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Boys & Girls


Price: CDN$ 11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
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23 new from CDN$ 8.75 4 used from CDN$ 14.62 1 collectible from CDN$ 289.00

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Boys & Girls + The Lumineers + Babel
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ato Records
  • ASIN: B0074MZSWW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hold On
2. I Found You
3. Hang Loose
4. Rise To The Sun
5. You Ain't Alone
6. Goin' To The Party
7. Heartbreaker
8. Boys & Girls
9. Be Mine
10. I Ain't The Same
11. On Your Way

Product Description

Product Description

2012 debut album from the Athens, Alabama-based outfit. The band was originally formed when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard approached bassist Zac Cockrell during a high school psychology class and began meeting after school to write songs. Howard and Cockrell experimented with many different styles of music including roots rock, progressive rock, soul music, country music and classic rock.

About the Artist

The story of the Alabama Shakes begins in a high school psychology class in Athens, Alabama. Brittany Howard, who had started playing guitar a few years earlier, approached Zac Cockrell and asked if he wanted to try making music together. "I just knew that he played bass and that he wore shirts with cool bands on them that nobody had heard of," says Howard.

They started to meet up after school and write songs sitting on Howard's floor. "It had that rootsy feel, but there was some out-there stuff," says Cockrell. "David Bowie-style things, prog-rock, lots of different stuff. We started to come across our own sound a little bit, though it's evolved a lot since then."

Steve Johnson worked at the only music store in town, and Howard knew he played the drums. She invited him to a party where, she says, "he met everybody from our side of the tracks." The three young musicians began working together, further expanding their style and approach. "Steve is kind of a punk-metal drummer," says Howard, "so we embraced that edge he brings to everything he does."

The trio soon went into a studio in Decatur to record some of the songs they were working up, and this proto-demo found its way into the hands of Heath Fogg, with whom Howard had been familiar because he had been the lead guitarist in what she describes as "the best band in our high school." Fogg, who by now had graduated from college, asked them to open a show for his band, which they agreed to do—on the condition that he play with them. The response was immediate: "That first show was really explosive," says Howard.”

Though they had been focusing on original material ("It's just more fun to write than to learn someone else's music," says Cockrell), as the band—newly christened the Shakes—began playing out, they added more cover songs. They played classics by James Brown and Otis Redding, but also by Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. "We had to find music we could all agree on and figure out how to play together," says Howard, "and that had a lot of influence on how we play now."

Attempting to record their songs with the honest sonic qualities they cherished, the Shakes bought a few microphones and a vintage Teac mixing board and set up in Howard's house—which didn't work, since she lived right next to some railroad tracks. They eventually found their way to a Nashville studio in early 2011, where the songs they cut included "You Ain't Alone" and "I Found You."

When they appeared at a Nashville record store, people started to take notice of the group’s relentless, hard-charging live attack, and Howard’s magnetic stage presence. One especially ardent fan raved about the band to his friends, which included Justin Gage, the founder of the Aquarium Drunkard blog. Gage wrote to Howard, asking if he could post one of the Shakes' songs. She sent back the yearning, intense "You Ain't Alone," which he put up in late July, calling it "a slice of the real." And, literally overnight, all hell broke loose.

"I woke up the next day to emails from record labels, managers, publishing companies," says Howard. "At first I thought, everybody's making a mistake!" Gage also emailed “You Ain’t Alone” to the Drive-By Truckers' team. The band was immediately blown away and offered the Shakes an opening slot, sight unseen. (Patterson Hood of the Truckers later noted that the group “totally blew us off the stage in Winston-Salem.”)

Yet even as the attention and the pressure were mounting, the band—who by now had changed their name to the Alabama Shakes—continued to break new ground musically. Their first single, the hypnotic, show-stopping plea "Hold On," grew out of an on-stage improvisation. "We threw out that riff," says Cockrell, "and Brittany started singing along, and the crowd started singing with her like it was a song they already knew."

In October, the Shakes gave a performance at the CMJ Festival in New York City that earned a glowing review from the New York Times. Jon Pareles described the band as "a thunderbolt dressed in bluejeans," with music that's "aching when it’s slow and growling and whooping when it’s fast." NPR named them one of the best bands of 2011, while MTV called them one of the top bands to look for in 2012.

As word of mouth spread, more offers to tour came in, and the band members were finally able to quit their day jobs; until this point, all the writing, recording, and touring had to be done around such responsibilities as Howard's work as a mail carrier and Johnson’s hours toiling as a night watchman at a nuclear power plant.

Now, with expectations at fever pitch, the Alabama Shakes have delivered Boys & Girls—six of the songs from that initial Nashville session, and another five recorded during the rest of the year. From the heart-rending title song to such stomps as “Rise to the Sun,” the album demonstrates the sense of groove and space the band learned from their idols, along with a blistering force and emotion that simply can’t be learned.

Overwhelmed by the response they've already received, there is one perception of the band that they want to challenge. "A lot of people think we're a soul revival act," says Cockrell. "That's an honor to me, classic R&B is my favorite kind of music, but everybody has their own influences. Brittany is way more into rock and roll—she likes things pretty amped up most of the time."

"Retro soul is not what we’re going for, though it's understandable why people say it," says Howard. "We take inspiration from that, but we all understand Black Sabbath, too. On the record, we left a lot of room for whatever we want to do in the future."

The release of Boys & Girls marks the arrival of a major new rock and roll band. To the members themselves, though, what's been most exciting has been the reaction they have felt on stage, whether tiny local dates or under the glare of the media.

"It seems like everyone can tell how into it we are," says Cockrell. "Every show, people say they can feel how much we love what we're doing."


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dylanphile on April 30 2012
Format: LP Record
I can't say what the CD sounds like, though the first review here says the recording is not very good. All I can say is that the sound of this record on vinyl is excellent. Great band, great songs. You won't be disappointed. Viva La Vinyl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David M Herman on April 27 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I feel quite bad about writing this but I can't recommend Alabama Shakes cd "Boys and Girls".
The band is actually very good but the recording is so poor its very hard to tell. After ten minutes of hiss and tinny sound the only thing I wanted to do was get this cd out of my player. Its that bad.
The real tradgedy is Alabama Shakes really are an excellent band.They have a good way with a hook and can lay down a real tight groove. At least I think they can. Its so hard to get a feel of anything with this recording.
Who ever sabotaged the band with this recording should be fired.
A potentially great cd ruined by a shoddy recording. Alabama Shakes are owed an apology.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The BEST album. In my top 25 all-time. The story of Alabama Shakes is a home grown meant to be classic. Brittany's vocals are significant and she has developed her own style. Alabama Shakes has played on some high profile shows and concerts. I would be very sad if they did not make more music. Take your time and make great music!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ? on May 1 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
when I read the review below about the poor recording I was was worried because my copy was in the mail. I suggest that he return his cd, because my copy has no hissing sounds.
music is excellent,, good beats,, excellent vocals. retro sounds, like the 50's with a modern twist. buy it with no worries.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the first albums I have purchased for Alabama Shakes. An excellent album and you have to love her voice.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Totally awesome cd! Brittany's voice is AMAZING! Great to listen to while kicking back and relaxing or while stuck in traffic.
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By doc on Nov. 3 2013
Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
Good music warped vinel and dusty low quality It still plays but looks bad and skips occasionally not worth the money
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By M. Storoschuk on Sept. 22 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love the musicianship, style, instruments and especially Brittany's voice. Lyrics are thoughtful too. This is a great album for anyone aged twenty and up.
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