The argument will forever rage, but Memphis, Tennessee, is as much the fountainhead of rock ’n’ roll as is Cleveland, Ohio. Whilst the north had Alan Freed as its turntable champion, the south was blessed with the madcap deejay, Dewey Phillips. Chances are, ole Dewey would have played most of the 75 titles that go to make up Raunchy Sugar on his Red Hot and Blue show that aired over WHBQ in Memphis.During the 1950s the city was alive with labels, record hops, musicians and the general chaos that goes hand in hand with the big beat. The geographical lie of the land helped a great deal, because the city was central to so many rural areas that harboured musical talent and style. Carl Perkins and Carl Mann gravitated to the area from Jackson, Tennessee, Billy Riley and Conway Twitty did the same from Arkansas, and Elvis Presley hit the trail from Mississippi in order to soak up some of that unique Shelby County action. Outside of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, the labels included such names as Hi, Cover, Fernwood, Meteor, Vaden Moon and Satellite.
Say what you want about the Cult, a band who will certainly go down as one of the most schizophrenic in rock history, but singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy could sure write a great tune. Just glance at a few titles included on the greatest-hits collection Pure Cult: The Singles 1984-1995: "Edie (Ciao Baby)," "Love Removal Machine," "She Sells Sanctuary," "Wild Flower," "Fire Woman," "Rain," "Lil' Devil" – you get the picture. Spread haphazardly across the disc (rather than in chronological order), each track's uniqueness is even more evident, further showcasing the Cult's fearless creativity. Early songs such as "Spiritwalker" and "Resurrection Joe" will surprise most fans with their class and maturity, while later cuts like "Wild Hearted Son," "Heart of Soul," and "Coming Down" (from their disappointing latter-day albums) are given new life when viewed on their own merits.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.
Although admittedly a posthumous release, I was very surprised at the rather dismissive tenor of many of the reviews of this album to date. Hopefully this record will be reappraised soon as being a release worthy of anyone's consideration as I feel it does enhance an already rich legacy left behind by this very fine and innovative band. (So what if Charisma wanted to ride the slipstream of the lucrative ELP juggernaut?)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Focus has always been a band with sense of humor, not only for the strange sounds and yodeling emitted by Thijs Van Leer but also for the jokes they made of sacred cows.
For example Hamburger Concerto is a play of words with Brandenburg Concerto by Johan Sebastian Bach (Not easy to find a bigger or more sacred cow anywhere), they work with the obvious Baroque influence in a delightful way just to make a Concert to.."the hamburger", something that only few and brave genius as Thijs Van Leer would ever dare to do.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
In 1974, I read a very good review in a local magazine of which six pages or so a week were dedicated to rock music (merci Télémoustique et Piero). The reviewer was so impressed and his review was so exhuberant about this record that I went to purchase it without knowing the band. What a wonderful surprise I got!