Innovative Multi-Format Releases Celebrate Groundbreaking Artists

By Robert Kinsler

Forget about summertime blues. The Zombies, Staind, Incubus, and Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones (with the help of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells) have all released winningcollections celebrating their original material.

Artist: The Zombies

Title: Live In Concert at Metropolis Studios (Convexe Entertainment/Conveyor Inc.)

You might be interested in buying this if you like: The Beatles, The Doors

Tell me more: Few bands to emerge in the early 1960s proved to be as talented as The Zombies. Formed in 1961, the band has lost none of its artistic firepower over the past five decades. In January 2011, The Zombies performed an intimate set in front of 120 guests packed into Metropolis Studios in London. That already-legendary performance not only celebrated the 50th anniversary of the British outfit’s formation, but has been preserved and released as a special package (“Live In Concert at Metropolis Studios”) that features a DVD and CD of the concert. The performance is superb, with singer Colin Blunstone’s amazing tenor and Rod Argent’s impressive keyboard work displayed throughout the concert. Highlights include classic material (“Time Of The Season,” “Tell Her No,” “She’s Not There”) and the amazing new jazz-tinged gem “Any Other Way.”

Artist: Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones

Title: Live At The Checkerboard (Eagle Rock Entertainment)

You might be interested in buying this if you like: The Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells

Tell me more: Videotaped and recorded less than 18 months before Muddy Waters’ death, an almost-mythic performance featuring the late Chicago bluesman and The Rolling Stones at the Checkerboard Lounge in November 1981 has finally been released. “Live At The Checkerboard Lounge” is much more than a musicologist’s curiosity. It is a rich document of the enduring power of the blues, and how one of the genre’s most important artists influenced one of rock’s greatest bands.

Here over the course of 90 magical minutes, teacher and students share the stage to perform loose and infectious blues cuts to the delight of the lucky crowd on hand at the club that night. Mick Jagger and Waters sang in tandem and in a freewheeling exchange on “Baby Please Don’t Go,” while other members of the Stones (including Keith Richards, Ron Wood and the band’s long-time piano player Ian Stewart) also join in for much of the set. Blues greats Buddy Guy and Junior Wells also shared the stage that night.

A special two-disc DVD/CD package also features a fully-illustrated eight-page booklet with details about the celebrated concert.

Artist: Staind

Title: Live From Mohegan Sun (Eagle Rock Entertainment)

You might be interested in buying this if you like: Staind, Aaron Lewis, Stone Temple Pilots, Limp Bizkit

Tell me more: Available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, Staind’s “Live From Mohegan Sun” is a hard-hitting concert filmed in Montville, Connecticut on Nov. 25, 2011. At just under two hours, the concert features all of the band’s best-known cuts delivered in the rock outfit’s alternative hard rock style. “Outside” and “It’s Been Awhile” retain their haunting quality. Singer Aaron Lewis’ vocals shine on those songs, as well as the confessional “So Far Away” and the solo acoustic gem “Country Boy.”

Artist: Incubus

Title: Incubus HQ Live (Sony Legacy)

You might be interested in buying this if you like: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus’ 2011 album “If Not Now, When?”

Tell me more: In summer 2011, over the course of six days, Calabasas-spawned Incubus celebrated their 20th anniversary with a unique series of intimate recording sessions in downtown Los Angeles. The result is the recently-issued “Incubus HQ Live,” a three-disc set (two audio CDs and one 19-track DVD) that will thrill fans of the alt rock troupe. The band revisits its various eras on 28 songs featured across two CDs, with standouts such as “Drive,” “Crowded Elevator” and “Pardon Me” sure to thrill new and long-time followers of the inspired quintet.

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