Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

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The Smashing Pumpkins, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” (Virgin/EMI Records)- EMI’s extensive Smashing Pumpkins’ re-issue programme continues with the release of this digitally remastered version of the band’s third album,”Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.” This sprawling and expansive song cycle serves up some of the most memorable material that Billy Corgan and company have captured for posterity during their lengthy performing career, including “1979,” “Tonight,Tonight” and the country tinged “Thirty-Three,” which was the fifth and final single to be taken from this multi-million selling 2 CD set.

Julian Sas,”Bound To Roll” (Cavalier CR 255606)- This is the eighth studio album that the gifted Dutch bluesman has released since he first set out to follow his dreams in the mid nineties, and the contents find him operating in much the same sort of gutsy, emotionally charged territory as the late great Rory Gallagher. The singer-guitarist tackles some solid original material alongside visceral covers of Rory’s “Shadow Play,” Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and Steve Marriott’s “30 Days in the Hole” as he acknowledges the impact that these equally uncompromising performers made on his approach to music-making during Sas’ formative years.

Siren, “Strange Locomotion” (Cherry Red/Turpentine TURPD3) - Kevin Coyne originally set up Turpentine Records to provide an outlet for his intense, blues influenced work at a time when none of the major record labels would have touched his challenging creations with the proverbial bargepole. The flow of new material sadly ceased when the Derby born musician succumbed to lung fibrosis in 2002, but Kevin’s highly sought after recordings from the early seventies still repay closer investigation, and this splendid re-issue features an expanded version of the second album that he recorded with Siren for John Peel’s Dandelion label.”The Stride,” “Shake My Hand” and “Relaxing With Bonnie Lou” are the cream of an excellent crop.

“Harry Nilsson-The Point” (MVD5367D)- This charmingly inconsequential little animated fable dates from 1971 and recounts the tale of Oblio, a round headed boy living in the land of “Point,” where everything and everybody has a point. Ringo Starr replaced original narrator Dustin Hoffman for the home video release, with Harry Nilsson supplying the winsome musical interludes for a fascinating period piece of a DVD whose surreal and dreamlike quality chimes perfectly with archetypal Nilsson numbers such as “Are You Sleeping?” and “Me and My Arrow.”

“Coolsville! Hits & Rarities from the Golden Age of Pop Instrumentals” (Fantastic Voyage FVDD 150)- In the pre-Beatles era the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic were liberally peppered with largely throwaway instrumental offerings from a variety of musical sources,and the best of the bunch have been gathered together here to form this deliciously dated 2 CD set. The contents span the years between 1957 and 1961,with tracks such as Link Wray’s “Jack The Ripper,” The Ventures’ “Walk Don’t Run” and bluesman Freddy King’s “Hide Away” now rightly acknowledged as classics of this often overlooked genre.