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, the Doors 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 … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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 Jan. 12, 2018, with … [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...]

Harrison ‘Vinyl Collection’ on the way

George Harrison's solo output will be celebrated with an 18-LP box set due in late February. Universal Music's "George Harrison: The Vinyl Collection" packs in a dozen studio albums -- ranging from "Wonderwall Music" to "Brainwashed" -- as well as a pair of 12-inch picture discs, for the singles "Got My Mind Set on You" and "When We Was Fab." The set also includes the double album "Live in Japan." "The original analogue master tapes were used for the new remasters and were cut at the legendary Capitol studios," project promoters say. Also promised are "exact replicas of the original release track listing and artwork," meaning "All Things Must Pass" returns to the classic black-and-white look. The box has a 3D-style lenticular cover image (see video below). The albums will be … [Read more...]

King Crimson, Zappa, Santana top Q4

Classics from King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Santana rule the list of psychedelic music rereleases for 2016's final quarter. Other key artists unwrapping product for the holiday season include the Doors, the Beatles, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, Funkadelic and Yes. King Crimson delivers another floor-buckler with the massive "On (and Off) the Road" set -- 11 CDs, three DVD-A's, three Bluray audio discs and a pair of DVDs. "A complete overview of the enduringly popular 1980s incarnation of King Crimson." Set revolves around the albums "Discipline," "Beat," "Three of a Perfect Pair," which appear in several forms, including new Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes and 5.1 surround. Live tracks, outtakes, studio chatter, memorabilia, etc. Streeting for about $150. Also … [Read more...]

Live Zeppelin, Beatles, Crimson for Q3

Got live if you want it: Stand by for in-concert recordings by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, King Crimson, Iron Butterfly, Yes and ELP. Other key releases for 2017's third quarter include works by Frank Zappa, Gong, the Byrds, the Turtles and Sun Ra. Led Zeppelin's formative years are celebrated on "The Complete BBC Sessions," the return of a 1997 set being expanded and remastered. The rest of Zeppelin's catalog just enjoyed similar treatment, and guitarist Jimmy Page again supervises the audio on the new set. The "BBC" collection -- spanning 1969 through 1971 -- will feature eight unreleased tracks, including several versions of "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is and What Should Never Be." Of particular interest to collectors will be three tracks from the "previously 'lost' … [Read more...]

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