SOME STUFFS: B.B. King, Joe Walsh remasters from Audio Fidelity due next month

Audio Fidelity: Eric Clapton & B.B. King/Joe Walsh photo AF-ClaptonWalsh_covers_zps4pc7oqpk.jpg
Audio Fidelity are ready to release another remaster so get ready for new hybrid SACD’s when they’re released on July 24th.

  • The first album is Riding With The King, the 2000 album that united B.B. King and Eric Clapton, which lead it to the top of Billboard’s Blues Album chart and sold over 2,000,000 copies. The album also features contributions from Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Sample, Steve Gadd, Nathan East, and Andy Fairweather Low, along with guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, who also brings in his wife Susannah Melvoin and her sister, Wendy Melvoin.
  • Joe Walsh’s So What was his third solo album released in 1974, recorded after leaving James Gang and a year or so before he joined The Eagles. Perhaps with guests appearances from Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner, the album could be considered his audition tape of sorts. It’s the album that features “Welcome To The Club” and “Turn To Stone”.

    The King & Clapton album was remastered by Steve Hoffman while the Walsh album gets a treatment from Kevin Gray. You may pre-order them below via Amazon.


  • BOOK REVIEW: Glyn Johns’ “Sound Man”

     photo GlynJohns_cover_zpsdf6c2566.jpg If you have bought any rock albums in the last 50 years, you will have come across Glyn Johns’ name a number of times, as he was responsible for producing and/or engineering some of the music that has become a part of your life. He has been mythologized due to the work he did with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles but Sound Man (Blue Rider Press) tells the stories direct from the man himself, from his childhood tales to joining a choir that would lead him to become not only part of the recording studio, but part of the record industry.

    As someone who is known as a producer and engineer, I had wondered (and perhaps hoped) that he would get technical about some of the projects that has made him someone to work with. It doesn’t get too technical or “over the head” at all but instead, he touches on meeting and working with the artists, his interaction with everyone involved and the experiences he may have had during a recording session or live shows. One is able to read about certain equipment from time to time but Sound Man isn’t a gear essay. Instead, Johns speaks from the perspective of someone who was there, yet at times he also writes as he was just a fly on the wall, observing what’s going on while putting together the process of what was and still remains his work.

    The bulk of the book focuses on what he did in the 60’s and 70’s, which means extensive work with Led Zeppelin, the Stones, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and so many others. It’s a chance to find out about the negotiations for artists, doing a lot of traveling from England to Los Angeles or New York and back, and seeing everyone pass him by as if it he was just taking a stroll through a school building and saying hello to old friends. Johns does reveal a few facts that may have been overlooked, such as certain musicians that played in well known songs and why, so if you loved Charlie Watts’ drumming in “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)”, you’re actually listening to Kenney Jones behind the kit.

    The tales from the Sound Man are that from an employee and a fan, which makes it a pleasant read. By the last third of the book, we get to the 80’s and 90’s and the changes of the music industry as a whole and despite the setbacks, he moves forward and sticks with his job, occasionally having a bit of self-doubt but realizing his ears and expertise still hold a lot of value, as it has since the early 1960’s.


    RECORD CRACK: “Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert” album to be reissued on audiophile vinyl by Audio Fidelity

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    Considered by many to be one of the best albums Eric Clapton ever released, one that remains highly celebrated for those who prefer his music before 461 Ocean Boulevard. For those who know it very well, Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert album is being reissued and remastered on vinyl by Audio Fidelity. For those who haven’t heard of it or wanted to pick it up but haven’t been able to find any pressing of it, this will be your chance.

    Performed and released in 1973, these performances at the Rainbow Theater in London were done after the huge success Clapton had with the first and only Derek And The Dominoes album. He had taken a two year hiatus from the studio and the stage, partly due to a heroin addiction. Once he was able to move himself out of that phase, he wanted to do a concert and he chose to bring on some of his friends. Those friends included Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Ron (“Ronnie”) Wood, Jim Capaldi, Rick Grech and many more. If you know who those guys are, it’s essentially members of Blind Faith, Traffic, The Faces, and of course The Who. The show was meant to be informal, nothing more than a casual jam session to those who wanted to see and hear the music. Fans were praised by greatness, and despite the fact the live album only contained six songs, it received great reviews and sold considerably well. Then again, it was Eric Clapton. The record featured new performance of “Presence Of The Lord”, “After Midnight”, “Little Wing”, “Roll It Over”, “Pearly Queen”, and “Badge”.

    The album is significant partly because it was his first show where he introduced his Fender Stratocaster guitar that he simply called “Blackie”, due to the black paint job. It would become one of his trademark guitars for the next 40 years. Also, a year after he released this live album, he came out with 461 Ocean Boulevard, the album that featured his cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff”. That lead him to having a lot of pop radio hits for the remainder of the 1970’s, carrying him through having more in the 1980’s. While Clapton never once gave up the blues, many felt his hit phase was the end of one era and the start of another, leaving many fans still split to this day, despite the fact they still honor his guitar work.

