The Ambient Series: Tor Lundvall

TorLundvallThus far, I’ve talked about the well known ambient masters.  And I will again.  But there are those that are little known, some even unknown.  Without a question, many of them are as good as the masters.  Tor Lundvall is definitely one of these.  He’s little known and yet he creates some of the most haunting, and sometimes fearful, sound canvasses that I have ever heard.  I first came across Tor Lundvall in a mailing, where he sent music to listen to in the hopes that I’d write up a review for MusicTAP.  Not only did I listen, I became captivated. To this day, I think of his music.

Tor Lundvall‘s music can be construed as dark, sometimes very dark ambient music.  Of course, he’s not alone in this style.  But what sets each artist apart is their ability to create their own, extremely unique world of sound.  It’s how you remember them after hearing their works.  Lundvall seemingly has a fascination with seasons and what each contain within their borders.  He is even more fascinated with the shadows that lie between their transition from one to the other.  More so the shadows that lie in inside.

Tor Lundvall Yule EPThe first time I heard Tor Lundvall was his excellent Yule album. Designed to tap the short period of the Christmas holiday from the ending hours of Thanksgiving through the early parts of January.  The full month of activity between the wane of Thanksgiving and the arrival of December 25 is a bustling period.  Within there are bouts of anticipation, happiness, even stress that fill its hours.  After the official end of the holidays, as we skate into the new year, there is a foreboding sense of falling back into a routine, often not a welcomed one.  The two weeks that January brings after the close of September has a feel to it that can be dark as realizations sets in that all of the pleasures of family, gifts, and happy faces are slipping into oblivion.  Lundvall’s Yule EP captures this feeling well with this 2006 work.

Still, Yule isn’t all that he has done.  Tor Lundvall has several titles beginning with his 1997 Passing Through Alone, a privately distributed issue that is now available on his website.  Since, he has issued his seasons-themed works in limited editions on CDs, LPs, cassettes, even multi-CD Boxed selections.  Recently, he released a 5CD box, Structures And Solitude, which packages two out of print titles, Empty City (2006), and Last Light (2004), along with two titles previously only available on LPs (Sleeping And Hiding – 2009, The Shipyard – 2012) , and a bonus CD of 18 vignettes entitled Night Studies.

Tor Lundvall is also a painter with many extraordinary works available as prints.  You will find his visual works as fascinating as you would his aural trips into sound.  All of his albums are featured with his original paintings.  He has also painted album covers for other artists including a Blue Note reissue of the Miles Davis Box, The Blue Note And Capitol Recordings (1993).

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I highly recommend his music.

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 12/30/2013 (US Report)

If you’re a vinyl fan AND a KISS fan, then it should please you to know that Universal will reissue some of the band’s works on vinyl LP.  This will give fans a chance to update their vinyl libraries of music with the following titles: KISS, Hotter Than Hell, Destroyer, Alive!, Dynasty, Animalize, Lick It Up, Psycho Circus, Revenge, and Unmasked.  All of these titles are planned for March 18.  Start putting those coins away.

With the SACD titles ramping up from Audio Fidelity, it’s very interesting and cool to note that they will be releasing Billion Dollar Babies (Alice Cooper), Blackout (Scorpions), and a nice surprise with Olias Of Sunhillow by Jon Anderson on the hi-res format. All of these are expected on January 21.

OliasOfSunhillowSACD

A nice piece of information from the Beatles camp include the fact that in addition to the collected U.S. Albums Box, all of the albums will be individually released.  Those are slated for January 21.

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The new album from Young The Giant, Mind Over Matter, is expected on January 21 in CD, DD, and LP releases.

Everlasting is the title of the new album from Martina McBride planned for release on March 4.

Brown Records plan the live acoustic release of Acoustic At The Ryman from Band Of Horses.  The songs are familiar and should be an exciting release from an excellent band.

