thu 05/08/2021

1960s

Reissue CDs Weekly: Tim Buckley - Merry-Go-Round at the Carousel

Anyone in San Francisco on 15 and 16 June 1968 would have had a tough choice if they wanted to see live music. On Saturday the 15th, Big Brother & the Holding Company and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown were playing The Fillmore. That night, The...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Chris Barber - A Trailblazer's Legacy

The book included with this splendid box set dedicated to British jazz innovator Chris Barber includes a series of quotes paying tribute to his standing. Billy Bragg says "Chris Barber's influence on British popular music, be it through playing jazz...

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Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan review - noir settings for classic numbers

What is the Shadow Kingdom and how do you gain access to it? In Bob Dylan’s case, it may be found in the film noir classics of his birth – 1941’s The Maltese Falcon onward – and it’s those noir settings, artfully condensed and reduced to a signature...

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Summer of Soul review - glorious documentary combines music and black American history

It’s entirely appropriate that in 2021, when debates about racism fill our minds and music festivals are still curtailed that Summer of Soul, filmed in 1969 but forgotten for decades, should win Sundance and hit our screens. Its director Questlove (...

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Pippin, Charing Cross Theatre review - happy-clappy vibe

If Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1966 was anyone under the age of 25, why couldn’t a teenage student write a musical in 1967? There are plenty of answers to that question of course, none of which stopped the composer Stephen Schwartz, who...

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Hairspray, London Coliseum review - brighter and more welcome than ever

A revival of a multi-award winning musical, with a big star or two, may look like a safe choice to re-open London’s largest theatre, the Coliseum, but there was a tingle of jeopardy in the air, exemplified when the show catches you by surprise...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 65: Solomun, Black Sabbath, Trojan Records, The Creation, Seefeel, Motörhead and more

The latest edition of theartsdesk on Vinyl combines the best new sounds on plastic with the vinyl reissues that are pressing buttons. Ranging from heavy rockin’ book-style boxsets to the funkiest summertime 7”s, all musical life is here. Dive in....

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Grange Festival review - heroic comedy in hard times

When the history of 2021’s slow emergence from lockdown comes to be written, musical administrations will stand out among the heroes. That’s especially true of the country-house opera organisations which have mushroomed in recent years. Don’t ask...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Elton John - Regimental Sgt. Zippo

Empty Sky, Elton John’s first album was released in June 1969. Now, an album titled Regimental Sgt. Zippo has turned up. It’s marketed as “The debut album that never was.” The 12 tracks are annotated loosely as having been recorded from November...

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Bostridge, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - large and live

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra believes that its current post-lockdown summer series features the largest orchestra currently performing live in the UK. It’s not an easy claim to verify, and the full string section certainly wasn’t on...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Songs

Early last month, Donovan issued his extraordinary new single “I am the Shaman”. Recorded at David Lynch’s Los Angeles studio, it was produced by the polymath director and fellow transcendental meditation devotee. The accompanying video was also...

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Esther Freud: I Couldn't Love You More review - the alternative history of a pregnancy

The glamorous unreliability of Esther Freud’s father, Lucian Freud, is an inescapable force in her novels. There he is, turning up like a bad penny in Love Falls, or The Wild, or Peerless Flats, leaping from taxis into restaurants or betting shops,...

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