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The Best Of Celine Dion & David Foster


The Best Of Celine Dion & David Foster is a collection of 17 songs produced by David Foster that includes: The Power Of Love, All By Myself, When I Fall In Love, The Colour Of My Love, What A Wonderful World, Because You Loved Me, The Prayer, To Love You More, Tell Him, All The Way, I Surrender, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, If I Could, I Hate You Then I Love You, The Power Of The Dream, If I Can Dream and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman...

The Story behind the songs of MANDOO's "Sweet Bitter Love" by MANDOO

Our first album is a tasty blend of Soul, Funk, Jazz & Pop music and offers original compositions especially influenced by Californian stuff from the late 70's to early 80's. We’ve tried to stick to those westcoast colors throughout the whole project, emphasizing melodies, harmonies and arrangements, and searching to find our own and original sound that would echo our feelings on love, joy and pain. We’ve been listening over and over again to artists that have always guided our music: Bill Labounty, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Steely Dan, Mickael Mc Donald, Jay Graydon, Bill Champlin, David Foster, Pages, The Crusaders, Boz Scaggs, Kenny Loggins, James Taylor, Gino Vanelli, Hall & Oates but also Stevie Wonder, Donny Hataway, Bill Withers, Quincy Jones...

We tried to follow Jay Graydon’s advice who declared: “Try to look for memorable little secondary melodies, whether it be in horn parts, even a string line or a synth line or a guitar line. Little secondary memorable things help, like the frosting on the cake. But, if you don't start with a great song, obviously nothing's happening. You've got to have a very memorable melody to begin with and a good lyric, or nothing else much matters. Just try to pay attention to having the whole package as memorable as possible.” MANDOO

1. SUMMER BREEZIN’: We chose this track to open the album since it is the one that evokes California the most: a light atmosphere of sunshine, love, surf and the carelessness of youth. It also gives the general tone of the album and introduces its arrangements: efficient bass/drums/guitar, the importance of the horn section, backup vocals/rhodes/strings/piano for the harmony. We gave Dora Bailey, the author on the song, the music and just told her: you’re driving down the Pacific Ocean on Highway One. It ended up with a text that went far beyond our wishes.

2. HALF AN HUNDRED MILES: This second track which is of a more tortured and dark spirit .The text written by Audrey Lesieur tells the loneliness of a man on the road with his dog Mickey having to deal with his life and all the downsides of it. The chorus stays in mind « and I keep on driving down a road… » and takes us down the road 66 with a lukatherian solo guitar and a binary groove like the ones of Hall and Oates.

3. GLOW: « Glow » was inspired by the first Soul music songs we loved, especially those of Prince, Donny Hataway, James Brown… The arrangement stresses on a mix of timbres (backup vocals/horns/strings). It is built upon a constant triplet beat. The text is a love song, a couple looking back at its moments together. Some may find a little something of Mickael Francks in it…

4. THEN YOU CAME ALONG: First entitled « Jay », this track is arranged in a Jay Graydon kind of way (Nothing you can do about it , We’re in this love together or Breakin’ away). Bernard Purdie’s drum demos and the making of AJA (Steely Dan) were the stepping stones to the song (double shuffle beat, horn parts or synthesizer lead). « Then you came along » is a more intimate song that evokes moments of our lives and how it feels to discover true love.

5. ROSELYNE: The idea of this song comes from one of Pierre’s vocal recording with some beatbox and buzzing sounds. The mood is festive and it naturally turned out talking about the colorful Roselyne, Esther’s mother, whom as a captain would guid her crew with an iron first. The guitar line, the use of vintage keyboards (rhodes, hammond and clavinet) and female vocals (Esther) gives it a Steely Dan kind of touch. The groove of the song and the placements of the horns (solo trombone by Johan Blanc) echoe the funky sounds of Niels Langren or Roy Ayers.

