May 15

Aretha Franklin – A Bit Of Soul (1965/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 53:58 minutes | 900 MB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy

Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin’s church as a child. In 1960, at age 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as ‘Respect’, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘Think’. These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.

Franklin eventually recorded a total of 88 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted & Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with a cameo appearance in the film, The Blues Brothers and with the albums, Jump to It and Who’s Zoomin’ Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria, ‘Nessun Dorma’, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with ‘A Rose Is Still a Rose’.

1. Follow Your Heart 02:26
2. Only the One You Love 02:24
3. One Step Ahead 02:34
4. Can’t You Just See Me 02:03
5. How to Murder Your Wife 02:55
6. A Little Bit of Soul 02:21
7. Cry Like a Baby 02:13
8. Her Little Heart Went to Loveland 02:34
9. Remember Me 02:13
10. Land of Dreams 02:14
11. Little Miss Raggedy Ann 02:10

Bonus tracks:
12. Deeper 02:12
13. I Still Can’t Forget 02:55
14. Rose of Washington Square 02:38

Mono Mixes:
15. Take It Like You Give It 01:53
16. Follow Your Heart 02:26
17. Only the One You Love 02:22
18. One Step Ahead 02:27
19. How to Murder Your Wife 02:49
20. A Little Bit of Soul 02:18
21. Cry Like a Baby 02:06
22. Her Little Heart Went to Loveland 02:35

Aretha Franklin, vocals, piano
Belford C. Hendricks, arranger, conductor

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May 15

Aretha Franklin – Runnin’ Out Of Fools (1964/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 39:53 minutes | 683 MB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy

Runnin’ Out Of Fools is an earlier album by Aretha Franklin and was originally released in 1964. It was produced by Clyde Otis and the music was arranged and conducted by Belford C. Hendricks.

Runnin’ Out of Fools is the seventh studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin. Runnin Out Of Fools is the birth of Aretha Franklin’s soulful sound – a real change from the jazzier sound of her first two albums for Columbia, and a set that really shows some great sides of her talents! Arrangements are by Belford Hendricks, who creates an uptown-styled sort of sound – one that has fuller strings and a bit of backing vocals, but also a nice little groove at the bottom – territory that’s somewhere between the country soul of the early 60s, and some of the tighter New York soul that was on the rise. Aretha’s vocals are great – heartbreaking one minute, proud and righteous the next – and the album’s proof that she was always a wonderful singer, no matter what the setting. Titles include ‘Mockingbird’, ‘Walk On By’, ‘How Glad I Am’, ‘I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face’, ‘Runnin’ Out Of Fools’, and ‘One Room Paradise’.

1. Mockingbird 02:34
2. How Glad I Am 02:32
3. Walk on By 02:47
4. Every Little Bit Hurts 02:46
5. The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) 02:22
6. You’ll Lose a Good Thing 02:38
7. I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face 02:44
8. It’s Just a Matter of Time 02:56
9. Runnin’ Out of Fools 02:33
10. My Guy 03:03
11. Two Sides of Love 02:26
12. One Room Paradise 02:06

Bonus tracks:
13. A General Market Advertisement from Columbia Records 00:40
14. A Special Ad for Christmas 00:53
15. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) 02:53
16. Winter Wonderland 02:12

Aretha Franklin, vocals, piano
Belford C. Hendricks, arranger, conductor

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May 15

Aretha Franklin – Take A Look: The Clyde Otis Sessions (1964/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 54:34 minutes | 0,97 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy

Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence — much like Ray Charles — to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records. The problem Hammond and Columbia immediately ran into, though, was how to best present that spirited voice to the secular pop world. Between 1960 and 1969 (her first release for the label was actually in 1961), Columbia tried Franklin in a variety of styles and settings, and if none of them exactly caught fire the way her legendary later sides for Atlantic Records would, they still allowed Franklin to explore a lot of avenues, and she was too good a singer not to be at least memorable in all of them. This wonderful box set includes CDs of Franklin’s seven full-length albums for the label, two CDs of her work with producers Bobby Scott (in 1963) and Clyde Otis (in 1964), a CD of singles produced by Bob Johnston, plus rarities that were sweetened and released after Franklin left Columbia for Atlantic and a DVD featuring Franklin performing several songs at the piano on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. It’s a tremendous set, and it portrays an artist working her own way toward how to best present herself to the world. We all know she got there. ~~ AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

1. I’ll Keep on Smiling 02:53
2. Shangri-La 03:14
3. Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart 02:33
4. People 04:17
5. A Mother’s Love 02:32
6. Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love) 02:17
7. But Beautiful 02:56
8. That’s Entertainment 01:50
9. Take a Look 02:40
10. (Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young 04:42
11. Jim 02:28
12. Sweet Bitter Love 02:58
13. Only the Lonely 04:53
14. My Coloring Book 04:07
15. I Wish I Didn’t Love You So 02:54

Mono Mixes:
16. People 04:21
17. A Mother’s Love 02:31

Aretha Franklin, vocals
Belford C. Hendricks, arranger, conductor

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May 15

Aretha Franklin – The Electrifying Aretha Franklin (1962/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:45 minutes | 901 MB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy

The Electrifying Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul’s sophomore album for Columbia Records. Produced by Hammond, this intimate outing features hits including “You Made Me Love You,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and “It’s So Heartbreakin’.” This 1962 classic is an outstanding representation of Franklin’s undeniable power and musicianship. This deluxe reissue version contains seven bonus tracks.

1. You Made Me Love You 02:17
2. I Told You So 02:41
3. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody 02:22
4. Nobody Like You 02:21
5. Exactly Like You 02:35
6. It’s So Heartbreakin’ 02:38
7. Rough Lover 02:45
8. Blue Holiday 02:52
9. Just for You 02:18
10. That Lucky Old Sun 03:18
11. I Surrender, Dear 02:45
12. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive 02:16

Bonus tracks:
13. Introduction to Hard Times 00:31
14. Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) 03:08
15. When They Ask About You 02:59
16. Operation Heartbreak 02:59

Mono Mixes:
17. I Surrender, Dear 02:46
18. Rough Lover 02:47
19. Kissin’ By the Mistletoe 02:22

Aretha Franklin, vocals, piano

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May 15

Aretha Franklin – Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo (1961/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:43 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Columbia/Legacy

On her debut for Columbia Records, the legendary Aretha Franklin demonstrates her ability to evoke a variety of moods from the compelling “All Night Long” through the saucy “Sweet Lover,” to the rocking “Who Needs You?” Produced by John Hammond, the album features all-star musicians including Ray Bryant on piano. This quintessential collection serves as Lady Soul’s first steps and a must for any music connoisseur.

“The word is out. A magnetic new artist, Aretha Franklin, only a short while away from her father’s gospel church in Detroit, has been breaking up audience in theatres and nightclubs throughout the country and on Columbia single records. Combining a completely natural and uninhibited vocal style with an irresistible rhythmic sense, Aretha Franklin has established herself as one of the hottest new performers in show business and one likely to set new standards in the entertainment industry. She doesn’t just open the door – she breaks it down.” –Frank Driggs

1 Won’t Be Long 03:12
2 Over the Rainbow 02:41
3 Love Is the Only Thing 02:43
4 Sweet Lover 03:25
5 All Night Long 03:00
6 Who Needs You? 02:49
7 Right Now 02:26
8 Are You Sure 02:44
9 Maybe I’m a Fool 03:20
10 It Ain’t Necessarily So 02:56
11 By Myself 02:41
12 Today I Sing the Blues 02:46

Bonus tracks:
13 Are You Sure (Rehearsal) 02:15
14 Who Needs You? (Take 9) 03:05
15 Right Now (Take 1) 02:40
16 Maybe I’m a Fool (Take 4) 03:58
17 By Myself (Mono Mix) 02:41
18 Won’t Be Long (Mono Mix) 02:58
19 All Night Long (Mono Mix) 03:08
20 Love Is the Only Thing (Mono Mix) 02:45
21 Right Now (Mono Mix) 02:23
22 Today I Sing the Blues (Mono Mix) 02:47

