Thursday, July 05, 2007

September 2007 Mott The Hoople, Marianne Faithful & Lou Reed and more!

To contact Joe:

Welcome to the End of Summer Special from Joe Vig Top 40!


2)Mott The Hoople Under Review

In the feast or famine world that is Mott The Hoople fandom those in the inner circle are aware of Campbell Devine's excellent All The Young Dudes: Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter, The Biography, the superb re-releases on the {@Angel Air} label and
{$Justin Purington}'s webpage for the loyalists. This informative disc - {^Mott The Hoople Under Review} - brings the esoteric to the general public in an informative and entertaining way and deserves mainstream attention. AMG critic
{$Stephen Thomas Erlewine} is liberally quoted from the AMG online text while commentary from {$The Clash}'s {$Mick Jones} - who actually produced and
appeared on a 1981 {$Ian Hunter} album, {^Short Back and Sides}, keyboardist {$Morgan Fisher} who performed with the band on Broadway, recording engineers {$Mick Glossop} and {$Tony Platt} and the usual array of journalists including {$Kris Needs}, founder of the fan club "Mott Lott". There's an absolutely superb commentary by keyboardist - and roommate of {$Mick Ralphs} - {$Morgan Fisher} who, at 23, took his Super
8 camera onto the 1974 tour when the band performed on shows with {$The New York Dolls}, {$Aerosmith} and {$Joe Walsh}. This "Mott In America" footage is
priceless, as is the voice of Fisher recalling the events on this bonus, which turns out to be a very key, well scripted nine and a half minutes of

For more read this:


4)Marianne Faithful DVD

5)Melba Moore DVD


Title: Someone Like Me
Artist: Elton John
Studio: Eagle Vision USA
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
Run Time: 141 minutes

7)David Peel Captain Trip

Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw: The Apple and Orange Recordings
David Peel

8)Jethro Tull

Studio: Eagle Vision USA
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007

9)Orchestra Luna

10)Pixies Acoustic Live In Newport Eagle Vision

11)Pixies Club date: Live at the Paradise in Boston

12)MERLE HAGGARD  In Concert 1983

13)Live in Vienna
Arni Egilsson/Perderson/Darling

14) Live in Vienna Miroslav Vitous

15))Joey Molland Bio

Badfinger are playing about so we thought we'd put Joey Molland's bio on the Top 40.

16) Todd Royce Step Into The Light

Review by Joe Viglione

Todd Royce (aka Todd Morton) hails from North Berwick, ME, and issues a solid and professional blend of pop/blues from his power trio on this 11-track CD. Though they claim Cream as a major influence, that sound really only comes through on "What I Need," a direction that would be most welcome on future work. Royce's guitar and vocal style blend nicely with his lyrics and maintain a fine balance over the course of the 47 minutes. It's a well thought out and perfectly constructed project, as polished as the 12-page lyric booklet that accompanies the music. The artist calls these takes "eleven mini chapters" of an autobiography "that spans the ages of 19 and 27," put together with his brother, bassist Doug Morton. Interesting that Gary Cherone of Extreme is thanked in the liner notes, as the title track, "Step into the Light," is something that would have easily fit on one of Cherone's own albums with his former band. Full Review Here:

17)Lisa Hartman

18) John Lee Hooker (Reissue) JEALOUS
(review to follow)

19)John Lee Hooker (Reissue) DON'T LOOK BACK
(Review to follow)

20) Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

21)Blood, Sweat & Tears  SPINNING WHEEL

23)Grass Roots Grass Roots

24)Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven & Various Artists
The First Annual Camp Out At Pappy And Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
25)THE DRIFTERS / Greatest Hits Live a.k.a. The Greatest Hits



27)PATTY DUKE Valley Of The Dolls


29)MARTY BALIN Hearts & Other Classics

30)Grace Slick SOFTWARE
31)David Bowie The Plastic Soul Review

Review by Joe Viglione

For die-hard David Bowie fans the transition from Diamond Dogs to Young Americans was not easy, yet this DVD is better than most of the "Under Review"-type analysis out there for much of the same crew that gave us the superior Mott The Hoople Under Review work their magic here again unraveling the tale of the "thin white duke" and his chameleon identity shifts. The bigger the star the tougher it seems to be for these production companies to do an in-depth investigation, but the presence of pianist Mike Garson and drummer Andy Newmark on this study does much to dissipate the dreadful pretensions the narrator, Thomas Arnold's "voiceover", puts on display, most notably calling David "Boww-wee" instead of utilizing the Bowie-knife pronunciation, which is what the former David Jones chose as his name.

for more click here:
32)Vic Damone "On The Street Where You Live"

Vic Damone at the Royal Festival Hall is a surprising joy - a classy latter-day concert by the smooth-as-velvet voice of Damone backed by The Northern Dance Orchestra, a wonderful full orchestra that adds more than a touch of class to the proceedings. Opening with {&"The Song Is You"} this 1985 concert, listed in the BBC Archives as part of their recordings, has the fifty-seven year old crooner (at the time) in fine form. To Read more go to link

33)MY HONEY FITZ club review
The Malden Observer By Joe Viglione New! Fri Sep 07, 2007, 03:27 PM EDT

The Honey Fitz Irish Pub is a restaurant located on 142 Pleasant St., across from Malden Access Television (MATV) station and a stone’s throw from Malden City Hall. The Pub is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Friday, noon to 2 a.m. on Saturdays, and noon to midnight on Sundays – with the kitchen running 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.

34)Country Buffet review in The Medford Transcript
By Joe Viglione/Correspondent

35)Lake DVD
36)Randy Brecker DVD
38)GREG LAKE DVD (no relation to Lake) reviews to follow

39)R & B Jukebox

For the hardcore soul fans who need these performances by Sam Moore, Reeves and Wells, pick up the full-length DVDs released by the same company. For everyone else it's Caveat emptor, baby, Caveat emptor. When the marvelous vocal on {&"Dancing In The Street"} is chopped off it
is definitely "let the buyer beware".



Brett Milano is passionate about the music he likes, but "The Sound Of Our Town: A History Of Boston Rock & Roll" (Commonwealth Editions, 2007) is more about Milano's tastes than what actually transpired. This book is his version of the Boston music scene, and doesn't even scratch the tip of the iceberg.

Looking for information on the highly influential Wayne Wadhams, Berklee Professor and producer of Full Circle, singer in The Fifth Estate? Don't look here. There should be a lot more about Moulty & The Barbarians, there's nothing I could find about Jon Butcher's Axis & Johanna Wild bands, Farrenheit (one mention of Charlie Farren?), Girls Night Out, Didi Stewart & The Amplifiers(one mention of Didi that I could find), MCA artist The Rings, two mentions of Fox Pass - nothing on Fox Pass founder Jon Macey who went on to produce demos for Elektra Records'. Maxanne Sartori is not discussed and with only two references to Sartori - a powerful scenemaker responsible for helping Billy Squier, Aerosmith, The Cars, Fox fact, why is Squier and his band Piper merely glossed over?

The story of Tim Doherty's life and death are missing from this tome, only a mention of his alter-ego stage name and his sexual identity singing "To Sir With Love" - such an important part of the Cantone's lore which would have made this a compelling read. Doherty was married to Delores Paradise and they had a son but their private lives intertwined with their respective bands which made them real characters. It's stuff people would love to know more about and the absence indicates just how much of "our scene" the author totally missed.

On the back cover of "The Sound Of Our Town" is a huge endorsement from the "recently" fired CBS Program Director known as "The King of Quid Pro Quo in Boston", Edward "Oedipus" Hyson. Called "slimy" in the pages of the Boston Herald when he was fired unceremoniously, why Milano is desperate for an endorsement from such a totally irrelevant has-been (fired from his one gig years ago) when there are so many credible icons on the scene to get the real story from is, well - the real question. Hyson gushes about his pal Milano saying the effort is the result of "painstaking research". It feels more like Brett Milano referenced T Max's little fanzine, "The Noise", instead of going to the source or exploring the thousands of hours of audio, video and print available on this important music community.

If you want to read about "Brett Milano's Favorite Boston Rock & Roll Bands" - The Pixies, Mission of Burma, The Lyres and a few more essays from the Milano scrapbook, the list is $24.95. If you want to read an objective overview of the Boston Music Scene just put "Boston Music Scene" in google, you'll get more satisfactory results for free. Brett is a much better writer than this and needed to employ objectivity and less tunnel-vision when claiming to document a history of The Boston Music Scene. This is hardly "The Sound Of Our Town" and by leaving so many important individuals out, or putting other acts higher up on the ladder, Milano does a great disservice to the scene he is claiming to document. There are thousands of hours of interviews on audio and videotape and tens of thousands of articles on the Boston area scene that Milano could have accessed if he really wanted to write "a history of Boston Rock & Roll". That he failed to do put the elbow grease into this collection of thoughts is an insult to the thousands of hard-working musicians who built the scene long before Brett Milano joined the party after-the-fact. A critical moment in scene history, when The Neighborhoods defected from original manager Richard Nolan, lead singer of Third Rail, is not even mentioned. Nolan wrote a lengthy article for Boston's THE REAL PAPER "I created Frankenstein's Monster". It is harrowing stuff, and it is that information that is missing in this text. But far worse, after the few pages on The Neighborhoods the unfocused Brett Milano writes a paragraph about The Fools - a band that can still out-draw and out-sell The Neighborhoods. So this material isn't about what the community wants or what happened in real time in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1985, it is only what Brett wants to discuss and put his blessing on.

There's no doubt that Maxanne Sartori was more important to the launching of the Boston music scene than Oedipus Hyson, a man who - like Milano - jumped on later and capitalized on the hard work of others, but Milano goes to Hyson instead of Sartori for his information. A better source would have been the wife of a member of Blue Oyster Cult, Deborah Frost, who wrote for New York Rocker and had a punk show before Oedipus on the rival station WHRB (Oedipus was on WMBR). With so much missing and much too much revisionist history don't expect Volume 2 because it is obvious Mr. Milano thinks he has the final word on the Boston scene. If Mission Of Burma are featured, yet leader Roger Miller hailed from Ann Arbor, why couldn't Milano have done pages and pages on other huge figures like Al Kooper, Stones producer Jimmy Miller, Herb Reed of The Platters and author of Grammy winning song "A Natural Man" and "Sunny" Bobby Hebb who lived in the Rockport area for decades. Scruffy The Cat and The Neats were fun, but hardly as influential as Brian Maes and RTZ (featuring Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau of the band Boston). If you're looking for extensive information on Ron Scarlett, Childhood, Little Joe Cook (with a world's record number of appearances at The Cantab), Mickey Bliss, John Kalishes (of Susan and the Ben Orr Band), Jonzun Crew/Peter Wolf/New Kids On The Block guitarist Tony Rocks, Quill (a sentence and a half or so), Shane Champagne, Gary Shane & The Detour, Pure & Easy Records and other key figures there's always Wikipedia. The New York Dolls get more coverage than the band New England. Don't let Milano try to tell you that Hirsh Gardner, Gary Shea & John Fannon were too mainstream because the author does cover the band Boston which was just as arena rock as New England.

Andy Pratt gets a mention but Clint Conley gets pages and pages and pages.

Is Milano trying to pass Clint Conley off as a bigger star than Andy Pratt?

How is that objective?

Conspicuous In Its (Their) Absence is a play on an album by Grace Slick's The Great Society. It is a perfect title for Brett Milano's revisionist history of The Boston Rock & Roll Scene. It is a travesty.

Thank God we have the internet

New Story on Willie Alexander in 8/4/07 North Shore Sunday

Monday, July 02, 2007

Joe Vig's August 2007 Top Forty

Photo from our #1 disc - Paul Rodgers Live In Glasgow

To contact Joe Viglione

Joe Vig Top 40
P.O. box 2392
Woburn, MA 01888 U.S.A.

We have a delicious TOP 40 this month! Paul Rodgers (Free, Queen, The Firm, Bad Company) was an absolute gentleman in our interview with him this past July.
His DVD / CD is a very inviting overview of his compositions with the brilliant
Howard Leese from Heart playing superb guitar. We've included a bunch of my
Heart reviews on this Top 40! Two bands from the U.K. who have bands in the
U.S. that have their names (shades of the British "Spinners" vs. The Detroit Spinners), well Kaleidoscope have yet a third version of their classic Tangerine Dream album in release and it is superb. The new group, Veldt, is one of our favorite bands at the moment - they are also from the U.K. and you can read about 'em on Joe Vig's Top 40 for August.

