Monday, October 25, 2021

New Music: The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Duran Duran, The Bootheels, Bruce Sudano

Now is the perfect time to celebrate titles featuring a parade of talents including The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Duran Duran, The Bootheels and Bruce Sudano.


The Rolling Stones
Title: Tattoo You: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/Interscope/UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, classic rock
Tell me more: The Rolling Stones' beloved 1981 album Tattoo You has been reissued via a slew of 40th Anniversary editions. The 2CD edition of the album includes the newly-remastered 11-track album on disc one, and a brand new collection of nine previously-unreleased songs offered on disc two; these so-called "Lost & Found" tracks are newly completed with additional vocals and guitar work by the band. There are some really great tracks here; my favorites include the full-hearted rocker "Living in the Heart of Love," a rousing take on the Chi-lites' "Troubles a' Comin'," fiery original rocker "Come to the Ball" and freewheeling cover of bluesman Jimmy Reed's "Shame Shame Shame." The remastered original album  which features favorites such as "Start Me Up," "Hang Fire," "Neighbours" and "Waiting On A Friend"  sounds glorious. In addition to the two-disc version reviewed in this column (which also has an excellent 20-page booklet including an essay from Kevin Howlett and Jeff Slade), there are several expanded configurations of the album that include "Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982," The Rolling Stones' London Show of the "Tattoo You" tour. That 26-track set includes hits such as "Under My Thumb," "Let's Spend The Night Together," "Honky Tonk Women" and Brown Sugar." Information:

 Neil Young
Title: Carnegie Hall 1970 (Reprise)
You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young
Tell me more: Amidst all the recent high profile deluxe reissues of classic rock-minded titles issued by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Doors this year, don't let Neil Young's two-disc Carnegie Hall 1970 escape your attention. On Dec. 4, 1970 Young performed two solo acoustic shows at Carnegie Hall in New York. The 23 tracks featured on Young's essential Carnegie Hall 1970 have been mixed from the original 1/4 inch tapes by Young and Niko Bolas. The historical recording is magnificent;  the power of Young's  performance, stellar set list and energy of the event is palpable. The audience is fully attentive cheering when Young starts and stops but wonderfully quiet during his delivery of a parade of masterworks ranging from "Down By The River," "Cinnamon Girl" and "I Am A Child" early on disc one to "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," "Old Man," "Ohio" and "Birds" on disc two. Young performs many of his most beloved early classics to the lone accompaniment of his acoustic guitar, harmonica and piano. Carnegie Hall 1970 is the first release of the "Neil Young Archives" series; keep 'em coming! Information:

Duran Duran
Title: Future Past (BMG)
You might like if you enjoy: Duran Duran, Graham Coxon, Tove Lo
Tell me more: Duran Duran is back with the aptly-titled Future Past. Available as a standard 12-track set or via a deluxe edition with three additional tracks (the latter is reviewed here), the album finds the groundbreaking British band in top form. Singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor have enlisted the esteemed likes of guitarist Graham Coxon (Blur), pianist Mike Garson (David Bowie) and vocalist Lykke Li to bolster their own talents on this ambitious return  the quartet's first new studio effort since 2015's Paper Gods. Additionally, acclaimed producers Erol AlkanGiorgio Moroder, Joshua Blair and Mark Ronson bring their collective talents to the material. Duran Duran blends its synth-pop, rock and dance signature sound in the service of songs that are melodic and expertly presented. The soaring opener "Invisible," funk-tinged anthem "All Of You" and cascading "Anniversary" are early highlights. The cinematic "Velvet Newton," dance floor sortie "Tonight United," opulent "Wing" and sophisticated "Laughing Boy" all elevate Future Past. To be certain this is an album where the addition of guests enriches the reach of the album. The bewitching mid tempo "Give It All Up" has Le Bon's distinctive vocals blending perfectly with Swedish songstress Tove Lo; rapper Ivorian Doll brings an artful edge to "Hammerhead." The Japanese DIY-pop band CHAI add a delightful vocal energy to the buoyant "More Joy!"; Mike Garson's masterful piano work escalates "Falling," an tempestuous track that builds in power across most of its run until a jazzy finale that defies any obvious genre with gusto. The deluxe edition comes housed in a hardback book format with artful images (including band portraits by Rhodes) and full lyrics for the songs. Information:

The Bootheels
Title: 1988: The Original Demos (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Hüsker Dü, Radio California, Dinosaur Jr.
Tell me more: Before Luther Russell formed Those Pretty Wrongs with Big Star's Jody Stephens and Jakob Dylan and Tobi Miller rose to fame with The Wallflowers, those musicians and drummer Aaron A. Brooks were members of the short-lived late '80s outfit The Bootheels. The quartet's 1988: The Original Demos reveals The Bootheels were something special despite their abbreviated tenure. Carving out a sound blending alternative rock, post-punk and noise rock, the group's strengths are obvious. Inspired performances abound, all heightened with the smart songwriting and particularly sharp interplay between the guitar work of Dylan and Miller. The mix of hard-edged material (the racing "See It In Your Eyes," "Wasted Dime," "Queen of Hearts"), edgy melodic rock ("Empty Wallet, Empty Bottle, Empty Heart," "Halfway There") and more rueful sonic territory ("The Deal," "Interstate 68 Blues," "B-Line for You") makes for a fun listen. Produced for release by Russell and Grammy winner Cheryl Pawelski, it's wonderful to see these 33-year-old recordings arrive for rock fans to celebrate. Information:

Bruce Sudano
Title: Ode To A Nightingale (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: Bruce Sudano, Andrew Gold, Boz Scaggs, classic rock
Tell me more: Singer-songwriter Bruce Sudano is back with another winning album, the eight-track "Ode To A Nightingale." There is a life-affirming spirit displayed by Sudano in the performance of his songs; the arrangements on the new release showcase his emotive lead vocals and smart song craft. The shimmering melody-rich "A Cosmic Ride" has a joyful and positive vibe. The darting folk rocker "Ode To A Nightingale" features lead and harmony vocals, dancing musical textures and an infectious rhythm that play in perfect symmetry. "Not Your Hero" is a confessional and affecting acoustic ballad. The highlights on the album are "In Shadowland" and even more sparse "All Hands," songs that are reflective and stirring  both capture the uncertainty of these times with power and sway. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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