Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 37: Jack White “Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor” (2018)

The 37th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in September of 2018. 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 Platinum members every three months.

The 37th Vault package consisted of a 3-LP live album by Jack White titled Live At Third Man Records ||| Nashville & Cass Corridor. The set documented two performances at the two Third Man Records locations in Nashville and Detroit in the spring of ’18, which celebrated the release of White’s third solo album titled Boarding House Reach. The LP’s were packaged in a die-cut sleeve with interchangeable graphics, inspired by the cover art from Led Zep’s Physical Graffiti and the Stones’ Some G…

The other Velvet Underground...from Australia

If you search on Discogs -- not to mention Google -- for information about a certain musical group, you will often find that more than one artist has used the name you are searching for. But, seriously...who would have thought that more than one band called themselves the Velvet Underground?

There was once an Australian band by that name, who were entirely unrelated to the seminal American band led by Lou Reed. This band was formed in 1967, and disbanded in 1972 -- which means that they existed concurrently with the American Velvet Underground, although they claimed to be unaware of that band's existence. They said that they (like their American counterpart) took their name from Michael Leigh's 1963 nonfiction novel about aberrant sexual behavior.

The Australian Velvet Underground hardly had the same historical significance as Reed's influential band, but they did have some: Malcolm Young, the co-founder-to-be of AC/DC, was a member of the Australian Velvet Underground …

Vinnie Vincent - "Euphoria" and "Speedball Jamm"

Steve Perry of Journey is not the only long-lost arena rock musician of the ‘80’s who returned to the public eye in 2018. Another one is Vinnie Vincent (real name: Vincent Cusano), who was a member of Kiss for a brief but significant time in that band’s history. Replacing Ace Frehley as their lead guitarist in 1982, Vincent joined Kiss shortly before they temporarily stopped wearing their trademark makeup, wearing an Ankh design on his painted face. Vincent was on board for the band’s public unmasking, and for their 1983 comeback album Lick It Up, on which he co-wrote 8 of the 10 tracks. But Vincent’s agenda reportedly clashed with those of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, who fired him from Kiss before their next album was recorded. Vincent went on to form his own band called the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, who recorded two hair-metal albums in 1986 and 1988, before the second album’s lineup split from Vincent to form the band called Slaughter.

Vincent kept a low profile for most of the…

Steve Perry "Against The Wall" - the unreleased 1988 solo album

Here is some news that I never expected to report: Steve Perry is back from oblivion! The former Journey vocalist, who sang the lead on almost all of the San Francisco arena-rock supergroup’s well-known hit songs, is about to release his third solo album, titled Traces, on October 5, 2018. This is Perry’s first solo album since For The Love Of Strange Medicine in 1994, and his first studio work since the weak but platinum-selling 1996 Journey album Trial By Fire. After the recording of the latter album, Perry was sidelined by a hip injury suffered in a hiking accident. Perry was then unable to tour with Journey because he put off having the necessary surgery, and the band subsequently replaced him. Perry is now finally returning to the recording business after two decades of invisibility. And, now that he has publicly resurfaced in the internet age, Mr. Perry has launched an official website and opened social media accounts.

There was also a long hiatus – a decade, to be exact – bet…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 36: Captain Beefheart “Trout Mask Replica" (2018 reissue)

The 36th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in June of 2018. 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 (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its platinum members every three months.

The thirty-sixth Vault package contains a vinyl reissue of Captain Beefheart’s 1969 double-LP Trout Mask Replica, as well as a reissue of that album's only 7-inch single, “Pachuco Cadaver”. The double-LP is pressed in “180-gram fruitcake fish-scale colored vinyl”, and was remastered from safety masters stored for decades in producer Frank Zappa's family vault. The single is pressed in white vinyl. I chose to skip this quarter’s Vault package, as I do not feel a need to own a deluxe vinyl reissue of …

The Cure “Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018”

For Record Store Day 2018, The Cure issued a 2-LP picture disc titled Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018. Limited to 7,750 copies worldwide, this album is a companion piece to the 1990 remix album Mixed Up (which received its own remastered vinyl reissue for that same Record Store Day). Where Mixed Up generally featured remixes of the Cure’s better-known songs, Torn Down consists of new 2018 remixes of 16 of the goth-rock band’s lesser-known tracks. One song was selected for remixing from each of the Cure’s studio albums released between 1979 and 2008, along with “Never Enough” from Mixed Up and “Cut Here” from the 2001 Greatest Hits album. Torn Down will be available on regular black vinyl on June 15th, and the 16 tracks will make up the third disc of the upcoming 3-CD reissue of Mixed Up, also coming June 15th.

The 16 remixes on Torn Down essentially give modern facelifts to decades-old tracks, putting them more in line with contemporary alternative music. A noticeable trend here is …

Awolnation "Live In Vienna" (2018 Record Store Day single)

For Record Store Day 2018, the L.A. alternative rock band Awolnation released a 7-inch vinyl single titled Live In Vienna. Limited to 1,000 copies, Live In Vienna featured two songs recorded live at Supersense in Austria. What is Supersense, you ask? It is a venue owned by an analog recording enthusiast by the name of Florian “Doc” Kaps. The single’s sleeve describes it this way:

"Supersense in Vienna is a hidden gem in the heart of Europe, which remains one of the only places in the world to offer this unique style of recording. At Supersense artists engage in an antiquated, authentic and rare method of recording a unique, live performance in an intimate environment. The sound immortalized on vinyl.”

It sounds like an intriguing place, much like a European variation of Jack White’s Third Man Records Blue Room. The two Awolnation performances included on this single are of the encouraging “Passion” from their 2018 album Here Come The Runts, and the darker “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)…

Def Leppard "Live At Abbey Road Studios" (2018 Record Store Day EP)

On Record Store Day 2018, the British pop-metal band Def Leppard released the 3-song, 45-rpm, 12-inch vinyl EP Live At Abbey Road Studios. Limited to 4,000 copies, the EP contained live-in-the-studio re-recordings of three songs from the band’s catalogue, recorded in May of 2008 at the world-famous studio in London and remixed in December 2017 at singer Joe Elliott’s Joe’s Garage studio in Dublin. These renditions are basically faithful to their original recordings, with less bombast and a bit more directness.

The first track, “C’mon C’mon”, is a selection from the then-new album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. This more-organic version of the decent rocker is arguably no better or worse than the album version. But this version of “Rock On” – the David Essex song that the band had covered on their 2006 album Yeah! – is preferable to the version on that album, as it is a shade less noisy – although it is still a far cry from the minimalist reggae arrangement of Essex’s 1973 original. …