Archive for the ‘ uReview ’ Category

uReview: Your Record Stores


Record Store Day is this weekend and we thought we’d bring back this thread to hear about some new shops, stores not yet mentioned, openings, closings, stores from new readers etc. As before, if you mention a store, we’ll take care of the linking and mapping.

View Record Stores in a larger map

So, wherever you are, where are you going to be this Saturday to show your support for Record Store Day?

The Best Reissues of 2011

It’s been another great year for quality reissues from some of our favorite labels dedicated to vintage sounds. Here are our favorite reissued records for 2011, unranked and submitted for your review in the poll below:

  Can “Tago Mago”
Mute 2CD: Can’s all-time classic gets the deluxe treatment, restores the original UK artwork, and comes with a bonus CD with a live show from around the same time.
  The Rationals “The Rationals”
Big Beat CD: Followup to last year’s excellent Think Rational, this year Big Beat delivers the group’s eponymous album with the same attention to detail. First time it’s been reissued legit since 1970.
  The Free Design – Complete Discography
Light in the Attic LP/CD/MP3: What a treat from LITA with all of the Free Designs albums reissued in 2011. Available in different formats with liner notes and some bonus tracks. This’ll be standard issue for new fans to this wonderful group.
  The Beau Brummels “Bradley’s Barn (Expanded)”
Rhino Handmade 2CD: Impressive reissue of the Brummels’ best moment from Rhino features a hardbound booklet with brand new liners and a second disc with 25 rare and unreleased recordings.
Michael Chapman “Fully Qualified Survivor”
Light in the Attic LP: Classic English folk-rock masterpiece from Michael Chapman gets its first CD issue in the states and the first vinyl reissue in decades.
Mickey Newbury “Heaven Help the Child”
Drag City LP: In addition to Heaven Help (maybe his best), Drag City put out some of Mickey’s finest work on LP this year: Looks Like Rain, Frisco Mabel Joy, and American Trilogy. Unfortunately, they’re only shipping to the US.
  John Fahey “Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You”
Dust to Digital 5CD: Massive box set from Dust to Digital features 115 mostly new-to-CD tracks from “The Fonotone Years, 1958-1965.” Remastered audio straight from the reel-to-reel tapes and an extensive accompanying book highlighted by a 1967 interview with Fahey.
  V/A “Local Customs: Pressed at Boddie”
Numero CD/MP3/Cassette: A novel concept from the adventurous Numero label. All of the tracks on this comp were pressed at The Boddie Recording Company in Cleveland and range from garage to soul to polka. Available on cassette tape!
  The Left Banke “Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina”
Sundazed CD/LP: The Left Banke get their due this year with both of their original records restored by Sundazed.  Sourced from the original stereo tapes, we get the original track orders for this and The Left Banke Too. The CD features new liners and interviews (but when will Sundazed finally give us liners with the vinyl?).
  Oscar & the Majestics “No Chance Baby!”
Sundazed LP/MP3: First-ever collection of Oscar Hamod’s complete ‘60s output, previously uncovered on last year’s Michigan comp. Includes the band’s best known USA sides as well as rare self-pressed singles. Includes detailed liners, vintage photos and 45 label scans.
  Los Dug Dugs “Dug Dug’s” (aka “Lost in My World”)
Light in the Attic LP: One of the more unsung releases of the year was Los Dug Dug’s self titled debut (1971), credited as the first Mexican psych record with English lyrics. Released concurrently with their second album, Smog, this one is only available on vinyl.
  The Outsiders “CQ”
RPM CD: Remastered and expanded edition of this seminal 1968 album. This year’s RPM issue features six bonus cuts from a live show in Amsterdam, December 1968.
  Hot Knives “Hot Knives”
Grown Up Wrong! CD/MP3: This Flaming Groovies spinoff band, often compared to the Airplane and Grape, saw its first reissue after 30 years in 2011. The 14-track album comprises material recorded at 3 sessions in local studios in ’76. Includes liners and an illustrated booklet.
  Paul McCartney “McCartney”
MPL/Concord 2CD: Released along with McCartney II as special 2CD editions featuring remastered audio and generous bonus cuts.  Also comes in a more expanded edition with a bonus DVD of unseen footage.
  Phil Spector “Presents the Philles Album Collection”
Sony Legacy CD: Six albums from Spector’s Philles record label remastered in mono album and reissued for the first time on CD. Packaged in mini-vinyl replica sleeves, it also includes a bonus disc of B sides, many available on CD for the first time.
  Michael Hurley “Long Journey”
Light in the Attic LP: Michael Hurley’s classic 1976 Long Journey see its first vinyl reissue. LITA also put out the legendary Have Moicy! album this year featuring the Holy Modal Rounders and Jeffrey Fredericks, as well as some other classics from Michael Hurley.
  Jim Ford “Harlan County”
Light in the Attic LP: First straight vinyl reissue of Jim Ford’s classic record. Remastered from the original tapes and given the usual LITA loving treatment.
  Pink Floyd Discography
Capitol CD: All 14 original studio albums have been digitally remastered and reissued with new packaging and booklets created by the band’s long-time artwork collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
  The Beach Boys “SMiLE Sessions”
Capitol Box CD/LP: Will be surprised if this doesn’t top most lists this year. The first official SMiLE release from Capitol includes 5 CDs,  2LPs, 2 7″ singles, and tons of extras. Every Beach Boys fan should have seen this one under the tree this year. No brainer.
  Bobby Charles “Bobby Charles”
Rhino Handmade CD: Three-disc Deluxe Edition that combines a remastered version of the original with a wealth of unreleased material recorded during those sessions and others recorded at Bearsville Studios throughout 1974. The set closes with a newly unearthed, 30-minute interview Charles did that was recorded shortly before the Bobby Charles album was released in August 1972.

Top 20 Reissues of 2011 (choose up to 8)

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Q. Any releases you would have included in our best-of this year?

uReview: The Pink Floyd Discography

With Pink Floyd on an all-out reissue bender, I thought it would be a good time for another one of these discography reviews. I loved the Floyd as a youngster discovering rock & roll, but started to lose faith as I delved deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.  Dark Side is an undisputed masterpiece, but  am I too much of a Syd snob to choose it here? What are you gonna go with?

Top Floyd Records (Choose 4)

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Q. Do you call them “The Pink Floyd” or just “Pink Floyd?”

uReview: Jim Sullivan “U.F.O”

12345678910 (35 votes, average: 8.23 out of 10)

I had heard a lot about Jim Sullivan’s UFO before Light in the Attic’s 2010 reissue and jumped at the chance to finally get my hands on a copy. This one won our poll of the best reissues from 2010, so from any big fans of this record, let’s hear your thoughts on it…

:) Reissue | 2010 | Light in the attic | buy here ]

uReview The Best SNL Musical Guests

I recently discovered that every episode of Saturday Night Live, from 1975-2010, is available on Netflix Instant View, so I’ve been scouring episodes just for the musical guests, which – let’s face it – were the best part of the show. It’s fascinating to see artists in the television spotlight, bringing their A-game, and sometimes at their most vulnerable. So far I’ve been mostly watching Season 2 which featured Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Frank Zappa, The Kinks doing “Sleepwalker,” Dr. John with Levon Helm and The Meters, and a killer performance from the Band. I love how they let the musicians take over the show and run two or three songs – it seems like a testament to the greatness of the music from that era.

I have also been watching guests from Seasons 3 and 4, Zappa actually hosts a whole show in his detached and sardonic manner, Devo, The Dead, and even Ornette Coleman take the stage. It’s a very cool historical record that I’d recommend scanning, and you might actually find a skit or two worth watching. You can find the complete list of guests here.

Q. What are your favorite SNL musical performances?

Update. These acts have so far been mentioned in the comments section:

DEVO (1978-)
Elvis Costello (1977)
Captain Beefheart (1980)
Tom Waits (1977)
David Bowie (1979)
Rolling Stones (1978-)
John Prine (1976)
B-52’s (1980)
Neil Young (2000)
Patti Smith (1976)
The Replacements (1985)
R.E.M. (1995)
Taj Mahal (1977)
Jackson Browne (1977)

The Best Reissues of 2010

Last year’s top reissues, all ranked by readers and contributors to The Rising Storm, were from an excellent lot. The best of these included some Mono Beatles, Archives from Neil Young and Big Star, and of course the Elevators’ Sign of the Three Eyed Men. This year we have another fine selection of warranted releases from an ever expanding crew of dedicated labels dishing out vintage sounds.

In order to shine a light on some lesser known gems, we’re deliberately excluding a few of this year’s heavy hitters.  Don’t miss out on these big name essentials and box sets:

So with those out of the way, here are our favorite reissued records for 2010, unranked and submitted for your review in the poll below:

Spur “Spur Of The Moments”
Drag City MP3/FLAC/Vinyl”Cowboy rock” from 67-72 Illinois. Offered on vinyl FLAC and MP3 formats (no CD).  A good one to own if you’re into Moby Grape, The Byrds or Buffalo Springfield. read our review…
The Rationals “Fan Club Album”
Big Beat CD/VinylRare and coveted release from the most important early Detroit/Ann Arbor group. Restored tracklist (save for one cut) and detailed liner notes. read our review…
R. Stevie Moore “Phonography”
Sundazed VinylFirst full length LP from an underground hero. HD Vinyl pressing comes with restored Vital artwork and insert. read our review…
The Orkustra “Adventures in Experimental Electric”
Mexican Summer LP/MP3Bobby Beausoleil’s mid-sixties psychedelic experiment explores unusual instrumentation as “the first electric symphony orchestra”
Maffit/Davies “The Rise and Fall of Honesty”
Revola CDA visionary slice of American music that predates the alt. country/folk boom with dark lyrics, strings, and a vibe similar to Texas band Euphoria. Includes liner notes by Tim Forster. read our review…
Ted Lucas “The Om Album”
Yoga Records/Riverman CD/LPLost and found psychedelic folk solo with a remarkably current sound. CD comes in a faithfully reproduced LP-style package with a facsimile of the original insert and new liners. read our review…
Jim Sullivan “UFO”
Light in the Attic CD/LP/MP3″ Ultra rare 1969 private press psych-folk-rock masterpiece – featuring the legendary Wrecking Crew (Beach Boys, Phil Spector)” First time on CD, LP reissue comes with detailed liners.
Luke Gibson “Another Perfect Day”
True North CD/MP3Long thought of as one of the best singer songwriter albums to come out of Canada. Digital download includes 2 bonus tracks. read our review…
The Psychedelic Aliens “Psycho African Beat”
Academy Records CD/Vinyl/MP3″Voodoo Funk tracked down the complete recorded output of this Ghana group that combined
elements of American soul, funk, garage rock
and psych with African rhythms and melodies. LP packaging includes booklet.”
Up “Rising”
Applebush CD/MP3″The real precursors of punk. Complete recordings, deluxe packaging includes DVD of unseen film plus a set of facsimile gig flyers, extensive liner notes and never before seen photographs of the band.”
The Zakary Thaks “Passage to India”
Cicadelic CDUnreleased recordings of the Thak’s psychedelic exursion. CD includes twenty-page booklet of recollections by lead singer Chris Gerniottis plus rare band memorabilia, posters, and lyrics.
The Third Power “Believe”
Relics CDHard psychedelic rock from early 70s Detroit. Originally released on Vanguard in 1970 and now reissued by Relics on Digipak CD.
Scott Richard Case “SRC”
Micro Werks CD”The long out of print CD by the SRC. One of Michigan s psychedelic gems, the band remains a favorite along side MC5, The Amboy Dukes, and the Stooges.”
Moby Grape “Live 1966-1969”
Sundazed Vinyl/CDNo Live Grape  has ever been officially released with such pristine sound quality. David Fricke’s notes are the icing on the cake. read our review…
The Knickerbockers “One Track Mind”
Grapefruit CD”The definitive, all-killer-no-filler compilation of thirty original Knickerbockers artifacts from the first psychedelic era.”
The Index “Black Album/Red Album/Yesterday & Today”
Lion CD”Three LPs worth of rare psychedelia from The Index – the uber rare Black Album and Red Album on one disc, and the epic length Yesterday And Today set of newly discovered rarities on the second disc”
Kris Kristofferson “Publishing Demos 1968-1972”
Light in the Attic CD/2LP/MP3″A selection of Kristofferson’s unreleased demos from the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Includes 60-page full-color CD booklet featuring interviews with Kristofferson and the musicians.”
Blaze Foley “The Dawg Years”
Fat Possum CD/MP3A collection of 20 Foley songs, cut during three home studio sessions between February of 1976 and September of 1978. Some of Foley’s first recordings that have been unheard for 25 years.
Steve Young “Rock Salt & Nails”
Big Pink CDSteve Young’s first solo record is adventurous, way ahead of its time, and gorgeous. A masterful production combining outlaw country, rock, folk, blues, and a touch of gospel. Long out of print, this is a Korean pressing in a paper sleeve. read our review…
Various Artists “Troubled Troubadours”
Omni Recording CDRare classic country from the likes of Hank, Waylon, Porter, and Dolly. Most tracks unreleased. Collector’s edition includes liner notes and rare photos.
Various Artists “Local Customs: Lone Star Lowlands”
Numero Group CD/LP/MP3″Southern boogie rock, CSNY clones, British blues thunder, garage-psych hangovers from Beaumont Texas’ Lowland studio. Limited bonus CD includes 20 extra songs.”
Space Opera “Safe at Home”
101 Distribution CD”2010 archive release from the Texas Prog legends consisting of tracks that were recorded before and immediately after their debut album in 1970.”
Richard & Linda Thompson “Shoot Out the Lights”
Rhino Handmade Deluxe CD”The couple’s legendary swan song as a two-disc deluxe edition that includes the original album along with a bonus disc of 11 unreleased live performances from the tour.”

Top Reissues of 2010 (Choose up to 5)

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Q. Anything we missed from your list this year?
Note: This is our 500th post!

uReview: “Nilsson Sings Newman”

12345678910 (35 votes, average: 8.60 out of 10)

Today is a day to remember John Lennon, but I just finished the watching the 2006 biopic on his good pal, Harry Schmilsson. Maybe I’m just a big Nilsson fan, but I thought Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) was moving, revealing, an excellent film; every great artist deserves a tribute this devoted. But when they got to Nilsson Sings Newman I remembered that I never really fell for this record, for whatever reason.

Q. Am I missing out on a knockout LP? Does Harry really improve on Newman’s tunes? Why wouldn’t I just listen to Randy sing em? Have you seen the doc and what’d you think?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Livin’ Without You”

:D Deluxe CD Reissue | 2008 | buy here ]
:) Original Vinyl | RCA | 1970  | search ebay ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

uReview: The Byrds “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”

12345678910 (70 votes, average: 8.29 out of 10)

I’d be happy to see a uReview for every Byrds record in the discography (excepting Maniax), seeing as they’re one of the house bands around here, but it’s the middle of country season and I wanna hear your honest opinion on this one. Are you all about Sweetheart or did you never quite get it? Is this really the landmark country-rock record (does it even deserve the ‘rock’ tag)? If not this, then what?

mp3: Radio Spot – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

:D CD Reissue | 2003 | Sony | amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1968 | Columbia | ebay ]

uReview: Tom Waits Discography

Tom Waits is one of the many legendary artists we have neglected to feature on these pages. His works seem to transcend time, seamlessly linking sound and style from decade to decade. But, for whatever reason, I only have a couple of his records.

So, calling all TW fiends: what’s overrated, underrated, and essential in the Tom Waits Discography?

Check Your Top 5 Tom Waits Albums

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The Best Reissues of 2009

It’s been a great year for re-releases. All thanks to labels dedicated to top notch sound, quality packaging, expanded content, and 180 gram vinyl. With no further ado here’s an unranked list of the top 25 reissues we found this year. Hit up the poll below and help us determine which was this year’s very best.

3eyed 13th Floor Elevators “Sign of the 3 Eyed Men”
International Artists 10
CD Box SetThe band’s three landmark albums including rare mono versions, outtakes and alternate versions. Two lost albums featuring previously unreleased material. Rare and previously unreleased live recordings with a 72 page hardback book. Enhanced with posters, ephemera, discographies and many rare and previously unseen photos.



midniters “Thee Complete Midniters – Songs of Love, Rhythm & Psychedelia”
Micro Werks 4CD Box Set
Chicano rock n roll pioneers released these four LPs between 1965 and 1969; each disc has bonus alternate takes, alternate-language versions, instrumental mixes, live cuts and sought-after single sides.
moby Moby Grape “The Place and the Time”
Sundazed 2LP Outtakes Comp
Rare tracks cut during the band’s 1967–1968 heyday. Encompassing audition recordings, album outtakes, alternate versions, live material and more. read our review…
jujus The JuJus “You Treat Me Bad”
Cicadelic CD – Complete Singles
The classic singles, a good 1965 Ray Hummel Fenton 45 (backed by the JuJus) and a slew of quality outtakes. There are no lame covers and the sound quality is excellent. Mandatory listening for anyone interested in pure rock n roll. read our review…
thinkrational The Rationals “Think Rational/Fan Club LP”
Big Beat 2CD
All the group’s early singles and outtakes on a double disc anthology. First time legit reissue of the group’s early years. A great package, evenly divided between the group’s garage and soul eras.
read our review…
bigstar Big Star “Keep an Eye on the Sky”
Rhino 4CD Box Set

1968 to 1975 unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions, and a 1973 Memphis concert recording. Extensive liner notes, rare  photos, and essays about the cult of Big Star and the band’s history.
skip Alexander “Skip” Spence “Unreleased Demos”
Sundazed Limited 10″ Vinyl Single

Demos recorded in New York in 1968 during the run-up to the Grape’s second album,”Wow.” Limited edition 10” vinyl single packaged in a numbered sleeve with liner notes by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, an artist bio, and rare photo inserts.
louie Louie and the Lovers “The Complete Recordings”
Bear Family CD AnthologyDefinitive collection of this Doug Sahm produced Salinas group, harnessing the sounds of SDQ, CCR, conjunto, and rock and roll; includes the legendary lost 2nd album and extensive liners. read our review…
clarence Clarence White “White Lightning”
Sierra Records CD & DVDRare and largely unreleased studio and live recordings available for the first time on CD, focusing on Clarence’s electric work with some of his fine bluegrass acoustic chops on display.
emitt Emmit Rhodes Recordings (1969-1973)
Hip-O Select 2CDRemastered 48 song collection features the four albums Emitt Rhodes released between 1970 and 1973 – the three ABC/Dunhill albums Emitt Rhodes, Mirror and Farewell To Paradise, and his one A&M album, American Dream, along with the non-LP single “Tame The Lion.”
beatlesmono Beatles Mono Box Set
EMI 13CD Remastered Mono MixesThe first ten albums in re-mastered mono (the final 3 albums made their debuts in stereo only), and a double album of singles and EPs, called “Mono Masters”. Each disc is presented as if it were a miniature “33”, replete with plastic anti-scratch sleeve, inner paper sleeve, original album cover, inserts and all original text.
michigan 2131 South Michigan Avenue
Sundazed 2LP USA & Destination Records Comp60’s Garage & Psychedelia from USA and Destination Records. Chicago ’66 garage at its finest; album artwork stuffed with rare photos, band bios, and an interview with the legendary Jim Golden.
lovebomb Blossom Toes “Love Bomb 1967-1969”
Sunbeam Deluxe 2CDPreviously unreleased vintage British psychedelia including a detailed booklet with rare photos and an introduction from the band’s leader, Brian Godding and Guest appearance from Frank Zappa.
monks Monks “Black Monk Time” “The Early Years 1964-1965”
Light in the Attic CD, LPMonks’ recorded legacy through two reissues.  Numerous unseen photographs and two-part essay by Canadian music journalist Kevin Howes accompany both releases and tell the Monks story like it has never been told. Bonus material dating back to pre-Monks Torquays and up to post Black Monk Time 7″s are also included.
death Death “For the Whole World to See”
Drag City CD/LP/MP31974 demo album released for the first time and maybe one of the first punk albums.  Bobby Hackney’s sons, members of Rough Francis, are responsible for digging up the old demo tapes for this blisteringly hot buried treasure. read our review…
drendall John Drendall, B.A. Thrower and Friends “Papa Never Let Me Sing The Blues”
Riverman CDDeacon Productions released 100 copies of Papa in 1971/1972. This is its first re-release. Very fine Americana, a true undiscovered gem that needs to be heard by more music fans. read our review…
morning Morning “Morning”
Wounded Bird CDOne of the mandatory lost  LPs in the rural-rock/American roots/country-rock field. First time on CD since its Vault 1970 release.

read our review…

offthewall Off The Wall Volumes 1& 2
Past & Present 2CDOriginally issued by the UK imprint Past & Present in the late 80s, this is one of the original 60s garage rock and psychedelia compilations.
kaleidoscope Kaleidoscope “White Faced Lady”
Repertoire Records CDLong-lost concept album from the British psychedelic group, remastered and presented in a definitive collectors’ package. It has the original descriptive texts for the music, plus a new interview with founding member Peter Daltrey. read our review…
bettydavis Betty Davis “Is it Love or Desire”
Light in the Attic CD/Sundazed Vinyl
Recorded in the summer of ’76, and never issued until now. Betty was Miles Davis’ ex-wife and often credited with influencing the Bitches Brew era. Super hot funk must have.
lemondrops The Lemon Drops “Sunshine Flower Power”
Cicadelic 2CD
Rare psychedelic rock from the suburban Chicago scene. Features the “Sometime Ago” LP and plenty of rarities, including previously unreleased versions.
lovelysight Pisces “A Lovely Sight”
Numero Group CD/LP/MP3Never issued LP of unknown, modern-sounding psych done up by the wonderful Numero label. 1969 curio from Rockford, Illinois.
masters The Master’s Apprentices “The Master’s Apprentices”
101 Distribution 2CDRemastered and expanded two CD edition of of this Australian 1967 garage/psych classic including 27 bonus tracks.  Deluxe eight panel digipak with 28 page booklet with many previously unpublished photos and recent interviews.
red King Crimson “Red”
Discipline 2CD/DVD
Remastered and expanded two disc (CD/DVD) edition of the Prog Rock band’s classic 1974 album, released to coincide with King Crimson’s 40th anniversary. Presented as digipak in a slipcase with new sleeve notes by Robert Fripp and King Crimson biographer Sid Smith along with rare photos and archive material.



neilyoung Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972
Reprise Records 8CD Box SetComprehensive, chronological survey of Neil Young’s entire body of work. 8 discs, each in its own custom sleeve and featuring over 40 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks.

Best Reissues of 2009 (pick your top 5)

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Q. Which reissues, from any list, knocked you out in 2009?