Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Luther Vandross - His Songs Forever For Love



In the world of contemporary music, there are just a handful of superstars whose first name alone brings instant recognition. One name towers above the rest in any discussion of black male singers whose impact and influence has been unparalleled. Say the name “Luther” and record buyers the world over respond immediately. The fact is, Luther Vandross was, and always will be, the pre-eminent black male vocalist of our time. In the years since Luther’s passing, one constant has remained to define his life and musical success: the voice. Luther Vandross’ voice and distinct singing style led to not only monumental success, but an instant recognition when you hear him singing–through your stereo, car radio, on TV or in a movie. Coupled with that voice was Luther’s unique ability to write and sing about love and the shared emotions we all feel in that search for and enjoyment of love. Love of family, friends, that special someone–all were themes Luther explored with his music regularly, reaching many. Through his songs, for the last two generations Luther Vandross became a staple in the most joyous moments of people’s lives. At the time of Luther’s death in 2005 following complications from a stroke two years earlier, Luther had been in entertainment for 35 years. From his introduction to the world as a singer on the first season of PBS’s Sesame Street in 1969 to winning four Grammy Awards in 2004, Luther was a permanent and dynamic force in popular music. He crossed boundaries, starting with his earliest success as a background vocalist and arranger for David Bowie, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, J. Geils Band, Ben E. King, Ringo Starr and Chic. He produced records for Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston. He wrote one of the climactic musical numbers (“Everybody Rejoice”) for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and Academy Award-nominated film The Wiz. Luther’s reach is extensive enough that CBS Sports has used his rendition of “One Shining Moment” for their coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament since 2003, and Luther performed the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997 in New Orleans.
Luther was a regular musical performer on the television shows Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show (Johnny Carson and Jay Leno), Rosie O’Donnell, The Arsenio Hall Show, Solid Gold and Soul Train and was a common performer at Washington DC events in the 1990’s, including The People’s Inaugural Celebration, A Gala for the President at Ford’s Theatre, Christmas In Washington and A Capitol Fourth. Luther’s songs have appeared in a vast number of movies, and he contributed original songs for sixteen films, including Bustin’ Loose, The Goonies, Ruthless People, Made In Heaven, House Party, Hero, Money Train and Dr. Dolittle 2. For almost 25 years, from 1981 to 2005, Luther dominated the American R&B music charts like no other artist before or since. In that span Luther released eight #1 R&B albums, seven #1 R&B singles and another five Top 20 R&B singles. He achieved crossover status with eight Billboard Top 10 albums, including reaching #1 with 2003’s Dance With My Father; and another five Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles. From 1981 to 1996, Luther Vandross released 11 consecutive platinum/double platinum albums on CBS/Sony’s Epic Records label; and at the time of his passing in 2005, 13 of Luther’s 14 studio albums had gone Platinum or multi-platinum. Luther’s success was not confined to the United States, with record sales of over 40 million worldwide since 1981, including four Top 10 UK albums (one #1). In March 1989, Luther Vandross was the first male artist to sell out 10 consecutive live shows at London’s Wembley Arena. Overall, Luther received 31 Grammy Award nominations, winning eight times. Additionally, Luther won eight American Music Awards, including Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist seven times. Throughout his distinguished career, Luther Vandross was active in charitable causes with the United Negro College Fund and the NY Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, in addition to performing at numerous charity concerts.
Luther Vandross was a musical master whose style has influenced an entire generation of today’s vocalists. His distinctive brand of satin smooth vocal magic moved international audiences and continues to touch people to this day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tanita Tikaram - Songs of Love and Sobriety



Tanita Tikaram is a British pop/folk singer-songwriter. She achieved chart success with the singles "Twist in My Sobriety" and "Good Tradition" from her 1988 debut album, Ancient Heart became top 10 hits around Europe and the album sold around 4 million copies worldwide. She was only 19 years old. Both the single Twist In My Sobriety and Tanita were nominated at the 1989 Brit Awards for Best British Single and Female Artist categories respectively. She is known for her powerful, husky voice, and poetic and somewhat obscure lyrics. Her follow-up albums did not achieve the same commercial success, but she has remained a powerful voice for her art and she has always been able to deliver some great songs throughout her career.
 

Richard Bona - Musical Passport



"Imagine an artist with Jaco Pastorious’s virtuosity, George Benson’s vocal fluidity, Joao Gilberto’s sense of song and harmony, all mixed up with African culture. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Richard Bona!" (Los Angeles Times).
Fans call him “The African Sting,” critics call him a pro, but it’s his unique and electrifying style of connecting with his audience that titles him what he really is—a true musician. Richard Bona’s seemingly effortless voice, fierce skills on the bass, unique songwriting/arranging expertise and ability to learn just about any instrument simply from watching, position him as a rare African artist to have established an unscalable reputation on an international platform.
Originally from Cameroon, Bona remains true to his roots, with African rhythms reflected in each of his albums; Seeking inspiration from his origins, the themes of Bona’s albums address international issues which mirror his desire of using music to take a stance on issues affecting the oppressed.
As a bass player Bona has toured and recorded with guitarist Mike Stern, Kazumi Watanabe, Pat Metheny, Steps Ahead and Bobby McFerrin, to name a few of his numerous notable collaborations.
He later garnered recognition at the Victoires du Jazz Awards where he won the trophy for “Best International Artist of 2004”. His album, “Tiki” was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for “Best Contemporary World Music Album.” Bona was also honored by the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal with the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award; as one of seven recipients, he is distinguished as an artist in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz is widely recognized. He also received the prestigious SACEM Jazz Award (Grand Prix Jazz SACEM) in 2012 for the Jazz Grand Prize. Additionally, his certified Gold 2013 album, Bonafied, demonstrates a fusion of cultures. Bona has become one of the most accomplished and sought-after musicians of this generation.
 

Monday, March 4, 2019

EELS - BEST



EELS is an American rock band, formed in California in 1995 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett, known by the stage name E. Their music is often filled with themes about family, death, and lost love. Here you will find a beautiful collection of their catalog.
In 1996, the band released their debut album Beautiful Freak, a melancholy pop record with tormented lyrics. The singles "Novocaine for the Soul", "Susan's House" and "Your Lucky Day in Hell" achieved modest national and international success, winning the Best International Breakthrough Act award at the 1998 BRIT Awards. The Shrek animated motion picture soundtrack included the song "My Beloved Monster" and each sequel has included one of their songs. A unique style in pop music makes Eels a band to follow, love and enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Acoustic Pop Voices - Various Artists



Alternative Acoustic Pop has emerged from the independent music scene with a distinction from mainstream pop music, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective style based on songwriting and centered around the acoustic guitar or the acoustic piano. Even thou some acts remained signed to major labels, some are signed to independent labels or even act on their own behalf and therefore received relatively little attention from mainstream radio, television, or newspapers. But they deserve to be equal to their peers who have known larger success. So I hope you can discover some of them on this playlist. Enjoy it !!

Smooth Soul R&B - Various Artists



Contemporary R&B (also known as simply R&B) originated at the end of the disco era, and it is a music genre that combines elements of soul, rhythm and blues, pop and funk along with heavy doses of synthesizers and strings. The genre features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement as it forms a colorful tapestry of lush ballads. Contemporary R&B vocalists are often known for their use of melisma, popularized by vocalists such as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Craig David, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, some of whom are featured on this playlist.

Bono - Oddities & Rarities




Bono is the Irish singer-songwriter, musician, best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of rock band U2. He is also a venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his schoolmates with whom he founded U2 in 1976. Bono soon established himself as a passionate front-man for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics are known for their social and political themes, and for their religious imagery inspired by his Christian beliefs. During U2's early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to the group's rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members. As a member of U2, Bono has received 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is well known for his activism for social justice causes, both through U2 and as an individual. He is particularly active in campaigning for Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign, and Product Red. In pursuit of these causes, he has participated in benefit concerts and met with influential politicians. Bono has been praised for his philanthropic efforts; he was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work", and has been made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres In 2005, Bono was named one of the Time Persons of the Year.

Outside the band, he has recorded with numerous artists. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on several projects, including: songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner; the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.
This playlist celebrates his collaborations and rare appearances on tribute albums and soundtracks.


JamesTaylor - Oddities & Rarities



James Taylor’s music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal forms. He is a master at describing specific, even autobiographical situations in a way that resonates with people everywhere. In 1971, Taylor was on the cover of Time magazine, heralded as the harbinger of the singer-songwriter era. Over four decades later his warm baritone, introspective lyrics and unique guitar playing still blaze a path to which young musicians aspire. He has sold over 100 million albums throughout his career and has earned 40 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, multiple Grammy Awards and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame. His songs have had a profound influence on songwriters and music lovers from all walks of life: “Fire and Rain,” “Country Road,” “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Mexico,” “Shower the People,” “Your Smiling Face,” “Carolina In My Mind,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” “You Can Close Your Eyes,” “Walking Man,” “Never Die Young,” “Shed a Little Light,” “Copperline,” “Enough to be On Your Way,” “Caroline I See You,” and many more. In the summer of 2015 Taylor released Before This World, his first new studio album in thirteen years, which earned him his first ever #1 album on the Billboard Charts and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. Recorded at his home studio TheBarn, in Washington, MA, Before This World explores many of the themes that have absorbed Taylor throughout his career.
In a career marked by artistic triumphs, the past few years for Taylor have been notable for both creative virtuosity and recognition of exceptional achievement. In 2011, Taylor was honored with a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, which consisted of four concert evenings presented by Carnegie Hall and featuring Taylor and personally selected musical guests. In 2012, he was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government and in 2011, was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Both medals are their Nation’s highest honors for artistic excellence recognizing “outstanding achievements and support of the arts.” In November 2015, Taylor was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor.
In December of 2016 Taylor received the Kennedy Center Honors, which are presented annually to individuals who have enriched American culture by distinguished achievement in the performing arts.
This playlist celebrates his collaborations and rarities not found on his own albums.