Jun 18

Benjamin Britten – Peter Grimes – Peter Pears, Claire Watson, Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Benjamin Britten (1959/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:21:57 minutes | 2,7 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Decca
Recorded: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, December 1958

Tenor Sir Peter Pears leads the cast on this famous and highly-lauded presentation of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, conducted by the composer himself and recorded live in London in December 1958. The album has been included on the list of the 100 greatest recordings by Gramophone, which said this version “has never been superseded in its refinement or insight.” BBC Music Magazine named this album the greatest Britten recording of all time.

“(The role of Grimes) was written for Pears and this recording is still the benchmark … no one should be without this evocative, wonderfully sung recording.” –BBC Music Magazine

“… a studio has rarely witnessed anything so poignant as (Pears’s) singing of the mad scene in the last act. It is almost unbearably moving … the Covent Garden Orchestra rise superbly to their task and indeed one is left with an impression of the entire cast, of everybody concerned, being inspired by the presence and direction of the composer.” –Gramophone

Tracklist:

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Peter Grimes, Op.33

Prologue
1. Peter Grimes! 01:28
2. You Sailed Your Boat 03:04
3. Peter Grimes, I Here Advise You! 02:09
4. The Truth…the Pity… 01:54
5. Interlude I: On the beach 02:58

ACT ONE Scene 1
6. Oh, Hang At Open Doors 05:35
7. Hi! Give Us a Hand 03:19
8. I Have To Go From Pub To Pub 01:58
9. Let Her Among You 03:08
10. Look, the Storm Cone! 02:42
11. And Do You Prefer the Storm 04:57
12. What Harbour Shelters Peace 01:12
13. Interlude II: The Storm 04:08

ACT ONE Scene 2
14. Past Time To Close! 04:21
15. We Live and Let Live 01:58
16. Have You Heard? 01:22
17. Now the Great Bear and Pleiades 03:41
18. Old Joe Has Gone Fishing 02:29
19. The Bridge Is Down, We Half Swam Over 01:41

ACT TWO Scene 1
20. Interlude III: Sunday Morning By the Beach 02:23
21. Glitter Of Waves 05:41
22. Let This Be a Holiday 03:00
23. This Unrelenting Work 04:41
24. Fool To Let It Come To This! 02:18
25. What Is It? 01:02
26. People!…No! I Will Speak! 02:14
27. We Planned That Their Lives 02:27
28. Swallow! Shall We Go 00:44
29. Now Is Gossip Put On Trial 02:12
30. From the Gutter 04:35
31. Interlude IV: Passacaglia 05:27

ACT TWO Scene 2
32. Go There! 07:18
33. Now!…Now! 02:09
34. Peter Grimes! Nobody Here? 03:08

ACT THREE Scene 1
35. Interlude V: Evening 04:18
36. Assign Your Prettiness To Me 02:38
37. Pah! 02:49
38. Come Along, Doctor! 03:19
39. Embroidery In Childhood 05:09
40. Mr. Swallow! 01:59
41. Who Holds Himself Apart 03:46
42. Interlude VI: Fog 02:35

ACT THREE Scene 2
43. Grimes! Grimes! 04:57
44. Peter, We’ve Come To Take You Home 02:30
45. To Those Who Pass The Borough 04:53

Personnel:
Geraint Evans, baritone vocals (Ned Keene)
Owen Brannigan, baritone vocals (Swallow, Bass-Bariton)
James Pease, bass vocals (Captain Balstrode)
David Kelly, bass vocals (Hobson) (on track 7)
Jean Watson, contralto vocals (Auntie)
Lauris Elms, mezzo-soprano vocals (Mrs. Sedley)
Claire Watson, soprano vocals (Ellen Orford)
Marion Studholme, soprano vocals (Niece 1)
Iris Kells, soprano vocals (Niece 2)
Raymond Nilsson, tenor vocals (Bob Boles)
Peter Pears, tenor vocals (Peter Grimes)
John Lanigan, tenor vocals (The Rector)
Marcus Norman, treble vocals (John) (on track 2)
Chorus Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Douglas Robinson, chorus master
Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Benjamin Britten, conductor

