The Joe Vig Top 40

Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory... commentaries and essays expand the thought process on the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@]

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Top 100 2005 Rewind!

#1 The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons
A gorgeous three CD set from SHOUT! Factory with twenty page booklet and
content that can't be denied. Rare footage of Janis Joplin and George Harrison
as well as Gary Wright, David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane, Paul Simon and much

11 pages of liner notes by DVD Producer Robert S. Bader with an opening page
from Dick Cavett himself.

#2 Bob Dylan
A Martin Scorses Picture - The Bootleg Series Vol. 7

For those of us who have been enamoured of the tremendous "Like A Rolling Stone" after some fanatic calls Dylan "Judas", to have it on CD again and close out the Scorsese movie is genius, if by doing what is merely logical can be called genius - because logic is not usually a part of life on planet Earth! Not to be lost in this important drama is that Bob Dylan himself is taking control of his recorded legacy - outdoing the bootleggers by carefully cataloguing all his work. Artists need to utilize the Dylan model - from Lou Reed to The Rolling Stones - in bringing this wonderfully entertaining material to new audiences as well as old.

#3 Jimi Hendrix Room Full Of Mirrors
A Biography by Charles R. Cross


#4 Patti Smith live on Sirius Radio 12/31/05 - 1/1/06
New Year's Eve in New York - this writer opted to stay home and listen on Sirius.

#5 The Beatles - Bob Spitzer

Interesting that the best products are from another era. Is it that the older the grape the sweeter the wine as Janis Joplin sang in "Trust Me"?



1200+ Grateful Dead concerts on
Again - I'm not a fan of Jerry Garcia & Company - but this stuff is highly
listenable. Why? Because music aficianados can pick and choose what they
want to hear - Grateful Dead performing Beatles covers, Stones' covers,
Bob Dylan covers - even a couple of duets with Janis Joplin if you dig hard
enough (though not downloadable).

#7 Brokeback Mountain - the movie

The first new item to make it into the Top 10. Where STAR WARS, THE HULK
and even FANTASTIC FOUR far well short of what was expected of them - this
film by Ang Lee - while not the Grand Slam it could be - still brought forbidden
love into a new and refreshing arena. Two real men get it on. This isn't
Harvey Fierstein making a fool of himself in Independence Day or Dr. Jekyll &
Ms. Hyde. This is Jake & Heath bringing some chemistry, steam and lots of
angst from the Christian right. Look at the activity on eBay January 2006
to see how incredibly popular this historic film is. Yes, there are the same
dreary negatives that have cursed same sex movies since the dawn of time (or
at least since the subject has found discussion on celluloid), but Ang Lee &
Company inch that door wider than it's ever been since the pre-AIDS era when
swingers in the 70s found experimenting with the same sex something to brag
about, something cool, something that wasn't considered evil.


#8 Souled American
How Black Music Transformed White Culture by Kevin Phinney

I'm amazed when I go see a Chubby Checker concert to view a sea of fans that
are specifically, not soul brothers and sisters. Tina Turner also plays to
a tremendous white audience (not to mention a heavy lesbian following).
Jimi Hendrix - an essential part of the Chitlin Circuit along with so many greats
having the benefit of his guitar magic - from the Isley Brothers to Little
Richard, Joey Dee & The Starliners and more - yet when he found fame it was
the white teenagers who dressed like him, who wore their hair like him.
Calling Justin Timberlake American's "preeminent white R & B singer" is a
bit of a stretch - it is downright insulting. What crowds are clamoring for
Timberlake to hear white R & B? Timberlake only sells millions of records
because of the path cut by those before him. He could never have put out
timeless music as recorded by The Righteous Brothers, The Young Rascals,
Eric Burdon. People just don't seem to be walking down the street singing
Justin Timberlake material. Flaws aside, Phinney is on the right track, and
this book is a good stepping stone towards getting the story written. It will
show up in many future bibliographies.


#9 Ozzy Osbourne Prince Of Darkness

Our #1 record from April of 2005

Title: Prince Of Darkness

Artist: Osbourne, Ozzy

Label: Epic

Catalog# E4K 92960

Reissue producer Bruce Dickinson (not to be confused with the Bruce Dickinson who sings lead for Iron Maiden and appeared with Godspeed on the Nativity In
Black tribute) had compiled a totally different boxed set for {$Ozzy Osbourne}, one which debated including the great song "Bombers" -one of two tracks the Oz
recorded for Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward's solo disc - "Ward One Along The Way".

The compilation originally proposed also would have included Black
Sabbath material and more rarities, but they opted for what is now known as the {^Prince Of Darkness} 4 cd collection - a marvelous retrospective chock full of
familiar tunes from Osbourne's catalog as well as a disc of duets and a disc of covers. For those who already have the music from the albums Tribute,
Blizzard Of Oz, Diary Of A Madman, The Ultimate Sin, Bark At The Moon, No More Tears, No Rest For The Wicked and Ozzmosis there are the obligatory (and welcome) B sides, demos and even live takes from The Ultimate Ozzy video. That material is spread over two discs while the third and fourth compile an amazing amalgam of familiar tunes that have the stamp of Oz's distinctive vocal style and sound. It is impossible
to duplicate The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's wonderfully manic "Fire", though Brown's drummer, Carl Palmer, gave a very sterile remake on The Return of
The Manticore boxed set from Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Status Quo's "Picture's Of Matchstick Men" and the Jimi Hendrix classic "Purple Haze" seem like perfect
choices for the man whose version of Crow's 1969 classic "Evil Woman" was one of the few chances fans got to hear of Ozzy decimating Top 40 fare. Though the
duets with Miss Piggy on "Born To Be Wild" and Dweezil Zappa on The Bee Gees' "Stayin Alive" are hokey parodies the rendition of "All The Young Dudes" is stunningly masterful. It demands one crank the speakers to 11, even if you're an original Sab fan now over 50 and not prone to dancing around the room anymore. Ian Hunter's contributions are a sheer delight - the perfect foil to Ozzy racing "the cat" to
bed. Simply stunning, especially the new arrangement bringing the T Rex verse back for a reprise. And if you thought Mississippi Queen and For What It's Worth
should be put out to pasture, Oz somehow found a way to reinvent them
(keeping Leslie West involved with a guitar solo!) This is Ozzy Osbourne having a blast, not being mistaken for Mike Osborne of The Magic Lanterns - playing their one hit- "Shame Shame", or his alleged reincarnation (Mike's, not Ozzy's) as "Oz Osborne" of Coven with their hit "One Tin Soldier"(or the fact that they also recorded a track called "Black Sabbath" about a black mass). Maybe the real Oz should've done
songs from those two bands to really confuse people - urban legend (and eBay) continuing to perpetuate the myth. "Sympathy For The Devil" has menacing
guitarwork, something legendary producer Jimmy Miller would've certainly enjoyed. His wife was aghast when she heard this writer play Brian Ferry's cover of The
Rolling Stones classic. King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" is custom made for Ozzy, as is John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", all superb renditions.

The production work from Ringo Starr producer Mark Hudson (of The Hudson Brothers) is stellar, a treatment of The Animals' "Good Times" proving Ozzy's pop
sensibilities are perfectly on target decades after he helped define heavy metal. Contributions from Sarah Hudson, Mark's daughter, and engineer Dave Frangioni
are noteworthy, as is the 40 page booklet describing all the goodies inside.


#10 Thunders, Kane & Nolan: You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory

Again - the top 10 have 9 items that are basically reissue material. Which means content is ruling as king, and finding better ways of distributing tried and true material

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