Archive CD Reviews

Spring 2000 
CD Reviews



In Deep

Fans of the British invasion group The Zombies are all too well aware that after the Zombies split, their last single “Time Of The Season” suddenly became an ill-timed radio hit. By that time Zombies’ founder / keyboardist Rod Argent had already formed a new group that took his last name. Borrowing from the best of mid-60s British Invasion sensibilities and the progressive rock sound made popular in the early ‘70s, Argent straddled both sides of the musical fence with ease and in addition featured the top rhythm section of Jim Rodford (bass) and Rob Henrit (drums). Argent recorded a string of brilliant albums culminating with the release of their trademark single “Hold Your Head Up” featured on the group’s 1972 album All Together Now. Their next album, 1973’s In Deep has just been reissued on CD for the first time in the U.S. Easily one of the band’s best albums it’s remembered for the incredible songs written by Argent and his band mate Russ Ballard. Ballard’s vocals and guitar on tracks like “It’s Only Money” and “Losing Hold” is still incredible. In Deep was Ballard’s last studio album with Argent, but clearly it remains a great one. Splendid remastering, new liner notes and a bonus track of the group’s biggest hit “Hold Your Head Up” makes the Collectables edition of In Deep an essential spin.

Then Again: A Retrospective

Considering that their debut was one of the great finds of 1980, it’s a real drag that most of the great M+M albums haven’t been reissued yet. Featuring the vocals and songwriting talents of Mark Gane (guitars) and Martha Johnson, the early band did in fact have two lead vocalists named Martha although later incarnations only featured Ms. Johnson. Their debut album Metro Music will always be remembered as their calling card, yet later albums further portrayed the Toronto-based band as cutting edge rockers who ventured much further then their obvious abilities to land big pop hooks. The band has released seven albums with the most recent one being 1992’s Modern Lullaby. So far the only CD set to offer a retrospective of the M+M back catalog, the 18 track Then Again features a track-by-track account and recent liner notes by both Mark and Martha. Contact:



Another noteworthy CD from Capitol and EMI in the U.K. is the first ever remix/remaster of the 1971 Imagine album by Beatles great John Lennon. The new mix is so upfront and personal that you may want to upgrade your stereo system. The booklet is spruced up as well with a number of moving color and B&W snapshots of Lennon and wife Yoko Ono in addition to track personnel and other vita. Ono has proven to be quite adept at keeping John’s name and music alive in the nearly 20 years since his passing and she should be proud of the Imagine remix, which really evens out the sound stage making a great sounding album to begin even better.


Other Enz:
Split Enz & Beyond Vol. 1

For music fans in the know, New Zealand-based Split Enz recorded some of the finest pop-rock of the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Formed in 1972 by singer-songwriter Tim Finn and guitarist Phil Judd, the band struck gold when famed U.K. guitarist Phil Manzanera produced their first international L.P. release Mental Notes. An intriguing mix of Brit-pop and avant-rock exploration, the early Enz gave way in the late ‘70s to a more commercial Enz pop sound which featured Tim Finn’s younger brother Neil Finn. By the early ‘80s some of the magic had disappeared, yet Split Enz were still capable of delivering a solid pop punch. After the Enz mid ‘80s break-up, Tim went solo while Neil perpetuated the Enz sound with the highly successful Crowded House. History never repeats, but now Australian-based Raven Records sets the record straight with Other Enz, a a 2-CD set of 41 Split Enz related tracks. Other Enz compiles rare live tracks from both Split Enz and Crowded House, numerous solo works from Enz members Noel Crombie, Phil Judd, Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner, tracks from Tim Finn’s work with both Phil Manzanera and Richard Thompson and solo tracks from the Finn brothers mid-90s recordings. As good as that is, the definite highlight here has to be a pair of live tracks from the 1989 collaboration between Crowded House and Byrd’s founder Roger McGuinn entitled Byrdhouse. A ‘89 Byrdhouse performance in L.A. yielded outstanding covers of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Eight Miles High”. 1981’s Waiata and 1979’s Frenzy still define the Enz sound, yet there’s certainly enough Split Enz-related music on Other Enz to intrigue long time fans as well as newcomers alike. A fascinating look back at the Split Enz family tree, Other Enz features great sound as well as an in-depth CD booklet.


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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