Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Welcome to the first issue of "Candies From a Stranger". This series will focus mostly on tracks culled from great albums by renowned artists who made music history, with a few rare or obscure gems thrown in for good measure.

All tracks are mixed together to create an uninterrupted flow and embrace the listener in a groovy and peaceful mood regardless of the original music style. Here's the tracklist of "Candies From a Stranger Vol. 1":

01. DEODATO - Also Sprach Zarathustra (8:54)
02. LALO SCHIFRIN - Baia (4:48)
03. CHET BAKER - Vehicle (2:37)
04. HERBIE MANN - Memphis Underground (7:02)
05. CURTIS MAYFIELD - Freddie's Dead (5:22)
06. GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. - Moonstreams (5:29)
07. FAZE ACTION - In the Trees (7:36)
08. SPRING VS. PEZ - Chuck It Up! (3:42)
09. JACO PASTORIUS - Okonkole Y Trompa (4:10)
10. THE LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA - Midnight and You (5:10)
11. GATO BARBIERI - Fireflies (5:11)
12. STEVIE WONDER - Race Babbling (8:42)
13. HERBIE HANCOCK - Gentle Thoughts (7:05)
14. BOLA SETE - Devas' Lament (3:34)

All selections were compiled and mixed in January 2012, they are available in a single FLAC lossless format file or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn the compilation on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

01. DEODATO - Also Sprach Zarathustra
original LP issue: Prelude, CTI Records (1972)
Eumir Deodato's funk rendition of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" became a pop cornerstone of the early 70s, it was a top ten hit in the winter of 1973 and won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance the same year. "Prelude" features a stellar cast of performers, including John Tropea and Jay Berliner on guitar, Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, Airto on percussions and Ray Barretto on congas. This track has resurfaced during the recent years as the soundtrack of a Coca-Cola commercial.

original LP issue: Black Widow, CTI Records (1976)
"Black Widow" was Lalo Schifrin's first album for Creed Taylor's CTI Records. A savvy choice of material, percolating rhythms, an all-star cast, and uncanny and brilliant arrangements made it a vibrant release. "Baia" was a club hit, enabling Schifrin's ensemble to join the ranks right alongside Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra and the Salsoul Orchestra, the cream of disco's big bands.

03. CHET BAKER - Vehicle
original LP issue: Blood, Chet and Tears, Verve (1970)
One of the midwestern bands influenced by Blood, Sweat and Tears, Detroit's Ides of March had an early 70s national hit with the aptly titled "Vehicle". Chet Baker paves a winding, country road over the original's dusty track. Althought a few tracks were released on compilations, as I write these notes "Blood, Chet and Tears" still hasn't received a proper CD reissue.

04. HERBIE MANN - Memphis Underground
original LP issue: Memphis Underground, Atlantic (1969)
"Memphis Underground" is the essence of Mann's music at the end of the 60s. His playing is strong, and the rhythm section captures the overall feel of the time, with strong bass/rhythm lines that sit in groove all day long. The album is jazz by way of soul, virtuosity at the service of groove, head massage by way of heart-to-hearting. Personnel include Roy Ayers on vibes along with Larry Coryell and Sonny Sharrock on guitars.

05. CURTIS MAYFIELD - Freddie's Dead
original LP issue: Superfly, Curtom (1972)
"Superfly" has long been recognized as Curtis Mayfield's anti-drugs masterpiece. Along with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", it was one of the pioneering soul concept albums, with its then-unique socially aware lyrics about poverty and drug abuse making the album stand out. "Superfly" was a global hit and it marked the commercial highpoint of Mayfield's recording career. When released as a single, "Freddie's Dead" was a million-seller, it peaked at #4 on the U.S. Pop Chart and #2 on the R&B Chart.

06. GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. - Moonstreams
original LP issue: Feels So Good, Kudu (1975)
"Feels So Good" topped both the Soul and Jazz Albums Charts and peaked at number 10 on the Pop Album Charts in the U.S. The album features Bob James on keyboards and Eric Gale on guitar and is one of the finest releases in Washington's entire career. "Moonstreams" is played on the soprano saxophone in Washington's trademark higher registers, with some great guitar licks from Gale; with its ambient background it creates both a relaxed and moody atmosphere. This track was sampled by rapper DMX for his song "Slippin'" released in 1998 on the album "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood".

07. FAZE ACTION - In the Trees
original CD issue: Plans and Designs, Nuphonic (1997)
Faze Action's debut album made quite a sensation in the new disco / house scene at the time of its release. The stripped down sound of "Plans and Designs" is something not to be missed. Most notable are the use of orchestra strings to create an epic feel and live percussions (timpani, steel drums, congas, timbales, etc.) to emphasize the tribal side of things. "In the Trees" is one of the standout tracks in an album that has fast become a modern classic in disco revival and funky house.

08. SPRING VS. PEZ - Chuck It Up!
original CD issue: Spring and Friends, Bungalow (1997)
"Chuck It Up!" is completely built on an uncredited killer loop coming straight from Archie Bell & The Drells' "Don't Let Love Get You Down" (the opening track from "Where Will You Go When the Party's Over" released in 1976 on Philadelphia International). This track was a collaboration between French duo Spring and Spanish DJ and producer Javier Vicente Calderón a.k.a. Pez, it was released by Bungalow Records on the "Spring and Friends" compilation album at the peak of the lounge / cocktail music revival.

09. JACO PASTORIUS - Okonkole Y Trompa
original LP issue: Jaco Pastorius, Epic (1976)
When his eponymous debut LP appeared in 1976 one needed to hear only about 20 seconds of the opening track to know that Jaco Pastorius was special. He could make his strings sing from the heart, he was far more than a virtuoso soloist. He wrote, or co-wrote, eight of the album's ten pieces and each number showed off a different facet of his omnivorous music interests. "Okonkole Y Trompa", as its title aptly suggest, is a dialog between Don Alias' percussions and Peter Gordon's french horn, with Jaco's bass bouncing in the middle.

original LP issue: Rhapsody in White, 20th Century Records (1974)
"Rhapsody in White" was the debut album of The Love Unlimited Orchestra and it was a huge success for the group, that was lead by Barry White and served as a backing unit both for him and for the female vocal trio Love Unlimited. Barry could sing, write, arrange, and conduct music in a beautiful way. His signature voice introduces the lush instrumental of "Midnight In You", symphonic soul at its best!

11. GATO BARBIERI - Fireflies
original LP issue: Caliente!, A&M Records (1976)
"Caliente!" features top studio musicians, including Lenny White on drums and Eric Gale on guitar. And what a wall of sound: there's Barbieri's trademark passionate sax of course, it rides on a thick brew of funky, percolating keyboards, rock, jazz and Brazilian-tinged acoustic and electric guitars, popping, driving and brooding basslines, Latin percussion, propulsive drumming, brass, strings... With its careful arrangement "Fireflies" slowly grows into a killer and seductive piece of music.

12. STEVIE WONDER - Race Babbling
original 2LP issue: Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Motown (1979)
"Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants" was the soundtrack to a documentary directed by Walon Green. Following the success of the Grammy Award-winning "Songs in the Key of Life", this album was panned by many critics and was confusing to many fans, who didn't know what to make of the conceptual, mostly instrumental double release. In my opinion this is one of the best Stevie Wonder albums and "Race Babbling" is pure proto-electro funk weirdness, quite nice!

13. HERBIE HANCOCK - Gentle Thoughts
original LP issue: Secrets, Columbia (1976)
Following the three albums recorded with The Headhunters, "Secrets" was Herbie Hancock's first step into funk disco. Althought members of the band are still fully featured on the album, namely Bennie Maupin on saxes and Paul Jackson on bass, with the nice addition of Wah-Wah Watson - already present on "Manchild" - on the guitar, trying to compare this outing to The Headhunters era is unnecessary. With this effort Hancock is definitely toeing the fine line between jazz, funk and disco but it all works. "Gentle Thoughts" has got a great walking bassline and superfunky breakdown and, as always, Herbie dancing on the keys.

14. BOLA SETE - Devas' Lament
original LP issue: Jungle Suite, Dancing Cat Records (1985)
When Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete recorded the music on "Jungle Suite" in 1982, he was able to play the entire suite in one recording session. This virtuoso performance was possible because he rehearsed these compositions four to five hours a day, six days a week, for several years before recording them. "Devas' Lament" is beautiful and evocative, the piece begins with progressions based in A minor, with temporary modulations to the keys of D minor and C major, before ending.

Hope you will enjoy this compilation, if you feel so inclined then make yourself a favour and search for the original releases, most of them are widely available on CD and you will be rewarded by their greatness, these are timeless masterpieces! All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!


  1. Looks good, thank you


    FLAC: https://mega.nz/#!oRV...

    MP3: https://mega.nz/#!Ic9...

    If you download any of these files please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know about any broken link and deleted or unavailable files: I'll do my best to quickly reupload them.

  3. Merci beaucoup, je l'écoute de suite ....

  4. Quero deixar aqui os meus sinceros agradecimentos por nos disponibilizar tantas raridades, como a desse espetacular exemplar, que a bom tempo procurava e tive a satisfação de encontra-lo por aqui!
    Valeu mesmo, tá?!
    Abraços/Nelson (Brasil)

  5. Damn, that is one wicked set -- great stuff. That Also Sprach piece famously appeared in the movie "Being There" where the clueless Peter Sellers wanders aimlessly through the city streets for the first time...

    Apparently, I think I stumbled upon your blog by searching for this DEODATO track. By the way, I appreciate all the work you must have done for doing both FLACS and mp3s (I typically convert from FLACS to .opus format). Working with .cue and flac files was somewhat complicated, but I got everything split with Foobar2000.

  6. Thanks for your hardwork for providing this great stuff.


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