Kevin Bryan gives his weekly review of some of the latest music releases.
Tom Bailey - Science Fiction (Mikrokosmos Records). Tom Bailey is best remembered these days as the creative driving force behind the Thompson Twins’ lengthy run of chart success in the early 80s. He’s dabbled with a variety of musical genres since his former outfit’s sad demise but Science Fiction finds Tom returning to a commercial pop format for the first time in many a long year, with consistently memorable results. The bulk of the set is dominated by a series of variations on the snappy synthpop sound which became Bailey’s trademark during his creative heyday, with Bring Back Yesterday, What Kind of World and If You Need Someone emerging as the best of an infectious bunch.
Classic Road Trip (Universal Music On Demand). This deliciously random assortment of radio friendly rock anthems extends over three CDs and boasts contributions from many of the leading lights of the genre during the 60s and 70s, including The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Who and the Steve Miller Band to name but a few. The latter’s Fly Like An Eagle and The Joker are two of the highlights of a consistently entertaining anthology which rather bafflingly closes with the eminently disposable bubblegum pop of one-hit wonders Edison Lighthouse and their 1970 chart-topper, Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes.)
Roy Buchanan - My Babe (Angel Air). The untimely death of Arkansas-born Telecaster pioneer Roy Buchanan in 1988 may have robbed the music world of one of its’ most influential talents but this sad event passed by largely unnoticed, reflecting his unwanted status as “The Best Unknown Guitarist in the World.” My Babe was the eighth album of Roy’s long and decidedly patchy career, first released in 1980 and boasting some typically eloquent instrumentals such as Blues For Gary and My Sonata alongside soulful covers of Little Walter’s My Babe and Yvonne Fair’s Motown classic, It Should Have Been Me.
The Wrecking Crew (Wienerworld). This expansive 4-CD set focusses attention on the exemplary musical output of the group of Los Angeles session musicians collectively known as The Wrecking Crew, whose technical expertise underpinned a whole host of worldwide hits during pop’s golden age half a century and more ago. Barry McGuire, The Byrds, Sonny & Cher and Sam Cooke all make an appearance alongside some interesting interview material and a selection of solo cuts from the various
members of The Wrecking Crew themselves.