Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Classic Rock Videos

More of Dion- and an all-time classic:

New Vinyl Releases

As always, I thank DJ Spyder over at http://dj-spyder.blogspot.com for his invaluable data:


Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer [LP w/bonus download]
Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Black Sabbath - Live Evil [2 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Rare And Unreleased 1989-2006) [4 LP Box] (180 Gram Vinyl and Includes Download Card and Book)
Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels [Deluxe Edition] [2 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl plus Sunburst & Snowblind EP on Lilac Colored Vinyl]
Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels [LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Fijiya & Miyagi - Lightbulbs [LP]
Kardinal Offishall - Not 4 Sale [2LP]
Margot and The Nuclear So & So's - Animal! [180 Gram Vinyl includes download insert [2LP]
Margot and The Nuclear So & So's - Not Animal includes download insert 180 Gram Vinyl 2 LP]
Marty Paich - I Get A Boot Out Of You [LP]
Michelle Williams - Unexpected [Includes download insert] [2LP]
Moldy Peaches - Moldy Peaches
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul [2 LP] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Of Montreal - Skeletal Lampin [2LP] [180 Gram Vinyl Double gatefold jacket]
Rachael Yamagata - Elephants Teeth Sinking Into Heart [2LP] Colored Vinyl
Rise Against - Appeal To Reason [LP] [Limited Edition Picture Disc]
Rise Against - Appeal To Reason [LP] [Limited Edition w/full album digital download]
Robin Thicke - Something Else [2LP]

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at Gigwise.com's 50 most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album cover art as compiled by their crack staff:


28. Millie Jackson: ‘Back To The Shit’ (1989) Just what I want to see, some pop diva taking a dump. Add to this some great tracks like "Muffle That Fart" and "Love Stinks" and you have a tasteless album cover.

Millie Jackson is an R&B/Soul music singer/songwriter. Her vocal performances are distinguished by long, humorous, and explicit spoken sections in her music; She has also recorded many disco songs, some dance music songs, and a few country styled songs. She is the mother of R&B singer Keisha Jackson. Great example Mom.....



28. The Mars Volta: 'DeLoused In The Crematorium' De-Loused in the Comatorium is the first studio album by the progressive rock band The Mars Volta. Based on a short story by lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and sound manipulation artist Jeremy Michael Ward, it is the hour-long tale of Cerpin Taxt, a man who tries to kill himself by overdosing on a mixture of morphine and rat poison. The attempt lands him in a week-long coma during which he experiences visions of humanity and his own psyche. Upon waking, he is dissatisfied with the real world and jumps to his death. The story of Cerpin Taxt is based on the death of El Paso, Texas artist (and Bixler-Zavala's friend) Julio Venegas.

De-Loused became both critically and commercially their biggest hit, eventually selling in excess of 500,000 copies despite next-to-no promotion, and was featured on several critics' "Best of the Year" lists.

The album cover is the work of famed artist/designer and oddball Storm Thorgerson, who is responsible for some of the best cover art in the industry.



28. El Vez – ‘Son Of A Lad From Spain?’: El Vez (born 1960) is the stage name of Robert Lopez, a Mexican-American rock and roll artist, who performs and records original material and covers classic rock songs. Mixing the styles of Elvis Presley and many other American rock artists with his own Latin-American heritage and music, he is known for expressing revolutionary views through his the satire and humor in his songs.

Lopez's main persona and style is very similar to Elvis Presley, as his stage name suggests. However, he is not strictly an Elvis impersonator; on his recordings and in his live show, he covers many non-Mexican artists, such as John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, T. Rex, Queen and the Beatles. Also known as the "Thin Brown Duke", "The Chicano Elvis"or "The Mexican Elvis", he got his start in the Latino punk band The Zeros and played in Catholic Discipline with the folk singer Phranc. The guy is a walking (and sleeping) parody of himself.



28. Smashing Pumpkins: ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is the third album by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, released on October 24, 1995 on Virgin Records. Produced by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, Flood and Alan Moulder, the 28-track album was released as a two-disc CD and triple LP. Led by the single "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", the album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, a first for the group. The album spawned four more singles over the course of 1996 and has been certified nine times platinum.

Praised by critics for its ambition and scope, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness earned the band seven Grammy Award nominations in 1997. The album was voted the 29th greatest album of all time in 1998 by Q magazine readers. In 2003, the album was ranked number 487 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Art direction for the album cover is credited to Frank Olinsky and Billy Corgan. The actual illustrations are digital collages put together by John Craig. The design for the album cover was inspired by a combination of the face from the painting Fidelity by Jean Baptiste Greuze and the body from the painting Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Raphael. Why she is floating in space, I have no idea.

Power to the People's: Record Store Rises from the Ashes

As I stated in earlier posts, I love the stories about record stores. Here is another:

By: Ashley Woods

With a little help from his friends, Brad Hales is still unpacking. The shelves of his personalized, one-of-kind shop are filling up with shoeboxes with labels like "Early James Brown," or "60s Funk." The walls are being painted in primary colors, covered with bright, cheerful murals. It looks like he hired the Jackson 5 as interior designers.

People's Records, one of Metro Detroit's most eclectic vinyl shops, is starting a new life in a new location. And bursting with new life it is.

When a fire at the Forest Arms Apartments last winter flooded much of his basement shop, where people from around the world came for his collection of rare vinyl, Hales says he had a good idea what to do next.

"I had to reopen as soon as possible," he says. "I never really questioned that."

For five years, Hales, 34, operated out of the basement of the Forest Arms, which also contained Amsterdam Espresso coffee shop. It was a vibrant corner of Midtown, just south of the Wayne State University campus.

When a fire erupted in an upstairs apartment early in the morning of Feb. 6, gutting the 102-year old structure, thousands of records were destroyed. The colorful nook had been packed with 12-inch records, 78s, and 45s, some of it rare and highly collectible. For years, Hales has been digging for long out of print Detroit soul and funk jams from the 1960s and 1970s (which he also rather famously spins at DJ residencies he has in Detroit and Ann Arbor).

Bringing it all back home

But a fire and a flood could not deter Hales. The day after the shop on Forest was destroyed he made three record buys from dealers, and opened a temporary store in the basement of his Detroit home on Third St. He eventually built the collection back up to where it needed a new storefront. He found a former millinery, at the corner of Woodward and Peterboro St., near Zaccaro's and Atlas Global Bistro, perfectly suited for his needs. Well, almost perfect.

"There was carpeting on the floor," he says, "and a lot of water damage, too. There was a wall down the middle that we had to take down, ceiling tiles missing. But it was one of the only places I could afford." Hales leases the 1,100 sq. ft., two-story space from the Cass Ave. Development Corp. He spent two months this summer at the new location this cleaning, pulling up carpet, scraping and painting.

Now, vinyl junkies walk across restored hardwood floors while they scour through the seemingly endless crates and boxes of records. Despite losing several thousand records in the fire, People's Records is already packed to the gills with hard to find vinyl. And only vinyl. That’s right, no CDs or cassettes to be seen.

Hales says the basement is currently empty, though he wouldn't be opposed to renovating it in the future. There's street parking in the front, as well as a parking lot in the back.

Born in Detroit and raised in Wyandotte, Hales describes himself as "kind of an outcast" in high school. He says the only thing he wanted to do after graduating from high school was "keep working in record stores."

That's what he did, putting in stints at Desirable Discs in Dearborn and Encore in Ann Arbor, with a short detour working in Zingerman’s Bakehouse. On top of his DJ gigs, he has also performed in local progressive-minded indie bands like Teach Me Tiger, Easy Action and Human Eye.

He professes a love for music of all spectrums, but says his main interest is in combing Detroit to add to his collection of choice 45s from the 1950s to the 1980s. His collection of records grew, until, he says, "I just started selling them, so I could buy more. Sell three, buy one. I compare it to being an antique collector."

