Sunday, December 30, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Barring any major breakthroughs, I'll be laying low during this holiday week.
But I do want to say "thanks!" to all of you, especially you regulars (you know who you are!) for another great year!
Happy Holidays to you all and all the best in 2008!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I was just doing a short roundup of web site browsing and saw that Rossif Sutherland has updated his MySpace page. In short, the album is coming along and should be out soon. He's financing and selling the CD himself, no record company.
He also writes that the songs he did with Jeff Lynne were done two years ago, so we can only assume These Words is a final mix, which I think is a good thing. He writes that all three of his produced by Jeff Lynne songs will be on the album, thankfully.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Well, bang my bongos and call me Desi. It appears Xanadu is a hit on the Great White Way. One symbol of its success, Xanadu On Broadway is being released on CD on January 8, 2008. CD Universe and Barnes & Noble among other retailers have preorders up for it.
Now I guess I have to see it.
Pause & Play.com is reporting that ELO's Ticket To The Moon: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra Volume 2 will be released in the states on February 12, 2008. One can only assume at this point that the CD will be exactly like the UK version, only with an FBI warning on it.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I have to say, it has been a really nice 18 months (or so) for ELO and/or Wilbury fans. We now have a rather nice collection of new and refreshed music to savor... and believe me, I have been! The Rossif Sutherland surprise was the perfect cherry on top to 2007.
Personally, my favorites: A New World Record, Balance Of Power, Highway Companion, Maxine, Idle Race Japanese remasters and the complete set of ELO Mini-LP CDs.
But now, look ahead at some of the many projects which are currently rumored or waiting for a green light:
The Move - we should be beginning the year with a Looking On remaster and an all-out box set; Rossif Sutherland's album should be finished soon with a reported 3 tracks produced by Jeff Lynne; Roy Orbison's Mystery Girl and King Of Hearts should be remastered and released in 2008; An Idle Race Box set; an expanded and remastered edition of Jeff Lynne's Armchair Theatre; a re-release of ELO's Zoom; an ELO singles box (which should flush out remastered versions of Buildings Have Eyes and two versions of A Matter Of Fact); ELO Zoom Greatest Hits Live; Into The Mysterious, a collection of solo ELO and closely related tracks.
As for my wish list, that includes remasters of the Long Beach concert, Xanadu and a re-do of Secret Messages with remastered versions of Mandalay, Buildings Have Eyes, Hello My Old Friend and *gulp* a full-on, untampered with and unedited Beatles Forever; a CD collection of unreleased session material from ELO post-1973; a 70s box set of unreleased material from Del Shannon; and of course, a new album from Jeff.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
It’s not exactly hard to see why the Traveling Wilburys Collection on vinyl was priced as high as it was. In a nutshell, it’s the deluxe CD/DVD edition, only larger… and without video.
The contents of the box, though, are pretty impressive. Both LP covers and labels are faithfully reproduced, the inner sleeves are now just one sheet inserts while the albums themselves are held in a more storage-friendly paper/poly sleeve. With the poster and postcards included, the set works. It may not be the biggest value for your dollar, but it makes for an excellent collector’s piece.
But any vinyl pressing is only as good as the source music. While Volume One and Volume 3 are pretty solid sound wise, some of the bonus tracks have detectible tape flaws. The extended version of Handle With Care is particularly bad. Whatever the case, the bonus tracks are worth the price. There’s a sizable improvement in the extended version of End of the Line.
The main exclusive here (for me anyway) is the remix of Not Alone Any More. Will most people shell out $75 for that feature? Probably not. But it’s a nice soon-to-be rarity using different vocal takes from Roy Orbison while uncovering some nice instrumental parts.
I never really weighed in on the debate over vinyl vs. CD. And frankly, I’m holding off on it until I have the ability to rent a high-end turntable and capture these tracks in 24-bit digital on this PC. But, after I spent a considerable amount of time using my (not high-end premium nor bottom of the line) consumer turntable, running the audio thru a small professional-grade mixer/amp, digitizing it into a consumer (but not cheap) audio restoration program, then creating uncompressed audio files for the iPod, I still can’t get satisfactory results sound-wise. So, for now, my stance on preferring remastered CDs stands. I'll hold out hope there will be some CD of these bonus tracks (whether promo or not) eventually.
Now, anyone is welcome to change my mind about vinyl. But when I hear the Traveling Wilburys on vinyl, I hear these songs as good quality recordings. But, whenI hear the remastered CDs, I hear these songs like they’re happening in front of me. I understand the Vinyl + Analog = warmer, fuller & better versus the CD + Digital = thinner, weaker & shittier argument. But, making uncompressed audio files (stressing uncompressed here) from remastered CDs and listening to those files on an iPod is currently blowing the doors off of any vinyl I’ve ever heard. Again, if you have any suggestions on the right way to hear vinyl records properly, I’m all ears.
I tried to get some opening thoughts on the Wilburys Vinyl box set on here this morning, but I flat out ran out of time. Been trying to capture a good quality version of the bonus 12" before I start writing. I will get to that this evening after work.
The box set in one word (so far): impressive.
Monday, December 3, 2007
A few readers of this site have sent e-mails about their music. They're fans of Jeff and ELO and many times their music reflects it. So, when you get a moment check out:
From Dom: http://cdbaby.com/cd/domnk and
And spread the word if you like them!