With more than 600,000 albums sold in the UK, the compilation "The Collection" is relaunched with new tracks and visual identity. Acoustic - The Collection features 54 stripped-down versions of some of the greatest hits of all time, either in the studio or live, it's all here! From Van Morrison's classics, Dionne Warwick, Duran Duran and Fleetwood Mac to contemporaries Biffy Clyro, Jamie Lawson, Jess Glynne, Jason Mraz and many others.
Less is more with Ultimate… Acoustic, 68 stripped back tracks across 4 CDs. Shakira, Kansas, Leona Lewis, Jeff Buckley, The Byrds, Hurts and many others.
"Acoustic Tales", the release on Fluid Audio by Field Rotation, is more of a trip to another country than it is an album. Where albums are generally collections of songs, this release is comprised of territories, each vast in scope - rolling hills, panoramic horizons and acres of fields. Each track is a full day in this wilderness - traversing hillsides, rivers and embankments, up hill and down dale. Each trip is undertaken differently, with the sun in the sky throwing different angles of light and illuminating hidden aspects of the terrain. Christoph Berg built this world throughout a two-year period, with the stated aim of integrating the literary traits of Kafka and Hemingway into an auditory form, seamlessly blending cinematic character with a subtle and mature melodic personality…
The great irony with this release is that it was perhaps the most innovative and interesting on the Shrapnel label, yet received little attention until years later. Yngwie Malmsteen's influence on young guitarists produced an endless supply of technically competent, but largely uninspired, effigies. Mark Varney signed the German guitarist/composer Bernd Steidl, who had been studying at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in California, after hearing a demo tape. Released without much press or fanfare, the recording was only mildly successful within the guitar-shred community. Perhaps the reason for this was that the core American audience, primarily young, heavy metal-influenced guitar students, were not ready for the level of sophistication presented in this acoustic format…
The four-disc box set called the Acoustic Collection: 1999-2002 assembles the three albums Dolly Parton cut for the independent Sugar Hill label, and a hodgepodge bonus DVD. The albums – The Grass Is Blue, Little Sparrow, Halos & Horns – were all critically acclaimed as they signified a return by Parton to her bluegrass and backwoods country roots. That said, there are cover versions here of many songs, including one of Led Zeppelin's infamous, ubiquitous hit, "Stairway to Heaven." The enclosed DVD features five new song mixes for "Seven Bridges Road," "Travelin' Prayer," "Train, Train," "Shine," and "I'm Gone." There are two non-Parton performances recorded at the Dolly Parton Tribute by Kasey Chambers and Sinéad O'Connor, three videos for songs from this collection, and a duet performance between Parton and Norah Jones singing "The Grass Is Blue."
Rickie Lee Jones "unplugged" – in fact, solo with an acoustic guitar or piano on all but a couple of tunes – Naked Songs is otherwise a retrospective concert album on which Jones cherry-picks songs from her five studio albums, including the hits "Chuck E.'s in Love" and "Young Blood," and others from her breakthrough debut record. The studio album arrangements always tried to support and augment Jones' idiosyncratic writing and playing style, which sounds less unusual when she is simply accompanying herself, and in many ways more effective. "Altar Boy," a previously unreleased song, strays into Leonard Cohen territory, mixing religion with eroticism.
For the T. Rex fanatic – and, chances are, if you own more than two albums by Marc Bolan, you are – Acoustic Warrior is a fascinating collection, boasting 15 previously unreleased acoustic takes on such classic songs as "20th Century Boy," "Get It On," "Telegram Sam," "Metal Guru," "Jeepster," "Ballrooms of Mars," "Slider" and "Cosmic Dancer." There are no real revelations and the sound quality is a bit uneven, but there's a ragged charm to these recordings that makes it worth seeking out for hardcore fans.
Singer/songwriter Dave Cousins with guitarists Dave Lambert & Brian Willoughby played four sell-out shows at Hugh's Room in Toronto in 2003, the last of which was filmed for this release. Also includes a specially filmed documentary featuring Cousins visiting West London locations significant to The Strawbs history.