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Archive for February 1st, 2013

Might As Well Jump? Rhino Offers Roth-Era Van Halen Albums in One Box

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VH Studio AlbumsIf you’re looking for a gift for a new (or maybe even an old) Van Halen fan, Rhino has you covered in March with the release of the band’s first six albums in one package.

The Studio Albums 1978-1984 is a no-frills package of VH’s first great era, all the albums released with original vocalist David Lee Roth at the helm. Featuring the now-immortal six-string styles of Eddie Van Halen, the devastating rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen and the clean production of Ted Templeman, this box is a crash course in killer pop-rock, from the strains of “Eruption” to MTV-ready hits “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher,” plus classic covers of The Kinks (“You Really Got Me”), Roy Orbison (“Pretty Woman”) and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas (“Dancing in the Street”).

Roth, of course, famously went solo shortly after 1984; Sammy Hagar famously took the vocal reins until 1996, when Roth returned for a greatest-hits package. Gary Cherone of Extreme sang on one album, Van Halen III (1998), and Hagar took them through another round of touring (and another hits set) from 2003 to 2005, after which he and Anthony both left the band. In 2006, Roth returned with new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie’s son) to tour the world; in 2012, this lineup released a new album, A Different Kind of Truth. (WHEW!)

All discs in the package are presumably sourced from Chris Bellman’s digital remasters from 2000, so if you’ve got those, you’ve probably no reason to upgrade. But if somehow you’ve gone this long without owning these? Then a) What the heck, I thought we were pals, and b) get them now! The box is available March 26 in the U.S. and February 25 in the U.K. – pre-order it here (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.).

The Studio Albums 1978-1984 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013)

Disc 1: Van Halen (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3075, 1978)

Disc 2: Van Halen II (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3312, 1979)

Disc 3: Women and Children First (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3415, 1980)

Disc 4: Fair Warning (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3540, 1981)

Disc 5: Diver Down (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3677, 1982)

Disc 6: 1984 (originally released as Warner Bros. LP 23985, 1984)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 1, 2013 at 14:39

Jewel to Issue First Hits Compilation Next Week

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Jewel Greatest HitsRhino will release the first-ever compilation by country/pop singer-songwriter Jewel next Tuesday.

Known for her unique voice and lyrical style and oft-repeated backstory – an Alaska-raised talent who famously honed her skills in West Coast coffeehouses, often while living out of her van – Jewel burst onto the scene with 1995’s Pieces of You, which spun off three hit singles including the Grammy-nominated “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games” (the latter two of which peaked at No. 2). Ultimately, the album moved 12 million copies, and Jewel was nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist.

In the late ’90s and early ’00s, Jewel continued finding success with the right mix of countrified pop, honed by killer producers like Patrick Leonard and Dann Huff. She perhaps turned heads the most – if not inspiring as much record sales – with 2003’s 0304, an all-pop record that spun-off the club-ready “Intuition,” known for its humorous video sending up the MTV-ready performers of the time.

Jewel’s continued to put out country-pop records, and even ventured into music for kids with Lullaby (2009), and this single-disc compilation surveys that whole run up to now. In addition to 13 of her most beloved singles (some of which feature in their original single mixes, rather than the more common LP versions), she’s cut a new single, “Two Hearts Breaking,” and re-recorded two of her earliest smashes as group efforts. The new “You Were Meant for Me” features Miranda Lambert’s side group Pistol Annies while the re-recorded “Foolish Games” is a duet with American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

Available next Tuesday, February 5, you can pre-order the set and view the full track list after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 1, 2013 at 12:30

Posted in Compilations, Jewel, News

Review: The Miles Davis Quintet, “The Bootleg Series Volume 2: Live in Europe 1969”

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Miles Davis - Bootleg 2“Directions in music by Miles Davis,” read the subtitle of the trumpeter’s late-1968 Columbia album Filles de Kilimanjaro.  It was the first, but not the last, of his albums to bear those words.  But listeners couldn’t have been expected to know which direction Davis would take with each album.  Nefertiti, recorded in June-July 1967 but released in March 1968, turned out to be Davis’ last fully acoustic LP, with its follow-up Miles in the Sky (recorded January and May ’68 and released in September) introducing electric piano, electric bass and electric guitar into the mix.  In addition to marking the beginning of Davis’ explorations with those textures, though, Miles in the Sky also marked the fifth and final album by his Second Great Quintet: Davis, Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums).  While all five gentlemen played on Filles, Dave Holland replaced Carter on two tracks, and Chick Corea replaced Hancock on the same two.  Those personnel changes would augur for the birth of a Third Great Quintet; this live unit would be established once Jack DeJohnette took over the drums from Williams.  The impressive line-up of Davis, Shorter, Corea, Holland and DeJohnette, though, was a short-lived one (1968-1969) and was never documented on its own in the studio.  These facts make Columbia and Legacy’s release of Miles Davis’ The Bootleg Series Volume 2: Live in Europe 1969 (88725 41853 2) all the more auspicious.

Filles de Kilimanjaro was a transitional album, innovative and avant-garde.  As critics were quick to celebrate or decry at the time, almost all vestiges of bop were gone, while the musical forms and structures were even less conventional than on the adventurous outings of the Second Great Quintet.  With Davis’ next statement, 1969’s In a Silent Way, he more fully embraced a new electric sound with lengthy musical tone poems, and plunged headfirst into proto-fusion with a cast of players including Shorter, Corea and Holland (plus John McLaughlin on guitar, Josef Zawinul on electric piano and organ, and Williams on drums).  This style, of course, found full flower on Davis’ next LP.  Whereas In a Silent Way was tender yet intense, Bitches Brew was sprawling, funky, noisy and aggressive.  It earned the jazz legend a new rock audience and his first gold record.  Columbia heralded the album’s triumph as “Miles Davis: the 15-year success story that happened overnight.”

Bootleg 2 is set against the dramatic backdrop of these landmark recordings.  Of course, the style here is still very different from either Silent Way or Bitches Brew; John McLaughlin’s scorching guitar on those albums is absent from this quintet format.  The first two CDs of Bootleg 2 find Davis, Shorter, Holland, Corea and DeJohnette in France at the Antibes Jazz Festival on July 25 and 26, 1969, just days before the release of In a Silent Way.  The third disc fast-forwards to November 5 for a mostly-acoustic Stockholm gig as part of George Wein’s “Newport Jazz Festival in Europe.” Finally, the DVD ends up a couple of days later, on November 7, for a performance at the Berlin Philharmonie.  (To put this in perspective, sessions for Bitches Brew would take place on August 19-21, 1969 in New York, and the earth-shattering album would see release the following April.)

We delve into The Bootleg Series Volume 2 after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 1, 2013 at 09:19

Posted in Box Sets, Miles Davis, News, Reviews

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