Speaking of SACDs, Analogue Productions will reissue Second Helping, and Nuthin’ Fancy by Lynyrd Skynyrd on SACD on February 11.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Second Helping

Ruf Records plan the release of Goin’ To The Delta by Kim Simmonds And Savoy Brown, on February 11.

SavoyBrownGoinToDelta

UMe will release a 2CD ‘best of’ Deluxe Edition collection featuring the music of Loreena McKennitt on March 4.  The set will be called The Journey So Far: The Best Of Loreena McKennitt.

Real Gone Music will reissue the Dunhill-released 20-track collection featuring The Mamas And The Papas, called A Gathering Of Flowers: The Anthology Of The Mamas And The Papas (1970) on February 4.

Keyhole Records will release a 2CD live set featuring the music of Boz Scaggs entitled Live At The Fillmore West 30th June 1971. on January 21. The label will also release a 2CD live set from It’s A Beautiful Day called Live At The Fillmore West 1 July 1971, same date.  I like it!

BozScaggsLive

Shout! Factory continues an ongoing Marshall Tucker Band concentration with the release of Live At Raceway Park 9/3/1977, scheduled for release on January 28.

On February 25, Friday Music will reissue One More From the Road by Lynyrd Skynyrd in a 180g, 2LP Limited Edition vinyl set. Friday Music will also release Masque from Kansas as a Limited Edition 180g vinyl reissue, same date. On February 18, Friday Music will reissue Kansas‘ debut in a 180g LP Limited Edition.

LynyrdSkynyrdOneMoreFromTheRoad

A piece of UK news slipped in, Steve Talia notes that Cherry Red will be releasing B-A-B-Y (The Complete Stiff Recordings 1978-1980) featuring the music of Rachel Sweet, a Stiff Records signing from the late ’70s. This gem will be released on January 31.

Finally, I have to say that I really like the new Sky Ferreira album, Night Time, My Time.  Check out.  Good Pop/Rock music!

Rush (And Supertramp, KISS, & Elton John, Too) To Get Classic Album Reissue

The music site, Ultimate Classic Rock, is reporting that Rush will revisit their 1974 debut, the self-titled classic, in a 40th Anniversary set.  This news was initially mentioned by Canada’s news, The Globe and Mail.  As stated by the author in the Ultimate Classic Rock site, there is no hint as to what the reissue will bring, or even how it will be presented (remastered, etc), however, when you look at how Rush, and their labels have been doing it in the past with other Rush classics, it’s likely quite safe to say that it will be a momentous re-release of one of the band’s early works.

The article goes on to say that Anniversary sets of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (which we already knew)  by Elton John, Crime Of The Century by Supertramp, and a KISS archival issue were titles on tap for a 2014 release.

The great unread part is this: If Supertramp‘s Crime Of The Century is slated for a Deluxe Edition reissue, then it’s a sure bet that Breakfast In America will follow not long afterwards.  Now, if we can just stop the infighting and get Supertramp to produce a proper tour.

Rush

Happy Holidays From MusicTAP

I sincerely apologize for not being on much.  November and December have both proven to be extremely busy for me.  A good thing that labels goes to sleep during these times.  However, when the flow begins anew, I’ll resume my pace, as usual.

In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you a most happy Holidays!

—Matt

Talia’s Overflow Notes – 12/24/2013

If you have not heard or read about it from other sources yet, the big buzz among fans of Bruce Springsteen is that his manager, Jon Landau, dropped a bombshell during the course of an interview when speaking about the upcoming new album High Hopes (due in January).  Though no dates have been set, work is being done on a box set for The River album and new upgraded remasters for Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle.  (Rolling Stone Magazine/Hoffman Forum)

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 The recent documentary about backup singers such as Darlene Love, etc., called 20 Feet From Stardom is coming out on DVD from Anchor Bay on January 14. (IMWAN)

Some new information has been revealed concerning the upcoming SACD hybrids for Santana’s first album and Abraxas which are forthcoming from Mobile Fidelity in the near future.  A longtime member of the Hoffman Forum got a hold of MOFI and got word from them that both the SACD layers of both albums and the redbook CD layers of both albums are, in fact, new remasters. (Hoffman Forum)

One of the old albums that I hoped would be made into a new reissue in my 2014 Wishlist column is about to become reality.  The BBR label in the U.K. has announced that The Hues CorporationFreedom For The Stallion will be released on March 31. (BBR Facebook page)

HuesCorpFreedomForTheStallion

 Via his official website, word has begun filtering out that Jeff Beck is working on a new studio album which will be released in 2014.  (Hoffman Forum)

I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I hope this time will be filled with much love, security and safety for all of you.

