Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Alice Cooper, "Brutally Alive" (SALVO SVX022)-This entertaining two disc set features  audio and video recordings  of  Alice Cooper's  concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in July 2000, liberally peppered with the trademark theatrics which have always been such an integral feature of the great man's live act. The run of chart successes may have ended long ago but Alice is still  a prime purveyor  of the ghoulish and bizarre,and  this enjoyable jaunt down memory lane features tightly structured versions of perennial crowd-pleasers such as "School's Out," "Under My Wheels" and "Elected."

                       "Monterey International Pop Festival" (Salvo SBX 102)- The  Monterey Festival was held over three days in the summer of 1967, marking the first major American concert appearances  by rock icons  Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who. The talented triumvirate all make telling  contributions  to Salvo's splendidly packaged 4 CD memento of this great countercultural  event, sharing the limelight with  luminaries such as The Byrds,Jefferson Airplane and the irrepressible Otis Redding,whose vibrant set closed with an epic rendition of "Try A Little Tenderness."

                        Bernard Haitink,"The Symphony Edition" (Decca 478 6360)- This weighty anthology has been released in a limited edition to celebrate  conductor  Bernard Haitink's lengthy association with  Amsterdam's world renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The contents extend over no less than 36 CDs,capturing the  six great symphonic cycles that Haitink recorded  for the Philips label between the sixties and the eighties,including masterly performances of works by Mahler,Bruckner and Beethoven to name but a few.

                        Stray,"Live in Japan 2013" (Angel Air SJPCD 441)- Demon guitarist Del Bromham is still striving manfully to keep Stray's name  alive more than forty years after the original outfit first made an impact on the rock cognoscenti via fine albums such as  "Suicide" and "Saturday Morning Pictures." The current incarnation of Stray  operate firmly within the power trio format, and this energised live set finds  Bromham  dipping into his illustrious back catalogue as they  regale their  Tokyo audience with a career spanning selection of tracks led by "After The Storm," "Buying Time" and "All In Your Mind."

                          "The Road To Rock & Roll Vol.3 : No Stopping Us Now"(Fantastic Voyage  FVDD 187)-Rock'n'roll historian Stuart Colman's latest Fantastic Voyage anthology concentrates  on music from the mid-fifties, drawing on a heady blend of country,rhythm and blues and doo wop material  from those far off days. The  contents feature  the usual mixture of  hits and highly sought after obscurities as  evocative gems such as  Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" and The Penguins' "Earth Angel"  share the limelight with  deliciously dated offerings from the likes of Arthur Smith, The Four Knights and Boyd Bennett.

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