Disc Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Tommy Bolin - Teaser Deluxe

Tommy Bolin - Teaser Deluxe

Tommy Bolin

Album title: Teaser Deluxe
By Sal Serio
Posted: Apr 2011
Label: Samson Records
(3061) Page Views

Sometimes the next best thing is all we can hope for. Even better is when the next best thing exceeds expectations. This is the case with the new CD release of unreleased recordings by late guitar virtuoso Tommy Bolin.

Bolin made his mark in the early to mid 70s by playing some completely mind blowing lead guitar on Billy Cobham’s Spectrum and Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band. Fans of the musician’s meaty chops and dizzying triplets were pleasantly surprised by his subsequent solo records, which showed more expressive range and beautifully delivered vocals. The first of these albums, 1975’s Teaser, has never been released on CD form domestically, and the import issues have been sorely lacking in sonic quality. The last this reporter heard, Sony/Universal didn’t feel the project would generate enough return to make its reissue a priority.

Therefore, 35 years after its release, the new Teaser Deluxe project, spearheaded by Greg Hampton with the blessing of Johnnie Bolin, is truly a reason to rejoice. Hampton has unearthed previously unheard multi-tracks of the Teaser sessions, and brought alternate takes of those tracks up to 21st century audio standards.

Originally, Bolin envisioned the Teaser project to be half instrumental, half vocal, but management shied away from featuring too many instrumentals. This new CD brings back some of Bolin’s vision, with the inclusion of two outtakes of the far-out jazz metal romp “Crazed Fandango”. One version displays the soaring saxophone of David Sanborn, while the other features more piano and guitar. Additionally, some songs which were closer to the four minute mark on the 1975 release now run well over eleven minutes in length, giving Bolin room to stretch out his frenetic soloing. The extended jamming functions better on the smoother “Lotus” than on the straight-ahead rock of “Wild Dogs,” but both are intriguing to compare to the final LP edits. Also of interest is the inclusion of Bolin singing along to some of the lead parts in “Wild Dogs” and “Savannah Woman”.

Attention should also be given to the addition of intro riffs counting off “Homeward Strut” and “Marching Powder,” which gives the listener a little teaser of sorts before the song as it’s known materializes. In some cases, such as the rhythm guitar flanging on “Homeward Strut,” subtleties are brought to light that were lost, or simply not present, on the 1975 LP.

Teaser Deluxe is a must for anyone who enjoys sincere rock and roll with diversified flavors. I’m thankful that these aural treats can be tasted once again.

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Akron/Family - The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

Akron/Family - The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

Akron/Family

Album title: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
By Kaleb Bronson
Posted: Apr 2011
Label: Dead Oceans Records
(1346) Page Views

The carnival is a special treat for most of society. The flashing lights, confusing and frightening clowns, dancing bears, trapeze artists, and circus freaks make for an arrangement that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Welcome to Akron/Family’s carnival with their newest album release Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT released on Dead Oceans Records.

The Akron/Family has taken the experiment known as sound to a new level and broken all of the previous rules of engagement. During this musical process, the team of Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky, and Miles Seaton (also known as the Akron/Family) created an album of truly cosmic revelations. This album lets loose into a land of bliss and psychedelia while transforming noise into an experience. From the ruckus romp of “Silly Bears,” the intro to the album, to the subduing awakening of an outro titled “Creator,” the band lets the shattered mind, the societal-shaken body, and the effervescent soul travel through a portal of genius accomplishments. Some may not be able to handle the out-of-the-box approach, but for those who enjoy music beyond humanities state-of-being, the Akron/Family has released a masterpiece to delve upon.

The precise drumming quality and unique instrumental values allow the listener to take a spiritual journey throughout this record. Fortunately, audience members do take the aforementioned journey when the band is seen live, especially when outdoors. Each track offers an emotional landslide. The track “Island” is so focused and calmingly triumphant that the listener is moved to sway with the waves of electronic-folk rhythms, and then move into a chanting fiasco of beauty on the short song “A AAA O A WAY.” The corrupt noises interwoven in the background enter the mind like a transistor radio, and then send listeners into the river of consciousness before transcending during “So It Goes.”

The more confusion, the better, and the sounds continue to be more colorful throughout this album. Ronald Dahl would be a proud to hear such unexpected instrumental color. The tribal drumming and chanting cascading through “Another Sky” opens the gates into a new room of musical wilderness. As the light emerges from the track of the same name, the sounds of Hans Zimmer’s True Romance soundtrack echo within the song, though the lyrical content compares to a ride with Ken Kesey on a summer afternoon, with Hunter S. Thompson riding on the roof of “Furthur.”

