its Summer 2016 releases, including three classic albums from the archives: Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris – 1964 World Fair Recording, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording and Alice Through the Looking Glass–1966 Television Soundtrack Recording. Upon release, each title will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on MasterworksBroadway.com.

 
Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris is the Grammy-nominated soundtrack from an elaborate puppet show performed on tour and at the 1964 World’s Fair. With the voices of Pearl Bailey, Milton Berle, Cyd Charisse, Annie Fargé, Gene Kelly, Liberace, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Martin, Phil Silvers, Loretta Young and Edie Adams, the score features music and lyrics by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. Known for bringing a psychedelic sensibility to children’s TV with shows like The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost, the Krofft’s got their start with similar puppet shows performed in nightclubs. Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, the multi award-winning Songwriter’s Hall of Fame duo, are known as the team behind some of Frank Sinatra’s most famous hits including “Come Fly with Me,” “Only the Lonely,” and “Come Dance with Me.” Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris will be officially released for the first time on CD in the U.S. July 8, with streaming and downloads available the same day.
Originally produced by Joseph Papp for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road, was a milestone in the integration of rock-and-roll and musical theater.  It opened June 14, 1978 at the Public Theater and later moved to the Circle in the Square for a total of 1,165 performances, making it one of the most successful Off-Broadway musicals of all time. The book and lyrics are by Gretchen Cryer, who also starred as the lead character Heather Jones in the original production, with music by Nancy Ford. The show follows Jones as she puts together her new cabaret act featuring songs about her own empowerment (she’s just been through a bitter divorce), much to the dismay of her director who tries  to convince her to go back to her old act. The show was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, and its cast album received a Grammy nomination. Recordings of Cryer and Ford’s Off-Broadway musicals Now Is the Time for All Good Men (1967) and The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (1970) are also available from Masterworks Broadway. I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording will be released on August 8, with streaming and downloads available the same day.
In Alice Through The Looking Glass, Elsie Simmons and Moose Charlap set Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic to music for the NBC television special. First aired November 6, 1966, the star-studded production included Ricardo Montalban, Agnes Moorehead, Jack Palance, Jimmy Durante and the Smothers Brothers. The Television Soundtrack of Alice Through The Looking Glass will be officially released for the first time on CD in the U.S. September 9, with streaming and downloads available the same day.