Tag Archives: Playlist

Power to the People and Beats: The Best of Public Enemy Mix

Public EnemyA virtual playlist of the best of Public Enemy, configured to fit on four CDs.  These aren’t just the obvious choices, though most of those are here too.

 

 

Disc 1

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) (the album in its entirety)

Disc 2

Fear of a Black Planet (1990) (the album in its entirety)

Disc 3
  1. “Can’t Truss It” from Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
  2. “Hazy Shade of Criminal” from Greatest Misses (1992)
  3. “By the Time I Get to Arizona” from Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
  4. “I Don’t Wanna Be Called Yo Niga” from Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
  5. “Nighttrain” from Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
  6. “Whole Lotta Love Goin on in the Middle of Hell” from Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
  7. “Live and Undrugged Part 1 & 2” from Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
  8. “Bedlam 13:13” from Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
  9. “Revolverlution” from Revolverlution (2002)
  10. “Say It Like It Really Is” from The Evil Empire of Everything (2012)
  11. “World Tour Sessions” from There’s a Poison Goin On…. (1998)
  12. “Shut Em Down (Pe-te Rock Mixx)” (1991) (single)
  13. “He Got Game” from He Got Game (1998)
  14. “Give It Up” from Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
  15. “Harder Than You Think” from How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (2007)
  16. “I Shall Not Be Moved” from Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp (2012)
  17. “Don’t Give Up the Fight” from The Evil Empire of Everything (2012)
  18. “Electric Slave” from Beats and Places (2006)
Disc 4
  1. “Me to We” from Man Plans God Laughs
    (2015)
  2. “Gotta Do What I Gotta Do” from Greatest Misses (1992)
  3. “I” from There’s a Poison Goin On…. (1998)
  4. “Escapism” from How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (2007)
  5. “See Something, Say Something” from How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (2007)
  6. “… Everything” from The Evil Empire of Everything (2012)
  7. “Watch the Door (Warhammer on Watch Mixx)” from Bring That Beat Back: The Public Enemy Remix Project (2006)
  8. “As Long As the People Got Something to Say” from New Whirl Odor (2005)
  9. “Yo! Bum Rush the Show” from Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)
  10. “Public Enemy No. 1” from Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)
  11. “Catch the Thrown” from Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp (2012)
  12. “Truth Decay” from Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp (2012)
  13. “Hoovermusic” from Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp (2012)
  14. “Black Steel in the Hour” from Live From Metropolis Studios (2015)
  15. “What Good Is a Bomb” from Revolverlution (2002)
  16. “Honky Talk Rules” from Man Plans God Laughs
    (2015)
  17. “Like It Is” from Beats and Places (2006)

Willie Nelson: Singing and Smoking

The Sound in Your MindWhat follows is a collection of Willie Nelson‘s greatest recordings, organized as a virtual “best of” playlist that would fit on four CDs.  Most of the big hits are here, plus overlooked deep album tracks and a few live versions.  There is more to Willie than just what is presented here, but this at least gives a sense of the man’s talents. [Updated as of Oct. 2017]

Disc 1:
  1. “Crazy” …And Then I Wrote (1962)
  2. “Family Bible” Yesterday’s Wine (1971)
  3. “Me and Paul” (1971); Yesterday’s Wine (1971)
  4. “Shotgun Willie” (1973); Shotgun Willie (1973)
  5. “Whiskey River” Shotgun Willie (1973)
  6. “Bubbles in My Beer” Shotgun Willie (1973)
  7. “Washing the Dishes” Phases and Stages (1974)
  8. “Walkin'” Phases and Stages (1974)
  9. “Bloody Mary Morning” (1974); Phases and Stages (1974)
  10. “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (1975); Red Headed Stranger (1975)
  11. “That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)” The Sound in Your Mind (1976)
  12. “Can I Sleep in Your Arms?” Red Headed Stranger (1975)
  13. “I’d Have to Be Crazy” (1976); The Sound in Your Mind (1976)
  14. “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time” (1976); The Sound in Your Mind (1976)
  15. Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings – “I Can Get Off on You” Waylon & Willie (1978)
  16. “On the Road Again” (1980); Honeysuckle Rose (1980)
  17. “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” The Electric Horseman (1979)
  18. “Georgia on My Mind” (1978); Stardust (1978)
  19. Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson“Opportunity to Cry” (1983); Pancho & Lefty (1982)
  20. “Always on My Mind” (1982); Always on My Mind (1982)
  21. “Is the Better Part Over” A Horse Called Music (1989)
  22. “My Love for the Rose [track 1]” Tougher Than Leather (1983)
  23. “American Tune” Across the Borderline (1993)
  24. “Ou es-tu, mon amour?” Teatro (1998)
  25. “Matador” Spirit (1996)
  26. “I Never Cared For You” Single (1964)
Disc 2:
  1. “Hello Walls” …And Then I Wrote (1962)
  2. “Undo the Right” …And Then I Wrote (1962)
  3. “I Gotta Get Drunk” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
  4. “Columbus Stockade Blues” (1966); Country Favorites – Willie Nelson Style (1966)
  5. “The Party’s Over” (1967); The Party’s Over and Other Great Willie Nelson Songs (1967)
  6. “Yesterday [live]” Live Country Music Concert (1966)
  7. “Help Me Make It Through the Night” The Willie Way (1972)
  8. “Happiness Lives Next Door” Naked Willie (2009)
  9. “London” The Words Don’t Fit the Picture (1972)
  10. “A Penny For Your Thoughts” The Sound in Your Mind (1976)
  11. “Devil in a Sleepin’ Bag” (1973); Shotgun Willie (1973)
  12. “Uncloudy Day” (1976); The Troublemaker (1976)
  13. “Railroad Lady” To Lefty From Willie (1977)
  14. “The Healing Hands of Time” The Sound in Your Mind (1976)
  15. “Till I Gain Control Again [live]” Willie and Family Live (1978)
  16. “A Song for You [~live]” Honeysuckle Rose (1980)
  17. “Buddy” The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? (1992)
  18. “Summer of Roses/December Day” Tougher Than Leather (1983)
  19. “We Don’t Run” Spirit (1996)
  20. “Good Hearted Woman [live]” A Classic & Unreleased Collection [Willie Nelson Live at the Texas Opry House] (1994)
  21. “Darkness on the Face of the Earth” Teatro (1998)
  22. “Beer for My Horses (with Toby Keith) [live]” Live and Kickin’ (2003)
  23. “Songbird” (2006); Songbird (2006)
  24. “You’ll Never Know” Let’s Face the Music and Dance (2013)
  25. “Rainbow Connection” Rainbow Connection (2001)
  26. “This Old House” Remember Me, Vol. 1 (2011)
Disc 3:
  1. Paul Buskirk and His Little Men Featuring Hugh Nelson“Nite Life” Single (1960)
  2. “Man With the Blues” Single (1959)
  3. “Misery Mansion” Single (1960)
  4. “Permanently Lonely” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
  5. “One Day at a Time” Country Willie – His Own Songs (1965)
  6. “The Local Memory” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
  7. “Darkness on the Face of the Earth” Country Willie – His Own Songs (1965)
  8. “What Do You Think of Her Now” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
  9. “Seasons of My Heart” Country Favorites – Willie Nelson Style (1966)
  10. “The Last Letter/Half a Man [live]” Live Country Music Concert (1966)
  11. “Good Times”; Good Times (1968)
  12. “Pins and Needles (In My Heart)” Both Sides Now (1970)
  13. “Mountain Dew”; The Willie Way (1972)
  14. “Stay Away From Lonely Places” The Words Don’t Fit the Picture (1972)
  15. “Sad Songs and Waltzes”; Shotgun Willie (1973)
  16. Tracy Nelson – “After the Fire Is Gone” A Classic & Unreleased Collection (1994)
  17. “Red Headed Stranger” Red Headed Stranger (1975)
  18. “You Show Me Yours (And I’ll Show You Mine)” Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson (1979)
  19. “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson (1979)
  20. “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” Single (1980)
  21. “Just One Love” Just One Love (1995)
  22. “I Guess I’ve Come to Live Here In Your Eyes” Spirit (1996)
  23. Willie Nelson / Merle Haggard“Somewhere Between” Django and Jimmie (2015)
  24. “(The) Most Unoriginal Sin” Across the Borderline (1993)
  25. U2 – “Slow Dancing (Feat. Willie Nelson)” If God Will Send His Angels Single (1997)
Disc 4:
  1. “Opportunity to Cry” Crazy: The Demo Sessions (2003)
  2. “Funny How Times Slips Away” …And Then I Wrote (1962)
  3. “Half a Man” Here’s Willie Nelson (1963)
  4. “Yesterday’s Wine”; Yesterday’s Wine (1971)
  5. “Crazy Arms” Both Sides Now (1970)
  6. “One Step Beyond” The Words Don’t Fit the Picture (1972)
  7. “Sister’s Coming Home / Down at the Corner Beer Joint” Phases and Stages (1974)
  8. “I Never Cared for You [live]” Live Country Music Concert (1966)
  9. “I Love You a Thousand Ways”; To Lefty From Willie (1977)
  10. “Time of the Preacher Theme [0:26]” Red Headed Stranger (1975)
  11. Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings – “It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way” Waylon & Willie (1978)
  12. “Golden Earrings” Without a Song (1983)
  13. “Home Motel [Hotel]” The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? (1992)
  14. “Pretend I Never Happened” The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? (1992)
  15. The Highwaymen – “Pick Up the Tempo” The Road Goes on Forever: 10th Anniversary Edition (2005)
  16. “I’ve Loved You All Over the World” Teatro (1998)
  17. “The Maker”; Teatro (1998)
  18. “Spirit of E9″ ” Spirit (1996)
  19. “I’m Not Trying To Forget You Anymore” Spirit (1996)
  20. “From Here to the Moon and Back (with Dolly Parton)” from …To All the Girls (2013)
  21. “But Not For Me” Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (2016)
  22. Willie Nelson / Merle Haggard“Django and Jimmie” Django and Jimmie (2015)
  23. “I’m a Worried Man (featuring Toots Hibbert)” Countryman (2005)
  24. “Why Baby Why” Remember Me, Vol. 1 (2011)
  25. “Heartaches By the Numbers” For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price (2016)
  26. “Roly Poly” Here’s Willie Nelson (1963)

Traveling These Roads Between Heaven & Hell: Johnny Cash, Singer of Songs

Bitter Tears: Ballads of the Americna Indian

My selections for a “virtual” compilation of music by Johnny Cash, in the spirit of Bob Dylan‘s Biograph.  In other words, this steps out from the usual canon of accepted Cash classics and presents some of the hits together with non-single deep album tracks, live recordings, B-sides, demos, and other overlooked treasures.  Don’t consider this exhaustive.  There are plenty of great Cash recordings not featured here.  The list provides links to single releases, if any, plus the first album releases.

Disc 1:

  1. I Walk the Line” (1956); Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar! (1957)
  2. Folsom Prison Blues” (1955); Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar! (1957)
  3. “I Was There When It Happened” Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar! (1957)
  4. “The Wreck of the Old ’97” Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar! (1957)
  5. Hey, Porter!” (1955); Now Here’s Johnny Cash (1961)
  6. Get Rhythm” (1956); Greatest! (1959)
  7. Big River” (1958); Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous (1958)
  8. “Five Minutes to Live” The Man in Black: 1959-’62 (1991)
  9. Guess Things Happen That Way” (1958); Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous (1958)
  10. “The Ways of a Woman in Love” [alternate version] Roads Less Travelled: The Rare and Unissued Sun Recordings (2001)
  11. “Goodnight Irene” Original Sun Sound of Johnny Cash (1964)
  12. I Still Miss Someone” (1958); The Fabulous Johnny Cash (1958)
  13. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” Hymns by Johnny Cash (1959)
  14. “Drink to Me” Songs of Our Soil (1959)
  15. “The Great Speckled Bird” Songs of Our Soil (1959)
  16. Seasons of My Heart” (1960); Now, There Was a Song! Memories From the Past (1960)
  17. “Transfusion Blues” Now, There Was a Song! Memories From the Past (1960)
  18. The Rebel – Johnny Yuma” (1961); Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963)
  19. “In Them Old Cottonfields Back Home” The Sound of Johnny Cash (1962)
  20. A Little at a Time” (1962); Old Golden Throat (1968)
  21. Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” (1962); Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963)
  22. “The Talking Leaves” Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian (1964)
  23. “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow” Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian (1964)
  24. “Custer” Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian (1964)
  25. Ring of Fire” (1963); Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963)
  26. Understand Your Man” (1964); I Walk the Line (1964)
  27. It Ain’t Me, Babe” (1964); Orange Blossom Special (1965)
  28. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” Nashville at Newport (1995)
  29. “Ballad of Ira Hayes” Nashville at Newport (1995)
  30. “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)” Orange Blossom Special (1965)

Disc 2:

  1. “Mr. Lonesome” The Sound of Johnny Cash (1962)
  2. “The Road to Kaintuck” Sings the Ballads of the True West (1965)
  3. “Happiness Is You” Happiness Is You (1966)
  4. Johnny Cash & June Carter “Fast Boat to Sydney” Carryin’ On (1967)
  5. Folsom Prison Blues” (1968); At Folsom Prison (1968)
  6. “Dark as the Dungeon” At Folsom Prison (1968)
  7. “Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart” At Folsom Prison (1968)
  8. “Jackson” At Folsom Prison (1968)
  9. “I Got Stripes” At Folsom Prison (1968)
  10. “Greystone Chapel” At Folsom Prison (1968)
  11. “Tennessee Flat Top Box” Bootleg Vol. III: Live Around the World (2011)
  12. “Remember the Alamo” Bootleg Vol. III: Live Around the World (2011)
  13. “Long-Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man” Bootleg Vol. III: Live Around the World (2011)
  14. “Ring of Fire” Bootleg Vol. III: Live Around the World (2011)
  15. “Darling Companion” At San Quentin (1969)
  16. A Boy Named SueAt San Quentin (1969)
  17. “(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley” At San Quentin (1969)
  18. Bob Dylan “Girl From the North Country” Nashville Skyline (1969)
  19. The Folk Singer” (1968); The Bootleg Series Vol. 2: From Memphis to Hollywood (2011)
  20. “Cisco Clifton’s Fillin’ Station” From Sea to Shining Sea (1968)
  21. “Daddy Sang Bass” At Madison Square Garden (2002)
  22. “He Turned the Water Into Wine” The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash (2008) (or version from the February 11, 1970 episode of “The Johnny Cash Show” – not available in album format)
  23. Sunday Morning Coming Down” (1970); The Johnny Cash Show (1970)
  24. “Girl From the North Country” (with Joni Mitchell) The Best of The Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971 (2008)
  25. Flesh and Blood” (1971); I Walk the Line (1970)
  26. See Ruby Fall” (1969); Hello, I’m Johnny Cash (1970)
  27. “Wanted Man” Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970)

Disc 3:

  1. Johnny Cash & June CarterIf I Were a Carpenter” (1969); Hello, I’m Johnny Cash (1970)
  2. “Orphan of the Road” Man in Black (1971)
  3. Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues” (1971); Man in Black (1971)
  4. You’ve Got a New Light Shining in Your Eyes(1971); Man in Black (1971)
  5. “The Battle of New Orleans” America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song (1972)
  6. Don’t Go Near the Water” (1974); Ragged Old Flag (1974)
  7. “King of the Hill” Ragged Old Flag (1974)
  8. “Southern Comfort” Ragged Old Flag (1974)
  9. My Old Kentucky Home (Turpentine and Dandelion Wine)” (1975); John R. Cash (1975)
  10. “That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine” På Österåker (1973)
  11. Johnny Cash & June Carter “The City of New Orleans” Johnny Cash and His Woman (1973)
  12. Orleans Parish Prison” (1972); Murder (2000)
  13. “Mississippi Sand” A Thing Called Love (1972)
  14. “Nasty Dan” (1974 or ’75); The Stars Come Out on Sesame Street (1979)
  15. Junkie” (1974); The Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me (1974)
  16. I Hardly Ever Sing Beer Drinking Songs” (1975); Look at Them Beans (1975)
  17. One Piece at a Time” (1976); One Piece at a Time (1976)
  18. City Jail” (1977); The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1976)
  19. “Give It Away” The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1976)
  20. After the Ball” (1978); The Rambler (1977)
  21. “I Don’t Think I Could Take You Back Again” I Would Like to See You Again (1978)
  22. “Without Love” Rockabilly Blues (1980)
  23. “It Ain’t Nothing New Babe” Rockabilly Blues (1980)
  24. “Abner Brown” I Would Like to See You Again (1978)
  25. “Lay Me Down in Dixie” A Believer Sings the Truth (1979)
  26. The Baron” (1981); The Baron (1981)
  27. The Last Gunfighter Ballad” (1977); The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1976)

