Posts Tagged ‘Warner Bros Records’

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Van’s third solo album, November 1970’s His Band and the Street Choir, will never be considered one of Van’s grand statements, but it holds its place as a necessary piece of the Van Morrison puzzle. And is cherished by many Van the Man fans, who should enjoy this remastered and expanded near gem.

The songs on Street Choir are relatively compact and seemingly quite well-adjusted. Any allusions to being a “stranger in this world” appear to have been quelled by the band who achieve a perfect groove. “Domino” so immediately announces its ease of execution that Van can’t help but glide over the backing band with a sense of freedom so contagious that every listener floats on its merry wave. This sense of camaraderie among the players – enforced by the album’s photos taken at a birthday party for Peter, the son of Van Morrison’s then-wife Janet Planet – enabled Van to nail down several songs that had previously eluded him, including “Domino,” that hailed from the Astral Weeks-era of November 1968, according to Cory Frye’s informative liner notes.

The album itself was meant to capitalize on Van’s current hot streak withMoondance, whose single “Come Running” peaked at #39. His manager, Mary Martin, convinced him to return to New York’s A&R Studios, only a month after that album’s release. Working with the stellar core group of guitarist John Plantania, saxophonist Jack Schroer, bassist John Klingberg and the addition of keyboardist Alan Hand, trumpeter/organist Keith Johnson, and tour drummer Dahaud Elias Shaar (aka Daoud Shaw and David Shaw). Van rehearsed in an old church in Woodstock, NY, before laying down the official tracks in the studio. Martin’s instincts proved correct, as the album’s first single, “Domino,” went to No#9, Van’s highest charting pop hit in the U.S., passing “Brown Eyed Girl” (#10) by a notch.

His Band and the Street Choir is another beautiful phase in the continuing development of one of the few originals left in rock. In his own mysterious way. Van Morrison continues to shake his head, strum his guitar and to sing his songs. He knows it’s too late to stop now and he quit trying to a long, long time ago. Meanwhile, the song he is singing keeps getting better and better.”- John Landau,

The Album also called “Street Choir”  was the fourth solo album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was released on 15th November 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. Originally titled “Virgo’s Fool”  but was renamed by Warner Bros. without Morrison’s consent. Recording began in early 1970 with a demo session in a small church in Woodstock, New York. Morrison booked the A&R Studios on 46th Street in New York City in the second quarter of 1970 to produce two sessions of songs that were released on His Band and the Street Choir. Reviewers praised the music of both sessions for its free, relaxed sound, but the lyrics were considered to be simple compared with those of his previous work. Morrison had intended to record the album a cappella with only vocal backing by a vocal group he called the Street Choir, but the songs released on the album that included the choir also featured a backing band. Morrison was dissatisfied with additional vocalists to the original quintet that made up the choir,

Compared to the meditative beast that is Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972), with its twin 10-minute-plus epics, “Listen to the Lion” and “Almost Independence Day,” or the complete return-to-Ireland masterpiece that is Veedon Fleece (1974), Street Choir feels less ambitious. However, one should never discount Van’s handling of more succinct material. The Fats Domino homages are obvious (“Domino,” “Blue Money”) and slightly under the radar (“Give Me a Kiss”) and occasionally come across as workmanlike. But considering the Belfast fireplug’s impulsive phrasings and his behind-the-beat inclinations are always just an Irish Heartbeat away from creating an alternative Ulster R&B universe, it’s worth giving him his genre exercises. Besides, pianist Alan Hand works double-time to ensure everything rolls as it should.

Anyone versed in Van’s career knows he doesn’t stay in one place for long and no amount of Fats Domino love is going to contain him. Street Choir’s best moments –besides the ease of “Domino,” the Curtis Mayfield sweetness of “Gypsy Queen,” and the meditative acoustic revelry of “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” – come from the full-band blast-off of “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” where all is pure locomotion with Van on tenor sax, “Virgo Clowns,” where loosely doubled vocals create a rare-but-effective moment of joy from the legendary crank, and the closing duo of “If I Ever Needed Someone” and “Street Choir,” where Van teases out a George Harrison sentiment to the breaking point and Keith Johnson’s organ takes the title track to the next astral plane.

Essentially, it’s A-minus Van Morrison, which is still light years beyond all but ‘A’ list artists like the Stones, Kinks, Dylan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Sonics and Stooges. The original album packed 12 songs with no room for the improvisational sidetracking that makes his A-plus discs impossible to beat. At the same time, the album came just eight months after its predecessor and 11 months before its followup, Tupelo Honey. It wasn’t like Springsteen or Paul Simon who took lifetimes between releases. Despite Van’s masterful reach, he’s never treated any of his work as so precious that it had to be shined a thousand ways before final release. If something isn’t working, he moves on to something else and saves the idea for another day. Van’s genius is rarely in the writing. As a lyricist, he’s often lazy and as a songwriter he rarely ventures beyond the usual chords. Though he’s done more with two chords than most musicians do with a full arsenal. Van’s genius is in the execution.

The bonus tracks – alternate takes of “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” “Give Me a Kiss” and “Gypsy Queen” and alternate ‘versions’ of “I’ve Been Working” and “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” (distinctions between ’takes’ and ‘versions’ not apparent) – mostly offer unvarnished, simpler takes that since not chosen were not subjected to overdubs.

Regarding these bonuses, all are welcomed, though none shock the system. (Inexplicably, the seventeen-minute instrumental “Caledonia Soul Music” was eliminated from the final product.) The alternate version of “I’ve Been Working” is mildly quicker and looser with an extended sax solo in its mid-section. “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too,” the album’s most meditative and heartfelt cut, puts Van’s vocal right in your ear, without the mild studio reverb of the official track and with yet another superlative performance. “Gypsy Queen,” the first cousin to Moondance’s “Crazy Love,” begins with several false starts before aiming for – and landing in – the heavens. It’s another fine alternate take that illustrates how Van had these songs where he wanted them at this point and could at any moment out-sing just about anyone not named Stevie Wonder or Al Green.

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Tom Petty’s solo masterpiece, “Wildflowers”, will be getting an expanded release. The news was confirmed by his daughter, Adria Petty, in an interview  (June 25) on the Tom Petty Channel on SiriusXM. The collection, still referred to as “the Wildflowers project,” “is still not ready,” but a first release – a home demo of his “You Don’t Know How it Feels” – was premiered on the channel during the interview.

With some reported estate squabbles settled, the project is being overseen by Adria and her sister AnnaKim, in conjunction with Petty’s widow, Dana, and the Heartbreakers. Though the LP’s 25th anniversary passed in 2019, fans will likely savour what’s to come. Adria Petty was careful not to make a hard promise on a specific date for the release but the team is aiming for 2020.  In the years since Tom Petty released his landmark Wildflowers album, much has been said about the Rick Rubin-helmed sessions and how much unreleased material was left behind as the album evolved.  Petty originally had enough songs to release Wildflowers as a double-album – reportedly with at least 26 songs – but was persuaded against it.  In 2015, he released a preview track, “Somewhere Under Heaven,” for the release provisionally entitled Wildflowers: All The Rest.  But the collection was shelved after his death.

An expanded release of Wildflowers has been discussed for quite some time. Adria Petty said, “[We look forward to putting] this masterpiece in the framing that it deserved.” The finished set will include home recordings and demos. The team decided to put the “You Don’t Know How it Feels” demo out now because “fans have been waiting for this for such a long time,” she said.

“We don’t have my dad’s brilliant ears and eyes,” she said, “but as we were playing the demos, this one put everyone feeling really good. We get to [hear] my dad unpolished. This song is really cool because you see it coming right out of his notebook.”

The long rumoured projected had often been referred to as Wildflowers and All the Rest.

The news had been teased on Petty’s website and on YouTube, which featured an image of a wolf-like figure dressed in human clothing with the phrase “Most Things That I Worry ‘Bout Never Happen Anyway,” a lyric from the album’s “Crawling Back to You.” As a result, the members of the Facebook group Tom Petty Nation spent much of Thursday afternoon speculating on what the release would entail.

Tom Petty died on October 2nd, 2017, one week to the day after he and the Heartbreakers completed their 40th anniversary tour.

“Wildflowers”, was called Petty’s “finest hour as a recording artist and darkest as a songwriter.” The November. 1st, 1994 release was his 10th album and first under a new contract with Warner Bros. Records. Among the original’s 15 songs are such Petty favorites as “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” “You Wreck Me,” “Time to Move On,” and the beautiful title cut “Wildflowers”.

The Muffs - Blonder And Blonder

The Muffs’ debut hit the scene in 1993, and was an instant smash. Any fear that they could follow it up successfully was answered when Blonder And Blonder arrived two years later. The Muffs burst onto the California music scene at the beginning of the ’90s, and after a few independent singles and EPs, they were quickly snapped up by Warner Bros Records. Entering the studio with David Katznelson and Rob Cavallo (who would go on the helm records from Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, and more), The Muffs roared from speakers across the country in 1993. According to renowned critic Jim DeRogatis, “You’d have to reach all the way back to Blondie’s Plastic Letters to find punkish power pop this endearing.