As the listener transcends down this mountain of musical wonderment, they run into the song “Tatsuya Neon Purple Walkby,” which is a 35 second track of woodsy pause. In other words, it’s a time for people to breathe before climbing the tree-house of sound known as “Fuji I (Global Dub).” As the waters trickle over the track, “Fuji II (Single Pane)” arrives to float the eardrums on the lily pads of the planet, making this track the most soothing within the album. A track and time for premonitions, “We’ve been living underground,” the lyrical beauty chimes.

The album ends with the song “Creator,” which allows release back into the normal plain of existence, yet for some reason the listener is a changed person. The entire album is a journey and a piece of artwork that cannot be painted, drawn, or sculpted. Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT is a transformation into a new era of sound.

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Signum A.D. - The Unsilenced

Signum A.D. - The Unsilenced

Signum A.D.

Album title: The Unsilenced
By Aaron Manogue
Posted: Apr 2011
Label: Cage Rattle Records
(1583) Page Views

It’s extremely uncommon for a new band to have the backing of big players within the music industry on their first album, let alone having those big players put their own hard work into something basically unproven. Signum A.D. is one of the very lucky few who have had this fortune, and clearly there was good reason for Brett Hestla (producer: Framing Hanley, Dark New Day), Kato Khandwala (mixed: Breaking Benjamin) and Tom Baker (mastered: Sevendust, 10 Years) to commit their time to Signum A.D.‘s first album, The Unsilenced.

The kickass Kansas quartet made sure that they followed the inclination of important first impressions, and in that casem I say, “Welcome to the party Signum A.D.” The Unsilenced starts off with a short, twisted instrumental, titled “The Calling,” that serves as a precursor to the emotion and strength behind the entire record.

The following track “Walls That Falls” has all the makings of a radio hit, and to me, could easily serve as the album’s first single. Caution, well written lyrics and an intense guitar riff serving as the backbone of this musical animal may cause you to have this song stuck in your head for days. The album doesn’t lighten up on badass rock ‘n’ roll after that. “Free,” “At the Seams,” and “Sad But Not Forgotten” simply add to the albums rock ‘n’ roll strength. The albums strength is Hercules strong; especially considering it’s their first album.

The lyrics are pristine, and they have a range from kicking your ass with growling screams to stealing your girlfriend by serenading her with acoustic-accompanied whispers. This range is on top of the drums and guitar creating a unique sound without sounding like they’re trying too hard. They’re just kicking your ass with their own feeling and sound. I wouldn’t just suggest this album and band to my fellow rock ‘n’ rollers, but I beg and plead you to check them out and give your dirty little rockstar eardrums a little treat with Signum A.D.‘s The Unsilenced.

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The The Ghosts of Laura Palmer - Blackbird

The The Ghosts of Laura Palmer - Blackbird

The The Ghosts of Laura Palmer

Album title: Blackbird
By Geert Driver
Posted: Mar 2011
Label: SFP Recordings
(2753) Page Views

Twin Peaks creator David Lynch should be proud. The eclectic director, best known for his quirky films (Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Lost Highway, etc.) made history in the early 1990s when he created Twin Peaks with Mark Frost. The series followed the investigation of a brutal murder of the town’s homecoming queen, Laura Palmer. This series was so iconic that the question “who killed Laura Palmer” became synonymous with mystery, and made the show one of Time Magazine’s “best shows of all time.” Far from the series’ Northwest setting is Milwaukee, Wisconsin – home to two like-minded DJs whose affinity for deep soul and eclectic funk would eventually launch an edgy, ethereal project. Those DJs are Andy Gulotta and Mario R. Martin. Their moniker is “The Ghosts of Laura Palmer.”

There is a story here, as with most musical collaborations; a history if you will. Gulotta, a trained blues and jazz guitarist, had forever been linked to musical projects in and around the Milwaukee area. Most recently, Gulotta can be heard as one of the contributing guitarists for Will Phalen and The Stereo Addicts. His ear for the obscure is unparalleled, but more importantly, spot on. Martin, however, is a bit more elusive in this department. A trained pianist, Martin’s involvement with music was more on the corporate side. A former publicist for the record label Narada Records (Virgin/EMI North America), Martin learned more about how to market music than how to play it. Nonetheless, together the duo embarked on a short-lived instrumental project before Martin moved to Los Angeles, and Gulotta continued to contribute to projects in the Milwaukee area.

Let’s skip through any more back story though. Let’s forego any more info on Gulotta’s bands. Let’s refrain from any more on Martin’s publicity apex, Soulfunk Publicity. Enter: Blackbird.

Upon Martin’s prodigal return to the Midwest, he quickly reconnected with Gulotta to form what is currently known as The Ghosts of Laura Palmer. The duo set out to bring the most obscure classics to the mainstream. An avid record collector, Gulotta is a wealth of knowledge in the soul and funk genres. The duo shared affection for these genres. Martin pushed the duo to begin the project as a live venture. Playing a myriad of classics, the Ghosts would soon find their niche in analog soul and funk. Straying from what so many others would polish, the Ghosts would strip down sounds in order to present a pure analog sound unlike any other sound heard in and around the area.

Blackbird, named after the famed club located in Milwaukee’s eclectic Bay View neighborhood (and the first place the Ghosts performed live), represents an amazing collection of classics. It is as intriguing as it is seamless. Taking from an actual live set compiled by Gulotta himself, the limited edition record was one of the first times many of the tracks would ever be heard digitally. In an attempt to keep the authenticity of the sound, mastering would prove to be an arduous process through engineering and mixing analog sounds.

But what about the imagery, though? Martin, ever a fan of contradiction, refused to be pigeonholed into a look or feel. First, by choosing a name unrepresentative of a DJ duo, and later, by overseeing all aspects of art direction, Martin set out to stray from the passé and delve deeper into a look more reminiscent of black metal than soul. The result is a strangely cohesive concept that blends post-modern artistry with classic sounds.

Blackbird (from SFP Recordings, the first release under the umbrella of Martin’s own Soulfunk imprint) is a strong debut mix from a duo trained in the classics. They turned out a fresh take on old analog sounds having lived through musical highs and lows. The inclusion of staple tracks like “Working Day & Night” by Michael Jackson, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince, and “If There’s A Hell Below” by Curtis Mayfield keep those unfamiliar with the genre satiated. All the while, the Ghosts stay true to the concept of deep soul and quirky funk by utilizing tracks such as “Cosmic Slop” by Funkadelic and “You’re Going to Thank Me Woman” by Joe Tex. Other stand outs include tracks by Bogis Chimes and Bill Coday.

The Ghosts of Laura Palmer would make David Lynch proud. Carrying the torch for the brooding sounds that accompany visual concepts, the Ghosts succeed and fulfill their mantra (found on the back of the record): “Dedicated to the preservation of soul, the protection of funk and the shaking of asses.” Once again, David Lynch would be proud.

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New People - Impossible Things

New People - Impossible Things

New People

Album title: Impossible Things
By John Noyd
Posted: Feb 2011
Label: self-release
(6030) Page Views

Comprised of Blamm-O bassist Matt Ackerman on guitar and Madison Lint guitarist Mark Lint on bass splitting the singing and songwriting duties, plus Ghost Town Council drummer Nate Pinney supplying a well-oiled pulse in addition to vocals and a few tunes; the silky smooth, square-jawed and sardonic New People distill years playing various combinations of indie-rock, power-pop and alt-country to concoct the unlikely delights of their sweetly scathing sophomore effort, “Impossible Things.” Clean, crisp and undeniably feisty, this contradictory Madison-based trio apply faux-ska new wave riffs and pleasingly teasing harmonies to sly, wry pop-rock etiquette occasionally dipping into darkly-colored romance and pompous arena-rock stomps for some tight, contrite swashbuckling swagger blissfully reminiscent of nineties sensations Semisonic, clean-cut cult-poppers Shoes and choirboy jangle rockers the dB’s.

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Eye Empire - Moment of Impact

Eye Empire - Moment of Impact

Eye Empire

Album title: Moment of Impact
By Aaron Manogue
Posted: Feb 2011
Label:
(3078) Page Views

Every once in a while there comes an album, a band, a sound, that makes you take a moment to thank your respective higher power for bringing your ears such enjoyment. Well ladies and gentlemen, grab your bibles, your sacred scripts, call your priests, rabbis, or just call a friend; it’s time to give thanks for what Eye Empire has graced our rock ‘n’ roll eardrums with, in their new album, Moment of Impact.

