review Archive

Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends at 50

Scattered among the history of pop and rock music are the occasional oddities: albums made by those whose circumstances or talents in a particular area might not quite have suited them for the task of making an album, but who still somehow managed to do so. French millionaire playboy Philippe DeBarge did so in the

Take Some Old Songs and Make Them Newer: The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ at 50

In light of the fact that they’re the most popular rock act in the history of music, the Beatles’ catalog is more than a bit confusing. Though CD-era reissues were part of a concerted effort to realign and untangle things, the original release schedule of Beatles albums in the ’60s (and very early 1970s) is

Prog in Disguise: The Buggles’ ‘The Age of Plastic’ at 40

The late 1970s were an odd time for popular music. Today’s listeners know that punk made its mark in the middle ’70s, but it’s worth noting that from a commercial standpoint – especially in the U.S. – punk rock was a comparatively insignificant phenomenon. Instead, its effect was felt mostly in the ways in which

Hundred Word Reviews for February 2020

Time for some more quick reviews. All good stuff, all worthy of deeper coverage. And all worth your time if you’re in the mood for some new sounds. Previte / Saft / Cline – Music from the Early 21st Century Bobby Previte is a drummer whose work falls into the avant garde/no wave box. Nels

Wesley Stace: It Happens One Night

This story was published previously in Chicago’s New City. For a long time, the man born Wesley Stace was John Wesley Harding. Taking his stage name from the title Bob Dylan’s 1967 album, the singer-songwriter crafted a superb series of albums. Those releases covered a great deal of musical territory; though he’s firmly rooted in

UFO: Lights Out

UFO’s “Last Orders” tour — its final round — wraps up this week. Here’s a look at the beloved hard rock band, previously published in New City. In the late 1960s and early ’70’s, hard rock guitar-based groups roamed the Earth. The best among those combined memorable riffs, instrumental pyrotechnics and high energy performances. Near

Album Review: Eleventyseven — Basic Glitches

What a difference a couple of decades can make. Eleventyseven got its start in Laurens, S.C. as a pop-punk band trafficking in Christian themes; one of its earliest shows took place when founding members Matt Langston and Caleb Satterfield were still in high school; that show was at a rally in support of sexual abstinence.

Come and Get It: Badfinger’s ‘Magic Christian Music’ at 50

With the benefit of a half century’s hindsight, it can be argued that despite massive creativity and talent, Badfinger was star-crossed nearly from its start. Though the British-Welsh band were protégés of the Beatles, that connection only got them so far. The vicissitudes of the record industry and other factors combined to blunt the potential

Album Review: Louis Armstrong and His All Stars — Live in 1956

Though he had certainly been massively popular before, in the middle 1950s jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong was near the top of his game. In 1947 he broke up his big band and formed a new group, the All Stars made up primarily of former leaders of other bands. Louis Armstrong and His All

Presto: Deep Purple’s ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ at 50

Looking back on rock history, it’s clear that the concept of rock/orchestral hybridization was fashionable for a time. Most rock listeners are familiar (and then some) with Days of Future Passed, the debut album by a reinvented lineup of Birmingham, England beat group The Moody Blues; that 1967 LP brought together rock and symphonic textures