Content tagged 'Rock'
Sparks (Album of the Day)
Rock's favorite pair of oddballs, Sparks was formed in the late 1960s by brothers Ron and Russell Mael, on keyboards and vocals, respectively. The duo started out as Halfnelson, and it was under that moniker that they entered the studio with producer Todd Rundgren to cut their eponymous debut for Bearsville. The 1971 album failed to connect in the marketplace until the boys changed their name to Sparks, signed with Warner Bros. and reissued the set a year later – at which point SPARKS earned a minor regional hit (in Alabama, of all places) with “Wonder Girl.” Guitarist Earle Mankey, his bassist brother Jim and drummer Harley Feinstein fill out the sound on these 11 originals, and the band is as tight as it is quirky. The clever lyrics, falsetto singing and willingness to mash-up pop genres that would make the Maels cult heroes are in full bloom on SPARKS, and we'll give the set another spin now to wish Russell a happy birthday!
For Sale: Live At Maxwell's 1986 (Album of the Day)
The Replacements were notoriously uneven as a live band – some nights they were a drunken mess, on others utterly transcendent - FOR SALE: LIVE AT MAXWELL'S 1986 captures the quartet on a particularly good night. The sole official live album by the band other than the cassette-only THE SHIT HITS THE FANS, the double-disc set was cut with a 24-track mobile studio set up at the Hoboken, NJ club, and the pristine recording captures one of the last great performances by the four original members. The fiery 29-song concert featured tracks from all of the band’s albums to date (leaning heavily on such new TIM songs as “Bastards Of Young,” “Left Of The Dial” and “Kiss Me On The Bus”) along with B-sides and covers. FOR SALE: LIVE AT MAXWELL'S 1986 arrives in stores today just in time for bassist Tommy Stinson's birthday, and it's an essential look at one of rock and roll’s greatest bands.
Tusk (Deluxe) (Album of the Day)
After RUMOURS became one of the biggest sellers of the 1970s, Fleetwood Mac earned creative carte blanche for their next album and put it to good use on TUSK. The expansive 1979 collection is the most experimental release in the Mac catalog, though the music remains highly accessible - both “Sara” and the title track were Top Ten singles, and the Grammy-nominated album sold more than four million copies worldwide. The Deluxe Edition of the seminal set delves deep into the vaults with five CDs including the remastered original, an alternate version of the album made up of session outtakes (most previously unissued), an assortment of singles, demos and remixes, and two discs of unreleased performances from London, Tucson, and St. Louis stops on the supporting tour - a more than brilliant way to celebrate Lindsey Buckingham's birthday.
Chrome Dreams II (Album of the Day)
When you've got 28 studio albums under your belt – as Neil Young did when he released CHROME DREAMS II ten years ago today – you've no doubt got a few leftover songs, and the Reprise collection kicks off with three great ones, most notably the 18-plus minute epic “Ordinary People.” And though Young is working here with longtime collaborators including guitarist Ben Keith, bassist Rick Rosas and Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, this isn't just a journey through the past; the singer-songwriter also penned strong new material in a variety of styles ranging from country-folk (“Ever After”) to gospel (“Shining Light”) to electric rockers (the Grammy-nominated “No Hidden Path”). While its title references a legendary unreleased album from 1977, CHROME DREAMS II doesn't have a stylistic or thematic focus, and that's kind of the point; it's an album that revels in driving all over the map.
The Singles (Album of the Day)
Released last month to mark The Doors’ 50th anniversary, THE SINGLES shows the creative chemistry shared by drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and vocalist Jim Morrison as they became one of America’s most iconic and influential rock bands. The new collection features singles released from all six of the original quartet's studio albums, including classics like “People Are Strange,” “Love Her Madly” and “Riders On The Storm,” as well as mono radio versions of such hits as “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me” unavailable since their original release. The B-sides – many of which make their CD debut – add another dimension to the band’s legacy. THE SINGLES also features songs released after Morrison’s passing in 1971 as well as live selections from posthumous releases to provide a broader picture of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.
One Of These Night (Album of the Day)
An Album of the Year Grammy nominee and a quadruple-platinum smash, ONE OF THESE NIGHTS proved to be Eagles' breakthrough release. The product of more than a year's work by the band and producer Bill Szymczyk, the 1975 Asylum collection includes three Top 10 singles: "Lyin' Eyes,” “Take It To The Limit” and the title track. The increased emphasis on rock heard here would lead to the departure of country-leaning co-founder Bernie Leadon following the supporting tour, leaving singer-songwriters Glenn Frey and Don Henley firmly in the driver's seat. Frey was born on this day in 1948, and in his honor we'll give ONE OF THESE NIGHTS one more spin.
Nick Of Time (Album of the Day)
After a decade's worth of albums for Warner Bros., Bonnie Raitt had established a reputation as a musician's musician – but had yet to earn widespread public recognition. That changed with 1989's NICK OF TIME. Produced by Don Was, the set is an ideal showcase for Raitt's blues-inspired singing and guitar work, neatly balancing down-to-earth charm with studio craftsmanship. Though the opening title track and closing “The Road's My Middle Name” are the only songs bearing Bonnie's writing credit, the performances here all ring with passion and authenticity. Grammy voters certainly took note, bestowing three awards on the collection including Album of the Year. Today we'll wish Bonnie Raitt a happy birthday with her multi-platinum comeback release, NICK OF TIME.
Chaos A.D. (Album of the Day)
Founded in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, Sepultura soon became an influential force in heavy metal music thanks to its dynamic studio recordings and intense live performances; the Brazilian band has sold nearly 20 million albums worldwide. The group was in the midst of a creative and commercial peak in 1993 when it released CHAOS A.D. The collection ushered in a more groove-based sound on songs like the singles “Refuse/Resist,” “Territory” and “Slave New World.” The new double-disc CHAOS A.D.: EXPANDED EDITION features a newly remastered version of the original along with 17 bonus tracks, including a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of The Universe,” scorching live versions of album songs and several unreleased instrumental tracks that the band used during writing sessions.
Sunshine On Leith (Album of the Day)
The Proclaimers are identical twins Craig and Charlie Reid, and the brothers' hometown in Scotland inspired the name of their second album, SUNSHINE ON LEITH. Sunny vibes pervade most of these stirring 13 songs, whose stripped-down pub rock is enlivened by Scottish folk influences. The track that shines brightest is surely "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" which, some five years after the album's 1988 release, became a No.3 U.S. hit thanks to its inclusion in the Benny & Joon soundtrack. But there's plenty more to enjoy beyond that well-known single, with fine originals like "I'm On My Way," "Oh Jean" and the title track joined by a pair of appealing covers (Steve Earle's "My Old Friend The Blues" and Roger Miller's "King Of The Road"). SUNSHINE ON LEITH was re-released last month on vinyl, and remains invigorating from beginning to end.
Fragile (Deluxe) (Album of the Day)
Released in the U.S. 46 years ago today, FRAGILE was the first album from Yes' classic lineup of singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Bill Bruford (and the first to feature Roger Dean's fantastical cover art). The 1971 Atlantic release serves as a showcase for each of these virtuoso performers, with each member calling the shots on one track plus four group collaborations. The approach proved remarkably effective; the nine songs include such favorites as “Roundabout” and “Long Distance Runaround,” and the collection quickly rose into the U.S. Top 10 on its way to double-platinum status. The progressive rock masterpiece shines even brighter in Rhino's Deluxe Edition, which adds Yes' cover of “America” and an unreleased early rough mix of “Roundabout” as bonus tracks.