Sometimes it doesn’t matter what amount of talent is involved or how solid the players’ performance are, a record may remain unheard for ages, until it finally – if ever – sees the light of day. That’s what happened with the British band called DRY ICE who had existed in various incarnations since 1965 before, five decades ago, they laid down a self-titled album which was never released only to be left on the shelf. This could be one of many similar projects if not for its masterminds: guitarist Paul Gardner, who would go on to play bass on tour for acid-folk ensemble TREES before founding heavy proggers PLUTO, and drummer Terry Sullivan, most famous as a member of RENAISSANCE’s classic line-up. Continue reading →
They may have started out in 1966, yet it was two years later that BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST got a record deal and began what’s been lasting for five decades now. In order to mark the occasion, one of the band’s two fractions, led by guitarist John Lees, played a special concert in Manchester, at the Royal Northern College of Music, on May 6th, and the resulting recording is to be released on November 23rd, six months after the show. It was a one-off performance, with usual set list entries interspersed with rarer cuts dating back to the group’s early days and pieces that had never been played on-stage before. Continue reading →
As was suggested in my Facebook post three days ago, November 9th would be the date when THE BEATLES self-titled album, commonly known as “White Album” thanks to its absence of external artwork, is to see a 50th anniversary reissue. Ad was the case with “Sgt. Pepper” which was re-released last year, there’s a plethora of previously unavailable – although mostly known to bootleg collectors – pieces, but remastered stereo mix isn’t part of the celebration package: it’s been replaced with Giles Martin and Sam Okell’s remix, with the original mono version to be located on a super deluxe box’s Blu-ray, and yes, no DVD option here. The box contains 6CDs, while other formats are: 3 CDs or 4 LPs with stereo remix and Esher Demos, and 2 LPs with the remix. Of course, a mandatory book is also in the box, together with the reproduction of the 1968’s edition’s collage poster and four individual Beatles’ photos. Continue reading →
This year marks the 50th anniversary of YES but, sadly, the ensemble’s stalwart Chris Squire didn’t live to celebrate it, having passed away in 2015. Both the band and the man deserve paying homage to, and although the collective have seen a few tribute albums released in the last couple of decades, there’s a new one to be out soon – around the same time that the record in memory of the great late bassist will be issued.
One dedicated to the band is titled “Yesterday & Today” is scheduled for November 2nd; one dedicated to the man will be titled “A Life In Yes” and will hit the shelves on November 9th. The two tributes feature a stellar line-up of fellow players, including past and present members of the group’s extended family, such as keyboard players Geoff Downes, Tony Kaye, Tom Brislin and Patrick Moraz. And there are many more artists involved, so let’s take a closer look at what and who are on there. A pity cover artwork doesn’t match the cover versions, as the YES disc is likely to be confused with the quintet’s debut LP, and the Squire CD makes Chris difficult to recognize.
Upbeat: that’s how Maartin Allcock has always been. He may have gone on occasional rant about the state of the world affairs, but when it came to music, Maart was all about bringing pleasure to this mortal coil – on solo records, with JETHRO TULL and FAIRPORT CONVENTION albums, with MANCUNIA, the trio Allcock seemed so proud of, on Cat Stevens’ songs, including Yusuf’s latest LP. Sadly, he also proved to be mortal, and the veteran’s appearance at Cropredy last month turned out to be his final one. Maart planned it this way, though, having had announced he had terminal cancer, having had left social media and hoping to retire until the time would come to leave – which, Allcock said in his dignified public announcement, would be before next summer. And the time came on September 16th, when the 61-year-old artist passed away peacefully.
His contributions to folk-rock and other genres were immense, but to those outside it Maartin’s spirit should shine the brightest on a piece he co-penned with Robert Plant, “Colours Of A Shade” – where he also played basically all the instruments. Godspeed you, master.