Mercury Studios is scheduled to release the concert documentaries, A Night At The Family Dog, Go Ride The Music and West Pole this spring.
The documentaries are scheduled for release May 12 as a 2-DVD package, complete with new artwork and a bonus poster. The documentaries were originally produced and created by Ralph J. Gleason.
The concert set featured in A Night at the Family Dog was originally captured Feb. 4, 1970. It features performances from The Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Jefferson Airplane. Go Ride The Music turns the focus to Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Performances from David Crosby and Jerry Garcia are also featured as part of the documentary presentation.
Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead are both featured again in the third documentary, West Pole. Also included in the presentation are Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Steve Miller Band.
The full track listing for the concerts featured in the forthcoming set is noted below:
A Night At The Family Dog/Go Ride The Music/West Pole Track listing:
A Night At The Family Dog Incident At Neshabur – Santana Soul Sacrifice – Santana Hard To Handle – The Grateful Dead China Cat Sunflower – The Grateful Dead I Know You Rider – The Grateful Dead The Ballad of You And Me And Pooneil – Jefferson Airplane Eskimo Blue Day – Jefferson Airplane A Super Jam – featuring Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Paul Kantner and more!
Go Ride The Music We Can Be Together – Jefferson Airplane Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane Mexico – Jefferson Airplane Warm Red Wine – Quicksilver Messenger Service Somebody’s Crying – Quicksilver Messenger Service Subway – Quicksilver Messenger Service Plastic Fantastic Lover – Jefferson Airplane Somebody To Love – Jefferson Airplane Mona – Quicksilver Messenger Service Emergency – Jefferson Airplane Wooden Ships – Jefferson Airplane
West Pole Music – Ace Of Cups Roll With It – Steve Miller Band Greasy Heart – Jefferson Airplane New Potato Caboose – The Grateful Dead Dino’s Song – Quicksilver Messenger Service Sittin’ In Circles – Steve Miller Band Simplicity – Ace Of Cups Freedom – Sons of Champlin Gospel Song – Ace Of Cups
More information on this and other titles from Mercury Studios is available along with all of the company’s other news at:
Few bands or even musical acts across the musical universe can say they have been around (and even relevant) for 50 years, but in 2012, The Rolling Stones managed to say just that. In celebration of the anniversary, the band launched its “50 & Counting Tour” Oct. 25 in Paris, France. The tour, which ran just short of a year, took the band from Paris to London and all the way across the United States before bringing the band back home to London in July 2013. The tour grossed in excess of $87 million for the band, proving it a resounding success. Now thanks to Mercury Studios and Universal Music Group, the band’s fans worldwide can enjoy one of the concerts – its Dec. 15, 2012 show at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ – in the comfort of their homes and cars thanks to the band’s latest live recording, GRRR Live! Released Feb. 10, the recording is another welcome addition to the home library of any of The Rolling Stones’ fans and rock fans in general. That is due in no small part to the concert’s extensive set list, which will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance thereof adds its own share of engagement and entertainment to the recording and will be addressed a little later. The companion booklet that accompanies the recording rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation. All things considered they make the recording easily among the best of this year’s new live recordings.
GRRR Live!, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is a presentation that every one of The Rolling Stones’ fans will welcome in their home libraries. Along with so many of the live shows that the band has released over the course of the past five years or so, it is more proof of why The Rolling Stones is among the rock world’s top acts, not only in the studio but on the stage, too. The recording’s appeal is due in no small part to its featured set list. The set list runs 23 songs deep and features a number of well-known hits from The Rolling Stones, such as ‘Paint It Black,’ ‘Honky Tonk Women,’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ while also including some lesser-performed gems, such as ‘Get Off My Cloud,’ ‘Happy’ and ‘Respectable’ to add even more interest. There are even some other interesting non-Rolling Stones tracks, such as Freddie King’s ‘I’m Going Down’ and Bo Didley’s equally timeless 1956 hit, ‘Who Do You Love?’ Simply put, the set list offers audiences plenty of familiarity along with a peppering of something less performed and some other extras to really keep listeners engaged and entertained.
As if the primary set list is not enough for audiences, the collection features three songs – ‘Respectable,’ ‘Around and Around’ (a Chuck Berry hit) and ‘Gimme Shelter’ — as bonus performances on the recording’s Blu-ray. The songs, which bring the set list’s song count to 26 songs, were recorded during the first of the band’s two shows at the Prudential Center on Dec. 13, 2012. So not only do audiences get a taste of that concert, but the entirety of the band’s Dec. 15, 2012 show. What audiences get, in other words, is really the best of both worlds all the way around in the overall set list.
As much as the set list does to make this recording so enjoyable, the band’s performance thereof is of its own appeal. From Mick Jagger’s familiar swagger throughout the show and his ability to work the crowd, to the band’s very performance of the songs themselves, audiences get so much out of the performances in general. One of the most notable of the performances is that of the band’s timeless classic ‘Paint It Black.’ Unlike so many other takes of the song, this one has a unique, almost stripped down approach. The use of the keyboards and sitar here feels more prominent than ever. Charlie Watts’ performance on the drums is even different here than in so many takes of the song that the band has ever produced. It is a surprise, but a welcome surprise.
