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Musical Profile Index

Welcome to our summary page of musical artists that we profile. This is our high level snapshot. Many of the bands mentioned on the page we have more detailed profiles, which include topics ranging from reviews, commentary, discography, cd recommendations, photos, and related subjects.  

We're always adding new recommendations so stop back frequently.

CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography
Chicago
Chi-Lites
Eric Clapton
Commander Cody
Crosby Stills Nash & Young
King Curtis
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography
Band overviews
Chicago ] Crosby Stills & Nash ] King Curtis ] | Eric Clapton

| Nat King Cole - Jazz: guitar and piano
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

Chicago

Live at Carnegie Hall Chicago Transit Authority 

Chicago overview

In 2005, Chicago re-issued their Live At Carnegie Hall album complete with a full extra disc of bonus material. 

With total album sales of over 120 million, 21 Top 10 singles, and five consecutive #1 albums, Chicago ranks among the all-time most successful groups in American rock. When it was first released as a four-LP package in 1972, this marathon live recording hit #3 on Billboard's Pop album chart and was certified RIAA gold. Following up their 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, 1970's Chicago II, and 1971's Chicago III -- #17, #4, and #2, respectively -- this historic set features all their early hits and spotlights Chicago at the pinnacle of their initial success. Painstakingly remastered, it now features a full disc of previously unreleased material showcasing their trademark horns, Robert Lamm's keyboards and vocals, along with the under appreciated guitar virtuosity of the late Terry Kath.

*Classic live Chicago, recorded at their historic week of Carnegie Hall concerts in April 1971. 
*Nearly four hours of remastered music, including a full disc of eight previously unreleased performances. 
*Bonus discoveries include "Listen," "Loneliness Is Just A Word," and "Sing A Mean Tune Kid." 
Plus alternate versions of songs that do appear on the original, including "Introduction," "25 Or 6 To 4," "Southern California Purples," and an April 9 take of "Free Form Intro (Naseltones)" written at sound check that day. 
*Features stellar live versions of the hits "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?," "Lowdown," "25 Or 6 To 4," "Make Me Smile," "Questions 67 And 68," and "Beginnings," 
"A Song For Richard And His Friends" and "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon." 
*Packaging makes a nod to the original LP release, with an outer cardboard slipcase, four CDs in individual jackets, 32-page booklet with original LP artwork, and mini-reproductions of the three huge posters that were part of the original package. 
*Liner notes by celebrated music writer Don Heckman. 

Album Description
When it was first released as a four-LP package in 1972, this marathon live recording hit #3 on Billboard's Pop album chart and was certified RIAA gold. Following up their 1971 album Chicago III, this historic set features all the early hits and spotlights Chicago at the peak of their initial success. Painstakingly remastered, it now includes a full disc of previously unreleased material showcasing their trademark horns, Robert Lamm's keyboards and vocals, and the guitar virtuosity of the late Terry Kath. The set's packaging makes a nod to the original LP release, with an outer cardboard slipcase, four CDs in individual jackets, a 36-page booklet with original LP artwork, and mini-reproductions of the three huge posters that were part of the original release.

Walter Parazaider (sax, woodwinds), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), James Pankow (trombone), Robert Lamm (keyboards, vocals), Terry Kath (guitar, vocals), Danny Seraphine (drums), and Peter Cetera (bass, vocals) formed Chicago in the Second City in 1967. They released their debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, in 1969. The double LP sold more than two million copies on the strength of sweet pop hits and psychedelic rock explorations that appealed to traditional Top 40 fans as well as hipper listeners tuning in to the new free-form FM radio.

This was just the start of Chicago's enduring popularity, which includes five consecutive #1 albums, 21 Top 10 singles, and worldwide sales of over 120 million. Chicago continues to be a major concert draw, their lineup now including Bill Champlin (keyboards, vocals), Jason Scheff (bass, vocals), Keith Howland (guitar), and Tris Imboden (drums), along with founding members Lamm, Parazaider, Loughnane, and Pankow.

Chicago II The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

Chi-Lites

Chi-Lites - Greatest Hits The Ultimate Chi-Lites 
The Chi-Lites aren't a typical group for coverage on our website as we focus more on guitar driven music rather than vocal harmonies. However, the Chi-Lites had a few awesome hits. My two favorite songs of theirs are "Have You Seen Her," which entered the billboard charts in October 1971 and reached # 1 on R&B, and no. 3 Pop, and "Oh Girl," which entered the Billboard charts in April 1972 and reached no 1 R&B, and #1 Pop.

The Chi-Lites charm is their vocal harmonies. At their peak, led by 
Eugene Record, along with Robert Lester,  Creadel "Red" Jones and Marshall Thompson. 

There are a number of compilations. Rhino's includes 18 tracks on one disc, Chi-Lites - Greatest Hits. Many single disc are less generous in quantity of tracks than this one. A few double disc collections are available such as the 35 song The Ultimate Chi-Lites.

Apple iTunes

Billboard #1s: The '70s '70s Soul Gold 
Various Artist Collections

Their best songs are available within various artist compilations such as Billboard #1s: The '70s and '70's Soul Gold. In addition to the Chi-Lites, both of these collections are loaded with awesome songs by other bands. 

CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

Eric Clapton  

Audio DVD

Eric Clapton is one my favorite guitar players. With such as vast career there are certain periods that are more essential than others. In our Eric Clapton profile we have reviews of what consider his best releases. 

For this section, I've left out his early bands not under his name, except for Derek and the Dominos. We cover the other bands elsewhere. 

Eric Clapton released a few different editions of of his performances with Steve Winwood. Live from Madison Square Garden

Product Description
2 CD edition. History rocked and rock made history during a sold-out three-gig stand at Madison Square Garden in late February 2008 when icons Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood performed a concert together for the first time since their all-too-brief days in the legendary Blind Faith in 1969. Whether they will ever team again is unknown. But with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live From Madison Square Garden, fans everywhere are able to experience the sound and the glory of a performance on that famous stage by two of rock's greatest artists. 

I recently watched Jeff Beck's DVD, Performing This Week: Live at Ronnie Scott's and Clapton played on a few songs with Beck during the encore. I wouldn't buy the Beck DVD because of Clapton, but if you like Beck's music, it is excellent.

Additional Eric Clapton content
Eric Clapton profile
Guitar and Piano
Videos

Blu-Ray Crossroads: Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2007

Eric Clapton studio releases

Below are our top four Eric Clapton releases. The Deluxe Edition of Clapton's first album has bonus tracks and the second disc is an alternate mix of the album by Delaney Bramlett. The Deluxe Edition of 461 Ocean Boulevard has bonus tracks and its second disc is a live recording with the personnel largely represented on his Crossroads 2 box set. So if four discs is too much this is a great alternative for some live Clapton from that era. There's a box set of Derek and the Dominos, which is a treasure.

461 Ocean Boulevard
Eric Clapton
Deluxe edition
Layla and Assorted Other Love Songs  Slowhand
Regular SACD  SACD
     

Eric Clapton compilations

Eric Clapton's box set Crossroads is an outstanding overview of the many phases of his career and includes material with the Yardbirds, John Mayall, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie, Derek and the Dominos, as well as tons of solo material.  This box set really anchors a foundation of Eric Clapton's material; to be supplemented with your favorite eras, live shows, plus latter day releases. For a niche blues release, Eric Clapton: The Blues is a good package.

Clapton Chronicles: Best of 1981-1999
Crossroads Complete Clapton The Cream of Clapton
4 discs 2 Discs 1 Disc

Eric Clapton Live

There are quite a few Eric Clapton live releases. Our top three selections below are different line-ups. Listed in chronological order. I haven't yet seen the Live from Madison Square Garden

Live at the Fillmore personnel is the foundation of the band for his first solo album and Derek and the Dominos, without the supporting personnel. Crossroads 2, a four disc box set is the band from the 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand, etc. era. Then, Just One Night is an exceptionally good band, Albert Lee is the second guitarist.  No studio albums with this band.

Live at the Fillmore Crossroads 2 Just One Night 
1 Disc 4 Discs 1 Disc
October 1970
Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals
Carl Radle - Bass
Bobby Whitlock - Organ, Vocals
Jim Gordon - Drums
May 1974 - 1978

Eric Clapton's primary band - check the full page for a more complete break down.

Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals
George Terry - Guitar 
Dick Sims - Keyboards
Carl Radle - Bass
Jamie Oldaker - Drums
Yvonne Elliman - Vocals
Marcy Levy - vocals
Dec. 1979
Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals
Albert Lee Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Dave Markee Bass
Chris Stainton Keyboards
Henry Spinetti - Drums
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

Commander Cody

Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends
DVD
Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers
A few 2009 Commander Cody releases. On DVD, Rockpalast: Blues Rock Legends. This DVD presents George Frayne (aka Commander Cody), formerly of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, at his best during a live July 1st 1980, performance on Germany's legendary TV show Rockpalast. 

Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers 
is a new studio album, his first in over 20 years.

I'm most familiar with Commander Cody's live releases. Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas, is an excellent display of Commander Cody's style of rock

Since then there have been a few really interesting looking live release much more generous in length than Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas , but I haven't heard the quality yet to comment on that. ... Heart of Texas was released during the days of record LP's where the length was limited to around 45 minutes max. 

The Commander Cody Band 
Performance Repertoire

The band was first conceived in 1968, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but arrived in San Francisco in 1969, just in time to catch the tale end of the summer of love. They were 8 pieces strong, with the Commander himself (a.k.a. George Frayne) on the piano, 3 guitarists, fiddle/sax, pedal steel guitar, bass and drums - out of which 4 sang lead. The repertoire stretched from old time rock and roll; 20 FLIGHT ROCK, red neck country; TRUCK DRIVIN' MAN, boogie-woogie; BEAT ME DADDY 8 TO THE BAR, Cajun; DIGGY LIGGY LO, swing/jazz; SMOKE, SMOKE, SMOKE THAT CIGARETTE, plus their self-penned party anthems; TOO MUCH FUN, I'M DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS AGAIN, and LOST IN THE OZONE. Basically, they represented the essence of American roots music.

Eventually, they signed to Paramount Records, and the twangy HOT ROD LINCOLN was a runaway hit, reaching the top ten in 1972. A few more tunes breached the top 40 as they hit the concert trail, playing the legendary Fillmore Auditorium, and finding themselves on bills with the Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Jefferson Airplane, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and The Eagles. They also backed up legends Gene Vincent, Link Wray and John Lennon. Later, their 1974 album "Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas" was named as one of Rolling Stones 100 Greatest of all times!

As always, the old Commander Cody himself is behind the piano, leading the musical mayhem and controlled chaos, and sporting his legendary antics and ability to spark up even the toughest crowds.

Today the Commander Cody Band is closely knit with the legendary George Frayne a.k.a. "The Commander" (leader /keyboards/vocals), Steve Barbuto (drums /vocals), Rick Mullen (bass) and Mark Emerick on lead guitar and vocals. Frequent guest steel guitar  appearances by Bobby Black, Tiny Olson, John Wingren and Don E. Curtis of Scotty's Music add to the fun. This new edition of the band harks back to the instrumental virtuosity and spontaneity of the original band, and the response from critics and crowds have been overwhelmingly positive.

Live from Armadillo World HQ 1973 Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas
Live in the Ozone: 1973 USA Tour We've Got a Live One Here!
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

Crosby Stills Nash and Young  

Déjà Vu 4 Way Street

Crosby Stills Nash debut album was sensational and they followed it by adding the brilliant Neil Young. They recorded one studio album, Deja Vu, and one live one album, 4 Way Street, before parted ways.

Deja Vu is a masterpiece of songwriting whether playing hard or soft. Primarily the record is singer songwriter oriented and features the  classic "Teach Your Children," featuring Jerry Garcia on pedal, and Neil Young's "Helpless." Excellent, but not in the same league is Stills "4 + 20." 

The album opener, "Carry On" is guaranteed to have one singing along, while Crosby's "Almost Cut Your Hair" will have you not only singing, but also playing air guitar. Deja Vu is album that deserves to be listened to frequently with its familiar gorgeous melodies and truly astonishing vocal harmonies. 

Four Way Street, their live album is every bit as essential as Deja Vu. It includes both acoustic and electric segments that are both are thrilling. I'll add more details about this album upon my next listen. The remastered release includes four bonus tracks.

More Crosby Stills and Nash

A few releases in 2009 of interest. There is a June 2009 release of alternate takes and Demos of Crosby Still Nash. Release titled Demos.

Demos 
Press release excerpt

More than half of CROSBY, STILLS & NASH DEMOS comprises early versions of songs destined for solo projects that each member focused on following the success of Deja Vu. Stills released his self-titled debut in 1970, which introduced "Love The One You're With," his biggest solo hit to-date and a live favorite. Stills recorded this version in April 1970, more than six months before recording the album version in London. Another Stills demo, "Singing Call," features a song that would appear on his follow-up, Stephen Stills 2.

Reflections Gram Nash Box-set 
Press release excerpt

A three-CD boxed set that encompasses 40 years of memorable music with 64 songs; half of which are unreleased mixes, alternate versions and unissued tracks. This deluxe package features a 150-page booklet with 75 classic and unseen photos and track notes by Graham Nash.

Demos Reflections Gram Nash Box-set
Other top tier Crosby Stills Nash releases.
Crosby, Stills & Nash (1st Album) The Greatest Hits Crosby, Stills & Nash (Box-set) 
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography

King Curtis

Live at Fillmore West 
Press Release - Looking for a way to introduce Aretha Franklin to a mainstream audience, Jerry Wexler -- who signed the Queen of Soul to Atlantic Records and produced her classic albums -- booked the singer for three nights at San Francisco's Fillmore West in March 1971. At Wexler's suggestion, Franklin tapped premier saxman King Curtis and the Kingpins as both her opening act and backing band for the performances. Rhino Records revisits the sweet soul magic of those landmark live shows with remastered and expanded versions of ARETHA LIVE AT FILLMORE WEST and Curtis' LIVE AT FILLMORE WEST.

Highlights of King Curtis' performances recorded during those three momentous nights are collected on LIVE AT FILLMORE WEST, a single-disc collection featuring the original nine-song release remastered and expanded with five bonus tracks. Originally released shortly before Curtis was murdered in August 1971, the album became Curtis' best-selling release and charted on Billboard's R&B and Pop charts.

Instant Groove
1. Instant Groove
2. Hey Joe
3. Foot Pattin'
4. Wichita Lineman
5. Games People Play
6. Sing A Simple Song
7. The Weight
8. La Jeanne
9. Little Green Apples
10. Somewhere
11. Hold Me Tight
12. Hey Jude

Duane Allman plays on tracks 2, 3, 5 & 7.

Blues at Montreux by King Curtis and Champion Jack Dupree is a recording that allows King Curtis to stretch out more than on the studio releases. 

More King Curtis | Aretha Franklin 

Instant Groove Blues at Montreux by King Curtis and Champion Jack Dupree
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography
Band overviews
Chicago ] Crosby Stills & Nash ] King Curtis ] 
| Eric Clapton
Apple iTunes
CD reviews - Artist profiles - Discography
 

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