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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 »

Metal, Rated “XXX”: Roadrunner Marks Three-Decade-Plus Mark with Four-Disc Box Set

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Roadrunner Box SetOne of the top labels in straight-up rock and heavy metal, Roadrunner Records, will celebrate their more than 30 years in the business with a new box set, XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner Records, in October.

From its inception in 1980, Roadrunner was often toward the forefront of metal, from traditional heavy and thrash metal in the 1980s and early 1990s to the fast-paced tracks and nu metal stylings of the late ’90s. Along the way, they’ve opened up their roster to all kinds of hard rock, serving as a solid home base for veterans and upstarts alike. Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Type O Negative, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Slipknot, Nickelback, Korn, Rush, Porcupine Tree, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Dresden Dolls and Heaven & Hell (the late ’00s project by Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice – essentially, the Dio-led version of Black Sabbath) have all called Roadrunner home at one time or another.

And of these and more will be featured on this themed, 54-track box set, divided into four discs: Foundations, featuring early heavy metal cuts from the label’s early days; Horns Up, a summary of Roadrunner’s output in the late 1990s and early 2000s; And Metal for All, featuring recent metal releases (including the 2004 label supergroup Roadrunner United) and Rock for the Ages, featuring everything that rocked in between. XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner Records will also feature liner notes from Decibel writer Chris Dick, including interviews and quotes with label founder Cees Wessels as well as King Diamond, Max Cavalera of Sepultura and Soulfly, Matt Heafy of Trivium and more.

XXX: Three Decades of Roadrunner Records will be available October 1. Hit the jump for the usual full track list and (so far, just an Amazon U.K.) pre-order links!

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In Case You Missed It: Universal U.K. Unearths Two Rainbow Deluxe Albums

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Looking for that perfect gift for a Ronnie James Dio fan this holiday season? If that Dio singles box isn’t up your alley, there’s always more deluxe editions of the Rainbow catalogue from Universal’s U.K. arm, released earlier this month. A complement to expanded presentations of Rainbow’s Rising and Down to Earth released back in 2010, Universal has now expanded 1977’s On Stage and 1978’s Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll as two-disc sets.

Recorded live in Germany and Japan over several tour dates in late 1976, On Stage was Rainbow’s third release, and the second to feature the revamped lineup introduced on sophomore album Rising. Erstwhile Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and vocalist Ronnie James Dio were the only holdovers from their 1974 debut, with keyboardist Tony Carey, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Cozy Powell filling the rest of the outfit. The four-sided On Stage was, in retrospect, not an ideal representation of Rainbow’s live show, being presented out of sequence and edited for time, but fans were enthusiastic, taking it to the Top 10 of the U.K. charts. The set, which featured the debut of “Kill the King,” a standout track on the band’s next album, has been expanded with a full version of the last stop on the Rising tour in Tokyo on December 16, 1976. (The package itself lists the show from Osaka; Deep Purple fan site Darker Than Blue reports the discrepancy as well as replication between the original album presentation and the bonus disc – “Greensleeves” and the “Blues” section of the “Man on the Silver Mountain” medley, namely.)

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll would see more personnel change – namely, Carey and Bain were replaced by David Stone and future Ozzy Osbourne drummer Bob Daisley. It, too, was another U.K. Top 10, but it would be the last of the hard-rockin’ Rainbow LPs, with Blackmore moving the band into a more commercial niche and Dio taking over for Ozzy as the frontman for Black Sabbath. Extra material on the deluxe Long Live include nine rough mixes and rehearsal takes and five live performances from Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert in 1978 – two of which were unaired rehearsal performances!

Both sets are available now from Amazon U.K. (On Stage Long Live) and Amazon U.S. (On Stage Long Live); full specs are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 28, 2012 at 16:28

Unleash the Beast with New Dio Compilation, Singles Box, Audio Fidelity Reissue

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Metal will never die – and neither will the memory of Ronnie James Dio. The late singer will be celebrated with no less than three catalogue projects between now and October.

First up, from Universal U.K. comes the Dio Singles Box Set, released last week in the U.K. and available as an import starting this week. The 15-disc set features replicas of all of Dio’s Vertigo-era 12″ singles, including the Dutch-only “The Last in Line” and French-exclusive Dio Live single, as well as classics like “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Children” and others. While several of the discs veer more toward collectible – several non-LP live cuts are replicated several times throughout the set – there is some neat swag in the form of replica paper inserts and posters, as well as two bonus discs: the 1986 live mini-album Intermission and a DVD of Dio’s 11 promo videos. A 32-page booklet outlining Dio’s entire discography on the Vertigo label is the cherry on top of this box set sundae.

After the jump, learn about more Dio projects from Dio’s own label and Audio Fidelity!

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 10, 2012 at 13:03

Aces High! “The London American Label: 1957,” “Mod Jazz Forever” and “Smash Boom Bang: Feldman-Goldstein-Gotteher” Available Now

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Smash!  Boom!  Bang! 

The ace compilation experts at, well, Ace Records are offering up plenty of Smash, Boom and Bang (both in impact and in label name!) for your buck with their diverse slate of February releases.  You’ll find top-drawer pop, rock and soul for connoisseurs and beginners alike among the label’s latest.  Perhaps the most unexpected is the new entry in the label’s long-running Songwriters and Producers series.  Smash Boom Bang!  The Songs and Productions of Feldman-Goldstein-Gotteher (Ace CDCHD 1317) turns the spotlight on those three named gentlemen who supplied hits for The Strangeloves, The McCoys and The Angels, not to mention the young Ronnie James Dio.

Although the surnames of Bob, Jerry and Richard didn’t have the easy ring of “Mann and Weil” or “Goffin and King,” they travelled the same New York streets.  Encouraged early on by Snuff Garrett and Wes Farrell, the F-G-G team hustled songs to a wide variety of artists across genre lines.  If you don’t know the names of Messrs. Feldman, Goldstein and Gotteher, you’ll undoubtedly know “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Hang On, Sloopy” and “I Want Candy,” and you just might be surprised to find that all three songs were the work (either in songwriting, production or both) of the same team.  Smash Boom Bang takes its name from three prominent labels, the last of which was founded by Bert Berns.  As Berns’ tragically short-lived career has already been anthologized by Ace, this collection makes the perfect companion to those earlier two volumes.

Producers Rob Finnis and Mick Patrick have curated the set to include the most famous recordings by the team, but there are expectedly delicious rarities blended in, as well, including Dion DiMucci’s demo of “Swingin’ Street,” a F-G-G song with a barroom sing-along feel.  Even “My Boyfriend’s Back” and “Hang On, Sloopy” appear in their original, unedited versions, adding value for the collector.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are plenty of choice “sixties girls” sounds.  Patty Lace and the Petticoats’ “Girl, Don’t Trust That Boy” is a quintessential, if largely unknown, girl group record from 1964, but it’s no surprise that the team had mastered the girl group genre, having written “My Boyfriend’s Back” the previous year.  The story behind that masterwork is still one shrouded in mystery, but Finnis goes a long way in explaining the brouhaha in his copious notes.    When The Angels fell out with F-G-G, they attempted to replicate the group’s sound on a variety of records such as The Pin-Ups’ delightful “Lookin’ for Boys,” though their mileage varied.  One standout track is Debra Swisher’s 1965 take on The Beach Boys’ “You’re So Good to Me,” with Swisher’s recording tougher than the original.  Her piercing lead vocals lend the song an entirely new dimension.  The track was arranged by one “Bassett Hand,” proving that the F-G-G team couldn’t resist a good pun!  F-G-G tried to combine the best of both worlds with The Powderpuffs’ rather humorous “You Can’t Take My Boyfriend’s Woody” (“It don’t look like much, but when he pops that clutch/You’ll think you’re in reverse!”) slyly aping the early Beach Boys style.

We continue with this hitmaking trio, plus lots more – including track listings and order links for Smash Boom Bang, Mod Jazz Forever and The London American Label 1957 – after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 14, 2012 at 14:02