I. Art Decade Keep Up with David's Changes, read an insert from the David Bowie Fan Club packaged in original pressings of the artist's 1977 album Low and painstakingly replicated on the edition included in the new 11-CD (or 13-LP) box set A New Career in a New Town 1977-1982. Indeed, it was no small feat to follow the restless artist's many transformations. 1975's Station to Station saw the formal introduction of The Thin White Duke, a nattily-dressed but rather unpleasant fellow; who
Review: Alex Chilton, "A Man Called Destruction" and Chris Bell, "I Am The Cosmos"
Omnivore Recordings has kept the flame for Big Star burning brightly in recent years as the label continues to plumb the depths of the cult band's story from various angles. Two recent releases shed light on the solo works of Big Star's late musical heroes Alex Chilton and Chris Bell: an expanded reissue of Chilton's 1995 solo album A Man Called Destruction; and an updated, expanded version of Bell's I Am the Cosmos. The second album since Chilton's 1993 solo "comeback" Clichés, A Man Called
Intervention Reissues Murray Head's Ambitious Rock Concept Album "Nigel Lived"
Few artists have bridged the worlds of rock and theatre as successfully as Murray Head. Singing the music of others, actor-singer Head scored two major hits on both sides of the Atlantic with 1973's "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar and 1984's "One Night in Bangkok" from Chess. Far lesser known, however, is his discography as a singer-songwriter. Head imbued his own compositions with the same vibrant life as those famous songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny
Review: The Doors, "The Singles"
The Doors have had no shortage of collections in the CD era, whether the 10x-platinum The Best of The Doors, Legacy: The Absolute Best, The Very Best of The Doors, or The Future Starts Here: The Essential Doors Hits - just to name a few. Happily, the latest such release from Messrs. Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore distinguishes itself with a true raison d'etre. Rhino's simply-titled The Singles lives up to its name with 44 A-and B-sides on two CDs, originally released between 1967
The World Goes On: Esoteric Reissues Barclay James Harvest's "Octoberon" In Deluxe Set
Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings imprint has continued its harvest of releases from progressive rock's Barclay James Harvest. The latest deluxe edition from the band, 1976's Octoberon, once again is in the expanded 2-CD/1-DVD format, and follows the recent reissue of 1978's XII as well as Everyone is Everybody Else (1974) and Gone to Earth (1977), the latter two of which were released by the label in 2016. Octoberon arrived immediately prior to Gone to Earth in a landmark year for the
Review: The Creation, "Creation Theory"
Though The Creation only left behind roughly a couple dozen songs during their mid-'60s heyday, the story of the hard-rocking mods actually goes back further, and extends to decades later. Earlier this year, the U.S. label Numero Group presented 46 masters, alternates and remixes on a double-disc collection entitled Action Painting. Shortly thereafter, U.K. label Edsel unveiled an even more thorough presentation of the complete Creation story containing those 46 tracks and 33
Review: Ramones, "Leave Home: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition"
The sophomore album from Forest Hills, Queens, New York's Ramones, Leave Home, arrived in January 1977 on Sire Records, just months after the April 1976 release of the band's self-titled debut. Despite the title, however, Leave Home didn't mark a large stylistic leap or departure for the young punks out of their comfort zone. On closer inspection, however, it continued the growth of the band. Forty years later, it's easier to hear that progression than ever, thanks to a new, 3-CD/1-LP set
Review: Elvis Presley, "A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings"
It's hard to believe - impossible, even - but Elvis Aron Presley once was just A Boy from Tupelo. The once and future King's transformation from modest beginnings to international superstar has never been more vividly traced than on the new 3-CD box set from RCA and Legacy. A Boy from Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings is a trip back in time to the birth of rock-and-roll (destination: Memphis) featuring every one of Elvis' known Sun Records masters and outtakes, as well as his four
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: Ace Collects Shel Talmy Productions From The Who, David Bowie, More
An advertisement reprinted in Ace Records' splendid new collection Making Time: A Shel Talmy Production reads, "Artistes Shel Talmy Has Recorded: The Kinks, The Bachelors, The Who, Chad and Jeremy" and so on. Add to that list Manfred Mann, The Creation, The Fortunes, Trini Lopez, Lee Hazlewood, and a certain David Bowie, and you have an idea of the scope of this first-of-its-kind collection dedicated to the work of the producer-engineer-impresario. Though born in Chicago, Talmy made his name
Review: The Beach Boys, "1967: Sunshine Tomorrow" and "Wild Honey" (Stereo LP)
There's nothing quite nice as a kiss of wild honey... Carl Wilson - the angelic voice from on high of "God Only Knows" - unleashed his inner soul man with a fury on "Wild Honey," the title track of The Beach Boys' second album of 1967. The funky, Theremin-driven ode to a "girl with the sweetness of a honey bee" opened the LP which turned out to be one of the most singular in the band's storied catalogue. Its fusion of pulsating R&B and raw rock-and-roll, anchored by nine Brian
Review: Prince and The Revolution, 'Purple Rain: Deluxe Expanded Edition'
Dearly Beloved It exists. It really exists. That may be the most astounding thing about the deluxe expanded edition of Prince's masterpiece Purple Rain (Warner Bros./NPG Records 547374-2). And believe me, there's a lot to be astounded by. This set features the first remaster of any Prince album in the compact disc era, a fully-stocked disc of officially unreleased tracks from the vault, a complete offering of sides (edits, remixes and B-sides) from all five singles released from the
Kick Out The Jams! Run Out Groove Compiles Best of The MC5 on Vinyl
Has the time ever been more right for a return of The MC5? The band from Lincoln Park, Michigan fused garage rock with elements of blues, jazz, and psychedelia to give voice to the counterculture movement of the mid- to late 1960s in as aggressive a fashion as possible. Between 1969 and 1971, the band released three albums on Elektra and Atlantic, anticipating the punk movement with fast and furiously heavy riffs. Run Out Groove, Rhino's new arm dedicated to limited edition
Review: The Beatles, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition"
I. It Was Fifty Years Ago Today... I read the news today, oh, boy! It's a new day in Pepperland thanks to today's release of the most eagerly-anticipated reissue project of the year: the 50th anniversary deluxe box set of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This would be a landmark collection for any number of reasons: that Pepper is routinely considered one of the greatest albums, if not the greatest album, of all time; that this is the first-ever "Expanded Edition" of a
Spicks and Specks: Ace Collects "Songs of The Bee Gees" From Lulu, Nina Simone, Percy Sledge, Others
With a recent Grammy Awards salute, a new catalogue deal, and the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, the music of the Bee Gees has been front and center in 2017. Ace Records has joined the celebration of the brothers Gibb with a new entry in the label's long-running Songwriters Series. To Love Somebody: The Songs of The Bee Gees 1966-1970 pulls into focus the early professional years of Barry, Robin, and Maurice, with 24 choice cover versions of songs both familiar and lesser-known.
