U.K. Music Travelouge
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out and Gimmie Shelter
As a followup to our profile of rock photographer Ethan Russell in the November issue, we will now give a little more information on the just-released Rolling Stones projects we discussed with Russell. First up is the reissue of the Rolling Stones album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!. What many consider the best live rock concert album of all time is now available from Abcko in a four-disc box set. Along with the original album there is a disc of five previously unreleased live performances and a DVD of those performances. There is a also a bonus CD of five live tracks from B.B. King and seven from Ike & Tina Turner, who were the opening acts on the tour. There is also a beautiful hardcover book with an essay by Russell, his photographs, fans’ notes and expanded liner notes, along with a lobby card-sized reproduction of the tour poster. Russell’s new book, Let It Bleed (Springboard), is now finally out and it’s a stunning visual look back on the infamous tour and the watershed Altamont concert. Russell doesn’t just provide his historic photos (which would be sufficient), but, like in his previous Dear Mr. Fantasy book, he serves as an insightful eyewitness of the greatest rock tour in history and rock music’s 60’s live Waterloo.
The debut album from Oasis in the late 80’s was one of the key albums in the birth of a revitalized British music scene of bands carrying the torch of U.K. rock, after a long drought. Another one of those bands was the Stone Roses. Legacy has just reissued what has to be considered one of the key albums of that period and of British rock in the post-60’s/70’s: the self-titled album from the Stone Roses. It includes that album, along with a bonus CD of lost demos and a DVD of the group’s historic Blackpool Empress Ballroom show and six videos. Continuing our coverage of the reissue of the U2 catalog, The Unforgettable Fire (Island/Interscope) is now available in a two-CD boxed set. The bonus CD includes songs that did not appear on the original album release, live tracks, remixes and a Celtic Dub Mix of “Wire.” There is also a beautiful 36-page hardcover book. The Very Best of Enya (Warner Bros.), comprises a CD of Enya’s most popular music and a DVD. The DVD includes thirteen videos, an interview and two behind the scenes making of the videos of “Caribbean Blue” and “Only Time.” Another CD with bonus discs is the just released Strict Joy (Anti) from Swell Season. Swell Season is the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the stars of the improbable little hit movie Once. This breakup album is a beautiful and heartfelt album that is destined to be a classic. A limited edition of the album contains a bonus live concert DVD and a CD. David Gray is back with a superb solo album Draw The Line (Mercer Street). “Fugitive” is yet another example of Gray’s talents as one of the great songwriters of his era. A bonus DVD is included of selections from a live concert recorded at the Roundhouse in London.
Companion CD and DVD’s
The latest project from Jack Bruce and Robin Trower is Seven Moons Live (Ruf), which comprises separate live CD and DVD releases of the duo’s recent tour in support of their grossly underrated Seven Moons studio album. Versatile and powerful drummer Gary Husband, who like Bruce is comfortable with jazz or rock, comprises the third member of this trio, who performs songs from its Seven Moons album, solo songs and a handful of Cream classics. This is a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of three master musicians generously sharing their love for the music, each other and the enthusiastic fans who were lucky enough to witness this rare evening of music. Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakemen returns with brand-new separate live CD and DVD releases of his monumental solo concept album The Six Wives of Henry VIII Live at Hampton Court Palace (Eagle). The album, which is ambitious, literate and at the time was either lauded for its scope or lambasted for its grandiose scale, shows there is no denying that the piece has held up well. Also, while great listening, it makes for a truly engaging visual experience. Keane also have two different projects out now on DVD and CD. Keane Live (Interscope) features the complete July of 2007 concert filmed at London’s O2 arena. The DVD also includes a short film, soundcheck and more. Also from Insterscope is a Deluxe Edition of Keane’s debut album Hopes and Fears released in 2004. This two-CD edition includes previously unreleased live performances from the Roundhouse in London and Jo Whiley’s BBC radio show, from the Forum at London, Germany, Toronto and Iceland, along with remixes, demos and more.
