Friday, October 3, 2008

Two Buddy Holly Collections Coming For 50th Anniversary of His Passing

They make no mention of a vinyl release, but let's hope that this eclectic set list will also be available on vinyl.

February 3, 2009 will mark the 50th anniversary of "The Day The Music Died," when a plane crash took the lives of rock 'n' roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. In anticipation of that momentous occasion, the vault of rare Buddy Holly tracks will be opened wide for two multi-disc sets released January 28, 2009.

The three-CD, 60-selection Memorial Collection (Geffen/Decca/UMe), presents a thorough, digitally remastered overview of Holly's short, yet astonishing career featuring rare undubbed recordings with original partner Bob Montgomery and backing band and collaborators, The Crickets. The collection includes all of Holly's hits -- among them a few of rock's greatest recordings, That'll Be The Day, Oh Boy!, Maybe Baby, Not Fade Away, It's So Easy, Peggy Sue, Rave On -- the set concludes with selections from the Apartment Tapes, in which Holly sings new songs and accompanies himself on acoustic guitar in his New York apartment just months before the tragic crash. One Buddy & Bob recording, Soft Place In My Heart, has never before been released while two others from the duo appear on a U.S.-issued album for the first time. Maria Elena Holly said, "The release of these sets will be a magical moment for the fans who have been waiting for a long time to hear the beginnings of Buddy's career to the end with the apartment tapes, his last recordings! Holly-lujah!"

The two-CD, 59-selection Down the Line - Rarities (Geffen/UMe), is filled with pre-fame home recordings, alternate takes, undubbed versions, and informal solo tapes. Included is a recording from when Holly was 14 years old; from Buddy & Bob; the complete undubbed Apartment Tapes; outtakes and alternates of familiar recordings by Holly and The Crickets; and the undubbed Garage Tapes. In The Garage Tapes, rehearsals with the Crickets (J.I. Allison and Joe B. Mauldin) were recorded by a friend at various places, including the Holly family garage in late 1956. Buddy ripped through an array of then-current hits, from Chuck Berry's
Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, Little Richard's Rip It Up, and Fats Domino's Blue Monday, to Carl Perkins' Blue Suede Shoes, Big Joe Turner's Shake, Rattle & Roll, and Bo Diddley's Bo Diddley.

Cricket J.I Allison fondly recalls laying down some of those famous recordings. "Many of the tunes were done just in Buddy's garage but I remember doing a few of them like Bo Diddley and Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, way out West at Petty's studio in Clovis, NM. The line-up was Buddy, myself on drums, Sonny Curtis on guitar and Don Guess on bass."

The undubbed Apartment Tapes, include Buddy's raw, pre-overdubbed versions of such popular Holly songs as Peggy Sue Got Married and Crying, Waiting, Hoping.

Along with the U.S. debuts of three Apartment Tapes tracks and the undubbed Holly Hop (from the Garage Tapes) that are heard on both the Memorial Collection and Down the Line - Rarities, the latter also releases for the first time anywhere three additional Buddy & Bob tracks. Throughout both retrospectives, the original recordings, shorn of the overdubbed instrumentation added in the early '60s for belated public consumption, are musical and historical revelations.

In less than two years in the national consciousness, Holly changed the sound of rock 'n' roll. Steeped in country music, the Lubbock, Texas native soon blended in blues, R&B, and the new Elvis-fired rockabilly. The result was some of the most innovative and influential rock 'n' roll ever recorded. Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959, but his music lives on.

Text courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio Passes Away

Nick Reynolds, who was one of the founding members of the Kingston Trio, passed away yesterday at the age of 75. He had been in a San Diego hospital for a number of weeks before his family made the decision to take him off life support.

Reynolds first met Trio member Bob Shane while attending Menlo College and the two would play as a duo with Reynolds on guitar and Shane on bongos at various fraternity functions. The soon added Joe Gannon on bass and Barbara Bogue on vocals to form the group Dave Guard and the Calypsonians.

Reynolds left the group for a short time after graduation and the remaining musicians reformed as the Kingston Quartet. After little success, Reynolds returned and, along with Shane's friend Dave Guard, they formed the Kingston Trio.

The group's initial success was at San Francisco's Purple Onion, where the started out opening for Phyllis Diller but eventually graduated to their own headlining spot. They played at the club throughout the latter part of 1957 and were signed to Capitol records.

Their self-named first album ended up being a smash, going to number one on the Billboard Album charts and kicking off the folk music revival which would spawn numerous groups and solo artists throughout the early-60's. The album also contained their first number one single, Tom Dooley, which started a string of ten top 40 singles for the group between 1958 and 1963.

Dave Guard left the group in 1961 to explore folk music more deeply and Shane and Reynolds brought in John Stewart who had been a member of the Cumberland Three. The group had already recorded two of Stewart's songs and his personality and voice blended well with the two remaining members.

In 1963, the group heard a young Peter, Paul and Mary sing the Pete Seeger song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and recorded their own version which placed well on the pop charts and even better on the new Easy Listening tally.

With the onset of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, the popularity of folk music started to fade, but the trio kept going until they decided to call it quits in 1967, playing a farewell gig at the Hungry I on June 17. Guard stayed busy with music and Stewart went on to have a very successful solo career, writing Daydream Believer for the Monkees and eventually having his own hits like Gold. Reynolds, though, move to Oregon where he was a sheep rancher and opened a theater.

In 1981, the group reformed with all of its members over the years for a successful PBS special. Various versions of the group continued and, in the late-80's, Reynolds rejoined the group where he stayed until retiring in 1999.

The Kingston Trio ended up being one of the most influential artists of the last fifty years, ushuring in the folk music craze in the same way that the Beach Boys brought in surf and the Beatles started the British invasion.

Notable Kingston Trio singles:

Tom Dooley (1958, #1 Pop)
The Tijuana Jail (1959, #12 Pop)
M.T.A. (1959, #15 Pop)
A Worried Man (1959, #20 Pop)
Where Have All the Flowers Gone (1962, #21 Pop, #4 Adult Contemporary)
Greenback Dollar (1963, #21 Pop, #6 Adult Contemporary)
Reverend Mr. Black (1963, #8 Pop, #15 R&B)
Grammy Awards:

1958 Best Country & Western Performance - Tom Dooley
1959 Best Folk Performance - The Kingston Trio At Large


Classic Rock Videos

Del Vikings come go with me

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at's top 50 most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album cover art as put together by their staff:


26. Dio: Holy Diver - Holy Diver is the American heavy metal band Dio's debut album. Released on May 25, 1983, it has been hailed by critics as Dio's best work and a classic staple in the heavy metal genre. The album was eventually certified Gold in the US on September 12, 1984 and Platinum on March 21, 1989. The original vinyl release had a photo-montage LP-liner.

The cover was controversial, featuring what appears to be a monster killing what appears to be a Catholic priest. Dio was quick to argue that appearances are misleading and it could just as easily be a priest killing a monster. If the Dio logo is held upside down it appears to read "Die", or a stylistically obscured "Devil." It could also mean the devil torturing the priest, but then the chain breaks and he plunges to the depths. It could also mean that priests sometimes get corrupted by evil. It could also mean anything you want it to mean, I guess, if the right substance is utilized.



26. Fist: 'Goodbody’s Traveling Torture Show' Tie me up and whip me She-Man, if that is what you are. Utterly indescribable camp from the 70's. I have no idea who Fist was or what happened to her, and judging by the content of this LP-a cacophony of shrieks, slaps, wails and other dungeon sounds-she probably deserved whatever she had coming. And loved it!



26. Black Sabbath – ‘Sabotage’ Let's all pose in front of a life-size mirror and call it album cover art. Sabotage is the sixth studio album by the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in 1975. The album cover is a photograph of the band members standing in front of a large bronze mirror. Their "reflections" face the wrong way, and are simply copies of each band member's real image. This is the first album to feature all of the band members on the cover.

For the second time, a Black Sabbath album initially saw favourable reviews, with Rolling Stone stating "Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath's best record since Paranoid, it might be their best ever", although later reviewers such as Allmusic noted that "the magical chemistry that made such albums as Paranoid and Volume 4 so special was beginning to disintegrate".[4]

Sabotage cracked the top 20 in both the United Kingdom and United States, but was the band's first release not to achieve platinum status in the US. Songs such as "Hole in the Sky", and "Symptom of the Universe" became fan favorites, with the latter's chugging riff even cited as an early example of thrash metal. Black Sabbath toured in support of Sabotage with openers KISS, but were forced to cut the tour short in November 1975, following a motorcycle accident in which Ozzy ruptured a muscle in his back.



26. The Beatles: ‘Revolver’ One of my all-time favorite covers, this would certainly make my top ten, but logs in at #26 on the Gigwise list. Revolver is the seventh album by the Four Lads, released on August 5, 1966. The album showcased a number of new stylistic developments which would become more pronounced on later albums. Many of the tracks on Revolver are marked by an electric guitar-rock sound, in contrast with their previous, folk-rock inspired Rubber Soul. It reached #1 on the UK chart for seven weeks and #1 on the U.S. chart for six weeks.

Revolver was released before the Beatles' last tour in August 1966, but they did not perform songs from the album live. Their reasoning for this was that many of the tracks on the album, for example "Tomorrow Never Knows", were too complex to perform with live instruments.

The cover illustration was created by German-born bassist and artist Klaus Voormann, one of the Beatles' oldest friends from their days at the Star Club in Hamburg. Voormann's illustration, part line drawing and part collage, included photographs by Robert Whitaker, who also took the back cover photographs and many other images of the group between 1964 and 1966, such as the infamous "butcher cover" for Yesterday and Today. Voormann's own photo as well as his name (Klaus O. W. Voormann) is worked into Harrison's hair on the right-hand side of the cover. In the Revolver cover appearing in his artwork for Anthology 3, he replaced this image with a more recent photo. Harrison's Revolver image was seen again on his single release of "When We Was Fab" along with an updated version of the same image.

The title "Revolver", like "Rubber Soul" before it, is a pun, referring both to a kind of handgun as well as the "revolving" motion of the record as it is played on a turntable. The Beatles had a difficult time coming up with this title. According to Barry Miles in his book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, the title that the four had originally wanted was Abracadabra, until they discovered that another band had already used it. After that, opinion split: Lennon wanted to call it Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle and Starr jokingly suggested After Geography, playing on The Rolling Stones' recently released Aftermath LP. Other suggestions included Magical Circles, Beatles on Safari, Pendulum, and, finally, Revolver, whose wordplay was the one that all four agreed upon. The title was chosen while the band were on tour in Japan in June–July 1966.