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.
John Hackett is no stranger to duo records, as "Sketches Of Satie" might suggest, yet if that one saw him interpreting classical oeuvre in the company of a certain sibling, the album the renown flautist is to issue via Esoteric Antenna on October 12th with guitarist Nick Fletcher inhabits a prog-rock domain. Picking up where JOHN HACKETT BAND’s "We Are Not Alone" left off – although the two musicians found their special rappiort much earlier, having already released two joint CDs – “Beyond The Stars” will add some heaviness to adventurous moves; that’s why there are drummer Wayne Proctor, last heard on KING KING’s "Exile And Grace", and six-string bassist Simon Hall to help create a well-rounded sound on eight songs and one instrumental which often veer away from the work’s principal genre to draw on symphony and jazz. While, in Hackett’s words, it’s not a concept album per se, it has particular themes running through, especially of travel – whether in a car, on a ship or hurtling through space.
The labyrinthine story of Welsh rockers MAN is a convincing testament to their persistence and ability to retain the ensemble’s original shtick no matter what – and no wonder that fans believe in it. That’s why, perhaps, the veterans’ new release – 2CD and DVD recorded on-stage in Stuttgart on March 10th, 2016 and available separately from September 14th, 2018 – is titled “Faith.” It features songs, more than half of this set, from the group’s 2015 offering – their first in nine years – “Reanimated Memories” as well as classic material. Looks like it’s the group’s last recording with keyboard player Phil Ryan, who would die soon thereafter yet…