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.
Sting has never hid his pretensions. In fact, he's gone out of his way to flaunt them, going all the way back to the Police, when he casually referenced Vladimir Nabokov in the band's first Top 10 U.S. hit and then explored Jungian philosophies on the band's biggest-selling album. Things only got worse with his solo career.
The Band's historic performances at New York City's Academy of Music on Dec. 28-31, 1971 have been collected before, on one of the '70s' best live albums, 'Rock of Ages.' But the five-disc 'Live at the Academy of Music 1971' (which includes a DVD) paints a more complete picture of the shows.
The Clash's official studio output makes up more than half of the 12-disc box set 'Sound System,' which could be the most definitive document on the legendary punk band. Their five great albums are here; 'Cut the Crap,' the 1985 LP they made without guitarist Mick Jones, is not. You really don't need anything else.