Rolling Stones’ Second “From The Vault” Recording Leaves Audiences Wanting More In The Best Way Possible

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Rolling Stones have been making music together for well over half a century.  Over the course of the band members’ now fifty-two years together, they have released some twenty-two albums and seemingly just as many greatest hits compilations.  The band has also released its own share of live recordings along the way, too.  The most recent of those live recordings is 2013’s Sweet Summer SunHyde Park Live.  That recording is one of the band’s best live recordings to date if not the best to date.  That recording was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment, the same company responsible for the release of the band’s archived 1981 Chicago show Live at the Checkerboard Lounge in 2012 and a handful of other recordings that followed.  2014 has been no different for Stones fans as Eagle Rock released two more archived live concerts from the band early this month.  One of those recordings takes audiences back to the band’s 1981 performance at Virginia’s Hampton Coliseum.  The second takes audiences even farther back, going all the way back to 1975 and the band’s performance that year at the famed Forum in Los Angeles.  There is just as much to enjoy about the Stones’ 1981 show in Hampton, Virginia as there is about its companion concert from the band’s ’81 show in Virginia.  The most obvious of the show’s positives is its set list.  Many of the songs that are presented in this show are also presented in the band’s ’81 show.  The difference between the two shows’ set lists is that there is far less of the slower stuff in this show than in its companion recording.  Another great reason to check this concert is the band’s stage presence and its overall stage show.  And last but hardly least of all worth noting is the show’s collective production values (I.E. audio and video mix).  Taking into account the recording technology of the day, the audio quality is rather impressive.  And the video mix isn’t that bad, either.  It does serve to show how much recording tech has advanced since this concert’s recording.  That is not to take away from the importance of the recording’s companion booklet, either.  Even the companion booklet serves its own purpose in the concert’s overall presentation.  All things considered, From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 proves to be one more reason that The Rolling Stones is considered to still be one of rock’s elite acts and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings to this day.

The members of The Rolling Stones have been making music together for well over half a century.  While so many other bands have gone by the wayside in that time, Mick Jagger and company have remained one of rock’s elite acts.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has more than proven why in recent years why exactly The Rolling Stones is still one of the music world’s top acts with each one of its archived Stones concerts.  From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 is no exception to that standard established by Eagle Rock so many years ago.  The most obvious way that it shows this is through the concert’s set list.  The band was not touring in support of any new release at the time of this performance.  As audiences will learn in the recording’s companion booklet, the band was roughly a year removed from the release of its most recent release at the time, It’s Only Rock and Roll (1974).  That album was the band’s fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) U.S. release and twelfth for the band’s fans in the U.K.  That was over the course of eleven years since the release of the band’s delf-titled U.K. debut and U.S. debut England’s Newest Hit Makers.  That means that even without a “new” album to tour behind, Mick and company still had more than their share of material with which to entertain audiences.  And they did just that, pulling from that album and going even farther back in the band’s catalogue all the way back to the band’s earliest days.  It would be interesting to see if there is a band out there today that has as much material under its collective belt today.  Most of today’s music acts regardless of genre only have on average three albums to their names  after ten years.  So that’s really saying something in the case of this recording and for the band’s creativity.  In all, the set list for this show totals twenty-six songs and well over two and a half hours.  That is a lot of music and a lot of enjoyment for Rolling Stones fan of any age.  It’s just one of so many ways in which this recording proves to be another welcome addition to said fans’ personal collections.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of those nearly three hours is another way in which it proves this argument.

The band’s stage presence over the course of its nearly three hour performance at the Forum is definitely worth noting.  The companion booklet that comes with the concert notes that this concert was not the first for the band that night.  It was the fourth of five shows in a row at the Forum that the band held between July 9th and July 13th.  One would think that having performed three shows before this one and having one more to go, the band’s members would have been exhausted and perhaps saving their energy.  But that certainly isn’t the case here.  Jagger and his band mates kept the energy high and in turn, the audience in house fully engaged from start to finish.  Adding to the interest of the band’s stage presence is the fact that these shows marked part of the band’s first tour with then new guitarist Ronnie Wood.  The cemistry between Wood and the rest of the band was quite obvious throughout the course of the show.  It definitely went a long way toward making the show more enjoyable both for the band and the audience in attendance that night.  It does just as much for audiences that purchase this recording today and watch it themselves.  Audiences will especially understand this when they purchase the concert’s DVD recording.  In seeing that energy and chemistry, audiences will agree that the band’s stage presence throughout the course of its nearly three-hour show is one more way in which it proves to be another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s personal collection.

