Thursday, November 24, 1983

Nov. 24, 1933: Bessie Smith's final recording session

First posted March 6, 2011. Last updated September 8, 2018.

The Essential

Bessie Smith

Released: Sept. 23, 1997

Years Covered: Feb. 15, 1923 to Nov. 24, 1933


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: --
UK: --
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: “If you’ve never experienced the genius of Bessie Smith, pick this one up and prepare yourself to be devastated.” – Cub Koda, All Music Guide


Genre: blues


Album Tracks – Disc 1:

  1. Aggravatin’ Papa (8/25/23, #12 US)
  2. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (9/1/23, #6 US)
  3. ‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness if I Do (10/20/23, #9 US)
  4. Jail-House Blues (1923)
  5. Graveyard Dream Blues (1923)
  6. Ticket Agent, Ease Your Window Down (1924)
  7. Boweavil Blues (1924)
  8. Weeping Willow Blues (1924)
  9. Dying Gambler’s Blues (1924)
  10. St. Louis Blues (6/13/25, #3 US)
  11. You’ve Been a Good Ole Wagon (1925)
  12. Cake Walkin’ Babies from Home (1925)
  13. Careless Love Blues (10/31/25, #5 US)
  14. I Ain’t Goin’ to Play Second Fiddle (11/28/25, #8 US)
  15. At the Christmas Ball (1925)
  16. Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town (1926)
  17. Backwater Blues (1927)
  18. After You’ve Gone (8/6/27, #7 US)

Album Tracks – Disc 2:

  1. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (10/15/27, #17 US)
  2. There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Time Tonight (1927)
  3. Trombone Cholly (1927)
  4. Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair (1927)
  5. A Good Man Is Hard to Find (recorded 1927, charted 3/10/28, #13 US)
  6. Dyin’ by the Hour (1927)
  7. Me and My Gin (1928)
  8. Kitchen Man (1929)
  9. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (8/31/29, #15 US)
  10. On Revival Day (A Rhythmic Spiritual) (1930)
  11. Moan, You Moaners (1930)
  12. Black Mountain Blues (1930)
  13. Shipwreck Blues (1931)
  14. Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl (1931)
  15. Do Your Duty (1933)
  16. Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer (1933)
  17. Take Me for a Buggy Ride (1933)
  18. Down in the Dumps (1933)

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

“Bessie Smith was crowned the Empress of the Blues, and, while this moniker was well deserved, she was much more. A prolific recording artist, Smith was quite an eclectic performer. In fact, she may have been one of the first true crossover artists.” LG “Bessie could sing it all, from the lowdown moan of St. Louis Blues and Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out to her torch treatment of the jazz standard After You’ve Gone to the downright salaciousness of Need a Little Sugar in My BowlCK or other “suggestive material [such] as Kitchen Man.” LG She “could breathe new life into a pop chestnut like Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” LG

The collection works its way through Smith’s entire career, from her very first recording session on February 15, 1923 through her final session on November 24, 1933. DA “This two-disc, 36-song set sweats it down to the bare essentials in quite an effective manner,” CK giving “the listener a good sampling of her wide repertoire.” LG “This is the perfect entry-level set.” CK

“Utilizing the latest in remastering technology, these recordings have never sounded quite this clear and full, and the selection – collecting her best-known sides and collaborations with jazz giants like Louis Armstrong” CK – ‘St. Louis Blues’…features [his] horn work” LG – Coleman Hawkins, and Benny Goodman – is first-rate. If you’ve never experienced the genius of Bessie Smith, pick this one up and prepare yourself to be devastated.” CK “The title of this album says it all.” LG


Review Source(s):

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Monday, November 7, 1983

Yes released 90125

First posted 6/7/2011; updated 9/20/2020.

