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WIN! WIN! WIN! The New Reissue of Ian Hunter’s “All American Alien Boy” From Varese Sarabande!

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15 LUCKY WINNERS WILL TAKE THIS CD HOME!  CLICK ABOVE TO FIND OUT HOW TO WIN!

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2014 at 10:44

Omnivore, Rhino, Varese Gear Up For Black Friday 2014

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Our Black Friday Record Store Day shopping list has just gotten a little longer! Following our recent announcement of Legacy Recordings’ slate for November 28, we have news of the offerings coming your way from Omnivore Recordings, Rhino and Varese Sarabande!

Game Theory - DistortionFor the gang at Omnivore, it’s all about amazing indie pop! The label recently reissued Game Theory’s debut album Blaze of Glory, and on November 24, the Omnivores will unveil the first U.S. release of the band’s compilation Dead Center. That French release (which will gain 11 bonus tracks in Omnivore’s edition) featured new music along with selected tracks from the EPs Pointed Accounts of People You Know and Distortion (produced by Michael Quercio of The Three O’Clock and featuring Earl Slick on guitar!). On Black Friday, listeners will have the chance to experience those two EPs in complete form, as originally heard. Both will be reissued on 10-inch vinyl, with an Omnivore twist: the latter will be on green vinyl, and the former on clear vinyl. Joining Game Theory is the band Sneakers, out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, featuring Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter and Will Rigby. The original, self-released Sneakers EP is presented on 10-inch clear vinyl with an expanded track list of 9 songs! A download card is also included in this new release. All three titles are limited to 1,500 units.

From GenesisA new stereo LP pressing of Genesis’ From Genesis to Revelation is on the Black Friday horizon from Varese Sarabande. This release marks the first time this album has been released on vinyl since its original U.S. release in 1974, and Varese’s reissue features a replica of the original inner sleeve with full lyrics. The LP boasts the original core Genesis line-up of Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, and Peter Gabriel, and is limited to 3,500 units.

The team at Rhino has nine limited edition releases set for Black Friday 2014 including colored vinyl, multi-LP sets, and even a picture disc! The Rhino line-up has such heavy hitters as The Afghan Whigs, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Hüsker Dü, Iron Butterfly (in mono!), New Order, Ramones (as curated by the irrepressible Morrissey!), Ronnie James Dio and the Velvet Underground!

Hit the jump for all of the details on every title mentioned above! All releases can be found on Friday, November 28 at your participating local independent record store! Read the rest of this entry »

RPM Revisits Landmark Music of Brazil’s Milton Nascimento

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Milton NascimentoAs one of the leading lights of the Brazilian MPB movement (Música popular brasileira), singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento has been a creative force for nearly fifty years. Cherry Red’s RPM label has recently reissued two of the artist’s earliest, and most acclaimed, albums – 1969’s eponymous album and 1972’s Clube da Esquina (with Lô Borges) – in newly-remastered editions.

Milton Nascimento was actually the artist’s third album, following his 1967 debut and a 1968 set recorded in America by Creed Taylor for his fledgling CTI label. That album, Courage, featured arrangements from Brazil’s Eumir Deodato and many remakes of songs from Nascimento’s Brazilian debut, albeit recorded with the higher production values made possible in American studios. Quite an assemblage of talent supported Nascimento on Courage, from pianist Herbie Hancock to the young lyricist Paul Williams. His next album would prove just as remarkable.

In keeping with the style of MPB, one of the post-bossa nova idioms to arrive in Brazil, Milton Nascimento blended jazz, pop and rock textures. It was notable as Nascimento’s return to his home country in a time of great artistic oppression that saw other artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil exiled by the military dictatorship. Producer Milton Maranda of Odeon Records had also worked with Marcos Valle at the label, another envelope-pushing musician who built on the blocks of bossa nova to forge a new sound and style. The album also was the first to feature all new material, as Nascimento had tapped into his stockpile of songs for the first two LPs. As such, it was timely, and his most soulful and intimate work to date. One track came from the pen of bossa nova pioneer Dori Caymmi, but the other songs were all written by Nascimento and his close circle of friends including Fernando Brant and Marcio Borges. Luiz Eca (of the Tamba Trio) and saxophonist Paulo Moura contributed arrangements and orchestrations for a group of musicians including Toninho Horta on guitar, Ze Rodrix (organ and flute), Robertinho Silva (drums) and Novelli (bass).

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 30, 2014 at 10:24

Sound Chaser: Steven Wilson Revisits Yes, Jethro Tull In Stereo and Surround

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RelayerWhen it comes to new surround-sound mixes, one name has become closely associated with the format: Steven Wilson. Keeper of the progressive-rock flame and frontman for Porcupine Tree, Wilson has in recent years created definitive 5.1 remixes for artists like King Crimson, Yes, XTC, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Gentle Giant, and Jethro Tull. It was recently announced that Wilson would be extending his talents to an upcoming reissue from (non-prog!) rock band Tears for Fears, and we can also confirm that he is continuing his work with the catalogues of Yes and Jethro Tull. On November 4, Wilson’s new surround and stereo remixes will be featured on CD/DVD-A and CD/BD editions of Yes’ 1974 album Relayer, and on November 17, he will revisit another 1974 prog classic, Jethro Tull’s WarChild.

The upcoming Relayer arrives on the heels of other recent Yes reissues of The Yes Album and Close to the Edge. Relayer was the seventh studio album from Yes, and the band’s only studio album featuring keyboardist Patrick Moraz; he joined in August ’74 following Rick Wakeman’s departure to pursue a solo career. With just three lengthy tracks, Yes upped the free-form jazz quotient on Relayer without sacrificing the band’s accessibility. Relayer proved to be a Top 5 success on both sides of the Atlantic, earning a Gold certification in the United States. The Panegyric reissues, available in CD/DVD-A and CD/BD iterations, will both feature Wilson’s new stereo and surround mixes as well as a host of bonus material. As in the past, the Blu-ray editions will feature additional music not present on the DVD-A.

Contents are as follows:

The region-free NTSC DVD-Audio disc includes:

  • The original album mixed in high resolution 5.1 surround from original multi-track sources.
  • New album mix and original album mix (flat transfer) in high resolution stereo
  • Alternate album presentation comprising demos and studio run-throughs

The region-free Blu-ray Audio disc includes:

  • 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24bit/96khz) mixed from the original multi-channel recordings.
  • New stereo album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz).
  • Original album mix in a DTS-HD Master Audio flat transfers from the original master tape source (24bit/192khz)
  • Needledrop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.
  • Exclusive instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).
  • More audio extras in high-resolution stereo, including demos and studio run-throughs of album tracks making for an alternative version of Relayer.
  • Additional BD-exclusive demo/studio run-throughs, full album instrumental mixes, a full album needledrop of an original UK A1/B1 vinyl pressing, singles edits, live tracks and needledrops of the banded tracks from the original US vinyl promo album.

As on The Yes Album and Close to the Edge, the CD (included in both versions) features Wilson’s new stereo mix. It also adds two single edits. In all packages, Sid Smith provides new liner notes and original artwork elements are also preserved.

After the jump: details on Wilson’s deluxe WarChild plus track listings and pre-order links for both titles!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2014 at 13:49

Here’s Your “Vehicle,” Baby! Real Gone Expands Ides of March Debut

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IdesNever judge a book by its cover…or an album, for that matter.

In his illuminating new memoir Through the Eye of the Tiger, Jim Peterik writes of the moment he first bore witness to the cover artwork of his debut album with his band The Ides of March, 1970’s Vehicle: “When we saw it there was an audible gasp and then an ‘Oh shit! This stinks!’ We wondered out loud what some perverted ‘genius’ was thinking when on the cover of our life’s work he put an image of a naked baby doll abandoned carelessly in a field with an ominous black sedan lurking in the background…We were apoplectic.” Indeed, the offbeat cover– which Peterik recalls kept the album off the shelves at the retail chain Korvette’s due to its “tasteless” imagery – hardly calls to mind a hot, young Chicago band with a set of brassy, muscular pop-rock originals inspired by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Real Gone Music has restored to print the band’s first Warner Bros. album on a new, expanded reissue with four bonus tracks.

Jim Peterik (lead vocals/lead guitar), Larry Millas (keyboards/guitar/bass/vocals), Mike Borch (drums/percussion/vocals) and Bob Bergland (bass/saxophone/vocals) had, since 1965, been steadily working on their craft, first as The Shondels and then as The Ides of March. Recording for the Parrot label and playing venues from sock hops to clubs, the band developed its own sound from roots in Hollies and Kinks-inspired white R&B. Peterik was finding his own voice as a songwriter, too, honed from years of performing covers of songs by James Brown, The Beatles, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Traffic and the Buffalo Springfield. Joined by Ray Herr (guitar/bass/vocals), John Larson (trumpet/flugelhorn) and Chuck Soumar (trumpet/vocals), the band entered Chicago’s Columbia Studios to record an album of both originals and time-tested covers that had worked well onstage and fit into the “heavier” sound the band was cultivating.

The title track of Vehicle, of course, was destined to be the band’s calling card. With its indelible blast of brass offering up a killer riff, it was also the first major hit song for Peterik (No. 2 in the U.S.) who would go on to pen further anthems like “Eye of the Tiger” (No. 1, 1982) and “The Search is Over” (No. 4, 1985) for his later band Survivor. With crack support from Millas’ organ, Borch’s drums, and the three horns, Peterik channeled BS&T’s David Clayton-Thomas on the title track, tearing into its over-the-top, sexually-charged lyrics. He candidly admits in Richie Unterberger’s excellent liner notes that the Canadian soul man was his vocal “idol,” and appropriately enough, it was an American Idol that helped push “Vehicle” back into the spotlight in 2005. Though “Vehicle” had been covered previously by everybody from Shirley Bassey to Chet Baker, Bo Bice’s performance of the song catapulted it back into the popular culture and onto classic rock radio, where it remains today. “Vehicle” was one of four songs recorded by the Ides of March on the demo that was sent to Warner Bros.; the searing, similarly brass-infused “The Sky is Falling” from the same tape also made the cut for the album. (A third of the demo tracks, “Lead Me Home Gently” was released as a single and is also included here by Real Gone.)

But Vehicle, the album, isn’t a one-trick vehicle. The wealth of experience Peterik and the Ides had gained playing everybody else’s hits allowed them to create a group of diverse songs drawing on varied influences. While “Bald Medusa” traded in the same double entendre and horn-fuelled sound as “Vehicle,” “Factory Band” was an homage to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The Ides captured that band’s signature chooglin’ rhythm and Peterik traded his David Clayton-Thomas belt for a John Fogerty yelp without resorting to imitation.  The beautifully-arranged ballad “Home” has an early Neil Diamond feel crossed with The Righteous Brothers’ Goffin/King hit “I Can’t Make It Alone,” with sympathetic strings giving added lift to the yearning track. (The Ides of March once opened for Neil Diamond. In his book, Peterik recalls the solitary man advising him succinctly if sharply: “Next time, boys, only play your best material.” The Ides took the message to heart.) “One Woman Man” was released prior to Vehicle, the album, and was the Ides of March’s first single. It remains a mystery why the band didn’t catch fire with such a strong selection. Melding the rich harmonies of The Association with the Ides’ developing horn sound (and another memorable trumpet riff), it’s one of the strongest tracks on Vehicle.

Hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2014 at 10:24

Posted in News, Reissues, Reviews, The Ides of March

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Review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, “The Complete Epic Recordings Collection”

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Stevie Ray Vaughan - Complete

It may seem unbelievable, but it’s been nearly 25 years since Stevie Ray Vaughan perished at the age of 35, victim of a helicopter crash. Yet it’s a testament to the guitar slinger’s blazing talent that his musicianship even today remains a high watermark for those playing his instrument. A six-time Grammy winner and inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame, the Texas native created music that is as vibrant and stirring today as when it was first committed to tape. The Legacy Recordings/Epic Records release of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s The Complete Epic Recordings Collection (8884 309142 2) makes the guitarist’s core catalogue available in one package for the first time. The 12-CD set contains nine albums on 10 CDs (including the 2-disc Live at Montreux) all recorded between 1980 and 1989, the year before his untimely death. These albums are sequenced, for the most part, in order of performance, not of release. Two Archives CDs of odds and ends (outtakes, alternates, jams and more) culled from various compilations and reissues round out the set.

As Vaughan and Double Trouble only left behind four studio albums (Texas Flood, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, Soul to Soul and In Step), much of this compendium is dedicated to live material. But seeing as how Vaughan’s talent shone most brightly in a live setting, this is far from a handicap. When David Bowie saw Vaughan at Montreux in 1982, he promptly enlisted him to play on his smash “Let’s Dance.” The first track on the first disc in this box – Freddie King and Sonny Thompson’s “In the Open” from 1992’s posthumous In the Beginning, recorded for radio in 1980 with a line-up including Jackie Newhouse on bass and Chris Layton on drums – has an apropos title. Once Stevie (he hadn’t yet acquired the Ray) Vaughan played his axe in the open, there was no going back. Even in this embryonic set from his home state of Texas, Vaughan had all of the ingredients that would lead to his eventual success: inventive and deeply felt phrasing, technical skill, a distinctive tone, and the ability to bring joie de vivre to the blues. Throughout his career, Vaughan also used effects pedals conservatively, giving him a pure, raw sound.

At the Texas show preserved on In the Beginning, original songs sat comfortably alongside those by the masters like King, Willie Dixon, Otis Rush and Howlin’ Wolf, with Vaughan’s style recognizably in blues tradition but with enough edge and immediacy to captivate a modern audience. With a seemingly endless supply of lacerating licks, Vaughan showed off his innate swing on the boogie-woogie strut of “They Call Me Guitar Hurricane” and conjured up high-octane Chuck Berry riffs of “Love Struck Baby.” He could also bring things down and still rivet as on “Tin Pan Alley (a.k.a. Roughest Place in Town).” Besides his instrumental skills, Vaughan could also belt the blues convincingly. Having the “whole package,” it’s no wonder that legendary A&R man and producer John Hammond, Sr. (veteran of artists from Benny Goodman to Bruce Springsteen!) championed the young artist at Epic.

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 28, 2014 at 09:59

Release Round-Up: Week of October 27

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Led Zeppelin - IV Box

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic/Swan Song)

Jimmy Page has assembled an entire alternate version of Led Zeppelin IV as the bonus content for this new reissue, including the “Sunset Sound” mix of “Stairway to Heaven” and an alternate U.K. mix of “When the Levee Breaks.”

1-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Super Deluxe Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Digital Download: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy Box

Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (Atlantic/Swan Song)

The new Houses of the Holy boasts seven bonus cuts including rough and working mixes of such tracks as “No Quarter” and “The Song Remains the Same.”

1-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Super Deluxe Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Digital Download: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music

Chuck Berry, Rock and Roll Music: Any Old Way You Choose It (Bear Family) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Bear Family’s massive 16-CD survey of the complete career of the rock and roll pioneer includes every single and LP track recorded in the studio by Chuck Berry plus special bonus material!

Garland Variations

Judy Garland, The Garland Variations: Songs She Recorded More Than Once (JSP)  (Amazon U.S. TBD /Amazon U.K.)

This exciting set rounds up, on five CDs and 115 tracks, songs the immortal Judy Garland recorded in the studio on multiple occasions between 1937 and 1962!

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Complete

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Complete Epic Recordings Collection (Epic/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Epic and Legacy have a true “Texas flood” with twelve discs from guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble!  Look for Joe’s review tomorrow!

Who 50

The Who, Hits 50! (Geffen/UMe)

The Who celebrate 50 years of heavy rocking with this new collection, available in multiple formats!

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-CD Highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blu-ray Pure Audio: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD

Kiss - Love Gun

KISS, Love Gun: Expanded Edition (Casablanca/Mercury/UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

KISS expands its 1977 classic with an 11-track bonus CD of mostly new-to-CD music!

new

Paul McCartney, New: Deluxe Edition (Hear Music)  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Macca expands his 2013 hit album in a DVD-sized hardcover book format including a bonus disc of audio material and a lengthy DVD compendium of live performances and more!

Silver Convention

Silver Convention – Madhouse (1976) / Anita Pointer - Love For What It Is (1987) / 5000 Volts – 5000 Volts (1976) / Rinder & Lewis – Seven Deadly Sins (1978) (Big Break/Hot Shot)

Big Break Records has a quartet of releases in stores today!  As always, a full rundown is coming up from Joe!

Silver Convention: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Anita Pointer: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
5000 Volts: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rinder & Lewis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein, Edition: Concertos and Orchestral Works  (Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Masterworks has an 80-CD (!) box set drawn from the label’s vast catalogue of CBS/Columbia recordings by the legendary maestro, Leonard Bernstein.  The label promises “every concerto, symphonic poem, overture, ballet, dance, march etc. that Bernstein recorded in New York between 1950 and 1976 (plus some in London, Paris and Israel) by nearly every composer in the standard repertoire” in this follow-up to 2010’s The Symphony Edition.

Yusuf

Yusuf, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens returns with his latest studio album.  On this soulful and bluesy collection, the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee blends originals with eclectic favorites including “You Are My Sunshine” and “Dying to Live.”

Barry - Dream Duets

Barry Manilow, My Dream Duets (Verve) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

When Verve Records asked the newly-signed veteran entertainer to record a duets album, Manilow responded with a hearty “Yes!” – but only if he could record with his dearly departed favorite artists.  And so we have this collection on which Manilow has composed new duet arrangements for classic vocalists including Whitney Houston (“I Believe in You and Me”), Cass Elliot (“Dream a Little Dream of Me”), Andy Williams (“Moon River”) and Sammy Davis, Jr. (“The Candy Man”) plus some off-the-beaten-path choices like Jimmy Durante (“The Song’s Gotta Come from the Heart”) and Marilyn Monroe (“I Wanna Be Loved by You”)!

Dionne - Feels

Dionne Warwick, Feels So Good (Caroline) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The pop legend returns with her latest studio album.  Produced by her son Damon Elliott, it’s heavy on “modernized,” new duet covers of Bacharach/David classics (“A House is Not a Home” with Ne-Yo, “You’ll Never Get to Heaven” with Ruben Studdard, “This Girl’s in Love with You” with Phil Driscoll) plus a couple of recycled tracks (“Message to Michael” with Cyndi Lauper and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” with Gladys Knight) and some new songs including the title track featuring Cee-Lo Green.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock and Roll Time (Vanguard) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!  The veteran rock-and-roller is still pounding his piano on this new 11-track album featuring such friends as Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Ron Wood, Neil Young, Shelby Lynne, Nils Lofgren, and Daniel Lanois.

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