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.

Gino Vannelli - Oddities & Rarities

Gino Vannelli was born into an Italian family in Montreal, Quebec. Vannelli and his brother, Joe, moved to Los Angeles in 1972. Herb Alpert, the co-owner of A&M Records, signed Vannelli and released his debut album, Crazy Life, in the summer of 1973. Vannelli was one of the first Caucasians (Dennis Coffey being the very first in January 1972) to appear on the television dance program Soul Train. In 1974, he was invited to tour with Stevie Wonder.
Vanelli then released his albums, Gist of the Gemini (1976) and Brother to Brother (1978) through A&M Records, which produced the single "I Just Wanna Stop", which reached No. 4 on the Billboard magazine chart, No. 1 in Canada, and received a Grammy Award nomination. In 1980, Vannelli signed with Arista Records. His sole Arista album, Nightwalker, provided him with a top-ten pop hit, “Living Inside Myself.” When Vannelli opted to follow it up with a stripped-down, edgier album called Twisted Heart, for the first time in his career he found himself with a less than enthusiastic label, unwilling to release an album. For the next three years Vannelli and his record company engaged in a long battle of creative wills—songs being the sum and substance of the contention.
After a four-year hiatus, Vannelli had finally come through the dark forest and was released from his Arista contract and in 1985 he released the successful Black Cars album and landmark video in Europe. It soon became Vannelli’s most successful international work to that date. Two years later, he recorded Big Dreamers Never Sleep for CBS, whose single, “Wild Horses,” stormed its way to the Top 10 in several countries.  Despite the success of singles "Hurts to Be in Love" and "Wild Horses", Vannelli departed a bit from the pop idiom, and he renewed his interest in western classical music and jazz. Signing with Verve Records, both Vannelli’s commercial outlook and output took a radical swing with the largely acoustic-jazz albums Yonder Tree and Slow Love, released in 1995 and 1997 respectively. Later the song "Parole Per Mio Padre" (Words For My Father), dedicated to his late father, came to the attention of Pope John Paul II who requested a performance of the song at the Vatican. The event caught the attention of the head of BMG Records who subsequently asked Vannelli to record a contemporary classical disc in the style of "Parole per Mio Padre". Canto, released by BMG in 2003, features songs sung in English, Italian, Spanish and French, as is considered by fans and Vannelli himself to be one of his strongest musical accomplishments. In 2008, Vannelli became a symbol of sorts for the National Basketball Association championship run by the Boston Celtics. After each blowout home victory during the 2008 season, the video crew at the TD Banknorth Garden played a clip from Dick Clark's American Bandstand that featured a bearded disco dancer clad in a tight Gino Vannelli T-shirt. The tradition became known in Boston as "Gino Time" and Gino T-shirts became common at Celtics games. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that the dancer in the Gino shirt was a young man named Joseph R. Massoni, and that he had died from pneumonia in 1990.
In 2005 Gino released These Are the Days under the Universal label. It was a compilation that combined seven of his earlier classic hits with seven new songs, marking the debut of yet another phase of Vannelli’s continually fascinating career and a return to the pop genre that made him an icon. 2007, culminated in the 2009 release of a cd/poetry book entitled, A Good Thing.
In late 2009, Gino managed to find the time to re-record many of his better known songs for a cd entitled, The Best & Beyond. Gino Vannelli remains impassioned and true to his art as ever. Gino Vannelli’s standing as a powerful and innovative live performer, his well hewn musical skills as composer, poet, producer and arranger, (his engaging persona notwithstanding) keep his career rising to greater heights.
His collaborations, rarities and the re-recordings of his beter known songs are included on this playlist.

Peter Gabriel - Oddities & Rarities

Singer, songwriter and record producer Peter Gabriel rose to fame as the original lead singer and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, Gabriel launched a successful solo career with "Solsbury Hill" as his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his best-selling release and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S. The album's most successful single, "Sledgehammer", won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and, according to a report in 2011, it was MTV's most played music video of all time. Gabriel has won numerous Brit Awards, Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards, the Q magazine Lifetime Achievement, the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Polar Music Prize. He was made a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his "influence on generations of music makers".
Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. Gabriel has also been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. AllMusic has described Gabriel as "one of rock's most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010, followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014. In March 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his achievements in music.
This playlist celebrates his endeavors as a collaborative artist, his side projects, and his rare artist participations, which don’t form part of his solo discography.