I apologize, and realize I've been leaving you and your ipod with out a musical compass over the past few weeks. Things have been busy on the farm. But, without further wait. . .
1. "Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits (Part One)" by Dionne Warwick - When most folks my age think of Ms. Warwick, they think "psychic friends hotline". And what a damn shame that is. But I suppose it's her own fault. Either way, it's not completely her that is to be cherished when listening to this collection. The brunt of the praise should be bestowed upon good old Burt Bacharach and the wonderful Hal David, who not only wrote these chillingly beautiful songs but produced and arranged them as well. These tracks all share a similarly majestic production value that, for 1962, '63, and '64, should not be scoffed at. If you can listen to the sax solo in "Anyone who ever had a Heart" or the coda for that matter without the hair raising on your arms, then you probably lack that human function all together and should go to the doctor. I'm sure any collection of Dionne's early hits will do. I'm not even sure if they put this particular collection on CD, but do yourself a favor and make sure that you get "Walk on By," "I Smiled Yesterday," "Anyone who ever had a Heart," and the original version of "Always Something there to Remind Me" into your life. She's the soul singer you didn't know you were supposed to love.
2. "Coney Island Baby" by Lou Reed - This is by far my favorite Lou Reed album. Solo Lou that is. To be honest I don't really even like 75% of his other stuff. Solo stuff that is. I mean, this is a pretty common opinion though. It's not as if I'm saying I don't like Dylan's voice. I think most of Lou Reed's albums are shit. Sue me. Anyway, this album is about as close as he ever got to recapturing the magic that the Velvets had. The songs are simple and grooving. The production is tight and encompasses the best of what the seventies sounded like in an engineer's both. And the musicianship is flawless and perfectly tasteful--not the typical Lou bullshit.
Bob Kulick's licks are smokin' and all over the thing. He later went on to overdub the guitar that Paul Stanley pretended to play on a few KISS albums. His bluesy bite gives the whole album kind of a southern rock vibe that works perfectly with Lou's New-York-cool tunes. Just listen to "A Gift" and you'll catch what I'm saying. It's cool as the other side of the pillow, and mildly hilarious. The title track is probably one of the best songs Lou's written since "Oh Sweet Nothin". This album has somehow slipped through the cracks. But if you love the Velvet Underground but think that Lou Reed solo albums are predominantly hoarse shit, then give this a spin. (Sorry Lou, it's not like you don't know your a dick though.)