Thursday, December 31, 2009

Audiophile Audition Review

14-album Stereo Reissue Set

If you’re been resisting the Beatles Remastered in Stereo package and you’re an audiophile, you’re missing out on a memorable sonic experience.

Published on December 13, 2009

14-album Stereo Reissue Set
SRP: $260
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Rubber Soul
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
Let It Be
Past Masters

It’s finally happened, similar to the recent Disney reissue of the classic animation features such as Snow White on Blu-ray, we now have the entire recorded catalog of the Beatles beautifully remastered on 14 single and double-CD enhanced CD albums, complete with 13 mini-documentaries on the recording of each album, as well as provided on a separate DVD - so you don’t have to put each CD into your computer to view them. A dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London spent four years using state of the art technology plus renovated vintage studio equipment to maintain the authenticity and integrity of the original analog recordings. There is also a separate Beatles Remastered Mono Set, gathering together all the Beatles recordings that were mixed for mono release (the stereo market was a small niche when most of the albums were originally released). It includes the mono album of both “Help,” and “Rubber Soul,” which have never been released on CD before. There are those Beatles fans who feel that the mono mixes are superior in every way to the early stereo versions, so let them indulge themselves in those if they wish.

I must say I held off on even requesting the stereo set for review since I had several of the albums in the excellent Mobile Fidelity reissues, plus a few British Parlophone vinyls of some of the originals such as Sgt. Pepper. Then I began to hear fellow audiophiles rave about the superb fidelity of these reissues and I decided to check into them. While I’m disappointed they were not released as hybrid SACDs like the Stones series, I’m bowled over by stunning results of the remastering to standard CD. They seem to come alive; one hears small details completely lost in all of the earlier CD transfers. I carefully compared the new reissue CDs to the Mo-Fi vinyls, using my highly tweaked SOTA turntable. I don’t really have any notes to consult, because the two sources sounded almost completely identical. The only obvious differences were observed when the level was turned way up and surface noise and rumble identified the vinyl vs. the CDs, or when the vinyl reach the last track close to the enter label, and the high frequencies began to be muffled vs. the clarity of the reissue CDs.

It was amazing how creative the Beatles and their producer George Martin were technically, considering they were restricted only to primitive four-channel recorders, and later on (by going to a more advanced studio than EMI) eight-track. Often they had to mix from one four-channel master to another to create more flexibility, and thus put all their vocals on one track, using the other three for additional instrumentals. Thus all the voices occasionally come out of just the left or right channel, but the newly-remastered versions often ameliorate this a bit by giving more of a center fill.

The original EMI tapes were in good shape, but the remastering engineers had to deal with a slight build up of dust. They transferred at 192K/24-bit via a Prism A-D converter. They removed electrical clicks, vocal pops on the mikes, excessive sibilance and bad edits, as long as it didn’t interfere with the original integrity of the songs. De-noising technology was used sparingly, with less than five of the 525 minutes of music subjected to the process. It was decided to use limiting only moderately so as to retain the original dynamics of the recordings. It is most satisfying to note that these reissues are not being compress to hell like most pop music on CD today. Comparisons were made with the earliest vinyl pressings as well as the original master tapes continuously during the remastering and equalization process.

While my set didn’t come with the boxed set detailed historical notes, booklets and posters, it had everything else. The only album without the Enhanced CD mini-documentaries is the double-CD Past Masters set. The short documentaries use mostly the “Ken Burns” zooming around effect on stills of the Beatles, but the soundtracks have comments by the various members and George Martin which give some background on the recording of the particular album. Some of the studio chat by the Beatles has never been heard before. Four of the albums are furnished in stereo on CD for the very first time: Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles for Sale.

I became a Beatles fan originally with their Revolver album, and on the mini-documentary George Martin and the members talk about how working on that one opened up more sophisticated and complex tunes than they had ever created before. Without the creativity and wizardry of Martin the Beatles would probably never have achieved the high levels they did, but at the same time Lennon and McCartney should be recognized as among the greatest pop song writers of the century.

I should mention another aspect of this reissue of special interest to all surround sound fans: The Beatles stereo recordings have long been mined for surround sound effects (also Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Beach Boys.). I think part of their abilities in this area must be due to the simple miking and four-track recordings they were working with. The fact is most of them have a tremendous amount of L-R difference information embedded in the stereo signals, which can be easily decoded. I started many years ago with a simple single speaker in the back, hooked up to a Hafler derived surround circuit (connecting an efficient speaker to the two + terminals of an amp). Then I progressing to a Dynaco box. Now we have ProLogic IIx, which does an even better job of deriving surround ambience from the L-R information on standard stereo recordings. You will frequently hear a single guitar in one of the surround speakers, for example, or a chorus of voices coming from behind you during a portion of a tune. Since the stereo source is now so much cleaner and hi-res, you will get even better pseudo-surround effects using ProLogic or Circle Surround decoding.

If you’re been resisting the Beatles Remastered in Stereo package and you’re an audiophile, you’re missing out on a memorable sonic experience - even if you have a bunch of the best Beatles vinyls and a good turntable. This is a fabulous Beatles Bonanza.

- John Henry

I want to thank John over at 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.

Michael Jackson's Thriller Video Added to National Film Registry

The video for Michael Jackson's Thriller was a groundbreaking masterpiece when it was released on December 2, 1983. The music video industry was still in its infancy and then along came Jackson and director John Landis to take it to a whole new level. This was not the three minute promotional video that played all day long on MTV, but a 14-minute short film with full storyline and closing credits. The choreography by Jackson and Michael Peters greatly improved on their already groundbreaking work on the Beat It video and the film even had additional, orchestrated music by Elmer Bernstein. To this day, it is still regarded as the highpoint of music videos.

The Thriller video has been selected to go into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board. The selected films are deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant and are to be "preserved for all time." Over the course of the year, hundreds of films are nominated by the general public and members of the National Film Preservation Board and the Library of Congress' film staff narrow the list down to 25 inductees.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ask Mr Music by Jerry Osborne

Let's continue our feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 24th year of syndication (1986-2010), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: In the summer of 1964, when I heard “A Hard Day's Night” on the radio for the first time, I was struck by both its title and distinctive opening.

The dynamic power chord open speaks for itself, so my question is about the title.

Unless it's the answer to a question about itself, “A Hard Day's Night” isn't even a complete sentence. Very strange wording indeed.

What is its origin? Was “A Hard Day's Night” a hit record first and then a film title later, or was it the other way around?
—Beatle Bob in Buffalo

DEAR BBB: These are great questions for our anniversary column. This week we begin our 24th year in syndication.

Fortunately, I have a recorded interview with “A Hard Day's Night” producer Walter Shenson, and I will transcribe for you the segments in which he discusses the topics prompting your letter:

“At first our picture was called “Beatles Number One” because we didn't yet have a title, and it was their first movie. Meanwhile I was getting these phone calls from United Artists' publicity people in New York asking what we were going to call this film. They were putting together the advertising and needed a title. I said I didn't know, but assured them we'd come up with something.

“Then John Lennon and I were just chatting on the set and he asked if I'd ever heard Ringo misuse the English language. I asked him to give me an example. He said if they were working hard at a recording session all night, the next day Ringo would say something about us really having a hard day's night.

“When you think about it, it really is a very interesting statement. Right then I told John “A Hard Day's Night” would be a good title for our movie. Fortunately, he agreed.

“So we went over and asked the director [Richard Lester] how he felt about it, and then the other three Beatles, and they all said it was fine and would be a great title. I think they were just relieved to not to have to think any longer about a title.

“I telephoned New York, and the publicity people at United Artists, saying here's your title: “A Hard Day's Night.” They said 'What?'

“I told them not to give me an answer right then, but to ask the secretaries their opinion and call me the next day.

“The following day they called to report that everyone at the New York office loved it.

“Now we had a title, but then it dawned on me that we didn't have a title song — and we had already recorded everything [written especially for the film]. In filmmaking, the songs are pre-recorded and then you just photograph the singers singing to their own tracks.

