This powerful four disc anthology is the very best of Guns N Roses broadcasting live on air. In the face of the overwhelming dominance of dance music they helped revive the mainstream appeal of rock music and, in the process, they created some of the most potent live broadcasts in the history of rock music. Featured here are the complete versions of three legendary broadcasts between 1989 and 1991 including all the hits from the first three albums which helped propel the band to superstardom. This digitally remastered anthology forms the ultimate collection of live versions of the hits performed from 1989 to 1991 and is essential listening for every Guns N Roses fan.
"Bel raggio lusinghier" from Rossini's Semiramide opens this program, and it naturally invites comparison with the performance of the same aria from Milan in 1956. At this point in her career, it probably was not wise for Callas to attempt this aria, and the same could be said about the Cenerentola "Nacqui all'affanno" that follows it. Her voice has thinned out in its upper register, the high notes are undependable, and overall, there is less flexibility. Still, her ability to execute Rossini's florid coloratura with precision remains thrillingly intact. On the other hand, the aria from Nabucco is even more exciting than it was in Rome in 1952, mostly because Callas pounces on it without a trace of fear. (Pity about the last note, though.) Arias from La bohème (Musetta's Waltz Song!), Butterfly (the death scene, searingly sung), and Gianni schicchi are performed with variable vocal success, but it is in the Letter Aria from Werther that Callas shows where her career could have taken her. Charlotte is a mezzo role, of course, and it provides her with vocal and dramatic challenges that she was very capable of overcoming even at this late date. The Table Aria from Manon also is very movingly done. Georges Prêtre conducts the Orchestre National de la RTF. The sound here is excellent. An odd bonus of sorts is a private recording of most of Beethoven's "Ah! perfido," with Jeffrey Tate accompanying Callas on the piano. This item comes from the unbelievably late date of March 3, 1976 – less than two years before her death. The sound here is far from ideal, but one can hear enough of Callas to tell that the voice is more or less intact – much better than it was, in fact, during her 1973-74 concerts with Giuseppe di Stefano. What role did flagging self-confidence play in the decline of Callas' voice? It is sad to think that if Callas had received appropriate medical or psychological interventions, her career (and her life) might have been considerably longer.
SLY & ROBBIE recruited the American rock guitarist Daryl Thompson († 2014) whom they knew from their time with PETER TOSH. They engaged the keyboardist Franklyn 'Bubbler' Waul who was however not allowed to play the reggae typical shuffle organ but to steadily thrash the offbeat onto the piano. Those two musicians who were being replaced at several shows with Keith Sterling and Mikey Chung formed the core of BLACK UHURU which together with a second guitarist and a percussionist also dominated the stage in Essen.
In 1990, the Residents took their grand examination of rock & roll on the road, touring the world with the Cube E tour. The first half found the group reciting cowboy poems to a soundtrack influenced more by Copland and Orff than country & western, then followed with a group of blues, field hollers, and warped jazz that represented the African-American experience. By intermission, the two had combined into rock music, which in the second half was disseminated by an aging Elvis impersonator tearing through Presley covers (essentially a live version of their 1989 album The King and Eye). The staging, costumes, lights, and general performance were not to be missed, and earned justifiable rave reviews.
Forty-five years after her death, Mahalia Jackson remains the world's most famous gospel singer. "Moving On Up A Little Higher" explores Mahalia's roots, as she performs hymns of her childhood and reunites with her mentor, Thomas A. Dorsey. These performances date from 1946 to 1957, when Mahalia's voice was at it's golden best. Highlights include the only known recording of Mahalia, accompanied by Thomas A. Dorsey, two live versions of her first and greatest hit, "Move On Up A Little Higher" and two of her most important concerts: a 1951 symposium that introduced her to a larger, interracial public and the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival concert.