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New and classic, on the May music menu


Depending on the day, looking back at the music of the classic rock era can make me happy to have been there, or unsure of how I feel about being old enough to have been there. You'll be pleased to know that this month's releases are pretty much making me happy.

'The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story'

Eagle Rock Entertainment

Worth A(nother) Look

Syd Barrett was still alive when this BBC documentary first aired in 2001. He watched it, with his sister, at the family home to which he had retreated after leaving Pink Floyd in 1968 to wrestle the demons brought on by drug use and mental instability.

The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story was released on DVD in 2003. Another release, in 2006 (the year Barrett died) included uncut versions of the interviews that had been excerpted in the original film.

The latest release -- still on DVD and now also in Digital Video format -- is definitely worth your time if you have only recently "discovered" Pink Floyd, or if you're a longtime fan who either hasn't seen it, or has but can appreciate the improvement in audio and video made possible by digital enhancement. Barrett's story does not have a happy ending, but it reveals much about the key role he played in the band's formation, and future direction.

Watch a 1967 live performance of "Astronomy Domine"

(2-DVD, Digital Video available 5/19/14)


Dave Mason - 'Future's Past'

Something Music/MRI

If some of the songs on Dave Mason's new album seem familiar, it's because Mason wrote and/or performed them when he was playing guitar for Traffic, of which he was a founding member.

Mason describes this album's version of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" as "kind of a rewrite" of the Traffic standard originally written by fellow band members Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood.  Mason promises that a new take on "World In Changes" which he wrote for his 1970 debut solo album, Alone Together is "absolutely nothing like the original."

Beside some other tracks from early solo albums, Mason also offers up a cover of blues legend Robert Johnson's "Come On In My Kitchen" and a new Mason composition, "That's Freedom".

Listen to the new treatment of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" from the new album.

(CD, LP available 5/13/14)

1. "Dear Mr. Fantasy"
2. "World In Changes"
3. "You Can All Join In"
4. "As Sad And As Deep As You"
5. "Good 2 U"
6. "El Toro (Spanish Blues)"
7. "Come On In My Kitchen"
8. "How Do I Get To Heaven"
9. "That's Freedom"

'Blondie 4(0)-Ever: Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux' / 'Ghosts of Download'


Blondie are 40??

Seriously? That must mean that I'm ... well ... let's just say young at heart and leave it at that, okay?

As described in the title Blondie's 40th anniversary celebration release consists of their new album, Ghosts of Download packaged with recently re-recorded versions of their most popular songs.

Watch the lyric video of the first song to be released from the new album, "I Want to Drag You Around".

(3-CD or 2-LP+DVD set available 5/13/14)


'California Breed'

Frontiers Records / Universal

It didn't take long for drummer Jason Bonham and bass guitarist/vocalist Glenn Hughes to transition from Black Country Communion (who broke up in March 2013) into a new band, California Breed. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Watt rounds out the roster. Hughes describes the band's music as "real rock'n'roll — but made for right now." 

Watch the lyric video of "Midnight Oil" from California Breed's debut album.

(Available on CD+DVD and MP3 on 5/19/14)

TRACK LIST (all original, by band members)
1. "The Way"
2. "Sweet Tea"
3. "Chemical Rain"
4. "Midnight Oil"
5. "All Falls Down"
6. "The Grey"
7. "Days They Come"
8. "Spit You Out"
9. "Strong"
10. "Invisible"
11. "Scars"
12. "Breathe"
13. "Solo" (Bonus Track)

Foreigner, Styx & Don Felder - 'The Soundtrack of Summer'


It isn't that Styx and Foreigner have trouble filling the sets when they tour together, but just ahead of their spring/summer US tour (along with ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder) comes a compilation of both bands' best known music, and a new arrangement of "Hotel California" performed by both bands and Felder.

The album and the tour share the same name: The Soundtrack of Summer.

(MP3 available 5/6/14, CD available at Walmart)

1. "Feels Like the First Time" Foreigner
2. "Cold as Ice" Foreigner
3. "Hot Blooded" Foreigner
4. "Double Vision" Foreigner
5. "Urgent" Foreigner
6. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" Foreigner
7. "I Want to Know What Love Is" Foreigner
8. "Juke Box Hero" Foreigner
9. "The Grand Illusion" Styx
10. "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" Styx
11. "Lorelei" Styx
12. "Crystal Ball" Styx
13. "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" Styx
14. "Miss America" Styx
15. "Renegade" Styx
16. "Too Much Time on My Hands" Styx
17. "Hotel California" Don Felder, Foreigner,Styx

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