If you’re curious why so many sing the praises of the late, great Kim Shattuck, “Blonder And Blonder” is the perfect place to start. The Muffs’ second album sees the screamer-guitarist joined by bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald, and the trio bash out these 14 Shattuck originals with spirit and skill. Green Day producer Rob Cavallo knows more than a little about punk-pop, and together with the Los Angeles band helms this collection, whose catchy hooks, droll lyrics and instrumental fury shine on such highlights as “Agony,” “Oh Nina” and single “Sad Tomorrow.” The Reprise set turns 25 this weekend, and any alternative rock fan will have more fun with “Blonder And Blonder”. 

The band propelled by Shattuck’s material to even greater heights, and Blonder became the band’s biggest selling album.
Omnivore Recordings is proud to present this ’90s milestone on CD with 7 bonus tracks (2 U.K. B-sides, and 5 previously unissued Shattuck demos) and on LP for the first time in over two decades.
Like 2015’s reissue of The Muffs, debut album the full-color packaging includes photos, drawings, memorabilia, and essays from Barnett and McDonald, as well as, track-by-track commentary from Shattuck. 21 years later, Blonder And Blonder still sounds as vital and visceral as it did upon its original release. Face it, you to have this record in your collection.

Reuniting and issuing their first new release in a decade last year, garnering critical lauds and playing to enthusiastic crowds, it’s time to go back to where it all started. It’s time for The Muffs!

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Prince Daddy & the Hyena’s ability to transform rock-bottom defeatism into a raucous group activity. “Lauren (Track 2)” was, without a doubt, among the most fun song released in 2019, and the way Prince Daddy carry this energy over to other tracks on the album Cosmic Thrill Seekers, where Kory Gregory opens “Trying Times” by bellowing about how “every day’s been a bad day for so long,” or wails lines like “stupid fucking life, it’s only getting harder” moments before a killer outro on “Klonopin,” signals an optimistic turn for a genre that often invites isolation among its listeners.

Even the softest moments on Cosmic Thrill Seekers such as the acoustic intro to opener “I Lost My Life,” or the mid-track breather on closer “Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger”—are disrupted by Gregory’s yawps before heavy electric guitars hit as hard and unexpectedly as the depression that fueled so much of the record’s lyrics. There’s never really a moment of peace, but such brief periods of seemingly personal anxiety spouted by the vocalist are immediately filled by a massive support system in the form of Gregory’s dense backing band, at times even featuring a full brass section. The cyclical structure of the album—“Passenger” transitions smoothly back into track one—has been widely noted for its analogue to mood cycles, but there’s been little talk about the group-therapeutic nature of the record’s sound.

For plenty of bands of this caliber, an album is just a springboard for hectic live shows. But Cosmic Thrill Seekers offers anyone who feels pretty confident that they’ll die the next time they’re alone in their bedroom an opportunity to thrash in each others’ company.

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Neil Young has announced that his previously shelved 1975 album, “Homegrown”, will finally be released in early 2020 following its restoration from the master tapes.

“Homegrown will be our first release in 2020, sounding great in vinyl – as it was meant to be,” Young wrote on Neil Young Archives. “Made in the mid-nineteen seventies! …A record full of love lost and explorations. A record that has been hidden for decades. Too personal and revealing to expose in the freshness of those times. The unheard bridge between the albums Harvest and Comes A Time, Homegrown is coming to NYA first in 2020!”

The Neil Young Archives homepage also shows a video of Young’s longtime engineer John Hanlon mastering Homegrown in an analogue chain. “This is the way records were made when we started out. This is the way we made them sound great. We were told that this was impossible now, the Homegrown tapes were too damaged to use; we had to use digital. We didn’t agree. We did not accept. We painstakingly restored the analogue masters of Homegrown.”

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The Shelters fan a fresh flame with classic fuel on their second full-length, “Jupiter Sidecar”. Ebbing and flowing between rock ‘n’ roll roots, surf swagger, synth swells, and unassuming pop ambition, the Los Angeles-based group thread it all together with catchy melodic hooks. This approach quietly cemented them as a fan and critical favorite following the release of their self-titled full-length in 2016, which was produced by Tom Petty.

The Shelters returned to his Malibu studio to craft Jupiter Sidecar and to mourn the loss of their friend and mentor – and in the process learned to rely on one another like never before.

Band Members
Chase Simpson,
Josh Jove,
Sebastian Harris

New album Jupiter Sidecar out now!

Tuscaloosa (Live)

Neil Young culled highlights from his February 5th, 1973 concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with The Stray Gators for a new live album entitled “Tuscaloosa”, which is due out on June 7th via Warner Bros Records. The first single from the seven-track LP is a slow and beautiful version of “Don’t Be Denied.”

This is the next installment of Neil Young’s ongoing archival series, a concert he played with the Stray Gators simply titles “Tuscaloosa”, it will come out on a single CD and a three-sided vinyl album with etched artwork on side four.

“It’s from the period right around Harvest and Tonight’s the Night,” said Young,  “For me, it’s edgy. It’s like those mellow songs with an edge. It’s really trippy to be down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and singing those songs from Harvest and the songs that we were doing for Time Fades Away before it came out. I found this thing and it had such a great attitude to it. I just loved the whole night, so I put that together with [engineer] John Hanlon.

Neil Young + Stray Gators “Don’t Be Denied” from the upcoming album ‘Tuscaloosa” Available on June 7th.

Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis  has released an infectious new single titled “Wasted Youth” from her forthcoming album “On The Line”, due out Friday, March 22nd. Jenny Lewis releases her fourth solo album, On The Line – the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed The Voyager on Warner Bros. Records.

The 11 all new original songs were written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, and feature a backing band of legendary talent including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. The track, which sounds like vintage memorabilia in new packaging, was previously debuted during Lewis’ live-streamed hangout session/listening party for On The Line.

Other advance tracks from the album include “Heads Gonna Roll” and “Red Bull & Hennessy.” Utilize the present and listen to “Wasted Youth” below,

‘Wasted Youth,’ ‘Heads Gonna Roll’ and ‘Red Bull & Hennessy’ comes from Jenny Lewis’ new album ‘On The Line’ – available March 22nd!

Indie idol and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis has released her third solo album, titled On the Line. It’s a masterful and sprawling record, sometimes devastating and other times soaring to great emotional heights. Lewis manages to convey a complete portrait of herself as an artist who has been through the gauntlet of rock stardom and made it to the other side vibrantly, loudly alive.

On The Line Deluxe Vinyl - Jenny Lewis Store

Jenny Lewis has confirmed her highly anticipated return with her fourth solo album, ‘On The Line’ – the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘The Voyager’.  The 11 all new original songs were written by Lewis and recorded at B studio B, and feature a backing band of legendary talent including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. Jenny has also announced her first round of 2019 headlining dates.the march-may 2019 itinerary includes stops at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium,

Late last year, Jenny Lewis teased that her new album, would be one of our most anticipated of 2019, was on its way early this year. After unleashing a pair of suspicious tweets, Lewis confirmed the new record is called On The Line, and it’s not dropping until March 22nd on Warner Bros. Records. The news arrives with the album’s first single, “Red Bull & Hennessy,” which arrived with a twinkly accompanying visualizer. “Red Bull & Hennessy” is Lewis’ first new music since her 2014 album The Voyager, and on this love song-turned-party song, she makes an invigorated return in a fit of bluesy electric guitar, “high on Red Bull and Hennessy.” She teases and taunts (“Don’t you wanna kiss me? Don’t you wanna even try?”), only to proclaim she’s “higher than you.” After five silent years, the singer/songwriter and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman is back and burning brighter than ever.

The unstoppable Jenny Lewis has shared another new track from her forthcoming album On The Line titled “Heads Gonna Roll.” The follow-up to the sultry “Red Bull & Hennessy” features Ringo Starr on drums, Benmont Tench on the organ and Don Was on bass. And with arms fully outstretched today, Lewis has also announced a string of additional 2019 dates to her already-extensive tour.

On The Line will be released on March 22 from Warner Bros. Records. Listen to its harmonic opening track, “Heads Gonna Roll,” 

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Jenny Lewis has announced that her fourth album, On the Line, will be released in spring 2019 through Warner Bros. Records. The album will be the follow-up to Lewis’ 2014 LP The Voyager. The 11-track release was recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, and features performances from Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. The album’s tracklist, exact release date and other details have yet to be revealed. Lewis has also announced the dates for her 2019 headlining tour, set to run March through May,

‘Red Bull & Hennessy’ comes from Jenny Lewis new album ‘On The Line’ – available March 22nd! Limited edition Deluxe Vinyl available exclusively in Jenny’s store: