Grab the Headphones

No matter what your tastes lean toward, this season's album releases will help you get in the groove.



Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy," Interscope. A re-release of the debut album by the "Swingers" house band.

Brand Nubian, "Foundation," Arista. The fourth album from the veteran East Coast rap group is only the second with the original lineup.

Bob Carlisle, "Stories From the Heart," Diadem/Jive. The Nashville-based singer's "Butterfly Kisses" was a pop phenomenon. Will his brand of sentimentality still play two years later?

Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach, "Painted From Memory," Mercury. The cross-generational collaboration began two years ago, following the pair's teaming on the Grammy-nominated "God Give Me Strength" from "Grace of My Heart."

Sheryl Crow, "The Globe Sessions," A&M.; See Record Rack, Page 68

Kirk Franklin, "The Nu Nation Project," GospoCentric/Interscope. See Record Rack, Page 68

PJ Harvey, "Is This Desire?," Island. See Record Rack, Page 68

Chris Isaak, "Speak of the Devil," Reprise. The latest from the retro-tinged mood-rocker includes a song he co-wrote with Diane Warren.

Jay-Z, "Vol. II . . . The Hard Knock Life," Def Jam. The third solo album from one of the most popular and respected New York rappers.

Chaka Khan, "Come 2 My House," Earth Song/NPG. The influential soul stylist has gone indie after a long career with Warner Bros., hooking up with the former Prince, who wrote and produced this album with her.

Joni Mitchell, "Taming the Tiger," Reprise. On the third in her distinguished series of '90s albums, the singer-songwriter (who doubles as producer) reflects primarily on the theme of love.

Outkast, "Aquemini," LaFace/Arista. See Record Rack, Page 68

Soul Coughing, "El Oso," Slash/Warner Bros. The third album from the dance-minded New York art-pop band was co-produced by the group and Tchad Blake.

A Tribe Called Quest, "The Love Movement," Jive. This hip-hop look at matters of the heart will be the final album from the Queens-based group.

UNKLE, "Psyence Fiction," Mo'Wax/London. Master samplers DJ Shadow and James Lavelle have enlisted Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Metallica's Jason Newstead, Beastie Boys' Mike D. and the Verve's Richard Ashcroft, among others, for this project.



Bizzy Bone, "Heaven'z Movie," Relativity. The youngest member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony brings the group's blend of rapid rap and soulful melody to his solo debut.

Cake, "Prolonging the Magic," Capricorn. The Sacramento band with the guitar-trumpet blend and the rock-radio staple "The Distance" follows up its million-selling "Fashion Nugget."

Phil Collins, "Hits," Atlantic. The retrospective includes one new song, "TrueColors," produced by and with backing vocals from Babyface.

Cypress Hill, "IV," RuffHouse/Columbia. Sen Dog is back in the fold, rejoining teammates DJ Muggs and B-Real for the powerhouse L.A. rap group's return.

Depeche Mode, "The Singles 86-98," Mute/Reprise. The English synth-popsters toss a new track, "Only When I Lose Myself," into this collection of 20 oldies.

Julio Iglesias, "My Life: The Greatest Hits," Columbia. Four new tracks join the popular crooner's body of work in a two-CD set that will be issued in six languages internationally.

Kurupt, "Kuruption," Antra/A&M.; Outta tha Dogg Pound, the rapper unleashes a double album, with one disc for the West Coast and one for the East.

Mack 10, "The Recipe," Priority. The third solo collection from the Inglewood rapper features guest spots from Ice Cube (his partner in Westside Connection), Big Punisher, Jermaine Dupri and others.

John Mellencamp, "John Mellencamp," Columbia. The veteran rocker has made a midlife shift to Columbia Records after a long tenure with Mercury.

Bret Michaels, "A Letter From Death Row," Poor Boy Records. The former Poison frontman's solo debut is a collection of songs from the upcoming film drama he produced, wrote, directed and stars in.

P.M. Dawn, "Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad," Gee Street/V2. The duo's Prince Be explores issues of a father's love in this concept album.

Duncan Sheik, "Humming," Atlantic. The singer-songwriter follows up his gold debut album with a collection spearheaded by the single "Bite Your Tongue," which he performed on the season premiere of "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Son Volt, "Wide Swing Tremolo," Warner Bros. The acclaimed Americana band led by former Uncle Tupelo partner Jay Farrar goes for a looser feel on its third album.

Various artists, "Divas Live," Epic. Mariah, Shania, Gloria, Aretha and Celine in an audio document of the recent VH1 concert that's being simultaneously released on video.

Various artists, "Red Hot + Rhapsody," Antilles/Verve. The Gershwins get the treatment from David Bowie (with Angelo Badalamenti), Sinead O'Connor and many more in the latest entry in the "Red Hot" AIDS prevention and relief benefit series.

