Friday, March 27, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Three Dog Night - One Is The Loneliest Number

Michael Fremer Feature

I am very proud to continue our new 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 new 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.

Additionally, make sure to stop by his site, and bookmark it for further exploration. I certainly want to thank Michael for the exclusive rights to reprint his fantastic material.

Ed. note:

In light of Bob Dylan's recent Rolling Stone interview in which he championed vinyl and complained both about CDs and modern recorded sound, we thought it appropriate to bring this to the home page yet again:

Back in 1994, ten years into the "digital revolution," the editor of Tower Records's "Pulse" magazine, bravely commissioned me to write an article expressing my feelings about digital sound, ten years after the introduction of the compact disc. It was published in "Pulse!" much to my delight. I thought you might find it interesting in 2005'MF

Ten Years Into The Digital Revolution: A Continuing Disaster in Sound A Look Back at the Digital Debacle (Reprint from the now Defunct Pulse! Magazine)

Michael Fremer 2009-03-01

"We've gained control, but we've lost the sound. The sound is gone". Its sensory depravation: you think you're hearing it but you're not. It's an insult to the brain and heart and feelings to have to listen to this and think it's music", so says Neil Young about digital recording. Young should know: he records all of his albums digitally.

"I'm keeping my records" says a well known CD reissue masterer whose work is praised by every gushy CD reviewer. "Its a disgrace", says a top Grammy Award winning digital engineer whose recordings have been heard and enjoyed by most Pulse readers. "The more I work with digital, the more I hate it" says another well known remastering engineer who works for one of the big labels. I can't mention his name: he wants to keep his job. "Digital sucks...a good analogue tape recorder will blow away any digital machine", said veteran engineer Eddie Kramer (Hendrix, Traffic etc.) in a recent Audio magazine interview. "I've yet to hear a CD cut from the same source sound as good as the vinyl cut from the same source" says Rhino's Bill Inglot.

"The Nirvana (Nevermind) vinyl LP blows away the CD! I cut it from the original analogue master tape so of course it sounds better", veteran Masterdisk engineer Howie Weinberg told me last year. And indeed when I played the LP for an MTV producer recently he almost keeled over. "It sounds like a different mix- much more reverberation around Kobain's voice. Much more punch altogether", he said in amazement.

In fact virtually all of the CD masterers with whom I've spoken over the past few years- industry veterans- names familiar to anyone who's ever read the back of a CD booklet- agree that an "old fashioned" all analogue vinyl LP played back on a good turntable through a good stereo system sounds much better- much more like the real thing than the finest CD made from an analogue or a digital master tape. These guys have no axes to grind- they're doing quite well in the "digital revolution".

Recently, an executive at a major label told me, off the record of course, that workers at the company have noticed that they are not "into" the music as much as they used to be- not tapping their toes as much. At first they chalked it up to the staff's advancing age, but finally they realized it was something about the "anonymous" sound of CDs. The emotional content of the music seems to have been stripped away. She was concerned, but as long as sales continue strong, it won't become an issue.

One thing is obvious: younger music lovers don't seem to be listening to music as intimately as an older generation did- lights out plunked between the speakers. Today music serves more as background to an activity- driving, sunbathing, sex. It always did that, but it used to count for more. Is that because of "lifestyle" changes? Is it the music itself? Or does the "wall of anonymous digital sound" as Neil Young characterizes it, contribute to a feeling of alienation from the music?

"Digitally remastered for better sound" is right up there in the truth department with "transferred to video tape for better picture". I've proven this over and over again even to the most committed CD diehards. Of course you need a good system to hear it. Then again if your only exposure to film is 8MM home movies, you might also believe the line about video tape.

Even proponents of digital recording like the excellent engineer George Massenburg (Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt) admit that the format at this point in its development has some serious sonic problems.

