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1997:

 

Radiohead - OK Computer

Radiohead - OK Computer

After two outstanding early albums, Pablo Honey and The Bends, Radiohead offered us in 1997 an album that would revolutionize rock music, put the record straight. Following the grunge movement of the early decade when guitars with distortion ruled, the band came to us with an album containing some more subtleties and textures. We can still find good guitars, as they had offered before, except that they are now better placed and alternating with an acoustic and a little softer sound complemented by the beautiful voice of Thom Yorke. To add to the richness, the band can now count on the discreet use of electronic and keyboards. The 12 compositions from this album form an indivisible whole and without weakness, while we appreciate more and more with each subsequent listen by discovering new subtleties. You'll find the hit "Karma Police", "Paranoid Android", "Subterranean Homesick Alien" and "No Surprises" you probably already know by heart. But do not worry about the ones you don’t know, because everything is impressive. The already undertaken work with The Bends now reached new heights never equaled since, either by themselves or anyone else. Radiohead has set a new standard for 2000 with OK Computer, a huge challenge for the new generations of musicians. This is certainly a record that will cross the times and be cited as an example for generations. (March 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1996:

 

Refused - Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent

Refused - Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent (2003 Re-issue)

For the ones who don't know Refused, they're an anarchist hardcore punk swedish band that existed from 1991 to 1998. In despite of a discography of only three albums and a few EPs, the band became quickly a legend to hardcore punk in the underground circuit. Epitaph released again in the past months the two last albums of the band ("Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent" and "The Shape Of Punk To Come") in addition to a compilation containing songs from their EPs simply entitled "The EP Compilation". So, it's the second album of the band I present to you here, a CD that was released first in 1996. It's probably the heaviest album of the band, the closest to hardcore metal. In fact, we can sometimes compare them to Slayer and Grip Inc., which is far from the Dead Kennedys, the band they were the most compared to. Without being the best album of Refused, it's certainly an important part of their trilogy reaching the top with "The Shape Of Punk To Come" two years later. The fans of aggressive music have to make the purchase of this album you can listen to in one breath and which doesn't contain any breaks or weak moments. A must have in that genre! (September 2004)

Burning Heart / Epitaph

 

1995:

 

 Natalie Merchant – Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings

Natalie MerchantParadise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings

Twenty years after her first solo album, Tigerlily, the former 10,000 Maniacs offers a reinterpretation of this classic. The same thing always appears at this point: why would you rework an album that has already made history anyway? It’s that Natalie felt that her songs had evolved over the years and she could give them a second life, a different feeling. The stunning string arrangements indeed give new life to the 11 songs and her performance goes beyond the original version, with a much deeper and richer voice. The order of songs is completely different, "Wonder" being finally at the end of the CD. Purists will certainly think that no work was needed on these songs already unavoidable and that the performer might well have simply tweaking them in concert. This is probably true, but still, Natalie Merchant realizes a strong work reinterpretation, for an album of very high quality. A great way to rediscover these beautiful songs! (November 2015)

Nonesuch / Warner

½

   

 Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill (2015 Reissue)

Alanis MorissetteJagged Little Pill (2015 Reissue)

In addition to being the best album of 1995, having sold millions of copies worldwide, Jagged Little Pill was a milestone album for Alanis since she denied her previous records (tasteless dance pop albums) and tried unsuccessfully to return later with albums of such great quality (and as popular). Twenty years later, here is a reissue of this classic of Canadian pop rock. One can hear again with pleasure the essential hits "Hand in My Pocket", "You Oughta Know", "You Learn", "Head Over Feet", "Ironic", etc. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Hand in My Pocket » - « You Oughta Know » - « Head Over Feet » - « Ironic »

Maverick / Reprise / Warner

   

 Son Volt – Trace (20th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)

Son VoltTrace (20th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)

Following the disintegration of Uncle Tupelo, most of the band members have followed Jeff Tweedy in Wilco. The other founding member, Jay Farrar, has meanwhile created Son Volt, a fairly creative country rock group. Their first album, Trace, was released in fall 1995 and has become a classic in the genre. It was an almost perfect fusion between powerful guitars and soft acoustic guitar, a true picture of the two personalities of Farrar. Twenty years later, here is a reissue of the album with eight demos and a full bonus CD recorded live in February 1996. The booklet shows meanwhile a good portrait of the album. (November 2015)

Rhino / Warner

½

   

 

1994:

 

Green Day - Dookie

Green Day - Dookie

In 1994, punk music was back in vogue thanks mainly to two bands: The Offspring, but mostly Green Day. The latter, which had only issued independent records previously, offered us a first album widely distributed and would conquer the whole world in the following months. With 14 tracks, all effective, including the hits "Basket Case", "Welcome To Paradise" and "When I Come Around", Dookie is one of the most enjoyable albums to listen to in full and repeatedly. This album would inspire a whole new generation of pop/punk musicians and Green Day would become one of the most cited groups as inspiration by new artists. Even if the band has released other high quality albums later, none would be able to match the genius of Dookie, an incomparable must-have album in your collection. (July 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1992:

 

 Tom Cochrane – Mad Mad World (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD)

Tom Cochrane – Mad Mad World (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the album that introduced Canadian Tom Cochrane to the world, here is a new deluxe edition including a second CD with a concert recorded in 1992 in Chicago. We can also discover a demo version of his greatest hit, "Life Is a Highway" which was called "Love Is a Highway" at the time. The album also features the hits "No Regrets", "Sinking Like a Sunset" and "Washed Away", as well as the title track. Mad Mad World is one of the few Canadian albums to have achieved Diamond status (1 million sales in Canada), making of Cochrane only the third male Canadian artist to achieve that status. (December 2016)

Universal

   

 

1991:

 

Nirvana - Nevermind

Nirvana - Nevermind

In 1991, when rock music was becoming increasingly boring and predictable, a music video appeared that would create a stir and catch the attention of a wide audience, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by a band from Seattle called Nirvana. This band with punk influences would lead a new musical wave, grunge, with bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. Nevermind, produced by Butch Vig, is considered by many to be the album that allowed the rock to survive when it needed it. Almost all of the 12 tracks included on this record became successful at one time or another, either in their original form or in a live version (electric or acoustic). In addition to "Smells Like Teen Spirit", one cannot ignore the brilliance of Kurt Cobain, Kris Novoselic and Dave Grohl on classics like "In Bloom", "Come As You Are", "Breed", "Lithium", "Polly", "Drain You", "On A Plain" and "Something In The Way". Forget weaknesses on this album that proves that perfection can indeed exist. This is an album you can listen to repeatedly tirelessly, an album that the band itself was not able to match later in their short career brutally interrupted by the death of Cobain in 1994. The symbol of excellence in the 90s, Nevermind remains today a legendary album in rock music, an album that will pass through history as having been among the bests. To learn more about Nirvana, you can visit the musicography about the band at the following address: www.musicomania.ca/nirvana. (April 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

Pearl Jam - Ten

Pearl Jam - Ten

When Pearl Jam appeared on the music scene in 1991, they were immediately compared to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains and qualified as a grunge band, since all these groups came from the same town of Seattle. Yet they were all quite different. Pearl Jam would get inspiration into the hard rock of the 70s, offering us a sound both hard and introspective. With the unique voice of Eddie Vedder and a very characteristic guitar sound, the band was able to pave the way for an extraordinary number of bands of the 90s and 2000s. Ten is the best example of a perfect album since it contains no weakness, can be listened to completely with pleasure and contains many of the best songs of the band’s career ("Even Flow", "Alive", "Black", "Jeremy", and so on), still the most popular on stage. The second portion of the CD, a little more introspective, brings us literally in a parallel universe where only Radiohead may have had the secret afterwards. Despite some good albums after this one, Pearl Jam were never able to match the quality and success of Ten which remains the quintessential album of the group. (May 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1989:

 

Faith No More - The Real Thing

Faith No More - The Real Thing

In 1989, at a time when the hair of the musicians seemed more important than the quality of their compositions, a band has surprised everyone with a different album, Faith No More. Despite an excellent record released two years earlier (Introduce Yourself), they had not managed to get out of the underground. But with The Real Thing, the band moved to the other side with a huge success and many awards. They were originally one of the first bands to mix rock and rap on the hit "Epic". They also presented a creative sound on catchy tracks as "From Out of Nowhere", the excellent "Falling To Pieces" the heavy "Surprise! You're Dead!" and the varied "Zombie Eaters". They have dared to cover a Black Sabbath classic, "War Pigs", they have been able to appropriate cleverly, so much so that some young people at the time believed that it was a Faith No More song, not having known the original released almost 20 years before. In this group people were discovering, you could hear a promising young singer named Mike Patton. He became known in later years for his eclecticism in bands like Mr. Bungle, Fantômas and Tomahawk to name a few. With The Real Thing, Faith No More showed us a 55-minute album without weaknesses, creative and varied, which allowed us to forget that American rock bands who reigned as kings at the time were Bon Jovi and Poison and that all the artists from the 70s (with rare exceptions) were unable to issue an interesting album at that time. Faith No More was a pioneer of the alternative movement that would develop in the 90s led by the grunge from Seattle. They would themselves contribute to the movement in 1992 with the excellent album Angel Dust some people even prefer to The Real Thing. (June 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1988:

 

 Brian Wilson – Brian Wilson (1988) (2015 Reissue)

Brian WilsonBrian Wilson (2015 Reissue)

After more than 25 years of success with the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson finally released his first solo album. It created a lot of waves, but not necessarily because of its music. Yet we can find the elements that contributed to his legend as incomparable melodies and dense symphonic orchestrations. Otherwise, it seems to miss the spark that marked his band in the 1960s. In addition, very synthetic arrangements and overflowing echoing percussion certainly not restore the prestige of this music genius. The reason why the album has passed to history thus remains only that it was the first solo album by one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. On this reissue, we can hear 11 additional tracks (demos and alternative versions), as well as interview excerpts about the songs "Love and Mercy", the 8-minute suite "Rio Grande" and "The Source". There is also a detailed 23-page booklet. (June 2015)

Rhino / Warner

   

 

1987:

 

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

In 1987, when rock music was immersed in a sea of hard rock, a band of bad boys has emerged with a sound that was different from the mass. They threw us: "Welcome to the jungle!", to use the first title of Appetite For Destruction. The first radio hit with an unforgettable guitar riff, "Sweet Child O' Mine", which was presented to radios in a shortened version compared to the original album, allowed the band to reach a wide audience. Yet the attitude of the guys had nothing really enviable and it was a pretty bad example for youth, since drugs and alcohol were freely used within the band. This is also one of the reasons why the band, led by singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash, released only two real albums after that and disbanded (most members are now part of Velvet Revolver without Axl). But back to Appetite For Destruction which is a perfect hard rock album containing 12 tracks totaling 54 minutes. The songs are linked together beautifully and each one seems better than the previous one. Rock ‘n’ roll is king and few albums since that time have managed to present a rock sound both as raw and perfect. The style has lost vigor in the 90s with the advent of grunge that has transformed the way of playing for several musicians. But Appetite For Destruction remains the great hard rock album that is the benchmark in the genre. A must! (September 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

U2 - The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition)

U2 - The Joshua Tree (2007 Re-issue)

The Joshua Tree is the album that came to achieve U2's fame worldwide with favorites such as "I Still Haven’t Found What I'm Looking For" and "With or Without You". My favorite one still remains "Where the Streets Have No Name" that we have rediscovered during ceremonies to help the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to these mega hits, one cannot ignore songs like "Bullet the Blue Sky" and "In God's Country". In fact, the whole of The Joshua Tree contains no weaknesses and lesser known tracks are equally effective. It was only natural that it is the first album to be reissued, and especially, the 20th anniversary of its original release provided an excellent reason. We thus find two remastered versions of this album. The first one includes a bonus CD with nothing less than 14 rarities recorded at the time of The Joshua Tree. There are 7 B-sides of the 3 singles released including "Sweetest Thing" which became successful years later in a re-recorded version for the greatest hits collection The Best of 1980-1990. There are also single versions of "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "Silver and Gold (Sun City)" in the version from the album Sun City - Artists United Against Apartheid and performed by Bono with Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Steve Jordan. The 5 remaining tracks were recorded during the sessions for The Joshua Tree, but have not been selected for the album, even though most of them are of premium quality. Some recordings are incomplete and are closer to a demo version, but this is what makes their charm. The 2nd version offered to us contains a more detailed book with biographical notes by Bill Flanagan and unpublished photos by Anton Corbijn. Is also added to the 2 CDs a DVD containing an 18-song concert recorded in Paris in July 1987, a documentary about their American tour, an alternative version of "With or Without You" and an original music video for "Red Hill Mining Town". This version with DVD is much more expensive, but will satisfy the most loyal fans of the band. These new editions of this classic U2 album are perfectly honoring the original one. (March 2008) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1985:

