Albums

$63.99

Soul - Released October 19, 2018 | Craft Recordings

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
1968 was a pivotal year in Stax Records' history and a fascinating story in itself. Otis Redding (their biggest star) and four members of the Bar-Kays were killed in a plane crash in December 1967. Their distribution agreement with Atlantic Records was dissolved, resulting in the loss of several more artists from Atlantic, and in the loss of their entire back catalog to Atlantic, which meant Stax earned no revenue from its previous recordings. Then, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis exacerbated racial tensions not just nationwide, but acutely in Stax's hometown of Memphis (King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers). Rising from the ashes, Stax had an ambitious plan to create an entirely new catalog in just over a year. Otis Redding's posthumous classic "Dock of the Bay" was a tremendous help in getting the label off the ground again. But the model of a house band and single producer that had given Stax their legendary sound was not going to work for the amount of material that had to be created in order to give them a solid catalog. To that end, they had to bring in outside producers, which began to upset what had essentially been a cooperative up to that point. At the same time, the music business was shifting from singles sales to album sales, and Stax was keen to make that transition as well. All this is extensively chronicled in the accompanying book. As far as the music, it's all top-notch, but you can hear the change in sound taking place. Of course, there are songs you recognize, but there are at least as many that you probably don't. Despite the pervasive unrest, the songs never get overtly political. Even "Tribute to a King" isn't about Dr. King, but about the King of Soul Music, their friend Otis Redding. The music stands on its own, of course, but the story behind it all is remarkable and largely untold. Stax '68 is a great collection of music, and this excellent set places it in a proper historical context, telling the story of the rebirth of one of America's great soul labels. ~ Sean Westergaard
$44.99

Soul - Released September 15, 2017 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Symphonic Music - Released September 8, 2017 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
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$75.99
$65.99

Classical - Released June 16, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
2017 brings the 50th anniversary (3rd June 1967) of the death of André Cluytens, the Belgian-born French conductor. While he is especially associated with France and with French music of the 19th and early 20th centuries, his recordings bear witness to his substantial international reputation and his command of an impressively wide repertoire. The set include many first-time releases. The producer of the set discovered a number of treasures in the Warner Classics archives, including unedited session tapes that have been carefully assembled for this release.
$59.49
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$103.49

Soul - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Soul Manifesto is a fancy but accurate title for what is essentially another installment in Rhino's Original Album Series, where all the individual albums are presented as mini-LPs in paper sleeves, slid into a small box, and marketed at a low price. In this case, this rounds up the 12 albums that form the core of the Otis Redding discography: the five studio albums he released between 1964 and 1967 (Pain in My Heart, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Soul Album, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, the Carla Thomas duet album King & Queen), the live albums Live in Europe and In Person at the Whisky a Go Go, and the four posthumous studio LPs released between 1968 and 1970 (The Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding, Love Man, Tell the Truth). While other rarities were dug up years later -- two noteworthy sets are 1992's Remember Me and the following year's box set Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding -- this has all the important music Otis made, all delivered in a handy and affordable little box. If you didn't own this seminal music already, this is a great way to get it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$199.49
$169.49

R&B/Soul - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
In a way, the Isley Brothers have been taken for granted. Part of that is the group's unwitting doing because they were exceptionally steady. From 1966 through 1983, the Isleys placed at least one single on the Billboard R&B chart each year. They were always present, frequently at or near the top. For an extended period, they were among the most progressive groups, whether they were mixing gospel, soul, and rock, incorporating synthesizers without sacrificing the funk, covering pop hits and often surpassing them, or epitomizing quiet storm. When they retreated from the fore, they adapted with ease. Another factor in their undervalued status is that their vast discography has been reissued in chunks by various sources across the decades. The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983, released by the Sony catalog's Legacy division, is a corrective measure in the form of a compact 23-disc box set. It doesn't cover the Isleys' brief '60s stints with Wand, United Artists, and Tamla, but it is remarkably generous with dozens of bonus tracks -- mono versions, single edits, instrumentals, and so forth -- and LP-replica sleeves for each album. As an extra enticement for those who dutifully rounded up those late-'90s Legacy and early-2010s BBR reissues, there's Wild in Woodstock, a previously unreleased recording of the Go All the Way-era band performing at Bearsville Studios. Intended for release with overdubbed crowd noise that was thankfully never applied, the set alternates between blistering and gliding and deserves a separate physical issue outside the box. ~ Andy Kellman
$95.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
$70.49

Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
$84.49
$77.99

Pop/Rock - Released November 22, 1968 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
After the amazing masterpieces of Revolver and Sergeant Pepper's, The Beatles dove back into the art of pure writing, bringing about a certain level of sobriety and leaving aside their recent psychadelic delusions, awesome as they were. Released in November 1968, this double White Album is a return to more refined pop and rock; the essence of their art. The title of the disc, The Beatles, does not manage to hide the growing dissension between the four musicians at the time, and their diverging personalities saw this album herald the beginning of the end for the Fab Four, and the budding of their future solo careers... Despite all of this, The Beatles managed to release a new and totally unique album here, which can be enjoyed step by step as a true emotional rollercoaster: The fantasy of Dear Prudence, the dark madness of Revolution 9, the legendary guitar solo in While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the labyrinth of Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Sexy Sadie, the emotion of Julia (which Lennon dedicated to his mother, who died when he was 17), the purity of Blackbird and the ultra-violent tsunami that is Helter Skelter… the White Album is a brilliant production, a new masterpiece from a group growing apart ... For its 50-year anniversary, this legendary double album makes a return in Deluxe Edition form, a well-deserved title. As well as the stereo remixed version by legendary producer George Martin's son, the original mono version (praised by purists for this format) and the famous Esher Demos there are 27 demo tracks of some famous hits recorded in Harrison’s home and three studio-session CDs. It’s a marvellous collection (107 tracks in total!) which let’s us further explore this glorious piece of work that still fascinates us 50 years after its creation… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz