Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Records’

“The Times They Are a-Changin’” is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in January 1964 by Columbia Records. Some critics and fans were not quite as taken with the album as a whole, relative to his previous work, for its lack of humour or musical diversity. Still, The Times They Are a-Changin’ entered the US chart at No20, eventually going gold, and belatedly reaching #4 in the UK in 1965.  The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many feel that it captures the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

Produced by Tom Wilson, it is the singer-songwriter’s first collection to feature only original compositions.  Whereas his previous albums Bob Dylan and The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan consisted of original material among cover songs, The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged ballads concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many felt that it captured the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s. The message isn’t in the words, …. I don’t do anything with a sort of message. I’m just transferring my thoughts into music. Nobody can give you a message like that.
~Bob Dylan (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)

Dylan’s third album reflects his mood in August-October 1963. It is also a product for his need to live up to and expand on the role he found himself in, topical poet, the restless young man with something to say, singing to and for a new generation. Dylan began work on his third album on August 6th, 1963, at Columbia’s Studio A in New York City. Once again, Tom Wilson was the producer for the entire album. Dylan had, by the time of recording, become a popular, influential cultural figure. Eight songs were recorded during that first session, but only one recording of “North Country Blues” was ultimately deemed usable and set aside as the master take. A master take of “Seven Curses” was also recorded, but it was left out of the final album sequence.

Another session at Studio A was held the following day, this time yielding master takes for four songs: “Ballad of Hollis Brown”, “With God on Our Side”, “Only a Pawn in Their Game”, and “Boots of Spanish Leather”, all of which were later included on the final album sequence.

A third session was held in Studio A on August 12th, but nothing from this session was deemed usable. However, three recordings are taken from the third session eventually saw official release: “master” takes of “Paths of Victory”, “Moonshine Blues” and “Only a Hobo” were all included on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 released in 1991. In 2013, “Eternal Circle” and “Hero Blues” were included in the 1963 entry of The 50th Anniversary Collection 1963.

Sessions did not resume for more than two months. During the interim, Dylan toured briefly with Joan Baez, performing a number of key concerts that raised his profile in the media. When Dylan returned to Studio A on October 23rd, he had six more original compositions ready for recording. Master takes for “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” and “When the Ship Comes In” were both culled from the October 23rd session. A master take for “Percy’s Song” was also recorded, but it was ultimately set aside and was not officially released until Biograph in 1985.

An alternate take on “Percy’s Song”, a “That’s All Right” (Arthur Crudup)/“Sally Free and Easy” (Cyril Tawney) medley and “East Laredo Blues” were released in 2013 on the 1963 entry of The 50th Anniversary Collection. Another session was held the following day, October 24th. Master takes of “The Times They Are a-Changin'” and “One Too Many Mornings” were recorded and later included in the final album sequence. A master take for “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” was also recorded, but ultimately left out of the final album; it was eventually released on Biograph. Two more outtakes, “Eternal Circle” and “Suze (The Cough Song)”, were later issued on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991. A final outtake, “New Orleans Rag”, was released in 2013 on “The 50th Anniversary Collection”.

The sixth and final session for The Times They Are a-Changin’ was held on October 31st, 1963. The entire session focused on one song—“Restless Farewell”—whose melody is taken from an Irish-Scots folk song, “The Parting Glass”, and it produced a master take that ultimately closed the album.

There were to be 6 recording sessions alltogether for The Times They Are a-Changin’.

If “The Times They Are a-Changin’” isn’t a marked step forward from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, even if it is his first collection of all originals, it’s nevertheless a fine collection all the same. It isn’t as rich as Freewheelin’, and Dylan has tempered his sense of humour considerably, choosing to concentrate on social protests in the style of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” With the title track, he wrote an anthem that nearly equaled that song, and “With God on Our Side” and “Only a Pawn in Their Game” are nearly as good, while “Ballad of Hollis Brown” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” are remarkably skilled re-castings of contemporary tales of injustice. His absurdity is missed, but he makes up for it with the wonderful “One Too Many Mornings” and “Boots of Spanish Leather,” two lovely classics.

