"This is a collection that long-time Radiator fans will appreciate, but not neccisarily great for the new Radiator fan. Almost all of these songs have been heard before; most of the time these versions are not quite as good as some I've heard previously. For the folks not as familiar with the Rads, but want a large dose, try "Earth vs. the Radiators". Then go see them live when they come around to your town. There are not too many better live acts."
30 years of radiation, historic!
ericv | NY | 07/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2 disc release has superb selections from the band's long history, many of them capturing the energy and joy during live performances. Some might say it's a jambalaya of sorts, mixed from their vast and prolific repetoire. What other band has been touring constantly upwards of 200 nights some years with all the original members for more than 30 years!?! The Radiators are a national treasure and this is fishhead music at its finest! Recommended for new and hardcore fans alike."
Wild & Free is Pure & Real
The Captain | Bridgewater, MA | 02/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no need to remind you that New Orleans traditionally has produced some simply amazing musical talent. With a rich culture that can be considered synonymous with good music, many musicians and bands call New Orleans their hometown. There is a rich and vibrant music scene that spices up the New Orleans night life in a good way and just like you might need to head to New Orleans to get some of the best Creole food it is in that same regard that if you are in the market for guaranteed good music New Orleans is the place for you.
Though there are certainly different styles of music that call New Orleans home, musically the city is sort of like a buffet restaurant since just about everyone is guaranteed something that they will like. Whether it is the blues, jazz, rock, country or some other musical variation, there certainly is no shortage of good music coming out of the city.
The New Orleans based quintet The Radiators is no exception. For 31 years now The Radiators have been performing music that is not just enjoyable to listen to but is also technically just about as sound as one could hope for. With a mixing of jazz and rock sounds, The Radiators create music that keeps you moving throughout the track. If your foot is not tapping away while their music is playing, you better look down and make sure your foot is still there.
The Radiators have released a new two disc compilation album that is inclusive of studio tracks, live tracks and some previously unreleased tracks, as well. The two disc set is the ideal album to throw in during just about any situation as the music is fresh, vibrant and alive. It is clear once the album is listened to that The Radiators are not just another band that is satisfied with just being in the music scene but rather is completely intent on making music that is of the highest caliber and quality.
The Radiators is comprised of Camile Baudoin (guitar/vocals), Frank Bua, Jr. (drums), Dave Malone (guitar/lead vocals), Reggie Scanlan (bass) and Ed Volker (keys/lead vocals).
House of Blue Lights has a dynamic sound that intertwines smooth vocals with a guitar sound that twangs along throughout the track. There is a faster pace to the track that works really well since the music moves the listener through the track while the solid vocal performance keeps the listener focused intently on what it taking place.
One of the top tracks on the album is Hard Core which has a funky, rhythmic beat to it and at times maintains a deeper sort of blues feel to it while at other times the instrumentation gives the track a much more rock feel. The range musically on this track is the real winner on the track since the variation in terms of sounds is perhaps the most noticeable on this track.
Cupid's Got a Mighty Arrow has a very different feel to it since there is an almost pop feel to the track. A sort of repetition of the song title at the end of the track becomes a bit more than is really needed and reminds me a bit of a song you would hear a band at a wrinkle ranch belting out. This track seems a bit out of place based upon the rest of the album and is not the best performance by The Radiators.
One of the live performances that you can find on the album is on disc two. The track Have a Little Mercy nicely confirms that the success of The Radiators over the past three decades has been thanks largely in part to the fact that their live performances are just as solid as their studio recordings. The quality sound of the studio translates nicely in the live performance and the music of The Radiators live is complete and polished. One can clearly hear the Southern passion in the music that is being performed and all of the instrumentation pairs nicely to the vocals that are just as sound live as they are in the studio. After listening to this live performance track, certainly a wave of desire to see The Radiators live sweeps across the listener. Disc One Track Listing:
1. Wild and Free 2. House of Blue Lights 3. Suck the Head, Squeeze the Tip 4. Oh Beautiful Loser 5. Love Trouble 6. Where Was You At? 7. My Home is on the Border 8. Like Dreamers Do 9. Fever Dream 10. Hard Core 11. Cupid's Got a Mighty Arrow 12. I Want to go Where the Green Arrow Goes 13. Songs From the Ancient Furnace Disc Two Track Listing: 1. The Girl With the Golden Eyes 2. Hard Time Train 3. Have a Little Mercy 4. One-Eyed Jack 5. Doctor Doctor 6. The Forever Man 7. Strangers 8. Stand By Me, Baby 9. When Her Snake Eyes Roll 10. All Meat Off the Same Bone 11. Hard Rock Kid 12. Last Getaway 13. Tear My Eyes Out 14. King Solomon Don't Mind 15. Red Dress When you purchase a compilation album sometimes you always hope that the album that you are purchasing is going to in fact provide a fair sampling of the music of the band that you have just musically invested in. You need a good sampling and range of music to consider what the music and appeal of the band is all about or the compilation album has not done its job.
The nice thing about Wild & Free by The Radiators is that the listener is guaranteed the best of both worlds. Not only do you get to experience the studio work of the band but you also get to hear plenty of live tracks by the band, as well. The remarkable part of the unison of the two on this album is that it becomes abundantly clear that the music of The Radiators is solid no matter where it is performed. Though some performers might not transition well between the studio and live performances and vice versa, for The Radiators this is clearly not the case. This album is a dynamic representation of not just good music by The Radiators but good music in general. The Radiators have perfected a sound that is pure and real and for that they should be commended.
Wild & Free is produced by Jacob Stoken, Eli Stoken, Steven Quat, Lydia Cohn, Edith Cohn, Al Cohn, Matthew Ricchiuti and William Ricchiuti. Wild & Free is on the Radz Records label.
For more information about The Radiators, check out their website www.theradiators.org. "
A Magic Carpet Ride!!!
P. Pearson | Colorado, USA | 07/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not your typical career-spanning CD compilation, i.e., a collection of "Best Hits" or a ho-hum recycling of previously released material. And why should it be when the legacy of The Radiators lies most notably in their amazing ever-evolving live performances? Shows that have become legendary because they draw upon a treasure chest of 1000+ rotating songs, each setlist completely different than the one before and to follow it, and each performance leaving fans clamoring for more -- as much due to their vast song repertoire as to their masterful musicianship and eerie telepathic interplay, resulting from thirty years of non-stop touring together. This musical retrospective takes the listener on a winding journey traversing the band's entire three-decade career -- presenting a tasty blend of previously unreleased studio recordings, demo tracks, hard-to-find rarities, and hand-picked crowd-pleasing favorites from various live performances. In this audio version of a family scrapbook, hardcore fans and new listeners alike will delight in vintage versions of "Red Dress," "Love Trouble," and "Songs From the Ancient Furnace," extraordinary gems such as "Stand By Me," "Tear My Eyes Out" and "Forever Man" and freshly cooked-up versions of a dreamy "Girl With the Golden Eyes" and a funky, tail-shakin' "Where Was You At?" This is a remarkable collection - with its only fault lying in the fact that it is a mere two discs. Let's hope an encore will follow."
This is why RADIATORS have been around so many years now!
Thomas Garcia | Miami, FL USA | 07/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think Ray sez it best:
Trying to the synthesize the 30 years of New Orleans road dogs The Radiators into a two-disc set is nearly impossible. The group has a catalog of more than 1,000 songs, has allowed its concerts to be taped from the beginning and hasn't played the same show twice. As singer-guitarist Dave Malone told me in March, "We could have a 20-CD package."
That considered, the 28-song "Wild & Free" does a decent job of showing why the group has been a favorite concert draw for decades and how it's followed its own muse throughout that period. That the group sounds almost the same in 2008 as it did in 1978 is something the die-hards laud. If you haven't liked the Rads until now, "Wild & Free" isn't going to change your mind.
Good New Orleans rock bands have not been abundant in the last 25 years (many of the city's best musicians play funk, jazz or blues) but The Radiators could only be from the Crescent City. The city's slippery rhythms are at the core of The Radiators' sound and make the group stand apart from other great bar bands. The rhythm section of drummer Frank Bua and bassist Reggie Scanlan is both elastic and muscular. The group's greatest strength, however, is the distance between its two singers: Malone owns a gruff voice perfect for bluesy, countrified rock, while Ed Volker is something of a bayou shaman - the kind whose poetry and grace could only exist in Louisiana - and prolific songwriter. His keyboard work is heavily influenced by Big Easy Ghosts who went by names like Professor Longhair and Tuts Washington. Second guitars are provided by Camile Baudoin. There are two new studio tracks. Malone's "Where Was You At?" is a funky rocker a la "Papaya" off "New Dark Ages." Volker's "Girl With The Golden Eye" hangs at a comfortable tempo, allowing him to reflect on his formative years ("living in bars/sleeping in cars") - a subject he's getting masterful at capturing - behind a constant guitar lick and his steady keyboard work. It's a fine addition to the band's latter-day catalog.
The rest of the two discs come from the band's archives. Of most interest to hardcore fans will be the eight songs recorded between 1978 and 1980, including early versions of crowd-pleasers "Suck the Head, Squeeze the Tip" and "All Meat Off the Same Band." That the band is fond of mid-tempo grooves and sometimes hangs on to a groove for long amounts of time is a trademark in place from the start. That "Songs From the Ancient Furnace" lasts more than 11 minutes is either delightful or dreadful, depending on your opinion of jam bands. It's preceded by a standout performance of "I Want to Go Where The Green Arrow Goes" from The Ritz in New York City in 1989; here, Malone gets into country soulman role in a major way.
Spending 30 years in the rock 'n' roll game is rare. Doing so with the same lineup borders on impossible. In that regard, Malone was justified in saying The Radiators have earned that 20-disc box set. Here's to many more years. New Orleans wouldn't be the same without you.