Every Rocker And Metal Head Should Care About Who Cares

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Armoury Records/E-A-R Music

Who Cares, the new collaboration between Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan is a must for any Black Sabbath or Deep Purple fan.  This double disc album is front loaded with great music that will have any rocker hanging their horns high with pride from start to finish.  Add in that at its base, it’s a fundraising record to help rebuild a music school in Armenia, and it becomes that much more appealing.  It’s proof yet again of the power of music.  Iommi and Gillan wanted to record this record to help spread music through the world.  To say that that is commendable would be an understatement.

The finished product of Who Cares is a top notch record for any rocker and metal head.  It opens with the hard rocking and deeply emotional ‘Out OF My Mind.  This song fittingly opens the album, as it discusses the tragic earthquake of June, 1990 that destroyed he music school for which this album is being sold to raise funds.  What’s really interesting about this song is its genesis and growth.  Ian Gillan explains in the liner notes of how it started out as a rant against the No Smoking signs on airplanes, and soon thereafter become about the destruction in Armenia.  That’s quite a leap in subject matter.  And it does quite the job catching what people must have felt in the earthquake’s aftermath.

Of course the collected recordings included in this compilation do get a little lighter in their lyrical content.  There’s a song about an incident with a car that turned out to belong to Bill Ward in ‘Trashed’, even an outstandingly amazing live performance of Deep Purple’s famed ‘Smoke On The Water’ with the London Symphony Orchestra, just to name a couple.  Gillan pays tribute to the late metal legend Ronnie James Dio when he writes of this performance.  He notes that he and Dio actually shared vocal duties on this rare performance.  There’s even more back story to this song.  But to find out what Gillan had to say about it, fans will have to pick up this compilation for themselves.  There are even more stories included in the set’s liner notes about each song, making for yet another bonus to checking out this set.  Who Cares is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com.  

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New Live Release An Excellent Tribute To An Excellent Singer

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records/Montreux Sounds

The world lost one of the greatest singers of all time earlier this year when Etta James passed away.  Thanks to the continued partnership between Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds though, her voice will never be gone, nor will the memory of the vocal titan.  That is thanks to the brand new live release, “Etta James:  Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993.”

The brand new release, “Etta James:  Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993 is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful singer.  She really was a singer among singers.  This compilation of her performances from the famed Montreux Jazz Festival is proof of that, as if she really needed proof.  It’s one more collection that will help keep her memory and her voice alive for many more generations.  The performances culled for this compilation show just how versatile she was as a vocalist.  She showed she was a powerhouse vocalist at times.  And at others, she was as soft and gentle as perhaps Billie Holiday.  It all combines to make an excellent tribute to an excellent singer.

Some of the best examples of James’ powerhouse abilities are in the likes of ‘How Strong is a Woman’, ‘W.O.M.A.N.’ and the compilation’s opener, ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You.’  The way that she sings in the opener and in ‘W.O.M.A.N.’ gives the songs a gritty, naughty vibe, for lack of better wording.  Her style perfectly catches the sensuality of the songs, making them favorites for any happy couple.  And the power in her voice as she sings, “A woman is strong as a mule/for the man she loves.”  The way that the band drives the song gives it even more of an oomph, especially in the live setting.  It makes for one of the compilation’s highest of points.

James showed how powerful and bombastic her voice was during her performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival.  For all the power in her pipes, James also showed that she could be gentle and delicate, too.  One of the prime examples of this is in ‘A Lover is Forever.’  Again, the mix of her vocal prowess and the music makes for another amazing piece that expertly captures the emotion of the song.  this effect is also heard in the medley of ‘At Last’/’Trust in Me’/’A Sunday Kind of Love.’  She proved on all of these songs that she understood and respected her craft.  She was able to interpret the songs in a way that would translate them with ease to her audiences.  The same thing applies to her more powerful songs, too.

When it’s all said and done, “Etta James Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993” shows to be a fitting tribute to a woman who was a strong woman and an equally strong singer.  It is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered directly through Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website at http://www.eagle-rock.com.  The companion DVD and blu-ray to this release will be released later this month via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.