November 14, 2008


I make it a point at least three times a week to pull an old favourite from its place on the shelves.  The reason for this is several-fold.  In listening to a lot of new music, I need to go back to ground zero and listen to something that makes me deliriously happy.  This keeps my head on straight, and the circuits connected.  The other reason is to simply not lose touch.  How many of us have bought mountains of music only to not pull out the music for years, and perhaps never again.  (I’m not talking to those smart iPod users that use shuffle and therefore hear, at random, all of that music that mattered to them.)  The iPod approach really doesn’t work for me because I’m an album guy.  I’ve listened to albums as a whole growing up and I need to do the same now.  The really cool thing about doing that is that it also works as a bookmark in my memory, calling forth a flood of great memories.

The other day I pulled out Black and Blue by The Rolling Stones.  It is an album that I especially love by the band for many reasons.  One is that it is the debut of Ron Wood, who has been my guitar hero since I was young, following him from Jeff Beck to The Small Faces (eventually Faces), and then to his deserved spot in the Stones (even if they do restrict his incredible guitar playing prowess).  In any case, I started thinking about this album and thought that it would be equally fun (because you folks are just that kind of fun group to be interested in this next idea) to do one album observations.  We can do an ‘anything goes’ approach.  We can comment song by song, tell about the Rock atmosphere at the time of its creation and release, what worked and what didn’t, etc, etc.  It gives us a chance to really rhapsodize about any album we choose.  Perhaps we can assemble off of this into a section of the site that anyone can go to.  We can even seek out the band, producers, engineers, etc to see if they would like to add commentary, track by track or whatever.

It sounds like great fun to me.  We can send in suggestions (and we’d do them all) for albums to give the treatment to.  We could do one a week.

What do you think?  Sound like fun?  I’ll start out with Black and Blue by The Rolling Stones, and begin working on a system.  Once finished, I’ll add all of our commentaries and etc to the album page.

Give me your ideas and such on this plan of an ongoing publishable project.  Good idea or bad?  Also, if you’re ready to jump in…it’s all about Black and Blue.  Everything goes!

I need to be more vigilant.  I read the current Rolling Stone Magazine (RS1066 – Nov 27, 2008) and discovered that Merl Saunders had passed away on October 24 at the age of 74.  How this evaded me, I don’t know but I do know this…it was a travesty that I neglected to be vigilant enough to have heard this.  I apologize to the readers and more so to fans of Saunders who may not have known of his passing.

He provided a spark to Jerry Garcia, played on several Grateful Dead albums as well as Jerry Garcia solo works, even collaborating on various tracks eventually accumulated for his Well-Matched comp with Jerry Garcia.  On top of that busyness, Saunders worked with Miles Davis, and sat in on sessions with Phish.  As a musician and friend to Garcia, Saunders was a top-notch entity and deserves his footnote, even as late as we provide it here.  His contributions to music are exemplary and the Great Band is (has been) happy to have him within their ranks.  Thanks, Merl, for all you have left with us to enjoy!! 

Merl Saunders

We have a new Band Poll today for you. This next few weeks, I'm going to see what album you thought was the best thing that Grand Funk Railroad issued. Here's what makes this one so much fun: Grand Funk went from an album-oriented band to a singles-oriented band...and then tried to get back to AOR (Album Oriented Rock). So there's plenty to choose from. Grand Funk, like many bands, stylistically changed as the years went by and people will have an opinion on which version of the band said it the best. Even the transitional album, We're An American Band, moved between the two forms of the band interchangeably. On one track, you had "Creepin'" and on another, the popular title cut, "We're an American Band." I don't really expect this one to be a barn-burner participation but we'll see. So, send in your votes for the Best of Grand Funk Railroad. We'll post results on Monday, the 24th...just before Turkey Day.

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.

No reviews today but we’ll remedy that on Monday when we return with our next post.  Have a great weekend!


For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#10), I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 21 25 27 29 30 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.  Today, I have a list of 10 albums with commentary. Thanks to Steve for his list:

1.  All Things Must Pass - George Harrison --Without question the finest Beatle solo album and one of the best albums of all time.

2. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - Lennon goes to psychotherapy, bares his soul, and brings us with him.

