This Week in Music, May 21, 2013: Techno trousers shed by Daft Punk Page 3
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane
Documentary film (Eagle Vision; tour dates)
Photo courtesy of ABKCO
Marking the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, this band-overseen, 2-hour-plus doc features new off-camera interviews with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor, and Ron Wood. Their words (along with archival comments from the late Brian Jones) provide the narrative for the footage, which, as specified by the film’s original tagline, focuses on “The Rise of the Stones” through the 1960s and into the ’70s. Among the extras are live performances from 1964 and ’65.
Primus: Sailing the Seas of Cheese — Deluxe Edition
Reissue (UMe; tour dates)
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
A restoration of Primus’s 1991 album, available on CD+DVD (now) or CD+Blu-ray (coming June 18). Each has a new stereo mix (by Les Claypool) on the CD and a 5.1 surround mix (by Claypool and Josh Mills) on the other disc. Extras: three previously unreleased bonus tracks, four “visualizer” video streams, unpublished photos from the band’s archive, and new liner notes by Greg Prato. For Mike Mettler’s review of the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray version, click here.
Captain Beyond: Live in Texas, October 6, 1973
Archival release (Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra)
The original lineup of this truly legendary band: vocalist Rod Evans (the original singer for Deep Purple), guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman (both from Iron Butterfly), and drummer Bobby Caldwell (who played for the group known as Johnny Winter And). In 1972, they released their self-titled debut; it was (and still is) one of rock’s absolutely perfect albums. Back then, Captain Beyond’s idea of “rock” was art, progressive, hard, heavy, space — sometimes individually, sometimes all at once.
The follow-up, 1973’s Sufficiently Breathless, was significantly weaker, owing to the departure of Caldwell. Because he was replaced as a percussionist by drummer Marty Rodriguez and conga/timbale player Guille Garcia, the band took a lighter, often Latin path. Even more important, though, was the loss of Caldwell as a writer, for it was he (primarily) and Evans — not Reinhardt and Dorman — who composed the entire debut. Taking over the pen on Breathless, Dorman simply wasn’t up to the task.
Which is all a preamble to the fact that, later in 1973, the foursome of Evans, Reinhardt, Dorman, and Caldwell reunited for a tour — from which Live in Texas is taken. Alas, fans looking for a revelation won’t find it here, since this seems to be the same recording that has appeared previously as Far Beyond a Distant Sun and Frozen Over Live. A sticker says this new version is an “Official Bootleg,” but the emphasis remains squarely on “bootleg”: The sonics are still poor, with distortion, dropouts, disappearing instruments, and an echoing, wandering soundstage. The sticker further warns that this album is “For Dedicated Fans Only!” If you’re one, you might enjoy the impressive guitar and drum solos, as well as the dominance of material from the debut, but it’s a chore to listen through the murk.
In his decent liner notes, Dave Thompson reveals that there’s a “vast archive of unreleased live material that the original band left behind.” Hopefully, at least some of it is in better shape than Live from Texas. Meanwhile, if you’re eager for some genuinely riveting (and better recorded) segments of Captain Beyond in concert, go to YouTube for Part 1 and Part 2 of a 1972 performance.
P.S. Both Reinhardt and Dorman died last year.