reissue Archive

Hundred-word Reviews January 2016: Reissues

Today’s collection of hundred-word reviews focuses on recent reissues of note. Uriah Heep – Totally Driven I’m not going to try to tell you that the turn of the 21st century was Uriah Heep‘s finest hour. Their high point was in the early 1970s, around the time of Demons and Wizards and The Magician’s Birthday

Album Review: Love — Reel to Real

In the community of pop music critics and historians, it’s common to find Love‘s Forever Changes cited as one of the great lost albums of the 1960s. Under-recognized at the time of its release, Forever Changes has in recent years taken its rightful place among musical treasures of its era. There it joins The Beach

Album Review: Sonny Sharrock — Ask the Ages

Outside the relatively small population that appreciates jazz, Sonny Sharrock is little-known. And that’s quite a shame, because the guitarist (who died in 1994) had a lot to offer musically, even to those whose tastes don’t extend far beyond the confines of rock’n’roll. The first widely-heard example of Sharrock’s boundary-pushing style was in perhaps the

Album Review: Gentle Giant — Octopus (Steven Wilson Remix)

Progressive rockers Gentle Giant released Octopus, their fourth album, in December 1972. Allowing that Gentle Giant’s music is nothing if not an acquired taste, Octopus is among their best work. The album got a long-awaited CD reissue on the group’s own Alucard label in 2011. That release featured excellent sound along with a booklet containing

Album Review: Roger Waters – Amused to Death

In the years immediately following his estrangement from his Pink Floyd band mates, Roger Waters‘ musical career took a strange turn. While asserting (in a song lyric) “This is my band,” he began to release albums that – while they admittedly featured some fine musicianship – were short on hooks, melody, and memorable tunes. His

Album Mini-review: Alan Vega / Alex Chilton / Ben Vaughn – Cubist Blues

File next to: Tav Falco and Panther Burns, Suicide, Jesus and Mary Chain One of the more unlikely musical summits in recorded history, this one-off album was made in two days in December 1994 and is finally back in print. All three participants brought the baggage of their individual reputations: Big Star refugee Alex Chilton

Album Review: Tall Dwarfs — Weeville

As I discussed in yesterday’s review of Chris Knox‘s Seizure, famed New Zealand independent label Flying Nun has released that title and Tall Dwarfs‘ Weeville on vinyl LP. Some might argue that mentioning Knox and Tall Dwarfs is a distinction without a difference; Tall Dwarfs is, after all, Knox plus musical co-conspirator Alec Bathgate. But

Album Review: Chris Knox – Seizure

I have a lot for which to thank Richie Unterberger. Reading the renowned music journalist’s 1998 book – the first of several – Unknown Legends of Rock’n’Roll introduced me to countless fascinating musical artists. Before reading that book, I considered myself reasonably aware of important yet little-known figures in rock music. Unterberger’s book helped me

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Vol. 3: Feel Released in October 1974, Feel again featured bassist John Heard and drummer Ndugu alongside George Duke, but his guest artists lent a decidedly adventurous air to the disc: husband and wife Airto Moreira (the Brazilian percussionist Duke knew well through his association with Julian “Cannonball” Adderley) and Flora

Box Set Review: George Duke — The Era Will Prevail (Part One)

George Duke (1946-2013) was one of the most fascinating figures in music during the second half of the 20th century. Duke was a jazz-and-classically trained musician proficient on any number of instruments, though he is best known as a keyboard player. He got his start collaborating with French virtuoso violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and his early