Sunday, September 20, 2015

Groundbreaking artists captured on new DVD/Blu-ray and audio CD releases

If variety is indeed the spice of life, look no further than a slew of September releases featuring the far-flung likes of Jeff Lynne's ELO, Los Angeles-spawned rockers Los Lobos, British quartet Duran Duran and a special reissue of the first "Mystery Science Theater 3000" featuring an infamous B move with an appearance by Little Richard and several other early rock acts.

Artist: Jeff Lynne's ELO
Title: Live in Hyde Park (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), The Beatles, Pugwash
Tell me more: There is little doubt that Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra (better known as "ELO") are back. In September 2014, singer-songwriter-guitarist Lynne and ELO performed before 50,000 fans at Hyde Park as part of BBC Radio 2's "Festival In A Day." The wonderful event has been fully captured on a new concert film that finds Lynne and company delivering epics versions of more than a dozen ELO classics. The uptempo "All Over The World," '70s-styled rocker "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle," masterful BBC Concert Orchestra showcase "10538 Overture" and sweeping "Mr. Blue Sky" are among the great songs performed. Lynne also pays tribute to his late friends Roy Orbison and George Harrison with a poignant take of the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care." Live in Hyde Park is available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats. The bonus features on the title prove to be icing on the cake to be sure. Information:
Get 'Live in Hyde Park [Blu-ray]' here 

Artist: Los Lobos
Title: Gates Of Gold (429 Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Los Lobos, the Latin Playboys, Los Super Seven
Tell me more: Whether performing rootsy rock, folk, blues or Tex-Mex rock, legendary outfit Los Lobos displays a creative wide-ranging spirit across the aptly-titled Gates Of Gold. Things lead off with the infectious roots rocker "Made To Break Your Heart," but the band turns things around with a wistful track ("When We Were Free") that blends rock and free-form jazz. No matter whether playing blistering blues rock ("Mis-Treater Boogie Blues," "Two Small Heart"), traditional Mexican music ("Poquito Para Aqui," "La Tumba Sera El Final"), Americana ("Gates Of Gold," "Song Of The Sun") or acoustic blues ("I Believed You So"), long-time members/songwriters David Hidalgo, Louie Perez and Cesar Rosas have an otherworldly ability to ensure all the sonic elements fit together perfectly. Information: or
Get 'Gates Of Gold' on CD here

Artist: Duran Duran
Title: Paper Gods (Warner Bros.)
You might like if you enjoy: Duran Duran, Arcadia, Mark Ronson
Tell me more: More than 35 years into their run, British group Duran Duran remains relevant, mixing the best of their early '80s New Wave synth sounds with modern-day dance stylings via contributions from several guest vocalists and musicians (including former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante) on their latest album Paper Gods. The heavy dance gem "Last Dance In The City" features Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon sharing vocals with Canadian singer Kiesza; equally propulsive is the disc's first single "Pressure Off" featuring Duran Duran joining forces with soul-funk singer Janelle Monáe and former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers. Duran Duran turns in one of its greatest-ever ballads with the tender "What Are The Chances?" (Le Bon's voice sounds better than ever), while the blend of electronica and pop on "Only In Dreams" and "The Universe Alone" are enhanced by several experimental flourishes. Information:
Buy 'Paper Gods (Deluxe)' here

Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 1 (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Mystery Science Theater 3000, Little Richard, Mary Wells
Tell me more: Shout! Factory has reissued an expanded version of its long-out-of-print Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 1 collection. The groundbreaking movie-mocking TV series never got it wrong in terms of selecting choice B movies to skew, while interspersing the film with skits and songs that featured original and intelligent comedy in spades. Volume 1 kicks off with an episode featured in Season 2 of MST3K, the 1967 beach party film Catalina Caper noteworthy for its appearance by rocker Little Richard singing "Scuba Party," a song he co-wrote with film composer Jerry Long. Often forgotten too was a performance by The Cascades singing the Ray Davies-penned "There's a New World" on screen and Mary Wells singing the song "Never Steal Anything Wet" over the closing credits. Other choice Crown International Pictures clunkers featured on "Volume 1" include Bloodlust, The Creeping Terror and The Skydivers. Information: or

Buy 'Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 1' today

Artist: Pop4
Title: Summer (Pop4)
You might like if you enjoy: Moonpools & Caterpillars, Susanna Hoffs, Pugwash
Tell me more: There are joyful echos of Electric Light Orchestra, The Beatles, Matthew Sweet, Moonpools & Caterpillars and a wide range of melodic rock icons across the aptly-titled Pop4 release Summer. The 16-track power-pop collection definitely conjures up long, warm summer days with a plethora of bright melodies and harmonies. Highlights on the album include the a capella "I Will Become Love," the driving "Blow Wind Blow," ELO-mining "Einstein and Sunshine" ("Mr. Blue Sky" is an obvious rhythmic reference here) and baroque pop standout "You're No Aimee Mann." Information:

Robert Kinsler

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