Brian Wilson's 1997 remix of Pet Sounds let's US finally hear this immortal album in stereo. Hang on to your ego for a total of 27 tracks! If you need some pointy-headed pundit to sell you on the merits of Pet Sounds, your money might be better spent on an ear specialist. Brian Wilson's gift to 20th-century music elevated this pop album into a beguiling musical and emotional cogency that still operates outside pop culture's fickle space-time continuum--and limited critical lexicon. There's never been another record to compare (Rubber Soul, its inspiration, is close; Sgt. Pepper's, its response, misses the point), and certainly no album has been as dissected, overanalyzed, and predigested for public consumption. In 1997 Capitol Records devoted an entire four-disc box set, The Pet Sounds Sessions, to its thorough deconstruction. The techno-marvel centerpiece of that project--the album's first true stereo mix, painstakingly conjured out of multitape session sources by producer-engineer Mark Linett (under Wilson's supervision)--was at once heresy and revelation. Now the label has gratifyingly seen fit to offer both mixes on a single disc (along with alternate versions of "Hang On to Your Ego," the original title of "I Know There's An Answer"), an idea that should please the orthodox and heretics alike. And while the album has always clearly been The Brian Wilson Show featuring the Beach Boys, David Leaf's concise new notes attempt to be more inclusive of a wider band perspective. The result (three of the five band members claim credit for the album title) sometimes resembles Rashomon. If Pet Sounds forever crystallized the band's various creative (in)differences, it also became Wilson's grand karmic joke on his band mates; its burgeoning reputation (Mojo magazine's panel of pop experts once elected it greatest album of all time) guaranteed they would sing its songs--and praises--until the end. And if putting two different versions of the same album on one disc seems like overkill, look at the bright side: it's a perf...
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
This 1975 multi-platimum album, Rumours became Fleetwood Mac's most celebrated album and one of the best-selling albums of all time. Certified at 18 million units by the RIAA. (2/01) With the pop sense of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks now leading the band, Fleetwood Mac moved completely away from blues and created this homage to love, Southern California-style. Each songwriter makes his or her presence known: Nicks for her dreamy, mystical reveries ("Dreams," "Gold Dust Woman:); Christine McVie for her ultra-catchy slogans ("Don't Stop"); and Buckingham for his deceptively simple pop songs ("Second Hand News," "Go Your Own Way"). "The Chain," written collectively, is the Mac at their most dramatic. But it's the ensemble playing, the elastic rhythms, and lush harmonies that transform the material into classic FM fare. --Rob O'Connor
It s one of the lost classics of the 60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion, and, of course, jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane . The album is Cold Fact, and what s more intriguing is that its maker a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working on a Detroit building site, unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit, Michigan. He recorded Cold Fact his debut album in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It s crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late 60s inner-city America. Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer, says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues. But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez s more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez s legend was growing on the other side of the world. In South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma not even the label knew where to find him and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumors said he d died of a heroin overdose or burned to death on stage. But the tide began to turn in 1996, when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, Rodriguez has r...
You know you need this! Before Keith Richards's bad habits took over for a time in the mid-'70s, his work ethic was quite high. Stories abound of the long, if somewhat off-schedule, hours he spent working on this classic album in the basement of his home in France. Hanging together as much because of great songwriting ("Rocks Off," "Soul Survivor") as its fabled grungy atmosphere, Exile caps the Stones' great 1968-'72 run with a force that belies their supposed spiritual tiredness. What some of these songs are about is anybody's guess--Keith claims "Ventilator Blues" was inspired by a grate, while the song plays like an ode to a pistol--but that's just part of this album's hazy game. --Rickey Wright
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2010 reissue of the classic Stones album Regarded as one of the greatest albums in Rock 'n' Roll history and one of the most defining of the Stones' catalogue. Upon its release more than three decades ago, Exile on Main Street innovatively wove varying musical genres, instruments and even artists into a compelling rhythmic masterpiece. The original 18-track double-album was recorded in various stages at multiple locations, including Olympic Studios in London, Keith Richard's mansion Nellcote in France, and in Los Angeles where the literal Main Street influenced the album title. These atypical circumstances surrounding the recording process greatly affected the album's outcome which was highly reflective and influenced by the sociopolitical turbulence that marked the late '60s and early '70s.
