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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Artist : Alanis Morissette
Album : Space Cakes (EP)
Source : NG
Year : 1995
Genre : Rock
Encoder : exact audio copy 0.96b
Codec : lame 3.91 --alt-preset standard
Quality : CBR, 224kbps, stereo
ID3-Tag : Yes, Version 2.3
01 (4:10 ) Head Over Feet (Acoustic)
02 (3:06 ) Right Through You (Acoustic)
03 (4:26 ) Forgiven (Acoustic)
04 (3:15 ) Perfect (Acoustic)
05 (4:00 ) Not The Doctor (Acoustic)
06 (4:02 ) You Learn (Acoustic)

Playing Time : 22:59
Total Size : 36.8 MB
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sugababes - Overloaded - The Hits [2006]

Availability: This item will be released on 13 November, 2006

01. Freak Like Me 03:16
02. Round Round 03:57
03. Red Dress 03:38
04. In The Middle 03:59
05. Stronger 04:02
06. Shape 04:13
07. Overload 04:37
08. Good To Be Gone 03:27
09. Caught In A Moment 04:26
10. Ugly 03:51
11. Easy 03:39
12. Too Lost In You 04:00
13. Run For Cover 03:49
14. Hole In The Head 03:40
15. Push The Button 03:38

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Squeeze - Excess Moderation [Double CD]

One of , if not, the most underappreciated band of all time. This is billed as a best of 2 CD collection however some of their biggest hits such as "Pulling mussels from a shell" and "Hourglass" are missing. Then again it is a worthy Squeze compilation.
Disc: 1
1. Take Me I'm Yours
2. Model
3. Revue
4. Christmas Day
5. Blood And Guts
6. Going Crazy
7. Knack
8. If I Didn't Love You
9. Separate Beds
10. I Think I'm Go Go
11. What The Butler Saw
12. Piccadilly
13. Trust
14. Tempted
15. Woman's World
16. Squabs On Forty Fab
17. Elephant Ride
18. Tongue Like A Knife
19. His House Her Home
20. When The Hangover Strikes
21. Apple Tree

Disc 2
22. Within These Walls Without You
23. On My Mind Tonight
24. Hope Fell Down
25. No Place Like Home
26. What Have They Done
27. Tough Love
28. Striking Matches
29. Peyton Place
30. Dr Jazz
31. Melody Motel
32. Slaughtered Gutted And Heartbroken
33. Maidstone
34. House Of Love
35. Truth
36. Letting Go
37. It's Over
38. Loving You Tonight
39. Cold Shoulder
40. Some Fantastic Place

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Crowded House - Farewell to the World [2006]

Availability: This title will be released on November 23, 2006.

Two CD set containing the final live performance by this New Zeland band fronted by Neil Finn (also of Split Enz and the Finn Brothers) finally released on the 10th anniversary of it's recording. In Novermber of 1996, Crowded House played their final gig in front of 120,000 fans in Sydney, Australia. Farewell To The World is the offically released recording of that bittersweet concert. All the Crowdies hits are here including 'Don't Dream It's Over', 'World Where You Live', 'Weather With You', 'Something So Strong', 'It's Only Natural' and many more. 24 songs total. EMI. 2006.

CD 1:
1. Mean to Me
2. World Where You Live
3. When You Come
4. Private Universe
5. Four Seasons In One Day
6. Fall At Your Feet
7. Whispers and Moans
8. Hole In the River
9. Better Be Home Soon
10. Pineapple Head
11. Distant Sun
12. Into Temptation
13. Everything Is Good For You

CD 2:
1. Locked Out
2. Something So Strong
3. Sister Madly
4. Italian Plastic
5. Weather With You
6. It's Only Natural
7. There Goes God
8. Fingers of Love
9. In My Command
10. Throw Your Arms Around Me
11. Don't Dream It's Over

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Omara Portuondo - Buena Vista Social Club Presents 2000

01 - Omara Portuondo - La Sitiera
02 - Omara Portuondo - He Perdido Contigo
03 - Omara Portuondo - Donde Estabas Tu
04 - Omara Portuondo - Mariposita De Primavera
05 - Omara Portuondo - Canta Lo Sentimental
06 - Omara Portuondo - Ella Y Yo
07 - Omara Portuondo - No Me Vayas A Enganar
08 - Omara Portuondo - No Me Llores Mas
09 - Omara Portuondo - Veinte Anos
10 - Omara Portuondo - El Hombre Que Yo Ame (The Man I Love)
11 - Omara Portuondo - Siempre En Mi Corazon
Editorial Reviews
While she came to global prominence as the female singer on the Buena Vista Social Club album and in the film, Omara Portuondo has a career that--like the other participants--stretches back many years. She puts her experience to good use on this record, sounding for all the world like a Cuban Billie Holiday, smoky and quietly tragic, with a history of lost love. The lush arrangements, which often sound transplanted straight from 1950s Havana, frame her voice exquisitely while guests such as Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, and Rubén González add their inimitable talents to the mix. Her reading of "The Man I Love" ("El Hombre Que Yo Ame") is also a microcosm of the disc--slightly jazzy, with a yearning vocal that's emotive without ever being overwrought. There's little doubt that Portuondo is a world-class singer, and this is the ideal showcase for her extraordinary talents. --Chris Nickson
She simply has the voice of an angel. Though it has aged, her voice is simply marvelous and breathes life. I hate to dance, but as soon as this album starts I begin doing what I like to call the "He's Definitely Not Latino" Meringue shuffle in my seat. With the accompaniment of such a great band, this album is pure gold. If your a fan of latin music, this whole series ("Buena Vista Social Club", "Cachaito" and "Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrahim Ferrer") is for you. Even if you know nothing about latin music, you will most likely thoroughly enjoy this worldly romp. It's a delight to the senses.

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Bing Crosby & Count Basie - Bing 'n' Basie 1972

01 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Gentle On My Mind
02 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Everything Is Beautiful
03 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Gonna Build A Mountain
04 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Sunrise, Sunset
05 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Hangin' Loose
06 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - All His Children
07 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Put You Hand In The Hand
08 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Snowbird
09 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Little Green Apples
10 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Sugar, Don't You Know
11 - Bing Crosby With Count Basie And His Orchestra - Have A Nice Day
Bing 'n' Basie (Daybreak) -- RECORDING DATES: Feb. 28-29, March 1, 1972. ACCOMPANIMENT: Count Basie Orchestra. TRACKS: Have a Nice Day, All His children, Sunrise Sunset, Little Green Apples, Gentle on My Mind, Snowbird, Everything is Beautiful, Gonna Build a Mountain, Sugar Don't You Know, Put Your Hand in the Hand, Hangin Loose. EVALUATION: When two giants combine their talents expectations rise. This is a fine album, but does not live up to the expectations. Two songs stand out: "Gonna Build a Mountain" and "Hangin' Loose." The latter song makes purchasing the album well worthwhile. "Hangin' Loose" was written by Johnny Mercer especially for Bing and the Basie Orchestra, and Crosby milks it for all it's worth. The album has been released on compact disc (EmArcy #824 705-2).

