King Crimson, Zappa, Santana top Q4

Classics from King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Santana rule the list of psychedelic music rereleases for 2016's final quarter. Other key artists unwrapping product for the holiday season include the Doors, the Beatles, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, Funkadelic and Yes. King Crimson delivers another floor-buckler with the massive "On (and Off) the Road" set -- 11 CDs, three DVD-A's, three Bluray audio discs and a pair of DVDs. "A complete overview of the enduringly popular 1980s incarnation of King Crimson." Set revolves around the albums "Discipline," "Beat," "Three of a Perfect Pair," which appear in several forms, including new Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes and 5.1 surround. Live tracks, outtakes, studio chatter, memorabilia, etc. Streeting for about $150. Also … [Read more...]

Review: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ on Blu-ray

The long-awaited Blu-ray of "A Hard Day's Night" comes with the prominent subtitle: Directed by Richard Lester. Truth in packaging, as the Criterion Collection's smashing release of the Beatles' film puts the focus squarely on the iconoclastic director, whose vision and bravery under fire made what could have been a forgettable "jukebox musical" into a classic of several genres. "A Hard Day's Night" makes most critics' best-ever lists. The Beatles' first and best film is widely considered an electrifying mix of great music and hip comedy, both a time capsule of the swinging '60s and a timeless entertainment. Roger Ebert called it "one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies." Respect hadn't led to respectful treatment. Legal wrangling followed "A Hard Day's Night" … [Read more...]

Beatles, T. Rex, Dead, Doors open 2014

The new year brings new collections starring the Beatles, T. Rex, the Doors, the Small Faces and, of course, the good old Grateful Dead. And there's word of a long-awaited audiophile release of a psychedelic masterpiece. Apple continues to rework the Beatles catalog, this time with a rerelease of the U.S. albums on Capitol. These albums still have their Baby Boomer fans, of course, but collectors offer a collective shrug at "The U.S. Albums" box set, as the discs reportedly offer little more than a shuffling of the remastered music from 2009. So no love for the Capitol engineers who sought to "Americanize" the lads' sounds with washes of reverb and bullshit Duophonic stereo. For the most part, you'll get the latest official U.K. versions of the songs, fashioned into what were … [Read more...]

Doors talking about an ‘R-Evolution’

The Doors' "R-Evolution" video collection surfaces Jan. 21 in the U.S., unspooling on Blu-ray and DVD. Audio is in 5.1 surround, "remixed and mastered" by the L.A. group's faithful engineer Bruce Botnick. The deluxe Blu-ray edition offers a 40-page "DVD sized" hard-back book, streeting for about $45. The basic Blu-ray (no book) should run you less than $14. The Doors collection includes band music videos and vintage TV appearances -- notably appearances on the Smothers Brothers, Jonathan Winters and American Bandstand. Rareities include a color "Hello I Love You" from German TV (September 1968), outtakes from "Malibu U." (August 1967) and a "Crawling King Snake" from Australia (March 1971). The videos range from your basic lip-synching network gigs to the band's psychedelic … [Read more...]

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