The duo known as Hapa got a perfect start to their career with their self-titled first album. Here are the pretty vocal harmonies and lush, twanging guitar sound everyone expects from Hawaiian music; here also is extraordinary instrumental prowess and a pair of singers who are impressive individual talents. The Hapa album is in fact a tour de force of harmonies, both vocal and instrumental. Even when joined for a guitar trio with guest artist Steven Stills, the style of each performer and voice of each instrument is distinct and fits perfectly into an interlocking composition. Those who appreciate Hawaiian music must have Hapa in their collection.
All six of the albums Hanoi Rocks made in their original incarnation – Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, Oriental Beat, Self Destruction Blues, Back to the Mystery City, Two Steps from the Move, and All Those Wasted Years – are packaged together, one album to one CD, in this straightforward six-CD set. There are no extras, just the albums as they were originally released, though there's a 12-page booklet with a solid history of the band and numerous (if small) reproductions of sleeves from their original releases. It's too much at once even for many fans, but for the more dedicated of that lot, it's a handy encapsulation of their primary recorded work. Hearing all of it does make it clear that, although they're often classified as a heavy metal band, they might be more accurately pegged as a hard rock band with substantial traces of glam and pop (and even some bar band blues-rock) along with the metal.
Inspired by The Looking Series collections on RPM of UK 60s Nuggets, we now look in the world mirror at New Zealand. The country furthest from the UK and in this context the country most like the UK. For the latest in the RPM /Frenzy Music collaborations, following sets from Larry’s Rebels , The Fourmyula , Ray Columbus, The Dave Miller Set , and the Girl Group Sound down-under on “Come and See Me”, we explore the mid 60’s club scene and the various classic singles tailored for that scene.
Following in the footsteps of Nouvelle Vague and Hayseed Dixie, German trio the Baseballs proved that the concept of the covers band needn't always be confined to weddings and bar mitzvahs with their debut album, Strike. Reviving the sounds of the '50s, their old-fashioned rock & roll interpretations of contemporary pop hits saw them enter the Top Ten across nine European countries, but now with the element of surprise removed, they face an uphill task if they are to avoid the novelty wearing off with their second album, Strings 'n' Stripes. Luckily, the Elvis lookalikes have upped the ante on their 14 tracks with a braver selection of song choices and their first-ever original composition, "Hard Not to Cry," an authentic barbershop quartet-inspired tale of heartbreak which could comfortably fit onto a vintage jukebox playlist.