90125

Yes


Released: November 7, 1983


Peak: 5 US, 16 UK, 3 CN, 27 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 3.88 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: progressive rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Owner of a Lonely Heart (Rabin, Anderson, Squire, Trevor Horn) [4:27] (11/5/83, 1 US, 1 AR, 28 UK, 2 AU)
  2. Hold On (Rabin, Anderson, Squire) [5:18] (3/17/84, 27 AR)
  3. It Can Happen (Squire, Anderson, Rabin) [5:25] (12/3/83, 51 US, 5 AR)
  4. Changes (Rabin, Anderson, White) [6:16]
  5. Cinema (instrumental) (Squire, Rabin, White, Kaye) [2:07]
  6. Leave It (Squire, Rabin, Horn) [4:10] (2/11/84, 24 US, 3 AR, 56 UK)
  7. Our Song (Anderson, Squire, Rabin, White) [4:13] (11/12/83, 32 AR)
  8. City of Love (Rabin, Anderson, Squire, Kaye, White) [4:46]
  9. Hearts (Anderson, Squire, Rabin, White, Kaye) [7:36]


Total Running Time: 44:49


The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals)
  • Trevor Rabin (guitar, keyboards)
  • Chris Squire (bass)
  • Alan Whie (drums, percussion)
  • Tony Kaye (keyboards)

Rating:

3.938 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

“A stunning self-reinvention by a band that many had given up for dead, 90125 is the album that introduced a whole new generation of listeners to Yes.” PC The album featured longtime members Chris Squire on bass and Alan White on drums as well as the return of vocalist John Anderson (after sitting out the 1980 Drama album) and “the first time in twelve years that original keyboardist Tony Kaye had appeared with the group.” WK

The 11th album by Yes was a surprise since the band had officially called it quits after 1980’s Drama. Anderson, the only singer the group had ever known, left in the early making of that album, as had Rick Wakeman, who’d been the keyboardist for most of the band’s classic ‘70s albums. In their place came singer Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of the Buggles (“Video Killed the Radio Star”). After that short-lived lineup, Squire and White worked on the aborted XYZ project with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and released a single as a duo in 1981.

Squire and White then started working with South African guitarist Trevor Rabin. “There had been various attempts to place Rabin in a band, including a proposed quartet with Rick Wakeman, John Wetton and Carl Palmer in 1980 and a proposed trio with Keith Emerson and Jack Bruce. Rabin tried out in Asia, alongside Wetton, Palmer and former Yes members Steve Howe and Geoff Downes.” WK

The new trio decided they needed a keyboardist and Squire suggested Kaye. They called themselves “Cinema” and started recording their anticipated debut album in early 1983. The material consisted mostly of music Rabin had intended for a solo album produced by Horn. WK Horn brought a slick production while Rabin offered a “distinctly ‘80s guitar sound.” PC

Squire played some of the group’s demos for Jon Anderson, who then came on board. At this point, they revived the Yes name. “Rabin was dubious at first, not wanting to be perceived as Steve Howe’s replacement, but rather the lead guitarist for a new group. However, he quickly changed his mind once Anderson brought in some new lyrics and put his distinctive vocals on the existing music tracks.” WK

The album, which was released in the autumn of 1983, was “simply titled after its Atco Records catalogue number (for example, 7-90125-1 for the LP).” WK It “launched Yes to the MTV age and to a whole new breed of fans.” WK Songs like “Changes marked the band’s definitive break with its art rock roots.” PC The new musical direction was “was catchy, contemporary and well liked by reviewers and their new fans (many of whom had little clue of the band’s previous incarnation). The lead single, Owner of a Lonely Heart, became the band’s first (and only) US #1 hit” WK “and its orchestral break has been relentlessly sampled by rappers ever since.” PC

“The vocal harmonies of Leave It and the beautifully sprawling Hearts are additional high points, but there’s nary a duff track on the album.” PC

“The album’s logo was created and designed by Garry Mouat at Assorted Images on an Apple IIe computer, which would be used on Yes’ next studio album Big Generator as well.” WK


Notes: Trevor Rabin released an album in 2003 called 90124 which was comprised of demos from the 90125 sessions.

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