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Jun 18

Brett Eldredge – Glow (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:45 minutes | 444 MB | Genre: Holiday
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital Booklet  © Atlantic Nashville

“I’ve been inspired for this record from a very young age,” said Eldredge. “I dreamt of the day I could record all these classic songs that I’ve loved since I was a little kid. I recorded those classics in New York City and tried to give a tip of the hat to the ones that came before me – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ray Charles – by adding that swing and that soul to the best of my ability. When it came to actually recording, I wanted to live in the experience. We hung Christmas lights in the studio in the middle of May and had musicians from the best bands in the world all in the same room – from horns to strings. Everyone was so inspired to make this classic record. I think it really shows in the songs and I can’t wait for people to hear that magic we found.”

Abandoning all modern trappings, Brett Eldredge chooses to go the full Frank Sinatra on his 2016 seasonal affair Glow. Leaving behind the R&B rhythms that underpin his hit singles is a bit of a risky move for Eldredge, as it pushes the spotlight directly onto his vocals. Eldredge may not take many risks on Glow — he’s determined to adhere to string-saturated tradition, so he never plays with his phrasing — but he’s warm and charming, which gives him enough swagger to ride the snazzy big-band arrangements on Glow. Often, these tunes — everything is familiar apart from the newly written title track, which is designed to pass without notice among the standards — are so overheated they suggest a Vegas revue, but that’s also the appeal of Glow. Eldredge plays with the schlockiest aspects of show biz, but his tongue is never in his cheek: he believes in this bluster, and that’s the fun of Glow. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com)

Tracklist:

01. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
02. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (feat. Meghan Trainor)
03. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
04. The Christmas Song
05. Glow
06. White Christmas
07. Winter Wonderland
08. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
09. Silent Night
10. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
11. The First Noel

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Jun 18

Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonatas Nos. 23 & 12 – Sviatoslav Richter (1961/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:47 minutes | 425 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © RCA Records/Sony Music
Recorded: November 29-30, 1960, Webster Hall, NYC

Tracklist:

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata”
1 I. Allegro assai 00:10:42
2 II. Andante con moto 00:05:56
3 III. Allegro ma non troppo 00:07:13

Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major, Op. 26 “Funeral March”
4 I. Andante con variazioni 00:01:23
5 Variation I 00:01:04
6 Variation II 00:00:48
7 Variation III 00:01:10
8 Variation IV 00:00:51
9 Variation V 00:01:47
10 II. Scherzo – Allegro molto – Trio 00:02:53
11 III. Marcia funebre sulla morte d’un eroe 00:06:11
12 IV. Allegro 00:02:15

Personnel:
Sviatoslav Richter, piano

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Jun 18

Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy (1978/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:31:49 minutes | 1,11 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Rhino/Elektra

This 1978 album includes the hits “Excitable Boy” and “Werewolves of London”. It remains the best selling album of Zevon’s career and is responsible for launching him into success.

Warren Zevon’s self-titled 1976 album announced he was one of the most striking talents to emerge from the Los Angeles soft rock singer/songwriter community, and Linda Ronstadt (a shrewd judge of talent if a sometimes questionable interpreter) recorded three of its songs on two of her biggest-selling albums, which doubtlessly earned Zevon bigger royalty checks than the album itself ever did. But if Warren Zevon was an impressive calling card, the follow-up, Excitable Boy, was an actual hit, scoring one major hit single, “Werewolves of London,” and a trio of turntable hits (“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” and the title track). But while Excitable Boy won Zevon the larger audience his music certainly deserved, the truth is it was a markedly inferior album; while it had all the bile of Warren Zevon, and significantly raised Zevon’s dark-humor factor, it was often obvious where his previous album had been subtle, and while all 11 tracks on Warren Zevon were strong and compelling, two of the nine tunes on Excitable Boy — “Johnny Strike Up the Band” and “Nighttime in the Switching Yard” — sound like they’re just taking up space. Musically, most of Excitable Boy is stuck in a polished but unexceptional FM pop groove, and only “Veracruz” hints at the artful intelligence of Warren Zevon’s finest moments. It’s hard to say if Zevon was feeling uninspired or just dumbing himself down when he made Excitable Boy, but while it made him famous, it lacks the smarts and substance of his best work. –AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

