Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we’ve box sets from Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. Plus two releases each featuring Chris Spedding and Derek Sherinian. Greedy buggers!
Words: Malcolm Dome
The Thin Lizzy box set Live At The BBC (Universal) is something to delight all aficionados of the great band. It brings together almost everything filmed and recorded for the Beeb, and it’s a superb collection. There’s also a double CD version of the multi-disc box set, with highlights, for those less disposed to spend a comparatively considerable amount for the box.
For many, Whitesnake were at their finest in their early years. And the 10-disc Box O; Snakes: The Sunburst Years 1978-1982 (EMI) proves the point. This all the albums released in that period, plus live recordings from the BBC archives. While the band achieved considerably more internationally later on, it’s hard to believe they were ever better than in this era.
Steel Panther divide opinion. Some believe them to represent the true spirit of the mid-80s big hair era, while others find them a tedious joke. Balls Out (Universal), though, is perhaps one album too far. While their debut Feel The Steel was deliberately full of musical clichés and lyrical smut, and worked as a superior parody, this one feels and sounds tired and bored. It’s almost as if the band are fed up themselves.
Black Country Communion have developed into quite a formidable band. And the double disc DVD/Blu-ray Live Over Europe (Mascot) shows them in splendid form on three German shows earlier this year. What was at first maybe something of a vanity project for Glenn Hughes et al has now become a sharp and cohesive band.
Talking of Black Country Communion, keyboard player Derek Sherinian is also on the solo trail with Oceana (Music Theories Recordings). It’s a bright exposition, which showcases the man’s progressives leanings, and is thoroughly entertaining. Not for those who want easily accessible songs, but if you enjoy listening to a quality keyboard player indulging himself then this hits the mark.
Chris Spedding is a guitarist with a long pedigree. And Pearls (Repertoire) spans his whole spectrum. There’s blues, metal, soul, jazz and just good ole rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a fun album that puts Spedding in a relaxed mood. Music for late at night.
Spedding is also in King Mob. Their debut album Force 9 (SPV/Steamhammer) is a real powerhouse of late 60s hard rock ideas. Spedding is joined by the likes of Glen Matlock Snips and Martin Chambers on a really classy and grooving album. Live they’ll probably be even better, as will doubtless be show at the 229 Club in London on Thursday, November 17.
The reissue of the Slipknot album Iowa (Roadrunner) brings home the fact that the band are among the best metal bands to have emerged over the last two decades. This expanded 10th anniversary edition is full of energy, anger and musical violence. But also has so many high quality metal moments and occasional hints of psychedelia. One of the best albums of the last decade.
Finally, Sons Of Icarus have a four-track EP called You Want It All, to introduce themselves to the world. Think of The Answer with a little more edge and slightly less polish and you are close to describing this lot. They’ve what it takes to make a huge impression in 2012. Find out more here.