Showing posts with label Legends of Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legends of Music. Show all posts


Rock-Pop Review: The Beatles- Revolver Mono 180 Gram LP

Release Date: September 9, 2014
Label: Capitol/Parlophone

Now we have The Beatles in Mono and the icing on the cake for music fans is that it is on 180m gram vinyl with replicated artwork and newly mastered from the analogue master tapes. This is what the band sounded like to most listeners who heard the group for the first time in the 60s. This is how they were meant to sound and the band acknowledged mono as their primary choice even though the tracks were mixed in stereo as well. 

For fans beyond the 60s this may be the first opportunity to hear the music in this format. The mono CD box set has been available since 2009 and now the LP version is ready. You can buy all 14 albums in a box set format (listed on Amazon currently at $374.99) or separately ($26.95 on Amazon currently or $22.98 direct from the band's site). So you either hand pick the releases you want or you buy the entire set and save a paltry 3 bucks. I think most folks would prefer to buy them all piece meal to complete the set.

If you are a true Beatles fan you just love all their music and either format is appreciated in equal measure. Although some fans have very strong opinions and preferences, I am not one of those. 

Revolver (1966) was a breakthrough in change and overall sound that started with Rubber Soul. The problem for this listener is what tracks to choose as my key tracks. Every song is an adventure from my viewpoint. What was different about Revolver is the experimentation that began that would of course then go to the next level with their follow up Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I feel the most prolific tracks that had the most impact at the time of the release of this recording were “Taxman,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Got To Get You Into My Life.” All of them were hit singles but what Beatles track wasn’t? I do remember my siblings spinning the records and hearing the music on the radio and to this day I still love it. There are very few bands from the 60s that I still hold in such high esteem as The Beatles. Revolver is one of my favorite albums.

The meticulous care that went into this process is admirable and the end results are vinyl LPs that are beautifully represented with outstanding sound. The warmth and clarity of each song is a bit of a revelation for the over indulgent listeners immersed in the digital space. This kind of process is happening more often with other recording artists. Like the saying goes, history repeats itself and we end up going back to where we started. In this case from a musical standpoint, that is a good thing! I enjoyed the remastered CDs in stereo when they came out in 2009 and now I can appreciate this music in a different way listening to this vinyl. That is the beauty of having all of these formats at our disposal. The choice is yours, The Beatles in stereo or mono. Any way you look at it you win. Collectors will adore this new version and certainly will have no problem taking out their wallets one more time for these quality LPs.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Got To Get You Into My Life

Side One:
01. Taxman
02. Eleanor Rigby
03. I'm Only Sleeping
04. Love You To/Here, There And Everywhere
05. Yellow Submarine
06. She Said She Said
Side Two:
07. Good Day Sunshine
08. And Your Bird Can Sing
09. For No One
10. Doctor Robert
11. I Want To Tell You
12. Got To Get You Into My Life
13. Tomorrow Never Knows

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

October 7, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music


Blues Rock Review: Johnny Winter-Step Back

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Label: Megaforce Records

July 16, 2014 is a day in the history of the blues that is forever etched upon our minds. We lost Johnny Winter, one of the greatest blues guitar players to ever step on stage. His contribution to the genre cannot be summed up in short order. His legacy of music is one of the pillars of strength that keep the blues alive and well.

Fortunately for music fans he completed his final album before passing away and it will likely go down as one of his very best. Step Back is a guitar hero tribute, not just for Johnny but for those players that admired him and had the honor of being part of the project.

The list is impressive. Of course his longtime guitarist/producer and best friend Paul Nelson (read the recent interview) who came up with concept of the album and also contributed guitar parts, was a huge part of this. The guests include Joe Perry, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Jason Ricci, Ben Harper, Leslie West, Dr. John, Joe Bonamassa and Brian Setzer. 

Winter’s voice is strong throughout and his guitar playing is clear and concise. The opening track “Unchain My Heart” is vintage Winter as his guitar moans and screams for release. The Blues Brothers Horns add the extra element to give it more feeling and depth.

