wed 22/09/2021

1960s

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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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

With over eight million copies sold in its 50-year lifespan, Déjà Vu was, as Cameron Crowe writes in the booklet accompanying this compendious four-CD edition, “one of the most famous second albums in rock history”. It was originally released in...

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Album: Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume 1

If you want to understand the psychic harm that prolonged lockdown can do to a man, then take a listen to Van Morrison's new 28-song set. Actually, you don't need to listen, the song titles say enough: “Where Have All the Rebels Gone?”; “Stop...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities Volume 7

Carolyn Crawford’s “Ready or Not Here Comes Love” is a 1971 recording. It sounds like a Motown classic from 1968 or so – a confident lead voice soars over backing vocals, light orchestration and a tight arrangement designed to get feet moving. Most...

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Blu-ray: The Chalk Garden

Enid Bagnold’s 1955 English play The Chalk Garden, a Broadway hit before it opened in the West End, is usually described as a comedy because of Bagnold’s acerbic dialogue and droll appreciation of intricate employer-servant dynamics. If most of the...

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Blu-ray: To Sir, with Love

To Sir, With Love is a very loose adaptation of ER Braithwaite’s autobiographical novel. Reflecting on his experiences as a teacher in London’s East End in the late 1940s, Braithwaite’s commentary (one of two provided here) advises us that “as you...

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