Posts Tagged ‘Universal Music’

Traffic / The Studio Albums 1967-1974

This 6LP vinyl box set due in May, Universal Music are set to release a new Traffic vinyl box set, the snazzily titled, The Studio Albums 1967–1974.
The six-LP set collects together the Island-released Mr Fantasy, Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die, Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys and When The Eagle Flies. 1969 odds ‘n’ sods compilation Last Exit isn’t included.

Traffic were originally formed in 1967 when Steve Winwood fled the Spencer Davis Group at the ripe old age of 18, and joined drummer/singer Jim Capaldi, singer/guitarist Dave Mason and reed player Chris Wood. The quartet soon rented a cottage out in rural Berkshire to ‘get their heads together in the country’.

While the group were quickly successful with the singles ‘Paper Sun’ and ‘Hole In My Shoe’, they were more at home on the album format, and also enjoyed considerable success within the U.S., scoring four consecutive top ten albums from 1970 to 1974.

The Studio Albums 1967-1974 is released 17th May 2019.

The LPs have been remastered from the original tapes and presented in their original and highly collectable ‘first’ Island pressing form (gatefold sleeves, pink eye labels etc). The set also includes a related and rare facsimile promo poster for each album.

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Part 1 was released out of the blue at the back end of September 2018. It was known that Aurora Asknes had been writing songs and poems since she finished touring her debut album All my Demons Greeting Me As A Friend in 2016 (she reputedly has more than 1000 of them) and envisages “many albums” to come, but she took just about everyone by surprise with the under-publicised release of this eight-track album.

Infections of a Different Kind – Part 1 marked something of a sea change for the Norwegian, who seems to have been around for many years but is still only 22. Like many with her talent, she began writing young, in her case at the age of nine, and several of the tracks on the debut album were written before she reached the age of 12, though influenced by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Queendom is about celebrating all the differences in us. It’s about celebrating the women and the children and animals and the men also. The quiet ones and the introverts, where they can sing and be seen. It’s about the shy people and the lonely people and I hope it can be a place where we can come and be lonely together and then not be lonely anymore. Queendom is a place for all of us.

Music video by AURORA performing Queendom. © 2018 Universal Music Operations Limited

YAK – ” Bellyache “

Posted: October 14, 2018 in MUSIC
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Yak have always used intensity as their greatest weapon, hammering their way through tracks loud enough to make your ears bleed. New one ‘Bellyache’, however, uses restraint to its advantage.

Let’s be clear here, it’s not a ballad, or lumbering in the slightest, but the space given to the song by its slow, steady drumbeat allows all manner of fascinating, psychedelic squeals to worm their way around the QOTSA-esque rock song at the track’s core.

Wah pedal-assisted guitars give the track a woozy, otherworldly quality, before a stab of incessant noise barges through for a chorus-of-sorts. Completely by surprise, the track then folds out into a majestic outro, punctuated by horns. A fascinating change of pace, ‘Bellyache’ shows that Yak refuse to be pigeonholed, and are all the more exciting for it.

Music video by Yak performing Bellyache. © 2018 Universal Music Operations Limited

English synthpop duo Soft Cell will reunite in 2018, for a one-off concert in London.

Marc Almond and David Ball will celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary with ‘One Night, One Final Time: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ a show at London’s O2 on 30th September this year. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 23rd February.

Making the announcement on Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 breakfast show (does anyone make announcements anywhere else these days?) Almond also revealed that Universal Music will issue a Soft Cell box set this year. No real details on that at this stage other than the fact that it will definitely contain a couple of new studio tracks (I’ve heard rumours of a 9CD+DVD package). “We live in very interesting times, and 2018 promises to be a very special year” – Dave Ball

Marc Almond and Dave Ball will reunite at the iconic venue on September 30th 2018 to perform together for the first time since 2003. The one-off ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ show will be Soft Cell’s ONLY, and LAST-EVER, show.

It has been a busy few years for Marc Almond. In 2016 he issued a ten-CD box set Trials of Eyeliner and last year he issued Hits and Pieces a greatest hits that was available as 2CD deluxe edition.

Two dozen rare and limited release Frank Zappa recordings will be made widely available around the world when UMe assumes distribution of the albums as part of their global partnership with the Zappa Trust. In the U.S., the 24 albums will be available on CD, download and streaming on March 24th. Internationally, they will be available digitally March 24th with physical to follow on April 28th. Nine of the albums, including Zappa’s 100th release, Dance Me This, and the revered live disc, Roxy By Proxy, have never been available for download or streaming. The wide-ranging collection includes fan favorite and Grammy Award-winning titles from Zappa’s independent labels Barking Pumpkin, Vaulternative Records and Zappa Records and encompasses more than 20 years of releases, dating back to 1994’s posthumous release, Civilization Phaze III.”For more than two decades, the only place to get exclusive Frank Zappa albums was through our mail order and website. We are thrilled to be able to make these titles available to fans across the globe with the help of our friends at Universal,” says Ahmet Zappa.

In all, the albums being made available internationally to online retailers, record stores, digital retailers and streaming services include a diverse collection of previously limited releases comprised of live concerts, taped rehearsals, treasures from Zappa’s extensive and extraordinary vault, audio documentaries, archival recordings, the famed “Corsaga” series and other exciting audio ephemera. The releases span Zappa’s entire career, from his first records with the Mothers of Invention to some of the last compositions and projects he ever worked on.

Below is a full list and descriptions of each of the titles included in this initiative. Albums can be pre-ordered here: https://UMe.lnk.to/ZappaAMSAmz

A Token Of His Extreme (Zappa Records, 2013) CD
In August 1974, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention taped two legendary sets at KCET TV Studios in Hollywood, CA. This popular footage was used by Frank Zappa in a number of different edits originally intended as a TV special and eventually featured in the home video release The Dub Room Special (1982). A Token Of His Extreme was officially issued on DVD in 2013 along with the release of the soundtrack on CD.

Buffalo [2 CD]

Buffalo (Vaulternative Records, 2007) 2CD
Originally released in 2007, Buffalo captures an entire concert recorded live at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY on October 25th, 1980. The original tapes were salvaged from the Vault by Vaultmeister Joe Travers and mixed by Grammy-Award winning engineer Frank Filipetti.

Carnegie Hall (Vaulternative Records, 2011) 4CD
As history would have it, and thanks to the persistence of promoter Ron Delsener, Frank Zappa & his band The Mothers actually played Carnegie Hall. The two shows on October 11th, 1971 were recorded for posterity to mono 1/4″ tape using a concealed Nagra tape machine and a Electrovoice 664 microphone.

Civilization Phaze III (Barking Pumpkin, 1994) 2CD
Civilization Phaze III, one of the final projects to be finished by Zappa before his passing, completes the trilogy of Masterworks established first with Lumpy Gravy and We’re Only In It For The Money in 1968. Originally envisioned as “Lumpy Gravy, Phase III,” this music morphed over a period of years in various states of completion. Realized mainly on the Synclavier and including performances by the Ensemble Modern and newly recorded dialogue from inside the piano, Frank finally put the finishing touches on the double CD in 1992. It received a Grammy for Best Recording Package in 1995.

Congress Shall Make No Law(Zappa Records, 2010) CD
Gail Zappa always said that Frank Zappa always made a point to “educate” his audience as well as entertain them. She continued on that note with this release, an informative document that focuses on the importance of Frank’s testimonies to fight censorship. Zappa’s address to the Senate Committee Hearings in 1985 and to the Maryland State Legislature in 1986 are featured here in their entirety combined with various Synclavier and interview excerpts found in the Vault.

Dance Me This (Zappa Records, 2015) CD

The 100th release by the Zappa Family Trust and the last project to be finished by Frank Zappa before his passing, Dance Me This, was composed and realized on the Synclavier, Zappa’s go-to digital workstation that was state of the art at the time of the recording. The music is described by as ‘designed for modern dance groups.’ The album was finished but shelved by the Trust until finally receiving its much anticipated release in 2015.

Everything Is Healing Nicely (Barking Pumpkin, 1999) CD

The Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt Germany spent a lot of time with Frank Zappa during the last few years of his life. As the group was working closely with Zappa preparing for a series of concerts scheduled in 1992 (to be known as “The Yellow Shark”), Zappa, in his typical manner, was digitally recording every rehearsal. Everything Is Healing Nicely features highlights from those recordings, hand-picked by Zappa, compiled posthumously by then staff engineer Spence Chrislu, and released exclusively through mail order in 1999.

Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison (Zappa Records, 2011) CD

Around 1987 or so, Frank Zappa completed a digital master of this title which was intended for a vinyl release. Frank Zappa never released it and re-worked some of the material for another project, mainly Civilization, Phaze III. Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison, realized on the Synclavier, eventually found a release in original form in 2011. The CD contains unreleased compositions, unedited versions and added bonus tracks from the time period.

Frank Zappa Plays The Music of Frank Zappa (Barking Pumpkin, 1996) CD

When released on Halloween 1996, Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa, A Memorial Tribute was considered to be an “Audio Tombstone” by the family. It features the three signature guitar pieces: “Black Napkins,” “Zoot Allures” and “Watermelon In Easter Hay” in their original released form (remastered) with added live versions that predate the issued masters. Also included is “Merely A Blues In A: from Paris ’74. A fitting “Memorial Tribute” indeed.

FZ: OZ (Vaulternative Records, 2002) 2CD

FZ:OZ is the very first release from Vaulternative Records, the label created by the Zappa Trust that focuses on material found in the infamous Zappa Vault. Released in 2002, this audio nugget contains an almost complete concert from Frank Zappa’s second and final visit to Sydney, Australia in early 1976.

Greasy Love Songs (Zappa Records, 2010) CD

The third installment of the Project/Object Audio Documentary series focuses on the 40th anniversary of Zappa’s 1968 homage to old Doo Wop and Rhythm & Blues. Cruising With Ruben & The Jets was Frank Zappa & The Mothers’ fourth album release. Greasy Love Songs brings together the long awaited release of the original 1968 mix along with mix outtakes, interview excerpts and oddities from the sessions. Also contains liner notes from Cheech Marin.

Hammersmith Odeon (Zappa Records, 2010) 3CD
In early 1978, Frank Zappa played a string of dates between January and February at the famous Hammersmith Odeon in London, England. Hammersmith Odeon, first issued in conjunction with a special birthday event at The Roundhouse in London in 2010, contains performances from those shows. These recordings are famous for being the basis for the Sheik Yerbouti album. This album contains all alternate performances and highlights from the master show tapes.

Imaginary Diseases (Zappa Records, 2006) CD
Released in 2006, Imaginary Diseases compiles for the first time all live recordings from a very rare and undocumented Zappa band line-up. In 1972, after taking a 20-piece ‘electric orchestra’ on the road for eight dates as The Grand Wazoo, Frank Zappa reduced the personnel to 10 pieces and toured this new band for roughly two months. Billed as The Mothers of Invention but eventually becoming known as the ‘Petit Wazoo,’ audio from this period was never released during Frank’s lifetime.

Joe’s Camouflage (Vaulternative Records, 2014) CD
In late summer 1975, Frank Zappa formed a band that never got past the rehearsal stage, but managed to have their own band promo shots taken with fall touring rapidly approaching. This Joe’s series entry, Joe’s Camouflage, finds mainly 4-track rehearsal tapes that captured Frank Zappa experimenting with this group, updating arrangements of older songs along with some new compositions, some that were never revisited later in his career. Featuring Novi Novog on viola and keys, Robert ‘Frog’ Camarena on vocals and Denny Walley on guitar, all three of whom left the band shortly after these recordings were made.

Joe’s Corsage (Vaulternative Records, 2004) CD
The first in a series of special material released from the Vault. The titles of the “Corsaga” are a play on words of Frank Zappa’s famous Joe’s Garage title, with the contents produced and compiled by the Vaultmeister, Joe Travers. Joe’s Corsage, the first release created in 2004, was produced in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the creation of The Mothers in 1964. It focuses on the origin of the Mothers of Invention as told by Frank himself, along with early recordings made before their first record contract in early 1966.

Joe’s Domage (Vaulternative Records, 2004) CD
Joe’s Domage, the second entry from the “Corsaga” series, gives you an insight into how Frank worked. The recording from this primitive cassette tape captures the first rehearsal of the Wazoo band, freezing in time early ideas and arrangements of material that went on to be used on The Grand Wazoo & Waka/Jawaka album sessions of 1972. Recorded ambiently in Frank’s rehearsal room in Hollywood, Frank conducted these sessions while confined to a wheelchair after being pushed offstage in London, England roughly three months prior.

Joe’s Menage (Vaulternative Records, 2008) CD
Frank Zappa, notorious for recording everything, carried cassettes with him on the road. On one occasion backstage during the late ’70s, Frank gave longtime fan Ole’ Lysgaard a cassette which contained a dub of a live recording excerpt from a concert in Williamsburg, VA 11-1-75. Thanks to Ole’, this excerpt has been forever immortalized as the content for “Corsaga” number 4. Joe’s Menage is transferred directly from the show master tape.

Joe’s Xmasage (Vaulternative Records, 2005) CD
Joe’s Xmasage was released on Frank’s birthday during the Christmas season of 2005. Joe worked closely with Gail Zappa on this third installment of the “Corsaga,” showcasing vintage recordings from Frank’s life in the early ’60s. Music, historical audio documents and Conceptual Continuity clues fill up this special Christmas dish from the Vault for you and yours.

MOFO (Zappa Records, 2006) 2CD
This 2-disc version of the Making Of Freak Out! Project/Object Audio Documentary contains highlights from the 4-disc version which is available only through mail order. MOFO (2 Disc) was released in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of  The Mothers of Invention’s first album, Freak Out!, it includes the original album’s 1966 vinyl mix along with exclusive tracks not found anywhere else.

One Shot Deal (Zappa Records, 2008) CD
Released in 2008, One Shot Deal features chunks of material found in the vault selected by Frank Zappa and compiled by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers. Ranging from 1972 to 1981, One Shot Deal blends live compositions, improvisations and guitar solos from various world tours, all recorded live.

Philly ’76 (Vaulternative Records, 2009)
Frank Zappa played the Philadelphia Spectrum Theater on October 29th, 1976. The concert was professionally recorded and was a perfect contender for the ongoing concert series from Vaulternative Records. Philly ’76 was released in 2009 and features a complete show from a rare band line-up with another stellar mix from Grammy Award winning engineer Frank Filipetti.

Frank Zappa Roxy By Proxy Album

Roxy By Proxy (Zappa Records, 2014) CD
Roxy By Proxy contains material recorded live at the infamous run of shows at The Roxy Theater in Hollywood, CA, December 1973. It’s the first compilation made from digital mixes created in 1987 by Frank with Bob Stone at FZ’s home studio, The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. The sequencing plays like a full show while the package features extensive liner notes from the one and only Ruth Underwood, then the percussionist in the band.

The Dub Room Special (Zappa Records, 2007) CD
A previously unreleased soundtrack album created by Zappa himself, contains material found in The Dub Room Special, a 90-minute home video first released by mail order only in 1982. Tracks consist of live cuts from The Palladium, NYC on Halloween 1981 along with performances taped at KCET TV studios in Los Angeles during 1974.

WAZOO (Vaulternative Records, 2007) 2CD
WAZOO contains a complete show recorded live to stereo tape at the Boston Music Hall in Boston, MA on September 24th, 1972. Originally released in 2007, this set is the only document found in the Vault of the short-lived Grand Wazoo, an ambitious 20-piece ‘electric orchestra’ formed by Zappa and toured for only eight dates during the fall of 1972.

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