Hill Street Blues Reaches One Of Its Highest Points In Its Fifth Season

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/NBC

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/NBC

Crime dramas today are a dime a dozen.  It seems like every broadcast and cable network across the spectrum today has its own crime drama original or otherwise.  The problem with this overabundance of crime dramas is that given their massive numbers it is difficult if not impossible to truly point out one as being more original than others.  For all of the cookie cutter crime dramas that are splashed across the networks every week, there are those that have and still do stand out even today.  One of the most notable of those dramas is NBC’s classic series Hill Street Blues.  Last year, Shout! Factory released the series in its entirety for its fans.  It proceeded to follow up that release with the release of the series’ third and fourth seasons in their own standalone box sets.  The reason that the company didn’t start those standalone season sets with Season One is likely linked to distribution rights.  Seasons One and Two were released in their own box sets nine years ago by 20th Century Fox.  With any luck Shout! Factory will obtain the rights in the not too distant future for those two seasons so that Shout! Factory will be able to release the series in full even in its own standalone boxes.  Getting back on track, Shout! Factory continued its series of Hill Street Blues standalone sets this past May when it released Season Five in its own box.  Five seasons into its run Hill Street Blues proved why this classic series was then and is now one of the best of its kind.  The central way in which it shows this is throughout its writing.  The writing behind this season’s run continues to expertly balance both the stories of the officers on duty and in their own personal lives without re-hashing story lines that had already been used in the series’ previous seasons.  By direct connection, the level of explicit content displayed throughout these episodes is completely unlike that of the crime dramas that fill out the networks today.  Having noted both elements, there is one more element to note of Season Five that makes it stand out.  It is the set’s packaging; more specifically, the inclusion of a full episode guide yet again with the box.  This is nothing new for Shout! Factory or for its Hill Street Blues releases.  And it is yet another welcome addition.  That element alongside the writing behind each of the season’s episodes and the episodes’ overall content rounds out the set and proves in the end why it is yet another release that fans will want to add to their own home collections.

Hill Street Blues is one of the most original crime dramas to grace any television network broadcast or other since the advent of the genre.  It proved this for seven seasons from 1981 to 1987.  Even in comparison to the various crime dramas across the TV spectrum today, it stands proudly against those overly (and unnecessarily) violent, gritty programs.  That is just as evident in the series’ fifth season as any of its first four runs and the final pair that would come after.  It is so evident primarily thanks to the work of the series’ writers.  Instead of being a show centered purely on crime investigations, it also focused on the personal lives of the officers even five seasons into its run.  Sure, other crime dramas that have come since have tried to echo that writing style.  But few if any have truly succeeded in emulating it.  One example of how the writing continued to stand out in its fifth season comes in the form of Episode 87 “Fuched Again.”  This episode tackles the classic story lines centered on corruption within the police force and even city government.  While the story lines are nothing new to the realm of crime dramas, the way in which the show’s writers handled them here sets them apart from every other instance in which they have been presented in other shows.  One way in which it is set apart from those other instances is that there is a sort of Jack Ruby feel added in to the story as a former high-ranking officer is implicated in the killing of a would-be assassin who tried to kill the city’s mayor.  On a similar note, it just so happens that the corruption that is discovered within the force is linked directly (and fittingly enough) to a member of the squad’s narcotics department.  There is much more that goes on in this episode, proving why this episode stands out as an example of the strength of the season’s writing.  Audiences will just have to find out the other ways in which the writing stands out for themselves when they pick up this set for themselves.