Aretha Franklin, vocals, piano
Ray Bryant, John McFarland, Mo Wechsler, piano
Clifton “Skeeter” Best, Chauncey “Lord” Westbrook, Bucky Pizzarelli, Don Armone, guitar
Tyree Glenn, Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, trombone
Bill Lee, Milt Hinton, bass
Osie Johnson, Belton “Sticks” Evans, Teddy Somer, drums
Al Sears, Lucky Warren, tenor sax
Stanley Webb, sax
Bernie Privin, trumpet
Unidentified orchestra and chorus

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May 03

Diana Ross – Surrender (1971/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:10 minutes | 1,85 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Front cover | © UNI/Motown

The third post-Supremes album from Diana Ross, released in 1971, launched her into the British top 10 and was certified silver, her most successful solo outing in the UK to that point. Both the title track and Remember Me were also top 10 British hit singles, while Remember Me broke into the US top 20.

A nice early-’70s date from Diana Ross, who at that time was unaffected by her diva/show business persona and was sticking to singing. She turned in effective, unadorned, soulful leads on several songs, with the title tune cracking the R&B Top 20 and pop Top 40. Ross would later turn to a more exaggerated, self-conscious, mock-sophisticate style, but on her early Motown albums, she retained the mix of innocence, anguish, and sexiness that made her a legendary vocalist.

01 – Surrender
02 – I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You
03 – Remember Me
04 – And If You See Him
05 – Reach Out I’ll Be There
06 – Didn’t You Know (You’d Have To Cry Sometime)
07 – A Simple Thing Like Cry
08 – Did You Read The Morning Paper?
09 – I’ll Settle For You
10 – I’m A Winner
11 – All The Befores

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May 03

Gene Page – Love Starts After Dark (1980/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:56 minutes | 784 MB | Genre: R&B, Soul, Disco
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds |  © Arista Records/Sony Music

Love Starts After Dark is the fourth and final album by Gene Page. It was produced by Billy Page and Gene Page.

