Kevin Bryan reviews the best new music releases.
Alice Cooper: Brutally Live (SALVO SVX022)
This entertaining two-disc set features audio and video recordings of Alice Cooper’s concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in July 2000, liberally peppered with the trademark theatrics which have always been such an integral feature of the great man’s live act.
The run of chart successes may have ended long ago but Alice is still a prime purveyor of the ghoulish and bizarre, and this enjoyable jaunt down memory lane features tightly structured versions of perennial crowd-pleasers such as School’s Out, Under My Wheels and Elected.
Monterey International Pop Festival (Salvo SBX 102)
The Monterey Festival was held over three days in the summer of 1967, marking the first major American concert appearances by rock icons Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who.
The talented triumvirate all make telling contributions to Salvo’s splendidly packaged four-CD memento of this great counter-cultural event, sharing the limelight with luminaries such as The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane and the irrepressible Otis Redding, whose vibrant set closed with an epic rendition of Try A Little Tenderness.
Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition (Decca 478 6360)
This weighty anthology has been released in a limited edition to celebrate conductor Bernard Haitink’s lengthy association with Amsterdam’s world-renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The contents extend over no less than 36 CDs, capturing the six great symphonic cycles Haitink recorded for the Philips label between the 1960s and the 1980s, including masterly performances of works by Mahler, Bruckner and Beethoven to name but a few.
Stray: Live in Japan 2013 (Angel Air SJPCD 441)
Demon guitarist Del Bromham is still striving manfully to keep Stray’s name alive more than 40 years after the original outfit first made an impact on the rock cognoscenti via fine albums such as Suicide and Saturday Morning Pictures.
The current incarnation of Stray operate firmly within the power trio format, and this energised live set finds Bromham dipping into his illustrious back catalogue as they regale their Tokyo audience with a career-spanning selection of tracks led by After The Storm, Buying Time and All In Your Mind.
The Road To Rock & Roll Vol.3: No Stopping Us Now (Fantastic Voyage FVDD 187)
Rock ‘n’ roll historian Stuart Colman’s latest Fantastic Voyage anthology concentrates on music from the mid-1950s, drawing on a heady blend of country, rhythm and blues and doo wop material from those far off days.
The contents feature the usual mixture of hits and highly sought-after obscurities, with evocative gems such as Fats Domino’s Ain’t That A Shame and The Penguins’ Earth Angel sharing the limelight with deliciously dated offerings from the likes of Arthur Smith, The Four Knights and Boyd Bennett.