On October 26th, 1963, three days after recording the final song for The Times They Are a-Changin, Dylan held a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. That night, he performed eight songs from his forthcoming third album, as well as several outtakes from the same album sessions (including “Percy’s Song”, “Seven Curses”, and “Lay Down Your Weary Tune”). Columbia recorded the entire concert, but it was decades before a substantial portion of it was officially released (in fact to date the concert in its entirety has not been released). Nevertheless, the performance was well received by the press and audience alike

If there are a couple of songs that don’t achieve the level of the aforementioned songs, that speaks more to the quality of those songs than the weakness of the remainder of the record. And that’s also true of the album itself — yes, it pales next to its predecessor, but it’s terrific by any other standard.

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In recent weeks, musicians have come up with an impressive variety of ways to keep their fans amused during lockdown. There have been online listening parties and Q&As, free guitar lessons via Instagram, live performances beamed direct from bedrooms, DJ sets and kitchen discos. But no artist has risen to the task of keeping their audience occupied quite like Bob Dylan. A crowdpleaser only in sofar as the crowd he attracts would be pleased whatever he did – a significant proportion of his latter-day audience are so partisan you get the feeling they’d be sent into paroxysms of ecstasy if he stood on stage with a comb and paper for two hours, he simply released three new songs. An artist who’s quite literally said nothing new for the last eight years (his last three albums have been comprised entirely of covers from the Great American Songbook, the rest of his release schedule made up of archival recordings).

The first, “Murder Most Foul”, went on for 17 minutes and sounded unlike anything he had previously recorded, a recitation set to a haze of piano, violin and lightly struck drums. The second, “I Contain Multitudes”, was significantly shorter and more conventional – a delicate, percussion-free ballad – but still contained enough lyrical heft to provoke news stories: within a week of its release, the British press was triumphantly reporting that someone had cracked the mention of the Irish village of Ballinalee in its first verse, tapping a Harvard professor to attest that it was a reference to the work of a blind 18th-century poet called Antoine Ó Raifteirí. The third, “False Prophet”, was a ferocious blues song, the latest in a series of adaptations of other artists’ material that stretches back to the dawn of Dylan’s career: this time a 1954 B-side by Billy “The Kid” Emerson, an obscure R&B singer-songwriter once signed to Sun Records. In the lyrics, meanwhile, the search for the Holy Grail jostled for space with characters from old rock’n’roll songs – Ricky Nelson’s Mary Lou, Jimmy Wages’ Miss Pearl – recast in the role that Virgil played in Dante’s Inferno: “fleet-footed guides from the underworld”. Clearly, the task of unpicking everything that was going on in the lyrics would keep Dylanologists indoors long after lockdown ended.
Perhaps more importantly, they were the kind of Dylan songs that brooked very little argument about their quality, the kind of Dylan song you could play to a Dylan agnostic as testament to his continued greatness. This is a category of material that’s been a little thinner on the ground on his latest albums than their more hysterical reviews would suggest: for all the hosannahs thrown in its direction, it was entirely possible to listen to 2012’s Tempest and be alternately thrilled by the furious power of Pay in Blood and faintly mortified by Roll on John, a Lennon tribute that strung Beatles lyrics together in a way that would make Noel Gallagher blush.

Happily, the standard set by the three tracks that heralded its arrival is kept up all the way through Rough and Rowdy Ways. The musical abstraction of Murder Most Foul turns out to be a feint: tellingly it occupies a separate disc to the rest of the album when the whole thing could easily have fitted on one CD. The rest almost exclusively deals in music that hails from the era before Dylan showed up and changed everything: with the possible exception of the lambent penultimate track, Key West (Philosopher Pirate), which carries a faint hint of The Basement Tapes about its sound – albeit with an accordion filling the space Garth Hudson’s organ would have done – everything else feels directly rooted in the 50s or earlier.

There’s a lot of rhythm and blues, while I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You sets its utterly beautiful descending melody to a sound that carries traces of both small-hours doo-wop and pre-rock’n’roll pop. The musical inspiration behind Goodbye Jimmy Reed is obvious from its title, but by the third verse, Dylan doesn’t seem to be talking about the titular bluesman so much as himself when forced to face down the various expectations that audiences have attached to him virtually from the moment he first appeared: “They threw everything at me, everything in the book … they had no pity, they wouldn’t lend a hand, I can’t sing a song I don’t understand.”

These are musical areas in which Dylan has worked for years. What sets Rough and Rowdy Ways apart from Tempest or 2006’s Modern Times is the sheer consistency of the songwriting; there’s nothing here that sounds like dashed-off filler, nothing that doesn’t hit home. Dylan nuts have a great line in telling you how hilarious lyrics that seem capable of raising at best a wry smile are – “Freddie or not, here I come”, “I’m not dead yet, my bell still rings” etc – but My Own Version, in which the protagonist turns Frankenstein and builds himself a lover out of bits of corpses, is packed with genuinely funny lines amid the references to Shakespeare, Homer’s Iliad, Bo Diddley and Martin Scorsese, as well as a curious interlude during which Freud and Marx are depicted as “enemies of mankind” burning in hell: “All through the summers into January, I’ve been visiting morgues and monasteries … if I do it right and put the head on straight, I’ll be saved by the creature that I create.”

This is obviously humour of a dark hue: if Tempest’s prevalent mood was one of murderous fury, then here it’s brooding menace and imminent doom. It’s there in the music – the weird tension in Crossing the Rubicon’s muted R&B shuffle and the way the backing on Black Rider keeps lapsing into ominous silence. You lose count of the lyrical references to judgment day and Armageddon, of the mysterious characters that keep cropping up with malevolence on their minds: “I can feel the bones beneath my skin and they’re trembling with rage, I’ll make your wife a widow, you’ll never see middle age,” he sings on Crossing the Rubicon. Of course, grouchily informing the world that everything is turning to shit has been one of Dylan’s prevalent songwriting modes for a quarter of a century – it’s the thread that binds Not Dark Yet, Things Have Changed, Ain’t Talkin’ and Early Roman Kings, among others – but this time the message seems to have shifted slightly: if you think everything has turned to shit now, Rough and Rowdy Ways keeps insisting, just you wait.

This isn’t perhaps the most comforting communique to issue in the middle of a global pandemic, but then the man behind it has seldom dealt in soothing reassurance. And besides, it doesn’t matter. For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.

Rough and Rowdy Ways is released on Columbia on 19th June.

Just when it looked like Bob Dylan was settling into a semi-retirement of regular touring punctuated by strangely reverent standards collections, he comes careening back into the spotlight with his best album in a decade, if not two. Bracketed by deeply referential mirage-like epics “I Contain Multitudes” and “Murder Most Foul,” Rough And Rowdy Ways fills out its run time with a career-spanning assortment of sounds, from stately ballads to stomping roadhouse blues. He also proclaims, “Key West is the place to be if you’re looking for immortality” — and if anyone could speak authoritatively on that subject, it’s Bob Dylan.

“Rough and Rowdy Ways” is Bob Dylan’s first album of original new material in 8 years and his first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released this spring: the album’s lead-off track, “I Contain Multitudes”, the nearly 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul” and “False Prophet”. This is Dylan back to his best, and not a Sinatra cover in sight.

Sharp and precise in its references, descriptions, and personal confessions, Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways is thematically universal and powerfully prescient, in many ways acting as the culminating expression of the apocalyptic spirituality that’s preoccupied Dylan since his earliest recordings. It’s also a masterpiece of mood as much as lyrical poetry, and as stunningly and surprisingly atmospheric as many of the major musical achievements in a career more associated with monumental song writing than sonic mastery. This is an album that showcases a similar comprehensive spectrum of ideas, attitudes, citations, perspectives, stories, and jokes as Dylan’s greatest recordings. True, many of these are grave, but the few hopeful spots—like “I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You” and “Key West (Pirate Philosopher)”—are well-earned and, quite simply, beautiful. Latter-day Dylan is the man behind “To Make You Feel My Love” as well as “Not Dark Yet,” and along with dispensing fire and brimstone, Rough and Rowdy Ways keeps romantic and spiritual faith alive, through both the fervour of unshaken convictions concerning the high stakes of the soul as well a basic yearning for love, companionship, and peace. As with his best work, the album encompasses the infinite potential for grace and disaster that can be clearly discerned but rarely summarized in the most turbulent of ages.

