Is there still anybody out there who has never heard of The Blasters? If
so, now is your big chance to put that right. The Blasters were the prime
example of how to channel the energy and spirit of punk into American roots
music. "Testament" captures them at their peak (1981-85) and all of the
songs still sound as fresh and vibrant today as they did 20 years ago. A
real contender for best reissue of 2002, "Testament" brings together all
the material that the Blasters released on Slash, plus seven previously
unissued tracks on an absolutely cracking double CD.
The first CD encompasses "The Blasters" and "Non-Fiction" albums, plus a
couple of tracks that appeared on the OST of "Streets of Fire." This is one
big party from the opening of "Marie Marie," through classics like "Border
Radio," "American Music," "Red Rose," and "Long White Cadillac" right on
through to "Blue Shadows."
The second CD maintains the standards of quality and energy set by the
first. It pulls together "The Hard Line" and the live recording "Over
There: Live At The Venue, London," where they pay fulsome tribute to many
of their influences In addition to several outtakes, there is the extra
bonus of a live recording of Phil and Dave Alvin singing "Take Out Some
"Testament" is a real blast (no pun intended). This is the definitive
Blasters collection, complete with a 56 page booklet. The Blasters showed
how great American music, was, is and could be without ever losing sight of
its traditions. If you only buy one CD this year, this should be it: It
really is that good!
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"This review is copyright © 2003 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without permission."
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