Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Audiophile Audition Review

I want to thank John over at http://www.audaud.com/index.php for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.

Sonneteer Sedley Phono Preamplifier

Simply the best phono preamplifier I've heard near this price so far.

Sonneteer Sedley Phono Preamplifier
SRP: $1250 standard version ($1625 with USB)

U.S. Contact:
May Audio Marketing Inc
2150 Liberty Drive Unit #7
Niagara Falls, NY 14304
716-283-4434 (voice)
716-283-6264 (fax)

Basic Description

Phonograph preamplifier for MM (44 db gain) and MC (64 db gain) with optional built-in USB connection for recording to/playback from a computer; selectable input impedance (1k, 47, 100, 220 ohms or parallel combinations of ); selectable input capacitance (10 pF, 47pF, 100pF, 220pF or parallel combinations of); 17" W x 11" D x 2.5" H; two-year warranty; 14.5 pounds.

Associated Equipment

Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable, Musical Fidelity A5.5 Integrated Amplifier, Bowers and Wilkins 803S speakers, Audioquest cabling, Dell Studio 15 running Windows Vista 64.


LP Recorder.


The Sedley is a standard-sized component and was heavier than I thought it would be. There aren't any controls on the front although there is a switch underneath (not all that convenient) to switch to playback mode from a computer. I was anxious to try this for my laptop vs. the lousy output I was using (due to lack of a decent set of analog outputs on the computer). There are a series of dip switches in the back to set the unit for MM/MC, loading, and optional warp filter. The switches are mirrored but are not reverse numbered, so you have to be careful in setting them correctly.

Since I was using an MM cartridge, I left all the resistive loading switches up (which automatically selects 47K ohms for MM). Then I selected the RIAA curve and low gain (MM). The Clearaudio Virtuoso has a suggested capacitive loading of 100 pF, so that is what I set on the Sedley. The manual suggests experimentation, so if the sound is too soft, then reduce the loading and if it is too bright, then increase it. That's it! Pretty simple as far as these components go.


My initial impressions with the Sedley were extremely positive, so I was anxious to give the phono section a full listen. I started with "Peg" from Steely Dan's Aja LP. Right away I sensed there was something special happening. While some of the preamplifiers I auditioned were (as Goldilocks would say) too hot or too cold, the Sedley was just right. It was quiet, had good sense of space, nice top end without hiss or excessive sizzle, and images were appropriately sized and didn't sound congested or obviously colored in any way. Soundstage wasn't too wide or too narrow and image location was excellent as evidenced by the track "Home At Last." This is the first preamp that I've had under review that I could honestly consider using for the long term. This is not to say it's perfect and there is nothing better, but only that it doesn't have any egregious flaws. I felt comfortable sitting and just listening (and without the feeling I was missing something or the music was being edited by the equipment).

The next critical listen was "Rise" from Herb Alpert's LP of the same title. Bass was punchy and deep but not overly full. There was a nice decay to the claps. Horn was sweet and all the ambient sounds integrate nicely into the whole mix. Tonally this preamp gets it right. I have to say that I had to be reminded I was working on a review and try to critically listen as I continually lapsed into just enjoying the music--as it should be! The other thing I noticed was that although the LP wasn't in perfect shape the imperfections became less noticeable when the music was this engrossing.

The guitar from "From The Beginning" off Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Trilogy was just awesome. I cranked the sound way up (beyond what makes sense from the standpoint of how loud a real guitar would sound) and it was invigorating like one of those embarrassing soap commercials when the woman on the airplane is moaning and shouting in the bathroom and another passenger says in a deadpan voice, "I'll have what she's having." The result was just right. I let the record run so I could hear the pounding drums in the next tune. The vocals in the background sounded way back in the soundstage making the presentation sound very three-dimensional.

I listened to record after record expecting the enthusiasm I had for the Sonneteer to wear off, but it didn't. This was the first phono preamplifier where I experienced the urge to put record upon record on and just listen to more music for the fun of it.

My audiophile friend tested the unit for a month (while I was working on another review) with a Benz MC cartridge and was extremely happy with its sound. When he had to give it back and reinstall his old phono stage, he kept commenting on how much he missed the Sedley.

USB Recording

The version of the Sedley I requested had the USB option installed. Any unit can be upgraded to USB and will work with both PC and MAC. The component came with Audacity (a freeware program) and LP Recorder (a trial version). To purchase LP Recorder (and LP Ripper which you'll want) you are looking at about $72. You can download the most recent beta and trial versions of these programs from the Internet.

I have used Audacity before and always found it to be somewhat difficult to use. The manual includes instructions (with diagrams) specifically for use with the Sedley. Once the USB cable was connected the software driver install took about 20 seconds. I tried a few tracks, but according to Foobar (my playback software) and visually looking at the waveform I could see clipping. With Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" from The Golden Age of Wireless there was no way to eliminate massive amounts of clipping. I read through the help file and played with the mixer level to no avail. I note that one of the suggestions is to lower the output level of the source--which, of course, there was no way to easily do. I moved on to LP Recorder.

LP Recorder is extremely easy and user-friendly. Just select the "Auto Level" function, slide the volume all the way and play a loud portion of what you are going to record (like the old days of cassette recording!) At peaks, the program will reduce the level to insure that there is no clipping. There is even a counter at the bottom that shows how many times the signal is clipped (if at all). When you are ready to record, just click and there she goes! Unlike Audacity which allows you to select an output format, you are stuck with a WAV file. If you want to compress the signal (or change to a lossless format) you need to use another program (of which there are many). Recordings I made with LP Recorder from Linda Ronstadt, Grover Washington and Chicago peaked right at or below 0 dB according to Foobar.

USB Playback

I found that it was easiest to just lift the unit up a bit to gain access to the switch underneath for USB playback. When engaged, the light on the front of the Sedley changes from blue to magenta. This is a pretty cool feature! I was able to play anything from the computer through the Sonneteer to the amp via USB. I didn't have any separate DACs with USB inputs for comparison, but the A5.5 Integrated Amp does have a direct USB input. The sound from the Sedley seemed a bit softened (focus-wise) in comparison to the direct input on the A5.5. However, most stereo pieces don't have USB inputs, so in that case it would have been perfectly acceptable. The big benefit is for recording--the playback capability is just a bonus.

I compared the tracks I recorded from LPs using the two software programs and aside from some level differences (and the clipping issues) they sounded comparable. Either would do a nice job of transferring analog to digital to the computer for burning or portable use. I didn't do A/B with the records themselves, but part of the fun of LPs is actually playing the discs.


I have to admit I'd never even heard of Sonneteer until I started scouring the Web for phonograph preamplifiers to review. Boy, am I glad I did. The review blurb they have on their website is from over 10 years ago, but this piece is still a contender. Usually this is the section where I summarize a product's strengths and weaknesses. With the Sedley the only complaint I have is the slight alteration of sound with USB playback. I'll be the first to admit that I haven't heard all the products that are between $1K-$2K, so there may be some other good options I don't know about. Otherwise, this is simply the best phono preamplifier I've heard near this price so far. Highly recommended!

-- Brian Bloom

Classic Rock Videos

The Jackson 5- Never Can Say Goodbye

New Music Releases- June 30, 2009

ACE HOOD - Ruthless

And Also the Trees: When the Rains Come

Animal Collective: Summertime Clothes (vinyl)

Billy Talent: Rusted from the Rain

Bjork: Voltaic (2-CD & 2-DVD edition) (CD & DVD edition)

Brad Paisley, “American Saturday Night”

Buddy Guy: Playlist: The Very Best of Buddy Guy

DAVE BRUBECK - Essential Standards

David Lynch, “A Tribute to Dave Jaurequi”

Depeche Mode: Peace

Fabolous, “Loso’s Way”

Heart: Private Audition/Passionworks (reissue)

Indigo Girls: Poseidon and the Bitter Bug (vinyl)

Janis Joplin: Janis Joplin: The Woodstock Experience

Jefferson Airplane: Flight Box (3-CD box set)

Jefferson Airplane: Jefferson Airplane: The Woodstock Experience

Jeremih, “Jeremih”

Jimmie Rodgers: Blue Yodel: The Very Best of Jimmie Rodgers (vinyl)

Johnny Winter: Johnny Winter: The Woodstock Experience

Jonathan Coulton: Best. Concert. Ever.

Juan Maclean: The Future Will Come (vinyl)

Killswitch Engage: Killswitch Engage

Leslie Mendelson: Swan Feathers

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt (vinyl)

Lila Downs: The Very Best Of

Lillian Axe: Sad Day on Planet Earth

Los Lonely Boys: Playlist: The Very Best of Los Lonely Boys

M83 - M83 (LP)

Maino, “If Tomorrow Comes”

MARK KARAN - Walk Through The Fire

Matt Duke: Acoustic Kingdom Underground EP

Meese: Broadcast

Moby: Wait For Me (vinyl)

Moxy Fruvous: Wood (reissue)

OBITUARY - Darkest Day

Pete Yorn: Back & Fourth (vinyl)

Rob Thomas: Cradlesong

Robin Guthrie: Angel Falls

Rod Stewart: A Night on the Town (reissue with bonus disc)

Rod Stewart: Atlantic Crossing (reissue with bonus disc)

Santana: Santana: The Woodstock Experience

Shad: Old Prince

SIR MIX A LOT - Playlist: The Very Best of Sir Mix-A-Lot

SLEEP OF OLDOMINION - Hesitation Wounds

Sly & The Family Stone: Playlist: The Very Best of Sly & the Family Stone

Sly & The Family Stone: Sly & The Family Stone: The Woodstock Experience

Spoon: Spoon

STATE OF MAN - In This Place

Stephen Sondheim, “Roadshow”


Tanya Tucker: My Turn

Television Personalities: And Don't the Kids Just Love It (vinyl reissue)

Television Personalities: Mummy Your Not Watching Me (vinyl reissue)

TEMPO - Free Tempo

The Allman Brothers Band: Playlist: The Best of Allman Brothers

The Michael Schenker Group: Walk the Stage: The Official Bootleg Box Set


The Vibrators: Garage Punk (vinyl)


TOKYO! - Tokyo!

UFO: Official Bootleg Box Set, 1975-1982 (6-CD box set)

Various artists, “Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 31”

Various Artists: Sick Music

Various Artists: The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition Box Set)

WILCO - Wilco

Wilco: Wilco (The Album) (2-LP vinyl with CD)

Wu-Tang Clan: Chamber Music

Wu-Tang Clan: Playlist: The Very Best of Wu-Tang Clan

Jackson’s vinyl record sells for $33,750

I took a look at eBay and in my estimation, Jackson vinyl is selling for about double what it says in the record price guides. But, here is a very rare and signed LP that obviously fetched a very high price:

MICHAEL Jackson memorabilia auctioned off the day after his death fetched $205,000, exceeding original estimates of $10,000 to $12,000.

The auction, planned before the pop star’s June 25 death, included a sheer, long-sleeve shirt worn on his 1984 “Victory” tour and a handwritten letter, according to an e- mail from Darren Julien, chief executive of West Hollywood, California-based Julien’s Auctions.

A copy of a Motown Records LP (long-playing record) produced to coincide with the Jackson 5’s September 1971 “Goin’ Back to Indiana” prime-time ABC-TV special sold for $33,750, compared with Julien’s estimate of $400 to $600. It is signed in black permanent pen by Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Michael, and Jermaine Jackson, who are all featured on the cover, the auctioneer said.

The album also includes the signature of Randy Jackson, who officially joined the band when he replaced Jermaine in the 1970s, Julien’s said.

The prices underscore the heightened interest in Jackson’s music and memorabilia following his death from a suspected cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. Albums featuring Jackson, who died at age 50, occupied the top 14 rankings for best-selling music at Amazon.com Inc., according to the Seattle-based retailer’s Web site.

“Michael was highly collectible in the first place,” Julien said in an interview.

“We actually contemplated pulling the lots after his death. We didn’t want anyone to think we were taking advantage of the situation, but a fan told us, we need to celebrate Michael’s life.”

The custom long-sleeve shirt was expected to sell for $1,000 to $1,500 and went for $52,500, Julien’s said.

It has a white spandex lining and is completely covered in small pearls on one side and a combination of pearls and Swarovski crystal on the other. It was created by designer Bill Whitten and was once part of the collection of David Gest, former husband of Liza Minnelli, according to the auction house.

The handwritten letter had a pre-sale estimate of $200 to $300 and sold for $12,500, the company said

Monday, June 29, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

As far as ongoing coverage of the Michael Jackson death, I am choosing to focus on the positive aspects of his life- the music. There are many other sites on the Internet where you can find the latest autopsy results, the fued over his children and estate and the tabloid fodder that has followed this amazing musician. That said, here is an old video, enjoy....


Music News & Notes

The Flaming Lips' New Album Features Yeah Yeah Yeahs And MGMT

MGMT and Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O both appear on the new album by The Flaming Lips.

The double-LP entitled, 'Embryonic', is due to be released in the UK this September.

Frontman Wayne Coyne told Sterogum that releasing "a double record offers more room to be strange."


McCartney Appearance

Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance at Neil Young’s concert at London’s Hyde Park on June 27th, running out onstage to sing his “A Day in the Life” verse after Young launched into the epic Sgt. Pepper closer. He stuck around for the rest of the song, which Young has frequently used to end concerts in recent years, then the duo wrapped the concert with an impromptu vibraphone solo before exiting the stage.

Sky Saxon of the Seed Passes Away

Sky Saxon, the founder of the garage band the Seeds, passed away Thrusday morning in Austin, Texas. He had been hospitalized since Monday with an internal infection. Saxon's age is not officially known as he listed his birthday with various years.

Saxon started his career in the early-60's under the name of Little Richie Marsh (his real name was Richard Marsh) singing Doo Wop. By the middle of the decade, he had experimented with a number of rock bands and finally settled into the Seeds with guitarist Jan Savage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper and drummer Rick Aldridge.

The group signed with GNP Crescendo in late-1966 and, the next year, placed four singles into the top 100 with Pushin' Too Hard going highest to number 36. The singles were garage rock but the associated albums added more psychedelia and blues.

By their third album, Future (1967), they went total psychedelia and tried their hand at a concept album. The effort gave them their best charting album, reaching number 87. After the release of a live album and an LP credited to the Sky Saxon Blues Band (A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues), the band broke up.

Saxon tried to form a number of new bands during the 70's and 80's along with resurrecting the Seeds with different members and doing a stint with the Chesterfield Kings. His last show was on Saturday, June 20 at Antone's in Austin and he was scheduled to go out on the California '66 Revue tour with the Electric Prunes and Love.

SOURCE: http://winkscollectibles.blogspot.com

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 06/13/2009

1. LP - The Beatles "Let It Be" box set UK - $5,258.88

2. LP - Leonid Kogan "Plays Lalo & Tchaikovsky" Columbia SAX 2329 - $3,150.00

3. LP - Lee Morgan "Volume 3" Blue Note 1557 - $3,000.00

4. 78 - The Quarrymen "That'll Be The Day" / "In Spite Of The Danger" acetate (possible reproduction) - $2,950.00

5. 45 - Frankie Beverly & The Butlers "Because Of My Heart" / "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" Fairmount DJ copy - $2,312.00

Week Ending 06/20/2009

1. 78 - Grace Brim "Man Around My Door" / "Hospitality Blues" J.O.B. Records - $3,650.00

2. LP - Trio De France "Plays Faure & Ravel" Pretoria France - $3,616.00

3. LP - Leonid Kogan "Beethoven Violin Concerto" Columbia SAX 2386 blue & silver label - $3,368.00

4. 45 - The Beatles "Please Please Me" / "Ask Me Why" VJ 498 (spelled with two T's) - $2,501.00

5. LP - David Bowie "self titled" New Zealand - $2,181.95

As always, a hearty thank you to Norm at http://ccdiscoveries.blogspot.com/ for this insightful data.

