When Dennis DeYoung decided to retire, he hit upon the idea of one final, grand release that would recount his fifty years in the business with an autobiographical slant. Since Dennis rarely thought on a small scale and had always been blessed with a very theatrical voice, the idea of him taking his last curtain call with something resembling a musical about his life didn’t seem that silly. In fact, a big idea got even bigger with Jim Peterik’s help, and the planned final album had to be split into two volumes.
Following the release of their digital EP ‘All Done With Rock N Roll’ in 2017, the members of Watts took a little time out to work on other projects. Over the following two years, drummer John Lynch recorded a new LP with garage rock legends The Neighbourhoods; both he and guitarist John Blout (along with Neighborhoods man David Minehan) contributed to a great solo release from The Dirty Truckers’ Tom Baker, and vocalist Dan Kopko eventually surfaced as a member of a member of The Shang Hi-Los, a brilliant power pop band also featuring The Deadbeat 5’s Jen D’Angora. You could never accuse the band of being lazy but, on top of all of that, several Watts singles appeared digitally via Bandcamp over the course of the period. By giving fans a new track every few months, it really helped to keep the Watts legacy alive during the relative downtime.
Despite Procol Harum’s newly recorded output being rather scant since their first reformation in the 90s, the band managed to maintain something of a public profile. Gary Brooker and associated friends kept themselves busy on the road, while fans got plenty to enjoy during the recording drought thanks to various super-deluxe reissues and a couple of excellent box sets. Their ‘Still There’ll Be More’ set – released by Cherry Red Records to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary – was especially wonderful, bringing together classics, rarities and various live shows on DVD for the first time. For those who could afford the expensive price-tag, it was a genuine treasure trove.
The third volume in the series of Def Leppard box sets has been confirmed for a June release. A release that was previously hinted by Joe Elliot back in 2020, the new box set will cover the ‘Now’, ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’ and ‘Yeah!’ albums, plus various assorted extras.
Available in both CD and vinyl formats, the release marks the first time all three albums will be available on vinyl, while the bonus materials make various US store exclusives widely available for the first time.
For all the praise endlessly heaped upon ‘Dark Side of The Moon’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The Wall’, there are bits of the Pink Floyd back catalogue that never seem to get the attention they deserve. The release of the massive ‘Early Years’ box set in 2016 allowed for a much deeper exploration of the band’s pre-’Dark Side’ output via several discs’ worth of rare and unreleased gems, and yet it still feels as if there are things nestled within the band’s rich catalogue that never seem to get their full due.
Here are a few thoughts on some vastly underrated Pink Floyd recordings. Other fans can argue – and likely will – but these ten tunes often feel as if they deserve far more love.