TAPSheet: Release Notes – 08/22/2012 (US Report)

Roadrunner Records will release new Stone Sour with the first of two-parter, House of Gold + Bones expected on October 23.  Part 2 is slated for some time in 2013.

Eagle Rock Entertainment slates their BD/DVD release of Live at The Bowl ’68 featuring The Doors,  for October 23.

Universal Republic will release The Album Collection for Amy Winehouse on October 9.

Geffen slips into a little holiday spirit with the planned releases of White Christmas by Bing Crosby,  and Jingle Bell Rock from Brenda Lee.   White Christmas arrives on September 18, while Jingle Bell Rock arrives a week later at September 25.  Universal Motown adds Bethlehem by Brian McKnight on September 25.

Fuel Records plan Too Hot For Snakes/The Ring of Truth from Carla Olson and Mick Taylor on October 16.

Interscope Records will release Halcyon by Ellie Goulding on October 9.

Fuel Records will release a Freddie Fender compilation called Love Songs on October 16.  The label also plans Anthology,  Volume 1 featuring the collected music of The Fifth Estate,  scheduled for October 16.

Warner Brothers Records will release Sunken Condos by Steely Dan vet,  Donald Fagen, on October 17.

Grateful Dead Records will release a 2CD Grateful Dead title,  Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It,  on September 18.

Legacy and RCA Records will release a Deluxe set of Prince From Another Planet by Elvis Presley.  This set is a 2CD/DVD box set for October 30.

Watch for Mystic Pinball by John Hiatt via New West Records,  planned for CD and LP release on September 25.

So nice to see a multi-disc Deluxe Edition of So by Peter Gabriel,  which will be slated for October 23 via Real World Productions.

Ultra Records will release <Album Title Goes Here> from Deadmau5 on September 25.

Beacon Theater: Live From New York featuring Joe Bonamassa is scheduled from J&Real Adventures in a 2CD set planned for September 25.

Devil You Know arriving from one of my favorite female artists, Richie Lee Jones, is slotted for September 18 via Concord Records.

Legacy Recordings and Columbia Records will release a 16CD/1DVD Deluxe Edition Box featuring the catalog works of Blue Oyster Cult on October 30.  This set will feature 2012 remasters and include:

1. Blue Oyster Cult (1972 – studio – with 2001 CD bonus tracks)
2. Tyranny and Mutation (1973 – studio – with 2001 CD bonus tracks)
3. Secret Treaties (1974 – studio – with 2001 CD bonus tracks)
4. On Your Feet or on Your Knees (1975 – live) – 2012 Remaster
5. Agents of Fortune (1976 – studio – with 2001 CD bonus tracks)
6. Spectres (1977 – studio – with 2007 CD bonus tracks)
7. Some Enchanted Evening CD (1978 – live – with 2007 CD bonus tracks)
8. Some OTHER Enchanted Evening DVD (1978 – live)
9. Mirrors (1979 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
10. Cultosaurus Erectus (1980 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
11. Fire of Unknown Origin (1981 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
12. Extraterrestrial Live (1982 – live) – 2012 Remaster
13. The Revolution By Night (1983 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
14. Club Ninja (1985 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
15. Imaginos (1988 – studio) – 2012 Remaster
16. Rarities
17. Radios Appear: The Best of the Broadcasts

And 40-page book will be included along with download codes for four bonus live concerts.

Concord Jazz will release Rhythm Sessions from Lee Ritenour on September 25.

Legacy and Columbia team to release the massive Johnny Cash box set,  The Complete Columbia Album Collection with 63! discs.   This is set for October 30.

Capitol Records have slated the new Bat For Lashes album, The Haunted Man, for October 23.


In Memoriam: Scott McKenzie

Since I was ten, the song, “San Francisco” has been a constant companion, both in my mind and whatever way I found to physically replay it.  Ask either of my children, and they can sing the song to you.  The song, although written by John Phillips of Mamas and Papas fame, is still, in every way, Scott McKenzie’s song.  It is also our song; yours and mine.

“San Francisco” embodies an ideal.  For many, it may be an outdated song.  Good for its time but something not relevant to the age in which we now find ourselves.  For others, the song is rich in a thought that, sadly, crosses few minds anymore.  For the rest of us, it’s still an anthem.  It still contains a hope.

The singer of that song, Scott McKenzie, is forever entwined in it.  However, on August 18, the voice of “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” left the earth at the young age of 73, after an extended affliction with GBS, a rare paralytic disease that can affect respiratory function.  While his death reminds us of our own mortality, his song (and yes, it is his song) reminds us of our capabilities.

Peace amongst ourselves and throughout the world increasingly seems like an impossibilty.  And it may well be beyond our grasp.  But MacKenzie’s beautiful and involving version of “San Francisco” serves as a very real reminder that at least one generation believed in the peace he sang about, and the generation coming up behind that one was, at least, influenced by it.

Many of us will miss the singer of the song.  He made us believe in peace.  And gentle people with flowers in their hair.


Poll: Grand Funk Railroad – Which Album Is Best?

From Grand Funk Railroad’s first album, I’ve been a fan.  After hearing “Time Machine” on FM radio, and the occasional playback of “T.N.U.C.”, and “Heartbreaker”, I was a solidly hooked fan of this three-piece powerhouse.  Then it got better.  Almost immediately, they released their second album.  I picked it and enjoyed the phenomenal cover of “Inside Looking Out”, and “Paranoid”, “Mr Limousine Driver”, and “In Need”.

With their creativity on fire, they issued their third, Closer To Home.  On that album, they introduced their classic track, “I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home)”, a song that I still listen to frequently.

I have to confess, however, that while I adore many of their albums up through We’re An American Band (I could never get into their later years singles tunes), it was Survival that I appreciated most…and still do.  There isn’t a bad song on this album, in my estimation.  It’s one that I can listen to in it’s entirety at almost any time.  And more than once.  In fact, I listened to it no less than three times today alone.  I may listen to it again tomorrow.

E Pluribus Funk, Phoenix, We’re An American Band, and their MCA debut produced by Frank Zappa, Good Singin’ Good Playin’, a sort of return to FM rock, round out my love for this band. While their three unmentioned albums find little play (I don’t even own them), I do enjoy “Bad Time”.

That’s my story.  I do recognize that many people do not enjoy Grand Funk as I do.  However, I find it too difficult to not put this out as a poll question in the hopes that I’ll be surprised.

As an aside, if Mark Farner were to reunite with his original bandmates, I have more than a few bucks to buy a ticket to that show.

So…surprise me.

Life Is A Rock But The Radio Rolled Me

I sure do miss Top40 radio.

I’ve not really been too much a singles guy, but I do like hearing songs presented that way.  Back in my youth,  and my young adult life,  I spent an awful lot of time tuned into WLS music radio (89…WLS Chicago).  As I got older,  I split time with several FM stations.   Between WLS and WXRT, I gained a lot of familiarity with bands and artists, many of whom I went and bought LPs from.

So, yeah, discovery played a huge part of that radio love back then.  But I also loved the ability to catch a string of acceptably good tracks even if I might never purchase an LP from the band.  And that is definitely what I miss most about it now.  Recently, that was really driven home by a long drive that, for some strange smack alongside the head with nostalgia, left me feeling sad.  I REALLY did miss that style of radio.

Top40 radio provided freshness that was always changing.  A fast charting song, a quick insertion at a high spot, or a brief stay by an elusive song, could always perk my ears up.  Noted songs always precipitated a visit to Art’s Record Shop, sometimes immediately.  For sure, WLS played a heavy hand in my musical education,  not to forget my love for musical diversity.  WXRT-FM picked up the heavier lifting.   Between the two, I was shaped and molded by some of the best radio stations I could have been introduced to.

Unfortunately, as the years progressed, Top40 (as we knew it then) gave way to talk shows, then back to a highly structured Top40 that remained heavily Pop-oriented.  In a word,  unlistenable.  Gone were the cross-over hits in one place.   Wanted a splash of country in your drive time?  Better zero in on a country station with their own Top40.  Jazz?  Find a Jazz station.  A bluesy cut forces your tuning to a Blues-oriented station.  Even Rock music is incredibly sub-divided these days.  Leave the hard stuff for the metal-heads,  the Pop-Rock to the fan of that,  and the alternative stuff is sequestered on uniquely specialized stations for the teen,  the young adult,  or the older crowd still trying to keep a foothold in the whole thing.  Nostalgic?  Of course you can have that.   But be prepared to be inundated with the same Who song,  the same Pink Floyd tracks, the same cherry-picked Led Zeppelin heavy cuts for days on end.   You begin to wonder how many songs those bands made.  According to LA’s very boring The Sound-FM,  you could collect the world’s treasure trove of music on a 50-CD Time-Life set.  And they’re not the only tight play list in LA.

Yes,  I miss the incredible diversity of WLS and other AM Top40 stations like it.   I miss the exploration of the early days of Rock FM stations.

I don’t know where to look anymore without being disgusted, simply choosing to keeping the radio off.

Bonus feature:

Some bullshit study so far off the mark…

Review: Slow Dream – Loren Nerell

Loren Nerell’s love affair with ambient music and its endless diversities have its roots firmly fed by the music of Tangerine Dream, who themselves, have had immeasurable influence on many of ambient composers in the history of the style.

Nerell is well studied in the art of sound manipulation, and experienced in the recording of several albums of ambient sounds, especially in the art of Gamelan music, a style of Bali sound. On his seventh solo release, Slow Dream, Loren Nerell steps into the nether regions of the mind to soundtrack the unknown worlds of dreams.
Slow Dream contains four compositions that are each unique, and uniquely eerie in their expressive attempt to softly provide, not a story, but a tone that replicates the misty, intangible dream worlds that we occupy.

“Mentalon”, the first of the four, is a nearly half-hour ‘lost path’ trek through uncertain curtains, behind which we know nothing that exist. The droning tones are soft, and increasingly familiar but never let up nor venture too far from the close walled corridors that it implies you are walking through.
It’s followed by the 10-minute “Slow Dream”, a foreboding piece that is reminescent of Tangerine Dream works, yet retains Nerell originality. It fills the dream world with billowing dark clouds, cool to the face, devoid of life, as you walk through them.

This effective album is completed with “A Sense of Presence” (19:28), and a beautiful but short “Persistence of Dream Imagery”.
It is recommended that you can listen to this drifting off to sleep, or at low volumes throughout the day for a calming effect. I would suggest a complete ‘closed-eyes’ session with this album, preferably before heading off to bed. Regardless of your listening methods, the experience is mesmerizing, more so the deeper attention you pay to the composed sounds.

In Nerell’s dreamscapes, you are truly alone.  Sometimes, that’s a place we need to be.

Release Date: July 17, 2012

—Matt Rowe

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 08/14/2012

Epic Records plan the release of Sticks and Stones from Cher Lloyd, scheduling a release date of October 2.  This US Edition will add in a bonus track.

Glass Note Records will add a Deluxe Edition of Babel by Mumford & Sons to the release calendar, adding three bonus tracks.  Expect this one on September 25.

Legacy Recordings have scheduled the new Heart album,  Fanatic, for October 2, on LP and CD.

The Truth About Love, the latest album from Pink, will arrive from RCA Records on September 18.  This album will be available in both CD and LP.

Island Records plan to issue a Deluxe Edition version of 4th Street Feeling by Melissa Etheridge on September 4th.  The Deluxe Edition packs in a coaster and guitar pick, packaged in a six-panel digipak.

The 25th Anniversary of Document by R.E.M. is on the calendar for September 25.  It will be made available in both CD, and LP forms.

Edsel Records from the UK is offering five early Steve Miller classic album reissues with Brave New World (1969); Sailor (1968); Your Saving Grace (1969); Children Of The Future (1968); and Number Five (1970).  These are slated for August 27.  [Thanks to Stephen Talia]

The new album from The Wallflowers,  Glad All Over,  is planned for CD and LP on October 2 via Columbia Records.

Aimee Mann comes back with a new album, Charmer,  scheduled for September 18 on both CD and LP.

Blue Note Records will release Born To Sing: No Plan B from Van Morrison on October 2.

The new album from Taylor Swift has been announced.  Red is scheduled for October 22.

Long Wave from Jeff Lynne (ELO), is currently planned for October 9.  On October 9 (of course),  Frontiers Records will release a “best of” featuring ELO hits.   The album will be called Mr Blue Sky.

The 45th Anniversary for the release of Velvet Underground and Nico is planned for a massive Super Deluxe Edition set for October 30.

Island Records will release Battle Born by The Killers with a scheduled date of September 18.

Days of Punk

I’m often engaged in lively debate about music.  Over the last few days, someone I know wondered about my views on Punk music.   Well,  as we all know,  that’s asking a lot about a particular type of music respected by many.   In addition, punk music has several offshoot styles that further flavor its sound.

I will openly admit that I don’t know as many Punk bands as I should as my love for it is measured in variable ways.  I could argue that Sex Pistols were the greatest in their raw field.  But that’s the obvious choice.  Some have great love for The Ramones,  a band that I gave up to Pop/Punk after the second album.  Love them but not much after the second.

This,  of course,  makes me curious.   As readers, Which Punk bands are your favorites?  Is it hard core, Pop, or ‘mix and match’ Punk that catches your fancy?  And, since we’re here, an important album by a Punk band.

Review: The Complete Scepter Singles – B. J. Thomas

The music of B.J Thomas has been quite resilient over the decades since they were first recorded. The fact that Real Gone Music is releasing a collected set of Thomas classics is clearly indicative of that.  And how many of you remember hearing the fast arriving hits from B.J. Thomas as the songs played through car radios and tiny AM units? Plenty of you, I know. I was one of them.

On the 2CD collected Scepter (Thomas’ label) set,  you will discover a whopping 46 tracks, all compiled from the issued singles released on Scepter Records.  Many of these singles are memorable classics including B. J. Thomas’ best known,  “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.  That one was a #1 hit, largely due to the Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid film.  But if you found Thomas early on, like I had, you might have been a fan before that hit spilled from radios everywhere.

“The Eyes Of A New York Woman” was a charted hit in 1968, followed closely by the bigger hit, “Hooked On A Feeling”, which reached #5.  After Raindrops,  a very close string of hits rewarded B. J. Thomas with enough excellence including “Everybody’s Out Of Town” ; “I Just Can’t Help Believing”; “Most Of All”; “No Love At All”; “Mighty Clouds Of Joy”; “Long Ago Tomorrow”; a personal favorite of my own, “Rock And Roll Lullaby”, which showcases Thomas’ incredible vocal range and talent; and “That’s What Friends Are For”.

The rest of the songs found on The Complete Scepter Singles include early and later hits not mentioned, some obscure and some just as well charted as those previously mentioned.  Some of them represent B-sides.  All represent the vocal work of a timeless artist.

The 2CD set is rounded out by a well assembled 12-page glossy stock booklet that is home to a 5-page essay, photos, and a complete track-list with full credits.

Billy Joel Thomas would continue his hits after his Scepter years with “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Did Somebody Wrong Song” and an excellent string of Gospel albums.  But leading up to these,  Thomas’ Scepter years were rich with great songs that still please effortlessly.

This set is a treasure to have.

Release Date: June 19, 2012

–Matt Rowe

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 08/08/2012 (US Report)

Island Records have Arc Of A Diver on the calendar for a 2CD Deluxe Edition reissue.   This magnificent Steve Winwood classic is scheduled for October 9.

Deutsch Grammophon plan to release Gold Dust from Tori Amos, on CD, DD, and a CD/DVD Special Edition on October 2.

UMe will release Love Songs For The End of the World by Rick Springfield on October 9.

Hear Music will release a 2CD/1DVD set of Live In New York City by Paul Simon on September 18.  It will also be released as stand alone BD and DVD Editions.

Hip-O Records plan the release of On The Air: Her Best TV Performances featuring Patsy Cline,  expected on October 2.

Push and Shove, by No Doubt, is scheduled for September 25 via Interscope Records.

Cooperative Music plans the new Martha Wainwright album, Come Home To Mama, for October 16. Also on LP.

Verve Select has slated the 65th Anniversary Edition of Satchmo At Symphony Hall: The Complete Performances for reissue on October 16.

Polydor Records have set September 25 as the release date for Best Of Live At The Apollo: 50th Anniversary Edition of this James Brown collection.

Filter US have the 4th Volume of Music Is Awesome featuring the cool music found on Yo Gabba Gabba stage showcases on October 9.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a DVD version of Live In Texas ’75 featuring The Who, on September 25.

Concert One will release YESSPEAK, a DVD featuring YES,  on October 2.

ZZ Top will release La Futura on vinyl LP on September 11 via Universal Republic.