Friday, September 13, 2013

Did You Know? (Sade)

Sade - Diamond Life
Sade "Diamond Life" featuring "Smooth Operator"

80s British R&B sensation, Sade (pronounced shah-day), is not a solo artist but a band. Often mistaken, the group is named for its sultry lead singer, Sade Adu. Sade made their big break with the internationally successful album, "Diamond Life," in 1984. The band Sade, together for over two decades, have many international hits, but have only released six studio albums.

Find Sade records today at Record Vision.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cover Story: Police "Ghost in the Machine"

Police - Ghost in the Machine
The Police "Ghost in the Machine" album cover

The cover art (designed by Mick Haggerty) for Ghost in the Machine by The Police features a seven-segment display-inspired graphic that depicts the heads of the three band members each with a distinctive hair style (from left to right, Andy Summers, Sting with spiky hair, and Stewart Copeland with a fringe). The album's cover is ranked at number 45 on VH1's 50 Greatest Album Covers.

Find Police and Sting records today at Record Vision.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Willie Nelson's tribute to his band

Willie Nelson Me and Paul album cover

Me & Paul focuses on Willie Nelson's longstanding relationship with band-members, especially drummer Paul English. That relationship was an effective emotional touchstone for this entire set of songs, some of which are remakes of Nelson songs from his early Nashville period. Nelson wrote the title track for English in 1971, and in a classic bit of songwriting, details some hilarious exploits on the road, it also has the distinction of being one of the few songs in existence about a drummer. The album kicks off excitingly with I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train, and there really aren't any noticeably weak moments. The band is superb and the record is considered, by many, to be a masterpiece.

Find Willie Nelson records today at Record Vision.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Did You Know? (Supertramp)


Both the title and the concept of the cover for Supertramp's Crisis? What Crisis? were conceived by member Rick Davies, as John Helliwell recounted: "It was Rick that came up with the name Crisis? What Crisis? and one day, when we were sitting around Scorpio Studio, he came in with this sketch of a guy in a deck chair under an umbrella with all this chaos going on around him." "Crisis? What Crisis?" is a line in the song The Day of the Jackal.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Genesis' "Invisible Touch" upon my birthday

Invisible Touch
My aunt’s house in a suburb of London is full of books; bookshelves line the walls of my two cousins’ bedrooms, and there are floor-to-ceiling books in the guest bedroom and my uncle’s office, as well as a shelf of cookbooks in the kitchen and a stack of joke books in every bathroom.  I must have been seven years old when I discovered Josceline Dimbleby’s Christmas Book.  Josceline Dimbleby, it would seem, was the wife of a British television presenter, and though I could not make heads or tails of how to pronounce her first name nor her last name, it was not lost on me that she wrote an entire book about how to prepare for a single Christmas party.  Most of the book consisted of recipes full of metric measurements, roasted goose, pigeons, and Christmas puddings that looked nothing like what Americans call pudding.  Only two pages were devoted to Christmas presents; among the suggested gifts for children were disguise spectacles and various other small items described as “amusing” and “brightly coloured.”

My primary occupation in seventh and eighth grade was being a fan of the band Genesis and its members.  No sooner had I turned twelve-and-a-half when I began planning my Genesis-themed birthday party.  I wrote dozens of pages of plans; suddenly Josceline Dimbleby’s entire book about one party no longer seemed so strange.  By party notes focused less on food and more on entertainment; I planned over fifty games, each named after a Genesis or Phil Collins song, such as a modified version of Telephone (Misunderstanding) and blindfolded tag (Invisible Touch).  I named the party the Phil-o-phile games and intended it to last a whole weekend.

Of course, only a small portion of my scheme came to fruition.  As I had no friends to speak of, my younger sister graciously invited two of her friends.  My sister drew a picture of Phil on a poster board where the guests could leave their party greetings, like they used to do at Bar Mitzvahs in those days.  We only played one game, a peanut-shelling contest named after Throwing It All Away.  But Josceline Dimbleby would have been proud of the cake.

It was made from a Funfetti mix, the same medium most of my classmates used for the assignment in science class where we made models of plant and animals cells.  Instead of decorating my birthday cake with frosting drawings of an endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, though, I decorated my cake to look like the cover of the Invisible Touch album, with a spiral of green frosting dashes and a chocolate sauce handprint.

written by Rawia

Get vinyl by GenesisPhil Collins, Brand X, and Peter Gabriel today at Record Vision.

Here is my question for you:  
What is the best music-themed party you have ever attended?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Did You Know? (Aretha Franklin)

This Aretha Franklin album is noteworthy for the striking cover, which was Andy Warhol’s final work before his death in early 1987. The album also includes Aretha’s duet with George Michael  I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) which was a #1 single!

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Heart's "Little Queen" turns 36 years old

Little Queen, the legendary rock album from Heart, was released 36 years ago (in 1977). The album has gone Platinum three times and features the hit single Barracuda, one of their signature songs.

Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson had become rock royalty by the time Little Queen appeared in 1977. After the success of their massive-selling debut Dreamboat Annie, the high gave way to a contractual fight with their record label, which lead them to a new label which resulted in this stand-out album. 

Barracuda's galloping lead-guitar riff and Kick It Out, the hard-charging anthem, picked up where Heart left-off a few years earlier with Crazy On You. But the band's Zeppelin-influenced brand of rock doesn't completely dominate Little Queen, they also show off their softer side. Nancy Wilson displays her abilities as a, not only a virtuoso acoustic-guitarist, but as a folk-tinged lead-vocalist on Treat Me Well

Ann Wilson goes full-throttle on the upbeat rockers but sings with precision and restraint elsewhere on the album. And after seeing Heart in concert last Fall, I can say with 100% certainty, that Ann can sing anything and make everyone else in the room seem to sound silly. 

36 years ago, Heart crossed a big hurdle, integrity intact, and they've been pushing on ever since... with no signs of slowing down!!

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