Sherman’s Studio’ “Concert” Is A Performance Of A Lifetime

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

This year was another strong one for live recordings.  Between recordings released in bundles and those released either as standalone CDs or DVDs/BDs, the recordings that serve audiences who might have otherwise not been able to take in a live show, proved on both fronts to be largely solid offerings.  Given, there were some disappointments including Jane’s Addiction’s latest live recording Alive at Twenty-Five and the archived Les Paul tribute concert Live From Universal Studios Hollywood.  For the most part though, this year’s field of new live recordings — both on CD and DVD/BD — has proven to be quite impressive as has already been noted in the previous live recordings lists.  Keeping that in mind, it is only fair, having noted the best live CDs and best new live DVDs and Blu-rays to present one list of the year’s best new overall live recordings.

This year’s best overall live recordings pull from both audio and audio-visual fields, proving that recordings can be enjoyable in both arenas.  Topping this year’s list of best live overall recordings is PBS’ in studio “concert” from Richard Sherman, one half of the famed Sherman Brothers creative team, Songs of A Lifetime.  Slipknot’s new live recording Day of the Gusano is on this list, too thanks to the combined impact of its CD and Blu-ray presentation.  Of course while Alter Bridge, Jon Cleary and Experience Hendrix, LLC all released new recordings that were CD only, they deserve their own spot on the overall list.  Eagles of Death Metal’s new live recording Live at the Olympia Paris also deserves to be on that list along with The Rolling Stones’ new From The Vault offering Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 — again because of the overall impact of its audio and audio/visual sides.  It’s just one more on that list.

As with every previous list, this entry offers this critic’s 10 best new titles in the category along with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Enough rambling.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live Recordings.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE RECORDINGS

  1. Richard ShermanSongs of a Lifetime
  2. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  3. Mumford & Sons — Live in South Africa
  4. Between The Buried & Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  5. Jon Cleary — Live at Chickie Wah Wah
  6. Curtis Knight presents Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 1965 & 1966
  7. Eagles of Death Metal — Live at Olympia Paris
  8. The Rolling Stones — From The VaultSticky Fingers Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  9. Foghat — Live at the Belly Up
  10. Black Sabbath — The End
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  13. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years — Live at Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  14. The Who — Tommy Live at Royal Albert Hall
  15. The Dead Daisies — Live & Louder

That’s it finally for the live recordings categories.  Up next will be the year’s top new albums overall.  It’s going to be an interesting list, needless to say as it may well change before it even gets posted up in the next day or so, so stay tuned!  Also on the way is a handful of lists for the year’s new DVD and Blu-ray titles including box sets for families and for grown-ups as well as family DVDs and Blu-rays.  Stay tuned!

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Rare Hendrix Archived Live Recording Takes Top Honors On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 Live CDs List

Courtesy: Dagger Records/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Experiencing live concert events is not an easy thing in this day and age.  Between the collective costs of attending (I.E. pricey tickets, gas, souvenirs, possible lodging, food & drink, etc.), perhaps the general lack of time to attend depending on circumstances, or maybe the very fact that audiences’ favorite acts didn’t include certain cities on their tours, there is a lot that plays into the inability to attend live events.  Keeping this in mind, not all hope is lost, thanks to all of the live recordings released each year by so many acts.  Some are released as full bundle packages while others are released just as DVDs or Blu-rays.  Some are even released solely on CD.  Regardless of the platforms, the availability of so many live recordings is unquestionably important for audiences.  Staying on that topic, the live CDs made available are worth noting in their own right.  That is the the case regardless of whether or not said CDs are bundled with DVD or Blu-ray counterparts.  That is because, again, even if the CDs come alongside a live audio visual component, that audio only component can and does oftentimes, translate differently than DVD and Blu-ray recordings.  Keeping this in mind, Phil’s Picks is offering a list of the year’s top new live CDs.