Various artists, "Tommy Boy's Greatest Beats," Tommy Boy. This four-CD set includes some of the most influential tracks of the times, including Afrika Baambaata's "Planet Rock." A bonus CD in the boxed set format features contemporary remixes of some of the songs.



Bob Dylan, "Live 1966: The 'Royal Albert Hall' Concert," Columbia. What's been called the most famous bootleg album of all time finally gets a legitimate release. Factoid: The concert was not held at Royal Albert Hall.

Fatboy Slim, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby," Astralwerks. The summer hit "The Rockafeller Skank" paved the way for this second album from one of dance music's movers and shakers.

Travis Tritt, "No More Looking Over My Shoulder," Warner Bros. The rowdy country star with a rock streak includes Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest" on his eighth album.

Various artists, "Bad Boy's Greatest Hits," Bad Boy/Arista. Fourteen tracks mapping the Puff Daddy empire from such acts as the Notorious B.I.G., Mase and Faith Evans.



Aerosmith, "A Little South of Sanity," Geffen. The songs on this live, two-CD collection span the rock institution's entire career.

Black Sabbath, "Reunion," Epic. Recorded last December in the metal archetype's hometown of Birmingham, England, this marks the only full concert by the original lineup since it split in the '70s. Includes two new studio tracks the band cut afterward.

Deana Carter, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," Capitol Nashville. The follow-up to the 4-million seller "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" includes guitar work from Lynyrd Skynyrd and a title song written in 1971 by the singer's father, Fred Carter Jr.

Eels, "Electro-Shock Blues," DreamWorks. This eccentric and affecting meditation on death and hope should cement Eels' growing reputation as one of the most creative bands to emerge from L.A. in recent years.

Einsturzende Neubauten, "Ende Neu," Nothing/Interscope. The Berlin-based forefathers of industrial rock return with their first album in five years.

Aaron Hall, "Inside of You," MCA. The alumnus of Guy (which also included Teddy Riley) continues a solo career that got off to a promising start with 1993's "The Truth."

John Lee Hooker, "Best of Friends," Pointblank/Virgin. The compilation of collaborations from the primeval bluesman's last five albums is supplemented by three new recordings featuring Ry Cooder, Ben Harper and others.

Jonny Lang, "Wander This World," A&M.; Don't offer the blues-rock guitar star a drink to celebrate the release of his second album--he doesn't turn 18 until January.

Kenny Lattimore, "From the Soul of Man," Columbia. The young soul turk follows his attention-getting debut with an ambitious second effort. Hook: a duet with Broadway's Heather Headley on "Love Will Find a Way," from Disney's video-only sequel to "The Lion King."

George Martin, "In My Life," MCA. The retirement collection from the Beatles' record producer features the group's songs performed by everyone from Jeff Beck to Celine Dion, Goldie Hawn to Jim Carrey. Sir George and his son Giles produced.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Live From the Middle East," Mercury. The lively ska outfit from Boston turns in a concert set.

The Plimsouls, "Kool Trash," Fuel 2000. One of the great bands from L.A.'s '80s rock renaissance is back with its first album since 1983's "Everywhere at Once." Ex-Blondie drummer Clem Burke joins original members Peter Case, Eddie Mun~oz and Dave Pahoa.

Vanilla Ice, "Hard to Swallow," Republic/Universal. The title might describe the reaction of many to the idea of another album by the man who was the laughingstock of rap a few years ago, but he's crusading for credibility with a collection of hard-core hip-hop recorded with rock producer Ross Robinson.

Various artists, "Chef Aid: The South Park Album," American/Columbia. The show's soundtrack album includes contributions by a diverse cast, ranging from Master P and Primus to Devo and Tim McGraw.

Various artists, "Death Row: Inside Out," Death Row/Priority. A 27-track double album featuring old and new material from the label's artists, including three previously unreleased songs from Tupac Shakur.



Bryan Adams, "On a Day Like Today," A&M.; The hitmaker turned to former Cure bassist Paul Thornalley to co-produce the title single, and to Bob Rock for the rest of his tenth album of new material.

Afghan Whigs, "1965," Columbia. After coming close but failing to make its long-anticipated breakthrough, the Cincinnati-bred rock band has regrouped to give it another go with a new label.

Babyface, "Christmas with Babyface," Epic. Traditional fare such as "White Christmas" and "Little Drummer Boy," plus "You Were There" from the "Simon Birch" soundtrack.

Shawn Colvin, "Holiday Songs & Lullabies," Columbia. The Grammy-winning folk-popsinger was inspired by the book "Lullabies & Night Songs," whose illustrator, Maurice Sendak, allowed Colvin to use some of the images in the CD package.

Neil Diamond, "As Time Goes By," Columbia. Having starred in a musical or two himself, the veteran singer-songwriter takes on a stack of songs from movies.

Celine Dion, "These Are Special Times," 550 Music. The diva's Christmas album includes a duet with R. Kelly.

Dru Hill, "Enter the Dru," Island. The follow-up to the Baltimore R&B-pop; quartet's double-platinum debut.

Faith Evans, "Keep the Faith," Bad Boy/Arista. Sean "Puffy" Combs executive-produced the long-awaited album from the rap/R&B; star

Sara Evans, "No Place That Far," RCA. A widely watched country arrival releases a second album that features guest spots from Vince Gill, MartinaCQ McBride, Alison Krauss and George Jones.

Robyn Hitchcock, "Storefront Hitchcock: Music From the Jonathan Demme Movie," Warner Bros. The movie never seemed to surface, but here's the music from the English cult-hero's performances filmed by Demme.

Phish, "The Story of the Ghost," Elektra. The first studio record from the big concert attraction since "Billy Breathes," which entered the charts at No. 7 when it came out in 1996.

Pras, "Ghetto Superstar," RuffHouse/Columbia. The final Fugee to release his own album leads with a title song that was heard in the "Bulworth" soundtrack.

R.E.M., "Up," Warner Bros. An optimistic title from a band recording for the first time without retired drummer Bill Berry and entering a new era of lower commercial expectations.

Jonathan Richman, "I'm so Confused," Vapor. The offbeat artiste follows his breakthrough appearance as the singer in "There's Something About Mary" with this Ric Ocasek-produced collection.

Various artists, "Rugrats" soundtrack, Interscope. Includes a Gwen Stefani-Elvis Costello teaming, as well as music from Busta Rhymes, Devo, et al.

Mia X, "Mama Drama," No Limit. The third album from the only female member of Master P's thriving family.



Asian Dub Foundation, "Rafi's Revenge," Slash/London. The London group, which recently toured with the Beastie Boys, filters hard-core through Indian music for a blend it calls jungle dub punk.

Beck, "Mutations," DGC. Nigel Godrich (Radiohead) produced the not-the-follow-up-to-"Odelay"--a gentler, folkier "side project" that won't get the full-scale tour and promotional push.

Cardigans, "Gran Turismo," Mercury. The winsome Swedish pop group attempts to extend the momentum it built with 1996's "First Band on the Moon" album and "Love Fool" single.

Billy Ray Cyrus, "Shot Full of Love,"

Mercury. The sixth album for the country singer, still working his way out of the shadow of his pop crossover hit "Achy Breaky Heart."

Hanson, "Live," Mercury. The brothers were recorded in Seattle earlier this year, in a concert featuring two new songs.

John Lennon, "The John Lennon Anthology," Capitol. Four CDs, featuring 100 unreleased tracks, including live performances, home recordings and outtakes. Capitol will also release a single-disc selection of the tracks titled "Wonsaponatime."

Alanis Morissette, "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie," Maverick. The singer collaborates again with writer-producer Glenn Ballard, but this time she co-produces, and she wrote four of the songs on her own.

Oasis, "The Masterplan," Epic. A collection of 14 B-sides previously available only as imports, including a live version of "I Am the Walrus."

The Rolling Stones, "No Security," Virgin. This live album from the recent "Bridges to Babylon" tour includes walk-ons by Dave Matthews, Taj Mahal and Joshua Redman.

Rush, "Different Stages," Atlantic. Haul out the headsets--it's three CDs of live recordings from the Canadian prog-rock kingpins.

Scarnella, "Scarnella," Smells Like Records. Singer Carla Bozulich and guitarist Nels Cline from the hibernating L.A. band the Geraldine Fibbers follow their experimental muse.

Talvin Singh, "O.K.," Island. The London musician adds dance beats to the work of classically trained musicians he recorded throughout Asia.

Total, "The New Total Rock," Bad Boy/Arista. Another member of Puff Daddy's prosperous posse follows up a platinum-selling debut.

Trio, "Trio," Asylum. The long-delayed release of recordings made in 1994 by the team of Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

U2, "The Best of 1980-1990," Island. The 14-track retrospective includes the unreleased "The Sweetest Thing," from the "Joshua Tree" sessions. For its first week in the stores, the album will be a double-CD package with a bonus disc of B-sides.



Mariah Carey, "Ones," Columbia. Her 13 No. 1 hits, plus several new tracks including duets with Whitney Houston, Brian McKnight, et al.

Vic Chesnutt, "The Salesman and Bernadette," Capricorn. The eccentric Georgia singer-songwriter moves from Capitol to a smaller major label for his sixth album.

