Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The New York Rock And Soul Revue - Live At The Beacon (1991)


Yesterday's passing of Phoebe Snow led me to pull out this CD. In the early '90s, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen got together some like-minded musicians and performed a brief series of concerts as the New York Rock And Soul Revue. This group included Snow, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Charles Brown, Eddie and David Brigati (from The Rascals). Basically an all-star cover band. They play some old classics as well as some of their own material, never straying far from the better original arrangements. The CD would have been much better if 1) Donald Fagen didn't talk between numbers, and 2) they had stuck to the soul music and left their own material for another time and place (except for Charles Brown because he's a legend and can do whatever he wants). Overall, it's good, but not great.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #170

Tracks: Phoebe Snow easily has the best showing here, covering Knock On Wood, Shakey Ground, and At Last. Her versions stick close to the originals, but her voice is so powerful, she even gives Etta James a run for her money. McDonald gives us a quality cover of Jackie Wilson's Lonely Teardrops and, of course, does a great job reprising his role as a backup singer on the Steely Dan tune Pretzel Logic (one of the better tracks on the CD). Boz Scaggs' cover of Drowning In The Sea Of Love is bland. Plus, they have Boz sing, but not play guitar? Whose idea was that? Charles Brown, of course, brings it, but they only have him on one tune.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I'm sure I purchased this when it was released, but I don't have any real memories of it from that time. I rarely listen to this disc, but occasionally a song will pop up while iTunes is shuffling.

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