RTZ – Return To Zero (1991)

RTZ (Return to Zero) was an American rock band that featured Boston band members Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau. The band was formed in the early 90’s.
RTZ began as a collaboration between Boston members Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau around 1989. The original 1987 demo of “Face The Music” (featuring Fergie Frederiksen on vocals) was later made available for download at BarryGoudreau.com. Goudreau and Delp were both part of the original Boston line-up and after Goudreau’s departure from the band, they stayed in close contact with Delp contributing to Goudreau’s solo album and also to a lesser degree on the Orion the Hunter album.
Around 1989, Delp was on hiatus from Boston and looking to get active in writing again. He contacted Goudreau about a possible collaboration and RTZ was formed. Goudreau and Delp brought in keyboardist Brian Maes who was part of the Orion the Hunter touring band, drummer Dave Stefanelli and bass player Tim Archibald. Maes and Stefanelli had previously worked with producer Nick Lowe in England and Archibald’s band New Man had released an album on Epic.
Delp and Goudreau landed a deal with Giant Records and the first RTZ album, titled Return to Zero, was released in 1991.
“Until Your Love Comes Back Around” hit Top 30 in February of 1992, and helped forge a new identity for ex-Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau as well as perpetual Boston member, vocalist Brad Delp. Definitely ’80s rock, the opening track, “Face the Music,” could have worked on a latter day Starship album as well. On paper this looked like a huge act. The stadium veteran Delp fronting what became Peter Wolf’s band, bassist Tim Archibald from New Man, California Raisins/Robert Ellis Orral drummer David Stefanelli, and keyboardist/songwriter Brian Maes. The latter three are also a self-contained unit known as Brian Maes & the Memory, and they brought a cohesion to RTZ which helped the Boston band refugees deliver the goods. “There’s Another Side” is right up there with the opening track, a grade-A effort, only overshadowed by the beauty of the hit ballad “Until Your Love Comes Back Around.” Live they would perform “Dreams,” the song from the Barry Goudreau album that Tom Scholz allegedly felt sounded TOO much like his group, Boston. They were careful with Return to Zero to lean more towards Brad Delp’s pop side, “All You’ve Got” a perfect example proving Goudreau and Delp a formidable writing team. Chris Lord-Alge‘s production is straightforward, no nonsense let’s capture this excellent band exactly as they are. Goudreau’s guitar bursts on “All You’ve Got” are short and sweet, and combine his masterful playing with a bit of the band Boston‘s magical sound. Delp recorded three solo songs in the summer of 1988 at Mission Control Studios which went from Beatles to Steely Dan in the influences that made up their essence. That sound would have benefited RTZ in a very big way. Sure, “This Is My Life” has some of that tension as well as some of those ideas, but like most of this disc, the band becomes overpowering, and the material, although exquisite and beautiful, tends to sound dated. They manufactured a sound and stuck with it, but had these artists thrown a few more elements into this “debut,” if it can be called that, they might have been able to penetrate part of the timeless Steely Dan/Beatles marketplace, and not just the arena rock domain they were aiming for. Perhaps what is truly amazing is that the millions upon millions of fans rabid for a new Boston album didn’t devour this package which, despite its flaws, has a lot to offer. Between the variety of musicians there was an overabundance of good material, and Giant/Reprise, by not fostering a half a dozen or more albums, did the world a great disservice. “Rain Down on Me” is hard hitting without the excess of a Mickey Thomas, or the bombast that Journey tended to overdo. The music is big, but controlled, and all involved are cognizant of the ever important pop hook. Yes, it is ’80s rock in the ’90s, but if you are in the mood for that style of music, Return to Zero has integrity and will hold your interest.

Tracklist

1. “Face the Music”  (Goudreau, Maes) – 4:01
2. “There’s Another Side” – 4:11
3. “All You’ve Got” – 4:02
4. “This Is My Life” – 5:33
5. “Rain Down on Me”  (Delp, Goudreau, Maes, Stefanelli, Archibald) – 4:15
6. “Every Door Is Open” – 4:27
7. “Devil to Pay” – 4:30
8. “Until Your Love Comes Back Around”  (Maes) – 5:56
9. “Livin’ for the Rock ‘N’ Roll” – 3:27
10. “Hard Time (In the Big House)” – 4:06
11. “Return to Zero”  (Delp, Goudreau, Maes) – 3:25

All songs written by Delp and Goudreau, except where noted.

Band members

Guest musicians

  • Bob Gay – sax solo on Track 9
  • Maxine Waters – background vocals on Track 7
  • Julia Waters – background vocals on Track 7

Horns on Track 7

Producing and recording

Notes
Released: July 23, 1991
Recorded 1991 Studios: Image Recording, Hollywood, CA; Rumbo Recorders, Canoga Park, CA; Village Recorders, Santa Monica, CA and Blue Jay, Carlisle, MA.
Guitars on track 1 recorded at Barry’s house.
Mastered at Master Disc, New York, NY.
Directed for Ahern Associates.
Genre: Rock
Length: 48:28

Label – Giant Records

Elvis Presley ‎- Elvis Aron Presley (1955-1980: 25 Anniversary) (1980)

25TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION 8 RECORD SET NO. V 04944. CONTAINS: 65 UNRELEASED PERFORMANCES, 8 FULL COLOR ELVIS PICTURE SLEEVES, 20 PAGE PICTURE BOOKLET, AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH INBEDDED IN EACH OF THE 8 RECORDS. 1. AN EARLY LIVE PERFORMANCE MONOLOG, 2. AN EARLY BENEFIT PERFORMANCE, 3. COLLECTORS’ GOLD FROM THE MOVIE YEARS, 4. THE TV SPECIAL, 5. THE LAS VEGAS YEARS, 6. LOST SINGLES, 7. ELVIS AT THE PIANO – THE CONCERT YEARS – PART 1, & 8. THE CONCERT YEARS – CONCLUDED.
RCA VICTOR’s 1980 box set of ELVIS ARON PRESLEY (CPL8-3699) is a real winner.
A sturdy case houses eight LPs plus an attractivre 20 page souvenir booklet. Rather tedious text is offset by wonderful color and B&W photos, some album size.
Each record is in a heavy stock sleeve w/full size color photo on one side and songlist on the other.
That ’61 Honolulu concert captures the excitement of Elvismania with its screeching teen girl audience, but overall the audio is subpar, a bit tinny and distorted. The full range Venus Room show however is worth the price of admission.
Movie Years disc is previously unissued alternate takes. Included is studio chatter, cueing, false takes. A totally fun set.
TV Years samples his Dec. ’68 comeback, also “Aloha from Hawaii” (1/73), and a live June ’77 performance. The latter tracks are bittersweet listening.

Tracklist

Record 1: An Early Live Performance
A1. Heartbreak Hotel  (Written-By – Presley, Axton, Durden) – 2:00
A2. Long Tall Sally  (Written-By – Johnson, Penniman, Blackwell) – 1:37
A3. Blue Suede Shoes  (Written-By – Perkins) – 2:37
A4. Money Honey  (Featuring: Freddy Martin’s Orchestra) (Written-By – Stone) – 2:21

Monolog 
B. An Elvis Monolog – 13:41

Record 2: An Early Benefit Performance 
C1. Heartbreak Hotel (Written-By – Presley, Axton, Durden) – 2:14
C2. All Shook Up (Written-By – Presley, Blackwell) – 1:45
C3. (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I  (Written-By – Trader) – 2:41
C4. I Got A Woman (Written-By – Charles) – 2:18
C5. Love Me (Written-By – Leiber, Stoller) – 2:39
C6. Introductions – 1:27
C7. Such A Night  (Written-By – Chase) – 2:23
C8. Reconsider Baby  (Written-By – Felson) – 3:20

D1. I Need Your Love Tonight  (Written-By – Reichner, Wayne) – 1:50
D2. That’s All Right  (Written-By – Crudup) – 1:38
D3. Don’t Be Cruel  (Written-By – Blackwell) – 1:52
D4. One Night ( Written-By – Bartholomew, King) – 2:35
D5. Are You Lonesome Tonight?  (Written-By – Handman, Turk) – 3:11
D6. It’s Now Or Never  (Written-By – Schroeder, Gold) – 2:40
D7. Swing Down Sweet Chariot  (Arranged By, Adapted By – Presley) – 2:31
D8. Hound Dog  (Written-By – Leiber – Stoller) – 2:57

Record 3: Collectors’ Gold From The Movie Years
E1. They Remind Me Too Much Of You  (Written-By – Robertson) – 2:39
E2. Tonight Is So Right For Love  (Written-By – Silver, Wayne) – 4:11
E3. Follow That Dream  (Written-By – Weisman, Wise) – 1:49
E4. Wild In The Country  (Written-By – Weiss, Peretti, Creatore) – 1:48
E5. Datin’  (Written-By – Wise, Starr) – 3:11

F1. Shoppin’ Around  (Written-By – Schroeder, Bennett, Tepper) – 3:04
F2. Can’t Help Falling In Love  (Written-By – Weiss, Peretti, Creatore) – 1:48
F3. A Dog’s Life  (Written-By – Weisman, Wayne) – 3:20
F4. I’m Falling In Love Tonight  (Written-By – Robertson) – 3:15
F5. Thanks To The Rolling Sea  (Written-By – Roberts, Batchelor) – 1:16

Record 4: The TV Specials 
G1. Jailhouse Rock  (Written-By – Leiber – Stoller) – 2:06
G2. Suspicious Minds  (Written-By – James) – 4:34
G3. Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Baby What You Want Me To Do (Medley)  (Written-By – Reed, Price) – 4:54
G4. Blue Christmas  (Written-By – Hayes, Johnson) – 2:46

H1. You Gave Me A Mountain  (Written-By – Robbins) – 3:32
H2. Welcome To My World  (Written-By – Hathcock, Winkler) – 2:00
H3. Trying To Get To You  (Written-By – Singleton), McCoy) – 2:10
H4. I’ll Remember You  (Written-By – Lee) – 2:41
H5. My Way  (Written-By – Francois, Revaux, Anka) – 3:51

Record 5: The Las Vegas Years 
I1. Polk Salad Annie  (Written-By – White) – 5:34
I2. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’  (Written-By – Mann, Weil, Spector) – 4:15
I3. Sweet Caroline  (Written-By – Diamond) – 2:44
I4. Kentucky Rain  (Written-By – Heard, Rabbitt) – 3:19
I5. Are You Lonesome Tonight?  (Written-By – Handman, Turk) – 2:51

J1. My Babe  (Written-By – Dixon) – 2:36
J2. In The Ghetto  (Written-By – Davis) – 2:37
J3. An American Trilogy  (Written-By – Newbury) – 4:37
J4. Little Sister / Get Back (Medley)  (Written-By – Pomus, Lennon-McCartney, Shuman) – 3:10
J5. Yesterday  (Written-By – McCartney-Lennon) – 2:26

Record 6: Lost Singles 
K1. I’m Leavin’  (Written-By – Jarrett, Charles) – 3:48
K2. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face  (Written-By – MacColl) – 3:42
K3. Hi-heel Sneakers  (Written-By – Higginbotham) – 2:46
K4. Softly, As I Leave You  (Written-By – deVita, Shaper) – 3:00

L1. Unchained Melody  (Written-By – North, Zaret) – 3:26
L2. Fool  (Written-By – Sigman, Last) – 2:35
L3. Rags To Riches  (Written-By – Ross, Adler) – 1:55
L4. It’s Only Love  (Written-By – James, Tyrell) – 2:42
L5. America The Beautiful  (Arranged By – Presley) – 2:17

Record 7: Elvis At The Piano 
M1. It’s Still Here  (Written-By – Hunter) – 3:53
M2. I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen  (Arranged By – Presley) – 2:28
M3. Beyond The Reef  (Written-By – Pitman) – 3:06
M4. I Will Be True  (Written-By – Hunter) – 2:34

The Concert Years – Part I 
N1. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey)  (Written-By – Strauss) – 0:10
N2. See See Rider (Arranged By – Presley)  (Written-By – Traditional) – 2:23
N3. I Got A Woman / Amen / I Got A Woman (Medley)  (Written-By – Hairston, Charles) – 3:54
N4. Love Me  (Written-By – Leiber, Stoller) – 2:16
N5. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)  (Written-By – Rostill) – 2:44
N6. Love Me Tender  (Written-By – Presley, Matson) – 2:20
N7. All Shook Up  (Written-By – Presley, Blackwell) – 1:01
N8. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel (Medley)  (Written-By – Lowe, Mann, Blackwell) – 1:44

Record 8: The Concert Years – Concluded 
O1. Hound Dog  (Written-By – Leiber, Stoller) – 1:26
O2. The Wonder Of You  (Written-By – Knight) – 1:59
O3. Burning Love  (Written-By – Linde) – 2:46
O4. Dialog / Introductions / Johnny B. Goode  (Written-By – Berry) – 4:08
O5. Introductions / Long Live Rock And Roll  (Written By – Colyer) – 1:58
O6. T-R-O-U-B-L-E  (Written-By – Chesnut) – 3:10
O7. Why Me Lord  (Written-By – Kristofferson) – 2:29

P1. How Great Thou Art  (Written-By – Hine) – 4:10
P2. Let Me Be There  (Written-By – Rostill) – 3:12
P3. An American Trilogy  (Written-By – Newbury) – 3:42
P4. Funny How Time Slips Away  (Written-By – Nelson) – 2:24
P5. Little Darlin’  (Written-By – Williams) – 1:37
P6. Mystery Train / Tiger Man (Medley)  (Written-By – Parker, Jr., Lewis, Burns, Phillips) – 2:17
P7. Can’t Help Falling In Love  (Written-By – Weiss, Peretti, Creatore) – 1:37

Credits

Record 1: (Unreleased) The “Venus Room” Of The New Frontier Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada – April 24 – May 6, 1956
Record 2: (Unreleased) U.S.S. Arizona Memorial benefit concert – Honolulu, Hawaii, March 25, 1961 (In the Bloch Arena, Pearl Harbor)
Record 3: Unreleased
Record 4: Elvis, NBC-TV, December 3, 1968
Aloha from Hawaii, NBC-TV, January 14, 1973 (Live via satellite): April 4, 1973 (USA)
Elvis in concert, CBS-TV, October 3, 1977
Record 5: Unreleased
Record 7: (Side Two Unreleased) Elvis in concert 1975
Record 8: (Unreleased) Elvis in concert 1975

Notes
Released: 1980  Genre:
8 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Box Set, Compilation, Limited Edition
Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Rock & Roll, Country Rock

Label – RCA ‎Records

Mad River – Paradise Bar And Grill (1969)

Mad River was an American psychedelic rock band, formed at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in April 1966. The band took its name from the nearby Mad River. By March 1967 they had relocated to Berkeley, California. There they came to the attention of cult author Richard Brautigan who launched the band into the growing hippie culture. They released an EP on the independent Wee label before signing a contract with Capitol Records in February 1968. The group’s lead songwriter was Lawrence Hammond, but all of the members sang vocals. They released two albums before disbanding in July 1969.
The band chills out considerably here, largely eschewing the creeps for lazing-by-the-country-stream picking. Laurence Hammond‘s vocals are still uniquely pained, and cuts like “Equinox” and “Academy Cemetery” show traces of their facility for haunting guitar lines, but it doesn’t come close to the impact of their debut. Countercultural hero Richard Brautigan makes an appearance on “Love’s No Way to Treat a Friend.”
There second album had a country feel to it. And even though three of that albums tracks were recorded during sessions for the first album, whatever identity the band did have was largely gone.
The heavier guitar arrangements were replaced with acoustic guitars. Listen to the first track “Harfy Magnum” , an instrumental featuring several acoustic guitars-a long way from the first albums sound and feel. Or try the track featuring writer Richard Brautigan (a personal favorite since those early days) and the band.

