Showing posts from June, 2011

Farewell, (aka BMG Music Service)

It’s official. The website , which evolved from the mail-order music club BMG Music Service, is no more. The site closed down around midnight on June 29th, 2011. This probably does not come as a surprise to anyone. As CD sales have continued to decline, many music retailers have been closing up shop in recent years. It seemed like only a matter of time before this particular enterprise would come to its end. But, personally, I hate to see it come to its end. I have fond memories of the time when I first became a member of the BMG Music Club. In 1989, after I acquired my first compact disc player, I finally couldn’t refuse those magazine ads for record clubs which I had been seeing since I was a child. As a youngster, I remember seeing ads offering certain numbers of LP records for only one penny. My older siblings repeatedly explained to me that there was a catch: I would be under obligation to buy more records later at full price. So, I had to wait until I “grew up”. And

An Evening With Wild Man Fischer (1969)

Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, a cult musician who suffered from mental illness, died earlier this month from heart failure at age 66. Fischer made sporadic recordings and television appearances beginning in 1968. A performance artist from the enigmatic genre known as outsider music, Wild Man Fischer may have been best known to fans of the Dr. Demento show. He had the distinction of being the very first artist to record for Rhino Records, beginning with a 1975 single called “Go To Rhino Records”. But the first person who was bold enough to give the Wild Man a record deal was Frank Zappa. In 1968, Zappa “discovered” Fischer while he was performing his songs on the sidewalks of L.A.’s Sunset Strip for passersby for ten cents a song. On his Bizarre label, Zappa produced and released Fischer’s two-record debut album titled An Evening With Wild Man Fischer . Recorded on a sidewalk in 1968 and released in April of 1969, the album is, by turns, a performance album by Fischer, a concept album abou

Neil Young page updates

I've recently added three reviews to the Neil Young page of my website. These reviews pertain to his 1986 album Landing On Water (which is out of print in the U.S. but still available in some countries) and two rare EP's: Eldorado (1989) and The Complex Sessions (1994). The page is located here: The Neil Young page is one page that I haven't made many changes to since I first created it in 1999. The original purpose of the page was to highlight six albums which were then referred to by Young's fans as "the lost six". The first six albums reviewed on the page were out of print at the time, but four of them were reissued in 2003. The ones which are still unavailable are the 1972 movie soundtrack Journey Through The Past (no loss there) and the 1973 live album Time Fades Away (a definite loss; why hasn't it been reissued?). One revision I've made to the page is one that I would rather not have. I wrote in '99 tha

Twelve years!

It’s amazing but true. It has now been twelve years since I first published my website Rarebird’s Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews . At first thought, it doesn’t seem as if it was that long ago. But then I start to think in depth about how much has changed since that time, especially as far as the music industry is concerned. In 1999, there was no such thing as iTunes, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter. Music was sold mainly on CD’s. Audiocassettes were just going out of fashion at that time, and controversies over online music file sharing were just beginning to heat up. Brick-and-mortar stores like Tower Records were still the places where most music was purchased, although online CD sales were certainly picking up speed. Also, many CD’s were purchased by mail through clubs like Columbia House and BMG Music Service. I used to love visiting my local used record stores to find rare and out-of-print recordings, although I had just recently discovered the joys of eBay and GEMM in '9