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What Are You Listening To?
[Image: 220px-Smokie_-_Midnight_Cafe.jpg]

SMOKIE "midnight café" cd, 1976:

the band's third studio album...
average album of their brand of soft rock but I still like it overall...
two stand out tracks for me though, neither of which were singles...
album album failed to chart in their homeland and by coincidence,
was their only chart success in the US, peaking at #173 over there...
from the album:

[video=youtube;r0yrHatEtE0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0yrHatEtE0[/video]
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[Image: 31YEXb4ZZhL._AC_US160_.jpg]

GEORGE MICHAEL "patience" cd, 2004

his fifth and final studio album...
easy listening is where I thought this one goes best...
some uptempo pop on here but mostly slower tracks...
his most mature sounding album...
he lays his heart on his sleeve with the tracks on here...
although its very good I still prefer his debut "faith" set..
from the album, the title track:

[video=youtube;-jtPowwNLS8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jtPowwNLS8[/video]
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I am surprised to learn that he only had five albums. Thought there would have been more.
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.
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[Image: 220px-Smokie_-_Changing_All_the_Time_%28..._cover.jpg]

SMOKIE "changing all the time" cd, 1975

Band's second album, notice they spell their name different on this one...
later pressings of the album were credited to Smokie as opposed to the original Smokey name...
one of only two albums that charted in their homeland, peaked at #18, their biggest seller there...
two singles from this one, "don't play your rock and roll to me" and "if you think you know how to love me",
which incidently are the best tracks on here, and both were top10 hits in their homeland
still, another consistently good 'soft rock' album from one of the most underrated bands of that period...
from the album, one of the singles:

[video=youtube;q_dJhBJyE18]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_dJhBJyE18[/video]
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[Image: 220px-Blue_Valentine.jpg]

TOM WAITS "blue valentine" cd, 1978:

Tom's fifth and my first....
bought this on a whim not really knowing too much about him other than
he was apparently a bit like Cohen...
its bluesy, its jazzy, has all the hallmarks of fitting well in a smoky dark dank musky bar room...
ive listened to this almost constantly for a week and still cannot "get into it"...
nothing I can really say I like on here nor anything to make me want to explore him further...
if there was a best track for me it would be the cover of the "somewhere" song from West Side Story...
as a footnote, the lady on the back cover of the album is Rickie Lee Jones whim he was romantically involved
with at that time...
from the album, the West Side Story cover..

[video=youtube;oO150w6iFwQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO150w6iFwQ[/video]
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It's not often I listen to jazz of any description but today I am making an exception - Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose and Fancy Free - some stunning percussive work on this release. Bill is a master of unorthodox timings. How the hell he does not get lost on the way is beyond me. Super talented.
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.
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[Image: 220px-Leonard_Cohen_You_Want_It_Darker.jpg]

LEONARD COHEN "you want it darker" cd, 2016

his fourteenth and final studio set...
released mess than a month prior to his death...
loved it when I heard it as a new release, was my favourite listen
on that particular week in mid October...
never know where to place Cohen, Alternative or jazz/easy listening???
a good solid album that fits in nicely with the other early ones of his I own..
from the album, the title track:

[video=youtube;RxkdSZ7gKDU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxkdSZ7gKDU[/video]
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I’ve been noticing drummer Manu Katché quite a lot lately and decided to explore his solo releases. He’s worked with a number of artists - Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jan Garbarek, Youssou N’Dour, Tracy Chapman, Loreena McKennit, Joan Armatrading, Richard Wright, Dire Straits, Al di Meola, Jeff Beck, and quite a few more.

His first solo album, It’s About Time (which is classified as rock) is pleasant enough listening – he enlisted a whole host of skilled musos to contribute (David Sancious, Branford Marsalis, Pino Palladino, Daniel Lanois, David Rhodes, Sting, Gabriel, etcetera, etceteraaaa … geez!) and vocally he shows chutzpah, if not a whole lot else; he doesn’t have a bad voice, just not a very good one, in my rather uncharitable opinion! Sorry Mr Katché – although the French accent does help somewhat Confusedmile:! The album got good reviews and I’ll listen to it again – it just feels to me a bit like an amalgamation of the people he’s worked with, and as though he doesn’t really know yet which direction he should be headed in - hasn’t quite found his independent feet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73P9Yu5XyPk

But then … he signed up with Manfred Eicher and ECM. Eicher is a genius, no doubt about it – impeccable taste and style; Katché paired with a couple of Vikings and their Polish counterparts is a whole different ballgame! What is it about Norwegians and jazz/fusion??! Not forgetting that Katché is the composer, of course, and contrary to what one might expect of a drummer’s ‘solo’ album, he literally strikes a beautiful balance.

Neighbourhood is the first ECM offering - a track from that with Jan Garbarek on sax … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXxu85FvtiA

And this is from Playground, his second for ECM … both releases are instrumental …

[video=youtube;CwCnUdSHMKw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwCnUdSHMKw[/video]
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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[Image: 220px-Smokie_-_Pass_It_Around_%281975%29..._cover.jpg]

SMOKIE "pass it around" cd, 1975

their debut album...
known by the alternative name spelling with this one and their second release...
same soft rock sounds we know and love by the band...
album failed to chart anywhere...
only one single off it also, the title track, which the BBC censors deemed to be
a reference to marijuana, which of course, it wasn't...
nothing great on their debut and a couple I just don't like but overall a nice album...
my favourite track wasn't the single but I think it should have been...

[video=youtube;WuFGcHo2cHQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuFGcHo2cHQ[/video]
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[Image: 51Xxz7qrt2L._AC_US218_.jpg]

NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS "a little something more from..." cd, 2016:

from Missouri, sixth album by him, second with Night Sweats...
multi-genred artist, covers Gospel, blues, soul/R+B,folk rock, Americana....
on the legendary Stax label, and the music is true to that label...
catchy, foot tapping stuff for the most part like its predecessor, the self titled set...
another great sounding album from the band, I love it,
from the album:

[video=youtube;7bfcQDYutUE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bfcQDYutUE[/video]
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