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Archive for February 17th, 2011

Blues in a Box: Legacy to Celebrate Robert Johnson’s 100th

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May 8 would have been the 100th birthday of Robert Johnson, arguably the most influential figure in blues music. Of course, Johnson did not live nearly that long – he died at 27 in 1938, leaving a legacy of stirring, influential recordings on 78 RPM records and a bizarrely ill-documented lifeline (only two pictures of him are known to exist, and there’s a legend that he gained his guitar prowess thanks to a deal with the devil himself) – but his legacy remains strong. The 1961 compilation King of the Delta Blues Singers was a massive influence on Eric Clapton, Robert Plant and countless others, and his signature songs (“Hellhound on My Trail,” “Crossroads,” “Sweet Home Chicago”) remain pop standards to this day.

1990’s The Complete Recordings, released by Columbia, was a watershed in the early history of CD box sets, winning a Grammy, going platinum and being selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. Columbia/Legacy now follows that tradition and ups the ante with The Complete Original Masters: Centennial Edition, a massive CD/vinyl box set available online April 26.

This limited, numbered set – 1,000 copies will be pressed – includes reproductions of the 12 original 12″ singles that Johnson released for the Vocalion label in between 1937 and 1939 (the discs play at 45 RPM). Also included are four compact discs: The Robert Johnson Centennial Collection – a two-disc collection of all 42 of Johnson’s known master takes (including alternates) – and two compilations, Rare Victor Blues – collating other blues sides from the Sony vaults – and Also Playing…, which features other rare tracks laid down during the same session dates that Johnson had in San Antonio and Dallas. Finally, a 1992 documentary, The Life and Music of Robert Johnson: Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl, will be included on DVD.

It is known that the Johnson CD set will be available separately. What is not known is whether or not the tracks will be mastered at different speeds, as recent evidence has indicated that the original singles were mastered slightly faster than intended.

Have a look at this impressive track list after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 17, 2011 at 13:51

The Latest Queen Reissue Update

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Just a quick note to readers that Queen’s Web site has posted release dates for the upcoming reissues in all international territories. Except America of course! Over here, we’ve got a release date of “TBC,” which is perhaps better than “N/A.”

Written by Mike Duquette

February 17, 2011 at 11:56

Posted in News, Queen, Reissues

“Another Stoney Evening” Inaugurates Crosby-Nash Label

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With Buffalo Springfield confirmed to play Bonnaroo and a fall tour still a possibility, Neil Young and Stephen Stills have a busy few months ahead. Well, David Crosby and Graham Nash aren’t ones to sit around waiting on their bandmates. The venerable harmonists are the latest artists to take the indie route and have announced the formation of Blue Castle Records. Its first release will arrive March 22 to coincide with their upcoming tour as a duo. On that date, Crosby and Nash will reissue Another Stoney Evening, the out-of-print album chronicling their October 10, 1971 concert at Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Of all the different factions of the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young family, the Crosby-Nash partnership has always been among the most rewarding.

Another Stoney Evening (its name derived from a bootleg release and inspired by the duo’s not-so-thinly-veiled drug references throughout) was first officially released on Arista in 1998 and then reissued five years later in the DVD-Audio format from DTS Entertainment. Crosby described the concert as “the loosest show on earth,” and it’s a valuable document of the Crosby-Nash team beginning its parallel career with that of the CSN and CSNY groups. Nash was coming off his solo Songs for Beginners, released in June 1971, while Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name, released in February of that year, was still fresh in fans’ minds. The repartee between the two men is evident and easy, their camaraderie translating well to disc. The CSNY catalogue is represented with songs such as “Déjà Vu” and “Teach Your Children,” while both men recreated highlights from their solo albums.

Another Stoney Evening is planned to be the first of many releases from Blue Castle. While any and all CSNY-related projects are notoriously slow in getting off the ground (Where is the Stephen Stills box from Rhino? The live tour recordings from 1974? I won’t even joke about Neil Young’s Archives, Vol. 2!), the projects spearheaded by Nash in the past have all been worthwhile despite the waits. Crosby promised Rolling Stone that “we have a lot – I mean massive – quantities of stuff recorded” that could see eventual release. He also has a solo project in the works, produced by James Raymond, his son and bandmate in CPR.

Hit the jump for pre-order info, track listing and discographical information!

Another Stoney Evening is scheduled for release on March 22 in both digital and vinyl formats.  No CD release appears to be in the cards. Further information will be updated at Crosby and Nash’s official website, where pre-orders are currently being taken for the digital version only. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 17, 2011 at 10:55

Posted in CSNY, News, Reissues