 

 Phil Collins – No Jacket Required (Remastered Version) (2 CD)

Phil CollinsNo Jacket Required (Remastered Version) (2 CD)

In 1985, Genesis drummer reached peaks in solo with his most popular album in career, No Jacket Required, winner of a Grammy for Album of the Year. It was including huge hits that are often considered anthems of the 1980s: "Sussudio", the ballad "One More Night", "Don’t Lose My Number" and "Take Me Home". More than 30 years later, here is a reissue of the album, remastered and with a bonus second CD. On the CD entitled Extra Large Jacket Required, one can discover 10 live tracks, most of them taken from the album, but also the hit "Easy Lover" with Philip Bailey. The CD ends with three demo versions of "Only You Know and I Know", "One More Night" and "Take Me Home". If his first album, Face Value, is considered by many to be his masterpiece, No Jacket Required was certainly the most important album of the career of Phil Collins, to the point he could never get such success thereafter. No Jacket Required represents the best of the 1980s pop rock. Note that most of Phil Collins albums were reissued in recent months with a second bonus CD, including Face Value, Hello I Must Be Going, Both Sides and Testify. (May 2016)

Music Videos: « Sussudio » - « One More Night » - « Don’t Lose My Number » - « Take Me Home »

Atlantic / Rhino / Warner

½

   

 

1984:

 

 Bryan Adams – Reckless (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2 CD)

Bryan AdamsReckless (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2 CD)

For the 30th anniversary of the excellent album Reckless by Bryan Adams, it was reissued in its original version, with the famous hits "Run to You", "Heaven", "Somebody", "It's Only Love" (a duet with Tina Turner) and the classic "Summer of '69". But it is the deluxe version of 2 CDs that is the most interesting. We can find 7 bonus songs from the album recording sessions, including the title track. The second CD offers an April 1985 concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London for BBC Radio 1. Other versions of the album are also available: a version with audio Blu-ray, a version of two LPs and the ultimate version of 2 CDs + DVD + audio Blu-ray. Here is a piece of anthology for any fan of Bryan Adams who grew up to the sound of his music in the 1980s. (December 2014)

Music Video: « Summer of ‘69 »

A&M / Universal

½

 Tina Turner – Private Dancer (30th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)

Tina TurnerPrivate Dancer (30th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)

In 1984, Tina Turner did one of the greatest comebacks in the history of pop music after experiencing success a few decades earlier in duet with her husband Ike. Private Dancer is one of the most popular albums of the year and her greatest hits are found on it: "What's Love Got To Do With It", "Better Be Good To Me" and the title track, in addition to her version of The Beatles’ "Help". This 30th anniversary edition includes a second CD containing 15 tracks. This is largely remix songs and rare or unreleased recordings. We can also hear "Ball of Confusion" with B.E.F. released in 1982, as well as the successful "We Don’t Need Another Hero" from the movie Thunderdome and "It's Only Love", a duet with Bryan Adams. For pop rock at its best and a ton of memories, this new edition of Private Dancer is a must. (November 2015)

Parlophone / Warner

 

 

1982:

 

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Michael Jackson - Thriller

After having produced a successful album with Off the Wall in 1979, Michael Jackson was determined to reach the top three years later with Thriller. He has fully achieved his goal by selling over 45 million copies of this album. Thriller thus became the biggest selling album in history and would be recognized by the Guinness Book of records that would encrypt these sales to 65 million. It is nothing less than 7 of the 9 songs of the album that were released as singles to become successful. The three most important of them inspired revolutionary music videos, real short movies that have changed the way to produce a music video for future generations. This is "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and the title track. Among the other hits, we must also consider the exceptional collaboration of Paul McCartney (the former Beatle) for "The Girl Is Mine", which would lead to a participation of Jackson to the next album of McCartney. Thriller has no weak moment while the tracks are linked together beautifully alternating light pop and a bit more pop rock. Jackson was certainly at the top of his creativity at that time and this album was going to crown him as the King of Pop. In February 2008, to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the album, a new edition was issued, Thriller 25 with 2 choices of front covers, classic and zombie. This new version of the album includes, in addition to the remastered version of the original 9 tracks of the record, 5 songs re-recorded with artists of the 2000s: will.i.am (2), Akon, Fergie and Kanye West. They are all particularly good, the least effective being "Billie Jean" with Kanye West which is frankly boring. There is also as a bonus a never-released song from the album recording sessions, "For All Time". A DVD is also included which contains the complete music videos of "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller", as well as his performance of "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25th anniversary concert, the label on which Michael recorded his first albums with his brothers. Thriller 25 is doing full justice to this classic album in the history of music. It is particularly interesting as the original edition of the album is no longer available. A must! Visit the musicography about Michael Jackson here: http://www.musicomania.ca/michaeljackson. (May 2008) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1980:

