Thursday, May 31, 2007

Love - The Blue Thumb Recordings (Review)

I got my package from Hip-O Select yesterday that included the Love Blue Thumb Recordings 3 CD set. Kudos to Hip-O Select for releasing this material, and for the fast shipping. First the good news: the sound quality is very good. Producer Bill Levenson and mastering engineer Suha Gur did not make any attempt to re-write history. For better or worse, Out Here and False Start sound pretty much like the original LPs, which in my opinion is a good thing. Hip-O got the most important part of the project right--the sound.

I do have a couple of complaints though. First, $40 + $8 shipping makes this a fairly expensive purchase, and the packaging could have been more deluxe. I had hoped the CDs would be housed in slipcase replicas of the original LPs, but instead they are packaged in a very plain tri-fold digipak, with a rather skimpy jewel case insert. The liner notes by Dave Thompson are short, do not go into much depth, and contain a couple obvious inaccuracies. Please keep in mind I know nothing about the realities of how to make a profit off music in an era of declining sales, so my complaints, though minor, are likely churlish.

Of course the music is what's really important. Disc one features the double LP Out Here in its entirety. I've already told you what I think about the music on Out Here: it's frustratingly uneven. That said, it's nice to have the convenience of a "skip" button when listening to it, so I'm happy to have a copy on CD.

Disc two features False Start, Love's second and final Blue Thumb LP. For this album Lee assembled yet another new Love lineup. Gary Rowles replaced lead guitarist Jay Donnellan, and Noony Ricket was added on rhythm guitar and sometimes rather prominent backing vocals. Frank Fayad (bass) and George Suranovich (drums) stuck around from the previous incarnation of the band.

False Start is best-known for the Jimi Hendrix guitar solo that graces the lead off track, "The Everlasting First," which partly obscures the fact that the album finds Lee moving away from heavy (white) psychedelic rock and toward an embrace of (black) soul music. That transition would not be complete until Reel To Real, but Lee lets his blackness come "shining through" on soulful tracks such as "Keep On Shining," "Flying," "Anytime," and "Feel Daddy Feel Good."

Unlike the spotty Out Here, False Start is a consistently good record. It is also much shorter, clocking in at less than 30 minutes. It's an enjoyable listen from start to finish. A single live track "Stand Out" originally featured on Out Here, and recorded at a February 1970 UK gig, suggests that Love Mach 2.5 was one heck of a live act.

Which brings me to the final disc of this package; a live CD featuring previously unreleased material recorded on the same 1970 UK tour. Considering how excellent the live version of "Stand Out" featured on False Start is, I found the live disc mildly disappointing. Although I have no evidence for this beyond what my ears tell me, listening to the newly uncovered live material suggests that the False Start version of "Stand Out" was subjected to some rather extensive studio sweetening. First of all, there is the matter of Lee's voice: there is clearly a different, less reverberant, acoustic surrounding his voice on "Stand Out" than on the material on the live disc (some of which was recorded at the same February 27 show). Also, something sounds mildly off about Lee's voice on the newly uncovered live material, it sounds like he had a tooth pulled or something. The False Start version of “Stand Out” also features some rather polished backing vocals that are entirely absent from the live recordings featured on Disc three of this set. Make of that what you will.

The quirk to Lee's voice is mildly distracting, but the band sounds good throughout. It's interesting to hear some of the material from Forever Changes and Da Capo played by this band, although it is fairly obvious they were much more at home playing the less subtle, heavier material like "August," "Good Times" and "Singing Cowboy." The final track, a much more efficient version of "Love Is More Than Words Or Better Late Than Never" than the eleven-plus minute version featured on Out Here, really shows what this band was capable of live.

Despite the fact that I was mildly disappointed with this set, it's still an excellent addition to any Love fan's collection, particularly if you do not already own the two featured studio LPs already. Whether the live material from 1970 is enough to justify purchase for the true fanatic is not for me to decide. I have no regrets.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rolling Stones' "25 Greatest Songs Off Bad Albums"

The editors of Rolling Stone have put together a list of the 25 Greatest Songs Off Bad Albums.
Here is the list with my reactions:

1. "Under Pressure" off Queen's Hot Space
I pretty much hate everything Queen ever did except this song and "Radio Ga Ga." 


