Friday, August 21, 2009

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Let's start a rerun of a popular daily feature here at
CollectingVinylRecords Blog
, a feature I call Rock/Pop Tidbits; interesting facts about rock and pop music and artists, some humorous, some informative and some just silly. Long time readers will recognize some of these, but I have written up some new ones, so now you can win at trivial pursuit! Feel free to leave comments or add more of your own:

The night before their recording session, The Kingsmen played a 90-minute version of Louie Louie during a gig at a local teen club. Once they got into the studio, the song was recorded in one take.

Courtney Love of the band Hole gained the distinction of being the first AOL subscriber to have her e-mail account shut down, mainly for the death threats she posted against people she thought deserved them.

Eagles' bassist Timothy B. Schmit sang backing vocals on Firefall's 1977 hit, Just Remember I Love You.

Anne Murray's 1969 hit Snowbird was released as the "B" side of a 45 RPM single, with a song called Bidin' My Time as the A side. A radio station in the Eastern United States flipped it over and Snowbird caught on. Record sales soon topped one million copies, marking the first time in history that an American gold record was awarded to a solo Canadian female.

Although singer / songwriter Harry Nilsson placed eight songs on Billboard's Top 40 chart, including the Grammy Award winning, million seller Everybody's Talkin, he disliked performing in public so much that he seldom appeared in concert and rarely made televised appearances.

While Elvis only recorded twenty Christmas songs, his holiday albums have sold more than twenty-five million copies in the US alone.

Elvis Presley's 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album is the top selling holiday release of all time, racking up over nine million in sales.

Scotland's hard rock group Nazareth recorded a tune called Love Hurts as a B-side filler, never intending it to be a hit. Record buyers felt differently and the single rose to number 8 in the US and number 15 in the UK. One count revealed that over 42 different artists have recorded the song, including The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison.

Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock entered the Billboard Pop chart only two days before Christmas in 1957, but still managed to climb to number 6 during a six week stay.

The chords and structure of Tommy James' 1967 Billboard #10 single, Mirage, were actually the chords to his previous hit, I Think We're Alone Now in reverse, created when it was accidentally played backwards during a writing session.

Bruce Hornsby's demo tapes were rejected by over 70 record companies. A year after RCA signed him in 1985, his tune The Way It Is topped the Billboard chart, followed by five more Top 40 hits, including Mandolin Rain (#4) and The Valley Road (#5).

Classic Rock Vidoes

Rolling Stones - Like A Rolling Stone

Michael Fremer 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.

Thelonious Monk (new release)
The Complete Thelonious Monk At The It Club

Mosaic MRLP 3001 4 180g LPs
Produced by: Teo Macero
Engineered by: N/A
Mixed by: Mark Wilder (from the original 3 track masters)
Mastered by: Kevin Gray at AcousTech

Review by: Michael Fremer

The mid-sixties may not have been Monk’s most creative period but it was arguably his strongest and most focused both in the studio and onstage. If any jazz musician was poised to withstand the rock era it was Monk the performer and Monk the composer.

A live set culled from these six sets recorded to three track by an anonymous Columbia records staff engineer October 31st and November 1st 1964 at Los Angeles’ It Club probably wasn’t issued back then because so many other performances of the same material had already been released. The tapes certainly weren’t left in the can because either the performances or the recording quality were lacking!

In fact, edited versions of three of the tracks did make it onto Monk’s Misterioso album (Columbia CS 9216) issued shortly after the material was recorded and Columbia issued an edited two LP version of Live at the It Club (C2-38030) in the 1980s.

About a decade ago Columbia issues the complete and unedited Live at the It Club on a double CD set (C2K-65288) and now Mosaic returns to vinyl with this 4 LP set cut from Mark Wilder’s two channel analog mixdown from the original 3 track tapes.

I don’t know how you came to Monk or if you’re familiar at all, but for me it was the Columbia album Criss-Cross (CS 8838) issued in 1963 featuring John Ore on bass and the crisp Frankie Dunlop on drums. Monk’s humorous deconstruction of “Tea For Two” and his almost heavy-metal (before there was such a thing) rendering of the ballad “Don’t Blame Me” provide an invaluable roadmap to the artist’s heart and soul.