If you think digital is "perfect", if you think a CD sounds identical to a mastertape-analogue or digital, if you believe that bullshit on the back of an AAD CD that says "The music on this compact disc was originally recorded on analogue equipment. We have attempted to preserve as closely as possible the sound of the original recording. Because of its high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape". If you believe that, there's some land in the Everglades I'd like to sell you. Or maybe you want to buy a Minidisc recorder/player?

In fact, analogue is a high resolution medium- despite its problems (every technology has problems- we've had 100 years to lick analogue's). Digital, sampled at 44.1K 16 bit words is low resolution. Minidisc is an even lower resolution medium- a compressed digital format that sounds the way it feels when you try to stand up from a window seat on an airplane- that's the best I can do to describe it succinctly. And when the ad says "Finally a CD you can record on", that's more advertising b.s. . Full 44.1K CD-R (recordable CD) has been around for years. Its just very expensive right now. Remember when CD players were $1000? Just wait. In the last few years CD-R machines have gone from about $8000 to $3000.

Even if records played on an expensive stereo system sound better than a CD, why should the average listener who is happy with CD sound, happy with all of the reissues and box sets, and happy to be rid of the admitted misery, inconvenience and expense of proper vinyl playback care about any of this? Why should you care about the disappointment of a handful of mostly wealthy (not me, I assure you), tweeky, audiophile nerds?

Here's why: Imagine if in the early sixties when primitive color videotape technology was introduced, the film industry immediately began archiving the entire history of the cinema onto videotape. Imagine if they then started chucking the original negatives, since the film had been "safely" stored on videotape. Imagine if they did so and said the videotape was a "perfect" copy of the film?

Imagine if the movie production companies then said "No more film, from now on we're going to shoot directly onto videotape. If you get a bad take you just roll it back and record over again, unlike film where once its exposed it has to be thrown away if the take is bad. This is the kind of control filmakers have always dreamed of! Now we have it. And look at the money we'll save!" And what if they then tried to charge you more for the "privilege" of watching a movie shot on video?

I'll tell you what would have happened: film makers, film archivists, critics- even the audience would have revolted. It would have been a scandal, a disgrace- the rape of an artform. Even today the colorization of black and white footage on videotape- a process that does no damage to the original film- is enough to bring about congressional hearings!

Then why, during the stone age of the "digital revolution" when the recording industry began archiving the entire history of recorded sound- a hundred year's worth- on a low resolution, primitive, seriously flawed version of what will someday actually be a great improvement in recorded sound, didn't music critics, music archivists, engineers and fans revolt against this travesty? (Keep this in mind: a number of digital engineers have told me [off the record of course] , that they'll play a DAT mastertape a week after it was recorded and it won't sound the same as when it was new. Others have told me that soon after making an archival digital mastertape "whole sections have had such severe dropout as to be totally useless").

Well some of them did. I know what the little boy who saw the naked emperor felt like. But unfortunately ignorance, greed, and in some cases outright corruption and extortion (talk and you'll lose your job) won out over the level headed truth. But then why should anyone be surprised? After all the "digital revolution" happened right smack dab in the middle of the "Reagan Revolution". Now I'm not blaming poor Ronnie for this particular mess, but it took place in the sordid, selfish, money at all costs atmosphere he fomented. And lots of money has been made during the first decade of this revolution.

Folks involved in every aspect of the music business rolled over for this digital "treat". Music critics who reviewed records on plastic turntables saying "hey man, I'm not into it for the technical side, I can enjoy music on a 3 inch speaker" became instant audio experts announcing the sonic superiority of the CD, once one of the genuinely awful first generation players was put in their hands.

Imagine a film critic reviewing a movie with the picture out of focus, the frame split, the screen almost dark and full of holes, and with the theater lights on, and not caring saying "hey man I'm not into movies for the technical side, I'm into it for the art". Wouldn't happen. And yet that's the visual equivalent of how most music critics reviewed records during the seventies. And they did it proudly! That first awful sounding CD player outperformed the plastic turntable and it had remote control!

Once the inventors of CD-Sony and Philips got the "perfect sound forever" digital hype going- and believe me they did a masterful job with a well oiled public relations organization called "The Compact Disc Group", there was no stopping it. Even the executives at the quality record labels (I wish I could name names) who at first resisted CD, hearing it for the sonic joke that it was, finally rolled over when they realized that consumers were willing to shell out $16.00 for teeth rattlingly bright, metallic sounding discs because the music was "read" by a laser beam.

When the promoters of this early sonic hell began getting complaints, they had the chutzpah to blame the awful sound on the analogue source material! "Its 'headbump' ", "its the rising high end of the microphones"- there was an excuse for every problem with early digital, except the real cause: early digital! Every technology has a learning curve, except of course digital sound, which was a gift from God, who is of course, digital.

The early DDD discs sounded even worse (still do). What digital maniacs who pronounced those "pure" digital discs "perfection" didn't know was that since there were no digital mixing boards in the early days, the digital recording had to be converted to analogue for mixing, before going back to digital, and then sometimes once more back to analogue before final mastering. Each digital to analogue conversion took its toll on the music, but don't tell that to the CD nerds who only bought DDD discs in the early days and complained (and still do!) about the sound of discs that had "A"s in them!

The vinyl LP didn't die, it was killed off (of course I exaggerate- LPs are still being pressed domestically and overseas: did you know that the latest releases from REM, U2, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Branford Marsalis,Sonic Youth and others are available on domestic vinyl and that most everything in pop is available on imported vinyl?). Most of the chain "record" stores began reconfiguring their bins for CDs by the mid eighties, when CD player market saturation was only a few percent. They were committed to getting out of vinyl before the public was. Too big, too heavy, too fragile, too many defective pressings, too much trouble.

Even today only about a third of American homes have CD players. Turntables are still being manufactured and sold in healthy numbers, but the EIA, the Electronics Industries Of America- the lobbying group for the consumer electronics industry, refuses to collect or publish the numbers, though it will be happy to tell you how many toaster ovens and microwaves were sold in the United States last year. That's how desperate the big guys are to kill off analogue- break the link to a generation that has probably never heard it. News that 45s are making a comeback among "grunge" rockers is heartening.

Record companies plead "lack of demand" but did you know that by the late eighties most instituted a "no return" policy for vinyl even defective vinyl, thus making it extremely difficult for the small specialty stores that still wanted to carry records to do so? The big guys won't carry it, the little guys can't afford to. No wonder its hard to find vinyl!

The record companies have you, the consumer, and the retailers as well (their share of the $15.98 and now $16.98 list priced CDs is not all that great) by the short and curlies and they're not going to let go. Not when you eagerly shell out the big bucks for a product whose cost has now dropped to less than a couple of dollars a piece! I love watching the television commercials for greatest hits compilations: "12.98 for 2 cassettes or LPs (sometimes), $16.98 for one CD". Guess which has the highest profit margin?

As for the mainstream stereo magazines, who behaved like cheerleaders at the inception of the "digital revolution" they're nothing more than shills for the consumer electronics industry. I attended a dinner thrown for the audio press by one of the large electronics conglamorates and I sat aghast as the other "journalists" acted and spoke like cynical industry insiders instead of advocates for their readers. That's why they're excitedly splashing Minidisc and DCC all over their covers. Two new formats that go in exactly the wrong digital direction.

During the past decade while keeping up the "digital is perfection" facade, the industry has been working diligently behind the scenes to improve a technology that more and more thoughtful and honest individuals have come to see as seriously flawed. And it has gotten better. Due to their efforts and no thanks to those who declared digital "perfect " from the getgo, we are hearing better and better sounding discs. Unfortunately a large percentage of the great music of the past 100 years has already been "archived" using seriously deficient equipment. That's the greatest catastrophe of the "digital revolution".

The players and digital processors have also improved greatly over the past decade. If you own a first generation CD player, you ought to take some newer discs to an audio specialty store (a place that doesn't also sell microwaves and refrigerators) and hear how much better they can sound. It is reaching the point where a few CDs ( mostly made from analogue recordings) are approaching the sound of the best LPs. Unfortunately such performance doesn't come cheap. If you believe all CD players sound the same, there's that land in the Everglades.

The process by which analogue musical waveforms (music) are converted to numbers and then back to an analogue waveform is extremely complex. The format we are stuck with (44.1K sampling rate, 16 bit words) due to Sony and Philips' rush to get the product to the marketplace- music be damned- is, like our television standard, serviceable, but hardly the last word in resolution.

What we need to make digital truly better- more transparent and lifelike- is an improved format, one that samples the analogue waveform a few hundred thousand times a second instead of forty four thousand times a second, and one that uses more than 16 bits to describe each sample. Such technology is now becoming possible and at a reasonable price.

Unfortunately, what we are getting instead, are two formats, DCC and Minidisc, that do just the opposite! Both use less data,and claim only to come close to the performance of CD. In hyping these products the proponents will concentrate only on the analogue problems they solve, while ignoring the digital problems they create. And soon you'll be hearing about digital radio, another "perfect" format that offers less than CD resolution, but which neatly solves the static problems and the like of analogue radio. Clearly we are going in the wrong direction. The "digital revolution" is becoming the "digital devolution" as big companies work harder and harder to give you less so they can make more by selling you something new.

In another ten years or so, when CD player market penetration reaches the saturation point, the recording industry will be looking to give you a new music carrier. Whether its a better sounding, higher resolution digital format- or a lower resolution, worse sounding one that packs more music in a smaller package will depend in part on how you vote with your dollars on DCC and Minidisc. I hope you get it right this time, but even if you don't- I've got 10,000 records so I really don't care that much what you do. Oh, I've got lots of CDs too. Guess where I play them? Only in the car of course. Even though they're getting better, I still can't actually sit down and listen to those antiseptic sounding things when I've got so much vinyl staring me in the face.


Michael Fremer wants you to know that he appreciates all of the good things about CDs- their convenience (like frozen food), the lack of noise, the perfect pitch, the relatively high performance you can get out of a cheap player and the like, and that he's happy about the availability of so much great old music on CD at a reasonable price, but he was asked by the editor to write about the down side of digital. He also regrets biting the hands that feed him CDs (the record companies), but only a little.

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved

SOURCE: Reprinted By Permission

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Vinyl records back in vogue in N. America

It may surprise some. But vinyl record sales doubled last year compared with 2007.

The tracking company Nielson found that the number of long-play vinyl records sold in North America rose to 1.88 million in 2008, compared with 990,000 the year before.

While vinyl records represent a fraction of total music sales, their resurgence could not come at a better time for independent music stores.

Nielsen said almost two-thirds of the vinyl albums sold last year were from independent shops. And this comes at a time when overall music sales are down 20 per cent.

Certainly there is an increase in demand for digital music you download from sites like i-tunes but it's not enough to offset the drop in CD sales, especially for music stores which count on getting you in the door.

Strangely enough, this is not a case of nostalgic baby boomers going back to a format they remember.

Sales are linked to a younger generation who didn't grow up with records -- teens and young adults -- who want to listen to music in a traditional way.

So how do you know what those dusty records in your basement are worth?

Some old albums can command hundreds of dollars.

Music on vinyl was once thought to be extinct. But no more.

"People who are really into music are really into records," says Nick Bragg of Zulu Records in Vancouver.

Mining the shelves of Zulu was like an archeological dig. Vinyl is the original recording and to some the sound that has never been surpassed.

"There is a warmer sound to it," says Nick. "As I said, there is a wider range of frequencies available on a record. People will tell you the bass sounds deeper on a record."

You may have some dusty records at home. So how much could they be worth? Looking at the wall of the store and seeing a Smashing Pumpkins early release selling for $250 makes you think it's worth finding out.

"If you have records that you have never heard of the bands before there is a chance much like the travelling antiques show that you have something that is really worth a lot," explains Nick.

But if it was a huge million seller, there are probably still a million copies out there. Or even new copies. Like a brand new pressing of the Beatles' Abbey Road.

The next consideration is what kind of condition it's in.

"When you have your old records in the basement and you wipe the dust off them the important thing is to look at the record itself and if it has no scratches on it and if the cover is in good condition it probably has some value," Nick explains.

Then look at what country it was pressed in. What colour is the vinyl. Is it a first copy? And what is the art work like?

"When you look at psychedelic records and there are some amazing artists who design these jackets who've gone on to be real icons on the industry," he says.

Old concerts -- are coming out on new vinyl and so is brand new music. Even a band like U2 which just put out a record last week put out their record on vinyl.

And some bands give record buyers the Mp3 version of the music as well.

By the way, if you have an old turntable kicking around the basement, it may be pretty easy to get it working again. Could be all it needs is a new belt and maybe a new needle. You can find those often at small electronic repair shops.


You spin me right round

Bob Stanley explains why he would happily spend £100 on a song he hates - just to get it on the most beautful, tactile format: the 45rpm vinyl single

Bob Stanley The Guardian, Friday 27 March 2009

The 45rpm single, the hard, black centrepiece of the teenage revolution, turns 60 next Tuesday. Few would argue that its rise and fall mirrors pop's golden age. Just the look of a 1957 single on the London label, with gold lettering, or the angles and DIY smudges of a 1979 Rough Trade release can raise the pulse, cause feelings of nostalgia, pride, envy. The 45 is easy to love. There are more of them in the shops than there were 10 years ago, yet it's tough to think of the 21st-century 45 as anything beyond a novelty, a sop to indie kid pop one-upmanship that is irrelevant to most music consumers.

Go back five decades and it was, no question, central to the teenage way of life. You would talk about records before school, between classes, during lunch. After school, the only places you could hear rock'n'roll were the coffee bars. The jukebox in the corner would contain the Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry 45s you craved, the records that you weren't allowed to play on your parents' pricy new radiogram - you were left with the wind-up, 78-playing gramophone if you were lucky. Another few years later and you may have owned a Dansette with a spindle for stacking your 45s, the only way to soundtrack your 16th birthday party.

Come the punk era, 45s were broadsides to the next generation from the suburbs, on a back-to-basics, prog-trashing, R'n'R format, and too fierce for airplay. In the 80s there were the Smiths singles, so perfectly packaged, so aesthetically desirable next to the straights' music of choice - Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms on a compact disc. When Culture Beat's Mr Vain did the dirty and got to No 1 without any 7in means of support in 1993, the golden era of the 45 came to an end. The next few years were a transition period in which the downright ugly CD single and "cassingle" bossed before the dawn of a new century and the internet finally consigned the 45 to cute relic status.

In 1949, RCA Victor had no thoughts of feeding vinyl-hungry kids, or of how Mr Vain would eventually spoil the party. All they were thinking was how to counter the Columbia label's new 33rpm vinyl, launched in mid-1948, with a different format and different machinery. RCA's 45-only record players plugged into the back of your radio, cheaply and cheerfully, but you needed a separate machine to play your albums, a state of affairs that lasted a few years before RCA and Columbia decided to share their technologies.

The first single, ever, was a country record by Eddy Arnold called Texarkana Baby. Arnold was managed by Colonel Tom Parker, who saw another of his charges, Elvis Presley, sign to RCA Victor in 1956. Texarkana Baby was pressed on a slightly odd green vinyl; RCA figured that, in the format wars, they needed a novelty, and so they pressed country music on green vinyl, children's music on yellow, classical on red, and "race" music - rhythm and blues - on "cerise", or what looked like orange to the average Joe. Straightahead pop was released on straightahead black.

