Showing posts with label ELECTRIC MIKE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ELECTRIC MIKE. Show all posts

6.20.2014

LIGHT MY FIRE: A CLASSIC ROCK SALUTE TO THE DOORS


First off readers let me say that I do not like cover bands, cover albums, tribute albums and compilation albums. I have always felt they should be considered a separate genre and that they usually do a disservice to the original composers and bands. After listening to “A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors” though I am rethinking those thoughts. It is hard to cover every song here, there are 16 of their greatest hits, so I will try to give an over view of what I think is important. I will leave the final decision up to you as to how good it really is after you listen to it.


I was fortunate enough to see ‘The Doors’, 3 times, once at Cobo Hall in Detroit. They were a very unassuming band with almost no equipment. They used no special effects, fireworks, light shows or anything other than themselves, a few instruments and only a couple amps and speakers. The stage was pretty empty even by the standards of the 1960’s. What they lacked in equipment they made up by how tight and cohesive they were as a group when they were all in sync with each other and halfway sober. Jim Morrison usually took all eyes off the other 3 members but make no mistake that without them Jim Morrison would probably have become another undiscovered rock star.


Several of the guests on this album most likely knew ‘The Doors’ back in the day and are by all rights are ‘Superstars’ themselves. More than 42 of rock's greatest classic ‘Superstars’ showed up to play on this album. That’s a lot of “tribute” to any person or group and shows the love and respect they all had for ‘The Doors’ and their music. By my count there are at least 7 tribute albums out there for ‘The Doors’ but from where I sit this is probably the only one that should matter.


The biggest names in classic rock 
gather together to pay homage 
to the original riders on the storm, 
The Doors!

The 16 well done tracks on this album are:

1. L.A. Woman - Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash) & Patrick Moraz (Moody Blues)

2. Love Me Two Times - Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Thijs van Leer (Focus) & Larry Coryell

3. Roadhouse Blues - Leslie West (Mountain), Brian Auger & Rod Piazza

4. Love Her Madly - Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) & Mick Box (Uriah Heep)

5. Riders On The Storm - Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), Tony Kaye (Yes) & Steve Cropper (Booker T. & The M.G. s)

6. The Crystal Ship - Edgar Winter & Chris Spedding

7. Intro (People Are Strange) - Keith Emerson, Jeff Skunk Baxter & Joel Druckman (John Fahey)

8. People Are Strange - David Johansen (NY Dolls) & Billy Sherwood (Yes)

9. Touch Me - Robert Gordon, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Steve Morse & Nik Turner (Hawkwind)

10. The Soft Parade - Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), Christopher North (Ambrosia) & Steve Hillage (Gong)

11. Hello, I Love You - Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) & Roye Albrighton (Nektar)

12. Spanish Caravan - Eric Martin (Mr. Big) & Elliot Easton (The Cars)

13. Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) - Todd Rundgren & Geoff Downes (Yes / Asia) & Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart)

14. Break On Through (To The Other Side) - Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) & Chick Churchill (Ten Years After)

15. Light My Fire - Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes) & Steve Howe (Yes)

16. The End - Pat Travers & Jimmy Greenspoon (Three Dog Night)




The album starts off with one of my favorites, ‘LA Woman’. From their 6th, album released in 1971, ‘LA Woman’. Jami Jamison, Ted Turner and Patrick Moraz do an admirable job of covering this tune. The guitar work, Ted Turner I am assuming, gives an old favorite a different twist.

I could go into much more detail on more songs off this album but since space is limited I will just give some observations here. This is certainly an album to help introduce anyone who has never heard ‘The Doors’ before to their greatness. After listening to it I guarantee they will hunger for the original music just to hear who these 4 guys, who cut out a slice of rock history for themselves, really were.

The guitar work on every song is clean, precise and shredded, something that Robby Kriegers “fingerstyle” guitar playing did not allow him to do. Not that Robby Krieger wasn't great, he was just not as technical since “fingerstyle“ playing is better suited to Flamenco and Folk Music. It’s probably the most notable difference in all of the tunes here.

Conspicuous by its absence here though is ‘The Unknown Soldier’ which could have easily replaced the version of ‘People Are Strange’ with David Johansen and Billy Sherwood. This is the only song I really felt did not belong among the 16 cuts on this album.

The closing song is my all time favorite and appropriately is, ‘The End’, featuring Pat Travers and Jimmy Greenspoon. Listening to this version gave me goose bumps and almost brought tears to my eyes. The depth is so different but not nearly as dark as the original. I think you'll find yourself listening to it over and over again!

“Electric Mike” Langford

5.20.2014

IRON BUTTERFLY: LIVE AT THE GALAXY 1967

 

Recently was asked to review an upcoming release by Iron Butterfly, “Live At The Galaxy 1967”. I jumped at the opportunity to review one of my favorite bands of all time.

This album has been dug out of the vaults some place not yet known and was most likely done from a late ’60s sound board/mixer or even a table top reel-to-reel recorder. With that said, the quality reflects that recording procedure and the time frame. The actual recording date was November 9, 1967. Although this show has been around a number of years as a full blown bootleg this is its first release as a true recording with all the pomp and circumstance it really deserves.


The set list this particular night included:

Real Fright
Possession
Filled With Fear
Fields of Sun
It’s Up To You
Gloomy Day To Remember
Evil Temptation
So-Lo
Gentle As It May Seem
Lonely Boy
Iron Butterfly Theme
You Can’t Win

The album is dirty, grimy and heavy…everything we have come to expect and love about Iron Butterfly. It has that high quality bootleg feel, but don’t let that fool you. It feels live and truly gives you the aural experience of a late ‘60s club concert! You can almost smell the reefer wafting through the air and clink of glasses and bottles in between songs. Don’t expect the quality of your favorite boy band’s new release though or you’ll be absolutely disappointed.

This set encompasses 6 songs from their 1st album, “Heavy” which hadn’t been released yet. You can hear the future being born in these 6 songs. “Iron Butterfly Theme” is here in still an unpolished state but still very recognizable and moving. Many of the songs will cause you to listen to them several times to understand how much more work went into them to bring them to the final form we saw upon release of the “Heavy” album.


Even more amazing is the fact 3 songs found here weren’t released until their 3rd album, “Ball”, which went to #3 position on the USA music charts in 1969. That’s a full 2 years after they recorded them in this performance. You may have to listen close to recognize them but the development will stun you.

There are also 3, still unreleased songs, in this set list. They are “It’s Up To You”, Gloomy Day To Remember” and “Evil Temptation”. One has to wonder why they didn’t spend more time to polish and complete them at some point. I will go out on a limb and speculate that maybe the large amount of band member changes did not let that happen. That is unfortunate for Iron Butterfly fans around the world.

With all this said this is not an album for your typical radio listener or non-rock fan. What this album is though is a historical account of one of rock’s most famous and favorite bands. If you are a Iron Butterfly collector, music history aficionado or just someone who is interested in the growth of your favorite Iron Butterfly tune than this is a MUST HAVE ALBUM for you. I found it to be a great listen and will add it to my music collection when the vinyl version is released on June 10, 2014. The CD version is being released on May 27, 2014 for those of you who can’t wait for the vinyl. All I can say is…we miss you Iron Butterfly!

“Electric Mike” Langford

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