For those who arrived at the party rather late – meaning the first new Stones record you ever bought had a big red tongue splayed across its label – the five years and ninety-nine minutes contained within Chrome Dreams’ fine new Rolling Stones: The Mick Taylor Years DVD will serve as a more than welcome addition to all of your recently-acquired Exile On Main St. collectibles. In fact, should you consider yourself a part of the ever-expanding constituency who swear the Stones’ best work was done during that key half decade between the death of Brian Jones and the arrival of Ronnie Wood, this is one documentary which absolutely deserves your undivided attention.
It has been a long time since we’ve heard from Bad Company’s ex-frontman, Brian Howe (who was with the band from 1986-1995). After catapulting Bad Company to multi-platinum record sales in the late ’80s and early ’90s, with smash hits like “Holy Water”, “If You Needed Somebody”, and “How ‘Bout That”, Howe released a matured and underrated solo album called “Tangled In Blue” (1997). Thirteen years later and his new record, “Circus Bar,” has arrived. The album is one of the shiniest jewels in his rock and roll crown and Brian recently took some time to chat with us about the new release.
Q: “Circus Bar” is terrific and I can’t think of a better way to start the new record than with a song called “I’m Back”. How does it feel to be back with a new record after over a decade?
A: It’s actually pretty cool to be back in the saddle. Thirteen years is a long time to be away from a recording career and it feels good to be accepted again.
Concord Record Group, the relatively new owners of Stax Records, continue to rebuild and revitalize the classic Memphis soul label by not only uncovering and (even better) sharing rare sessions which have never seen the light of day but also re-releasing the best of the label’s voluminous catalog of classic soul albums. One of their most recent re-releases resurrects what many feel is the pinnacle of soul albums, Isaac Hayes’ gloriously funky soundtrack to the movie Shaft.
While a big hit in the early ’70’s and Hayes’ breakthrough disc after first hitting it big with his sophomore release Hot Buttered Soul, a mere decade or so later it was relegated to a mere musical milestone of the brief but influential blaxplotation film era. Subsequent generations, no doubt encouraged by the late Hayes’ comeback as Chef on the hilarious Comedy Central South Park television series, thankfully have recognized Hayes’ soundtrack as one of the biggest developments in black popular music.