Stained Class ($5 Blowout Price!)

Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks.

"Easily one of the most important heavy metal albums ever released, Stained Class marks the peak of Judas Priest's influence, setting the sonic template for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal more than any other single recording. This is the point where Priest put it all together, embracing their identity as the heaviest band on the planet and taking the genre to new heights of power, speed, musicality, and malevolence. Not until Painkiller would the band again be this single-minded in its focus on pure heavy metal. Their blues-rock roots have been virtually obliterated; largely gone, too, are the softer textures and gothic ballads of albums past. The lone exception is the morbid masterpiece "Beyond the Realms of Death," on which the band finally finds a way to integrate the depressive balladry of songs like "Epitaph" and "Last Rose of Summer" into their metal side. Starting out with quiet, mournful verses, the song's chorus is ripped open by a blazing guitar riff as Rob Halford shrieks about leaving the world behind, a dramatic climax that sounds like a definite blueprint for Metallica's "Fade to Black." Yet it wasn't this song that inspired the ridiculous 1989-1990 court case involving the suicide pact of two Nevada teenagers; that honor goes to the Spooky Tooth cover "Better by You, Better Than Me" (penned by none other than the "Dream Weaver" himself, Gary Wright), on which the band allegedly embedded the subliminal backwards-recorded message "Do it." Astounding implausibility aside (as the band pointed out, why encourage the suicides of fans who spend money?), it isn't hard to see why Stained Class might invite such hysterical projections. On balance, it's the darkest lyrical work of the band's career, thematically obsessed with death, violence, and conquest. That's not to say it's always approving. Sure, there are battle cries like "White Heat, Red Hot," horrific nightmares like "Saints in Hell," and elements of the fantastic in the alien monsters of "Invader" and stone classic opener "Exciter." But the band stays philosophical just as often as not. The twisting, turning title track adopts the biblical view of man as a hopeless, fallen creature preyed upon by his baser instincts; "Savage" foreshadows Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" in depicting violent colonizers as the real savages; and closer "Heroes End" laments the many legends born from untimely deaths. So in the end, what really cements the celebrated morbidity of Stained Class is the sinister atmosphere created by the music itself. Never before had heavy metal sounded so viciously aggressive, and never before had that been combined with such impeccable chops. Seemingly at will, Tipton and Downing spit out brilliant riffs that cut with knife-like precision, usually several per song. This means that there's a lot to take in on Stained Class, but if there's nothing here as immediate as the band's later hits, there's also a tremendous amount that reveals itself only with repeated listens. While the album's overall complexity is unrivalled in the band's catalog, the songs still pack an enormous visceral impact; the tempos have often been jacked up to punk-level speed, and unlike albums past, there's no respite from the all-out adrenaline rush. Heavy metal had always dealt in extremes -- both sonically and emotionally -- but here was a fresh, vital new way to go about it. It's impossible to overstate the impact that Stained Class had on virtually all of the heavy metal that followed it, from the NWOBHM through thrash and speed metal onward, and it remains Judas Priest's greatest achievement." - All Music Guide

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  • "Let’s welcome a new and extremely promising progressive rock act from Israel whose songs stand for a successful balancing act between traditional elements and the future of the genre. The band is called Ephrat, has found renowned supporters in Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), who mixed their debut album No One´s Words, and guest vocalists Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation) and Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos), and delivers a colourful mix of European influences and the atmospheric tone sequences of the Middle East - the benchmark data of a new group could hardly be more promising.Mastermind, guitarist, flutist, keyboardist and sole composer of the quartet is Omer Ephrat, who describes his creative visions as follows: “It’s sophisticated progressive music that’s driven by a rock’n’roll feel. But I really think that my music sometimes slips from those definitions and creates a new entity. The main influences range from the progressive rock groups of the Seventies, such as Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and King Crimson to newer metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and many more.” In addition, there are cross-references to the band’s native country. “The Mediterranean and ethnic characters that this country holds are alive and well in my music, whether I like it or not,” says Omer Ephrat. “I think the contrast of a European country mixed with an ethnic one – that’s the way I see Israel – is exactly what’s happening on this album. It’s not a bad thing, it’s one of the things that make the music original and special.” Alongside Omer Ephrat, the band consists of Gili Rosenberg, vocalist Lior Seker and drummer Tomer Z, whom experts of the genre know from his collaboration with Blackfield. Then there are two high-carat guests who add additional specks of colour to this diverse album. The most renowned of them is Daniel Gildenlöw, boss and chief visionary of Swedish elite prog rock act, Pain Of Salvation, who recorded the lead vocals of the almost 10-minute ‘The Sum Of Damage Done’. “Before the first note was composed for this album, I knew I wanted Daniel to be on it,” Omer Ephrat confesses. “Apart from being a very talented musician and gifted vocalist, I think that he’s something very unique in the progressive genre and to me symbolizes the endless possibilities of the progressive genre to evolve. It was great working with him, and I think he adds a new aspect to the album. He did a great job writing the lyrics for his song, and of course recording the vocals.”By no means less impressive is Petronella Nettermalm’s melancholy voice on ‘Haze’, which lends an interesting Björk/Portisheadesque flair to the track: “This match was initially suggested by Steven Wilson, who suggested that I should listen to her band Paatos and consider adding her to the project. So I did, and it was love at first listen. She has a unique voice and feel that I just had to have on this album. After hearing her voice, I wrote ‘Haze’ in less than five minutes, inspired by the collaboration that could be. Our collaboration was so successful that Petronella added her voice to a second song, ‘Real’, along with the main vocalist, Lior Seker.”The cherry on this cake consisting of haunting tracks is the warm, transparent mix courtesy of Steven Wilson, whom Omer Ephrat contacted for the first time by e-mail two years ago. “Not long after, he got back to me and was very excited about what he had heard, wanting to meet me in Tel-Aviv. Steven offered to mix and master the album. His mix makes the album what it is. He understands music and knows how to handle it to get it where it belongs.”"
    $8.00
  • At War With Self - sounds more like a psychological diagnosis than a band! This new group is an instrumental power prog trio leaping onto the progressive scene. The project is the brainchild of guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Glenn Snelwar. Torn Between Dimensions, the band's debut recording, features Snelwar on guitar, mandolin, and keyboards; Michael Manring on fretless bass and e-bow; and Fates Warning's Mark Zonder on drums and percussion. Zonders solidly tasty drumming firmly anchors the trio along with the melodically propulsive bass work of Manring, all wonderfully adorned by Snelwars fierce playing. The band serves up intense, emotional pieces in a wide variety of musical styles. Snelwars intention is to open doors to listeners who may be unfamiliar with progressive rock, classical guitar or metal. At War With Self have an equal passion for such diverse types of music as progressive and metal bands like King Crimson, Voivod and Pink Floyd; classical composers such as Bartok and Villa Lobos; as well as bluegrass and jazz. Torn Between Dimensions takes these influences and combines them into something undeniably progressive and strikingly original. The end result is a dense wall of sound, with different textures and feels within each number, one song flowing seamlessly into the next.Guitarist Glenn Snelwar is perhaps best known for his contributions to Gordian Knots eponymous debut, a project led by Chapman Stick player Sean Malone that featured guest performances by Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Sean Reinert (Cynic) & John Myung (Dream Theater). Snelwar helped co-write three of the songs for Gordian Knot, as well as contributing guitar work. Since his involvement with Gordian Knot, Snelwar has been incorporating mandolin, keyboard and string section programming into a foundation of classical, steel string and electric guitar arrangements to great effect. Michael Manring is a world-renowned, Grammy-nominated bassist who has appeared on over 100 studio projects, including recording and performing with Michael Hedges and Attention Deficit Disorder (with former Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander). Michaels fretless bass parts play a vital role on Torn Between Dimensions, melodic but never overwhelming. For over 15 years, Mark Zonder occupied the drum stool for progressive metal legends Fates Warning. As Zonders fans would expect, he continues to push new boundaries on Torn Between Dimensions. Marks playing on the disc covers a lot of territory - from double bass drumming and odd time signatures, to jazz and Middle Eastern flavors. Snelwar describes Torn Between Dimensions as a concept album, but not in the strict sense of the word. I wanted to create a collection of songs where each would stand on its own, but exist as part of a greater whole. I strived to create something that would impact the listener, and incorporate many stylistic influences. Torn Between Dimensions is a tour de force of powerful, fluid prog rock that should appeal to progheads and rock fanatics alike! Torn Between Dimensions is housed in a digipak and features stunning artwork from noted surrealist Travis Smith.
    $5.00
  • This new double CD concept album carries on guitarist Dussan Petrossi's Malmsteen worship. Dionysus vocalist Olaf Hayer fronts this neoclassical assault. Make no mistake and know what you are buying here. This is symphonic power metal that fits exactly into the mold of early Yngvie Malmsteen. Petrossi is a more than capable guitarist and he seems to revel in hero worship. Luckily he pulls it off with flying colors. This limited edition comes with a slipcase, 2 bonus tracks, a videoclip, interview, poster, sticker and wallpaper. Heartily recommended to neoclassically inclined.
    $17.00
  • "I can't wait. I should have reviewed other albums before this but it's the first thing that I listen from this artist and I wasn't expecting anything like this. Symphonic orchestral arrangements on melodic bases and a concept behind. I'm not expert in William Blake's poetry but this album has made me curious.The introduction "William" is a symphonic piece of beauty with a guitar of the "not a misplaced note" kind, like Andy Latimer is used to do, some "mute" vocals and a very nice melody. A stunning surprise."Angel Of The Revelation" starts with electronics and piano, then vocals and a proper song starts. The high pitched voice of Sophya joined in a choir by whom? Maybe Sonja Kristina who features in the guests? The guests list is another thing to check. This is a progressive track as I think people usually intends "progressive": sung parts alternated with instrumentals, structured as a suite with different movements and recurring themes. And all in 4 minutes and half."Satan" has an obsessive rhythm and has the theathrical flavor of a rock opera. The electronics behind have a vintage sound but is remarkable the dialogue between guitar and piano before the last sung part and the coda. Another great song."Love Of Hecate" Is a slow waltz. It's folky and theathrical in the same time, with excellent vocals again. The signature changes in the chorus. It's still a 3/4 (almost) but the tempo is accelerated. Vocals like in Mozart's magic flute are replaced by a cymbal, then piano and vocals. Another very complex and "circular" song.Percussive piano and bass with water sounds to start "La Porta Dell'Inferno". This is a little mistake: it's taken from Dante's Comedy, but the door should lead to the "anti-inferno". The first lyrics are taken from Dante, then the man talking leaves the Dante's book to give a different view of the hell's entrance. "Here nothing grows because nothing dies". Another great song with the music perfectly fitting with the concept. The violins support the whole track, choirs, a stupendous coda... Great.After a track like the previous one staying on the same level is very difficult, so the style changes totally. "The Number" is a rock song. Of course the number is 666. It starts hard rock, but with no relations with Iron Maiden, and the rock screamed part is alternated to more quiet and symphonic interludes. The organ is excellent, neither Emerson nor Wakeman, the sound reminds me more to Vitalij Kuprij (Artension)."Just" is opened by percussion, piano and cello. The theme recalls "La Porta Dell'Inferno" but the vocals take a different direction. The song's intro, before the male singing, makes me think to the Russian Iamthemorning, mainly because of the instruments used. However, after 2 minutes the song changes drastically. The impression is still of a rock opera. Remove the metal element from Ayreon and add more symphonics to have an idea. The vocals here are more operatic. Not enough to think to Zeuhl, but enough to enhance the track. Great guitar solo in a Van Halen style which slows down and closes Floydian before the last sung reprise."Cerberus" is the three-headed infernal dog. Keyboard and strings introduce the song which reprises the chords of the main theme. It's on this song that I'm almost sure Sonja Kristina is singing. I don't know it for sure because I have received a download link from Blackwidow records and I haven't seen the notes on the CD. This is a very dark song on which the rock-opera factor is very relevant. I want to add the the most I listen to this album the most I'm surprised. It's surely one of the best albums I've listened to during all the 2013."While He's Sleeping" starts in a weird way respect to the symphonic mood of the previous tracks. It's still classically influenced but has a touch of Canterbury, especially in the melody. Not an easy track, but very enjoyable.Back to full orchestra and theatrical suggestions. "Au Matin Du Premier Jour" (At the morning of the first day) is sung in French by a man who sounds like the chansonniers of the end 50s / early 60s. French and operatic don't mean Magma, but this song has a Zeuhl flavor in the instrumental parts."Beatrice" brings us back to Dante's Comedy. To Paradise now. Her character would deserve some words but this would lead us off topic. Of course there's less darkness now. Piano and ethereal voice for a very melodic song. A Sophya's solo performance and let me add that the sequence of chords deserves a mention. There's plenty of good passages. excellent also from the composition point of view.We are now at the title track. Full orchestra and voice plus some electronics behind. It starts like a symphony and turns into rock. I don't know who's the male singer but his voice is incredible. The mood is still of a rock opera I'm finishing the words...The album is closed by a cover. "Jerusalem" has been played and recorded by the likes of Vangelis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Par Lindh Project for what I remember. Well, I must say that it's probably the best version that I've heard up to now. It's a new interpretation when the one from Par Lindh was an ELP clone.A masterpiece, amazing because unexpected. How can an artist that I've never heard before have done a thing like this? Symphonic proggers and RPI fans will surely agree with me, but there's so many stuff in this album. It will stay in my portable reader for a very long time, I think." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • "Dog & Butterfly became Heart's fourth million-selling album and placed two songs of opposing styles in the Top 40. Like their Magazine album, Dog & Butterfly peaked at number 17 on the charts, but the material from it is much stronger from every standpoint, with Anne and Nancy Wilson involving themselves to a greater extent. The light, afternoon feel of the title track peaked at number 34, while the more resounding punch of "Straight On" went all the way to number 15 as the album's first single. With keyboard player Howard Leese making his presence felt, and the vocals and guitar work sounding fuller and more focused, the band seems to be rather comfortable once again. Average bridge-and-chorus efforts like "Cook with Fire" and "High Time" aren't spectacular, but they do emit some appeal as far as filler is concerned, while "Lighter Touch" may be the best of the uncharted material. After this album, guitarist Roger Fisher left the band, but Heart didn't let up. 1980's Bebe le Strange showed an even greater improvement, peaking at number five in April of that year." - All Music GuideRemasetered version with 3 bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • "Two years ago, a virtually unknown Russian band released a debut with chamber classical orchestration, gorgeous multi-layered vocals, and the occasional modern rock touch. Very few initially noticed it, but eventually by word of mouth, it became an unexpected favorite 2012 album in progressive rock, despite the scarcity of progressive rock elements. Listeners there mainly rated on songwriting and enjoyment.Now, we have a second iamthemorning album, expanding on the elements from the first album. A confident, mature album that will likely bring rave reviews all over the place given the band is not as obscure as in 2012.The music is once again heavily influenced by classical music. Vocals and piano continue creating the foundation of the music, with orchestral instrument, drums, and modern rock sounds adding layers whenever needed. Even the modern rock sounds are used in a very classical, 'iamthemorning' way.The added complexity of the music was a risk. After all, the debut's instantly rewarding melodies and its safe, if brilliant, songwriting approach made it very difficult for many listener to honestly hate such an album. Now, we're dealing with complexity levels more to the tune of classical music and progressive rock. This is now easily categorized as progressive rock, with less direct melodies, knotty musical ideas, occasionally long songs, more in-depth instrumentation and lyricism. The risk is that I enjoyed the first listen less than the first listen of the debut. However, I cannot decide which album I prefer now. I feel like this one has a few minor flaws based on the risk-taking approach, compared to the near-perfection pop of the debut. However, there are even more 'WOW!' moments here in my opinion, some of the very best musical passages I perceive to come across.Flaws? I seem to only gripe about the slow development of their last full song, the samples in 'Howler' and the beginning of 'K.O.S' with a repetitive, awkward drum beat and one-chord guitar riff. Luckily, the latter two songs are overall highly interesting and dynamic songs otherwise, which is why I said the flaws are not severe as they involve a small fraction of two songs.Strengths? It's hard to name them all. The intermissions remain impressive. The first one has such a captivating atmosphere, I can't imagine anyone being hard-pressed to say 'nah' and stop playing the album. The fourth intermission (titled XII) almost reaches song-like status in length, starting with classical violin and continuing with mesmerizing piano. The last intermission is almost transcendental in a spiritual sense.And then you have the songs and they are so, so good. All those subtle melodies and exciting instrumentation in 'Howler', the beautiful 