Although it was never the huge seller that Moondance was, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks has long been revered by fans and critics alike as one of the seminal albums of the rock era.
Late last year, Morrison did a series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in which he performed this classic in its entirety for the first time ever, using many of the same musicians who played on the original release forty years ago. Those concerts are the subject of Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl. I haven't heard this yet, but I can't imagine it being anything less than amazing. You can find a review by our own Musgo Del Jefe by going here.
When people scratch their heads and ask me where the artistry in hip-hop lies, one CD I often point them towards is the Beastie Boys' second album Paul's Boutique. Released some twenty years ago, I can still remember when I pitched my then-editor at Seattle's Rocket magazine for the lead review on this album, to which he replied it would never sell because it was too much of a departure from their mega-platinum debut Licensed To Ill.
God, how I love being proven right. Paul's Boutique [20th Anniversary] is the first attempt to remaster this hip-hop classic, and was overseen by the Boys' themselves.
Other notable titles this week include the new one from soul ingenue/social activist India.Arie and a slew of Motörhead reissues, including a deluxe edition of that band's classic Ace Of Spades album.
But not everything old is new this week. Mark Saleski makes his long-awaited return to NAR to talk about Lily Allen. And here's Josh Hathaway to talk about his new BFF Dan Auerbach.
What's that line from "Last Dance With Mary Jane?" No, not the underwear bit. Oh, yeah. "I don't know but I've been told/you never slow down, you'll never grow old." I'm trying to keep up with the kids. That's why I can throw around slang like BFF. The Black Keys are my new BFF. I love The Black Keys. I'm relatively new to the bandwagon but I've been making up for lost time. The Keys placed an album and a song on my Top 10 of 2008 lists ("So He Won't Break" and Attack & Release).