James Arthur was the victor of the British X Factor's ninth season in 2012, winning the public vote with a rendition of Shontelle's rousing ballad "Impossible." Born in Middlesbrough, England, Arthur had written and performed in various bands since the age of 15, as well as performing solo in pubs and bars in his hometown. Many early recordings of the singer/songwriter illustrate the pop/rock and hip-hop influences that helped to shape his unique voice and style.
Although he lived most of his life in Nashville, Marty never left the west behind. He proved that he could masterfully reinterpret classic western ballads, as well as write new ones every bit as good as the old ones. His western recordings for both Columbia and MCA are complete here, spanning the years 1958-1979. The set starts with The Hanging Tree, then encompasses the best-selling Gunfighter Ballads albums that included such classic tracks as El Paso, Big Iron, Tonight Carmen, Mister Shorty, and The Cowboy In The Continental Suit, as well as the El Paso sequels like Feleena From El Paso and El Paso City. Marty mixed self-composed epics with many of the greatest vintage western songs to create a tapestry of music that powerfully evokes the old west and the west in transition.
Arthur Brown had practically owned the radio one summer with the insane hit "Fire" (1968), while Black was a former member of the Mothers of Invention, which under the leadership of Frank Zappa became perhaps the most notorious rock band in American history. These Austin sessions are more about the roots rock both Black and Brown love, and one could say they really didn't dig too far to find songs to cover, sticking to warhorses. Some listeners may find the list of titles a bit discouraging, in fact. Once past this roadblock, though, and the scenery gets nice as the musicians in the backseat find effective grooves and the two leaders keep things interesting, Brown with his original vocal style and Black with his soulful drumming.
One of country music s most eclectic heroes, Marty Robbins celebrated an extraordinary career as one of the genre s leading crossover artists. While Marty Robbins maintained a busy schedule throughout his life, it was without a doubt his early career that left the biggest impact on the world of country music. Johnny Cash released a version of I Couldn t Keep From Crying in 1960, while Guy Mitchell recorded versions of both Singing The Blues and Knee Deep In The Blues .
One of country music s most eclectic heroes, Marty Robbins celebrated an extraordinary career as one of the genre s leading crossover artists. Spending more than 30 years in the music business, Robbins routinely refused to conform to contemporary trends, branching out into pop, rockabilly, Hawaiian, calypso and gospel music, all underlined by his trademark Southern twang. In addition to being a skilled player and performer, Robbins was also a magnificent songwriter, penning many of his best-known hits. He also undertook numerous ventures outside of music during his lifetime, appearing in films and even occasionally participating in NASCAR races. However, it is his music for which he is most fondly remembered, and Robbins retains his reputation as one of the finest ever country musicians and performers. This collection, presented across four discs and running in excess of five hours, collates the entirety of Marty Robbins output between 1952 and 1960, and in so doing, provides not only the perfect introduction to this country giant, but acts too as a welcome reminder for those already well-versed in Marty Robbins incredible work.