Posts Tagged ‘Arista Records’

In 1978, after three excellent but commercially underperforming albums for the Mercury label, British rocker Graham Parker was fed up with being “the best kept secret in the west,” as the lyrics to his acerbic “fuck you” song “Mercury Poisoning” had it. “The company is crippling me/The worst trying to ruin the best/Their promotion’s so lame/They could never ever take it to the real ball game,” he sang. Parker, with the encouragement of his manager Dave Robinson, had no problem burning bridges behind him.

Already signed to Clive Davis’ Arista label in a deal Parker later said had “way too much money in it than was healthy,” he satisfied his Mercury commitment with the live double-album The Parkerilla and went into London’s seedy Lansdowne Studios to record his Arista debut with his usual five-piece band of co-conspirators, the Rumour.

Despite being pals, the Rumour had been unimpressed when Parker played them a slew of new songs he’d prepared while on the road, and openly mocked him.

Jack Nitzsche, who’d worked as Phil Spector’s right-hand man for years, and contributed to sessions by the Rolling Stones, Buffalo Springfield and the solo Neil Young, was brought in to produce on the strength of his work supervising Mink Deville’s first two albums. Parker later described his arrival: “Jack Nitzsche, gnome-like under a hooded sweatshirt, disgruntled at being torn away from an interesting tryst in Los Angeles, and utterly mystified as to who I was, what we were, why he was here in miserable London.”

The Rumour consisted of fugitives from three “pub-rock” groups of the mid-’70s, Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe and Bontemps Roulez. Steve Goulding played drums, Andrew Bodnar bass, Bob Andrews keyboards, and Brinsley Schwarz and Martin Belmont were the guitarists. They were all experienced, confident musicians, and Nitzsche hated them immediately, feeling their playing was messy and their commitment to GP wobbly. “The band are terrible, they’re not serious about playing your songs,” Parker quotes him as saying. Parker replied, “I know they overplay the whole time. I’ve had three albums of it! Tell us what to do!” Parker said he needed the Rumour to play like they were in a studio, not on stage, and “get everything simple, like a heartbeat.”

It took a day or two for Nitzsche to take the reins in a come-to-Jesus meeting with the band. As Parker told New Musical Express’ Charles Shaar Murray just before the resulting album was released in late March 1979, “The next day, he came in and had a few beers and loosened up and got into being Jack Nitzsche the producer. He just said a few words that got it all going. ‘You’re being too clever. You gotta be dumb. Play the song the way you did when you were writing it in your bedroom.’”

Once they were clicking, it only took 11 days to complete the album, which doesn’t have a weak song or performance, and continues to be cited as Parker’s greatest achievement. Titled “Squeezing Out Sparks” after a lyric in the searing tale of abortion and regret “You Can’t Be Too Strong,” the album topped the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jop critics’ poll for 1979 and drew comparisons to the best of Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. Lyrically sophisticated, full of alternating vitriol and tenderness, it still excites on all levels. “Squeezing Out Sparks” transcends the medium,” Parker told journalist Scott Hudson years later with characteristic humour. “I don’t think there’s anything as good as that by anybody anywhere. And I don’t even take credit for it. I don’t know what happened. I blacked out.”

“Discovering Japan” begins with a sort of fanfare, then settles into a potent rhythm over which Parker snarls his widescreen lyrics: “Her heart is nearly breaking, the earth is nearly quaking/The Tokyo taxi’s breaking, it’s screaming to a halt/And there’s nothing to hold onto when gravity betrays you/And every kiss enslaves you.” Nitzsche and his engineer Mark Howlett capture every contour of the sound, from ringing guitars to Goulding’s insistent drumming. On the whole of Squeezing Out Sparks there’s no horn section or extra instruments as on previous Parker albums, just focused small band arrangements, with virtually no soloing. Elvis Costello and the Attractions were using the same kind of no-frills policy at the time, with equally spectacular results, essentially combining a punk aesthetic with high-level musicianship. Graham Parker and the Rumour have a similar antsy, anxiety-filled sound, with a vocalist who can sneer with the best.

“Local Girls” has a Chuck Berry-meets-Stax chugging rhythm (yielding to reggae at one point), a catchy chorus with everyone shout-singing back-up, and a rising little melodic hook that moves from guitar to keyboard. “Nobody Hurts You” has a fast, very peppy stop-and-start rhythm that sounds like the template for Joe Jackson’s subsequent career. Belmont and Schwarz lay down some terrific, simple guitar lines. “Saturday Nite Is Dead” is like its twin, at a similarly bruising pace. There’s a bit of a mini-Yardbirds freakout midway, but like everything else here it’s concise, and the momentum doesn’t flag. Parker’s typically cranky lyrics punch out: “The ultraviolet light hurts me so/It used to be my friend/I used to know a good place to go/But now it’s nothing like it was then.”

“Passion Is No Ordinary Word” is a mid-tempo tune that has an especially spontaneous feel. Parker really bites into certain couplets: “When I pretend to touch you/You pretend to feel,” “The movie might be new/But it’s the same soundtrack.” The song has a truly great bridge section: “Everything’s a thrill and every girl’s a kill/And then it gets unreal and then you don’t feel anything.” Schwarz has too many great moments to count, many coloured by various effects pedals. The ending is chilling, as instruments drop out, the tempo wanes and Parker goes into a near whisper.

Another mid-tempo track, “Love Gets You Twisted,” fades in weirdly before the slamming, jagged rhythm takes over and Parker shouts the minimal lyrics, which obsessively revolve around the same message, that love is confusing: “Love gets you twisted inside out/I knew it existed, I had no doubt/When she’s in my arms/I get tangled up, it’s true/I can’t see the other point of view.”

“Protection” is mutant reggae, with Bob Andrews pulling out a series of Steve Nieve-like interjections on piano and Belmont/Schwarz doing a potent lead/rhythm dance. (According to the liner credits, Parker plays some rhythm guitar on the album, but there’s no telling where, so he might be in here too.) Like a few other tracks on the album, there’s an effective use of double-tracking Parker’s voice, allowing him to sing and react to himself, as if there’s just too much to say for one man.

“Waiting for The UFO’s” begins with a guitar riff that approximates a police or air-raid siren, and there’s a nifty snare-drum figure from the reliable Goulding. GP’s lyrics are among his most cynical: “People are not worth their life now, they are obsolete/We’re dying to be invaded and put the blame on something concrete.” There’s even an anti-love-song lurking in the lines “This new obsession is turning us alien too/Much more resounding my heart just stopped pounding for you.” The pronunciation of UFO as “U-fow” no doubt confounded some American listeners: it definitely helped the flow of the words to use the British diction.

“Don’t Get Excited” ends the album, with Andrews on a variety of keyboards (including electric piano and a cheesy-sounding garage-rock organ). The middle section builds into intense drama, with Schwarz’s lead guitar unleashed for one of the few breaks that might actually be considered a solo. The pounding repetition of “don’t get excited” with the lyrics and rhythm melded fades out and the LP’s over with a bang.

Up until now I’ve omitted mentioning the lone true ballad, the immensely moving “You Can’t Be Too Strong,” which lays unobtrusively in the track listing like a camouflaged bomb. It sports perhaps Parker’s best vocal ever, with a palpable pain showing as the protagonist asks a series of brutal questions to his lover, who’s just aborted his child: “Did they tear it out with talons of steel/And give you a shot, so that you wouldn’t feel?/And washed it away as if it wasn’t real?” Parker described “You Can’t Be Too Strong” to Murray: “Just acoustic guitar, piano and a bit of bass on it. Most of the songs were first takes after we got into playing it like I wrote it. I’m not disguising so much…I’m singing about what cuts you up and what doesn’t cut you up. The songs are more honest.”

Normally, Parker named his albums after song titles, although this time he toyed with calling it “The Basingstoke Canal” after a waterway connecting to the Thames River, about 30 miles from where he was born in the London area of Hackney (he originally thought he’d write a concept album about the London suburbs). But then he woke up one morning with “You Can’t Be Strong” going through his head: “I know it gets dark down by Luna Park/But everybody else is squeezing out a spark/That happened in the heat, somewhere in the dark.”

Squeezing Out Sparks made it to #40 on the Billboard album chart and #18 in the U.K., and sold respectably. “Local Girls” was released as a U.S. single but didn’t chart, although it and several other tracks found considerable airplay on the FM dial. Parker made three more albums for Arista before wandering from label to label for the next 40 years, including time at Elektra, RCA, Capitol, Bloodshot and Razor & Tie. In 1996 Arista reissued Squeezing Out Sparks on CD with the excellent promo-only Live Sparks appended, and in 2019 Parker re-recorded the whole album “solo acoustic” for its 40th anniversary, adding for old time’s sake “Mercury Poisoning,” still a fan favourite.

Parker has announced a new live album, Five Old Souls, recorded in 2018 with his backing band, The Goldtops, and the return of the Rumour Brass. 

Stray Cats in Japan

Brian Setzer, vocalist and guitarist of the Stray Cats, was born in 1959, the year that many of the earth-shaking first-generation rock ’n’ roll stars were seemingly plucked from the public consciousness. Elvis Presley had been shipped overseas, Buddy Holly had boarded his final plane journey, Little Richard had became an evangelist, Chuck Berry had been arrested—soon after to be thrown in jail—and Eddie Cochran was unknowingly concluding his life and career. Luckily, despite its downfall, the vast influence of the subgenre later to be dubbed rockabilly persevered, discovering its place within the new rock ’n’ roll of each subsequent generation, shaping the music that was just starting to emerge from the Beatles and many others.

But It wasn’t until the early 1980s that rockabilly itself would be revived in a big way–by a trio from Long Island.

Initially impacted by the rhythmic guitars rooted within several of the earliest Beatles records, Setzer began playing guitar at age 8 in hopes of successfully mimicking the music of his idols. It wasn’t until his father informed him that his beloved Beatles’ tune “Honey Don’t” was in fact a Carl Perkins number that Setzer began to delve into rockabilly’s bountiful past, recognizing the 1950s pioneers of the music that would become such an influential pillar in his life.

By the time Setzer started high school, disco had erupted throughout the United States, making his admiration for rockabilly a unique trait to possess. Once he began playing in clubs, sporting an exaggerated pompadour, leather jacket and bowling shirts, he received a mixed reaction from audiences. Many celebrated Setzer’s throwback tunes and nostalgic appearance, while others felt he was outrageously outdated and awkwardly behind the times. Regardless of the opinions of onlookers, Setzer remained true to his intent. Eventually his aesthetic attracted two hopeful musicians, friends of Setzer’s brother, who became avid fans and supporters of this surprising, yet intriguing, nascent rockabilly revival.

Jim McDonnell, drummer, and Leon Drucker, upright bassist–calling themselves Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom, respectively–were close friends and bandmates prior to joining Setzer on stage. Once key openings within Setzer’s band became available, Phantom and Rocker wasted no time in securing their positions. In 1979, the trio officially adopted its iconic name, the Stray Cats, and began performing together within their home town of Massapequa, Long Island. Sadly, despite acquiring the beginning stages of a fandom, the Stray Cats couldn’t compete with the popularity of disco and local rock clubs’ adversity to their distinctively 1950s aesthetic.

See the source image

After receiving a tip from friend, bartender, old-school British rocker and soon-to-be-manager Tony Bidgood that British rock fans would rally behind this authentic rockabilly, the Stray Cats bought one-way tickets to London. rockabilly too appeared to have never truly died within the United Kingdom. Bill Haley, Gene Vincent and many other 1950s rockers had successfully toured throughout England long past what was considered their American prime. This admiration for the sound and appearance of rockabilly musicians, especially those prepared to craft fresh tunes, provided the Stray Cats with an enthusiastic fan base from the very moment their boots hit the British pavement.

Shortly after their first English gig, the Stray Cats signed with Arista Records, a deal that would allow their music to be released in all countries with the exclusion of the United States. The next massive step on the Stray Cats’ walkway to stardom was meeting musician and noted rockabilly expert Dave Edmunds. Edmunds approached the Stray Cats as a hopeful producer and collaborator whose intention was to ensure that their sound and musical identity would remain intact. Intrigued by the proposal and prepared to record, the Stray Cats, with Edmunds’ guidance, released their self-titled debut album in February 1981.

Peaking at #6 on the U.K. albums chart, “Stray Cats” debut solidified what the band had been attempting to prove since its late 1970s inception, that rockabilly music was exceedingly cool, impressively innovative and forever timeless. Stray Cats was an accurate representation of the band’s live excitement, granting younger audiences the rare opportunity for an authentic glimpse into the past. 

Stray Cats debut album produced three U.K. top 40 hits, including the band’s first single, “Runaway Boys,” driven by thumping upright bass, anchored by heavily grounded drums and dressed in vibrant guitar licks. With lyrics that harkened back to misunderstood teenage days, “Runaway Boys” provided listeners with the ability to transport to a simpler, more carefree time. “Runaway Boys” would hit #9 on the U.K. charts and is considered one of the Stray Cats’ signature tunes.

“Rock This Town,” the second single off Stray Cats, accelerated the band’s popularity and heightened their status as a genuine neo-rockabilly band. The single reached #9 on the U.K. charts. Lyrically, the tune spoke of the early frustration the band faced when attempting to promote rockabilly . Turning struggle into triumph, “Rock This Town” proved rock ’n’ roll music to be a danceable, upbeat genre that was, and is, entirely jukebox-worthy.

The third and final smash hit off Stray Cats was the velvety smooth and ultra-catchy “Stray Cat Strut.” A contrast to “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” mellowed the trio’s signature beat, but remained true to their back-to-basics tone. “Stray Cat Strut” rounded off the Stray Cats’ first album, providing them with a third single that would inevitably aid in their eventual success within the United States.

After the release of their second and less commercially successful album, Gonna Ball, the Stray Cats headed back to their homeland and signed a deal with EMI America Records. The label assembled Built for Speedwhich included six of the most popular tunes from Stray Cats. Now equipped with the perfect recipe of material and solid live performance experience, as well as copious video play–thanks in no small part to their unique look and visual appeal–on the nascent MTV cable network, the Stray Cats became a sensation in the U.S. too. 

thanks best classic bands

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.

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.

Image may contain: 1 person

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 >





  • 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