Rolling Stones’ “Clearly Classic” Vinyls Are Among 2014’s Best Re-Issues

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

Early this Spring, ABKCO re-issued to audiences around the world three more of The Rolling Stones’ most beloved albums.  The albums in question are: Get Yer Ya-Yas Out: The Rolling Stones in Concert, 12 X 5, and the band’s hits collection Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2).  All three titles were re-issued as part of ABKCO’s ongoing “Clearly Classic” series.  And for audiences that prefer the vintage sound of vinyl to the more spit-shined sound of music on a CD or an MP3, these three latest re-issues are the perfect fit.  That sound is only part of what audiences will appreciate in these latest re-issues.  That they have been re-issued with their original artwork makes each vinyl even more enjoyable for fans of The Rolling Stones.  Last but definitely not least of all, each of these re-issues can be purchased by themselves or collectively depending on whether or not one already owns the original vinyls.  All three factors together make these vinyls the year’s top three music re-issues of 2014.

The central point in the enjoyment of ABKCO’s recently re-issued Rolling Stones titles is of course its sound. And it goes without saying that the sound on these re-issues could not be better. The sound is just as wonderful as it was in the vinyls’ original releases.  Only in the case of these “Clearly Classic” re-issues, it actually sounds even better as if it was on CD.  It sounds especially impressive on the band’s live release Get Yer Ya-Yas Out: The Rolling Stones in Concert.  Considering how many years ago that concert was originally recorded, it’s incredible that it sounds as good today as it did then.  Those charged with re-mastering the sound on that concert recording or this new re-issue are to be applauded for their efforts.  Much the same can be said of the sound on both 12 X 5 and Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2).  In the case of the songs on the latter of that pair, they have been added to nearly every one of the Stones’ many hits collections released over the years.  So it’s nice to hear them in one of their earlier hits collections.  There’s just a different quality that can’t be fully put into words.  It is something that must be heard first hand to be fully appreciated.

Audiences will appreciate the sound of the songs on these three latest Rolling Stones re-issues.  The sound on all three vinyls is just as impressive as that of the songs in their CD re-issues. Audiences will also appreciate in these re-issues the fact that they have been presented with their original artwork. There are so many labels out there today that try to revamp albums all the way down to their cover art as a means to market the albums. ABKCO didn’t take that route with these re-issues. It proves once more just how much the company wanted to honor both the historical significance of the albums and the band itself. Even more, it also shows a certain level of respect for the audiences, too. Older audiences will appreciate this as it will add to the sense of nostalgia established through the albums’ re-issues. Younger audiences that might be hearing these releases for the first time will appreciate them more for their historical significance. A comparison of such artwork to that of so many of today’s albums shows a vast stylistic difference. Unlike so many of today’s releases, there is nothing sexy or controversial about these releases’ artwork. That means that the attention will largely be on the music. The end result is a deeper appreciation for music that is plain and simple, real.

The transfer of the Rolling Stones’ original albums from CD back to vinyl on these re-issues is impressive to say the least. The sound quality is just as wonderful as ever. The use of the releases’ original artwork makes the overall listening experience even more enjoyable whether one is new to the world of The Rolling Stones or a far more seasoned fan. There is still one last aspect of these re-issues worth noting in their success. That final aspect in the success of these albums is the ease of purchasing them. They can each be purchased now via Amazon. And all three albums are below the thirty-dollar mark. So they are also affordable for audiences. Considering that many markets lack an indie store where fans could potentially pick up these vinyl re-issues, this ease of ordering becomes an even more important aspect to their overall enjoyment and success. Get Yer Ya-Yas Out can be ordered directly via Amazon at http://smarturl.it/YaYasLP, while 12 X 5 and Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) can be ordered at http://smarturl.it/12x5LP and http://smarturl.it/TTPDVinyl respectively. That cost effectiveness and ease of ordering along with the releases’ artwork and quality sound transfer back to vinyl each partners together in the overall presentation of these releases to make them absolute must haves for any true-blooded Rolling Stones fan. It also makes them three of this year’s top new re-issues.

More information on The Rolling Stones is available online at http://www.facebook.com/therollingstones,http://www.rollingstones.com and http://twitter.com/rollingstones.To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ABKCO Announces New Trio Of “Clearly Classic” Re-Issues

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

ABKCO has announced that it will release three more classic Rolling Stones records to its “Clearly Classic” vinyl series this year.

ABKCO’s “Clearly Classic” started in 2013.It has added to that series of releases Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!: The Rolling Stones in Concert, 12X5, and Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2).The new re-issues join ABKCO’s previously released Rolling Stones “Clearly Classic” re-issues Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, and Hot Rocks:1964 1971.
 
Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!The Rolling Stones in Concert has the honor of being the first live album by any artist to have reached #1 on the UK charts.The concert on this re-issue was recorded at New York’s Madison Square Garden over the course of November 27thand 28th, 1969 and was the first to feature guitarist Mick Taylor.It is considered the best of the Rolling Stones’ live releases to date.The most notable performance on this recording is the band’s nine-plus minute rendition of ‘Midnight Rambler.’This record can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/YaYasLP.
 
12X5 was the Stones’ second full length U.S. release.This album, released in October 1964, combines the band’s EP Five By Five and its singles ‘It’s All Over Now’ and ‘Time Is On My Side’ as well as their B-sides.The record also features three more tracks that would go on to be included in the Stones’second UK full length album The Rolling Stones No. 2.The upcoming “Clearly Classic” re-issue of this album is based on the original mono mix of the album.It can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/12x5LP.
 
Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2) is the second of The Rolling Stones’ compilation albums.It was originally released in September 1969.The first of the Stones’compilations was titled Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2) reached #2 both in the U.S. and UK upon its original release.It includes a number of the Rolling Stones’greatest and most beloved songs including: ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’,Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Honky Tonk Woman.’Fans will appreciate that even in its re-issue, ABKCO has maintained the original album’s octagonal packaging.Inside the packaging, audiences will find a poem penned by Brian Jones who would pass away only two months before the original release of this album.Jones’ poem is below.This re-issue can be pre-ordered now online at http://smarturl.it/TTPDVinyl.
When this you see, remember me,
and bear me in your mind.
Let all the world say what they may,
speak of me as you find.
 
The track listing for each of the three upcoming “Clearly Classic” Rolling Stones re-issues is listed below.
 
Track Listings:
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert
Side 1
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Carol
Stray Cat Blues
Love in Vain
Midnight Rambler
Side 2
Sympathy For the Devil
Live With Me
Little Queenie
Honky Tonk Women
Street Fighting Man
12 X 5
Side 1
Around and Around
Confessin’ the Blues
Empty Heart
Time Is on My Side
Good Times, Bad Times
It’s All Over Now
Side 2
2120 South Michigan Avenue
Under the Boardwalk
Congratulations
Grown Up Wrong
If You Need Me
Susie Q
Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)
Side 1
Ruby Tuesday
She’s A Rainbow
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Mother’s Little Helper
Let’s Spend the Night Together
Side 2
Honky Tonk Women
Dandelion
2000 Light Years from Home
Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Street Fighting Man

More information on The Rolling Stones is available online at http://www.facebook.com/therollingstones,http://www.rollingstones.com and http://twitte.com/rollingstones.To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicksand “Like” it.Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jenkins’ Latest Compilation LP A Wonderful Tool For Teachers

Courtesy:  Smithsonian Folkways

Courtesy: Smithsonian Folkways

Mick Jagger and his band mates in The Rolling Stones have been entertaining audiences for over half a century.  Aerosmith has been going near as long.  And others are right up in those same leagues, too.  But none of those artists and bands in question can say that they’re at the level of one Ella Jenkins.  “The First Lady of Children’s Music” as she is affectionately known by her fellow artists is ninety-years old.  And now at ninety-years old, Jenkins has a new “hits” compilation of sorts set to be released.  123s and ABCs will be released next Tuesday, January 28th.  The compilation collects pieces that Jenkins has included in previous recordings.  The recordings in question are more proof of what makes children’s recordings in question so interesting and enjoyable to review.  Simply put, none of the pieces included on this record are anything like anything recorded by any other children’s entertainer to date.

The songs culled for 123s and ABCs are unlike anything recorded by any other children’s entertainer to date.  That is an especially powerful statement considering that the tracks presented here are pulled from Jenkins’ previous recordings.  While she does directly speak to young listeners at times, she seems to spend more time talking to children with whom she recorded the respective pieces.  This focus less on listeners makes 123s and ABCs more a tool for teachers of young listeners.  Some might see this as a bad think.  But in reality, it takes nothing away from this compilation.  It helps give preschool and kindergarten teachers plenty of ideas for their own students in many cases.  One of the best examples of this is in Jenkins’ teaching of the numbers one through ten in both Spanish and Swahili.

In the cases of ‘Counting from One to Ten in Spanish’ and ‘Counting in Swahili’, Jenkins is teaching a group of young children already in attendance how to count to ten in both languages.  She uses a call and response format in order to keep the terms fresh in her listeners’ minds.  This is quite a smart teaching method.  Teachers could easily adapt the prior of the pair for their own classrooms and use it as the beginning of a more extended lesson on basic Spanish.  Considering the push for students to learn foreign languages, what better time to get students started than in their most pivotal developmental years?  In the case of ‘Counting in Swahili’, even adults will enjoy this short lesson.  That is because far fewer Americans have knowledge of even basic Swahili than do those with basic knowledge and comprehension of Spanish.  Keeping this in mind, ‘Counting in Swahili’ could be a wonderful chance for parents and their children to learn together.  It could also be just as effective a tool for a basic cultural lesson about native speakers of Swahili.  It serves to make this compilation all the more enjoyable for teachers, students, and children in general.

‘Counting in Swahili’ is a hugely effective song for teachers.  As noted, it can serve as a basic introduction to a rarely taught foreign language.  It also could serve as a window to a much more in-depth cultural lesson for younger listeners and students.  Much the same can be noted of ‘The Rabbi Teaches ABCs/English ABC Song.’  This hybrid piece opens with violist Arnold Radel performing a traditional Jewish composition.  He follows this by explaining how children learned their ABCs in Yiddish in the cold winter months, no source of heat in their homes save for a fire in the stoves in their kitchens.  This vivid description alone makes Radel’s performance even more hard hitting.  One can actually close one’s eyes, and see this scene, Radel’s music as a bed.  Whether one has any comprehension of Yiddish or not, this song could be a great stepping stone for those that might end up developing an interest in the language or even the culture of those that speak the language.  It’s one more example of the kind of material that makes 123s and ABCs such an interesting compilation of songs.  Teachers and parents are offered plenty more ingenious ideas how to teach young listeners the basics throughout the course of the compilation’s sixteen total songs.  123s and ABCs can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8RREL6/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1AQT2M8K05BB6QZ3MD0D&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846.  More information on Jenkins and her releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ella.jenkins.sfw and http://www.ellajenkins.com.  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.

Concert For Ronnie Montrose Is As Good As Any Major Label’s Live Recordings

Courtesy:  RoMoCo

Courtesy: RoMoCo

2013 has seen quite the surplus of live concert recordings.  Bands the likes of Jane’s Addiction, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and so many others have been released to the masses.  Each of those live recordings has proven to be exceptional in its own way.  These recordings will be seen by countless audiences thanks to being released via some of the music industry’s biggest labels. It doesn’t mean that they’re the only live recordings to hit the market this year.  One independently recorded and released live concert event that deserves just as much coverage as those aforementioned recordings is the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  Recorded April 27th, 2012 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California, this live concert event will impress anyone that is a fan of true, pure, guitar-driven rock and roll.  This applies to even those that might not be so familiar with the work of Ronnie Montrose.  There is much to like about this new live recording.  The most obvious of factors is the concert’s audio and video mix.  For a show that was independently recorded and released, it looks and sounds surprisingly good.  The show’s set list and guest lineup collectively make up another of the reasons to check out this concert.  And while it is something relatively subtle, those charged with finalizing the concert included names and titles for each artist on each song.  For those that might be unfamiliar with the artists, this inclusion will help to introduce the artists to said new audiences when they look up each name.  In turn, it could open audiences’ eyes and ears to a whole new world of music.  Together with the aforementioned factors, the Concert For Ronnie Montrose proves to be just as enjoyable as any live recording released by the industry’s major labels.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose is an independently recorded and released live concert event.  The automatic thought that might be raised in some audiences’ minds upon reading this is that it probably doesn’t match up with the live recordings released by the record industry’s major labels.  That belief could not be any more wrong.  The reality of this concert recording is that it looks and sounds just as good as any of the countless other live recordings released on said labels already in 2013. The camera crews charged with capturing the concert expertly carried out their duties.  Home viewers get the best seat in the house.  They are taken right on stage with the musicians and even above the crowd to see the full extent of the audience in attendance.  Seeing how packed the house was on the night of April 27th, 2012 just goes to show that while Ronnie Montrose might never have been one of the biggest names in the industry, he was and still is one of the most respected individuals to pick up a guitar. It is truly a telling statement, and one that any Ronnie Montrose fan will appreciate when they watch this concert for themselves.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose was captured just as expertly on video as any live recording released via the industry’s major labels.  It is crystal clear.  And the camera work itself is just as impressive.  Having examined the recording’s high-quality video, the next logical step is to examine its audio mix.  Having been recorded in the semi-intimate setting of San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, it goes without saying that it was extremely important that the audio be perfect.  Those that are more familiar with the science of acoustics will appreciate the painstaking efforts taken to ensure that the concert’s sound was on par with any major live recording.     Not one of the guitarists overpowered the other at any point throughout the evening.  And none of the musicians overpowered their fellow guest vocalists, either.  That set alongside the equally top notch camera work and video editing serve as the foundation for a concert recording that proves in the long run to be just as good as any of the year’s major concert recordings.