'To Human Misery' with a very captivating main melody yet also with a lot of subtle instrumentation. I should try not to overuse the phrase 'subtle complexity', but I think that word really describes this album. Subtle complexity is what makes this album work so well: you latch on into some obvious melodies on first listen, but then all those little details won't make you lose interest. Every instrument plays melodies, sometimes simultaneously.'Romance' and '5/4' sound a bit like more intricate version of Tori Amos music. They are whimsical, enchanting yet quite complex in instrumentation. Those little details like the muted violin melodies and brief 'shredding' electric guitar that somehow sounds mellow. The '5/4' song is mostly in 6/4 actually, but when it shifts to a 5/4 meter playing a carnival-like atmosphere, it's pure genius, even if it sounds like a horrible idea at first listen. It's an odd choice for a single. I thought it would be 'The Simple Story' which is more instantly recognizable with its melodies and the great piano line near the end. 'Crowded Corridors' is possibly their most accomplished composition to date and also their longest by far at nearly 9 minutes. It begins relatively subdued with their typical instrumentation and vocalizations, if more haunting than usual. Something else going for it is the more 'epic', dramatic moments that work incredibly well. It'd be interesting if they revisit this approach to songwriting in later albums. A particular highlight, besides the obvious piano solo in the latter half, is a slow melody at minute 3 being revisited at the very end at a faster pace.By the way, most of these songs deviate from a typical song structure to help make it more impactful and dynamic. The song 'Gerda' starts very soft and delicate but later sounds very empowering and grand: it's yet another great song. 'Os Lunatum' starts as an outstanding piano + vocal duet, both at their very best, especially during the song's main hook. Guitars later become dominant on the song's instrumental section. The song concludes with a full band sound, the progression from the very beginning being very natural.'K O S' may be marginally a less enjoyable song here because of that first minute which sounds repetitive and lacks what I like about the band. The rest is an interesting experiment as they veer towards a progressive rock / alternative rock sound without fully losing their trademark vocals, pianos, and subtle way to adding melodic layers. I love the way it ends, reprising the intro in such a way that almost redeems it. The 'Reprise of Light no Light' is another lesser favorite, developing in a slow fashion that sometimes tests my patience. I do love that it, along with the last intermission, ends with peaceful, abstract noise.In the end, they have accomplished a very difficult feat, given the high standard the set themselves with their debut. This second album is very intelligent music as well as very deep, emotional music. It touches me. In the end, despite the occasional flaw, it's a masterpiece and I anticipate it being consistently among my favorite pieces of music regardless of genre alongside their debut." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "Stanley and I had been working together for some time before we made this record. We often talked about the possibility of recording an album together and Epic agreed to let us do it. The interesting thing about this record is that it is a power trio record. Stanley and I decided right away that this record would live or die by us; that we had to be the focus of this record; not the orchestration, not the background vocals, etc. The music had to emanate from us and by us, and that would make it unique. Stanley and I decided to make a totally different record from what the record company expected. We felt we had to stretch the boundaries. I'm sure Epic thought they were getting a fusion jazz record; But Stanley had played all the Return To Forever music he cared to by this time.The largest surprise for Epic was the song we chose as our first single from the record, "Sweet Baby." In fact they fought us on this track. The R&B department said it was too white and there was nothing they could do with it. The pop department said we were black artists with a white record and that they didn't have the time to promote this record at pop radio. So Stanley and I went to an independent promotion firm (Cliff Gorov) to push this record, and in essence bypass CBS. Well, needless to say, when the record began to make some noise, CBS jumped in as if they were there all along and brought the record home.I wrote "Sweet Baby" while looking over the water one afternoon in Berkeley, California while we were already in session for the project. It was written very quickly, and I called Stanley, who was in the room next to mine, and told him to come over and listen to this little pop song. I thought he would hate it, but just the opposite happened. We went in the next day and