The cover of the new Boy George and Culture Club release. Their first new album in 19 years.
The cover of the new Boy George and Culture Club release. Their first new album in 19 years.

Boy George and Culture Club: Life (BMG CD, 43:17). Culture Club only releases a new album every 15 years or so. "Don't Mind If I Do" in 1999 broke a 13-year gap and this new album arrives 19 years later. Despite the new album being very worthwhile, the wait still was far too long. As always, the band includes George O'Dowd (Boy George) on vocals, Roy Hay on guitar and keyboards, Michael "Mikey" Craig on bass and Jonathan Moss on drums. The songs are written by all four band members or four times with additional guitarist John Themis replacing Moss. Themis has been the band's musical director for many years and has written some 100 songs with the band.

There are several standout tracks on the album, led by "Runaway Train," which is soulful with strings and horns. It has a big chorus and a lyric nod to Michelle Obama. Also very good are "God & Love" -- it is a sparser song until it hits the chorus midway through and features Mary Pearce's vocal wails -- and the first single, "Let Somebody Love you," which features a ska beat. "Resting Bitch Face" is funky, like Curtis Mayfield, with prominent horns and a lyric about trying to control other people. There is more soul in "Different Man," reportedly inspired by an incident that happened to Sly Stone, who is mentioned in the lyrics. The track certainly has a Family Stone sound during its chorus. Late in the song, everything drops out , leaving just the chorus voices and handclaps.

There is a shimmering  start and backing to the rocker "Bad Blood" and there is an Elton John-like piano on "Oil & Water." Throughout the album, the arrangements are very nice. A special edition of the CD comes in a 20-page hardcover book with lyrics, drawings and photos. Grade: A-

Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut (Eagle Vision, 2 CDs + Blu-ray, 149 min., or 2 CDs + DVD, or 3 LPs). Filmed Nov. 25, 1994 at Miami's Joe Robbie Stadium and broadcast on pay-per-view, the tour, in support of their "Voodoo Lounge" album, which topped charts around the world and won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, was the band's first since 1990. It also was a tour without bassist Bill Wyman, who had joined Miles Davis' band. Wyman was replaced by Darryl Jones on the tour.

This new version of the show has been recut and restored from the original rushes and includes newly remixed and remastered audio, with 10 performances deleted from the original 1996 video release re-integrated in their original running order for the first time. Additionally, the visual formats include five performances (24:07) from an earlier show at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, songs that were not performed in Miami. At the time, the year-long tour was the largest grossing tour ever.

The show is introduced by actress Whoopi Goldberg, an appropriate choice as Goldberg starred in the 1986 movie named "Jumpin' Jack Flash" after the Stones' song. The show ends with that song and Goldberg is out on stage again to help sing the chorus.

The set is massive -- you will see singer Mick Jagger run its full length several times -- and very futuristic. The Modernist stage has floating bridge pieces, inspired by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, while the interior at times is a Mexican-inspired voodoo lounge, with giant floating puppets. It all spectacularly comes together during "Street Fighting Man," part of a closing, hit-laden set of "Sympathy For the Devil" (with Jagger in top hat and tails and illuminated by a white light beneath his feet), "Monkey Man" with backing vocalist Lisa Fischer wailing at its end, "Street Fighting Man" (one of the restored performances, along with "Monkey Man"), "Start Me Up" (on later tours to become a standard opening number), "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)," "Brown Sugar" with Bobby Keys' wonderful sax playing and "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

The show opens unexpectedly with Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," but then it is into Stones' territory with "Tumbling Dice" and "You Got Me Rocking," the latter one of four songs from the new album. (A fifth new song, "Out of Tears," is among the bonus performances.). One of the new songs, "The Worst," is sung by guitarist Keith Richards, who also sings the previously deleted "Before They Make Me Run" during his two-song mini-set two-thirds of the way through the show. Both pale, however, to Richards performing "Happy" in the bonus material.

A bit unusual is that the show features three guest performers. Sheryl Crow joins to sing "Live With Me" with Jagger (the song has another great Keys sax solo),Robert Cray sings and plays guitar on a cover of Robert Johnson's "Stop Breakin' Down Blues" and Bo Diddley, whom the Stones toured with back in 1963 during their first British tour (31 years earlier!), helps the band perform his "Who Do You Love?" Before Crow comes out, Jagger actually stoops to wipe the stage, saying somebody has to clean up.

About a third of the way into the show, the Stones go off stage left and reach a mini-stage, which then extends into the audience. There, they perform an acoustic set of three songs: "Angie," "Dead Flowers" (a restored number) and "Sweet Virginia." Later on the main stage, there is a rather loose version of "Miss You," before "Honky Tonk Women." About the only thing missing in this highly entertaining show is "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

The other bonus songs are "Shattered, a fine "All Down the Line" and an excellent cover of the Motown song, "I Can't Get Next To You," which Jagger introduces by saying they are going to do it Al Green style. The set comes with a 24-page, picture-filled booklet. Grade: A

Steven Wilson: Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Vision, 2 CDs + Blu-ray, 153 min.), or 2 CDs + DVD). In the bonus Blu-ray interview (8:49), Wilson says, "I don't have any hits (so it) liberates me," adding he likes to see the audience's surprise or reaction when he performs a number. Wilson, a founding member of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree (10 studio albums between 1992 and 2009), previously issued a live CD + Blu-ray combo, "Get All You Deserve," filmed in Mexico City, in 2012. That release had 16 tracks, while the new one has 21 with no repeats. Still with his band from the earlier show are keyboardist Adam Holzman and bassist Nick Beggs. This show was recorded in March this year.

In addition to his solo and many band efforts, Wilson, who was 50 at the time of the concert, is a four-time Grammy Award-nominated studio engineer, who has remixed eight King Crimson albums and 12 Jethro Tull albums for anniversary reissues, as well as albums by Yes, XTC, Chicago, Roxy Music, Rush and Gentle Giant. He has been a pioneer in surround sound.

Wilson wrote all the material in "Home Invasion," which starts with a short film -- the show uses a lot of video visuals, including some wonderful animation by Jess Lope -- interspersed with shots of the band heading toward the stage. The band then launches into the melodic "Nowhere Now," before backing singer Ninet Tayeb joins Wilson for the duet, "Pariah." They latter perform the ballad duet, "Black Tapes," both of which were written specifically to be sung with Tayeb, Wilson says. "Home Invasion," wedded with "Regret #9," is more progressive rock, with very nice keyboards.

Wilson and band play a wide range of music during the show. He even asks everyone to stand for his pop song, "Permanating," for which he is joined on stage by seven dancers, who appear to be dancing India style. Wilson is a man after my own heart, as he introduces the song by saying the Beatles were the best pop band of all time, with Abba second. During the number, and occasionally elsewhere, the director splits the screen into as many as five parts. During "Song of I," multiple images of the same giant dancer are projected on the transparent screen that is in front of the band. (A more traditional giant screen is behind the band to show the videos.) During "Vermillioncore," kaleidoscope images of the band members are shown.

Wilson performs 10 songs from his fifth solo album, 2017's "To the Bone." The only missing track is the title one. Two, including "Ancestral," come from 2015's "Hand. Cannot. Erase.," while "The Raven That Refused to Sing," the song which closes the show and which Wilson calls miserable in theme, was the title of his 2013 solo album.

In addition to the interview, the bonus material includes rehearsal versions of "Routine" (9:03, sung by Tayeb), "Hand Cannot Erase" (4:13, rocker) and "Heartattack in A Layby" (4:24, melancholy), none of which made the final show. It comes with a 16-page, photo-filled booklet. Wilson's current tour  will bring him to the House of Blues in Boston on Nov. 28. Grade: A

Evanescence: Synthesis Live (Eagle Vision, CD + Blu-ray, 83 min, or CD + DVD). Filmed in fall 2017 at the Grand Theater in Connecticut, the concert film captures the popular rock band performing with a full orchestra, with orchestra arrangements by David Campbell. What this means is Amy Lee's vocals and piano playing are prominent, while the rest of the band appears more as an afterthought. Lee also has a tendency to be over-dramatic and, with the string section, the sameness of the songs is even more pronounced. Still, fans of the band should enjoy the show.

Seven of the songs are by Lee alone, while the rest are credited to the full band. Best are "Lithium," the softer "Bring Me To Life," "Imaginary" and the one new song, "Hi-Lo." (The release's only bonus is a video version of "Hi-Lo."). Breaking the mold a bit is "The In-Between," followed immediately by "Imperfection." There are 17 songs, an interlude and an overture. Grade: B

Rick Wakeman: Piano Odyssey (Sony Classical CD, 54:59). The keyboard wiz, famous for his hugely successful rock career, most notably with Yes and The Strawbs and for his sought-after collaborations with David Bowie, Cat Stevens and Black Sabbath, among others, has issued his debut album for Sony Classical. Wakeman personally chose, crafted, orchestrated and arranged all the tracks. The music crosses the whole span of his career. There are arrangements of familiar and favourite works by such diverse acts as Queen, Yes, Liszt, Handel and Bowie, as well as repertoire from his "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and new solo compositions, all performed on the legendary Granary Steinway Model D grand piano. Some of the pieces are from his film scores.

The former student and Fellow of the Royal College of Music has covered a lot of musical ground during his colourful and wide-ranging career. Of the new album, Wakeman said, "All of the music chosen contains the most beautiful melodies and this is the key for being able to present fresh arrangements, which can only enhance the reputation of the original. Every track has a meaning and is tailor-made for the piano. It was pure joy to make this album and I have to thank all those involved for their enthusiasm as "Piano Odyssey" grew to reality."

Album highlights are the very pretty arrangement of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," with strings and some chorus vocalizing; Yes' "And You & I" done in a more classical style; Bowie's "The Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" done a bit Aaron Copland style; the pretty "Cybil Wolverine"; and a wonderful "Strawberry Fields Forever." The disc close with a new arrangement of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," featuring Queen's Brian May on guitar. Grade: B+

Lindsey Buckingham: Solo Anthology (Rhino, 3 CDs, 3:26:39). The guitarist who help revitalize Fleetwood Mac, along with Stevie Nicks, in 1975, but who was not invited to participate in the current Fleetwood Mac tour, offers a generous sample of his solo career, with two discs of studio recordings and one of live recordings. Throughout the collection, Buckingham's love of melody comes through.

Two of the tracks, including the most uplifting, come from the soundtrack of "National Lampoon's Vacation." They are the hit, "Holiday Road," and the quirky, slightly Beach Boys-ish "Dancin' Across the USA." Two selections are previously unreleased: "Hunger" and "Ride This Road." Other highlights are "Don't Look Down," which has an acoustic start, then adds a sway beat; "Go Insane," "Doing What I Can," which has a bit of a New Romantic feel, as does "Slow Dancing"; "Trouble," about the fragility of a relationship; the melodic "Do You Miss Me"; "Sleeping Around the Corner" with Christine McVie; "Love Runs Deeply"; and the buoyant "Time Bomb Town," which has a weird dog ending.

All but two of the songs were written by Buckingham, with 11 being collaborations. The others are the traditional "All My Sorrows," one of the live tracks, and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "I Am Waiting." The first disc is the best, while the live disc often changes the familiar songs too much and is more for hardcore fans. Grade: first 2 discs B+; disc 3 C

Fleetwood Mac: 50 Years -- Don't Stop (Warner Bros., 3 CDs, 3:06:33). One could not ask for a more hit-filled collection than this 50-song celebration of Fleetwood Mac's 50-year career. The collection covers 1968 to 2013 and includes musicians past and present, including founding members Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer, almost-original member John McVie, Danny Kirwan (1968), Christine McVie (1970), Bob Welch and Bob Weston (they replaced Green and Spencer through 1974), Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (both aboard in 1974, after their successful duo album), and later members Billy Burnette, Rick Vito, Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett.

Disc one focuses on the band's early years as a blues-rock combo, which covered its first nine studio albums. It includes the British hits "Man of the World," "Oh Well -- Pt. 1," "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown" (famously covered by heavy metal act Judas Priest in 1978) and the chart-topping "Albatross." Disc two represents Fleetwood Mac's most commercially successful period, with music from the multi-platinum albums "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk," as well as the concert album, "Live." "Rumours" alone has sold more than 40 million copies. The songs include "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," "Go Your Own Way," "Don't Stop," "You Make Loving Fun" and the chart-topping "Dreams."

Five of the disc two tracks are by the currently on-the-band-outs Buckingham, and he collaborated on a sixth. They include "Go Your Own Way," "Second Hand News," "Tusk" and "The Chain." Buckingham also wrote "Big Love," "Oh Diane" and "Sad Angel" on the third disc. Disc three also includes the hits "Hold Me," "Gypsy," "Little Lies" and "Everywhere," as well as the rarities "Paper Doll" and "As Long as You Follow," and a live version of "Silver Springs."

Also available is a 20-track, single-disc version. Grade: 3-disc version A+