Columbia/Legacy offers a blast from heavy metal's arena rock past in the reissues of Blue Oyster Cult' s 1977-1978 albums Spectres and Some Enchanted Evening. The Spectres re-release features the original studio recording of the band's signature hit “Godzilla” as well as favorites “R. U. Ready to Rock,” “Goin' Through the Motions” and “I Love the Night.” The new edition includes four bonus tracks previously unreleased from the period, including their cover of The Ronettes' “Be My Baby.” The reissue of Blue Oyster Cult's hit live album, Some Enchanted Evening doubles the album's original lineup of seven songs (which include “Godzilla,” “Kick Out The Jams” and “Don't Fear The Reaper”). In addition, the set offers a second disc - a DVD of concert video footage shot in 1978 which shows the band in fine form. Though it's not always the best quality video (it wasn't shot with the intention of being issued as a concert film) it's a decent recording that fans will enjoy seeing – a true “blast from the past”!
The Legacy label has also issued The Essential Charlie Rich, a two-CD set featuring Rich's classic pop crossover hits “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl” and many more – the set offers a total of three dozen tracks recorded from 1959-1991.
Warner Brothers has issued the second set of concert video from Madonna in a year. Last year, we got I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, a live album and a DVD that offered a documentary look at behind-the-scenes footage from her “Re-Invention” tour that didn't include a great deal of actual performance video. Now we get The Confessions Tour set, which includes a 13-song CD with live tracks from her recent tour as well as a 21-song DVD that, this time, actually presents the concert, rather than a montage of backstage chatter. It's still not simply a straight-on video of the concert – footage jumps back and forth between the dancers, Madonna and the background video screen with kaleidescopic effect at times. But if you've not been able to see the Material Girl's elaborate stage shows, it's a great sample of the extravagant dance and performance setups of her recent tours.
If you're a fan of back porch harmony-rich folk songs, you might want to check out the rootsy ol' fashioned porch jam sounds of Po' Girl next Wednesday at Schuba's in Chicago. The all-girl quartet has just issued the disc Home to You on the Canadian Nettwerk Records, and offer a mix of clarinet, banjo, acoustic guitars, violin, organ and even wash-tub bass to underscore their bluesy, country-fied soulful vocal harmonies. For more information and song samples, check their site at www.pogirl.net.
Chris Pureka is a New England folk singer-songwriter who writes delicately weathered, thoughtful songs that, I'll warn you, may not initially grab you. The first time I listened to her sophomore full-length release, Dryland was sometime late last year. I thought her voice was nice – just rough enough to give the quietly strummed songs emotion, but not enough to grate. Nevertheless, I put the disc aside and reviewed other things. Maybe her style was just too subtle for me to get the first time out…but eventually, her haunting style overtook me.
I plugged the CD in again and again over the following weeks, and something began to wrap around my heart each time I listened to that vulnerable, honest voice and the lonely strums of her guitar. That something wound tighter with each listen until, over the past two weeks, Dryland has become virtually the only album I've put on the stereo each day. While initially I passed it by, now I can't listen to Pureka's softly entrancing folk songs enough!
Issued on her own label, this is an album of autumn beauty – melancholic emotion colors the songs, which slip by as easy as the landscape on a long Nebraska drive. The drama is there, but you have to let it sink in slowly. Hers is a style that will overtake your heart, if you sit still long enough to let it. Now that I've let her voice in, I can't recommend this album enough!
For information and song samples, visit her web site at www.chrispureka.com.