    The new pressing, which will be packaged in a gatefold cover similar to the 1973 original, will be released on November 18th, in time for the holiday season. With the number of Clapton albums Audio Fidelity have been remastering for compact disc, this is the first album that is getting a vinyl edition.

    SOME STUFFS: Scorpions remaster release scheduled; Eric Clapton compilation gets remastered

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    In late 2013, Audio Fidelity announced they would be doing an audiophile remaster of the Scorpions’ 1982 hit album, Blackout, to be released in early 2014. Soon after, they stated it would be delayed and it turned into “sometime in 2014”. Unless there are further delays and/or changes, the Kevin Gray-remaster now has an official release date: November 4th.

    Just announced from Audio Fidelity is a remaster of a best selling Eric Clapton “greatest hits” album of sorts, Timepieces. The 1980 compilation combined various eras of Clapton’s music post-Cream and post-Blind Faith, representing the period between 1970-1980. That covers a lot of ground, including the material he did with Derek And The Dominoes and his solo material, which includes such hits as “I Shot The Sheriff”, “Lay Down Sally”, “After Midnight”, and “Cocaine”. While Audio Fidelity has covered Clapton’s 80’s and 90’s material for Warner Bros., for some this is considered some of Clapton’s best music in his career. This one will also be released on the 4th of November.

    Both discs are hybrid SACD’s, which means they’re playable on SACD players along with regular standard compact disc players.

    SOME STUFFS: Audio Fidelity remaster Styx and Eric Clapton

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    Audio Fidelity announced yesterday the release of two brand new 24k gold hybrid SACD’s and with the label’s announcement that their manufacturer will no longer be making gold discs, this may be the latest of the bunch.

  • The albums to be released on May 6th are Styx’s Paradise Theater and Eric Clapton’s Journeyman. This is the Styx album that features “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “The Best Of Times”, and “Rockin’ The Paradise”, all of which were MTV staples in their day and all receive nice amounts of classic rock radio airplay today.
  • Along with featuring contributions from George Harrision, Chaka Khan, Phil Collins, Daryl Hall and Gary Burton among others, Journeyman features songs like “Bad Love”, “Hard Times”, “Running On Faith” and “Become You Accuse Me”. The album did very well for Clapton, managing to sell over two million copies in the U.S., giving it Double Platinum status.
  • SOME STUFFS: Audio Fidelity remasters Butterfield Blues Band and Eric Clapton

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    Two distinctive blues rock artists in their own right are being honored with brand new 24k gold remastered SACD’s from Audio Fidelity, both scheduled for a release in March.

  • Eric Clapton’s Behind The Sun was released by Warner Bros. Records in 1985 and was a part of the guitarists exposure to a then-young MTV audience, and it lead to him getting hits with the songs “Forever Man” and “See What Love Can Do”, both of which receive classic rock radio airplay almost 30 years later. Mastering for this one is by Steve Hoffman.
  • What can be said about East-West that hasn’t already been said? The 1966 was groundbreaking for many reasons, and with Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop as part of the Butterfield Blues Band back then, this was a stoner’s dream. Of course, you have Paul Butterfield himself and together they brought great songs such as “Two Trains Running”, “Get Out Of My Life Woman”, and the almighty title track. Kevin Gray handled the remastering for this new version of the Elektra Records gem.

    As with most of Audio Fidelity’s remastered discs, this is a hybrid SACD, which means it can be played on both compact disc and SACD players. I will provide Amazon pre-order links when they are made available.

  • SOME STUFFS: Jimi Hendrix documentary DVD to be released as a director’s cut

     photo HendrixHero_DVD_zps4c9107b5.jpg Originally released almost three years ago, the music and legacy discussed in Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero will now be made available in a director’s cut. Directed by Jon Brewer, this new version has been expanded from a single DVD to a double disc set, which will feature loads of unreleased archive footage, over five hours of never seen/heard extended interviews, plus 8mm silent film footage made by Henry Diltz of Hendrix on the failed 1967 tour with The Monkees, and much more. The Guitar Hero features interviews with Dave Mason, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Eric Burdon, Micky Dolenz, Paul Rodgers, Ginger Baker, Bev Bevan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lemmy Kilmister, and many more. The entire project was narrated by Slash.

    Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero will be rereleased as a double DVD and Blu-Ray disc on June 10th.

    VIDEO: Paul McCartney’s “My Valentine”

    17 years ago, actor JohnnY Depp and singer Gibby Haynes were in a short-lived band on Capitol Records who called themselves P. One letter nothing more. I don’t think Depp could have ever dreamed that he would be appeared in a music video by someone who could have been considered his label-mate. Of course, Paul McCartney is much more than just a simple “label mate”, but you know how music association is.

    Here, Depp and actress Natalie Portman are there to take part in a video McCartney himself directed called “My Valentine”, and it’s beautiful, abstract, and sensual.

    Want to make it more interesting? There are two more versions of the video, one with just Portman:

    the other with just Depp:

    For those of you with an ear for guitarists, that is indeed Eric Clapton playing in the song.

    VIDEO: “Beware Of Mr. Baker” (documentary trailer)

    Ginger Baker documentary, “Beware of Mr. Baker” SXSW Preview from Jay Bulger on Vimeo.

    As a kid, I admired the drums in the records I played. I think I loved them because from what I’ve been told, when my parents would buy me a drum set or bongos, I’d break them. I remember watching footage of The Who and upon seeing Keith Moon tear his drum set, I knew what I wanted to be. While my drumming fantasies never happened, I kept on listening and one of my all time favorite drummers is Ginger Baker. When I heard Blind Faith‘s “Do What You Like” and it reached his solo, I wanted to be able to play just like that. One would then go to a song like “Toad” and it would just blow me away, just that sound he created, it floors me to this day.

    It has floored a generation or three of drummers, and now there’s a new documentary called Beware Of Mr. Baker!, directed by Jay Bulger. Along with interviews with Baker, it features interviews with those who played with him and those who were influenced by his work in the last 45+ years. His manic style was also represented by how he behaved among friends and family, so while some drummers behaved the way a “rock drummer” is supposed to, he has lived the Ginger Baker way and could give a fuck what you think. This film will be a must-see for me.

    (Mahalo to Gary Chun for the link.)

    RECORD CRACK: New titles from Warner being prepared for Record Store Day

    Warner Bros. Records is very active in making sure each Record Store Day is as festive as previous years, not only in attendance but in getting new items out in stores. As always, many of these items are made exclusively for and meant to be sold on that day only. Here are some the titles the Warner family have ready to go:

  • Bad Brains-God Of Love + bonus 7” (vinyl LP + two song 7” single)
  • The Belle Brigade-The Belle Brigade (vinyl LP)
  • Built To Spill-Ripple (7” picture disc) (this one is a 1-sided picture disc and will feature a previously unreleased live cover of the Grateful Dead song, which BTS recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 11, 2010.)
  • Eric Clapton-Unplugged (Two-disc set on 180-gram vinyl; mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • Deftones-Covers (vinyl LP)
  • The Flaming Lips-Heady Nuggs: The First 5 Warner Bros. Records 1992-2002 (this one is a 5 LP box set, indivudually numbered, of the first five albums the band did for Warner Bros. each of which has been remastered by Bernie Grundman. They include:
    Hit To Death In The Future Head (Single Disc)
    Transmissions From The Satellite Heart (Single Disc)
    Clouds Taste Metallic (Single Disc)
    The Soft Bulletin (Two Disc)
    Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Single Disc)

  • Fleetwood Mac-Rumours (Standard and Deluxe Editions, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
    Even if you have this album (and really, with sales of over 10,000,000, you know someone who does), you may want to pick up these editions. One will be a standard pressing at 33 1/3 rpm, while the other is for the audiophiles: a 2 LP 45rpm edition pressed at Pallas in Germany. Yes, the thick stuff.

  • Mastodon-Live At The Aragon (Deluxe 2-disc set on 180-gram vinyl + DVD; Bernie Grundman Mastering)
  • My Chemical Romance-Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) (7” picture disc)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-self-titled debut (two limited edition pressings, one on white vinyl, one on blue, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • R.E.M.-Three (3 – 7” single 45 RPM discs, first three singles from their new album, Collapse Into Now, each with non-LP B-sides, each record in individual art gatefold sleeves. Bernie Grundman on this one as well.:
    Disc 1. Mine Smell Like Honey/ Supernatural Superserious (live in Raleigh , NC )
    Disc 2. Oh My Heart/ Harborcoat (live in Riga , Latvia )
    Disc 3. ÜBerlin/ What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? (live in Oslo , Norway) )

  • Regina Spektor-Four From Far (Limited Edition 7” 33 1/3 RPM EP on powder-blue vinyl)

    Want even more limited edition craziness that will no doubt bring up the old Poison Idea title Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes? Warner Bros. are also introducing a series of records called Side By Side, limited edition 45’s where a Warner-related artist of today covers a classic Warner-related song of the past. In the works:

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers covering The Ramones‘ “Havana Affair”
  • Green Day covering Hüsker Dü‘s incredible “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
  • Mastodon covering ZZ Top‘s “Just Got Paid” (probably no chance of Mastodon including a brief passage of Johnny Kemp‘s “Just Got Paid”, but you never know)
  • Jenny & Johnny getting Americana on us with their cover of Gram Parsons‘ “Love Hurts”

    Obviously, many of these releases are in-house, if not down right incestuous, but with luck this will spark the noggins in other artists and labels to do the same not only for this Record Store Day, but for releases throughout the year, across the board.

    If you have any soda or wine bottles lying around, or know of parks with many empties, I suggest geting some bags and making the rounds, as this will definitely cause a dent in your pocket.