Saturday, December 26, 2009

News & Notes

U2 Club Members Get Bonus

U2 fan club members will have the chance to get a special new release called Artificial Horizon consisting of remixes of some of their best known songs of the past 12 years plus a few updated album tracks.

Their official site describes the album:

It's almost 15 years since the remix CD Melon was released exclusively to subscribers of the band's magazine Propaganda. Now comes Artificial Horizon, an all-new limited edition album of U2 remixes only for subscribers. From Trent Reznor's remix of Vertigo to Jacknife Lee's take on Fast Cars and David Holmes's remix of Beautiful Day, this specially produced 13-track CD features stretches from the Grand Jury Mix of If God Will Send His Angels in 1997 to the Fish Out Of Water mix of Get On Your Boots. Conceived and produced for subscribers. 'Artificial Horizon' will be mailed to qualifying subscribers from late January 2010.


Vinyl pressing is back thanks to Montreal's Rip-V

Vinyl groove

Meg Hewings

With the advent of the digital download, CD sales are down, but the love of vinyl is holding strong. Vinyl sales hit record numbers in 2009 and a new vinyl pressing plant in Montreal, the one-and-only in Canada, is ready to meet demand.

Rip-V opened eight months ago in the Montreal suburb of St-Lambert and is currently pressing Tom Waits' latest live album, and just finished pressing Orange Orange's first 12-inch and We Are Wolves' Invisible Violence.

Philippe Dubuc, co-owner, president and presser at Rip-V, says vinyl's tangibility, fidelity and nostalgic appeal is helping the analog medium make a resurgence.

In 2007, local distributor f.a.b. purchased presses in New Jersey, and then brought Dubuc onboard to learn and revive the art in Canada. Dubuc now presses around 5,000 records weekly, and with only six of the 13 presses up and firing, there's room to grow.

"In the digital revolution, the physical aspect of music is disappearing. In this context, vinyl is a hundred times more interesting than a CD, because it has a social and physical aspect: You sit down and listen to vinyl, you're deeply involved in experience of the music."

Dubuc says given the historical context for music formats, "this better sounding medium" is helping drive sales among audiophiles and fidelity freaks, and the new iPod generation. "It's kids in their teens and 20s that are moving
towards this medium now. Artists make records and they spend time on the art, the liner notes and the cover. This doesn't show up on an iPod screen."

At present, indie Epitaph is Rip-V's biggest client, but word of mouth has helped the upstart press make the rounds. "Everyone is looking for vinyl, so word gets around quickly."



IMMOLATION: 'Majesty And Decay' Cover Artwork Unveiled

Veteran death metallers IMMOLATION will release their eighth album, "Majesty And Decay", on March 9, 2010 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded Millbrook Sound Studios in New York with longtime producer Paul Orofino. Mixing duties were handled by Zack Ohren, who has previously worked with DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION and ALL SHALL PERISH, among others.

IMMOLATION's new album contains "10 songs [plus two intros] of the strongest material we have ever written," the band said in a statement. "The new material is more violent and aggressive, with fast sections that take us to a new level of speed and intensity, while complementing the dark and sullen heavier moments. There are plenty of miserable and militant movements to please the diehard and new IMMOLATION fans alike."

This Date In Music History-December 26


Born on this day, Abdul 'Duke' Fakir - Four Tops (1935)

Phil Spector (full name Harvey Phillip Spector) was born in the Bronx section of New York in 1940. As a producer, as well as a songwriter, label owner, and session player, Spector has had a significant influence on the course of rock & roll. The "wall of sound" that he perfected in the early '60s opened unlimited possibilities for arrangements and sound construction in rock and pop music.

Henning Schmitz - Kraftwerk (1953)

Lars Ulrich - Metallica (1955)

Jay Noel Yuenger - White Zombie (1967)

Peter Klett - Candlebox (1969)

James Mercer - The Shins (1970)

Jared Joseph Leto - 30 Seconds to Mars (1971)

Chris Daughtry (1979) Daughtry was the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. His band's self-titled debut 2007 US #1 album sold more than 1 million copies after just five weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album of all time.

They Are Missed:

Bluesman Freddie King died in Dallas in 1976 at the age of 42. He was a major influence on many British rockers such as Eric Clapton.

Soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter Curtis Mayfield died in 1999 (age 57).


Bill Haley and the Comets' "See You Later Alligator" was released by Decca Records in 1955. Topping out at #6 on the pop chart, it will be his biggest hit since "Rock Around the Clock."

In 1956, Fats Domino's "Blue Monday" entered the pop chart, eventually peaking at #9. Mickey and Sylvia made their pop chart debut with "Love is Strange," which peaked at #13.

In 1963, Capitol Records, the EMI-affiliated company which has rejected U.S. rights to every Beatles record offered so far, finally rush-releases "I Want to Hold Your Hand" b/w "I Saw Her Standing There." Within five weeks, it will hit Number One.

The Beatles started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1964 with "I Feel Fine." It was the group's 6th #1 of the year in which they had 30 entries on the chart, giving them a total of 18 weeks at the top of the charts.

In 1964, after a year of being criticized for their long hair, the Rolling Stones took out an ad in the New Musical Express wishing “starving hairdressers and their families a Happy Christmas.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an afternoon show at The Uppercut Club, London in 1966. Hendrix also wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in the dressing room on the same day.

In 1967, BBC Television broadcast The Beatles' movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in black and white. The next day, the British press and the viewing public pronounce the film an utter disaster. The negative reaction was so strong that a US television deal for broadcasting the movie was cancelled.

Led Zeppelin started their first North American tour in 1968, supporting Vanilla Fudge and Spirit at Denver Auditorium, Colorado, tickets for this Sunday night gig cost $5.

George Harrison started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "My Sweet Lord," making him the first Beatle to score a #1 US hit. The song was originally intended for Billy Preston.

"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band," Lennon’s debut album as a solo artist, entered the album charts in 1970. This stark, confessional recording is regarded by many as his greatest achievement.

In 1979, the first night of a series of concerts were held at The Hammersmith Odeon in London for the People of Kampuchea, featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. The events, which were organised by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim, were aimed to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia.

AC/DC started a three-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1981 with 'For Those About To Rock We Salute You'.

Notorious BIG was at #1 on the US album chart in 1999 with "Born Again."

2Pac went to #1 on the US album chart in 2004 with "Loyal To The Game."