“So I mentioned to John one night that we needed to have another song, one titled “A Hard Day's Night.”

“His reaction was to ask what I was talking about.

“I explained by asking what kind of a producer would I be to have a film called “A Hard Day's Night,” starring the Beatles, and then NOT have a Beatles song called “A Hard Day's Night.” I asked him to please write this new song.

“The next morning, he and Paul called me into their dressing room — we were still shooting — and they played and sang to me their new song, “A Hard Day's Night.”

“Now, think about this: I got a hit song on demand! That's almost impossible. And it was one of their biggest hits ever.”

IZ ZAT SO? The United Artists soundtrack album, “A Hard Day's Night,” is the only one of the Beatles albums on which every track is written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, either individually or collectively.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, e-mail:, or visit his Web site: All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

News & Notes

Avenged Sevenfold Drummer Jimmy Sullivan Dies 

Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy Sullivan has passed away at the age of 28. Sullivan, who was also known as "The Rev," died at his home in Huntington Beach, southern California on Monday (December 28).

Reuters news agency reports the drummer died of natural causes. Sullivan’s death was confirmed in a statement on Avenged Sevenfold’s official website.

“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan,” the statement said.

“Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Orange County Coroner's Office has launched an investigation into Sullivan’s death.


This Week's New Music Releases

Christina Milian - Christina Milian
DJ Official - Entermission
Downhere - Ending is Beginning
Sam Cooke - The Unforgettable
Rhett Atkins - People Like Me
Clash - London Calling 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (CD & DVD) (remastered)
Dire Straits - Dire Straits (vinyl reissue)
Green Day - Bakuhatsu Live EP
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart (vinyl)
John Butler Trio - One Way Road
Midlake - Acts of Man (vinyl)
Neil Young - Greatest Hits (3-LP vinyl reissue)
Public Enemy - There's a Poison Goin' On... (remastered with bonus CD)
Super Furry Animals - Phantom Force (reissue with bonus CD)
Tangerine Dream - Legend (remastered)
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (2-LP vinyl reissue)
Critical Madness - Bringing Out the Dead
Coldstream Guards Band - Heroes



Lars Ulrich of Metallica says that he is suffering from tinnitus, which he described to CNN as a "constant ringing in the ears. It never sort of goes away. It never just stops."

The drummer said he first noticed the problem back in 1988. "I would fall asleep often with the television on, and I would wake up in the middle of the night to go turn the TV off. Except it wasn’t actually on. When I realized that I was doing that frequently, actually getting up to turn the TV off that was not on to begin with, I realized that maybe I had some issues."

This Date In Music History-December 30


Paul Stookey - Peter, Paul and Mary (1937)

Kenny Penifallo - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (1940)

Michael Nesmith - Monkees (1942)

Davy Jones - Monkees (1945)

Roger Glover - Deep Purple and Rainbow (1945)

Singer Patti Smith (1946)

Jeff Lynne - Move and E.L.O. Traveling Wilburys (1947)

Tyrese (1978)

They Are Missed:

Born today in 1934 - Del Shannon (1961 US #1 single "Runaway") Died on February 8, 1990.

Clarence Satchell from The Ohio Players died in 1995 (age 55). Scored the 1974 US #1 single "Fire" and had hits with "Skin Tight" and "Love Roller Coaster."

Johnny Moore of the Drifters ("Under The Boardwalk") died of respiratory trouble in London in 1998.

Born today in 1942, Robert Quine, guitarist, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, (1977 album 'Blank Generation' features the track 'Love Comes In Spurts'). Worked with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Lloyd Cole, They Might Be Giants. Found dead on May 31, 2004 of a heroin overdose.

Mary Frances Penick, better known as Skeeter Davis (December 30, 1931 – September 19, 2004)

Born on this day in 1928, Bo Diddley, (Elias McDaniel), guitarist, singer. When The Beatles first went to the US, John Lennon was asked what he would like to see; he replied 'Bo Diddley.' Diddley died from heart failure in Archer, Florida on June 2, 2008 (age 79)


In 1962, pop Singer Brenda Lee was slightly injured when she runs into her burning Nashville home to rescue her poodle, Cee Cee. However, it is too late as the pet, which toured the world with Lee, succums to smoke inhalation. The home is destroyed by the flames.

New Musical Express' Twelfth International Popularity Poll lists British acts at the top of most categories for the first time in 1963. The #1 male singer is Cliff Richard, the #1 group is the Beatles and the Record of the Year is "She Loves You."

The Beatles scored their 15th US #1 in 1967 with "Hello Goodbye," Gladys Knight and the Pips were at #2 with "I Heard It Through The Grape Vine" and The Monkees at #3 with "Daydream Believer."

Frank Sinatra recorded the epic cut "My Way" in 1968.

Bob Marley visited Island Records’ head Chris Blackwell at his London office in 1971. The resulting association will make a superstar of Marley and establish Island as THE reggae label.

Swedish pop group, Abba, the world's most successful singing group of the decade, garner a US gold record for their Greatest Hits album in 1976.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the art-rock supergroup beloved by millions of fans and hated by most rock critics, annouced their break-up in 1978.

The J. Geils Band enjoy the biggest LP of their career with "Freeze-Frame," which turns gold on this date in 1981. The album will go on to #1 early in 1982.

In 1999, George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Olivia beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Harrison who was stabbed in the chest was admitted to hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and various minor stab wounds. His wife, Olivia, was treated for cuts and bruises she had suffered in the struggle with the intruder. Police later arrested Michael Abram from Liverpool who had nursed an irrational obsession with the Beatles.

Nickelback went to #1 on the US singles chart in 2001 with "How To Remind Me."

Diana Ross was arrested for drunk driving by the Arizona highway patrol in 2002 after a motorist called to report a swerving vehicle in the western state of Arizona. When asked to walk in a straight line she fell over, could not count to 30 or balance on one foot. Police said the singer was twice over the drink drive limit with a blood-alcohol of 0.20, the legal limit is 0.08.

Young Jeezy was at #1 on the US album chart in 2006 with "The Inspiration" the rappers fourth album.

In 2006, 8,500 people attend Soul legend James Brown’s funeral service in Augusta, GA. Speakers included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Michael Jackson. The Godfather of Soul passed away five days earlier in Atlanta.

In 2007, Ian Anderson was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year's Honours list. The Jethro Tull frontman was recognized for his contributions to music in the United Kingdom. Anderson seems to take the honor in stride. "A lowly MBE . . . requires only a discrete bow or curtsey from friends and family," writes the singer in an online post. "The rest of you can tell me to bugger off." That's graditude for you....

Patti Smith: Dream Of Life, a documentary about "Godmother of Punk," aired on PBS in 2009. In the works since ’96, the film was broadcast on the singer's 63rd birthday. "My own personal hope is just that people get some sense that I have more dimensions than is sometimes reported," Smith told the New York Times.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This Date In Music History-December 28


Johnny Otis - 1958 US #9 single "Willie And The Hand Jive" (1921)

Charles Neville - Neville Brothers (1938)

Alan Schwartzberg - session drummer extraordinaire (1942). Schwartzberg has worked with the likes of John Lennon, Barry Manilow, Richie Havens, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Jimi Hendrix (overdubs on the notorious "Crash Landing" and "Midnight Lightning" albums), KISS, and many others.

Edgar Winter - Edgar Winter Group (1946)

Dick Diamonde - Easybeats (1947)

Alex Chilton - Box Tops (1950)

Born today in 1953 - Richard Clayderman, French pianist who has sold over 70 million albums world-wide.

Country singer Joe Diffie (1958)

Marty Roe - Diamond Rio (1960)

John Legend (John Stephens) (1978)

Akon (Aliaune Thiam) (1979)

They Are Missed:

Chris Bell, guitarist with Big Star, was killed after his car crashed into a telephone pole in 1978 (age 27).

In 1983, after a heavy day's drinking, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson drowned while swimming from his boat moored in Marina Del Rey, California. With the help of President Reagan he was given a burial at sea, normally reserved for Navel personnel. Dennis was the only genuine surfer in The Beach Boys.