6. WHERE ARE YOU: « Where are you » is the second ballad on the album. It is not just a love song but more a break up song. The groove of the guitar and the heady riff of the horns confer a Brazilian touch to the song from the very beginning. On the other side, the harmony of the keyboards and the strings impose a mellow almost sugary sound that contrast with the lyrics. It was the first song we heard played live by the horns recording a pre production that was too « synthesic »… probably one of our best moments during the making of the album.

7. SOMEDAY WE’LL BE BACK: The song came from a bass line played by Esther on the piano running through a latin-funk groove, almost Caribbean, in a Joe Sample, on Carmel, kind of way. It was conceived at a time when we were traveliing and playing in the West Indies (hence the sea sounds at the beginning of the song). « Someday we’ll be back » shows our affection for artists such as Pages or George Duke. The mix of groove-funk-caribbean sounds-westcoast (Nicolas Gorge recorded percussions such as the brasilian cuica or tibetan bells) confers the song an acid jazz touch (Incognito, Brand New Heavies).

8. SWEET BITTER LOVE: Title of the album, the song was first a ballad. But it was totally remodeled as the text was being written, ending up with a more festive, swinging tone. We chose a double-bass with a more « old school » brassy tone and the bass drum that strikes each beat reminds Harry Connick Jr’s first album. It is the most afroamerican song on the album going from Motown, Soul to New Orleans music.

9. ONE MORE LIE: This title ends the album. It is clearly cinematographical: heavy orchestration of the intro and the outro (the string background, the melodic line of the clarinet, the trombone and the bass), unexpected harmonies, catchy groove à la Bobby Caldwell that all serve a dark scenario: the story of a man having to face his reflection in the mirror everyday and wondering who he really is. During the chorus, the palm mute guitar refers to Steely Dan’s famous « Cousin Dupree ».

The Beauty Room "II"

Following the critically acclaimed debut album released on Peacefrog Records in 2006, The Beauty Room have returned with a breathtaking new album. An ambitiously grand, cinematic production brought to life by the sumptuous string arrangements of Paul Buckmaster (Elton John, David Bowie, Rolling Stones) and recorded in Amsterdam by the Metropole Orchestra.

The band were privileged to employ the skills of Grammy award winning engineer and producer, Peter Henderson (Supertramp, Frank Zappa) along with an impressive array of guest musicians including Chris Whitten (Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Dire Straits), Rob Harris (Jamiroquai), Brian Bromberg (Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock) and Dan Goldman (Morcheeba, Bebel Gilberto). Recorded at some of the world's finest studios such as the legendary Sunset Sound in LA, and British Grove, London, both renowned for their high end, vintage analogue equipment.

The new album continues to draw on the Golden Age of the 60s/70s West Coast influences of their debut album, whilst setting the songs in modern and contemporary productions. A wonderful combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern electronics, it stands alone, a jewel in the marketplace. They have served up a new mouth watering set of songs, sure to delight existing fans and win them many more new ones.

"A surf-free Beach Boys and a less noodly Talk Talk…The Beauty Room luxuriate in their many gifts..." 5 Stars, Q Magazine

“Brilliant buried treasure to pleasure the cochleas of Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers and Brian Wilson fans” Guardian

"I'm absolutely blown away. If ever a bands name summed up its music, this is it” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

"One of the most musical groups I've heard. Beautiful!" Rob Da Bank, BBC Radio 1

Lionville "II"

Lionville is back! The band's winning combination of tight song writing, stellar musical performances recorded by a gifted cast of experienced studio cats and upcoming talents, crowned by impressive lead vocals and an album mix paying attention to all the significant little details, made "Lionville" one of 2011's most favorite AOR records. Fans and reviewers alike enjoyed the catchy pure AOR sound and among others the album reached # 3 on's "Best Debut Album Of 2011" rundown, it also landed at # 20 on the site's "Best Album Of The Year" charts and the ballad "The World Without Your Love", written by Richard Marx, Bruce Gaitsch and Amy Sky, reached # 11 on the "Best Ballad" listing.