Tracklist

1. “Harfy Magnum”  (Written-By – David Robinson) – 2:40
2. “Paradise Bar And Grill”  (Written-By – Laurence Hammond) – 3:35
3. “Love’s Not The Way To Treat A Friend”  (Written-By – Robinson, Brautigan) – 2:00
4. “Leave Me / Stay”  (Written-By Laurence Hammond) – 7:10
5. “Copper Plates”  (Written-By – Laurence Hammond) – 2:30
6. “Equinox”  (Written-By – Richard Bockner) – 1:55
7. “They Brought Sadness”   (Written-By – Laurence Hammond, Gregory Dew) – 4:50
8. “Revolution’s In My Pockets”  (Written-By – Laurence Hammond) – 6:04
9. “Academy Cemetery”  (Written-By – Mad River) – 3:02
10. “Cherokee Queen”  (Written-By – Carl Oglesby) – 4:05

Companies, etc.

Notes
Released:  1969
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Country Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Length: 38:20

Label – Capitol Records

Frank Marino – The Power Of Rock And Roll (1981)

Francesco Antonio “Frank” Marino (born November 20, 1954) is an Italian Canadian guitarist, leader of Canadian hard rock band Mahogany Rush. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix, he is acknowledged as one of the best and most underrated guitarists of the 1970s.
This album continues Marino’s change of pace, from sleepy blues-hazed psych trippin’ hard rock to full-on heavy metal with that all important blues twinge in the background. The only notable change is the dropping of the Mahogany Rush signage. This album, and the next couple of albums featured Frank as top billing, though old boys Harwood and Ayoub are still on the team. Great to hear it with the clarity of a CD. Frank really kicks it out on this album, start to finish. The ode to Jimi in the final riffs of the last song, Ain’t Dead Yet is a touch of pure guitar genius.
Leading off with the title track, ‘The Power Of Rock N Roll’ is a good-time romp with a bluesy backdrop and hard rock face paint. The soloing from Frank is searing hot, as can be expected. ‘Play My Music’ holds off on the speed and generates momentum through intensity instead. A more traditional southern rock and blues workout hits home on ‘Stay With Me’, though admittedly heavier than any southern band of that era could deliver! The longest song at near on 7 minutes is the boogie extravaganza of ‘Runnin’ Wild’. It’s got barroom boogie written all over it, plus a load of guitar solos which reminds of ‘Somethings Coming Our Way’ from ‘What’s Next’, but in a slightly different context. It’s a return to some power rock ‘n’ roll with ‘Crazy Miss Daisy’, although the typical structure for blues oriented tunes still prevails on this one. Hard to make sense of ‘Go Strange’ because it really lives up to the song-title. The tempo is all over the place and the song itself is unique, weird, and upbeat. Hard to describe it.. you just have to listen to it for shits and giggles! back to the traditional Marino overdrive, ‘Younger Man’ is stirring stuff, but the best is left till last with the incredible ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’. It’s 6 and half minutes of high voltage Maple Leaf mayhem! Probably the best track on the album along with the opener.
Mahogany Rush was moderately popular in the 1970s. Their records charted in Billboard, and they toured extensively, playing such venues as California Jam II (1978). Toward the end of the 1970s, the band began to be billed as “Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush.” Not much later, Mahogany Rush split up and in the early 1980s Marino released two solo albums on CBS. The band reformed and continued to perform throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1993, Marino retired from the music industry.

Tracklist

1.  The Power of Rock and Roll  (4:10)
2.  Play My Music  (5:07)
3.  Stay with Me  (4:23)
4.  Runnin’ Wild  (7:15)
5.  Crazy Miss Daisy  (3:12)
6.  Go Strange  (6:34)
7.  Young Man  (3:49)
8.  Ain’t Dead Yet  (7:02)

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Release Date: 1981
Genre: Hard Rock / Blues Rock
Duration: 41:30

Label – CBS Records

George Lynch – Sacred Groove (1993)

