Posts Tagged ‘Arista Records’

Lou Reed - Street Hassle front cover.jpg

Street Hassle is the eighth solo album by rock icon Lou Reed, originally released on Arista Records. The album is notable as the first commercially released  pop album to employ binaural recording technology.

Arguably, Street Hassle – the apogee of Reed’s adventures in the New York junkie underworld, made up of three “movements” , The first part is titled “Waltzing Matilda” but has nothing to do with the Australian song of the same name; we’re guessing the title stuck with him after Australian tours in both ’74 and ’77. Street Hassle and Slipaway. But each movement bleeds into and informs the other, adding up to a stark meditation on the fragility of human life. Besides, if the track ended after the second movement, with an overdose victim’s corpse dumped unceremoniously in the street, it would simply be too harrowing; instead, a ruminative coda – with guest vocals from Bruce Springsteen – provides a sliver of solace. Ultimately, though, the message is heart-wrenchingly bleak, with Bruce adapting the words of Born To Run to fit Lou’s more pessimistic worldview: “Tramps like us, we were born to pay.” this amazing rock opera written in 1978 by the best living rock songwriter, the NYC man Lou Reed. The song is divided into three parts (Walzing Matilda, Street Hassle, Slip Away), which have all the same music structure that meets first the orchestra, then acoustic guitars and rock bass guitars, and at the end the prayer of a penitent man, made of tears..

This was Lou’s eighth solo album, and one of many a fan’s favourites, “Street Hassle” is most often noted for its epic three-part title track.  As was common on ‘70s Lou Reed solo albums, Street Hassle contained a song originally written during his days in the Velvet Underground—in this case, “Real Good Time Together” (which more recently Patti Smith had been using as a set opener) – and the album the first pop album to employ binaural recording technology aka Dummy Head Recording, a recording technique that sounds so odd we suggest you look it up.

Street Hassle combines live concert tapes and studio recordings. All of the songs on Street Hassle were written by Lou Reed, The album was met with mostly positive reviews, Its Raw, wounded, and unapologetically difficult, Street Hassle isn’t the masterpiece Reed was shooting for, but it’s still among the most powerful and compelling albums he released during the 1970s, and too personal and affecting to ignore.

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Wave is an album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17th, 1979 The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was “Frederick”, a love song for her husband-to-be Fred “Sonic” Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to “Because the Night”, the group’s biggest hit. The second single, “Dancing Barefoot”, has been covered by many artists.

“Wave” is an album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17th, 1979 on Arista Records. This album was less commercially successful than its predecessor, “Easter, although it continued the band’s move towards more radio-friendly mainstream music. It was produced by famed artist/producer Todd Rundgren.

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Artists Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe met in New York City in 1967 and were in a love affair until 1974, when Mapplethorpe realised he was homosexual. Their early years together are documented in Mapplethorpe’s intimate black-and-white portraits of Smith, two of which featured on the covers of Horses (1975) an Wave (1979). In 2011, Smith interviewed for Time, “I was his first model, a fact that fills me with pride. The photographs he took of me contain a depth of mutual love and trust inseparable from the image. His work magnifies his love for his subject and his obsession with light.” The pair remained friends, artistic collaborators and soul mates until Mapplethorpe died of Aids in 1989. The photographer also shot album covers for artists including Paul Simon and is famed for his portraits and controversial images of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and 70s.

The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was Frederick, a love song for her husband-to-be Fred Sonic Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to “Because The Night” , the group’s biggest hit. The second single, “Dancing Barefoot”, has been covered by many artists.

The band broke up after this album was released, and Smith went on to marry Fred Smith. She spent many years in semi-retirement following the birth of their children, Jesse and Jackson, until her 1988 solo comeback album, “Dream Of Life” . The 1996 remaster of Wave includes Smith’s original version of “Fire of Unknown Origin.” Blue Öyster Cult‘s version was released on their album of the same name in 1981. The back cover of the original LP bore a quote from the Jean Genet poem, “Le Condamné à mort:”

Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledges
Of roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;
Use menace, use prayer…
My sleepers will flee toward another America

Upon its release in 1979, the album garnered mixed reviews, attracting either positive or negative commentary on its polished production and conventionality. Reviewers  were not favourable in their reviews of the album, with the former negatively likening it to Radio Ethiopia, Smith’s last album to be critically maligned and the latter concluding her review with “is this the blandest record in the world?”.Melody Maker were more appreciative of the album, praising Rundgren’s hand in the production and considered the songs to represent a newfound focus for Smith and the band.

All songs were written by Patti Smith, except where noted.

Side one
  1. Frederick” (Patti Smith) – 3:01
  2. Dancing Barefoot” (Smith, Ivan Kral) – 4:18
  3. So you want to Be (a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star)” (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) – 4:18
  4. “Hymn” (Smith, Lenny Kaye) – 1:10
  5. “Revenge” (Smith, Kral) – 5:06
Side two
  1. “Citizen Ship” (Smith, Kral) – 5:09
  2. “Seven Ways of Going” (Smith) – 5:12
  3. “Broken Flag” (Smith, Kaye) – 4:55
  4. “Wave” (Smith) – 4:55
Compact Disc bonus tracks
  1. “Fire of Unknown Origin” (Smith, Kaye) – 2:09
  2. 5-4-3-2-1 / Wave” (1979-05-23rd Live; New York) (Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann) – 2:43

Patti Smith Group

Additional musicians

The Church Band’s ‘Priest=Aura’ released 20 years ago today. Been listening to this one a lot lately. Where do you think it ranks in the band’s discography? Pretty near the top for me…Priest=Aura (styled as priest=aura) is the eighth album by the Australian psychedelic rock band The Church , released in March 1992

After touring their previous album, Gold Afternoon Fix (1990), with new drummer Jay Dee Daugherty (Patti Smith Group), The Church returned to Sydney’s Studios 301 to commence work on new material. With lowered commercial expectations and less pressure from Arista Records, the atmosphere was more relaxed than the fraught L.A. sessions for their previous two albums. Bringing in British producer Gavin MacKillop  to supervise the sessions, the band began to improvise the framework for the next set of songs. The use of opium and, for Kilbey, heroin, saw the material take on a more expansive and surreal quality, while Daugherty’s occasionally jazz-like approach on drums brought a fresh change.

Titled Priest=Aura, from Kilbey’s misreading of a Spanish fan’s English vocabulary notes (‘priest’ = ‘cura’), the album contained fourteen tracks, several over six minutes long. At nearly 65 minutes, it was their longest release so far. With song concepts derived from cryptic, one-word working titles (an idea originally proposed by Willson-Piper), the lyrics leaned towards the abstract and esoteric. Emphasising free association and undirected coincidence between music and motif, Kilbey declined to define their meanings. Sonically, the interplay between Koppes and Willson-Piper dominated throughout, especially on tracks such as “Ripple,” “Kings,” and the epic, aptly titled “Chaos”, whose lyrics were a reflection of Kilbey’s unsettled lifestyle at the time.

Upon its release on March 10th, 1992 (it was issued in the United States slightly before Australia), Priest=Aura had less chart success than any of its predecessors, It was given a mixed reception. Rolling Stones Ira Robbins called the album “rich in texture” but with an “arid atmosphere”. The band went on a sold-out tour of Australia (the “Jokes-Magic-Souvenirs” tour), as Kilbey prepared for the birth of his twin daughters, but after the final gig founding guitarist Peter Koppes announced his departure. Increasing personality conflicts, especially with Willson-Piper, who had been moonlighting with UK band All About Eve, combined with frustration over The Church’s declining chart success had made the situation intolerable. Koppes would eventually return to guest with the band on their 1996 album Magician Among the Spirits and rejoined permanently in 1997.

Despite its muted reception at the time of release, Priest=Aura is considered by both the band and fan base to be an artistic high point. In 2011 the album, along with Untitled #23and Starfish, was played in its entirety on the band’s 30th Anniversary “Future, Past, Perfect” tour. In his 2014 autobiography, Something Quite Peculiar, Kilbey calls it their “undisputed masterpiece”.

The original 1992 Australian release was bundled with the 1991 rarities album A Quick Smoke at Spot’s: Archives 1986-1990.

A 2-CD remastered edition was released in Australia in 2005. The second disc included the tracks “Ripple (single edit)”, “Nightmare”, “Fog”, “Feel (extended mix)”, “Drought” and “Unsubstantiated”.

In 2011, Second Motion Records re-released the album as part of their 30th Anniversary Remaster series, with the bonus tracks “Nightmare” and “Fog”, in a cardboard sleeve with a booklet containing lyrics, photos and sleeve notes by Marty Willson-Piper.

 

Lou Reed’s last project was to work on remastering and representing his RCA and Arista albums. This work was completed shortly before his death in 2013 and this 17 CD box “The RCA & Arista Album Collection” is the result.

This autumn, Sony’s Legacy Recordings will issue The RCA & Arista Album Collection, This Lou Reed 17CD box set that features all his solo albums of the 1970s and early eighties remastered under the “direct personal supervision” of the American rock musician shortly before his death – his last project.

This anthology starts with 1972’s Lou Reed and takes in essential titles such as Transformer and Berlin. In total 16 albums feature in this collection including Lou Reed Live Take No Prisoners from 1978 which is a two-CD set.

Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed’s wife and partner for twenty-one years said “Lou put his heart into remastering these records. They are not smoothed out. Sometimes remastering revealed their details and roughness in the most exciting ways. They leap out at you with their original energy.

“I also love the rare images and the great selection of Lou’s words about his music in this collection. Lou was a superb analyst and sharp critic and the interview excerpts bring back his crazy sense of humour, his generosity and his big view of the world and the meaning of music. Anyone who has loved Lou’s music will be so happy to have this. I’m really grateful to Sony for putting this one out.”

Unusually for Sony ‘album collection’ sets, this is a large format, 12″ x 12″ deluxe box and includes an 80-page hardbound book capturing images of memorabilia from Lou’s personal archives, rare photos and artwork and interviews. The box also comes with five 8″ x 10″ prints and a facsimile reproduction of a rare RCA promotional poster (598mm x 572mm). Strangely this set omits “Lou Reed Live”, the companion album to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal” (which Is included), basically the other half of the same concert. The album was released in 1975, so should be there. Also where is “Live In Italy” from the 1983 “Legendary Hearts” tour released in 1984 between “Legendary Hearts” and “New Sensations”. To says it’s Lou’s final project and a gathering of his RCA and Arista (and back to RCA) work, why miss out two live albums, especially as this set DOES include 2 other live albums? Not complete and inexplicable really. They have included the “play it once at your peril “Metal Machine Music””, but why miss those other very listenable live albums?

The RCA & Arista Album Collection will be issued on 7 October 2016.

More photos and details here > http://bit.ly/lrnbs_sde

 

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LOU REED – THE RCA & ARISTA ALBUM COLLECTION

  • 1. Lou Reed (April 1972)
  • 2. Transformer (November 1972)
  • 3. Berlin (July 1973)
  • 4. Rock n Roll Animal (live – February 1974)
  • 5. Sally Can’t Dance (August 1974)
  • 6. Metal Machine Music (July 1975)
  • 7. Coney Island Baby (December 1975)
  • 8. Rock and Roll Heart (October 1976)
  • 9. Street Hassle (February 1978)
  • 10. Lou Reed Live  Take No Prisoners (2 CDs – November 1978)
  • 11. The Bells (April 1979)
  • 12. Growing Up in Public (April 1980)
  • 13. The Blue Mask (February 1982)
  • 14. Legendary Hearts (March 1983)
  • 15. New Sensations (April 1984)
  • 16. Mistrial (June 1986)

On this day February 2nd in 1977: although New York City ‘punk poet’ Patti Smith was signed to the Arista label, Sire Records secured the rights to release a rarity that predated the Arista contract; the lost classic was her 1974 recording of “Hey Joe” and the B side “Piss Factory”; the single was released on this day in a special limited edition picture sleeve; playing on the recording were current sidemen Lenny Kaye and Richard Sohl, with the added attraction of Television guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine

Honey, the way you play guitar makes me feel so, makes me feel so masochistic. The way you go down low deep into the neck and I would do anything, and I would do anything and Patty Hearst, you’re standing there in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army flag with your legs spread, I was wondering will you get it every night from a black revolutionary man and his women or whether you really did and now that you’re on the run what goes on in your mind, your sisters they sit by the window, you know your mama doesn’t sit and cry and your daddy, well you know what your daddy said, Patty, you know what your daddy said, Patty, he said, he said, he said, “Well, sixty days ago she was such a lovely child, now here she is with a gun in her hand.”

Hey Joe
Hey Joe, where’re you going with that gun in your hand ?
Hey Joe, I said where’re you goin’ with that gun in your hand
I’m gonna go shoot my ol’ lady,
You know I found her messing around town with another man
And you know that ain’t cool, watch me.

Hey Joe, I heard you shot your woman down,
You shot her down to the ground, you shot her.
Yes I did, yes I did, yes I did I shot her, I shot her,
I caught her messin’ round with some other man,
So I got on my truck, I gave her the gun and I shot her,
I shot her, shoot her one more time for me.

Hey Joe, where you gonna, where you gonna run to,
Where you gonna run to, Joe, where you gonna run to ?
Go get a cover.
I’m gonna go down South, I’m gonna go down South to Mexico,
I’m going down, down, down to Mexico where a man can be free
No one’s gonna put a noose around my neck,
No one is gonna give me life, no.
I’m goin’ down to Mexico, I’m going down.

You’re not going to hear ’em stand there
And look at the stars as big as holes in the arms
And the stars like a back truck electric flag
And I’m standing there under that flag with your carbine
Between my legs, you know I felt so free of death beyond me
I felt so free, the F.B.I. is looking for me baby,
But they’ll never find me, no, they can hold me down like a
And I’m still on the run and they can speculate what I’m fee
But daddy, daddy, you’ll never know just what I was feelin’,
But I’m sorry I am no little pretty little rich girl,
I am nobody’s million dollar baby, I am nobody’s Patsy anymore
I’m nobody’s million dollar baby, I’m nobody’s Patsy anymore
And I feel so free.

1974 B-side of