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10 Essential Albums From Blue Note Records

Posted by Billy Gil, September 29, 2014 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Some of our staff have picked out essential albums from Blue Note Records that should satisfy both the purist and the newcomer to go along with Sonos Studio’s brilliant exhibition on the label.

A bit about Blue Note’s history: The label was in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, getting its name from the “blue notes” of blues and jazz, or notes sung a bit lower than the major scale for expressive purposes. Moving from traditional jazz to some bebop (including artists like Thelonious Monk) in the 1940s and hard bop (artists such as Horace Silver) in the 1950s, Blue Note distinguished itself by paying musicians for rehearsals as well as recordings, in order to ensure a better final product. With iconic album artwork by Esquire designer Reid Miles (using photographs of the musician in session, taken by Blue Note’s Francis Wolff), Blue Note made its name as one of the most influential labels in jazz music, later issuing records by free jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman and popular musicians like Herbie Hancock, having records sampled in hip-hop records by the likes of Madlib and, now, seeing massive success with mainstream artists like Norah Jones.

Whether you traditional jazz or hard bop, piano or saxophone, introspective sounds or jamming quartets ... it’s all there in the history of this amazing label. Head over to the Blue Note exhibition and give these records a spin!

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Do Vinyl Reissues Lessen the Value of Originals?

Posted by V.B., September 29, 2014 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

One would correctly assume that a record is reissued because there is a pent up demand for an out of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experiencedprint title. Let’s take the latest reissue of Jimi HendrixAre You Experienced for example. Once this demand is sated, one might conclude that the elevated value for the original would come down, citing the law of supply and demand. This should be especially true because the newest release is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and sounds superior to previous versions.

My experience however, is that the added buzz and exposure adds to the mystique of owning the original and raises the value, especially if the original is in great shape. If you buy records just to hear the music, you absolutely shouldn’t pay more just to get an original. But, if you’ve crossed the line into being a “record collector,” all kinds of other considerations start to creep in. Suddenly condition starts to matter, you tend to be more of a completest in regard to an artist’s catalog, you weigh mono versus stereo, and you start to favor original issues.

A simple analogy would be: if you were an art collector would you want the original Mona Lisa, or a $29 copy? No matter how beautiful they might think it is, most art collectors would not put a repro up in their house, even though they could never afford the original.

Getting back to Hendrix, we see below the original Reprise tri-tone label, which was soon replaced by the two tone label, and then by the 1970s a solid brown label was used.
 

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Music History Monday: September 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 29, 2014 11:10am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: September 29, 1958 - "It's In The Game" by Tommy Edwards hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues chart for three weeks (non-consecutive) on the same date.  Written by Charles Dawes and Carl Sigman, it is the biggest hit for the pop vocalist from Richmond, VA. "It's All In The Game" is originally written in 1911 as an instrumental titled "Melody in A Major" by Charles Dawes who would later serve as Vice President of the United States under President Calvin Coolidge. Songwriter Carl Sigman will write lyrics for the song in 1951 when Tommy Edwards first records it. Edwards original version will peak at #18 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart in the Fall of 1951. By 1958, Edwards has been without a major hits for nearly four years and his label MGM Records is on the verge of dropping him, but he has one final session to go on his contract. Edwards will re-record "It's All In The Game" with a new arrangement and in stereo, making it one of the first stereo 45's released by MGM Records. The new version is released in early August of 1958 and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on August 25, 1958, it will race to the top of the chart five weeks later. "It's All In The Game" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: September 29, 1973 - "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on October 13, 1973. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, it is the seventh R&B chart topper for the prolific musician and songwriter. Issued as the first single from his landmark Innervisions album, the song is on the charts while Wonder is recovering from a devastating car accident, which will leave him in a coma for four days. While still in a coma, Stevie's road manager Ira Tucker, Jr. will lean down and sing the melody to "Higher Ground" in his ear and Stevie will respond by moving fingers in time with song. Recorded at Mediasound Studios in New York City, "Higher Ground" will be a virtual "one man show" with Wonder playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on the track, with co-producers Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil programming the synthesizers. Red Hot Chili Peppers will score a hit with their cover version of "Higher Ground" when they record it for their 1989 album Mother's Milk, even name checking Stevie Wonder in their version.

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Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL To Do Free Online Record Release Concert, Tuesday Sept 30th

Posted by Billyjam, September 29, 2014 08:40am | Post a Comment
Tomorrow, Tuesday September 30th, at 9:30pm Central Time (7:30pm Pacific time) Prince will be doing a live concert performance along with his band 3RDEYEGIRL from his famed Minnesota studio complex Paisley Park. Just announced to the public yesterday the concert will be streamed for free in real time on the Yahoo Live Nation channel as an exclusive two album release party that can be watched on mobile units via the Yahoo Screen app or online anywhere.

The Prince and friends concert from his typically private home studio compound that is located just outside Minneapolis is a celebration marking the release of two brand new albums on the same day - tomorrow:  Art Official Age which is described as "a classic Prince album produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince and Joshua Welton." Meanwhile the other new album being released tomorrow (Sept 30th) is PlectrumElectrum that is described by Warner who are releasing both new LPs as "a classic band record, with 3RDEYEGIRL, which include Prince, Donna Grantis (guitar), Hannah Ford Welton (drums) and Ida Nielsen (bass).

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Led Zeppelin Release Alternate Mix of "Rain Song" Ahead of 'IV,' 'Houses of the Holy' Reissues

Posted by Billy Gil, September 29, 2014 08:10am | Post a Comment

led zeppelinLed Zeppelin on Oct. 27 will release reissues of their biggest album—their fourth, self-titled album from 1971, regularly dubbed IV, as well as its follow-up, Houses of the Holy. Ahead of those releases, the band has made available an alternate version of Houses' "The Rain Song," which you can hear via Pitchfork.

As with their reissues of I, II and III, the deluxe versions of these reissues will come with a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks. The albums have been remastered by Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page, who had this to say in a press release:

"The Rain Song" is the sort of piece of music that Led Zeppelin could approach and do so successfully and so masterfully. This whole genre of the sensitivity, where it can sort of caress you, it’s something that I’ve always been very proud of. The companion disc version is really a good blend of everything that’s actually being played.

The reissues will each come in CD, deluxe edition CD, vinyl, deluxe edition vinyl, digital download and vinyl versions, as well as a box set that includes both the CD and LP deluxe versions as well as a coffee table book with the cover art and other Led Zep goodies. Preorder below:

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