Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Beatles-Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Magical Mystery Tour came at a critical time in the history of The Beatles. A few months before his manager, mentor and friend Brian Epstein was found dead of an overdose of amphetamines. Brian still alive The Beatles could afford to ignore the organizational and administrative aspects of his empire to concentrate solely on music; by Brian them ever had the concerns of other bands (mismanagement, losses, compromising contracts with clauses, accounting thieves, etc.), but without it the front first felt helpless and confused. We now playing the tough task of directing themselves vast multi-million dollar ship, as it is said, immersed in work is the best cure for pain, Paul took over and planned the next project of the Beatles: A film made , directed and produced by themselves with their respective soundtrack. While the film was a resounding fiasco (you have to deeply love the Beatles to be lenient with her) the soundtrack was confirmation of the grace period the quartet lived as innovative performers and authors. In its original form Magical Mystery Tour was a double EP (Extended Play) with the 6 themes of the film, but since this format was not popular in the US, Capitol made an LP by adding 5 pieces single released in the same year and that eventually become the definitive version of Magical Mystery Tour. The tracks on the EP are inspired by the original concept of the previous album, only the spectacle of Sgt. Pepper's is transformed here on a tour where the audience is led by the Beatles to places beyond imagination. While the issues Magical Mystery Tour and Your Mother Should Know are derivative of Sgt. Pepper's and When I'm 64 respectively, the other 4 are simply masterful, delving deeper into psychedelia but within a dreamlike atmosphere markedly doing its job support to the images of the film: the Fool on The Hill is one of the greatest creations of Paul with the contrast between an easily assimilable melody and arrangement intricately worked; Flying is a short instrumental and often overlooked but it seems to me superb, the way it blends into the images described in the film is a magical moment; Blue Jay Way George first used the resource to establish analogy between the material world and the spiritual through a seemingly simple letter and a surreal and menacing array; The Walrus I'm John is one of the highlights of this acid stage of the quartet, the letter touches the roof of the thematic non-sense of the author and arrangement characterized by various sound effects, voices insane and brilliant string section written by George Martin gives a touch delirious genius, a premonitory piece of 'orchestral rock' that would end later date after years in bands like the Electric Light Orchestra. The rest of the album is completed with the wonderful creative explosion of single Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane, the single post-Pepper All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man and beyond nice Hello Goodbye (face b R 'm The Walrus). An album that is often seen as an appendix of Sgt. Pepper's but that is a fundamental part of that colorful sound collage that marked the career of the Beatles throughout 1967.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Supertramp-Crime of the Century (1974)

Supertramp formed in 1969 based on the talents of two great musicians Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, supported by the Dutch millionaire Stanley August Miesegaes. In 1972 after the commercial failure of the first two albums and followed the abandonment of most of its members and the sponsor of the group, which looked like the end of the dream Supertramp, Davies and Hodgson pressed to meet the commitments of the contract with A & M Records , the group reassembled with new musicians and making classical quintet that lasted until 1982. 
Under financial pressures and contract record "Crime Of The Century", his third album and mythical absolute masterpiece that marked the beginning of the creative era of the band with his unique sound influenced by Davies and Hodgson, fusing styles Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, and orchestral sounds. This album marked the resurrection of the group and placed in major league music. The album was produced by the band with Ken Scott, known for his work with The Beatles, Procol Harum, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd and David Bowie and recorded in the famous studies of Trident and Ramport latter owned by The Who . The album eventually rivaled in sales with The Dark Side and The Moody Blues. 
The album was recorded in various studios including Ramport Studios, owned by The Who, Trident Studios and Scorpio Sound (London); between February and June 1974 Many of the songs had previously been included in group shows such as "School", "Bloody Well Right", "Rudy" and the album's title track. Almost the entire album contained in the 1980 live album "Paris", although the orchestration of the songs on the original album were replaced by synthesizers played by John Helliwell with the help of Roger Hodgson. 
"Crime of the Century" marked the first Supertramp album to enter the top forty positions in the American charts. Following the release of "Even in the Quietest Moments" in 1977, "Crime of the Century" was certified gold by the RIAA. 
The album would be remastered and reissued on June 11, 2002 by A & M Records.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kansas-Two for the Show (1978)

At the time, "Two for the Show" appeared on the summit of the band both artistically and commercially, with two previous studio albums ("Leftoverture" and "Point of Know Return") that had been put in the big time business leagues and a fan base that seemed to extend to infinity. The multisport playing fields, stadiums and great theaters since early 1977 eventually led them in 1978 to give mega-concert that lasted 2 ½ hours and more. This album draws from several concerts of his tour tripartite developed from 1977 to 1978, but it shows a very fluid feeling in listening. 
KANSAS shown here all facets of their musical offerings with full brightness equally distributed in all of them: the predominant symphonic pomposity, heavy moments full of sophistication, elements blues-country-bluegrass to call the homeland, quirky moments which emerge solo acoustic guitar, piano or drum set ... everything is there embodied with vigor. The booklet contains copious photos (including a Steve Walsh dancing to Jim Morrison to woo the girls wildly public, and also to a Robby Steinhardt staring at nothing while mentally in their internal line impredibles images violin ... !) and historical comments, apart from the transcription of the dedication to the young fan who lost his sight in a serious car accident after a concert of this tour. The fact that the dual guitars and keyboards (depending on the role of Livgren in the given time) are split in different audio channels helps enjoy and understand the intelligence poured instrumental band interactions. Of course, it also helps to enhance the work of Steinhardt, who starred on numerous occasions since his role as violinist. 
The CD1 contains the definitive versions of 'Icarus', 'Portrait (He Knew)', 'Mysteries and Mayhem' (more frenetic than usual), 'Journey from Mariabronn' and 'Magnum Opus'; very loyal to study 'Paradox' and 'The Wall' versions; forcibly cut a version of 'Song for America'; and finally, the omission of 'Closet Chronicles', one of the most impressive pieces of "Point of Know Return" and one of the absolute peaks of "Two for the Show" on vinyl. But this specific omission is resolved gloriously on CD2, which contains a total of 11 bonus tracks. But not with the recovered 'Closet Chronicles' which begins on CD2, but with 'Hopelessly Human', which opened the concert portion of the first half of this hyper-tour. This expanded version begins with a brief ethereal prelude, followed by the first 16 bars of 'Incomudro', then give way to the song itself. 'Child of Innocence' and 'Belexes' transport us to times of commercial glory KANSAS: 'Child' is preceded by a great jam in key R'n'B, while 'Belexes' is executed "a mile a minute "so the extra speed being subtracted drama but it compensates with more explosiveness. "Cheyenne Anthem" has the peculiarity that filled more spaces dual violin and synthesizers in playful interlude, which translates into an exciting enhancement orchestral dimension. 'Lonely Street', 'Down the Road' and 'Bringing It Back' show us openly or excuses, the provincial facet KANSAS: 'Lonely Street' shows us a brilliantly Walsh thanatic immersed in the pain of the protagonist and destructive (a cowboy who longs seedy with his own hands to avenge the death of his prostitute girlfriend), while 'Bringing It Home' keeps drawing Steinhardt Arabian silhouettes with his violin, sometimes accompanied by the powerful guitar Williams. With this version I prefer definitely convinced that this song is more in the group that the original author JJ Cale (as with Hendrix and "All Along the Watchtower 'composed by Dylan). 
'Miracles Out of Nowhere' is certainly one of the most beautiful and immersive compositions Livgren: This version includes an organ solo by Walsh, where stylized baroque-ploys and pieces hard rock blues type alternating Jon Lord. Demos also mention the new arrangements of multiple keyboards that recall the colorful contrapuntal interlude to take advantage of the constraints themselves alive.And what a tremendous drummer Phil Ehart is! - The only 5 ½ minutes produced here shows bare the influences of Barriemore Barlow and Carl Palmer, alongside their particular dynamism. This only leads to an electrifying version of 'The Spider', one of the most labyrinthine compositions that were never conceived in the world of KANSAS. Notice that the fade-out edition was heading towards emergency bass riff for 'Portrait': this should not have been re-edited it to better advantage following sequence Jerk? Quite possibly ... but it is what it is and what there is already great.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Renaissance-Scheherazade and other stories (1975)

This concept album is part of the glory of Renaissance stage , ( and partly unknown to new generations addicted to progressive rock ) and is truly extraordinary from start to finish . The dumbbell who managed John TOUT (keyboards, vocals), Annie Haslam (lead vocals ), Jon CAMP (bass, pedals, vocals), Terrence Sullivan (drums , percussion, vocals) and Michael DUNFORD (acoustic guitar , vocals), managed to this one of those that are unique and essential discs, valued for their fabulous design and implementation . Instead of using electric guitar or electric keyboard , this work goes down the more symphonic side and also with the participation of the London Symphony Orchestra , giving much originality and great instrumentation. There are very good orchestral arrangements that are perfectly matched with the smooth voice of Annie Haslam feature in fact goes far beyond the common progressive rock , standing even among the albums of the 70's that were the golden age of the genre.
An album where you can hear tales beautifully told Scheherezade King Shahriar , supposedly compiled by the Arab writer Abu abd -Allah Muhammed el- Gahshigar became the Western tradition in the early eighteenth century , with all her adulteries and murders properly filtered by European translators .
Definitely an album of delicate melodies , tender arrangements, perfect voices, harmonious music and amazing ... a legend epic prog rock .