Artist: Thin Lizzy Title: “Still Dangerous – Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977” Label: VH1 Classic Records Release Date: 3/2009 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
Music history has wisely penciled in the tomes that that make up their vast library that Thin Lizzy is one of the true great Hard Rock bands and this is probably the reason that their tunes can still be found in semi-regular rotation on both terrestrial or satellite radio stations that cater to the genre. The recent issue of “Still Dangerous” takes us back in time to a smoldering set of the band during a two day stint at The Tower Theatre in Philadelphia circa 1977. By this point in their career, the group had already been through a number of lineup changes but that fact does not change the clear sound of a group that is on fire on the stage. Led by Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, the band for the recording was comprised of Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Robertson (guitar) and Brian Downey (drums) and to say that they are locked into the pocket for this concert would be an understatement. With the discovery and release of these recordings the fans of Thin Lizzy will get what amounts to be the second actual live set from the band at the time of their recording of the “Bad Reputation” tour. The first is the famous “Live And Dangerous” – an album that is often referred to as a Hard Rock genre defining and very exciting live effort that has withstood the tests of time. That being said it makes the finding of these recordings all the more important because they come from a time period where no overdubbing was being done and it gives us another taste of just what a tour de force on the stage this band was during their heyday. Of course there are those who believe that some of the recordings on “Still Dangerous” had been used for portions of “Live And Dangerous” but I did not sit and do a side by side comparison of its similar tracks to see if they were correct. Either way, it’s nice to have another great live recording in the collection that represents this band. An early reservation I had about the release was with some of the levels that would be found on it, as parts of the band are lower than they should be and with the technology of today being what it is should not have found this being the case. An upside is we get a lot of crowd banter from Phil who pauses often between the tunes to speak to the sold out crowd. Continue reading “Still Dangerous – Live At The Tower Theater Philadelphia 1977” by Thin Lizzy→
Artist: KISS Title: “KISSology 3” Label: VH1 Classic Release Date: 12/18/2007 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 5/5
Given that the second volume of these incredible boxed sets was only released in August of 2007 the KISS fans around the world are probably stuck in a mix of surprise and shock at the aspect of the third volume coming out so quickly. Of course like most ardent fan bases, the KISS ones are never hesitant to enjoy new releases that feature footage they might have seen before or only heard about in legend as even existing. Arriving just in time for your holiday purchasing needs comes “KISSology Volume 3” which picks up where the last volume ended and presents us with content from the band’s history during the years 1992-2000. For those who are not too up on their band history these years find the “Revenge” album with an as yet still unmasked lineup as they visit “Alive III” and get their “Unplugged” a happening all the way to the makeup sporting original membership as they began their Reunion tour, the “Psycho Circus” and Farewell tour along with some cool stops in between. This is truly something that the fans cannot get enough of and who can blame them with a band that is as big on spectacle as the guys in KISS are. Volume 3 finds four separate DVD’s making up the main set so let’s talk a little bit about what they feature. Strap yourself in KISS fans the ride continues along now.
Contents: DVD1: The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Detroit Michigan (11/27/1992), MTV Unplugged (Behind The Scenes), MTV Unplugged –Sony Studios, NY, NY (8/9/95); DVD2: Tiger Stadium, Detroit MI (6/26/1996), MTV VMA Performance, Brooklyn Bridge (9/4/1996), Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (10/31/98) – part one; DVD3: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles CA (10/31/98) – part two, “Detroit Rock City” movie premiere party Los Angeles CA (8/9/1999), “The Last KISS” Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford NJ (6/27/2000); DVD4: Coventry, Queens NY (12/22/1973). Continue reading “KISSology Vol. 3: (1992-2000)” [DVD] by KISS→
Artist: Various Artists Title: “Metal Mania Stripped Vol. 3” Label: VH1 Classic Release Date: 3/6/2007 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
Continuing along with the successful “Stripped” editions comes Volume 3 and right away this one is a little more of a treat since it not only features a score of songs you will likely remember, but many of them are new recordings by the people who made them famous in the first place. Poison’s MTV Unplugged is dropped in as is Ratt’s but I have to admit that neither of these tracks were ever among my favorites from these particular Glamsters. We get the pre-requisite classic from Queensryche and a staple from Slaughter as well as the Tesla-fied version of “Signs”, a track that propelled this band into the stratosphere when it was re-recorded by them in 1991. The new recordings were for the most part winners with a great version of the Damn Yankees hit as done by the now touring Shaw Blades. The duo just released an album of their own and featured music that influenced their beginnings. Warrant’s Jani Lane gives us “Heaven” while that Cinderella fella Tom Kiefer drops a smooth “Nobody’s Fool” down. I think that my overall favorites went right to the Autograph, Kix and Eric Martin tracks based on their not only being new but being some of the freshest sounding versions of the songs I enjoyed in their original fashion so long ago. The Autograph number was one of the best rocking mood inducing songs written and the Kix track a powerful anti-suicide message that still has punch. Continue reading “Metal Mania Stripped Vol. 3” by Various Artists→
Taking a breather from their duties in both Night Ranger and Styx, Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw embarked on an acoustic tour that found them offering up homage to their own musical influences. The guys stopped by NYC’s own B.B. King Blues Club and really delivered a sing along kind of night. We were on point for the occasion and if you want to learn more just scroll past the logo below.
Artist: Shaw/Blades Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: none Date: 3/21/2007 Label: VH1 Classic Records
Hot off the release of their second album of Classic Rock renditions, appropriately entitled “Influence” – New York City would enjoy an intimate performance with Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and Tommy Shaw (Styx). The pair would pick up their acoustic guitars and deliver one of the most inspiring and heart-warming shows of the year. Their talents are very well known based on their accomplishments with their legendary and still rocking main bands but tonight we would see a more back to basics view on what they can do with music. Having heard and reviewed their CD about a month ago I was very interested in this show since so many of the songs they did would bring back special memories. Judging by the visibly sold out B.B. King Blues Club venue, you could tell that many others had the same view about tonight. As you could expect this was going to be a great night of music and the guys would not only reach into their catalog of “Influence” but they would also touch upon the music of Styx, Night Ranger and Damn Yankees as well. Helping them with some additional vocals and backing guitar would be Will Evancovich. His presence would add to the fullness of the music as Tommy and Jack began to sing their hearts out. There was nothing rigid or stoic about the show either as the guys would frequently address the crowd with stories from life or about what the particular song meant to them. It was like being part of a very cool taping of the “Unplugged” show and the audience was responding with often resounding approval. Continue reading Shaw/Blades @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/21/2007)→
Artist: Shaw/Blades Title: “Influence” Label: VH1 Classic Records Release Date: 3/6/2007 Genre: Rock Rating: 4/5
Their names are very well known in the hallowed halls of Rock music history for the numerous and often memorable contributions with Styx, Night Ranger and Damned Yankees. This time around, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades join forces for an album that presents their fans with music that both inspired and helped to foster their own musical beginnings as well as form a solid foundation on which music would build. Presenting “Influence”, an album of material that reminds you of how special the building blocks of Rock music actually were. You might be saying “oh no, another covers album”, but on this CD are some of the most important songs ever to be recorded. Together the pair presents classics from Simon & Garfunkel, The Zombies, The Mamas & The Papas and many more. Recorded with acoustic guitars, light drums, keyboards and vocals this is bare bones music, and it required nothing more than these ingredients to make it work. Many of the songs are precise renditions and this is found in the “Sounds Of Silence”, “Lucky Man”, and “California Dreamin’” most specifically. My Mother was a fan of all of these bands and as result, I was raised on this stuff and hold it very close to my own heart as some of my very favorite songs despite what I might listen to today. While those favorites were lined out I was also very impressed with the Yes tune “Your Move”, for they hit the same pitch as Jon Anderson straight on, and even slip a little “Give Peace A Chance” (John Lennon) in the chorus. “Time Of The Season” and “Dirty Work” were pleasant additions and really sound as fresh as the time when they were introduced to the world. Tommy and Jack are great singers and finding them doing this stuff in tandem again makes the release a very special piece of music. The pair experiments just a little on the album by delivering a knock down version of “I Am A Rock”. It serves as the heaviest number on the recording and does complete justice to the original. Continue reading “Influence” by Shaw Blades→