Friday, October 29, 2010

Music News & Notes

U2, Metallica, And Many More Are Preparing Limited Edition Releases For 'Black Friday'

More than 30 artists including Metallica, and Bruce Springsteen, will hopefully help driving shoppers into independent record stores during this year's Thanksgiving shopping rush, by releasing limited edition vinyl as part of "Back to Black Friday."

This event hopes to take advantage of the USs' biggest annual single day of shopping, November 26, (aka Black Friday), and was organized by the creators of Record Store Day, the cooperative project of indie outlets that stock limited edition releases for one day in April.

Here is a sampling of some of the releases so far:

U2, Wide Awake In Europe
12" numbered vinyl featuring 3 live tracks from band's U2360 Tour.

The Black Keys, Brothers
Deluxe vinyl box set featuring six-track 10" of live tracks.

Iron and Wine, "Walking Far From Home"
12" vinyl and CD single featuring unreleased tracks.

Metallica, Live @ Grimey's
CD and double vinyl set of band's 2008 Nashville show.

Dr. Dog, Double 7"
Double disc single featuring unreleased tracks "Take Me Into Town."

Gaslight Anthem, "Tumblin' Dice"
7" vinyl single of previously unreleased Rolling Stones track.

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
3 LP vinyl box set, issued on numbered 180-gram vinyl.

MGMT, "Congratulations"
Gatefold 7" vinyl featuring previously unreleased Erol Alkan remix of "Congratulations."

Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A Changin'"
7" transluscent red vinyl single with "Like A Rolling Stone" B-side.

Bruce Springsteen, "Save My Love"
7" single including "Because the Night" and 4 color art sleeve.

The Ting Tings, "Hands"
Brit duo's latest single on 7" vinyl, featuring remix by Passion Pit.

Jimi Hendrix, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
10" green vinyl featuring "Little Drummer Boy" and "Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne"

Roky Erickson and the Black Angels, Night of the Vampire
Live DVD from 2008.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, I Learned the Hard Way
Soul group's latest album pressed on eleven 7" singles.


Fat Possum Re-Releasing T. Rex Getting On Vinyl

Paste Magazine is reporting that Mississippi record label Fat Possum, is planning to remaster and reissue a slew of T. Rex LPs with the first being 'The Slider' (Nov. 23).

The label hasn’t revealed any additional titles slated for remastering yet, but rest assured 'The Slider' won’t be the last T. Rex resurrection (might 'Electric Warrior' be next?).


Triumph's Catalog Being Reissued in Europe

Canadian hard rockers Triumph will have their Rick Emmett era catalog reissued in Europe by Frontiers Records. The ten albums will be released on December 3.

Triumph was formed in Toronto in 1975 by guitarist/singer Rik Emmett, drummer/singer Gil Moore and bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine.

Each of the reissued albums have been remastered and include new booklets with background and lyrics. Frontier will also issue a 10-CD box set of all the album under the name of 'The Diamond Collection.'

The ten albums in the reissue program:

•In The Beginning (1976)
•Rock and Roll Machine (1977)
•Just a Game (1979)
•Progressions of Power (1980)
•Allied Forces (1981)
•Never Surrender (1983)
•Thunder Seven (1984)
•Stages (Live) (1985)
•The Sport of Kings (1986)
•Surveillance (1987)


John Lennon To Appear On New Coin

It’s been announced that the face of the late Beatle John Lennon is to be celebrated on a coin. The singer, who was killed in 1980, came top in a poll to decide who should appear on the silver £5 Alderney coin with 92% of the vote. Lennon’s nearest rival, with just 4.2% of the vote, was author Jane Austen. More than 30,000 votes were cast in total.

Lennon, who would have been 70 this year, follows in the footsteps of William Shakespeare and Sir Winston Churchill by receiving a coin. Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint, said: “It’s entirely fitting that John Lennon has been chosen by the public in what would have been his seventieth year.

“The massive proportion of the vote he received shows clearly just how much his untimely death still resonates with the nation."


All Things Must Pass' Getting A Vinyl Reissue

November will mark the 40th anniversary of George Harrison's seminal album 'All Things Must Pass.' Now EMI/Capital has announced that they will reissu the record in a limited edition, numbered, 180-gram vinyl set in its original 3LP configuration on November 26 and it will be available exclusively through independent record stores in the US. 'All Things Must Pass' was just newly remastered at Abby Road Studios from the original analog master tapes, and this limited edition set will include all replicated original monochromic album art, poster and lift-top box packaging.

All Things Must Pass (limited edition 3LP) tracklisting:


1. I'd Have You Anytime
2. My Sweet Lord
3. Wah-Wah
4. Isn't It A Pity (Version 1)

1. What Is Life
2. If Not For You
3. Behind That Locked Door
4. Let It Down
5. Run Of The Mill


1. Beware Of Darkness
2. Apple Scruffs
3. Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
4. Awaiting On You All
5. All Things Must Pass

1. I Dig Love
2. Art Of Dying
3. Isn't It A Pity (Version 2)
4. Hear Me Lord

LP3 ('Apple Jam')

1. Out Of The Blue
2. It's Johnny's Birthday
3. Plug Me In

1. I Remember Jeep
2. Thanks For The Pepperoni


German Thrash Metallers NECRONOMICON Release Double Vinyl

German thrash metal veterans NECRONOMICON have just released a special-edition vinyl of the band's first album on High Roller Records. This self-titled LP was first made available on CD in 1986, and the vinyl release now includes the original eight tracks and the band's 1985 "Blind Destruction" demo and two additional tracks that have appeared on different compilations.

The double LP comes in a heavy gatefold cover, embossed with the band logo, and with a cardboard lyric insert. It is limited to 666 copies, with the first 100 copies on gold vinyl and including a free woven patch, while the next 200 are on a silver/black "blend" vinyl, and the remaining 366 copies on black vinyl.

Michael Fremer Album Review


Rickie Lee Jones

Warner Brothers/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-328 180g LPs

Produced by: Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker
Engineered by: Lee Herschberg, Loyd Clifft and Mark Linett
Mixed by: Lee Herschberg
Mastered by: Rob LoVerde at MFSL, Sebastopol, CA



Early Rickie Lee Gets Deluxe Mo-Fi Treatment

by Michael Fremer
September 01, 2010

The opener to this heavily produced album “We Belong Together” owes its existence to Bruce Springsteen, but most of the rest channels Laura Nyro.

Old school talent packaging held sway in the early 1980s and the record labels had the money to invest in their choices. This follow up to Ricki Lee Jones’s debut is a production spectacular the likes of which no longer exist unless the artist has deep personal pockets.

Every note, every gesture, every drum hit and keyboard strike has been choreographed and perfectly shaped behind Jones’s vulnerable nasal whine or delicate wisp of a reminiscence.

She’s sold in the photos as a sex object not as a cool bohemian, which would be more honest and appropriate. The airbrushed album photos look as if Jones’s handlers saw her as a Stevie Nicks type. Her future albums would exude a basic honesty that eludes this overproduced extravaganza but it was a product of the times and of two producers, one of whom came from a father wedded to the “old school.”

So the overproduced aspects—the strings, the opulent backdrops and luxurious reverb and the preciousness of “Skeletons” are to be forgiven.

Mostly, Pirates is a superb sounding jazzy, folky time capsule back to a time when an artist was overwhelmed, probably against her own better instincts by well-meaning packagers. They gave Ricki Lee a fantastic send off on her way to albums that were more intimate, personal and superior communicators of what lurked inside.

No expense was spared here. Just look at who plays! Chuck Rainey, Steve Gadd, Steve Lukather, Donald Fagen, Dean Parks, Buzzy Feiten, Lenny Castro, Victor Feldman, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn and Tom Scott among others. It’s a veritable '80s “We Are the World” assemblage of musicians!

So yes, it’s not rock and roll and it’s not jazz. It’s not pop either. It’s really a producer’s extravaganza in which Ricki Lee Jones takes a backseat to the whims of the executives in charge. It’s a fascinating time capsule to an out of joint time but one where everyone involved was sure they were doing the right thing.

Through it all Ricki Lee Jones maintains her dignity as she pushes against the production onslaught. Just listen to “ A Lucky Guy” on side two. Like much of the rest, it’s a simple, breezy tune but it’s been produced to the extreme. Every note, every cymbal hit and background “ooh, ooh” has been considered and orchestrated. The engineers have recorded every sound as if the life of the whole production depended upon its being perfect and perfectly heard by the listeners.

Mobile Fidelity’s ultra-pure playback chain is the ideal conduit for this precise production and the resulting LP and SACD are both opulent and lush sounding without sacrificing transient speed and inner detail. Rickie Lee almost gets swamped here, but Mo-Fi’s mastering in both digital and analog formats keeps her breathing.

Laura Nyro’s legacy looms large here and if you missed her you owe it to yourself to go back and give her a listen after enjoying this.

Thanks to Michael over at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material. Stop by for more reviews and features.

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved Reprinted by Permission