The Legacy arm of Columbia/Epic has unearthed a slew of its early '70s roots-rock albums and remastered and reissued them on CD with bonus tracks.
Casual fans can now grab The Best of Mountain, featuring Mountain's one big FM hit, "Mississippi Queen," or diehard fans can dig in deeper to the band's catalogue and pick up two of its full studio albums, Nantucket Sleighride and Climbing! Each disc includes at least one bonus track.
Also now available with bonus tracks is The Best of Mott The Hoople, including the band's signature '70s glam-rock anthem, "All the Young Dudes," written by David Bowie.
Another popular act of the early '70s was Spirit, thanks to the hits "I Got a Line on You" and "Nature's Way." Legacy now offers a reissue of the band's 1973 The Best of Spirit disc, with five bonus tracks that weren't on the original release.
In 1968, Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield hit the charts with a young Stephen Stills, thanks to a collaborative album called Super Session. The original LP offered electric renditions of "Season of the Witch" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry." Legacy has reissued that disc on CD with a handful of bonus tracks that remove some of the horn parts that were grafted onto the original album sessions.
The label also offers a previously unissued concert recorded by Kooper and Bloomfield in December 1968. Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68 includes a rendition of "Season of the Witch" and introduced Texas blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who got signed to a label deal three days later, thanks to his rendition that night of B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault."
Whip It On
The Raveonettes are a duo — Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo — who affect a 1960s surf-guitar buzz in their music and a classic B-movie stance on their CD's cover. The look and the sound are there … now all they need is the songs.
Wagner and Foo deliver cool dual vocals throughout eight songs on this debut, always sounding pleasantly buried in the pounding rhythm bed of fuzzy guitars and drums. But the monotone delivery gets stale after a handful of tracks. Their echoey, droning detachment, while initially sounding fresh, quickly slips — thanks to its incessant same-ness — into forgettable.
While the sound is exceedingly cool — a perfect backdrop for a night in a retro bar with leopardskin stools and old beaten-up red velvet couches — the songs just don't have enough hook to hold on. The one standout is "Do You Believe Her," thanks to its clever use of a sampled vocal.
Whip It On is worth having for the mood it sets; here's hoping the duo stretch their songwriting a little more the next time out and they'll really have something to rave on about.
Bluff City Ruckus
Another act going for the retro edge and image is the Porch Ghouls, a white boy blues act that sport shades, suits and sideburns. The Ghouls play grungy swamp blues with honking harmonicas, slide guitars and garage band vocals as they sing above basic blues riffs about odd topics such as the "Fly in the Coffin" and "Ten Thousand Blueberry Crates."
Bluff City Ruckus is raucous, silly and raw — and a lot of blues-rock fun at times. For more information, check their Web site at www.porchghouls.com.