RCA described the 45 in their press release as "the finest record ever made" and claimed "more than 150 single records or 18 symphonies fit in one foot of bookshelf space", which seems like an outright fib. In Britain, some way behind the US, the single wasn't introduced until November 1952, when EMI launched a bunch of desirable looking classical 45s on a dark red HMV label. The same month, New Musical Express launched the Hit Parade of best selling singles, all of which were on 78. EMI very quickly realised the three- or four-minute playing time was much better suited to pop than classics and in March 1953 HMV, Columbia, Parlophone and MGM issued, respectively, Eddie Fisher's I'm Yours, Ray Martin's Blue Tango, Humphrey Lyttelton's Out of the Gallion, and Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney's A Couple of Swells as their opening shots. By the end of the year, EMI had issued close to 300 titles and the raw materials for a revolution were coming together.

According to their promotional bumph, RCA had discovered "the school set loves 'em" as far back as back as November 1949 - "neat little records they can slip in their pockets, they go for the lowest priced at the new speed, they go for the little disc that fits on the shelf beside their paper-backed novels". The portable 45's disposability was mirrored by the thin paper sleeve and lack of glossy artwork that accompanied the album. The look and feel of the labels therefore became a secret teenage code, and certain labels belonged to certain acts. The Beatles had the black Parlophone label with its pound logo (to signify they were minted?); the Kinks were on the suitably fey pink Pye label; the Rolling Stones were kings of the dark blue Decca label, with its curious giant ear logo, housed in an orange and white candy-striped bag. The red "A" labels on EMI's mid-1960s promotional copies were pieces of true pop art, then and now highly prized by pop snobs.

Led by the rock musician's need to "stretch out", and by the rise of albums-only acts such as Led Zeppelin, the single was rather marginalised in the 70s. Its second coming was inspired by punk, not only because it brought bite-sized music back into fashion and spurned Mellotron-led rock symphonies, but because it revitalised the look of the 45. By 1976 just about everyone in pop had got lazy. Glam was a fading memory, the charts were clogged with novelties (the Wurzels, Demis Roussos) and slick country from the likes of Billie Jo Spears and JJ Barrie. In fact, even record buyers became sloppy - how else to explain a country single by a Dutch band, Pussycat's tedious Mississippi, spending a month at No 1? You could hardly blame record labels for packaging this nonsense with the most basic, ugly, moulded plastic labels and sticking them in plain white bags. Even Anarchy in the UK, issued in December 1976, came in a crappy paper sleeve.

If punk's new independent labels wanted to stand out, then, the solution was simple: Stiff released the Damned's New Rose, New Hormones issued the Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch EP, and both came in picture sleeves. This was previously unheard of. Soon, Beggars Banquet was issuing the Lurkers' 45s on vinyl the colour of which hadn't been seen since Eddy Arnold's day. Countering the indies late in the day, major label Elektra put out the Cars' My Best Friend's Girl on car-shaped vinyl and earned a No 3 hit. The public went 45 crazy, buying more in 1978 than in any other year; by the year's end, even Boney M's Mary's Boy Child had advance sales of half a million and remains the 10th best-selling UK single ever.

Possibly record buyers were hypnotised by the spinning coloured vinyl singles that were introducing Top of the Pops. These, it recently transpired, were purloined by Swap Shop's Maggie Philbin when the opening credits changed, and have just been sold on eBay. I'd have doubled the price, whatever it was.

That's because for obsessive collectors like me, 45s remain the ultimate pop format and retain their allure in an era when pop formats are done with. Listening to Kid Cudi's Day and Night on Spotify just doesn't give me the thrill of taking the record from the sleeve, placing it on the deck and guiding the arm into what RCA Victor called the "microgroove". Scouring the internet for contemporary pop 45s by, say, Girls Aloud or the Sugababes, is a miserable experience; the fact that Push the Button and The Show were never even issued as 45s I find profoundly sad. I'd dearly love to file Push the Button alongside Sam Cooke's You Send Me, Shanice's I Love Your Smile and the Beach Boys' You're So Good to Me - 45s to suit the first buds of spring. Knowing I can't, and that Push the Button was only ever issued digitally, sets me on the edge of a panic attack.

If I were under 30, attuned to CDs, then Napster, then Spotify, I probably wouldn't give two hoots. And yet, I sit surrounded by Schweppes crates full of redundant 45s that are now just an instant click away. I still hunt down rare pressings of the earliest 45s, which were easily outsold by 78s, and ones from the turn of the 21st century, which were only pressed for aging vinyl jukeboxes. The result of this mania is a 45 wants list that includes Lita Roza's How Much Is That Doggie in the Window (which even the singer hated), for which I would gladly lay down a ton.

I don't think I'm alone in my sickness. Major labels could be missing a trick by not issuing everything that hits the Top 10 on a 45. They could be limited editions, maybe even car-shaped, Rolex-shaped, Pussycat Doll-shaped. Or maybe not. Thomas Edison continued making wax cylinders, for an ever shrinking market, until his death in 1931, because he refused to believe the format would die. So, for sanity's sake, I'll concede that 45s are a product of a bygone era, beautiful and desirable as they are. The heart of a cultural revolution, though, they will survive in the collective memory as more than just the snuff boxes of the mid-20th century.


This Date In Music History- March 27


Tony Banks- Genesis (1951)

Record executive Mo Ostin was born in New York in 1927. The artist-friendly legend ran Reprise with Frank Sinatra, signed Jimi Hendrix, and helped lure R.E.M. to Warner Bros.

Fergie- R&B singer (1975)

Andrew Farriss- keyboards, INXS (1959)

Walter Stocker- Air Supply (1953)

Staind bassist Johnny April (1965)

Mariah Carey (1970)

They Are Missed:

Jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan entered the world in 1924. As an improviser, she's one of the music's greats, ranking up there with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. She died on April 3, 1990.

In 2005, Crowded House and Split Enz drummer Paul Hester was found dead in a park near his Melbourne home. Police say Hester committed suicide. He was 46.

Singer, songwriter, poet and actor, Ian Dury died after a long battle with cancer in 2000 (age 57).


The British invasion continued to make its way around the world in 1964 with The Beatles having the top six positions on the Australian pop chart.

CBS records announced the invention of stereophonic records in 1958. Although the new format would be playable on ordinary record players, when used on the new stereo players, a new rich and fuller sound would be heard.

In 1972, Elvis Presley recorded "Burning Love." The record was his last top 10 single, going to #2 in October.

In 1971, Ike & Tina Turner’s R&B take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” was their first Top 10 single (#4).

The Young Rascals recorded "Groovin'" in 1967.

Sammy Hagar played his first show as lead singer of Van Halen in 1986.

"Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes hits #1 in 1965.

The legendary Sun label, run by Sam Phillips, began issuing its own records in 1952.

Cops pulled over the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in New Jersey for speeding in 1973. They also find LSD in his car. There’s a surprise-Garcia spends three hours in jail.

Following Eric Clapton's departure in 1965, the Yardbirds replaced the guitarist with Jeff Beck.

The Rascals released the ambitious “Freedom Suite” in 1969, comprising a disc of short songs and one of lengthy instrumentals. It joined the Who's “Tommy,” Cream's “Wheels of Fire” and the Beatles'”White Album” as one of a relative few double albums from the Sixties.

In 1971, New York radio station WNBC banned Brewer & Shipley's "One Toke Over the Line" because of its drug references. The single goes to #10 in short order. Says Tom Shipley, "In this electronic age, pulling a record because of its lyrics is like the burning of books in the '30s."

AC/DC released "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" in 1981.

In 1992, Bruce Springsteen released the albums Human Touch and Lucky Town on the same day.

"Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera)" from the movie "The Man Who Knew Too Much" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1957.

In 2007, remastered versions of the six Doors albums included in '05's "Perception" box set were issued individually.

U2 performed from the roof of a store in downtown LA in 1987 to make the video for 'Where The Streets Have No Name', attracting thousands of spectators and bringing traffic to a standstill. The police eventually stop the shoot.