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$5 MP3 Album Deal: John Coltrane ‘The Best Of John Coltrane’
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The Very Best of John Coltrane, a wonderful collection which spans some of the halcyon years of the famed late saxophonist, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.

The works of John Coltrane, who cut his musical teeth with luminaries like Miles Davis before heading out on his own illustrious solo career, are at once exploratory, influential, endlessly stretching and creatively reaching and ultimately all highly recommended. Coltrane played his saxophone almost akin to an alchemist waving his wand, conjuring up sounds and an overall feel to the world of jazz which went to untold boundaries and broke them, conventions splintered, and ultimately, the listeners tranquilized and satisfied.

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$3 MP3 Album Deal: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’
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Thriller, the biggest selling record of all time by one of the most successful artists ever to grace this planet, Michael Jackson, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $2.99.

Thriller hit the number one spot 30 years ago today, back on February 26, 1983, and then dominated the charts at that spot for months and months afterwards, in fact, all told, it logged 37 weeks there ultimately. An immeasurable musical cultural artifact from the 1980s, a smooth R&B follow up, a peak for the artist who had already reached so many mountaintops and summits, a record which blew everybody out of the water, created an absolute revolution in styles, fashion, sounds, music videos, production, reshaping genres, crossing them, had luminaries like Paul McCartney and Eddie Van Halen make key contributions to it, one can go on and on with endless platitudes and details about what a powerhouse, heavyweight and seminal record Michael Jackson’s Thriller became and remains.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: Dirty Projectors’ ‘Swing Lo Magellan’
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As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 album deals for January 2013, Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan is on sale for only $5.00.

Songs jump and twist in ways you won’t see coming on Swing Lo Magellan, and you will never know what to expect from each track. Frontman Dave Longstreth and company take you on an aural roller coaster ride on the record, never leaving you wanting. Elements of folk, “indie,” glam, electronica, and pop are all married together on track after track in a beautiful dissonance. Animated drum loops propel playful rhythms that enhance a gentle bed of largely acoustic guitars. While never brash in tone, a casual listen may prove challenging because album tracks such as “Offspring Are Blank” and “About To Die” take unpredictable turns through varied genre conventions. The songs never feel forced or different for the sake of being different, which can happen in the hands of lesser composers. Instead, what you will get for your dollar is an extremely well arranged record that required your full attention and rewards with each listen.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: War ‘All Day Music’
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All Day Music, by the multi-racial, multi-cultural, and R&B funk/pop ensemble War, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.

All Day Music marks the second release by War after ex-Animals lead singer Eric Burdon had left the group in early 1971 (the band originally started out with Burdon and they had charted a hit with “Spill the Wine”). While they had the Burdon influence paint still on their sleeves when All Day Music was released, the band was slowly coming into its own, and by the mid 1970s, they became as revered and as popular as musical cohorts Earth, Wind and Fire and early Santana. War falls somewhere in between those two bands, and sport the kind of funkiness and urgent soulful ballads like their musical brethren.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: William Shatner ‘The Transformed Man’
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The Transformed Man, an “it has to be heard to be believed” recording by the irrepressible, incomparable actor William Shatner, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.

Recorded during the original run of Shatner’s appearance as Captain James T. Kirk on NBC-TV’s Star Trek (in 1968) and certainly during a time when the way Shatner is perceived now (a legendary sci-fi maven and colorful larger than life figure) was still in its infancy stages, The Transformed Man has all that fun, pretentious, spoken word in a musical sense Shatner became famous for. Not holding anything back, and presented with a vocal swagger and patter that he’s as famous for as anything else in his illustrious career, The Transformed Man is a must for any fan of Shatner and his television and theatrical and literary musings.

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