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What Are You Listening To?

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Today I wanted to hear Gloria Estefan's version of the energetic, uplifting 70's classic EVERLASTING LOVE. I found a video, and her version wasn't as good as I remembered it. But good.

So I played every other version I could find, such as the Carl Carlton and Vicki Sue Robinson hits (both great) and found a version that I had never heard before by a Britpop group called LOVE AFFAIR recorded in 1968. The video is incredible! The lead singer is great, the musicians sound on a par with Motown, the production is great (sounds like a Phil Spector record), the video is well directed. 


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There Is Only One Roy Orbison -Aug 1965

A great album, Roy's first for a new label MGM. He had most of his classic hits on the Monument label. "Ride Away" is a great opener, it reached only #25 as a single but it is just as good as his bigger hits. It has many changes and moods to it, with some fine orchestration and his usual peerless vocals. "You Fool You" is a nice 1950s style ballad. "I'm In A Blue Blue Mood" is the shortest (1:50)  but one of the best on the album, it has similar structure to his hit "Running Scared" and he hits an incredible note in full voice. "If You Can't Say Something Nice" is good tale of comforting a woman who just lost her love. Side 2 opens with "Claudette" which Orbison had written but gave it away to the Everly Brothers back in the 50s. Roy's version is even better than theirs, a great rocking feel to it. "Afraid To Sleep" is a great dreamy ballad about not wanting to sleep for fear of dreaming of his lost love. "Summer Love" is nice relaxing tune taking us through the seasons. "Big As I Can Dream" is  a very good dramatic ballad, sounds like it could have come from a Broadway show. The record closes with another gentle, wistful song "Wondering".

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The Kinks – You Really Got Me (1964, Vinyl) - Discogs

You Really Got Me by The Kinks -Dec 1964

Since I own all their albums, I thought I would listen to and review them in order. This is the first US collection by the group-Ray Davies (guitarist and songwriter), Dave Davies (lead guitar), Pete Quaife (bass) and Mick Avory (drums). It is not a very good debut but has it's moments. "Beautiful Delilah" is the first track, a Chuck Berry cover, Dave sings it but his voice sounds like he has a bad cold. The Kinks were not very good at R&B covers, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were much better at it. "Just Can't Go To Sleep" is a Ray original and a good bouncy Beatlesque song. The best song by far is title song, the group found it's early unique sound with this one. Ray's leering vocals, Dave's buzz saw guitar (a great solo too) and soaring chorus make this an instant classic, it went to #7 on the US charts. Side 2 starts with an OK Bo Diddley cover "Cadillac". The best of the covers is a fun version of Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business". The second best song is another Ray original "Stop Your Sobbing", which is an early sign of the ironic humor that would become their trademark. It ends with a fair version of Silm Harpo's "Got Love If You Want It".

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The Kinks – Kinks-Size (1988, Vinyl) - Discogs

Kinks-Size -Apr 1965*

A pretty good one from the group. It begins with the rip roaring #7 hit "All Day And All Of The Night" , it's pretty much an imitation of the "You Really Got Me" style but it's still great, equal to it and I at times I like it a bit more. "Long Tall Sally" is a bit more subdued than Little Richard's original and not as good as that one or the Beatles great cover of it. One of their better cover songs is "Louie Louie" , Ray's early style of singing seems to be based on the Kingsmen's lead singer. "I've Got That Feeling" is a very good Ray original, one of his best early melodic songs. "I Gotta Move" is a good rocker, nice guitar riff. Side 2 starts with "Set Me Free" a nice ballad about wanting to be set free from a cheating lover. "You Still Want Me" is OK, nice middle eight. "You Do Something To Me" steals the title and line "that nobody else can do" from Cole Porter. "Things Are Getting Better" is a Ray  original doing a Chuck Berry imitation. "I Gotta Go Now" is OK, sounds like filler. "Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy" is pretty good handclapping song which ends the record.

*The album I own is the Rhino Records 1988 reissue, which has a different track list than the original 1965 release. The Rhino version is the one I am reviewing.

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