"Compilation Reviews"

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 NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in the print edition of Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter. These reviews are only available here in the online edition.


A Collection of Holiday Music

Sony Music Special Products
Seasonal music which lives all year around. This compilation contains Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra; Herbert's "March of the Toys" (from Babes in Toyland), Bach's "Little Suite," Handel's "Pastorial Symphony," Handel's "Overture" (from Messiah, and "Jingle Bells" by the Philadelphia Orchestra; Waldteuel's "The Skaters Waltz" performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Handel's "Life Up Ye Head" performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the traditional "Patapan" by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soothing winter sounds which last the entire year.
- Al Slavicsky

Roadrunner Rules Ozzfest, Vol. 2

Roadrunner Records
Sampling of some of the great Roadrunner bands which are on Ozzfest '98 -- Soulfly ("Bleed" and "Tribe"), Coal Chamber ("Loco"), and Life of Agony ("Tangerine" and "Bleed"), plus a few extra gems here and there, such as previously unreleased tracks by VIsion of Disorder ("What You Are"), Earth Crisis ("Ultramilitant"), Spineshanke ("*28"), and Fear Factory ("Hi-Tech Hate"), plus previously released tracks for Both Worlds ("Cornered"), Madball ("Look My Way"), and Junkie XI ("Underachievers"). But the best gem is the special, exclusive Ozzfest '98 remix of Coal Chamber's "Sway," which really cooks and rocks.
- Al Slavicsky

Ozzfest Doggy Bag (Choice Cuts to Snack On Later)

Epic Records Group/Immortal/Sony 550 Music
Nine tracks of heavy metal/hard rock tunes featuring bands that were at Ozzfest '98, plus a few more new bands or tracks to check out. The bands which were at Ozzfest '98 are Incubus doing "New Skin" and Ultraspank doing "Suck." The rest of the material highlights new releases on the labels mentioned, including The Urge doing the Bad Brains' "Gene Machine," Far's "The System," The Mayfield Four's "Fallout," Joe Satriani's "Crystal Planet," and Flight 16's "If All the World Hated Me." But the highlights include Black Sabbath doing "Snowblind" live in '97, which is previously unreleased, and Bolt Uptight's demo version of "Next Level" from their forthcoming 550 Music release.
- Al Slavicsky

The First Decade

BSW Records
This anthology from Texas based BSW boasts 20 tracks from 19 acts, ranging from traditional country to Texas honky tonk. A tribute to their stable of artists from the past ten years, including Bob Jaresí "Stariní Down The Moon," Lost Prairieís "Iíll Be Home When I Get There", and Dave Buescherís "Honky Tonkitis", a clever little play on words. Two cuts from the labels debut act Candee Land act as bookends to a country release that explores several different musical styles.
- Shane Copher

Joyful Noise

Through The Fire

Peace Be Still

Fill My Cup

[Inspirational Lifestyles II]

CGI Records
The Inspirational Lifestyles II series is a forum for CGI Records to raid its '80s black gospel vaults and repackage these catalogue items for '90s listeners.  These recordings are  separated by lyrical themes, from the jubilant Joyful Noise to the quiet Peace Be Still.  It might have been a better idea to have separated these songs by musical styles instead, though, since rocking full-choir selections are oftentimes followed by tender ballads. It also hurts to hear traditional gospel singing accompanied by overbearing synth sections on many of these songs.  But then again, the synth was king back in the '80s -- apparently even in songs about The King Of Kings.
- Dan MacIntosh

Los Super Seven

Twang This Records
Los Super Seven is a collection of Tex-Mex super stars getting together to sing both new and traditional songs in the Spanish tongue.  Los Lobos is represented by David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, and producer Steve Berlin.  Country affiliated singers Freddy Fender and Joe Ely also lend a hand, and Tex-Mex hero Flaco Jimenez is also to be found here.  This album may be a little too eclectic to reach too far into the mainstream, but it is indeed a treat to hear these artists singing this tradition-infused music just for the love of the form.
- Dan MacIntosh

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