“Don’t Want No Woman” has to be one of the highlights with another blues legend Eric Clapton, going toe to toe with Johnny. When it comes to the blues it’s all about lovers lost and various other life predicaments. The vocals and guitar playing are what supports those stories perfectly. It does not get any better than this. “Who Do You Love,” the classic tune covered by so many artists over the years, has some smokin’ hot slide guitar riffs that completely “Winterize” it. “Okie Dokie Stomp” is a rollicking instrumental with Brian Setzer that takes Winter back to his roots in Texas. It really is a rockabilly stomp to die for. Lighting fast guitar riffs and a locomotive rhythm section make this one unforgettable. 

Another blues burner for the ages is “Mojo Hand” with Joe Perry and Billy Gibbons. This is the best track on the album. Winter sounds so vital and strong and with the helping hand of two other legends, the track just cooks along like a well-oiled machine. This is blues rock at its very zenith. Those are some of the highlights from 13 tracks of pure energized blues from one of the masters of the trade. I heard no weak points throughout the run of this album.

Winter was always a star and before he left this earth he burned as bright as ever with Step Back. I believe he will finally get his Grammy with this monumental accomplishment. As it is with many of the greats that have come and gone, his big moment in the sun will likely come now that he is gone. When that hardware is presented he won’t be here to accept it but will certainly be watching from afar with a big grin. 

Long live the blues and the music of Johnny Winter; this was one hell of an exit for one of the greatest guitar players on the planet.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Mojo Hand , Don’t Want No Woman, Unchain My Heart

01. Unchain My Heart – Johnny Winter
02. Can’t Hold Out (Talk To Me Baby) – Johnny Winter with Ben Harper
03. Don’t Want No Woman – Johnny Winter with Eric Clapton
04. Killing Floor – Johnny Winter with Paul Nelson
05. Who Do You Love – Johnny Winter
06. Okie Dokie Stomp – Johnny Winter with Brian Setzer
07. Where Can You Be – Johnny Winter with Billy Gibbons
08. Sweet Sixteen – Johnny Winter with Joe Bonamassa
09. Death Letter -Johnny Winter
10. My Babe – Johnny Winter with Jason Ricci
11. Long Tall Sally – Johnny Winter with Leslie West
12. Mojo Hand – Johnny Winter with Joe Perry
13. Blue Monday – Johnny Winter with Dr. John


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

October 3, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music


Epic Records and Legacy Recordings Celebrate Stevie Ray Vaughan's 60th Birthday Year with New Release

Epic Records and Legacy Recordings Celebrate Stevie Ray Vaughan's 60th Birthday Year with Release of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection
Definitive 12 Disc SRV & DT Library Includes 1st Commercial Release of 1983's A Legend In The Making - Live at the El Mocambo Toronto Concert

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection Available Tuesday, October 28.

* * * * *

New York, NY -- Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and Epic Records celebrate electric blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan with the release of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection ( on Tuesday, October 28, 2014.

A definitive career-encompassing 12 disc library, The Complete Epic Recordings Collection brings together, for the first time, the entirety of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's official studio and live album canon including the inaugural commercial release of A Legend In The Making, a highly collectible (formerly) promotional only recording of SRV & DT's incendiary performance at Toronto's El Mocambo club in 1983.

In addition, The Complete Epic Recordings Collection features two discs compiling rare and hard-to-find archival tracks.

On April 26, 2014, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble among the artists to be inducted into the newly created Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, launched in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the PBS televised concert series.  The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on PBS in October 2014.

Stephen Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 1954, the same year the Fender Stratocaster went into production.  Stevie Ray picked up his first six-string at the age of 7, dropped out of high school in 1971 and moved to Austin in '72, going on to become one of the most influential and electrifying blues guitarists ever.  After honing his chops in a variety of bands throughout the '70s, Stevie Ray formed his own group, SRV & Double Trouble, in 1978.  Hellbent and intent on revitalizing the blues for contemporary audiences, Stevie Ray served as the power trio's charismatic frontman and evangelical electric guitarist, driven and underscored by drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon.

Stevie Ray and Double Trouble's reputation as a transcendent live experience gained considerable traction following a watershed performance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in 1982 (included in The Complete Epic Recordings Collection).  Recommended to the label by A&R giant John Hammond, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble recorded the band's studio debut, Texas Flood, for Epic Records in 1983.  Going on to achieve RIAA double platinum status, Texas Flood opened the gates for a flow of gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, an unprecedented achievement for any blues act.

Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, following an awe-inspiring performance with Double Trouble and Eric Clapton at the Alpine Valley Resort in Wisconsin.  Though his mainstream career lasted a mere seven years, Stevie Ray Vaughan's enduring contribution to the blues can be heard in the work of younger players including John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was the recipient of numerous musical awards, during his lifetime and posthumously.   In 1983, readers of Guitar Player voted him as Best New Talent and Best Electric Blues Guitar Player. In 1984, the Blues Foundation named him Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year, and in 1987 Performance Magazine honored him with Rhythm and Blues Act of the Year. Earning six Grammy Awards and ten Austin Music Awards, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014. Rolling Stone ranked Vaughan as the twelfth greatest guitarist of all time.


Concert Review: The Beach Boys At Tanglewood

The Beach Boys At Tanglewood Lenox, Mass.
August 18, 2014

The Beach Boys are Mike Love and Bruce Johnson, who lead the band, and Jeffrey Foskett, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, and Scott Totten round out the rest of the lineup nicely.

They most certainly lived up to their reputation in Tanglewood last night. It was a perfect evening for a concert although some of the band members are used to the warm California sun they were able to get things heated up without a problem with their set list.

I have been listening to their music since the late 60s and never had the pleasure of seeing them live. The Wilson brothers are not part of the mix any longer. Brian tends to his solo career, Carl, and Dennis both passed away several years ago. Although that is unfortunate it has not stopped the legacy of this great American band from carrying on the tradition of old and new music and getting people dancing in the aisles, or in this case the lawn too.

The set list they played was beyond compare and to kick it all off they buzzed through 8 songs before stopping! It was non-stop beaches, sun and fun. Mike Love is amazing and sounds as good as ever. I can’t think of many active 73 year old vocalist that sound as good as he does right now.

I was impressed with the entire band to be perfectly honest. They all can sing and play extremely well. Most impressive was John Cowsill, who hammered away on the drum kit like he had a lifetime supply of caffeine in his bloodstream. I also need to account for Jeffrey Foskett who played guitar and sang like an angel (think Brian Wilson parts) and of course their musical director and lead guitar player Scott Totten who can also sing those high notes synonymous with the Beach Boys sound. Their harmonizing was superb all night long…a gift from the stars coming together under the stars. And you cannot underestimate the importance of long time member Bruce Johnston. Not one individual is more important than another, they all blend together as a team and function like a well-oiled musical team.

I saw the entire spectrum of age groups from small children to elderly folks in attendance. It was not too long before they started to crowd the stage and start dancing everywhere; it was definitely “Fun, Fun, Fun.” Some of my favorites of the night were “God Only Knows,” which they let Carl sing lead on as everyone watched him on the big screen, it quite moving. It was a very nice tribute to one of the members that are no longer here to share the music. Also one of my all-time favorites “Don't Worry Baby,” made me feel fuzzy and warm all over like it always does. 

Towards the end of the night when people were up front dancing they invited some young girls on stage to dance and one of them strapped on Scott’s guitar then he stepped in behind her and played. The look on her face was priceless.

The Beach Boys stand as one of those iconic bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and they showed us all why last night with a great evening of music and showmanship. I would not think twice about catching them live again, it was just way too much fun and it was one of the best natural highs I have ever experienced at a concert.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk and New Age Music Reviews Founder

August 19, 2014

Set List: 
Do It Again

Goin' to the Beach

Little Honda

Catch a Wave


Summer Means Fun
(Bruce & Terry cover)

Surf City
(Jan & Dean cover)

Surfin' Safari

Surfer Girl

Keep an Eye on Summer

Getcha Back


Good to My Baby

Why Do Fools Fall in Love
(Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers cover)

When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)


Be True to Your School

Ballad of Ole' Betsy

Still Cruisin'

Don't Worry Baby

Little Deuce Coupe


Shut Down

I Get Around


California Dreamin'
(The Mamas & the Papas cover)
Sloop John B

Wouldn't It Be Nice

Please Let Me Wonder

Then He Kissed Me
(The Crystals cover)

California Girls

Dance, Dance, Dance

God Only Knows

Pisces Brothers
(Mike Love song)

Good Vibrations

Help Me, Rhonda

Rock and Roll Music
(Chuck Berry cover)

Do You Wanna Dance?
(Bobby Freeman cover)

Barbara Ann
(The Regents cover)

Surfin' U.S.A.

Fun, Fun, Fun


SONY/RCA/Legacy Recordings Announce the Release of Monumental Definitive Edition of Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition)

The King’s 1970 Album & Concert Documentary, Presented Together for the First Time Ever in a Deluxe Box Set (8CD/2DVD).

That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) Includes Expanded Version of Original LP, Six Complete Shows from Elvis’ Electrifying Summer of ’70 Las Vegas Season, Rare and Insightful Rehearsals, the 1970 Theatrical Edit AND the 2001 Special Edition of “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is,” 80-Page Booklet featuring Rare Photographs, Memorabilia and Recording Data.

Available on August 5, 2014

* * * * *

In 1970, Elvis Presley fans were thrilled by the arrival of two cultural milestones: one an album, the other a full-length concert/documentary and each of them called Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. Since then, aficionados of Elvis have been clamoring for a package that included both the album and the film.

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition), the most ambitious Elvis Presley restoration package ever created, bringing together—for the first time ever--the album, the theatrical and home video versions of the film, six full-length concerts (featuring previously unreleased performances), rehearsal highlights and other rare recordings in one astounding and essential package.  The result of an historic partnership between Sony Music and Warner Brothers Home Video, the deluxe set combines the video and audio assets of Elvis: That’s The Way It Iswith unique and previously unreleased material.

A highly-collectible 8CD/2DVD box set, That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition), marks the first time the 1970 documentary and album have been available in a single package, with bonuses including unreleased material, remixed and remastered audio and a new 80-page book detailing the entire event with facts, songwriter and musician interviews, and photos in a deluxe 8CD/2DVD box set. A 2CD Legacy Edition of Elvis: That's The Way It Is will also be available.  Elvis: That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) is available for pre-order now on

Originally released on RCA Records in November 1970, Elvis: That's The Way It Is combined eight studio tracks, recorded in Nashville, and four live concert performances recorded in Las Vegas during Presley's 1970 "Summer Festival" season at The International Hotel in Las Vegas to create what the All Music Guide has called "…one of his best…" and "essential listening for Elvis fans, both die-hard and casual."

Though never considered a soundtrack album, Elvis: That's The Way It Is was initially released to accompany the first theatrical run of "Elvis: That's The Way It Is," a 1970 documentary feature, directed by Denis Sanders, which combined on-stage, off-stage and behind-the-scenes footage in Presley's first non-dramatic film since his 1956 Hollywood movie debut. In the documentary, Sanders captured and illuminated a pivotal moment in Elvis' transformation from teen idol to consummate showman, Memphis meets Vegas via Hollywood, the King's return to full concert performances after years of film stardom.

Elvis Presley had made a dramatic comeback two years prior to these shows in a transcendent NBC-TV special, which aired in December 1968. The International Hotel, then-newly-built and the largest live venue in Las Vegas, booked Presley for an unprecedented 57 show run in July 1969, a four-week-long residency that would raise the bar and set the standard for superstar entertainment in Vegas and beyond. "There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars,” Newsweek wrote of his incredible new approach to live performance at the time, while Rolling Stone lauded Elvis as “supernatural--his own resurrection.”

Early in 1970, Elvis returned to Vegas for a second engagement at the International, with RCA recording songs for the then forthcoming On Stage, February 1970.  Elvis was on a roll and making big plans--including a feature film--surrounding what would be his third Las Vegas engagement, scheduled for the summer of 1970

On June 4, 1970, Elvis arrived at RCA's Studio B in Nashville, where producer Felton Jarvis had assembled a hot new session band featuring Elvis' on-stage guitar legend James Burton. Five nights of recording generated material for no less than three future albums and four singles, including Elvis: That's The Way It Is and the essential Elvis Country album.

On July 14, rehearsals for the movie and live shows commenced at the MGM lot in Culver City, California. The Hollywood cameras rolled for five different rehearsals prior to the opening night on August 10, including augmentation run-throughs with the singers and the orchestra at the hotel. Unquestionably, Elvis was keen to broaden his repertoire for the film, as more than 60 songs were attempted during the period, far more than the usual average of 20 to 25 that would normally be chosen. Over the four nights filmed by MGM, Elvis and his band worked tirelessly, trying out a broad variety of musical styles, emphasizing his desire to share the wide range of music he loved with his audience. Director Denis Sanders captured the end result magnificently, providing fans throughout the world with their first glimpse of the new contemporary Elvis performing at the peak of his vocal prowess both in rehearsal and on the stage.

That's The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) centers on the six complete shows recorded and partially filmed by MGM.  Two of the shows are released for the first time in their entirety; two more have only been available only through the mail-order Elvis fan-club network. The original RCA album is expanded with the four single sides from the period, and a selection of “fly-on-the-wall” outtakes from the June Nashville sessions that produced the majority of tracks for the album. Completing the audio section, a separate disc of insightful rehearsal highlights, featuring unusual song selections showcases both the hard work and the playful atmosphere that governed Elvis’ relationship with his musicians.

The original Elvis: That's The Way It Is includes fiery renditions of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” previously a hit for Dusty Springfield; “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’” made famous by The Righteous Brothers, and a show-stopping rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The original album and singles will fill Disc One of the new edition, with six CDs worth of concert performances and one of rehearsal takes from the Summer of '70 International Hotel residency.

That's The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) puts the original RCA album and the 1970 MGM documentary feature together in a single package for the first time. It includes both the original theatrical DVD version (1970) and the re-edited and extended DVD version from 2000.


Rock/Blues Review:The Allman Brothers Band-Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theater 1992/Live At Great Woods (DVD)

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Label: Legacy

The Allman Brothers Band have gone through several incarnations over the years and they are set to go through yet another one with the departure of longtime percussionist Butch Trucks and guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes. Somehow Gregg Allman will find a way to restructure the band just like he did when he lost his brother Duane tragically to a freak motorcycle accident in the early years of the band.

Part of their resurgence after an extended breakup was the reforming and performing at The Beacon Theater in New York. The other factor was getting Warren Haynes into the fold to give Dickey Betts a run for his money. It worked out very well and the chemistry was clicking. The performances at The Beacon were so successful that the band became permanent residents and had annual concerts that ran for several consecutive days. All of this is now history and the performances are legendary.

There are two recent releases that document that time frame in the 90s, when The Allman Brothers Band was on
fire again. A 2 CD set titled Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theater 1992 and a DVD Live At Great Woods.
This band served as the blueprint for jam bands going forward. With three percussionists, two guitar players, keyboards, bass and three capable lead singers, their excellence at every station was their conduit to a foolproof performance regardless of where they played. Both sets bring this to bear in the most superlative fashion. You hear it straight on through the CD set and see it happening before your eyes on the DVD.

At the very top of the mountain is the phenomenal track tailor made for an in concert jam titled “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” which proved to be their trademark jam session clocking in at over 20 minutes. Anyone that is fan of the band is very familiar with the track and will certainly agree that the music becomes more compelling and expansive in a live setting. The ABB have been able to successfully meld rock, blues and jazz and come up with an explosive sound reaching many splendid apexes. In turn they could also slow it down and show a softer acoustic side when they wanted as witnessed by the mini acoustic set they performed at Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts (check out the provided video of the classic “Midnight Rider”). The curtain closer on the CD set “Whipping Post” is reminder of how the ABB have reigned supreme as a headliner for so many decades. Their resiliency and wherewithal is something to be admired.

The most enjoyable factor with these two sets is that you get the best of both worlds, the audio and visual experience. Every aspect of the ABB is on display throughout these releases and a must have for any fan to add to their collections.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Midnight Rider, Whipping Post

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

March 17, 2014

Disc 1
1. Statesboro Blues      
2. You Don't Love Me   
3. End of the Line
4. Blue Sky
5. Nobody Knows
6. Low Down Dirty Mean           
7. Seven Turns
8. Midnight Rider
9. Come on in My Kitchen

Disc 2:

1. Guitar Intro / Hoochie Koochie Man
2. Jessica
3. Get on With Your Life
4. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
5. Revival
6. Dreams
7. Whipping Post

Live At The Great Woods DVD

Track List:

1. Statesboro Blues
2. End Of The Line
3. Blue Sky
4. Midnight Rider
5. Going Down The Road
6. Hoochie Coochie Man
7. Get On With Your Life
8. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
9. Revival
10. Jessica
11. Whipping Post

Review Provided By Write A Music Review