The set list and the stage presence of The Rolling Stones throughout the course of From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 both serve as prime examples of why every Rolling Stones fan will enjoy this recording.  One more important factorto consider in the recording’s overall presentation is its production values (I.E. audio and video mix).  Nearly four decades have passed since this performance was first recorded.  It goes without saying that since that time, recording technology has evolved by leaps and bounds.  Even with the tech available at the time of the concert’s recording, it still looks and sounds relatively good.  The sound quality is especially impressive considering the size of The Forum within its walls.  The shots that made up the concert do an impressive job in their own right showing just how expansive The Forum’s inner workings were at the time.  That vastness coupled with the band’s stage set explain by themselves why so few of the shots were taken up close but rather from a distance.  Even being taken from a distance, the shots in question still give audiences a clear view of the band when not recorded from the stage.  The combination of the audio and video together make the overall viewing experience even more worth it for fans regardless of their age.

The production values presented in From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 alongside the recording’s set list and the band’s stage presence collectively make the recording more than worth the watch regardless of audiences’ ages.  As much of a role as they play, one would be remiss to note the recording’s companion booklet as an important factor to the whole experience.  The companion booklet that comes with the cocnert’s DVD presentation offers audiences a thorough look at the concert from start to finish, much as with the band’s other archived live performance from 1981 at Virginia’s Hampton Coliseum.  It even goes into detail on the band’s backing musicians instead of just the band itself.  As if this isn’t enough the companion booklet includes an equally thorough summary on the evening’s concert once again written up by Richard Havers.  Havers composed the liner notes for the band’s other From The Vault concert from 1981.  This in-depth look at this concert plays directly into the aforementioned factors to make it just as important to the whole as them.  Together with those aspects, it completes the experience and proves ultimately again why The Rolling Stones is one of rock’s elite acts.  Having so much content and such a quality overall experience, it also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings.

From The VaultThe Rolling StonesL.A. Forum Live in 1975 is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Three Cheers For “Genesis: Three Sides Live”

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Last week was a big week for Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The leader in live recordings, Eagle Rock released not one, not two, not even three, but four new archived concert recordings.  Yes, four new recordings.  Two of those new recordings are newly released live recordings from The Rolling Stones.  Another was from blues/rock great Eric Clapton.  And the fourth of last week’s new releases from Eagle Rock is the Genesis rarity Three Sides Live.  The last time that this recording saw the light of day was as part of Genesis’ 2007 box set release The Movie Box: 1981 - 2007.  Before that release, the last time that it was released was on VHS in 1981.  While it may seem like having the same concert recording released three times now seems a bit much, take into account the it has only been released once on VHS and once on DVD.  That is the first and most important aspect of this recording that Genesis’ fans will appreciate. it will be discussed shortly.  Being that its release last week marked only the third time it has seen the light of day, the transfer of the original tapes to Blu-ray (and other formats) becomes another imporatnt aspect of the recording.  Staying on that same train of thought, those that purchase the recording’s Blu-ray recording will appreciate the audio-only tracks included in the recording as bonus companion material to the primary concert.  Each of the three factors noted here play their own important role in the success and enjoyment of Genesis: Three Sides Live.  All three tie together seamlessly to make it another wonderful release from Eagle Rock Entertainment and more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings.

Genesis’ Three Sides Live is one of four new archived live recordings released by Eagle Rock Entertainment last week.  The concert as originally recorded some thirty-three years ago as part of the band’s North American “Abacab” tour.  The concert was released not long after the tour wrapped in celebration of the tour and the band’s albums Abacab and Duke.  After its release on VHS in 1981, the concert recording wouldn’t see the light of day again for another twenty-six years in 2007.  That release was a DVD release as part of the band’s box set The Movie Box: 1981 - ­2007Only seven years would pass between that release and this latest re-issue of the classic concert recording.  Some might think this somewhat excessive.  In comparison to bands that put out new live recordings seemingly every other year and even re-issue others just as often, it makes this concert’s new re-issue more impactful and enjoyable for the band’s long-time fans.  And considering the direction that music in general is taking in terms of its distribution, physical releases are becoming increasingly rare.  That means that the previous releases are difficult to find to say the very least.  That makes this recording even more important for the band’s fans.  By direct connection, the  quality of the footage in its transfer from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray makes the recording even more a success.

Last week’s re-issue of Genesis’ Three Sides Live marks only the third time in nearly three decades that this classic recording has seen the light of day.  That really isn’t very many times when examined from a larger view.  It isn’t all that makes this recording enjoyable and an overall success.  The quality of the footage in its transfer from VHS to DVD and now to Blu-ray shows how well the footage has stood the time.  Whether it be the actual concert footage, the interview segments, or the other material inter-spliced into the overall presentation, audiences will agree in watching this presentation it hasn’t lost any of its quality in its transfer from its original 16mm footage.  It sounds and looks great.  Much like so many of Eagle Rock’s previous archived live shows, the quality of the recording’s audio and video mix makes the experience like cracking open another musical time capsule; a time capsule that has kept its contents in perfect condition throughout the years.  The sense of nostalgia that such quality production values creates is yet another way in which this recording proves to be another success for Eagle Rock and another enjoyable watch for the band’s legions of fans.  It still isn’t all that audiences will appreciate about this recording, either.  Last to be examined in the recording are the companion audio-only tracks included as bonus material.

The very rarity of Genesis: Three Sides Live is by itself more than enough reason for long-time fans of this groundbreaking band to pick up this new recording.  The fact that the footage has more than stood the test of time in its transfer from its original 16mm tapes to DVD and now to Blu-ray makes it even more of a must-see if only once.  Last but hardly least worth noting of this recording that makes it a joy for fans is the inclusion of a handful of audio-only tracks as bonus material.  Seven full-length live songs are included as bonus material, rounding out the whole presentation.  Four of those songs are also included as part of the primary concert feature.  The other two songs–‘Follow you Follow Me,’ and ‘Fountain of Salmacis’ are extra bonuses that were not included in this recording’s set list.  Just as the primary concert has stood the test of time so has the audio quality of the bonus audio-only tracks.  Sure, it’s not the whole concert.  But it’s a good portion of the concert plus a couple bonuses that weren’t included in that primary presentation.  So now with that inclusion, audiences can take in the concert without having to fully invest themselves in it or they can in fact fully invest themselves thanks to both a full a/v experience and an audio only experience.  It’s one more way in which this rare live recording from Genesis shines so brightly for fans.  Together with the overall quality of the footage and that rarity of the concert itself, it is one more way in which Eagle Rock continues to prove itself the leader in live recordings.  Altogether, all three factors together make this concert recording another must see if even once for any Genesis fan.

Genesis: Three Sides Live is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  It is available in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Goes Two For Two With Stones, Clapton Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eric Clapton has been making music for the better part of his life, going all the way back to his teen years.  That is a very long time.  Throughout the course of his career as a musician, he has played with some of the biggest acts and names in the business.  But as audiences learn in his new tour documentary Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric Clapton may be eyeing slowing down or even retirement in whole as he nears his seventieth birthday.  It is sad news that one of the greatest talents to ever pick up a guitar may be putting it down in the not too distant future.  But when that day does come, at least audiences will have a whole room’s worth of music that he has recorded over the course of his career.  They will also have plenty of live recordings to look back on including this latest one, which was released just this week.  Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric was released this week via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It was released alongside another archived live recording from Eagle Rock in the form of From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981.  Clapton’s new live recording is one that his fans new and old alike will appreciate for a number of reasons, first of which being the overall presentation.  The overall presentation is one part documentary and one part live concert.  The balance between the two elements is something truly important to note.  Keeping on that line of thought, the documentary element and the live element both make the overall presentation will impact audiences in the best way possible.  Last but not least of all are the collective production values of the presentation’s live element.  It is just as impressive as any full live recording that Eagle Rock Entertainment has previously released. The end result of these factors together is a work that is not just some space filler for fans.  It is a work that expertly presents what could be the beginning of the end for one of the greatest names and talents in music’s modern history.  If it is indeed the beginning of the end, this this is a wonderful way to remember a great musician and his equally great career.  It proves in the end to be one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is still to this day, the leader in live recordings.

Tour documentaries are releases used far too often by record labels and those on their rosters.  More often than not, tour documentaries are little more than pieces used for the purpose of fulfilling contractual obligations (I.E. space fillers).  It’s pretty obvious with the recordings in question when they are used as nothing but space fillers.  They are slapdash productions with guerilla style filming and little snippets of songs tossed in for good measure.  The end result is more often than not rather disappointing and hardly worth consumers’ hard-earned money.  Luckily for Eric Clapton’s fans, Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric is anything but another of that mass of space fillers.  Rather it is the polar opposite of those space fillers.  It expertly balances Clapton’s live performances from his tour of Asia and the Middle East with personal interview segments to make a whole that will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish.  Rather than just throwing in a bunch of concert snippets alongside the tour documentary, audiences are presented with a grand total of twelve full live performances from different points of his tour earlier this year.  The recording’s final two songs are also full songs, used almost as a form of encore of sorts for audiences.  On the documentary side, audiences get short glimpses into his travels across Asia and the Middle East.  Interviews with Clapton himself, his family, and his fellow musicians make up the majority of the documentary side of the presentation.  Both they and the songs in the presentation’s live side are collectively the next part of what makes this new recording another welcome addition to any Clapton fan’s personal collection.

The balance of the live and documentary element in Eric Clapton’s new “docu-concert” is the cornerstone of the presentation’s overall success and enjoyment.  Both elements were expertly balanced from start to finish.  And both were just as expertly recorded.  It’s more proof even here why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings. This company releases nothing but the best possible product for audiences even in a setting such as this.  It’s not the only way in which the presentation here shines.  Both elements by themselves offer their own enjoyment for audiences.  On the side of the live performances, audiences are offered no fewer than a dozen great songs plus two “encore” performances.  Among those great songs is the likes of: ‘Layla,’ ‘Before You Accuse Me,’ ‘Wonderful Tonight,’ and one of his greatest of hits, ‘Cocaine’ among many others.  Audiences will love how many of the performances naturally progress from performances to full on jam sessions.  While they are separate segments, the end result of those performances makes themjust as enjoyable as a full concert in one single setting.

