Ed Sullivan DVD set captures snapshots of time
Published: Monday, December 19, 2011
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
Pink Floyd have finally settled on a lot of their internal animosity and usual broken up issues and have come to terms with how to re-release their back catalog in both physical and digital formats.
Last September they initiated their re-issue campaign with a box set containing all their albums in addition to the stunning 6 cd version of their classic Dark Side Of The Moon. Here comes the second wave of releases, spearheaded by the Deluxe two cd Wish You Were Here (EMI).
Ask bandleaders Roger Waters and David Gilmour what their favorite Floyd album is and they'll answer that this ninth album is. The follow up to Dark Side, one of the largest selling albums of all time, was no easy task; the pressure to succeed was incredible.
They started shaping material way before the band started recording at Abbey Road studios in 1975 by evidence of the second discs live versions recorded a full year previous at a 1974 Wembley concert.
While not my favorite Pink Floyd effort, this is the album that expanded on concepts and imagery that the band started with Dark Side and culminated with 1979's The Wall (scheduled with bonus material for re-issue next year).
The track "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was originally recorded as a single 26 plus minute piece, which was split in two, one half opening, the other closing the album with 3 songs separating them.
The first disc is the original album remastered this year by James Guthrie and the second has all unreleased material highlighted by an alternate version of "Have A Cigar" and a unique version of "Wish You were Here" that includes violin played by jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
If you can't swing the cost of a box or deluxe set, the band also offers A Foot At The Door – The Best Of Pink Floyd (EMI). This is a single greatest hits cd, which features the latest remastered versions of their best stuff.
I must admit though that a single-track compilation is cool but obviously takes away from the bands original conceptual intent. Standouts include everything from early single "See Emily Play" to "Learning To Fly." Ok homies, listen up, here's a couple CDs for us to chew on this Holiday Season. First up is Pittsburgh's Mac Miller and his national debut Blue Slide Park (Rostrum). I love that this youngin ignored major label offers and stuck with his hometown independent company Rostrum.
On the negative, this is a disappointment only in that it pales in comparison to the six mix tapes he's offered in the last four years. There's nothing on this new one that matches the likes of "Donald Trump" or "All Around The World." Like I said though, I'm impressed that the kid stayed home in Pittsburgh and only better things should come from it. Good ones include "Party On Fifth Ave" and "Under The Weather." The other album is Drake's sophomore effort Take Care (Cash Money) which is a huge improvement over his 2010 highly anticipated debut Thank Me Later. Same thing though, his mix tapes were much better than his debut but the 16 tracks on this Deluxe version is what all the Drake hype was originally about.
Tight, snappy rhymes that run the gamut from the autobiographical "Headlines," to the success is overrated "Over My Dead Body." For those of you who liked the first album, this takes you to the next level. For those of us who dug his mix-tapes back in the day, this is closer to the real thing.
Standouts include "The Real Her," "Take Care" with Rihanna guesting, "Make Me Proud" and my favorite with Lil' Wayne joining in on"HYFR."
Into The Rolling Stones? They have a bunch of stuff available for this Holiday Season including a digital remastered version of arguably their best ever album, 1978's Some Girls, of which we'll take a closer look next issue.
What I'm talking about is a knock out 2 dvd set, Ed Sullivan Starring The Rolling Stones (SOFA Entertainment). Back in the day The Ed Sullivan Show live from New York on Sunday nights was an American institution that gave the country a look at everything from jugglers to comedians to Broadway to Pop acts. The Stones appeared on the show a total of six times performing 17 songs. This is the first time these performances have become available to the public. The kicker though is that these shows are presented here in their entirety, commercials and all the acts that performed on the nights the Stones were on. You get some of America's top performers in their prime: Ella Fitzgerald, Rodney Dangerfield, Itzhak Perlman, Senor Wences, Flip Wilson, Robert Klein, Louis Armstrong and The Stones.
Remember back then there was no faking it, you had to perform live and these recorded performances showcase the bands strength as a live act. Especially stuff like the very rarely performed "2120 West Michigan Avenue" as well as "Gimme Shelter" and "Paint It Black." Also all those goofy commercials for products like Hai Karate. This is really a snapshot in time that not only captures a great rock band but also our country.