Archive | August 2011

4 Men With Beards announces 3 Nina Simone RCA reissues

That’s right! Nina Simone has been a hot reissue artist over the last 5 years…and rightly so. Her voice gives off one of the most unique and powerful deliveries in the female vocal category.
(Ed. Note: Dinah Washington & Nina Simone do it for me period, they are THE TWO BEST EVER.)

Even though by admission, her RCA material as a whole was not as strong as her years with Philips/Mercury…there are many gems throughout her dozen or so albums for RCA in the 70’s.

4 Men With Beards are reissuing these 3 titles:

1) Nina Simone Sings The Blues (originally released in 1967 as her 1st RCA album)

2) To Love Somebody (originally released in 1969 as her 5th RCA album)

3) Here Comes The Sun (originally released in 1971 as her 7th RCA album; it contains only COVER songs)

I can’t quite understand why 4 Men With Beards just happened to pick these 3 titles. I can tell you right now that her 1st for RCA (Nina Simone Sings The Blues) is a real scorcher and really was only able to equal this with her killer 1974 RCA album “It Is Finished” and of course the LIVE album for RCA from 1972 tilted “Emergency Ward” (both available for just pennies as a 180 gram remastered killer reissue here at

I’d say get Nina Sings The Blues first, and then save your money for the other ones, since these 180 gram reissues from 4 Men With Beards will cost around $19.00.
In closing, please please be aware that here at, we pretty much carry everything Nina reissues and we will surely soon have these 3 titles, so keep checking. There is another company that is reissuing a couple more of her real early releases (Roulette stuff circa 1963?), but I can’t quite remember what I saw?

Anything by her is pretty much a given… it will waken your senses.

Ciao for now!

U2:"Achtung Baby" Super DeLuxe Set coming 11/1/11

Coming on November 1, 2011:

20th Anniversary Supber Deluxe Edition on 180g 2LP + 5 x 7″ Vinyl Singles + 6CD + 4DVD + 84 Page Book

To commemorate 20 years since its original 1991 release, U2 and Island Records are now releasing an anniversary edition of Achtung Baby.

Recorded over six months at Hansa Studio in Berlin and Windmill Lane in Dublin, Achtung Baby is U2’s seventh studio album. Produced by long time U2 collaborators, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno with Steve Lillywhite, Achtung Baby was engineered by Flood and led by “The Fly.” The album spawned four other singles, “Mysterious Ways,” “One,” “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.”

Twenty years ago, Bono described Achtung Baby as “the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree,” while Jon Pareles of the New York Timeswrote that “stripped-down and defying its old formulas, U2 has given itself a fighting chance for the 1990’s.” The album won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance and became one of the most significant records of the ’90s and of U2’s career.

The Achtung Baby archives have unearthed some previously unreleased songs from the recording sessions. With a raft of unreleased material; video, remixes, b-sides and documentary footage discovered, a full album of demo and early versions of the final 1991 track listing has also been revealed.

This limited, numbered Uber Deluxe Edition comes in a magnetic puzzle tiled box and contains: 6 CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides, remixes and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions; 4 DVDs including ‘From The Sky Down’, ‘Zoo TV: Live From Sydney’, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material; the Achtung Baby double vinyl album plus 5 clear 7″ vinyl singles in their original sleeves; 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, 4 badges, a sticker sheet and a pair of Bono’s trademark ‘The Fly’ sunglasses.

• Gatefold wallet containing 6 CD audio discs (the album, follow-up Zooropa, remixes and reworkings from Achtung Baby sessions)
• Gatefold wallet containing 4 DVD discs (including ‘From the Sky Down’ documentary’, ‘Zoo TV: Live From Sydney’, videos and bonus material).
• Album vinyl on 180gsm black vinyl in wide spine sleeve with 2 x inner bags
• 5×7” clear vinyl in original sleeves housed in a slipcase
• 84 page hardback book
• 16 page 12×12 oversized booklet
• Bono’s trademark ‘The Fly’ sunglasses
• 4 x enamel badges
• Propaganda magazine
• 16 art prints in wallet
• Sticker sheet
• Exclusive numbered lithograth

List Price: $589.99

OK readers, if you just wanna get the 180 gram vinyl 4 LP box set, it will cost you around $169.99. But guess what? 2 of the LP’s (the re-mix LP’s) will be on 180 gram Tranparent Blue vinyl. The only other thing that you get with this set that is also on the $600.00 super deluxe set is the 16 page 12 X 12 booklet. Since there are NO CD’s with this set, you will get an MP3 download card for everything on this box. You DON’T get that with the $600.00 one…if you can believe that mess? This release is not as ridiculous as The Smiths upcoming ‘complete Smiths’ set. The Achtung Baby LP was really under-rated, but I’ll just keep my German GREEN VINYL copy thank you. I never did like the ambient remixed stuff. I prefer…the songs!!


The Complete Smiths Box Set: A Complete Waste!

This total waste of vinyl is being issued by RhinoVinyl UK in 3 different options:

Super DeLuxe (Retail: $410.00)
DeLuxe (Retail $249.99)
Standard (Retail $59.99)

The Standard version is an 8 CD set due out September 25, 2011. It has the following albums:
1 The Smiths (uk track running order)
2 Meat Is Murder (uk track running order)
3 God Save The Queen
4 Strangeways, Here We Come
5 Hatful Of Hollow compilation (expanded track list)
6 The World Won’t Listen compilation
7 Louder Than Bombs compilation
8 “RANK” live album

The Deluxe version is an 11 LP 180 gram remastered set due out on October 3, 2011. It includes:
1 The Smiths (uk track running order)
2 Meat Is Murder (uk track running order)
3 God Save The Queen
4 Strangeways, Here We Come
5 “RANK” live album
6 Hatful Of Hollow (expanded with more tracks to a 2LP set)
7 The World Won’t Listen (expanded to 2LP’s *NO EXTRA TRACKS*)
8 Louder Than Bombs (2LP’s which duplicate the USA version)
this box set also comes with a 12″ booklet and a 36 X 24 poster of the box set cover

Super DeLuxe version will also be out on October 3, 2011 in a limited edition of only 3000 units and combines everything on the Standard & Deluxe version PLUS:
1 extra art prints
2 twenty five 7″ vinyl singles
3 a DVD loaded with every Smiths music video
4 an HQ digital download card for everything on this box
none of the vinyl is COLORED…can you belive it? And worse is that all of this vinyl is still easily found everywhere…apart from the 7″ singles.

OK….deep breath….stay composed….and….WHAT THE HECK IS RHINOVINYL DOING?????

Are they crazy? Here are 4 big reasons this is a total waste:

1 The 1st four Smiths LP’s were remastered and reissued….what??….was it only a year ago? 180 grammers and they sounded great and there are still tons left and here at…we have plenty.

2 Even though that 1988 “RANK” live LP may be rarer than we think, it was average. Sire Records didn’t press a lot of them because of the big CD boom in the USA.

3 As far as that live album, it wasn’t really bad. The problem is that there are so many 1983 & 1984 club dates that were bootlegged and let me tell you folks…those bootlegs were rip-snortin’ rockin’ out energetic blasters that made “RANK” sound like a Mickey Mouse Club audition.

4 Count the repeat tracks on the 3 compilation albums and then you will see the truth: it’s another rip-off repackaging job…and let me tell you this folks…Morrissey IS NOT into this. This man is the man that always gave us more for our money by putting many quality songs as B-sides of EVERYTHING he EVER released, God bless him.

Don’t they know that the average kid can’t even make rent these days? The 8 CD box is really stupid. Unless it goes for no more than $24.00, no one will get it. All these kids have every classic Smiths/Morrissey track in digital format on their iPods…probably for FREE?

I am not dissing the music at all, just the rip-off way it gets re-packaged and re-packaged again and again. And let me tell you this; RhinoVinyl UK has always blown my mind with their reissues. Everytime I go on their website, I shake in my chair because I know there will be an all-too-cool box set that is gonna cost me about $170.00. Last December, they put out a seven inch singles box set by Joy Division featuring all 10 of their original singles. About 2 years ago they did the same thing with The Smiths 1st 10 singles…and Morrissey got to choose the cover for the outer box. It was an awsome 60’s shot from The Man From Uncle with a killer sports car and a total 60’s aura about it. Good job Morrissey. I thought maybe RhinoVinyl UK would make me shiver with a better offering. Maybe a 7 inch vinyl singles box set of Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jesus And Mary Chain…or even The Cure? Jeesh, Rhino owns all the rights and licenses to these 3 anyways. Rhino usually rocks. They did Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” remastered on 180 gram PINK VINYL with a poster, 3 of their soundtracks were on cool colored vinyl, they really let me down here though.

Well, on October 3rd…I sure won’t be waiting for a big box from England, I’ll be rockin’ out to my 1983 live bootlegs and colored vinyl & picture disc bootlegs of their 1st four LP’s. The Smiths ROCK…this release doesn’t!

Twisted Sister: The Kids Are Back, Mutha!

Well, let me first start by saying this:


I purchased Twisted Sister’s “Under The Blade” on vinyl the day it came out in 1982 on Secret Records…without knowing a damn thing about them. Never ever heard of them. The reason I grabbed this on contact was because it was on Secret Records. This was the home of The Exploited, The 4 Skins, The Business, Chron Gen, Infa-Riot…and 4 killer classic “Oi!” albums. Twisted Sister had nothing to do with any of these groups. This record was a total departure for Secret Records. It must be told, however, that Secret Records morphed into Music For Nations and wiped out their punk/Oi! roster and replaced it with just heavy metal artists. They were the first to put Metallica on vinyl, releasing a handful of singles, E.P.’s and those 1st three classic albums.

OK, back to sister. I’m assuming Secret Records broke tradition because of the hysteria of Twisted Sister’s live shows in the clubs of England? To be totally honest, the original issue of “Under The Blade” was not all that well produced. The attitude, songs, and performance were top notch. It’s just that producer (Pete Way, bassist and leader of the classic UFO), just could not get the guitar sound to really sparkle the way it should have. This first issue really sounded like demos for a record company. That was the way I felt in 1982, and that’s the way I feel about it now. Obviously, I wasn’t alone. In April of 1985 (3 years after this LP came out, and 1 year after the “Stay Hungry” LP broke big), bassist Mark Mendoza & Denny McNerney remixed the whole thing. In my 43,000 plus record collection, I can’t think of a better record that got remixed than this one. Mark (who played bass with the now legendary Dictators almost 5 years before joining sister), and Denny just took a guitar sound and splattered it all over your face. I’d even guess that guitars were re-recorded? It sounded like a new album. If that wasn’t enough, the LP had a rare bonus track that was the first Twisted Sister recording and independent single called, “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!

Back On Black records out of the UK has just reissued this but it is the original, muddy recording which is probably rare by now? It is expanded to a double album and it includes all 4 tracks from their “Ruff Cutts” E.P. that came out just a few months before “Under The Blade.”

Back On Black is also issuing Twisted Sister’s sophomore album, “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” and their 4th LP titled, “Come Out And Play.”

“You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” had a much better sound, and is probably my pet LP by them. Mostly because it was actually a good record and in the U.S. it was ignored…bad timing for sure I would say? I always thought that producer Stuart Epps created a groundbreaking super clean king of processed (but raw) rhythm guitar sound. Even though Ratt’s “Out Of The Cellar” blew out everything in it’s way a year later and sounded more like Aerosmith, the ideas used on “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” were used on the Ratt LP by Beau Hill (who actually produce the “Love Is For Suckers” album by sister). There is the clean guitar and backwards drum intros etc. etc. Ratt’s album sounded nothing like Twisted Sisters; it’s just that there are so many similar ideas that were done a whole year before Ratt’s LP. Should “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” have been the breakthrough LP for sister? I SAY YES! Another bad thing was the wimpy album cover used in the U.S. for it. Black background with pink block letters made it look like a PickWick budget LP. The UK/German version was way cooler with the cinnamon background color to bring out the steel TS logo. It looks like Back On Black in going to use the U.S. cover, which is fine with me since I don’t have it.

OK, “Come Out And Play”. The first thing I’m wondering is if Back On Black is going to do the Dee Snider pop-out sewer cover that was on first pressings of the American version? I think not. I know a lot of people thought that this is where Twisted Sister started to have a problem coming up with top notch material and sounds. Who cares what they think? The lead-off single was (no pun intended), “Leader Of The Pack” (a 1965 chart-topper for New York’s Shangri-Las) is the epitome of what Twisted Sister is all about.Fun, funny and cool…all at the same time. Anyone who takes Twisted Sister too seriously is a fool. It’s just happy, fun rock and roll…which is what rock and roll IS!!! I know that 1987’s “Love Is For Suckers” was a creative and sales disaster, but I love many of the songs on that album. The only drugs Twisted Sister ever took were double shots of coffee. They weren’t carrying around balloons of dope or bottles of booze. They were clean living family guys who played attitudial, kickass fun rock.

We should all just do what Dee’s been telling us to do for 30 years:


Ed. Note: Back On Black is not doing Twister Sister’s biggest and most well known 1984 album titled “Stay Hungry” and I totally respect them for it. This LP is easily available (even right here on in remastered form with a 180 gram PINK VINYL and a 4 foot color poster on RhinoVinyl records…and it sounds great. There is also a 2CD with a bonus disc of like 12 unreleased tracks from the period.

In closing, all I can recommend is that you give the “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” LP another chance…put on headphones and let it RIP!!!

Late Note: 10 minutes ago, I just saw that Live At The Marquee is coming on Rhino. It was originally all the B-Sides of all their singles and E.P.’s (which of course I have all of them). Look for it…some are autographed by the band. For 30 years, I’ve always thought, “Hey, they should make a live LP out of all these B-sides…now 30 years later, it’s is actually going to happen.”



Back On Black: Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister & Cradle Of Filth

Back On Black records out of the UK has just announced classic heavy metal reissues to be released for the rest of 2011…and it reads like a HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARTY:
There will be 4 Alice Cooper albums, 3 Twisted Sister albums and I believe 3 Cradle Of Filth albums?
(Ed. Note: For more info on Twisted Sister, see my article titled,
“Twisted Sister: The Kids Are Back, Mutha!)

Here is the tentative Back On Black Rock Classics vinyl reissue schedule:
All the UFO (with Michael Schenker on guitar), Manowar and Testament albums are out now. There are 5 more UFO albums (with Paul Chapman on guitar) and Rainbows’ “Bent Out Of Shape” LP that should all hit the states by early to mid September?

Coming soon:
Making Contact (2LP, Brown vinyl)
Misdemeanor (2 LP, Grey vinyl)
No Place To Run (2LP, Orange vinyl)
The Wild The Willing And The Innocent (2 LP, Red vinyl)
Mechanix (2 LP, Clear vinyl)

Bent Out Of Shape (2 LP, Green vinyl)

Also out very soon:
Twisted Sister
Under The Blade (2 LP, Yellow vinyl)
You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll (1 LP, Clear vinyl)
Come Out And Play, (1 LP, Hot Pink vinyl)
(Ed. Note: they just shipped my copy of Under The Blade NOW)

Due October 17
Alice Cooper
Brutal Planet (Yellow vinyl)
Dragontown (Orange vinyl)

Due November 14
Alice Cooper
The Eyes Of Alice Cooper (White vinyl)
Dirty Diamonds (Red vinyl)

Also, there will be 2 Rory Gallagher LP’s (one on Grey vinyl & the other on Blue vinyl), called Live At Montreaux & The Beat Club Sessions, Germany…set for a November 14 release date also.
The Cradle of Filth’s I’m not sure about yet…so stay tuned.
Oh, there will bw a 2LP release called “Live In Texas” by ZZ Top. No date or color is announced yet, so stay tuned. It looks like this is out right now on CD though?

Stay tuned & keep rockin’

Sundazed announces August 2011 reissues

You all knew this one was coming soon, so let me fill you in.
Scheduled to be released on August 30, 2011:

Three classic John Mayall albums. All three are coming out on two formats
1) 180 gram vinyl (MONO)
2) compact disc (MONO)

I don’t know what Sundazed is up to? As a shock to many of you out there, I’m so sorry to report that there are NO bonus tracks on either the LP or especially the CD version. Whaddup wit dat?
(Ed. Note: thank god I purchased the expanded double LP versions of these 3 albums from Russia’s now defunct “Vinyl Lovers” label back in 2008…I reckon they each had like 10 bonus tracks of outtakes and there was so much live material.)

Here are the titles:

1) July 1966~John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (ERIC CLAPTON, The Cream)
2) February 1967~A Hard Road (PETER GREEN, Fleetwood Mac)
3) September 1967~Crusade (MICK TAYLOR, The Rolling Stones)

OK, even though these all come totally recommended; I must question Sundazed’s decision to do “A Hard Road” and “Crusade” in mono. There is a neat, clean bottleneck guitar played by Peter Green on most of the left channel on the stereo version of “A Hard Road.” Also, by the time Mayall recorded “Crusade”, he was adding a lot of other sounds and shifting a bit towards a big jazz band direction with saxophones and what have you. Why on earth would you want mono for a big full textured clean sound? I can totally understand the LP with Eric Clapton in (duh?) mono. I just listened to the stereo version of “A Hard Road” and oh my god, the clean drums and slide guitar on the left channel and the harmonica in the middle in mono…it just can’t be beat in stereo. I try not to diss everything Sundazed does in mono, but these two belong in stereo…period. Sundazed’s reissues of The 1st Velvet Underground & Nico, the 1st Blue Cheer (Vincebus Eruptum), and the 1st 13th Floor Elevators all rip the roof off in mono.
These 1967 Mayalls…DO NOT!

We will definitely stock these, and we already have the Blue Cheer, Velvet Underground and 13th Floor Elevators in stock, so check ’em out.