In a sense, Belinda Carlisle's A Woman & a Man is a companion record to her first solo album. It arrived in 1996, ten years after Belinda, and it also functioned as something of a break from the Go-Go's, as it was her first album after the group's mid-'90s reunion. That's not where the similarities end: the title track has some Motown propulsion, Charlotte Caffey comes in to co-write "Kneel at Your Feet," and instead of Tim, Carlisle covers Neil Finn. All these echoes are somewhat buried underneath the studio gloss created by producer David Tickle, a veneer that can get too thick on the ballads but nevertheless is often pleasingly expensive. This is a big-budget studio album from an era when they were common and, in retrospect, its overblown adult contemporary has its charms…
Although Jane's Addiction's 1987 self-titled debut was an intriguing release (few alternative bands at the time had the courage to mix modern rock, prog rock, and heavy metal together), it paled in comparison to their now classic major-label release one year later, Nothing's Shocking. Produced by Dave Jerden and Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell, the album was more focused and packed more of a sonic wallop than its predecessor; the fiery performances often create an amazing sense that it could all fall apart at any second, creating a fantastic musical tension. Such tracks as "Up the Beach," "Ocean Size," and one of alt-rock's greatest anthems, "Mountain Song," contain the spaciousness created by the band's two biggest influences, Led Zeppelin and the Cure.
Live is a double live album released by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac in 1980. It was the first live album from the then-current line-up of the band, and the next would be The Dance from 1997. The album was certified gold in November 1981. Live consists of recordings taken primarily from the 1979-1980 Tusk Tour, together with a few from the earlier Rumours Tour of 1977. Two songs were recorded at a Paris soundcheck and three at a performance at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium "for an audience of friends and road crew." Of particular note are three new songs - Christine McVie's "One More Night", Stevie Nicks' "Fireflies", and a well-harmonized backstage rendition of The Beach Boys' "The Farmer's Daughter".
This is useful, and confounding. This is truly a Blue Öyster Cult singles comp, but not in the usual sense. Over 20 tracks, it rounds up BÖC singles released all over the world, which keeps it from being just another best-of. For instance, take the final cut: "Astronomy." This is not the original released on Secret Treaties but the redone version issued on Imaginos issued in 1988 and a single distributed only in the U.K. and Holland. And so it goes with this thing. Many of these cuts were issued as singles in the United Kingdom, or in Japan ("Moon Crazy," "Flaming Telepaths") or Europe, marked by the inclusion of tracks like the live read of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place," released in Germany as a single, or "Fallen Angel," released in Spain.
Jeff Healey was an astounding and varied talent as a singer, guitarist, and, later in his career, as a trumpet player, and it's difficult to imagine an artist quite like him. Blind from eye cancer since the age of one, he drew attention as a maverick guitar player (he played his Stratocaster on his lap, which allowed him to attack and bend the strings in a totally unique style; at his best, he roared and soared as well as anybody ever has on the instrument). This four-disc set (three CDs and a DVD) features Healey and his crackerjack band live in three separate concerts, and it makes clear what a powerful and empowering performer he was on-stage. The first disc catches the Jeff Healey Band blazing through an 11-song set at the 1989 Montreal Jazz Festival, with the second disc capturing a set from the St. Gallen Open Air Festival in Switzerland from 1991 (the performance was filmed and makes up the DVD included here), and the third disc presents a 1995 stage set from the Hard Rock in Toronto.
On this high-power album, the larger than life New York bluesman goes back to the roots of post-war Chicago Blues and plays famous tracks by Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, etc.He's joined by leading contemporary blues stars Bill Perry, Mason Casey, Matt Smith, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Paul Personne and Dimitri Archip from the Black Coffee Blues Band.On "Old School", Popa Chubby (who recently played some UK gigs) smokes TNT, drinks dynamite and shows he can put some speed on the classic tracks of his blues heroes.
As this expansive (though not entirely as "complete" as promised) anthology reminds us, Comus' frightening musical visions surely represented the darkest side of England's late-'60s folk-rock movement. Like a Fairport Convention from Hell, the group pushed folk boundaries into alien progressive, psychedelic, and acid rock realms, capping it with desperate and macabre subject matter and warping all the genres involved (and numerous minds) in the process. 1971's disorienting, often terrifying debut, First Utterance, could have doubled as (and may have well inspired, in part) the soundtrack to Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man a few years later, given its recurring pagan themes and varied blend…
After the breakup of Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1978, Greg Lake set out to launch a solo career. He teamed up with guitar virtuoso Gary Moore and enlisted the talents of Bruce Springsteen's sax player, Clarence Clemmons, as well as Toto veterans Steve Lukather, David Paich, and Jeff Porcaro. The result was his 1981 self-titled debut album. After more than a decade with prog-rock legends ELP and King Crimson, it is clear Lake was looking for a musical change and a chance to perform as a guitarist, his primary instrument, after more than a decade mainly playing bass. The album is a guitar driven venture into straight forward rock & roll which features well written songs and some sizzling guitar work by Gary Moore.