Eagle Rock Entertainment Announces New Deep Purple Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing yet another new live Deep Purple recording this summer.

Deep Purple: Live at the NEC will be released Friday, August 26th.  It will be available on DVD ($14.99) and digital formats.  Originally recorded on September 14th, 2002 the hour and forty-nine minute concert was meant to pay tribute to founding member and keyboardist Jon Lord.  That is because earlier the same year, Lord had announced his retirement from the band.  After his announcement the band enlisted the help of Don Airey, who also joined the band at the concert along with Lord.  Airey served as principal keyboardist throughout the course of the concert.  Though, Lord made a very special appearance on ‘Perfect Strangers.’  The concert featured the lineup of Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, and Don Airey.  The set list features a number of the band’s biggest hits including: ‘Highway Star,’ ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Woman From Tokyo,’ ‘Space Truckin’,’ ‘Speed King,’ ‘Lazy,’ ‘Hush,’ and many others.  The concert’s full set list is noted below.  Along with its main feature, the DVD also features interviews with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover as bonus material.

 

TRACK LISTING

1) Fireball

2) Woman From Tokyo

3) Mary Long

4) Ted The Mechanic

5) Lazy

6) The Well Dressed Guitar

7) When A Blind Man Cries

8) Space Truckin’

9) Keyboard Solo

10) Perfect Strangers

11) Speed King

12) Guitar Solo

13) Smoke On The Water

14) Hush

15) Black Night

16) Highway Star

 

Along with the release of Live at the NEC, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release two other Deep Purple concerts—Total Abandon and Bombay Calling—exclusively in digital platforms the same day.  More information on Live at the NEC is available online now along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.deeppurple-nowwhat.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Live In Hyde Park Is A Must Have For Every ELO Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Next month, ELO, now known as Jeff Lyne’s ELO will release its fourteenth full-length studio recording. The album, Alone in the Universe, will be released on Friday, November 13th via Columbia Records. That is just under a month away at the time of this review’s posting. The announcement of the album’s impending release was made just last month, a day before the release of the group’s new live recording Live in Hyde Park. Released on September 11th, Live in Hyde Park is a good addition to any ELO fan’s personal music library. The main reason that it proves to be such a worthwhile addition to fans’ collections is its set list. It should be noted right up front that the recording’s U.S. presentation allegedly is lacking the group’s performance of ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ which was the band’s cover of Chuck Berry’s classic hit. Even if it is indeed lacking that one encore performance, the lack of that performance, at least in this critic’s own view, does not take away anything from the positive impact of the show’s overall set list. That will be discussed shortly. Another positive to the recording is of course Lynne’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians. That presence makes for just as much enjoyment as the show’s set list and gives fans even more reason to add this recording to their personal ELO collections and music libraries in whole. Last but hardly least worth noting of the recording is its bonus material. The bonus interview with Lynne is quite insightful in its own right while the “bio” “Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne and ELO adds even more insight into the importance of this legendary act. The two bonuses come together to round out the recording’s overall viewing experience and show once and for all why fans will both enjoy and appreciate once they add it to their own personal ELO collections and music libraries in whole.

Live at Hyde Park, the new live recording from Jeff Lynne’s ELO is a good addition to any ELO fan’s personal music library and ELO collection. It proves first and foremost through its set list. While not a completely career-spanning performance for Lynne and company, the sixteen song set list touches on a rather healthy sampling of the band’s body of work even going all the way back to the band’s 1971 debut record The Electric Light Orchestra. Its 1977 album Out Of The Blue appears to be the most well-represented of the albums represented in this concert. Of the album’s sixteen songs, no fewer than three are taken from that album while The Electric Light Orchestra, On The Third Day, Eldorado, and Face The Music are each represented by one song. A New World Record is represented twice over, while Discovery, the Xanadu soundtrack, and Secret Messages each boast a single track. That still leaves four songs that audiences both familiar with ELO’s body of work and those not so familiar work to find for themselves. In finding themselves, audiences will agree that once again, while the sentiment that the set list featured in this concert recording, while not necessarily career-spanning, is still a solid representation of ELO’s body of work. On another note, there are those that have complained about the U.S. presentation of Live at Hyde Park not including the encore performance of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ at he very end of the recording. Given, that track is not there. There is no denying this. But considering that it is just one song, it still takes away very little if anything from the overall viewing experience of this recording. To that extent, the set list presented in Live in Hyde Park proves in the end to still be just as important to the recording’s viewing experience as any of the recording’s key talking points.

The set list featured in this recording is within itself plenty of reason for ELO fans to add it to their personal collections and music libraries in whole. That is even with the alleged omission of one song in the recording’s U.S. release. Lynne’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians is just as important as the songs themselves. It goes without saying that the group’s stage presence makes for its own share of enjoyment. Lynne exudes a certain confidence for lack of better wording as he makes his way from one song to the next in the show’s set. It proves that a performer doesn’t necessarily have to run around stage and do all kinds of antics in order to be entertaining. All a performer needs is that confidence and the love of being on stage, entertaining the masses in order to be entertaining. That is what makes his stage presence so solid throughout the show. He commands the stage just by being there and doing so little other than deliver the songs. Lynne’s fellow musicians–many of whom are members of the BBC Orchestra, as Lynne directly notes–show just as much confidence throughout the concert. They also show just how much they enjoy performing with Lynne and his band. It shows through the energy and concentration put into each song’s performance and through their facial gestures. Audiences can see smiles on the faces of the BBC Orchestra members’ faces throughout, showing just how much they enjoyed being a part of the show. The enjoyment leads back to the energy put into each performance from start to finish. In turn it makes the overall stage presence of the group in whole–including Lynne and his band–that much more powerful and important to the whole of Live in Hyde Park. Together with the show’s set list and its sequencing, both elements together go a long way toward making this recording such an enjoyable experience for any long-time ELO fan. For all of their importance to the recording’s overall viewing experience they are not all that make the recording so enjoyable. The bonus interview with Jeff Lynne and the “bio” Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO round out the recording. The two bonuses together not only paint a rich picture of Jeff Lynne and his importance to the music industry, but on the legacy that he has created throughout his professional career.

The performance that lies at the center of Live in Hyde Park is in itself the most important element of the recording. It is after all the central focus point of the recording. However, the bonus material that is included with the recording proves just as important to the whole of the recording as the concert. That is because the bonus material paints such a rich, vivid picture of who Jeff Lynne is and why he is today one of the most important figures in the music industry. The one-on-one interview with Lynne paints its own picture, showing perhaps why Lynne is such a stickler for detail in terms of composing songs. He notes in his interview that despite being essentially a manual laborer, his father had a deep love and respect for classical music. And classical music requires a deep love for and attention to the music. Any lover of classical music will agree with that. Perhaps growing up in a household filled with such beautiful music led to his own attention to detail in composing his songs. He perhaps gained the same love for his music and attention to detail in composing his songs through his musical upbringing, in other words. Lynne also shares a funny anecdote about ELO opening for Deep Purple in the band’s first major tour and his surprise at how well it went down considering the stark contrast of sounds between the two acts. That anecdote will have viewers laughing just as Lynne himself. It’s just another example of what makes his interview so enjoyable for audiences, regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Lynne’s body of work and his contributions to the music industry. Speaking of those contributions to the music world, the bonus “bio/documentary” Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO offers even more insight into the importance of his contributions to the music industry.

Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO takes the foundation established in Lynne’s bonus one-on-one interview and builds even more on it. It does so by going into even more depth about his own achievements and contributions over the course of his professional career. It isn’t just some short, ten-minute presentation unlike so many other career retrospectives out there that call themselves bonuses on other acts’ recordings. Rather, it is a deep, extensive presentation that will keep viewers just as engaged as the presentation’s central concert recording. Viewers will learn that Lynne started his professional musical career early on in life and that his mom couldn’t even believe that he was making money as a musician. It’s another great light-hearted moment for audiences and fans alike. He also echoes his father’s love of classical music as an influence behind his love of music and his own method in composing his music. There are insights from the likes of Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and even the widows of George Harrison and Roy Orbison that paint such a deeply vivid picture of a musical genius. Even the most well-versed ELO fan might be surprised to learn through this documentary that Lynne was actually at least partially responsible for Tom Petty’s hit song ‘Free Falling,’ some of George Harrison’s most beloved compositions, and even one of The Beatles’ records post John Lennon’s passing. There is also an in-depth history presented by Petty, Lynne, and both Roy Orbison and George Harrison’s widows about The Traveling Wilburys included as part of the documentary. For those that might not know, Lynne was a member of The Traveling Wilburys alongside Orbison, Petty, Harrison, and Bob Dylan. It was a supergroup before supergroups became a thing. That part of Lynne’s story alone makes the “bio” well worth the watch. And it is hardly all that makes the documentary such an important presentation. There is so much more that long-time fans and audiences in general will appreciate throughout the program. Together with Lynne’s sit-down interview, Live in Hyde Park’s main feature concert, and Lynne’s performance alongside his fellow musician throughout the show, Live at Hyde Park in whole proves to be a recording that every ELO fan should have in their own home DVD library. Period.

