Archive for the ‘Record Store Day’ Category
If you’ve been following these pages for the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed an awful lot of coverage about Record Store Day! Well, the day is nearly here! Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, music fans and collectors will flock to their local independent record stores to celebrate both the sounds on those round black platters and the very concept of shopping in a physical retail environment. To many of us, both are a way of life. We’re doubly excited this year because one special title was co-produced by our very own Mike D.: Legacy Recordings’ Ecto-Green glow-in-the-dark vinyl single containing four versions of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters.”
Each year around this time, we here at Second Disc HQ take a few moments to count down the titles to which we’re most looking forward to picking up! I’ll take my turn first, and then after the jump, you’ll find my colleague’s picks for some of the finest offerings you might find at your local retailer! And after you’ve picked up your share of these special collectibles, don’t hesitate to browse the regular racks, too…there’s likely even more treasure awaiting you.
You’ll find more information and a link to a downloadable PDF of the complete Record Store Day list right here, and please share your RSD 2014 experiences with us below. Don’t forget to click on the Record Store Day tag below, too, to access all of our RSD ’14 coverage. Happy Hunting!
- Henry Mancini and His Orchestra, The Pink Panther LP (RCA/Legacy Recordings)
On April 16, 2014, the great composer/conductor Henry Mancini would have turned 90. To mark the occasion, the all-new HenryMancini.com was launched, and Legacy announced plans for a yearlong celebration of the maestro’s enduring, engaging ouevre. The label has major plans including an 11-CD box set of Mancini’s soundtracks as well as a newly-curated retrospective, but the festivities kick off on Saturday with the release on eye-catching pink vinyl of Mancini’s original album of music from Blake Edwards’ all-time classic comedy caper The Pink Panther.
This soundtrack album (slated for expansion later this year for the movie’s 50th anniversary) was, as per Mancini’s custom, a re-recording of the film’s major themes for the record-buying audience. In addition to the now-famous, sly ‘n’ slinky title theme with saxophone by Plas Johnson (which went Top 40 as a single; the soundtrack itself went Top 10), other highlights of the score include “It Had Better Be Tonight,” an Italian-style love song recently covered by Michael Bublé and performed in the film by Fran Jeffries (and on disc by Mancini’s chorus), and “Something for Sellers,” a great example of Mancini’s feel for what we today think of as lounge music. Mancini’s “The Pink Panther” is currently the single most-streamed song in the entire Sony Music catalogue – a testament to the ongoing power of the gifted composer Henry Mancini.
- Randy Newman, Randy Newman (Mono LP) (Rhino)
Prior to the release of 1968’s self-titled debut, Randy Newman was a staff songwriter for Los Angeles’ Metric Music, a West Coast answer to the Brill Building where he worked alongside the likes of Jackie DeShannon honing his skills. The back of the LP, now being reissued for RSD in its original mono edition, read: “Randy Newman creates something new under the sun!” And while intended ironically (irony being one of Newman’s favorite weapons, always at the ready!), it wasn’t far from the truth. Produced by his childhood friend Lenny Waronker and quirky wunderkind Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman featured some scathing social commentary sheathed in large, gorgeous orchestrations by the composer himself. Even this early on, it was evident that Randy learned something from his uncles, Lionel and Alfred Newman, two of the most illustrious composers in Hollywood history. The young Newman was the rare talent equally gifted in both melody and lyrics. “Davy the Fat Boy” and “So Long, Dad” are uncomfortably hysterical, while “Love Story” plainly tells the story of a couple from marriage to death, playing checkers all day in a Florida nursing home. Newman’s unique humor was already in full bloom, to wit this exchange from “Love Story”: “We’ll have a kid/Or maybe we’ll rent one, He’s got to be straight/We don’t want a bent one.” All of these songs were delivered in his off-hand, growl of a drawl, providing a contrast to the beautiful arrangements. When Randy Newman turned serious, the results were heartbreaking and simple (though far from simplistic): “Living Without You” or the oft-covered “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” which managed to be both cynical and achingly sad. A major new talent had arrived.
- Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Transcriptions (Real Gone Music)
Vintage music from the pre-rock-and-roll era gets an airing on Record Store Day thanks to releases such as this one, along with other key releases from Omnivore Recordings and Blue Note Records. Here, Real Gone Music unearths 10 tracks from the King of Western Swing, four of which will remain exclusive to this vinyl release. These have been drawn from the more than 200 songs recorded by Wills for Tiffany Music, Inc. which remained under lock and key for years. (Wills recorded a total of almost 400 songs for Tiffany in 1946 and 1947.) This remastered release has been painstakingly designed after an original transcription disc. The vinyl is housed inside a replica package in the style of the actual mailers in which Tiffany discs were sent to radio stations in the 1940s – with “pre-distressed” trompe l’oeil wrinkles and wear on the record jacket and a cutaway hole infront showing the vintage Tiffany logo on the vinyl label, whichcontinues the Tiffany numbering system of assigning a recordnumber to each side. Furthering this tremendous attention to detail, the back cover also presents vintagegraphics from the period, and the records are pressed in the style of some of the original discs on 150-gram red vinyl. This release precedes Real Gone’s upcoming 2-CD set drawn from Wills’ Tiffany Transcriptions, and tracks include such songs as Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m an Old Cowhand.” Count me in!
- Various Artists, Live from High Fidelity: The Best of the Podcast Performances (Omnivore)
It wasn’t easy to choose from Omnivore Recordings’ great slate, including rare music from late legends Hank Williams and Jaco Pastorius, but Live from High Fidelity encapsulates the label’s dedication to preserving great music from all eras and genres. This 14-track translucent green vinyl release is drawn a podcast hosted by L.A.’s High Fidelity Records, and features contributions from some TSD favorites like Sam Phillips, Rhett Miller of The Old 97’s, members of Spain, and most especially, appearing for the second time on this small list, Mr. Van Dyke Parks. It’s about time podcast performances went physical, isn’t it?
- Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go” / Eric Carmen, “Brand New Year (Alternate Mix)” b/w “Starting Over (Live 1976)” singles (Legacy)
Two of Legacy’s 7-inch singles caught our fancy this year. The label has followed up this year’s Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector with a replica 45 of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go,” on which the former Ronette is backed by none other than Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Arranged and produced by a certain Mr. Van Zandt – that’s Little Steven now, and Sugar Miami Steve circa this single’s original release – these 1977 sides are blazing rock-and-roll at its finest. Billy Joel’s A-side was a stunning Phil Spector homage in its original recording; with Ronnie on lead and Clarence Clemons honking on the sax, it became transcendent. Eric Carmen’s new “Brand New Day” also arrives on vinyl in a previously unreleased alternate mix supporting The Essential Eric Carmen, on which the song first appeared. Featuring Carmen supported by Jeffrey Foskett, Darian Sahanaja, Nick Walusko and Mike D’Amico of Brian Wilson’s band, this 2013 composition is vintage Carmen – lush, gorgeous and memorably melodic. You won’t want to miss these.
Honorable Mentions go to Rhino’s first-ever U.S. release of Fleetwood Mac’s 1970 single “Dragonfly” b/w “Purple Dancer” and its excavation of the 1968 LP The Birthday Party from Jeff Lynne’s psych-pop pre-ELO band The Idle Race; plus Legacy’s painstakingly-recreated stereo LP of “King of Cool” Dean Martin’s romantic long-player Dream with Dean on which he’s joined by a quartet for his most intimate jazz stylings; and Sundazed’s vinyl debut of two tracks by The Sunrays, the band that Murry Wilson intended to groom in the style of his former charges The Beach Boys. Murry’s own song “Won’t You Tell Me” features the legendary L.A. Wrecking Crew, and the band’s Rick Henn supplies new liner notes for this 45!
After the jump: take it away, Mr. Duquette! Read the rest of this entry »
With Public Enemy’s Chuck D engaged as the Record Store Day Ambassador for 2014, it’s only appropriate that one of his own records is arriving this Saturday as a special limited edition vinyl platter. The new reissue of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back will be joined on RSD by a host of other vinyl goodies from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). Previously unreleased music from Frank Zappa (previewing the upcoming 40th anniversary reissue of Apostrophe) and the seventies Motown pair of Rick James and Teena Marie will arrive from Universal, along with replicas of the first two releases ever from the venerable Blue Note Records, currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Nirvana make their mark on RSD with the first-ever seven-inch release of “Pennyroyal Tea” b/w “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” originally scheduled for release in 1994 but pulled off the schedule in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Universal also has a special vinyl box, Superunknown: The Singles, commemorating the 20th anniversary of Soundgarden’s Superunknown.
Hit the jump for the full specs on each title courtesy of Universal’s original press release!
Favorite Things: Resonance Celebrates Wes Montgomery, Charles Lloyd For Record Store Day, Plans Lost John Coltrane Concert For Fall
Resonance Records, known for its deluxe archival packages of recently-discovered recordings from jazz greats including Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery, has a busy 2014 ahead. The label has recently announced plans for two Record Store Day releases with more unheard Montgomery music and one RSD exclusive with never-before-released material from Charles Lloyd. Then, this fall, the label will premiere a live performance from John Coltrane for the first time on commercially released CD.
Resonance’s Echoes of Indiana Avenue preserved early 1957-1958 recordings from the influential guitarist Wes Montgomery, and as such was the first full collection of unheard Montgomery material in over 25 years. On Record Store Day – Saturday, April 19 – Resonance will issue two rare recordings from even earlier in the late artist’s career, both with the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet (Buddy, Monk and Wes Montgomery plus Alonzo Johnson on saxophone and Robert Johnson on drums).
Wes Montgomery and the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet is a limited edition 10-inch vinyl release produced in cooperation with Sony Music. Culled from a recently-discovered lost recording session for Epic Records, these recordings are amongst the earliest known recordings of Wes Montgomery and his brothers, plus the now-legendary Quincy Jones as a producer. Jones organized the session after knowing the Montgomery brothers through his tenure in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and it predates his 1957 debut album This is How I Feel About Jazz which was produced by Creed Taylor. Resonance has designed this release as it might have appeared in 1955 with vintage art, logos, and the classic period Epic label. Liner notes include highlights of an interview of Quincy Jones conducted by Ashley Kahn in 2013. These five songs (“Love for Sale, “Leila,” “Undecided,” “The Blues” and “Far Wes”) will also be featured on the 2-CD or 3-LP Resonance release Wes Montgomery: In The Beginning, due later this year. The RSD 10-inch vinyl collectible is limited to 2,000 copies.
It’s joined on RSD by Wes and the Montgomery-Johnson Quintet’s Live at the Turf Club. Sourced from recordings made by 22-year old Butler College student and devoted Montgomery Brothers fan Philip Kahl, Turf Club also makes its first-ever commercial appearance. Kahl had access to the brothers at this period of time, recording them at three different venues. (All three recordings will appear on In the Beginning.) The six tracks here were captured at Indianapolis’ Turf Club in 1956. On “Going Down To Big Mary’s House,” Debbie Andrews of Duke Ellington’s band drops in to supply guest vocals. Resonance first obtained these recordings in 2011 from Buddy Montgomery’s widow Ann, who also provided never-before-published photos taken at The Turf Club. Resonance tracked down the original quarter-inch tape reels, and Bernie Grundman was enlisted to remaster the music for optimal sound. The RSD release of Live at the Turf Club is limited to 2,000 copies on “whiskey-colored” translucent 10-inch vinyl. The album features “Wes’s Tune”, “Fascinating Rhythm”, “Six Bridges to Cross”, “Down To Big Mary’s”, “Caravan” and “Django.”
Also on Record Store Day, Resonance unveils Live at Slugs from multi-instrumentalist (and to fans of The Beach Boys, “Feel Flows” flautist) Charles Lloyd. Recorded at the long-gone Manhattan nightspot Slugs Saloon, Live at Slugs features Lloyd’s 1965 all-star quartet with guitarist Gabor Szabo, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete LaRoca. Resonance describes the release: “Slugs was a staple of the Manhattan Jazz Scene from 1965 to 1972, and was the intersection of music and counterculture. Live at Slugs was recorded by Swedish visionary Bjorn von Schlebrugge, who accompanied Lloyd to his Manhattan gigs. This release features the earliest recording of the Charles Lloyd classic composition “Dream Weaver,” (which would later be recorded with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette for Atlantic Records on the album of the same name). The interplay between the musicians is remarkable, especially the musical dialogue between Lloyd and Szabo which goes back to their days together, playing with the late, great, Chico Hamilton. This special limited edition 10-inch record is to commemorate the upcoming Charles Lloyd release Manhattan Stories, out later this year on Resonance Records.” The RSD-exclusive vinyl pressing at 33-1/3 RPM is limited to 2,000 copies worldwide.
After the jump: what does Resonance have planned from John Coltrane? Plus: full track listings for all releases! Read the rest of this entry »
Varese Goes On A Record Store Day “Odessey” With The Zombies, The Everly Brothers, Norman Greenbaum [UPDATED]
UPDATED 4/15: It’s the time of the season for Varese Sarabande’s Vintage imprint. The label has recently announced its four limited edition vinyl offerings for this April 19’s Record Store Day, with two LPs from The Zombies plus goodies from The Everly Brothers, and Norman Greenbaum. We also have details on the label’s vinyl Genesis reissue coming later this year.
Initially rejected by Clive Davis and then championed by Al Kooper, The Zombies’ 1968 Odessey and Oracle remains the British band’s most beloved album. Rod Argent reflected on it in the liner notes to Rhino’s 1987 reissue: “The songs were inspired by a variety of influences, but they were songs which came from our hearts. They were not the result of a producer or record company imposing their views of what a hit single might be. Some of the songs were romantic, others sparked by literature (‘Butchers Tale,’ ‘Brief Candles’) – ‘A Rose for Emily’ was inspired by a Faulkner short story. Chris reflected on his experience growing up near Beechwood Park in his song of that name. ‘Time of the Season’ was actually influenced by Smokey Robinson’s ‘The Tracks of My Tears.’” All of these diverse influences added up to a haunting, intricate song cycle with baroque orchestration, psychedelia, blues and rock hand-in-hand. For RSD, Varese is returning Odessey to vinyl in its original stereo mix. It will be joined by The Zombies, in mono. This LP dates to 1966, when it was released by the band’s original label Decca as I Love You in Europe and Japan only. I Love You compiled twelve single sides (including the hit “She’s Not There”) onto one LP; Varese gave the album its first U.S. release in 2004 on CD in a reworked and expanded edition. Now it’s appearing for the first time on vinyl in the United States.
The Everly Brothers’ 1958 LP Songs Our Daddy Taught Us was recently covered, song-for-song, by the odd couple duo of Norah Jones and Billie Jo Armstrong as Foreverly. Just a couple of weeks ago, Varese reissued this classic collection on CD with six previously unissued bonus tracks. On RSD, the original 12-track Cadence album returns to vinyl. Far cries from hits like “Bye Bye Love” and “Bird Dog,” these Songs were passed down to Don and Phil from their father, concerned with the likes of murder, thievery, jail and aging. Though Songs wasn’t commercially successful at the time, it’s since been rediscovered as a true cornerstone of Americana. (Look for our review of Varese’s reissue in the days prior to Record Store Day!)
After the jump: we’ll look at Varese’s offerings from Genesis and Norman Greenbaum…plus full track listings for all five titles! Read the rest of this entry »
With April 19’s Record Store Day a little more than a week away, it might be time to start making those checklists! We’ve already filled you in on exciting releases from Legacy Recordings, Real Gone Music, Sundazed, Omnivore Recordings, Varese Sarabande and many others, but today it’s all about Rhino! The Warner Music Group catalogue arm has a bumper crop of more than 25 exclusive offerings from some of the biggest names classic rock, vintage R&B and beyond – including The Doors, Grateful Dead, Ramones, Randy Newman, and, as previously reported, R.E.M.! And that’s not all.
A number of new titles are at the heart of Rhino’s RSD campaign. The Dead premieres Live at Hampton Coliseum for the first time on double vinyl, preserving the band’s Virginia concert of May 4, 1979. Another live set getting a first-ever vinyl issue is Donny Hathaway’s Live at the Bitter End 1971, first issued last year on the Never My Love: The Anthology box set. The Pogues with Joe Strummer Live in London 1991, was like the Donny Hathaway release, first issued on CD in a recent box set (last year’s 30 Years complete albums box) and makes its first appearance in the LP format. It dates back to the period when the Clash frontman filled in for Shane MacGowan in the Pogues line-up. Rhino’s new releases are rounded out by a collection of new-to-vinyl outtakes from country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, a new Greatest Hits from rapper and longtime Law and Order: SVU star Ice-T, and of course, R.E.M.’s eagerly awaited Unplugged 1991/2001: The Complete Sessions.
Rhino continues its Side by Side series of 45s featuring two versions of the same song with pairings of Devo and The Flaming Lips (“Gates of Steel”), Dinosaur Jr. and The Cure (“Just Like Heaven”), Pantera and Poison Idea (“The Badge”) and two Mystery Artists– and Mystery Song, natch. The label is also bringing a number of classic LPs back into print. These rare treats include The Birthday Party from Jeff Lynne’s pre-ELO psych-rock band The Idle Race, Randy Newman’s stunningly original debut solo LP – on which he created something new under the sun! – in its original mono version, Otis Redding’s mono Pain in My Heart, and classics from The Everly Brothers, The Velvet Underground, Hüsker Dü and many others.
Last but not least, Rhino has an array of compilations and singles on tap. Perhaps the most unexpected title is The Doors’ Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine, the band’s first compilation following the untimely death of Jim Morrison. First released in 1972, Gold Mine will also get a first-time CD reissue in May. A rare Ramones EP (1980’s Meltdown with the Ramones) and the first-ever U.S. release of Fleetwood Mac’s 1970 single “Dragonfly” b/w “Purple Dancer” join titles from Joy Division, The Specials, The Stranglers and even a reissue of Elektra’s 1964 multi-LP box set The Folk Box. The latter even comes with a bonus single featuring Judy Collins and Tom Paxton!
We wouldn’t leave you hanging with all of this tantalizing information; just hit the jump for the full specs (including limited edition numbers, vinyl details, etc.) as helpfully provided by our very own Mike D. for every title mentioned above and more! Look for Rhino’s releases at your finest local independent record retailer on Saturday, April 19. Read the rest of this entry »
A then-unheard of gap of three years stood between R.E.M.’s first two albums for Warner Bros. Records – 1988’s Green and 1991’s Out of Time - so there’s still time to go before the departed band’s ongoing 25th anniversary album remaster campaign enters the 1990s. With that, Warner Bros. is instead releasing, for the first time, two complete live sets the band recorded for the beloved MTV Unplugged series. Both sets will first be available in a single, four-disc vinyl box set to be released on Record Store Day.
The Athens, Georgia quartet’s first appearance on the program followed the release of seventh studio album Out of Time, which would become a massive hit off the strength of Top 10 singles like “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People.” Six of the set’s 17 performances hail from tracks recorded during the album’s sessions, including non-LP B-sides “Fretless” and “Rotary 11.” (Those two tracks, as well as acoustic renditions of Document‘s “Swan Swan H” and Green‘s “Get Up” and “World Leader Pretend,” were never included in the original broadcast and are heard here for the first time.
Almost exactly a decade later, R.E.M. reappeared on Unplugged a somewhat different band – not the least of which was due to the departure of drummer Bill Berry. In promotion of the band’s second album as a trio, Reveal, the group delivered a slightly more diverse set, stretching all the way back to 1984’s “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” and including some of the best tracks from the band’s early trio years, including “Daysleeper,” “At My Most Beautiful” and “Imitation of Life.” Six of the 16 performances from this set were excised from the original airing.
For those who are looking for a smaller or less expensive way to enjoy this one, fear not: a two-disc CD edition will be released on May 20. But for those looking to put this on your RSD shopping list – and don’t forget, the full list is live this Thursday – this is definitely going to be one to look for. (Doubly so if you frequent Bull Moose Records in Scarborough, Maine, where R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills will be on hand on April 19 to sign copies of the RSD-exclusive box.)
After the jump, check out the full track list for the set!
Creedence Clearwater Revival are taking it back to the year it all started – sort of – for a new compilation to be released on Record Store Day.
To those who were paying attention, Creedence Clearwater Revival were pretty active before 1969. Singer-songwriter-guitarist John Fogerty, older brother/rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford had been performing and recording together in their native San Francisco since 1959, first under the name of The Blue Velvets (in which Tom wrote and sang while Cook played piano instead of bass) and then The Golliwogs, the latter of which saw them move to local jazz label Fantasy Records. When the lineup crystallized around John’s distinctive vocals and southern/roots-inspired songwriting prowess, CCR was born, issuing their first self-titled album in 1968 and enjoying their first hit, the Top 20 single “Susie Q.”
But it was that next year, 1969, that solidified their reputation as one of the defining rock bands of the ’60s. That year saw them touring incessantly, including a headlining spot at the Woodstock festival. And amazingly, they found time in their schedules to release not one, not two, but three albums between January and November of that month. Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and The Poor Boys were all Top 10 hits on Billboard‘s albums chart (with Green River topping that chart), and they spun off four iconic singles: the now-standard “Proud Mary” (No. 2) backed with “Born on the Bayou”; the rollicking “Bad Moon Rising” (No. 2) coupled with “Lodi” (No. 52); “Green River” (No. 2) and its B-side “Commotion” (No. 30) and the irresistible “Down on the Corner” (No. 3), coupled with the anti-war anthem “Fortunate Son” (No. 14).
CCR enjoyed several more years of success, with two albums in 1970 and a final LP in 1972 (without Tom Fogerty), plus several more Top 10 hits (never, however, a No. 1 hit). They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and their catalogue is still widely available, thanks to several compilations and remasters and endless licensing (mostly executed by Fantasy Records without the approval of Fogerty).
In addition to a new 10″ white-vinyl compilation, The ’69 Singles, including all eight sides the band released in that year, dropping into all participating indie retailers on Record Store Day, Fantasy and CCR are keeping the spirit of ’69 alive with vinyl reissues of those three albums (Bayou Country was repressed this year, while Green River and Willy and The Poor Boys are expected August 5 and November 4, respectively), a new compilation and “high-resolution audio releases.”
The ’69 Singles (Fantasy FAN-35329-01, 2014)
- Proud Mary
- Born on the Bayou
- Bad Moon Rising
- Green River
- Down on the Corner
- Fortunate Son
Tracks 1-2 from Fantasy single 619 Bayou Country (Fantasy 8387, 1969)
Tracks 3-6 from Fantasy singles 625 and 634 and Green River (Fantasy 8393, 1969)
Tracks 7-8 from Fantasy single 622 Willy and The Poor Boys (Fantasy 8397, 1969)
EXCLUSIVE: Real Gone Saddles Up To Record Store Day With Never-Before-Heard Music From Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
Waylon Jennings might have said it best: “Bob Wills is still the King.” The song of that name closed Jennings’ 1975 album Dreaming My Dreams, which was released just one month after the death of the King of Western Swing at age 70. Waylon’s ode to Bob Wills was revived three decades later by The Rolling Stones, and the sentiment still held true. Now, Real Gone Music is celebrating Record Store Day 2014 – that’s Saturday, April 19 – with a slice of ultra-rare, vintage Americana that you’ve never heard before.
The Second Disc is exclusively breaking the news that the California label will commemorate the legacy of the Texas icon with the limited edition vinyl release of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys – Transcriptions. The ten tracks on this 1,500-unit collectible have never appeared anywhere in any format before, and four of the songs will remain exclusive to this Record Store Day release.
By 1946, Bob Wills and his band The Texas Playboys were already the stuff of legend. The bandleader, songwriter and fiddle player extraordinaire had popularized “Western swing” with his dance band melding traditional country-and-western guitar, fiddle and banjo sounds with steel guitar, drums, piano, horns and reeds. 1940’s “New San Antonio Rose,” written by Wills, propelled the band to widespread fame, and Bing Crosby’s recording sold over one million copies. Wills and the Playboys even travelled to Hollywood to star in films like Take Me Back to Oklahoma opposite singing cowboy Tex Ritter, and raised a ruckus by bringing horns and drums into the hallowed hall of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1946 and 1947, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys recorded almost 400 full songs for Tiffany Music, Inc., a body of work that came to be known simply as “the Tiffany Transcriptions.” These incendiary recordings were distributed only to radio stations on 16-inch transcription discs, intended for airplay as part of a syndicated radio program featuring Wills and his band including vocalist Tommy Duncan. When Tiffany folded at the end of the decade, however, the company left over 200 songs consigned to the vaults…until now.
Hit the jump for complete details on this exciting new find! Read the rest of this entry »
That change in the air pressure you’re probably feeling around your favorite indie record store can only mean one thing: Record Store Day 2014 is coming your way. April 19 will see a host of beloved major and independent labels celebrating the good old resilient brick-and-mortar store with various titles sold exclusively at participating stores. And the beloved cratediggers at Omnivore Recordings have four exciting titles prepared for the big day – nearly all of which feature artists making their debut appearances on the label.
In a fitfully-brief career that ended with his untimely death at the age of 29, Hank Williams still managed to do more for country music than most, with a sizable stable of crossover hits including “Move It On Over,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Hey Good Lookin’.” Omnivore has quite an incredible find with its first RSD 2014 title, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 – Extended Play. Culled from rare radio show recordings Williams cut for Naughton Farms, a plant nursery in Waxahachie, Texas (with a session band, not his familiar Drifting Cowboys ensemble), these recordings found Williams tackle hits, standards and material he rarely, if ever, recorded anywhere else. Sourced from newly-discovered transcription discs, these tunes haven’t been heard for nearly six decades; a month after the release of this 10″, 33 1/3 RPM disc (packed in a 78-RPM style sleeve with notes from co-producer Colin Escott), Omnivore will release 24 of these tracks from four shows on a new CD/LP compilation on May 20. (Keep an eye here for more info about that set soon!)
Two years before jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987) burst onto the scene with his 1976 solo album, the 22-year-old musician was working out his early solo material in after-hours sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami. Six cuts from those sessions soon made their way onto an acetate disc with which to entice prospective labels; now, that acetate is partially recreated on splatter vinyl (with one bonus track) as well as a CD featuring 11 selections from the entire session. (Happily, this title will be added to the label catalogue after the RSD celebrations.) Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions features two essays from DownBeat contributor/Jaco biographer Bill Milkowski as well as fan, package co-producer and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. Altogether, the set makes a perfect companion to the forthcoming documentary Jaco, about the late legend.
After the jump, Omnivore has a single from a most unexpected voice – an actor’s – and a special compilation of live cuts from some familiar Omnivores!
The rock world was stunned yesterday by the announcement of the sudden passing of Bob Casale, guitarist/keyboardist/engineer for quintessential New Wave outfit Devo. “Bob 2,” as he was known to scores of fans (“Bob 1″ being guitarist/vocalist Bob Mothersbaugh), was an integral part of one of the quirkiest pop bands of the last century, and his sudden death has left a hole in the hearts of fans everywhere. By sheer coincidence, Devo have been one of the first acts to announce a title for Record Store Day in April 2014, consisting of a pivotal 1977 show being released for the first time in full.
Devo had, of course, been challenging audiences with their maniacally catchy, satirical repertoire for much of the ’70s, from the Kent State University campus the band attended (the nascent band’s mindset turned from purely comedic to somewhat serious with the shooting deaths of several protesting students by National Guardsmen in 1970) to the greater Ohio area and beyond. Their appearance at New York club Max’s Kansas City in November 1977 may have been their most essential to date: the self-proclaimed “spudboys” were introduced that night by none other than David Bowie, who presented them as “the band of the future.” Band co-founder/bassist Gerald Casale would later note that record labels began calling after the performance; ultimately, the group would sign to Stiff Records (who’d put their first self-released singles together on an EP) and then Warner Bros. – their major-label home ever since.
Nine tracks from the Max’s performance made their way onto Rykodisc’s 1992 set DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years, but the impending release of DEVO Live At Max’s Kansas City 11/15/77 on Jackpot Records will feature the entire show. (Casale’s liner notes for The Mongoloid Years noted that the repertoire on that disc represented “the best of the only audio tapes that escaped total disintegration over the last 15 years.” Jackpot’s note about “working closely with the band and those who were there that night” means that the LP is likely sourced from multiple recordings, including fan-sourced ones.) Casale will write new liner notes; the package will also include a band press bio from 1974. Limited to 2,000 copies, this disc will be available at Record Store Day-participating stores on April 19.