For The Doors, 1970 should have been a new beginning. Upon the February 1 release of the band's fifth album, Morrison Hotel, Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore were still recovering from the events of the prior year. On March 1, 1969, Morrison famously (or infamously?) exposed himself onstage in Coconut Grove, Florida. The Lizard King's "indecent exposure" led to the cancellation of over two dozen concerts and some radio stations' refusal to play The Doors' music.
Holiday Gift Guide Reviews: Cat Stevens, "Mona Bone Jakon" and "Tea for the Tillerman" 50th Anniversary Editions
1970 was a defining year for pop music, and few stars ascended to quite the same heights as Cat Stevens, whose Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For the Tillerman re-introduced the songwriter and singer to audiences. Gone are the production excesses of his late-'60s pop recordings. Here, Stevens' songs are stripped-down as he looks inward and embraces a soulful sound. Fifty years on, these two albums have been revisited by Yusuf through his aptly titled Cat-O-Log Records imprint, in coordination with
Holiday Gift Guide: Vinyl Me, Please - A Year in Review
Over the past few months you've probably heard us mention Vinyl Me Please. The subscription-based record club frequently partners with the major labels to create exclusive pressings from across genres. They also curate Records of the Month for subscribers - available in three tracks: Classics, Essentials, and Hip Hop - specially selected by their staff to spotlight albums of importance in pop, rock, soul, world music, jazz, and beyond. This year, the offerings ran the gamut from The Stooges,
Play It Again: Esoteric Salutes The Moody Blues' Ray Thomas with Anthology, Surround Mix
As a founding member of The Moody Blues, Ray Thomas (1941-2018) played the haunting flute solo on the band's 1967 hit "Nights in White Satin." He also was responsible for writing many of the Moodies' most beloved songs including "Twilight Time," "And the Tide Rushes In," and "Legend of a Mind." A multi-instrumentalist and singer, Thomas recorded two solo albums for the group's Threshold Records label: 1975's From Mighty Oaks and 1976's Hopes, Wishes, and Dreams. This fall, Cherry Red's
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, "A Merry 'Hee Haw' Christmas"
Omnivore has served up one of the year's most festive treats with the first-ever CD reissue of A Merry "Hee Haw" Christmas from Buck Owens and The Buckaroos. The 1970 Capitol release collected both of Buck and his band's Christmas albums - 1965's Christmas with Buck Owens and His Buckaroos and its 1968 follow-up, Christmas Shopping - as a double-album tie-in with Owens' starring role on television's Hee Haw. The country-themed variety show was midway through its 1969-1971 run on CBS-TV; it
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Donna Summer, "The Wanderer: 40th Anniversary"
A new beginning - Donna Summer was certainly ready for one when she signed as the first artist on David Geffen's upstart record label in 1980. She had clashed and litigated with her longtime home of Casablanca Records over her artistic direction, and on a personal level had become a born-again Christian. Her first album for Geffen would build on her success at Casablanca but confidently introduce a new Donna Summer, as well. The Wanderer, her eighth studio album, became a top 20 success in
Holiday Gift Guide Review: The Free Design, "Butterflies Are Free: The Original Recordings 1967-72"
"Sorry - only one group like this to a generation," renowned engineer-producer Phil Ramone wrote on the back cover of The Free Design's 1968 sophomore album You Could Be Born Again. After over 50 years, The Free Design are still a singular group, difficult to pigeonhole. Their gentle, even childlike style has frequently landed them in the sunshine pop genre, but that match was never quite right: not only were they from New York, but their sound lacked the brightness and even brashness that
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Lou Reed, "New York" [Deluxe Edition]
"I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag with Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days..." Indeed, Lou Reed always gave off the vibe of someone who didn't give a shit - and moreover, someone who didn't take any shit. But beneath that hip veneer was an artist who cared deeply, and had the talents to express himself and his keenly-felt beliefs in song. He was ready for a new start in 1988 when he began recording his first album for Sire Records after his second stint at
Review: Pink Floyd, "Delicate Sound of Thunder"
