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Archive for July 2nd, 2013

Trip on the Sunset Strip: Kim Fowley’s “Complete Imperial Recordings” Arrive From Tune In Records

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Kim Fowley - Wildfire

It’s never been easy to describe Kim Fowley in just a word or two.  Fowley is a producer, a songwriter, an actor, a manager, a publisher, a raconteur, and a promoter – both of himself and of various other acts.  Gray Newell, writing the liner notes for Tune In Records’ new Fowley anthology, adds a few more words: “musical maverick, Svengali of Sunset Strip, Son of Frankenstein, Lord of Garbage, King of the Creeps, Underground animal, rock ‘n’ roll survivor, Living Legend.”  Fowley’s career has crossed paths with everybody from David Gates to Frank Zappa, Cat Stevens to Phil Spector, Joan Jett to Warren Zevon, but Tune In’s new collection Wildfire focuses on just one period of the Sunset Strip wild child’s oeuvre: The Complete Imperial Recordings 1968-1969.

The 2-CD set concentrates on the brief period when Fowley shared a label with luminaries like Johnny Rivers, Cher, and Jackie DeShannon, though his music was considerably more outré.  Fowley first made his name producing hits like The Hollywood Argyles’ 1960 chart-topper “Alley-Oop” and The Murmaids’ 1963 “Popsicles and Icicles.”  The stage was set for Fowley’s Imperial years by his return to Los Angeles from London, where he worked with artists like P.J. Proby, Cat Stevens and The Soft Machine.  In his absence, it seemed like the scene described in his controversial 1965 single “The Trip” had become a reality.  Prior to signing with Imperial, the all-around hustler Fowley had released his first solo album on the Tower label, 1967’s Love is Alive and Well.  He co-produced the LP with Michael Lloyd, a West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band member, and with Lloyd also helmed albums for The Smoke and The Fire Escape.  Somehow Fowley also found time to record for labels including Reprise and Original Sound before an Imperial A&R man approached him to join the company’s roster.

After the jump: details on all three LPs included on the new 2-CD set, plus the full track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 2, 2013 at 15:11

Move It On Over: Rounder to Reissue First Two Albums by George Thorogood and The Destroyers

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Even before “Bad to the Bone” solidified his place in the pop culture canon, George Thorogood was a journeyman rocker with a distinctive voice and a knack for good old-fashioned blues. This month, fans will have a chance to rediscover the earliest part of his career, when Rounder Records remasters and reissues the first two albums by George Thorogood and The Destroyers.

When the Destroyers’ self-titled album was released by Rounder in 1977, Thorogood was a Delaware-born guitarist making a name for himself on the Boston club scene with generous helpings of Chicago blues. (The geographical journey therein was not lost on Thorogood, who toured all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., over 50 days in 1980.) That first album mixed a few bluesy originals with classic covers, including Robert Johnson’s “Kind Hearted Woman,” Elmore James’ “Madison Blues” and John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” which became a live favorite for The Destroyers. Follow-up album Move It On Over, released in 1978, was all covers, but they were great ones: Hank Williams’ title track and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” opened the album with a one-two punch that resonated on FM rock radio and propelled the album to No. 32 on Billboard‘s charts, one of their highest album placements.

Thorogood and The Destroyers would release one more album for Rounder, 1980’s More George Thorogood and The Destroyers. (1979 also saw a release of recordings from 1974 on MCA Records.) From there, The Destroyers signed to EMI, leading off an incredible decade with Bad to the Bone. Thorogood is, in an incredible display of longevity, still an artist for the label group (with bassist Billy Blough and drummer Jeff Simon still serving as the nucleus of The Destoryers); 2011’s 2120 South Michigan Avenue featuring more covers and guest appearances from Charlie Musselwhite and Buddy Guy.

Rounder’s straight reissues, remastered from the original analog tapes, will be out July 30. Hit the jump to pick up your copies!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 2, 2013 at 14:04

Release Round-Up: Week of July 2

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CHIC Up All Night Greatest HitsCHIC and Various Artists, Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization: Up All Night – The Greatest Hits (Rhino U.K.)

This new double-disc compilation, featuring hits from CHIC, Sister Sledge, Debbie Harry and more, might be the best Nile Rodgers-centric compilation in its price range. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Blood Sweat & Tears - Rare Rarer & RarestBlood Sweat & Tears, Rare, Rarer & Rarest / Joe Farrell Quartet, Joe Farrell Quartet / Herbie Hancock, Treasure Chest / Sha Na Na, The Night is Still Young (Wounded Bird)

A new batch from Wounded Bird includes a compilation of rarities from Blood, Sweat & Tears (featuring, among other things, their soundtrack to The Owl and The Pussycat) and a disc featuring all three of Herbie Hancock’s albums for Warner Bros., before joining Columbia in the ’70s.