The performances selected for Eric Clapton’s new “docu-concert” recording are by themselves more than enough reason for audiences to check out the presentation contained here.  They aren’t just snippets shot by some amateur.  Rather they are full, professionally recorded performances.  On the presentation’s documentary side, interviews with Clapton’s family, fellow musicians and with Clapton himself add quite a bit of insight into Clapton, his career past and present, and especially his potential future plans.  Audiences will be moved at the appreciation that everybody has for Clapton both as a musician and as a person; so much so that it is sure to move some to both tears and laughter more than once throughout the course of the presentation.  It’s one more way that the overall presentation proves to be a welcome addition to any Clapton fan’s personal collection.

The balance of Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric’s documentary element and concert element alone makes the “docu-concert” quite enjoyable in its own right.  The very material that makes up each of the two elements adds even more enjoyment to the overall presentation.  The last but hardly last aspect of the presentation that audiences will appreciate is the audio and video mix of the presentation’s concert element.  It has already been noted before that one reason Eagle Rock Entertainment has maintained the mantle of being the leader in live recordings for so long is the value it puts on quality production values in its recordings.  This recording is no different.  Even with the performances coming from various portions of Clapton’s tour of Asia and the Middle East, the production values never waver from one performance to the next.  It is the finishing touch on a recording that is not just a concert recording or just another space filler tour documentary.  It is the best of both worlds with the best possible presentation.  The end product is a presentation that every fan of Eric Clapton will enjoy and one more work that shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the Leader in Live Recordings.

Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  It is available both in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rolling Stones’ Hampton Coliseum Live Recording Another Great Addition To Any Fan’s Library

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

2014 has proven to be a good year for the rock and metal communities.  New releases from the likes of Nonpoint, Linkin Park, Slipknot and others have highlighted the year’s mass of new studio releases.  While the year has proven quite fruitful for new studio releases across the rock and metal communities, it has proven to be just as positive in the way of live recordings.  And as in previous years, Eagle Rock Entertainment has led the pack right from the year’s start up to this point in the realm of live recordings.  Live recordings from Elton John, Deep Purple, Queen,  Sepultura, and so many others proved this year why Eagle Rock remains at this point the leader in live recordings.  Even with only one month left in the year after this month, the people at Eagle Rock are not sitting easily on their laurels.  The company released this week the first in a new series of archived concerts from The Rolling Stones.  From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 hit store shelves and online outlets this week.  The newly released archived concert was released this Tuesday, November 4th alongside another new release from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric.  This latest recording is another good addition to the collection of any Rolling Stones fan.  One reason that audiences will enjoy this recording is the show’s set list.  The show itself was recorded in late 1981.  But its set list reaches all the way back to the band’s earliest days.  It’s definitely something that audiences will appreciate about this recording.  Audiences will also appreciate the recording’s audio and video mix.  This is the case whether they purchase the SD Blu-ray or the concert’s 2CD/DVD set.  Last but hardly least of all is the companion booklet that is included with the 2CD/DVD combo pack.  It offers extra  insight into the audio and video mix, the set list and much more.  A close look at the booklet proves it to be more an extension of the concert itself than another extra tossed in just to be there.  All three factors taken into consideration together who why From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 is another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s library.  They also collectively prove once again just why Eagle Rock continues even in the closing months of yet another year, to hold the mantle of the leader in live recordings.

Eagle Rock’s brand new release of From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 is not the first time that audiences have gotten to see this concert.  They were offered a small glimpse into this concert in Eagle Rock’s 2012 release of the Stones’ archived 1981 concert with Muddy Waters in Chicago.  Eagle Rock offered up three songs from this concert as a bonus to compliment the primary performance at the Checkberboard Lounge.  Again, that was only a glimpse into the band’s set.  This concert offers the complete two and a half hour performance by the band at the Hampton Arena in Hampton, Virginia.  The set list pulls both from what was the band’s latest album at the time in Tattoo You and from the band’s earlier days.  It includes hits such as: ‘Shattered,’ ‘Miss You,’ ‘Start Me Up,’ ‘Tumbling Dice’ and plenty of other fan favorites.  The songs themselves present a nice, wide swath of the band’s catalogue at the time.  Even more interesting to note is the manner in which the 150-minute concert’s set list was arranged.  The first half of the concert presents the band’s softer, more reserved side.  The second half–fittingly on the combo pack’s second disc–presents a much higher energy band.  Whether or not this arrangement of songs was intentional is anyone’s guess.   But it makes for an interesting concert nonetheless.  Staying on the topic of the show’s set list, audiences that pick up the 2CD/DVD combo pack will also appreciate that the set list is arranged in exactly the same order both on the CDs and on the DVD.  To some this might seem like a minor detail.  But those that have any familiarity with live recordings will attest to the fact that many times, record labels will re-arrange the set list between the audio and video sides if said concert(s) is/are available on DVD or Blu-ray and CD.  The logc behind this is anybody’s guess.  But it’s good to see that Eagle Rock Entertainment didn’t take that route in this case.  It’s just one more reason that Eagle Rock more than deservedly continues to maintain the matle of the leader in live recordings to this day.  It is also one more reason that this recording in particular proves to be another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s library.

