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Various Artists

Best of Rockpalast

Review by Gary Hill

"Rockpalast" was a German television show that broadcast concerts from a wide range of musical artists. This new double CD compilation captures a lot of classic performances from the history of that show. While I'm not enthralled by everything here, there are definitely some songs that make this worth having.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Disc: 1

        
Mitch Ryder - Soul Kitchen

The instrumental introduction here is very extensive. I prefer the Doors version of this for sure. That said, the rocking section of this really stomps. I dig the guitar solo on this. It's almost fusion in a lot of ways. This is over eleven minutes in length.

Miller Anderson - High Tide And High Water
I absolutely love the groove of this thing. This really makes me think of The Allman Brothers Band in a lot of ways. It's a killer rocker. I really love the keyboard solo on this thing. The whole instrumental movement is purely on fire.
Johnny Winter - Suzie Q
Johnny Winter tackles this old chestnut in fine fashion. Winter could seriously play the guitar, and he makes that very clear in this live performance.
Ian Hunter featuring Mick Ronson - Bastard
This is a cool rocker that works really well. In a lot of ways I guess you could say that this is Mott the Hoople since two of the key players are here. This sounds a lot like that band.
Graham Parker & The Rumour - Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions
There is a rather reggae based vibe on this rocker. It's fun, but not as much my kind of thing as some of the others are. Comparisons to Elvis Costello are appropriate.
Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
This is Joe Jackson's best known song. He puts in a solid performance of the tune here. I like this one a lot.
Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Stool Pigeon
This high energy jam is so much fan. It's packed wirh reggae and jazz. It's just a cool tune.
Mother's Finest - Baby Love
I don't think I've ever heard of this act. A keyboard solo starts off the cut. It's quite an extended introduction. It fires out from there into a killer R&B styled rocker. I really like this number a lot. It has some funk and some jazz built into it. It really rocks like crazy.
Herman Brood & His Wild Romance - Saturday Night
This classic styled rocker is pretty darned cool. I really like it a lot.
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Sweet Gene Vincent
This one really doesn't do much for me. If there's a track to skip, this is it from my point of view. It does do better on the harder rocking movement than in the mellower one.
Disc: 2
                         

Jack Bruce featuring Gary Moore - Life On Earth

This is one heck of a cool jam. As you'd imagine both the bass and guitar are extremely well done. It calls to mind Cream in a lot of ways, but that's to be expected. The extended instrumental jam is amazing.

Michael Schenker Group - Doctor, Doctor
I've always loved this song. It's such a powerful piece of music. This is a great live rendition.
UFO - Mystery Train
I love this band. I also love this song. So, it's no surprise that this live rendition is one of my favorite tunes here. This just works so well. The extended jam is purely on fire.
Stray Cats - Rock This Town
The Stray Cats tear it up on their breakout hit. The recording seems a little distant in terms of sound quality, but the band is on fire. There is a cool dropped down jam mid-track and an audience participation excursion.
Steve Gibbons Band - Like A Rolling Stone
This cover of the Bob Dylan song really feels like something I could imagine him doing. The vocals seem a lot like Dylan, and this is a solid rocker.
Roachford - Crazy Love
This is a soulful tune that works really well. The keyboards drive a lot of the arrangement, but the vocals are really the selling point. This is just so tasty.
Roy Buchanan - Wayfaring Pilgram
There is some killer bluesy guitar soloing on this trippy jam. There are some hints of something like Pink Floyd or Wishbone Ash on this. Yet it's also very much a blues tune with a lot of BB King built into it. This instrumental is a real powerhouse.
Ronnie Lane Band - Debris
Acoustic guitar start this. The tune grows out from there in a rather proggy fashion. This rocker really grows into a cool jam.
Frankie Miller & Band - To Dream The Dream
I dig this rocker a lot. It's a classy cut that just works really well. It's the kind of song Bruce Springsteen might right, but I like the vocal delivery much better than that.
John Cale & Band - Waiting For The Man
This song feels like The Velvet Underground. Of course, that makes perfect sense since Cale was one of the founding members of that band. It's a bit trippy. It's definitely rather weird. It's also very cool. It definitely lands near progressive rock in a lot of ways. There are definite links to something like Copernicus.
Roger McGuinn's Thunderbyrd - Eight Miles High
Here Roger McGuinn turns his attention to his Byrd's days. This is a killer rendition of the classic song. In a lot of ways this sounds really close to his old band. I prefer their version, but this is close. This is a real powerhouse jam. The instrumental segment is what makes it work the best for me.

 

 
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