Posts Tagged ‘Various Artists’

Hey buds, dig into these summer jams and cool off your mind.

The BBiB 2019 Summer Jam Sampler is $5 minimum BUT all proceeds will be going to RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services; a nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas.
AND anyone who pays $10 or more, will be entered to win several prizes that range from vinyl to BBiB t-shirts to tote bags to test pressings! We will have several winners. And you can feel good about your donation to RAICES. Obviously it’s money that is much needed right now.


Released July 15th, 2019


Frightened Rabbit have announced the forthcoming release of “Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight”, a re-imagining of their 2008 album, recorded last year by friends of the band to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Two lead singles, by Julien Baker and Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro’s renditions of the album’s opening track, “The Modern Leper.”

Scott Hutchison, who died last year, played a big role in piecing together the compilation. “This is a celebration of a record that connected thousands of people to Scott and connected thousands of people to each other and ten years on is still managing to do it,” the band wrote in the album announcement.

Our beloved brother and son Scott Hutchison was born in Edinburgh in 1981. He took his own life in Queensferry in 2018. In those 36 and a half years, Scott’s impact was far reaching and felt by many people. Through his music and art he made many thousands of tiny changes and encouraged other people around the world to do the same. The honesty of his lyrics and openness about his own mental health inspired people in all walks of life. It is a legacy that should be continued and nourished.

The album will include covers by the National’s Aaron Dessner, Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry, the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Katie Harkin, Sarah Silverman, Manchester Orchestra, and Ben Gibbard. A portion of the proceeds from album sales will benefit Tiny Changes, the mental health charity launched last month in Hutchison’s honor.

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Fifty years ago this summer, more than 400,000 fans convened at Max Yasgur’s farm for a music festival that would come to define not only the era, but the entire ethos of music festivals to come. With every passing decade, the magic of Woodstock has been celebrated and, indeed, re-marketed to new generations of music fans. The ’90s saw two new Woodstock-branded festivals and an array of 25th anniversary products, including a compilation called Woodstock Diary and a 4-CD box set. To mark the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2009, yet another box was compiled, this time with six discs. Along the way, labels released standalone collections of individual artists’ performances and the festival became a brand unto itself. Here we are, half a century on, and Rhino has released a new, chronologically sequenced 10-CD collection called Woodstock – Back To the Garden: The 50th Anniversary Experience. When news broke of yet another collection, the usual questions arose: “How much Woodstock is too much Woodstock?” “What could this box bring that the others didn’t?” Well, the answer is simple.

With better technology, new research, and a team of curators and audio wizards dedicated to presenting the festival as it was, Back To the Garden is the most comprehensive view yet of the iconic festival. Previous anniversary collections had left out artists entirely (in many cases due to a tangled web of rights restrictions), effectively erasing them from public perception of the festival. That issue is rectified here, as every artist who took the stage that weekend is present somewhere on the 10-CD, 162-track, 13-hour-long set. (And for those with deeper pockets, the entire weekend will be released on the mammoth 38-CD/1-Blu-ray “Definitive Archive” version on August 9th.) Compilation producers Andy Zax and Steve Woolard and their team of audio specialists have also made wise sonic decisions that remain more faithful to what’s really on the tapes than any Woodstock collection has before. In short, Back To the Garden brings listeners closer than ever before to being there at Yasgur’s Farm – minus the mud, the tent, and the traffic!

See, despite all the Woodstock-branded releases we’ve seen in the past fifty years, the general perception of the event is mostly based on the mythology that followed the concerts, shaped by the editing choices of director Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film crew and the often head-scratching audio decisions made for the original Woodstock soundtracks and other tie-in albums (to say nothing of the erroneous accounts that performers would tell in interviews for decades to come). While some box sets have attempted to set the record straight, a number of issues have remained, until now.

The original Woodstock soundtracks on Cotillion – Woodstock in 1970 and Woodstock Two in 1971 – sold in droves. Each sought to rekindle the feeling of being at the event, but tape research issues, faulty recording practices, and questionable curatorial decisions meant that the collections weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Fake applause was flown in, tracks were edited and overdubbed, and the compilers even used recordings that weren’t from Woodstock! Ravi Shankar also released what was purported to be a live album from the festival but – that’s right – they were all studio recordings dubbed over with canned applause and sold to an unsuspecting public.

As Woodstock’s anniversaries were celebrated over the years, and historians and compilation producers sought to present a more accurate view of the historic weekend, listeners have been treated to better collections. But the four-disc, 25th anniversary box set still relied heavily on Frankenstein’d creations, overdubbed additions, and non-Woodstock performances. The 6-CD, 40th anniversary collection from 2009 presented a more faithful overview of the three days and set the record straight with regard to who performed what and when, but some issues remained. Licensing frustrations meant that producer Andy Zax’s original vision for the set – to release every recording from the entire weekend – wasn’t to be. Some artists weren’t represented at all, despite the existence of their Woodstock recordings. The new Back To the Garden: The 50th Anniversary Experience adds some 7 hours more material than was present on the 40th anniversary set, and all the tracks sound better than ever before.

The commitment to authenticity is what has guided the team’s every move for each iteration of the Back To the Garden 50th anniversary sets. For example, the instrument placement in Brian Kehew’s new stereo mixes is based off extensive photo research that determined where members were situated onstage. The music is largely sourced from the existing multitrack masters, and the team has chosen to restore previously edited performances to their original, full-length glory.

The compilers also elected to leave in several fascinating stage announcements from John Morris and Chip Monck, as well as a lesser-known political speech from Abbie Hoffman before the famous Pete Townshend confrontation, plus banter, audience reactions, and other cinema verité elements caught by the all-important audience microphone. Check out the rain sequence at the end of Joe Cocker’s set. The beautifully constructed four-minute piece drops the listener right into the audience as a rainstorm engulfs the crowd. Between the sounds of the wind and rain, we hear panicked pleas from the MCs, audience members urging people off the teetering towers, Barry Melton keeping folks optimistic with the “No Rain” chant, stagehands covering equipment and cutting the power, and finally, the sound of a particularly squeaky-voiced spectator hollering out: “Hey, Joe Cocker! Isn’t the rain beautiful? Joe?!”

As a result of all the realism, listeners who are used to older, doctored-up Woodstock collections may wonder what happened to that extra reverb, the flown-in applause, the beefed-up “Fish Cheer,” or any number of studio effects that marred the presentation of the legendary recordings. The team’s resolve to strip away those unnecessary excesses – while keeping the occasional feedback and hums that really happened – has paid off, making Back To the Garden an indispensable and significant collection.

In some cases, the team had to utilize existing mixes. Melanie’s four songs are sourced from a mono soundboard tape, Richie Havens’ and Mountain’s sets come from vintage mixes, and the Jimi Hendrix material was prepared by Eddie Kramer for Experience Hendrix. Despite this handful of disparate sources, the sonic identity of Back To the Garden remains consistent throughout all 10 CDs. The set has been impeccably mastered by Dave Schulz, who chose to – you guessed it – remain faithful to the sound of the reels by avoiding peak limiting and only using compression when absolutely necessary. According to a post from Zax on a popular music forum, the team’s approach to mixing and mastering was “reparative and restorative when necessary, and try-to-leave-it-the-hell-alone the rest of the time.” For the first time, the goal has been to let the music of Woodstock speak for itself, and the results are revelatory – especially when it comes to those legendary performances that are forever a part of Woodstock’s mythology.

“Hello! Can you hear?” So asks Richie Havens before launching into his now-iconic opening set that brought him to the mainstream. Havens treated the audience to a medley of Jerry Merrick’s “From the Prison” and the peace-and-love anthem “Get Together,” alongside hits and improvisations. With increased fidelity and an engaging stereo mix, listeners can indeed hear all nuances of his performance. Even the most familiar songs, like “Handsome Johnny” and “Freedom,” remain fresh here.

But even more enjoyable are the tracks from lesser-known acts, like the energetic pop-rock sound of Sweetwater, the anti-establishment zaniness of Quill, and the folksy Bert Sommer. Sweetwater followed Richie Havens with a set of folk-rock that’s been largely forgotten to time. In fact, the first time they were included on a Woodstock collection was in 2009. The two cuts from that box set – energetic folk-rockers “Look Out” and “Two Worlds” – are repeated here, and supplemented with a brief and delicate, “Ruby Tuesday”-like slice of baroque pop called “Day Song.” Together, they show the range of a group that was long written out of the Woodstock mythology. In the same vein comes Sommer, whose lilting opener “Jennifer” and breathtaking, previously unreleased rendition of Paul Simon’s “America” are two gems from the collection.

Fantastic performances are at a surplus here, but some of the most noteworthy are Arlo Guthrie’s “Coming Into Los Angeles”; Mountain’s “Theme for an Imaginary Western”; and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Wooden Ships” and “Sea of Madness.” These tracks appeared on the original soundtrack albums, but the performances were not from Woodstock. Arlo’s iconic scene in the film incorporated audio from a performance at the Troubadour in L.A. from four months after the festival, while the CSNY came from the Fillmore East in September 1969 and Mountain from an unknown show. On the actual multi-track tape of Woodstock, Guthrie’s vocal mic feed is absent until the second verse. To remedy this, Kehew and company blended the mono PA mix with the stereo multi-tracks, yielding a convincing result that’s still 100% Woodstock.

