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Title - 'Spirit - Hybrid SACD' [Audio Fidelity]
Artist - Spirit

For those not in the know, even after all these years, Spirit was an American rock band founded in 1967 and based in Los Angeles, California.

Their most commercially successful single in the United States was "I Got a Line on You", but they were also known for their albums; including their self-titled debut album, The Family That Plays Together, Clear, and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.

That aforementioned self-titled debut, Spirit is a classic album from an under-appreciated rock band. Their original line-up only lasted four albums, with one full reunion album where they re-recording their classic hits, for the most part, but man did these guys know how to make music.

Now released as a SACD Hybrid Numbered and Limited Edition CD, Spirit's debut album largely consists of original material written by Jay Ferguson along with guitarist Randy California, Bassist Mark Andes and keyboardist John Locke contributed additional material throughout the recording though.

For my money, California was an inspired guitar player and is still sadly missed to this very day. The album only made it to #31 on the charts, mainly because of all the FM radio airplay at the time, but should have gone a lot, lot higher.

Oh, for those not in the new technology know either, a Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical disc for audio storage, introduced in 1999. It was developed jointly by Sony and Philips Electronics, and intended to be the successor to their Compact disc format. Indeed, this SACD format can offer more channels (ie: surround sound), and a longer playing time than regular CDs.

1. 'Fresh-Garbage'
2. 'Uncle Jack'
3. 'Mechanical World'
4. 'Taurus'
5. 'Girl In Your Eye'
6. 'Straight Arrow'
7. 'Topanga Windows'
8. 'Gramophone Man'
9. 'Water Woman'
10. 'The Great Grand Canyon Fire in General'
11. 'Elijah'

Bonus Tracks:
12. 'Veruska'
13. 'Free Spirit'
14. 'If I Had A Woman'
15. 'Elijah (Alternate Take)'

Regardless of only reaching #31, Spirit's 1968 debut album spent more than six months nestled away on the Billboard Album Charts - and deservedly so. Just listening to a couple of the opening songs and it was very obvious that the band could play more styles than almost any other group.

On the album they unveiled a cornucopia of rock, jazz, blues, folk-rock, and even a bit of classical and Indian music. The music was experimental, that's for darn sure, but it was also a porthole into a late '60s, early '70s prog world that would soon become anything but underground.

The lead vocals of Jay Fergusson, let alone all of their backing vocals, flow as easily as their instrumentals which means that Spirit struck a careful balance between disciplined studio work, jazz improvisation, and, of course, driving rock and roll. Aside from all the aforementioned guys, two other stand outs include both Ed Cassidy's precision drumming and the sumptuous string arrangements from Marty Paich.

Also included here on this SACD remaster by Steve Hoffman are four (4) Bonus Tracks in the form of 'Veruska', 'Free Spirit', 'If I Had A Woman' and 'Elijah (Alternate Take)'.

CD Purchase Link

Title - '25 Years: 1992-2017'
Artist - Jackyl

For those not in the know, Jackyl is an American hard rock band formed in 1991. With a sound described as heavy metal and Southern metal, their eponymous album sold more than a million copies in the United States.

With it came hit singles like "Down on Me" and "When Will it Rain", but the band are also best known for its song "The Lumberjack", which features a chainsaw solo by lead singer Jesse James Dupree.

Well, turn it up, drink it down and fire up your chainsaw because Jackyl celebrates 25 years of ball-busting rock 'n' roll swagger with a brand new, 18-track, career-spanning retrospective entitled 25 Years: 1992-2017.

Including a live recording of "Redneck Punk" and a never-before-released version of Black Oak Arkansas' "Hot and Nasty", this is the album every Jackyl fan has been waiting for.

01. "I Stand Alone"
02. "Down On Me"
03. "When Will It Rain"
04. "The Lumberjack"
05. "Push Comes To Shove"
06. "Secret Of The Bottle"
07. "Dumb Ass Country Boy"
08. "Cut The Crap"
09. "Kill The Sunshine"
10. "My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine's Ass"
11. "Just Like A Negro" (featuring DMC)
12. "Screwdriver"
13. "Encore"
14. "Favorite Sin"
15. "Rally"
16. "Just Because I'm Drunk"
17. "Redneck Punk" (live previously unreleased)
18. "Hot And Nasty" (previously unreleased)

The raunchy Southern rock band kick things off here with "I Stand Alone", the guitar fest of "Down On Me", the mid-tempo gear change of "When Will It Rain", and then launch into the Dixieland boogie of "The Lumberjack" and then "Push Comes To Shove."

From then on they never, ever look back and like an uncorked, shaken bottle of bubbly we get hit after hit. The ballad "Secret Of The Bottle" is then followed by a trio of Southern greats in "Dumb Ass Country Boy," "Cut The Crap" and then "Kill The Sunshine."

One of my all-time Jackyl favorites is up next in the form of "My Moonshine Kicks You Cocaine's Ass," and that's backed by "Just Like A Negro" (featuring DMC), the powerhaus tune "Screwdriver," "Rally" and the brilliant storytelling of "Just Because I'm Drunk". The album then rounds out with two previously-unreleased cuts in the drum-tastic "Redneck Punk (Live)" and then a cover of fellow Southern rockers Black Oak Arkansas' "Hot And Nasty."

Having reached their 25 year anniversary, and on tour throughout 2017 and 2018, and with their last album ROWYCO (2016) having sold over 14K, prepare to crank Jackyl's 25 Years: 1992-2017 up to 11 on your stereos!

Jackyl released their 25 Years: 1992-2017 on July 28th, 2017 via Mighty Loud Records as a CD. [Although, in truth, I would love for a vinyl album to be made of this music too! Finger's crossed!]

Jackyl @ Facebook!

'25 Years: 1992-2017' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Life Is Fine'
Artist - Paul Kelly

For those not in the know, Paul Kelly has recorded over 21 studio albums as well as film soundtracks and two live albums, in an influential career spanning more than thirty years.

Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 2017, he was appointed as an officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts and to the promotion of the national identity through contributions as a singer, songwriter and musician.

On August 11th, 2017, Paul Kelly will release yet another new album. Entitled Life Is Fine, and with an album cover art that (to my mind) harken's back to the old Stevie Smith poem "Not Waving but Drowning", this is actually Kelly's most normal album of music in recent times.

Given that for the past five years or so a lot of what he's been putting out has been experimental music projects - like an album for funerals, another chock full of Shakespeare sonnets - this is Kelly now at his songwriting, storytelling finest.

1. "Rising Moon"
2. "Finally Something Good"
3. "Firewood And Candles"
4. "My Man's Got A Cold" (featuring Vika Bull)
5. "Rock Out On The Sea"
6. "Leah: The Sequel"
7. "Letter In The Rain"
8. "Josephina"
9. "Don't Explain" (featuring Linda Bull)
10. "I Smell Trouble"
11. "Petrichor"
12. "Life Is Fine"

He kicks things off with the piano ballad "Rising Moon", and then turns the tempo up with "Finally Something Good" and then gets things rockier on one of my own personal favorites here, "Firewood And Candles." Some deep, staggered, probing piano and drum work then allows the brilliant "My Man's Got A Cold" to emerge, and boy, what a stunner of a track it truly is. Sung by Vika Bull, it comes across as an old-school Southern blues gem and showcases Bull's vocal styling just perfectly.

Next up is the mid-tempo hipsway of "Rock Out On The Sea" and that's followed by the slow poke groove of "Leah: The Sequel" and then the storytelling balladry of "Letter In The Rain." The gentle guitar strumming of "Josephina" is next, the guitar rock that backs Linda Bull's vocals on "I Don't Explain" yet bringing forth yet another memorable track on this album.

For 25 years, the glorious voices of sisters Vika and Linda Bull have comprised one of the most distinctive, versatile and emotionally charged sounds on the Australian music landscape. Here now as parts of Paul Kelly's new album, the ladies add weight, gravitas to the songs, to the album, in general. They balance it out so perfectly, and are a vocal joy to behold.

The piano ballad "I Smell Trouble" is next up, and that's backed by the soulful guitar playing on the two songs that then round out this stunning album: "Petrichor" and yet more storytelling within the title track, "Life Is Fine."

Paul Kelly released his Life Is Fine on August 11th, 2017 on Gawd Aggie / Cooking Vinyl via The Orchard as a CD, digital download and vinyl LP.

Paul Kelly @ Facebook

Vika & Linda Bull @ Facebook

'Life Is Fine' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Urban Psalm: Deluxe Edition'
Artist - Icon

iCon was the collaborative band of the late John Wetton and keyboardist Geoff Downes. They released three (3) albums in their time: Wetton Downes (2002), Icon II: Rubicon (2006), and Icon 3 (2009).

Indeed, Wetton and Downes were primarily known as being the songwriting duo behind the Asia catalogue including the mega hit "Heat Of The Moment". Sadly John Wetton passed away this year. Geoff Downes is a current member of Yes.

Urban Psalm has only been available as a DVD on the artists' merchandise store previously, so this is it's first mainstream release.

Now inclusive of the audio as an accompanying additional two CDs, this release is part of a prestigious reissue campaign which will see all of the band's studio and live albums re-released as definitive editions.

CD 1:
1. "Countdown to Zero"
2. "Go"
3. "I've Come to Take You Home"
4. "Twice the Man I Was"
5. "Elstree"
6. "Voice of America"
7. "The Die Is Cast"
8. "To Catch a Thief"
9. "Starless"

CD 2:
1. "Paradox/Let Me Go"
2. "Raven"
3. "True Colours"
4. "Heat of the Moment"
5. "Rubicon"
6. "Don't Go Out Tonight"
7. "My Own Time"
8. "Days Like These"
9. "In the End"
10. "Rock and Roll Dream"

DVD 3:
1. "Countdown to Zero"
2. "Go"
3. "I've Come to Take You Home"
4. "Elstree'
5. "Voice of America"
6. "The Die Is Cast"
7. "To Catch a Thief"
8. "Starless"
9. "Paradox/Let Me Go"
10. "Raven"
11. "True Colours"
12. "Heat of the Moment"
13. "Rubicon"
14. "Days Like These"
15. "In the End"
16. "Rock and Roll Dream"

This side project of both John Wetton and Geoff Downes was something relaxing for the duo. A side step away from the hectic touring around the time of the ASIA reunion shows and albums, the guys came together effortlessly for iCon.

The DVD concert was filmed at the iconic St Mary-le-Bow church in London and features a unique set including iCon songs, heritage tracks and the greatest hits of ASIA.

The show is a lovely record (no pun intended) of the guys performing together. Whether it was for ASIA or as part of iCon, Wetton and Downes came musically together seamlessly. Featuring tracks from two iCon albums and the Asia Astra album that was being toured around that time, the mix of songs is sweetly balanced.

The show is also inclusive of tracks that even dare to delve into Downes' Buggles era along with, of course, Wetton's time spent in King Crimson. The sound is great and with the show being rather intimate re: the venue and the gathered audience, it's one of those shows you were either glad you were at, or wish you had have been. Sadly, I fall into the latter group, as I'm sure most all of us do.

This Urban Psalm recording also features Dave Kilminster (Roger Waters, Keith Emerson) on guitars, Pete Riley (whom John called "the best drummer in the world" and played with Keith Emerson alongside Dave), Panic Room's Anne-Marie Helder on vocals and ELO's Hugh McDowell played cello.

This re-release is fully approved by Geoff Downes and the John Wetton Estate.

'Urban Psalm: Deluxe Edition' 2CD+DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Age Of Reason (Deluxe Edtition)'
Artist - Bronski Beat

For those not in the know, Bronski Beat were a popular British synthpop trio who achieved success in the mid-1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit "Smalltown Boy".

All members of the group were openly gay and their songs reflected this, often containing political commentary on gay-related issues.

The initial line-up, which recorded the majority of the band's hits, consisted of Jimmy Somerville (vocals), Steve Bronski (keyboards, percussion) and the late Larry Steinbachek (keyboards, percussion).

Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and went on to have success as lead singer of The Communards and as a solo artist. He was replaced by new vocalist John Foster, with whom the band continued to have hits in the UK and Europe through 1986. Interestingly enough, Steve Bronski, the only original member, now leads a revived touring version of the band, and has now teamed up with singer Stephen Granville and programmer Ian Donaldson to create an updated line-up of this classic, much-loved sythn-pop band.

Their new album, The Age Of Reason - which comes seven months after original keyboardist Larry Steinbachek died - is their first in 22 years and features a 25-track 2CD edition that boasts over two hours of all new music from today’s version of the once-beloved Bronski Beat.

Disc: 1:
1. "Why"
2. "No More War/It Ain't Necessarily So"
3. "Screaming"
4. "Love & Money"
5. "Smalltown Boy"
6. "Heatwave"
7. "Junk"
8. "Hard Rain"
9. "Run from Love"
10. "A Flower for Dandara"

Disc: 2:
1. "Stars" (Radio Edit)
2. "Stars (Extended)
3. "Stars" (Sordid Soundz Remix)
4. "Stars" (Qubic Cosmic Energy Mix)
5. "Stars" (S.S. Darkstar Mix)
6. "I'll Be Gone"
7. "I'll Be Gone" (Dub and Dusted)
8. "I'll Be Gone" (Stompin' Stiletto Mix)
9. "I'll Be Gone" (S.S. Down & Out Mix)
10. "A Flower for Dandara" (Radio Edit)
11. "A Flower for Dandara" (Sordid Soundz Edit)>br> 12. "A Flower for Dandara" (Extended)
13. "A Flower for Dandara" (Sordid Soundz Extended)

The Age Of Reason is a GREAT album, let me just get that out there right away! Growing up in the UK, I loved the synth pop fun of Bronski Beat and what followed with The Communards, and so to hear that this trio have not only paid sincere homage to to the origins of the band, but at the same time creatively reinvented their landmark debut album ‘The Age Of Consent’ blows my mind.

The album kicks off in fine style (albeit without Somerville's original vocals, please do let that sink in here) with the infectious Hi-NRG of "Why" and backs that up seamlessly with both "No More More War/It Ain't Necessarily So" (which were separate tracks on the original album) and then the always-brilliant to hear "Screaming".

The slow roll soul of "Love & Money" is up next and is followed by their massive smash worldwide hit "Smalltown Boy," before the sultry, smoldering "Heatwave," the dancefloor vibe of "Junk," and then "Need a Man Blues" are lovingly upon us.

Newly additional tracks from the original release are up next in the form of the mid-tempo NRG of "Close to the Edge" and that's backed by the seemingly-muffled sounds of "Hard Rain," and then a track that sounds like it's being played on the wrong (slow) speed, "Run from Love."

The first side then rounds out with another new track, "A Flower for Dandara," a heartbreaking tribute in song to the recently murdered Brazilian transexual Dandara dos Santos. Sung by Rose McDowall, singer with cult ’80s favorites Strawberry Switchblade, the track is heartbreaking when the lyrics are fully explored.

Released in 1984, in reflection, being that 'The Age of Consent' was criminally the only album released by the band to feature the vocal strains of Somerville, I could have sworn that this album had spent the whole '80s in my head.

As for the second CD of goodies, well, there may well be 13 tracks, but there are only three actual tracks to behold amongst them. Showcasing the template for the future direction of this latest Bronski Beat incarnation, they are all new songs and come complete with a generous offering of celebratory dance mixes, of course.

The first of these new tracks is a cover of Sylvester's so-termed queercore disco classic, "Stars" (written by the scene legend Patrick Cowley). Now complete with a refreshing electro-soul makeover, next up is another brand new song, "I’ll Be Gone" that celebrates, with Bronski Beat’s trademark searing vocals, the euphoric self-realization gained in ditching a less than perfect love affair.

Finally, and showcasing quite palpable evidence that Bronski Beat have lost none of their social campaigning and gay activist zeal, the aforementioned "A Flower for Dandara" gets a multitude of mixes to listen intently to.

'The Age Of Reason: Deluxe Edition' 2CD Purchase Link

Title - ‘Best: 1983-2017’ (3CD)
Artist - Howard Jones

For those not in the know, Howard Jones is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between 1983 and 1986, including six which reached the top ten, and his 1984 album Human's Lib went to number one.

Around the world, he had 15 top 40 hit singles between 1983 and 1992 and he has been described by AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "one of the defining figures of mid-'80s synth pop.".

Having also performed at Live Aid in 1985, Jones is out on the road once again as part of the brand new Retro Futura Tour 2017 - along with Paul Young, Katrina of The Waves, Men Without Hats, The English Beat, and Modern English - and has released to coincide with the tour a quite BRILLIANT new 3CD album, simply entitled Best: 1983-2017.

Disc: 1:
1. “Things Can Only Get Better”
2. “No One Is to Blame”
3. “What Is Love?”
4. “New Song”
5. “Like to Get to Know You Well”
6. “Pearl in the Shell”
7. “Hide & Seek”
8. “Everlasting Love”
9. “Look Mama”
10. “Life in One Day”
11. “Specialty”
12. “All I Want”
13. “You Know I Love You … Don’t You?”
14. “Little Bit of Snow”
15. “The Prisoner”
16. “Will You Still Be There?”

Disc: 2:
1. “Lift Me Up”
2. “City Song”
3. “One Last Try”
4. “Cookin’ in the Kitchen”
5. “Nothing to Fear”
6. “You’re the Buddha”
7. “If You Love”
8. “Let the People Have Their Say”
9. “Just Look at You Now”
10. “Revolution of the Heart”
11. “The Presence of Other”
12. “Someone You Need”
13. “Soon You’ll Go”
14. “Ordinary Heroes”
15. “Joy”
16. “The Human Touch”
17. “Eagle Will Fly Again”

Disc: 3:
1. "Back in Your Life” (Acoustic Live)
2. “Building Our Own Future” (Acoustic Live)
3. “City Song” (Acoustic Live)
4. “No One Is to Blame” (Acoustic Live)
5. “Everlasting Love” (Acoustic Live)
6. “Just Look at You Now” (Electric Live)
7. “Don’t Wanna Fight Anymore” (Electric Live)
8. “Like to Get to Know You Well” / “Cookin’ in the Kitchen” (Mash Up Live)
9. “You’re the Buddha” (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix)

Compiled and annotated by Howard Jones himself, Best: 1983-2017 is the very first retrospective to properly span Howard’s entire recording career, with all his major hits and key tracks across the decades.

Inevitably, the first disc of 16 tracks contains his well-known hits. This retrospective being as indepth as it gets for Jones, there could be no other way to present the first of the three discs, in truth.

The second disc contains 17 tracks that may not have all been hits, as much as the UK charts can attest to, but for those devoted fans (much like myself) who have followed him since day one, all the tracks will be more then well known to you all, trust me. Inclusive of some tracks from albums you could only ever order at his live shows or direct from his website, they are true little gems, one and all.

Housed in a deluxe Digipak, the package also boasts an exclusive bonus third disc, which was only previously available as a DVD with the interactive book edition of Engage - and now even adds an exclusive remix!

Containing eight tracks, inclusive of five (5) of his hits performed as Acoustic Live cuts here, two (2) as Electric Live, a "Like To Get To Know You Well/Cookin' In The Kitchen" (Mash Up Live), and then the aforementioned exclusive remix "You're The Buddha" (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix), this entire 42-track 3CD retrospective collection is pure Heaven on a stick, my friends. Heaven on a stick!

'Best: 1977-2017' 3CD Purchase Link

Howard Jones @ Twitter

Title - 'Play It Again, Sam - The Fox Box' [2CD+2DVD]
Artist - Samantha Fox

For those not in the know, Samantha Fox is an English dance-pop singer, actress, and former glamour model. In 1983, at the age of 16, she began her topless modelling career on Page Three of The Sun, and went on to become a popular pin-up girl.

And then, riding the wave of some serious media attention, in 1986, she launched her pop music career with her debut single 'Touch Me (I Want Your Body)', which instantly became a #1 hit in 17 countries.

She has since sold over 30 million albums worldwide, released seven original albums, has also appeared in a number of films, worked as a TV presenter, and has even appeared on reality TV shows!

Having digitally remastered and expanded into two CD deluxe editions her debut four albums, now we get a massive retrospective of her musical and visual gems in the (and as a BIG fan since day one I can say this) stunningly delicious shape of Play It Again, Sam: The Fox Box.

Play It Again, Sam: The Fox Box is the long-awaited, first-ever definitive retrospective of Samantha Fox’s musical career to date. This lavish 2CD + 2DVD box set is replete with a fold-out double-sided poster, a set of button badges and a picture-packed 32-page booklet.

As you could well now expect, this is an essential package for Sam’s army of Foxy fans and all self-respecting aficionados of '80s pop culture.

Disc: 1:
1. 'Touch Me (I Want Your Body)'
2. 'Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)'
3. 'Hold on Tight' (Radio Mix)
4. 'I'm All You Need' (Single Re-Mix)
5. 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now'
6. 'I Surrender (To The Spirit of The Night)' (7" Mix)
7. 'I Promise You (Get Ready)'
8. 'True Devotion' (New Mix)
9. 'Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)' (Single Edit)
10. 'Love House' (7" Edit)
11. 'I Only Wanna Be with You'
12. 'I Wanna Have Some Fun' (7" Edit)
13. ('Hurt Me! Hurt Me!) But The Pants Stay On' (Radio Edit - Sam Talks)
14. 'Another Woman' (Harding/Curnow 7" Version)
15. 'Go for the Heart' (with Sox)
16. 'Let Me Be Free'
17. 'The Reason Is You' (Radio Edit)
18. 'Santa Maria' (with DJ Milano)
19. 'Angel with An Attitude'
20. 'Call Me' (with Sabrina)
21. 'You've Got Me Believing in Make Believe' (Bonus Track)

Disc: 2:
1. 'I Should Have Known Better'
2. 'Confession'
3. 'Lovin' Don't Grow on Trees' (Alternative Mix)
4. 'All I Wanna Do ...' (with Full Force)
5. 'Love to Love You Baby' (Hip Hop Mix)
6. 'Even in the Darkest Hours' (7" Edit)
7. 'Love House' (7" Remix)
8. 'I Only Wanna Be with You' (Special Single Edit)
9. 'Too Late to Say Goodbye' (Original 12" Mix)
10. 'The Winner Takes It All'
11. 'La Isla Bonita'
12. 'A Question of Honour'
13. 'Midnight Lover'
14. 'I Give Myself to You' (Pete Hammond Remix)
15. 'Touch Me 2016' (Radio Edit)
16. 'It's You' (Nick Harvey Club Mix)
17. 'Gimme Shelter' (with Hawkwind)
18. 'The Best Is Yet to Come' (7"Mix)

Disc: 3: The Videos (DVD)
1. 'Touch Me (I Want Your Body)'
2. 'Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)'
3. 'Hold on Tight'
4. 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now'
5. 'I Surrender (To The Spirit of the Night)'
6. 'I Promise You (Get Ready)'
7. 'True Devotion'
8. 'Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)'
9. 'Love House'
10. 'I Only Wanna Be with You'
11. 'I Wanna Have Some Fun'
12. '(Hurt Me! Hurt Me!) But The Pants Stay On'
13. 'Another Woman'
14. 'Just One Night'
15. 'Go for the Heart' (with Sox)
16. 'Let Me Be Free'
17. 'The Reason Is You'
18. 'Santa Maria' (with DJ Milano)
19. 'Angel with An Attitude'
20. 'Call Me' (with Sabrina)

Disc: 4: Bonus Footage (DVD)
1. 'Rockin' with My Radio'
2. 'I Surrender (To the Spirit of the Night)' (Unedited Version)
3. 'Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)' (Club Version)
4. 'Love House' (Dance Mix)
5. 'I Only Wanna Be With You' (Alternative Version)
6. 'All I Wanna Do ...' (with Full Force)
7. 'Touch Me' (with Günther)
8. 'Rockin' with My Radio' (Behind the Scenes)
9. 1987 Interview
10. 1989 Interview
11. 1991 Interview
12. 'Call Me' (with Sabrina - Behind the Scenes)

This definitive retrospective of one of the UK's most revered, beloved women, Samantha Fox, not only contains every single released during her phenomenally successful Jive Records tenure for the very first time ever, but comes very up to date with the release of both 'Call Me' with '80s icon Sabrina and Fox's very own 'Touch Me' (2016) remix.

That's right, the first two discs take us from the phenomenal smash hit era of the 1986 mega hit 'Touch Me,' on through to the Stock Aitken Waterman favorite 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now,' the Full Force classic 'Naughty Girls', and up to her newest release (the aforementioned 'Touch Me' 2016 remix 12" vinyl).

Proving to be able to put out a succession of global hits which made Fox the only British female to score a hat-trick of Top 10s on both sides of the Atlantic during the '80s, this selection also includes her European dancefloor smashes such as 'Santa Maria' and that aforementioned irresistible cover of Blondie's 'Call Me' with fellow '80s icon Sabrina.

An exclusive, previously unheard bonus track, 'You've Got Me Believing In Make Believe', direct from Sam's personal archive, rounds out the collection on the first disc rather nicely too.

The second disc features many sought-after and previously unavailable rarities from throughout Fox's career. With B-sides, remixes, that aforementioned updated take on 'Touch Me' (2016) and another exclusive track, 'It's You', there is plenty to discover for all her fans and newcomers alike.

The first DVD gathers together Fox's iconic original videos and boy, are there some memorable '80s flashback's right there, my friends! Wow! I mean ... WOW! Just work your way through videos for the hits such as 'Touch Me,' 'Hold on Tight,' 'I'm All You Need' (that not came as a 7" vinyl gate-fold sleeve that housed the second part of a calendar poster, July-December 1987 - I know that, because I have it and can still see it in my mind - but was also a Christmas release -- as the 12" vinyl, Numbered Picture Disc came with a spring of holly under the now printed in green and red name and song title!), and the euphoric 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now,' and you'll come out the other side a changed man (or woman, of course!)

The second DVD features additional rare footage, including the seldom-seen early video 'Rockin' With My Radio', extended and alternative takes, three early interviews from her career, and behind-the-scenes footage of her and Sabrina recording Blondie's 'Call Me.'

In closing, and as I said about the recently released 3CD retrospective from Howard Jones, this entire Play It Again, Sam - The Fox Box 2CD+2DVD retrospective collection is pure Heaven on a stick, my friends. Heaven on a damn stick!

'Play It Again, Sam - The Fox Box' 2CD+2DVD Purchase Link

Samantha Fox @ Twitter

Title - 'Two Faces Of Fame: The Complete 1967 Recordings'
Artist - Georgie Fame

For those not in the know, Georgie Fame (actually born Clive Powell) is an English rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player.

Fame, who had a string of 1960s hits, is still a popular performer, often working with contemporaries such as Van Morrison and Bill Wyman.

Indeed, Fame is the only British pop star to have achieved three number one hits with his only Top 10 chart entries: "Yeh, Yeh" in 1964, "Get Away" in 1966 and "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" in 1967.

Now, via Cherry Red Records (UK) Georgie Fame's debut album for CBS back in 1967 has been remastered and expanded into a delightful double-disc edition. Now entitled The Two Faces Of Fame: The Complete 1967 Recordings, this brand new edition all the original songs along with bonus tracks, all via mono and stereo mixes.

Disc: 1: (Stereo)
1. "Green Back Dollar Bill"
2. "Things Ain't What They Used To Be"
3. "River's Invitation"
4. "Bluesology"
5. "Don't Try"
6. "Keep Your Big Mouth Shut"
7. "You're Driving Me Crazy"
8. "C'est la Vie"
9. "El Pussy Cat"
10. "It Could Happen To You"
11. 'Do It The Hard Way"

Bonus Tracks:
12. "Because I Love You"
13. "Bidin' My Time ('Cos I Love You)"
14. "Knock On Wood"
15. "All I'm Asking"
16. "Didn't Want To Have To Do It"
17. "Close The Door"
18. "(I'm A) Road Runner"
19. "Try My World"
20. "No Thanks"
21. "Celebration" (International Pop Song Festival Entry)
22. "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde"
23. "Beware of The Dog"
24. "Nel Tuo Mondo" ('Try My World' - Italian Version)

Disc: 2: (Mono)
1. "Green Back Dollar Bill"
2. "Things Ain't What They Used To Be"
3. "River's Invitation"
4. "Bluesology"
5. "Don't Try"
6. "Keep Your Big Mouth Shut"
7. "You're Driving Me Crazy"
8. "C'est la Vie"
9. "El Pussy Cat"
10. "It Could Happen To You"
11. 'Do It The Hard Way"

Bonus Tracks:
12. "A Waiting Time"
13. "Jumping The Gun" *
14. "Bluesology"
15. "Nicoise" (working title of 'Try My World', Take 2)
16. "Respoken" (Take 10)
17. "Conquistador" (Take 8)
18. "Tell It Like It is" (Take 5)
19. "Waltz" (Take 3)
20. "Fool's Paradise" (Take 10)
21. "Tirare La Chinghia ('No Thanks' - Italian Version)
22. "A Ballata Di Bonnie E Clyde" ('The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" - Italian Version)

* previously unissued

The first disc of this great debut album - that's split between live recordings from a show at London’s Royal Festival Hall and studio sessions - begins in stereo with the horn-sharp, finger-snappin' "Green Back Dollar Back", then moves seamlessly into the slow poke Hammond organ-backed "Things Ain't What They Used to Be", the upbeat funk of "River's Invitation", and then both the trippin' piano and do-wop vocals of "Bluesology" and the ballad "Don't Try."

The zoot-suit riot of "Don't Your Big Mouth Shut" is then backed by the drumtastic "You're Driving Me Crazy", the sultry "C'est la Vie," the '60s swing of "El Pussycat," and then the original album rounds out with the blues ballad "It Could Happen To You" and "Do It the Hard Way."

With the second disc containing all those very same aforementioned tracks, just now in mono, also included - and spread nicely over both discs - are all of Georgie’s A’s and B’s from that year. Plus there are tracks from his stand-alone eponymous EP, various Italian language variants, a Brazilian-only International Pop Song Festival entrant (‘Celebration’) and a host of previously unissued tracks representing all of his recorded output from 1967 available at this time.

The Digipak package also boasts exhaustive sleeve-notes and a host of photos and rare images, offering a long-overdue reappraisal of Georgie Fame’s first year at CBS Records, capturing a star at the pinnacle of his success.

'Two Faces Of Fame: The Complete 1967 Recordings' 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Space Dubs'
Artist - Spacewave

For those not in the know, Spacewave is the primary music vehicle of long-time engineer, producer, and artist John Palmer.

