Country Joe, Procol Harum boxes in Q1’s stash

The year 2018 starts off with a bang for psychedelic music lovers, with carefully crafted archival releases on the horizon from Country Joe and the Fish, Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum and Todd Rundgren. Other psychedelic/1960s product set for the year's first quarter includes vintage works from Spirit, Ultimate Spinach, Hawkwind and Moondog. Country Joe and the Fish weren't exactly one-hit wonders, but it's fair to say they never revisited the highs of their groundbreaking debut album -- a stunning and seminal slab of psychedelic rock. "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" received a splendid and much-needed reissue on CD mid-decade. Now comes a box set chronicling the band's breakout year of 1967. The four LP "The Wave of Electrical Sound" includes both mono and stereo versions of … [Read more...]

Hendrix hot in 2018: New ‘Sky’ set, 2 SACDs

The final chapter of what's being called a Jimi Hendrix unreleased-track trilogy lands March 9. "Both Sides of the Sky" features 10 recordings that the Hendrix estate says have never been released, along with three others. Later in the year come the highly anticipated rereleases of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first two studio albums -- "Are You Experienced" and "Axis: Bold as Love" -- on the audiophile SACD format. "Axis" also will see a limited release on the Ultra High Quality Record vinyl format. Those rereleases will be remastered by Bernie Grundman "from the original analog master tapes" via Analogue Productions. "Both Sides of the Sky" follows the Hendrix estate's albums "Valleys of Neptune" (2010) and "People, Hell and Angels" (2013). Both of those collections of … [Read more...]

Christmas list: Beatles, Stones, Doors, Moodies

It's December: The rotund fellow in cranberry red prepares to make his rounds, sled laden with gifts. That psychedelic gleam in his eyes reflects the age-old mystery of just what's in that pipe he tokes. Fortunately, we know what's in the pipeline for fans of psychedelic music. Read on for a list of box sets and expanded editions with release dates in the year's final quarter. All titles have that something special -- no bare-bones CDs here -- every one perfect for gifting or just grabbing. The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" got a new coat of aural paint midyear with Giles Martin's controversial remix of the classic psychedelic music album. The expanded CD versions included well-received alternate takes and assorted studio bits. Now comes a straightforward vinyl … [Read more...]

RSD Black Friday: USA, Tangerine Dream, Zappa

Record Store Day: Black Friday returns with a salute to the United States of America, a serving of Tangerine Dream and psychedelic musings from Frank Zappa, Procol Harum, the Doors and the Dead. Also on the psychedelic/'60s menu are reheated treats from the Byrds, Jerry Garcia, Sun Ra and ... Mr. Spock. Releases are on vinyl and are "Record Store Day exclusives" unless noted. Shopping begins at your local indie bright and (too) early Nov. 24. The United States of America oscillated its way to minor-league fame in the psychedelic year of 1968 -- then promptly broke up. The lone self-titled album was produced by David Rubinson. Featuring no guitar and heavy on experimental sounds, Joe Byrd's group drew on classical and vintage America genres. The brew came spiked with a dose of … [Read more...]

Moody Blues on threshold of Rock Hall

Psychedelic classicists the Moody Blues have made the short list for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is the first nomination for the long-running English band, first eligible for the Hall way back in 1989. The Rock Hall's lack of recognition for the Moody Blues had long been perceived as a snub similar to those of leading progressive rock acts Yes (inducted in 2017) and King Crimson. Also making the list for 2018 were the Zombies, whose "Odessey and Oracle" is considered a landmark album of the psychedelic music era. This is the third nomination for that British band, best known for the hits "She's Not There," "Tell Her No" and "Time of the Season." Update: The Moody Blues made the cut and will be honored in April. The Zombies did not. /update. Other acts of interest among … [Read more...]

Criterion preps restored ‘Monterey Pop’ set

D.A. Pennebaker's "Monterey Pop" gets a second encore in the Criterion Collection come December -- this time featuring a new 4k restoration. Janus Films' upgraded version of "Monterey Pop" premiered in cinemas last June as part of the seminal music festival's 50th anniversary. The new Criterion discs are set for a Dec. 12 release. The Criterion Collection first gave "Monterey Pop" its due back in 2006 with a carefully crafted DVD box set. Then, the connoisseur label returned to "Monterey" in 2009 with a Blu-ray featuring high definition video and surround sound. The latest version -- again, "The Complete Monterey Pop Festival" -- comes as a "collector's set" with two discs of the documentary film and extras, as well as another disc with the companion concerts "Jimi Plays … [Read more...]

Live Yardbirds tracks coming home to roost

No bull: The long-lost Yardbirds live recording of 1968 is making a comeback. Due Nov. 5, "Yardbirds '68" contains the Anderson Theatre recordings of late March 1968. That NYC set -- complete with bogus audience cheers reputedly taken from bullfights -- was released in 1971 as "Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page" and later withdrawn after protests from group members. "Yardbirds '68" also contains eight "studio sketches" tracks from the period. The new 18-track album was produced by Jimmy Page. The mastering is credited to John Davis, who worked with Page on the Led Zeppelin remasters of several years back. The Anderson Theatre songs are highlighted by "Dazed and Confused" -- the famed psychedelic Led Zeppelin track developed while Page was a Yardbird -- as well as his guitar … [Read more...]

‘Satanic Majesties’ gets 50th-year deluxe set

The Rolling Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request" can't get no respect. Still. The wannabe rival to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" receives its own 50th anniversary release Sept. 22, coming on the heels of an ambitious rerelease of the Beatles' psychedelic masterpiece. But while "Sgt. Pepper" was celebrated at the half century mark with surround sound, a new stereo mix, a plethora of alternate tracks and generational hoo-hah, the Stones' album returns to market with a modest yet respectable offering. "Their Satanic Majesties Request: 50th Anniversary Special Edition" features SACD and LP versions of both mono and stereo versions of the 1967 album. The stereo LP and SACD appear to have a brand-new mix while the mono dates back a year. Fans looking for studio rareties … [Read more...]

Mothers, Doors, Spirit rereleases heat up Q3

Frank Zappa and Mothers, the Doors, David Gilmour and the Beach Boys help keep the Summer of Love alive in 2017. Here's a roundup of the best psychedelic/1960s music due for rerelease in the third quarter. The Mothers of Invention's second album, "Absolutely Free," will cost you $35 as it returns in a 50th anniversary edition Sept. 29. The group's second album comes in a two-LP package: three sides host the audio; the fourth has a laser etching of bandleader Frank Zappa. Witness the strange and the borderline psychedelic on numbers such as "Plastic People," "Call Any Vegetable," "Son of Suzy Creamcheese" and, of course, "Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin." The "Absolutely Free" album comes "mastered by Bernie Grundman and cut directly from the original analog master … [Read more...]

The Beatles, 8 days a week on satellite

SiriusXM is introducing the Beatles' one and only "official" radio channel. The Beatles Channel first beams down on the satellite radio operation May 18. That's a week ahead of the rerelease of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," virtually assuring the U.S. of another dose of Beatlemania, or as close as it gets 50-plus years on. The station plans to play the remixed "Sgt. Pepper" in full on June 1, the half-century anniversary of its release. The Beatles Channel will feature music from the band and the four musicians as solo acts. SirusXM promises: "Their hits and album tracks, live recordings and rarities, solo works from John, Paul, George and Ringo, records that influenced the band, as well as the music they inspired." update: The first five songs played upon … [Read more...]

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