Albums

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Bossa Nova & Brazil - Released January 1, 1967 | Philips

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2006 | Philips

Although not the most controversial of postwar Bayreuth Rings -- Georg Solti and Peter Hall's retro-Romantic Ring with naked Rhine maidens wins that prize -- Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau's post-industrial revolution Ring as metaphor for the decline and fall of capitalism is certainly the second most controversial postwar Bayreuth Ring. But more controversial than Chéreau's dramatic conception was Boulez's musical execution. With startlingly clear textures, spectacularly bright colors, and stunningly light tempos, Boulez' obtains a Wagner sound like no other. And for those with ears to hear, it works. Wagner's music doesn't have to be murky to be metaphysical or massive to be overwhelmingly moving and Boulez gets playing from the too-often turgid Bayreuth Festival Orchestra that makes the music crackle and blaze with musical and dramatic meaning. But perhaps most surprisingly, the best thing about this Ring is the singing, or, rather, the singing-acting. From Donald McIntyre's bigger than life but deeply human Wotan to Gwyneth Jones heartbreakingly beautiful Brünnhilde, the leads are magnificently convincing both as singers and as actors. And while Peter Hoffmann's Siegmund and Manfred Jung's Siegfried were less well received at the time, their performances, while perhaps too earnest, are still quite effective in their roles. Philips' 1981 sound is very live -- much of the stage action is plainly audible -- but this only adds to the verisimilitude of the recording. While not for everybody, the Boulez Ring has to be heard by anyone who loves the work.
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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 1987 | Philips

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | Philips

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When Wild Is The Wind was released in 1966, Nina Simone’s name was already closely associated with engagement and struggle. It is therefore only logical that this album, which regroups several sessions recorded for Philips in 1964 and 1965, is marked with dissent and revolt. In her own specific style. Because the 33-year-old singer knew how to do everything, she blended various styles, from bombastic to more intimate, from jazz ballads to more up-tempo titles. Moreover she always approached her art form with a true sense of dramaturgy, driving it through her singular voice or her streamlined piano. She reached a climax with her song Four Women that pieced together the portraits of four Afro-American women. Four stereotypes to expose endemic racism and injustice. Wild Is The Wind is also proof that Nina Simone was above all genres. Not fully jazz, not really blues, not entirely folk, or soul, she created her own language that many have copied but never equalled… © MZ/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If this is blues, it's blues in the Billie Holiday sense, not the Muddy Waters one. This is one of Nina Simone's more subdued mid-'60s LPs, putting the emphasis on her piano rather than band arrangements. It's rather slanted toward torch-blues ballads like "Strange Fruit," "Trouble in Mind," Billie Holiday's own composition "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." Simone's then-husband, Andy Stroud, wrote "Be My Husband," an effective adaptation of a traditional blues chant. By far the most impressive track is her frantic ten-minute rendition of the traditional "Sinnerman," an explosive tour de force that dwarfs everything else on the album. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Philips

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Philips

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There's a lot more Broadway and a lot more ballads than blues on this, which ranks as one of Simone's weaker mid-'60s albums. Almost half the record features Broadway tunes on the order of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein; most of the rest was composed by Bennie Benjamin, author of her first-rate "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which the Animals covered for a hit shortly afterwards (and which leads off this record). The other Benjamin tunes are modified uptown soul with string arrangements and backup vocals in the vein of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but aren't in the same league, although "How Can I?" is an engaging cha-cha. Besides "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," the album is most notable for the great "SeeLine Woman," a percolating call-and-response number that ranks as one of her best tracks. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

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Perhaps a bit more conscious of contemporary soul trends than her previous Philips albums, this is still very characteristic of her mid-'60s work in its eclectic mix of jazz, pop, soul, and some blues and gospel. Hal Mooney directs some large band arrangements for the material on this LP without submerging Simone's essential strengths. The more serious and introspective material is more memorable than the good-natured pop selections here. The highlights are her energetic vocal rendition of the Oscar Brown/Nat Adderley composition "Work Song" and her spiritual composition "Come Ye," on which Simone's inspirational vocals are backed by nothing other than minimal percussion. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

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One of her most pop-oriented albums, but also one of her best and most consistent. Most of the songs feature dramatic, swinging large-band orchestration, with the accent on the brass and strings. Simone didn't write any of the material, turning to popular European songsmiths Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, and Anthony Newley, as well as her husband, Andy Stroud, and her guitarist, Rudy Stevenson, for bluesier fare. There are really fine tunes and interpretations, on which Simone gives an edge to the potentially fey pop songs, taking a sudden (but not uncharacteristic) break for a straight jazz instrumental with "Blues on Purpose." The title track, a jazzy string ballad version of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic, gave the Beatles the inspiration for the phrasing on the bridge of "Michelle." ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | Philips

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | Philips

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Let It All Out is one of Nina Simone's more adult pop-oriented mid-'60s albums, with renditions of tunes by Duke Ellington ("Mood Indigo"), Billie Holiday ("Don't Explain"), Irving Berlin ("This Year's Kisses"), and Rodgers & Hart ("Little Girl Blue"). As ever, Simone ranges wide in her selection: Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," a swaggering adaptation of "Chauffeur Blues" (credited to her husband of the time, Andy Stroud), the gospel hymn "Nearer Blessed Lord," and Van McCoy's "For Myself." "Images" is an a cappella adaptation of a poem about the beauty of blackness by Waring Cuney. All of Simone's Philips albums are solid, and this is no exception, although it isn't the best of them. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Pop - Released January 1, 1973 | Philips

More than just a very excellent recording from Dusty Springfield, Cameo is one of the finest efforts from the team of Steve Barri, Dennis Lambert, and Brian Potter. Springfield reinvents Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey," including a verse not among the enclosed lyrics nor heard on Morrison's familiar FM radio hit. What you can hear is a carefulness, not from the singer, but from the production team who worked in different degrees with the 1972 and 1975 Grass Roots. There is nothing disposable here, nothing of the throwaway nature found on portions of those Grass Roots discs. "Learn to Say Goodbye" is a masterpiece of tortured soul. Thankfully, it was included in the ABC movie of the week Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole and got some additional exposure, but for the label that brought "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night to the multi-platinum level, ABC's failure to break this potential hit is glaring. Hugo Montenegro -- the man responsible for 1968's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" theme -- co-wrote this, and it is superb. While Helen Reddy was filling the airwaves with "Delta Dawn" and "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)," it was prime time for Dusty's "Learn to Say Goodbye" or the brilliant opening track "Who Gets Your Love" to rescue radio listeners. That Lambert and Potter piece is outdone by their "Breakin' Up a Happy Home" which follows. This is pure Philly sound, and with the help of Hal Blaine, Michael Omartian, and the everpresent Vanetta Fields and Clydie King, it is simply amazing that this album didn't get more attention. When Dusty Springfield takes on "Easy Evil" by frivolous songwriter Alan O'Day -- the man who wrote "Rock & Roll Heaven" and sang "Undercover Angel" -- you understand she can do no wrong here. The production and the performance is top notch. "Mama's Little Girl" sounds like it inspired Gamble & Huff's Elton John hit "Mama Can't Buy You Love," which came six years after this, the brilliance of Gamble and Huff clearly influencing Steve Barri and company. The choice of material is wonderful; David Gates' "The Other Side of Life" shows how a song of his can blossom outside of the confines of his hit group, Bread. All 12 titles are sublime pop, some of the best Lambert and Potter you'll find anywhere. What a hook they wrote for this artist with "Comin' and Goin'," and what heart! It moves and grooves like one of those album tracks you wish was beat into your head on a daily basis by Top 40 radio. Ashford & Simpson can be very proud of "I Just Wanna Be There"; Springfield just claims the tune as her own, with horns and backing vocals creating the wave for her magical voice to ride. Audiences can get caught up in the hit records of an artist, and often they fail to seek out the material they never got familiar with. Universal's Hip-O label has re-released Cameo under the new title Beautiful Soul with additional tracks. It hopefully will get people to hear Dusty Springfield take Willie Hutchison's "Who Could Be Loving You Other Than Me" to another realm. Just a wonderful, wonderful record. ~ Joe Viglione
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Classical - Released January 1, 1976 | Philips

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Pop - Released January 1, 1967 | Philips

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World - Released May 22, 2008 | Philips

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | Philips

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 1978 | Philips

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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Philips

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