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Gov't Mule - Dose 1998

01 - Gov't Mule - Blind Man In The Dark
02 - Gov't Mule - Thorazine Shuffle
03 - Gov't Mule - Thelonius Beck
04 - Gov't Mule - Game Face
05 - Gov't Mule - Towering Fool
06 - Gov't Mule - Birth Of The Mule
07 - Gov't Mule - John The Revelator
08 - Gov't Mule - She Said, She Said
09 - Gov't Mule - Larger Than Life
10 - Gov't Mule - Raven Black Night
11 - Gov't Mule - I Shall Return
Editorial Reviews
After years of playing with the Allman Brothers Band, guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody left the ensemble to focus on Gov't Mule. On their third album, Gov't Mule broaden their direction and expand the sonic possibilities of a power trio. Echoing threesomes like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, Gov't Mule play modern blues-rock with exuberance and style. Haynes's proficiency on the guitar allows for exploration in a variety of musical idioms. He plays with fiery precision and his soulful voice is gruff and expressive. Besides original material, the band covers the country-blues classic "John the Revelator," written by Son House, and rework The Beatles' "She Said She Said." --Mitch Myers
What can I say about the almighty Mule? They are incredible and this is an extremely enjoyable album, possibly their finest studio record. Gov't Mule work as a trio because each member has a powerful command over his instrument, as is well demonstated on this and all of their other albums. Warren Haynes is an unbelievable guitarist and incredibly soulful singer, Allen Woody is a supremely talented bassist, and Matt Abts is a killer drummer. If you have not heard the Mule yet, I would recommend it as soon as possible. Dose is a good a place as any to start, although you might want to check out a live album if you prefer the longer, more jam oriented songs. Highlights from Dose for me include the rockin' Blind Man in the Dark, the infectious bass groove of Thorazine Shuffle, Game Face, and the softer moments, Towering Fool (with emotional guitar solo and perfectly placed bass notes) and I Shall Return. A highly recommended album.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ry Cooder & Vishwa Mohan Bhatt - Meeting By The River 1993

01 - Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt- A Meeting By The River
02 - Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt- Longing
03 - Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt- Ganges Delta Blues
04 - Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt- Isa Lei

Editorial Reviews
Ry Cooder has long had an interest in other people's music, from the blues and gospel of black America through classic jazz and the music of Cuba. Even by this standard, his meeting with Mohan Vishwa Bhatt is certainly a departure. He is neither a serious student of Indian music nor in any way a master of its intricacies. Yet on his improvised session (this album was recorded without rehearsal in one evening), he and Bhatt truly collided musically and created moments worthy of the world-music Grammy they received for it. Bhatt is an iconoclastic character himself. He plays a modified box he calls the mohan vina that is a hybrid of a classical Indian instrument and slide guitar. He is long trained in the arduous classical style, yet his work has always demanded a lot of freedom. His duets here with Cooder are completely unique, liberating both artists from the usual constraints and creating a new musical style that is unlikely to be repeated or imitated. --Louis Gibson

If you;re anyway involved with slide guitar playing, then get this one. cos it's one of the most outstanding slide-blues-fusion albums ever made. even if you have never heard indian music, it'll still grown on you, pretty soon. VM Bhatt is a master at his music & his instrument. And Ry Cooder is no less. i love both these guys' playing. But be warned that this is a VM Bhatt album featuring Ry cooder and not the otherway round. So apart from the fact that Ry's playing is always minimalistic, there's pretty little of Ry's sound on this album. But it still manages to keep me riveted for some reason. but his blues licks are so well timed and phrased, there's no words to describe what he does. and the chords he uses to accompany VM Bhatts passages, are so colorful. and for the real hardcore blues fans theres atleast one tune ' ganges delta blues' . man it's just awesome, with all the precussion and stuff. it amazing. i got more than i expected.

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Ry Cooder - The Slide Area 1982

01 - Ry Cooder- Ufo Has Landed In The Ghetto
02 - Ry Cooder- I Need A Woman
03 - Ry Cooder- Gypsy Woman
04 - Ry Cooder- Blue Suede Shoes
05 - Ry Cooder- Mama, Don't Treat Your Daughter Mean
06 - Ry Cooder- I'm Drinking Again
07 - Ry Cooder- Which Came First
08 - Ry Cooder- That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me
Of all the Ry Cooder cd's I have, this is the one I keep going back to, why?, well it really rocks!, it lifts my spirits when I'm in a blue funk, get's me on my feet! great riffs by Ry, no flash, just tasteful licks, he puts them in the right spots. Some of the cleverest lyric's you will hear, and the background vocals fit like a famous California glove, and the way Ry sings, well he could of had a second career, there are far worse voices out there that made it. get it and enjoy!

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Ry Cooder - Trespass Soundtrack 1992

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Ry Cooder - The Long Riders Soundtrack 1980

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Ry Cooder - Showtime 1977

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Ry Cooder - Ry Cooder 1970

01 - Ry Cooder- Alimony 02 - Ry Cooder- France Chance 03 - Ry Cooder- One Meat Ball 04 - Ry Cooder- Do Re Mi 05 - Ry Cooder- My Old Kentucky Home (Turpentine & Dandelion Wine) 06 - Ry Cooder- How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live 07 - Ry Cooder- Available Space 08 - Ry Cooder- Pigmeat 09 - Ry Cooder- Police Dog Blues 10 - Ry Cooder- Goin' To Brownsville 11 - Ry Cooder- Dark Is The Night When I saw Ry Cooder live in the early seventies, he was wearing baggy blue silk pants, pink satin pumps, a bandana, and a Hawaiian shirt. Eclectic garb? You bet. But somehow it all went together, a perfect sartorial analogue to his musical eclectism. As far as the best debut ever, it's gotta be either this or Little Feet's. Nobody was doing this roots stuff back then, and nobody's ever done it better. The opening bars of "Alimony" are perfect. "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" and "Available Space" are transcendent. One marvels at the clarity of musical vision from one so young. Everything here's absolutely top drawer: overall concept, arrangements, production values, musicianship. It all continues with Into the Purple Valley (probably Cooder's best) and Boomer's Story, but to my ears he slips up with Boarderline. Wait a minute. As great as Into the Purple Valley is, Paradise and Lunch gets the nod as his best ever, because it's his most eclectic and has soooo many killer tunes on it. Chicken Skin Music is also great (if you can get by the obnoxious cover art, thankfully much smaller in the CD format)--check out especially "Stand by Me." "Mexican Divorce" from Paradise and Lunch is my all-time favorite Cooder cut; it always puts me in mind of my all-time favorite Byrds song, "Tulsa County Blue" (from their somewhat neglected masterpiece, Ballad of Easy Rider). Of course, Buena Vista Social Club is also essential Cooder, as is Meeting by the River, with Indian maestro Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and Talking Timbuktu, with Malian bluesman Ali Farka Toure. Also worth checking out: Fascinoma (with the unlikely but brilliant combination of Jacky Terrasson and John Hassell) and Hollow Bamboo. I'm not wild about all of his film music, but all in all, he's had quite a remarkable career. And I guess that's why Cooder gets the nod over Little Feet for the best ever debut--his subsequent career outshines Little Feet's, although they went on to produce some great stuff.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Ry Cooder - Johnny Handsome Soundtrack 1989

01 - Ry Cooder- Main Theme
02 - Ry Cooder- I Can't Walk This Timethe Prestige
03 - Ry Cooder- Angola
04 - Ry Cooder- Clip Joint Rhumba
05 - Ry Cooder- Sad Story
06 - Ry Cooder- Fountain Walk
07 - Ry Cooder- Cajun Metal
08 - Ry Cooder- First Week At Work
09 - Ry Cooder- Greasy Oysters
10 - Ry Cooder- Smells Like Money
11 - Ry Cooder- Sunny's Tune
12 - Ry Cooder- I Like Your Eyes
13 - Ry Cooder- Adios Donna
14 - Ry Cooder- Cruising With Rafe
15 - Ry Cooder- How's My Face
16 - Ry Cooder- End Theme
I was always on the lookout for a definitive Ry Cooder Album - one that captures the essence of his style. This record is just that. Great production, evocative, it takes you from the everglades to downtown New Orleans whilst passing through Texas on the way. A beautiful journey that has to be experienced in a particular mood. It is, in short, the perfect complement to Bop till you drop. Some of the songs are a little indulgent but so is a bottle of fine red wine. A must for anyone into slide guitar and the possibilities.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sting - Songs from the Labyrinth

This title will be released on October 10, 2006.

In choosing to cover the music of John Dowland (1563-1626), who is known as the "melancholy madrigalist" from his output of cheerful ditties like "Flow My Tears," Police bandleader Sting has entered into a whole new realm of austere eeriness. Originally inspired by the gift of a lute, the rock superstar and activist sings the songs, deliciously sweet and tender or spirited by turn, accompanying himself, with Edin Karamazov sitting on lute and archlute. For listeners accustomed to hearing material of this period interpreted by rigorously trained early music stylists, especially countertenors and the like, Sting's sometimes tight-jawed, chest-heavy vocals may seem amateurish. It's undeniable that in four-part harmonies, the singer, tightly overdubbed, comes across like a combination of the Swingle Singers and Queen (meaning Freddy Mercury and crew, NOT the first Elizabeth). But it's important to remember that music of this period was routinely heard as a casual diversion in private homes, even more often than at Court. It was considered a crucial social skill to be able to join in with an adequate degree of skill, but not everyone was able to negotiate the perilous melodic twists and turns typical of the era's music. With this in mind, the overall effect is of a candle-lit, postprandial entertainment in the home of an English gentleman. Muttered readings from Dowland's letters and brief snippets of sampled birdsong aside, it is a courageous effort, displaying heartfelt admiration for the composer and a considerable degree of earnest charm. --Christina Roden

StingÂ’s Songs From The Labyrinth is an album of 17th century music composed by John Dowland and performed on the lute, an ancient acoustic guitar. After being given a lute nearly two years ago as a gift, Sting became fascinated and immersed himself with the instrument and the history of lute music. Reminded of his almost 25 year long enthrallment with the works of John Dowland, the Elizabethan composer who wrote songs for the lute, Sting has recorded a new album of vocal and lute music. All songs were composed by Dowland in the 17th century, but have been given new life in these fresh new recordings by Sting. Sting not only sings all the songs (accompanied by leading lutenist Edin Karamasov, who appears on two Andreas Scholl albums), but also plays lute on two instrumental duets with Edin and reads short extracts from a fascinating autobiographical letter by Dowland. Sting has also written a brilliant account of the album's genesis, along with notes on the individual tracks, which serves as the CD booklet.

1. Walsingham
2. Can she excuse my wrongs?
3. Ryght honorable: as I have bin most bounde unto your honor …
4. Flow my tears
5. Have you seen the bright lily grow
6. Then in time passing on Mr. Johnson died…
7. The Most High and Mighty Christianus the Fourth, King of Denmark
8. The lowest trees have tops
9. And accordinge as I desired ther cam a letter…
10. Fine knacks for ladies
11. From thenc I went to the Landgrave of Hessen…
12. Fantasy
13. Come, heavy sleep
14. Forlorn Hope Fancy
15. And from thence I had great desire to see Italy…
16. Come again
17. Wilt thou unkind thus reave me
18. After my departure I caled to mynde our conference…
19. Weep you no more, sad fountains
20. My Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home
21. Clear or cloudy
22. Men say that the Kinge of Spain is making gret preparation…
23. In darkness let me dwell

Ry Cooder - Jazz 1978

01 - Ry Cooder- Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
02 - Ry Cooder- Face To Face That I Shall Meet Him
03 - Ry Cooder- The Pearlstia Juana
04 - Ry Cooder- The Dream
05 - Ry Cooder- Happy Meeting In Glory
06 - Ry Cooder- In A Mist
07 - Ry Cooder- Flashes
08 - Ry Cooder- Davenport Blues
09 - Ry Cooder- Shine
10 - Ry Cooder- Nobody
11 - Ry Cooder- We Shall Be Happy

Beautiful timepieces from the era of Bix Beiderbecke and Jelly Roll Morton. If this were Ry Cooder's only recording he would be legendary, but fortunately for us, Ry spends his life discovering and sharing timeless musical treasures. One of Ry's most accessable excursions into realms forgotten or obscure, Jazz' highlights are, 'Big Bad Bill', 'The Pearls/Tia Juana', 'The Dream' with Earl 'Fatha' Hines on piano, 'Flashes', 'Shine', and 'Nobody', not to slight the other fine tracks here. A thoroughly enjoyable album of Jazz Americana with a cast of peerless players.

