Friday, October 23, 2009


Burbank, CA – Warner Bros. Records [PR]— the No. 1 vinyl label in the country — will bring vinyl directly to the people this weekend by hosting a booth at the annual WFMU Record Fair in New York City. The event, known as a worldwide Mecca for music enthusiasts and vinyl fans, will be held October 23rd through the 25th at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street in Manhattan.

“There is no better place to sell music directly to fans than at the annual WMFU show,” says Warner Bros. Records General Manager Tom Biery, who oversees all of the company’s vinyl releases. “As a vinyl freak, I have been going to the show for years and have always thought that having a WBR/Reprise booth to sell our records would be a ton of fun as well as a great learning experience.”

This weekend also kicks off Warner Bros. Records’ relationship with vinyl-only indie label, Original Recording Group (ORG), which will be manning the WBR booth.

At the show, Reprise Records will unveil, for the first time, legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young’s first four catalog reissues, including the direct-to-fan 180-gram Limited Edition box set. Those titles, Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After The Gold Rush, and Harvest, have been meticulously cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the original master tapes (under the direct supervision of Neil Young’s team) and manufactured at the world’s premiere record-pressing plant, Pallas MFG/Germany. This is the first-ever upgrade to these essential recordings on vinyl and is sure to delight both fans and audiophiles alike.

Warner Bros. Records will also reveal a “collector’s edition” vinyl version of the new album from The Flaming Lips, Embryonic (pressed in a limited edition of 200), as well as a three-disc vinyl version of R.E.M.’s Live At the Olympia in Dublin/39 Songs, which also includes the CD and DVD, in all its glorious sound and packaging.

To celebrate the company’s signing of a worldwide partnership with New Wave pioneers Devo, Warner Bros. Records will also be previewing vinyl reissues of two of the band’s classic albums: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom Of Choice, newly mastered by Bernie Grundman on beautiful yellow and red wax.

And finally, Warner Bros. Records will present a series of stunning soul 45s from the famed Loma label. With each title highly collectible upon its original pressing, these reissues are intended to enable fans to enjoy this incredible music the way it was meant to be heard—at 45 rpm. Artists in this series include The Marvellos, The Soul Shakers, Carl Thomas, and others.

For those who can’t attend the WMFU Record Fair this weekend, these titles can be purchased at

Photo of R.E.M. vinyl box set courtesy of Furnace MFG

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 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.

Jimi Hendrix (reissue)
Voodoo Child

Classic Records/Experience Hendrix 4 200g Quiex SV-P LPs

Produced by: Janie Hendrix and John McDermott
Engineered by: Eddie Kramer
Mixed by: Eddie Kramer
Mastered by: Bernie Grundman (LP cutting)

Review by: Michael Fremer

Compilations are an ugly concept on vinyl. Either analog copy tapes have been strung together to create a cutting master or digital copies of masters are electronically assembled to produce the same cutting master. Once in a black and blue moon, original masters are removed from their reels and strung together to produce cutting masters made from original master tapes, but those are few and few between and almost impossible to make. They’re rare because few companies allow precious masters to be cut up and because unless the tunes were recorded in the same studio on the same impeccably maintained recorder, it’s very difficult if not impossible to cut a lacquer where the record/playback head’s azimuth changes from track to track.

If an original master tape is used to make first generation copies to create an analog cutting master, the results can be outstanding because most of the great LPs from the “golden age” were cut using production, not original master tapes. So they’re a generation down to begin with. Therefore, a compilation assembled from orignal master tape copies is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a cutting master of a whole album. One reason why “greatest hits” albums on LP can sound particularly distant and foul is because the cutting master is assembled from a copy of the original cutting master, not the original tape, and is therefore third generation.

This Hendrix compilation was originally issued as a double CD set in 2001 on Experience Hendrix/MCA (088112603-2) and mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound. The booklet accompanying this four LP set from Classic still lists Marino as mastering engineer but with “BG” in the lead-out grooves, clearly the cutting was done by Bernie Grundman.

From what? Given that Marino apparently didn’t have a preview head on his R2R deck back in 2001 and transferred analog to digital before cutting the original “Experience Hendrix” series of LPs and CDs of the original individual albums, and of First Rays of the New Rising Sun the album Hendrix wanted to release instead of what came to be known as The Cry of Love, what are the chances that there was an analog tape of this compilation here for Bernie Grundman to work from? Not good!

Generating one would have required digging out the original tracks, transferring them and assembling them onto a reel for each of the eight sides. What are the odds that was done? Not great, even though it sounds that way when you compare the original CDs with the superbly smooth, rich, transparent and detailed sound of this four LP set.

Whatever was used for the transfer, this set of popular originals from the studio albums on one disc and live performances on the other, sounds much better than the already find sounding two CD set.

The compilation includes original studio classics like “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Fire,” and “Crosstown Traffic,” alternate takes of some familiar tunes, like “Spanish Castle Magic,” and “Stone Free,” and a second disc of live recordings culled from the enormous catalog.

Of course the LP packaging beats the double CD set, but the vinyl does likewise. Assuming you have a decent analog rig, the differences between the CD and analog sets will be immediately evident: the record sounds far more real, more transparent and far less “crunchy” than the CD, yet the EQ sounds very similar, if not identical.

Instrumental separation and physicality are far superior on LP, something that’s immediately noticeable if you pay attention to drums and cymbals. The LP sounds real, the CD does not. While I prefer LPs to be cut from analog master tapes, if possible, in the end I prefer which edition sounds better and in this case, the LPs sound more three dimensional, more detailed and more real. Whatever the source, it does not sound “digital,” as the terms has come to be used over the years.

Therefore, to readers who’ve asked me what I think of this set, all I can say is, I understand why the first pressing sold out: in many ways the tracks sound better than original UK Track and American Reprise editions.

It’s easy to recommend this box set to anyone needing a way into the Hendrix legacy. Personally, I’d go for the original LPs, since there were so few of them to begin with, but this compilation, containing many alternate takes not found on the originals (but found, in many cases, on the Jimi Hendrix box set of a few years ago, presents a fine introduction to the Henrix legacy.

If you buy this, you won’t be disappointed by the outstanding sonics, and you surely will appreciate the packaging, and of course the music.

SOURCE: Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

The Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band Confirm New Archival Releases

The next release from the guitarist’s solo canon, The Jerry Garcia Collection, Vol. 2: Let It Rock, will collect highlights from Jerry Garcia Band shows that took place on November 17 and 18, 1975. The gigs were held at Keystone Berkeley in front of a hometown crowd, featuring the JGB lineup of Garcia, bassist John Kahn, drummer Ron Tutt and piano player Nicky Hopkins. Let it Rock includes covers of Chuck Berry (“Let It Rock”), Little Milton (“That’s What Love Will Make You Do”), Jimmy Cliff (“Sitting In Limbo”), Allen Toussaint (“I’ll Take A Melody”) and Hank Ballard (“Tore Up Over You”), as well as the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” and Garcia’s “Sugaree.” Three Hopkins originals are also featured: “Pig’s Boogie,” “Lady Sleeps” and the curiously titled “Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder” (the latter of which Hopkins first performed with Quicksilver Messenger Service).

The Grateful Dead will also release the next installment in the Road Trips series. Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 1 features a complete recording of December 28, 1979, the same New Year’s Run that is featured on Dick’s Picks: Vol. 5. Recorded at California’s Oakland Auditorium following the closure of the Winterland, the gigs took place early in keyboardist Brent Mydland’s tenure in the band. Highlights include “Sugaree,” a rare “High Time,” “The Music Never Stopped,” the then new “Alabama Getaway,” “Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Playing in the Band,” “Terrapin Station,” “Casey Jones” and “One More Saturday Night.”

A limited edition Bonus Disc will also feature material from December 30, 1979, including a run from “Scarlet Begonias” into “Fire on the Mountain” and “Let It Grow.” Longtime Relix photographer Jay Blakesberg and Dead scribe Steve Silberman contribute to the album’s liner notes.




Record Store Day is proud to celebrate this connection with a special 40th Anniversary edition of Abbey Road that includes the vinyl album, and a t-shirt that featuring the original artwork for the “Come Together”/”Something” 7” single, along with a corresponding poster. This limited edition deluxe package will be release on Vinyl Saturday, November 7th in the United States and will be limited to 5000 in the world. Check with your local store for availability.


R.E.M., NIN, Pearl Jam, Rage Join Effort to Close Guantanamo Prison

The U.S. military's alleged use of music, played at ear-bleeding volumes, as an "interrogation tool" has come under fire from some of the musicians whose work is involved in the practice. That "interrogation tool" was allegedly used quite a bit at the United States' prison for terrorist suspects located in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, MTV reports that a number of artists have joined the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, which supports President Obama's pledge to shutter the prison, even as it faces Republican opposition.

The coalition includes R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, and Billy Bragg. It also includes Nine Inch Nails, whose "March of the Pigs" is among the songs that have reportedly been used in interrogations, according to MTV. Other songs include Deicide's "Fuck Your God" and the Meow Mix jingle, which, yikes.


Bon Jovi Hitting the Road for Two Years

At a press conference yesterday, Bon Jovi not only announced that they would be the opening act at the New Meadowlands Stadium, but would also be embarking on a two-year world tour.

The Circle World Tour starts on February 19 in Seattle, Washington and will include a residency at London's O2 Arena next June. The plans are to play 135 shows in 30 countries before wrapping up the tour in 2011.


Motown Acts Hit Cruise Ships

Motown vets the Four Tops, the Dramatics and Freda Payne will be hitting the high seas this January as part of the label's 50th anniversary celebration. Hitsville Ventures, LLC is sponsoring the cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas and will be filming for a special documentary on the label.

"We will film the shipboard concerts, the parties and all the wonderful activities with the artists and the fans, and create a permanent historical record of this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Herbert J, Strather, CEO of Hitsville Venture.

Other possible acts for the cruise who have not yet confirmed include the Miracles, the Original Vandellas and the Contours.

This Date In Music History-October 23


Barbara Ann Hawkins - Dixie Cups (1943)

Michael Burston - Motorhead (1949)

Dwight Yoakam (1956)

"Weird Al" Yankovic (1959)

Roberto Trujillo - Suicidal Tendencies/Metallica (1964)

Brian Nevin - Big Head Todd and the Monsters (1966)

They Are Missed:

The late Charles Foxx (sang "Mockingbird" with his sister Inez) was born in 1939.

Tommy Edwards ("Morning Side Of The Mountain") died of a brain aneurism in 1969.

In 1978, Mother Maybelle Carter, guitarist and vocalist with the Carter Family trio, died in Nashville at age 69.

Born today in 1943, Greg Ridley, bass player, Spooky Tooth, Humble Pie (died on November 19, 2003).

Songwriter Ellie Greenwich was born in New York in 1940 (died August 26, 2009). Member of the Raindrops and writer of "Chapel Of Love", "Da Doo Ron Ron", Hanky Panky" and many others with then-husband Jeff BarryWith Jeff Barry.


Dion started a two week run at #1 in 1961 "Runaround Sue."

In 1962, twelve-year old Steveland Morris Judkins, renamed Little Stevie Wonder, recorded his first single, "Thank you for Loving Me All the Way," for Motown Records. The record doesn't do anything but he is billed as the twelve year old genius.

In 1963, the Beatles completed the final session for their second album ‘With the Beatles’ recording "I Wanna Be Your Man." The group then drove to London airport for a flight to Stockholm, Sweden to start their first foreign tour. The Fab four were met at Stockholm airport by hundreds of girl fans that had taken the day of school.

Bob Dylan recorded the epic cut "The Times They Are A-Changin" at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City in 1963.

In 1964, all four members of band Buddy and the Kings were killed when they hired a Cesna Skyhawk to take them to a gig in Harris County. Piloted by the bands drummer Bill Daniles, the plane crashed nose first killing all on board. Singer with the group Harold Box had replaced Buddy Holly in The Crickets after his death in a plane crash. He sang lead vocals on "Peggy Sue Got Married."

The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" was released in 1965.

In 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded its first two songs, "Hey Joe" and "Stone Free" at London's De Lane Lea Studios.

In 1969, Bob Dylan's "Great White Women" bootleg album sells like hotcakes in the U.S and Canada. Columbia Records, which has Dylan under contract, said it would pursue court action to stop the bootleg's sales. Dylan had no comment.

"Tommy," Pete Townshend's rock opera, spent its last week on the LP chart in 1971, two and a half years after its release. However, "Tommy" returns in 1972 for a one-night-only London stage performance and again in 1975 with the release of the movie "Tommy."

Chicago started a two week run at #1 in 1976 with the sappy cut "If You Leave Me Now." It was the group's 18th Top 40 and first US #1 (also a #1 in the UK). It went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Led Zeppelin made their US television debut on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert in 1976, they performing "Black Dog" and "Dazed And Confused."

In 1978, CBS Records becomes the first U.S. label to announce a price hike to $8.98 list price for albums.

Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious attempted suicide while awaiting murder charges at New York's Rikers Island Detention Center in 1978. Vicious was charged with the killing of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

In 1980, Mark David Chapman quit his security job and signed out for the last time. Instead of the usual "Chappy" he wrote "John Lennon". Chapman would murder Lennon on December 8th of this year outside his New York City home.

John Lennon's first new single in more than five years,, "(Just Like) Starting Over," was released in 1980.

In 1982, The Damned released an album titled 'Strawberries' packaged with a Strawberry-smelling lyric sheet.

Nirvana played their first ever European show in 1989 when they appeared at Newcastle's Riverside Club in North East England. It was the first night of a 36 date European tour for the group who were sharing the bill with Tad.

In 1998, a federal district judge in St. Louis, MO denied a motion that would have permitted the Fort Zumwalt high school marching band the right to play a banned all-music segment of '60s songs that includes Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." The school superintendent banned the song because he felt it promoted the drug culture.

The Rob Thomas/Carlos Santana collaboration, "Smooth," was #1 in the US in 1999. The track is recorded for Santana’s comeback album, "Supernatural." With lyrics by Thomas, the songs stays on top for an impressive 12 weeks.

In 2001, Dave Matthews Band released "Live in Chicago" 12-19-98 at the United Center.

In 2002, a federal judge in St. Louis dismissed a lawsuit against Chuck Berry by Johnnie Johnson, a piano player and former collaborator who wanted royalties for more than 30 songs written between 1955 and 1966. The songs in question included "No Particular Place To Go," "Roll Over Beethoven," and "Sweet Little Sixteen." Johnson's lawsuit argued that he and Berry were co-writers on many of the songs, but because Berry copyrighted them in his name alone, Johnson got none of the royalties. The judge ruled that too many years had passed to bring about a royalties suit.

During Ashlee Simpson's performance on Saturday Night Live in 2004, the band play a song different to the vocals the audience heard coming out the speakers. Simpson abandoned the performance but denies charges of lip syncing. Uh, ok we believe you.

In 2007, Phil Spector's first murder trial (for the 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson) ends in a hung jury (10-2 for guilty-- he is later found guilty).

"Raising Sand," a collaboration between ex-Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant and Country/Bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, was released in 2007. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the 13-track set is largely covers, including "Please Read The Letter," a song Plant co-wrote with Jimmy Page. On singing harmony with Krauss, Plant says, "I'd always liked harmony singing but I'd never been a part of anything . . . that ever went anywhere near harmony work." Plant first sang with Krauss on an ’04 Leadbelly (Hudy William Ledbetter) tribute album.