Santana, Hendrix, Dead top Q4 discs

Carlos Santana in concert 1973Rereleases 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.”

Eastern icon from Santana Lotus album foldout“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 mastering for the new LPs done by Joe Reagoso. They’re pressed onto 180 gram vinyl. The set, due Nov. 19, goes for about $50 and is limited. (Read more about the Santana “Lotus” vinyl rerelease.)

Also from Friday are “Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live” (Nov. 5) recorded in a volcano in Hawaii in 1972, and a re-do of the old “Santana Greatest Hits,” which cherry-picked the first two albums (Oct. 29).

Columbia, the original Santana label, has a 180 gram version of the band’s seventh album, “Amigos,” on Oct. 29.

Dave’s Picks 8 Grateful DeadThe Grateful Dead’s 2013 Dave’s Picks series wraps with “Volume 8: Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Ga., 11/30/80.” The show, which comes early in the Brent Mydland era, kicks off with nine-plus minutes of “Feel Like a Stranger,” from that year’s “Go the Heaven” album.

The fan favorite seems to be the set 2 openers: “Scarlet Begonias” fading into “Fire on the Mountain” for a total 23 minutes. Other peaks are “Loser,” an electric “Cassidy” and “Bird Song,” an unusual “Deal,” and “The Wheel”/”China Doll” combo with a unifying jam.

The three hours of “11/30/80” are spread across three compact discs with the release limited to 13,000 numbered sets. Shipping date is set for Nov. 1.

Archivist David Lemieux calls “11/30/80” “a really magical” concert that was “one of the best shows of 1980, and that’s saying a lot.” He says it’s a maxtrix tape, with the soundboard recording synched with an ace audience tape — “just enough to bring the board tape to life” with audience reactions. (The taper was Bob Wagner; you can read more about the Fox recordings in an excellent 2012 Dead piece in the New Yorker.)

Also from the land of the Dead comes “Family Dog at the Great Highway: San Francisco, CA 4/18/70,” with some prime Pigpen, “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” About 80 minutes with 17 songs. Rhino and/or partner Dead.net will have the vinyl and CD on Nov. 29, Rolling Stone says. And a three-LP rendering of “One From the Vault,” Dec. 3 from the Future Days label. And a TBA double-disc version of “Birth of the Dead: Volume 1 (The Studio Sessions)” on 180 gram vinyl from Friday Music.

Jimi Hendrix at the Miami Pop Festival of 1968The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s two-set gig at the Miami Pop Festival of 1968 finally sees official release, in various audio formats from Sony Legacy. There is a 200 gram vinyl version that comes numbered and limited. Bernie Grundman did the analog mastering for the double LP version.

Longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer handled the on-site recording at Gulfstream Park for the May 18, 1968, shows. The Experience delivered its first recorded performances of “Hear My Train A Comin'” and “Tax Free,” along with the usual Experience favorites.

Clips from the Miami appearances will be featured in the new video documentary “Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin'” to be shown Nov. 5 on PBS’s “American Masters” day and date with a Blu-ray/DVD release and CD soundtrack. Read more about the two Hendrix projects, which wrap his 70th year celebration.

The Strawberry Alarm Clock is rewound by Sundazed for a trio of 180 gram vinyl releases on Oct. 22: “Wake Up … It’s Tomorrow” was the L.A. band’s second LP (1968), with self-penned songs including “Sit With the Guru” and “Pretty Song from Psych-Out.”

The third SAC album, “The World in a Shell” (1968), was the swan song for the classic SAC lineup, with “Wooden Woman” and “Barefoot in Baltimore” among the favorites. Outside writers worked most of side 1; the band did its thing on side 2. (The Strawberry Alarm Clock re-formed years later and thrives to this day).

Sundazed also has the 1970 “Best of Strawberry Alarm Clock” kicked off by “Incense and Peppermints” and “Tomorrow.” The reissue specialists say the three SAC vinyl albums were mastered from Universal Records’ stereo reels.

The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” comes screaming back in a 45th anniversary CD and vinyl edition Dec. 3. The proto-punk band’s second album was recorded in the summer of 1967 and released the following year. It’s presented in stereo and mono versions. Lou Reed and John Cale were aboard for development of Universal Records’ $100 box set, which includes 30 tracks. Check Sonic Youth’s DNA for traces of the epic “Sister Ray,” an early descent into drone and noise-rock.

Along with the alternate takes and such, there’s a disc dedicated to the Velvets’ complete show at The Gymnasium in New York recorded in April 1967, “which includes five previously unreleased performances culled from John Cale’s personal copy.”

Universal also plans a Blu-ray Audio version of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (TBA).

Jethro Tull’s 1970 “Benefit” returns in a three-digital disc “Collector’s Edition” with new 5.1 (DVD Audio) and stereo mixes of the album. Disc 2 has “rare tracks and singles recorded around the same time as ‘Benefit.'” The DVD (audio only) includes the album in its U.S. and U.K. versions as well as the bonus tracks, all in 5.1 lossless. No fewer than eight takes of “Teacher.” New mixes by Steven Wilson were “approved by Ian Anderson.” Oct. 29 via WEA.

Frank Zappa rereleases continues to flow, with “Roxy & Elsewhere” and “Uncle Meat” returning on 180 gram vinyl Dec. 10. On the Zappa family label.

King Crimson’s “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” is due Oct. 22 on 200 gram vinyl, from Discipline Global Mobile. The fifth studio album by the U.K. prog outfit introduced former Yes man Bill Bruford on drums. King Crimson plans to tour again in 2014, leader Robert Fripp says.

King Crimson’s massive “Road to Red” box set — 16 concerts from 1974 across 21 CDs plus the remastered “Red” album — began shipping from the U.K. on Oct. 22. Several Blu-ray and DVD audio discs in there somewhere. Panegyric also lists an Oct. 14/Oct. 22 rerelease of the band’s 1975 “USA” album in a CD/DVD Audio combo pack.

Yes’ “Close to the Edge” gets separate Blu-ray and DVD Audio rereleases (Oct. 29 release date now apparently TBA). Two discs, from Panegyric. Additional tracks and new stereo/surround mixes.

Emerson Lake & Palmer served up “Brain Salad Surgery” as the fourth studio LP in 1973. Trip out to the H. R. Giger cover whilst listening to the sidelong “Karn Evil 9.” Includes “Still … You Turn Me On.” On vinyl Nov. 11 from Razor & Tie.

Todd Rundgren stirred up a potent brew of prog, psychedelic rock and pop on the double-album “Todd” from 1974. It was a worthy successor to “A Wizard a True Star,” strange and synth-heavy, but with several straight-ahead Rundgren favorites, including “A Dream Goes on Forever” and “The Last Ride.” Friday Music rekindles the sparks Oct. 29 on 180 gram vinyl.

Deep Purple’s post-psychedelic success is recounted on the “Audio Fidelity Collection” of 24k gold CDs, due Nov. 15. Head-banging a plenty on complete versions of “In Rock,” “Machine Head,” “Fireball” and “Who Do We Think We Are.”

Steppenwolf’s elusive debut album on hybrid SACD has yet another release date, Oct. 22, from Analogue Productions. The vinyl is already out. (Update: The SACD is now shipping.)

Captain Beefheart’s “Safe as Milk” returns Oct. 9, also via Sundazed, in a mono version on CD and vinyl. The reheated “Milk” comes with the original Richard Perry mono mix, not the botched version created by the Captain’s label. “Authoritative new liner notes” by Rolling Stone old-weird record specialist David Fricke, who writes: “‘Safe As Milk’ was so far in it was out.”

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s sensational series of blues-rock albums is boiled down on “Golden Butter: The Best Of” with two 180 gram LPs from Friday Music. Tracks include the raga-rock mindblower “East-West” and stoner’s delight “In My Own Dream.” (Compilation originally on Elektra.)

Van Morrison isn’t thrilled, of course, but Warner has a five-disc retelling of “Moondance” set for Oct. 22. The set contains four CDs and a Blu-ray version of the album with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio. Much of the Warner Music box set is dedicated to multiple studio takes of songs from the 1970 album. For those not in need of six takes of “Caravan” or “Brand New Day,” Warner is offering an “expanded edition” with two CDs. (Read more about the new “Moondance” set and Morrison’s reaction.)

For Halloween, we have Franz Waxman’s “The Bride Of Frankenstein Soundtrack” on colored vinyl (Music On Vinyl, Oct. 22).

And in Halloween organge, we have Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” in limited edition vinyl (4 Men With Beards, Nov. 19 or sooner). The mind-bending title track played by Eddie Hazel is No. 44 on the list of awesome psychedelic songs.

Also of interest: Nick Drake’s “Five Leaves Left” on a single LP (Oct. 29); Leslie West’s “Still Climbing” on vinyl (Oct. 29); Ten Years After “Recorded Live” and Robin Trower’s “State to State: Live Across America,” both on two CDs (Oct. 22); Family’s “A Song for Me” on CD and 180 gram vinyl (Nov. 18) and “History” on two CDs (Oct. 28); XTC’s “Nonsuch” on CD/Blu-ray audio (Nov. 4); and the Association’s “Greatest Hits” on 180 gram (Oct. 29).

And, Paul McCartney’s “New” (Oct. 22); the Beatles “Live at the BBC” and “Volume 2” (Nov. 11); Yoko Ono’s “Take Me to the Land of Hell” (Oct. 15); the Stones’ “Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live” (Blu-ray, etc., Nov. 11).

From the trippy side of jazz we have John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension’s “Now Hear This” (Oct. 15) and Herbie Hancock’s “Headhunters” (numbered, limited, Oct. 18).

To be announced: Signals from the mysterious planet of TBA presage the eventual arrival of Donovan’s “Barabajagal” (Music on Vinyl); Cream’s “Disraeli Gears” in mono and stereo, on single-layer SHM SACD (Polydor); the first two Chicago albums on hybrid SACD (Mobile Fidelity); and Mike Oldfield’s “Five Miles Out” and “Crises” on 180 gram vinyl (Mercury).

Also TBA on 180 gram vinyl: The Grateful Dead’s “From the Mars Hotel” (Mobile Fidelity); the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” (Universal) and “Jamming With Edward” (Virgin); Stephen Stills’ “Carry On” box set (Music on Vinyl); and the Alan Parsons Project’s “I Robot” (Music on Vinyl).

And TBA’s greatest hit, “Amused to Death” by Roger Waters on vinyl and SACD (Analogue Productions).

More 1960s/psych music releases:

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