Our Beloved Hall Of Fame…Not!

Here we are once again, at the dawning of another Hall of Fame debacle.  To be fair, I get the Hall of Fame.  There are those that have been quite influential over the years and have inspired much in the realm of music.  And my case is not one of “why did THEY get in?”…usually.  What inspires me to rant about this useless procedure is simply the idiocy with which it is run.

First off, as Rock and Roll gets more and more widespread. we have to come to a conclusion, which is how in the “wide, wide world of sports” will the Hall ever put in the deserving bands and artists before we all die off (or the deserving potential inductees)? The answer is quite simple enough, actually.  DON’T PICK A BATCH ONLY TO DENY ENTRANCE!  Here’s the easy route (and we’d all love it):

Have your group of judges, bolstered by an online poll of fans, choose the year’s entries.  Choose at least 20 (or if you must, ten), then let’s start the party.  No voting on who out of the nominated should get in.  That’s stupid.  Dumb! Idiotic!

If you picked a list, go with that.  Having said that, Yes, The Replacements, Deep Purple, The Meters, LL Cool J, Chic, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, N.W.A., The Zombies, and Link Wray all get in along with KISS, Nirvana, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, and Cat Stevens.

And, well, that’s not the way it’s getting played out.  And while I really have little problem who gets in, I do have a problem with who gets in over who.

So, (and this is my own opinion.  You may or may not agree with them, but it is still just an opinion), I have to scratch my head and wonder how KISS was more deserving than Yes, how Linda Ronstadt beat out Link Wray, how  Cat Stevens takes out Paul Butterfield.

We shouldn’t even be writing this piece.  Everyone in the list should have been inducted.  The club just AIN’T THAT exclusive, or should it be THAT exclusive.

There you have it.  The most horrifying snub is definitely YES, and not because I’m a YES fan.  It’s because few bands have been as influential and defining as they were. And who knows when they get a chance to be inducted again.

Ahhh, who cares.  It is, after all, as one reader suggested, the rock and roll hall of fame (in lower case). It doesn’t have any relevancy, if it really ever had it.

YES

My Wish List For 2014

In keeping with the spirit of Steve Talia‘s post yesterday of his 2014 Wish List, I’ve decided to post my own.  As we move into the realm of 2014, it’s easy to want to have things you like.  And music is definitely one of those things (although there was recently an article published…somewhere, that noted that people are just not interested in physical product any longer). That may be true with the younger music lovers, but for us who grew up in the time of LPs and other physical media, that is simply not true.  We may resist buying a title multiple times, but we do like our music in a physical sphere.

So, my wish list for 2014 goes something like this:

1) Mott The Hoople – This band may not have had an immense following, but they sure had a loyal one.  Most of the albums they’ve released have been gems (for me, all of them). But if you were to ask me to position one as the best Mott the Hoople album, I’d point to Mott, their 1973 classic that featured “All the Way From Memphis”.  Give me this in a newly remastered Legacy Edition and include whatever you want in it (live tracks, rehearsal pieces, demos, outtakes).  Make it a strong, definitive edition and I’ll be happy for a long, long time.

MottMott

2) AerosmithRocks SACD.  We all knew this was on the release calendar.  And to make it more real, one was actually found in the wild (at Amoeba in LA).  It has since gone to the highest bidder on Ebay.  It’s an easy release.  It’s in legendary status right now and therefore could be released as an add-in to a Legacy Edition of the album. What do you say, Legacy?

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3) Lou Reed – Honestly, I’ve been pining for updates on much of Lou Reed’s early works, from his elusive first album to at least New York. Few have transitioned from one style to another as well as Lou did.  For me, though, if RCA just simply updated Berlin, and Transformer in a new remaster and a shiny Legacy Edition, I’d be happy! And given his recent passing, I’d say that now would be simply the right time.

4) Lou Reed – Yep, Lou again.  While I’m reasonably sure that Legacy is prepping a definitive Lou Reed box, it would be a great addition to my Lou library.  Just sayin’!

5) Carly SimonNo Secrets…Carly made me fall in love with her on Anticipation, but it was No Secrets, with its album full of unforgettable songs that made me a fan for life.  Over a year ago, I REALLY thought that there would be a 40th Anniversary Edition of this one.  I was wrong.  And that surprises me as I always felt the album was a favored one. Try getting the DVD-Audio of No Secrets.  Attainable if you want to pay a lot of money.

CarlySimonNoSecrets

6) Tomita – Any of his albums.  All of his albums.  While I would find it hard to ask for just one, I’d be very pleased with a Legacy Edition of Snowflakes Are Dancing.  Or The Planets.  Or Grand Canyon Suite.  Oh, hell, let’s have them all.  And by the way, I’d love to hear any and all of these on SACD. Tomita releases single-handedly pointed me toward classical music.  And I love him for that. And for Christmas music lovers, Snowflakes Are Dancing is an excellent choice.

TomitaSnowflakes

7) Johnny Thunders – His tenure with New York Dolls was short but awe-inspiring.  After the band’s demise, Johnny released a great solo effort, his first, called So Alone (1978).  To this day, I still hear those songs, all of them, in my head at any given time.  Thunders’ cover of Otis Blackwell’s “Daddy Rollin’ Stone” was an extraordinary one. He reworked the Dolls’ “Subway Train”, did great covers of Chantays’ “Pipeline”, and Shangri-Las’ “Great Big Kiss”. And the help he had with Steve Marriott, Phil Lynott, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Cook to name a few. Yeah, I want this one.  As a side note, I saw this guy in concert at the Coach House in California.  Sadly, while he started out with a bang, he excused himself to go and shoot-up, coming back so high the venue eventually pulled the plug on him. I did get to talk with him after the “show”, which was a bonus for me! “Can’t close my eyes when she’s around, my heart starts pumpin’..”

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8) David Bowie – Pretty much all of Bowie’s important early albums have been given special treatment including some on SACD.  But it’s Low, and it’s Heroes that I want.  And I love to see these done up Legacy Edition style. Yes, these would be pretty cool to have!

BowieLow

9) Neil Diamond – Many people have mixed feelings about this guy.  I pretty much cannot listen to anything after I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight, and even for that one, I need to be in a mood to hear it.  But pick anything below that album including Serenade (1974), and Moods (1972) can be made into Deluxe Editions (unless Columbia now owns the Universal material, which I think it might).  Certainly remasters can satisfy me.   Personally, I’m quite surprised that Deluxe Editions of early Diamond titles haven’t happened yet.

10)Foghat – This is a great band! And while I wasn’t all thrilled with the BIG albums like Fool For The City, I loved them.  Nothing Foghat released was better than Rock and Roll (for me anyway – 1973). Fool for The City has been released on a great SACD from Mobile Fidelity, but the rest have been ignored.  So, if Rhino wants to provide Deluxe Editions of Energized, and Rock & Roll, I’m going to buy them. Fast!

11)Fleetwood Mac – I know everyone adores the Buckingham/Nicks years of this band.  But not enough gets said about the Green era, and the Kirwan/Welch configuration.  If Rhino decided to package up the forgotten Heroes Are Hard To Find, Mystery to Me, Kiln House, and the remarkable but unheralded Bare Trees into Deluxe Editions, well, that’d be alright with me!

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12) Grand Funk Railroad – Yeah, we had remasters some years back.  And those were awesome…THANKS! But I know the boys had to have a warehouse of unreleased tracks and outtakes, including demos, and alternates.  There isn’t a song on any of these albums (except the singles years AFTER We’re An American Band) that I wouldn’t like to see as a Deluxe Edition from Capitol.  There’s even the album that Zappa produced on MCA Records, Good Singin’, Good Playin’ that I’d love to hear with outtakes.  Hey, Zappa produced them so you KNOW they’re there. Imagine, an alternate version of “I’m your Captain”.

Emerson, Lake & PalmerTrilogy, with all the trimmings.  Everything.  But this is coming to past…I think.

Hey! Since it’s slow, why not send me your wish-lists.  I’ll post them.  Could be fun!

Talia’s Overflow Notes – 12/16/2013

Steve’s Wishlist For 2014

1) The Rolling Stones-Brussel’s Affair ’73 released as a 2-CD Deluxe Edition with extra live tracks from ’73 Europe or The Pacific Rim Tour from earlier in the year.  Let’s also hope that the rumored Sticky Fingers Super Deluxe Edition box set makes it out from Universal too.

2) Santana-A box set of entirely unreleased live material from the ’60s through the ’70s.  It would be a great tie-in with the autobiography that Carlos is supposed to be penning.  Plus, there’s quite a bit of unofficial sourced material floating around online.  There’s no excuse that something like this couldn’t be done by Sony/Legacy.

3) Gordon LightfootSundown: 40th Anniversary Edition as a well done remaster, a 2-CD Deluxe Edition with outtakes, demos and alternates from Rhino/Warner Brothers or let Audio Fidelity do an SACD hybrid of it.

LightfootSundown

4) Golden EarringMoontan: 40th Anniversary Edition 2-CD Deluxe edition with the original Dutch release lineup for the remastered first disc and then a second disc of the American tracks, unreleased studio material or a live show from the time of the album from Universal.  Otherwise, let Audio Fidelity do an SACD hybrid of it.  And by the way, we’re all grownups.  Please issue these with the original Dutch cover-however which way it turns out.

GoldenEarringMoontan

5) William DeVaughn Be Thankful For What You Got: 40th Anniversary Edition.  I’m going to keep drilling BBR about this until it becomes reality.  I know!  I’m a pest.

6) The Hues CorporationFreedom For The Stallion: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.  Here’s another for BBR to make a high priority.

HuesCorpFreedomForTheStallion

7) Bad CompanyRun With The Pack SACD hybrid or gold disc from Audio Fidelity.

8) The WhoWho’s Next: Super Deluxe Edition box set with different bonus material than was on the 2-CD Deluxe Edition from back in 2003.  Include San Francisco ’71 as the live show and untouched demos from Pete Townshend,  Give the main album a whole new 2014 remastering job.

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9) Ravi Shankar -A box set of or individual releases of live shows and private performances.  Serious consideration should be given to a multi-label unreleased material box set(s).

10) Miles Davis – Let’s hope the next installment of the Bootleg Series actually makes it out in 2014.

11) I hope that the Soundway and Analog Africa labels will do some of their great ’70s Africa compilations for countries they haven’t covered yet.

12) Carly SimonAnticipation.  Let’s have Audio Fidelity do an SACD hybrid of this album.  It would be a dream come true for me to hear “Legend In Your Own Time” on SACD.

CarlySimonAnticiaption

13) Jackson Browne – Definitive remasters or 2-CD Deluxe Editions for all of his albums from Jackson Browne (aka Saturate Before Using) on up to and including Hold Out.  I can’t believe Rhino/Warner Brothers has still not gotten around to this yet.  It should never have to be on a list like this.

14) Mike Nesmith & The First National Band – Please!  Let this happen.  Can we have definitive, from the multi-track mixdown tapes (no needle-drops) remasters of the great 3 album run of Loose Salute, Magnetic South and Nevada Fighter?

15) Mel & TimStarting All Over Again:  Could Fantasy/Concord or BBR please take of this?  It’s driving me nuts that I don’t have the long version of the title song in my collection.

16) Peter Green-Era Fleetwood Mac:  That by some blessed miracle, some unreleased live tapes turn up and that we are given more proof of why this man should be a household name.

17) Joe Walsh-Era James Gang:  Same as above.  I would also include any Reunion shows too.  An officially released live version of “The Bomber” would really make me one truly happy camper.

18) Elton John – SACD releases for Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and Caribou albums.  Then continue with 2-CD Deluxe Editions for Madman Across The Water, Honky Chateau, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and Caribou since we know we are not likely to get Super Deluxe Editions of these albums from Universal.  They already have Goodbye Yellow Brick Road planned for that particular treatment.

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19) Bread:  O.k., I’m stretching things a bit in the realistic hopes category, but I’d like to see the Bread catalog get individual album remasters from Rhino/Warner Brothers with some bonus tracks included or else let Audio Fidelity do hybrid SACD releases for their catalog.

20) Steely DanAmerican (and definitive) SACD hybrid releases from either Audio Fidelity or Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs of their catalog.  I would be good for everything from Can’t Buy A Thrill all the way up to and including Aja.

I wonder if my friend Matt has a wishlist of his own he’d like to share?

(I do!)

My Favorites Of 2013…Thus Far

It’s that time of the year where every one and their brothers post their best of the year, in this case 2013.  And while I quit that roller coaster ride of naming all of my favorites, and then posting a ‘you name the best of the year’ collection that literally took up a lot of time, I cannot deny there were those that took up my time, and space in my head.

But this year, I have had several favorites. Some that were all demanding.  And one new discovery this year that was actually released in 2012.  Of course, I’ve rambled about these for some time now but I decided it would be nice to throw what I remember in the ring for you to note.  And for you to give me yours.

We can make this a running conversation, as I really need to sit and pull up all of the faves that I have enjoyed over the year.  Enjoy, for me goes beyond the “yeah, that’s nice” one-time listen.  In fact, and crazy too, I have been held hostage by four particular albums.  Those are:

Adam Green/Binki Shapiro: They have nailed a complete and sensitive album looking at everything.  Released on Rounder Records, this debut kept me returning to it month after month.  when I think I’ve heard enough and put it away, a song crept back into my head.  When I pulled the album out to hear again, it stayed in my player for the better part of a few weeks.  Folk, country, and rock, it is a gem of an album.

AdamGreen Bink Shapiro CD

Lily & Madeleine: It’s very difficult to listen to the debut release on Sufjan Stevens’s Asthmatic Kitty label (what a score!), without having the 5-song EP released earlier in the year, creep back into the head.  It’s very easy to say that these girls have a great thing going on.  Their lyrics are wise beyond the girls’ years, and the music is contagious and memorable.  The EP, The Weight Of The Globe, is a perfect mini-album, and does everything in the world to herald their debut that was released later in to the year.

LilyMadeleine

The album itself, with so much promise attached to it, did not disappoint in any way.  And while not every song stayed with you, it was worth every penny you spent on it.  And I got vinyl as well as the CD.  I still listen to both.

LilyAndMadeleineCover

The Black Angels: With the release of Indigo Meadow this year, this retro psychedelic lived up to their hype really, really well.  In fact, they had me combing through my collection for everything that was psychedelic in the late ’60s.  There’s not a bad song on the album.

TheBlackAngelsIndigoMeadow

And then there are all of the passing through ones that seem to register high on most people’s list.  There’s no denying those bands produced great albums.  But it seems that these guys were just the flavors that are out at the current time.

I’ll get into those before the year is out, and likely sooner as some pass through whatever discussions end up here. Do you have new favorites from this year?

Hey, the end of the year is almost here!

Oh, and that 2012 release still garnering much of my attention?  That’s The Lion’s Roar from First Aid Kit. Unbelievable perfection.

Basic CMYK