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Cameo Parkway 1957-1967

Impresario Allen B. Klein has got to be one of the shrewdest music biz guys of all time. In addition to his legendary representation at one point of The Beatles, Klein over the years has picked up the back catalog rights to incredible classics from Phil Spector, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Herman’s Hermits, The Animals and more for release on his record label. His love of the key music of the ‘50s and ‘60s is no doubt behind the 2005 ABKCO four CD box set, Cameo Parkway 1957-1967. One of the few independent companies to amass huge pop smashes from the R&B, doo-wop, pop, rock and soul music worlds, the Philly based Cameo Parkway were bonafide hit makers. Just their early ‘60s 45rpm releases of the original hit of “The Twist” by Chubby Checker and The Orlons incredible single “South Street” at the dawn of the ‘60s seals the deal making their catalog a key part of American pop music history. The labels roster is fully explored on ABKCO’s four CD set with an assortment of timeless pop hits by Chubby Checker, The Orlons, Bobby Rydell, Don Covay, The Dovells, The Temptations, pop wunderkind Terry Knight, chanteuse Evie Sands and tons more. Other oddities here include early releases The Kinks (pre-Reprise years), a parody ditty of the song “Wild Thing” from the RKF years group called Senator Bobby and there’s even a cut from NYC FM radio shock-jock Zacherlie and his “Dinner With The Drac.” Also here is possibly the most incredible Cameo Parkway release during the teenybopper mid ‘60s days, a huge hit called “96 Tears” featuring the very mysterious Tex-Mex pop beat of ? And The Mysterians. A vital slice of the greatness of American pop culture, Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 is amazing stuff to say the least and it’s all put into historical perspective with 115 cuts over four CDs and a 44 page booklet.


Elvis By The Presleys

Although it aired as a television special on May 13, 2005, Elvis By The Presleys was also released in 2005 on DVD and accompanying CD on BMG/Sony. Possibly the most fascinating story of Elvis Presley ever told, the DVD Elvis By The Presleys features the unexpurgated Elvis story as primarily told by the two people closest in his short life—his wife Priscilla Presley and his daughter Lisa Marie Presley. Along with greats like Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, Elvis paved the way for the brave new world of rock and roll. Yet sadly he died tragically in 1977, a bloated figure of a once great musical icon, destroyed by the legal pharmaceuticals which he had abused for years. Even though, as the DVD points out, possibly the greatest loss to Elvis was the divorce of his wife Priscilla, who he’d met while in the army in Germany, back when she was just fifteen years old. The double DVD Elvis By The Presleys runs over four hours and in addition to an abundance of rarely seen home videos of Elvis the family man and rare interviews with his first cousin, Patsy Presley Geranen, and Priscilla's parents, Ann and Paul Beaulieu, the DVD also keys in on newsreels, interviews, film, TV appearances and a range of beautiful b&w and color archival footage of vintage musical moments that made Elvis the musical icon so much larger than life.An accompanying double CD set, also called Elvis By The Presleys, features 24 Elvis classics plus an 8 song bonus disc of rare outtakes and unreleased versions of Elvis hits. All told, the DVD, Elvis By The Presleys should go a long distance towards informing music fans of all ages all about the magic Elvis Presley brought to the world wide music scene.



Free Hand

One of the greatest concerts I ever witnessed took place back during the Autumn of 1974 in Los Angeles. British prog-rock sensations Gentle Giant were due to make an appearance at the fabled club, Whiskey A Go Go on Sunset Strip. Being a die hard prog-rock fan I was there in spades early in the night and even leapt at the chance to help the roadies set up the speaker monitors at the foot of the stage—all this behind closed doors yet only feet from the sidewalks of Sunset Blvd. At the time, Giant, as their fans refer to them, had just released their album The Power And The Glory. A masterful record with a classic Lp artwork to match, the album was their sixth and second for UK’s WEA label and, although without a label in the U.S. at the time, the band was easily among the top five bands in the prog-rock arena. When Gentle Giant took the stage at the Whiskey that night they blew more than a few minds. Instead of playing anything from The Power And The Glory, or previous American releases on Columbia, the band burst on stage and played their ‘73 album, In A Glass House from start to finish, the complete album! An amazing show if there ever was one. All of this comes to light again as Gentle Giant celebrate the 35th anniversary of their first album back in 1970. To witness the occasion, the band are issuing 35th Anniversary editions of both their 1975 album Free Hand (with a bonus cut from a July 3, 1976 show in Hempstead Long Island) and a 35th Anniversary reissue of their fabled 1973 album In A Glass House, the latter being an album long considered to be among their finest albums and one of the finest prog-rock albums ever made. According to the band's co-founder and lead vocalist Derek Shulman, “I am proud to have the opportunity to release the music of Gentle Giant through my own company DRT Entertainment. Together we composed music that still holds up with old and new fans alike.” Long time Giant watchers should keep an eye out for future remasters on Shulmans, DRT imprint including late 2005 CD reissues of The Power And The Glory (1974), Interview (1976) and more including a Gentle Giant anthology and a DVD of concert footage from a 1974 European tour.


Two Yanks In England
(Collector's Choice)

With their 2005 CD reissue of the entire ‘60s catalog of The Everly Brothers—consisting of fifteen different CDs—Collector’s Choice sets the record straight and brings to light the vastly underrated sound the Everlys brought to the pop world during the ‘60s. Following immense success during the ‘50s, Don and Phil signed to Warner Brothers for the 1960 release of It’s Everly Time. During the Beatlemania years, The Everly Brothers beefed up their sound and released Beat & Soul, their 1965 collection of covers with a killer band that included Glen Campbell, James Burton, Leon Russell and Billy Preston. Another gem brought to light with these 15 Everlys reissues is a fine 1966 album the Brothers made in London with English pop icons, The Hollies entitled Two Yanks In England. Eight unheralded Hollies classics (under their pseudonym L. Ransford) expertly reinterpreted and capped off by one Everlys original, covers of 1965 number one hits “Pretty Flamingo”, “Somebody Help Me” and another Sonny Curtis classic “The Collector” make it one of the best Merseybeat style pop albums ever recorded by an American group during the ‘60s. The final Warners album reissue here is single disc of their double-LP extravaganza taped at the Grand Hotel Anaheim in 1970, Check out the Collector’s Choice catalog for a complete description of their essential Everly Brothers reissue program.


Feels Good To Me

Created by musical icon and founding Yes drummer Bill Bruford to chronicle his prodigious output of recorded material, Winterfold reissued his first two solo albums in early 2005. Bruford’s 1977 solo album, Feels Good To Me was the finest solo album to be recorded by any member in or out of Yes, at that time. Joined by incredibly gifted people including keyboardist Dave Stewart (of National Health), jazz-rock guitarist Allan Holdsworth and American jazz singer Annette Peacock, Feels Good To Me transcended the borders of jazz and rock with impeccable grace and ease. All told, the album has aged well and this 2005 remaster on Bruford’s label is definitive. Also out on Winterfold is a 2005 CD remaster of Bruford’s second solo album, the 1978 jazz-rock instrumental classic One Of A Kind, which featured the same lineup minus the vocals of Ms. Peacock. Both are essential listening and can be considered among the finest rock fusion albums ever made, then or now. Bruford also promises late 2005 remasters of his other rock fusion outings, Gradually Going Tornado (1979) and The Bruford Tapes, (1980) while his other label Summerfold reissued remasters of his ‘jazzier’ solo albums including Dig? (1989) All Heaven Broke Loose (1991) and Stamping Ground Live (1993).

Hello Angel

One of the great U.K. pop albums of the late ‘80s, Hello Angel by singer-songwriter Sandie Shaw was reissued by EMI over in England. Historic as it is, Shaw’s ‘60s pop sheen was the perfect foil for singer Morrissey, fresh from his Smith’s heyday and they hit it off on a couple tracks here. The album contained a spectrum of her pop vocal finesse imbued with both ‘60s sizzle and ‘80s meltdown. Also featuring contributions from both The Smiths and her original partner Chris Andrews, the album has aged well and this 2005 reissue features super remastered sound, bonus tracks, a great booklet and lyrics.





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