First up are two DVD’s from the Who. Maximum R&B Live (Geffen) is a two-DVD set that includes live performance clips from 1965 through 1989. Disc two is an entire performance from the German Television show Rockpalast from 1981. There are additional interviews, liner notes, performances and 5.1 sound on this reissue. Who fans will also love The Who, The Mods and The Quadrophenia Connection from MVD. Including interviews with Mod and Who experts Richard Barnes, Paolo Hewitt, Terry Rawlins and others, along with performance clips from mod bands from the Who to the Jam and those that influenced them, this is a must-have look at England’s celebrated mod explosion. Also from MVD are three DVD’s that comprise noted music documentary director Wolfgang Buld’s trilogy of the late 70’s English music scene. Punk In London celebrates the first wave of England’s punk explosion featuring the Clash, the Jam and others. Punk In England documents the flowering of English music in the late 70’s and, although entitled “punk,” comprises new wave, the two-tone ska revival and more, with clips from Ian Dury, Madness, the Pretenders and others. Reggae In A Babylon focuses on the English reggae scene made up of West Indian and Jamaican immigrants whose influence on English pop music styles is still prevalent today. Two live concert DVD’s from MVD include Odyssey & Oracle Revisited The 40th Anniversary Concert Live At Sheperd’s Bush Empire, London 2008 from the Zombies. While the Zombies were known for such hits as “Time of the Season,” “Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There,” they were consummate album makers and Odyssey & Oracle was their Sgt. Pepper. The original group does a great job here with the album and also gets to shine when performing music from Rod Argent’s later band and Colin Blunstone’s highly underrated solo albums. The other is Song of Scheherazade Renaissance live from the seminal orchestral-rock group Renaissance. This disc includes two live concerts filmed in New Jersey, one from the Capital Theatre from 1976 and one from Convention Hall in 1979. Another great live concert DVD is Food For Thought (Eagle), from UB40, from the Rockpalast Greatest Hits Live series filmed in 1981. Three documentaries take a very different approach from each other, but all are worth searching out. More Than This The Story of Roxy Music (Eagle) is a top-rate documentary about one of the most influential, stylish, and important English groups of all time. The documentary contains interviews with members of the band, bonus live performances and additional interviews not shown on the original television broadcast. U2: A Rock Crusade (Infinity) is a unique look at how U2 has used its fame to engage in philanthropic activities. This is easily one of the most unique rock music documentaries I have ever seen and shows how rock music can be used to make the world a better place. Rock of Ages An Unauthorized Story on the Rolling Stones (World Wide Entertainment) takes a very different approach. It focuses more on the Rolling Stones’ more notorious and infamous moments, yet it is also highly entertaining. Two DVD’s take a varied approach to presenting talented females artists. Portrait of Petula Clark (Infinity) is a whirlwind musical trip showcasing the unique talents of British Invasion singer Petula Clark, filmed in Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles, many guest stars and music from Broadway, to pop to rock. From Hear Music is TV Is My Parent from Sia and features a concert from 2007 from New York’s Hiro Ballroom, a tour documentary and four music videos.
Capitol has reissued the first six studio albums from Radiohead. All have been released as two-CD sets and include additional remix, acoustic, demo, and live versions. The live versions, including BBC radio program performances, really make these reissues worth searching out. From Arista/Legacy come seven more albums reissued from the Alan Parsons Project, following the 2007 reissue of I Robot, Eye In The Sky and The Essential Alan Parsons Project. All the discs include previously unreleased alternate versions, demos, and more, along with enlightening liner notes about each release from the two main figures behind the group, Parsons and Eric Woolfson. As we went to press, news of the passing of Woolfson, at age 64, was just breaking. Hardcore Phil Manzanera fans will be ecstatic over the issuing of four releases from his Roxy Music spinoff project 801 from Expression Records. Live 801, which features Brian Eno, includes the original album from 1976 on one disc and a bonus disc recorded of the band’s tour rehearsal. There is also Manchester, recorded in 1977, and reissued twice before, which has a different lineup including Paul Thompson on drums, replacing Simon Philips and Andy Mackay, also from Roxy Music, along with Lol Creme and Kevin Godley of 10CC fame. Two other 801 live releases included in this reissue series are Live @ Hull featuring Eddie Jobson on electric violin and Latino. Snow Patrol is in the hottest period of its career and now has released its first retrospective, Up To Now (Fiction/Geffen). The two-CD set not only includes selections from its three American albums, but also tracks from its earlier U.K.-only releases, live performances, previously unreleased tracks, music from such spinoff projects as the Reindeer Section and more. Beth Orton’s Trailer Park (Arista/Legacy) is a two-CD Deluxe Edition that includes the original 1996 album, along with live performances, various alternate versions and several one-of-a-kind collaborations. Also, check out The Costello Show Live at the El Mocambo (Hip-O), the famous, originally, promo-only, radio broadcast from 1978.
We covered some recently released CD’s from U.K. artists in the December print edition and have a few more to add that I have finally caught up with or which recently arrived. Rod Stewart is following up his Songbook releases with something a little closer to his heart: Soulbook (J), a collection of soul and r&b classics. With the production assistance of Steve Jordan and Steve Tyrell, Stewart faithfully recaptures the great 60’s and 70’s hit r&b and soul period and does these songs justice. This is the perfect complement to Michael McDonald’s two Motown albums. Another 70’s English sensation was Mott the Hoople. The group’s leader, Ian Hunter, who has been making superb solo albums since the 70’s, is back with Man Overboard (New West). Like other recent works, the album showcases Hunter’s songwriting prowess. Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, is back with his second comeback release, Roadsinger (Eder). More conceptual than his previous release, Roadsinger finds Islam looking back on his days as young touring musician. While a bit too somber in spots, Roadsinger, like its predecessor, sounds like music from an artist who never went away. Elvis Costello has made yet another stylistic detour with the countrified and edgy Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (Hear Music). Produced by T-Bone Burnett and featuring a core group that includes Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan and Jim Lauderdale, among others, the album presents Elvis looking and sounding good in his Western threads. Changing gears completely, David Sylvian has once again made another impossibly haunting recording that is not for the faint of heart or the casual music fan. Manafon (Samadhisound) continues Sylvian’s infatuation with dissonant soundscapes and new approaches to music, while continuing to successfully echo the same indescribable futuristic ideas of Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and, to a lesser degree, David Byrne. Zero 7, while not as experimental as Sylvian, is also playing in the same cosmic sandbox. Trippy electronics and space-age sounds dominate and thanks to the group’s human approach, Zero 7 has fast become one of the most important groups on the scene today. Its new release, Yeah Ghost (Atlantic), is its most challenging to date and would make the perfect soundtrack for a science fiction film that takes place in the cold, foreboding outer reaches of the universe.
Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, two British guitar gods, who both spent time in The Yardbirds, will be sharing the stage together and apart on February 18th and 19th at Madison Square Garden.