New Music Monday: Get live with Adele, Spock's Beard, David Foster and Yes

Here’s a run down — with a few of our thoughts — on some notable music projects, both new and reissue, slated for release for the week of Nov. 28, 2011. That includes fresh product from Adele, Big Country, Spock’s Beard, Linda Lavin (well, kiss our grits!) and Yes — as well as interesting updates of older items by Isaac Hayes, Richard Thompson, Rick Derringer, Smashing Pumpkins, the Buckinghams and others.


ADELE – LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL [CD/DVD], SONY (POP/ROCK): This is the only way you’ll get to hear Adele perform live anytime soon, after vocal cord surgery forced her to cancel the remaining 2011 tour dates in the U.S. and the U.K. Adele had surgery Nov. 7 in Boston to stop the bleeding from a benign polyp on her vocal cords. As a result, she’s expected to lose millions, even has her blockbuster album 21 continues to spin off hit singles. First, it was “Rolling in the Deep,” which reached No. 1 in eight countries; then the chart-topping “Someone Like You” — which made Adele the first-ever British female singer to spawn two consecutive No. 1 singles from the same album. — Nick DeRiso

Alan PasquaTwin Bill: Two Piano Music of Bill Evans, Video Arts Japan (Jazz)
Bal-SagothThe Chthonic Chronicles, Metal Mind Poland (Pop/Rock)
Bal-SagothThe Power Cosmic, Metal Mind Poland (Pop/Rock)
Beggars & ThievesWe Are the Brokenhearted, (Pop/Rock)

BIG COUNTRY – DREAMS STAY WITH YOU [Edinburgh Picture House, 21/04/11], (POP/ROCK): If you watched MTV in its earliest days, then you remember this Scottish band’s perpetual-rotation self-titled hit. The coolest part was that, though “Big Country” sounded like it was powered by bagpipes, the band actually employed an engineered guitar technique — using a MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect. Unfortunately, the architect of that sound — William Stuart Adamson, whom legendary music journalist John Peel once described as “Britain’s answer to Jimi Hendrix” — hanged himself in 2001. Adamson was also Big Country’s lead vocalist, something that might have sounded the death knell for most bands, right? Yet, they soldier on, with the addition of Mike Peters of the Alarm. — Nick DeRiso

Bill NelsonThe Practice of Everyday Life: Celebrating 40 Years of Recordings, Esoteric (Pop/Rock)
Brand NewYour Favorite Weapon [Deluxe Edition], Razor & Tie (Pop/Rock)
Dan HartmanImages, Sony Japan (Pop/Rock)
Dave ClarkeFabric 60, Fabric (Electronic)

DAVID FOSTER – MAGIC OF DAVID FOSTER AND FRIENDS, WEA INT’l (POP/ROCK): This compilation, already a hit overseas, features the producer/composer/Chicago-killing svengali’s guilty-pleasure collaborations with Celine Dion (“Because You Loved Me”), Whitney Houston (“I Will Always Love You”), Michael Jackson (“Earth Song”), Madonna (“You’ll See”), Michael Bublé (“Home”), Andrea Bocelli (“The Prayer”), Josh Groban (“You Raise Me Up”), Barbra Streisand (“Somewhere”), Natalie Cole (“Unforgettable”), Earth Wind and Fire (“After The Love Has Gone”), Charice (“In This Song”) — and, yes, Chicago’s erstwhile singer/bassist Peter Cetera (“Glory Of Love”). Cue another series of arguments on Foster’s place in pop music lore … starting … now.Nick DeRiso

DeadHardnaked…But Dead, Ais; Night of the Demon; The Plague, Spaced Out Music (Pop/Rock)
DragonlandUnder the Grey Banner, AFM Germany (Pop/Rock)
Eddy ArnoldBest Of Eddy Arnold, TGG Direct (Country)
Edgar WinterRoadwork (& White Trash); Shock Treatment; They Only Come Out at Night, Sony Japan (Pop/Rock)
Fades AwayPerceptions, (Pop/Rock)
Five Finger Death PunchAmerican Capitalist [Bonus Track], Universal Japan (Pop/Rock)
George JonesWe Go Together/Let’s Build a World Together, (Country)

