September 26th will mark the 50th anniversary release of THE BEATLES‘ final album – in terms of recording, rather than release, of course – and looks like a new edition of “Abbey Road” is to see the release on this day. There was a tweet from Giles Martin, who worked on the classic’s remixes, and comments from Ringo Starr, who joined Paul McCartney on Los Angeles stage to deliver a couple of songs yesterday, and now there’s a breakdown of what’s coming up, although the details are suggested to be non-final, because the second disc is supposed to have alternative versions of the LP tracks in proper order. They have enough veracity about it, still, to pay attention to the rumors.
There should be a usual variety of formats – 2CD, single CD, 3LP, single LP – but of special interest is a super deluxe edition. In it, housed in a 12″ x 12″ box, will be 3 CDs – where two contain demos and outtakes – and Blu-ray, with Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround sound and hi-res stereo mixes of the entire album, plus a book. All of this may be presented at the Abbey Road Studios on August 23rd, with both surviving Beatles in attendance.
It’s been quite a while since THE FLUFFY JACKETS delivered their bluesy milestone “Fighting Demons” that brought this British band to the attention of many an aficionado of good music, but finally, five years later, the ensemble return with a new album. “Something From Nothing” that’s marked for release on August 16th promises to be as impressive, judging by the inclusion on the record of “44 Blues” – the Howling Wolf classic they laid down in 2016 to benefit Teamrock crew who got laid off then and re-hired further down the line – and a few more covers, alongside original pieces.
Once again, the ensemble’s line-up has been bolstered with Manny Charlton of NAZARETH fame, who played guitar and produced new songs, and ex-WHITESNAKE bassist Neil Murray, who contributed to the bottom end. The result will see the light of day as a limited edition digipack, with the “Making Of” DVD to accompany a CD and give the listener extra material, while a digital download version will have two bonuses: a take on Johnny Cash’s “Hey Porter” and a radio edit of “Everything Must Change” a video of which is set for the July 24th debut.
Four live records in four decades don’t seem like a lot, but THE PRETENDERS never pretended they were able to perfectly capture their concert experience – yet their fourth on-stage offering is close to it. More so the “The Pretenders With Friends” – out today – goes beyond the regular performance in front of the audience by having stellar colleagues join Chrissy Hynde and her boys in a New Jersey theater and deliver many a hit. Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of GARBAGE fame, KINGS OF LEON and INCUBUS can’t be predictable in such company, so there’s much to enjoy on this document, especially given it’s a package comprising not only CD but also DVD and Blu-ray with stereo and surround sound options.
Neither flautist John Hackett nor organist Marco Lo Muscio are strangers to chamber settings – they played in such a setting both with other performers and a duo – but their new album “On The Wings Of The Wind” that’s out now to mark the tenth anniversary of the instrumentalists’ joint concerts is a bit different. Using 2013’s “Playing The History” as a template but going beyond classic prog covers and into classical realm, the pair – alternating between solo and ensemble pieces as well as between symphonic and rock numbers- invited old friends to join in the celebration. Playing the gems by the so different composers as Ravel, Ligeti and Telemann, alongside the two, are John’s older sibling Steve Hackett, David Cross and David Jackson – of, respectively, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON and VDGG fame.
Fifty years on after HAWKWIND’s rise, the band’s family continues to grow, and the latest branch on its tree is HAWKESTREL: a new project driven by bassist Alan Davey and featuring a plethora of former members. A couple of them – Huw Lloyd-Langton and Lemmy – are no longer with us, and Ginger Baker’s parts also presumably come from the past, yet Nik Turner, Simon House, Paul Rudolph and Bridget Wishart obviously contributed to it rather recently, as did William Shatner who recited an intro to “Sonic Attack.”
“The Future Is Us” – scheduled for the August 9th release on CD and blue vinyl double LP – is the collective’s first album, although whether there will be more remains unknown. If there won’t this must remain a wonderful one-off.