As a multi-media artist, John Palmer has produced a broad range of work over the past fifty years, working primarily in photography, painting, and music.

Palmer received his fine arts education and training at the Corcoran School of Art and under Jack Perlmutter at the predecessor of what is now University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C.

He has had exhibitions at the Dickey Gallery (Washington, D.C.) and Andro-Media Galleries (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Palmer's nature photography has focused on the interplay between sunlight and water, and his digital cinema work has focused on music videos and music documentaries.

His paintings have ranged from the hard-edged op-art of the late 1960's to his floated color and air-brush atmospheres of the 1980's and 1990's.

Palmer is largely self-taught in music, playing electric bass and keyboards after early clarinet training. Recording music groups since high school, he founded Andro-Media in 1972 to expand his audio and video production work.

He has performed his musical compositions in the groups FMO, Metakone 53, Metakone 74, Soft Boulder, Oasis, Sparks, and Stormy in the Ann Arbor area, and most recently in a studio collaboration with Dub Reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry.

His post-modern electronic music style reflects jazz, r&b, rock, new age, and world music influences which all come together perfectly on this brand new album from Palmer aka Spacewave, Space Dubs.

1. 'Psycho Dread Dub'
2. 'Strip Off Dub'
3. 'House of Sin Dub'
4. 'Isabel Dub'
5. 'Jungle Tongue Dub'
6. 'No Evil Dub'
7. 'No Sorrow Dub'
8. 'Too Much Is Too Much Dub'
9. 'On Nigeria Dub'
10. 'Therapist Dub'

This quite stunning 10-track instrumental dub album from Spacewave combines all his favorite genres of music to work within - ska, reggae, dub, dubstep, acid jazz, and electronic - and brings together a collection of tracks that will, once heard, stay with you for a very long time.

Indeed, as Palmer himself has revealed about the making of these dub tracks, "While I play a bit of electric bass and synthesizer, I used a lot of sample and loop libraries to add different sounds and snippets, slicing and dicing, changing the feel and the key where needed."

"I left enough of some familiar riffs there to pull the ear in. They are generally dense mixes, so more than once I had to pare back to keep things from turning into mush."

Also, it should be known that with few modifications, these riddims were used by reggae dub legend Lee "Scratch" Perry for his album Must Be Free.

Spacewave released his Space Dubs on August 4th, 2017 on MegaWave Music as a CD and digital download.

'Space Dubs' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'NOW That's What I Call Tailgate Anthems'
Artist - Various

As expected as both snow and sun (well, at least here in Michigan) on a yearly basis, the world's best-selling, multi-artist series NOW That's What I Call Music! is back with yet another subtitled musical effort of jams.

Although, if truth be told, the idea was stolen / borrowed from the UK, as they are on about their 100th version of the series that is numbered with each release, these specialty versions of the Now universes do bring together en masse of great tunes, that's for sure.

The latest and greatest is 'NOW That's What I Call Tailgate Anthems', a single disc of some of music's oldest and newest, pop, rock, country and rap artists who have all managed to write/record songs that have done, or will still in our heads for years to come.

1. 'We Will Rock You' - Queen
2. 'Livin' on a Prayer' - Bon Jovi
3. 'Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
4. 'Rock and Roll All Nite' - Kiss
5. 'Eye of the Tiger' - Survivor
6. 'The Final Countdown' - Europe
7. 'Jump Around' - House of Pain
8. 'Turn Down for What' - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
9. 'My House' - Flo Rida
10. 'Black and Yellow' - Wiz Khalifa
11. 'I Gotta Feeling' - The Black Eyed Peas
12. 'Don't Stop the Party' - Pitbull feat. TJR
13. 'Let's Go' - Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo
14. 'Yeah!' - Usher feat. Lil' Jon & Ludacris
15. 'Get the Party Started' - P!nk
16. 'House Party' - Sam Hunt
17. 'Country Girl (Shake It For Me)' - Luke Bryan
18. 'My Kinda Party' - Jason Aldean

We kick-off with the BRILLIANT 'We Will Rock You' from Queen and that gets backed by a quintet of rockin' greatness in Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On A Prayer,' Journey's epic 'Don't Stop Believin', KISS's live version of 'Rock & Roll All Nite,' and then two massive musical beasts in both Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' and then Europe's addictive sing-along hit 'Final Countdown.'

The tone changes direction next with the humpty-hump of House of Pain's 'Jump Around,' which is followed seamlessly by DJ Snake & Lil Jon's 'Turn Down For What,' Flo Rida's 'My House', 'Black And Yellow' by Wiz Khalifa, and then two massive worldwide dancefloor smashes in 'I Gotta Feeling' (Black Eyed Peas), and then 'Don't Stop The Party' from Pitbull feat. TJR.

With both Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo on 'Let's Go' and Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris on the pulsatingly perfect 'Yeah!', P!nk rounds out that certain R&B vibe with 'Get The Party Started, before the boys from country round the whole party CD out. First up is Sam Hunt with 'House Party,' which is backed by Luke Bryan's 'Country girl (Shake It For Me), with the album coming to a close with Jason Aldean's 'My Kinda Party.'

Title - 'NOW That's What I Call Music! 63'
Artist - Various

As expected as both snow and sun (well, at least here in Michigan) on a yearly basis, the world's best-selling, multi-artist series NOW That's What I Call Music! is back with its 63rd edition. Although, if truth be told, the idea was stolen / borrowed from the UK, as they are on about their 100th version of the series, it just means they are now older than the US, that's all! [Which, in general, we all already knew!]

All that malarkey aside, 'NOW That's What I Call Music! 63' is yet another jam-packed 16 track party animal, including chart dance floor and ballad hits from THE biggest stars to hit our radios most recently.

That and the fact that, as seems to be their own growing custom, Sony Music Entertainment have included as an added bonus six (6) new tracks from what they claim to be "What's Next" in the search for nubile musical successors!

1. 'I'm the One' - DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne
2. 'Stay' - Zedd & Alessia Cara
3. 'Something Just Like This' - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
4. 'Say You Won't Let Go' - James Arthur
5. 'Castle on the Hill' - Ed Sheeran
6. 'Believer' - Imagine Dragons
7. 'Slow Hands' - Niall Horan
8. 'Bad Liar' - Selena Gomez
9. 'Swish Swish' - Katy Perry feat. Nicki Minaj
10. 'Crying in the Club' - Camila Cabello
11. 'Slide' - Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos
12. 'Swalla' - Jason Derulo feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign
13. 'HUMBLE.' - Kendrick Lamar
14. 'Congratulations' - Post Malone feat. Quavo
15. 'Heavy' - Linkin Park feat. Kiiara
16. 'Malibu' - Miley Cyrus
17. 'Wander In Lust' - The Foxies
18. 'Keep My Head Afloat' - Jeremy Zucker
19. 'Straightjacket' - Quinn XCII
20. 'Hold On' - Chord Overstreet
21. 'Can You Touch' - Elley Duhé
22. 'Hit Parade' - Mutemath

We kick-off with the addictive beats of 'I'm the One' from DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, and keep that groove alive with 'Stay' from Zedd & Alessia Cara. Hitting the soaring pop vein next with 'Something Just Like This' from The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, next up the tone is lowered for the more sedate approach to music from artists such as James Arthur ('Say You Won't Let Go'), and the annoying infectious 'Castle on the Hill from Ed Sheeran.

We pick the pop vibe back up again with 'Believer' from Imagine Dragons, before the solo effort from former 1D's Niall Horan is upon us, 'Slow Hands.' The dancefloor vibe of 'Bad Liar' from Selena Gomez is next and that's backed by the fun (and the best track on her new album, for my money) 'Swish Swish' from Katy Perry feat. Nicki Minaj, 'Crying in the Club' by Camila Cabello, and both 'Slide' (Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos), and the brilliant 'Swalla' from Jason Derulo feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign).

Kendrick Lamar's poignant ode 'HUMBLE.' is next, 'Congratulations' by Post Malone feat. Quavo follows it, and then comes the always-solid Linkin Park with the mesmerizing new track 'Heavy.' Featuring Kiiara, that song is so much more meaningful now, given the recent passing of lead singer Chester Bennington. The new and 3.0 updated version of Miley Cyrus is back with the sugary sweet (and way too sugary for my tastes) 'Malibu', which itself rounds out the known hit makers of this album.

Up next we get those aforementioned "What's Next" artists and their songs, which begins with 'Wander In Lust' (The Foxies), 'Keep My Head Afloat' (Jeremy Zucker), 'Straightjacket' from Quinn XCII, and then Chord Overstreet's really quite great 'Hold On.' The entire collection then rounds out with both 'Can You Touch' from Elley Duhé, and Mutemath's 'Hit Parade.'

Title - Music from the HBO Limited Series Big Little Lies
Artist - Various

This is the brilliant Soundtrack to the critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated HBO series 'Big Little Lies' by director Jean-Marc Vallée starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgård.

Based on the same-titled best-seller by Liane Moriarty, 'Big Little Lies' weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, California.

Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-not's, exposing fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.

Indeed, just prior to the finale of the David-E.-Kelley-penned, seven-episode-long original series, HBO made their distinctive soundtrack available for purchase and download on March 31st, 2017.

Now out as a special, and beautiful 2LP vinyl record, it consists primarily of neo-soul and R&B-informed singer/songwriters, both old-school veterans (Irma Thomas) and relative newcomers (Villagers).

Also containing a track by cast member and musician-in-her-own-right Zoë Kravitz ("Don't"), this double vinyl LP version also includes two tracks not included on the CD or digital versions - "Treat Me Nice" by director Jean-Marc Vallee and It's Now Or Never" (Instrumental) by Jean-Phi, aka Jean-Philippe Goncalves; who also produced and arranged both tracks.

Side A:
1. Michael Kiwanuka: “Cold Little Heart”
2. Charles Bradley: “Victim of Love”
3. Martha Wainwright: “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”

Side B:
4. Leon Bridges: “River”
5. Kinny: “Queen of Boredness” [ft. Diesler]
6. Agnes Obel: “September Song”
7. Alabama Shakes: “This Feeling”

Side C:
8. Charles Bradley: “Changes”
9. Irma Thomas: “Straight From the Heart”
10. Villagers: “Nothing Arrived” (Live From Spotify London)
11. Zoë Kravitz: “Don’t”
12. Villagers: “The Wonder of You”

Side D:
13. Daniel Agee: “How’s the World Treating You”
14. Jimmy Valley: "Treat Me Nice"
15. Jean-Phi Goncalves: "It's Now Or Never"
16. Ituana: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

We begin with English soul musician Micheal Kiwanuka's dulcet, haunting piano work on 'Cold Little Heart', before moving seamlessly into the acoustic guitar work, and throaty soul of Charles Bradley's “Victim of Love”, American-Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright's forthright “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”, and then the always-great Leon Bridges with "River.”

The pop bounce flow of Kinny's “Queen of Boredness” [ft. Diesler] is one of my own personal favorites here. Reminiscent of early Macy Gray, that's followed by the stunning piano work of Agnes Obel on the boyant, hopeful "September Song.” American blues rock band Alabama Shakes are next up with their lo-fi "This Feeling” which is backed by American funk/soul/R&B singer Charles Bradley's Motown heartbreak flashback on “Changes.”

The old school vibe is continued on “Straight From the Heart”, a divine sixties harken back tune from Irma Thomas, a woman known affectionately as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans." The Villagers “Nothing Arrived” (Live From Spotify London) is a pure delight to behold also, and that's followed by Lenny Kravitz's daughter Zoe on her stoic cut "Don’t.”

Elvis Presley gets a look in here also via Conor O’Brien, the lead singer of the aforementioned Villagers. Although listed as being a straight out Villagers track here, his solo vocals bring us a quite stirring version of "The Wonder of You” and is yet another stand out highlight here. That's backed wonderfully by Daniel Agee doing his best Roy Orbison/Chris Isaak impression on "How’s the World Treating You” ("I've had nothing but sorrow. Since you said we were through. There's no hope for tomorrow. How's the world treating you?").

Those two aforementioned vinyl LP bonus tracks are up next, with "Treat Me Nice" by Jimmy Valley (aka Jean-Marc Vallee) the first, Jean-Phi Goncalves' "It's Now Or Never" (Instrumental) following it. Then, as it was with the CD and digital releases, this double vinyl album finishes with a real treat in the form of enigmatic band Ituana's version of The Stones' "You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Wow, what a delicious, breathy cut and what a sensational way to round out an album.

In closing, this delightful, beautiful two-vinyl 'Music from the HBO Limited Series Big Little Lies' LP set is, for my money, as good as it gets when it comes to matching musicians with an emotional roller coaster of a TV show such as this one.

Title - 'In Transit: Original Broadway Cast Recording'
Artist - Various

Titled as "Broadway’s first a cappella musical", 'In Transit' is a very funny and poignant new Broadway musical that follows the intertwined lives of 11 New Yorkers faced with the challenges of city life.

With a groundbreaking Score by a team including the creators of 'Pitch Perfect', 'In Transit' takes you on a journey with people hoping to catch the express train to their dreams including the stops they make along the way.

The musical, which previously played Primary Stages in 2010, follows a group of 11 New Yorkers as they navigate the streets (and tunnels) of the city. The small ensemble takes on several roles, including an aspiring actress, a Wall Street honcho, a street performer, a cab driver and more.

Modern yet timeless, 'In Transit' is a story about all of us, set to music that will stay with you long after the ride is over.

With a book, music and lyrics by Academy Award® winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez ('Frozen'), James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth and vocal arrangements by Deke Sharon ('Pitch Perfect', 'The Sing-Off'), 'In Transit' is directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall ('Anything Goes', 'Nice Work If You Can Get It').

1. 'Deep Beneath the City/Not There Yet' - (Chesney Snow and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
2. 'Do What I Do' - (Margo Seibert and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
3. 'Four Days Home' - (Justin Guarini and Telly Leung and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
4. 'Broke' - (James Snyder and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
5. 'Saturday Night Obsession' - (Erin Mackey and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
6. 'Wingman' - (Nicholas Ward and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
7. 'But, Ya Know' - (James Snyder and Margo Seibert and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
8. 'Not There Yet (Reprise)' - (Erin Mackey and Justin Guarini and Margo Seibert and James Snyder and Moya Angela and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
9. 'Keep It Goin' - (Nicholas Ward and Moya Angela and Mariand Torres and David Abeles and Gerianne Pérez and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
10. 'A Little Friendly Advice' - (Moya Angela and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
11. 'Choosing Not to Know' - (Justin Guarini and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
12. 'The Moving Song' - (Erin Mackey and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
13. 'We Are Home' - (Telly Leung and Justin Guarini and Erin Mackey and James Snyder and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
14. 'Getting There' - (Margo Seibert and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
15. 'Finale' - (Chesney Snow and The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit)
Bonus Tracks:
16. 'Preshow Message' - (Kristen Anderson - Lopez and James
17. 'A Math Question' - (Steven "HeaveN" Cantor) [Bonus Track]
18. 'We Are Home Exit Music' - (The Original Broadway Cast of In Transit) [Bonus Track]

Listening to all 18 tracks, back-to-back twice, I have to say that I was delighted with the "chorus" that can be heard throughout. Not a real "chorus", per say, and with no specific voice to be heard above the others, the overall stylistic diversity here is spot on perfect.

Most of this 'In Transit' music from the Original Cast Recording is upbeat, joyous, and at times it even becomes rather cute with regard both lyrics and vocalizations.

The songs themselves give little indication that there was a story though, which is a tad bit weird, but that said, 'In Transit' tells it's own Broadway story without having to reply on the music underneath it.

In closing, and when the run of tracks at the end of the musical come to the fore, as in the musical itself, everything turns out for the best. For they truly are the best on here, in my humble opinion.

The 'In Transit Original Broadway Cast Recording' CD was released Friday, July 21st, 2017 and is now also available for download.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Reggae Gold 2017'
Artist - Various

Reggae Gold is the annual collection of reggae’s biggest hits from the hottest artists. Now in it’s 24th year, Reggae Gold continues to set the standard for reggae music compilations.

Released on July 21st, 2017 via VP Records, Reggae Gold 2017 is their latest release.

Including a bonus DJ mix disc by Jamaica’s Chromatic Sound, the album continues to showcase the current trends and future classics in reggae music.

1. 'Luv (Explicit)' - Tory Lanez
2. 'Telephone Love' - Jah Cure
3. 'Loodi' (feat. Vybz Kartel) - Shenseea
4. 'Gyal You A Party Animal' - Charly Black
5. 'Me Love My Fatty' - Style X
6. 'Now' - Romain Virgo
7. 'Sheet' - Spice
8. 'Magic' - Christopher Martin
9. 'Love Like Ours' (feat. Tarrus Riley) - Estelle
10. 'Trueversation' (feat. Damian Marley) - Queen Ifrica
11. 'Leave You Alone' (feat. Jesse Royal) - Ikaya
12. 'Don't Come Back' - Tarrus Riley
13. 'Hide' - Deep Jahi
14. 'Banga' - Aidonia
15. 'Raggamuffin' - Raging Fyah
16. 'Hardcore (Remix)' [Feat. Chronixx] - Jah9
17. 'Spanish Town Rockin' - Chronixx

Kicking off in fine style, both 'Luv (Explicit)' from Tory Lanez and the crazy-addictive vocal tones of Jah Cure on 'Telephone Love' are superb, and they are followed by Shenseea's bouncy rap reggae on 'Loodi' (featuring Vybz Kartel). [FYI: Did you know "A Shenseea!” is what you hear at the beginning of every track, introducing the newest artiste to the Dancehall/Reggae community? No, nor did I, but we do now].

Next up is 'Gyal You A Party Animal' from dancehall singer, selector and singjay Charly Black, the fun lyrics and overtones of Style X's 'Me Love My Fatty,' and then come both the Latin-tipped dance pop of 'Now' from Romain Virgo and then the dominate vocal tones of Spice on 'Sheet.'

The lush, ballad R&B of 'Magic' from Christopher Martin is one oft he highlights here for me, and that's followed by British singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and actress Estelle on 'Love Like Ours' (featuring Tarrus Riley). Next up is 'Trueversation' from Queen Ifrica. Featuring reggae legend Damian Marley, this track from the daughter of ska music legend Derrick Morgan is my go to on here now - as I assume it might well be yours too upon listening to it.

The beautiful 'Leave You Alone' from Ikaya (featuring Jesse Royal) is along next, and that's backed by 'Don't Come Back' Tarrus Riley. The Jamaican-American reggae singer and member of the Rastafari movement really put together a winner of a song here, which is why it's deservedly included on this Best of 2017 compilation. 'Hide' by Deep Jahi is next, and that's followed by the life on the streets cut 'Banga' from Aidonia.

This incredible, fresh-sounding new compilation then rounds out with the five piece reggae band from Kingston known as Raging Fyah's 'Raggamuffin,' the dancehall/R&B flow of 'Hardcore (Remix)' from Jah9 featuring Chronixx, and the the album ends with the young man formerly known as "Little Chronicle", now grown up into the aforementioned Chronixx with 'Spanish Town Rockin.'

The 'Reggae Gold 2017', which also comes with a second Bonus Mix Music CD entitled "The Ultimate" Mix by Chromatic, was released July 21st, 2017 and is now also available for download.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Let's Go To Outer Space'
Artist - Gary Wilson

For those not in the know, Gary Wilson is an experimental musician/performance artist best known for his 1977 album You Think You Really Know Me, after which he promptly retired from recording and performing concerts. He slowly gained a strong cult following during the 1980s and 1990s, and in the early 2000s became active again.

And active is what he truly is once again for following hot on the footsteps of his recently-released albums, Alone With Gary Wilson (2015) and It's Friday Night with Gary Wilson (2016), once again via Cleopatra Records he now brings us Let's Go To Outer Space.

Yet another alt-funk classic filled album chock full with experimental sounds, avant garde grooves, and demented space love songs that will make any exploration into the unknown a wild and crazy adventure, the "King Of Weird" has done it again!

Track List:
1. "Back To Where I Belong"
2. "Gary Kissed A Mannequin"
3. "Lost In A Mystery"
4. "Gary Feels Cool"
5. "Weird World Part 1"
6. "You’re The Girl From A Magazine"
7. "She’s The Girl From Mars"
8. "Let’s Go On A Walk Tonight"
9. "I’m Not Ashamed"
10. "I Want To Cry"
11. "Weird World Part 2"
12. "Let’s Go To Mars"
13. "My Beautiful Wife Walked Away"
14. "My Pretty Little Space Girl"

One thing you will quickly become aware of is that Gary Wilson is/was completely ahead of his time, and its sad that people couldn't catch on soon enough.

We kick things off with "Back To Where I Belong" "A girl from outer space doesn't care if it rains you see, it doesn't rain on her planet", which leads seamlessly into the psychedelic pop of "Gary Kissed A Mannequin," the mind bending "Lost In A Mystery," the both the upbeat "Gary Feels Cool," and then the short experimental adventure, "Weird World Part 1."

My personal favorite track from this new album is the poptastic "You’re The Girl From A Magazine" which is followed by the first single/video (see below) to be released, "She’s The Girl From Mars." "Let’s Go On A Walk Tonight" is backed by the trippy "I’m Not Ashamed," the low-fi, mid-tempo jaunt of "I Want To Cry," and then both the second half of the musical experiment, "Weird World Part 2."

The fun pop of "Let’s Go To Mars" ("Let's hitch a ride to the Milky Way and I'll hold your hand all day"), and then comes "My Beautiful Wife Walked Away," before the album rounds out with the (too) short, but sweet "My Pretty Little Space Girl."

I guess, simply put for those not yet familiar with the twisted genius that is Gary Wilson, it sounds something like this: Mix equal parts Zappa, ? & the Mysterians, Barry White, Steely Dan, Norman Bates, and 70s porn/TV soundtracks; filter through an alienated, small town adolescence and creepy borderline-stalker fantasies; add one large bag of white flour, a gallon of lukewarm milk, liberal amounts of Saran Wrap, and dirty underpants; stir in a reel of 1/4" analog recording tape, dump on basement floor, and let sit overnight. Enjoy!

Watch the EXCLUSIVE-to-Exclusive Magazine new video for “She’s The Girl From Mars" EXCLUSIVELY right here!

Official Video - "She's The Girls From Mars"

CD Purchase Link

Digital Purchase Link

Gary Wilson on Facebook

Title - 'Extremes' [CD/DVD]
Artist - Supertramp & Various Artists

For those not in the know, 'Extremes' is a much-loved, much-adored documentary about the British counterculture movement in the 1970s.

Recorded and filmed in 1971 on the road from London to the Isle of Wight Festival, and directed by Tony Klinger with Mike Lytton co-directing, 'Extremes' sets out to discover why so many people have taken a step back from society and decided to rebel against it.

Covering the whole gamut of present day human behavior, from carefree pop fans bathing nude at the Isle of Wight to withdrawn to out of their present minds junkies losing themselves - having taken en masse of drug paraphernalia - 'Extremes' captures their thoughts, one and all.

Taking a look at this documentary, available for the first time ever as a CD/DVD package via Gonzo Multimedia, it's obvious that those portrayed here (especially those in the latter category) didn't ever have a significant say in how things turned out, life wise.

Ergo, in some of what has to be the most natural, raw, open film footage to come from that era, from those captured moments, Tony Klinger and Michael Lytton have undoubtedly captured a unique cross-section of people going their chosen ways - whilst life passed them by as we watch.

Everyone captured here in this fascinating documentary is allowed to talk freely, frankly, openly and honestly, and so in doing so you just know that nothing was set up and no one was told to say what it was coming out of their collective mouths.

I mean, from what I viewed here today in my living room, nothing looks staged, nothing looks rehearsed and everything was filmed as it happened. All manner of people, male and female, clothed and (somewhat) otherwise, all talk about what's going on with them, and their friends.

Hippies, junkies, Hell's Angels, alcoholics, drop-outs and so many more groups within gathered there, they all fall into the category of nonconformist minorities. But here in 'Extremes', there is a diverseness within them that rises to the top as the documentary progresses.

Now available as an aforementioned CD/DVD set, the music portion is as stunningly open, vibrant, meaningful as the filmed audio is, trust me:

1) 'An ear Ago' - Arc
2) 'Great Lager Street' - Arc
3) 'Box Man' - Crucible
4) 'Black Rose' - Mark McCann
5) 'Refrigerated Warmth' - Mark McCann
6) 'Let Your Love Run Through' - Arc
7) 'Hit It' - Crucible
8) 'Surely' - Supertramp
9) 'Am I Not Like Other Birds Of Prey' - Supertramp
10) 'I'm A Perfectly Happy Man' - Arc
11) 'Words Unspoken' - Supertramp
12) 'Elvish Queen' - Crucible
13) 'We Gotta Watch Out' - Crucible

CD/DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin'
Artist - Aretha Franklin

For those not in the know, although I would hope that would be a very, very small group, Aretha Franklin is an American singer, songwriter and musician.

Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at the church of her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church. In 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success.

Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think". These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.

Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin is an all-star tribute to the one, the only, Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin.

Recorded live at Radio City Music Hall, this refreshingly new 12 track audio CD, 13 track for the DVD re: "Respect", which features Aretha Franklin perform the song with her special guest Stevie Wonder, pays tribute to one of this country's national treasures.

1) "I Can't Turn You Loose" - Aretha Franklin
2) "Chain of Fools" - Aretha Franklin with Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough and Al McLean from the Backstreet Boys
3) "Ain't No Way" - Aretha Franklin
4) "Natural Woman" - Jill Scott
5) "Long Walk" - Jill Scott
6) "Think" - Aretha Franklin
7) "Day Dreaming" - Mary J. Blige
8) "Do Right Woman" - Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige
9) "Nessun Dorma" - Aretha Franklin
10) "Rock Steady" - Aretha Franklin with Kid Rock and Teddy Franklin
11) "Precious Memories" - Aretha Franklin and Bishop Paul S. Morton with the New Jersey Mass Choir
12) "Respect" - Aretha Franklin
13) "Freeway of Love" - Aretha Franklin with Stevie Wonder (DVD Only)

Previously unreleased on CD or DVD, the undisputed Queen of Soul is joined by some very special guest stars, including Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, the Backstreet Boys, Kid Rock, and more.

Originally broadcast on VH1 in 2001, Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin features many of her greatest hits in what was termed at the time, and has subsequently come to be, a truly rare one-of-a-kind performance that will never be repeated.

Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin will be released on August 18th, 2017 on CD/DVD and vinyl LP, with the digital download already having been made available this past July 21st, 2017 via MVD Audio.

'Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin' CD/DVD Purchase Link

Title - 'War for the Planet of the Apes'
Artist - Michael Giacchino

In 'War for the Planet of the Apes,' Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson).

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

For those not in the know about composer Michael Giacchino he is not only an American composer of music for films, but both television and video games also.

He composed the scores to the television series Lost, Alias and Fringe, the video game series Medal of Honor and Call of Duty and many films such as 'The Incredibles', 'Mission: Impossible III', 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', 'Jurassic World', 'Star Trek Beyond', 'Doctor Strange', 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story', and 'Spider-Man: Homecoming', to name but a handful.

Track Listing:
1. "Apes' Past is Prologue"
2. "Assault of the Earth"
3. "Exodus Wounds"
4. "The Posse Polonaise"
5. "The Bad Ape Bagatelle"
6. "Don't Luca Now"
7. "Koba Dependent"
8. "The Ecstasy of the Bold"
9. "Apes Together Strong"
10. "A Tide in the Affairs of Apes"
11. "Planet of the Escapes"
12. "The Hating Game"
13. "A Man Named Suicide"
14. "More Red Than Alive"
15. "Migration"
16. "Paradise Found"
17. "End Credits"

In my humble opinion, War for the Planet of the Apes is yet again another incredible, excellent even work of soundtrack art from Michael Giacchino. Solid at each and every one of the turns encountered within the 17 track score, Giacchino's ability to ebb and flow perfectly throughout the cinematic ups and downs is as precisely entertaining as ever.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Tulip Fever' (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Danny Elfman

Set against the backdrop of the 17th-century Tulip Wars, a married noblewoman (Alicia Vikander) has an affair with an artist (Dane DeHaan) and switches identities with her maid to escape the wealthy merchant she married. She and her lover try to raise money together by investing what little they have in the high-stakes tulip market.

For those not in the know about Danny Elfman is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Elfman is best known for his work scoring films and television shows, in particular his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton, and for being the lead singer and songwriter for the band Oingo Boingo from 1974 to 1995.

Sony Classical have just released Danny Elfman's scoring of the film Tulip Fever as a soundtrack album this past August 4th, 2017. Available now as both a CD and digital download, it has to be one of the most enjoyable, playful, and atmospheric soundtrack scores that I have heard in the past decade.

Track Listing:
1. "Sophia's Theme"
2. "Lost"
3. "Willem"
4. "Unveiling"
5. "Streets"
6. "A Storm Is Coming"
7. "Ultramarine"
8. "Nailed"
9. "Reveal"
10. "Streets - Part 2"
11. "Devastation"
12. "Maria's Theme"
13. "Wait"
14. "It's Done"
15. "Storm"
16. "Grand Finale"
17. "Happy Family"
18. "Sophia's Theme (Reprise)"

From the moment the dulcet, and yet for the most part gently soaring "Sophia's Theme" is upon us, you just know the other 17 tracks that follow it will have you just as enraptured. One of my own personal favorites is the piano work on "Lost," which then bleeds seamlessly into such tracks as the vibrant cello work of "The Unveiling," the stirring 'A Storm Is Coming' and both the heart string tug of "The Reveal," and the romantic "Maria's Theme."

In my humble opinion, and as aforementioned above, Tulip Fever is yet again another incredible work of soundtrack scoring from the great, and always-impressive Danny Elfman. Each track as chock full of passion, so raw sometimes that you don't even have to know the scene and what the actors are portraying to know that there is either trouble, love or heartbreak ensuing. Now that is the true sign of a composing great, it is not.

CD Purchase Link

Danny Elfman @ Facebook!

Title - 'Intangible'
Artist - Patrick Bradley

For those not in the know, Patrick Bradley is a contemporary jazz keyboardist.

A self taught musician who began playing at the age of eight, he has a diverse background of jazz-fusion, smooth jazz, progressive rock, gospel and classical music.

And all that, and believe it or not more, comes forth on his brand new album, Intangible, due for release on his own label out now.

