CD Reviews

Various Artists - 'Magic Bus: Huge Hits From The Hippie Trail' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 14, 2016    
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A terrific collection of music! The younger generation will find this an education to why this was called the "swinging" sixties and "groovy" seventies.

It seems as soon as we sniff the scent of summer, every record company is issuing an album full of songs aimed at the weather, driving or some awful power ballads selection featuring the same songs from the likes of Jennifer Rush and Bonnie Tyler. In this case it's a three disc set aimed at the "Summer Of Love" and the "Hippy" era. Straight off, it is worth noting that the music contained within this collection is at least the original artists and not re-recordings as so many often are.

But it is equally worth mentioning that this is one of those types of compilation that will probably split opinion as to whether it should be in a publication such as this. There is indeed a heavy selection of sixties tracks which may not quite be the Rock that is usually featured within these pages, but on the other side of the coin there is an equal amount of tracks from bands that are regularly mentioned.

Admittedly, Frank Zappa may be spinning in his grave at the thought of being part of it I am sure, Deep Purple might be surprised to see who they are included with and Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' is a somewhat bizarre addition. But for any readers who lived through this era, those who might have varied tastes or those who simply fancy taking a break from the manic modern day world, there is plenty to recommend here (although it might be a step too far for the majority of pure Metalheads).

Each of the individual three discs is marked as "Turn On", "Tune In" and "Drop Out", a counterculture phrase popularised by Timothy Leary in 1966. If there is one negative, I have to say I was disappointed that there was not more text within the presentation side of this, offering some musical education into the social commentary that so many of these songs tapped into. But in fairness to this collection, there are some terrific offerings with a pleasant variety spread across the three discs.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The album opens with a well known name to these pages in The Who and, unsurprisingly, their track entitled 'Magic Bus'. Other selections from the first disc (containing the most "non-Fireworks" type acts) include the lush, melancholy masterpiece that is Matthews Southern Comfort 'Woodstock' and Buffalo Springfield's 'For What It's Worth'; a classic protest song of its time and one that featured the then youthful Neil Young. The Band's 'The Weight' is a Southern Country pleasure no one should be denied and I must admit The Fifth Dimension's 'Age Of Aquarius' camp musical soul is certainly a guilty pleasure. Also incorporated are other "classics of their time" such as The Lovin' Spoonful's 'Summer In The City', Simon And Garfunkel's 'A Hazy Shade Of Winter' and Harpers Bizarre's '59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)'.

Disc two brings more Fireworks centred bands (and well-known songs) into the equation with the likes of 'Whipping Post' by The Allman Brothers Band, Purple's 'Hush', 'On The Road Again' by Canned Heat and the aforementioned '...Alabama' from LS, but I could have done without Sonny And Cher's 'I Got You Babe', even though it certainly has its place chronologically. Some of the "lesser Fireworks type" material includes 'Both Sides Now' by Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary's 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?' and 'Sunshine Superman' from Donovan.

The third and final disc brings into focus largest collection of artists you would usually find within these pages such as Cream's 'Sunshine Of Your Love', 'Born To Be Wild' by Steppenwolf, Zappa's 'Peaches En Regalia', 'Race With The Devil' from Gun, 'White Rabbit' by Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull's 'Living In The Past' and 'Something In The Air' from Thunderclap Newman. Once again there are a smattering of artists not generally considered usual for this magazine such as 'Tiny Dancer' from Elton John, 'For Your Love' by The Yardbirds and Simon Dupree & The Big Sound's 'Kites'.

Considering the wealth of material from such legendary artists and groups that span the likes of The Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, Santana and Janis Joplin, this is a terrific collection of music. For anyone of a seasoned age, this will be a glorious trip down memory lane, and the younger generation will find this an education to why this was called the "swinging" sixties and "groovy" seventies.

Ray Paul

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
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  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
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