Welcome to The Second Disc's first Holiday Gift Guide Review of the season! Between now and Christmas, we'll be spotlighting various titles that just might make ideal holiday gifts for the music lovers in your life. Watch this space for the upcoming launch of the full Holiday Gift Guide! Flying hospital beds, laser-eyed pigs, and fire. No, it's not a sci-fi flick, it's Pink Floyd. Long known for their spectacular blending of stage displays, props, and music, the band kicked it up a notch
A SECOND DISC INTERVIEW: All I Need In Just A Song - Dave Mason Reflects on 50 Years With "Alone Together Again"
Magic was in the air in 1970 and it certainly reached Los Angeles' Sunset Sound, where Dave Mason, along with an array of new friends and some of the top session musicians around, recorded Alone Together. Though only 24 years old, Mason had plenty of experience under his belt. The multi-instrumentalist made a name for himself as part of Traffic, penning some of their best crossover material ("Hole in My Shoe," "Feelin' Alright?"). He also participated in sessions with The Rolling Stones
It Must Be Love: New Box Set Celebrates Labi Siffre's Solo Work
Back in 2015, Demon Music Group's Edsel label revisited five albums from British singer-songwriter Labi Siffre in a series of expanded editions. The reissues showcased the timelessness of his writing and the versatility of his performances. Now, Edsel has returned to the Siffre discography to complete it. My Song is the new 9-CD box set bringing together those five previously reissued albums and bonus tracks along with four more to paint a full portrait of Siffre's artistry. Despite a
Cherry Red, RPM Get "Right Back Where We Started From" With New '70s Female Pop Collection
Cherry Red's long-running RPM imprint announced earlier this year that 2020 would be its final year of operations - but that hasn't kept RPM from going out with a bang. One of the final titles to arrive from the imprint, Right Back Where We Started From, is a joyous 3-CD celebration of Female Pop and Soul in Seventies Britain. The title is drawn from Maxine Nightingale's irresistibly bouncy 1975 single, a top ten entry in the United Kingdom and a top five in the States. Not every track on
Ace Round-Up, Part One: Helen Shapiro's "Face the Music" Collects Rare 1967-1984 Singles
Welcome to today's first installment of our Ace Records Round-Up featuring a number of the label's latest titles! Helen Shapiro sang her way into the hearts of Britons as a teenager. Inspired by the success of Alma Cogan, Helen was just 14 when she scored a No. 3 hit on the U.K. Singles Chart with "Don't Treat Me Like a Child." The same year of 1961, she charted not one but two No. 1 singles, "You Don't Know" and "Walkin' Back to Happiness." Soon, she was appearing in films and appearing
Whatcha Gonna Do for Me: Average White Band Releases "On the Strip: The Sunset Sessions," Reissues "Cupid's in Fashion"
The opening track of Average White Band's new/old release On the Strip: The Sunset Sessions couldn't have a more apropos title: "Let's Go Round Again." Following a successful run of albums with producer-arranger Arif Mardin, the funky big band outfit was re-establishing itself. 1979's Feel No Fret was a self-produced affair on which the band was joined by co-producer Gene Paul; it yielded hit singles in "Atlantic Avenue" and a revival of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Walk on By." For a
It's Magic, You Know: Cherry Red, 7Ts Collect Pilot's Four Albums on New Box Set
Following Tuesday's look at Brian Protheroe's albums collection, we're exploring another recent box from Cherry Red and 7Ts! "Oh-ho-ho, it's magic, you know..." With that memorable 1974 international hit, Pilot burst into the public consciousness. While the band founded by David Paton, Billy Lyall, and Stuart Tosh was only able to spin off three more chart singles, "Magic" remains a classic radio staple. 7Ts has collected the band's first four long-players from 1974-1977 on a clamshell
Review: "Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus" from Bear Family Records
Gather 'round, fellows, I'll tell you some tales... "If I had known what you were doing in the studio, I would have stopped it," Bobby Bare recalled RCA Victor's Jerry Bradley telling him upon hearing the singer's 1973 double album Sings Lullabys, Legends, and Lies. Happily, Bradley had to live with the album that marked Bare's return to RCA after a brief sojourn to rival Mercury Records. RCA's Nashville chief Chet Atkins wanted Bare back on the label, and gave him the freedom to create the
I've Been on the Pinball: Cherry Red Collects Brian Protheroe's Chrysalis Albums on New 3-CD Set
This week, we're looking at two recent albums collections from Cherry Red's 7T's label from singer-songwriter Brian Protheroe and the band Pilot. Brian Protheroe's The Albums 1974-76 collects the three albums the English actor-singer (First Dates, the West End's Lord of the Rings) released on Chrysalis Records plus a smattering of bonus tracks. In 1973, Protheroe was touring in a production of playwright William Fairchild's Death on Demand - described in The Oxford Magazine as "not so much a
