Wednesday, October 25, 2017

CD Review: Revisit The Music Of Keith Emerson, Magma And Philippe Debarge With The Pretty Things

English musician/composer Keith Emerson was an amazing talent. He was a founding member of the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer and also composed musical scores for a number of soundtracks. Sadly, he ended his life prematurely by committing suicide in March 2016. One of his more enlightening albums was the piano instrumental "Emerson Plays Emerson." It was originally released in 2002 and quickly went out of print. To celebrate the album's 15th anniversary, the Keith Emerson Estate went back into the "vault" to create a fresh new transfer from the master tapes for this new re-release of the album. While this release showcased a different side to Emerson's talented piano playing, it also gave us insight into his love of classical music, as well as progressive rock side. Given the history of Emerson's more popular music, it's nice to here another side to his piano playing. To find out more about the newly released "Emerson Plays Emerson" album, please visit cherryred.co.uk.

French progressive rock band Magma have been pushing the boundaries of music since 1970. Their most famous album "Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh" ("MDK" for short) was released in 1973 and has been ranked #24 on Rolling Stones "50 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time." Now the band has revisited the nearly 40-minute recording by releasing a live version of the song recorded in January 1973 with a full orchestra choir. The new album titled "Mekknik Kommandoh" features a new remastered version of the song and new cover art. While I am not that familiar with the original studio recording, this version is simply amazing. That is if you can hang in their for the nearly 38-minute track. Also arriving from Magma is a new feature film titled "To Life, Death and Beyond: The Music Of Magma." It gives an in-depth journey into this band that has lasted almost 50 years by making music that pushes the envelope of progressive rock music. To find out more about Magma and their latest releases, please visit magmamusic.org.

French playboy Philippe DeBarge teamed up with the English rock band The Pretty Things to record an album in late 1969. With the sales of The Pretty Things album "S.F. Sorrow" picking up, the project's release was scrapped for a new album from just The Pretty Things. The Philippe DeBarge collaboration would not see a release until 40 years later when it came out in 2009. Now the album is seeing a re-release on CD along with a new 16-page booklet and a few bonus tracks from the sessions. The sounds of the sixties is instilled in this release with songs like the hippie-sounding "Hello, How Do You Do?" and "Send You With Loving." The psychedelic rock of "Eagle's Son" and "I'm Checking Out" showcases the best of this collaboration. The three bonus tracks consist of the sonic blast of "Monsieur Rock (Ballad Of Philippe)," the raw, garage rock sound of "Lover" and the acoustic sixties blues of "Silver Stars." To find out more about this new release of Philippe DeBarge with The Pretty Things, please visit madfishmusic.com.

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