Current Album Reviews

Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.

Dusty Springfield - FaithfulDusty Springfield - Faithful (Real Gone Music / Atlantic) review

Dusty’s unreleased third Atlantic album - criminally unreleased for over 40 years

 

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Dusty Springfield’s lack of success for Atlantic Records is baffling to this day.  Sure, we now consider Dusty in Memphis, her debut for the label, a soul masterpiece.  But, at the time, it was a commercial failure, tanking at a mere #99 on the Billboard Album Charts.  Her followup, A Brand New Me, fared even worse.  But, a teaming with hit producer/songwriter Jeff Barry, who co-wrote songs like “Be My Baby,” and “Da Doo Ron Ron,” sounded like just the recipe for a Springfield rebound.

 

Dion - Live at the Bitter EndDion - Recorded Live at the Bitter End, August 1971 (Omnivore/Ace) review

If you only know him for songs like “Runaround Sue,” prepared to be blown away

 

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A former teen idol doing acoustic blues and folk might seem like an odd career choice - unless you understand Dion’s roots.  Recorded Live at the Bitter End is a compilation of newly-discovered recordings featuring just Dion on guitar and vocals, taped in front of an intimate audience.  It’s just one of the many twists & turns over his long career.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live in 1967John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers - Live in 1967 (Forty Below) review

Raw, but revealing live set showcasing the great Peter Green

 

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“Holy Grail” is an overused term, but in this case, it’s spot-on.  Live in 1967 features the only-known live recordings of Peter Green with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers -  a band that was around for a mere three months, before three of the members would go on to form Fleetwood Mac.

Drivin N Cryin - Best of Song (vinyl)Drivin N Cryin - Best of Songs (Plowboy Records) review

Who says bands don't make great albums anymore?

 

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Perhaps Drivin N Cryin are onto something here.  Leader Kevn Kinney decided back in 2012 to abandon the idea of recording albums in favor of smaller EP’s, each with 5-6 songs on them.  The results were Songs From the Laundromat (2012); Songs About Cars, Space & the Ramones (2012); Songs From the Psychedelic Time Clock (2013); and Songs For the Turntable (2014).  Now, they’ve put together a 10-song distillation of these releases called Best of Songs.  And, in typical retro form, it’s only available on vinyl, with the album cover resembling a classic K-tel record.

Bad Company - debutBad Company - Straight ShooterBad Company - Remasters (Rhino Entertainment) review

The first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label gets the deluxe edition treatment

“Some gigantic moments in that one”

 

Those words were uttered after a searing alternate version of “Bad Company,” included on the bonus disc of the band’s remastered debut album - part of a new reissue series from Rhino Records, which also includes their second release, Straight Shooter.  Each set includes the original album, plus a second disc of alternates and outtakes.

J. Geils Band - Bloodshot (vinyl)J. Geils Band - Bloodshot (vinyl review)

One of the best from this criminally under appreciated band

 

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From Patty Page to punk rock, Real Gone Music has done an excellent job over the years of reissuing forgotten classics.  Well now, they’ve entered the vinyl market by reissuing a classic album from the J. Geils Band, Bloodshot - on red vinyl no less!

Various Artists - Bubbling Under the American ChartsVarious Artists - Bubbling Under The American Charts - 1959-1963 (Fantastic Voyage) review

It’s like finding a goldmine full of forgotten classics

 

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The “Bubbling Under” chart was started by Billboard magazine in 1959 to augment its Hot 100 list.  The idea was, these were the songs that could become big hits, but were “bubbling” just outside the main chart.  These included songs that were big regionally, but hadn’t yet broken on a large-scale basis.  The chart started with 15 songs, but was eventually expanded to 35.  Bubbling Under the American Charts brings together 90 of these songs - and none of them actually cracked the Hot 100.

Tad Robinson - Day Into NightTad Robinson - Day Into Night (Severn Records) review

Singer makes soul music effortlessly

 

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Indianapolis singer Tad Robinson has got a knack for creating great soul records.  We raved about his last release, Back in Style, in 2011.  It took him four years, but he’s back with Day Into Night, and it’s well worth the wait.

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