Tracklist:
1. Johnny Strikes Up The Band 02:52
2. Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner 03:48
3. Excitable Boy 02:42
4. Werewolves Of London 03:29
5. Accidentally Like A Martyr 03:41
6. Night Time In The Switching Yard 04:18
7. Veracruz 03:32
8. Tenderness On The Block 03:58
9. Lawyers, Guns And Money 03:29

Personnel:
Warren Zevon – lead, harmony and backing vocals, piano, organ, synthesizer
Jorge Calderón – harmony and backing vocals, Spanish vocals on “Veracruz”
Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar – guitar, percussion
Russ Kunkel – drums

Additional:
Karla Bonoff – harmony vocals on “Accidentally Like a Martyr”
Jackson Browne – guitar, harmony and backing vocals
Luis Damian – jarana on “Veracruz”
Kenny Edwards – bass on “Veracruz”, “Tenderness on the Block” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money”
John McVie – bass on “Werewolves of London”
Mick Fleetwood – drums on “Werewolves of London”
The Gentlemen Boys [The Gentlemen Boys consisted of: Jackson Browne, Jorge Calderón, Kenny Edwards, J. D. Souther and Waddy Wachtel] – backing and harmony vocals
Arthur Gerst – Mexican harp
Bob Glaub – bass on “Roland the Headless Gunner”, “Excitable Boy”, Nighttime in the Switching Yard”
Jim Horn – recorder on “Veracruz”; saxophone on “Excitable Boy”
Greg Ladanyi – bells on “Nighttime in the Switching Yard”
Rick Marotta – drums on “Veracruz” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money”
Jeff Porcaro – drums and percussion on “Nighttime in the Switching Yard”
Linda Ronstadt – backing and harmony vocals on “Excitable Boy”
Leland Sklar – bass on “Johnny Strikes Up The Band”, “Accidentally Like a Martyr”
J.D. Souther – backing and harmony vocals
Manuel Vasquez – requinto on “Veracruz”
Waddy Wachtel – guitar, synthesizer, harmony and backing vocals
Jennifer Warnes – harmony vocals on “Excitable Boy”

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Jun 18

Willie Nelson & Ray Price – San Antonio Rose (1980/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:16 minutes | 718 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia Nashville Legacy

Tracklist:
1 San Antonio Rose 3:42
2 I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) 2:41
3 I Fall To Pieces 3:16
4 Crazy Arms 2:41
5 Release Me 3:06
6 Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me) 3:39
7 This Cold Was With You 3:19
8 Funny How Time Slips Away 3:50
9 Night Life 4:03
10 Deep Water 2:45
11 Faded Love 3:50

Personnel:
Willie Nelson – Guitar, Vocals
Ray Price – Vocals
Moses Calderon – Keyboards, Vibraphone
Buddy Emmons – Guitar (Steel)
Paul English – Drums
Chris Ethridge – Bass
Crystal Gayle – Vocals (Background)
Johnny Gimble – Fiddle
Grady Martin – Guitar
Jody Payne – Guitar
Mickey Raphael – Harmonica
Bee Spears – Bass

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Jun 18

Willie Nelson – Half Nelson (1985)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:21 minutes | 740 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia

This is an appropriate collection, since Nelson has recorded more duets with more fellow performers than any other country singer in history. This runs the gamut, from traditional country singers Merle Haggard and George Jones, to soulman Ray Charles, to Latin-lover Julio Iglesias, and the rock band Santana. It even has a duet with the late Hank Williams, arranged through modern studio recording technology. ~~AllMusic Review by Tom Roland

