June 18, 2008


On Monday, I received an intelligently written email (thanks, Aaron), which, in turn, spurred me to this upcoming bit of thought. If you find it to be uninteresting, blame Aaron.

Just kidding.

I'm not going to include the contents of the email nor even bring it into play as it would only serve to open the door to an argumentative platform and we can do without that for now. I was reading several Music Industry blogs and ran across one that brashly stated that LPs will NOT overtake CDs (he is right, they won't because digital files are here until something better comes along). the same author also argued that bands should be lucky that they get any kind of attention these days (again, he's right). However, the email I received addressed something that we had been talking about (peak albums). Putting the article and the email together, I realized that we have so little greatness these days, that it is little wonder that we flit from song to song or that we fill an iPod with shuffled music, or burn "mixes" of favourite songs to CDs.

At the beginning of Rock's life, there were very talented musicians that assembled together, with the cream of the crop rising to the top. They came from backgrounds of great styles and genres of music and Rock allowed a merge of all of these into magnificently memorable works. The LP collected the best that the band produced and we snapped them up making singles from the best of the songs. The album was king. Fast forward several decades and you are now smack dab into an era were Rock is the main influence and consequently the talent pool is diluted with only drum pounders and 3-chorders. Showmanship is virtually non-existent. The classic song and album is non-existent. And we are overloaded with hundreds of thousands of songs created by everyone. And we've become numbed by it all.

There is proof however that we are starved for an intelligent batch of songs that cohesively form an album in a creative and entetaining way. The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance has sold over a million units, a rarity these days. In addition, their live shows and tours of The Black Parade has had an unreal lifespan several years after the album. And fans of the band and the album are anxiously awaiting their next album. that proves that we, as fans, still crave the album full of good music. We still crave the flash. We still want the show. I dare say that many who bought into The Black Parade bought into the entire album, then enjoyed a theatrical tour of the album, not a few songs.

And so, why do we not see more of these? Why no more Led Zeppelins, no more Rolling Stones, no more Claptons, Pages, Becks, and others. Because we just strap on guitars and don't take the time to learn them. Garage bands were always fun but they were never Led Zeppelin. And we never bought those. But we do now...lots of 'em. Can the real problem be a lack of talent?

I think so.

I know you have something to say; here's your link.

I want to bring your attention to a band that you may remember from the past, back in the late '70s and early '80s during the post-punk wave. They were called The Beat and was a band formed by Paul Collins. Paul Collins' Beat is stil around and has a new album called Ribbon of Gold (March 24) which follows up Flying High from 2007. There are two songs from the new album that are available for free download on Paul Collins' Beat website. It was good music then; it's good music now. Check them out.

The forum for the best Van Halen album (read: period) was an active one. We received 150 emails and the "peak" album was quite a surprise to me. This is how it all played out, album-wise followed by era favourites.

  • Fair Warning - 48
  • Van Halen II - 30
  • 1984 - 23
  • Van Halen - 17
  • For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge - 11
  • Women & Children First- 7
  • Diver Down - 6
  • 5150 - 5
  • Balance - 2
  • VHIII - 1

It was without question, the pick of David Lee Roth as the frontman of choice for Van Halen. Many credited Roth with the showmanship and rock'n'roll attitude of Van Halen, with Hagar being more a musician with the band than a frontman. Many said that Roth completed the package, while Hagar only added. It's official. 147 TAP readers prefer Diamond Dave. There were several that defended Gary Cherone in his brief tenure with the band, with one calling the sole Cherone album (VHIII) the best of the brand.

Now...we're going to change it up a bit with a request to evaluate the best Hot Tuna album. This will challenge but I think it will be fun. After, we'll evaluate Led Zeppelin. But for now, which was Hot Tuna's best album?

We have a few more reviews for you today as we begin to kick it back into higher gears. Unfortunately, we're still hampered by a near stoppered stream of release news. In fact, there are more ringtone releases going on right now than a physical CD release. The first review is of Aitu. Aitu is a new 4-track collectible EP from Suzanne Perry's new band, Melodyguild. I've also reviewed the latest release by Trever Keith (Face to Face) called Melancholics Anonymous, available now as a digital download purchase for a mere $5. How's that for a deal? Yeah, I thought so.

James Hrivnak has gone on a tear and sent me a fistful of reviews. Today, he reviews Stop, Drop and Roll! from Foxboro Hot Tubs (Green Day incognito).

We'll see you again on Friday.

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

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



Paul Collins' Beat - The Beat - Rediscovery

Paul Collins' The Beat held sway for a period in the late '70s and early '80s, with a good set of music that began with The Beat on Columbia Records in 1979. The band only produced several Columbia albums but left a thumbprint regardless. It has been years that I had heard this album (on the left). As a matter of fact, I had forgotten completely until I was led back by way of MySpace. If you remember them, this a chance to relive some of that. Bear in mind that they have been releasing music since. They have released a new album called Ribbon of Gold on March 24 of 2008..



Silvertone and Zomba/Jive Records plan to release a new Buddy Guy album on July 22.  This new album by the revered Chicago electric bluesman will contain 12 tracks.  Some of those tracks will feature guest appearances by the likes of Eric Clapton, Susan Tedeschi, Quinn Sullivan, Willie Mitchell, Robert Randolph, and Derek Trucks.  At 72 years of age, Buddy Guy is continuing his legacy.  He is also embarking on a sizeable tour between now and October.  Check out Skin Deep.  I will be.

My daughter grew up in the New Kids on the Block era, dragging me to a show at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa.  I hung with all of the other fathers who were similarly manipulated by the charms and promises of their children if they would just take them to the show of the century.  That was many years ago and my daughter has aged a few years since.  But now, this band is back to work their music and steps again in a reunion tour.  They plan to record a new album for the Fall of 2008 but, for now and in support of the beginning tour, they will release a ‘best of’ called simply, Greatest Hits.  The collection will contain 19 tracks, one of them a bonus cut called “NKOTB Mega Mix.”  This is planned for July 29.  I’m happy to say that I will NOT be at this particular show with my daughter.  Once was more than enough.

Third Day will release their 11th studio effort called Revelation on July 29.

Australia’s Delta Goodrem will have her 3rd album released in the States on July 15.  Goodrem has enjoyed a hefty dose of international success with the releases of her two albums, Innocent Eyes (2003), and Mistaken Identity (2004), which have generated 8 Number One singles in Australia making her the all-time top-selling female artist for the country.

As a reminder, the latest John Mellencamp album entitled Life Death Love and Freedom is near the starting gate.  It will be released as a 2-disc Special Edition with a DVD of audio music recordings in the previously mentioned CODE format.  CODE is a proprietary audio technology used to create high-definition audio that is told to be indistinguishable from the original master tapes.  The included DVD will have these hi-res song files on them, which can then be played back on any DVD system, including DVD players/burners in computers.  T-Bone Burnett, who produced this album, has championed this new audio format.  Life Death Love and Freedom will be released on July 15 by Hear Music and will be the new audio format’s first appearance.

Island Records will release the debut album of In This Life from Jet Black Stare on July 15.  

Universal Republic will release Graffiti The World from Rehab on July 15, which is a reissued, previously released independent album in 2005.  Rehab was previously signed to Epic Records but was dropped, after which the band took care of business at home.  Earlier this year, Universal Republic signed the band and is pushing the 2005 re-release.

Hip-O Select will release Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: The Motown Years in a 2CD set that adds nine Bonus cuts.  This is planned for July 15.

Fuel 2000 releases a Brian Auger live disc called Live at the Baked Potato in a CD and DVD Edition.  The CD will contain 8 tracks while the DVD adds 13 live performance cuts.  This is planned for July 22.

Fuel will also release So Far by Spencer Davis with 13 tracks.  It is scheduled for July 22.

Love on the Inside, the follow-up to Enjoy the Ride and Twice the Speed of Life, both multi-platinum sellers by Sugarland, will be issued in a Deluxe Fan Edition prior to its release as a standard CD.  The Deluxe Fan Edition will add five bonus tracks (“Fall Into Me,” “Operation: Working Vacation,” “Wishing,” “Life in a Northern Town (Live),” “Come On Get Higher (Live)”).  In addition, the Deluxe Fan Edition will include an expanded booklet and access to downloadable online video, and a game to win one of 5 trips to Nashville to attend the CMA Awards, a private Sugarland performance, and a meet and greet with the band.

The Deluxe Fan Edition of Love on the Inside is available on July 22, and the standard CD and LP will follow on July 29.


Review - Foxboro Hot Tubs - CD
James Hrivnak reviews the new album by 'behind the curtains' Green Day. As is coming to be expected by Green Day, they deliver! Check out the new review and see if this album wouldn't be right on your shelf. Stop, Drop and Roll! by Foxboro Hot Tubs.

The Travellers - Band from France - For Your Approval

Psychedelia is in full swing as an influence of choice and we're happy to alert you to a few of these bands. The Travellers is a French band formed with just two personnel. The singer, Germika, is a fascinating voice that recaptures the tone of those bygone years in her retro way. I carried an interest after hearing them via a "friend" in the MySpace world. They may not do it for you, but then again, you might be surprised.


Review - Melodyguild - Aitu - CD/ 4-song EP

The original voice of Love Spirals Downward has been absent from the music scene since her departure from the band. Love Spirals Downward has since changed their name to Lovespirals, maintaining original Ryan Lum and adding the gorgeous and sultry new voice of Anji Bee (what a great name). However, the original voice was Suzanne Perry who begins anew with this EP of 4 tracks. It's collectible for LSD (that's Love Spirals Downward) fans and will likely lead to a full-length release in the near future. The Perry fronted band is called Melodyguild and their new EP is called Aitu.

Review - Trever Keith - Melancholics Anonymous - DD
The latest album by the Face to Face singer, Trever Keith shows that the man knows how to craft a good album. The new album, Melancholics Anonymous, is a solid effort by Trever Keith.

U2 - Boy / October / War - CD, CD Deluxe, LP, DD

The upcoming U2 re-masters of Boy; October; and War will be released in several forms and formats that include a standard CD with the original tracks, restored packaging, and a 16-page booklet with photos, lyrics, and new liner notes (Paul Morley – Boy; Neil McCormick – October; Niall Stokes – War).  The Deluxe Edition of the titles will include unreleased music, b-Sides, along with live tracks found on a bonus CD (breakdown below).  In addition, the Deluxe Editions will contain a 32-page booklet with the previously mentioned liner notes, photos, and lyrics as well as song explanatory notes on the bonus inclusions by Edge.  The album will also be released as a DD (Digital Download) and a 180g vinyl LP.  All are scheduled for July 22.

