Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we get stuck in to the latest Pink Floyd reissues, plus a load of Curved Air re-releases. There’s the latest live release from Rush, and Rick Wakeman bootleg box set, Slash live and the latest Ozzy documentary, which keeps it in the family.
Words: Malcolm Dome
It’s a busy time to be a Pink Floyd fan, with their whole catalogue being overhauled by EMI. Wish You Were Here is the latest album to get the deluxe treatment. This is now available in what’s being called Immersion and Experience formats, with lots of extras spicing up the classic original. Something for dedicated Floyd fans.
Floyd have also just released the compilation A Foot In The Door – The Best Of Pink Floyd. This has 16 of their most iconic tracks, selected by the band to provide what they believe is an introduction to their music. Hard to argue with the choice of material, as it does represent some of the finest moments in music over the last 40 years and more.
Curved Air have also had a massive reissues campaign, with their first eight albums now available again through Repertoire. Their early work still sounds supreme and idiosyncratic, with the Airconditioning, Second Album and Phantasmagoria albums especially enticing. These were all done by the band in their first flush of inventiveness, before they split up in 1972.
There are so may releases from Rush at the moment that it’s easy to dismiss Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland (Roadrunner) as just another live album from the Canadian greats. But it does capture the band in quite breathtaking form, on a set that crosses the years. Maybe not quite as spectacular as All The World’s A Stage, nonetheless it does underscore that Rush are still among the most vital live acts around.
Rick Wakeman offers five CDs on Caped Crusader Collectors Club: Bootleg Box Vol. 2 (Repertoire), which is a boxed set of live recordings, the earliest of which goes back to 1974 and the most recent is from 1997. It takes in some of his best solo work, as well as showcasing his vast musical aspirations and comedic moments. Fun in a suitably proggie manner, even if the sound quality is variable. The recording from Crystal Palace in 1974 was obviously done on a cassette from close to the back of the crowd. You can even hear conversations going on around the bootlegger.
Slash offers three formats for Live – Made In Stoke (Eagle Vision). You can get the Blu-ray, DVD or CD of his performance in the city where he spent some of his formative years. Recorded and filmed on July 24 this year, when he played his first ever gig in Stoke, it underlines his prowess and acumen as a master craftsman and entertainer, in a set that spans his career to date. And Myles Kennedy’s vocals are stunning.
Roy Wood has been on the scene for about 45 years. A prime force with The Move and then early Electric Light Orchestra, Wood has created a breathtaking catalogue of brilliant songs, taking in pop, classical, metal and jazz motifs. Music Box (EMI) is a double CD that spotlights just why he should be revered as a songwriter, musician, visionary as well as for being downright bonkers!
Talking of bonkers, that’s the only way to describe the latest album from Acid Mothers Temple And The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Not to beat about the surreal bush, Riffer At The Heavens Gates Of Dark (Riot Season) is an ethereal dreamscape, ambiently spiritual and a space rock trip leaping right off the edge of the furthest corner of reality. It is compulsive, in an astral projection kind of way. Because it does make you feel as if you are removed from all connections with our dimension.
Acid Empire are a progressively inclined band, with lush orchestral ideas and melodic calmness, plus a real metallic significance. Their self-titled debut is dramatic, pugnacious yet surprisingly sophisticated. A real find, with Damian Wilson guesting on vocals for the song Into The Void. Find out more at http://acid-empire.com
Finally, the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne (Eagle Vision) shows Ozzy in a different light to the way he’s usually portrayed. Made by his son Jack, this is not the baffled buffoon or stumbling clown we’re so used to seeing. It’s a more thoughtful, but no less entertaining, man. The DVD includes extra scenes.
Tags: Acid Empire, Acid Mothers Temple And The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Curved Air, Damian Wilson, Electric Light Orchestra, Myles Kennedy, ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Rick Wakeman, Roy Wood, Rush, Slash, The Move