Sunday, August 2, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen

Michael Fremer Album Review

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.

ZZ Top (reissue)

Warner Brothers 306172 180g LP

Produced by: Bill Ham
Engineered by: Terry Manning, Robin Brian, Jim Reeves, Bob Ludwig, Terry Kane
Mixed by: N/A
Mastered by: Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at AcousTech

Review by: Michael Fremer

One side of this 1975 release gives you a smokin’ hot live recording of mindless, Texas-style speed-boogie music (the mind is not a terrible thing to waste!), while the other is a somewhat more introspective studio set.

The live set, recorded without studio overdubs at New Orleans’ The Warehouse, is a sweaty aggressive affair taken at warp speed before a wildly enthusiastic, probably sloppy-drunk crowd of revelers.

The bearded ones play it as fast and tight as the lubricated crowd is slow and sloppy, working them into a frenzy and delivering the lyrics with the rapid-fire articulation skills of the best tobacco auctioneers.

It’s amazingly well recorded too, which is not surprising given the album’s illustrious name brand engineers (Bob Ludwig gets a rare engineering credit). Crank it up and you’ll feel as if you’re there. All that’s missing are the sticky floors and smell of stale beer and puke.

The pace remains torrid on side two’s opener “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings,” but on “Blue Jean Blues,” the boys slow it down to an ominous pace and you can hear on what Stevie Ray cut his blues teeth. It’s the origin of “Tin Pan Alley.”

“Balinese” channels Little Feat and after appropriately, the boogie hit “Tush” (as in “rush”) ends the album. While it’s supposedly slang for “outstanding,” there’s no denying it’s also about ass.

You won’t learn anything here, except whether or not you can keep a beat and whether or not your system can take being cranked up to club levels, but it sure is a fun listen!

BTW: I liked the studio side better, but you may prefer the other side.

This Date In Music History-August 2


Zelma Davis - C & C Music Factory (1970)

John Stanier – Helmet (1968)

Lee Mavers - The La's (1962)

Mojo Nixon (1957)

Butch Vig - record producer and the drummer with Garbage (1957)

Andrew Gold (1951)

Edward Patten - The Pips (1939)

Garth Hudson - The Band (1937)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1941, Doris Coley, vocals, The Shirelles. She died on February 5, 2000.

Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi was born in 1944 (died January 28, 2005).

Jerome Smith from KC and the Sunshine Band died in 2000 after being crushed by a bulldozer he was operating.

In 1983, James Jamerson died of complications stemming from cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia in Los Angeles, he was 47 years old. As one of The Funk Brothers he was the unaccredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s including songs by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops and The Supremes. He eventually performed on nearly 30 #1 pop hits.

Latin composer Don Tosti died in 2004 (age 81) in Palm Springs, California. Tosti combined elements of jazz, boogie and blues to create the unique "Pachuco" style. His 1948 hit "Pachuco Boogie" was the first million-selling Latin record.

The late Peter de Freitas, drummer for Echo and the Bunnymen, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies in 1961.

David Martin, bass player with Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs died of a heart attack in 1987 (age 50).

Ron Townson of the Fifth Dimension died of kidney failure in 2001.

Erik Darling of the Tarriers ("Banana Boat Song") and the Rooftop Singers ("Walk Right In") died of Burkitt's Lymphoma in 2008.

In 1972, Brian Cole, bass player with The Association, died of a heroin overdose in Los Angeles, California at the age of 29.


In a 1956 article called "Elvis Presley... He can't be... But He Is," Look Magazine reports Presley records have grossed over $6 million and the singer receives over 3,000 fan letters a week.

Johnny Cash left his first record label, Sun, to sign a major-label contract with Columbia in 1958.

The Beatles began their engagement as regular headliners at Liverpool's Cavern Club in 1961. They performed about 300 shows over the next two years.

Singer songwriter Robert Allen Zimmerman legally changed his name to Robert Dylan in 1962.

Aretha Franklin made her TV debut on ABC's "American Bandstand" in 1962.

Badfinger recorded the Paul McCartney composition, "Come And Get It" in 1969 at Abbey Road, Paul McCartney producing.

In 1973, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas files a nine million dollar lawsuit against the group's label, Dunhill, alleging 60 million dollars in unpaid royalties.

The Eagles went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1975 with “One Of These Nights,” the group's second US #1 single.

Poison’s debut, “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” landed on the album chart in 1986 where it eventually rises to #3, selling 3-million copies in the process. The group also began a tour with Cinderella.

Billy Joel played a concert in Leningrad in 1987. The audience carried Joel out of the theatre on their shoulders.

Rick James and his girlfriend Tanya Hijazi were arrested in Hollywood in 1991 and charged with assault with a deadly weapon aggravated mayhem torture, false imprisonment and forcible oral copulation. James was released on $1 million bail.

In 2001, New Orleans International Airport was re-named Louis Armstrong Airport in honor of the New Orleans born trumpet player, singer and bandleader.