DELUXE EDITION DREAMLAND: Elton John – Madman Across The Water

In 2008, Universal Music reissued both of Elton John’s 1970 albums (‘Elton John’ and ‘Tumbleweed Connection’) as part of their ongoing Deluxe Edition series. These classic albums joined an excellent 2CD edition of ‘Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy’ and a long-out of print double disc Super Audio CD of the much loved ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, giving hope for future reissues.

A decade later, the only further reissue to hit the shelves was a multi-disc box set version of ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, reprising the earlier material and expanding it with two some excellent live material, some pointless – and unwelcome – modern day covers by other artists and a DVD.

Elton has only ever looked forward and embraced new projects, which has left other potentially worthy deluxe sets – including ‘The Fox’ – unlikely to appear.

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DELUXE EDITION DREAMLAND: Chris Rea – Tennis

Chris Rea’s extensive catalogue has never been given the credit it fully deserves. While many of his albums have remained available in various territories, only a few have been reissued in a deluxe format. In many cases, that’s not even because there isn’t a lot of non-album material. There are live shows sitting in Euro TV archives, which could be used for both audio and visual extras alongside various b-sides and other material. With a few of the bigger albums receiving 2CD editions in 2019, it would be a real treat to see Rea’s third album, 1980s ‘Tennis’, afforded an expanded reissue. Continue reading

VAN HALEN – Live in Sydney, 20th April 1998

When Van Halen first appeared on the live scene in the late 70s, they revolutionised hard rock.  Artists like Led Zeppelin were playing mammoth live sets, dominated by huge solos and many other rock acts were seeming just a little…tired.  Van Halen’s combination of volume and energy was said to floor any act they were invited to support.  Just one listen to their self-titled debut album makes it easy to see why.

The power in ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ and ‘On Fire’, combined with the jaw dropping ‘Eruption’ – during which guitarist Edward Van Halen pretty much reinvented what was considered “cool” at the time – still makes that record a thrilling listen decades on.

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MARILLION – Live @ Roskilde Festival 1983

For many years, Marillion fans had to make do with the ‘Recital of The Script’ and ‘Grendel/Web’ VHS tapes for their fix of early Marillion live footage.  Thanks to the internet, further footage promoting ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ later surfaced, including a brief clip from The Marquee, but this footage from the Danish Roskilde Festival might just be the most exciting yet.

It captures Camel drummer Andy Ward’s brief time occupying the drum stool, making this a vital historical document.  Ward automatically gives the performance(s) a little more energy than Mick Pointer was able (though still not quite enough if Steve Rothery’s expressions are anything to go by on occasion), but anything lacking musically is more than made up for by a ridiculously boisterous audience being tackled by Fish in a fearless mood.

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