While their records were entertaining and full of skillful pop, it wasn't until At Budokan that Cheap Trick's vision truly gelled. Many of these songs, like "I Want You to Want Me" and "Big Eyes," were pleasant in their original form, but seemed more like sketches compared to the roaring versions on this album. With their ear-shatteringly loud guitars and sweet melodies, Cheap Trick unwittingly paved the way for much of the hard rock of the next decade, as well as a surprising amount of alternative rock of the 1990s, and it was At Budokan that captured the band in all of its power.
It is no exaggeration to call Little Walter the Jimi Hendrix of the electric harp: he redefined what the instrument was and what it could do, pushing the instrument so far into the future that his music still sounds modern decades after it was recorded. Little Walter wasn't the first musician to amplify the harmonica but he arguably was the first to make the harp sound electric, twisting twitching, vibrant runs out of his instrument; nearly stealing the show from Muddy Waters on his earliest Chess recordings; and so impressing Leonard Chess that he made Muddy keep Walter as his harpist even after Waters broke up his band. Chess also made Walter into his studio's house harpist and started to release Little Walter solo records with the instrumental "Juke" in 1952. "Juke" became a smash hit and turned Little Walter into a star, making him a steady presence on the '50s R&B charts.
As the title suggests, this is the definitive edition of Etta James' Tell Mama long-player. For this single-disc release the original album is augmented with five previously unissued tracks – documented during James' four Muscle Shoals sessions circa '67-'68. The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. These sessions feature the same impact that would redirect several first ladies of soul. Notable among them are Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and to somewhat lesser acclaim, Jackie DeShannon's Jackie. Tell Mama showcases some of the unique and admittedly darker qualities of what might best be described as R&B noir. "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Steal Away," "I'm Gonna Take What He's Got" all exemplify the essence of the blues – making the best of a bad situation.
This 2-disc release of Herrmann's first score for Harryhausen is a lavish delight. Firstly, both discs are presented in full stereophonic sound - the full-bodied monaural descriptor being entirely wrong for the disc-1 complete score. This presentation utilizes the same remastered music stems that the Sony blu-ray disc offers, and is sonically splendid. The second disc is the original soundtrack album re-recording, all stereo except one track, and it's the familiar version that's been a collector's item for many years. The soundtrack album was conducted by Muir Mathieson, and contrary to Herrmann's opinion of it, it's a robust presentation of the original score. A masterpiece, right up there with the likes of Moross' THE BIG COUNTRY, North's SPARTACUS, Rosza's EL CID, and Jarre's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
This four-CD box set contains all of the recordings Charlie Parker made for the Savoy label and it is overflowing with gems and an almost countless number of alternate takes. Bird was one of the most important jazzmen of all time and nearly every note he recorded (in the studios if not live) is well worth hearing. This box starts off with his sideman date with Tiny Grimes in 1944, contains Parker's famous "Ko Ko" session of 1945 (with a young Miles Davis on trumpet and highlighted by "Now's the Time" and "Billie's Bounce"), and continues through his 1947-1948 quintet sessions with a more mature Miles Davis; either Bud Powell, John Lewis, or Duke Jordan on piano; bassists Tommy Potter, Curly Russell, or Nelson Boyd; and drummer Max Roach. Together they recorded such classics as "Donna Lee," "Chasin' the Bird," "Milestones," and "Parker's Mood." Every scrap that the great altoist cut for Savoy is in this box.
As this expansive (though not entirely as "complete" as promised) anthology reminds us, Comus' frightening musical visions surely represented the darkest side of England's late-'60s folk-rock movement. Like a Fairport Convention from Hell, the group pushed folk boundaries into alien progressive, psychedelic, and acid rock realms, capping it with desperate and macabre subject matter and warping all the genres involved (and numerous minds) in the process. 1971's disorienting, often terrifying debut, First Utterance, could have doubled as (and may have well inspired, in part) the soundtrack to Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man a few years later, given its recurring pagan themes and varied blend…
Thomas Rajna completed his cycle of Granados’s solo piano music within a year – 1976. As if to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their original appearance on CRD LPs Brilliant Classics has returned the cycle to the market-place. It’s in one slim box containing six nicely filled CDs and with extensive notes from Bryce Morrison. Nothing could be finer. Rajna was an expert advocate for Granados’s music and though recordings since have come – and gone – his have maintained an honoured place in the memory; and now, thankfully, in the disc drawer. And this is all the more so as so few are performed in public with any great conviction, beyond the obvious Goyescas and maybe Escenas Poeticas and Escenas Romanticas.