Friday, July 14, 2017

New Music: Heart, The Who, Chris Bell, Peter Cetera

Fans of Heart, The Who, Big Star and Chicago will want to explore recent releases available now.

Artist: Heart
Title: Alive in Seattle (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Heart, Led Zeppelin
Tell me more: Heart's memorable homecoming performance on the last night of their 2002 tour has been re-released on DVD and watching the concert is to be reminded of how this group more than earned its long-overdue induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. The band's set features potent versions of most of the band's extensive parade of hits, as well as gems that had just been released at the time of the concert (the Led Zeppelin-flavored "Sister Wild Rose" is a particularly powerful rocker). Sisters Ann Wilson (vocals) and Nancy Wilson (guitar) are backed by a top-tier bunch of virtuoso players including the hard-hitting drummer Benjamin Smith and talented lead guitarist Scott Olson. Signature rockers such as the speedy "Crazy On You" and hard rocking "Barracuda" are artfully balanced by acoustic ballads ("These Dreams," "Alone," "Dog and Butterfly") and genre-blending nuggets (the dynamic original "Mistral Wind," a faithful cover of Led Zep's "Battle of Evermore"). Information: or

Artist: The Who
Title: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004
You might like if you enjoy: The Who, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey
Tell me more: The Who's appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2004 is an important one in the band's history. While the group's performance at the festival marked the first time The Who played there since their legendary 1970 and proved to be a bona fide success, the appearance came not long after the death of founding member/bassist John Entwistle. Available as a DVD+2CD, Bluray+2CD or via digital, "Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004" fully captures The Who delivering potent versions of their most beloved classic rockers while also reminding a large festival crowd comprised of enthusiastic young concertgoers that great rock music spans generations. Singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist-singer Pete Townshend  and renowned drummer Zak Starkey led the band through an expansive set featuring early favorites ("I Can't Explain," "Substitute"), progressive anthems (""Baba O'Riley," "Love Reign O'er Me"), new material (the melodic "Real Good Looking Boy" being a standout) and majestic rockers ("Eminence Front," "Won't Get Fooled Again") to the delight of the crowd, many jumping up and down and adding palpable excitement. Information:

Artist: Chris Bell
Title: Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Beck, Alex Chilton
Tell me more: When Chris Bell died at age 27 in December 1978, it marked the end of a brief but groundbreaking career highlighted by his co-founding Big Star in 1971 and the legendary posthumous LP I Am Cosmos released in 1992. Now, a renewed look at the super-talented singer-songwriter/guitarist comes courtesy of Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star. The essential 22-track collection has gathered a slew of recordings that featured Bell prior to his forming Big Star. While fans of Big Star and early '70s rock might delve into the material with a sense of curiosity, the strength of the songs and performances caught in the recording studio will insure repeat listening. The eclectic material includes the title track "Looking Forward" that was written and recorded decades ahead of its time (this writer could hear Beck releasing this in 2017), the aptly-titled swirling stylings of "Psychedelic Stuff," the alt-country confessional "Try Again" (a later version of the Bell/Alex Chilton song would appear on Big Star's debut) and the shimmering acoustic standout "Sunshine." Information:

Artist: Peter Cetera
Title: The Very Best Of Peter Cetera (Varèse Sarabande Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Chicago, Peter Cetera
Tell me more: A founding member of Chicago, Peter Cetera played bass and used his distinctive tenor voice to help the band score a number of hits in the 1970s and early '80s before embarking on a solo career in 1985. He immediately began to rack up a string of successful radio hits and land songs in motion pictures, all of which have been collected on the first collection to feature all of his best known material. The Very Best Of Peter Cetera features all of all of Cetea's Top 40 singles, including his biggest hits ("Glory of Love," "The Next Time I Fall") and several tracks that may well have escaped the attention of listeners but are as infectious as his best-known material. The synthesizer-anchored "Big Mistake" is bolstered by a New Wave beat; "Daddy's Girl" is a buoyant single with an interesting mix of keyboards and electronica dance tinges that was written and recorded as a tribute to his daughter. Across the 14-track collection Cetera collaborates with an impressive mix of artists including Amy Grant, David Foster, Chaka Khan and CherInformation:

Robert Kinsler

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