Please click on to my Willie "Loco" Alexander interview on North Shore Sunday the first week of August - and then tune in to my interview with Bobby Hebb from 91.7

It is an honor to be one of the most published critics in New England!
More surprises coming in September.

Pick up the August 1, 2007 issue of My in-depth biography of Little Walter DeVenne, the D.J. and mastering engineer is in the print edition only. Badger them for a copy, it's really worthy of your time because of Walter's tremendous history. Check out his name in the middle of the top of the RW cover (above)

Some of the material was adapted from my Medford Transcript article:

Previous Little Walter stuff from Joe V
Replication News/Medialine Magazine

Walter's Home Page

Little Walter DeVenne

Photo credit Joe Viglione.

No, it's not Paul Rodgers, it's Little Walter.

Mr. Rodgers is in the neighborhood atop this page.

OUR #1 DISC this month is/are actually 2 discs in one
OUR #1 DISC this month is/are actually 2 discs in one

1)Paul Rodgers Live in Glasgow DVD
Visual Radio taped an interview with Rodgers in July. It will be airing soon.
Watch for review of the CD and DVD here. See photo above.

2)Kaleidoscope (U.K.) Tangerine Dream German re-release

This is a fantastic BONUS TRACK German release - expanded from the bonus track
Japanese release! The Japanese edition added "Dream For Julie", "Just How Much You Are" and "Jenny Artichoke" as tracks 12, 13 and 14 to the original 11. Germany's
Repertoire label
adds the mono single mix of "Flight from Ashiya" as Track 12, the mono single mix of "Holiday Maker" as track 13, "A Dream For Julie" as #14, a single mono mix of "Please Excuse My Face" as #15 with "Jenny Artichoke" as 16 and "Just How Much You Are" as the 17th and final track, switching it around from the Japanese release.

The album sounds wonderful - the songs "Dive Into Yesterday" and "Kaleidoscope" as trippy and 60s as you remember them.

Here's Richie Unterberger's original AMG review

3)VELDT (U.K.) The Cause: The Effect

Review by Joe Viglione
The wonderfully eerie "Sleep" opens this eleven song debut CD, The Cause: The Effect, by the U.K. group Veldt, not to be confused with Chapel Hill, North Carolina band The Veldt from the 80s/90s. "Sleep" has bending guitars right out of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly or any other spaghetti Western you can think of - this trio certainly likes their movie soundtracks - and the haunting backing vocals and voice on the hook are enhanced by explosive sounds and tight edits making for an extraordinary little piece of music with a lot of surprises. The title track, "The Cause, The Effect", has flavors of Roxy Music and more film music nuances as does "Walking In Silence", the effective video which recalls the great British synth pop of groups like Human League and pandau Ballet's "new romance" sound, only with more sweeping ambiance for a new millennium.

Read more:

2006 CD Outstanding Records 005

4)Willie "Loco" Alexander article

in North Shore Sunday

Willie Alexander on Garage Records

Willie Loco Alexander Front Page Story in

“A lot of the songs will be about Gloucester,” he says. And why not?

“I love Gloucester, this is where I lived as a boy. My dad was a Baptist minister; I live about a block from where his church was,” he says.

The Old First Baptist Church of Gloucester, near City Hall, was directed by the Rev. Edward Gordon Alexander. Willie went to the Forbes School through the third grade and then the Central Grammar.

“They have old people in one of them, other people in the other one now,” Alexander says. “Condos are the big trend ... churches don’t have choirs in them, they’ve converted to people living in them.”

His mother was in the Cape Anne Symphony. “She played the violin,” recalls Alexander. “I run into people here, they knew my dad and stuff. It’s really nice hearing reports of what life was like back then. I don’t see too many of my generation from school — I guess the people I went to school with left, they didn’t go fishing.”

Alexander already has a batch of Gloucester-inspired songs, including “Lady of Good V” ”Bass Rocks” and the somewhat eerie “Fishtown Horribles,” a song which draws on Gloucester’s annual Horribles Parade.

The Lost 45 with Willie Loco

Please click on the North Shore Sunday link!
Joe Vig's SPIDERMAN article was the #1 Download of the week!
Please make Willie Loco #1 as well!

Willie Loco Alexander Front Page Story in NORTH SHORE SUNDAY


Bobby Hebb's first 6 solo sides!

