The Go-Gos’ ‘God Bless The God-Gos’ Re-Issue Impresses All The Way Around

Courtesy: Eagle Records

Two decades ago, the veteran rock band The Go-Gos released what would go on to be one of its most popular albums in the form of God Bless the Go-Gos.  The record was the band’s first record in 17 years upon its initial release.  It was additionally, the band’s first together since the release of 1984’s Talk Show.  Now Friday, the band and its fans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of God Bless The Go-Gos’ original release with a new re-issue through Eagle Records.  The re-issue is anchored by two new bonus tracks, which will be discussed shortly.  The wide range of platforms on which Eagle Rock will make the record available adds its own level of appeal to the re-issue’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The re-issue’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album’s re-issue a work that the Go-Gos’ most devoted audiences will enjoy.

The Go-Go’s forthcoming re-issue of its 2001 album God Bless the Go-Gos is a presentation that the band’s established and most devoted audiences will appreciate.  That is proven in part through the two bonus songs featured with the re-issue.  The songs, ‘I Think I Need Sleep’ and ‘King of Confusion’ will take listeners back to The Go-Gos’ heyday with their distinct melodies and stylistic approaches.  The vocals, the sound of the drums, bass, and guitar sound work together to make the songs sound like they are songs that perhaps were in fact recorded during the 1980s and just re-mastered for this presentation.  At the same time, there is the slightest touch of modern influence evidenced in each song, too.  It makes them a good fit alongside the rest of the album’s entries, which also boast that balance of old and new stylistic approaches and sounds.  Add in the accessibility of the songs’ lyrical content – that of relationships from the woman’s vantage point – will add to the songs’ appeal.  Keeping all of this in mind, the re-issue’s bonus songs are but a portion of what audiences will appreciate.  The wide range of platforms on which the re-issue will release adds to its appeal.

The forthcoming re-issue of God Bless the Go-Gos is meant to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album’s initial release.  As part of the celebration, its re-issue will come for the first time on vinyl.  It will release on 140-gram, blue-colored vinyl.  The new vinyl pressing will appeal to all of the band’s fans who are also among the many vinyl aficionados out there.  Of course, neither the band nor Eagle Records have ignored The Go-Gos’ fans who prefer their music on CD or digital.  They have made sure to release the album on those platforms, too.  In other words, the two sides made sure that they were reaching all of the band’s fans.  That is in itself a very good thing when one takes into account the perhaps availability or lack thereof, of the original pressings of the album’s original release.  Keeping that in mind, there is no doubt as to the importance of the presentation of the album on each platform.  Even keeping in mind, the positive nature of the wide availability of the record, it is just one more aspect of what makes the album appealing to the noted audiences.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production of God Bless The Go-Gos in its forthcoming re-issue is important to address because of its impact on the sound.  The production deserves its own applause considering how clean each song sounds here.  It shows that the utmost attention was paid to the records sound in transferring the masters from that original release to this presentation.  That applies not only to the record’s main body, but to its bonus tracks, too.  Whether the two bonus tracks were songs that didn’t make the final cut for the album’s original release, or are more recent (or older), the fact of the matter is that each track sounds very impressive.  Every instrument is well-balanced with its counterparts.  The vocals are just as well-balanced with the instruments.  The effects used in each song are at just the right level, too.  When the positive aesthetic impact of the album’s production is considered along with the engagement and entertainment guaranteed by the album’s bonus tracks and with the positive of the album’s wide availability, all three elements make the album in whole a presentation that The Go-Gos’ most devoted audience base will find fully appealing.

Eagle Records and The Go-Gos’ forthcoming re-issue of God Bless The Go-Gos is a work that succeeds all the way around.  Its success comes in part through its bonus tracks.  It is unknown if the two extra songs were cutting room floor pieces from the sessions for the album’s original release or are even older or more recent.  Regardless, they sound like they came right out of the band’s heyday.  At the same time, they incorporate a touch of modern rock influence.  The balance of those influences makes the songs surely appealing for the noted audiences.  The album’s availability across a wide range of platforms adds its own appeal.  That is because it shows all involved set out to reach as much of the band’s fan base as possible.  It is deserving of its own applause.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.  That is because it shows the highest efforts were made to ensure the record sounded as good if not better than the original presentation some twenty years after its initial release.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue.  All things considered, they make the forthcoming re-issue of God Bless The Go-Gos a presentation that will appeal to any of The Go-Gos’ fans.  God Bless The Go-Gos is scheduled for release Friday through Eagle Records.

In more news, The Go-Gos are scheduled to launch a series of live dates starting June 18 in San Francisco, CA, conditions pending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour is scheduled to run just under a month long, ending on July 11 in Asbury Park, NJ. The tour’s tentative schedule is noted below.

Summer 2021 North American tour dates:
Jun 18 The Masonic San Francisco, CA +
Jun 23 Humphreys San Diego, CA +
Jun 24 Humphreys San Diego, CA +
Jun 27 Pechanga Resort Casino Temecula, CA +
Jun 29 Orpheum Theater Los Angeles, CA +
Jun 30 Orpheum Theater Los Angeles, CA +
Jul 7 Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY
Jul 8 Parx Casino Bensalem, PA
Jul 10 Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, CT
Jul 11 Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ +


More information on The Go-Gos’ new re-issue, documentary, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Marillion’s “A Sunday Night…” Is A Great Listen For Any Night Or Day

Courtesy:  E.A.R. Music/Eagle Records

Courtesy: E.A.R. Music/Eagle Records

Marillion’s new live recording A Sunday Night Above the Rain was released in North America this week.  The double-disc recording is a piece that any fan of the veteran progressive rock band will want to add to their personal music library now that it is available to the masses.  The primary reason that audiences will want to add this new live recording to their personal music library is the band’s performance of its most recent album in its entirety along with a handful of other songs to complement the performance.  The second reason that Marillion’s fans will want to add this recording to their personal music libraries is its total run time.  Between its two discs, ASNATR offers audiences just over two hours of music.  The audio quality of those two-plus hours (technically two hours, two point four minutes) is expert.  All three factors together make Marillion’s new live recording well worth the money for any fan of this well-established band.

The central point of the success of A Sunday Night Above the Rain is the fact that the band’s set list in this show is comprised almost entirely of the band’s hit 2012 album Sounds That Can’t Be Made.  That album’s eight total tracks are spread across the record’s two discs.  They are accompanied by a handful of extremely rare songs from the band.  In the case of Marillion, the use of the term rare is not just thrown around.  Rather only perhaps two of those remaining five songs come directly from the band’s previous releases.  And those songs themselves have very rarely been performed live by Marillion.  The others are even rarer.  This makes the recording’s five remaining performances more than just part of the whole.  They become collectively a bonus in and of themselves.  Though, together with the other eight tracks from Sounds That Can’t Be Made, they become bonus material, too.  And that only serves to make this live recording even more enjoyable.

The songs included in Marillion’s set list are on the surface, great additions to the show.  On a deeper level, the very fact that the band would perform one of its albums in its entirety and do so for a live recording is even more important in itself.  That’s because while not entirely unheard of for a band to perform one of its albums in full, a band of such high regard doing so and for so many years as Marillion is less common.  It helps A Sunday Night Above the Rain stand out and establish its own identity even more.  That in turn makes this an even more special record for Marillion’s fans to add to their own home music libraries. All together, the performance of Sounds That Can’t Be Made alongside the rarer songs equals out to a performance time of just over two hours. To be more precise, it equals out to approximately two hours and two point four minutes. That is a lot of music for audiences to enjoy. And along with the last of this recording’s positives—the audio mix—those two factors and the set list together make ASNATR even more a great listen or Marillion’s fans.

The last factor worth noting in the release of ASNATR is the concert’s audio mix. Every concert venue around the world presents its own challenges when it comes to recording concerts.   Whether it be an American venue or one such as Center Parcs in Port Zealande, where this concert was recorded, balancing audio levels both for those in attendance and for potential home release takes painstaking and expert work. And that work paid off in the case of ASNATR. Neither front man Steve Hogarth’s vocals nor the music of his band mates covers the other at any point. Recording/Mix specialist Michael Hunter deserves his share of applause for maintaining that balance even in the recording’s softer moments. He shows that he can handle every moment from beginning to end. The end result is a recording that will allow listeners to capture so many nuances with each listen. The very fact that not every nuance can be caught in just one listen is in itself a testament to Hunter’s talents. Those talents are the finishing touch to a live recording that is one of this year’s best live CD recordings.

The CD side of ASNATR is available now in stores and online alongside its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Each can be ordered online direct from Marillion’s website at They can also be purchased at the band’s upcoming live dates, the next of which will be Friday and Saturday, August 8th and 9th at the Cropredy Convention in Oxford, UK. The band’s latest tour dates are listed online at the band’s official website and Facebook page, and Fans can also go to either site or to the band’s Twitter page, to keep up with the latest news from the band. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Little Feat’s New Live Record One Big Feat

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.  The London based company has proven time and again in its near two decades in operation why it is more than deserving of that title.  Most recently, live recordings from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dream Theater, and Sir Paul McCartney have shown just why Eagle Rock is the leader in live recordings.  Now with the release of Little Feat Live in Holland 1976, it continues to maintain that mantle.  This latest release, which hit stores and online outlets this week, is another success from Eagle Rock for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is the performance itself.  It serves a number of ends in itself.  In direct relation, that Eagle Rock has provided the concert in an economic and ergonomic double-disc CD/DVD bundle makes this an even better release for audiences.  The quality of the sound and video in the presentation rounds out the whole package.  Considering that nearly four decades have passed since this performance was originally recorded, it sounds just as it did in the band’s performance back in 1976.  The efforts of those charged with transferring the recording from its original masters to CD and DVD along with the packaging and the show itself together make this record a definite candidate to be one of the first releases of 2014 to make this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Nearly four decades have passed since Little Feat’s 1976 performance at the famed Pink Pop Festival in Holland.  That festival is still going strong today almost forty-five years after it started.  Countless bands and acts have performed at Pink Pop over the course of that time.  However, it would seem that very few performances from the festival’s storied history have ever been released in their entirety. That being the case, it makes this release all the more important for lovers of music with substance.   It becomes a piece of music history, so to speak. It will take older listeners back to their younger days and the joys of going to a concert truly worth one’s time and money. And for those that have become all too comfortable with today’s constant barrage of flash-in-the-pan artists, bands, and groups, it serves as an example of what was once right with not just rock music, but music in general. It shows that real music could (and still can) be made without down-tuned guitars and indecipherable vocals or any amount of foul language and references to drugs and sex. All it needs is heart as is evident throughout every song on this outstanding concert.

It’s been noted that one of the key impacts of this recording is that it will take more experienced audiences happily back to a day when concerts were nowhere near as expensive as they are today, and were far more worth the time, too. On the other side of the coin, it shows younger audiences what once made music and concerts great and still does today especially in a live setting. Eagle Rock has presented the performance in an affordable and ergonomic package including both the audio and video portion of the band’s performance that anyone can afford. On average, the double-disc set retails for about $20. Such a price for a concert that can be enjoyed time and again instead of just once is quite the bonus. That the concert can be enjoyed both on CD and DVD is even better. And that both are presented in a space saving case makes this so much more worth one’s time and money. This is especially the case being that this concert likely isn’t currently available on vinyl. Maybe the good people at Eagle Rock should look into putting it to vinyl for those that really want the full old school concert experience. Yes, that is a hint for anyone at Eagle Rock that might read this. Getting back on topic, audiences should see quite clearly by now what makes Little Feat Live in Holland yet another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.

Those that have yet to still see what makes Little Feat Live in Holland another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases, will be convinced after hearing and seeing the quality of the recording’s audio and video. Nearly four decades have passed since this concert was originally recorded. Both the audio and video from this recording have stood the test of time quite well. And those charged with transferring both from their original masters onto CD and DVD have obviously taken quite painstaking efforts to present the concert as it should be presented. For that, those individuals are to be highly commended. It’s thanks to their efforts that the ever-growing generation gap in this country will be closed a little more after audiences take the time to take in this latest live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The efforts of those charged with bringing this classic concert back to life sits alongside the recording’s packaging and its collective historical and cultural value to make it effectively one of the year’s definitive best new live recordings.

Little Feat Live in Holland 1976 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at More information on Little Feat and its new release is available online at, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

May & Ellis’ Candlelight Concerts Recording Another Huge Hit For Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment and its visual division, Eagle Vision, have been at the front of the line in live recordings in recent years thanks to releasing so many big, bombastic concerts on DVD and Blu-ray. So it goes without saying that Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is quite the departure for Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision. That’s not a bad thing, either. While it features Queen guitarist Brian May alongside one of the most powerful voices in Broadway’s modern history, the references to Queen are kept to a minimum throughout the course of the concert. That is the most important factor in what makes this latest release from Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision so worth the time. Another reason that audiences will appreciate this new recording is its audio and video mix. The high quality video and audio mix (both on the Blu-ray and CD) maintain Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision’s long-held standard of releasing only the best quality concerts to audiences. And making everything complete for this latest recording is its packaging. Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts has been made available to consumers in a double-disc Blu-ray/CD combo pack in a single package. This allows audiences to take in the performance in whole without having to choose which one they would want more. It may be a slightly higher price. But in the long-term, it’s more cost effective for those wanting the full concert experience. All of the factors noted here make Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts yet another huge success from the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is not a Queen concert. That’s not to say that there are no Queen songs featured throughout the course of the set’s CD and Blu-ray. As a matter of fact, some of Queen’s biggest hits including ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’ are part of the performance. But by and large, this performance features covers of other songs, and even a couple original tunes. One of the most powerful of the performance’s moments comes in Ellis’ cover of ‘The Way We Were.’ The song, made popular by singer/actress Barbara Streisand in the 1973 movie by the same name. As Ellis notes before performing her take on the song, it’s more commonly performed with a full orchestral backing, even in the movie’s soundtrack. It gains a whole new identity in this completely stripped down setting. On the other end of the spectrum, May and Ellis presented a stripped down song in ‘The Kissing Me Song’ that absolutely cries out for a full band setting. Any drummers and percussionists out there will agree with this drummer that there is a stunning polyrhythmic drum track just waiting to come out in this piece. One can even hear a tambourine part echoing in the background. Making the song even more interesting is that it is an original piece, instead of a cover. It would be interesting to see if the pair ever re-works the tune for a full band setting. Moving on, there is at least one more high point in this performance in terms of the show’s set list that audiences will appreciate. That last high point is the duo’s take on ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Despite being in a stripped down setting, it is just as enjoyable in this setting as on record. And experiencing the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to the song makes it all the more enjoyable for viewers watching it in their homes. It has just as much energy here as in any other setting. As enjoyable as this moment is, it isn’t the last of the show’s many high points. There are plenty more moments from which audiences will get to choose when they purchase or order the combo pack for themselves.

The set list chosen for this penultimate performance of May and Ellis’ “By Candlelight Tour” is central to the enjoyment of this recording. Those hoping for a stripped down Queen set will be sadly disappointed since it isn’t a Queen set. For those more open-minded, they will deeply appreciate the variety of songs included in the show. The songs would be nothing without the expert work of those behind the cameras and soundboard. Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have maintained a high standard for their live recordings for some time. And this recording is no exception to that rule. The picture and sound are both crystal clear. And the angles used in the camera work expertly capture the emotion of both performers in the rather intimate setting. It adds so much depth to the overall presentation, making it even more worth checking out.

The set list and overall production values of Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts are both pivotal elements to the overall presentation of this recording. Both go hand in hand in making the whole thing worth the time and money. There is still at least one more element worth noting about this set. That aspect is the recording’s packaging itself. Eagle Rock, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records have come together to make the set available to the masses not as separate release, but as one entire package. On the surface, this might drive up the price of the set a bit. But in the long run, it actually saves money and the time trying to decide which is more important. Eagle Rock is actually serving its customers by combining the CD and Blu-ray into a full double-disc set. What’s more, each of the two discs gets its own spot on either side of the Blu-ray’s case. That saves space and in turn, helps to keep the cost of the set down. And that combined with the show’s outstanding production values, and equally outstanding set list makes it one more huge success from the company that more than deserves the title of being the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records is available online at and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Black Utopia Re-Issue Another Hit For Sherinian

Courtesy:  Armoury Records/Eagle RockEntertainment

Courtesy: Armoury Records/Eagle RockEntertainment

Derek Sherinian’s second solo album Black Utopia is an interesting work from this world renowned keyboardist.  There is so much to say about this record and not enough space or time to go into everything.  So instead of rambling, we’ll hit on the main points of what makes this album just as enjoyable for Sherinian’s fans the second time around as it was in its original release.   The first aspect of this album that makes it so enjoyable is its sequencing.  That is to say the order of the songs.  The second factor that listeners will appreciate (especially those that might be hearing the album for the first time) is the A-list guest stars that agreed to be a part of this album.  The third factor in the success of the album’s re-issue is the reworked liner notes.  All three of these factors together make Black Utopia an album that any Derek Sherinian fan will appreciate just as much in its new re-issue as they did in its initial release some ten years ago.

The success of Black Utopia is thanks in large part to its sequencing.  The album’s sequencing greatly exhibits the understanding of and appreciation for music possessed by both Derek Sherinian and co-producer Simon Phillips.  The pair treat Black Utopia as if they were creating a set list for a live show.  The energy of the songs rises and falls just enough throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks to keep listeners fully engaged.  That energy rises and falls just enough within the context of the songs themselves to make the energy in the transitions between songs even more impactful.  It shows on a deeper level, the pair’s understanding of and appreciation for their craft.  The resultant effect is one the makes this album one of those rare albums that listeners will want to take in from start to finish without skipping even one song. It’s just the starting point of the album’s success, too. And that’s saying something.

Black Utopia’s success is thanks in large part to its sequencing.  The sequencing of the songs would be moot without the music crafted by Sherinian and the guest musicians that make appearances on this album.  That is the second factor in this album’s creation that makes it a success.  Sherinian invited some of the biggest names in the business to join him on this record.  And it’s a good thing they accepted his invitation.  Among those major names are the likes of Simon Phillips (The Who, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, etc.), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Al Di Meola (Return To Forever, Chick Corea), Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and others.  Their talents are well shared throughout the record.  The whole group teams up on the album’s opener for what is without a doubt one of the album’s absolute best works.  Malmsteen puts on a virtual clinic with his shredding, while Sherinian himself manages somehow to mix in a touch of jazz/fusion at one point, adding even more flare and substance to the song.  And the combination of Zakk Wylde, Simon Phillips, Tony Franklin and Jerry Goodman on ‘Nightmare Cinema’ is incredible.  Sherinian’s etherial keyboard part set against Phillips’ drumming early on perfectly illustrates the song’s title.  It establishes quite the eerie vibe.  The eventual addition of Wylde on guitar adds even more depth to the song as it progresses.  It is simply something that must be heard in order to be fully appreciated.  The same can be noted of the album’s remaining tracks.  Sherinian  and his fellow musicians come together on each song to show just why their addition to Black Utopia is such an important part of the album’s overall success.

The who’s  who of musicians recruited to record Black Utopia alongside Derek Sherinian is just as important to the success of the album as its sequencing.  Without the talent of the musicians in question, the sequencing would not be all that important to discuss.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case here.  And because it wasn’t the case, it leaves only one remaining factor to note of this re-issue.  The factor in question is the updated liner notes included with the album.  This time out, Black Utopia includes an article crafted by journalist Joe Lalaina, of Guitar World magazine.  Lalaina outlines the album in his own words.  Sherinian’s own thoughts on Black Utopia are also included as a follow-up to Lalaina.  Listeners will take special interest in Sherinian’s comment about working with Brian Tichy (Something Unto Nothing, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol).  He notes that it was his friendship and working relationship with Tichy that led the pair to work together on this album.  There’s also mention of his excitement of working with both Yngwie Malmsteen and Al Di Meola.  One of his comments in particular regarding this can’t be repeated here.  But it will most definitely have listeners laughing.  It’s the finishing touch to an album that any hard rock fan should hear at least once now that it has been re-issued by Armoury Records.  More information on this and other albums from Derek Sherinian is available online at  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

“Sounds…” Re-Issue Offers Audiences Even More Enjoyable Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Records/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Records/E.A.R. Music

Veteran British progressive rock band Marillion released its seventeenth full length studio release in 2012. The album, Sounds That Can’t Be Made, was met largely with positive reviews from fans and critics alike. A little over a year later, Eagle Records and E.A.R. Music re-issued Sounds That Can’t Be Made with an extra bonus. That bonus is an extra disc that boasts variants of songs from the original album. Those variants include a handful of live and in-studio performances, a demo of another song, and a previously unreleased song that kicks off the whole thing. That song is an incredibly emotional piece titled ‘Wrapped Up In This.’

‘Wrapped Up In Time’ was a fitting way to open the bonus companion disc to Sounds That Can’t Be Made. This deeply emotional piece is a perfect opener for the album’s bonus disc. The song’s introspective, almost mournful lyrics will leave anyone with a heartbeat in tears. Front man Steve Hogarth sings in this previously unreleased song, “Things got wrapped up in time/Like the past and the present/Or the perfect line/In a song/They take their time/And when they’re gone/They take their time/You can’t have them back/For the time for them has gone/Their time has gone.” Hogarth perfectly catches the emotion of someone remembering lost loved ones here. This is especially true when he hits the high notes in the song’s chorus. The control he exhibits over his voice is incredible. His use of vibrato even better illustrates the pain in the song. The addition keyboardist Mark Kelly’s performance only serves to add to the song’s emotional depth.  Anyone left dry-eyed by the song’s end simply isn’t human.

‘Wrapped Up In Time’ is a fitting opener to the bonus disc included in the new re-issue of Sounds That Can’t Be Made. That’s because it is so beautiful yet heart wrenching at the same time.  On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the band’s original take on its song ‘Lucky Man’ is just as interesting to hear as the final product.  The final product that is on the originally released album is a joyous piece celebrating happiness with what one has in life.  Hogarth sings in this song, “Some of us want diamonds and trinkets and gold/The perfect body and the perfect skin/Witnesses to their good deeds/Willing accomplices to their sin/Some of us pray for absolution/Some want sex and call it love/But freedom  to cheat’s not something I need tonight.”  He goes on to sing in the chorus, “I truly am/A lucky man/I have everything that I want.”  His words ring loud and clear.  We as people are never truly happy.  We should be happy with what we have, where we are, and who we are.  The final take on the song is a full on rock song.  One can close one’s eyes, take in the music and lyrics and see all of the images of which Hogarth sings being book ended by a camera spinning, pointed up at a shining blue sky.  The original demo take on the song is noticeably different from the final product.  It starts off much softer and doesn’t have the full on rock feel of what’s on the album.  It’s more piano driven.  When the choir comes in, its effect against Hogarth’s piano playing is just as powerful as what is presented in the album take of the song.  It definitely is one of the highest of points on the re-issue’s bonus disc.

Both ‘Wrapped Up In Time’ and the original demo take of ‘Lucky Man’ are wonderful additions to Marillion’s newly re-issued album.  There is at least one more addition to the re-issue’s bonus disc that merits noting.  That song is the band’s live performance of the title track from its recent release.  This nearly eight-minute performance taken from the band’s 2013 performance in Holland is a prime example of what makes Marillion such an extraordinary band in a live setting.  Hogarth’s vocals soar as he sings, “Aurora Borealis/Shimmering green and blue/Indigo and violent/Like phantoms half-imagined/Something unreal/But realer than everything/Seeing all the planet’s love floating in the air/Caressing you every day.”  The semi-psychedelic sounding lyrics gain even more power in the song’s live performance.  That’s thanks not just to Hogarth, but to the talents of his band mates, too.  Guitarist Steve Rothery is right up there with the likes of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci as he makes his way through the song.  And drummer Ian Mosley keeps the whole band together with this less-is-more style playing.  There are no major flashes or fills from Mosley.  He keeps a solid beat and adds a little musical spice where need be for lack of better wording.  Put simply, the band’s performance of the album’s title track is something that audiences must hear for themselves in order to fully appreciate it.  The same applies to each of the songs included on the bonus disc of Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Special Edition).  Audiences that give these variants a chance will agree at just how impressive each one is.  They will agree that the songs collectively make this record a solid re-issue and a re-issue worth hearing.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Marillion, as well as all of the latest news from Marillion is available online at, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Saga’s Latest Live Recording A Welcome Return For Fans

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Veteran Canadian prog-rock band Saga has been making music for over thirty-five years.  The band has had its share of ups and downs through those three decades plus. From lineup changes to flying just under the mainstream radar, the band’s members have managed to stick it out the entire time and make album after album that fans have largely applauded.  Unlike its fellow and far more popular counterparts in Rush, Saga never found the success of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson.  The band did however find success in its home country and across Europe.  Now nearly four decades since the band originally formed and released its self-titled debut record, Saga is back once again with its latest live release, Spin It Again!: Live in Munich.  Most of Saga’s fan base will welcome this new live release first and foremost because it has been made available separately on Blu-ray and double-disc CD.  This separation gives fans the option to add the performance in either format or both.  Also worthy of note in this new release is its set list.  It would be impossible for the band to cover its entire catalogue of songs in just one performance.  But the songs included in this performance cover a healthy portion of the band’s material.  One more aspect of the release to take into consideration is that by and large, Saga has very rarely played any American dates.  So having both the double-disc CD and Blu-ray portion of the concert available for the band’s U.S. fans is the proverbial icing on the cake for this release.  It makes the whole presentation whole, and that much more worth adding to any fan’s collection.

Saga’s new live release, Spin It Again!: Live in Munich was recorded five years after the band’s last breakup.  Considering that so much time passed between that breakup and eventual reunion and concert, the band collectively sounds like it hadn’t missed a beat.  And thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, the band’s fans have been given the choice of enjoying this performance either on Blu-ray or double-disc CD.  This is pretty much standard for every live recording released through Eagle Rock Entertainment.  There will always be those critics that would like to discredit such packaging methods.  They do so because of the costs to the consumer versus bundling.  That will always be an issue.  However, by splitting the recording into two separate formats, Eagle Rock is giving audiences options.  The most obvious hypothetical situation to consider is that perhaps one format is not available but the other is.  It’s better for fans to have something than nothing, right?  Right.  To that extent, Eagle Rock is worthy of applause once again for separating Saga’s reunion show rather than bundling it.  This is just one reason that fans of Saga will appreciate this new recording.

The availability of Spin It Again!: Live in Munich is just one reason that Saga’s more seasoned fans will appreciate this latest live recording.  The show’s set list is another reason for fans to applaud this new release.  The recording presents a respectable amount of material from the band’s expansive catalogue of material.  Fans of Dream Theater’s older material circa 1992 will appreciate the set list.  That’s because some of the material presented by Saga here will instantly conjure thoughts of Dream Theater’s breakout 1992 album Images and Words.  That’s especially the case with ‘The Perfectionist’and the concert’s opening number, ‘Anywhere You Wanna Go.’  The remainder of the band’s performance runs the gamut.  Fans will hear plenty of music that is more in line with material from the band’s American hair metal counterparts that rose to fame in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The songs chosen for Saga’s performance in Munich are just as important to the recording’s overall presentation as the fact that the show is presented in two separate formats.  Having the presentation in two separate formats is important in its own right.  On a deeper level, the very fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment has made this concert available for fans outside of Canada is highly important.  It is important because otherwise, fans of a band such as Saga would be severely limited in their options concerning experiencing the band’s live show.  That Eagle Rock Entertainment has made the show available not on one but two formats gives fans outside of the band’s more often toured regions the chance to experience the band live, too.  The resulting effect of this is that it could even help spread the word of Saga to other audiences that perhaps had never heard of the band themselves.  Yet again, Eagle Rock is more than deserving of any and all praise that it receives for taking the time to release this concert to the masses.  It is available now on Blu-ray and double-disc Blu-ray.  More information on this release and more on Saga is available online at,,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at