Along similar lines, Ten Years After’s performance was subjected to technical issues so their powerful “I’m Going Home” received drum overdubs from Larry Bunker (not Corky Laing, as is often reported) to beef up Ric Lee’s performance for the soundtrack. Back To the Garden presents the track overdub-free, and it’s still just as incendiary.

Indeed, the most famous Woodstock performances – Sly and the Family Stone’s medley, CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” and The Who’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me” medley among them – are present here in their definitive versions. But it’s the wealth of previously unreleased material that makes this set a must. For fans of folk, there’s Richie Havens laid-back, half-hummed “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Tim Hardin’s impassioned, jazz-inflected “Misty Roses” and “Reason To Believe,” Country Joe’s ode to a lovely lady called “Janis,” Joan Baez’s country-rock interpretations of “Last Thing on My Mind” and “I Shall Be Released,” and The Incredible String Band’s non-album track, “Gather ‘Round.” Horn rock mavens will savor the selections here from Blood, Sweat & Tears’ set, including the hits “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and “Spinning Wheel,” both sounding better than ever thanks to advancement in polyphonic tuning technology.

Previously unheard highlights include Grateful Dead’s take on Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” Canned Heat’s slow-building, 11-minute jam on “On the Road Again,” The Who’s rollicking versions of “I Can’t Explain” and “Shakin’ All Over,” alongside a lengthy set-closing jam on “My Generation” that teases their not-yet-completed “Naked Eye.” Keef Hartley Band delivers the jazz-rock epic “Half-Breed Medley,” while The Band is represented by four unheard tracks: “Chest Fever,” “Tears of Rage,” “This Wheel’s On Fire,” and “I Shall Be Released.” In all, there are 35 tracks making their CD debut on Back To the Garden. Each offers a new glimpse into an event that we thought we knew.

Accompanying all the music is a beautiful hardbound book designed by Masaki Koike that houses the discs and liner notes. It’s illustrated with rare photos from official festival photographer Henry Diltz, memoribilia, press clippings, and tape box images. Inside, compilation producer Andy Zax details his mission for the set and the efforts that the team made to deliver such an all-encompassing set. Jesse Jarnow also contributes an essay detailing how the festival unfolded, placing the reader at the festival as expertly as Zax and Co. do with the music. It’s all wrapped together with a burlap strap, a key design component that’s meant to fray over time, evoking that mission to “Get ourselves back to the garden.”

Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, a 3-LP set on half blue/half hot pink vinyl, along with its follow-up, “Woodstock Two”  on two LPs on half orange/half mint green vinyl.  On the same day, Rhino Records will release two brand-new collections of material previously unavailable on vinyl.  “Woodstock Three” (3-LP, 180-gram black vinyl) and “Woodstock Four” (2-LP, 180-gram black vinyl) showcase material that will be released on CD in the Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive box set.  As previously announced, Vinyl Me Please will be releasing a 10-LP bundle box set featuring all four Woodstock soundtrack collections on their own exclusive color vinyl variants

WOODSTOCK THREE and WOODSTOCK FOUR both feature performances by artists who didn’t appear on the original soundtracks (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sweetwater, Blood Sweat & Tears), as well as additional recordings from artists featured on the original soundtracks (Canned Heat, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie and John Sebastian).

Between August 15th-18th, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. 32 turns performed over the weekend including Joan Baez, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.

On the heels of their announcement of the expansive Woodstock 50 campaign, Rhino has announced a new series celebrating The Summer of ’69: Peace, Love, and Music.  Beginning on July 9th, the campaign will feature a three-week-long roll-out of limited-edition vinyl releases of classic recordings from the Woodstock era by the likes of Van Morrison; The Monkees; Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and many more.


Woodstock – Music From The Original Soundtrack And More (3-LP, half blue/half hot pink vinyl)
Woodstock Two (2-LP, half orange/half mint green vinyl)
Woodstock Three (3-LP, 180-gram Black Vinyl)
Woodstock Four (2-LP, 180-gram Black Vinyl)

Various 'Sad About The Times' 2xLP

Have you ever felt sad about the times you are living in? You may not always be able to work it out, but you can sprinkle a little sugar on your sadness with songs like these. A follow up collaboration between Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Suppression Ring) and Keith Abrahamsson (Head of A&R at Anthology Recordings) to their 2017 compilation “Follow The Sun, Sad About the Times”, at its core, is a set of North American 70s jammers.

With a hint (at times) of West Coast jangle, these tracks traverse the border between the power pop of the times and a late-night coke jam. You can also hear echoes of folk rock, soft rock, and even detect some psychedelic flashbacks. But despite the genre jumping, the atmosphere of Sad About The Times is always dominated by a haunted human voice.

