When most people think of Dr. John, first, they’ll think of his 1968 album ‘Gris Gris’ – a groundbreaking work melding voodoo blues, deep psychedelia and a touch of New Orleans jazz – or his popular ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’ single which showed a love of funk that fit the early 70s perfectly. Maybe they’ll think about his appearance at The Band’s Last Waltz, where he was invited to sing ‘Such A Night’, captured on celluloid for future generations to discover.
Van Morrison is a legend. Not only that, but he’s a prolific legend.
Between launching his solo career in 1967 and May 2018, he’s recorded a staggering 39 studio albums. The last five of those have been released within a three year stretch.
While so many people are keen to view Van’s 70s work as the golden age, some of his later works are every bit as good as those famous early releases. 2012’s ‘Born To Sing: No Plan B’ and 2017’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ in particular find Morrison in particularly good voice, backed by a lot of blues based material. Both are albums that far outshine anything any of Van’s potential peers – Dylan, Neil Young, Clapton – could muster during their twilight years.
Hüsker Dü were the ultimate power trio. From hardcore punk beginnings, the band pioneered alternative rock sounds which eventually blended distinctly US punk noise with a more thoughtful singer-songwriter approach, which in turn paved the way for guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould’s solo career. Contrasting Mould’s abrasive approach, drummer/vocalist Grant Hart later wrote songs with a more palatable quality. Hart – a truly underappreciated songwriter – captured raw and emo-ish beauty on tunes like ‘Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely’ and ‘Every Everything’; tunes that were pivotal to the Hüskers’ balance between sheer force and a cerebral approach to punk.
Anthrax’s eleventh studio album ‘For All Kings’ was released in February 2016. The highly anticipated follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Worship Music’ was initially available in two versions – a standard and deluxe edition. Those opting for the affordable deluxe 2CD were treated to a handful of live tracks in exchange for a couple of extra dollars.