Showing posts from January, 2006

More T. Rex releases

Following the four T. Rex reissues that Rhino released in November, Rhino has now also released three more 2-CD expanded editions of T. Rex albums from the '70's this week: Tanx (1973), Bolan's Zip Gun (1975), and Futuristic Dragon (1976). The 1973 album Tanx is regarded as the beginning of Marc Bolan's downward slide after the albums Electric Warrior (1971) and The Slider (1972) made him a superstar in the UK. Although it is less bombastic and memorable than its two predecessors , Tanx is not a bad album at all. It found Bolan and company toning down the glam-rock excesses (and criticizing them to boot, in the lyrics of "Shock Rock": "If you know how to rock/You don't have to shock") and adding elements of country and blues rock to their sound. The first disc contains the 13 original tracks and seven bonus tracks, some of which ("Children Of The Revolution", "20th Century Boy", "Solid Gold Easy Action") are as e

The first two Sparks albums

The reissue label Wounded Bird Records is reissuing the first two albums by Sparks, the strange long-running musical project of brothers Ron and Russell Mael. Those albums are the self-titled Sparks (1971) and A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing (1972). Both CDs are being released on Tuesday. To the best of my knowledge, it will be the first time either of them have been available on CD in the U.S. The Wounded Bird website is here: For those not familiar with Sparks, they have a long and complicated history that isn't over yet. (Their 20th album, Hello Young Lovers, is being released next month in some countries, although the U.S. does not appear to be one of those countries). The Mael brothers (the only two constant members) were born in Los Angeles, but you wouldn't know it from their seemingly Euro-centric sound. In fact, they never achieved commercial success in America, but they were all the rage in England in the mid-'70's, when they succ

Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?

I thought I'd pass on this article from PC World:,aid,124312,00.asp?GT1=7645 Here is some key text: Opinions vary on how to preserve data on digital storage media, such as optical CDs and DVDs. Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland, has his own view: If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime. "Unlike pressed original CDs, burned CDs have a relatively short life span of between two to five years, depending on the quality of the CD," Gerecke says. "There are a few things you can do to extend the life of a burned CD, like keeping the disc in a cool, dark space, but not a whole lot more." The problem is material degradation. Optical discs commonly used for burning, such as CD-R and CD-RW, have a recording surface consisting of a layer of dye that can be modified by heat to store data. The degradation proces

David Lee Roth says Van Halen reunion "inevitable"

Oh boy. Are you ready for more reunion rumors? David Lee Roth said in a Tuesday Pittsburgh Tribune Review interview that it is "inevitable" that he will reunite with Van Halen, and predicts that it will happen sooner rather than later. Haven't we heard this before? Roth says: "I talked to the drummer [Alex Van Halen] about a week ago. And I think, eventually, the inevitable will happen." I'll believe it when I see it, and no sooner. Why am I skeptical? A good back story on this can be read in this article. By the way, Roth made his debut this week as Howard Stern's replacement on a number of radio stations. It's mostly a talk radio show, with a minimum of music involved. He has plenty of enthusiasm and stories to tell, but time will tell if he can keep it going for any length of time.