Be-Bop Deluxe box set puts a Sunburst Finish on Bill Nelson’s brilliant career

By Steve Newton Be-Bop Deluxe: now that's what I call a true seventies-rock band. Led by singer Bill Nelson--who also wrote every single song and handled a mean guitar--Be-Bop Deluxe combined the finest elements of '70s-era hard-rock, glam-pop, art-rock, and prog. I bought every one of their five studio albums, and loved them all. 1974's … Continue reading Be-Bop Deluxe box set puts a Sunburst Finish on Bill Nelson’s brilliant career

Mötley Crüe’s debut album gets double duty on Music to Crash Your Car To, Volume 1

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Eighties L.A. glam-rockers Mötley Crüe borrowed well from their ’70s New York counterparts, KISS. The Crüe took a bit of KISS’s makeup and leather outfits, and a lot of its penchant for on-stage theatrics. Both groups had a habit of recording horrible ballads … Continue reading Mötley Crüe’s debut album gets double duty on Music to Crash Your Car To, Volume 1

Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues overflows with deathless blues classics

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Many music fans have discovered the beauty of the blues while uncovering the roots of rock, yours truly included. Twenty-some-odd years ago I got set on that course by a pedal-steel guitarist and country-bluegrass performer named Smokin’ Joe Michno. As a dedicated hard-rock … Continue reading Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues overflows with deathless blues classics

Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton So I was hangin’ out in the vicinity of the Straight music editor’s desk—since that’s usually where the CDs go before being parcelled out to the various scrounging contributors—and along comes the shiny new expanded edition of the David Bowie boxed set, Sound … Continue reading Motörhead’s Stone Deaf Forever! box set brings the ear-busting goods

Kiss’s first-ever box set is a Kiss completist’s wet dream

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2001 By Steve Newton Musicwise, I’ve always thought that Kiss went downhill after the release of its third album, Dressed to Kill. Of course, as rock history has proven, the band actually started to get hugely popular just after that, with the release of its 1975 double live … Continue reading Kiss’s first-ever box set is a Kiss completist’s wet dream

Grand Funk gives ’70s rock a bad name on Thirty Years of Funk: 1969-1999

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton   When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with collecting albums, and all my money went toward that goal. My friends had nice cars; I had nice records. Nowadays, I get most of my music free from record labels, but it’s almost … Continue reading Grand Funk gives ’70s rock a bad name on Thirty Years of Funk: 1969-1999

The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper includes the filler not found on Killer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton There are a couple of ways to enjoy the best music of legendary shock-rocker Alice Cooper, and one of them is to purchase this four-disc retrospective of his work. The other is to just go out and buy his four early-’70s albums, Love … Continue reading The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper includes the filler not found on Killer

Shades 1968-1998 box set delivers all the best colours of Deep Purple

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton   I’ve been a Deep Purple fan for as long as I’ve loved rock. Fireball was among the first LPs I ever purchased and played on my parents’ crappy rec-room stereo from the ’50s. Even today, when “Highway Star” comes on the car … Continue reading Shades 1968-1998 box set delivers all the best colours of Deep Purple

Willie Nelson bares his down-home soul on Revolutions of Time box

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton I’ve gotta admit that I’m not a real huge country-music fan. I actually view what’s known as “new country”—that lightweight, vacuous, fabricated piffle churned out by the Nashville music mill these days—with the same jaundiced eye reserved for lowly “gangsta rap”. But there’s … Continue reading Willie Nelson bares his down-home soul on Revolutions of Time box

Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Unlike the recent Tom Petty box, this three-CD package doesn’t contain enough previously unreleased material to make it a must-have, but it does feature some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar, and you know that can’t be bad. Dance of the Rainbow … Continue reading Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Some boxed sets are basically just glorified greatest-hits collections, with maybe a handful of remixed or previously unreleased tracks tossed in to lure die-hard fans with bulging pockets, but the 92-track Playback isn’t one of those. While it does contain all the big … Continue reading Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC .12, 1991 By Steve Newton This scribbler’s teenage memories are filled with happy thoughts of Aerosmith, the best thing from Boston since Bobby Orr. There’s the time me and some pals hijacked somebody’s dad’s car and travelled down to Seattle’s Kingdome to join 60,000 other maniacs for a … Continue reading Pandora’s Box conjures vivid memories of Aerosmith in the seventies

The Definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection is a must-have for hardcore Skynyrd fans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton I know, I know—you can’t win. Just when you’ve finally replaced all your cherished Lynyrd Skynyrd LPs with half a dozen CDs, along comes a 3-CD box set that covers the entire course of the classic southern rock band’s ill-fated career. Well, don’t … Continue reading The Definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection is a must-have for hardcore Skynyrd fans

Crosby, Stills & Nash box set benefits from some Young

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton I’ve always thought Crosby, Stills & Nash sounded best with a “Young” tagged on the end, so it was good to find out there are actually 18 CSN&Y tunes among this four-CD set’s massive 67 tracks. But after one run-through of these tunes, … Continue reading Crosby, Stills & Nash box set benefits from some Young