It’s Dylan’s 39th studio album and his first long-player of original material in eight years (the last being Tempest in 2012).

Bob Dylan new album for release on CD on 19th June 2020 and double vinyl LP on 17th July.The maestro’s first album of original new material since since 2012’s “Tempest”.
2CD and 2LP formats available to pre-order now.
Web site prices include UK shipping, the print and CD package will be shipped in a larger card envelope than a normal CD.
( UK shipping is tracked and insured for vinyl formats )
The 10 track album contains the fantastic “Murder Most Foul” and the newly released single “False Prophet”.

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Happy birthday to the great Taj Mahal who turns 78 today. Taj is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been performing and recording for 50 years. Primarily a Blues singer, he has incorporated elements of world music into his works, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, and South Pacific. He formed a group called the Rising Sons in 1964 with Ry Cooder and Jesse Lee Kincaid. A record deal with Columbia Records was unfruitful, perhaps because the group was one of the first interracial bands. Mahal worked with other musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, before beginning his solo career with the eponymous Taj Mahal long-player in 1968. His follow-up “Natch’l Blues,” became a part of my collection in 1969 – loved the playing on “Corrina,” and “The Cuckoo,”, and wore it out. Taj also performed with The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus at the end of 1968.

Taj Mahal’s second album, recorded in the spring and fall of 1968, opens with more stripped-down Delta-style blues in the manner of his debut, but adds a little more amplification (partly courtesy of Al Kooper on organ) before moving into wholly bigger sound on numbers like “She Caught the Katy and Left Me a Mule to Ride” and “The Cuckoo” — the latter, in particular, features crunchy electric and acoustic guitars and Gary Gilmore playing his bass almost like a lead instrument, like a bluesman’s answer to John Entwistle most notable, however, may be “You Don’t Miss Your Water (‘Til Your Well Runs Dry)” and “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” which offer Taj Mahal working in the realm of soul and treading onto This is particularly notable on “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” which achieves the intensity of a gospel performance and comes complete with a Stax/Volt-style horn arrangement Jesse Ed Davis that sounds more like the real thing than the real thing. “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” by contrast, is driven by a hard electric guitar sound and a relentless bass part that sounds like a more urgent version of the bassline from the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’.”

He recorded 12 albums in all for Columbia during the 70s and 80s, and also recorded three albums for Warner Brothers. His career stalled afterward, and he moved to Hawaii, where he worked throughout the 80s. He released more albums in the 90s. collaborating with both Eric Clapton and Etta James.
In 1997, he won Best Contemporary Blues album for “Senor Blues” at the Grammy Awards, followed by another Grammy in 2000 for “Shoutin’ in Key.” Mahal has continued to record and perform with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, and Sheila E. In 2017, he worked with Keb Mo’ on a joint album TajMo.

Taj Mahal is a major artist who has travelled somewhat under the radar all these years. but make no mistake, he is a gifted musician whose albums are well worth searching out.

“The Cuckoo,” From his first Columbia album “The Natch’l Blues,”  comes this laid back gem from our Taj Mahal.
“You know the cuckoo is pretty bird/But she warble as she fly/But baby you never heard a cuckoo/Until the Fourth of July.”

“Good Morning Miss Brown” – Taj is all the way live as he rolls through the streets of the Big Easy. This guy has to be one of the coolest cats alive with a resume that could stretch down Bourbon Street. Originally from his second album on Columbia, “The Natch’l Blues,” in 1969 it was the beginning of a 50+ year career that is still going strong.

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Bob Dylan has been on a roll, getting us through lockdown with new singles that find him as clever and compelling as ever. On Thursday evening, May 7th, the Bob Dylan Twitter account posted another cryptic tweet – complete with a pulp book-inspired illustration and a lyric quote – which had fans everywhere wondering if we might get another treat to tide us over.

Well, come midnight, we got our answer as another new song “False Prophet” was released on digital streaming services. The third surprise single in what’s become a triweekly tradition, “False Prophet” is a departure from the more atmospheric “Murder Most Foul” and “I Contain Multitudes.”  The new track is a rollicking and bluesy, guitar-heavy track with intense and growling vocals from Dylan. As if a new single weren’t enough, Dylan also announced his first album of new original material in eight years.  Due out June 19th on Columbia Records, Rough and Rowdy Ways will be a ten-song, two-CD affair.

The album opens with “I Contain Multitudes,” followed by “False Prophet,” then by seven as-yet-unknown tracks.  The epic “Murder Most Foul” will be included on its own on CD 2.  The two discs will be housed in a 4-panel, 2-pocket gatefold digipak. A 2-LP edition will also be pressed up, boasting 180-gram vinyl, gatefold packaging, and printed inner sleeves.  That configuration is set to arrive July 17th.  And for those readers who may have ventured into streaming during lockdown, the album will be released across digital platforms, too, on the same day as the CD.

So mark your calendars for June 19th for this much-welcome gift from Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways.

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Delaney & Bonnie were the American musical duo of singer/songwriters Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett. In 1969 and 1970, they fronted a rock/soul ensemble, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, whose members at different times included Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, King Curtis, and Eric Clapton.

Bonnie Bramlett, started as a backing singer for blues artists that included Little Milton, Albert King and Fontella Bass and gained attention as a history maker as being the first white Ikette for Ike & Tina Turner. Wanting to spread her wings she moved to Los Angeles, met up with Delaney Bramlett who was with The Shindogs and married him just days after their first meeting in 1967. Their daughter Bekka who was born the following year is herself an extremely successful singer. She and her husband became the duo Delaney & Bonnie who became one of the first successful white R&B acts and soon they would tour with Eric Clapton and perform with artists such as Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge , Leon Russell, Duane Allman, John Lennon and George Harrison where they would be known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Seeing success in the charts the songs they are most known for now are possible “Only You Know and I Know” and “Never-Ending Song of Love”.

Also following her own solo career, she and Leon Russell co-wrote the song “Give Peace a Chance” and “Groupie” which would change it’s name to “Superstar” and be a huge 1971 hit for The Carpenters.

Delaney Bramlett passed away in December 2008, He learned the guitar in his youth. He moved to Los Angeles in 1959 where he became a session musician. His most notable early work was as a member of the Shindogs, the house band for the ABC-TV series Shindig! (1964–66), which also included guitarist and keyboardist Leon Russell. He was the first artist signed to Independence Records.

She and Delaney divorced in 1973.

Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell had many connections in the music business through their work in the Shindogs and formed a band of solid, if transient, musicians around Delaney & Bonnie. The band became known as “Delaney & Bonnie and Friends”, because of its regular changes of personnel. They secured a recording contract with Stax Records and completed work on their first album, Home, in 1968.

 

D&B Together

The title of this album’s more than a little ironic because the principals’ had separated before the end of a series of events during which the record’s original configuration, titled Country Life, was refused release and the couple’s contract was transferred to Columbia Records.Ultimately released with a modified track sequence,  the dozen cuts include what’s arguably their most famous number, “Comin’ Home” (its guitar refrain courtesy Clapton), a bonafide hit of their own in the form of Dave Mason’s “Only You Know And I Know,” plus the original version of a song  subsequently made famous (in a decidedly sterilized interpretation) by The Carpenters, “Groupie (Superstar).”Reaffirmed with the addition of half a dozen bonus tracks, the gospel and r&b elements of Delaney and Bonnie’s musical approach are in full-flower here, as well as a stylistic departure in the form of the original title cut that, as a baroque waltz adorned with strings, might well have allowed for further expansion of the pair’s already eclectic style.

D&B Together 1972 album was their last album of new material, as Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett would divorce soon after its release. Although released by Columbia/CBS (catalog no. KC 31377), D&B Together was actually recorded for the Atco/Atlantic label, under the working title Country Life. According to his autobiography Rhythm and the Blues, Atlantic executive Jerry Wexler was dissatisfied with the album’s quality upon its delivery to the label, and, upon investigating the situation and discovering Delaney and Bonnie were splitting up, sold their contract – including this album’s master tapes – to CBS. CBS reordered the running sequence of the album. On reflecting on the matter in 2003, Delaney Bramlett was quoted as saying “I thought [D&B Together] was a fine piece of work, so did Bonnie. Unfortunately, Jerry Wexler didn’t agree.”

Delaney and Bonnie’s “Friends” of the band’s 1969-70 heyday also had considerable impact. After the early 1970 breakup of this version of the band, Leon Russell recruited many of its ex-members, excepting Delaney, Bonnie and singer/keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, to join Joe Cocker’s band, participating on Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen recording sessions and North American tour (March–May 1970; Rita Coolidge’s version of “Groupie (Superstar)” was recorded with this band while on tour). Whitlock meanwhile joined Clapton at his home in Surrey, UK, where they wrote songs and decided to form a band, which two former “Friends”/Cocker band members, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon, would later join. As Derek And The Dominos, they recorded the landmark album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) with assistance on many tracks from another former “Friend,” lead/slide guitarist Duane Allman. Derek and the Dominos also constituted the core backing band on George Harrison’s vocal debut album All Things Must Pass (1970) with assistance from still more former “Friends”: Dave Mason, Bobby Keys and Jim Price.

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Copperhead was a band organized by guitarist John Cipollina after he left Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970. Cipollina, who had been a member of Quicksilver since its formation and whose lead guitar playing was its signature sound, had grown increasingly dissatisfied after the return of band founder Dino Valenti from a prison term, when the group grew larger and he found he had less space to play. He had also grown increasingly interested in playing sessions, which the band discouraged. The early days of Copperhead were casual, with the group consisting of a loose aggregation of people playing gigs with Cipollina. Eventually it coalesced into a quartet consisting of Cipolliana on lead guitar; Gary Philippet on vocals, second guitar, and organ; Jim McPherson on vocals, bass, and piano; and David Weber on drums. The group was initially signed to the Just Sunshine label run by Michael Lang, one of the organizers of Woodstock.

Cipollina had a unique guitar sound, mixing solid state and valve amplifiers as early as 1965. He is considered one of the fathers of the San Francisco psychedelic rock sound.

But in 1972 it was signed to a major-label record deal by Clive Davis at Columbia and recorded its debut album, Copperhead, released in the spring of 1973. Unfortunately, Davis was fired from Columbia shortly after the album’s release, an action that doomed any developing band that had been signed under his aegis. The album went nowhere, and when Columbia refused to release their second album, Copperhead folded. Cipollina went on to play in many different bands before dying in 1989. 

Cipollina formed the band Copperhead with early Quicksilver member Jim Murray (musician) (who was soon to leave for Maui, Hawaii), former Stained Glass member Jim McPherson, drummer David Weber, Gary Phillipet (AKA Gary Phillips (keyboardist), later a member of Bay Area bands Earthquake and The Greg Kihn Band), and Pete Sears. Sears was shortly thereafter replaced by current Bonnie Raitt bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson who played on the Copperhead LP and stayed with the band for its duration. Sears went on to play with the original Jefferson Starship and later Hot Tuna. During the 80s Cipollina performed with a number of configurations, including Fish & Chips, with Barry Melton, Thunder and Lightning, with Nick Gravenites, the Dinosaurs, and Problem Child. He was a founding member of Zero and its rhythm guitarist until his death. Most often these bands played club gigs, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Cipollina remained well-known to aficionados as among the great psychedelic guitarists. His style influenced many upcoming younger players, including Trey Anastasio of Phish.

Jeff Lynne will release the 14th Electric Light Orchestra album, From Out of Nowhere, on November 1st via Columbia Records. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee previewed the LP , the second billed under the moniker “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” following 2015’s Alone in the Universe — with the dreamy title track.

“From Out of Nowhere” conjures vintage ELO, minus the symphonic edge of the band’s layered keyboards and strings. “Let me go, let me fly to a place that I love,” Lynne croons over a jangling, descending guitar progression and steady, choppy drums. “Let me fly away and start anew.

ELO recently concluded their second North American tour since 1981, featuring Dhani Harrison as opener. Lynne, the band’s singer-songwriter, performed virtually every instrument on the new record — just as he did on Alone in the Universe. Accordingly he played “nearly every note of the music on guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards and vibes, as well as singing all of the lead and layered harmony vocals,” with engineer Steve Jay “[adding] some percussion.”

“From Out of Nowhere — that’s exactly where it came from,” Lynne said in a statement. “That’s the first one I wrote for this album, and it’s kind of like that.” He noted that he was aiming to spread optimism with both the song and album: “Everybody’s got to have a bit of hope.”

bruce springsteen there goes my miracle, bruce springsteen, bruce springsteen western stars, bruce springsteen new album

Bruce Springsteen is gearing up to release his first new album in five years, Western Starsdue out on June 14th via Columbia Records. The solo album marks Springsteen’s first collection of new, original songs since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. He had previously released an album of covers and re-worked originals, High Hopes, in 2014.

Following the release of the album’s lead single, “Hello Sunshine”, Springsteen has shared “There Goes My Miracle”, the second single from his forthcoming Western StarsLP. “There Goes My Miracle” features some impressive vocal arrangements from The Boss along with a lush string section. “There Goes My Miracle” features a lush and orchestral arrangement, with melodic detours more reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds than Glen Campbell, even though some electronic drums show up midway through the bridge.

Much like Springsteen’s previous two albums, Ron Aniello produced the project in addition to playing bass, keyboard and other instruments during the tracking sessions. Western Stars also features work from over 20 musicians, including original E Street Band keyboard player David Sancious and violinist Soozie Tyrell, as well as organist Charlie Giordano, who currently plays with the group. Jon Brion, who’s best known for his work with Kanye West and Fiona Apple, also contributed in playing celeste, Moog, and Farfisa to the album. Springsteen’s wife and E Street bandmate Patti Scialfa is responsible for the vocal arrangements on four songs and contributes her vocals on several others. It’s uncertain whether Springsteen will tour in support of his forthcoming album. Recently, while chatting with Martin Scorsese at a Netflix event in Los Angeles, Springsteen revealed “I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band. And it came out of just … I mean, I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know?”

He noted that it woke him out of a seven-year stretch where he was doubting the prospect of any new music. He said was relieved after the “little daily visitations” of creativity. “You go, Fuck, I’m not fucked, all right?” he said. “There’ll be another tour!”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have been off the road since their Working on a Dream tour wrapped in 2017.

Western Stars arrives on June 14.

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Vampire Weekend have shared yet another taste of their highly-anticipated LP Father of the Bride” in the form of two singles, entitled “This Life” and “Unbearably White.” . The rollout to “Father of the Bride” – due out on May 3rd – CONTINUES!.

Following on from the release of “Sunflower,” Vampire Weekend return with “This Life.”

It’s an ebullient piece of music that finds Ezra Koenig sharing vocal duties with Danielle Haim, with both artists singing about life’s woes over a sanguine guitar line that alludes to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”

The first tune features additional vocals from Haim guitarist Danielle Haim as well as guitar work by Time Crisis (Jake Longstreth), who hosts a Beats1 radio show with VW frontman Ezra Koenig.

On the other hand, the very tongue-in-cheek “Unbearably White” – which acknowledges a criticism often hurled at the band – is a production-heavy, somewhat psychedelic come down.

Father of the Bride will be release on May 3rd via Columbia Records