Blues Cross Country
Capitol Jazz 7243 5 20088 2 7 Vocals
time a complete Peggy Lee recording is released on compact disc, there's
cause to bring out the cocktail shaker and celebrate. Poor Peg has
so many "greatest hits" CDs out, all recycling the same
songs, it's impossible to keep track. Relatively recently, many of
Peggy Lee's albums have been released in their entirety, thanks to
EMI in the U.K. and Capitol Jazz.
Cross Country wouldn't have been on our list of urgent CDs to
release but we're not complaining very loudly. Peg is at her peak
vocally and the snappy arrangements are by her beau, Quincy Jones.
The sound is gorgeous and as long as you're hearing a song where
Peggy Lee didn't lend a hand in the writing, this album is grand.
Lee is a "lyricist" in the same way a suburban housewife
with a decoupage kit is an artist. There are exceptions throughout
her career, however few, but none of them are featured on Blues
Cross Country. Her tributes to the various towns around the
country reveal little more than a travel-brochure understanding
of the different places she's singing about. On the song Fishermans'
Wharf, she sings about all the stock carried by the local fishmonger.
The problem is that most of the fish she sings about are not available
in the San Francisco Bay or anywhere else nearby. San Francisco
Blues fares better with the clever imagery of Peggy's fella
working on the Golden Gate Bridge as a painter. But it still has
non-sensical lyrics and really banal lists of things to do in San
Francisco. Los Angeles Blues has banal lists of things to
do and see in LA. Boston Beans has a banal list of, well,
you get the idea.
the fast forward button on our player works really well and Blues
Cross Country has more than enough good music to recommend.
Capitol CDP 724349608429 Pop / Rock
in a while, we like to dip our toes into the waters of contemporary
popular music. Every few years we find a group or disc that we really
like. This is refreshing, as it means our arteries haven't completely
been curious about Luscious Jackson for awhile. This trio of groovy
today-look chicks seem to be the real version of Girl Power, as
opposed to the pre-fab corporate version endorsed by the mighty
Spice Girls a few lifetimes ago.
listened to this album all the way through. In the words of an exciting
new generation: Whatever!
can't speak for Lucious Jackson's entire musical catalogue but Electric
Honey is not going to encourage us to take the pop music plunge.
In fact, we're already drying off the toe we dipped.
biggest problem is the girls have no idea how to write a song. They
manage some nice hooks and then they just run out of steam. The
chorus' are mostly chants and repetitive and boring.
concepts like "nervous breakthrough" are pleasant and
it should have been a really good line in a more clever song instead
of being an endless chant. OK, girls, we got it. Not "nervous
breakdown" but "nervous breakthrough."
suspect these women might have some talent. When it surfaces, we'll
be happy to check them out again. Maybe.
The Now Sound of Ursula 1000
EFA (ESL022) Pop
we think CDs are just too damn long. There are very few artists
who can sustain a really interesting 70 minutes of music. In the
days of vinyl, the 10-inch record was just not quite long enough.
The LP was ideal. The double-record set was overkill in most cases.
The fact that a compact disc can hold 72 minutes of music is no
reason that it necessarily should.
Now Sound of Ursula 1000 is about an hour in length and that's
about 45 minutes too long. There are about four really fun musical
ideas here. DJ Mike Rippe has taken some fun bits from various Lounge
recordings, noodled with them a bit and added contemporary drum
machines. It sounds awful but on the first few tracks it's infectious
junk food. The Go-Go and Latin numbers are fine but Rippe feels
obligated to touch all the current Lounge bases and it stretches
beyond his talents. By the end of the disc (if you make it that
far), you'll start reaching for something more substantial.
Piero Piccioni (featuring Mina)
La Decima Vittima (The 10th Victim)
Easy Tempo (Italy) ET923CD Soundtracks
found the LP soundtrack to the film The 10th Victim at the
Salvation Army for a mere 10 cents in the early 1980s. At the time,
there was no organized lounge movement and most of the country thought
new wave music was cool. We knew otherwise and have protected this
valuable score of futuristic 1960s jazz and pop for years. As the
Lounge movement developed and platters like The 10th Victim
became collector's items, we merrily dreamed of putting a down payment
on a Winnebago with the proceeds from the sale of this find.
obscure record has somehow made its way onto compact disc. We're
sorry that the value of our LP has plummeted but we're happy to
have such good clean sound, lots of fresh photos and a bonus track.
music is trippy, somewhat avant-garde and yet it's 100 % musical.
The main theme, The Spiral Waltz (featuring vocals by our
favorite Italian singer Mina), is repeated in various arrangements
and indeed, you will tire of it before long, but it's a fine song
with great lyrics.
all these years, we keep hearing new things and it sounds as fresh
as the first time we heard it. It would make a perfect soundtrack
to your next cocktail party. And coming from us, that's high praise