Sometimes it's best not to predict. If the idea of expanding Fire!'s core trio of saxophonist/electric pianist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werlin into Fire! Orchestra's massive, 28-piece behemoth was based on the trio's extant discography— You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago (Rune Grammofon, 2009), Unreleased (Rune Grammofon, 2011), and In the Mouth of a Hand Rune Grammofon, 2012)—then a relentless album of high energy and high volume density would be expected. Which makes Exit! a complete and utter surprise, and in the best possible way.
If You Leave Me Now is a compilation album by the rock band Chicago. In an attempt to capitalize on the band's second #1 single ("Hard to Say I'm Sorry") as well as its Top 40 follow-up ("Love Me Tomorrow"), Columbia Records built a collection around the Grammy-winning single, which had previously been their only other chart-topper…
Twelve Inch Eighties is the new 3CD range by Crimson Productions, compiling extended alternate mixes of some of the biggest hit singles of the 80s. Each themed release is housed in a sleek 3CD digipak with abstract imagery representative of early dance label releases. These carefully selected titles across the range will bring together the finest eighties pop, dance and disco, amongst other genres, in all their full 12” single glory. You Spin Me Round is a selection of 80s pop classic anthems in their glorious alternatively mixed editions. Collecting 30 great tracks from one of the finest eras in pop music.
Now You See Me, Now You Don't is a rock gospel album by English singer Cliff Richard released in August 1982 on the EMI label. It reached No. 4 in the UK albums chart, No. 1 in Denmark, No. 21 in Australia and No. 19 in New Zealand. It was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single from the album, "The Only Way Out" was released in July 1982, and following on from the top 5 successes of Richard's previous singles "Wired for Sound" and "Daddy's Home", it managed to reach No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart. With this foundation, the album peaked at No. 4 on debut in early September - matching Richard's previous two studio albums. However the album did not receive a significant chart boost from the follow-up singles. The next single "Where Do We Go from Here" was released in September, but failed to have much impact, only managing to reach No. 60. In Germany, "It Has to Be You, It Has to Be Me" was released as a single instead, and did a little better, reaching number 36 in a five-week chart run.
Proving that 2002's appropriately titled Return of a Legend was no one-off fluke, semi-legendary Chicago guitarist Jody Williams cements his comeback with this invigorating follow-up. Producer Dick Shurman, who worked on the previous disc, frames Williams' expressive voice and clean, jazzy guitar in a subtle, frills-free environment that brings out his best. The album's 13 originals (and one Sam Cooke cover) showcase Williams' talents as a fluid, understated, yet soulful guitarist; witty songwriter; and, more importantly, a singer of surprising passion. Esteemed horn arranger Willie Henderson also returns from the last album to add his arrangements to four tracks, highlighted by the simmering, staccato touches on a remake of Williams' "Hideout," originally recorded in 1962. Part Freddie King's "Hideaway," part Earl King's "Come On," it's an accurate, updated example of Williams' six-string prowess. Although the majority of the tracks are straightforward Chicago shuffles and slow blues, the guitarist infuses his upbeat personality to the proceedings, which makes the album so consistently refreshing.
Fleetwood Mac was the subject of an all-star tribute back in 1998, when Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours appeared. That full-length album tribute celebrated the Mac's biggest hit in a big way, concentrating entirely on major-label acts like Elton John and Matchbox 20, but 2012's Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac is decidedly more eccentric, as its title – a line borrowed from "Tusk" – no doubt suggests. Apart from Marianne Faithfull and Billy Gibbons, along with Americana singer Trixie Whitley, every band here exists solely within the realm of indie rock and, collectively, there's been a decision to stray from the confines of the standards of the Buckingham/Nicks songbook, with Bob Welch and Peter Green eras almost as well-represented as oddities from Lindsey Buckingham's album tracks…
On Jonathan Butler's N2K Encoded Music debut, Do You Love Me, he continues his jack-of-two-trades approach, balancing R&B-based vocal tunes with easy, acoustic guitar-based instrumentals. While it's a friendly enough listen, Butler here doesn't display a powerful enough mastery of either format. His guttural, heartfelt vocal style – reminiscent of Jon Secada – can make even the most Lionel Richie-esque lyric seem deeper than it is (even a new song with a title like "The Way You Look Tonight"), but few of the adult-oriented vocal tunes here are as memorable or hooky as his best-known hit, "Sarah Sarah." "Do You Love Me?," for instance, should be a deep, emotional moment, but comes off as a pleasant, easily dismissed conversation. Fortunately, "You Don't Belong to Me" has more lyrical bite, nicely underscored with a percussive guitar line underneath his angry tone. Butler should put more of that pointed energy into his play-it-safe instrumentals, which generally gallop along smoothly without building much steam. The best one can do with this sort of album is like Butler a lot.
Many of Airto Moreira's records from the late 1970s and early '80s get an undeserved bad rap because of their obvious – and intended – commercial appeal. Though he came to prominence in America as a member of Miles Davis' early electric bands, Moreira was an established artist in Brazil; one who sought to marry the sounds of his nation's folk traditions with all kinds of popular music. 1979's Touching You…Touching Me was recorded during his Warner period, and is perhaps his most polished record. Self-produced, he learned much of the technique he employed from the best-selling recordings of the time in all pop genres.