Rock Music

Chicago, “A Hit By Varese” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “A Hit By Varese” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

“A Hit By Varese” leads off Chicago’s fifth album, one many of my colleagues and I feel is flawless. It is, as they used to say, “all killer, no filler.”

David Bowie – No Plan EP (2017)

David Bowie – No Plan EP (2017)

There is a sense of David Bowie’s essence here – not the characters he created but Bowie as the song master.

Chicago, “A Song For Richard and His Friends” from At Carnegie Hall (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “A Song For Richard and His Friends” from At Carnegie Hall (1971): Saturdays in the Park

‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall,’ a sprawling four-record set, was ripe for abuse from so-called leading critics of the time.

Grand Funk – Shinin’ On (1974; 2017 Hybrid SACD Remaster)

Grand Funk – Shinin’ On (1974; 2017 Hybrid SACD Remaster)

Vast amounts of delay, flanging and compression marred the original Grand Funk vinyl edition. A new remaster aims to remediate things.

Yes, “Arriving UFO” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

Yes, “Arriving UFO” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

While the earlier “Madrigal” seemed to end too soon, Yes’ “Arriving UFO” instead overstays its welcome.

Preston Frazier’s Best Rock, Pop and Soul of 2016: Durand Jones, Childish Gambino, Circa

Preston Frazier’s Best Rock, Pop and Soul of 2016: Durand Jones, Childish Gambino, Circa

Preston Frazier surveys the best rock, pop and soul of 2016, selecting a widely varied slate of honorees.

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

Fred Phillips’ Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016: Anthrax, Testament, Rob Zombie, Dead Daisies

As you go through my Best Hard Rock and Metal of 2016 list, you’ll see why I’m calling it the year of the classic thrash band.

Chicago, “An Hour In the Shower” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “An Hour In the Shower” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

“Hour in the Shower” is a welcome reminder that as serious as Chicago took themselves at times, they still knew how to have fun.

Yes, “Release, Release” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

Yes, “Release, Release” from Tormato (1978): YESterdays

I’ve always thought that Yes’ 1978 album cut “Release, Release” harkened back to the days of original guitarist Peter Banks.

Heart – Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2016)

Heart – Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2016)

Heart’s ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’ shows a jubilant band obviously thrilled at the prospect of performing in such a storied venue.