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...]

Q3 on record: Love, Hendrix, Blind Faith

Jimi Hendrix Live in Cologne

Love, Jimi Hendrix, Blind Faith and Yes are among the psychedelic-era artists with albums ready for resurrection in the third quarter of 2013. The vinyl revivalists will continue to pack the shelves of your favorite indie record store with psychedelic classics. Other formats in this record roundup are hybrid SACDs, CDs and MP3s. Love's "Da Capo" makes its debut on hybrid SACD on July 30, via Mobile Fidelity. It's billed as direct from the original master tapes, as was Sundazed's vinyl release. "Da Capo" has many fans, despite its split personality: Side 1 is the run-up to the band's classic "Forever Changes," with six breathtaking psychedelic classics that incorporate rock, Latin rhythms, jazz and classical. Side 2, notoriously, is surrendered to a 19-minute jam, one that … [Read more...]

Pink Floyd fans tear down Spotify wall

Division Bell album Pink Floyd

Spotify wanted Pink Floyd fans to work for their dose of psychedelic sounds. They did. The online music service unlocked the Pink Floyd catalog following a challenge to fans to stream the song "Wish You Were Here" 1 million times. The psychedelic stunt brought Spotify some freebie publicity. Pink Floyd fans get access to "every track from every Pink Floyd album." Meanwhile, bandmembers are going up against Internet music service Pandora, over royalties. Spotify apparently is the only free streaming music service to have the entire Pink Floyd catalog online. Audio was outstanding given the compressed online format. The challenge was issued via Pink Floyd's Twitter account. There's an irony here, since fans will cherry-pick their favorite tracks from the British band's many … [Read more...]

Moody Blues prep ‘Timeless’ box set

Moody Blues box set includes studio recordings 1967-2003

With almost a half century of music-making to their credit, the Moody Blues have been long overdue for the sort of sprawling retrospective usually accorded rock royalty. That oversight is history with the June 11 release of an 11-CD box set. "Timeless Flight: The Voyage Continues" also contains three audio DVDs, three video DVDs and assorted memorabilia. Preorders are going for about $350. The "Timeless Flight" audio DVDs feature 5.1 surround mixes of six Moody Blues albums on Deram Records, including the psychedelic music classics "Days of Future Passed," "On the Threshold of a Dream" and "To Our Children's Children's Children." Group leader Justin Hayward oversaw the surround-sound remastering. The last Moody Blues reissue project of note came in 2008. Those expanded releases of … [Read more...]

Q2 on record: Lips, Traffic, Quicksilver, Dead

traffic third album last exit

Flaming Lips, Traffic, the Grateful Dead, the Mothers of Invention and Quicksilver Messenger Service key the psychedelic music recordings in the year's second quarter. A lot of the action comes Tuesday, April 16, just a few days away from Record Store Day 2013: Flaming Lips release their downbeat "The Terror" in various configurations, including a limited edition silver vinyl LP. Side 4 is devoted to "We Don't Control the Controls (Mashed-the-F-Up-Remix)," a bonus track. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne tells fans to brace themselves for "a bleak, disturbing record." This appears to be the psychedelic band's 13th album -- the first since "Embryonic" way back in 2009 -- although the band engages in various side projects, such as last year's mostly faithful re-creation of King … [Read more...]

Hendrix: ‘People, Hell and Angels’ review


Somewhere, far, far away -- in some alternate universe -- exists a Jimi Hendrix album. A wizard's work. A feat of alchemy. "First Rays of the New Rising Sun," he calls it. Or maybe even "People, Hell and Angels." Hendrix synthesizes psychedelic rock, progressive jazz, hard blues, proto-metal, funk and R&B into a new-breed thing. It astonishes listeners, slamming into the music world with no less an impact than "Are You Experienced" did in 1967. Or so the fantasy goes. The posthumous evidence suggests nothing of the sort, at least based on the studio recordings Hendrix made after leaving the Experience. Including those songs found on the latest "new" Hendrix album, "People, Hell and Angels." A cynic or apologist would say Hendrix was lost in the late 1960s without producer Chas … [Read more...]

Hendrix, Doors, Steppenwolf unleashed

hawkwind space ritual live art

CD and vinyl releases from Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Syd Barrett, the Doors and Hawkwind keep the psychedelic vibes flowing in the first quarter of 2013. Hendrix's first two albums resurface March 5 featuring a revival of their rarely heard mono mixes. Doors fans waiting for the SACDs should find joy the same day. And Steppenwolf's debut album finally comes off the endangered species list with two audiophile releases. The "new" Jimi Hendrix album, "People, Hell & Angels" is due March 5 on all major audio formats, with a 200 gram vinyl version coming from QRP, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings. The bigger news for vinyl-obsessed Hendrix fans, however, is the day-and-date rerelease of the first two Experience albums -- in mono and lovingly cut to 200 gram platters. "Are … [Read more...]

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