The singer in her precocious formative years, headed by her 1955 R&B smash "Roll With Me Henry" (aka "The Wallflower"). James' follow-ups included the driving "Good Rockin' Daddy," a bluesy "W-O-M-A-N," and the New Orleans raveup "Tough Lover," which found her backed by the gang at Cosimo's (notably saxman Lee Allen). Even though her tenure at Modern Records only produced a handful of hits, these 22 cuts are delightful artifacts of the belter's earliest days. The music and liner notes are identical to the previous R&B Dynamite reissue, except that the tracks have been slightly resequenced, and a couple of songs bear different titles ("Number One" has been changed to "My One and Only," "How Big a Fool" to "Call Me a Fool").
Blues on the South Side is probably the best album slide guitarist Homesick James ever laid down (originally for Prestige in 1964). The stylistic similarities to his cousin, the great Elmore James, are obvious, but Homesick deviates repeatedly from the form. Tough as nails with a bottleneck, he goes for the jugular on "Goin' Down Swingin'", "Johnny Mae", and "Gotta Move", supported by pianist Lafayette Leake, guitarist Eddie Taylor, and drummer Clifton James.
Leonard Chess dispatched Etta James to Muscle Shoals in 1967, and the move paid off with one of her best and most soul-searing Cadet albums. Produced by Rick Hall, the resultant album boasted a relentlessly driving title cut, the moving soul ballad "I'd Rather Go Blind," and sizzling covers of Otis Redding's "Security" and Jimmy Hughes' "Don't Lose Your Good Thing," and a pair of fine Don Covay copyrights. The skin-tight session aces at Fame Studios really did themselves proud behind Miss Peaches.
'The Godfather of Soul.' 'The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.' 'Mr. Dynamite.' 'Soul Brother Number One.' For more than 50 years, these and other honorifics have described American music icon James Brown.
The soundtrack to Maleficent, a reimagining of Disney's Sleeping Beauty from the villain's perspective, puts the focus on James Newton Howard's foreboding yet witty score. Stormy brass and percussion duke it out with sparkling strings and woodwinds on pieces that range from the tumultuous ("Maleficent Suite," "Battle of the Moors," "Path of Destruction") to the light-hearted ("Welcome to the Moors," "Aurora and the Fawn"). Lana Del Rey rounds out the album with an equally eerie and alluring version of "Once Upon a Dream," which serves as a reminder as to why she's become one of the most in-demand soundtrack contributors of the 2010s.