September 2015 Archives

DVD Review: Jeff Lynne's ELO - Live In Hyde Park

Jeff Lynne brings back ELO in a triumphant 2014 performance.
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In the early 1970s, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan took the remnants of The Move and formed the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Originally a side project intending to merge classical with rock and continue where The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus" left off, it quickly became the main focus for the trio. Wood soon lost interest and, as you cannot have two captains on the same ship, decided to leave to form Wizzard. ELO became Lynne's baby and ended up becoming one of the most successful bands in the world, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide. Since

DeepSoul: Minnie Riperton - "Memory Lane"

A supremely gifted vocalist, Minnie Riperton's 1979 track provides a lesson in interpretive singing.
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Best remembered for her multi-octave range, Minnie Riperton enjoyed an all-too-brief career in the 1970s. Her influence lingers in several R&B and pop singers ranging from Mariah Carey to Corinne Bailey Rae to Ariana Grande, but no one can match her phrasing and interpretative ability. While "Loving You" remains her most famous track, Riperton recorded several notable songs before breast cancer claimed her life in 1979. One of her final singles, "Memory Lane," encapsulates her ethereal voice and ability to wring emotion out of every word in the lyrics. Born in Chicago in 1947, Riperton showed early talent in music,

CD Review: Santana & McLaughlin - Live At Montreux 2011: Invitation To Illumination

This great performance from two legends of guitar is available on CD for the first time.
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When it comes to pushing musical boundaries, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin are two guitarists at the top of the list. The pair has mixed world music with jazz, rock, Latin, blues and funk with a heavy dose of spirituality, all played with a stunning level of virtuosity. In 1973, they collaborated on an album, Love Devotion Surrender. The subsequent tour was the last time they had played a full-length concert together however until 2011. That year, Claude Nobs invited them to play the Montreux Jazz festival. While the two guitarists had played there many times on their own, it

CD Review: Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Live At Montreux 1997

A blistering performance by these prog rock legends.
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Prog rock super group, Emerson, Lake & Palmer took the music world by storm in the 1970s. Keyboardist and former The Nice member Keith Emerson's virtuoso abilities were matched by drummer Carl Palmer and former King Crimson member, bassist Greg Lake, who added a pop sensibility to the mix. The studio records were good, but the band was even better on the live stage, where they could extend jams for as long as they liked and present a flamboyant stage show that included, among other things, knives in keyboards. The band broke up in the early 1980s, only to return

Blinded By Sound Song Premiere Exclusive: "More Than This" by Raging Fire

Raging Fire debuts a blistering rerecording of one of their classic tracks.
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Start with a driving guitar riff that's equal parts Steve Jones, Guns 'N' Roses and AC/DC and add the sultry vocals of Melora Saner and you have "More Than This," a preview track from Raging Fire's forthcoming compilation, Everything Is Roses. This is a previously unreleased 2015 rerecording of a song from the band's 1986 LP Faith Love Was Made Of. The surviving members of the band (Guitarist Michael Godsey died in 2012), along with guitarists Joe Blanton of The Bluefields and Warner Hodges of Jason and the Scorchers, cut the track as a tribute to Godsey. The song sounds

DeepSoul: Angela Bofill - "Over the Moon and Under the Sky"

Best known for her 1983 dance hit "Too Tough," Angela Bofill's early work showcases her jazz background.
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Fans of 1980s soul will recall Angela Bofill, the chanteuse who sang such hits as the 1983 dance floor burner "Too Tough" as well as heart wrenching ballads such as "I Try." However, Bofill is also an unappreciated jazz singer who could scat and boasted an impressive vocal range. Her 1978 debut album Angie showcases her songwriting and vocal abilities, demonstrating that Bofill's talent encompasses dance, R&B, jazz, pop, and Latin influences. Nowhere are these skills more evident that the almost six-minute track "Under the Moon and Over the Sky," a jazz fusion workout that deserves greater attention. Born in

DVD/CD Review: Aerosmith - Rocks Donington 2014

The legendary rockers deliver a killer performance at the 2014 Download Festival.
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Aerosmith's second act has been a remarkable one. Their comeback-period albums of Permanent Vacation, Pump and Get A Grip are now each over 20 years old and the band has survived everything from in-band fighting, cancer, Steven Tyler falling off the wagon (and off stage) and becoming a judge on American Idol. In 2014, the band headlined the Download Festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK, with a blistering set that would make bands half their age take notice. The show was filmed and has been immortalized in the DVD/2-CD set, Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014. The DVD begins with backstage

CD Review: Pugwash - Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)

Pugwash gets a long-overdue international release for their great new album.
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While Ireland's Pugwash has been plying their trade making smart, well-crafted pop songs for a number of years now, it wasn't until 2014's compilation, A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds, that the band had been afforded a worldwide release. Now signed to Omnivore records, the band has released its first studio album to a worldwide audience, Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends). The sound is familiar, influenced particularly by the likes of Jeff Lynne, yet the band adds enough of their own spin to the music to push the songs in exciting new directions. The album leads off