GORILLAZ – THE SINGLES COLLECTION: 2001-2011, VIRGIN (POP/ROCK): Look for “Feel Good Inc.,” a Top 20 hit (featuring a guest turn by Del La Soul) featured on the sophomore 2005 release from the best cartoon-band in the world. Also included: the uncharacteristically dance-rhythm driven “DARE,” which sounded like nothing else on the same Demon Days album, as Gorillaz switched from producer Dan the Automator to Grey Album conspirator Danger Mouse. After their happy-go-lucky self-titled release, that made for a project that was considerably darker and grittier. — Tom Johnson

ISAAC HAYES – NEW HORIZON [Expanded Edition], (R&B): A reissue of the 1977 album featuring the popular cuts “Out The Ghetto” and “It’s Heaven To Me” from Hayes, an Oscar winner, a Grammy winner, a son of a sharecropper who became a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and a very bad dude. Back when bad meant good. It’s no surprise, when you think about it, that Hayes wrote “Soul Man” for Sam and Dave. They should’ve put it on his tombstone. He was a genetic marker for the music, and all of its many evolutions. He died in 2008 having left us a group of recordings marked by uncommon feeling, memorable (and lasting, remember the 18-minute long “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”?) grooves, and leap-to-your-feet arrangements. Same with New Horizon, another great chance to plug into a legacy that proved to be a fashion-forward influence on four-decades of kids — from hot-buttered soul to disco to gold-chained hip-hop to Chef on “South Park.” (More here.)Nick DeRiso

Jim ReevesBest Of Jim Reeves, TGG Direct (Country)
Jimmy CliffSacred Fire, (Reggae)
Kate WalshThe Real Thing, EMI (Pop/Rock)
Kylie MinogueAphrodite Les Folies: Live in London [2CD/1DVD], Astralwerks (Electronic)

LINDA LAVIN – POSSIBILITIES, GHOSTLIGHT (POP/ROCK): Yes, that Linda Lavin. The one who played Alice the waitress on TV from 1976-85 at a roadside diner on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. Here, the Tony and Golden Globe-winning actress is said to be presenting “a mix of Broadway standards and cabaret songs.” No word yet on where Mel or Flo fit into all of this. — Nick DeRiso

Loose EndsLittle Spice [Expanded Edition]; So Where Are You?, (R&B)
Louise MandrellLouise Mandrell/Maybe My Baby, (Country)
MonicaNew Life, RCA (R&B)
Montgomery GentryMy Town/You Do Your Thing, (Country)
Paul SimonGraceland; Hearts and Bones; One Trick Pony; Paul Simon; Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’; Still Crazy After All These Years; There Goes Rhymin’ Simon; The Rhythm of the Saints, Sony Japan (Pop/Rock)

PAUL SIMON – SONGWRITER, SONY JAPAN (POP/ROCK): This career-spanning effort, hand picked by Simon himself, isn’t a hits package so much as a highly personal travelogue through his solo career — and thus a lot more interesting than the typically sequenced such project. Highlights include a previously unreleased new live solo version of “The Sound Of Silence,” recorded earlier this year. (More here.) – Nick DeRiso

RICHARD THOMPSON – STRICT TEMPO!, (POP/ROCK): A reissue of Thompson’s own Shut Up And Play Your Guitar album from 1981, it’s full of traditional Celtic jigs and such, but you don’t need to be a music anthropologist to appreciate it. Just sit back and marvel at Thompson’s sharp, precise and even witty fretwork on a variety of stringed instruments without his jagged voice getting in the way. Strict Tempo! is much closer to Duck Baker than the Fairport Convention. Not his best record but the one to pull out for those who wonder why Thompson makes it on so many “best guitarists ever” lists.S. Victor Aaron

