Unlike Bob Dylan's similarly themed 'Bootleg Series,' the various volumes in Neil Young's 'Archives' haven't stretched out much. Aside from 2009's massive early-career box set and a couple of later concert documents, the albums in Young's ongoing series mostly have been live shows from the first few years of his solo period.
By the time the Beatles began their three-year relationship with the BBC, they could perform their mix of covers and originals in their sleep. Years of playing for drunken and disinterested audiences had sharpened their stage skills to the point where nothing could faze them -- not even playing the same songs over and over, week after week, for the BBC's various radio programs.
As everyone was trying to one-up each other in the later part of the '60s -- hoping to keep up with 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and what it spawned -- Pete Townshend looked forward by looking back. While his contemporaries had psychedelic visions spiraling within their heads, the main songwriter and guitarist for the Who had something else in mind for his band.
At this point, is there anything really worth hearing in Jimi Hendrix's vaults that hasn't been heard before? Forty-three years after his death, and dozens of posthumous albums later, "Previously Unreleased Jimi Hendrix Recordings" doesn't stir as much excitement as it once did.
And when these "new" albums are culled from one of the guit
Leslie West is arguably one of hard rock's pioneering guitarists. Going back to the late '60s -- when his peers included Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton -- he's had an instantly identifiable style. From his trailblazing work with Mountain through his solo recordings, West and his guitar were a mighty force. He's lost little of his six-string fire on 'Still Climbing.'
None of the four producers who worked on Paul McCartney's 16th album, 'New,' were even around when he was making music with the Beatles that would shape both his career and the past 50 years of pop culture. And that's a key factor to the success of McCartney's first album of new material in six years.