Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I don't know if your average classic rock programmer would consider all of these artists "classic rock," but it's my blog, and they are all classic rock to me!  I'm going to be talking about some great releases this week on SiriusXM OutQ's The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick.

First off is Roadkill Rising, a 4 CD box set of Iggy Pop bootlegs, which includes his entire solo career, as well as The Stooges' reunion shows.  The sound is a bit muddy in places (it is all bootlegs, although supposedly Iggy helped to choose what songs were used), but it is really cool.  The earliest performances on the box feature his great '70s band that included David Bowie on keyboards and backing vocals, Tony Sales on bass and Hunt Sales on drums.  Bowie and the Sales brothers went on to form Tin Machine many years later.  Anyway, each disc covers a different decade, I like the '70s and the '00s stuff the best.

Then, there are the reissues of the first two Ozzy Osbourne solo albums, 1980's Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981's Diary of a Madman. Both albums featured what was probably his best post-Sabbath band: the late Randy Rhoads on guitar, bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake. There's an interesting story behind these reissues which you can read a bit about here. Diary comes with a bonus live disc - that band featured Ozzy, Randy, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums and is pretty rocking.

Paul McCartney continues the reissuing of his catalog with 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II. McCartney was his first release after the breakup of The Beatles (and in fact was released shortly before Let It Be) and definitely comes off like a reaction to it.  It doesn't have an epic sense of self-importance, it's just Paul enjoying himself in the studio. He plays all of the instruments - it's a true "solo" album - and the songs are simple, but lovely.  "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Every Night" are on that album.  I don't like McCartney II: it was supposed to be a short break from Wings, but Wings never ended up getting back together.  I love "Coming Up," but I don't like the rest of the album.

I just wrote about Neil Young's A Treasure. It's a great document of his foray into hardcore country music from the '80s.  This isn't Eagles-like, soft-rocky country-rock, but actual country music. It's also a great tribute to Neil's longtime musical partner, steel guitarist Ben Keith, who passed away a few months ago. I really dig this album, and this side of Neil.

Finally, Levon Helm's new album, Ramble At The Ryman, where he takes his traveling version of his "Midnight Ramble" shows to Nashville's legendary venue.  As is often the case with his Rambles, he was joined by a few great artists: Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt and Buddy Miller. I think the album is a lot of fun, and reminds me that I have to go see Levon when he plays Central Park Summerstage later this summer. But I really want to go up to one of his Rambles at his place in Woodstock.

I hope you guys enjoy some of these.  By the way, if you aren't a SiriusXM subscriber, go here for a free online trial subscription.

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