Nina Simone Sings the Blues, issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, High Priestess of Soul, featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut. It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah…It pleases me…." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow.
The Third Rail are best remembered today because their closest brush with hit-single status, 1967's "Run Run Run," appeared on Lenny Kaye's pioneering original Nuggets compilation in 1972. But while that album was the shot that kicked off the great garage rock revival, the Third Rail's music was a far better example of the glorious products of the pop music factory that was the Brill Building rather than teenage rock & roll run wild and free. Group founder Artie Resnick was a seasoned pro in the music biz, having written "Under the Boardwalk" and "Good Lovin'," and vocalist and co-writer Joey Levine was a teenaged pop prodigy who (like Resnick) would later become a major player in Buddah Records' mighty bubblegum empire a few years down the line. But in 1967, Levine was just a bit too clever for his own good, which is a big part of the pleasure of the Third Rail's sole album, ID Music.
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released in December 1967 on Columbia Records. Less successful in the US than in Europe, Songs of Leonard Cohen foreshadowed the kind of chart success Cohen would go on to achieve. It reached number 83 on the Billboard 200 and achieving gold status in the US only in 1989, but peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart, and spent nearly a year and a half on it. Songs of Leonard Cohen was released on CD in 1989, while a digipak edition was released in some European countries in 2003. A remastered version, with the bonus tracks "Store Room" and "Blessed is the Memory," was released in the United States on April 24, 2007.