BONNIE RAITT: The Bonnie Raitt Collection (Warner Bros. 26242). LP, cassette, CD. **** 1/2.
Yes, the award-winning and chart-busting ``Nick of Time' was a great album. But as her longtime fans could tell you, Bonnie Raitt was making memorable, rootsy music for a long time before people started making such a deserved fuss.This fine compilation, which includes Raitt's own reflections on the songs, is an excellent place for new fans to discover that she was every bit as wonderful as we thought she was. HARRY CONNICK JR.: We Are in Love (Columbia 46146). LP, cassette, CD. ***1/2.
As if it weren't already daunting enough to be compared with Frank Sinatra as a singer, Harry Connick Jr. now not only croons standards, he's trying to write some new ones of his own too.
If you loved Connick's ``When Harry Met Sally' album, you should swoon for the ultra-romantic ``We Are In Love,' which features Connick in fine voice delivering a set of mostly originals backed by his own group and a big band. RAMONES: All The Stuff (And More) Vol. 1 (Sire 26220-2). LP, cassette, CD. ***1/2.
As odd as it is to get nostalgic for punk rock, this compilation of work from the first two Ramones albums (along with some interesting rarities) makes it hard not to feel a certain nostalgic yearing.
Tracks such as ``Blitzkrieg Bop' and ``Pinhead' retain their primitive power after all this time. WILLI JONES: Willi Jones (Geffen 9 24292-2). All formats.***.
Imagine a more bluesy Edie Brickell, and you'll have some idea what her label-mate Willi Jones sounds like.
Produced by Niko Bolas (who was behind the boards for Melissa Etheridge's first album), this album is a promising if hardly groundbreaking debut. The most interesting, unusual track here is ``Long Legged Goddess,' a collaboration with blues great Willie Dixon. TEXAS TORNADOS: Texas Tornados (Reprise 9 26251-2). LP, cassette, CD.****.
This brilliant, low-key masterpiece is the debut effort by the Tornados, a sort of down-home, low-rent version of Traveling Wilburys.
Doug Sahm, Augie Mayers, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez may not be mainstream superstars, but they've all made their mark.
Highlights include a typically great Fender vocal on ``A Man Can Cry,' and a fine cover of Butch Hancock's ``She Never Spoke Spanish To Me.' THE STRAWBERRY ZOTS: Cars, Flowers and Telephones (RCA 2286-1-R). LP, cassette, CD.***.
Fun, fun, fun. ``Cars, Flowers and Telephones' is the tasty debut from a neopsychedelic five-piece band based in Albuquerque, N.M.
There are plenty of other groups out there trying to re-live the '60s these days. But the Strawberry Zots stand out from the pack because their twisted punk-inflected pop music seems like more than mere goofy revivalism.