August 11, 2008


It is great sadness that an R&B icon has passed away on Sunday of unknown causes. Isaac Hayes, best known for his involvement with Stax Records, Hot Buttered Soul with its extended versions of songs like "Walk on By," co-writer of "Soul Man," and eventually, the award-winning Theme for "Shaft" and its accompanying soundtrack. I can never hear the phrase "Can you dig it?" without thinking about Isaac Hayes. His fun role in Escape From New York as The Duke of New York adds to an already growing list of TV and film appearances. Isaac Hayes epitomizes the '70s brand of Soul so much so that his baritone voice, and his funky music are forver entertwined with the heart of the decade. Isaac Hayes absence will be keenly felt; we'll miss him forever as he is now solidified in the roll call of legends. Teach that big band up there some new tricks, Isaac.

Isaac Hayes

It's a non-music related death but I want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Hollywood's Bernie Brillstein. Brillstein, who started in the mailroom for The William Morris Agency eventually rose in the ranks to become a power-broker of talent and media. In addition to films, he helped to bring Hee Haw and SNL to television. He handled the talent of SNL as well as others. His kind of personality was a rare one in a cut-throat business where 'here today-gone tomorrow' is a normal way of life. Bernie Brillstein will be missed.

In another non-music death, Bernie Mac died from complications at the young age of 50. He had fantastic roles but my favourite one is his role in Life, the Murphy/Lawrence comedy. Like the previous two individuals, Bernie Mac will be missed.

Since making my statement that the PS3 supports and plays SACDs, I've been hit with a few emails that agree and disagree with that. Some say that the PS3 does not play them, and some say...well, that the PS3 does, in fact, play them and plays them well. Me? I don't own a PS3 and can't tell you one way or the other except that one email suggests a visit to AVSForum. I found this small bit, which should rest once and for all that SACD does pass through HDMI and so SACD on the PS3 will play. Now, with that out of the way, we can renew a bit of hope that Sony might revisit the format.

Now, we have the results of our Byrds Poll, which didn't exactly burn up the internet pipelines coming to my email box. But those that wrote, 63 in all, were clearly Byrds fans. And now for that Byrds Poll:

  • Younger Than Yesterday (25) - This held the lead early and never lost it, not even by a scare with Notorious Byrd Brothers in pursuit of the number 1 spot. It is home to "So You Want to be a Rock 'N' Roll Star" and is an obvious warm memory to many Byrds aficionados.
  • The Notorious Byrd Brothers (19) - This album followed closely, never taking the lead but was definitely in the rear view mirror. The Byrds' fifth album, everyone has a good opinion of this one.
  • Sweetheart of the Rodeo (10) - Referred to as Rock's first Alt-Country album, this one had Gram Parsons in tow, who more or less influenced the album's direction. This album represented a dramatic drop in the poll although I wonder how it might have fared if we got emails in the hundred rather than the few that we received.
  • Mr Tambourine Man (6) - This is a quite surprising spot for this debut release. I really expected better than what it received. With classic tunes like "Mr Tambourine Man," "All I Really Want to Do," and the Seeger cover, "The Bells of Rhymney," it represented The Byrds entry into Rockdom with a strong set.
  • Ballad of Easy Rider (2) - This one has a great Rock tune in "Jesus is Just Alright."
  • Fifth Dimension (1) - I have to admit to being a little disappointed to see 5D get so little love (save from the lone emailer that selected it). It had "Eight Miles High," and "Mr Spaceman." But it got one more than the rest of The Byrds' catalogue. Maybe even more disappointing.

The forgotten Byrds albums like Turn! Turn! Turn! and Dr Byrds & Mr Hyde (with only McGuinn and whole new set of Byrds), and a few others didn't received a notice other than notation in emails. Some pollers listed the albums with lots of commentary, which were a blast to read. It's one of the things I love about these polls, your commentaries. This wraps up our Byrds Poll. On Friday, we'll announce a new Poll that I believe will light up the wires. I've also just watched the fantastic Festival Express (yes, again, again...again) and I can tell you that Grateful Dead and The Band will have Polls of their own coming up (but not this next one).

BTW, if you haven't seen Festival Express, you should. There is a look at Rock music in its infancy and its performers. Then they were performers. Today they are legends. You see that in this film.

I have a few reviews for you that include the Japanese Mini-LP styled CDs of the first five Quicksilver Messenger Service albums as well as a review of Romance at Short Notice from England's Dirty Pretty Things.

In addition, I have a new band from out of NYC for you to check out. They're called Whiite Hills.

Be back here on Wednesday. I'll come back with more noise and reviews.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.