The writing exhibited in “Fuched Again” is just one example of how the writing incorporated into Season Five’s episodes makes Hill Street Blues stand out yet again.  “G.Q.” is another example of how the series’ writing keeps the series so enthralling even five seasons in.  At the heart of this episode is a conflict between Hill and Renko that finally boils over.  The conflict between the pair rose from events that happened previously in the season.  The very fact that the show’s writers could carry what is essentially one story arc within the season without letting it become the center of the entire season is in itself a clear example of the writers’ talents.  In an age today when serials seem to control every aspect of mainstream television, this series shows that it is possible to have a show with its own self-contained story arcs within each season.  On another note, there is another, smaller story of police corruption being uncovered as Davenport has to take a stand against housing authority officers who framed a young African-American boy for a broken window at the O’Neil Projects.  The ability of the writers to balance this story with the episode’s two other story arcs and said stories’ originality shows again expert talent from the writers.  That talent shows in larger part again why the writing incorporated into the fifth season of Hill Street Blues is so pivotal to its success.

The season premiere, in which Jablonski is introduced to the squad, is yet another example of the writers’ continued talents this season.  New character introductions are commonplace in ongoing series such as this one.  The problem is that the manner in which they are introduced has become just as trite as other stories presented within the world of crime dramas.  Jablonski’s introduction stands out from other new character introductions as it is linked an allegedly not so pleasant incident with another officer at another station.  In other words, he was brought to Hill Street not because of a promotion but because of a re-assignment.  This isn’t typically the case when it comes to such introductions in other crime dramas.  The writers also take on the topic of capital punishment as Celestine Grey is scheduled to be executed.  Interestingly enough, not everyone is for the execution.  Both story arcs will have audiences completely engaged from beginning to end and are just as expertly balanced as those presented in the previously noted episodes.  It shows yet again the talent of the series’ writers even so deep into the show’s run and proves even more why the show’s writing is so key to its success at this point.  Whether for this episode, the other two noted here or for any of the season’s other episodes, every episode presented across Season Five’s standalone set shows in its own way the talent of the show’s writers.  All episodes considered together, they show clearly why the writing behind this season lies at the center of its success.

The writing incorporated into Season Five is the central point of its success.  That is clear in examining each one of the season’s episodes.  While it is central to Season Five’s success, it is just one element of the season’s success.  The overall content displayed in each episode is just as key to the season’s success.  Viewers will note that in comparison to the crime dramas on television today, the level of overt blood, violence and sexuality presented throughout Hill Street Blues’ seven-season run is far less than that of said programs.  That is just as obvious in Season Five as in any of the series’ previous seasons and the pair of runs that followed.  Considering how limited said content proves to be, it makes the show that much more worth the watch.  It proves yet again that a series doesn’t have to rely on such elements in order to succeed.  Being that it doesn’t have to rely on said elements, that lack of overt violence and otherwise graphic content  coupled with the writing incorporated into Season Five makes this collection that much more enjoyable for the show’s original fan base.

Both the writing incorporated into Season Five’s episodes and the overall lack of graphic content are important in their own right to the success and enjoyment of Hill Street Blues: Season Five.  While both elements are of equal value and importance they are not all that makes it another win for fans of the series and for Shout! Factory.  The packaging used for this season rounds out its positives.  More specifically speaking, the inclusion once again of a complete episode guide inside the set’s case rounds out the set.  As with Shout! Factory’s previous Hill Street Blues box sets (and so many other box sets from the leading name in home entertainment), audiences get a complete episode guide printed on the inside of the box’s cover art.  It is printed on the front and back of the box art, clearly outlining which episodes are on which disc.  There is also a short but concise summary of each episode included with each episode listed inside the box. Each summary gives just enough information to catch viewers’ attention and give a clear picture of the episodes’ stories at the same time. Thanks to that packaging element, audiences don’t have to waste their time going through each disc or looking up the episodes online to figure out whether or not they want to watch them. It is a great way to round out this latest full season set of Hill Street Blues. Together with the work of the show’s writers displayed across the noted episodes, and the relatively tame content (in comparison to today’s crime dramas), all three elements together show fully why Hill Street Blues: Season Five is another welcome addition to the collection of any of the series’ fans.

Hill Street Blues: Season Five offers fans of the classic crime drama plenty of reason to add this collection to their personal home DVD collections. The writing incorporated into each of its episodes presents stories that once again stand apart from anything offered to viewers by today’s crime dramas. They are more human for lack of better wording. The overall lack of explicit content once again presented here adds even more reason for fans of the classic series to add this standalone season set to their own home collections. The inclusion of a full episode listing complete with episode summaries rounds out the set’s positives. All three elements considered together, they show clearly why any fan of Hill Street Blues should have this latest collection of episodes to their own home DVD library. Hill Street Blues: Season Five is available now online and in stores and can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/hill-street-blues-season-five. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Fates Warning To Re-Issue Classic Concept Album This Fall

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records will re-issue Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray this fall.

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today that the label will re-issue Fates Warning’s 1997 album on Friday, October 2nd in a special four-disc set that includes three CDs and a live DVD featuring two complete live performances of the band’s classic concept album. The lead disc in the upcoming set will feature the band’s original album re-mastered. The second disc will feature a live performance of the album that was recorded during the band’s 1998 European tour, a soundcheck recording of ‘We Only Say Goodbye,’ and a studio recording of the band covering the classic Scorpions song ‘In Trance.’ The third of the set’s CDs features a handful of demos that were crafted in the early days of the album’s creation.

The DVD that is included in the upcoming re-issue features two complete live performances of A Pleasant Shade of Gray. The first of the performances is a fully restored and re-edited recording of the concert, which was originally presented on VHS in 1998. The second of the performances was recorded in 1999 at The Whisky in Hollywood, California. Pre-orders for the 3-CD/DVD set will begin next Thursday, August 6th.

Along with the announcement of its classic album’s upcoming re-issue, the band has also announced that it will tour this fall. The band will hit the road beginning Friday, October 9th in Hartford, Connecticut for an eighteen-date tour that will see it perform at venues in the Northeast, Midwest, Southwest and West Coast. The band’s complete list of tour dates is noted below.

FATES WARNING Live:
10/9: Hartford, CT @ Webster Theater
10/10 Worcester, MA @ Palladium
10/11: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
10/13: Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
10/14: Amityville, NY @ Revolution
10/16: Detroit, MI @ Token Lounge
10/17: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
10/18: Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
10/20: Altoona, PA @ McGarveys
10/23: Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/24: Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
10/25: San Antonio, TX @ 210 Kapone’s Live
10/27: Denver, CO @ The Roxy
10/29: Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
10/30: Costa Mesa, CA @ Tiki Bar
10/31: San Jose, CA @ Rockbar
11/1: Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky
11/2: Ramona, CA @ Ramona Mainstage

Exclusive VIP packages for each show are available now and can be purchased online at http://65.36.150.245/rockeventsonline/TourMasterPage2.cfm?BandName=Fates%20Warning&TourName=FW-US_Fall_2015. There are two different VIP packages that fans can purchase. The first allows fans the chance to take in its soundcheck, do a meet-and-greet with the band, take photos with the band, and includes a VIP laminate. The second VIP package includes everything noted in the first package. Unlike the first package, the second also includes a signed copy of the upcoming re-issue of A Pleasant Shade of Gray.

More information on the band’s upcoming re-issue of A Pleasant Shade of Gray is available now along with all of the band’s latest news, tour updates, and more at:

Website: http://fateswarning.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

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Memphis May Fire’s Fans Will Appreciate Unconditional Deluxe Edition Unconditionally

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Early last year, Memphis May Fire released its fourth full-length album Unconditional in stores and online. The album was received to critical acclaim, debuting in the #4 slot on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart and selling more than 27,000 copies in its first week in stores. Now, a little more than a year after its release, the band has teamed with its label, Rise Records, to re-issue the album in a new Deluxe edition. Unconditional Deluxe Edition features two new songs and a pair of acoustic takes of songs included in Unconditional’s original release and its new re-issue. The acoustic renditions of ‘Beneath The Skin’ and ‘Need To Be’ close out Unconditional’s re-issue and are just two of the highlights of this record. Both renditions give the original songs from which they stemmed their own new identities yet lose none of the depth and power exhibited in the originals. ‘My Generation,’ which is one of the newly introduced songs on this record. While it may have the same name as The Who’s timeless composition, it is anything but that song. In other words it isn’t a cover. It is its own song completely separate from that work yet still boasts its own powerful musical and lyrical content. Regardless of whether fans go for the acoustic renditions of ‘Beneath The Skin’ and ‘Need To Be,’ the newly introduced anthem ‘My Generation’ or the album’s other newly introduced song ‘Stay The Course’ every one of Memphis May Fire’s fans will agree that the addition of all four songs makes Unconditional’s new re-issue one of this year’s best new re-issues.

