Mothers, Doors, Spirit rereleases heat up Q3

Frank Zappa and Mothers, the Doors, Spirit 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 tapes" -- … [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...]

Monterey Pop stars: Lesh, Burdon, Booker T.

Monterey Pop lives. A 50th anniversary revival of the seminal peace-and-love gathering has unveiled its lineup, with Phil Lesh, Eric Burdon and Booker T. topping the bill. The event will run June 16-18 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, site of the original festival that brought stardom to Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Janis Joplin. Lou Adler, co-producer of the 1967 festival, said, "The Monterey International Pop Festival cannot be duplicated but can be celebrated and will be, by the performers and the attendees at the 50th anniversary festival." Adler, who is in his mid-80s, has some role with the production, also credited to Another Planet Entertainment and Goldenvoice. Adler oversees the nonprofit charitable foundation that distributes royalty money from the original Monterey … [Read more...]

Spirit’s 4 original albums coming to SACD

Sixties underground heroes Spirit will have their four key albums rereleased in the audiophile SACD format, beginning with the first two records. The self-titled debut album and "The Family That Plays Together" originally were released on Ode Records. The new hybrid SACDs will use those stereo 1968 mixes, according to Steve Hoffman, who is mastering the rereleases along with Stephen Marsh. The albums are not being remixed for the Audio Fidelity SACDs. "We kept the vintage charm intact," Hoffman wrote on his music forum. Online retailers show the debut album -- known for "Fresh Garbage," "Mechanical World" and the hotly debated instrumental "Taurus" -- with a May 26 release date. "Family" follows June 23. Update: The third album, "Clear," is due on SACD on Sept. 8, with four … [Read more...]

Dueling Yes bands will tour U.S.

Yes, it's a battle of the bands. In a situation that brings to mind casino-touring oldie acts, dueling versions of prog rockers Yes will be hitting the road in North America this summer and fall. The simmering dispute came to a boil in recent days as the ARW group -- Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman -- announced that they would adopt the classic-rock name of Yes for the U.S. tour. The official name, however, is Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman. That news no doubt isn't going down well in the other Yes camp, the group headed by guitarist Steve Howe. The official "Yes" statement says: "While Jon Anderson has rights to use the name as one of the co-owners of the trademark, Yes' position is that every effort should be made by promoters, ticket … [Read more...]

‘Sgt. Pepper’ deluxe set due May 26

Apple Records has unveiled the most ambitious reissue of a Beatles title to date, with a "super deluxe edition" of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The May 26 release celebrates the 50th anniversary of the psychedelic music classic. Highlights include a new stereo mix of the album, 5.1 surround via Bluray/DVD discs, a "lost" version of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and two CDs full of studio outtakes. Sorry, it's a "no" for the long-sought-after experimental Beatles track "Carnival of Light," which dates back to the period. Here's what's coming based on materials released April 4 and 5 by the Beatles' label (updated content): A new mix of the 1967 album by Gils Martin and Sam Okell from the original master tapes. Two CDs of outtakes, with almost three dozen … [Read more...]

Record Store Day gets its groove back

Psychedelic heavyweights the Doors, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Santana help make Record Store Day great again in 2017. The promotional event for independent music retailers has posted an unusually robust list of product for its 10th anniversary showing on Saturday, April 22. Other artists of note for psychedelic/1960s music fans include Procol Harum, Hawkwind, the Grateful Dead, Utopia, ELP, the Electric Flag and the Music Machine. Releases are all on vinyl and are "Record Store Day exclusives" unless noted. The Doors' "Live at the Matrix" recordings make their debut on vinyl on RSD. "Newly mastered by Bruce Botnick ... from recently discovered original master tapes." The 50th year set (from March 1967) includes the savage young Doors working out to soon-to-be-classics "Back … [Read more...]

King Crimson in ‘Action’ with summer tour

King Crimson plans "Radical Action" in North America this summer. Cities on the prog giants' schedule for June and July include Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis and Chicago. Other dates in the 15-city sweep include San Diego, Toronto, Quebec and Rochester, N.Y. Other notable dates are the Montreal Jazz Festival and a two-night stand in Mexico City. Founder Robert Fripp's web site indicated other tour stops were set for the fall, including New York City. A few of the confirmed venues appeared to have tickets on sale ... and others had yet to even post the listing. The swing is billed as "Radical Action Tour 2017," named after the recent live recordings released as "Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind." The "Monkey Mind" recordings (three CDs, one … [Read more...]

Slick roasts ad partner Chick-fil-A

Grace Slick and Chick-fil-A make for some strange bedfellows. Slick, possessor of one of the biggest mouths in rock, is an avowed leftie, famed in part for her radical antiwar stance in the late 1960s. Chick-fil-A draws fire on a regular basis for its right-wing affiliations, notably its ministry wing the WinShape Foundation, which has routed millions of its profits to Biblical Christian groups opposed to gay marriage. So when Slick agreed to license the Jefferson Starship hit "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" to the Georgia-based fast-food franchiser, it raised a few eyebrows. Certainly during the Grammys telecast of a week back. Another '60s sellout? Nah. Slick had a plan, one she just shared in a blog post on the web site of capitalist cheerleader magazine Forbes. "I am … [Read more...]

Arthur Brown back in U.S. for 8 shows

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown is returning to the New World for eight shows in February. Following up on Brown's performance at the Psycho Las Vegas festival last August, it is his band's first U.S. tour in almost a half century. Brown, best known for his psychedelic rock hit "Fire," will play the big three cities of L.A., Chicago and New York. He'll also return to Las Vegas and his old stomping grounds of Austin, Texas. Gigs also are set for Portland and San Francisco. The British singer has remained active since his late 1960s breakout, and can be caught at various European music festivals. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's latest album is "Zim Zam Zim," crowdfunded and released in 2014. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's self-titled debut LP of 1968 is a top 20 entry in … [Read more...]

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