Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we’ve got a batch of live releases on DVD, Blu-ray and CD. From artists like Peter Gabriel and Deep Purple. Oh, and there are a few studio-bound releases as well.
Words: Malcolm Dome
Peter Gabriel has never been a man to stand still and do the obvious. He proves it again on New Blood Live In London (Eagle Vision). This is a DVD and Blu-ray filmed during two shows in London in March this year. Gabriel totally overhauled his songs, adapting these for an orchestra, and in the process reinvents them. It’s a tour de force performance from a unique talent.
Deep Purple don’t quite get as radical as Gabriel, but Live At Montreux 2011 (Eagle Vision) does see them working with an orchestra, and it’s certainly effective. The way the band and orchestra bond together seems natural enough, and it brings a fresh life to Purple, who seem to have been on the road forever. This is available as a DVD or a double CD.
ELP’s performance at High Voltage last year is reckoned by many to be the final time we shall see these prog greats. So the release of this gig on DVD as Emerson Lake & Palmer…Welcome Back My Friends (Concert One) is just a touch poignant. Still, it’s proof that the band that night really were at their best and worst. There are moments of bathos, as well as those times when they were truly inspirational. As such, it would be the appropriate way for ELP to bow out, having summed up their career with this last hurrah. There’s also a bonus documentary covering their history and including new interviews with all three.
Lindsey Buckingham is at his most spellbinding on the live DVD/CD Songs From The Small Machine Live In L.A. (Eagle Vision). The man proves once more that he’s a hugely gifted artist. Onstage he has a flowing, low key way of playing that accentuates the quality of his songs. Here he spans his solo discography, as well as nodding towards Fleetwood Mac.
NWOBHM veterans Bitches Sin have never quite fulfilled their potential. But The Rapture proves they’re still a band who can deliver unfussy British metal. There’s a good version of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound Of Silence (which they’ve titled Sounds Of Silence, for some reason), and is that really Gary Moore doing a guitar solo on Save Me? Bitches Sin do deserve to be heard. Find out more at www.bitchessin.co.uk
Irish rockets Glyder have totally revamped their line-up, and in the process given their bluesy melodic rock approach a real shot in the arm. Backroads To Byzantium (SPV/Steamhammer) is possibly the band’s best album yet. The songs have a vigour and the musicianship an edge that really does convince you of Glyder’s worth.
It’s almost incredible to believe that Aqualung (EMI) is 40 years old. But that’s the case with Jethro Tull’s masterwork. It’s been reissued with a new 5.1 surround sound mix from Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, and in various formats. The reality, though, is that there’s no need for anything additional. The original still stands supreme.
Finally, there’s a new version of the classic Diamond Head debut album Lightning To The Nations (Universal). This time it comes with a bonus CD featuring various singles released by the band around the time of the album. It’s become a cliché to regard this record as a prime example of NWOBHM virtues, and let’s not forget the impact it had on aspiring musicians such as Metallica and Megadeth. But sometimes we have to be reminded of just how special Diamond Head were back then. This’ll do the job. Nicely.