MWE3 Archives - CD Reviews

Winter 1999/ 2000 
CD Reviews



SNL 25: The Musical Performances
Volume 1 & 2

Since the mid ‘70s there has been in the vicinity of one thousand airings of Saturday Night Live. The live comedy show always featured as it’s opening line, “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!” and for millions of TV viewers, tuning in the late night live show was a weekly ritual. Early regulars like Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi went on to become mega celebrities in their own right and while nowhere near as cutting edge or funny as the late ‘70s and early ‘80s shows, SNL obviously still maintains a huge cult following. Each week always featured a big name musical guest and in celebration of SNL’s 25th Anniversary, L.A.-based Dreamworks Records has released the first two CDs to spotlight various SNL musical guest stars. Volume 1 features stellar live performances from huge names like Eric Clapton (show from 1990), David Bowie (1997), The Grateful Dead (1978) and Tom Petty (1994), while Volume 2 examines appearances by Neil Young (1989), Beck (1999), R.E.M. (1991) and The Pretenders (1994). Each of these great sounding 15 track CDs features an impressive booklet packed with historic liner notes and track data listing show dates and guest host trivia. Perhaps the best thing about these compilations is the great live in the studio sound quality, even dating back to the late ‘70s shows. With hundreds of other great shows in the can, further volumes in the SNL archive series will broaden it’s scope to feature musical comedy and more esoteric material as well. 


It’s About Time
(Jamie / Guyden)

Even the most ardent ‘60s pop fan might not be familiar with the Philadelphia-based quartet The Kit Kats. But they should. Upon hearing the fabulous lead off track “Let’s Get Lost On A Country Road”, it’s quite clear that The Kit Kats sound will be of immense interest to fans of like-minded ‘60s group’s such as The Association, Spanky & Our Gang and The Beach Boys. Specializing in catchy ‘60s style pop, instrumental music and retro-tinged ‘50s oldies sounds, The Kit Kats trademark sound was incredibly tight harmonies executed with an uncanny sense of musical interplay. These guys could really play! 25 years after they called it a day, their original label, Jamie Records have compiled assorted tracks from the group’s various albums along with several rare and unreleased tracks on one great 31 track double disc set. There’s even an enhanced video track of the classic Kit Kats’ track, “Won’t Find Better Than Me”. The eye-catching artwork tacks on 16 pages of voluminous liner notes explaining why The Kit Kats should be heard by every true ‘60s pop fan. 


History Of Hawaiian Steel Guitar

A genre favorite with icons like Les Paul and Steve Howe, Hawaiian music has sure come a long way during the 20th Century. Taking a look back at the early greats of Hawaiian guitar music, History Of Hawaiian Steel Guitar compiles 23 guitar classics originally recorded between 1927 and 1950 by Island legends like Sol Ho’opi’i and David Napihi Burrows. Newly transferred using state of the art digital remastering, the CD sounds incredible, considering the age of these recordings. A sixteen page booklet features lengthy, track by track details, tuning info and stunning B&W and four color photos of the numerous vintage acoustics and lap steel guitars and amplifiers employed here. Adding to the authentic vibe is a praiseworthy foreword by Hawaiian guitar legend Jerry Byrd. The 67+ minute History Of Hawaiian Steel Guitar takes you back to where it all started with an incredible collection of vocal and instrumental tracks. Collectors of Hawaiian guitar music must check out the quite impressive Cord International catalog. 

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249




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