Destination: Detroit

Hales says the 45s he covets were often produced by local labels, sometimes out of private homes, in runs as small as 100. Some 40 years later, only a handful are left, and Hales' joy comes from tracking them down.

He says he was inspired to "get my hands on records that were made around here, and sell them to people around here, so we could keep them (in Detroit)."

Indeed, if Hales gets his hands on 10 copies of an in-demand 45, he often only lists one copy on eBay, and keeps the rest to sell in his store. "I want local DJs to have access to this music in the future," he says.

With Detroit's international reputation as a haven for rare vinyl, keeping records in the area is a challenge. "Detroit is a destination for record buyers across the nation, across the world," he says. "That's something that is unbeknown to most people around here."

Some of his regular customers hail from as far away as England and Japan. "(Collectors) bring their families to Detroit for vacation, and they spend all their time combing the record stores for finds, dragging along their wife and kids," he says.

Hales says the community's response to the new People's Records has been outstanding.

"We've been extremely busy since we opened,” he says. “I had a carload of people waiting to get in this morning when I unlocked the doors. And we're busy until I close at night."


Ashley Woods is a local freelance writer

SOURCE: http://www.modeldmedia.com

The Vinyl Revival and the Resurrection of Sound

Written by Robert Benson

It’s all over the news- from countless newspaper features (including a write-up in the Wall Street Journal), online articles and even the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. It’s the vinyl record revival and more importantly, the resurrection of analog sound.

Yes, vinyl records, left for dead with the advent of the ‘digital age’ are selling again. In fact, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), sales of vinyl records jumped to 1.3 million last year, which represents a 36.6% increase from 2006; a figure that some industry experts feel does not accurately represent the true sales figures. The experts deem it to be too low because independent record stores sales, where vinyl does the best, are not usually included in these figures. Additionally, according to Billboard Magazine, vinyl record sales jumped 77% in the first half of 2008 (when compared to the first half of 2007), selling more than 803,000 units.

This is not a fad or cycle; music lovers young and old are being drawn to this historic audio format. Moreover, it seems to be a worldwide event, preorders and sales of vinyl records are on the increase in many countries across the globe. In the UK alone, sales of seven-inch singles (45’s) have climbed 87.3% compared to the same three month period last year.

Vinyl is cool again. Teenagers, who once may have scoffed at their grandparents’ and parents’ record collections, now wait in line to get the latest releases. More and more mainstream artists are releasing new material via the format and Capitol Records (along with many other major record companies) are now reissuing classic albums on vinyl. And now, along with the baby boomers, a new generation is discovering the special allure that vinyl records have - the limited editions, colored vinyl, picture discs, audiophile records (180-220 gram), the album cover art and the sound - all elements in this grand resurgence.

This resurgence is fueled by many other factors. Let’s explore some interesting aspects of the vinyl record.

The Sound

Yes, the hiss, snap and crackle of a record are soothing music lovers around the globe. Vinyl records use analog recording methods; it is a clear, well-defined sound. The music is not compressed and digitized into the ones and zeros that you get with the CD or MP3; or what I term as “binary sound.” There is a warmth, an ambience that vinyl brings to the music and since the human ear hears in analog-not digital-vinyl records naturally sound better. So this is the secret that the DJ’s, record collectors and audiophiles knew all along!

The Collectible Factor and Availability of Vinyl

Most recording artists are also fans of other artists’ music; they own vast and eclectic record collections. Sometimes finding rare and collectible vinyl created by artists who have influenced their own music and whom they admire can be just as satisfying as creating and recording their own music. They also delight in finding rare vinyl of their own music. In fact, John Lennon was an avid record collector and amassed quite a collection of Beatle’s bootlegs.

Buying and selling records is big business. Besides the garage sales, flea markets and yard sales, online auction sites such as eBay sell millions of records. It is reported that eBay users buy and sell six vinyl records each minute (or an average of one every ten seconds) totaling more than three million records each year. Some records still maintain their value decades after their initial release and have sold for thousands of dollars. It’s been reported that the album that is bought and sold the most in the vinyl format is the Beatles’ “White Album.” Other acts such as Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, among many others, are highly sought after and still command top dollar for specific releases. Soul and jazz music, along with classic rock, are always in demand. Additionally, online giant Amazon is committed to expanding their ‘vinyl section’ offerings to include thousands of music artists.

There is also a lot of vinyl support in such musical genres as hip-hop, punk and heavy metal. “Indie” music is now being pressed into colored vinyl, limited edition releases and picture discs. These are the future collectibles and sometimes sell for higher-than-average prices. The online community has responded as well with literally thousands of web sites dedicated to the vinyl format. Many music artists are making sure that they give their fans a choice of music formats, with vinyl appearing to be taking the lead.

The Vinyl Experience

In our age of iPods and MP3 music, playing a record is almost a ritual experience. There is the physical interaction between the person playing the album, the music itself and the machine. Playing a record can be a communal event where the music is shared with friends and family. But it is not only the music that intrigues the masses. Add unique and compelling album cover art and deluxe packaging, and a whole new generation of vinyl record lovers can share in this phenomenon. Going hand-in-hand with the increase in vinyl record sales is the increase and availability of turntables. Nationally, turntable sales shot to over 500,000 last year compared to 275,000 in 2006. Manufacturers of turntables have given the consumer a plethora of options to choose from, from the very affordable unit to some that cost thousands of dollars. Students in colleges around the U.S., as well as globally, are now beginning to consider a turntable in their dorm room one of their necessities.

The Perks

Many recording artists are not only releasing their new material via vinyl but in digital format for those who choose that medium. Many records may come with a certificate for a free Internet download, which can sometimes be a bonus cut that may not be included on the record. It also allows the music to be portable, and the consumer can choose between the alternate formats. As the demand for vinyl continues its upward climb, so to will the affordability of the records. Many mainstream releases via the vinyl format are competitively priced, allowing for more units to be sold. Add to this the already flourishing used vinyl record market, where a music lover can pick up an LP for under five dollars, and we have a new vinyl model that will flourish for decades to come.

Will vinyl records regain their dominant position in the music industry that they once held? One can only guess, but with CD sales continuing to plummet and more and more music lovers discovering the value of vinyl, this historic audio medium will not fade away anytime soon.

Copyright Robert Benson 2008

Classic Rock Videos

Buddy Holly- That'll Be The Day

Album Cover Art

Continuing our album cover art series, let's look at more of Gigwise.com's 50 most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album covers (according to their staff):


29. Birth Control: ‘Operation’ – "Operation" was BIRTH CONTROL's 2nd album and continued with their pattented hard-rock acid based style not unlike that of DEEP PURPLE. Musically, BIRTH CONTROL blend heavy guitar with heavy organ twirls, not unlike early SPOOKY TOOTH in many ways as well. Band lineup included Bernd "Nossi" Noske (drums, vocals) Bernd Koschmidder (bass) Bruno Frenzel (guitar, vocals) and Wolfgang Neuser (keyboards). Songs are genereally pretty heavy with songs like the harder edged anti-Vietnam war song "The Work is done". The second track "Just Beofre The Sun Will Rise" and the last track "Let Us Do It Now" are actually quite symphonic and show why BIRTH CONTROL were leaning in a more progressive vein than others at the time. The carnivorous cockroach (or whatever it is) caused such controversy that the album was banned in several countries. Even more scandalous: on some copies an image of the Pope was shown cheering the seemingly baby eating bug on.



29. Jo Jo Gunne: 'Jumpin' The Gunne' - (1973) From the front, it appears to be a 'normal' cover (yeah with the band in bed together), but when opened a 'heavy set' nude woman is floating away from the bed. Huh? There must be a reason, but I have no idea what it is. Remember, drugs were prevelant in the early seventies.

Jo Jo Gunne is a rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971 by Jay Ferguson (keyboards, vocals and guitar) and Mark Andes (bass and vocals) after the two of them had left Spirit. With the addition of Andes' brother, Matt Andes (born California) (guitar, vocals), and William "Curly" Smith (drums, vocals and harp), the four of them were signed to Asylum Records. They had a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart with the song, "Run Run Run", taken from their 1972 self-titled debut album.

The group did not maintain the commercial momentum of their debut release. With Jumpin' the Gunne's tasteless album cover being blamed for drastically falling sales, they broke up in 1975. However they made several notable tracks, especially "Take It Easy," "Broken Down Man," "Neon City," and "Falling Angel."



29. The Beatles – ‘The Beatles’ (The White Album): Only the Beatles could get away with this. Some have said that this was a great cover, no frills and the band certainly delivered the goods musically. That said, even with the constant bickering and arguing, you would think that the band could have sprung for a better cover.

The Beatles is the ninth official album by The Beatles, a double album released in 1968. It is often referred to as The White Album as it has no text other than the band's name (and, on the early LP and CD releases, a serial number) on its plain white sleeve, which was designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton. The album was the first album The Beatles undertook following the death of their manager Brian Epstein. The album was originally planned to be titled A Doll's House, but the British progressive band Family released an album earlier that year, bearing a similar title. The Beatles is often hailed as one of the major accomplishments in popular music.

The album's sleeve was designed by Richard Hamilton, a notable pop artist who had organised a Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Tate Gallery the previous year. Hamilton's design was in stark contrast to Peter Blake's vivid cover art for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and consisted of a plain white sleeve. The band's name was discreetly embossed slightly below the middle of the album's right side, and the cover also featured a unique stamped serial number, "to create," in Hamilton's words, "the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like five million copies."[citation needed] Indeed, the artist intended the cover to resemble the "look" of conceptual art, an emerging movement in contemporary art at the time. Later vinyl record releases in the U.S. showed the title in grey printed (rather than embossed) letters. Early copies on compact disc were also numbered. Later CD releases rendered the album's title in black or grey. The 30th anniversary CD release was done to look like the original album sleeve, with an embossed title and serial number, including a small reproduction of the poster and pictures (see re-issues).

The album's inside packaging included a poster, the lyrics to the songs, and a set of photographs taken by John Kelley during the autumn of 1968 that have themselves become iconic. This is the only sleeve of a Beatles' studio album not to show the members of the band on the front.



29. Marillion: ‘Fugazi’ Studio Album, released in 1984- Emerging as they did in the early 1980s, Marillion have endured a long reputation as a "throwback" to the original progressive rock scene. Their "original" (not quite, but let's not get too technical) lead singer, Fish, was frequently referred to as a pale imitation of Peter Gabriel, and the band itself was often regarded as a similarly pale imitation of Genesis.

I would think that the band approved the cover because it allows for several interpretations-me(?), I'm not bothered by the severed arm, the glass of blood, the lizard but I don't care much for clowns, so I didn't study it for long.

This Date In Music History-September 30


Johnny Mathis ("Misty") is 73.

Marilyn McCoo Davis of the 5th Dimension ("Wedding Bell Blues") turns 65.
Drummer Dewey Martin of Buffalo Springfield was born in Chesterville, Ontario in 1942.

Sylvia Peterson - vocalist for The Chiffons (1946).

Born on this day in 1964, Trey Anastasio, American guitarist, and singer with Phish.

Born on this day in 1933, Soul singer Cissy Houston, and mother of Whitney Houston. Member of Sweet Inspirations, The Drinkard Singers, (with Dionne Warwick), back-up singer with Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross.


In 2006, Justin Timberlake started a two week run at No.1 on the US album chart with his second solo album ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ which also became the biggest album ever for pre-orders on iTunes.

In 1967, Paul McCartney and John Lennon appeared on The David Frost Show, but all they wanted to talk about was how wonderful the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was.

Tragedy strikes David Crosby in 1969, as the CSN member's girlfriend Christine Gail Hinton died in a car crash north of San Francisco. That same day, Crosby, Stills & Nash goes gold.

New York promoter Sid Bernstein contacted Brian Epstein in 1963 and wanted to know more about these Beatles he keeps hearing about, even though they have yet to score a hit in the U.S. Bernstein would go on to promote the band's famed gigs at Shea Stadium. Meanwhile, the Beatles are recording "Money (That's What I Want)" and "I Wanna Be Your Man."

In 1957, Jimmie Rodgers reached number one on the Billboard chart with his very first release, "Honeycomb". Over the next year, he would enjoy more success with "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love Again".

Mary Ford (partner of Les Paul-- "How High The Moon") died of cancer in 1977.

James Dean died at the age of 24 in a 1955 California car crash.

John Lennon was awarded a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1988.

Donovan made his U.S. TV debut on ABC's "Shindig" in 1965.

The late Frankie Lymon ("Why Do Fools Fall In Love") was born in 1942.

On The Simpsons tonight in 1993, George Harrison and David Crosby made guest appearances.

In 1996, in the middle of performing his big hit "Tip-Toe Thru' the Tulips With Me" in Montague, Mass., Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack and had to be taken off stage. He died two months later.

Bob Dylan releases "Time Out of Mind" in 1997.

T Rex great, the late Marc Bolan was born in 1947 (died September 16, 1977).

The Rolling Stones recorded the video for "Rock And A Hard Place" at Foxboro-Sullivan Stadium in 1989.

In 1987, L.A.'s Coconut Grove played host to an all-star gathering as Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, and Elvis Costello joined Roy Orbison onstage to tape a TV special. The evening's proceedings were eventually released as "A Black and White Night."

"Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock made its debut on the charts in 1967.

Phil Collins joined Genesis in 1970.

In 1971, Yes kicked off their first tour with Rick Wakeman on keyboards.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Classic Rock Videos

The Great Ritchie Valens, man taken away too soon....

New Vinyl Releases

Some classic rock vinyl and some new vinyl releases:

New Releases for September 23rd

Allman Brothers - At the Fillmore East
Joan Baez - Day After Tomorrow
Blue Oyster Cult - Agents of Fortune
Jackson Browne - Time the Conqueror
Johnny Cash - Remixed
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Kiss - Alive!
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping
Bob Marley - Burnin'
Police - Synchronicity
Pretenders - Break Up the Concrete
Replacements - Tim
Steely Dan - Gaucho
Cat Stevens - Teaser & the Firecat
Traffic - Low Spark of High Healed Boys
Who - Who's Next

Album Cover Art

As we continue our look at the 50 most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album covers (according to the staff at Gigwise.com), let's explore #30 on their list:


30. John Lennon & Yoko Ono: ‘Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins’ "Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins" is a noise music album released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1968. The result of an all-night session of musical experimentation in Lennon's home studio at Kenwood, John and Yoko's debut album is known not only for its avant garde content, but also for its cover. The album's title came from the couple's feeling that they were "two innocents, lost in a world gone mad", and because after making the recording, the two consummated their relationship for the first time.

The recording consists largely of tape loops, playing while Lennon tries out different instruments (piano, organ, drums) and sound effects (including reverb, delay and distortion), changes tapes and plays other recordings, and converses with Ono, who vocalises ad-lib in response to the sounds. Lennon's longtime friend Peter Shotton remembered later in his memoir (The Beatles, Lennon and Me) that many of the loops were made by Lennon and himself, in the days before the recording. Lennon recorded directly to two-track stereo, but much of the source material was monophonic.

The couple used a time-delay camera to take nude photographs of themselves, for the album's cover; the front showed them frontally nude, while the rear showed them from behind. (The photos were taken not at Kenwood, but at Ringo Starr's basement apartment at Montagu Square, where Lennon and Ono stayed later that year.) The cover provoked an outrage, prompting distributors to sell the album in a plain brown wrapper. Copies of the album were impounded as obscene in several jurisdictions (including 30,000 copies in New Jersey). Lennon wryly commented that the uproar seemed to have less to do with the explicit nudity, and more to do with the fact that the pair were rather unattractive (and the photo unflattering; Lennon described it later as a picture of "two slightly overweight ex-junkies". Nevertheless, the taboo-breaking album cover was perhaps the first time that a male celebrity of any consequence had exposed himself so thoroughly to the public.

