For a lot of us, life gets pretty hectic during the holiday season. Not so in the world of new music, as Tuesdays (the traditional day of the week for new releases) become rather quiet. One benefit to that is that the few new releases there are in the last month of the year can get attention they might not otherwise receive in a month crowded with other new releases.
Boston - 'Life, Love and Hope'
Boston won't be facing a lot of competition for attention with their new release, Life, Love and Hope. Boston albums can almost be considered rarities. The last one was released in 2002, and, including the newest one, they have released just six studio albums in 37 years.
Several current and former Boston vocalists are featured on the album, including original lead singer, Brad Delp, who had recorded several tracks for the new album prior to committing suicide in 2007. In addition to Delp, lead vocalists will also include Boston "regulars" David Victor, Kimberly Dahme, Tommy DeCarlo and Tom Scholz, the only original member of the band still on the roster. Three of the 11 songs on the album are remastered and/or rearranged versions of tracks on previous Boston albums.
EXPLORE: Boston's back catalog
Neil Young - 'Live at the Cellar Door'
Recently a reader half-jokingly asked me how there could be "new" classic rock releases, what with that being music of the late '60s, the '70s and (if you make a bit of a stretch) early '80s. If it's new, how can it be classic?
Here's an example that answers the question. The Cellar Door was a Washington DC club that was on the "must play" list of most up and coming musicians between 1965 and 1981. One of those was Neil Young, who played a series of Cellar Door performances in 1970 as he toured to support his then new album, After the Gold Rush. That's the classic rock part.
The new part? Until now, those recordings have never been released. That changes when Live at the Cellar Door is released in December. Recorded in 1970, released in 2013. That's how classic rock can be new.
Live at the Cellar Door available 12/10/13 on CD and vinyl LP
'Concert for Ronnie Montrose'
Concert for Ronnie Montrose – A Celebration of His Life In Music brought together a group of high octane rockers who gathered to pay tribute to guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who died in 2012. Besides a substantial solo album catalog, Montrose also worked with two groups of his own (Gamma and Montrose) and was a highly regarded session guitarists for dozens of other artists.
A DVD with the concert, and accompanying interviews and tributes from fellow performers, will start shipping in December.
Old classic rock
The remainder of December's releases are box sets. I can't say they're new, but I can recommend them as a good way to recapture some classic rock classics.
John Mellencamp - 1978-2012
19-CD box set available 12/10/13
Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 45th anniversary edition
Box set on 2-LP or 3-CD available 12/10/13
Yes - The Studio Albums 1969-1987 (remastered)
MP3 and 12-CD box set available 12/24/13