 

AC/DC - Back In Black

AC/DC - Back In Black

After the band's best album to date in Highway To Hell and the death of their lead singer, Bon Scott, it could have very well be the end of AC/DC in 1980. However, the group worked hard, hired the "screamer" singer Brian Johnson and quickly released the album that was going to rank among the legends of rock, Back In Black. The band had already begun in recent years to distance over its blues influences and the style of AC/DC was really going to be immortalized on the album. They would constantly try later to copy themselves by repeating a new Back In Black, but with not much success. The bell that announces "Hells Bells", the first song of the album, also announced the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for AC/DC. Then, try to find weaknesses on this album and you'll have a hard time. With tracks like "Shoot To Thrill", "Givin the Dog a Bone", the mega-hit "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the title track, moments of respite will be rare. If you do not know AC/DC, you only need to start with 2 albums: Back In Black and the 2-CD version of Live that will demonstrate their energy in concert. Please note that Back In Black was digitally remastered and re-issued in 2003, which will give you a refreshed version of this classic. As with all the other re-issues of AC/DC’s albums, the CD gives you access to new content on the band's website. It includes an interview with Brian Johnson, three music videos and more... (November 2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1979:

 

 Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (2015 Remaster)

Fleetwood MacTusk (2015 Remaster)

After the classic Rumours in 1977, Fleetwood Mac returned two years later with the ambitious project of a 20-track double album. The group was then completely defeated and the result was an album that may appear inconsistent at first, but rather proves to be great when we pay attention to it. You obviously have to put it in context, in the wake of the megahit of Rumours. Not only Tusk has not been as successful, but it was literally a flop, with only two songs that reached the top 10 of the charts including the excellent "Sara" from Stevie Nicks. On Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham takes control of writing, leaving little to Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie. The result is often an intimate album with long introspective ballads. The few times a little more rock 'n' roll come only to change the general atmosphere. Ultimately, the stage was set for a huge commercial failure, but the quality of the compositions offered here impresses after a few listens. The atmosphere of the CD is exciting and takes possession of our whole body at some point. Obviously, this is not very surprising that fans of Rumours were not convinced by Tusk as it is a completely different album that was done for a whole new audience. Tusk is certainly an ambitious plan, but it is extremely rewarding and it is one of the best releases of 1979. (December 2015)

Music Video: « Sara »

Warner

     

 

1977:

 

Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols

Although the punk movement started in the United States, it is the appearance of the Sex Pistols in London that really triggered the whole wave now known as "1977 punk". The Sex Pistols are considered by many as one of the few real punk bands in history, not only because of their music, but also by their attitude. What is special with the legendary band, it’s that they offered us only one studio album, but what an album! Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols is the perfect example for any band wanting to record a punk rock album. Raging rhythms, provocative lyrics and terribly effective 3-minute songs make this one album an incredible collection of hits. Whether the opening song, "Holidays In The Sun", or "Problems", "God Save The Queen", "Anarchy In The UK" and "Pretty Vacant", they were all covered, copied and banned dozens of times in the past 30 years. The album gives us no break and offers us the most intense 38 minutes of our lives. The Sex Pistols therefore presented a key album in the rock world. To learn more about the band, visit our musicography: www.musicomania.ca/sexpistols. (2005) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1976:

 

 Led Zeppelin – Presence (2015 Remastered Version)

Led Zeppelin Presence (2015 Remastered Version)

Jimmy Page pursues his work of remastering of the Led Zeppelin albums with Presence originally issued in 1976. Carried by the hit "Nobody's Fault But Mine", the album contains high quality songs. Otherwise, the record could not match in any way their first six records. Page also remastered the last two albums from the band: In Through the Out Door (1979) and the album of rarities Coda (1982). (November 2015)