This Date In Music History-June 29


Carlo Santanna - Paper Lace (1947)

Derv and Lincoln Gordon - Equals (1948)

Ian Paice - Deep Purple (1948)

Colin Hay - Men at Work (1953)

Don Dokken – Dokken (1953)

Evelyn "Champagne" King (1960)

Tim McCord – Evanescence (1979)

They Are Missed:

Nelson Eddy (June 29, 1901 - March 6, 1967)

Shorty Long drowned in 1969 after his boat capsized on the Detroit River (age 29). Had the 1968 #8 single “Here Comes The Judge.” He also acted as an MC for many of the Motown Revue shows and tours.

Little Feat's Lowell George died of a heart attack in 1979.

The babysitter for Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Little Eva, was born today in 1945. They asked her to record a little song they had written, the 1962 #1 hit “The Loco-Motion.” She died on April 10, 2003.

In 1975, American singer songwriter Tim Buckley died of an overdose of heroin and morphine (age 28).

Legendary singer Rosemary Clooney died of lung cancer in 2002.


In 1956, Elvis Presley appeared on Steve Allen's TV show to sing "Hound Dog"- to an actual basset hound.

Buddy Holly recorded the epic "Peggy Sue" in 1957.

In 1959, Dick Clark formed a new partnership with aging promoter Irvin Feld. The two announced four rock 'n' roll package tours over the next year, all called Dick Clark Caravans.

The first song written by Lennon/McCartney made it to the Hot 100 in 1963. It's "From Me to You" by Del Shannon.

The Beatles performed in Tokyo, Japan in 1966 before a sold-out crowd. Over 500 police were called in to get the crowd under control.

Pink Floyd's second album “A Saucerful of Secrets” was released in 1968.

In 1969, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its last concert together on the final day of the three-day Denver Pop Festival.

Singer Ian Gillan quit Deep Purple in 1973. He did return.

Gordon Lightfoot scored his only #1 hit in 1974 with “Sundown.”

Drummer Neal Peart replaced original Rush drummer John Rustey in 1974.

In 1984, Bruce Springsteen kicked off the first leg of his “Born in the USA Tour” with a three-night run at the Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Springsteen played a total of 156 shows ending on October 2, 1985 in Los Angeles.

Also in 1984, it was reported that Motown shipped out 2 million copies of the Jacksons' Victory album.

In 1985, David Bowie and Mick Jagger recorded a version of the Martha Reeves and the Vandellas 1964 hit “Dancing In The Street'' for the forthcoming 'Live Aid' fundraising event. The single went on to become a #1 UK hit (#7 in US)

Also in 1985, John Lennon’s 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine, with psychedelic paintwork, sold for a record sum of $3,006,385, at a Sotheby's auction in New York.

Mall-lover Tiffany released her self-titled debut album in 1987.

In 1988, The Guardian newspaper reported that many music CD's would fade and distort over the next few years due to manufacturing faults, sending shock-waves through the music industry.

Skid Row entered the US album chart at #1 in 1991 with “Slave To The Grind.”

It was reported in 1996 that US record company bosses were considering random drug tests for pop stars similar to those carried out on athletes to try and reduce the drug death toll in the industry. Yeah, that’ll happen….

Flash-in-the-pan Leif Garrett was arrested for drug possession in Los Angeles in 1999.

In 1999, Michael Jackson suffered severe bruising after falling over 50 feet when a bridge collapsed during a concert at Munich's Olympic stadium.

Eight men were trampled to death in 2000 during Pearl Jam's performance at The Roskilde festival, near Copenhagen. Police said the victims had all slipped or fallen in the mud in front of the stage.

Tragedy struck the Rolling Stones European Tour in Madrid, Spain in 2007. Two workers are killed while breaking down the stage following the group's performance the previous night. The accident occurs when three stagehands plunge from a 33-foot metal structure and land on a fourth crew member. "(The Stones') heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the injured and their profound sympathies to the deceased," says a representative for the group.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Classic Jackson 5 Video

Jackson Five - ABC

Sunshine Songs- part two

written by Robert Benson

We have explored some ‘rain’ songs in a recent four-part article series in celebration of spring and now that summer is upon us, let’s explore some popular ‘sunshine’ songs and the history behind them in this second part of the two part article series.

A fine addition to the ‘sunshine’ song list is the Beatles’ cut “Good Day Sunshine,” which was written by Paul McCartney, on you guessed it, a sunny day. Included on their 1966 LP “Revolver,” McCartney has said that he was influenced by the Lovin' Spoonful, who had a happy-go-lucky hit with "Do You Believe In Magic?"

Interestingly, McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only members of the band to appear on this track instrumentally. John Lennon and George Harrison added harmony vocals during the choruses later on. George Martin played the solo on the piano; however he recorded it at a faster speed so it would sound slower when mixed. The song was recorded at Abbey Road on June 8, 1966, with overdubs added the following day. The song also took early advantage in the usage of stereo sound, the chorus bounces between the left and right channels at the fade.

"Good Day Sunshine" was played as the wake-up music on the final day of the "Return to Flight" Discovery Space Shuttle mission in July 2005. Leonard Bernstein also has praised the song for its construction in a 1967 CBS News documentary. One of the Beatles most recognizable cuts, “Good Day Sunshine” is one of the most uplifting songs the Beatles ever released and it still thrills music lovers to this day.

A famous one-hit-wonder "Sunshine" was released by Jonathan Edwards in 1971 and is a country folk war protest song released as the first single from his debut album Jonathan Edwards. The single reached #4 on the Billboard charts and earned Edwards a gold record.

The song was not originally planned for release, but an engineer accidentally erased the master of a track called "Please Find Me" near the end of sessions for the album and instead of redoing that song, he wrote a new one, and "Sunshine" was used to fill the album. It was released as a single and the positive energy and message of the song seemed just what the nation needed at that moment.

"It was just at the time of the Vietnam War and Nixon. It was looking bad out there. That song meant a lot to a lot of people during that time--especially me," related Edwards.

In July 2007, the song joined the list of 60s protest songs used to sell high-end consumer products when it was used as the only audio in a Jeep television spot. Pop-folk artist Josh Thompson released a cover version of the song on April 22, 2007. The new version, which also featured vocals by Jonathan Edwards, reached #29 on the Radio & Records' Hot A/C Indicator chart. Jonathan Edwards has also recorded and released a bluegrass version of "Sunshine" (along with an entire album) with the band "The Seldom Scene."

"Sunshine on My Shoulders" is a slow-pop cut co-written by John Denver. The song was released as a single in 1973 and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. in early 1974. It was originally released as the B-side of "I'd Rather Be a Cowboy." As the Vietnam War came to an end, this track took on a new significance and began to receive airplay on Adult Contemporary radio stations.

Denver describes how he wrote "Sunshine on My Shoulders:”

"I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call 'late winter, early spring'. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and it was too cold to go outside and have fun, but God, you're ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you're waiting for that sun to shine, and you remember how sometimes just the sun itself can make you feel good. And in that very melancholy frame of mind I wrote "Sunshine On My Shoulders."

A television movie "Sunshine” aired on NBC in 1973 and used the song as a theme. The movie starred Cliff DeYoung and Cristina Raines and told the story of a young mother in love and dying. The TV movie prompted a new TV series (dubbed just Sunshine) which ran for just three months during the summer of 1974. It began where the movie left off with the young widowed father (Cliff DeYoung) raising his stepdaughter (Elizabeth Cheshire).

John Denver was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the 1970s in terms of record sales, recording and releasing more than 300 songs. Songs such as "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (written in 1967 and recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary in 1969 #1 and on the charts for an amazing 15 weeks), "Take Me Home, Country Roads" ( #2 in 1971), "Rocky Mountain High" (#9 in 1972), "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (#1 in 1974), "Annie's Song" (# 1 in 1974), and "Calypso" (#2 in 1975), “I’m Sorry” (#1 in 1975) and many others made Denver a favorite of soft rock lovers worldwide.

An avid pilot, Denver was killed on October 12, 1997, when the Long-EZ aircraft he was piloting crashed just off the coast of California at Pacific Grove, shortly after taking off from the Monterey Peninsula Airport.

In 1973, Stevie Wonder won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his inspiring cut "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (from the album Talking Book), which was his third chart-topping Billboard hit. When accepting the Grammy award, Wonder declared: "I would like to thank all of you for making this night the sunshine of my life."

Stevie Wonder wrote the song for his girlfriend Syreeta Wright, a secretary and aspiring singer who worked at Motown, who later became his wife. They married in 1970, but divorced in 1972 and have remained friends and Wonder has produced a lot of her material.

Rolling Stone ranked the song #281 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It has been covered by such recording artist as Acker Bilk, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ray Conniff, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Mel Tormé, Perry Como, Petula Clark, Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Jones, just to name a few, and is also standard Muzak elevator fare.

In March 1969, the 5th Dimension hit the number one spot with a song called "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," a song that dominated the early spring that year, staying at the top position for an amazing six weeks. The recording also won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1970 and is listed at #57 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time.

The 5th Dimension were a highly popular group during the late '60s and early '70s and originally consisted of Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ron Townson, who were quickly joined by Florence LaRue. They at first called themselves the Versatiles and owed their rise to Motown Records and Johnny Rivers, who had just started his own record company. The band was appearing at the Americana Hotel in Los Angles in 1968 when group member Billy Davis, Jr. went shopping one day. He accidently lost his wallet in a cab, but it was returned to him by a passenger the next day. The man who found it turned out to be one of the producers of the Rock Opera “Hair.” Davis was grateful and invited the man and his wife to see the 5th Dimension at the hotel. In return, the producer invited the group to see Hair.

Although they were seated in different sections, the whole group was so taken with Ronnie Dyson's performance of the opening number, "Aquarius," that before they left the theater they all agreed that it was song that they should record.

However, their producer Bones Howe was not impressed with the choice, saying that it was just 'half a song' and it needed something on the ‘back end.’ He suggested a gospel-like sing-a-long, but it wasn't until he went to New York to see “Hair” that he realized that a song in the musical and specifically, the last three bars of "The Flesh Failures;" a song that was subtitled "Let the Sunshine In," would be the perfect ending to the song.

Despite doubts from the group and their arranger Bob Alcivar, Bones suggested that they take the two parts and 'put them together like two trains' and the song was created. However, the finished product was too long (over seven minutes) and had to be edited down to four minutes and fifty seconds, which was done and the cut was that year's second biggest single, topped only by the Zager & Evans cut "In The Year 2525."

The "Let the Sunshine In" portion of the song was used as one of the official theme songs for the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama and remains one of the most popular songs of the 1960s.

In our next article series, we will again focus on a theme, this time we will explore songs with ‘summer’ in the title. Stay tuned!

New Music/Album Cover Art

New Paramore Release Set

Paramore has revealed that their brand new album "Brand New Eyes" will be released on September 29th. The group worked with American Idiot producer Rob Cavallo on the new disc.

“We made a record that is exactly what we set out to make,” Hayley Williams realted of the follow-up to their smash Riot! on the band’s LiveJournal page back in April.

“There’s fast, there’s slow, and in between… happy, angry, desperate and over it. And I can’t believe it’s real.”


Mariah Reveals New Album Art

Mariah debuted the artwork for the CD — her 12th full-length studio recording and a follow-up to last-year's platinum-selling E=MC2 — in a post on her official web site on Thursday afternoon.

Memoirs' cover art features not one, but three photos of Mariah, who looks as alluring as ever in a smimpy, white sorta-dress.

The album is scheduled to hit record stores on Aug. 25.


NEBULA release new album 'Heavy Psych' August 3rd

L.A. power trio Nebula, whose cosmic cocktail of heavy riffs, electric blues and psychedelic space rock has earned the band international (and, dare we say, universal) acclaim have returned to Tee Pee Records and will release Heavy Psych on August 3rd. Nebula released their first album on Tee Pee in 1998 titled Let It Burn. Let It Burn is being reissued on vinyl later this year and will be released as a limited edition double LP, the first LP containing the original Let It Burn album plus two bonus tracks and a second LP will contain the original demos from the Let It Burn sessions.

Britain's Annual Classic Rock Awards

Britain's Classic Rock Magazine has announced the nominees in the first six categories of the Fifth Annual Classic Rock Awards. Readers are able to vote on these artists and recordings that were released between August of 2008 and June of 2009.

The awards will be presented in November with additional statues given in categories selected by a panel of judges, including The Classic Rock Living Legend Award, Classic Songwriter and Showman Award.

Leading the way are AC/DC who are up for Album (Black Ice), Band and Event along with Iron Maiden who are nominated for Band, DVD/Film (Flight 666) and Event. Metallica received nods for Album (Death Magnetic) and Band. A flock of other veteran artists received a single nomination.

Cast your votes here: VOTE

The list of nominees:

Best New Band

•Crippled Black Phoenix
•New Device
•The Parlor Mob

Album of the Year

•Black Ice - AC/DC
•Death Magnetic - Metallica
•Folklore and Superstitions - Black Stone Cherry
•The Ballad of John Henry - Joe Bonamassa
•Everyday Demons - Answers
•Chinese Democracy - Guns N' Roses
•Consolers of the Lonely - Raconteurs
•And You Were a Crow - Parlor Mob
•The Devil You Know - Heaven and Hell
•Black Clouds and Silver Linings - Dream Theater

Band of the Year

•Kings of Leon
•Faith No More
•Iron Maiden

Reissue of the Year

•Eliminator - ZZ Top
•Pyromania - Def Leppard
•No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith - Motorhead
•The Who Sell Out - Who
•Ten - Pearl Jam
•Reissues - Black Sabbath
•Picture Book - Kinks
•Stormbringer - Deep Purple
•Anthology - Move

DVD/Film of the Year

•Kissology, The Ultimate Kiss Collection - Kiss
•Shine a Light - Rolling Stones
•Archives - Neil Young
•Flight 666 - Iron Maiden

Event of the Year

•Download Festival
•The Resurrection of Anvil
•The Return of Spinal Tap
•Iron Maiden Get a Brit Award
•AC/DC Take Over the World

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lisa Marie Presley on Michael Jackson

I cannnot imagine the pain she is in and only wish that good things happen to her. She expresses here sadness about Michael's death:

"Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

"I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

"At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."

"I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

"14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

"A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn't predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

"The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

"All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

"I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

"Our relationship was not "a sham" as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a "Normal life" found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

"I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

"His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn't know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

"At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

"He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

"When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

"Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson's being or actions.

"I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

"I was in over my head while trying.

"I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

"The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

"After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

"Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

"At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

"As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

"Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

"He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

"I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

"He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

"I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

"The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right."

I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.