Memphis May Fire’s newly re-issued 2014 album Unconditional is one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues. Long-time fans of the veteran Dallas, Texas-based metalcore band will agree with this sentiment after hearing the four new additions to the album. One of those additions, an acoustic re-working of ‘Beneath The Skin,’ anchors the album’s bonus tracks. It can be argued that the song’s acoustic take gives the song a whole new identity as the heaviness of the original take is not there. That identity has been established as Kellen McGregor and Anthony Sepe have traded in the heavy, crunching sound that served as the basis in the original song for a much more emotional sound that is made even deeper and moving thanks to front man Matty Mullins’ equally toned-down vocal delivery as he sings, “She dreams of a day when she won’t have to cry herself to sleep/Staring at the scars on her wrists/She knows this is not who she wants to be/Another night all alone with her thoughts/Dwelling on the questions that race through her head/Scared to sleep/Scared to wake up and face the day/When she can’t forget the things that they said.” Whereas the heavier sound of the song’s original take gives it a feeling that exudes great tension and anger on the part of the song’s subject, this new acoustic take paints the picture of the young lady as a figure feeling so much sadness and pain. That is especially the case in the verse noted here. The gentility and fragility in Mullins’ delivery set against the equally reserved sound exhibited by his band mates makes it especially worth the listen by any young person, male or female. In being that much more worth the listen, it will hae a greater chance of relating to so many more young listeners and potentially helping make a positive in said individuals’ lives. That increased ability to reach and relate to a wider audience makes the acoustic take of ‘Beneath The Skin’ a clearly positive addition to Unconditional’s re-issue. That is not to say that the original, heavier take is any less significant in the bigger picture of the album. It just means to say that the new acoustic take presented here is just as powerful as the full-on, original take.

The newly introduced acoustic take of ‘Beneath The Skin’ is a clear example of what makes Unconditional’s new re-issue an album that every Memphis May Fire fan will appreciate. While it may be an acoustic take of a much heavier song, that does not make the song any less heavy. As a matter of fact, the emotion and depth exuded by the much softer re-working of the song makes it just as heavy and in turn impacting. It is just one of the additions made to the album’s re-issue that makes it worth the listen. The acoustic re-working of ‘Need To Be’ adds even more reason for the band’s fans to check out the album’s Deluxe Edition. Just as with the acoustic take of ‘Beneath The Skin,’ the acoustic re-working of this song gives it just as much depth. The song’s original take is by no means heavy. Obviously neither is this take. But it still offers its own depth. The difference between the tracks is that this song maintains a certain reserved nature where the original adds a certain amount of punch as it proceeds. That control exhibited throughout the song in comparison to its original take makes the song’s lyrical content much more personal as Mullins sings, “My heart is heavy and torn/Weighed down by all my mistakes and the chains I’ve worn/A constant struggle with fear/Unsure if I was enough from the day I was born/But you see the beauty in my flaws/You pick me up when I fall/Show me the way when I am lost/In the eye of the storm/You show me I’m not alone/And give me strength to carry on.” The electronics removed from the song at this moment and replaced with the gentle tones of a piano, shaker, and drum set gives it a completely different feel that is still positive in its own right. It is just one change made in this song that makes it just as deep and powerful as the song’s original take and in turn yet another reason that Memphis May Fire’s fans will appreciate the new Deluxe edition of Unconditional.