recorded it and the rest is history. To date, it is my largest across the board hit record. I finally made the top ten pop charts, WOW!We chose John Robinson as our drummer because of his strong steady approach to rhythm. He was with Rufus and layin' it down real hard. He was perfect!!Stanley and I were constantly on the road, doing television shows, or whatever. I broke up my band during this period and everyone went their separate ways. One thing I should mention that meant so much to me during this period, was a congratulatory phone call from Quincy Jones. After we hit the top ten, Q called me just to say "a job well done" I'll never forget that gesture on his part. "Q, I'll always love ya!!"Don't ask me why we did so much singing, but we did!! We wanted to make an instrumental record with vocals as a vehicle to communicate. Besides, instrumentals were not and still are not played on top radio formats. We went after this one and were fortunate to realize our dreams. We became R&B/Jazz/Pop stars for a moment. This LP also became the vehicle for my first video. Actually, it spawned three videos. I can remember that Stanley and I were extremely upset that MTV would not play any of our videos because we were black artists. I guess they can't be accused of that now! Oh yeah, we got a Grammy Nomination, but lost. It was 1981." - George Duke
    $8.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1970 album HOME by PROCOL HARUM. Released in June 1970, the record followed on from the huge international success of the band’s debut single "A Whiter Shade of Pale” and the superb albums PROCOL HARUM, SHINE ON BRIGHTLY and A SALTY DOG.  Hailed by many fans as one of the finest albums released by the band, HOME saw the exquisite song writing of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid reach new heights on pieces such as "The Dead Man’s Dream”, the epic "Whaling Stories”, "About to Die” and more.Produced by Chris Thomas, the album captured a new line-up of the band featuring Gary Brooker (voice, piano), Chris Copping (bass guitar, organ), Robin Trower (lead guitar), and B.J. Wilson (drums).Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this Deluxe edition of "Home” has been expanded to include 11 bonus tracks (3 previously unreleased) over two CDs, including rare tracks, alternate session takes and 2 previously unreleased BBC Radio session tracks from May 1970. This expanded deluxe edition of "Home” also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Procol Harum biographer Henry Scott-Irvine."
    $19.00
  • "Miracles do happen: seven years after the announcement of their creative break, the original members of prog rock supergroup Transatlantic – Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) – got together again and recorded a new studio album titled “The Whirlwind”, which went on to be TRANSATLANTIC’s best-selling album, entering mainstream charts in the US, Germany and Netherlands. Their two seminal albums, tours and DVDs redefined prog’s artistic and commercial possibilities with a combination of modern and traditional prog, classic pop sensibilities, and mind-blowing musicianship.The “An Evening With TRANSATLANTIC Whirld Tour 2010” was the group’s largest tour, covering both sides of the Atlantic across 11 countries. With the addition of Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlow on guitar and keyboards, it was also their most musically powerful. On May 21, 2010, at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, the cameras were rolling.The upcoming Release entitled “Whirld Tour 2010: Live At Shepherd’s Bush London” will be available as a 2-DVD NTSC-version set, a 3CD-Audio Version and a 2DVD and 3CD Deluxe Edition. The concert featured the entire Whirlwind album performed exactly as on the studio recording. But that’s just the beginning. For the next two and half hours, Transatlantic performed nearly every song they’ve ever recorded, along with some surprises. The audio recorded at the show was later mixed by the band’s own Roine Stolt, ensuring a genuine presentation of the music from that night. The show doesn’t end, though, with the fading echoes of the final note. Backstage, in and around cities throughout Europe, the cameras accompanied Mike, Neal, Roine and Pete on their journey. Uncensored experiences and candid moments reveal the good, the bad, and the unexpected of life on the road. Also included is the band’s encore from the final night of their tour, a headlining spot at the UK’s High Voltage Festival. For the last song at UK’s High Voltage Festival, they performed the Genesis classic, “Return of the Giant Hogweed,” joined onstage by original Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. "
    $19.00
