B-52’s to The Beach Boys

It turned out that the letter ‘B’ would need smaller parts; the whole package would be too large and cumbersome. So here we go.

The B-52’s first release was their eponymous and, in my opinion, best offering. A flood of good memories came flooding as I listened to this oft-played album—memories of going round and round at the roller skating rink as Rock Lobster blasted out of the speakers. I don’t know who the DJ was, but they knew how to pick good songs.

Bachman Turner Overdrive. I was 18 and had a good-paying job, and a car that I installed a cassette deck in and a frequently played cruiser album was this eponymous offering from BTO.

The other album I have from them is 4 Wheel Drive; while it is a good album, it doesn’t carry the power or the memories that cling to the first album.

Joan Baez. An iconic name in the folk music canon. I don’t have much of her music, just her self-titled album and Joan Baez Vol. 2. I respect her for her contribution to music, and these were two pleasant albums.

Caroll Baker’s 20 Country Classics is next in line. I don’t remember how I came to acquire this album. It’s not a bad album, and it’s just not that good either. She made a small splash in Canadian and western music charts and then faded away.

Long John Baldry


It Ain’t Easy. I should have good memories of this album, but they are fuzzy because I was dead drunk by the time Long John Baldry started his set and not much better by the end. I still enjoy listening to this album and kicking myself for not keeping the original copy and the signed cover that I staggered out with at the end of his show.

Baldry’s Out is a good album, but it is not the same as It Ain’t Easy. This album shows how he didn’t stay in a rut with a sound that didn’t change. He was willing to shake it up and move on with fresh material.

Long John Baldry is yet another good listen but not the same as the other two. Many roads lead to the nirvana of music, and these three show three different and enjoyable ways.

I need to be in a certain mood to listen to Bobby Bare. I vacillate between hating his music and loving every note,I don’t know why but it’s true. I was in a good mood when I heard Bobby Bare on “This I Believe” and “This is Bobby Bare.” “This I Believe” is a gospelish album, not a preachy album, and it is a decent listen as a collection of feel-good music. “This Is Bobby Bare” is a double album best of offering and a good collection of music that showcases his talent. I enjoyed both of these records.

Syd Barrett. The Madcap Laughs. This album was released the same year as Dark Side of the Moon, and that is where the comparison stops. This album sounds very similar to the early Pink Floyd albums. No surprise there, right. I hadn’t listened to this album recently, so it was a pleasant time listening. That is surprisingly good, considering how messed up he was considered by many. Roger Waters and David Gilmour contributed to this record, making it all the more interesting in that it is a Syd Barrett album, not a Pink Floyd album. Or, at the very least, not a contemporary Pink Floyd album. As I stated before, this record certainly has the heritage of early Pink Floyd releases that Syd Barrett was a driving force and a principal player.

Barrett is the next Syd album, but it doesn’t grab hold of me in the same way that The Madcap Laughs did. It is still a good album, although it has a different flavour. David Gilmour contributed to this album as well as Richard Wright. The keyboards of Richard Wright are the high point on this album for me, delicious playing.

An Introduction To Syd Barrett. This album features a series of new remasters and remixes, all overseen by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. The cover art, featuring various images relating to songs contained within the album, was designed and created by long-term Pink Floyd conceptual artist Storm Thorgerson. An Introduction To Syd Barrett was a good overview of his work, and the remixes were splendid.

The Beach Boys
I have three albums from the Beach Boys, “Wow! Great Concert, “Endless Summer” and “1962-1965.” Although I am not a massive fan of them, they can still entertain me. I was fortunate to have seen them live; they are masters of working a crowd with their repertoire.

There we go, part one of the letter B. Stay tuned for part two.

Black Rose Burning

Black Rose Burning
The Wheel
PV Recording Company

Stop whatever you are doing and listen to this album. The opening 30 seconds of the opening track, An Anthem for the Strange, should be enough to convince you that this album should be heard from start to finish.

I’m not going to give you a rundown of every track; there are twelve of them that run this album up to 48 minutes of excellent music. I will tell you that this album was appealing because I heard elements of new wave and the whole late ’70s and 80’s sensibilities. There are plenty of examples of what I am talking about. I am not going to list them; that would be a long and tedious treatise on my taste in music. Suffice to say that this album is strong in every sense of that word. The musicianship is sharp, and the lyrics and singing are consistently good. I can’t find a chink in the armour in the album. Listen for yourself; I don’t think I exaggerate when I call this a contender for standout albums of 2021.

Black Rose Burning was formed in 2018 by instrumentalist, producer and engineer George Grant, whose soulful vocal delivery, instantly recognizable voice, unique grooves and solid instrumentation are standout features of this music.

George Grant’s influences are multi-generational while maintaining an overall succinct flow and feel, spanning multiple music styles. Roughly 40 years of songwriting across many genres has helped George embellish on clever hooks, drive and the gothic-pop sensibilities of The Cult’s early years.

“This release was a labour of love after the success of my first record. I was working through and adjusting to the post covid landscape and took solace in having the time to make another proper record,” says George Grant

“Over the past four years or so, quite a few relationships that I valued were destroyed in an instant – over politics or just basic unacceptable differences. Then came Covid, and I lost a few more for reasons beyond their control. There was a lot of anger in my first record. This one is more melancholic than angry. I write about outer space a lot on both records. I find it inspirational. It’s vastness. It’s the place I’d most like to go to. Maybe the place I’d most like to escape to might be a better definition.”

The Wheel‘ was recorded in George Grant’s own studio, PV Recording Company, which has over the years hosted such artists as Emelio Zeff China (Peter Murphy), Knox Chandler (Siouxsie And The Banshees), Chibi (The Birthday Party Massacre), Nellie McKay, Julia Marcel, Paul Bakija (Reagan Youth), Ego Likeness and Voltaire (with whom Grant also played bass for ten years).

Grant has also assembled for live performances, including guitarist Frank Morin (World Inferno Friendship Society) and drummer Luis Infantas (Monster Zero).

Available on CD and digitally across the internet, including Spotify and Apple Music. The Wheel can also be ordered directly from the band via Bandcamp.

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Bandcamp https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/the-wheel

‘Anthem’ teaser https://youtu.be/Rht5MRB3o54 

‘Automatic Man’ teaser https://youtu.be/FJxh-4hP8B8 

‘No Love Lost’ teaser https://youtu.be/NI1-QTKP6FQ 

‘Solar Angels’ teaser https://youtu.be/Uw6K-n_b6Oc 

‘Black Sun Saturday’ teaser https://youtu.be/OBaGyOj_3IU 

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/5rgo6CEVqJyQzEbRUlSPYc

Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-wheel/1597809360


KÅRP

I have some alluring new music to tickle your ears. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, the captivating music of KÅRP has been dubbed as ‘death disco,’ a new genre to add to an already long list.  KÅRP has a dark love for the paranormal, outer space and the apocalyptic state of our times, which are recurring themes in their music and lyrics.

KÅRP released their debut single Therapist^2 in October 2017, and their debut album, Album 1, was released in 2019. The album was awarded the Swedish Manifest Prize in early 2020.

KÅRP‘s forthcoming triptych of EPs has the theme of the three stages of the apocalypse: Chaos, Silence and The New World Order. 

The chaos represented on the first EP features heavy, dark beats and twisted voices invoking the Berlin underground. Their new single’ It Looks Bad‘ is the first track out from the Swedish death disco ambassadors’ triptych of EP’s in 2022.

“In February 2019, we came back to Sweden from a show in LA to go on tour in Scandinavia,” the band comments. “As the pandemic came, the plans were changed. Instead, we’ve been in the studio for about two years to compose this epic series of releases on the grand theme of apocalypse.” 

‘It Looks Bad’ is about how the world is burning and how our generation has zero faith in the future. It’s about how the things close to you are all that matter when the world is going down. If anything even matters. We see deadly police brutality, wildfires, pandemics, nazis in the European parliaments, George Floyd. We’re fucked. It looks bad, to put it simple.”

“That’s why the first leg of this triptych of EP’s is pretty dark sounding. The next one will be slightly more mellow. And on the last one, we’re allowing ourselves a few major chords and some hope.”

Follow KÅRP on social media FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube) and find the band’s music on BandcampSoundCloudSpotify and Apple Music.

VONAMOR

VONAMOR presents ‘Take Your Heart,’ the lead track from their debut ‘VONAMOR’ album. Produced by Lucio Leoni, this 8-track collection will be released in February 2022 via Time To Kill Records (TTK).

‘Take Your Heart’ https://youtu.be/jmlNr0qzEZQ.

I won’t spend much time today elaborating on who Vonamor is. I will leave that until February and the album release, which I look forward to with bated breath.

Suffice to say, this track is mesmerizing and the message, well I’ll let the band tell you: “Through our darkwave music and words, we search for the question, the ambiguity, the multiform influence of a variety of demons. We feel the urgency of questioning ourselves, our fellow human beings and the reality around us,” says Giulia Bottaro.

Francesca Bottaro adds, “With VONAMOR, we turned such a feeling into a sound of female and male voices, wrapping bass-lines and electronic beats, woodwind instruments chasing and caressing you, till we make you dance and move and love with us.”

VONAMOR is made up of sisters Giulia Bottaro (voice, bass, metal flute) and Francesca Bottaro (drum station, sequencer, sax, clarinet) and vocalist Luca Guidobaldi, with Francesco Bassoli (guitars and loops) and Martino Cappelli (guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, oud, loops) joining the trio for live performances.

‘Take Your Heart’ is now available across online stores and streaming platforms, including Apple MusicTidalDeezerSpotify, etc. The full-length album will be available digitally and on CD in February 2022. It can be pre-ordered directly from Time To Kill Records

‘Take Your Heart’ https://youtu.be/jmlNr0qzEZQ

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/1Z1PVhoEKKebDJ6ZpOdwLm

Order the single https://linktr.ee/vonamor_band

Order the album https://timetokillrecords.bigcartel.com/product/vonamor

‘Never Betray Us’ https://youtu.be/Ll7nO0cXI_A

‘Fast-Forward Girl’ https://youtu.be/kJX7Uujc9E4

Italian band biography https://www.vonamor.it

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Italian press contact ~ Luca Bramanti at Nextpress ufficio stampa

Email lbramanti@gmail.com  

Tel. +393291697846

AVA VOX

Ava Vox, that’s a cool name. I like it. So, let’s break it down. Ava is a word of Scottish origin that means ‘all of’. All of something, in this case, all of vox. Vox is from Latin and means ‘voice’ specifically or sound by extension. Those definitions bring us to all of voice or sound—a full voice, which is a good descriptor of Ava Vox.

What else can we say about Ava Vox? She is an emerging artist from the Dublin, Ireland, alternative music scene. She currently lives in County Meath, and when not performing as Ava Vox, she is Elaine Hannon. In the mid-1980s, Elaine formed the gothic rock / post-punk band Seventh Veil, which had an album named Vox Animae, which seems to have morphed into the persona of Ava Vox. I like that evolution from Vox Animae to Ava Vox, to quote Abed Nadir, “Cool. Cool cool cool.”

In February 2021, Ava Vox debuted with her rendition of The Cure’s ‘Love Song,’ which she slowed down with only the accompaniment of Ray McLoughlin on piano. That is a total 180 from her last recording with Seventh Veil, which is full speed in-your-face power rock.

Ava Vox followed that with a 2-track release that included her rendition of the Soft Cell hit ‘Tainted Love’ and the classic David Bowie song ‘Life on Mars.’

Ava Vox counts numerous artists among her influences, including David Bowie, no surprise there, Patti SmithThe Cure (another one that doesn’t need elaborating), Siouxsie and the BansheesCocteau TwinsBauhausJapan and The Cult.

Crash brings you somewhere – to a place, to another dimension, another time / futuristic. The music and the words lead me to create a music video (forthcoming) about the consequences of Global warming/climate change, to our planet and the human race,” says Ava Vox

“In the music video, a White Witch Goddess (the White Witch Goddess symbolizes mother nature, who loves the earth and all its species/human race), she gives you a glimpse of the present destruction/devastation caused by Global warming/ climate change and then shows what the future could be if we don’t try to save our planet, ‘the end of the world/extinction of species/human race.” 

Crash‘ is available across online stores and streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. Ava Vox is currently completing work on a new album ‘Immortalised,’ due for release in early 2022.

‘Crash’ https://youtu.be/77cIBVR9LTg
Bandcamp https://avavoxmusic.bandcamp.com/track/crash
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/4cWrmfwWxPvO5NVwNdEmsi
Apple Music https://music.apple.com/ie/album/crash-single/1599329552
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/ava-vox/crash/s-XMdKf7YzDPq
‘Love Song’ single 
https://avavoxmusic.bandcamp.com/track/love-song
YouTube https://youtu.be/Ybf88PeptUE
‘Strange Days’ single https://avavoxmusic.bandcamp.com/album/single-strange-days

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Robin Guthrie on the Riviera

Following the October release of his ‘Mockingbird Love’ EP and the November release of his full-length album ‘Pearldiving’ (his first album in nine years) comes another unique release by legendary Scottish music sculptor Robin Guthrie – the 4-track‘Riviera’ EP, a collection completed earlier this year..

The ‘Riviera‘ EP is available on limited-edition CD and as a digital download via Soleil Après Minuit with distribution in North America via Darla and in Europe by Cargo.

Riviera‘ stands on its own as a release, apart from the album, featuring Guthrie’s ever present signature sound and atmosphere, displaying a refinement and maturity only found in the work of an artist working largely unfettered from the constraints of the music industry.

His approach to music is perhaps more akin to that of a painter or a photographer. The adept use of light and shade, melody and counter melody, the carefully and precisely arranged instrumentation, musical textures and colorings gives his music a depth and level of detail which marks a master craftsman.

“I made this collection earlier this year while taking a break from recording ‘Pearldiving‘. I found a common thread among several unfinished tunes, that curiously, they had all been written on the southern shore of some landmass or other in the northern hemisphere. I was pleasantly surprised when they all fell into place together and retained this atmosphere in my head,” says Guthrie.

Earlier, he shared, “After ‘Another Flower’, released just a few days before the untimely passing of my friend and co-conspirator Harold Budd, I felt the need to break my studio down and build it up again afresh to clear my head.”

As of December 10th, ‘Riviera‘ will be available on CD, as well as digitally on all major platforms, including Apple MusicSpotify and Bandcamp, where it can already be obtained directly from Guthrie himself.

A

To pass the time in lockdown back when Covid was a novelty, I started alphabetically going through my vinyl. However, I cheated and cherry-picked. And then I read this: https://blog.discogs.com/en/listen-to-your-record-collection-a-to-z/

So I started all over again, and I am listening to all of them this time. So here we go with some short comments on each album.

ABBA. Maybe it’s the Swedish blood coursing through my veins. I still like ABBA.

Roy Acuff. I found his gospel albums bland, but his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is a good slice of traditional country and western music.

Douglas Adams. Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Pt.1. I liked the book. I liked the movie. I enjoyed listening to it on vinyl.

Cannonball Adderley. Somethin’ Else. This album has an all-star cast. It is one of Joel’s favourite records, and after listening to it again, I have to agree with him. This recording is a good one.

Adam Ant. Friend or Foe. I was skeptical about how I would react to this album, fearing it may be one of those records that I liked when it was fresh, but it didn’t pass the test of time. That didn’t happen. I found a new appreciation for this album, not just for the hit single Goody Two Shoes, which makes an excellent ear worm. I listened to both sides twice.

