BostonThe Legacy label has been busy this month, reissuing classic LPs on CD with remastered sound and bonus tracks.

Boston and Don't Look Back, the first two discs from legendary 1970s rockers Boston, have been reissued (sans bonus tracks) on Epic/Legacy, remastered from the original tapes by Boston's architect, guitarist Tom Scholz. During the past 30 years, the two albums have sold more than 24 million copies between them, and they feature hits such as "Don't Look Back," "More Than a Feeling" and "Rock & Roll Band."

Legacy also has issued expanded versions of Matthew Sweet's seminal 1991 album Girlfriend,Barry Manilow's 1977 concert album Live, and the soundtrack to Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking. Each of these is a two-CD set.

In addition to the regular tracks of Girlfriend which spawned Sweet's FM rock hits “I've Been Waiting,” Matthew Sweet“Divine Intervention,” “Evangeline” and “Girlfriend,” the reissued version features a second CD, titled Goodfriend which offers more acoustic demos and alternate takes of the songs that appear on the regular album, as well as Sweet performing a couple cover songs from Neil Young and John Lennon.

The revised Dead Man Walking disc features songs from Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Suzanne Vega, Lyle Lovett and Tom Waits. The revision also features a previously unissued track from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and a second DVD capturing a full length "Dead Man Walking" concert, with appearances by Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Lovett and Vedder.

While we're on the subject of live discs, there's also a new double-live CD on the shelves from Billy Joel. 12 Gardens Live was recorded at New York's Madison Square Garden, and is now available from Columbia Records. Joel has always been a dynamic performance artist, and this set offers both early material and his big hits, from “Angry Young Man,” “My Life,” “New York State of Mind” “Allentown,” “Don't Ask Me Why” “Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)” and “An Innocent Man,” to “Keeping the Faith,” “River of Dreams” “We Didn't Start The Fire,” and many more, including of course, his signature song, “Piano Man.”

 

TrewsThe Trews
Den of Thieves
(Sony)
1/2


If the Black Crowes merged with Collective Soul and featured guest appearances from Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam, the resulting high octane guitar rock fusion might sound a lot like The Trews.

Spawned on the southern border of Canada, The Trews sound like they come from a thousand miles south. Singer Colin MacDonald has the Southern rock soul thing down-pat and occasionally crosses into Eddie Vedder/Kurt Cobain territory to boot. The rest of the band chips in with chunky riffs and wa-wah guitars, occasional clanking cowbells and big, bodacious background vocals that will have you singing along with these 15 kick-butt tracks the first time you hear them.

Den of Thieves is the band's second full-length album, following two EPs, and it delivers a solid slab of roots-rich rock without any fat. From the pedal-to-the-floor frenzied bass opener of “Fire Up Ahead” to the jammy soul-flare of “Sweetness” to the gentler piano-backed ballad “I Can't Say” (where his Vedder-esque vocal roughness shows itself), Den of Thieves delivers.

“Tired of Waiting,” “Cry” and “Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me” bring to mind the Black Crowes, with crashing cymbals, building rootsy intensity and dashes of horns and even a cowbell. “Montebello Park,” sounds like Nirvana at their more contemplative before slipping into a closing harmony-heavy riff that is reminiscient of late ‘70s era Journey. There's a chiming guitar Beatlesque feel to “The Traveling Kind,” before the album slips into its closing anthem, the slipstream drum and guitar dreamer “Ishmael & Maggie.”

While The Trews beg comparisons on various tracks to a lot of great bands, at the end of the day, this is a CD that creates its own unique sound. And that sound is a pounding, soulful, rock declaration that deserves to be played loud. And often.

Don't miss this amazing band.