Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vinyl Record News & Notes

Atheist 'Jupiter'  Album Cover Art

Legendary progressive death metallers Atheist make their comeback with their fourth album, 'Jupiter.'  The cover -- reminiscent of their past album covers which feature strong circular elements -- was done by Eliran Kantor.


FIREBALL MINISTRY Releasing First Full Length Vinyl Record Of Self-Titled Album

Hard rock foursome Fireball Ministry is releasing the 180 gram white vinyl pressing of their March 2010 self-titled album FIREBALL MINISTRY (Restricted Release) on December 22, 2010 also via Restricted Release.

“We are very excited to have a release on vinyl—it’s the way nature intended music to be heard,” says front-man Rev. James A. Rota II.

Recorded at Grandmaster in Hollywood, with additional vocals tracked at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studio, Fireball Ministry’s ten-track, collector’s edition LP has a limited run of 1,000 copies and is the band’s second release without a traditional label. The FIREBALL MINISTRY vinyl pressing is currently available for pre-order at and includes the full album digital download and bonus video for “Butcher, Faker, Policy Maker.”


The Decemberists Ready Deluxe Box Set

'The King Is Dead,' the title of the Decemberists' stripped-down new album, will arrive January 18 in North America via Capitol Records (a day earlier in Europe via Rough Trade). The album will be available in all the usual formats as well as a deluxe limited-edition box set, which will feature the album on CD and 180-gram white vinyl, as well as a DVD, a unique Polaroid photo, a hardcover book, and an art print-- all in a linen-wrapped clamshell box with a foil-stamped cover.

However, only 2,500 of these boxes will be available. For the box, the band teamed up with the Polaroid film manufacturers the Impossible Project and the photographer Autumn de Wilde. De Wilde took photos of the band's recording sessions in rural Oregon and L.A., and each box will come with a unique photo. The DVD contains Pendarvia, a 30-minute documentary about the making of the album by filmmaker Aaron Rose. The 72-page hardcover book features photos from de Wilde and illustrations from Carson Ellis, and the Giclée print is of an Ellis illustration and signed by Ellis herself.


Metallica: 'Live At Grimey's' First-Week Sales Revealed

Metallica's new live album 'Live At Grimey's' sold about 3,000 copies in the US in just a three-day sales window (Friday-Sunday). The effort is being sold as a standard CD and as a limited-edition two-disc vinyl set in a gatefold sleeve.

Released on Friday, November 26, "Live At Grimey's" is available only at the approximately 700 independent record stores that support the annual Record Store Day, held each year in April. The set was recorded on June 12, 2008 at the tiny 150-capacity venue The Basement, located below the Grimey's New & Preloved Music record store in Nashville.


Bright Eyes to Release Album Next Year

On Februrary 15, Bright Eyes is scheduled to release a new album, 'The People's Key,' which will be the band's first album since 2007's 'Cassadaga.' 'The People's Key' was produced by Mogis and features contributions from members of Cursive, the Faint, Now It's Overhead, Autolux, the Mynabirds, and the Berg Sans Nipple.

The band has also announced two tour dates next year, one at New York's Radio City Music Hall on March 9 and one at London's Royal Albert Hall on June 23.


New record store ready to defy odds

By Sandra Sperounes

Two vinyl records, Led Zeppelin's I and Bruce Springsteen's The Promise, hang on the wall. Unopened boxes of CDs sit on the floor. Clint Anderson quietly prints out labels with band names on them while his friend and business partner, Mike McDonald, stands on a ladder, installing a speaker, at the back of Permanent Records.

It's Monday afternoon, four days before the opening of Edmonton's newest record store, located at 8126 Gateway Blvd. "There's going to be some long nights before we open on Friday," says co-owner Dave Gawdunyk. "There's a lot of receiving (of stock) to do, getting art on the walls, setting up the sections. ..."

Call them crazy -- McDonald's brother-in-law does.

Who opens a record store at a time when album sales are dropping and outlets across North America are shutting their doors?

Read more: Here


In midtown Sacramento, two stores sell music on vinyl

by Carla Meyer

Two new midtown Sacramento businesses put the "record" back in record store.

Music boutique Phono Select and vintage-album seller Medium Rare emphasize vinyl over MP3s and in-person expertise over user comments.

The stores feature carefully curated LP selections drawn from their music business-savvy proprietors' own collections and aimed at the same diehard music fans who have inspired a surge in vinyl sales over the past few years.

"I think it is just a reaction to everything being so fast-foodish," Phono Select co-owner and longtime professional music buyer Dal Basi, 43, said of the revived interest in vinyl.

"The sound of vinyl is truly warmer than a CD," said Marty DeAnda, 58, an artist manager, record-label owner and proprietor of the baby boomer-centric Medium Rare. And his customers can actually make out the art – and read liner notes – on a 12-inch album cover.

Read more:


Throwback Products We Love: Vinyl Records

By Diane Bullock

The record spins again: Sales are up, bands are pressing new music, and players are back on the shelves.

The LP record. Those clunky, 12-inch discs of vinyl have inspired a god-like worship by audiophiles -- from John Cusak’s character in High Fidelity who organized his music collection not alphabetically, not chronologically, but autobiographically to Stanley Goodspeed in The Rock who shelled out $600 for a Beatles LP, rather than a $13 CD because they “sound better” to the characterization of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, whose radio station studio and bedroom/home office were clogged, floor to ceiling, with the last ‘real’ records before the impending “death rattle, the last gasp, the last grope” of rock and roll music.

Four decades before Cameron Crowe had Bangs putting a nail in the coffin his record acquiring habit, RCA Victor was introducing the very first commercial vinyl record to the market. But the listening medium didn’t catch on until with the public until Columbia Records pioneered cost effective playback equipment and unveiled the 12-inch Long Play 33 1/3 RPM microgroove polyvinyl chloride record at a New York press conference in 1948.

The vinyl record would be the dominant mass market music medium for the next three-plus decades until the 1980s when cassette tapes started filling the shelves. But vinyl’s major popularity plunge came courtesy of Sony (SNE) and Philips’ (PHG) digitally recorded compact disc which proved far more portable, far less vulnerable to damage and, according to some, provided better fidelity. Vinyl records were officially ushered out of the marketplace by 1991 when the vast majority of copies of U2’s Achtung Baby were purchased on CD and Tower Records stores were holding final clearance sales on all vinyl merchandise, which comprised only 15 percent of total sales.

Read more: Here


Amoeba has good Friday

Music retailers amp up for Record Store Day

By Christopher Morris

Aisles were teeming with shoppers at Amoeba Music in Hollywood on Friday -- "Black Friday," traditionally the biggest retail day of the year -- as the store joined other indie retailers in pulling out the stops to drive up their pre-Christmas business.

Amoeba was participating in a special pre-holiday promotion, mounted for the first time by the organizers of April's annual Record Store Day, that placed exclusive product (much of it vinyl-only) in indie store racks, hoping to reverse the double-digit downturn in record sales this year.

"There was a real good feel to it," said Amoeba co-owner Karen Pearson. "It was a really great energy … It sure seemed busier."

There was a sense of some urgency in this second Record Store Day event of the year.

Read more: Here


Jack White defends Third Man Records eBay auctions

Singer dismisses complaints of fan exploitation, saying his decision to sell limited-edition vinyl to the highest bidder cuts out opportunists who profit from secondary sales

Sean Michaels

There is a rebellion brewing among fans of Jack White's label, Third Man Records, over the company's decision to auction limited-edition releases to the highest bidder. After admitting that Third Man was inspired by profiteers who "flipped" the label's releases on eBay, White has waded into the debate, telling critics to "stop all of the whining". "We didn't do anything to you but give you what you want," he wrote. "Don't want them to be expensive? Then guess what? Don't WANT them."

Since 2009, White has been issuing limited-edition records on his Third Man imprint, including releases by the Dead Weather, Conan O'Brien and the White Stripes. Many of these are released in runs of 100 or 300 copies, with tri-colour, glow-in-the-dark or oddly sized vinyl. Although these limited editions often resell for hundreds of pounds, Third Man sold them on a first-come, first-served basis through its Nashville headquarters, "pop-up shops" and a paid members' service, the Vault. With the label's rising profile, and its releases' rising values, Third Man has attracted "flippers", who buy limited records purely sell online.

This week, Third Man Records decided to beat the flippers at their own game,

Read more: Here

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I think my question is one you have never been asked.

I have many of the picture sleeves that accompanied hit singles by vinyl era (1949-'89) stars, mostly the Beatles; Beach Boys; 4 Seasons; Prince; Ricky Nelson; Connie Francis; and Elvis Presley.

I know you have talked about consecutive streaks, like No. 1s and Top 10s, etc., but among this group, who had the most consecutive single releases originally issued with picture sleeves?
—Fred Simon, Evansville, Ind.

DEAR FRED: Not only has your question never been submitted for the column, I don't recall it ever coming up in any correspondence or conversation. I like it!

As you know, the number of picture sleeves made for a given artist is not necessarily proportional to the number of singles issued.

For example, Glen Campbell charted with over 55 singles (1961-'81), only one of which had a special sleeve (“Hey Little One”).

James Brown and Ray Charles each topped 100 single hits, yet only eight of Brown's came with a custom sleeve, and just one of Brother Ray's (“That's a Lie”).

Among other influential factors is the record company. Some labels felt the added expense, nearly double, of producing a nice picture sleeve was worth it. Others, especially those on shoestring budgets, did not, knowing the added cost could not passed be on to their customers. Records with gorgeous, full-color coated-stock sleeves sold for the same prices as ones with plain white or brown, low-grade paper wrappers.

In the order you list them, we begin with the Beatles and the Beach Boys. During their most significant years, both groups recorded for Capitol, at times a picture sleeve-oriented label.

From 1964 to 1982, Capitol produced 23 consecutive Beatles singles with picture sleeves. Mixed in with the Capitol product in 1964 are five other labels who provided custom sleeves with their singles: Vee-Jay (“Please, Please Me” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret”); Swan (“She Loves You”); MGM (“My Bonnie” and “Why”); Atco (“Ain't She Sweet”); Tollie (“Love Me Do”).

In the throes of Beatlemania, these other records came flying in from all directions, but none affect the streak by Capitol, their official U.S. label at the time.

During the same period, Capitol printed sleeves for 10 consecutive Beach Boys hits (1964-'66). Over their entire career, the California boys have 20 picture sleeves.

The 4 Seasons also have 20 total, but only six are for consecutive hits (1966-'67).

Like the Beatles, Prince's successive streak (1982-'89) reached 23.

Ricky Nelson is an interesting case in point. Imperial shipped 11 of his first 12 singles in color sleeves (1957-'62), then inexplicably did not make one for his best seller to date, and first No. 1 hit, “Poor Little Fool.” By skipping it, what would have been a streak of 16 is reduced to 12.

In the mid-'60s, for Imperial as well as Decca, Rick (no longer Ricky) enjoyed another run of 10 straight sleeved hits (1963-'66).

The MGM cameras loved Connie Francis, and showed it by doing sleeves for 31 of her hits. Of those, they put together an uninterrupted streak of 25 (1960-'65), making her the runner-up in this sheathing event.

All of which means Elvis is alone at the top, and the King of Rock & Roll is also the King of Picture Sleeves.

Having 90 consecutive RCA Victor hits encased in collectible picture sleeves is downright remarkable.

IZ ZAT SO? Though not mentioned in today's question, the Rolling Stones certainly have a significant place in picture sleeve history.

Of all the top vinyl era stars — limited to ones with over a dozen hits — the Stones are the act with the most consecutive picture sleeves, beginning with that artist's debut hit. In their case that would be “Not Fade Away.”

They followed this 1964 single and sleeve with 18 more on London, concluding with “Honky Tonk Women,” in 1969. They are also the only artist in this class whose label (London) did not produce even one hit single without a custom sleeve.

Lesley Gore (13) and Janet Jackson (10) notwithstanding, it is quite rare for any of the vinyl era's top stars to have custom sleeves for their earliest singles. Elvis didn't get a special sleeve until his 10th release (“Don't Be Cruel”/“Hound Dog”).

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail: Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

This Date In Music History - December 1


Billy Paul (1934)

Sandy Nelson (1938)

Dianne Lennon - Lennon Sisters (1939)

Bette Midler (1944)

Eric Bloom - Blue Oyster Cult (1944)

John Densmore - Doors (1944)

Gilbert O'Sullivan (1946)

Sam Reid - Glass Tiger (1963)

Greg Upchurch - 3 Doors Down (1971)

Brad Delson - Linkin Park (1977)

They Are Missed:

Lee Dorsey, who had two US Top Ten hits with "Ya Ya" (#7 in 1961) and "Working In A Coal Mine" (#8 in 1966), died of emphysema in 1986, just three days shy of his 60th birthday.

Born on this day in 1951, Jaco Pastorius, jazz bass player, (1976 hit with Weather Report, "Birdland"). Also worked with Joni Mitchell and Pat Metheny. Died on September 21,1987 (age 35). He suffered irreversible brain damage after being beaten into a coma after an altercation with a bouncer at the Midnight Club in Fort Lauderdale.

William Smith, vocalist and keyboard player for Motherlode, suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 53 in 1997. The Canadian group hit #18 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1969 with "When I Die."

Born on this day in 1936, Lou Rawls. Rawls died from lung cancer on January 6, 2006 (age 72).


The rock and roll film "Shake, Rattle and Roll" opened in 1956.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957, performing "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue." Sam Cooke was also a guest on the same show performing "You Send Me."

In 1958, Ricky Nelson became the first 'rock and roller' to appear on the cover of Life magazine.

The Teddy Bears were at #1 on the US singles chart in 1958 with "To Know Him is to Love Him." The trio consisted of Spector along with two friends, Marshall Leib and Annette Kleinbard. The title of the Phil Spector song came from words on his father’s tombstone.

A San Diego, California quintet called Rosie And The Originals reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960 with a loosely recorded ballad called "Angel Baby." Written by the group's 14 year old singer, Rosie Hamlin, the song held the position for six weeks and stayed on the chart for three months.

The Beatles performed a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961. That night they headlined a six-group Big Beat Session at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton in Wallasey.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr booked into University College Hospital to have his tonsils removed in 1964. Big news back then....

Also in 1964, the Who played the first of 22 consecutive Tuesday night gigs at The Marquee Club in London, the band were paid $75 for each gig.

The Mamas and the Papas earned their fourth Gold record in 1966 for their album, 'Cass, John, Michelle and Denny.'

In 1966, Tom Jones' cover version of Porter Wagoner's "Green, Green Grass of Home" tops the UK charts for the first of a seven week stay. It will become his biggest hit, selling over 1.2 million copies in Britain alone. The record reached #11 in the US.

Janis Joplin made her final appearance with Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1968.

Martha & the Vandellas gave their farewell performance in Detroit, MI in 1972.

Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" was released in the US in 1972, where it will reach #1. The tune caused much speculation about who Carly was singing about, with popular guesses that included Mick Jagger (who sang unaccredited backing vocals on the song), Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson (with whom she had had brief relationships), her unfaithful fiancé William Donaldson, and her ex-husband, James Taylor. Here we are almost 40 years later and we still are not sure who the song was about....

Aerosmith’s “Dream On” can only make it to #59 on the pop chart in 1973. However, when it’s re-released three years later it lands in the Top 10.

The Carpenters went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1973 with "Top Of The World," their second US #1. An earlier version by Lynn Anderson had already topped the US Country chart.

In 1976, the Sex Pistols, who have just released their first single, "Anarchy in the UK," appeared on British TV's Today Show as a last-minute replacement for Queen. After interviewer Bill Grundy asks them about their "nasty reputation," bass player Glenn Matlock uttered a four letter word on the air. In the resulting uproar, The Sex Pistols were banned from appearing in all but five cities that were booked for their first UK tour. By next month, no club or concert hall in Great Britain will book the group. It's all about the image....

During a North American tour in 1977, Queen appeared at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

After nearly eight months in production, Michael Jackson's milestone album "Thriller" was released in 1982. Seven of the album's nine songs were released as singles and all reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The LP won a record-breaking eight awards at the 1984 Grammys and would become the largest selling album of all time, worldwide.

In 1983, Neil Young was sued by Geffen Records because his new music for the label was “not commercial in nature and musically uncharacteristic of his previous albums.”

Jim Diamond was at #1 in the UK singles chart in 1984 with "I Should Have Known Better." The song was displaced after one week by Band Aid's charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Diamond publicly requested that people not buy his single, but instead buy "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Interesting....

A Kentucky teacher lost her appeal in the US Supreme Court in 1987 over her firing after showing Pink Floyd's film 'The Wall' to her class. The court decided that the film was not suitable for minors with its bad language and sexual content. Teacher, leave those kids alone....

Whitney Houston went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1990 with "I'm Your Baby Tonight," her 8th US #1 and the first for writers and producers Reid and Babyface.

The Band’s self-titled sophomore album with "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," was certified a platinum selling album (over one million sales) in 1991. It only took 22 years.

Pearl Jam’s classic album “Ten,” containing “Jeremy,” passed the 6 million sales mark in 1992.

In 1993, Elton John suffered a rare flop when his album 'Duets' failed to crack the top twenty-five on the US album chart. The effort, which featured Don Henley, Chris Rea, kd lang, Little Richard, Kiki Dee, Gladys Knight, Bonnie Raitt and Leonard Cohen, was received much better in the UK, topping out at number 5.

In 1995, an auction of Frank Sinatra's possessions earned him $2,072,000.

In 1997, Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. (The record has since been broken by Geovanny Escalante, who held a note for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 45 seconds, using a technique that allows him to blow and breathe at the same time). Blowharts....

The first night of a US tour with *NSYNC, Britney Spears and B*Witched opened in Columbus, Ohio in 1998. *I was unable to *at*tend....

Shania Twain started a five week run at #1 on the US album chart in 2002 with ‘Up!'

After much haggling, Pearl Jam played the first of two shows at Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo in 2005. Mayor Jose Serra had suspended the shows after complaints from nearby wealthy residents about the noise and mess. He later reversed his decision when the group complied with some ground rules. The shows marked Pearl Jam's Brazilian debut.

Memories Of John Lennon was in bookstores in 2005. The 300-plus page book, compiled by Yoko, contains prose, poetry and drawings from Lennon's friends, associates and admirers, including the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, the Who's Pete Townshend, U2's Bono, Carlos Santana and Elton John.

In 2006, an Oasis fan enjoyed "the best day of his life" when Noel Gallagher popped round to his house in Poynton, Cheshire to play an intimate gig. Ben Hayes had won a BBC Radio 1 competition to have the star play in his front room as part of a week of gigs compered by DJ Jo Whiley. 15 people packed into his lounge for the tiny gig - with his mother on hand making cups of tea for the crew.

In 2008, Wham's "Last Christmas" was the most played festive track of the last five years. The Performing Right Society put the 1984 hit at the top of their chart of seasonal songs, just ahead of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas." The Pogues came third with "Fairytale of New York," recorded with the late Kirsty MacColl and first released in 1987. Other featured artists include Slade, Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen.

Also in 2008, U2, Elton John, the Police, Bob Dylan and R.E.M. contributed music to (RED)WIRE, a subscription-based music-download service launched in conjunction with U2 singer Bono's Product Red initiative. Funds raised combat HIV and AIDS in Africa.

The Lennon Prophecy was in bookstores in 2008. Joseph Niezgoda claimed the Beatles’ popularity and John Lennon’s death were the result of a 20-year pack Lennon made with the devil in December, ’60 – well before the Beatles were international stars. The author cites historical events and hidden messages (in songs, album art, etc. – here we go again) as proof.

In 2009, Little Richard asked fans to pray for his speedy recovery after undergoing hip surgery at a Tennessee hospital. The 76-year-old Rock 'n' Roll pioneer asked family friend Rev. Bill Minson to tell fans "to get ready to rock 'n' roll with him in the new year because he's coming back strong."