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Live At Montreux DVDs


05/03/06
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(Kayos) It’s been 40 years and counting for Switzerland’s legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. Those four decades have seen the best artists of not only the jazz world, but the worlds of rock, pop and R’n’B as well. Eagle Rock Entertainment, through its wholly-owned Eagle Vision subsidiary, has released sets by such acclaimed artists as Lou Reed, Charles Mingus, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Ella Fitzgerald and other giants from the Montreux stage. This May, you can add Alice Cooper, Rory Gallagher, Mike Oldfield and Deep Purple to that list.

On May 2, arguably the loudest band in the history of rock’n’roll, Deep Purple, will get the Live At Montreux treatment with its entire 1996 set of blistering originals (plus two bonus tracks from its 2000 Montreux appearance). Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Steve Morse and Ian Paice stunned the ’96 Montreux faithful that night with an 11-song hour of intensity, including such favorites as “Smoke On The Water,” “Black Night,” “Woman From Tokyo” and “Speed King.”

On May 8, the late Irish blues-rock guitarist Rory Gallagher gets his definitive Live At Montreux release on a double-disc which will include all five of his Montreux appearances. The first disc features five songs from his 1975 debut, seven from 1977, five from 1979, and five from 1985. The second disc includes his entire 1994 set, captured just months before his untimely death at age 47, as well as six acoustic bonus tracks from 1975-1985.

On May 16, one of the most enigmatic performers of instrumental music ever, Mike Oldfield, is Live At Montreux, in 1981. It is the only known ’81 footage of the notoriously stage-shy guitarist as he leads an ensemble comprised of electric and acoustic guitars, drums, extra percussion, piano and female vocals. As a teenager, Oldfield’s 1973 Tubular Bells sold 16 million copies. This six-song 105-minute set ranges from neo-classical to ambient to jazz to melodic folk-pop.

On May 30, The Father of Shock-Rock, Alice Cooper, brings his acclaimed horror rock’n’roll show to the 2005 Live At Montreux stage. Complete with his standard big-budget production, Coop flies in the face of convention yet again with a wild adventurous eclecticism that proves this Detroit rocker hasn’t lost one iota of his grisly charm. One of the few ‘60s rockers still vital, active and in better vocal form than ever, Cooper’s current material off last year’s Dirty Diamonds holds up remarkably well in-concert next to such fan favorites as “The Ballad Of Dwight Frye,” I’m 18” and “School’s Out.” The 27-song DVD comes complete with a bonus 19-track CD of the same set.

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