George Lynch (born September 28, 1954) is an American hard rock guitarist and songwriter. Lynch is best known for his work with 80’s “hair metal” band, Dokken, and his post-Dokken solo band, Lynch Mob. Lynch is considered to be one of the most influential and famous 1980s metal guitarists. He is known for his unique playing style and sound. He is ranked #68 on “100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time” by Guitar World magazine and is also ranked #10 on “Top 10 Metal Guitarists Of All Time” by Gibson.
Sacred Groove is a George Lynch album from 1993. It contains a diverse range of tracks from different styles of music, for example, the instrumental Tierra Del Fuego has a significant Latin feel to it. There are four instrumentals and six songs on the album. A notable instrumental on the album is “Love Power from the Mama Head“, which shows off much of Lynch’s unique playing style.
Pity the man who thought George Lynch was merely an Igor to Don Dokken‘s Frankenstein. Though he’s fared well in the aforementioned group and his own project, Lynch Mob, it’s on Sacred Groove that Lynch branches out into territory normally shunned in the metal world. Going into the melodic territory of Joe Satriani while maintaining his own unique guitar tone and acrobatics, Lynch wears his title of guitar guru proudly on his sleeve, especially during a time when grunge was at the forefront of popular American rock’s collective consciousness. Of course there are moments of weakness that keep Sacred Groove from being a truly essential shredder record. Like Steve Vai‘s Sex & Religion project, the vocalists recruited for this project do nothing to add to the songs other than to serve as another instrument for those who tire of straight guitar virtuosity. Program those songs out of the rotation and you have a tightly focused and extremely confident listening experience for any serious student of metal guitar acrobatics.

Tracklist

1.  Memory Jack – 1:37  (Instrumental)
2.  Love Power From The Mama Head – 5:29  (Instrumental)
3.  Flesh And Blood – 5:02  (Vocal: Ray Gillen)
4.  We Don’t Own The World – 4:26  (Vocal: Matthew and Gunnar Nelson)
5.  I Will Remember – 4:18  (Instrumental)
6.  The Beast Part 1 – 6:54  (Vocal: Mandy Lion)
7.  The Beast Part 2 – 2:49  (Vocal: Mandy Lion)
8.  Not Necessary Evil – 5:15  (Glenn Hughes)
9.  Cry Of The Brave – 5:05  (Glenn Hughes)
10.  Tierra Del Fuego – 6:03  (Instrumental)

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: 1993
Genre: Heavy metal / Hard rock
Length: 46:59

Label – Elektra Records

Los Lonely Boys – Sacred (2006)

Sacred is the Los Lonely Boys‘ fourth album and their second studio set, released on July 18, 2006. The original title of the album, as shown on the “Diamonds” single printed materials was to be “Òralé”. “Diamonds”, a revised version of the same song from the 1997 album, was the first single to be released on May 8, 2006. This was followed by the single release of “My Way”.
The album features a fuller sound than the earlier album, primarily due to extra instruments. The button accordion is prominently featured on “Texican Style”, and harmonica on “Home”. There are horn accompaniments (trumpet, tenor and baritone sax) on several songs, including “My Way”.
Willie Nelson and the boys’ father, Enrique Garza, both perform on “Outlaws”. Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers is a co-author of “Roses”.
Sacred is, for the most part, an uptempo, rollicking, streetwise Texas rock record with many surprises. The Garza brothers’ lyric writing is still developing, but the tightknit arrangements, popping grooves, and focused musicianship more than balance. The album’s first single is “Diamonds,” and true to corporate rock standards, it’s an utterly catchy, infectious little track, but it’s far from the best thing here. Henry‘s blistering guitar offers a beautiful hook for the trio to sing off of; it’s a simple, hooky midtempo love ballad, played on stun, with two organs (played by Reese Wynans and Mike Finnegan) and producer John Porter lending a second guitar. All mixed up, it creates a big swirling danceable pop noise that will be instantly memorable to anyone who encounters it. That said, there are other cuts here that reveal the depths of the bandmembers’ musical knowledge and ideas that they are capable of pulling off. Take “Roses” as an example. Henry‘s Jimi Hendrix-cum-Stevie Ray Vaughan-cum-Albert Collins guitar style flat out creates a groove for the trio to sing from — its melody is sophisticated, entrancing, and layered through with B-3 fills. Ringo‘s polyrhythmic drum style and Carl Perazza‘s hand drums, the shimmering acoustic guitars, and the guitar solo make this the best driving track of 2006 so far.
The deeper Latin flavor of this record enters on “Oye Mamacita.” Henry‘s ear-popping funk riff is complemented by the organ and a large rhythm section laying down the floor. It’s a loose, orgiastic stinger where riffs, vocals, hooks, and rhythms collide and then slip into place, stacking on top of one another. The wah-wah guitar solo in this cut is to die for, and truth be told, it’s these guys who are creating a new mainstream Tex-Mex-driven Latin rock & roll that even gringos can cut a rug to. “Texican Style” (which is the best description of the music Los Lonely Boys play) features the button accordion of Michael Guerra right alongside Henry‘s guitar. The Texas Horns contribute to a couple of cuts, including the anthemic opener, “My Way” (no, not that one), and “Outlaws,” which also showcases Willie Nelson and Los Lonely Boys‘ father, Enrique Garza, Sr., on vocals. The latter cut puts Henry front and center with his wah-wahed, “Voodoo Chile”-esque opening. Here is the one-two stomp of Texas outlaw country music updated for the 21st century. The Texas Horns play a funky, gritty mariachi style introducing Enrique‘s swaggering verse, which introduces Nelson. One might mistakenly perceive this as a nod to novelty, but it kicks ass. Period. The set closes with “Living My Life,” a slippery, beautifully constructed Tex-Mex son in English. The three-part harmony is impeccable; the passion in the tune is balanced by its Sonoran desert feel. It’s tempting to single out Henry for his fluid, intuitive, and imaginative guitar playing, but that would be a mistake, as his brothers’ rhythm section is simply one of the best in the business. They add imagination, grit, and tough grooves to everything they touch. Add the fact that they co-write their songs — and they all sing — and you have a unit that is an entire thing unto itself. Sacred is an exciting, even wonderful second step for one of the truly unique bands on the scene.

