Music Reviews: The Complete Tommy James & the Shondells, Plus Lloyd Cole Live

Tommy James has racked up a whopping 17 Top 40 hits, including two No. 1s, and sold more than 100 million records. And his music has been covered by everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Dolly Parton to Lene Lovich, Tiffany, Billy Idol, and Joan Jett. Yet you won’t find an entry for James and the […]

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Music Reviews: A Deluxe Edition of Wilco’s ‘Summerteeth,’ Plus David Huckfelt

Wilco’s terrific Summerteeth—the group’s third album, which first appeared in 1999—expands to more than four times its original length in a recently issued deluxe edition. The clamshell-boxed set couples a remaster of the adventurous original record to a wealth of previously unreleased material, including two dozen demos and outtakes and a 26-song contemporaneous Boulder, Colorado, […]

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Music Reviews: Box Sets Celebrate Cat Stevens’s ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ and ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ 

    Folk/pop singer/songwriter Cat Stevens famously walked away from the music business in 1978, but that wasn’t his first career turning point. (Nor was it his last; he has returned to making records in recent years.) The British artist—born Steven Georgiou and known as Yusuf Islam since his conversion to the Muslim faith—achieved some […]

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Music Reviews: Dire Straits’ Studio Albums, Plus Uncle Walt’s Band & Harry Dean Stanton

You’ll find essential tracks on each of the six albums in Dire Straits’ recently issued clamshell-boxed set, The Studio Albums 1978–1991, which includes the British rock group’s eponymous 1978 debut plus Communique(1979), Making Movies (1980), Love Over Gold (1982), Brothers in Arms (1985), and On Every Street (1991). The CDs are packaged in mini replicas […]

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Music Reviews: Prince’s ‘Sign O’ the Times’ (Super Deluxe Edition) Plus Richard Hell

A new edition of Sign O’ the Times, Prince’s brilliant and remarkably eclectic 1987 double album, easily earns its “super deluxe” billing with a long list of bonus goodies. Delivered in an LP-sized slipcase, the set includes an excellent remaster of the original album on two discs, plus six additional CDs: one with remastered single […]

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Music & Book Reviews: Exploring Joni Mitchell’s Archives, Plus John Lennon’s Solo Years

A remarkable new box set lets you listen in as Joan Anderson, an obscure folksinger from Western Canada, turns into the internationally beloved artist known as Joni Mitchell. Called Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963–1967), the five-disc collection consists entirely of live performances that (bootlegs aside) have not previously seen the light […]

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Music Reviews: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Letter to You,’ Plus Jimmie Vaughan’s ‘The Pleasure’s All Mine’

On most of the albums in his large catalog, Bruce Springsteen limns fictional characters—everyone from the kids trying to escape their small-town lives in “Thunder Road” to the downtrodden folks in the John Steinbeck–inspired “Ghost of Tom Joad.” Though last year’s Western Stars also seems to have issued mostly from the Boss’s imagination, he has […]

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