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Hot Thoughts'Hot Thoughts', Spoon's 9th album, is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of their career, though keep in mind, Britt Daniel's already overseen a number of other reincarnations. With all due respect to earlier efforts that have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That's not to say 'Hot Thoughts' doesn't have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there's a lyrical bent that's as carnal as it's crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre-smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated.
Produced by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Weezer, MGMT) and back with Matador (third time's the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career.
We are overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Daniel's spot in the pantheon of rock's genius songwriters was well established a ways back - with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on 'Hot Thoughts', the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It's pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.1. Hot Thoughts
3. Do I Have To Talk You Into It
4. First Caress
5. Pink Up
6. Can I Sit Next To You
7. I Ain't The One
8. Tear It Down
10. Us$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-TRU-8000xHot 8 Brass Band
On The SpotNew Orleans' Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band release their fifth LP, 'On The Spot'. In true Hot 8 style, this album pairs hard-hitting, heart-on-sleeve sentiment with party-fuelling beats, hooks and grooves; raw funk and charismatic hip hop vocals mix with Big Easy jazz elegance. Expect unshakable horn riffs and bubbling bass as the record transports you right into the center of an electrifying Hot 8 party crowdLP 1
1. 8 Kickin' It Live (Edit)
2. Get it How You Live
3. On The Spot
4. St. James Infirmary
5. Annie Mae
6. Working Together
1. That Girl
2. Keepin' It Funky
3. Bottom Of The Bucket (Edit)
4. Can't Nobody Get Down
5. Sweetest Taboo$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Includes 2 CD Insert
The latest in Tru Thoughts' series of essential label compilations, compiled by A&R and label co-owner Robert Luis is "Shapes: Rectangles"
The compilation brings the best of the current sound of the label across 28 tracks, including a handful of remixes, upfront exclusives, and cuts previously
only available on other formats, as well as the odd stone cold classic.
Serving to reinforce Tru Thoughts' reputation as home to a diverse array of talent, the artists showcased here include Alice Russell, Quantic, Lost Midas,
Ty, Hot 8 Brass Band, Nostalgia 77 and more.LP 1
1. Lost Midas - Love Undone (feat. Taylor O'Donnell)
2. Harleighblu - This Way (Astro Raw Remix)
3. Werkha - Tempo Tempo
4. Ty - Knock Knock (DJ Spinna Beyond Real Remix)
5. Peshay - Vanguard
6. The Hot 8 Brass Band - Can't Hide The Truth
7. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Hooligan feat. nia andrews
1. Alice Russell - For A While (Lost Midas Remix)
2. Zed Bias - Lucid Dreams feat. Falty DL
3. Drumagick - Sunday Morning
4. Titeknots - Triangle Tracks
5. Kalbata - SUS feat. Clapper Priest
6. Peshay - Seville$17.99Vinyl LP + 2 CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Shapes CirclesDouble LP Comes With Full 2 CD Insert
"Shapes: Circles" is the latest in Tru Thoughts' series of essential label compilations, compiled by A&R and label co-owner Robert Luis.
The compilation brings the best of the current sound of the label across 30 tracks, including a handful of remixes, upfront exclusives - including a newie
from brand new signing Titeknots, and an upfront album track from rising soul sensation Harleighblu - and cuts previously only available on other formats,
as well as the odd stone cold classic.
Serving to reinforce Tru Thoughts' reputation as home to a diverse array of talent, the artists showcased here include Alice Russell, Quantic, Ty, London Posse, Zed Bias & Skream, The Bamboos & Aloe Blacc, Hot 8 Brass Band, Belleruche, Hint, Anchorsong, Wrongtom, Hidden Orchestra and many more.
The music and artists on this compilation have seen recent support across the full gamut of musical and cultural print and online press, as the profile and
standing of Tru Thoughts as one of the UK's foremost independent labels continues to rise.LP 1
1. Harleighblu - Let Me Be
2. Belleruche - Wasted Time (Ross PTH Mix)
3. Ty - Like You Never
4. Wrongtom Meets Deemas J - Jump+Move+Rock
5. Hint - Aliens Enter feat. T-Fly (Hint Remix)
6. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Get Started featuring Omar & Sheila E (Full Crate Remix)
1. Titeknots - Mind Open
2. Yannah Valdevit & Lay-Far - Empty Heart
3. The Bamboos - Where Does the Time Go? Feat. Aloe Blacc (Si-Tew Take It Back Mix)
4. Drumagick - Maracatu
5. Sleepin' Giantz - Raving Bully
6. Hint - Crash & Burn feat Natalie Storm (C.O.N.E. Remix)
1. Natural Self - The Valleys feat. Tanya Auclair & Milly Blue
2. Harleighblu - Let Me Be
3. Alice Russell - Twin Peaks
4. Belleruche - Wasted Time (Ross PTH Remix)
5. Ty - Like You Never
6. Mark de Clive-Lowe - We Renegades feat. nia andrews
7. Anchorsong - Plum Rain
8. Hint - Aliens Enter feat. T-Fly (Hint Remix)
9. Hot 8 Brass Band - Ghost Town
10. Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro - Magdalena (Acoustic Version)
11. Menagerie - The Chosen
12. Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
13. Wrongtom Meets Deemas J - Jump + Move + Rock
14. Rodney P - Live Up feat. The People's Army & Mighty Moe
15. The Bamboos - Where Does The Time Go? feat. Aloe Blacc (Si Tew Take It Back Remix)
16. Freddie Cruger & Anthony Mills Are Wildcookie - Tuesday Is Friday
17. Kinny - Floating Zzzzzzz
1. Titeknots - Mind Open
2. Hidden Orchestra - Vorka (King Britt Remix)
3. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Get Started feat. Omar & Sheila E (Full Crate Remix)
4. Yannah Valdevit & Lay-Far - Empty Heart
5. Maddslinky - Dub Is For Real feat. Mr Scruff
6. Drumagick - Maracatu 07. Mark de Clive-Lowe & The Rotterdam Jazz orchestra - Take The Space Trane
8. Hint - Crash And Burn feat. Natalie Storm (C.O.N.E. Remix)
9. Wrongtom Meets Deemas J - Jump + Move + Rock (Benny Page Remix)
10. Sleepin' Giantz - Raving Bully
11. Riz MC - All Of You feat. Aruba Red & Plan B
12. Zed Bias -Badness feat. Skream
13. London Posse - Money Mad (Drumagick D Step Remix)$17.99Vinyl LP + 2 CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Through The Dusty Paths Of Our LivesJust the name Paris evokes thoughts of romance. From tiny streetside cafes serving cafe au lait and fresh croissants to the breathtaking panoramic view as seen from atop the Eiffel Tower, the city simply oozes love. Thankfully the city of love also has a darker side. One just as dedicated to love, just love of a different kind. Love of all things heavy and all things rock. And that's the real Paris the one where Abrahma lives.