Speaking of surprise, the surprise appearance of Lady Gaga with the band on its performance of ‘Gimme Shelter’ makes for its own engagement and entertainment, too. Her vocals, together with those of Jagger make for such an interesting pairing. That is because of the power in her vocal performance. There is so much soul and fire in her delivery. The juxtaposition of her fire to Jagger’s subtle swagger in his vocals makes for such an interesting blend that even the least of Gaga’s fans will actually appreciate her work in this case.
The band’s performance of ‘Who Do You Love’ with The Black Keys (yes, The Black Keys) is yet another example of the importance of the performances featured here. The decidedly rockabilly approach that the two bands give the song is so unique in its own right, especially in comparison to Bo Didley’s original song. The coordination between Watts and The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney is spot on throughout the performance, with the two keeping perfect time throughout and really helps keep the song moving. Jagger’s familiar dancing alongside Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach’s easygoing vibe makes for its own special contrast that is so enjoyable, too. Between this performance, the others examined here and the rest of the performances that make up the whole of this presentation, there is no doubt whatsoever about the important role of the set’s performance to the overall presentation. It ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the show’s set list.
As much as the band’s performance does to make this recording so enjoyable, it is still just one more part of what makes this concert so fun. The liner notes in the recording’s companion booklet add even more to the enjoyment. Penned by author Paul Sexton, the liner notes featured in the companion booklet start out by outlining the story of the break the band took in 2007 following the end of its “A Bigger Bang” tour. From there Sexton tells the story of the band’s preparation for its next tour that would become “The 50 & Counting Tour.” From a recording session in Paris, France in 2012 that led to the creation of two new songs – ‘Doom & Gloom’ and ‘One More Shot’ – to rehearsals for the tour to the tour’s launch, to the outline of the performance featured here, Sexton paints a rich picture of what was to come and what came of the tour and performance. That picture is painted additionally through the words of the band members themselves, which personalizes the story all the more for audiences. When the overall story laid out in the liner notes is considered alongside the set list featured here and with the band’s performance thereof, the whole makes GRRR LIVE! Yet another fully enjoyable performance from The Rolling Stones proving yet again why this band is among the greatest bands in the world if not the greatest.
GRRR LIVE!, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is another enjoyable offering from the band. The concert, which was part of the celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary, proves appealing in part because of its set list. The set list offers audiences plenty of familiar hits from the band’s catalog while also including some lesser performed pieces. The set list also throws in some covers that are just as entertaining in their own right. Speaking of entertaining, the band’s performance of the set list is definitely entertaining from beginning to end. The band’s performance is everything audiences have come to expect from the group throughout its historic career. The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet add their own engagement and enjoyment to the mix as they lay out the story of the concert featured here. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation. All things considered they make GRR LIVE! Another fully enjoyable live offering from one of the greatest rock bands in the world if not the greatest in the land.
GRR LIVE! Is available now through Mercury Studios and Universal Music Group. More information on the recording is available along with the band’s latest news at:
This Friday, Mercury Studios will re-issue Marvin Gaye’s previously released live recording, Greatest Hits Live in ’76 on CD. Originally released in 2007 on DVD, the 23-song presentation is a welcome presentation for anyone who does not already own the recording’s aforementioned DVD presentation. That is due in large part to its featured songs, which will be discussed shortly. While the songs that make up the recording’s body are clearly of note in a positive way, the recording is not perfect in its new forthcoming presentation on CD. That is because of its lack of any liner notes. This will be discussed a little later. The recording’s production works with the songs to make for more engagement and entertainment and will be discussed later, too. When it is considered along with the songs, those two elements make the recording a presentation that Marvin Gaye fans and R&B fans in general will find positive.
Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live in ’76, Mercury Studios’ forthcoming re-issue of the same recording originally released by the label – then known as Eagle Rock Entertainment – in 2007 on DVD, is a mostly positive companion piece to that recording. The engagement and entertainment that the recording offers audiences comes in large part through its featured songs. Totaling 23 in all, the songs present a rich cross section of Gaye’s catalog up to that point, reaching as far back as his sophomore 1963 album, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow and as far into his catalog as his 1976 album, I Want You. While so many people know Gaye primarily for his hit slow jam serenade, ‘Let’s Get It On,’ he also produced some more socially conscious content, such as the timeless classic ‘What’s Going On?’ Both those songs are here and were originally featured in two separate albums released by Gaye, Let’s Get It On (1973) and What’s Going On (1971). Also featured in this set is the equally iconic song of determination, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ which Gaye released way back in 1967 in his album, United. Lots of people know Diana Ross’ take of the song, which was actually composed by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson in 1966, and Gaye then first made it a hit not long after its composition. At the time of the songs’ performances and recordings, only two of Gaye’s original albums – That’s The Way Love Is (1970), his 1961 debut record, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye — and one tribute album – A Tribute to the Great Nat “King” Cole – were not represented in this collection. To that end, again, what audiences get in these songs are a relatively rich representation of Gaye’s catalog. This is something that is certain to appeal to so many audiences.
