compilation Archive

Album Review: Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue — The Collection

An obscure and overlooked bit of music history is revived with a reissue/archival release by Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue. Reale led a band that was together for a relatively brief period (specifically 1978-9), and that group cut two albums. The first, Radioactive, was released in 1978 on Big Sound, a small independent label.

Album Review: Hollywood Fats Band — Blues by the Pound Vol. 1

Hollywood Fats (Michael Mann) was a West Coast blues guitarist who died in 1986 at age 32; as the liner notes for Blues by the Pound Vol. 1 assert, he left this earth before earning the fame he deserved. Those uncredited liner notes do lay it on a bit thick, wanting readers to believe that

Album Review: International Pop Overthrow Volume 22

Now comes the 22nd volume in a long-running series of compilations chronicling the current state of powerpop. If this set is Exhibit A, the evidence is strong that it’s in fine shape. Right out of the gate, this new collection fires on all cylinders: the first seven tracks are all powerpop gems of the highest

Welcome to Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge: The Bea & Baby Boxed Set

From the perspective of crate-diggers – amateur and professional music archivists alike – one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the rescuing of obscure recordings. Against the backdrop of the recently revealed 2008 Universal fire in which countless audio masters were lost, it’s some comfort to discover that the catalog of

Album Review: Various Artists — Soul Explosion

There’s undeniable appeal in retrospective compilations. With the benefit of hindsight and historical context, compilers can curate a set of songs that displays the character of a given theme, be it a style of music, a genre, or a survey of a particular label’s output. Legendary Memphis label Stax has been the subject of quite

My Favorite Year: ‘Coltrane ‘58: The Prestige Recordings’

1958 was a landmark year for saxophonist John Coltrane, and by extension for jazz as a whole as well. Coltrane had made his first recordings (in Hawaii with fellow Navy servicemen) some 12 years earlier, and played as a sideman with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk in the middle 1950s. and didn’t begin recording under

Album Reviews: Two Alex Chilton Compilations

Editor’s Note: Today’s something of a milestone: my 3,000th post. As a general matter, I make a point of not writing reviews that are a response or rebuttal to other views. In fact, for the most part, I avoid even reading other reviews, at least until after I’ve filed mine. But I have been struck

EP Reviews: Two from the Koko Mojo Label

Larry Williams – Short Fat Fanny EP Today, the name Larry Williams is largely known once removed, as the American rhythm and blues artist who wrote and recorded songs that would be revived by the Beatles, the Who and others. Their covers are now more well-known than Williams’ originals, but it’s worth going back to

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … Because a great deal of your work is instrumental, I’m curious about the inspiration for the pieces. Do you start with a non-musical concept, such as an emotion or story idea that serves as a catalyst for the song? Or do you start instead with a melody or a melodic

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Two

Continued from Part One … This may be a difficult question to answer. What do you see as uniquely French characteristics in your work? I think it’s maybe not that difficult. We should not forget that electronic music had nothing to do with the U.S. at the beginning. It has nothing to do with jazz,