GTR – GTR (1986)

GTR were a short-lived British rock band founded in 1985 by former Yes and Asia guitarist Steve Howe and former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. In comparison to the two leaders’ earlier work within progressive rock, GTR appealed to album-oriented rock radio stations. The band was short-lived, lasting for two years and one album. Hackett has subsequently been strongly critical of the project, though not necessarily of the other musicians involved in it.

GTR is the 1986 self-titled debut album and sole official studio release from the short-lived supergroup GTR. The album peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the single “When the Heart Rules the Mind” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Another single, “The Hunter”, peaked at No. 85. The instrumental piece by Steve Howe, “Sketches in the Sun”, resurfaced on his solo album Motif Volume 1 and again on his Anthology album. Steve Hackett’s “Hackett to Bits” was a simplified version of the title track from his Please Don’t Touch album. (It had no connection with the similarly titled “Hackett to Pieces” from Highly Strung.) Asia later recorded their own version of the Downes-penned “The Hunter” for their 1997 compilation album Anthology.The group, founded by ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and then ex-Yes and ex-Asia guitarist Steve Howe, disbanded in 1987. Geoff Downes, another former Yes member at the time, produced the album.

The band’s name came from an abbreviation of “guitar” as used for track labelling in multi-track recording studios, anecdotally, comes from the marking on the studio mixing console that indicates the ‘guitar’ volume control.


1.  “When the Heart Rules the Mind” – 5:24  (Hackett, Howe)
2.  “The Hunter” – 4:51  (Downes)
3.  “Here I Wait” – 4:54  (Hackett, Howe)
4.  “Sketches in the Sun” – 2:29  (Howe)
5.  “Jekyll and Hyde” – 4:42  (Bacon, Hackett, Howe)
6.  “You Can Still Get Through” – 4:53  (Hackett, Howe)
7.  “Reach Out (Never Say No)” – 4:00  (Hackett, Howe, Spalding)
8.  “Toe the Line” – 4:29  (Hackett, Howe)
9.  “Hackett to Bits” – 2:10  (Hackett)
10.  “Imagining” – 5:49  (Hackett, Howe, Mover)



  • Geoff Downesproducer
  • Alan Douglas – engineer
  • John Brough – assistant engineer
  • Noel Haris – assistant engineer
  • Andy Mason – assistant engineer
  • Howard Fritzson – art direction
  • Ian Miller – design
  • Mike Russell – photography
  • Miki Slingsby – photography
  • Tom Biondo – photography
  • Jimmy Starr – remastering
  • Eddie Wilner – reissue producer

Released: July 1986
Recorded: The Townhouse, London, 1985-86
Genre: Progressive rock, AOR
Length: 44:43

Label – Arista Records

Bram Tchaikovsky – Strange Man, Changed Man (1979)

Strange Man, Changed Man is the debut studio album by English power pop musician Bram Tchaikovsky, released in 1979 by record label Radar.

At the height of their popularity, Bram Tchaikovsky left The Motors to form his own band. Feeling unable to express himself in a band dominated by Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster, Tchaikovsky decided to strike out on his own. What appeared to be a foolhardy move resulted in one of the finest power pop/pub rock albums ever released. Comparable to Dr Feelgood or Steve Gibbons at their best, Strange Man, Changed Man was a revelation.

I don’t really understand what it is that makes the album work. The guitars are very one paced, fluctuating little from fast paced strumming, whilst the vocals – mainly Tchaikovsky and Micky Broadbent in tandem – never vary in pitch. But work it does.

From the opening bars of “Robber” to the final thrash of “Turn On The Light” the band pound out a blistering series of high-class power pop which only relents for the dull “Lady From The USA” (without which I would have awarded this a 5 star review). “Girl Of My Dreams” is one of the finest rock songs of the period – even tempting Mike Oldfield to join in on tubular bells – and is joined by the equally brilliant “Sara Smiles”, “Lonely Dancer”, “I’m The One That’s Leaving”, “Nobody Knows” and a classy version of “I’m A Believer”.


1.  “Strange Man, Changed Man”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 4:01
2.  “Lonely Dancer”  (Written-By – R. Thomas) – 3:58
3.  “Robber”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:06
4.  “Bloodline”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:48
5.  “I’m The One That’s Leaving”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:27
6.  “Girl Of My Dreams”  (Written-By – R. Thomas) – 4:06   Bells [Tubular] – Mike Oldfield
7.  “Nobody Knows”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 4:32
8.  “Lady From The U.S.A.”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 3:28    Bass – Nick Garvey
9.  “I’m A Believer”  (Written-By – N. Diamond) – 3:46
10.  “Sarah Smiles”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 3:37
11.  “Turn On The Light”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 2:49

Companies, etc.



  • Bram Tchaikovsky – guitar, bass, vocals
  • Mick Broadbent – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Keith Boyce – drums, percussion
  • Nick Garvey – backing vocals; bass on “Lady From The USA”
  • Mike Oldfield – tubular bells on “Girl of My Dreams”
  • Producer(s) – Bram Tchaikovsky, Nick Garvey, Peter Ker

Released: 1979
Studio: Pebble Beach Studios, Worthing; Basing Street Studios, London
Genre: Power pop
Length:  40:35

Label – Radar Records

Cheap Trick – Rockford (2006)

Cheap Trick‘s recorded work has been so inconsistent for so long, bouncing back and forth between belabored attempts to reach radio and self-conscious returns to their classic early work, it’s kind of a shock to discover that 2006’s Rockford is a good, solid Cheap Trick record. Scratch that — it’s a very, very good Cheap Trick record, glistening with Beatlesque harmonies, sugary hooks and snarling guitars, and built on a set of songs that emphasize their strengths without seeming fussy or formulaic. They also don’t seem tired or juvenile, either, nor do the band try to rock too hard or heavy, the way they did on the good but occasionally stilted Steve Albini-produced 1996 self-styled comeback, Cheap Trick. Albini is back for portions of Rockford, as is Jack Douglas, the producer behind their early masterworks, and 2000 rock’s flavor of the month Linda Perry drops by for a single too — but far from being a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup, it’s more that each producer/engineer/collaborator helps bring out a different aspect of Cheap Trick. Sure there are songs that serve up crunching hard rock along with a little bit of streamlined arena rock, but there are pop songs built upon the British Invasion, bittersweet ballads, even a little bit of disco-funk on “One More.” When all these different sounds are put together, it does indeed add up to the most diverse album they’ve made in many a moon, but since there’s such a strong emphasis on melody, vocal harmonies, and guitar hooks, all wrapped up in three-minute songs, it also winds up as Cheap Trick‘s first genuine power pop album since their heyday, and their best album since Dream Police. After all these years and all those uneven albums, it’s a bit of a surprise to have the band deliver an album this good completely out of the blue but, as their catalog proves, Cheap Trick have never done things the easy way — and it’s better to finally get a very, very good Cheap Trick record unexpectedly, some 27 years after the last good one, instead of not getting one at all.


1.  “Welcome to the World”  (Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, Bun E. Carlos) – 2:06
2.  “Perfect Stranger”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos, Linda Perry) – 3:41
3.  “If It Takes a Lifetime”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos, Julian Raymond) – 4:22
4.  “Come On Come On Come On”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 3:03
5.  “O Claire”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 3:43
6.  “This Time You Got It”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 4:01
7.  “Give It Away”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 2:48
8.  “One More”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 3:50
9.  “Every Night and Every Day”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 3:12
10.  “Dream the Night Away”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos, Bill Lloyd) – 3:14
11.  “All Those Years”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos, Raymond) – 3:35
12.  “Decaf”  (Nielsen, Zander, Petersson, Carlos) – 3:38



Released: June 6, 2006
Recorded: 2004–2005 in Rockford, Illinois
Genre: Rock, hard rock, power pop
Length: 41:13

Label – Big3 Records

Photoglo – Photoglo (1980)

Jim Photoglo, born James G. Photoglo, who also performed simply as Photoglo, is an American pop/soft rock singer from Inglewood, California. He released two charting albums in the early 1980s and had two hit singles

Followers of the West Coast/pop scene will need no introduction to Jim Photoglo. The former Los Angeles native, now permanent resident in Nashville TN has led a wide and varied career, but it is with this debut album that his career took off. Never one to be pigeon-holed, Photoglo’s music is as diverse as some of the many countries he’s travelled to. Mostly melodic, he dabbles in pop, jazz, country, the new styled fusion country (or ‘new’ country as some call it), bluegrass, dixie, and of course traditional blues. Sometimes it’s just a melting pot of all these styles. His early years were spent experimenting with many styles. Jim didn’t decide on becoming a full-time musician until into his twenties. Before going pro, Jim ventured out into the wilderness to discover his musical calling. Armed with guitar and sleeping bag, he hit the road to find his niche. Upon his return to ‘civilisation’ so to speak, he managed to obtain a record deal with 20th Century Fox. This was during 1979, Photoglo released his debut the following year.

