Dr. John – The ATCO Studio Albums Collection (1968-1974) [2014] [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Dr. John – The ATCO Studio Albums Collection (1968-1974) [2014]
7 Albums | FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 260:50 minutes | 10,6 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front covers | Genre: R&B, Soul

Dr. John is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans’ musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture… New Orleans pianist and singer whose blend of snaky rhythms, Crescent City funk, and voodoo flair made him one of the city’s prime musical ambassadors. Enjoy now seven of his best albums remastered in High Definition!

Enjoy these seven studio albums by Dr. John, recorded for ATCO Records and available now in hi-res!

GRIS-gris (1968)
Babylon (1969)
Remedies (1970)
The Sun Moon & Herbs (1971)
Dr. John’s Gumbo (1972)
In the Right Place (1973)
Desitively Bonnaroo (1974)

Dr. John – Gris-Gris (1968/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:27 minutes | 1,21 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Dr. John’s Gris-Gris is among the most enduring recordings of the psychedelic era; it sounds as mysterious and spooky in the 21st century as it did in 1968. It is the album where Mac Rebennack established a stage identity that has served him well. A respected studio ace in his native New Orleans, Rebennack was scuffling in L.A. Gris-Gris was his concept, an album that wove various threads of New Orleans music together behind the character of “Dr. John,” a real voodoo root doctor from the 19th century. Harold Batiste, another ex-pat New Orleanian and respected arranger in Hollywood, scored him some free studio time left over from a Sonny & Cher session. They assembled a crack band of NOLA exiles and session players including saxophonist Plas Johnson, singers Jessie Hill and Shirley Goodman, and guitarist/mandolinist Richard “Didimus” Washington. Almost everyone played percussion. Gris-Gris sounds like a post-midnight ceremony recorded in the bayou swamp instead of L.A.’s Gold Star Studio where Phil Spector cut hits. The atmosphere is thick, smoky, serpentine, foreboding. Rebennack inhabits his character fully, delivering Creole French and slang English effortlessly in the grain of his half-spoken, half-sung voice. He is high priest and trickster, capable of blessing, cursing, and conning. On the opening incantation “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya,” Dr. John introduces himself as the “night tripper” and boasts of his medicinal abilities accompanied by wafting reverbed mandolins, hand drums, a bubbling bassline, blues harmonica, skeletal electric guitar, and a swaying backing chorus that blurs the line between gospel and soul. On “Danse Kalinda Boom,” a calliope-sounding organ, Middle Eastern flute, Spanish-tinged guitars, bells, claves, congas, and drums fuel a wordless chorus in four-part chant harmony as a drum orgy evokes ceremonial rites. The sound of NOLA R&B comes to the fore in the killer soul groove of the breezy “Mama Roux.” “Croker Courtboullion” is an exercise in vanguard jazz. Spectral voices, electric guitars, animal cries, flute, and moody saxophone solos and percussion drift in and out of the spacy mix. The set’s masterpiece is saved for last, the nearly nearly eight-minute trance vamp in “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” (covered by everyone from Humble Pie, Cher, and Johnny Jenkins to Paul Weller and Papa Mali). Dr. John is brazen about the power of his spells in a slippery, evil-sounding boast. Congas, tom-toms, snaky guitar, and harmonica underscore his juju, while a backing chorus affirms his power like mambo priestesses in unison. A ghostly baritone saxophone wafts through the turnarounds. Droning blues, steamy funk, and loopy R&B are inseparably entwined in its groove. Remarkably, though rightfully considered a psychedelic masterpiece, there is little rock music on Gris-Gris. Its real achievement — besides being a classic collection of startlingly deep tunes — is that it brought New Orleans’ cultural iconographies and musical traits to the attention of an emergent rock audience.

01 – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
02 – Danse Kalinda Ba Doom
03 – Mama Roux
04 – Danse Fambeaux
05 – Croker Courtbullion
06 – Jump Sturdy
07 – I Walk On Guilded Splinters

Dr. John – Babylon (1969/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:19 minutes | 1,34 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Dr. John’s ambition remained undiminished on his second solo album, Babylon, released shortly after the groundbreaking voodoo-psychedelia-New Orleans R&B fusion of his debut, Gris-Gris. The results, however, were not nearly as consistent or impressive. Coolly received by critics, the album nonetheless is deserving of attention, though it pales a bit in comparison with Gris-Gris. The production is sparser and more reliant on female backup vocals than his debut. Dr. John remains intent on fusing voodoo and R&B, but the mood is oddly bleak and despairing, in comparison with the wild Mardi Gras-gone-amok tone of his first LP. The hushed, damned atmosphere and after-hours R&B sound a bit like Van Morrison on a bummer trip at times, as peculiar as that might seem. “The Patriotic Flag-Waiver” (sic), in keeping with the mood of the late ’60s, damns social ills and hypocrisy of all sorts. An FM underground radio favorite at the time, its ambitious structure remains admirable, though its musical imperfections haven’t worn well. To a degree, you could say the same about the album as a whole. But it has enough of an eerie fascination to merit investigation.

01 – Babylon
02 – Glowin’
03 – Black Widow Spider
04 – Barefoot Lady
05 – Twilight Zone
06 – The Patriotic Flag Waver
07 – The Lonesome Guitar Strangler

Dr. John – Remedies (1970/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:51 minutes | 1,81 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Remedies is not rock and roll, it is something nearly otherworldly, and almost beyond comprehension. While it includes such standout Dr. John tracks as “Wash Mama Wash” and “Loop Garoo,” it also includes “Angola Anthem,” which is murky, mysterious and downright evil-sounding. Much of this very long cut is lost without headphones, for the music floats about in a smoky fog while Dr. John and his backup singers chant, moan, and cry out. Progressive radio loved this stuff, and it still sounds great during those late-night flirtations with the dark side of the psyche. Remedies must be heard to be believed.

01 – Loop Garoo
02 – What Comes Around (Goes Around)
03 – Wash, Mama Wash
04 – Chippy, Chippy
05 – Mardi Gras Day
06 – Angola Anthem

Dr. John – The Sun Moon & Herbs (1971/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:05 minutes | 1,61 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Originally intended as a triple album, The Sun, Moon & Herbs was chopped up, whittled down and re-assembled into this single-disc release, and while Dr. John never liked this version much, perhaps the single disc is testament to the “less is more” theory. The seven cuts are all quite lengthy and the spells Dr. John and his consorts weave are dark and swampy. “Black John the Conqueror” comes from old Cajun folklore which the good Dr. has modernized and given a beat. The swampy “Craney Crow” is the younger sibling of his earlier “Walk On Guilded Splinters” and has a similar effect on the listener. “Pots on Fiyo (Fils Gumbo)” combines Latin American rhythms with lots of Cajun chants and spells. The vocals are nearly incomprehensible and actually serve as another instrument in the mix. “Zu Zu Mamou” is so thick that you can almost cut the music with a knife. Here, the atmosphere takes on a whole other meaning altogether. The Sun, Moon & Herbs is best listened to on a hot, muggy night with the sound of thunder rumbling off in the distance like jungle drums. Dr. John was definitely onto something here, but just what is left up to the listener.

01 – Black John The Conqueror
02 – Where Ya At Mule
03 – Craney Crow
04 – Familiar Reality-Opening
05 – Pots on Fiyo (File Gumbo)/Who I Got To Fall On (If The Pot Get Heavy)
06 – Zu Zu Mamou
07 – Familiar Reality-Reprise

Dr. John – Dr. John’s Gumbo (1972/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:36 minutes | 1,68 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Dr. John’s Gumbo bridged the gap between post-hippie rock and early rock & roll, blues, and R&B, offering a selection of classic New Orleans R&B, including “Tipitina” and “Junko Partner,” updated with a gritty, funky beat. There aren’t as many psychedelic flourishes as there were on his first two albums, but the ones that are present enhance his sweeping vision of American roots music. And that sly fusion of styles makes Dr. John’s Gumbo one of Dr. John’s finest albums.

01 – Iko Iko
02 – Blow Wind Blow
03 – Big Chief
04 – Somebody Changed The Lock
05 – Mess Around
06 – Let The Good Times Roll
07 – Junko Partner
08 – Stack-A-Lee
09 – Tipitina
10 – Those Lonely Nights
11 – Huey Smith Medley
12 – Little Liza Jane

Dr. John – In The Right Place (1973/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:40 minutes | 1,4 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

Dr. John finally struck paydirt here and was certainly In the Right Place. With the hit single “Right Place Wrong Time” bounding up the charts, this fine collection saw many unaware listeners being initiated into New Orleans-style rock. Also including Allen Toussaint’s “Life,” and a funky little number entitled “Traveling Mood,” which shows off the good doctor’s fine piano styling, and with able help from the Meters as backup group, In the Right Place is still a fine collection to own.

01 – Right Place Wrong Time
02 – Same Old Same Old
03 – Just The Same
04 – Qualified
05 – Traveling Mood
06 – Peace Brother Peace
07 – Life
08 – Such A Night
09 – Shoo Fly Marches On
10 – I Been Hoodood
11 – Cold Cold Cold

Dr. John – Desitively Bonnaroo (1974/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 36:52 minutes | 1,55 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover

When you latch onto a hit formula, don’t mess with it, and that is just what the doctor ordered with Desitively Bonnaroo. With installment number three of Dr. John’s funky New Orleans-styled rock & roll, trying to strike gold again proved elusive. There wasn’t the big hit single this time around to help boost sales, and the tunes were starting to sound a little too familiar. While not a carbon copy of his previous releases, Desitively Bonnaroo was a disappointment to his fans. Good as it was, it was the end of an era for Dr. John and his type of music.

01 – Quitters Never Win
02 – Stealin’
03 – What Comes Around (Goes Around)
04 – Me Minus You Equals Loneliness
05 – Mos’ Scocious
06 – (Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away
07 – Let’s Make A Better World
08 – R U 4 Real
09 – Sing Along Song
10 – Can’t Git Enuff
11 – Go Tell The People
12 – Desitively Bonnaroo



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