David Johansen and The Harry Smiths – Shaker (2002) [HDTracks 24-96]

David Johansen and The Harry Smiths – David Johansen and The Harry Smiths (2000)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 56:59 minutes | 1,21 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet | @ Chesky Records

David Johansen and the Harry Smiths’ Shaker is more than just a tribute to great blues legends and the infamous anthologist of folk music. This work effectively brings together a profound understanding of the folk/blues genre, Johansen’s own gritty style, and a band of seasoned musicians to bring an enticingly accessible creation with traces of rock and jazz sprinkled throughout. Building on the folk accuracy of their first album, Shaker elevates this artistic concept to a new level, casting another set of classic tunes that glow with a coat of that unique Johansen character.

“[Johansen’s] chipped-granite yowl hangs with modal drama over bottleneck guitar and percussion sabotage” – Rolling Stone

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David Bowie – Five Years 1969-1973 (2015) [Qobuz 24-96]

David Bowie – Five Years 1969-1973 (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 04:03:21 minutes | 4,91 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital booklet | @ Parlophone Records, Warner Music

The musical chameleon’s 6 studio albums from 1969-1973. In just a short amount of time you can see Bowie turn and surprise at each album. The accompanying book features technical notes about each album from the producers Tony Visconti and Ken Scott, an original press review for each album and a short foreword by an artist of note. Albums included: David Bowie (aka Space Oddity), The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane, Pin Ups.

The first in a series of career-spanning comprehensive box sets, Five Years 1969-1973 chronicles the beginning of David Bowie’s legend by boxing all of his officially released music during those early years. This amounts to six studio albums — 1969’s David Bowie (aka Space Oddity); 1970’s The Man Who Sold the World; 1971’s Hunky Dory; 1972’s The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars; Aladdin Sane, and Pin Ups (both from 1973); a pair of live albums (Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack and Live in Santa Monica ’72, both released long after these five years) and a two-CD collection of non-LP tracks called Re:Call, plus Ken Scott’s 2003 mix of Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust. That list suggests how “officially released” is a guideline that’s easily bent. Live in Santa Monica ’72 is a bootleg that became canonical in 1995, and the soundtrack to Ziggy Stardust didn’t appear until 1983, but both are welcome because they either showcase the Spiders from Mars at their prime (Santa Monica) or at their end (Ziggy). Considering the number of edits, alternates, and B-sides Bowie released during this period, Re:Call is also a needed supplement, but it has some willful blind spots due to that “officially released” maxim: namely, any outtake released as a bonus on the Rykodisc reissues of the early ’90s, including such major items as “Lightning Frightening,” “Bombers,” and “Sweet Head.” Such absences are an irritant but not a major one because the box itself is quite handsome — whether in its CD or LP incarnation, each record is packaged as a replica of its original release — and the remastering is excellent, with Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, and Pin Ups given upgrades to match the anniversary remasters of Ziggy and Aladdin Sane from the 2010s. The improved audio alone makes Five Years 1969-1973 a desirable box for serious Bowie fans, but the whole set does justice to one of the great creative runs in rock history.

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Bryan Adams – Get Up (2015) [HDTracks 24-96]

Bryan Adams – Get Up (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:36 minutes | 862 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ UMe

Bryan Adams’ thirteenth studio album, Get Up, is a solid collection of beautifully-crafted rock songs, from the fast and furious up-tempo tracks such as lead song ‘Brand New Day,’ ‘You Belong To Me’ and ‘Thunderbolt,’ to the gentler songs such as ‘Don’t Even Try’ and ‘We Did It All.’ Produced by Jeff Lynne (ELO, Traveling Wilburys), Get Up is one of Bryan’s strongest efforts to date.

The prospect of Jeff Lynne (ELO, Tom Petty) producing Bryan Adams is fairly exciting, and he does lend a bristling, streamlined immediacy to Get Up. Adams’ heartfelt rasp is in fine form too, but while “You Belong to Me” is a promising country-laced romp and “Don’t Even Try” harkens back to late-Fifties innocence, the album’s old-school streak also means a lot of bland lip service to rock & roll. Adams still has an easy way with middle-of-the-road anthems, but enthusiasm alone can’t salvage stock tunes like “Thunderbolt”. Worst of all, four tracks are repeated in acoustic form to fill out the album, making it feel like two EPs stitched together due to a lack of better material.

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Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (1969/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (1969/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 27:12 minutes | 1,28 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Columbia

Bob continued to amaze and surprise critics as he created a country-rock classic with this 1969 LP. Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels guest as you hear the hits I Threw It All Away; Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You , and the smash Lay Lady Lay plus One More Night; Nashville Skyline Rag , and more!

John Wesley Harding suggested country with its textures and structures, but Nashville Skyline was a full-fledged country album, complete with steel guitars and brief, direct songs. It’s a warm, friendly album, particularly since Bob Dylan is singing in a previously unheard gentle croon — the sound of his voice is so different it may be disarming upon first listen, but it suits the songs. While there are a handful of lightweight numbers on the record, at its core are several excellent songs — “Lay Lady Lay,” “To Be Alone With You,” “I Threw It All Away,” “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” as well as a duet with Johnny Cash on “Girl From the North Country” — that have become country-rock standards. And there’s no discounting that Nashville Skyline, arriving in the spring of 1969, established country-rock as a vital force in pop music, as well as a commercially viable genre.

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Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015) [HDTracks 24-48]

Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:58 minutes | 503 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Sub Pop Records

Beach House is a dream pop duo from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2004. Singer Victoria Legrand’s vocals have often been compared to those of Nico. Some music outlets have also compared Legrand’s vocals to 1980s psychedelic rock vocalist Kendra Smith of the band Opal. Guitarist Alex Scally plays a Fender Stratocaster guitar in an E♭ Tuning. The group’s influences include This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, The Zombies, Brian Wilson, Françoise Hardy, Neil Young, Big Star, Tony, Caro and John and Chris Bell.

“Thank Your Lucky Stars is our sixth full length record. It was written after Depression Cherry from July 2014 – November 2014 and recorded during the same session as Depression Cherry. The songs came together very quickly and were driven by the lyrics and the narrative. In this way, the record feels very new for us, and a great departure from our last few records. Thematically, this record often feels political. It’s hard to put it into words, but something about the record made us want to release it without the normal “campaign.” We wanted it to simply enter the world and exist”. — Beach House

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Beach House – Depression Cherry (2015) [HDTracks 24-44,1]

Beach House – Depression Cherry (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 44:49 minutes | 523 MB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Sub Pop Records

Beach House is Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. They have been a band for over a decade living and working in Baltimore, MD. Depression Cherry is their 5th full-length record. This record follows the release of their self-titled album in 2006, Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010 andBloom in 2012. Depression Cherrywas recorded at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana from November ’14 through January ’15. This time period crossed the anniversaries of both John Lennon’s and Roy Orbison’s death.

In general, this record shows a return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role. With the growing success of Teen Dream and Bloom, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove them towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from their natural tendencies. Here, they continue to evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.

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Antal Dorati, New Philharmonia Orchestra, – Tchaikovsky: Complete Orchestral Suites (1966/2015) [Qobuz 24-96]

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – The Complete Orchestral Suites – New Philharmonia Orchestra, Antal Dorati (1966/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:23:35 minutes | 2,89 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ Mercury Records/Decca
Recorded: August 16–21, 1966, in Watford Town Hall, London

When this album was originally released in 1966, it marked the first time all four of Tchaikovsky suites for orchestra were collected on one package. Antal Doráti directs the New Philharmonia Orchestra on a very generous recording, running over two hours, boasting spectacular sound considering the age of the performances. In a review of Doráti’s works, ClassicsToday.com said this album is “now an audiophile collector’s item.”

 

„Newly remastered in fine sound, and the reissue album offers the finest ever recordings of Tchaikovsky’s four delicious orchestral suites. Of the major orchestral works, these pieces have been mostly dismissed and neglected–shamefully so, as they contain some very fine music. Once in a while someone trots out the finale of the Third Suite, or the Fourth (based on music by Mozart) gets a little exposure, but that’s about it. The reason is simple: none of these works is an emotional heavyweight–they really reflect nothing more than the composer’s desire to make some pretty music. For most listeners, that will be reason enough to want to hear them.“ –David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

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Aaron Neville – My True Story (2013) [Qobuz 24-192]

Aaron Neville – My True Story (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:38:23 minutes | 1,57 GB | Genre: R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ Blue Note Records

Aaron Neville is an American R&B singer and musician. In January 2013, paying tribute to the songs of his youth, Blue Note Records released Neville’s My True Story, a collection of 12 doo-wop tunes, produced by Don Was and Keith Richards, with backing by musicians such as Benmont Tench and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

Musicians on the album include Keith Richards, Greg Leisz (Beck, Sheryl Crow), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), George G. Receli (Bob Dylan) and Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones). Neville hand-selected each track on My True Story, which features tunes by Little Anthony and the Imperials (“Tears On My Pillow”), Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie”) and The Drifters (“Money Honey,” “Under The Boardwalk,” “This Magic Moment”).

 

Back in 1985, Aaron Neville offered fans a glimpse of his love of doo wop with the EP Orchid in the Storm. Over a quarter-century later, he returns to it on My True Story. Doo wop pre-dates rock & roll. Its reliance on the human voice in group harmony communicates not only melody but rhythm, and influenced the sounds of Motown, Stax, and early rock & roll. Even Frank Zappa claimed it as a prime influence. Co-produced by Keith Richards and Blue Note label boss Don Was, the dozen tunes here make prime use of Neville’s voice, placing his high, smooth, vulnerable tenor way up front; he is backed by vintage-era doo wop singers and an all-star band that includes Richards and Greg Leisz on guitars, Benmont Tench on keyboards, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer George R. Receli. Lenny Pickett helps out on horns and winds on a number of tracks as well. The production is clean, the musical backing used more as texture and color than as real support — Neville and his vocalists offer all the impetus needed to pull this off (indeed one wonders what this set might have sounded like a cappella). The tunes are all classics. Standouts include Lieber & Stoller’s “Ruby Baby,” a medley of Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman’s “This Magic Moment” and “True Love,” Hank Ballard’s “Work with Me Annie” (featuring a guest appearance from Art Neville on B-3), Sylvester Bradford’s and Al Lewis’ “Tears on My Pillow,” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Gypsy Woman.” The latter marries doo wop to early Chicago soul, and Neville celebrates this in his reading. “Be My Baby,” which will forever be associated with the Ronettes and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, is stripped back to the source music that inspired its authors, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Spector — even when adding a Pickett flute solo to the chart. Ultimately, My True Story is a smooth, mostly laid-back, and soulful recording by Neville. He provides a healthy — sometimes overly — reverential respect for the original material. Coupled with his vocals, these restrained yet imaginative arrangements offer some surprising twists and turns.

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Aaron Goldberg – The Now (2015) [HDTracks 24-88,2]

Aaron Goldberg – The Now (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 53:20 minutes | 936 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Sunnyside Records

Hailed by DownBeat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the-chase sense of narrative logic,” Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more.

On his new release The Now, Goldberg reunites with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, the virtuoso rhythm team going all the way back to his 1998 debut Turning Point. On their fifth outing together, the trio foreground a central truth about the art of playing jazz: that no two performances will be the same because the music is created, in Goldberg’s words, “in the dynamic plane of the present.”

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Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra – Haydn: Symphonies 92 & 93, 97-99 (2014) [2xSACD] SACD-R

Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra – Haydn: Symphonies 92 & 93, 97-99 (2014)
PS3 Rip | 2x SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 132:55 minutes | Scans included | 7,38 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo & 5.0 multichannel Surround sound | FLAC available from another post

Sir Colin Davis was long recognized as a pre-eminent Haydn interpreter. During his Indian summer with the orchestra he recorded both Die Schöpfung (The Creation) and Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons) for LSO Live. These symphonies presented here were recorded in 2011 during this same period, and make for revelatory listening.

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