2. "This Is England" off the Clash's Cut The Crap
Never heard Cut The Crap, I know it only by reputation.
 


3. "Eminence Front" off The Who's It's Hard
"Eminence Front" is a great song? Really? I did not know that.
 


4. "Brownsville Girl" off Bob Dylan's Knocked Out Loaded
I actually liked this album when I was in high school, but haven't heard it in years. My wife's grandmother (still rockin' at 81 years young) is a Dylan and Springsteen fanatic. I believe "Brownsville Girl" is her favorite Dylan song. Next time I see her I will ask her why.


5. "Hallo Spaceboy" off David Bowie's Outside
Never heard the album or the song.
 


6. "Kill Your Sons" off Lou Reed's Sally Can’t Dance
Strangely, I don't own Sally Can't Dance. I do like "Kill Your Sons" though.


7. "2000 Light Years from Home" off the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request
Wrong. Great song off a great album. People who say this is a bad album are clueless. Someday I am going to do a post on this album that explains why it is a far more awesome artistic acheivement than Sgt. Pepper. If I had any attention span or discipline I would write a book about what a great album this is. (I have neither, so don't hold your breathe waiting for the post either).


8. "Goin' Home" off Neil Young's Are You Passionate?
Again, never heard the song or album, but when Neil Young misses, he really misses. The fact that he named a song on this album "Let's Roll" was reason enough for me to skip it.
9. "Song For Guy" off Elton John's A Single Man
Clueless on this one too. Was this written for our Guy?


10. "Don’t Look Back" off Boston's Don't Look Back
I can't remember this song. I'm sure I would recognize it if someone played it for me, but I don't remember it.


11. "Jammin' Me" off Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Let Me Up I've Had Enough
I never liked this song, but I didn't think the album as a whole was bad. Not one of Petty's better albums certainly, but not bad.


12. "Shipbuilding" off Elvis Costello's Punch the Clock
I think Punch the Clock is a good album, and "Shipbuilding" is a great song.


13. "Go Let It Out" off Oasis's Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
Never heard it, never understood the fuss about Oasis in the first place.


14. "Big Love" off Fleetwood Mac's Tango In the Night
I own a copy of this on LP, but I've never listened to it. Tusk is my favorite by Fleetwood Mac.


15. "Tonight" off Elton John's Blue Moves
I guess I am not very up on Elton John. I can live with that.


16. "Celluloid Heroes" off the Kinks' Everybody's in Show-Biz
Again, if someone played me this song, I'm sure I'd remember it, but right now I'm drawing a blank.
 


17. "Country Death Song" off the Violent Femmes' Hallowed Ground
I am embarrassed to admit that I once liked this juvenille garbage. An awful song.
 


18. "Busy Doin’ Nothin''" off the Beach Boys' Friends
What exactly makes Friends a "bad" album? Is it the excess of great songs on it? Great song, definitely.
 


19. "Supernova" off Liz Phair's Whip-Smart
There was a good song on Whip-Smart? I'll have to take Rolling Stones' word for it. Can anyone think of another artist who put out such an amazingly great debut, and went on to suck worse than Liz Phair? Neither can I.
 


20. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" off Prince's The Gold Experience
Man, Prince really lost it there for a while. This was a terrible song. Was the rest of the album really worse?
 


21. "Human Touch" off Bruce Springsteen's Human Touch
I will never say anything bad about the Boss (in part because my wife's grandmother would beat me senseless, and in part because I have nothing bad to say about him). My grandfather (RIP) was born in Asbury Park, NJ too. That is my closest link to rock royalty.
 


22. "Learning To Fly" off Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason
Did anyone actually listen to this album? Pink Floyd should cover Tom Petty more often.
 


23. "I Don’t Want Your Love" off Duran Duran's Big Thing
If you are thinking I never heard this song either, you are correct.


24. "Wild Wild Life" off The Talking Heads' True Stories
Maybe I'm nuts, but I liked True Stories (more than Little Creatures anyway).
 


25. "My Love" off Wings' Red Rose Speedway
This truly is one of Macca's worst moments. "My Love" is one of my least favorite songs ever. May Linda McCartney rest in peace, but I never, ever want to hear this song about what an especially skillful lover she was again. Yuck. I have to believe John would have beaten Paul senseless before allowing this song to be released by the Beatles, which makes their breakup all the more tragic. As for the album, this is one of the few Wings albums I don't own, but I doubt it could be worse than Wild Life, which I do own. I loved Ram though, and especially the "easy listening" version of the album released under the name Percy "Thrills" Thrillington. Genius.

