Friday, October 31, 2008

Vinyl Record News

Vinyl 180 launches vinyl productline for Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus and the Cocteau Twins

4AD is collaborating with Vinyl 180, a relatively new company dedicated to reissuing classic records (remastered from their original analogue tapes) pressing them up on 180g audiophile quality vinyl with high quality artwork. Among other 4AD reissues they're planning, the company so far released the self titled debut album from Dead Can Dance (released as a single album or as a limited edition double vinyl package which features the " Garden of the Arcane Delights" EP pressed on clear vinyl), Cocteau Twins' classic second album "Head Over Heels" (as a single album and as a limited double vinyl edition including the "Sunburst and Snowblind" EP pressed on dark violet vinyl) and Bauhaus' 1980 debut album "In The Flat Field" on both a single disc and a two disc version (which also includes the 4AD EP from 1983 pressed on white vinyl).

The Dead Can Dance re-issues will continue with "Spleen and Ideal" early in 2009. Future releases include more from the Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, plus albums by The Cult and The Fall since Vinyl 180 is also working with the Beggars Banquet label. Out already are Tubeway Army's "Replicas" and Gary Numan's "The pleasure principle". More info at .


The Drones Tour with Band of Horses, Release Vinyl

Australian band The Drones have been bringing their brand of multi-faceted blues-based psych-rock to us for years with acclaimed albums like "Here Come the Lies," "Wait Long by the River" and their 2006 release "Gala Mill."

In celebration of their upcoming US tour with Band of Horses, The Drones will be the first band to kick off ATP Recordings' new series of double 7" vinyl called Custom Made. Custom Made invites artists to submit 4 songs which will be released on limited edition 7" and also made available as a digital download.

Photo Credit: Daniel Campbell

For each Custom Made 7" the bands choose: something old (an old song), something new (a song from their latest album), something borrowed (a cover) and something blue (a blues song, the word blue in the title, anything...)

The vinyl is limited to just 1,000 pieces, and 100 of them will be special edition silk screened printed covers, numbered and signed by the sleeve designer.
The Drones: Custom Made will be out on November 5th and will include the following tracks:

Side A. Something Old - "Cockeyed Lowlife of the Highlands" (New recording of this old song)
Side B. Something New - "I Don't Ever Want to Change" (taken from the album Gala Mill)
Side C. Something Borrowed - "I Drink" (originally by Charles Aznavour)
Side D. Something Blue - "Shark Fin Blues" (taken from the album Wait Long By the River.)

Musicians Against Air Travel: Randy Rhoads

So the other day I was listening to a classic: Blizzard of Ozz by Ozzy Osbourne, and I was reminded that the virtuoso guitar player Randy Rhoads died tragically in a plane crash back in 1982.

Now, I know Randy Rhoads has fallen into obscurity by 2008, but this young musician was truly poised to make a huge impact on 1980's heavy metal...if he hadn't died in a totally stupid plane crash.

Apparently scared of flying, Randy Rhoads somehow ended up on a small plane with a few other people, and a pilot who was either high on cocaine or had used it in the recent past. The pilot apparently flew the plane close to a tour bus where the rest of Ozzy's band were sleeping. After doing this a few times, and going back for another run, the plane hit the bus causing it to crash, killing everyone on board.

Randy Rhoads was only 25 when he died, and yet in his short life, he was able to secure his place in rock history. Born in 1956, Randy started playing guitar at age 7. He learned guitar by playing folk music, but his style of lead guitar playing also shows a heavy influence of classical guitar. Most notable is the song "Dee" (Also on Blizzard of Ozz), which Randy named after his mother. At age 14, Randy Rhoads formed the band that would eventually become Quiet Riot. Playing around the LA area, Quiet Riot never achieved much success, and was never signed to a record label in the US. However, CBS/Sony did sign them, and released two albums in Japan in the late 1970's.

In 1979, Randy Rhoads' name was passed on to Ozzy Osbourne who was putting together a new band after being fired from Black Sabbath. Ozzy reportedly hired Randy Rhoads while he was still warming up for his audition with Ozzy. What followed were two of the greatest heavy metal albums ever recorded: Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Shortly before his death, Randy Rhoads had expressed interest in retiring from rock music temporarily to pursue a degree in classical guitar. Sadly, he never was able to pursue that musical path.

