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Deutsche Grammophon, the Mercedes of Classical Labels

Posted by Rubin Meisel, November 30, 2014 03:28pm | Post a Comment

Deutsche Grammophon as a label goes back the turn of the 20th Century, but its real rise to international prominence started around 1960 when there catalog was imported directly to the USA with its inimitably silent surfaces sealed in thick plastic. During this time they released a landmark set of the Beethoven Symphonies conducted by the renowned Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. Karajan was to record most of the standard repertoire multiple times for Deutsche Gramophone. After more than 50 years, the Beethoven set is stiil a best seller. DG also developed a sister label callec Arkiv that specialized in early music from Medieval chants up until the Baroque period with painstaking scholarship in their liner notes, presentation, and performances. Over the years they developed iconic artists like conductors Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, instrumentalists like Marizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. They also cemented the reputation of artists like conductors Rafael Kubelik, Eugen Jochum, Karl Bohm, and pianists Wilhelm Kempff and Emil Gilels.

In 1997, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon, they launched a mid-price series of CDs called THE ORIGINALS. This series offers the original artwork often with significantly more music then the original release. A prime example is Carlos Kleiber’s magnificent performances of Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh (0289447400), which were originally on two separate LP’S but are on 1 ORIGINALS CD.

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Celebrate The Byrds' Gene Clark With Nov. 16 Performance Featuring Members of the Byrds, Beachwood Sparks and More

Posted by Billy Gil, November 12, 2014 04:23pm | Post a Comment

gene clark show

November 17 would have been the 70th birthday of Gene Clark, founding member of legendary rock band The Byrds. Clark’s son, Kai Clark, has organized an intimate concert at Hotel Cafe this Sunday, Nov. 16, to celebrate the life of his father, featuring Kai Clark, Jangle Brothers (with John York, who played bass for The Byrds), Gospelbeach (featuring members of Beachwood Sparks), Carla Olson with The Psychedelic Cowboys, Bob Woodruff and more.

The show takes place from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and tickets are $20. You can pick up advance tickets here.

gene clark two sides to every story lpThe event also coincides with the re-release of Gene Clark’s long out-of-print 1977 solo album, Two Sides To Every Story. It’s out on CD now and comes with a color, 26-page booklet with photographs by Ed Caraeff from the album cover photo session and liner notes by John Einarson, author of Gene Clark biography, Mr. Tambourine Man. In addition, the CD comes with a download card with more than 90 minutes of exclusive bonus tracks, including a 1975 full-band performance. An earlier LP reissue of the album is also available.

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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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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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Sleater-Kinney to Release 'Start Together' Box Set With All 7 Albums on Vinyl

Posted by Billy Gil, September 2, 2014 11:17am | Post a Comment

sleater-kinneyThe late, great Sleater-Kinney will get the remaster and re-release treatment Oct. 21 when Sub Pop releases all seven of the band’s albums on vinyl in the Start Together box set.

The set will include the band’s self-titled debut (1995), Call the Doctor (1996), Dig Me Out (1997), The Hot Rock (1999), All Hands on the Bad One (2000), One Beat (2002) and The Woods (2005). All seven albums also will be remastered and re-released separately on LP and CD the same day, according to Pitchfork. The remaster work was done by Sterling Sound’s Greg Calbi from the original analog tapes.

It’s a great chance to revisit one of the best and most consistent bands of the past two decades, particularly when all-female or female-fronted bands don’t tend to get venerated through history in the same way that male bands do. That’s especially sad when you consider Sleater-Kinney were better overall than just about every other band out there and that they never got bad—actually, they went out on their highest note, the Dave Fridmann-produced The Woods, which is a classic. Here’s hoping for a reunion too—never got to see this band live!

Hear The Woods’ “Entertain” below, sung by guitarist (and now Wild Flag member and Portlandia co-star/co-creator) Carrie Brownstein:

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