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Showing posts from April, 2018

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

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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. …

Belly "Feel" (2018 Record Store Day EP)

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For Record Store Day 2018, the reunited ‘90’s alt-pop band Belly – led by ex-Throwing Muses singer/guitarist Tanya Donelly – released a 10-inch 45-rpm EP titled Feel. Limited to 2,000 copies and pressed in blue “splatter-colored” vinyl, this EP heralds the May 4th release of Dove, which is Belly’s first new album in 23 years. The band has stated that this new album is a more collaborative effort than their earlier works, on which Donelly did most of the songwriting; the songwriting is now collectively credited to the band. Guitarist Tom Gorman produced, with assistance by Paul Q. Kolderie in recording and mixing.

The two tracks on the first side of the Feel EP are both songs from the Dove album. “Army Of Clay” and especially “Human Child” are quite good, suggesting that Dove will lie in the same basic vein as the band’s 1993 debut album Star. These two songs have the same basic guitar-based dream-pop sound, and Donelly’s voice still has the same off-kilter feminine appeal as it did …

(American) Spring (1972)

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A good find for Beach Boys devotees and collectors of girl group recordings is the obscure self-titled album by the female pop duo Spring from 1972. A mostly overlooked side note in the history of the Beach Boys, Spring consisted of sisters Diane Rovell and Marilyn Rovell Wilson – the latter of whom was then married to Brian Wilson. The sisters had previously been two-thirds of a girl group called the Honeys, who often sang background vocals on Beach Boys recordings. During the ‘60’s, the Honeys released five singles, all of which were produced, arranged, and/or written by Brian Wilson.

Spring (who were known as American Spring outside of the U.S. to avoid confusion with British and Canadian bands of the same name) recorded only one full-length album in 1972. Brian Wilson was the album’s executive producer, and was assisted in production by David Sandler and Stephen Desper. Brian also provided harmony and backing vocals (as did Mike Love and Carl Wilson), and he played piano, organ a…