Tracklist:
1 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard    Pancho And Lefty 4:45
2 Willie Nelson & Lacy J. Dalton    Slow Movin’ Outlaw 3:35
3 Willie Nelson & Neil Young    Are There Any More Real Cowboys 3:02
4 Willie Nelson & Hank Williams    I Told A Lie To My Heart 2:52
5 Willie Nelson & Mel Tillis    Texas On A Saturday Night 2:41
6 Willie Nelson & Ray Charles    Seven Spanish Angels 3:50
7 Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias    To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before 3:30
8 Willie Nelson & Carlos Santana    They All Went To Mexico 4:45
9 Willie Nelson & Leon Russell    Honky Tonk Women 3:30
10 Willie Nelson & George Jones    Half A Man 3:02

Personnel:
Willie Nelson – Guitar, vocals
Ray Charles – Piano, vocals
Carlos Santana – Guitar
Julio Iglesias – Vocals
Lacy J. Dalton – Guitar, vocals
Merle Haggard – Guitar, vocals
George Jones – Guitar, vocals
Mel Tillis – Guitar, vocals
Hank Williams – Guitar, vocals
Neil Young – Vocals

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Jun 18

Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind (1982/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:24 minutes | 649 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia Nashville

Always on My Mind was released in 1982 and spent 22 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart, where it also spent 253 weeks total. It was produced by Chips Moman.

Whether intentionally or not, the first album after a greatest-hits collection always raises the curtain on a new era, and in Willie Nelson’s case, the difference between the era recapped on 1981’s Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) and the one started with 1982’s Always on My Mind is startling. Throughout the late ’70s, Nelson’s freewheeling, organically eclectic music was not just the biggest thing in country, it was also some of its best, most adventurous music. Sometimes, it could fall a little flat, particularly when he kept replicating Stardust, but that was part of the charm of Nelson’s unpredictability. With Always on My Mind, he teams with producer Chips Moman and embarks on a period of pernicious predictability, giving himself completely over to Moman, who moves him toward rock covers and adult contemporary pop with this record. At the time, it was a huge, huge hit — his biggest ever, actually, spending 22 weeks at the top of the country charts, selling over four million copies, launching a platinum single with the title track (which reached number five on the pop charts), and winning the CMA’s Album of the Year award. Listening to it now, all that success seems undeserved since the album not only plays as the country-pop record Willie avoided making all these years, but by consisting primarily of familiar rock covers, it also plays as pandering to the mass audience he’s achieved. This is uniformly pleasant, but it’s also rather straight-jacketed, hemmed in by Moman’s sterile, synth-heavy productions. With “Always on My Mind” and, to a lesser extent, “Let It Be Me,” it works because his production style suits the songs and Nelson sings well, but “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (complete with vocals from Waylon Jennings), and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” are all flat readings, never showing the spark in either delivery or arrangement that marks Nelson as one of popular music’s great interpretive singers. Here, he sounds as he’s sleepwalking and turning out product for the first time in his career (at least the early Liberty recordings were a hungry attempt at hits). It may have been a hit, but years later, it clearly sounds like one of his worst records. ~~ AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tracklist:
1 Do Right Woman, Do Right Man 02:58
2 Always On My Mind 03:33
3 A Whiter Shade of Pale 04:02
4 Let It Be Me 03:30
5 Staring Each Other Down 02:16
6 Bridge Over Troubled Water 04:39
7 Old Fords and a Natural Stone 02:32
8 Permanently Lonely 02:41
9 Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning 04:22
10 The Party’s Over 02:51

Personnel:
Willie Nelson – guitar, vocals
Gene Chrisman – drums
Johnny Christopher – guitar, background vocals
Bobby Emmons – keyboards
Mike Leech – bass
John Marett – saxophone
Grady Martin – guitar
Chips Moman – guitar, background vocals, producer, engineer
Mickey Raphael – harmonica
Gary Talley – vocals
Virginia Team – art direction
Toni Wine – keyboards, vocals
Bobby Wood – keyboards, vocals
Reggie Young – guitar
Waylon Jennings – vocal (#3)

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Jun 18

Willie Nelson – The Sound In Your Mind (1976/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:02 minutes | 664 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia Nashville

Released in February 1976, The Sound in Your Mind is the second album on Columbia Records by Willie Nelson, and his eighteenth overall.

