Rhino closes its five-volume rock instrumentals series with an 18-track outing devoted to surf guitar. This fast-paced, prickly, and frequently exciting form may not be among the most diversified structurally, but if does offer some surging playing from its practitioners. They range from founding father Dick Dale to its most popular bands, the Surfaris, Belairs, Ventures, and Chantays. While not particularly a hardcore surf collection, this disc certainly outlines its virtues, and the tunes were long enough to display guitar proficiency, but short enough to prevent self-indulgence and repetition.
This is a pretty cool compilation of instrumentals from the '70s. 12 of the 18 songs here were Top Ten hits, with the rest being minor hits. The title says "rock" instrumentals, but only a few of the songs are actually rock. There is more funk and disco than rock here. One of the odder trends of the '70s was dance/pop versions of classical instrumetals, and this CD has three examples of that.
The most consistently enticing disc in the Rock Instrumental Classics series, this is both a great party and driving record and a window on the rhythms that powered soul music in the '60s (and early '70s, in two cases). In addition to some obvious choices (the four Booker T. & the MG's tracks, the Mar-Keys' "Last Night"), it also offers some left-field picks, such as the varied approaches to Latin music offered by Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, and El Chicano. The stock of virtuoso performances here is all but endless: the bass-and-drums breakdown on Cliff Nobles and Co.'s "The Horse," the glinting guitar solo on the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger," Hugh Masekela's questing trumpet on "Grazing in the Grass".
This instructional video from Warner Brothers teaches beginning guitarists how to play four popular alternative rock songs: "I Will Buy You a New Life" by Everclear; "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls; "Shine" by Collective Soul; and "You" by Candlebox. Hosted by professional guitarist Tommy Anthony, SongXpress: Modern Rock for Guitar, Vol. 1 covers all the chords, riffs, and guitar patterns that form the foundation of these modern rock mainstays.
A cofounder of the tropicalista movement with Veloso, Gil, Bethania, et al., Zé has faded into obscurity as his music becomes more and more experimental and eccentric. This is by far the best Brazilian recording I've ever heard (caveat emptor!), partly because of the gentleness of Zé's weirdness and partly because he sounds so Brazilian even as the other tropicalistas come to associate "avant-garde" with increasingly Pan American pop-soup.
This album is either the latest example of a classical label prostituting itself in search of a larger audience, or a legitimate attempt at crossover within an orchestral pops vein, given added appeal through the presence of the Roger Dean cover graphics and the near-suppression of the Telarc identification. The "classics" done up in 60-piece orchestral majesty include "Born to Run," "Tears of a Clown," "Superstition," "Hey Joe," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "God Only Knows," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (which hardly belongs here, as the product of Scottish songwriter Ewan MacColl)…
The debut album from Soul II Soul, renamed "Keep On Movin'" for the North American market.