1. "Dear Friend"
2. "Funky Greens"
3. "Tail Wind"
4. "On Tap"
5. "Intangible"
6. "Find the Way"
7. "Newport Coast"
8. "Winds of Change"
9. "Destiny"
10. "Out of Bounds"

Here on the superb, from start to finish Intangible, the spiritually-minded jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley doesn't need a special occasion like marking his tenth anniversary as a recording artist to acknowledge his inspirations both tangible and divine.

However, the first track on the album and what is also the first single given to radio, "Dear Friend" (a song dedicated to the artists who have influenced is sound and style over the years) melds together genres such as jazz funk and urban soul seamlessly. "Funky Greens" is just as the label suggests, whilst both the "Tailwind" (feat. Paul Jackson Jr) and the harder rock edge of "On Tap" are spectacular showcases of what Bradley can conjure.

The title track is chock full of early evening, after dinner love, and that's backed by the upbeat "Find The Way" and that's followed by the triumphant horn and piano work found on "Newport Coast" (feat. Andrew Carney).

"Winds Of Change" is yet another example of how laid back and styling Bradley truly is with his work, seemingly effortlessly bringing these tracks of luxury to us, and that's backed by the longest cut, the horn-driven "Destiny." The album then, sadly, rounds out with the old school funk of "Out Of Bounds."

"My intent was to honor the influence and significant impact that late musicians have on me musically such as keyboardist giants Keith Emerson, Richard Wright, George Duke, Joe Sample and Jon Lord," Bradley has gone on record as saying.

"Bass players Chris Squire and Jaco Pastorius and guitarist Alan Holdsworth have a major influence on my approach to arrangements and melodies. Their influences are woven throughout my musical experiences, abilities and styles," he added.

Patrick Bradley will release his Intangible CD on August 25th, 2017 via his own label, Patrick's Song Factory.

Patrick Bradley @ Facebook!

'Intangible' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Turtle Soup: Expanded Edition'
Artist - The Mock Turtles

For those not in the know, The Mock Turtles (Martin Coogan — vocals, guitars; Steve Cowen — drums; Joanne Gent — keyboards; Andrew Stewardson — bass; and Martin Glyn Murray — guitars) are an English indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s.

Their song "Can You Dig It?" which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003. Their follow up single "And Then She Smiles" failed to replicate the success of the previous single, only reaching no. 44 in the charts.

In 1990 they released their much anticipated album Turtle Soup via Imaginary Records, then the following year cam the sophomore effort '87–90' (also on Imaginary Records). 'Two Sides' was released later that very same year via Siren Records, but The Mock Turtles were unable to follow up the early success and were dropped by their new label, again, that very same year of 1991.

Can You Dig It – The Best Of The Mock Turtles was released via Virgin Records in 2003 (and a mighty fine album it is, if I may say so myself), and nothing had been heard musically of the band - either new material or re-releases since then.

Well, all that has now changed because Cherry Red Records (UK) have just released a fantastic 2CD set of their debut album entitled Turtle Soup: Expanded Edition.

For this Expanded Edition of their debut Turtle Soup, which represents their complete Imaginary catalogue, all of the Mock Turtles’ non-album singles and B-sides, together with the many cover versions they recorded for Imaginary’s popular tribute albums (such as The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks), Cherry Red have brought together an incredible 41 tracks for our musical enjoyment.

Disc: 1 - Turtle Soup + Bonus Tracks
1. "Kathy Come Home"
2. "Head Run Wild"
3. "Lay Me Down"
4. "Another Jesus Walks on Water"
5. "Oh Helen How?"
6. "How Does It Feel?"
7. "And Then She Smiles"
8. "The Willow Song"
9. "Mary's Garden"
10. "Can You Dig It?"
11. "Wicker Man"
12. "Watching the Waning Moon"
13. "John O'War"
14. "Take Your Time"
15. "Fionnuala"
16. "Bathing in Blue"
17. "Calm Before the Storm"
18. "Magic Boomerang"
19. "Wicker Man (Live Version)"
20. "Watching the Waning Moon (Live Version)"
21. "Johnny Seven"

Disc: 2 - Second Sitting
1. "Angel"
2. "Golden Children"
3. "No Good Trying"
4. "One Eyed Jack"
5. "Turn on"
6. "Big Sky"
7. "Up Here in Heaven"
8. "Casting Pearls"
9. "Time Between / Why"
10. "Harvey Don't Die"
11. "King for a Day"
12. "Big Eyed Beans from Venus"
13. "See Saw"
14. "Falling All Over"
15. "Pale Blue Eyes"
16. "Wally's Dead"
17. "Somewhere in England"
18. "Shangri-La"
19. "The Only One"
20. "Are You Experienced?"

The first disc containing Turtle Soup (which also, and purposely, as it has since come to light) shares its name with the 1969 record Turtle Soup, released by the American psychedelic rock band The Turtles) and some delightful bonus tracks, features the entire 11-track album track-for-track. Kicking off with the great, and still wonderful to hear power pop sound of "Kathy Come Home" and backs that up with the frenetic guitar work of "Head Run Wild," the drumtastic beats of "Lay Me Down," and both the jangly guitars and piano of "Another Jesus Walks On Water" and the soft pop rock of "Oh Helen How?"

"How Does It Feel?" is up next, and is followed by "And Then She Smiles" (a version of which is the theme tune to the popular TV series Stella) and a continually appreciated gem from the quintet. The delicate "The Willow Song" and the The Cultesque "Mary's Garden" are then followed by the original version of "Can You Dig It?" (which has remained popular via various TV ads), with the original album rounding out with their ever-popular, and still stirring cut, "Wicker Man."

The bonus tracks begin on a high with the upright bass bliss of "Watching The Waning Moon," and that's backed by both the soaring violins on "John O'War" and the steady pop lite roll of "Take Your Time," the massively popular between the fans "Fionnuala" coming along next. Continuing their popular dishes of interesting and lively euro-pop tracks - that deserved more attention than they received - we next get "Bathing in Blue" which is backed by "Calm Before the Storm."

"Magic Boomerang" is yet another doozy of a euro-pop sound, and that's followed by a duo of stunning live versions in the form of both "Wicker Man" and "Watching the Waning Moon (Live Version)," before the first disc comes to a close with "Johnny Seven."

The second disc, entitled Second Sitting is a sweet collection of 20 tracks that most all of us have never heard before; or if we had, had long forgotten about. Still a blend of vocal harmonies against a backdrop of wall of sound guitars that don't overpower the vocals, now some 26 years later and each and every track sounds as fresh today as I'm sure they did back when they were written.

Indeed, you can thank Martin Coogan for most all the wonderful bonus tracks as he has unearthed no less than fourteen previously unissued Mock Turtles demos from his personal archive! Sleeve-notes are by Mark Hodkinson (The Guardian, etc.), who was the first-ever journalist to review the band back in the mid-1980s.

'Turtle Soup: Expanded Edition' 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'This Minstrel Life'
Artist - Tokyo Rosenthal

The brilliant singer/songwriter Tokyo Rosenthal has just released his seventh album, entitled This Minstrel Life on the Rock & Sock Record label.

The new album is Rosenthal’s first release in over two years (since 2015's excellent Afterlife) and contains 6 original compositions and 4 live tracks.

Rosenthal, a 30 year veteran of the Americana Roots music scene, has always written well-created, storytelling songs, but here on This Minstrel Life, for my money, he has not only stepped his songwriting game up, but matured vocally also.

1. 'Hundred Mile Man'
2. 'This Minstrel Life'
3. 'The Last Seder'
4. 'Now I Believe There's A Devil'
5. 'Wiregrass'
6. 'The Immigrant Revisited'
7. 'Mama Tried' (Live)
8. 'Little Poetry Girl' (Live)
9. 'There is No Perfect Love' (Live)
10. 'Love Won Out' (Live)

We kick off with the gently Celtic-roused 'Hundred Mile Man,' a lovely, free flowing track that not only encapsulates Tokyo and what he brings to the musical table, but also happens to be one of my own personal favorites here. The accompanists that, well, accompany Tokyo on this new album come to the fore immediately on the title track 'This Minstrel Life,' with the delicate guitar playing and sounds of 'The Last Seder' along next.

The upbeat, mid tempo, accordion-led politically-driven 'Now I Believe There's A Devil' is up next and that's followed by the fast-paced, Mexican stand-off flavored 'Wiregrass'. That Mexican theme is continued on the beautifully updated 'The Immigrant Revisited', with the first of the live tracks (and also the shortest track on the entire album at just over two minutes) 'Mama Tried' (May 2015). Counted in, it's a real doozy of a storytelling tale, you can take my word for it.

Tokyo then introduces the next song about his oldest daughter who was an award-winning poet, who one day stopped writing and left him with no words for his songs, as he was stealing all hers! Hence, 'Little Poetry Girl' (2014)is about her. Next up is the pacey 'There Is No Perfect Love' (2012) and ending the new album is another moment of musical storytelling.

Introduced by Tokyo as a pro-gay marriage song, one that when he's on the road in the Blue States and the Red States he has to keep the car running for, just in case, 'Love Won Out' (2015) is the perfect way to round things out. An album theme written specifically by Tokyo about the lives of touring musicians, today and yesterday, This Minstrel Life (out now via Rock and Sock Records) is one of the finest heartfelt albums I have had the pleasure to listen to this year.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

Tokyo Rosenthal @ Facebook!

Tokyo Rosenthal @ Twitter!

Title - 'Waterhouse Dub'
Artist - King Jammy

For those not in the know, Lloyd James, who is better known as Prince Jammy or King Jammy, is a dub mixer and record producer. He began his musical career as a dub master at King Tubby's recording studio.

Returning to the studio with his brand new album, Waterhouse Dub, listening to it we quickly discover that it is a brand new slab of megaton dub.

King Jammy, the undisputed heavyweight champion of drum and bass, has now brought out this August 11th, 2017 via VP Records a crucial selection of his toughest rub-a-dub specials. Inclusive of 15 mind-destroying dub knock-outs, this album is what we've all been waiting for.

With his dubs being well known for their clear sound and use of effects, here on his new album Waterhouse Dub the master of Dub has done it, once again.

1. 'Lethal Dub'
2. 'Revenge Attack'
3. 'Captivity Dub'
4. 'Kingdom Of Jah Dub'
5. 'Dubbing On The Riverside'
6. 'Holy Mount Zion Dub'
7. 'Top Secret Dub'
8. 'Super Power Dub'
9. 'Red Square Dub'
10. 'Village Dub'
11. 'Fire House Dub'
12. 'Experience Dub'
13. 'Queen's Highway'
14. 'Jammys A Shine'
15. 'Dub For Dave Hendley'

Kicking off with the atmospheric 'Lethal Dub,' 'Revenge Attack' takes it up a notch, albeit just, before one of my new favorites on this album, the reverb-aided 'Captivity Dub' is brought to the fore. The mid-tempo reggae cut 'Kingdom Of Jah Dub' is a blessing here also, as are both the dance hall 'Dubbing On The Riverside' and the arcade game vibe of 'Holy Mount Zion Dub'.

The reggae lite hipsway of 'Top Secret Dub' is next and that's backed by the arcade game gun fire-intro'd, melodic rasta of 'Super Power Dub'. The reggae bounce of 'Red Square Dub' is then backed by both the drum-inspired 'Village' Dub' and then the piano-inspired 'Fire House Dub.' A subtle air horn-blown intro to 'Experience Dub' leads us into another of my personal favorites here, and that's followed by one of the only tracks not vocally intro'd, 'Queen's Highway.'

This quite stunning album then rounds out with the uptempo, frenetic loops combined with low bass rolls of 'Jammys A Shine', before ending on distinctive high note with the jazz-like piano melodies of 'Dub For Dave Hendley.' Personally, I'd only ever heard word of King Jammy before this CD showed up and now I am, after only just one listen, addicted to hearing more of his work. I know you will be too.

Vinyl LP Purchase Link

Title - 'Freedom In Dub'
Artist - Alborosie

For those not in the know, Alberto D'Ascola, better known by his stage name Alborosie, and sometimes styled as AlBorosie, is an Italian reggae artist.

In 2013, Alborosie released System and followed it up in 2016 with the hotly anticipated Freedom & Fyah, a ruff and rugged musical escapade through the grime and gutta of Kingston, Jamaica.

A year later and Alborosie has re-recorded dub versions of all the songs from the aforementioned hit album Freedom & Fyah and called his new album Freedom In Dub.

This brand new album, out June 3rd, 2017 via VP Records, extends and explores new sonic directions within the structure of the original recordings of ten tracks.

Using vintage analog equipment, Alborosie bridges the sounds and rhythms of classic reggae to 2017, highlighting his lineage to producers like Linval Thompson and King Jammy among others.

With the tracks all originally written about the place Alborosie calls home, this searing set of ten rasta ragga anthems - where they originally featured collaborations with the likes of Protoje, Kymani Marley, Sugus, and Roots Radics - have now all been re-imagined in dub.

1. 'Zion Dub Youth'
2. 'Strolling Into Dub'
3. 'Rocky Dub Road'
4. 'Rich N Dubby'
5. 'Dubbing Everything'
6. 'Dub Posers'
7. 'Dub Cry'
8. 'Dub Can't Cool'
9. 'Dub 420'
10. 'Carry On Dub'

We begin with the triumphant, yet distinctively laid back sounds of 'Zion Dub Youth' which is backed up by both the reverb of one of my own personal favorite tracks on this reworked album, 'Strolling Into Dub' and then the brilliant 'Rocky Dub Road.'

The twisty, creeping 'Rich N Dubby' is next and that's followed by 'Dubbing Everything' and then the experimental-sounding 'Dub Posers'. 'Dub Cry' is yet another reworked gem here, and that's backed by the harder, more defined 'Dub Can't Cool.' The dub step wonderment of 'Dub 420' is next and then the album rounds out with the washy-vibe of 'Carry On Dub.'

Vinyl LP Purchase Link

Title - 'Africa Must Be Free By 1983'
Artist - Hugh Mundell

For those not in the know, Hugh Mundell was a Jamaican reggae singer and songwriter tragically murdered in 1983.

Sadly, he was shot and killed while sitting in a car with Junior Reid and that day reggae lost one of its most promising young performers.

Mundell's 1975 debut album, Africa Must Be Free By 1983 produced by Augustus Pablo, remains a classic roots reggae recording still today.

Originally awarded a five star review by Rolling Stone magazine upon it's 1978 release, Africa Must Be Free By 1983 was met with great acclaim and has gone on to be one the most sought after of all classic roots reggae albums.

Now re-mastered for release on August 17th 2017 (via VP Records) in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Greensleeves label, the album is a fitting testament to two titans of reggae (artist and producer Augustus Pablo) that were taken from us far too soon.

1. 'Let's All Unite'
2. 'Unity Dub'
3. 'My Mind'
4. 'My Mind Dub'
5. 'Africa Must Be Free By 1983'
6. 'Africa Dub'
7. 'Why Do Black Men Fuss And Fight'
8. 'Book Of Life'
9. 'Levi Dub'
10. 'Run Revolution A Come'
11. 'Revolution Dub'
12. 'Day Of Judgement'
13. 'Judgement Dub'
14. 'Jah Will Provide'
15. 'Ital Slip'
16. 'Western Kingston Style'
17. 'Sufferer Dub'

We start things off with the mid-tempo dub step of 'Let's All Unite' (a track that immediately showcases the young, tender vocals of Mundell) and as there is also artist and producer Augustus Pablo's subsequently-released dub version of this album included, each Mundell track is followed by (for the most part) Pablo's dub version (in this case, 'Unity Dub').

Next is the deep roots of 'My Mind,' then 'My Mind Dub', then come the gentle reggae pop flow of the title track 'Africa Must Be Free By 1983' and Pablo's 'Africa Dub.' 'Why Do Black Men Fuss And Fight' is followed the lighter fare of 'Book Of Life' and then Pablo's 'Levi Dub.'

Next up is the hushed vocal styling of 'Run Revolution A Come,' which is also quite easily one of my personal favorites on this album, and that's backed by Pablo's 'Revolution Dub.' Then comes Mundell's melodic gem 'Day Of Judgement' and it's dub companion 'Judgement Dub,' before the soothing 'Jah Will Provide' and Pablo's 'Ital Slip.'

That's followed by two Pablo dub mixes that subsequently now round out this remastered, re-released album. 'Western Kingston Style' and then 'Sufferer Dub' are musical companions to, so it sounds like, each other, but once the album finishes all you want to do is hit Play again. This album is just that musically infectious, trust me.

Knowing that Hugh Mundell was a protégé of Augustus Pablo, recording for his Rockers International imprint, together the two made these classic sides which still stand as genre defining forty years on. Buy it for yourself today and you'll soon be reaching back into both their history's to find out more about these two incredible reggae artists.

Vinyl LP Purchase Link

Title - 'The Rift: Dark Side Of The Moon' (OST)
Artist - Various

'The Rift — Dark Side of the Moon' tells the story of the search for NASA Space Shuttle astronaut who crash lands in Serbia, bringing back with him some kind of alien life form.

Starring Katarina Čas, Ken Foree, Dragan Mićanović, Monte Markham and both Denis Murić and Maya Lavelle, the movie is scheduled to premiere in December of this year.

With a stunning soundtrack companion, releasing this September 1st via Cleopatra Records, that features not only a bunch of classic space age songs, but also two interesting covers of songs from the classic Pink Floyd album that inspired the film’s name, 'The Rift: Dark Side Of The Moon' is one of the soundtracks of the year so far, trust me.

1. “Don’t Keep on Me Waiting” — Omega
2. “Us and Them” — John Wetton
3. “Brain Damage” — Colin Moulding & Robby Krieger
4. “Mask” — The Anix
5. “1799” — Echolust
6. “Paranormal” — Nik Turner
7. “Serenade for the Dead” — Leæther Strip
8. “Astronaut’s Nightmare” — Nektar
9. “C. abyssal” — Le Seul Élément
10. “Nebula” — Brainticket
11. “Dynamics of Delerium” — Rick Wakeman
12. “Into the Eyes of the Zombie King” — Chrome
13. “Notre Dame (Mothership)” (Edit) — Guru Freakout
14. “UFOlove” — Guru Guru Groove Band
15. “I Ran (So Far Away)” — A Flock of Seagulls

We start things off with the '70s space art of Omega's 'Don't Keep Me Waiting', and then comes one of the true gems of this album from the late John Wetton. His superb rendition of “Us and Them” showcases the Asia front man's stellar guitar work and vocals to perfection and that's backed by a version of the-must-be-heard-to-be-truly-appreciated “Brain Damage” featuring The Doors‘ Robby Krieger and XTC‘s Colin Moulding.

The trippy free flow of 'Mask' from The Anix is up next, and that's followed by both the crashing guitars of Echolust's brilliant '1799' and then Nik Turner's space adventure 'Paranormal.' “Serenade for the Dead” from Leæther Strip is a four minute delve into industrial space sounds, and that's backed by Nektar's stunning “Astronaut’s Nightmare.” At over seven minute long, this early '70s track is still as great to hear today as it was back then, of that you have my word.

“C. abyssal” — Le Seul Élément is as haunting as you would expect, whereas "Nebula” from Brainticket is a more subtly progressive, ever-organic track. Then comes another space adventure, this time from the Prog Rock God known as Rick Wakeman in 'Dynamics Of Delerium,' before we're reintroduced to Chrome's industrial beats of 'Into The Eyes Of The Zombie King.'

Guru Freakout's 30 minute plus opus 'Notre Dame (Mothership)' is now here in edit form, and that's backed by the Krautrock of 'UFOlove' from Guru Guru Groove Band. The soundtrack album then rounds out with the classic space rock of A Flock Of Seagulls' 'I Ran (So Far Away)' from 1982.

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Title - '8 Assassins - Beautiful the Bad & The Ugly' (OST)
Artist - Various

'8 Assassins - Beautiful the Bad & The Ugly' tells the story of a young thief who is pursued by bloodthirsty thugs from the alleys of Marrakech to the harsh Moroccan wilderness.

Seeking shelter in a remote city, he finds no refuge; only a beautiful woman, a tyrannical warlord, and eight assassins. Starring Mohamed Elachi, Sarah Kazemy, and Affif Ben Badra, the movie was directed by Said C. Naciriis.

With a stunning 2CD soundtrack companion, releasing this August 18th via Cleopatra Records, it features an incredibly diverse roster of artists that range from folk icon Judy Collins, to space rock legends Hawkwind, and include original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Dianno, German krautrock pioneers Faust, Hawkwind co-founder Nik Turner, deathrockers Christian Death and many more!

Disc: 1
1. Hedersleben - 'Gulf of Lost Souls'
2. Jürgen Engler - '8 Assassins (Score)'
3. Nik Turner - 'Coming of the Maya' (Feat Simon House)
4. Klute - 'No Man's Land'
5. Alan Davey - 'Angel Down' (Feat. Simon House)
6. Hawkwind - 'Hassan I Sabbah'
7. Black Plastic - 'Sertraline'
8. Onyx - 'Do U Bac Down'
9. The Wake - 'Nazarene'
10. Faust - 'Parasiten'

Disc: 2
1. Judy Collins & Ari Hest - 'Run'
2. Philippe Besombes - 'Chocolate Cream'
3. Brainticket - 'Radagacuca'
4. The Coffin Daggers - 'Instigator'
5. Yellowman - 'The Happiness of One'
6. Space Temple - 'Acid Journey' (Feat. Wayne Kramer)
7. Jürgen Engler - 'Assassin Fuzz (Score)'
8. Damon Edge - 'I'm a Gentleman'
9. Spahn Ranch - 'Heretic's Fork'
10. Paul Dianno - 'War Machine'
11. Larry Donn - 'Honey Bun'
12. Blackburner Vs. DMX - 'We Gonna Tear Shit Up'
13. Christian Death - 'Psalm (Maggot's Lair)'
14. Loon - 'Belly Dance' (Feat. Gritty)

We kick things off with the frenetic, haunting 'Gulf of Lost Souls' from Hedersleben and back that up with the quite piano work of the title track score, '8 Assassins' by Jürgen Engler. Next up is Nik Turner's 'Coming of the Maya' featuring Simon House which is in turn followed by Klute's industrial pounding on 'No Man's Land,' the lush 'Angel Down' from Alan Davey (once again featuring Simon House), and then Hawkwind's Middle Eastern-flavored 'Hassan I Sabbah.'

The pounding bass work of Black Plastic's 'Sertraline' is up next and that's backed by the funky rap of Onyx's 'Do U Bac Down,' The Wake's goth vibe on 'Nazarene,' and the the first disc rounds out with Faust's jangly plucked guitar work of 'Parasiten.'

The second disc opens with Judy Collins and Ari Hest's atmospheric 'Run' before we get both Philippe Besombes' psychedelic pop cut 'Chocolate Cream' and then Brainticket's brilliant 'Radagacuca.' Raging drums and guitars then bring is 'Instigator' from The Coffin Daggers (who have long been one of my favorite surf rock bands), and the along comes Yellowman's reggae-tipped 'The Happiness of One.'

Space Temple's mind-freeing jaunt 'Acid Journey' featuring rocker MC5's Wayne Kramer is up next and then we get the '70s guitar flashback on Jürgen Engler's 'Assassin Fuzz' score track. That fun track is then followed by Damon Edge's stirring 'I'm a Gentleman,' which in turn is backed by the goth electro of Spahn Ranch's 'Heretic's Fork.'

Former Iron Maiden lead singer Paul Dianno is up next on the throaty 'War Machine' (and boy, does he still sing/record like he's in Iron Maiden, and that's followed by the Elvis Presleyesque rockabilly of 'Honey Bun' from Larry Donn. Blackburner Vs. DMX then combine to bring us the trip-hop fuzz 'We Gonna Tear Shit Up', before the album rounds out with both the Prayer-like 'Psalm (Maggot's Lair)' from Christian Death, and then finally Loon bring us the club vibe of 'Belly Dance' (featuring Gritty).

The '8 Assassins - Beautiful the Bad & The Ugly' film will be released on DVD and VOD in September 2017 and will be accompanied by a major publicity campaign.

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Title - 'Beyond The Pain Barrier'
Artist - Thor

For those not in the know, Jon Mikl Thor is a bodybuilding champion, actor, songwriter, screenwriter, historian, vocalist and musician.

Indeed, as a bodybuilder, he was the first Canadian to win both the Mr. Canada and Mr. USA titles. During his bodybuilding career, he has achieved over 40 titles around the world.

As a musician, he is the front man for the heavy metal band Thor, billing himself as "The Legendary Rock Warrior". He has also has had career in acting appearing in such films as Recruits, Zombie Nightmare, Fubar, and Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare.

Now the veteran metal outfit together with their very own Metal Thunder God aim to reclaim the classic metal throne with their brand new studio album of 12 original songs entitled Beyond The Pain Barrier, out August 4th, 2017 via Deadline Music.

1. "Tyrant"
2. "The Calling"
3. "Beyond the Pain Barrier"
4. "When a Hero Dies"
5. "On Golden Sea"
6. "Phantom's Light"
7. "Twilight of the Gods"
8. "Galactic Sun"
9. "The Land"
10. "Deity in the Sky"
11. "Thunder"
12. "Quest for Valor"

Perfect for all those metal heads out there still searching for that collection of thunderous metal anthems in their chosen music, Beyond The Pain Barrier kicks off with the Motörheadesque "Tyrant" and back it up with the slightly lesser harsh "The Calling" and then, if there were such a category here, the mid-tempo push of the title track "Beyond the Pain Barrier".

The ballad, of sorts, "When a Hero Dies" is also my favorite track on this cranked to eleven album and that's followed by the rollocking sea faring fun of "On Golden Sea." The funky, drum-backed "Phantom's Light" bleeds seamlessly into a great guitar piece, before the frenetic "Twilight of the Gods" is upon us.

The track with the most 'pop edge' to it is the bouncy "Galactic Sun" and that's backed by the foot-tappin' beauty "The Land." The temperature is taken down a notch on the Prog rock-sounding "Deity in the Sky," with the album rounding out with the Ramonesesque "Thunder," and then the seven and a half minute long opus, "Quest for Valor."

Says THOR himself, “I had the opportunity to work with young musician/songwriters on this record. Guitarist John Leibel and Ted Jedlicki know the metal sound of today. With my classic riffs and melodies combined with their modern metal songwriting and performing, we made a killer sounding album.”

With all tracks recorded in a low-fi style, the vocals never truly screamed, moreover spoken, thoughts gotten across no matter what, Beyond The Pain Barrier is just what the music business has been waiting for (whether they knew it or not).

It's not pretentious. It's not overly manufactured. And it's not built for everyone. It's simply a solid, real, honest, trustworthy album of metal rock from a band you can always believe in to deliver the goods.

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Title - 'The Family That Plays Together - Hybrid SACD'
Artist - Spirit

For those not in the know, even after all these years, Spirit was an American rock band founded in 1967 and based in Los Angeles, California.

Their most commercially successful single in the United States was "I Got a Line on You", but they were also known for their albums. These included their self-titled debut album, The Family That Plays Together, Clear, and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.

That aforementioned self-titled debut, Spirit is a classic album from an under-appreciated rock band. Their original line-up only lasted four albums, with one full reunion album where they re-recording their classic hits, for the most part, but man did these guys know how to make music.

Now released as a SACD Hybrid Numbered and Limited Edition CD this past June, Spirit's debut album has now been followed onto SACD by their sophomore album, The Family That Plays Together.

Indeed, The Family That Plays Together was the second of four albums released by the original Spirit line-up back in December 1968. More than its predecessor, Spirit, their self-titled and surreal debut, The Family That Plays Together displays the band's ability to play beyond the genre of psychedelic rock.

Also incorporating the elements of Jazz, rock & roll, and even classical vines too, these all combined to create one of the cleanest, most tasteful syntheses of its day. The album's hit single, and the first song on the album 'I Got a Line on You,' boasts not only strong, still-known-today harmonies, but one of the greatest rock riffs of the period.

Oh, for those not in the new technology know either, a Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical disc for audio storage, introduced in 1999. It was developed jointly by Sony and Philips Electronics, and intended to be the successor to their Compact disc format. Indeed, this SACD format can offer more channels (ie: surround sound), and a longer playing time than regular CDs.

1. 'I Got A Line on You'
2. 'It Shall Be'
3. 'Poor Richard'
4. 'Silky Sam'
5. 'Drunkard'
6. 'Darlin' If'
7. 'It's All The Same'
8. 'Jewish'
9. 'Dream Within A Dream'
10. 'She Smiles'
11. 'Aren't You Glad'

Bonus Tracks:
12. 'Fog'
13. 'So Little To Say'
14. 'Mellow Fellow'
15. 'Now Or Anywhere'
16. 'Space Chile'

Tracks such as 'It Shall Be' and 'Silky Sam' both demonstrate the ease with which the ensemble can incorporate jazz into their idiosyncratic form of rock, while 'Jewish' and 'Aren't You Glad' show the band's competence in exploiting both world music and jam rock.

One of my own personal favorites has always been 'Poor Richard,' but both 'Jewish,' and 'All The Same' also feature double track lead breaks by guitarist Randy California.

Indeed, the album's title was inspired by the stepson-stepfather relationship between guitarist Randy California and percussionist Ed Cassidy and alludes to the slogan "The family that prays together stays together".

In truth, virtually every song is an interesting study in music without barriers, from rock to bluesy jazz to classical motifs. The songs flow in a fascinating manner into one another and produce a smooth, mellow, slightly melancholy feeling.

The background horns and strings are tasty. California's droning minor scale licks are great to dream to without falling asleep. I don't indulge in the old wacky weed anymore, but whenever I listen to this I feel like I've just had a big hit of something really good and it takes time for me to emerge back into the "real" world.

This Numbered, Limited Edition SACD has 5 bonus tracks that, unlike most bonus stuff, are actually worth listening to and fit into the overall feel of the CD. Three are instrumentals: 'Fog' is a short pretty thing, 'Mellow Fellow' and 'Space Chile' give the band a chance to jam a bit. Indeed, both have some nice solo drumming by Cassidy, which, when played live, was obviously always a pleasure for the other musicians.

Finally, some trivia for the album: the album cover was shot at the Sunset Highland Motel, located at 6830 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, just across from Hollywood High School.

'Jewish' is performed with Hebrew lyrics that are taken from the traditional song "Hine Ma Tov", based on King David's Psalm 133.

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Title - 'Cest La Vie' [Import]
Artist - Billie Jo Spears

For those not in the know, Billie Jo Spears was an American country music singer. She reached the top 10 of the country music chart five times between 1969 and 1977, her biggest being "Blanket on the Ground", a 1975 number-one hit.

Spears also had a large following in the United Kingdom with two of her singles reaching the pop top five. Her 1976 country top-five record "What I've Got in Mind" was followed up by "Sing Me an Old Fashioned Song", a track that was just an album cut in the US.

In fact, Spears' first hit came in 1969, when her Capitol Records release "Mr. Walker, It's All Over", which reached number four on the country chart. It also reached the pop charts at number 80.

The song told of a secretary who resigned a job where she was unappreciated for her skills and encountered sexual harassment. She gained four more top-40 country hits during the next two years, but by late 1972, was off Capitol and had two years without a charting release.

In 1975, Spears signed again with United Artists Records, now the home to some of country music's pop-based acts such as Kenny Rogers and returned to the charts with the aforementioned "Blanket on the Ground".

Funnily enough, the song had been previously turned down by Nashville producers who feared controversy due to the phrase "slip around", though the tune was not about adultery. The expected controversy never materialized, and it became her only number-one song.

On August 18th, 2017, Goldenlane Records proudly released C'est La Vie from Billie Jo Spears, an album of hers lost in time and now out on CD for the first time ever!

Having been rescued from the archives, remastered and released here now to the delight of all her fans, C'est La Vie was recorded circa 1982 by producer John Blower for Double D Records.

1. '(You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie'
2. 'Apart At The Dreams'
3. 'I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me'
4. 'Why Don’t We Go Dancing'
5. 'Reaching Out For Someone'
6. 'When I Dream'
7. '7 Lonely Days'
8. 'Fool'
9. 'Swingin’
10. 'That Wrong Road'
11. 'Things'
12. 'Everytime Two Fools Collide'
13. 'Dreaming'

Opening with the Chuck Berry monster smash '(You Never Can tell) C'est La Vie', complete with incredible guitar work, it is also one of my own personal favorites out of the baker's dozen. That's followed by 'Apart At The Dreams' and then the upbeat, free flowing country vibe of 'I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me.'

Next up is 'Why Don't We Go Dancing' which is backed by the country ballad 'When I Dream'. The pacey country vibe is back on '7 Lonely Days' which in turn is followed by 'Fool,' and then the pop-country spoken, banjo delight 'That Wrong Road.'

The beautiful 'Things' is a right royal darling of a track, and that's backed by the piano and echoing guitar stretched moments of 'Dreaming', before the album comes to a close with the lush honky tonk flow of 'I'm Not Good At Goodbye.'

An incredible discovery (for there really is no other way to describe now hearing this long lost, thought to be forgotten album of country music from Spears), these 13 tracks from the legend Billie Jo Spears are enough to make you pine for the long-lost days of country too!

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Return of Crystal Karma: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Glenn Hughes

For those not in the know, Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple; as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009 to 2013, and California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Return of Crystal Karma (often abbreviated to R.O.C.K.) was Hughes’ seventh solo studio album, and was originally released the 19th of June, 2000 on SPV and Nippon records.

Now digitally remastered and expanded into a two CD edition, the iconic British rocker's Purple Records reissue schedule continues. Produced by Glenn Hughes and Michael Scott, it features original songs written with guitarist JJ Marsh and keyboard player Hans Zermüehlen, as well as 'Gone', co-written with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. The album even features a guest cameo from The Cure's Lol Tolhurst.

This expanded two CD edition now includes a 45 minute, live bonus CD, recorded in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 25th November, 1999. Containing exclusive versions of Trapeze classics such as 'Coast To Coast' and 'Your Love Is Alright', as well as a live version of Black Sabbath's 'No Stranger To Love', it is now going to be a very highly anticipated release.

Disc: 1
1. 'The State I'm in'
2. 'Midnight Meditated'
3. 'It's Alright'
4. 'Switch the Mojo'
5. 'Gone'
6. 'The Other Side of Me'
7. 'Angela'
8. 'Owed to "J"
9. 'This Life'
10. 'Days of Avalon'

Disc: 2
1. 'You Kill Me'
2. 'Neverafter'
3. 'First Step of Love'
4. 'No Stranger to Love'
5. 'Coast to Coast'
6. 'Your Love Is Alright'

The album kicks off in fine rock style with 'The State I'm In', a cut that stinks (in the good way) of typical post '90s hard rock sensibilities, as do both 'It's Alright' and 'Switch the Mojo', with the lighter fare of 'Midnight Medicated' in between.

The impressive 'Gone' written by both Hughes and Iommi, and originally recorded for Sabbath's Seventh Star album in 1986 is up next, and that's followed by the heartfelt 'The Other Side Of Me.' Upping the funk aspects of his rock age, 'Angela' is up next and a beauty it sure it and that's backed by 'Owed to J'.

Interestingly enough, the instrumental track named in reference to the instrumental 'Owed to G', which featured on the Deep Purple album Come Taste the Band. The "J" in Hughes' track is a reference to Jeff Beck, and the song is very much influenced by the guitarist. The "G" in the Deep Purple song stands for Gershwin.

The album then rounds out with the melodic pop rock of 'This Life' and then comes to a finale with the trademark Hughes balladry of 'Days of Avalon.' Quite easily one of his finest and most heartfelt, for my money, and on a par with 'Blue Jade' from Addiction.

Also, and in closing, the expanded booklet features liner notes by Classic Rock magazine's Malcolm Dome based on new interviews with Glenn.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The Way It Is: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Glenn Hughes

For those not in the know, Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple; as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009 to 2013, and California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

The Way It Is was Hughes’ sixth solo studio album, and was originally released in 1999 on Nippon Crown, SPV and Shrapnel Records Records.

Now digitally remastered and expanded into a two CD edition, the iconic British rocker's Purple Records reissue schedule continues. Produced by Glenn Hughes and Michael Scott, as well as featuring original material written with guitarist JJ Marsh, the album also includes two versions of Jimi Hendrix's 'Freedom'.

This edition includes a live concert recorded at London's Astoria 2, and features versions of Trapeze classics 'You Are the Music', 'Coast To Coast' and 'Your Love Is Alright', as well as an extended medley of Deep Purple tracks plus the song 'Gone', co-written with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi.

Disc: 1
1. 'The Way It Is'
2. 'You Kill Me'
3. 'Neverafter'
4. 'Rain on Me'
5. 'Curse'
6. 'Freedom'
7. 'The Truth Will Set Me Free'
8. 'Stoned in the Temple'
9. 'Too Far Gone'
10. 'Second Son'
11. 'Take You Down'
12. 'Don't Look Away'
13. 'Freedom (Shagmeister Mix)'

Disc: 2
1. 'The State I'm In'
2. 'Midnight Meditated'
3. 'Gone'
4. 'Might Just Take Your Life'
5. 'Muscle and Blood'
6. 'You Kill Me'
7. 'Medusa'
8. 'You Are the Music'
9. 'Your Love Is Alright'
10. 'Coast to Coast'
11. 'Purple Medley: Owed to "G" / Sail Away / Lay Down Stay Down / Gettin' Tighter'

The album kicks off with both the title track and 'You Kill Me' haring out of the traps, neck and neck as perfect rock partners of both voice and bass. Man alive, what a great way to open an album. They are then followed by the being-in-the-moment track 'Neverafter', which he backs up with both 'Rain On Me' and the addictive melodies of 'Curse.'

His cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Freedom' is a right royal treat for all Hughes fans, and showcases the musicians perfectly on the album. Their collective sound, if not on this track alone, makes the hairs stand up on my neck! The subtle, yet heartfelt lyrics of 'The Truth Will Set You Free' is up next, with Hughes' dynamic voice brought out from under the hood once more for both 'Stoned In The Temple' and 'Too Far Gone.'

The quite brilliant-still-to-hear-today 'Second Son' is yet another gem on this fine album, and that's backed by the pop and soul of 'Take You Down.' The album then rounds out with the all out rocker 'Don't Look Away', and then finally comes to a close with an additional remix of 'Freedom ("Shagmesiter Mix").

Interestingly enough, the album features two songs co-written with funk guitarist Stevie Salas and performed by Hughes, Salas and former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum. The three of them had originally planned to put an album together, but this did not appear, thus 'You Kill Me' and 'Second Son' are the only tracks by the three of them to ever be released.

Also, and in closing, the expanded booklet features liner notes by Classic Rock magazine's Malcolm Dome based on new interviews with Glenn.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'What You Don't Know: Deluxe Edition' [3CD]
Artist - Exposé

For those not in the know, Exposé is an American Freestyle vocal group. Primarily consisting of lead vocalists Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado and Gioia Bruno, the group achieved much of their success between 1984 and 1993.

They soon became the first group to have four top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from its debut album, including the 1988 #1 hit "Seasons Change".

Indeed, in March 2015, Billboard magazine named the group the eighth most-successful girl group of all-time.

The group was popular in dance clubs, mainstream Top 40 and adult contemporary charts in the United States. The group actively toured and recorded music from 1984 to 1995, then retired from recording and public performances until 2003, and currently tour today.

What You Don't Know was Exposé's sophomore release to their debut Exposure (1987) and reached #33 (US Billboard Chart), becoming platinum sales status in the US and selling well in The Netherlands, Greece, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Originally released in 1989, What You Don't Know had five singles released from it: "What You Don't Know", "When I Looked at Him", "Tell Me Why" (which all peaked within the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100), and "Your Baby Never Looked Good In Blue" (top 20) and also "Stop, Listen, Look, & Think".

Now digitally remastered and expanded into a glorious three CD edition, What You Don't Know: Deluxe Edition showcases just perfectly one of the top 10 most successful girl groups of all time in the USA.

The trio defined the sound of dance music throughout the late '80s and early '90s. Gioia Bruno, Ann Curless and Jeanette Jurado were the face of freestyle, taking it from it's Latino club roots and splashing it across mainstream radio and TV.

This deluxe edition features 45 tracks including the original 11-song album alongside 35 bonus tracks, nine of which are previously unreleased. Four tracks make their first appearance on CD, which is super exciting for all Exposé around the world.

CD: 1
1. "What You Don't Know"
2. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think"
3. "Tell Me Why"
4. "When I Looked at Him"
5. "Let Me Down Easy"
6. "Still Hung Up on You"
7. "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue"
8. "Now That I Found You"
9. "Love Don't Hurt (Until You Fall)"
10. "Didn't It Hurt to Hurt Me"
11. "Walk Along with Me"

+ Bonus Tracks (Single Versions and B-Sides)
12. "What You Don't Know (Radio Mix)"
13. "When I Looked at Him (Single Version)"
14. "Tell Me Why (Radio Edit)"
15. "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue (Radio Remix)"
16. "Tell Me Why (7" Remix)"
17. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (7" Single Version)"
18. "Walk Along with Me (Single Version)"

CD: 2 (Bonus Tracks: Remixes and Alternate Versions)
1. "What You Don't Know (Paradise Version)"
2. "When I Looked at Him (Suave Mix)"
3. "Tell Me Why (Extended Remix)"
4. "What You Don't Know (In Effect Mix)"
5. "When I Looked at Him (Suave Mix) (Acoustic Version - US Edit)"
6. "Tell Me Why (Groovehouse Mix)"
7. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (House Mix)"
8. "What You Don't Know (Atomic Mix)"
9. "Tell Me Why (No Name Mix - Part 1 (Dub) / Part 2 (Vocals)"
10. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (L.A. Mix)"
11. "What You Don't Know (Bass Mix)"

CD: 3 (Bonus Tracks: More Remixes and Alternate Versions)
1. "Tell Me Why (12" Remix)"
2. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (Deep Thought Mix)"
3. "What You Don't Know (Crossover Mix)"
4. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (Dub Mix)"
5. "Tell Me Why (Radio Edit)"
6. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (7" Club Single Edit)"
7. "What You Don't Know (Might Hurt You Beats)"
8. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (Ambient Mix)"
9. "Tell Me Why (Voice Me Why Percapella)"
10. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (Lambada Mix Radio Edit)"
11. "What You Don't Know (Martinee Expo Mix)"
12. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (12" Mix)"
13. "Tell Me Why (Dakeyne DMC Remix)"
14. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think (Dub)"

+ Bonus Tracks - Demos and Previously Unreleased Recordings
15. "What You Don't Know (Demo)"
16. "You Got Me Running"

Unlike Exposé's previous album, Exposure, What You Don't Know focuses on the vocals of Gioia Bruno, as she sings lead vocals on half of the tracks, whereas she only sang lead vocals on three of the tracks on their debut.

Also, for the record, Ann Curless sings lead on two tracks ("Stop, Listen, Look & Think" and "Now That I Found You"), and Jeanette Jurado on three ("When I Looked at Him," "Still Hung Up on You," and "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue").

Well, being a huge fan of this genre of music, I settled in for the afternoon with it, slipped in the first CD and let it waft over me. Musical greatness was instantly apparent as the original, and now remastered 11 track album went over its tracks. The upbeat title track kicks things of perfectly, with the free flowing dance floor slide of "Stop, Listen, Look & Think" backing it perfectly.

The Taylor Dayne-esque "Tell Me Why" is next and is followed by the smooth and sultry "When I Looked at Him". The beat is turned back up for "Let Me Down Easy" which in turn is followed by both "Still Hung Up on You" and the low-tempo ballad, complete with rock guitar, "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue".

Cranking the pop beats up we next get "Now That I Found You", which is most likely my favorite track of this original album, and that's backed by the pop-lock of "Love Don't Hurt (Until You Fall)". The soaring mid-tempo ballad "Didn't It Hurt to Hurt Me" and then the album is rounded out by the fun pop of "Walk Along with Me".

The bonus material on this collection features all of the singles, b-sides, remixes, and alternate versions that were released during the promotion of the original album. So this first disc rounds out with seven variations on the original song themes rather nicely.

The second and third discs count an amazing 27 tracks in total and what with most of them being extended mixes, remixes, 12" versions and such, well, trust me when I say that it was a good solid two hours before I finally came up for air at the culmination of the third disc!

Not saying that's a bad thing, how could it be, but what is apparent now is that when you hear the same song, no matter in what format, some seven or eight times over, it all starts to blur into one. Take, for instance, the title track, as that gets an amazing ten (10) different versions of it, and yet, to me, the original 7" single cut is still the one to beat.

This Deluxe Edition 3 CD set comes with a beautifully designed, carefully researched, and spectacularly detailed 24- page full color booklet that contains brand new liner notes, lyrics, photos, an illustrated discography, comprehensive credits, plus track annotations from Lewis A. Martinee who wrote 9 of the 11 songs and produced the original album.

'Deluxe Edition 3CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Results: Expanded Edition' [3CD+1DVD]
Artist - Liza Minnelli

For those not in the know, although it must be only a select few, Liza Minnelli is an American actress and singer. With a career spanning six decades, she has reached legendary status in multiple fields of entertainment and is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. She is considered both an American icon and a gay icon.

Minnelli is the daughter of film actress and singer Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli. She began her career as a teenager in New York City as a musical theatre actress and nightclub performer. Minnelli also regularly performed with her famous mother, including a 1964 joint engagement at the London Palladium and in Garland's own CBS television series The Judy Garland Show.

In 1965 she made her Broadway debut in the musical Flora the Red Menace and was awarded the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the award. Critically lauded for her Academy Award nominated dramatic performance in the film The Sterile Cuckoo (1969), she rose to international stardom with the Emmy Award-winning TV special Liza with a Z (1972) and her performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret (1972), which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Her other film roles have included Golden Globe Award nominated performances in Lucky Lady (1975), New York, New York (1977) and Arthur (1981).

Minnelli began as a nightclub singer as an adolescent, making her professional nightclub debut at the age of 19 at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. That same year she began appearing in other clubs and on stage in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. Her success as a live performer led to her recording several albums for Capitol Records: Liza! Liza! (1964), It Amazes Me (1965), and There Is a Time (1966).

From 1968 to the 1970s, she also recorded her albums Liza Minnelli (1968), Come Saturday Morning and New Feelin' (both 1970) for A&M Records. She then released The Singer (1973) and Tropical Nights (1977) on Columbia Records, before switching labels for Results (1989) on Epic Records, Gently (1996) on Angel Records, and her last album, 201's brilliant Confessions on Decca Records.

Now released as a Remastered & Expanded Edition 4-Disc Box-Set via Cherry Red Records (UK), her aforementioned 1989 album Results was Liza Minnelli’s 9th studio album.

Produced by Pet Shop Boys and Julian Mendelsohn, the album was a success in the United Kingdom, where it reached #6 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold by BPI (promoted by the lead single, 'Losing My Mind', which also reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart).

This brand new Expanded Edition of Results now provides the most comprehensive collection of the original album together with 21 remixes; some of them rare and never-before-released commercially or on CD.

Completing the package is an expanded DVD edition of the original promotional video collection Visible Results, but this time with two additional exclusive tracks; a UK TV appearance of Liza performing 'Love Pains' and the promotional video for Liza's last single for Sony, 1993's 'The Day After That'.

Disc: 1
1. 'I Want You Now'
2. 'Losing My Mind'
3. 'If There Was Love'
4. 'So Sorry, I Said'
5. 'Don't Drop Bombs'
6. 'Twist in My Sobriety'
7. 'Rent'
8. 'Love Pains'
9. 'Tonight Is Forever'
10. 'I Can't Say Goodnight'

Disc: 2
1. 'Losing My Mind (7" Mix)'
2. 'Losing My Mind (Extended Remix)'
3. 'Losing My Mind (Full Length Ultimix)'
4. 'Losing My Mind (Ultimix Dub)'
5. 'Losing My Mind (Almighty Club Mix)'
6. 'Losing My Mind (Almighty Dub)'
7. 'Losing My Mind (Almighty Transensual Mix)'
8. 'Love Pains (Steve Hurley's Radio Edit)'
9. 'Love Pains (Steve Hurley's Remix)'
10. 'Love Pains (Deep House Pains)'
11. 'Love Pains (Deep Dub)'
12. 'Love Pains (Steve Hurley's Instrumental)'

Disc: 3
1. 'Don't Drop Bombs (New 7" Mix)'
2. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Extended Remix)'
3. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Disconet Remix)'
4. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Exterminator Remix)'
5. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Peace and Love Remix)'
6. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Dub Mix)'
7. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Percapella)'
8. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Accapella)'
9. 'Don't Drop Bombs (Instrumental)'

Disc: 4 [DVD]
1. 'Losing My Mind' (Promo Video)
2. 'Don't Drop Bombs' (Promo Video)
3. 'So Sorry, I Said' (Promo Video)
4. 'Love Pains' (UK TV Appearance)
5. 'The Day After That' (Promo Video)

The story goes that in 1988 Minnelli had expressed an interest in doing a pop album, completely in contrast with her normal output when she joined Epic Records. Tom Watkins, the manager of the Pet Shop Boys was in the US offices at Epic around this time, promoting his new band Bros.

He heard that Minnelli had just been signed by Epic and suggested that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of The Pet Shop Boys could work with her on the album. As it happened, Minnelli had heard their song 'Rent' and loved it and was thrilled to hear that they may be interested to work with her.

The rest, as they say, is now history, for Results was born. Chock full of Broadway theatricality and pop sensibility, it was, and still is today, a musically flawless album of ten tracks.

The album kicks of with the true electro pop associated with Pet Shop Boys (a running theme here throughout, as you would imagine) on the mid-tempo 'I Want You Now' which is backed by the brilliant 'Losing My Mind' (which has always reminded me of having a Blancmange tone) and then the softly sung 'If There Was Love'.

The subtle, calm, gentle 'So Sorry, I Said' is a delight, and a song that I always expect Liza to break out in French to sing halfway through, and that's followed by both the upbeat, fist-pumpin' 'Don't Drop Bombs' and then a unique cover of Tanita Tikaram's 'Twist In My Sobriety'.

Liza's take on PSB's very own 'Rent' is up next, and tracks her history as a Broadway megastar, and that's backed by the electro glide of 'Love Pains', before the soft, stirring Broadwayesque ballad 'Tonight Is Forever' is brought upon us. The album then comes to a close on the sultry seventies wink of 'Can't Say Goodnight,' a track that serves as the most perfect way to round out this most perfect collection of Liza tracks.

Now, in truth, and as much as I hate saying this, but given that this is an Expanded Edition solely due to the amount of discs contained inside, the fact that two of them only feature two songs between them does make me cringe, sorry.

The second disc houses no fewer than 12 versions of 'Losing My Mind' where as the third disc brings us 9 versions of 'Don't Drop Bombs.' There's just no need to have 21 remixes of the two songs. No need at all. As you would full expect, they all blend into each other after the third time for each has been listened to and it is truly hard to keep pushing through each disc knowing the song inside out by now, and yet still getting sent through musical mazes and down musical spirals; all culminating in the exact same feeling no matter what version you are currently listening to.

The fourth disc is the DVD and has music videos and such that were previously-released as Visible Results, but now include two exclusive tracks. The first is a rather interesting UK TV appearance of Liza performing 'Love Pains' (where she really does put her heart and soul into her performance, of that there is no doubt), and the other is a promotional video for Liza's last single for Sony, 1993's 'The Day After That'.

But that's not all as this truly is an Expanded Edition because there's also a richly illustrated 40 page color booklet with essays written by playwright Barney Ashton (Andy Bell Is Torsten) that tell the story of the album itself and give insights into all it's component songs.

Results: Expanded Edition [3CD+1DVD] is being re-released by Cherry Red Records on September 25th, 2017.

'Results: Expanded Edition' (3CD/1DVD) Purchase Link

Liza Minnelli @ Facebook

Title - The NeverEnding Story: Expanded Collectors Edition
Artist - Giorgio Moroder

For those not in the know, the men behind this superb soundtrack are two highly impressive, dedicated people to the genre and are as renowned today as they ever were.

First up is Klaus Doldinger, a German saxophonist known for his work in jazz and as a film music composer. Doldinger's recurring jazz project Passport, started in 1971 (then called "Klaus Doldinger's Passport"), still enjoys huge success in Germany. In its influence it was sometimes called the European version of Weather Report. He was also the recipient of 1997's Bavarian Film Awards.

The other master of his craft is Giorgio Moroder, an Italian singer, songwriter, DJ and record producer. Indeed, furthermore, Moroder is frequently credited with pioneering Italo disco and electronic dance music.

He produced singles for Donna Summer during the late-1970s disco era and also produced a number of electronic disco songs for the Three Degrees. Add to that two albums for Sparks, a handful of songs on Bonnie Tyler's album Bitterblue, and in 1990, he composed "Un'estate italiana", the official theme song of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

The two mastroes came together, along with pop singer Limahl (Kajagoogoo) in 1984 to create the score of the new film 'The NeverEnding Story'.

'The NeverEnding Story' is a West German / English language epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical book that tells a story of a young warrior whose task is to stop a dark storm called the Nothing from engulfing a mystical world.

Thus, the film score of 'The NeverEnding Story' was composed by Klaus Doldinger and the theme song of the North American release of the film was composed by Giorgio Moroder (with lyrics by Keith Forsey), and performed by the aforementioned Limahl (with additional vocals from Beth Anderson).

It was released as a single in 1984 where it peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart, #6 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, and at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Digitally remastered and now released as a joyous Expanded Collector's Edition, The NeverEnding Story (via Cherry Red Records, UK) is an atmospheric electronic soundtrack at its finest.

Now complete with all the officially released remixes of the title track as sung by '80s heartthrob Limahl and the extended version of Giorgio Moroder's 'Ivory Tower' (that originally appeared as the b-side on Limahl's 'The NeverEnding Story' single), this limited edition black vinyl effect CD release is packaged in a miniature cardboard LP style sleeve with an exclusive six page color insert.

1. 'The NeverEnding Story' (Lihmal)
2. 'Swamps of Sadness' (Giorgio Moroder)
3. 'Ivory Tower' (Giorgio Moroder)
4. 'Ruined Landscape' (Giorgio Moroder)
5. 'Sleepy Dragon' (Giorgio Moroder)
6. 'Bastian's Happy Flight' (Klaus Doldinger)
7. 'Fantasia' (Klaus Doldinger)
8. 'Atreju's Quest' (Klaus Doldinger)
9. 'Theme of Sadness' (Klaus Doldinger)
10. 'Atreju Meets Falkor' (Klaus Doldinger)
11. 'Mirrorgate / Southern Oracle' (Klaus Doldinger)
12. 'Gmork' (Klaus Doldinger)
13. 'Moonchild' (Klaus Doldinger)
14. 'The Auryn' (Klaus Doldinger)
15. 'Happy Flight' (Klaus Doldinger)
16. 'Ivory Tower (12" Version)' (Giorgio Moroder)
17. 'The NeverEnding Story (12" Mix)' (Limahl)
18. 'The NeverEnding Story (12" Dance Mix)' (Limahl)
19. 'The NeverEnding Story (12" Dub Mix)' (Limahl)
20. 'The NeverEnding Story (Rusty 7" Mix)' (Limahl)
21. 'L' Histoire Sans Fin (French Language Version of 'The NeverEnding Story')' (Limahl)

Once we have listened to the always-brilliant-to-hear opening title track from Limahl, we get the stirring 'Swamps Of Sadness', the upbeat, flowing 'Ivory Tower', the beguiling 'Ruined Landscape', and the guitar-fed electro rock of 'Sleepy Dragon', all from Moroder.

The remainder of this original album continues with all works from Doldinger, the first being the sweeping 'Bastian's Happy Flight', which is backed by the short, twinkling 'Fantasia', 'Atreju's Quest', the appropriately entitled, wood wind inspired 'Theme Of Sadness' and then the upbeat 'Atreju Meets Falkor'.

The stirring, haunting 'Mirrorgate / Southern Oracle' is up next, and is backed by the uber short, Halloween-inspired 'Gmork'. The gentle, yet ultimately triumphant 'Moonchild' is then followed by the soothing 'The Auryn', and then the original album comes to a close with the joyous 'Happy Flight'.

This expanded version now comes with six more tracks, which are a pure, unadulterated delight to behold. The 12" Version of 'Ivory Tower' from Giorgio Moroder is just everything you would hope it would be, and then we get four (4) versions of Limahl's '80s poptastic 'The NeverEnding Story'. Wrapping it all up is a stunning French Language Version of that very same title track song sung by Limhal, 'L' Histoire Sans Fin' (and yes, it's a wonderful as you would could ever hope it should be).

The NeverEnding Story: Expanded Collector's Edition was re-released by Cherry Red Records on August 18th, 2017.

'The NeverEnding Story: Expanded Collector's Edition' Purchase Link

Title - 'A Love So Beautiful'
Artist - Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

For those not in the know, and with that said, why on earth wouldn't you already know this, but the late, great Roy Orbison (also known by his nickname The Big O), was an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known for his trademark sunglasses, distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads.

Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country and western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis. His greatest success came with Monument Records between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", and "Oh, Pretty Woman".

The rest, as they say, is history and so as much as its been said his career stagnated from 1965 through the entire 1970s, a spectacular recently-released MGM 13CD box-set most certainly told a different musical story.

Now that story gets expanded on this truly magnificent, well thought out, well devised, and tonally perfect new album A Love So Beautiful. Brought forth by the brilliant Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the album features soaring Orbison vocals with brand-new Royal Philharmonic orchestral accompaniment, plus additional instrumentation by Roy’s sons and grandson.

1. "In Dreams"
2. "Crying"
3. "I’m Hurtin’"
4. "Oh, Pretty Woman"
5. "It’s Over"
6. "Dream Baby"
7. "Blue Angel"
8. "Love Hurts"
9. "Uptown"
10. "Mean Woman Blues"
11. "Only the Lonely"
12. "Running Scared"
13. "I Drove All Night"
14. "You Got It"
15. "A Love So Beautiful"

Released by Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings in partnership with Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based company founded by the late icon’s sons to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy, A Love So Beautiful will be available on CD, vinyl LP and digital formats come November 3rd, 2017.

Listening to all the tracks, now brought ever more alive by an on fire Orchestra (who have always been known for their high class works, in truth), this delightfully crisp, stunning, and wholly alive new album infuses Orbison’s best original vocal performances with the aforementioned orchestra in such a way you will swear Roy himself was back from the grave to re-record them himself!

This album is just that good, that different, that required in a genre that has played itself out to death since his passing, I think we can all agree. Consisting of hits and fan favorites such as “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” “Only the Lonely,” “Love Hurts,” “Uptown,” up to his comeback in the late '80s before his untimely passing (“You Got It,” “I Drove All Night,” “A Love So Beautiful”), now all backed, embroiled with the world class musicianship of The Royal Philharmonic, London’s most notable orchestra, A Love So Beautiful is an album of the highest quality.

Indeed, in addition, Roy’s sons Wesley (guitar), Roy Jr. (guitar) and Alex (drums) provided instrumental backing on selected tracks, along with ten-month-old grandson Roy III (guitar, tambourine).

In closing, you all should know that there will also be released this fall the very first ever estate sanctioned Roy Orbison book, The Authorized Roy Orbison. Filled with hundreds of photographs, many never before seen, gathered from across the globe and uncovered from deep within the Orbison Vault, The Authorized Roy Orbison shows Roy as a young child and follows him all the way through to the peak of his stardom and up to his tragic end.

Written by Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex Orbison – Roy’s Boys – with the help of Jeff Slate, no stone has been left unturned in order to illustrate the people, places, things and events that forged their father, the man behind those famous sunglasses.

Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 'A Love So Beautiful' Purchase Link

Roy Orbison @ Facebook

Roy Orbison @ Twitter

Title - 'Look What the Blues Has Done for Me' [2CD]
Artist - Arthur Adams

For those not in the know, Arthur Adams is an American blues musician from Medon, Tennessee. Inspired by B.B. King and other 1950s artists, he played gospel music before attending college.

He moved to Los Angeles, and during the 1960s and 1970s he released solo albums and worked as a session musician. In 1985 he was tapped to tour on bass guitar with Nina Simone, and he staged a comeback in the 1990s when he released Back on Track, and became a respected Chicago blues player and bandleader in B.B. King's clubs.

A prolific songwriter, with a blues style that incorporated a variety of genres, and a vocalist with a funky, soul-driven sound, Adams is known for his collaboration with many of blues' elite and continues to perform to date.

And now, here in 2017, Arthur Adams releases his brand new album, his first in over eight years. Here on the 2CD Look What The Blues Has Done For Me, he proves that the blues only gets better with age as Adams and his band bring the goods on these 13 all new compositions.

The second disc is An Introduction to Arthur Adams and features cuts from some of his past albums, such as 1972's It's Private Tonight, 1975's Home Brew, 1977's Midnight Serenade, 1979's Love My Lady, and even the bonus track of a 12" Single version of "You Got The Floor."