Atlantic / Warner

½

   

 

1975:

 

 Jethro Tull – Minstrel in the Gallery: 40th Anniversary Edition

Jethro TullMinstrel in the Gallery: 40th Anniversary Edition

After having released two progressive rock classics in 1971 and 1972 with Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, the British band Jethro Tull has experienced a slight decline of creativity, the time of two albums. But, it was to better come back in 1975 with Minstrel in the Gallery, recorded in Monaco. Forty years later, here is a re-issue of the original album newly remixed by Steven Wilson. It was certainly one of their most creative and elaborate albums, most of all thanks to the song in 5 parts totaling 17 minutes "Baker St. Muse". Despite many British folk elements, the album remains progressive rock with a good deal of hard rock. This new edition offers as bonus a very detailed 23-page booklet that tells in detail the story of the album. Even if we do not find any additional songs compared to the original, this 40th anniversary edition of Minstrel in the Gallery may be quite exciting for the biggest fans of the band. (June 2015)

Chrysalis / Warner

   

 Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti: 40th Anniversary Edition (3 CD)

Led ZeppelinPhysical Graffiti: 40th Anniversary Edition (3 CD)

Forty years after its original release, the sixth album by Led Zeppelin, a double album, is reissued and is offered to us again. It has been digitally remastered by Jimmy Page himself. We can rediscover with great pleasure the classics "The Rover", "Trampled Under Foot", "Kashmir", "Down by the Seaside", "Boogie With Stu", and so on. Physical Graffiti is considered by many as one of the most important double albums in rock history, despite some disparities unworthy of their previous material. In addition to the remastered original album on two CDs, one can hear a third CD with 7 songs including unfinished versions, demos and alternative versions of the original record tracks. (June 2015)

Atlantic / Warner

   

Queen - A Night At The Opera

Queen - A Night At The Opera

During their career, Queen gave us good and less good albums. But, one is largely out of the lot: A Night At The Opera. Released in 1975, the album reuses the hard rock elements, or even metal, of Sheer Heart Attack, but bringing it in a real rock opera. The band uses many instruments and specific arrangements to offer us an extraordinary music richness. Queen remains metal on "Death On Two Legs" and "Sweet Lady", but they also offer the simple pop music hit "You're My Best Friend", perhaps their most beautiful love song, composed by John Deacon. Brian May is much more mystique on the almost country "'39" and the progressive with psychedelic accents "The Prophet's Song". The ballad by Freddie Mercury "Love of My Life" remained for many years a favorite on stage. Finally, the group presents music hall with "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" and "Seaside Rendezvous". All this blend of creativity finally gathers in the final piece, "Bohemian Rhapsody", the most popular song of all the band's career. In 2005, a new edition of the album with a DVD was issued. The DVD contains a stunning 5.1 surround sound, which further improves the quality of the album. In fact, it is totally unnecessary to listen to the stereo version with such a version in hand. Visual accompanies each song, whether the original video, live footage or any other footage. It is also possible to hear comments by the band members. This version is perfect to obtain a great music experience. To learn more about Queen, visit the musicography: www.musicomania.ca/queen. (December 2007) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1974:

 

 Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile: 40th Anniversary Edition (2 CD)

Bachman-Turner OverdriveNot Fragile: 40th Anniversary Edition (2 CD)

Forty years ago, the Winnipeg band had a third album that would transform its career. Not only Not Fragile had most of their biggest hits in career ("Roll on Down the Highway", "You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet", etc.), but it offered also the best collection of songs with 9 powerful tracks in perfect cohesion. Moreover, the set is beautifully interpreted, especially by Randy Bachman who is at the top on guitar. To mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the album, it is now reissued with a second bonus CD containing 8 songs recorded live. Here is a must to rediscover! (June 2014)

Universal

½

 Ten Years After – Positive Vibrations (2 CD)

Ten Years AfterPositive Vibrations (2 CD) (2014 re-issue)

Ten Years After is a British blues rock band that initially existed between 1967 and 1974 before making a comeback in the late 1980s. Positive Vibrations is the last album released by the group in its first period and it is back on the market 40 years later. For the occasion, a second CD is included with never released tracks. There are live recordings in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Atlanta, plus a radio version of the title track. Unfortunately, Positive Vibrations was probably the worst album of the band musically with a few moments of interest. This reissue is therefore primarily intended for the most ardent fans of the band and nostalgic of that era. Fortunately, the bonus CD adds some interesting moments to the frankly boring original album. (June 2014)