3.  Brainwashed -  George's poignant farewell. 

4.  Imagine - John re-embraces the human race, while ripping McCartney (How Do You Sleep?)

5.  Band On The Run - Paul McCartney --Though he is the most prolific songwriter of the solo Beatles, Macca's best barely makes the top five.

6.  Cloud Nine - George's comeback album........arguably could also be in the top five.

7.  Ringo - So many great tunes, it could be a greatest hits compilation. Ringo's very best solo work. (It Don't Come Easy, Photograph, You're Sixteen........)

8.  Living In The Material World - George's somewhat overlooked gem was a follow-up to All Things Must Pass, and a beautiful record. (Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth) 

9.  Flowers In The Dirt - McCartney got back some of the edge he lost in the Lennon split. Mostly a collaboration with Elvis Costello.......too bad there haven't been more.

10. Tug of War- Forget the sappy duets with Stevie Wonder (Ebony and Ivory.......), the remainder of the album rocks! ("Ballroom Dancing, it made a man of me!!!")  

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 more LP releases lining up, as promised on Wednesday.  The arriving vinyl LPs are:

  • 10ccThe Original Soundtrack (180g) ($19.98 – Island Records) (Dec 9)
  • The All American RejectsThe All American Rejects (Orange Vinyl) ($13.98 – Doghouse Records) (Dec 9)
  • BeckThe Information (Limited Deluxe 5LP Box w/ 24-colour pen set and 10 stickers) ($303.99 – Artist In Residence) (Dec 9)
  • Blood, Sweat & TearsChild is Father to the Man (180g) ($18.98 – Legacy) (Dec 9)
  • Cannonball AdderleySomethin’ Else (180g) ($34.98 – Classic Records) (Dec 9)
  • Cat PowerDark End of the Street EP (10” 2-disc) ($15.98 - Matador Records) (Dec 9)
  • Cheap TrickBudokan! (180g) ($18.98 – Legacy/Epic) (Dec 9)
  • DevoWatch Us Work It ($14.95 – MVD Audio) (Dec 9)
  • Eric ClaptonSlowhand (180g) ($19.98 – Polydor) (Dec 9)
  • JamAll Mod Cons and In the City (180g) ($19.98 – Polydor) (Dec 9)
  • John MayallBlues Breakers with Eric Clapton (180g) ($19.98 – Polydor) (Dec 9)
  • Johnny CashGet Rhythm (180g) ($25.98 - Get Back) (Dec 9)
  • Johnny ThundersGlam Punk & Junk Chinese Rocks/London Boys ($7.98 – Cleopatra Records) (Dec 9)
  • KaleidoscopeBeacon From Mars ($16.98 – Sundazed Music) (Dec 9)
  • Marvin GayeWhat’s Going On? (180g) ($19.98 – Motown) (Dec 9)
  • MotorheadNo Sleep ‘til Hammersmith (180g) ($19.98 – Sanctuary) (Dec 9)
  • New York DollsNew York Dolls (180g) ($19.98 – Mercury) (Dec 9)
  • PJ HarveyTo Bring You My Love (180g) ($21.98 – Plain) (Dec 9)
  • Social DistortionSocial Distortion (180g) ($16.98 – Legacy) (Dec 9)
  • Various ArtistsPulp Fiction Soundtrack (180g) ($24.98 – MCA Records) (Dec 9)
  • SupertrampCrime of the Century (180g) (19.98 – A&M Records) (Dec 9)
  • Sigur RosMed Sud/Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2LP, 180g) ($22.98 – XL Records) (Dec 9)
  • Thin LizzyJailbreak (180g, Die-cut Gatefold Jacket) ($19.98 – Mercury Records) (Dec 9)
  • Thin LizzyBlack Rose (180g) ($19.98 – Mercury Records) (Dec 9)
  • Waylon JenningsWaylon Forever ($17.98 – Vagrant Records) (Dec 9)
  • WhoQuadrophenia (180g, 2LP) ($39.98 – MCA Records) (Dec 9)
  • Weather ReportHeavy Weather (180g) ($19.98 – Legacy) (Dec 9)
  • Fall Out BoyFolie a Deux (2LP, Coloured Vinyl w/Poster) ($17.98 – Island Records) (Dec 16)
  • Miles DavisSketches of Spain (180g) ($18.98 – Columbia) (Dec 16)
  • Miles DavisBitches Brew (180g, 2LP) ($24.98 – Columbia) (Dec 16)
  • Miles DavisNefertiti (180g) ($18.98 – Columbia) (Dec 16)
  • Miles DavisIn a Silent Way (180g) ($18.98 – Columbia) (Dec 16)
  • ChromeBlood on the Moon ($17.98 – Cleopatra) (Dec 23)
  • BreedersLast Splash and Pod (180g) ($18.98 – Plain) (Jan 20)
  • Delbert McClintonLive (180g) ($24.98 – New West) (Jan 20)
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) – Brain Salad Surgery (2LP) ($24.98 – Shout! Factory) (Jan 20)
  • PlasmaticsBeyond the Valley of 1984 ($16.98 – Plasmatic Media) (Jan 20)

Rhino has a WalMart-exclusive eco-pack arrival of Greatest Hits for Christopher Cross.  This set is pegged for release on December 23.

The expected LP release of the excellent new album by Bloc Party called Intimacy will appear on November 18 from Atlantic Records.  The LP will come with a download card.

LA’s 100.3 FM-The Sound, a station that we have begun to champion as a start in the right direction for good FM, has been ringing the bell for a Scottish band called Glasvegas.  They sound like a cross between Interpol.  However, they attribute this find to the “suits” at the station.  Columbia likes ‘em and will release their self-titled debut album on January 6.  I like them enough too.  I’m suggesting a trip to their MySpace page to see what you might think about them.

Razor & Tie will release an album by Neil Sedaka called Waking Up Is Hard to Do.  It is slated for release on January 6.

The soundtrack to Defiance, the film starring Daniel Craig, will be released on December 9.

Remember that this upcoming Tuesday, RCA will release the self-titled album from The Priests, as well a DVD and Blu-ray set from the Foo Fighters called Live at Wembley Stadium; Shout! Factory will issue the DVD title by Parliament/Funkadelic called The Mothership Connection Live 1976; Epic will release various versions of the CD and an LP for the new Mudvayne album called The New Game; and RCA/Legacy will release a ‘best of’ for Wu-Tang Clan called Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Here’s another of those danged exclusives.  WalMart will get the exclusive right to sell the latest Live DVD (Blu-ray and DVD) from Nickelback called Live at Sturgis 2006Koch Vision will release this set on December 2.  This set was shot in HD with 35,000 fans in attendance.  Audio selections will be SRS Circle Surround, DTS, and Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo.  The DVD includes bonus features like behind-the-scenes documentary, and the obligatory gallery, as well as the music video for “Rockstar.”  A 12-page booklet with liner notes and photos from the show is included.




Review - Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon Collector's Edition - 2CD

Warren Zevon had a bad taste in his mouth after a humbled experience with the recording of Wanted Dead or Alive. After its failure, it took some nudging to get Zevon back to the studio. But the end result was a wonderfully classic big label debut self-titled Warren Zevon. It changed everything and Zevon was back in the saddle.





Review - Jeff Beal - Appaloosa OMPS - CD

Appaloosa was directed by Ed Harris, who also stars in the film with Viggo Mortenson as Marshalls who must deal with the mean-spirited local powerful rancher (Jeremy Irons), whose clan runs roughshod over the town. Scored by Jeff Beal, this score has a genuine feel of early Hollywood westerns and is a gem of an album.






Review - Cheap Trick - Budokan! 30th Anniversary Box - 1DVD/3CD

Budokan! was a success story that set Cheap Trick on a path of super-stardom not often seen or experienced. With their brand of power pop Rock, Nielsen and the boys produced excellent albums with many memorable songs, especially from their first 4 or 5 studio albums. This 30th Anniversary Box, with 3CDs and a DVD of the show, celebrates the excellent energetic album with 'all the parts' needed for full immersion.





Review - Lindsay Buckingham - Gift of Screws - CD

We're a bit late to this party. But that's OK. We arrived anyhow. We're posting this just in case some of you have been thinking about this one or was on the fence about it. Hopefully, our review will help you make a decision one way or the other. Gift of Screws is the latest album from Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac fame (as if you didn't know).







Copyright 2002-2009 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)