Disc 4

  1. “Cindy, I Love You” The Last Gunfighter Ballad (1976)
  2. “The Lily of the Valley” Personal File (2006)
  3. “No Earthly Good” Personal File (2006)
  4. “It Takes One to Know Me” Personal File (2006)
  5. “Highway Patrolman” Johnny 99 (1983)
  6. “Unwed Fathers” Rainbow (1985)
  7. “The Hobo Song” The Mystery of Life (1991)
  8. “Just the Other Side of Nowhere” Unearthed (2003)
  9. “Let the Train Blow the Whistle” American Recordings (1994)
  10. Delia’s Gone” (1994); American Recordings (1994)
  11. “Bird on a Wire” American Recordings (1994)
  12. “Spiritual” Unchained (1996)
  13. The Highwaymen “Live Forever [acoustic demo version]” The Road Goes On Forever: 10th Anniversary Edition (2005)
  14. “Ghost Riders in the Sky” In Ireland (2009)
  15. “Solitary Man” American III: Solitary Man (2000)
  16. “Rowboat” Unchained (1996)
  17. “Memories Are Made of This” Unchained (1996)
  18. “Country Boy” Unchained (1996)
  19. “I’ve Been Everywhere” Unchained (1996)
  20. “Country Trash” American III: Solitary Man (2000)
  21. “Field of Diamonds” American III: Solitary Man (2000)
  22. “Mary of the Wild Moor” American III: Solitary Man (2000)
  23. Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson “Unchained” VH1 Storytellers (1998)
  24. Do LordUnearthed (2003)
  25. I’ll Fly AwayUnearthed (2003)
  26. “Redemption Song” (with Joe Strummer) Unearthed (2003)
  27. “Help Me” American V: A Hundred Highways (2006)

Ultimate Gospel Supermix (Part I)

American Primitive Vol. I

Here is my take on a “virtual” single disc gospel overview compilation.  Neophytes, I dare you to listen to this and not become a fan.  I’ve tried to link up more readily available CD collections rather than hard-to-find LPs.  Will be continued with my Gospel Mix, Part II, Gospel Mix, Part III, Gospel Mix, Part IV and Gospel Mix, Part V lists.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am an atheist.

 

1 The Stuff That Dreams Are Made of
Rev. B.L. Wightman with Lottie Kimbrough & Congregation – “Live the Life”

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: Super Rarities & Unissued Gems of the 1920s and 30s (2006)

2 Anthology of American Folk Music
Rev. Sister Mary Nelson – “Judgment”

Anthology of American Folk Music (1997)

3 The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
Blind Willie Johnson – “John the Revelator

The Complete Blind Willie Johnson (1993)

4 American Primitive Vol. I
Blind Roosevelt Graves & Brother – “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus)

American Primitive Vol. 1: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926-36) (1997)

5 The Golden Gate Quartet Collection
Golden Gate Quartet“Bedside of a Neighbor”

The Golden Gate Quartet Collection (2005)

6 The Harmonizing Four 1943-1954
Richmond’s Harmonizing Four – “Everytime I Feel the Spirit”

The Harmonizing Four 1943-1954 (2006)

7 Milky White Way: The Legendary Recordings 1947-1952
The TrumpeteersMilky White Way

Milky White Way: The Legendary Recordings 1947-1952 (2002)

8 Journey to the Sky: The Legendary Recordings 1946-1950
Dixie Hummingbirds“Move On Up a Little Higher [alt. take]”

Journey to the Sky: The Legendary Recordings 1946-1950 (2001)

9 I Want to Know
The Silverlight Quartet (with Brother Cecil L. Shaw) – “Jesus Lend Me a Helping Hand in Your Name

I Want to Know (2006)

10 Love Lifted Me/My Rock
The Swan Silvertone Singers – “Trouble In My Way

Love Lifted Me / My Rock (1991)

11 Oh Lord, STand By Me / MArching Up to Zion
The Blind Boys of AlabamaLiving For My Jesus

Oh Lord, Stand By Me / Marching Up to Zion (1991)

12 Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers
The Soul Stirrers – “It Won’t Be Very Long

Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers (1991)

13
1947-1954
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi“(I’ll Be) In the Wilderness”

1947-1954 (2007)

14 The Best of the Sensational Nightingales
The Sensational NightingalesA Closer Walk With Thee

The Best of The Sensational Nightingales (1991)

15 When Gospel Was Gospel
The Davis Sisters – “Jesus Steps Right In”

When Gospel Was Gospel (2005)

16 Get on Board
The Original Gospel Harmonettes – “I’ll Be With Thee

Get on Board (1992)

17 Get Right With God: Hot Gospel
Sister O.M. Terrell – “I’m Going to that City”

Get Right With God: Hot Gospel (1988)

18 The Best of the Vee-Jay Years
The Staple SingersI’m Coming Home (Parts 1 & 2)

The Best of the Vee-Jay Years (2007)

19 Gospel Train
Sister Rosetta Tharpe“Cain’t [sic] No Grave Hold My Body Down”

Gospel Train (1956)

20 The Best of The Caravans
The Caravans“Your Friend”

The Best of The Caravans (1998)

21 Give Me My FLowers / Heart Warming Spirituals
The ConsolersWaiting for My Child

Give Me My Flowers / Heart Warming Spirituals (1993)

22 Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns
Mahalia Jackson – “In the Upper Room

Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns (1991)

23 Oh Happy Day: The Best of the Edwin Hawkins Singers
The Edwin Hawkins SingersOh, Happy Day

Oh Happy Day!: The Best of the Edwin Hawkins Singers (2001)

 

24 Speaking in Tongues
The Holmes Brothers“I Shall Not Walk Alone”

Speaking in Tongues (2001)

 

The Swan Silvertones (Part I)

Love Lifted Me

A twelve song tribute to one of my favorite musical groups, The Swan Silvertones.  This isn’t a “best-of” list or anything of the sort.  I just feel that this group, which was capable of just about reaching musical perfection from my point of view, is sadly unknown and as a result too many people are missing out.  So, enjoy!  This list will be continued with The Swan Silvertones, Part II, The Swan Silvertones, Part III, The Swan Silvertones, Part IV and The Swan Silvertones, Part V.  Maybe I should also mention that I have zero interest in the religious content of this music.

Trouble in My Way / I'm Coming Home

1. “Trouble In My Way

As The Swan Silverton Singers; single (1953); available on Love Lifted Me/My Rock (1991)

It may have a sentimental attachment, being the first Swan Silvertones song I ever heard, but this version of “Trouble In My Way” is what I consider the definitive Swan Silvertones recording.  It is hard gospel, with a syncopated rhythm, tight backing harmonies and soaring lead vocals on the top.  The two leads trade back and forth, and play off each other by contrasting coarser shouted vocals and smoother ones that effortlessly leap into falsetto range.  I sometimes listen to just this song over and over and over again.If music has gotten better than this, I haven’t heard it.

How I Got Over / Jesus Is a Friend

2. “How I Got Over

As The Swan Silvertone Singers; single (195?); available on Love Lifted Me/My Rock (1991)

A great song that provides lots of space for impressive melisma early on, and a pronounced call & response passage later on too.

Love Lifted Me

3. “Glory to His Name”

As The Swan Silvertone Singers; single (195?); available on Love Lifted Me/My Rock (1991)

Claude Jeter is without a doubt my favorite singer.  There are few songs that highlight his vocals better than “Glory to His Name”.  The first ten seconds alone should be enough to convince a few other people to become fans too.

Pray for Me

4. “The Blood of Jesus”

From Pray for Me (1975)

A track that relies more heavily on guitar accompaniment than usual.  The laid-back mood here always reminds me of “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay“.  I love Louis Johnson’s cracking vocals early on.

Singin' in My Soul

5. “Swing Low

Single (1960), and on Singin’ in My Soul (1960); available on Singin in My Soul/Blessed Assurance (2002)

The opener from the group’s best album is a fantastic slow-moving number that draws you in to the pristine vocal harmonies.  Then the subversive guitar accompaniment, from Linwood Hargrove I’m assuming, keeps you in it all the way.  Here’s a track that shows how The Swan Silvertones could just do it better than anybody else.

The Swan Silvertones

6. “Mary Don’t You Weep

Single (1958), and on The Swan Silvertones (1959); available on The Swan Silvertones/Saviour Pass Me Not (2001)

The improvised lyric “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name” from this song inspired Paul Simon to write “Bridge Over Troubled Water“, which is a bit of trivia that has probably brought quite a number of new fans to The Swan Silvertones’ music through the years.

