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The Big Takeover Issue #92

Jeff Elbel

Jeff Elbel is obsessed with music (just like you), which explains his affection for The Big Takeover. As far as he can recall, he has contributed to every issue since #43 with R.E.M. on the cover. His featured articles have included interviews with heroes Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil, “Saint Bob” Geldof of the Boomtown Rats, and Sharon Jones of the Dap-Kings. Jeff works for a NASA consultant group by day, and fills as many of the other waking moments as possible chasing his daughters and performing with groups including his rock and roll band Ping. Jeff also freelances for the Chicago Sun-Times, and is nearly always sleep-deprived.

Video: "King of a Land" by Yusuf/Cat Stevens (BMG/Dark Horse)

28 April 2023

Yusuf / Cat Stevens shares his wishes and advice with England’s new monarch. “The major message of the song is, don’t forget that there’s One above you, and be careful to look out for those who are below you,” says Yusuf.

The Foreign Films - Magic Shadows (Sonic Envy)

26 April 2023

The Foreign Films’ sixth release guides the crafty Bill Majoros’ love of classic ‘60s/‘70s pop-rock toward the retro-futuristic ‘80s.

Zebra - The Arcada Theatre (St. Charles, IL) - April 08, 2023

9 April 2023

While performing their 1983 debut album for its 40th anniversary, New Orleans’ heavy rockers Zebra created a special one-off event for returning fans at the Arcada Theatre.

Angel - The Arcada Theatre (St. Charles, IL) - March 19, 2023

21 March 2023

The Arcada Theatre was rocking with Angel classics and songs from forthcoming album Once Upon A Time.

Frank Zappa – Waka/Wazoo Deluxe Box (UMe/Zappa Records)

21 February 2023

The box set is a treasure for Zappaphiles, and the LPs are recommended for newer disciples who want to bridge the gap between the well-known Hot Rats and Apostrophe (‘) albums.

Al DiMeola, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke – Rite of Strings: Live at Montreaux 1994 (Mercury Studios)

2 February 2023

This live set captures a summit meeting of iconoclastic musicians as it happened nearly 30 years ago at the famed and influential Montreaux Jazz Festival. The concert predates and foreshadows a classic album for fans of ’90s fusion.

Bull y Los Búfalos – Fury (Paramour)

28 December 2022

Spanish native and Austin, Texas transplant Diego “Bull” Avello and band offer riff-driven blues-based rock and positivity.

Video: "Ghost In The Needle / Not OK At All" by The Wayside (independent)

20 December 2022

“We never really went away, but it really feels like the Wayside is back,” says singer John J. Thompson. The Wayside brings its blend of roots-rock, alt-country and Americana to two new singles.

My Brightest Diamond at Gezelligheid – Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago, IL) – December 14, 2022

15 December 2022

Shara Nova performed new My Brightest Diamond material during an opening set for the fifth of seven seasonal Gezelligheid concerts by Andrew Bird. Photos by Alec Basse.

Iron Maiden – United Center (Chicago, IL) - October 5, 2022

6 October 2022

Spooky metal for Halloween! Iron Maiden brought its Legacy of the Beast tour to United Center in Chicago, IL.

The Staple Singers – Be Altitude: Respect Yourself 50th Anniversary LP (Stax/Craft)

27 September 2022

Students of the American Civil Rights movement will find this album, widely considered to be the Staples’ best fusion of Gospel fervor and pop appeal, to be a joyous component of the syllabus.

The Verlaines – Live at the Windsor Castle, 1986 (Schoolkids)

25 September 2022

Thanks to Schoolkids Records for bringing this underrated gem from the days of college rock and jangle-pop into the light.

The Tragically Hip – Live at the Roxy Los Angeles, May 3, 1991 (Universal Music Canada)

25 September 2022

Live at the Roxy documents early days when the Hip leaned heavily upon its blues-rock roots. The heady and visceral material is played with fierce commitment.

The Band – Cahoots 50th anniversary deluxe LP (Capitol/UMe)

25 September 2022

The Band’s fourth album Cahoots is celebrated with a deep dive into the quintet’s career circa 1971.

The Who – My Generation, A Quick One, The Who Sell Out, Tommy half-speed mastered LPs (UMC/Polydor)

25 September 2022

These reissues present the Who’s revered mod-era material in the best possible light within the constraints of the vinyl format.

The Police – Greatest Hits (Polydor/UMC)

25 September 2022

The Police made a high-octane run between 1978 and 1983, showing rapid development from admitted origins as calculated punk scene posers to ultimate status as world-dominating pop-rock chart-toppers.

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – Modern Lovers 88 LP reissue (Rounder/Craft)

25 September 2022

This album’s charm hinges upon Jonathan Richman’s knack for writing songs that radiate innocence and simple fun.

Leo Nocentelli – Another Side (Light in the Attic)

24 September 2022

This compelling record from Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli is out of character in a very special way, and it also comes with an astonishing origin story.

Cloakroom – Dissolution Wave LP (Relapse)

24 September 2022

Dissolution Wave is the aural equivalent of a weighted blanket. If you’re pining for the melodic and heavy space-rock from the late 90s, Cloakroom has returned with its third album to provide the sublime but downcast shoegaze sound your spirit craves.

Brian May – Another World Deluxe LP reissue (UMe)

24 September 2022

24 years later, Another World still charts a path of imagination toward a better place.

The Rolling Stones – Licked Live in NYC (Mercury Studios/Universal)

24 September 2022

As the Rolling Stones tour in support of the band’s 60th anniversary, this concert film is being re-released from the days when the band had merely 40 years, or “licks,” to their credit. This 2003 show was captured at Madison Square Garden.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – "Travelin’ Band (live)" b/w "Who’ll Stop the Rain (live)" RSD 7” (Craft)

24 September 2022

This 7” vinyl disc features a hot CCR performance drawn from the Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall live album and documentary concert film.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On 50th Anniversary 2xLP (Tamla/UMe)

24 September 2022

Marvin Gaye’s catalog overflows with gems, but What’s Going On is the crown jewel.

The Beach Boys – The Very Best of the Beach Boys: Sounds of Summer LP box (Capitol/UMe/Brother)

24 September 2022

Songs spanning 1962 debut album Surfin’ Safari through 1989’s Still Cruisin’ capture the pure escapism of classic surf-rock sides and expand toward Brian Wilson’s pursuit of pop perfection characterized as “teenage symphonies to God.”

Wings – Wild Life 50th anniversary LP (Capitol/UMe)

23 September 2022

After the homespun McCartney and domestic collaboration of Ram, Paul McCartney stepped back toward band work with his third post-*Beatles* album.

Riot Fest: Day 3 - Douglass Park (Chicago, IL) - September 18, 2022

19 September 2022

Despite forecasts of an inbound storm that threatened to disrupt Nine Inch Nails’ headlining set, Chicago received sunny end-of-summer weather during most of the final day at Riot Fest. Jeff Elbel’s coverage includes The Linda Lindas, Jawbox, Lunachicks, Jimmy Eat World, and Sleater-Kinney.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin’ Band (live) b/w Who’ll Stop the Rain (live) 7” (Craft)

10 August 2022

This 7” platter features live performances from 1970 of two songs that would soon appear in studio versions on CCR’s Cosmo’s Factory album.

The Eargoggle – The Eargoggle Regales, the Eargoggle Revels (Very Special Recordings)

27 June 2022

The Eargoggle Regales, the Eargoggle Revels is a captivating, imaginative, and immersive experience. Is it an expansive double-vinyl set with a comic book that illustrates each of its 17 songs, or is it a comic book rendered by top talent that has a soundtrack song for each of its vignette-sized stories?

Ray Charles, his Orchestra, and the Raelettes - Live in Stockholm 1972 (Tangerine)

27 June 2022

Fans of the Genius may wish for deeper cuts or signature songs like “One Mint Julep” of “Hit the Road Jack,” but the band follows Charles through every playful twist and dynamic shift.

EXTC Delivers Everything to Fans Who've Waited 40 Years

18 April 2022

EXTC featuring original XTC drummer Terry Chambers concluded a sixteen-date North American club tour April 9th in Toronto. The band will resume live shows in the UK in July. It has been forty years since XTC toured the United States, and hardcore fans were keen to attend. Philamonjaro interviews the band.

R.E.M. - New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Craft Recordings)

3 March 2022

The energy and revelatory portraits captured in New Adventures in Hi-Fi are often considered to be the culmination of R.E.M.’s aim for Monster and the band’s last truly great work.

Ghost - Allstate Arena (Chicago, IL) - February 18, 2022

20 February 2022

Frontman Papa Emeritus IV (Tobias Forge) delivered a high-caliber set of gothic evil with a wink and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Cloakroom – Dissolution Wave (Relapse)

25 January 2022

Dissolution Wave is the aural equivalent of a weighted blanket. If you’re pining for the melodic and heavy space-rock from the late 90s, Cloakroom has returned with its third album to provide the sublime but downcast shoegaze sound your spirit craves.

Stewart Copeland: The Police Deranged for Orchestra - Allen Bradley Hall (Milwaukee, WI) - December 2, 2021

7 December 2021

“What is this drummer guy doing with an orchestra?” said former Police percussionist Stewart Copeland.

Vince Guaraldi - It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Music from the Soundtrack (Craft)

29 October 2021

This is a fun memento for Peanuts and Vince Guaraldi vinyl collectors, or anyone waiting at the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to finally make his grand entrance.

Photo by Philamonjaro.

Alice Cooper – BMO Harris Pavilion (Milwaukee, WI) – October 1, 2021

3 October 2021

The music and sights did the talking during the tightly paced, theatrically produced show. As a parting blessing, Cooper exclaimed, “It’s very close to Halloween, so may all your nightmares come true.” Photos by Philamonjaro.

Morrissey – Riot Fest (Chicago, IL) – September 16, 2021

20 September 2021

Despite controversial opinions and provocative statements offstage, Morrissey needn’t have questioned his fans’ ardor for his music.

Foo Fighters - Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (Maryland Heights, MO) - August 3, 2021

16 August 2021

Review and photos by Philamonjaro. After closing Lollapalooza, Foo Fighters played an indisputably uplifting event at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO.

Elbow – Asleep in the Back LP, Cast of Thousands LP (Polydor)

29 December 2020

At the 20th anniversary of Elbow’s debut album, this vinyl reissue campaign treats the band’s early material with the loving touch its legacy warrants.

Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas (Craft/Fantasty)

22 December 2020

The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s score for the animated TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas continues to serve as a point of entry for new generations of fans to discover jazz music at any age.

Marty Willson-Piper – Nightjar (Schoolkids)

16 November 2020

MWP’s best solo work sees its vinyl debut. Don’t expect to be pinned to the wall by a pyrotechnic flash of frenetic guitars; this beautifully crafted album has a different and dreamier aim.

Keith Slettedahl - You Know You Know (independent)

12 September 2020

Given Slettedahl’s tenure as a songwriter and bandleader with The 88, it’s hard to think of You Know You Know as the debut of a fresh-faced solo act. Consider him instead as a fresh-faced veteran, deploying his refined gifts for cartwheeling pop melodies and relatable characterizations.

Dave Mason – Alone Together Again (Shelter Music)

6 August 2020

Despite the classic standing of the original work, Alone Together Again is essential listening for Mason’s audience. Fans will enjoy having this creatively reimagined album as a bookend to a catalog spanning five decades.

Gregory Allen Lisher – Songs from the Imperial Garden (

2 August 2020

With varying levels of savvy interplay, plenty of evocative melodies, and styles drawn from around the globe, Camper Van Beethoven guitarist Greg Lisher’s imaginative writing and playing tell a range of stories without the need for words.

Maceo Parker – Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo (The Funk Garage)

29 June 2020

Seasoned bandleader and saxophonist Maceo Parker pays tribute to a couple of his titanic funk bosses alongside songs by favorite collaborators and original material on Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo. The album is infused with the sound of New Orleans.

The Choir – Last Call: Live at the Music Box (Omnivore)

29 June 2020

“Sometimes, band reunions remind you of what initially went wrong,” writes drummer Jim Bonfanti. “In this case, I am reminded of what went right!” This live set caps the career of Cleveland garage-pop heroes the Choir.

The Foreign Films – Ocean Moon (Sonic Envy)

29 June 2020

Ocean Moon’s crafty retro-pop confections are intended as companions for the summer season, and the Foreign Films shine much-needed light in dark times.

Atlantaeum Flood – One Day (Schoolkids)

6 March 2020

Featuring former Church guitarist Marty Willson-Piper and his Noctorum partner Dare Mason, One Day will find fans among those who appreciated Pink Floyd’s instrumental send-off The Endless River or Mike Oldfield’s classic Tubular Bells.

Ed O’Brien (EOB) – Lincoln Hall (Chicago) – February 8, 2020

10 February 2020

Billed as EOB, the group introduced material from the founding Radiohead member’s debut solo album Earth and added a couple of revealing covers.

The Police - Regatta de Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost in the Machine, and Synchronicity LP reissues (A&M)

4 February 2020

Vinyl fans without a need for a boxed set of the full Police catalog can now choose from four individual remastered LPs.