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4Play: The Go-Go‘s, The Kinks, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benetar

Kristi Kates - June 6th, 2011
The Go-Go’s- Beauty and the Beat: 30th Anniversary Edition - Capitol
It’s the 30th anniversary of this landmark Go-Go’s album - so what better
way to celebrate than with a remastered disc plus a bonus concert disc
from one of the band’s early ’80s live shows? Belinda Carlisle and her
bandmates really set the bar for their own brand of candy-pop, perfectly
frosted with surf-worthy guitar riffs, solid beats, and Carlisle’s
distinctive trill on studio tracks like the bright “We Got the Beat” and
“This Town”; the live disc adds another catchy, sugary layer with
now-classic Go-Go’s songs like “Vacation,” “Cool Jerk,” and “Let’s Have a
Party” arriving time-capsule-style from one of their peppy ’80s-era Boston
shows.

The Kinks - Kinda Kinks - Sanctuary Records
‘Remastered’ only scratches the surface of what this great two-CD edition
of The Kinks’ 1965 set - their sophomore album - has to offer. With the
majority of the songs on this album written by the ambitiously talented
Ray Davies, the hooks are as strong as the emotions, from the pensive
“Something Better Beginning” and “So Long” to the poppier “Tired of
Waiting for You” and “Never Met a Girl Like You Before.” Complimenting the
original tunes are several bonus numbers, including BBC demos that reveal
two previously-unreleased tracks, “This Strange Effect” and “I Go to
Sleep.” It’s both a thoughtful - and danceable - mix of some of The Kinks’
best.
 
Stevie Nicks - Crystal Visions: The Very Best Of (Deluxe Edition) -
Reprise/WEA
This best-of collection just may be the best as far as bringing together
Nicks’ solo works in one CD/DVD package, with the deluxe edition including
a plethora of bonus materials. Nicks herself comments on each music video,
and that’s her artwork you’ll see on much of the packaging; and of course,
there’s the music, which includes all half-dozen of Nicks’ biggest solo
hits, from “Stand Back” and “Edge of Seventeen” to her collaborations with
The Eagles’ Don Henley (“Leather and Lace”) and musical pal Sheryl Crow
(“Sorcerer.”) The rock legend has influenced a wide range of today’s
female rockers, and this disc showcases exactly why.
 
Pat Benetar - Greatest Hits - Capito
Also getting the remastering treatment is another ’80s standout, namely
solo artist Benetar, whose best known tune (recently revitalized in the
Jennifer Garner movie 13 Going on 30) is perhaps the classic-bombastic
“Love is a Battlefield.” The depth of sound here finally pays justice to
Benetar’s impressive vocals, whether on her more rock-oriented hits
(“Heartbreaker,” “Invincible,” “Fire and Ice”) or her later, more
musically-experimental tracks (“Le Bel Age,” “We Belong.”) Several of her
musical peers weigh in on the liner notes, including Tori Amos and Lisa
Marie Presley, in whose own works echoes of Benetar’s sounds can often be
heard.
 
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