The first track “I Pray” showcases everything the band has to offer. Donald Carpenter (Submersed) has a powerfully impressive vocal range that is clearly evident throughout the track. Carpenter’s vocal range is accompanied perfectly by B.C. Kochmit’s heavy riffs and Corey Lowery’s (both formerly of Dark New Day) whole-hearted bass. This track exclaims that Eye Empire is here, and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Next comes one of the many highlights on the album, “Bull in a China Shop.” The song is extremely heavy, catchy, and kicks your ass, but most of all it’s good, hard metal. The song starts out with a recording of actor Mel Gibson’s character Riggs from Lethal Weapon screaming, “Well, what do you wanna hear man? Do you wanna hear that sometimes I think about eatin’ a bullet? Huh? Well I do!” Then Carpenter’s “hellish” metal scream begs you to get up and move, destroying everything in your path. Could a metal song have a more of a badass intro? The guitar solo in the song is extremely unique and gives us all just a taste of Kochmit’s immense talent.

“Victim” features guest vocals by Sevendust lead man Lajon Witherspoon, who is joined by fellow Sevendust member Morgan Rose.  Rose also recorded the drums on the album. This fact is one more tidbit that makes any metal fan smile.

The biggest thing that sticks out to me about Eye Empire is their extremely diverse ability to go from pure, unfiltered metal to slower songs such as “Reason,” “Feels Like I’m Falling,” and “Last One Home.” They go from kicking your ass to a bloody pulp in the mosh-pit, straight to stealing your girlfriend with a sound that you wouldn’t think could come from the same band. Their ability is evident and their potential is immeasurable. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Eye Empire.

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ill Nino - Dead New World

ill Nino - Dead New World

ill Nino

Album title: Dead New World
By Aaron Manogue
Posted: Feb 2011
Label: Victory Records
(2425) Page Views

The year 2010 has been filled with a lot of high quality albums and new music in the hard rock and metal scene. This standard was expected from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Deftones, but one of the most delightful surprises is the latest release Dead New World by Ill Nino. Whether you coin the band nu metal or Latin metal (to each his own), I call it purely unique ass-kicking metal.

Ill Nino has consistently been known for being one of the most unique sounds in metal with the use of Dave Chavarri and Daniel Couto’s mixture of drums and Latin percussion. This use of percussion is the epitome of a signature sound that most bands would kill for. In the album Dead New World, nothing has changed.

“God is Only for the Dead” announces loud and clear that the sextet is here to gouge your ears with metal bliss and insane energy. The addictive chorus sets the tone for the majority of the album, followed soon after by another tune you’ll have cemented in your head for days, “The Art of War.” The entire song is just plain fun to listen to and is spontaneous, yet rhythmic all the same. The guitar work by Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco is pristinely recognizable and furious and something any metal fan will immediately recognize and cherish.

The brightest spot on the album is the track “Mi Revolucion.” All of the ingredients that have gone into forming the masterpiece that is Ill Nino are evident.  Insane drumbeats, masterful vocals, riffs that are as hard as they are loud, all tied together with a little Latin soul.  Mix them together and you have Dead New World.

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Girl Talk - All Day

Girl Talk - All Day

Girl Talk

Album title: All Day
By John Noyd
Posted: Feb 2011
Label: Illegal Art
(2486) Page Views

A digitalized Dagwood discotheque where classic rock, R&B, and new wave craziness mingles with hip-hop, synthetic-pop and Top Forty one-hit wonders, Pittsburgh DJ and mash-up master Gregg Gillis’ latest winning surgical synergy, All Day, sandwiches hooks, beats, and soaring choruses. In doing so, they create a cluttered cultural confluence that reflects post-millennial overload onto savvy ADD fantasies. These translate the glittering litter of action-packed nostalgia into instantly irresistible dance floor fodder. Decades are compressed and trends are second-guessed as conscripted riffs jump through hoops of loops.  All the while, sorted styles get recast and rewired. Available as a free download on his label’s site, which also includes a jaw-dropping list of the artists Gillis sliced and diced, Girl Talk mixes and mashes his hyperbolic magic March 7th at Madison’s Orpheum Theater.

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20 Reasons Taken - Through This Fight

20 Reasons Taken - Through This Fight

20 Reasons Taken

Album title: Through This Fight
By Sal Serio
Posted: Feb 2011
Label: 20 Reasons Taken/Sidekick Entertainment
(2233) Page Views

Milwaukee area poppy hard-rockers, 20 Reasons Taken, have just put out their third release, Through This Fight. While the group sometimes brings a hip-hop element to their jams, this CD is all rock ‘n’ roll.