Some excellent players were assembled for his debut release. Bassist Denis Belfield has played bass on many rock projects (do a Google search on him, you’d be amazed at who he has played with!), George Marinelli Jnr has played with Bruce Hornsby And The Range and more recently Bonnie Raitt, Bill Cuomo (another L.A session veteran) has played with nearly everyone, and fellow West Coast artist Bill Meyers will be a familiar name to GLORY-DAZE readers. Brian Neary appears and produces the album as well. I guess the album is best known for the hit single ‘We Were Mean’t To Be Lovers’, but other highlights include: ’20th Century Fool’, the light boogie tones of ‘Steal Away’ and the Lee Ritenour soundalike ‘I Don’t Want To Be In This Movie’. Admittedly, the album has a few gentle moments. I found these to be too lame for my tastes, preferring instead the moments when the tempo is slightly upbeat, which is not often unfortunately.

However, for what it’s worth, the album is appealing for its melodic intent, despite the mellowness of it all. These days, Jim is busier than ever. Writing engagements and involvement in many musical ventures has kept him on the go. Certainly, a full-time songwriting career is possible when you look at the creative output of a guy such as Jim Photoglo. Check his discography, but for fans of lite AOR and West Coast, ‘Photoglo’ and his second ‘Fool In Love With You’ are well worth a musical dabble.


1.  “We Were Meant to Be Lovers”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:35
2.  “Best That I Can Be”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:30
3.  “20th Century Fool”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:45
4.  “Steal Away”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 2:54
5.  “Beg, Borrow or Steal”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:52
6.  “When Love Is Gone”  (Steve Nelson)  – 2:51
7.  “I Don’t Want to Be in This Movie”  – 3:13
8.  “Faded Blue”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 3:15
9.  “Young Girl”  (Brian Francis Neary / Jim Photoglo)  – 4:00
10. “Don’t Be Afraid to Love Somebody”  (Jim Photoglo) – 3:29


Release Date: 1980
Genre: Pop, Funk
Duration: 34:24
Produced for Brian Neary Productions
Mixed At Sunset Sound And Dirk Daltons Studios.
Special Thanks To Neil Portnow For His Wisdom, Michael Stewart For His Advice, Ed Couppee For His Dramatic Vocal Coaching And Dennis Belfield For His Arrangements, his Creative Energy And His Support.
Additionnal Thanks To Special Friends-Mergie, S. Gould, Don Burke, Bob Neary, Steve Wilkins, Dana Howes, Susanne Russell, Clem Molony, Syn Anderson, Scott Grevemberg And Pat Belfield, Our “Surrogate” Mother.

Label – 20th Century Fox Records

Pirates Of The Mississippi – Pirates Of The Mississippi (1990)

Pirates of the Mississippi was formed in 1987, when Nashville session musicians Bill McCorvey (lead vocals), Rich Alves (lead guitar), Dean Townson (bass guitar), Jimmy Lowe (drums), and Pat Severs (steel guitar) started performing together. Originally, they identified themselves as the We Don’t Want a Freaking Record Deal Band, but upon witnessing a group of fans wearing clogs, the group changed its name to The Cloggers.

The Cloggers began playing various clubs around Nashville. Eventually, they attracted the attention of an artists and repertoire (A&R) at Universal Records, a label owned by Jimmy Bowen. Executives at the label disliked the band’s name, and suggested that they change it. The band then chose the name Pirates of the Mississippi because they thought that Lowe resembled a pirate. The band’s debut album was finished by 1988, but its release was delayed until 1990 due to Universal being bought out by Capitol Records. The album contains four singles: “Honky Tonk Blues” (a cover of the Hank Williams song), “Rollin’ Home”, “Feed Jake”, and “Speak of the Devil”. “Feed Jake” was the highest charting of these singles, reaching #15 on the Billboard country charts. All of the other singles except “Rollin’ Home” reached Top 40 on the same chart.