Chrysalis / Warner

½

 

1973:

 

 Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (3 CD)

Elton JohnGoodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (3 CD)

Released in 1973, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is undoubtedly the masterpiece in the career of Elton John. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the album is reissued in a remastered version with 2 additional CDs. One contains new versions of some songs by contemporary artists such as Ed Sheeran, Miguel, Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry, Fall Out Boy, Zac Brown Band, and others. The last CD has meanwhile live recordings from Hammersmith Odeon in December 1973. Despite these interesting additions, the centerpiece remains the 17-track album including the classic hits "Candle in the Wind", "Bennie and the Jets", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", the title track and the excellent 11-minute introduction "Funeral for a Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)". A version of 4 CDs with a DVD and a book is also available. (May 2014)

Mercury / Universal

½

 

1972:

 

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

In 1972, David Bowie decided to create an androgynous character he called Ziggy Stardust. He introduced the concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, a masterpiece out of its time that would revolutionize the genre and definitely put Bowie on the map. The character would again appear one year later on Aladdin Sane before he made him disappear on stage at the end of the next tour. The album commonly called Ziggy Stardust forms an inseparable whole of 11 tracks. Each song has indeed its importance and its role to play on the record, from "Five Years" to "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" through "Moonage Dream", "Starman", "Lady Stardust", the rock ‘n’ roll "Suffragette City" and the hit title-track. We can say that David Bowie has explored many genres during his career, often before they become fashionable, but the glam rock of the Ziggy Stardust era was likely to be his most creative and most prominent period (although some fans prefer the Berlin trilogy in the late 70s in collaboration with Brian Eno). In my opinion, Ziggy Stardust remains the ultimate Bowie, the one that started it all, but also the one which has put the expectations higher on him for the rest of his career, often making him unpopular among the critics despite his overflowing creativity and forward thinking. For more information about David Bowie, you can visit his musicography: www.musicomania.ca/davidbowie. (April 2008) (see also Historical Albums)

 

1971:

 

 Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971) (2014 Remastered Version)

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV (2014 Remastered Version)

Two years after their debut in 1969, the English quartet already issued their fourth album simply titled Led Zeppelin IV. Slightly less blues than the previous ones, it would set the hard rock sound of the 1970s, with of course the famous "Rock and Roll", but also "Black Dog" and "When the Levee Breaks". The album contained another monumental piece in the repertoire of Led Zeppelin, the epic "Stairway To Heaven". The masterpiece of 8 minutes is not only the most famous song of the band, but also one of the most played because of its remarkable guitar riffs and solos. The album contains 8 classic tracks, making it one of the greatest records of all time. It is now reissued in a version remastered and produced by Jimmy Page, as it is also the case for Houses of the Holy originally released in 1973. Other versions are also available for Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy. (December 2014) (see also Historical Albums)

Atlantic / Warner

 

1970:

 

Van Morrison – Moondance (Expanded Edition) (2 CD)

Van MorrisonMoondance (Expanded Edition) (2 CD) (2013 Re-issue)

In 1970, Van Morrison was in top shape and showed us his best album in career and the most popular with Moondance, two years after the great Astral Weeks. 43 years later, we are offered an extended version of the album, including a very detailed booklet. In addition to the original 10-song album, there is a second CD including 10 alternative versions and a track never released before, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out". Here is the perfect opportunity to immerse in one of the finest folk rock music in history. (December 2013)

Warner

 

1969:

 

Fleetwood Mac – Then Play On (Deluxe Edition)

Fleetwood MacThen Play On (Deluxe Edition) (2013 Re-issue)

Fleetwood Mac's career spans 45 years and is divided into several eras. Well before Rumours became one of the best-selling albums in history in 1977, the band already recorded albums of high artistic quality in a blues style. This was the case for their 1968 eponymous album, for English Rose in 1969, and also for Then Play On, in the autumn of the same year. It is now available in a new version including 4 bonus tracks and a detailed booklet. Note that Rumours was also revived during the past year in a variety of versions to celebrate its 35th anniversary. (December 2013)

Reprise / Rhino / Warner

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