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Archive for January 8th, 2014

“Catch the Love Parade” With Second Volume of Now Sounds’ “Book a Trip”

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Book a Trip 2Between 1965 and 1970, Los Angeles’ Capitol Tower – standing then, as it does now, near the intersection of Hollywood and Vine – was the place to be.  Capitol Records had The Beatles, and the Beach Boys, too.  But the label that Nancy Wilson and The Lettermen called home also hosted a number of bands with groovy names like The Tuneful Trolley, The Sugar Shoppe, The Pink Cloud, The New Kick and (my personal favorite) The Unforscene.  These happening acts, and many more, take the spotlight on Book a Trip 2: More Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records, the new anthology from Cherry Red’s Now Sounds label.  The first volume of Book a Trip arrived in 2010, and some of the names on this worthy successor will be familiar to those who own Volume One: Chris and Craig, The Sidewalk Skipper Band, The Staccatos, Griffin.  But the rest of the artists on this musical mystery tour (from L.A. to London, Canada to New York by way of Boston, and back!) might become favorites, too.

Like its predecessor, Book a Trip 2 is a celebration of an era of concise, melodic songcraft, as well as optimism and youthful energy.  The harmonies were as bright as the future seemed, and the instruments were real and varied.  If you listen while reading along to producer/designer Steve Stanley’s track-by-track liner notes, you’ll start connecting the dots between personnel, songwriters, performers, producers and arrangers.  Talents frequently overlap on these criminally-unknown recordings which otherwise share in common the Capitol label and its subsidiaries, plus a five-year time period and a pure pop sensibility.

After the jump, join us on our far-out Trip! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 8, 2014 at 14:05

How Great Thou Art: Elvis’ “Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis” Due for Legacy Edition Reissue (UPDATED)

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Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis Legacy EditionToday would have been the 79th birthday of Elvis Presley, so it’s only fitting that a new Elvis catalogue title would be announced on this day. Legacy Recordings will release an expanded edition of Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis for its 40th anniversary.

Recorded on March 20, 1974, the same day RCA released his most recent studio album Good TimesRecorded Live on Stage in Memphis found the rejuvenated King (whose live and studio efforts from that time have been chronicled on the recent box sets Prince from Another Planet and Elvis At Stax) and his crackling live band performing before an audience at the Midsouth Coliseum. Whether it was the home-field advantage (Elvis hadn’t played a show in Memphis since 1957) or the spirit of his newest release, Elvis delivered a powerhouse performance heavy on intriguing covers (one medley combines his “Jailhouse Rock” and “Hound Dog” with “Long Tall Sally,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Flip Flop & Fly” and Loggins & Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance”) and gospel rave-ups (a performance of “How Great Thou Art” from this LP won Elvis his third and final Grammy Award).

This Legacy Edition features the complete concert, was released by Follow That Dream in 2004, and a “recently located recording of Elvis’ complete concert ‘test-run’ held for an ecstatic live audience on March 18, 1974” in Richmond, Virginia. (This was also released by Follow That Dream in 2011.) Additionally, five rehearsal performances recorded in Hollywood’s RCA Studios in August 1974 round out the bonus disc; only two have been previously released.

Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis: Legacy Edition is available March 18. Hit the jump for links and the full track list!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 8, 2014 at 13:59

Walk Out to Winter: Aztec Camera’s Debut Expanded for 30th Anniversary

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High Land Hard RainMore than a year after Edsel expanded and reissued the Aztec Camera catalogue, the Scottish outfit’s first album for Rough Trade will be reissued once again by Domino Records for its 30th anniversary.

High Land, Hard Rain, originally released on the Rough Trade label in the U.K. and Sire Records in the U.S., is the first full-length to feature frontman Roddy Frame’s prodigious gift as a sophisticated, dramatic pop writer, with tracks like “Oblivious” and “Walk Out to Winter” rich with evocative lyrics and ringing guitars. (The album, already impressive on its own, was released when Frame was only 18 years old.)

Aztec Camera would essentially become another name for Frame as the ’80s and ’90s wore on, who worked with a host of notable players and producers in the studio, including Craig Gannon (future temporary second guitarist for The Smiths), Tony Mansfield, Mick Jones, Mark Knopfler and others. Frame retired the name after 1995’s Frestonia.

This double-disc reissue handily bests Edsel’s in terms of content; where that disc featured seven B-sides and remixes appended to the program, Domino’s set – newly remastered from the analog tapes – features a 16-track bonus disc with six of those seven tracks and more, including rare fan-club only remixes of “Oblivious” by Colin Fairley and Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley, an unreleased version of “Walk Out to Winter” recorded with producer John Brand for possible single release and five tracks from a BBC session with presenter Kid Jensen. A 180-gram vinyl version features the original album and the bonus material as a free digital download; the first 400 pre-orders of the set from Domino’s official store get an additional four-track 7″ of rarities.

This new version is available to pre-order now, with an expected street date of February 4. Full specs are after the jump!

High Land, Hard Rain: 30th Anniversary Edition (Domino Records REWIGCD092, 2014)

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Rough Trade 47 (U.K.) / Sire 23899 (U.S.), 1983)

  1. Oblivious
  2. The Boy Wonders
  3. Walk Out to Winter
  4. The Bugle Sounds Again
  5. We Could Send Letters
  6. Pillar to Post
  7. Release
  8. Lost Outside the Tunnel
  9. Back On Board
  10. Down the Dip

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. Pillar to Post (Original Single Version) (single A-side – Rough Trade RT 112, 1982)
  2. Queen’s Tattoos (single B-side – Rough Trade RT 112, 1982)
  3. Orchid Girl (B-side to “Haywire” – Rough Trade RT 122, 1983)
  4. Haywire (12″ B-side to “Haywire” – Rough Trade RTT 122, 1983)
  5. Walk Out to Winter (Tony Mansfield 7” Version) (single A-side – Rough Trade RT 132, 1983)
  6. Set the Killing Free (single B-side – Rough Trade RT 132, 1983)
  7. Back on Board (Live @ The El Mocambo, Toronto – 7/11/1983 – on CFNY-FM) (B-side to “Oblivious” double 7″ – Rough Trade AZTEC 1F, 1983)
  8. We Could Send Letters (Live @ The El Mocambo, Toronto – 7/11/1983 – on CFNY-FM) (B-side to “Oblivious” double 7″ – Rough Trade AZTEC 1F, 1983)
  9. Walk Out to Winter (Kid Jensen Session – 1983) *
  10. Down the Dip (Kid Jensen Session – 1983) *
  11. Back on Board (Kid Jensen Session – 1983) *
  12. Release (Kid Jensen Session – 1983) *
  13. Walk Out to Winter (John Brand Unreleased Single Version) *
  14. Walk Out to Winter (Tony Mansfield 12” Version) (12″ A-side – Rough Trade RTT 132, 1983)
  15. Oblivious (Colin Fairley Remix) (fan club single A-side – Rainhill Records ACFC 1, 1984)
  16. Oblivious (Clive Langer/Alan Winstanley Remix) (fan club single B-side – Rainhill Records ACFC 1, 1984)

Bonus rarities 7″ for pre-orders

  1. The Boy Wonders (Capital Radio Session) *
  2. Release (Capital Radio Session) *
  3. We Could Send Letters (from C81 – NME/Rough Trade cassette COPY 001, 1981)
  4. The Bugle Sounds Again (Bedroom Demo) *

Written by Mike Duquette

January 8, 2014 at 11:39

Meet the Inspiration Behind “Llewyn Davis” with Dave Van Ronk LP Reissue

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Inside Dave Van RonkWhen this year’s Golden Globe nominations were announced, three of the coveted nods went to Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, a vibrant portrayal of the heady days of New York’s Greenwich Village when anyone with a guitar and a dream had a chance to be heard and perhaps “make it big.”  Oscar Isaac, a nominee for Best Performance by an Actor – Comedy or Musical, portrays the titular character, a misanthropic, nomadic folkie (and former Merchant Marine) with a proclivity for misplacing cats.  The Coens’ tale, a Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical nominee, is at turns heartbreaking, bitterly funny and all too real, particularly in the climactic sequence when a new arrival on the Village scene threatens to change the landscape forever.  The filmmakers haven’t made a secret of the fact that the movie was, in part, inspired by the life and career of Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002).  Van Ronk, the so-called Mayor of MacDougal Street, befriended young future icons like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, and became a key figure in the acoustic folk revival of the early 1960s.  He, too, was a sometime-Merchant Marine and struggling singer.  And like Llewyn Davis, he could often be found heckling his fellow performers from the audience at the Gaslight Café.  Now, Fantasy Records is revisiting Inside Dave Van Ronk – the 1964 album with the title that inspired the current motion picture – as a special vinyl LP reissue.

Inside Dave Van Ronk was recorded in April 1962 at the same sessions that yielded material for his first Prestige Records LP Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger.  (Both albums were combined in 1972 as one double-LP set which was in turn reissued on CD in 1989.  This disc, titled Inside Dave Van Ronk, is still in print.)    Inside was primarily devoted to traditional songs (“House Carpenter,” “Fair and Tender Ladies,” “Kentucky Moonshiner”) with the timely “Talking Cancer Blues” a notable exception.  “Cancer” took bitingly comic aim at the evils of smoking before it was in vogue to do so!  Van Ronk played six- and twelve-string guitars on the LP in addition to banjo, dulcimer and autoharp.  Though in the acoustic folk style, the album incorporated the various influences that held sway over the Brooklyn-born Van Ronk.  In his early days, Van Ronk sang with various New Orleans-style jazz bands, and elements of jazz, ragtime and especially blues informed his style.  He was also an expert talent spotter, frequently associating with the just-arrived-in-New-York Bob Dylan.  Van Ronk came to Prestige (since 1971 part of the Fantasy Records family) having recorded two albums for Folkways in 1959 and 1961; that label earlier this year also released a comprehensive Van Ronk compendium, Down in Washington Square.

After the jump: more on Van Ronk including the full track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 8, 2014 at 09:41