Today on Blogcritics
Home » New Album Releases 07/29/08: Alice Cooper, Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Rolling Stones, Rick Springfield, George Carlin & Not Much Else

New Album Releases 07/29/08: Alice Cooper, Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Rolling Stones, Rick Springfield, George Carlin & Not Much Else

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

You know we're talking slow week here when the biggest release on the list comes from a guy who hasn't had a bonafide hit record in some two decades.

But you still have to give ol' Alice Cooper his props. On his new concept album, Along Came A Spider, the guy who single handedly invented the rock theatrical spectacle that spawned several decades of imitators from Kiss to Marilyn Manson to Slipknot, still shows the young bucks how to get it done.

In my original review here a few weeks back, I wrote that although there isn't anything here as memorable as "I'm Eighteen" or "School's Out," the band still rocks pretty hard and Alice's voice has held up remarkably well. This one probably won't sell that many copies past the diehards, but it's good nonetheless to see Alice still going a lot stronger than you might expect (especially for a guy who's gotta' be pushing 60).

Another guy who saw his best years a few decades back, but is apparently still going strong is Rick Springfield. I was never a fan, but like Alice, I'll give Springfield credit. He's more or less maintained his teen-idol good looks, and I have to admit that the single "What's Victoria Secret?" (don't tell anyone, but I saw it performed on General Hospital this week) is a damned hooky sounding little pop tune. I'm sure our fearless leader Connie Phillips already has her copy of Springfield's new Venus in Overdrive.

Also of note this week is a recording of one of the last HBO standup performances from the late, great George Carlin. Just be forewarned that in addition to Carlin's usual brilliance, there's ample use of those "seven words" (and a few more) on It's Bad for Ya.

Since it's a slow week and all, we bent the rules a little this week and allowed Josh Hathaway to write about the Stones (we don't usually cover DVD's here), as well as plug a couple of his buddies (since they are also friends of ours). Mark Saleski also gives us his take on the new collaboration between an MG and a Rascal.

As for me, wake me up when it's August.

Saleski's Choice: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere – Nudge It Up a Notch

If I was to make up a list of my favorite guitar players (But of course, I wouldn't dare do that because then I'd be exposing myself to the Internet scourge known as GuitarFan™. You know the type. They blurt out things like "Where's Slash?!!" and "Dimebag!" — think of it as a kind of Rock and Roll Tourette's) then Steve Cropper would have to be there. Going all the way back to his smokin' work with Booker T & the MGs, Cropper's guitar has always had that unique twang that I just love.

On Nudge It Up a Notch, Cropper is joined by Felix Cavaliere, vocalist and B3 player for the Rascals. I'm afraid I may have to turn this up very loud.

P.S. Yes, I was sucked in by the record player on the cover.

Josh Hathaway's Fanboy Pick Of The Week: (tie) Magic Junk Radio 11 & Rolling Stones – Shine A Light (DVD/BluRay)

I'd like to throw out a special plug for a free new release before we get to my Official Pick of the Week. Somrod has just released Magic Junk Radio 11: Slow Ahead. The download is free and well worth the listen.

Martin Scorsese's tour film of the Rolling Stones' Shine a Light makes its way to DVD and Blu-Ray. Just think, Blu-Ray fans, you'll be able to count the cracks in Keith's face. Mick Jagger's lips will be in high definition.

The spectacular soundtrack was released earlier this spring; now we get the images to go with the words. The real question about this release is can the Oscar-winning director breathe life into the stale genre that is the concert film? Can he present The Stones in a unique way? Can he present live music in a unique way? Can he at the very least present them in an engaging way? We've heard the soundtrack, so we know the music is there. I can't wait to feast my eyes on the visuals.

Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

Alice Cooper
Along Came a Spider
Steamhammer
Heavy Metal, Hard Rock

Steve Cropper/Felix Cavaliere
Nudge It Up a Notch
Stax
Retro-Soul

Rick Springfield
Venus in Overdrive
New Door
Pop/Rock

Sugarland
Love on the Inside
Mercury Nashville
Contemporary Country, Country-Folk, Country-Rock

Daniel Barenboim
Schubert: Grand Duo; Variations; Marches militaires
Warner Classics
Romantic Music for Piano Duo

Willie Bobo
Bobo Motion [Remastered]
Verve
Boogaloo, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Latin Folk

The Bug
London Zoo
Ninja Tune
Illbient, Dancehall, Experimental

George Carlin
It's Bad for Ya
Laugh.Com
Observational Humor, Standup Comedy

Cephas & Wiggins
Richmond Blues
Smithsonian/Folkways
Modern Acoustic Blues, Acoustic Blues, Folk-Blues, Piedmont Blues

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Leaving Town
Rounder
Bluegrass

Colours
Love Heals: The Complete Recordings
Cherry Red
Psychedelic, Psychedelic Pop

Maynard Ferguson
Maynard Ferguson Octet [Remastered]
Verve
Crossover Jazz, Hard Bop, Bop

Fine Arts Quartet
Four American Quartets
Naxos
Modern and Contemporary Chamber Music

Michael Finnissy
Chris Newman: Piano Sonatas
Mode
Contemporary Piano Music

Eddie Floyd
Eddie Loves You So
Stax
Soul, Memphis Soul, Deep Soul, Southern Soul

Johnny Flynn
A Larum
Lost Highway/Vertigo
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, British Folk

Dizzy Gillespie
The Cool World [Remastered]
Verve
Afro-Cuban Jazz, Bop

Neil Halstead
Oh! Mighty Engine
Brushfire
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop

Richie Havens
Nobody Left to Crown
Polydor
Folk-Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Milt Jackson
At the Museum of Modern Art [Remastered]
Verve
Hard Bop

James Judd
John Antill: Corroboree; An Outback Overture
Naxos
Modern Ballet and Orchestral Music

The Kingston Trio
Turning Like Forever: Rarities, Vol. 2
Collectors' Choice Music
Folk Revival, Folk-Pop, Traditional Folk

Little Richard
The Very Best of Little Richard [Specialty]
Specialty
Rock & Roll, R&B, New Orleans R&B

Matt Pryor
Confidence Man
Vagrant
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Americana

Tony Rice
Night Flyer: The Singer Songwriter Collection
Rounder
Traditional Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass, New Acoustic

Rusty Truck
Luck's Changing Lanes
Rykodisc
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Grunge

Scars on Broadway
Scars on Broadway
Interscope
Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal

Soulfly
Conquer
Roadrunner
Death Metal/Black Metal, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Rap-Metal

The Terrible Twos
Jerzy the Giant
Vagrant
Children's Folk, Sing-Along

James Jackson Toth
Waiting in Vain
Rykodisc
Neo-Traditional Folk, Alternative Country, Indie Rock

Various Artists
Rock The Net: Musicians For Network Neutrality
Thirsty Ear
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Experimental Rock, Indie Rock

Andre Williams & the New Orleans Hellhounds
Can You Deal with It?
Bloodshot
Soul-Blues

Hawksley Workman
Los Manlicious
Island Def Jam
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Powered by

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    it is never a slow week when a new Magic Junk Radio podcast show up.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    And will ya feast your eyes on those page breaks? I don’t think I’ve ever seen em’ break quite that right…

    -Glen

  • Lauri J

    Rick Springfield’s “Venus in Overdrive” cd is catchy, great pop and just all around pleasing entertainment. Love it – played it over and over and think everyone will enjoy giving it a listen. It has a few reminders of past music which is clever and fun, and then the rest is sweet, loving, about love and you’ll love it!

  • http://somethingelsemusic.blogspot.com/ Pico

    “Rock and Roll Tourette’s” indeed.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    A funny thing about Alice Cooper is that, for me, at least, it’s kind of hard to not see him now as the guy who hawks cars for a local auto dealer or the guy who appears in a couple of goofy commercials for the DMV (he lives in Phoenix. Another Phoenician I see regularly on TV is Leslie Neilsen, who basically Frank Drebens his way through some local credit union commercials.)

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    hey, once you’ve been on the hollywood squares….

  • http://www.sabrinamessenger.com Sabrina

    For me, musical quality is more important than quantity. So what if the person doesn’t have a hit song every single year? Not all baseball players strike a home run at each game, do they? I’ve not had the chance to hear Alice Cooper’s or George Carlin’s CD, but I can tell you with certainty that Rick Springfield’s CD Venus In Overdrive is definitely listener worthy! It truly is some of his best work in his 40 year career as a musician. There are several quality songs on it that demonstrate his ability to craft a song that is not only “catchy” but also meaningful, too. Music-wise, he does cherry pick somewhat from the past…there are definitely noticeable strains of “Jesse’s Girl” in the song “What’s Victoria’s Secret?” but it’s ok! He has a special way of making those classic sounds of rock song sound fresh and new again…and that’s why his music is so fun to listen to.

    My picks on this CD? the title track, Venus In Overdrive because of its honesty and intensity where human relationships are concerned (I, just like in that Paul McCartney song, have had enough of “silly love songs” that drown you in sentimentality and am glad to hear a love song written for ADULTS that is somewhat intense, but honest.) I also liked 3 Warning Shots. This is basically an “open letter” to Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon. It’s a somewhat “dark” kind of song, but I felt the lyrics accurately described the feelings of many of us when we found out about this crime. Overall, I think the CD has an eclectic mix of musical styles…something for everyone.