March 28, 2023
The Free Music
Free Music (Part 1)
The Habibi Funk label has been issuing compilations of 70s African funk bands to bring greater attention to an incredible group of musicians. The Free Music, a group led by Libyan composer/producer Najib Alhoush. Culled from ten albums, Free Music (Part 1) is filled with infectiously funky, danceable grooves. The label notes, “when we made the selection for this album, we could have chosen a completely different number of tracks and the album would have been equally strong.”
"The Free Music I"
2 Tone / Various Artists
Dance Craze is a movie filmed throughout 1980, celebrating 2 Tone Records’ special place in British rock history with acts like the Specials, The Selecter, Madness, The Beat (known as the English Beat here in the States), Bad Manners and the Body Snatchers, all known for bringing ska to the mainstream. The film has been remastered, with Blu Ray and DVD releases accompanied by 3 LP or 3 CD box sets.
The Velvet Underground
Lou Reed’s last album with the Velvet Underground was a departure from the band’s earlier work. The title, allegedly inspired by the group’s new label asking for an album “loaded with hits,” definitely hit a more commercial stride. Classics like “Sweet Jane” and “Rock and Roll” are broadly known, but some of the best tunes on the record showcase (like “Oh Sweet Nuthin’) the vocals of Doug Yule. This reissue features nine LPs (with stereo, mono, and full-length mixes), demos, live recordings and outtakes.
"Oh! Sweet Nuthin'"
An album that truly defines what “classic” means, the 1964 Herbie Hancock recording featured a fully legendary contingent of musicians: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Willliams (the latter two were also his cohorts in the Miles Davis group). With some of the Hancock’s most recognizable tunes like ““Oliloquy Valley” and “Cantaloupe Island,” this reissue is stereo, all-analog, mastered from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl.
Dark Side of the Moon, 50th Anniversary Edition
I can’t ignore the major reissue of the month from my favorite band. Dark Side of the Moon turned 50 this month. The album catapulted Pink Floyd into the public consciousness and remained on the "Billboard" Top 200 Album Chart for a record-breaking 724 consecutive weeks from 1973 to April 1988. The lush soundscapes and timeless lyrics with themes of life, loss, greed, madness, aging and coping with modern society, it’s rightly been hailed as a masterpiece. This set contains Blu-rays, merch (original poster and stickers), vinyl, sheet music, and more.
Dark Side Of The Moon (Live at Wembley Empire Pool 1974) Movie