Friday October 24

Current Album Reviews

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

Bettye Swann - Complete Atlantic RecordingsBettye Swann - The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Real Gone Music / Rhino) review

Sides cut in Muscle Shoals and Philadelphia, plus six previously unreleased recordings make this disc indispensable to soul fans

 

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Bettye Swann is best remembered for her hit “Make Me Yours,” a slice of soulful pleading from 1967.  She works her same magic on The Complete Atlantic Recordings, a collection of 23 tracks making their digital debut.

 

True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter StoryJohnny Winter - True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story (Sony/Legacy Recordings) (Box Set review)

Get ready to melt your speakers with four CD's of Johnny Winter's fiery guitar

 

View this box set on amazon.com

Most multi-disc collections are put together to compile the best of an artist’s career.   But, every once in awhile, a box set comes along that alters the way you look at a performer.  True to the Blues is a 4-disc anthology that covers Johnny Winter’s 45 years in the music business.  After you hear it, you’ll be a true believer.

Michael Bloomfield - From His Head to His Hands to His Heart from Sony LegacyMichael Bloomfield - From His Head to His Heart to His Hands (Columbia / Legacy) review

Colossally important, criminally under-appreciated - Michael Bloomfield gets his due

 

View this box set on amazon.com

Guitarist Mike Bloomfield may not be a household name, but every rock fan owes him a huge debt.  A new 3-CD/1-DVD “audio / visual scrapbook” From His Head to His Heart to His Hands sheds light on his incredible genius.

Paul Simon - Over the Bridge of TimePaul Simon - Over the Bridge of Time - A Paul Simon Retrospective (1964-2011) (Sony / Legacy) review

An interesting, but frustrating overview of Paul Simon’s entire career

 

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Over the Bridge of Time marks the first time that Paul Simon’s solo material has co-mingled with his previous work with partner Art Garfunkel.  That, in itself, makes this collection unique.  Yet, this 20-track set barely scratches the surface of Simon’s long career.

Blood Sweat & Tears - Complete Columbia SinglesBlood, Sweat & Tears - The Complete Columbia Singles (Real Gone Music)

All the A & B sides from the peak years of Blood, Sweat & Tears

 

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Blood, Sweat & Tears had two Platinum and three Gold Albums, two of which went all the way to number one, yet this marks the first time that all their singles, including B sides, are available in one collection.  The real selling point for The Complete Columbia Singles is the first eight tracks on disc one, which collect both sides of their first four singles, all available in their original, mono format.

Jimi Hendrix - Miami Pop FestivalJimi Hendrix Experience - Miami Pop Festival (Experience Hendrix / Sony Legacy) review

Newly-discovered tapes offer some of the best document of Hendrix in his element

 

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So, you’re probably thinking: “wait, another Hendrix live album - aren’t we scraping the bottom of the barrel”?  The answer is, an emphatic NO.  In fact, Miami Pop Festival may turn out to be one of the finest documents of the cosmically-talented guitarist’s short career.

David Lanz - Movements of the HeartDavid Lanz - Movements of the Heart (Shanachie) review

The most romantic album of Lanz’s long career

 

View this album on amazon.com

We’ve seen it happen several times recently - an artist takes some time off from their originals to revisit the music of their heroes, then comes back strong with a great new album.  The roots rock band the Smithereens followed this path, immersing themselves in the music of the Beatles and Who for almost a decade, then returned with their strongest CD in years called 2011 (read our review).

Jellyfish - Radio JellyfishJellyfish - Radio Jellyfish (Omnivore) review

Recently discovered radio performances from these influential power poppers

 

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Jellyfish were sort of the Big Star of the Nineties.

Both bands seemed to have an endless well of radio-friendly material, which ironically never actually made it to the radio.  Their brief careers were marred by record company blunders, yet each band has a loyal fanbase, which seems to grow every year.

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