T Rex – The Slider Vinyl Review

March 12th 2017 – and I’m reviewing ‘The Slider’ whilst prepping Sunday lunch for our family. The album has been released on 180g vinyl by Demon Records, and this I quickly note, is a limited edition release – so grab a copy whilst you can.

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First thing I learnt – the photo on the front cover – the sleeve notes tell me the picture was taken by Ringo Starr. I love useless trivia like that, could well come up in a quiz one day.
The album kicks off with ‘Metal Guru’ – which sounds as if it could be been recorded yesterday, but unbelievably it’s 45 years old now! ‘Telegram Sam’ is another recognisable hit on this album.

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Status Quo – Back on Vinyl (Part 3)

You may have seen Parts 1 and 2 of our Status Quo vinyl reviews – here’s a chance to take a look at Part 3.  Look out for more vinyl reviews right here – as well as the usual sport etc, all on http://www.sportonfreeviewuk.wordpress.com

The Party Ain’t Over Yet Vinyl Review

2005… and Status Quo hit the cobbles of the infamous Coronation Street!  All around the time of the release of ‘The Party Ain’t Over Yet’, Quo’s 27th studio album, now available in a fantastic 2 LP set from Demon Records, with brilliant yellow discs which look great.

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‘The Party Ain’t Over Yet’ is the first track, and one of the singles from the LP, and it had a great run in the UK charts, reaching number 11!  I like it, it’s classic Quo, as is Track 2, ‘Gotta Get Up and Go’.  One of my other favourites from LP1 is ‘Bellavista Man’.  ‘All That Counts is Love’ was the second single from the album, reaching number 29 in the charts and is also on LP1.

Twelve years on, the album sounds even better than on its first release.  I perhaps didn’t give it the respect it deserved and was perhaps critical when the album first came out, but those opinions were unfair.  I think the main reason for that was because I was comparing the album to Quo’s 2002 release ‘Heavy Traffic’ – which for me, is up there as one of their best.  And, with any film or book sequel, or television follow-on, it’s human nature to draw comparisons.

Side 2 on LP1 is an absolute cracker.  Rick Parfitt stands out on vocals on ‘Familiar Blues’ and ‘Bellavista Man’.  There may be only 3-4 tracks per side, so a lot of getting up to turn over the record – but the sound quality on this Demon vinyl release makes this worthwhile, it’s outstanding.

Track Listing:

The Party Ain’t Over Yet (Vinyl) – Demon Music Group
http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/catalogue/releases/party-aint-yet-vinyl/

LP1

  1. The Party Ain’t Over Yet
  2. Gotta Get Up And Go
  3. All That Counts Is Love
  4. Familiar Blues
  5. The Bubble
  6. Bellavista Man

LP2

  1. Nevashooda
  2. Velvet Train
  3. Goodbye Baby
  4. You Never Stop
  5. Kick Me When I’m Down
  6. Cupid Stupid
  7. This Is Me

 

Graham Nash – This Path Tonight Review

Graham Nash – This Path Tonight
Graham Nash is now 75… formerly a member of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nash has just released his first studio album in fourteen years (his last album was in 2002 with ‘Songs for Survivors’).

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I came across Graham Nash recently on Freeview channel Vintage TV. He was a guest on Vintage TV’s ‘The Friday Night Rock Show’ and was promoting his new album ‘This Path Tonight’, with an interview as well as some very impressive acoustic performances too – it left me wanting to hear the album in full.
Ten tracks in total – starting off with the title track ‘This Path Tonight’ which is a brilliant start to the record. The album is 42 minutes in total. Another favourite of mine is ‘Myself at Last’, with amazing lyrics and a brilliant acoustic sound. ‘Cracks in the City’ is another gem on this record.

Great to hear Nash come back into the limelight to record this.  The songs sound meaningful – Nash clearly still has something to say.  I hope we will get to get another work in the near future.  Chris

Tracks:
This Path Tonight
Myself at Last
Cracks in the City
Beneath The Waves
Fire Down Below
Another Broken Heart
Target
Golden Days
Back Home
Encore

Vinyl Review – Average White Band

Time now for another vinyl review courtesy of Demon Records.  This time, we’re looking at Average White Band – and their ‘Access All Areas’ vinyl release.

From Demon: The Average White Band, a group of Scotsmen playing American soul and funk music, came together in the late Sixties and topped the US chart in 1974. A version of the band led by bassist Alan Gorrie tours to this day while guitarist Hamish Stewart went on to be Paul McCartney’s musical right hand man. This hour-long TV showcase from the Rockstage series, filmed by Central Television at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal in 1980, catches the classic AWB line-up in their prime. It includes that years UK Number 12 dance smash ‘Let’s Go Round Again’, album title track ‘Atlantic Avenue’, transatlantic hit ‘Queen Of My Soul’ and much more.

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Chris: Was it really 1980 when ‘Let’s Go Round Again’ got to number 12 in the UK charts?  It sure was.  And right here, on this record, you can hear that classic, as well as more from the band’s back catalogue.  Seven tracks in total on this vinyl release (on the CD release there is nine tracks, so two tracks edited out for the vinyl release… you can see the full nine tracks at the You Tube link above).  ‘Our Time Has Come’ and ‘I’m The One’are the two tracks missing here sadly.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve not heard the band’s back catalogue before, it’s really ‘easy listening’.  Plenty of great, upbeat numbers, on hearing them, it’s surprising the band never achieved much chart success in this country.  The audio quality of this 1980 concert is good for its age.  Check it out today – a great little addition to your vinyl collection.

Track Listing:

  1. Atlantic Avenue
  2. When Will You Be Mine
  3. Cloudy
  4. Kiss Me
  5. Queen Of My Soul (which reached 23 in the UK charts in 1976)
  6. For You, For Love
  7. Let’s Go Round Again

Rick Astley Is Back!

Rick Astley is back – with a brand new album! Titled ‘50’, it’s a cracker – I’ve been lucky enough to be able to listen to it recently.

 

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When Rick Astley first hit the charts, I was just 5 or 6 – and to be honest, missed out on ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and the other Stock, Aitken and Waterman hits the first time around (my first ever record that I bought was Kylie Minogue’s ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, just a few months after Astley had been number one).

Rick dominated the charts… but I only discovered his music about fifteen years ago… when I found a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation had been released. Not only did I hear Astley’s 80’s gems, but also some of his 90’s work which is really good and sadly doesn’t tend to get much airplay (‘Never Knew Love’ is a great feel good song that deserves recognition).
Anyway, coming to present day and Astley is back, not only with a new album but a massive worldwide tour to go with it too.

 

‘Keep Singing’ was the first single to be released, and it’s the first track on this album.  It’s a superb track to start things off, and you can see why it was picked as a single to get media attention to the rest of the tracks.  I like ‘Angels on My Side’, which was the second single to be released – then again, the quality continues to be good for the remaining ten tracks.  It’s a credit to Astley, and for me, it’s his best work to date.  I can only hope that we’ll get another album soon – it’s left me wanting to hear more!  Chris

 

Track Listing:

Keep Singing

Angels on My Side

Wish Away

This Old House

Pieces

Dance

I Like The Sun

Somebody Loves Me

Let It Rain

Pray With Me

Coming Home Tonight

Let It Be Tonight

Vinyl Review – Classic Rock Anthems

Classic Rock Anthems (Vinyl)

Thanks to Demon Records for sending over this release for me to review.  This compilation is exclusive to vinyl, and features two records full of classic tracks… twenty songs in total.

It’s been produced on 180g vinyl – I first played the record whilst hosting my Christmas show on BCB Radio in Bradford, and hearing ‘Starship’ and ‘We Built This City through the PA system in Studio 3 sounded absolutely brilliant!

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LP1

  1. Boston – More Than a Feeling
  2. Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
  3. Toto – Rosanna
  4. Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son
  5. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
  6. Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
  7. Mister – Broken Wings
  8. Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
  9. Cheap Trick – I Want You to Want Me (Live in Tokyo – Japan)
  10. REO Speedwagon – Keep on Loving You

 

As you can see, Disc 1 has five tracks on each side and there are some classics – typical of many rock compilations perhaps, but great to hear them together  on vinyl.

LP2

  1. Europe – The Final Countdown
  2. Ram Jam – Black Betty
  3. Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle
  4. Belinda Carlisle – Leave A Light On
  5. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
  6. Starship – We Built This City
  7. Alice Cooper – Poison
  8. Heart – Barracuda
  9. Patti Smith Group – Because the Night
  10. Blue Öyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

 

Unlike some compilation where the second disc loses some quality, this isn’t the case here – Patti Smith and Alice Cooper keep this compilation lively right to the very end.  Available from all good retailers, this is a must for any newcomers to vinyl, great for parties, etc.

Chris.

Album Review – Blue and Lonesome

The Rolling Stones – Blue and Lonesome

The Rolling Stones are back, with ‘Blue and Lonesome’!  It’s their first album since ‘A Bigger Bang’ which was released 11 years ago.

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And, before saying anything else, it’s a gem.

Let’s talk about the two tracks first that include Eric Clapton – these are tracks 6 and 12 on the album.  To hear Clapton on these is absolutely brilliant, an amazing collaboration.  Clapton was working in the studio next door and was persuaded to come on board for ‘Everybody Knows About My Good Thing’ and ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’.

It’s just over 40 minutes of raw, unpolished, blues covers – you see other artists that have reached their seventies and their studio efforts are over-edited, with vocal enhancements, etc – but this is the polar opposite.  The whole album was recorded in just 3 days!

Another favourite of mine is Track 11, ‘Just Like I Treat You’, an upbeat number that sounds like a Stones track from fifty years earlier!  ‘Just Your Fool’ is another of my recommendations – but the whole album is superb; I’ve lost count how many times I’ve played it already!

There’s 12 tracks in total on the album, I can only hope we get another Stones album.

How about another with blues covers… if the idea worked this time, it would work again?  There’s plenty of great blues tracks out there, waiting for a new audience to discover them.

 

Track Listing

  1. Just a Fool
  2. Commit a Crime
  3. Blue and Lonesome
  4. All of Your Love
  5. I Gotta Go
  6. Everybody Knows About My Good Thing
  7. Ride ‘Em On Down
  8. Hate To See You Go
  9. Hoo Doo Blues
  10. Little Rain
  11. Just Like I Treat You
  12. I Can’t Quit You Baby

 

Blue and Lonesome is out now and available from all good stockists.

Chris

Vinyl Review – Asia

Access All Areas – Asia (Vinyl Picture Disc)
Asia
Demon Records & Access All Areas have released a special range of limited edition Picture Discs – and we’re lucky enough to review some of the titles here.  Time for Asia…

 

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Rock history records Asia as the first supergroup of the Eighties, a leviathan that sold more than six million copies of its eponymous first album in little more than a year thanks to a combination of classic radio-friendly pop songs and virtuoso musicianship. Founder members John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Geoff Downes link with guitarist Pat Thrall to present a live greatest hits, from the three major singles – ‘Heat Of The Moment’, ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and ‘Sole Survivor’ – from their first album through to later highlights ‘Go’ and ‘Voice Of America’.
We’ve hand-picked some of the hardest rocking and most sort after performances and cut them to limited edition heavyweight picture discs. Each record will be limited to 500 copies worldwide and feature the hits and soaring moments from the live recordings in these very special collectors items.
Track Listing:
Sole Survivor
Voice Of America
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Only Time Will Tell
Don’t Cry
Days Like These
The Heat Goes On
Go
Heat Of The Moment

The album is also available on Spotify and also in a CD/DVD set, both have four tracks not featured on the vinyl – Wildest Dreams, Time Again, Prayin’ For a Miracle, and Open Your Eyes – it’s a shame, Wildest Dreams has not been included, it’s a good track.
The full Central Television concert has been uploaded to You Tube by Demon Records, click here to watch.
‘Sole Survivor’ pops up first – and it’s an loud and upbeat start to the record – a catchy track and for me, probably the best out of the eight you can hear. ‘Don’t Cry’ was Asia’s biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 33 in August 1983, spending five weeks in the charts. It’s memorable, and a chorus that stays with you, this live version is good too.
Speaking of Asia UK chart singles (there were only four of them), ‘Only Time Will Tell’ only reached number 54 in the UK charts back in 1982 – which seems a little harsh, but the charts back then were so competitive. In the same week ‘Only Time Will Tell’ reached 54, Billy Idol was at number 58 with ‘Hot in the City’… a brilliant song which didn’t get any higher in the charts.
‘The Smile Has Left Your Eyes’ is a slower affair, as is ‘Voice of America’.
‘Go’ is another song full of life – which ends Side 2 and our flashback 25 years or so in time. Another interesting addition to the ‘Access All Areas’ series – if you’re an ‘Asia’ fan already, then you don’t need me to tell you this is a release well worth picking up.
Asia – Access All Areas has been released by Demon Records and is available from all good record stockists.

Album Review – Sting

57th and 9th (Sting)

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And so, Sting is back – with his new album ‘57th and 9th  – it’s 37 minutes long in total, and the album really does have a ‘fresh’ sound to it.

There’s a good reason for that – It’s Sting’s first album for three years…  and it kicks off with ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’, which for me is the best track out of the ten featured here; probably because out of the 10, it’s the one that sounds like a track that ‘The Police’ could have created and performed maybe 35 years ago.  A song that sounds just as fresh even after listening to it numerous times – a great start to the new LP.

Below is a performance from BBC2’s ‘Later with Jools Holland’ of ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ – a great live performance of this track which I sadly missed when it was first on TV.

The first half of the album is a more upbeat affair – the mood of the LP becomes perhaps a little sombre towards the end; nevertheless this is an enjoyable record…  especially for the fact that no two tracks are the same.  I’ve listened to the album twice in full now already – and it will certainly get more plays.

‘Down Down Down’ is another favourite of mine, and ‘Pretty Young Soldier’ becomes memorable quite easily too.  Available from all usual stockists – this is a great idea for Christmas… or if you can’t rely on Santa, go and treat yourself to it 🙂  Chris

Track Listing:

I Can’t Stop Thinking About You

50,000

Down, Down, Down

One Fine Day

Pretty Young Soldier

Petrol Head

Heading South on the Great North Road

If You Can’t Love Me

Inshallah

The Empty Chair

My copy of the Sting album ’57th and 9th’ was complimentary but all views are my own.

Vinyl Review – Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash – Access All Areas

The twin lead guitar sound of Wishbone Ash influenced bands from Thin Lizzy to Iron Maiden and 

beyond, their third album ‘Argus’ a Seventies classic. The year of 1987 saw a reunion of the original 

Ash lineup and this 20th anniversary concert was staged at the Colston Hall, Bristol, two years later. 

Drummer Steve Upton, bassist Martin Turner and guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell attack a 

mix of well loved early tracks and new material with equal panache, celebrating the first 

20 years of a British rock institution that continues today.

Vinyl Track Listing:

  1. Real Guitars Have Wings
  2. The King Will Come
  3. Why Don’t We
  4. Blowin’ Free
  5. Blind Eye
  6. Lady Whiskey
  7. Sometime World
  8. Phoenix
  9. Jailbait

The vinyl records, released by Demon Records has nine tracks; the CD has eleven tracks (Cosmic Jazz and Keeper of the Light are missing from the vinyl version).

There is also the original video footage of this concert available to watch on You Tube – this has been uploaded by Demon Music Group and is 51 minutes long in total, originally recorded for transmission on ITV circa 1989.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard any Wishbone Ash previously and I wasn’t expecting to like this album.  How wrong I was.  Phoenix was one of my favourites – but a short track, could have been so much longer.  Blowin’ Free and ‘Why Don’t We’ are really strong, lively numbers – these stand out for me.  Guitars sound fantastic on the recording – it’s a record to turn the volume up for!

Having heard this live concert, I’m going to have to try some of Wishbone Ash’s studio catalogue, it might sound completely different and I might not like that, but this concert is strong enough to make me want to hear more.

I played this LP on a cold November Friday afternoon – my 3 year daughter loved it too, dancing around, rocking away throughout!  See Chris, you may be 34, but plenty still to discover out there.

My LP of Wishbone Ash – Access All Areas was complimentary but all views are my own.

Chris