  • Boy –
  • I Will Follow (Previously Unreleased Mix)
  • 11 O’clock Tick Tock
  • Touch
  • Speed of Light (Previously Unreleased Track)
  • Saturday Night (Previously Unreleased Track)
  • Things to Make and Do
  • Out of Control
  • Boy-Girl
  • Stories For Boys
  • Another Day
  • Twilight
  • Boy-Girl (Live at The Marquee, London)
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock (Live at The Marquee, London – Previously Unreleased Version)
  • Cartoon World (Live at the National Stadium, Dublin – Previously Unreleased
  • October –
  • Gloria (Live at Hammersmith Palais, London)
  • I Fall Down (Live at Hammersmith Palais, London)
  • I Threw a Brick Through a Window (Live at Hammersmith Palais, London)
  • Fire (Live at Hammersmith Palais, London)
  • October (Live at Hammersmith Palais, London)
  • With a Shout (Richard Skinner BBC Session)
  • Scarlet (Richard Skinner BBC Session)
  • I Threw a Brick Through a Window (Richard Skinner BBC Session)
  • A Celebration
  • J Swallo
  • Trash, Trampoline and The Party Girl
  • I Will Follow (Live at Paradise Theatre, Boston)
  • The Ocean (Live at Paradise Theatre, Boston)
  • The Cry/Electric Co, (Live at Paradise Theatre. Boston)
  • 11 O’clock Tick Tock (Live at Paradise Theatre, Boston)
  • I Will Follow (Live from Hattem, Netherlands)
  • Tomorrow (Bono & Adam Clayton – Common Ground Remix)
  • War –
  • Endless Deep
  • Angels Too Tied To the Ground (Previously Unreleased Track)
  • New Year’s Day (7” single Edit)
  • New Year’s Day (USA Remix)
  • New Year’s Day (Ferry Corsten Extended vocal Mix)
  • New Year’s Day (Ferry Corsten Vocal Radio Mix)
  • Two Hearts Beat As One (Long Mix)
  • Two Hearts Beat As One (USA Remix)
  • Two Hearts Beat As One (Club Version)
  • Treasure (Whatever Happened to Pete the Chop)

The Moody Blues - Expanded Reissues - CD

UMe goes all out to deliver expanded editions of The Moody Blues catalogue, each with plenty of bonus material.  Compiled by Mark Powell, these seven classics have a large amount of added tracks.  I’ll run it down briefly:

  • Days of Future Passed will contain 10 extra songs that include BBC Radio Session (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”); 1967 Mono Single Masters (“Fly Me High,” “I Really Haven’t Got the Time,” “Love and Beauty,” “Leave This Man Alone,” “Cities”); and Alternate Versions and Outtakes (“Tuesday Afternoon” (alternate mix), “Dawn is a Feeling” (alternate version), “The Sun Set” (alternate version w/o orchestra), “Twilight Time” (alternate vocal mix)).
  • In Search of the Lost Chord will add Bonus Tracks (“A Simple Game” (Justin Hayward vocal mix), “The Best Way to Travel” (additional vocal mix), “Visions of Paradise” (instrumental version), “What Am I Doing Here?” (original version), “The Word” (mellotron mix), “Om” (extended version)) as well as two tracks from John Peel’s BBC Top Gear radio show (“Doctor Livingstone, I Presume,” “Thinking is the Best Way to Travel”) and a 1968 single B-side, “A Simple Game.”
  • On the Threshold of a Dream provides Alternate versions and Outtakes (“In the Beginning” (full version), “So Deep Within You” (extended version), “Dear Diary” (alternate vocal mix), “Have You Heard” (original take), “The Voyage” (original take); two recorded tracks from John Peel’s Top Gear “Lovely to See You,” “Send Me No Wine”); and two recorded tracks from The Tony Brandon Show – April 2, 1969 (“So Deep Within You,” “Are You Sitting Comfortably”).
  • To Our Children’s Children’s Children delivers Alternate Tracks and Outtakes (“Gypsy” (alternate version), “Candle of Life” (alternate version), “Sun is Still Shining” (extended version)); and two tracks taken from David Symonds Show  Concert (BBC) – December 17, 1969 (“Have You Heard/The Voyage/Have You Heard,” “Legend of a Mind”).
  • A Question of Balance will gift with six Bonus tracks that include “Mike’s Number One,” “Question (alternate version), “Minstrel’s Song” (original mix), “It’s Up to You” (original mix), “Don’t You Feel Small” (original mix), and “Dawning Is The Day” (full original mix).
  • Every Good Boy Deserves Favour blends two Bonus cuts of “The Story in Your Eyes” (original version), and “The Dreamer” (previously unreleased version).
  • Seventh Sojourn has four Bonus Tracks that include “Isn’t Life Strange” (original version), “You and Me” (Beckthorns backing track), “Lost in a Lost World” (instrumental demo), and “Island.”

These expanded reissues are expected on July 15.






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
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"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
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