Aug 30, 2017

RhoDeo 1735 Aetix


Today's artist pursued a solo career that followed the same vaguely sleazy, electronic dance-pop his former group had made popular. Almond's strength was never his personality, and his voice tends to waver around the notes instead of hitting them. Almond has steadfastly devoted his career to exploring the art of the song. As an interpreter, he has successfully taken on Jacques Brel (on Jacques), '60s obscurities (on the mini-album A Woman's Story), Brecht and Weill ("Surabaya Johnny" and "Pirate Jenny"). His original compositions draw inspiration from subjects as diverse (or not) as French sensualist Georges Bataille (Violent Silence) and Judy Garland ("Saint Judy" on Mother Fist). In addition, he has collaborated with Coil, Bronski Beat, Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell, Nico, Psychic TV, Sally Timms of the Mekons and Andi Sex Gang. One of the most uncommercial commercial artists in pop,. ........N'Joy

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Almond was born in Southport, Lancashire, the son of Sandra Mary Diesen and Peter John Sinclair Almond, a Second Lieutenant in the King's Liverpool Regiment. He was brought up nearby at his grandparents' house in Birkdale with his younger sister, Julia, and as a child suffered from bronchitis and asthma. When he was four, they left their grandparents' house and moved to Starbeck, North Yorkshire. Two years later they returned to Southport, and then moved to Horsforth, West Yorkshire.

At the age of 11, Almond attended Aireborough Grammar School near Leeds, West Yorkshire. He found solace in music, listening to British radio pioneer John Peel. The first album he purchased was the soundtrack of the stage musical Hair and the first single "Green Manalishi" by Fleetwood Mac. He later became a great fan of Marc Bolan and David Bowie and got a part-time job as a stable boy to fund his musical tastes. He gained two O-Levels in Art and English and was accepted onto a General Art and Design course at Southport College, specialising in Performance Art.

Almond applied to Leeds Polytechnic, where he was interviewed by Jeff Nuttall, also a performance artist, who accepted him on the strength of his performing skills. During his time at Art College, he did a series of performance theatre pieces: Zazou, Glamour in Squalor, Twilights and Lowlifes, as well as Andy Warhol inspired mini-movies.  He left Art College with a 2:1 honours degree. He later credited writer and artist Molly Parkin with discovering him. It was at Leeds Polytechnic that Almond met David Ball, a fellow student; they formed Soft Cell in 1977.

"Mutant Moments" came to the attention of music entrepreneur Stevo Pearce, who at the time was compiling a "futurist" chart for the music papers Record Mirror & Sounds which featured young, upcoming and experimental bands of the new wave of electronic sound. He signed the duo to his Some Bizzare label and they enjoyed a string of nine Top 40 hit singles and four Top 20 albums in the UK between 1981–84. They recorded three albums in New York with producer Mike Thorne: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing and The Art of Falling Apart. Almond became involved with the New York Underground Art Scene at this time with writer/DJ Anita Sarko, and performed at a number of Art events, as well as meeting many New York Art luminaries, including Andy Warhol.

In 1982, Almond formed Marc and the Mambas as an offshoot project from Soft Cell. Marc and the Mambas was a loose experimental collective that set the template for the artist that Almond would become. The Mambas at various times included Matt Johnson, Steve James Sherlock, Lee Jenkinson, Peter Ashworth, Jim Thirlwell and Anni Hogan, with whom Almond worked later in his solo career. Under the Mambas moniker, Almond recorded two albums, Untitled and the seminal double opus Torment and Toreros. He disbanded the collective when it started to feel too much like a regular band. Soft Cell disbanded in 1984 just before the release of their fourth album, This Last Night in Sodom, though the duo reunited in 2001.

Almond's first proper solo album was Vermin in Ermine, released in 1984. Produced by Mike Hedges, it featured musicians from the Mambas outfit, Annie Hogan, Martin McCarrick and Billy McGee. This ensemble, known as The Willing Sinners, worked alongside Almond for the subsequent albums Stories of Johnny (1985) from which the title track became a minor hit, and Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters (1987), also produced by Mike Hedges. The latter album was highly acclaimed in reviews, with Ned Raggett writing that the 'Mother Fist' album "embraces classic European cabaret to wonderful effect, more so than any American or English rock album since Bowie's Aladdin Sane or Lou Reed's Berlin."

McCarrick left The Willing Sinners in 1987 to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, from which point Hogan and McGee became known as La Magia. Almond signed to EMI and released the album The Stars We Are in 1988  This album featured Almond's version of "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart", which was later re-recorded as a duet with the song's original singer Gene Pitney and released as a single. The track reached No. 1 in the UK. It also reached number one in Germany and was a major hit in countries around the world. The Stars We Are became his biggest selling solo album in the USA, and the single "Tears Run Rings" became his only solo single to peak inside the US Billboard Hot 100.

Almond's other recordings in the 1980s included an album of Brel songs, called Jacques, and an album of dark French chansons originally performed by Juliette Greco, Serge Lama and Léo Ferré, as well as poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire set to music. This album was released in 1993 as Absinthe, and was initially recorded in the late 1980s then finished in Paris in the early 1990s.

Almond's first release in the 1990s was the album Enchanted, which spawned the UK Top 30 hit "A Lover Spurned". A further single from the album, "Waifs and Strays", was remixed by Dave Ball who was now in the electronic dance band The Grid. In 1991, Soft Cell returned to the charts with a new remix of "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" followed by a re-release of "Tainted Love" (with a new video). The singles were issued to promote a new Soft Cell/Marc Almond compilation album, Memorabilia - The Singles, which collected some of the biggest hits from Almond's career throughout the previous ten years. The album reached the UK Top 10.

Almond then signed to WEA and released a new solo album, Tenement Symphony. Produced partly by Trevor Horn, the album yielded three Top 40 hits including renditions of the Jacques Brel classic "Jacky" (which made the UK Top 20), and "The Days of Pearly Spencer" which returned Almond to the UK Top 5 in 1992. Later that year, Almond played a lavish one-off show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which featured an orchestra and dancers as he performed material from his entire career. The show was recorded and released as the CD and video 12 Years of Tears.

In 1993 Almond toured Russia (including Siberia) by invitation of the British consul in Moscow. Accompanied only by Martin Watkins on piano, he played small Soviet halls and theatres, often without amplification, and ended at the "mini Bolshoi" in Moscow. Transmitted live on television Almond made a plea for tolerance of gay people. The tour was fraught with troubles, which Almond detailed in his autobiography, but it marked the beginning of his love affair with the genre of Russian folk torch songs known as Romance.

Almond's next album Fantastic Star saw him part with WEA and sign to Mercury Records. Much of Fantastic Star was originally recorded in New York with Mike Thorne, but later after signing to Mercury, was reworked in London. Almond also recorded a session for the album with John Cale, David Johanson, and Chris Spedding; some made the final cut. Other songs were produced by Mike Hedges and Martyn Ware. Adding to the disjointed recording process was the fact that during recording Almond also spent several weeks attending a treatment centre in Canterbury for addiction to prescription drugs. However, on its release Fantastic Star gave Almond a hit single with Adored and Explored, and also minor hits and stage favorites such as The Idol and Child Star. Fantastic Star was Almond's last album with a major record label, and the period also marked the ending of his managerial relationship with Stevo Pearce.

Almond re-invented himself and signed to Echo records in 1998 with a more downbeat and atmospheric electronica album, Open All Night. This featured R&B and trip hop influences, as well as torch songs for which he had become known. The album featured a duet ("Threat of Love") with Siouxsie Sioux as well as one ("Almost Diamonds") with Kelli Ali (then of the Sneaker Pimps). "Black Kiss", "Tragedy" and "My Love" were the singles from the album Open All Night.

Almond relocated in 2000 to Moscow where he rented an apartment. With the encouragement and
connections of executive producer Misha Kucherenko, he embarked on a three-year recording project of Russian romance and folk songs, called Heart on Snow. Featuring many Russian stars old and new such as Boris Rebenshchikov, Ilya Lagutenko of the Russian band Mumiy Troll, Lyudmila Zykina and Alla Bayanova and featuring The Rossiya Folk Orchestra conducted by Anatole Sobolev, it was the first time that such a project had been undertaken by a Western artist, many of the loved Soviet era songs sung in English for the first time. The album was produced by musician/arranger Andrei Samsonov. Almond performed many times at the famous now demolished Rossiya Concert Hall with Lyudmila Zykina and Alla Bayanova, and with the Rossiya Folk Orchestra.

In 2001, Soft Cell reunited briefly and released their first new album in 18 years, Cruelty Without Beauty. Two singles came out of this album, "Monoculture" and a cover of the Frankie Valli's "The Night", which led to a Top of the Pops appearance for the band, their first since the mid 1980s.

In October 2004, Almond was seriously injured in a motorbike accident near St Paul's Cathedral, London. Near death and in a coma for weeks, he suffered two huge blood clots and had to undergo emergency surgery twice. He also suffered serious head injuries, multiple breaks and fractures, a collapsed lung and damaged hearing. After the accident he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He began a slow recovery determined to get back on the stage and in the studio.

In June 2007, Almond released an album of cover songs, Stardom Road. Picked to tell a story of his life and
career, the album featured songs as diverse as "I Have Lived" by Charles Aznavour, to "Stardom Road" by Third World War, Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night", and "Kitsch" by Paul Ryan. The album featured his first new song since the motorbike accident, "Redeem me (Beauty Will Redeem the World)". Stardom Road was to be one of three albums for the Sanctuary label, the UK's largest independent record label up until 2007 when it got itself into financial difficulty and was sold off in June 2007 to Universal Music Group. In July 2007, Almond celebrated his 50th birthday on stage at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London and in September performed at a tribute show to Marc Bolan, his teenage hero. At the concert he dueted with Bolan's wife, Gloria Jones, on an impromptu version of "Tainted Love". In October 2007, the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent picked Almond's "Strangers in the Night" to represent their show at London's Fashion Rocks. Almond performed for the event at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2008 and 2009, Almond toured with Jools Holland throughout the UK as well as guesting at shows by Current 93, Baby Dee and a tribute show to the late folk singer Sandy Denny at the Festival Hall. In October 2009, Almond released his second album of Russian Romances and Gypsy songs in an album titled Orpheus in Exile. The album was a tribute to Russian singer Vadim Kozin, who was exiled to the gulags of the Arctic Circle. The album was produced by Alexei Fedorov and features an orchestra arranged by Anatole Sobolev.

In June 2010, Almond released Varieté, his first studio album of self written material since Stranger Things in 2001. Almond intimated at the time that this could possibly be his last fully self-penned album. The album marks Almond's 30th anniversary as a recording artist, a fact he celebrated with a new concert tour in Autumn 2010. Also in the summer of 2010 Almond was named Mojo Hero, an award given by the music magazine Mojo. The award was presented to Almond by Anohni who flew from New York for the occasion.

In 2011, Almond released the Feasting with Panthers album, a collaboration with musician and arranger Michael Cashmore. It featured poetry set to music, including the poems of Count Eric Stenbock, Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Paul Verlaine and Rimbaud. Later in the same year Almond took part in a music-theatre work Ten Plagues, held at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, as part of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from 1 to 28 August 2011. Ten Plagues is a one-man song cycle based on Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year (which dates back to 1722), with metaphors of Aids and epidemics. It was written for him by Mark Ravenhill and Conor Mitchell.

In 2012, Almond took the role of the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca in the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet's experimental rock adaptation of Poppea, based on Monteverdi's original 17th-century opera The Coronation of Poppea. The production also featured ex-Libertines member Carl Barat, French singer-songwriter Benjamin Biolay, Swedish singer Fredrika Stahl and was directed by ex-Clash drummer Peter Howard. Later that year, on 9 August 2012, Almond performed at Anohni's Meltdown Festival in London's Southbank Centre, reforming Marc and the Mambas to perform their second album Torment and Toreros live for the first time. Anohni has stated that Torment and Toreros was her favourite album throughout her teens and that it became the starting point for Antony and the Johnsons] Anohni joined the band on stage for one song, singing "My Little Book of Sorrows" with Almond.

In 2013, Almond revived Ten Plagues and performed it for a month at Wilton's Music Hall in London. He also performed with Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on stage performing Tull's concept album "Thick as a Brick" at The Royal Albert Hall. That year Almond also received The Ivor Novello Inspiration Award which was presented to him by longtime friend and co-Manager Vicki Wickham, and was also awarded the Icon Award from Attitude.

Almond released three albums throughout 2014. First was The Tyburn Tree (Dark London) with composer John Harle, a concept album about dark historical London. This was followed by The Dancing Marquis album, made with a number of collaborators including Jarvis Cocker, Carl Barât and Jools Holland, featuring production from Tony Visconti on some tracks. Finally, Almond released a studio recording of his 2011 show, Ten Plagues - A Song Cycle.

2015 saw the release of The Velvet Trail, an album of original material produced by Chris Braide. Almond is currently working on a song cycle to accompany the filming of a multi media performance of À rebours (translated as Against Nature) by Joris-Karl Huysmans. The score for this project has been written by Othon Mataragas with words from Feasting with Panthers collaborator Jeremy Reed. Reed states that he has written 15 songs for the project commenting that Against Nature is "still probably one of the most decadent books ever written" and that Almond had always wanted to perform it, stating that "now we’re both jaded aesthetes we could do it".

In 2016, Marc Almond signed his first major label deal for 20 years, signing a two-album deal with BMG Rights Management. In 2017, the compilation album Hits and Pieces / The Best of Soft Cell & Marc Almond, debuted at number seven in the album chart.

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If there is someone to fit the "drama queen" tag among the 80s crooners, it is undoubtedly Marc Almond. Well, one of, and just as exceptional in terms of genuine talent. When expected by the industry to continue exploiting his own massive successes with a certain Soft Cell, Almond continually fought the cliché of becoming a "pop star", despite the fact he actually - and deservedly - became (a dark) one. Untitled was Almond's first album away from Soft Cell and was made concurrently with the latter's The Art of Falling Apart album. Almond collaborated with a number of artists for this album, including Matt Johnson of The The and Anni Hogan. The album was produced by the band, with assistance from Stephen Short (credited as Steeve Short) and Flood.

Jeremy Reed writes in his biography of Almond, The Last Star, that Untitled was "cheap and starkly recorded". He states that Almond received "little support from Phonogram for the Mambas project, the corporate viewing it as non-commercial and a disquieting pointer to the inevitable split that would occur within Soft Cell". An article in Mojo noted that "from the beginning, Almond and Ball had nurtured sideline projects, though only the former's - the 1982 double 12 inch set Untitled - attracted much attention, most of it disapproving." The article mentions that Almond "who preferred to nail a song in one or two takes" stated that it was all "about feel and spontaneity, otherwise it gets too contrived" when accused of singing flat. There may be some inconsistency in "Untitled", though. On one side, there is the beauty of its minimal arrangements (mostly augmented by the piano), accentuating Almond's obsession (or identification) with Jacques Brel, Scott Engel, Lou Reed and/or Syd Barrett - each given a decent hommage with an honest, warm-hearted re-interpretation (and how can one not love "Caroline Says" or "If You Go Away"?). Moments recorded in collaboration with the one and only Matt Johnson are also beauties and audibly Johnson's playing trademark left its shine through.

On the other, the aura of the soft-cellish synth-pop (and the presence of Cindy E only adds extra honey for the bees) is hard to ignore, albeit heading more for the experimental territory; the entire 45 bonus disc - "Twilights & Lowlifes", while dangerously bordering the tedious, the two closing counterparts successfully avoid the trap of sounding like a leftover, providing space for a trance groovy improvisation that is neither dub, disco - nor all that jazz...

 Marc And The Mambas - Untitled (flac  359mb)

01 Untitled 4:54
02 Empty Eyes 5:03
03 Angels 8:34
04 Big Louise 5:04
05 Caroline Says 3:38
06 Margaret 3:45
07 If You Go Away 6:28
08 Terrapin 4:17
09 Twilights + Lowlifes 11:29
10 Twilights + Lowlifes (Street Walking Soundtrack) 11:08

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If there's any acid test for being a Marc Almond fan, it would have to be Torment & Toreros, originally a double album and still the longest thing he's yet released. It isn't so much length as it is subject matter, the sheer self-loathing and unrestrained anger have never been paralleled by any of his other releases. Sure, much of the material on this (what was originally a double vinyl) album is sombre, sordid and desperately depressing - but it's also wildly uplifting at times, as the indomitable Marc Almond's lust for life can't help but smash through the gloom.

Marc's singing has always given the impression that we, the listeners, are right there in the room with him. And on T&T it almost sounds like one gin-sodden mate regaling another with his sorry tales of heartbreak and loss in the wee small hours after the party has broken up and everyone else is long gone. As always, Marc lays his emotions bare, holding nothing back... , this album maybe not for everyone. But with its elements of late-night melodrama and Spanish-tinged operetta it should appeal to those who enjoy dark cabaret, modern vaudeville, art-punk, goth and the like.

Marc and the Mambas - Torment and Toreros (flac 504mb)

01 Intro 3:17
02 Boss Cat 4:17
03 The Bulls 2:18
04 Catch A Fallen Star 5:12
05 The Animal In You 7:29
06 In My Room 3:01
07 First Time 3:37
08 (Your Love Is A) Lesion 5:38
09 My Former Self 2:45
10 Once Was 5:10
11 The Untouchable One - Blood Wedding 7:56
12 Black Heart 4:50
13 Medley - Narcissus,Gloomy Sunday,Vision (11:46)
14 Torment 4:21
15 A Million Manias 5:52
16 My Little Book Of Sorrows 5:59
17 Beat Out That Rhythm On A Drum 5:00

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Making his first label jump since signing to Mercury in the early Soft Cell days, Stories continues the drive towards a brighter commercial sound, with Hedges once again producing and the Sinners lineup in perfect sync and well-versed in everything from lush Euro-disco to nightclub jazz and smouldering ballads (add some extra credit for the solid work of album guest Martin Ditchum on "all kinds of percussion"). The troika of brilliant singles from the album's first half makes the album a keeper alone: the tender title track (written about a young friend of Almond's who OD'ed), a sassy remake of Mel Tormé's "The House Is Haunted," and "Love Letter," where electronics resurface to a degree not seen since Soft Cell's collapse. However, there are plenty of other fine delights throughout, such as the solid rocker "The Flesh Is Willing" and the snarling "Contempt," not to mention "I Who Never," a soaring breakup number, and "My Candle Burns," another in the fine series of understatedly intense Almond love/obsession songs. Fans of Almond at his harshest will find this perhaps a bit too smooth at points, but as a balance of killer hooks, great music, and Almond's ever-improving singing, this is a winner through and through.

