Monday, November 11, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 29

Catching up and clearing out the weekend listening...

David Bowie - Bowie at the Beeb
Rush - Brainwaves (Convention Center, Tuscon, AZ 11/20/78)
Billy Joel - The Bridge
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever
Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
McAlmont and Butler - Bring it Back
Frank Zappa - Broadway the Hard Way

First up is Bowie's BBC collection, which is split between his pre-1970 earlier material, and the material that made him a star (1970-72). An excellent collection. The Rush show is nice and long and has great sound, although it was quite rowdy, with the band and promoter threatening to end the show early on if the crowd didn't settle down! Billy Joel is someone I've been a big fan of my whole life but am sometimes embarrassed to admit to liking! This is his big album from the late 1980s, and is quite good. Next up are a pair of Neal Morse bands...first is Transatlantic's second album, which is simply fantastic and a good primer on what the Beatles might have sounded like were they a prog band. Next is Morse's former band (he was a founding member and principal songwriter), Spock's Beard, and their latest album. It's fantastic, easily their best in year, and even features Neal writing two songs and playing on them (his brother Alan is still in the band). McAlmont and Butler's second and, to date, final album is another excellent collection of British soul-pop and it's a real shame their third album, which they recorded several years back, remains unreleased. Finally, Zappa's second live album from the 1988 tour contains more of his political and humorous songs. Many are dated, being frozen firmly in the 1980s, but overall it's still pretty enjoyable, if not my least favorite of the three (the others being The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Love, which I've already listened to on this MMLT, and Jazz From Hell).

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