Imagine Black Sabbath without instrumental dynamism and lyrical vision; imagine Led Zeppelin without pyrotechnics: What you're imagining is the Bachman-Turner Overdrive — a lowest-common-denominator rock band that's found immense commercial success in a stylistic limbo between heavy-metal and MOR rock. They rely heavily on the basics to convey their musical message, but unlike 99% of their competition, BTO give the impression that the basics are about all they have to offer.
Whatever Happened to Jugula? is an album by English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper. It was first released in 1985. Jimmy Page, the guitarist for Led Zeppelin, paired up with Harper to create this amazing piece of work.
In 2011, bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Carla Bley led an iteration of the Liberation Music Orchestra in a live concert at the Jazz Middelheim Festival in Antwerp, Belgium. It was partially intended as a warm-up for a forthcoming Liberation Music Orchestra album, a process that had been in the works since 2007. Sadly, Haden died from post-polio syndrome in 2014 before any new LMO tracks could be recorded. Thankfully, Haden, along with his wife, Ruth Cameron Haden, and Bley had discussed his desires for how to finish the album prior to his passing. Furthermore, the 2011 performance, which included two new arrangements earmarked for the planned album, had been recorded for Belgian public radio. All this meant that an album was possible, and in 2015 Bley convened the LMO in a studio to record the new material. Per Haden's request, longtime friend and esteemed bassist Steve Swallow was brought in to play his parts.
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
One of the great lost albums of Southern hard rock, Dead Man was the 1970 debut album of the Houston band, Josefus. Formed in 1969, Josefus soon garnered a huge live following, opening for acts like ZZ Top and Grand Funk Railroad. Unfortunately, their debut album, a heavy mix of Zeppelin-inspired acid rock with a Southern twist, was destined to obscurity, due largely to the fact that it was not released on a proper label (the band actually paid to have the album pressed and released on their own “Hookah” label).