Born on this day in 1915, Roebuck 'Pop' Staples, vocals, The Staple Singers. Died December 19, 2000.

The body of Barry Cowsill of the Cowsills ("Hair") was discovered in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.


Drifters singer Clyde McPhatter's first solo hit, "Seven Days," enters the R&B chart in 1955. It will peak at #3 and go on to #44 on the pop chart next year.

The Doors' "Touch Me" was released in 1968.

The Beatles went to #1 on the US album chart in 1968 with the "White Album," the group's 12th US #1 album.

The Miami Festival, the first big rock festival held on the east coast, got under way in Hallendale, Florida in 1968. Tickets go for six and seven dollars and 100,000 people show-up at the three day event. Those appearing included: Jose Feliciano, Procul Harem, Three Dog Night, Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, the Turtles and Canned Heat.

In 1971, Keith Moon emcees a concert for one of his favorite acts, Fifties revivalists, Sha Na Na at New York's famed Carnegie Hall.

Helen Reddy went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1974 with "Angie Baby," the singers third US #1. The song was turned down by Cher.

In 1975, Ted Nugent, known for gun-toting hunting epics in his native Michigan, ends up looking at the wrong end of the barrel at a show in Spokane, Washington. Twenty-five year old David Gelfer pointed a .44 magnum at the Nuge and was then brought down to the ground by members of the audience and security guards. Gelfer was charged with "intimidating with a weapon."

Rolling Stone magazine voted "Some Girls" by The Rolling Stones 'Album of the Year' in 1978.

In 1979, the Who, Pretenders, Specials and others perform at the third of four shows for the people of Kampuchea.

WEA (Warner/Elektra/Asylum) followed the lead set by RCA last month and raised its list price for 45 rpm singles to $1.99 in 1981.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam all appeared at Del Mar O'brien Pavilion, San Diego, California in 1991.

In 1991, nine fans were crushed to death at a charity basketball game in New York that was to feature Heavy D, Boys II Men and Run-D.M.C. Two thousand people tried to cram into a gym built for a few hundred.

In 1998, singer Ronnie Hammond of the Atlanta Rhythm Section was shot in the chest by a Macon police after allegedly lunging at an officer with a broken guitar handle and a hammer. Police were responding to reports that the singer was trying to commit suicide. Hammond makes a full recovery. This was the second incident with the police for Hammond. On December 9, 1998, police responded to an earlier suicide attempt.

50 Cent's debut album, 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin' was named the biggest selling album in the US in 2003 with the album going platinum six times over.

In 2005, Pink Floyd were voted the greatest rock stars ever in a survey of 58,000 listeners from UK radio station Planet Rock. Led Zeppelin were voted into second place, 3rd was The Rolling Stones, 4th The Who, 5th, AC/DC, 6th, U2, 7th, Guns N’ Roses, 8th, Nirvana, 9th, Bon Jovi and in 10th place Jimi Hendrix. Listeners also named the 1970s as the golden age of rock, followed by the 1960’s.

In 2008, John Lennon appeared in a television ad for One Laptop Per Child, a charity group that provides educational tools to underprivileged children. Thanks to digital technology, Lennon speaks about the importance of the organization's work. "You can give a child a laptop and more than imagine, you can change the world," says Lennon in the spot.

News & Notes

New NIN Coming For 2010

Trent Reznor dropped a little Christmas present to fans on the Nine Inch Nails Website, promising that the new year will bring new music from his new studio-only project. “2010 has a number of things planned including new material from Nine Inch Nails and something else that isn’t Nine Inch Nails,” Reznor wrote. “I am in a state of rediscovery and reinvention that feels unfamiliar, unsure and exactly what I need.”


Sir Paul Solo Work To Rock Band

Paul McCartney became a video game avatar earlier this year with his Beatle bandmates in The Beatles: Rock Band, but until now the series has been devoid of any solo Macca material. On January 5th, this will change, when three tracks from McCartney’s live Good Evening, New York City will be added to the Rock Band and LEGO Rock Band marketplace as downloadable content. The “New York Pack 01″ will feature “Band on the Run,” “Jet” and “Sing the Changes,” all taken from McCartney’s epic shows at New York’s new home of the Mets, Citi Field. The tracks will become available for XBox 360 and Wii on January 5th, while Playstation 3 users can get their hands on the content on January 7th.


Singer-Songwriter Vic Chesnutt Dies at 45

Vic Chesnutt, the Georgia-based singer-songwriter known for his darkly comic songs, died yesterday in Athens, Georgia, after spending several days in a coma caused by an overdose of muscle relaxers.

Read about it here:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Interesting Stuff

Read an interview with J. Robbins of Jawbox

Make Your Own Album Cover Art Contest

Local hi-fi legend Merrill taps 'energy management' to drive new turntable
Puts new spin on vinyl

Memphian George Merrill -- a leader in the world of high-fidelity turntables since the 1970s -- and his business partner, Robert Williams, will debut a new turntable at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January.

With more than 3,000 exhibitors, the Consumer Electronics Show is the nation's biggest tech trade show. It drew 113,085 attendees in 2009. The event is scheduled for Jan. 7-10.

Music-obsessed Memphians may remember Merrill's emporium, Underground Sound, which was just east of Central and Cooper. His new turntable will also be manufactured in Memphis.

Read the rest here:

News & Notes

Book Of Eli Soundtrack

Reprise Records will release the original motion picture soundtrack to the Hughes Brothers-directed feature film Book Of Eli on January 12th, 2010 — three days before the film hits theaters nationwide on January 15th, 2010.

The Book of Eli Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features an original score by composer/musician/producer Atticus Ross, marking his third collaboration with the Hughes Brothers and his first feature film score. Ross' music is a unique hybrid score of electronic and organic elements; writing with his wife (Claudia Sarne) and brother (Leopold Ross), the basic tracks were recorded at his studio in Los Angeles before departing to London where it was finished in Abbey Road Studios with a full 80-piece orchestra.

The soundtrack will be released as a standard CD as well as in three digital packages: A standard version available from all digital service providers, a deluxe version featuring three bonus tracks ("The Bridge," "Carnergie's Purpose," and "Dissolve") from all DSP's excluding iTunes, and an exclusive iTunes package featuring the three bonus tracks listed above plus a remix of "Panoramic" by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. A vinyl version of the soundtrack will be released in February.


Metallica Make History

Metallica received a big Christmas gift from Nielsen SoundScan with news that their Black Album has reportedly earned a historic distinction. BW&BK has the story:

Metallica's self-titled album from 1991 (known as the black album) has surpassed Shania Twain's 1997 CD "Come On Over" to become the best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard on March 1, 1991. Metallica has sold 15,490,000 copies whereas Come On Over has sold 15,487,000.

Yahoo's chart watch says that " Metallica is the only fourth album to head Nielsen/SoundScan's "release to date" chart, which lists the albums that have sold the most copies in its history." more Interestingly, the RIAA website shows that the Twain album is 20 times platinum (20 million). The SoundScan numbers are based on actual sales where as the RIAA base their numbers on the number of albums that the record company has shipped. The latest numbers we have from SoundScan were from last year's recap where they show Metallica with sales of 15,319,000 and the Twain album with 15,473,000, so this looks legit to us!

The RIAA site says that the Metallica self-titled album earned its latest multi-platinum award on November 13th when it was recognized for shipping 15 X platinum. (15 million). Guess they were a little behind. -

Saturday, December 26, 2009

News & Notes

U2 Club Members Get Bonus

U2 fan club members will have the chance to get a special new release called Artificial Horizon consisting of remixes of some of their best known songs of the past 12 years plus a few updated album tracks.

Their official site describes the album:

It's almost 15 years since the remix CD Melon was released exclusively to subscribers of the band's magazine Propaganda. Now comes Artificial Horizon, an all-new limited edition album of U2 remixes only for subscribers. From Trent Reznor's remix of Vertigo to Jacknife Lee's take on Fast Cars and David Holmes's remix of Beautiful Day, this specially produced 13-track CD features stretches from the Grand Jury Mix of If God Will Send His Angels in 1997 to the Fish Out Of Water mix of Get On Your Boots. Conceived and produced for subscribers. 'Artificial Horizon' will be mailed to qualifying subscribers from late January 2010.


Vinyl pressing is back thanks to Montreal's Rip-V

Vinyl groove

Meg Hewings

With the advent of the digital download, CD sales are down, but the love of vinyl is holding strong. Vinyl sales hit record numbers in 2009 and a new vinyl pressing plant in Montreal, the one-and-only in Canada, is ready to meet demand.

Rip-V opened eight months ago in the Montreal suburb of St-Lambert and is currently pressing Tom Waits' latest live album, and just finished pressing Orange Orange's first 12-inch and We Are Wolves' Invisible Violence.

Philippe Dubuc, co-owner, president and presser at Rip-V, says vinyl's tangibility, fidelity and nostalgic appeal is helping the analog medium make a resurgence.

In 2007, local distributor f.a.b. purchased presses in New Jersey, and then brought Dubuc onboard to learn and revive the art in Canada. Dubuc now presses around 5,000 records weekly, and with only six of the 13 presses up and firing, there's room to grow.

"In the digital revolution, the physical aspect of music is disappearing. In this context, vinyl is a hundred times more interesting than a CD, because it has a social and physical aspect: You sit down and listen to vinyl, you're deeply involved in experience of the music."

Dubuc says given the historical context for music formats, "this better sounding medium" is helping drive sales among audiophiles and fidelity freaks, and the new iPod generation. "It's kids in their teens and 20s that are moving
towards this medium now. Artists make records and they spend time on the art, the liner notes and the cover. This doesn't show up on an iPod screen."

At present, indie Epitaph is Rip-V's biggest client, but word of mouth has helped the upstart press make the rounds. "Everyone is looking for vinyl, so word gets around quickly."



IMMOLATION: 'Majesty And Decay' Cover Artwork Unveiled

Veteran death metallers IMMOLATION will release their eighth album, "Majesty And Decay", on March 9, 2010 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded Millbrook Sound Studios in New York with longtime producer Paul Orofino. Mixing duties were handled by Zack Ohren, who has previously worked with DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION and ALL SHALL PERISH, among others.

IMMOLATION's new album contains "10 songs [plus two intros] of the strongest material we have ever written," the band said in a statement. "The new material is more violent and aggressive, with fast sections that take us to a new level of speed and intensity, while complementing the dark and sullen heavier moments. There are plenty of miserable and militant movements to please the diehard and new IMMOLATION fans alike."

This Date In Music History-December 26


Born on this day, Abdul 'Duke' Fakir - Four Tops (1935)

Phil Spector (full name Harvey Phillip Spector) was born in the Bronx section of New York in 1940. As a producer, as well as a songwriter, label owner, and session player, Spector has had a significant influence on the course of rock & roll. The "wall of sound" that he perfected in the early '60s opened unlimited possibilities for arrangements and sound construction in rock and pop music.

Henning Schmitz - Kraftwerk (1953)

Lars Ulrich - Metallica (1955)

Jay Noel Yuenger - White Zombie (1967)

Peter Klett - Candlebox (1969)

James Mercer - The Shins (1970)

Jared Joseph Leto - 30 Seconds to Mars (1971)

Chris Daughtry (1979) Daughtry was the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. His band's self-titled debut 2007 US #1 album sold more than 1 million copies after just five weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album of all time.

They Are Missed:

Bluesman Freddie King died in Dallas in 1976 at the age of 42. He was a major influence on many British rockers such as Eric Clapton.

Soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter Curtis Mayfield died in 1999 (age 57).


Bill Haley and the Comets' "See You Later Alligator" was released by Decca Records in 1955. Topping out at #6 on the pop chart, it will be his biggest hit since "Rock Around the Clock."

In 1956, Fats Domino's "Blue Monday" entered the pop chart, eventually peaking at #9. Mickey and Sylvia made their pop chart debut with "Love is Strange," which peaked at #13.

In 1963, Capitol Records, the EMI-affiliated company which has rejected U.S. rights to every Beatles record offered so far, finally rush-releases "I Want to Hold Your Hand" b/w "I Saw Her Standing There." Within five weeks, it will hit Number One.

The Beatles started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1964 with "I Feel Fine." It was the group's 6th #1 of the year in which they had 30 entries on the chart, giving them a total of 18 weeks at the top of the charts.

In 1964, after a year of being criticized for their long hair, the Rolling Stones took out an ad in the New Musical Express wishing “starving hairdressers and their families a Happy Christmas.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an afternoon show at The Uppercut Club, London in 1966. Hendrix also wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in the dressing room on the same day.

In 1967, BBC Television broadcast The Beatles' movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in black and white. The next day, the British press and the viewing public pronounce the film an utter disaster. The negative reaction was so strong that a US television deal for broadcasting the movie was cancelled.

Led Zeppelin started their first North American tour in 1968, supporting Vanilla Fudge and Spirit at Denver Auditorium, Colorado, tickets for this Sunday night gig cost $5.

George Harrison started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "My Sweet Lord," making him the first Beatle to score a #1 US hit. The song was originally intended for Billy Preston.

"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band," Lennon’s debut album as a solo artist, entered the album charts in 1970. This stark, confessional recording is regarded by many as his greatest achievement.

In 1979, the first night of a series of concerts were held at The Hammersmith Odeon in London for the People of Kampuchea, featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. The events, which were organised by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim, were aimed to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia.

AC/DC started a three-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1981 with 'For Those About To Rock We Salute You'.

Notorious BIG was at #1 on the US album chart in 1999 with "Born Again."

2Pac went to #1 on the US album chart in 2004 with "Loyal To The Game."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This Date In Music History-December 24


Lemmy Kilmister (Lemmy) - Hawkwind, Motorhead (1945)

Jan Akkerman - Focus (1946)

Blues-rock guitarist George Thorogood (1950)

Ian Burden - Human League (1957)

Mary Ramsey - 10,000 Maniacs (1963)

Ricky Martin (real name Enrique Martin Morales) - Latin music star and former lead singer of Menudo (1971)

They Are Missed:

The late Lee Dorsey ("Working In The Coal Mine") was born in 1924 (died December 1, 1986)

In 1954, Johnny Ace shot himself dead backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. The R&B singer was playing with a revolver during a break between sets, someone in the room said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s OK the gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face.

Zeke Carey of The Flamingos died in 1999. Had the 1959 #11 single "I Only Have Eyes For You."

Four Seasons bassist Nick Massi died of cancer in 2000. They scored the 1976 UK & US #1 single "December 1963, Oh What A Night," as well as hits with "Sherry," and "Rag Doll," among others.


In 1906, Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, MA.

Enrico Caruso gave his last public performance, when he sang in Jacques Halevy's "La Juive" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1920.

In 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," was first broadcast by NBC. It was the first opera written specifically for television.

Bobby Darin recorded "Beyond The Sea" in 1958.

In 1960, the Philadelphia Orphan's Court raises Chubby Checker's (real name Ernest Evans) weekly allowance from $150 to $200. The 19 year old singer has already put three songs, "The Class," "The Twist" and "The Hucklebuck," in the pop Top Forty.

In 1961, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" becomes the first African song to hit #1 on the US pop chart. The American version, recorded by the Tokens, is a translation of a South African folk song known as "Mbube" and "Wimoweh."

The Beatles earned yet another gold record in 1965 for the album Rubber Soul, just two-and-a-half weeks after its release. The record, which includes, "I've Just Seen A Face," "Norwegian Wood," "Girl," "Michelle," "In My Life" and "You Won't See Me," is seen by critics as a turning point in their career, marking their progression to a more serious brand of pop music.

In 1966, Tommy James & the Shondells recorded "I Think We're Alone Now," which will become a huge "bubble gum" hit. It peaks at #4 in its seventeen weeks on the chart and is one of the group's seven Top Ten hits.

A 1972 concert by Manfred Mann and His Earth Band was cut short by Miami police, sparking a two hour riot by students at the University of Miami. Since residents complained about the group's volume, the power to the P.A. was cut during the encore. As the battle rages, Mann and the band hide in a dressing room.

James Taylor, Carly Simon, Linda Rondstadt and Joni Mitchell were spotted crooning Christmas carols around the streets of Los Angeles in 1974.

The Bee Gees started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1977 with "How Deep Is Your Love," the group's 4th US #1. It stayed in the top 10 for 17 weeks giving it the longest chart run in history.

Also in 1977, the Sex Pistols played their last ever UK gig, (until 1996), before splitting, at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield. It was a charity performance before an audience of mainly children.

Anita Baker started a four-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1988 with "Giving You The Best That I Got."

Poison started a three-week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

In 1988, Nirvana started recording their first album 'Bleach' using a $600 loan from an old school friend.

Pearl Jam went to #1 on the US album chart in 1994 with "Vitalogy."

The Gin Blossoms called it quits in 1997 although the group reformed a few years later.

In 2003, Jack White of The White Stripes turned himself in to Detroit police to face aggravated assault charges stemming from a bar room altercation in which he allegedly attacked Jason Stollsteimer of The Von Bondies. White was also fingerprinted and formally booked on the charges before he was released on bail.

In 2005, Rapper Foxy Brown was handcuffed and threatened with jail after she stuck her tongue out at a New York judge who asked her to stop chewing gum. Judge Melissa Jackson told the singer, she had showed disrespect to the court. Brown was in court on charges of assaulting two nail salon workers during a row over payment.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our new feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2009), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: You recently wrote about the success, or lack of it, of some very familiar Christmas records.

As a big fan of nearly all of the British Invasion acts of the 1960s, I don't ever recall hearing a single Christmas or holiday hit by any of them. This seems a bit odd since, for much of that decade, the Brits dominated our pop music.

Are there ones that I just somehow missed?

Also, how many U.S. Christmas hits also made it big in the UK in the '60s?
—Geoff Walley, Show Low, Ariz.

DEAR GEOFF: If there are any you missed, then I must have also missed them.

For that entire decade, only three U.S. artists, and five Christmas songs, entered the British New Musical Express (NME) Top 30:

Brenda Lee did so twice, with “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree” (1962) and “Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day” (1964).

Elvis Presley also scored with two tunes, “Blue Christmas” (1964) and “If Everyday Was Like Christmas” (1966).

The fifth is Roy Orbison's “Pretty Paper” (1964).

By drastically expanding your parameters, one might consider Engelbert Humperdinck's “Winter World of Love” a candidate, but I can't quite make that leap.

Granted, Engelbert is indeed British, by residence and not birth, but he is still not one normally lumped in with British Invasion groups and singers.

“Winter World of Love,” about a winter romance sans holiday references, came out in December 1969, the last month of the '60s.

Conspicuous by their absence are several American classics whose fame surprisingly didn't traverse the Atlantic: Beach Boys - “Little Saint Nick”; Brook Benton - “You're All I Want for Christmas”; Carpenters - “Merry Christmas Darling”; Chipmunks with David Seville - “The Chipmunk Song”; Nat King Cole - “The Christmas Song”; Bing Crosby - “Do You Hear What I Hear”; Drifters - “White Christmas”; Elmo & Patsy - “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”; Jose Feliciano - “Feliz Navidad”; 4 Seasons or Bruce Springsteen - “Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town”; and Bobby Helms - “Jingle Bell Rock.”

A fellow named Max Bygraves did make the NME survey with a version of “Jingle Bell Rock” (1959).

DEAR JERRY: In a previous column you told of how Linda Laurie's “Ambrose (Part 5)” was her first “Ambrose” record, and, despite the subtitle, no previous parts existed.

How about Little Stevie Wonder's smash hit “Fingertips Part 2”? Is there even a Part 1? If so, I have never heard it.
—Judy Phillip, Milwaukee

DEAR JUDY: Unlike the “Ambrose” example, there is a “Fingertips Part 1,” and you'll find it in the most logical of places: on the reverse side of “Fingertips Part 2” (Tamla 54080).

The original recording, from a June 1962 Chicago concert, runs about six-and-a-half minutes, all of which is fine for a track on Stevie's “Jazz Soul” album. “Fingertips” was, however, much too long for a single release.

They solved the problem by splitting the track roughly in the middle and assigning each half a part number, with “Fingertips Part 2” being the more commercial side by far, and a No. 1 hit.

Z ZAT SO? When “Fingertips Part 2” topped the charts (August 1963), it became the first live performance recording to reach No. 1 since Johnny Standley's “It's in the Book” (November 1952).

Ironically, “It's in the Book,” a comedy routine, also runs over six minutes and, like “Fingertips,” ended up on a single in two parts.

Unlike “Fingertips,” both sides of “It's in the Book” enjoyed equal popularity.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, e-mail:, or visit his Web site: All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Steven Tyler Enters Rehab

It seems that all the troubles that Tyler has experienced in the last few weeks, now have a cause. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler has checked into rehab to kick painkillers and made it clear that he still considers himself a member of the band.

Tyler released a statement yesterday, stating "With the help of my family and team of medical professionals, I am taking responsibility for the management of my pain and am eager to be back on the stage and in the recording studio with my bandmates Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford.

"I love Aerosmith; I love performing as the lead singer in Aerosmith. I am grateful for all of the support and love I am receiving and am committed to getting things taken care of."

Tyler also talked further with Rolling Stone on the band. "I wish to set the record straight and say that I have read reports of a rumored two-year hiatus and want to be clear that this is completely false and I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled."

Over the past ten years, Tyler has been treated for numerous injuries and ailments and, according to his doctors, will still need additional surgery on his knees and feet to try to aleve the chronic pain.


James Gurley of Big Brother and the Holding Company Passes Away

James Gurley, guitarist for Big Brother and the Holding Company, passed away on Sunday in Palm Springs from a heart attack. He was 69.

Gurly formed the group with Peter Albin and Chet Helms in 1965 and, a year later, they were joined by lead singer Janis Joplin. Big Brother stayed together after Joplin left the group in 1969 but broke up three years later. Gurley was part of the reformed version of the group from 1987 to 1996.


Six Feet Under Reveals New Album, "Graveyard Classics 3," Cover Art

Tampa, FL groove death metal Six Feet Under has revealed the cover art for their 3rd installment of the band's cover series, "Graveyard Classics 3," due out on Metal Blade Records on January 15th/18th 2010. "Graveyard Classics 3" was recorded at D.O.I. Digital Audio in Tampa, FL, was mixed at Audiohammer Studios by Mark Lewis, and was produced by Chris Barnes.

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Christmas tree made of old vinyl records strikes a chord with residents

By Bruce R. Posten

It's one for the record books.

A nearly 14-foot-high Christmas tree made from old musical recordings adorns an art studio at the 200-acre residential development at Galen Hall Corp., South Heidelberg Township.

"We hate to throw things out, so we like to recycle everything around here," said Tom Masano, 92, company vice president, who joined Bob Wasko, Galen Hall manager, in designing and creating the holiday work of art.

They did it all in a little over a day.

Masano said the old records were lying around for years. He speculated that they were left by a former resident of one of the homes.

Masano said he had seen photographs in a newspaper of evergreens decorated with soda cans and coat hangers, so a Christmas tree made out of old 20th-century recordings didn't seem to be farfetched.

In fact, it has turned into a top hit among area residents.

"We put a slab of an oak tree on the bottom for the trunk," Masano said. "Having holes in the records made it perfect to attach the tree to the wall with pushpins."

The studio where the tree is located is actually part of an old kitchen that escaped destruction in the hotel fire at the popular South Mountain resort in the early 1960s.

The Christmas tree appears to be a very environmentally friendly thing to do, although it's mostly black with some of the records spray-painted gold, silver, red, white and blue.

And what about that red star at the top of the tree?