RICK DERRINGER — ALL AMERICAN BOY, SONY JAPAN (POP/ROCK): After stints with The McCoys and Edgar Winter’s White Trash, Derringer struck out on his own with this album in 1973. The lead-off track “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” went to No. 23 on the Hot 100 (Johnny Winter covered this Derringer song three years later) and to this day, it’s his signature tune. That all-time great rocker alone is worth the price of the record, with a classic introduction to his smoking guitar solo, “Yeah, did someone say ‘Keep on rockin’?'” — S. Victor Aaron

SealSoul 2, Warner Bros UK (R&B)
ShenandoahRoad Not Taken/Extra Mile, (Country)

SMASHING PUMPKINS – GISH [Deluxe Edition]; SIAMESE DREAM [Deluxe Edition], VIRGIN RECORDS (POP/ROCK): Before the albums that started making people roll their eyes at the mere mention of this band’s name, and before Billy Corgan started looking like a cult leader and writing “poetry,” there were these two perfect little slices of shoe-gazey, dream-pop metal, and now they’ve both been expanded with an additional disc of mostly unreleased or really hard to find extras and a DVD of an era-specific live show, plus 24 pages of assumedly appropriately whiny liner notes from Corgan today. — Tom Johnson

Southside JohnnyI Don’t Want to Go Home/This Time It’s for Real, (Pop/Rock)

SPOCK’S BEARD – LIVE AT HIGH VOLTAGE 2011, (POP/ROCK): Features a long-awaited reunion with original frontman Neal Morse. He joins Spock’s Beard for three cuts found on early releases — “Return of the Catfish Man” and “The Dream” from the title track suite on their 1995 debut The Light; and then “June” from 1998′s The Kindness of Strangers, an early glimpse into Nick D’Virgilio’s strengths as a vocalist. In that brief moment, filled with great musicianship and even greater camaraderie, you remember all over again what made Spock’s Beard so interesting in the first place. (More here.)Nick DeRiso

THE BUCKINGHAMS – TIME AND CHARGES/PORTRAITS, (POP/ROCK): Part of a stellar run in 1967 for the Chicago-based Buckinghams, who scored a charttopper as well as four more Top 40 hits — an amazing feat, in light of the truckloads of incredible records from the likes of the Doors, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum, and Jefferson Airplane arriving in the bins that fabled year. Filled with songs that are fun, imaginative, arty, thought-provoking and just plain good, these two albums are satisfying on every conceivable level. (More here.)Beverly Paterson

The CaravellesYou Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry: The Complete Caravelles, RPM UK (Pop/Rock)
The KinksKinks in Mono, Sanctuary (Pop/Rock)
The Party CatsKids Dance Party, Vol. 3: Salute To High School Musical< Green Hill (Children’s)
The SaturdaysOn Your Radar, Polydor UK (Pop/Rock)
TwiggyRomantically Yours, EMI (Pop/Rock)
Various ArtistsAuld Lang Syne, Ross (Easy Listening)
Various Artists80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets, RPM UK (Pop/Rock)
Various ArtistsPipes and Drums on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, Ross (International)
Various ArtistsHoly Hip Hop: Taking the Gospel to Street, Vol. 12, Holy Hip Hop (Rap)
Vern GosdinChiseled in Stone/Alone, (Country)
VladVlad’s Big Bite, (Jazz)

YES – IN THE PRESENT: LIVE FROM LYON [2CD/1DVD], EAGLE (POP/ROCK): There are plenty of the usual suspects: What Yes concert, after all, would be complete without “Roundabout,” “And You and I,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and “I’ve Seen All Good People,” right? But I found myself more intrigued by the lesser-performed cuts from 1980′s Drama, if only because it snapped me out the unceasing, note-for-note comparisons between Benoit David and departed original vocalist Jon Anderson. David handles things as well as can be expected on the big Anderson-sung hits — and that’s really all Chris Squire and Co. were looking for, I suppose. You get a broader sense of what he brings to Yes as it stands today, however, on a churning, metallic fever dream like “Machine Messiah.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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