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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

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.

Rhino Gets The Led Out, Wave Two: “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses of the Holy” Arrive TODAY!

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Led Zeppelin - IV Box

 

The wait is over!  The second wave of Led Zeppelin reissues arrive in stores today!  Led Zeppelin IV premieres an entire alternate version of the album, including the Sunset Sound Mix of “Stairway to Heaven,” the U.K. mix of “When the Levee Breaks” and the basic track with guitar overdubs of “Black Dog.”    Houses of the Holy has seven of its eight tracks in bonus form, primarily rough or working mixes.  This is your place to sound off on this pair of remastered and expanded releases from Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham!

JULY 29, 2014 – It may be the dog days of summer, but that hasn’t stopped Led Zeppelin from adding a little more heat.  Following yesterday’s news of the next two reissues in Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection series, the legendary blues-rock band has announced the two next installments in its own definitive reissue program.  On October 28, Rhino/Atlantic – in conjunction with Zeppelin’s Swan Song label – will release Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy in a variety of CD, vinyl and digital formats.

The album referred to as Led Zeppelin IV arrived in late 1971, bearing no album title or even the band’s name on its cover.  Not that anybody was confused; with songs like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll” and “Going to California,” sales soared.  Though it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, it’s currently the second-best selling album ever in the U.S., nestled between Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.  How to top that?  Houses of the Holy, consisting of all original material, arrived in spring 1973, and moved the band even further away from its blues-based brand of hard rock.  Its layered production and intricate compositions of “The Rain Song,” “The Song Remains the Same” and the reggae-based “D’yer Mak’er” a chart-topping album on both sides of the Atlantic.

Both albums will be available in the style of the recent Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III reissues, in the following formats:

  • Standard CD – Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
  • 2-CD Deluxe Edition (2CD) – Remastered album plus previously unreleased companion audio disc.
  • Standard LP – Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a replica sleeve of the album’s first pressing.
  • Deluxe Edition Vinyl (2LP) – Remastered album and previously unreleased companion audio pressed on 180-gram vinyl.
  • Digital Download – Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
  • Super Deluxe Box Set featuring the remastered original album and companion audio on both CD and 180-gram vinyl, plus a high-resolution digital download card for all content, housed in a hardbound 80-page book with a high-quality print of the album cover (the first 30,000 of which are individually numbered) also included.

After the jump, we have more information including the complete track listings and pre-order links for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 27, 2014 at 10:30

Early Years of Jon Lord, Keef Hartley Chronicled on The Artwoods’ Box Set “Steady Gettin’ It”

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The ArtwoodsToday, The Artwoods might be best remembered as footnotes in the stories of a number of other famous bands. Frontman and namesake Art Wood was the oldest brother of Faces/Rolling Stones man Ronnie. Organist Jon Lord went on, of course, to found Deep Purple. And drummer Keef Hartley would, among other credits, form The Keef Hartley Band. RPM Records has recently celebrated the music of the mod R&B revivalists with the release of the 3-CD box set Steady Gettin’ It: The Complete Recordings 1964-67.

The Artwoods formed in 1963 and remained active through 1967, along the way becoming a popular live attraction. Like so many other bands, the roots of The Artwoods could be found in other groups. Art Wood, a onetime student at the Ealing School of Art (which also has David Bowie, Pete Townshend and Freddie Mercury among its alumni), made his name in music with his own nine-piece big band The Art Wood Combo and then as a vocalist for bluesman Alexis Korner’s rotating Blues, Incorporated lineup. Korner inspired Wood to reform his own Combo, this time as a blues quartet. After experimenting with a floating line-up similar to that of Blues, Incorporated, Wood set out to form a more consistent group.   Guitarist Derek Griffiths and keyboardist Jon Lord were both members of semi-pro band Red Bludd’s Blusicians when Bludd leader and bassist Don Wilson proposed a merger with the Art Wood Combo. In early 1964, Wilson, Lord and Griffiths joined Art Wood and his drummer Reg Dunnage.

That iteration of the group was short-lived. In March 1964, Don Wilson broke both his legs, forcing him out of the band. Malcolm Pool was recruited from The Roadrunners to take on bass duties. As The Art Wood Combo, this line-up of the band recorded four songs for an acetate (all of which are released on RPM’s set for the very first time) and attracted the attention of Decca Records. But there was one more important shift before the group transformed into The Artwoods. In late summer 1964, drummer Dunnage declined to continue with the band. Other drummers were sought including Mitch Mitchell who actually played a few dates with the group. Enter Keith “Keef” Hartley, Ringo Starr’s replacement in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. With Hartley in place, the group decided (likely under the advice of Decca’s Mike Vernon, per the comprehensive liner notes included in the box) to change its name. The Artwoods were born.

Hit the jump to find what’s on Steady Gettin’ It! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 23, 2014 at 09:55

Posted in Box Sets, News, The Artwoods

Wilco Celebrate 20 Years with Compilation, Rarities Box Set

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Wilco - What's Your 20Roger Wilco! We’ve received the transmission that, on November 17, two new collections will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chicago alt-rock band Wilco in high style!  Nonesuch Records will issue Alpha Mike Foxtrot, a new box set (4 CDs, 4 LPs or digital) of rare studio and live recordings culled from the band’s archives.  And on that same date, the label will offer What’s Your 20, the first-ever compendium of Wilco’s previously released studio recordings, on 2 CDs or digital.

Formed from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco began in a similar alt-country vein before expanding its sonic palette to touch upon folk, rock, punk, avant-garde experimentalism and vintage pop textures.   Though the alt-rockers’ lineup shifted frequently during its first decade, the band has been stable since 2004 with a line-up consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and drummer Glenn Kotche. Since its inception, Wilco has released eight studio albums, a live double album, and collaborative albums with both Billy Bragg and The Minus 5 (the “floating line-up” supergroup which featured Scott McCaughey, The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on the Wilco project).  Wilco picked up two Grammy Awards in 2005 for A Ghost is Born, and has received four further nominations over the years, most recently for 2012’s The Whole Love.

Both of these upcoming collections have been produced by Grammy-nominated producer Cheryl Pawelski, co-founder of Omnivore Recordings and veteran of countless projects from labels including Capitol and Rhino. Pawelski notes in the press release, “Like a lot of fans, I had collected these straggling tracks over the past two decades of following Wilco’s every move. Alpha Mike Foxtrot includes almost every unique, essential performance that appeared on soundtracks, tribute albums and B-sides—and there are probably a few surprises for even the sharpest collector. This set presents an alternate history of the band, kind of a sideways view, and ultimately, it’s a super-fun listening experience.”

We have more details on these sets, as well as pre-order links and the full track listings, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 20, 2014 at 13:02

A Case of Joni: Mitchell Curates New Love-Themed, Career-Spanning Box Set

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Joni - Love Has Many FacesIn 2007, Joni Mitchell released her last studio album to date, Shine.  That release was her first recording since 2002’s Travelogue and first collection of new songs since 1998’s Taming the Tiger.  Over the past seven years, the influential singer-songwriter has mainly made headlines for her candid and revealing interviews, on which she’s held forth about such topics as Bob Dylan’s alleged plagiarism and her own struggles with Morgellons disease.  So it’s refreshing that Mitchell is back in the spotlight for her music, thanks to a new box set to arrive just in time for the holiday gift-giving season.  On November 17, Rhino will release a new four-disc collection entitled Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.

In the tradition of past compilations curated by Mitchell including The Beginning of Survival, Dreamland and Songs of a Prairie Girl, Love Has Many Faces promises to be a thematic exploration of the artist’s poetic, soulful and jazz-inflected music created over the decades.  The set includes 53 newly-remastered songs selected from her catalogue which began with 1968’s David Crosby-produced album Song to a Seagull and has encompassed such acknowledged classics as Ladies of the Canyon (1970), Blue (1971), Court and Spark (1974) and Both Sides Now (2000).  It’s promised that the remastered songs on Love will be “familiar but fresh,” with “a lot of sonic adjustment.” In a press release, Mitchell elaborated, “I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes …What I have done here is to gather some of these scenes (like a documentary filmmaker) and by juxtaposition, edit them into a whole new work.”

As the title indicates, the box set was initially conceived for the ballet stage.  “I wanted the music to feel like a total work – a new work,” Mitchell writes in the liner notes. “No matter what I did, though, at that [ballet performance] length, it remained merely a collection of songs.”  So the artist rearranged 53 songs into “thematic acts” like that of a ballet. Comparing her to that of a film editor, she offers, “I had 40 years of footage to review. Then, suddenly, scenes began to hook up. Then series began to form.” She elucidates, “Instead of it being an emotional roller coaster ride as it was before — crammed into one disc — themes began to develop. Moods sustained. I was getting there…When this long editorial process finally came to rest, I had four ballets or a four-act ballet — a quartet. I also had a box set.”

Hit the jump for more details including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 15, 2014 at 12:06

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