The Pirates made their name with their third single, “Feed Jake,” which had a video that became country music’s version of Old Yeller. The rest of the debut is a cross between Alabama country and Southern rock. (The album starts with a speeded-up version of “Honky Tonk Blues,” if that’s a hint at what’s to come.) There are a few twists, though, namely a Guy Clark song (“I Take My Comfort in You”) and a surf-country instrumental.


  1. Honky Tonk Blues(Hank Williams) – 3:00
  2. “I Take My Comfort in You” (Guy Clark, Wayland Holyfield) – 3:34
  3. “Rollin’ Home” (Rich Alves, Bill McCorvey, Gary Harrison) – 3:11
  4. Speak of the Devil (Alves, McCorvey, Danny Mayo) – 3:04
  5. Feed Jake(Mayo) – 4:00
  6. “Talkin’ ’bout Love” (Alves, McCorvey, Larry Gottlieb) – 4:17
  7. “Jolly Roger/Pirates of the Mississippi” (Alves, McCorvey) – 5:15
  8. “Down and Out in Birmingham” (Alves, McCorvey) – 3:57
  9. “Anything Goes” (Mayo, McCorvey, Diana Rae) – 4:09
  10. “Redneck Rock & Roll” (Alves, Mayo, McCorvey) – 3:24

Companies, etc.



Strings on “Feed Jake” performed by John Kelton.

Released: June 18, 1990
Recorded at: Studio 19. Assisted by David Matthews, Lisa Thomalla, Jerome Rothacker.
Genre: Country
Length: 37:51

Label – Capitol Nashville Records

Pink Floyd – Is There Anybody Out There? – The Wall Live 1980-1981 (2000)

Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81 is a live album released by Pink Floyd in 2000. It is a live rendition of The Wall, produced and engineered by James Guthrie, with tracks selected from the August 1980 and June 1981 performances at Earls Court in London. The album was first released in The Netherlands by EMI Records on 23 March 2000, who released a limited edition in the United Kingdom on 27 March. The general release followed on 18 April 2000 with US and Canadian distribution by Columbia Records.

The shows involved the construction of a wall on stage throughout the first half of the show. Once complete, members of the band performed in small openings in, atop, in front of, or even behind the wall. The album artwork featured the life-masks of the four band members in front of a black wall; the masks were worn by the “surrogate band” during the song “In The Flesh“. “Goodbye Blue Sky” and parts of “Run Like Hell” were taken from the 17 June 1981 show, the very last performance by the four-man Pink Floyd until the 2005 Live 8 concert.

Is There Anybody Out There? contains live versions of all the original songs along with two additional songs: “What Shall We Do Now?” and “The Last Few Bricks“. “What Shall We Do Now?” was planned for the original album but removed just before release. (It remained on the lyric sheet for the original LP, but excised from future CD re-releases.) “The Last Few Bricks” was an instrumental bridge between “Another Brick in the Wall (Part III)” and “Goodbye Cruel World“, and contained themes from “The Happiest Days of Our Lives“, “Don’t Leave Me Now“, “Young Lust“, “Empty Spaces” and “What Shall We Do Now?“, all transposed to D minor. It was played to allow the bricklayers to almost completely seal off the stage before Roger Waters appeared in the last brick-wide space in the wall to sing “Goodbye Cruel World”, ending the first set of the show. This music never had an official title before the release of the live album. Fans named the track “Almost Gone” on some bootleg albums of the shows, but the official name was suggested by producer James Guthrie during the mixing of the live album. The album also contained two spoken tracks titled “MC: Atmos” (“Master of Ceremonies” for the first North American release), which served as introductions to the songs “In the Flesh?” and “In the Flesh”, respectively. These were performed by Gary Yudman, MC for the Earls Court and Nassau Coliseum shows. The second version was a section of a recording of his speech from the first version, played at slower speed to parody the frustration (“The band is about ready to begin, I think … No, not quite yet”) of waiting for the band to start.

The tracks differed slightly from the studio album, primarily in terms of longer intros and extended solos. Due to the constraints of vinyl records, the band had been forced to severely edit many songs for the album, removing whole sections, many of which were restored in concert. For example, “The Show Must Go On” had an extra verse that was deleted from the original studio recording (but included in the lyric sheet, even on the latest CD releases.) “Outside the Wall” was longer and re-arranged with mandolin, accordion, clarinet, acoustic guitars, tambourines and more natural-sounding vocal harmonies from the quartet of Joe Chemay, Jim Farber, Jim Haas, and Jon Joyce. (This would be the third official version of “Outside the Wall” available to the listener, following the extended orchestral version from the 1982 film.)

The album was released to commemorate The Wall album and concerts’ 20th anniversary. In a 2000 US radio interview to promote the album, Roger stated that he was against the release of the album and refused to have it released (he was outvoted on the matter 4 to 1 by his former bandmates David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright and former manager Steve O’Rourke) and also objected to the use of Storm Thorgerson for the album’s artwork instead of Gerald Scarfe calling it an attempt to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Then Roger’s son Harry persuaded Roger into releasing the live concerts as Harry told his dad that fans love live music and Roger relented and was pleased with how well it came out.

During the tour, Richard Wright performed as a salaried musician rather than a full member, having been fired by Waters during the sessions for the original album. But he was allowed to play the concerts as a salaried musician.

All four Pink Floyd members were duplicated by the “surrogate band”. Andy Bown, the bass player, would play the bass parts with the band more than Waters, due to the fact that Waters was more as a character playing numbers in front and back of the wall.

Disc one
1.  “MC: Atmos” (7 August 1980; includes excerpt from “We’ll Meet Again”) – 1:13
2.  “In the Flesh?” (7 August 1980) – 3:00
3.  “The Thin Ice” (7 August 1980/13 June 1981) – 2:49
4.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 1” (7 August 1980) – 4:13
5.  “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” (7 August 1980/15 June 1981)  – 1:40
6.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 2” (8 August 1980/9 August/14 June 1981)  – 6:19
7.  “Mother” (16 June 1981)  – 7:54
8 . “Goodbye Blue Sky” (17 June 1981) – 3:15
9.  “Empty Spaces” (14 June 1981) –  2:14
10.  “What Shall We Do Now?” (14 June 1981) – 1:40
11.  “Young Lust” (7 August 1980) – 5:17
12.  “One of My Turns” (7 August 1980)  – 3:41
13.  “Don’t Leave Me Now” (7 August 1980)  – 4:08
14.  “Another Brick in the Wall – Pt 3” (7 August 1980) – 1:15
15.  “The Last Few Bricks” (7 August 1980/9 August 1980) – 3:26
16.  “Goodbye Cruel World” (9 August 1980)  – 1:41
Total length: 53:50

Disc two
1.  “Hey You” (16 June 1981)  – 4:55
2.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” (7 August 1980)  – 3:09
3.  “Nobody Home” (8 August 1980/15 June 1981) – 3:15
4.  “Vera” (13 June 1981) – 1:27
5.  “Bring the Boys Back Home” (7 August 1980)  – 1:20
6.  “Comfortably Numb” (9 August 1980/15 June 1981) – 7:26
7.  “The Show Must Go On” (16 June 1981) – 2:35
8.  “MC: Atmos” (16 June 1981) – 0:37
9.  “In the Flesh” (7 August 1980) – 4:23
10.  “Run Like Hell” (14 June 1981/15 June 1981/17 June 1981) – 7:05
11.  “Waiting for the Worms” (13 June 1981) – 4:14
12.  “Stop” (9 August 1980)   0:30
13.  “The Trial” (9 August 1980) – 6:01
14.  “Outside the Wall” (8 August 1980/9 August 1980) – 4:27
Total length: 51:31

All lyrics written by Roger Waters; all music composed by Roger Waters and   David Gilmour.

Pink Floyd
Additional musicians

Released: 23 March 2000
Recorded: 7–9 August 1980 / 13–17 June 1981, Venue Earls Court, London, England
Genre: Progressive rock
Length: 105:21

Label – EMI Records

Michael Pinder – The Promise (1976)

Michael Thomas “Mike” Pinder (born 27 December 1941, Erdington, Birmingham, England) is an English rock musician, and is a founding member and original keyboard player of the British rock group The Moody Blues. He left the group following the recording of the band’s album, Octave, in 1978. He is especially noted for his technological contribution to music.

The Promise is a 1976 solo album by Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues, recorded during their sabbatical from 1974 to 1977.
During the Moody Blues’ mid-’70s hiatus, Mike Pinder put out his first solo album with “The Promise” in 1976. If you’re a big fan of his Moody Blues work and are coming to this album looking for more from where that came from, you may be in for a surprise, because Pinder definitely turned a musical corner here. At times, the sound is still quite lush, but this is basically mid-’70s soft rock with little of the symphonic sound of the Moodies–it seems Pinder used the Mellotron mostly for ‘ornamental’ effects, and he actually went with an Arp synth for the ‘string’ sounds on “You’ll Make It Through”. Additionally, there’s very much of a jazz flavor to the flute-laden “Someone To Believe In”, as well as a heavy gospel vibe on “You’ll Make It Through” and on the coda of “Free As A Dove”. Pinder’s vocals are generally mellow and typically earnest, though occasionally they’re a bit shakey and at times slip over into sappiness. Certainly, Pinder’s talent for engagingly tuneful songwriting is solidly on display on a majority of the songs here–the uptempo “Free As A Dove” is wonderfully melodic and has a contemplative instrumental break with a great, harmonized guitar line, although the good-timey coda does go a bit overboard; “You’ll Make It Through” is uplifting; “I Only Want To Love You” is a little sappy, but still endearing; “Carry On” is breezy and quite catchy; and “Message” is stately and has a dreamy quality, although it suffers from some fairly overwrought lyrics. And that leads to another problem–the onslaught of New Age-style lyrics is overkill, especially considering how corny some of them are, as on the pompous spoken-word piece “The Seed”. He really gets carried away on the largely dull, 6-minute title track, and that really hurts considering the shortness of the main album portion–less than 32 minutes. “The Promise” is an album that really feels like a frustrating missed opportunity.


1.  Free As A Dove – 4:10
2.  You’ll Make It Through  (Mike Pinder, Jim Dillon) – 3:52
3.  I Only Want To Love You – 3:25
4.  Someone To Believe In – 3:09
1.  Carry On – 4:16
2.  Air – 2:20
3.  Message – 2:46
4.  The Seed – 1:25
5.  The Promise – 6:02

All tracks composed by Mike Pinder except where noted

Companies, etc.



Release Date: 1976
The album was recorded in Pinder’s studio at Malibu, Indigo Ranch.
Duration: 40:30
Genre: Pop/Rock

Label – Threshold Records

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)

Phoenix is a rock band from Versailles, France, consisting of Thomas Mars, Deck d’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is the fourth studio album by French indie pop band Phoenix. It was released on 25 May 2009 by V2 Records. While the band’s previous work enjoyed a moderate underground following, the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix drew the attention of a more mainstream audience. In the US, Phoenix began a promotional tour including performances on several late night talk shows. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix continued to gain momentum with the increased exposure of the tour. The album had the critics’ attention, and despite a slow climb in alternative music charts it eventually reached the top 10 for the year. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix earned the band a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards held on 31 January 2010.

Realigned with Philippe Zdar, the half of Cassius who mixed United, Phoenix make adjustments on the polarizing characteristics of their second and third albums — the pokey and occasionally listless Alphabetical, the jagged and tune-deficient It’s Never Been Like That — with some of the most direct and enjoyable songs they’ve made to date. The two opening songs, the bopping “Lisztomania” and the buzzing “1901,” are so immediate and prone to habitual play that the remainder of the album is bound to be neglected. There is plenty to like beyond that point, including “Lasso,” which niftily alternates between a tangled rhythm and tight-spiral riffing, and the labyrinthine “Pt. 1” of “Love Like a Sunset,” which serves the same purpose as the extended instrumental passages on Roxy Music‘s Avalon, at least until its rousing conclusion and shift into “Pt. 2.” Beyond containing the band’s best, most efficient songwriting, the album also stands apart from the first three studio albums by projecting a cool punch that is unforced. Vocalist Thomas Mars, more bright-eyed and youthful than ever, also sounds more a part of these songs, rather than coming across as a protruding element that clashes against the instruments. Maybe they’ve just hit their stride.


1. “Lisztomania” – 4:08
2. “1901” – 3:13
3. “Fences” – 3:45
4. “Love Like a Sunset (Part I)” – 5:39
5. “Love Like a Sunset (Part II)” – 1:57
6. “Lasso” – 2:48
7. “Rome” – 4:38
8. “Countdown” – 3:57
9. “Girlfriend” – 3:24
10. “Armistice” – 3:05

Companies, etc.


Released: 25 May 2009
Recorded: 2008 Studio, Motorbass Studio (Paris, France)
Genre: Indie pop, synthpop, new wave
Length: 37:02

Label – V2, Loyauté, Cooperative Music

Electric Light Orchestra Part Two – Electric Light Orchestra Part Two (1990)

ELO Part II were a band formed by Electric Light Orchestra drummer and co-founder Bev Bevan. The band also included former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt, and violinist Mik Kaminski for most of its career, along with conductor Louis Clark who toured as a guest with ELO in its later years.

ELO Part Two released a self-titled album in 1990 which featured former ELO violinist Mik Kaminski on one track. The album was intended to harken back to ELO’s classic sound of the mid-to-late 1970s, but compared to the original ELO being under the creative control of Jeff Lynne, ELO Part II were more democratic in terms of songwriting and lead vocals. The first tour featured the band performing live with The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, (MSO), and was well received in the UK. Approximately two-thirds of the songs performed were ELO hits. The concert in ELO’s home town of Birmingham was captured on video and on the live album with the long-winded title Performing ELO’s Greatest Hits Live Featuring The Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Kaminski, former ELO cellist Hugh McDowell, and former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt were part of the live band, with Groucutt sharing lead and backing vocals with Troyer, Haycock and Lockwood. Kaminski, McDowell and Groucutt were initially appearing as guest artists from a band they had formed called OrKestra, itself a vehicle to exploit their past association with ELO, but eventually dissolved it and joined ELO Part Two full-time by 1993. McDowell’s tenure with the band was short. Plans to tour the USA with the MSO were cancelled as costs became prohibitive.

Electric Light Orchestra without Jeff Lynne likens unto a day without sunshine. But this even-more-anonymous ensemble injects so much calculated charisma into the popcorn here that all is forgiven. Behind these replicated string flourishes and fey-Beatlisms remains sturdy songcraft. Getting past the fact that this disc spouts third-generation fluff and depending on how you take to mimicry or cover bands, “Honest Men,” “Every Night,” and “Heart of Hearts” imitate the band’s glory daze to the point of enjoyability. Out of the blue, ELO II even takes a crack at “Kiss Me Red,” a roguish non-hit composed by the authors of “Like a Virgin” that Cheap Trick attempted on the wire-crossing Doctor. So, one knows what to expect from this bubblegum machine: not “Sweet Talking Woman” nor “Confusion” or “Twilight,” but a decent fabrication of a begone fab era. And while lynchpin Lynne pursues other endeavors, any party ever intrigued by Electric Light Orchestra will find something to enjoy by letting this saucer land on the turntable.

After Bevan left the band in late 1999, he sold his half of the rights to the Electric Light Orchestra name back to Jeff Lynne, and the band changed its name to The Orchestra.


1. “Hello Hello”   (Written-By – Bev Bevan, Eric Troyer, Neil Lockwood, Pete Haycock) – 1:18
2. “Honest Men”   (Written-By – Eric Troyer) – 6:13
3 “Every Night”  (Written-By – Eric Troyer, Ken Cummings) – 3:16
4. “Once Upon A Time”  (Written-By – Bev Bevan, Pete Haycock) – 4:20
5. “Heartbreaker”   (Written-By – Bev Bevan, Pete Haycock) – 4:55
(Violin – Mik Kaminski)
(Lead Vocals – Pete Haycock)
6. “Thousand Eyes”  ( Written-By – Eric Troyer) – 4:49
7. “For The Love Of A Woman”   (Written-By – Eric Troyer) – 4:02
8. “Kiss Me Red”   (Written-By – Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly) – 4:03
9. “Heart Of Hearts”   (Written-By – Eric Troyer) – 4:19
10. “Easy Street”   (Written-By – Bev Bevan, Pete Haycock) – 4:57
(Lead Vocals – Pete Haycock)

Companies, etc.


Release Date: 1990
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Symphonic Rock
Duration: 42:03

Label – Scotti Bros. Records

Gregg Allman – The Gregg Allman Tour (1974)

The Gregg Allman Tour is the second album and first live album by Gregg Allman, released in 1974. For this concert, Allman was backed by the band Cowboy, who played two of their own songs. Cowboy was a Capricorn Records label-mate and was Duane Allman’s favorite band.

Gregg Allman’s tour in support of his debut solo LP, Laid Back, led to the recording of this album (originally two LPs) at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. It’s a match for Laid Back in musical value and then some, with a good, wide range of repertory and great performances throughout by all concerned, plunging head-first and deep into blues, R&B, honky tonk, and gospel. Strangely enough, the album contains only three of Laid Back’s songs — “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” opens the show in a properly spirited, earthy manner, but it’s the second song, “Queen of Hearts,” in a soaring rendition, with gorgeous backing by Annie Sutton, Erin Dickins, and Lynn Rubin, and superb sax work by Randall Bramblett and David Brown, that shows Allman in his glory as a singer and bandleader. Allman gives a lively, raucous, honky tonk-style rendition of the Elvis Presley hit “I Feel So Bad,” complete with a killer guitar solo by Tommy Talton, and “Turn on Your Lovelight” gets an extended treatment worthy of the Allman Brothers Band. One would expect that, with Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe present in the band, there were be more similarity to the Allmans’ sound, and that they’d be prominently featured, but Tommy Talton and bassist Kenny Tibbetts get more of a spotlight. Several Allman Brothers songs are present here, in more laid-back and lyrical versions, and the Capricorn Records band Cowboy — essentially serving as the core of Allman’s touring band — gets a featured spot with two songs, “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go,” that leave one wanting to hear a lot more concert material from them, and from Talton as a singer.


1. “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing”  (Oliver Sain) – 5:06
2. “Queen of Hearts”  (Gregg Allman) – 7:43
3. “I Feel So Bad”  (Chuck Willis) – 4:47
4 .”Stand Back”  (Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley) – 3:32
5. “Time Will Take Us”  – Cowboy (Frank Thomas Talton) – 5:51
6. “Where Can You Go?”  – Cowboy (Frank Thomas Talton) – 8:10
7. “Double Cross”  (Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell) – 4:41
8 .”Dreams”  (Gregg Allman) – 7:29
9. “Are You Lonely for Me Baby”  (Andy Cousin, Warne Livesey, Mark Price, Julianne Regan) – 4:27
10. “Turn On Your Love Light”  (Deadric Malone, Joseph Wade Scott) – 10:45
11. “Oncoming Traffic”  (Gregg Allman, Janice B. Allman) – 5:56
12 .”Will The Circle Be Unbroken”  (Traditional) – 7:21


  • Gregg Allman – Lead vocals, organ
  • Tommy Talton – Lead guitar, slide guitar
  • Scott Boyer – Rhythm guitar
  • Bill Stewart – Drums
  • Jai Johanny Johanson (Jaimoe, credited as Johnny Lee Johnson) – Drums and percussion
  • Kenny Tibbetts – Electric bass
  • Chuck Leavell – Piano and electric piano
  • Randall Bramblett – Soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, C-Melody Sax (all horn solos)
  • David Brown – Tenor saxophone
  • Harold “Bullets” Williams – Baritone saxophone
  • Todd Logan – Trumpet
  • Peter Eklund – Trumpet
  • Annie Sutton – Background vocals
  • Erin Dickins – Background vocals
  • Lynn Rubin – Background Vocals

Cowboy (tracks 5-6)

  • Tommy Talton – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
  • Scott Boyer – Harmony Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar
  • David Brown – Electric Bass
  • Chuck Leavell – Piano & Electric Piano
  • Randall Bramblett – Organ, Saxophone
  • Bill Stewart – Drums
  • Johnny Lee Johnson – Congas & Drums
  • Todd Logan – Trumpet
  • Peter Eklund – Trumpet
  • Harold “Bullet” Williams – Baritone Saxophone
  • Gregg Allman – Organ on “Where Can You Go”


  • Gregg Allman – Producer
  • Johnny Sandlin – Producer, Remixing
  • Sam Whitesdie – Remixing
  • Randall Bramblett – Horn Arranger
  • Ed Freeman – Horn & Strings Arranger
  • Strings under the direction of Max Cahn
  • George Marino – Mastering
  • Dennis M. Drake – Mastering on Compact Disc
  • Tom Flye & Tom Scott – Engineers

Released: 1974
Recorded: 1974 Carnegie Hall, New York, NY and the Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
Genre: Southern rock
Length: 75:38

Label – Capricorn Records