Columbia/Legacy To Release 34CD Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 Box

HancockCoverHere it is folks!  The next MASSIVE, all-inclusive, career-encompassing collection that rivals Harry Nilsson’s recently released Legacy Box (but not the 70CD Miles Davis Collection Box; THAT one will be tough to beat).  This one is for Herbie Hancock.

Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings plan the release of Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988.  In this expected box will reside an extraordinary collection of Herbie Hancock classics filling 34 CDs.  On those CDs will be all 31 Hancock releases issued by Columbia, three of them double albums.  In addition to the titles that were easily acquirable over the years, there will be  eight Japan-only Hancock titles (Dedication – 1974, Flood – 1975, The Herbie Hancock Trio – 1977, Tempest In The Colosseum – 1977, Directstep – 1978, Five Stars – 1979, Butterfly – 1979, Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams – 1981).

Continuing, Legacy/Columbia will include two Japan-only releases that were subsequently reissued in the US back in 2004.  Those are The Piano (1978), and V.S.O.P./Live Under The Sky (1979).

This set is being produced by the same person that gave us the previously mentioned 70CD The Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection Box, Richard Seidel.  Seidel has worked on other Complete Album Collection series that include Weather Report, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and others.

The albums were remastered to 24/96 by Mark Wilder.

To round out the collection, a 200-page book will be exclusive to this set.  The book, as expected, will contain a ton of photos, a new essay from Bob Belden, commentaries that encompass all 31 albums in this collection, and essential to any package of this size, a complete and exhaustive discography with complete credits and information (release dates, musician line-ups, RIAA certifications, charting information, etc.).

The set will be housed in a chest with a removable lid.  Each album inside will be packaged in a mini-LP CD replica of the original jacket. Some will be in replica gatefold jackets.

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 is slated for release on November 12.

Herbie Hancock Box

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988

01. Sextant 1972-73 1973 KC 32212 – E
02. Head Hunters 1973 1973 KC 32731 -E
03. * Dedication 1974 1974 SOPM 165 – AE
04. Thrust 1974 1974 PC 32965 – E
05. Death Wish original soundtrack 1974 1974 PC 33199 – E
06. * Flood (double LP = 1 CD) 1975 1975 SOPZ 98/99 – E
07. Man-Child 1975 1975 PC 33812 – E
08.  Secrets 1976 1976 PC 34280 – E
09. V.S.O.P. (2 CDs) 1976 1977 PG 34688 – AE
10. * The Herbie Hancock Trio 1977 1977 25AP 60 – A
11. V.S.O.P. / The Quintet (double LP = 1 CD) 1977 1977 C2 34976 – A
12. * V.S.O.P. The Quintet: Tempest In 1977 1977 40AP 771/2 – A
The Colosseum (double LP = 1 CD)
13. An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick 1978 1978 PC2 35663 – A
Corea In Concert (2 CDs)
14. Sunlight 1977-78 1978 JC 34907 – E
15. Feets Don’t Fail Me Now 1978 1979 JC 35764 – E
16. * Directstep 1978 1979 30AP 1032 – E
17. # The Piano (plus 2004 CD bonus tracks) 1978 1979/2004 30 AP 1033 / CK 87083- A
18. # V.S.O.P. The Quintet: Live Under The Sky 1979 1979/2004 (2 CDs) (plus 2004 CD bonus tracks) 40 AP 1037-1038/ C2K 87165 – A
19. * V.S.O.P. The Quintet: Five Stars 1979 1979 30AP 1036 – A
20. * Kimiko Kasai w/ Herbie Hancock: Butterfly 1979 1979 25AP-1350 – E
21. Monster 1979-80 1980 JC 36415 – E
22. Mr. Hands 1980 1980 JC 36578 – E
23. Magic Windows 1981 1981 FC 37837 – E
24. * Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter 1981 1981 AP-2190
+ Tony Williams – A
25. Quartet (double LP = 1 CD) 1981 1983 C2 38275 – A
26. Lite Me Up 1981-82 1982 FC 37928 – E
27. Future Shock (plus bonus track) 1983 1983 CK 38814 – E
28. Sound-System (plus bonus track) 1984 1984 CK 39478 – E
29. Herbie Hancock And Foday Musa Suso: 1984 1985 CK 39870
Village Life – EA
30. Round Midnight Original Soundtrack 1985 1986 CK 40464 – A
31. Perfect Machine (plus bonus tracks) 1988 1988 CK 40025 – E

Notes:
1. Designation indicates acoustic album (A) or electric album (E), or mix (AE, EA).
2. * indicates initial release was in Japan, but this is first international release.
3. # indicates initial release was in Japan, but subsequently released in U.S.

