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Showing posts from December, 2019

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 42: The White Stripes XX (2019)

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The 42nd set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in December of 2019. 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 42nd Vault package celebrated the 20th anniversary of the self-titled 1999 debut album from The White Stripes, the blues-rock duo of Jack and Meg White. Formally known as The White Stripes XX, the set contained two 12-inch vinyl LP’s featuring previously unreleased bonus material related to that album, a DVD featuring two early live performances, and a picture book featuring photos of the now-defunct duo taken during the debut album’s time period. The White Stripes XX is packaged in a sleek,…

Cheap Trick "Are You Ready? LIVE 12/31/1979" (2019 Record Store Day Black Friday LP)

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For Record Store Day Black Friday in 2019, Epic/Legacy issued a live double-LP by Cheap Trick, recorded on New Year’s Eve at the end of 1979. The album was titled Are You Ready? LIVE 12/31/1979. It was limited to 3,500 vinyl copies, which came with mp3 download codes.

This ‘70’s-closing concert took place at The Forum in Los Angeles, and was broadcast live by that city’s KLOS-FM radio station. Although the much-bootlegged concert was recorded on multi-track equipment, the first reel was lost, so the first four tracks on this LP set were sourced from the radio broadcast. The remaining tracks were given stereo mixes in 2003, and two of them (“Way Of The World” and “The House Is Rockin’”) were previously released as bonus tracks on the 2006 CD reissue of Dream Police. The other 17 tracks were not officially released previously.

This concert took place shortly after the release of the 1979 Dream Police album, and 8 of that album’s 9 songs were performed on this night. The usual quartet…

Alex Chilton "My Rival" (2019 Record Store Day Black Friday EP)

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For Record Store Day Black Friday in 2019, Omnivore Recordings issued a 10-inch EP with five previously unreleased demo tracks recorded by Alex Chilton in 1975. This EP, titled My Rival, was limited to 1,500 vinyl copies. The EP will be made available digitally on December 6th.

What is the significance of these My Rival tracks? They were engineered by Chris Bell, who co-founded the legendary cult band Big Star with Chilton less than five years earlier. These sessions recorded at Ardent Studios are believed to be the last recorded collaborations between Chilton (who died in 2010) and Bell (who died in late 1978 at the age of 27). According to the interesting liner notes by Rich Tupica, these tracks were recorded within days of the session which produced Bell’s solo track “You And Your Sister”, on which Chilton sang the harmony vocal.

Chilton and Bell both suffered from clinical depression and substance abuse around the time of these recordings, and (not surprisingly) the EP is remin…