R. Kelly, "R.," Jive. The reigning ruler of R&B; wrote, produced and arranged this two-CD set, which includes guest spots by Cam'ron, Jay-Z, et al, and a duet with Celine Dion.

Method Man, "Tical 2000: Judgement Day," Def Jam. The Wu-Tang Clan's most popular solo artist, thanks to the pop success of his duet with Mary J. Blige on "All I Need."

George Michael, "Ladies & Gentlemen . . . The Best of George Michael," Epic. The singer found time to record three new tracks to include on this two-CD compilation from his '80s oeuvre.

Barry Manilow, "Manilow Sings Sinatra," Arista. What else is there to say?

Mystikal, "Ghetto Fabulous," No Limit/Jive. The fourth album from a New Orleans figure whose raps combine speed and power.

Pete Rock, "Soul Survivor," No Limit/Jive. Expect plenty of cameos on the solo debut from the producer-half of the Pete Rock & CL Smooth team.

Seal, "Human Being," Warner Bros. The follow-up to his self-titled collection and its Grammy triple-winner "Kiss From a Rose."

TLC, "Fan Mail," LaFace/Arista. Can the trio regain the momentum it built in 1994 with its 10-million-selling CrazySexyCool? The team of TLC and executive producers L.A. Reid, Babyface and Dallas Austin gives them a good chance.



Black Crowes, "By Your Side," Columbia. The unregenerate rockers from Georgia have a new lineup and a new label for their fifth album.

Garth Brooks, "Garth Double Live," Capitol Nashville. The biggest-selling solo artist in pop annals will add to his record with his first live collection, which includes three new cuts.

Fear of Pop, "Volume I," 550 Music. Ben Folds wrote a fan letter to William Shatner, and voila, the actor orates on "In Love," the single from this largely instrumental, slightly experimental side project from the leader of Ben Folds Five.

The Geto Boys, "Da Good Da Bad Da Ugly," Virgin. More graphic scenarios from a Houston rap group with a nose for controversy.

Whitney Houston, "Greatest Hits," Arista. The singer is working on new tracks for the collection with such producers as Babyface, David Foster, Rodney Jerkins and Missy Elliott.

Ice Cube, "War and Peace, Vol. I," Priority. The L.A. rapper ends a four-year hiatus from solo recording with the first half of a two-CD set. This one focuses on the darker side, while "Peace" is due next year.

Jewel, untitled, Atlantic. Patrick Leonard is the producer of the singer-songwriter's follow-up to her breakthrough "Pieces of You." The record is said to be "inspirationally themed."

Metallica, untitled, Elektra. A collection of non-Metallica material made up of European B-sides and other ephemera plus some newly recorded tracks.

Nas, untitled, Columbia. The rapper's last album, "It Was Written," was a No. 1 hit.

The Offspring, "Americana," Columbia. Morris Albert's lounge standard "Feelings" gets the Orange County punk treatment as part of the band's take on the state of contemporary culture.

The Orb, "U.F. Off," Island. The English electronic music force compiles a best-of collection and adds a second CD of unreleased material.

Portishead, "PNYC," Go! Beat/London. The title stands for "Portishead New York City," signifying the location where the mood-spinning English band recorded this live album. A long-form video of the concert comes out the same day.

Sublime, "Sublime Acoustic--Bradley Nowell and Friends," Gasoline Alley/Skunk. More posthumous Sublimity. This 17-track collection of live and informal recordings includes originals as well as songs by Bob Marley, Camper Van Beethoven, X, et al.

Various artists, "Prince of Egypt" soundtrack, DreamWorks. The animated film will generate not one album, but three: a conventional soundtrack (led by a Whitney Houston-Mariah Carey duet) and collections in the country and inspirational genres with songs inspired by the film.

Various artists, "Velvet Goldmine" soundtrack, Innerstate/London. One of the movie's executive producers, Michael Stipe, helped recruit such musicians as Pulp, Grant Lee Buffalo, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and members of Sonic Youth to play new songs and glam-rock period pieces.



Keith Murray, "It's a Beautiful Thing." Jive. The Long Island native and Def Squad member releases his third solo album.

Redman, untitled, Def Jam. On his fourth solo album, the rapper works again with co-producer Erick Sermon, a fellow member of the Def Squad.

RZA, "RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo," Gee Street. The solo debut from the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan is a study of the hedonistic title character.

Too $hort, "Can't Stay Away," $hort Records/Jive. The Oakland rapper's 11th album features appearances by Jay-Z, Shabba Ranks, Eightball & MJG and others.



Busta Rhymes, "E.L.E," Elektra. Echoing the title theme of his 1.5-million-selling "When Disaster Strikes," the colorful rapper's new album refers to an "extinction level event" such as a meteor.


Capsules written by RICHARD CROMELIN

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