Customarily, when multiple artists each having his or her own successful career come together, it’s for one of two reasons. They might collaborate simply because it’s fun, because it gives them a chance to step outside whatever stylistic box they may be in, because they’re up for what used to be known colloquially as a
Nobody’s quite sure who coined the adage, “history is written by the victors.” But the inescapable fact remains that nearly every version of history is the product of a subjective point of view. What is left out – and why – is often as important to what’s included. Moviegoers who saw Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary
The student and feminism movements that came to prominence in the late 20th century both made use of the slogan, “the personal is political.” And whatever side of an issue one might come down upon, there’s little disagreement regarding the truth in the phrase. In today’s interconnected world, our actions take on a political dimension.
In 1969, eight years before a later lineup of the band began its reign as kings and queens of slick, corporate-approved FM radio soft rock, Fleetwood Mac was still a boundary-pushing blues band. Launched a little more than a year before that, the group was originally known as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, a tacit acknowledgment
Though they had released three excellent albums to date, in 1978 Cheap Trick was still laboring in relative obscurity. The Rockford, Illinois band’s releases – 1977’s self-titled debut, In Color from later that same year and 1978’s Heaven Tonight – had each sold better than the last, but none cracked the top 40 album charts.
The creatively fertile and incalculably influential Laurel Canyon scene if the middle 1960s is explored in Echo In the Canyon. It’s not quite a documentary in the sense that it concerns itself nearly as much with current artists in the studio and onstage as it does with the moves and shakers of five decades ago.
It’s unfortunate that when the Nice come up in conversation today, they’re too quickly summed up as “the band that Keith Emerson was in before ELP.” That’s a true enough description, but it has the effect of dismissing the contributions of the band’s other members, and overlooking the power of the group as a whole.
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.
To those who followed Alex Chilton’s musical activities in the 1980s and beyond, the thought that he would ever revisit his Big Star-era music – much less put the band back together – seemed extraordinarily unlikely. So when it finally happened, with original drummer Jody Stephens plus the Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow), it
When it comes to African American roots music – for that matter, any American roots music at all – the Staples name is royalty. Led by Roebuck “Pops” Staples and wife Cleotha, the Staple Singers made music that did more than just transcend genres; it erased the divisions between them. The group’s anthemic, soul-stirring songs