Category Archives: music review
The holiday season is always full of awesome box sets for fans of classic rock, and 2013 is no different. Our friends at Universal Music have a number of strong sets up for sale, so I’m cherry-picking two for you today.
The first comes The Who, one of the leading British invasion bands of the 60s, but a group that never quite mastered the art of the album until 1969 and the release of their classic double record, Tommy. A concept album about a deaf, dumb and blind pinball wizard, Tommy managed to combine an interesting story with strong songs and powerful playing. The album has been reissued multiple times over the course of the past two decades, but the newest collection is likely the definitive word.
Four discs are included in this set – the original album, a disc of mainly unreleased Pete Townshend demos, a disc of live versions, and the album in a 5.1 Surround Sound mix. The discs are housed in a large, hardcover book that essentially tells the story of Tommy very nicely. When it comes to The Who, there are four albums you need in your collection, with Tommy topping the list (for the record, the others, imho, are Live At Leeds, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia, which has already received the deluxe treatment). If you know a casual fan, there’s a two disc version you can grab them, but for the die-hard Who fan in your life, their eyes will pop out of their heads if they find the deluxe edition underneath the tree this year.
If you’re a Paul McCartney fan, you’re likely loving all the publicity the man has been doing around his brand new studio album, NEW (don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the deluxe edition from us). But even before this week, 2013 has certainly been a banner year for Macca. Not only did it see the massive rerelease of the Wings Over America live album (we talked about that here), but around the same time the classic live concert film Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow was reissued on DVD and Blu-ray by our pals at Eagle Rock.
Check out the trailer and then get our take on Rockshow after the jump!
One of the band’s I’ve grown increasingly fond of over the past few years is Deep Purple. Working in rock radio for the first part of my career, I was familiar with all the big hits (read that as the songs that would make the fairly stringent rotation list) – Smoke On The Water, Highway Star, Hush, Kentucky Woman, Woman From Tokyo. You’d never hear anything from the Mark III line-up, songs like Burn and Stormbringer, which are fantastic slabs of rock. And even the classic Mark II line-up’s 80′s comeback hits, Perfect Strangers and Knocking At Your Back Door, never seemed to get radio play.
Thankfully, the good folks at Eagle Rock have helped spread the word about Deep Purple’s stellar catalogue with various DVD releases, including Phoenix Rising and the brand new DVD, Perfect Strangers Live.
Last week saw the release of the new six cd Beach Boys box set, Made In California. Arguably the most beloved band to come out of the 1960s, the work of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Bruce Johnston and David Marks has been compiled in various permutations over the past twenty years, beginning with the gold standard Good Vibrations box set of 1993. That collection, the first to officially feature music from the band’s legendary, unreleased Smile sessions, finished off in 1988 with the release of Kokomo, and was filled with numerous unreleased songs and alternate versions.
The new set, Made In California, brings the story up to date, featuring tracks the band recorded in 1995 that were unreleased, and signs of its studio portion with a few tracks from last year’s 50th Anniversary reunion album, That’s Why God Made The Radio.
But that’s just the beginning.
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Talk to someone who isn’t a Bob Dylan fan and they’ll often tell you, “it’s the voice.” That nasal tone from the 60′s; the rasp that it has developed into over the past thirty years. Truth be told, I get it. Dylan’s voice isn’t for everyone, and can definitely be hinderance in discovering his brilliance.
Now, if I want to try and turn someone onto Dylan, I’ve got the perfect collection for them; the latest edition of the Bootleg Series, in stores today, and featuring outtakes recorded between 1969 and 1971. It’s titled Another Self Portrait and it is an absolutely stunning listen.
Tonight the Rolling Stones play the final scheduled date on their 50…and Counting tour. The setting will be London’s Hyde Park, where thousands will gather for what, for the first time, could legitimately be the last time. There are no further dates lined up, and Mick Jagger has said that the Stones will be going on a hiatus after this last gig.
So is this it?