Showing posts from 2022

Alice Cooper “Live At The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow 19.02.82” (2020 Record Store Day drop date LP)

For the Record Store Day Drop Date in October of 2020, Rhino Records released a live double-album by Alice Cooper, recorded in Scotland in 1982 during Cooper’s Special Forces tour. Live At The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow 19.02.82 was limited to 7,000 vinyl copies. The Special Forces Band which backed Cooper for this show included two musicians from his 1981 Special Forces album: guitarist Mike Pinera and bassist Erik Scott. The other three players were blues-rock guitarist John Nitzinger, keyboardist Wayne Cook (who had previously played with Player and Steppenwolf), and drummer Jan Uvena (who went on to play with Alcatrazz). This concert was performed during a bad and bizarre time in the shock-rock legend’s long career. This show took place several years after the original Alice Cooper band had broken up, and frontman Vincent Furnier effectively became a solo artist named Alice Cooper. The man called Alice continued to achieve commercial success during the remainder of the '70&

Sheryl Crow's unreleased first album from 1992

When I watch a rock documentary about a certain artist, I wait to see if some attention is given to a forgotten rarity that the artist once recorded, even if it only gets a few seconds of screen time. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I watched Sheryl , the Showtime network’s new documentary about Sheryl Crow, and I didn’t hear one word mentioned about the real first album Crow recorded in the early ‘90’s – which was never released. It certainly seemed odd for the program to not acknowledge this event in Crow's life at all. Then again, the main purpose of Sheryl seems to be to raise the singer's current profile, and to boost sales and streaming of her music, particularly the new tie-in compilation Sheryl: Music From The Feature Documentary . So, from the documentary filmmakers' point of view, it apparently made no sense to inform the audience about a Crow album which has never been commercially available. After Crow began her career in the late '80's as a ba

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 51: Carole King “Home Again: Live From The Great Lawn, Central Park, New York City, May 26, 1973” (2022)

The 51st set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in April of 2022. 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 members every three months. The 51st Vault package featured a 2-LP live album from jazz-pop legend Carole King titled Home Again: Live From The Great Lawn, Central Park, New York City, May 26, 1973 , pressed in brick-red-colored vinyl. The package also contained a DVD documenting the same concert, and a 7-inch single containing covers of two King songs recorded by contemporary singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus. The concert documented on Home Again took place two years after the release of King’s landmark 1971 Tapestry album. King performed the

Lou Reed and Nico - Record Store Day 2022 special releases

One month after the influential 1967 Velvet Underground And Nico album turned 55 years of age, special releases by Lou Reed and Nico were issued on Record Store Day 2022. Lou Reed was the co-founder and the creative force behind the Velvet Underground. The RSD release I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos was a vinyl LP containing 13 demo tracks recorded by Reed in October of ’71 at RCA Recording Studios in New York. This was Reed’s first recording session after he departed from the Velvet Underground in 1970, beginning his long solo career which continued until his death in 2013. This LP was limited to 7,550 copies. Apparently, this album was briefly released digitally on Apple Music in Europe just before Christmas 2021, with four additional tracks, but was quickly removed within days. As of this writing, plans for future releases of the album are unknown. These recordings were demos of songs which turned up in finished form on the solo albums Reed recorded for RCA between 1972 and 19

Bedlam "The Beast" (1973) with Cozy Powell

In many rock-and-roll hearts, April 5th is a date that lives in infamy. Fans of ‘90’s grunge recognize this date as the one on which Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was believed to have taken his own life in 1994, and the date on which Layne Staley of Alice In Chains was believed to have died of a drug overdose in 2002. Other notable figures in rock history who have died on this date include Bob “The Bear” Hite of Canned Heat in 1981, and Marshall amp inventor Jim Marshall in 2012. Another name was added to this list in 2022, when early-‘60’s teen idol Bobby Rydell also passed away on this date. Yet another noteworthy rock musician on this list is Cozy Powell, who perished in a car crash at age 50 on April 5th of 1998. Born as Colin Trevor Flooks in England in December 1947, Cozy Powell was regarded as one of the greatest drummers in hard rock. After a brief stint with the Jeff Beck Group in the early 1970’s, Powell went on to play with many bands in the hard rock and heavy metal catego

The Beatles' Movie Medley (1982 single)

In 1982, Capitol Records released a Beatles compilation album called Reel Music , which assembled 14 songs which the Fab Four recorded for their five films: A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), Yellow Submarine (1968), and Let It Be (1970). Reel Music was one of numerous compilations – following Rock ‘N’ Roll Music (1976) and Love Songs (1977) – which collected selections of Beatles songs and tied them together through common themes. Like those two earlier compilation albums, Reel Music is out of print, but all of its tracks are currently available on the proper Beatles albums. The LP is a nice collectible item to own, offering 14 classic tracks plus a 12-page booklet – titled The Beatles Souvenir Program – which contains pictures and commentary related to those five Beatles movies. But the most interesting thing about Reel Music was the single which was released to promote the album. "The Beatles' Movie Medley" was a four-min

Gun Club “Live At The Hacienda ‘83” (2022 Record Store Day LP)

The recent spate of Record Store Day vinyl LP releases from The Gun Club continues on RSD 2022, with the first appearance on vinyl (or any audio medium) of Live At The Hacienda ’83 . This concert by the long-defunct American punk band – led by the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce – at the Manchester venue was first documented on a 1994 VHS release called Live At The Hacienda (Visionary Communications JE248), and later on a U.K.-only DVD called Live At The Haçienda 1983/84 (Cherry Red CRDVD122) in 2006. This exclusive RSD LP edition of the concert is limited to 2,000 copies, and is pressed in clear-and-black split-color vinyl. This concert took place on April 20, 1983, years before the Haçienda club acquired some notoriety as an ecstasy den. The lineup consisted of Pierce (vocals), Jim Duckworth (guitar), Patricia Morrison (bass), and Dee Pop (drums). This LP should not be confused with the 2010 digital-only album Live At The Hacienda, 1984 , which was recorded 18 months later at the same ve

Ian McDonald "Drivers Eyes" (1999)

Ian McDonald, who passed away in February of 2022 at the age of 75, was a progressive rock multi-instrumentalist who was best known as a founding member of King Crimson (playing on, and departing after, their grand 1969 debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King ) and of Foreigner (playing on the popular hard rock band’s first three albums before being ousted in 1980, when the band’s lineup was reduced from six men to 4 ). However, McDonald did record two notable non-band albums a few decades apart. In 1970, he recorded an album with fellow King Crimson refugee Michael Giles (the self-titled McDonald & Giles ) which mixed some elements of In The Court Of The Crimson King with more elements of the Beatles’ Abbey Road . And in 1999, McDonald issued his only full-length solo album, Drivers Eyes , which is not commercially available as of this writing. Drivers Eyes was a pleasing progressive rock effort with a digital-age smoothness that differentiated it from the ‘70’s variety o

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 50: White Stripes “Live at The Detroit Institute of Arts 11/2/01” (2021)

The 50th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in December of 2021. 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 members every three months. The 50th Vault package featured a 2-LP live album from the White Stripes recorded in 2001, as well as a DVD documenting the same concert, and a 7-inch single containing two tracks from White’s two upcoming 2022 solo albums. The 2-LP set Live at The Detroit Institute of Arts 11/2/01 chronicles a November 2001 concert by the duo of Jack and Meg White at the titular museum's Rivera Court. The two discs are visually striking, the first one pressed in transparent vinyl with red splatters, the second one pressed

Meat Loaf's lesser-known third Bat Out Of Hell album

Meat Loaf, the singer and actor who was born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas in 1947, has died at age 74. The larger-than-life entertainer began his career as a stage actor, performing in Broadway and L.A. productions of Hair in the early ‘70’s. Except for a 1971 duets album recorded with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy, Meat Loaf’s debut album was the 1977 release Bat Out Of Hell , which incredibly became one of the best-selling albums of all time. Lavishly produced by Todd Rundgren, the album was a campy, theatrical arena-rock opera, mixing Springsteen-like melodrama with Phil Spector-like walls of sound. The heavy-set Meat Loaf had impressive vocal abilities and showmanship to match the grandiosity that surrounded him. The songs were written by theater composer Jim Steinman (who died in April 2021, less than one year before Meat Loaf's passing), and Steinman was given uncommon billing on the album’s front cover . Obviously, there was commercial demand for a follow-up to Bat Out Of Hell , wh

Pre-Led Zeppelin singles by Plant, Page, and Jones

For those who may be unfamiliar with the story of how Led Zeppelin began, it went something like this: After the breakup of the Yardbirds in 1968, that band was still under a contractual obligation to tour in Scandinavia with Vanilla Fudge. The responsibility was taken on by Jimmy Page, the guitarist who had joined the band in 1966, to assemble a new version of the Yardbirds to fulfill their remaining obligations. Prominent session bassist John Paul Jones took the place of Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja (reportedly by Dreja’s suggestion). Page wanted singer Terry Reid to join the band, but Reid declined, suggesting that Page instead enlist a 19-year-old singer named Robert Plant. Plant was then a member of Band Of Joy, who had been an opening act for Reid at least one time. When Page approached Plant about joining the new Yardbirds, Plant said he would join if John Bonham, the Band Of Joy drummer, also would. The rest, as they say, is history. After beginning their career under the name

Phantom's Divine Comedy, Part 1 (1974)

As hard to believe as it may be, it has now been more than 50 years since the death of Jim Morrison, the legendary lead singer of the Doors, who died at age 27 in Paris, France in 1971 under unclear circumstances. Because the circumstances of his death are so mysterious – only a few people saw his body, no autopsy was performed, his coffin was closed – many conspiracy theorists have postulated that Morrison actually faked his 1971 death to escape from the trappings of fame, and that the rock legend was actually living a secret life somewhere, somehow, some way. Those who were in particular denial about Morrison’s passing had predicted that the Lizard King would later reveal himself to be alive and well, and would make a grand comeback – possibly under another guise. And in 1974, some people were convinced that Morrison was, in fact, re-entering the world – musically and otherwise – under the guise of a mysterious band called Phantom. This band released its only album, titled Phantom’