While the songs that make up the collection’s body are unquestionably important in the best way possible to Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live in ’76, knowing when and where the songs were recording is impossible to know is impossible. That is because this new CD re-issue of the recording lacks any liner notes at all. That is at least the case with the review copy received by this critic. Hopefully consumer copies do not suffer from this issue, too. If they do, however, then that definitely will detract from the overall engagement and entertainment because it means audiences do not get that background on the songs. It means no stories on the performances or any other notable anecdotes and pieces of history that might otherwise enrich the listening experience even more for audiences. While the lack of any history on the performances featured here is undeniably problematic for the recording’s presentation, it is not enough to doom the recording. To that end, there is one more positive to examine here. That positive is the overall production presented here.
The production featured in these songs makes the listening experience so immersive. There is something about the quality of the sound that really makes audiences feel like they are right there in the concert hall(s), taking in the performances with everyone else. At times, given, Gaye’s vocals do get a little washed out against the instrumentations, but for the most part, what audiences get is a positive concert experience thanks to the positive general effect generated through the production. When this is considered along with the positive of the songs that make up the recording’s body, the whole makes this recording still well worth owning among Marvin Gaye fans and R&B fans alike.
Mercury Studios’ forthcoming CD re-issue of Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live in ’76 is a largely successful presentation from the label’s previous 2007 DVD presentation. Its success comes in large part through its featured songs. The songs featured here represent such a rich portion of Gaye’s catalog up to that point, omitting only two of his original studio recordings. While the songs are clearly and collectively a positive to the recording, the seeming lack of any background on the performances’ histories detracts from the engagement and entertainment guaranteed through the songs themselves. It would have been nice to have at least some background, knowing whether the songs were all from one concert or multiple performances, and if so when and where they were recorded, as well as any other background on Gaye’s rising star through that portion of his career. The lack of that background is problematic but not enough to doom the recording. To that end, the positive general effect of the recording’s production works with the songs to make up for that issue of the lack of liner notes. That is because of the general effect that is guaranteed through the performances. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered they make the recording a presentation that Marvin Gaye fans and R&B fans in general will find mostly enjoyable.
Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live in ’76 is scheduled for release Friday through Mercury Studios. More information on this and other titles from Mercury Studios is available at:
Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most important, iconic figures in the jazz community. That goes without saying. The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the most iconic music festivals for the music community. So when Fitzgerald made her debut performance at the festival in what would have been only its third year in existence in 1969, the coming together of the two sides made perfect sense. It was one of so many concerts that would help the festival go on to become one of the world’s premiered music festivals, too. More than 30 years after that performance, in 2005, Fitzgerald’s fans and jazz fans in general finally got to experience it for the first time in full through a DVD presentation of her concert. Released through Mercury Studios (then Eagle Rock Entertainment), it marked the first time ever that the 66-minute concert had seen the light of day in a full, official release. Now more than 15 years after its release, the iconic concert will get new life in a new re-issue on CD and vinyl Friday through Mercury Studios. The primary highlight comes in the form of its liner notes. They will be discussed shortly. The set list featured in the recording is its own highlight and will be discussed a little later. The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the recording. All things considered they make Mercury Studios’ new forthcoming re-issue of Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Montreux 1969 one of this year’s top new live CDs.
Mercury Studios’ forthcoming re-issue of Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Montreux 1969 is a presentation that Fitzgerald fans and jazz aficionados in general will find fully engaging and entertaining in its latest presentation on CD and vinyl. Its appeal comes in part through its liner notes. The liner notes, penned by writer Peter Gamble, fill a page and a half inside the booklet that accompanies the recording in its CD pressings. Originally penned by Gamble in 2004 – meaning it is likely these liner notes were included in the concert’s 2005 DVD release. Anyone who has that release is welcome to inform this critic further on this matter – the notes point out that Fitzgerald performed at Montreux at least half a dozen times over her career and that when she made her debut at the festival in 1969, she was already a household name in her own right around the world. This is important to note because it really further serves to show why the pairing of Fitzgerald and the festival was a common sense move. This especially as Gamble points out early in the liner notes that in their fancy, so many jazz festivals needed big names for success because jazz was considered to have a “minority appeal” as a genre. In other words, jazz was not the most popular music at the time. There is no racial connotation here.
Understanding jazz festivals’ need for big names in order to be successful, audiences are immediately led at this point to wonder why it took three years for Montreux’s organizers to get Fitzgerald on board, considering her already established global notoriety. That discussion in itself further shows the importance of the recording’s liner notes.
Gamble further points out in his notes, the set list that Fitzgerald performed at her debut Montreux performance was composed of songs taken from her then latest compilation record, Sunshine of Your Love, which included a take of the Cream classic by the same name. He points out in the notes, the record’s overall presentation surprised many of her established audiences, and not necessarily in a good way. That is because it mixed so much pop influence with her more well-known jazz leanings. It took her in a decidedly new direction. Gamble notes that Fitzgerald and her fellow musicians taking the majority of the record for the set list also surprised audiences at the festival because those audiences also were expecting the jazz standards she had made so popular early in her career. This builds even more on the discussion on her performance and why organizers had waited as long as they had to bring her on board. Perhaps had they brought her on earlier, those standards would have been more prominent, but that is now a story for another time. Either way, it further shows the importance of the record’s liner notes.
