Given how prominent he’s been in recent years – and particularly so at present, what with a new album (No Pier Pressure) and a new movie about his life (Love and Mercy) – it’s sometimes amazing to recall that there was once a time when Brian Wilson was a virtual recluse. It’s true, though: when Wilson released his self-titled debut in 1988, many were staggered by the fact that he was able to successfully make music at all, let alone produce such a wonderful album.
Granted, in retrospect, the Brian Wilson album was made in the midst of Wilson’s time under the care of notorious therapist Eugene Landy, so it’s hard not to wonder what the end result of the effort might’ve been if Landy hadn’t been involved in the recording process. Still, if you’re a longtime fan of Wilson’s work, you can’t deny that the results were wonderful.
Given his lengthy career, it would be disingenuous to suggest that Jeff Beck has never released a classic live album in his time – in fact, he’s had several, the most successful of which have been 1977’s Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live and 2008’s Live at Ronnie Scott’s – but they’re few enough and far enough between that the release of a new one is always worthy of celebration.
In other words, it’s time to celebrate, because Live + is here.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
The Beau Brummels, The Best of the Beau Brummels, 1964-1968 (Golden Archive Series): There have been more than a few Beau Brummels best-of collections released over the years, but if you’re looking for a single-disc compilation that does the best possible job of diluting their career into a succinct 18-song set, then this is the only way to go. For those of you who’ve never really listened to the Beau Brummels, we’ll just say this: if you aren’t charmed by the opening track, “Laugh Laugh,” a.k.a. the band’s biggest hit, then you may want to check your pulse, but if you are charmed, then you’ve got 17 more pieces of pure pop ahead of you, so stay tuned and enjoy.
Given the sales figures, it’s a fair bet that most people who’ve invested in a Seals & Crofts album for their collection in recent years have gone with the duo’s greatest-hits collection, but if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of digging a little bit deeper into the career of the guys who brought you “Summer Breeze,” now’s your big chance: this week marks the release of an Original Album Series set by Seals and Crofts, one which collects the duo’s studio output from 1972 through 1976.
The past year has been a good time to be a Jethro Tull fan: in July we released the so-called “Extended Performance” of A Passion Play, in November we delivered the 40th anniversary “Theater Edition” of Warchild, and this week brings another 40th anniversary edition – and a La Grande Édition, no less – of another classic Tull album.
Originally released in 1975 (as you may have guessed from that whole 40th Anniversary thing), Minstrel in the Gallery was one of Jethro Tull’s strongest efforts of the decade, delivering an instant classic with its title track as well as songs like “Requiem,” which scored some airplay as a single, and the absolutely epic “Baker St. Muse.” But if you think you know the album, you may be surprised when you check out this new and extremely elaboration anniversary edition, which includes: