December 15, 2008


Busy, busy weekend. And all it did was move me closer to a rapidly advancing Christmas, another week at work, and the inevitable approach of 2009. Bill Hunt and I did manage to excuse ourselves from one of our two hosted parties to catch a viewing of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Most critics seem to have disliked the film but Bill and I were fo the same mind concerning the film...and we actually liked the challenging film more than many did. I'm sure that Bill will provide a write-up on The Bits and so I'll leave it to his usual eloquence to speak for the both of us. The movie did have merit.

Nothing much to ramble on about so we'll keep it short and simple today. I do have a few things brewing in my mind though. I'll let them percolate and see what comes of them before I attempt a write-up. Also, with the end of 2008 coming, start putting your Best of 2008 selections together. We'll also begin a new Best of poll coming up.

We have three reviews for you today that include a reissued The Hoople by Mott the Hoople, as released by new reissues house, Iconoclassics Records. In addition, I reviewed the ambient album, Scheherazade as re-released by Al Conti. Mark Squirek comes back to offer a review of Arena, the latest album by Todd Rundgren. All in all, not too bad for a Monday.

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#21), I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 21 25 27 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 emails).  Some were only a few titles, some only one.  But there were more than a few that were massive and a few extended, well-detailed lists.  I’ll post them as I received them.  For today's post, Michael has contributed his selection of 20 important albums.

1) Abbey Road - The Beatles
2) Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd
3) Rock 'N' Roll Animal - Lou Reed
4) Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix Experience
5) Toys In The Attic - Aerosmith
6) Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones
7) Ten - Pearl Jam
8) Street Survivors - Lynyrd Skynyrd
9) Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
10) The Velvet Underground & Nico
11) The Joshua Tree - U2
12) All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
13) Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
14) Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan
15) Hotel California - Eagles
16) Tales Of Mystery And Imagination - Alan Parsons Project
17) Fire On The Mountain - The Marshall Tucker Band
18) Who's Next - The Who
19) Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
20) Willy And The Poor Boys - Creedence Clearwater Revival

We'll see you again on Wednesday with more.

We're going to keep the Best Album of ALL Time up for a long while as we continually update it. But I'll say this: The Beatles took the lead with not only The White Album but also the fact that they have been selected with two albums. Like The Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! run, which does not show signs of stopping (I'm still getting emails, which I have no problem with and encourage - Send Them In), I'm hoping that this new thing stays strong. Send in your selection (one only, please) for the album that is the ruler of all.

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.






The upcoming Epic/Legacy reissue of Ten by Pearl Jam is quite an affair of love. There are four representative versions of the album being produced. This set actually launches a reissue campaign of the band's catalogue leading up to the 20th Anniversary of the band in 2011. So, you have a lot to look forward to We'll give a run-down of each version of Ten:

  • Legacy Edition - 2CD set housed in a mini-LP styled slipcase. The first disc contains the original track-listing of Ten in a new digital re-master. The second disc contains a digitally re-mastered and re-mixed set of the track-list along with six bonus tracks ("Brother," "Just a Girl," "State of Love and Trust," "Breath and a Scream," "2000 Mile Blues,"Evil Little Goat." The packaging has been redesigned.
  • Deluxe Edition - 2CD/1DVD set that contains the same setup as the Legacy Edition but also includes a DVD with the previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged program along with a never before seen bonus performance of "Oceans." This MTV program will be presented in 5.1 Surround audio remix.
  • Vinyl Edition - This is a 2LP set of the same set-up as the Legacy Edition, however without the six bonus tracks.
  • Super Deluxe Edition contains everything listed above but also includes another 2LPs that contain the Drop in the Park, a Live at Magnusen Park in Seattle (September 20, 1992). In addition, there will be added a cassette containing a replica of the original Momma-Son, a Pearl Jam demo cassette that features "Alive," "Once," and "Footsteps." Finally, a replica composition notebook that contains personal notes, images, and memos; a vellum envelope with replica stuff from early-era Pearl Jam; and a two-sided printing commemorating the Drop in the Park event.

This is a magnificent reimaging of the Pearl Jam album. It also sets the bar for the way we should be looking at future reissues. Let no stone remain unturned. Adhere to the Golden Rule. Give the fans what they want! Ten reissues on March 24.

Capitol Records plan to release It’s Not Me, It’s You from Lily Allen, with a scheduled date of February 10.  It will issue in both Standard and PA forms.

Century Media will release the upcoming Duff McKagen’s Loaded EP called Wasted Heart on a Limited Edition vinyl LP (EP).  They have scheduled the vinyl EP’s release for January 13.

Astralwerks have a few albums in the planning stages and scheduled for a release date of January 27.  They are: Boombox: The Remix Album from Kylie Minogue, as well as planned projects from The Pet Shop Boys, Kleerup, and War Child Heroes.

Caroline Records plan the release of Songs About Dancing and Drugs from Circlesquare, scheduling for January 27 for release.

Capitol Records will release One of the Boys from Katy Perry on vinyl LP on February 10.

Capitol Records also plans the release of a ‘best of’ for Glen Campbell called simply enough Greatest Hits.  It is scheduled for February 10.

As mentioned previously, Reprise will reissue Odessa (1969) by The Bee Gees.  It will be released in a 3CD set that not only offers the original 17 tracks (found on disc one) but will also release the US debut of the mono recordings of the songs (Odessa was released in mono worldwide initially except for the US).  The 3rd disc will present 22 previously unreleased recordings, 20 of them alternate takes, mixes, and demos of the originals and the remaining two are songs not on the original release (“Pity,” “Nobody’s Someone”).  The set will feature (within the 16-page booklet) new liner notes and a track-by-track commentary.  The packaging of this 3CD set is in a flocked, foil-stamped clamshell box with 1 gatefold mini-jacket, and one regular mini-jacket.  There is also a sticker and a poster included.  This is planned for January 13 and will retail for $39.98 but you’l be able to find it for cheaper than the list price.

There’s more Valentine’s Day immersion with the planned Judy Garland Love Songs collection that will include eight ‘never-before-released on CD’ tracks in addition to some classic Judy Garland tunes.  This set is compiled by John Fricke, who is a Garland expert.  He also provides commentary and liner notes.  Judy Garland Love Songs will be released on January 13 from Savoy Jazz.

Reprise Records will release Skylark by Jazz singing sensation, Renee OlsteadOlstead is just 17 but her talent is ages ahead of her.  Skylark is planned for January 27.

Watch for the complete Ben Harper library to be re-released in vinyl LP format on February 10.  Titles forthcoming include Alone (Live EP); Both Sides of a Gun; Burn to Shine; Burn to Shine Era Live EP; Diamonds on the Inside; Faded Era Live EP; Fight for Your Mind; Lifeline; Live From Mars; There Will be Light; Welcome to the Cruel World +7; and Will to Live – Live EP.

The Delicate Sound of Thunder, the Pink Floyd re-release scheduled originally for January 13 is now on target for January 27.  Details to follow as we get it.

Ben Kweller will have his new album released on February 3 from Ato Records.  The album will be called Changing Horses.

Concord Records will release the new album by Jane Monheit called The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me.  This album is planned for release on January 20.

Concord Records have also announced the new album by saxophonist, Boney James called Send One Your Love, planned for February 3.  This will be a collection of love songs for that crazy holiday we call Valentine’s Day.

Watch for upcoming albums from The Doves, MIMS, Nat King Cole, Sarah Brightman, The Decemberists, Letoya, Novel, A Fine Frenzy, Keith Urban, and even Depeche Mode.



Review - Mott the Hoople - The Hoople - CD

This latest reissue of the final Mott the Hoople album joins a wealth of other such reissues. What sets this one apart is that it is so spectacularly produced by a reissue label known as Iconoclassics Records. There is a special care afforded this album in all ways, as a fan would produce. It is a release that I'm particularly proud to have in my collection. The Hoople may not have been what Mott was, but it is a fantastic ending to an Ian Hunter-led band just before he moved to solo status.





Review - Todd Rundgren - Arena - CD

This latest work by long time artist, Todd Rundgren delivers a good, enjoyable set. Read what Mark Squirek has to say about Arena. Rundgren has produced a wealth of excellent albums and songs as well as helmed the album production of many bands.




Review - Al Conti - Scheherazade - CD

Scheherazade is an excellent ambient experience with a twist of Arabian Nights and Middle-Eastern music. Al Conti has crafted an enjoyable album that will entertain you in various settings. If you're an ambient fan, you find much to enjoy about this album.










Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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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)