THE SOPRANOS (HBO, above - left). Jersey mafia don Tony Soprano: bigger than your average bear, and ten times as deadly. These movie-quality transfers set the standard, with excellent contrast, rich colors, and crisp, atmospherically lit images.
As I noted in one of the five entries I wrote for our Top 50 Albums of All Time list (actually, I also penned three of the uncredited entries for albums 41-50 - see if you can guess which ones once our master list posts), I became an audio journalist to extol the virtues of great-sounding recordings.
Welcome back, my friends… well, you know the rest. That opening line—made famous in “Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression, Part 2” from 1973’s Brain Salad Surgery—certainly applies to the re-emergence of the remastered catalog for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the groundbreaking British progressive trio that defined adventurous recording and outrageous live performance during their 1970s heyday. Actually, ELP vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Greg Lake prefers using the word original instead of progressive to describe the band’s signature sound—and the man does have a point.
Eric Clapton was at the crossroads of Personal Hell Avenue and Professional Conundrum Street as the calendar turned to 1974. His crippling heroin addiction derailed the creative momentum he achieved with Derek and the Dominos and Layla in 1970, and it took him a few long, painful years to emerge from the haze and return to chasing down his one true muse with guitar (and not needle) in hand. The jam-packed Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings box set charts his sonic recovery.
Here's the thing about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' stunning new album, Mojo: While you've never quite heard the band play this way before on record, the songs sound like you've known them all your life.
“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time,” Steven Wilson told me backstage about an hour before his groundbreaking live quad show unfolded at the Performing Arts Center at Temple University in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 12.
How does it feel to have the two Sirius channels that you created - Underground Garage (Channel 25) and Outlaw Country (Channel 36) - broadcasting 24/7? I feel like we made history already, you know? It's not easy to create a new format in radio, and I created two.