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, 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. 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 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