Noting the set list featured here, it clearly was controversial at the time. Looking at the set list in the bigger picture of the presentation here, the set list is important because it is the full set list featured in the concert’s 2005 DVD presentation. What’s more it is the same concert presented in the same order as that in the 2005 DVD release. In other words, regardless of whether audiences already own that DVD presentation, they are getting the same set list in both platform’s presentation. That means having the full historical/musical document even in this case. Knowing that there are concerts out there whose track listings do in fact vary from one source to another, it makes this aspect of the recording all the more important.
Keeping in mind the importance of the set list featured here and the liner notes that accompany the recording, audiences clearly have plenty to appreciate from this record. They are just part of what makes the record as engaging and entertaining as it is. The production puts the finishing touch to the presentation. The balance of Fitzgerald’s vocals and the performance of her accompanying musicians is expert. That is especially as the collective makes its way through ‘Sunshine of Your Love.’ Fitzgerald almost sounds like Janis Joplin with her gritty vocal delivery here. That delivery cuts through so clearly even as her fellow performers get increasingly energetic through the song. No one performer overpowers the others at any point here. On the exact opposite end, the production shines through just as much in the more subtle song, ‘A Place For Lovers.’ The subtle swing in the song is captured just as well both from Fitzgerald and pianist Tommy Flanagan. The airy-ness of the venue brings out the richness of Fitzgerald’s performance here, too, again, thanks to the production. Her vocals (and her companions’ performances) ring through the venue so clearly, virtually encompassing listeners in the concert as they close their eyes and take in the concert. On yet another note, the group’s performance of ‘Well Alright Okay You Win’ further shows the impact of the concert’s positive production, really capturing the swing from the collective. The way in which drummer Ed Thigpen’s snare drum cuts through as it keeps the beat and the power in Fitzgerald’s delivery comes through so clearly. Flanagan’s performance on the piano gets just as much attention, again, thanks to the production. The balance of each part continues to show the role that the production plays in this recording and is just one more example of its importance. When the positive impact of the production is considered alongside the positives of the set list and the liner notes, the whole here becomes an early contender for a spot among this year’s top new live CDs.
Mercury Studios’ new, forthcoming CD and vinyl presentation of Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Montreux 1969 is not its first release, but it is one of the first great live CD recordings planned for release this year. Its appeal comes in part through its featured liner notes. Whether the liner notes featured here are also included in the concert’s 2005 DVD release is something those with the DVD will know. Either way, they present an interesting background on the concert that is certain to generate plenty of discussion. The set list featured in the recording is just as important here as the recording’s liner notes. That is because it is the exact same set list in the exact same order as that featured in the recording’s 2005 DVD presentation. It means audiences get the exact same concert here as that featured in the noted DVD presentation. No one is being left out, in other words. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. That is because it makes audiences feel like they are right there in the venue, taking in the concert, what with the expert balance in the sound quality. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation. All things considered they make Mercury Studios’ new re-issue of Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Montreux 1969 the first of this year’s great new live CDs.
Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Montreux 1969 is scheduled for release Friday through Mercury Studios. More information on this and other titles from Mercury Studios is available at:
Late last month, Mercury Studios presented audiences with a unique new presentation for fans of the iconic rock band Thin Lizzy. The hybrid documentary/concert recording, Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live at the Sydney Opera House October 19878 (yes, that is a mouthful for a recording’s title), was released June 24. One part documentary and one part concert recording, it is a presentation that is certain to engage and entertain most of the band’s audiences. That is due in part to that dual presentation, which will be discussed shortly. Digging a little deeper into the presentation, it sadly is not perfect. Unlike so many recordings released through Mercury Studios, there are no liner notes to offer background on the concert. This shortfall is not enough to doom the recording, but certainly would have enhanced the concert experience. It will be discussed a little later. The dual presentation of the concert and the note in the packaging about the footage works with the general presentation to round out the presentation’s most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered they make Mercury Studios’ new Thin Lizzy hybrid release such that most of the band’s audiences will find something to appreciate.
Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live at the Sydney Opera House October 19878, the new hybrid live recording from Mercury Studios, is a unique presentation that the band’s established audiences are sure to appreciate. That is due in no small part to its general presentation. On one side, the recording is a documentary about the band and its still iconic front man Philip Lynott. On the other side is a double-disc presentation of the band’s October 1978 Sydney, Australia concert. The documentary will engage and entertain audiences in large part because it is not just another one of those self-serving pieces narrated by some unseen third party with random interviews, footage, and pictures. Rather, the story in the documentary is told by the former members of Thin Lizzy and by Lynott’s own wife and daughters. The group recalls the band’s history and Lynott’s influence as a performer and songwriter throughout the expansive presentation. Along the way, the documentary’s chapters are separated through presentations of the songs that Lynott wrote and footage of the band performing the songs. The stories behind the songs and the band’s history are so engrossing even for the most casual Thin Lizzy fan. Audiences will be surprised to learn how shy Lynott apparently was off stage despite being such a charismatic front man on stage. This seems to be a recurring theme with front men. Kurt Cobain was always said to be much the same way, as was Jimi Hendrix (who Lynott idolized according to the stories told in the documentary). So many other front men (and women) are and were just as shy. To that end, this revelation is sure to be a starting point for so many discussions on what makes so many vocalists so dramatically different on and off stage.
Getting back on topic, the concert that accompanies the documentary provides its own share of engagement and entertainment. The concert is interesting in part because of its set list. The set list in question is a 13-song presentation that spans 1974-1979, covering half of the band’s 12 albums and two of its live recordings. One of those recordings, Still Dangerous, is an exception, having been released in 2009 years after the band’s breakup. The albums represented in the set list reach back to 1974’s Nightlife and run through 1979’s Black Rose: A Rock Legend. The other of the live recordings represented here is the band’s debut 1978 live recording, Live and Dangerous. So given, it is very specific in the records represented here were really Thin Lizzy at its peak. Following the release of Black Rose: A Rock Legend, the band’s final three albums – Chinatown, Renegade, and Thunder and Lightning – were commercial disappointments. To that end, the albums represented here and the performance overall, showed the band at its best and a great representation of the band’s body of work. What’s more, the set list’s sequencing adds to the presentation. That is because it keeps the concert’s energy flowing in relatively stable fashion, only really slowing in the performance of ‘Still In Love With You.’ To that end, the set list’s sequencing proves itself just as important to its presentation as its songs.
While the set list and its sequencing play directly into the concert’s engagement and entertainment the lack of any background ntoes on the concert detracts somewhat from the overall presentation. This is rare for live recordings from Mercury Studios (formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment). In doing research, it is revealed that the concert presented herein is in fact a re-issue of a previously released concert from another label years ago. What’s more, the concert that was held was a free performance that the band held in front of 100,000 fans in Sydney. In addition, the concert marked guitarist Gary Moore’s first time live with the band in Australia as a permanent member. His stint with the band between 1978 and 1979 would be his third and last with the band. To that end, the concert is as much about Moore’s performance with the band as it is about the band in whole. A note about the quality of the concert footage is included in the packaging, which adds to the understanding and appreciation of the audiovisual presentation, ensuring that much more, audiences’ engagement and entertainment. Keeping all of this in mind, there is plenty of interesting background that could have been written about the band’s 1978 Sydney Harbor concert, which is also briefly shown as part of the recording’s documentary, but sadly that background is nonexistent here. It is not enough to doom the recording, but it certainly would have been beneficial to the presentation to have that addition.
Getting back to the positive side of things, audiences will be happy to know that the concert is presented in full both on DVD and CD as part of the presentation. That means that audiences can enjoy the concert herein in their vehicles and at home any time they want. That is a positive in its own right and is a definite positive to the whole. The concert order is slightly different between the DVD and CD presentations, but each song is still present in each platform. That means no matter what, audiences get the entire concert experience here. When this is considered along with the general overall presentation of the recording, the two items collectively give Thin Lizzy’s established audiences plenty to appreciate.
Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live at the Sydney Opera House October 19878, Mercury Studios’ new retrospective on Thin Lizzy and its equally famed front man Phil Lynott, is a work that will appeal widely among the band’s audiences. That is due in part to its general presentation. The general presentation gives audiences the best of both worlds in one setting with the documentary about the band in the same package as the concert. It would have been easy for Mercury Studios to split the two up and make audiences pay double, but instead the company took the high ground and offered it all in one package. That is commendable to say the least. While the general package is positive, the lack of any background on the concert half of the presentation is disappointing. It would have been nice to have had the important background about the band’s 1978 Sydney Harbor show included in some form, but sadly it was not there. That is not enough to doom the recording, but it certainly would have added to the recording’s impact. The dual presentation of the concert as part of the whole rounds out the recording’s most important elements. It allows audiences to enjoy the 1978 Sydney Harbor show anytime and anywhere they want. It puts the finishing touch to the presentation. When it and the other items examined here are considered together they make the recording in whole a piece that most of the band’s audiences will appreciate.
Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live at the Sydney Opera House October 19878 is available now through Mercury Records. More information on the recording is available along with all of Thin Lizzy’s latest news at:
The Rolling Stones has another new live recording out this week. It comes in the form of Licked Live in NYC. The recording is another wonderfully enjoyable presentation for any fan of The Rolling Stones. That is due in part to its featured set list which will be discussed shortly. The bonus content that accompanies the recording makes for its own engagement and entertainment. It will be discussed a little later. The companion booklet rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined a little later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation. All things considered, they make the recording another presentation that is sure to appeal to any rock purist and fan of The Rolling Stones.