Formed in 2005 under the moniker Alcohsonic, this Parisian quartet epitimized the ideals of Rock and Roll. Blending the classic American 70's sound with blues, southern roots and just a hint of the modern Seb Bismuth, Nicolas Heller and the brothers Colin attempted to set Europe on fire. Their flame burned hot but far too bright and after five years, one LP and a scathing trail of live shows sharing the stage with the likes of Brant Bjork and Cactus, their course was run. But like a pheonix rising from it's own ashes Alcohsonic has been reborn as Abrahma.
''Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives'' is a self made monument to what might have been and an explosive first example what is yet to come. Five years on the road has hardened the sound and forged the new songs like iron in flame. Gone are any hints of 70's revivalism, buried beneath thick sludgy riffs and thundering basslines. Six hands play as one with the voice of an angry angel lighting the way. Featuring a guest appearance by Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet) and artwork designed by Alexander vonWieding ''Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives'' is a once in a lifetime debut. Catch a glimpse before the sparks begin to fly.LP1
2. Neptune Of Sorrow
3. Tears Of The Sun
4. Dandelion Dust
5. Honkin' Water Roof
6. Loa's Awakening (Prelude)
7. Vodun Pt. 1: Samedi's Awakening
8. Big Black Cloud
1. Headless Horse
2. Vodun Pt. 2: I, Zombie
3. Oceans On Sand...
4. ...Here Sleep Ghosts
5. Vodun Pt. 3: Final Asagwe
6. The Maze
7. Omega$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Kustom City U.S.A.Long Lost Hot Rod Classic Featuring Bruce Johnston!
Sourced from the Original Stereo Masters
By 1964, Bruce Johnston was already a proven veteran on the West Coast music scene. Following up the success of the Rip Chords collaboration with Terry Melcher and the hit single "Hey Little Cobra," Johnston revved up the Kustom Kings. With a mission statement " to present the most authentic hot rod album on the market," the Kustom City U.S.A. album brought together an all-star team. Bruce Johnston wrote and co-wrote much of the LP's material, as did producer/arranger/saxophonist Steve Douglas. Rounding out the band were guitarists Tommy Tedesco and Glen Campbell, Ray Pohlman on bass, Jay Migliori on second sax and Hal Blaine on drums-WOW! Tedesco and Campbell lock in gripping guitar duels while Douglas and Migliori wail over the timing belt beat of Blaine and Pohlman. Johnston contributes superb vocal and piano work and together, the Kustom Kings jam the accelerator down to the floorboard! Through the years, word of Kustom City U.S.A. and its brilliance spread through the collector scene, with copies of the LP changing hands for considerable sums. And now, just when you thought the tank was on E, Sundazed roars in with a maniacally marvelous reissue! Sourced from the original stereo masters, Kustom City U.S.A. has been tuned up and restored to showroom condition.1. In My 40 Ford
2. Asphalt Eater
3. Stick Six
5. Jive Driver
6. Tuck and Roll
7. Super Fine 39
8. Firecracker 400
9. Hey Little Cobra
10. Clutch Rider
11. Hotty 32
12. Speed Shifters$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
G I R LRedefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early '90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard's Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, Nelly's Hot in Herre, Jay-Z's I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me), Britney Spears's I'm A Slave 4 U, and Justin Timberlake's Like I Love You.
With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. He's also created a new way of looking at established stars like SnoopDogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brands Louis Vuittonand Moncler. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated YouTube channel Williams' vision continues to push pop culture forward.
G I R L is Pharrell's highly anticipated new album, and features the hit single, Happy, an international phenomenon and radio smash. Happy was first featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). It is nominated for an OSCAR this year for Best Original Song, and Pharrell will perform Happy on the OSCARs on March 2nd, on ABC.
Happy has sold more than 2.3 million tracks worldwide, and has topped the chart in more than 175 countries. Currently in the US, the song generates over 120 million weekly audience impressions across 6 radio formats - Top 40, Rhythm, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA. Happy has also just been certified Platinum.
In addition to the excitement of Pharrell's new album, he just took home four Grammy Awards, including including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year for Daft Punk s Random Access Memories, and Record of the Year as well as Best Pop Duo/Performance for Daft Punk's Get Lucky.1. Marilyn Monroe
2. Brand New (feat. Justin Timberlake)
6. Come Get It Bae (feat. Miley Cyrus)
7. Gust Of Wind (feat. Daft Punk)
8. Lost Queen
9. I Know Who You Are (feat. Alicia Keys)
10. It Girl$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Destroyer: ResurrectedRanked 496/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
This album has received recognition many years later.
In 1989, Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #36 among the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time.
In 2006, it was placed at #60 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.
The album was also featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
This is KISS's 1976 multi-platinum, landmark album Destroyer: Resurrected, newly remixed from the original master tapes by the album's original producer, Bob Ezrin. Ezrin pulled the tapes from the vaults and painstakingly remixed the entire album, enhancing the sound and bringing out its rich texture and vibrancy, while keeping the integrity of the original recording intact. Destroyer: Resurrected will also include rare and unreleased recordings rediscovered during the remixing process, plus the originally intended cover artwork.
Hot on the heels of their breakthrough hit album Alive!, KISS released their fourth studio album Destroyer which is considered the most ambitious studio recording of KISS's '70s catalog. Bob Ezrin, who had previously worked with Alice Cooper, was brought in to produce the album and among the production flourishes Ezrin introduced to KISS were sound effects, strings, a children's choir, reversed drumming and the eerie, echoing sounds of screaming children over Gene Simmons' vocals on "God of Thunder." Upon its release, Destroyer reached the No. 11 position on the Billboard Top 200 and, with the help of the surprise top-10 hit "Beth," was their first album to go platinum.