Both of the acoustic re-workings presented in Unconditional’s new Deluxe Edition show in their own way why the band’s fans will appreciate this new re-issue. Of course for all of the value that they add to the record, they are not the only reasons that the band’s fans will appreciate this record. There are also two previously unreleased tracks included as part of the Deluxe Edition’s body–‘My Generation’ and ‘Stay The Course.’ Both songs are equally hard-hitting and memorable in their own right. The prior of the pair especially stands out. That is thanks in large part to its pounding musical content, driven by Jake Garland’s solid time keeping and the dual attack of McGregor and Sepe. The infectious, fist-pumping chant of “We are the youth/We are the future” in the song’s chorus makes the song even harder-hitting. One can easily imagine the band’s fans chanting these lines defiantly and in unison at its live shows. It’s just one aspect of the song’s lyrical content that makes the song such an important addition to the album’s re-issue. Mullens and company go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Fight, fight, fight for the ones without a voice/Fight, fight, fight until they pay attention/Fight, fight, fight for the ones without a voice/Fight, fight, fight we’re gonna make ’em listen/Fight, fight, fight, we’re gonna fight ’till they hear us.” The defiance is clear and will definitely energize the band’s fans. The addition of the heavy, pummeling guitars and drums alongside Mullens’ delivery style adds even more power to the song. Whether for its pummeling musical content or for its defiant lyrical content, it can be said that the combination of both elements together presented here makes ‘My Generation’ one of Memphis May Fire’s best songs yet and even more proof of why Unconditional’s new Deluxe Edition is a record that any of the band’s fans will appreciate. That is not to discount the also newly added song ‘Stay The Course. That song will impress the band’s fans just as much with its message of perseverance. Both songs coupled with both of the acoustic pieces added to the album here make the album in whole a welcome addition to the library of any of the band’s fans and an album that proves itself to be one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues.

Memphis May Fire released last year what has since proven to be one of its most successful albums to date if not its single-most successful album when it released Unconditional. Now with its new Deluxe Edition re-issue, which boasts two new tracks and two acoustic re-workings of songs featured in the album’s original release, Unconditional may very well surpass the mark set by the album in its original take. That is thanks in large part to the noted new additions included here. All four songs together will impress by the band’s long-time fans just as much as those that are less familiar with the band’s body of work. Each listener will agree in hearing those new additions alongside the original album’s songs, that Unconditional is, again, a welcome addition to the library of any of the band’s fans and a work that is one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues. It is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of Unconditional. It will be live in Auburn Hills, Michigan tonight and Chicago, Illinois tomorrow. Fans can get the band’s full list of tour dates online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/memphismayfire

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Hyde Park Live 1969 Is One Of Eagle Rock’s Most Intriguing Live Stones Shows

