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125328 albums sorted by Most acclaimed

Jazz - Released February 2, 2013 | Laborie Jazz

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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Fantasy Records

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In some respects, Rave On Buddy Holly is a standard tribute album: it salutes a legend by rounding up classic rockers and hipsters to cover his canon, a practice that has been in place for nearly a quarter-century. In another regard, Rave On Buddy Holly is quite different. Encouraged by producer Randall Poster, the 19 artists involved do not settle for mere replications of Buddy’s hits, they play fast and loose, sometimes radically reinterpreting the original. Often, the effort is appreciated even when the rearrangement doesn’t quite work, as on Karen Elson's overly ornate “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” or Lou Reed’s turgid grind through “Peggy Sue.” Yet even if these particular cuts don’t click, they nevertheless sound faithful to both the artist and Holly, a trick that’s usually not pulled off on tribute albums yet often is here. This is as true of Nick Lowe’s casually straight-ahead “Changing All Those Changes” as it is of Florence & the Machine's “Not Fade Away,” which strips the tune of its signature Bo Diddley beat, and the pleasures of the album lie in discovering which direction an artist choose to follow: to discover Julian Casablancas turning “Rave On” into a Phrazes for the Young outtake, to hear Kid Rock try to wrestle “Well All Right” into the confines of a Stax stomper, to hear Modest Mouse work a handful of tempos into “That’ll Be the Day,” to hear Paul McCartney go inexplicably batty on his slow-grooving “It’s So Easy.” ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Classical - Released January 22, 2016 | Ediciones Singulares

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Full Operas - Released May 29, 2015 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Classical - Released August 16, 2004 | Supraphon

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Classical - Released September 2, 2002 | Supraphon

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Humour/Spoken Word - Released June 10, 2015 | Ina Archives

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World - Released November 5, 2013 | Accords Croisés

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Classical - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

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Electro - Released October 1, 2012 | Pschent

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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

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Children - Released June 22, 2007 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2003 | RSO

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Polydor

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Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Geffen Records

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The soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's darkly funny crime classic Pulp Fiction manages to re-create the film's wildly careening sense of style, violence, and humor by concentrating on the surf music that comprises the bulk of the movie's incidental music and adding a few sexy oldies integral to the film's story ("Let's Stay Together," "Son of a Preacher Man," "You Never Can Tell"). Of course, the inclusion of dialogue and Urge Overkill's seductive cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" doesn't hurt either. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Free Jazz & Avant-Garde - Released December 4, 2013 | Born Bad Records

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Rap - Released November 13, 2013 | Stones Throw Records

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World - Released November 4, 2013 | Buda musique

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Africa - Released April 1, 2013 | Orane

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Jazz - Released February 4, 2013 | Nova Records

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 16, 2011 | Editions Milan Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 24, 2009 | Capitol Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 24, 2009 | Capitol Records

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Children - Released March 31, 2006 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Blues - Released June 1, 2004 | ACT Music

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It is ironic that two promoters from Germany, Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau, may well have played the largest part in revitalizing an American audience for the blues in the United States during the 1960s. Their annual barnstorming tours of Western Europe with a roster of American blues greats sparked a blues revival, particularly in London, where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and a host of other young white musicians fell under the spell of the blues. When British bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds exported the music back to the States, blues reestablished itself as a commercially viable form in its homeland, leading to long careers for many of the artists featured here. The tours, billed as the American Folk Blues Festival, ran every fall in Europe, beginning in 1962 and lasting until 1970, and several live performances from those shows (most of them from the 1963, 1964, and 1965 tours) are collected in this two-disc set. Whether they're truly "lost tapes" or not is debatable, but several of these performances are priceless historical documents, and the sound is great, even intimate. Highlights include Memphis Slim's winking, elegant version of the traditional "John Henry" ballad; Otis Spann's "Going Down Slow"; a solo acoustic rendition of "Catfish Blues" by Muddy Waters; Big Mama Thornton's blistering "Hound Dog"; J.B. Lenoir's "If I Get Lucky"; Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Got a Letter This Morning" (a variant of Son House's "Death Letter"); and the loose, front-porch jug band feel of Sleepy John Estes' "Your Best Friend's Gone." There are no liner notes to speak of, which is a shame, but the music here is simply wonderful. ~ Steve Leggett
£2.26£3.23

Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Classical - Released January 20, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 20, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Africa - Released December 9, 2013 | Orane

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Video Games - Released December 2, 2013 | Ubisoft Music

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Electro - Released May 23, 2013 | Pschent

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Jazz - Released March 22, 2013 | ACT Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Republic Records

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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca

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Children - Released December 14, 2009 | Caravage

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Stories and Nursery Rhymes - Released February 28, 2006 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Music India (MIL)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1972 | Hip-O

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This edition of the Cabaret soundtrack, from Universal Ireland, contains 12 tracks featuring Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli, and pianist/arranger Ralph Burns. The set includes the film versions of "Maybe This Time," "If You Could See Her," "Money Money," and "Cabaret." Keep in mind that the film soundtrack contains fewer songs than the original Broadway score. ~ Al Campbell
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Video Games - Released October 29, 2013 | Ubisoft Music

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House - Released July 29, 2013 | InFiné

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Electro - Released June 25, 2013 | Ninja Tune

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Africa - Released June 4, 2013 | Orane

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Jazz - Released June 1, 2013 | Frémeaux & associés

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Jazz - Released December 7, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released May 1, 2012 | Genuin

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Jazz - Released February 24, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released August 1, 2011 | Profil

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Pop - Released July 25, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Featuring Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" in its prime and his early stable of artists, the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector stands as inarguably the greatest Christmas record of all time. Spector believed he could produce a record for the holidays that would capture not only the essence of the Christmas spirit, but also be a pop masterpiece that would stand against any work these artists had already done. He succeeded on every level, with all four groups/singers recording some of their most memorable performances. This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged, and it has inspired a host of imitators. ~ Dennis MacDonald

Bebop - Released May 30, 2011 | Saga

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Classical - Released May 1, 2011 | K&K Verlagsanstalt

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Classical - Released May 1, 2011 | K&K Verlagsanstalt

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
At a time when the traditional "gatekeepers" of the record business seem to be giving way to a D.I.Y. free-for-all in the digital Internet era, the Universal Music Group (ironically through its Verve imprint) here boxes the first six LPs released by Impulse Records, then a newly formed jazz label, in 1961, all produced by initial label head Creed Taylor, who departed the company (for Verve, then part of rival MGM) just as the last of the six was coming out. Taylor, as annotator Ashley Kahn and Taylor himself make clear in the liner notes, was the auteur of these half-dozen albums, even if he didn't actually play on them. Unlike Blue Note or Prestige, Impulse was never a true independent; it was formed as a jazz subsidiary of ABC-Paramount to be Taylor's custom label, after he had demonstrated an ability to make commercially successful jazz records. And he did that with the first Impulse albums, particularly Ray Charles' Genius + Soul = Jazz, with its hit single "One Mint Julip." (The box set includes the first CD release of the mono mix actually heard on the 45 rpm single.) He also introduced some excellent straight-ahead jazz with the trombone collections The Great Kai & J.J. and Brand New, Swinging Together Again by Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson, and The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones. Progressive big-band jazz was heard on the Gil Evans Orchestra's Out of the Cool and Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth. And Taylor's last album for Impulse was John Coltrane's first: Africa/Brass. (The only previously unreleased tracks on the box set are three brief rehearsal tidbits from before the Africa/Brass sessions.) All credit for the music itself redounds to the musicians, of course. But this collection poses the question whether the music would ever have been made if it hadn't been for visionary record executive/producers such as Creed Taylor (and Bob Thiele, who succeeded him at Impulse, not to mention Blue Note's Alfred Lion and Prestige's Bob Weinstock, among others). Certainly, it wouldn't have been made in the same way, and these albums demonstrate what a loss that might have been. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Electro - Released December 20, 2010 | Filter Label

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Classical - Released October 26, 2010 | Carpe Diem

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Dance - Released October 4, 2010 | Bullet Train Records

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Jazz - Released September 1, 2010 | ITM

Distinctions CHOC de JAZZmagazine-jazzman

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 1, 2010 | Carus

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£2.26£3.23

Jazz - Released October 23, 2009 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Pop/Rock - Released May 19, 2009 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
£7.55£10.79

Tango - Released May 7, 2009 | ENJA RECORDS Werner Aldinger

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 24, 2009 | Capitol Records

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Symphonic Music - Released October 9, 2007 | Vox

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released March 30, 2007 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released March 29, 2004 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 1988 | Impact Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1983 | The Island Def Jam Music Group

