artists, Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Broadway Collection
(Polydor 1996) - Andrew Lloyd Webber needs little introduction. His
albums have sold more than 50 million copies, and his shows have been
blockbusters on stages around the world.
Born in 1948, Andrew Lloyd Webber has enjoyed a remarkable career.
His scores reflect a contemporary appreciation of rock and pop and blend
them with the more traditional opera, musical theater, and liturgical
canon to cross boundaries and set records. In addition to his stage
successes, his awards include six Tony Awards and three
The Broadway Collection features 18 showtunes recorded
by the artists who made them famous from the stage. Songs from Jesus
Christ Superstar, Requiem, Aspects of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset
Boulevard are included, together with the previously unreleased
title track from Sir Andrew's latest UK theatrical smash, By
The Broadway Collection includes Yvonne Elliman's
"I Don't Know How to Love Him," Sarah Brightman's reading
of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (though I prefer Madonna's
version), and Donny Osmond's "Close Every Door" (from
Joseph). Also featured are "Mr. Mistoffelees" by the
original broadway cast of Cats, "The Music of the Night"
by Michael Crawford, and "With One Look" by Glenn
For fans and newcomers alike, The Broadway Collection
is a great introduction.
MacCane, The Pawn Shop Years (Ryko 1997) - Buick MacCane (the
title comes from a song by T-Rex) is yet another band
anchored by Alejandro Escovedo. Based in Austin, Texas,
The Pawn Shop Years features Escovedo's signature sound
- uptempo roots rock, with snarling guitars and worldly, angry lyrics.
Formed (rather loosely) in 1989, Buick MacCane features Escovedo on
vocals and guitar, Joe Eddy Hines
on guitar, David Fairchild on bass and vocals, and
Glenn Benavides on drums. The Pawn Shop Years
features nine Escovedo/Buick originals that were recorded during sessions
in 1993 and 1996. (For hardcore fans, two tracks from the album's initial
1993 session have appeared on Escovedo's solo records.)
had a lot of hurt in his life, and that's reflected in Buick MacCane.
Says Escovedo, "We play mean, catty, bitchy little songs, but we're
making fun of ourselves as well as everything else around us."
And that about sums up The Pawn Shop Years. If you
want driving guitar rock by a talented bar band with an attitude, look
for The Pawn Shop Years.
I'm becoming disappointed by Escovedo; I've tried hard to make the
connection, but his anger at the injustices in the world keeps getting
in the way. Though Escovedo has many loyal friends who attest to his
Band, Live (Silver Eagle/King Biscuit 1997) - If you've been
reading this column for awhile, you know that country music isn't my
main bag. Too much twang turns me off - give me a good pop ditty any
So when a country album turns my ear, there's something special about
it. And the Corbin-Hanner Band has that special something.
Live was recorded on January 8, 1982 at the renowned
Palomino Club in Los Angeles, California. The album
features the strong songwriting skills of Bob Corbin and Dave Hanner,
including "Oklahoma Crude," "Country Singer," "Wings of My Victory,"
and "Lord, I Hope This Day is Good." Also included is an early version
of "Work Song," which became a radio hit in 1990.
The partnership between Bob Corbin and Dave Hanner goes back to the
eighth grade, when they cut their first sides as a duo. After high school,
they moved to Pittsburgh and recorded their first album for Columbia
Records in 1972.
Setting their sights on Nashville, the pair found that Music City wasn't
yet ready for a country band with two lead singers (though Brooks
& Dunn would later follow), from an urban background (though
Mary Chapin Carpenter would later emerge from Washington,
But the duo's songwriting skills could not be ignored. Mel Tillis
turned "Blind in Love" into a top ten hit in 1979, and Don Williams
scored big success in 1981 with "Lord I Hope This Day is Good." The
twosome split up in the 1980s and focused on writing hits for other
acts (including "Fire in the Night," which Alabama
took to number one in 1984), before reuniting in 1989 for even bigger
success with such songs as "Work Song" and "Concrete Cowboy."
I have often said that good songwriting holds up. And Live From
the Palomino holds true to this adage. Corbin and Hanner have
a pleasant crossover style, and a great knack for a catchy tune. With
terrific sound quality and informative liner notes, Live From
the Palomino is a slice of country history that deserves a
-- Randy Krbechek