Tangerine Dream – Phaedra

Tangerine Dream’s 1973 Phaedra was their first on Virgin and was recorded at Richard Branson’s castle manor studio in England. The German group established their sound on this album with a Moog synthesizer, and made them a worldwide success, but still only sold 6,000 in their native country. It’s a landmark electronic album from one […]

Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut, the first and last to be made with Syd Barrett as the leader. It is the band’s most psychedelic album, and depending on your point of view, their best. Piper at the Gates of Dawn is definitely interesting listening and essential for every fan of Pink Floyd and fans of 60’s […]

Tower of Power – S/T

Oakland’s Tower of Power experienced their greatest success with this album, recorded in 1973 and the first with Lenny Williams. Their third album, Tower of Power is very funky and full of horns, but Williams’ vocals really shine. The record sounds fantastic, and while some funk/soul groups split their albums between ballads and groovy songs, […]

Brothers Johnson – Light Up The Night

A Brothers Johnson highlight and the last that Quincy Jones produced, 1980’s Light Up The Night was produced at the same time as Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, and features a lot of the same writers and musicians as that record. Michael Jackson and Rod Temperton even wrote some of the songs, while Jackson sings […]

Rima – Subdued 12″

Electronic single released in 2003 by Compost Records in Germany, a label that would also put out albums on the joint Jazzanova Compost Records imprint. Rima is made up of mostly Dominick Stanton and Enrico Crivellaro, and has a distinctly British future/acid jazz feel. I bought the record because Amp Fiddler contributes two remixes, but […]

Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy

Great album from Warren Zevon, released in 1978 and following the release of a self-titled album in 1976 that would bring success. Zevon released five single from Excitable Boy, including Werewolves of London, Nighttime in the Switching Yard and Send Lawyers, Guns and Money. Zevon was a great songwriter, and along with Roland the Headless […]

Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire

Classic jazz-fusion album from 1973, and the last to feature the original lineup of Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman on violin and Rick Laird on bass. This still represents one end of the fusion spectrum, with double-necked guitars, Minimoogs and Miles Davis covers, and is an essential listen to understand what John McLaughlin and […]

Soul II Soul – Back To Life 12″

Classic Soul II Soul song from 1989, and like Keep On Movin’ features vocalist Caron Wheeler and strings from the Raggae Philharmonic Orchestra. An early song from Jazzie B and co-produced by Nellee Hooper, it still is a great dance track. Back To Life earned the group a Grammy and reached No. 1 in the […]

Zapp -S/T

This gold album from Roger Troutman and his brothers was brought about by the influence of the Collins brothers, Bootsy and Catfish, who were friends with the Troutmans in Ohio and introduced Troutman and George Clinton. This album carries more of that P-Funk feel than the later Zapp albums, but the funky grooves and talkbox […]

Herb Alpert – Rise

1980 Herb Alpert album that features one side of original songs, and one side of covers. It was recorded after the success of the the title track, which held No. 1 on the Billboard charts for weeks, and was created by Alpert’s nephew Randy ‘Badazz’ Alpert and Andy Armer. A lot of the songs play […]