Monday, June 26, 2017

RJ Podcast: The Outlaws' Henry Paul Talks About How Much Fun He Is Having Performing Live These Days

Henry Paul of The Outlaws discusses how great it is performing live and about the release of The Outlaws latest live album "Legacy Live." Also, about the possibility of a new studio album from The Outlaws arriving soon. The Outlaws will be performing at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT on June 30.

CD Review: Flash Back With These New Releases From Captain Beyond, Anthony Phillips & "Tonite Let's Make Love In London"

The sixties British documentary "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" was a sign of the times in swinging London, England 50 years ago. While the movie may have opened many eyes to what was happening in the clubs of London, the soundtrack was also as ground-breaking. It featured music by Chris Farlowe, the Small Faces and a little known new band The Pink Floyd. The soundtrack featured some of the first studio recordings of Pink Floyd as well as Chris Farlowe's original version of "Out Of Time" (made popular by The Rolling Stones). Mixed in between the music was interviews with celebrities like Mick Jagger, Michael Caine and Julie Christie, describing what they thought of the sixties London scene. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Tonite Let's All Make Love In London" soundtrack, Immediate Records is releasing a newly remastered version of the soundtrack on CD and on pink vinyl. To find out more about this new release, please visit immediate-records.com. 

Space rock supergroup Captain Beyond took the music world by storm in the seventies, releasing 3 studio albums in 5 years. The band, consisting of members of Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and The Johnny Winter Band, was asked by Duane Allman, after hearing their demo, to join the Allman Brothers Band label Capricorn Records. Now, for the first time, those demos from the band's first album are being released on CD and limited edition red color vinyl.

The new 10-song release begins with a song that did not appear on any Captain Beyond album, "Uranus Highway," which sounds like if The Allman Brothers Band became a progressive rock band. The demos sound very clean for being buried for over 45 years. Songs like "I Can't Feel Nothing" and "Ragin River Of Fear" showcase the potential this band had as they combines elements of hard rock, southern rock and progressive rock to give music a unique, original sound. To find out more about Captain Beyond and the latest release "Lost & Found 1972-1973," please visit cleorecs.com. 

British singer/songwriter/guitarist Anthony Phillips was one of the founding members of the band Genesis. After the band's second album "Trespass," Phillips left to concentrate on his solo career. He released his first solo album in 1977 and continues to this day to recording music for albums, television and movies. Cherry Red Records label, Esoteric Recordings, is revisiting one of Phllips' albums for a new 2CD/DVD deluxe edition. The album, "Slow Dance" was originally released in 1990 and features 2 instrumental tracks, "Slow Dance (Part 1 & Part 2)." The music showcased Phillips range as a musician, mixing rock and orchestral music to create a classical suite, but Phillips felt that the album was unfinished. 

The new deluxe edition of the "Slow Dance" album features the original music re-mixed and remastered on the first disc. The second disc consists of "Slow Dance Vignettes" that were recorded in the studio to help with the ideas of the full "Slow Dance" rock suite. With the alternate mix of "No Way Out" and the addition of the "Clarinet Sleigh Ride," you can image how different the "Slow Dance" album could have sounded. The DVD features the original "Slow Dance" album in 5.1 surround sound, along with the original stereo mix of the album. To find out more about Anthony Phillips and his latest expanded deluxe edition of "Slow Dance," pleased visit cherryred.co.uk.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CD Review: Two New Releases Center Around Seventies Rock Band Big Star

Seventies rockers Big Star were a huge influence to many of the alternative bands of the eighties and nineties. Their three seventies studio albums have become cult classics and turn the band into one of the greatest hidden gems in rock music. On June 16, the Concord Music Group in association with Stax Records released "The Best Of Big Star," a collection of 16-songs from their seventies output. While many of the songs on this release may not be considered hits, each one showcases a different aspect of the band.

Beginning with the pop/rock of "In The Street" and continuing with the garage rock of "Don't Lie To Me," you know that Big Star can rock. They can also perform the acoustic folk storytelling of "Thirteen" and the starkness of "I'm In Love With A Girl," which also showcases their beautiful songwriting. Their sound progressed with the addition of a string section on the ballad "Take Care," while still rocking with "Back Of A Car" and delivering the ultimate message with "Thank You Friends." To find out more about "The Best Of Big Star," please visit concordmusicgroup.com.

Less than a month later we get the earliest known recordings of Big Star founding member Chris Bell in a new compilation titled "Looking Forward: The Roots Of Big Star." This new release will be available on July 7th through Omnivore Recordings and features 22-tracks (6 previously unreleased) of Bell's work with his early bands, Rock City, Christmas Future, Icewater and The Wallabys.

