Mastodon To Release Emperor Of Sand In March

The last album by Mastodon was Once More ‘Round The Sun. It was released in 2014 and did moderately well worldwide.  Since then, the band has begun to hint at an evolved direction, which would be revealed on their next album. That is soon to be unveiled with the release of their upcoming seventh studio work, Emperor of Sand.

Emperor of Sand is on the calendar for March 31 via Reprise Records. This new album will contain eleven new Mastodon tracks. You can listen to a newly released track below, “Sultan’s Curse”.

Emperor of Sand – Mastodon

01 Sultan’s Curse
02 Show Yourself
03 Precious Stones
04 Steambreather
05 Roots Remain
06 Word to the Wise
07 Ancient Kingdom
08 Clandestiny
09 Andromeda
10 Scorpion Breath
11 Jaguar God

Emperor of Sand will be released on CD, DD, and a gatefold 180g-weight black vinyl 2LP set.

 

Open Letter to Talking Heads

I know situations can be difficult. I know that people can be difficult. And we all certainly have our stubborn streaks where bygones are not always bygones. But as we age, those feelings should be starting to diminish. A least to the point that rational thought can once more be applied and prevail.

I’m talking directly to Talking Heads and all four of the main components of that historic band. Don’t you think it’s time to do a last go around like The Police did some years back? A definitive ‘Get it while it’s hot’ offering to experience-starved fans? I do!

With age being what it is, a relentlessly pursuing , always winning, part of life that is COMPLETELY unavoidable, there are choices. We already know that a reformation of Talking Heads would be as monetarily pleasing as The Police reunion was. So, with the onset of mortality staring most of us in the face, why not “wake him up”, and get out on the road for a limited amount of dates? Le me provide you with enticements:

  1. A HUGE sum of money at the end of all shows. Even if it does amount to more pocket change to some or all of the Heads, think of the padded bank accounts! In these times more cash in the retirement fund means less stress. Hell, you wouldn’t even need a fund manager. Just let the interest do the heavy lifting. Big fat zeros at the end of any transaction that is plus to a bank account is always easy to keep track of.
  2. Are you people REALLY going to let The Police own the title of BEST band reunion from your era? Really?! A least TRY to make it interesting!
  3. If you happen to fall into a creative mood, you could always channel that into a Talking Heads studio album! Leave another for the legacy! But if you didn’t, we’d understand that part, at least. We would. We’re not THAT demanding.
  4. At the very least, do it for the fans. They gave you the ability to be autonomous, beholden to no man! You got to live out your entire lives in not having to be concerned for your next dollar, your ability to pay family-sized bills, and your larger than normal homes filled with awe-inspiring furniture. And some of you even have fully equipped studios, too! A single 50-date tour is a nice thank-you to fans. And, of course, I’ll not go over the fact that it monetarily benefits you four.

David Byrne. Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth. Chris Frantz. Talking Heads.

“…and we’re not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out.

We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Takin’ that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride…”

 

 

The Road by Mike + The Mechanics Re-Releases In March

The last album released by Mike + The Mechanics was 2011’s The Road. That album was released without the services of Paul Carrack leaving just Mike Rutherford as an original member of the band. The Road was released with a collection of eleven tracks.

On March 24, BMG Records will bring The Road to US having been previously available as an import. There’s nothing new, and no remastering here. Just availability.

If you haven’t acquired it yet, here’s an opportunity.

 

Neil Diamond Delivers 3CD/50 Track 50th Anniversary Collection

One of the more prolific artists for many years is Neil Diamond. With the several labels that he has been signed to, he was a goldmine. Over the years, there has been a wealth of collections to celebrate the periods of his productivity. His first widely received and sold collection came from MCA Records. That collection is His 12 Greatest Hits, still his best-selling collection to date. Capitol Records, which is his current home for ALL of his albums, hopes to change that with a new career-spanning collection.

On March 31, watch for a 3CD set called 50th Anniversary Collection. It will bring together all of the remastered hits and well-played deep cuts produced by Neil Diamond over the course of his strong 50 years as a recording artist. The 3CD will contain 50 tracks (see track-list below), all selected by Neil Diamond himself for this collection.

50th Anniversary Collection begins with Neil’s first charting hit, “Solitary Man”, and closes with a track off his latest album, “The Art of Love” (from Melody Road).

This 3CD 50th Anniversary Collection may not be for everyone, Certainly, it isn’t for me. I had little to no love for much beyond 1977’s I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight. That was the first production by Bob Gaudio, which led to a different Neil Diamond, song-wise. Even with that album, I had to adapt. Of course, I obviously do not speak for the tons of fans that DID enjoy that prolific period. And this collection is for them.

While there are many compilations of Neil’s music out there, this one loosely addresses the whole spectrum. If you’re a fan of Neil Diamond throughout, enjoy!

50th Anniversary Collection – Neil Diamond

CD1:
01. Solitary Man
02. Cherry, Cherry
03. I’ve Got The Feeling (Oh No No)
04. You Got To Me
05. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon
06. I’m A Believer
07. Thank The Lord For The Night Time
08. Red, Red Wine
09. Sunday Sun
10. Shilo
11. Kentucky Woman
12. Brooklyn Roads
13. Glory Road
14. Holly Holy
15. And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind
16. Sweet Caroline
17. Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show

CD2:
01. Done Too Soon
02. Soolaimon
03. Cracklin’ Rosie
04. Crunchy Granola Suite
05. I Am…I Said
06. Stones
07. Morningside
08. Song Sung Blue
09. Play Me
10. Be – Recapitulation And Farewell To Fletcher
11. Skybird
12. Lonely Looking Sky
13. I’ve Been This Way Before
14. Longfellow Serenade
15. Beautiful Noise
16. Street Life
17. If You Know What I Mean

CD3:
01. Desirée – Single Version
02. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
03. Forever In Blue Jeans
04. September Morn
05. The Story Of My Life
06. Yesterday’s Songs
07. I Believe In Happy Endings
08. Hello Again
09. Love On The Rocks (From “The Jazz Singer” Soundtrack)
10. Heartlight
11. Lady-Oh
12. Pretty Amazing Grace
13. Hell Yeah
14. We
15. The Art Of Love
16. America (From ‘The Jazz Singer’ Soundtrack)

 

In Memoriam: Jaki Liebezeit (Can)

If you were a musically experimental sort, then chances are good that you’re aware of the German band, Can. They began their blend of jazz and rock back in the late 60s, and eventually acquired a respectable fanbase. using synth, conventional instruments, and a variety of influenced sounds to create a satisfying collection of music. One of the founding father, Jaki Liebezeit, was a mainstay of the band having been there for all of the band’s recorded library. His chosen instrument was drums. In fact, it is impossible to separate his drumming from the band. If you listen to any of their works, especially their early works, you will hear how they influenced many bands…even David Bowie.

On January 22, it was softly posted on Can’s FB page that Jaki Liebezeit passed away in his sleep due to complications of Pneumonia. He was 79 at the time of his departure.

His absence will be felt by some of us as we distinctly hear Can’s influences in music. All that remains is for Jaki to help the Great Band to become something even better.

Jaki Liebezeit
1938-2017
RIP

 

In Memoriam: Pete Overend Watts (Mott The Hoople)

Last year, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin, the drummer of Mott The Hoople passed away due to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 68. He was part of the sad exits of life that happened in 2016, an event, I fear, that will only accelerate as the years go on. As the cement of 2017 begins to harden, we have already have a few notable deaths indicating a continuing pattern.

On January 22, Overend Watts, the flamboyant bassist of Mott The Hoople joined Buffin in the Great Band after a battle with throat cancer. He was 69.

Mott The Hoople had a hard road to fame and was assisted along the way with an assist by David Bowie, who contributed the band’s big hit, “All The Young Dudes”. From there, the band could do little wrong, although their run in the top echelon of Rock’s best was far too short. By their 1974 classic (The Hoople), they were in disintegration mode. Mick Ralphs had already left for Bad Company, and Ian Hunter departed for a solo career. The remaining elements of the band stayed for several albums as Mott.

Overend was the “rock n roll star” of Mott The Hoople with his platform boots, and choices of onstage clothing. And it’s why we were endeared to Overend!

While we’ve missed Mott The Hoople for some time now, we will miss Overend as much as we have missed Buffin in this past year. Play a track of your favorite song from Mott The Hoople as a remembrance.

Overend Watts
1947-2016
RIP

 

Review: Spiral Revelation – Steve Roach

It’s sometimes hard to find the words that accurately bring justice to an ambient work. With a band like Tangerine Dream, you almost only have to mention their name for fans to understand the potential for a good to great album of music. Ambient artist, Steve Roach, should be at that level for many fans of the genre. With more than 60 creations within his catalogue, not to mention his many collaborations, Steve Roach is (or should be) an instantly recognizable name within the ambient world of sound. His latest album, Spiral Revelation, is a classic album in the making. And I do not say this lightly.

Spiral Revelation is a newly released set with six lengthy tracks (yes, you want these tracks lengthy). Beginning with the eleven minute first track, “We Continue”, there is a beautiful and repetitive piece that is bathed in a wash of sound. Occasionally filled in with other sounds, this opening track easily sets the quality of music tone for the rest of Spiral Revelation. As the first track glides into the second, you barely notice a transition has occurred, it’s that well orchestrated. Your mind is completely in tune it simply does not recognize a change.

There are two tracks over the ten minute mark, and deservedly so. The rest ease between six and ten minutes with two of them quite near ten minutes in length. All in all, this ambient work is an otherworldly masterpiece, beautifully composed by one of our ambient masters. With just over a full hour of transitional tunes, Spiral Revelation should be heard by all fans of ambient music.

The album itself is noted as being “The Sound of Life, Interconnected and Unfurling”. Under the disc, within the plastic well that holds the CD, the four (North, East, South West) corners have -appropriately – the words ‘Feeling’, Sensation’, ‘Thought’, ‘Intuition’.

I’m infatuated with Spiral Revelation. And I wanted you to know about it. As a note for hi-resolution fans, Spotted Peccary Music will be releasing Spiral Revelation in 96kHz/24-bit downloadable files (here). Projekt Records handles the CD and standard digital downloads via Bandcamp. You can hear streams at both locations.

 

Last Three Remastered Dead Can Dance LPs Slated For March

Last year, 4AD reissued several Dead Can Dance (hereafter DCD) vinyl LP sets for the vinyl collector! The previous release schedules jumped over albums and periods of DCD in a jumbled way. And with the upcoming arrival of more titles on vinyl, the same is being done.

On March 17, 4AD and DCD will issue the remaining three titles that will include The Serpent’s Egg (1988), Aion (a personal favorite) (1990), and Spiritchaser (1996), their last of their first run before their reunion album, Anastasis (2012).  All titles are newly remastered!

Good news for a Friday, I’d say!

Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

 

Soundgarden Debut, Ultramega OK, Remixed and Expanded For March

Released at the end of 1988, Soundgarden‘s debut album, Ultramega OK, eventually went on to snag a coveted Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. The album was released by the popular SST independent label, although the band would eventually go on to with major label, A&M Records just a year later.

Ultramega OK has a story that goes with it. After release, the band felt the released mix was unsuitable and moved to remix the album almost after the first batch of albums reached the marketplace. As time will do, the band got caught up in their own success and the remix project evaporated into thin air. The rest of Soundgarden’s lifespan was spent in creating new music, touring, and other worthwhile exploits and adventures.

Speed to 2016. The band reacquire the multi-track tapes to Ultramega OK, and the remix project was full steam ahead. Here we are at the front end of 2017, and the fruits of that labor will be available on March 10.

Sub Pop Records will reissue Ultramega OK with a ‘corrected’ mix, and expanded to include the six early tracks of songs referred to as Ultramega EP.

The remixed and expanded reissue will be released on CD, Cassette, and  2LP vinyl. The vinyl LP set will include download rights to the album’s expanded 19 tracks (see tracklist below).

Ultramega OK – Soundgarden

01 Flower
02 All Your Lies
03 665
04 Beyond the Wheel
05 667
06 Mood for Trouble
07 Circle of Power
08 He Didn’t
09 Smokestack Lightning
10 Nazi Driver
11 Head Injury
12 Incessant Mace
13 One Minute of Silence
14 Head Injury (Early Version)
15 Beyond the Wheel (Early Version)
16 Incessant Mace (Short) [Early Version]
17 He Didn’t (Early Version)
18 All Your Lies (Early Version)
19 Incessant Mace (Long) [Early Version]

David Bowie CD and LP Re-releases, 40th Anniversary 7″ Picture Disc of Sound and Vision

If there is one thing that’s for sure, it’s that David Bowie is never far from our consciousness. As a kid, I first latched on to David Bowie after reading about Hunky Dory in Rolling Stone magazine (as an ad). Today, it’s quite hard to believe just how ingrained he has become. and there’s never enough David Bowie.

On February 10, Rhino And Parlophone will team to release a 2017 remastered 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 7″ picture disc vinyl single (rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?) of “Sound and Vision” b/w a 2013 remix of the same song. The remix was originally completed for a Sony Experia ad. It features the original vocals from the original track but adds in backing vocals by Mary Hopkin. It’s finished with a new piano part. This release marks its first time issued.

Along with that essential single 7″, Rhino and Parlophone will also be reissuing several David Bowie titles on both CD and vinyl LP. Those will include:

  • Young Americans (2016 Remaster) – CD and LP
  • Station To Station (2016 Remaster) – CD and LP
  • Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 – 2CD and 2LP
  • Diamond Dogs (2016 Remaster) – CD and LP
  • David Live (2005 Mix, Remastered) – 2CD and 3LP

Sounds like great fun especially for those needing (or wanting) the new vinyl LP. Vinyl, by the way, is expected to reach a billion dollars in sales in 2017! Who woulda thought that a few years back?

Bowie!