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Happy 45th, Thick As a Brick

March 27, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

Released on March 10th, 1972, Thick As A Brick was the fifth release for British rock band Jethro Tull.

After the success of Aqualung, frontman Ian Anderson decided to go with another concept album.

Though it was received to mixed reviews by the critics, Thick As a Brick reached the top of the charts and earned Jethro Tull another gold album.

Happy 40th Foreigner

March 9, 2017 Leave a comment

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by Raul

On March 8, 1977 the British-American band Foreigner released its self-titled debut on Atlantic records.

With two top ten singles, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice,” Foreigner’s debut was a huge success. It stayed in the top 20 for a year after it’s release and is going on four times platinum.

On the strength of their singles Foreigner was a headlining arena rock band months after the release of the debut.

Fresh (Blue) Stuff from Son Volt

March 6, 2017 Leave a comment

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Pioneer alt-country band Son Volt is back with a new album draws inspiration from legendary bluesmen Skip James and Mississippi Fred McDowell, as well as British singer-songwriter Nick Drake.

Notes of Blue sees Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar digging into both the blues and the fingerpicking beauty of Drake’s folk-pop songs to create something familiar and fresh.

As Farrar told Rolling Stone, “Over the years I’ve done a couple blues-oriented songs here and there, but this time around there was an opportunity to focus a bit more on it all the way through.”

The album is the eighth from Farrar and company and the first in recent memory to feature electric guitar alongside acoustic strummers.

Kate Bush Live, at Last

January 12, 2017 Leave a comment

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In 2014, Kate Bush embarked on a 22-date tour, her first in 35 years. Bush’s latest release, Before the Dawn is a three-disc, 155 minute documentary of that tour.

The album provides a long-awaited, no-frills overview of the singer’s creativity and music. As Pitchfork reports:

“There are no retakes or overdubs bar a few atmospheric FX. No apps, no virtual reality, no interactivity. [Bush has] also said there won’t be a DVD, which is surprising given the show’s spectacular theatrics, conceived by the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a host of designers, puppeteers, and illusionists. The show, and this release, aren’t credited to Kate Bush but the KT Fellowship, in recognition of the vast ensemble effort. Yet in shucking off half the production, this set…is also the best way that Before the Dawn could have been preserved, allowing it to tell its own story uninhibited by the busy staging.”

Springsteen’s Chapter and Verse

December 6, 2016 Leave a comment

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In September, Bruce Springsteen released his autobiography, titled Born to Run. He also released Chapter and Verse, the audio companion to the book that has been described as an “extraordinary” work.

The album features 18 tracks, five of which have not been previously released.

As Springsteen’s website states, the Boss selected the songs on Chapter and Verse to reflect the themes and sections of the book Born to Run.

“The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenaged Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s Wrecking Ball.  The collected songs trace Springsteen’s musical history from its earliest days, telling a story that parallels the one in the book.

Recordings from Steel Mill and The Bruce Springsteen Band feature musicians who would go on to play in The E Street Band. Solo demos of “Henry Boy” and “Growin’ Up” were cut in 1972 shortly before Springsteen began recording his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.”

Here’s the tracklist:

1. Baby I — The Castiles (recorded May 2, 1966, at Mr. Music, Bricktown, NJ; written by Bruce Springsteen and George Theiss; previously unreleased)
2. You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover — The Castiles (recorded Sept. 16, 1967, at The Left Foot, Freehold, NJ; written by Willie Dixon; previously unreleased)
3. He’s Guilty (The Judge Song) — Steel Mill (recorded Feb. 22, 1970, at Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo, CA; previously unreleased)
4. Ballad of Jesse James — The Bruce Springsteen Band (recorded March 14, 1972, at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highland, NJ; previously unreleased)
5. Henry Boy (recorded June 1972, at Mediasound Studios, New York, NY; previously unreleased)
6. Growin’ Up (recorded May 3, 1972, at Columbia Records Recordings Studios, New York, NY; previously appeared on ‘Tracks’)
7. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (1973, ‘The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle’)
8. Born to Run (1975, ‘Born to Run’)
9. Badlands (1977, ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’)
10. The River (1980, ‘The River’)
11. My Father’s House (1982, ‘Nebraska’)
12. Born in the U.S.A. (1984, ‘Born in the U.S.A.’)
13. Brilliant Disguise (1987, ‘Tunnel of Love’)
14. Living Proof (1992, ‘Lucky Town’)
15. The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995, ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’)
16. The Rising (2002, ‘The Rising’)
17. Long Time Comin’ (2005, ‘Devils & Dust’)
18. Wrecking Ball (2012, ‘Wrecking Ball’)

 

Fresh (Old) Stuff From Gillian Welch

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment

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In 1996, singer-songwriter, roots music favorite Gillian Welch, along with her longtime partner Dave Rawlings, released her debut record, Revival. The record, which was produced by T-Bone Burnett, received immediately positive reviews and defined Welch and Rawlings as standout artists in the folk and roots genre, a position that has been reaffirmed many times over the years as the.

20 years later, the duo has released Boots No. 1 The Official Revival Bootleg, a collection of 21 tracks documenting the early days and sounds of the outfit as they carved out their sound and style on their way to creating a celebrated album and becoming Americana royalty. As NPR reports:

“It’s fascinating to follow along as Welch and Rawlings feel their way to their singular sound, whose essential ingredients include “the rawboned refinement of their songwriting, the comely and lilting crooks in Welch’s phrasing, the shimmery dissonance of their harmonies and the prickly, surging ecstasy of Rawlings’ guitar runs.

In the early- to mid-’90s window captured on this collection, Welch was a different singer than the one listeners have come to know, swinging a little harder at times and bearing down a bit more…There’s a slightly unfamiliar quality even to some of the duo’s better-known songs. In the 1993 living-room demo of “Orphan Girl” — the tape from which Emmylou Harris learned her Wrecking Ball version — Welch chirps her lament in a considerably higher register than the one she eventually settled into, and the at-home recording of “Tear My Stillhouse Down” is similarly lighter than the song’s bleak sentiment. Those were mere starting points; the destination, as we well know, was a long-suffering suppleness that bears up beneath the grimmest storytelling. The “bootleg” also rounds up some of Rawlings’ initial romps on a newly acquired archtop guitar, as his flurries of capricious notes reveal a restless intelligence. And so much of the narration — especially in “One More Dollar,” “Barroom Girls,” “Only One And Only” and “Red Clay Halo,” the last of which got shelved until Time (The Revelator) — was already finely etched, even fastidious. The whole thing serves as a tremendous reminder of how and why this partnership came to matter so much.”

Here’s the tracklist:

Disc One

1. “Orphan Girl” (Alternate Version)

2. “Annabelle” (Alternate Version)

3. “Pass You By” (Alternate Version)

4. “Go on Downtown” (Revival Outtake) *

5. “Red Clay Halo” (Revival Outtake)

6. “By the Mark” (Alternate Mix)

7. “Paper Wings” (Demo)

8. “Georgia Road” (Revival Outtake) *

9. “Tear My Stillhouse Down” (Home Demo)

10. “Only One and Only” (Alternate Version)

Disc Two

1. “Orphan Girl” (Home Demo)

2. “I Don’t Want to Go Downtown” (Revival Outtake) *

3. “455 Rocket” (Revival Outtake) *

4. “Barroom Girls” (Live Radio)

5. “Wichita” (Revival Outtake) *

6. “One More Dollar” (Alternate Version)

7. “Dry Town” (Demo) *

8. “Paper Wings” (Alternate Mix)

9. “Riverboat Song” (Revival Outtake) *

10. “Old Time Religion” (Revival Outtake) *

11. “Acony Bell” (Demo)

*previously unreleased

Heartworn Highways Soundtrack Reissued

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment

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In 1976, the documentary film Heartworn Highways captured the music way of life in Texas and Tennessee of radical country artists, such as Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Young, David Allan Coe, Steve Earle, who were “reclaiming the genre.”

Aside from being a must-watch film for music lovers, the soundtrack is a masterpiece in its own right, featuring iconic tunes such as “Desperados Waiting For A Train” “Alabama Highways” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Waiting Around To Die.”

Light in the Attic recently reissued the soundtrack on vinyl and CD. Here are the details:

  • 20 page booklet with essay by Sam Sweet interviewing artists and documentary creators and crew
  • 2xLP on black vinyl
  • Gatefold CD with two 30 page booklets with liner notes
  • Produced for rerelease by David Gorman, Patrick McCarthy, Michael Nieves, Matt Sullivan, and Sam Sweet