April 8, 2009

THEY COME TOGETHER!

It’s been known for some time – with no details, but now the big day’s announced at last. Shell out the money and get bitten by the credit crunch! This is from THE BEATLES official site:
Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (09-09-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game.
Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.
The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.
The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and “Magical Mystery Tour”, which became part of The Beatles’ core catalogue when the CDs were first released in 1987. In addition, the collections “Past Masters Vol. I and II” are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.

Within each CD’s new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the “Past Masters” set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. ‘The Beatles in Mono’ gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on “Past Masters”). As an added bonus, the mono “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.

ALWAYS ON THE RUN

Call it restlessness – but what other destiny could have been bestowed upon the bunch of British cowboys called BAD COMPANY? Even though, recently, Paul Rodgers took another turn with QUEEN,Simon Kirke  has claimed he’d never work again with the singer, and Mick Ralphs is getting ready to team up again with his MOTT THE HOOPLE pals, the veterans feel confident enough again to embark on the 10-date summer trek across the USA. They call it “exclusive concerts”. All right then, last year’s one was called “one-off”. So much for the credibility, but it’s this show that will be sold on the forthcoming dates in DVD form that is scheduled for official release this autumn. Meanwhile, another DVD is in the works, that of QUEEN + Paul Rodgers‘ 2008 performance in Kiev, the opening show of their tour.

TOIL AND TROUBLE

One of best blues singers made in England who made his name with Manfred Mann‘s band, sang on the “Evita” original recording and is still touring with THE MANFREDS, it’s been many years since Paul Jones has last released an album. Yet here it is, refreshingly titled “Starting All Over Again”, comprising a strong set of songs and featuring none other than Eric Clapton laying licks on the title track and the decisive “Choose Or Cop Out”, while the bonus track sees Paul duet with Percy Sledge. Must be good.

1. Lover To Cry
2. If You Love Me (Like You Say)
3. Choose Or Cop Out
4. Sundown
5. Starting All Over Again
6. I’m Gone
7. Philosopher’s Stone
8. Gratefully Blue
9. Need To Know
10. Still True
11. When He Comes
12. Alvino’s Entourage
bonus track
13. Big Blue Diamonds

REEKING OF PURITY

Some good things are heard from the PROCOL HARUM camp, the most interesting being quite well-based rumors of a 4CD box set that’ll be a good companion piece to the recently started another re-issue programme. There’s more bonus than in the “…plus” series. With nothing special about the new version of the band’s eponymous debut, that’s what’s added to “Shine On Brightly”:
* Quite Rightly So (single version)
* In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence (single mix)
* Monsieur Armand
* Seem To Have The Blues (Most All The Time)
* McGreggor
* The Gospel According To…
* Shine On Brightly (early version)
* Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) (early version)
* A Robe Of Silk (backing track)
* Monsieur Armand (backing track)
* In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence (backing track)

Then, two DVDs are worth attention, the first of the 2006 Ledreborg show Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir, and the second from the 1974 Ragnarock festival which features some HARUM alongside POPOL VUH, MUNGO JERRY and an array of long-forgotten also-rans.

And, of course, a new album is in the works…

THE CHILDREN START TO MARCH

It transpires the recent deluxe edition of “Paranoid” wasn’t a one-off even but a harbinger of a complete BLACK SABBATH re-issue programme. Not that each and every album will be given a 3-disc treatment yet double sets will do nicely, as the band seem to have a lot of interesting material in the vaults. While the aforementioned one is SABS’ second song cycle, June 1st, the International Children’s Day that is, is to see the re-release of the first and the third albums, “Black Sabbath” and“Master Of Reality”, on which one disc will contain the original recording, newly remastered, and the other some alternative versions. And that’s what the bonus CDs look like:

Black Sabbath

1. Wicked World
2. Black Sabbath (minus rain and with alt. lyrics)
3. Black Sabbath (instr.)
4. The Wizard (with jocular banter)
5. Behind The Wall Of Sleep (with dry vocal)
6. N.I.B. (alt. mix)
7. Evil Woman (with horns and flute)
8. Sleeping Village (alt. mix)
9. Warning (part 1)

Master Of Reality

1. Weevil Woman ’71
2. Sweet Leaf (demo)
3. After Forever (instr.)
4. Children Of The Grave (alt. lyrics)
5. Children Of The Grave (instr.)
6. Orchid (with Tony Iommi’s cough and count-in)
7. Lord Of This World (with piano and slide guitar)
8. Solitude (alt. version, no flute)
9. Into The Void (Spanish Sid early version)

RICK’S VERBAL RICHES

Rick Wakeman is a well-known television personality familiar even to those who don’t have a clue about the man’s relation to a piano. So while getting ready to unleash the “Six Wives Of Henry VIII” live performance in all its album-shaped entirety, the keyboard wizard has been entertaining himself with shooting of a new talk show. Called “Face To Face”, it’s available in weekly portions for viewing and download from www.rockondigital.com and sees Wakeman interviewing many music legends – listed below – but not the one he hoped he’d manage to rope in, and who’s contacts his representative asked this scribe for as this scribe did manage to get hold of him for this site’s own exclusive interview. But Rick’s list’s impressive even without that Mr. Big (let’s call him so) yet with some of the presenter’s great friends such as Dave Cousins and Steve Harley. Here they are:
Ian Anderson I (JETHRO TULL)
Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone (THE ZOMBIES)
Chris Barber
Brian Bennett (THE SHADOWS)
Biff Byford (SAXON)
Roger Chapman (FAMILY)
Dave Cousins (THE STRAWBS)
Hugh Cornwell (THE STRANGLERS)
Jerry Donahue (FAIRPORT CONVENTION, FOTHERINGAY)
Andy Fairweather-Low (AMEN CORNER, Eric Clapton’s band etc.)
Scott Gorham (THIN LIZZY)
Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton (JUDAS PRIEST)
Steve Harley (COCKNEY REBEL)
“Whispering” Bob Harris (Old Grey Whistle Test DJ)
Justin Hawkins (THE DARKNESS)
Neil Innes (BONZO DOG, THE RUTLES)
Dennis Locorriere (DR. HOOK)
Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE)
Phil Manzanera (ROXY MUSIC)
Brian May (QUEEN)
Jeff Wayne (War Of The Worlds)
Bruce Welch (THE SHADOWS)
Snowy White (THIN LIZZY etc.)

HERE ODYSSEUS CHARMED

CRIMSON JAZZ TRIO was a fantastic project. While there are many artists out there re-interpreting KING CRIMSON, no-one – even the Robert Fripp-led ensemble – took such a delicate approach to the catalogue as the band’s former drummer extraordinaire Ian Wallace and his compadres, bassist Tim Landers and piano player Jody Nardone. Classic jazz line-up, they released their first album in 2005, and now here’s “The King Crimson Songbook Volume 2” has been released, two years after Ian passed away. On this disc, the CRIMSO connection is even stronger, with the fantastic Mel Collins blowing solos on two tracks. Something to cherish, no doubt!

1. In The Court Of The Crimson King
2. Pictures Of A City
3. One Time
4. Frame By Frame
5. Inner Garden
6. Heartbeat
7. The Islands Suite:
a) Press Gang
b) Zero Dark Thirty
c) Formentera Lady
d) Sailor’s Tale
e) The Plank
8. Lament

DR. WHO?

Ph.D. might be rather strange name for a pop band with jazzy edge had it not been the acronym of the players: drummer Simon Phillips, keyboard player Tony Hymas and singer Jim Diamond. Having released two albums, “Ph.D.” in 1981 and “Is It Safe” in 1983, the trio went back to their own devices – to get back now with the appropriately titled “Three” the work on which started in late 2006. This time, Simon plays only on three tracks, and there’s no word on who handles the rhythmic duties on the rest – but must be cool amyway.

1. A Land Of Your Own
2. With You I Feel Like
3. Drivetime
4. Precious Cargo
5. Got To Believe
6. We All Fall Down
7. Said And Done
8. Fifth Of May
9. What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted

April 8, 2009

Category(s): News

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