These songs come in the wake of the psychedelic sixties; after the high-flying idealism had run its course and singer songwriters were ascendant. After the party, reality kicks in. They all could have been hits. Each with a different flavour, all subtly conveying universal emotions that are hard to describe but easy to feel. It features Jode, Hoover, Jim Spencer, Antonia Lamb, Hollins Ferry, Willow and more.

The 50th anniversary of legendary music festival Woodstock is to be celebrated with what one can only describe as a quite exhaustive set of releases later this year. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the defining event of a generation and one of the most iconic moments in popular music history. No one has ever attempted to document the historic festival as it unfolded in real time.

Between August 15th-18th, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. 32 acts performed over the weekend including Joan Baez, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.

Woodstock 50: Back To The Garden: The Anniversary Collection is available as a 3CD, 5LP, 10CD and a limited 38CD and blu-ray set! The 38CD experience has 432 songs, 267 of them previously unreleased, and features virtually every note played on the stage that weekend. As well as what they’re calling ‘sonic memorabilia’ such as stage announcements about brown acid, it being a ‘free concert from now on’ and – we’re presuming – any issues arising in the car park or people trying to locate their lost kids or minds (man).

The 10CD version features 162 tracks across and (along with the really big box) is the first Woodstock collection to feature live recordings of every performer at the festival. The vinyl version is a 42-track 5LP set with a 3CD edition mirroring this track listing.

The big 38CD edition is available from Rhino’s US site and also via the European store as well). It’s $800 in the USA and a bit over £600 over here. It looks like it’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) only.

Orders placed with Rhino for the big box will include exclusive Dale Saltzman 18×15 lithographs based on banners from the original festival. Think that’s probably enough? Oh no! Vinyl Me Please will have a special 10 LP package (due in early August) limited to 1,000 units pressed on tie-dyed-style coloured vinyl!  This set contains Woodstock Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 4, which haven’t been in print on vinyl since 2009.

The three-CD, ten-CD and 5LP vinyl editions of Woodstock: Back to the Garden – 50th Anniversary Experience are released 28 June 2019. The massive box will ship on 2 August.

The three-CD, ten-CD and 5LP vinyl editions of Woodstock: Back to the Garden – 50th Anniversary Experience are released 28th June 2019. The massive box will ship on 2nd August.

The Rock Machine Turns You On was the first bargain priced sampler album. It was released in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany and a number of other European countries in 1968 as part of an international marketing campaign by Columbia Records, who were known in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as CBS.

A 1969 dated edition ( Number ASF 1356) bought in South Africa had a different sleeve (yellow with cut outs in the Rock Machine boxes) and psychedelic multicoloured vinyl. It also has a completely different track list with such notable tracks as Big Brother and the Holding Company’s ‘Piece of my Heart’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’.

The Rock Machine marketing campaign was initiated in the US in January 1968, by Columbia Records under its president Clive Davis. The campaign was seen as a means of promoting its expanding roster of rock and folk rock acts, who included Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Moby Grape, Spirit, Taj Mahal, and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Early promotional material in Billboard magazine stated:

The Rock’s the happening sounds of today. Out of it comes the biggest, hottest rock list that ever started off any month. And with our Columbia Rock Machine, the most exciting and meaningful merchandising campaign we’ve ever devised….. It’s all here – the talent, the product and the big concept to make it all happen. Now, doesn’t that turn you on?”

The design of the “Rock Machine” logo, used in subsequent publicity material, including album covers, was by Milton Glaser

As part of its highly successful campaign, CBS Records released The Rock Machine Turns You On, the first budget sampler LP,  in the UK in 1968. The album was priced at 14 shillings and 11 pence (£0.75), less than half the cost of a full priced LP at the time. It entered the UK Albums Chart in June 1969, several months after its first release, rising to no. 18, and was estimated to have sold over 140,000 copies. 

Side 1

  1. “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – Bob Dylan – from the LP John Wesley Harding
  2. “Can’t Be So Bad” – Moby Grape – from the LP Wow
  3. “Fresh Garbage” – Spirit – from the LP Spirit
  4. “I Won’t Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar” – The United States of America – from the LP The United States of America
  5. “Time of the Season” – The Zombies – from the LP Odessey and Oracle
  6. “Turn on a Friend” – The Peanut Butter Conspiracy – from the LP The Great Conspiracy
  7. “Sisters of Mercy” – Leonard Cohen – from the LP The Songs of Leonard Cohen

Side 2

  1. “My Days Are Numbered” – Blood, Sweat and Tears – from the LP Child Is Father to the Man
  2. “Dolphins Smile” – The Byrds – from the LP The Notorious Byrd Brothers
  3. “Scarborough Fair / Canticle” – Simon and Garfunkel – from the LP Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
  4. “Statesboro Blues” – Taj Mahal – from the LP Taj Mahal
  5. “Killing Floor” – The Electric Flag – from the LP A Long Time Comin’
  6. “Nobody’s Got Any Money In The Summer” – Roy Harper – from the LP Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith
  7. “Come Away Melinda” – Tim Rose – from the LP Tim Rose
  8. “Flames” – Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera – from the LP Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera

The Rock Machine Turns You On influenced a generation of music fans , At the time, what was then called “underground music” was starting to achieve some commercial success in Europe, bolstered by new radio and TV programmes such as John Peel’s “Top Gear”. CBS competed actively for this new market against other “progressive” labels such as Elektra, Island, Immediate, and the EMI subsidiary Harvest, who followed with similar samplers of their acts. Although some of the featured artists were already stars, others such as Leonard Cohen and Spirit were only starting to become known in Europe, and the album made a major contribution to their success.

CBS released a second, similar, sampler album in the UK in 1968, Rock Machine I Love You. The company followed up these LPs in 1970 with three double sampler albums – Fill Your Head with Rock, Rockbuster,  and Together!.

Some years later, the affiliated company, Epic Records, used a similar format for The Rock Machine Still Turns You On, Vols. 1 and 2, in 1983

The importance of this unassuming album can’t be overstated. It was the first rock sampler album I ever saw or heard, and almost certainly the first such ever released here in the UK. It was in fact the first time I saw the actual term “rock” used to describe the music at all; previously the successive labels “underground” and “progressive” had been coined to cover the diverging (from “pop”) stream of album-based, art-for-art’s-sake music that had started with Dylan and Hendrix. It was the new music’s first budget release; at a time when the standard price of an album was 32/6 (about £1.63), this cost 14/6 (about 73p), just within the average teenager’s weekly pocket-money allocation. And it would spawn a whole new sub-genre of record releases peculiar to, and essential to, progressive rock: the cult of the sampler.

What came over then, and still impresses today, is the sheer quality of this dip into the CBS catalogue of 1969. Each track can be seen to have been carefully cherrypicked from its parent album, no sample being so leftfield as to frighten off the listener, though nobody venturing further into any of the represented albums would have been disappointed. Yet the overall diversity of the collection is astonishing, both in terms of styles and artists, in a way befitting progressive music. Practitioners of jazz-rock, country-rock, folk-rock, blues-rock, psychedelia and simple honest weirdness are all represented, whilst the acts featured include established big-hitters (Dylan, the Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel), contemporary heroes whose days were numbered (the Zombies, Moby Grape, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Tim Rose), newcomers who would fall at the first hurdle (the United States Of America, the Electric Flag, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera) and up-and-coming artists who would go on to found dynasties (Leonard Cohen, Spirit, Blood Sweat & Tears, Roy Harper, Taj Mahal).

Two tracks above all left their mark on me. The Electric Flag’s “Killing Floor” induced me to purchase their album straightaway; this powerful number remains my favourite blues-rock AND jazz-rock performance of all time, with Mike Bloomfield on cloud nine and brass work to die for, the standout track from a solid album. By contrast, despite taking a perverse delight in “I Won’t Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar” I somehow didn’t get round to buying the United States Of America’s only album until 2008, when a book review of it re-aroused my interest. This erotically engaging ditty with its homely brass band coda merely hints at the trippy weirdness of its fellow tracks – one to grow into over forty years, now to become a classic .

A steady stream of samplers followed as prog-rock blossomed, including the best of the lot: CBS’s double from 1970, Fill Your Head With Rock. Samplers were considered disposable, and originals are now quite rare and collectable (sadly, I disposed of all mine many years ago when thinning the collection). Whilst retrospectively compiled anthologies covering the whole life of a label are nowadays commonplace, original samplers with their snapshot of a moment in prog-rock’s history are not. The Rock Machine Turns You On is the only sampler ever to be reissued on CD in its original form – and that sadly minus Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair / Canticle”, probably due to some momentary petulance on Paul Simon’s part. It came out in 1996 and is now a rarity in its own right, never having been re-released. Sony could do a lot worse than reissue The Rock Machine Turns You On and Fill Your Head With Rock in their original forms, although licencing problems mean they probably won’t.


Steve Lamacq – Lost Alternatives

Most alternative music lived underground. It made a lot of noise, but no-one in the mainstream could hear it…. The nineties would see it go so much further than many of us expected. It wasn’t just the popularity of alternative music which would change; the music was constantly reinventing itself too, sucking in influences from different genres and different eras.

And that brings us to this compilation…Create a compilation which tries to dig a little deeper; which attempts to give another side of the nineties, which wasn’t Cool Britannia, Laddism, and Blur Vs Oasis. What’s here represents, at least one version, of the evolution of guitar music through the nineties, as told, not by the big hits, but by the limited edition singles, The Evening Session cult favourites and the bands who maybe never made it, but in some cases never wanted to anyway. “ Curated by acclaimed BBC 6 Music radio DJ and former NME journalist, Steve Lamacq, This 4CD compilation. 71 tracks from the 1990’s chosen by the UK’s leading Indie tastemaker. This is a great compilation. If you were a gig-going regular seeing ‘new bands’ in the 1990’s you will find lots to love here.

It is a useful historical over-view which tries valiantly to present as much as possible of the music on offer over the decade in the indie/guitar sphere and create some sort of evolutionary narrative… but inevitably it fails to be all-inclusive and ends up being just one mans choices in vaguely chronological order.

Steve Lamacq, for a leading BBC6 purveyor of taste, is pretty much some-one you can trust though.  He’s the same age as me, was a teenage Lurkers fan and we, I imagine, went through our teenage years listening to exactly the same music, diverging as we reached our twenties in the mid eighties.

Like with any boxed set or comp, every now and then you get a run of three songs in a row which are perfect; they run together beautifully and make you go ‘Yes!’ as each one starts and you recognise it within a second or two despite not having heard it for yonks.

Despite 71 tracks though,  there are so many bands missing; And I don’t just mean The big guns like Oasis, Blur, Verve and Pulp -there was no necessity for them to be there, but something from the pre-Sony Manics should have opened proceedings if we’re honest. Lamacq will be forever indirectly associated with them due to the For Real blood-letting which was during an interview with him.

Huggy Bear I can only assume refused permission for Her Jazz to be included – leaving Voodoo Queens the sole representative of Riot Grrrl groups.

It is just guitar bands ( No Red Snapper, Fluke or Credit To The Nation) and apparently “nothing which has been included on a ‘Shine’ compilation”, The Bands which deserved to be on here, are Shed 7,  the Headcoats, Mantaray, Flinch, Tindersticks, Baby Bird, Prolapse,  Gretchen Hofner, Bandit Queen, Thrum, Breed, Compulsion, Five Thirty, David Devant & his Spirit Wife, A House, Into Paradise, Die Cheerleader, the Flaming Stars, Add N to X, Quickspace, Nubiles,,, to name a few and there is nothing from the Too Pure  / Clawfist / Wiija labels   -Stereolab   Gallon Drunk…. but that at least means there is plenty of scope for a second volume.

There has been some comment about the ‘Lost’ part of the title. Suede, Charlatans etc are hardly ‘lost’. Even the more obscure acts are only a google and YouTube search away.  Nothing is really ‘lost’ any more.

CD 1   Is a mix of Baggy Northern sounds and Thames Valley Shoegazing to start with.  Ride sound tame and lame, Northside sound naive and fun, the New FAD’s are their generations A Certain Ratio. Curve sound class and ahead of the game.  Kitchens of Distinction emerge as the band whose back catalogue needs to be tracked down.   The Fraggle-Pop-Punk of the Family Cat, Senseless Things and MC4 somehow hasn’t aged well. particularly when they are followed by Teenage Fanclubs finest moment  Everything Flows… which is certainly does with a final four of Silverfish / Daisy Chainsaw / Voodoo Queens and the noisy experimental wonkiness of Cornershop.

CD 2 Is, to my mind the best, – 14 really great tracks out of the 19 – the New Wave of New Wave and Brit-Pop Division 2. (and Premier division debuts by Suede, Auteurs & Elastica)  all of  which are classics – as are Tiny Monroe, Salad and Mansuns contributions.

CD 3 is more of a mixed bag, genre and quality-wise.  The appalling, irritating Bis, the dull bluster of Travis and Marion, but then that classic Rialto song (Monday Morning 5:19)  and superb examples of the work of Strangelove, Whipping Boy and Scarfo – seriously good bands who should have been more than contenders.   Kenickie and Catatonia both sound excellent, now as then – and both frontwomen have gone on to deserved success, Cerys as Greatest Living Welshwoman and broadcaster and Lauren Laverne -purveyor of some terrible unbearable dance-music on 6-Music -but a superb Desert Island Discs host.

CD 4 Starts with Arab Strap and Mogwai so with Delgados has a strong Scottish flavour and marks a progression and seriousness as well as quality.  The Beta Band make sense in such company, as do Clinic, but Ten Benson, Wubble U and Campag Velocet do nothing for me and only prove stoners don’t always make great music.  Cay, Cable and Seafood are interesting but not a patch on some of the bands omitted.

The good stuff outweighs the iffy and it is a great, eminently listenable boxed set.  An American equivalent culled from the Nineties US underground would be interesting to hear -but probably wouldn’t be as pop and would stick to even tighter generic parameters.

I feel sorry for Lammo, his hands tied by the BBC, in that he cannot ‘promote’ his ‘product’ on their airwaves, when, if he’s anything like me, he probably wants to shout ‘Listen To This! It’s fuckin’ ace!’ because if its on here, you can guarantee that he loves it, and he wants to share his love and have a wallow in the nostalgia of the nineties for a while.

If you told us even as recently as six weeks ago that we’d be working on a Redux version of Black Sabbath’sVolume 4 and, before the end of March, artists including The Obsessed, Whores, Zakk Wylde, and Matt Pike would have all committed to be part of the project, we would’ve probably answered, “Wow.”

And if you’d then said, “Oh yeah, you’ll also assemble a Best of Black Sabbath companion LP featuring Earthless, Elephant Tree, Year of the Cobra, and tons of other great artists including a whole crop of brand-new Magnetic Eye roster bands, who by the way you’ll find time to sign during all the madness of your Vol. 4 Kickstarter,” we’d have most likely said, “piss off.” And yet, here we are, and all of the above has come to pass.

We are indeed reduxing Volume 4 and offering up a Best of Sabbath companion record, we do have some of the greatest heavy artists in the world committed to be part of this project, and we did somehow find time to sign three new bands during all of this, each of whom we’ll have a new record coming from later this year, and all of whom we’re inviting to be part of the project.

The hard stuff saga continues with Brown Acid – The Eighth Trip! Yet again, we’ve searched high and low to bring you ten tracks of straight blue flame fire from the golden age of heaviness. As usual, these rare tracks have been carefully curated, analogically sourced, and fully licensed so you can listen guilt free and save a lot of time and money tracking down the original copies. This Eighth Trip comes straight at ya with an all out attack, quite literally. The residents of St. Clair Shores should consider themselves lucky to have been so close to the greatness of Attack! “School Daze” kicks out the jams Detroit-style, but has enough flair and style to have our main man Jimi rolling over in his grave. Another prime example of why Detroit is known as Rock City!
Speaking of rock, White Rock will knock your stank-ass socks off with their 1972 burner “Please Don’t Run Away”. This 45 was privately released by this Houston-based band that reportedly played shows with Josefus, Stone Axe, and Purple Sun. And it was basically unknown until it surfaced at the Austin Record Convention in 2018! The fact that there are still completely unknown records out there to be discovered never ceases to amaze us. They don’t say “Don’t Mess With Texas” for nothin’! Riverside called Austin home way before anyone was worried about keeping it weird. This two-sider from 1974 rips from front to back. It’s also exclusively available here and is virtually unknown. Go ahead, try to look for it anywhere. Currently, there’s no proof anywhere online that it exists.

From our neighbours up north, we bring you Luke and the Apostles! Don’t be fooled by the name, this ain’t no Xian group, even though this 45 is of biblical proportions. The flip of this single “You Make Me High” is a Faces-esque ballad of the highest caliber that will move you to tears if you’re not careful with it, but “Not Far Off” isn’t about moving you emotionally; it’s about moving you physically. Fuck jam? We think so. The Doors and Elektra Records’ producer Paul Rothchild called the Luke and the Apostles LP the “greatest album [he] never got to make”. The lyrics to this 1977 single on Vacation Records are about as boneheaded as it gets. Hard rock songs from working class men about working hard and letting loose is a common theme in the Brown Acid realm, and “I Need My Music” by Mine Hill, New Jersey’s Tourists, is yet another great one to get you through the work week. I think we can all agree: we need our music too…among other things!
Ohio strikes again. This time a bit later than the other Buckeye State singles we’ve comped, but no less bangin’! On the Chance record label, the Bartos Brothers Band is billed as Gambler, but post-release, the band covered at least some of the copies with stickers that corrected this. There’s very little information about the Bartos Brothers Band online, and as of this writing, the release date is incorrect on Discogs and the Popsike hit very wrongly lists the genre as “Glam/Hair Metal” from the 1980s. We’re stoked to be compiling this single for the first time ever and to be setting the record straight.

And yet again, Ohio brings the thunder! We brought you the B-side of Inside Experience’s sole 45 back on the Third Trip and now we exhaust the band’s output by presenting their especially psychedelic cover of Cream’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses”. The band pressed and sold out of 500 copies of this record back in 1968 thanks to some airplay on Detroit’s CKLW, but they never recorded again. However, Inside Experience’s lead guitarist and singer, Marty Soski, went on to play in Lance (as heard on the Fifth Trip) and two metal bands which you will be hearing sooner than later…
Karma, slightly better known as The Contents Are, released an LP and a 45 in 1967 and then followed up with their swan song “New Mexico” in 1969. The single was oddly released under Karma on the Onk Enterprizez label with “N.S.U.” as the B-side and on Rok Records as the flip to “Future Days” as The Contents Are. Apparently, Mercury Records bought the rights to the Rok 45 with the intention to release it nationally, but never actually got around to it. Their loss!
Obviously we don’t need to go into how much great music Memphis, Tennessee has brought us over the years, but Moloch doesn’t usually get mentioned when we’re talking about the “Home of the Blues” and the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll.” Maybe we should change that. Moloch played with The MC5 and The Stooges and recorded an LP in 1969 for the Stax subsidiary, Enterprise Records. Although the band made a great blues rock record, it sadly didn’t get the love it deserved and the band folded. Moloch guitarist, Lee Baker, reformed the band with a slightly different line-up and released this 45 in 1972 against great odds. It too was unfairly overlooked…until now.
While we’re still talking about Memphis, y’all ever heard of this guy, Elvis Presley? Apparently, he was kind of a big deal and popularized a song called “Heartbreak Hotel” back in 1956. That’s cool and all, but damn us if we don’t dig Grump’s 1969 take on the song a whole hell of a lot more than the King’s version. Maybe that’s sacrilege, but nothing’s sacred when it comes to Brown Acid.
Some of the best thrills of the Internet music revolution is the ability to find extremely rare music with great ease. But even with such vast archives to draw from, quite a lot of great songs have gone undiscovered for nearly half a century — particularly in genres that lacked hifalutin arty pretense. Previously, only the most extremely dedicated and passionate record collectors had the stamina and prowess to hunt down long forgotten wonders in dusty record bins — often hoarding them in private collections, or selling at ridiculous collector’s prices. Legendary compilations like Nuggets, Pebbles, ad nauseum, have exhausted the mines of early garage rock and proto-punk, keeping alive a large cross-section of underground ephemera. However, few have delved into and expertly archived the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner rock tracks collected on Brown Acid. Lance Barresi, co-owner of L.A./Chicago retailer Permanent Records has shown incredible persistence in tracking down a stellar collection of rare singles from the 60s and 70s for the growing compilation series. Partnered with Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, the two have assembled a selection of songs that’s hard to believe have remained unheard for so long.
“I essentially go through hell and high water just to find these records,” Barresi says. “Once I find a record worthy of tracking, I begin the (sometimes) extremely arduous process of contacting the band members and encouraging them to take part. Daniel and I agree that licensing all the tracks we’re using for Brown Acid is best for everyone involved,” rather than simply bootlegging the tracks. When all of the bands and labels haven’t existed for 30-40 years or more, tracking down the creators gives all of these tunes a real second chance at success.
“There’s a long list of songs that we’d love to include,” Barresi says. “But we just can’t track the bands down. I like the idea that Brown Acid is getting so much attention, so people might reach out to us.”

Brown Acid: The Eighth Trip will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download on April 20th, 2019.

This new 3 CD Re-Mastered Box Set Celebrating The Musical sounds of the so called British “UNDERGROUND” Rock Music Of 1968. featuring tracks by Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Julie Driscoll, Brain Auger & The Trinity, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, The Move, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Van Der Graaf Generator, Procul Harum, Genesis, Caravan, Jeff Beck, Pretty Things, The Incredible String Band, Tomorrow.

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of “Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968”, a 3CD clamshell boxed set celebrating the so-called “underground” rock music 1968, a year that saw huge changes, both musical and social. 1968 was a pivotal year for creativity in British rock, beginning with some influences of psychedelia still present in work by ground-breaking artists such as Pretty Things, Tomorrow, Incredible String Band, Idle Race, Traffic and The Move, but gradually giving way to styles influenced by jazz, blues, folk and more that would eventually become termed as “progressive”, “folk-rock” and “hard” rock, all of which championed by “underground” figures of the day such as DJ John Peel on his BBC Radio One show Top Gear and by publications such as International Times and Oz.The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts.

Revolution Box

The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts that produced work of a wide breadth such as Eyes of Blue, Love Sculpture, The Action, Dantalian’s Chariot, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Gun, Second Hand, The Moles and Blonde on Blonde.

This collection celebrates a creative period when rock music was evolving into something altogether more serious, moving away from the single as medium to give way to the dominance of the album. Feed your head with Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968.

Revolution Box Set