Tag Archives: Vinyl

Why 60’s album covers are worth it

19 Feb

“Nashville Skyline,” Bob Dylan, 1969.

While in the middle of Nothing-But-Cornfields, Illinois this past weekend, I stumbled across a book worthy enough to earn itself a mention on a music blog.

To me, one of the strongest arguments for keeping vinyl around is the art. It’s not just that many of album covers are gorgeous – they’re funky, mind-bending, and indicative of an era.  Album artwork can say as much as any piece of art in a museum, only it’s better since it comes with music. A good cover draws you in, makes you take a chance on a new band.

All of this made Storm Thorgerson’s Classic Album Covers of the 60’s a must-have. While there is some narration, this book is more a gallery of a decade, starting in the early years where bands wore suits and stood, smiling, in a line; moving through the jazz to psyychedlic to hard core psychedelic. There are pterodactyls, houses built out of grapes, musicians dressed as wizards and women floating underwater. There’s the nude portrait of Yoko Ono and John Lennon and Led Zepplin’s zephyr.

And, while the book highlights classic, timeless bands – The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimmi Hendrix and Bob Dylan – there are albums also chosen solely for the their amazing art, perhaps not well-known but still amazing to look at.

“The Fool,” The Fool, 1969.

I wasn’t alive in the 60’s. Thorgerson makes me wish I was. With every turn of the page I tasted an era and found another album I wanted to listen to. Scrolling through an ITunes library will never compare.

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Kiss Releases All 29 Casablanca Singles In New Vinyl Box Set

1 Jan

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Kiss Casablanca Vinyl Box Set.

When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch.
Rolling numbers, rock and rollin, got my Kiss records out.

Surrender, Cheap Trick.

In their continuing non-stop quest for world domination, Kiss has released all 29 of their Casablanca Record 7″ singles in a new vinyl box set. Included in the set are 26 collectable picture sleeves from each original single release from around the world. Additionally, each of the four Kiss solo singles come pressed on colored vinyl, with paper masks of each of the original members. A complete list of all the singles follows:

1. Nothin’ To Lose / Love Theme From KISS
2. Kissin’ Time / Nothin’ To Lose
3. Strutter / 100,000 Years
4. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll / Hotter Than Hell (Germany sleeve)
5. Rock And Roll All Nite / Getaway (Holland sleeve)
6. C’mon And Love Me / Getaway (Japan sleeve)
7. Rock And Roll All Nite (live) / Rock And Roll All Nite (Germany sleeve)
8. Shout It Out Loud / Sweet Pain (Japan sleeve)
9. Flaming Youth / God Of Thunder (U.S. sleeve)
10. Detroit Rock City / Beth (Japan sleeve)
11. Beth / Detroit Rock City (Germany sleeve)
12. Hard Luck Woman / Mr. Speed (Germany sleeve)
13. Calling Dr. Love / Take Me (Germany sleeve)
14. Christeen Sixteen / Shock Me (France sleeve)
15. Love Gun / Hooligan (Sweden sleeve)
16. Shout It Out Loud (live) / Nothin’ To Lose (live) (Germany sleeve)
17. Rocket Ride / Tomorrow And Tonight (live) (Germany sleeve)
18. Strutter ’78 / Shock Me (Germany sleeve)
19. Hold Me, Touch Me / Goodbye – Paul Stanley (U.K. sleeve / Purple vinyl) + mask
20. New York Groove / Snow Blind – Ace Frehley (U.K. sleeve / Blue vinyl) + mask
21. Radioactive / See You In Your Dreams – Gene Simmons (U.K. sleeve / Red vinyl) + mask
22. Don’t You Let Me Down / Hooked On Rock ‘N’ Roll – Peter Criss (Germany sleeve)
23. You Matter To Me / Hooked On Rock ‘N’ Roll – Peter Criss (U.K. sleeve / Green vinyl) + mask
24. I Was Made For Lovin’ You / Hard Times (Germany sleeve)
25. Sure Know Something / Dirty Livin’ (Germany sleeve)
26. Shandi / She’s So European (Holland sleeve)
27. Tomorrow / Naked City (Japan sleeve)
28. A World Without Heroes / Dark Light (Spain sleeve)
29. I Love It Loud / Danger (U.S. sleeve)

And, while I’ve got your attention, why not check out Purple Dog’s vintage catalog of Kiss’s Casablanca releases? And trust me dear vinyl lover, there is nothing quite as sweet as the sight of that old Casablanca spindle hole logo rolling around on your turntable.

Fear And Loathing In Toronto: “Vinyl” Documentary Is Worth A Spin

30 Dec

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Vinyl. A documentary film from 2000 by Alan Zweig.

Following the recommendation of one of my closest and most trusted record/movie addicts, I watched “Vinyl”, a celebrated documentary by Canadian filmmaker Alan Zweig. Five years in the making, Vinyl is (at times) a very dark film that is impossible to look away from. It’s also far too easy to identify with some of the attributes of Zweig’s cast of LP loving characters, as well as the solitary filmmaker himself.

In Vinyl, Zweig (an avid record collector), converses with the camera through a mirror, reflecting on his day-to-day life — killing mice, making mix tapes for himself — while lamenting the fact that he’d rather be putting together a bicycle for his yet-to-be born daughter. Aged 48 at the time, Zweig had unfortunately not yet found a wife to have said daughter with. If that isn’t sad enough, during the course of the film Zweig introduces us to some of his fellow audiophiles: collectors that run the gamut  from Coltrane obsessives, chain-smoking K-tel enthusiasts, to straight-up record hoarders. He explores basements and bathrooms filled with 45’s and 12″s, tries to reason with a fellow collector who no longer has room to move in his small apartment due to his vinyl obsession, is told by a friend that the reason he can’t find a wife is because he’s “too fat”, and celebrates New Year’s Eve alone. Again. It’s not surprising that half-way through Vinyl, you start to wonder if Zweig might have decided he’d be better off record shopping with Jimi Hendrix up in heaven.

Thankfully, Zweig’s story has a happy ending. Now 60, Zweig is happily married and a father to a daughter born in 2011. He has four more documentary style films to his credit that have been well received, and is currently filming his fifth full-length feature, “When Jews Were Funny”. Zweig says that the success of Vinyl “changed his life”.

It’s pretty easy to watch Vinyl in its entirety online, but I’m not going to be the one to tell you exactly where. I will however recommend that you follow Zweig, a self-described “late bloomer” (aren’t we all?) on Twitter.

New Black Sabbath Vinyl Box Set Coming on 12/12/12

6 Dec

The Vinyl Collection: Limited Edition Black Sabbath Box Set
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Distributed by: Universal Records

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Good news for metalheads abounds this holiday season, as Universal Records announced they are set to release a Black Sabbath vinyl box set that will include all nine records by the bands original 1970-1978 lineup. Led by Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, this era of Sabbath produced some of the most iconic metal songs ever recorded.

The reproductions in this soon-to-be-released box set were remastered from the band’s own personal archives, and were pressed on 180-gram vinyl. As box sets go, this one contains lots of extras including a 7″ vinyl of debut single ‘Evil Woman’ and non-album B-side ‘Wicked World’. Here’s the rundown of what approximately a mere $300 bucks gets you:

1. Black Sabbath (1970)

2. Paranoid (1970)

3. Master of Reality (1970, includes poster)

4. Volume 4 (1972, with photo insert book)

5. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

6. Sabotage (1975)

7. Technical Ecstasy (1976)

8. Never Say Die (1978)

9. Live At Last (recorded in 1973, released in 1980. This is the only live Ozzy/Black Sabbath  record)

Box set extras:

· 7” Single: featuring the band’s debut single Evil Woman and non-album B-side Wicked World

· 12” x 12” Hard-backed Book: containing original tour programs from 1970, 1975, 1976 and 1978

·  “Back to Black Sabbath” download voucher: for easy download of the full set

DJ Cherrybomb