As a courtesy to people who are offened by male genitalia, I am posting the 'brown paper' version of the album cover.



30. CocoRosie: 'Noah's Ark' Sometimes, money can be an issue with small band releases. Never has been more evident than with this issue by CocoRosie. Apparently, this is some three-way action between unicorns, with the first one obviously gacking up. Now I am really grossed out.

Sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady, known as CocoRosie, came on the scene with the 2004 release of La Maison de Mon Reve, an eclectic mix of pared-down beats and vocals that spawned multiple comparisons of the duo to chanteuses of yesteryear on psychedelics. Their sophomore effort, Noah's Ark, with melodic piano and simple electro beats, similarly conjures images of smoky dens filled with mythical creatures and includes guest appearances by fellow genre-defying musicans, Antony and Devendra Banhart.



30. Jermaine Jackson – ‘My Name Is Jermaine’ Love the bell bottoms- they aren't coming back are they?

(Released in 1976) Jermaine was a member of the original Jackson 5. In 1975, when they changed labels from Motown to CBS and were forced to rename the band The Jacksons, Jermaine, who was married to Hazle Gordy, daughter of the Jackson 5's Motown manager, left the Jackons to start a solo career. He was replaced by Randy Jackson in The Jacksons. He had some success as a solo artist and officially rejoined The Jacksons in 1984, alongside his solo career, making it a sextet of Jackson brothers until their final split in 1990.



30. Iron Maiden – ‘Number of the Beast’ - The Number of the Beast is a heavy metal album released in 1982 by Iron Maiden on EMI in the UK and originally Harvest Records/Capitol Records in the U.S. (now on Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records). IGN named it the third greatest Heavy Metal album of all time. Metal-Rules.com named this the second greatest heavy metal album of all time. The album is also a part of EMI's "Albums That Shaped Rock History" series. This was the band's third studio album and debut of vocalist Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden.

Of all the songs in the album, "The Number of the Beast," "Run to the Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" remain on the set lists of nearly all of the band's concert tours, with the latter two often used to close a show. All three songs have been released as singles in various forms.

Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, (the cartoon skeleton pictured on the cover with a devil-like creature) is a perennial fixture in the band's sci-fi and horror-influenced album cover art, as well as in live shows. Eddie was drawn by Derek Riggs until 1992, although there have been various incarnations by numerous artists including Melvyn Grant. Eddie is also featured in a first-person shooter video game from the band, Ed Hunter, as well as numerous books, graphic comics and band-related merchandise.

Vinyl records making a comeback

Continuing to find great 'vinyl content' I would like to thank the author of this great piece, Bill Hanna and his publication http://www.star-telegram.com for allowing me to post this local record store story:

Reprint Courtesy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Vinyl records making a comeback

Sales jumped 77 percent in the first half of this year compared with last year, according to Billboard


Given the turbulent state of the music industry, Record Town probably shouldn’t be in business anymore.

But the family-owned music store across the street from Texas Christian University has received an unexpected lifeline from what it has been selling since it opened 51 years ago: vinyl records.

"Maybe it’s the name of the store. Maybe it’s come full circle," Record Town owner Sumter Bruton said. "All I know is we’re selling more than we used to."

Bruton isn’t alone.

In the era of iPods and cellphone downloads, vinyl albums are making a comeback, with sales jumping 77 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with the first half of 2007, according to Billboard magazine. Vinyl is still a niche, selling 803,000 units — a fraction of the 258.9 million combined sales of CD’s and downloads.

But for many baby boomers, the love of vinyl never went away.

They kept their turntables, bought used albums and never got rid of their collection.

Younger buyers have come to vinyl either through their parents' old collections or they have been led by their favorite bands putting out vinyl albums.

For TCU student Trent Cockerham, however, it wasn’t even about music. He snagged a used album by legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt at Record Town to use as wall art.

"I don’t even know where to find a turntable anymore," said Cockerham, who was surprised to learn that there were two for sale at Record Town.

Popular buys

Most customers, however, buy with the intent of listening. And it’s the old warhorses from the vinyl heyday of the 1960s and '70s like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors and The Beatles that always sell.

But there are exceptions. At Grand Prairie’s Forever Young Records, a Fort Worth native seems to be more popular than The King.

"Townes Van Zandt — for some reason every time we have that one, it always sells," said Taylor Eckstrom, Forever Young’s manager. "But Elvis Presley, we usually have more coming in than we do going out."

The only place in Texas that still presses vinyl records is A+R Record and Tape Manufacturing in Dallas. In the last three years, Stanley P. Getz II, A+R’s owner, has seen a 25 percent upturn.

"For a few years there, I didn’t know if it was going to dry up and go away," Getz said. "But hip-hop and dance records kept us in business and now rock, particularly punk rock records, is coming back in a big way."

Vinyl never died

To some, vinyl should never have disappeared in the first place.

Steve Leach, collectables merchandise specialist for Half Price Books, the used-books chain, said that there has always been an interest in vinyl and that the chain features it prominently in its display at the flagship store in Dallas. Vinyl sales have increased every year since 2004, jumping 6.5 percent in 2005, 10.7 percent in 2006 and 3.3 percent in 2007.

To John Kunz, that’s a sign that the vinyl customer never really went away. Kunz, owner of Austin’s Waterloo Records, said music stores have been badgering the recording industry for years to release vinyl.

"I think more and more of the labels started hearing the message," Kunz said. "The mantra was always 'We need more vinyl. We need more vinyl.’ "

Kunz said he has noticed that many of the bands, who perform shows at the Austin store, have become vinyl junkies themselves.

"They take stacks of vinyl and then play it on turntables with USB ports so they listen to it on the road," Kunz said.

Good news

David Katznelson, a former Warner Bros. vice president who signed bands such as the Flaming Lips and now runs the San Francisco-based Birdman Recording Group, said vinyl is another portal for finding music.

"I think the music-buying among young people comes via video games they play on the Internet or what their friends are listening to on MySpace," Katznelson said. "One of the ways they’re also finding new music is through their parents’ vinyl. Most fans of hip bands are fans of old music, which means they’re fans of vinyl."

Whatever the reason, it’s good news for places like Record Town and Forever Young.

"It’s certainly a niche, but it’s a niche that’s deserving of praise and worthiness," said Bill Schurck, sound recordings archivist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. "It’s the vinyl that keeps a number of stores open, and these stores are also offering a lot of personalized services that you cannot get on the Internet."


Top sellers

Vinyl sales are a mixture of old and new. This list shows the Top 5 sellers as of Aug. 31 at independent music stores.

1. Led Zeppelin: Mothership

2. Matthew Sweet: Sunshine Lies

3. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes

4. Beck: Modern Guilt

5. Radiohead: In Rainbows

Source: Coalition of Independent Music Stores, an organization that handles 59 stores in 21 states

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Euclid Records Starting Limited-Edition 45 RPM Singles Series, Culled from Live Performances.

Euclid Records, for over 25 years a major player in the St. Louis record and CD retail market, will be starting a new series of live in-store performances followed up by the release of limited-edition 45 rpm singles recorded in the store. Each release will be strictly limited to 300 copies, $1 for each one pressed will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund (NOMRF) to benefit musicians displaced or suffering loss of equipment in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Steve Wynn, the legendary rock artist who led the Dream Syndicate in the 1980s, and who has since released nearly two dozen albums as a solo artist, will be the first performer participating in this series. Wynn will perform at 3 pm [November 15] in Euclid Records on the beautiful hard-wood stage built for live appearances. The performance will be recorded live, and one or two songs will be chosen by the artist to be released on the 7” single.

Each release will be in a special package with the label and matching back sleeve designed by famed graphic designer Art Chantry. Chantry is considered to be the godfather of independent rock graphics, designing posters and album art since the early 1990s. There will be unique 7 x 7” prints, signed and numbered by various graphic artists such as Art Chantry, Gary Houston, Guy Burwell, and more, suitable for framing or keeping as a front cover to the single.

The 45s will be sold exclusively through the websites of Euclid Records (www.euclidrecords.com) and NOMRF (www.nomrf.org). Pricing will vary, as individual packages will each contain unique elements such as colored vinyl, etched vinyl, or other possibilities.

Euclid Records is committed to helping rebuild the lives and livelihoods of people and musicians in New Orleans who lost so much in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This is also an effort to expose great artists to a generation which doesn’t know how much fun it is to shop in record stores. Artists will be chosen from as wide a range of musical styles and genres as are carried in Euclid Records, which is to say from just about any kind of music you can name.

Classic Rock Videos

I love these old clips and here is a Rock & Roll icon- Buddy Holly

Album Cover Art

Continuing our look at Gigwise.com album cover art, let's take a look at #31 on their list of the most controversial, the weirdest, best and worst album covers:


31. Jane’s Addiction: ‘Nothing’s Shocking’ Uh, the album cover is. But, I can relate as often my head is on fire as well. Jane's Addiction was one of the first of the burgeoning alternative rock movement to gain mainstream media attention and commercial success in the United States. Their initial farewell tour launched the first Lollapalooza festival, an annual touring alternative rock showcase.

Nothing's Shocking is Jane's Addiction's first studio album. This album was released on August 23, 1988. "Jane Says" and "Pigs in Zen" had previously appeared on the band's earlier live album, in 1987. The album title is a line from the song "Ted, Just Admit It...".

This album was nominated for the 1989 Grammy Awards; the same year Jane's Addiction took a break. In 2003, the album was ranked number 309 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is also number 19 on their list of 100 greatest album covers.

The song "Ted, Just Admit It..." is about serial killer Ted Bundy and contains spoken words by Bundy, from a statement he made.

The song "Jane Says" is about a real person, Jane Bainter. Bainter was addicted to heroin and was always "going to kick tomorrow". She did have a boyfriend named Sergio. She was a "white collar" junkie—she did not steal and was not a prostitute. She did, in fact, eventually kick the habit.

The album features guest appearances by Flea, Angelo Moore and Christopher Dowd from Fishbone.



31. Van Halen: 'Balance' Balance is the tenth studio album by the American hard rock band Van Halen. It was released in 1995 and, to date, is the final Van Halen album featuring lead singer Sammy Hagar.

Van Halen is a hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. They enjoyed success from the release of their self titled debut album in 1978. As of 2007 Van Halen has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and have had the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. During the 1980's they also had more Billboard Hot 100 hits than any other hard rock, heavy metal band of the decade. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best selling band/artist of all time with sales of over 56 million albums in the USA and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the USA.

The cover was the brainchild of American photographer Glen Wexler whose first album cover commission was to photograph The Brothers Johnson (“Blam!” 1978), for Quincy Jones Productions and A&M Records.

Other album cover projects include, Van Halen, “Balance”, Black Sabbath, “Reunion”, Rush “Hold Your Fire”, ZZ Top, “Greatest Hits”, Missing Persons “Spring Session M”, Slaughter's “Stick It to Ya”, and Chaka Kahn, “Naughty”. Wexler also created images for Michael Jackson, KISS, Yes, Kansas, Whitesnake, Black Crows, Boston, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Bob Weir, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and many others.

Wexler created a fantasy album cover for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition “The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were,” which toured nationally 2003-2006. Wexler was invited to lecture about album cover work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum along with designer John Van Hamersveld in June 2003.

In the fall of 2006, Wexler’s album cover artwork was featured at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' (NARAS) “The Art Of Music” event in Los Angeles.

I just wonder why one of the Siamese twins is screaming...maybe at a splinter on her side?



31. Any Bonkers compilation: Apparently, "Bonkers" is someone's attempt at a cartoon- I can't imagine the music is any good, but honestly- I have no clue what a Bonker is, but I can help:

Bonkers is an animated American television series that aired from September 4, 1993 to December 21, 1995 in first-run syndication (after a "preview airing" on the Disney Channel). The syndicated run was available both separately, and as part of The Disney Afternoon. The show was last seen on Toon Disney, but was taken off the schedule in late 2004. Enough said, I thought this was a series about true album cover art-we can get really technical if we started bringing in cartoon and children's records.



31. Nick Drake: ‘Pink Moon’ Pink Moon is the third and final album by British musician Nick Drake. It was recorded at midnight in 2 two-hour sessions, over two days in October 1971, featuring only Nick Drake's vocals and guitar, as well as some piano later overdubbed by Drake on the title track.

Initially, Pink Moon garnered a small amount of critical attention, but after Drake's death it received widespread public and critical acclaim. The music on Pink Moon is strikingly sparse and unadorned (especially in comparison to Drake's previous recordings), leading some to consider it to be the least accessible of his three albums, though it nevertheless continues to be thought of by many as his greatest work.

In 1999, the title track was used in "Milky Way", a successful Volkswagen Cabriolet commercial directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and lensed by Lance Acord, leading to a large increase in record sales, and a number-five placing for Pink Moon in Amazon.com's sales chart.

The cover of the album features an illustration by the partner of Drake's sister Gabrielle, Michael Trevithick, although Keith Morris was originally commissioned to take photos for the cover.

This Date In Music History-September 28


Bassist Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf was born in Hamburg in 1943.

Dokken guitarist George Lynch was born in 1955.

Ben E. King ("Spanish Harlem") turns 69.

Original Iron Butterfly guitarist Danny Weis was born in Huntington Park, CA in 1948. A founding member, he left the group after their debut album, “Heavy,” was recorded.


In 1970, The Johnny Otis Show – featuring such R&B luminaries as Esther Phillips, Eddie Vinson, Roy Milton, Big Joe Turner, Ivory Joe Hunter and Roy Brown – performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival. The performance was released as 'The Johnny Otis Show Live at Monterey!.'

The late Ed Sullivan was born in 1902.

In 1958, Dore Records released "To Know Him Is to Love Him" by the Teddy Bears. The #1 single launched the career of composer, singer, and arranger Phil Spector, then a tender 18 years old.

In 1963, Murray the K played his way into "fifth Beatle" status after he's handed a copy of "She Loves You." Its airing on his New York radio show was allegedly the first time the Beatles made the American airwaves.

Rock DJ Dewey Phillips died in Millington, Tennessee in 1958. The King of Memphis radio is widely considered to be the first DJ to mix records by blacks and whites on the same show. He also introduced to the world to Elvis Presley with the first spin of "That's All Right Mama."

In 1975, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane played a free concert at San Francisco's Lindley Park, attracting 40,000 people.

Miles Davis died of AIDS in Santa Monica, California in 1991. The jazz pioneer was 65.

Janis Joplin's manager announced that she has left Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1968.

The Garth Brooks album "Ropin' the Wind" became the first country album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1991.

"The Freewheelin` Bob Dylan," his second album, was released in 1963.

A song inspired by John Lennon’s son Julian, and written predominantly by Paul McCartney, the seven minute-plus ballad "Hey Jude" was the #1 song in the U.S. in 1968. It has a nine-week run at the top becoming The Beatles best selling single.

John Lennon recorded his blistering "Cold Turkey" in 1969. He had a pretty impressive backing band - guitarist Eric Clapton, fellow Beatle Ringo Starr on drums and Manfred Mann bassist (and friend from The Beatles Hamburg days) Klaus Voorman. Yoko is in there as well. Lennon originally presented the song his fellow Beatles for inclusion on "Abbey Road" but they passed on it.

Eric Burdon provides the talking/singing ad-libs and War serves up the groove for "Spill The Wine." It went gold in 1970.

In 1979, Jimmy McCulloch, guitarist with Thunderclap Newman and Wings, was found dead in London after suffering heart failure. He was 26.

In 1974, Canadian singer Andy Kim went to #1 on the Billboard singles chart with "Rock Me Gently", his only US chart topper. The record was also a hit in the UK, reaching #2. Along with his recording career, Kim was also a successful composer and was the co-writer of The Archies' "Sugar Sugar".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Mr. Cool Hand Luke

One of my personal favorites passed away, legendary actor Paul Newman. His career needs no accolades, his movies and his life speak for themselves. I remember watching one of my favorite movies "Cool Hand Luke" in the tenth grade at school, I was so impressed with him then and always loved his work. This is a movie for the ages and I will honor him by watching it today (for the 50th time) and just marvel at the way he did his craft. A true legend, I know he will be missed by millions.

(Reuters) - Legendary film star and philanthropist Paul Newman, whose brilliant blue eyes, good looks and talent made him one of Hollywood's top actors over six decades, has died, a spokesman said on Saturday. He was 83 and had been battling cancer.

Following are some facts about Newman:

* Newman was nominated for Academy Awards for acting in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke," "Absence of Malice," "The Verdict," "Nobody's Fool" and "The Road to Perdition," as well best film for directing wife Joanne Woodward in "Rachel, Rachel." He won as best actor for "The Color of Money" in 1986.

* He started the Newman's Own food line in 1982 with salad dressing and later added popcorn, salsa, marinades, spaghetti sauce, lemonade, cereal and steak sauce. The products generated more than $200 million in donations to charities. Newman also founded camps for severely ill children and a foundation to fight drug abuse.

* Married since 1958 to a fellow Oscar winner, the actress Joanne Woodward, Newman had one of Hollywood's rare enduring marriages. Asked for the secret, Newman said he had no reason to roam: "I have steak at home. Why should I go out for a hamburger?"

* Newman's trademark blue eyes were color blind, which prevented him from pursuing his goal of becoming a Navy pilot in World War Two.

* A supporter of liberal Democratic presidential nominee Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Newman ended up on President Richard Nixon's "enemies list." He said it was "the highest single honor I've ever received."

* His starring role in "Winning" in 1969 inspired Newman to pursue auto racing. His first professional race was in 1972 and he continued competing into his 70s.

* Newman was so ashamed of his first movie role, the 1954 flop "The Silver Chalice," that he took out a newspaper ad in Los Angeles to apologize. Continued...

* His last major film acting role was playing a gangster opposite Tom Hanks in "Road to Perdition" in 2002. It earned him an Oscar nomination but in 2007 Newman told ABC TV that his acting career was essentially over. "I'm not able to work any more as an actor and still at the level I would want to ... so that's pretty much a closed book for me," he said.

* Newman had a reputation for practical jokes and reportedly once cut director George Roy Hill's desk in half with a chainsaw and put 300 chicks into director Robert Altman's trailer.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

SOURCE: http://www.reuters.com


Memorable quotes for Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Dragline: He's a natural born world-shaker.


Boss: Sorry, Luke. I'm just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.
Luke: Nah - calling it your job don't make it right, Boss.

Captain, Road Prison 36: What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.


Luke: I can eat fifty eggs.
Dragline: Nobody can eat fifty eggs.
Society Red: You just said he could eat anything.
Dragline: Did you ever eat fifty eggs?
Luke: Nobody ever eat fifty eggs.
Prisoner: Hey, Babalugats. We got a bet here.
Dragline: My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs.
Loudmouth Steve: Yeah, but in how long?
Luke: A hour.
Society Red: Well, I believe I'll take part of that wager.


Dragline: Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.

Luke: Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.


Dragline: He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.

Goodbye, Mr. Cool Hand Luke

CD sales continue to fall, vinyl sales push up

So what else is new? Here's an interesting article- Hail Vinyl !

The future of CD sales continues to look bleak as consumers turn to digital formats and other media devices, such as vinyl.

As the music industry reaches out into online markets, a dwindling CD audience has become the target of other media devices.

"There are lots of reasons that media device sales are down," said Stephanie Taylor, recording industry law professor at MTSU. "One reason is that games, movies and other devices like those directly compete with CD sales. Each company is thinking about the disposable income of its consumers."

Read the rest of the story here: http://tinyurl.com/3s3ao5

Can a Metallica album be too loud?

Even Heavy-Metal Fans Complain

That Today's Music Is Too Loud!!!

They Can't Hear the Details, Say Devotees of Metallica; Laying Blame on iPods

Can a Metallica album be too loud?

The very thought might seem heretical to fans of the legendary metal band, which has been splitting eardrums with unrivaled power since the early 1980s.

But even though Metallica's ninth studio release, "Death Magnetic," is No. 1 on the album chart, with 827,000 copies sold in two weeks, some fans are bitterly disappointed: not by the songs or the performance, but the volume. It's so loud, they say, you can't hear the details of the music.

Read the rest of the story here:


Classic Rock Videos

One of the all-time great doo wop groups

Album Cover Art

We're moving along on Gigwise's top 50 most controversial, weirdest, best and worst list of album covers.


32. Ministry: 'Dark Side Of The Spoon' Don't you just love naked fat people-seems to be a theme of sorts. At least we didn't get the frontal view.

Dark Side of the Spoon is the seventh studio album by industrial metal band Ministry, released in 1999 through Warner Bros. Records. There are two theories behind the title, the first being a play on words, as it is easily noticed as a parody of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. The second is a reference to the blackened or dark side of a spoon when heated to dissolve heroin, as the band suffered from addiction of said substance at the time. "Bad Blood" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2000.

The album's cover generated some controversy when retailer K Mart refused to stock it in its stores. This from Rolling Stone Magazine:

""We took a look at it and said it's not something that we normally carry," says Kmart spokesperson Dennis Wigent. Kmart specifically objects to the naked overweight woman seen wearing a dunce cap on the album cover. The same woman, shown only from behind and always naked, reappears on the back cover and three times on the jacket sleeve.

"I thought that people would probably be offended by it, but not to the degree that it would be offensive," says Ministry bassist Paul Barker. "I think it's really beautifully composed. It's just how we want to have the band represented for this record and the social satire involved in it. It's a highly developed concept and I think it was perfectly realized."

On the cover, the naked woman stands in front of a blackboard where the words "I will be god" are written over and over again. Barker says the band has no intention of using an alternate cover of Dark Side of the Spoon -- perhaps one with a clothed woman -- to conform to Kmart's standards. "The corpulence of it is part and parcel to the whole concept," Barker says. "So if the person were clad, you wouldn't necessarily notice."



32. Peter Gabriel: ' III' Seems to me we have seen this one before, (logged in at # 34-best album cover). I guess it was so well liked that it was put up twice, one of the weirdest. Hmmm. makes me think we may see it again



32. Bob Dylan – ‘Saved’ Saved is Bob Dylan's 20th studio album, released by Columbia Records in 1980. Amen brother.

Saved was Dylan's second album to follow his conversion to born-again Christianity, explored on the album's predecessor (1979's well-received Slow Train Coming). Every song on the album is about strong personal faith and features heavy gospel influences; unlike the previous record, many critics dismissed Saved for its dogmatic songs and bombastic arrangements. While it still made a healthy #3 in the UK, it only managed #24 during a brief chart stay in the US and never went gold.

The cover of Saved originally featured a painting by Tony Wright of God's hand reaching down to touch the hands of his believers. However, this cover was subsequently replaced by a painting of Dylan on stage performing during that time period in order to downplay the overtly religious nature of the original cover. It has since been changed back on some re-releases.



32. The Stone Roses: ‘The Stone Roses’ Why this is among the 'best' covers is anyone's guess, I'm not overly impressed. I'm still thinking about the duck from yesterday to be impressed by this (plus I hate lemons).

The Stone Roses were an English alternative rock band formed in Manchester in 1984. They were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band's original lineup consisted of Ian Brown (vocals), John Squire (guitar), Andy Couzens (guitar), Pete Garner (bass) and Alan "Reni" Wren (drums). Couzens and Garner left in 1987. Couzens' position was left vacant and Garner was replaced by Gary "Mani" Mounfield in 1987, and this completed the band's most visible lineup. Reni would depart in 1995 and was replaced by Robbie Maddix, and a year later Squire departed and was replaced by Aziz Ibrahim. Nigel Ippinson joined the band in 1995.

Their 1989 debut album The Stone Roses quickly achieved the status of a classic in the UK, and topped NME's list of the Greatest British Albums of All Time.[1] The band decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label, but Silvertone would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle. The band signed with Geffen Records in 1991, but it wouldn't be until 1994 that they released another album, Second Coming. The album had a heavier sound to it, which was not well received by the press. After experiencing several lineup changes throughout the supporting tour, the band decided to disband after its completion and associated touring.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Vinyl is making a comeback

I would liike to thank the author of this article Kathy Rem and her publication (The State Journal-Register) for allowing me to reprint this great material. I love the stories about the resurgence in vinyl record sales, here is just another example. Hail Vinyl!

Vinyl is making a comeback

written by Kathy Rem

Crackle, crackle, pop, hiss.

That’s the sound of vinyl records making a comeback.

Fueled by nostalgic baby boomers, young people drawn to the obscurity of the technology, scratch-happy dance DJs and music aficionados seeking a richer sound than compact discs and downloads can provide, LPs — using technology dating back to the 1800s and Thomas Edison’s first phonograph — are taking the music industry for a spin.

“Vinyl has slowed down, but it’s never stopped,” said Mark Kessler, who sells both new and used albums at his Springfield business, Recycled Records. “It’s definitely making a comeback.”

Manufacturers shipped 1.3 million albums in 2007, a 36 percent jump over 2006, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group for the recording industry. Shipments of CDs during the same period were 511 million, a drop of 17 percent.

Kessler, who also sells CDs, tapes, turntables, comic books, furniture, cameras and all things quirky at his downtown store at 625 E. Adams St., estimates 20 percent of his sales come from vinyl records.

Sturdy wooden bins on the upper level hold 35,000 vintage 33s by performers such as Judy Garland, the Beatles and Marvin Gaye, while new recordings by groups like Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead arrive shortly after they are pressed.

The old albums at Recycled Records are what got Tom Huber of Springfield into record collecting.

“When I was in high school, there was a ton of music I wanted but couldn’t afford to buy. I went down there and Mark had records for 2 bucks. My God, I could afford 2 bucks. I kept buying all the music I wanted,” said Huber, 46, host of the eclectic music show “Crop Circles” on WQNA-FM 88.3 and map librarian at the Illinois State Library. He owns about 3,000 LPs.

“The one thing vinyl has going for it is that it’s permanent. A lot of folks say they don’t know how long CDs will last. The coating that contains the data can come off,” said Huber.

But those with an ear for nuance in recorded music say the main benefit is the sound, described as rich, warm and rounded.

“Vinyl uses analog sound which is different than the digital on CDs. It has a higher signal-to-noise ratio. It’s not that you’re hearing better sound, you’re hearing more of it,” said music collector Greg Michaud of Springfield, who has all forms of music, including 5,000 albums.

With analog, a physical groove is etched into the record, which mimics a sound wave. CDs transform sound into digital bundles of information.

But playing vinyl on an inferior turntable, Michaud warned, won’t sound better than digital.

“If you compare very good sound systems, you’ll find in many cases the analog is superior. I listen to music as background when my wife and I are making dinner together and digital is fine. But when we’re really serious about enjoying a piece of music, we’ll revert to vinyl when we can,” said Huber, 54.

Kessler said some artists, such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, are meant to sound a little raw, a shading best captured on vinyl.

“When you remaster that, then you lose that rawness. It may sound cleaner, but it doesn’t sound the same,” he said.

Another benefit of vinyl is the sensory pleasure of putting the needle on the record, admiring the often distinctive cover art and lingering over the liner notes.

“When you pick up a 12-inch vinyl LP, usually it has a photograph or graphic art on the cover. Open it up and there are elaborate notes about the musicians and who wrote the songs. Part of the vinyl experience is you get more information about the music. It’s hard to reproduce that with a CD,” said Michaud, an environmental consultant.

“Holding a record for the first time is exciting,” Huber said. “What will it sound like? Who wrote the songs? Who is playing? I think this is one of the reasons why it’s made a comeback.”

Added Kessler: “The cover art of the ’50s and ’60s is wonderful. You can actually read the liner notes without a microscope.”

For those who want to display cover art, retailers sell frames specifically sized for albums.

Kessler noticed an uptick in LP sales 12 to 18 months ago and predicts they will continue to grow in popularity for the next few years.

“It’s not cheap for the record industry to put vinyl out, and those guys aren’t idiots. They wouldn’t be pressing stuff if people weren’t buying it,” he said. Independent labels, he added, have never stopped pressing vinyl. The major labels now are offering more of it.

Last fall, online powerhouse Amazon.com — which has sold vinyl records for most of its 13 years — launched a special vinyl-only section. There are more than 202,000 items for sale.

And vinyl marketing is getting more sophisticated. Some artists offer free digital downloads to customers who buy their vinyl albums, a nod to buyers who want the sound of vinyl and the portability of an MP3 player.

New LPs sell for about $14 to $30. Vinyl 45s aren’t nearly as popular, but some new songs are pressed for collectors and for use in jukeboxes.

Vinyl, of course, isn’t all nirvana.

The sound can be marred by scratching and popping. A turntable is necessary, ruling out tunes for jogging and car rides. It usually is more expensive than other formats. And a big collection of albums can be cumbersome and weighty.
“If you have a lot of records in your house,” Huber said, “it’s not fun when you have to move.”

SOURCE: http://www.sj-r.com/features/x1366184043/Vinyl-is-making-a-comeback

Classic Rock Videos

From one of the all-time great vocal groups:

Bob Dylan to release more rarities in October

By Dean Goodman, Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Dylan is opening up his vaults for the first time in three years, with his label announcing that it will issue a multi-disc album consisting of late-era outtakes, previously unreleased recordings and live tracks in October.

"Tell Tale Signs," the eighth instalment in Dylan's "Bootleg Series," focuses on albums from the last two decades, ranging from 1989's "Oh Mercy" to 2006's "Modern Times."

Columbia Records will release "Tell Tale Signs" in three configurations on October 7: a standard two-disc package with 27 songs, a "limited edition" set with a bonus disc containing 12 songs; and a four-LP vinyl version including all the elements of the two-CD set.

Most of the tracks come from sessions for "Oh Mercy" and his 1997 comeback of sorts "Time Out of Mind." Selections from the former include a piano demo of "Dignity" and two alternate versions of "Most of the Time"; and from the latter, a live version of "Cold Irons Bound" recorded during Dylan's set at the 2004 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.

The sessions for his 1993 folk covers album "World Gone Wrong" have yielded "32-20 Blues," a tune billed as Dylan's first release of a Robert Johnson song.

Dylan's "Bootleg Series" launched in 1991 with a three-disc boxed set collecting rare and unreleased tracks spanning 27 years. The most recent release was the 2005 soundtrack to the documentary "No Direction Home."

While there have been some reports that Dylan is working on a follow-up to "Modern Times," a Columbia spokesman said "Tell Tale Signs" is the focus for now.


The MÖTLEY CRÜE vinyl albums are back and Swagrox.com has them first! These amazing reissues are scheduled to be released on November 25, 2008 but you can pre-order them at Swagrox.com today for a special pre-order price. These reissues are for the first five studio albums only. Also available for the first time on vinyl is the brand new MÖTLEY CRÜE album "Saints of Los Angeles".

Fans can pre-order their copies of these vinyl records at this location.

MÖTLEY CRÜE will reissue its complete studio catalog on September 30, 2008 on Mötley Records/Eleven Seven Music (RED Distribution). The catalog includes eight chart-topping studio albums originally released between 1981 and 2000:

* "Too Fast For Love" (1981)
* "Shout at the Devil" (1983)
* "Theatre of Pain" (1985)
* "Girls, Girls, Girls" (1987)
* "Dr. Feelgood" (1989)
* "Mötley Crüe" (1994)
* "Generation Swine" (1997)
* "New Tattoo" (2000)

The band has sold over 80 million albums, 25 million in the U.S. alone, with six singles reaching the top 20 on the U.S. Billboard chart.

Also released on the same day will be 17 of the band's classic music videos which will be available for download online via all digital music stores.

MÖTLEY CRÜE's new album, "Saints of Los Angeles", has sold 223,000 copies in the United States since its June 24 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD is MÖTLEY CRÜE's first studio album since 2000's "New Tattoo", which has sold a little over 200,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band's last studio effort with all of its original members was 1997's "Generation Swine", which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, and has sold more than 300,000 units.

SOURCE: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at controversial, weird, the worst and the best album cover art as compiled by the crack staff at Gigwise.com:


33. The Black Crowes: ‘Amorica’ Oh, no..is that really pubic hair? Never mind that we all have it, it just can't been seen on an album cover- have they no shame?

Amorica is the third album by The Black Crowes. It was released in late 1994 on American Recordings and re-issued in the USA and UK in 1998, with two added bonus tracks. The album cover's depiction of pubic hair, from a 1976 United States Bicentennial issue of Hustler magazine, caused controversy. The record company ended up putting out an alternative cover that blacked out the offending image.



33. Little Feat: 'Down On The Farm' Wow, what a great looking duck, probably be better roasted, although the tiger in the background may have the same idea.

Down on the Farm is the seventh studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1979. It was also their last original work for nine years. The band announced their break-up in June 1979 during the making of the album, and a fortnight later the band's founder and guiding light Lowell George died from a heart attack brought on by years of overindulgence. Feat would reform in 1988.

The cover shows one of Neon Park's several duck-girls - an allusion to "The Finishing Touch" by painter Gil Elvgren. Neon Park was an American artist and illustrator, best known for the images that have strongly defined covers for nearly every Little Feat album. He is also known for the infamous cover of Weasels Ripped My Flesh for Frank Zappa, as well as covers and graphics for David Bowie, Dr. John, and the Beach Boys. Illustrations for Playboy, National Lampoon, Glass Eye, and Dreamworks are also among his claims to fame.



33. Michael Jackson – ‘Bad’ Bad is what I think about the Manchild, but millions adored him and still do. With the industry expecting another major hit, Jackson's first album in five years, Bad (1987), was highly anticipated. Bad had lower sales than the previous blockbuster Thriller, but was still a significant commercial success. In the US, it spawned seven hit singles, five of which ("I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana") went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, more than any other album. The album sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and shipped eight million units in the US.

I'll let Michael explain a bit about himself:

"Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars. Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight", people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a damn word that comes out of his mouth".

—Michael Jackson

Thanks Michael, that explains it all.



33. Pink Floyd: ‘The Division Bell’ Nice artwork, but not on my list of top 50. The Division Bell is the final studio album by Pink Floyd, released in 1994 (30 March in the United Kingdom and 5 April in the United States), and the second album without original bassist Roger Waters. It was recorded at a number of studios, including guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour's houseboat studio called The Astoria. It went to #1 in the UK and debuted at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts in April 1994, spending four weeks as the top album in the country. By contrast, Pink Floyd's previous album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, had peaked at #3. The Division Bell was certified Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum in the U.S. in June 1994 and Triple Platinum in January 1999. Its release was accompanied by an extremely successful tour documented in the P•U•L•S•E album released the following year.

The cover artwork, by long-time Pink Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson, shows two metal head sculptures sculpted by John Robertson, each over three metres tall and weighing 1500 kilograms. They were placed in a field in Cambridgeshire and photographed under all weather and lighting conditions over a two-week period, sometimes with visual effects such as lights between them. Ely Cathedral is visible in the background, as are lights (actually car headlights on poles), shown through the sculptures' mouths. Rumours circulated at the time of the photography that they were in excess of 20 metres high; this was not true. The sculptures are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The cover photograph is slightly different on each format, and between the United States Columbia and British EMI releases. The Braille writing on the EMI CD jewel case spells Pink Floyd.

Additional album artwork. Two additional 7.5 metres tall stone head sculptures were made by Aden Hynes and photographed in the same manner; although they do not appear in the CD artwork, they appeared on the cassette cover, and can be seen in the tour brochure and elsewhere.

The artwork inside the lyric booklet revolves around a similar theme, except the heads are made up of various other objects, such as newspapers ("A Great Day for Freedom"), coloured glass ("Poles Apart"), and boxing gloves ("Lost for Words"). Pages two and three portray a picture from La Silla observatory.

This Date In Music History-September 26


Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry (1945).

Stuart Tosh of the Alan Parsons Project (1951).

Los Lobos guitarist/singer/songwriter Cesar Rosas was born in Hermosillo, Mexico in 1954.

Olivia Newton-John is 60.

Lynn Anderson ("Rose Garden") turns 61.


In 1887, Emile Berliner, a 36 year old German immigrant living in Washington DC, applied for a patent on his invention, the gramophone. The machine was the first to play flat discs as opposed to Thomas Edison's wax cylinder apparatus. The patent would be granted in November.

In 1960, Connie Francis became the first female singer in the Rock and Roll era to have two consecutive number one singles when "My Heart Has a Mind Of Its Own" went to the top of the Billboard chart. It followed "Everybody's Somebody's Fool.”

The Beatles released their 13th album in the UK, "Abbey Road" in 1969. It’s issued in the US a week later and is the last album they will ever make together as a group. Within a month, the LP begins an eleven week run on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart.

Today in 1964, the song "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Robert Palmer ("Bad Case Of Loving You") died of a heart attack in 2003.

Bessie Smith died in a car crash in 1937. One of the first great blues and jazz singers, she became known as "the Empress of the Blues."

In 1964, the Kinks released their single "You Really Got Me." It becomes their first American hit, peaking at No. 7.

Promoter Bill Graham opened the Fillmore West in San Francisco in 1969. It quickly becomes the epicenter of the city's psychedelic-band boom.

According to Tamla-Motown, label act the Jackson 5 sold 10 million singles in the space of nine months in 1970. The feat becomes a world record.

John Lennon released his solo album Walls and Bridge in 1974. Featuring the Elton John-assisted single "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night," it becomes his last album of original material for six years. It will reach #1 in the US and #6 in the UK.

The late, great George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1898. His works include "Swanee" and "Rhapsody in Blue."

The Clash released their first U.S. single in 1979. It was their remake of Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought The Law."

The initial 300,000-unit shipment of Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" sold out in Japan on its first day of release in 1997.

The late Marty Robbins ("A White Sport Coat") was born in 1925.

Dusty Springfield entered a recording studio in Memphis in 1968 to lay down tracks for what will prove to be the critically acclaimed LP "Dusty In Memphis", which will include her US #10 hit, "Son Of A Preacher Man".

In 2007, following five months of testimony, a mistrial was declared in the murder case of music producer Phil Spector. After deliberating for twelve days, the jury told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler that they were deadlocked 10 to 2 on whether Spector murdered actress Lana Clarkson more than 4½ years ago.

It had been nearly a decade but Paul McCartney was back on the road in 1989. The world tour, with over 100 shows, started in Drammen, Norway. McCartney played his solo material and tossed in some Beatles ("Got To Get You Into My Life") and Wings ("Band On The Run") songs.