‘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...]

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...]

Psychedelic culture on display in London

Granny (and Granddad) can take a trip again in London, with the debut of a major psychedelic exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, hailed as the world's leading museum of art and design. Opening in September, the exhibition "You Say You Want a Revolution? Records & Rebels 1966-70" includes a re-creation of the the city's underground UFO Club, complete with psychedelic light show and a "3D sound installation." Pink Floyd was one of the house bands at the groundbreaking venue. Pink Floyd also performed at the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream in London, another LSD-splashed touchstone for the exhibition. Artifacts to be displayed at "You Say You Want a Revolution?" include shattered guitars played by Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend; suits worn by the Beatles on the cover of "Sgt. … [Read more...]

Psychedelic year in review: Top titles

A half century hasn't dampened demand for the psychedelic goodness of the 1960s. The year 2015 found record labels still stuffing bins with high-quality releases, carefully crafted to take you higher. Here's a review of the year's top reissues of music connected with the psychedelic era. All are still available as 2015 fades to black, although some remain specialty items worth grabbing before the collector's price gouging gets under way. Jimi Hendrix: Completists welcomed the CD release in 2006 of "Burning Desire," the Dagger label's collection of "authorized bootlegs" from the master guitarist's final years. Now Sony Legacy has the expanded vinyl version, on two LPs. Tracks were recorded at the Record Plant in late 1969 and early 1970 with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Listen for … [Read more...]

A psychedelic Christmas gift guide

Bless those who feed our heads with the gift of music. From killer box sets ... to silver-shiny audiophile treasures ... to festive-colored vinyl -- music makes for some serious holiday cheer. Here are a few recent releases that can't miss with fans of 1960s psychedelic music: Love's "Forever Changes" on SACD: Mobile Fidelity continues to marry late-1960s goodness and audiophile excellence. Just out on hybrid SACD is "Forever Changes," considered by many the peak album of the psychedelic era. Mobile Fidelity last year rereleased the Arthur Lee band's second album, "Da Capo," on SACD, which like "Forever Changes" is "from the original master tapes." While "Forever Changes" has seen many careful reissues over the years, this appears to be the first as a (hybrid) SACD. (No extra tracks. … [Read more...]

Beatles. Mono. Vinyl. Big box set.

It's back to mono, again, for the Beatles, but this time there's a twist that's worth shouting about. A September release is set for Apple's presentation of the vinyl box set "The Beatles in Mono." The difference, other than format, is the mono results from a pure analogue mastering sequence (AAA) -- or at least as close as is possible in 2014. There are 14 records, cut onto 180-gram vinyl, the weight of choice for most audiophile releases these days. They're being pressed in Germany. The covers are full size, with sleeve artwork "identical to the (U.K.) originals." Those who come up with the $400 or so will get the nine British mono albums, plus the U.S. "Magical Mystery Tour." The non-album-track wrangling is done on "Mono Masters," a three-disc collection. "Abbey Road" and … [Read more...]

Lips’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ salute out Oct. 28

The Flaming Lips' retelling of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will be out Oct. 28, the band confirmed. The track-by-track reimagining is dubbed, of course, "With a Little Help From My Fwends." The label is Warner Bros. The heady "fwends" include pop siren Miley Cyrus and Moby, with MGMT, Sean Lennon and My Morning Jacket possibly linked to the project. The Lips performed "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" with Sean Lennon on late-night TV recently, and just this week joined Cyrus on a U.K. tour stop for a run-through of the same number. Preorders for "With a Little Help From My Fwends" begin in late May and include a preview download of the Cyrus-sung "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." The Lips included a cover of the Fabs' "All You Need Is Love" as a bonus track on … [Read more...]

Beatles, T. Rex, Dead, Doors open 2014

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...]

Ouch! The Rutles returning on Blu-ray

The Rutles' tragical mystery tour continues -- this time rolling out in high def and 5.1 audio. Eric Idle's faux Fabs return in "The Rutles: Anthology," a Blu-ray/DVD pack that hits these shores Dec. 3. Included, of course, is "All You Need Is Cash," the original 1978 TV special, which was produced by "SNL" chieftain Lorne Michaels. The rock mockumentary is widely credited as inspiration for the more ambitious (and more successful) "Spinal Tap." The title is making its bow in HD and on Blu-ray, sourced from the original film stock. The telefilm last was digitally restored for its 30th anniversary in 2008, followed by a DVD rerelease. The four Rutles were played by Monty Python's Idle, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band comic Neil Innes, Beach Boys veteran Ricky Fataar and drummer John … [Read more...]

No. 82: ‘Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You’

Tired of being referred to as "the Australian Beatles," the brothers Gibb moved back to England and made a record that sounded remarkably like ... the Beatles. The album "Bee Gees' 1st" kept up with the times -- and the Fabs -- by employing a Mellotron, an early tape-loop machine later closely identified with the Moody Blues. The Beatles had experimented with the electronic instrument on "Tomorrow Never Knows" and, more importantly, on "Strawberry Fields Forever," which was released to global acclaim in February 1967. A month later, the relatively unknown Bee Gees entered a London studio. Maurice Gibb quickly learned the instrument, a skill put to use on the brothers' oddly titled "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You." The song starts off in a strange, … [Read more...]

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