Arranger Gene Page’s appealing orchestrations were a hallmark of million-selling hits by Barry White, various Motown acts, Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams, Whitney Houston, Peaches & Herb, Kenny Rogers, the Righteous Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, the Whispers, Gladys Knight, and a slew of others. Page arranged the bulk of Mathis’ LPs of the ’70s and ’80s, with “Feelings” being among the best. Page also scored TV shows and movies. Born in Los Angeles, Page studied classical music during his youth. Winning a scholarship to the Brooklyn Conservatory, Page moved to New York. His first big break in the recording field was doing the string arrangements for the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which parked at number one pop for two weeks and hit number three R&B on the Billboard charts in late 1964, early 1965. He also arranged Dobie Gray’s “The In Crowd,” number 11 R&B, and Solomon Burke’s “Got to Get You off My Mind,” number one R&B for three weeks, both early 1965. Page first met Barry White when he and the future “Icon of Love” co-arranged Bob and Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle” for Marc Records, number 44 R&B, late 1963. In the mid-’60s, when White was hired by Bob Keane for his Bronco/Mustang labels, he hired Page to do arrangements. In 1968, Bronco/Mustang folded and White started doing freelance independent production. Though White recorded sides for Larry Marks on BMC, Malcolm Hayes on OKeh, and Brendetta Davis on Liberty, and wrote and produced songs for NBC-TV’s Saturday morning kids show The Banana Splits, they were lean times. Page helped him out by giving him arranging assignments and non-repayable loans. White’s fortunes began to turn for the better after he met the female singing trio of Glodean & Linda James and Diane Taylor at a recording session where they were doing background vocals. After he renamed the trio Love Unlimited, he worked with them for over a year, developing their vocals, writing songs for them, and recording their tracks. Meanwhile, Page’s busy recording career was now being augmented by film and TV work. He scored the soundtrack for Sid & Marty Krofft’s H.R. Pufnstuf, which premiered on NBC-TV’s Saturday morning lineup in September 1969. His brother Billy Page wrote “Some Beautiful,” the first single from Pufnstuf star Jack Wild’s debut album, The Jack Wild Album on Capitol. Page also composed the soundtrack for the 1970 Robert Altman movie Brewster McCloud, released on MGM Records. Billy also produced Gene’s Music From the Original Soundtrack Blacula. Originally issued by RCA Records in the summer of 1972, the soundtrack to the classic horror film starring Shakespearean actor William Marshall and Ketty Lester was one of Gene’s first efforts as a recording artist. The Hues Corporation of “Rock the Boat” fame were featured in the movie and on the LP. It was reissued by Razor & Tie in summer 1998. Larry Nunes, a friend of White’s, took one of the recordings to Russ Regan, who was the head of the Uni label owned by MCA. “Walkin’ in the Rain (With the One I Love),” with White “phoning” in his part, went gold, peaking at number six R&B, number 14 pop on Billboard’s charts in spring 1972. Love Unlimited’s From a Girl’s Point of View became a million-seller. Soon after, Regan left Uni for 20th Century Records. Without Regan, White’s relationship with Uni soured. With his relationship with Uni in chaos and Love Unlimited contract-bound with the label, White decided he needed to work with another act. He wanted to work with a male artist. He made three song demos of himself singing and playing the piano. Nunes heard them and insisted that he re-record and release them as a recording artist. They argued for days before Nunes somehow convinced White to do it, and White signed with 20th Century Records where Regan was president; Page did the arrangements on his early ’70s hits. This decision led to White having a gold- and platinum-laced recording career. White got a contractual release from Uni for Love Unlimited and they joined him at 20th Century. On Love Unlimited’s second 20th Century album In Heat, issued in fall 1974, Gene Page arranged the majestic ballad “I Belong to You,” which went to number one R&B in late 1974. In Heat, Love Unlimited’s most exciting album, featured the same top-notch studio band heard on White’s hits, Page’s and White’s dynamic arrangements, the follow-up single “Share a Little Love in Your Heart” (number 21 R&B, spring 1975), the standout tracks “Move Me No Mountain” and “I Needed Love-You Were There,” a long version of “I Belong to You,” and “Love’s Theme” — with lyrics. White continued to use Page’s talents on his productions for himself, Love Unlimited, and the Love Unlimited Orchestra. Gene Page recorded several albums, with the 1978 Arista LP Close Encounters being the most successful. The title track, a disco cover of the John Williams theme from the 1977 Steven Spielberg/Richard Dreyfuss movie, charted at number 30 R&B in early 1978. In fall 1999, two Barry White best-of sets that feature Page-arranged tracks, All Time Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits Volume 1, were on Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog Albums charts, due in part to White’s appearances on Fox-TV’s Ally McBeal. Gene Page died in his native Los Angeles in 1998. ~ Ed Hogan

1 Love Starts After Dark 5:32
2 With You In The Night 4:00
3 Put A Little Love In You Lovin’ 5:40
4 Second Time Around 4:50
5 You Are The Meaning Of This Song 3:33
6 Hold On To That Groove 5:54
7 Holywood 4:35
8 I Wanna Dance 3:45

Gene Page – Arranger, Conductor, Keyboards
Charles Fearing, Paul Jackson jr., Emmett North, Ray Parker Jr., Thom Rotella, Tommy Tedesco, Wah Wah Watson – Guitars
Alex Brown, Mercy Clayton, Sylvia Cox, Jackye Gerard, Yvonne Hill, Ray Parker Jr., Francy Pearlman, Pat Powdrill, Dorie Pride, Phyllis St. James, Charmaine Silvers, Sybil Thomas, Carla Vaughn – Singers
Sonny Burke – Keyboards
Jack Ashford, Eddie Brown, Olie Brown, Gary Coleman – Percussion
Darren Carmichael, Kurt McGettrick, Allen Mc Grier, Edward Meyers, John Mitchell, Wayne Preston, Les Thaler, John Thomas – Horns
Todd Cochran, Steve Caplan – Synthesizers
Ed Greene – Drums
Eddie Watkins – Bass


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May 03

D’Angelo And The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 00:56:01 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul, Jazz Funk
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © RCA Records

D’Angelo and The Vanguard’s highly anticipated and much buzzed about brand new album, Black Messiah. Nearly 15 years in the making, Black Messiah contains 12 tracks of timeless music with poignant and provocative lyrics that requires repeat listening at maximum volume! On the album, D’Angelo is joined by his band, The Vanguard, alongside Pino Palladino, James Gadson and Questlove on various tracks on the album. All lyrics were written by D’Angelo in addition to Q-Tip and Kendra Foster who both wrote lyrics on several songs.

D’Angelo had this to say about Black Messiah in the album’s forward: “‘Black Messiah’ is a hell of a name for an album. It can be easily misunderstood. Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I’m calling myself a Black Messiah. For me the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and everyplace where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.”

The one-eighty Questlove promised back in 2012, when the drummer and producer persuaded D’Angelo to perform for the first time in a dozen years, turns out to be closer to a ten. As those who caught later gigs and subsequent uploads could attest, there were no signs that D’Angelo — enigmatic maker of two classics that twisted gospel, soul, funk, and hip-hop with aloof but deep-feeling swagger — was developing his third studio album with production pointers from David Guetta or elocution lessons from Glee’s vocal director. Instead, he’s made another album that invites comparisons to the purposefully sloppy funk of Sly & the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On. It’s more outward-looking, refined, and bristly than what preceded it, however, and has much in common with releases from retro-progressive peers like Van Hunt and Bilal. D’Angelo retains the rhythmic core that helped him create Voodoo, namely Questlove, bassist Pino Palladino, and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and adds many players to the mix, including guitarist Jesse Johnson and drummers James Gadson and Chris Dave. Q-Tip contributed to the writing of two songs, but a greater impact is made by Kendra Foster, who co-wrote the same pair, as well as six additional numbers, and can often be heard in the background. The societal ruminations within the fiery judder of “1000 Deaths,” the dreamy churn of “The Charade,” and the falsetto blues of “Till It’s Done,” fueled as much by current planetary ills and race relations as the same ones that prompted the works of D’Angelo’s heroes, strike the deepest. Among the material that concerns spirituality, devotion, lost love, and lust, D’Angelo and company swing, float, and jab to nonstop grimace-inducing effect. On the surface, “Sugah Daddy” seems like an unassuming exercise in fusing black music innovations that span decades, and then, through close listening, the content of D’Angelo’s impish gibberish becomes clear. At the other end, there’s “Another Life,” a wailing, tugging ballad for the ages that sounds like a lost Chicago-Philly hybrid, sitar and all, with a mix that emphasizes the drums. Black Messiah clashes with mainstream R&B trends as much as Voodoo did in 2000. Unsurprisingly, the artist’s label picked this album’s tamest, most traditional segment — the acoustic ballad “Really Love” — as the first song serviced to commercial radio. It’s the one closest to “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” the Voodoo cut that, due to its revealing video, made D’Angelo feel as if his image was getting across more than his music. In the following song, the strutting “Back to the Future (Part I),” D’Angelo gets wistful about a lost love and directly references that chapter: “So if you’re wondering about the shape I’m in/I hope it ain’t my abdomen that you’re referring to.” The mere existence of his third album evinces that, creatively, he’s doing all right. That the album reaffirms the weakest-link status of his singular debut is something else. –Andy Kellman

1 Ain’t That Easy 4:49
2 1000 Deaths 5:49
3 The Charade 3:20
4 Sugah Daddy 5:02
5 Really Love 5:44
6 Back To the Future (Part I) 5:22
7 Till It’s Done (Tutu) 3:51
8 Prayer 4:32
9 Betray My Heart 5:55
10 The Door 3:08
11 Back To the Future (Part II) 2:24
12 Another Life 5:58

D’Angelo – piano, synthesizers, organ, keyboards, guitar, bass, sitar, background vocals
Spanky Alford, Jesse Johnson, Mark Hammond – guitar
Isaiah Sharkey – sitar, guitar
Pino Palladino – bass
Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson – drums, drum programming
James Gadson, Chris Dave – drums
Kendra Foster, Jermane Holmes, Ahrell Lumzy – background vocals
Roy Hargrove – trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, brass
Alex Budman, Anatoly Rosinsky, Assa Drori, Bill Reichenbach (2), Chuck Berghoffer*, Elizabeth Wilson (3), Maurice Grants – strings, woodwind
Brent Fischer – conductor
Gina – vocals [spoken word]

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Apr 05

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – One Dozen Roses (1971/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:38 minutes | 1,57 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © UNI/Motown

Released in 1971 but unavailable on CD for many years, One Dozen Roses from Smokey Robinson & The Miracles includes the reappearance of the huge hit song The Tears Of A Clown, a multi-million selling number one single in both the US and the UK, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. The song also holds the distinction of being the Miracles’ first (and only) number one hit with Smokey Robinson as lead singer.

One of their better latter-period albums. Though the singles (“The Tears of a Clown,” “I Don’t Blame You At All,” the lovely “Satisfaction”) were the focal points of the set, the real gem is “No Wonder Love’s a Wonder,” a haunting, socially conscious ballad where Smokey Robinson speaks the lyrics as the Miracles harmonize in the background. It marked one of the few times Robinson ever engaged in social commentary. –AllMusic Review by John Lowe

1 When Sundown Comes 3:19
2 No Wonder, Love’s A Wonder 3:17
3 The Tears Of A Clown 2:57
4 Satisfaction 3:22
5 Crazy About The La La La 2:55
6 Cecilia 3:00
7 I Don’t Blame You At All 3:09
8 That Girl 2:50
9 Faces 2:39
10 I Love You Dear 3:46
11 Oh Baby Baby, I Love You 2:27
12 The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game 2:56

William “Smokey” Robinson – lead vocals
Marv Tarplin – guitars
Ronnie White, Bobby Rogers, Warren “Pete” Moore, Claudette Robinson – background vocals
David Van DePitte, Henry Cosby, Jerry Long, Paul Riser, Tom Baird, Wade Marcus – arranger

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Apr 05

Smokey Robinson And The Miracles – Flying High Together (1972/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:00 minutes | 1,70 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Front cover | © UNI/Motown

Flying High Together is an album by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles on Motown Records’ Tamla label, released in 1972. It is noted as The Miracles’ last studio album with original lead singer Smokey Robinson, who retired from the act to concentrate on his duties as Vice President of The Motown Record Corporation. The album charted at #46 on the Billboard Pop Album chart. As of 2016, Flying High Together has yet to be issued on CD, but several of its songs have shown up on various Miracles foreign and domestic CD compilations.

The last studio album they recorded together as a group, it was produced by Johnny Bristol, who was by then experiencing career problems of his own. While none of the songs are Robinson originals, the album does contain several cover versions and tunes by Ashford & Simpson and Stevie Wonder. Although it was a cohesive, servicable disc, it lacked the clarity that made their earlier records (with Smokey at the helm) so special. Still, it gave the group their last Top 40 hit with “We’ve Gone Too Far to End It Now,” which also cracked the R&B Top Ten.

01 – I Can’t Stand To See You Cry
02 – Theme From Love Story
03 – We’ve Come Too Far To End It Now
04 – Flying High Together
05 – With Your Love Came
06 – It Will Be Alright
07 – Oh Girl
08 – You Ain’t Livin’ Till You’re Lovin’
09 – We Had A Love So Strong
10 – Got To Be There
11 – Betcha By Golly Wow

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