Unplugged

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KISS - KISS Alive! (1975)

It is considered to be one of the greatest live rock albums of all time, right up there with Cheap Trick At Budokan, Made in Japan by Deep Purple, and Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton, we are of course talking about KISS Alive!, released in 1975. It was an explosive package that delivered more than anything out there at the time. For...

Bruce Springsteen - Springsteen on Broadway (2018)

Springsteen seems to have decided that this is the moment to pull back the curtain on the show of his life and let his audience into his private living room, with pretty much just him, his guitar, and his piano.   Mixing his stripped back songs with - sometimes long, but always entertaining or amusing - tales from his highly...

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I (1969)

The debut album of the most important rock band of the 70s provided a definitive fusion between blues and rock and created something totally new. Jimmy Page drew heavily on other tunes, mainly blues, to create these songs but the result, once played by the four members of Led Zeppelin is something entirely of their own. It is true that Page could...

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)

In January 1971 David Bowie had just turned 24, and had behind him three studio albums and a seven-year career (if we count from the release date of his first single) - that did not seem to be taking him anywhere. He had tasted the sweetness of success in 1969 with Space Oddity but, after the failure of The Prettiest Star, he had returned to the...

Suede - The Blue Hour (2018)

Fans will be pleased that Brett Anderson’s relocation from the city to rural Somerset has done nothing to soften his dark edge.   Where others might focus on the rolling hills, gambling lambs and warm fireplaces, Anderson is drawn more by the abandoned playgrounds, junk filled wastelands and frozen fields. Furthermore, on The Blue...

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (1958)

The name Bo Diddley graced the music world in the mid-fifties as a founder of ‘real’ Rock and Roll with his infectious guitar playing style known as the ‘Bo Diddley beat’ (more on that later), with others like Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters and Little Richard setting the world ablaze with this new thing called Rock n Roll...

The Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 (2018)

It can’t be easy being Billy Corgan. The maverick Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman penned a stream of smash hits in the ‘90s, filled stadiums across the world and earned himself an army of loyal followers.   His huge desire for a return to the spotlight saw him build bridges with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and guitarist James...

Motörhead - No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith (1981)

No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith arrived at the right time, after the magnificent 3 aces Bomber, Overkill, and Ace of Spades, the most remembered lineup of Motörhead, (with Lemmy Kilmister on bass and voice, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor on drums, and ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on guitar) were a perfectly well-oiled machine that when they passed the...

Steven Wilson - Home Invasion: In Concert At The Royal Albert Hall (2018)

In March 2018 Steven Wilson recorded the last concert of his three night residency at the Royal Albert Hall, London. This resulted in both a DVD and an album of what is in someways in support of his previous record, To The Bone, but has in effect morphed into a live performance of his greatest hits.   Wilson, who The Daily Telegraph...

Billy F Gibbons - The Big Bad Blues (2018)

The release of Billy Gibbons’ 2nd solo record The Big Bad Blues (Concord Records, September, 2018) gets him back to what he does best, the rowdy, swaggering Texas blues, after his debut album Perfectamundo, (2015) where he dabbled brilliantly in Cuban styles, but that was then, this is now. Even though he covers some classics like Muddy Waters’...

Muse - Simulation Theory (2018)

English rock band Muse released their 8th album Simulation Theory this November to both the delight and dismay of their die-hard followers and experts. They’ve gone from the alternative rock of their debut album in 1999 Showbiz, featuring lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist Matt Bellamy’s melancholic falsetto voice, to more instrumental...

John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band (1970)

On one of the most naked and unadorned records in history, John Lennon tells the world that the Beatles dream is over and the he now only believes in himself...well, in Yoko Ono and him. An album that serves as therapy for the artist with some of the most personal lyrics of his career and with spartan accompaniment despite having the famous ‘Wall...

Mark Knopfler - On the Road Wherever (2018)

Mark Knopfler, apart from being Dire Straits’ ex-frontman and a guitar hero to many, is a known motorbike fan. Now 69, and with his legacy assured, the cover of Down the Road Wherever apparently indicates a calmness and openness to whatever comes his way.   Knopfler seems to be taking advantage of this moment to be...

Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz (1981)

Ozzy Osbourne, rock God extraordinaire as lead singer of Black Sabbath, the band many say invented heavy metal, released his first solo album Blizzard of Ozz in 1981, it is a remarkable set of neo-classical metal that became a pillar of metal guitar. Upon its release there was real doubt whether Ozzy was up to the task after his...

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold As Love (1967)

When the world had not yet recovered from the tremendous impact of Are You Experienced?, released barely 7 months before, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was back with his 2nd masterpiece from 1967. It was December 1, 1967, and the world of rock and thus the electric guitar, returned to bow at the feet of its new Master and Lord. Of course Hendrix...

Nita Strauss - Controlled Chaos (2018)

Despite being the album she “always wanted to make” and having worked regularly with top acts like Alice Cooper, Steve Vai and Jermaine Jackson for years, it is clear that LA native Nita Strauss (7 December 1986) needed to wait a little until she had the confidence to embark on her debut solo album, Controlled Chaos, released 16...

The Allman Brothers - Idlewild South (1970)

In February of 1970, the Allman Brothers went into the studio to record their 2nd album. The sessions were squeezed into the few dates they had open between their uncountable concerts. The band’s leader Duane Allman used these gigs to try out new material provided by his brother Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, making arrangements on the...

Richard Thompson - 13 Rivers (2018)

Richard Thompson is an amazing guitarist and a highly talented songwriter but, let’s say, he is not the cheeriest of souls.   However if dark is your thing, you can find it hear in spades. And fortunately, while Thompson does not quite have the wit of Tom Waits, he does have sarcasm and a unique style that lifts his songs far...

Neil Young - After The Gold Rush (1970)

After tasting the sweet success with Crosby, Stills & Nash on Déjà Vu, Neil Young resumed that same year, 1970, his solo career with After the Gold Rush, his 3rd record on his own after his stint with Buffalo Springfield. It is a record where he combines things from his previous 2, the country flavour and folk arrangements from the first, and...