compilation Archive

Album Review: Phil “Fang” Volk — Rocker

Phil “Fang” Volk is best known as bassist for Paul Revere and the Raiders during their most high-profile era, roughly 1965-67. That’s him – the long-running group’s fourth in succession of bassists – you hear playing bass on essential cuts like “Steppin’ Out,” “Kicks,” the original version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Good Thing,”

Album Review: The Krayolas – Savage Young Krayolas

In the shady corners of rock’s history, there have been more than a few retro purveyors who managed to breathe new life into well-trodden styles. Occasionally, they’ve done more than bubbled under commercially: Sha Na Na and the Stray Cats are among the comparatively few who broke out in a big way. More common –

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not

Album Review: Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon

Today would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. Cover versions that stick very close to the original version have their place: witness the appeal of tribute bands. But beyond the hey-I-can-do-it angle, they’re more an exercise for the artist than a rewarding experience for the listener. Much better are reinventions, musical excursions whereby an artist

Album Review: Various Artists — Double Whammy!

Nuggets did it first, and Nuggets did it best: the early ‘70s 2LP compilation curated by Lenny Kaye brought together a widely disparate collection of underappreciated songs from the ‘60s, applying a label to those songs that somehow made sense, even if The Amboy Dukes’ “Journey to the Center of the Mind” had nothing in

Album Review: Bill Kirchen – The Proper Years

What to make of possible hyperbole? When I read that Bill Kirchen is known as “The Titan of the Telecaster,” I wasn’t at all sure what to think. At first I thought I was wholly unfamiliar with his work. A cursory big of digging reminded me that he was a longtime member of Commander Cody

Album Review: ‘Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones’ Soundtrack

There are at least three categories of film soundtrack albums. One is a collection of songs, scores, cues and the like, often by a single composer/artist, music created expressly for a film or television show. Another is what my esteemed colleague Derrick Bang (author of the new two-volume book series on Crime and Spy Jazz)

Album Review: The Limits – Songs About Girls

Reunions are a common occurrence in rock music. 1960s garage rock band The Limits never achieved any notability outside their hometown, but a new group bearing that name came out in ‘79. With a sound that drew from garage rock, pub rock, new wave and hard rock, the new band wouldn’t really have much musical

Album Review: The Limits – Garage Nuggets ‘65-’68

It’s nice when an important figure in music says nice things about your music. Even if that person is something of a cult figure like Alex Chilton, it counts. And apparently Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star) thought highly of the music made by an Allentown, Pennsylvania garage rock band called The Limits. Like so many

Album Review: Jimmy Sweeney — Without You

Another in the (happily and) seemingly endless stream of unearthed gems, Jimmy Sweeney’s Without You is a collection of songs by a singer who was all but unknown. His claim to fame lies in a story – possibly apocryphal but leaning toward being true – about a demo he sent to Sam Phillips. That disc