Soon after the release of last year's self-titled debut album main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Stefano Lionetti, started working on new material for the follow-up to the band's very well received first effort. Together with label owner and executive producer Gregor Klee, Stefano discussed the key ingredients for their next co-operation and both agreed that the record should be a musical continuation of the debut with an occasional interesting twist here and there. Lionville's sophomore album "II" is another slice of high class AOR with a touch of Westcoast and Melodic Rock, with most of the top flight musicians performing on the debut returning to the recording studio to lay down their tracks. During the spring and summer of 2012 the recordings took place in various studios in Italy, Sweden and the USA, before the mixing and the mastering were completed by Alessandro Del Vecchio in his newly built Ivory Tears Studios close to Milan, Italy.

Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art) shows again that he is one of the most versatile and talented lead and backing vocalists of our time, also Stefano delivers a very solid performance on lead vocals in addition to his melodic guitar playing and an occasional contribution on the keyboards. The song "Higher", one of the album's many highlights presents one of the year's best vocal arrangements and performances on a Rock song sees the two young European singers unite with one of the AOR and Westcoast genre's American legends, the two-time Grammy award winning Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) with his signature vocals. The trio trades off the lead vocals and Bill's wife Tamara Champlin joins them on backing vocals.

The excellent band playing on all tracks was also the Lionville live band for the celebrated Firefest performance in October 2012, the line-up includes the Italian musicians Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Issa, Shining Line, Mitch Malloy), Anna Portalupi (Hardline, Mitch Malloy, Issa, Steve Lukather), Alessandro Mori (Mitch Malloy, Moonstone Project) as well as producer and keyboarder Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Hardline, Issa, Mitch Malloy). On the album they are joined by guitarist Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago) on seven songs, as well as guest guitar players Robert Säll (Work Of Art, W.E.T.), Sven Larsson (Street Talk) and Peter Friestedt (Williams Friestedt, L.A. Project). The invitees are completed by drummer Herman Furin (Work Of Art) on percussions and Italian saxophone luminary Joe La Viola. Stefano's song writing partners are again Pierpaolo "Zorro" Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace), Robert Säll, Lars Säfsund and Alessandro Del Vecchio and a new co-operation was started with Miqael Persson (Eclipse, Toby Hitchcock, Giant). The only song originating from outside writers is a cover version of Boy Meets Girl's catchy 80s Pop Rock gem "Waiting For A Star To Fall", written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam.

Lionville "II" turns out to be a more mature and homogenous sounding affair than the bands debut, paying even more attention to the musical arrangements and production details resulting in a very well balanced mix that pays attention to all the precious little details. In the case of Lionville "II" the much-cited term "Labour Of Love" is certainly appropriate as everyone involved gave their best from start to finish to deliver one of the AOR highlights of 2012.

AOR "L.A. Temptation"

Frédéric Slama started his career in France but lived in L.A. for more than 10 years where he became friend with many famous artists & studio players. After releasing a couple of solo albums in the 80’s, Frédéric decided to start a “one man band”. This marked the birth of his project AOR, always using the cream of U.S session players.

Frédéric Slama’s AOR project is back with a new album called « L.A Temptation », featuring an impressive list of guests such as Tommy Denander, Paul Sabu, James Christian (House Of Lords), Philip Bardowell (Unruly Child), Jerry Hludzik (Dakota), Göran Edman (Crossfade), Chris Ousey (Heartland, Virginia Wolf), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Hank Erix (Houston), Joey Summer, Rick Riso, Michael Landau, Mike Baird, Christian Tolle, Bruce Gaitsch, Alessandro Del Vecchio & all Lionville members & many more. For this 11th album, the sound is heavier than before and the first class production will make you shiver. Fans of Toto, Survivor or Journey won’t be disappointed with great melodies and fantastic musicianship.