New Ray Davies Album, Americana, Planned For April

Life seems so far removed these days from the hits that many of us remember and love, most from the near early days of Rock and Roll. When you mention a name like Ray Davies, you get various reactions. The first one you’ll get from those who know is simply a shout out of “THE KINKS”!. The other is more likely an indifference from many who only appreciates what The Kinks did, and not what a significant member can do after the fact. Nevertheless, Rock and Roll is a different creature these days. What needed enhancement back in the earlier periods now is a part of the cloud of Rock. And Ray Davies can provide a piece of excellence do an audience, both adherents and newcomers.

On April 21, SMG, via Legacy Recordings, will release a new album by Ray Davies. The new album is called Americana and will contain fifteen new songs (see track-list below). Davies last album was Working Man’s Cafe, released in 2008. His latest will be welcomed by fans. You can listen to a song, “Poetry”, from the new album below via YouTube.

Americana will be issued on CD, 2LP, and DD formats.


New Roger Waters Solo Album, Is This The Life You Really Want?, On Calendar

Rogers Waters of Pink Floyd is an astute observer of our times. Without slipping into political preferences (I have none), and falling prey to inevitable and argumentative differences, I just stand on the overall view that Pink Floyd said much about the make up of humankind and our shared disturbances. As such, I pay more attention to a Roger Waters composition than I might another songwriter.

It’s been almost 25 years since Roger Waters has released a solo album. That was his Amused to Death look at our need for distractions, viewing them as a major factor in the deconstruction of humankind. That will change with the promised upcoming release of his latest album, Is This The Life We Really Want? This is a long-thought out concept album that looks at humankind a bit like Animals did. It conceptually looks at the governed as a mass led astray and abandoned for the wants and needs of the few that hold all the power and cash-flow.

Whatever politics/world view/philosophical outlook you subscribe to, Roger Waters has lyrically explored them. With his latest, there’s no doubt it will be as provocative as anything he has done before. The word is that the content of the album features songs written during his Pink Floyd days, and some from his Amused To Death set. The rest is new. The only  (small) regret is that it won’t be titled a Pink Floyd album!

Is This The Life You Really Want? is on the calendar for release on May 19.


Esoteric Recordings To Release 2CD Quintessence Set, Move Into The Light – The Complete Island Recordings 1969-1971

In the late ’60s, just as progressive Rock was laying hold of me beyond the Top 40 list (that I enjoyed on WLS and WCFL AM radio in Chicago), I listened intently for hours on strange FM bands for bands like extended Yes, and others. One band that struck my interest was Quintessence. This band was a strange blend of Folk, Jazz, and Rock that reminded me of bands, It’s A Beautiful Day, and Renaissance, whom I had already discovered and enjoyed.

Quintessence was not long in the world from a recording standpoint. Their only recorded output were three albums with Island Records (which, at the time was a risk-taking label, and two with RCA.

On April 28, Esoteric Recordings will release a 2CD set, Move Into The Light – The Complete Island Recordings 1969-1971. This set will feature 28 tracks including live selections, and a single edit of “Notting Hill Gate”, a song from their 1969 Island debut, In Blissful Company. The songs will be newly remastered, and the booklet should be informative, and filled with photos, and new notes, including interviews with Phil Jones, and Dave Codling.

Quintessence’s music is mesmerizing and pretty timeless. Their lyrics are spiritual in nature but they make it all work perfectly. I’m looking forward to this new set.

Move Into The Light – The Complete Island Recordings 1969-1971 – Quintessence

01. Giants
02. Maco Capac
03. Body
04. Ganga Mai
05. Chant
06. Pearl and Bird
07. Notting Hill Gate
08. Midnight Mode
09. Move Into The Light
10. Notting Hill Gate (Single Edit)
11. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Guaranga
12. Sea of Immortality
13. High on Mount Kailash (Excerpt from Opera)
14. Burning Bush (Live)
15. Shiva’s Chant