Included in this year’s list are standalone CD recordings and CDs included as part of bundles.  The titles featured in this year’s list include live recordings from Curtis Knight, Jon Cleary, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies and many others.  Simply put, they run the gamut from one genre to another across the musical universe.  Topping this year’s list is Dagger Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Curtis Knight featuring Jimi Hendrix Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966.  This live recording features performances by Hendrix well before he became an international superstar — performances that showed his talent even then.  Also included in this year’s list are recordings from Foghat, Alter Bridge, Armored Saint and others.  As is the case with every Phil’s Picks year-ender, this list features the top 10 best new titles plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Staying on that note, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Curtis Knight feat. Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 20 1965 & 1966
  2. Alter Bridge — Live at The 02 & Rarities
  3. Jon Cleary — Live at the Chickie Wah Wah
  4. Foghat — Live at The Belly Up
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  6. Armored Saint — Carpe Noctum
  7. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  8. Black Sabbath — The End
  9. The Rolling Stones — Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  10. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years Live in Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  13. Def Leppard — …And There Will Be A Next Time
  14. Joe Bonamassa — Live at Carnegie Hall
  15. Fates Warning — Awaken The Guardian Live

That’s it for this list, but not for the live recordings lists.  Still on tap in this category is the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs as well as the year’s top new live recordings overall.  Before getting there though, there is at least one last list in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  That one’s coming soon, so stay tuned.

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Experience Hendrix LLC, Legacy Recordings Partner For Another New Hendrix Collection

Photo Credit: Mike Berkofsky

Mark your calendars, Jimi Hendrix fans. A new Hendrix album is coming in the new year.

Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings — the catalog division of Sony Music — will release a brand new collection of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix songs in the new year titled Both Sides of the Sky. Currently set for release on Friday, March 9, the album completes a trilogy that started with Valleys of Neptune (2010) and continued with People, Hell and Angels (2013).

The new, forthcoming 13-song album includes 10 previously unreleasd Hendrix compilation. The songs overall were crafted between 1968 and 1970. The record will be available on CD, digital and limited, numbered 2 LP platform. It includes a preciously unreleased take on Muddy Waters’ classic hit ‘Mannish Boy’ as well as ‘$20 Fine,’ a piece that also featured work from Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) and ‘Georgia Blues,’ which features Lonnie Youngblood — with whom Hendrix worked during his days with Curtis Knight & The Squires –along with 10 other equally interesting songs. The record’s full track listing is noted below.

Both Sides of the Sky tracklist:

1)    Mannish Boy*

2)    Lover Man*

3)    Hear My Train A Comin’*

4)    Stepping Stone*

5)    $20 Fine*+

6)    Power Of Soul^

7)    Jungle*

8)    Things I Used to Do#

9)    Georgia Blues++

10)  Sweet Angel*

11)  Woodstock*+

12)  Send My Love To Linda*

13)  Cherokee Mist*

*Previously unreleased

^ Previously unavailable extended version

+Featuring Stephen Stills

#Featuring Johnny Winter

++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

Pre-orders are open now here.

Both Sides of the Sky is a significant release because it presents Hendrix’s abilities and talents with studio production and his increased use of that resource. Jimi’s sister Janie Hendrix — who is also Presdent and CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC — produced this new album alongside John McDermott and Eddie Kramer. Kramer engineered every one of Hendrix’s albums during his life. The trio also has also teamed for every Hendrix audio and visual recording 1996 in order to maintain the high quality come to be expected in each release.

Janie Hendrix said in a recent interview that presenting only the best product possible has been the company’s goal from day one.

“We have a growing commitment to preserve the legacy of Jimi and also to cotninue to give the worldwide family of Jimi fans quality releases,” Hendrix said. “That’s what Both Sides of the Sky reflects…our growing commitment. In a deeper sense, it’s the keeping of a promise. Jimi and I once made a promise to each other. He said he would take care of me and I told him I would take care of him. Through his music and our preservation of his work, my brother and I honor one another. We are now in our third decade of watching over Jimi’s creative works and our resolve to maintain the integrity of what he left us has only grown stronger with time.”

Kramer echoed that sentiment.

