Record Reviews

CREAM GOODBYE TOUR – LIVE 1968

4CD Live Box Set

 BY HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2020 

Cream was a shambling circus of diverse personalities who happened to find that catalyst together….. any one of us could have played

Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

unaccompanied for a good length of time. So you put the three of us together in front of an audience willing to dig it limitles

sly, we could have gone on forever…. And we did….just going for the moon every time we played.”–Eric Clapton

The Universal Music Enterprises record label in March 2020 will release the 4-CD, special edition of Cream’s Goodbye Tour Live 1968. The collection assembles 36 tracks, including 29 making their first appearance on CD, recorded during Cream’s farewell tour of the US in October 1968 and their final UK date at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 26th of that same year. 

There are a total of 19 previously unissued tracks, and a further 10 selections from the Royal Albert Hall show, which have only ever been available on DVD.  

On its original release in February 1969, Goodbye, which combined live performances from their last tour dates with a handful of studio recordings, earned a UK No. 1 slot and achieved a No. 2 position on the US Billboard chart.  Continue reading

Songs For Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix Now Out

Hendrix Final Album, Band of Gypsys, Celebrated with Remastered 50th Anniversary Vinyl Editions due March 27th     

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020 

Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, released Songs For Groovy Children: The

The Band Of Gypsys featuring Jimi Hendrix, on stage at the Fillmore East, New York, NY January 1, 1970. Courtesy of Authentic Hendrix

Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix, on CD and digital this past November, with a vinyl configuration that was issued December 13th

This collection assembles all four historic debut concerts by the legendary guitarist in their original performance sequence. The 5 CD or 8 vinyl set boasts over two dozen tracks that have either never before been released commercially or have been newly pressed and newly remixed. 

Over the course of four extraordinary years, Jimi Hendrix placed his indelible stamp upon popular music with breathtaking velocity.  Measured alongside his triumphs at Monterey Pop and Woodstock, Hendrix’s legendary Fillmore East concerts illustrated a critical turning point in a radiant career filled with indefinite possibilities.

The revolutionary impact Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles had upon the boundaries and definitions of rock, R&B, and funk can be traced to four concerts over the course of two captivating evenings.  

These performances were first celebrated by Band of Gypsys, which featured six songs from the two January 1, 1970 concerts, including “Machine Gun,” the album’s dramatic centerpiece. Issued in April 1970, Band of Gypsys challenged and surprised the wide following of Jimi Hendrix with its extended arrangements and vibrant mix of rock and soul. 

In June of 1969, at the height of their fame, The Jimi Hendrix Experience closed a musical chapter.  Before the shockwaves could settle, Hendrix assembled a new, expanded ensemble to perform at Woodstock in August. A new chapter was opened as Hendrix introduced Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.  The large ensemble included Jimi’s longtime friend Billy Cox, on bass, whom he had befriended when both were serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky in 1962.   Continue reading

Walk, Don’t Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures

At the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Ca.  December 7, 2019-August 3, 2020

  By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

Sixty years after the release of their first hit, “Walk, Don’t Run,” the Ventures are considered the most influential, best-selling instrumental

Courtesy of Fiona Taylor

 

band in rock and roll history. To showcase the group’s impact on pop culture, guitar players, and their worldwide fan base, the Grammy Museum® in Los Angeles, California has just announced Walk, Don’t Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures, a new exhibit showcasing original items from the group’s six-decade career including instruments, tour programs, never-before-seen photos, vinyl, and more. 

The exhibit will open on Dec. 7, and will run until Aug. 3, 2020.

On Jan. 9, musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (who has been associated with the Ventures since the 1980’s and has done recordings with them over the years), Fiona Taylor (Mel Taylor’s widow and band manager), and other special guests to be announced soon will be at the museum to discuss stories behind the exhibit with Scott Goldman in the Clive Davis Theater.

“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to the Ventures at the Grammy Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, founding member of the band. “I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being the Ventures.  We continue to do that, even today.” Continue reading

The Kinks Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire

50th Anniversary Edition Now Out on BMG & ABKCO Formats: Deluxe Box Set, 2LP, 2CD & Digital

By HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2019 

To mark its 50th anniversary, The Kinks today announce a special release of Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire released

Album Cover Courtesy of BMG

last October 25th on BMG & ABKCO, the Kinks 7th studio album is one of the greatest rock albums ever made, a near perfect example of Ray Davies’ incredible storytelling ability in what was an innovation in 1969: a concept album. It’s also poignant that a record based on the story of emigrating from the UK around its potential to enter the Common Market should hit its 50th anniversary right now. With Brexit on the horizon, the themes of Arthur ring alarmingly familiar.

Arthur received unanimous acclaim on its release. Each of its 12 original album tracks is an absolute gem and all perfect examples of Ray Davies’ intrinsic ability to weave a story around a song. In what was a golden period for the Kinks, Arthur followed another classic, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society when it was released on October 10th 1969.

In the midst of the Arthur sessions, studio time was devoted to completing tracks for Dave Davies’ proposed solo album. The idea had progressed in staggered intervals since the initial success of Dave’s 1967 single, “Death Of a Clown” but, ultimately, never reached completion. Continue reading

James Taylor: The Warner Bros. Albums 1970-1976

Linda Ronsdadt 1969-1974  

Chris Darrow The Real-To-Reel

By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

On July 19th, music journalists, record reviewers, writers, online bloggers, influencers, radio programmers and deejays started touting and

Photo Courtesy of Rhino/WMG

praising the 50th anniversary of James Taylor’s landmark Sweet Baby James album that is housed with five other Taylor titles as both 6-CD and 180-gram, 6-LP sets, as well as digitally. The Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976.   

Potential chroniclers and targeted consumers for this Taylor package that implements Sweet Baby James, nominated for two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, should know additional information and regional facts pertaining to this landmark SBJ disc, the nascent Southern California folk and country-rock genre, and Linda Ronstadt’s 1969-1974 touring and album repertoire multi-instrumentalist Chris Darrow unselfishly helped establish and develop.  

I recently glanced at James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away, the first definitive biography of the singer-songwriter by Timothy White published in 2001. A writer and critically acclaimed author, White was editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine from 1991 until 2002. 

I was miffed that noted songwriter Chris Darrow, a co-founder in 1966 of the influential eclectic psychedelic world beat band Kaleidoscope and a contributing force in creating the 1968-1972 SoCal folk and country rock/soft rock sound in Sweet Baby James mentioned only as “a nifty fiddle player.”   Continue reading