November 19, 2008


I have a note that might prove of interest to some readers.  On Wednesday, The Sound (100.3FM-LA) will spin actual sides of LPs on-air all ay long, regardless of condition of the LP.  Here’s what makes that so interesting.  The first is that to play complete sides means to also play those songs that were not hits.  My hope is that they will turn to albums that not only had great songs scattered all over them but to also play albums that had a diverse selection of songs, perhaps some not as well-played but completely loved by fans of an album.  I also hope that they will choose and play albums by some not so well known ‘great’ bands.  I offer Magazine as one of those.  This Howard Devoto-led band with influential guitarist, John McGeoch (Magazine, PiL, Siouxie & the Banshees), who is cited by The Edge (U2) as a massive influence. and Barry Adamson, who went on to play for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, was a great band with not near enough attention paid to them.  Their first album, any side, would be a great play over the air.  So 100.3, please do all kinds of albums.  It would be greatly appreciated, especially on future vinyl play shows.  You can access their Web-feed (choose from Listen Live) from this link (The Sound 100.3FM-LA).

I’m letting this lead into a topic (thanks to Jari for the inspiration) that involves the playing time of LPs and the expanded capacity of CDs.  LPs only provided so much room and therefore song selections had to be well thought out.  With the time limitations of LPs holding songs to about 8-10 per album, it increased the value of each song magnificently as we spent much more time with fewer songs.  End result?  Better remembered albums.

With today’s CDs and their 80-minute capacity, we see crams of 15-20 songs a disc, thereby diluting the overall effect of a complete album.  The poor artistic quality of some songs found on the album will inherently impact the whole to so-so status.  It therefore becomes very easy, and in many cases, imperative to pare the selections of songs to iPod favourites.  The consequence leads to perhaps a less remembered album, unlike the classics of the LP era, where entire albums are coveted, Side A through Side B.

This statement doesn’t mean that there are not any albums produced and distributed on CDs that are listenable all the way through or even to imply that there are no bands and artists capable of making a classic album.  Even in the LP years, we had great songs squashed between tracks of awful music.  I can cite many albums that fit that description with one in particular that had me so mad that I did a rare thing…I took the album back and purchased the single instead.  Again, I can cite examples of superior albums on CD that are good from the first track through the ending song.

However, I think it bears mentioning that today’s CD with its heavy loading of songs does have a detrimental effect on many albums and their ability to be remembered classically.  Perhaps if artists and bands concentrated more on fewer songs, we’d be blown away more often.  Now, the pressure of filling a CD with music, good or bad is too great. And it can have consequences.

Just a thought.

Yesterday, I heard “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll” by Ian Dury and The Blockheads  on The Sound.  Imagined how shocked I was.  Yes, I was that shocked.  It was soooo cool!!!  The Sound is really making me a fan, but they're hampering my review work.

I saw Ian Dury as an opener for Lou Reed on his tour for Street Hassle at Chicago's Park WestIan Dury was supporting his excellent New Boots and Panties album.  They were both great!!  As a bonus, I got to briefly talk with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (Blondie), who sat at a table in the back of the venue.  Ohhh, how I miss that theatre.

Now it's back to work.  Reviews for today include one from Bob Olsen, who spins the latest album from Tokyo Rosenthal called Love Won Out, and one for the debut album from Evolve IV named Decadent Light.

We'll see you on Friday for that Weekend Edition!

The GFR Poll has been slow to get off to a good strat but it does have fans. We're hoping that it picks up a bit but. like some of our earlier Polls, sometimes they don't, 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.

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#12), I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 21 25 27 29 30 31 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 plus some honourable mentions. Thanks to Eric for his list:

1) Yes - Fragile
2) Police - Regatta De Blanc
3) Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All
4) Genesis - Seconds Out
5) Ambrosia - Ambrosia
6) Fish - Vigil In a Wilderness Of Mirrors
7) The Who - Quadrophoenia
8) Peter Gabriel - III
9) Steely Dan - The Royal Scam
10) Pretenders - Learning To Crawl

Honorable Mention:

Joe Jackson - Blaze Of Glory
Peter Murphy - Deep
Todd Rundgren - Healing
Rush - Moving Pictures
Pink Floyd - Animals
The Tubes - Remote Control
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die
ELP - Brain Salad Surgery
Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood
Styx - The Grand Illusion
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Journey - Raised On Radio

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 announcements of new titles are slowing down dramatically.  We only have a few pieces of news notes, as we have had over the last several weeks.  But I think we’re now officially in our annualized news drought until, at least, January or the early part of February.  Oh well, we’ve survived them in the past years, we’ll survive them again.  Regardless, we have a few interesting titles planned for the opening of next year:

Bruce Springsteen will release his next album, Working on a Dream, on January 27. Columbia Records will issue the 12-track album with 2 extra bonus tracks. This album will mark his 24th release.

Motown is producing another collection of hits for January 13 in both Digital and CD forms.  This Various Artists collection is called Hitsville USA: Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971, Volume 1.

In the same vein, Ume is releasing a NOW series title called NOW That’s What I Called Motown!.  This Various Artists hits set is expected on January 13.

Ume is planning the release of a collection of romantic tunes from one of the great crooners, Dean Martin.  It is called Love Songs and is being scheduled for release on January 13.

Electric Ladyland is planned to be released as a Digital Download (DD) on January 13.  The famous Jimi Hendrix album is being released by Experience Hendrix.

The planned M83 LPs have a date change from their last date of November 25 to the new date of January 13.  Change you r calendar markings if you were planning on these in November.

Astrelwerks will release a B52s work called Party Plex.  It is planned for release on  January 27.  As soon as we get details, I’ll post them.

Caroline Records will issue a DVD called Biggie Smalls: Rap Phenomenon for the late Rap star, Notorious B.I.G.  It is being scheduled for release on January 27.

The 2CD Pink Floyd reissue of The Delicate Sound of Thunder is being pushed back a little from its last release date of January 13 to the new date of January 27.

Watch for upcoming new titles from Lily Allen, and Bobby Valentino.

Also watch for vinyl reissues of catalogue titles from RHCPs and Ben Harper.  Also vinyl reissue for Katy Perry.  There’s even more catalogue vinyl reissues coming but many are too far down the calendar to put down at this time.




Review - Evolve IV - Decadent Light - CD

Evolve IV is a fantastic band from the UK that works in a prog mode. I found them very enjoyable and throughly enjoyed the guitar player of this band just as much as the band and their music. Decadent Light is their debut work, which provides greater promise for future releases.





Review - Tokyo Rosenthal - Love Won Out - CD

Tokyo Rosenthal has had a great career with this latest album (Love Won Out) his brand new release. Filled with acoustic songs, this album of tunes is a polished work that had Bob Olsen (our reviewer) enjoying the music to the tune of 4 and 1/2 stars.




Band - Glasvegas - Glasgow, Scotland

Hailing from Scotland, Glasvegas, who has Coldplay and Interpol as their musical mentor (and who has an album coming on Columbia Records in January), is sure to be some good music for a lot of folks. I first heard of them on The Sound (100.3FM-LA) and have been intrigued since. Suffice it to say, I'm anxious to hear their full- length album. But until then, I hope that these selection of tracks posted on Myspace Music will give you an easy idea on what they sound like. I have to admit to being a bit perturbed for the truncated 'radio-edit' of "Geraldine" (already available via iTunes) but it should do enough to give you an idea of what you're getting. Have fun.











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)