Review: The Flying Burrito Brothers, "The Gilded Palace of Sin" from Intervention Records
In 1969, The Flying Burrito Brothers welcomed listeners into their Gilded Palace of Sin. The album, released on Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' A&M label, heralded a new style of music - one which co-founder Gram Parsons would famously dub "Cosmic American Music." Indeed, the sounds emanating from this Palace were, at the same time, surprisingly traditional and completely radical. For the Burritos melded the harmonies of the Everlys or the Louvins with the gutbucket soul of the deep south,
Review: Van Morrison, "The Authorized Bang Collection"
The first sound that jumps out at you after inserting Van Morrison's The Authorized Bang Collection is that of the familiar "Brown Eyed Girl," but something about it is different. As presented in its original stereo mix as remastered from the original 1967 first-generation tape, it's more vibrant than ever, with pronounced instrumental separation and a crisp sheen - as if that misty morning fog has been lifted, and the green grass smells fresher than ever. It will have you singing sha la la la
Review: The Doors, "The Doors: 50th Anniversary Edition"
Suffice it to say that Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and John Densmore set the night on fire with their debut album, the 1967 Elektra release of The Doors. That amalgamation of blues, rock, pop, jazz, and pure poetry has recently turned 50 years old, and so it's received its first-ever box set expansion from Rhino as a limited, numbered 3-CD/1-LP hardcover book-style box set including both the original mono and stereo mixes of the original LP (with the mono version appearing on CD
Review: Fleetwood Mac, "Tango in the Night: Deluxe Edition"
The music of Fleetwood Mac could fairly be said to define the 1970s - in all its style, tumult, and excess. Where did that leave the union of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham once a new decade emerged? 1982's Mirage found Fleetwood Mac trying to recapture the magic of 1977's epochal Rumours, and succeeding in large part. Yet Mirage felt as if it firmly had one foot planted in the previous decade. With its belated follow-up, 1987's Tango in the
The Sound of Old T. Rex: Edsel Loads "Bolan's Zip Gun" In New Deluxe Edition with "Futuristic Dragon"
This fall will mark 40 years since Marc Bolan's untimely death in a car crash in September 1977 at the age of 29, yet in that time, the music he left behind with T. Rex has only grown in stature. Hardly a year has gone by without posthumous compilations, deluxe reissues, and box sets, and 2017 is shaping up similarly. Edsel has recently followed its book-style box sets dedicated to Born to Boogie and the pairing of Tanx and Zinc Alloy with a new 3-CD Deluxe Edition bringing together Bolan's
More Tomorrow: Esoteric Reissues Two From Unicorn, David Gilmour-Produced Band
What would it have sounded like if Pink Floyd's David Gilmour had produced the Eagles? One possible answer comes via his work with the British band Unicorn. Despite the patronage of the psychedelic rocker, Unicorn took many of its cues from the American West Coast. Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings imprint is remastering and expanding two albums from Unicorn, 1976's Too Many Crooks, and 1977's One More Tomorrow. Both titles are due this Friday, March 31, in the United Kingdom, and one week
Review: Pink Floyd, "1970 DEVI/ATION"
For some fans, Pink Floyd begins with Dark Side of the Moon, the band's 1973 opus. But in reality, that classic was the culmination of roughly eight years of musical experimentation. Last year's massive box set The Early Years traced the evolution of the Floyd up through DSOTM through CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, vinyl singles, and printed memorabilia reproductions. Now, Pink Floyd Records and Sony have released six of that giant collection's seven components into individual book-style releases (one
Review: The Creation, "Action Painting"
With the release of the double-disc anthology Action Painting, Chicago's Numero Group has provided the most lavish collection yet for the little-known sixties British rockers The Creation. Surely this set will go a long way in cementing the legacy of the group. Though The Creation left behind roughly a couple dozen core songs - expanded to 46 tracks for this collection, via various mixes, alternates, backing tracks, and recordings by early outfit The Mark Four - the band epitomized the hard
Message From The Country: Esoteric Collects "Best of The Move" On CD and DVD
Can you hear the grass grow? Continuing its series of reissues dedicated to the Birmingham rockers The Move, Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings imprint has just issued a CD/DVD collection that chronicles the band's many facets and iterations between 1966 and 1972. Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move, featuring 21 tracks on CD and a further 21 live performances and promotional films on DVD, is certainly not the group's first anthology, but it's doubtless among the finest. Over the
Review: Bob Dylan, "The 1966 Live Recordings"
I. Play a song for me... Bob Dylan saw a very different future for folk music. His fifth studio album, Bringing It All Back Home, was released in March 1965, featuring one traditional acoustic side and one electric side. Underscoring the fact that his embrace of (gasp!) electric rock-and-roll was no fluke, Dylan plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25. From some appalled audience members came a chorus of boos. Others cheered. Dylan had electrified not only his own act, but
Review: Big Star, "Complete Third"
Will the real Big Star’s Third please stand up? That’s a loaded question, for it’s possible that there never, in fact, was a “real” version of the album recorded at Memphis’ Ardent Studios in 1974 by Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens with producer-engineer Jim Dickinson, studio owner John Fry and engineer Richard Rosebrough. Chilton even asserted numerous times that the sessions were never intended to yield a Big Star album at all. (One potential name for the duo of Chilton and Stephens was
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