Tracklist

1. “My Way” – 4:24
2. “Òralé” – 3:44
3. “Diamonds” – 3:14
4 .”Oyé Mamacita” – 3:31
5. “I Never Met a Woman” – 4:46
6. “Roses” – 3:51
7. “Texican Style” – 4:04
8. “One More Day” – 3:36
9. “Memories” – 4:10
10. “My Loneliness” – 4:44
11. “Outlaws” – 4:41
12. “Home” – 3:40
13. “Living My Life” – 4:26

Musicians

Notes
Released: July 18, 2006
Genre: Chicano rock, rock and roll, roots rock, Tex-Mex
Length: 50:30

Label – Epic Records

UB40 – TwentyFourSeven (2008)

TwentyFourSeven is the sixteenth studio album by UB40. It is the last UB40 album to feature the classic line-up with vocalist/guitarist Ali Campbell and keyboardist Mickey Virtue. In 2008 both of them departed from the band.
Remarkably holding together without a single lineup change ever since their debut in 1980, at the time of the release of this album in 2008, UB40 had suddenly lost two of their eight founding members. Singer Ali Campbell announced he was leaving in January and keyboardist Michael Virtue followed soon after. What exactly caused the split remained in dispute between the band and its ex-members, but there remains the fact that UB40 would now have to master this new situation. Coincidence or not, this album actually already gives various examples of what UB40 could sound like without their strikingly unique lead vocalist. Being the longest UB40 album ever (at 72 minutes length), it is nonetheless once again carried by Campbell‘s familiar style and sound. However, normal proceedings (as ever in a reggae style) are interrupted several times by a string of interspersed cover versions sung by guests (such as Maxi Preist and members of Arrested Development). Just as was the case with Ali Campbell‘s solo album Running Free (which was released in 2007 and was one reason that the band’s album release was put back until half a year later), the choice of covers is rather run of the mill and even substandard, compared to the quality of the new originals on both of those albums. The covers might be good for listeners just wanting to “party on,” but they can compete with the originals in neither elegance nor earnestness. The jarring thing is that this album finds UB40 returning to political themes much more decidedly than they had for quite some time, but the potential coherence of this album gets chopped up by the smattering of cover versions, as if coming from some entirely different compilation album of some sort. Still, on the plus side, there are new songs with strong hit potential, immediate appeal, and some sweet melodies. As for politics, even the cause of Gary “Tyler” (first sung about on the 1980 debut album) is revisited in “Rainbow Nation.”  The track “Rainbow Nation” refers to Gary Tyler once again, originally the subject of “Tyler”, the first song on their first album, “Signing Off“. The original saxophone part from “Tyler” is played over the closing bars of the track.Though not often so specific, topical conflicts such as those in Darfur and Gaza also get mentions in closing song “The Road.” Now, however, UB40 have their own conflict to resolve, and 2009 brought with it the decision to install Duncan Campbell, a brother of Ali and Robin, as new lead singer, already featured on this album on a version of the evergreen “It’s All in the Game.”

Full CD version

1. “End of War” – 4:42
2 .”Lost and Found”  (U.K Single.) – 4:37)
3. “Dance Until The Morning Light”  (with Maxi Priest ft. DJ Rapper Truth)  (U.K Single.) – 3:19
4. “This Is How It Is” – 3:58
5. “Rainbow Nation” – 6:12
6. “Here We Go Again” – 3:35
7. “I Shot the Sheriff”  (with Maxi Priest, Marvin Priest & DJ Beniton) – 4:06
8. “Oh America”  (extended version; with One Love & Rasta Don of Arrested Development) – 6:16
9. “Once Around” – 4:37
10 .”Slow Down” – 4:07
11. “I’ll Be Back (song)|I’ll Be Back”  (Lennon/McCartney) – 4:03
12 .”Instant Radical Change of Perception” – 3:45
13. “It’s All in the Game”  (with Duncan Campbell) – 3:25
14. “I’ll Be There” – 3:59
15. “Middle of the Night” – 3:36
16 .”Securing The Peace” – 3:37
17. “The Road” – 4:28

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: 9 June 2008
Genre: Reggae
Length: 1:12:13

Label – Edel Records

Gordon Lightfoot – Salute (1983)

