For the more casual fans, however, the set may be excessive. While the post-'70s material on the third disc is stylish and passionate, it lacks the consistent punch of his earlier work. Albums are rated on a scale of one star poor , two stars fair , three stars good and four stars excellent.
Robert Hilburn can be reached by e-mail at robert. Even when it's just him and a piano onstage, it's powerful. When I first heard him, I was blown away that someone could just spit those words out without even hitting the right notes, with no holding back and no shame. Of course, the Attractions were really important to his music — if you're going to cram a whole book into one song, it helps to have a steady groove.
Nobody sounds like him. People imitate Stevie Wonder or whomever, but how many people can do Elvis Costello? Not bloody many. His melodies weave in and out and all over the place, and you can tell they just spring out of him. Finally, Elvis is the definition of a career artist — he's always coming up with a different sound, always challenging himself.
All of his music tells you: You could come along for the ride — but I'm not stopping. The Four Tops are a one-in-a-million singing group. They were the best in my neighborhood in Detroit when I was growing up. When I was 11 or so, my first group was an early version of what would become the Miracles.
Back then the Four Tops were called the Four Aims. We all used to sing on the corners, at school functions and at house parties. Sometimes we'd have talent competitions. But all the groups in the neighborhood knew that if the Four Aims were going to be there, you were going to be singing for second place at best.
I love singers whom you can identify the first second they open their mouth, and Levi Stubbs is one of those; he's one of the greatest of all time. He has that distinctive voice, and his range is staggering. When they came to Motown and teamed up with Holland-Dozier-Holland, there was no looking back. They were always great singers and great guys. When the Four Tops first came to Motown, the Miracles and I were the mainstays of the label, and the Temptations had just gotten there.
But all the guys were very, very close. You'd come back to town from a night tour, and the first thing you did was shower and head back to Hitsville.
We'd play cards and shoot pool together into the early hours. For me, the Stooges were the perfect embodiment of what music should be — of wanting it to be alive, riding the edge of control. Their music was total high-energy blues, with the contemporary freakout of Jimi Hendrix and the free-jazz spirit of John Coltrane. Iggy wanted the Stooges to be what he'd seen in Chicago as a young guy — these old bluesmen playing so hard that, as Iggy once said, the music drips off you.
I was 14 when I first saw a picture of Iggy onstage: shirtless, with his body spray-painted silver. He was sweating — it looked like glitter sweat — and he had a chipped tooth.
He looked young and on fire. Iggy's parents were intellectuals — his father was an English teacher — and that gave him an edge. He had focus. Iggy believed what he was doing was important — this self-reliant, anti-establishment art form. The Stooges' sound was so evocative yet so simple. Scott Asheton played drums as if he was in an electric-blues band.
On The Stooges and Fun House , while his brother Ron, the guitarist, was playing these loud bar-chord progressions, Scott was making the band rev and swing.
And when I played with Ron for the soundtrack of Velvet Goldmine , the first week was a crash course on how to play Stooges songs. We went through those first two albums, and there was that Asheton swing again, the way he rocked the chord grooves. Raw Power was made by a different lineup, with James Williamson on guitar and Ron on bass. It's the ultimate fuck-off. This is a band getting very strung out, putting so much blood and soul into what it's doing, and for the most part looked upon as trash.
There's a damaged quality to David Bowie's original mix that is way ahead of its time. Seeing the Stooges in reunion with Mike Watt from the Minutemen on bass was awesome.
When they played their first gig, in at Coachella, the first thing Iggy did was start jumping in the air, flipping the bird to the crowd — "Fuck you, fuck you and fuck you. It was great. After all this time, he's still at war. In the early days of rap, the conventional wisdom was that only black people were supposed to like hip-hop and only white people were supposed to like rock. But it wasn't like that. In Run-DMC, we were rapping over rock beats. The Beasties were a punk band listening to hip-hop.
What bugged me out about the Beasties was that they knew everything about hip-hop — the Cold Crush Brothers, the Treacherous Three and Afrika Bambaataa, all the old-school shit. In addition, they could rap, they could sing and they could play instruments. The song was basically their blueprint. But then they started writing anita kunztheir own rhymes, and when Licensed to Ill came out, it went to Number One. They were writing songs we wished we had written, like "No Sleep Till Brooklyn.
We were playing the Deep South — Crunkville, before there was crunk — and it was just black people at those shows. The first night was somewhere in Georgia, and we were thinking, "I hope people don't leave when they see them. They rapped about shit they knew about: skateboarding, going to White Castle, angel dust and television.
Real recognizes real. One of the most significant things about the Beasties is their longevity. They've put out genius records for decades. When Paul's Boutique came out, it didn't sell as well as their debut. Now people realize it's one of the best albums of the Eighties. Each of the Beastie Boys has a different personality.
Mike D is the examiner: He looks around, he takes in all the information, he's a little laid-back. MCA was always the mature one, but he could be a fool when it was time to be a fool. And Ad-Rock is just full of life. He's approachable, affectionate and funny. But maybe my favorite thing about the Beastie Boys is that they're worldly. They taught me and many other people a lot about life, people and music.
The Shirelles had a "sound," a word that people from the Sixties vocal-group era use with a lot of reverence. Shirley Alston Reeves, who did most of the group's lead vocals, wasn't a gospel shouter like Arlene Smith of the Chantels. Shirley was more sentimental and street. When she said, "Baby, it's you," you thought, "Baby, it is me. They weren't the first girl group, but the Shirelles were the first to have many hits. It was on this song that the group combined doo-wop with very accessible pop melodies: It began with the whole group singing, "Doo ron, day ron, day ron day papa, doo ron," then one of them would sing, "Well, I met him on a Sunday.
The girl-group sound was everything to me. As a kid, I used to sit at home after school and just bang out those songs on the piano. The three living members of the group — Shirley, Beverly Lee and Doris Jackson — were at the awards ceremony. The fourth member, Addie "Micki" Harris, had died in I had heard that they hadn't seen each other in quite a while, so there was some apprehension when the three of them took the stage.
They certainly hadn't planned to perform. But when Doris took her award in hand, she said, "This is dedicated to the one I love," and then they just started singing it. They sounded fantastic. The band fell into place, and people in the audience just fell over. I was so inspired, I stood at attention and saluted.
There was nothing else I could do. The Eagles forever changed country and rock, but I just think of what they did as being great American music. The Eagles were a real band. After an album or two, Don Henley and Glenn Frey turned into one of rock's all-time great songwriting teams. The first song of theirs that I vividly remember hearing was "Take It Easy. The combination sounded so powerful.
I also remember being on a long cross-country family road trip as a kid, driving across the Texas desert at night.
The only radio station we could get was a scratchy AM station from who knows where. The haunting opening strains of "Hotel California" came on the radio. My father thought that all of us kids were asleep; I immediately assumed that he would shut the radio off. But he didn't. He couldn't resist it any more than I could. The Eagles provided the soundtrack to so many of my summers, and likely many of yours, too.
Their melodies and harmonies have always been instantly familiar. To this day, it simply doesn't get any better than that guitar riff from "Life in the Fast Lane.
When I sang backup for Don Henley in the early Nineties, it was a surreal experience, supplying vocals every night to Eagles songs. The audience's reaction to those classics cemented their value in my head. In my own way, I got to experience the power of the Eagles' music. But then again, we all have. Hank Williams songs like "Lonesome Whistle" and "Your Cheatin' Heart" are wonderful to sing because there is no bullshit in them. The words, the melodies and the sentiment are all there, clear and true.
It takes economy and simplicity to get to an idea or emotion in a song, and there's no better example of that than Hank Williams. Hank had a voice that split wood.
From his records, it sounded like he was projecting from a completely different place in his body. It was a voice that could play roadhouses without amplification, that could cut through barroom crowds. The places he played were so tough that he hired a wrestler, Cannonball Nichols, to be his bass player. Hank lived what would have been a rock star's life — full of touring, drinking and woman troubles. It was like I unlocked a box: His music spoke to me. His records are enormously important to country music, but I think I responded to them because they sounded so exotic.
It's significant that Hank learned to play guitar from an elderly black musician: Hank is the ultimate hillbilly, but there's other stuff going on. For a while he was my only reference point; I've covered his songs for years. On Sea Change , I made a conscious effort to try to write songs as direct as Hank's.
I see more and more people getting into his music today. When I played his songs early on, I used to get really sick of everyone in the crowd yelling "yee-haw" all the way through. But I've noticed that there's been a rediscovery of the haunting quality of Hank Williams' music. People are listening. Every time I buy a Radiohead album, I have a moment where I say to myself, "Maybe this is the one that will suck.
I wonder if it's even possible for them to be bad on record. It belittles Radiohead to describe their music as having "hooks. It can take you down a quiet street before it drops a beautiful musical bomb on you. It can build to where you think the whole thing will crumble beneath its own weight — and then Thom Yorke will sing some melody that just cuts your heart out of your chest.
There's a point on the album Kid A where I start feeling claustrophobic, stuck in a barbed-wire jungle — and then I suddenly fall out and I'm sitting by a pool with birds singing. Radiohead can do all of these things in a moment, and it drives me fucking crazy. My reaction to Radiohead isn't as simple as jealousy. Jealousy just burns; Radiohead infuriate me.
But if it were only that, I wouldn't go back and listen to those records again and again. Listening to Radiohead makes me feel like I'm a Salieri to their Mozart. Yorke's lyrics make me want to give up. I could never in my wildest dreams find something as beautiful as they find for a single song — let alone album after album. And every time, they raise their finger to the press and the critics and say, "Nothing we do is for you!
It's not that they're indifferent — it's that the strength of character in their music is beyond their control. Seeing them perform makes me even angrier. No matter how much they let go in their shows, they never lose their clarity. God, these guys have suffered, or they can fake it like nobody else. When I was in junior high, my classmates all liked Led Zeppelin.
Of course, I didn't know that back then. I only knew that they sounded better than any other band. They poured their lifeblood into that groove, and they mastered it.
Highway to Hell is probably the most natural-sounding rock record I've ever heard. There's so little adornment.
Nothing gets in the way of the push-and-pull between the guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd. When I'm producing a rock band, I try to create albums that sound as powerful as Highway to Hell. Make the guitar parts more rhythmic. There's nothing like it. They didn't play funk, but everything they played was funky.
And that beat could really get a crowd going. The crowd yanked all the chairs off the floor and piled them into a pyramid in front of the stage. It was a tribute to how great they were.
They didn't write emotional lyrics. They didn't play emotional songs. The emotion is all in that groove. And that groove is timeless. In the early years of Phish, people often said we were like " Frank Zappa meets the Grateful Dead" — which sounds very bizarre.
But Zappa was incredibly vital to me, as a composer and guitarist. I think he was the best electric-guitar player, other than Jimi Hendrix. Zappa conceptualized the instrument in a completely different way, rhythmically and sonically. Every boundary that was possible on the guitar was examined by him. I'll never forget the first time I saw him live, in New York, when I was in high school.
He would leave his guitar on a stand as he conducted the band. And he would not pick up the guitar until everything was totally together. There would be this moment — this collective breath from the audience — as he walked over, picked it up and started playing the most ripping, beautiful solo. When he played, he was in communion with the instrument. He did this guitar solo in "City of Tiny Lites" where everybody in the band dropped out except drummer Chad Wackerman.
I was in the balcony near the side of the stage. When Zappa turned his back on the audience to play with Chad, I saw this huge smile on his face. But this was also the guy who did 87orchestral pieces like The Yellow Shark. It's hard to believe somebody could do so many different things.
Zappa was a huge influence on how I wrote music for Phish. Songs like "You Enjoy Myself" and "Split Open and Melt" were completely charted out because he had shown me it was possible. I never would have thought of doing that if I hadn't seen Zappa do "Stairway to Heaven" in Burlington with the horns playing Jimmy Page's entire guitar solo, in harmony. There is a whole generation of musicians coming up who can't play their instruments.
Because of stuff like Pro Tools, they figure they can fix it all in the studio. With Frank, his musicians were pushed to the absolute brink. Phish tried hard to do that too: to take our four little instruments and do as much as we could with them.
I would not have envisioned that without him. Zappa gave me the faith that anything in music was possible.
He demystified the whole thing for my generation: "Look, these are just instruments. Find out what the range is, and start writing. Oscar Wilde said that an artist has succeeded if people don't understand his work but they still like it. By that standard, the Police were a huge success. Their songs are universal — they're part of all of our lives.
You hear them on both pop and classic-rock stations, and they'll be played on the radio in Germany years from now. At the same time, everything they did was really smart and worked on a few levels; you could love a particular song, then realize a year later that you had totally missed the meaning. Take "Every Breath You Take. People don't realize how unique that is.
All of us are lucky to have heard songs as good as "Message in a Bottle," "Walking on the Moon" and "King of Pain" on the radio. Sting already had a career and a degree when the Police made it; he wasn't afraid of sounding like a grown-up.
That kind of storytelling has fallen out of pop music, for the most part. Of course, the Police were amazing musicians. They were professionals who came up during the punk era and found their messages later on.
I'm a big fan of how they used reggae. Bands like the Clash had already mixed it with punk, but the Police did it flat-out — it was like reggae for music geeks. Sting played bass and sang, which you don't see very often. He commanded both the rhythm section and melodies in the band. Brand New Key 3. Sara Smile 4. All By Myself 5. Seasons In The Sun 6. Just Like Romeo And Juliet 9. Torn Between Two Lovers Midnight Blue Tracks of Disc 4 1. Radar Love 2. Kiss You All Over 3.
Temptation Eyes 4. Don't Pull Your Love Out 5. Rocky Mountain Way 6. Free Bird 7. Woodstock 8. Drift Away 9.
Funk Soul: Hold On! I'm A-Comin' CD. Nutbush City Limits 2. Operator 3. Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries 4. You Keep Me Hangin' On 6.
Get Out of My Life Woman 7. I Can't Hear You 8. I Need Your Loving 9. Steal Away Feel the Spirit In '76 Come Back My Love I'm Comin' Pledging My Love Gotta Getcha Sophisticated Cissy Get up Offa That Thing [Live] He's the Greatest Dancer [Live]. Dead Presidents CD. Walk On By 3. The Payback 4. I'll Be Around 5. Never Gonna Give You Up 6. I Miss You 7. If There's Hell Below 9.
Where Is The Love Tired Of Being Alone Love Train The Look Of Love Dead Presidents Theme. We're A Winner 2. Gypsy Woman 3. It's All Right 4. Woman's Got Soul 5. Keep On Pushing 6. Ridin' High 7. Amen 8. We're Rollin' On 9. I'm So Proud People Get Ready Talking About My baby You Must Believe Me Grow Closer Together.
Deluxe CD. Rap 3. We're A Winner 5. Rap 6. We've Only Just Begun 7. People Get Ready 8. Rap 9. Stare And Stare Check Out Your Mind Gypsy Woman The Makings Of You Rap Stone Junkie Mighty Mighty Spade And Whitey. Flashback with Curtis Mayfield CD. Get Down [Single Version] 3. Superfly [LP Version] 5. Pusherman [LP Version] 6. Future Shock [LP Version] 7. Kung Fu [LP Version] 9.
Original Album Series 5-CD. The Other Side of Town 3. Come Free Your People. Customer reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I like Curtis Mayfield's soul stuff. This is a country tinged album. I love country music, but this one doesn't agree with me at all. Sorry Curtis! It is going to be a gift. Very good copy thank you.
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PillPack Pharmacy Simplified. Amazon Renewed Like-new products you can trust.Jan 13, · The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield ♪ Curtis Mayfield Album ♪ ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Track List.