01. Prisms
02. Twilight Zones
03. Maha Mantra
04. Only Love
05. St. Pancras (Live)
06. Infinitum
07. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Guaranga (Live)
08. Dive Deep
09. Dance For The One
10. Brahman
11. The Seer
12. Epitaph For Tomorrow
13. Sri Ram Chant


Parlophone To Issue 6CD Hollies Box, Head Out Of Dreams (The Complete Hollies: August 1973 – August 1988)

If you hung with The Hollies well after their hits-laden years, then this next bit of news will be of long cool delight to you. The Hollies have been through the ripe years of Graham Nash, who, along with Allan Clarke, produced many of the memorable songs and LPs that are still enjoyed today. Also, Bobby Elliot, and Tony Hicks, who have stayed with the band forever. And while today’s Hollies are Elliot and Hicks, it’s admirable that they have maintained the ship when all others have left it.

The news is that a Hollies 6CD Box collection is being planned for March 17 (UK), and March 24 (US). The set is being called Head Out Of Dreams: The Complete Hollies – August 1973 – May 1988. In this massive box, the recorded output of the band from 1973-1988 including their massive hit, “The Air That I Breathe” will feature with various periods of remastering, none of it new. The included book should be extraordinary for this period of The Hollies, which will include their magnificent 1974 self-titled long player that also provided their UK hit, “The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee”. Essentially, this box will provide a beautiful one stop collection for completists, and fans without some of the albums that are on this set.

The CDs include bonus tracks not on the original but have been previously released on other releases.

Thanks, Parlophone!

Head Out of Dreams – The Complete Hollies: August 1973 – May 1988 – The Hollies

The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee
Mexico Gold
Out On The Road
Born A Man
Pick Up The Pieces Again
It’s A Shame It’s A Game
Transatlantic Westbound Jet
Don’t Let Me Down
Falling Calling
Tip Of The Iceberg
Burn Fire Burn
Rubber Lucy
The Air That I Breathe
Down On The Run
No More Riders
Love Makes The World Go Round
Give Me Time
Lonely Hobo Lullaby
Son Of A Rotten Gambler
Layin’ To The Music

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Come Down To The Shore
Hello Lady Goodbye
You Gave Me Life (With That Look In Your Eyes)
Look Out Johnny (There’s A Monkey On Your Back)
Second Hand Hang-Ups
Another Night
Time Machine Jive
I’m Down
My Island
Sweet Country Calling
Crocodile Woman (She Bites)
Love Is The Thing
I Won’t Move Over
There’s Always Goodbye

Write On
Boulder To Birmingham
Here In My Dreams
Daddy Don’t Mind
My Love
Russian Roulette
Be With You
Lady Of The Night
48 Hour Parole
Thanks For The Memories
Wiggle That Wotsit
Draggin’ My Heels
Hello To Romance
Let It Pour
Burn Out

What Am I Gonna Do
Feet On The Ground
Writing On The Wall
Clown Service
When I’m Yours
Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy
Satellite Three
Something To Live For
Maybe It’s Dawn
Song Of The Sun
Stormy Waters
Boys In The Band
It’s In Everyone Of Us
Say It Ain’t So Jo
Can’t Lie No More

Soldier’s Song
If The Lights Go Out (First Version)
Peggy Sue
Love’s Made A Fool Of You
Take Your Time
Tell Me How
Think It Over
Maybe Baby
Midnight Shift
I’m Gonna Love You Too
Peggy Sue Got Married
What To Do
That’ll Be The Day
It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Take My Love And Run (First Version)
Musical Pictures
Let Her Go Down

Take My Love And Run (Second Version)
Say You’ll Be Mine
Something Ain’t Right
If The Lights Go Out (Second Version)
Stop In The Name Of Love
I Got What I Want
Just One Look
Someone Else’s Eyes
Having A Good Time
You’re All Woman
You Gave Me Strength
Laughter Turns To Tears
Too Many Hearts Get Broken
This Is It
Reunion Of The Heart
Stand By Me
For What It’s Worth, I’m Sorry
Shine Silently
Your Eyes


Review: Turbo 30 – Judas Priest (3CD Reissue)

Firmly cemented as one of the top-listed go-to bands where Heavy Metal is concerned, Judas Priest effortlessly moved from their mid ’70s recorded years with their debut, Rocka Rolla (1974), on up to the last album to feature Rob Halford before his departure. In between, their dominance of the widening genre was second to none. (This does NOT mean that the band faltered post-Halford, but it’s certainly nice to have him back!)