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s latest entry in its Rolling Stones From The Vault series is one of its most intriguing installments yet.  That is thanks in large part to its stylistic approach.  The overall presentation of this recording is more along the lines of a hybrid concert documentary than a pure concert presentation unlike its predecessors.  The concert’s set list is also of note in the concert’s interest.  The set list presented here is relatively short, boasting only a total of eight songs at a total run time of fifty-five minutes.  That’s relatively short in comparison to other Rolling Stones concerts and concerts from other bands and artists in general.  It could be a reflection of the band having lost one of its founding members only days prior to the show.  Regardless, it still stands as an important element of the show that makes it such an intriguing watch.  The production values of the concert are also of note.  The efforts of those charged with restoring the concert’s audio and video for its presentation here are to be commended.  On another level, audiences will note a distinctly different shooting style here than that typically expected in a concert recording.  It is a more guerilla style presentation.  Interestingly enough that very style of shooting gives the recording a feeling that makes it stand out even more.  And that is just scratching the surface of this recording.  The band’s stage presence is notably unlike what audiences are used to seeing from its members.  The recording’s companion booklet generates even more interest to the concert.  All things considered, From The Vault: Hyde Park 1969 proves in the end exactly why it is the most interesting of Eagle Rock’s live Rolling Stones recordings.  Audiences that recognize all of the noted elements will agree with this critic’s sentiment and in turn will note its importance to the whole of Eagle Rock’s From The Vault series thus making it that much more worth the watch.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s latest entry in its Rolling Stones From The Vault series is one of its most intriguing installments yet.  That is thanks in large part to its stylistic approach.  More simply put, it is not presented as a standard concert recording.  Rather it is more along the lines of a hybrid concert documentary feature.  That argument is made as audiences get more than just a concert here.  Rather, audiences get a concert as well as commentary from front man Mick Jagger at various points throughout the show.  The commentary in question hits on the economics of touring, his personal thoughts on having to soldier on without Brian Jones, and much more.  Some of the commentary is first-hand with Jagger on camera as he discusses the noted subjects while other pieces are edited together with footage of the band performing and of people taking in the concert in various ways.  Those various ways in which the audience takes in the concert includes singing, dancing, and even sailing (yes, sailing) sailboats near the stage as they take in the concert.  Given the use of such an approach is not exactly anything new in the world of concert recordings and tour documentaries.  But it is also not an overly common practice among directors tapped to head up the projects.  This includes even more recent recordings from much less experienced bands and performers.  To that extent, the fact that it is not so overly common of an approach makes it a rather important element worth noting in this recording.  It is not the only element worth noting, either.  The concert’s set list should be noted as another key element to the concert.

The set list that makes up the body of The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park show is just as important to its interest as is the stylistic approach taken in the concert’s overall presentation.  The set list presented in this concert is relatively short in comparison both to other, previously released Rolling Stones concerts and those of other bands past and present. That is because the concert presented here is what audiences saw in the concert’s original television broadcast.  It is noted in the concert’s companion booklet that the set list, which actually consists of fourteen songs rather than eight, was altered quite a bit for television.  That would explain why six of the set’s songs are not included here and why the show is out of order from the actual set list, which is listed in the booklet.  Considering this Eagle Rock is not to be held responsible for what is and isn’t presented especially if those remaining six songs might not be available right now. One can only hope that with this knowledge, Eagle Rock will manage to get hold of said songs somewhere down the road and eventually assemble them together for the full concert as it was meant to be seen by the band’s legions of fans around the world. This aside even presenting the concert’s original TV broadcast, the set list makes for its own share of enjoyment. Audiences get to hear in this set list the band’s first-ever live performance of its hit song ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and of ‘I’m Yours & I’m Hers.’ The band’s take on ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ here is quite different from what was laid down on its studio version. That version is considerably more upbeat versus this much slower take. Being slower takes nothing away from the song by any means. Rather it makes it just as interesting. Keeping that in mind it is a good thing that it was left in this presentation to say the least. It is just one more way in which the show’s set list proves to be so integral to the overall interest of Hyde Park Live 1969. The set list having been noted, it still is not the last reason that Hyde Park Live 1969 proves to be such an intriguing recording. The production values presented in the “broadcast” are also worth noting.

Both the approach taken by those at Granada TV for its broadcast of Hyde Park Live 1969 and the set list chosen by those same individuals do quite a bit to make this recording intriguing. For all of the interest that both elements generate together, they are hardly all that is worth noting. The production values exhibited in the recording are just as worth noting. The efforts of those charged with re-mastering the recording for its presentation here are to be applauded for their efforts. Considering the recording technology available at the time of the concert’s original recording both the audio and video have stood the test of time quite well. And those that brought it back to life made it look and sound just as good if not better. Thanks to their efforts a certain sense of nostalgia is established in watching the concert. On another level, the guerilla-style approach taken by the camera crew and associated editing makes the presentation even more interesting. It really catches the show’s energy especially when the camera operators start using the quick zoom in and out on some of the crowd shots later in the show. The shots of the crowd in its various activities throughout the concert do just as much to heighten the concert’s energy. These are just a couple of ways in which the work of the camera crew and editors make the production values even more important in the grand scheme of Hyde Park Live 1969. Together with the work of those that restored the concert for its presentation here, the production values in whole prove in the end to be just as important as any other element of the recording in making it such an interesting watch. The collective production values of the recording partnered with the show’s abbreviated set list and the overall approach to the concert make wholly clear why Hyde Park live 1969 is such an intriguing recording. Being such an intriguing presentation it becomes a piece that every Rolling Stones fan should see.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s newly released Rolling Stones concert From The Vault: Hyde Park 1969 is the most intriguing of the series’ recordings to be released so far. That is thanks to the stylistic approach taken by the people at Granada TV to the presentation in whole. The show’s abbreviated set list adds even more interest. It makes one wonder if the songs that were cut from the band’s concert are available for a full concert experience. The work of those that originally recorded the concert and of those that resurrected it for its presentation here make it even more worth the watch. All three elements come together to prove why From The Vault: Hyde Park 1969 is a piece that every Rolling Stones fan should see. That is not to ignore the band’s stage presence throughout the broadcast which is notably reserved and the concert’s companion booklet, which adds even more insight into the concert. It isn’t just some random booklet tossed in to be added. It gives an in-depth history of the concert and the significance of the concert presented here. The band’s somewhat reserved presence on stage is likely linked to the fact that the band had lost one of its own only days before the concert. Such a loss would have a tough impact on any performer, especially knowing that the show must go on. Whether for this factor, for the companion booklet or for any of the other noted elements, From The Vault: Hyde Park 1969 shows in the end to be quite the interesting watch regardless of audiences’ fandom. From The Vault: Hyde Park 1969 is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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Pac-Man Fever Returns Just In Time For Pixels Premiere

Courtesy:  ABC PR

Courtesy: ABC PR

Adam Sandler’s latest big screen feature Pixels hits theaters across America today. In celebration of the movie’s nationwide premiere the classic hit song ‘Pac Man Fever’ has now gotten new life.

An updated version of Buckner & Garcia’s hit song debuted this week featuring film/game producer and personality Jace Hall. Audiences can check out the song’s lyric video online now via Popmatters.com at http://www.popmatters.com/post/195747-buckner-garcia-feat.-jace-hall-pac-man-fever-eat-em-up-2015-video-pr/.

Courtesy:  ABCPR/Popmatters.com

Courtesy: ABCPR/Popmatters.com

The original take of ‘Pac-Man Fever’ sold an incredible 1.2 million copies in 1982. Of those 1.2 million copies, a sum of 10,000 copies was moved in the song’s first week of availability, pushing the song into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart. The surprising results of the song’s creation led to the release of a full album that took only two weeks for Buckner and Garcia to complete. The album, also titled Pac-Man Fever, sold more than two and a half million copies pushing the album all the way to the #9 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. Since that time the single, which started it all has gone on to sell more than two million copies. Audiences of all ages will be especially interested to note of this update that it retains the original vocal track by Gary Garcia, who passed away in 2011.

Audiences can see a performance of the original ‘Pac-Man Fever’ from a 1982 broadcast of American Bandstand online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEGSFk-vCqU.

More information on ‘Pac-Man Fever’ and its subsequent album is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pacmanfevereatemup.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pacmanfeverOG

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release Taste’s Final Live Show This Fall

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment announced today that it will release a “delectable” new archived live concert recording from the famed rock band Taste this fall.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release What’s Going On – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 on Friday, September 18th. The concert recording, originally shot by Academy Award® winner Murray Lerner, was restored from its original 16mm film and even had its sound remixed for its upcoming presentation. It will be available on a number of platforms including: DVD, Blu-Ray, double-disc LP set for vinyl fans, and digital formats. The DVD wil retail for MSRP of $14.98, Blu-ray for $19.98, CD for $13.98, and double-disc vinyl LP set for $34.98.

The concert presented in What’s Going On – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 presents the story of the famed Irish band, formed in 1966 by equally noted multi-talented musician and songwriter Rory Gallagher. The recording is especially important as it would be the last time that the band would perform together in its short time together. Before performing at the festival, Taste released only two full-length albums—its self-titled debut release in 1969 and its follow-up On The Boards (1970). Those albums are being included in a companion box set titled I’ll Remember, which will be released via Universal Music Group on August 28th. Both albums have been re-mastered and include their own bonus tracks. Also included in the box set will be previously unreleased live concert recordings from Stockholm’s Konserthuset, The BBC and Woburn Abbey Festival and demos of both the band’s previously released and un-released material.

The track listing for What’s Going On – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 includes all of the songs featured in the concert’s original 1971 Polydor LP as well as bonus tracks for true hardcore fans of Taste. There will also be a trio of songs from the German TV series Beat Club. Those songs are: ‘If The Day Was Any Longer,’ ‘It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again,’ and ‘Morning Sun.’ If that isn’t enough for fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment has also included music videos for the songs ‘I’ll Remember,’ ‘What’s Going On,’ and ‘Born on the Wrong Side of Time.’ Audiences can check out the band’s performance of ‘What’s Going On’ right now online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOo_Zi1W2iE&feature=youtu.be.   It is just one of the performances included in the recording. Speaking of those performances, the complete track listing for the concert in each of its platforms is noted below.

TRACK LISTING DVD / Blu-Ray

1) What’s Going On

2) Sugar Mama

3) Morning Sun

4) Gambling Blues

5) Sinner Boy

6) Same Old Story

7) Catfish Blues

8) I Feel So Good

TRACK LISTING CD / 2LP

1) What’s Going On

2) Sugar Mama

3) Morning Sun

4) Gambling Blues

5) Sinner Boy

6) I’ll Remember

7) I Feel So Good

8) Catfish Blues

9) Same Old Story

10) Blister On The Moon

 

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

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Goes Lightspeed Next Month With Its Latest Power Rangers Release

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Shout! Factory continues its ongoing series of classic Power Rangers series next month when it releases Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue.

Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue will be available on Tuesday, August 11th in its entire forty-episode run. It will be available in stores and online and will retail for MSRP of $19.97. The second “post-Zordon-era” installment of Saban’s hit franchise, it is also one of the most standout installments of the franchise. That is because it is the first of the Power Rangers series to establish the Rangers’ powers through a terrestrial means rather than that of aliens from other worlds or mystical beings. In the case of this series this Power Rangers team is a semi-militaristic organization established to protect the colony of Mariner Bay. Even the team’s members are more relatable to audiences than before as each team member comes from a normal walk of life—a paramedic, a firefighter, a pilot, an extreme sports athlete and enthusiast, and a martial arts master. And instead of fighting aliens from other worlds, the Rangers in this case fight the evil Queen Bansheera, who is a demon, and her evil minions.

Over the course of Power Rangers Lightspeed’s forty-episodes, audiences see the return of the villainous Trakeena, from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy in the two-part episode “Trakeena’s Revenge.” This episode sees the Lightspeed and Lost Galaxy rangers having to team up when Trakeena returns to Earth with the aim of destroying it. Olympius and his evil forces cause their share of problems for Trakeena interestingly enough, proving that even among villains there is no honor.

In another of the series’ more notable moments, Carter is caught in a loop that sees him repeating the same day over and over again in “Yesterday Again.” With each repetition, Carter gains new knowledge in his fight to save the Rangers from being destroyed by Olympius.

“The Omega Project” is one more key moment from Lightspeed Rescue. This episode is one of the series’ rare moments in which the Rangers are taken out of Mariner Bay in order to save it. This episode sees the Rangers having to stop an asteroid pulled toward Earth by Olympius. It means having to initiate the “Omega Project,” which introduces the Omega Crawler and Omega Megazord. Both are formed through the use of the new Omega Zords.

The episodes noted here are just a few examples of what fans can anticipate from the upcoming release of Power Rangers Lightspeed. The series will be available in whole on DVD on Tuesday, August 11th. It will be available in stores and online and can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $16.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-lightspeed-rescue-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.