When Tom Russell released his first collection of outtakes and obscurities in 2002, he indicated in the liner notes that “there is easily enough strong material for additional releases—the second volume is pretty much in the can already, if this one is successful.” Maybe the can got lost because it took 11 years, but we finally have that follow-up and the tracks are as noteworthy as promised. As with volume one, in fact, it’s hard to believe that these frequently brilliant…Continue
Posted on December 10, 2013 at 5:00pm
The Velvet Underground and Nico, the group’s magnificent March 1967 debut album, was a million miles from the popular music of the time, which largely explains why it sold only about 5,000 copies (including one to me) in the first few years after its release.
If the group cared, it didn’t exactly show it with the follow-up. White Light/White Heat, which appeared at the end of January 1968, sounds even further removed from anything mainstream America would…Continue
Posted on December 5, 2013 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment
Power-pop purveyor Sweet and ex-Bangle Hoffs, who paid tribute to some of their favorite songs of the sixties and seventies on this album’s two predecessors, take on the eighties in this 14-track collection. (An iTunes deluxe edition adds three more numbers.) Like volumes one and two, the new disc eschews reinterpretations in favor of faithful covers, making it of interest mainly to fans of the duo and those who share their taste in oldies.
That taste is mostly excellent in…Continue
Posted on November 29, 2013 at 9:30am
Beatles music has never fallen out of fashion, never gone away even briefly, so it can be easy to forget just how long ago the Beatles themselves went away. They officially disbanded in 1970—nearly half a century ago—after little more than six years in the international limelight.
But what a six-year period it was. In that short span, they went from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” from “She Loves You” to “I Am the Walrus.” In the process, they…Continue
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 7:30am — 1 Comment
Van Morrison had already attracted some attention with Them, scored a hit with “Brown-Eyed Girl” and produced the incredible Astral Weeks by the time he delivered Moondance in 1970. But this was the album that made him a star.
It didn’t happen overnight. The record rose no higher than number 29 in Billboard (an improvement over Astral Weeks, which didn’t even make the top 200) and produced no big singles (“Come Running” reached number 39).…Continue
Posted on November 19, 2013 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment