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Showing posts from November, 2009

Velvet Underground and Nico: original 1966 acetate

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There seems to be a general consensus that the most valuable record in existence is the original acetate copy of the first Velvet Underground album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, from 1966. This acetate was originally presented to Columbia Records, who rejected it. (The album was released by the Verve label in 1967). Earlier this decade, the acetate was purchased at a yard sale in New York for 75 cents, and was sold on eBay for a whopping $25,000! The full story is here. The fragile acetate is now reportedly stored in a safe place. But, thanks to this blog entry by New York indie radio station WFMU (91.1 FM), the rest of us can listen to it online.

The acetate contained rougher mixes of 9 of the album’s 11 tracks. (“Sunday Morning” and “There She Goes Again” are absent). One thing that is odd is the sequence of the tracks, which is virtually in reverse order from that of the finished album. Placing the bizarre “European Son” at the beginning was an ill-advised idea, and it probably …

Katy Hudson (aka Katy Perry)

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Several years before she scored a controversial worldwide smash hit about kissing a girl and liking it, brash pop singer Katy Perry recorded something that is arguably the polar opposite: a Christian music album, under her real name Katy Hudson. (She has since changed her name to avoid confusion with the actress Kate Hudson). The self-titled 2001 CD Katy Hudson was released on the now-defunct Red Hill label. The singer was 16 years old at the time of its recording.

Perry’s hit 2008 album One Of The Boys is a generally repellent collection of noisy, in-your-face pop songs, long on attitude and short on song craft. Perry is essentially the Alanis Morissette of the late ‘00’s, having been mentored by Glen Ballard on creating angst-ridden songs which are unlike the ones she recorded as a teenager.



At first, the Katy Hudson album doesn’t sound completely different from her newer work; the first two tracks have a similarly edgy pop sound with recognizable vocals. Also, the message of “Spit” g…

AC/DC studio rarities

A new AC/DC box set titled Backtracks is being released this week. It contains 2 CDs and one DVD. The first CD contains 12 rare studio tracks, while the second CD contains 15 live cuts recorded between 1977 and 2000.

Although my hobby of searching out rare rock recordings did not fully develop until I was 20 or so, my first Rarebird moment came when I was a teenage metal-head in 1983. Although I owned every American-issued AC/DC album released up to that point (up until Flick of the Switch, to be exact), I still made a habit of flipping through the AC/DC bins every time I walked into record stores. One night, I came across an import copy of the band’s 1976 album High Voltage with different cover art. I had heard that the Australian versions of most of the Bon Scott-era albums contained at least one different track apiece. I was quite surprised when I examined the Australian High Voltage track listing, and found that it contained six songs which were unavailable in the States! (Most of …