Music reviews, February 2016

beatles1+The BEATLES
1+
Apple Corps. Ltd./UMG (CD/DVD)
4 out of 5 Stars

This is The Beatles package that should’ve been released a decade ago. And it nearly was; the plan was to follow 2000’s successful “1” CD set with an accompanying DVD collection the following year. But disagreements from the involved parties kept it from happening, until now.

And given the passage of time, it’s something of a shame that the set is geared around the “1” lineup, because it means providing promo films for songs for which no promo was available. It makes “1+” something of a hodgepodge; it’s a collection of promo films, live performances and TV appearances, rather than the all-promo film collection that fans might have preferred.

Contrary to popular belief, The Beatles didn’t “invent the music video.” As early as the 1940s, there were short films made of musical acts. They were usually straight performances, and The Beatles’ early promo films were along these lines, with the director trying to find an interesting setting. In “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” they’re in front of a mock-up of Liverpool’s newspaper, the “Daily Echo”; in “Ticket to Ride” they’re surrounded by large tickets. Later work became more conceptual; in “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” the band doesn’t even lip sync, an indication they were striving for “art.”

All four of those promo films are on this set, along with 46 more, for a total of 50. Everything looks superb, especially the color films; the lush green of the Chiswick House location for the “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” videos, the vibrant sheen of the “Sgt. Pepper” outfits seen in “Hello, Goodbye.” It’s great to see “Day Tripper” from the “The Music of Lennon and McCartney” TV special; maybe one day the whole show will be released.

There’s some filler. Because of having to stick to the “1” song running order, “Yellow Submarine” and “Eleanor Rigby” are included, clips that simply draw on the “Yellow Submarine” film, as are the clips from songs that appeared in the “Let It Be” movie. The clips from the “Ed Sullivan” performances are already available. The clips produced for the “BBC” releases are disposable, as is the clip created for “Eight Days a Week,” which draws on footage from the 1965 Shea Stadium concert, regardless of the fact that the band didn’t actually perform the song. And completists will be irked that instead of presenting all three versions of “Hey Jude” the band filmed for David Frost’s show in 1968, there’s one original version and a new edit created just for this set.

The set’s nonetheless a must-have for Beatles fans. And it’s the ”1+” package you’ll want, as it’s the one with all 50 promo films. The CD features a new stereo mix as well, which admittedly does sound better than previous editions. Does this mean another revamp of the catalog is due? Start saving!  — Gillian G. Gaar 

Dylan-best-cutBOB DYLAN
THE CUTTING EDGE 1965-1966: THE BOOTLEG SERIES, VOL. 12, DELUXE EDITION
Columbia/Legacy (6-CD Box Set)

5 Stars

The years 1965 and 1966 were turning points for Bob Dylan and, thus, for popular music. Leaving acoustic folkish music for rock, the Salvador Dali of song scored his first Top 10s with singles “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Positively 4th Street” and LPs “Bringing It All Back Home,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde On Blonde.”   His latest entry in Legacy’s ongoing Bootleg Series — six-CD, 110-track “The Cutting Edge” — shows those LPs’ evolutions with rehearsals, alternate takes, piano demos and acoustic guitar solos. Almost all tracks are previously unreleased.

One CD is devoted to 20 “Rolling Stone” takes including a rehearsal in waltz time. Its last four cuts are isolated tracks for the released version’s lead guitar, for its vocal and guitar, for its drums and organ and for its piano and bass.

A few songs didn’t make the original LPs. Lines from “Medicine Woman” wound up in “Temporary Like Achilles.” “Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence” (with an ad lib compliment to guitarist Mike Bloomfield) has lines redirected to later songs.

We hear works in progress in the recording studio.  Dylan revised lyrics on the spot. Producers Tom Wilson and Bob Johnston experimented to find songs’ best grooves. One “Just Like A Woman” has a Bo Diddley beat, while another says, “She makes mistakes just like a woman.” Daddy’s in the oven lighting a fuse in one “Tombstone Blues” version. The notes describe Dylan “looking for musical collaborators who will instinctively pick up what he is doing but at the same time (he) wants to make sure that the feel is not deadened by the perfection of studio musicians.”

There’s talk in the studio.  When Wilson asks the title of an “I’ll Keep It With Mine” piano demo, Dylan replies, “Bank Account Blues.” Of course, if it’s Dylan, there’s humor. A “Can You Crawl Out Your Window” take opens with Al Kooper playing “Jingle Bells” on celesta. A “Temporary Like Achilles” begins with the piano intro to Lloyd Price’s 1952 “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” These experiments and jokes are fascinating to hear. But by and large the producers made the right decisions on which versions to release on the original LPs and singles.

Like the Bootleg Series’ Volume 11 (“The Basement Tapes”), this set comes in an 8 1/4-inch-square box. The previous volume’s notes and packaging deserved — but didn’t get — a Grammy nomination or more. This volume’s package (with a 56-page booklet and separate 122-page hardbound book) is nearly as strong. Most tracks get annotations. Among the essays, Kooper reminisces on bluffing his way to play organ on “Rolling Stone.” A cornucopia of illustrations includes informal and posed photos, posters and a few songs’ typewritten drafts with alternative lines and Dylan’s handwritten edits. (“Subterranean Homesick Blues,” we learn, was initially titled “Look Out Kid.”)

For fans on a budget, there’s an abridged jewel-box-size “The Cutting Edge” with 36 well-chosen tracks of 33 songs. (Three songs have two takes.) Its 62-page booklet is commendable.

And for Dylan fanatics with unlimited income, there’s a limited-edition 18-CD “ultra-deluxe” box with every note recorded at these ‘65-’66 sessions. That box is only available at www.bobdylan.com.  — Bruce Sylvester

watersROGER WATERS
ROGER WATERS THE WALL
Columbia/Legacy Recordings
(2-CD/3-LP Box Set)

4 Stars

Anyone who had the good fortune to witness the live presentation of “The Wall Live” by Roger Waters during Waters’ massive tour for it will surely never forget the show. It was quite a spectacle, an audio-visual tour de force. This recording serves as the soundtrack to the film version of “Roger Waters The Wall.” Since the visual played such a large role in “The Wall Live” concerts, fans really should watch the film in addition to listening to this soundtrack. But the soundtrack, which was produced by Nigel Godrich, has many highlights. Waters and his stellar backing band, which included guitarists Dave Kilminster, Snowy, White and G.E. Smith; keyboardist Jon Carin; and vocalist Robbie Wyckoff, present a searing, moving and at times heartbreaking update of Pink Floyd’s magnum opus from 1979. Some of the songs from Pink Floyd’s original version are expanded and a new song, “The Ballad of Jean Charles de Menezes,” is added. The song pays homage to the Brazilian national who was shot to death in a London Tube station in a horrific error by London police shortly after the July 2005, terror attacks on the city’s public-transport network. This song adds to what was already a lyrical masterpiece.

Waters’ voice is not as powerful as it was during Pink Floyd’s heyday. But in some cases, that just adds additional poignancy to the songs. Waters, a very gifted lyricist and a man who lost both his father and paternal grandfather to war, provides a blistering attack on the futility of war and how it has affected him personally.

Highlights of the soundtrack album include a moving “Goodbye Blue Sky,” a snarling “Young Lust,” a heartbreaking “Nobody Home,” a soaring “Comfortably Numb,” a gripping “In The Flesh” and a positively blistering “Run Like Hell.” — John Curley

gtrGTR
GTR, Deluxe Edition
Esoteric/Cherry Red Records (2-CD)

3 Stars

More relevant than comparisons to Yes or Genesis, GTR and their self-titled debut had much more in common with the phenomenon that was Asia, long since dissipated from the mania that met them when they arrived on the scene with their debut in ’82 and “Alpha” in ’83. Sure, Steve Hackett’s old band Genesis were now pop superstars — “Invisible Touch,” issued at the same time as “GTR,” would zoom to 6x platinum — and Steve Howe’s old band Yes were still living large off of 1983’s “90125,” and about to release “Big Generator,” which would attain platinum, but really, GTR was supposed to be Asia all over again, representing gas left in the tank for old prog warhorses if they wrote pop. And so the two Steves got in with, ahem, “difficult” British neo-prog singer Max Bacon and made a record of songs, of keyboards and of vocals, with recurrent reminders that two eccentric and distinctive axe academics were there also, suggesting the intellectual heft on top of the ‘80s ploy.

Produced, compressed, midrangey, in essence, designed for FM radio, “GTR” was a challenging listen from a fidelity point of view, representing what they called “cocaine ears” mixing at the time. But the songs inside were indeed very smart pop, a step up from Asia, deceptively proggy all over the place, but easy-drinking enough so one wouldn’t notice he was being progged at. Ergo, there goes GTR to gold status, aided by good marketing from Clive Davis and Arista, a welcoming MTV, and smash single status for “The Hunter” and sublime, expertly melodic highlight track on the record, “When the Heart Rules the Mind.” But the two Steves? Well, what they do is indeed English and quirky, with both, oddly, offering a parallel to the granite countertop production, being screechy, steely, noisy; Howe from tone and his dervish style, Hackett from his predilection for stadium squall. But they both love acoustic (“Jekyll and Hyde”?) at the other end of the dial, and both of their divergent styles are represented as well, despite the overall takeaway being clarion choirboy vocals, big drums, keyboard, and fortunately very accessible pop songwriting, providing the tamping effect.

Swelling the reissue with context is a perfect booklet, anchored by an illuminating Malcolm Dome liner essay, plus a 14-track live show with nods to Yes, Genesis, the solo careers of both guys and unused GTR songs. And there you go, some very ‘80s commercial prog pop supergroup, stadium rock with big drums. And as I read that mess, I realize, yeah, basically it’s Asia all over again, at the core, with differences only in the detailing.
— Martin Popoff

loveLove
Reel-To-Real
High Moon Records (CD)

4 Stars

Arthur Lee (1945-2006) was a stoned soul visionary whose L.A. band Love created what has since been hailed as one of the best albums of the rock era (“Forever Changes” in 1967). “Reel-To-Real” (1974) is their final studio album and is now available, 41 years later, for the first time on CD (no reflection on the music, it’s just that their label folded). It’s a revelation, in fact, for here is where Lee stretches out his prodigious gifts as a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter with attitude to spare be it pre-punk, funk and/or psychedelica. Veering away from their early hippie folk-rock toward gritty R&B, these 11 songs careen wildly from the dinosaur stomp blues of “Stop The Music” (think Big Joe Turner fronting Led Zeppelin) to the Stax send-up of “Good Old Fashioned Dream” where Lee finds his inner Otis Redding. “Which Witch Is Which” has that nutball early Sly Stone vibe and “Be Thankful For What You Got” — a cover of William DeVaughn’s 1973 No. 1 soul song — has Lee in full Curtis Mayfield mode.

The kicker is 12 bonus tracks taken from alternate mixes, outtakes and rehearsals where Lee’s creative process runs rampant with experimentation. At almost 79 minutes, these 23 tracks are a fitting finale to a career cut short by prison from ’96 to ’01 and leukemia in ’06. One has to think of Lee as either a black Van Morrison, a Prince forerunner or Hendrixian flower child. However you slice it, he remains etched in our collective imagination as an iconic, enigmatic figure as 1960s rock ’n’ roll blossomed after its 1950s big boom. — Mike Greenblatt

brockDAVE BROCK
BROCKWORLD
Hawkward/Brockmusic (CD)

3 Stars

“Brockworld” is a tight and tiny digipak that houses within its clean, futuristic graphics, 50 minutes of screechy egregiously characteristic Hawkwind skronk balanced (mostly at the front!) against highly textured soundscapes of a more chill and yet no less eccentric nature. The only thing holding it back from constituting a perfectly wonderful Hawkwind album is the use of a drum machine programmed by Brock, or even when the job is turned over to drummer Richard Chadwick … well, if that’s not electronic drums, it’s heavily produced to sound like them. I suppose the long and spacey instrumental passages render this solo as well, but fortunately, given that Brock is guitarist and lead singer for Hawkwind, there’s lots of both power chords and exhortation. And a joy it is to hear that anxious and paranoid and very English voice sound so strong at age 74 — and thespian, with Brock able to take us on a psychedelic trip redolent with the free festival vibe from rainy England in the early ‘70s.

At one extreme is “Falling Out of Love,” an (ironically?) joyful slice of hippie pop, and at the other, paired churning hard rock openers “Life Without Passion” and “Is No Life at All” which illustrate Brock’s slight bluesiness of phrasing rolled up in his tapestries of space rock. All told, there’s a bit of a work in progress feel to this disc, which makes sense given that Brock writes that “some relate to the next stage show, ‘The Machine.’ ”

Still, there are enough fully fleshed songs to satisfy, and a pile of crazy arrangement ideas throughout the sound collages to prepare the mind pliable for what Brock has in store for the next in-the-flesh sensory experience.  — Martin Popoff

southsideSouthside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Soultime!
Leroy Records (CD)

5 Stars

For the 25th time, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes have released a rockin’ little record you should want your DJ to play. This time it’s for real: 11 doses of pure unadulterated big-band rhythm ’n’ blues like they used to do it back in the day of such big bad soul titans as Pickett, Redding, Burke, Sam & Dave, Brown, Gaye, Wilson and those tall, tan, talented Temptations.

Yeah, Southside may be white but he’s got that slave mentality — a slave to the music — that makes him keep on keepin’ on … and this is one dude who seems to get better as he gets older. He’s the consummate showman, whether he’s blowing into that blues harp of his or struttin’ ‘round the stage like a feral big cat prior to pouncing.

I dare say this may be the best Southside CD yet (notwithstanding his work with The Poor Fools). He co-wrote all 11 but you’d think these were ‘60s nuggets. The five-year wait between Jukes CDs was worth it. Recorded in (where else?), New Jersey, “Soultime!” pumps up the staccato horn blasts, shreds out some electricity of unerringly dramatic and all-too-short guitar solos (don’t blink or you’ll miss ‘em) and, most of all, keys in on this band’s not-so-secret weapon: that voice.

It’s a voice ravaged and sandpapered by time. Every nuance, every phlegm-filled exasperation, every extra syllable, is gruffer than the rest. It’s as if Southside has distilled the essence of what exactly it is that has made him one of the most electrifying soul-stirring frontmen who still — to this day — does not get the credit he so righteously deserves.

It’s a tour de force of yearning, pleading, wanting and ultimately demanding that sets this one apart from the rest of his catalog. Whatever Southside does going forward, and you just know he ain’t done yet, it’s going to be hard to top “Soultime!” — Mike Greenblatt

SAM PHILLIPS: THE MAN WHO INVENTED ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
By PETER GURALNICK
Little, Brown (Hardcover)

VARIOUS ARTISTS
SAM PHILLIPS: THE MAN WHO INVENTED ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Yep Rock Records (CD)

5 Stars

After writing acclaimed biographies on Elvis Presley and Sam Cooke, Peter Guralnick turns to the man who helped set rock ‘n’ roll in motion: Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.

The story is aptly summarized in the book’s subheading on the cover: “How one man discovered Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, and how his tiny label, Sun Records of Memphis, revolutionized the world!” How’s that for a resume?

All this work was created in the single most important decade in Sam Philips’ life, and never before has it been chronicled in such detail. But there’s much more to the story, and Guralnick delves deeply into the psyche of a man who sensed the winds of change and was determined to help direct them, from a most unlikely venue; the tiny Memphis Recording Services studio where Sun Records was born.

It’s a marvelously detailed portrait of a most unusual man. For all his outward confidence, Phillips suffered from an underlying anxiety all his life (which he treated with electro-shock therapy, tranquilizers and ultimately anti-depressants). He not only had a wife, but also a long-term mistress, and any number of girlfriends. And despite his remarkable success, after the 1950s he largely stopped producing.

But he was hardly idle, as the book also shows, getting involved with everything from the first all-female staffed radio station (WHER, “1000 Beautiful Watts”) to zinc mines. Guralnick benefitted from his nearly 30-year friendship with Phillips, getting the story from him first hand.

Guralnick also curated the accompanying compilation of the same name, not a “best of” or “greatest hits,” but, he admits, his own favorite tracks Phillips produced, including the expected (Elvis, Jerry Lee, the Wolf) and the lesser known (Howard Seratt, Jimmy and Walter, Dr. Ross). — Gillian G. Gaar 

wishboneEyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior
By Andy Powell with Colin Harper
Jawbone Press (Paperback)

5 Stars

Wishbone Ash fans have always received the sticky end of the proverbial stick. Best known in modern rock circles as purveyors of 1972’s so triumphant “Argus” album, and second-best known for their sheer longevity, Ash are one of that select handful of bands whose name and reputation will always bring the crowds out, but whose actual story — not to mention the bulk of their music — is largely a blank page.

No longer. Anyone familiar with co-author Colin Harper’s past ruminations on John McLaughlin and Bert Jansch will be unsurprised to learn that this is a hefty tome, 400-plus pages that delve so deep into the life of Wishbone Ash that, any page now, you expect to discover what color toilet paper they preferred. In the end, you don’t. 

But Andy Powell certainly pulls no punches in every other department, as he details how the past 46 years have soared past not only with the expected highs, lows and mediocre middling bits, but also delves deep into some of the less savory aspects of the modern rock circus … no, not the groupies and the drugs and stuff, although they certainly get a look in. But the stealth with which so many other forces have moved in to hijack the music industry, not least of all lawyers, accountants and whatnot, and the sad fact that, for too many bands, the past is just a pension plan.

Not so Wishbone Ash, whose last album, “Blue Horizon,” was released just last year, the work of the 12th successive lineup of the band, and Powell discusses it (and its immediate predecessors) with at least as much enthusiasm as he reserved for any earlier album — or, at least, post-”Argus” album. That album’s place in both history and his story can never be understated, of course; nor can its signal influence on a host of (largely American) bands to come. 

Indeed, had Wishbone Ash’s career been built around that album alone, their overall importance would scarcely have been dented. But we’d have lost out on a lot more great albums, and we’d probably not now be reading a great book about them.  So crank up “Pilgrimage,” “There’s the Rub” and “Front Page News,” or any other Ash can of your particular choice, and lose yourself in the pages of Andy Powell’s mind.  Your eyes will be open even wider by the end.  — Dave Thompson          

aliceALICE IN CHAINS: THE UNTOLD STORY
By DAVID DE SOLA
T
homas Dunne Books (Hardcover)

4 Stars

This is first serious book about Alice in Chains. The only other worthwhile books that have touched on Alice’s history are Mark Yarm’s “Everybody Loves Our Town” and Greg Prato’s “Grunge Is Dead,” both oral histories, and both covering other bands as well. A book that keeps Alice in Chains front and center has been long overdue.

De Sola does a good job in tracing the band’s complicated history; it’s the first time every member’s backstory has been accounted for, each musician having played with other bands, and Alice in Chains itself evolving out of two different bands. De Sola also carefully notes when there are conflicting accounts of events.

The narrative is a bit dry; De Sola charts the timeline of events, bolstered by numerous quotes, but there’s not much context beyond that. You’re given the specifics of recording sessions and release dates, but no further critique; the book notes the chart placing of the band’s breakthrough, “Dirt,” for example, but there’s little expressed about the quality of the music or why it was important. After reading the book, you’ll know which of Alice’s releases were hits. But why did the band matter? Why are they worthy of being included among grunge’s “big four” (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains). These are the kind of things you’d like an author to address, beyond simply learning about what records the band released and when they went on tour.

But the book still fills in important gaps in the story of Northwest rock. It’s also quite a sad story. Lead singer Layne Staley had no shortage of admirers, and it’s dispiriting to read of him literally wasting away; bassist Mike Starr also lost his life to drugs. De Sola’s book will help assure that the focus remains on the band’s music, not the offstage drama.
— Gillian G. Gaar

The Jam -- About The Young Idea DVD coverTHE JAM
ABOUT THE YOUNG IDEA
Eagle Rock Entertainment (2-DVD/Blu-ray)

4 Stars

Director Bob Smeaton has delivered a documentary on The Jam that the band’s ardent fans will likely treasure for years to come. The documentary uses archive video and film of performances along with new interviews to tell the story of the band, their embrace of Mod culture and why they were so revered by fans. The Jam’s Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler are interviewed at length, and Weller appears in a fun and freewheeling segment near the start of the film with old school chum and fellow founding member of The Jam, Steve Brookes.

The Jam are portrayed in the film as outsiders from suburban Woking, England who, through sheer will, tenacity and ferocious talent, broke through to become one of the biggest bands in the U.K. The band’s identification as Mods is seen as a key factor in their popularity, as is their closeness to their fan base. Weller’s father, John, who was the band’s manager, is credited with being a big force in the band’s initial success. And the band’s less-than-stellar fortunes in America are measured against their huge U.K. success when Buckler discusses how the band bailed on the last remaining dates of an unsuccessful American tour to return to the U.K. when their single “Going Underground” went to straight to No. 1 in the UK charts upon its release.

The DVD extras include performance clips from shows at London’s Rainbow in 1979 and The Ritz in New York City in 1981. The second disc features a terrific November 30, 1980, concert in Germany that was recorded for the German music program Rockpalast. Twenty-two songs are performed in the Rockpalast concert.  — John Curley            

bleachSOAKED IN BLEACH
MVDvisual (DVD)

3 Stars

Kurt Cobain’s death was such a cut-and-dried case of suicide, it’s baffling there are people who think otherwise. Nonetheless, the “Kurt Cobain was murdered” believers have spawned a cottage industry, with innumerable articles, TV shows, books and films addressing the topic.

“Soaked in Bleach” is the latest entry. It’s a summation of the case as seen through the eyes of Tom Grant, the private detective hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain when he left his L.A.-area rehab on April 1, 1994. But Grant didn’t find Cobain when he searched his Seattle home, later blaming Cobain’s friend Dylan Carlson for not pointing out there was a room above the garage on the property (where Cobain was later found).

It’s a typical strategy for Grant. Love is blamed for behaving erratically and irrationally — not unexpected behavior from an admitted drug user dealing with her husband’s death in the glare of the media spotlight. The Seattle Police Department is blamed for not taking Grant seriously, and much is made of an incident in which a Sgt. Cameron is seen (through a re-enactment) turning Grant away at the death scene. In fact, as the police report shows, the same Sgt. Cameron instructed his detectives to contact Grant’s office later that same day (which they did, at 4:30 p.m.).

The film is similarly misleading throughout. People who hadn’t seen Cobain in years are shown saying he wasn’t depressed at the time; in fact, those around Cobain in his last month were worried about his state of mind. (One friend telling journalist Everett True, “There was always the underlying fear he would try and kill himself.”) The viewer is led to think Cobain’s death was officially declared a suicide the day his body was found, when in fact it wasn’t. A quote that homicide detectives aren’t routinely sent out when a death is a presumed suicide is highlighted as an example of police incompetence, when in fact homicide detectives were assigned to the Cobain death investigation — as it’s described in the police report — precisely because Cobain’s was a high profile death. The police also spent over a month investigating the case.

If you’ve read books like “Who Killed Kurt Cobain?” or Grant’s own writings on the subject, most everything in the film will be familiar to you. It is interesting to hear the tape recordings of Grant’s interviews, particularly those with Rosemary Carroll, then Cobain and Love’s lawyer, who expresses skepticism about Cobain’s death, but who has been silent on the subject since then. But there’s still no “smoking gun,” as it were. There are some films, like “The Thin Blue Line” and “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills” had a profound effect on changing views about the murder cases they documented. That won’t be the case with “Soaked in Bleach.” — Gillian G. Gaar

QUICK PICKS
By Dave Thompson

Various Artists
A Sound For All (Four) Seasons: a Selection of Jersey Harmony Sound-a-Likes
Teensville (CD)
Genre: ‘60s
Summary:
Ignore that cruel subtitle and here’s a riveting collection of sub-Valli ‘60s scarcities, soaring, crooning, delish and delightful. Primo pop!
OUR TAKE: BUY

Various Artists
It’s My Life (Roger Atkins
Songbook 1963-1969)

Rare Rockin’ Records (CD)
Genre: Singer-songwriter
Summary: Trace a great songwriting career via 31 rare, weird and wonderful covers by The Animals, Sedaka, Pitney, 5th Dimension, Cookies, Monkees and more.
OUR TAKE: GET

Alan Byrne
Are You Ready? Thin Lizzy:
Album by Album
Soundcheck Books (Paperback)
Genre: Classic Rock
Summary:
Neatly opinionated and informative, too, Byrne tracks through Lizzy’s entire catalog and leaves you wanting to hear it all. The “Jailbreak” chapter is great.
OUR TAKE: READ

Martin Gordon
Gilbert Gordon & Sullivan
Radiant Future (CD)
Genre: Classic… rock opera?
Summary:
Genius songsmith Gordon turns his eye on another pair of clever-clogs, and a glorious recounting of G&S’s greatest bits, rich in archness, of course.
OUR TAKE: BUY

The Keith Emerson Trio
The Keith Emerson Trio
Emersongs (CD)
Genre: Rock
Summary:
Recorded in 1963 in his parents’ front room, seven tracks grab the sound of the young Emerson jazzing it up with remarkable finesse and vision.
OUR TAKE: BUY

Jenny Darren
Heartbreaker: Best of 1977-1980
Angel Air (CD)
Genre: Rock
Summary:
Better than Benatar (who also cut JD’s “City Lights”), Darren is reborn across a driving 19 song comp that stakes her claim among the greats.
OUR TAKE: BUY

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