2010 reissue of the classic Stones album housed in a super-jewel case (to complete 'remasters' box set). Regarded as one of the greatest albums in Rock 'n' Roll history and one of the most defining of the Stones' catalogue. Upon its release more than three decades ago, Exile On Main Street innovatively wove varying musical genres, instruments and even artists into a compelling rhythmic masterpiece. The original 18-track double-album was recorded in various stages at multiple locations, including Olympic Studios in London, Keith Richard's mansion Nellcote in France, and in Los Angeles where the literal Main Street influenced the album title. These atypical circumstances surrounding the recording process greatly affected the album's outcome which was highly reflective and influenced by the sociopolitical turbulence that marked the late `60s and early `70s.
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THERE ARE NO RETURNS ON BOX SETS!!!************** As Roger Waters's solo career set into a sunset of suspiciously self-serving Wall revivals and compelling if modest-selling solo efforts, his former band became one of the few outfits in the soft live market of the 1990s to burnish its stadium-filling appeal. But their recorded output wasn't quite so rosy. As all post-Dark Side of the Moon albums must have a Big Important Theme, The Division Bell is vaguely about levels of separation (did you say, duh!?), with more than one not-so-opaque lyrical jab at the estranged Waters. But there's a sense that the band may have put more thought into its trademark audio gimmickry (well represented here by the actual sound of the earth's crust cracking--you don't get that on Rage Against the Machine albums!--and a "spoken" intro by Dr. Stephen Hawking, or rather his voice synthesizer) than it did into its songs this time around. The opening "Cluster One" has a hypnotic minimalist lure that dissolves all too quickly into the bluesy waffle of "What Do You Want From Me," while Floyd Mach III leader Dave Gilmour's usually lyrical guitar work is uninspired throughout, a definite Floydian slip. Still, the band maddeningly manages a few moments of the old grandeur here and there. The Division Bell is not a great Pink Floyd album, but an all-too-fallible simulation. --Jerry McCulley
Brand: Blue Sky
2007 digitally remastered edition coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the release of The Joshua Tree, the album which saw U2 become 'Rock's Hottest Ticket.' U2's biggest selling album to date, entered the US album charts at #7 and reached #1 three weeks later. It was U2's first album to reach #1 in the United States. In 1999, The Joshua Tree was awarded the RIAA's highest certification, Diamond, with 10 million units sold. The album and sleeve cover also placed #1 in Rolling Stone magazine's annual Music Awards chosen by readers. Critics at Rolling Stone made it #2 album of the year. U2 also won Album Of The Year and Best Rock Performance By A Group Or Duo at the Grammy Awards for The Joshua Tree.
Manufacturer: MCA Records
Believe it or not, this landmark album has *never been reissued from the original master tapes 'til now!* But that's only the beginning disc one adds six bonus tracks, three of which have never been available. Then disc two captures a largely unreleased April 26, 1971 gig at London's Old Vic Theatre at which most of Pete Townshend's Lifehouse project-the genesis for Who's Next -was unveiled to the public for the first time, warts and all. The success of Who's Next and its slate of classic-rock tracks has often obscured its true roots--Lifehouse, the unwieldy multi-media project that Pete Townshend originally concocted as the follow-up to Tommy. Variously informed by apocalyptic visions, sci-fi notions of interconnectivity that neatly presaged the internet and, of course, an unwavering conviction that rock & roll would save the world, the core tracks of the sprawling Lifehouse were recorded, cut, re-recorded and finally boiled down into a collection that seems to represent as much alienation ("Behind Blue Eyes") and overweening cynicism ("Won't Get Fooled Again") as it does liberation and unity. Aside from Townshend's own self-released, multi-disc meditation on the project, this expanded new edition is the most rewarding attempt to place Lifehouse and the over-exposed classic it spawned in their proper context. Six tracks from the album's original, but abandoned New York sessions flesh out the familiar material, with previously unreleased outtakes of "Getting in Tune" and a revealing, early arrangement of "Won't Get Fooled Again" warranting special note. The second disc documents one of Lifehouse's most quixotic elements with the first-time release of one of the series of concerts staged at London's Young Vic theater during the project's gestation, events during which band and audience would somehow mystically become One. Core tracks from the project are interspersed with typical hard-rocking Who fare of the time, resulting in a show whose focus and dynamics belied something very different from the arena-rock clic...