Licked Live In NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is another thoroughly impressive presentation from the band and from Mercury Studios. It is a work that will appeal to any fan of what is in this critic’s mind, the best rock and roll band in the world. The recording’s success comes in part through its featured set list. The set list is largely composed of so many familiar songs from The Rolling Stones. ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘Tumbling Dice,’ ‘and Honky Tonk Woman’ are all there. The latter of the group features a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow. Also included in the set list are the likes of ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),’ ‘Angie’ and ‘Street Fighting Man.’ At the same time though, the set list also pulls in what many might consider some deep cuts. They come in the form of ‘Happy,’ ‘If You Can’t Rock Me,’ ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Monkey Man,’ Thru and Thru’ and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.’ The latter of that group of songs was performed by guitarist Keith Richards. ‘Don’t Stop’ is a single featured in the band’s compilation record, 40 Licks. ‘Monkey Man’ takes audiences back to 1969 and the band’s beloved album, Let It Bleed while ‘Thru and Thru’ is lifted from the band’s 1994 album, Voodoo Lounge. On a side note, Mercury Studios has released a live Rolling Stones performance previously that was part of a tour in support of Voodoo Lounge in the form of Voodoo Lounge Uncut. That recording was released in 2018. Getting back on topic, ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ is lifted from the band’s hit 1971 album, Sticky Fingers but has rarely been featured on any of the band’s live recordings. So it is its own treat for audiences. ‘Happy’ reaches back to 1972 and the band’s album, Exile on Main Street while ‘If You Can’t Rock Me’ comes from the band’s 1974 album, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. Simply put, what audiences get from this concert’s set list is a fair balance of familiar songs and some that are less familiar in a live setting from the band. They also pull from a relatively healthy swath of some of the band’s most well-known and beloved albums. In other words, audiences get the best of both worlds in more ways than one here. To that end, the set list forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation.
Resting firmly on that foundation is the band’s performance of the set list. The band’s performance, which took place on stage at Madison Square Garden Jan. 18, 2003, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, and the now late great Charlie Watts, as well as their fellow musicians and performers. Jagger’s swagger is just as energetic and prevalent as ever throughout the concert. Even his interaction with his fellow performers, including the backing singers, is just so real. Watts’ energy is on full display as he keeps the beat in each song while Wood and Richards bring their own familiar yet unique energy to each performance. Late great saxophonist Bobby Keys’ solo work and backing work throughout the show even added its own great touch to the whole. The energy that he and everybody else brough from the whole unit is fully engaging and entertaining. It makes the overall group’s performance just as immersive and enjoyable as ever. There really is no one bad thing to say about the band’s performance at any point in the concert. To that end, the set list and band’s performance thereof collectively make for so much enjoyment in this concert. They are just a portion of what makes the recording so enjoyable, too. The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds even more to the overall experience.
The bonus content comes in the form of a n extensive documentary about the band’s tour, a group of “studio rehearsal performances” and some live extras. The extra live content comes in the form of live clips of ‘Star Star,’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ and ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You.’ Between those songs, the full “rehearsal” performances of ‘Well Well’ and Extreme Western Grip’ brings the recording’s full song list to 26 songs. So in other words, audiences not only get some extra performances, which are engaging and entertaining in their own right, but audiences also get in these performances some more enjoyable live performances, some in studio and some on stage. It’s the best of both worlds, so to speak.
The bonus documentary that comes with the presentation is important in its own right because it really makes audiences the proverbial fly on the wall. Audiences get to watch as the band members plan the tour from which the featured concert was included. From planning the stage show to rehearsing together to even Jagger preparing his vocals and dancing skills. Yes, he even trains in regards to the dancing that he does on stage. Audiences will be pleasantly surprised to watch him train for that aspect. It shows just how seriously the band members take the preparations for its shows. At the same time, in listening to the band members talk about working together and to see them interacting with fans, family, and friends, audiences gain even more appreciation for the band. That is because of how easygoing the band members appear throughout the show. That easygoing nature shows through just as much on stage, so in essence, audiences get a definite vibe of what you see is what you get from the band. It really shows that this veteran band, even at that point in its career, did not seem to have the ego of so many bands out there today, veteran and otherwise. Between that and the appreciation that audiences will have watching the band prepare for the tour, the documentary presents its own engagement and entertainment. When the enjoyment generated through the documentary is paired with that generated through the bonus performances, the overall bonus content more than makes for reason to take in this concert. That bonus content is just one more part of what makes Licked Live In NYC so enjoyable. The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet rounds out the most important of its elements.
The liner notes featured in the companion booklet were penned by journalist/broadcaster Paul Sexton. Sexton outlines the show in his notes, giving audiences a preview of the concert before audiences even take in the show. It is a thorough description highlighting many of the extensive number of high points throughout the concert. He also cites guitarist Ron Wood as saying that the band rehearsed no less than 120 (yes, 120) songs in preparation for the tour. That tidbit, while minimal, is still powerful. It adds even more to the documentary, showing even more just how seriously the band took its preparations for the tour. That the band had that many songs to rehearse is in itself shocking and in a good way. It makes for even more appreciation for the band and the overall presentation here. AS if that is not enough, there are comments from Richards and from Watts about how the band came to decide on the venues for the concert. Their insights are deep as they talk about the constraints of performing at larger venues and at theaters and smaller venues. All of these discussions and the previous that Sexton offers audiences makes for its own engagement and value to the recording, too. When that engagement and value is paired with the impact of the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, and with the bonus content featured here, the whole makes Licked Live in NYC yet another fully successful live offering from a group that is one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world if not the best.
