Blood, Sweat & Tears (post-Al Kooper in particular) is not the most beloved group around Rock Town Hall – for good reason, too. They represent the bad side of the so-called “jazz-rock” trend of the early 1970s. Not only did BS&T render up laughably horrific versions of classic songs (“Symphony/Sympathy for the Devil,” which I proudly inflicted upon the hall in a previous post), but they also served up some of the most annoying radio fodder ever (“Spinning Wheel”, “Go Down Gamblin'”). While lacking in any real rock credentials (unlike early Chicago) or true musical vision (unlike near-progsters like Soft Machine), they offered up fourth-rate bland Kentonisms backing up immortally-bad vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, who always sounded like he was vomiting when he pushed himself. No jazz-rock could be more unlistenable than BS&T, right? Dear children, prepare yourselves for a plunge into the abyss….
I confess to being rather pleased that I managed to stump the Hall on my recent Mystery Date suggestion. Even sweeter was the fact that the song in question was a somewhat fluffy pop confection rather than some obscure and arcane bit of prog, which I could have so easily submitted. Mr. Moderator revealed it to be “A Night on the Town (With Snow White)” by Crack the Sky on last week’s Saturday Night Shut-in program. Mr. Mod helpfully went into the history of an all-but-forgotten band that in a kinder universe would have been one of the major acts of the late 1970s. I want to emphasize here that the Mystery Date song is not really representative of CTS’s ability. I present my evidence to the Hall jury…after the jump!
Anakin Skywalker never had a chance. Fawned over and treated as something special since a child, he became a somewhat churlish and petty, albeit supremely talented, young man who was vulnerable to the seductive promises of an older and evil mentor. Sure, we were led to believe that Anakin was merely trying to save his wife, but we know the truth—he sold out his principles for wealth, power, and the cool black uniforms and helmets that became his daily garb. So what if it cost a few limbs, most of his skin, and an internal organ or two? It was worth it—he was a superstar for the Dark Side and the ride was great for a while. Stuff like this happens to rock stars too…
Jeff Beck. Jimmy Page. John Bonham. Noel Redding. Nicky Hopkins. Stellar rock names who would have been a million-dollar band back in 1969-1970. You’d think that an album featuring all these excellent musicians would be a must-have classic for the ages, right? Not this time, bunkie.
The recent post about the critical downgrading of concept albums has been an interesting read, hasn’t it? One album that was proposed for a downward revision was The Who‘s Tommy. Now, stalwart RTHer machinery stated that record only has two (2) good cuts. I’m not about to go that far, but there is undeniably some filler. Perhaps it might be possible to cut Tommy down from a double album to a single. I’m personally somewhat skeptical about that since it would probably torpedo the storyline as well as leaving out some good music. However, some of you folks might have ideas on what should be trimmed to make Tommy a really strong single album, running somewhere in the 40- to 45-minute range. So get out your scissors and razor blades and have at it! What would you snip? The full track list follows…after the jump!
Well, no, actually I don’t love the Grateful Dead, but there are plenty of people around that do, and those Deadheads will tell you that Europe ’72 (issued in November 1972) is one of their best albums. The band was arguably it its strongest and Jerry Garcia was still vertical at this stage. As far as live albums go, this triple-LP or two-CD set is pretty good and makes for a quite sufficient introduction to the Dead to mere mortals like me. However, the true adepts are always wanting more grateful death, and even 30 years of trading concert tapes and purchasing all 2,387 Dick’s Picks CDs didn’t quite satisfy their junkie cravings.
Like all good pushers, Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino Records arrived with the goods last month to ease the cold sweats and shakes of these product-starved Deadheads by offering what might be the most mega box set of all time: Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings. Along with books, maps, and other paraphernalia, the massive wooden box consists of 73 CDs documenting 22 complete European concerts. Although I’ve not seen a complete track listing, I assume that means 22 versions of “Truckin'” and “Sugar Magnolia”. Funny me, I though that having only one version of each would be well more than adequate.
Again, like the good pushers they are, GDP and Rhino knew to keep the supply limited and the prices high. The price of the box set was $450 and only 7,200 copies were issued. Is it a surprise to anyone that every single one was sold within 4 days? The pusher guys came to the rescue once again with the recent announcement that the 72 CDs would be available to all without all the limited-edition nonsense. The price for the less-deluxe edition? Still an eye-watering $450.00, bless their rapacious little hearts. If you still can’t sleep at night without one of the full-luxoid packages, they’re now available on eBay with Buy-It-Now prices up to $1,200.00.
There has to be at least one hardcore Deadhead out there in RTH-land. What’s the buzz on the box set? Is it worth the legendary reputation and the equally legendary price? Have you purchased it or are you planning to? Inquiring minds want to know! As for everyone else, what other totally outrageous box sets come to mind?