The Clifford Ball was the first in a series of 7 weekend-long events hosted by the band. In each show, Aug. 16-17, 1996, Phish performed 3 sets & an encore to 70,000 fans. This phenomenal festival was captured on film and is now available on 7 DVDs. Also included is an interview with Jim Pollack, interview with the band, and more. It was a music festival with just one amazing act. In 1996, Phish set up a stage in rural Plattsburgh, New York, and played for two days, offering three full sets to over 70,000 fans. The weekend-long show, dubbed The Clifford Ball, was the first in what would become a powerful musical tradition–drawing jam-band fans from across the globe, Phish followed-up the massive concert with six legendary festival-style performances. This incredibly comprehensive box set includes the sights and sounds from the Plattsburgh stage, including nine hours of improvisational jams, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the band.
This set collects the seven studio albums from 1984′s Red Roses For Me to Pogue Mahone from 1996 and adds a previously unreleased live album The Pogues with Joe Strummer Live In London (recorded in December 1991). There have been Pogues reissues before of course, notably in 2004 when the albums were re-released on CD with bonus tracks. Rhino also issued an Original Album Series collection in 2009 that brought together the five Shane MacGowan albums in the usual card slipcase packaging. So while in some ways 30 Years treads familiar ground, there is still much to recommend it. First off the band were involved in the project, and were keen to have their say. The decision to revert back to ‘just’ the albums and lose the 2004 bonus tracks was theirs, for instance. Another example of the band’s input was the cover design of the box. The literary types amongst you might notice that the typesetting and design is ‘inspired by’ an edition of James Joyce’s landmark work Ulysses.
Of all the early rock & rollers, Fats Domino was the easiest to take for granted, since he made it all seem so easy. Even when it rocked hard, his music was so relaxed, so friendly that it sounded effortless and natural, which was part of the reason that his classic recordings for Imperial in the '50s were so consistently enjoyable. All the hits, many of their flips sides, and most of his album cuts were flat-out fun – maybe not as revolutionary as work by Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers, but his body of work for Imperial not only stands proudly next to theirs, but is just as influential. This much is clear after years of hindsight, but in the late '60s he was as passé as any of his peers, even if there were legions of new rockers, from the Beatles to Randy Newman, who were raised on his music.
The answer is a resounding yes – Echo & the Bunnymen's Crystal Days: 1979-1999, a four-disc set boasting a great built-in book with a biography and track-by-track commentary, is worth every penny. Through 71 tracks, it does an excellent job by catering to the longtime fan and merely curious, running through all the hits and selecting standout album tracks, rarities, and unreleased curiosities, all worthwhile. The very fact that compilation producer Andy Zax was driven to put this project into motion after realizing he just had to find a way to get stellar B-sides like the Velvets-meets-Byrds heaven of "Angels and Devils" and the Peel Session version of the experimental "No Hands" into circulation tells you right off that you're in good hands.
Five vintage albums from '70s hitmakers the Doobie Brothers are included in this special box set. Released in 1971, The Doobie Brothers was the group's first album, and finds the Doobies beginning to work out the sound that would make them famous. Livin' on the Fault Line from 1977 would prove to be their last album with guitarist and founder Tom Johnston, and found them expanding their jazz influences. Issued in 1978, Minute by Minute featured two major hits, the title cut and "What a Fool Believes," and with Michael McDonald handling all the lead vocals, the group refined its R&B sound and came up with a commercial blockbuster.