Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
Various Artists - Bubbling Under The American Charts - 1959-1963 (Fantastic Voyage) review
It’s like finding a goldmine full of forgotten classics
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 Night (Severn Records) review
Singer makes soul music effortlessly
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.
Bee Gees - 1974-1979 (box set) (Reprise) review
The Bee Gees’ Miami grooves - in a box
Because it’s been almost 40 years, it’s easy to forget just how dominant the Bee Gees were in the late Seventies. In 1978 alone, they had a number one hit for 26 of the weeks of that year, either as performers or songwriters. That’s HALF the entire year in the top spot. In February of 1978, five of the Top Ten singles had Bee Gees’ involvement and six of their singles in a row went to #1. For awhile, everything the Bee Gees touched turned to gold. Bee Gees: 1974-1979, a new five-disc box set, encapsulates the trio’s meteoric rise to cultural icons. Included in the set are four studio albums, plus a bonus disc of singles and rarities.
Peggy Lee - At Last - The Lost Radio Recordings (Real Gone) review
44 never-before-heard songs by a legendary singer
One of the finest and most versatile vocalists of the 20th century, Peggy Lee was a mainstay on radio in the 40’s & 50’s. She even hosted her very own Peggy Lee Show on CBS from 1951-52. At Last - the Lost Recordings compiles 44 songs from the program’s year and a half run. The amazing thing is that none of these songs have ever been released on a Peggy Lee album, in any form, making this the holy grail for Lee fans.
Paul McCartney & Wings - Venus and Mars / Wings at the Speed of Sound (Remastered Deluxe Editions) (MPL Communications / Concord Music Group) review
Wings at the peak of sound - soaring high
The latest in the Paul McCartney Remasters series, these two albums, Venus and Mars, and Wings at the Speed of Sound represented a high water mark for the former Beatle in the Seventies; both hit number one on the Billboard Album Chart, and yielded smash hit singles as well. Yet, even more importantly, these records represented some of Sir Paul’s finest post-Beatles songwriting - and that’s what makes them listenable today.
Various Artists - All About Elvis: A Tribute to the King (Fantastic Voyage) review
Looking at the impact of The King of Rock n' Roll - through the music of others
January 2015 would've been Elvis Presley's 80th birthday. And while most of the celebration centers around his music, it's equally important to understand Presley's lasting cultural impact. All About Elvis is a 3-CD set containing 97 songs, and no actual music by Elvis. But, it’s through the music of others that we get to see a clearer picture of just how groundbreaking he really was, especially in the early days of rock n’ roll. The set is divided into three different themes: Elvis Style, Elvis Songs, and Elvis Adored.
Paul Kelly - Presents the Merri Soul Sessions (Gawd Aggie) review
The first great soul album of the year comes from an unlikely place - Australia
Paul Kelly would certainly be more of a household name in the States were it not for the fact that he resides on the other side of the world in Australia. He’s been riding a wave of career peak after peak, and this latest endeavor is no exception.
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition) (Swan Song / Atlantic) review
Epic double album gets remastered and includes disc of rare versions
Physical Graffiti, the latest in the Led Zeppelin remasters series, arrives exactly 40 years from the album’s original release, back in 1975. Originally a double album, it finds the band at its absolute zenith. The inclusion of a third disc of bonus material makes this a must-have for Zeppelin fans.
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