Here Larry Gales and Ben Riley replace Ore and Dunlop. They weren’t chosen for their button-down approach to jazz and by the time this set was recorded both were well invested in Monk’s musical game plan. Larry Gales’ long bass solo on set three’s opener on October 31st is nimble, understated and captures well Monk’s playfulness.

This completist set, which gives you every note of three sets per night for two nights includes six “Epistrophy” variants as Monk chose it as a set closer every time. Leaving in all of the various solos and giving you the six complete sets opens a window onto ‘60s jazz clubbing that’s difficult to otherwise obtain. Were you to sit nursing a gin and tonic or whatever, for an entire evening at the It Club, this is what you’d hear.

You’d also hear signature Monk tunes like “Blue Monk,” “Well You Needn’t,” “Bemsha Swing,” “Round Midnight,” “Evidence” and of course “Epistrophy,” played confidently as reliable set pieces, with Monk working easily and playfully around the comfortable edges of the tunes and so investing them with extra, straightforward energy and clarity.

Mark Wilder’s mix is on the dry, literal side, close to the instruments; less about club ambience and more about instrumental honesty and clarity. The drums are spread across an arc between the right speaker and phantom center channel, Rouse is mid-stage right while Monk is left-of-center stage. The talkative, raucous crowd can be heard in the background. Who says audience verbosity is a product of the cell phone age?

Monk fans should be delighted with this fine sounding set (except for the occasions where the musicians step back from the microphones), while the curious will find this a great (albeit expensive) intro to the wit and musical wisdom of one of jazz’s true originals. Excellent sound, great music and a unique window on two complete nights of performances so many years ago make this a set worth owning and enjoying often.

SOURCE: Reprinted By Permission

USS Enterprise Record Player?

Taken from the Star Trek Model Gallery we have here an Enterprise record player. It was designed from the NCC-1701 from the new Star Trek movie and uses the saucer section as the turntable where the music entitled “Space” can be seen playing.

Unfortunately it’s not real and just designed along with 24 other real random looking Enterprises from the film.

Heck, if it played great, I might be interested as would millions of 'Trekie' fans all across the galaxy!

Music News & Notes

Cavo opening for Daughtry; lands on Billboard 200

St. Louis rock band Cavo’s new CD “Bright Nights, Dark Days” makes its debut on the Billboard 200 this week after selling 10,600 copies its first week out.

That’s good enough for a No. 48 debut on the charts.

Also, Cavo has been tapped to open for Daughtry on an arena tour this fall.


Metal-Hardcore Leaders HATEBREED Set to Release New, Self-Titled Album

Metal-Hardcore juggernauts HATEBREED are set to release its new album, the ferocious, self-titled "HATEBREED," on September 29th, 2009.

The album will be available on CD, digital download, vinyl and special edition with a bonus 65-minute DVD. HATEBREED's follow up to 2006's "SUPREMACY" will be released on E1 Music in North America and Roadrunner in all other territories.

Front-man Jamey Jasta comments, "This is our fifth studio album and it's a monster! We've survived some pretty rough times and the music shows it. There was no reason to change the recipe that our fans know and love but we added a few brutal new ingredients and we're more than amped on the results. Violence is a given!"

To date, HATEBREED has sold over 1 million albums in the U.S. alone and toured the world with the likes of Slayer, Slipknot, System of a Down, Lamb of God, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Disturbed, Black Sabbath and much more.


Lynyrd Skynyrd, 'Still Unbroken' -- Video Premiere

When it came time to shoot a video for 'Still Unbroken,' the first single from Lynyrd Skynyrd's new album, 'God & Guns,' the southern rockers kept true to their live performance roots. "[It's] a very raw, rock 'n' roll, grainy video that we hope you all enjoy!" guitarist Rickey Medlocke tells Spinner.

Director P.R. Brown captured the performance shots of Skynyrd at the Verizon Amphitheater in Indianapolis, while the clips of the band on the bus were from the same night as they rode to the next gig in Chicago. Check out the exclusive premiere of the video, and look for 'God & Guns' Sept. 29.


Ex Dementia Cover Art

New Jersey's Ex Dementia has revealed the cover artwork for their new album "The Red Mass." The art can be viewed here. Ex Dementia is also streaming the track "Mud and Blood" from the new album on their MySpace page. "The Red Mass" is currently set for an October release.

Some great cover art, one of my favorites of the year so far.