In the first quarter of 2011 Universal Music released a five disc super-deluxe edition of Elton John’s multi-million selling, career defining ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. While huge chunks of the album are undeniably great, did we really need another deluxe edition of this when an excellent three disc edition was released (complete with SACD compatible material) ten years previously? There are other parts of Elton’s huge body of works worthy of expanding.
Arguably one of the most unloved Halford-fronted Judas Priest albums, ‘Turbo’ was also the band’s most commercial sounding. Originally conceived as a double album, Columbia Records didn’t have the confidence that Priest had enough pulling power to shift units of an expensive two-record set and so the proposed eighteen tracks was scaled down to a more digestible nine track affair.
With their brand of blues inflected hard rock, In the late 80s and early 90s, Great White gained strongly favourable press on a regular basis. On the back of albums like ‘Twice Shy’ and ‘Hooked’ (1989 and 1991 respectively) providing a more sophisticated slant on the big hair sounds that were popular at the time, supported by a tough live show, their fan base was more than solid. Over the years, however, the Great White legacy has been a little sullied. An extremely unfortunate falling out between band members and a long drawn out legal battle over the band name meant that internal politics somewhat interfered with their music. Furthermore, the market has been flooded with various budget compilation packages and a fair amount of recycling material with re-recorded and inferior versions of GW classics.
Few debut albums are as perfect as ‘Little Earthquakes’ by Tori Amos. Not only is it a recording with barely a note wasted its also a deep and thoughtful experience that leaves the listener emotionally spent upon completion of listening. In under an hour, Ms. Amos takes us on a roller coaster journey of songs that deal with changing weather and changing emotions – songs dealing with self depreciation, of sexuality, self-worth, rape, missed periods, fitting social situations…or not, and far more besides; almost every line dealing with the deeply personal, uncovering parts of the human condition. Right from the beginning of ‘Crucify’ to the last notes of the title track with Amos pleading “give me life, give me pain, give me myself again”, ‘Little Earthquakes’ never lets up.
In September 2010, UB40’s debut album ‘Signing Off’ was afforded a lavish (but reasonably priced) deluxe reissue for its 30th anniversary. In addition to the original album, a three disc set included all the non-album singles in their 12” incarnations and a DVD featuring the promo video clips and each of the band’s UK TV appearances. A thorough job, indeed; the only thing absent was the live clip of ‘Madam Medusa’ from Frejas, 1980 as seen in Miles Copeland’s ‘Urgh! A Music War!’ concert film.