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Joe Farrell Quartet: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Herbie Hancock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Sha Na Na: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The AssociationThe Association, The Association: Deluxe Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)

The Association’s 1969 album is newly expanded with 10 bonus cuts, including mono mixes and non-LP singles! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Eat a Peach MoFiThe Allman Brothers Band, Eat a Peach / Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde / Foreigner, 4 /Billy Joel, An Innocent Man (SACDs) (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hybrid SACDs from MoFi.

The Allman Brothers Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bob Dylan: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Foreigner: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Billy Joel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hackamore BrickHackamore Brick, One Kiss Leads to Another (CD/LP) / Russ Giguere, Hexagram 16 / The Browns, Complete Pop & Country Hits / Ahmed Abdul Malik, Spellbound / George Braith, Musart / Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune, Trip on the Strip / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 / Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2 (Real Gone Music)

Among the highlights of Real Gone’s release slate this week is the expanded reissue of the long-lost One Kiss Leads to Another by cult Brooklyn band Hackamore Brick.

Los NuggetzVarious Artists, Los Nuggetz: 1960s Punk, Pop, Psychedelic from Latin America (RockBeat)

America and Europe weren’t the only happening scenes in the ’60s, as this new box showcases.

This Is It: Michael Jackson’s Epic Years Newly Compiled with Bonus Tracks for iTunes Initiative

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MJ IndispensableMore than four years following his death, Michael Jackson’s presence is still felt.  Every night on Broadway, the young Michael is conjured onstage in Berry Gordy’s sprawling Motown: The Musical.  Cirque du Soleil’s new Michael Jackson ONE is ensconced at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay.  His brothers, The Jacksons, are continuing their successful Unity Tour this summer.  And, alas, hardly a day goes by when news media outlets aren’t reporting on Jackson’s family in and out of the courtroom.  Yet Michael Jackson’s true and most pure legacy remains in his music.  And Legacy Recordings and Epic Records won’t stop ‘til they get enough.

Following last year’s deluxe reissues of Jackson’s seminal 1987 album Bad, Epic and Legacy are going the digital route with the King of Pop’s catalogue for the late artist’s next major initiative.  The Indispensable Collection and The Ultimate Fan Extras Collection take an all-inclusive approach to his expansive body of work, compiling recordings originally issued between 1979 (Off the Wall) and 2012 (Live at Wembley – July 16, 1988).

The Indispensable Collection includes “Mastered for iTunes” versions of eight core titles.  (A similar, career-encompassing set for The Rolling Stones has recently also been made available in this format.  Apple has touted the quality of “Mastered for iTunes” releases, requesting that sources be delivered to them at 24-bit/96 kHz resolution, equivalent to HDTracks and above the standard 16-bit/44.1 kHz compact disc resolution.  The source files are not delivered in any true high-resolution format, however, but are mastered to optimize sound in the traditional iTunes .m4a format.)

  • Off the Wall (1979)
  • Thriller (1982)
  • Bad (1987)
  • Dangerous (1991)
  • HIStory: Past Present and Future – Book I (1995)
  • Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997)
  • Invincible (2001)
  • Live At Wembley – July 16, 1988 (2012)

MJ ExtrasIt’s being released in conjunction with The Ultimate Fan Extras Collection, a 162-track “digital box set” bringing a plethora of Jackson rarities under one digital roof.  This set includes:

  • Selections from the 2004 box set The Ultimate Collection
  • The complete posthumous release Michael (2010)
  • The complete 27-track deluxe soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil’s Immortal (2011)
  • All unique tracks from the This Is It soundtrack (2010) including two versions of the Michael Jackson/Paul Anka title track and the remastered radio edit of “Smooth Criminal”
  • All bonus tracks from the 2001 remastered editions of Jackson’s catalogue plus all bonus tracks from Bad 25 (2012), grouped by album – including, for the first time, the full version of “Carousel” and the demo recording of “Got the Hots.”  “Carousel” was presented in an edited version on the 2001 Thriller and only issued in full on an international pressing of the King of Pop compilation.  Thriller-era demo “Got the Hots” was previously only included on the Japanese edition of 2008’s Thriller 25.  Other selections from Thriller 25 are also included.
  • A 60-track volume of Remixes, Rarities and Gems, including the digital release of “Shout” (the rare non-LP B-side to Invincible single “Cry”), selected dance mixes of Jackson’s greatest hits, hard-to-find instrumentals (many of which have not appeared anywhere since their original 45 releases), and two rare mega-mixes – one commissioned for HIStory in 1995 and another for Thriller 25.

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing for The Ultimate Fan Extras Collection! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 2, 2013 at 10:18