Bobby Hebb recorded with Poppa John Gordy, the phenomenal Honky Tonk pianist when Bobby was only 12 years of age.
Those were his first recordings on vinyl, but towards 1959 or so he recorded with Dr. John the Night Tripper on Rich Records and that music has just been released!

Bobby appeared on radio to talk about his new disc on Allegro,
"That's All I Wanna Know" as well as this reissue of his very first 6 songs released under his name!

Hear Bobby talk to Joe V. about the new release on WMWM 91.7 July 29, 2007

See the album tracks here:

Label: Michael Fremer
Price: $29.99

Joe Vig's review will appear here soon!
It's 3:22 AM on Thursday morning August 9, 2007
I have to sleep sometime! y'know...
(actually there was a cat fight outside so if you saw me walking the streets with a flashlight ....

7)Jay And The Americans SUNDAY AND ME
Jay & The Americans are being interviewed on Visual Radio August 11, 2007

Review by Joe Viglione

Nine months before "Cherry Cherry" would launch the career of Neil Diamond as a singer, he had his first Top 20 chart record as a songwriter, "Sunday and Me," the leadoff track to Jay & the Americans' album of the same name. Continuing with the Spanish-flavored sound found on 1964's "Come a Little Bit Closer" and 1965's "Cara Mia," the light pop comes in with flamenco guitar, Jay Black's familiar voice, and bullfight trumpets. "Granada" also features old-world instrumentation and Black emulating an operatic Mario Lanza more than the teen idol sound of the day.

Full AMG review here:

Freedom Flight CD cover / Marty Balin

8)Marty Balin's MIRACLES

Song Review by Joe Viglione

"Miracles" is one of those phenomenal compositions and productions which could only have come from another universe and is exactly what the title promises -- a miracle. The biggest hit and long overdue vindication for one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin's exquisite voice finds its most perfect setting soaring above Craig Chaquico's silken guitar lines and Grace Slick's wonderful vocal accompaniment.

Full review here:

9)Mott The Hoople -
Brain Capers Reissue

Angel Air Records

This is probably my favorite MOTT THE HOOPLE disc, it is just absolutely superb with DEATH MAY BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS and THE MOON UPSTAIRS. They don't make them like this anymore. You need this CD!

10)Hirsh Gardner "Wasteland For The Broken Hearts"

For fans of arena rockers New England who wanted and needed more from John Fannon, Gary Shea, Jimmy Waldo and drummer Hirsh Gardner there were obscure tapes by many artists utilizing the group's trademark sound, Fannon and Gardner producing recordings when New England went their separate ways in 1983. 15 years after the breakup, New York's GB Music re-issued the original three-LP catalog on CD including a 20th anniversary, 10-song collection of demos for a fourth disc, "New England -1978".

Full review here:

11)Kaleidoscope Dive Into Yesterday

Review by Joe Viglione
In 1996 the British Fontana label issued a best-of for the U.K. band Kaleidoscope with the appropriate title of Dive Into Yesterday, after the first track. It is a wonderful journey containing a 12-page booklet chock full of photographs, extensive liner notes, and 23 original recordings from 1967 to 1969, all evolving over the course of the disc. The music is dramatically different from the box released in 2000, The Fairfield Parlour Years, on the Burning Airlines/NMC label, and helps put this important ensemble's work into perspective. "Flight From Ashiya," "Dive Into Yesterday," and "The Murder of Lewis Tollani" are among those culled from the album Tangerine Dream, while "Poem" and other titles come from the follow-up, Faintly Blowing.

Read full review here:

12) Leonard Cohen: Under Review: 1935-1977 EXCELLENT DVD PICK TO CLICK!

Review by Joe Viglione
Leonard Cohen - Under Review 1934-1977, An Independent Critical Analysis from Sexy Intellectual and Music Video Distributors is a wonderful biography and well-deserved documentary on the life of Cohen from his 1934 birth in Montreal to his interest in literature and poetry during his college years and beyond into his success as an underground musical icon. The ninety minutes or so give much to the viewer detailing the world of this legend with important and compelling interviews ranging from biographers to those who worked with him. Hearing Janis Joplin/The Band producer John Simon give his input along with Cohen's guitarist and bandleader Ron Cornelius, Phil Spector engineer extraordinaire Larry Levine, critics Robert Christgau and Anthony De Curtis, well, it's a real cavalcade of behind-the-scenes stars discussing this important figure in an informative and highly entertaining way. These "unauthorized critical analysis" discs can be hit or miss, the U2 DVD Collectors Box a double DVD waste of time, The Killers Leaving Las Vegas even more so, while investigations of Kate Bush or the Pink Floyd album Meddle are very worthy of your attention.
Read Full Review Here


