SOME STUFFS: Audio Fidelity to release two volume “Legends” CD compilation

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Steve Hoffman has released a wide range of CD remasters and compilations that have demanded his expertise, and how he’s handling a new compilation, this one a two volume series in cooperation with Time-Life Music. Called Legends, one volume is called Crank It Up while the other is called Get It On, bringing together 34 of some of the best classic rock ever made, most of which were radio staples back then, as they are now.

A few of these tracks have been remastered by Hoffman before while others are brand new to the scene. The compilations feature music from the likes of Chicago Transit Authority, Grateful Dead, Foghat, Elton John, The Doobie Brothers, Phil Collins, Alice Cooper, Bad Company, T. Rex, Deep Purple, and many more. If you haven’t bought the full album remasters Hoffman has gone recently for some artists, consider these tracks a preview of what you’re missing out on.

Each album will be released on a hybrid SACD, which means they’ll play on standard CD players as they will on Super Audio CD players. All of these were taken from the original master tapes, which means they may be the best you’ll ever hear these songs. Both volumes will hit stores on June 4th.

COVERED: Fleetwood Mac vs. Steel Panther

In this case, the comparison is more about the use of balls than it being an actual Fleetwood Mac parody, but the Steel Panther is an obvious throwback to heavy metal albums of the 1980’s, complete with ringwear and a price tag on the upper left of the cover. However, its shiny balls are what stand out and bring to mind the classic 1977 Fleetwood Mac LP, where drummer/band co-founder Mick Fleetwood wears an outfit that makes use of something dangling.

As for actual album cover homage, you can look at these two:

RECORD CRACK: P.S. I Love You – Fleetwood Mac’s “Sara”

The 1979 Fleetwood Mac album Tusk signifies things for different people. Just like Pink Floyd‘s The Wall, it marks the end of an incredile decade for music. For the band, it marked the end of a number of relationships between the band. Tusk is embedded in many people’s minds as “the ultimate break-up album”, songs full of sorrow and loss that packed enough of an emotional punch to where it’s still talked about 32 years after the fact.

I did not buy the album until way after the fact, but I loved the title track and had my parents buy the 45 for me. I loved the atmospheric sounds of the college band in the stadium during the introduction, another classic avant-garde moment for singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and the incredible drums and percussion throughout the song. I played that 45 endlessly, and I remember the promotional film clip when it first aired on Casey Kasem’s America’s Top 10. I didn’t take to “Sara” immediately until I saw the live video MTV had in rotation in 1982. The band in that video looked tired and disgusted, as if they didn’t want to be on stage with each other, with a song where Stevie Nicks sung her heart out. The highlight of that performance is when it sounds like Nicks approached the wrong microphone (i.e. one that was not hers, but Lindsey’s) and all you hear is the echo of her voice. The crowd cheers because of the emotion felt in that moment, and she struts back towards Mick Fleetwood‘s drums. That part of the song always gets to me.

If you bought the album, there was a collage of various photographs, both of the band and of each member. The picture sleeve was a very simple extension of that, but features a great photo of the group that pretty much suited the mood of the Tusk album. Buckingham looks like he was just shot, but obviously it’s meant to be humorous as Christine McVie seems to want to bust out and laugh. Bassist John McVie, however, seems to be making sure his pants do not fall down to his knees. Fleetwood can only do his sinister grin, as Nicks might be in mourning of the mock-loss of Buckingham, or is seductively sitting on the ground, contemplating white winged doves or something. This post shot is great because it’s not an image one generally associates with this song or the Tusk album, I usually see the raging dog that’s on the album cover. Yet the photo could’ve easily been a decent choice, for critics and some fans would say that Tusk was the true end of the group in turmoil over one another, with a few being direct by saying the band were carrying the musical weight of what sounded like Buckingham & Friends. In other words, Buckingham’s songwriting had caught on and the album sounds like the roots of what he would end up doing in his solo work.

Without the assumptions of what the photo does or does not mean, it showed the group dealing with a group act, and trying to bring a small bit of laughter into the business of being a “brand name”.

This picture sleeve design was also used in a number of other countries, including Japan.

It was also used in England, but as the sleeve for “Think About Me”:

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.

  • REVIEW: Sarah Corman’s “Happy Little Tune”

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Not having any idea who or what this was, I looked at the cover and did something that I normally don’t do and something I always tell my readers not to do either; I attempted to judge things by the cover. Yeah, that’s not exactly good. The cover of Sarah Corman‘s Happy Little Tune looked like it could be an indie pop album, with the singer in a dress appearing to be dancing and spinning. Could it be like Lisa Loeb? Melissa Etheridge? No idea. The back cover photo of her had the top of her head cut-off but it looked like it could’ve been taken with a cell phone or maybe she was in a photo booth. Inside of the digipak showed her with her musician friends, and it looked spirited. To me, it looked like it would be welcoming, so I put the CD in.

    I really liked the music, musicianship, and arrangements on this album, especially how The Beatles‘ “Honey Pie”, Fleetwood Mac‘s “Never Going Back Again”, Joni Mitchell‘s “Both Sides Now”, and a song from the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory soundtrack, “Pure Imagination”, are played. Unfortunately, what turned me off was her voice. She sounded like Lois from Family Guy, and I am a huge fan of the actress/comedienne who plays Lois. But imagine Lois combined with Johnny Mathis and you get a sense of what Corman sounds like here. I did like her original compositions (she has three here) and I would like to hear them performed by others. I was going to type out the word “unfortunate”, but maybe that’s inappropriate. Corman is just not to my liking, but she does have incredible potential to contribute material for the 21st century songbook.

    SOME STUFFS: Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” to receive 4CD box set treatment

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    Every song on the album receives airplay 32 years after the fact, and it’s one of the biggest selling albums in music history. There are audiophile vinyl, white vinyl, DVD-Audio, and 2CD deluxe editions, plus the Classic Albums DVD documentary on the making of the album. Now the group are going to take the album one step further.

    There will be a four disc box set for Rumours, with one of them being a DVD featuring “never-before-seen footage of the band” according to a Fleetwood Mac fan site. No word on the actual contents of the box, but it is scheduled for release sometime this year.