Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Christy Moore,"Where I Come From" (Sony Music)- Christy Moore's admirable honesty and visceral dislike of injustice  dominates this unusual retrospective,which features sparse and intimate re-recordings of many of his  finest self-penned songs,as well as a couple of freshly minted creations,"Where I Come From" and the irreverent "Arthur's Day." The Kildare balladeer's  poetic and thought-provoking approach to music-making is captured at its most compelling in this  impressive 3CD set, which showcases  politically charged ditties such as "The Wicklow Boy," "Veronica Guerin" and "Viva La Quinte Brigada," alongside  the amiable whimsy of "Joxer Goes to Stuttgart" and "Delerium Tremens."

                               Jethro Tull,"Benefit" (Chrysalis Records)- Tull's third album,"Benefit," was released in April 1970  and utilised state of the art studio technology as the band jettisoned  the bluesier elements of their earlier output  in favour of a much more quirky and rock orientated sound. The finished product was awash with arresting guitar riffs and florid flute work and soared into the higher reaches of the UK album charts, and this classic offering has  now been re-issued by Chrysalis with the inclusion of a string of splendid bonus tracks ,including mono and stereo versions of their singles,"Teacher, " "Sweet Dream" and "Witch's Promise."

                               "Dead Good-Eternal Classics from the Grim Reaper's Jukebox" (Fantastic Voyage FVCD 177)-This interesting archive collection explores the morbid phenomenon of the death disc,which was all the rage for a few years during the late fifties and early sixties as teenage record-buyers revelled in their sad sagas of doom and despair. The thirty tracks on offer here include undisputed gems of the genre such as The Everly Brothers' " Ebony Eyes," Jody Reynolds' "Endless Sleep" and Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her," sharing the limelight with  some genuine obscurities from the likes of Lee Hazelwood,Ronnie Hawkins and Robert Mitchum.

                                 Ultravox,"The Albums 1980-2012" (Chrysalis Records)- This impressive 9 CD set concentrates on the Ultravox albums which feature Midge Ure as the band's frontman,ignoring the two albums which violinist Billy Currie masterminded during the early nineties,"Revelation" and "Ingenuity."  Ure's recruitment in 1980  signalled  an immediate upsurge in fortunes for the electro pioneers, and the former Slik frontman's well developed pop sensibilities helped to inspire a string of memorable chart singles during the next few years,including "The Voice," "Love's Great Adventure" and the grandiose  "Vienna." Ultravox finally gave up the ghost in 1987  but they were tempted to reform more than two decades later to record the live "Return To Eden," which finds the classic line-up in masterly form as they revisit the cream  of their illiustrious back catalogue.

                                     Itzhak Perlman," Saint-Saens:Violin Concerto No.3,Wieniawski:Violin Concerto No.2" (D.G. 479 1928)- This memorable  archive recording dates from 1983 and finds virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman tackling two of the most attractive concertos that the  19th century has to offer. The Saint-Saens offering is a particularly fine piece of work,specifically penned for the great Spanish musician  Pablo Sarasate  and now firmly established  as one  of the most performed items in the composer's repertoire.

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