Posts Tagged ‘50th Anniversary Edition’

The Band Stage Fright Album Cover web optimised 820

By the time The Band came to record their third album, in May 1970, expectations were high. They had already been Bob Dylan’s backing group and then broken out on their own to play an integral role in changing the direction of American music with their 1968 masterpiece, Music From Big Pink, and its self-titled follow-up. Judging by its title, Stage Fright suggested the group knew they’d have even more to prove. On February 12th, 2021, Capitol/UMe Records will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Band’s classic third album, Stage Fright, with a suite of newly remixed, remastered and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages, including a multi-format Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/1LP/7-inch vinyl box set photo booklet; digital, 2CD, 180-gram black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram color vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters.

Released on August 17th, 1970, “Stage Fright” features two of The Band’s best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and the title track, both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances by Manuel and Danko, respectively, and became staples in the group’s live shows. Recorded over 12 days on the stage of the Woodstock Playhouse, the album was self-produced by The Band for the first time and engineered and mixed by Todd Rundgren with additional mixing by Glyn Johns.

For the first time, the album is being presented in the originally planned song order. The boxed set, CD and digital configurations feature a bevy of unreleased recordings, including “Live at the Royal Albert Hall, June 1971″, a thrilling full concert captured in the midst of their European tour.

The new set also includes alternate versions of “Strawberry Wine” and “Sleeping”; and seven unearthed field recordings, Calgary Hotel Recordings, 1970, an impromptu late-night hotel jam session between Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of several “Stage Fright” songs recorded while the album was in the mixing stage.

As a gesture to the residents of Woodstock – who had endured some of the problems of living in a town that played home to famous musicians – The Band offered to record “Stage Fright” in a private town concert. The proposal was rejected by the local council and so the group recorded the album at the Woodstock Playhouse, without an audience. Young engineer Todd Rundgren was in charge of the acoustics, and guitarist/vocalist Robbie Robertson said, “It turned out to be an interesting acoustical thing because you could perform with the curtain closed and it would give you this dry sound and if you opened the curtain you got the sound of the house in there.”

Though The Band had privacy to be creative, the anxieties of fame and celebrity are evident in the themes of fear and alienation that permeate Stage Fright, which was released on 17th August 1970.

The songs are more personal than those of their first two albums, and an undoubted highlight is the title track, a candid song about Robertson’s struggle with stage fright. He turns his fears about performing for an audience into a universal lament. Robertson said, “In ‘Stage Fright’ a lot of stuff I was trying to hold in was starting to creep out.” Bassist and fiddle player Rick Danko takes lead vocals on the song and delivers a powerful performance, ably supported by Garth Hudson’s fluent organ playing.

Stage Fright continued to highlight The Band’s virtuosity. Hudson also played electric piano, accordion, and tenor and baritone saxophones on the record, while Levon Helm played drums, guitar and percussion (and sang lead vocals on four songs), and Richard Manuel played piano, organ, drums and clavinet.

All that instrumental talent, together with Manuel’s skill as a singer, came together on ‘Sleeping’, a Robertson-Manuel composition that blends rock and jazz inflections into a ruminative gem.

That pairing also co-wrote ‘Just Another Whistle Stop’, which races along in zestful Band style, while the mood darkens again on ‘The Shape I’m In’ and the catchy ‘The WS Walcott Medicine Show’. The bleak ‘Daniel And The Sacred Harp’ is a parable about a musician selling his soul: “The moment of truth is right at hand/Just one more nightmare you can stand.” Robertson, who wrote the song, said he was trying to convey how helpless and vulnerable things seemed for the musicians at the time.

Helm sings tenderly on Robertson’s poignant lullaby of ‘All La Glory’, which he wrote for his child. Hudson’s graceful accordion playing brings out the best from moving lyrics, while ‘The Rumour’, one of seven songs Robertson is credited with writing solo, is another strong offering.

In their 1970 review, Rolling Stone magazine called the album “elusive”. Indeed, “Stage Fright” has the uncertainty of a record made at a time when the bonds between the band members were being tested by personal and professional frictions. However, as a piece of music it stands the test of time.

“It was a dark album,” Helm admitted later. “And an accurate reflection of our group’s collective psychic weather. We all realised something was wrong, that things were beginning to slide.”