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Bossa Nova & Brazil - Released January 1, 1968 | Universal

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Film Soundtracks - Released February 14, 2000 | Epic - Razor Sharp - Sony Music Soundtrax

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Classical - Released November 14, 2011 | Warner Classics International

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Musical Theatre - Released June 8, 2004 | Masterworks Broadway

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Classical composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein periodically had tried his hand at writing Broadway musicals, starting with On the Town (1944) and continuing with Wonderful Town, (1953), not to mention, less than a year earlier, Candide, a musically magnificent, dramatically unsuccessful effort. But none of these was as ambitious as West Side Story, a score that is infused with Bernstein's classical sensibility, even as it deliberately draws in influences from jazz and Latin music. A contemporary retelling of Romeo & Juliet set among New York street gangs, the show combines refined and vulgar elements, and Bernstein's music revels in the contrasts, veering from the hymn-like themes he provides for the lovers' ballads (they may be Italians on one side and Puerto Ricans on the other, but they're probably all Catholics, so the religious influence is something they have in common) to the jarring rhythms that accompany the continual "rumbles" of the gangs. Newcomer lyricist Stephen Sondheim traces the same contrast in his words. For the Romeo character, here called Tony, the mere name of his Juliet, here called Maria, has religious significance: "Say it loud and there's music playing," he sings in a song called "Maria," "Say it soft and it's almost like praying." In this song, as in their duets "Tonight" and "One Hand, One Heart," Tony and Maria are not just idealistic, but idealized, and Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence embody them well. On the other hand, Sondheim fills the language of their friends with a rough slang that sometimes alludes to common obscenity (e.g., "when the spit hits the fan") and sometimes pushes the limits of language allowable on a Broadway stage in the '50s ("bastard," "S.O.B."). When they're not cursing, these characters engage in biting criticism and sarcasm. "America," a song of dueling Puerto Rican girls, one who wants to go home and one who wants to stay in Manhattan (the fiery Anita, ably played by Chita Rivera), and "Gee, Officer Krupke!," a gang's taunting of a police officer, are not just typical comic songs in a Broadway musical. They are savagely witty, marking the introduction of a lyricist on a par with Lorenz Hart or Cole Porter, at the very least. That said, however, this isn't really a lyric-oriented show, or even a character-oriented one, oddly enough. It is notable that the album cover says, "West Side Story (based on a conception of Jerome Robbins)," not "based on a play by William Shakespeare." Robbins, the show's director/choreographer, has conceived it as a dance show, and there are extended instrumental passages on this album during which the stage actors would be dancing, although one only hears them shouting occasionally and snapping their fingers. Powerful as Bernstein's music is, and clever as Sondheim's lyrics are, West Side Story is largely about dancing, which means that only a portion of it can be appreciated on disc. That is enough, however, to mark it as a landmark among Broadway cast albums as well as Broadway musicals. ~ William Ruhlmann

Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 1998 | Decca

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 28, 2013 | Made In PM - StudioCanal - Because Music

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Stories and Nursery Rhymes - Released March 31, 2006 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Full Operas - Released May 4, 1993 | Berlin Classics

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Asia - Released January 20, 2017 | Buda musique

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New Age - Released November 4, 2016 | Light In The Attic Records

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Africa - Released October 28, 2016 | Numero Group

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Africa - Released September 16, 2016 | Sterns Africa

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Classical - Released August 19, 2016 | Aeolus

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Classical - Released August 12, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Opera - Released June 1, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Jazz - Released June 1, 2016 | Fremeaux Heritage

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Country - Released April 18, 2016 | Light In The Attic

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Classical - Released February 1, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Africa - Released November 27, 2015 | Analog Africa

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Jazz - Released November 6, 2015 | BDMUSIC

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Classical - Released August 1, 2015 | Universal Music GmbH

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Concertos - Released June 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2015 | Born Bad Records

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Latin America - Released May 18, 2015 | Soul Jazz Records

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Classical - Released May 15, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 15, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Rock - Released November 11, 2014 | Light In The Attic

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Classical - Released October 7, 2014 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released June 1, 2014 | Brilliant Classics

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World - Released May 26, 2014 | Soul Jazz Records

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Jazz - Released April 1, 2014 | Frémeaux & associés

Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS

Classical - Released February 28, 2014 | Wergo

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French Music - Released January 14, 2014 | Epm

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music

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Country - Released October 25, 2013 | Bear Family Records GmbH

