Dreaming about Sweet Tea and the Sun Goddess
This week we have nothing less than six fantastic vinyl releases, from traditional blues to Jamaican dub and from progressive metal to the deepness of jazz. The first one is a classic from the progressive masters of Dream Theater. A Change of Seasons is all about the seven-part epic of the same name and can be seen as one of the most impressive songs ever written in the prog metal. It's the complexity which lies in the cycle of life, the main theme of the song. With a length of over 23 minutes it's a long standing piece with constantly changing rhythms and a balance of power and melody. Besides the title song the album consists of a collection of live cover songs, performed at a fan club concert at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Classics like "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" (Elton John) and "Perfect Strangers" (Deep Purple) are recorded with putting attention to the original song structures. The album is available as a limited Edition of 2500 numbered copies on Blue & White mixed vinyl.
One of the last standing blues legends Buddy Guy released his 11th studio album Sweet Tea in 2001. A raw and pure blues album with the intensity of fuzzy guitar melodies. It's an instant classic in Guy's impressive catalogue, going back to the Mississippi blues where it all started. The thick swampy grooves of "Baby Please Don't Leave Me" and "I Gotta Try You Girl" proves that Guy is at his best when there's space to jam with the band. His remarkable playing and deep voice makes this album one of those classics that should not be missing in the music collection of both blues lovers and vinyl collectors. The album is now finally available on vinyl for the first time and the gatefold package includes an insert.
Jamaican audio engineer Errol Brown is the nephew of the famous record producer Duke Reid. In the 70s Brown recorded artists like Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs and Bob Marley. He made his first steps in the production industry with Dubb Everlasting, followed three years later by Dub Expression. Part of the success of the albums was the band who recorded the songs, The Revolutionaries. The album is all about the melody of the tunes, with separate instruments and a few vocals. There are a lot of different music sections in the songs, "Super Tracks" got a nice organ riff while "Dread At The Controls" is more about the electrical bleeps and percussion. It's an intriguing and wonderful dub reggae album of the 70's. Dub Expression is available as a limited edition of 750 numbered copies on orange coloured vinyl.
Sun Goddess is the biggest success of the jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis, who recorded over 80 albums during his career. The album is co-produced by the famous musician and producer Teo Macero (co-produced Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew) and the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White. The Sun Goddess is covered on the front of the album and comes to life in the arrangements of the jazz fusion. The electric piano and synths creating an uplifting melody, in which the jazz melds with the funk. The atmosphere can be compared with the music of Earth, Wind & Fire. and contains a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City". All these different sounds can be found in the instrumentation that is used on the album, from strings and horns to keyboards and guitars.
The legendary American hard rock band The New York Dolls was one of the first bands to hit the road with punk rock and recorded some of the most popular cult records, namely New York Dolls (1973) and Too Much Too Soon (1974). Having been a longtime fan of the band the former frontman of The Smiths, Morrissey, organized a reunion for the Meltdown Festival in London in 2004. The three surviving members of the band gave an energetic live performance, with passion for the band's old songbook. The sound is clear and raw and the musicians proves that after all these years they can still do the trick. Live From Royal Festival Hall 2004 includes their classics, like "Personality Crises", "Jet Boy" and "Frankenstein". This first time on vinyl release has a beautiful etched D-side and the first 1500 numbered copies are pressed on pink vinyl and strictly limited.
The last release for this week is the soundtrack of The Crown Season 2, composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. The show is a biographical story about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The rich orchestral pieces supports the many stories to be found in the different episodes. Filling the gaps of unspoken moments with constructed and emotional pieces of music, without overpowering these moments. Rupert Gregson-Williams created scores for movies such as Hotel Rwanda, The Legend Of Tarzan and Hacksaw Ridge. The first pressing of 750 individually numbered copies are available on royal gold vinyl.