The Day Will Surely Come / Jesus Changed This HEart of Mine

7. “Jesus Changed This Heart of Mine

As The Swan Silvertone Singers; single (1952); available on Love Lifted Me/My Rock (1991)

I love the line Claude Jeter sings that goes “I’m gonna eat at the welcome table”.  His phrasing is amazing.  The harmonic resolution at the very end is classic too. When the group went to the Pittsburgh radio station WPGH to record a number of tracks, this one among them, Art Rupe of Specialty Records sent along a letter to chief engineer Ralph Ketterer that said, “This type of performance may be foreign to you, but essentially we want the singers to sing out freely.  PLEASE DO NOT HOLD THEM BACK IN ANY MANNER.  If they want to shout, let them shout.  If they want to cry on the recording, let them cry.”  I hate to think what might have happened without that letter!

Working on a Building / Depending on Jesus

8. “Working On a Building

As Swan’s Silvertone Singers; single (1948); available on 1946-1951 (2005)

The Swan Silvertones’ earliest singles found them merely warming up, in a way.  Supposedly their label didn’t support them in recording hard gospel, pushing instead for a more folk or hillbilly sound.  Their earliest sides tend to fall more or less into the “jubilee” gospel style, and the arrangements are reminiscent of recordings by The Soul Stirrers and The Blind Boys from the same time period.  As the 1950s rolled around, you can hear them pushing the boundaries a bit more, with the lead singers going out further and further from the backing harmonies.

Love Lifted Me

9. “Prayer In My Mouth”

As The Swan Silvertone Singers; single (195?); available on Love Lifted Me/My Rock (1991)

Another classic track recorded in the 1950s.  Solomon Womack (Bobby Womack‘s uncle) takes the first lead.  Womack passed away in the mid 1950s, and the band suspected it was because the demands of touring had taken quite a toll on him.  The bass vocals on the second lead (Henry K. Bossard I think) are a cool change of pace before Rev. Robert Crenshaw launches into his wild shouting in the final lead.  I have seen Henry K. Bossard credited as the songwriter of “Prayer In My Mouth”, but it is essentially the same song as “Guide My Hand” that The Dixie Hummingbirds had recorded a few years earlier.

Let's Go to Church Together

10. “Search Me Lord”

From Let’s Go to Church Together (1964)

Let’s Go to Church Together is perhaps the most subtle Swan Silvertones album.  It might be live judging from the sound, but I can’t confirm that guess.  It’s not the place to start, but it’s great place to end up.

Saviour Pass Me Not

11. “Bye and Bye”

From Saviour Pass Me Not (1962)

The arrangements on The Swan Silvertones’ full-length albums had grown quite complex by the early 1960s.  From their eclectic Saviour Pass Me Not album, “Bye and Bye” is just another great, upbeat song of which The Swans had no shortage.

Blessed Assurance

12. “He Saved My Soul”

From Blessed Assurance (1963)

The Swans could do it all.  This song finds them singing against a pronounced rock ‘n’ roll backbeat.  Not much of a leap between this and soul music.  The group’s sound would increasingly move in this direction, especially after about 1966 or so.

Scott Walker 101

 

This is...Scott WalkerA “virtual” single-CD overview of the music of Scott Walker.  He most definitely has more than one disc of great material, so this necessarily leaves off a lot.  I’ve tried to make sure important aspects of his music are represented somewhere, though not always as fully as each one deserves.

  1. “Prologue” from ‘Til the Band Comes in
  2. “The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime)” from Scott 4
  3. “Track 3” from Climate of Hunter
  4. The Walker Brothers “People Get Ready” from Portrait
  5. “The Lady Came from Baltimore” from Scott
  6. “Duchess” from Scott 4
  7. “Thanks for Chicago Mr. James” from ‘Til the Band Comes in
  8. “Joanna” (single)
  9. “I’ll Be Home” from Stretch
  10. “The War Is Over (Epilogue)” from ‘Til the Band Comes in
  11. “Montague Terrace (In Blue)” from Scott
  12. “It’s Raining Today” from Scott 3
  13. “Sons of” from Scott 3
  14. “We Came Through” from Scott 3
  15. “The Seventh Seal” from Scott 4
  16. “Hero of the War” from Scott 4
  17. “Rhymes of Goodbye” from Scott 4
  18. “Farmer in the City” from Tilt
  19. “Bouncer See Bouncer…” from Tilt
  20. “Jesse” from The Drift
  21. “Blanket Roll Blues” from Climate of Hunter