The audio and video mixes in the Concert for Ronnie Montrose collectively make for a solid foundation for this recording.  Having examined both, the next logical step in examining the presentation is to look at the collective set list and the guest lineup.  The set list that comprises this tribute concert spans the late guitarist’s rich career before his passing.  From his days with the Edgar Winter Group to his work with the band that bore his name to his solo career, this concert is front loaded with more than its share of great music.  Even audiences that might perhaps be less familiar with Montrose’s work will likely recognize the Edgar Winter Group’s hit songs ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Free Ride’ and the cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Connection.’  What’s more, those that might be fans of Dream Theater will hear quite the similarity between the concert’s opener, ‘Overture’ and certain work by Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci on the first of Liquid Tension Experiment’s two records.  Petrucci wasn’t one of the artists on hand at the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  However, some equally big names were in attendance. And their presence is sure to impress audiences just as much as the show’s set list.

The lineup of artists on hand to pay tribute to Ronnie Montrose is just as eye-opening as the show’s set list.  Classic rock fans will recognize former Journey band mates Steve Smith and Neal Schon and Tesla front man Jeff Keith.  Also on hand were two equally big names in the form of Montrose’s former band mate and friend Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot) and world renowned guitarist Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot).  Hagar and Montrose’s fellow former band mates were on hand for the concert, too.  Anyone that was a fan of the band in its heyday will appreciate seeing its members back together if only for a one off show.  If the set list that makes up the show isn’t enough for audiences, then this megastar lineup of artists is certain to convince audiences to check out this recording.

So much has already been noted as to what makes the Concert for Ronnie Montrose such a joy of a live recording, even having been recorded and released independently.  There is still one factor in the recording to examine.  It is a subtle, yet important factor to examine.  It is the inclusion of what is called “supers” (or superimposed images) highlighting the names and titles of each musician to take the stage throughout the concert.  Their inclusion is important for those that might happen to be new to each musician.  The names and titles are placed right in front of each musician.  This allows audiences to directly link a name with a face.  Audiences that are less familiar with said artists can in turn link the names and faces when looking up information on each one online or otherwise.  The latent effect of all of this is the potential introduction of a whole new world of music to new audiences.  For that alone, those charged with making sure the supers matched with each artist deserve their own round of applause.  And together with the camera crews, sound editors, and performers themselves, it all comes together to make the Concert for Ronnie Montrose a concert that any purist rock and roll fan will appreciate no less with each watch.  It is available now and can be ordered online at http://www.ronniemontrose.com/merchandise/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=238.  More information on this and all things Ronnie Montrose is available via the official Ronnie Montrose website, http://www.ronniemontrose.com.  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.

Sweet Summer Sun Is A Sweet Treat For Any Rolling Stones Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has done it yet again.  Somehow some way, Eagle Rock Entertainment has raised the bar yet again for live recordings.  Eagle Rock has raised the bar yet again with its new live Rolling Stones recording, Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live.  This concert recording is one for the ages.  And it’s one for viewers of all ages.  As viewers will see, the audience in attendance numbered more than one hundred thousand, according to the notes in the recording’s bonus booklet.  That hundred thousand plus number was comprised of fans from every background and every age.  This is a big statement, and it’s just one part of what makes this recording an absolute must have for any Rolling Stones fan.  The show’s cinematography has been a point of contention among viewers.  The reality of the cinematography is that there is nothing wrong with this aspect at all.  As a matter of fact, it is another part of the whole that makes this presentation such a joy to watch.  The bonus booklet included with the recording is the final touch to the package.  It is an excellent companion to the video presentation, as audiences will see in watching what is a concert film in every sense.  It provides an in-depth backstory on the band’s history at Hyde Park, as well as highlights of the show contained in the current recording.  Together with the cinematography and the concert itself, it makes for one of the best live concert recordings overall in a very long time.

The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park performance from its “50 and Counting” tour is one for the ages and one for all ages.  Viewers that purchase this recording will see that among the one hundred thousand plus in attendance were concert goers of all ages.  There were people in their forties, fifties, and potentially older.  There were people in their twenties and thirties, too.  At one point, viewers will even see a young man that could not have been more than perhaps thirteen years old.  How many bands today can command an audience of over one hundred thousand?  How many can say that they command an audiences of such size and of such a wide age range at the same time?  This speaks loudly to just how popular and respected Mick Jagger and company are, even half a century after they first broke through and hit it big.  The songs and the performance of the band only make this hit even harder.  The audience in attendance was treated to rather wide array of songs from throughout the band’s career, starting fittingly with “Start Me Up.”  “Honky Tonk Women”, “Midnight Rambler”, and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” are all there too along with plenty more songs to which even home audiences will find themselves ancing and singing.  The ironic thing of this show is that the band closes out the main concert feature with a performance of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  It’s pretty obvious that the band got plenty of satisfaction, as did the audience in attendance.  The same can be said of those that watch the concert both on DVD and Blu-ray.

The band’s performance and the vast size and age range of the audience at the Stones’ Hyde Park concert is in itself a big statement.  Making that statement even bolder is the concert’s cinematography.  There are those that have criticized this recording for its cinematography.  The biggest complaints are that the shots are too quick and that there aren’t enough close up shots of the band.  But those that complain obviously haven’t taken the full extent of the cinematography into account.  It’s that same cinematography that captures the full immensity of the audience in attendance.  The aerial angles used throughout the concert show the contrast of that massive crowd against the band on stage.  Those shots taken from behind the band are just as powerful.  They drive home the sheer size of the audience.  It makes even more incredible the fact that the band could command such an immense audience.  And then there are the “crowd shots.”  These shots are taken more from the angle of the crowd.  The shots taken from higher up show the massive size of the stage setup.  The wider the angle of those shots, the more it hits home to viewers just how large the stage set really was.

The cinematography and the overall immensity of the show truly make Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live a once in a lifetime concert in every sense of the term.  There’s still something else to consider that puts this latest live recording over the top.  That last aspect is the recording’s bonus booklet.  The booklet that comes with the recording gives viewers an in-depth look at the band’s history at Hyde Park.  It includes a full rundown of the concert contained on the new presentation’s disc.  That introduction helps to set up the recording in question.  There is also a handful of pictures peppered throughout the booklet that were taken during the newer of the band’s Hyde Park performances.  The history and the pictures make the booklet an invaluable addition to the overall presentation of this new release.  It is one more part of the whole that makes this release an absolute must have for any Rolling Stones fan.  The DVD, Blu-ray, and CD presentation of Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live are all available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and 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.

New Vinyl Re-Issues Three More Reasons To Love The Stones

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

The Rolling Stones have been celebrating a mark that very few bands and artists can claim.  The British blues rock based band has been celebrating half a century together this year.  As part of the ongoing celebration, a number of the band’s works have been reissued in recent months.  Among them have been the likes of Charlie is my Darling and a new greatest hits compilation (at least the third hits compilation from the band).  Earlier this summer, three more Stones works were re-issued in celebration of the band’s anniversary.  Those albums were Let It Bleed, Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971, and Beggar’s Banquet.  The albums in question weren’t re-issued on CD.  Rather, they were re-issued on vinyl, as a gift to all of the band’s long-time fans.  Sure, it’s nice to have the technology that is available today for music.  But it’s just as wonderful to have these classic releases re-issued on vinyl.

All three re-issues are such a joy first and foremost because of the sound quality on each set’s transfer.  Many people listen to vinyls because of the static on the records.  While the audio has been cleaned up on these re-issues, there’s still a certain feeling of hearing the original masters on a vinyl yet crystal clear.  It appeases both younger audiences and those with more knowledge of the band’s catalogue.  Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971 is presented in a double gatefold packaging.  Instead of the old school dark vinyl, this set’s discs are presented in clear 180 gram vinyl, just as with the other two vinyl re-issues of Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed.  Both discs are safely packed inside their own sleeve so as to protect them just as with old any old school vinyl.  Inside the double-gatefold packaging, fans will find a collage of classic Rolling Stones photos complete with liner notes. This adds even more to the feeling of nostalgia that will be felt from simply holding the clear vinyl discs.

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

The second of the new vinyl re-issues from ABKCO and the Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed is one of the greatest of the greatest albums released from Mick and the gang.  This vinyl is presented just as the original album was presented.  It comes complete with hits such as ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Midnight Rambler’ and what is one of the band’s biggest hits of all time, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ among many other hits.  This album was re-issued on 180-gram clear vinyl just as with Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971.  It should be noted here that the third in the set, Beggar’s Banquet was also released on 180-gram clear vinyl.  It was all part of ABKCO’s clear vinyl project.  These releases are just part of the larger program by ABKCO to release a number of artists’ classic albums on clear vinyl.  It is a wise marketing move in that it is much more appealing to the eye than old school vinyls.  And again, with the advances in technology, the audio is crystal clear.  That combined with the original artwork gives fans the best of both worlds yet again. 

Much the same already noted of Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971 and Let it Bleed can be noted of Beggar’s Banquet, too.  It would be redundant to bring about the same notes one more time that have already been stated.  What can be said in closing about not just Beggar’s Banquet, but of all three re-issues in this set is that this trio of albums from ABKCO and The Rolling Stones make a wonderful gift to fans from what is one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music.  As impressive as all three vinyl re-issues turn out to be, one can only wonder if ABKCO and the Rolling Stones will re-issue any other of the band’s classic LPs as it winds down its fiftieth anniversary, or beyond.  While fans wait for an answer to that question, audiences have quite a way to pass the wait with these records.  And audiences with more knowledge of the Stones’ history have quite the start on a trip down memory lane.  All three vinyl re-issues are available in stores and online now.  All three records can be ordered online direct from the ABKCO store at http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/.

Courtesy:  ABKCO

Courtesy: ABKCO

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.

Fans Get Quite An Anniversary Gift From The Rolling Stones In New Documentary

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records/Eagle Vision

The latest release in the ongoing celebration of The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary is another welcome addition to the library of any fan of this legendary veteran rock act.  The new DVD and Blu-ray release covers the band’s formative years during the 1960s and 70s.  There are those that have criticized this new release, comparing it to the likes of The Beatles’ Anthology.  But let’s be realistic, considering the price of that set and the price of the Stones’ previous box set, Charlie is my Darling, this latest release is just as good.  Would it be nice to see the importance of the band throughout its care, considering that the world is celebrating its 50th anniversary?  Yes, it would.  And hopefully Eagle Rock will follow up this release with one that follows the second half of the band’s storied career.  But in the meantime, this volume will do just fine.

Crossfire Hurricane is such an impressive work because it in fact does cover a specific portion of the band’s career.  It covered the band’s career during what was one of the most turbulent times in the modern history of the world.  Mick, Charlie, Keith, and the late Brian Jones are all presented here in their highs (both metaphorically and literally) and their lows.  From dealing with public perception versus the perfectly proper “Fab Four” to becoming the voice of a disenchanted youth to dealing with the loss of a brother, it’s all here.  Audiences see the band’s meteoric rise to fame, and hear direct from the fans and the band itself what made the band so important even in its infancy.    Viewers even get to hear what the band had to say about working with one another, too, which leads to another positive in the presentation.

Audiences get so much out of the history presented behind the band in Crossfire Hurricane.  Directly related to the band’s history is the video footage presented in this release.  Fans that bought the recently released DVD, Blu-ray or complete box set presentation of Charlie is my Darling will recognize some of the footage included in this presentation.  There is far more footage included here that wasn’t included in that presented in that set, too.  Together, the final product will take fans of all ages back in time to the band’s younger days.  While Mick’s look hasn’t changed much since the band’s initial performances, drummer Charlie Watts is almost unrecognizable.  Parents should be warned that among the footage, there is some nudity throughout the expertly re-mastered footage.  So parents who perhaps want to introduce their kids to one of rock’s greatest bands should take this into note before watching it with younger viewers in the room.  That aside, it is still an impressive look back on what are some of the most important years in the history of The Rolling Stones.

If the history lesson on The Rolling Stones’ early years isn’t enough for viewers, then maybe the bonus live performances included will entertain audiences.  After all, Eagle Rock continuously proves itself to be a leader among companies putting out live releases.  Just as the footage compiled for the documentary will take viewers on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, so will the bonus live performances.  The earliest of the performances included in this release date as far back as 1964.  Considering that nearly half a century has passed since these performances were recorded, the footage has stood the test of time quite well.  Both the audio and video sound quite impressive.  They sound just as good as any of today’s recordings.  As good as they sound and as much of a resurgence as vinyl has had today, it would be even more amazing for nostalgia’s sake to see Eagle Rock release those performances on a complete vinyl release, too.

So much more could be noted of this new release.  But it goes without saying that as already noted, it is one more impressive way for fans to celebrate the career of a band that is simply put, rock royalty.  Who knows, maybe Eagle Rock will even follow up this presentation with another celebration of the band’s career with a feature on the second half of the band’s career.  Fans can be the first to find out when they “Like” the Eagle Rock Entertainment Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  The DVD and Blu-ray are both available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via the Eagle Rock Entertainment website at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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Eagle Rock Winding Down 2012 Impressively With Patti Smith Live BD

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has led the field of companies releasing live recordings throughout 2012.  Its live recordings released through its partnership with Montreux Sounds have been especially impressive.  Now as the year winds down, the two companies still have shown that they still have some steam left in them with the release of Patti Smith Live at Montreux 2005.

Patti Smith Live at Montreux 2005  shows one of the most acclaimed vocalist and songwriters of all time at one her finest moments.  Each song performed will take viewers back to the days of fellow classic writers such as Bob Dylan.  The songs are more than just songs.  One of the best songs from this performance is the performance’s closer, ‘People Have The Power.’  In an age in which there is still so much political unrest across the nation, it serves as a reminder to today’s society that people have the power to make change happen, regardless of at what level.  It could be argued that it’s almost “Jeffersonian” in nature.  It was Jefferson after all who said, “When people fear the government, there is tyranny.  When the government fears people, there is democracy.”  It’s just one of so many highlights from this performance.  On a less political level, fans will also appreciate Smiths’ cover of the Rolling Stones’ hit, ‘Like A Rolling Stone.’  Smith’s vocal style and the song itself are a perfect fit both for her and for the performance.  And there is even the radio classic that is ‘Because The Night.’  Audiences watching from home will easily find themselves singing along to this song.

Smith’s vocals are as powerful and distinct as her song choices.  They’re raw, edgy and real.  The influence of her vocal style over other artists is so easily understood.  Her ability to vary between a distinct growl to a more raspy, almost Janis Joplin-esque style makes her that much more of an original.  Her vocal style simply put is unlike that of any other vocalist out there today and even of any vocalist of her time, period.

Audiences are offered so much in this new live release from Patti Smith.  Whether just for the song choices or for Smith’s vocals or for both combined, this is one more successful release from Eagle Rock that continues to show why this company is one of the leaders in home live entertainment.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Frampton Not Just Alive But Rocking On New Live BD

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Music legend Peter Frampton created what is one of the most talked about live albums in modern music history in Frampton Comes Alive in 1976.  Thirty-six years after the release of that landmark live release, the guitarist has shown that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks.  For that matter, he also shows that he’s got plenty of new tricks to teach his audiences on the new live release, FCA!35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton.

FCA!35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton was filmed during the band’s 2011/2012 tour celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the album’s release.  It was filmed at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee and at New York’s iconic Beacon Theater.  The two shows come together for a performance that’s just as enjoyable and impressive as Frampton’s original live release.  The first half of the show features Peter and company performing that album in its entirety and in order.  Audiences will be amazed at how strong classic standards such as ‘Doobie Wah’, ‘Baby I Love Your Way’ and ‘Do You Feel Like We Do.’  And just as impressive is the band’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’  Being that the Stones are now celebrating their 50th anniversary together, it was likely just coincidence that Frampton decided on this cover.  But the timing of having this cover is pretty interesting.  It goes without saying that Peter and company paid proper honor both to the song and the Stones with his take on the song.

The band’s cover of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ isn’t the only cover included in this standout collection of performances.  There’s also an incredible cover of Ida Cox’s blues standard, ‘Four Day Creep.’  Frampton shares vocal duties here with band mates Rob Arthur (keyboards) and Adam Lester (guitars).  All three do an impressive job in their turn, too, sounding like seasoned blues vocalists.  Peter even shows that while he has definitely gotten older over the years, he can still smoke the strings.  That is for certain.  Viewers’ jaws will drop seeing the control he has over his instrument. 

Just as interesting as the cover of ‘Four Day Creep’ is the band’s cover of Soundgarden’s (yes that Soundgarden) ‘Black Hole Sun.’ This cover is a full on instrumental cover.  There are no vocals here, although the original has vocals.  Frampton’s take on this grunge classic is original to say the least.  His band mates show they’re just as praiseworthy as Frampton on this cover.  That’s especially the case with drummer Dan Wojciechowski.  His performance would make Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron proud.   Add in some rather interesting visuals on the video screens behind the band, and audiences get what is definitely one of the standout performances in this new release.  Yes it seems minor, but even the visuals play a role in the performance.  The visual here is a large mass of what is perhaps a sun like object exploding.  As it explodes, it changes color and shape throughout the song.  It’s a rather subliminal visual.  But it works to help add that extra something to the song.

The band’s covers of ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Four Day Creep’ mixed with the performances of its own original works goes a long way toward showing the band’s versatility.  It proves that not just Frampton himself, but the entire band still has some new tricks.  So much more could be noted of the songs included in this collection.  But that would take far too long as one should also note the video and audio quality of the performances included here.  The picture and sound are both crystal clear.  And those with Blu-ray players and HD TV’s will especially see just how clear the picture is.  Combine that with expert camera work and the equally expert performance from the band, and home viewers get yet another outstanding live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

FCA!35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct via Eagle Rock’s website at http://www.eaglerockent.com.  And for all the latest from Peter Frampton, fans can check out his website, http://www.frampton.com or “Like” him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PeterFrampton.  Fans can also get the latest news and more from Peter on his Myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/peterframpton

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New Stones Set Is 2012’s Best Music Box Set

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

It goes without saying that The Rolling Stones is one of the greatest and most iconic rock bands in the history of modern popular and rock music.  This band of Brits has been rocking audiences for half a century now.  And in honor of its fiftieth anniversary, the band is celebrating with concerts and a variety of newly re-issued releases.  Among those new releases is the brand new release of the band’s 1965 show from Ireland, Charlie is My Darling.  The show has been released in a variety of formats.  But for anyone who is a true hardcore fan of The Rolling Stones, the best way to go is the Super Deluxe edition of this concert/documentary.  Especially with the holidays right around the corner, this mega set is the perfect gift for the Stones fan in anyone’s family.The Super Deluxe box set of Charlie is My Darling includes everything that is featured by itself and some bonus material all combined into one big box.  Fans get the concert documentary from the band’s 1965 Ireland show along with the show itself on both CD and vinyl.  To sweeten the deal, ABKCO Records has also included the documentary’s soundtrack on CD and a bonus book offering extra photos and background on the show.  Among the most interesting facts to consider about this event is that the Stones being a British band playing in the notoriously split nation showed in a big way, the power of music.  It didn’t matter whether the audience was Protestant or Catholic, British or Irish.  This concert brought the audience together as one unit, proving true the adage that music truly is the universal music.

Getting to hear the concert on CD and vinyl is one thing.  But getting to see the footage brings everything home, and really makes the entire show that much more powerful.  It’s wild to see the audience so overwhelmed by the then very young band that concertgoers were rushing the stage.  The audience members that rushed the stage meant no harm to the band.  They were just that excited.  Even wilder is that the fans were so overcome (as was the band by the fans), that the band had to cut its show short for their own safety and for that of the fans.  It says quite a bit about a band that has obviously gone on to be the biggest band in the world.  It’s especially interesting considering that even Mick Jagger himself notes in interviews that he didn’t expect the band to be big.  That was back then.  He noted that he figured the band would be big and then fade.  How wrong was he?  That’s really something for discussion.  The band was so young in its age and career.  Yet fans were already going absolutely crazy for The Rolling Stones.  How many bands, fans, and/or critics can say that they’ve seen such a powerful impact from any musical act so early in its career?  Experiencing this impact firsthand through this new set shows how important the Stones were then and how much more important they are now, especially considering this release.

The CD’s, DVD, and Blu-ray are excellent additions to this set, as is the accompanying behind the scenes book.  But what really seals the deal here is the bonus vinyl.  The double sided vinyl presents the concert as it would have been presented in 1965.  There’s even the static that old school vinyls had.  There are so many vinyls that somehow lack that old static feeling, somewhat taking away from the nostalgic feel that they should be imparting.  This vinyl isn’t one of them.  Audiences get that nostalgic feel, making for the final piece in what is one of 2012’s best musical box sets, hands down.  Charlie is My Darling is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct via the ABKCO Records website, http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/253.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/ 381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.