Salute is the sixteenth original album by Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot, released in 1983 Warner Brothers Records. It barely registered on the charts (#175) and is one of his least known recordings. Consequently, songs from the album very rarely feature in Lightfoot’s live performances.
The album completed Lightfoot’s shift from acoustic folk/country compositions to a more sleek adult contemporary sound, a shift he had begun on Shadows. However, he had never completely abandoned his folk roots, as “Whispers of the North”, “Knotty Pine” and “Tattoo” show.
In general, the album was more upbeat than its introspective predecessor with an even greater use of electric guitar licks and synthesizers.
By the time of his 1983 release, Salute, Gordon Lightfoot was well on the downside of his commercial success, but personally, the period was something of a turning point for him. Lightfoot had overcome a drinking problem and was on the rebound from having divorced his wife. Salute finds the singer revivified, and co-producer Dean Parks has toughened up his sound with ’80s synthesizers and electric guitar. The results are mixed: Tracks like “Salute (A Lot More Livin’ to Do),” “Someone to Believe In,” “Without You,” and “Broken Dreams” — spruced-up and bristling as they are — didn’t yield any hit material. That being said, the attempt to update Lightfoot‘s sound wasn’t as tasteless or as disastrous as it might have been. Most of the material is listenable enough and stays true to Lightfoot‘s long string of mature, emotionally sensitive songwriting (“Gotta Get Away”). On the subtler numbers where the production is toned down, a few gems emerge: “Whispers of the North” and “Knotty Pine” are beautiful odes to Canadian nature, and “Tattoo” is a bona fide winner of a love song that deserves more attention than it ever got. While Salute failed to reverse Lightfoot‘s commercial fortune, it’s far from an embarrassment and the Lightfoot faithful should seek it out.

Tracklist

1. “Salute (A Lot More Livin’ to Do)” – 4:24
2. “Gotta Get Away” – 2:54
3. “Whispers of the North” – 3:20
4 .”Someone to Believe In” – 3:32
5. “Romance” – 3:31
6 .”Knotty Pine” – 4:00
7. “Biscuit City” – 2:55
8. “Without You” – 3:07
9. “Tattoo” – 4:28
10. “Broken Dreams” – 4:05

All compositions by Gordon Lightfoot.

Personnel

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: July 1983
Recorded: December 1982-February 1983 at Eastern Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre: Folk Rock
Length: 36:16

Label – Warner Bros. Records

The Budos Band – The Budos Band III (2010)

The Budos Band is an instrumental band recording on the Daptone Records label. The band has nine members (with occasional guests) who on their first studio albums, played instrumental music that was self-described as “Afro-Soul,” a term and sound which – in a 2007 interview – baritone saxophone player Jared Tankel elucidated as being drawn from Ethiopian music the band had been listening to that had a soul undercurrent to it, which the band then “sprinkled a little bit of sweet 60’s stuff on top” of. Since this time, the band has moved toward playing what they refer to as “70’s Psychedelic Instrumental Music.”
After two well-received full-lengths and an EP, Staten Island’s Budos Band return with III in 2010. The group’s first two recordings walked a loose tightrope line between the modern jazzed-up Afro-beat sound of Antibalas and the soulful good-time funk groove of Sugarman 3. It’s also true that while they fit the Daptone label’s groove-centric aesthetic, III reveals a new direction, offering the view that they are also something other. This 11-song set, recorded in 48 hours, offers a darker, more spacious tinge. Elements of psychedelic, Middle Eastern, and even Latin sounds have entered their mix, without sacrificing their dance party cachet. The opening “Rite of the Ancients,” “Black Venom,” “Unbroken, Unshaven,” and “Mark of the Unnamed” all feel like they could have been instrumental interludes in a ’70s blaxploitation flick, but are fully developed harmonic ideas instead of simple vamps. The horn chart on the latter track is a monster, with popping three-way dialogue between baritone saxophonist Jared Tankel, Farfisa organist Mike Deller, and all four percussionists. Also noteworthy is guitarist Thomas Brenneck‘s reverbed surf sound that introduces the darkly compelling “Nature’s Wrath.” The horns — Tankel and two trumpets — punch up a minor-key vibe that unwinds around a tense film noir chart and a mariachi melody. Then it gets decorated by Daisy Sugarman‘s ghostly flute, as the percussionists play around all dimensions of kit man Brian Profilio‘s breaks; it creates a more spaced-out set of atmospherics without losing the groove — Deller‘s organ enters in the final moments as icing on the cake. Other tunes with a more sinister, moodier vibe include “Golden Dunes” and “Budos Dirge,” but they too give off plenty of heat and crackling energy. There’s a Malian tinge in the Budos‘ Afro-soul on “Raja Haje,” led by Brenneck‘s guitar. The closer, “Reppirt Yad,” is the Beatles‘ “Day Tripper” given inside-out, upside-down funky treatment in a slower tempo with out atmospherics. “River Serpentine” and “Crimson Skies” are breezier in comparison to the rest and more traditionally Budos, with plenty of butt-shaking whomp. This third chapter in the Budos Band‘s legacy is a giant step forward. It is a gambit where everything just gets deeper and wider; the payoff is mighty.

Tracklist

1. “Rite of the Ancients” (Written-By – D. Foder, J. Tankel, T. Brenneck) – 3:48
2. “Black Venom” (Written-By – A. Greene, D. Foder) – 3:32
3. “River Serpentine” (Written-By – A. Greene, D. Foder, J. Tankel, M. Deller, T. Brenneck) – 3:10
4. “Unbroken, Unshaven” (Written-By – J. Tankel, T. Brenneck) – 2:59
5. “Nature’s Wrath” (Written-By – D. Foder, J. Tankel, T. Brenneck) – 4:53
6. “Golden Dunes”  (Written-By – A. Greene, D. Foder, J. Tankel) – 3:17
7. “Budos Dirge”  (Written-By – A. Greene, D. Foder, J. Tankel) – 2:38
8. “Raja Haje” (Written-By – B. Profilio, D. Foder, J. Tankel, T. Brenneck) – 3:57
9. “Crimson Skies” (Written-By – D. Foder, J. Tankel) – 3:35
10. “Mark of the Unnamed” (Written-By – D. Foder, J. Tankel, T. Brenneck) – 3:59
11. “Reppirt Yad” (Written-By – Lennon, McCartney)  – 2:57

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: August 10, 2010
Genre: Afro-beat, funk, jazz, soul
Length: 38:49

Label – Daptone Records

Lords Of Acid – Expand Your Head (1999)

Lords of Acid is a Belgian and American post-industrial/techno band, led by musician Praga Khan.
Expand Your Head is a compilation album from Belgian electronic band Lords of Acid. Consisting mostly of remixes, three of the album’s sixteen tracks were new compositions. Several of the remixes included on Expand Your Head had been previously released on Lords of Acid singles.
Including 4 new songs and 13 remixes, Expand Your Head slices, dices, and reassembles the Lords of Acid’s X-rated techno-raunch into a towering stack of dance-floor trends. Opening with the new “Am I Sexy,” the Lords follow suit à la the campy big beat of Dimitri from Paris. Newbie number two, “As I Am,” is standard-issue rave-alert acid house, while “Who Do You Think You Are,” with its lyrically colorless rap screamed above industrial guitars, is a toss off (ahem). The last new song on the disc, and the album’s shining moment, is the hidden 17th track, a righteously down-and-dirty rendition of Patti LaBelle‘s “Lady Marmalade.” Here, the Lords are in their element creating heavy, electrifying waterbed rhythms as Jade-4U seductively beckons, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?” The rest of the album is a collection of singles remixed by some of electronic music’s biggest superstars, including KMFDM, Luc Van Acker, Joey Beltram, Frankie Bones, and Richie Hawtin, a.k.a. Plastikman. The songs are clearly remixed into each artists’ signature sound (ranging from industrial to Detroit techno), but most are too heady, sapping the bump-and-grind oomph from the originals. And none of the tracks are representative of the remixers’ best work. Lords of Acid arbiters will be underwhelmed.
Driven by the club anthem “Am I Sexy?,” Lords of Acid again works the porn-dance angle they’d been pursuing ever since early-’90s singles like “Rough Sex” and “I Must Increase My Bust,” though their S&M themes and unsubtle topics had put the troupe right into the mainstream, along with the late-’90s ascendance of Marilyn Manson and others. Still, it’s a one-trick pony that doesn’t hold listeners interest over the long haul of an LP, despite credible production by Praga Khan.

Tracklist

1. “Am I Sexy?”  (Praga Khan, Jade 4 U, Carl Johansen, Oliver Adams) – 3:35
2. “Lover”  (Cake Mix, remixer: KMFDM) – 4:17
3. “Rough Sex”  (The All Night Grinder Mix, remixer: Critter) – 4:48
4. “The Crab Louse”  (Super Scratcher with a Golden Shower Rainbow Mix, remixer: Luc Van Acker) – 4:41
5. “As I Am”  (Praga Khan, Jade 4 U, Carl Johansen) – 3:01
6. “Who Do You Think You Are?”  (Praga Khan, Jade 4 U, Carl Johansen) – 3:19
7. “I Sit on Acid”  (Mickey Blotter Mix, remixer: Carl S. Johansen) – 2:58
8. “Pussy”  (Pussymphony II Mix, remixer: Chris Vrenna) – 8:28
9. “Let’s Get High”  (Reach Out and Touch the Sky Mix, remixer: Rob Swift) – 3:14
10 .”Spank My Booty”  (Paddles and Whipped Cream Mix, remixer: Tipsy) – 3:27
11. “Rubber Doll”  (Pucker Up Sweetie and Blow Me Up Gently Mix, remixer: Jamie Myerson) – 5:00
12 .”Marijuana in Your Brain”  (Dope Smokin’ Mix, remixer: Robbie Hardkiss) – 4:41
13 .”Rough Sex”  (Whip Mix, remixer: Joey Beltram) – 4:04
14. “I Sit on Acid”  (Satan on the Cibes Mix, remixer: God Lives Underwater) – 4:05
15. “Rubber Doll”  (Do You Mind If We Dance Wif Yo Dates? Mix, remixer: Frankie Bones) – 6:57
16 .”I Must Increase My Bust”  (Detroit Hardcore Mix, remixer: Richie Hawtin) – 4:52
17. “Lady Marmalade”  (unlisted bonus track) – 3:23

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes
Released: July 27, 1999
Recorded: 1988-1997
Genre: Techno, Breakbeat hardcore, Industrial rock, Nu jazz
Length: 1:14:52

Label – Antler-Subway Records