Everybody's Smokin': NRBQ Collect Rarities, Unreleased Material on "in-frequencies"
Omnivore Recordings has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (NRBQ), from 2016's High Noon - A 50-Year Retrospective through subsequent reissues, new music, and collections. The latest, in frequencies, brings together 16 rarities from the band's long and diverse discography spanning 1968-2018, with all but four tracks previously unreleased. NRBQ has flourished over the years even as the personnel has shifted numerous times, with only keyboardist Terry
Review: Frank Zappa, "Halloween 81"
"The finest night of the year..." Frank Zappa knew how to throw one hell of a Halloween party. The iconoclastic composer-bandleader counted Halloween as his favorite holiday, and his annual celebratory shows were among his most anticipated. The 1981 stand at the late, lamented Palladium - a once-plush 1927 movie palace sadly demolished in 1998 to make room for dormitories at New York University - was particularly special to Zappa's fans as he had curtailed the 1980 shows earlier than
Review: Prince, "Sign 'O' The Times: Super Deluxe Edition"
Tell Me Who in This House Know About the Quake Would a look into Prince's Crystal Ball ever have predicted this? For the third of its deluxe album reissues - following a 3CD/DVD expansion of Purple Rain and a 5CD/DVD deluxe box of 1999 - Warner Records and NPG have unveiled the most lavish archival project yet to emerge from the Prince archive. In terms of both physical size and its contents, the new Sign "O" The Times Super Deluxe Edition box set is larger in every sense than its
Wild Mountain Honey: Ace's "76 in the Shade" Features Steve Miller Band, Jefferson Starship, Smokey Robinson, Gilbert O'Sullivan, More
Producer-compiler Bob Stanley's last couple of compilations for Ace have placed him squarely within the 1970s. Earlier this year, Saint Etienne Present Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room (compiled by Stanley, Sarah Cracknell, and Pete Wiggs) conjured "the soundtrack for a bar in mid-'70s Los Angeles," or a St. Etienne-style spin on "yacht rock" with Stephen Bishop, Ned Doheny, Boz Scaggs, and Seals and Crofts among those featured. Stanley has followed Fountain Coffee Room up with a trip to a
Are You Ready to Rock: Esoteric Reissues, Expands Two from Roy Wood and Wizzard
One of Birmingham's most renowned musical exports, Roy Wood trained listeners to expect the unexpected. The founder or co-founder of The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, and Wizzard, Wood hasn't been among the most prolific artists of the rock era - with just four proper solo albums to his name - but he's surely one of the most inventive. Late last year, Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings imprint reissued Wood's second solo LP, Mustard, as an expanded edition. Now, the label has returned to the
The Walrus and Me: "Looking Through a Glass Onion" Collects Pop-Psych Beatles Covers
Let me take you down... The Beatles' songs were so sturdy and well-crafted that artists such as Matt Monro and Ella Fitzgerald became early adopters. But from the start, John, Paul, George, and Ringo's contemporaries had been just as likely as the older generation to mine their songbook. As the sixties continued and the Beatles ushered in the shift from pop to rock (minus the "and roll"), similarly youthful artists brought their own increasingly adventurous spins to the lads' material.
Illusions: Kim David Smith Channels Dietrich, Lenya, Minogue, and More on "Live at Joe's Pub"
The decadent culture of Weimar Germany - itself inspired by the American Jazz Age - has long proved a fertile source of inspiration for artists everywhere. David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Klaus Nomi, Ute Lemper, and Alan Cumming are just a few of the performers that have mined and reinvented the Weimar era in their music. Based on his new release Live at Joe's Pub, cabaret vocalist Kim David Smith deserves to be added to that esteemed list. Captured in March 2019 at a midnight show in that intimate
Review: The Rolling Stones' "Goats Head Soup 2020" Box Set Is Sure To Satisfy Your Hunger
Goats Head Soup: as far as Rolling Stones albums go, it's an outlier. It's not a "landmark album" in the same way as Sticky Fingers, it didn't defy expectations in the same way as Exile. It didn't herald a new sound like Beggars Banquet or Let It Bleed. Now, that's not to say it's not a great album, but it just feels...different. After the one-two-three-four punches of Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and the magnum opus Exile on Main Street, it makes sense that fans had long
- « Previous Page
- Next Page »