The eight songs featured define the pop-rock manifesto of concise, no-frills arrangements. Hyper-pulsed drumming and layered guitar tracks punctuate their crunchy new rock sound, which is driven by vocalist Mison Bones’ emotive singing. At times, Bones’ vocalizing brings to mind some surprising associations to the bygone pop rock/new wave era.

Bones and his three tunesmith co-conspirators take a more sensitive approach to their music via real singing (rather than screaming), intelligent and thought provoking lyrics, staccato rhythms, galloping yet shifting tempos, and tasty lead guitar fills that avoid the typical metal shredding cliché. The music still sounds tough even given the more tempered edge that their brand of hard rock displays. A solid recording, mixing, and mastering job by Whit at DNA Studios brings all of these unique qualities shimmering to the surface of Through This Fight ’s listening experience.

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Reckless Ones - Set the World on Fire

Reckless Ones - Set the World on Fire

Reckless Ones

Album title: Set the World on Fire
By Kaleb Bronson
Posted: Feb 2011
Label:
(3889) Page Views

Some may say that Rockabilly is dead, but the riotous Reckless Ones, hailing from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) have proven that statement wrong. Their second album release of die-hard rock ‘n’ roll and Rockabilly/Psychobilly vibes knocks out the competition with an upright-bass-left-hook.

They launched onto the Twin Cities Rockabilly scene in 2009 and have since taken control of it, packing clubs and venues while creating a wave of new bands to follow suit. After touring globally and showing the world with their name, the Reckless Ones returned to record Set the World on Fire . This is the band’s second album of Psychobilly slaughterhouse goodness. Frontman Kevin O’Leary’s 1950s styled growls penetrate and soothe throughout. Dylan Patterson’s knock-down, stand-up drum-kit slams, and Adam Boatright’s thunderously arousing upright bass gather a complete comprisal format for this trio of style, renegade pursuits, and gracious gnarls. 

Set the World on Fire starts out with a fiery inferno pushing the threesome forward, titled “Summer Streets,” which shows off the abundance of skill the band has acquired since the initial launch. The record has a structure that holds it as one piece and does not let the mind wander off of the greased societal tracks. One heavier focus the trio took on this album was the romantic approach, which dove back in time to Rockabilly. Not as many current Psychobilly bands offer this approach, but Reckless Ones do not fear the repercussions, and they shouldn’t. The gracefulness, yet rowdy-slickness of tracks such as “Country Bars,” “Nothin,’” and “Go On and Tell Her” offer a thick aspect of love, without the sloppy-seconds of sound.

As the albums progresses, the darkness settles in to shake things up a bit with “Sleepwalker,” the gratifying doom of the album. The lyrical content matches what Glenn Danzig would have offered with the Misfits during the glory days of punk rock, except Reckless Ones slow it down enough to swing to, or possibly with, a corpse. These Grimm Tales follow as the album continues, but the pace increases like “Road Warrior” straight out of the 1981 sequel to “Mad Max.”

“One Knife for You” slashes into the eardrums with a bloody splatter of celebration spread over the entire track. A slam-pit or car-hop would enjoy the quickness of this song. “What can I say I couldn’t take it anymore,” O’Leary spouts off, warning his enemies within the track, while the musical backdrop intimidates all who surround these Reckless Ones. The end of the album calms all listening to have a sit down track known as “Tender Nights,” which Carl Perkins would have appreciated in his final days. This mellowing cloud of musical sediment rains over the listeners to absorb after the album finishes.

Set the World on Fire has a sacrificial edge, perfectly puckered poise, and a grizzly growling sound straight from a 1958 Buick LeSabre. Reckless Ones have transferred sounds through many unchained musical levels, but they still remain dedicated to creating pure rock ‘n’ roll.

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Joseph Huber - Bury Me Where I Fall

Joseph Huber - Bury Me Where I Fall

Joseph Huber

Album title: Bury Me Where I Fall
By Kaleb Bronson
Posted: Jan 2011
Label:
(3659) Page Views

Mellowing his soul from the hyped engine of the .357 String Band, Joseph Huber calms his mind and tells the tales of darkness, doom, and salvation on newest LP.

Huber is known for his speed banjo skills and fireball lyrics but on this album, his first solo record, he offers a new eagle’s nest to view the world from. Bury Me Where I Fall is a digestible yet apocalyptic album of backwoods trails and the notion of life’s battlefield. Huber takes his high voltage from a ten to two and it works like clockwork. From the self-titled introduction song, “Bury Me Where I Fall” to the closing song “The Ancient Lake,” Huber keeps the level simple but offers something that most musicians no longer have: style. He offers a shovel full of dirt to throw on the walking dead, which most of humanity has become.

Like a hymnal in an abandoned church, Huber summons a soothing rapport to soothe the savage beast known as man with the lyrics “And so I go where the trees [are] like ghosts.” These lyrics from the opening track show the depth of this bearded man of mystery. As the album continues, he adds instrumental value from guitar to banjo to harmonica and beyond. This instrumentation makes it obvious that a high level of skill was bound together for the record. The darkened theme of the album opens the gates of doom and shines a small light inside so others can see through the fog. During “Bell on a Rope,” Huber shows that he will not be held down in a grave, he will pull himself from the ground and triumph above it all.

The entire album is perfectly played on a porch, fireplace, or road trip for a wandering soul of mischief. The album itself is rather quick, but it can be played on repeat for hours. His lyrics are pulled from the depths of eternity and resonate across the desolate land. The album progressively grows stronger and never gets stale.

“Downtime” is a song that is made for the American working man. The track is a tale of traveling and having the extra minutes to rethink living life. “Searching round, trying to find one goddamn familiar face,” Huber bellows with meaning. Later saying, “It’s funny how my own songs come out to haunt me.” This singer/songwriter has leveled his musical accomplishments with this album and created something to be proud of and hold above a majority of the musical realm.

“Can’t you see the Floods A-Coming” has a raw vinyl taste, like he met Robert Johnson near the crossroads of the Dockery Plantation to be transformed. Joseph Huber has gotten to a point which offers the meaning of life and tells it through a glorious soundtrack. Huber’s record is a reminder of where humans walk, where society will end up, and where music can portray existence.

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The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentleman, The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones - Ladies & Gentleman, The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

Album title: Ladies & Gentleman, The Rolling Stones
By Michael Sherer
Posted: Jan 2011
Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
(2152) Page Views

It’s hard to believe that the Rolling Stones have been around for 49 years. For me, they were certainly at their peak in the early ‘70s, which coincided with the era that talented guitarist Mick Taylor was with them. He joined in ‘69, replacing the recently fired Brain Jones, who shortly after being sacked drowned in his swimming pool under questionable circumstances. This was quite a tumultuous time for the band, and one which saw them mature and renew themselves.

In ‘72 they had recently released their double album “Exile On Main Street,” which was a reference to them leaving their native England to record in the south of France to avoid paying a huge tax percentage of their sizable earnings back home. They wound up recording in the basement of the home that Keith Richards was renting. They used their then new and highly coveted mobile recording console.

The footage on this finely restored and remastered DVD was filmed over four nights in Texas on their ‘72 tour to support “Exile.” It was screened in theaters in ‘74, and premiered at the most elegant and large theater in NYC, the Ziegfeld, on April 15. (Coincidentally the deadline for having U.S. taxes post dated by.)

This footage sees the Jagger swagger at his energetic and agile best. He struts, moves and dances all over the place. It’s always interesting to juxtapose this activity to that of original bassist Bill Wyman, who hardly moved at all. For the most part, the majority of the energy from the Stones emanates from Jagger, as the others can’t come close to keeping up with him, especially while being attached to their instruments.

The previous year saw them releasing what I consider their best record ever, Sticky Fingers. Horns and piano were featured on it, and that was all in tow for their ‘72 tour. It was a refreshing addition, bringing R&B elements to their rip roaring, bluesy rock & roll.

There’s some fun bonus footage included, which consists of tour rehearsal excerpts from Montreux and two interviews with Jagger. One is from ‘72, for the Britain based Old Whistle Test show. The other was filmed just last year, 38 years later.

I don’t know who came up with the slogan “The World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band” for the Stones. Perhaps it was initially self promotion coined by themselves. Whatever the case is, this footage from ten years into their life makes this grand statement ring true. They were not too long into a new period where they had truly found and honed their own voice and visual persona. (Their beginnings found them being essentially a blues cover band.) Yet, they were still hungry, lean and mean enough to have the vigor and freshness that’s so elusive for a band that stays together for what has seemed like eternity for quite some time. Ah, to be young again…

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