There is a history book, as thick as it is sad – well, partially sad, anyway. In it is listed every band who were excellent as producers of music, and yet never caught the attention of enough fans to register immediately in the minds of many. One of them is Cockney Rebel, of whom Steve Harley was the primary force.
During the ’70s, this band generated a Pop-styled Rock that interested the UK market much more than they did the fickle US market. During his run, Harley created a fair share of albums and a string of UK singles with his musical charm, a charm that was quite easy to fall under the spell of.
On May 4, Chrysalis Records will reissue the only two Cockney Rebel albums to be released just as the band (everything else bore his name). Those are The Human Menagerie (1973), and The Psychomodo (1974), which contained his UK hit, “Judy Teen”. His biggest hit came with the appending of his name to the Cockney Rebel brand, and his next album, The Best Years of Our Lives (“Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”)
Chrysalis will reissue both Cockney Rebel albums in CD format housed in 4-panel digipaks. The albums will also be reissued on 180g-weigh black vinyl LP. Sadly, neither of these titles will be remastered opting instead to use the original masters. (I’ve listened to my copies and they actually sound pretty good.)
Chrysalis Records continue to refresh their rich catalogues to provide fans with fresh copies of CDs and LPs.
My favorite Steve Harley tune is easily “The Best Years of Our Lives”
Admittedly, the last thing I would expect in this world of Rock and Roll is a new Roger Daltrey album. And not because I think it’s unnecessary. I sill warmly remember his debut Daltrey (1973), and his followup, Ride A Rock Horse (1975), and even One of The Boys (1977). All in all, Roger Daltrey has released eight solo efforts, his last being Rocks In The Head (1992). What surprises me is his announcement that releasing albums is a wasteful effort given the current environment. And yet:
On June 1, Polydor will release the next Roger Daltrey album, As Long As I Have You. It will provide eleven songs, many with Pete Townshend on guitar, giving us as close a Who album as can be expected.
As Long As I Have You will be released on CD, DD, and two versions of vinyl including 180g-weight black vinyl, and a limited edition 180g-weight red color vinyl LP housed in a “disco bag”. The red vinyl set is available exclusively via The Who webstore.
As for me, this is one for the fans!
As Long As I Have You – Roger Daltrey
01 As Long As I Have You
02 How Far
03 Where Is A Man To Go?
04 Get On Out Of The Rain
05 I’ve Got Your Love
06 Into My Arms
07 You Haven’t Done Nothing
08 Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
09 Certified Rose
10 The Love You Save
11 Always Heading Home
For decades, Loreena McKennitt has given to an audience of fans her lush and engaging lyrical songs with a Celtic flavor. As an accomplished musician and composer of extraordinary worth, Loreena McKennitt has given us a delightful library of songs. Her last album was The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which was released in 2010. Now, eight years later, we’re being gifted with a new album, her first of original music since her 2006 album, An Ancient Muse.
On May 11, Quinlan Road will release the newest album by the artist, Lost Souls. This new album will feature nine new songs.
Lost Souls will be released on CD, DD, and 180g-weigh black vinyl LP.
Back in the middle of the year for 2016, I came across a UK duo going by the name of…Let’s Eat Grandma. Their first album, I Gemini, released with a bounty of listenable songs. (You can read that article here.) As is the current trend these days, the band has taken a few years to produce their newest collection of tunes.
On June 29, Trangressive Records will release the duo’s second album, I’m All Ears. The new album contains eleven new tracks, two f which are currently available for streaming or download (“Hot Pink“, “Falling Into Me“).
I’m All Ears will be released on CD, DD, and vinyl LP.
If you have followed the band, Blues Pills, then you already know the kind of powerhouse blues/Rock they can produce. With a successful album, Lady In Gold (2016), and a successful tour in the books, here was inevitable downtime. Guitarist, Dorian Sorriaux had decided to put that downtime to effective use and has recorded a collection of songs that will be released as an EP.
In April, the Dorian Sorriaux EP, consisting of four psychedelic folk tunes, will be released as Hungry Ghost. This EP will be released via Soulseller Records.
Here at MusicTAP, I’m a big fan of Blues Pills. I’m also a fan of the resurgence and expansion of Psychedelic music. With both of these loves, I’m actually quite excited for this set, even if it’s small.
Def Leppard was a surprise arrival in the Rock world back in 1977. With young Joe Elliott as vocalist, and a high intensity guitarist, Steve Clark, the band immediately entered the charts with a Rock fan satisfying collection of tracks found on their 1980 debut, On Through The Night. It delivered a series of hits, some in the UK, and some in the US. The album itself was a high placement on both the UK and US charts.
With a catalog of eleven studio sets that includes the massive Pyromania (1983), with over ten million units sold, and the even greater selling Hysteria (1987), with over twenty million copies in fans’ hands, the catalog of Def Leppard is a valuable and exciting commodity. It has been undergoing an updating of which these boxed sets are a part of.
On June 1, Mercury Records will release two separately available boxed sets, one for CD, and one for vinyl LP. Both sets will be known as The Collection, Volume One.
The CD Collection will be six CDs, while the vinyl box will contain seven LPs. There will a special booklet housed in the case with the discs. The Rarities disc is the catch here as it is expected to contain radio sessions from the band’s early years. For the CD Box, the EP might be included on the Rarities CD.
While this doesn’t have a specific date, it’s still quite nice to know that a 25th Anniversary Edition of Everyone Else Is Doing It So Why Can’ We? by The Cranberries is around the corner and planned for “later this year”. The tragic death of Cranberries vocalist, Delores O’Riordan had threatened to derail the project but the band members have decided to go ahead with it to honor their singer.
The 25th Anniversary edition is said to include a remastered edition of Everyone Else Is Doing It So Why Can’ We, as well as an inclusion of previously unreleased materials from the sessions for this now classic album. It’s one we will patiently look forward to until it’s released.
Additionally, Delores O’Riordan had finished vocals for the band’s newest album. This was another album that had threatened to fall due to immense sadness over the high-profile singer’s death. But with a newfound resolve to honor the legacy of Delores O’Riordan, the new album will be finished and released “early next year”.
We still mourn the loss of Delores O’Riordan but I’m heartened to know that she will live on in her music. The 25th Anniversary Edition is a welcome start to that honor. The new album is icing!
When I get word that a date has been affixed to both sets, I will be sure to inform you.
Jennifer Warnes was a graceful and elegant part of the early era of Rock as part of the Leonard Cohen entourage as a back-up singer. Although she had released two albums for the old Parrot label, it wasn’t until her fourth album, her second self-titled issue, released on Arista Records, that she garnered public attention with her MOR hit, “Right Time Of The Night”. She later gathered more deserved praise for her album, Famous Blue Raincoat (1986), where she covered her mentor’s (Leonard Cohen) songs, some of which she co-authored with LC. She last released a solo album in 2001 with The Well.
On April 27, BMG Records will release the new Jennifer Warnes album, Another Time, Another Place. It will present ten newly recorded songs, with covers of songs by Eddie Vedder (“Just Breathe”), Mark Knopfler (“Why Worry”), and others like John Legend, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks.
Jennifer Warnes also recorded a hit single with Joe Cocker on 1982’s number one song from An Officer and a Gentleman, “Up Where We Belong”.
Another Time, Another Place – Jennifer Warnes
01 Just Breathe
02 Tomorrow Night
03 Once I Was Loved
04 So Sad
05 I See Your Face Before Me
06 I Am The Big Easy
07 The Boys And Me
08 Back Where I Started
10 Why Worry
For over 50 years, Jeff Beck has been a strong part of our music landscape. From The Yardbirds, his own bands, and a series of solo albums, he has left behind an immeasurable imprint on the whole of Rock and Roll. And still, he produces a fiery range of talent. Just a little over a year ago, he released a solo album (Loud Hailer). And he’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with The Yardbirds, and once individually.
In the summer of 2016, Jeff Beck played at the Hollywood Bowl as one show in a celebration of his 50 years.
On April 6, Rhino will release a 2CD edition of Jeff Beck Live at The Hollywood Bowl. Previously, there has been DVD and BD issues of the show, which featured a wealth of guest performers including Buddy Guy, Steven Tyler, Jan Hammer, Jimmy Hall, Billy Gibbons, and others. Additionally, there were imports (into the US) of CD and LP recordings.
On May 25, Rhino will also re-release a 3LP vinyl edition of Live At The Hollywood Bowl. If you were unable to score imports of these CD and LP editions, this domestic re-release should help you out greatly.
The well known Factory Records from decades past released an influential batch of memorable albums and music from bands like Joy Division, The Durutti Column, New Order, and Happy Mondays to name a few. One of the excellent bands of the early era of Factory Records was A Certain Ratio.
A Certain Ratio (ACR) formed in the latter ’70s as a UK postpunk band with a predilection for dance music fused with funk, jazz, and good old fashioned experimentation designed to challenge the constant of the day. Well, the experiment worked brilliantly even if they were relegated to the undercurrents of the pop scale. If you were a fan of Factory Records, then you definitely heard of them. They were completely ahead of their time.
On May 25, Mute Records will revisit three (possibly four) of the band’s releases with reissues for CD and colored vinyl LP. Previously, Mute has reissued To Each… (1981) [CD and Red vinyl LP], The Graveyard and The Ballroom (1979) [CD and color PVC sleeve for vinyl], and Force (1986) [CD]. Here’s what’s coming now:
I’d Like To See You Again (1982) Planned for CD and Limited Edition Neon Yellow colored vinyl LP.
acr:mcr (1990) Planned for CD and Limited Edition Clear vinyl 2LP cut at 45RPM.
Up In Downsville (1992) Planned for CD and Limited Edition Light Blue colored vinyl 2LP cut at 45RPM.
There is a hint of Good Together (1989) being reissued as well but I have no definite word on this one. It is also hinted at as being made available on CD and Limited Edition White Vinyl 2LP cut at 45RPM.
I failed to be alerted (and to discover) the previous reissues of ACR releases mentioned above as I would DEFINITELY have alerted you to these. Apologies!! A Certain Ratio is an underappreciated but classic band from the ’80s! They’re ripe for your discovery (if you haven’t heard of them), or presented anew if you have forgotten about them. Fans of the Post-Punk era, late ’70s, early ’80s, ACR is ABSOLUTELY worth your investigation!