various artists, Pink Floyd, Elvis Costello, Traffic, and Cream


Phases & Stages

1967's Festival! (Eagle Rock) is much more than Bob Dylan. Academy Award-winning director Murray Lerner captures the height of the Sixties Folk revival by intertwining scenes from three mid-decade years of the Newport Folk Festival, including fascinating cameos from Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Son House, and too many others to list. "Protest music" at its height… Pink Floyd's London 1966/1967 (Snapper) is more music history, featuring the Syd Barrett-led group's first recording sessions via the epic "Interstellar Overdrive" and improvised "Nick's Boogie," all intercut with oddly cropped scenes from Swinging London. While Floyd's part is less than 30 minutes, the disc is padded with interviews of Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, and Julie Christie… More than 21Ú2 hours of pop brilliance, The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello (Rhino), collects 27 videos from 1978 to 1994. The bespectacled one recorded a commentary track for each one, offering bemused behind-the-scenes insights. Most exciting are the bonus features: rare performances with the Attractions done for British, Dutch, and Swedish television '77-'83, including his first-ever TV appearance. Required viewing for Costello freaks… By 1994 Traffic was down to Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood, but that didn't prevent them breathing remarkably fresh life into their old songs. The Last Great Traffic Jam (Epic) chronicles that year's tour, including candid backstage snippets revealing Capaldi's oddball disposition… For wow factor alone, the Cream reunion can't be beat. Too bad the same can't be said for their first performances in 37 years. Royal Albert Hall London May 2 3 5 6 2005 (Rhino) is a straightforward, in-concert document of Baker, Bruce, and Clapton's four-night stand earlier this year, drawing highlights from each show. The original power trio betrays its age, over 60, with one listless performance after another. Show's end ignites on "Sunshine of Your Love," but that and watching Clapton blaze this close aren't enough to recommend this two-disc letdown.

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