Michael Jackson Vinyl

As we have all watched the Michael Jackson death aftermath on TV or via the Internet, one thing is happening, there has been a rush to buy his music. I took a quick look at eBay and the prices are about double what you would normally pay for his CD's or vinyl. As usual, there are some that are way overpriced as people think that bidders will pay anything to have a copy of Thriller. But, that is the world we live in. As a record collector, I am hanging on to all my Michael Jackson vinyl. Although I am not a huge fan, he was an icon of the music industry and what he did for music cannot be expressed in words. If you are looking for his music, try here:

Buy Michael Jackson Music

This Date In Music History-June 27


Leigh Nash - Sixpence None The Richer (1976)

Margo Timmins - Cowboy Junkies (1961)

Lisa Germano - singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (1958) Has worked with John Mellencamp, Simple Minds, David Bowie, Neil Finn, Sheryl Crow, and others.

Gilson Lavis – Squeeze (1951)

Bruce Johnson - Beach Boys (1944)

They Are Missed:

Born in 1935, Doc Pomus, US songwriter. Wrote many early 60's hits with Mort Shuman including, “Sweets For My Sweet,” “Teenager In Love,” “Save The Last Dance For Me.” Died on March 14, 1991.

In 2002, John Entwistle, died in his hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (age 57). The medical examiner determined that death was due to a heart attack induced by an undetermined amount of cocaine.


In 1885, Chichester Bell and Charles Tainter applied for a patent on their invention the gramophone.

Gene Autry recorded the ditty "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," in 1949, which has gone on to become a Christmas classic.

In 1954, after several fruitless recording sessions, Sam Phillips paired Elvis Presley with guitarist Scotty Moore and bass player Bill Black. He hoped the singer might find his voice by rehearsing with other musicians cut from the same country, pop, gospel and R&B cloth.

Peter and Gordon went to #1 on the US/UK singles chart in 1964 with the Lennon & McCartney song “A World Without Love.” Peter Asher went on to become James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt's manager.

Jan & Dean released "Little Old Lady From Pasadena” in 1964.

Working at Abbey Road studios in London in 1968, the Beatles recorded seven takes of “Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” for their forthcoming White album.

In 1968, Elvis Presley began taping an NBC-TV special that was billed as his "comeback special.” The show featured the king performing on a small, square stage, surrounded by a mostly female audience. The show was originally conceived as a Christmas special. Elvis updated his ‘50s image and once again displayed the raw magnetism that made him world famous, singing both his early hits and new material.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released “Ohio” in 1970. The song was written by Neil Young in response to the shooting deaths of four Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard.

The Beach Boys and, of course, the Allman Brothers Band performed the final concert at New York's Fillmore East before the venue closes in 1971.

In 1987, Whitney Houston became the first women in US history to enter the album chart at #1 with “Whitney.” She also became the first woman to top the singles chart with four consecutive releases when “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” hit #1.

MCA Records bought Motown Records for $61 million in 1988.

The Who performed the rock opera, "Tommy," in its entirety for the first time in 17 years at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 1989.

In 1992, Michael Jackson played the first night on his Dangerous World tour at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany. The tour consisted of 69 concerts to approximately 3.9 million fans across three continents. All profits made from the tour were donated to various charities including the Heal the World Foundation, Jackson's main reason for conducting the tour.

In 1994, Aerosmith became the first major band to let fans download a full new track free from the internet.

A four-disc, 82-track Jackson 5 box set, 'Soulsations!: The 25th Anniversary Collection', was released in 1995.

In 2005, the Supreme Court rules that file-sharing networks are liable for copyright infringements when they create and distribute software that allows users to illegally swap MP3s. The ruling comes in the case of MGM vs. file-sharing company Grokster.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We Have Lost A Legend- Michael Jackson Dead

Written By Robert Benson

Some say there will never be another one like him. In the early 1980’s, he was the dominant figure in pop music and a global pop icon since childhood. Michael Joseph Jackson died on June 25, 2009, reportedly from a cardiac arrest. Jackson was just fifty years old.

Paramedics were called to Jackson's home after the singer collapsed. They arrived at 12:26 PM and it’s reported that he was not breathing at the time. During the six-minute transport to UCLA Medical Center, they administered CPR. Reports say he was in a deep coma when they arrived at the hospital.

Known as the "King Of Pop," Jackson is one of a select few to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, in 2001 as a solo artist, and in 1997 as a member of the Jackson 5. His other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life and eccentricities made him a prime candidate for the tabloids and coupled with his successful music career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958. The son of Joseph Walter "Joe" and Katherine Esther, he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. Jackson showed musical talent early in his life, performing in front of classmates and others during a Christmas recital at the age of five. In 1964, he and his brother Marlon joined his older siblings Tito, Jackie and Jermaine in the family band, the Jackson Brothers. The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968 and the brothers won a major talent show performing a variety of Motown hits and a cover of James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" in 1966; a song in which Michael sang lead. You could see then that there was an aura about him and that he was destined for big and better things to come.

Rolling Stone Magazine described the young Michael as "a prodigy" with "overwhelming musical gifts,” noting that Michael, "quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer" after he began to dance and sing with his brothers. The group was signed to Motown in 1968 and the Jackson 5 set a chart record when their first four singles "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There" all topped the Billboard Hot 100. Michael Jackson went solo in 1972 and released a total of four studio albums, Got to Be There (1972) Ben (1972), Music and Me (1973), Forever, Michael (1975) which produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There," "Ben" and a remake of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin," among others.

However, Jackson's next solo album Off the Wall, released in 1979, was his first album to generate four US top 10 hits, including the chart-topping singles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock with You." Off the Wall reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

But Jackson's crowning achievement, both personally and musically was his LP Thriller. The album remained in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks, 37 of those weeks at the top position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean,” "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin.” The album was certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, earning it Double Diamond status in the US and is often cited as the best-selling album of all time. Jackson and his music became a vital part of society, as he was able to cross racial barriers through his music and his inventive music videos that revolutionized MTV and the way music videos were made.

Time magazine explained that "the fallout from Thriller has given the [music] business its best years since the heady days of 1978, when it had estimated total domestic revenue of $4.1 billion." The magazine summed up Thriller's impact as a "restoration of confidence" for an industry bordering on "the ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop.” The publication described Jackson's influence at that point as "Star of records, radio, rock video. A one-man rescue team for the music business." The New York Times called him a "musical phenomenon,” saying that "in the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else.” Michael Jackson was that and more.

On March 25, 1983, on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, Jackson performed live, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing "Billie Jean." He also introduced his signature dance move—the moonwalk— and his performances during the event were seen by 47 million viewers, drawing comparisons to Elvis Presley's and the Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. The New York Times reported, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing."

Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, although the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson's new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity. Michael Jackson was on top of the world. Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record and the single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief. Jackson won eight awards during the 1984 Grammys.

Surrounded by enormous wealth, success and many underlying personal issues, Jackson's life became a self-inflicted circus. From reports of sleeping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to buying and befriending a pet chimpanzee (Bubbles), a report that he had tried to purchase the bones of The Elephant Man (a story that Jackson himself offered to the tabloids), he soon acquired the despicable nickname "Wacko Jacko." However, Jackson did suffer from a variety of physical problems including vitiligo and lupus and the side effects from these troubling illnesses as well as reports of multiple facial surgeries, just fueled the gossip pages to the point where Jackson lashed out:

"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."

Jackson's next LP, 1987’s Bad had lower sales than Thriller, but was still a substantial 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") reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, more than any other album. It’s reported that the album has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

In 1991, Jackson released his eighth album Dangerous, an album that has sold an estimated 32 million copies worldwide. In the US, the album's first single "Black or White" was the album's biggest hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining there for seven weeks, with similar chart performances worldwide. The album's second single "Remember the Time," spent a total eight weeks in the top five in the US, ultimately peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

In 1995, Jackson released the double album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The first disc, HIStory Begins, was a fifteen-track greatest hits album, and was later reissued as Greatest Hits — HIStory Vol. I in 2001, the second disc, HIStory Continues, contained fifteen new songs. The Grammy nominated album debuted at number one on the charts is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all-time, with 20 million copies (40 million units) sold worldwide.

Jackson released the album Invincible in October 2001 to much ado and although the album was a commercial success, debuting atop the charts in thirteen countries and going on to sell approximately ten million copies worldwide, the album was well below the high standards that he had achieved previously.

In the last decade, Jackson has been tortured by many well-documented personal, financial and legal troubles. Mere words cannot describe what he did for the music industry and the countless performers that he has influenced and lest we forget the humanitarian efforts that he was part of. We have been witness to a musical legend and there will never be another entertainer, musician and person like Michael Jackson. May he rest in peace.

RIAA President Neil Portnow:
“Rarely has the world received a gift with the magnitude of artistry, talent, and vision as Michael Jackson. He was a true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim......We are deeply saddened by this tragic news and our hearts go out to his family and to music lovers around the globe who mourn this great loss.”

"I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."

Dick Clark
"I knew Michael as a child and watched him grow over the years. Of all the thousands of entertainers I have worked with, Michael was THE most outstanding. Many have tried and will try to copy him, but his talent will never be matched."

Lisa Marie Presley
"I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family. This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me."

Paul McCartney
"It's so sad and shocking," Paul McCartney said. "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy-man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."

Quincy Jones
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words.

“Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the 80's.

“To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication.

“He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever.”

New Vinyl Record Articles

'Music Man Murray' trades in records for acting career

Murray Gershenz, with a collection of 400,000 records and a shop on Exposition Boulevard in L.A., is looking to sell so he can focus on auditions and shoots.

Murray Gershenz knows he's setting something of a record by giving a new spin to his career this late in life.

After all, Gershenz has spent most of his 87 years collecting music -- old operas preserved on tube-like Edison cylinders, Big Band-era crooners on brittle 78 rpm discs, emerging rock stars on small 45s and established pop artists on larger LP albums. He owns as many as 400,000 records.

But now, "Music Man Murray" plans to unload his collection so he can become a full-time actor.

Read the rest of the article here:



The Record Exchange: Still revolving after all these years

It’s an unassuming storefront along Washington Street, just up from Starbucks and around the corner from the Lafayette Hotel.

A cardboard stand-up of Tom Waits skulks in the corner of the front window, as if waiting for someone walking by to kindly light his cigarette. Above the store there’s a carved plaque of Dizzy Gillespie cradled in a crescent moon, blowing his crazy horn up to the stars.

Step inside and you’ll find bins full of record albums, CDs, tapes, DVDs, posters and paintings of musicians, original 45s by Elvis and The Beatles and others displayed on the walls. You’ve stumbled onto a vast collection of musical history, rare vinyl treasures, and the most knowledgeable and friendly salespeople you could ever hope to meet. So it’s been for over 35 years, but any day you walk in is just another day at The Record Exchange.

In the early 1970s, owner Ross Kolhonen had recently finished graduate school, traveled through India for while and was planning to get another degree in business school. Instead, he decided to try his hand at starting a business himself. With a small loan, some stock collateral and money he made that summer painting houses, Kolhonen opened up the first Record Exchange, in a storefront at Salem’s Lafayette Hotel.

“And now, here we are,” he says with a smile....

Read the rest of the article here:

The Record Exchange

Audiophile Audition Review

I want to thank John over at http://www.audaud.com/index.php for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.

George Harrison - Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison - Capitol Records

A fine compilation of 19 tunes from the late Beatles' member.

George Harrison - Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison - Capitol Records, 1.2 hrs [Release date: June 16, 09] *****:

Many greatest hits albums turn out not to really being that, but this compilation covering the whole career of the Beatles’ member really does feature some of the solo hits of what he left us. The 19 tracks have been digitally remastered at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, and the CD comes with a 28-page booklet of rare photos with newly-written liner notes by Warren Zanes.

The collection includes Harrison’s single My Sweet Lord, that hit #1 on the Billboard Pop singles charts. (We’ll try to forget the suit he lost re: lifting much of the tune from a soul music writer.) Give Me Love and Got My Mind Set on You are just a couple other of his big hits. There are three live tracks of timeless songs Harrison wrote for the Beatles: Something, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Here Comes the Sun. These are taken from the 1971 Concert For Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden.

Harrison won 11 Grammies and was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s great to hear his music again, some of which I hadn’t heard in years. His patented sliding steel-guitar sort of sound marks many of the tunes and has always attracted my ears.


Got My Mind Set On You, Give Me Love, Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp, My Sweet Lord, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All Things Must Pass, Any Road, This Is Love, All Those Years Ago, Marwa Blues, What Is Life, Rising Sun, When We Was Fab, Something, Blow Away, Cheer Down, Here Comes the Sun, I Don't Want to Do It, Isn't It a Pity

review by -- John Henry

Copyright 2009 ~ Reprinted By Permission

Album Cover Art

Shadows Fall Reveal Album Details, Cover Art

SHADOWS FALL has announced "Retribution" as the title of their fifth full-length album, which is set for a September 15 street date. The album, a follow-up to 2007’s critically acclaimed "Threads of Life," will be released on the band’s own label, Everblack Industries, which was created in conjunction with Warner Music Group’s ILG, Ferret Music, and ChannelZERO Entertainment.

The new album was produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Municipal Waste), with vocal production by Elvis Baskette (Incubus, Alter Bridge).

Singer Brian Fair commented on the band’s venture: “We learned everything from the ground up. We’ve gone through the independent metal world to the major label world, and have come to realize that, given the way things are now, it’s all about the band re-taking control of everything: music, business, ownership, publishing. Everything.”


Lil White LP Cover

Lil Wyte has revealed this album cover art for his highly anticipated new album entitled “The Bad Influence.” Lil Wyte stated that the new album The Bad Influence is slated for release sometime this July ‘09.

The album is presented by Hypnotize Minds and promoted in collaboration with Lil Wyte’s independent label Wyte Music.


Alestorm Offering New Album "Black Sails At Midnight" As Picture Disc LP

Alestorm has issued the following announcement about offering their latest album as picture disc LP:

"I forgot to mention that our new album 'Black Sails at Midnight' is also currently available as a Picture Disc LP, with the badass album artwork printed on the vinyl. If you want to get your hands on this piece of ultimate sexualness, head over to the Napalm Records Webstore. Do it now! Limited to 500 copies!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunshine Songs

article by Robert Benson

We have explored some ‘rain’ songs in a recent four-part article series in celebration of spring and now that summer is upon us, let’s explore some popular ‘sunshine’ songs and the history behind them in this two part article series.

Bill Withers released the epic cut “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971, a song which peaked at #3 on the US Pop charts. It was his first hit single and was actually the b-side for another cut called “Harlem,” but the DJs played “Ain’t No Sunshine” instead.

Bill Withers was still employed at a factory that manufactured toilet seats for 747s when he recorded the song. In fact, when he released the cut, he refused to resign from his job because of his beliefs about the music industry and the fact that he was still a novice when compared to other musicians.

In an interview, Withers explained the writing of the song:

"I was watching a movie called Days Of Wine And Roses (1962) with Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon. They were both alcoholics who were alternately weak and strong. It's like going back for seconds on rat poison. Sometimes you miss things that weren't particularly good for you. It's just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I'm not aware of."

And in the part of the song where Withers repeats the lyric “I know, I know” etc; (which is repeated a total of twenty-six times) he explains that he had originally intended to write more lyrics for that part of the song:

"I wasn't going to do that, then Booker T. said, 'No, leave it like that.' I was going to write something there, but there was a general consensus in the studio. It was an interesting thing because I've got all these guys that were already established, and I was working in the factory at the time. Graham Nash was sitting right in front of me, just offering his support. Stephen Stills was playing and there was Booker T. and Al Jackson and Donald Dunn - all of the MGs except Steve Cropper. They were all these people with all this experience and all these reputations, and I was this factory worker just sort of puttering around. So when their general feeling was, 'Leave it like that,' I left it like that."

