Archive | April 2011

Cover Albums: Should they be covered, or just plain buried?

Without dwelling too much on the mess that Record Store Day 2011 was, I’d like to mention that the really cool stuff was the popular bands that did COVER tunes.

The Deftones, The Foo Fighters, Green Day, Jenny & Johnny, My Chemical Romance, Mastadon, and even (sorta) Sonic Youth got in on the action.

Sorry, don’t get me wrong, I love covers from ‘hot’ bands, but there are things that are over 6 years old that really rock better than these and I’m gonna ‘fill your head’ right now.

The Ramones~Acid Eaters was so anticipated for me, for they are probably one of the 5 top bands in the world for me. Acid Eaters was NOT a great album. When The Ramones felt the urge during a concert, they would throw in a cover song and not very often. This is what the magic was all about and this is where it should have stayed. Even help from Pete Townshend couldn’t really save this from being mediocre…but it is what it is.

The Hotrats~Turn Ons is really highly recommended. It (at the time) came on a gorgeous 180 gram ORANGE VINYL and was really creative. The covers were all well thought out before hand. It’s actually the 2 guys from U.K.’s Supergrass , and their cover of the classic Roxy Music top 40 hit from 1975 (Love Is The Drug) is fantastic. The other killer cover is a version of The Beastie Boys ‘You Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party) done exactly like it was off of The Who Sell Out album of 1967. Even the reference to the parents in The Who’s “Tattoo” song are similar.
I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!!!

The other forgotten covers album that is real good is the Canadian band RUSH. You know, I don’t really care all that much for RUSH (or Supergrass for that matter), but the RUSH covers album called ‘Feedback’ is absolutely awesome. It sticks to 60’s covers where the band started their roots probably playing these songs 6 times per night which is why they probably sound so intense and fresh.

Green Day aka The Foxboro Hut Tubs~Stop Drop And Roll. There is nothing really to say about this one. There ain’t a bad song on it. And here is why, it’s simple. Green Day (Billie Joe Armstrong in particular), was born and bred in Berkeley, CA. Case closed. To have that much influence on Bay Area 60’s stuff and all the L.A. and British Invasion stuff….how can he miss???? Incidentally, this IS NOT a covers album. If you’ve had your ears open to The Yardbirds, The Who and The Kinks….then you can call this a covers album. These 3 bands’ riffs, styles, and arrangements are all over it and very easy to recognize, And guess what? The same goes for Green Day’s Grammy winning “American Idiot” album. Those 3 bands are all over that one too. In a nutshell, I can’t think of a more deserving rock and roll album winning across-the-board Grammy awards for about 20 years. Maybe since Metallica or Guns N’ Roses won? “Dookie”, the break-through album from Green Day was no FLUKE now was it?

Another band that must be mentioned here are New York’s The Smithereens. So far they have done 4 covers albums (if you include an album of Rock ‘N’ Roll Christmas Rockers).
In a super gutsy move, the have covered The Beatles twice. I’d be a fool to try to be a rock critic here and say this is missing or that is missing but it’s just The Smithereens having fun doing old Beatles songs. 5 Stars for spirit, baby. The first one was called “Meet The Smithereens” and copied the exact U.S. Capitol debut of the ‘Meet The Beatles” ablum. The second one was called The Smithereens sing Beatles B-Sides And Rarities. NICE JOB GUYS!
Incidentally, for vinyl maniacs like me, these 2 LP’s are available as a 2-Record Set on 180 gram awesome vinyl for like $22.00 from the band’s website GREAT PRICE!!!
The other covers album The Smithereens did was a compilation of The Who’s songs from “Tommy.” It does not have every song, but the typical ones you would expect (dare I say HITS?) are on there. Obviously, The Smithereens are influenced by the 4 B’s (Beatnik, British Invasion, The Byrds & The Beatles.) I’d say that The Beatles especially were top of the list, but , I always felt that when these 4 guys got together to play live that the sound you got was closer to that of The Who. That’s a good thing and they did cover The Who’s lesser known (and my top 5 songs by them) track called “The Seeker” live a lot. I knew the “Tommy” covers CD was really gonna click and it did. So if you ask me which to purchase, The Beatles covers or The Who covers, I’d say get the vinyl of The Beatles AND the CD of “Tommy.” I think I just gave you the answer on what works better without being critical, OK? Long live The Smithereens and Pat DiNizio is like the coolest human being out there…and their Christmas CD ROCKS HARD!!! In a nutshell, you can never go wrong with The Smithereens.

7 other cover albums that come to mind are:
Of course, Metallica’s Garage Days Re-visited series; which are awesome.

Guns N’ Roses~The Spaghetti Incident? which some would bury; but guess what? It blows away the new Chinese Democracy LP (now THAT should be buried). Good luck finding a copy of this on ORANGE VINYL from Holland. 5 years ago they couldn’t sell them for a dollar. Now they go for $250.00 sealed.

Albert King’s ELVIS covers LP called, “King Does The King’s Things” from the early 70’s should be buried for sure….even Hound Dog & Smiley Lewis’ One Night Of  Sin’ couldn’t save it….it was too loungey?

Shelby Lynne’s 2008, ‘Just A Little Lovin’ which is pretty much a covers album of Dusty Springfield and it is really good, but really overlooked by everyone…Dusty was awesome, man…and there’s a great cover of The Young Rascals’ “How Can I Be Sure”? And don’t miss the fantastic “Willie And Laura Mae Jones” where Shelby plays some ripping acoustic slide guitar to the song originally rocked by Tony Joe White in 1968 on his classic Black & White LP available HERE on vinyl.com for a real cheap price as a high quality reissue.

Booker T.& The MG’s~McLemore Avenue ( a straight song list from The Beatles Abbey Road album, and better than the Albert King covers.)

Aaron Neville did one about 6 years ago, I heard it was awesome.

Sarah Vaughan Sings Beatle Ballads (Atlantic 1971), it’s forgotten but it holds up real well now. Many songs ended up on weird Beatles Jazz Covers compilation LP’s.

Hah, let’s just forget The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles (even though it got tons of airplay and sold well in ’65.)

Let’s not forget the hottest ‘punk cover’ band in the world: “Me First & The Gimme Gimme’s” who have put out about 10 singles/EP’s and about 8 LP’s (each with a different theme ie: Country, Show-Tunes, Soul, etc. etc.)

And there you go! Maybe we shouldn’t bury any covers albums after all?
They are what they are….but always interesting!!!

And let’s not forget Ozzy Osbourne! Instead of putting out the same songs on his box set, he did about 1 half of covers and recorded a whole disc of his favorite 60’s covers, nice job Oz, too bad Record Store Day 2011 was a mess and YOU were the ambASSador.

STAY TUNED!

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Record Store Day 4/16/11…A Total SCAM!!!

You know, I love what Michael Kurtz is doing and I was going to write up a not-so-negative view of Record Store Day 2011, but I just got a comment from a man named Scott who (like me) drove 130 miles but HE got NOTHING.

Scam, scam Scam!!!!

Gasoline is $4.50 per gallon in California baby, cash money speaks the best English here right now.

Here are some simple problems and none that RSD staff can control:

1) I’m there at my local record store at 9:30AM with my left hand on the doorknob. At 10:00AM the store opens. At 10:01 I am picking RSD Exclusives off the RSD wall like I was playing ‘The Money Tree’ game on “Name That Tune.” At 10:08AM, I have a Hammermill ‘legal size’ copy paper box FILLED with RSD stuff and I’m trying to get out the door. At 10:10AM, there are 6 teenagers coming through the door looking for RSD stuff. The store clerk says, “You’re too late.” These kids are ready to cry, not only do they work crappy pizza joints and can only spend $10.00 on a vinyl record, I’ve just handed over the store seven $100.00 bills.

Now the kids wanna see what’s in my box. I show them and they really do cry this time. The retailer ordered 10 of many ‘hot’ titles and only 1 or 2 came in. That is problem #1. Why stay for cookies, cupcakes, apple juice and an in-store band that is probably gonna play a song from an RSD Exclusive that the person couldn’t even get…and it’s only 10:15AM, man.

1) Come on RSD staff, it doesn’t matter who signs what contract. 80% of these indpendent stores are hurting and the next day, the ‘hot’ title is on ebay and Amazon for over TRIPLE the price. I spoke with 2 of them and they said, “YES, we kept hot titles back to sell the next day.” I WAS A CUSTOMER, I just paid $150.00 each for The Deftones & The Foo Fighters cover albums. $312.00 incl. shipping and you can bet it came from Cali.

3) You will never, ever, ever stop the independent store owners from taking care of their best customers. RSD staff, you couldn’t give me a decent reason in the world why customers should not be able to pre-order RSD titles. It’s all about supporting them right? It doesn’t make sense.

4) Proof of the scam…Those 5 titles on clear with colored speckles of Hank III never left the hands of industry insiders did they? Text messaging is instant and NO ONE ever saw any of those ANYWHERE.

The solution:

It’s so simple it’s sick…and one of the the biggest companies in the record business did it the most honest way. WB put out their ‘Side By Side” colored vinyl 7″ series in amounts of like 6,500. I think everyone was happy and it was cool that Warners only did a few things (awesome choices) and pressed plenty of them. So there is your answer RSD; only 50-75 titles and press 10,000 of them so everyone gets one and no sad faces.

I was so lucky, I got really everything to die for. Palm Sunday was the day after RSD, and I was in church at 7:00AM and lit a candle for all 60 RSD titles I was able to get. The priest had to run to CVS pharmacy to get 18 more candles for me to light…..the last candle I lit was a 20 pound one for RSD 2012 that they get their act together and make some rules that they can control.

We need an ambassador that is not going to take crap and will kick butt…LADY GAGA, maybe you’re the one for 2012….you can dress up in a pure vinyl 45’s custom made dress!!

Good luck next year…I don’t know anyone who’s not participating next year…they made too much the day after on Amazon where it’s legal to ask any price you want and baby…IT SELLS!!!!!!

Now my local vinyl buddies call me The Serial Killer of Record Store Day because I wiped-out all the local vinyl shops’ RSD stuff.

It’s GOTTA GET BETTER MAN!!!!

Attention: All vinyl.com customers~

Sundazed Music’s extremely limited colored vinyl pressings are selling out like hotcakes. Many of them are SOLD OUT worldwide now.

We still have a few left. Please go to our ‘colored vinyl’ link and check ’em out.
As of yesterday, there were still 2 copies of Johnny Cash’s Original Sun Singles: A Two-Album set on a Gorgeous 180 GRAM pressing using GOLD w/ WHITE SPECKS colored vinyl.

Also sold out worldwide is The Challengers in STEREO on a nice thick 180 gram BRIGHT SOLID FIRE ENGINE RED vinyl (psst, the LP is called The Challengers Go Sidewalk Surfing and we have 3 left.)

Also grab the LINK WRAY “Jack The Ripper” on 180 GRAM CLEAR GOLD COLOR & the absolutely gorgeous JEFFERSON AIRPLANE “After Bathing At Baxter’s” on a BRIGHT SOLID FIRE ENGINE RED 180 GRAM “Mono” VINYL.

Vinyl.com may be the only place in the world that has a few of these left.
Hurry Hurry Hurry I tell ya’!!!

Colored Vinyl here at vinyl.com!

Well, I finally got around to making HOT PICKS for our colored vinyl link here at vinyl.com. These are very cool and I have a pretty accurate color memory of each one.

OK, without further adue:

Let’s start with classic Motown, and there are 5 releases.
There are 3 by Stevie Wonder & 2 by Marvin Gaye.
Stevie Wonder~Music Of My Mind (Tan Marbled)
Stevie Wonder~Talking Book (Tan Marbled)
Stevie Wonder~Innervisions (Clear Red)
Marvin Gaye~What’s Going On (Solid Beige)
Marvin Gaye~Let’s Get It On (Tan Marbled)
Absolutely Gorgeous!

OK, now it’s time for what I call “The Magnificent 7”
These HOT 7 artists have just about their whole classic catalog out on colored vinyl. They are:

1 Black Sabbath (the first 4 LP’s that are straight up UK “NEMS” reissues all on Clear Vinyl)
2 Curtis Mayfield (his first 5 classic solo LP’s all on Clear Red)
3 The Ramones (their first 5 classic LP’s all on Clear Red)
4 The Velvet Underground (their first 4 classic studio LP’s and the Live@Max’s LP.
Each of the 5 is on a different color of vinyl.
5 The New York Dolls (their only 2 LP’s both on Clear Red)
6 The Meters (their first 6 classis LP’s, 3 for Josie and 3 for Warner Brothers. The Josie’s are Clear Gold, 2 of the Warners are Clear Red and the Cabbage Alley is (duh) Clear Green)
7 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band (his first 6 classic LP’s plus Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller). There are varying colors (White, Clear, Red)

Now on to something a little more obscure. A label called Mainstream which was owned by Bob Shad and this guy was not afraid to put out a full LP by every psychedelic band that was making local noise. His claim to fame was (of course) Big Brother & The Holding Company and The Amboy Dukes featuring a wild Ted Nugent on lead guitar. We have a total of 22 titles all on a Clear Red color. Out of these 22 titles, there were probably only 10 hits and they were regional at best; but the quality and passion was there. Recommendations would have to be A Pot Of Flowers, The Superfine Dandelion, Lincoln St. Exit, Tangerine Zoo and The Tiffany Shade.

Here are all 22 titles:
1 two LP’s by John Berberian
2 Various Artisits~A Pot Of Flowers
3 The Superfine Dandelion
4 The Tiffany Shade
5 Bohemian Vendetta
6 The Tangerine Zoo
7 The Growing Concern
8 The Amboy Dukes
9 Ellie Pop
10 Stone Circus
11 Nucleus
12 The Last Nikle
13 Lincoln St. Exit
14 Josephus
15 December’s Children
16 Henry Tree
17 Freeport
18 Katmandu
19 Lacewing
20 The Jelly Bean Bandits
21 The Art Of Lovin’

Other ‘killer’ titles on a Clear Red vinyl are:
Parliament~Mothership Connection
Aretha Franklin~Young, Gifted And Black
Tim Buckley~1st
The Jam~In The City
James Brown~Live At The Apollo Volume 1
Wilson Pickett~In The Midnight Hour
Otis Redding~Pain In My Heart
The Dead Boys (their only 2 classic Sire LP’s)
Richard Hell & The Voidoids~Blank Generation
Skull Snaps~same
Alice Cooper~Easy Action
3 early Kool & The Gang LP’s
Lalo Schiffrin~Mission: Impossible TV Soundtrack
Jane Fonda’s Barbarella Soundtrack
Baby Huey~The Living Legend
Grandmaster Flash’s groundbreaking rap LP called The Message

Even more ‘killer’ colors of classic stuff:
The first 3 Deep Purple LP’s on (what else?) Purple Vinyl
2 classic Dr. John LP’s on Yellow
Iron Butterfly’s classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on Yellow
2 Cymande LP’s on Blue
Capitol Records rarities are:
Serge Chaloff~Blue Serge on Blue & that 1st Gandalf on Blue
The first Electric Prunes LP on Purple
The classic rap LP by Black Sheep on White
The 2 classic J.B.’s LP’s on Purple
2 rare Sun Ra titles from Actuel Records on Blue

Last but not least, check out our titles on colored vinyl from Sundazed Music:
These are selling out like hotcakes right now
1 13th Floor elevators (now sold out worldwide)
2 Margo Guryan
3 The Standells
4 Johnny Cash (ACT FAST: as of April 13, 2011 these are SOLD OUT worldwide)
5 Link Wray
6 Jefferson Airplane
7 The Lovin’ Spoonful
8 The Pretty Things
9 The Challengers (now sold out worldwide)
10 The Trashmen (now sold out worldwide)
11 The Tornadoes (now sold out worldwide)
12 Eddie Cochran
13 Wanda Jackson

Be SURE you check out our colored vinyl link, tons of cool stuff that is hot right now!

Happy (colorful) listening til next time!

Sundazed: The Remains on 180 gram Blue Vinyl…

and there are only 100 of these.
The LP is called “A Session With The Remains” and is the band’s favorite recording for portraying their raw ‘live sound’ that they could never get in the studio. I first became aware of them through a dumb distributor that always sent me the wrong records. This time they sent me a copy of the French (Eva Records) “Diddy wah Diddy” LP by mistake. That was a good mistake! Oh my god, everything they did in the studio was on that puppy.

I must say that I can listen to “Don’t Look Back” 100 times in a row. It has everything in a pop single…even gospel…it is my favorite track.

OK, back to this release. It was a concert recording in front of all the Capitol Records execs, and played at 6:00AM (it was actually 9:00AM, but if you were in The Remains, it felt like 6:00AM). Side 2 is very cool and almost every song is a rehearsal in great sound quality done in TRUE STEREO.
I will not agree with the band about this being their best, after all, ‘Why Do I Cry’ (an excellent song) was the only band written number. The rest were all covers-of-the-day (grunt, I hate covers-of-the-day bands, unless it’s The Astronauts).

In conclusion, The Remains are finally turning heads (they’ve reformed for some dates in Boston)….it only took 45 years to be appreciated.
Barry, Vern, Billy & Chip…..you guys rocked! Another thing I must point out is the drum sound of Chip Damiani on this live thing. He really was under-rated….listen to the rolls and fills~WOW!

I’d jump on this special BLUE pressing for sure!

The Rolling Stones…thank you very much

Finally, we can all complete our collection of everything The Stones released as a ‘single’ with this new 45 CD box set, and let me say it right now: each CD rounds out to be about $4.00 each (and some have 8 tracks per disc). THIS IS GONNA SOUND GREAT!!!

Thanks Mick & Keith! Although it seems like this project was the idea of Bill Wyman? He is supposedly The Stones archivist? Hmm? Are they even speaking?
OK tongue lovers, here is what you get:
Everything from ‘Brown Sugar’ (1971) through ‘Rain Fall Down’ (2006). And let me tell you, EVERYTHING is included in between for a total of 45 CD’s.

Why am I so excited about this? Because in 2004 & 2005 Abkco put out 3 different box sets covering 1963-1971 (’63-’65), (’65-’67), (’68-’71) and what a killer job they did on the picture sleeves and sound. I remember cleaning glass for a picture framing company for 3 months for extra money to purchase these 3 for $200.00…cut up fingers and all.

Anyways, EMI/Universal (through the fantastic Hip-O records), are doing this Atlantic/WEA/ EMI singles set and doing it right. Why have 3 different box sets? Put all those puppies in one big box and slap the famous ‘pink tongue’ logo (from the original 7″ singles sleeves) all over it.

So, you get 45 discs here. If you own the 3 Abkco boxes (and they are now out of print), it would give you another 33 discs.

That makes it a total of 78 discs….78 singles from The Rolling Stones baby, and make no mistake about it: the strongest part of The Rolling Stones are all those wonderful singles (many of them NOT on their albums). This CD box also boasts tons of unreleased stuff….I think there is a total of roughly 225 songs?

To sign off, all I can say are these 4 sacred words from The Stones bible:

YOU GOT ME ROCKING!
Ciao baby