Springsteen Revisits ‘Western Stars’, Plus Rampart Records’ Singles, the Revelers, and New Riders of the Purple Sage

Bruce Springsteen’s moving and mesmerizing Western Stars, which I reviewed when it came out less than five months ago, enjoyed the success it deserved, though it perhaps wasn’t “#1 on charts in every continent on earth,” as a recent press release claimed. (They have record charts in Antarctica?) Now Springsteen has taken the unusual step […]

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Bob Dylan’s Sessions with Johnny Cash Highlight Archival Release, Plus Kinky Friedman, Moody Little Sister, Steve Goodman

Dylan photos by Al Clayton/Sony Music Archives In June of 1966, Bob Dylan was still putting the finishing touches on the “thin, wild mercury sound” of Blonde on Blonde, a wordy, seemingly drug-fueled rock classic loaded with impressionistic, often abstruse lyrics. The album garnered the rave reviews it deserved; but only about 14 months later—having […]

Continue Reading

Rock’s Steve Miller Opens Up the Vaults, Plus the Mavericks, Sofia Talvik

What’s left to offer in the retrospective department when you’ve already released Anthology, Best of 1968–1973, Greatest Hits 1974–78, Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits, Ultimate Hits, and several other noteworthy compilations? For rock’s Steve Miller Band, the answer is a box set that completely eschews the hit recordings that powered their career in favor of alternate versions, demos, and […]

Continue Reading

Three Reasons to Take Another Stroll Down Abbey Road, Plus Dori Freeman, Daniel Martin Moore, and Jason James

Abbey Road—the Beatles’ final studio project, issued before but recorded mostly after Let It Be—opens with a John Lennon song called “Come Together.” In fact, though, the group was coming apart. Six days before the album’s Sept. 26, 1969 release, Lennon privately told his bandmates he was leaving, and Paul McCartney publicly quit the foursome […]

Continue Reading

A Massive Anthology Showcases the Bakersfield Sound, Plus Brian Wilson and the Carter Family

By Jeff Burger The music that germinated in the mid and late 1950s in and around Bakersfield, California, is typically more authentic-sounding and less commercial than what Nashville has delivered. Wikipedia calls it “the first genre of country music to be significantly influenced by rock and roll, and as a result, the first to rely […]

Continue Reading