The Doors announce 50th anniversary deluxe edition of killer debut album

By Steve Newton I was only nine when the first Doors album came out in January of 1967, so I didn't run out and buy it. But I sure remember them playing the hell out of "Light My Fire" on the radio when it was released as a single four months later. Damn I loved … Continue reading The Doors announce 50th anniversary deluxe edition of killer debut album

Clapton captured live in the ’70s on vinyl-only box set

By Steve Newton Eric Clapton freaks who think the legendary guitarist did his best work in the seventies--on vinyl!--will be happy to know that a six-piece vinyl-only box set, The Live Album Collection 1970-1980, will hit stores March 25. Universal Music Canada announced the package today, describing it as a companion piece to the nine-piece … Continue reading Clapton captured live in the ’70s on vinyl-only box set

Rounder hits the mark with no-frills Box of the Blues

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Blues fans looking to acquire a worthy cross-section of the genre—but who aren’t up to shelling out big bucks for the premium package centred on Martin Scorsese’s film series The Blues—should consider this compact, no-frills set. The four-disc collection brings together 60 tracks … Continue reading Rounder hits the mark with no-frills Box of the Blues

ZZ Top goes heavy on the ’70s with Chrome, Smoke & BBQ box

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton In 1987, blues-rockers ZZ Top released a three-disc compilation of their early work titled The ZZ Top Sixpack, which included such stellar mid-’70s albums as Tres Hombres, Fandango, and Tejas. If you own that collection, you’ve already acquired most of the trio’s best … Continue reading ZZ Top goes heavy on the ’70s with Chrome, Smoke & BBQ box

Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

By Steve Newton Queen freaks who couldn't quite afford the massive Queen Studio Collection that was released a couple of months ago should know that the legendary British rockers are issuing another box set today (December 18), one that is aimed at fans who adored the band in its mid-'70s, long-hair-on-Mercury heyday. A Night at the Odeon captures … Continue reading Queen box set out today captures the legendary rockers live in ’75

Black Sabbath reissues bring back memories of “War Pigs”-inspired furniture abuse

By Steve Newton I have hazy memories of the very first albums I ever owned, but there's three that stick out in my mind: Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies, Deep Purple's Fireball, and Black Sabbath's Paranoid. I used to play the hell out of them on an ancient stereo downstairs in my parents' "rumpus room". And my favourite … Continue reading Black Sabbath reissues bring back memories of “War Pigs”-inspired furniture abuse

Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

By Steve Newton Fans of Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, are in for some real treats next month. Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced today that it will release a collection of music titled JACO: Original Soundtrack on November 27, aka Record Store Day Black Friday 2015. Produced by … Continue reading Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

By Steve Newton There's been some pretty freakin' sweet deluxe-edition vinyl box sets released in the last little while, especially if you're a '70s-rock fanatic. That John Lennon package from last April--with all his solo albums on LP--was a real treat for Lennon aficianados. And the Roxy Music collection that came out the month before that was a godsend … Continue reading The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

Wes Craven’s 1991 horror hoot The People Under the Stairs gets collectible Blu-ray release today

By Steve Newton Scream Factory, the horror arm of the Shout! Factory home video and music company, is releasing a collector's edition Blu-ray of terror titan Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs today.  Bonus features include: Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Wes Craven Audio Commentary With Actors Brandon Adams, A.J. Langer, Sean Whalen And Yan Birch House Mother … Continue reading Wes Craven’s 1991 horror hoot The People Under the Stairs gets collectible Blu-ray release today

Stray Cats Live at Rockpalast finds the rockabilly revivalists at their ballsy best

By Steve Newton Maybe, like me, you were lucky enough to catch the Stray Cats when they played the Commodore back in '82. Or perhaps you saw them when they were on that bill at GM Place in 2007 with the Pretenders and ZZ Top. But if you're one of those sad sacks who've never seen the Stray … Continue reading Stray Cats Live at Rockpalast finds the rockabilly revivalists at their ballsy best

Rolling Stones super-deluxe box set falls short without Keith Richards mini cut-out

By Steve Newton The Rolling Stones snubbed Vancouver when it came time to book their current Zip Code Tour, which could very well be the group's last major trek outside the nursing home. But hardcore fans who've been bawling about that omission for months now can take some comfort in the fact that the money … Continue reading Rolling Stones super-deluxe box set falls short without Keith Richards mini cut-out

Imagine all of John Lennon’s studio albums in a vinyl box set

By Steve Newton Last weekend's enormously successful Record Store Day was proof that--all around the world--vinyl is the preferred format for serious music fans in 2015. Three days after that joyous celebration of the 12-inch platter, Universal Music Canada has announced that John Lennon, arguably the greatest pop songwriter of all time, will be lauded … Continue reading Imagine all of John Lennon’s studio albums in a vinyl box set

Roger Waters to rerelease Jeff Beck-bolstered album Amused to Death

By Steve Newton Roger Waters fans—and Jeff Beck freaks—have reason to rejoice today, as Legacy Recordings has announced the reissue, in various remastered forms, of Waters' solo album Amused to Death. That was the 1992 disc that concerned itself with society's obsession with entertainment, in particular its addiction to TV. Obviously, folks' current preoccupation with screens of all … Continue reading Roger Waters to rerelease Jeff Beck-bolstered album Amused to Death