Friday, May 3, 2013

Music Record Shop Weekly (CONTEST!!)

Welcome to the weekly feature (look for it every Friday) called MusicRecordShop Weekly.

Instead of the usual special releases to browse over, Mark has let the CVR blog have one copy of Mad Season's 'Above' to give away to a lucky blog reader.  So, the 33rd emailer with the words "Music Record Shop Mad Season Contest" in the subject line to this email address  wins!  Limit one entry per person please! 

Mad Season - Above

This expanded double 12" vinyl edition includes the original album in its entirety as well as three songs from the band's unfinished second album with newly recorded vocals by Mark Lanegan, a previously unreleased instrumental, "Interlude," and a remixed version of Mad Season's cover of John Lennon 's "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier."

Above is the only studio album by the American rock band Mad Season, released on March 14, 1995 through Columbia Records. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA in the United States.  The album's gloomy, black and white cover art was illustrated by Staley. The drawing was based upon a photograph of Staley and his then-girlfriend, Demri Lara Parrott.

Mad Season
Barrett Martin – drums, percussion, double bass, cello, marimba, vibraphone
Mike McCready – lead and rhythm electric and acoustic guitars
John Baker Saunders – bass guitar
Layne Staley – vocals, rhythm guitar, illustrations

Think of the one-shot Seattle supergroup Mad Season as the grunge version of sober living. Guitarist Mike McCready, best known as the main six-string slinger in Pearl Jam, met bassist John Baker Saunders while in rehab, and the two paired with Screaming Trees' drummer Barrett Martin and Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley, partially in hopes of steering the singer onto the path of the straight and narrow. Ultimately, the plan didn't pan out, but for a brief while, the quartet -- who adopted the name Mad Season -- did have their moment of clarity, captured on the 1995 album Above. There was a single issued to modern rock radio -- "River of Deceit" -- but this record downplayed easy hooks and melody in favor of churning introspection and slow vamps that occasionally flirt with blues (the never-ending 12-bar "Artificial Red," balanced by the distorto riffs of "I Don't Everything"), but usually conjure nothing more than the dank sludge of Seattle. Mad Season aren't quite mired in the darkest areas of grunge -- they're clever enough to let a saxophonist lend color to "Long Gone Day" -- but the lack of melodicism is a bit of a drag over the long haul, turning Above into a bit of heavy mood music. In a sense, it's the id of Seattle run rampant: all the bands involved, outside of Saunders' Walkabouts and Martin's Trees (who were nevertheless considerably more popular than Saunders' group), enjoyed commercial success in 1995, so they could have gotten away with anything and, in a sense, they did, as a major-label actually released this turgid bit of soul-baring heavy rock. McCready gets plenty of room for his elliptical guitar, the players has space to dig into their minor-key vamps, Staley essays his only set of completely original lyrics, but the whole thing feels kind of inert and indulgent, which may be appropriate for a band treating rock & roll as therapy.   -All Music Guide
  • Vinyl 2-LP Import 2013
  • Label  - Music On Vinyl
  • 180 Gram Vinyl Records - 2-LP - Sealed
  • Limited Edition
  • Numbered
  • Previously unreleased bonus tracks - ("Locomotive," "Black Book Of Fear," "Slip Away") and a remix of "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier"
Track Listing

1. Wake Up
2. X-Ray Mind
3. River Of Deceit
4. Artificial Red
5. Lifeless Dead
6. I Don't Know Anything

1. Long Gone Day
2. November Hotel
3. All Alone
4. Interlude
5. Locomotive (bonus track)
6. Black Book Of Fear (bonus track)
7. Slip Away (bonus track)
8. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier (remix)

Buy At MusicRecordShop

Musicology 101

Let's have a little fun, so here are some rock and roll nuggets so you can win at music trivia games and become a top musicologist!

For many years it was thought that the very first song ever recorded was "Mary Had A Little Lamb," as spoken by Thomas Edison while testing an early phonograph in 1877. In March, 2008, the Association for Recorded Sound Collections announced the discovery of a recording of "Au Clair de la Lune," found by audio historians in the archives of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris . The recording was made by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville and recorded on a "phonautograph", a device that engraved sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened by the smoke of an oil lamp. The recording took place on April 9th, 1860...17 years before Thomas Edison invented his phonograph.

When Elvis started filming 'Loving You' in early 1957, he dyed his hair jet-black for the part. He liked the change from his natural dark blonde so much, he continued to dye it for the rest of his life.

