Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

(There are two reviews of this record published simultaneously, one by Michael Fremer and one by Malachi Lui, the two working independently, for a young and an "I was around then" perspective).Chris Frantz writes in the updated booklet packaged with this new double LP set of the difficulties involved in mounting the complicated, unique, never before (or since) seen stage show that the late Jonathan Demme so well captured in the film "Stop Making... Read More

genre Rock Art Rock Post-Punk format Vinyl

Immortalized in Jonathan Demme’s 1984 film Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads’ 1983 tour was the theatrical rock tour that ended all theatrical rock tours before it and raised the standard for those following. Choreographed but natural, theatrical but not outlandish, designed but also not, the newly reissued Stop Making Sense still resonates in its societal commentary and continuing influence.

Read More

Back in June, Michael Fremer and I discussed my next Tracking Angle piece, and we agreed that I should do something I hadn’t done in a while and review a new album. I did some research and decided that Lucinda Williams’ Stories From A Rock n Roll Heart would be a good choice. Michael agreed, and so it was decided.I hadn’t heard the album, but I’d admired Williams’ music dating back to the time before her 1998 breakthrough Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Her... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

And so it starts again with a ballad. One that Damon Albarn started 20 years ago as, literally, “Half A Song,” finished at the urge of bodyguard Darren ‘Smoggy’ Evans and now the opening track on The Ballad Of Darren, Blur’s first album in eight years. Albarn has written many ballads, probably a few too many: about love, about sadness, about England. Yet “The Ballad” stands out in how defeated it is, especially as the opener for such an anticipated record. It signals... Read More

Imitation is - as you may have heard - the sincerest form of flattery. In the music world, however, it’s a slippery slope: the listener crosses his or her finger when a composer or performer attempts to pay homage to another style or genre hoping that the final result is a well-done and tasteful tribute. It’s not as though Andrew Gold needed to imitate anyone, but out of his love of 1960s psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll he devised a fictitious band (The Fraternal Order of... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

A perfect black and white frozen New York City cover for an album released February of 1974 when winters there were still really cold and "pretzles" (sic) were 15 cents. The master tape images in the fold out containing Donald Fagen's notes show that the mixes were finalized on February 5th, lacquers cut at The Mastering Lab on the 6th and the record released for sale on the 20th. That's a pretty fast turnaround! Speaking of fast, compared to the... Read More

genre Rock Art Rock format Vinyl

Here's Tracking Angle's exclusive look and listen to Intervention's upcoming limited to 2500 copies Frampton@50 3 LP box set cut from analog tape by Chris Bellman and sounding like it! Intervention worked with Peter Frampton to get this box to look and sound the way he wanted it and the results are what every great reissue should look and sound like. The box rights a musical wrong.

Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

This review was brought to the attention of the producer Jason Jones who insists, and I believe him, that this record and "Dixie Chicken" as well, were cut by Bernie Grundman using the original master tapes. A number of readers asked why I didn't first check with people involved. A few times in the past I was assured what I was hearing was AAA even though it sounded otherwise and later I found out I'd been correct and had been handed a line. Here Jones says he can provide documentation that it was cut from tape so I'll take his word for it and issue here a "mea culpa". I was wrong and I apologize. However, I will still write reviews based on what I hear and I'm happy to be corrected and issue a mea culpa later, if only because I've previously been burned. So, Jason, my apologies and I've revised the review below but not to "cover my tracks".

Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

For what may have felt like a death knell for the godfathers of metal, vocalist Ronnie James Dio was a saving grace for Black Sabbath when in 1979 original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne made his exit. Dio brought forth some fresh approaches to the Sabbath mold, adding fantasy-based lyrics and more intricate vocal melodies. This allowed the band to write in a new direction and evolve further. The first offering of Black Sabbath Mark II, 1980’s Heaven and Hell, broke the slump... Read More

genre Rock Metal format Vinyl

Where to start here? They still can't spell the late Doug Sax's name correctly so let's start there. It's not "Sachs". They made a mistach on the original, understood. If they repeated it to preserve the jacket's "authenticity", then why add the additional credits? But more to the point, why take a wonderful, magical recording, with depth, space, transparency, transient purity, shimmer, delicacy, three-dimensionality and... Read More

genre Rock Acoustic format Vinyl

1971 was a mammoth year for the Alice Cooper group (not to be confused with the group’s frontman who would eventually go solo). After delving into Los Angeles-tinged psychedelic freakouts with their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, the group relocated to the Metro Detroit city of Pontiac, Michigan. Within the area that embraced the harder driving sounds of The Stooges and MC5, the band was able to hone in on a straightforward hard rock sound. This... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Brotherhood kills two birds with one stone. The first bird climbs high altitudes, showing no hesitation. This bird possesses two key qualities: strength and valiancy. Strength—the ability to grapple the truth—compliments valiancy. Above the clouds one finds the first bird. It soars despite the truth: if it falls, the ground takes its life. On the ground one finds the second bird, the first bird’s antithesis. Whilst the first bird aims beyond the sky, the second bird... Read More

genre Rock Alternative Rock format Vinyl

Despite the accusations of antisemitism for his support of Palestine and his stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being “not unprovoked,” there is still no denying Roger Waters’ timeless influence in all avenues of the performing arts. Best known for being a founding member of progressive rock giants Pink Floyd and a profitable touring artist, Waters has always struck a certain chord with his thematic lyrics pertaining to adult life, society and isolation. Those... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

Like most "overnight successes", the individual members of The Cars knocked around for years working to find the right setting and musical formula before hitting it big with their debut album. Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr met in Cleveland, both moving to Boston in the early '70s and releasing non-charting albums in various "folkie" type groups including Milkwood and Cap'n Swing. The Cars formed in 1976 with guitarist and Berklee student Eliot Easton joining Ocasek and Orr (the three had been in Cap'n Swing) and keyboardist Greg Hawkes, who had been in a previous group with the duo but left to tour with musical comedian Martin Mull plus drummer David Robinson late of The Modern Lovers. Hawkes didn't join until early 1977. Whew!

Read More

genre Rock Synthpop Pop Rock format Vinyl

Ghost is a band you can hardly run away from. Tobias Forge, who assumes the role of frontman Papa Emeritus IV backed by a revolving door of anonymous musicians known as Nameless Ghouls, has brought an element of theatricality back into the music world that can be traced to older acts such as KISS and Alice Cooper. With a schtick that serves as a Satanic parody of Catholicism it's one that could be seen as either sacrilege to the superstitious or tongue-in-cheek... Read More

genre Rock Metal Arena Rock format Vinyl

Recently reissued for its 50th anniversary, Haruomi Hosono's 1973 solo debut Hosono House wasn’t the start of his career, but the first development towards forging his own path. It’s a short, comfortable-sounding record whose homely, domestic charm has proven its lasting appeal.

Read More