Track List:
1. "You Pullin' My Leg"
2. "Look What The Blues Has Done For Me"
3. "Helpin' Hand Man"
4. "No Refunds"
5. "Low Down and Dirty"
6. "All Dressed Up"
7. "Elevator Ride"
8. "I've Had Enough"
9. "Dump You"
10. "Leftover From Yesterday"
11. "Gutbucket"
12. "If You Let Me Love You"
13. "Gorgeous"

Kicking off with the free flowing vibe of 'You Pullin' My Leg', it's a great way to not only get to know the great man, but to marvel in the fact that his voice still sounds so incredible today. The outstanding title track is next and takes the Blues down a notch, before turning it slightly up again for the vibrant 'Helpin' Hand Man.'

The low-fi, slow-poke feel of 'No Refunds' is along next and that's backed by one of the best tracks on this new album, the brilliant 'Low Down and Dirty.' Then comes 'All Dressed Up', the beautiful 'Elevator Ride' (a story of mood swings at its finest), and they are backed by both the soulful 'I've Had Enough' and it's vibe companion 'Dump You.'

Adams' outstanding guitar work on 'Leftover From Yesterday' is another highlight on this new album as is the sung-spoken 'Gutbucket' (a certain type of done you wrong music from down south), which in turn is followed by the gospel-tinged "If You Let Me Love You". The album of new tracks then rounds out with the upbeat, Motown-inspired 'Gorgeous.'

Celebrating the career of this blues troubadour, and, as aforementioned, inclusive of a second full-length disc of bonus tracks from Adams' '70s albums (all of which are appearing on this release for the first time ever on CD); plus the jazz-funk dance single "You Got The Floor" (which went to #1 on the UK Disco Chart in 1981), Look What The Blues Done For Me is an album not to be missed or overlooked, trust me.

CD Purchase Link

Arthur Adams @ Facebook

Title - 'Eyes of the Sun'
Artist - Otis

For those not in the know, deep in South Central Kentucky authentic music is alive and well through native musicians who are still testifying to brothers and sisters all around the world.

Otis has taken in a steady diet of Roots, Blues, and Classic Rock and Roll, and created their own unique sound. Otis draws from the raw electric sounds of Muddy Waters and stirs in a heavy influence of Southern sounds, courtesy of The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and more.

This sums up what the sound of Otis is musically and gives a glimpse into the sound and soul of the four-piece band.

The members of Otis consist of Boone Froggett vocals/guitar, Steve Jewell guitar, John Seeley bass, and Andrew Gilpin drums. The members of Otis share the same vision of writing and creating organic music while taking their audience to church by hitting on all emotions.

And now the Southern Blues Rockers Otis are about to release their sophomore album, Eyes Of The Sun this September 15th, 2017 via Purple Pyramid Records / Cleopatra Records. Executive produced by Paul Nelson, it already has ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons commenting "Stunning" as his reaction to listening to it!

1. 'Change'
2. 'Blind Hawg'
3. 'Eyes Of The Sun'
4. 'Home'
5. 'Shake You'
6. 'Turn To Stone'
7. 'Washed My Hands'
8. 'Lovin’ Man'
9. 'Relief In C'
10. 'Chasing The Sun'
11. 'Let Your Love Shine Down'

They kick things off with the heavy-hittin' 'Change' and back that up smoothly with both 'Blind Hawg' and the title twangin' track 'Eyes Of The Sun'. With obvious nods toward Lynyrd Skynyrd abounding, they polish that particular label in fine style with 'Home' and then back it with one of my own personal favorites, the guitar fest 'Shake You'.

The ballad 'Turn To Stone' is next and that's followed by the mid-tempo, searing guitar work of 'Washed My Hands'. The tempo is back up to max for 'Lovin' Man', which in turn is followed by a deceptively beautiful 'Relief In C.' Acoustic guitar twangin' with notes all kept within the C range, of course, it is another stand out highlight of this fantastic new album.

The album then rounds out with the slow poke 'Chasing The Sun' and then the storytelling journey within 'Let Your Love Shine Down'. A cross between a Gospel track and a backwoods BBQ sing-along, the track is just perfect to end an album that should give these guys everything they deserve on the Billboard Album's Chart.

Otis - 'Eyes Of The Sun' CD Purchase Link


Otis @ Facebook

Title - 'In My Head'
Artist - Unknown Hero

For those not in the know, Unknown Hero is a musical creator on a mission. He combines his extensive musical talents, which include composition, production, keyboards, and voice, with his lifelong love of animation, heroes, and their stories to offer unique and inclusive musical and visual experiences.

With the release of his brand new album In My Head this October 13th, 2017 via his own label, Unknown Hero Music, Unknown Hero brings his fans something a little extra. For this new CD comes in a 4-panel book format with artwork by Unknown Hero featuring four of the characters from Altarz.

1. 'Be Alright' (featuring Kate Wild)
2. 'Monsters In My Head'
3. 'Her Name'
4. 'A Minor 2125'
5. 'Hero Beware'
6. 'One More Day'
7. 'Make It Happen'
8. 'Dance'
9. 'Keep Moving Me'
10. 'Going For A Ride'
11. 'Ask Me'
12. 'Hero's Groove'
13. 'Close My Door'
14. 'Be Alright' (Instrumental)
15. 'Monsters' (Instrumental)

As you listen to this vibrant album, it's important you know the genesis of it, the game plan for the tracks, as a whole, so to speak. For each track on In My Head has a place in a dystopian drama unfolding in the year 2125 on the Planet Altarz, where Lord Kraven and the UNKNOWN HERO are moving toward a showdown.

Years before, Lord Kraven abolished any practice or mention of music. But recently he has learned that a mysterious figure known only as the Uknown Hero has been depositing strange music-generating devices around the city.

A growing band of rebels are plotting ways to support his apparent mission: to give music back to the people.

Ergo, this stunning electronic album, one that blends elements of Downtempo, Trap, Dubstep, Rock, Funk, R&B, and Hip-Hop features not only a wide variety of tracks; many of which blur genre boundaries, but at the same time weave together some of the finest musical storytelling I've heard in a long, long time.

Unknown Hero - 'In My Head' Pre-Order CD Purchase Link

Unknown Hero @ Facebook

Title - 'The Salentino Cuts'
Artist - UFO

For those not in the know, UFO are an English rock band that was formed in London in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.

The band's current line-up includes vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Vinnie Moore, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker.

That said, like many rock bands of their day, they have gone through several line-up changes, leaving Mogg as the only constant member, and had two hiatuses (1983–1984 and again from 1989 to 1991).

The band are also notable for featuring former Scorpions guitarist and MSG founder Michael Schenker, who was a member of UFO from 1973 to 1978 and again, occasionally, between 1993 and 2003, when Moore replaced him.

Over a career spanning 48 years, UFO have released 22 studio albums, 14 live recordings and 16 compilation albums. They achieved moderate success in the late 1970s and early 1980s with several albums and singles (including their 1979 live album Strangers in the Night) in the UK and US Top 40 charts, and have sold over 10 million records worldwide.

Now available on both CD & Limited Edition two different vinyl LP pressings - one splatter vinyl and one white vinyl - their brand new album is entitled The Salentino Cuts. Released on September 29th, 2017 via Cleopatra Records, this is their very first ever covers album paying homage to a dozen of their personal favorites.

1. 'Heartful Of Soul'
2. 'Break On Through (To The Other Side)'
3. 'River Of Deceit'
4. 'The Pusher'
5. 'Paper In Fire'
6. 'Rock Candy'
7. 'Mississippi Queen'
8. 'Ain’t No Sunshine'
9. 'Honey-Bee'
10. 'Too Rolling Stoned'
11. 'Just Got Paid'
12. 'It’s My Life'

Kicking things off in fine rock style with 'Heartful Of Soul' (The Yardbirds), they then cover The Doors' 'Break On Through', before admirably tackling both 'River of Deceit' (Mad Season) and Steppenwolf's 'The Pusher.'

On an album that I had readily anticipated a harder, more metal set of choices to cover once I'd heard of its imminent release, it still has to be said that their choices are bold, their musicianship tight, and the final products are truly worthy of greater attention.

Indeed, Vinnie himself has said, "Making this covers record was a blast for me. I thoroughly enjoyed putting a little of my own spin on these tunes that I grew up with. I played ZZ TOP and Robin Trower songs about a gazzilion times onstage over the years. it was great to actually get to record some of my old faves."

Moving on and we next get a cover of John Mellencamp's brilliant 'Paper In Fire', before Montrose's explosive 'Rock Candy' springs forth. One of my favorites from this new UFO album, for sure. Next up is 'Mississippi Queen' (Mountain), a chancy, but ultimately rewarding cover of Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine', 'Honey Bee' (which is Tom Petty's cover, not that of the same-named song from Blake Shelton!), and then a really bluesy guitar session within 'Too Rolling Stoned' from Robin Trower.

The album then rounds out with ZZ Top's 'Just Got Paid' and what I was expecting to be the most surprising cover song on here, 'It's My Life.' For I was genuinely hoping it would be an ambitious have-a-go at Bon Jovi's hyper pop rock version, but no, it's a flashback salute of admiration to The Animals cut from 1965. Which is just fine also, of course.

Review By - Russell A. Trunk

UFO - 'The Salentino Cuts' CD Purchase Link


Title - 'Honkin' & Jivin' At the Palomino' [CD+DVD]
Artist - Big Jay McNeely

For those not in the know - which is perfectly fine, because I love this kind of music with a passion, and yet had no idea of this bands existence before the CD arrived here for review - Big Jay McNeely (born Cecil James McNeely) is an American rhythm and blues saxophonist.

Inspired by Illinois Jacquet and Lester Young, he teamed with his older brother Robert McNeely, who played baritone saxophone, and made his first recordings with drummer Johnny Otis, who ran the Barrelhouse Club that stood only a few blocks from McNeely's home. Shortly after he performed on Otis's "Barrel House Stomp" and son after that Ralph Bass, A&R man for Savoy Records, promptly signed him to a recording contract.

Indeed, it was Bass's boss, Herman Lubinsky, who suggested the stage name Big Jay McNeely, because Cecil McNeely did not sound commercial. McNeely's first hit was "The Deacon's Hop," an instrumental which topped the Billboard R&B chart in early 1949. As it turned out, the single was his most successful of his three chart entries.

And now here in 2017 - and following on the heels of last years brilliant, vibrant Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest, we now get Honkin’ & Jivin’ at the Palomino (CD+DVD). Once again released via the Cleopatra Blues record label this past September 15th, 2017, this is a wonderful capturing of this live archive release from the blues great.

1. 'Palomino Hop'
2. 'I Can’t Stop Loving You'
3. 'All That Wine Is Gone'
4. 'There Is Something On Your Mind'
5. 'Pretty Girls Everywhere'
6. 'Honky Tonk'
7. 'Young Girl Blues'
8. 'Big Jay Shuffle'

This man, this soulful singer, and downright incredible sax player is one of a kind now in my eyes. His big, booming voice immediately takes control of the opening track, "Palomino Hop"" and from there on in, well, this CD is simply unstoppable.

The rhythm and blues saxophonist's new CD showcases the undisputed King of honking saxophone and jump blues bringing down the house in a raucous live show at the legendary Palomino club in North Hollywood, August 15th, 1989!

Although a short set of just 8 tracks, cuts such as 'All That Wine Is Gone', 'There Is Something On Your Mind' and both 'Young Girl Blues' and his signature 'Big Jay Shuffle' are enough to make you want to go out and buy his entire recorded collections. Which you should, in all truth, as there is nobody finer, now or then, in this musical genre.

Big Jay McNeely - 'Honkin' & Jivin' At the Palomino' [CD+DVD] Purchase Link


Title - 'Tokyo Dogs'
Artist - Slaughter And The Dogs

Slaughter And The Dogs, the true legends of Manchester UK punk rock have returned with a brand new album of guitar-driven savagery, their first in 15 years!

Formed in 1975 in Wythenshawe, Manchester, England, they were one of the first UK punk bands to sign with a major label, Decca Records. Their original lineup consisted of Wayne Barrett (vocals), Mick Rossi (guitar), Brian "Mad Muffet" Grantham (drums) and Howard "Zip" Bates (bass).

Interestingly enough, the name "Slaughter And The Dogs" was actually created by singer Barrett in 1975 by combining the names of Diamond Dogs and Slaughter on 10th Avenue, two of his favorite albums. They were one of the first punk rock bands in North West England and supported the Sex Pistols at their now-legendary gig at Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall on 20 July 1976. This concert, more than any other single event, spawned Manchester's punk scene, which was concentrated around the Electric Circus Club.

Featuring founding members, guitarist Mick Rossi and vocalist Wayne Barrett, their brand new album, following on the heels of last years Vicious, is called Tokyo Dogs and is a set of 16 tracks recorded live in Tokyo whilst on tour.

Released on August 25th, 2017 via Cleopatra Records, and available on both CD and your choice of red or yellow vinyl, this dynamite live recording features versions of the band’s best loved songs, including 'Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone?' and 'Cranked Up Really High' plus plus out of this world covers of Velvet Underground’s 'I’m Waiting For My Man' and 'White Light White Heat'.

1. 'I Got Your Number'
2. 'Who Are the Mystery Girls'
3. 'The Bitch'
4. 'You're a Bore'
5. 'Hell in New York'
6. 'Message from a Ghost'
7. 'We Don't Care'
8. 'Boston Babies'
9. 'Dame to Blame'
10. 'I'm Waiting for My Man'
11. 'I'm Mad'
12. 'Situations'
13. 'Quick Joey Small'
14. 'Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone?'
15. 'White Light White Heat'
16. 'Cranked Up Really High'

After some Japanese intro's, Slaughter And The Dogs launch into the powerhaus 'I Got Your Number' and after an arriba, arriba outcry, back it up with the trio of old school punk-inspired flashbacks 'Who Are The Mystery Girls,' the guitar-pumped 'The Bitch' and the total balls to the wall rock out of 'You're A Bore.'

'Hell In New York' - and it's furious drumming, is then backed by the melodic mid tempo of 'Message From A Ghost,' which in turn is followed by the guitar drum fest of 'We Don't Care.' With a continual crowd roaring approval, they move on with the ferocious pairing of both 'Boston Babies' and 'Dame To Blame', and then bring the tempo down (for a hot second) for the Velvet Underground's ballad 'I'm Waiting For My Man.'

Next up is a great 'I'm Mad' which is backed by 'Situating', which again showcases the drumming of "Mad Muffet" and the guitar solo work of Mick Rossi, and that's followed by 'Quick Joey Small' and after a short encore, they're back with 'Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone?'.

Wayne Barrett's vocals couldn't have sounded any better here live and as they head into the two final cuts of the night - a cover of the Velvet Underground's infamous 'White Light White Heat' and 'Cranked Up Really High' - it's obvious this band still have a lot to give their fans and the genre of music, in general.

Slaughter And The Dogs - 'Tokyo Dogs' CD Purchase Link


Title - 'One Earth, One People, Come Together'
Artist - Tiger-Tiger

Inspired by the nature of the Florida Everglades, their American Indian culture and Chief Buffalo Tiger (their Father) of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, the Tiger-Tiger band career highlights include initial recordings at Woodstock (later released in Germany on Sony’s ZYX label).

Based in Miami, Florida national recording artists Tiger-Tiger have headlined and graced the stages for numerous festivals and concerts over the years. They were featured in the First Miami Pop Festival along with Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum, & Led Zeppelin.

In fact the actual jacket that Lee Tiger wore on stage at the first Miami Pop Festival in May 1968 has been put on permanent display in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. The jacket was designed and created by Stephen Tiger. At The Seminole Tribes Big Rock Pow Wow they performed with Chicago, Edgar & Johnnie Winter.

Released this past September 8th, 2017 via Arctic Music Group, Lee Tiger's new CD reflects his desire of inspiring One Earth, One People, Come Together (subtitled Chapter II) saving the Earth and joining humanity together as one.

Lee's father, Buffalo Tiger, always told him that we all share this Earth with many colors of humans and we must all learn to live together and love one another in harmony with our Mother Earth.

As much of the Earth has seen and felt and realized the human compassion and love has been affected by negative forces, this CD is dedicated to all-things Peace, Love and Happiness for All.

1. 'One Earth One People'
2. 'It Takes Time'
3. 'Everytime I Think About You'
4. 'If Your Heart Is True'
5. 'Summer Lover Man'
6. 'Trust Me'
7. 'Across The Blue'
8. 'Searching For You'

Combining elements of Latin percussion and the Native American Heart-Beat sound embedded in all compositions, Lee Tiger begins the musical proceedings with the chant for an uprising of 'One People One Earth' and backs that up with both the flowing pop vibes of both 'It Takes Time' and the '60s flashback sound of 'Everytime I Think About You.'

The mid-tempo 'If Your Heart Is True' is backed by the 'Summer Lover Man' ("love is all you need"), which in turn is followed by the '60s pop sounds of 'Trust Me.' The album, which as you might have followed along with here, starts out on topic of the message aforementioned in the intro, then brings us nothing but freeflowing tracks of flashback pop gems, to my mind.

Rounding out with the heavier guitar work of 'Across The Blue' and the out of nowhere electronic pop buzz of 'Searching For You,' trust me when I say that One Earth, One People, Come Together may well come under the touted banner of American Indian culture, but when 7 out of the 8 tracks are pop rock blues, the album begins to truly steer its own course.

Tiger-Tiger - 'One Earth One People Come Together' CD Purchase Link

www.CleopatraRecords https:///

Title - 'Super Ape Returns To Conquer'
Artist - Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System

For those not in the know, Lee "Scratch" Perry is a Jamaican music producer and inventor noted for his innovative studio techniques and production style.

In fact, Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s development of dub music with his early adoption of remixing and studio effects to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks.

He has worked with and produced for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Junior Murvin, the Congos, Max Romeo, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, Ari Up, and many others.

The Subatomic Sound System was founded in 1999 by John Emch and Noah Shachtman. Subatomic Sound System brought together musicians, producers, DJs and visual artists from a variety of backgrounds and traditions primarily based in New York City and Brooklyn to form a record label and collective.

They then built on a combination of new music technology and traditional instruments to produce music across a variety of genres, often combining genres, in an effort to adapt 1970s’ Jamaican sound system culture and dub studio techniques to current music genres and forms of live performance.

1. 'New York Subatomic Energy'
2. 'Zion's Blood'
3. 'Chase the Devil' (featuring Jandon Blakkamore & Screechy Dan)
4. 'War Ina Babylon'
5. 'Dread Lion'
6. 'Patience Dub'
7. 'Super Ape'
8. 'Curly Dub (Sing Along Jah Jah Children)'
9. 'Underground Roots' (featuring Ari Up of The Slits)
10. 'Dub Along' (featuring Screechy Dan)
11. 'Three in One (Go Feya)' (featuring Screechy Dan)
12. 'So It Conquer'
13. 'Croaking Lizard' (dubstrumental mix)
14. 'Super Ape' (dubstrumental mix)
15. 'Dread Lion' (dubstrumental mix)

Trust me when I say that this new album is a must-have for all Lee "Scratch" Perry and reggae lovers alike! You can quite understand why back home he is called "The Upsetter"! His sound upset the entire reggae industry at the time, because it was so psychotic and dread and successful. He tried to take the crown from King Tubby, but as we all know, that never really happened.

That said, , out September 22nd, 2017 via Subatomic Sound Records, is one of the best albums released this year, for my money, and in my humble opinion.

Forty-one years after Lee "Scratch" Perry defined dub music with his seminal 1976 Super Ape album, he returns with NYC's Subatomic Sound System to conquer again, reincarnating the magic of his Black Ark studio in Jamaica, heavy on Ethiopian horns and percussion, while reinvigorating it with the 21st century booming bass and beats that capture the energy of their innovative live electronic show.

"Scratch" co-produced Super Ape Returns to Conquer with Subatomic Sound co-founder Emch. The pair recorded the LP at Subatomic Sound Studios in Brooklyn and "Scratch"'s home studio, the New Ark, in Jamaica.

The LP features Troy Shaka Simms and Omar Little on horns, Screechy Dan on vocals and Larry McDonald – who played on the original Super Ape – on drums and percussion. Ari Up, the late singer for the Slits, contributed vocals to "Underground Roots."

Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System - 'Super Ape Returns To Conquer' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Troublemaker'
Artist - Stephanie K

Hailing from our very own hometown of Detroit ("Rock City"), MI, Award-winning singer-songwriter Stephanie K will soon release (October 20th, 2017) a quite brilliant 6-track debut EP entitled Troublemaker via Woodward Avenue Records.

So, with her label being named after the infamous long road that joins Royal Oak all the way to Pontiac, and herself having been born and raised here in our beloved city, it's obvious that these 6 brand new tracks are going to not only be personal, but unrelentingly powerful too.

1. 'Tonight (Radio Edit)'
2. 'Story Of A Broken Heart'
3. 'Trouble'
4. 'Hard For Me'
5. 'Breaking Up'
6. 'Tonight'

Consisting of 6 tracks, albeit the first and last one are the same one (the former being a Radio Edit), Troublemaker is the kind of music that grabs your attention from the off and never lets it go - whether you like it or not. Truly, it is a sound that, sure, we've heard generated before within the industry over the years, but the way Stephanie K orchestrates her vocals around the lyrics for this EP is very impressive, and rarely done in such a determined fashion.

The opening (and closing) track is 'Tonight', a Hi-NRG cut that immediately craves your attention. The electronic bass lines and throbbing beats meld sweetly with the lyrics written by Trend Def (aka Mike Gonsolin and Nick Nittoli).

And whereas Trend Def also produced this EP, Stephanie K herself wrote the remaining 4 tracks with four-time Grammy winner Michael J. Powell, a man who has had tremendous success in the past with such acts as Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, and Gladys Knight.

On the next track, 'Story Of A Broken Heart', Stephanie K quite literally story tells her way through the track, the underlying emotions that of apologizing for breaking the heart of her lover. Drum beats and horns come to the fore next on the rough and tumble exploits of 'Trouble', before guitar work takes us by the scruff of the neck into the synth-laden world of 'Hard For Me'.

Those synth beats then become amalgamated with the rock/pop world that we all know and love on the best song on the album, for my money, the tell-it-like-it-is 'Breaking Up'. A track where wearing your heart on your sleeve can leave you dangerously close to a full emotional breakdown, the EP then rounds out with the aforementioned second version of 'Tonight' - which by then, if you're anything like me, you'll just hit play again on the whole thing anyway.

Stephanie K - 'Troublemaker' EP CD Purchase Link


Stephanie K @ Twitter

Stephanie K @ Facebook

Title - The Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words
Artist - Lou Reed & Kris Krisofferson

The Bottom Line Archive Series presents its next release: the once-in-a-lifetime live performance by Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson at the height of their craft entitled Lou Reed & Kris Kristofferson - In Their Own Words with Vin Scelsa.

Released this past September 15th, 2017, this incredible once-in-a-lifetime pairing of two songwriting legends was recorded at the legendary Bottom Line club in Greenwich Village on February 2nd, 1994.

Indeed, the album presents an evening of music, songwriting and storytelling quite like I've never heard either speak so openly, so honestly about their tracks. Aided in their vocal direction by introductions from Vin Scelsa, listening to this now makes you wish you had been there on that most majestic of nights.

Disc 1:
1. Introduction
2. Vin Scelsa Introduces Lou Reed
3. 'Betrayed'
4. VS Introduces Kris Kristofferson
5. 'Shipwrecked'
6. LR on Songwriting
7. 'Legendary Hearts'
8. KK on His Childhood & Songwriting
9. 'Sunday Morning Coming Down/The Pilgrim'
10. LR on New York
11. 'Strawman'
12. KK talks about 'Strawman'
13. 'Sam’s Song'
14. LR on Writing for Wim Wenders
15. 'Why Can’t I Be Good'
16. LR on Autobiographical Songs

Disc 2:
1. KK on Nashville
2. 'Help Me Make It Through The Night'
3. LR on Velvet Underground & Warhol
4. 'Sweet Jane'
5. KK on Writing
6. T'o Beat The Devil'
7. LR on Writing Prose
8. 'Romeo Had Juliet'
9. 'Burden of Freedom'
10. KK on 'Me and Bobby McGee'
11. 'Me and Bobby McGee'
12. KK on 'Bird On A Wire'
13. 'Bird On A Wire'
14. 'Tracks of My Tears'

In this highly intimate setting, The Bottom Line Archive brings us a 2CD set containing 30 tracks between the two of them of acoustic musical wonderment. An historic event to have not only record, but to have been at that sight, The Bottom Line Archive label is distributed via BFD/Red; BFD is a division of Bob Frank Entertainment.

As you can well imagine, this is a real treat to hear both these guys together! Some really rare gems on here and very interestingly not only do they sing, but both Lou and Kris talk back and forth throughout also.

They discuss little moments of songwriting trivia, where they were in life when certain songs were being written, about their lives and albums, in general, and at the same time put on one incredible live show.

The audio is very clear and up to current day standards which means back over 20 years ago when it was originally recorded that they must have had a very, very sound board. One capable of recording high quality and crystal clear even then. No DVD included of the event, which is a same as it would have made for the ultimate package of this moment caught in time, but this will do for now.

Lou Reed & Kris Kristofferon - 'The Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee'
Artist - Wyclef Jean

The Carnival was the debut album released by American hip hop musician Wyclef Jean back in 1997.

The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching #16 on the US Billboard 200 chart whilst receiving two Grammy Award nominations.

Likewise, 2007's release, Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant was also a hit album. His sixth studio album by then, The Fugees' Wyclef Jean had everybody hooked and was not about to let them go.

Carnival III: The Rise and Fall of a Refugee is the 3rd installment in the Carnival series and features contributions from Emeli Sandé, Supah Mario, The Knocks, and Lunch Money Lewis. Released September 13th, 2017 via Sony/Legacy Recordings, the man known for his wealth of musical influences from jazz to classic rock to reggae has brought forth yet another incredible musical reveal.

1. 'Slums'
2. 'Turn Me Good'
3. 'Borrowed time'
4. 'Fela Kutt'
5. 'Warrior'
6. 'Shotta Boys'
7. 'Double Duthc'
8. 'What Happened To Love'
9. 'Carry On'
10. 'Concrete Rose'
11. 'Trapicabana'
12. 'Thank God For The Culture'

'Slums' (featuring Jazzy Amra, H1DaHook and Marx Solvila) soft raps a story that tells what we assume to be Wyclef's youth growing up, and that bleeds into the mid-tempo reggae of 'Turn Me Good' ("We're gonna make love all night, like a Marvin Gaye song"), and then that's backed by both the freeflowing soul of 'Borrowed Time' and the upbeat Prince-esque funk 'Fela Kuti'.

The forthrightness horns of 'Warrior' (featuring T-Baby) make this one of the stand out tracks on this new album and he backs that up with the duo of the reggae dub track 'Shotta Boys' (featuring STIX) and the harder rap of 'Double Dutch' (featuring D.L. Hughley and Eric Nimmer). The Usher dancefloor vibe of 'What Happened To Love' (featuring Lunch Money Lewis and The Knocks) is next and that's followed by the lush 'Carry On' featuring Emeli Sandé.

Next up is the slow rap of 'Concrete Rose' ("Now my name on fire, everywhere like hot wings"). Featuring Hannah Eggen and Izolan, Wyclef then bleeds that seamlessly into the vibrantly brilliant Latin-flavored 'Trapicabana' (featuring Riley), before the album rounds out in style with smokey jazz/blues bar piano styling of 'Thank God For The Culture' (featuring Marx Solvila, J'Mika, and Leon Lacey).

As you can tell, this brand new album embraces many musical genres, including hip hop, reggae, folk, disco, soul, Son Cubano and Haitian music and from start to finish it is, quite easily, one of the best albums of 2017.

Wyclef Jean - 'Carnival III' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Inspirational'
Artist - Celtic Thunder

For those not quite in the know, Celtic Thunder is a well-renowned Irish singing group and stage show known for its eclectic, theatrical style show.

The group is also backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic set pieces (often invoking symbols of ancient Celtic mythology), visual effects, and highly choreographed staging.

Indeed, since the original group's formation in 2007, Celtic Thunder has released twelve albums as well as ten live performances on DVD, three of which were split into two releases.

Celtic Thunder's brand new album is entitled Inspirational and it is a wonderous mix of Christian and Inspirational songs that we all know and love.

1. 'From The Ground Up'
2. 'If I Can Dream'
3. 'Feels Like Home'
4. 'Down To The River To Pray'
5. 'Kindred Spirits'
6. 'May The Road Rise To Meet You'
7. 'Unanswered Prayers'
8. 'Be Still, My Soul'
9. 'The Voyage'
10. 'Amazing Grace'
11. 'In The Garden'
12. 'Hallelujah'
13. 'You Light Up My Life'
14. 'Crying In The Chapel'
15. 'The Preacher & The Stranger'
16. 'How Great Thou Art'
17. 'To Where You Are'
18. 'You Raise Me Up'
19. 'Comfort Ye'
20. 'Danny Boy' (2017)
21. 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

As the band themselves have since said, "The songs were chosen because they inspire us and make us thankful for our wonderful audience who give us the chance to do what we love."

Songs such as the powerful opener 'From the Ground Up', a stunning version of Elvis Presley's 'If I Can Dream', a stellar retelling of Alan Jackson's 'In The Garden', 'Down To The River To Pray' (Alison Krauss), 'Unanswered Prayers' (Garth Brooks), and amongst others their brilliant rendition of 'The Preacher & the Stranger' (Joey & Rory) is enough to hopefully make this new album a part of your upcoming Holiday season.

Also inclusive of Gospel standards such as 'Amazing Grace', 'Hallelujah', and 'You Raise Me Up', they close out the 21-track album with an incredibly stirring take on 'You'll Never Walk Alone' by Gerry & the Pacemakers.

Trust me when I say that all these songs performed by Celtic Thunder are yet another fine example of what this group can do within this genre of the business that, to my mind, can become very "samey" after a while. That can never be said about anything that Celtic Thunder musically bring to the table, and God Bless them for that.

Celtic Thunder - 'Inspirational' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'To The Moon and Back: 20 Years and Beyond ...'
Artist - Blackmore's Night

For those not quite in the know, Blackmore's Night is a British/American traditional folk rock duo formed in 1997, consisting of Ritchie Blackmore (acoustic and electric guitar) and Candice Night (lead vocals, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist).

