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Music History Monday: August 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 12, 2013 12:55pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: August 12, 1968Cheap Thrills, the second album by Big Brother And The Holding Company is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at Columbia Recording cheap thrills big brother & the holding company janis joplinStudios in New York City (studio tracks) and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco (live tracks) from March - May of 1968. Following the band's breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, they will be approached by Clive Davis, then the head Columbia Records, who is eager to sign them. At the time, Big Brother is signed to independent label Mainstream Records, who will release their self titled debut album in August of 1967. It will take several months for the band to be extricated from their Mainstream contract and sign with Columbia, which will take place in early 1968. Once freed from their prior obligations, they will be paired with producer John Simon (The Band), and they will begin work on their second album. The initial plan is to record Big Brother in concert, producing an album that captures the band's electric live performances. When the results are lackluster, they will record much of the album in Columbia's New York recording studio, with the closing track "Ball And Chain" being recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (though the original release will erroneously credit it being recorded at the Fillmore East in New York). Originally titled Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills, Columbia Records will refuse to release it with that title, and make the band revise it. The album's iconic cover art by underground artist Robert Crumb (Zap Comix) is first intended to appear on the back of the LP jacket with a photo of Janis Joplin on the front. Joplin is so enamored with Crumb's artwork that it will be put on the front instead. Anchored by the hit single "Piece Of My Heart" (#12 Pop), it will be major success. When Columbia originally issues the LP along with the standard stereo version, the label will press a very limited amount of the mono version (an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 copies only), before quickly deleting it, turning it into a highly priced and sought after collector's item. The mono version of the album will be reissued in November of 2012 as a limited edition 180g vinyl LP pressing. Cheap Thrills will spend eight weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
 

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Amoeba Presents R. Crumb-Designed Louis Armstrong Prints

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2012 02:07pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba is delighted to offer these extremely limited, original Louis Armstrong prints designed by renowned artist Robert (“R.”) Crumb. These hand drawn collector pieces are an Amoeba exclusive and are available in full color ($100, 20" x 25 1/4") or black-and-white ($50, 20" x 25 1/4"). We also have a limited amount of numbered full color posters signed by R. Crumb himself for $600.

R. Crumb Louis Armstrong Poster black and white Robert Crumb Louis Armstrong poster color signed

Robert Crumb - Louis Armstrong [B&W]

Robert Crumb - Louis Armstrong [Color]

R. Crumb is a long time supporter of Amoeba and a huge collector of the antiquated 78 shellac record format, and also a huge fan of Armstrong (read more about Louis Armstrong's legacy here). Crumb was aware of Amoeba’s ongoing vinyl preservation and remastering process (more about that here) and was introduced to Amoeba co-founder Dave Prinz through a mutual friend, director Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World, Bad Santa), another avid 78 collector. Amoeba asked Crumb if he would create a piece for the store to commemorate its work in preserving Armstrong’s music, and he obliged. In December 2010 he drew the amazing piece that would become this print. You can own these one-of-a-kind pieces only from Amoeba.

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First Glimpse: Amoeba's Icon Series Begins with Louis Armstrong

Posted by Amoebite, October 29, 2012 02:37pm | Post a Comment

Here is a first glimpse of Amoeba’s Icon Series, artists we consider to be the greatest and most important musicians of all time.

Louis Armstrong Amoeba IconWe’re starting with Louis Armstrong, indisputably one of the finest and most influential musicians ever. We’ve put together and remastered his lifework from thousands of difficult to find sources and we’ll be making his entire catalog of over 4,000 unique performances available on Amoeba.com soon. Amongst these are many performances that most people have never heard or had access to, particularly in beautifully remastered form.

For now, here is a sampling of Louis’ material from the '20s. We have remastered all these songs from pristine original 78s generously made available from the collections of some good friends of Amoeba including Terry Zwigoff, Sherwin Dunner, and Robert Crumb.

The remastering was done by our sound team headed by the renowned Shai Fishman. The team has spent countless hours doing a truly masterful job of bringing forward the warmth, clarity, and resolution of these sides.

Here is Louis as you’ve never heard him before. All songs are available in MP3, M4A (ALAC), and WAV. We hope you enjoy these! There are many more to come.