"We traced the star and cut it out with a small tool," Masano said.

It's really a record, but obviously no longer a round one.


Ill. Library Receives Vinyl Record 47 Years Late

Never Too Late? Illinois Library Gets Vinyl Album Returned Almost 50 Years After It Was Due

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - You can't blame the person who recently returned an old vinyl record to an Illinois library for slipping quickly out the door. The record was a little late.

OK, 47-seven years late.

Fondulac District Library Director Amy Falasz-Peterson says the album by 1950s pop singer Julius La Rosa was checked out on Feb. 12, 1962 and was returned this month.

She says a person told library officials that they found the record among the belongings of a family member who had died. That person then left the library in East Peoria.

It's been so long since the record was checked out that the library doesn't know who the scofflaw was, but the fine would be $871.90.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Music Releases - December 22, 2009

Slim pickings as we approach the Christmas holidays, although there are some great releases to choose from including Mary J. Blige with Stronger with Each Tear, new music from Mudvayne and Lady GaGa with Bad Romance (Remixes) EP, among others. Some nice vinyl to be had starting with Animal Collective’s Fall Be Kind EP, Neil Young - Greatest Hits and the Madonna - Celebration 4-LP set. Also look for the Best of Bryan Ferry, The Legend Lives On from Buddy Holly (3 CDs), Public Image Ltd - Plastic Box (4-CD box set), Everly Brothers - Dream Dream Dream (3 CDs), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Live Anthology (UK 9-disc box set) as well as the Dave Matthews Band - Europe 2009 (Box Set). Also a good buy would be the Blue Note Highlights Collectors Box (8-CD box set) and the Complete Introduction to Tamla Motown (4 CD set). Watch for things to heat up in January, with lots of great music still in the works!

Buy Vinyl Here: CollectingVinyl

Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind EP (vinyl)
Arthur Brown - Tantric Lover
Arthur Brown & Jimmy Carl Black - Brown, Black & Blue
Ash - F (vinyl)
Blur - All the People (2-CD)
Bones Thugs-N-Harmony - Uni5 The World's Enemy
Box Tops - Neon Rainbow Best of
Browns - Country Music Odyssey
Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen
Bryan Ferry - Best of Bryan Ferry (Deluxe Edition) (CD & DVD)
Buddy Holly - Legend Lives On (3 CDs)
Celtic Woman - When You Believe
Charlie Rich - Ballads of
Dave Matthews Band - Europe 2009 (Box Set)
Elvis Presley - Elvis Now
Elvis Presley - From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee
Elvis Presley - Good Times
Eminem - Relapse- Refill
Everly Brothers - Dream Dream Dream (3 CDs)
Flash - Flash
Great Lake Swimmers - Song Sung Blue EP
Hans Zimmer - Sherlock Holmes (Soundtrack)
Hurricane Chris - Unleashed
Isaac Hayes - Sings for Lovers
James Brown - The Singles, Volume Eight 1972-1973
John Reuben - Sex, Drugs and Self-Control
Journey - The Essential Journey
Lady Antebellum - American Honey (Single)
Lady GaGa - Bad Romance (Remixes) EP
Landscape - Landscape / Manhattan Boogie Woogie
Leo Sayer - Show Must Go On The Very Best of (2 CDs)
Love - Love Lost (vinyl)
Madonna - Celebration (4-LP vinyl)
Mantovani - Christmas Carols (Remastered)
Mary J. Blige - Stronger with Each Tear
Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly (vinyl reissue)
Metallica - Orgullo, Passion Y Gloria (2-CD 2-DVD box set)
Mick Ronson - Play Don't Worry
Mick Ronson - Slaughter on 10th Avenue
Mike Batt - Music Cube (14 CDs/2 DVDs)
Mudvayne - Mudvayne
Neil Young - Greatest Hits (Vinyl)
Nelly Furtado - Más (Humby Remix)
Ng2 - Exitos Y Mas
Pete Sinfield - Still (2 CDs)
Peter Banks - Two Sides of
Prince Lasha - Insight
Public Image Ltd - Metal Box (Vinyl Replica Edition) (remastered 3-CD box set)
Public Image Ltd - Plastic Box (4-CD box set)
Rain Parade - Crashing Dream (reissue)
Ray Charles - Sings for Lovers
Ray Price - City Lights
Royaltones - Detroit Rock N Roll Began Here!
Timbaland - Morning After Dark (feat. Nelly Furtado & SoShy) Remixes - EP
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Live Anthology (UK 9-disc box set)
Tone Trump - Trump Life
Various Artists - Blue Note Highlights Collectors Box (8-CD box set)
Various Artists - Complete Introduction to Tamla Motown (4 CDs)
Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1951
Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1952
Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1953
Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1954
Various Artists - Country & Western Hit Parade 1955
Various Artists - Nippon Girls Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-1970
Various Artists - The Twilight Saga New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2-LP vinyl)
Various Artists - This Is Gothic The Bat Cave Anthology
Who - Greatest Hits
Wondermints - Kaleidoscopin' Exploring Prisms of the Past
Young Money - We Are Young Money
Zone d’Ta - Esto Tiene Boom Boom

Music News & Notes

Amazing Decade For Veteran Musicians

It was a great decade for the Rolling Stones, U2 and Madonna. They all grossed over $800 million on the road over the course of ten years.

Even more amazing is that U2, who is also the number one touring act of 2009, sold out every one of their 288 shows since 2000.

Billboard's Top Tour Artists of the 2000's

•1. Rollings Stones (Gross: $869 million/Attendance: 8.2 million/190 of 264 shows sold out)
•2. U2 ($844 million/9.9 million/288 of 288)
•3. Madonna ($801 million/6.4 million/244 of 248)
•4. Bruce Springsteen ($688 million/8.6 million/248 of 403)
•5. Elton John ($604 million/5.8 million/470 of 541)


Page Wants Work

Jimmy Page plans to return to the stage in 2010, but it won’t be alongside the rest of Led Zeppelin. With Robert Plant and Alison Krauss working on the follow-up to the Grammy-winning Raising Sand and John Paul Jones now playing with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl in Them Crooked Vultures, Page is tired of waiting to rock and will take whatever new material he’s cultivated to the stage next year.

“We’re running up to Christmas now and next year I have every intention of playing music live and manifesting it,” Page tells Sky News (via Spinner). “I’ve got the music waiting, and that’s what I’ll be doing. It’s been two years since the 02, so it’s time to do that.”


Nickelback Named Band of the Decade by Billboard

Nickelback has lived their entire chart-topping history in the '00s, and it started off well with the band's first No. 1, "How You Remind Me" at the the very turn of this millenium.

Since then, the Canada-based rock act has earned five more top 10 singles, even breaking the record for most No. 1s in the 13-year history of the Adult Pop songs chart just earlier this year with "Gotta Be Somebody" rising in January.

Need some more stats? The band's last four albums reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200, including All the Right Reasons, which rang in at No. 1 and spent 156 weeks on the list between 2005 and 2006..

This year, as Nickelback celebrate a Grammy nomination for Dark Horse, the band can also celebrate their victory as Billboard's appointed "top duo/group" of the last decade.

This Date In Music History-December 22


Barry Jenkins - Animals (1944)

Robin and the late Maurice Gibb - Bee Gees (1949)

Rick Nielsen - Cheap Trick (1950)

Jordin Brianna Sparks - Winner of the sixth season of American Idol (1989)

They Are Missed:

Richard James Edwards - Manic Street Preachers (1968) - Disappeared on February 1, 1995, after leaving his car at a service station by The Severn Bridge, near Bristol, England. He was declared presumed deceased in November 2008.

Joe Strummer, vocalist and guitarist of the pioneering punk band the Clash, was found dead in his home in southwest England in 2002. An autopsy later reveals that Strummer died of a sudden cardiac arrest. Strummer was 50.

Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees died on January 12, 2003 of a heart attack.

American songwriter Dennis Linde died in 2006 (age 63) from a rare lung disease. Linde wrote one of Elvis Presley's last major hits, "Burning Love" and also wrote "Goodbye Earl" for the Dixie Chicks, and "Callin' Baton Rouge" for Garth Brooks.

Joe Ames of the Ames Brothers ("The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane") died of a heart attack at his home in Germany in 2007.


In 1956, Elvis Presley had the most charting records the year with 17. Billboard reported Pat Boone was next with five, followed by Fats Domino, Little Richard and the Platters with three each.

Today in 1958, "The Chipmunk Song," by the Chipmunks topped the charts and stayed there for 4 weeks.

The Rebels' instrumental "Wild Weekend" was released on Swan Records in 1962. It makes it to #8 on the pop chart.

In 1962, the Tornadoes' "Telstar" became the first record by a British group to top the American pop chart. The song was inspired by the launching of the Telstar commu-satellite in July.

The Dave Clark Five scored their only US #1 single in 1963 with "Over And Over."

In an article in the New York Times in 1968, New York Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Leonard Bernstein expresses his enthusiasm for the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, a group whose repertoire includes both rock and classical music.

Eric Burdon left the Animals in 1968.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono met for one hour with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa in 1969. Earlier in the day, they saw the Minister of Health, John Munro and discussed drug abuse.

Elton John started a two-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1973 with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," it also had a eight week run at #1 on the UK chart.

Ike and Tina Turner were robbed of $86,000 in 1975 when a suitcase containing concert receipts went missing.

In 1976, Bob Seger began his breakthrough to stardom as his album, Live Bullet, goes gold. The album features in-concert versions of "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," "Beautiful Loser," "Get Out of Denver," "Travelin' Man" and "Katmandu."

Faces drummer Kenney Jones became the Who's drummer in 1978, replacing the late Keith Moon who died two months earlier.

Rupert Holmes started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1979 with "Escape, (The Pina Colada Song)."

Sotheby's in London held a rock & roll auction in 1981. Though the majority of the stuff was sold for far more than expected, an enameled Abbey Road street sign went for $600, an autographed program from the Beatles Royal Command Performance sold for $2,000, $2,000 for a letter of introduction from Buddy Holly to Decca Records. John and Cynthia Lennon’s marriage certificate was sold for $850 and an autographed program from the world premiere of the Beatles film "Help!" brought in $2,100. Other items were disapointing. For example, a jacket once worn by Tom Jones only brought in $12.

Duran Duran peaks at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1984 with "Wild Boys." Two former wild boys, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, masquerading as the Honeydrippers land at #4 with a remake of Phil Phillips' lame "Sea Of Love."

Madonna started a six-week run at #1 in the US charts in 1984 with 'Like A Virgin', her first US #1.

In 1987, Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue was pronounced 'dead on arrival' in an ambulance when his heart stopped beating for two minutes. Sixx was given two shots of adrenaline in his chest to revive him. Fellow band members were prematurely informed of his death.

In 2005, Janet Jackson was the most-searched name during 2005 according to Google, the singer topped a list of searches with people looking for pictures from her infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Super Bowl when she exposed her right breast.

A cassette tape of a "drunk" John Lennon recording a cover version of a rock 'n' roll song sold at auction in Los Angeles for $30,000 in 2008. The six-minute recording, made in autumn 1973, is of Lennon performing Lloyd Price's Just Because. "Debauched lyrics" improvised by "a drunk Lennon" include "just a little cocaine will set me right", and, "I wanna take all them new singers, Carol and the other one with the nipples, I wanna take 'em and hold 'em tight,"

Perfect for last-minute Christmas shopping: Mudvayne issue their self-titled album in 2009. The CD comes in the regular jewel box and deluxe packaging. The latter uses black light ink technology for the cover art and poster. "What anyone else thinks should have no bearing on what any individual thinks about this work," says Mudvayne bassist Ryan Martinie.

In 2009, The Flaming Lips digitally release their version of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side Of The Moon,” one of the all-time classic albums. The Lips’ work is officially titled “The Flaming Lips And Stardeath And White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins And Peaches Doing The Dark Side Of The Moon.” It’s initially an iTunes exclusive.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 12/19/2009

1. LP - Metallica "Kill Em All" Test Pressing - $6,660.00

2. LP - Vlado Perlemuter "Mozart Sonatas" Vox Box Set - $6,200.00

3. LP - The Beatles "Introducing The Beatles" VeeJay ad back - $4,939.00

4. EP - Misfits "Horror Business" Acetate - $3,751.01

5. LP - Can "Monster Movie" Music Factory German Pressing - $3,457.52

As always, a special thank you to Norm at for this great data. Stop in and listen to their unique radio show Accidental Nostalgia with Norm & Jane On Radio Dentata - 60 minutes of rare records and nugatory narration. Every Tuesday 4PM PT/7PM ET, Sunday 9AM PT/12PM ET & Monday 12AM PT/3AM ET

Music News & Notes

Bloodbath To Re-Release "Breeding Death" EP With Two Extra Songs

Swedish death metallers Bloodbath have issued the following announcement about re-releasing a limited edition version of their "Breeding Death" EP with two additional songs:

"After the quickly sold out Picture-LP of ‘Breeding Death’ Animate Records from Germany will release this album again as a high quality matt Gatefold-12?-MLP with black inner sleeve on 180 g vinyl. The LP contains two bonus tracks and will be limited to 999 copies (first 200 copies as collectors edition in golden wax). On side B there's an etched picture which is laser-manufactured and simply looks killer… The release date is set to January 8th, 2010


Radiohead To Resume Recording New Album In January
Ed O'Brien reveals...

Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien says the band plan to resume work on their new album in January.

In a message on the group's website, O'Brien said he was “genuinely excited” about completing the work they started in the summer.

“The vibe in the camp is fantastic at present, and we head off into the studio in January to continue on from the work we started last Summer. I am so genuinely excited about what we’re doing, but for obvious reasons I can’t divulge anything more,” O’Brien posted on December 19th. “10 years ago we were all collectively (that’s the band) in the land of Kid A, and although hugely proud of that record, it wasn’t a fun place to be. What’s reassuring now, is that we are most definitely a different band, which should therefore mean that the music is different too and that is the aim of the game.”

At present, it's not clear when the follow-up to 2007's 'In Rainbows' is due to be released.

However, O'Brien admitted that the band had come along way in the last ten years since the release of their fourth album, 'Kid A', in 2000.


Who Landmark

The venue where Pete Townshend smashed his first guitar has been declared a landmark by local officials. A plaque has been placed at the former location of the Railway Hotel in Harrow, England. A town councilman said "It seemed to us only right that music fans on pilgrimages around London can see another landmark associated with a true great of rock music."


Megadeth's Mustaine Ailing

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is talking seriously about retirement due to an on-going neck problem. He told Metal Hammer

"Yeah, retirement is a concern. It has to do with the limitations of my body. I’ve got stuff going on with my neck. I try not to make it obvious but the range of motion in my neck is becoming very limited. I don’t think it has as much to do with wear and tear, as it does with the lack of preparation. There were so many years where I would go out there and just start headbanging. I didn’t think, 'OK Dave, you’re an elite athlete, you do metal calisthenics with your left hand… so why don’t you limber up the rest of your body?"

Because Sound Matters $1000 Vinyl LP Giveaway

Because Sound Matters, the Warner Bros. vinyl store, is giving away a whopping $1000 worth of vinyl records in a contest running until December 24th.

The Rules: create an account at Because Sound Matters, fill out a two line contest form with your name and valid e-mail address, and you’re automatically entered into the Holiday Vinyl Giveaway.

The Prize: a single winner gets a collection of vinyl including vintage Neil Young titles from ‘69 and ‘70 put out as part of the Neil Young Official Release series, a set of Metallica 45RPM limited edition box sets, the complete Oasis collection, three Nirvana albums, Wilco vinyl and plenty of other goodies.

Free vinyl is always a good thing, even if you’re no fan of Metallica (especially Death Magnetic–yuck–, though the limited edition 180 gram vinyl set of …And Justice For All does not suck one little bit). The prize package is eclectic enough to entice some of us to sign up (yes, it’s true–at least one of us) and the Neil Young four disc set is enough to warrant a look all by itself.

If you are intrigued by the possibility of winning 30 vinyl LPs, some of which are nice, limited editions and at least one signed-by-the-band LP, have a look, register and sign up to enter the Because Sound Matters Holiday Vinyl Giveaway. You’ve only got until December 24th, so no procrastinating.

Sign Up Here:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Music News & Notes


Venom have their first three albums reissued next month on vinyl, by Back On Black Records. 'Welcome To Hell' , 'Black Metal' and 'At War With Satan' will be available on the Back On Black label. Each will come on 180g coloured vinyl and have deluxe gatefold sleeve.


Einherjer Rising Reveals New Album, "Berserk," Artwork

The cover artwork for Einherjer Rising's upcoming album, "Berserk," has been revealed. The artwork was done by artist Craig Granato (USA) exclusively for Einherjer Rising.

Einherjer Rising comments, "I would like to thank Mr. Craig Granato for his great and sincere effort in making the illustration. It is a perfectly executed representation of my image for the album cover. This artwork will definitely strengthen the whole album atmosphere yet more"


Lil Wayne LP Leaked
After six different release date changes, Rebirth, Lil Wayne's forthcoming rock album, isn't due in stores until February 1. But the album is now out there in the world, thanks to

Billboard reports that the online retail giant mistakenly sent 500 copies of the CD to customers who had pre-ordered it. A "shipping mishap" was the reason for the early leak, which caused Rebirth to show up in mailboxes this past Monday.


Elliott Smith LPs to be reissued on KRS

Kill Rock Stars record label has announced that on April 6 it will add the late Elliott Smith's "Roman Candle" and "From a Basement on the Hill" records to its catalog.

“Roman Candle” is Smith’s first solo album and was originally released by Portland’s Cavity Search Records in 1994. It has been remastered for the re-release by Larry Crane, editor of Tape Op Magazine and archivist for Smith’s family, although Crane reassures that none of the album is “remixed” from the master tapes. It is still composed of the mixes Smith created himself, he said.
Kill Rock Stars also will release “Roman Candle” on vinyl for the first time in the United States.

“From a Basement on the Hill” was released posthumously in 2004 on ANTI-records.

With the addition of these two records, Kill Rock Stars is now the home for all of Smith’s independent releases: “Roman Candle,” “Elliott Smith,” “Either/Or,” “From a Basement on the Hill” and “New Moon.”

This Date In Music History-December 20


Bobby Colombo - Blood Sweat & Tears (1944)

Peter Criss - Kiss (1947)

Stevie Wright - Easybeats (1948)

Alan Parsons (1949)

Billy Bragg - UK singer, songwriter (1957)

Chris Robinson - Black Crowes (1966)

They Are Missed:

Singer Bobby Darin died in 1973 (age 37). One of the first teen idols, he had the 1959 #1 with "Dream Lover" plus 20 other US Top 40 hits during the 60's including "Mack the Knife," (Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1960) and #1 for nine weeks in 1959.

American blues singer and guitarist, Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee in 1992. He recorded dozens of influential songs, such as "Crosscut Saw" and "As The Years Go Passing By," and the 1967 album, "Born Under a Bad Sign."

Canadian Country singer Hank Snow died in 1999. 'The Singing Ranger' released over 100 albums and scored more than seventy singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980. A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear at the Grand Ole Opry.


Elvis Presley received his draft notice in 1957.

In 1958, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarry Men at the wedding reception of George's older brother, Harry. The event was held at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool.

The Osmond Brothers (minus Donny, who was only five years old) make their first appearance on the "Andy Williams Show" on NBC-TV in 1962.

Capitol Records released “Meet The Beatles” in the US in 1963 and Beatlemania officially gets underway in the states.

In 1967, folk singer Joan Baez was sentenced to 45 days in prison after being arrested during an anti-war demonstration.

In Blackpool, England, in 1967, two recently departed members of the John Evans Blues Band, vocalist Ian Anderson and bassist Glenn Cornick, form Jethro Tull, naming their group after the 18th century inventor of a number of farm implements, Evan will later rejoin them as Jethro Tull's keyboard player.

The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)" was released in 1967.

Glen Campbell went to #1 on the US album chart in 1968 with "Wichita Lineman."

In 1968, the Beatles sixth Christmas record "The Beatles' 1968 Christmas Record", was sent to fan club members in the UK and the US. It included the song "Nowhere Man" sung by Tiny Tim.

Peter Paul and Mary went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1969 with "Leavin' On A Jet Plane."

The Main Ingredient recorded "Everybody Plays The Fool" in 1971.

Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" were released in 1975.

Guitarist Joe Walsh joined forces with the Eagles in 1975, replacing original member Bernie Leadon, who leaves for a solo career.

In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne was hospitalized and treated for rabies after biting the head off a bat during a concert.

The Bangles started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1986 with "Walk Like An Egyptian."

The Beatles and the Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. However, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love was totally ungracious and insulted just about everybody in the music business, adding much needed, if stupid, edge to the affair.

Figures from the RIAA of America in 2000 showed that Teen Pop was alive and doing very well. Pop accounted for most of the record sales in America with Jive records, home to Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC selling 31m records

In 2006, nearly forty years after it was recorded, Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher was awarded part of the songwriting credit for "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by a London court (the award was overturned, then reinstated during appeals).

Britney Spears went to #1 on the US album chart in 2008 with ‘Circus’, the singer’s sixth studio album.

In 2008, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry offered a free download of his version of "Run Rudolph Run" on the band's fan site Aero Force One. "This is my favorite Christmas song and one I've always wanted to cover," says Perry of the classic popularized by Chuck Berry (written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie). "I hope everyone enjoys it and this makes the holidays a little happier this year."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Michael Fremer Review

I am very proud to continue our feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. In fact, his DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" has hit the shelves and is selling out very quickly. This is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl, it is a true masterpiece.

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (reissue)
The Nutcracker Suite

Columbia/Pure Pleasure CS 8341 180g LP

Produced by: Irving Townsend
Engineered by: N/A
Mixed by: N/A
Mastered by: Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman

Review by: Michael Fremer

Back in 1969, five years before Vince Guaraldi jazzed up Christmas music for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn conceived of and superbly executed this delightfully good-humored jazz version of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite".

Ellington and Strayhorn made up hip new names for Peter Ilich's originals, like "Sugar Rum Cherry," and "Toot Toot Tootie Toot" (Dance of the Reed-Pipes), but even without the novelty titles, you'd know The Duke was going for lightness and good humor.

The suite will be familiar to all, but the retelling as a jazz tale will be novel. The orchestra with Hodges, Carney, Gonzalves, Ray Nance and all the other great vets including drummer Sam Woodyard, swing their way easily through these rhythmically charged, nimbly struck arrangements.

My only criticism here are the short sides. Each is over too quickly.

The recording, produced in Los Angeles May through June of 1960 is clean, crisp and three dimensional, though the mix is more 3 track than stereo, with instruments panned fairly hard left and right with a prominent center fill and little to the its sides until you get to the hard left/right stuff.

Still, despite the somewhat dated staging, the recording quality itself is superb. The horns have a full, brassy swagger, the reeds plenty of buzzy warmth and Woodyard's drum kit is nicely developed with a juicy, woody rim shot that pops brilliantly and crisply chiming cymbals. Ellington's piano is also nicely recorded and there's an emphasis on close-miked percussion that helps make this an audiophile's delight.

A nice blend of direct, closely miked sound and chamber reverb produce a big, exciting picture you'll wrap your ears around with pleasure.

Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman's mastering and the quiet Pallas pressing make this reissue superior to the original, though if you have a clean one of those, you don't need this.

Though it was issued by Pure Pleasure last Spring, now's the time to remind you of this swinging Christmas record, perfect for right now!

I've been loving my original pressing for years. It's a record that comes out every Christmas. Get it and I guarantee it will become a tradition in your house every holiday season for years to come.

SOURCE: By Permission