Posts Tagged ‘Various Artists’

Fuzz Club Records “The Reverb Conspiracy, Volume 6” It’s a double LP on white vinyl.

The aim and a desire with the Reverb Conspiracy compilations are to uncover and celebrate the best in fuzz, reverb and drone from every corner of the globe. Where the first five volumes were hailed as a Nuggets-like documentation of the European psych scene, Reverb Conspiracy Vol 6 sees the compilation go global: bringing together bands from South Africa, Australia, the USA, Germany, Brazil, the UK, Italy and Russia.

Also including the label’s own Medicine Boy’s shadowy noise-pop (DE) and Nest Egg’s motorik “mood music for nihilists” (US), plus Steeple Remove’s dub-inflected post- punk (FR) and Crimen’s heady, repetitive psych-rock (IT) – there is Aussie garage-psych outfit Nice Biscuit, a new cut of Bikini Kill-meets-Oh Sees noise from Julia Robert (SA), as well as lo-fi garage-pop from Super Paradise (UK) and the double-barreled psych-blues wig-outs of Frankie & The Witch Fingers (US).


In the compilations darker moments, though, there is the hypnotically face-melting “space-surf” of Japanese Television (UK), goth-tinged post-punk from Float (UK), murky psychedelic stoner-rock from Brazil’s Firefriend, relentlessly driving krautrock courtesy of Verstärker (USA), the heavy space-rock drones of Psychic Lemon (UK) and Moscow’s Selbram, who deal in a jagged alt-rocksound that takes its cues from No Wave, psych and the “pulse and noise” of city life.

1. Julia Robert – Mud Girl
2. Nice Biscuit – Out Of Sight
3. Frankie And The Witch Fingers – Underneath You
4. Medicine Boy – Water Girl
5. Firefriend – Surface To Air
6. Nest Egg – DMTIV
7. Steeple Remove – Ferris Noir
8. Float – Watch
9. Crimen – Flahzz
10. Japanese Television – Tick Tock
11. Selbram – This City You Know
12. Super Paradise – 6:30
13. Verstärker – Mit Glück
14. Psychic Lemon – Interstellar Fuzz Star

Number 9.  Brown Acid is back, right on time, with a fresh batch of the dankest hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal bangers you’ve never heard before. As usual, all of these tracks were licensed legitimately and the artists were paid. It ain’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do! And although the quantity keeps rising, our quality control hasn’t suffered. You won’t find even one throwaway track here, or on any volume, just pure unadulterated heaviness from the after-Altamont era. This Trip is All-American, and in addition to the eight 45 sourced jams and one hard rock holy grail LP track, it includes a previously unheard song by a completely unknown band that’ll melt your mind. So crack a cold one, crank the volume knob, and let the Brown Acid seep into your skull yet again.

Garage turkeys have long been familiar with the Minnesota-based group The Litter, who have some very collectible 45s and LPs, but the related band, White Lightning, isn’t nearly as well-known. White Lightning released only one single and one LP (under the name Lightning), but they had far more recordings than they released, and “Prelude To Opus IV” is just one of the band’s many outstanding unreleased tracks. White Lightning took the chops the ex-members developed in The Litter and kicked it up a notch in the heaviness department. They were risk-takers and innovators and were the first Power Trio and first to play through Marshall full-stacks in the Upper Midwest. Their guitarist was the first to play a Flying V in the region. They also happened to be named after LSD. Brown Acid material all the way!

Jon Uzonyi’s Peacepipe released one single in 1969 on the eclectic California-based Accent label, and it’s one of the most scarce Brown Acid inclusions. It’s crunchy as hell from the get-go, and the psychedelic touches only add to its allure. Lyrically, it’ll empty your half-full cup in a heartbeat, and the thunderous drums and gigantic guitar riffs will make you want to refill your glass immediately… with the hard stuff.

In 1975, Tom Stevens and the rest of Magi went into Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine in Kalamazoo, Michigan and recorded nine tracks. Just 1000 copies of the LP were pressed, and its title and lead-off track is “Win Or Lose” from their self-released 45. The long-player has been bootlegged at least twice, but until now, Magi’s recordings have never been legitimately reissued. This revved-up, rural proto-punk cut has enough snarl to start a fight, but the vibe leaves you with the impression that the brawlers will bond over beers no matter who comes out on top!