The set list that makes up From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 offers plenty of reason for the band’s fans to smile while they take in this recording.  Just as important to the presentation in whole is the show’s overall audio and video mix.  Audiences that take the time to read through the concert’s companion booklet will note Richard Havers’ note regardign Bob Clearmounting heading up the concert’s recording.  Havers’ also makes mention of Clearmountain recording the drums for the album version of ‘Start Me Up’ by placing a mic next to a speaker in one of the bathrooms at the Power Station studio in New York City.  It’s a light hearted recollection about the recording and why such an original process would help Clearmountain to head up this recording.  More on that and other topics in the booklet will be discussed later.  For now, audiences will appreciate Clearmountain’s work in recording this concert. That’s especially the case considering the sheer size of the Hampton Coliseum.  Thanks to the size of the coliseum, Clearmountain had his work cut out for him in terms of balancing all of the levels.  Co-directors Hal Ashby and Tom Trbovich had their own challenges as the band’s stage set-up inside the coliseum gave the band plenty of room to move around.  The end result is expert work on the part of both men.  The shots that they get along with their camera operators make the concert all the more enjoyable.  And that coupled with the show’s set list makes From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 that much more of a must for any Rolling Stones fan.

The set list that makes up From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981’s two and a half hour concert is a central aspect to the enjoyment of the concert.  Its collective audio and video mix is just as important to the whole.  Rounding out thewhole package is the concert’s companion booklet.  It has already been mentioned that Richard Havers, who wrote the liner notes for the concert’s companion booklet, included a light-hearted story about how Bob Clearmountain recorded the drums for one of the Stones’ greatest hits.  There is also insight regarding the stage setup, the incorpoation of artwork by Japanese artist Kazuhide Yamazaki.  Havers makes note of Yamazaki being so far ahead of his time in terms of his style of painting.  He mentions how that talent led to the band using his artwork for their show.  There is also a rather in-depth re-telling of the night’s events.  From the band’s entrance to its wild finish in which a much too rabid fan managed to get on stage and was promptly taken down thanks to a swift swing of the guitar by Keith Richards. That moment alone makes for plenty of laughs.  And seeing it on DVD (or SD Blu-ray) makes it even more of an unbelievable moment.  These insights and so much more included in the concert’s companion booklet show just why it is just as important to the whole presentation as the concert itself and the concert’s production values.  It’s another example of why people should give more credence to any album and recording’s companion booklet.  Audiences that give a booklet such as this more time will be amazed at just how much extra enjoyment they can add to the listening experience.  It’s one more addition in the argument against digital downloading.  People that download music don’t get that extra “oomph.”  Together with the set list and the production values, theconcert presentation in whole proves, too why audiences should consider buying CDs rather than downloading.  They prove collectively, too why this brand new recording is one more welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s library and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the leader in live recordings.

From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981 is available now in multiple formats.  More information on this and other recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock’s Reputation Holds True, Strong With Its New Deep Purple Archived Live Recording

Courtesy:   Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Deep Purple are set to release the band’s latest live recording today.  Deep PurpleWith Orchestra Live in Verona is not the band’s first archived live recording released this year via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  It is however the best of the band’s live recordings released this year.  The performance, recorded three years ago, is highlighted by a set list that focuses largely on its older, more well-known songs.  The concert is also not the first time that Deep Purple has performed live with an orchestra.  The band also performed live with an orchestra when it performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2011.  The two performances being recorded in the same year, were likely part of the same tour.  That fact is in itself another major positive to this brand new archived release.  As if these two factors are not enough for audiences, the audio and video mix collectively make the concert even more enjoyable for audiences.  Audiences will be hugely impressed at the camera work in this show and the balance of the band and its backing orchestra.  That factor along with everything already noted makes this latest live recording from Deep Purple even more enjoyable for audiences.  And that is not to discount the concert’s bonus liner notes, either.  The liner notes included in the recording add even more insight into the concert while noting all the parties involved.  Whether for its companion booklet, its outstanding audio and video mix, or even the set list included in this recording, all of the work that went into bringing this concert to audiences paid off.  That’s because it collectively makes Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings today.

Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona is a wonderful addition to the home collection of any Deep Purple fan.  It is another example of why Eagle Rock more than deservedly still maintains the label of the leader in live recordings.    The central reason for this is the concert’s set list.  Audiences will note that this concert, much as the band’s 2011 show in Montreux, focuses primarily on the band’s older material, going all the way back to its 1968 debut record Shades of Deep Purple.  The band’s landmark 1972 album Machine Head is very well represented in this recording, too.  Almost all of the songs from that album are included in this concert, including the rare b-side When A Blind Man CriesFireball is well represented as is Perfect Strangers and other.  The most recent work included in this performance is the band’s 2005 album Rapture of the Deep.  While not every one of the band’s albums are featured in this near two hour performance, the band does choose a relatively large swath of material for its audiences.  And it is that relatively wide array of songs from the band’s catalogue that sets the tone for this recording.  The tone in question is a positive one made even more positive when considering that this concert would appear to be one more from the band’s 2011 tour, which also included a recording of the band’s performance that year at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.

The set list that makes up Deep Purple’s latest live recording is especially impressive as it covers largely the band’s older material instead of its more recent songs.  That set list is much the set list included in the band’s other 2011 Eagle Rock Entertainment recording from its performance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  Simply put, audiences that don’t already own the recording of the band’s performance from that year’s Montreux Jazz Festival won’t be left out in this recording.  Odds are that this concert was part of the band’s larger tour that just so happened to include a show at Montreux.  This factor makes this recording even more a plus for any Deep Purple fans out there.  It shows that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s people were really thinking about the band’s fans.  It’s just one more way that Eagle Rock maintains the mantle of the industry’s leader in live recordings and one more reason that Deep Purple’s fans will appreciate this latest recording.

The set list included in Deep Purple’s new live recording goes a long way toward making this latest recording enjoyable for audiences.  The fact that it directly mirrors the band’s 2011 performance from Montreux, which was released that same year, is even more of a bonus for audiences.  As difficult as it may be to find the band’s Montreux performance, this recording can now take the place of that performance.  That makes this recording even more enjoyable and a bonus for fans in and of itself.  It still isn’t all that makes the recording such a great addition to any Deep Purple fan’s collection.  The audio and video mix that went into the recording is one more of so many positives that makes the recording enjoyable.  David Richards’ work balancing the levels throughout the show paid off in spades.  The orchestra—the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt—blends right in with the band to the point that it sounds like the orchestra isn’t even there.  That is a true sign of expertise.  Richards and his crew compensated for the venue’s acoustics just as expertly.  Being a venue of its size, it had to have been a challenge for Richards and company to keep the band and orchestra from overpowering one another and to keep the sound from overpowering the group in whole, washing out everything.  The end result is a performance from all involved that proves once again why Eagle Rock is the leader in live recordings.  Eagle Rock releases nothing but the finest especially in terms of the concert’s most important elements (I.E. audio and video).  The audio in this case is no different.  The same can be said of director Chris Cowey, editor Kyle Smart’s work, and that of the entire camera crew responsible for capturing the concert on camera.  The camera angles used throughout the show take audiences right up on stage with the band and out into the audiences. There are wonderful sweeping pans that show the sheer immensity of the venue.  Kyle Smart’s post-production work reveals the expert work of Cowey and his camera crew just as well.  All involved make the final product just as enjoyable as if audiences were there in person.

The audio and video mixes that make up Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona were handled with the utmost expertise from all involved.  Together with the concert’s set list and the fact that it serves as a companion to the band’s 2011 performance at Montreux, all three factors together show why this recording is another wonderful addition to the home library of any Deep Purple fan.  Collectively, they show why Eagle Rock remains today the leader in live recordings.  It releases what are only the best possible recordings from one to the next, from the shows’ set lists to their production values.  Even something as minute as the recording’s companion booklet plays its own part in the overall presentation and its success.  The companion booklet included here adds even more enjoyment to the recordings as it offers extra insight into the concert from the vantage point of writer Malcom Dome.  Dome writes of the 12,000 people in attendance and how the band and orchestra worked so well together on its tour that year among much more.  While brief, it adds its own element of enjoyment to the whole; an element that along with the set list and production values makes Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona another hugely successful recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Live At The Rainbow ’74 Is A Must For Any Queen Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment released the latest addition to its ongoing series of archived live Queen concerts last month.  Queen: Live at the Rainbow celebrates the 40th anniversary of the band’s 1974 performances at the famed Rainbow Theatre at London’s Finsbury Park.  The concert contained on the newly-released recording documents the band’s November 1974 performance at the theater.    There is a lot to like about this new recording beginning with the concert’s set list.  Unlike Eagle Rock’s previously released Queen concert recordings, this concert focuses on the band’s earlier days.  Another reason that this concert is so enjoyable is the quality of the recording from its original masters.  And last but most definitely not least of all worth mentioning is the band’s stage presence.  Even so early on, the band proved why it was a fan favorite.  That applies especially to legendary front man Freddie Mercury.  Each of the factors noted here are equally important to the overall enjoyment of Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74.  Together, they make the concert yet another must for any classic rock fan and any fan of what is one of the greatest bands in rock and roll.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released archived Queen concert recording Live at the Rainbow ’74 is a must for any fan of the band and of classic rock in general.  It isn’t the first of the recordings from the band’s career that Eagle Rock has released.  However, most of the band’s recordings that Eagle Rock has released in recent years have focused largely on the band’s later years as is evident through the concerts’ set lists.  Live at the Rainbow ’74 presents the band in its earlier days.  The band had only released its first two albums prior to this concert.  That means that obviously it didn’t have a lot of hits yet.  The most well-known songs included in the band’s set here are the likes of: ‘Stone Cold Crazy,’ ‘Killer Queen,’ and ‘Seven Seas of Rhye.’  There are plenty of audiences out there that probably are familiar with the other songs included in this recording.  But for just as many, it could very well be the first introduction to the band’s older and lesser-known material.  That alone especially makes this recording a must.  Simply put it is a music history lesson in itself.  It is even more so a history lesson than previously released archived Queen concerts.  Being such a rarity of a history lesson, it becomes even more of a must have for fans of Queen and of classic rock in general.

The focus on Queen’s earlier days in Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 is key to the enjoyment and overall importance of this recording.  Many of the band’s current archived concert recordings focus on its later years.  So this latest release is a welcome new addition to the band’s history.  Thanks to the painstaking efforts of those behind this release, the concert looks and sounds just as good as it did when the band first performed at the Rainbow Theatre four decades ago.  Anyone that knows anything about Queen knows that Freddie Mercury is one of the most respected vocalists in the music industry even though he is no longer with us.  That is because of his vocal prowess.  And it balanced expertly with the talents of his band mates in this show.  The end result is a recording in which not one member overpowers the other at any point from start to finish in its near hour and a half run time.  The concert’s video quality is just as impressive as its audio quality.  Especially considering how far video recording technology has come since 1974, the quality of the original recording itself from the angles to the concert’s overall look makes for even more enjoyment.  Thanks to the efforts of those charged with restoring said footage, audiences can once again (or for the first time) see just how talented the concert’s original camera crew was.  It is one more reason that this latest recording will impress any Queen aficionado and any lover of classic rock in general.

The overall audio and video quality in Queen’s latest archived concert together with its set list makes it a must have for any fan of Queen and of classic rock in general.  It is one more example, too of why Eagle Rock Entertainment to this day retains the title of the leader in live recordings.  One more important factor worth noting in this concert’s enjoyment is the band’s stage presence.  It has already been noted that Freddie Mercury is to this day one of the greatest vocalists in rock history.  He is also one of the industry’s most prolific front men period.  As audiences will see and hear in this concert recording, that wasn’t something that happened over time.  It is something that was the case from early on.  He was just as charismatic here in the band’s early days as he was in his waning days with the band.  Brian May kept the audience just as happy with his solid guitar playing.  This includes his driving solos.  Much the same can be said of Taylor’s drumming and John Deacon’s bass work.  The four musicians together exhibit so much energy and enjoyment throughout the course of the concert.  The band’s audience feeds off of that energy and gives it back just as much.  It translates so well on screen that it leaves home viewers feeling just as excited watching the concert as those that were in attendance for the original performance.  The reason that that positive energy translates so well is the work of those charged with restoring the concert from its original masters.  Add in a set list full of largely lesser-known songs, and audiences get in Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 a concert that is just as enjoyable today as it was forty-years ago.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

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Celebrating Jon Lord Pays Proper Homage To One Of The Music World’s Great Minds And Musicians

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

The music world lost one of its greatest figures two years ago when Deep Purple keyboardist and founding member Jon Lord passed away.  Lord may be gone but his legacy as a member of one of rock’s greatest bands lives on today thanks to songs such ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Soldier of Fortune,’ ‘Burn’ and so many others.  His legacy as a composer lives on to as he crafted his own modern classical works including the now famous ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ among others.  Earlier this year, Lord’s former Deep Purple band mates and his fellow musicians came together to celebrate his rich legacy at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall at the annual Sunflower Jam.  And now fans of Deep Purple and of Jon Lord alike get to experience that celebration for themselves thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group in the form of the triple-disc CD set Celebrating Jon LordCelebrating Jon Lord is a wonderful tribute to one of the great musical minds of the modern era.  The primary reason that it is such a wonderful tribute in its CD form is that the celebrations of Lord’s contributions to the rock world and the classical world are separated into two stand-alone collections.  Another reason that audiences will enjoy this collection is its collective set list.  And last worth noting is the audio mix on this recording in whole.  All three factors together make Celebrating Jon Lord a wonderful celebration of a great man and a great musical mind and one more welcome addition to the library of any Deep Purple fan or classic rock fan in general.

