October 24, 2008


I’ve spent a few weeks listening to The Sound (100.3 FM/LA market) and I’m going to now declare this station the best in the nation, perhaps the world.  Ok, maybe I’m jumping the gun in my proclamation BUT – and I KNOW that we’ve had this conversation several times before – The Sound is an excellent example and a welcomed flashback to the great FM stations of the past.  They play a wonderful mix of current music, past favourites, and the standard hits that we all grew up on.  There are even deep album cuts, all within 3-4 song blocks of music.  And a DJ that lets you know what just played…you know, like the old days of FM radio.

On Thursday morning (Oct 23, ’08), between 7:30a and 8:30a, I heard “Use Me” (Bill Withers), “Disappear” (INXS), “Loser” (Beck), “When You Were Young” (The Killers), “Your Heart” (Donavon Frankenreiter), “Running on Empty” (Jackson Browne), “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones), and yes, even a brand new obscurity cut by David Byrne/Brian Eno from their new upcoming album (already released on DD) CD, Whatever Happens Will Happen Today, “Strange Overtones.”  That was followed by a Live cut of “Because the Night” (10,000 Maniacs).  Now if that isn’t a desirable mix, I don’t know what is.  I’d love to see the improbable happen with forays into extreme obscurity – Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Magazine, insert yours here.  We all know bands like those and it would be nice to see The Sound dive in even further somewhere in their mix.  In addition, they also have guest artists from the music world helming the boards playing what they want.  How much fun is that?

In the past, we have thrown out requests that you provide us with great radio stations.  And I’m going to do it again.  If you have a station as wonderful to listen to as The Sound is, PLEASE, send me a web-link and let me listen to it.  I do have a request though.  No stations with shows dedicated to specific music.  A station may provide great music within the span of an hour or two but I need a fantastic mix any time that I turn on the radio.  I’ve yet to find a good college station that doesn’t have multiple sets of specific music.  The Sound, a commercial station, is just what my doctor ordered.  I kind of think it may be an excellent RX for you as well.

I also realize that this is a changing environment and that the station may not be here 5 years from now.  These entities need to make money and if there aren’t enough of us to attract and spend money for the advertisers, the station will likely be a footnote in history.  But while it is still here – and I hope that it is here forever - then I’m going to enjoy it immensely.

Now, send me in links to your best FM stations and I’ll post these in a page that I’m working on that will link best records stores, radio stations, etc.  It’s about time, as fans, that we availed ourselves of the best that we can get our hands on in this all too brief life.

Listen to The Sound - Live

Last 10 played songs 0n The Sound

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die!, I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 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 detailed list of 10 albums with a set of 5 honourable mentions.  But ALWAYS remember…the reader’s views as stated on these Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! posts are not necessarily the same views that we at MusicTAP hold. Also, feel free to chime in with your selections if you have not yet participated. I can't believe that we only have 17 emails on this one.

  1. America - Hat Trick, (Just skip the 1st cut, Hey even Sgt Pepper had “Within You Without You.”   C’mon, you know that song sucks) Their best album by far, I don’t care what allmusic.com says. Spacey 70’s countryish rock. Contains two of Dan Peek’s best songs, the trippy “Its Life,” a slow burner that comments on religion & life, and the beautiful “Willow Tree Lullaby,” an unplugged cut before it ever became a cliché. Then there is Dewey Bunnell’s rocking “Green Monkey” with Joe Walsh guesting and tearing it up. Rock and Roll’s most awesome opening Acoustic A Minor riff.  Let’s not forget Gerry Beckley’s beautiful “Submarine Ladies,” one of the nicest blends of acoustic guitars, piano, harmonica & fiddle you’ll ever hear.  And I’ll give you 20 bucks if you can hold that last note as long as Gerry did. All this AND the only song ever written by all three of the guys clocking in at 8:29! Oh, and did I tell you Stevie Wonder was recording next door & sprinkled a little magic in there as well?
  2. Jon Anderson‘s  Olias of Sunhillow One of the most beautiful Yes front man’s solo works and also his first. Inspired by the cover of Fragile it tells the tale of the ship on the cover of that album. If you can find the album somewhere, buy it just for the album artwork itself. Beautifully detailed from back in the day when Rock was an Art form; the album art work was part of the experience. Tell me who comes up with a rock album based on a goofy ship? Yeah, we had good stuff in the ‘70s.
  3. THE under-appreciated and extremely bitter diatribe about big business. A recording of the Presidential debates? No, Pink Floyd’s (extremely topical today) Animals. Lost between the beauty of Wish You Were Here and the anger and pain of The Wall, Animals is really the bridge between the two. Before we and David Gilmour had had enough of Roger Waters and his issues, this album has the boys still tearing it up with the long song suites ala WYWH and the focus of Roger’s anger is big business. This album shines on. Too bad it was the last light.
  4. Blue Jays, not the bird - the band. Blue as in Moody and Jays as in “Js” Justin and John. Get it. Who says LSD makes you illiterate? This album is simply stunning. Sounding more like a lost Moodies album than a solo effort, Justin Hayward and John Lodge christen the Threshold studios with the only recording any of the Moodies made there. Sad really. They were hitting on all cylinders after Seventh Sojourn and you begin to understand why Justin is still sorry they stopped recording as a band at that time.  They had it going and it went with each track intentionally in a different key.  Yeah, they lay it on a little too thick with the overly dramatic and overly orchestrated “Nights Winters Years” but hey we’re all overly dramatic when we’re teenagers, ok so THEY weren’t teenagers, they where ROCK STARS, man, and it was the 1970s! You’re starting to see trend here, aren’t you?
  5. And now for something completely different Black Sabbath’s, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I cannot say anymore about this album that was not elegantly explained by that other dude who responded to the Sabbath poll awhile back. He nailed it.
  6. Sticking with my formative years, Grand Funk’s Phoenix. Get the Japanese version with the extended version of “Flight of the Phoenix” and listen to some killer fiddle. ROCK FIDDLE’IN DUDE, killer organ action. God I loved the ‘70s!  Also a great song about get it on with a 14 year old, but hey I was 16 at the time so it didn’t creep me out….now I’m wondering what the statute of limitations are on child abuse.
  7. Every cut on the BeatlesWhite Album by John Lennon except “#9.” Listen to the birth of heavy metal and more.
  8. Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974). No, not just because it’s the ‘70s nor the fact that it’s a cool album title (try to say it 3 times fast) but because it is an Artist at his peak. Great Protest songs, gospel-like songs about faith & more. Which begs the question, in my opinion, where is the great music from R&B artists today? Where are the Stevie Wonders, the Funkadelics, the Earth, Wind and Fires? I’m sorry -  Hip-Hop & Rap suck.  For the most part, the lyrics tear down & the music, if that’s what it is, is borrowing riffs.  At least come up with your own riff for cripe’s sake! Sorry I digress.
  9.  Keeping it funky a little longer Peter Brown’s Fantasy Love Affair. Yeah Disco Sucks, but we all have our dark secrets.  This is one of mine. Hey, it could be worse; it could be the Bee Gees. I do like me some Children of the World and 2001’s This Is Where I Came In is great….Sorry!
  10. Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds. NOT just because it’s a great album name. NOT because it proves I listen to music from other decades besides the ‘70s (1992 natch) But because this is everything Guns & Overrated Roses is not. GREAT ROCK N ROLL. Not once on this album do they repeat the words “take me down to paradise city..” at least 40 times, sheesh! I hate that song. Anyway. This is a record of pure unadulterated garage rock ‘n’ roll at its finest. With a little reggae thrown in for good measure.
    Honorable mentions:
    • Blows Against the EmpireJefferson Starship
    • Late for the Sky: Jackson Brown
    • Stormbringer: Deep Purple
    • Fear: Toad the Wet Sprocket
    • Tumbleweed Connection: Elton John

    Remember, YES is our choice for our new Best Album Poll. Many of you know the drill. For those that don't know, it's easy. Just click the available link and offer up your choice of what you consider to be the best album that Yes made. You have quite a catalogue to wade through. I may forgive you some of your choices, and I may not. (Just kidding). Send all votes to The Best of YES and we'll collect 'em. And we'll let you know in a few weeks what you chose as the 'numero uno' YES album. The first day of email votes have been very brisk. If you haven't voted yet, please do so. This ends on Sunday

    We have three more reviews for you as well as a brand new As The Disc Spins column where Lindsay Planer reviews seven titles. These include The Deluxe Editions of Elton John and Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John, the Deluxe Edition of Copperhead Road by Steve Earle, and the Legacy Edition of Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson. In addition, he reviews three DVD titles that include the Joe Strummer documentary, The Future is Unwritten; a Various Artists set called A Technicolour Dream; and a Donovan documentary called Sunshine Superman - A Journey of Donovan.

    Besides that, James Hrivnak reviews the latest Oasis disc called Dig Out Your Soul.

    I reviewed several beginning with a 2CD/DVD package from Grateful Dead and Rhino Records called Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978. The second review is an indie band from Montreal called The Dears on their latest, Missiles.

    As always, scroll down for the links to the reviews.


    We’ll see you back here on Monday . But before we leave, we have some music streams for you for the upcoming (Nov 18) Rod Stewart 2CD and 2CD/1DVD Deluxe Edition 'best of' collection. Enjoy them.

    The Definitive Rod Stewart Listening Party - Quicktime

    The Definitive Rod Stewart Listening Party - Windows Media


    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.






Curb will release two CDs for Patti Page.  The first is called Best Country Songs, and the second is called Greatest Hits Live.  Both will retail for $9.98.

Warner Brothers will release Edited and PA versions of the CD/DVD Special Edition from Linkin Park called Road to Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes.  Both sets are scheduled for November 25.

Here’s a set for you.  There will be an 8CD superset coming for War called Collector’s Edition: The Eight Original Gold and Platinum Studio Albums.  It is planned for November 25 and will retail at $79.98.

Nonesuch Records will release a DVD for The Black Keys called The Black Keys: Live at the Crystal Ballroom.  It is planned for release on November 18.

I had promised this before and am now making good on that promise.  Flashback Records, whose barebones CD reissues retail for a mere $5.99, have a few on the list for release on November 11.  They are as follows:

  • Aretha FranklinSparkle
  • Alice CooperSchool’s Out
  • Big MountainThe Best of Big Mountain
  • DioLock up the Wolves
  • RattOut of the Cellar
  • Sister SledgeWe Are Family
  • Warren ZevonLearning to Flinch
  • ShineheadUnity
  • Carly SimonHello Big Man
  • Gilda RadnerLive From New York

Atlantic Records will reissue 10 from 6, a Greatest Hits collection by Bad Company on November 11Atlantic will also release the domestic 7CD/6DVD Box for Genesis chronicling the periods 1970-1975.  That is planned for November 11.

Reprise Records will release two vinyl EPs configs from Mudcrutch called Mudcrutch Extended Play Live EP.  One will be the EP vinyl only while the other issue will add a bonus CD.  Those are expected on November 11.

Elektra Records will release a 2CD Collector’s Edition of Warren Zevon by the one that many of us miss greatly, Warren Zevon.  The 1976 album is not only re-mastered but the Collector's Edition introduces a 2nd disc filled with 15 previously unreleased tracks. Amongst those rare tracks are different versions of every song on the original album, some piano demos, alternate takes, and a Live radio performance track, It is scheduled for November 11.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a Blu-ray DVD for Tori Amos called Live at Montreaux 1991/1992.  It is joined by Live at Montreaux for Ray Charles.  Both Blu-ray DVDs will be released on December 9.

Hip-O Records will release reissue titles for Stereophonics on December 9.  Those include Just Enough Education to Perform; Language.Sex.Violence.Other?; Word Gets Around; and You Gotta go There to Come Back.

Polydor Records will reissue In the City from The Jam on vinyl LP, scheduling the LP to release on December 9.

Pink Floyd will have their 2CD Delicate Sound of Thunder album reissued by Capitol Records, planned for December 9.  More info to follow.

ECM Records has a few coming through their doors on November 25.  Expected are The End of Summer from the Julia Hulsmann Trio, as well as Live at Belleville by Arild Anderson.

Island Records will release the new The Killers album (their third studio) called Day & Age, planning the album for November 25.  The album will release in both 2LP and CD with the 2LP allowing for a one-time legitimate MP3 DD (Digital Download) through May 25, 2009.  Hopefully, you caught the 2-song performance from the band on Saturday Night Live (Oct 04).  If not, it re-airs on November 29, the week of the album’s release.  The Killers will also be performing on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Oct 24, the day before the release of Day & AgeHot Fuss, the band’s debut has sold over 5,000,000 copies while Sam’s Town has been certified Platinum (sales at 1,000,000).  Yeah!

IRS Records, in conjunction with A&M Records will release a 25th Anniversary Edition of MurmurMurmur is one of R.E.M.’s great works, noted as one of the 100 Greatest American Albums of All TimeMurmur was also designated Album of the Year in 1983 by Village Voice, Melody Maker, Sounds, and NME.  This new rissue of Murmur is re-mastered and is expanded by a second disc that features a previously unreleased Live show at Larry’s Hideaway in Toronto in July of 1983.  The booklet is crammed full of greatness that includes new liner notes and essays.  The Murmur Deluxe Edition is scheduled for November 25.

Decca Records will release an album by The Salvation Army called TogetherTogether will contain 14 tracks of familiar tunes as played by their best brass band, the International Staff Band (ISB).  The album is planned for November 25.




Review - Grateful Dead - Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 - CD/DVD

Grateful Dead opted to head off to Egypt to perform near the base of the Great Pyramid back in 1978. This beautifully put together set with 2CDs and 1DVD tells the whole story. The set is cleverly entitled Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978.





Review - Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul - CD

James Hrivnak returns with a review of Dig Out Your Soul, the latest album to arrive across the pond by Oasis.



Review - The Dears - Missiles

The Dears return with a new album (Missiles) that is pretty good in my book. Hailing from Montreal, they produce an album with some great tunes. Check out "Disclaimer" for some gold and a 'must' download.





Review Column - As The Disc Spins - Lindsey Planer

We have a new - and packed - As The Disc Spins column wherein Lindsay Planer reviews seven titles. These include The Deluxe Editions of Elton John and Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John, the Deluxe Edition of Copperhead Road by Steve Earle, and the Legacy Edition of Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson. In addition, he reviews three DVD titles that include the Joe Strummer documentary, The Future is Unwritten; a Various Artists set called A Technicolour Dream; and a Donovan documentary called Sunshine Superman - A Journey of Donovan.







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
"...you 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)