Of the many sunshine pop groups that proliferated in Southern California in the late '60s, the Love Generation were one of the most wholesome and downright sunniest. "Sunniest" is not necessarily synonymous with "best," even for a genre called "sunshine pop." The Love Generation's records were about as over-the-top as their name in their smiley-face, see-no-evil, upbeat, even anodyne harmonized pop/rock, commercial enough to often be mistaken for commercial jingles.
"Knocking at Your Back Door: The Best of Deep Purple in the 80's" is a compilation album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It is a compilation of tracks from three albums, Perfect Strangers (1984), The House of Blue Light (1987), and the live album Nobody's Perfect (1988). This best-of of eighties Deep Purple marks the return of the Mark II line-up, and what a return! Although purists will disagree with compilations such as this, it has to be said that weeding out the dross makes this a stunning disc. From the sheer exuberance of the title track, to the monumental re-working of 'Hush,' there is very little to dislike here.
This is the second recording of Machaut's music by the all-male Orlando Consort (countertenor on top), and their way with Machaut is excellent. They have a nice, light tone in the secular pieces that contrasts with the more severe Gothic Voices, and they convey the weighty, ceremonial quality of the big motets. Machaut goes far enough back that nobody can be sure of how it sounded (and the graphics for this all-vocal album show a painting including instruments), but if you like the unaccompanied approach, this will do as well as anything for putting the basic sound of Machaut in your head. And "basic," in the best way, describes this album in another respect as well: the booklet notes by Anne Stone (given in English and French) give the most complete, and more importantly most enthusiastic, introduction one could ask for in a few pages to Machaut's stylistic world.
Snakes & Ladders is a fine 12-song overview of the Faces, containing some of the group's best songs ("Had Me a Real Good Time," "Stay With Me," "Miss Judy's Farm," "Sweet Lady Mary," "Ooh La La," "Cindy Incidentally"), along with a couple of mediocre cuts ("Pineapple and the Monkey," "Flying") and the unremarkable, single-only "Pool Hall Richard." Though it gives a sense of what made the Faces a great rock & roll band, it falls far short of being a definitive retrospective or introduction…