Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

In September 1968, The Doors embarked on a European tour, performing two sets per night (twelve shows total) over fourteen days across five countries. Things were off to a solid start with two consecutive nights at London’s legendary Roundhouse, followed by a stop in Frankfurt. Matters got hairy in Amsterdam when Jim Morrison went on a drug binge and was hospitalized, leaving the group to carry the shows out as a trio. Morrison recouped well enough for Copenhagen two... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

Collaborations by Aerosmith/Run DMC and Anthrax/Public Enemy bridged the gap between rock and rap. By the early 2000s, Linkin Park became the poster boys of the nu-metal movement. The muscle of Chester Bennington’s passionate vocals and Brad Delson’s crunchy guitar riffs juxtaposed Mike Shinoda’s rapping and Joe Hahn’s sampling/scratching, with bassist Dave Farrell and drummer Rob Bourdon gluing it all together. To say this fusion was a mild success is an... Read More

How can an album filled with songs about drug dealers, users, losers, the jilted, and of course the age-gapped creep famously exclaiming, "Hey nineteen, that's 'Retha Franklin" be so sparkly-enticing and such a party listen? Partly it's the twisted fun Becker and Fagan have with their cast of characters delivering mellifluous lines like, "The Cuervo Gold, the fine Colombian, make tonight a wonderful thing," seemingly disconnected... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

If you were even mildly curious, there’s a fair chance you caved and gave yourself a preview of The Cure’s last swing across North America once the YouTube clips started to appear. Those of us who did, got an advance listen to “Alone” - the epic, and gloriously mopey opener that should be included on their long-promised (and last?) studio album. But if the tour felt like something of a stop gap move because of the record’s delay, then what can be said now about Paris,... Read More

genre Rock Post-Punk format Vinyl

Seattle was the epicenter of the grunge movement. Just as the genre peaked in the early 1990s with bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains dominating the scene, a band from a state further south would shake up the roost. Hailing from San Diego and originally named Mighty Joe Young, Stone Temple Pilots encapsulated the spirit of 1970s hard rock with hints of the relative alternative rock scene. The buzz from their 1990 demo and massive following... Read More

My old friend Ken Kessler What's App'd me sounding more excited than I've heard him in years! The veteran U.K. based audio and watch journalist told me a U.K. label Roller Coaster Records had just released a CD reissue of The "Chirping" Crickets that used similar tech to what Giles Martin used to remix Beatles albums in improved stereo, but Ken said for some reason it worked much better on this old Crickets album that was recorded and released... Read More

genre Rock format CD

So much of interest to write about this EP and its vinyl reissue. Back in 1995, Tracking Angle magazine writer Carl E. Baugher wrote that the Alice In Chains 1995 reunion album eponymous release (the one with the three legged dog on the cover) "..combines the range and creativity of Jar Of Flies with the slam and drama of Dirt. He also described Alice in Chains as "... the heaviest of the hard n’ heavy bands out of Seattle."I took Carl's advice and... Read More

genre Rock Grunge format Vinyl

The term “supergroup” heralds a level of heightened pressure and expectation. If bands like Cream, Blind Faith, or Emerson Lake & Palmer had instant success granted to them, Bad Company found themselves in good company. The group formed from the ashes of three of England’s beloved groups: Free, Mott The Hoople, and King Crimson. Vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke had enough of Free’s guitarist Paul Kossoff’s drug abuse and unreliability. Guitarist Mick... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

If the above title scans, then you’re probably already familiar with the well-worn tale of ex-Beatle gone rogue to the far reaches of Nigeria. If not we can refer you to Wikipedia where tales of poor studio conditions, robbery and physical exhaustion all did their best to derail Sir Paul’s fifth solo attempt at getting back into the upper ranks of the pop realm.But if you just glance at the charts from the years before he, the memsahib and Denny Laine set off on... Read More

genre Rock Pop Rock format Vinyl

The pantheon of guitar gods from the 1970s consists of the usual players that come to mind: Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, and Ritchie Blackmore, just to name a few. Best known for being the original guitarist in KISS and adopting the makeup persona of “The Spaceman,” Ace Frehley is a self-described anomaly. His unorthodox approach to guitar playing left a mark on teenagers who spent their adolescent years learning his solos note-for-note. KISS’ on-stage theatrics enabled... Read More

genre Rock Hard Rock format Vinyl

With Love It To Death, Killer, School’s Out, and Billion Dollar Babies, The Alice Cooper group spent the first half of the 1970s cementing albums into the shock rock ethos. They found their niche by embracing the hard rock sounds from the motor city of Detroit, coupled with a stage show that included boa constrictors, chopped baby dolls, gallowses, and guillotines. Finding success after trial and flaw was a triumph, but, like all aspiring things, the cracks were... Read More

genre Rock Glam Rock format Vinyl

Perhaps the biggest reissue surprise in Analogue Productions’ Atlantic Records 75th anniversary partnership is Matchbox 20’s 1996 debut album Yourself Or Someone Like You. Yet the band maintains a more devoted fanbase than you might think, and this reissue is by far the best sounding edition of their diamond-certified debut.

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genre Rock format Vinyl

Let's go directly to the sound because to wring something new from the music, especially to this audience, is a time waster. Play a half-dozen editions of Crosby, Stills & Nash and you'll hear six wildly different sonic presentations. Which is "correct"? There's no "artists intent" on this one, there are just different takes depending upon who's doing the mastering and pressing—and even then there are wild variations.... Read More

genre Rock Acoustic Folk Rock format Vinyl

Transitioning from the ‘70s to the ‘80s wasn’t easy for Ozzy Osbourne. The Birmingham-born vocalist found himself without a band when the members of Black Sabbath ousted him due to his heightened substance issues. Stuck in a drug-and-booze haze for three months at a Los Angeles hotel, salvation came in the form of his manager and future wife, Sharon Arden, who encouraged Osbourne to pursue a solo career. The impact of his first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and... Read More

genre Rock Metal format Vinyl

Everyone reading this site has by now probably heard about Rhino High Fidelity’s controversial reissue of Television’s landmark 1977 debut Marquee Moon. This latest edition sounds good but nothing like the original, which raises the question: what's the difference between good and bad mastering? And who's responsible?

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Is it a "conflict of interest" to review a record mastered by a Tracking Angle writer? I could care less. This is mastering engineer Dave McNair's second pass on Kiko, Los Lobos' best selling (other than the La Bamba soundtrack) and arguable best album. Though recorded analog and mixed to 2 inch 30IPS tape, It was originally released domestically on CD only in 1992 during vinyl's sunset fade. It got a digitally sourced European release that... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl