For Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the fourth time was the charm. Keyboardist Keith Emerson, vocalist/bassist/guitarist Greg Lake and drummer/percussionist Carl Palmer were innovators in the progressive rock genre, fusing classical, jazz and heavy rock on a regular basis since their 1970 self-titled debut album. ELP was an answer both to the compact, three-minute pop songs that dominated the airwaves and to the blues-rock genre epitomized by the likes of Led Zeppelin, and the group pursued a
Ain't That The Shames! Now Sounds Reissues, Expands The Cryan' Shames' Psych-Pop LP "A Scratch In The Sky"
Put “California Girls” in a blender with “Cherish” and you might well wind up with something like “A Carol for Lorelei,” the bright, harmony-drenched pop nugget that opens The Cryan’ Shames’ sophomore album, 1968’s A Scratch in the Sky. Though the Chicago band recorded the LP in New York City, the good vibrations of the Summer of Love were clearly in the air back east for the Columbia Records artists. Whereas the band’s debut album Sugar and Spice was a blast of energetic rock and roll by way of
Review: Eric Carmen, "The Essential Eric Carmen"
The first track on Legacy Recordings’ new double-disc anthology The Essential Eric Carmen (Arista/Legacy 88883745522) is titled, appropriately enough, “Get the Message.” And the message relayed by its 30 nuggets comes through loud and clear: whether as power pop prince, classically-inspired MOR balladeer or nostalgic yet contemporary eighties rocker, Eric Carmen had the goods. Young lust never sounded as thrilling, as exuberant, or as pretty as it did in the hands of The Raspberries. Over
Brotherhood's "Complete Recordings" Show Another Side of Former Paul Revere and the Raiders Members
Rock's back pages are littered with "creative differences." Such differences split Paul Revere and the Raiders into two warring factions - Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay on one side; Phil "Fang" Volk, Mike "Smitty" Smith and Drake "The Kid" Levin on the other. The Volk-Smith-Levin triumvirate bristled at the more pop direction that the onetime garage band had been taking, and were none too pleased with the studio musicians being enlisted to beef up the Raiders' recordings. In early 1967, the
Review: Blood, Sweat and Tears, "The Complete Columbia Singles"
Blood, Sweat and Tears has much in common with Rodney Dangerfield - they get no respect. Though the band founded by Al Kooper, Steve Katz, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss produced some of the most enduring pop singles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the group has long lingered in the shadows of rock's back pages. Eclipsed in fame by Columbia Records labelmates Chicago, plagued by a series of acrimonious departures from the ranks, and pilloried for
Review: The Beatles, "The U.S. Albums"
I. Meet the Beatles! Did The Beatles save rock and roll? If John, Paul, George and Ringo didn’t save the still-young form, they certainly gifted it with a reinvigorating, exhilarating jolt of musical euphoria the likes of which hadn’t been seen before – and hasn’t been duplicated since. The scene was early 1964. Buddy Holly was long gone, and the big hits had dried up – at the moment, at least – for Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Elvis had served his time in the Army, threatening
Review: The Beatles, "On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two"
Meet the Beatles...again. The new Apple/Capitol/Universal release On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two sets the Wayback Machine at Destination: 1963 and 1964, when four Liverpool lads named John, Paul, George and Ringo ignited a British Invasion that continues to this very day. All 63 tracks (both spoken-word introductions and songs) on this new 2-CD time capsule date back to those two years, when the Fabs recorded unique performances for such BBC programs as Saturday Club and Pop Go the
Review: Bob Dylan, "The Complete Album Collection Volume One"
Tucked away on Bob Dylan’s 23rd studio album Empire Burlesque, the troubadour sings simply but sternly, “Trust yourself/Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best/Trust yourself/Trust yourself to do what’s right and not be second-guessed...” Dylan had trusted himself since he first arrived on the scene in 1962, engaging in a series of transformations that enthralled, angered, transfixed and bewildered those that followed his career – from folk troubadour to electric rocker to
Review: Harry Nilsson, "Flash Harry"
When Harry Nilsson's The RCA Albums Collection was finally unveiled earlier this year by Legacy Recordings, many finally stood up and took notice of the gifted singer-songwriter whose art deftly blended the high and the low, the angelic and the devilish, the euphoric and the melancholy. That astounding box set included each one of Nilsson's albums for the RCA label - in other words, his entire solo discography save one album. And now, that final missing link is finally here, on CD to join its
Review: The Beach Boys, "Made in California"
If everybody had an ocean... Rarely have five simple words in pop music held such promise. The message at the time was an invitation squarely aimed at teens: “If everybody had an ocean, across the USA/Then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califor-ni-a...” But ultimately, the promise and California dream embodied by Hawthorne, CA’s native sons came to mean so much more than mere surfin’. The sound of The Beach Boys – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks,
Review: Nilsson, "The RCA Albums Collection"
A largess universal like the sun His liberal eye doth give to every one, Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night. - William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV He's a pretty nifty guy Always looks you in the eye Everybody passing by will sigh For Harry... - Eric Idle, "Harry" Harry Nilsson had the voice of an angel, and raised hell like the devil. A consummate songwriter, he had his biggest hits with two songs
Review: The Beach Boys, "Live - 50th Anniversary Tour"
Water has always played a key role in the California myth of The Beach Boys – whether via the inviting waves of “Surfin’ USA,” the blue seas of “Hawaii,” or the dark imagery of “Surf’s Up.” But the water onstage for the group’s 50th anniversary tour was of a different sort: it was water under the bridge. If perhaps only for three or so hours each night last summer, all of the oft-publicized tensions that have beset America’s Band over the years seemed to melt away in full view of the
The Legacy of Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis and More Anthologized On "Essential" Releases
Today, Legacy Recordings issues a number of titles from some of music's greatest artists as part of the label's ongoing Essential series of anthologies. We're taking a look at the collections from Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Seeger, Mott the Hoople and Midnight Oil! Plus: we have track listings for all titles! A 2010 documentary posed the question, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? Well, if you don't already know the answer, The
Review: Fleetwood Mac, "Rumours: Expanded Edition"
It never should have worked. Since its formation in 1967, Fleetwood Mac had endured radical personnel changes, a stylistic shift from blues to rock, even a challenge from a "fake Mac" claiming to be the band in concert. When guitarist-songwriter-vocalist Bob Welch became the latest member to pass through the Fleetwood Mac revolving door, Mick Fleetwood and the husband and wife team of John and Christine McVie invited two young Californians to bolster the line-up. Lindsey Buckingham and his
Review: Five from The Steve Miller Band (1968-1970), Reissued on Edsel
The 1968 debut of the Steve Miller Band begins with a shattering cacophony, followed by an acoustic strum emerging like a beacon of light amidst the darkness and clatter. The album's title track "Children of the Future" is far removed from the ironic detachment of "The Joker" or the sleek majesty of "Fly Like an Eagle," later hits that proved the group could go "pop" while still showing off their versatility and impeccable musicianship. Edsel Records has just afforded listeners the opportunity
Review: The Beach Boys Remasters, Part Two: The Album-by-Album Guide
It’s about time now! Don’t you know now? It’s about time we get together to be out front and love one another… - Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Bob Burchman and Al Jardine (1970) Isn’t it time we danced the night away? How about doing it just like yesterday? - Brian Wilson, Joe Thomas, Jim Peterik, Larry Millas and Mike Love (2012) No, Mike Love didn’t fire Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys. But that didn’t stop the Beach Boys’ leader, producer and chief songwriter from telling The Los
Review: The Beatles, "Magical Mystery Tour" on Blu-ray and DVD
“Paul said ‘Look I’ve got this idea’ and we said ‘great!’ and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top – that’s where we started,” Ringo Starr recalls in one of the special features included on Apple’s new DVD and Blu-ray of The Beatles’ 1967 BBC television film Magical Mystery Tour. That McCartney-drawn circle, later transformed into a pie chart, is included in the accompanying booklet. It epitomizes the loose, freewheeling nature of this largely improvised musical journey
Review: The Beach Boys Remasters, Part One: "50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits"
We’re continuing our series of in-depth features dedicated to America’s band, The Beach Boys, and the various projects that have kept the group occupied throughout 2012! Today, as the Boys launch a new series of album reissues and compilation titles, we explore Greatest Hits, 50 Big Ones and more! It was the headline heard the world (wide web) over: Mike Love Fires Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. Of course, it wasn’t true. No matter, though: suddenly, good, good, good vibrations were
Review: The Beatles, "Yellow Submarine" on Blu-Ray and DVD
Picture yourself in a boat on a river…with tangerine trees and marmalade skies… Now, picture the evocative imagery of The Beatles’ most mind-bending lyrics transferred to a silver screen world where imagination and wonder run rampant. The result might be something like the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Out of print for some time on DVD, Yellow Submarine has just returned to DVD and Blu-Ray (5099962146098) in a painstakingly restored new edition from Apple Corps and
Catch A Wave! Special Review: The Beach Boys' "That's Why God Made The Radio"
In Part One of our special two-part series, we recalled the ups and downs of The Beach Boys and the band’s chief musical architect, Brian Wilson. Today, in Part Two, we turn the spotlight over to That’s Why God Made the Radio, the new album in stores today from America’s Band! Brian Wilson is still a cork on the ocean floating over the raging sea. But is that a whiff of contentment I hear running through The Beach Boys’ “reunion” album, That’s Why God Made the Radio? Despite the ups and
Review: Janis Joplin, "The Pearl Sessions"
One dictionary defines "pearl" as an object both "hard" and "lustrous," synonymous with "gem" or "jewel." Couldn't all of those words also describe Janis Joplin? Pearl was, of course, the name bestowed upon the singer by her final group, The Kozmic Blues Band, and the title of her final, posthumously released album from 1971. Pearl has arrived on CD once more from Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings under the title The Pearl Sessions (88697 84224 2), expanding the original 10-track album
Guitars A Go-Go: "Fender: The Golden Age" and Jerry Cole's "Psychedelic Guitars" Celebrated by Ace
If you've got guitars on the mind, look no further than a pair of new releases from those compilation experts at the Ace label! Fender: The Golden Age 1950-1970 (Ace CDCHD 1315) is a new 28-track anthology that manages to be both comprehensive and the tip of the iceberg, where the famous guitar is concerned! A new companion to the 2010 book of almost the same name (Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 by Martin Kelly), this set offers a rare chance to appreciate both the talent on the record label
Holiday Gift Guide Review: The Rolling Stones, "Some Girls: Deluxe Edition"
Welcome to our Second Disc Holiday Gift Guide, in which we review some titles we might have missed over the past few weeks! The titles we’re spotlighting in this occasional series just might be candidates on your own holiday shopping list! In a vintage clip that brings one of the biggest laughs in Martin Scorsese’s 2008 concert film Shine a Light, Mick Jagger tells an interviewer that he doesn’t anticipate getting old as a Rolling Stone…yet, nearly fifty years after the band first formed,
Review: The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions" Part Three: It's In Great Shape
Welcome to the third and final part of our review series celebrating the release of The Beach Boys’ The SMiLE Sessions. In Part 1, we revisited the history of the album, and in Part 2, we examined the music and lyrics of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks that created the legend. In today’s concluding chapter, we explore "the sessions" of The SMiLE Sessions and compare the various releases! What’s the biggest surprise of The SMiLE Sessions? It’s the sound of five young men optimistically
Review: The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions" Part Two: Surf's Up, At Last
Today sees the first release, after 47 years, of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE. The Second Disc celebrates this event with a three-part review series dedicated to what was once the greatest lost album of all time. In Part 1, we looked back at the story of SMiLE. In today’s Part 2, we explore the most legendary aspect of the album: the music itself, created by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, as recorded by The Beach Boys. The SMiLE Shop is finally open for business! It’s only taken some 44
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