Right, I said I was going to buy less this month and I meant it! So really, the last thing I ought to be doing is poring over the new release schedules… but fearlessness and iron will come with the territory when you’re the Heavy Metal Overlord so I’m going to do it anyway. So you don’t have to.
The one true must-buy of the month has got to be Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven: 20th Anniversary Edition (out 24th March) with a bonus CD of their 1994 Donington set. I’m not a big fan of re-recorded albums but Manowar have unleashed Kings of Metal MMXIV (out now), a re-recording of their classic album. I’m a little tempted but I can’t help feeling this kind of thing is just pointless. Do I buy it just to stay in the loop? I haven’t kept pace with Magnum’s recent output since Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow in 2007 so I’m not sure if I’m interested in Escape From the Shadow Garden (out 24th March). I’m tempted to check in on them and see what they’re up to though.
There are a couple of Deep Purple reissues to think about in March. Hear No Evil have just released a double disc of The Battle Rages On paired with the Come Hell or High Water live album (out now). Nothing new there if you already own both but I don’t have either of those so it’s enticingly cheap and looks nice too! For completists there is a 2CD/DVD reissue of their Stockholm 1970 live set (out 10th March.) I have a version of that already and it’s excellent but now it’s bolstered with some two bonus live tracks recorded in Paris in 1970 (I’m thinking these are audio from the “Pop Deux” tracks on the History, Hits and Highlights DVD?) and the full “Doing Their Thing” set from Granada TV on DVD. Apparently this is the first full DVD outing for the Granada set (Blackmore playing his Gibson!) but not sure about the Paris tracks. Worth buying again?
Rod Stewart’s monster four-disc live anthology, Live 1976-1998: Tonight’s The Night (out 17th March) looks like a blast if you like that sort of thing (I do) and his old Faces chum Ronnie Lane (with his band Slim Chance) gets anthologised in the 2CD Ooh La La: An Island Harvest (10th March). The Slim Chance albums have become fairly hard to come by lately so a good compilation is very welcome.
There’s an unofficial archive Rush live album due out called Spirit of the Airwaves (1980 Live Radio Broadcast) (10th March). I don’t see any rare tracks being aired here so I don’t know how appealing that will be to all you Rush fanatics out there. I’ll pass.
Anyone heard The Gathering album Always…? I haven’t but it did appear on a Terrorizer “Top Doom albums” type list so that puts it on my radar straight away. Not sure about that cover though…
And speaking of album covers… there is the Ronnie James Dio tribute album This Is Your Life (31st March). The list of participating acts is absolutely stellar which tells you everything you need to know about the great man but I don’t like tribute albums and the cover genuinely makes my skin crawl. It’s so bad. There are definitely some songs on it that I’d like to hear but, if I’m honest, I don’t want the whole thing.
And that’s the March releases that especially stand out to me. If there’s anything cool I may have missed, or anything I really should have missed, please tell me about it. Expect to see the Pantera reissue show up in the next Buying Round-Up but, apart from that, it’s really anyone’s guess!
(All release dates are UK dates)