July 2015 Archives

Blu-ray Review: The Rolling Stones From The Vault: Hyde Park Live 1969

The Stones begin the Mick Taylor era with this legendary free concert.
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1969 was a pivotal year for The Rolling Stones. It saw the end of one era with the death of guitarist Brian Jones and the beginning of another with the arrival of Mick Taylor as his replacement. It also saw the band return to the road for the first time in two years. On July 5, 1969, just two days after Jones' passing, the band performed a free concert at Hyde Park in London. Upwards of half a million fans attended the gig, which was filmed by Granada TV for a documentary, The Stones In The Park, and marked the

DeepSoul Salutes Babyface: Midnight Star - "Slow Jam"

DeepSoul's salute to Babyface continues with one of his earliest compositions.
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One of Babyface's earliest compositions, "Slow Jam" became a quiet storm classic for 1980s soul fans. A cut off Midnight Star's 1983 album No Parking on the Dance Floor, it was never officially released as a single. Yet the song gained R&B radio airplay, becoming a concert favorite and a must-have for any school dance. Listening to the track today, it may not be immediately evident that Babyface had any involvement. However, the smooth quality, melody, unabashedly romantic lyrics, and 70s soul vibe all became the producer/singer/songwriter's trademarks. Midnight Star was formed at Kentucky State University in 1976 by brothers

CD Review: Blinddog Smokin' - High Steppin'

High Steppin' is a fun, funky slice of Americana.
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One year after backing Bobby Rush on his Grammy-nominated release, Decisions, Blinddog Smokin' returns with an eclectic set of their own, High Steppin'. The album - the band's 11th - mixes blues, rock, funk, country and Americana with virtuoso musicianship and features lyrics that show the band's tongues are firmly planted in their cheeks. The album, which was produced by Grammy-, Golden Globe- and Oscar Award-winning writer, Donny Markowitz, features additional contributions from Hall & Oates guitarist Shane Theriot as well as New Orleans pianist David Torkanowsky. The album opens with the horn-driven funk of "Pimp Shoes," a song front

Blu-ray Review: Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith

This excellent documentary looks at the life and career of the talented, yet troubled singer.
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"I'm the wrong kind of person to be really big and famous," said Elliott Smith in a 1998 interview that opens the excellent film, Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith. Perhaps Smith was right. The film, directed and produced by Nickolas Rossi examines the life of the gifted, yet troubled, singer who died in 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest that may or may not have been self inflicted. Smith describes in his interview how playing his Oscar-nominated song, "Miss Misery," at the Academy Awards as "really weird" and "fun

CD Review: The Knack - Normal As The Next Guy

The Knack's final studio album, remastered with bonus tracks.
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When The Knack released 1998's Zoom, it was a critical success even if its sales did not match. Undeterred, the band continued to play live shows, though without a follow-up release. After finding a new manager in Jake Hooker (who co-wrote "I Love Rock 'n Roll," later made famous by Joan Jett), the band was to take part in a tour called "The Rock 'n' Roll Fun House." A DVD was filmed, which was made to look like an old 1960s TV show and the band were set to hit the road. The only problem was they didn't have a

CD Review: The Knack - Zoom

The Knack's Zoom album, a fine return to form, gets remastered with bonus tracks.
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The past few years have been good to fans of The Knack. First came the live album, Havin' a Rave-up: Live in Los Angeles 1978, which showcased via a blistering performance why the band was in such demand before they even had an album out. Next came Rock 'n' Roll Is Good For You: The Fieger/Averre Demos, which gave a look at the songwriting duo's pre Get The Knack demos. Some of these songs eventually found homes on The Knack's six albums, but all of the songs are excellent. Now comes the rerelease of Zoom, a latter-day gem by Doug

Interview: Knack Guitarist Berton Averre

The Knack's lead guitarist speaks about the latest reissues of the band's music.
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Blinded by Sound recently spoke with Berton Averre, lead guitarist for The Knack, about the rerelease of several of the band's albums, the history of The Knack and his current projects. Here's what he had to say. The past few years have been good ones for Knack fans in terms of new releases. How did this latest batch of rereleases come about? Doug Fieger's sister Beth inherited his business side of things and she is a very capable woman. She is interested in furthering the business side of things and found this label, Omnivore, who really liked our music. She

DeepSoul Salutes Babyface: "It's No Crime"

DeepSoul begins its series on '90s singer/songwriter/producer Babyface with one of his earliest solo hits.
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Few artists and producers dominated the 1990s R&B scene as Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. His brand of smooth, glossy soul music topped the pop and urban charts, and he penned and produced hits for Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Toni Braxton. A versatile talent, he even wrote and produced a classic track for rocker Eric Clapton. This week's DeepSoul kicks off a four-week salute to Babyface, highlighting his lesser-known work for other artists. The first entry, however, focuses on Babyface's successful solo career, focusing on one of his earliest singles: 1987's "It's No Crime." Born in 1959 in Indianapolis,

SDBlu-ray Review: The Who - Live At Shea Stadium 1982

The Who delivers a great performance in this, their original farewell tour.
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Though it has become, partially because of The Who, a running joke in the world of rock and roll to make fun of bands on their farewell tours, in 1982 The Who did, indeed intend on calling it a day. A myriad of factors affected this decision, including Pete Townshend's depression and drug use, as well as his feeling spent musically in a changing musical climate. Regardless of their reasons, the band toured behind a new album, It's Hard (their last for 24 years) and, not to rest on their laurels, pushed themselves on stage by having The Clash open