Do you have any other nominations?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Love - The Blue Thumb Recordings

For you Love fanatics with more money than sense, Hip-O Select has released a 3 CD box, Love: The Blue Thumb Recordings (mine is on order). The box includes Out Here and False Start, the two studio albums Arthur Lee and Love recorded for Blue Thumb records, plus a live disc that contains a previously unreleased 1970 UK live gig. Word on the street is that Bill Levenson and Suha Gur did a great remastering job.

This is my first order from Hip-O Select, a division of Universal Music Group that suspiciously resembles Warner Music Group's Rhino Handmade. I'll let you know what I think of the sound quality and packaging when I get my copy. I also ordered the "lost" Funkadelic album, By Way Of The Drum, since I'm paying for shipping already and because it looks interesting.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Slickee Boys - When I Go To The Beach

I don't know why, but this song always makes me think of summer. Oh wait, I do know why. It's because the song is about summer, fun on the beach and all that good stuff. Also, back in the mid to late 80s WHFS in Annapolis played the heck out of this song, so I heard it a lot during those hot Maryland summers.

The Slickee Boys were another local D.C. band that made good. The music video for this song won second place on MTV's Basement Tapes competition in 1983, and got substantial airplay on the fledgling network. The band split in 1991.

The video is certainly a time capsule, and will likely bring back fond memories for anyone who spent much time in Ocean City, MD. This is how we partied in Maryland back in the day, at least until the man showed up to kill our buzz.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sly & the Family Stone - Fresh (Version B)

Back in 1991 somebody at Sony made a boo-boo and pulled the wrong tapes from the archives for the first CD issue of Sly & the Family Stone's Fresh. As a result, the entire CD (except the first track) consisted of alternate takes. Sony quickly realized its mistake, recalled the CD, and reissued it with the correct takes. An acquaintance that worked at Tower Records in Annapolis told me what had happened, and I picked up a copy before the store returned its recalled stock.

No one seems to know exactly what the deal is with these alternate takes. Did they constitute an alternate version of the album approved by Sly, but rejected by Epic? Were they demo takes? Were they different takes altogether, or merely alternate mixes? How did the mistake happen in the first place? What happened has been the subject of much speculation and debate, little of it informed by any actual facts. Those who know aren't saying (and probably couldn't remember anyway).

One thing is for certain; the takes issued on the 1991 CD are radically different from the versions that were originally issued on LP. The "official" version of Fresh has a much more compressed "AM radio" sound than the alternate takes, while "Version B" (as it came to be known) has wider stereo separation and a spacier feeling closer in sound to There's A Riot Goin' On. One could probably write a book on the differences between the two versions, but suffice to say, they're quite different.

Many people prefer "Version B" to the official album, and I would count myself among them, although both versions have their charms. When Sony/BMG reissued Fresh this year, five of the alternate takes from "Version B" were included as bonus tracks, marking the first time these takes were issued legitimately.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Releases Today: Wilco + The Remains

I'm going to head to my local record shop today to pick up a new release and a reissue. I was somewhat relieved to discover that I can buy the new Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky, without the secret shame of feeling like an old man trying to be hip, because according to the young whippersnappers at Pitchfork, Wilco are no longer cool. In fact, Wilco are now so uncool they make "dad-rock." This is a welcome development for me, because I had to pay a 16-year old skater kid $5 bucks to pick up A Ghost Is Born for me while I waited in a back-alley behind the record store hoping no one from my son's preschool spotted me. No need to do that for this release. I can just pull my minivan up the curb, waltz into the record store and order a heaping helping of dad-rock, Wilco-style. What a relief.

The reissue is one of the great overlooked albums from the 60s: The Remains (later known as Barry & The Remains). This is a fantastic garage rock album that includes the wonderful "Don't Look Back," which was a highlight of the original Nuggets compilation, and penned by Billy Vera (yes, that Billy Vera). Leader Barry Tashian later showed up on Gram Parson's first solo album, and drummer N.D. Smart II went on to play with Parsons in the International Submarine Band, as well as on Grievous Angel. Smart also played drums for Mountain, Great Speckled Bird, and The Hello People (yes, those Hello People).

East Main St. Explosion

I can tell you next to nothing about The East Main St. Explosion. This single was released at the height of the bubblegum craze in 1969 on the Fontana label. Both the band name and the music sounds like one of Kasenetz-Katz's kooky creations (along the lines of St. Louis Invisible Marching Band, Captain Groovy and his Bubblegum Army, Pattie Flabbies' Coughed Engine, Professor Morrison's Lollipop, the 1989 Musical Marching Zoo, etc.), but it wasn't. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, K & K should have felt very flattered by The East Main St. Explosion.

It's pretty tasty gum nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Hello People

The Hello People are a little remembered 60s rock act that performed in mime makeup. They did sing, but between songs they performed mime routines and never spoke to the audience. Unfortunately, the mime routines did not come off on record as well as on stage. I always thought it would be cool in a concept art kind of way if their albums contained nothing but silent grooves. Alas, that was not the case.

When I was in high school I used to see Hello People albums in the bargain bins at the Annapolis Record & Tape Exchange all the time. Pete and I made fun of the band a lot. ("Hey dude are you gonna get this Hello People record? It looks pretty awesome." "Uh, yeah, I was going to, but I want to save up for this SWA record first.") The whole concept of a mime rock band just struck me as the worst kind of hippy-dippy 60s nonsense. I never heard the albums, so I had no idea whether the music was any good or not. I just assumed it was bad because it was...well, mime rock. In my defense, I never claimed to be open-minded. And when you're 16, mimes are an easy target for abuse.

At some point I stopped seeing Hello People albums in bargain bins, or anywhere else. I guess they were either snatched up by collectors of obscure 60s rock, or thrown out by record store owners looking to make room for CDs. So when I recently came across The Hello People's 1974 "comeback" record, The Handsome Devils, I was overtaken by curiosity and picked it up. It was only $3.50, so what the heck? After all the abuse I piled on the band as a kid without ever having heard them, I figured I owed The Hello People that much.

The first thing I noticed about this record was that it was produced by Todd Rundgren. I guess Todd loved him some Hello People. According this website, The Hello People toured with Rundgren during the 70s. Not surprisingly, the music sounds more than a bit like Todd Rundgren. Everyone Todd Rundgren produces ends up sounding like Todd Rundgren.

Frankly, the music on The Handsome Devils is not too bad. It's not great or anything, but I can think of a lot of music made by 60s holdovers circa 1974 that was considerably worse (including solo efforts by certain members of The Beatles). It makes me wonder if their 60s work is worth hearing after all. Maybe I would have been better off if I had picked up a copy of Fusion instead of Tom Troccoli's Dog.

Judging by this late 60s YouTube clip from the Teen Time television show, The Hello People made the kind of sunshine pop/soft psychedelic music that has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late. If I run across one of their late 60s Philips albums, I think I'll pick it up. Thank God for YouTube.



Anyway, here is the lead off track from their 1974 album, The Handsome Devils. This song peaked at #71 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in 1975.

Monday, May 07, 2007

My First Digital Album

Yes, I am a bit behind the curve. Many have written about the pros and cons of the MP3 digital format and I doubt I will cover any new ground with this post but I thought that in many ways it was important to note my impressions of my first downloaded digital MP3 album. It's a good one BTW - David Kilgour's A Feather in the Engine.

Pete sent me an invitation to join eMusic – something that was deja-vu like, since he was always 'inviting' me to join Columbia House back in those junior high school days to get free records – you know, 12 albums for $.01. This offer was similarly intriguing. They offer 50 free downloads with no commitment to pay a monthly fee, which as a subscriber is $15/mo. for 50 downloads or what equals out to be $.30 a song. How could I say 'no' to free music?

Of course you get no physical LP or CD. No artwork. No liner notes. No lyrics. Nothing to sell if you find that you no longer listen to it. All you get is a compressed computer file that downloads somewhere on your computer and when played back miraculously sounds like music (and much less so on a home system). Through eMusic a typical album will run around $3-4.

But really the most amazing thing about the MP3 stores is that you can preview tracks, pick and download an album quickly and burn a CD in very little time. I did one Saturday morning and it took around 8 minutes from download to burned CD. All the while drinking my morning tea in my comfy chair. So that is pretty close to instant gratification, although I had to remind myself that if I had been in a record store I could easily beat the 8 minute mark from store checkout to car stereo. That is if I had a razorblade. If not, it probably would be a much closer match.