Originally released as the B-side to the single "Detroit Rock City," "Beth,"-the heart-yearning ballad co-written and performed by drummer Peter Criss-was quickly picked up by radio nationwide and became the first top 10 for KISS, climbing all the way to the No. 7 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. While going through the original tapes, a forgotten vocal piece that was originally edited out in the final mix of "Beth" was discovered and now, for the first time, the complete original vocal recording has been restored and is included in the final mix. Other rediscovered gems include a complete, alternate guitar solo for the track "Sweet Pain," now heard for the first time since it was originally recorded. The newly remixed "Sweet Pain" with the original guitar solo will be included as a bonus track. In addition to the treasures found buried in the hours of recordings, KISS classics such as "Detroit Rock City," "Shout It Out Loud," "Do You Love Me?" and "God of Thunder" were painstakingly remixed by Ezrin as he fleshed out the drums and guitars, bringing out the bottom end to the bass, making his mixes tight and tough.
In addition, Destroyer: Resurrected will now be issued with the originally intended cover art thought too controversial for the time. Created by artist Ken Kelly, the "brown" cover depicts KISS dressed in their ALIVE! costumes and standing on rubble in front of a burning city in ruins. At the time, the record company thought it was too violent and settled for the tamer "blue" version known today. This release also marked the first time that a comic-book illustration of the band appeared on the cover, confirming that the band was transforming from hard rockers to superheroes.1. Detroit Rock City
2. King Of The Night Time World
3. God Of Thunder
4. Great Expectations
5. Flaming Youth
6. Sweet Pain
7. Shout It Out Loud
9. Do You Love Me?
Sweet Pain (Original Guitar Solo)$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Know What Love Isn'tTracey Thorn wrote a song that reached Jens Lekman in the early stages of his new album, I Know What Love Isn't. In her song she sang Oh Jens, oh Jens/your songs seem to look through a different lens/you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun. A touching moment for the Swedish songwriter, having been a fan since his teens. But it came to him in a time when he found himself very confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs. They weren't looking through that lens anymore.
I Know What Love Isn't came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about at first. The songs began more fleeting than the last go around, on his 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. The songs began building from images and memories and soon began to take their own route, one that Lekman wasn't privy to their destination.
In The World Moves On he paints a picture of a sweltering summer in the city of Melbourne where he lived while writing and recording the album. The hot days that led up to the Black Saturday bushfires, but also more mundane images of feeding possums in a park or getting in trouble with some guy on a scooter. It seems to lead nowhere at first but the aimlessness in itself reaches heartbreaking conclusions later on, summed up by the soaring chorus and you don't get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully. Like Joan Didion once said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts. And of course they led him right back to the break up.
Musically, I Know What Love Isn't chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for Kortedala, he's only chosen a few somber colors this time around. There are strings but not a string section, an upright piano and not a grand, a single saxophone and gracenotes from a flute. The songs are lighter, almost aerodynamic, Jens explains, I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony. Like when you're in an airplane taking off and you look out the window and realize you're already in the air.
A dry country piano makes Become Someone Else's lift high. Vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in Erica America soar. Strings pick up the title track and send it up to the sky without much effort or force. In the latter, Lekman once again points the way to distill essential truths from every day life vignettes while singing about a sham marriage. I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her old crappy Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country.
The idea was so appealing, that we would build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at anytime. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great a story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories. And that's what I Know What Love Isn't is. A collection of songs that grew to a story that had to be told. A story that is not new, but essentially human. The story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.1. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
2. Erica America
3. Become Someone Else's
4. She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore
5. Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
6. I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
7. The World Moves On
8. The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
9. I Know What Love Isn't
10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bo Diddley's Beach PartyFrom The Original Chess/Checker Masters In Glorious Mono
Faithful Reproduction Of The Original Artwork
It's the beach party of your dreams. Not one of those with the squeaky-clean suburban kids doing the frug at Malibu like in the movies, oh no. This is Myrtle Beach, filled with dangerous bikers and gang members and hot mamas and escaped convicts and god knows who else (best not to ask), all cruising for kicks. It's after midnight but the heat still lingers from a blistering day. Except for a small bonfire, the dark is all-enveloping; couples vanish into it and you'd best be looking elsewhere. At the fire, some guy's carving his initials into his hand with a pen knife, and two babes are noodle-dancing to the waves, or maybe just the voices in their heads. They need music, dammit. Just then, a cloud of dust materializes at the far end of the boardwalk, heading your way, getting closer by the minute. As it approaches, you can just make out the silhouette of a rather large man atop a little motor scooter, some crazy looking guitar slung over his shoulder. Who IS this guy? The scooter chugs to a stop at your feet, and off steps the only musician in the known world who could play this party without having the shit kicked out of him. Bo Diddley.
He plugs in, kicks off a scorching guitar riff. The band falls in. And the place goes totally batshit. Miraculously, someone thought to bring along a tape recorder. The result: Bo Diddley's Beach Party, the absolute pinnacle of vicarious musical thrills. Presented in its original, glorious, Distort-O-Phonic mono, this sweaty grungefest kicks ass from start to finish.
Lots of albums claim to be essential, groundbreaking, and all that crap, and pointyheaded rock crits fawn over cosmic lyrical brainfarts and diminished ninths and such. Bo Ddiddley's Beach Party just kicks sand in their faces and dares you not to dance.
Sundazed earnestly believes that you have no business calling yourself a rock 'n roll fan, an r&b maven, or even a sentient human being unless this album is in your collection, that's how crucial it is. In fact, don't even talk to us until it's in your hands. We mean it.1. Memphis
3. Hey! Bo Diddley
4. Old Smokey
5. Bo Diddley's Dog
6. I'm All Right
7. Mr. Custer
8. Bo's Waltz
9. What's Buggin' You
10. Road Runner$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
$16.99 $13.42 Save $3.57 (21%)
Crush (On Sale)Those who clocked Abe Vigodas transition from the angular-punk of 2006's Kid City the startling tropicali-punk of 2008's Skeleton should know the LA quartet aren't ones for repeating themselves. To Skeletons hot-hot-hot template, they now add glassy shards of cold wave pop, with synthesizers, sequencers and altogether broodier beats. Scorching temperatures, icy currents, Crush is a thermal column of vertiginous brilliance!
Just as Skeleton was difficult to define, Crush is a similar collision of sound, another helter-skelter joy ride through four boys private party. Even so, there was a thought process behind this new surge. In 2009, after the band released the Reviver EP, Dane Chadwick replaced drummer Gerado Guerreno, introducing a new style of regimented beats as well as other musical ideas to the table.1. Sequins
2. Dream of My Love Chasing After You
3. Throwing Shade
6. Pure Violence
7. Repeating Angel
8. To Tears
9. Beverly Slope
10. We Have To Mask$16.99 $13.42 Save $3.57 (21%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
From out of the wreckage of the American Civil War, the great state of Nevada came into being on October 31st, 1864. Its creation immediately helped to secure the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and, ultimately, the future of the union. Today, that proud but painful history is enshrined in the two words emblazoned on the upper left-hand corner of the state flag: Battle Born.
That phrase has always resonated with Brandon Flowers. It's what The Killers named their studio in Las Vegas, and when the band reconvened last May to start work on the follow-up to 2008's Day & Age, it became first a song title, then a thematic touchstone, and eventually the name of the album itself. But not all battles are blood and thunder: after a yearlong hiatus that saw three of the four Killers launch solo careers, they quickly discovered that timing and circumstance can be daunting adversaries in their own right.
Safe to say, Battle Born's title was well-earned. "It's the hardest thing I've ever done, no question," says Brandon. "It's the longest we've ever taken to make a record, and the longest I've ever spent on the lyrics. We thought we had enough songs, but then we realized that we didn't, and so we had to pound away and grind it out until we were certain that we were ready."
A small-town drama of epic-scale proportions, "Runaways" is everything you could wish for from a Killers comeback single; an unmistakably American expression of romance and optimism that heralds their return with cyclonic, Who-esque guitars and a chorus big enough to be bellowed from one end of the Mojave to the other.
One of the album's oldest songs, the bare bones were written in 2009 on the Day & Age tour, but, says Brandon, "We never knew what to do with it. Day & Age was us trying to be more of a pop group, but Runaways was rootsy and American, and it threw me for a curve. I knew it was a powerful song. But when it came time to make the album, there was an understanding the four of us had that we were gonna do what we're good at. The Killers write a specific kind of song, and we're not gonna shy away from it. So 'Runaways' became a kind of launching pad."
More songs followed: the title track, a musical 'brother' to its lead single; "Here With Me," the album's heartstring-tugging emotional gravity-centre; the stadia-quaking electro-rock of "Flesh & Bone." By the time the band had satisfactorily refined that body of songs, however, none of the producers on their shortlist could commit to making a whole album, necessitating a process whereby they recorded in fits and starts with a stellar roll-call of names that included Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Stuart Price and Brendan O'Brien.
And therein lies Battle Born's real triumph. Recorded almost entirely at the studio that shares its name, it incorporates elements from each of the records that came before it; Hot Fuss' storytelling eye for detail; the yearning, mythic Americana of Sam's Town; the gratuitous hooks and pop nous of Day & Age; without sounding overtly like any one in particular. It's the sound of a band recognizing, and celebrating, their own identity. To borrow Brandon's maxim, Battle Born is The Killers "Doing what we do best."1. Flesh And Bone
3. The Way It Was
4. Here With Me
5. A Matter Of Time
6. Deadlines And Commitments
7. Miss Atomic Bomb
8. The Rising Tide
9. Heart Of A Girl
10. From Here On Out
11. Be Still
12. Battle Born$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Ranked 316/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
They say you can never go home again.
Yet, on their new Interscope Records release and fifth album, Rock Steady, No Doubt has embarked on a globe-spanning musical adventure that proves, once and for all, that home is where the heart is.
At the heart of the quartet's fifteen-year musical journey is a sound, a style and a sensibility that celebrates their enduring bond with millions of fans worldwide: the sheer pleasure of pure pop - danceable, hummable, instantly accessible songs that have become indispensable additions to the soundtrack of our life and times. And now with Rock Steady, that soundtrack signals a return to some of the key creative elements that have made No Doubt one of today's most popular and enduring bands. Simply put, No Doubt is ready to party.
"It's the hardest thing in the world just to be simple, to let the music and the words speak for what you're feeling and, hopefully, to share that feeling. And the feeling we all shared on this album turned out to be pretty simple, too: we were in a good mood."
So says vocalist, lyricist and glorious gamine Gwen Stefani on the inspiration that ignited the dozen deliriously entertaining new tracks comprising Rock Steady. With all-original material penned by Gwen and No Doubt's dynamic songwriting duo of Tony Kanal and Tom Dumont and a roster of producers that pretty much covers the cutting edge of the studio art, Rock Steady, recorded in such far flung locations as London and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Jamaica, is without question the most eclectic, wide-ranging and stylistically diverse offering in the band's extraordinary career. It is also a loving tribute to the musical roots that have nourished No Doubt from their very inception.
"We were on tour pretty much all of last year," explains drummer Adrian Young, "and whenever we had some down time, we found ourselves listening to lots of dancehall. It was kind of like getting back to where we once belonged." Dancehall, the exuberant evolution of reggae, ska and calypso currently rocking the clubs and studios of Jamaica, proved a potent point of departure for the group when they convened in early 2001 to begin work on a new album. "We were part of the whole ska revival back when we first got together," continues Adrian. "The fact is, we had to work hard to prove we had a wider range, and I guess we did that. Because this time around we didn't feel like we had anything to prove. The whole point was to follow the music, wherever it led."
"Following the music" would lead the quartet to a variety of exotic locales as they indulged their instincts and experimented with sounds and settings that would capture the sensational new music beginning to emerge. "This album was less about technique and more about attitude," asserts Tony. "We took it one day at a time and it became a very spontaneous process. Tom had set up a studio at his place in L.A. and we'd meet there just to try out different ideas. Whereas before we'd write everything with a guitar or bass, this time we started with just beats and grooves and keyboards and built from there. After a week or two of songwriting, Gwen had a trip planned to London. Since we were having such a good time we just packed up and followed her over there. We knew we were onto something."
"It felt like starting over," is Tom's assessment. "We had spent two years working on Return Of Saturn because we felt it was important to prove we could do a record that had depth and substance. Once we got that out of our system it was time to have some fun."
Return Of Saturn, the group's smash 2000 release, did indeed establish No Doubt's ability to fashion songs of substance as well as style. It also conclusively demonstrated that the group's 1995 breakthrough release, Tragic Kingdom was more than a flash in the pan, although it was a distinctly dazzling flash that elevated the group to world class status with a solid string of hit singles. "We'd already done most of what we'd set out to accomplish," continues Tom. "We wanted try something fresh."
Something fresh and, as it turned out, something tried and true. "With all the dancehall we'd been listening to it was only natural that some of that rhythm would seep into our new songs," Gwen adds. "We ended up going to Jamaica without really knowing exactly what we'd find when we got there. That was the whole plan from the beginning not to have a plan."
What No Doubt found in the lush musical environs of the island was a creative collaboration with some of Jamaica's most revered producers including the legendary team of Sly & Robbie who sat behind the board for the album's debut single "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All," a tune written by Gwen with Eurthymics mainstay Dave Stewart during the group's London sojourn. They would also go on record with the fast rising dancehall duo of Steely & Clevie, who worked their magic for the incendiary selection, "Start The Fire." Remarks Tom, "Going to Jamaica and working with the great artists there had always been a dream of ours. Having that opportunity is one the best things about having some success. It's more important than any amount of fame or fortune."
As the spring of 2001 turned to summer the pace of recording stepped up, along with the group's increasingly bold ventures into new creative territory. In Los Angeles they added hip-hop to the mix with the streetwise sensibilities of The Neptunes, co-writers on the album's opening track, the scorching "Hella Good." Next they huddled with high-profile mixmaster Nellee Hooper on Rock Steady's title track as well as such standout selections as "In My Head," "Running," "Detective" and the above mentioned "Hella Good." Along the way they logged time with William Orbit for "Making Out," Ric Ocasek on "Platinum Blonde Life" and "Don't Let Me Down," and the inimitable Prince who co-produced and provided backing vocals on the drop dead gorgeous "Waiting Room."
But mixing and matching songs and producers was only part of the creative evolution that took place with Rock Steady. Says Tony, "Our attitude from the beginning was that we'd do whatever it took to make the music work. We've always been a very self-contained unit. This time we wanted to open it up, to find out what other people could bring to the party."
"The whole album was an exercise in spontaneity," adds Gwen, "and that challenged me to write more directly from my thoughts and feelings. I threw away my thesaurus and put aside my influences, everyone from Joni Mitchell to Sylvia Plath. I wanted to write songs about how it felt to be alive right now and that feeling, despite everything that going on in the world, is optimistic and full of hope. This is a time to affirm what's good and positive in our lives and if we can convey even a small part of the fun and excitement we had making this music, then we've done what we set out to do."
Hot on the heels of Rock Steady's release comes news of an extensive touring schedule that includes select dates with U2 as well as an extensive itinerary of international headlining dates. "We're primarily a live band," comments Tony. "That's how we started and that's how we maintain contact with our fans. Over the past couple of years, as the No Doubt machine got bigger, it's been more difficult to maintain that connection. But this time around,we're determined to stay true to the spirit of the music. It's about having a good time, about dancing in aisles and singing along. We all need that and it's what this tour is going to be about."
"After fifteen years together you naturally create all kinds of rules about how things should be," concludes Gwen. "There comes a time when you've got to throw the rules out and start all over again. That's what keeps it fun and interesting. For us that time has come."
It's a sentiment that gets to the heart of the brilliant music on Rock Steady, an album that finds No Doubt comfortable at home with the risks and rewards of true originality. It's also proof positive that, when No Doubt throws a party, everyone's invited.LP1
2. Hella Good
3. Hey Baby
4. Making Out
5. Underneath It All
7. Don't Let Me Down
1. Start The Fire
3. In My Head
4. Platinum Blonde Life
5. Waiting Room
6. Rock Steady$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Good God! Born Again Funk (Awaiting Repress)The Numero Groupes 2006 release Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal examined what seemed to be a conundrum: gospel singers performing pious gospel songs, and devoutly, but doing so amid hot, sweaty, earthy sounds drunk on the same moonshine downed by any blues singer thumbing his way up north from the Mississippi delta. If the central premise was to grapple with a ôfunkyö trend in gospel, forgive us for staring perhaps a bit too intently at the collision of sacred and profane we thought we saw on those LPs and 45s. This music was always sacred, and decidedly so.
Four years later, Numero returns with not quite a New Testament, rather a re-examination of a weighty tome. Born Again Funk lends new ears to a joyful strain of American
composers and performers unafraid of expressing their devotion with both inspiration and invention. They were faithful to a spirit, not to an ordained sound.
Featuring: Pastor T.L. Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir, Ada Richards, Gospel Comforters, Golden Echoes, Lucy ôSister Soulö Rodgers, Gospel Soul Revivals, Brother Samuel Cheatham, Victory Travelers, Jordan Travelers, Inspirational Gospel Singers, Sacred Four, Andrew Wartts & the Gospel Storytellers, Holy Disciples of Chicago, Ill.,Sensational Five Singing Sons, Little Chris & the Righteous Singers , Sensational Five, Chicago Travelers, James Austin & the St. Luke COGIC Youth Choir.1. Like A Ship (T.L. Barrett)
2. I'm Drunk & I'm Real High (Ada Richards)
3. Yes God Is Real (Gospel Echoes)
4. Packing A Grip (Golden Echoes)
5. Pray A Little Longer (Lucy Richards)
6. If Jesus Came (The Gospel Soul Revivals)
7. Troubles Of The World (Brother Samuel Cheatam)
8. I Know I've Been Changed (Victory Travelers)
9. God Will Answer (Jordan Travelers)
10. Same Thing It Took (Inspirational Gospel Singers)
11. Somebody's Watching You (The Sacred Four)
12. Peter & John (Andrew Watts & The Gospel Sto)
13. I Know Him (Holy Disciples)
14. Share You Love With The Master (Sensational Five Singing Sons)
15. I Thank You Lord (Little Chris & The Righteous 5)
16. Coming On Strong Staying Along (Sensational Five Singers)
17. Been Trying (Chicago Travelers)
18. I'll Take Jesus For Mine (James Austin)$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Dope MachinesEvery so often, one song can change everything. For The Airborne Toxic Event, that particular number happened to be an A Capella version of Queen and David Bowie's classic duet "Under Pressure".
"Somebody played it for me, and it blew my mind," declares vocalist and guitarist Mikel Jollett. "I made a decision to change my whole approach to music. I just wanted to be joyful about it. I wasn't going to worry anymore. For the first three records, I thought mostly like writer. My mindset changed. It was about inventing a musical logic that was unabashedly catchy and rhythmic, but way weirder than anything we've done in the past."
That "logic" came to life while Mikel composed "Hell and Back" for the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack in August 2013. Under a tight deadline, he had no choice but to produce the track himself-a first for the Los Angeles outfit. However, he didn't stop there.
The frontman would go on to personally produce The Airborne Toxic Event's fourth full-length album and first for Epic Records Dope Machines with the blessing and support of Steven Chen [guitar, keyboards], Anna Bulbrook [violin, keyboard, backing vocals], Daren Taylor [drums], and Adrian Rodríguez [bass].
"Producing was massively challenging and super fun," admits Mikel. "When we finished the last record, our producer Jacquire King said to me, 'I think you're ready to produce an album now.' I felt like we had reached the apotheosis of being a proper rock band. This was the exact opposite. It was me alone in a room for 12 hours a day working harder than I'd ever worked."
Early in the process, Mikel tapped into a boundless aesthetic, embracing electronic elements as well as pop structures and unbridled rock 'n' roll bombast. At the same time, it defied categorization at every turn. "That's one of the hallmarks of the record," he affirms. "It doesn't sound like anything else."
The first single "Wrong" merges striking synths and an electronic swing with an evocative refrain punctuated by a robust groove. It's borderline danceable, but always chant-able.
"It's just about a guy feeling insecure," explains Mikel. "I wrote it at a time of massive upheaval in my life. We all have that moment. You look over everything and think, 'I am an idiot!' It's not every day, but you wish you could start over. That's the idea."
"California" turns a spotlight on a different side of the Golden State from the perspective of a true native. All the while, it still boasts an unshakable refrain and intricate instrumentation.
"I grew up in California," he goes on. "My parents were hippies, and I was born in the back of a VW bus on the beach. I was around everybody from Beatniks to gang members to kids who just emigrated from Guatemala or Ethiopia. None of this had anything to do with the popular image of what California is-that idea of palm trees and movie stars. As soon as you've got an idea of utopia, it begs a dystopia. It's an idea of apocalypse right around the corner in a place that's considered ideal."
Simultaneously, the title track tempers a distinct guitar bounce with entrancing harmonies, making for a provocative and potent dichotomy.
"You can interact with all of these dope hand devices, but they make you sort of dopey an hour later," he sighs. "You make music with them. They can save you from a heart attack. They're little extensions of the things that make us fundamentally human, which is the desire to interact with one another. The machines are all of these things at the same time."
In the middle of 2014 after moving on from Island Records, Epic Records C.E.O. L.A. Reid reached out and signed them-for the second time.
"L.A. signed us way-back-when at Island," recalls Mikel. "He literally saw us at Bowery Ballroom in New York, came backstage, and offered us a record deal. The moment we were free, he sent us a deal memo. It's a pleasure to be working with him again. He's a big believer, and he brings a lot of energy to this."
They've carried a similar energy through three full-length albums: The Airborne Toxic Event , which spawned the gold-selling single "Sometime Around Midnight", All At Once , and Such Hot Blood . In addition to reaching gold status, iTunes named "Sometime Around Midnight" the "#1 Alternative Song of the Year", and it spent a staggering eight weeks at #1 on Billboard's Heatseakers Chart. HBO utilized it on their high-profile Network Season Promo. The group has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman four times, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno four times, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! three times. Moreover, they've taken the stage at festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza and sold over 50,000 tickets in 2013 alone.
In many ways though, Dope Machines signals something of a rebirth.
"It's like debuting a new phase," concludes Mikel. "It was a new approach. We've got a new label. We threw out everything we were tired of and moved on to a brand new palette. That was the goal. This isn't what The Airborne Toxic Event is supposed to be. This is who we are.1. Wrong
2. One Time Thing
3. Dope Machines
5. Time To Be A Man
6. Hell And Back
7. My Childish Bride
8. The Thing About Dreams
9. Something You Lost
10. Chains$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
TRAF-TRA-0217xDel The Funky Homosapien
I Wish My Brother George Were HereIn the early 90s hip hop took a turn and gangsta-style rap dominated, making waves off
the West Coast that rattled throughout the world. The East Coast's dominance was
descending despite the success and positivity of Native Tongues acts like De La Soul
and A Tribe Called Quest, who favored thought-provoking humor and cleverness over
gangsta rap's grittiness and grim outlook. It was in this landscape that Oakland, CA's
Del The Funky Homosapien emerged in 1991, with his debut release
I Wish My Brother George Was Here.
Cribbing equally from the East Coast's irreverence and wit, and the West Coast's
P-Funk inspired production, (the album was produced by Del's cousin Ice Cube) Del's
debut has rightly been heralded as a benchmark album for underground hip hop. I Wish My Brother George Was Here not only produced the underground classics Dr. Bombay and Mistadobalina (#9 on the 1992 Hot Rap Tracks Charts), but also set the scene for the success of the other less gangsta West Coast
artists like The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, and of course Del's compatriots in Souls of Mischief.
Above all else, Del is credited with injecting some much needed light-heartedness at a moment when it was truly needed.
Since his debut Del has gone on to work alongside Gorillaz, Wu-Tang Clan, El-P, Handsome Boy Modeling School, and
as a member of the acclaimed hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030, and even with Dinosaur Jr.
Traffic Entertainment now presents I Wish My Brother George Was Here as a special double LP reissue, featuring the
original artwork, and all of The Funky Homosapien's witty and innovative rhymes intact.1. What Is a Booty
3. The Wacky World of Rapid Transit
4. Pissin' On Your Steps
5. Dark Skin Girls
6. Money for Sex
7. Ahonetwo, Ahonetwo
8. Dr. Bombay
9. Sunny Meadowz
10. Sleepin' on My Couch
11. Hoodz Come in Dozens
12. Same Ol' Thing
13. Ya Lil' Crumbsnatchers$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Oh Man, Cover the GroundLimited Edition Of 1,000 Copies
Pressed On Custom Lake Blue Vinyl
Shana Cleveland is a rare artist who seems dismissive of time. Shes been performing with
a rotating batch of musicians tagged as The Sandcastles for years, and yet Oh Man,
Cover The Ground is their first proper album. It would be easy to chalk up the delay
behind the debut to a slacker lifestyle-Oh Man, Cover The Grounds laid-back vibe
certainly suggests an extremely casual approach to songcraft. But Cleveland is no slacker.
In the years since she first started playing out under her own name, shes helmed a
number of other music projects; most notably her revered Girls In The Garage-inspired
band La Luz. In her downtime, shes crafted a set of 37 trading cards dedicated to
obscure acoustic guitarists and a calendar of drawings depicting rock bands of
yesteryear. The glacial pace of Oh Man, Cover The Grounds development has little to do
with work ethic and everything to do with doing things in a way that feels right. "I don't
really think of it as a proper band," says Cleveland. "The line-up has been different for
almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the
atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals;
some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We've played shows really selectively
throughout the last few years-just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really
interesting. Like, I'd rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at
night than on a three band bill at a bar." In an industry fixated on striking while the iron
is hot, getting an artist in front of as many people in as short of a time as possible,
Clevelands insistence on atmosphere over arbitrary numbers is a bold move.
Oh Man, Cover The Grounds softly-stated melodies and breezy air operates on its own
sense of time. Though the songs still settle comfortably into three-minute parcels, their
gestation bucked at the convention of pop musics stringent time format. "I'm really into
meandering, fingerpicked open-tuned acoustic guitar, like John Fahey and Robbie
Basho," says Cleveland. "I started playing guitar in that style during a year right before I
moved to Seattle when I was lonely and bummed out in the San Fernando Valley and
found solace in spending long afternoons fingerpicking slow moving improvisations." This
casualness is evident in the music-you can hear it in the airy ambience of album opener
"Butter & Eggs", the gentle piano and strings accompaniment on the title track, the
particularly Fahey-esque explorations of "Itching Around" and "SPATM". But even the
timeline of the albums development seems to defy the ephemeral haste that permeates so
much contemporary music. The bulk of Oh Man, Cover The Ground was recorded in
Shanas basement. "I wanted it to sound casual and kind of loose like my favorite folk
albums, so we didn't practice much before recording and a few of the musicians were
playing the songs for the first time."1. Butter & Eggs
2. Holy Rollers
3. Oh Man, Cover The Ground
4. Itching Around
5. Potato Chips
6. Golden Days
7. (death riff)
9. Rounding The Block
10. City To City
11. Sucking Stones
12. Quiet As Skin
13. Change In The Ocean$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-SUN-5817xThe Pleasure Seekers
What A Way To DieThe archetype for the '60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock & roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.
The Quatro girls had been brought up in a musically-minded family, nurtured with classical piano and vocal lessons. As Patti recalls, "By 1964, I had been taking guitar lessons, hanging with musicians in the local music scene. We had seen a Beatles concert, and I was quite dazed and focused at the event, watching the audience cry and scream out of control. It was my epiphany moment, and I was determined to start an all-girl band."
Shortly thereafter, the first lineup of the Pleasure Seekers fell into place with Patti Quatro (lead guitar), Marylou Ball (rhythm guitar), Suzi Quatro (bass), Diane Baker (keyboards), Nan Ball (drums) and vocal duties shared by all. Around the fall of 1965 the girls dared local teen club manager Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular Hideout Club, claiming they were better than most of the other live bands there. "You're on," responded Leone, "in two weeks. Three songs!"
The Pleasure Seekers were soon a popular feature at the club, honing their skills alongside the likes of the Rationals, the Amboy Dukes and Bob Seger & the Last Heard. "In the beginning, there was a lot of skepticism," remembers Patti, "especially the first night. The boys crowded the stage, the girlfriends pulled them away with laughter, as if 'Girls playing?! Yeah, right!' It was always satisfying to see them be silenced quickly when we began playing. We grew used to seeing slack jaws open in surprise." Next they were asked by Leone to record and release a single on his Hideout label.
That March 1966 release is now regarded as the greatest "girl garage" single of the era: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" b/w "What a Way to Die." "Dave brought lyrics, and we put the songs together quickly," remembers Patti. "We felt very legit in making this record at a small local studio. Nan was the sexy voice on 'Never Thought You'd Leave Me,' and there was lots of laughter as Marylou added the screams on 'What a Way to Die.'" Suzi Quatro remembers the recording as "very important and memorable."
The Pleasure Seekers were soon in demand in the region, playing teen clubs, parties, colleges and local TV shows. After a series of lineup changes, the band brought in older Quatro sister Arlene (keyboards) and Darline Arnone (drums), the first female drummer sponsored by Slingerland Drums. A short time later, Pami Benford joined-up on guitar and bass (that lineup lasting through most of 1968). "It was a very versatile group," remembers Patti, "with Pami and Suzi sharing bass, and Pami and I sharing lead and rhythm guitars."
"The gender bias was my hot button," recalls Arlene, "along with confidence in our musical abilities. With women musicians dismissed as a novelty, I delighted in watching the audience go from skepticism/ridicule, to shock/cheers." For Suzi, though, this period was where she learned her craft: "I considered myself a musician, and didn't really think about gender too much." Two tracks recorded in 1967, but unissued at the time, "Elevator Express" and "Gotta Get Away," highlight the band's growing musical maturity since their Hideout debut. "Detroit was the best learning ground in the world for musicians," recalls Suzi, "with an amazing energy and creativity that is in every successful artist that has come out of the city." "We were actually one of the earliest Detroit bands traveling the country," adds Patti. "Everyone wanted this unusual all girl band who rocked an entire Motown revue (changing instruments and singers throughout) and an entire Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour revue, as well as covering English bands, acid rock and everything in between."
Signing up with Associated Booking Corporation, the group began making the transition from local to national act. Producer Dick Corby caught the Pleasure Seekers at Trude Heller's in New York's Greenwich Village and signed them to a Mercury Records deal in early 1968. To keep rein on their finances in NYC, Patti recalls, "We booked Arthur's nightclub for a month, staying at the infamous rock Gorham Hotel, recording by day-playing by night." Also in residence were the Who, the Blues Magoos and an assortment of other bands. "Hitting NYC as young teens, it was exciting, scary, fun-all emotions churning," she continues. "We felt we had hit the big time, going from the tiny local Hideout session to the huge Mercury professional studio facility, complete with session people adding strings and other elements."
A single pairing "Good Kind of Hurt" and "Light of Love" was released in April 1968, while a third song, "Locked in Your Love," remained in the can. The group then headed out to the Northwest for a lengthy tour. "The Northwest tour was awesome," remembers Patti. "We were billed with Canned Heat, Boyce & Hart and Merilee Rush, and were held over six weeks to tour with Eric Burdon and the Animals. The Mercury single was out, momentum was surging." Both sides of the single were getting airplay, but ultimately it failed to gain any traction. "Really neither song reflected our own sound," admits Patti. "We rearranged 'Light of Love' for live performance, feeling disconnected to the record, yet realizing we had to play ball with the executives to keep us rolling."
Ultimately Mercury's vision for the Pleasure Seekers clashed rather sharply with the band's vision. "The suits wanted tits and ass," recalls Darline, "wowing Vegas crowds, playing tinkly tunes in lavish costumes." "In that male-dominated music era, we were strictly a novelty, and a high-risk endeavor," adds Patti. "The record executives felt women musicians would fall in love or get pregnant so were not worth investing the time and money. We had to kick down many doors. We were serious musicians, and in it for the right reasons. In the end, we were not happy with a forced direction that Mercury Records had in mind, and ended up leaving the label to rock our music in our own fashion."
After a memorable 1968 Far East tour, playing for wounded returning American soldiers from Vietnam, the Pleasure Seekers (with new drummer Nancy Rogers) returned to a Detroit that was now, in Patti's words, "exploding with heavier sounds. That sparked us to change direction with new ideas we had been exploring. Arlene left the band and we brought in our youngest sister Nancy (vocals). With Suzi's Joplinesque vocals combined with Nancy's wailing 'female Robert Plant' style, we enjoyed a harder edged, 'double-punch' effect."
The last four songs on the album, "White Pig Blues," "Brain Confusion," "Where Have You Gone?" and the atmospheric psychedelic mover "Mr. Power," all date from this 1968-69 period when the Pleasure Seekers were playing the Grande Ballroom alongside the MC5, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes and SRC. With this change in musical direction and the departure of Arlene and Pami, the band forged on as Cradle. Suzi Quatro departed for England in 1971, launching a successful solo career. Patti and Nancy continued with Cradle until 1973 when Patti joined another pioneering female rock group, Fanny.
The Pleasure Seekers reunited recently in April 2012 (minus Suzi) for a well-received show in their hometown, where they were inducted into Detroit's Hall of Fame. "I think all of us Quatro girls are extremely proud of our pioneering days" reflects Patti. "In a renaissance-era of music, we kicked down doors for women to rock heavy. There were key times in our lives of making decisions that may have turned us towards larger fame, but less happiness-depending on your philosophy of such things. The Pleasure Seekers could have been a Las Vegas show act bringing in buckets of money or on Motown, turned very formulaic girlie-soul. But we stayed true to our goals, and I don't think any of us have any regrets of staying our course and playing the music that moved us. It's all been a thrilling ride with great memories."
- Mike & Anja Stax (Ugly Things magazine)1. Intro By DJ The Lord
2. Gotta Get Away
3. Never Thought You'd Leave Me
4. Light Of Love
5. Good Kind Of Hurt
6. What A Way To Die
7. Elevator Express
8. Locked In Your Love
9. White Pig Blues
10. Brain Confusion
11. Where Have You Gone
12. Mr. Power$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stravinsky - The Rite Of SpringWhile he was finishing the score of The Firebird, the idea came to Stravinsky for a pagan, ritual scenario. The background history of Le Sacre du printemps is well known: while the modernists praised the work, the conservative public thought they were being hoaxed. The reason for their irritation and the scandalous fiasco of the premiere is still audible to this day. Stravinsky carries the aggressive, hammering rhythms to the extreme, casting them in atonal harmonies which feed on the alternation between a »red-hot and a mild mixture«, as Stravinsky put it.
Dorati urges on his ensemble with robust tempi, and the orchestra is quick to respond to all the refinements of the tightly knit movement. It appears to cope effortlessly with the extremes of contrast and manages to amalgamate the rhythmic excesses with the tenderness of the numerous tiny motifs and figures which seem to sprout like flowers out of hard rock. The excellent recording technique captures both the extreme loudness and the finely pulsating tones, resulting in a sound in which no detail goes unheard. The listener can be sure that this Stravinsky deserves the rating 'excellent' - both for the interpretation and for the sound.
- Antal Dorati (conductor)
- Igor Stravinsky (composer)
- The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Recording: November 1959 at the NorthropMemorial Auditorium, Minnesota, USA, by C.R. Fine
Production: Wilma Cozart-Fine and Harold Lawrence
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. The Rite Of Spring Part I
2. The Rite Of Spring Part II$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Made In The Dark (Out Of Stock)Hot Chip have built a devoted fanbase with their soulfully eclectic records and incendiary live shows. Highly-anticipated by fans and media alike, One Life Stand is the bands most boldly accomplished record yet, at once offbeat and anthemic, cerebral and danceable.
Made in the Dark is the third studio album from the British electronic indie pop outfit Hot Chip, originally released on EMI in 2008. The release is the amazing and ambidextrous follow-up to their massively acclaimed, Mercury Music Prize nominated 2006 album The Warning. Regarded as the definitive Hot Chip record, Made In The Dark is faster and rockier than The Warning, but that's only beginning to scratch the surface.
Within its 13 tracks there is both rhythmical chaos (Shake A Fist, Bendable Poseable), soulful introspection (We're Looking For A Lot Of Love, Made In The Dark, In The Privacy Of Our Love) and even contemporary widescreen pop (Ready For The Floor, One Pure Thought). The songs are propulsive, repetitive, rhythmical, methodical, wonky, intimate, beautiful and uniquely Hot Chip.1. Out at the Pictures
2. Shake a Fist
3. Ready for the Floor
4. Bendable Poseable
5. We're Looking for a Lot of Love
6. Touch Too Much
7. Made in the Dark
8. One Pure Thought
9. Hold On
11. Don't Dance
12. Whistle for Will
13. In the Privacy of Our Love$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Born Free (Out Of Stock)Includes CD
Kid Rock's 8th studio album, Born Free was produced by Rick Rubin and mixed by Greg Fidelman. The album is in many ways a transformational album for Kid Rock. While there is still the edge, wit and swagger of previous albums, he doesn't rap, there's no metal and there isn't even a parental warning sticker.
Says Kid Rock, The catalyst for this record was Detroit, and my thoughts on the world through the lens of Detroit. Watching everything go downhill over the past few years, the economy, the loss of jobs everywhere, I wanted to make a record that reflected the times but that still had soul.
The bulk of the album was recorded live in a two week span in Los Angeles with a stellar cast of musicians including Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith, David Hidalgo from Los Lobos and Chavez guitarist Matt Sweeney. Studios in Detroit, Nashville and Atlanta were used to incorporate collaborations with Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown, Trace Adkins and in a pairing surely never to be replicated, T.I. and Martina McBride on the track Care.
Kid Rock and Rick Rubin, as friends, have spent many hours talking about their respective histories, starting in hip-hop, crossing into and creating new territories, as well as the need for a great new American classic rock record that challenges the field. Born Free is in part the result of those conversations, an album that is meant to be played from start to finish.1. Born Free
2. The Midwest Fall
3. One Woman Man (feat. Eminem)
4. Times Like These
5. Care (feat. T.I. and Martina McBride)
6. Collide (feat. Bob Seger and Sheryl Crow)
7. Flying High (feat. Zac Brown)
8. Slow My Roll
9. God Bless Saturday
10. Rock On
11. Feels Good To Me
12. Untitled (feat. Lil Wayne)$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock