Fans of The Rolling Stones, Carole King and Asia have to celebrate the release of highly-anticipated multi-format titles that have all found their release on June 23.
Tell me more: What’s not to love about a highly sought-after club performance that caught The Rolling Stones at the height of their creative powers? Such is the case with the fantastic “From The Vault: The Marquee – Live in 1971” issued by Eagle Rock Entertainment on June 23 and available on a number of formats (DVD/SD Blu-ray/audio CD) and iTunes. Featuring the line-up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, the British band tore through an eight-song set list that including burning rockers (“Let It Rock,” “Bitch,” “Brown Sugar”), rock ‘n’ blues (“I Got The Blues,” “Midnight Ramble”), as well as a tender version of “Dead Flowers.”
The performances (I’m reviewing the 2-disc DVD/CD version) here are scorching; “Midnight Rambler” scorches with Jagger’s blues harp work and the one-two guitar attack of Richards and Taylor, while “Bitch” flat out rocks. The DVD features a number of outstanding bonus features including several takes of the rarely-heard “I Got The Blues” and a performance of “Brown Sugar” the band performed on “Top Of The Pops.” With the footage completely restored, and sound mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain, “The Marquee – Live in 1971” is a must-have release for Stones fans. Information: eagle-rock.com.
Tell me more: One of the most influential and successful women in music, it’s no wonder a once-in-a-lifetime parade of artists gathered to celebrate singer-songwriter-keyboardist Carole King when she was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year in Los Angeles on Jan. 24, 2014. Now “A MusiCares Tribute to Carole King” is available on Blu-ray and DVD, with the original event fully delivering on the promise of an impressive line-up of artists.
There is a wide-range of performances that play out during the special event, with the teaming of Miguel and Kacey Musgraves on “Crying in the Rain” (a King-penned hit for the Everly Brothers), a gentle “So Far Away” delivered by Pink, and a five-song finale set featuring the honoree herself (including “Up On The Roof” with King and James Taylor performing the classic together) among the most memorable moments. Information: shoutfactory.com.
Tell me more: When singer-bassist John Wetton rejoined Asia in 2006 it marked a remarkable renaissance for the legendary quartet with the original line-up of Wetton, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes and drummer Carl Palmer re-teaming to release a trio of truly outstanding studio discs (2008’s “Phoenix,” 2010’s “Omega” and 2012’s “XXX”). Now the band’s second golden age is fully captured via “Axis XXX – Live in San Francisco.” Recorded at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on Nov. 7, 2012, the 18-track set caught Asia performing one of its final concerts before the departure of Howe in January 2013.
Throughout the career-spanning “Axis XXX,” Asia was on the top of its game and unleashed a wonderful mix of ’80s classics (“Only Time Will Tell,” “Sole Survivor,” “Heat Of The Moment”), prog-rock firepower (“Wildest Dreams,” “Holy War”), several classical-styled guitar instrumentals featuring Howe (“Pyramidology,” “Golden Mean”) and affecting new songs (the propulsive “Tomorrow The World,” uplifting rocker “Face on the Bridge” and anthemic “An Extraordinary Life” are standouts). Information: OriginalAsia.com.
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