“Jimi’s true home was the studio,” Kramer said. “That’s where the music and the magic happened. He loved everything about recording and it’s been my distinct pleasure and an honor to play a part in that process both then and now.”

More information on Both Sides of the Sky is available online now along with all of the latest Hendrix news at:

Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

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Audiences Will Enjoy John 5’s New LP In Every “Season”

Courtesy: 60 cycle hum records

Early this past March, guitarist John 5 released his new solo recording Season of the Witch.  The famed guitarist’s now ninth overall solo instrumental recording, Season of the Witch proves from start to finish that it belongs on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums.  That is due in part to the album’s songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements at the center of each song are just as important to note as the songs themselves in examining the album’s overall presentation.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Season of the Witch proves to be a record that rock fans will enjoy in every season.

John 5’s latest solo instrumental record Season of the Witch is a record that rock fans will enjoy in every season.  That is due in part to the songs that are featured in this recording.  While the guitarist, whose real name is John William Lowery, is known largely for his work with the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and David Lee Roth, this record displays his versatility as a musician once again.  Lowery reaches liberally into the rock realm throughout the course of the record’s 13-song, 39-minute run time.  But it is not the only realm into which he reaches as is proven in the likes of ‘Behind The Nut Love,’ ‘Hell Haw’ and ‘Ode To Jasper.’  The first of the group is a country-western style song while the second is a fun, up-tempo bluegrass/rockabilly style work that even incorporates a touch of jazz at the same time.  ‘Ode to Jasper’ is a beautifully tragic work that will tug at any listener’s heart strings even while it clocks in at not even two minutes.  Getting back on the matter of the album’s rich rock reachings, listeners will be impressed at the amount of ground Lowery covers in that realm.  From the industrial leanings of the album’s title track/closer to the almost Joe Satriani/Living Colour-esque sound of ‘Now Fear This’ to the prog-rock sound of ‘Here’s To The Crazy Ones’ and beyond, this record displays great diverse talent from Lowery and his fellow musicians.  That diversity forms a solid foundation for this new offering from the famed guitarist.  The arrangements at the center of the songs build onto that foundation, strengthening it even more.

The arrangements at the center of the record’s featured songs are so important to note in examining the album’s presentation because they exhibit just as much diversity as the songs themselves.  Yes, there is a lot of high-velocity guitar playing throughout the record.  However, Lowery also proves that he can play just as expertly in more contemplative moments as he can in wilder moments.  That is proven throughout the record as he goes from full-on riffs to other elements and back time and again.  ‘Guitars, T**s, and Monsters’ is one of the songs that supports this statement.  This song mixes Jimi Hendrix-esque riffs with a touch of Eddie Van Halen fluidly for a song that clearly exhibits his (and his band mates’) ability to handle such quick shifts in style.  The whole thing winds down with a rather reserved arrangement that gently places listeners, albeit breathless, on another musical shore.  ‘Hell Haw’ is another example of  the diversity presented in the songs’s arrangements.  This song takes the classic jazz tune ‘Who Could Ask For Anything More’ and crosses it with a touch of rockabilly and bluegrass, clearly showing Lowery’s ability to handle all three genres in one whole. The same can be said of his fellow musicians.  It is, in fact, one of the moments that allows them to really put their talents on display.  Very much the same can be said of the simplistic arrangement in ‘Ode To Jasper.’  This song’s arrangement only calls for a small handful of notes to be played throughout.  Yet even with so few notes being played by any of the band members, the gentility in those notes and their gentle flowing nature creates a massive emotional impact.  Considering this it is one more arrangement that proves the arrangements in the album’s featured songs are collectively just as diverse as the songs themselves.  Keeping that in mind, that diversity—which is shown just as much through the album’s other arrangements not noted here—proves to be just as important to this record’s presentation as its songs.  It is not the last of the record’s most important elements either.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The diversity in SOTW’s songs and their arrangements are both key pieces of the record’s whole.  Each element ensures in its own way listeners’ engagement. They are not the record’s only important elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  The record opens and closes with a nod to Lowery’s industrial roots.  In between, Lowery and company take listeners on quite the musical ride.  The transition from ‘Black Grass Plague’ and ‘Guitars, T***, and Monsters’ eventually makes way for the more controlled riffs of ‘Now Fear This’ before the band really pulls back in the country-western ‘Behind The Nut Love.’  From there, the energy picks back up shortly in ‘Making Monsters’ and ‘Here’s To The Crazy Ones’ before pulling back again in ‘The Macabre,’ which despite its name, sounds anything but macabre.  If anything the harmonics incorporated into the mid-tempo ballad style song makes for an interesting emotional impact.  The record’s energy rises again from there before reaching that already noted deeply emotional ballad that is ‘Ode To Jasper.’  The final powerful punch of the record’s title song makes for the ideal ending to the album.  When it is considered along with the rest of the record’s crests and troughs, the whole picture is one is even more certain to keep listeners engaged.  When this consideration is joined with the notes on the record’s songs and their arrangements, it becomes clear that much time and thought was put into crafting this album.  That time and thought resulted in a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

