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Archive for the ‘Iron Butterfly’ Category

Omnivore, Rhino, Varese Gear Up For Black Friday 2014

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Our Black Friday Record Store Day shopping list has just gotten a little longer! Following our recent announcement of Legacy Recordings’ slate for November 28, we have news of the offerings coming your way from Omnivore Recordings, Rhino and Varese Sarabande!

Game Theory - DistortionFor the gang at Omnivore, it’s all about amazing indie pop! The label recently reissued Game Theory’s debut album Blaze of Glory, and on November 24, the Omnivores will unveil the first U.S. release of the band’s compilation Dead Center. That French release (which will gain 11 bonus tracks in Omnivore’s edition) featured new music along with selected tracks from the EPs Pointed Accounts of People You Know and Distortion (produced by Michael Quercio of The Three O’Clock and featuring Earl Slick on guitar!). On Black Friday, listeners will have the chance to experience those two EPs in complete form, as originally heard. Both will be reissued on 10-inch vinyl, with an Omnivore twist: the latter will be on green vinyl, and the former on clear vinyl. Joining Game Theory is the band Sneakers, out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, featuring Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter and Will Rigby. The original, self-released Sneakers EP is presented on 10-inch clear vinyl with an expanded track list of 9 songs! A download card is also included in this new release. All three titles are limited to 1,500 units.

From GenesisA new stereo LP pressing of Genesis’ From Genesis to Revelation is on the Black Friday horizon from Varese Sarabande. This release marks the first time this album has been released on vinyl since its original U.S. release in 1974, and Varese’s reissue features a replica of the original inner sleeve with full lyrics. The LP boasts the original core Genesis line-up of Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, and Peter Gabriel, and is limited to 3,500 units.

The team at Rhino has nine limited edition releases set for Black Friday 2014 including colored vinyl, multi-LP sets, and even a picture disc! The Rhino line-up has such heavy hitters as The Afghan Whigs, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Hüsker Dü, Iron Butterfly (in mono!), New Order, Ramones (as curated by the irrepressible Morrissey!), Ronnie James Dio and the Velvet Underground!

Hit the jump for all of the details on every title mentioned above! All releases can be found on Friday, November 28 at your participating local independent record store! Read the rest of this entry »

Out of the Shadow(s): Morton’s Story Features Shangri-Las, Vanilla Fudge, New York Dolls

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Shadow Morton StoryA scrappy street fighter with a knack for teenage melodrama, George “Shadow” Morton lived with a “self-invented mythology,” in the words of Jerry Leiber.  But his work with The Shangri-Las, Janis Ian, The New York Dolls and many more solidified Morton’s place as a real-life “leader of the pack.”  Ace’s new anthology Sophisticated Boom Boom: The Shadow Morton Story (CDTOP 1369) brings the songwriter and producer out of the shadow and into the (spot)light.

In a 1968 Time Magazine blurb:, Morton once claimed, “I am the greatest producer in the business.  I am also an egomaniac.”  But whether it was ego or a pure creative spark driving him, Morton was responsible for some of the most vivid records to emerge out of the 1960s.  Expertly compiled and annotated by Mick Patrick, Sophisticated Boom Boom plucks 24 tracks from Morton’s career as a producer, a songwriter or both.  Presented chronologically and accompanied by nearly 40 pages of Patrick’s liner notes, this is the definitive account of the man’s musical history.

Think of Shadow Morton and the group that usually comes to mind is the Shangri-Las, so it’s no surprise that four tracks from the Mary Weiss-led quartet feature here.  What is surprising, however, is that “Leader of the Pack” isn’t one of them.  The 1964 No. 1 hit – perhaps the epitome of the “death disc” – forever established the Shangri-Las as the toughest gals in town with a series of remarkable records for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s Red Bird label.  With spoken introductions, sound effects, dramatic vocals and a rather foreboding atmosphere, The Shangri-Las’ records as produced and written by Morton were true mini-movies.

So although Patrick opted to leave out that crucial part of The Shadow Morton Story, the sweeping, melodramatic style of Morton and the girls is represented with the equally-powerful “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” (heard here in a previously unissued alternate version), ebullient “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” lesser-known Mercury side “I’ll Never Learn,” and the Red Bird record that perhaps was the team’s zenith: “Past, Present and Future.”  This unusual psychodrama recited by Mary Weiss over a Beethoven-inspired backdrop of theatrical strings unsurprisingly stalled at No. 59 on the U.S. Pop chart, but today stands apart for its completely singular quality.  In the liner notes, Billy Joel offers memories of playing on the session for “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand).”

There’s more on Shadow after the jump, including the complete track listing with discography and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2013 at 10:10

Review: Iron Butterfly, “Fillmore East 1968”

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Where were you 44 years ago today?  If you happened to be passing by 105 Second Avenue in New York City’s East Village, you would likely have seen a fantastic group of names displayed on the marquee at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East.  On Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, 1968, Iron Butterfly shared an explosive bill with Traffic and Blue Cheer.  The Fillmore East itself is now just a memory, of course.  Its exterior and entrance now welcomes you to a bank, and the storied auditorium has been demolished.  But the music recorded at the venue lives on.  Artists as diverse as The Allman Brothers Band, Laura Nyro, Miles Davis and The Mothers of Invention have all released live albums from the Fillmore East.  Recently, Rhino Handmade unveiled another live set from the legendary New York spot with Iron Butterfly’s Fillmore East 1968 (RHM2 526745, 2011).

The new release is culled from the band’s four sets on those two April evenings, three of which are presented in full.  (The Friday late show is incomplete due to tapes of two songs being unusable.)  “A gentleman by the name of Jimi Hendrix will be joining us on Friday night” is the first thing you hear from the Fillmore’s announcer before he introduces Iron Butterfly to the eerie strains of an organ.  We’ll hear variations on this pre-show announcement more than once over these two discs; there’s a definite feeling of déjà vu as the band runs through a tight set four times with some variations in each set.

The sets focus mainly on material from Iron Butterfly’s first album Heavy, and predate the official commercial release of the band’s most famous song, the sprawling “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”  In fact, it hadn’t been recorded yet at the time of these concerts, so there’s no recognition applause for the song.  One wonders, what did the audiences make of the epic song, hearing it for the first time?  Two versions of it are on Fillmore East, the band having saved it for the late shows.  One workout runs 17 minutes, similar to the running time of the studio original; the other take is a comparatively brisk 15 minutes!   Still perhaps the the apotheosis of psychedelic hard-rock excess, “In-A-Gadda” is introduced in the late Saturday set with “This is called ‘In Our Gadda Da Vida…which doesn’t mean a damn thing!”   In addition to the title track, two more songs were previewed from the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album (“My Mirage,” “Are You Happy”).  “Her Favorite Style,” played at Saturday’s late show, wouldn’t arrive on vinyl until 1969’s Ball.

Iron Butterfly can boast one of the most frequently altered line-ups in rock history, with over 50 line-ups having played under the band’s name over the years.  Three of the group’s original five members departed after studio debut Heavy, so Fillmore East offers a chance to hear new members Lee Dorman (bass) and Erik Brann (guitar) joining Doug Ingle (organ/lead vocals) and Ron Bushy (drums) on songs from that album.  Though they hadn’t been playing together for very long, these four members were attuned to each other intimately.  This album makes for a stronger overall collection than the somewhat-maligned 1970 Live album from this same quartet (on which “In-A-Gadda” took up the entire second side!) recorded over a year later, in May 1969.

Hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 27, 2012 at 14:53

Posted in Iron Butterfly, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Andy Gibb’s Greatest Hits Reprised, and Flashback with Iron Butterfly

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Two long out-of-print greatest hits collections are back in print today thanks to the fine folks at Rhino Records.  Iron Butterfly’s Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly arrived on the Atco label in 1971 and brought together 11 tracks from the hard rock pioneers’ first four albums.  Andy Gibb’s 1991 Greatest Hits, originally on the Polydor label, differed from the 1980 RSO Records hits compilation, and offered 12 prime pop cuts from the youngest of the Brothers Gibb.

Although Rhino’s Light and Heavy: The Best of Iron Butterfly upped the number of tracks to 21 for the compact disc era, Evolution was the original LP worn out by fans of the “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” rockers.  Its 11 songs are all drawn from Heavy (1968), In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968), Ball (1969) and Metamorphosis (1970).  The calling card of the band, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is heard in its edited single version.  Together with Rhino Handmade’ s lavish 2-CD Fillmore East 1968 (watch for a review coming soon!), the all-killer, no-filler Evolution is a great reminder of one of the first bands to synthesize strains of hard rock, acid rock and psychedelia into a successful whole.  The group’s personnel, alas, wasn’t as consistent as its sound, dogged by line-up changes almost from the start.  Evolution is a fine opportunity, though, to remember guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt, who died on January 2 at the age of 63.  He can be heard on the tracks culled from Metamorphosis.  Doug Ingle’s organ and vocals tie the disparate tracks together: the garage fury of “Unconscious Power,” the pop of “Flowers and Beads,” the prog rock-anticipating instrumental force of “Iron Butterfly Theme,” the acid psychedelia of “Belda-Beast” and the folk-rock of “Slower than Guns.”  Evolution is a particular bargain courtesy the budget Rhino Flashback line; you’ll likely find it for around five bucks!

Hit the jump for the scoop on the re-release from Andy Gibb, plus order links and track listings for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 10, 2012 at 10:12

Release Round-Up: Week of January 10

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A slow week, but enough substantial releases to make this our first Round-Up of 2012!

Alex Chilton, Free Again: The 1970 Sessions (Omnivore Recordings)

After The Box Tops, before Big Star, the late, great Chilton finds his voice as a writer. A review from Joe is forthcoming!

Jellyfish, Bellybutton / Spilt Milk (Omnivore Recordings)

Brand-new vinyl remasters of the only two albums by the perennially underrated power pop band.

Andy Gibb, Greatest Hits / Iron Butterfly, Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly (Rhino Flashback)

From Rhino’s budget arm, two great, long-out-of-print compilations get their due on CD! (Check back very soon for a full breakdown from Joe!)

Various artists, ICON (UMe)

Another round of ’em.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 10, 2012 at 09:31

The Eighth Day of Second Discmas

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Well, friends, all good things must come to an end, but we couldn’t be more excited with the offerings we have for you today, the final day of Second Discmas!

Courtesy of our terrific friends at Rhino Entertainment, we’ve got an amazing pack of three of the label’s finest Handmade releases of 2011: the expanded 2-CD box set of The Beau BrummelsBradley’s Barn; the first-ever release of the heavy psychedelia of Iron Butterfly‘s Fillmore East 1968; and finally, the brand-new, hot-off-the-presses 3-CD/1-7″ single box set of The MonkeesInstant Replay!

And that’s not all.  Not one, not two, but three winners will take home this exciting collection of some of the grooviest and altogether most adventurous music reissued in 2011!

You can be one of the lucky winners of the Rhino Handmade 3-pack by e-mailing us (theseconddisc (at) gmail (dot) com)!  Just be sure to include your name, city and state in your email, with “Rhino” (what else?) in your subject line!

But that’s not your only way to win!  You can also “like” this post as it appears on Facebook or retweet the post on Twitter!  Drawings for The Beau Brummels/Iron Butterfly/The Monkees must be received by Friday, December 23, at 3:00 p.m. EST.  And if you’ve already entered a previous Second Discmas drawing, you’re still eligible to take this prize home!

Winners for Week 2 of Second Discmas, including the Rhino 3-pack, will be announced tomorrow, Friday, December 23, after this drawing has closed.  Thanks, everybody, for entering, and good luck!

Written by Joe Marchese

December 22, 2011 at 15:04

In-a-Gadda-Da-Fillmore: Rare Iron Butterfly 1968 Gig Coming From Handmade

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Rhino Handmade’s bringing on the heavy-duty rock for its newest title, giving you four great, unreleased early shows from Iron Butterfly in a new two-disc set.

When the San Diego quartet took New York’s Fillmore East in the spring of 1968, they had one album, Heavy, under their belts but a myriad of lineup changes that would put veteran bands to shame. At the time, the band was singer/organist Doug Ingle, drummer Ron Bushy and new guitarist and bassist Erik Braunn (all of 17 at the time) and Lee Dorman – both of whom replaced the recently-departed members Danny Weis, Jerry Penrod and second vocalist/percussionist Darryl DeLoach, who had left after recording sessions for Heavy.

The shift in personnel wasn’t the only sign of things to come, though. While the sets draw heavily from Heavy‘s track lineup, including “Possession,” “Unconscious Power” and the double set closers “So-Lo” and “Iron Butterfly Theme,” the sets include songs that would be committed to tape by the new lineup for their next, smash hit of an album, including the album’s eventual title track, the hard-driving jam “In-a-Gadda-de-Vida,” not yet the Top 40 single that would drive sales of the forthcoming record to over 4 million domestically but not nearly lacking in intensity.

Featuring the first and second sets of both nights at The Fillmore East from the original 1/4″ four-track tapes, a psychedelic black and white cover (iron-on transfers of which will be available with the first 1,000 orders) and new liner notes from Rolling Stone veteran David Fricke, this is the set to get if you’re a fan of classic psychedelia. You can buy the set here and hit the jump to check out the track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 20, 2011 at 12:35