Unplugged

Scorpions - Blackout (1982)

Heavy metal, hard rock or pop? …whatever… Scorpions' 1982 record Blackout (29 March 1982; Harvest/EMI and Mercury Records) is a fantastic album for guitar lovers and all fans of great music.     Having lost two top guitarists in the form of Uli Roth and Michael Schenker, in 1980, Scorpions identified...

Steve Lukather

Steve Lukather has contributed guitar to over 1,500 albums with a huge range of artists including Michael Jackson and Ringo Starr, but he will forever be associated with Toto’s 1981 hit Africa, which currently has around 600 million views on Youtube alone. And, amazingly, in May 2018 Weezer made the tune popular again and returned the band to the...

Bruce Springsteen - Letter To You (2020)

Letter To You, the twentieth album in Bruce Springsteen's career, is not an album about these times, nor one with which he tries to raise the morale of his compatriots after a traumatic event. This is Springsteen looking back to his glory days, remembering friends who are no longer here. It is a ‘cheers’ to Clarence and another to Danny, and it...

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors (1977)

"One day we'll all be in Steve Gaines' shadow"; Ronnie Van Zant was clear that the band's new guitarist was a special guy and he knew that sooner or later that bird would fly high and free.    Street Survivors is one of the saddest albums that exists, not because of its content, which is full of energetic rock & roll, but...

Bob Weir - Blue Mountain (2016)

On Blue Mountain (30 September, 2016; Columbia Records) Bob Weir stepped out of the warm shadow cast by his life-long Grateful Dead colleague and friend Jerry Garcia, wrote some of his own songs, and told a part of his own unique story. And he did it in his own special way by inviting around 20 other musicians to take part (including Josh Ritter...

Van Halen - MCMLXXXIV (1984)

*(We had originally prepared this piece to appear on Monday October 12th, to celebrate David Lee Roth's birthday a couple of days before, but we have decided to publish it as a tribute to the guitarist who starred in the 70s in the second 'Big Bang of the guitar', after Hendrix's in the 60s. Rest in peace Eddie Van Halen, from Guitars Exchange we...

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Atom Heart Mother is far from a perfect album but it is ‘a fascinating mistake’, one that sees a gigantic band searching for itself, and still trying to get out from the huge shadow of their original leader, Syd Barrett. It is a ‘trial and error album’ in which they try many things that don’t all work out well; but it is a very...

Rolling Blackouts CF - Sideways to New Italy (2020)

Sideways to New Italy (5 June 2020; Sub Pop) is the second studio album by Australian indie rock band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. The album’s title references New Italy, a village of 200 inhabitants north of Sydney, founded by Venetian migrants, which is near the family home of drummer Marcel Tussie. This...

Jerry Lee Lewis - Live At The Star-Club Hamburg (1964)

On April 5, 1964, at the height of the 'Beatlemania' boom, Jerry Lee Lewis, also known as 'the Killer', took to the stage of a small German club, the Star Club, where the Liverpudlian musicians had played a number of times before jumping to fame. Just to make one thing clear, he may not have had much success since his scandalous marriage to his...

Nuno Bettencourt

Portuguese-American Nuno Bettencourt is known as the lead guitarist of the Boston rock band Extreme. He has released albums with Rhianna, Nickleback and solo, and has founded a number of bands including Mourning Widows and The Satellite Party (headed by Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell).   Although...

Khruangbin - Mordechai (2020)

Khruangbin’s - which is pronounced “krungbin” and means “flying engine” in Thai -third album, Mordechai (26 June, 2020; Dead Oceans/Night Time Stories) contains some great chill out grooves and comes with an entirely new element to their previous offerings – vocals.   In fact guitarist Mark Speer’s, bassist Laura...

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

The blessed music critics inability to value Led Zeppelin led Jimmy Page decide to make the "best fucking rock record ever made.” He was sick of being the band being denigrated by people saying that they were monolithic, on their first two albums, and then criticizing the third, more acoustic record, because it was supposedly the new fashion...

Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings (2020)

Scottish band Biffy Clyro has just released A Celebration of Endings (14 August 2020; 14th Floor / Warner Music), their ninth studio album, and it is like a breath of fresh air.   The record is clearly in Biffy Clyro’s distinctive style, which in some ways is a contradiction in terms, because the band’s music is so full...

Ayron Jones

Seattle-born guitarist and songwriter Ayron Jones (August 23, 1986) is currently riding high on a wave of positivity and success. His explosive single Take Me Away, which tells the story of his childhood abandonment at the age of four, draws on a variety of genres from rock to R&B, but adds a new twist to the tale.“I felt stuck in my own...

Mark Lanegan - Straight Songs Of Sorrow (2020)

It is perhaps no surprise that Mark Lanegan’s Straight Songs Of Sorrow (8 May 2020; Heavenly Recordings) features a whole load of references to death and dying. After all, the man with the voice “as scratchy as a three-day beard yet as pliable as moccasin leather” has seen heroin addiction, jail time and the loss of many people he cared...

Jimi Hendrix - First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (1997)

On May 11, 1970, the triple album commemorating the Woodstock Festival, held in August 1969, appeared in stores and quickly became a global phenomenon, climbing to the top of the American charts. The album closed with a medley of the performance of its top star, Jimi Hendrix. The left-handed guitarist was still one of the biggest stars on the...

Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth have sold over 38 million records, had 12 Grammy nominations and are one of the "big four" American thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Mustaine’s colourful life has included co-founding Metallica, full-blooded commitment to both Satanism and Christianty, and developing medical-grade...

Robert Jon & The Wreck ‎– Last Light On The Highway (2020)

Robert Jon & The Wreck released their fifth studio album Last Light On The Highway on 8 May, 2020, and it is a stormer.   The Orange County band, led by guitarist and lead vocalist Robert Jon Burrison, comprises drummer Andrew Espantman, keyboardist Steve Maggiora, guitarist Henry James, and bassist Warren Murrel, are...

Pink Floyd - Meddle (1971)

Meddle is a key record in Pink Floyd's career, as the band finally found the sound that helped them emerge from Syd Barrett's long shadow, and turn them into giants.  It all happened, more or less, by chance, when the band formed by Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason entered Abbey Road studios at the beginning of...