They called it The Paisley Underground. A 1980s, Southern California sound that mixed pure-pop sensibilities with psychedelic overtones, the term was coined by Michael Quercio, leader of one of that scene s biggest bands, The Three O Clock. The Three O Clock eventually signed to I.R.S. Records and even made an LP for Prince s Paisley Park imprint, but it is their early material that is not only adored, but which has never been properly compiled and re-introduced. Until now. The Hidden World Revealed is a 20-track collection from the years 1981-1986. In addition to hits from their tenure on Frontier Records like Jet Fighter and With A Cantaloupe Girlfriend, the CD features rare singles, demos and alternate takes/mixes. It helps tell the story of where the band started (as The Salvation Army) and what they would achieve recording for major labels and opening for bands like R.E.M. on national tours. It s quite a trip.
Originally released back in 2006 as Time To Take A Stand, Moonstone Project's re-named, re-packaged, and re-released Hidden In Time comes complete with three extra tracks. The re-packaging is excellent with superbly gothic artwork but it is the list of guest artists that really catches the eye. Hidden In Time is a classy, blues-tinged hard rock album that will delight fans of timeless, classic rock music.
The qualities of a vocal genius don't always become clear when she's singing classic material. Often as not, her abilities to both personalize and transcend a lifeless song with a stellar performance reveal the character behind the singer. Both Billie Holiday and Otis Redding excelled no matter what they were recording, whether it was a timeless standard or a studio throwaway.
Brenda Russell's commercial breakthrough with the Top Ten hit "Piano in the Dark" in 1988 may have hurt her career as much as it helped, since it set up sales expectations the jazz-pop vocalist was not prepared to meet, and five years later, when Soul Talkin' failed to find a big enough audience, she lost her major-label recording contract. Seven years on, Russell is back on a major label, albeit through Hidden Beach Recordings' manufacturing and distribution deal with Epic Records, a division of Sony Music. But she remains a refined artist unlikely to appeal to a mass audience.