Category Archives: Reviews

60 Years Later This Still Packs a Wallop

Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard (Craft Recordings) review

Here’s Little Richard is one of the greatest albums of all time. Few records, of any genre or era, pack this much energy into the grooves. Craft Recordings is celebrating the 60th anniversary of this monumental release with a deluxe, two-disc set, including a remastered version of the original album, plus numerous demos and alternate versions. Continue reading 60 Years Later This Still Packs a Wallop

The Replacements Finally Get a Live Album Worthy of Their Legend

The Replacements – For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986 (Rhino/Sire)

When anyone talks about the Replacements, they usually mention their notorious live shows – equal parts sloppy drunkenness and punk-fueled, reckless abandon. Added to their mystique was the fact that very little actual concert footage had been issued as evidence. Rhino Records remedies this with the release of For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986, a two-disc collection, featuring 29 tracks, capturing the ‘Mats at the peak of their powers. Continue reading The Replacements Finally Get a Live Album Worthy of Their Legend

A Great Dance Record From the King of Pop – Disguised in a Halloween Theme

Michael Jackson – Scream (Epic / Legacy Recordings)

Can there be a better Halloween party song than “Thriller”? (it’s certainly NOT “Monster Mash”).

Michael Jackson was definitely a fan of the spooky holiday, even fashioning the groundbreaking video to the song as an homage. So, it makes sense that the Estate of the late singer has assembled a Halloween-themed album, called Scream. But, don’t be fooled – this is actually a fantastic dance record in disguise. Continue reading A Great Dance Record From the King of Pop – Disguised in a Halloween Theme

This is Soul Music With the Rough Edges Still in Tact

Various Artists – Soulsville USA – A Celebration of Stax (Craft Recordings/Concord)

No record label embodied soul quite like Memphis’ Stax Records. The legendary company has been enjoying a year-long salute of its 60th anniversary, helping shed light on the fantastic music it helped create. Although the label has been compiled many times, Soulsville USA – A Celebration of Stax stakes its claim as the best collection ever assembled, touching on many of their greatest triumphs, with some surprises thrown in as well. Continue reading This is Soul Music With the Rough Edges Still in Tact

Flamin’ Groovies – Fantastic Plastic (Sonic Kicks/Severn) review

Grizzled power pop veterans return to remind us what a killer rock record sounds like

Roots rock revivalists? Power pop purists? The Flamin’ Groovies have been both during their long career that stretches back to the late Sixties.

Longtime guitarist/vocalist Cyril Jordan teamed once again with vocalist/guitarist Chris Wilson, reuniting the frontline that produced such great albums as Shake Some Action and Flamin’ Groovies Now, convening  for their first new studio long-player since 1979, called Fantastic Plastic. Continue reading Flamin’ Groovies – Fantastic Plastic (Sonic Kicks/Severn) review

Various Artists – Now that’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems (Sony/UMG) review

Journey and Usher on the same collection?  This is party music, 2017

As a mobile DJ, I’ve seen a shift in pop music. It used to be that Top 40 fans were satisfied with just that – the music that occupies the Top 40. But, that is no longer the case. Younger music fans are a lot more in tune to music that their parents (and even grandparents) listened to. For proof, check out Now That’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems, one of the most unique collections ever assembled in this series. Continue reading Various Artists – Now that’s What I Call Tailgate Anthems (Sony/UMG) review

Deep Purple – A Fire in the Sky (box set) (Rhino)

New 3-CD box set grabs at least one track from every Purple album

Deep Purple are often lumped in with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as pioneers of heavy metal. Yet, as a brand-new, 3-disc box set, Fire in the Sky, shows, they’ve not only outlived the two other bands, they’ve also continued to put out amazing music throughout their long career. The band released a great new album, Infinite, earlier in the year and are hitting the road once again. This new set celebrates not only their longevity, but also the high quality throughout their career. Continue reading Deep Purple – A Fire in the Sky (box set) (Rhino)

Bash & Pop – Friday Night Is Killing Me (Omnivore) review

A post-Replacements side project that still satisfies

At their peak, the Replacements were everything we loved about rock n’ roll: furious, unpolished, unpredictable, and a hell of a lot of fun. But leader Paul Westerberg knew the fun wouldn’t last forever, and tried to steer the band toward legitimacy. Yet, no one really wanted the class clowns to start wearing suits, and their last couple of studio albums suffered as a result. After the band fizzled out, Westerberg continued to soften his approach for his subsequent solo albums.

Then, in 1993, an unlikely thing happened – ‘Mats bassist Tommy Stinson strapped on a guitar, stepped to the mic, and put a band together called Bash & Pop that recalled some of the greatest moments of his classic, former band. Their debut album, Friday Night is Killing Me, has just been reissued by Omnivore Recordings with an entire disc of rarities. Continue reading Bash & Pop – Friday Night Is Killing Me (Omnivore) review

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Original Soundtrack Vinyl Release (Concord Music Group)

One of the greatest scores in movie history, back in analog!

John Williams will forever be linked with the music he composed for the Star Wars’ series of movies. His “Main Title” opened all seven of the films, and continues to give us goosebumps each time we hear it. Yet, he’s done countless other scores (Jaws before, E.T. and Harry Potter after, just to name a few more). Arguably his second most popular composition is “Raiders March,” which later became synonymous with the theme for Indiana Jones. That piece of music was first introduced in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. The expanded soundtrack has just been reissued on vinyl from Concord Music Group. Continue reading Raiders of the Lost Ark – Original Soundtrack Vinyl Release (Concord Music Group)