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Ry Cooder - Get Rhythm 1987

01 - Ry Cooder- Get Rhythem
02 - Ry Cooder- Low - Commotion
03 - Ry Cooder- Going Back To Okinawa
04 - Ry Cooder- 13 Question Method
05 - Ry Cooder- Women Will Rule The World
06 - Ry Cooder- All Shook Up
07 - Ry Cooder- I Can Tell By The Way You Smell
08 - Ry Cooder- Across The Borderline
09 - Ry Cooder- Let's Have A Ball
This album provides an eclectic mix of tunes that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the brilliance of Ry Cooder and his accompanying musicians. As a huge fan of Cooder, I listen to this more than anything else he has done. To these ears, not one filler track here. Great fun.
The title song, Get Rhythm, written by Johnny Cash, is a hooky melody backing a rollicking dialogue between the narrator and a shoe shine boy. Synergistic mix of slide guitar and accordion.
Low--Commotion is a funky, upbeat instrumental, with a great mix of electric, acoustic, bass and slide guitar.
Okinawa, written by Cooder, seems a mix of Hawaiian music and rock and roll in a World War II veteran's ode to his bygone days on an island in the China Sea, site of a famous battle in that war. Cooder's guitar and Flaco Jimenez's accordion trade off lines of the melody.
On 13 Question Method, an obscure romance "how to" written by Chuck Berry, Ry does his best singing/guitar playing imitation of the master in a worthy tribute.
In Women Will Rule the World, Cooder as Mexican lounge singer gives a tongue-in-cheek warning to men that they will one day be subservient to the fairer sex. Jimenez's accordion shines here.
All Shook Up takes Elvis's classic and gives it a complete overhaul, turning up a totally different song with heavy emphasis on the rhythm section.
I Can Tell By the Way You Smell praises, in rhythm and blues, the clues to life's mysteries provided by the olfactory senses. Cooder has a sense of humor.
Across the Borderline is the masterpiece here. A mostly acoustic ballad from the point of view of a Mexican immigrant who finds that El Norte is not the golden land of opportunity it seemed from the other side. Cooder shares the poignant lead vocal with actor Harry Dean Stanton.
Let's Have a Ball is a sexually explicit pronouncement of lust that features Cooder's mastery on electric guitar. A wild romp, but not for the genteel.
Start to finish, this one shows that no matter the style of song, Ry Cooder's got rhythm. I never tire of it.

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Ry Cooder - Chavez Ravine 2005

01 - Ry Cooder- Poor Man's Shangri-La
02 - Ry Cooder- Onda Callejera
03 - Ry Cooder- Don't Call Me Red
04 - Ry Cooder- Corrido De Box Eo
05 - Ry Cooder- Muy Fifi
06 - Ry Cooder- Los Chucos Suaves
07 - Ry Cooder- Chinito Chinito
08 - Ry Cooder- 3 Cool Cats
09 - Ry Cooder- El U.F.O. Cayo
10 - Ry Cooder- It's Just Work For Me
11 - Ry Cooder- In My Town
12 - Ry Cooder- Ejercito Militar
13 - Ry Cooder- Barrio Viejo
14 - Ry Cooder- 3Rd Base, Doger Stadium
15 - Ry Cooder- Soy Luz Y Sombra

Editorial Reviews
Ry Cooder might have been tempted to bill this as the Chavez Ravine Social Club. After generating such popular and critical interest in Cuban music of decades past with the Buena Vista Social Club, Cooder applied a similar approach closer to home, extending his fascination with the Mexican-American culture that flourished in 1940s and '50s Los Angeles. The result is an CD that sounds like it's aspiring to be something far more ambitious: a DVD, a theatrical production, even a time machine. Cooder and a cast of seminal Chicano artists present a song cycle that conjures an era of UFOs, the Red Scare, and political machinations that leveled the Chavez Ravine barrio to lure the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles. In his celebration of a vibrant community that doesn't know it's on the verge of displacement, Cooder enlists Thee Midnighters vocalist Little Willie G. (whose songwriting collaboration with Los Lobos's David Hidalgo on "Onda Callejara" highlights the album). and Pachuco patriarchs Don Tosti and Lalo Guerrero, with the latter reviving his dancefloor favorite "Los Chucos Suaves." The accordion of Flaco Jimenez adds conjunto flavor to "Barrio Viejo." Throughout the album, Cooder plays a typically tasteful, understatedly virtuosic guitar, assumes a variety of vocal roles--including a cool Chet Baker homage in duet with pianist Jacky Terrason on "In My Town"--and provides the provocative social context. --Don McLeese

Ry Cooder - Chicken Skin Music 1976

01 - Ry Cooder- The Bourgeois Blues
02 - Ry Cooder- I Got Mine
03 - Ry Cooder- Always Lift Him Upkanaka Wai Wai
04 - Ry Cooder- He'll Have To Go
05 - Ry Cooder- Smack Dab In The Middle
06 - Ry Cooder- Stand By Me
07 - Ry Cooder- Yellow Roses
08 - Ry Cooder- Chloe
09 - Ry Cooder- Goodnight Irene
For starters, I don't know how much weight one can put into the opinion of someone who listens to music for the sake of `being hip'. I'm quite sure that Mr. Cooder is more interested in the actual quality of the music - one need look no further than his fall out with the Stones for evidence of this.
That said, CHICKEN SKIN MUSIC is one of the better albums that you'll come across, and I prefer it to the also great PARADISE AND LUNCH. It shouldn't be a surprise that Cooder handles the music well - the manner in which he handles it, however, is always a surprise. As covered, he, at various points throughout the album, shares the spotlight with the great Norteno accordion player Flaco Jiminez as well as the great Hawaiian guitarists Gabby Pahinui and Atta Issacs, but some of the more unheralded contributors make the biggest differences - namely the background vocalists Bobby King, Terry Evans, James Adams, Cliff Givens, and Herman Johnson. Ry is a great performer, but his vocal range is limited. The inclusion of these more able [for lack of a better word] singers really solidify songs like `Stand By Me,' and the harmonization on `Smack Dab In The Middle' is nothing short of brilliant.
While those who know of Cooder tend to give him the praise he deserves for his musical sensibility, I feel that his poetic insight is greatly overlooked. I'm aware that it seems odd to be praising his poetic vision on an album where he has not written a single song, but the songs that he selects as well as his treatment of the lyrics speaks volumes. Again, observe `Stand By Me.' He has taken one of the greatest love songs to ever be penned and turned it into a song, and though nothing can replace Ben E. King's version of the song, it makes more sense as a psalm, and it makes it actually worthwhile - John Lennon just embarrassed himself on his go at it.
All this attention to `Stand By Me,' and I don't even think that it's the best song on the album. `I Got Mine' is a wonderful tale, and I'm convinced that it is impossible to sit still through it. The jovial, hilarious at times, outlook on such a turbulent life is brilliant - not surprising that it originated as a minstrel, pop number. And if you somehow are able to sit still through `I Got Mine,' `Smack Dab In The Middle' will surely do you in. As I've already mentioned, the harmony on the chorus is just outstanding. `Always Lift Him Up' might be the most touching song on the album, and Cooder, again, shows us his brilliance with the altered backing arrangement - taken from an old Hawaiian gospel song. To be fair, every song is great. As I've said, this is one of the best albums that you'll come across, but my favorite would have to be the Leadbelly classic `Goodnight Irene.' Give credit where credit is do, Leadbelly wrote one of the most moving songs . . . ever. And I won't even say that Cooder's version is better than his, but Cooder's version is perfect - executed as well as it could be, and it doesn't take the easy way out. It would be easy for Cooder to say, `here is a great song from Leadbelly. I'll give it to you the way that he gave it to me.' Cooder adds his own spirit to the song [like he does on ever song] and in doing so makes the remake worthwhile.
Not only is Cooder a great introduction to roots music [he most certainly is that - with the amount of different roots musicians if nothing else], he is one of the finest musicians of the 1900s. I think that CHICKEN SKIN MUSIC sees him at his zenith, but I'd encourage you to get your hands on all the Cooder that you can.

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Ry Cooder - Borderline 1980- New Link in comments

01 - Ry Cooder - 634-5789
02 - Ry Cooder - Speedo
03 - Ry Cooder - Why Don't You Try Me
04 - Ry Cooder - Down In The Boondocks
05 - Ry Cooder - Johnny Porter
06 - Ry Cooder - The Way We Make A Broken Heart
07 - Ry Cooder - Crazy 'bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know)
08 - Ry Cooder - The Girls From Texas
09 - Ry Cooder - Borderline
10 - Ry Cooder - Nerver Make Your Move Too Soon
Personnel: Ry Cooder (vocals, guitar, vibes); Bobby King, Willie Green Jr. (vocals); John Hiatt (vocals, guitar); William D. Smith (piano, organ, vocals); Jesse Harms (synthesizer); Reggie McBride, Tim Drummond (bass); Jim Keltner (drums); George "Baboo" Pierre (percussion). Recorded at Warner Bros. Recording Studio, Burbank, California.
With 1980's Borderline, Ry Cooder followed the foray into R&B and soul of his previous effort, Bop Till You Drop, but this time out with a little shot of the Southwest thrown in. At the same time, he also continues the primarily electric sound of that record. As far as his selection of material goes, Borderline may sometimes lack the surprising, esoteric charm of his earlier recordings, but there are still some terrific finds, including the Tex-Mex-flavored "The Girls from Texas," which may be the album's finest moment. Other highlights include one of John Hiatt's best, the written-to-order "The Way We Make a Broken Heart," as well as Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Crazy 'Bout an Automobile," which Cooder had been performing live for a number of years, and the soulful Maurice & Mac treasure "Why Don't You Try Me." And while it's moments like these that help make Cooder's records special, he also takes on some better-known '50s and '60s offerings with moderate success. His recording of Wilson Pickett's 1966 hit "634-5789" isn't going to make anyone forget the original, but he's able to pull it off as a rocker, while "Speedo" and "Down in the Boondocks" are respectable covers. Borderline may not have the singular personality of his best '70s work, but it's a solid outing nonetheless. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide

New Link in comments !

Ry Cooder - Bop Till You Drop 1979 - New Link in comments

01 - Ry Cooder- Little Sister.mp3
02 - Ry Cooder- Go Home, Girl.mp3
03 - Ry Cooder- The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor).mp3
04 - Ry Cooder- I Think It's Going To Work Out Fine.mp3
05 - Ry Cooder- Down In Hollywood.mp3
06 - Ry Cooder- Look At Granny Run Run.mp3
07 - Ry Cooder- Trouble, You Can't Fool Me.mp3
08 - Ry Cooder- Don't Mess Up A Good Thing.mp3
09 - Ry Cooder- I Can't Win.mp3

Link in comments !!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Very Best Of Toto-1998-VBR

Disc 1

01. Rosanna
02. Endless
03. Make Belive
04. Rock Maker
05. Melanie
06. White Sister
07. Mind Fields
08. Stop Loving You
09. Straight For The Heart
10. The Turning Point
11. Pamela
12. Theotherend Of Time
13. Girl Goodbye
14. Change Of Heart

Disc 2

01. Hold The Line
02. St. George And The Dragon
03. Waiting For Your Love
04. Without Your Love
05. Only You
06. You Are The Flower
07. Turn Back
08. Holy Anna
09. Mama
10. Manuelarun
11. Mushanga
12. Goin Home
13. Allus Boys
14. I'll Supply The Love

Disc 3

01. I Wont Hold You Back
02. 99
03. A Secret Love
04. Takin It Back
05. Georgy Porgy
06. I Will Remember
07. Hydra
08. Stranger In Town
09. How Does It Feel
10. We Made It
11. Black Eye
12. Till The End
13. Take My Hand

Find the link and pass in the comments section.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau - Metheny / Mehldau

This is a dream pairing: Pat Metheny, the Baby Boomer guitar god whose musical palette embraces everything from Ornette Coleman to contemporary jazz, teams with pianist Brad Mehldau, the brooding Gen X prince of the piano on the verge of becoming himself. After admiring each other for years, they're now on the same label, and this dynamic duel extends their mutual admiration into a very personal and simpatico release that recalls the intimacy of that 1960s Jim Hall/Bill Evans masterpiece, Undercurrent. Save for Mehldau's bandmates drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier forming a quartet on the bop-mazed "Ring of Life" and the Afro-Caribbean cadences of "Say the Brother's Name," it's two for the road on the rest of the recording. When you hear selections like "Unrequited," "Ahmid-6," and "Make Peace," you know that this CD is only the start of something big from these two artists. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Product Description
For Brad Mehldau, this collaboration started at that "life-changing moment" when, as a 13-year-old, a friend played him "Are You Going With Me" from the Pat Methany Group's 1982 live double-album, Travels. Years later, Pat Methany heard "Chill" from saxophonist Joshua Redman's 1994 album Moodswing that featured Brad Mehldau on piano. Since, the two artists have forged an artistic partnership based on shared inspiration, not just mutual admiration. This album features music by both Methany and Mehldau, and was recorded at Right Track Studio (NYC) in December of 2005.

1. Unrequited
2. Ahmid-6
3. Summer Day
4. Ring Of Life
5. Legend
6. Find Me In Your Dreams
7. Say The Brother's Name
8. Bachelors III
9. Annie's Bittersweet Cake
10. Make Peace

Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man [1988]

Bitrate: CBR 320 kb/s
Genre: Rock
Year: 1988
Covers: YES

Artist: One of the most fascinating and enigmatic — if not the most successful — singer/songwriters of the late '60s, Leonard Cohen has retained an audience across four decades of music-making interrupted by various digressions into personal and creative exploration, all of which have only added to the mystique surrounding him. Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon), he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century, which is all the more remarkable an achievement for someone who didn't even aspire to a musical career until he was in his thirties. Cohen was born in 1934, a year before Elvis Presley or Ronnie Hawkins, and his background — personal, social, and intellectual — couldn't have been more different from those of any rock stars of any generation; nor can he be easily compared even with any members of the generation of folksingers who came of age in the 1960s. Though he knew some country music and played it a bit as a boy, he didn't start performing on even a semi-regular basis, much less recording, until after he had already written several books — and as an established novelist and poet, his literary accomplishments far exceed those of Bob Dylan or most anyone else who one cares to mention in music, at least this side of operatic librettists such as Hugo Von Hoffmanstahl or Stefan Zweig, figures from another musical and cultural world.He was born Leonard Norman Cohen into a middle-class Jewish family in the Montreal suburb of Westmount. His father, a clothing merchant (who also held a degree in engineering), died in 1943, when Cohen was nine years old. It was his mother who encouraged Cohen as a writer, especially of poetry, during his childhood. This fit in with the progressive intellectual environment in which he was raised, which allowed him free inquiry into a vast range of pursuits. His relationship to music was more tentative — he took up the guitar at age 13, initially as a way to impress a girl, but was good enough to play country & western songs at local cafes, and he subsequently formed a group called the Buckskin Boys. At 17, he enrolled in McGill University as an English major — by this time, he was writing poetry in earnest and became part of the university's tiny underground "bohemian" community. Cohen only earned average grades, but was a good enough writer to earn the McNaughton Prize in creative writing by the time he graduated in 1955 — a year later, the ink barely dry on his degree, he published his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), which got great reviews but didn't sell especially well.

He was already beyond the age that rock & roll was aimed at — Bob Dylan, by contrast, was still Robert Zimmerman, still in his teens, and young enough to become a devotee of Buddy Holly when the latter emerged. In 1961, Cohen published his second book of poetry, The Spice Box of Earth, which became an international success critically and commercially, and established Cohen as a major new literary figure. Meanwhile, he tried to join the family business and spent some time at Columbia University in New York, writing all the time. Between the modest royalties from sales of his second book, literary grants from the Canadian government, and a family legacy, he was able to live comfortably and travel around the world, partake of much of what it had to offer — including some use of LSD when it was still legal — and ultimately settling for an extended period in Greece, on the isle of Hydra in the Aegean Sea. He continued to publish, issuing a pair of novels, The Favorite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966), with a pair of poetry collections, Flowers for Hitler (1964) and Parasites of Heaven (1966) around them. The Favorite Game was a very personal work about his early life in Montreal, but it was Beautiful Losers that proved another breakthrough, earning the kind of reviews that authors dare not even hope for — Cohen found himself compared to James Joyce in the pages of The Boston Globe, and across four decades the book has enjoyed sales totaling well into six figures. It was around this time that he also started writing music again, songs being a natural extension of his poetry. His relative isolation on Hydra, coupled with his highly mobile lifestyle when he left the island, his own natural iconoclastic nature, and the fact that he'd avoided being overwhelmed (or even touched too seriously) by the currents running through popular music since the 1940s, combined to give Cohen a unique voice as a composer. Though he did settle in Nashville for a short time in the mid-'60s, he didn't write quite like anyone else in music, in the country music mecca or anywhere else. This might have been an impediment but for the intervention of Judy Collins, a folksinger who had just moved to the front rank of that field, and who had a voice just special enough to move her beyond the relatively emaciated ranks of remaining popular folk performers after Dylan shifted to electric music — she was still getting heard, and not just by the purists left behind in Dylan's wake. She added Cohen's "Suzanne" to her repertory and put it onto her album In My Life, a record that was controversial enough in folk circles — because of her cover of the Beatles song that gave the LP its title — that it pulled in a lot of listeners and got a wide airing. "Suzanne" received a considerable amount of radio airplay from the LP, and Cohen was also represented on the album by "Dress Rehearsal Rag." It was Collins who persuaded Cohen to return to performing for the first time since his teens. He made his debut during the summer of 1967 at the Newport Folk Festival, followed by a pair of sold-out concerts in New York City and an appearance singing his songs and reciting his poems on the CBS network television show Camera Three, in a show entitled Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen. It was around the same time that actor/singer Noel Harrison brought "Suzanne" onto the pop charts with a recording of his own. One of those who saw Cohen perform at Newport was John Hammond, Sr., the legendary producer whose career went back to the 1930s and the likes of Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie, and extended up through Bob Dylan and, ultimately, to Bruce Springsteen. Hammond got Cohen signed to Columbia Records and he created The Songs of Leonard Cohen, which was released just before Christmas of 1967. Producer John Simon was able to find a restrained yet appealing approach to recording Cohen's voice, which might have been described as a appealingly sensitive near-monotone; yet that voice was perfectly suited to the material at hand, all of which, written in a very personal language, seemed drenched in downbeat images and a spirit of discovery as a path to unsettling revelation.

Despite its spare production and melancholy subject matter — or, very possibly because of it — the album was an immediate hit by the standards of the folk music world and the budding singer/songwriter community. In an era in which millions of listeners hung on the next albums of Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel — whose own latest album had ended with a minor-key rendition of "Silent Night" set against a radio news account of the death of Lenny Bruce — Cohen's music quickly found a small but dedicated following. College students by the thousands bought it; in its second year of release, the record sold over 100,000 copies. The Songs of Leonard Cohen was as close as Cohen ever got to mass audience success.

Amid all of this sudden musical activity, he hardly neglected his other writing — in 1968, Cohen released a new volume, Selected Poems: 1956-1968, which included both old and newly published work, and earned him the Governor-General's Award, Canada's highest literary honor, which he proceeded to decline to accept. By this time, he was actually almost more a part of the rock scene, residing for a time in New York's Chelsea Hotel, where his neighbors included Janis Joplin and other performing luminaries, some of whom influenced his songs very directly.His next album, Songs from a Room (1969), was characterized by an even greater spirit of melancholy — even the relatively spirited "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" was steeped in such depressing sensibilities, and the one song not written by Cohen, "The Partisan," was a grim narrative about the reasons for and consequences of resistance to tyranny that included lines like "She died without a whisper" and included images of wind blowing past graves. Joan Baez subsequently recorded the song, and in her hands it was a bit more upbeat and inspiring to the listener; Cohen's rendition made it much more difficult to get past the costs presented by the singer's persona. On the other hand, "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy," although as downbeat as anything else here, did present Cohen in his most expressive and commercial voice, a nasal but affecting and finely nuanced performance.

Still, in all, Songs from a Room was less well received commercially and critically — Bob Johnston's restrained, almost minimalist production made it less overtly appealing than the subtly commercial trappings of his debut, though the album did have a pair of tracks, "Bird on the Wire" and "The Story of Isaac," that became standards rivaling "Suzanne" — "The Story of Isaac," a musical parable woven around biblical imagery about Vietnam (which is also relevant to the Iraq War), was one of the most savage and piercing songs to come out of the antiwar movement, and showed a level of sophistication in its music and lyrics that put it in a whole separate realm of composition; it received an even better airing on the Live Songs album, in a performance recorded in Berlin during 1972. Cohen may not have been a widely popular performer or recording artist, but his unique voice and sound, and the power of his writing and its influence, helped give him entrée to rock's front-ranked performers, an odd status for the now 35-year-old author/composer. He appeared at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival in England, a post-Woodstock gathering of stars and superstars, including late appearances by such soon-to-die-or-disband legends as Jimi Hendrix and the Doors; looking nearly as awkward as his fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell, Cohen strummed his acoustic guitar backed by a pair of female singers in front of an audience of 600,000 ("It's a large nation, but still weak"), comprised in equal portions of fans, freaks, and belligerent gatecrashers, but the mere fact that he was there — sandwiched somewhere between Miles Davis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer — was a clear statement of the status (if not the popular success) he'd achieved. One portion of his set, "Tonight Will Be Fine," was released on a subsequent live album, while his performance of "Suzanne" was one of the highlights of Murray Lerner's long-delayed, 1996-issued documentary Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival.

Already, he had carved out a unique place for himself in music, as much author as performer and recording artist, letting his songs develop and evolve across years — his distinctly noncommercial voice became part of his appeal to the audience he found, giving him a unique corner of the music audience, made of listeners descended from the same people who had embraced Bob Dylan's early work before he'd become a mass-media phenomenon in 1964. In a sense, Cohen embodied a phenomenon vaguely similar to what Dylan enjoyed before his early-'70s tour with the Band — people bought his albums by the tens and, occasionally, hundreds of thousands, but seemed to hear him in uniquely personal terms. He earned his audience seemingly one listener at a time, by word of mouth more than by the radio which, in any case (especially on the AM dial), was mostly friendly to covers of Cohen's songs by other artists.Cohen's third album, Songs of Love and Hate (1971), was his most powerful body of work to date, brimming with piercing lyrics and music as poignantly affecting as it was minimalist in its approach — arranger Paul Buckmaster's work on strings was peculiarly muted, and the children's chorus that showed up on "Last Year's Man" was spare in its presence; balancing them was Cohen's most effective vocalizing to date, brilliantly expressive around such acclaimed songs as "Joan of Arc," "Dress Rehearsal Rag" (which had been recorded by Judy Collins five years before), and "Famous Blue Raincoat." The bleakness of the tone and subject matter ensured that he would never become a "pop" performer; even the beat-driven "Diamonds in the Mine," with its catchy children's chorus accompaniment and all, and with a twangy electric guitar accompaniment to boot, was as dark and venomous-toned a song as Columbia Records put out in 1971. And the most compelling moments — among an embarrassment of riches — came on lyrics like "Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc/As she came riding through the dark/No Moon to keep her armor bright/No man to get her through this night...."; indeed, hearing Cohen's lyrics 25 years on, one could almost find a burlesque of Cohen's music in the songs of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe Buffay on Friends — who, even money bet probably grew up on Songs of Love and Hate in her fictional bio — and lyrics like "They found their bodies the third day...."

Teenagers of the late '60s (or any era that followed) listening devotedly to Leonard Cohen might have worried their parents, but also could well have been the smartest or most sensitive kids in their class and the most well-balanced emotionally — if they weren't depressed — but also effectively well on their way out of being teenagers, and probably too advanced for their peers and maybe most of their teachers (except maybe the ones listening to Cohen). Songs of Love and Hate, coupled with the earlier hit versions of "Suzanne," etc., earned Cohen a large international cult following. He also found himself in demand in the world of commercial filmmaking, as director Robert Altman used his music in his 1971 feature film McCabe and Mrs. Miller, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, a revisionist period film set at the turn of the 19th century that was savaged by the critics (and, by some accounts, sabotaged by its own studio) but went on to become one of the director's best-loved movies. The following year, he also published a new poetry collection, The Energy of Slaves.As was his won't, Cohen spent years between albums, and in 1973 he seemed to take stock of himself as a performer by issuing Leonard Cohen: Live Songs. Not a conventional live album, it was a compendium of performances from various venues across several years and focused on highlights of his output from 1969 onward. It showcased his writing as much as his performing, but also gave a good account of his appeal to his most serious fans — those still uncertain of where they stood in relation to his music who could get past the epic-length "Please Don't Pass Me By" knew for certain they were ready to "join" the inner circle of his legion of devotees after that, while others who only appreciated "Bird on the Wire" or "The Story of Isaac" could stay comfortably on an outer ring.

Meanwhile, in 1973, his music became the basis for a theatrical production called Sisters of Mercy, conceived by Gene Lesser and loosely based on Cohen's life, or at least a fantasy version of his life. A three-year lag ensued between Songs of Love and Hate and Cohen's next album, and most critics and fans just assumed he'd hit a dry spell with the live album covering the gap. He was busy concertizing, however, in the United States and Europe during 1971 and 1972, and extending his appearances into Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was during this period that he also began working with pianist and arranger John Lissauer, whom he engaged as producer of his next album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974). That album seemed to justify his fans' continued faith in his work, presenting Cohen in a more lavish musical environment. He proved capable of holding his own in a pop environment, even if the songs were mostly still depressing and bleak.

The following year, Columbia Records released The Best of Leonard Cohen, featuring a dozen of his best-known songs — principally hits in the hands of other performers — from his previous four LPs (though it left out "Dress Rehearsal Rag"). It was also during the mid-'70s that Cohen first crossed paths professionally with Jennifer Warnes, appearing on the same bill with the singer at numerous shows, which would lead to a series of key collaborations in the ensuing decade. By this time, he was a somewhat less mysterious persona, having toured extensively and gotten considerable exposure — among many other attributes, Cohen became known for his uncanny attractiveness to women, which seemed to go hand in glove with the romantic subjects of most of his songs.In 1977, Cohen reappeared with the ironically titled Death of a Ladies' Man, the most controversial album of his career, produced by Phil Spector. The notion of pairing Spector — known variously as a Svengali-like presence to his female singers and artists and the most unrepentant (and often justified) over-producer in the field of pop music — with Cohen must have seemed like a good one to someone at some point, but apparently Cohen himself had misgivings about many of the resulting tracks that Spector never addressed, having mixed the record completely on his own. The resulting LP suffered from the worst attributes of Cohen's and Spector's work, overly dense and self-consciously imposing in its sound, and virtually bathing the listener in Cohen's depressive persona, but showing his limited vocal abilities to disadvantage, owing to Spector's use of "scratch" (i.e., guide) vocals and his unwillingness to permit the artist to redo some of his weaker moments on those takes. For the first (and only) time in Cohen's career, his near-monotone delivery of this period wasn't a positive attribute. Cohen's unhappiness with the album was widely known among fans, who mostly bought it with that caveat in mind, so it didn't harm his reputation — a year after its release, Cohen also published a new literary collection using the title Death of a Ladies' Man. Cohen's next album, Recent Songs (1979), returned him to the spare settings of his early-'70s work and showed his singing to some of its best advantage. Working with veteran producer Henry Lewy (best known for his work with Joni Mitchell), the album showed Cohen's singing as attractive and expressive in its quiet way, and songs such as "The Guests" seeming downright pretty — he still wrote about life and love, and especially relationships, in stark terms, but he almost seemed to be moving into a pop mode on numbers such as "Humbled in Love." Frank Sinatra never needed to look over his shoulder at Cohen (at least, as a singer), but he did seem to be trying for a slicker pop sound at moments on his record.

Then came 1984, and two key new works in Cohen's output — the poetic/religious volume The Book of Mercy and the album Various Positions (1984). The latter, recorded with Jennifer Warnes, is arguably his most accessible album of his entire career up to that time — Cohen's voice, now a peculiarly expressive baritone instrument, found a beautiful pairing with Warnes, and the songs were as fine as ever, steeped in spirituality and sexuality, with "Dance Me to the End of Love" a killer opener: a wry, doom-laden yet impassioned pop-style ballad that is impossible to forget. Those efforts overlapped with some ventures by the composer/singer into other creative realms, including an award-winning short film that he wrote, directed, and scored, entitled I Am a Hotel, and the score for the 1985 conceptual film Night Magic, which earned a Juno Award in Canada for Best Movie Score.Sad to say, Various Positions went relatively unnoticed, and was followed by another extended sabbatical from recording, which ended with I'm Your Man (1988). But during his hiatus, Warnes had released her album of Cohen-authored material, entitled Famous Blue Raincoat, which had sold extremely well and introduced Cohen to a new generation of listeners. So when I'm Your Man did appear, with its electronic production (albeit still rather spare) and songs that added humor (albeit dark humor) to his mix of pessimistic and poetic conceits, the result was his best-selling record in more than a decade. The result, in 1991, was the release of I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, a CD of recordings of his songs by the likes of R.E.M., the Pixies, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and John Cale, which put Cohen as a songwriter pushing age 60 right back on center stage for the 1990s. He rose to the occasion, releasing The Future, an album that dwelt on the many threats facing mankind in the coming years and decades, a year later. Not the stuff of pop charts or MTV heavy rotation, it attracted Cohen's usual coterie of fans, and enough press interest as well as sufficient sales, to justify the release in 1994 of his second concert album, Cohen Live, derived from his two most recent tours. A year later came another tribute album, Tower of Song, featuring Cohen's songs as interpreted by Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, et al. In the midst of all of this new activity surrounding his writing and compositions, Cohen embarked on a new phase of his life. Religious concerns were never too far from his thinking and work, even when he was making a name for himself writing songs about love, and he had focused ever more on this side of life since Various Positions. He came to spend time at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center, a Buddhist retreat in California, and eventually became a full-time resident, becoming a Buddhist monk during the late '90s. When he re-emerged in 1999, Cohen had many dozens of new compositions in hand, songs and poems alike. His new collaborations were with singer/songwriter/musician Sharon Robinson, who also ended up producing the resulting album, Ten New Songs (2001) — there also emerged during this period a release called Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979, comprised of live recordings from his tour of 22 years before. In 2004, the year he turned 70, Cohen released one of the most controversial albums of his career, Dear Heather. It revealed his voice anew, in this phase of his career, as a deep baritone more limited in range than on any previous recording, but it overcame this change in vocal timbre by facing it head-on, just as Cohen had done with his singing throughout his career — it also contained a number of songs for which Cohen wrote music but not lyrics, a decided change of pace for a man who'd started out as a poet. And it was as personal a record as Cohen had ever issued. His return to recording was one of the more positive aspects of Cohen's resumption of his music activities. On another side, in 2005, he filed suit against his longtime business manager and his financial advisor over the alleged theft of more than five million dollars, at least some of which took place during his years at the Buddhist retreat. Four decades after he emerged as a public literary figure and then a performer, Cohen remains one of the most compelling and enigmatic musical figures of his era, and one of the very few of that era who commands as much respect and attention, and probably as large an audience, in the 21st century as he did in the 1960s. As much as any survivor of that decade, Cohen has held onto his original audience and has seen it grow across generations, in keeping with a body of music that is truly timeless and ageless. In 2006, his enduring influence seemed to be acknowledged in Lions Gate Films' release of Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, director Lian Lunson's concert/portrait of Cohen and his work and career.

Album: A stunningly sophisticated leap into modern musical textures, I'm Your Man re-establishes Leonard Cohen's mastery. Against a backdrop of keyboards and propulsive rhythms, Cohen surveys the global landscape with a precise, unflinching eye: the opening "First We Take Manhattan" is an ominous fantasy of commercial success bundled in crypto-fascist imagery, while the remarkable "Everybody Knows" is a cynical catalog of the land mines littering the surface of love in the age of AIDS.

01 First We Take Manhattan
02 Ain't No Cure For Love
03 Everybody Knows
04 I'm Your Man
05 Take This Waltz
06 Jazz Police
07 I Can't Forget
08 Tower Of Song