Alabama. Roll-On. Cheesy 1980’s pop-country, lots of glitter but little substance. A couple of OK tracks, including “I’m Not That Way Anymore.” I’ve had two of those episodes in my life. When I became a Christian, the first and the second was when I stopped being a Christian.

Allies. Virtues. From candy-coated country to glucose gospel. This record was painful to listen to from start to finish.

Altar Boys. When You’re A Rebel and Gut Level Music, GLM has held up very well, the Rebel only so-so, but still listenable. The alternative Christian music scene had few quality alternative/punk bands to the Altar Boys are a standout.

The Alter Boys. Similar names and some overlap with their edgy music, but the Alter Boys aren’t as appealing to me at the Altar Boys.

Ambrosia. Their self-titled album is good. I’ve had Ambrosia in regular rotation since it was released in 1975. Those grooves must be a bit deeper than when they were freshly pressed. Their second album, Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled, isn’t as strong and takes the band in a different direction that I seldom travel.

Anthem. Cuttin’ Thru. They proclaim on the front cover that they are Anthem, the Rock Band! They don’t cut through much for me. They sound like they want to be another Resurrection Band or Jefferson Starship; they aren’t.

Arcade Fire. I have been listening to Arcade Fire for a long time. I think I started with Neon Bible, which came out in 2007. Funeral, their debut album came out in 2004 and still sounds fantastic. Pick any one of their albums; they are all good.

Louis Armstrong. With Earl Hines, this was a good listen, but it lacks flow and consistency. On the other hand, the Louis Armstrong Autobiography recordings have those elements and are a substantial eight sides of music. I was worried that I might overdose on Louis, but that didn’t happen. His music is strong enough and varied enough that it is an easy listen. The little vignettes that he uses for each song were lovely.

AD. Art of the State was a new direction for Kerry Livgren after he left Kansas. I don’t find them that good; they sound aged but not in a good way.

Rudy Atwood and the Revival Hour Quartet. Good harmonies and easy listening, not bad at all.

Gene Autrey. Back In The Saddle Again. This record was a bin dive treasure. It is a smooth stroll down memory lane full of good old campfire sing-a-long songs. I enjoyed this album a lot.

Audience. Lunch. This album perplexes me. Audience was a well-recognized band that toured with the biggest bands of the time, like the Rolling Stones, and their records garnered good reviews, but I don’t get it. I find the lyrical content to be weak at best. The singing of Howard Werth is not my cup of tea, and I find his voice whiny and grating when he tries to do his rock anthem growls. The instrumental work is another story. The horn section is solid.

And that brings us to the end of the A section, Amen.

No Captains, No Problem

Take one bass guitar, a drum kit, and a singer who can channel the best of what punk music should sound like, blend well with a healthy dash of electronic wizardry, and you will be listening to a band called No Captains.

Based in San Francisco, No Captains consist of Danny Sando (bass and back vocals), Vince Shore (drums and percussion, he is a doppelganger of my friend from Russia, Anton) and Alex Shonkoff (vocals). I admire bands that can pull off minimalism; Japandroids immediately come to mind when I think of bands that can pull off sounding more extensive than they physically are.

No Captains can get a groove going and ride it through multiple genres. I won’t even hazard a guess as to where they fit in the dictionary of music genres. https://www.musicgenreslist.com. I prefer just listening to the music and taking it for what it is without trying to force it into a box or, in this case, boxes.

Just listening to the music on their newest album, Friends Like These, what did I hear? I heard some funky bass playing. Is this a funk band? No, Danny Sando gets funky on the bass, but No Captains are not a reincarnation of Parliament. I listened to some punk on Friends Like These, but No Captains are not confined to being a punk band. Alex Shonkoff can growl lyrics with the best of the punk movement without being limited to that genre. She also triggered memories of Annie Lennox as I listened to her singing. My ears also feasted on some choice psychedelic morsels, such as the song 13th Moon. No Captains are not the 13th Floor Elevators but they are an excellent example of getting a trippy groove going and working it. There are also elements of indie rock, progressive rock, metal, and probably more, more than enough to give you an idea of what No Captains have going on.

Without getting all analytical and pretentious, I sat down at my hobby workstation and relistened to this album without an agenda while I puttered about my latest project. I liked Friends Like These so much I listened to it yet again. I will probably spin it one more time before this day ends. Is it that good, you may ask yourself. I think it is, and I am a reasonably well-informed listener. This album twists and turns and adds flavour here and there that keeps me coming back for more because I keep hearing new bits and pieces and re-enjoying other parts. This recording deserves to be on end-of-the-year lists, which reminds me, I need to start compiling mine.

I am giving Friends Like These a solid 8.5/10.

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Album order / Bandcamp https://nocaptainssf.bandcamp.com/album/friends-like-these

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/nocaptains/sets/friends-like-these

Previous album ‘The Next One https://soundcloud.com/nocaptains/sets/the-next-one

’13th Moon’ ft. Emily Palen https://soundcloud.com/nocaptains/13th-moon 

‘2 Left Feet’ https://soundcloud.com/nocaptains/2-left-feet/s-jbIMFRI0hA2

If you have any questions, contact Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion PR  at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com

Collect Call Chase The Light

I have been on a bit of a hiatus in my music listening, and then this EP landed in my inbox and am I ever glad it did. I didn’t know who Collect Call was on my first listen, but since then, I now have a google knowledge base of not them, but a single person, Joseph Thorpe. A chap who hangs his hat in Brighton, England. I really must go there sometime post Covid.

On this EP, Chase The Light, Collect Call/Joseph Thorpe have created emotionally charged songs that dance around a pallet of sounds that mix piano, percussion and various electronica to create a soundscape that matches the lyrics marvellously.

I’ll let Joseph Thorpe elaborate: “The recording of this EP came at a point where I was feeling very lost as a musician and writer. I had been sitting on a large collection of songs and wanted to try every conceivable avenue I could musically that didn’t really have any sense of cohesion; I became depressed and questioned what direction I was going in, as well as the other two members of the group at the time departing the project for personal reasons.” 

“When the world plummeted into lockdowns, I began tinkering with an idea that would later become ‘Pretense.’ I had been listening to Sufjan Stevens and Kings of Convenience at the time and felt that finishing the song helped me break out of my fugue state, and I could get back into making music that I enjoyed. I then went back and whittled what originally was a 7-track EP to just 4, incorporating two old songs that I reworked and two new ideas that were all but completely recorded in one day at Brighton Electric Studios. The Golden Hour for me is a cathartic reminder of staying true to yourself, chasing the light as it fades over the hill and that sometimes less can indeed be more.” 

I like that ethos, staying true to yourself. More of that and a magical, dreamy soundscape will carry you along as you absorb this recording. It is a short and sweet ride that leaves me wanting more.

The Golden Hour‘ is out now, available digitally across online stores and streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp.

‘Chase The Light’ https://youtu.be/-6vAdytIhlw

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/1usgKxwGzGQpYSfxUkPH2D

‘Simple’ https://youtu.be/qk-nLQmsqxI

EP order / Bandcamp https://collectcall.bandcamp.com/album/the-golden-hour

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/6AIJW9fKGDqGHIJ9w8GpGf Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/collectthecall/sets/the-golden-hour-master-2 

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Deep Purple are Turning To Crime

I suppose an argument could be made that Deep Purple had turned to crime a long time ago with some of their less than classic albums. I enjoyed Deep Purple up to the Mark IV version (Wikipedia), with some reservations about the Come Taste The Band album in 1975. Then the wheels fell off for thirty years. And then their new album, Turning to Crime, came out on November 26, and I fell in love with Deep Purple all over again.

I liked the original Deep Purple and still have most of their early albums, which I occasionally go back and listen to, Shades of Deep Purple, Machine Head and Live in Japan in particular. Those albums captured an era in both my life and in the history of rock and roll music. They are considered one of the founding father bands of heavy metal music.

Back to the future, Deep Purple released Turning to Crime, and it grabbed my attention right off the bat with the first track, 7 and 7 Is, a retake of the classic rocker from Arthur Lee. The current lineup of Deep Purple, Mk VII, amazingly retains three members from their earliest years as a band. Ian Paice has been on percussion since 1968, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan have done their work with Deep Purple since 1969. Steve Morse is a relative newcomer not joining the Purple parade until 1994, and Don Airey has been on the keys since 2002, an impressive run in its own right of close to 20 years. I never had a single job for 20 years in my career; 14 and 16 were the longest I was at any position. Kudos to all the members of Deep Purple for hanging in there as long as they have.

The Deep Purple attack track #2, Rockin Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, they don’t just do a cover; they pull out the jams with this number.

The next song is a bit of an outlier from Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well. This song never featured on an album and was initially released as a single. Peter Green was the writer and singer, and this is a bit of a forgotten gem that makes it an interesting choice as a cover for the Deep Purple lads.

Next in the queue is Jenny Take A Ride which was initially a medley by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels‘ built around the blues standard See See Rider. The Deep Purple are giving us a history lesson with their choice of songs on Turning To Crime.

Continuing the blues feeling, we have Watching The River Flow, yet another song initially released as a single; this one is by Bob Dylan. Watching The River Flow eventually found an album home on the 1971 Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. IIDeep Purple ramps up the energy and breath new life into the song.

Track six takes us into twelve-bar blues with the song Let The Good Times Roll, originally the B side of a release by Louis Jordan, Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens. The Hammond organ sounds Deep Purple had in their early years, through the contribution of Jon Lord, are featured on Let The Good Times Roll, played by Don Airey on their cover of this all out rock and roll tune. It still amazes me that the original versions of these songs are seldom recognized as being early versions of rock music. Yes, they had jazz, blues or even big band sounds but they still rocked.

On the topic of chickens, the next track is Dixie Chicken, arguably the signature song for the band Little Feat. I need to get a copy of this and the rest of the Lowell George era albums by this often overlooked band. Fortunately, Deep Purple didn’t ignore them, and they give us this energetic cover of Dixie Chicken.

Next up, we have the song Shapes of Things which The Yardbirds initially recorded. I like the Deep Purple version better myself.

The next track is The Battle New Orleans, written and originally recorded by Jimmy Driftwood but popularized by Johnny Horton. There have been umpteen covers done of this song, and Deep Purple have recorded a respectable job of it, but the Johnny Horton version is so ingrained in my brain that I find it hard to get my mind around alternate versions. Just for the fun of it, give the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band‘s performance from their album Symphonion Dream a spin on your virtual turntable.

Lucifer, by Bob Seger taken off his third studio album, Mongrel, is a deep-cut cover. I must have handled hundreds of copies of Against The Wind, but I don’t remember ever holding a copy of Mongrel. Apparently, Deep Purple had because they do a cover of it on Turning To Crime. Heck, Apple Music didn’t even have a copy of it. I had to listen on YouTube to hear what the original sounded like, which reinforced why I don’t own any Bob Seger albums.

The second to the last track is my favourite cut on this album, White Room. Cream, of course, did the original, which is a staple of any rock and roll collection. Yes, I do have a copy of it in my collection. Deep Purple do an excellent cover of this iconic song, which I applaud because the original is so deeply embedded that hearing a new version can be jarring. Deep Purple pull it off with great aplomb.

The album Turning To Crime ends with a medley that they title Caught in the Act. The listed songs are thus, Going Down, Green Onions, Hot ‘Lanta, Dazed and Confused, and Gimme Some Lovin’. Caught in the Act an ok closer, but I feel it is too scattered and doesn’t have enough glue holding it together to make it a strong closing statement.

At the end of the day, I consider Turning to Crime a good album. I would give it 8 out of 10. A better closer would have brought it up to 9, and the last digit is scattered through the album. Congrats to Bob Ezrin for suggesting this project to Deep Purple, and congrats to them for pulling it off as well as they did. Just because we are old don’t mean we’re slow, rock on Deep Purple, rock on.