November 12, 2008


Mitch Mitchell, the drummer who played for Jimi Hendrix in the Jimi Hendrix Experience (along with Noel Redding) passed away today at the age of 62. Mitch had quite a life to go along with his enviable tenure with Jimi Hendrix. His childhood was spent as an actor before he gave up an acting career for one in music. He worked as a sessions drummer before he joined The Dirty Mac, who played in The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus (1968). His drumming complemented Hendrix's frenetic style and will be forever remembered as an integral part of that historic band. As with any musician who has departed this earth for better climes, he will be missed for his music and contributions. Teach 'em a few cool tricks, Mitch.

Mitch Mitchell
1946 - 2008

Interesting and ponderable thought.  With the labels in the doldrums because of diminishing physical sales, it is evident that younger audiences (rightly) targeted look at music somewhat differently than the older group does.  However, we on the buying side, when an older title is expanded, re-mastered, re-packaged in collector Editions, are pretty happy to buy those.  Playing off of an essay written a few weeks ago concerning the older generation’s tendency to ‘peel away’ from music, I wondered why the labels don’t really go after us who are most likely to shell out a few bucks for quality re-masters and a fresh look at an old classic…and reawaken many of us who have ‘given up.’

I understand that there will not be as many that buy an expensive reissue, but I guarantee that there are definitely those of us who will.  Music is important enough to want to enjoy it in the finest way possible.  Up-to-date re-masters with historical essays about an album that ‘tripped the trigger’, if done in relatively small numbers, perhaps even selling out the inventory, could be a small boon to labels.  I know they’d be welcomed by me.

If I’m EMI…or Sony/BMG…or Warner…or Universal, I’m setting up a department that goes through the library…COMPLETELY.  One I have a current grasp of what is there, I’d start working a campaign to eventually rework the library to eventually sell.  Who knows?  They might reawaken that interest in us all over again.  I know that Legacy and Rhino do wonderful jobs in this area, but I’m calling for an expansion of older music being made available once again.

This obvious pipedream (soon to be remedied by my obsessive LP re-purchasing) to bring to a portable format, the best music of my favourites is nothing but.  But, as always, it is nice to think that it COULD happen.

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.

We'll be back on Friday!

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#9), 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 Troy for his list.

  1. The Beatles -  Abbey Road.    The last album the Beatles recorded.  This is the first of their albums I experienced (I was born in 1970).  I still have the originally my folks bought way back when.  The energy and emotion in every track is like they were throwing one big party to send their selves on different paths.   You can feel the joy, the excitement, and sometimes the sorrow during a listen to this masterpiece.

  2. Jimmy Buffett  -  You Had To Be There.   Awesome live double album.  The sound is incredible and the adlibs are great, this is buffett during his wilder days and he keeps the energy up throughout.  This is what a live show should be.  A few of the songs never made it to other Buffett albums but are excellent just the same.

  3. Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977).     The first and probably the hardest the guys will rock till they got out of the 80’s.  The musicianship on these tracks are fantastic.  Cheap Trick are one of the most underrated bands ever.

  4. Def Leppard – Hysteria.    The first made for CD album created.  They put the max limit on the amount of time you could fit on a CD and every second of it is pure listening joy.  The sounds, the effects, the music…. A explosion of joy for you ears.  Just put on the headphones,  close your eyes, and enjoy over an hour of the best pop metal ever created.

  5. Great White – Once Bitten.  A hidden treasure of  metal/blues.  The songs “Rock Me” and  “Save Your Love” are reasons enough to get this one.  Overall it is listenable from start to finish.  This has always been one of my favorite bands and this is by far one of their best. 

  6. Sammy Hagar -  Sammy Hagar (Later renamed “I Never Said Goodbye”.   This is the one that he was still under contract with Geffen to put out after he joined Van Halen.   You can feel that he really let loose on this one and did everything he wanted to.  The songs “Give To Live” and “Eagles Fly” are the hits off of this one but there is so much more.  “Boys Night Out”,  “Back Into You”, “Hands And Knees”, “Returning Home”, “Privacy”…. Every song on here rocks out.  This is probably my # 2 pick for Albums you must hear before you die.

  7. Huey Lewis And The News – Sports.  Rock N Roll at its finest.  “Heart Of Rock N Roll”, “If This Is It”, “I Want A New Drug”, and “Heart And Soul”…. If you listened to the radio in 1983 – 1984 you are bound to know these songs.  From start to finish this is the Best album they ever did.

  8. Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood.   This is the one that put them over…. The edge.   From beginning to end a scorcher of what all the other metal bands wanted to be.  The production is top notch and the sound is incredible.  This is one of the finest metal cds ever created.  “Dr. Feelgood”, “Don’t Go Away Mad”, “Without You”, and “Kickstart My Heart” are still staples for any Motley Crue fan.

  9. Elvis Presley – Heart and Soul.  Yes a compilation cd.  If ever there was an artist that could make you feel the emotion from his voice it is Elvis Presley.  “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Anything That’s Part Of You”, “Always On My Mind”, “Love Letters”, and “Suspicious Minds”  each one of these are driven by the power of Elvis’ voice.  Elvis is forever and always the King and for a good reason.

  10. Van Halen – 5150.  This is the #1 for me.  It is all here.  The band just gained the best singer alive in Sammy Hagar and you can feel the joy and excitement in the music.   “Love Walks In”, “5150”, “Dreams”, “Summer Nights”, “Best Of Both Worlds”, and “Good Enough”… all classics and the album went straight to number 1.  In an age where video was how you sold music the band instead refused to make any videos for this album and let the music do the talking.  If I had to have just one cd in my  collection this would be the one!!!

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.






Decca Records have a Luciano Pavarotti title coming to Blu-ray on January 27.  The Blu-Ray DVD is called A Celebration Live From PetraDecca will also release this same title on standard DVD, same date.

Verve Forecast has penciled in a self-titled album from Beast, which is expected to arrive at stores on February 3.

On January 7, Legacy will release a Series called From the Heart, just in time for the upcoming Valentine’s Day schedule.  This is a collection of obvious romance-themed tracks culled from bands and artists.  Those contributing bands and artists include:

  • Air Supply
  • Babyface
  • Miles Davis
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Billie Holiday
  • The Isley Brothers
  • Julio Iglesias
  • Barry Manilow
  • Dolly Parton
  • Frank Sinatra

The expected prize comes on January 13 from Legacy and Columbia.  It is then that they will release a 2CD Legacy Edition of Kind of Blue by Miles DavisKind of Blue is perhaps one of the greatest Blues/Jazz album ever released.  It has certainly received a lot of attention in 2008 (Sept) with the release of the Super Deluxe Collector’s Box setup (LP,CD,etc).  In celebration of the album’s 50th Anniversary, and for the sake of those folks who did not pick up the higher-priced release in 2008, this reissue may do just the trick.  This package contains the same two CDs found in the Collector’s Box as well as a booklet that contains all of the photos found in that set and the Francis Davis essay.

Kind of Blue was originally released in 1959 (Aug) not knowing it would become the revered classic it became.  Disc One will contain the original album in its re-mastered form and will add an alternate take of “Flamenco Sketches,” the false start rarity from “Freddie the Freeloader,” and in-studio dialogue pieces from the original sessions.  Disc Two contains various tunes that were released around the time of the Sessions including a selection from the first session of The Miles Davis Sextet (Coltrane, Adderley, Evans, Chambers, Cobb, and of course, Miles Davis himself), all in all, more than a half hour’s worth of material.  There is also a Live track, “So What,” from 1960.

Arista and Legacy will release six expanded editions albums (CD) featuring bonus tracks and new liner notes for the following Alan Parsons Project albums:

  • Pyramid (1978)
  • Eva (1979)
  • The Turn of a Friendly Card (1980)
  • Ammonia Avenue (1984)
  • Stereotomy (1985)
  • Gaudi (1987)

These final pieces in the Alan Parsons restoration will be available on January 27.

I received a monstrous list of upcoming LPs – most of them 180g pressings – from TAP reader, DSRowe.  I moved over to the link supplied and was absolutely amazed that the vinyl craze has reached the fever it has.  People, there are a lot of titles coming, many that will just astound.  I’m saving this for my Friday post but will list a few from the upcoming November 25 period, with a glimpse into other upcoming titles.

  • BauhausBurning from the Inside (180g) ($18.98 – 4 Men with Beards)
  • BeckOdelay : 10th Anniversary (180g/4LP/Very Limited/Quad-Gatefold/12-Page Booklet/Numbered) ($99.98 – Original Recordings Group)
  • Blue MountainMidnight in Mississippi and Omnibus (2LP) ($18.98 – Broadmoor Records)
  • ChromeRed Exposure ($17.98 – Cleopatra Records)
  • ChromeRetro Transmission ($17.98 – Cleopatra Records)
  • Eno/Moebius/RoedeliusAfter the Heat (180g) ($18.98 – 4 Men with Beards)
  • Iggy & the StoogesRaw Power ($16.98 – Sundazed Records)
  • JD SoutherIf the World Was You ($15.98 – Slow Curve Records)
  • Joe GibbsScorchers From the Mighty (2LP) ($19.98 – VP)
  • Judas PriestRocka Rolla ($18.98 – Koch Records)
  • Judas PriestSad Wings of Destiny ($18.98 – Koch Records)
  • Judas PriestHero Hero (2LP) ($22.98 – Koch Records)
  • Scratch Lee PerryRepentence (170g/2LP) ($18.98 – Narnack Records)
  • PJ HarveyRid of Me (180g) ($18.98 – Plain)
  • SantanaAbraxas ($16.98 – Sundazed Records)
  • SantanaSantana ($16.98 – Sundazed Records)

There are more, many of them titles we have already announced (M83; Ray Lamontagne; Coldplay; The Flaming Lips; Duff McKagan’s Loaded; Motley Crue; Neil Young; Underoath; Yelle – all scheduled for November 25).  I will lay some more of them out on Friday.  If you want a complete list, let me know and I’ll pass it on to you.  Watch for upcoming titles for Black Sabbath; Decemberists; 10cc; Beck; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Cat Power; Cheap Trick; Eric Clapton; Guns ‘n Roses; The Jam; John Mayall; Marvin Gaye; Motorhead; New York Dolls; Supertramp; ELP; Johnny Thunders; Breeders; Plasmatics; Bloc Party; Joe Cocker; Megadeth; Ringo Starr (which we shouldn’t buy because he so tidily washed his hands of his fans last month – tacky, tacky, tacky); and The Specials.  Cool, no?!

Yeaaaa for the Phoenix-like LP!!!!

As a reminder, Reprise has changed the date of the upcoming Neil Young album (Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House - CD) to December 2Nonesuch Records has changed the date of the upcoming Emmylou Harris title (All I Intended to Be – 2LP w/Bonus CD) to December 9.

RCA Records will release two Dave Matthews Band titles on CD scheduling for December 16.  Those will be DMB Live Trax, Volume 13, and Live at Mile High Music Festival.

And you couldn’t close out your day not knowing that The Greatest Songs of the Eighties from Barry Manilow and Arista Records is scheduled for November 25 on CD.  Some things are too important to ignore.




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.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
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)