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new live recording Celebrating Jon Lord is not the first feature to focus on the late founding member of Deep Purple.  The leader in live recordings, Eagle Rock released Jon Lord: Concerto for Group and Orchestra on both CD and DVD last year in separate packages.  The recording focused primarily on what is considered one of his greatest non-rock compositions.  Celebrating Jon Lord does not include this work on either half of the recording.  While it doesn’t include that composition, Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer presents even more of Lord’s non-rock compositions.  It stands alone from the other half of the concert recorded earlier this spring, “Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend.  This separation of the show into two packages is the central point of the concert’s CD presentation.  Audiences that want to hear only Lord’s work with Deep Purple can pick up the second half of the performance Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend.  Those that prefer hearing Lord’s personal non-rock compositions can pick up Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer .  Sure, it’s a little problematic for those wanting the full concert experience on CD as it means having to purchase both sets.  But it’s money well-spent regardless.  And now that the concert has been released onto a companion Blu-ray, those same audiences can see the entire concert in one single package in place of having to purchase both CDs if they don’t want to have to pay that much for two separate sets. Regardless, both of the CDs offer their own share of enjoyment from start to finish.

The separation of the Sunflower Jam concert celebrating the legacy of Jon Lord is among the most important factors in the success of this triple-disc live recording.  Just as important of note is the recording’s overall set list.  On the rock side, audiences are treated to a number of classic Deep Purple tunes which Lord helped bring to life.   Some of the best of those classics include the bluesy ‘I’m Gonna Stop Drinking,’ the full-on rocker that is ‘Burn’ and the much easier-going almost funk-style ‘Things Get Better.’  On the classical side, anyone that has any familiarity with the world of classical music will most certainly appreciate that collection’s first two songs.  ‘Fantasia,’ which opens the classical portion of the concert, bears very clear influence from Aaron Copland and to a lesser extent, Eric Osterling.  And its Indian-influenced opening measures aside, ‘Durham Awakes’ feels like something that came right out of the Broadway rendition of author Arthur Laurents’ book West Side Story with its complex, multi-part arrangement.  It’s the type of thing that would make Leonard Bernstein proud if he were alive today to hear it.  It’s one more example of what makes the collective set list of these two collections such a joy.  There are plenty of other songs from which listeners will find their favorite(s).  Simply put, there is not one back performance throughout the concert regardless of which side of the show one prefers.  Altogether, it’s one more reason that fans of Deep Purple and of classical music and classic rock alike will enjoy this recording in whole.

The separation of Celebrating Jon Lord into two separate halves and the set list of each half of the concert together make this recording a true joy for any Deep Purple fan and any fan of classical music and classic rock.  Neither of these factors would mean anything on the recording’s CD packaging however without one all-important aspect.  That aspect is the recording’s audio mix.  It is noted in the booklet included with Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend that Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson and Lord’s former Deep Purple band mate Glenn Hughes actually “endangered the Albert Hall Architecture with ultra-passionate and furiously energetic versions of two Mark 3 Deep Purple classics, ‘You Keep On Moving’ and ‘Burn.’  That’s saying something, especially considering Albert Hall’s massive size from ceiling to floor and stage to doors.  Luckily, as powerful as Dickinson and Hughes were on these pieces, those charged with balancing the levels handled their duties expertly.  Though, that power does still show through at least to a certain extent whether in a car or on a radio.  That in itself is a tribute to the work of said individuals.  Much the same can be said of their work balancing the levels when powerhouse singer Steve Balsamo took the stage to perform on Lord’s composition ‘All Those Years Ago.’  Balsamo exhibits such control over his instrument.  He soars when it’s time to really hit those key moments.  He holds back just enough in the more reserved moments, too.  The audio engineers make those moments come out even more with their work here.  They exhibit just as much talent and expertise throughout the remainder of the concert.  Audiences will hear that expertise for themselves when they pick up either or both of these recordings for themselves.  The concert’s high quality audio mix, coupled with the show’s set list and its separation into two halves, leads to one more live recording that adds to Eagle Rock’s reputation as the leader in live recordings. It also adds even more to the reputation of Deep Purple and Jon Lord as one of the music world’s best bands and best musical minds.  Altogether, it proves Celebrating Jon Lord to be a wonderful celebration that any true music lover will appreciate.

Celebrating Jon Lord is a wonderful musical celebration of a wonderful musical mind.  The separation of the concert’s audio side into two halves lets audiences choose which half they prefer more should they prefer one half of the show to another.  The set list itself proves that both sides of the concert are well worth the purchase in its audio side.  The work of the concert’s audio engineers balancing the concert’s audio levels is nothing short of expert.  All three factors together make the audio portion of Celebrating Jon Lord a welcome addition to the library of any Deep Purple fan and lover of music in whole.  That is not to discount the booklets that come with each half of the concert.  The booklets that come with the CDs offer their own additional insight and enjoyment to the experience, making it even more worth hearing.  Those wanting to hear the concert’s audio side can pick up either collection now or both as they are available in stores and online.  The CDs’ companion Blu-ray presentation is also available now.  More information on these releases and others from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.