Having released ten studio albums, their last being the much lauded All Our Yesterdays (2015), they have now brought forth an incredible showcasing of their talents on the wondrous new 2CD release entitled To The Moon and Back: 20 Years and Beyond ....

CD 1:
1. 'Shadow of the Moon'
2. 'Spirit of the Sea'

3. 'Renaissance Faire'
4. 'Play Minstrel Play'
5. 'Under a Violet Moon'
6. 'Spanish Nights'
7. 'Fires at Midnight'
8. 'Ghost of a Rose' 10. 'Village Lanterne'
11. 'The Circle'
12. '25 Years'
13. 'Dandelion Wine'
14. 'Home Again (Live)'

CD 2:
1. 'I Surrender' (Bonus Track)
2. 'Moonlight Shadow' (2017 Version)
3. 'Somewhere Over the Sea' (2017 Version)
4. 'Writing on the Wall' (2017 Version)
5. 'Coming Home' (2017 Version)
6. 'Ghost of John' (Bonus Track)
7. 'Minstrel Hall'
8. 'Possum Goes to Prague'
9. 'Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus'
10. 'Nur Eine Minute'
11. 'Village Dance'
12. 'Land of Hope and Glory' (2017 Single Version)
+ Bonus Video

Out now via Minstrel Hall Music, with their debut album Shadow Of the Moon having been released some 20 years ago (1997), it was obviously now time to take stock of their catalogue and give their fans a very, very nice gems-all-in-the-same-place treat.

Chock full of a symbiosis of medieval melodies, mystical lyrics and modern musical arrangements, Blackmore and his muse, his wife Candice, have steadfastly stood behind their idea of fusing classical elements and Renaissance music from day one.

Indeed, their many gold awards coupled with a worldwide fan base underline their status as the premiere act in their chosen genre. With this new 2CD set, fans and novices alike can celebrate 20 years of Blackmore's Night.

The first CD contains 13 of the best tracks from their successful albums plus an exciting nine-minute live version of the fan favorite 'Home Again'. Whilst the second CD gives us five never-before-released new versions, two further bonus tracks, five of their favorite instrumental tracks, as well as the current single by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, 'Land Of Hope And Glory' PLUS a bonus video!

Aside from the known tracks on the first CD, the second CD is where it's going to garner the most attention, one feels. Those aforementioned five never-before-released new versions include 'Moonlight Shadow', 'Somewhere Over The Sea', 'Writing On The Wall', 'Coming Home' and 'Land Of Hope And Glory', with the bonus tracks of both 'I Surrender' and 'Ghost Of John' just adding to the magic of this release for their fans.

Blackmore's Night - 'To The Moon and Back: 20 Years and Beyond ...' 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Home: Works for Solo Harp'
Artist - Elizabeth Hainen

For those not quite in the know, Elizabeth Hainen has earned an international reputation as one of classical music’s great harp ambassadors.

Hailed by the Washington Post for her “unusual presence with silky transparency” and by the New York Times for her “earthy solidarity,” Hainen has thrilled audiences throughout the world with programs showcasing the diversity—and virtuosity—of her modern-day instrument.

As Solo Harpist with The Philadelphia Orchestra for over 20 years, she has presented numerous featured performances to captivated audiences and has been praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for “her ability to blend and color the musical line,” and “to find transparency in an almost timeless atmosphere.”

Out now via Avie Records, this uber talented young lady now brings forth a varied and innovative portrait of private moments in her ode to the pleasures of home. Therein simply entitled Home: Works for Solo Harp, the 16 compositions included feature favorite pieces from those enjoyable hours spent playing her instrument alone or in partnership with her percussionist husband.

1. Organ Concerto in B-Flat Major, HWV 294: III. Allegro moderato (Arr. for Harp)
2. Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin, RCT 6, Suite in G Major: XVI. L'Égyptienne (Arr. for Harp)
3. Second livre de pièces de clavecin: V. Les Baricades Mistérieuses (Arr. for Harp)
4. Troisième livre de pièces de clavecin: VI. Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou les Maillotins (Arr. for Harp)
5. Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 847: Prelude (Arr. for Harp)
6. Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846: Prelude (Arr. for Harp)
7. Metamorphosis 2 (Arr. for Harp)
8. Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: IV. Prelude in D Minor, BWV 926 (Arr. for Harp)
9. Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1018: I. Largo (Arr. for Harp) [Arr. Camille Saint-Saëns]
10. Cycling Along with You (Arr. Eleanor Fell)
11. Préludes Book I, L.117: No. 8, The Maid with the Flaxen Hair (Arr. for Harp)
12. Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829: I. Praeambulum (Arr. for Harp) [Arr. Henriette Renié]
13. St. Agnes and the Burning Train (Arr. for Harp) [Arr. David DePeters]
14. The Colorado Trail, Op. 28 "Fantaisie for Harp"
15. Amid Flowers, Beside the River, Under a Spring Moon (Arr. Zhe-Zhi Xie)
16. Suite bergamasque, L.75: III. Clair de lune (Arr. for Harp) [Arr. David DePeters]

A collection of cherished gems alongside new creations, Hainen opens with Allegro Moderato from Handel's Concerto in B flat. Moving on to Bach and Glenn Gould, two of the selections on the CD are the Prelude in C minor BWV 847 and the Prelude in C major BWV 846, as each composition plays out you find yourself never wanting them to end.

Also including a world-premiere arrangement of Sting’s ‘St. Agnes and the Burning Train’, Hainen once again takes a chance and succeeds on all levels. Oh, and if you're wondering who the vibraphone player is that appears on three of the tracks, that would be David DePeters, Elizabeth's percussionist husband.

Elizabeth Hainen - 'Home: Works for Solo Harp' CD Purchase Link

Elizabeth Hainen @ Facebook

Title - 'Ben-Hur' [World Premiere Digital Recording]
Artist - Miklós Rózsa

For those not in the know, Miklós Rózsa was a Hungarian-American composer trained in Germany (1925–1931), and active in France (1931–1935), England (1935–1940), and the United States (1940–1995), with extensive sojourns in Italy from 1953.

Best known for his nearly one hundred film scores, he nevertheless maintained a steadfast allegiance to absolute concert music throughout what he called his "double life."

Rózsa achieved early success in Europe with his orchestral Theme, Variations, and Finale (Op. 13) of 1933 and became prominent in the film industry from such early scores as The Four Feathers (1939) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940).

The latter project brought him to America when production was transferred from wartime Britain, and Rózsa remained in the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1946.

His notable Hollywood career earned him considerable fame, including Academy Awards for Spellbound (1945), A Double Life (1947), and Ben-Hur (1959), while his concert works were championed by such major artists as Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, and János Starker.

And talking abut 1959's 'Ben-Hur', a special Collector’s Edition 2-CD set featuring one of the greatest film scores of all time is now available through Tadlow Music.

CD 1:

CD 2:

Under the supervision of producer James Fitzpatrick, this new 'Ben-Hur' CD has been created by the outstanding City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under the superb baton of Nic Raine.

Now touted as the World Premiere Digital Recording of the Complete Score to 'Ben-Hur', as you progress through the two discs you'll not realize it, but you will actually be hearing many full versions of the film cues along with some that were never recorded before.

An incredible sound from start to finish, the underscores and music of the great film are incredible and always extremely epic. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, an epic masterpiece that strode hand in hand with the cinematic version. Rózsa won the Academy-Award (his third) for Best Music score for 'Ben-Hur' and as much as it was truly deserved back then, just listening to it all over again now, spread over these two discs, it's as richly deserved now as it obviously was back then.

Now recorded in a rich, lush, velvet-like at times digital 21st Century sound, using brand new technology, with James Fitzpatrick at the helm, and Tadlow Music open to re-recorded it, this is the ultimate soundtrack to 'Ben-Hur' that finally provides all its sound in all their majestic glory.

Title - 'Popeye - Music From The Motion Picture' [2CD]
Artist - Harry Nilsson & Thomas Pierson

For those not in the know, Harry Nilsson, usually credited as simply Nilsson, was an American singer-songwriter who achieved the peak of his commercial success in the early 1970s.

His work is characterized by pioneering overdub experiments, returns to the Great American Songbook, and fusions of Caribbean sounds. A tenor with a three-and-a-half octave range, Nilsson was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists of his era to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours.

Featuring the work of Harry Nilsson, and for the first time the previously unreleased score from composer Thomas Pierson, 'Popeye - Music From The Motion Picture' [2CD] was released this past September 29th, 2017 via Varese Sarabande records.

CD 1:
1. Sweethaven (The Citizens of Sweethaven) (2:53) 2. Blow Me Down (Robin Williams) (4:09) 3. Everything Is Food (Paul Dooley, Allan F. Nichols, The Toughs, Barbershop and The Steinettes) (3:08) 4. Rough House Fight (:43) 5. He's Large (Shelley Duvall) (4:20) 6. I'm Mean (Paul L. Smith) (2:35) 7. Sailin' (Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams) (2:47) 8. March Through Town (:48) 9. I Yam What I Yam (Robin Williams) (2:16) 10. The Grand Finale (1:34) 11. He Needs Me (Shelley Duvall) (3:33) 12. Swee'Pea's Lullaby (Robin Williams) (2:04) 13. Din' We (Robert Fortier) (3:05) 14. It's Not Easy Being Me (Ray Walston and Paul L. Smith) (2:18) 15. Kids (Ray Walston) (4:27) 16. Skeleton Cave (:40) 17. Now Listen Kid / To The Rescue / Mr. Eye Is Trapped / Back Into Action (5:04) 18. Saved / Still At It / The Treasure / What? More Fighting / Pap's Boy / Olive & The Octopus / What's Up Pop / Popeye Triumphant (3:09) 19. I'm Popeye The Sailor Man (Robin Williams) (1:22) 20. End Title Medley (3:34)

CD 2:
1. Sweethaven (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:03) 2. I'm Mean (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:21) 3. Swee'Pea's Lullaby (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (2:50) 4. Blow Me Down (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:02) 5. Everything Is Food (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:43) 6. He Needs Me (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:09) 7. Everybody's Got to Eat (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:24) 8. Sail With Me (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (2:53) 9. I Yam What I Yam (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:08) 10. It's Not Easy Being Me (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (2:24) 11. Kids (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (3:52) 12. I'm Popeye The Sailor Man (The Harry Nilsson Demos) (2:58) 13. I'm Mean (Harry Nilsson with Paul L. Smith) (2:59) 14. He Needs Me (Shelley Duvall audition with Harry Nilsson) (9:29) 15. Everybody's Got to Eat (Paul Dooley) (2:05) 16. Din' We (Home Demo) (3:02) 17. Sailin' (Home Demo) (4:52) 18. I'd Rather Be Me (Home Demo) (6:30)

Originally created for the 1980 'Popeye' movie that starred both Robin Williams (as Popeye) and Shelley Duvall (Olive Oyl), this first disc of this stunning new 2CD set features the original music from the film. The second disc features the previously unreleased score composed by Thomas Pierson.

Harry Nilsson's songs are fun and funny and Robin Williams does a great job with 'Blow Me Down' and 'I Yam What I Yam.' Oh, and you may well recognize Shelley Duvall's performance of 'He Needs Me' from the Adam Sandler movie Punch Drunk Love.

As an added bonus, the last four tracks on the second disc features previously unreleased soundtrack demos by Nilsson, including two songs written for the film but never used. Those would be 'Everybody's Got To Eat,' and 'I'd Rather Be Me.' Another track, 'He Needs Me' has Nilsson teaching Shelly Duvall how to sing the song, which is a quite lovely gem to have now finally unearthed.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'American Assassin' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Steven Price

For those not in the know, Steven Price is a British film composer, best known for scoring Gravity, which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Before making his debut as a composer with Attack the Block, he worked on the music department for various notable films, such as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Batman Begins, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Fury, and amongst others, Suicide Squad.

Now the highly acclaimed Oscar-winning composer Steven Price returns with an orchestral score to 'American Assassin.' A much anticipated first film adaptation of the New York Times Best Selling series of novels by Vince Flynn, it stars both Dylan O'Brien and Michael Keaton.

Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien, Maze Runner) is reeling from the death of his fiancée in a terrorist attack when he is assigned to shadowy CIA figure Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) to receive special training in tracking terrorists.

1. 'The Proposal' (4:00)
2. 'Mitch Rapp' (4:14)
3. 'Under Surveillance' (2:29)
4. 'Hurley' (2:22)
5. 'Plutonium' (1:45)
6. 'AR Training' (2:19)
7. 'Mission Aborted' (3:21)
8. 'The Dogs' (3:16)
9. 'Annika's Identity' (2:07)
10. 'I Trusted You' (4:13)
11. 'I Knew Your Family' (3:28)
12. 'Animal Spirits' (9:45)
13. 'Brace For Impact' (3:44)
14. 'Katrina' (4:33)

For my money, Steven Price has certainly been working his way up through the ranks over the years. While he has only a few exclusive scores under his belt, he has had some wonderful opportunities to train and learn from the best in the business.

As noted above, he has worked with Howard Shore as a music editor for 'Lord of the Rings' and has also successfully collaborated with the likes of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Indeed, he really gained attention as a film composer in his own right with his phenomenal score for 'Gravity' (2013) which he would follow it up with an equally amazing score for the film 'Fury' (2014). Both scores are highly recommended, as is this brand new one here for 'American Assassin', of course.

Released this past September 15th via Varese Sarabande, Price's 14 track compositions for this score are spot on throughout. Whether it be the beautiful, sweeping opening scenes of 'The Proposal', the building tension required within both 'Plutonium' or 'AR Training', the multiple musical complexities within the near ten minute long 'Animal Spirits', or the hyper intense 'Brace For Impact', there is not a musical foot out of place here.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'SpongeBob SquarePants: The New Musical'
Artist - Original Cast Recording

A legendary roster of Grammy Award winners together with a visionary director and Tony Award®-winning design team brings us one of the world's most beloved and unforgettable characters.

Turn them all loose on Broadway and what do you get? Well, you get 'SpongeBob SquarePants: The New Musical', of course!

'SpongeBob SquarePants' is a one-of-a-kind Broadway musical with original songs written by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T. I., and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley, with additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and additional music by Tom Kitt.

1. 'Prologue'
2. 'Bikini Bottom Day' – by Jonathan Coulton
3. 'No Control' – by David Bowie
4. 'BFF' – by Plain White T’s
5. 'When the Going Gets Tough' – by T.I.
6. '(Just a) Simple Sponge' – by Panic! At the Disco
7. 'Daddy Knows Best' – by Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
8. 'Hero is My Middle Name' – by Cyndi Lauper
9. 'Super Sea Star Savior' – by Yolanda Adams
10. 'Tomorrow Is' – by The Flaming Lips
11. 'Poor Pirates' – by Sara Bareilles
12. 'Bikini Bottom Boogie' – by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith
13. 'Chop to the Top' – by Lady Antebellum
14. '(I Guess I) Miss You' – by John Legend
15. 'I’m Not a Loser' – by They Might Be Giants
16. 'Best Day Ever' – by Tom Kenny & Andy Paley
17. 'Finale: Bikini Bottom Day Reprise'
18. 'SpongeBob SquarePants Theme'

Phew! Now that's impressive, as I think you will all agree, but what makes this brand new Original Cast Recording even more special is that as much as this was always going to be seen as a very unusual choice for a Musical (I never expected it to be a big hit on Broadway, sorry), once you learn more about the whole case, you quickly realize that this is one of the BEST cast album's EVER!

Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seem lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Places'
Artist - Mark Vickness

For those not in the know, Mark Vickness began his studies in classical piano at age just six and quickly soon thereafter broadened his musical horizons as much as possible.

A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer with a huge musical range developed over years of study, recording and performance, Mark now also has a master’s degree in composition.

Indeed, Mark has written scores from simple pieces for piano and voice to large jazz ensembles to a concerto for North Indian Tabla, from large-scale ballets to documentary film scores.

Also one half of the acoustic fusion duo, Glass House (with singer/songwriter/vocal percussionist, David Worm), Mark's first solo modern finger style album, Places, was released this past September 15th, 2017 via his own label. Two years in the making it contains nine stunning compositions that will transport you anywhere you wish them to take you.

1. 'A Thousand Island'
2. 'Wind River'
3. 'Prince William Sound'
4. 'New York City'
5. 'Flight of the Rays'
6. 'Bishop Pass'
7. 'NYC 2.0'
8. 'Wander Lake Suite'
I. Prelude
II. Wander Lake
III. Coda
9. 'I Must Tell Jesus'

With each track at around five minutes in length, save for the Suite which clocks in at just under nine minutes itself, every composition on Places is strummed to absolute, infinite perfection.

"The music on this CD is inspired by places I have been," Mark reveals, "but the personal journey was more about the process of delving into modern finger style guitar in writing and recording these pieces."

"Along the way, I enlisted the talents of my wife, Jennifer and my two children, Lucy and Will to make this a more family-inclusive project. Both Jennifer and Will contribute photos. Lucy offers one of her poems to accompany the arrangement of the gospel song, I Must Tell Jesus, that closes the CD."

Feeding his classical creativity here, Mark's work my be construed to naive passerby's as as simple sounding, so to speak, but if you listen intently enough you can hear all the love, all the passion, all his pure, unadulterated dedication to his musical cause free flowing within each and every chord.

Mark Vickness @ Facebook

Title - 'CousteauX'
Artist - CousteauX

For those not in the know, Cousteau are a London-based band who enjoyed considerable international success, particularly in Italy and the U.S. from 1999 to 2005.

Indeed, the band's sound has been compared to Burt Bacharach, Scott Walker, Elvis Costello, and David Bowie with an updated contemporary edge.

Their best known song remains the single "The Last Good Day of the Year", from their eponymous debut album. It has featured in advertisements (such as those for Nissan in the United States and Borsci in Italy), and films such as 'Happily Ever After'.

However, in 2016 it was announced that Liam McKahey and Davey Ray Moor were returning as CousteauX and were back in the recording studio preparing new music.

The reason they renamed the band and added an 'X' to the end of it was to honor the new era of the band. The new CousteauX began with a sold-out debut at The Blue Note in Milan in May 2016 and now have brought out a simply stunning new self-titled album via Silent X Records.

1. 'Memory Is A Weapon'
2, 'This Might Be Love'
3. 'BURMA'
4. 'The Innermost Light'
5. 'Maybe You'
6. 'Portobello Serenade'
7. 'Thin Red Line'
8. 'Shelter'
9. 'Season Of You'
10. 'F**king In Joy And Sorrow'

The English pop noir band have most certainly managed to keep their music credibility sky high here on CosuteauX for each of the 10 tracks are as pumped, as heartfelt, and as freeflowingly brilliant as the next.

The album opens with 'Memory Is A Weapon,' a song which perfectly displays the majesty of their sculptured sound. A sultry, late night, smokey underground jazz/blues cafe piano and horn cut, it's an incredible way to start musical proceedings. That's backed up seamlessly with both 'This Might Be Love' and then the horn-led ballad 'BURMA.'

Aided in its creation by a Pledge Music funding campaign, next up is a song co-written by, and featuring Carl Barat of The libertines, the moody and mysterious 'The Innermost Light.' The piano once again takes center stage on the calming ballad 'Maybe You,' and then that's followed by the guitar-lite balladry of 'Portobello Serenade.'

'Thin Red Lines' showcases lead singer Liam McKahey's Bowie-esque vocal tones to perfection, and that's backed by the almost-acapella approach to 'Shelter.' The CD then rounds out with the mid-tempo 'Seasons Of You', before ending with the soulful horns of 'F**king In Joy And Sorrow.'

If you've never heard Cousteau, let alone CousteauX, do yourself a favor and buy anything they've ever put out! For Liam McKahey's distinctive baritone vocals will grab you by your inner core, meld into you as one, and whilst your eyes are closed, a huge smile on your face, you will have been willingly transported back to a musical era you have never felt more comfortable within.

CousteauX @ Facebook

Title - 'Angels And One-Armed Jugglers'
Artist - Chris Barron

For those not in the know, Chris Barron (actually born Christopher Gross) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of Spin Doctors.

A powerful story teller, at once hilarious and thought provoking, Chris sets up his songs with anecdotes from a life on the road, from opening for and encountering legends like the Rolling Stones to Polar expeditions.

And now the great singer-songwriter is back with a crackin' new solo album colorfully entitled Angels And One-Armed Jugglers. Aiming to be released October 20th, 2017 via Chrysanthemum Records, this diverse solo album was actually given to the fans to help create via a Kickstarter campaign and with items on offer for their monetary pledges such as signed vinyl LPs, Personalized Moleskine Notebook, and even a Skype session with Barron, their love rolled in.

1. 'Angels And One-Armed Jugglers'
2. 'April And May'
3. 'Darken My Door'
4. 'Gonna (Need Someone)'
5. 'In A Cold Kind Of Way'
6. 'Raining Again'
7. 'Saving Grace'
8. 'Still A Beautiful World'
9. 'The World Accordion To Garp'
10. 'Till The Cows Come Home'
11. 'Too Young To Fade'

Indeed, as Barron himself has stated, "I’m making this record from a clear vision of a bitingly beautiful, sweet, tough, loose but tight album with crisp, rich production using the best musicians and personnel in the world."

"We’ve set out to frame melodic, lyrical songs with artistic, masterful accompaniment that draws the ear to the words and the singing. The song selection is a balance of delicate, sung poems with acoustic guitar, contrasted by more rhythmic, rocking pieces."

Inclusive of sweeping orchestrations to some of the songs, most all arranged by the brilliant help of Henry Hey’s arranging genius, instruments here on Barron's musical culmination of a lifetime’s craft, are inclusive of the violin, viola, cello, brass and reeds; and all come to life quite like never before.

The other musicians on the record are: Sean Pelton (drums), Jesse Murphy (bass), Rob Clores (keyboards), Andrew Carillo (guitar), and it's all produced by Roman Klun.

But wait, there's more, for even the great Johnny Dinklage, first violin at "Hamilton", is included on this inspired album. He heads up the strings alongside slide trumpet master, Steven Bernstein, who takes lead control on the horns.

Chris Barron @ Facebook

Title - 'Greenleaf: Season 2' (Soundtrack)
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, 'Greenleaf' is an American television drama series, created by Craig Wright, and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Television.

It stars Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, and Merle Dandridge. 'Greenleaf' premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network on June 21, 2016.

'Greenleaf' follows the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family with scandalous secrets and lies, and their sprawling Memphis megachurch with predominantly African-American members.

The series' lead characters are Bishop James Greenleaf (David) and Lady Mae Greenleaf (Whitfield), who are the patriarch and matriarch of the Greenleaf family, and Grace Greenleaf (Dandridge), their estranged daughter who has returned home after 20 years following the mysterious death of her sister, Faith.

With music from the first season released last year, on September 8th, 2017 via RCA Inspiration and Lionsgate, this second season's worth of music is just as powerful, just as emotional and just as deserved of its place here as the first season's collective were.

1. 'The Judgement' - Kayce Grogan-Wallace
2. 'Hold Me Close' - Jekalyn Carr
3. '123 Victory' - Kirk Franklin
4. 'Well Done' - Roshon Fegan
5. 'Been Saved' - Deborah Joy Winans & Lawrence Flowers
6. 'Heaven' - Mary Mary
7. 'Shine The Light' - Deborah Joy Winans
8. 'Rise Up' - Roshon Fegan
9. 'Won't He Do It' (feat. Roshon Fegan) - Koryn Hawthorne feat. Roshon Fegan
10. 'How I Got Over' - Joshua Nelson & Asia'h Epperson
11. 'Better Days' - Le'Andria Johnson
12. 'The Root - Main Title (Remix)' - Mavis Staples

This second volume of music from the 'Greenleaf' soundtrack is still very uplifting and even has enough spirit within each song to remind you that we are not battling against flesh and blood, but against Satan, the Dark One, in our everyday lives.

Not always as darkly-tinged as that though, amongst the 12 tracks you will also find some finely inspiring, uplifting gospel songs can encourage us to rise and be the best we can be day to day. Stand out tracks include Kirk Franklin's emphatic '123 Victory', Roshon Fegan's inspiring 'Rise Up', and Le'Andria Johnson's stunning 'Better Days'.

'Greenleaf: Season 2' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'I Believe In You'
Artist - Dolly Parton

For those not in the know, although I would seriously imagine those to be in the smallest of numbers, Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music.

After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Dolly Parton made her album debut in 1967, with her album Hello, I'm Dolly. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continuing into the 1980s; Parton's subsequent albums in the later part of the 1990s were lower in sales.

However, in the new millennium, Parton achieved commercial success again and has released albums on independent labels since 2000, including albums on her own label, Dolly Records.

And now she's back again, this time showcasing her love for the children of this world on I Believe In You. Releasing October 13th, 2017 via Dolly Records / RCA Nashville, I Believe In You is the first children’s album from Dolly Parton with all 14 tracks having been written and performed by Dolly. Indeed, the final track is a special reading by Dolly of her famed “Coat of Many Colors,” which makes this a very special album.

1. 'I Believe In You'
2. 'Coat Of Many Colors' (New Recording)
3. 'Together Forever'
4. 'I Am a Rainbow'
5. 'I’m Here'
6. 'A Friend Like You'
7. 'Imagination'
8. 'You Can Do It'
9. 'Responsibility'
10. 'You Gotta Be'
11. 'Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny'
12. 'Chemo Hero'
13. 'Brave Little Soldier'
14. 'Coat of Many Colors' (Book read by Dolly Parton)

Having also worked with Pledge Music via one of their campaigns to get the word out about this new album, enticing fans to not only buy and pledge support for the new music, but have the opportunity to buy some stand out items such as a signed hand-written lyric sheet, custom out-going voice mail message from Dolly, and even a signed Recording King Guitar, it seems the message has been on point; for this is one of Dolly's most eagerly awaited albums in a long time.

Just listening to the bouncy, fun train-orientated title track and opening song and you'll immediately get a feel for what this album is going to bring to the table. Trust me when I say this is not your usual Dolly country album. No siree bob! Sure that first track is all about staying on track, being safe in the knowledge that you are loved, believe in no matter what you do, but it also features lots of Woo-Woo-Woo's and Clickity-Clickity-Clack's as the train metaphor takes a hold.

“My first album was released 50 years ago and it's been an amazing 50 years since then,” Parton has since remarked. "I am very excited that now I'm coming out with my first children's album in all of those 50 years. I'm proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library.”

With other inspirational, and at times brave topics musically tackled, such as on 'Chemo Hero' and 'Brave Little Soldier', I think that a lot of people will buy this album for the 'Coat Of Many Colors' track. Over the years it's been a hit song, a successful TV movie and soon it will also be a children’s book, which is why it was a wonderful thing for Dolly to do here to include both the song and her very own book reading of that material.

In closing, please know that Dolly will donate a portion of her proceeds from I Believe In You to benefit the Imagination Library, a book gifting organization established in 1996 that has since distributed 100 million books to more than 1 million children in 4 countries.

Books are sent to children from birth to 5 years of age. The Imagination Library was established by Dolly to honor her father who never learned to read or write.

Dolly Parton @ Facebook

Title - 'Heat Wave'
Artist - Lou DiBello

For those not in the know, Lou DiBello is an honors graduate from Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California and has been a veteran of the Central Illinois music scene since the late ‘80s.

Additionally, he has played over 2,500 paid performances, 600 in last 5 years alone, plus countless opening slots for acts like .38 Special, Slaughter, LA Guns, Molly Hatchet, Foghat, Quiet Riot, Survivor, Black Crowes, Blue Oyster Cult, and more.

Having released three solo albums before, he is now back again on his 4th album, Heat Wave. Featuring rock out instrumentals alongside fantastic new vocal tracks, DiBello is joined by vocalist Carsten "Lizard" Schulz, with guest appearances by bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X, Ross The Boss) and legendary guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman!

1. 'Heat Wave'
2. 'Let Me Hear You Scream: Rock & Roll!'
3. 'Blood On The Cross'
4. 'The Meeting'
5. 'Full Throttle'
6. 'Drop Deadly'
7. 'When All Is Lost'
8. 'Into The Arena'

Kicking off with the full steam ahead title track, it's the next track 'Let Me Hear You Scream: Rock & Roll!' that immediately flashes you back to those heady days of '80s hair rock. It is one of the best tracks on the album, for my money and is backed by 'Blood On The Cross' (featuring Mike LePond's bass lines), before the art of six-stringer shredding is brought to the fore on the brilliant 'The Meeting.'

Another track in the same vein is 'Full Throttle', which in turn is followed seamlessly by 'Drop Deadly'. The '80s hipsway of the longest track on the new album at just over five minutes, 'When All Is Lost' is yet another stand out track, and then the album wraps with 'Into The Arena', which once again features LePond's bass, and allows him and DiBello to bring us majestically home.

As Lou himself has said before, “I love playing guitar! I am blessed to continue to pursue my passion and I am looking forward to further successes in this ongoing journey.” And that's exactly why he can be very proud of this brand new recording, Heat Wave for it is, to my mind, his best solo work to date.

Lou DiBello @ Facebook

Title - 'Savage (Songs from a Broken World)'
Artist - Gary Numan

For those not in the know, although I would seriously imagine those to be in the smallest of numbers, Gary Numan is an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician and record producer. With number-one singles "Are "Friends" Electric?" and "Cars", Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a cult following.

His signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, and he is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. Numan is also known for his distinctive voice and androgynous "android" persona and was the winner of the 2017 T3 tech legends award.

And now Gary Numan is back in 2017 with the release of his stunning brand new album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World). Created wholly via a massive Pledge Music campaign, Numan really brought the album making experience to the fans, as once they had pledged their money to the project, he posted in depth updates galore.

1. 'Ghost Nation'
2. 'Bed of Thorns'
3. 'My Name Is Ruin'
4. 'The End of Things'
5. 'And It All Began with You'
6. 'When the World Comes Apart'
7. 'Mercy'
8. 'What God Intended'
9. 'If I Said'
10. 'Pray for the Pain You Serve'
11. 'Broken'
12. 'Cold'

"Making an album is often a long and tortuous process," Numan told his fans, in his heartfelt intro to his aforementioned Pledge page. "As a fan you usually just get the finished product, an album slickly packaged, professional and shrink wrapped for your pleasure. But you miss entirely the journey it took to get that finished product to you."

"I would like to change that. With my new album, the 21st album of my career, I would like to involve you from the very beginning. I want you to be a witness to the entire process, from the very first note played, through every up and down as the days unfold, as each song comes together, as each lyric takes shape and as the first glimmer of art design comes into my head."

Well, any of you that pledged and followed along know that Numan encountered a lot of speed bumps - both professionally and personally - along the way, which subsequently derailed the creative side to his new album for month at a time. But he soldiered through them all and has brought out an album that is truly classic Numan and as fantastic as anything that has come before it from him.

Knowing beforehand that Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is a concept album centered around the blending of Western and Eastern cultures in a post-apocalyptic world that has become desertified as a result of global warming, is a superb way to then begin to listen to the songs.

For within each track you can shut your eyes and just imagine these affected people in some harsh and terrifying environment, all in a desperate need to survive. The consequences of what they do, the awful things they endure in order to do so, and what obviously haunts them thereafter is a running theme.

He kicks things off with "Ghost Nation", a track that instantly lays the musical and cinematic landscape for what's to come, and backs that up with both the Far East-flavored "Bed Of Thorn" and the thunderous lead single, "My Name Is Ruin". With the majority of these new songs as steeped in banks upon banks of synthesizers, this song in particular stands out a mile.

Featuring his 11-year-old daughter Persia, not only is it the best track here, in my humble opinion, but it is quite easily one of his most indelible tracks in many a year. Sure his sound hasn't lost anything from the old days, but the songs that came of his last album, 2013's Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), were sometimes lacking in heart, in belief, that's all.

"The End Of Things" allows Numan's raw vocals to come through, and he sounds so, so good, "And It All Began With You" is a windswept electronic ballad of pure, unadulterated industrial gloom. Which, please believe me, is Numan's sand pit and nothing to steer clear of that his forte is most definitely still spot on.

The heavy hitting "When The World Comes Apart" is next, and that's followed by the slow, thoughtful, grinding ballad "Mercy". That slower vibe is continued on "What God Intended", but then the electronic drums come to the fore massively on the orchestral building giant "If I Said" (vinyl extra track).

The pace is picked up for "Pray For The Pain You Serve", then come the orchestral percussion pulses and synth purring found within the beautiful "Broken". The album then wraps with the vinyl/Deluxe Edition only) bonus of the stirring, Eastern-tinged "Cold", a track that exudes everything that this album was meant to convey.

While Savage (Songs from a Broken World) will be available on all standard formats, as mentioned above, vinyl versions will include the additional tracks “If I Said” and “Cold”, while the deluxe CD will also have “If I Said”.

Gary Numan @ Twitter

Title - 'Life In Space'
Artist - Nik Turner

For those not completely in the know, the uber talented Nik Turner is an English musician, best known as a former member of space rock pioneers Hawkwind.

Turner plays saxophones, flute, sings and is a composer and whilst with with Hawkwind, was known for his experimental free jazz stylisations. Oh, and his outrageous stage presence, which often meant donning full makeup and Ancient Egypt-inspired costumes!

Here on his brand new album, Life In Space, out now via Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra Records, Turner brings forth the return of the Thunder Rider!

To do this, Turner teleports back to Earth for this album featuring guest appearances by Hawkwind alumni that truly make this an album to behold for all his fans.

1. "End Of The World"
2. "Why Are You?"
3. "Back To Erath"
4. "Secrets Of The Galaxy"
5. "Universal Mind"
6. "Approaching The Unknown"
7. "As You Were"
8. "Master Of The Universe"

Opening with the highly emotive cosmic space rock "End Of The World" (which features the aforementioned Rudolph), the track is bonded tighter by the lush dancing flute from Turner himself. That's backed by the longest track at just over seven minutes, the hard space rock of "Why Are You?" which in turn is followed by both the lazy hazy "Back On Earth" and the '60s psychedelic flashback of "Secrets Of The Galaxy".

The shortest track on the new album, "Universal Mind" is then backed by the deeply trippy, highly thought provoking "Approaching The Unknown". We all know that whilst with Hawkwind, Turner was known for his experimental music and here on this brilliant album, his mind is most definitely as free, and as wandering through the galaxies as ever. Indeed, showcasing just that vibe, the album rounds out with both the laid back magical feel of "As You Were" and then the interstellar ecstasy laid bare within "Master Of The Universe".

[FYI: The vinyl LP comes as a Limited Edition colored vinyl experience! You can purchase either White or Blue, it's your choice, but only 500 of each will be made so make your choice soon!]

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Today: Remastered'
Artist - The Dudley Moore Trio

For those not in the know, although it must be only a select few, Dudley Moore was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer.

Moore first came to prominence in the UK as one of the four writer-performers in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe from 1960, and with one member of that team, Peter Cook, collaborated on the television series Not Only... But Also. The double act worked on other projects until the mid-1970s, by which time Moore had settled in Los Angeles to concentrate on his film acting.

His solo career as a comedy film actor was heightened by the success of hit Hollywood films, particularly Foul Play (1978), 10 (1979) and Arthur (1981). For the latter film, Moore was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won a Golden Globe Award. He received a second Golden Globe for his performance in Micki & Maude (1984).

But, and aside from all that, his other passion was music, and in particular his love of jazz. In each weekly episode of Not Only ... But Also, Pete and Dud’s improvised sketches were complimented by scintillating jazz from the Dudley Moore Trio. This program was like nothing that had ever been attempted before and stands imperious as a cultural high-point for both British comedy and broadcasting.

Now released as a Remastered edition (via Cherry Red Records), Today was recorded in 1971, during a hugely successful three-week tour of Australia; involving concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

Dudley was accompanied by stalwart drummer Chris Karan and his new permanent bass player Peter Morgan. It is the point at which the Trio found full expression, the sessions spawning a deliciously swinging ‘Waterloo’, the elegant ‘Staircase’, a seductive interpretation of Burt Bacharach’s ‘The Look of Love’ and a Top 10 single, the irresistible scat-style ‘Song for Suzy’, dedicated to Dudley’s first wife, the actress Suzy Kendall.

1. 'The More I See You'
2. 'Waterloo'
3. 'Before Love Went Out of Style'
4. 'Look of Love'
5. 'Song for Suzy'
6. 'Two for the Road'
7. 'Robin's Blues'
8. 'Staircase'

This delightful flashback to a time less stressful, of music written and sung for fun, combining upbeat melodies and smiles galore, begins in fine Dudley Moore style with 'The More I See You'. It's an eight minute long piano bonanza and showcases what Moore could do when sober, and putting his mind to what was at hand.

The way his fingers skip across the keys is mesmerizing and the whole trio really come together here. Not that they don't on all the eight tracks, but man, this one out the gate is simply, truly hypnotic. The swingin' late night vibe of 'Waterloo' is next and at only around three minutes has you begging for more (check out the You Tube link for a live TV performance of it at the base of this review).

Next up is 'Before Love Went Out of Style' where the highly accomplished jazz pianist and composer slows things down for five minutes. Bringing forth a very late night, early morning smokey underground jazz club vibe, that's backed by a delightful cover of Burt Bacharach’s ‘The Look of Love’.

Then comes one of my all-time DMT performances, 'Song For Suzy' (which again, there is a YouTube TV link to view below). Dedicated to his first wife, actress Suzy Kendall, Moore skit-scat's his way throughout the entire two and a half minute song and makes it a wondrous, vibrant musical composition from start to finish.

Both 'Two for the Road' and 'Robin's Blues' are as gorgeous as you would imagine from the maestro at the keys, and then the album rounds out with the near nine minute long elegance of 'Staircase'. A track I could listen to all day long on repeat, it simply just not get old or boring. This entire album, and their self-titled sophomore release from 1969 (another favorite of mine), are world class, and thus are highly recommended.

Dudley Moore Trio - 'Waterloo' - YouTube Clip

Dudley Moore Trio - 'Song For Suzy' - YouTube Clip

'Today: Remastered Edition' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Crimes of Passion: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Rick Wakeman

For those not in the know, although it must be only a select few, Rick Wakeman is an English keyboardist, songwriter, television and radio presenter, and author.

He is best known for being in the progressive rock band Yes across five tenures between 1971 and 2004 and for his solo albums released in the 1970s. He is a current member of Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman.

In 1984, Wakeman wrote, composed and recorded all music for the brand new movie 'Crimes of Passion' from director Ken Russell. 'Crimes of Passion' is a 1984 erotic thriller film starring Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, John Laughlin and Annie Potts. The film explores themes of human relationships and mental illness. A mix of sex and suspense, the movie opened to controversy over its content and to negative reviews.

Wakeman's synthesizer-heavy score, the majority of which is made up of melodies directly lifted from Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's "New World Symphony" proved to be a hit with his fans and all lovers of synthesizer music, but the movie still to this day has that misunderstood and frowned upon viewpoint attached to it. [FYI: Wakeman has an uncredited role in the film as a wedding photographer.]

Using a Pledge Music campaign to garner support, and monetary donations to enable him to bring out a wondrous 'Crimes of Passion' Limited Edition Signed & Numbered Box Set, amongst other things, the event was a success.

Spawning this brilliant 'Crimes of Passion: Remastered and Expanded' CD, released this past September 29th, 2017 via Gonzo MultiMedia, we all get a chance to once again enjoy what was always, to my mind, one of the best soundtracks ever recorded for a film of this genre and ilk.

1. 'It’s A Lovely Life' (Vocals – Maggie Bell)
2. 'Eastern Shadows'
3. 'Joanna'
4. 'The Stretch'
5. 'Policeman’s Ball'
6. 'Stax'
7. 'Taken In Hand'
8. 'Paradise Lost'
9. 'The Box'
10. 'Web Of Love'
11. 'Dangerous Woman' (Vocals – Maggie Bell) - Bonus Track

By adapting Dvorak's "New World Symphony" into this wicked and erotic soundtrack consisting of saxophone and synthesizer, Wakeman gives the movie the perfect touch to both the satire of the American dream and of the world of prostitution.

Showing both the strangeness and scary atmosphere in this kind of business, although I loved all these tracks, I have to say that my three favorites are, and always have been: the album opener 'It's A Lovely Life' with lead vocals from the brilliant Maggie Bell (man, the composition is just nuts crazy; the romantic 'Stax' (with its excellent saxophone and erotic vocals); and lastly 'The Box' - a very violent instrumental track which involves a very controversial, but crucial scene that was only shown in the unrated DVD release of this movie.

Although I truly wish Wakeman could have put more tracks on this newly Remastered and Expanded CD - such as the funny song that Anthony Perkins' character sings to Joanne Crane in her apartment, or the erotic track played while Bobby sees China Blue in her waitress outfit - I was still very pleased by this CD. And I know you will be too.

'Crimes of Passion: Expanded Edition' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Before The Lights Go Out'
Artist - Steve Hunter

For those not in the know, Steve Hunter is an American guitarist, primarily a session player best known for his collaborations with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper.

Often called "The Deacon", Hunter first played with Mitch Ryder's Detroit, beginning a long association with record producer Bob Ezrin; who has said Steve Hunter has contributed so much to rock music in general that he truly deserves the designation of "Guitar Hero".

Steve Hunter has played some of the greatest riffs in rock history - that first slamming solo that rings in Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin'", the acoustic intro on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and he wrote the legendary intro interlude that made Lou Reed's live version of "Sweet Jane" a first gold record (the Rock 'N' Roll Animal live set).

Now living in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Cornish singer/songwriter, Karen Ann Hunter, Hunter suffers from pigmentary glaucoma, which has rendered him legally blind.

Hence the title of his brand new album, Before The Lights Go Out, out on CD and digital this September 25th, 2017 via Deacon Songs.

1. 'On The Edge Of Uncertainty'
2. 'Mojo Man'
3. 'Summer's eve'
4. 'Cinderblock'
5. 'Softtail Deuce'
6. 'Tienes Mi Corazón (You Have My Heart)'
7. 'Ice Storm'
8. 'Under The Bodhi Tree'
9. 'The Other Side Of The Coin'
10. 'Happy Trails'

Beginning with the guitar twangin' genius of 'On The Edge Of Uncertainty', the track welcomes the drum back beat and as it progresses, the two become one massively addictive orchestration. 'Mojo Man' continues that vibe, especially with both Joe Satriani and Erik Scott (an Alice Cooper alumni) involved, but then 'Summer's Eve' brings the pace down a few notches allowing some luscious guitar tones and melodies to come forth.

'Cinderblock' puts a different guitar into Hunter's hands and he proceeds to bring us a Southern-tipped, sitting on the porch cut, that's backed by a more raucous Southern band jam in 'Softtail Deuce.' The most incredible, stand out track here on this album has to be 'Tienes Mi Corazón' where Hunter has included his very own heartbeat as a swishing accompaniment to the beautiful track.

The stirring, clinical 'Ice Storm' is up next and that's followed by the Indian feel and sounds of 'Under The Bodhi Tree'. A song that also features bassist Andy Stoller, a spiritual vibe is evident throughout. 'Other Side Of The Coin' is a brilliant, down and dirty blues slog, and then the album wraps up with 'Happy Trails'. With vocals from his wife Karen Hunter, it's just the most perfect way to end the album; and, possibly, his musical career.

Title - 'The Channel One Set' + 'The Lost Tapes'
Artist - Buddy Rich

For those not in the know, Buddy Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.

Widely considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed, Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" during his career.

He performed with many bandleaders, most notably Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie, and led his own big band.

Lightyear Entertainment and Lobitos Creek Ranch, in association with Scabeba Entertainment and the Buddy Rich Estate, have announced the release of two new live albums featuring Buddy Rich and his Big Band.

Both recorded in 1985 on two nights at the King Street Studios in San Francisco, the digital albums are being released on September 15th, 2017, as part of the Buddy Rich Centennial Celebration.

The albums are the soundtracks from two concert films, The Channel One Suite and The Lost Tapes, which have been available from Lightyear on DVD since 2003 and 2005, respectively.

The sound recordings from these concerts have never before been available as audio albums or as digital films for rental, sale, or streaming.

In April of 1985, two of Buddy Rich’s historic sets: The Channel One Suite (now retitled 'The Channel One Set'), and West Side Story (now retitled 'The Lost Tapes') were recorded at One Pass Production’s King Street Studio in San Francisco. The tapes were among the first ever recorded with a Digital Surround track and had never been released in their original form with surround sound. But in 1990 the worst occurred – a fire broke out and all was thought to be lost as most of the studio was destroyed.

The Channel One Set:
1. 'Machine'
2. 'Best Coast'
3. 'One O'Clock Jump'
4. 'Sophisticated Lady'
5. 'Norwegian Wood'
6. 'Love For Sale'
7. 'No Exit'
8. 'Channel One Suite'

Originally, on film, entitled 'The Channel One Suite' set stands as the last recorded production of the legendary drummer. Original producer Gary Reber (Reber Productions) ensured that this would be a concert to remember and enlisted the support of many of the sound industries major players.

The production was recorded with an experimental SQ/Tate digital surround method, a revolutionary technique at the time. Scott Ross was the Director of the original concert.

The Lost Tapes:
1. 'Mexicali Nose'
2. 'Willowcrest'
3. 'Round Midnight'
4. 'Cotton Tail'
5. 'New Blues'
6. 'Tee Bag'
7. 'The Red Snapper'
8. 'West Side Story'

The title 'The Lost Tapes' refers to the fact that these recordings were lost for a decade, presumed damaged in a fire, and then digitally restored. Another collection of 8 live tracks brought together that one very special night, there's simply no denying that Buddy Rich was a master at his chosen profession.

“These recordings are some of the best quality recordings ever made of the legendary drummer and his band,” said Arnie Holland, CEO of Lightyear. “And we are grateful to Executive Producer Steve Michelson and the inimitable Cathy Rich for 14 years of working together with us to make sure that Buddy's legacy is complete and widely available.”

A vinyl LP of 'The Lost Tapes' will be released as well, tentatively scheduled for January.

'The Channel One Set' Trailer

'The Lost Tapes' Trailer

'Mexicali Nose' - audio from 'The Lost Tapes'

Title - 'American Patriot'
Artist - Sam Moore

For those not in the know, Sam Moore is an American vocalist who was a member of the soul and R&B group Sam & Dave from 1961 to 1981.

He is also a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for "Soul Man"), and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Now on October 6th, 2017 via Bullseye Productions, the legendary Soul Man™ Sam Moore will release is brand new album, American Patriot.

1. "America the Beautiful"
2. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
3. "Show For You" (2017 Warrior Games Anthem Long Version)
4. "God Bless the U.S.A."
5. "The Star-Spangled Banner"
6. "Imagine"
7. "Peace Please"
8. "God Bless America"
9. "Land of the Free"
10. "What’s Going On"
11. "Lift Every Voice"

Moore begins his ode to America with, of course, "America the Beautiful", a song that he recently performed during the 'Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration' on January 19th to celebrate the newly elected President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump.

Indeed, listening to all the interviews about the album, it's also mighty clear that the entire album was wholly inspired by Moore’s performance of that very same song on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where his friend and inspiration Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had stood 53 years earlier delivering his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

For every song on this incredibly poignant album is one bursting to the seams with pride, courage and steadfastness. The album moves beautifully, and dutifully along with such heartfelt tracks as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", brand new track "Show For You" (2017 Warrior Games Anthem Long Version), Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A.", and a rousing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Moore has stated throughout the years that he believes that music is the universal language that knows no boundary or color. That it was always the best way for him to take a stand and make an impact in helping to bring the country he loves back together. Thus this album was born, and especially with what we are experiencing both here and abroad, it seems primed to be timed perfectly to evoke the unwavering spirit of the American people.

Enlisting the skills of renowned producer Rudy Perez, a Cuban refugee, together with Moore they have sculptured an album of sheer patriotic brilliance. The tracks that come next are as steadfast in their messages as the ones that went before: "John Lennon's Imagine", another brand new track "Peace Please", "God Bless America", the third of the new tracks "Land of the Free", and both Marvin Gaye's "What’s Going On," and then "Lift Every Voice".

What Moore has done here with American Patriot is try to bring a country together through the medium he knows better than anyone. A musical outlet that enables stirring songs, message-laden sentiments of hope and determination, to come forth to embody those American's currently in need of a top up of patriotic spirit.

His recordings of these iconic American anthems alongside the three new tracks, all sung and performed in Moore’s recognizably unique style, is his way of spreading the hope of rekindling the love of a country, and of each other, throughout this great land of his; of all ours.

Sam Moore An American Patriot @ Facebook

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Unrest' (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist - Bear McCreary

Well, if you didn't know anything about this movie, much as I didn't either, here is the quick synopsis: When Harvard Ph.D. student Jennifer Brea is struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story as she fights a disease that medicine forgot.

Starring (and directed by) Jennifer Brea, Omar Wasow, Jessica l e Taylor, Stig Gerdes, Samuel Bearman, Per Fink, and Linda Tannenbaum, this intense, yet heartfelt soundtrack score has been composed by the brilliant Bear McCreary.

1. 'Jennifer And Omar'
2. 'The White Board'
3. 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging'
4. 'Jessica'
5. 'Lee-Ray'
6. 'Mysterious Green Stuff'
7. 'No Thoughts No Words'
8. 'Conversation Disorder'
9. 'Joyful Tears'
10. 'So Many Lost'
11. 'Karina'
12. 'Whitney'
13. 'Patience' - Ren Gill
14. 'I Am Still Here'
15. 'And After All' - McKian (Bonus Track)

Bear begins his musical storytelling journey with 'Jennifer And Omar', a theme that whenever heard throughout the film represents the lead couple. Introduced by a pizzicato string ensemble, the theme has a playful quality, matching the jubilant imagery of Jennifer’s young life.

As Bear himself has said, "This was the first time I’ve scored a film where a major story arc was still unfolding in real time as the film was in post-production. When I scored her final scene in the movie, I still hoped I would have the opportunity to compose a more upbeat version of her theme. As the film came to completion, Jennifer was able to get updated footage for Karina, and we crafted fitting music for it."

"The bulk of my score is written for a traditional chamber orchestra. Striving to stay behind the dialog and narration, I wrote for small string ensemble and delicate woodwinds, merging them with light acoustic guitars and bells."

The stirring, yet wistful 'The White Board' follows the opening theme and is backed by such notable tracks as the dulcet piano of 'Jessica', the jangling, stoic guitar of 'Lee-Ray', the strings and wood work of 'Conversation Disorder', and folk strings of 'Patience' (Bear McCreary and Ren Gill).

The cold, windswept feel to 'Karina' is next and then the score ends with the gently assertive, yet always calm 'I Am Still Here.' The CD gives us the playful, upbeat bonus track of 'And After All', composed by Bear McCreary and sung by McKian, but it didn't need to. We had all we needed without that inclusion.

Title - 'Rebel In The Rye' (Original Motion Picture Score)
Artist - Bear McCreary

Well, if you didn't know anything about this movie, much as I didn't either, here is the quick synopsis: 'Rebel in the Rye' is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed and written by Danny Strong.

It is based on the book J. D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski, about the life of, well, a young writer J. D. Salinger during World War II.

The film stars Nicholas Hoult, Zoey Deutch, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Brian d'Arcy James, Victor Garber, Hope Davis, and Lucy Boynton.

And adding to his hugely impressive list of soundtrack scores, this wonderfully captured, heartfelt soundtrack score has been composed by the brilliant Bear McCreary.

1. 'Innocence (Theme from Rebel in the Rye)'
2. 'Early Writing'
3. 'Giving the Time'
4. 'Sowing Your Wild Oats' (feat. Jeffrey Hoeppner)
5. 'A True Writer'
6. 'Oonlight Serenade'
7. 'Impending War'
8. 'Celebration at the Stork Club'
9. 'Typewriter Drums'
10. 'Simply Grand'
11. 'Inspiration at War'
12. 'Wartime Anxiety'
13. 'Bananafish'
14. 'Writing Catcher'
15. 'Coming Through the Rye' (feat. Raya Yarbrough)
16. 'City Without the City'
17. 'A Request from Whit'
18. 'He Was Writing'
19. 'Rebel in the Rye End Credits'

Bear wrote this 19 track soundtrack score in such a manner that he actually took steps to ensure that the great Elmer Bernstein would have been proud to have listened to it. Opening with the quiet, yet beautiful piano-led 'Innocence (Theme of Rebel In The Rye)', we move seamlessly on to the emphatic strings of 'Early Writing', before the swing club vibes of 'Giving The Time' and 'Sowing Your Wild Oats' (feat. Jeffrey Hoeppner) are brought forth.

The stirring 'A True Writer' is one of my own personal favorites here as it truly transports you to a place where, if you yourself are stuck within your mind, wafts you away; frees you of any worries, open yours eyes to possibilities ahead. Indeed, a lot of the tracks feature moments such as those, and throughout this album its clearly evident that a great sense of time and devotion has gone into its creation from Bear.

Indeed, as Bear himself has said, "Over the first fifteen years of my professional career, I have worked frequently in various fantastical genres, but I have never scored a historical period drama (at least not one that did not involve time travel). Rebel in the Rye presented an opportunity to apply dramatic lessons I had learned from observing Elmer so many years ago, and to explore a different side of my musical voice."

Progressing onward with more jazz club fever on the .44 second 'Celebration at the Stork Club', and moving through the genius combination of typewriter keys and drums on the appropriately titled 'Typewriter Drums', the soundtrack just gets better and better as it heats up. Another stand out is 'Bananafish', which is backed by the free flowing piano styling of 'Writing Catcher.'

The simply gorgeous 'Coming Through The Rye' featuring the vocals of Raya Yarbrough is yet another two thumbs up, and the score comes to a close on profoundly grounded notes within 'A Request From Whit', 'He Was Writing', and then rounds out with revisited musical themes previously explored here in 'Rebel In The Rye End Credits'.

Title - 'Live in Detroit 1985: Deluxe Reissue'
Artist - Thor

For those not in the know, Jon Mikl Thor is a bodybuilding champion, actor, songwriter, screenwriter, historian, vocalist and musician.

Indeed, as a bodybuilder, he was the first Canadian to win both the Mr. Canada and Mr. USA titles. During his bodybuilding career, he has achieved over 40 titles around the world.

As a musician, he is the front man for the heavy metal band Thor, billing himself as "The Legendary Rock Warrior". He has also has had career in acting appearing in such films as Recruits, Zombie Nightmare, Fubar, and Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare.

Indeed, the veteran metal outfit together with their very own Metal Thunder God aimed to reclaim the classic metal throne with their brand new studio album. Released earlier this year, Beyond The Pain Barrier (out via Deadline Music, proved to be a massive hit with their fans, and newcomers both.

But those in search of old school, classic Thor have to look no further either, for released this past July (also via Deadline Music) is this incredible 2CD+DVD Thor - Live In Detroit 1985: Deluxe Reissue.

Recorded live in Motor City USA May 1985 at the crest of the band’s meteoric rise in the metal scene, this dynamite concert album includes all of Thor’s best loved songs, such as “Let The Blood Run Red,” “Rock The City,” “Anger,” “Keep The Dogs Away” and more!

The bonus CD features 15 tracks recorded from all around the Americas of Thor's hits and favorites, whilst the DVD (cleverly entitled An-Thor-Logy 1978-1985 is a collection of concept videos plus rare live material and even rarely seen TV commercials.

CD 1: Live In Detroit 1985
1. "Thunder On The Tundra"
2. "Let The Blood Run Red"
3. "Knock ‘Em Down"
4. "Rock The City"
5. "Lightning Strikes"
6. "Anger"
7. "Keep The Dogs Away"
8. "Hot Flames"
9. "Now Comes The Storm"
10. "When Gods Collide"

DVD: An-Thor-Logy: 1976-1985
1. Opening/News Clips 1979
2. "Action" – Live on Merv Griffin 1976
3. "Sleeping Giant" – Video 1977
4. "Keep The Dogs Away" – Video 1977
5. "Catch A Tiger" – Video 1977
6. "Keep The Dogs Away" – Live 1979
7. "Rosie" – Live 1979
8. Thor-u-mentary
9. "Rag-Na-Rock" – Live 1981
10. "Special Flight" – Live 1981
11. "Phantom Of My Nightmare" – Live 1981
12. Uncle Floyd Show – 1982
13. "Gladiator Stomp" – Live 1982
14. Channel 72 TV Appearance
15. "Thunder On The Tundra" – Channel 72
16. "Anger" – Channel 72
17. "Only the Strong" / "When Gods Collide" – Live 1984/1985
18. Chevy TV Commercial – 1985
19. Kromer TV Commercial – 1985
20. U68 Power Hour Promos – 1985
21. "Knock ‘Em Down" – Video 1985
22. End Credits

CD 2: Chariots Across The Americas Live
1. "Intro/Coming Of Thor" – Los Angeles, CA
2. "I Am Thunderhawk" – Detroit, MI
3. "Gladiator Romp" – Toronto, Ont
4. "Union Of Power" – Portland, OR
5. "Release The Beast" – Seattle, WA
6. "Shapes Of Things" – Toronto, Ont
7. "Tell Me Lies" – Toronto, Ont 9. "Keep The Dogs Away" – New York, NY
10. "Thunder" – New York, NY
11. "Let The Blood Run Red" – Calgary, Alberta
12. "Out of Control" – Los Angeles, CA
13. "Metal Avenger" – Los Angeles, CA
14. "Taste Of Victory" – Los Angeles, CA
15. "Back For More" – Vancouver, BC

Perfect for all those metal heads out there still searching for that collection of thunderous metal anthems in their chosen music, but begging to relive those heady live days of yore, Thor - Live In Detroit kicks off in thunderous style with, of course "Thunder On The Tundra". From then on in all ten of the captured-live cuts are a testament to band and their infamous leader.

And talking of that band in 1985, aside from Thor on lead vocals, there was also Steve Price on Guitars, Keith Zazzi on Bass and Backing Vocals, Mike Favata on Drums, and a smokin' Pantera on Backing Vocals also. A classic line-up for what has gone down in history as a classic, you-had-to-be-there live performance for the ages.

As much as the same can be said of the second CD included, where we get 15 tracks recorded live around the Americas, it's actually the DVD portion of this new Deluxe Reissue that will, once again, bring those rabid Thor fans to their worshiping knees!

Chock full of live TV show appearances, old TV commercials they did from back in the day, along with News Clips and more, this highly impressive visual collection makes this new 2CD+DVD release true value for money, trust me!

'Thor - Live In Detroit 1985: Deluxe Reissue' Purchase Link

Title - 'The Way Life Goes: Deluxe Edition'
Artist - Tom Keifer

For those not completely in the know, Tom Keifer is an American vocalist and guitarist for the band Cinderella.

Keifer grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar at a young age. Keifer soon fell in love with the blues and was heavily influenced by this kind of music.

Cinderella was discovered initially by Gene Simmons of KISS who attempted to get the band signed to no avail. It was then Jon Bon Jovi in 1985, at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that convinced his Mercury A&R manager Derek Schulman to sign the band.

Keifer and company experienced much success with their albums, Night Songs, Long Cold Winter, and Heartbreak Station. Keifer enjoyed the reputation of being a prolific songwriter with hits such as "Shake Me", '"Nobody's Fool", "Gypsy Road", "Don't Know What You Got", "Coming Home", "Shelter Me", and "Heartbreak Station".

And now Tom Keifer is readying for release an already critically-acclaimed new solo album, The Way Life Goes: Deluxe Edition (CD+DVD) via Cleopatra Records this upcoming October 20th, 2017.

The new solo album features two new studio tracks recorded by 3-time Grammy Award-winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton), inclusive of the long-awaited studio recording of the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" and the spectacular duet recording of "Nobody's Fool" with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.

Disc 1: CD
01. "Solid Ground"
02. "A Different Light"
03. "It’s Not Enough"
04. "Cold Day In Hell"
05. "Thick And Thin"
06. "Ask Me Yesterday"
07. "Fool’s Paradise"
08. "The Flower Song"
09. "Mood Elevator"
10. "Welcome To My Mind"
11. "You Showed Me"
12. "Ain’t That A Bitch"
13. "The Way Life Goes"
14. "Babylon"
Bonus Tracks
15. "Nobody’s Fool" (feat. Lzzy Hale)
16. "With A Little Help From My Friends"
17. "Nobody’s Fool (Piano Version)"

For my money, Tom Keifer is a hugely under-rated singer. Obviously being involved, hairspray can-deep in all those '80s hair band days, singing lead for Cinderella meant being pigeon holed. But now this solo album allows Keifer to break free (somewhat) from those shackles and bring forth some good, strong, sturdy, melodic rock, rhythm and blues - which he does in some fine style, trust me.

