Posts Tagged ‘The Doors’

The Doors will include a trove of previously unreleased recordings on the upcoming 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of their 1969 album, The Soft Parade, out October 18th.

The Doors’ fourth studio album, The Soft Parade, became the band’s fourth straight Top Ten album when it was released 50 years ago on July 18, 1969. Despite featuring one of the group’s biggest hits – “Touch Me” – it remains the most-polarizing record of The Doors’ career thanks to the brass and string arrangements that embellish several tracks.

To commemorate the album’s 50th year anniversary, Rhino reimagines The Soft Parade on a newly expanded 3CD/1LP set. The set includes the original studio album – and the B-side “Who Scared You” – newly remastered by Bruce Botnick, The Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer. The collection is a limited edition of 15,000 individually numbered copies and also includes the original album on 180-gram vinyl along with liner notes by noted rock journalist David Fricke.

The core of the new collection is comprised of more than a dozen unreleased songs. Among the highlights are newly remixed “Doors Only” versions of five tracks where the horns and strings have been removed (“Tell All The People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue,” and “Who Scared You.”) The set also features three of those stripped-back versions with new guitar parts added by Robby Krieger (“Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” and “Runnin’ Blue).

The collection also uncovers three songs from studio rehearsals – with Ray Manzarek (a.k.a. Screamin’ Ray Daniels) on vocals – that include an early version of “Roadhouse Blues,” a song that would be released the following year on Morrison Hotel. These three songs include newly recorded bass parts by Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, who joined Krieger and John Densmore at a tribute concert for Manzarek in 2016, three years after the organist died of cancer.

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A trio of studio outtakes collected on the set’s final disc feature the much-bootlegged, hour-long jam, “Rock Is Dead,” which appears here in its entire, surviving form for the first time ever. The track finds The Doors riffing through the entire history of rock ’n’ roll, from early delta blues through surf music, ending with the death of rock.

The band teased the project with one such rarity: An raucous early version of their 1970 track “Roadhouse Blues” — which would appear on the band’s next album, Morrison Hotel — sung by organist Ray Manzarek, who’s cheekily billed as “Screamin’ Ray Daniels.”

The Soft Parade is one of the most controversial albums in the Doors’ catalogue, due to the string and horn arrangements on several tracks (one such song, “Touch Me,” did become one of the band’s biggest hits). The 50th anniversary edition of The Soft Parade will notably include “Doors only” versions of five tracks — “Tell All the People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue” and “Who Scared You” — where the strings and horns have been removed. There will also be additional stripped-down versions of  “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful” and “Runnin’ Blue” featuring new guitar parts from Robby Krieger.

The 50th anniversary edition of The Soft Parade is available and will be released as a three-CD, single LP set that will be limited to 15,000 copies.

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The National return with I Am Easy To Find, there’s black vinyl, indies only clear vinyl 2xLP and deluxe 3xLP pressed on 3 different colours.
New black midi 12″ arrives on Rough Trade.
Brand new 12″ from Interpol.  Limited Dinked Edition of the new album from Black Peaches (featuring Rob Smoughton of Hot Chip). This version is pressed on teal vinyl with an exclusive 7″ and a signed print.
Third Man reissue the long out of print second album by The Raconteurs.
Institute return with Readjusting The Locks on bourbon coloured vinyl, via Sacred Bones.
slowthai unleashes his debut album, limited white vinyl pressing.
Two new David Bowie releases, Boys Keep Swinging 7″ picture disc and the nice Clareville Demos 7″ box set.
Excellent new compilation on Anthology, Sad About The Times, full of 70s psych jammers.

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The National –  I Am Easy to Find

I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s Grammy®-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was mostly recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn and more far flung locations. The album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.

As the album’s opening track, You Had Your Soul With You, unfurls, it’s so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Matt Berninger’s familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: The racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out—not as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it’s Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris—not a negation of the band’s dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.

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Interpol – A Fine Mess

 

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Olden Yolk – Living Theatre

The musical duo of Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer released their debut album as Olden Yolk last year, an alluring concoction of hypnagogic folk and kosmiche rhythms, expanding and refining Butler’s work in his former band Quilt toward a more focused direction. Living Theatre is the follow up to that eponymous debut and more than lives up to its promise.

The songs on Living Theatre were written and recorded during a heavy time of transition and upheaval for the duo, with personal tragedies and a big move from their NYC home to a warmer climate in Los Angeles coloring the album’s inception. Thematically Living Theatre tunes seem to be about how humans react to the ways life is colored by both fate and the consequences of the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. Musically, the duo’s songwriting has gelled into a unified front, relying more on the subtle shifts of melody and rhythm than a barrage of chord changes; Living Theatre’s hooks lap at your feet like a babbling brook, rather than bowl you over like violent waves. The refinement in tunes like Castor and Pollux, Grand Palais and first single Cotton and Cane points to a new frontier for the group; soaring skyward toward the emotionally textural plateaus of trailblazers like The Go-Betweens or Yo La Tengo. There’s a discernible romantic feel to tunes like Violent Days or Distant Episode’s lush arrangements with Shaffer in particular finding her own voice here; poetic, abstract and expressive. Living Theatre showcases a band breaking free from it’s chrysalis, and embracing its next phase of evolution.

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Alex Lahey – The Best Of Club

On her sophomore LP, The Best of Luck Club, 26-year-old Melbourne, Australia native Alex Lahey navigates the pangs of generational ennui with the pint half-full and a spot cleared on the bar stool next to her. Self-doubt, burn out, break-ups, mental health, moving in with her girlfriend, vibrators: The Best of Luck Club showcases the universal language of Lahey’s sharp songwriting, her propensity for taking the minute details of the personal and flipping it public through anthemic pop-punk. Lahey’s 2017 debut I Love You Like a Brother encases Lahey’s knack for writing a killer hook and her acute sense of humor delivered via a slacker-rock package and, in a way, The Best of Luck Club picks up where that record left off. Lahey co-produced the album alongside acclaimed engineer and producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Manchester Orchestra), and dives headfirst into a broader spectrum of both emotion and sound through polished, arena pop-punk in the vein of Paramore with the introspective sheen of Alvvays or Tegan and Sara. Here, Lahey documents the highest highs and the lowest lows of her life to date. After a whirlwind of global touring in support of breakout debut I Love You Like a Brother, Lahey wrote the bulk of her follow-up in Nashville during 12-hour days of songwriting. There, she found the inspiration for The Best of Luck Club ís concept: the dive bar scene and its genuine energy.”Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck, so The Best of Luck Club is that place.

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Lone Justice – Live At The Palomino 1983

Previously unissued live performance from October 22nd, 1983. Recorded at Los Angeles’ iconic Palomino club. New liners from the band’s Marvin Etzioni and Ryan Hedgecock. Located in North Hollywood, The Palomino hosted Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, and many more classic country acts. Later, George Harrison, Elvis Costello, and Green Day played there. It was even featured in Every Which Way But Loose, Hooper, and even CHiPs. But, in the early ’80s, it was a haven for “cow-punk” acts like Lone Justice. Live At the Palomino, 1983 features 12 tracks from the early Lone Justice line-up consisting of Maria McKee, Ryan Hedgecock, Marvin Etzioni, and Don Willens. Songs from their yet to be issued debut are coupled with classic country covers, and songs which have appeared on various collections throughout the years – but never with this live power from this L.A. landmark. Packaging features photos and new notes from Etzioni and Hedgecock, and is issued with full cooperation from the band. Step back into the time when Lone Justice was the band to see, way out in the dusty valley. A timeless performance from a band that helped define a genre: Lone Justice – Live At The Palomino, 1983. They still are the light.

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The Doors – Stockholm ‘68

The Doors, live at Konserthuset, Stockholm on 20th September 1968 The Doors finally visited Europe in September 1968, playing to rapturous audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. Many fans agree that they were at their peak on this tour, despite Jim Morrison’s condition being unpredictable from gig to gig. This release contains the final date of the tour, originally broadcast by Sveriges Radio. It includes rare performances of Mack The Knife, Love Street and You’re Lost Little Girl as well as familiar staples of their set, and is presented here together with background notes and images.