John 5’s new instrumental solo record Season of the Witch is a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  That is evidenced through the diversity in the record’s songs and their arrangements.  The record’s sequencing provides its own share of diversity, too.  That diversity across the board makes this record one that is certain to entertain not just rock loyalists but music lovers in whole.  It shows that this record deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records and potentially the year’s top new albums overall.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Season of the Witch is available online now along with all of John 5’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.john-5.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/john5official

Twitter: http://twitter.com/john5guitarist

 

 

 

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Time Life To Re-Issue ‘The Wonder Years: The Complete Series’ This Summer

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

There is good news for fans of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years.

Time Life Entertainment has announced that it will re-issue the series in a complete series box set next month.  It is currently slated to be released Tuesday, August 23rd and will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  The new re-issue will feature all 115 episodes of the six-season series spread across 22 discs and 12 hours of new bonus material.  Those bonus features include: highlights from the cast’s first reunion in 16 years, a farewell set tour, Exclusive interviews and more.  It also features all of the songs originally used in the series’ 5 year, six season run including: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, and many others.  The series’ soundtrack in total comes to 300 songs.

Over the course of its six seasons on the air, The Wonder Years was one of television’s most popular series.  It earned a spot on Neilsen’s Top 30 in four of those seasons.  It earned an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series,” and at age 13 lead actor Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor For A Comedy Series.”  The series would eventually go on to earn a total of 24 awards and be nominate for 70 more.  Those nominations and wins included: Emmy® Awards, A Golden Globe®, and in 1989 a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using what were then new methods of storytelling.  Even after the show ended its run, its impact was still being felt.  In 1997 “My Father’s Office” was ranked #29 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.  The series’ pilot episode was ranked #43 on that same list.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, August 23rd via Time Life Entertainment.  It will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

 

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Music’s Past, Present, And Future Come Together In 2015’s Best New Live CDs List

Going to see live shows is anything but cheap. Anyone that has ever been to one will attest to that. Regardless of whether the show is close by or a long drive, it seems going to see shows nowadays is anything but cheap. Not to mention it’s not always easy because of time constraints. Weekday and weeknight shows are anything but easy just because of scheduling regardless of whether or not one has a family. So that leaves the question what is one to do in place of going to see a show? The answer: Pick up one’s favorite live recording on CD or DVD/Blu-ray. Both formats offer their own pros and cons. And in many cases, what is available on CD might not necessarily be available on DVD/Blu-ray or vice versa. That leads to the need for a list both for the year’s best new live CDs and new live DVDs/BDs. For the sake of this list the attention will go to the year’s best new live CDs. This year’s list includes a number of live CDs that were not accompanied by live DVDs and Blu-rays. Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck’s new live CD Live + is one of those that only received the CD treatment. It topped this year’s list. Saxon’s The Saxon Chronicles is another live CD that didn’t get the companion DVD/BD treatment. It’s on the list, too as is Birth of Joy’s Live at UBU, Jimi Hendrix’s Atlanta Pop Festival performance, and Zodiac’s The Road Tapes Volume 1. In other cases such as The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” recordings, audiences were lucky enough to get the recordings in complete packages. The same applies with Whitechapel’s Brotherhood of the Blade. These are just some of the titles that made the cut for this year’s list of the year’s best new live CD recordings. This was by no means an easy list to assemble. So no offense is meant against any recording that was left off the list. Set lists had to be taken into account as well as production values and also the acts’ stage presence. Taking all of that into account the following is the final list. Without any further ado I offer to you, dear readers, 2015’s Top New Live CDs.

2015 TOP NEW LIVE CDS

1. JEFF BECK — LIVE +

2. CARLOS SANTANA/JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

3. LYNYRD SKYNYRD — SWEET HOME ALABAMA

4. DARYLL HALL AND JOHN OATES — LIVE IN DUBLIN

5. TESSERACT — ODYSSEY

6. JIMI HENDRIX — ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL

7. ZODIAC — THE ROAD TAPES VOLUME 1

8. WHITECHAPEL — BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

9. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME

10. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE IN LEEDS

11. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: THE MARQUEE CLUB LIVE IN 1971

12. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS (SPECIAL EDITION WITH WACKEN OPEN AIR 2015 CONCERT)

13. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

14. EMERSON, LAKE, & PALMER — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

15. BIRTH OF JOY — LIVE AT UBU

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ELP Double Disc CD Set Is A Solid Final Entry For Band’s ’97 Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Nearly nine years ago, Eagle Rock Entertainment struck a deal with Montreux Sounds that since that time has led to the release of innumerable concerts from the famed festival’s decades-long history.  That number includes performances from acts across the musical spectrum and years.  One of the earliest of those releases came on November 16th, 2004 in the form of Emerson, Lake & Palmers (ELP as the band is also known) performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival.  It was released on DVD.  Six years after its release, the concert was re-issued on Blu-ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Now almost eleven years after the release of that first DVD, Eagle Rock Entertainment has finally finished it off with the release of the concert in question on a double-disc CD set.  The very fact that the concert has finally been released in an audio-only presentation is the central reason that it proves to be one that any ELP fan will appreciate.  That will be discussed at more length shortly.  The show’s set list is another reason that ELP fans everywhere will appreciate this new release/re-issue.  It features some of the band’s biggest hits to date over the course of thirteen tracks and roughly hour and a half run time.  Last but hardly least of note to this recording’s positives is its liner notes.  The recording’s liner notes were penned by the members of the band themselves versus by an outsider.  This adds a certain extra enjoyment to the recording as it gives the band members’ own thoughts as opposed to personal thoughts and suppositions from any outside sources.  That final element set against the show’s set list (and the band’s performance by connection), and the recording’s platform makes it one welcome piece for any ELP fan’s collection regardless of whether or not he or she already owns the performance in either of its previous releases.  All three elements together also show once again why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Earlier this month, Eagle Rock Entertainment released ELP’s classic 1997 performance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The performance, released on a double-disc CD platform, marks the third time that performance has seen the light of day.  It was originally released on DVD almost eleven years ago by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Its second release, roughly five years ago, was on Blu-ray also via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Now, with its release earlier this month on 2 CD set Eagle Rock Entertainment it would seem that Eagle Rock has finally completed releasing the concert on each of its platforms.  To the untrained eye (and ear) this is not very significant.  However the reality is far different.  Ever since Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds first partnered to release the innumerable performances from the famed festival Eagle Rock has gone on to make a habit of releasing each recording on its multiple formats at once instead of making audiences wait.  That is a big change in comparison to the company’s earliest recordings, this recording included.  While it likely is not the last of the companies’ earlier recordings that have needed to be finished off, it is nice to know that both companies have strived to keep from making audiences wait since then.  It’s just one way in which this new release/re-issue shows itself to be such a welcome recording for ELP’s fans and one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  The show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list is just as important to its overall enjoyment and success as its audio-only presentation.

The set list featured in this presentation of ELP’s ’97 Montreux show and the band’s performance thereof are just as important to the presentation’s enjoyment and success as its presentation.  The central reason for this is that the set list is the same as in the concert’s previous pair of releases going all the way back to its original DVD release in 2004.  This is so important because despite what some might believe there are some companies out there that will and do present the same concert with set lists that vary from one platform to the other.  It’s sad but true.  The variances commonly appear in the set lists’ orders.  In other cases, songs have in fact been known to be deleted depending on the platform and recording.  Luckily that hasn’t happened here nor has the set list’s order been altered.  The band’s performance of the show’s songs is just as important as the set list itself.  From beginning to end of the show’s roughly ninety-minute run time the band gives its all, keeping listeners engaged and entertained.  This is the case even in the show’s longer pieces, one of which runs just short of the twenty-minute mark.  The band keeps listeners so entertained that they will not even realize that so much time has passed by the show’s end.  It is yet another reason that this latest release of ELP’s classic Montreux show proves to be as enjoyable as the concert’s previous releases.  In simpler terms, it proves even more through its set list and the band’s performance of said set list to be one more welcome piece for any ELP fan.

ELP’s newly re-issued ’97 Montreux show proves through its very presentation on double-disc DC set to be a welcome addition to any ELP fan’s personal collection.  This is regardless of whether or not fans already own the concert in its previous DVD and Blu-ray presentations.  The fact that the set list from the concert’s original presentation has been held in tact here makes it all the more impressive.  The band’s performance of said songs adds a whole extra level of enjoyment to this recording for ELP’s fans.  While all of the recording’s noted elements do plenty to make it enjoyable for ELP fans of all ages, they are not the only factors that make it such a worthwhile addition to any ELP fan’s collection.  The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet add even more reason for the band’s fans.  That is because all three of the band’s members share their own thoughts on the group’s performance at the festival as well as on its founder Claud Nobs and the town of Montreux.  The trio’s sentiments in regards to Nobs are deeply moving in their respect for him.  All three men also paint a picture of the town of Montreux as something right out of a classical work of art.  All of the descriptions are of a town that during most of the year is a sleepy little hollow that is a dream come true for anyone wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.  But during the annual festival time things really ramp up.  It’s such an interesting juxtaposition to see in one’s own mind.  On a separate but related note, writer Michael Heatley notes ahead of the band members’ own thoughts a brief but concise history of the band’s rise to fame and eventual inclusion at the Montreux Festival.  Audiences that might not be so familiar with the band’s history will be interested to learn that ELP actually got its start at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.  Ironically enough, Eagle Rock Entertainment just recently released what would be the last major concert by Rory Gallagher and his band mates in Taste at that same festival on Blu-ray and DVD.  Even more interesting is that where ELP got its start would be the last major mark for one Jimi Hendrix before his untimely death only weeks later.  It’s an interesting six degrees of separation to consider that makes this addition to the recording’s liner notes that much more important to the whole of its presentation.  One can’t help but stop in considering this to think for a moment:  the very festival and year where ELP got its start (according to Heatley) is the same festival that essentially was the last blast for two other acts’ careers.  Together with the concert’s presentation here in a double-disc CD platform and the show’s set alongside the band’s performance of said set, the whole of these elements completes the recording and shows once and for all why any ELP fan will want to have this potentially final installment from the band’s ’97 Montreux show in his or her own home music library.

ELP’s newly released double-disc CD presentation of its performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival is more than likely the final installment of said performance from the legendary progressive rock band.  That is because the concert has already been released both on DVD and Blu-ray previously in separate years.  That being the case, the CD set’s release this summer in itself is reason enough for the band’s fans to add it to their own home music libraries.  This applies both to those with the concert’s previous releases and those without.  The fact that the set list was kept intact in its presentation makes the recording even more enjoyable. Add in an equally solid performance from the band from start to finish and some rather insightful liner notes in the recording’s companion booklet and ELP fans get one more presentation of its 1997 Montreux show that each will agree is a completely welcome addition to their own personal music library. Fans will be happy to know considering all of this that Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 is available no in stores and online in its new double-disc CD presentation. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

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