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 15, 2013 | Arts & Crafts

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As Canadian indie pop was crossing over and becoming the big thing in the mid-2000s, Toronto's Arts & Crafts grew from a homegrown basement apartment to one of the most influential labels of that decade. Flash forward to 2013, and label heads Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Jeffrey Remedios announced they would be holding the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival to commemorate the label's ten-year anniversary. To coincide with the event, a compilation titled Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 was released. Contributions by flagship artists like Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist, and Los Campesinos! are included, but instead of simply focusing on the big acts and their greatest hits, a lot of the songs included are rarities. It's a nice selection. The style of music ranges from heady precision punk to rustic acoustic folk, but because the artists on board share in the same optimistic indie spirit, the compilation plays cohesively from start to finish. Interesting, too, to see how the label set the stage for many mainstream acts to follow in the year 2013. [The deluxe version comes with a 24-page booklet, with liner notes written by Stuart Berman, author of the Broken Social Scene oral biography This Book Is Broken.] ~ Jason Lymangrover

Jazz - Released April 3, 2013 | Jazz City Series

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Blues - Released March 15, 2013 | Bear Family Records GmbH

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Electro - Released January 1, 2013 | The Verve Music Group

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Classical - Released October 8, 2012 | Stradivarius

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Jazz - Released August 16, 2012 | Frémeaux & associés

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released January 3, 2012 | Da Capo

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Pop/Rock - Released November 8, 2010 | Crammed Discs

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Pop/Rock - Released November 8, 2010 | Crammed Discs

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2009 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2009 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released February 29, 2008 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Classical - Released February 27, 2007 | Mode

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Dorian Sono Luminus

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Division UMSM

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Jazz - Released October 28, 2005 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released August 16, 2004 | Supraphon

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Jazz - Released September 22, 2003 | ACT Music

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World - Released October 20, 2002 | Oriente

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Jazz - Released October 14, 2002 | ACT Music

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Rap - Released January 1, 2002 | Rawkus Entertainment LLC

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Lyricist Lounge, Vol. 1 is an excellent showcase of underground and alternative rappers, including Kool Keith, De La Soul, 88 Keys, Natural Elements, Talib Kweli, Bahamadia, Q-Tip, and Jurassic 5, among many, many others. It's a great way to hear a number of the most talented and underappreciated rappers of the late '90s. ~ Leo Stanley

World - Released March 1, 2001 | Oriente

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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The custom jazz label serves up ten dark, moody selections from its array of artists spanning from seductive female vocalists Melissa Walker and Jenny Evans to Dusko Goykovich's poignant muted trumpet and Karl Ratzer's delectable guitar musings on "Farmer's Charm." An array of other fossil-school flavored jazz pieces, including a vocal by Enja's most familiar artist, trumpeter Chet Baker, makes this priced right -- less than ten dollars online -- a listening bargain. Perfect for rainy days and pensive moods. ~ Andrew Hamilton

Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Christophorus

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 14, 1978 | RSO Records Inc.

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 10, 1975 | Ode Sounds & Visuals

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£1.39
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Children - Released January 1, 1961 | BNF Collection

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | Visiona Romantica, Inc, and Seven Four Entertainment - Universal Republic Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2011 | The Island Def Jam Music Group

Pop/Rock - Released March 1, 2010 | Sony Music Entertainment

Film Soundtracks - Released July 28, 2009 | Silva Screen Records

R&B - Released January 1, 2008 | Barclay

Country - Released January 1, 2000 | Mercury Records

Though it's rare when the nostalgia imprint ASV/Living Era finds crossover territory (despite its deep catalog), the genre compilation O Brothers! intriguingly tapped into the bluegrass revival sparked by O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Included here are more than two dozen sides from country harmony groups, all of them comprising relatives (and more than half of those brothers). The compilers picked some of the best artists available from the era: the Carter Family, the Blue Sky Boys, the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, the Maddox Brothers & Rose, J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers. It's a shame the compilation doesn't feature more of the lively country boogie that groups like the Delmore Brothers considered a specialty, but between the Carter Family's genre classic "Keep on the Sunny Side," the Monroe Brothers' rousing "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," and the Blue Sky Boys' heartfelt harmony classic "Turn Your Radio On," O Brothers! has at least a dozen classics of the form in its hour-plus running time. ~ John Bush

Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2014 | colette

Classical - Released January 27, 2014 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

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