We have some great pieces today for you. We hope that you'll enjoy them and put them on your calendar. Woo Hoo!! Here they are:

On September 30, Columbia and Legacy will release a 50th Anniversary Edition of Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. Originally released in 1959 (slightly over two years after I was born...but I got to it), this classic left an indelible mark in Jazz. With a gathering of extraordinary musicians (Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Jimmy Cobb, Bill Evans, and Paul Chambers, this classic is one for the books. This Deluxe Collector's Edition of Kind of Blue, will feature 2CDs, the first with the entire album and a few sessions extras ("Flamenco Sketches" alternate take, false start on "Freddie the Freeloader," and sessions chatter. The second disc will feature material that came about as a result of the sessions. There are things from the very first session, a half-hour's worth of studio material, and two extended live performances from two separate shows in 1960.

There is an included DVD with a documentary of the story behind Kind of Blue, and the April 2, 1959-aired Robert Herridge Theatre: The Sound of Miles Davis. The fun doesn't stop there. This set will also include an LP of the album, a poster, and an LP-sized 60-page hard-bound book. Whew!! We're talking definitive here.

Also on September 30, there will be a 4CD Box set for Roy Orbison called The Soul of Rock and Roll. It will be filled with 107 tracks and is executive produced by Roy's widow, Barbara. This set will also have 12 unreleased masters. It is as complete an anthology as you'll likely see. It is being released by a joint venture with Legacy and Monument Records.

RCA will release a 3CD/DVD Box for Nina Simone called To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story. It is a comprehensive overview of her recording career and will contain song selections for 27 albums. The DVD will feature a film, Nina, A Historical Perspective. This is a 23-minute film from 1970. There are also interview footages. This is planned for September 30.

That long delayed 2CD album from Santana called Multi-Dimensional Warrior, originally planned for April of 2008, and is now scheduled for September 30 to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month (begins September 15). The first disc features vocal tracks while the second is filled with instrumentals. All songs were personally selected by Santana, chosen for their representation of his career works.

Epic Records and Legacy plan to release The Clash at Shea Stadium on October 7. This CD is a live document of the band's support of Combat Rock culled from two shows at Shea on Oct 12 and 13 of 1982 on The Who's Farewell Tour. These Glyn Johns-recorded tapes were located by Strummer who had been packing for a move.

Columbia is readying a 2CD/DVD Legacy Edition for Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. This Johnny Cash set will reinstall 16 song performances making a complete set of 36 live tracks. Also included will be the unreleased performances of Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers, and June Carter. The included DVD contains a new documentary, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. This is slated for October 14.

Legacy will introduce a new series called Total Soul Classics on October 14. They'll seed that date with six from Philadelphia International's catalogue. Those titles include Teddy Pendergrass, and Life is a Song Worth Singing (Teddy Pendergrass); Back Stabbers (The O'Jays); Wake Up, Everybody (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes); 360 Degrees of Billy Paul (Billy Paul); and How to Create Music (Leon Huff). There's a lot of great songs in those six reissues.

On October 21, Philadelphia International will issue a 4CD Various Artists Box called Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia. This 4CD Box will contain 71 tracks with more classics than you can wish for in the same place. I'm looking forward to this one.

Epic Records will release a Legacy Edition of Live at Budokan, the immensely popular live set from Cheap Trick that yielded the Top40 live version of "I Want You to Want Me." This set will be a 2CD/DVD with both CDs remixed and re-mastered and the DVD containing the 1978 live show that the album came from. The DVD will also contain The Making of Live at Budokan that includes new interviews. This is planned for release on October 28.

Epic Records will reissue two Jacksons albums. The first is Destiny from 1978 and will include two previously unreleased bonus tracks ("Blame It On the Boogie - John Luongo Disco Mix," "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) - John Luongo Disco Mix"). The second is Triumph from 1980, which will contain three previously unavailable bonus tracks ("This Place Hotel a/k/a Heartbreak Hotel" - Single version; "Walk Right Now - John Luongo Disco Mix"; "Walk Right Now - John Luongo Instrumental Mix"). Both of these reissues will be available on October 28.



Review - Quicksilver Messenger Service - Japanese "Mini-Vinyl" Reissues - CD

Quicksilver Messenger Service helped to round out the Summer of Love era with a quick release of 5 albums over several short years. While the band is certianly known by fans and the participants of that long ago time, they didn't really get the attention they deserved. This review covers QMS, Happy Trails, Shady Grove, Just For Love, and What About Me. For the fans!



Review - Dirty Pretty Things - Romance at Short Notice - CD (UK)

After The Libertines split, Barat and Doherty moved on to two separate projects. Doherty's success with Babyshambles seems, while musically exemplary, forever mired in his off-stage antics and over-abundant drug usage. Dirty Pretty Things' second album called Romance at Short Notice - at the moment only available as a UK purchase or import. The album does the job but falls short of what Waterloo to Anywhere suggests.


For Your Consideration - White Hills - NYC

New York City still feels like it's on the cutting edge of music of all types. With more and more early era music bei ng researched and emulated, the deepest ones just seem to push the envelope. NYC's White Hills give a distinct psychedelic sound to music that, at times, have a twist of Robin Trower, some Hawkwind, and more from that rich era of experimental Rock. Here's a chance to step into their MySpace page and get some spacey psych music into your life.








Copyright 2002-2008 Matthew Rowe.
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Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)