Who’s Next, Deluxe Edition
Released in 1971 Who’s Next is considered by many fans and critics alike to be the Who’s best album. Based on an aborted rock opera that was to be the follow-up to Tommy, the album has startling similarity with the power of Nirvana’s Nevermind. Both albums contain some of the best songwriting by both respective groups—both are loud, and both deal with internal angst, (“Behind Blue Eyes”) disillusionment (“The Song is Over”), along with frustration and anger (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”). But there’s more. This was one of the Who’s best studio works, even rivaling their legendary live performance at Woodstock. But even before then, Townsend, Entwhistle, Moon, and Daltrey had firmly established themselves as legitimate shareholders to the British rock crown along with The Stones and The Beatles
The Deluxe Edition was newly remastered (as is the case with all titles in the “Deluxe” series) except in this case the original master tapes were used for the first time. There are also 6 bonus tracks and a live show from 1971 done at London’s Young Vic theatre, which had previously only been available as an infamous bootleg. Needless to say the album makes for a great re-discovery.
Damn the Torpedoes, Deluxe Edition
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Tom Petty’s chance meeting with Elvis many years ago during a film shoot inspired him to get his first guitar and he’s never looked back. His first band, Mudcrutch evolved into the Heartbreakers and despite myriad record company problems, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was a group firing on all cylinders; especially by the time their third album, 1979’s Damn the Torpedoes was released. It was an enormous critical and commercial success. Originally the album contained only nine tracks (this was before the CD boom) and every one was killer. Listening to “Refugee,” Here Comes That Girl,” Even The Losers,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” and the other songs actually is like re-visiting old friends as these songs long ago became familiar radio staples and are ingrained into our musical memory bank. The album was the ultimate culmination of their hybrid Byrds/Stones sound. Produced by one of today’s biggest record company moguls, Jimmy Iovine, the album has stood the test of time very well.
The Deluxe Edition adds the usual remastering, along with a second bonus disc of never-before-heard tracks from the ‘79 sessions, B-sides, alternate takes and live versions of a few of the hits. The only thing you have to add is a few miles of open road and some volume—the more the better.
Eat A Peach, Deluxe Edition
The Allman Brothers Band
Released in 1972 shortly after Duane Allman’s death—the original Eat a Peach double album debuted less than a year after The Allman Brothers Band’s highly- acclaimed, live double album At Fillmore East. By then they were credited with ownership of the new and growing “southern rock” genre, aided by Lynyrd Skynrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, and others. Duane perished in that tragic motorcycle accident a couple of weeks after the Fillmore East album was certified gold so the follow up was a mix of studio and live tracks completed both with and without Duane, with Dickey Betts completing the lead and slide guitar parts. Standout tracks included the iconic “Melissa” and a tribute to Duane of sorts in “Ain’t Wasting Time No More.” Of particular interest is a half-hour plus recording of “Mountain Jam” which showcased the live virtuosity and musicianship of band members, and allowed for a more complex interplay that was difficult to capture in a studio. When released it was their second double album to go gold and a follow-up was delayed when bassist Berry Oakley also tragically perished in a bike accident not far from the scene of Duane’s.
The Deluxe Edition adds a full second CD of their full “goodbye concert” at the Fillmore East venue in New York City’s East Village. Apparently Duane’s playing had reached a new level as fans were treated to one of their best concerts ever. For this alone, the Deluxe Edition is a must-have additionto The Allman Brothers’ legacy.