“The Rise of Flood” by the New York group, Flood, is one of the best LPs released in 1970. Its extreme rarity is the only logical explanation for its ridiculous underrated-ness. Before Flood, the same group released a 45 under the, obviously radical name, Fiberglass Vegetables. The laid-back heaviness on this rural banger will hook ya immediately. The B-side is a non-LP track which you’ll be hearing on a future Trip if you choose to stay turned on and tuned in!

Sid Bradley is Erik. Erik is Sid Bradley. And he self-released this 45 on his own Eden imprint back in ’73. “Rebel Woman” is an up-tempo banger that resides where hard rock and prog overlap. The composition, performance, and recording quality is exceptional. It probably sounds like a magnum opus compared to some of the other stuff we’ve included in this series, but it still fits. By the way, Sid is still writing and recording music, which is not surprising considering how accomplished he is. His recent releases can very easily be found online.

Stonewall’s story is one of the most tragic in rock history. These guys should have been huge, and to say that they were robbed, is the understatement of the century. A very different story of rock stardom could have been told if it weren’t for egregious mismanagement, and a loophole in the law at the time that allowed labels to blindly rip off bands in order to minimize their tax liability. However, like a phoenix from the ashes, the Stonewall record survived over 40 years of neglect, and it now holds its place in rock history as one of the greatest records that almost never saw the light of day. “Outer Spaced” is just one of the eight tracks that we could have included on here from their sole LP, which was recorded in 1972, and “released” on Tiger Lily in 1976. In 2019, Permanent Records legitimately issued it for the first time EVER on vinyl and digitally.

The Zukus 45 has been in the collection for quite some time, and for that amount of time, we’ve been “looking high, looking low” to track down the members of the band. If Zukus were a snake, they would’ve bit us! Right under our noses, Zukus had an online presence unlike any other band we’ve worked with before, but, under a different name: Ice, which is the preferred moniker of Jim Lee’s group. “For some reason,” they used the name Zukus (pronounced zuck-us) for their sole 45 on Toya Records back in 1972. Pack this organ-driven, break-beat-laden banger in your pipe and smoke it!

Space Rock was comprised of a group of Macedonian immigrants living in Detroit, Michigan, none of whom spoke English. At one time, the vocalist, George Bisinov, even won first place in a Macedonian music festival in Detroit! Despite the language barrier, they rocked like red-blooded Americans and both sides of their 45 are top notch. The A-side “Dark Days” is a dirgier affair, whereas “Going Down The Road” locks into a speedy riff fairly quickly after the bizarro circus intro, and it never lets up. According to George, Space Rock recorded numerous other original songs, but they’ve been lost to tape deterioration. If only we could have saved them!

On the phone, Jim Fulton of Buckshot is a very soft-spoken, polite, and humble Texan. Hard to believe considering how macho his delivery is on “Bar Star”! This track is generally cocky in the best possible way. Dual lead guitars take center stage on this shreddy groover and, at just over two minutes in length, it’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am jam if there ever was one. Hamilton St. Records out of Houston supposedly released this back in 1976, but based on how rare it is, it’s hard to believe it was ever released at all.

Brown Acid can be found in some of the least likely places, as long as you can pay close attention. One iota of distraction could’ve caused 29.9 to have remained in obscurity for another 50 years! This band came into our lives while watching the cult horror film Effects. The film is entertaining to say the least, but the star for us is a very short clip of background music in a scene where one of the characters is looking through a stack of bondage polaroids. As the photos are being flipped through, a boombox blasts a Pentagram-esque hard rocker that caught our attention immediately. We tracked down the director of the film, John Harrison. Turns out the song in Effects was by a band John played in with his brother, Doug, and a couple of other guys in the late-60s. They called themselves 29.9, and they recorded “Paradiddle Blues” and a few other tracks, but never released any of them, until now.
Thank YOU for supporting the Brown Acid series. The Tenth Trip is just around the bend.

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.