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Phantom's Divine Comedy, Part 1 (1974)

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As hard to believe as it may be, it has now been more than 50 years since the death of Jim Morrison, the legendary lead singer of the Doors, who died at age 27 in Paris, France in 1971 under unclear circumstances. Because the circumstances of his death are so mysterious – only a few people saw his body, no autopsy was performed, his coffin was closed – many conspiracy theorists have postulated that Morrison actually faked his 1971 death to escape from the trappings of fame, and that the rock legend was actually living a secret life somewhere, somehow, some way. Those who were in particular denial about Morrison’s passing had predicted that the Lizard King would later reveal himself to be alive and well, and would make a grand comeback – possibly under another guise. And in 1974, some people were convinced that Morrison was, in fact, re-entering the world – musically and otherwise – under the guise of a mysterious band called Phantom. This band released its only album, titled Phantom’

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 49: Bob Dylan “Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985)” (2021)

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The 49th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in September of 2021. 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. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months. The 49th Vault package featured a 4-LP vinyl edition of Bob Dylan’s box set titled Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) . This edition contained 42 songs recorded by Dylan in the early-to-mid-‘80’s, 40 of which were previously unreleased. This edition is slightly condensed from the commercially released 5-CD edition, which contained 57 tracks. However, it should not be confused with the 2-LP vinyl highlights version which was released commercially. That 2-LP set contains 11 of the 57 t

The Gun Club “Sex, Murder, Drugs, and Bad Vibes – Live at the Starwood 1981” (2021 Record Store Day Black Friday LP)

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For Record Store Day Black Friday in 2021, a previously unreleased live album from the Gun Club – the early punk rock band led by the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce – was issued in a limited run of 2,000 gold-colored vinyl copies. Sex, Murder, Drugs, and Bad Vibes – Live at the Starwood 1981 was recorded at the titular Hollywood club on January 20th of ’81. This live show took place before the release of the Gun Club’s 1981 debut album Fire Of Love . The show was performed by the lineup which recorded that album, which was comprised of Pierce, guitarist Ward Dotson, and former Alice Bag Band members Rob Ritter (bass) and Terry Graham (drums). (Contrary to what the Record Store Day website states, this should not be confused with the original lineup which included Kid Congo Powers). The Starwood Club in Hollywood was known as a venue which helped to launch the careers of many heavy metal and punk bands between 1973 and 1981. This show was performed five months before the club was closed dow

Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 (2021 Record Store Day Black Friday LP)

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On Record Store Day Black Friday in 2021, a limited edition live LP by two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Carole King was issued. Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 was recorded during the year when King’s hugely successful Tapestry album was released. This vinyl LP was limited to 6,550 copies. This concert was performed on July 15, 1971 at the BBC Television Centre in London, and its original BBC broadcast took place on October 2nd of that year. King was backed by the band Jo Mama, which included King’s former collaborators in the folk-rock trio known as The City: her then-husband Charles Larkey on bass, and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar on conga and electric guitar. James Taylor, another frequent collaborator, made a guest appearance playing acoustic guitar on “So Far Away”. For a time during the ‘70’s, the Tapestry album held the title of the best-selling album of all time. As of this writing, the album is the 38th all-time best-seller, having sold over 13 mi

Aerosmith "1971 - The Road Starts Hear" (2021 Record Store Day Black Friday LP and cassette)

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For Record Store Day Black Friday 2021, Aerosmith issued a limited edition album in LP and cassette formats, containing their first known recorded tracks from 1971. The vinyl LP was limited to 10,000 copies, while the cassette had a print run of 2,000 copies. The seven tracks on 1971 – The Road Starts Hear (the actual spelling) were just recently discovered by the band. No one remembers exactly where they were recorded or for what purpose, but Mark Lehman (Aerosmith’s first roadie) guesses they are rehearsals which were recorded in the basement of a women’s dormitory at Boston University, while singer Steven Tyler thinks they may have been soundchecks recorded inside an empty club shortly before a gig. The source tape was recorded on a reel-to-reel machine that belonged to guitarist Joe Perry. The resulting sound quality is clearly not studio level, but is better than that of a typical demo. The recording took place in October of 1971, about one year after Aerosmith’s first show, an

1991 was the year of Nirvana...or was it?

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September 24th of 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's landmark Nevermind album on the same date in 1991. Nevermind , which has sold over 30 million units worldwide, is one of the best-selling albums of all time, as well as one of the most influential. The album, which mixed punk rock rage with accessible pop hooks, effectively kicked off the alternative rock revolution of the early-to-mid-'90's. We all know the sad ending to the Nirvana story: Kurt Cobain, the band's founder and frontman, committed suicide less than three years later, after repeatedly stating that he was unhappy with the trappings of fame and the demands of the music business. On a positive note, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl went on to form the Foo Fighters, whose popularity endures to this day. The Nevermind album is often acknowledged as a game-changer for rock and roll, and it was certainly pivotal to the history of popular music. But one debatable claim that is ofte

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 48: White Stripes “White Blood Cells XX” (2021)

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The 48th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in June and July of 2021. 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. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months. The 48th Vault package featured a 20th anniversary edition of the White Stripes’ White Blood Cells album from 2001, consisting of two LP’s with previously unreleased bonus tracks, as well as a DVD of a short featurette on the making of the album, and a picture book full of related visual memorabilia. On the 2001 White Blood Cells album, which was the duo’s third studio release, Jack and Meg White continued to make high-fuzz garage rock, but this time it was based less on the blues than on folk-rock. Wher

Stillwater Demos (2021 Record Store Day LP)

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The soundtrack album for the excellent 2000 film Almost Famous , which was based on writer/director Cameron Crowe’s experiences as a teenage Rolling Stone magazine reporter in the 1970's, is being reissued in multiple expanded editions on July 9th. This article provides many details about those reissues: https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/almost-famous-expanded-july-release/ The Uber Box Set edition certainly would be an incredible thing to possess, for those who could afford it. The track list provided in the article shows that the six songs supposedly recorded by Stillwater, the film's fictional '70's rock band, will be included on CD 4 of the mammoth set. That same disc will contain the Stillwater demos, which were also issued on a limited edition vinyl LP for Record Store Day 2021. Only one of the Stillwater songs, “Fever Dog”, was featured on the original version of the Almost Famous soundtrack album. But there was a “Director’s Edition” DVD version of th