This week’s column kicks off with reviews of the newest release from Nashville’s Maradeen, followed by a triumphant Munich concert DVD by The Scorpions and the up/down story of one of America’s leading recorded-music chains, Tower Records.
‘Above The Horizon,’ Maradeen (Independent Release, ☆☆☆☆)
This CD release came out Oct. 21. Maradeen is a Nashville-based band fronted by Berklee College of Music grad guitarist/singer Whit Murray who resided in Athens, Georgia, before heading to Boston.
Whit’s bandmates are keyboardist Kaitlyn Connor, drummer John Rodrigue, bassist Sterling Miller and his former Mama’s Love bandmate Thomas Galloway, who moved to Nashville in October 2014. Their music contains elements of folk, Southern rock and even jazz.
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My favorite songs include “Killer On The Edge Of Town,” which contains gorgeous guitar/keyboard interplay and outstanding orchestration; two perfect-world hits, “Livin’ For The Weekend” and “Lost In A Dream;” and the hopeful “Like A River.”
Fans of tuneful, melodic music will enjoy this album.
‘Live in Munich 2012,’ Scorpions (Eagle Rock Entertainment, ☆☆☆☆)
This DVD/Blu-Ray/digital Sept. 30 release shows Scorpions (lead singer/rhythm guitarist/percussionist Klaus Meine, rhythm/lead guitarist Rudolf Schenker, rhythm/lead guitarist Mattias Jabs, drummer James Kottak and bassist Pawel Maciwoda) making a triumphant return to their home country, where their success had lagged behind the worldwide acclaim they’d enjoyed, especially at their best-selling peak between 1978-1992.
“The Zoo,” “Tease Me Please Me,” “Hit Between The Eyes,” the huge singing-along crowd (especially near concert’s end on “Still Loving You,” “Wind Of Change,” “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane”), Kottak’s double-bass drum work and the band’s tight ensemble playing. Scorpions fans and hard-rock lovers will enjoy this program.
‘All Things Must Pass,’ Directed by Colin Hanks (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This Sept. 13 DVD release isn’t about Beatle George Harrison’s first solo album (though the title song plays toward program’s end); it is the story of Tower Records. They were established in 1960, growing into a powerhouse empire with 200 stores in 30 countries, making $1 billion in 1999. However, Tower filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Director Hanks, along with guests including Elton John, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen, examines the many reasons for this catastrophic failure.
Russ Solomon started Tower Record Mart in 1941, originally adjoining his father’s classic-style drug store. The company’s expansion continued for years, until a drastic combination of too much borrowing, record company decisions, changing technology and creditors’ pressure ended their run. Fans of record-store shopping and people curious about bygone days will enjoy this program.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.