Also, if you are more of the type to buy an album for that 'one great song,' those 50 downloads can probably stretch pretty far over 30 days. Since I'm the type who prefers the album format, my 50 downloads lasted less than 2 days. I got 4 complete albums. Worst part is this means having to wait 28 days until I can get my next instant MP3 fix. Don’t really like this part of the eMusic plan – why not just charge $.30 a track?

So an important question is how much would you pay for an MP3 album? This is not to be confused with what an MP3 is worth(which I will discuss later). My gut tells me it certainly should be priced less than half the cost of a typical cd. The iTunes/Yahoo! $.99/song puts the costs too close in my opinion. I feel eMusic's pricing is much closer to the right ballpark around $3-4 an album.

A good high quality cassette to dub an album used to cost a few dollars and would have the same omissions as the MP3 downloads like lack of cover art and resale value. And the cost would equal maybe 25% of the typical $8-9 LP (This is back in the "C-30, C-60, C-90 Go!" era). This is something I can relate to having done this countless times.

But I think I'd prefer to think of the MP3 tracks being free of charge and that there’s an added $.30 'convenience fee' per track for downloading. Somehow I just feel cheated thinking of paying money for an MP3 which to me has little intrinsic value. In the future will we see people putting their MP3 collections in their will to their loved ones? Well with MP3 collections there certainly wouldn't be any need for fighting over it since multiple copies are a snap. Just give everyone a copy – and hopefully they'll be content and won’t try and sell it. Because if they did they'll just discover Uncle Pete's huge MP3 collection isn't worth much on the open market.

Ok, back to eMusic -- If this were a perfect world, all I would need is a 500GB external hard drive, a MP3 player, an eMusic subscription and an internet connection. My life would be simple. No more clutter or storage issues, cleaning records or changing cartridges. Actually, no more records, no more CDs. Just highly organized music files neatly stored together alphabetically on my computer and accessible in a matter of seconds.

It is a nice thought. But for now that’s all it is.


Old School Mess

Since this space is supposed to have music here's a Link to David Kilgour's MySpace page with "Today is Gonna Be Mine" from A Feather in the Engine

Friday, May 04, 2007

Crippled Pilgrims

When I was going through my record collection looking for long out-of-print material, I was pretty sure that Head Down-Hand Out and Under Water by Washington D.C.'s Crippled Pilgrims wouldn't be available on CD. I knew of the group largely as a local act growing up outside D.C. (and they weren't even that popular there). But to my surprise and delight, Reaction Recordings has reissued the band's entire recorded output on a single CD, Down Here: Collected Recordings (1983-1985).

Crippled Pilgrims were the right band in the wrong place during the wrong time with the wrong name. Back in the early eighties D.C. was known mostly for harDCore (Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Govt. Issue, etc.). But Crippled Pilgrims were closer in sound and spirit to fellow D.C. misfits The Velvet Monkeys (in fact legendary Velvet Monkey's drummer The Rummager sat in on drums for the band's early gigs). It probably didn't help that the name Crippled Pilgrims kind of sounds like it could belong to a hardcore band. But Crippled Pilgrims sound was quite far removed from the orthodoxies of the harDCore scene. Instead they played a variation of college rock that mixed parts psychedelia, depressive U.K. post-punk, and jangly, Byrdsian guitars. Eventually this kind of music would become known as "alternative" rock. If Crippled Pilgrims had hailed from L.A. they would have been lumped together with The Rain Parade and The Dream Syndicate as part of the "Paisley Underground" and sold a decent amount of records. Likewise, if they had gotten their start in D.C. circa 1990, they would likely sold respectably on Mark Robinson's indie-pop Teen Beat label. But in 1984, nobody in D.C. knew quite what to make of their music, so they languished in obscurity.

In many ways the Crippled Pilgrims music sounds like a lot of "alternative" music that has followed in the band's invisible wake. But, perhaps because songwriter Jay Moglia and guitarist Scott Wingo more or less stumbled upon the ingredients in their sonic stew by happenstance rather than allegiance to an already codified style, there is an element of freshness and innocence to it missing from much later alt-rock/indie-pop.

