RECOMMENDATIONS & MISCELLANEOUS MUSIC RELATED EVENTS

Volume 7 of the James Brown: The Singles series was released this summer and it is every bit as good as Volume 6 if not better (if that's possible).  They have really done a great job on these.  This particular release is of singles from 1970-71.  A great period for James Brown music.  I can't say enough about the great job they are doing with this series.  I highly recommend it.

I was recently informed of an LP only release of some very rare, previously unreleased* psychedelic recordings of the excellent band, The Mind Garage from 1968.  I just received my copy and I am very impressed!  The release is an import on Anazitisi Records.  They did a phenomenal job with the packaging of this LP, and the sound is fantastic!  I would highly recommend it and they are very nice to deal with.  They also have a tremendous amount of other psychedelic LPs on their label that are available through their website.
*two songs on this LP were released on a very rare, highly collectible 45 in 1968 on The Mind Garage label Morning Glori.

The only releases that have really excited me in quite awhile have been the series put out by Hip O Select called James Brown: The Singles.  Each is a two CD set including each side of every single recorded by James.  There are some real rarities included on these sets.  They are already up to Volume Six: 1969-1970, which has been my favorite so far.  These sets are done extremely well with a lot of effort being put into them.  The liner notes are detailed and fantastic, including session credits for the songs and stories and interviews about the sessions.  I certainly give them a 5 Star rating.

I found the Blind Faith Live at London Hyde Park on June 7, 1969 in front of 100,000 people to be a very good show.  It's great to see this footage being released, and again the price is very reasonable.  It's a nine track, 73 minute DVD with extras.  

The Concert For George is one of the best releases of "new" concert footage that I've seen in a long time.  This tribute concert was assembled by Eric Clapton and performed at the Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002, one year to the day of the passing of George Harrison.  It is a very moving spiritual concert that includes bits of humor at times and fantastic performances by everyone involved.  Normally I'm not a fan of tribute concerts but I picked this one up when it first came out and it is definitely an exception.  I highly recommend it.  You can purchase this at Amazon or most stores that sell music DVDs.  For more information you can go to www.concertforgeorge.com 

Another release that has been out for awhile (2003) but is excellent is the 2 DVD set of previously unreleased Led Zeppelin live footage.  I've always liked Led Zeppelin a lot and I have all of their albums but don't consider myself a huge fan.  This set is fantastic and has nearly 5 1/2 hours of footage for a very low price.  I highly recommend this one also!  Click here for a direct link to it on Amazon.

The last one I'm adding today is an excellent DVD of the Mamas and the Papas that slipped past me.  It's called California Dreamin'.  This has been shown on PBS recently and is great.  The DVD has bonus footage that was not shown on PBS.  I love this band and purchased the Straight Shooter video when it first came out years ago and thought that was excellent.  I'm happy to say very little is duplicated on this release.  It's also very inexpensive and can be purchased through Amazon or most stores that sell music DVDs.

A couple of DVD releases that I found enjoyable lately are Deep Purple Live in Concert 72/73 and Alice Cooper Good to See You Again.  The Deep Purple video has the only known complete concert of the band that consisted of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.  It's a very laid back setting with great performances.  I found the quality to be excellent.  It is black and white but that was not annoying to me.  As a bonus it also includes them performing three songs on the television show "In Concert" from 1973.  These performances are in color.  The Alice Cooper DVD was actually a movie starring the band interspersed with concert footage from the Billion Dollar Babies Tour of 1973.  The movie is probably not for everyone but the performances are great.  The band is excellent and so are the song selections.  It hasn't been available since it was in theaters in 1974.  Both DVDs are inexpensive and well worth the price.  They can be purchased from www.amazon.com.  

On November 10, I had the pleasure of seeing a live performance of Arlo Guthrie.  I'm happy to say his voice hasn't changed a bit.  His band consists of his son Abe, and popular session man Gordon Titcomb.  Also opening for him and backing him on several songs was a group called The Mammals.  The combination worked very well.  This isn't the type of music I listen to all that often but I found it to be an excellent show.  I didn't realize how funny he is also.  Arlo and his band toured Australia in the summer of 2004 and recorded a live show in Sydney that is available through his website along with several of his solo CDs.  Some of these solo CDs were selling for very high prices on ebay recently and can be purchased directly from his label for only $13.50.  He still performs many, many shows a year.  Check him out if you get the chance.  I really think you'll enjoy it.  www.arlo.net  

I've recently been reading a book by Tim Van Schmidt called King Koncert: Memoirs of an American Rocker in the 1970s.  It's a well written fun book where Tim reviews and gives insight on the many concerts he attended in that decade while living in Phoenix, Seattle and Los Angeles.  At the end he has ranked his Top 20 concerts of the time and at the top of the list is the second show he ever saw.  On that night, October 20, 1970, Sugarloaf opened for Leon Russell and Jethro Tull.  They played a 45 minute set that included several songs from their new, soon to be released album, Spaceship Earth.  What a treat that show would have been.  The book is available in hard and softcover from www.amazon.com or check out his website of the Colorado concert scene at www.kingkoncert.com and purchase it directly from him.

A DVD has been recently released by photographer Henry Diltz called Under the Covers.  He has photographed many of my favorite musicians and has taken countless photos that were used for album jackets and sleeves.  The list is truly incredible.  I'm not sure what his official website is but the DVD can be purchased for $9.95 plus shipping at www.amazon.com

Lastly for now is a CD release that may not mean a lot to some, but I find it to be quite incredible.  I was a big fan of the music of Elton John in the early seventies and his album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy ranks up there as one of my absolute favorites.  He played a festival that I believe he and his manager put together on June 21, 1975 at Wembley Stadium.  Elton was the headliner but the show also featured Stackridge, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Joe Walsh, The Eagles and The Beach Boys.  This was the only time he ever performed all of the songs from that LP live, and he performed them in the same order as they appeared on the album.  I never knew positively that this was recorded.  In a recent interview with him on the BBC he said he didn't know it either.  I figured it had been recorded because this was such a huge event.  I've always hoped, but never thought I'd see the day that this was released.  It happened on September 13.  It's a great show and the sound quality is excellent.  It is a 2 CD set and also features the studio album remastered with bonus tracks.  This is also the debut performance of Kenny Passarelli (former bandmate with Bob in Beast!) as Elton's bass player.  This can be purchased at www.amazon.com  

That's it for now.

08/16/09

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