Randy Rhoads' legacy lives on, especially amongst heavy metal guitarists. Randy's guitar playing is shreddy, skilled, and technical. The Crazy Train riff is classic. He is #4 on Guitar World's list of greatest heavy metal guitarists. It is so sad that a musician with such talent and technique had such a short life. If he had lived, it is no doubt that Randy Rhoads could have influenced so many more people on a much deeper level. However, what Randy Rhoads left behind is something to celebrate. Pick up a copy of Ozzy's Blizzard of Ozz or Diary of a Madman to hear the amazing musical talent of this amazing guitar player. Ozzy's album "Tribute" also features several live performances, and is essential listening for any lover of great guitar playing.

Randy Rhoads: 1956-1982. RIP. We miss you.

I want to thank my vinyl friend Alan Bayer for this great material!

Author Alan E Bayer is a jazz lover and vinyl record enthusiast who operates, a site where one can find collectible vinyl records, turntables and vinyl accessories. Enjoy the site, and enjoy the sound of music on vinyl.

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Eagle Valley Music celebrates 25 years

I love stories about independent record stores and here is another great look into this aspect of the wonderful world of music. Record stores are a social phenomenon and it is up to us (as consumers) to keep shopping there and help these retailers stay open

Vail store working hard to change with the times

Written by Scott N. Miller

Vail, CO, Colorado

VAIL — Vinyl was king when Tom Robbins took over Eagle Valley Music in 1983. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was at the top of the charts.

A quarter-century later, in the post-CD era, vinyl is making a comeback, at least for some audio purists.

“We’ll get 10 or 15 copies (in vinyl) with just about every new release,” Robbins said. “But it’s not like it was.”

Robbins, a 1982 graduate of Battle Mountain High School, had already worked at Eagle Valley Music for a few years when his family bought the store, then located in the old Crossroads shopping center on Meadow Drive.

The family, but mostly Robbins and his mom, Jeannie, have seen the music business evolve dramatically from what may have been the industry’s high-water mark in the 1980s and ‘90s. Then, cassette, CD and vinyl record sales dominated. Numerous bands could sell out halls the size of the current Pepsi Center in Denver, and several could pack a joint the size of Mile High Stadium.

Then the bottom fell out.

Robbins believes the decline started about the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. About that time began the rise of digital music. Between the iPod and music-sharing services like the first generation of Napster — which was free — CD sales plummeted.

So Robbins adapted to the times. Selling fewer CDs, he added items including T-shirts, DVDs and novelties.

Still, Eagle Valley Music is packed with CDs both popular and offbeat. And Robbins is fighting the good fight in the face of iTunes and Amazon.

Robbins claims he’s cheaper than Amazon much of the time, especially for customers who have to pay the Internet retailer for shipping. And, of course, a customer can walk out of the store with a CD or comic and take it home right away.

“Amazon isn’t very quick sometimes.”

It’s about impossible to compete with the immediacy of iTunes. But, Robbins said, iTunes shoppers don’t get everything artists put into their songs.

“The thing about music downloads is a lot of people don’t like the decrease in sound quality,” Robbins said. “It sounds really clipped.”

When Eagle Valley Music moved out of Crossroads and into a storefront next to the Sandbar in West Vail a couple of summers ago, the hours changed. These days, Robbins will be in the store until midnight most nights. He does it for reasons other than catching the bar crowd, although that’s certainly a big part of the idea.

“People like to come in and hang out,” Robbins said. “They enjoy coming in to talk about music or comics.”

And, Robbins said, he’s got a core of loyal customers. Some are in once a week, or more.

Tom Mumpower is one of those regulars. With a kid of his own at home, Mumpower’s buying habits have shifted away from music he enjoys to buying “High School Musical” and other tweener hits.

“I’ve been coming for the last 20 years,” Mumpower said. “I’ve got to support Tom and his mom.”

And Robbins plans to soldier on in his West Vail store.

“We’ll continue to find other products,” he said. “And we’ll make up ground with our hours and customer service.”


I want to thank the publication for allowing me to post this- Reprinted By Permission