The liner notes to the CD are fantastic, shedding light on a little remembered band. Kudos again to Reaction Recordings, for saving some terrific music from eternal obscurity. The download "So Clean" is via Parasol's free downloads page. It's not the track I would have picked (I would have gone with "Black and White" or "People Going Nowhere" from the EP), but hopefully it's good enough to convince you that the rest of the CD is worth checking out, because it is.

So Clean [right click to download]

Thursday, May 03, 2007

R.I.P. Wally Schirra


Rest in peace to the man who turned me on to Actifed, Mercury 7 astronaut Wally Schirra. Schirra was the only man to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. He was 84.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Richard Lloyd - Field of Fire (Revisited)

How much would you pay for a remastered reissue of Television guitarist Richard Lloyd's second solo album Field of Fire? How about $17.95? A fair price when major labels are charging close to $20 for many CD reissues. How about the low, low price of $12.50? Don't answer yet, because that's not all you'll get. Included with every copy is a second CD that presents the music stripped of its dated 80s production with more guitars, fewer synths, and newly recorded vocals! Don't answer yet because as an added bonus you get two tracks not on the original LP. But wait, that's not all you'll get! You also get liner notes from Ric Menck (Velvet Crush), Bill Flanagan and Richard Lloyd. But don't answer yet because you also get a CD jewel case! ...Okay, maybe the jewel case isn't so exciting, but you get the idea--this is a high quality reissue.

Aside from complaining about music hasn't been reissued (but should be), and music that is needlessly being reissued for the umpteenth time, I sometimes like to draw attention to recent reissues that have been done right. Field of Fire (Deluxe) is an object lesson in the right way to do a reissue. Kudos to Lloyd and Reaction Recordings, the new reissue division of Parasol Records, for doing everything better than perfect.

When Lloyd recorded Field of Fire in 1985, he was coming out of a difficult period in his life both personally and professionally. Lloyd had been suffering from what are sometimes euphemistically referred to as "health" problems (aka drug addiction) that had nearly destroyed his music career. To hear Lloyd tell it he had been through his own personal field of fire after hitting a "bottom" that "would have made Dante or Hieronymus Bosch proud." The details surrounding the recording of this album are laid out in Lloyd's liner notes better than I could explain them here, so I won't bother.

Personally, I always felt Field of Fire was a very good album with some great guitar work, but hampered to a large degree by a production style that already sounded dated by the time the album was released by Celluloid Records in the U.S. in 1987. For lack of a better term, the album is plagued by the "big 80s drum sound" pioneered by producers like Steve Lillywhite. It's a sound that works just fine for bombastic arena rockers like U2, but has spoiled many albums by artists like Marshall Crenshaw, Chris Stamey and Richard Lloyd whose music is best presented in a more subtle fashion.

I always hated it when one of my favorite artists gave in to the "big 80s drum sound." Though the sound was considered commercial at the time, I doubt it created any additional sales for the artists who adopted it. On the contrary, it mostly helped alienate an already established fanbase who would accuse the artist of "selling out." But the real problem with the sound--in which the drums are brought way up in the mix with tons of added reverb--is that it tends to overwhelm the rest of the music, and it could make a drummer as subtle as Max Roach sound mechanical.

Mercifully, Lloyd managed to strip the drums of this overbearing sound for the revised second disc, and the result is an altogether more listenable album. In the past, I always felt I had to listen through the production, and with the new disc I feel like I can finally hear the actual music for the first time. Lloyd also stripped away some dated synths and replaced them with additional guitar, and re-recorded his sometimes overly horse, shouted vocals. The results can stand proudly alongside Television's classic albums and Lloyd's outstanding first solo album Alchemy. Field of Fire is finally the great guitar album it was always meant to be. I imagine revisiting a 20 year-old recording could present its own field of fire for an artist, but this project is 110% successful, and an absolutely essential purchase for any Television fan.

Parasol has made the "revisited" version of the title song available as a free MP3 download on their website. The only complaint I have is that the new version features a shortened version of the this track. But if they hadn't done that there would be no reason whatsoever to listen to the original album again. And hey, if for some strange reason you are nostalgic for that "big 80s drum sound" it's still there untouched on the first CD. Nothing's been dropped down the memory hole here. Check it out.

Field of Fire [right click to download]