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Third Man Records vinyl Vault exclusives, Part 30

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The 30th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in December of 2016. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its Platinum members every three months.

The thirtieth Vault package was designed to touch on all four of White’s well-known musical outlets. Packaged together in a thick yellow box, it contained two LP’s instead of one: a live album by the Raconteurs, and another live album partially featuring the Dead Weather. The single in this package contained a White Stripes song on one side, and a Jack White solo track on the other.



The Raconteurs LP Live At Irving Plaza NYC documents the very first U.S. live show from the Racs. (This LP was pre…

(We Three) Monkees "Christmas Is My Time Of Year" (1976 fan club single)

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As noted in an earlier post, Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones of the Monkees attempted a full reunion of the original quartet in 1976, but Michael Nesmith declined, and Peter Tork's whereabouts were unknown. So Dolenz and Jones recorded and toured with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart that year instead. However, Tork did turn up by the end of 1976, and he helped record a Christmas fan club single with Dolenz and Jones, titled "Christmas Is My Time Of Year". The trio was unable to simply bill themselves as the Monkees, due to copyright issues, so they called themselves by their three individual names for this single. The single also reunited them with sometime Monkees producer Chip Douglas, who co-wrote the A-side with his fellow ex-Turtle Howard Kaylan.

The 1976 fan club issue came with no picture sleeve, and some promo copies had no B-side. “Christmas Is My Time Of Year” is a likably jovial three minutes of Yuletide cheer, with lyrics that celebrate the celebratory and family-f…

Monkees "Good Times! Plus!" (2016 RSDBF EP)

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Later the same year of the release of the Monkees reunion album Good Times!, a 10-inch vinyl EP titled Good Times! Plus! was released on Record Store Day Black Friday 2016. Pressed in red translucent vinyl and limited to 2,500 copies, the EP collected four tracks which previously appeared as bonus tracks on various editions of the full-length album.

The two tracks on Side One were bonus tracks on digital versions of the album, both produced by Adam Schlesinger from Fountains Of Wayne. "Terrifying", written by Zach Rogue of the indie-pop band Rogue Wave, is an innocent pop song sung by Micky Dolenz, about the scary feeling of being in love. Although Dolenz is now in his 70’s, he can still convincingly sing from the point of view of a man who is “feeling like a schoolboy”. Notably, this is the only song on the EP that all three surviving Monkees (Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith) played on.

"Me & Magdalena (Version 2)" is an alternate take of an album …

Alice In Chains "Live Facelift" (2016 Black Friday RSD EP)

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Alice In Chains' Live Facelift is a six-song live EP recorded on December 22, 1990 at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA. This concert took place shortly after the release of the band’s 1990 debut album Facelift, and about one year before the enormous success of Nirvana and Pearl Jam turned Seattle grunge rock into a worldwide phenomenon. (In fact, the then-unknown Pearl Jam was actually the opening act at this gig, although their name at the time was Mookie Blaylock). Before it was released in this vinyl EP format on the Black Friday Record Store Day in 2016, limited to 5,000 numbered copies, Live Facelift had previously been issued in 1991 only as a VHS home video cassette, which is now out of print.

Although this concert recording holds major interest because of the presence of deceased frontman Layne Staley, Live Facelift is also a good showcase for the rest of the band. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell, original bassist Mike Starr (who also passed away, in 2011), and drummer Sean Kin…

Alice Cooper "Live From The Astroturf" (2016 Black Friday Record Store Day single)

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The original Alice Cooper band played a surprise reunion show on October 10, 2015 at the indie music store Good Records in Dallas, Texas. Four-fifths of the original lineup – singer Vincent Furnier (whom we now know as Alice Cooper the solo artist), rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith – performed for a crowd of approximately 200 people. Ryan Roxie took the place of original lead guitarist Glen Buxton, who passed away in 1997. Their seven-song set was the longest set the original band had performed in 40 years. For the Black Friday Record Store Day in 2016, a limited edition 7-inch single was issued, containing two songs from that performance. The single, titled Live From The Astroturf, was limited to 2,500 copies, pressed in different colored vinyl variations: 1,150 white, 1,150 pink, 100 black, and 100 split color pink-and-white singles were randomly distributed. The pink-and-white variant contained art prints autographed by the four surviv…

Dungen “Häxan” (2016 Black Friday Record Store Day release)

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For the Black Friday Record Store Day in 2016, the Swedish prog-rock band Dungen released an album titled Häxan in both CD and LP formats, with each format limited to 2,000 copies. The LP version was pressed in white vinyl, and came with a digital download card. (The album was released digitally two months later, in January of 2017). Häxan (translation: “The Witch”) is Dungen’s first all-instrumental album, created as a new original music score for Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 film The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which is believed to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film, predating Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by 11 years.

It is fortunate that this 90-year-old silent film has not been lost, because it is fascinating to watch. It was made with silhouette animation using black paper cutout puppets and images, and reportedly took three years to complete. The visually arresting animation tells a fairy tale derived from the Arabian Nights stories, following the…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 29: Pearl Jam “Live at Third Man Records 06.09.2016”

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The 29th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in August and September of 2016. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its Platinum members every three months.

The twenty-ninth Vault package contained a live LP from Pearl Jam, performed in the Blue Room at Third Man Records and recorded directly to acetate. The single in this package was a one-sided 6-inch disc recorded by Eddie Vedder in the Voice-o-Graph machine at Third Man. The package also contained a photo book. This Vault package was also offered through Pearl Jam’s Ten Club.

The LP Live at Third Man Records 06.09.2016, pressed in black-and-gold split-colored vinyl, captures the Jun…

The Beatles "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" album to be reissued in September

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album has been out of print for decades, but it will be released for the first time on CD and digitally on September 9th, 2016. The reissue, now titled Live at the Hollywood Bowl, contains four previously unreleased tracks. It was sourced directly from the original three-track tapes of three concerts performed at the L.A. venue in August 1964 and August 1965. The reissue was remixed and remastered at Abbey Road by George Martin's son, Giles, and engineer Sam Okell. More information (including the updated track list) is at the Rolling Stone site:

http://rol.st/29We6ib

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album was originally released in 1977. According to the late producer George Martin's liner notes for the original LP issue, the shows were recorded "for posterity" by Capitol, but neither Martin nor the band wanted the recordings released at the time because it only consisted of songs that were previously released on studio albums (appare…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 28: Jack White acoustic in Idaho and Alaska

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The 28th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in June and July of 2016. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its Platinum members every three months.

The twenty-eighth Vault package contained a 2-LP set and a DVD, featuring live acoustic concerts from Jack White performed in Idaho and Alaska in April of 2015. As a bonus item, it contained a travelogue photo book. These items were packaged together in a box with the title Acoustic Tour 2015.



These two shows were part of an acoustic tour that White undertook for the purpose of performing in the only five U.S. states in which he had never performed previously (Wyoming and North and South D…

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart (1976)

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Having recently examined the 20th anniversary reunion of the Monkees, we now turn our attention to another Monkees reunion of sorts, dating from the mid-1970's. This took place in or around their 10th anniversary year, but it was not exactly sold as a 10th anniversary tour by the Monkees. Instead, the band that coalesced came to be known as Dolenz, Jones, Boyce, & Hart. The tagline for their tour was "The Golden Hits of The Monkees: The Guys Who Sang 'Em and The Guys Who Wrote 'Em".

Why was this? Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones were the only original Monkees who took part in the reunion. Michael Nesmith was invited to join, but (as usual) declined, while Peter Tork could not be contacted at the time. They were replaced by two "Guys Who Wrote 'Em" -- namely Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Boyce and Hart had written and produced many of the Monkees' songs, including their TV show theme and the #1 hit "Last Train To Clarksville". This song…

Remembering the Monkees 20th anniversary tour, 30 years ago

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The Monkees released a new album titled Good Times! on May 27th. It's their first new studio album in 20 years (since Justus in 1996), and their first album following the 2012 death of founding member Davy Jones. In short, Good Times! is very good, and has been well-received, both critically and commercially. The album was recorded by surviving original Monkees members Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith; one lead vocal track recorded by Jones in 1967 is utilized for the song “Love To Love”. Also, Dolenz and Tork have embarked on a North American tour which will run until October. What brought about these events? 2016 marks the Monkees' 50th anniversary.

I was not yet born when the Monkees debuted -- on TV and on record -- in 1966. However, I do remember when the Monkees embarked on a 20th Anniversary Tour in 1986, and the recordings that resulted from that particular reunion 30 years ago.

During their 1986 reunion tour, the Monkees played in over 100 North Ameri…

Twenty One Pilots "Double-Sided" (2016 Record Store Day single)

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Twenty One Pilots, the Ohio-based alt-pop/hip-hop duo, released a 7-inch single on Record Store Day 2016 titled Double-Sided. Limited to 7,500 copies, the single contained two previously unreleased live tracks recorded at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. The single was part of a series of 7-inch singles labeled "Disquaire Day", to show solidarity with French record stores after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

The A-side, titled “A Few Older Ones”, is a live medley of songs from the first three albums: Twenty One Pilots (2009), Regional At Best (2011), and Vessel (2013). The mashed-up songs include “Pantaloon”, “Semi-Automatic”, “Forest”, “Screen”, “Ode To Sleep”, and “Addict With A Pen”. This live medley is built on a piano-and-drums combo, without the electronic instrumentation of the studio versions. The duo does well performing in this fashion, and they skillfully segue between the different song passages to create a coherent-sounding whole. The only proble…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 27

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The 27th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in April of 2016. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its Platinum members every three months.

The twenty-seventh Vault package contained a 3-LP set, featuring live concerts from three bands that Jack White was involved with in 1998 and 1999. The 7-inch single from the Dead Weather contained two tracks from their 2015 Dodge And Burn album.

The Live at the Gold Dollar box set contains three full-length live LP's recorded at the now-defunct Detroit venue in the late 1990's. The three discs are housed in a telescoping box, which also contains soft-touch record sleeves for each individu…

Metallica "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica!" - (2016 Record Store Day First Release)

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As you've probably heard by now, Metallica are the official ambassadors of Record Store Day 2016, which falls on Saturday, April 16th. The band that released a cassette on last year's Record Store Day will this year release a CD, entitled Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France - June 11th, 2003. As the title indicates, the CD documents a nine-song live set performed at the Bataclan in Paris in June of 2003. In light of the recent terrorist attack at that venue in November 2015, proceeds from sales of the CD will be donated to the Fondation de France's Give For France charity.

This concert was performed at a strange time in Metallica's history, just days after the release of their chaotic St. Anger album. This was the first year that the band employed current bassist Robert Trujillo, after they weathered two years of troubles documented in the film Some Kind Of Monster.

This show was the second of three shows that the band perfo…

The Animals "Animal Tracks" EP (1965)

For Record Store Day 2016, ABKCO is reissuing the Animals' 1965 EP Animal Tracks in a 3,000-copy limited edition. This EP was originally released in the U.K. and Europe in 1965, and has never been released in the U.S. Animal Tracks was originally pressed as a 7-inch 45; the Record Store Day EP is pressed in 10-inch vinyl for better fidelity. This EP is not to be mistaken for the full-length Animal Tracks album, which was also released in 1965. None of this EP's four tracks appeared on the American version of that album, although all of them were included on the U.K. version of the album.

The first three tracks find the British Invasion quintet playing covers of R&B classics from Chuck Berry ("How You've Changed"), Ray Charles ("I Believe To My Soul"), and Louis Jordan ("Let The Good Times Roll"). On each of these three tracks, Eric Burdon croons soulfully over Alan Price's restrained yet intricate piano arrangements. These trac…

Shiloh with Don Henley

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After spotlighting the pre-Eagles work of the late Glenn Frey, I also wanted to talk about the early band of Frey’s Eagles co-founder Don Henley. Before Frey and Henley met, Henley played drums and sang lead vocals for a Texas band called Shiloh. Shiloh recorded one self-titled album in 1970, and it was released on the same label – Amos Records – which distributed the sole album of Frey’s early duo Longbranch/Pennywhistle.

During the ‘60’s, Henley and other members of Shiloh had previously played together in at least two other bands. The first of these was the Four Speeds (no relation to the Gary Usher surf-rock band of the same name). Henley and two other future Shiloh members – bassist Richard Bowden and keyboard/trumpet player Jerry Surratt – were in this band, along with original guitarist Freddie Neese. These four teenagers cut two singles in 1964, “Variety” and “Why Did You Leave Me”, both of which were decent Texas-style garage rock songs that would fit in on a Nuggets box se…

Glenn Frey before the Eagles

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Glenn Frey passed away on January 18, 2016 at age 67, from complications caused by rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. Frey was the co-founder of the Eagles, who recorded some of the most popular songs of the 1970’s; Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is one of the top-selling albums of all time. In a statement, Eagles co-founder Don Henley said that Frey “was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”

Although the Eagles defined the Los Angeles sound for the rest of the world, none of their members originally hailed from L.A. Before moving to Southern California, Frey played guitar in numerous bands as a teenager in and around his native city of Detroit, Michigan. One of those bands, The 4 Of Us, had earlier recorded two singles – the 1965 psych-surf track “You Gonna Be Mine” and the 1966 Byrds cover “I Feel A Whole Lot Better” – before Frey joined their lineup.

Frey recorded his first single in 1967 at the age of 18, with anot…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 26

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The 26th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in December of 2015. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist as well. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its platinum members every three months.

The twenty-sixth Vault package contained a live LP featuring a White Stripes show from early 1999, and a 7-inch single from the Dead Weather which served as the only physical version of their Dodge And Burn album’s second single, “Impossible Winner”.

The White Stripes LP Live At The Gold Dollar Vol. III — pressed in blood-red vinyl with black wisps — documents a concert performed by Jack and Meg White at that now-defunct Detroit bar in February of 1999, a few months before the duo’s self-titled…