Who, From Your Early Years, Do You Miss Musically?

We have all enjoyed a cross section of bands and artists during our musically formative years.  But there are some that we really loved.  We collected every album they produced, and, in the pre-internet days, we hunted down every tidbit of information concerning them.  For me, I was a huge fan of (and this is a small batch as I actually loved far, FAR too many bands and artists during my younger years), Wishbone Ash, Faces, Be BeBopDeluxeBop Deluxe, Bruce Springsteen, Yes, early era Genesis, Lou Reed, Slade, The Who, Rolling Stones, and yeah, the list goes on and on.

But, somewhere down the road, often during a peak, some of these bands disappeared.  Whether they closed up shop due to internal strife, or important lost members (Led Zeppelin comes to mind), they just plain disappeared, as in stopped making new albums.

Devastating enough at the time.  Looking back, I find it even more devastating at MY loss of albums that never got made (double negative, I know).  Often, as seems the case, some of these bands continue, usually with band members that are totally unfamiliar.  The touring is there.  But there are no more important albums being made.

SladeI have an immense love for Slayed!, a classic set from Slade.  They continued to make excellent albums but soon Noddy Holder had had enough.  Slade tours frequently (without Noddy), and almost always in the UK. But, you know what? I absolutely miss what they could have produced musically along the way.

I miss Faces.  I miss Be Bop Deluxe.  I miss Cocteau Twins.  I miss Led Zeppelin.  I miss Lou Reed.  I miss Wishbone Four-era Wishbone Ash. I mourn what albums might have been made, today,  ten years ago, or in some cases, 20 years ago.

Wishbone+Ash

The question of the day today is, what band do you miss?

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 07/30/2013 (US Report)

G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia Records have Love In The Future coming from John Legend, planned for September 3 in standard CD, and Deluxe Edition packages.

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Legacy Recordings have several collection titles coming on August 20 that include The Essential Sarah McLachlan, The Essential Bill Withers, The Essential Tammy WynetteThe Essential Britney SpearsThe Essential Backstreet Boys, and The Essential Nas.

AFM Records have the new Ministry album, From Beer To Eternity, scheduled for September 10 on CD, CD Box – Deluxe Edition, and LP.

Warner Brothers Records will release the new Sheryl Crow album, Feels Like Home, on September 10.

CrowFeelsLikeHome

Capitol Records will issue an ICON collection for Wilson Phillips with a scheduled date of October 8.  Other ICON collections include Underoath via Tooth & Nail (January 7, 2014), The Clark Sisters via EMI Gospel (January 7, 2014), Kutless via BEC (January 7, 2014), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band via Capitol Records (October 8), Paula Abdul via Virgin Records (October 8), and Rebecca St James via Forefront Records (January 7, 2014).  Capitol Records finishes up with ICON: Christmas With The Rat Pack scheduled for September 17.

Capitol Records will release a pricey but essential 4CD/1DVD Box featuring The Band in a set called Live At The Academy Of Music 1971.  The four CDs contain 56 performance tracks, while the DVD contains 27. This set is scheduled for September 17.

TheBandLLiveAtTheAcademyOfMusic

Varese Sarabande have After Blue coming from the beautiful Tierney Sutton on September 23.

Sony Music Latin plan to release The Standards from Gloria Estefan on September 10.

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Frontiers Records will release CD, and CD/DVD Deluxe Edition of No More Hell To Pay by Stryper, both planned for a release date of November 5.

Eagle Rock Entertainment plan the 2CD, and 6CD Deluxe Edition of Back2SQ.1 Live at Hammersmith featuring Status Quo.  This set will also be made available as a 2LP set.  All will be in stores on September 24.

Windup Records have Bookmarks coming from Five For Fighting on September 17.

Legacy Recordings have In Dreams: Greatest Hits coming for Roy Orbison on August 27. Track-listing as follows:

1. Only The Lonely
2. Leah
3. In Dreams
4. Uptown
5. It’s Over
6. Crying
7. Dream Baby
8. Blue Angel
9. Working For The Man
10. Candyman
11. Running Scared
12. Falling
13. I’m Hurtin’
14. Claudette
15. Oh, Pretty Woman
16. Mean Woman Blues
17. Ooby Dooby
18. Lana
19. Blue Bayou

Unknown

Real Gone Music plans two The Tubes reissue titles of Young And Rich, and Now, both on a 2fer title scheduled for September 3.

Tubes2fer

Epic Records and Legacy will release a Highlights version of Higher!, the retrospective Box coming for Sly and The Family Stone.  Highlights will distill the set down to sixteen songs, releasing on August 27. Track-listing:

1. Dance to the Music (single master)
2. Sing a Simple Song (mono single master)
3. Underdog (Single Version)
4. What’s That Got to Do with Me (stereo)
5. Everyday People (mono single master)
6. Hot Fun in the Summertime (single master)
7. M’Lady (Album Version)
8. Stand! (Live at Isle of Wight in England)
9. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Single Version)
10. You’re the One (LIVE)
11. Trip to Your Heart (mono)
12. If You Want Me to Stay (single master)
13. Small Fries (mono) French Fries, The
14. I Remember (stereo)
15. Crossword Puzzle (Single Version)
16. Family Affair (Single Version)

SlyStoneHigher

And finally, our previously attended to announcements of Rarities featuring a collection of Rod Stewart tracks, is scheduled for September 3.  Track-list is as follows:

Disc: 1
1. It’s All Over Now (Single Version)
2. Country Comforts (BBC Radio 1 Performance)
3. Maggie May (Early Version)
4. Seems Like a Long Time (Alternate Version)
5. Lost Paraguayos (Alternate Version)
6. Italian Girls (Early Version)
7. You Wear It Well (Early Version)
8. I’d Rather Go Blind (Alternate Version)
9. Angel (Alternate Version)
10. What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)
11. Pinball Wizard (From ‘Tommy’)
12. Everytime We Say Goodbye (Summer 1973 Sessions)
Disc: 2
1. Oh! No Not My Baby
2. Jodie
3. So Tired
4. Missed You
5. Think I’ll Pack My Bags (Early Version of ‘Mystifies Me’)
6. Girl From The North County (Alternate Version)
7. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man (Alternate Version)
8. Farewell (Early Version)
9. So Tired (Early Version)
10. You Put Something Better Inside Of Me
11. Crying Laughing Loving Lying
12. Maggie May (BBC Radio 1 Performance)

RodStewartRarities

Talia’s Overflow Notes: 07/29/2013

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John Coltrane – This came courtesy of the Hoffman Board, but Concord has announced that there will be a 2-disc expanded version of John ColtraneAfro Blue Impressions coming out on August 20. It is being speculated that the bonus disc will contain tracks from what I believe is the now out of print Live Train: The European Tours box set from Pablo.

ColtraneAfroBlue

Monk, Mulligan; Adderley, Jackson – Speaking of Concord, I got an e-mail from them informing of a few CDs that I didn’t even realize had already come out this month. These are OJC label reissues of Thelonious Monk.Gerry MulliganMulligan Meets Monk and Cannonball Adderley with Milt JacksonThings Are Getting Better. These aren’t the only titles that have come out and are about to come out. These two, however, are the two really big ones which need mentioning.

The Who – Rumors have surfaced over at the Hoffman Board that Universal may be prepping a big 4-disc (just what the ratio of CD to 5.1 disc remains to be seen if the package indeed comes out) Super Deluxe Edition for Tommy from The Who. It’s anybody’s guess as to what might possibly entail the bonus material. We’ll all have to play this one out carefully and see what happens. For people to buy this again, Universal is going to have to come up with stuff that hasn’t been released before and in substantial quantity. There was a lot of disappointment with the Quadrophenia box set because the 5.1 disc didn’t cover the full album and the demos that Pete Townshend allowed to have on the box added modern embellishments put on top of the original tracks.

TheWhoTommy

Rod Stewart – I can’t recall if Matt reported on this or not (I had – Matt), but I have added information on it. Universal is releasing a 2-disc archive release of Rod Stewart called Rarities on September 3. The cuts are all taken from the previous Sessions box set from 2009. The new information I can add is that all of the tracks on this new 2-disc version are from the Mercury label years. There’s nothing from the Warner Brothers years on it. It is like what is being bantied about at both the Hoffman Board and at IMWAN.

If you passed on the Sessions box because it went beyond what many consider to have been Stewart’s prime years, then this 2-disc set may be the consolation prize a fan could hope for. Speaking only from a personal critical opinion, one should not dismiss the A Night On The Town album. To supplement one’s collection beyond the Ron Wood Era of Stewart’s career, one should own the 2-disc Deluxe Edition of A Night On The Town. It was the one album where Stewart proved he could carry a believable continuance of his career.

–Steve Talia

In Great Appreciation: J.J. Cale

In the Summer of 1972, I was transitioning from 4th Grade and about to start into 5th Grade. I was also about to make a huge transition in another way. I was going to move from Eugene, Oregon back down to my land of origin in Santa Clara, California.

It was during that lazy Summer of 1972 in Eugene when I heard a new single appear on KEED-AM that grabbed my attention immediately because it fed something in me which would appear to have been instilled in me from birth. I was introduced to the sound of a Jimmy Reed Blues shuffle. Back during that Summer, I didn’t know what one was and I would not learn of the term until I was in my very late teens and early twenties.

JJCaleCrazyMamaThe single was “Crazy Mama”. It was by this guy, J.J. Cale, and it had all of the elements that made up my life and my attitude back then. It was that guitar, man. It was that lazy shuffle. It was like any music that I dearly loved back then. It was what I was aiming for-a nirvana-like state of laid back enchantment. I heard it in the song and it set me on a course to realizing that I had it hotwired into my internal circuitry that I had this great affinity for anything that sounded like Roots music. It didn’t matter who it was by. All that mattered to me was that it was being done.

As the ’70s wore on, I would discover Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd and become totally enamored of the both of them. They saw that same thing in Cale as Clapton would later cover “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” and Lynyrd Skynyrd would cover “Call Me The Breeze”.  It meant that I would be reminded of Cale and his importance in helping me to realize of my love of Roots music on a contuing basis. It was a good karmic repitition.

But I have to tell you something. Even though I dearly love Clapton and his cover of “AfterMidnight”, the one I would want to have played in the company of a lady is the original from Cale. My God! Talk about setting a mood. Instant snuggle mode is likely to be induced while listening that version. Theversion from Clapton is the one you’ll want to play later on in the party after you’ve made it with her.

I mourn the loss of Cale’s songwriting ability and his influence upon those artists who forced us to draw our attention on him. Just give me that Jimmy Reed Blues shuffle whenever I have those days where my anger just seems to build up inside and I just keep waiting. And then one of these days, I’ll sing to her in the laid-back way that I should naturally be when I meet her- “Crazy mama/where ya been so long?”.

— Steve Talia

In Memoriam: JJ Cale

Death is never a fun subject to write about.  I stay away as much as is possible. But sometimes…sometimes, it is unavoidable.  JJ Cale’s passing is unavoidable.

I first came to know of JJ Cale because of his last name. I am a massive fan of Velvet Underground and quickly associated both Cales, understandably. Once I listened to JJ Cale, I fell in love not only with his music, but also his lyrical style.

JJCale1JJ Cale is not one as well known as most performers. But it’s difficult to not have run across his songs as performed by others. His “After Midnight”, and “Cocaine” songs are prime examples. Those songs were popularized by Eric Clapton. But there were others.

Kansas’ “Bringing It Back” (from their 1974 debut) is a JJ Cale tune. “I Got The Same Old Blues” was covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd on their 1976 album, Gimme Back My Bullets, and “Call Me The Breeze” was on Second Helping (1974).

There were others. More than enough to prove that JJ Cale had the chops for this business. He recorded albums on his own. His brilliant 1972 Shelter label debut contained his “After Midnight” song.  Honestly, JJ Cale, while not for every one, had a diversity that covered a lot of ground.

This is why we will miss JJ Cale. He was one of us, one of you. His passing leaves a gaping hole in the massive quilt we call Rock and Roll. I’m thankful, however, that he has left a pretty healthy legacy behind.

JJ Cale died of a heart attack at the age of 74 on Friday, July 26.

JJCaleRIP

J. J. Cale
RIP
1938-2013

And Furthermore…(More Thoughts On Vinyl)

This is a Friday bonus post, a small piece that I’m hoping we can discuss a bit.  But before I go into this pit, let me just say that I ALREADY know that some of you could care less about vinyl, are even glad, in fact, that it is a long gone technology despite the surge in the niche market of LPs.

Me? I’m a huge fan of vinyl.  I just wanted to throw a bit in here that might make for interesting viewpoints.

