Tag Archives: Ace Records UK

Elvis Heard Them Here First

Elvis Heard Them Here First

Various
Elvis Heard Them Here First

April 3, 2012
Ace Records UK

From his debut recording session to his last, Elvis Presley loved to reinterpret. The first song he ever cut, ‘My Happiness’, was one he probably learned from the 1948 recording by John and Sondra Steele. The last song, ‘He’ll Have To Go’, probably came via Jim Reeves (although Jim was not the first to record it – that honour went to one Billy Brown). In 24 years of studio and stage activity, Elvis cut over 150 songs that had been recorded previously – and put his own stamp on all of them, regardless of who sang them first. All of which makes him a guaranteed shoo-in for his own ‘special edition’ in Ace’s popular “You Heard It Here First” series.

Most people who buy Ace CDs will already know what the originals of songs such as ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, ‘One Night’, ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ sound like. We could have gone the obvious route with this project and stuck to Elvis’ revivals of R&B, blues and hillbilly material, but we’ve elected to compile “Elvis Heard Them Here First” from songs he cut after his military service put his career on hold for a while. We’ve tailored our selection to embrace the originals of some of his biggest hits – ‘Always On My Mind’, ‘Girl Of My Best Friend’, ‘Guitar Man’ – and some of his most obscure B-sides and albums cuts. Believe us, they don’t come much more obscure than Duane Dee’s ‘True Love Travels On A Gravel Road’, the Bards’ ‘Goodtime Charlie’s Got The Blues’ or Roger Douglass’ ‘Never Ending’. In doing so, we hope more than a few of even the most hardcore Elvis collectors will discover some original versions of songs they may not have even suspected were ever recorded by anyone other than Elvis.

Destroy That Boy! More Girls with Guitars

Destroy That Boy! More Girls with Guitars

Destroy That Boy! More Girls with Guitars

Ace Records
April 14, 2009

“Destroy That Boy!”, the sequel to 2004’s “Girls With Guitars”, delves into the world of garage femmes and all-girl bands in a quest to prove that females of the species do indeed rock, roll and even snarl. In the post-Beatles beat boom, many an impressionable lass was inspired to take guitar in hand and toe the line with their male counterparts, with at least 160 touring female bands in the USA alone. A select few hit the recording studio to leave their aural mark on the decade, from which Ace has melded the cream of crop with some solo sisters to create another healthy 24-track dose of girl garage goodness.

This time old Blighty has its share of representatives, including fully-fledged female groups She Trinity and the Liverbirds. She Trinity – whose original members hailed from the UK, Canada and the USA, hence their somewhat confusing moniker – appear with their first and last (and most acclaimed) singles. The Liverbirds’ success was limited to their adoptive home of Germany, where they recorded two albums of R&B and rock’n’roll covers, three of which are showcased here. Schoolgirl duo the Termites get their pincers into a Stones classic, while South African ex-pat Sharon Tandy and Coventry’s Beverley Jones give out some gutsy performances too.

From across the Atlantic, alluring society girls the What Four open proceedings. The cover shows the Debutantes from Detroit, whose talents and glamorous image scored them a far-eastern tour and gigs alongside Motown’s finest. Another pivotal group was the Feminine Complex, formed by lead guitarist and songwriter Mindy Dalton, who achieved the rare feat of releasing an LP, but here we’re treated to two demos, including their wonderfully lo-fi version of the Monkees’ ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone’, cut in their first incarnation as the Pivots.

Elsewhere come the Starlets with an attitude-soaked take on ‘You Don’t Love Me’, Swedish bombshell Ann-Margret with both decks of her single for Lee Hazlewood’s LHI label and Raylene Loos and her cohorts the Blue Angels, who contribute a rollicking rendition of ‘Shakin’ All Over’. The Girls (nope, not the same gang as on “Girls With Guitars”) debut with an unreleased cut produced by Sly Stone, while woe betides the man on the receiving end of Aussie Toni McCann, who let’s rip with ‘No’.

Jack Nitzsche protégée Karen Verros kicks off the mid-section with, a fuzz-laden mind-blowing gem written by Donovan. Project X (whose line-up included Scott McKenzie) delights with a jangly folk-garage affair and Cheryll & Pam wax lyrical in ‘That’s My Guy’. British Invasion off-shoots the Lady Bugs’ ode to the American fraternity is a hilarious romp and the wiggy Fondettes pay tribute to the mop-headed boys who started it all.

Much more info on these artists is to be found in the glossy feature-packed booklet, which includes interviews with Jan McClellan of the Debutantes and Beverley Jones. So let the girls blow the dust of their guitars yet again and take a trip down to the tougher side of girl-groupsville.

Letta Mbulu: Naturally

Letta Mbulu Naturally

Letta Mbulu
Naturally

Ace Records
April 20, 2010

 

 

 

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South African singer Letta Mbulu had come to the United States in the mid 60s as an exile from the apartheid regime. She made a triumphant return to her home country after the the dismantling of apartheid in the 1990s. The music she made is exceptional, and her one offering for Fantasy is a very special recording. She was brought to the label through her friendship with Cannonball Adderley – they shared a manager at one point. He appears on the album alongside his brother Nat. Her husband Caiphus Semenya produced and worked alongside members of the Crusaders creating the mix of funk and African sounds, which meld beautifully, not just on the club tracks but on exquisite pieces such as ‘Kube’.

Sharon Tandy: You Gotta Believe It’s…

Sharon Tandy You Gotta Believe Its

Sharon Tandy
You Gotta Believe It’s…

Ace Records
February 1, 2004

2004 compilation for the bona fide 1960s legend. Blue-eyed soul, freakbeat, & state-of-the-art Brit-girl pop, she handled it all with consummate ease & one of the best voices of the time. The track-listing includes virtually all her singles from 1965-69, upon most of which Sharon was accompanied by psychedelic avatars Fleur De Lys. Seven tracks, including five previously unreleased, derive from Sharon’s legendary 1966 session for Stax, where she was backed by Booker T & The MGs. 26 tracks.

Sharon’s catalogue demonstrates the hugely versatile nature of her talent. Sharon Tandy was always a singer’s singer, commanding wide respect within the industry. The nagging concerns of chart placement and commercial potential long since having faded, we are left merely with a great and unheralded body of work. Sharon’s voice comes across on these recordings as many things – smooth and disciplined, achingly intimate, uncompromisingly soulful – but in the end, always simply and uniquely, Sharon.

Theme Time Radio Hour: With Your Host Bob Dylan

Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan

Theme Time Radio Hour: With Your Host Bob Dylan

Ace Records UK
February 26, 2008

“Theme Time Radio Hour is the mix-tapes collection we’ve all dreamed of making.”
-
Peter Silverton

“…this set leaves no doubt that Bob Dylan knows a great song when he hears one, and there are 50 thoroughly enjoyable and often rare recordings collected on the Theme Time Radio Hour album.”
-
Allmusic

50 songs and 75 years of musical dreams, schemes and themes drawn from the first series of the highly acclaimed Theme Time Radio Hour with your host, Bob Dylan. This fully authorised release is packaged with a 48 page booklet.

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