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Ronnie Lane – Just For A Moment: Music 1973-1997

This box includes Ronnie Lane’s 4 solo albums – Anymore For Anymore (and singles), Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance, One For the Road and the cruelly underrated See Me. In addition it features tracks from Ronnie’s Mahoney’s Last Standalbum with Ron Wood and Rough Mix with Pete Townshend. The final disc of the set focuses on Ronnie’s time in the US with live highlights and studio tracks never previously released. The set also featured lots of rare and unreleased material – be prepared to here fantastic cover versions of The Wanderer, Rocket’ 69and The Joint Is Jumpin’as well as unheard Ronnie compositions plus live recordings, tracks for the BBC and highlights from a legendary Rockpalast concert. The set is curated by long time musical associate of Ronnie’s, Slim Chancer musician Charlie Hart. Comprehensive sleevenotes focus on Ronnie the musician, the songwriter, the collaborator and split the post ’73 period into three distinct parts. Writers are Paolo Hewitt, Kris Needs and Kent Benjamin covering Ronnie’s Austin years.

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Traffic – The Studio Albums 1967-74

50 years after Steve Winwood jumped ship from chart toppers The Spencer Davis Group and quit the bright lights in favour of the countryside and jam sessions with Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood we celebrate Traffic’s influential legacy with this stunning limited edition Island records studio collection. Boasting all 6 studio albums recorded for the label remastered from the original tapes and presented in their original and highly collectible ‘first’ Island pressing form (gatefold sleeves, pink eye labels etc), the set also includes a related and super rare facsimile promo poster for each album.

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David Bowie – Clareville Grove Demos

Following on from Spying Through A Keyhole, in early 1969 at his flat in Clareville Grove, London, David Bowie with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson continued to demo Space Oddity and other tracks. This live demo tape session is released as a 7″ vinyl singles box set of six home demos, four of which are previously unreleased recordings. As with the Spying Through A Keyhole vinyl singles box set, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels with cover and print photos by David’s then manager Ken Pitt taken in the Clareville Grove flat. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m. Due to the nature of some of the solo home demos where Bowie accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, the recording quality isn’t always of a usual studio fidelity. This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.

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David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging

2019 is the 40th anniversary of Lodger and first comes the latest limited 7″ picture disc from Parlophone, Boys Keep Swinging.

While originally recording the song, Bowie had hoped to capture a garage band feel with the musicians swapping instruments after a deck of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards had suggested ‘reverse roles’. So guitarist Carlos Alomar played drums and drummer Dennis Davis played bass.

The version featured on the A side is the 2017 mix by Tony Visconti from Lodger, undertaken for the A New Career In A New Townbox set, as both Tony and Bowie felt they never had the opportunity to give Lodger the mix it deserved in 1979, due to time and studio constraints.

The AA side features I Pray, Ole which was apparently recorded during the Lodger sessions, but remained unreleased until mixed by David and David Richards for inclusion as an extra track on the 1991 reissue of theLodger album. The track has been commercially unavailable since then.

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Working Mens Club – Bad Blood / Suburban Heights

Like a homage to smoke-filled vaults, aging billiard rooms and crumby packets of pork scratchings in the Working Men’s Clubs of days gone by, Todmorden-by-way of-Europe trio Syd, Jake and Giulia are about to fling open the doors of their own millennial social hub with the fresh post-punk of infectious debut single, Bad Blood / Suburban Heights. With the start-stop sound of Talking Heads, Gang of Four and Television,Bad Blood, fuses 70s post- punk with the stomp of Parquet Courts’ positivity and resonates with the start of the weekend...Syd’s half-spoken words jab through Strokes guitar lines with Mark E Smith drawl…it’s the feeling of a Saturday spent scuffing about in thrift stores and hanging out with friends.

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L’Epee – Dreams

This is the debut single release from L’Epee, the band are Emmaunelle Seigner (Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle), Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) and Lionel and Marie Liminana (The Liminanas). Recorded in Cabestany (France) and Berlin at Anton’s Cobra Studio, this three track 12” single comes in deluxe packaging and precedes the full length album released in June this year.

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The Doors’ fifth album, Morrison Hotel, released in February 1970, was seen as a return to form after the critically mauled (but commercially successful) Soft Parade from the previous year. A few weeks before the record’s release, the band set off on their “Roadhouse Blues Tour”, playing across the US, and certain shows in Canada – planned Japanese dates were cancelled during this period – before, on 5th June, performing at the Seattle Coliseum in Washington State’s largest city. Putting on a dynamic but amicable show with Jim Morrison in good spirits, conversing rather than taunting the crowd (albeit somewhat cryptically at times), this rarely heard concert, recorded for FM radio broadcast at the time, proves that The Doors remained a force to be reckoned with, a year from their demise following the death of The Lizard King in July ’71.

This is the first concert taped by Doors road manager Vince Treanor. Vince used a Sony TC-630 stereo tape recorder (a gift from The Doors) running at 3 3/4 ips with a pair of AKG-D1000E cardioid microphones placed on either side of the stage to capture the audio from the vocal and instrument amps. Jim is drunk for the show and interacts quite a bit with the audience. Interesting! What always struck me about this show is how TENSE it sounds. Hecklers get worse and worse throughout the show, Date: June 5th – 1970

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During September 1968 the Doors made their first trip to Europe for a tour that saw them paired with the Jefferson Airplane, far from the eyes of the world they played intimate concerts for audiences who where not there for the event but to listen and watch the performers, the tour was a major success in terms of attendance and in terms of artistic satisfaction from the band that equated to some of the best performances the band would ever perform.

These performances are an eye-opener if you’ve never heard them before. What you get is a wowser recording of an in-shape, ready to kill you Jim Morrison. The man is out for blood and it shows. The only thing wrong here, and it’s the Only thing is that Jim is off mike for the first “When The Music’s Over”. The recording is clear enough that you can just about hear him, but alas there is nothing that can be done about that now. The material itself is stellar and the band is in top form. Enjoy this show, it’s a mind-ripper.

On September 20th, 1968 The Doors played two concerts the Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden and gave permission for both to be broadcast on radio station Radiohuset. The resulting recordings give a prime example of the band at the height of their collective powers and are the source for many bootlegs. On vinyl the shows have been released as The Beautiful Die Young… (MIW Records 19) featuring parts of both early and late shows, The Complete Stockholm ’68 Tapes(DOORS 68) and deluxe 3 lp set containing both the early and late shows, Little Games (Shotgun Records 13010) that is a mix of both early and late shows,The Stockholm Tapes(unknown label) another 3 lp set packaged in a box with a deluxe cover. On CD there have been releases as Live In Stockholm(The Swinging Pig TSP CD-004-2) that featured both early and late shows on a 2CD set,Live In Stockholm ’68 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2(Black Panther CD 30/31) that were copies of the Swinging Pig title, The Lizard King (Vulture Records 002) a mix of both early and late shows on a single disc,Red Walls Blue Doors (WPOCM CD 1288D012-2) featuring only the late show,The Stockholm Tapes (DR 010) featuring only the late show,Sneaking Out The Backdoor(The Last Bootleg Records LBR SP 001/7) features both early and late shows, and Apocalypse Now (Kiss The Stone KTS 267), an excellent title featuring the late show.

The Doors, live at Konserthuset, Stockholm on 20th September 1968 The Doors finally visited Europe in September 1968, playing to rapturous audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. Many fans agree that they were at their peak on this tour, despite Jim Morrison’s condition being unpredictable from gig to gig. This release contains the final date of the tour, originally broadcast by Sveriges Radio. It includes rare performances of Mack The Knife, Love Street and You’re Lost Little Girl as well as familiar staples of their set, and is presented here together with background notes and images.

The recording begins with the call to arms of “Five To One”, one can take many interpretations to Jim’s lyrics, the best I had read was five to one is the ratio to people under the age of 30 outnumber the old five to one. Of course the radio station does not censor the “I Got in this car with these people and get …f*cked up”, Jim slurring his words in true bluesman tradition. To show their respect from the European audiences the band treat them to an impromptu version of “The Ballad Of Mack The Knife” by Weill and Bretcht that was made famous by Frank Sinatra in America that flows right into the same song writing duo’s “Alabama Song” aka “Whiskey Bar”, a song the band adapted for their first self title LP. The song flows right into the abrupt riff of Willie Dixon’s “Backdoor Man”, played in true blues fashion. Morrison lets yell with a manic laugh before the band slows it down for the pork and beans section, the song is a prime example of their blues origins and garners a huge round of applause before Morrison tells them “Stop That”.

A real highlight of this recording is the bands rendition of “Your Lost Little Girl”, rarely played on stage the melancholy playing of Robby Krieger is wonderful and Morrison turns in a beautiful vocal for the song, no screaming and yelling on this song. “Love Me Two Times” from the Strange Days record was a true Krieger song, the lyrics much more about simple love and curiously would prove to be The Doors most radio friendly songs. A true centerpiece of most all Doors shows is “When The Music’s Over”, dense with mysterious lyrics and some of the most powerful music the band would ever explore it features Morrison at his most dramatic. All three musicians solo at one time or another, they blend the instruments as an accent to the lyrics. John Densmore goes from keeping simple time to answering Morrison in a point blank response accentuating message. The lyrics are expansive, moving from psychedelia to powder struggles to a commentary of the abuse of resources, all leading to a demand of “We Want The World and We Want It NOW “, Morrison keeping the audience on edge before finally letting out a huge yell in true dramatic fashion. The song again garners a huge ovation with the audience clapping and shouting their approval, one can only agree.

Curiously the band play an early version of “Wild Child”, a song that would not find its way onto a Doors record for close to a year until the release of 1969’s The Soft Parade. It started appearing in the bands set early the prior month of August 2nd at the band’s chaotic performance at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadows, New York. This version is much subdued to that version largely due to the circumstances, but we are treated to a superb rendition of the song and is nice to be able fully enjoy. They continue with their take on the Gordy / Robinson classic “Money”, a song that they had been playing since their early incarnation of the band in their pub days. They play a laid back version of the song that features song great Manzerek keys as he hammers out a great solo, the song simply swings as the band hit their stride.

“Light My Fire” is the culmination of Doors Concerts, its there most popular song and therefore is the one that people clamor to hear. Live versions are always extended, to give a showcase to move through music themes such as jazz, Manzerek, Krieger, and Densmore were all aficionados of the form and this song is their vehicle to express it. This version clocks in at over 11 minutes and features a long center section where they free form the music with teases of Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”, Morrison does enter the fray at about 8 minutes in when he asks “why you jump up my ass…what did you come hear for anyway?” in some obvious dialog with an audience member and forces the band to abruptly go back into the main theme of the song and push Morrison’s focus back to the music.

The set concludes appropriately as Morrison asks for the lights to be lowered and only use the blue lights, there is a small language barrier with the operators and the band chants “turn out the lights” before Jim lets out a quieting “sshh” and Krieger hits the opening chords of “The End”. The song has much evolved from its early incarnations of a song of loves departed; now it is an apocalyptic masterpiece of theatre set to music. The song clocks in at close to 15 minutes in length and features a variety of lyric poems by Jim that culminates with the Oedipal section, perhaps it most moving yet frightening piece that polarized listeners as far back as the groups pre record deal days at the Whisky A Go Go. Live versions of this song are always an event, this is certainly one, if not my most favorite version (the Singer Bowl is awesome too). The end of the set and of a most successful European tour as the band leaves the stage amid respectful applause.

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Here’s one more accolade you can posthumously give Jim Morrison: he was the first rock star to be arrested onstage. He was probably also the first rock star to be maced backstage at his own show, but no one keeps records for that.

While the opening acts played, Morrison and a young woman had slipped into a bathroom shower stall for some privacy. A policeman working backstage security came across them, and thinking the lead singer of the headlining act for an interloper, told them to “Beat it.” Morrison grabbed his crotch and told the cop to “Eat it.” The policeman pulled out a can of mace and said, “Last chance to beat it.” The Lizard King’s response: “Last chance to eat it.” The cop maced him.

The show was delayed for an hour while Morrison’s eyes were washed out. As the band took the stage there was a line of police at the front of the stage. The show proceeded normally until they launched into “Back Door Man.” According to Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek, instead of Morrison bellowing the opening “Oh yeah! All right!” Morrison started to tell the story of what had happened to him backstage in what’s been described as an “an obscenity-laced tirade.”

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The house lights came on. Police came onto the stage, took the microphone from Morrison – one of them saying into the mike: “You’ve gone too far, young man” – and arrested him, and announced that the show was over.

Morrison was charged with obscenity and inciting a riot, but the charges were later dropped. The incident inspired the later Doors song “Peace Frog.”

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A few months prior to the release of 1969’s brilliant The Soft Parade, Jim Morrison and gang performed a now legendary set in the New York City studios of PBS. Playing live 3 tracks from that album, this was the majority of the American public’s introduction to what would be the band’s most pop oriented band to date. However, in these live band versions, The Doors are as stripped down and raw as ever. Essential listening for any Jim Morrison fan out there, this great radio broadcast is back in print thanks to Wax Love Radio.

This 1969 live radio broadcast feat tracks from their debut & forthcoming Soft Parade, plus a rare track Build Me A Woman

1. “Tell All The People” (3:36) 00:00 2. “Alabama Song/Back Door Man” (6:06) 03:37 3. “Wishful Sinful” (3:13) 09:46 4. “Build Me A Woman” (4:27) 12:54 5. “In Conversation With Richard Goldstein” (11:49) 17:34 6. “The Soft Parade” (10:08) 29:25

<em>Waiting For The Sun</em> (1968)

Waiting For The Sun, in a way, would be an easy candidate for being lumped in with The Soft Parade as the Doors‘ weaker middle period between their impressive 1967 and their rawer last act. It received mixed reactions back in the ’60s, and its lingering reputation seems to be as a loose collection of songs more so than a record. That isn’t too far off: Waiting For The Sun has no unifying sound or mood in the way that Strange Days or Morrison Hotel do. It leaps between different emotions and styles radically between tracks, from the straight-up ’60s pop of “Hello, I Love You” to flamenco guitar on “Spanish Caravan” to snarling apocalyptic rock on “Not To Touch The Earth” and “Five To One,” to whatever it is “My Wild Love” is. But just look at the songs on this thing. Aside from “Hello, I Love You” being one of the most perfect singles of the ’60s, you have a whole set of high watermarks from the Doors‘ career, like the twisted psychedelia of “The Unknown Soldier” to the aforementioned “Five To One,” the best song the band ever recorded.

While the Doors rhythm section often excelled at incorporating jazzy flourishes into pop music, there’s something way more impactful in them tightening it up like this: the groove of “Five To One” is menacing, badass, immortal. Sure, listening to it as an album is sort of a whiplash experience, but that’s part of what makes it great in its way. This is the Doors at their strangest, their most exploratory, their most stylistically expansive. Waiting For The Sun has examples of everything the Doors did well, and it has them doing it at, occasionally, their highest level.

The Doors released their third studio album, Waiting For The Sun, in July 1968. It was the band’s third platinum album in less than two years, and the first to top the album chart. Since its debut, the album has sold millions of copies around the globe and contributed to the Doors’ legendary canon with classics like The Unknown Soldier, Five To One and the number 1 smash, Hello, I Love You.

The band commemorate the 50th anniversary of the album this year with Waiting For The Sun (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition). This 2CD / 1LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-Gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer / mixer.

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The set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show. Botnick’s newly remastered stereo mix of Waiting For The Sun adds new sonic dimensions to songs like The Unknown Soldier and Spanish Caravan, but that wasn’t his only contribution to the project. While going through his archive, he uncovered a cache of rough mixes from the sessions that hadn’t been played in 50 years. Botnick says: “I prefer some of these rough mixes to the finals, as they represent all of the elements and additional background vocals, different sensibilities on balances, and some intangible roughness, all of which are quite attractive and refreshing.” The deluxe edition of the album also features unreleased live recordings of five songs from the Doors’ September 17th, 1968 concert in Copenhagen. The performance includes three songs from the band’s latest album –Hello, I Love You, Five To One, and The Unknown Soldier – plus the classics Back Door Man and The WASP(Texas Radio And The Big Beat).

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This week my most awaited LP of 2018 thus far coming from the inimitable Low on their shadowy electronic masterpiece, ‘Double Negative’. There are synths akimbo on the new one from MCR up-n-comers Pale Waves, reminding me of a more youthful Kristin Kontrol (if only everyone loved that LP as much as I did), or a less saccharine Tegan & Sara. In fact, it’s a very electronic week on the heavy hitters, Those of you who love a good guitar can do FAR worse than The Goon Sax’s new outing on the ever-reliable Wichita Recordings, absolutely brimming with lyrical fire and melodic cleverness, and with the propulsive slacker vibes the Aussies do so well.

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Low  –  Double Negative

In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative co-writers, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

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Toy  –  The Willo

Since 2010, Toy have earned a reputation as a band of integrity, virtuosity and taste, with Tom, Maxim, Dominic, Charlie and (joining in 2015) Max creating a sound that is embedded in the underground tradition, yet distinctly their own. Now here comes a two-track twelve-inch on Tough Love, a foretaste of a forthcoming album in January 2019, which marks a new dawn for this most singular of bands.

‘The Willo’ is a dreamlike, seven-minute glide, redolent of a forest at sunset and just as pretty, but not without hints of malevolence. Maxim’s fingerpicking acoustic melds with electric twang from Dominic, and a whirling organ from Max Oscarnold gives this elegant creation an extra layer of disorientation and depth. “People appear to have seen Will-o’-the-wisp, a mysterious green-blue light, over the centuries. It generally means something ominous is about to happen”, says Tom.

Then there is ‘Energy’, which lives up to its name with thunderously metronomic drums from Charlie Salvidge and a ferocious guitar from Dominic O’Dair. The lyrics, culled from a story written by Max about a nighttime ritual, are obscured by the barrage-like forward momentum of the music.

The twelve-inch, recorded and mixed by the band between Oscarnold’s Stoke Newington flat and a south London studio, is the first release for Toy on their new label Tough Love, representing the latest stage in the evolution of the band. Since their inception, they have released the acclaimed albums Toy (2012), Join The Dots (2013) and Clear Shot (2016), and toured everywhere from Serbia to China, while holding onto that youthful, magical moment of discovering strange new worlds of innocence and experience.

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The Goon Sax

The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. Still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016, their brand of awkwardly transcendent teenage guitar pop took earned them wide-spread critical acclaim.

For album number two, they flew to Melbourne to record with James Cecil and Cameron Bird, respectively former/current members of Architecture In Helsinki, and ‘We’re Not Talking’ shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It’s a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion.

Drummer Riley Jones really comes to the fore here, joining Louis and James in singing lead and writing songs for the first time, making the band the musical equivalent of an equilateral triangle (the strongest shape in physics).

Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. ‘We’re Not Talking’ is a record made by restless artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes ‘We’re Not Talking’ even more of a marvel.

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Dilly Dally – Heaven

Heaven highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free”, which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. Heaven carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]

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Slothrust  –  The Pact

Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Wellbaum confirms. “We were able to take risks. I’m saying yes more than no these days.”

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Pale Waves  – My Mind Makes Noises

After signing a record deal with Dirty Hit in 2017, Manchester’s Pale Waves released their debut single “There’s a Honey”, followed by “Television Romance”. The following year, the band were ranked fifth in the BBC Sound of 2018 poll and won the NME Under the Radar Award at the NME Awards. They now return with their debut album which features the singles ‘There’s A Honey’, ‘Television Romance, ‘Kiss’, ‘Eighteen’ and new single ‘Black’.

Pale Waves are Heather (vocals, guitar), Ciara (drums), Hugo (guitar) and Charlie (bass).

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Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

Richard Thompson’s new album is his first self-produced record in over a decade. It’s a minimal and spacious recording which, according to Thompson, is a projection of current events in his life. “This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesn’t mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible.” 13 Rivers spans thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, “I don’t know how the creative process works – I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.” [Limited black and cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]

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First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings

“Technically, Tender Offerings are the four songs that did not make it onto Ruins. For these ladies, these precious songs did not fit the bombastic folk-nature of the album. Instead, they truly felt like tender offerings; too sweet and soft in scope to be fluidly aligned with their other tracks. Once, you hear such gorgeous tracks like, “I’ve Wanted You” and “All That We Get” you will understand their point. Instrumentally, you feel every hook, melody, and chorus was precisely and clearly made as a cloud creates a raindrop. This duo turn their guitar melodies into field of amber strings dancing in the suns of their voices like grains move with daylight.”

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Paul Weller – True Meanings

To put it simply, True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he has ever made before. It’s characterized by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Weller’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited. A dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in, it’s both an album that his faithful audience has been wanting him to make for a long time, and an album that many new people outside of that audience will relate to.

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The Doors – Waiting For The Sun [Reissue/1968]

50th Anniversary reissue. This double-CD and single-LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer. The CD set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show.

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Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 DVD

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context.

Waiting For The Sun (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Nearly 50 years ago, in July 1968, The Doors released their third studio album on Elektra Records.  Waiting for the Sun yielded the chart-topping hit “Hello, I Love You” and became the band’s first album to top the album chart (not to mention a third platinum certification in under two years’ time).  On September 14th, Rhino will reissue Waiting for the Sun in a 2-CD/1-LP book-style box set, including previously unreleased material, following the label’s anniversary reissues of The Doors and Strange Days.

The 2-CD/1-LP box features Bruce Botnick’s remastered version of the original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl, plus a disc of 14 previously unreleased tracks including nine rough mixes and five live performances from Copenhagen on September 17th, 1968.  Botnick is quoted in the press release, “I prefer some of these rough mixes to the finals, as they represent all of the elements and additional background vocals, different sensibilities on balances, and some intangible roughness, all of which are quite attractive and refreshing.”  The complete audio will also be available on digital download and streaming services.

The press release also notes that, “When the Doors recorded Waiting for the Sun in 1968, they were among the first bands to use Dolby A301 noise reduction processors, which was cutting-edge recording tech at the time. Similarly, the most advanced sound recording innovations were used to make the anniversary edition of Waiting for the Sun.

Prior to the box set, however, Rhino will also mark the anniversary of “Hello, I Love You.”  The Doors’ second No. 1, it topped the singles chart for two weeks beginning on August 3rd, 1968.  On August 3rd of this year, Rhino will release a 7-inch single of “Hello I Love You” and its original B-side, “Love Street,” with the exclusive mono promotional mixes sent out to radio stations.  This version of “Hello, I Love You” was released last year on CD as part of The Singles, while the mix of “Love Street” is being issued on this single commercially for the first time.

That’s not all.  The Doors only produced one official tour program in the band’s original lifespan, and now that 1968 program is being reprinted.  The 24-page booklet designed by Paul Ferrara includes photos of each band member, astrology charts, and more.  It’s exclusively available now for order at The Doors’ official webstore. The band has reprinted their original 1968 Doors Concert Program for the first time, which is available exclusively in The Doors Online Store. This was the only official tour program ever created by the band.

Waiting for the Sun: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition arrives from Rhino/Elektra on September 14th, while the Hello, I Love You/Love Street single hits stores on August 3rd.

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The premiere of “Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors,” at Asbury Park Music And Film Festival is now sold out!.

Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors is a concert documentary from a 2016 all-star performance in Los Angeles that John Densmore and Robby Krieger, the two surviving members of The Doors, developed to celebrate what would have been Manzarek’s 70th birthday. As well as the all star concert there’s never before seen footage from The Doors archives and new Interviews from Densmore and Krieger. It’s a one of a kind documentary about a very special person and a legendary rock band.

VIDEO: The Doors at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey in ’68. See more footage in the film, “Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors”!

Find out more about the festival here: http://www.apmff.org