The public loved it, however. Stage Fright reached a career-best position of No.5 in the album charts and went gold after selling more than half a million copies.

Exclusively for the boxed set, Clearmountain has also created a new 5.1 surround mix and a hi-res stereo mix of the album, bonus tracks and the live show, presented on Blu-ray. All the new audio mixes have been mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. The set also includes an exclusive reproduction of the Spanish pressing of The Band’s 1971 7-inch vinyl single for “Time To Kill” b/w “The Shape I’m In” in their new stereo mixes and a photo booklet with new notes by Robbie Robertson and touring photographer John Scheele, who recorded the Calgary Hotel Recordings; plus a reprinting of the original Los Angeles Times album review by critic Robert Hilburn; three classic photo lithographs; and photographs from Scheele and several other photographers.

The new collection includes many previously unreleased live recordings.

The Band’s classic 1970 album is often considered slightly inferior to its two stone-cold-classic predecessors, the group’s debut “Music From Big Pink” and the self-titled follow-up — but what’s not often stated is that “slightly inferior” to those albums still makes it one of the best albums of the year if not the era.

While the group had started to fragment a bit at the time of its recording — largely due to substance abuse — it still contains several of their all-time best songs, like the title track, “The Shape I’m In,” “Strawberry Wine” and others. On February 12th, 2021, Capitol/UMe will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Band’s classic third album, “Stage Fright”, with a suite of newly remixed, remastered and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages, including a multi-format Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/1LP/7-inch vinyl box set photo booklet; digital, 2CD, 180-gram black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram colour vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters. For the first time, the album is being presented in the originally planned song order. The boxed set, CD and digital configurations feature a bevy of unreleased recordings, including Live at the Royal Albert Hall, June 1971, In the set’s liner notes, Robertson calls the show at London’s Royal Albert Hall “One of the greatest live concerts The Band ever played. ”It was a thrilling full concert captured in the midst of their European tour; alternate versions of “Strawberry Wine” and “Sleeping”; and seven unearthed field recordings, Calgary Hotel Recordings, 1970, an impromptu late-night hotel jam session between Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of several Stage Fright songs recorded while the album was in the mixing stage.

Exclusively for the boxed set, Clearmountain has also created a new 5.1 surround mix and a hi-res stereo mix of the album, bonus tracks and the live show, presented on Blu-ray. All the new audio mixes have been mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. The set also includes an exclusive reproduction of the Spanish pressing of The Band’s 1971 7-inch vinyl single for “Time To Kill” b/w “The Shape I’m In” in their new stereo mixes and a photo booklet with new notes by Robbie Robertson and touring photographer John Scheele, who recorded the Calgary Hotel Recordings; 1970,” a fun and loose, impromptu late night hotel jam session between Band members Robertson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of several “Stage Fright” songs, recorded during the group’s legendary “Festival Express” Canadian tour with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy and others. plus a reprinting of the original Los Angeles Times album review by critic Robert Hilburn; three classic photo lithographs; and photographs from Scheele and several other photographers.

Originally Released on August 17th, 1970, Stage Fright features two of The Band’s best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and the title track, both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances by Manuel and Danko, respectively, and became staples in the group’s live shows. Recorded over 12 days on the stage of the Woodstock Playhouse, the album was self-produced by The Band for the first time and engineered and mixed by Todd Rundgren with additional mixing by Glyn Johns.

For the 50th Anniversary collection, the sequence has been changed to present Stage Fright with the originally planned song order.

The release follows last year’s stellar reissue of “The Band,” which included the group’s previously unreleased set from the Woodstock festival. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters (which resolves the conundrum caused by some of the album’s earlier re-releases, which included incorrect mixes of several songs). While the release notes that “For the first time, the album is being presented in the originally planned song order,” what will really interest fans is the previously unreleased material.

The Band

After The Gold Rush (50th Anniversary)

Neil Young continues to celebrate his vast catalogue of recordings. Less than two weeks after he announced a limited edition of Neil Young Archives II: 1972-1976, the legend has formally announced a 50th anniversary edition of his 1970 studio album, “After the Gold Rush”. The original, which includes such Young classics as “Southern Man,” “Don’t Let it Bring You Down,” and “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” is being modestly expanded.

The title is being released on December 11th on CD and can be pre-ordered via the links below. A deluxe vinyl box edition is coming March 19th, 2021.

On October 30th, the day of the announcement, Young shared the previously unreleased original take of “Wonderin’,” recorded with Crazy Horse. The vinyl box set features a variant of the artwork, originally created by Young’s long-time art director, Gary Burden, made in collaboration with artist Jenice Heo, of a solarized image by photographer Joel Bernstein of Young walking in New York against a brick backdrop.

The vinyl set includes a 7″ single in a picture sleeve with two versions of album outtake “Wonderin’.” Side A, originally included in Vol. 1 of his Archives box set, was recorded in Topanga, Calif., in March 1970. The previously released Side B was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood in August 1969. The vinyl edition also includes an exclusive litho print of the album’s front cover. 

After the Gold Rush, originally released on September 19th, 1970, and its follow-up, 1972’s Harvest, were the two most commercially successful albums of Young’s early career. Gold Rush was Young’s third studio album and it arrived amidst a burst of creative activity. Young’s bandmates in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young would each soon follow with a studio LP of their own, after the March 1970 release of the quartet’s Déjà Vu. Young was signed to Warner Bros. Records’ Reprise label; the others were all with Atlantic.

[The latter is also expected to be receiving an expanded 50th anniversary edition later this year.]

After the Gold Rush 50th Anniversary Edition Tracklist:

Tell Me Why
After the Gold Rush
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Southern Man
Till the Morning Comes
Oh, Lonesome Me
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
Birds
When You Dance I Can Really Love
I Believe in You
Cripple Creek Ferry
[Break]
Wonderin’
Wonderin’ (prev. unreleased version)

The new issue of Rolling Stone magazine in Germany comes with an exclusive Neil Young seven-inch single.

The publication (which is in German, obviously) will come with a cover-mounted vinyl single which features the classic ‘After The Goldrush’ on the A-side and on the B-side ‘Homegrown’, from the Homegrown album (that was finally issued in June). This new issue of the magazine comes out on 29th October 2020.

Buy Online Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman

Following his spiritual and artistic rebirth, and hot on the heels of his incredibly well received release, ‘Mona Bone Jakon’, Cat Stevens unveiled his second album of the year in November 1970 … and it was to become one of the defining musical statements of the new decade. ‘Tea For The Tillerman’, not only consolidated Cat’s success in the UK and forged him a glittering new career in the USA, it also set him on the road to global superstardom and gave the world songs like ‘Wild World’, ‘Father & Son’, ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ and many more.

To commemorate the album’s 50th anniversary comes this definitive super deluxe box set of Tea For The Tillerman’. With the songs’ messages as powerfully relevant today as they were in 1970, the original album is represented here on CD by a brand new 2020 remaster at Abbey Road Studios by Geoff Pesche, overseen by original producer Paul Samwell-Smith, as well as a new 2020 Mix on CD by David Hefti. It also includes, in full, Yusuf’s September 2020 reimagined ‘Tea For The Tillerman 2’ album featuring new interpretations of the classic originals. The box also includes an exclusive fourth CD of outtakes, alternate versions and demos, and a fifth featuring 25 live performances from 1971 including some recorded at the legendary LA music venue The Troubadour.

Alongside the 5CDs and gatefold vinyl LP the box also comes with a live 12” vinyl E.P. of the Troubadour recordings and, on BluRay, the original promo video of ‘Father & Son’, plus live performances, and the HD audio of the new ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ 2020 Mix. Also included is a 98-page beautifully illustrated hardcover book with extensive new sleeve notes. Finally housed in a card envelope within the box is a ‘Pick Up A Good Book’ bookmark, a Yusuf / Cat Stevens designed ‘Miles From Nowhere’ print, a reproduction handwritten lyric sheet for ‘Miles From Nowhere’, a fold-out ‘Live From The Troubadour 1970’ poster, and a ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ sticker.

Seven months after Mona Bone Jakon, Stevens released Tea For The Tillerman.  The multiplatinum album cemented the artist’s reputation and included some of his best-known hits, including “Wild World,” “Father and Son,” and timeless classics like “Where Do the Children Play” and “On the Road To Find Out.”  The deluxe 50th anniversary box packs in 5 CDs, a Blu-ray, an LP, and an etched 12″.  CD 1 includes the 2020 remaster of the original album mix, while CD 2 houses the 2020 remix (also on LP).  The recent album “Tea For The Tillerman 2″ is reprised on CD 3, while CD 4 contains demos, alternate versions, and unreleased tracks.  Among them are “Can This Be Love?” “It’s So Good,” “Love Lives in the Sky,” “The Joke,” and “Honey Man,” a duet with Elton John.  Also featured are “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” and “Don’t Be Shy” from the still-absent-from-CD soundtrack to Harold and Maude.  CD 5 is filled with 25 live recordings from The Troubadour in L.A. (also on an etched 12″),  KCET also in L.A., the BBC In Concert performance, Beat Club, various French TV appearances, and four songs recorded at New York’s Fillmore East.  The BluRay includes the promo video for “Father and Son,” TV appearances on KCET, a trio of songs from the BBC, and performances on Beat Club and French television.  If that weren’t enough, there’s also high-res audio of the 2020 remix of Tea For The Tillerman.

Slimmer editions include a 1-CD standard edition book set with the 2020 remaster of the original album mix and a 2-CD deluxe edition with the remaster and a selection of demos and live recordings.

In all it’s a fitting celebration for these landmark albums that not only brought Cat Stevens/Yusuf newfound attention worldwide, but also cemented a sound that would take hold in the ’70s and continue to influence musicians to this day.  The 50th anniversary editions of Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman are available for pre-order now, due to ship close to the December 4th release date.  You can peruse the track listings and place your orders below!  And check out the new singles, “I Want Some Sun” and “Can This Be Love,” to whet your appetite. 

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded 50th anniversary edition of the first solo album by the legendary Peter Green.

Peter’s work with Fleetwood Mac needs no introduction. His acclaimed guitar playing and writing graced several albums and a succession of hit singles before he departed the group in 1970. He embarked on the recording of his first solo album only a month after leaving Fleetwood Mac,

The End of the Game would be an entirely instrumental affair, quite different in feel from Green’s work with Fleetwood Mac. Released to very little fanfare, unjustly so as it was an imaginative work with Green’s instantly recog-nisable guitar playing. “The End Of The Game” and it was as much a departure from “The Green Manalishi” as that same track had been from the rest of Fleetwood Mac’s entire output. Through three tracks per side, Green pursued a far looser strand of improvisational rock comprised of wholly instrumental outings that were entirely un-bluesy, extemporaneous free rock borne on the wings of Green’s guitar with its expansive tone evoking the loosest of feels, often drenched with emotional wah-wah pedal use of hair triggered sensitivity. The rhythm section of Bluesbreaker and ex-Anysley Dunbar Retaliation bassist Alex Dmochowski and Geoffrey Maclean on percussion allow Green all the room to explore through distended lines of fragile but strongly poetic counterpoint as the addition of twin keyboardists Zoot Money (grand piano) and future Hot Tuna keyboardist Nick Buck (organ, electric piano) sporadically appear only to colour in a clutch of fine points which Green has left wide open as he is in a constant state of unhurried transit and always onto the next subtly-turned phrase.

The album rises up to a slow fade and into the raucous nine minute wah-wah led jam of “Bottoms Up.” As the title suggests, it’s carried along by a heavy bass line that sallies forth unswervingly to provide Green with a woody and thriving backdrop to begin the odyssey of successive circular wah-wah guitar configurations. Electric piano lines twinkle and fall like stars once Green lets up to recollect before another sweet and extensive wah-wah outpouring and the band is solidly back to stabilise Green’s ever-migrating wah-wah guitar textures. “Timeless Time” passes by silently like a gentle current under the land bridge that links the two jamming continents of side one together. The elongated “Descending Scale” opens with jumpy off-beats of piano clusters and busy though sensitively played drums like a send up of a jazzbo warm up until Green throws the whole discordant array into a high pitched wah-wah crescendo that reverberates into another unresolved conclusion that soon all but quietly slips away but for the accompanying half-erased instrumentation.

Side two begins with “Burnt Foot” and Dmochowski’s over-recorded, punctuation bass pummeling over the taking care of bizniz jazz drums that cascade all around Green’s riffing quietly traipsing in the background until it breaks down into a drum solo of sizzling cymbals with no drum skin spared from a multitude of lightning quick flourishes. Dmochowski’s bass returns to erratically shift gear into a gritty jam with Green’s churning wah-wah fanning out into a 359 degree arc of groove before its premature breakdown and subsequent fade. “Hidden Depth” opens with strategically played and watery-echoed wah-wah, with the returning piano and organ choppy in the intro and then straightening out with interplaying tones as emotions and riffs that suggest the breaking of a new dawn. Nick Buck’s organ colourations take on the same role of melancholy as Rick Wright’s from “Mudmen” or Tom Constanten’s emerging springtime renewal in “Quadlibet For Tenderfeet” off side one of “Anthem Of The Sun.” And all the while, Green’s restrained guitar of reversed pick-ups rings out truly unheard of tones with a natural delight for spaciousness and innuendo. All is peaceful until broken by a quick cut into the screeching wah-wah opening of the title track, ”The End Of The Game” which closes the album aggressively hectic and free form — loosely strung together not by rhythms but phrasing and a requited, unspoken understanding between the players.

The following year saw the release of a single ‘Heavy Heart’ b/w ‘No Way Out’, which received some airplay and saw Green perform ‘Heavy Heart’ on Top of the Pops. A collaboration with Nigel Watson followed early in 1972 for Green’s final single for Reprise Records, ‘Beasts of Burden’ b/w ‘Uganda Woman’.

This new and expanded Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly remastered from the original Reprise master tapes, features four bonus tracks (drawn from the two non-album singles) which appear on CD for the first time. It also features a booklet with new essay and an exclusive interview with Zoot Money on the making of the album.

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One of the pioneers of Progressive Music – or Prog Rock as it’s more widely known – is a UK band from the early years of Rock’s infancy. Their name is Van der Graaf Generator. This band still works together with their last album, Do Not Disturb, released back in 2016. Overall, this influential band released thirteen albums from 1968 through 2016 (thus far).  Their first album, “The Aerosol Grey Machine”, welcomed the band to the public.

The album was originally intended as a solo album by the band’s lead singer and main songwriter, Peter Hammill. When the band signed with Charisma Records, a deal was worked out whereby The Aerosol Grey Machine would be released under the Van der Graaf Generator name, in return for Mercury Records releasing Hammill from his earlier contract with it.

The Aerosol Grey Machine. Originally issued in 1969, The Aerosol Grey Machine adequately sets the stage for the great Van der Graaf Generator classics to follow. This 50th Anniversary Edition of this debut will feature new remastering and the addition of rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks to round out the  planned 2CD reissue.

For this reissue, eight extra tracks that include two previously unreleased 1967 demos, two single issues, and four BBC Sessions live performance tracks from a November 1968 session. A booklet with photos, notes, credits, an essay, and a new Pete Hammill interview.  Also included will be a replica Pete Hammill-designed poster from 1968.

A 180g-weight vinyl LP is also planned for reissue that will include the new remaster of the classic debut. It will come with a packed in 7″ vinyl single of the rare and withdrawn “People You Were Going To” with a B-side of “Firebrand”. The LP will be presented in a classic gateway sleeve with the UK artwork that was unissued.

Esoteric Recordings proudly announcing the release of a new re-mastered 50th Anniversary Limited Edition boxed set of the classic debut album ‘Aerosol Grey Machine’ – available for order now, and to be released April 26th via Esoteric Recordings.
Features the re-mastered album, an additional CD of rare & previously unreleased tracks, demos & BBC sessions, a facsimile 180g vinyl LP of ‘The Aerosol Grey Machine’ (cut at Abbey Road Studios), housed in the impossibly rare unreleased British gatefold sleeve design, a 7-inch single of the very rare withdrawn release ‘People You Were Going To’ b/w ‘Firebrand’, a lavish book with an essay by Sid Smith & exclusive interview with Peter Hammill, and a replica 1968 poster designed by Peter Hammill.

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