Little Richard's opening line to his hit "Tutti Frutti", A-wop bop-a loo-mop, a-lop bam-boom! was a scat that was supposed to imitate a drum solo opening.

The first few copies of "Hey Paula" were credited to "Jill and Ray," since the singer's real names were Jill Jackson and Ray Hildebrand. For continuity sake, the duo were quickly re-named Paul and Paula.

The Allman Brothers' only Billboard Top 10 hit, "Ramblin' Man" was the last song recorded by bassist Berry Oakley before his death in 1972.

The soundtrack for the movie Saturday Night Fever was composed and performed primarily by The Bee Gees and has gone platinum fifteen times over. Despite this success, The Bee Gees' Robin Gibb stated that he had never seen the film all the way through.

The Eagles first learned the J.D. Souther written "How Long" in 1974, and although it was frequently included in their live shows, they refrained from recording it so Souther could use it on his own solo album. It finally appeared on their 2007 album, 'Long Road Out Of Eden' and was released as a single in January, 2008. A month later, the song brought the band their fifth Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

When an interviewer asked Paul Simon "What's the smartest thing you ever heard anybody in Rock 'n' Roll say?", Simon answered "Be bop-a-lula, she's my baby."

After the amazing success of "Dark Side Of The Moon", Pink Floyd planned an album that featured the sounds of household objects, which fortunately was never recorded.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" was written as an answer to two Neil Young songs, "Southern Man" and "Alabama", which dealt with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. Young was born in Toronto, Canada and Skynyrd's members were from Florida.


Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

from our friends at MusicOnVinyl

Raveonettes - Whip It On 

Whip It On is the impressive debut by Danish psych-Pop duo The Raveonettes, originally released in 2002.  All written in the key of B flat minor, band members Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner made quite an impact with 8 intoxicating 'film noiresque' tunes, driven by strong rhythms and heavy 3 chord riffs.  Their stripped down, in-your-face sound stands out in the indie realm of dreamy guitar pop. 

Whip It On was the starting gun that launched The Raveonettes, resulting in sophomore high-class albums like Chain Gang Of Love from 2003 [MOVLP069] and the recently re-released Pretty In Black [MOVLP721] from 2005.  First 1000 copies are pressed on red vinyl and come in individually numbered jackets.
  • 100 gram audiophile vinyl
  • First 1.000 copies limited & numbered on RED vinyl!
Side 1
1.  Attack Of The Ghost Riders   
2.  Veronica Fever   
3.  Do You Believe Her   
4.  Chains

Side 2  
1.  Cops On Our Tail   
2.  My Tornado   
3.  Bowels Of The Beast   
4.  Beat City

Suicidal Tendencies - Lights Camera Revolution

Music On Vinyl are thrilled to unleash the fourth studio album from Venice Beach, L.A. heavyweights Suicidal Tendencies.  Lights… Camera… Revolution (1990) will be reissued on 180 gram turquoise vinyl for 1000 lucky thrashers!

Album opener and unmistakable anthem "You Can't Bring Me Down" –  S.T.'s rally against vicious rumours and their notorious ban from playing public places in L.A. – sets the tone for the record, with 'Cyco' Mike Muir's lyrics of social commentary handled with intelligence, humour and a punk rock middle-finger.  Lights… Camera… Revolution boasts the line-up now deemed classic. Suicidal's flirtation with the mainstream (complete with obligatory criticism of 'selling-out') went Gold in the US with over half a million copies sold, and to this day remains an essential record in any Metal or Punk collection.

For fans of:  Anthrax, Metallica, Biohazard and Black Flag.

180 gram audiophile vinyl
1000 numbered & limited coloured copies


1 You Can't Bring Me Down
2 Lost Again 488        
3 Alone        
4 Lovely                                
5 Give It Revolution

1 Get Whacked
2 Send Me Your Money
3 Emotion No. 13
4 Disco's Out, Murder's In            
5 Go'n Breakdown

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers - Bare Wires

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers were the undisputed flag-bearers of the British Blues movement during the mid sixties.  The band saw many configurations, spawning talents like Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.  Bare Wires is their fifth album, recorded in 1968 with (a.o.) Mick Taylor on guitar, Jon Hiseman on drums, Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax and Tony Reeves on bass.  The latter three started Prog Rock band Colloseum a little later - Reeves went on to work with Sandy Denny and John Martyn. Bare Wires is a truly iconic album, as it went down as the album where Mayall treaded Jazz territory, making it a record with historical importance.  On 180 gram audiophile vinyl!

Side 1

1. Bare Wires
2. Where Did I Belong
3. I Started Walking 
4. Open A New Door 
5. Fire  
6. I Know Now  
7. Look In The Mirror

Side 2   
1. I'm A Stranger 
2. No Reply  
3. Hartley Quits  
4. Killing Time   
5. She's Too Young 
6. Sandy


Miles Davis Sextet – Someday My Prince Will Come – Columbia Records Legacy Recordings – mono vinyl

Miles Davis – Milestones – Columbia Records/ Legacy Recordings – mono vinyl

Two great Miles Davis classics on reissued vinyl - but why in mono when stereo masters are available?

Published on April 15, 2013

Miles Davis Sextet – Someday My Prince Will Come – [TrackList follows] Columbia Records Legacy Recordings audiophile mono 180gr. vinyl CL 1656 (No. 1215) **:

(Miles Davis/Hank Mobley/Wynton Kelly/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb)

Here are two more mono audiophile reissues on vinyl of albums recorded in stereo and much superior in that form, whether on vinyl or digital media. Three Miles Davis collectible titles are being released on mono vinyl on the 20th of this month (the third is ‘Round About Midnight”) in support of Record Store Day and independent record retailers nationwide. The first of these albums is available in a three-channel SACD from Analogue Productions, mastered from the original three-channel tapes of the 1961 session. In order to make more fair comparison, I used the two-channel stereo option on the SACD to compare with the new vinyl disc.

Miles sounds great as usual on the vinyl, with his sophisticated variations on the Disney tune and the rest of the half-dozen tracks. This was his successor to Sketches of Spain, but there’s little connection between the two albums. But the very highest frequencies of his trumpet are not there, and the other five players on the session sound way in the background rather than spaced out across the stereo stage.  As various soloists come up, such as pianist Wynton Kelly, the same effect is repeated with the rest of the sextet. On the SACD each of the soloists is dead center, and of course with the three-channel version, it’s even more so. The mono vinyl puts Kelly’s piano right on top of Miles, whereas on the SACD he is off to the left and Miles is at center as it should be. Can’t imagine who would prefer the mono vinyl.

TrackList:  Someday My Prince Will Come, Old Folks, Pfrancing, Drad-Dog, Teo, I Thought About You.

Buy at  Amazon


Miles Davis – Milestones [TrackList follows] – Columbia Records/ Legacy Recordings audiophile mono 180gr. vinyl CL 1193 (No. 1643) **:

(Miles Davis, trumpet; Cannonball Adderley, alto sax; John Coltrane, tenor sax; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums)

The tune “Milestones,” heard in two different takes on this disc, was just as important in making modality a feature of modern jazz as was the more famous Kind of Blue. There are also additional alternate takes of two of the other tracks on this CD, which the vinyl version does not have. By the way, this is a standard stereo CD—not a SACD—but in my A/B comparisons I heard almost as noticeable a contrast between the two media as with the Someday My Prince release. The Columbia CD, like so many releases, says absolutely nothing about whether it is mono or stereo, but the Mobile Fidelity version of it is marked monaural, which is wrong. It’s stereo, with the piano on the left and drums on the right.

The CD has more high end details and especially a strong feeling of the ambience of the studio, which is completely missing on the mono vinyl. Chambers’ doublebass seem to envelop everything on the mono version, rather than just being a member of the sextet, as on the CD. Having the players spread out a bit on the stereo stage is so much more enjoyable than all crowded together at the center. And then there’s those three additional tracks which you don’t get on the vinyl. Pricing on these Legacy monos seems to be less than the SACD version on Mobile Fidelity (which oddly is also mono) but more than the stereo CD. Perhaps with one of these new even-more-expensive mono-only moving coils and an even more expensive turntable system than I have, this mono vinyl might sound a bit better, but I doubt it. I did notice that switching my preamp to Full Mono instead of Direct on my turntable, made the disc sound even worse. (Milestones will be reissued by Mobile Fidelity on April 30th in a vinyl version.)

TrackList:  Dr. Jekyll, Sid’s Ahead, Two Bass Hit, Milestones, Billy Boy, Straight No Chaser.

—John Henry

I want to thank John over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.


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