‘A 21st century Pink Floyd album’

Pink Floyd 2014 album cover

Pink Floyd has unveiled details of the upcoming double album "The Endless River" -- a tribute to the late Richard Wright that the band calls his "swan song." "Endless River" consists of reworked unreleased tracks that began life in 1993. Still, guitarist David Gilmour calls it very much "a 21st century Pink Floyd album." This means early November will see Pink Floyd's first album of unheard material in decades. " 'The Endless River' is a tribute to Rick" -- the band's keyboardist who died in 2008 -- drummer Nick Mason said. "I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound." Guitarist David Gilmour said: "Over the last year we've added new parts, rerecorded others and generally harnessed studio … [Read more...]

6 Harrison albums in ‘Apple Years’ set

George Harrison box set cover

George Harrison's first six albums are being packaged in the box set "The Apple Years 1968-75." The eight-disc set drops Sept. 23. The albums, digitally remastered from the "original analogue masters," are "Wonderwall Music," "Electronic Sound," "All Things Must Pass," "Living in the Material World," "Dark Horse" and "Extra Texture (Read All About It)." The Harrison titles also be available individually, on CD and as digital downloads. The late Harrison's son, Dhani, teased the project on Twitter a month ago, followed by speculation amongst fans as to whether the first two albums -- both unconventional -- would be part of the package. Fans had been waiting on the official release of Sept. 2 to confirm what exactly would be in the package. "Some of these records have long been … [Read more...]

Deep Purple, Beatles, Dead set for Q3

grateful dead roses for box set 2014

Classical-rock fusion from Deep Purple, mono LPs from the Beatles and a primo box set from the Grateful Dead pace the psychedelic music releases for the year's third quarter. Here's the roundup: In 1969, classical music and psychedelic rock merged for one night only at (where else?) London's Royal Albert Hall. The summit redefined long-hair music. Crossover classical was born, but the rockers dumped the tuxes en route to the heavy metal foundry. Deep Purple's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" takes an encore Aug. 26 in a vinyl box set. The music was composed by the late Jon Lord, with Malcolm Arnold conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Rhino's set revives the 2002 EMI special edition, which had expanded the original vinyl release to include the entire groundbreaking program … [Read more...]

‘New’ Pink Floyd album set for fall

Division Bell album Pink Floyd

A "new" Pink Floyd album should be arriving in the fall, according to various media and social media reports. "Richard Wright's swan song" is called "The Endless River." The album's genesis is in the "The Division Bell" sessions of 1994, meaning Pink Floyd does not include Roger Waters. Polly Samson, the wife of guitarist David Gilmour, let slip the news on her Twitter account. Samson co-wrote many of the "Division Bell" lyrics. Samson tweeted: Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called "The Endless River". Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful.— Polly Samson (@PollySamson) July 5, 2014 Keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008. A representative for Gilmour confirmed the project's existence, Rolling Stone later … [Read more...]

Beatles. Mono. Vinyl. Big box set.

Beatles in mono on vinyl box set

It's back to mono, again, for the Beatles, but this time there's a twist that's worth shouting about. A September release is set for Apple's presentation of the vinyl box set "The Beatles in Mono." The difference, other than format, is the mono results from a pure analogue mastering sequence (AAA) -- or at least as close as is possible in 2014. There are 14 records, cut onto 180-gram vinyl, the weight of choice for most audiophile releases these days. They're being pressed in Germany. The covers are full size, with sleeve artwork "identical to the (U.K.) originals." Those who come up with the $400 or so will get the nine British mono albums, plus the U.S. "Magical Mystery Tour." The non-album-track wrangling is done on "Mono Masters," a three-disc collection. "Abbey Road" and … [Read more...]

Wakeman takes another ‘Journey’

Rick Wakeman

Keyboard star Rick Wakeman's reworking of his "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" touches down on CD and vinyl June 23. The concept piece, first seen on vinyl as a live recording in 1974, was expanded and rerecorded in 2012 as part of a fan-magazine release. That is the recording being released in various formats in June. Wakeman just toured in Britain behind the project, accompanied by the New World Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Choir and the English Rock Ensemble. Wakeman, best known for his stint in Yes, said: "The original score for the album had been lost for so many years, making any new performances impossible. but after it turned up without warning, we managed to restore it and add previously missing music that was not included in the original … [Read more...]

Led Zeppelin remasters land June 3

Led Zeppelin debut album remastered

Led Zeppelin's first three albums return June 3, the first wave of the reissue program overseen by guitarist Jimmy Page. Formats for the individual rereleases of "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin II" and "Led Zeppelin III" include a "Super Deluxe" boxed set, and double-disc CD and vinyl versions. Each of the double albums has a "companion" disc of live and studio bonus tracks. Single albums are on offer as well. "The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin," Page said. "It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions and new material recorded at the time." The 180-gram vinyl rereleases replicate "the LP's first pressing in exacting detail," the band said. That includes the original wheel … [Read more...]

Beatles, T. Rex, Dead, Doors open 2014

beatles u.s. album butcher block

The new year brings new collections starring the Beatles, T. Rex, the Doors, the Small Faces and, of course, the good old Grateful Dead. And there's word of a long-awaited audiophile release of a psychedelic masterpiece. Apple continues to rework the Beatles catalog, this time with a rerelease of the U.S. albums on Capitol. These albums still have their Baby Boomer fans, of course, but collectors offer a collective shrug at "The U.S. Albums" box set, as the discs reportedly offer little more than a shuffling of the remastered music from 2009. So no love for the Capitol engineers who sought to "Americanize" the lads' sounds with washes of reverb and bullshit Duophonic stereo. For the most part, you'll get the latest official U.K. versions of the songs, fashioned into what were … [Read more...]

Santana, Hendrix, Dead top Q4 discs

Eastern icon from Santana Lotus album foldout

Rereleases and originals from Santana, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Grateful Dead and the Velvet Underground light up the year's final quarter. Santana devotees can cheer the return of "Lotus," a three-LP live set recorded in Japan in 1973. The music is mostly instrumental, keyed by a legendary 16-minute "Incident at Neshabur." "Lotus" long was a sought-after import, initially released as a triple-LP set out of Japan (1974). Friday Music, which has been rereleasing Santana albums on audiophile vinyl, seeks to re-create "Lotus'" ambitious multilevel foldout cover, with psychedelic iconography inspired by Carlos Santana's spiritual pursuits (pictured, left). The original on-site recording was done by the Japanese audio wizards from Sony, with … [Read more...]

A shot of Quicksilver at ‘Old Mill Tavern’

Quicksilver Messenger Service live album cd

The holy grails for Quicksilver Messenger Service fans are, alas, the stuff of dreams, and no more. There will never be a classic studio album that captured the original lineup of the San Francisco band in its fiery glory -- a record that enshrines them in the psychedelic music pantheon. Nor will there surface another live set of the primo quality of "Happy Trails." Into the gap have come a stream of live recordings, some barely above bootleg quality. An startling exception came in April, with the release of "Live at the Fillmore -- June 7, 1968," a double CD from Purple Pyramid (Cleopatra) Records. Now we have the label's follow-up, "Live at the Old Mill Tavern -- March 29, 1970." It captures Quicksilver as it entered (or re-entered) the Dino Valenti era, as a six-piece, before … [Read more...]

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