With a career as illustrious as the Moody Blues, it's difficult to group together all their best material on a single disc, but Legend of a Band acts as a brief yet pleasant jaunt through some of their most popular work. While some of their early material is deemed slightly progressive because of lengthy keyboard suites and instrumental runs, it wasn't until the mid- to late '70s that their music began to take a more rock & roll-oriented path. Even though only 12 songs make up this hits collection, they do offer a definitive cross section of their music…
Out of the 13 selections included on this double CD, six were originally released just in Europe, two ("Out of Nowhere" and "Mexican Jumping Bean") were never out before and only five songs were on the American LP. Considering how inspired the Dave Brubeck Quartet sounds, it is surprising that the music has been so obscure for so long. Baritonist Gerry Mulligan is particularly heated on the opening two numbers (the unreleased tracks), pianist Dave Brubeck really stretches himself (check him out on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" where he progresses from stride to free), and bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson, in addition to their solo space, are quite alert and constantly pushing the lead voices. Not only are the musicians in top form but the audience is very enthusiastic, demanding three encores. The extensive liner notes by Geoffrey Smith are also a major plus. Highly recommended.
This was the last of the six albums John Mayall originally made for Blue Thumb/ABC Records between 1975 and 1978, about which he has said, "ABC released six of my albums as a tax write-off. A week after they were released you couldn't find them in any store." It's a live album on which Mayall fronts a quartet consisting of guitarist James Quill Smith (who sings lead on several songs), bassist Steve Thompson, and drummer Soko Richardson. The approach is rock-oriented, and the set list includes such Bluesbreakers favorites as Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm," and Freddie King's "Hideaway" (taken at a frantic tempo), along with the usual complement of generic Mayall originals, among them, a remake of "The Bear," from Blues From Laurel Canyon.
Second album from band out of Oslo, Norway who play ominous, deep floor-rattling blues/rock songs with a 60s/70s twist and a heavy, clean production. The permeating resonance of Arnt Andersen’s vocals leads the dueling twin guitar leads by Petter Svee & Torgeir Waldemar Engen. The music is muscular & brawny; the riffs are passionate and classy; the sound is heavy, soulful and compelling.