Various Artists: A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection [Digipak]

Track List

>Lonely Bull [El Solo Toro], The - Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
>Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendes
>You Were on My Mind - We Five
>More I See You, The - Chris Montez
>(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher - Rita Coolidge
>House Is Not a Home, A - Burt Bacharach
>(They Long to Be) Close to You - Carpenters
>Wild World - Cat Stevens
>Don't You Want Me - The Human League
>Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tennille
>Whatcha Gonna Do - Pablo Cruise
>Sun Down - Lani Hall
>Baby Baby - Amy Grant
>I Just Wanna Stop - Gino Vannelli
>Luka - Suzanne Vega
>Lady in Red, The - Chris de Burgh
>Love and Affection - Joan Armatrading
>Red Red Wine - UB40
>Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
>Rise - Herb Alpert
>All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
>Roxanne - The Police
>Letter, The - Joe Cocker
>All Right Now - Free
>Jackie Blue - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
>Thirty Days in the Hole - Humble Pie
>Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
>Hot Burrito #1 - The Flying Burrito Brothers
>Conquistador - Procol Harum
>Come Sail Away - Styx
>I Got You - Split Enz
>Tempted - Squeeze
>Show Me the Way - Peter Frampton
>Run to You
>Love Hurts - Nazareth
>Logical Song, The - Supertramp
>Caught Up in You - .38 Special
>Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
>Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
>If You Love Somebody Set Them Free - Sting
>(Everytime I Turn Around) Back in Love Again - L.T.D.
>Black Pearl - Sonny Charles & the Checkmates, Ltd.
>Europa - Gato Barbieri
>I'll Be Good to You - The Brothers Johnson
>Everybody Plays the Fool - Aaron Neville
>Will It Go Round in Circles - Billy Preston
>Bridges (Travessia) - Milton Nascimento
>Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione
>Livin' It Up (Friday Night) - Bell & James
>Wave - Antônio Carlos Jobim
>On the Wings of Love - Jeffrey Osborne
>Summertime - Paul Desmond
>Stuff Like That - Quincy Jones - (featuring Nickolas Ashford/Valerie Simpson/Chaka Khan)
>Secret Lovers - Atlantic Starr
>Crazay - Jesse Johnson - (featuring Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart)
>Amorous Cat - Stan Getz
>Finally - Ce Ce Peniston
>Practice What You Preach - Barry White
>Skokiaan - Herb Alpert/Hugh Masekela
>When I Think of You - Janet Jackson

Album Notes

A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection is a modest 60-track anthology of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' diverse label. Chronologically speaking, it begins with Alpert and his Tijuana Brass' "The Lonely Bull [El Solo Toro]" and concludes with Barry White's "Practice What You Preach," so it could have been released in late 1994, a few years prior to the Polygram-Universal merger that gutted the label. This isn't billed as a definitive compilation. The liner notes refer to it as a "sampling," and it's formatted as such, with each disc of the CD version given a loose theme and some peculiar sequencing, like disc two, aka A Mission to Rock, which features Joe Jackson's not-very-rocking "Steppin' Out" (1982) between Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole" (1972) and the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Hot Burrito #1" (1969). More selections come from the '70s than the '60s and '80s combined, while the '90s get something of a short shrift, with neither the Gin Blossoms nor Blues Traveler represented. There's no obvious label aesthetic that runs through all of the music, but the A&M roster did have a singular assortment of critical and popular favorites, from Captain Beefheart (not included) to Carpenters, and from Milton Nascimento to Styx. Mainstream rap excepted, A&M covered every development and radio format in popular music -- including bossa nova, AM pop, folk-rock, singer/songwriter, soft rock, quiet storm, stadium rock, smooth jazz, new wave, and grunge -- with significant contributors. There is no way a generalist A&M overview could have been assembled without appealing to anyone other than a voracious pop music nerd. This certainly does the trick (and retailed for a price significantly lower than a full-price two-disc set). Maybe a second volume will have room for Beefheart, Melvin Van Peebles, the Tubes, the Blue Nile, Double, Intelligent Hoodlum, Swervedriver, and Vesta. ~ Andy Kellman


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