2017 six CD set that spans the period from August 1973 to May 1988. While they are best known for their '60s recordings, The Hollies recorded some masterful recordings during the '70s and '80s. Often overlooked due to their earlier influential material, this set shines a light on their most overlooked period. This collection includes album tracks, rarities, previously unreleased material and B-sides.
Johnny Theakstone is the forgotten man of early British rock & roll. Many others vie for the title, but none of them even come close. Dead before his 17th birthday, unknown and therefore publicly unmourned, Theakstone would nevertheless live on when his group, Shane Fenton & the Fentones, persuaded roadie Bernard Jewry to slip into the title role to help them through a crisis – and then he was born again a decade later, when Jewry reinvented himself as glam rocker Alvin Stardust.
Beat-Club was a German music program that ran from September 1965 to December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, Germany on Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen, the national public TV channel of the ARD, and produced by one of its members, Radio Bremen, later co-produced by WDR following the 38th episode. It is notable for being the first German show to be based around popular music, and featured artists such as The Equals, Grateful Dead, Zager and Evans, Cream, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Gene Pitney, Ten Years After, Rory Gallagher, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Ike & Tina Turner, The Who, Black Sabbath, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, Chicago, The Doors, Kraftwerk and Robin Gibb in its seven-year run. In 1972, it was replaced by Musikladen.
What one feels about this 27-song CD will depend entirely upon one's tolerance for soft rock and bubblegum pop. Pickettywitch were huge in England for about two years, and remain one of the more fondly remembered pop/rock groups of their period, mostly by virtue of singer Polly Browne, who has maintained a fandom for 30 years. The sound is soft rock in a modified group context, similar to the kind of music generated by the Partridge Family, the Cowsills, and, on a two-dimensional level, the Archies in America, slick and smooth, catchy and unthreatening; their version of Paul Simon's "Sound of Silence" is something akin to what the New Seekers' rendition might've been like, while "Days I Remember," which came close to charting in America, is akin to the Carpenters trying their hand at blue-eyed soul. It's all rather pretty, for all of its relative wimpiness, and difficult to dislike on that basis – "Solomon Grundy," the B-side that launched their public success, is one of those tunes that was meant for radio airplay two or three times daily, and the title track, a top-five U.K. hit, is a breezy piece of romantic soft rock.
One of country music s most eclectic heroes, Marty Robbins celebrated an extraordinary career as one of the genre s leading crossover artists. While Marty Robbins maintained a busy schedule throughout his life, it was without a doubt his early career that left the biggest impact on the world of country music. Johnny Cash released a version of I Couldn t Keep From Crying in 1960, while Guy Mitchell recorded versions of both Singing The Blues and Knee Deep In The Blues .
The fourth of five volumes (the first four are two-CD sets) that reissue all of Bessie Smith's recordings traces her career from a period when her popularity was at its height down to just six songs away from the halt of her recording career. But although her commercial fortunes might have slipped, Bessie Smith never declined and these later recordings are consistently powerful. The two-part "Empty Bed Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (hers is the original version) are true classics and none of the other 40 songs (including the double-entendre "Kitchen Man") are throwaways. With strong accompaniment during some performances by trombonist Charlie Green, guitarist Eddie Lang, Clarence Williams's band and on ten songs (eight of which are duets) the masterful pianist James P. Johnson, this volume (as with the others) is quite essential.