TurntableOne of the things I enjoy about vinyl is simply the need to be in a specific  location, a need to concentrate, and a difficult but important ability to not be able to readily skip songs.

I think one of the key elements to enjoying our classic albums in their  fullness is because we essentially had to listen to the album, side to side.  It’s why we can say I LOVE Led Zeppelin IV and not say, I LOVE “Stairway To Heaven”, being totally oblivious to the rest of the album because we didn’t have to hear it all.

This is not a GET VINYL, DUDES piece.  It’s just another element of my needy brain as it goes on its merry way analyzing why things go the direction they go.  (I tell it to shut up, but it refuses to listen).

So, your points!

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 07/26/2013 (US Report)

As we close the final full week of July down, we start to move more firmly into the second half of the year.  One of the bad things about this upcoming final quarter is that things tend to slow down as the stuff for next year are being hashed out.  Longtime readers of TAP already know this.  In fact, that’s how our polls, discussions, and other opinion pieces came into being, during the slow times.

But we’re not there yet.  And so we have these:

PolyVinyl Records have the new Of Montreal album (think Green Day, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Blink-182) on the calendar for October 8.  The new album will be released on CD, and 180g pink-colored vinyl LP (with DD rights included).  The new album, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, is being preceded by the single, “Fugitive Air”, which is the album’s opening track from its eleven songs.

Bright Antenna is releasing Flagship, the debut album from the band of the same name,  on vinyl LP and CD.  The release date is October 8.  Worth checking out.

Flagship

Rhymes of an Hour Records will release the new Mazzy Star album, Seasons Of Your Day, on CD and vinyl LP with a planned date of September 24.

Capitol Records have Countdown To Extinction: Live from Megadeth on CD and DD, and planned for September 24.

UDR Records will release Unplugged and Strung Up by Saxon on CD, a 2CD Deluxe Edition,  and a vinyl LP.

I’ve been notified that I have ignored (forgotten) the upcoming Van Morrison package of Mreoondance.  I apologize.  The album will be arriving on October 1 in three forms, a single CD issue, a 2CD Deluxe Edition, and a 4-disc set with Blu-ray Audio disc.

VanMorrisonMoondance

Something Music have the new Berlin album (with Terri Nunn) on the calendar for September 17.  The new album is called Animal.

Mute Records plan the LP reissue of Red Mecca (1981) from 80’s band, Cabaret Voltaire, on vinyl LP. It’s planned September 17.

Jemp Records have the first Phish studio album, Junta, on the calendar for a 3LP reissue.  This album was already re-released for Record Store Day in 2012.  This is a “feed the masses” reissue. Expected on October 1.

PhishJunta

Fuel Records will release Visit To A Small Planet from Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen on September 17.

Sonorous Records will release Harvest Collection: Five Blind Boys of Alabama featuring this highly rated gospel band on September 17.

Vagrant Records will release the upcoming self-titled Mark Lanegan album on CD, and vinyl LP, planned for September 17.

Fuel Records will issue A Portrait Of A Man And His Woman from Screaming Jay Hawkins on September 17.  Fuel will also release Nuevo Wave Live from Sir Douglas Quintet on September 17.

American Records will reissue Divine Intervention from Slayer on vinyl LP scheduled for October 15.

Talia’s Overflow Notes – 07/25/2013

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For those of you who are lucky enough to go and see English Blues legend, John Mayall perform in your town, you might be interested to know that Mr. Mayall has been hanging out at various locations in the places he’s been playing at and selling archive CDs before he hits the stage and then does the same thing after the shows. He’s the one who is actually selling the discs. This is a nice way to greet the man and let him know how much you’ve appreciated his artistry over the years.

JohnMayall

He’s been selling three volumes of these discs. Most of the material covers the ’90s. However, the first volume contains tracks from 1970 and 1971. These discs are also available through his official website at www.johnmayall.com via a link with CD Baby.

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Through an e-mail from their official website, The Rolling Stones have announced another download-only (so far) exclusive. For a limited time through iTunes, you can download their presentation of the recent Hyde Park gigs that they have done. The download is available for a limited time. There’s got to be an eventual DVD and/or CD release coming from the 50 And Counting Tour. I would be hard-pressed to believe they would only go so far as the download of the Hyde Park highlights and then be done with it.

StonesHydePark

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Sharp-eyed observers over at both IMWAN and the Hoffman Forum have discovered that Amazon has put up a CD pre-order for The Grateful DeadSunshine Daydream (Veneta, OR 8/27/72). One cloudy report states that this package may actually be a 3-CD/1DVD set. An e-mail from the official Grateful Dead organization/Rhino concerning this release has not appeared yet. Fans might want to wait to see if GD.net sends out an e-mail with links to their own store to see if there are going to be some extra goodies added to the set if you order from them directly.

DeadSunshioneDaydream

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Rumors are beginning to surface that there may yet be more hopeful Immersion set activity from the Pink Floyd camp. A reader at IMWAN has posted that Nick Mason told an interviewer from Record Collector Magazine that he still wants to see an Immersion Edition for the early Syd Barrett-era albums. Mason has been saying this ever since the Pink Floyd organization started up the huge Pink Floyd remasters program from a couple of years ago.

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People over at the Hoffman Board have pieced together that engineer, Eddie Kramer, has been putting the finishing touches on a new 5.1 mixing project. The report originated from his own Facebook page, but remained ambiguous. Kramer would not reveal what the project was for. It has now been pieced together that Kramer is putting the finishing touches on a currently unnamed Jimi Hendrix project (speculation is that it could be Royal Albert Hall 1969, possibly Miami Pop 1968 or even a long-dreamed for 5.1 Electric Ladyland album and sessions package that many have clamored for).

It can now be stated clearly that Kramer was not involved in doing any work for the Led Zeppelin individual albums box sets that Jimmy Page has embarked upon.

–Steve Talia

Ignored Albums: R.E.O./T.W.O. – R.E.O. Speedwagon

REOTWOThere are many, many REO Speedwagon fans that, for the most part, originate from their 1978 best-seller, You Can Tune A Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish.  That was followed by the runaway success of 1980’s Hi-Infidelity (Nine Lives released in 1979, after You Can Tune A Piano…, and before Hi-Infidelity)  Both studio albums  spring-boarded from the success of their 1977 live album, Live: You Get What You Play For, itself a platinum-selling double LP.  Up until this live album, the band struggled to find a fan-base.  Epic Records really hung in with this band despite its waning fan-base up through R.E.O. (1976)

But I have little interest in most things REO unless you mention R.E.O./T.W.O., in which case, you have my complete attention.  REO has an interesting history that involves fights, disagreements, and a revolving door list of band members.  With several front-men, with the most prominent being Kevin Cronin, it’s a wonder that REO Speedwagon survived to produced as many albums as they had.

R.E.O./T.W.O. is flat out a genuine classic, virtually unknown, and if known, then widely under-appreciated to favor the pop/rock Hi-Infidelity.

R.E.O./T.W.O. was released in 1972 after an interesting first album that featured Terry Luttrell (who went on to join Starcastle for several excellent Starcastle releases) as the band’s singer.  It was also the first album that featured Kevin Cronin after the ouster of Luttrell (one of those fights).  R.E.O./T.W.O. has a healthy mix of Richrath compositions as well as newcomer’s Cronin tunes.  In addition, the album furnished a fascinating Chuck Berry cover, “Little Queenie”.

From start to finish, R.E.O./T.W.O. is a varied album that shows immense promise for the emerging Illinois band.  Opening with “Let Me Ride”, driving headlong into the rockin’ “How The Story Goes”, and slipping into a fun, rocked up and  modernized version of “Little Queenie”, the album still has five more songs to go even as we’re already pleased with the preceding three.

REOTWOBackCoverAs far as the songs were concerned here, Cronin’s works were the weaker material on the album.  Richrath, at the time, was the band’s leader.  Richrath’s songs really showcased his song-writing talents.  With “Like You Do”, “How The Story Goes”, “Flash Tan Queen”, and the politicized “Golden Country” (the album’s unquestioned masterpiece), Gary Richrath was the go-to guy, especially with his guitar work and lead lines..  But Cronin’s “Music Man” was not a bad song choice even as the other Cronin songs worked well enough to successfully finish up  R.E.O./T.W.O.

R.E.O./T.W.O. is a solid effort, one that should have garnered praise from Rock fans far and wide.  But it didn’t.  I can’t help but think that even as the band’s popularity waned, Epic held on because this particular album was so good.  After all, they’d have to have another one of these in them.  From a personal opinion standpoint, the band never provided a worthy sequel to R.E.O./T.W.O., which was a shame as it’s almost a perfect album.

And yes, I love R.E.O./T.W.O. far more than anything else they have ever produced.