Bill Withers won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972. “Ain’t No Sunshine” is ranked 280th on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and the song has been covered by an eclectic array of musicians including Michael Jackson, Prince, Sting, Aaron Neville, BB King, Buddy Guy, DMX, Elvis Costello, Isaac Hayes, James Taylor, Lenny Kravitz and Tom Jones, just to name a few. Additionally, the song has appeared in the films Notting Hill, Old School, Amy, Crooklyn, and Munich.

In 2001, DMX covered the song (under the title "No Sunshine") for the film "Exit Wounds." The song was released as a single and peaked at #67 on the US R&B Charts. Furthermore, a music video was produced featuring DMX performing the song against clips from the film. Recently, Kris Allen covered the song during the eighth season and the finale of American Idol. Not bad for a B-side.

Many claimed at the time that Scottish singer-songwriter, Donovan Leitch was nothing more than a Bob Dylan imitator, but the music world soon thought differently as Donovan was an accomplished musician and story teller. His cut, “Sunshine Superman” hit the top of the Billboard charts in the fall of 1966 (knocking out the Lovin’ Spoonful’s summer ditty “Summer In The City) and subsequently became the title track of Donovan's third album.

Donovan had previously hit the charts in 1965 with the folk-flavored cut “Catch The Wind” and became well-known of both sides of the Atlantic with a series of television appearances (In Britain, he appeared an “Ready Steady Go!” and in America on the television show “Shindig”). The song is believed to be the first of many from the highly successful three-year collaboration between Donovan and producer Mickie Most and is generally considered to be one of the first examples of the musical genre that came to be known as psychedelia.

Donovan had a great relationship with the Beatles (he sang on the Beatles cut “Yellow Submarine” and Paul McCartney could be heard whispering on Donovan’s next single “Mellow Yellow”) and the song was originally subtitled "For John and Paul," a reference to Lennon and McCartney. In fact, Mickie Most told him not to play this to Paul McCartney under any circumstances, because he knew McCartney would be tempted to do something similar.

Donovan was recording for Pye Records while he was working on song. Pye also had Mickie Most under contract, but he moved to CBS before the album could be released. This prompted a lawsuit that delayed release of the album, so it didn't come out in the US until September, 1966, and wasn't released in the UK until 1967. This was unfortunate for Donovan, because this cut may have been considered much more innovative if it was released on schedule.

Interestingly, a session guitarist named Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin fame) played lead guitar on the song and this was Donovan's first collaboration with arranger/musician John Cameron, who helped develop a new sound for him (Cameron played the harpsichord on the record). The lyrics of the song allude not only to Superman, but also to another DC Comics superhero, Green Lantern and 'Sunshine' and 'Superman' are the first words in the first and second verses respectively.

The song has been covered by Hüsker Dü on their 1983 album, "Everything Falls Apart," New York punk band Alice Donut on their debut album "Donut Comes Alive," by songstress Jewel (for the soundtrack of the 1996 film "I Shot Andy Warhol"), Trini Lopez, Rickie Lee Jones and infamously by crooner Mel Tormé.

Although the ‘supergroup’ Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce) were not together very long, the group was able to lay down some of the best blues rock of their day and of all time. Included in this description is the instantly recognizable hit “Sunshine Of Your Love,” from their 1967 album Disraeli Gears. The song peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts in 1968 and stayed on the charts for an impressive twelve weeks.

The song was written by Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton with the lyrical help from Pete Brown (who also wrote lyrics for the Cream cuts “I Feel Free” and the classic cut “White Room”), a beat poet who was friends with Baker and Bruce.

However, development of the song actually began in January 1967, when Bruce and Clapton attended a Jimi Hendrix show in London. Bruce returned home and wrote the now memorable bass guitar riff that runs throughout the song.

"I picked up my double bass and played the riff," recalls Bruce. "Pete looked out the window and the sun was coming up. He wrote 'It's getting near dawn and lights close their tired eyes…'" Clapton later added the chorus ("I've been waiting so long…") which also yielded the song's title.

The song was almost not part of the album because of record company executive Ahmet Ertegun's dislike for Jack Bruce and his "Psychedelic hogwash." In fact, Atlantic Records initially rejected the song. However, Booker T. Jones (leader of Booker T. and the MG's) and a respected Atlantic musician heard the band rehearsing the song in the Atlantic studios and recommended it to the record company bosses. Based on this recommendation, Atlantic approved the recording. It's also rumored that the only reason that it was recorded was because they didn't have enough material to fill the album; although a song of this quality should certainly squash that statement.

The song appears on the soundtracks of the Movies School of Rock, Goodfellas, Uncommon Valor, and True Lies. Additionally, the cut was a set list staple for Jimi Hendrix throughout his 1968 and 1969 concerts. Other artists who covered the song are Ella Fitzgerald, the 5th Dimension, Frank Zappa, Ozzy Osbourne, Goo Goo Dolls, Toto, Elvis Costello and The Police and Living Colour (among others). The song was named the 65th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. In 2009 it was named the 44th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.

Cream played this at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 12, 1993 when they reunited for their induction. Eric Clapton still plays this song in concert, which is a testament to the longevity and magic of the song.

An upbeat and downright infectiously cheerful ditty called “Walking On Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves, hit the charts running in 1983 (from the LP “Walk On Water”) and the cut still has fans smiling and feeling happy after they hear it. Written by Kimberly Rew, founder of Katrina and the Waves, and sung with a bubbly-rushed tempo the cut has been used in a number of feature films including: The Secret of My Success (1987), Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997) and American Psycho (2000). Additionally, Jack Black's character in High Fidelity (2000) played this song on a cassette tape. A cover by the duo Aly & AJ was used in the Disney motion picture Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005).

This is also the favorite song of Philip J. Fry, a character from the Futurama TV Show. He sings this while showering, but the only words he remembers are "I'm walking on sunshine," so he hums the rest.

Katrina and the Waves are considered a one-hit-wonder in the United States (where the band name evoked unfortunate images after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster), but they had another hit in the UK with “Love Shine A Light,” which was entered in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Look for part-two on Sunday!

Copyright 2009- Robert Benson www.collectingvinylrecords.com

Classic Rock Videos

The Pretenders - Middle of the Road

Madonna Tops Money List

The Material Girl is at it again. Madonna has perennially been a big moneymaker in the world of music, earning between $40 and $50 million per year, but she certainly outdid herself in the period of June 2008 to June 2009 as she brings home enough money to top Forbes list of the Top-Earning Musicians.

The Forbes list also proves that, even if the music industry is falling on hard times, the big acts are making huge gains. The top ten musicians last year made a combined $500 million while this year's top ten brought in $719 million.

Here is this year's list:

•1. Madonna - $110 million

•2. Celine Dion - $100 million

•3. Beyonce Knowles - $87 million

•4. Bruce Springsteen - $70 million

•5. Kenny Chesney - $65 million

•6 (tie) Coldplay - $60 million

•6 (tie) Rascal Flatts - $60 million

•6 (tie) AC/DC - $60 million

•9. Eagles - $55 million

•10. Toby Keith - $52 million

•11. Bon Jovi - $50 million

•12. Dave Matthews Band - $45 million

Using Album Artwork as Your iPhone Background

This sure doesn't beat having the original album to look at, but maybe it can turn some young people on to some of the classic album cover art in music history.

Article by Shane Burley

Here are a few easy ways to use album cover art as your iPhone background.


