Friday, May 29, 2009

New Tim Buckley Music Coming In August

Ironically, on the anniversary of his son's death (Jeff Buckley died on on May 29th, 1997) and nearly 25 years after his death, fans of folk legend Tim Buckley (who died of a heroin overdose in 1975 at the age of 28) will finally get to hear "Live at the Folklore Center, NYC - March 6th, 1967." The music is set to be released on August 25th on NYC’s Tompkins Square label. Buckley’s performance at the Folklore Center was a gig that was attended by only 35 people and was thankfully recorded by folk impresario Izzy Young — will be presented in its original running order.

The set featured tracks off Buckley’s 1966 self-titled debut and his 1967 follow-up "Goodbye and Hello." The live recording also contains six Buckley compositions that have never before been released on any studio or live album: “Just Please Leave Me,” “What Do You Do (He Never Saw You),” “Carnival Song,” “Cripples Cry,” “Country Boy” and “I Can’t Leave You Loving Me.”

The track list for Live at the Folklore Center, NYC - March 6th, 1967:

1. “Song for Jainie”
2. “I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain”
3. “Wings”
4. “Phantasmagoria in Two”
5. “Just Please Leave Me”
6. “Dolphins”
7. “I Can’t See You”
8. “Troubadour”
9. “Aren’t You The Girl”
10. “What Do You Do (He Never Saw You)”
11. “No Man Can Find The War”
12. “Carnival Song”
13. “Cripples Cry”
14. “If the Rain Comes”
15. “Country Boy”
16. “I Can’t Leave You Loving Me”

Classic Rock Videos

Rush- Spirit Of The Radio

13th Floor Elevators to Be Chronicled in 10-CD Set

The 13th Floor Elevators came out of Texas in the mid-60's and the world of rock was never to be the same. The group, fronted by Roky Erickson, challenged the listener with mixes of songs running from folk-rock to what is considered an early version of acid rock. Peter Buck of R.E.M. once commented that "They kind of sounded like Buddy Holly but on acid!"

The band only released three studio albums, but the folks at International Artists (the label that originally released the albums in the 60's) have tracked down hours of outtakes, unreleased tracks and live recordings to produce the 10-CD set Sign of the 3 Eyed Men. The company has been taking pre-orders at their website for the set, limited to 4,000 copies, and will be shipping within the next couple of weeks.

The CDs contain the band's three studio albums including rare mono versions, two "lost" albums of unreleased material and previously unreleased live recordings. Along with the ten CDs, the set also includes a 72-page hardcover book written by Paul Drummond with group information, rare photos and a full discography. Also included is reproduction memorabilia including photo prints, reproduction posters, stickers and handbills.


'Rain' Songs- part three

By Robert Benson

Let’s continue with part three of our four part series about ‘rain’ songs:

“Here Comes The Rain Again” was a Top Ten Billboard hit (#4 in 1984) for the British pop duo Eurythmics. The song hit #8 in the UK and became their fifth consecutive Top Ten single in that country.

In The Dave Stewart Songbook , Dave Stewart has revealed that the lyrics for the song came after an argument between himself and Lewis; the basic melody had already been established:

“Annie was sitting in my room, and I was playing some little riff on the keyboard sitting on the window ledge, and I was playing these little melancholy A minor-ish chords with the B note in it. I kept on playing this riff, and Annie was looking out the window at the slate grey sky above the New York skyline and just sang spontaneously, 'Here Comes The Rain Again.' And that was all we needed.”

The song was adeptly recorded in an old church that was converted into a studio - except that the studio wasn't finished yet, however, they brought in the orchestra anyway. About 30 string players had to improvise by playing in corridors and even the toilet. The song was mixed blending the orchestra on top of electronic sounds created by a sequencer and drum machine.

The actual running time for the single depended on which release that you were playing, it is about five minutes long but was edited for the LP “Touch,” (it was cut down to four and one half minutes). The song was edited again for its single and video release, but many US radio stations decided to play the full-length version. The five minute version did not appear on any Eurythmics LP until the US edition of “Greatest Hits” in 1991.

A classic AM radio staple in the early 1970s, Albert Hammond’s It Never Rains In Sothern California,” peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts in 1972. The song was written by Hammond and lyricist Mike Hazelwood, as he explains:

"It never rains... was written in London, before we (Albert and Michael) came to Los Angeles, and we knew we were coming, and I've been telling Mike the story of me in Spain when I started and how I was asking for money outside of the train stations because I had no money to eat and I didn't want to tell my parents. My cousin was on honeymoon then, and he came out of the train station and saw me, and I didn't even know it was him... I just asked him for some money, too. And he said "you should be ashamed, I'm gonna tell your father," and I said "please, don't tell him, he'll go crazy and and stop me doing this!" And then he took me back into the hotel, I had a bath, he gave me some clean clothes and some money. I moved on, but he did tell my father, you know. All these things like "will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it" and all that stuff came from that era of my life when I was struggling, trying to make it, trying to get from Morocco to Spain, from Spain to England, from England to America... That struggle you go through, that's It Never Rains In Southern California, the story of my life."

Although Hammond was never able to duplicate the magic of this song as a solo artist (he did chart one other Top Forty hit for himself, 1974’s “I’m A Train) he was able to become quite an accomplished songwriter, writing nine Top Ten pop hits. Among his hits were: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now (#1 in 1974 performed by Starship), “The Air That I Breathe” (#6 in 1974 performed by the Hollies) and “To All The Girls I Loved Before,” written with Hal David and a #5 hit in 1984 for Julio Iglesais and Willie Nelson. Hammond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.

I Wish It Would Rain” was a 1967 hit single recorded by the legendary Motown group the Temptations. In a very sad tale of irony, the lyrics were written by Motown staff writer Roger Penzabene, who had just learned that his wife was cheating on him and in his sorrow and pain, penned the lyrics; wishing it would rain - to hide the tears falling down his face because "a man ain't supposed to cry." His tortured feelings were brought to life by David Ruffin and the accompanying mourning vocals of his bandmates Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, and Otis Williams.

Penzabene also wrote the follow-up hit “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” (#13 in May of 1968), expressing his pain that he felt in the lyrics of both songs. Sadly, the distraught songwriter committed suicide on New Year’s Eve in 1967; just a week after the song was released.

We had looked at Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘rain’ song ”Have You Ever Seen The Rain” in part one, but now let’s explore another CCR ‘rain’ song called “Who’ll Stop The Rain” (from 1970 album Cosmo's Factory).

The cut is actually the B-side to the single "Travelin' Band," which was of the many CCR singles to stall at #2 on the Billboard charts. (Surprisingly, Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 hit in the US.). Additionally, the line, "I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm" gave Bob Dylan the idea for the title of his 1975 song "Shelter From The Storm." The song was also used in the 1978 motion picture of the same name starring Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. However, the movie was going to be called “Dog Soldiers,” but when the producers got the rights to use this song, they changed the title to “Who'll Stop The Rain.”

In 2007 during a concert, Fogerty said the following about the song:

“ Well this next song has a bit of a fable surrounding it. A lot of folks seem to think I sang this song at Woodstock way back when. No. I was at Woodstock 1969… I think. It was a nice event. I’m a California kid. I went up there and saw a whole bunch of really nice young people. Hairy. Colorful. It started to rain, and got really muddy, and then (yelling) half a million people took their clothes off!!! (Normal voice again) Boomer generation making its presence known I guess. Anyway then I went home and wrote this song.”

Here are the words to the second verse:

Heard the singers playin', How we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together, Tryin' to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin', Fallin' on my ears.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who'll stop the rain.

In part four of our series, we will wrap up our series about ‘rain’ songs.

Music News & Notes

Ozzy Wants Part Ownership Of Black Sabbath Name

Lawyers representing Ozzy Osbourne have filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against the heavy metal icon’s Black Sabbath bandmate, Tony Iommi, claiming the man responsible for some of the genre’s most memorable riffs illegally assumed sole ownership of the Black Sabbath name.

According to the New York Post, Osbourne’s suit seeks a 50 percent stake in the “Black Sabbath” trademark. Furthermore, the filing claims Osbourne is entitled to a portion of the profits Iommi has generated through use of the band name, and suggests it was Osbourne’s “signature lead vocals” that helped propel the band’s “extraordinary success.” The suit also points out that Sabbath’s popularity took a nosedive during Ozzy’s absence during 1980 and 1996, when former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio took over behind the mike stand.


Cheap Trick New Music

Cheap Trick is stepping outside of the label world to release its next studio album, "The Latest," itself.

The veteran rock group will start taking pre-orders for the 13-track set, which it recorded during the past year mostly in Los Angeles with producer Julian Raymond, on Friday via its official web site,, and at Those who pre-order will receive "The Latest" on June 23, the day Cheap Trick starts it summer tour with Def Leppard and Poison in Camden, N.J. Amazon will have exclusive rights for one month, and the album will also be available in limited LP and 8-track editions.

Dave Frey of Red Light Management tells that via Amazon and other database information, anyone who's purchased Cheap Trick music, merchandise or concert tickets in the recent past will be notified about the album. Those buying tickets for the tour will also be able to purchase "The Latest" at a slight discount.

The group is also planning to release some sort of document from its various live performances of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" but is not ready to announce it yet.

Ten things to help keep your records sounding great

By Jeff Dorgay
Publisher, TONE Audio Magazine

Now that you’ve been hanging out here at and buying lots of records, we’d like to help you take good care of them, so they will still sound great years from now.

When my Grandfather used to bounce me on his knee, he used to always say “take care of your tools and they will take care of you!” What does this have to do with records? Cleanliness is the key. Many people get really grumpy about vinyl and they complain about noise; clicks, pops, etc. But I’ll let you in on a big secret, if you keep your records really clean, they will be very quiet and in many cases be just as quiet as CD’s!

But it’s going to take some work. The best thing about CD’s is that they require precious little if any maintenance to sound great and you don’t have to worry about a stylus breaking or wearing out and there is no setup involved with a CD player. Just drop that little shiny disc in and go. Keeping LP’s sounding great is a ritual; it’s up to you if you want to participate!

Contrary to popular belief, even new records can benefit from a good cleaning, so we’ll start simple and work our way up:

1- The basic Discwasher system. This will only set you back about $19.99 and will keep the heavy chunks off of your records. It consists of a foam pad with some fluid that is applied to said pad. You brush the record while it spins and some of the surface dirt and dust will come up off the record.

2- Carbon fiber brush. This is a dry brush that works similarly to the Discwasher brush, but without the fluid. Used in conjunction with a can of compressed air, it too can keep the surface nasties off of your records but you will need to go further if you want your records to be super quiet.

3- Stylus cleaning system. We could write a book here, but there are a number of great stylus cleaning systems that won’t break the bank. Remember, any of them that use a brush, always go from the back of the cartridge to the front, NEVER the other way around or you will break the stylus right off! This is one of the most overlooked aspects of record care and the dirtier your stylus gets, the more it gets ground into the LP. Where did you think all that gunk on the record ends up anyway?

4- Vacuum cleaning machine. If you really want to get serious about keeping your records sounding pristine, you need one of the vacuum cleaning systems from Nitty Gritty, VPI, Clearaudio or other manufacturers. These allow you to spread a cleaning fluid on the record (another whole article in itself), scrub it in a bit and then vacuum it off the record, taking the dirt along with it. This is by far the best way to get the most dirt off of your records, and if you ever buy any used LP’s an invaluable tool.

5- Record cleaning fluid. This will go along with your cleaning machine and there are quite a few different formulas out there. Rather than argue the merits of the many excellent cleaners, I’ll just give you my favorite: Vinyl Zyme, which you can get from Todd the Vinyl Junkie . VZ comes in regular or extra strength versions and if you are buying mostly new or very clean used records, will be all you ever need. The extra strength is great for used records that look pretty scummy and have a lot of fingerprints. It’s easy to use too. Just spray it on with the applicator bottle, lightly scrub in and let it sit for a minute or two to let the enzymes do their job. Then, fire up the record cleaner and suck all the crud out of your grooves!! If you have really dirty records, spray on a little extra VZ and let it soak before the vacuum operation.

6- Record sleeves. This one’s easy. Once you have those LP’s nice and clean, now’s the time to slip them into a nice, clean, archival sleeve. These will protect your records much better than the paper or cardboard sleeve it came with.

7- Outer sleeves. These don’t really affect how your records will sound, but they do keep the jackets looking nice and crisp like the day you brought them home and it completes the ritual that is vinyl collecting. A small price to pay to keep everything looking good.

8- Here’s a few mini-tips that don’t require spending any money, just a little bit of common sense. Never store your records any way other than vertical. Leaving them on an angle will eventually lead to warps that could make your LP’s unplayable. Again, order and cleanliness is your friend and the key to great sound from your vinyl. Put those records back in those sleeves after you went to the trouble to clean them and keep your hands as clean as possible when handling your records. Wash your hands after eating snacks and before touching records!

9- Get your turntable tuned up. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, get a friend or your dealer to give your table a checkup. Make sure your cartridge is correctly adjusted and that your stylus is not worn. If you have a belt drive turntable that’s more than a couple of years old, get a new belt. Now might even be a good time to trade up to a better cartridge or even a better turntable!

10- Be on the level. This is the easiest, yet most often overlooked aspect of turntable setup and anyone can handle this one! Get an inexpensive bubble level and make sure your turntable is level on more than one axis. More than likely your turntable has adjustable leveling feet on the bottom, and it probably won’t take much to get fully level. Even if you have a table worth thousands of dollars, this tweak will give you better sound, guaranteed! It should only take 5-10 minutes.

So, there you have it. Follow these instructions and with a little care and effort, your record collection will still sound good 20 years from now. Enjoy!!