Archive for the ‘Vinyl’ Category
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)
Venerable jazz label Blue Note Records celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and they’re celebrating well into the next year with an ambitious campaign that will see parent company Universal Music Group reissue dozens of titles on vinyl through 2015.
Founded in 1939 by mogul Alfred Lion and musician Max Margulis, Blue Note started as your average traditional jazz label before 1947, at which point the company started to focus on innovations in the genre, namely bebop and hard bop. Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Art Blakey, Fats Navarro, Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock are just a few names that recorded for the label at some point in their storied careers. The label began to fade by the late ’60s, when it was acquired by Liberty Records, which was in turn acquired by United Artists (the conglomerate of which was bought by EMI in 1979). However, an early CD-era reissue program saw the name revived in the mid-’80s, and the label became associated with many of Capitol-EMI’s jazz ventures since – most notably Come Away with Me, the Grammy-winning 2002 debut album by Norah Jones.
Of the ambitious venture to release classic albums from the Blue Note repertoire on vinyl, five at a time, between this March and October of 2015(!), label president and noted producer Don Was issued this statement:
Two years ago, we decided to begin remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalog in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes…the new remasters are really cool!
While these new versions will become available in Digital Hi Def, CD and the Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note – along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises – is launching a major 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalog should be readily available at a low cost – featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note’s iconic packaging. Beginning in March 2014, we’ll start rolling out five remastered vinyl reissues every month. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!
The first two batches will be available in stores March 25 and April 22, featuring titles by Coltrane, Rollins, Hancock, Adderley, Wayne Shorter and more. Pre-order links for these vinyl reissues are after the jump; click here for the full list of planned titles!
In past years, Numero Group’s Wayfaring Strangers series has taken adventurous listeners along to hear Ladies from the Canyon, Guitar Soli and Lonesome Heroes, drawing on rare or privately-pressed folk music and casting it in a new light. With its latest release, however, Numero is traversing even more unexpected territory. The punningly-titled Warfaring Strangers volume entitled Darkscorch Canticles will immerse listeners in a world of mystics and mages, devils and demons, and yes, dungeons and dragons. The 16-track anthology, due in stores today on CD, LP and MP3, is a first-of-its-kind compilation of fantasy-based hard rock from the 1970s. But more unbelievably, it will soon also become available in one of the most unusual box set configurations we’ve seen in our four-plus years here at The Second Disc: as a bona-fide role playing game!
If you’ve never heard of Triton Warrior, Stone Axe, Stoned Mace, Hellstorm, Medusa, or (doing Medusa one better) Gorgon Medusa, you’re not alone. But you might not forget them after spinning Darkscorch Canticles. “This music hails from an occluded realm, somewhere just beyond the pot-addled minds of its creators,” Numero explains. Those young minds were likely listening to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin – and maybe Camel or even early, pre-glam Tyrannosaurus Rex – while exploring new worlds in Dungeons and Dragons, the role-playing game that first appeared in 1974 to spearhead the RPG genre. “In this collection,” Numero states, “medieval Bonham thunk and febrile Iommi guitar leads crowd out the bluesy Americana that foregrounded [Zeppelin and Sabbath], replacing hippie pastoralism with mythology, armored conflict, sorcery, and doom.” This is garage rock from a world in which wizards, elves, dwarves, monsters and wizards might be hiding next door to the garage in question.
Hit the jump for much more on Darkscorch Chronicles – the CD and the role-playing game – including the complete track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Little Feat, Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990 (Warner Bros./Rhino)
The eclectic rock band’s near two-decade run on Warner Bros. is celebrated in this new box set, featuring all the band’s original studio albums, an expanded edition of the live Waiting for Columbus and a bonus disc of recordings sourced from the band’s 2000 box set Hotcakes & Outtakes. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
The Grass Roots, The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles / Irma Thomas, Full Time Woman — The Lost Cotillion Album / Professor Longhair, The Last Mardi Gras / Dr. John, The Night Tripper, Gris Gris / David Ruffin, My Whole World Ended/Feelin’ Good / David Ruffin, David Ruffin/Me ‘N Rock ‘N Roll Are Here to Stay / Marilyn McCoo, Solid Gold (Expanded Edition) / Charley Pride, The Gospel Collection (Real Gone Music)
Real Gone’s March madness features a host of titles, including two Mardi Gras-themed offerings from two New Orleans legends: Dr. John’s first album and a double-disc live set from jazz pianist Professor Longhair.
The Grass Roots: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Irma Thomas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Professor Longhair: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Dr. John: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
David Ruffin #1: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
David Ruffin #2: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Marilyn McCoo: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Charley Pride: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bob Dylan, The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Columbia/Legacy)
This multi-artist live tribute to The Bard, recorded at Madison Square Garden in 1992, is reissued as an expanded CD set as well as in a newly-restored DVD or Blu-Ray version with unreleased performances and behind-the-scenes footage.
Before Marc Bolan hit the sweet spot, 1970 saw him cutting two albums – the last credited to “Tyrannosaurus Rex” and the first credited to “T. Rex,” respectively – that saw him moving from psych-folk to the kind of music that made him a legend. Both albums are expanded with unreleased demos, outtakes and single material (including beloved glam cut “Ride a White Swan”).
Rufus Wainwright, Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright (DGC/Interscope/UMe)
A greatest-hits compilation from the theatrical singer-songwriter, son of fellow-renowned musician Loudon Wainwright III.
Light in the Attic kicks off its new Vanguard Vault series exploring the “obscure, non-traditional side of the legendary Vanguard Records archive” with the 1972 self-titled album from Bob Frank (“the best songwriter you never heard” per Big Star producer Jim Dickinson) and the rare 1968 follow-up to Peter Walker’s mystical psych-folk Rainy Day Raga LP.
New, Steve Hoffman-mastered editions of two classic titles on hybrid SACD.
He’s called it “the worst record I ever made,” but Neil Young’s putting his 1973 live album Time Fades Away back into print for only the second time, as part of a limited box set for Record Store Day.
The Neil Young Official Release Series Discs 5-8 box set, limited to 3,500 copies at participating independent retailers on this year’s Record Store Day events on April 19, will feature 180-gram reissues of Time Fades Away, On the Beach (1974), Tonight’s the Night (1975) and Zuma (1975), newly remastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, pressed at Pallas MFG Germany and featuring reproduced artwork overseen by Young’s longtime designer Gary Burden. (In 2009, the first volume in this box set series was released, featuring similarly lush vinyl reissues of Neil Young (1968), Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (1969), After the Gold Rush (1970) and Harvest (1972).)
Time Fades Away, for its own part, remains a crucial link in Young’s early career. A live album backed by Young’s Harvest-era band The Stray Gators (pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith, pianist Jack Nitzsche, bassist Tim Drummond and drummer Johnny Barbata) and consisting entirely of new material, Time Fades Away was recorded on a lengthy tour marred by alcohol abuse, erratic behavior and, by the trek’s end, a throat infection that required David Crosby and Graham Nash to supply some much-needed support. Recorded directly from the soundboard to 16-track by a Quad-8 CompuMix, the first digital mixer of its kind, the album retained a murky, uncertain quality, but critics were quick to praise it. Despite this, Young has largely disavowed its existence, dismissing the “audio verite” approach in a liner notes passage that was cut from the beloved Decade compilation in 1977. A 1995 HDCD release was scrapped late in development, and despite constant petitions there appear to be no plans to issue the album anywhere other than vinyl. (Young did indicate that a “sequel” drawn from alternate selections on the same tour would appear in the long-gestating Archives Vol. 2 box set.)
A little over four decades after its first release, Canadian rockers Rush will reissue their first album on high-quality vinyl in April.
Rush, the band’s self-titled debut on the band’s own label Moon Records, was a primitive but promising start for the band. Singer/bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey (who, within a year’s time, would be replaced by current drummer Neil Peart) turned out a low-fidelity but enthusiastic batch of originals bearing a stronger resemblance to other ’60s and ’70s hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream than their later, more progressive, genre-defining works.
Only 3,500 copies of the album were pressed on first run, but one of those made their way to Cleveland disc jockey Donna Halper of WMMS-FM, who added album cut “Working Man” to her playlists. The album was quickly repressed and reissued by Mercury Records from the same album master; later pressings featured a remix by producer Terry Brown, who would helm several of the band’s classics including 2112 and Moving Pictures.
This special box set reissue, part of UMe’s “ReDISCovered” vinyl series, goes back to the original analog stereo master, “cut to copper plates using the Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) process at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.” The 200-gram audiophile vinyl pressing will be packaged in a recreation of the original Moon Records sleeve, down to the original matrix number etched into the disc, and will also feature “a 16″ x 22″ reproduction of the first Rush promo poster, three 5″ x 7″ lithographs of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and John Rutsey, a 12″ x 12″ Rush Family Tree poster, and a digital download card,” all in a lidded custom box.
You can pre-order the set at the link below; it’s available on April 15.
Rush: ReDISCovered Box Set (originally released as Moon Records MN-100, 1974 – reissued Mercury/UMe, 2014)
- Finding My Way
- Need Some Love
- Take a Friend
- Here Again
- What You’re Doing
- In the Mood
- Before and After
- Working Man
Deep Purple’s monstrous power as a live act was solidified more than four decades ago with the release of their first live album, Made in Japan. This May, a tidal wave of Made in Japan reissues are surging your way, from remasters to expansions to box sets on CD, vinyl and Blu-Ray. (Whew!)
In 1972, Deep Purple were flying higher than ever. The quintet – at the time, singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice – had just released their sixth album in five years (and third with the Mk II lineup), Machine Head. It was their first chart-topper in their native England, and also went Top 10 in the States. By this time, the band had quite a sterling reputation as a live act, but were reluctant to attempt a live album for fear they could not produce the exact kind of polished set they could in studio.
Ultimately, upon discovering a burgeoning bootleg market around their tours, they relented, recording three consecutive nights in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan (where the band were particularly adored). Focusing solely on putting on a great show and less on how the final product would sound (to this day, members of the band have reportedly never heard the album), Deep Purple’s gamble paid off handsomely. A single backed with both studio and live versions of the instant classic (and arguable progenitor of heavy metal) “Smoke on the Water” was a U.S. Top 5 hit. The album went Top 10 in America and Top 20 in England, eventually earning a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America for over a million units shipped.
Given the hallowed status of the album, there have been several reissues of the Japan shows. A 1993 box set collected much of the three sets, and further parts were included on an expanded reissue of the album proper in 1998. But what have Universal U.K. got planned for this (almost) 40th anniversary celebration? Read on after the jump.
Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen Issues “High Hopes” Outtakes For RSD, MusiCares Tribute Hits DVD and BD
When Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this January, the iconic artist earned his eleventh chart-topping album. That was enough to make him the No. 3 all-time champ in that department, just behind The Beatles (19) and Jay-Z (13). The eclectic recordings used to assemble High Hopes divided many of Springsteen’s devotees, as did the contributions of Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. But par for the course with any Bruce-related release, the songs heard on High Hopes were culled from a larger group, leaving outtakes behind. On April 19’s Record Store Day, you’ll have the chance to hear some of those tracks on a new four-song, 12-inch vinyl EP entitled American Beauty. And that’s not all coming from the prolific singer-songwriter-bandleader. A little less than a month earlier, on March 25, Columbia Records will release A MusiCares Tribute to Bruce Springsteen on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download, on which many of The Boss’ fans and contemporaries salute him in song for his philanthropy.
American Beauty premieres three songs from the same sessions that yielded much of the material on High Hopes. “Mary, Mary,” “Hey Blue Eyes” and “American Beauty” all feature Morello’s blistering guitar. Details have not been provided regarding the fourth track, “Hurry up Sundown,” though speculation has already run rampant among Springsteen fans. The Guardian speculates that “Sundown” may be the same song recorded by the garage rockers Balloon Farm in 1967. The Laurie Records single was co-written by the band’s Mike Appel…the same Mike Appel who famously managed Springsteen and produced his first albums. As High Hopes featured a number of diverse covers, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that another cover version would feature on the Record Store Day EP.
After the jump, we’ll take a look at A MusiCares Tribute to Bruce Springsteen! Read the rest of this entry »
Britpop band Oasis may never be reuniting again thanks to the hilariously toxic relationship between brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, but the band’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated with several deluxe reissues, the first of which was announced today.
This year, all three of the band’s albums released in the 1990s will be remastered and expanded, starting with 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe, to be reissued in May. (The set’s being referred to as the “Chasing the Sun Edition,” to quote a lyric from the band’s “Slide Away.”) Their next two albums, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) and Be Here Now (1997), will be expanded at an unconfirmed later date.
With perhaps the keenest ear for pop hooks in England since Morrissey and Marr and a confident, optimistic lyrical bent that stood in direct contrast to the dominant grunge trends in rock and roll, Oasis essentially helped revitalize interest in the country as a supplier of rock music. Though commercial reaction in the States was modest at best, Top 10 singles like “Live Forever,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol” and the non-LP release “Whatever” became touchstones of a generation.
The band were rarely out of the U.K. music press since, whether for their music or their offstage antics The notorious feuds between lead singer Liam and guitarist/songwriter Noel could be withering but also bizarrely entertaining, such as a 1996 taping for MTV Unplugged that saw Liam opt out due to throat trouble – only to sit in the audience with beer and cigarettes, heckling his brother’s voice from a balcony in between takes. A backstage altercation before a festival date in 2009 led Noel to finally quit; Liam reformed the remaining lineup as Beady Eye while Noel put together a solo band under the moniker Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
What can fans expect from the newly expanded Definitely Maybe? Find out after the jump!
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 »