Believe me when I say that the 14 new solo tracks are all great songs, showcasing his vocals that, sure, might not be what they once were, but have now adapted nicely to the older, maturer singer that Keifer now finds himself.

Joining Keifer are his band mates Tony Higbee, Billy Mercer, Paul Simmons, Paul Taylor, Savannah Keifer and Kendra Chantelle, and from "Solid Ground" on through to "Mood Elevator" (a great stand out track), this solo album is chock full of music that will make you hit Play over and over.

There are balls-out rockers, mid-tempo moments, and, of course, ballads, which is where Keifer's vocals shine these days, in my humble opinion. His song writing skills are spot on, his lyrics immediate and present, and his guitar playing is as classy as it ever was. Simply put, it you loved anything or everything that Cinderella put out, this album of songs that speak from the heart about life's ups and downs will appeal to you instantly. Obviously capturing his own moments in life in melody, Keifer speaks to us all throughout the album. I mean, if his words don't resonate with you on some level of what you yourself might well have been through, well, you've either not lived or your suppressing your memories!

This album is real life music, storytelling at its finest, and is highly recommended to lovers of Cinderella, of Tom Keifer, and of good bluesy, roots rock 'n roll.

But wait, for that's not all, as this CD+DVD Deluxe Edition also houses a wonderful bonus DVD with "The Way Life's Goin'," a 30-minute documentary on the making of the bonus tracks as well as videos, live footage and more!

Disc 2: DVD
Chapter 1) The Way Life’s Goin’ (Documentary)
Chapter 2) Solid Ground (Music Video)
Chapter 3) The Flower Song (Music Video)
Chapter 4) It’s Not Enough (Music Video)
Chapter 5) It’s Not Enough (Lyric Video)
Chapter 6) Album Promo
Chapter 7) Cathouse Live
Chapter 8) Count Vamp’d Las Vegas
Chapter 9) Farm Rock Chicago

The Way Life Goes: Deluxe Edition will be wrapped in an all new six-panel digipak designed by artist David Calcano (creator of the Fantoons comic strip series) with 20 pages of one-of-a-kind unique illustrations depicting each song.

CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Argus: Through The Looking Glass'
Artist - Martin Turner

As I'm sure you already know, the great legend that is Martin Turner is the founding member of Wishbone Ash, who in turn were a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s.

But did you also know that they are considered to be one of the major innovators of the harmony twin lead guitar format. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History."

Having released Garden Party: A Celebration of Wishbone Ash Music, a recording of a very private session from co-founder Turner and his various friends, he followed that with Written in the Stars, a long-awaited studio collection of new compositions, then came a brand new live album, Life Begins.

Turner then brought out a stunning new 2CD live album, New Live Dates: The Complete Set (a highly impressive reissue of both volumes of those live dates in question), and now has reissued and expanded his 1972 divine musical opus, Argus: Through The Looking Glass.

1. 'Time Was'
2. 'Sometime World'
3. 'The King Will Come'
4. 'Leaf And Stream'
5. 'Warrior'
6. 'Throw Down The Sword'
7. 'Blowin' Free'
8. 'Throw Down The Sword (Alternative Mix)' - Bonus Track
9. 'Time Was' (Live at the Cambridge Rock Festival 2008)
10. 'Sometime World (Live at the Cambridge Rock Festival 2008)'
11. 'Throw Down The Sword (Live at the Cambridge Rock Festival 2008'

Released November 10th, 2017 via Martin Turner Music, Argus: Through The Looking Glass is a full album re-record of the original album, but now features four (4) previously unreleased Bonus Tracks along with brand new artwork.

Featuring Turner, Ray Hatfield, Rob Hawkins, Danny Williams, Keith Buck, it also includes guest appearances by both Prog Gods Geoff Downes and the late John Wetton.

To my mind, Argus was, and still is Wishbone Ash's ultimate statement. Part progressive rock, part blues / boogie rock and a bit of folk rock thrown in, this album really put all of the band's strengths together to form one of the classic guitar albums of the early 70's.

The band actually had a hit single from this one with what is in my opinion the weakest track 'Blowin Free'. Even though it is my least favorite it is still a good song. The move towards more progressive material with 'Warrior' and 'Throw Down The Sword' was a great move and both tracks provide some of the best twin harmony guitar jams of the 70's.

Tracks like 'Time Was' and 'Leaf And Stream' retain a folk consciousness and 'The King Will' come remains a cool mini-epic song. If you have never explored Wishbone Ash this is the album to start with. Especially now that on this expanded re-release you get three live tracks from 2008, along with an Alternative Mix of 'Throw Down The Sword'. Sure some of their other albums are very good too, but this one is the band at their high water mark.

Title - 'Rock St. Trop'
Artist - Philippe Debarge with The Pretty Things

As I'm sure you already know, The Pretty Things are an English rock band, formed in 1963 in London. Indeed, they took their name from Willie Dixon's 1955 song "Pretty Thing".

A pure rhythm and blues band in their early years, with several singles charting in the United Kingdom, they later embraced other genres such as psychedelic rock in the late 1960s (with 1968 S.F. Sorrow being one of the first rock operas), hard rock in the early 1970s and new wave in the early 1980s.

Despite this, they never managed to recapture the same level of commercial success of their very first releases.

Now those pioneering rockers - Phil May and Wally Waller, of The Pretty Things - present the highest quality release to date of their collaboration with French playboy Philippe DeBarge.

Released September 1st, 2017 by Madfish Records, the album is now remastered and reworked and features bonus tracks and rare photos!

1. 'Hello, How Do You Do'
2. 'You Might Even Say'
3. 'Alexander'
4. 'Send You With Loving'
5. 'You're Running You And Me'
6. 'Peace'
7. 'Eagle's Son'
8. 'Graves Of Grey'
9. 'New Day'
10. 'It'll Never Be Me'
11. 'I'm Checking Out'
12. 'All Gone Now'
13. 'Monsieur Rock (Ballad Of Philippe)' - Bonus Track
14. 'Lover' - Bonus Track
15. 'Silver Stars' - Bonus Track

To clue you in to the history of how this all came together in the first place, it was late August in 1969 when Phil May and Wally Waller were flown to St. Tropez by Philippe Debarge (a French wealthy playboy), and taken to the DeBarge family estate.

A magnet for the rich and famous of the era, from politicians to film and rock stars, Debarge had serious money and wanted to make a serious album, with him as the front man. He'd done his research. He knew exactly who he wanted to make that album with. They were The Pretty Things.

At this time, songwriters May and Waller were at their most prolific but they were between albums, between tours. When Debarge came calling, it was hard to come up with a good reason why not to go. So they went, did the deal and soon penned and recorded Philippe's project back in London at Nova Studios.

And when S.F. Sorrow album sales picked up, EMI wanted a new album and Parachute took over. The Philippe DeBarge project was dropped and didn't see commercial release until 2009.

Now restored and reworked with rare photos and new liner notes by Wally Waller, this is the finest release of the Philippe Debarge sessions to date. Released as a CD presented in a digi-pack packaging with a 16-page booklet, from the opening hippy flashback jingle jangle musical tones of ' 'Hello, How Do You Do' on through to the trippy 'Silver Stars', Rock St. Trop is an album for the ages - still.

Title - 'Acting Natural EP'
Artist - Acting Natural

I case you weren't aware, Acting Natural, fueled by a mutual interest in bringing back the authenticity of raw Rock & Roll music, lead singer & guitarist Eric Carnevale, bass guitarist/vocalist James David Maney, and drummer/vocalist Jesse Leonard have aligned their unwavering dedication to creating quality music with a signature sound.

Their inspirations range from legendary artists of the past and present, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles, just to name a few. Acting Natural’s unique sound is focused on passion and solid musicianship.

Acting Natural released their first single "Pairadice" and the response was incredible, reaching #1 on the Top 5 Most Added and reached #9 on the FMQB A/C Chart. This young trio, originally from Tampa, Florida, relocated to New York and have now brought out their wonderful self-titled Acting Natural EP.

1. 'The One'
2. 'Nicole'
3. 'Pairadice'
4. 'Bloom'
5. 'Early Morning'
6. 'Missed the Train'

Kicking off with some '60s rock and pop throwback sounds on 'The One', they back that up with the more modern sounding 'Nicole'. Then comes their first single, 'Pairadice' a fun, jaunty track, that's packed by the harmonious ballad 'Bloom'. The staggered gem 'Early Morning' is one of the best tracks on the EP, for my money, and then the album comes full circle with that distinctive '60s sound combined with early '90s indie guitars on 'Missed the Train'.

Title - 'Vevey'
Artist - The Warlocks

In case you weren't aware, The Warlocks are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1998 by guitarist/singer Bobby Hecksher.

The band's music has ranged from psychedelic rock to drone music. There have been many changes in personnel since their formation, with Hecksher the only constant member.

Now The Warlocks have released their first-ever live album, culled straight from the energy of L.A.'s neo-psych rock scene. Recorded live last year in Vevey, Switzerland on the band's massive European tour in support of their release Songs From The Pale Eclipse, the track list is a career covering greatest hits collection.

1. 'Red Camera'
2. 'Isolation'
3. 'The Midnight Sun'
4. 'Dead Generation'
5. 'Chameleon'
6. 'Come Save Us'
7. 'Only You'
8. 'Shake the Dope Out'
9. 'The Dope Feels Good'
10. 'It's Just Like Surgery'
11. 'Baby Blue'
12. 'Lonesome Bulldog'
13. 'Hurricane Heart Attack'
14. 'Caveman Rocks'
15. 'Angry Demons'
16. 'Zombie Like Lovers'

Trust me when I say that every song on this new release will pump you up, and have you quickly screaming lyrics at the top of your voice! From 'Red Camera' through to 'Zombie Like Lovers', the live set is simply boombastic!

This Los Angeles band play melody-driven, hypnotic psychedelic drone-pop powered by the sound of four guitars. Bobby Hecksher’s vocals are captivating; whisper-dunked and emotionally compelling.

The songs have a medium-tempo, warm and druggy pop feel with mesmerizing melodies that glide along on the vibrating resonance of all those guitars. These are the sort of hazy, addictive tunes you can sink into and not come out for days.

In closing, Vevey is a 16 live track work of musical art, and while the band provides effective guitar fuzz and descending 12-string melodies, and with Hecksher’s voice conveying more emotion and desperation live than, quite possibly, ever before, all this music is profoundly genuine.

Notably looser than their studio stuff, often veering away from pop music and into kraut/post-rock territory, buy this today and if you haven't already, open your heads and hearts to The Warlocks!

Title - 'By Design'
Artist - Wiccid

In case you weren't aware, Wiccid is an electro-industrial synth-pop/Futurepop project from Erie Loch.

Known for his songwriting, video, remix and studio work with bands (and members of bands) like Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Rob Zombie, Scum of the Earth, Prong, Pig, PWEI, Faith No More, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, NIN, Marilyn Manson, Lords Of Acid, Primitive Race, Bells Into Machines, Tweaker, Velvet Acid Christ, Gary Numan, Peter Murphy, Mission UK and more, his new project, By Design was released on September 29th, 2017 via Cleopatra Records.

1. 'Ash'
2. 'Torn'
3. 'Inhuman Nature'
4. 'Tomorrow Without Fear'
5. 'Break'
6. 'Fire in Your Veins'
7. 'Lights'
8. 'The Reconstructing Gods'
9. 'Prey Predator'
10. 'Anxiety'
11. 'The Grand Comedian'

The album features 11 hook-drenched, dark future pop dancefloor anthems that Gary Numan, om his heyday would have been proud to call his own. Believe me when I say that this debut album from Wiccid is a massive home run of an album.

Featuring the aforementioned Erie Loch on Synths, lead vocals, and programming, alongside Crash MF on Live synths and backing vocals, each track is unique, is electronically sculptured to relate it's lyrical story.

Indeed, as you work your way through the track listing, you'll soon find yourself hoping that each song you've just heard isn't the last to come. It's just that damn good.

Wiccid @ Facebook

Title - 'Still Got Soul'
Artist - Michael Tracy

In case you weren't aware, it was early 2011 when Michael Tracy began his journey as a singer/songwriter, stepping on stage at a local open mic in Charlotte, NC, to nervously perform some songs he had just written.

He had spent his early 20’s in the Navy, stationed on both coasts and traveling to countries throughout the Mediterranean during his time in the military.

The open mic performance awakened something in Tracy and he continued honing his chops that first year, jumping on stages all over Charlotte and jamming with local musicians. Indeed, he went into the studio and recorded his first album, Enough Small Talk, which he released in November 2011.

Over the next two years, Michael put a band together and impressed audiences with his high-energy and soulful performances. Michael then returned to the studio and produced his next album Gonna Smile, which was signed by the indie label Spectra Records and released in February 2015.

After a falling out with his label, Tracy traveled to LA and recorded three songs with Los Angeles producers Bob Marlette (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper) and Sahaj Ticotin (Ra) that would find themselves on his early-2016 release Love And Worries; a short collection of previously unreleased material.

Michael and Sahaj then got together in late 2016 (co-writing an original Holiday tune that Michael had been working on called “Poinsettia Red”) and at the turn of 2017, and having been inspired to start his own independent record label, Tracy's next full-length album Still Got Soul was born.

1. "Laughter"
2. "My Lisa"
3. "Still Got Soul"
4. "Call Me Wild"
5. "No More Waiting"
6. "Sweet Smile"
7. "Savannah Nights"
8. "Shake It"
9. "Hopeful"
10. "Raven"
11. "Poinsettia Red" - Bonus Track

The album features 11 tracks, inclusive of the aforementioned "Poinsettia Red" and will be released this upcoming November 17th, 2017 via Tracy's very own label, the TW Music Group.

Listening to it today and wow, it's like all roads traveled by Tracy, good, bad and ugly, led him to the storytelling section of his life just perfectly. Like a well worn troubadour, his work is of the highest, finest, rawest quality, not one lyric too much, not one sentiment not having been felt by us all at some stage.

His unique sound is rooted in gospel, rhythm & blues, rock, soul, and country, and that all comes through on Still Got Soul. From rockers such as "Laughter", "Call Me Wild", and the brilliantly perky "Shake It", through the Southern nature of "Savannah Nights" and the heartfelt soul of "Still Got Soul", on into the captivated yearns of "Hopeful", the album is simply chock full of gems.

Michael Tracy @ Facebook

Title - 'Black Ark Showcase 1977'
Artist - Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry

For those not in the know, Lee "Scratch" Perry is a Jamaican music producer and inventor noted for his innovative studio techniques and production style.

In fact, Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s development of dub music with his early adoption of remixing and studio effects to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks.

He has worked with and produced for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Junior Murvin, the Congos, Max Romeo, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, Ari Up, and many others.

Released on September 22nd, 201y via Cleopatra Records, Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry brings us a massive trip back in time with Black Ark Showcase 1977.

This is the first ever release of the complete Lee Perry produced sessions and the first ever release on vinyl for these recordings. Produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry at his world famous Black Ark studio, it is beautifully remastered audio, with hypnotic dub versions, and packaged in an attractive reverse board mini-LP sleeve for CD and full size jacket for vinyl.

1. 'In A Strange Land'
2. 'Late September In May'
3. 'In the Land Of Make Believe'
4. 'Meet Mr. Nobody'
5. 'Rockstone'
6. 'In A Strange Land Version'
7. 'Late September In May Version'
8. 'In The Land Of Make Believe Version'
9. 'Meet Mr. Nobody Version'
10. 'Rockstone Version'

Trust me when I say that this new album is a must-have for all Lee "Scratch" Perry and reggae lovers alike! You can quite understand why back home he is called "The Upsetter"! His sound upset the entire reggae industry at the time, because it was so psychotic and dread and successful. He tried to take the crown from King Tubby, but as we all know, that never really happened.

Combining 10 tracks that were all built on a combination of new music technology and traditional instruments to produce music across a variety of genres, Black Ark Showcase 1977 is quite easily one of my top albums of the year.

Often combining genres in an effort to adapt 1970s’ Jamaican sound system culture and dub studio techniques to current music genres and forms of live performance, forty-odd years after Lee "Scratch" Perry defined dub music with his seminal 1976 Super Ape album, via this iconic recording he is back in our ears and hearts once more.

Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry - 'Black Ark Showcase 1977' Vinyl Purchase Link

Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry - 'Black Ark Showcase 1977' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'The West Wing' (Original TV Soundtrack)
Artist - W.G. Snuffy Walden

To catch everyone up, 'The West Wing' was an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006.

The series is set primarily in the West Wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and offices of presidential senior staff are located, during the fictitious Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen).

Now Varese Sarabande have released the 6th installment in their “We Hear You” Series - W.G. ‘Snuffy’ Walden’s score to the popular NBC series, 'The West Wing'.

CD One - 1. We Begin 00:11 2. The Aftermath 2:22 3. Leo Has To Go 2:18 4. One Down In Gaza 3:44 5. Faith Based Initiative 3:37 6. Leo’s Lament 3:17 7. Two Cathedrals 2:25 8. Ways and Means 2:05 9. The Truth Comes Out 2:17 10. The Dog of War 3:03 11. The Defector 3:14 12. The Benign Prerogative 2:32 13. No Exit 2:02 14. Gaza Strip 1:32 15. Donna and the Delegation 2:54 16. Debate Camp 1:30 17. The 14th Amendment 1:54 18. Mr. Willis of Ohio 2:38 19. Halls of The White House 2:24 20. Walking The West Wing 3:54 21. The First Commandment 1:19 22. The Oval Office to Main Title 3:52

CD Two - 1. Retaliatory Strikes 3:20 2. Recovery 1:35 3. Do We Have The Votes 1:44 4. Camp David 1:41 5. Proportional Response 3:50 6. Morality and Mortality 2:37 7. 24 Hr Deadline 2:38 8. Charlie in The Oval Office 1:30 9. The Two Bartlets 2:12 10. Mrs. Landingham 2:05 11. One of Three 3:08 12. Hanging In The Balance 2:35 13. Presidential Proclamation 2:18 14. Questions 2:36 15. Jefferson Lives 2:04 16. Strike Immediately 1:59 17. Three Presidents 1:17 18. What’s Next 5:44 19. Super Tuesday 2:27 20. Alternate Options 1:50 21. 90 Miles Away 1:30 22. The Nomination 1:51

It's been said that Aaron Sorkin got the idea for 'The West Wing' in 1985 while filming his script for The American President. At the end of the first season in 2000, 'The West Wing' tied The Sopranos with 18 Emmy Award nominations each, winning nine, including Best Drama Series, and setting a record for a prime time series.

As for composer W.G. ‘Snuffy’ Walden himself, well, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Main Title - Theme Music; and listening to this music again today, deservedly so.

He describes it as “a simple little gospel melody that’s orchestrated more like Copland with the horns,” but it was not written to be the main title.

Indeed, for seven years, Walden's theme for 'The West Wing' was as presidential as "Hail to the Chief." The theme became "a piece of music that everybody identified with," Walden continues. "It was magical how people felt proud to be an American when they hear that music. I don't know how else to say it. I've just been told over and over and over again through the years by people who've been so moved by that."

Fans have been asking Snuffy and Varese Sarabande for years to release a collection of music from 'The West Wing' and so now with this impressive, luxurious 2CD set making the rounds, all fans of 'The West Wing' can sleep easy tonight.

This wonderful collection of music, out now as an aforementioned 2CD set of 'The West Wing' - Original Television Soundtrack is limited to just 2,000 units - so get yours while you can.

'The West Wing' 2CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Jean-Michel Bernard Plays Lalo Schifrin'
Artist - Jean-Michel Bernard

Just to ensure that everyone is on the same page here, composer, conductor, pianist, and jazz musician Lalo Schifrin is a legend. There's just no two ways about it and this new compilation of his work by Jean-Michel Bernard proves it without a shadow of a doubt.

Schifrin has written over 100 film scores, including Mission: Impossible, Bullitt, Dirty Harry and Enter The Dragon, earning five Grammys and six Academy Award nominations.

So, for Schifrin's 85th birthday, the French composer and pianist Jean-Michel Bernard assembled an amazing band in Paris and went on a musical adventure through Schifrin's catalog of classics.

1. 'Mannix' (3:44)
2. 'Bullitt' (4:05)
3. 'Cool Hand Luke' (4:20)
4. 'Dirty Harry Suite' (6:43)
5. 'Lalo's Bossa Nova' (3:20)
6. 'Mission: Impossible' (4:04)
7. 'That Night' (4:42)
8. 'Tango Del Atardecer' (3:27)
9. 'The Cat' (3:18)
10. 'Les Felins' (3:28)
11. 'The Cincinnati Kid' (3:28)
12. 'Introduction To The Plot' (4:24)
13. 'The Plot' (1:03)
14. 'Cheketeers Suite' (5:17)
15. 'Manteca' (4:50)
16. 'Chano' (2:55)
17. 'Mannix Ballad' (2:48)

With Lalo Schifrin himself sitting in on piano for three pieces, 'Jean-Michel Bernard Plays Lalo Schifrin' - out now via Varese Sarabande Records - is chock full of all your favorite mainstay movie action cinematic compositions.

This incredible testament to Schifrin's soundtrack work from 1964-1971 is just pure musical wonderment. From the opening scores to both 'Mannix' and 'Bullitt', through 'Cool Hand Luke' and the 'Dirty Harry Suite', on through to both 'The Cincinnati Kid' and 'Chano', once they begin to play you are instantly transported back to the movie; to that particular memorable scene.

'Jean-Michel Bernard Plays Lalo Schifrin' CD Purchase Link

Title - 'Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty At 40'
Artist - Dead Boys

Just to ensure that everyone is on the same page here, the Dead Boys are an American punk rock band from Cleveland, Ohio.

The band was among the first wave of early punk bands, and was known as one of the rowdiest and most violent punk groups of the era.

The Dead Boys were initially active from 1976 to 1979, briefly reuniting in 1986, and then later again in 2004 and 2005 for the first time without their front man Stiv Bators, who had died in 1990.

In September 2017, founding members Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz reunited the band with a new line-up for a 40th anniversary tour along with a new album, Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40, a re-recording of their debut album.

1. 'Sonic Reducer'
2. 'All This And More'
3. 'What Love Is'
4. 'Not Anymore'
5. 'Ain't Nothing To Do'
6. 'Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth'
7. 'I Need Lunch'
8. 'High Tension Wire'
9. 'Down In Flames'

Originally recorded and released in 1977 on Sire Records, and produced by Genya Ravan, Young Loud and Snotty may have featured a different line-up, but the raw appeal to it still lives on here 40 years later, that's for damn sure.

Now produced by Plowboy Records head Shannon Pollard and cut in just three days of sessions in Nashville's historic Creative Workshop Studios, Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40 was always going to be an exciting chance to revisit a classic album.

As Cheetah Chrome has since said about the original album, "It was actually a demo. None of us had been in a studio before, and we figured we would go back in and do it right, but the label said no."

"It has stood up, but 40 years later we can do a What if? What would it have sounded like if we could have gone back in? So that's what this is about. It's not better. It's just different."

Truer words have never been spoken, for Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40 is obviously as close to the original vibe as any redo could be, yet still manages to exude it's own, fresher approach, so to speak.

That said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it does come to mind, and I'm not overly sure that this was a necessary recording. That said, it is a worthy stab at honoring the past and bringing it kicking and screaming into the here and now.

'Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty At 40' CD Purchase Link

Dead Boys @ Facebook

Title - 'Clean Getaway'
Artist - Ricky Byrd

This month, Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer Ricky Byrd – founder of the non-profit Clean Getaway 501(c)(3) – will soon release Clean Getaway, a collection of 12 songs evoking the intricacies and emotions behind addiction and recovery.

The incredible album will soon be available via CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and all other online stores, with a portion of the sales going to the Clean Getaway non-profit 501(c)(3).

I mean, come on now, could there be a better reason to dip into your pockets for some great new rock music?

1. 'Kicks'
2. 'Better Days'
3. 'Kid (A Cautionary Tale)'
4. 'Clean Getaway'
5. 'I Prefer Wakin' Up ... To Comin' To'
6. 'Lighthouse'
7. 'High Wire'
8. 'Paranoid'
9. 'Sweet Surrender'
10. 'Addicts Prayer'
11. 'I'm Done'
12. 'Broken Is a Place'

Produced by Ricky Byrd and Bob Stander, this 12 song collection, one that consists of self-penned songs, as well as a rocking cover of 'Kicks', let alone material in which Byrd collaborated with songwriting luminaries Richie Supa and Mark Hudson, is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best rock albums of the past few years.

A master musical director and guitar virtuoso, Byrd is joined by several stellar musicians on Clean Getaway: Bobby Whitlock (keyboards, Derek and The Dominos), Steve Holley (drums - Wings), Bob Stander (bass), Andy Burton (keyboards, Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul), Jeff Kazee (keyboards, Southside Johnny), John Isley and Chris Anderson of the Asbury Jukes (horns), Christine Ohlman (SNL band), Marge Raymond, Mark Hudson, and Sara Devine on vocals.

Every song is heartfelt, raw, meaningful, and the storytelling from Ricky is heart on the sleeve with each and every sung lyric. The foot-tappin' 'Kicks' is a brilliant way to, well, kick things off, and that's backed by the mid-tempo, '60s Stonesesque 'Better Days', the rocker 'Kid (A Cautionary Tale)', the slow poke title track, and then both the blues rock of 'I Prefer Wakin' Up ... To Comin' To' and the ballad 'Lighthouse.'

Another track that stands out is the lo-fi man and his acoustic guitar cut, 'High Wire' which is followed by the non-Sabbath rock cut 'Paranoid' and then the beautiful 'Sweet Surrender', with co-vocals from Sara Devine. Alone with his guitar once more on 'Addict's Prayer', the album then comes to a close with 'I'm Done', and then the gentle, openhearted letter to one of his lowest points in life, 'Broken Is a Place.'

Ricky Byrd has devoted himself to spreading the message of hope and possibilities through Rock and Roll. The mission of the Clean Getaway non-profit is to bring awareness, education, prevention and addiction resources to those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction through the healing power of music. It does this through Concert Events, Music Outreach Sessions and Early Education and Prevention programs.

For the past five years, Byrd has led recovery music groups in various treatment and detox facilities across the country. At the end of each session, the patients would ask where they could get the songs he played.

That inspired him to raise the money via an online music campaign to record Clean Getaway, which will also be given away to patients.

'Clean Getaway' CD Purchase Link

Ricky Byrd @ Facebook

Title - 'Winter Carols (2017 Edition)'
Artist - Blackmore's Night

For those not quite in the know, Blackmore's Night is a British/American traditional folk rock duo formed in 1997, consisting of Ritchie Blackmore (acoustic and electric guitar) and Candice Night (lead vocals, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist).

Having released ten studio albums, their last two being the much lauded All Our Yesterdays (2015), and the just-released incredible showcasing of their talents on the wondrous 2CD release entitled To The Moon and Back: 20 Years and Beyond ..., they have now re-released this delightful festive musical delight.

CD 1:
1. 'Deck the Halls'
2. 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'
3. 'Oh Christmas Tree"
4. 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing / Come All Ye Faithful'
5. 'I Saw Three Ships'
6. 'Winter (Basse Dance)'
7. 'Ding Dong Merrily on High'
8. 'Ma-O-Tzur'
9. 'Good King Wenceslas'
10. 'Lord of the Dance / Simple Gifts'
11. 'We Three Kings'
12. 'Wish You Were Here' (song from Shadow of the Moon)
13. 'Emmanuel'
14. 'Christmas Eve'
15. 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'

CD 2:
1. 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing / Come All Ye Faithful - Live from Minstal Hall 2013'
2. 'Emmanuel - Live from Minstal Hall 2013'
3. 'We Three Kings - Live from Minstal Hall 2013'
4. 'Ma-O-Tzur - Live from Minstal Hall 2013'
5. 'Good King Wenceslas - Live from Minstal Hall 2013'
6. "Christmas Eve - 2013 Version'
7. "Christmas Eve - German Radio Edit'
8. "Christmas Eve - English & German Radio Edit'
9. "Christmas Eve - English Radio Edit'

With guitar rock hero Ritchie Blackmore - guitars, mandolin, domra, hurdy-gurdy - alongside his beautiful wife Candice Night - vocals, chanter, cornamuse, shawm, rauschpfeife, tambourine - this newly digitally remastered 2CD, now complete with three brand new bonus tracks is, for my money, the most perfect of musical accompaniments for your Christmas season.

The festive season is a particularly special time for Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night, not least because many traditional Christmas songs (Carols, if you will) originate from medieval times, which are so dear to them.

On this album, Ritchie and Candice share with their fans some of their favorite Christmas songs of the last 400 years. The song 'Wish You Were Here' is a wonderful cover version of the Rednex song, beautifully interpreted by Candice and embellished by Ritchie's distinctive guitar-playing.

The album also contains 'Christmas Eve', Blackmore's Night's previous Christmas single (from 2013) in different versions. Finally, this 2017 remastered edition contains three brand new bonus tracks: 'Deck The Halls', 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Oh Christmas Tree'.

In truth, Blackmore's Night know what they're doing, no matter what they record, and here they once more prove the excellency, and the diversity of their work. The selection of old Carols and newly-created (2013) festive cuts, all superbly performed as only Blackmore's Night know how.

Candice's voice is simply beautiful and blends in so well with the musical arrangements played by the band. Personally, and given that there are 24 tracks here, my favorite has to be 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing / Oh Come All Ye Faithful.'

I just love the drums and horns that start this off and reappear on occasion throughout the piece. It gives a majestic regal feel to the piece. The soft guitar work and strings weave wonderfully into Candice's warm and blissful voice.

Ritchie puts a nice bit of electric guitar into this "medley" that mixes with quick drums for a rollicking feel in the second piece. The backing chorals are beautiful also. I find it puzzling that Christ is not mentioned by name in either tune, as "Christ is born in Bethlehem" is now replaced with "Peace has come to Bethlehem" in 'Hark' and in 'Faithful' "Christ the Lord" is now "He is the Lord".

Still the instrumentation and splendid singing make for an arresting piece and aside from that so-called lyric alteration (and there may be more throughout that i just didn't pick up on), this digitally-remastered 2017 2CD of Winter Carols has to be purchased and played in your homes this holiday season.

With a second disc of Carols recorded live from their Minstal Hall show in 2013, plus four (4) versions of 'Christmas Eve', this album is as complete a festive recording as they come. Buy it. Try it. Love it. You won't regret it, you have my word. 'Winter Carols (2017)' 2CD Purchase Link

Blackmore's Night @ Facebook