Red Headed Stranger propelled Willie Nelson to stardom, finally giving him a smash hit, yet its spare arrangements and hushed intimacy were a bit of an anomaly, both in his prior work and the albums that followed on Columbia. His second LP for the label, 1976’s The Sound in Your Mind, opened up the sound of Stranger, retaining some of the low-key vibe, but fleshing out music and even picking up the tempo on occasion. In addition to that, he started delving deep into standards, not just from country artists, but the American popular songbook, pointing the way toward Stardust a few years down the road. So, in many ways, The Sound in Your Mind sets the template for the next few years of albums by Willie. Even if it set a sound in motion, the album wasn’t one of his strongest. He would often better it — and did so immediately, with the tremendous The Troublemaker — and sometimes he did worse, but The Sound in Your Mind has a little bit of everything that would come on Columbia, both for better and worse. It’s a little uneven and unfocused, not because it’s so split between covers and originals, but because it meanders, sometimes drifting into overly familiar territory which elicits somewhat lazy performances (“Amazing Grace,” for instance), but songs equally familiar — “That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day),” or a medley of his standards: “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy,” and “Night Life” — are given subtle, inspired arrangements. The true highlights are the original “The Healing Hands of Time,” revived from his RCA years and given possibly the definitive treatment here, and especially a vigorous version of Lefty Frizzell’s “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time,” so good that it led to a stellar tribute record just a year later. The rest of the album is good but rather standard-issue Willie — worth hearing and very enjoyable, but not enough to compel regular listens. ~~AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tracklist:
1. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) 02:17
2. If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time) 02:03
3. A Penny for Your Thoughts 03:21
4. The Healing Hands of Time 03:55
5. Thanks Again 02:11
6. I’d Have to Be Crazy 03:24
7. Amazing Grace 05:39
8. The Sound in Your Mind 04:19
9. Medley: Funny How Time Slips Away / Crazy / Night Life 08:30

Personnel:
Willie Nelson – vocals, guitar
Bobbie Nelson – piano
Paul English – drums
Rex Ludwick – drums
Jody Payne – guitar
Bee Spears – bass guitar
Mickey Raphael – harmonica
Additional:
Steve Fromholz- harmony vocals on “I’d Have to Be Crazy”
Tom Morrell – pedal steel guitar on “That Lucky Old Sun”

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Jun 18

Wilson Pickett – Right On (1970/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:38:23 minutes | 1,48 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Rhino Atlantic

For the First Time – Digitally Released As High Resolution Downloads 192kHz/24bit Classic Soul Titles from the Archives of Atlantic Records and Rhino Records.

Right On is Wilson Pickett’s stunning 1970 studio recording. Proclaimed by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” Pickett howls on tunes including “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Funky Way,” “It’s Still Good” and “Sugar Sugar.” Right On charted on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard’s Top R&B Albums.

Wilson Pickett encountered a momentary slump in 1970, as this album was his first for Atlantic in many years that stayed locked in the bottom rungs of the pop Top 200 albums. Pickett did get a fluke novelty hit with “Sugar, Sugar,” maybe his worst soul smash ever. The album wasn’t a total disaster, but everyone forgot about it quickly when Atlantic rushed out Wilson Pickett in Philadelphia later that year. —AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn

Tracklist:
1. Groovy Little Woman 2:38
2. Funky Way 2:36
3. Sugar Sugar 3:00
4. Sweet Inspiration 2:54
5. This Old Town 3:19
6. You Keep Me Hangin’ On 4:43
7. Lord Pity Us All 3:44
8. It’s Still Good 2:36
9. Woman Likes To Hear That 2:50
10. She Said Yes 3:15
11. Hey Joe 3:05
12. Steal Away 4:15

Personnel:
Wilson Pickett – vocals
Eddie Hinton, Jim O’Rourke, Jimmy Johnson – guitar
David Hood, Harold Cowart – bass
Barry Beckett, Billy Carter – keyboards
Roger Hawkins, Tubby Zeigler – drums
Cissy Houston, Jackie Verdell, John Utley, Judy Clay – background vocals

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