  • HDCD remastered edition."This 1973 release was the very last collection that the Grateful Dead authorized during their tenure with Warner Bros. in the late '60s and early '70s. However, this live disc was a sort of melancholy affair, as it centered on material featuring Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (guitar/vocals/mouth harp), who had left the band due to illness in June of the previous year. History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice) is somewhat misleading, as a follow-up never came to pass. Band historians, however, claim that this release was optimistically titled because the label had hoped to issue a series of live recordings (à la Dick's Picks) containing highlights from a variety of vintage Dead performances. Alas, with the formation of the group's own label it was not to be. The single disc includes performances from a highly touted series of shows held over two nights (February 13-14, 1970) at the Fillmore East in New York City. While most assuredly not the finest example of the Dead's formidable acoustic sets, the platter opens with a quartet of cover tunes -- many of which had been entries in Jerry Garcia (guitar/vocals) and McKernan's folky jug band repertoire prior to ultimately forming the electric, psychedelic Grateful Dead. McKernan's playful cover of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Katie Mae" is a somewhat lightweight affair. He counterbalances ad-libbed lyrics with his own very sparse solo guitar picking, which is in perfect keeping with the lonesome nature of this blues. Garcia and Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) join in on the remaining "unplugged" tracks. Both the affective and noir "Dark Hollow" and "I've Been All Around This World" reveal the command of this highly under-utilized sub-division of the Dead. Clocking in at seven-plus minutes, the album's sole original composition, "Black Peter," is masterfully executed. It ultimately bests the original Workingman's Dead (1969) version in sheer emotive realization. The two electric offerings -- a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'" and Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" -- are full-blown rave-ups allowing the entire band to weave their collective R&B-influenced psychedelia, unedited and in real time. Both tracks had become assertive vehicles for McKernan's no-nonsense R&B sensibilities. In 2001, History of the Grateful Dead, Vol. 1 (Bear's Choice) was included in the 12-disc Golden Road (1965-1973) box set. The remastered edition comes replete with a newly inked 16-page liner notes insert containing an essay from the "Bear" (aka Owsley Stanley) himself. The expanded track list yields four additional performances from the same cache of shows: the McKernan-led "Good Lovin'," "Big Boss Man," a second and equally scintillating version of "Smokestack Lightnin'," as well as an up-tempo "Sitting on Top of the World," the latter of which keeps the frenetic spirit of the reading from the Dead's self-titled debut firmly intact." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • PERHAPS THE BEST $5 CD YOU WILL EVER BUY. Superb new progressive metal project put together by noted fretless guitarist Tim Donahue. He decided to go right to the top and put together a collaboration with Dream Theater's James LaBrie. LaBrie brought monster drummer Mike Mangini into the fold. In addition to fretless guitar (you have to hear it to believe it), Donahue plays all bass and keyboard parts. This is classy, epic progressive metal done right. Highly recommended!
    $9.00
  • Excellent new sci-fi prog metal project put together by Carptree mainman and keyboardist Carl Westholm. While Westholm is probably better known for his involvement with Carptree he has also been working in the metal field for many years in bands like Abstract Algebra, Krux, and Candlemass.Westholm has assembled an interesting cast of musicians for this larger than life Ayreon-style project. First off, Mats Leven in handling vocals. Right there that is enough for me. Leif Edling, the driving force behind Candlemass plays bass and helps with lyrics. What else do you need? Various members of Carptree and others fill out the heavily symphonic sound lending an epic scope and feel. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • New art rock project from Tim Bowness (No Man) and Giancarlo Erra (Nosound). This is simmering atmospheric progressive music that will definitely appeal to the fanbase of both No Man and Nosound - as well as Porcupine Tree and David Sylvian. Very low key atmospheric music created by an amazing array of talent including: Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Robert Fripp(King Crimson), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man etc), Julianne Regan (All About Eve), Jim Matheos (OSI/Fates Warning) and Ricard Huxflux Nettermalm (Paatos). 21st Century Chillout Man!
    $6.00
  • "It started with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way. A band followed, evolving into Flying Colors: Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (guitar). Together, they create a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship, contemporary music and blistering live performances."
    $15.00