Licked Live in NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is an impressive new offering from the group that rock purists and fans of The Rolling Stones alike will find appealing. Its appeal comes in part through its featured set list and the band’s performance thereof. The set list gives audiences plenty of familiar content while also bringing some deep cuts that have rarely appeared in any of the band’s existing live recordings. That best of both worlds approach and the enjoyment of the songs themselves makes for so much enjoyment. The band’s performance of each song makes for its own engagement and entertainment. That is because even being 40 years into its life at the time of the concert, it shows the band was still at the very top of its game. That includes the core group’s backing performers. The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds to the overall enjoyment. That is because it gives audiences even more live content, both on stage and in studio. The documentary that is also used as bonus content will keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right. That is because it shows the time and effort that the band put into preparing for its 40th anniversary tour. The liner notes crafted by Paul Sexton do well to compliment the documentary while also previewing the concert through his own descriptions. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered they make Licked Live in NYC one more of the year’s top new live recordings.
Licked Live in NYC is available now. More information on Licked Live in NYC is available along with all of its latest news at:
For the first time in more than a dozen years, veteran rock band The Police officially released a new live recording this week in the form of Around the World: Restored & Expanded. Released Friday through Mercury Studios, the recording is the band’s first new live recording since the release of its then latest live recording, Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires in 2008. That recording was released through A&M Records. This latest presentation is such that it will appeal to a wide range of audiences, from the band’s most devoted audiences to even more causal audiences. That is due in large part to its featured set list, which will be discussed shortly. The audio’s companion tour documentary that is featured in the set’s DVD and Blu-ray platforms adds its own share of interest. It will be discussed a little later. The liner notes penned by The Police guitarist Andy Summers are a welcome companion to the tour documentary and round out the presentation’s most notable elements. They will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered they make Around the World: Restored & Expanded a presentation that most fans of The Police will find enjoyable.
Around the World: Restored & Expanded, the new live recording from The Police, is a presentation that most of the band’s audiences will find appealing. That is due in large part to its featured set list. Totaling 11 songs, the set list is pulled from performances that the band held on its then debut global tour in 1980. The songs presented here were pulled from the band’s first two albums, Outlandos d’Amour (1978) and Reggatta de Blanc (1979). That 1978 record is the most heavily represented here, with six total songs. The latter received four nods. As an added bonus, the rare b-side, ‘Visions of the Night’ is also featured here. The song was a b-side to the band’s hit single, ‘Walking on the Moon’. Simply put, what audiences get in this collection of songs is a presentation of The Police from what was at the time still its infancy. To that end, it is a welcome representation of the band’s catalog at the time. Keeping that in mind, this aspect is certain to appeal to plenty of audiences. The only downside to the set list is that it is only made available on the recording’s CD platform. Given, there are live performances of four of the songs featured in the audio side, but it still would have been great having the entire collection, considering that the tour documentary presented on the DVD and Blu-ray runs only an hour and 23 minutes. Beggars can’t be choosers, though. To that end, it is still good to even have this presentation of The Police’s early days both in studio and on the road.
The songs that make up the main body of Around the World: Restored & Expanded are just part of the presentation’s appeal for the band’s noted audiences. The tour documentary that is featured in the collection’s DVD and Blu-ray presentation will appeal just as much to the noted audiences. Audiences see the band make its way around the world, from Asia to Australia, to Africa (more specifically Egypt) to South America and to America, audiences are taken along for the band’s ride in its debut world tour. Along the way, audiences get to see the noted live performances that are also separated as bonus content on the DVD and BD platforms. While the band is in Asia, audiences get to see Summers take on a sumo wrestler, though some might not really want to see him in the glorified diaper that sumo wrestlers wear. Yes, that was meant to be a lighthearted statement. Audiences also get to see the band on board a boat in the waters of what looks like possibly Thailand. When the band reaches Egypt things get a bit tense. At first audiences think that a certain discussion had between a group of individuals was acted out, but as Summers points out in his notes, it apparently was not set up. This will be discussed a little later. Over in Australia, audiences see the band in the countryside as well as on stage. Overall, the documentary builds on the foundation formed by the recording’s audio side and enhances the concert experience that much more for the noted audiences.
Building on the presentation that is the documentary are the liner notes penned by Summers. As already pointed out, Summers explains that the band’s stay in Egypt was anything but good. Summers explains that a comment made by Sting to an Egyptian official and his initial refusal to take back what he said almost caused an international incident. Another incident was narrowly avoided in one South American country when Summers apparently had a physical altercation of sorts with a law enforcement official at a concert. These two items will be left for audiences to discover for themselves, but they definitely build on the experience even more. That is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that is the liner notes. Summers also writes in his notes that the band had yet another close call in New Zealand, yet again involving law enforcement. This is yet another intriguing anecdote that will be left for audiences to read about for themselves. Between this story, the others pointed out here and everything else that Summers recalls in his notes, the overall content in the recording’s companion booklet puts the finishing touch to the presentation and ensures that much more that the band’s established audiences and casual fans alike will appreciate the presentation. When this content, the audio, and video are all considered, they leave no doubt that the noted audiences will find plenty to appreciate about the recording.
Around the World: Restored and Expanded is a presentation that most fans of The Police will find enjoyable. That is due in large part to the recording’s featured songs. They are in themselves a strong representation of the band in its infancy. That is because the songs that make up the main body of the recording are all pulled from the band’s first two albums. There is even a rare b-side included in the mix for good measure. The tour documentary that accompanies the performances makes for its own interest. That is because it takes audiences along for the ride with the band on its first-ever world tour. Audiences get to see firsthand, much of what the band experienced, including the high and occasional not so high points. The liner notes penned by The Police guitarist Andy Summers work directly with the documentary to enhance the viewing experience therein. That is because they are those firsthand notes. They take audiences even deeper into the band’s tour and finish off the overall presentation. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make Around the World: Restored & Expanded a presentation that most fans of The Police will find a welcome new offering from the band and from Mercury Studios.
Around the World: Restored & Expanded is available now. More information on the recording is available along with all of the latest news from The Police at:
Mercury Studios will celebrate the legacy of Thin Lizzy and its front man Phil Lynott this summer with a new dual documentary/concert presentation.
Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live at the Sydney Opera House October 1978 is scheduled for release June 24. The expansive presentation will release on 2DVD/CD and Blu-ray/DVD/CD. Pre-orders are open and a trailer for the presentation is streaming here.
The band’s live recording is a re-issue of the presentation that was previously released on VHS, laserdisc, and DVD. It features five additional songs not featured in the concert’s previous releases as well as remastered video and remixed audio.
The set list in the concert features songs, such as ‘The Boys Are Back in Town,’ ‘Still In Love With You,’ and ‘Warriors.’ The 13-song set list is featured in different orders on the CD and DVD presentations. As an added note, there is an option on the DVD to play the songs with the Lost Performances from the order in which they were originally performed.
More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:
Mercury Studios is reaching into The Rolling Stones’ live vault once again.
The company, formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment, announced Wednesday, it is scheduled to release Licked Live in NYC June 10. A trailer for the recording is streaming here.
The concert presented in the package was held January 18, 2003 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for an HBO special. It was the second of two dates that the band performed at the venue that month, with the first date having been held two days prior on Jan. 16.
Mercury Studios will release the concert on DVD/2CD and SD Blu-ray/2CD combo packs, as well as 2CD and 3 LP standalone sets. It features performances of many of the band’s greats hits, such as ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Additionally, Sheryl Crow made a guest appearance on the band’s performance of ‘Honky Tonk Women.’
As an added bonus, the package’s DVD and BD packages will feature the band’s rehearsal footage and three extra performances not featured in the original HBO performance. Also, the SD Blu-ray package will feature the 51-minute documentary, “Tip of the Tongue,” which follows the band as it prepares for the tour.
The full concert set list is noted below for each of its platforms.
Courtesy: Mercury Studios
More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:
It seems like ever year, audiences everywhere are seeing an increase in the number of classic TV shows and movies that were once popular everywhere they go. It really is a sad state of affairs. Of course that is not the only avenue in which older content is getting renewed so to speak. The originals also get new life every now and then on DVD and Blu-ray through various distributors, sometimes in better form than others and vice versa. This year saw a handful of classic TV shows and movies get some laudable re-issues and some less so.
What is most interesting about this year’s field of top new DVD and BD re-issues is the wide range of companies that released said titles. It shows that along with the likes of Shout! Factory – which has made quite the name for itself over the years in the home entertainment field – other familiar and up-and-coming names are really working to make their names known in that field, too, such as Arrow Video and Corinth Films, making for so much more variety.
From Shout! Factory’s re-issue of Explorers, to Arrow Video’s re-issue of the original Dune, to even Mill Creek Entertainment’s re-issue of the classic, short-lived animated series, The Critic, this year’s re-issues and the companies that released them offered audiences plenty of alternatives to the never-ending ocean of prequels, sequels, and reboots that filled theaters and streaming services this year. As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 titles in the given category with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15. This year’s list was not easy to compile but is complete.
Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.
PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES
Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series
The Final Countdown
The Belles of St. Trinian’s
Ken Burns’ Baseball
The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang – Live at Copacabana Beach
Motorhead: No Sleep Till Hammersmith
The Snake Girl and the Silver Haired Witch
The Transformers: The Movie
Superman: The Animated Series
The Critic: The Complete Series
Star Trek: The Original Series
Emergency: The Complete Series
It should be stressed here that in the case of Emergency and Star Trek, those two series sets are intentionally set at the bottom of this year’s list as, their positives are few. They are the least of the year’s best new re-issues. Audiences would do well to largely avoid these sets. There is a reason they are at the bottom of even the honorable mention titles. Keeping that in mind, this year’s list of top new DVD and BD re-issues is officially wrapped. There are still plenty of other lists coming, such as the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, families, and even family DVDs/BDs. Stay tuned!