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Chordettes - Listen
(Sony MHCP-1262 Jap-07 175:-)

The Chordettes were one of the longest-lived vocal groups with roots in the mainstream pop and vocal harmonies of the 1940s and early '50s. Although the four women's arrangements owed more to the Andrews Sisters than doo wop, they did, unlike many of their peers, prove fairly adaptable to the rock era.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve.
Cooder, Ry - Bop till You Drop
(Reprise WPCR-12697 Jap-07 225:-)

Ry Cooder has had a long and varied career as virtuoso session musician, recording artist, record producer, film scorer, musicologist and champion of indigenous music throughout the world. His slide guitar playing and his ability with just about any stringed instrument soon set him apart.

The first major-label, digitally recorded album, "Bop till You Drop" is a nice set of obscure tunes from the '50s and '60s. Cooder and his excellent band, which includes the rhythm section of Tim Drummond and Jim Keltner along with guitarist David Lindley, understand the material and are more than capable of laying down a decent groove!

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Mardi Gras
(Victor VICP-60544 Jap-98 225:-)

Pared down to a trio, Creedence Clearwater Revival had to find a new way of doing business, since already their sound had changed, so they split creative duties evenly. It wasn't just that each member wrote songs — they produced them, too. Doug Clifford and Stu Cook claim John Fogerty needed time to creatively recharge, while Fogerty says he simply bowed to the duo's relentless pressure for equal time. Both arguments make sense, but either way, the end result was the same: Mardi Gras was a mess. Not a disaster, which it was dismissed as upon its release, since there are a couple of bright moments. Typically, Fogerty is reliable, with the solid rocker "Sweet Hitch-Hiker," the country ramble "Lookin' for a Reason," a good cover of Ricky Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou," and the pretty good ballad "Someday Never Comes." They sparkle next to Clifford and Cook's efforts.

20bit K2 Remastering, Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve.
Cressida - same
(Universal UICY-93267 Jap-07 200:-)

Cressida was known as a British progressive rock group for the obvious reason that this is exactly what they were, but this album shows what set them apart from most of the competition -- they were fun. The songs may have been serious and complex, and the mix of organ and Mellotron with classical-style acoustic guitar and melodies derived from classical and folk traditions may have intersected with the Moody Blues and King Crimson.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Criss, Peter - same
(Universal UICY-93532 Jap-08 250:-)

Prior to joining Kiss, Peter Criss spent years honing his drumming chops in numerous New York City-area bands, playing other styles besides Kiss's heavy metal. For his 1978 Kiss solo album, Criss reconnected with a member of one of his old bands, Stan Penridge, with whom he co-wrote the majority of the tunes.

Sensing that most fans would want to hear more ballads in the vein of his 1976 hit with Kiss, "Beth," several are included: "Don't You Let Me Down," "Easy Thing," "Kiss the Girl Goodbye," and "I Can't Stop the Rain." The more rock-oriented selections are more mellow than Kiss's usual fare, with a cover of "I'm Gonna Love You,'" as well as the originals "Tossin' and Turnin'," "You Matter to Me," and "That's the Kind of Sugar Papa Likes."

SHM-CD Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Croce, Jim - You don't mess around with Jim
(DCC Compact Classics GZS-1060 US-94 250:-)

Jim Croce was one of the definitive artists working the pop end of the early-1970s singer/songwriter sound, and this is the album that made him a star. His warm, guy-next-door vocal style wraps itself invitingly around such expertly crafted tunes as the broken-hearted ballad "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," the hypnotic "Time in a Bottle," and of course the good-humored tall tale of the bluesy, shuffling title track, on one of the definitive folk-pop albums of the '70s.