Thursday August 21

Current Album Reviews

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

Eric Clapton - Unplugged - Deluxe EditionEric Clapton - Unplugged (Deluxe Edition) (Reprise) review

Clapton’s biggest-selling album gets “amped up”

 

View this box set on amazon.com

With over 10 million copies sold, Unplugged is not only Eric Clapton’s best-selling album, it also ranks on the list of biggest of all-time.  It also garnered the guitarist a whopping six Grammy’s in 1992.  Reprise Records has just remastered the original album, tacking on a disc of bonus tracks left off the original program.  Also included is a DVD featuring the full episode, plus a never-before seen rehearsal, taped earlier in the day.

 

Sony / Legacy Classic Christmas AlbumsThe Sony/Legacy Classic Christmas Albums


A Christmas album for every step of the holidays

The series continues this year with eight new holiday collections from Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, Alabama, Martina McBride, Barbara Streisand, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Neil Diamond, and George Jones & Tammy Wynette.   All of the discs grab from a variety of sources, creating a “best of the holidays” for each artist.

See these albums on amazon.com

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Box SetCreedence Clearwater Revival - Box  (Concord / Fantasy)  review

View this box set on amazon.com

Okay, here’s a challenge: name any American band that’s released at least seven albums.

I’ll take CCR.

But, no matter who you choose, you’ll have a difficult time beating my choice.  No band captured the spirit of the “everyman” better than Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Various Artists - Pablo Records Original Jazz Classics (Concord Music Group) review

Dizzy Gillespie - Dizzy's Big 4

Art Tatum - Solo Masterpieces - volume one

Duke Ellington - The Ellington Suites

Oscar Peterson - Stephane Grappelli - Skol

Zoot Sims - and the Gershwin Brothers

 

 

 

 

Five new titles explore the underrated Pablo jazz archives

 

Pablo Records was extremely important in the history of jazz.  Formed in 1973 by jazz impresario Norman Granz, the label provided a home to several legendary artists who had been cast aside by the major record labels.  Concord Records is celebrating the label’s 40th anniversary through a series of archival releases, many of which stand up to the finest in all of the genre.

Miles Davis - The Original Mono Recordings box setMiles Davis - The Original Mono Recordings (Sony / Legacy) review

 

View this box set on amazon.com

A nine-disc box set of classic Miles - the way it was originally meant to be heard

Prior to 1970, before stereo became the norm, most people listened to music through a single speaker, or “mono” sound.  So, most artists created their albums with mono in mind.  Sony / Legacy has just issued Miles Davis - The Original Mono Recordings, a nine-disc set, covering the early stages of the legend’s career at Columbia Records, and restoring these classic albums to their original, mono configuration.

Over the Rhine - Meet Me at the Edge of the WorldOver the Rhine - Meet Me at the Edge of the World (Great Speckled Dog / Red Eye) review

 

View this album on amazon.com

Meet Me at the Edge of the World is the second collaboration between the Ohio band Over the Rhine and Grammy-winning producer, singer & songwriter Joe Henry.  But, while 2011’s The Long Surrender was dominated by Henry’s eerie production, which gave the record a dark, ominous quality, this new album is warm and inviting; many of the songs dominated by acoustic guitars and Karin Bergquist’s lived-in vocals, giving the proceedings a back porch feel.

Loveland Duren - Bloody CupidLoveland Duren - Bloody Cupid (Edgewood Records) - review

 

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In this short-attention-span world, an entire album of great tunes is a rare find

Loveland Duren is a collaboration between two legendary Memphis artists - Vicki Loveland and Van Duren, who have just issued their first record, Bloody Cupid.  Duren spent time in several bands with various Big Star alums, yet this new project is a lot more earthy than power pop.  The entire record has an organic feel; it sounds like it was made the old-fashioned way - with real instruments, and without digital trickery.

The Bongos - Phantom TrainThe Bongos - Phantom Train (JEM Recordings) review

 

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An unreleased album from 1986 that stands up to the best of Eighties’ alternative music

Imagine finding an unreleased record from the glory days of one of your favorite bands.  That’s what Phantom Train from The Bongos is.  The album was recorded in 1985-86, but never released because the band broke up near the tail end of the sessions.  The original quartet has recently reformed for a series of shows - making now a perfect time for this forgotten record’s release.

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