Posts Tagged ‘Elektra Records’

We The People were a garage rock supergroup from Orlando, Florida, formed from members of The Coachmen, the Nation Rocking Shadows, and The Offbeets. The band boasted two songwriters, Tommy Talton and Wayne Proctor. Talton’s ‘You Burn Me Up and Down’ is the second song from We The People featured on Nuggets. It was originally released as a b-side to their third single ‘He Doesn’t Go About It Right’. Note that the header art is taken from a later We The People single – it was the only hi-resolution artwork that I could find.

It’s commendable that the Nuggets compilers sifted through the group’s b-sides for material, but ‘You Burn Me Up and Down’ is one of the lesser tracks I’ve encountered on Nuggets so far. It sounds inspired by Van Morrison’s Them, with a bluesy feel and authoritative lead vocal.

We The People never released a studio album, but did release enough singles to justify several compilations; notably 1983’s Declaration of Independence. Like The Band and The The, We The People’s Declaration of Independence is not an easy item to find on Google! In an interesting piece of timing, today’s post shares its date with the “We The People” inauguration concert, featuring Fall Out Boy, Carole King, Ben Harper, and James Taylor.

Proctor wrote most of We The People’s material, but it was Tommy Talton who went onto a professional music career. He was part of the country rock band Cowboy who played with the Allman Brothers and Bonnie Bramlett. Cowboy released a reunion album in 2018, titled 10’ll Getcha Twenty.


Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a compilation album of American psychedelic and garage rock singles released in the mid-to-late 1960s. It was assembled by Lenny Kaye, who at the time was a writer and clerk at the Village Oldies record shop in New York. He would later become the lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group. Kaye worked on Nuggets under the supervision of Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records. Kaye initially conceived the project as a series of approximately eight individual LP installments, each focusing on US geographical regions, but Elektra convinced him that one 2-disc LP would be a more commercially viable format. The resulting double album was released on LP by Elektra in 1972 with liner notes by Kaye that contained one of the first uses of the term “punk rock”. It was reissued with a new cover design by Sire Records in 1976. In the 1980s Rhino Records issued Nuggets in a series of fifteen installments, and in 1998 as a 4-cd box set.

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From the release of Love’s March 1966 debut single, “My Little Red Book” b/w “A Message to Pretty,” it was clear the Los Angeles Group was a breed apart from its contemporaries. The group, led by Arthur Lee, built much of its music upon a snarling, sneering proto-punk aesthetic not completely removed from the style of bands like the Seeds. But just under the surface, there lurked a deeper complexity and nuance.

There had been multi-racial bands before Love: though they never achieved any kind of commercial success, the short-lived Rising Sons were led by Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. But Love had a black man as its primary writer and front man, and enjoyed the higher profile and accompanying marketing boost that came with having signed to Elektra, home of (among others) the Doors.

Still, Love would manage only one Top 40 single in its time together, 1966’s “7 and & 7 Is,” a track off of the band’s second album, “Da Capo”. That album also displayed Love and Lee’s musical ambitions: a side-long track, “Revelation,” ran nearly 19 minutes. This was a full 18 months before Iron Butterfly released its own opus, “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

A House is Not a Motel” continues with the use of acoustic guitar as a central instrument. An insistent drum pattern and a subtle yet busy bass line part support Lee, who once again begins singing in a lilting manner. But as the song progresses, he builds in intensity, eventually reaching a rock ’n’ roll roar. Against an emphatic series of chords, Echols takes a pair of lean, sinewy electric guitar solos. For most of its first two minutes, the overall feel of “A House is Not A Motel” is one of restraint. But after a propulsive drum fill from Michael Stuart, multiple overdubbed distorted lead guitars explode into the mix; amid whoops and hollers from the band, those solos take the song to its fadeout.

The melancholy “Andmoreagain” plays up the album’s baroque character. Strings and acoustic guitars are the central instruments, and Lee’s vocal channels Mathis more overtly than anywhere else on the record. “The Daily Planet” is built around a vigorously strummed acoustic guitar, with deft stabs of chiming guitar and a beefy bass line. The mid-tempo rocker has a feel closer to the Byrds; though he’s not credited on the album, Buffalo Springfield guitarist Neil Young oversaw the track’s arrangement.

But on both “Andmoreagain” and “The Daily Planet,” it’s not really Love; instead Lee is backed by session musicians. Co-producer Bruce Botnick brought in the Wrecking Crew players when he found the band unable to play what was required. Apparently, the shock of being sidelined would eventually lead the band members to get their collective act together; the remaining tracks on Forever Changes would feature the band (plus the string and brass players as needed).

That said, the band members take a back seat on the subtle “Old Man.” Cellos and violins are at the centre of the fragile arrangement, based upon an idiosyncratic melody from Lee. Brass and tinkling piano are added to the mix in the song’s second half. And “The Red Telephone” is almost a continuation “Old Man.” With a similar arrangement and a (different) odd melody, it features a stronger beat and an insistent harpsichord part. The seamless interplay between acoustic guitar leads and the string players underscores the fact that the fiddles and cellos were part of Lee’s arrangement ideas from the beginning of the project. Lee’s spoken lines at the song’s end give “The Red Telephone” a vaguely psychedelic feel, but that is punctured by Lee’s “All o’ god’s chillen gots to have their freedom,” delivered in a kind of self-parody of black American dialect.

Near unanimous in their praise for Forever Changes, critics often point to MacLean’s “Alone Again Or” as the strongest track on the record. But a strong case can be made that Arthur Lee’s “Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale” deserves consideration as well. The brass arrangement in particular fits the song perfectly, helping provide an air of mystery and suspense. It helps, too, that for this track Lee had written a more straightforward melody. The instrumental break features a series of musical dialogues, first between acoustic guitar and the brass, then between electric guitar and the horns, and finally between Lee’s vocalizing and the auxiliary players.

The baroque arrangement that opens “Live and Let Live” is jarring when set against Lee’s lyrics about snot on his pants and threatening a bluebird with a gun. The song soon segues into a harder, rock-flavored feel; throughout its five-plus minutes, “Live and Let Live” shifts between the two styles; the bridges rock even harder, and toward the song’s end, stinging lead electric guitar makes one of its rare appearances on Forever Changes. By the hard-charging final moment of the tune, its bears no resemblance to the manner in which it began.

As effective as those rocking moments may be, it’s on the album’s gentler tracks where Love truly shines. “The Good Humour Man He Sees Everything Like This” is a case in point. The tune sports another odd melody from Lee; his vocals twist and turn amid an intricate pizzicato string and brass arrangement that rivals “Alone Again Or” in its understated brilliance.

“Bummer in the Summer” is Forever Changes’ outlier track; Lee adopts a sneering, spitting vocal demeanor that’s closer in style and character to “7 and 7 Is” and “My Little Red Book” than it is to anything else on the album. The arrangement is similar to the Leaves’ reading of “Hey Joe” mixed with a bit of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” Other than session player Don Randi’s piano, the track doesn’t feature any auxiliary musicians.

Forever Changes was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008

Forever Changes concludes with “You Set the Scene,” a track built upon crystalline acoustic guitar picking, an insistent bass line and some sawing cellos. Lee’s double-tracked harmony lead vocal is among his best work on the record. In the place customarily occupied by a guitar solo, a soaring string ensemble arrangement, punctuated by brass, provides a stirring conclusion to the album. As the song winds toward its end, the majestic brass and string parts build to a crescendo, and then fade to silence.

Notably, outside of music critics, few recognized the specialness of Forever Changes upon its November 1967 release. The album reached a lowly #154 on the Billboard album chart, and the single “Alone Again Or” b/w “A House is Not A Motel” made it only as far as #123. But as had been the case with fellow Los Angelinos the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Forever Changes fared far better in Great Britain.

The lineup that made Forever Changes soon fractured, though Love would go on to make four more albums in the decade to follow. Each of those has its high points, but all are flawed, and none succeeds in doing more than hinting at the once-in-a-lifetime brilliance of Forever Changes.

As a happier postscript, in the later years of his life—as previously-overlooked albums began to earn their due—Arthur Lee, who died in 2006 at age 61, was able to capitalize on the belated recognition of the record’s importance. With members of L.A.’s Baby Lemonade, he would tour, presenting the complete Forever Changes in concert. Those shows would often feature auxiliary musicians playing the album’s brass and string arrangements, resulting in a live reading that successfully captured the nuance and excitement of the 1967 studio recording.

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Paul Vaughn Butterfield was an American blues harmonica player, singer and band leader. After an early training in classical flute, he developed an interest in blues harmonica and explored the blues scene in his native Chicago with guitarist Nick Gravenites, who shared an interest in blues. By the late 50s they were visiting blues clubs in Chicago where Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Otis Rush were encouraging them and occasionally let them sit in on jam sessions. Butterfield met aspiring blues guitarist Elvin Bishop in the early 1960s and with bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay (both from Howlin Wolf’s touring band), the new group secured a highly successful club engagement at Big John’s Folk Club in Chicago which brought them to the attention of producer Paul A. Rothchild.

During their engagement, Butterfield met and occasionally sat in with guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Rothchild was impressed with the chemistry between the two and persuaded Paul to bring Bloomfield into the band and eventually signed them to Elektra Records in 1964. Two attempts to record a debut album did not meet Rothchild’s expectations, but he persuaded Jac Holzman to agree to third attempt at recording a full length album. Rothchild assumed the role of group manager and used his folk contacts to book them at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.

The band was able to attract an unusually large audience that was not accustomed to seeing an electric blues combo, as well as the attention of Bob Dylan, who helped raise the band’s exposure. The band added keyboardist Mark Naftalin, and its debut album, “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band” was finally successfully recorded in mid-1965 and released later that year. The album reached number 123 in the Billboard 200 chart, but its influence was felt way beyond the sales figures. Jazz drummer Billy Davenport was invited to replace Sam Lay, who was ailing.

In July 1966, the sextet recorded their second full length album, “East-West”. The album consisted of more varied material and reached number 65 on the album charts. The 13-minute instrumental track “East-West” incorporates Indian raga influences and some of the earliest jazz-fusion and blues-rock excursions, being described as “the first of its kind…and the root from which the acid rock tradition emerged.” Live versions of the song sometimes lasted an hour and performances at the San Francisco Fillmore Auditorium “were a huge influence on the city’s jam bands.” In spite of its success, the band soon changed its line-up. Arnold and Davenport left the band and Bloomfield went on to form his own band, Electric Flag. With Bishop and Naftalin remaining, the band added bassist Bugsy Maugh, drummer Phillip Wilson, and saxophonists David Sanborn and Gene Dinwiddie. This line-up recorded the band’s third album, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw

in 1967. The album cut back on instrumental jams and focused more on an R&B influenced horn-driven sound. It was Butterfield’s highest-charting album, reaching number 52 on the chart. Most of this line up performed at the seminal Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967. On the next album, “In My Own Dream”, the band continued to move away from its roots in Chicago blues towards a more soul-influenced, horn-based sound. The album reached number 79 on the Billboard chart and by the end of 1968, both Bishop and Naftalin had left the band. The band was invited to perform at the Woodstock Festival on August 18th, 1969. They performed seven songs, and although its performance did not appear in the film Woodstock, one song, “Love March,” was included on the original album release Woodstock: Music From the Original Soundtrack and More,released in 1970. In 2009, Butterfield was included in the expanded 40th Anniversary edition Woodstock video, and an additional two songs appeared on the box set Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm. Finally in August 2019, Rhino Entertainment released the web-only, 38CD/blu-ray, numbered and limited box set: Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive which included Butterfield’s complete set. And if voted to win, Run Out Groove will issue this incendiary live set on vinyl for the very first time with new artwork and deluxe packaging.

PAUL BUTTERFIELD: vocals, harmonica
TED HARRIS: keyboards
DAVID SANBORN: alto saxophone and percussion
GENE DINWIDDIE: tenor saxophone, percussion and vocals
TREVOR LAWRENCE: baritone saxophone and percussion
STEVE MADAIO: trumpet and percussion
PHILLIP WILSON: drums and vocals

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band “Live At Woodstock” Limited and numbered to 2452 LPs (we will provide you with the number). We expect this title to ship in August 14th.

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David Blue quit high school at age 17, left home, and joined the Navy, but was soon thrown out for his “Inability to adjust to a military way of life.” Blue became an integral part of the “Greenwich Village” Folk music”scene in New York City which included singer songwriters Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Dave Van Ronk Tom Paxton, Bob Neuwirth, and Eric Andersen. … Of the singers and writers on the scene at this time, David Blue appears to have been closest to Dylan…” “He needed a friend,” Blue said. “So he started including me in his scene and I got tight with him.

David Blue is best known for writing the song “Outlaw Man” for the Eagles (band)” which was included on their 1973 “Desperado”. Blue’s original version of “Outlaw Man” was the lead track of his own Nice Baby and the Angel album, re-issued on CD, with the entire David Blue catalogue, in 2007 on Wounded Bird Records.

Blue joined Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” in 1975 and appeared in Renaldo and Clara the 1978 movie that was filmed during that tour. Blue acted in other films including, “The American Friend (1977), directed by Wim Wenders The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (a 1979 TV movie) and “Human Highway” by Neil Young” premiered in 1983 after Blue’s death. Blue also performed onstage in Stephen Poliakoff ‘s play “American Days” at the Manhattan Theatre Club”  in New York City in December 1980, directed by Jacques Levy”

David Blue does write every track but the album is full of inventiveness and cracking tunes with a distinctly alternative edge to it, and dare I say tinges of psych on some tracks… There is, probably inevitably, the feel of a recently electrified Dylan on here including some occasional Bloomfield-esque guitar moments,

Blue died of Heart attack in December 1982 at the age of 41, while jogging in Washington Square Park New York


The original punk album, The Stooges is a Molotov cocktail delivered straight to the faces of the hippies of 1969, an album made by Michigan goons who were sick of everything, and wanted to be your dog. The album marked the arrival of Iggy Pop, one of the last true rock ‘n’ roll iconoclasts, and though the album was considered an historic bomb upon its release–it never cracked the top 100–it influenced basically every glam, punk and post-punk album released in its considerable wake.

The album’s original mix by producer John Cale was infamously rejected by Elektra Records–they thought it sounded too abrasive–and it has never appeared on vinyl. Until now. A new way to hear a classic album, this version is presented in the way that John Cale originally intended,

First, there’s the story of the album, which is that when the Stooges recorded this, 51 years ago, it was produced by John Cale, fresh off quitting the Velvet Underground. And he immediately realized that the Stooges should not sound like the Doors, or the Byrds, or whoever else. They were raw power, a barely contained riot, a train bearing down on you as you’re tied to the tracks. So he gets them to record their eight songs, one of my favorite side stories is that the Stooges showed up only having five songs, thinking that was more than enough for an album, and then lied and said they had eight when questioned and had to write three more basically overnight and he mixes the album like it’s this murder in real time, just all fuzz, and violence and ooze. The suits at the label hear this mix, and say what ,in retrospect everyone would say about the version that came out: That it sounded like shit, that it sounded dumb, that it was too uncontrolled to see release. So they fire John Cale, and ditch his mixes, and Iggy and Jac Holzman from Elektra re-mix and resequence the record, which is the version that comes out now.

John Cale’s original vision was the album as sort of a redemptive arc; his version ends with “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which he saw as Iggy deciding to fall in line with society. The label saw it as one of the singles, so it’s on side one on the original version. So anyway, the original Stooges comes out, and it’s a bomb. But it secretly influences basically every hard rock band that has come since; it’s not an over-exaggeration to say that there’s basically no hard rock if the Stooges don’t lay the groundwork for punk on this album. It’s rightly lauded as one of the most important albums of all time.

Yeah, so meanwhile, there’s this version of the album that basically just lived in Stooges lore, that John Cale’s mix existed but was scrapped. And then in the early ’00s, these tapes walk into Rhino, and somehow, someone has a copy of the John Cale mixes. The speculation is that someone cut an unauthorized walking version of the album basically, one to take home and they confirmed with John Cale that what was on the tapes were his mixes. So they put the album out in digital form in 2010, however, they realize later that they actually released the album at too slow a tempo; the version on the tapes they found was likely recorded not from a deck, but from an echo machine, so for almost 10 years, the version known as the “John Cale Mix” was actually way slower than it should have been.

They corrected the tapes for the 50th Anniversary edition that came out last fall digitally. And this is the final part of the story: WEA/Rhino came to us to ask if we wanted to do the first original vinyl pressing of this album, and once we realized what they were asking, this was a no-brainer. We all listened to it, and I, for one, couldn’t believe that songs I’ve loved since I was a teen could sound even more like they were coming from the end of the scariest alley in town. We’re getting to present one of the most important albums in rock history, and doing so in the way it was originally meant to be heard. It’s a tremendous honor for all of us on the music team.

It’s one thing for us to tell you that the John Cale mix of The Stooges sounds gnarlier than the original; it’s another to let you hear it. Here’s a mini-doc telling the story of the album, and comparing the two records.

You have to remember what it was like before. For a full quarter of 1969, the No. 1 album in the country was the soundtrack to Hair, Blood, Sweat and Tears had a No. 1 album for seven weeks and, no offense to Al Kooper, but nothing on that group’s self-titled told life like it really was in 1969. The music that made its way to the charts back then, how life was on the ground for a Michigan resident raised by a working class family whose only prospects were the already-dying assembly lines or the frontlines of Vietnam.

And then, 10 days before the opening of Woodstock, it also is the ground zero for every angry album of noise that came since; without it, you don’t get glam, you don’t get British or American punk, you don’t get pop-punk, Green Day, and you maybe don’t the evolutions that happened to bring us every type of metal music. You don’t get any of it. Instead, Thank God, and Michigan, then, for The Stooges.

The Stooges were never a safe bet; not only in the “are they going to be coherent enough for shows?” way, but especially in the “These guys are gonna be stars!” way record labels are usually looking for. Fronted by James Newell Osterberg Jr., who came from a trailer park in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and who played the drums as a kid after his parents gave up their bedroom for him to have the space to play. Eventually ol’ James was banging the skins in a band called the Iguanas when he got his nickname, Iggy Pop. Sometime in 1967, at 20, and dropped out of the University of Michigan, Iggy saw the Doors, who were then known as a travelling disaster, as frontman Jim Morrison turned each gig into something like performance art crossed with a riot. Iggy decided he didn’t want to be behind the kit, and wanted to be out front doing that. He linked up with the Asheton Brothers Scott and Ron two guys who liked to party as much as he did, and could play the shit out of their drums and guitar — and Dave Alexander, a guy they all liked who had just recently started teaching himself to play the bass. They played their first show as the Psychedelic Stooges on Halloween, 1967. They’d ditch the hippie shit soon enough. Iggy and the Stooges quickly got a reputation around Michigan, particularly in Detroit, where another band of street toughs called the MC5 had set up shop. The bands became kindred spirits, and often shared bills; the MC5, though, always sounded like they wanted to be hard rock Motown, where the Stooges felt like they were a raw nerve set to make music. Anger and self-loathing and depression set to primitive funeral marches and barely contained war parades. Eventually, an enterprising A&R man from Elektra named Danny Fields signed both bands, in a bid to make Elektra the home of new Detroit rock. Both the Stooges and MC5 would be unmitigated disasters from a corporate level, the MC5 lasting a single album (1969’s live proto-punk volley Kick Out The Jams) before their careers flamed out in booze, drug busts, and legal troubles.
If Elektra was worried their two-pronged Detroit rock machine was in danger following the MC5’s debut getting savaged by Lester Bangs in the pages of Rolling Stone he eventually came around on it, as critics were allowed to do in those days — they had still had no fear in April 1969, when they sent the Stooges to Hit Factory in New York City to record their self-titled debut. They hired a recent underground rock hero named John Cale to produce the album, fresh off his time in the Velvet Underground, where his artiste sensibilities meshed with Lou Reed’s misanthropy to make the first two Velvet Underground albums, case studies in taking a label’s money, doing something no one had done before, and paying the cost for it with low sales while gaining a reputation for being ahead of your time (which the Stooges would soon follow). The Stooges came to the studio with only five songs (“No Fun,” “1969,” “Ann,” “We Will Fall,” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog”), thinking that’s all they needed to make an LP, and when they were told they needed more, lied and said they had them, and went off and wrote three more (“Not Right,” “Little Doll,” and “Real Cool Time”), playing them for the first time as a whole group in front of Cale in the studio. Those eight songs served as the foundation for too many rock movements to line up in paragraph form here, but more than 50 years later, the thing that has to be remembered is how shocking something like “I Wanna Be Your Dog” had to be to people who were used to “Incense and Peppermints.” That opening noise is like an electric chair being fired up, and the death march riff sounds more evil than any Swedish Black Metal band has mustered with 50 years advancement in guitar technology. Iggy didn’t want to hold your hand, he didn’t want to be your baby; he knew he was a dirty dog, and felt he deserved to be treated as such. Iggy studied at the altar of the Chicago blues for a time in the ’60s, and from there he took the willingness to be self-effacing and pitiful; no one sounded more put through a meat-grinder before or since.            Stooges took rock and stripped it down to its barest studs and refused to build it back up on The Stooges. Something like “No Fun” might have read to people like Robert Christgau as “stupid” in 1969, but it’s without any artifice; it’s all attitude, all raw power. “1969” was the first song about teenage malaise and boredom to actually sound like it was made by people who were sick and tired of being sick and tired; entire bands’ discographies would be pilfered from its two verses:

“Well it’s 1969 okay All across the USA It’s another year For me and you Another year With nothing to do, Last year I was 21 I didn’t have a lot of fun And now I’m gonna be 22 I say oh my and a boo hoo And now I’m gonna be 22 I say oh my and a boo hoo”

When the band finished recording in April, 1969, Cale delivered his mix to Elektra, and things hit the fan. Mixed in a raw, naked form that emphasized the sinister, wild side of the band over sonic clarity, the original Cale mix of the album was rejected by Elektra, in a portent of things to come. Cale’s mixes were thought lost before resurfacing in the early ’00s, and after being originally released at the wrong speed, they’re out on the right speed on vinyl for the first time.

But in 1969, Cale’s mixes weren’t appreciated; Elektra president Jac Holzman and Iggy himself remixed the album, bringing the vocals higher into the mix, and lowering some of the abrasiveness. At this point, it was clear both men thought the Stooges had some commercial potential if they just cleaned it up, which, even without hindsight, is enough to make you spray water out of your nose. Albums this hard didn’t move units in 1969, and they don’t move them now. The people at the front of the herd hacking their way through the wilderness don’t get to enjoy the fruits of the civilization they made possible, and The Stooges hit the marketplace like a brick to the philtrum. It made next to no impact on the charts (it eventually rose to 106 on Billboard’s album charts, but died quickly), was savaged in reviews, and was left to be consistently rediscovered by every generation of fucked up kids who came since; it eventually got its place in the pantheon, but by as much force as is present on the album.

To Elektra’s credit, they kept the Stooges on roster for another LP; 1970’s Fun House added jazz skronk to its mix via saxophonist Don Mackay, but when it too went over like a lead balloon, the band broke up, amid Iggy’s worsening heroin problems, and a lack of much juice in their career. Thanks to David Bowie staking his new stardom on his adoration for Iggy, the band reformed in 1973 on Columbia with Raw Power, and around guitarist James Williamson, whose leads were more punk fury than Asheton’s blues-based piledrivers, and that band broke up almost immediately when Iggy went further into heroin and began palling around with Bowie as a solo artist. Iggy would become something of a solo star and a cultural icon over the years, but until the early ’00s, he and the Stooges remained mostly broken up. However, they reformed with the Ashetons (Dave Alexander died in 1975 of alcoholism-related illness) back on guitar on drums, where they’d both remain until their deaths in 2009 (guitarist Ron) and 2014 (drummer Scott).

Iggy has talked recently of packing it in for good, his legacy cemented under nuclear-blast level concrete at this point. And he should; the man has lived enough lives for a whole litter of kittens. His debut album remains one of the most direct statements of purposes for a recorded body of work that has maybe ever existed; Iggy and the Stooges came to cave in heads, and it’s taken them more than 50 years to even think about stopping.

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Arthur Lee (1945-2006) – 1960s – Born on March 7th, 1945, Arthur Lee would have celebrated his 75th birthday this week… Lee was the lead singer and front man of Los Angeles Rock band Love. He formed the band in 1965 with old classmate Johnny Echols, along with Bryan Maclean (guitar, vocals), Ken Forssi (bass), and Alban Pfisterer (on the first album). Building up a sizable following at Hollywood area clubs, the band came to the attention of Elektra Records at the Whisky-a-Go-Go and was offered a recording contract. Love’s first hit was a cover of the Manfred Mann’s “My Little Red Book,” a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition, culled from Love’s self-titled first album released in 1966. The follow-up, “De Capo,” 1967 was released a month before “The Doors,” debut album which was also issued on Elektra Records with both engineered by Bruce Botnick. While the Doors debut climbed to #2 nationally on the strength of the chart-topping single, “Light My Fire,” “De Capo,” managed to reach only #80, but contained the band’s biggest selling single “7 and 7 Is.” Whether the Doors’ success impacted Love is debatable but the band’s third album “Forever Changes,” was its masterpiece, and is rightly considered one of the finest albums of the ’60s – and arguably one of the best rock albums ever.

It contained a song for the ages “Alone Again Or,” with its glorious guitar intro and the sublime horn solo at the bridge. The album was Lee’s crowning achievement ranking #40 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was to be the last album with the original group. There would be three more albums with different personnel, and Lee would carry off and on with a reconstituted Love up until his passing in 2006. If you want to understand Lee’s genius as a songwriter and musician, listen to these three albums to hear other brilliant songs such as “Orange Skies,” “She Comes in Colors,” Signed D.C. and “Red Telephone.” Lee never got his due owing to many issues, but make no mistake, he was one of the seminal Rock musicians from the ‘60s.

Arthur Lee & Love– 2003 – “Alone Again Or,” Originally on one of the singular albums of the 1960s “Forever Changes,” this sublimely beautiful song of heartbreak will yet tear your heart apart. Demonstrating that he had lost none of his prodigious talent, Lee leads Love in a powerfully touching rendition of one of his signature songs made all the more poignant because Lee would pass from this world just three years later from complications surrounding Leukemia treatments in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee on August 3, 2006. he was 61. If you can make it through the trumpet solo without shedding a tear…To truly feel this song, turn it up…This is a truly epic performance.

First of 3 songs performed by Arthur Lee and Love in 2003. This song and “You Set The Scene” are from a US presentation of “Later.. with Jools Holland” on the Ovation Network.

Arthur Lee’s 1981 solo album is re-pressed by Friday Music on CD.  The late Love frontman provided the liner notes for this album, on which he revisited “7 and 7 Is” and paid tribute to his band with “I Do Wonder.”

As a visionary and leader of the 60s iconic band Love, Arthur Lee’s prolific words and music continue with this second solo release. Out of print for over three decades, Friday Music is proud to offer another installment of the Love & Arthur Lee Remaster Series . Includes the fan favorite One, a new take on 7 & 7 Is and a nod to Love with I Do Wonder. Featured players include the late seventies Love and the late great guitarist Velvert Turner. Original liner notes by Lee as well as definitive remastering by Love archivist Joe Reagoso.

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“Love” is the debut LP by Love, released in March 1966 on Elektra Records. . After gigging around the Los Angeles scene for three years, Arthur Lee was ready for something different. Lee had been recording since 1963 with his bands, the LAG’s and Lee’s American Four. He had written and also produced the single “My Diary” for Rosa Lee Brooks in 1964 which featured Jimi Hendrix on guitar. A garage outfit, The Sons Of Adam, which included future Love drummer Michael Stuart, also recorded a Lee composition, “Feathered Fish”.

Inspired by seeing The Byrds live, he decided to merge their folk-rock sound with the driving r&b he had been playing to create a new group, dubbed Love.recruiting guitarists Johnny Echols and ex-Byrds roadie Bryan Maclean, bassist Ken Forssi and drummer Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer, Love began recording their eponymous debut LP in January 1966. Their first single, Bacharach/David composition “My Little Red Book,” spotlights an insistent, menacing riff that sounds nothing like what their contemporaries were committing to vinyl. Other cuts highlight the writing talents of Lee and the band members.

Nothing like what their contemporaries Who were committing to vinyl. Other cuts highlight the writing talents of Lee and the band members, notably on Lee’s anti-drug essay “Signed, D.C.” and Maclean’s “Softly to Me.” Also included is their version of the rock standard “Hey Joe,” rivaling The Leaves’ hit version for power and sporting some lyric alterations. The group, which lived communally at the time in a house formerly owned by Boris Karloff (they are pictured in the house’s garden on the LP cover), quickly coalesced into one of the West Coast’s most influential and exciting groups; here is where it all began. This was their hardest-rocking early album and their most Byrds-influenced.” Arthur Lee’s songwriting muse hadn’t fully developed at this stage, and in comparison with their second and third efforts, this is the least striking of the LPs featuring their classic line-up, with some similar-sounding folk-rock compositions and stock riffs.

Twelve of the album’s fourteen tracks were recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood on January 24th–27th, 1966. The remaining two tracks (“A Message To Pretty” and “My Flash On You“) come from another session.

  • Arthur Lee – lead vocals, percussion, harmonica. Also drums on “Can’t Explain”, “No Matter What You Do”, “Gazing”, and “And More”.
  • Johnny Echols – lead guitar
  • Bryan MacLean – rhythm guitar, vocals. Lead vocals on “Softly to Me” and “Hey Joe”.
  • Ken Forssi – bass guitar
  • Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer – drums

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After signing to Elektra Records and sharing a pair of new singles over the summer, Louisville, Ky., rockers White Reaper released their new album, “You Deserve Love”, the follow-up to the band’s 2017 breakthrough The World’s Best American Band (one of our top albums of that year). The single “1F” finds the band preserving their garage-rock edge while introducing more pop-oriented elements: Tony Esposito’s vocals still spike and crackle like a live wire over big, brash guitars, but it’s the insistent, simplistic organ lick, old-school backing harmonies and tidy production that sound like something new.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘1F’ – from the album, You Deserve Love, available now.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘Might Be Right’ – from the album, You Deserve Love, available now.

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With whammied electric guitars, arena-ready vocals and an organ-led bridge, “Real Long Time” sounds so familiar, you’ll be singing along by the end of your first listen. That’s not a knock—the track is immediately catchy, with every member of the five-piece given a chance to soar above the rest in the groove-locked cut.

As White Reaper roll forward, they’re slowly abandoning their garage roots as they become preoccupied with the idea of playing arena rock. The group’s Saturday night SXSW set at the Clive Bar was pitched between these two extremes, with the group playing AOR with the coiled energy of punk. Occasionally, this combo is absurd, and it’s not always clear if it’s intentionally so: The blend of gilded synths and anonymous chugging riffs exists on the precipice of parody, but White Reaper plays with sincerity. Even if there’s an element of archness to the band – it’s hard not to feel that way when the guitars riff with bawdiness of Joe Walsh yet sound as sleek as Loverboy – it’s also difficult to deny that they generate the kind of kinetic good times ideal for the waning hours of SXSW. 

Band Members:

Tony – Guitar / Voice. Nick – Drums. Sam – Bass. Ryan – Keys. Hunter – Guitar.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘Real Long Time’ – available now on Elektra Records.

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Rainbow Kitten Surprise and all five of its members hail from the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. With chilling harmonies, dynamic instrumentation, and introspective lyrics, their genre-defying sound takes influence from artists like Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon as much as Frank Ocean and Schoolboy Q. Independently, they have over 75 million streams across digital platforms, and notched over 45 sold out shows on their first U.S. headline tour. Their engaging and distinct live performances have led to stand out sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Firefly, Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sasquatch, and Austin City Limits among others. The band worked with GRAMMY award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Sleeper Agent) on their Elektra debut, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, available everywhere now.

Available now are two old songs we hold near and dear to us. You may have heard us play many different versions of Heart and No Vacancy through the years at our live shows. Written before many of the songs you now know by RKS, these tracks never made it on our original EPs “Mary” or “Seven” for various reasons, but today is the day. May we present: Mary (B-Sides).

Band Members:
Sam Melo – Lead Vocals
Ethan Goodpaster – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Darrick “Bozzy” Keller – Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals
Charlie Holt – Bass and Backing Vocals
Jess Haney – Drums

from the Mary (b-sides) out now: