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Archive for the ‘Heart’ Category

Hello Hooray: Audio Fidelity Preps SACDs for Alice Cooper, Peter, Paul and Mary, Yes’ Jon Anderson and Heart

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Olias of Sunhillow SACDThis February, the Audio Fidelity label continues to grow its collection of stereo hybrid SACDs with four new releases that touch upon classic rock, progressive rock, and vintage folk.

Jon Anderson‘s debut solo album Olias Of Sunhillow was released in the summer of 1976 and climbed the charts to the U.S. Top 50 as well as to an even more impressive No. 8 in Anderson’s U.K. home.  The Yes frontman and multi-instrumentalist utilized a variety of synthesizers, tape loops, unexpected instruments and sound effects to create the album inspired by Roger Dean’s cover artwork for Yes’ 1972 album Fragile as well as the rich literary world of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Anderson’s Olias is named for the titular character, an architect who designs a spacecraft on which the aliens of Sunhillow can travel to a new land.  Audio Fidelity describes the cosmic concept album as showcasing “Anderson’s uncommon gifts for melody and harmony as well as for songwriting. Together with arrangements that veer from the rustic to sci-fi, the music appears to travel through Earth and Space, incarnating the elements of the material and ethereal worlds. The scope of the music is cinematic, freely pursuing concepts to every corner of its vision and fashioning an experience that is as breathtaking for its range as it is for its depth.”  The SACD package replicates the original artwork by artist David Fairbrother Roe.  Kevin Gray has remastered the album at Cohearant Audio.

Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar SACDShock rockers supreme Alice Cooper delivered one of the band’s all-time classics with 1973’s U.S. and U.K. chart-topping Billion Dollar Babies.  Alice’s sixth studio album, the platinum-selling LP produced by Bob Ezrin yielded four Billboard Hot 100 hits including “Elected”, “Hello Hooray,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”  After the album was released, the band embarked on a tour which reportedly broke U.S. box office records previously held by the Rolling Stones despite not meeting revenue projections.  Magician James Randi designed special effects for the spectacularly horrific production.  Building on the success of the previous year’s School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies (with its songs about everything from dentistry to necrophilia) was the perfect vehicle for Cooper’s hard rock theatre to come alive – or dead.  Audio Fidelity’s SACD edition has been remastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

Hit the jump for a look at what’s coming from Heart and Peter, Paul and Mary!  Plus: pre-order links and track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 24, 2014 at 09:53

Paul Allen and the Underthinkers’ “Everywhere at Once” Welcomes Joe Walsh, Chrissie Hynde, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Derek Trucks

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Paul Allen - Everywhere at OnceFor years, Paul Allen has been leading a double life.  By day, he’s known as the co-founder of Microsoft, a company which needs no introduction.  He currently heads Vulcan, Inc.; its holdings include Ticketmaster, the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.  With an estimated net worth of $15 billion, Allen routinely ranks high on the Forbes 400, and his philanthropic activities add up to lifetime giving of over $1.5 billion.  But that’s only part of the story.  Allen is also a lifetime music devotee.  The founder of Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum, he played violin from second grade, and guitar from age 16.  Today, Allen owns legendary guitars by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton, and his lifelong love of music has just translated into the release of the first album by Paul Allen and the Underthinkers.  Everywhere at Once has just arrived from Legacy Recordings, and features Allen as both songwriter and guitarist, joined by a Who’s Who of musical talent including Chrissie Hynde, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks, and Clapton’s frequent collaborator Doyle Bramhall II.  Everywhere at Once is Allen’s second major statement on record, following a 2000 album with his band The Grown Men.

Once Everywhere at Once establishes its likeably polished blues-rock feel, the pace rarely slackens.  Almost entirely produced by Bramhall and Justin Stanley, it showcases Allen as a committed songwriter and an electric guitarist beholden not just to his hero Hendrix, but to roots-rockers like Clapton, The Band and Delaney and Bonnie and Friends.  Though he doesn’t play on every song, Allen either wrote or co-wrote every track on the album with Bramhall, Ty Baillie, or his bandmates John Bohlinger (guitar), Doug Barnett (bass) and Tim Pike (vocals).  And if a man can be judged by the company he keeps, Allen has nothing to worry about; in addition to those fine musicians, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos also contributes guitar to nearly every track.

We take a closer look after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 8, 2013 at 11:34

Short Takes: Neil Young’s Budget Box Set, The Latest from Heart, and Incubus Goes Live

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  • What’s the contender for the title of Longest-gestating Music Box Set?  That dubious honor would have to go to Neil Young’s Archives, Volume 1, bandied about since the 1980s and not released until 2009.  Available as 10 Blu-rays, 10 DVDs or 8 CDs, Archives provided an immersive journey deep into Young’s vaults, and it picked up a Grammy Award for Art Direction in 2010.  In conjunction with the massive box (supposedly the first of five such sets), Young has branded a number of his catalogue titles with the Archives label including the Performance Series of previously unreleased live concerts, and the Official Release Series of remastered original albums.  To date, only four Official Release Series titles have been released, and those four have just been collected in one budget-priced mini-box by Warner Bros.’ U.K. division.  Official Release Series Discs 1-4 brings together Young’s first four albums in one slipcase: 1969’s Neil Young and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, 1970’s After the Gold Rush and 1972’s Harvest.  Based on the available artwork, each album is housed in a jewel case rather than a paper sleeve.  These are the same remastered discs released individually in 2009.  As of this writing, the box set is available from Amazon U.K. for £10.47, or approximately $16.29 USD.  It’s selling for $32.22 from Amazon U.S. now.  You might also wish to check out Warner U.K.’s similar 5-CD Original Album Series boxes from artists including Elvis Costello, Madonna and Prince.

Hit the jump for the latest from Heart and Incubus! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 28, 2012 at 10:05

Review: Heart, “Strange Euphoria”

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You’ve gotta have Heart.  For over forty years, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have been rocking and rolling, singing and strumming, and did I mention rocking?  Often considered the female answer to Led Zeppelin, Heart has outlived that famous band, incorporating Zeppelin’s furious attack into music also influenced by pop and folk.  The new 3-CD/1-DVD set Strange Euphoria (Epic/Legacy 88691 93736 2, 2012) is the first collection of Heart’s catalogue selected by the Wilsons and the band’s first multi-disc box, drawing on their thirteen studio albums, live recordings and original demos.  With over 20 previously unreleased tracks, it offers a wealth of material for collectors and fans alike.

It’s both strange and euphoric, though: the latter because of the sheer power of the music.  The former, because it’s neither fish nor fowl.  Though taken from songs recorded between 1969 and 2010, it’s not quite a true, all-encompassing career retrospective, as it’s lacking key hits such as “What About Love” and “All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You.”  Other favorites are heard in alternate versions: “Barracuda,” for one, is heard in a live version rather than the hit single.  But it’s not a strict “from the vaults” outing, either, with some major cuts such as “Alone” and “These Dreams” represented in their familiar versions The result is a personal, incomplete and idiosyncratic journey through the music, with its creators as your tour guides.

When Heart burst onto the scene early in 1976, the top female artists of the day were Ladies of the Canyon (Linda Ronstadt), soul sisters (Minnie Riperton, Patti LaBelle) and an Australian pop queen (Olivia Newton-John).  Needless to say, there was no other prominent band quite like the one formed by the sisters from Seattle.  With guitarist Roger Fisher, keyboardist/guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Steve Fossen, drummer Michael Derosier, lead vocalist Ann and lead guitarist Nancy first made a splash with the Dreamboat Annie album, released appropriately enough on Valentine’s Day, 1976.  But Strange Euphoria begins much earlier, and Disc One covers the period between the 1969 single “Through Eyes and Glass,” as performed by Ann Wilson and the Daybreaks, and the 1978 album Dog and Butterfly.  The spare, haunting folk-rock melody of “Through Eyes and Glass,” adorned with acoustic guitar and flute, doesn’t seem to have much in common with “Magic Man” or “Alone” at first glance.  But by eschewing many full productions in favor of raw, stripped-down demos, the box set makes the case that the song was always the thing with Heart.

Hit the jump to dig deep with the Wilson sisters! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 6, 2012 at 13:57

Posted in Box Sets, Compilations, Heart, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of June 5

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The Beatles, Yellow Submarine (Blu-Ray) (Apple/EMI)

Take a trip back to Pepperland with the Fab Four’s animated film, now available as a feature-laden Blu-Ray Disc. The 1999 Yellow Submarine Songtrack remix album is also added to the Beatles remaster canon. (Keep a close eye on our giveaway; we’re announcing a winner very soon!)

Paul Simon, Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition (Legacy)

A man walks down the street, sees many configurations of the Graceland reissue (namely a CD/DVD featuring newly released outtakes and the new documentary Under African Skies – also separately available on DVD and Blu-Ray – and a four-disc box set which adds an entire 1987 concert from the Graceland tour on DVD) and gets pretty darn excited.

David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars: 40th Anniversary Edition (EMI)

Ziggy falls to earth once again, albeit just as a newly-remastered CD with no bonus content; the bonuses are on the LP/DVD combo, which features out-of-print and unreleased surround mixes.

Jerry Goldsmith, Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Limited Edition (La-La Land Records)

Available to order later today (around 4 p.m. EST), this three-disc edition is the definitive word on Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score for the first Trek film, with the complete score, alternate and rejected cues, the original LP program and many other audio treasures. (If you haven’t yet, do check out the first part of our interview with the set’s co-producer Mike Matessino, and check back for part two later this week!)

Michael Jackson, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (CD Single) (Epic/Legacy)

Available only at Walmart stores in the U.S., this CD single, backed with the unreleased demo “Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round,” kicks off the Bad 25 campaign.

Maroon 5, Songs About Jane: 10th Anniversary Edition (A&M/Octone)

Weeks away from the release of their fourth studio album, a double-disc version of Maroon 5’s first breakthrough album, featuring demos and unlockable video content, is now available.

Sugar, Beaster: Deluxe Edition (Edsel)

The latest in the Sugar reissue campaign (seminal debut Copper Blue was reissued last week) is an expansion of the band’s second release, an EP, with a bonus DVD of performance clips.

Heart, Strange Euphoria (Epic/Legacy)

A 3 CD/1 DVD box chronicling the highs of Ann and Nancy Wilson’s lengthy careers, with hits and rarities in equal measure.

Lenny Kravitz, Mama Said: 21st Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Virgin/EMI)

Kravitz’s sophomore album, featuring hit single “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over,” expanded with non-LP B-sides, live material and archival demos.

America, Perspective / In Concert, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Close Up the Honky Tonks, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Are You Ready! (BGO)

Some hidden gems from some of the best ’70s and ’80s rockers, all of which are either rare or new to CD.

Kylie Minogue, The Best of Kylie Minogue (EMI Catalogue)

A simple, compact collection of Kylie hits. A special edition features a DVD of music videos.

Black Sabbath, Iron Man: The Best of Black Sabbath (Sanctuary U.K.)

A bare-bones Sabbath compilation.

The Association, The Complete Warner Bros. and Valiant Singles Collection (Now Sounds)

Every last one of The Association’s singles for the Valiant and Warner Bros. labels are collected on two CDs!  Watch for full coverage of this collection soon!

Sister Act: Heart Gets Box Set Treatment This Summer

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The wait is over for the first-ever career-spanning box set from Heart. Legacy Recordings will release Strange Euphoria, a 3 CD/1 DVD package, in stores on June 5.

The set spans from the early phases of Ann and Nancy Wilson’s musical career as members of “The Daybreaks” in 1967 all the way to their latest album, the Top 10 hit Red Velvet Car (2010). Along the way, there are plenty of hits and unreleased material, including demos of killer cuts like “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You,” a live version of Barracuda, radio staples from the band’s mid-’80s comeback including “Alone,” “These Dreams” and “Never” (the latter presented as a live version with a guest appearance by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones) and studio and live tracks by ’90s side project The Lovemongers. The set also features a 1976 live concert captured on DVD for the first time.

Those who purchase the set through Amazon are in for additional treats in the form of a bonus five-song EP of Led Zeppelin covers. “Heart Zeppish” features run-throughs of “Immigrant Song,” “The Battle of Evermore,” “Misty Mountain Hop” and more.

Hit the jump to order your copy and preview the track list of Strange Euphoria.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 30, 2012 at 11:40

Posted in Box Sets, DVD, Heart, News

Release Round-Up: Week of September 6

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John Coltrane, The Impulse! Albums Volume 4 (Hip-o Select/Verve)

Five discs encompass five of Coltrane’s posthumous releases for the venerable jazz label. (Hip-o Select)

Frank Sinatra & Count Basie, The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings (Concord)

All 20 of the legendary performers’ tunes together on one disc. (Concord)

Various Artists, Godspell: 40th Anniversary Celebration (Sony Masterworks)

Just in time for the new Broadway revival, a two-for-one deal: the original 1971 cast album and 1973 film soundtrack. (Official revival site)

Various Artists, Where the Boys Are: The Songs of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (Ace)

The latest in the U.K. label’s Songwriter Series spotlights two great scribes of the early pop era, from “Stupid Cupid” to “Crying in the Rain” and beyond. (Ace)

Change, This is Your Time: Expanded Edition / Change of Heart: Expanded Edition / Linda Williams, City Living: Expanded Edition / Andre Cymone, AC: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

The latest Big Break slate includes one from underrated soul legend Linda Williams and a reissue with some actual Prince-oriented material on it (AC, which featured the Prince-produced “The Dance Electric”). (Big Break)

Heart, Greatest Hits / James Taylor, Sweet Baby James (Audio Fidelity)

The latest classics to get the gold disc treatment. (Audio Fidelity: Heart, James Taylor)

Written by Mike Duquette

September 6, 2011 at 08:18

You Gotta Have Heart: Audio Fidelity Preps Gold Heart, “Sweet Baby James”

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Audiophile specialty label Audio Fidelity continues to revisit familiar titles in 24k Gold CD editions with its two latest releases, both due August 23: James Taylor’s 1970 breakthrough Sweet Baby James, and Heart’s 1998 retrospective Greatest Hits.

In the documentary film Troubadours, Carole King comments that due to the “generational and cultural turbulence…there was a hunger for the intimacy of what we did.” And as 1970 began, listeners certainly did hunger for James Taylor. After the commercial failure of his 1968 Apple Records debut (review here), Taylor and his producer Peter Asher decamped for the singer’s native America, where Sweet Baby James (so named for the singer’s namesake nephew) was recorded. Taylor assembled loyal friends, including a pre-Tapestry King and future Eagle Randy Meisner, to support his often-gentle vocals and distinct guitar style. That combination of an innately sweet voice with an almost painfully honest lyric led “Fire and Rain” straight to a No. 3 placement on the Billboard Hot 100, but that single is far from all Sweet Baby James has to offer. “Steamroller” is Taylor and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar’s satire on the blues jam, and the upbeat “Country Road’ followed “Fire and Rain” into the Top 40. “Lo and Behold” offers a hint of gospel style while Taylor even makes Stephen Foster’s “Oh, Susannah” his own. Sweet Baby James also introduced “Blossom,” frequently the opening song on Taylor and King’s 2010 joint tour.  The album earned a 1971 Grammy nomination for Album of the Year, and launched a career that still goes strong today. This release marks the third excursion by Audio Fidelity into Taylor’s Warner Bros. catalogue after One Man Dog (1972) and Walking Man (1974). Audio Fidelity’s Marshall Blonstein promised in an interview with Mike Ragogna that “an album like James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James had different artwork when it was originally released than it did when it was released years later on CD, so we go back and recreate everything to restore it to its original state.”

Hit the jump to continue with Heart’s Greatest Hits and check out track listings and pre-order links for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 10, 2011 at 14:22

La-La Land’s “Golden Child” Ready to Order

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La-La Land’s newest title, a three-disc expansion of The Chosen One, is ready to order.

By now you already know the story behind this new release (a sort-of fake-out following La-La Land’s scheduling shift ahead of Comic-Con), so it’s worth noting instead the kind of music we’re dealing with on this set. Barry’s epic, James Bond-esque score was largely rejected by the producers for Michel Colombier’s atmospheric, synth-heavy score. But elements of Barry’s work did figure into the movie, not only in terms of instrumentals but in the form of “The Best Man in the World,” a pop song he co-wrote for Ann Wilson of Heart to sing. Some of both composers’ material ended up on the original Capitol Records soundtrack LP, alongside pop and rock tracks by Ratt, Ashford & Simpson, Marlon Jackson(?!) and Martha Davis of The Motels.

Not only does the new set restore all of both orchestral scores on CD for the first time, but it also includes all of those LP tracks, as well as another Barry-penned pop tune (sung by fellow film composer Randy Edelman!) and the instrumental version of “The Best Man in the World” that appeared on the B-side of the eventual single release. If you know someone who’s a superfan of this movie (I’m sure they’re out there), this looks like a must have.

The set, limited to 5,000 copies and featuring extensive liner notes by Jon Burlingame, is yours to order after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 12, 2011 at 16:31