Monday, May 28, 2007

New CD Releases

A few new ones worth checking out.......

Dwight Twilley
(Import; new release 6/26/07)
“Sincerely/Twilley Don’t Mind + 4 bonus tracks”.
Sincerely (1976) and Twilley Don't Mind (1977) were his first two albums and his best. Both albums remain firm favorites with Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour aficionados. Twilley, along with Big Star, Badfinger and the Raspberries, is one of the originators of power-pop. His unique blend of Beatlesque pop and Southern rockabilly influences enjoyed immediate success with the release of these critically acclaimed records. Sincerely included the Top 20 hit single 'I'm on Fire' and Twilley Don't Mind presented such outstanding tracks as 'Here She Come' and 'Looking for the Magic'. They represent Twilley at his melodic best. The package comes complete with four bonus rarities from the period. 1 - I'm On Fire 2 - Could Be Love 3 - Feeling In The Dark 4 - You Were So Warm 5 - I'm Losing You 6 - Sincerely 7 - Tv 8 - Release Me 9 - Three Persons 10 - Baby Let's Cruise 11 - England 12 - Just Like The Sun 13 - Here She Comes 14 - Looking! For The Magic 15 - That I Remember 16 - Rock And Roll '47 17 - Trying To Find My Baby 18 - Twilley Don't Mind 19 - Sleeping 20 - Chance To Get Away 21 - Invasion 22 - I Don't Know My Name (Bonus Track) 23 - Shark (In The Dark) (Bonus Track) 24 - Didn't You Say (Bonus Track) 25 - You Never Listen To My Music (Bonus Track).

“Very Best Of”.- 2 CD Set.
It has taken a long time to get a hits compilation on Jesse back in print. This set includes 3 original recordings by The Youngbloods-Hey Babe, Get Together and Sunlight and lots of highlights from his solo career including Lovely Day, Ridgetop, Song For Juli, Songbird, Light Shine, Gray Day, Swept Away and many more.
Disc 1
1 Hey Babe 2:42
2 Get Together 1967 4:38
3 Sunlight 1969 3:10
4 Sugar Babe 3:38
5 Good Times 4:21
6 It's a Lovely Day 3:13
7 Ridgetop 7:02
8 Song for Juli 4:59
9 California Child 2:24
10 Light Shine 5:25
11 Songbird 4:17
12 Before You Came 6:09
13 Higher & Higher 3:18
14 The Peace Song 4:39
15 Miss Hesitation 6:34
16 T-Bone Shuffle 6:08
17 Darkness, Darkness 3:19
Disc 2
1 Eyes on the Prize 3:23
2 Four in the Morning 3:57
3 Sometimes 2:52
4 Grey Day 11:19
5 Workin' 5:07
6 The Perfect Stranger 4:35
7 Fight for It 3:53
8 The Highway Is for Heroes 5:41
9 Do It Slow 4:23
10 Desire 4:30
11 Swept Away 4:25
12 Makin' It Real 5:04
13 Y! ou Are the One 3:37
14 Lovin' You 3:47
15 Living in Paradise 3:23
16 Imagine/What's Going On 4:15
17 Sweet Good Times 3:30.

NITE CITY (Import)“Nite City/Golden Days, Diamond Nights”.
Here’s a two-on-one nobody would have bet on being released. This was a side project of Ray Manzarek that has been largely forgotten until now. It sounds more like The Tubes and Mott the Hoople (says one Doors fan) but might be worth having in your collection. Tracks from the first Nite City (1977) include: 1 Summer eyes 2 Nite 3 Love will make you mellow 4 Angel w/ no Freedom 5 Midnight queen 6 Bitter sky blue 7 Caught in a panic 8 In the pyramid 9 Game of skill . Tracks not given for the second album.

Dave Mason (New release 5/8/07)“Live At XM Satellite Radio”.
US only release! In 2007, Dave Mason and his band entered into the beautiful XM studios in Washington D.C., and recorded this live album. This unique session was performed in front of an intimate gathering of friends and fans. From start to finish, it is a solid 100% classic Dave Mason concert. Also included are two new studio tracks. First, there is the very rare Dave Mason/Jim Capaldi duet of the classic 40,000 Headmen. Recorded shortly before his untimely death, Jim Capaldi truly sings his soul out on this revisit to the Traffic era. In addition there is one new track, 'Dead Dumb and Blind'. Tracks: Introduction; World In Changes; Only You Know And I Know; We Just Disagree; Dave Mason Interview; Look At You, Look At Me; Dear Mr. Fantasy; All Along The Watchtower; Feelin’ Alright; Closing. Bonus Tracks: Take It To The Limit (unreleased live recording from Orange County, CA); 40,000 Headmen (unreleased studio duet with Jim Capaldi); Deaf, Dumb! and Blind ( new studio recording).

SHOOTING STAR “Anthology”.
The 2-disc set covers the band’s entire career from their 1980 debut through 2006 (Circles). Songs include: You've Got What I Need, Bring It On, Tonight, Rainfall, Last Chance, Hang On For Your Life, Are You On My Side, Hollywood, Breakout, Are You Ready, Heartache, Where You Gonna Run, Weary Eyes, Preview, Straight Ahead, Taken Enough, Burning, Winner, Christmas Together, Touch Me Tonight, Summer Sun, Heat Of The Night, When You're Young, Don't Walk Away, It's Not Over, Believe In Me, We Can't Wait Forever, Blame It On The Night, Let's Roll, I Need Your Touch, Leap Of Faith, Don't Walk Away II, Call It Love, Train Rolls On, Get Ready Boy, George's Song.

Plunge in CD Sales Shakes Up Big Labels

Plunge in CD Sales Shakes Up Big Labels


“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the Beatles album often cited as the greatest pop recording in music history, received a thoroughly modern 40th-anniversary salute last week when singers on “American Idol” belted out their own versions of its songs live on the show’s season finale.

But off stage, in a sign of the recording industry’s declining fortunes, shareholders of EMI, the music conglomerate that markets “Sgt. Pepper” and a vast trove of other recordings, were weighing a plan to sell the company as its financial performance was weakening.
It’s a maddening juxtaposition for more than one top record-label executive. Music may still be a big force in pop culture — from “Idol” to the iPod — but the music business’s own comeback attempt is falling flat.

Even pop’s pioneers are rethinking their approach. As it happens, one of the performers on “Sgt. Pepper,” Paul McCartney, is releasing a new album on June 5. But Mr. McCartney is not betting on the traditional record-label methods: He elected to sidestep EMI, his longtime home, and release the album through a new arrangement with Starbucks.

It’s too soon to tell if Starbucks’ new label (a partnership with the established Concord label) will have much success in marketing CDs. But not many other players are.

Despite costly efforts to build buzz around new talent and thwart piracy, CD sales have plunged more than 20 percent this year, far outweighing any gains made by digital sales at iTunes and similar services. Aram Sinnreich, a media industry consultant at Radar Research in Los Angeles, said the CD format, introduced in the United States 24 years ago, is in its death throes. “Everyone in the industry thinks of this Christmas as the last big holiday season for CD sales,” Mr. Sinnreich said, “and then everything goes kaput.”

It’s been four years since the last big shuffle in ownership of the major record labels. But now, with the sales plunge dimming hopes for a recovery any time soon, there is a new game of corporate musical chairs afoot that could shake up the industry hierarchy.

Under the deal that awaits shareholder approval, London-based EMI agreed last week to be purchased for more than $4.7 billion by a private equity investor, Terra Firma Capital Partners, whose diverse holdings include a European waste-conversion business. Rival bids could yet surface — though the higher the ultimate price, the more pressure the owners will face to make dramatic cuts or sell the company in pieces in order to recoup their investment.

For the companies that choose to plow ahead, the question is how to weather the worsening storm. One answer: diversify into businesses that do not rely directly on CD sales or downloads. The biggest one is music publishing, which represents songwriters (who may or may not also be performers) and earns money when their songs are used in TV commercials, video games or other media. Universal Music Group, already the biggest label, became the world’s biggest music publisher on Friday after closing its purchase of BMG Music, publisher of songs by artists like Keane, for more than $2 billion.

Now both Universal and Warner Music Group are said to be kicking the tires of Sanctuary, an independent British music and artist management company whose roster includes Iron Maiden and Elton John. The owners of all four of the major record companies also recently have chewed over deals to diversify into merchandise sales, concert tickets, advertising and other fields that are not part of their traditional business.

Even as the industry tries to branch out, though, there is no promise of an answer to a potentially more profound predicament: a creative drought and a corresponding lack of artists who ignite consumers’ interest in buying music. Sales of rap, which had provided the industry with a lifeboat in recent years, fell far more than the overall market last year with a drop of almost 21 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (And the marquee star 50 Cent just delayed his forthcoming album, “Curtis.”)

In other genres the picture is not much brighter. Fans do still turn out (at least initially) for artists that have managed to build loyal followings. The biggest debut of the year came just last week from the rock band Linkin Park, whose third studio album, “Minutes to Midnight,” sold an estimated 623,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

But very few albums have gained traction. And that is compounded by the industry’s core structural problem: Its main product is widely available free. More than half of all music acquired by fans last year came from unpaid sources including Internet file sharing and CD burning, according to the market research company NPD Group. The “social” ripping and burning of CDs among friends — which takes place offline and almost entirely out of reach of industry policing efforts — accounted for 37 percent of all music consumption, more than file-sharing, NPD said.

The industry had long pinned its hopes on making up some of the business lost to piracy with licensed digital sales. But those prospects have dimmed as the rapid CD decline has overshadowed the rise in sales at services like Apple’s iTunes. Even as music executives fret that iTunes has not generated enough sales, though, they gripe that it unfairly dominates the sale of digital music.

Partly out of frustration with Apple, some of the music companies have been slowly retreating from their longtime insistence on selling music online with digital locks that prevent unlimited copying. Their aim is to sell more music that can be played on Apple’s wildly popular iPod device, which is not compatible with the protection software used by most other digital music services. EMI led the reversal, striking a deal with Apple to offer its music catalog in the unrestricted MP3 format.

Some music executives say that dropping copy-restriction software, also known as digital-rights management, would stoke business at iTunes’ competitors and generate a surge in sales. Others predict it would have little impact, though they add that the labels squandered years on failed attempts to restrict digital music instead of converting more fans into paying consumers.
“They were so slow to react, and let things get totally out of hand,” said Russ Crupnick, a senior entertainment industry analyst at NPD, the research company. “They just missed the boat.”
Perhaps there is little to lose, then, in experimentation. Mr. McCartney, for example, may not have made it to the “American Idol” finale, but he too is employing thoroughly modern techniques to reach his audience.

Starbucks will be selling his album “Memory Almost Full” through regular music retail shops but will also be playing it repeatedly in thousands of its coffee shops in more than two dozen countries on the day of release. And the first music video from the new album had it premiere on YouTube. Mr. McCartney, in announcing his deal with Starbucks, described his rationale simply: “It’s a new world.”

I always find articles like this interesting....since they predict the downfall of the record companies or the down fall of the CD. However, they offer no prediction as to what the future holds.

So what do I think will happen? I think vinyl albums and CDs will continue to be around for awhile longer - probably about 10 years. They just won't be produced in mass numbers/quantities. Downloads will definitely continue and continue to gain in numbers. DRM and other copy protection is not the answer. Someone will always find a way around it. Will the music/record labels survive? Difficult to say unless they change their business model and and invest in high quality music by artists.

As always comments are welcome.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cream bassist says reunion in the works

Here we go again................Don't get me wrong, I think this is good news.

Associated Press Writer


Jack Bruce says Cream is once again rising to the top. The bassist for the legendary rock group told The Associated Press on Thursday that he agreed recently to play an unspecified show or shows later this year with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker.

Bruce would not say when the reunion would occur, but that it would not be the seven-continent Live Earth shows on July 7: "It's a bit later than that."

Bruce recently told the Scotsman newspaper there was no chance the band would reunite because of long-standing tension between him and Baker.

"Then, the next day, it came up we're doing something if I wanted to. Obviously, I'm not going to be the one to say no," Bruce told the AP during an appearance at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.

Representatives for Clapton and Baker have not confirmed the reunion.

Infighting and ego clashes between Baker and Bruce go back decades, with Baker once firing his drum sticks at Bruce during a show and Bruce upending Baker's drum kit.

Clapton persuaded Bruce and Baker to reunite in 2005 after a 37-year split. But the ill will resurfaced, with Baker accusing Bruce of turning up his bass to deafening levels during a Madison Square Garden show, and Clapton appeared uncomfortable on stage.

However, Bruce played those 2005 shows about a year after receiving a liver transplant that kept him alive. He hopes another Cream reunion would be less physically and mentally stressful.
"I hadn't recovered properly yet, so I found it quite difficult," Bruce said. "Now I'm completely recovered so I would enjoy it more."

Bruce made an infrequent performance Thursday, playing Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room" with former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and Queen keyboardist Spike Edney before about 75 spectators at the Fantasy Camp. Bruce also played Cream songs with the camp's amateur bands, composed of about 50 rock fans who paid upward of $15,000 each for the privilege.

As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Doors Releasing Final Boston Shows as Three CD Set

'The Doors Live In Boston '70' is slated for release in July.
Monday, May 21, 2007

Rock legends The Doors are set to release highlights from their last tour as part of a new three CD box set.

Rare audio from the band's early and late shows on April 10, 1970, at Boston Arena will be featured on 'The Doors' Live In Boston '70,' which is slated for release in July.
Although a handful of live tunes from the final tour appeared on the group's 'Absolutely Live' album, the Boston shows are virtually unheard.

The liner notes for the upcoming package include memories from the surviving members of the band.

Drummer John Densmore recalls frontman Jim Morrison being extremely drunk for the show: "A Surgeon General's warning should be stickered on this recording, because Jimbo is ripped... but he is so damn passionate and still hits all the cues with the band, so all I can say is 'In Vino Veritas' (in wine is the truth)."

As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Take Me Back to the Sixties

Just sit back, watch, listen and enjoy..........

Friday, May 11, 2007

The single returns to haunt music biz

The single returns to haunt music biz
05/10/2007 6:14 PM,
Nekesa Mumbi Moody

It sounds like a horror movie: a beloved friend is callously exterminated, then reincarnated in a different form to wreak havoc on the killer.

That's the nightmare currently facing the music industry. Almost a decade after virtually eliminating 45s and cassette singles, thereby forcing fans to spend more money on whole albums, the digital single is largely responsible for the industry's woes.

Consumers no longer need to buy an album if they want that cool jam they heard on the radio — and in growing numbers, they're choosing 99-cent downloads over $15 CDs.

Some worry this trend is worsening the quality of albums as a cohesive musical work, and that label executives are more and more interested in quick hits than lasting music or artists.
While the vast majority of music consumers still buy CD albums, they are buying less of them, while digital tracks are exploding: According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of physical CDs this year have declined 20 percent from the same point in 2006, from 112 million to 89 million. Digital tracks are up to 288 million from 242 million at the same period last year. And that's not counting the millions of singles that are illegally downloaded.

"Now, we're in a very difference place in terms of the single business," Jim Donio, president of National Association of Recording Merchandisers, said in an interview. "The single business is alive and well, and it's in the form of track downloads."

The same cannot be said, however, for albums. Even counting albums that are downloaded along with physical CDs sold, album sales are down 10 percent from the same period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan, continuing a decline that has been growing for several years.
The industry's hard times are evident in recent label consolidations, widespread layoffs, reduction in budgets and an overall air of belt-tightening.

In 1996, music companies shipped more than 1.1 billion units — all physical product — for a value of $12.5 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Ten years later, despite a decline in physical product sold, they industry has "shipped" approximately 1.6 billion units — but its value is down by a billion dollars, to $11.5 billion.

"There's probably a fair amount of purchases that would have been albums but are now individual track sales instead," said Geoff Mayfield, director of charts at Billboard magazine.
And at 99 cents or so, singles bring in much less profit than albums (which is why iTunes has been pressured by record companies to raise their prices).

Other signs show of the singles-driven market: One of the most consistent album chart-toppers is the blockbuster "Now That's What I Call Music!" series, which features a compilation of the hottest tracks of the season and routinely debuts at No. 1.

And of course there is the enormous popularity of music download services like iTunes. Recently, iTunes introduce its "Complete the Album" feature, an enticement which gives credit for songs purchased from an album toward purchasing the rest of it.

The question remains whether consumers are as interested in completing the albums as they used to.

Ciara hopes so. The 21-year-old's latest platinum album, "Ciara: The Evolution," on La Face/Jive Records (a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). and Bertelsmann AG) wasn't designed to provide just hits, but as an entire experience about her development into a woman, complete with interludes between the tracks.

"For me growing up, there was nothing like listening to an album that you could literally sit down and listen to from the beginning to the end," she said. "It can't just be about singles. That's the purpose of an album, it's almost like a story within itself."

Avril Lavigne, 22, whose latest album "The Best Damn Thing" on RCA (also a part of Sony BMG) debuted at No. 1, is also still in love with the album: "I'm so all about going to the store and buy a CD."

"(But) times are changing," she added. Someday "people aren't going to do records, they're just going to do singles, probably."

That would have been hard to believe just a few years ago, given that the single — which gave birth to the recording industry and dominated it for decades — was virtually phased out at a time of huge industry profits. While there are still physical singles in stores, the numbers are so minute that Nielsen SoundScan doesn't even track them.

"We tried to stop selling a commercial single because people were making great, great records and albums were selling like hot cakes," says longtime music industry executive Steve Rifkind, founder Street Records Corporation, home to platinum singer/producer Akon, and
But removing the option of purchasing a single may not have helped the album much, either — and may have actually boosted the original illegal downloading services like Napster, says Mayfield.

"The notion that someone would jump to an album-length purchase because they couldn't find the one song they wanted available was a naive one," he said.

Rifkind acknowledges that "we are definitely in a singles market," — but blames the problem on a lack of creativity and "lazy" executives.

"People are going after one hit. They are not really caring what the album sounds like ... They are not into artist development anymore. If us as an industry went and started developing talent again, and not worrying about one hit, it would be more than a singles-driven business again."

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Jay-Z, the superstar rapper and president of Def Jam Records, also blamed the quality of the music for the current climate.

"We're making disposable music. You can't make disposable music again and again and again and again and not expect anything to happen. We have these huge radio records ... and then won't sell any records," he said. "If you're making just songs, they'll listen to it in the clubs, that's great, they'll listen to it in their car, that's beautiful. Will they buy it? No."

As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Death of the cassette tape?

Death of the cassette tape?
05/08/2007 4:00 PM,
Yahoo! Musiccourtesy of

The days of the humble cassette tape will soon be coming to a timely end with the announcement from British electrical retailer Currys that their existing stocks of blank cassettes will be sold but not replenished.

The retailer has also predicted that cassette decks will also disappear from the range in the next 18 months.

The move comes in the wake of the digital format boom, which has seen the iPod and MP3 player take over the market. Currys have said the humble cassette tape has failed to compete with digital technology, with a top-of-the range iPod holding the same number of albums as 1,500 cassettes.

The cassette tape was introduced in 1963, with sales of pre-recorded tapes in the U.K. peaking in 1989, when 83 million were sold. This year, total U.K. sales of blank tapes are expected to be below 1 million.

I don't know about you, but I have cassette tapes coming out my you know what. I won't need to buy any for a llooooooonnng time. Now I just hope my cassette deck holds up.

As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Tesla is posting online some of the songs on their upcoming covers album, Real To Reel. In addition to Led Zeppelin's "Thank You," which Tesla chose as the first single, the band has now posted online full versions of their covers of the James Gang's "Walk Away," "Ball Of Confusion" by the Temptations, and "Rock Bottom" by UFO. The tracks can be accessed at the new website

In addition, the band has posted three songs at their myspace page. "Thank You," Deep Purple's "Space Truckin'," Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy," and the Beatles' "I've Got A Feeling" can be listened to at

Real To Reel, which also includes songs originally made famous by the Guess Who, Thin Lizzy, Robin Trower, Uriah Heep, Derek & the Dominos, and the Rolling Stones, comes out June 5th.
Tesla has recorded a second covers album, with the title Reel Two, which will be given to fans at their North American tour stops beginning June 7th in Santa Rosa, California. That collection features tracks originally recorded by Mott The Hoople, Montrose, Bad Company, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Sly & the Family Stone, Peter Frampton, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Black Sabbath.

As always, comments are welcome.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New laws create second-hand woes for CD retailers

New laws create second-hand woes for CD retailers

By Ed Christman

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Independent merchants selling and buying used CDs across the United States say they are alarmed by stepped-up pawn-broker-related laws recently enacted in Florida and Utah and pending in Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

In Florida, the new legislation requires all stores buying second-hand merchandise for resale to apply for a permit and file security in the form of a $10,000 bond with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition, stores would be required to thumb-print customers selling used CDs, and acquire a copy of state-issued identity documents such as a driver's license. Furthermore, stores could issue only store credit -- not cash -- in exchange for traded CDs, and would be required to hold discs for 30 days before reselling them.

At least one Florida town has enforced the law, resulting in the cited merchant pulling used CDs from its store.

The law in Utah and the legislation pending in Wisconsin and Rhode Island are also harsher than typical pawn-shop laws, according to John Mitchell, outside counsel for NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers).

Brian Faber, director of operations for the eight-store, Phoenix-based Zia chain, says that while the rules sound onerous and could devalue the used-CD market, "we would comply and the market would ultimately adjust itself."

Faber says about 40 percent of his chain's volume comes from used-CD sales, paying out 80 percent cash and 20 percent store credit. If retailers could only pay out credit, he says, it could negatively affect product flow. The used-CD business' low pricing, he adds, is already being devalued by falling prices of new CDs.

Meanwhile, NARM says it will try to help shape the pending legislation. In Florida, retailers selling previously owned videos and videogames managed to carve out a partial exemption from the law so that they do not need a permit and have to wait only 15 days before reselling the merchandise.


As always, comments are welcome.