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Box Set Reviews. It really annoys me when people use articles like this as an excuse to try and force their own opinions on others, and say what you think people should or need to do, as opposed to what the artist in question WANTS to do. If you have a decent public library system nearby, check to see if they have a subscription to Freegal. Best of luck. I mean, both are made for collectors in The whole article has a Spinal Tap quality. You do realize that CDs are still the highest fidelity format and that the super-compressed streaming can suck the life out of some recordings.
Complaining about how tedious it is to import a cd to your iTunes library and copy it to your phone? Please, get over yourself. I never understood why musicians have to give their work for free.. I can understand why people are passionate about Spotfly et al, as I was in college when Metallica decided to pursue their whine-fest about Napster and even name their own fans in a lawsuit my response was to donate my Metallica CDs and records to Goodwill, taking almost fifteen years before I purchased their CDs, used, to once again grace my collection.
Now, most everything is on YouTube in one form or another, and it has allowed me to hear an artist and decide to… buy their CD.
Yep, I still buy CDs for two reasons: one is that if my computer ever crashes and all on it is lost, I still have a hard copy of the music. My other reason is my love of the packaging and artwork that usually accompanies the music. Finally, for anyone who wants to inform me about how vinyl still sounds better, I concede that this is very true.
But my hearing has never been particularly good and has diminished over time to the point that I no longer hear the subtle differences between analog and digital recordings.
Records are also higher maintenance and considerably more expensive than CDs, plus they are pretty much non-portable, which means the rental car must have a place for my iPod or a CD player for music travel. I listen to an iPod and put the mp3 files onto a stick for use in my car. But sometimes the past can still be relevant as a part of the future. Records were around for decades prior to cassettes and CDs, and though they were almost phased out, their enduring popularity has brought them back.
My CDs serve as an archive now, but they preserve the artwork in its published entirety that streaming media can not. The best thing, in the end, is that we can still choose how we purchase and listen to our music, and that is a choice worthy of celebration. Do you seriously believe artists put all that effort into writing, recording, and performing music to sell T-shirts? Two things. Is Adele for dudes?
And what do you recommend for noobs that want to get into vinyl? Three things. Does vinyl really sound better than digital? Does streaming sound better than iTunes? Ok four things. Many words ensue. There has been much ado about Adele.
People were understandably wide eyed for these new possibilities. Dotcom mania was in full up-tick. Copyright would become meaningless. Bowie bonds would lose all value and he would only be paid for concerts. It was simply the inevitable result of the technologies.
It was exciting, it was freedom. We imagined cellular phones that could download songs from huge databases. Sound familiar? This was in the 90s, before Google. We were enthusiasts at best, and got back to our daily lives, some of which involved the creation of music. Enter Napster vs Lars Ulrich, the widely public clash of forces that have been at war ever since, mostly behind the scenes, by some of the very same people.
Lars may have had the law on his side, but Napster won public opinion. Lars was possibly the first artist of the internet age to be vilified for standing up for himself. Well, that and the fact that he singled out fans, which probably was not the smartest way to go about it. We rushed headlong into 2. But where was it all leading? Realistically, why should most people have cared?
But the rest of us would get a few occasional glimpses behind the digital curtain, and the Wizard was not all that friendly. Facebook users were shocked to experience privacy breaches.
Many became distressed at the idea of Instagram owning their photos. And the somewhat more concrete episodes, that lost job because of a photo. Political candidates dropping out because of that post from three years ago. Police sifting through your profile because it turns out that yes you were the one that lit that car on fire after your team lost. But the reality is that we are the ones gladly clicking on Terms of Service and uploading our lives.
Right to be forgotten? Yeah right. So we have this public conversation and speculation about how privacy is becoming irrelevant. Or even necessary for change? There seems to be an attractiveness to the idea of disruption. The plan is to harness, digitize and aggregate your efforts, whether they be labor or intellectual property. Crumbs are left for the masses.
The good news is that people are starting to notice. The honeymoon is over. There never really was. I optimistically see a time when people will stand up for themselves and just say no. Ari exemplifies the lousy, degenerative business acumen present in so many musicians! Of course his piece is naive and rife with omission.
Sorry support your artists, BUY their music or else there will be a void of artists who are willing to spend months or years of their lives creating music.
Rolling in the deep was nothing special, her voice is nothing special, and her music is pop music, only slightly better than Britney Spears. Digital pay downloads is a much better model.. For me, iTunes is still number 1. Your an idiot. If your an independent musician you should respect her decision. I am sure she is sorry that she had inconvienced you if how you purchase music. I am an independent mom and pops vinyl and CD store owner.
Even thou you claim you purchase vinyl. Your logic outside of your own convience to the music industry embarrasses me. Do us all a favor and stop writing articles that hurts the music industry instead of helping it. I applaud Adele and her decision. Streaming defenitly is not a single world order. This still allows you to listen to the song, But not necessarily OWN it, Still allows artists to see her creation, get inspired and enjoy music.
Good article. Will save it on my phone for when I have insomnia. Made me fall asleep in 2 paragraphs. We are in the midst of an ideological war. Getting musicians to donate, or turn over for pennies, their works to those who own the servers, so the latter can reap the majority of profits, is where the real greed lies.
Yet Herstand proclaims it is the artist who is greedy. This is propaganda for the digerati, and it is wholly anti-artist. This is one sided, one- percent talk. Touring and t-shirts are not a good way for musicians to make a living, especially as they get older, have children or get sick all of which humans are apt to do. Technology should serve people, not the other way around, and we need to make sure musicians can thrive, despite the advent of digital streaming. We need to figure out how to restore value to music rather than have the music act as a marketing chip.
I think we could make the argument that this is already happening. For any musician out there who believes musicians should make a good living, I would suggest finding a better publication, one that represents the welfare of artists.
Any suggestions for an alternative? Why would anyone put a new release of their album on a streaming service?? Compare us with our neighbors in the Film Industry. Could you imagine Ted 2, Terminator Genesis and movies of that nature being readily available and nobody having to go buy it digitally or physically? Hell no! Movies would become cheap and nobody would care to buy the actual product cause they could just easily stream it on day 1. We make music for a living but yet we are not supposed to make money selling our music?
But, as great as those albums are, I find Little Creatures more consistently enjoyable. For one thing—and it's a big thing—it relies much more heavily on just plain good songwriting than its predecessors, which owed their strength more to adventuresomeness and danceability.
Little Creatures wasn't nearly as adventuresome or danceable, but each song was a winner that could lend itself readily to alternate styles and cover versions. Think about it: how much of Remain in Light could be remade in a drastically different style and still be half as good?
With its solid musicianship, strong melodies, and quirky-as-hell lyrics my favorite being the one about the woman who astral-projects herself into oblivion, though the one about being entertained by Chris and Tina's new baby comes a close second , Little Creatures fully deserves my devotion to it. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Like their contemporaries the Beach Boys , they quickly transcended their initial genre and produced some of the most vivacious music of the sixties.
Frankie's astonishing voice, boasting the most phenomenal falsetto in the history of recorded music—and he was a great singer even when he wasn't using his falsetto—struck a chord in me even then. Bandmate Bob Gaudio wrote some terrific tunes, too.
In fact, let's hope the Pet Shop Boys can match the legendary longevity of the Valli-Gaudio musical partnership, which has now lasted more than a half-century. And on a handshake, no less. In fact, if I remember correctly, this was the first album by anybody that I ever owned, which I bought the same year that it came out.
There I go again, showing my age. Definitely a singles band. But that's not the Four Seasons I know and love. Well, actually they are the Seasons I know, but I don't love them being so self-consciously experimental. Nothing but a hit singles collection does them a modicum of justice, and this one is definitive. Rufus Wainwright is one of the most original, moving, and imaginative singer-songwriters I've ever heard, the creator of unexpected melodies, intelligent lyrics, and eclectic arrangements that owe equal debts to classical, Broadway, ragtime, rock, pop, and folk.
The breathtaking Want One is an instant classic if there ever was one. And its follow-ups, the even more ambitious Want Two and the deceptively "poppier" but still wonderful Release the Stars , are also spectacular.
As with the Beach Boys ' Sunflower vs. Aja , this is a case where I have to concede that my favorite album by a certain artist probably isn't actually the best.
From a more objective standpoint, Want One is probably a better album than Release the Stars. It's certainly more impressive in terms of its ambition and willingness to take chances—and succeed. You might say the same about his next album, Want Two. But I enjoy Release the Stars even more. What it lacks in ambition it makes up for with sheer tunefulness. And I think it's a little less "work" to listen to. Dammit, I don't always want to have to think quite so much.
And while Pete Townshend is hardly rock's greatest guitarist and songwriter, he's certainly no slouch in either department.
As much as I love the Pet Shop Boys, I have to say that the best concert by far that I've ever attended was by the Who back in the mid-seventies on their final North American tour before Moon died. I consider myself blessed. Meanwhile, "Bargain" is a stunning profession of devotion—to God, by the way, by Townshend's own admission; "Behind Blue Eyes" is the Who's finest ballad, even if it does morph into a rocker; "Going Mobile" is one of the most joyful things they ever recorded; and "The Song Is Over" is simply beautiful.
Even John Entwistle's "My Wife" is a semi-comic standout, perhaps his best Who song as well; it's certainly the one that earned the most album-rock airplay. Put 'em all together and you've got one of the ultimate expressions of rock by one of rock's ultimate bands. Stevie Wonder. I know I sound like a broken record remember them? His early embrace of and experimentation with synthesizers pushed the envelope for electronic keyboards. And he could do some unbelievable things with a clavinet, such as when he plays it with a wah-wah pedal on "Higher Ground.
Its two immediate predecessors, Music of My Mind and Talking Book , were great and greater, respectively, but Innervisions is the greatest of all. Yes, even greater than Songs in the Key of Life , which—I'm sorry—could have benefited from careful trimming. Many if not most of his fellow musicians had already recognized Stevie's genius beforehand, but Innervisions made it palpably obvious to the rest of the world. Like the aforementioned Who's Next , every song is a classic—so much so that when Motown put out his At the Close of a Century box set in , only one Innervisions song, "Jesus Children of America," failed to make the cut.
And I really like that song, too. Another guilty pleasure. Yes, there was excess. Tales from Topographic Oceans , anyone? Yes, Jon Anderson's lyrics often bordered on nonsense. Yes, those asteroids did look a lot like giant floating mushrooms. But these guys were virtuosos who transcended the dross through the sheer weight of their talent.
And they can take credit for some of the most transcendently beautiful passages in all of prog rock. One of the definitive works of "progressive rock. It offers only three tracks one, the title track, taking up an entire LP side , but each ranks among the band's greatest. Close to the Edge proved such a downright imposing album that Yes apparently felt they could follow it up only with a four-song conceptual double-album, with each side devoted to one song if you can call such grandiose things "songs".
But the resulting Tales from Topographic Oceans suffers terribly in comparison. Yes has spent the rest of their career trying to rescale the heights they achieved with this album, and though they've often hit high, they've never again come so close—to the edge, of course.
The main reason I like this one most, however, is that the band members seem to be having more fun in this show than in any other I've watched by Yes, displaying a looseness and sheer joy one generally doesn't expect from this band. I mean, I never thought I'd see Jon Anderson running through an audience, slapping fans' hands.
Somebody asked me, "Out of all your favorites, who would be in your 'Top Ten'? Therefore, using that "purely scientific" criterion, here are my Top Ten favorite artists in descending order:. Here are some other artists that I'm quite fond of, although in each case there's something that prevents them from ranking up there among my "favorites. Art-popsters who later drifted toward blue-eyed soul, acquiring a spotty record along the way: a good not great, but good debut album, a lackluster second, terrific third and fourth albums Life Beyond L.
Sort of like an American variation on Kate Bush , but missing a certain je ne sais quoi is that too horribly pretentious of me? I think she's excellent in small doses, though too much at a time makes me gaze longingly at the medicine cabinet. The Cars. The Steely Dan of new wave, at least from a lyrical perspective.
Yeah, sometimes they were a little too slick—the simile "like leather tuxedos" comes to mind—but I forgive them. Donna Summer 's only real competition as the greatest artist of the Disco Era. For one thing, their brilliant and almost neurotically stylized "Good Times" is one of my all-time favorite singles. Devotion which Alcazar later sampled so effectively for "Crying at the Discoteque" are all nearly its equal in terms of sheer fabulosity.
But Chic doesn't make my full-fledged favorite artists list because the number of their songs that I like is relatively small compared to the artists listed above. Six of their first seven albums, recorded from who cranks out albums that quickly anymore? Why not all seven? Because that interminable fourth counts among the deadest live albums ever made.
Unfortunately, after the seventh I don't have much use for them. A woman with a magical voice who made country music for people who don't like country music. Her "best of" and "greatest hits" collections boast one unforgettable performance after another.
Too bad she also recorded more than her share of disposable filler. I generally really like their earlier material, especially their more uptempo tracks, on which Chris Martin's sometimes cloying wounded-puppydog vocal mannerisms aren't nearly as noticeable as on their slower numbers. But their output since their fourth album hasn't appealed to me nearly as much. Favorite songs: "Trouble," "Clocks," " Viva la Vida. Duran Duran.
I was a latecomer—very late—in appreciating this band because, frankly, I can hardly abide their early singles like "Girls on Film," "Hungry Like the Wolf," and "Rio," which strike me as just shy of despicable. And I've now come to regard the even later "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone" as unreservedly brilliant, among the finest releases of the s. What's more, they became more visually appealing once they outgrew their early, somewhat decadent pretty-boy image.
That is, I got to the point where I could watch their videos and performances at least the later ones without wanting to put my foot through the screen.
For all of my attempts at maintaining an analytical and "intellectual" approach to music, I'm often unable to avoid strong emotional reactions to it.
Fearsome prog rock—sometimes downright scary. Their first album is quite nice, too. The rest, however, I can pretty much do without. I love their fourth and fifth albums the one with the indescipherable title and Houses of the Holy , and while I'm not fond of any of their other albums overall, each has at least one or two or three or four tracks that I think are terrific.
They were often great songwriters, too, ersatz blooze not withstanding; it's generally ersatz enough to make it thoroughly enjoyable. Brenda Lee. An early performer of " Always on My Mind " yes, even before Elvis , she's also known as Little Miss Dynamite; it's amazing that such a big voice should come out of such a little body she's only 4'9", or cm. What I said about Pasty Cline goes for Brenda as well, only there are even more classics and even more crap.
By the way, it's no accident that she and Patsy had the same producer, the brilliant Owen Bradley: a man so important to the history of country music that they erected a bronze statue of him in Nashville. How many record producers can you think of who've had statues erected in their honor? Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor is a man with a vision, even if that vision is enough to make some people want to shove knitting needles into their eye sockets. He's also a lot funnier than most of his fans realize, so busy they are taking him totally at face value.
Oh, and in recent years he's turned into a major hunk. I'm just sayin'. The Pretenders. Maybe I just like strong women who write really good songs. More like their best and they would've been shoo-ins for the top tier. Barbra Streisand.
I can't help it—I am gay, you know. Besides, in terms of sheer vocal technique, one can make a solid argument for her as the finest female vocalist of the second half of the twentieth century. There's a caveat, however: give me her excellent discography from to , but forget anything before too Broadway and after flaccid attempts to recreate past glories. Favorite songs: "Stoney End," "Evergreen," "Memory.
I'm serious. I actually like only a few of their songs, but those I love intensely. Too dumb to be smart, but too smart to be merely stupid, these guys formed the nexus where bubblegum, glam, punk, and art rock converged and waged a love-hate war. With better songwriting talent, they might have been real contenders.
With much better songwriting talent, they might have been Queen. If everything they've done were as fantastic as their "best of," they'd easily make my list of unreserved favorites.
OK, I could say that about a lot of artists. But—I'm not sure why—I regret that it's not true for these guys more than for anyone else.
Not so incidentally, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is another one of my all-time favorite singles. Curiously, hearing it always make me nostalgic for my college years, despite the fact that it came out nearly a decade after I graduated. Figure that one out! In addition, I count a number of other albums among my favorites despite the fact that I wouldn't place those who created them among my favorite artists.
I do like them all—just not enough to count them as "favorites. These albums are listed in chronological order, with those released in the same year sorted alphabetically by artist. I've never been a big concert attendee. In general, the "live experience" doesn't do a lot for me. Nonetheless, I have immensely enjoyed most of the shows I've attended. Here's a short list of the artists whose concerts I've gone to—at least those that I can recall at this time.
This list doesn't include the fairly large number of classical, choral music, and standup comic performances I've attended. In April Actually, I'm torn whether to consider this a show by a musician or by a comedian, the latter of which would disqualify it from inclusion here. But he sang a lot and had a band, so although the focus was on comedy and political satire, it qualifies as a music show. I attended two shows in the early s by this talented openly gay folk-pop-comedy duo.
Stylistically not exactly my thing, but that was back when openly gay artists were still so rare that they nearly all deserved one's active support re The Flirtations a few paragraphs above. There were also several "aborted" concerts for which I had tickets but didn't attend for one reason or another:. All Rights Reserved. Brief quotations and small, low-resolution images are used for identification and critical commentary, thereby constituting Fair Use under U.
Favorite songs: "Dancing Queen" , from the album Arrival I know it's a terribly obvious choice. But, tell me, how can anyone not love this song? Besides, it was the first ABBA hit that made me appreciate them as more than a quaint Scandanavian novelty with bubblegum appeal.
I stood corrected. Besides, I have a wonderful memory of being in a predominantly lesbian dance club in Saint Paul, Minnesota, when the DJ put this record on.
The crowd went nuts. When, at the very beginning, that choral melody fades in—a lone, wordless female voice singing to mandolin and accordion accompaniment—it sounds as though it's coming from another dimension, where self-destructed dreams are memorialized for eternity: forever longing, forever in regret.
Favorite album BW : Smile What a tragic loss it would have been if Brian had never completed his magnum opus. Paul McCartney may have been exaggerating when he called this the greatest song ever written, but maybe not by much.
But I don't think Jimi was being literal. Regardless, he was surely thinking of this masterpiece, with its ridiculously complex harmonic vocal interplay, when he said that. The fact that it wasn't nearly as big a hit as the preceding single, "Good Vibrations"—itself one of the most innovative 1 hits in pop music history—apparently proved one of the great disappointments of Brian's life and helped seal the doom of Smile.
It's challenging enough trying to figure out the key s of the aforementioned "God Only Knows. Here he and his Boys adopt and discard keys, one line after another, with greater ease than a cold sufferer going through Kleenex. Yet it all sounds perfectly natural. And since Brian the solo artist if you can truly call anyone with such a large and highly proficient backing band a "solo artist" is enjoying a late-stage career quite distinct from that of the Beach Boys, I'm going to grant him, uniquely among all the artists listed here, a fourth "favorite"— "Midnight's Another Day" , from That Lucky Old Sun The best song Brian has written—or, as is usually the case, co-written, since he has almost always worked best with collaborators—in more than 30 years: beautiful, emotionally naked, sorrowful yet positive at the same time, and blessed with a stunning arrangement.
Neil has cited the BB classic Pet Sounds as one of his favorite albums. And he once told an interviewer that his all-time favorite pop song is "God Only Knows" from that same album. Now I do loads of harmonies.
I'm turning into Brian Wilson! These studios have served as a favored recording venue for many legendary artists, not the least among them the Beach Boys. First album I owned: Sgt. Favorite songs: "Strawberry Fields Forever" , from the album Magical Mystery Tour A revolution in popular music unfolding before our eyes—or, in this case, our ears. It's the sound of our world changing. As another writer has put it and I paraphrase , one song tears down a world, while the other builds it up again.
And I'm in absolute awe of George Martin's production on this track. If he had never produced anything else, I think this alone would still have earned him a place among the immortals. I just revel in the sound of it. Pepper to remind me how much I love this song. Both John the principal writer and Paul always steadfastly maintained that it's merely a coincidence that the title suggests LSD, and it would be presumptuous of me to dispute it.
Besides, hallucinogenic drugs or no, it remains even after all this time a mind-blowing experience. Only intense familiarity risks obscuring its startling lyrical imagery, its ingenious arrangement and production, and its urgent chorus, especially once Paul joins with his peerless higher harmony. A magnificent pearl of a track, albeit on an album full of them. Incidentally, Elton John's remake is my all-time least favorite cover by a major artist of another major artist's song. I can barely stand to listen to it, even if it did go to 1 in the U.
The Beatles aka "the White Album" was the first album Neil ever bought, and he taught himself to play guitar studying Beatles songbooks. Chris has said that the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night was the first film that he ever saw and that he was a big fan in his pre-teen years. Neil has credited John Lennon "Strawberry Fields Forever," in particular as a major influence on his style as a lyricist.
Neil and Chris had once seriously considered performing a cover version of the Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" but, after rehearsals, decided against it. The album title Yes was partly inspired by an artwork that Yoko had created in the s, in which one had to climb a ladder to read the tiny inscription "Yes! The "pre-Yoko" John was rather impressed by this piece, which thereby played a role in bringing John and Yoko together.
In an interview with the Boys in the German edition of Rolling Stone in March , Neil speculates rather facetiously whether, if they were to break up, they would end up writing bitter songs about each other, just as Lennon and McCartney did. Neil once told an interviewer how "very exciting" he felt it was to be able to record at Abbey Road, partly because the Beatles used to record there as well.
Abbey Road is of course the title of the final studio album recorded by the Beatles, and Abbey Road Demos is the title given to one of the earliest and most famous PSB bootlegs. Make offer - Rock Nm! K Black Vinyl Fontana Mono. Nintendo Switch Console - Neon with improved battery. Shop by category. Record Size see all. Not specified. Duration see all. Box Set.
Speed see all. Artist see all. The Everly Brothers. Cliff Richard. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing this classic check it out below! It's time to duck and cover as we revisit the School Of Spontaneous Selection. This is seat-of-the-pants RFW in its purest form. The only song I have planned is the first one on-deck.
Every other selection played was chosen based on my immediate reaction to what came before it! This is funtime for us all because I'm just as surprised by the outcome as you! The keywords stoned and jailhouse result in sets that leave you in an altered and captivated state. Add some pure-pop for you now-people and a few English singles from the sixties and we are half-way to rock and roll heaven'.
Visit Desert Explorer for more pictures and info. Check out this great interview with Daevid from found on the excellent Planet Gong site. It was co-created by and starred Patrick McGoohan. Step out to the sounds of Albert Hammond Jr. I may be a heel, but I have sole! Music hertz! I can't think of a man whose name is more synonymous with the guitar than Les Paul.
His playing, inventions and techniques literally changed the course of music. RFW includes a salute to this pioneer who passed away on August 13th at the age of 94 featured here with a cameo by his wife Mary Ford , as well as tunes by the late musician and producer James Luther Dickinson and the recently departed Willy DeVille with his old band Mink DeVille.
They will all be missed. Get wet! Radio stations die all the time. It has happened to a few stations I've worked at in my career. It's very sad and emotional. Employees, alumni and listeners grieve, then time does it's thing and the memories slowly fade. It really hasn't been the same station that provided the soundtrack to my youth for years.
I did my last show there over 25 years ago. There should be no surprise in its demise.Guardians of the Galaxy Deluxe Vinyl Edition Tyler Bates $ $ 73 (2,) The Greatest Showman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Vinyl w/Digital Download) Hugh Jackman $ $ 51 (10,) Gold - Greatest Hits [2 LP] ABBA $ $ 94 .