Unplugged

Paul Weller

Paul Weller is a restless fellow, always willing to take one step forward rather than settle down and live on his money. And believe me, if anyone can do it, it is the ‘Modfather’, one of the most respected and admired personality in British music, someone who has managed to create work as big as the greatest, the iconic figures from the 60s...

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2018)

Nothing remains in Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino of the band that released the excellent Whatever People Say That's What I'm Not 12 years ago. And that's fine, because 12 years ago Alex Turner was a post teenager who just wanted to be one of the Strokes and is now a star with more than 30 years behind him. His world is no longer the...

The Who - Who's Next (1971)

Who's Next is usually considered to be the best Who record of their career but the circumstances in which it was created were quite difficult. At first, Pete Townshend was planning a new rock opera for the group after the success of Tommy, called Lifehouse, a gigantic project with which the leader of the band wanted to find the connection...

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (1973)

Tubular Bells, the mesmerising masterpiece by Mike Oldfield was released 45 years ago (May 25, 1973), and was indeed ahead of its time and still stands as a monumental opus of progressive rock. In fact the album was meant to be called Opus 1, but was later reconsidered. It was recorded at the Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, an...

Mike Oldfield

Michael Gordon Oldfield, born May 15, 1953, English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, became a giant force on the music scene behind his symphonic masterpiece Tubular Bells release in 1973, where he played over 20 instruments on the multi-layered opus. But we’ll get to that later. Let’s start where he started, at age 14, after...

Neil Young - Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live (1973-2018)

“The first topless girl we get up here gets one of these boots, ladies and gentlemen” Neil Young says in his introductory words to the concert; something which seems somewhat inappropriate, particularly in the context of today’s #MeToo movement.        But in some mitigation, both the place and the time...

Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison (1968)

Johnny Cash always had in mind to play his 1955 classic Folsom Prison Blues in front of the inmates crammed inside its walls. On January 13, 1968, his dream came true. There couldn’t have been a better audience for his collection of songs about guys who shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, a who murdered his woman after snorting cocaine,...

Dick Dale

If someone is called, deservedly, the king of surf music and the father of heavy metal it is because that someone is very important when we ‘talk guitars’. Dick Dale got his iconic sound, creating surf music on the way, by making his guitar sound like two of his passions - Gene Krupa's drums and the roar of the waves when he surfed them on...

Willie Nelson - Last Man Standing (2018)

The passing of time is a central theme on Willie Nelson’s latest album, Last Man Standing; and that is barely surprising as the wily old country singer-songwriter is now 85 years old. On the cover he stares warmly at his legendary ‘Trigger’, which looks nearly as old as he his. As lovers of Nelson’s life and music well know, it certainly...

Wayne Kramer

Detroit was known in the early 1960s for two things, being the motor city, where most American cars were made, and for being the headquarters of Motown (the name of the famous record company, which was nothing other than the acronym of Motor Town) - but it is also known for being one of the toughest. One with a future as grey as the...

EELS - The Deconstruction (2018)

For over 20 years Mark Oliver Everett, or simply ‘E’ has been fronting his California band The EELS, and has produced 11 albums with several different players, including contributions from Tom Waits, John Sebastian, Peter Buck and T-Bone Burnett, to mention a few, but this new 12th release in April 2018 has a lineup comprising: on guitars, John...

Judas Priest - Firepower (2018)

British heavy metal band Judas Priest has been banging it out for 48 years and now have released their 18th album Firepower to their innovative and creative body of work. Here at Guitars Exchange we would like to explore this new effort and point out the pros and cons of these old pros who codified heavy metal so long ago. The band has had...

The Cure - Disintegration (1989)

Have you ever really, really, wanted something but when you finally achieved it, suddenly found that you were not so sure? This is in some ways the situation Robert Smith (born 21 April 1959) found himself in with Disintegration (released May 1989). He wanted The Cure to make a legendary record – ‘a grand...

Donna Grantis

With her distinctive shaved hairstyle, Canadian Donna Grantis is perhaps best known as Prince’s female guitarist in his performing trio 3RDEYEGIRL and the New Power Generation.  Named as one of 50 top female guitarists by Guitar Player magazine, Grantis composed the title track to Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL’s 2014...

Steve Marriott

Steve Marriott had a giant voice locked in the body of a boy, everybody was amazed when they heard him, and he was the main point of reference for all British singers that came after him, from Rod Stewart to Paul Rodgers, then on to Robert Plant and Joe Cocker. But what sets him apart from the rest is that he was also a remarkable guitarist and an...

Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile (2018)

Martin Luther King, who was assassinated 50 years ago this month, spoke of ‘hewing a stone of hope from a mountain of despair’, and in some ways the Manics feel like they have gone through a similar exercise with Resistance is Futile, released 13 April 2018 by Columbia Records.       The title of their...

Lowell George

Lowell George was born in the very mecca of cinema, Hollywood, on April 13, 1945; the son of a furrier who worked for the studios and decorated his house with photos of the great stars. But, from childhood, it could be seen that George was not called to follow in his father's footsteps in the film industry but to become a great...

Radiohead - The Bends (1995)

If Radiohead had only released Pablo Honey, their first album, today they would only be remembered as a ‘one hit wonder' band that emerged from the huge shadow created by Nirvana. In Creep Thom Yorke sang that he would like to be special, but it was with The Bends that he really achieved it. This was the first masterpiece of the most...

Merle Haggard - Mama Tried (1968)

Recorded between February and June 1968, Mama Tried was the seventh album by Merle Haggard in three years; but such an abundance of material was totally justified, as it became the best work of his ‘golden age’. Without being a conceptual album it has a recurring theme: prison, from the iconic cover to the wonderful song...