In anticipation of the up-coming giving season, I have got another collection of DVDs to review.
Rush – 2112 & Moving Pictures Classic Album
Rush fans are getting spoiled this autumn with not only the epic documentary Beyond the Lighted State but this Classic Album DVD. For many Rush fans 2112 was either their introduction to the band or even better, the best album to date. It not only introduced the great, hard rock hordes to Rush, it gave many an Ayn Rand fan their introduction to the author. Side one of the CD was inspired by a work of the libertarian author and she is thanked on the inside sleeve.
This classic album set details Rush from the lead-up to 2112 through the Moving Pictures album. It shows a band that was in danger of being dropped from their rise to the power house prog metallers they have become. It shows how the band developed the sound that truly is theirs. All three members appear and discuss the time in great detail (esp. in this expanded format of DVD rather than the hour long TV show). Lyricists will be fascinated by Peart’s discussion of his creative writing process.
As you would expect various people show up to pay homage including Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighter fame, the ubiquitous David Fricke, and producer on both albums Terry Brown. It goes without saying that this is a must have for Rush fans. It’s a fascinating insight in the creation of two seminal albums in history of the band and progressive rock/metal. This is one of the best Classic Albums DVD’s in the series.
Rory Gallagher – Ghost Blues 2DVD
Known to many as Rory “f***ing” Gallagher he is a guitarist’s guitarist. Never quite as widely known as he should have been, he has no less influenced everyone from Slash to the Edge. Not just responsible from dragging Ireland into the rock age, he created the “Irish blues sound” and lead the way for every single Irish rock band that came after him. To say they broke the mold after this one is an understatement.
Of course like any good blues musician he spent his life on the road, didn’t do well at home, drank too much, and ultimately died too young. Along the way he created the great band Taste, played with many of his living heroes and never bent to record label pressure. He was a proper bluesman who almost joined the Stones, which Bob Geldof says would have lead him to shoot himself.
As you might expect from such a DVD documentary all sorts of talking heads show up beside Geldof and Slash, including Cameron Crowe and Johnny Marr (who relates a take of burning a guitar to make it look cool). His brother appears as well as former bandmates Ted McKenna and Gerry McAvoy.
There is a DVD of The Beat Club Sessions which can be bought separately as a CD, should you want it seperately. I am sure all but the most anal Gallagher fans will learn something about the man they never knew. An obvious buy for fans of the Irish blues, great guitarists or the man in general.
Barclay James Harvest: Berlin – A Concert for the People
Back in the day, this band created something unusual with their melding of classical and rock. This was before the rival bands with only a few original members began playing the nostalgia circuit. This details a free concert performed by the band in Berlin (pre wall coming down) in front of the Reichstag. You seem BJH were “big in Germany” and did this for their copious amount of adoring fans. It must have been fascinating for East Germans to hear the racket coming from “capitalist Berlin” and it surely infuriated the East German authorities.
This release coincides with the 30th anniversary of the gig and includes the bonus promotional film from 1975 entitled “Time Honoured Tales” with tracks taken from the Time Honoured Ghosts album. This is the only extra on this DVD, which comes in at a pretty paltry 15 tracks total. That said it’s a treat for BJH fans of old. One has to wonder what attraction this release would have for those not aware of the band. Considering BJH fans can support two versions touring I am show there are enough of them to warrant this release.
If you ever wondered what the band were all about then you might want to check this out.
Ronnie Wood: I Feel Like Playing
So Ronnie Wood has got a bit of time on his hands. The hard living road hog needs something to do while the Stones are on hiatus. Apart from performing with the re-formed Rod Stewart-less Faces with Mick Hucknall of Simply Red on vocals and appearing on Top Gear flogging his autobiiography. So what does he do? Rings up all his mates including Slash of Guns n Roses, Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Vedder of Pearl Jam, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Womack and whomever else he could think of. His musician’s book (as opposed to his “little black one”) was thumbed through for this album.
So, is this yet another guitarist having a laugh vanity project that isn’t worth the price of entry? No, actually, and it has quietly rightly been described as one of the best albums he has been associated with in quite a while. It has touches of both the Stones and the Faces, we as a smattering of reggae on “Sweetness” and even the blues. While not as raucous as a Stones record, there is something for everyone on here. It’s a great listen that doesn’t have one duff track. There is not self-indulgent tripe here, just a journeyman guitarist exercising his creative and vocal side.
Some tracks are immediate like the first single “Lucky Man” while others take a bit more pondering. As solo albums for Stone men go, there are few to top this.
Had to sneak a CD review in there. Back to heavier fare next week. As always stay rocking and safe as we descend into autumn.