You can hear the early British rock influence on songs like "My Life Is Right" and "Feeling High." The psychedelic rock of Icewater's "Looking Forward" and Bell's solo "Psychdelic Stuff" showcases his love for experimenting with his sound, outside of what's popular. You can hear the early roots of Big Star in the up-tempo rock of "A Chance To Live" and "Lovely Lady." The hidden gem on this release is the Tom Eubanks original "Shine On Me," which sounds like seventies gold, while the country acoustics of "Try Again" showcases Bell's beautiful songwriting. To find out more about the new compilation "Looking Forward: The Roots Of Big Star," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

CD Review: Relive The Glory Days Of Punk/Ska With New Albums From Goldfinger & Anti-Nowhere League

American punk/ska band Goldfinger are preparing to release their 7th studio album titled "The Knife" on July 21st through Rise Records. It will be the band's first full length album in almost a decade as Goldfinger almost abandoned releasing albums altogether. This new release also includes Blink-182 drummer Travis Baker on all tracks except one, which features Twenty-One Pilots drummer Josh Dun. The new 13-song album begins with the high energy, punk flow of "A Million Miles" and the ska feel of "Get What I Need," as lead vocalist John Feldmann brings familiarity to the songs. Goldfinger play around with the fact that they've been around for over 20 years with the fun lyrics of "Am I Deaf," then deliver the deep reggae/ska groove of "Tijuana Sunrise." The album's lead single, "Put The Knife Away" showcases the band's energy and they still have fun with their music as in "Orthodontist Girl" and "Liftoff." Goldfinger will be performing on a few west coast shows of the Vans Warped Tour. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new album "The Knife," please visit goldfingermusic.com.


English punk band Anti-Nowhere League are quickly following up their 2016 album "The Cage" with another new album filled with cover songs. The new release titled "League Style!" takes ten reggae classics from the Tojan music catalogue and adds their own spin to the music. Anti-Nowhere League founder and frontman Animal is a fan of this style of music and the band had dedicated years into creating this album. It begins with the thick reggae backbeat of "Johnny Two Bad" as Anti-Nowhere League inject an extra boost of energy into this 1972 classic. They turn "Singer Man" and "Love Of The Common People" into punk anthems with a classic appeal. They fully capture the reggae spirit of "Long Shot Kick De Bucket," before finishing with their cover of The Tremeloes' 1970 single "Me & My Life." To find out more about Anti-Nowhere League and their latest release "League Style," please visit antinowhereleague.com.

Friday, June 23, 2017

CD/DVD Review: New "Purple Rain" Deluxe Edition Collects All It Can From Prince

Finally the vault has opened. Since the death of Prince last year, fans have been patiently waiting to hear what Prince has kept in his musical vault. Rumors have swirled that there are full albums, live concerts and collaborations that have been professionally recorded and scrapped for more impulsive music. On June 23, we will get a new deluxe version of Prince's 80's soundtrack masterpiece "Purple Rain." It will be released through Warner Bros. Records and comes as a 3CD/DVD set, a 2CD set and a rare picture disc vinyl.
 
The first disc features the original 9-song soundtrack, remastered at Paisley Park back in 2015 and approved by Prince himself. The music in these songs sound so crisp and clear that you may even notice things within the songs that you may never have heard before. The chiming of the cymbals in "Take Me With You" and the amazingly forgotten guitar solo in "Computer Blue" stand out on this new remastered version of the album. The classic hits of "Let's Go Crazy" and "I Would Die 4 U" sound better than ever with a new polished feel and "Purple Rain" still burns with its timeless guitar solo.
 
Disc 2 is filled with what fans have been waiting to hear, as we get 11-tracks that were recorded for the album and the movie, but were never released until now. It kicks off with the high energy, 11-plus minute electronic, experimental/jam piece "The Dance Electric," while Prince's backing band, The Revolution lead the way on the funk-fueled "Love And Sex." Prince and the band expand upon "Computer Blue," pushing it past the 12-minute mark as Prince reads his "Hallway Speech" poetry. Prince steps away from the mic on the first half of "Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden," allowing his keyboardist Lisa Coleman to take the lead, before stepping back in for the second part of the song. The whole second disc is an undiscovered treasure of high-quality finished music that shows how much Prince had to offer early in his career, before this album made him a global sensation.
 
The 3rd disc consists of all of the B-sides and single edits that were released from this album. The popular hits like "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain" appear here in their shortened, less well-known versions. The highlight of this disc is the inclusion of all of the B-sides that were only released on the original singles and have been sought after by fans ever since there release. Songs that have appeared as B-sides like "17 Days," "Erotic City" and "Another Lonely Christmas" have developed as classics in their own right. While most bands used throwaway tracks as B-sides, Prince's songs that he used for B-sides are just a good as the material he placed on the album.
 
The "Purple Rain" deluxe expanded edition also includes a DVD of Prince live at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY on March 30, 1985. The setlist for the show includes tracks from his current release at the time, plus old favorites like "Delirious," "1999" and "Little Red Corvette." To find out more about this new release of Prince's "Purple Rain" soundtrack, please visit officialprincemusic.com.