 Marc Almond - Stories Of Johnny (flac 281mb)

01 Traumas Traumas Traumas 5:07
02 Stories Of Johnny 3:45
03 The House Is Haunted 2:19
04 Love Letter 4:51
05 The Flesh Is Willing 4:45
06 Always 6:03
07 Contempt 3:36
08 I Who Never 4:31
09 My Candle Burns 3:49
10 Love And Little White Lies 5:13

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Great screaming melodrama as Almond does his best to prove that he's the best possible cabaret performer that no one will put on a cabaret stage. Depending on the mood you happen to be in, this collection can either be taken seriously or as a tongue-in-cheek celebration of some great over-the-top material (which even applies to Peter Hammill's "Just Good Friends"). Almond's frenetic cover of "The Heel" alone should raise this mini-album to classic status.  Violent Silence is from a performance originally done for Georges Batailles on 26 September 1984. It's kept in a kind of mimalized style that is more aluding to the Mambas that were finished in January that year and features much more sombre lyrics.

The house is haunted
By the echo of your last goodbye
The house is haunted
By the memories that refuse to die
I can't get away from the vision that brings
Intimate glimpses of intimate things
A voice in my heart like a torch singer sings
I wonder who's kissing you now

 Marc Almond - A Womans Story + Violent Silence + The House Is Haunted  (flac  460mb)
01 A Woman's Story 3:41
02 The Heel 3:19
03 A Salty Dog 4:27
04 The Plague 3:09
05 The Little White Cloud That Cried 2:14
06 For One Moment 2:57
07 Just Good Friends 3:53
Violent Silence
08 Blood Tide 2:29
09 Healthy As Hate 7:33
10 Things You Love Me For 5:58
11 Body Unknown 4:45
12 Unborn Stillborn 3:42
The House Is Haunted
13 The House Is Haunted (Ectoplasmix) 6:18
14 Broken Bracelets 5:18
15 Cara A Cara 4:31
16 Medley (Unchain My Heart,Black Heart,Take My Heart) (5:33)
17 Burning Boats (Annie Hogan) 6:03

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Aug 29, 2017

RhoDeo 1735 Roots


Today's artist was sometimes known as La Negra (literally: The Black One), was an Argentine singer who was popular throughout Latin America and many countries outside the region. She was born on Argentina's Independence Day. With her roots in Argentine folk music, Sosa became one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canción. She gave voice to songs written by many Latin American songwriters. Her music made people hail her as the "voice of the voiceless ones", and "the voice of America"....N'Joy

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Mercedes Sosa, the celebrated Argentinian folk singer and political activist, died aged 74. Sosa possessed a deep, alto voice and a strong sense of conviction, and had a warm, engaging personality. These qualities helped to make her one of the few Latin American musicians who could, over five decades, command a wide international audience. Described as "the voice of Latin America", she was revered as a commentator on the political and social turmoil that afflicted the region.

Born 9 July 1935 in San Miguel de Tucumán, the capital of one of Argentina's smallest provinces, to a working-class family of mixed French and Amerindian (Quechuan) ancestry, she began singing and folk dancing as a child. Aged 15, Sosa won a singing concert sponsored by a local radio station. The prize was a two-month contract to perform for the station, and this allowed her to turn professional.

Initially singing a wide variety of popular songs, Sosa gained a local reputation as a rising talent. After she married the musician Manuel Oscar Matus, the couple began looking to new developments in Latin American music. In the early 1960s, this led them to embrace the nueva canción (new song) movement, which unconsciously mirrored the US folk movement as Chile's Victor Jara and Cuba's Silvio Rodríguez reshaped Latin America's troubadour tradition to reflect the struggles under way across the South American continent.

Sosa and Matus chose nueva canción songs that suited her voice, such as Violeta Parra's Gracias a la Vida (Thanks to Life) and Horacio Guarany's Si Se Calla el Cantor (If the Singer Is Silenced), and her success helped to popularise the movement. Sosa's ability to convey a wide emotional range meant that listeners connected strongly with both songs and singer, and by the mid-1960s she was very popular in Argentina. Nicknamed "La Negra" because of her long, jet-black hair and Amerindian heritage, Sosa issued a series of albums, including Romance de la Muerte de Juan Lavalle (Ballad of the Death of Juan Lavalle) and Mujeres Argentinas (Argentinian Women), that established her as a distinctive artist. By the late 60s, she was drawing material from across the region (including Amerindian communities) and this made her a pan-Latin American star. When Sosa and Matus's marriage ended, Matus forged a respected solo career in Argentina.

In the early 70s Sosa acted in the film El Santo de la Espada (The Saint of the Sword), a biopic of the Argentinian independence hero José de San Martín. Sosa's popularity found her touring internationally, her leftist political sympathies – a 1972 album Hasta la Victoria (Until Victory) celebrated workers' struggles – making her especially welcome in the Soviet bloc. As a champion of the rights of the poor, Sosa became known as "the voice of the voiceless ones". These political leanings caused Sosa trouble when the Argentinian military, under Jorge Videla, staged a coup in March 1976. Initially, only some of Sosa's songs were censored, but as she became seen internationally as a voice of freedom, the harassment increased.

In early 1979, Sosa was performing in the Argentinian university city of La Plata when the military stopped the concert. Humiliating Sosa by searching her on stage, they then arrested her and 350 members of the audience. Sosa was detained for 18 hours until international pressure forced her release (she had to pay a large fine) but this event – alongside increasing numbers of death threats – forced her to flee to Europe, where she lived in Madrid and Paris.

Sosa found exile difficult and returned to Argentina in early 1982. The military junta remained in power, but Sosa's fame excluded her from punishment, and a series of concerts she gave at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, with guest appearances from celebrated Argentinian singers, found her truly welcomed home. A live recording of these concerts was issued after the junta fell. Sosa continued to tour (performing in the UK several times) and to record, her fame growing on an international scale – she shared stages or studios with artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Sting and Shakira. In a career spanning almost six decades, she released 70 albums. She won three Latin Grammy awards and received a huge number of honorary titles including the UN Voluntary Fund for Women (Unifem) prize from the United Nations, in recognition of her defence of women's rights. She remained politically active and vocally opposed Carlos Menem when he was Argentinian president.

"I didn't choose to sing for people," Sosa said in a recent interview on Argentinian television. "Life chose me to sing." Overweight for many years, Sosa had begun suffering serious health problems. She was admitted to hospital two weeks ago suffering from liver problems. Progressive kidney failure and cardiac arrest followed.

She is survived by her son, Fabián, he said: "She lived her 74 years to the fullest. She had done practically everything she wanted, she didn't have any type of barrier or any type of fear that limited her".

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In 1972, Sosa released the socially and politically charged album “Hasta la Victoria.” Mercedes Sosa and many other Latin American artists at that time were part of the Nueva Canción or Nueva Trova Movement. Greatly inspired by the Cuban Revolution, this movement was characterized by protest songs, with a strong anti-imperialist and revolutionary message. Nueva Canción emphasized a call to resist. It became the soundtrack of the revolutionary movements in Latin America. From Cuban artists like Silvio Rodriguez and Carlos Puebla, to Argentine artists like Atahualpa Yupanqui and Mercedes Sosa, the movement’s music spoke about revolutionary movements in Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, and many other countries in Latin America. It memorialized the struggles of great Latin American revolutionary leaders. As a champion of the rights of the poor, Sosa became known as "the voice of the voiceless ones".

Mercedes Sosa - Hasta La Victoria (flac  234mb)

01 Balderrama 3:57
02 Campana de Palo 3:33
03 Canto Vital 3:38
04 Cruzando por La Ciudad 3:58
05 El Violín de Becho 2:55
06 Hasta La Victoria 3:21
07 Hombre en el Tiempo 4:09
08 Juancito Caminador 3:16
09 La Arenosa [Live] 2:34
10 La Pobrecita 3:12
11 Los Hermanos 2:56
12 Plegaria a un Labrador 3:23

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Mercedes Sosa interprets the works of Atahualpa Yupanqui - an indigenous poet of the southern Andes here. These songs are so profoundly intimate (if you understand Spanish), so heart wrenching, so intensely beautiful, that I can only listen to this album in absolute and total privacy because tears are likely to be rolling down my cheeks. No fancy synthesizers, no fancy arrangements. Just simple folkloric instrumentation and the most beautiful folk songs I have ever heard. This could well be Mercedes Sosa's crowning achievement. Nothing else she has done reaches to the sublime heights of beauty expressed on this album. If you understand Spanish, get this album and you will treasure it for the rest of your life. If you don't understand Spanish, consider learning it for the sake of the sublime poetry contained here.

Mercedes Sosa interpreta Ata Yupanqui   (flac  172mb)

01 Piedra Y Camino 3:40
02 Guitarra Dimelo Tu 3:19
03 Chacarera De Las Piedras 1:59
04 Tu Que Puedes Vuelvete 3:40
05 La Viajerita 3:08
06 Los Hermanos 2:54
07 Criollita Santiaguena 3:30
08 La Alabanza 2:07
09 La Arribeña 3:28
10 Duerme Negrito 2:21
11 Zambita De Los Pobres 3:56
12 El Alazain 3:50

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Mercedes Sosa's live album, which includes part of La Negra's performances at the Opera Theater in Buenos Aires between February 18 and 28, 1982. The album was attended by several other renowned artists such as Charly García , Leon Gieco, Ariel Ramírez, Antonio Tarragó Ros, Raul Barbosa, Rodolfo Mederos and others.
The full range of Mercedes Sosa is on this one. It's live and the emotions of the crowd make it even better. Sosa has been singing for years and every music afficionado should own at least one of her releases.  This album gets better after each song, with the departure of Mercedes Sosa, each song has a deeper meaning now. That's the way things go. As with many live albums it's like being there. This one is no exception. A wonderfull voice fom a wonderfull human being.

Mercedes Sosa - Mercedes Sosa en Argentina (flac  471mb)

01 Drume Negrita 5:20
02 Sueño Con Serpientes 3:17
03 María Va 2:44
04 Al Jardín De La República 4:40
05 Gracias A La Vida 4:50
06 Alfonsina Y El Mar 5:18
07 Como La Cigarra 2:40
08 Solo Le Pido A Dios 4:45
09 La Flor Azul 3:11
10 Los Hermanos 3:54
11 La Arenosa 3:03
12 Años 3:20
13 Los Mareados 6:14
14 Cuando Ya Me Empiece A Quedar Solo 3:40
15 Volver A Los 17 4:48
16 Fuego En Anymana 3:16
17 Polleritas (Pollerita Colorada, Carnavalito del Duende, Pollerita) 4:36
18 Canción Con Todos 4:05

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One of the best Mercedes Sosa compilations on the market, 30 Años (1993) is loaded with 20 of her greatest hits and goes back three decades to the early days of her recording career. Highlights include "Gracias a la Vida," "La Maza," and "Maria, Maria," to just mention a few of her signature songs. Given its early-'90s release date, 30 Años misses a bunch of her latter-day material but makes up for it with an emphasis on certifiable classics.

Mercedes Sosa - 30 años   (flac  368mb)

01 La Maza 3:48
02 María María 2:54
03 Gracias A La Vida 4:21
04 Todo Cambia 4:43
05 Sólo Le Pido A Dios (En Vivo, A Duo Con León Gieco) 4:45
06 Canción Con Todos 3:00
07 Años 3:20
08 Alfonsina Y El Mar 4:35
09 María Va (En Vivo, A Duo Con Antonio Tarrago Ros) 3:58
10 Unicornio 4:33
11 Canción Para Carito 3:15
12 Luna Tucumana 3:25
13 Hermano Dame Tu Mano 3:00
14 Como La Cigarra (En Vivo) 2:40
15 Si Se Calla El Cantor (En Vivo, A Duo Con Horacio Guarany) 3:02
16 Inconciente Colectivo (En Vivo Con Nascimento Y García) 3:58
17 La Arenosa 2:32
18 Duerme Negrito 2:21
19 Al Jardín De La República 3:06
20 Dale Alegría A Mi Corazón 4:40

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Aug 28, 2017

RhoDeo 1735 Tales 11

Hello, Vettel's over-eagerness cost him his one chance to overtake Hamilton who remained faultless under Vettel's relentless pressure behind them Ricciardo was once again the happy recipient of sloppy mistakes by Bottas and Raikonen, Verstappen once again saw his car breakdown in front of 70,000 dutch fans on the 8th lap, it was the 6th time this season. I said it before there are supernatural forces at work for Ricciardo.
Over at the Vuelta Froome displayed his superiority by winning the stage in an impressive way, only #2 Esteban Chaves kept in touch, only an accident will keep Froome from winning the Vuelta this year.

Today's artist was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction. Widely known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science fiction and horror story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), our man was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) or the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992).

Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, many of his works were adapted to comic book, television and film formats. On his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.... N'joy.

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The Ray Bradbury Theater is an anthology series that ran for two seasons on HBO, three episodes per season from 1985 to 1986, and four additional seasons on USA Network from 1988 to 1992. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel. All 65 episodes were written by Ray Bradbury and many were based on short stories or novels he had written, including "A Sound of Thunder", "Marionettes, Inc.", "Banshee", "The Playground", "Mars is Heaven", "Usher II", "The Jar", "The Long Rain", "The Veldt", "The Small Assassin", "The Pedestrian", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", "Here There Be Tygers", "The Toynbee Convector", and "Sun and Shadow".

Many of the episodes focused on only one of Bradbury's original works. However, Bradbury occasionally included elements from his other works. "Marionettes, Inc." featured Fantoccini, a character from "I Sing the Body Electric!". "Gotcha!" included an opening sequence taken from "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair". Characters were renamed, and elements added to the original works to expand the story to 23–28 minutes or to better suit the television medium.

Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementos of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first season, Bradbury sometimes appeared on-screen in brief vignettes introducing the story. During the second season, Bradbury provided the opening narration with no specific embellishment concerning the episode. During the third season, a foreshortened version of the narration was used and Bradbury would add specific comments relevant to the episode presented. During the fourth and later seasons, a slightly shorter generic narration was used with no additional comments.

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The Ray Bradbury Theater 10 Gotcha ! (avi  307mb)

At a masquerade party, a lonely man dressed as comedian Oliver Hardy is about to leave, when he meets a woman costumed as Hardy's comic partner Stan Laurel ! Captivated with each other, they run off into the night. They stay in love and in their fantasy, until the man muses if this dream can last ? The woman suggests they see, by playing a game she calls Gotcha !

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Here a series of Ray Bradbury stories specially dramatised for radio with introductions by the author.

Ray enthusiastically agreed and, joined by writer Catherine Czerkawska and director Hamish Wilson (who had collaborated on some Bradbury stories broadcast by BBC Scotland), we embarked on a series of 30-minute plays under the generic title Ray Bradbury's Tales of the Bizarre.

Ray Bradbury introduces his own spooky tale of confessions and confectionary dramatised by Catherine Czerkawska. Starring TP McKenna as the priest and John Yule as the young man. Director: Hamish Wilson

Ray Bradbury - 11 And So Died Riabouchinska (mp3  26mb)

11 And So Died Riabouchinska 28:31

A man lies murdered in a basement - but there's a surprising non-human witness.

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Ray Bradbury - Night Call, Collect (mp3  27mb)
Ray Bradbury - Have I Got a Chocolate Bar for You (mp3  24mb)
Ray Bradbury - The Jar (mp3  26mb)
Ray Bradbury - The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (mp3  26mb)
Ray Bradbury - I Sing the Body Electric (mp3  26mb)
Ray Bradbury - Skeleton (mp3  26mb)
Ray Bradbury - The Man Upstairs (mp3  25mb)
Ray Bradbury - Jack in the Box (mp3  25mb)
Ray Bradbury - The Scythe (mp3  26mb)
Ray Bradbury - The Wind (mp3  26mb)

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Aug 27, 2017

Sundaze 1735

Hello, F1 is back from the summer brake and not much has changed, Hamilton is fastest in qualifying again for the 68th time, equaling Michael Schumacher's record. Vettel is close once again and with a superb start could lead the race tomorrow, behind those 2 the usual suspects, Bottas, Raikonen, Verstappen and Ricciardo (getting outqualified for the 8th consecutive time by Max). It's always exiting what happens in the first bend at a Spa start but after that it's clear who is the best in the better car will lead the parade, likely to the finish.

Today's Artists are DJ's, proponents of new ambient and electronic music, putting post-rave electronica on the map. All under the Return to the Source label label . ....N'Joy

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Return to the Source (RTTS) was a London-based Goa Trance club and offshoot record label run by partners Chris Decker, Mark Allen, Janice Duncan and Phil Ross. Along with the recurring Escape from Samsara party, which also had a monthly Friday night slot at The Fridge in the mid-90's, it was an early mainstay of Trance in its underground days and through its breakout in the late 1990s. According to Allmusic, its "compilation series of the best trance music on the scene...brought Goa trance to the mainstream hordes".

On Fri 1 August 2014, the four partners got together for a 21st Anniversary Reunion Party at Electric, Brixton (formerly The Fridge) with many of the artists who played at the early parties and appeared on albums including Tsuyoshi Suzuki, Mark Allen, Man With No Name (Martin Freeland), Dr Alex Paterson (The Orb), Mixmaster Morris.

The beginning of the club was documented by music journalist Ian Gittins in the book that accompanied the first Return to the Source compilation 'Deep Trance and Ritual Beats' (1995). At page 8, Gittins writes:

Chris Deckker organised a party in Amsterdam on New Year's Eve 1992, which he called Return to the Source. Chris was a traveller, voyaging with Leyolah Antara from their native Australia where they'd spent time investigating shamen and the power of ritual. They would invite visiting shamen to lead rituals, which would culminate in trance-dance abandon. They moved to Amsterdam and started techno group, Sushumna. "Sushumna is a Sanskrit word which means the merging of dualities," explains Chris.

The Deckkers soon moved to London, drawn by its techno scene, and events quickened apace. A friend of Chris and Antara's, Sara Sol, was languishing in jail in India, and the couple wanted to hold a party to raise money for her. George Saunders, best known as musician Solar Quest and a cool underground networker introduced Chris to Phil Ross and Janice Duncan, promoters at North London's Dome venue, who agreed to stage the event. The Free Sol party was a success, and Chris, Phil, Janice and DJ Mark Allen decided to run a regular club, called Return to the Source.

Other like minded souls became involved. All were travellers, most had experienced the life-affirming qualities of Goa. DJs Mark Allen and Tsuyoshi Suzuki had been transformed by Goa. Jules and Jason, old college friends from Brighton had met by chance in Goa and decided to become painters/artists. All were linked into the New Age/Goa network and craving an outlet for their creative energies. All will tell you their story later in their own words.

This emphasis on spirituality and ritual was carried on at the RTTS events, which were opened with a ceremony involving tribal instruments brought along by club-goers (who were offered a discounted entry fee for doing so).

The Source (as it became known) flourished alongside the musical genre of Goa Trance and its successor Psychedelic Trance running monthly club nights or 'parties' at The Rocket in North London's Holloway Road, Brixton's Fridge, Bagley's in Kings Cross and a number of larger events at Brixton Academy...the last one of which was in 2002.

The Source produced 18 compilation albums of upbeat Trance and more downtempo Ambient music, as well as the 'Deck Wizards' series of DJ mix compilation CDs from Source residents and regular's including Mark Allen, Tsuyoshi Suzuki, Chris 'Chrisbo' Smith. A series of chilled albums entitled Ambient Meditations included mixes from Mark Allen, Dr Alex Paterson (The Orb), Youth (Martin Glover) and Mixmaster Morris.

"In September 1996, the promoter John Emmanuel Gartmann held America's first psychedelic trance rave Return to the Source -- a now legendary party at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City," wrote Simon Reynolds in The New York Times.

Ambient Meditations series

A series of four mix albums was released on the Return to the Source label:

    Ambient Meditations 1 mixed by Mark Allen (1998) [9]
    Ambient Meditations 2 mixed by Dr Alex Paterson (The Orb) (1999)
    Ambient Meditations 3 mixed by Youth (2000) [11]
    Ambient Mediations 4: God Bless the Chilled mixed by Mixmaster Morris (2002)

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While the club was know primarily for its Goa Trance music and latterly Psychedelic Trance or Psy Trance, the parties always had a chill-out room. From 1993 to 2002, the job of host or resident DJ in the chill-out room fell to Chris 'Chrisbo' Smith, Mixmaster Morris or DJ Pathaan, while different special guest DJs and artists were booked each month. Guest artists included Youth (Martin Glover), Dr Alex Paterson (The Orb), Solar Quest, Another Green World among many others. However, the first in the Ambient Meditations series was compiled and mixed by one of the Source's partner / founders and main resident Mark Allen. Released in 1998, Ambient Meditations 1 was dedicated to Sophie, Phil Ross's daughter who was born that year, with the sleeve featuring a sleeping baby buddha.

VA - Ambient Meditations 1  (flac 392mb)

01 Makyo - Pura (The 'Goagajah' Edit) 8:02
02 Steffe - Spirit Breath 7:00
03 Another Green World - Stream Of Consciousness 7:02
04 Children Of Dub - Spook 5:01
05 Anahata - Harmoni 6:54
06 Cat Von Trapp - Moon In Her Horns 7:23
07 Quaid - Cascade 8:44
08 Quirk - El Molino De Viente 7:26
09 Deepak Ram - Between Thoughts 9:52
10 Solar Quest - Singtree 6:20

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Dr. Alex Patterson (The Orb) has done a great job of mixing this album. He slowly opens up your mind and closes off the world around you. If you need something to relax to or just need some great mood music with a twist of the bizzare than go for it. This album slips you into an altered state and helps you to transcend the routine you most commonly refer to as your life.  There are no big beats here, but you probably figured that out by the title.  What's here is a masterful ambient compilation that takes you on a ubiquitous journey inside and outside of your subconscious. An excellent compilation, mixed by a meditative, mind molding, master.

VA - Alex Patterson' s Ambient Meditations 2 (flac  409mb)
01 Quirk - All That Is Garbled 8:06
02 Banco De Gaia - 144K 8:12
03 Spyra - Crossing The Channel 10:05
04 Makyo - The 2nd Gate Of Dreams 6:15
05 Akashic - Tell Me About You 8:54
06 Amber Waves - Ocean Surf 3:51
07 Instinct - It's Warm On The Other Side 6:29
08 Anahata - Doors Of Avalon 6:13
09 Cat Von Trapp - Human Contact 4:02
10 DJ Sangeet  - Quiet Rite (With Osho Drums) 2:55
11 Celestium - Avalon 6:48

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In Return to the Sources' third ambient compilation, Youth once again proved he had not only a good instinct for high-caliber, emotionally deep downbeat tracks, but a digestible and interesting pace all his own. Ignoring Padmasana's contribution, a train wreck of astronaut-sampling clichés, there was a legitimately high ratio of good moments, like Cat Vontrap's subtle and climatic "Stars of Babylon in Her Eyes," Dead Can Dance's inordinately Baroque "Indus," and across-the-board gems from Makyo, Transglobal Underground, and Zodiac Youth Experience, all of which was driven to a specific, dramatic finish.

VA - Youth's Ambient Meditations 3   (flac 435mb)

01 Makyo - Ghost Echoes (Edit) 2:20
02 Juno Reactor - Song For Ancestors 7:33
03 Trans Global Underground - Temple Head (Youth Mix) 8:08
04 Swivel Pigeon - Swarigami 4:36
05 Dead Can Dance - Indus 8:44
06 Gayan Utte Jak Orchestra - Harmonogram (Trans-Nai-Verse) 1:33
07 Cat Von Trapp - Stars Of Babylon In Her Eyes 5:46
08 Quadra - The Seventh Tower 7:05
09 Padmasana - Holistic Resonance (Pulsar Mix) 10:08
10 Another Green World - The Seraph Speaks 6:24
11 Liquid High - Morning Of The Magicians 3:26
12 AMP - Forever Now 0:39
13 Zodiac Youth Experience - 7am Melt Down 2:07

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God Bless the chilled is an amazing chillout compilation, and it's beautifully mixed from start to finish . The mix starts out with light years by "calm", one of the most beautiful ambient tracks i've heard in a long time .
There are new and old classics on here from morris' own track "the lie-in king" to conrad schnitzlers "electric garden" a gem that you could only expect from mixmaster morris . But the thing is every track on here is great, all selections are to die for (or chill for?) detroit escalator co, rei harakami, haruomi hosono, leggo beast, ian obrien, shpongle and on and on .This album should be in every serious chillers refrigerator, its part of a nutritionally balanced ambient diet.

VA - Mixmaster Morris presents Ambient Meditations 4 (flac 428mb)

God Bless the Chilled

01 Calm - Light Years 5:13
02 Leggo Beast - The New Deal 4:56
03 Boozoo Bajou - Yma 6:19
04 The Irresistible Force - The Lie-In King 6:39
05 Shpongle - Once Upon A Time 4:29
06 Felix Laband - Step Two 4:59
07 Something Wonderful - Eddyin' Current 2:48
08 LS Diezel - Skunk 5:14
09 Haruomi Hosono - Moving Triangle 3:41
10 Electrical Lovers - Double Helix (Rei Harakami Remix) 7:30
11 Modaji - Starburst Over Orion 3:39
12 Ian O'Brien - Vagaluma 2:26
13 The Detroit Escalator Company - The Inverted Man 3:33
14 Rei Harakami - Remain 5:09
15 Conrad Schnitzler - Electric Garden 5:34
16 Streamer - Sleepwalks 5:28

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Aug 26, 2017

RhoDeo 1734 Grooves


She is known the world over by her first name and as the undisputed, reigning 'Queen Of Soul,' Aretha Franklin is peerless. This 2005 recipient of a Presidential Medal Of Freedom honor (the U.S.A.'s highest honor), 17 Grammy Awards (and counting), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Living Legend Award. She has received countless international and national awards and accolades. Aretha has achieved global recognition on an unprecedented scale. She has influenced generations of singers from Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole and Mary J. Blige to 'American Idol' winner Fantasia Burrino and Oscar- winning Jennifer Hudson. Her ever-distinctive soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for over four decades and while her 'live' performances have touched the hearts of literally millions since she began her musical journey as a gospel-singing child prodigy, it is her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first order.   ........ N'joy

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Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942. A gifted singer and pianist, Franklin toured with her father's traveling revival show and later visited New York, where she signed with Columbia Records. Franklin went on to release several popular singles, many of which are now considered classics. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008 she won her 18th Grammy Award, making her one of the most honored artists in Grammy history.

The fourth of five children, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Baptist preacher Reverend Clarence La Vaughan "C. L." Franklin and Barbara Siggers Franklin, a gospel singer. Franklin's parents separated by the time she was six, and four years later her mother succumbed to a heart attack. Guided by C. L.'s preaching assignments, the family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. C. L. eventually landed at New Bethel Baptist Church, where he gained national renown as a preacher.

Aretha Franklin's musical gifts became apparent at an early age. Largely self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. A gifted pianist with a powerful voice, Franklin got her start singing in front of her father's congregation. By the age of 14, she had recorded some of her earliest tracks at his church, which were released by a small label as the album Songs of Faith in 1956. She also performed with C. L.'s traveling revival show and, while on tour, befriended gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and Clara Ward.

But life on the road also exposed Franklin to adult behaviors, she gave birth to her first son, Clarence, shortly after she turned 14. A second child followed two years later both with unnamed fathers ! (Think of it what you will -, i know i do)  After a brief hiatus, Franklin returned to performing and followed heroes such as Cooke and Dinah Washington into pop and blues territory. In 1960, with her father's blessing, Franklin traveled to New York, where after being courted by several labels, including Motown and RCA, she signed with Columbia Records, who released the album Aretha in 1961.

Though two tracks from Aretha would make the R&B Top 10, a bigger success came that same year with the single "Rock-a-bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody," which crossed over to No. 37 on the pop charts. But while Franklin enjoyed moderate results with her recordings over the next few years, they failed to fully showcase her immense talent. In 1966, she and her new husband and manager, Ted White, decided a move was in order, and Franklin signed to Atlantic. Producer Jerry Wexler immediately shuttled Franklin to the studios at the Florence Alabama Musical Emporium.

Backed by the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section—which included session guitarists Eric Clapton and Duane Allman—Aretha recorded the single "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)." In the midst of the recording sessions, White quarreled with a member of the band, and White and Franklin left abruptly. But as the single became a massive Top 10 hit, Franklin re-emerged in New York and was able to complete the partially recorded track, "Do Right Woman—Do Right Man."

Hitting her stride in 1967 and 1968, Franklin churned out a string of hit singles that would become enduring classics, showcasing Franklin's powerful voice and gospel roots in a pop framework. In 1967, the album I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) was released, and the first song on the album, "Respect"—an empowered cover of an Otis Redding track—reached No. 1 on both the R&B and pop charts and won Aretha her first two Grammy Awards. She also had Top 10 hits with "Baby I Love You,'' "Think," "Chain of Fools,'' "I Say a Little Prayer," "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

Franklin's chart dominance soon earned her the title "Queen of Soul," while at the same time she also became a symbol of black empowerment during the civil rights movement of the time. In 1968, Franklin was enlisted to perform at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during which she paid tribute to her father's fallen friend with a heartfelt rendition of "Precious Lord." Later that year, she was also selected to sing the national anthem to begin the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Amidst this newfound success, Franklin experienced upheaval in her personal life, and she and White divorced in 1969. But this did not slow Franklin's steady rise, and the new decade brought more hit singles, including "Don't Play That Song," "Spanish Harlem" and her cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." Spurred by Mahalia Jackson's passing and a subsequent resurgence of interest in gospel music, Franklin returned to her musical origins for the 1972 album Amazing Grace, which sold more than 2 million copies and went on to become the best-selling gospel album at the time.

Franklin's success continued throughout the 1970s, as she branched out to work with producers such as Curtis Mayfield and Quincy Jones and expanded her repertoire to include rock and pop covers. Along the way, she took home eight consecutive Grammy Awards for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance, the last coming for her 1974 single "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing."

But by 1975, Franklin's sound was fading into the background with the onset of the disco craze, and an emerging set of young black singers, such as Chaka Khan and Donna Summer, began to eclipse Franklin's career. She did, however, find a brief respite from slumping sales with the 1976 soundtrack to the Warner Brothers film Sparkle—which topped the R&B charts and made the Top 20 in pop—as well as an invitation to perform at the 1977 presidential inauguration of Jimmy Carter. In 1978, she also remarried, to actor Glynn Turman.

A string of chart failures ended Franklin's relationship with Atlantic in 1979. The same year, her father was hospitalized after a burglary attempt in his home left him in a coma. As her popularity waned and her father's health declined, Franklin was also saddled with a massive bill from the IRS. However, a cameo in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers helped Franklin revive her flagging career. Performing "Think'' alongside comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd exposed her to a new generation of R&B lovers, and she soon signed to Arista Records.

Her new label released 1982's Jump To It, an album that enjoyed huge success on the R&B charts and earned Franklin a Grammy nomination. Two years later, she endured a divorce from Turman as well as the death of her father.

In 1985, Franklin returned to the top of the charts with a smash-hit album: the polished pop record Who's Zoomin' Who? Featuring the single "Freeway of Love," as well as a collaboration with the popular rock band the Eurythmics, the record became Aretha's biggest-selling album yet. Her follow-up, 1986's Aretha, also charted well and eventually went gold, and her duet with British singer George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),'' hit No. 1 on the pop charts.

In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Detroit. That same year, she released the album One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which won the Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance.

Following another relatively quiet period in her career, in 1993, Franklin was invited to sing at the inauguration of Bill Clinton, and the following year she received both a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Kennedy Center Honors. She would also be the focus of multiple documentaries and tributes as the decade progressed. Nearing its conclusion, Franklin reprised her former role in Blues Brothers 2000, released the gold-selling "A Rose Is Still a Rose" and stood in for Luciano Pavarotti, who was too ill to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award, with her rendition of "Nessun Dorma" commanding stellar reviews.
So Damn Happy

In 2003, Franklin released her final studio album on Arista, So Damn Happy, and left the label to found Aretha Records. Two years later, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and became the second woman ever to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. In 2008, she received her 18th Grammy Award for "Never Gonna Break My Faith"—a collaboration with Mary J. Blige—and was tapped to sing at the 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.

With 18 Grammys under her belt, Franklin is one of the most honored artists in Grammy history, ranked among the likes of Alison Krauss, Adele and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2011, Franklin released her first album on her own label, A Woman Falling Out of Love. To support the project, she performed several concerts, including a two-night stint at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York. With fans and critics alike impressed with her performances, she successfully proved that the Queen of Soul still reigns supreme.

In 2014, Franklin underscored that point with Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, which reached No. 13 on the pop charts and No. 3 R&B. In February 2017, the 74-year-old Queen of Soul told Detroit radio station WDIV Local 4 that she is collaborating with Stevie Wonder to release a new album to be recorded in Detroit and released in September. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year," she said in the interview, adding: "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”

"American history wells up when Aretha sings", president Obama explained his emotional response to her performance of "A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. "Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll--the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope".

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Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky) was just about Franklin's last gasp before succumbing to disco. From the beginning it is obvious that this represents an expansion beyond normal pop and soul structure musically, and it has lyrics that are somewhat abstract and subtle, saying or implying more than the average tune about getting together and breaking up. Some of the tracks are pretty complex. The title cut starts out hip, funky, jazzy, with prominent piano, then morphs into a slow dreamlike section with smooth strings, and then it's back to funky. Aretha's voice is in excellent form, and the back-up singers are also good, as always. "So Swell When You're Well" and "Sister From Texas" continue in a similar vein - funked-up soul, like that found on "Aretha Now". "Mister Spain" is obviously an ode to a very sexy dude. The vocal starts out low-key, sultry, seductive and drawn out for full effect; but, after a laid-back jazzy interlude, Aretha goes all out with emotional, sometimes playful, expression. "Moody's Mood" alternates between rapid-fire scatting and standard soul, back and forth. I like the track, but one like this is enough for me. For her too, I guess, because she ends the song by declaring, "I'm thru." The hit of the album, "Angel", was always gorgeous to me, and it fits in with the other tracks with its full-bodied sound, including harmonious strings and dramatic horns. "Just Right Tonight" is good, serious old-style blues musically. The vocal sneaks in with some soft humming and wailing but builds into a strong gospel piece. It also contains some sly spoken comments that only Aretha could get away with. The bonus track, "Master of Eyes", retains the prevailing jazzy feel of the album and the effect of growth beyond regular pop and soul.

Aretha Franklin - Hey Now Hey    (flac  268mb)

01 Hey Now Hey (The Other Side Of The Sky) 4:41
02 Somewhere 6:14
03 So Swell When You're Well 4:14
04 Angel 4:26
05 Sister From Texas 3:08
06 Mister Spain 6:41
07 That's The Way I Feel About Cha 7:10
08 Moody's Mood 2:55
09 Just Right Tonight 7:42

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This is her first album with Arista after ending a 13-year, largely successful stint with Atlantic Records. By as early as 1973, Franklin's album turnout became spotty as late-'70s entries, Sweet Passion and La Diva came and went quickly. For Aretha, Arista label president Clive Davis drummed out a certain amount of fanfare for this initial effort, and for the most part it was deserved. Aretha attempts to pull out all of the stops, which is suitable for a major artist coming to a new label. The best moments here reestablish Franklin as a phenomenal singer, not just an icon. The brilliantly sung "United Together" and autumnal "Come to Me" have both Franklin and producer Chuck Jackson seemingly like they'd recorded together for years. What undoes Aretha is a few overproduced tracks of dubious distinction. The too busy cover of the Doobie Brothers "What a Fool Believes" fails Franklin, skimming past the song's lyrical. Her gospel-fueled childhood recollection "School Days" and a discofied cover of "I Can't Turn You Loose" are both ingratiating and potentially nerve racking. This effort was meant to reestablish Franklin, and it was more popular than most of her late-'70s Atlantic albums.

Aretha Franklin - Aretha    (flac 274mb)

01 Come To Me 3:42
02 Can't Turn You Loose 3:55
03 United Together 5:02
04 Take Me With You 4:05
05 Whatever It Is 3:38
06 What A Fool Believes 5:12
07 Together Again 5:16
08 Love Me Forever 3:34
09 School Days 4:58

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After an almost-two-year hiatus from the charts, the Queen of Soul returned in style with three Billboard R&B Top Ten singles, including the number one smash hit "Freeway of Love," which featured a festive rhythm arrangement, an electric sax solo by Clarence Clemons, and Aretha Franklin's lively vocals. It held the number one spot for five straight weeks. The title track, "Who's Zoomin' Who," has a sputtering bassline and chiming keyboards augmented by Franklin's soulful delivery, and her improvised ad libs are laudable, to say the least. The single peaked at number two for four consecutive weeks. She had another Top Ten hit with "Another Night," a midtempo number with a light rock feel. It was a number nine hit. Her duet with the Eurythmics, "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves," faltered at number 66. Narada Michael Walden is credited with the majority of the production on this sound outing.

Aretha Franklin - Who's Zoomin' Who   (flac 307mb)

01 Freeway Of Love 6:00
02 Another Night 4:30
03 Sweet Bitter Love 5:11
04 Who's Zoomin' Who? 4:43
05 Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves (With The Eurythmics) 5:54
06 Until You Say You Love Me 4:23
07 Ain't Nobody Ever Loved You 4:53
08 Push (With Peter Wolf) 4:36
09 Integrity 4:25

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"Yo, gang! let's kick the ballistics!" shouts Aretha Franklin in the opening moments of "Everyday People," her spirited house-music remake of Sly Stone's classic hippie anthem. The song, which is heard in regular and remixed versions on What You See Is What You Sweat, is one of the high points of an album that credits nine producers and production teams. Although the material runs a gamut of styles, Franklin infuses her personality so indelibly into every song that somehow it all holds together. Franklin brings more spirit than usual to the record, What You See Is What You Sweat stands as one of her better albums. If the songs are uneven, they don't prevent the Queen of Soul from exuberantly expressing the breadth of her musical personality, from regal pop-gospel diva to funky everyday person.

Aretha Franklin - What You See Is What You Sweat   (flac 305mb)

01 Everyday People 3:49
02 Ever Changing Times (Feat Michael McDonald) 5:10
03 What You See Is What You Sweat 4:20
04 Mary Goes Round 3:05
05 I Dreamed A Dream 4:15
06 Someone Else's Eyes 4:56
07  Doctor's Orders (With Luther Vandross) 4:35
08 You Can't Take Me For Granted 5:10
09 What Did You Give 4:59
10 Everyday People 4:07

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Aug 25, 2017

RhoDeo 1734 Re-Ups 110


Just 9 correct requests this week, in short another batch of 33 re-ups (14 first time in Flac).

These days i'm making an effort to re-up, it will satisfy a small number of people which means its likely the update will  expire relatively quickly again as its interest that keeps it live. Nevertheless here's your chance ... asks for re-up in the comments section at the page where the expired link resides, or it will be discarded by me. ....requests are satisfied on a first come first go basis. ...updates will be posted here remember to request from the page where the link died! To keep re-ups interesting to my regular visitors i will only re-up files that are at least 12 months old (the older the better as far as i am concerned), and please check the previous update request if it's less then a year old i won't re-up either.

Looka here , requests fulfilled up to August 24th.... N'Joy

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3x Sundaze Back In Flac (Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri, Tangerine Dream - Phaedra,  Tangerine Dream - Ricochet)

2x Sundaze NOW in Flac (Eno - Discreet Music, Eno - Music For Films)

3x Aetix NOW In Flac (Buggles - The Age Of Plastic, The Passions - Michael & Miranda, Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age Of Wireless (rem+expanded)

2x Sundaze NOW In Flac (The Amorphous Androgynous - A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble~Cosmic Space Music 1, The Amorphous Androgynous - A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble~Cosmic Space Music 2)

9x US NOW In Flac ( Suicide - II ( Alan Vega - Martin Rev), Romeo Void - Warm, In Your Coat, Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers - Buzz,  Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes (rem+expanded),  Defunkt - Avoid The Funk, still in ogg Comateens - Comateens, The Units - Digital Stimulation, Human Sexual Response - Fig. 14 , James White and the Contortions - Second Chance)

3x Aetix Back In Flac (The Knack - Get The Knack, The Knack - But The Little Girls Understand, The Knack - Round Trip )

5x Sundaze Back In Flac ( Ulrich Schnauss - Goodbye, Ulrich Schnauss (Selected Remixes) - Missing Deadlines, Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place, Ulrich Schnauss - Far away trains passing by, still in ogg Daniel Land and The Modern Painters - Love Songs For The Chemical Generation)

3x Aetix Back In Flac ( Lene Lovich  ‎–  Stateless...Plus, Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls - I, Toyah Wilcox - Proud, Loud & Heard )

3x Aetix Back In Flac ( Allez Allez - Best of, Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade, Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi)

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Aug 23, 2017

RhoDeo 1734 Aetix


Today's artists  were art students Marc Almond and Dave Ball who formed a synth pop duo famed for its uniquely sleazy electronic sound, in Leeds, England in 1980. Originally, vocalist Almond and synth player Ball teamed to compose music for theatrical productions, and as Soft Cell, their live performances continued to draw heavily on the pair's background in drama and the visual arts........N'Joy

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Soft Cell was initiated during 1977 after Almond and Ball met at Leeds Polytechnic. Their initial efforts at recording resulted that year in an EP titled Mutant Moments which was funded by a loan of £2000 from Dave Ball's mother and made with a simple 2-track recorder. 2,000 vinyl copies of the release were issued independently and the small number of copies have since become a highly valued collectors item. The group's live shows and EP caught the interest of certain record labels such as Mute Records and Some Bizzare Records. Soft Cell's next recording, "The Girl with the Patent Leather Face", appeared as a contribution to the Some Bizzare Album,  The duo ultimately signed to the Some Bizzare label, backed by Phonogram Records. Their first singles, "A Man Could Get Lost", "7" and "Memorabilia" 12", were produced by Daniel Miller who founded Mute Records. While "Memorabilia" was a success in nightclubs, Soft Cell would remain essentially unknown until their next release.

After the chart failure of "Memorabilia", Phonogram Records allowed Soft Cell to record a second and final single in an attempt to score a chart success. The band opted to record a cover version of "Tainted Love", an obscure 1965 northern soul track originally released by Gloria Jones, the girlfriend of Marc Bolan at the time of his death, and written by Ed Cobb of The Four Preps. Released in 1981, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" was a No. 1 hit in 17 countries, including the United Kingdom, as well as a No. 8 single in the United States during 1982, and went on to set a Guinness World Record at the time for the longest consecutive stay (43 weeks) on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song's popularity developed slowly, needing 19 weeks to enter the US Top 40.

According to Marc Almond's book Tainted Life, Soft Cell had exited the "Tainted Love" recording sessions with only modest expectations that the track might break into the UK Top 50. Furthermore, usually, an artist releasing a cover version as a single would opt to write the song that appears on the B-side as this would still entitle the artist to some songwriting royalties stemming from sales of that single. However, as Soft Cell wrote neither "Tainted Love" nor "Where Did Our Love Go" (the 7" B-side track), they lost the opportunity to make a greater sum of money from songwriting royalties stemming from one of the most popular songs of the 1980s. Almond expressed regret for this in his book, and attributed the error to naïveté.

The duo's first album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, hit UK No. 5 and further explored the now-trademark Soft Cell themes of squalour and sleaze. "Seedy Films" talks of long nights in porno cinemas, while "Frustration" and "Secret Life" deal with the boredom and hypocrisy associated with suburban life. A companion video titled Non-Stop Exotic Video Show was released alongside the album and featured videos directed by Tim Pope. The video generated some controversy in Britain, mainly due to a scandal involved with the "Sex Dwarf" clip. The original version of the music video was confiscated by police and censored before it was even released. The album garnered two additional hits: "Bedsitter" dealt with the loneliness and lifestyle of a young man having recently left home to live in a bedsit while partying hard. "Bedsitter" reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1981. The final single on the album, the ballad "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye", peaked at No. 3 in February 1982.

During 1982, the duo spent most of their time recording and relaxing in New York City, where they met a woman named Cindy Ecstasy whom Almond would later confirm was his drug supplier (it was Cindy Ecstasy who introduced them to the new nightclub drug of the same name). Soon after "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" dropped out of the chart, Soft Cell released a brand new song, another love song called "Torch" which was to prove the closest the band ever got to having a No. 1 hit with one of their own songs as it entered straight into the Top 20 and peaked at No. 2. The 12" version of "Torch" featured Cindy Ecstasy singing and exchanging banter in a spoken dialogue section with Marc Almond where they reminisce about their first meeting. Despite their next album being almost ready for release at this point, a decision was made not to include "Torch" on the album.

The duo released their second album entitled Non-stop Ecstatic Dancing, a 6-track mini album containing remixes of older material along with their new hit single, "What!". This was a cover of the 1965 song by Melinda Marx. It was later covered in 1968 by Judy Street, whose version became extremely popular on the Northern Soul scene. Almond later admitted that the album was recorded and mixed under the influence of ecstasy. "What!" placed at No. 101 in US Charts. but was a major hit in the UK and reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart in August of that year.

By 1983, fame and nearly constant drug use were having a bad effect on the duo. Marc Almond also formed the group Marc and the Mambas, featuring collaborations with The The's Matt Johnson and future Almond collaborator Annie Hogan, as an offshoot to experiment out of the glare of the Soft Cell spotlight. Soft Cell's third album release, appropriately titled The Art of Falling Apart, was a Top 5 hit in the UK but the singles were only modest successes. The album is highly esteemed by the leader of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor.

In September 1983, the duo released a new single "Soul Inside", which returned them to the UK Top 20, but by early 1984 the duo had amicably decided to end Soft Cell. They played farewell concerts at Hammersmith Palais in January, and released one final album called This Last Night in Sodom (UK No. 12) in March. Headed by the duo's final single "Down in the Subway" (UK No. 24), the album departed from its predecessors by featuring more live drums and guitars than previous albums. However, the controversial subject matter still remained true to the Soft Cell ethos, with songs such as "L'Esqualita" that glamourised transvestite culture in Manhattan.

Solo years

During Almond's solo years, he and Ball continued to communicate with each other. Dave Ball's ex-wife played violin in Marc Almond's solo band, though Almond and Ball did not work again together until 1990 when Ball remixed one of Almond's singles ("Waifs And Strays") and co-wrote and arranged some music for Almond's Tenement Symphony album in 1991. David Ball formed The Grid during 1990 with Richard Norris. The Grid ended in 1996, but reformed during 2005 and released an album during 2008 with the Some Bizzare company, named Doppelgänger.

Almond and Ball reunited as Soft Cell in 2001, with a series of live dates. They performed at the opening of the Ocean nightclub in London during March 2001, and a mini tour followed later in the year. The track "God Shaped Hole" featured on the Some Bizzare compilation titled I'd Rather Shout at a Returning Echo than Kid Someone's Listening, released during 2001. A new Soft Cell album, Cruelty Without Beauty, was released during late 2002, followed by a European tour and a small US tour during early 2003. The new album featured their first new songs together in almost twenty years. During August 2007, the band announced plans to release a remix album entitled Heat. The remix album was released in November 2008

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In the U.S., Soft Cell, the British duo of singer Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball, was a classic one-hit wonder, that hit being the remake of Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love," which dominated dance clubs and eventually peaked in the pop Top Ten with its synth-pop sound and Almond's plaintive vocal in 1981-1982. In the U.K., the group not only had a longer career, but also influenced a raft of similar performers. Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, originally released in Britain in the fall of 1981, contained both the band's first hit and its follow-up, "Bedsitter," its title referring to what in America would be called a studio apartment. (A third U.K. Top Five hit, "Say Hello Wave Goodbye," emerged from the LP.) At full album length, lyricist Almond's primary preoccupation, only suggested in "Tainted Love," was spelled out; this was a theme album about aberrant sexuality, a tour of a red-light district. The point was well made on "Sex Dwarf," with its oft-repeated chorus "Isn't it nice/Sugar and spice/Luring disco dollies to a life of vice?" Songs like "Seedy Films," "Entertain Me," and "Secret Life" expanded upon the subject. The insistent beats taken at steady dance tempos and the chilling electronic sounds conjured by Ball emphasized Almond's fascination with deviance; it almost seemed as though the album had been designed to be played in topless bars. British listeners saw through Almond's pretense or were amused by him, or both; more puritanical Americans tended to disapprove, which probably limited the group's long-term success stateside. But the music was undeniably influential.

 Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (flac  481mb)

01 Frustration 4:11
02 Tainted Love 2:33
03 Seedy Films 5:04
04 Youth 3:14
05 Sex Dwarf 5:16
06 Entertain Me 3:34
07 Chips On My Shoulder 4:06
08 Bedsitter 3:35
09 Secret Life 3:38
10 Say Hello, Wave Goodbye 5:23
11 Where Did Our Love Go? 3:13
12 Memorabilia 4:48
13 Facility Girls 2:21
14 Fun City 7:44
15 Torch 4:08
16 Insecure Me 4:38
17 What ? 2:50
18 ....So 3:49

Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret   (ogg  179mb)

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While it has some mediocre moments, this tense, quirky release also has some magnificent outings, including the epic "Martin" (based on the obscure George Romero psycho/vampire movie), a cut that was originally included on a bonus 12", and the relentless title cut. Not as cheap or sleazy in its sound as Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, the album was still prone to melodramatic writing and performance. The album is highly esteemed by the leader of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor.

Soft Cell - The Art of Falling Apart (flac 520mb)

01 Forever The Same 5:06
02 Where The Heart Is 4:34
03 Numbers 4:57
04 Heat 6:11
05 Kitchen Sink Drama 3:56
06 Baby Doll 6:44
07 Loving You Hating Me 4:28
08 The Art Of Falling Apart 5:01
09 Hendrix Medley 10:22
10 Martin 10:16
11 Barriers 7:05
12 It's A Mug's Game 8:15

Soft Cell - The Art of Falling Apart   (ogg  188mb)

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The duo's 1984 swan song This Last Night in Sodom should feature a warning sticker. Singer Marc Almond and keyboardist Dave Ball don't attempt to recapture the Top 40 magic of that hit here. Instead, Almond completes his transformation into an electro-pop Scott Walker, operatically singing self-conscious and jaded songs like "Mr. Self-Destruct," "Little Rough Rhinestone," and "Meet Murder My Angel," while Ball's keyboards explore an icy, nearly Germanic abstraction (in the Kraftwerk/Neu! sense). Anyone intrigued by the prospect of faux-decadent torch songs in the Piaf/Brel tradition should be interested in this electronic hybrid of the style.

 Soft Cell - This Last Night in Sodom   (flac 283mb)

01 Mr. Self Destruct 3:12
02 Slave To This 5:04
03 Little Rough Rhinestone 4:33
04 Meet Murder My Angel 4:39
05 The Best Way To Kill 4:43
06 L'Esqualita 7:03
07 Down In The Subway 2:51
08 Surrender To A Stranger 3:38
09 Soul Inside 4:27
10 Where Was Your Heart (When You Needed It Most) 5:09

Soft Cell - This Last Night in Sodom     (ogg  113b)

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With the wracked final days of Soft Cell behind him, Marc Almond gleefully threw himself into a full-time solo career with a splash; while a chunk of bile still clearly remains -- the portentous "Ugly Head" sounds as much personal therapy as it does grinding semi-big-band blues -- a much more musically upbeat angle dominates, especially on the lush, winning single "The Boy Who Came Back." Allied with producer Mike Hedges, already riding high from his work with the Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and with a newly stable backing band, the Willing Sinners, featuring Hogan, McCarrick, and bassist Billy McGee at the core, Almond lets go over an interestingly varied palette of music, from the shimmering and sharp "Tenderness Is a Weakness" to the percussion-heavy "Split Lip." Now freely continuing the classic Soft Cell lyrical vibe of passion in the city's darker, more secret corners -- the titles "Shining Sinners" and "Gutter Hearts" almost say it all. Almond's in fine voice throughout. A lengthy release -- the CD version runs a full 75 minutes with some extra B-sides attached -- but a good one.

 Marc Almond And The Willing Sinners - Vermin In Ermine  (flac  292mb)
01 Shining Sinners 6:38
02 Hell Was A City 4:02
03 You Have 5:38
04 Crime Sublime 3:12
05 Gutter Hearts 4:25
06 Ugly Head 7:56
07 The Boy Who Came Back 4:53
08 Solo Adultos 5:37
09 Tenderness Is A Weakness 5:07

Marc Almond And The Willing Sinners - Vermin In Ermine   (ogg  109mb )

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