Their albums with Columbia Records were classics in every way beginning with Sin After Sin (1977). They gained greater success with singles that broadened their audience. And while their UK fan base was massive, generating hits after hits, their fan base in the US slowly grew wider. It was the band’s release of “Turbo Lover” that increased their worldwide success further. That song anchored their tenth studio set, Turbo.

On February 3rd, Columbia Records reissued Turbo in an ongoing re-release campaign. The reissue of Turbo (Turbo 30) is a 3CD super set that joyfully girds up the remastered original classic with 2CDs of a period-centric live set from their Turbo support tour. The complete show from their Kemper Arena (Kansas City) is enjoyed here with over 20 performance tracks. With the newly remastered Turbo original, the entire set becomes a begging entrance to any serious Judas Priest library.

Turbo 30 is housed in an eight-panel sturdy cardboard that reveals the band on cycles as you unfold the package. The three CDs are slipped into wallet-styled holders with a 12-page booklet in a pocket of its own. Judas Priest is shown in all their ’80s metal preeminence in the photos. The lyrics are included as well as a complete list of credits.

Turbo is classic Judas Priest.

For Judas Priest fans, it’s good to know that the band is currently working on their next album. After all, world Heavy Metal dominance isn’t just easily maintained; it has to be reinforced!


New Tomita Album Features Live Symphony Of Final Work, Dr. Coppelius

Isao Tomita has been gone from us since May of 2016. I’m actually surprised that we’ve not seen any remasters or expansions by RCA. A BOX even. I think that his works contributed heavily to the beautiful ’70s, before sound and style upended (not unappealingly, mind you). But we didn’t get a representative set of refreshed Tomita music. But, we are getting something, Tomita fans.

On March 22, via Nippon Columbia, the first Tomita set since his death is being released. The new album is being called Dr. Coppelius, and is a live presentation of his composed symphony. It is the premiere of the symphony, played live at the 12th Bunkamura Orchard Hall by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. This symphony played live on November 11/12 in 2016. The symphony was conducted by Kazumasa Watanabe, with electronic parts performed by Aiko Hikari.

Dr Coppelius, of course, while an original work, is not a studio work. I have hope that it will be eventually done, and released as a studio work attributed to Tomita, for the enjoyment of his fans. You can see more here.

Dr Coppelius – Tomita

01 – The 0th movement Move the living body Ascending Life Form
02 – 3rd movement Into the universe Into The Outer Space Based on Villa-Lobos’ No. 7 “Brazilian Bach”
03 – 4th movement Landing on The Asteroid 25143 Itokawa at Planet Itokawa Based on Leo · dolbe composition “Coppelia” waltz
04 – The 5th movement Mourning Song Song of Grief Based on Villa-Lobos’ No. 4 “Brazilian Bach”
05 – End of the 6th movement End of The Time Richard Wagner’s composition “Tristan and Isolde” based on the death of love
06 – 7 th movement, Sunrise Rise of The Planet 9


Tedeschi-Trucks Band To Release Live Set In March

The husband and wife team that makes up the Tedeschi-Trucks Band have released a few albums and live sets. Together, they’ve been making music since 2010. They have three studio albums, with the last one being Let Me Get By. In addition to those, they have a single live set, Everybody’s Talkin’, released in 2012 culled liberally from three separate 2011 shows.

Om March 17, the band will release a collection of performance tracks called Live From The Fox Oakland. In September 2016, they performed a series of two shows there (Sept 8th and 9th). They pulled the music from their September 9th show to create a new live set over a variety of formats that include video.

Live From The Fox Oakland will feature fifteen performance tracks. It is being planned for 2CD, DD, and combination 2CD/BD, and 2CD/DVD  packages.  The video will offer thirteen performances. I hope to see it emerge on vinyl LP soon!

Enjoy the video of “Keep On Growing” from the set.

New Mike + The Mechanics Album, Let Me Fly, Is Scheduled For April

The last album from Mike + The Mechanics was The Road, released as a UK-only issue back in 2011. Recently, a US-issued version of The Road was announced. This, apparently, was to pave the way for the next stage of Mike + The Mechanics with a new album. Over their time, the band has released seven studio sets, selling more than ten million units, and launching a nice collection of hit singles from them.

On April 7, The End Records, distributed by BMG will release Let Me Fly. The new album will feature twelve new songs. In addition to the release of this anticipated set, Mike + The Mechanics will embark on a tour in support, and to help celebrate the band’s 25th Anniversary as a band, with a possible US tour as well!

On February 27, a single from the new album will hit radio (or what passes for radio these days, anyway). The single will be “Don’t Know What Came Over Me”.

Let Me Fly will be issued on CD, DD (MP3 and MFIT (Mastered for iTunes), and vinyl LP.

Let Me Fly – Mike + The Mechanics

01 Let Me Fly
02 Are You Ready
03 Wonder
04 The Best Is Yet To Come
05 Save The World
06 Don’t Know What Came Over Me
07 High Life
08 The Letter
09 Not Out Of Love
10 Love Left Over
11 I’ll Be There For You
12 Save My Soul


New 10-Track An Introduction To… Sets of CDs Planned For April

We still don’t have a hot running engine where strong releases are concerned. Interesting ones, yes. But not strong ones. No matter. Always something happening regardless. And that includes ten-track introductory collections from Flashback and associated labels. For most of you, this isn’t even an interest as you already have them in multiple ways. But:

On April 14, watch for nicely priced CDs for the following artists:

An Introduction To The Drifters
An Introduction To The Blues Brothers
An Introduction To Ray Charles
An Introduction To Nickelback
An Introduction To Keith Sweat
An Introduction To Jethro Tull
An Introduction To Hot Chocolate
An Introduction To Ben E King
An Introduction To America
An Introduction To Al Stewart

All CDs will not feature new remastering, and likely not much, if any, of a booklet.



3CD Joan Baez Collection, The Complete Gold Castle Masters, In April

Joan Baez has long been a fixture within the structure of Rock and Roll. Although her time was primarily in the 60s, with a short foray of popularity into the ’70s, her mark is unmistakable! She’s delivered more than a collectible array of songs and hits.

On April 7, Proper Records will release a 3CD set being called The Complete Gold Castle Masters that cover her three Gold Master label releases. Those include her two late ’80s studio issues, Recently (1987), and Speaking Of Dreams (1989), as well as her one live set with the label, Diamonds & Rust In The Bullring (1988). Proper Records will deliver the set in a 3CD Box. The set will be home to 33 racks from the label that Danny Goldberg ran. And while I’m not sure, my assumption is that these are going to feature new remastering,

The Complete Gold Castle Masters – Joan Baez

CD1 (Recently):
01. Brothers In Arms
02. Recently
03. Asimbonanga
04. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
05. James & The Gang
06. Let Us Break Bread Together / Oh Freedom
07. MLK
08. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
09. Biko
10. Lebanon

CD2 (Diamonds And Rust In The Bullpen) (Live in Bilboa, Spain – 1988):
01. Diamonds And Rust
02. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around
03. No Woman No Cry
04. Famous Blue Raincoat
05. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
06. Let It Be
07. El Preso Numero Nueve
08. Llego Con Tres Heridas
09. Txoria Txori
10. Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Sola)
11. Gracias A La Vida
12. No Nos Moveran

CD3 (Speaking Of Dreams):
01. China
02. Warriors of the Sun
03. Carrickfergus
04. Hand to Mouth
05. Speaking of Dreams
06. El Salvador
07. Rambler Gambler / Whispering Bells
08. Fairfax County
09. A Mi Manera
10. Goodnight Saigon
11. Warriors of the Sun / She’s Got a Ticket