This might be the best MASS album yet. It's phenomenal. Production by Michael Kronlund and Mass is topnotch. "It's You" kicks the album off with solid hooks and an immediate blast that makes you stand at attention. This is a group that has matured with time and have mastered the art of hard rock. They should be on tour with Ozzy and Black Sabbath as the ONLY opener. It's that good. I am so tired of a lot of stuff being passed off as rock & roll music or hard rock or heavy metal.

CRACK OF DAWN is the real deal. If Louis, Lou, Gene and Joey missed the mark I'd be the first to say it. Gene D'Itria's guitarwork is monstrous. Check it out on their MySpace if you don't believe me:


Syd is managed by James Kenly who handles BRADDIGAN from Dispatch.

Review forthcoming

15)Todd Royce Waiting For You

Review forthcoming


RX For Lonely Housewives & Desperate Lovers
Various Artists

16)Urban Spotlight Video Magazine Various Artists

Urban Spotlight DVD-Zine: Us West Coast World Premiere} is a slick and intriguing "magazine" on DVD that evolved from the video mag of the same name. Released in April of 2007 it's a bargain listed at $9.95 but available via a variety of web retailers for about $5.00. What's inside has more depth than many rap/hip hop videos available at twice the price, a professionally filmed collection of clips with a variety of hosts talking to the artists.

Read more:

17)YES Live at Montreux

Review by Joe Viglione

18)Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton Islands In The Stream Song

19)Mondo Deco - The Quick

20)Velveteen After Hours

21)Lisa Burns

22)Everybody Needs It Ellen McIllwaine

23)The Paupers Ellis Island

24)David Peel Rock & Roll Outlaw Japan Tour 2003 (Electric Version)

25) Petula Clarke DOWNTOWN

26) HEART "All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You"

27)What About Love song review / HEART

28)Never Heart

29)Nothin' At All / Heart

30)Tommy James MY SPACE quotes Joe Vig
"The title track works, as does much of the music here, and it is great to have the pop maestro back. Where Lou Reed, truly James' underground dopplegänger, kept releasing product over the decades, the world has not yet had enough of Tommy James' creativity. If Hold the Fire marks his rebirth, it's a good first step."

Joe Viglione
All Music Guide

31)BOSTON ROCK & ROLL RELICS - Willie "Loco" Alexander with The Bagatelle


32)Eden's Children "Eden's Children"

33)Eden's Children "Sure Looks Real"

33)Eden's Children "Sure Looks Real" on MP3

34)"Listening" with Walter Powers from Willie Loco Alexander, The Lost & The V.U.

35)Modern Times Jefferson Starship

Review by Joe Viglione

37)Love Among The Cannibals Starship review Jefferson Starship

38)No Protection Jefferson Starship

39)Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now

One of my very favorite singles - Grace Slick & Mickey Thomas of Starship - it is the doppelganger of Marty Balin's Miracles

#40)Mickey Thomas AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME

Review by Joe Viglione

The man who replaced Marty Balin in the Jefferson Starship while Balin was practicing the song "Jane"(which became the first hit for Mickey Thomas when he
joined that group) sings a Grace Slick staple, Somebody to Love, backed by Booker T. & the MG's with Toto's Jeff Porcaro on drums. With 20 or so musicians involved, Thomas pulls out all the musical stops on this disc, performing songs by Van Morrison, Barry Mann Cynthia Weil, George Clinton and more.

The fact that it was recorded on November 29, 1976 is an eerie premonition as
"Jane" went top 10 exactly three years later, almost to the day. Had only Jefferson Starship taken a bit more of this soulful strut and added it to their early '70's adult oriented pop! rather than go the Arena rock direction they did. Thomas sounds so refined in this setting, with more than just the Elvin Bishop Group surrounding him - "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" charting six months before these
September - November sessions means Mickey was getting a lot of recognition on Top 40 radio, his name mentioned along with Elvin Bishop by many radio jocks. David Paich (not to be confused with Ambrosia's David Pack and Booker T. Jones
make a George Clinton co-write - "Dance It Off" - sound more like, well, Ambrosia than the Parliament/Funkadelic you'd expect, Ambrosia only flirting with chart success around this time, their sound not truly hitting until two years later.
If you want to know where {$Crowded House} got 1987's {&"Something So Strong"} just listen to the opening track co-written by singer Mickey along with Bill Slais and Michael "Fly" Brooks of Elvin Bishop Group. It sounds like early Edgar Winter and drives. The disc is a who's who of musicians bringing in all sorts of wonderful flavors and you'd never guess that over a decade later drummer Donny Baldwin and Thomas would graduate from the Elvin Bishop Group to becoming half of the last remnants of Starship. This is as far from the techno they would evolve into as you can get and with other titles like {$Van Morrison's lovely "The Street Only Knew Your Name" and Barry Mann}/Cynthia Weil's "Take Me To Your Lover" (borrowing liberally from Elton and Bernie's "Take Me To The Pilot" ) the album vindicates a singer who was rightfully branded a generic rocker when he reached his peak. A pity the world hasn't discovered this gem because As Long As You Love Me is a real treasure. Dates of all the recordings are conveniently noted on the credit sheet chock full of photographs that accompanied the original vinyl.

Almost the worst DVD of the month:

41)THE KILLERS Leaving Las Vegas

One of the problems with {$The Killers} DVD, {^Leaving Las Vegas}, is that the packaging looks and feels like a new product from the band when the fine print on the cover says "an unauthorized documentary film packed with exclusive interviews". It's a pop music version of the rap/hip-hop world's {^Urban Spotlight DVD-Zine: Us West Coast World Premiere} only focused on one band, not many, and playing like a {@PBS} documentary of a modern day group and the music scene that launched them. {$Laurie Steele} from KOMP 92.3 FM is hardly a household name, nor is "Homie" from XTreme Rock radio, but they talk over images of Vegas and discuss the Las Vegas local music scene at length as if they are a modern day {$Nina Blackwood} and {$Dick Clark}. {$Matt Norcross}, former drummer for {$The Killers}, gives his input as does {$Nicole Slider}, owner of Shoestring Promotions, not the marquee type luminaries found on similar projects like the excellent {^Leonard Cohen: Under Review 1934-1977} which actually has solid information from key personalities involved in Cohen's career. Enlisting {$Alex Stope}, a student and friend of drummer {$Ronnie Vannucci} is hardly as difficult as asking {$Celine Dion} a few questions about her competitors playing in the local dives off of the strip. Obviously Celine wasn't available to chat so {$Bronson Mack}, vocalist of the group {$Attaboy Skip} and - you guessed it - a friend of {$Ronnie Vanucci}, gives his pearls of wisdom on this expensive disc.

Read more here:



Review by Joe Viglione
The title of The Mentors DVD, El Duce Vita, combines the name for Federico Fellini's 1960 film La dolce vita - which is Italian for "The Sweet Life" - and a variation of "Il Duce", the term Benito Mussolini chose to convey his supremacy. But where Fellini had substance, style and an early performance from The Velvet Underground's Nico in his acclaimed work, this effort comes off like a bad college video project featuring in your face gross-out "humor" and The Mentors music, such as it is. To add to the "mystique" someone hands him a marijuana cigarette only proving this was a group in desperate need of Armand Schaubroeck as lyricist and producer. Or Jayne County with some decadent savoir-faire to make the gutter jokes somewhat appealing. El Duce Vita is the worst of G.G. Allin without the danger or the hype.

Read more here:



Joe Viglione appears on with "There's Nothing Like A Hit" so - obviously, I'm not going to review my on record on my Top 40. Thanks to Richie for an objective review.

43)ELEVATE (Whimsical Records)

Review by Richie Unterberger

The booklet to this CD has brief notes about all of the tracks on this various-artists compilation, and it can be deduced that most though not all of these bands are British. But it's not really clear when these cuts were recorded, or, in most cases, where they might have been originally issued.

For more:

May Top 40 Mare Winningham, Planet of the Apes, Andy Mendelson

  Happy Birthday Mare! Years ago Mare Winningham and her husband saw me at the Paradise Theater in Boston, a club I booked for many years....