One of the great things about the iPhone is the diversity of ways you can customize your device. The most basic way that people tend to customize their iPhone is by deciding the opening background image that shows up before you unlock your iPhone and reveal your application. These can be photos of different types that come from your computer, the internet, or even a photo taken on your high quality digital iPhone camera. Since you iPhone doubles as a full multimedia iPod you will notice that you have a surplus of album artwork from the music you upload onto it. This makes a great iPhone background when you are putting things together; especially when the liner notes of your favorite album is emblazoned on the front of your iPhone

Sync It

There are a couple different easy ways to make an album cover your iPhone background. The first way is to sync it to your iPhone like a simple photo. Take the cover art icon, if you do have the cover art, and put it into a normal photo folder. Find your iPhone under devices in iTunes and select it. Once you have it open go to the Photos tab. Make sure the Sync Photos From box is check then go to the pull down options and select Choose Folder. Go to the folder where you put the cover art and select it to be synced. Once it is in the Camera Roll select it and add it as background.


Another way to do this is by using a screenshot. Go to the album in your iPod and play a song from it. Once it is playing the album art will come up. Then just hit the power button and the Home button at the same time to take a screen shot. Then it will go to the Camera Roll and you can add it as your background. This will likely include the iPod controls in the picture, so you may want to go with the other way.


There are a number of other ways that you can get the album artwork onto your There are a number of other ways that you can get the album artwork onto your iPhone. You can scan it from the physical album cover, and many CDs now include digital information including artwork.


No suggestion or tip in this article indicates or promotes any illegal activity, copyright infringement or otherwise. http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/us/terms.html

SOURCE: http://www.brighthub.com

Casey, Counting 'Em Down One Last Time

The July 4th weekend will be the last countdown for radio veteran Casey Kasem. After 39 years (to the day) of playing the hits "from coast-to-coast," Kasem will sign-off his American Top 10 and American Top 20 syndicated radio programs.

Kasem and Premiere radio agreed that this was the time to end the franchise with Casey moving on to his other regular voice work in advertising and cartoons and Premiere saving some dollars. Ryan Seacrest will continue to host American Top 40, which he took over from Kasem in 2004.

American Top 40 premiered on the July 4th weekend in 1970 on just seven stations and was distributed by Watermark. Originally three hours in length, it had to move to four hours in 1978 due to the increased length of the hits of the day. The show was filled with information about the artists and songs, recaps of music from other genres and the infamous Long Distance Dedication.

Kasem left the show on August 6, 1988 over a contract dispute and it was taken over by Shadoe Stevens but it didn't keep him out of the countdown game for long. In 1989, Casey's Top 40 premired over the Westwood One radio network and quickly started stealing stations from the original AT40 roster.

Stevens' version of American Top 40 left the air in the U.S. in mid-1994 while Kasem's show was still going strong. In late-1997, Casey tried to talk his Westwoon One managers into letting him rename Casey's Top 40 to American Top 40, but they refused. Kasem took the show to AMFM Radio and the new version debuted on March 28, 1998.

Casey stayed with the new AT40 until January 10, 2004 when Ryan Seacrest took over the reins, leaving him with his Adult Contemporary versions, American Top 10 and 20 shows. Newly digitized versions of his 70's and 80's AT40 shows were also aired on satellite radio and, eventually, in syndication.

SOURCE: http://winkscollectibles.blogspot.com

This Date In Music History-June 25


Mario Calire – Wallflowers (1974)

Mike Kroeger – Nickelback (1972)

Georgios Panayiotou- aka George Michael – Wham! and public restroom freak (1963)

David Paich – Toto (1954)

Tim Finn - Split Enz (1952)

Allen Lanier - Blue Oyster Cult (1946)

Ian McDonald - King Crimson, Foreigner (1946)

Eddie Floyd – Falcons (1935)

Carly Simon (1945)

They Are Missed:

Born in 1940, Clint Warwick of the Moody Blues. He died from liver disease on May 18, 2004.

Born today in 1939, Harold Melvin of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. He died on March 24, 1997.

Songwriter Boudleaux Bryant died in 1987. Wrote with his wife Felice, the Everly Brothers hits, “Bye Bye Love,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Wake Up Little Susie.” Other acts to record their songs include Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello, R.E.M. and many more.

Hillel Slovak, the original guitarist and founding member of The Red Hot Chili Peppers died from a heroin overdose in 1988 shortly after the band returned from a European tour.

In 2007, American singer and record producer Hank Medress died of lung cancer at 68. He was the vocalist on The Tokens 1961 #1 hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Also produced the hit single “He's So Fine” by The Chiffons, as well as Tony Orlando's “Knock Three Times.”

Television producer and journalist Elkan Allan died in 2006 (age 83). Allan produced the ground-breaking British pop show Ready Steady Go! in the 60's.

Turkish-American music producer and arranger Arif Mardin died in 2006 (age 74) from pancreatic cancer. He worked at Atlantic Records for over 30 years, before moving to EMI. The winner of 11 Grammy Awards, he worked with Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Wilson Pickett, Average White Band, The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand and Norah Jones.


In 1964, New York radio station WMCA plays the entirety of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" album 10 days before it's due to be in stores. The record company rush-released the album the next day.

Today in 1966, "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. Also #1 hit in the UK.

In 1967, an estimated 400 million people saw The Beatles perform “All You Need Is Love,” live via satellite as part of the TV global link- up, 'Our World', Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Keith Moon and Gary Leeds provided backing vocals.

The Hollies recorded “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother” in 1969. Elton John played piano on the session.

Talking Heads’ fifth album, “Speaking in Tongues,'”was released in 1983. It became their highest-charting album, rising to #15 and launching the Top Ten hit “Burning Down the House.”

The film soundtrack to “Flashdance” started a two-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1983.

The Police scored their fourth US #1 album in 1983 with “Synchronicity,” also #1 in the UK and featuring the singles “Every Breath You Take” and “Wrapped Around Your Finger.”

Patti Scialfa joined the E Street Band as a vocalist in 1984. She would later become Mrs. Bruce Springsteen.

In 1988, Debbie Gibson went to #1 on the US singles chart with “Foolish Beat,” making her the youngest female to write, produce and record a US #1 single.

Van Halen started a four-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1988 with “OU812.”

In 1995, Pearl Jam canceled their tour because of an ongoing feud with Ticketmaster. They contended that the ticket giant held a monopoly and charged fans too big of a surcharge on concert tickets.

At a Grateful Dead show in Washington, D.C. in 1995, three people are struck by lightning.

Pink Floyd were at #1 on the US album chart in 1995 with “Pulse” the band’s fifth US #1.

In 2003, Ozzy Osbourne denied charges that he fathered a child out of wedlock, noting that he had a vasectomy 17 years ago. Nice try though.

2003 - The Recording Industry Association of America disclosed its plans to fight Internet piracy. The plan was to sue hundreds of individual computer users who illegally share music files online. The process was planned to begin the next day.

Prince's 'Purple Rain': 25th anniversary today

Purple Rain is an epic album by Prince and The Revolution and also the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

Purple Rain has regularly ranked among the best albums in rock music history. Time magazine ranked it the 15th greatest album of all time in 1993, and it placed 18th on VH1's Greatest Rock and Roll Albums of All Time countdown. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the second-best album of the 1980s and 72nd on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. According to Billboard magazine, the album spent 24 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard album charts (August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985) becoming one of the top soundtracks ever. Zounds magazine ranked it the 18th greatest album of all time. Finally, in 2007, the editors of Vanity Fair labeled it the best soundtrack of all time and Tempo magazine named it the greatest album of the 1980s.

The 1000th issue of Entertainment Weekly dated July 4, 2008 listed Purple Rain at number one on their list of the top 100 best albums of the past 25 years. The RIAA lists it as having gone platinum 13 times over.

Prince and The Revolution - When Doves Cry from the LP Purple Rain