Live In Hyde Park is a recording that every ELO fan should have in his or her own home DVD library. Whether for its set list, the performance of Lynne and his fellow musicians throughout the concert, or for the recording’s bonus material, there is so much to enjoy about this recording. It presents a band and a performer that remain today among the most influential and important names in the music industry. Each noted element is important to the whole of the presentation in its own right. Collectively, they make Live in Hyde Park a must have for any ELO fan and potentially one more of this year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rubikon’s Third Album Was Well Worth The Rather Long Wait

Courtesy:  Round Hill Records

Courtesy: Round Hill Records

Roughly eleven years have passed since the up-and-coming blues/rock band Rubikon released its debut album The Hollow Men. Being that so much time has passed since that album was released fans couldn’t help but figure that the band would just be another that tried its hand only to fold soon after. However recently announced that it has in fact not gone away. As a matter of fact, it will release its third full-length studio recording Delta next month. The album, which will be released via independent record label Round Hill Records, boasts nine tracks of blues-based rock that will impress fans of Clutch, Deep Purple, COC, and even Zodiac to a slightly lesser degree. While the album boasts only nine tracks and comes in at a grand total of thirty-seven minutes, that does not take away anything from the whole of the record. Speaking of the whole of the record, the record is anchored by the full-on blues rock opus ‘Sermon.’ The song starts out slowly in its first few bars before really launching full force into a rather heavy piece that fans of both Clutch and COC will enjoy. The album’s opener ‘Live That Lie’ is another solid addition to this record. As is noted of the song, it is a work that is centered on the personal journey of the band’s members. Its heavy, blues-infused musical backing adds even more enjoyment to the song in whole. For all of the heaviness displayed throughout this record it isn’t without its softer side as is evident in the more reserved sound of ‘Wasting Time.’ This song starts off softly enough. But it doesn’t take long for the song to pick up even if only slightly in comparison to the album’s other songs. It’s just one more example of how worth the wait Delta proves itself to be . That is not to ignore the album’s other tracks. All nine of the tracks that make up Delta’s body each show in their own respective way what made the wait for this record worth it. All things considered Delta proves in the end to be a piece that any blues/rock aficionado will appreciate regardless of their familiarity with the band’s body of work.

Rubikon’s upcoming album Delta is only the third full-length recording that the band has crafted since forming in its nearly fourteen years together. Roughly eleven years have passed since the band released its debut album The Hollow Men. This new record proves quite well over the course of its nine tracks and thirty-seven total minutes that the decade-plus wait for this album was well worth it. That is most clearly evident in the album’s anchor ‘Sermon.’ The song’s bluesy/southern sludge rock sound instantly grabs listeners by the ear and refuses to let go. That is especially thanks to the transition of its slow, bluesy opening bars to the much harder, heavier riffs that make up the body of the song. The overall content presented in the body of this song in itself makes for plenty of enjoyment. The lyrical content incorporated into the song gives it even more enjoyment. Drummer/vocalist Diggs sings in this song, “I’m already dead/So long gone away/Lay my body down/Old-fashioned way/Old heart won’t last a day/Tryin’ to get back home/Sit here in them clouds/Watch over me.” Listening to this single opening verse, listeners would swear that they were hearing Clutch front man Neil Fallon singing instead of Rubikon’s drummer/vocalist Diggs. The similarity in the pair’s vocal delivery styles is striking. The similarity is just as striking as the song progresses through its near six-minute run time. That powerhouse delivery coupled with the song’s outstanding guitar work makes this song a solid anchor on which Delta can rest and a work that every listener will enjoy.

‘Sermon’ is a solid anchor for Rubikon’s new album. Drummer/vocalist Diggs’ delivery style partnered with the song’s musical content makes it a song that rivals anything ever crafted by the likes of Clutch or COC. It is just one example of what has made the decade-plus wait for Delta worth it. The album’s lead track ‘Live That Lie’ is just as solid an example of what makes the record so impressive. This mid-tempo rocker wastes no time grabbing listeners by the ear and holding tight. According to the band, the song is meant to be a commentary on the personal journey of the band’s members from who they were before to who they have become now. The song’s musical makeup does an impressive job of expressing that message. The contrast of the fiery energy exuded through most of the song to the more reserved sound of the song’s bridge, which comes nearly three minutes in, exemplifies that. That is of course not to ignore the song’s lyrical content. Diggs sings, “Well I’ve been knocked down in chains and lied to/That’s what you get when you don’t play the game/When I step out of line/You’ll follow.” These few lines in themselves paint a clear picture in regards to the comments of the song’s basis. The same can be said of the rest of the song’s lyrical content. What is present here is just a glimpse into the lyrical content’s ability to translate the song’s message. That content set alongside the song’s musical content makes this song an even more solid addition to this record and even more proof of why Delta was worth the wait both for the band’s long-time fans and for those that are less familiar with Rubikon’s body of work.

‘Sermon’ and ‘Live That Lie’ are both clear examples in their own right of why Delta was well worth the wait regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Rubikon’s body of work. While both songs exhibit in their own right plenty of enjoyment, they are hardly the only examples of what makes it so enjoyable. The band shows that for all of the heaviness and power exhibited, it also has a softer side of sorts, too. That is exhibited in the form of the slightly more reserved ‘Wasting Time.’ The song starts off as a fully acoustic piece that is just as certain to hold listeners’ ears as the album’s heavier material. Even at its highest points it still doesn’t get anywhere near as heavy as any of the record’s other songs. That is only one part of what makes this song so enjoyable, too. The manner in which the song’s lyrical content was handled adds even more enjoyment to the song. Because the vocal delivery style here is just as reserved as the music itself, it requires just as close of a listen. What can be deciphered from such an examination is that there is a lot of introspection here. The delivery style is a perfect match for that introspection, too just as with the song’s musical content. All three of the song’s elements connected, they show clearly why this song is just as key to Delta’s enjoyment as ‘Sermon,’ ‘Live That Lie’ and the rest of the album’s songs. All things considered Delta proves that while it was more than ten years in the works, it is an album that was well worth the wait whether or not fans are familiar with the band’s body of work.

Rubikon’s third full-length LP has been more than ten years in the making. Considering how long the wait has been for this record, it has proven with its nine tracks and thirty-seven minutes that the wait was well worth it. Whether for ‘Sermon,’ ‘Live That Lie,’ ‘Wasting Time,’ or any of the remaining half-dozen tracks that make up the body of the album, every element–both musical and lyrical–of this record proves itself important to the whole of the album. All things considered, Delta proves in the end to be an album that is a potential candidate for this year’s list of the best new independent recordings and best new rock records. It will be available Friday, August 21st via Round Hill Records. More information on Delta is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.rubikonmusic.com

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

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Deep Purple Takes The Stage This Morning On The Today Show

Courtesy:  earMUSIC

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Veteran rock band Deep Purple will perform live this morning on NBC’s Today Show.

The band is scheduled to perform at 8AM ET live from Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The band’s performance this morning is in support of its latest livereleases due out this fall. From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) and To The Rising Sun in Tokyo will be released Friday, September 18th via earMUSIC. The playfully titled companion recordings will both be released on in their own standalone triple-disc sets composed of two CDs and a DVD and their own triple-disc LP sets for fans of vinyl. From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) will also be made available on Blu-ray while To The Rising Sun in Tokyo will be made available in its own special 3D Blu-ray platform.

Courtesy:  earMUSIC

Courtesy: earMUSIC

From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) was recorded at the band’s performance at the 2013 edition of the annual festival. It was filmed using a total of nine HD cameras. To The Rising Sun in Tokyo in April 2014 at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo. It was filmed using a total of twelve HD cameras throughout the venue. The audio mix for both shows was handled by Eike Freese and Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) in Hamburg, Germany. Roger Glover supervised the mixing process personally.

More information on both recordings is available online along with all of the latest news from Deep Purple at:

 

Website: http://www.deeppurple-nowwhat.com

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

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Long Beach 1971 Is One Of 2015’s Top New Live CD Recordings

Courtesy:  earMusic

Courtesy: earMusic

Deep Purple is one of the most well-known and respected names in the rock community. The veteran British blues-rock band has been making music together for some forty-seven years. Given there was a nearly ten-year period in which the band took some time off from 1976 – 1984. But since it reformed in 1984, Deep Purple has been busy churning out new studio and live recordings and touring seemingly nonstop. Over the course of the past two years alone, the band’s deals with Eagle Rock Entertainment and earMusic has resulted in no fewer than six live recordings and one new studio album with at least two more on the way this summer. The most recent of those newly released live recordings, Long Beach 1971, was released late this past May. The recording only consists of four songs–‘Speed King,’ ‘Strange Kind of Woman,’ ‘Child in Time,’ and ‘Mandrake Root,’ While that doesn’t seem like much, those four songs bring the recording’s total run time to over an hour. More specifically, it brings the recording’s total run time to an hour and nineteen minutes, just shy of the ninety minute mark. That extensive run time is just one aspect of what makes Long Beach 1971 another hit for Deep Purple and for the band’s fans. The band’s performance itself makes for even more enjoyment, as audiences will note. That will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least worth noting of Long Beach 1971 is its audio mix. The audio mix of this concert is surprisingly impressive for its time. It sounds completely unlike anything from this era of concert recordings. But it still sounds impressive nonetheless. That is a tribute to those charged with re-mastering the recording for its release on CD. If not for the work of those individuals, neither the show’s set list nor the band’s performance would be of any matter. Thankfully for fans that isn’t the case. Instead, audiences have in this recording a piece that is yet another impressive live recording from Deep Purple and a recording that is one of the year’s best new live recordings on CD.

Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive in a long line of live recordings released by Deep Purple in recent year. It is also one of the year’s best new live recordings on CD. The central way in which it proves this is through its set list. The set list consists of only four songs. On the surface that might not seem like very much. But it is in reality quite a bit. The songs–‘Speed King,’ ‘Strange Kind of Woman,’ ‘Child in Time,’ and ‘Mandrake Root’–in total bring the concert’s total run time to an hour and nineteen minutes with the show’s opener, ‘Speed King,’ being the shortest at eleven minutes and five seconds long. Keeping on that track, audiences will be interested to note that the songs only get longer from there. ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ clocks in at eleven minutes and twelve seconds. ‘Child in Time’ comes in at twenty minutes and twenty-five seconds. ‘Mandrake Root’ closes the show with a total run time in itself at twenty-seven minutes and eighteen seconds. Maybe it is mere coincidence that each of the songs presented here is longer than the last. It could have been wholly intentional, too. Regardless, such a long set with only four songs is impressive in itself especially for that era. The songs are so long because the band doesn’t just perform the songs. Rather the band’s members–Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, and Roger Glover–let the performances grow naturally. The result is the extensive yet enjoyable performances that audiences get within the course of each of the recording’s songs. It is also tied into another aspect of the recording that makes it just as enjoyable–the band’s actual performance.

The performance of Deep Purple’s members in this recording is just as important to note of its enjoyment as the concert’s extensive set list. That is because what audiences get from Deep Purple in this recording isn’t just some band up on stage going through the motions. It is a band that is taking in the moment both together and with its audience. The fact that the band lets each song organically grow from just a performance to a full-blown jam session shows that. Even audiences listening to the concert on their radios or MP3 players will find themselves getting lost in each performance along with the band and those that were there in attendance. Even more impressive is that front man Ian Gillan talks to the audience in between songs, explaining briefly but clearly the story behind each song. Those that might not know the stories behind the songs will definitely enjoy Gillan’s stories. He explains about ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ that it apparently had to do with a prostitute and one of the band’s friends. Believe it or not. In regards to ‘Child in Time,’ he explains that it centers on people that just can’t seem to win in life no matter what. And in regards to the show’s closer ‘Mandrake Root’ he explains that this song came to be after two of the band’s friends got into a certain drink at a party. When audiences listen to the song, it becomes relatively clear what exactly happened (or supposedly happened). Gillan even laughs at a certain point, giving one to think that apparently what it sounds like happened perhaps indeed did happen. It’s a small moment, but it is one more of so many that heightens the enjoyment of the band’s performance. Together with the show’s set list, both elements make relatively clear why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive live Deep Purple set and one of the year’s best new live CDs.

The set list and performance on the part of Deep Purple’s band members in Long Beach 1971 prove clearly in themselves why this recording is yet another impressive addition to the band’s already extensive catalogue of live CDs. They also show just as clearly why it is one of the year’s best new live CDs. Both elements taken into consideration there is just one more element to note in what makes Long Beach 1971 so enjoyable. That final element is the concert’s audio mix. Right off the bat, audiences will note that in comparison to the live recordings churned out today, this recording sounds quite different. The best way for audiences to fully understand this difference is to purchase the recording for themselves. But for lack of better wording, it doesn’t have that spit-shined, auto-tuned sound that today’s live recordings boast. It is more….organic almost. Yet for that sound, it still sounds surprisingly impressive. This is the case even despite having to adjust the volume level between songs so as to hear Gillan’s discussions on the songs. Sure, it would have been nice to not have to constantly make such adjustment from one song to the next. but that’s beside the point. It’s just nice to have that interaction with the audience coupled with a solid stage performance. Getting back on topic, those charged with re-mastering the audio for this recording are to be commended for their efforts. Thanks to their work, that organic sound is still there as is the static that was produced by the recording technology of the day. This seems minor but it is important in its own right. That is because it shows that it is still possible for record companies to produce classic and classic sounding records on CD complete with that nostalgic static sound in place of full vinyl releases. There has been so much talk in recent years about the resurgence of vinyl. The apparent reason that there has been such a resurgence in its popularity is simply the nostalgia factor. The static and organic audio that has been reproduced in Long Beach 1971 proves without a doubt that it is still possible to have that nostalgia without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on vinyls. Considering this, the nostalgia produced by the audio mix of Long Beach 1971 will make listening to the concert’s set list and the band’s performance all the greater. In turn it will prove yet again why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive live Deep Purple recording and why it is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings overall.

Long Beach 1971 gives Deep Purple fans of all ages plenty to smile about. Its set list, while short in selection, makes for a full and fun concert. The band’s performance of its chosen songs makes the concert even more enjoyable. That is thanks both to the organic nature of the band’s performance and to front man Ian Gillan actually interacting with the audience, sharing the stories behind each of the set’s songs. The expert re-mastering of the concert’s audio leaves it sounding just as it would have on a vinyl release complete with static. It shows that a CD recording live or otherwise can still be just as good as any vinyl release if not better. All three elements together make crystal clear why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive release in a long line of live recordings from Deep Purple and why it is also one of this year’s best new live CD recordings. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from E.A.R. Music is available online now at:

Website: http://www.ear-music.net

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

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Wild Beyond’s Self-Titled Debut Is A Wild-ly Surprising Album

Courtesy: Big Round Music, LLC/Ultramegasound

Courtesy: Big Round Music, LLC/Ultramegasound

Last week, this critic introduced the world to Metal Blade Records’ latest signees Native Construct and noted that the band’s album Quiet World proved in the end to be one of this year’s most unexpected surprises.  Now another band has come along in the form of The Wild Beyond and added its self-titled debut to that list, too.  The album, released via the independent label Big Round Music, LLC, boasts a sound that by itself makes the album an easy candidate for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new independent releases.  It is made up of only five tracks.  And at a total run time of forty-five minutes, it doesn’t seem like that long of a record.  The reality is that what it lacks in time it more than makes up for in substance.  The band proves this with the album’s opener ‘Fire’s Body.’  This eight-minute-plus composition conjures thoughts of Between The Buried and Me thanks to its musical side.  It’s only the beginning of what makes this song so interesting.  The remainder of what makes this song so interesting will be discussed at more length later.  That is because there is that much to say of this opus. The album’s second song, ‘Just One Drop’ adds even more substance to The Wild Beyond because it goes in a completely different direction than that of ‘Fire’s Body.’  It exhibits something of a classic rock influence slightly akin to Deep Purple that is certain to keep listeners’ ears both with its sound and its placement within the context of the album’s body.  The album’s closer, ironically titled ‘Opening’ is the album’s best example of how its substance makes up for its overall run time.  It is the album’s longest work, clocking in at more than twenty minutes.  There are no lyrics to speak of through the entire work.  Again, it is not for those with a short attention span.  For those that are more open to such a work, it is a song that will undoubtedly impress.  Together with ‘Fire’s Body’ and ‘Just One Drop’ all three songs serve collectively show why The Wild Beyond goes beyond anything else out there today, making it at the very least one of the year’s best new independent releases.  That is not to take away from the album’s other two songs, ‘Reflex Driver’ and ‘Wake Up’.  They add their own interest to The Wild Beyond, too.  All things considered, The Wild Beyond proves without a doubt that regardless of whether or not it gets the attention it deserves from the mainstream radio realm, it is still an album that anyone looking for real rock with real substance should hear at least once.

 
The Wild Beyond is a rather aptly titled album even being named after the band that crafted it.  That is because it proves over the course of its five tracks and forty-five minutes that it is a work that goes well beyond anything out there today within the realms of rock and metal.  This applies both in the mainstream radio realm and that of the underground.  Its run time is actually relatively average when compared to other rock and metal albums out there.  Yet a full listen to the album from start to finish reveals that run time to be irrelevant.  That is because of the depth and substance presented in each of the album’s songs. That is proven right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Fire’s Body.’  This eight-plus minute composition conjures instant thoughts of Between The Buried and Me and Trioscapes if only for its musical side.  Its hybrid rock and jazz-fusion sound alone makes it worth the listen.  Front man Max Hodes’ vocal style makes the song all the more interesting as he sounds eerily like Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell in the case of this song.  Speaking of Hodes, his somewhat cryptic lyrics alone make for even more interest in this case.  He sings here, “It’s the hardest way I know/You know I don’t know how/Well it’s not in the knowing/Not knowing it’s not nothing/No, knowing that the mind knows no control/It’s not dressing for success/It’s not striving to be the best/It’s underneath/It’s overhead/The massive glowing if/And now you stand before/The altar of the closing door/Burn it down/Burn yourself away.”  The song’s lead verse is just as cryptic.  Both verses together are certain to generate their own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its completely creative and original musical side, the song in whole proves to be an excellent first impression from the band and in turn an equally smart addition to the band’s debut album.
 
‘Fire’s Body’ shows with its mix of deeply creative and original music, and equally thought-provoking lyrics to be a solid first impression for The Wild Beyond.  It shows just as much to be a smart addition to the band’s debut album.  This is even with its eight-minute plus run time.  Just as welcome to The Wild Beyond is the album’s second track, ‘Just One Drop.’  Unlike the album’s opener, this song takes listeners in a completely different direction.  It boasts more of a classic rock influence, exhibiting hints of Deep Purple, Rush and other equally renowned veteran acts.  Hode’s vocals are just as noteworthy as the song’s musical side here, too.  That is because Hodes has changed gears in this piece.  Whereas he sounded more like Perry Farrell in ‘Fire’s Body,’ he sounds more like the great operatic rock vocalists of days gone by in this piece.  It is a true exhibition of his vocal talents and range.  The song’s lyrical side is again just as interesting with Hodes singing, “Finally/I can see the light/Very strong and bright/It’s mother nature/I see who I really am/Who we really are/It’s all so simple.”  It comes across as a somewhat introspective statement.  Yet set against the song’s musical side, this verse—which opens and closes the song—presents the image of someone that is seeing certain aspects of life with a new clarity and happiness.  Those positive vibes show exactly why ‘Just One Drop’ was chosen to be part of The Wild Beyond.  The talent put on display by Hodes’ fellow musicians throughout the rest of the song’s full-on instrumental sections proves that even more.  Being chosen as part of the album, it makes The Wild Beyond that much more enjoyable and shows just as much that this record definitely lives up to its name.
 
‘Fire’s Body’ and ‘Just One Drop’ are both key examples of the breadth of talent and creativity displayed by The Wild Beyond on its debut self-titled album.  The two songs each exhibit a sound completely opposite of the other that while they show obvious influences from other acts still maintain the band’s own identity at the same time.  There is no denying that each song does its own part to exhibit just why audiences should hear The Wild Beyond.  As integral as they are to the whole of the album the album’s ironically titled closer ‘Opening’ is the strongest example of what makes this record worth the listen by any true rock and metal fan.  ‘Opening’ is not a song for anyone with a short attention span.  It comes in at just over twenty-three minutes long.  And there are no lyrics to speak of.  The extent of the lyrics (if one even wants to call them lyrics) is chanting set against the song’s growing musical storm.  The term “storm” is used because as the song progresses, it reaches a point that some might call little more than one massive cacophony.  But a deeper listen reveals something much deeper.  Drummer Charles Goold’s time keeping through it all is rock solid.  Hodes’ work on guitar and Mark Atkins’ work on bass throughout the song add even more depth.  It is a depth that can only be appreciated when one comes into the song with a clear and fully open mind. That is especially thanks to Hodes’ own work manning the broads on this song.  Hodes balanced each piece of the whole with the utmost care so as to get the fullest possible effect.  It paid off quite well, too as audiences will hear for themselves when they pick up The Wild Beyond.  In hearing it for themselves, such listeners will agree that there is no way this album could have been complete without the song.  For that matter it couldn’t have been completed without the other songs noted here or the remaining pair not mentioned.  Whether for that pair of songs or for the trio noted here, audiences that give The Wild Beyond the chance will agree that the album in whole is one of the most surprising records that the rock and metal communities have seen so far this year. 
 
The Wild Beyond is available now on CD and vinyl.  More information on the album, the band’s live schedule and all of the band’s latest tour dates is available online now at:
 
 
 
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Listeners Of All Ages Will Boogie Along With Rock ‘n’ Rainbow’s New Record

Courtesy:  Rainbow Songs, Inc.

Courtesy: Rainbow Songs, Inc.

Kindie-rock band Rock ‘n’ Rainbow has released in its latest album Let’s Boogie an album that is the first real standout children’s album of 2015. The band’s seventeen-track album is one more example of why the world of children’s is just as viable as that of its grown-up counterpart. This is exhibited through the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s lyrical content will entertain younger audiences while its musical content will entertain both children and adults alike. That is because of the band’s display of talent from genre to genre. Whether for the Deep Purple style sound displayed in ‘Faster Scooter Cat,’, the fun, bluesy almost SRV sound of ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues,’ the band’s own take on the famed ‘Time Warp,’ or any of the album’s other tracks, Let’s Boogie more than lives up to its title from start to finish. In fact, the level of talent, creativity, and originality displayed throughout the course of the album’s forty-four minutes leaves one wondering why the band would even think it needs the gimmick of its stage personas. It displays such level of talent, originality, and creativity that it almost feels like that on-stage gimmick actually hurts more than helps. If the band happens to read this review, perhaps it will take this into account in recording its next record. Regardless it can be stated with certainty in listening to this record that it is one that every child and adult alike will enjoy.

Rock ‘n’ Rainbow’s debut album Let’s Boogie is an easy, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums. That is thanks in large part to the band’s display of talent, originality, and creativity throughout the course of the album’s forty-four minute run time. From rock to blues to reggae, funk and almost everything in between, the band runs the gamut musically on this record. There really is no one bad point throughout the record. One of the best examples of what makes the album so enjoyable for audiences of all ages comes early on in the seemingly Deep Purple influenced ‘Faster Scooter Cat.’ The song boasts a sound very similar to that of Deep Purple’s hit song ‘Highway Star’ against the song’s story about a young man joyfully riding his scooter through his neighborhood. The song’s unnamed subject sings in the song’s chorus, “Riding my scooter/I’m flying real high/Kids in the ‘hood are wondering why/Smile on my face/It ain’t going nowhere/I’m riding so fast, babe/I just couldn’t care.” The use of the organ set against Mellow Yellow’s time keeping will take older audiences back in time on a great, nostalgic musical trip. That musical trip in question makes for a great introduction to what is one of the greatest rock bands in the modern history of music for younger audiences that might not otherwise be familiar with what is one of the greatest rock band’s in the modern history of music. It’s just one reason that audiences of all ages will love taking in this record together, too. The band’s bluesy, SRV-influenced ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ is another reason that audiences will appreciate and enjoy this record.

The musical history lesson presented in the band’s Deep Purple-influenced Faster Scooter Cat’ makes its case for audiences of all ages to check out Let’s Boogie. As a matter of fact, that song itself will have audiences of all ages boogeying and singing along with its celebratory sound and lyrics. It’s just one of the many reasons on this album that makes it work the purchase. The bluesy, SRV-influenced ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ makes its own case for picking up this album, too. While the vocals sound nothing like the late, great blues master, the guitar work on the part of Purple Stardust is just as tight as that of SRV. Such a display of talent shows why this song is another of the album’s highest of highs. Mellow Yellow’s time keeping partnered with that guitar work instantly conjures thoughts of Chris Layton’s work. Lyrically, the song is just as interesting because it really could actually double as a blues song. The song’s subject sings about the joy in the simplicity of slapping his knees and stomping his feet, whether in getting off to a slow start in the day or in just waking up from a nap. He closes out by singing about picking up his guitar before going to bed and churning out a tune or two. There are actually blues songs out there crafted by much older artists that sound both musically and lyrically like this one. Taking that into account, it makes this song even more of a wonderful addition to the whole of Let’s Boogie. And together with the likes of the Deep Purple influenced ‘Faster Scooter Cat’ and the album’s other songs, it makes for even more reason for parents to pick up this album and enjoy it with their children.

Both ‘Faster Scooter Cat’ and ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ are great additions to the whole of Let’s Boogie in their own special way. Younger audiences will enjoy the songs’ lyrics while both children and grown-ups alike will enjoy the songs’ musical side. The music in question in both songs is especially important to note in that it serves collectively as a great way to introduce young listeners to some of the greatest music of the 20th Century. This is even more (and surprisingly) evident in the band’s cover of the song ‘Time Warp.’ The song,made largely famous from the cult classic movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show is perhaps the biggest surprise of all on this album. Nobody would have expected a children’s act to cover a song from a movie that is hardly for children. But adults that are familiar with the movie will love this piece even as short as it is. It may even have older audiences that are familiar with the movie dancing and singing along just like audiences do every Halloween in theaters across the country. It’s just one more reason that this band, while considered a kindie-rock band, will entertain grown-ups just as much as it will younger listeners. And as entertaining as it and the previously noted songs prove to be, they are just a fraction of the ways in which Let’s Boogie will have audiences of all ages boogeying along from start to finish.

All three of the songs noted here each play their own part in making Let’s Boogie one of the most surprisingly entertaining children’s albums of 2015 so far. As entertaining as they are, they are just a fraction of what makes this album so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. From the funky grooves of ‘The Freeze’ and ‘Five Senses,’ to the more laid back reggae influenced sound of ‘That Is The Right Hand,’ to the semi-punk influenced sound of ‘I Can’t Fly’ or any of the album’s other songs, this record offers audiences of all ages plenty of enjoyment from start to finish. The end result of all of those varied sounds and lyrical topics is a record that is an easy, early candidate for any critic’s year-ender list of the year’s best new children’s albums and potentially a candidate for a Grammy-nominated children’s album in 2016. the album will be available Tuesday, March 17th in stores and online. The band will perform live Saturday, March 7th ahead of the album’s release in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Parents and children can get more information on that show and any other upcoming live events as well as the latest updates from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/RocknRainbow. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.