Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees...

This years list was announced today. Read the full list of who is considered

If you are a Rush or Kiss fan...you'll be pissed again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FDF Volume 3: Issue 201 - Therapy? Troublegum

By: March

Album - Troublegum
Artist - Therapy?
Key Players - Michael McKeegan - bass, backing vocals. Fyfe Ewing - drums, backing vocals. Andy Cairns - lead vocals, guitar.
Produced By - Chris Sheldon

Release Date - February 7, 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- Therapy? is a band that is widely unknown here in the United States. They have tired to break through but have had very little luck. The band can still be a marquee act on festival stages overseas

Overview - This is the second major label album from Belfast, Northern Ireland based band "Therapy??". Initial the band said the question mark was meant to be "deep" as in "do you need therapy?" but the honest truth is the band needed to better center the name on albums. The band, who formed in 1989 would rocket to success quickly in the UK but US audiences would fail to garner much interest. The band would lose key members, be dropped by their label but pay out of pocket to stay on the road and always continue to soldier on and they are fast approaching their 15th album release. Metallica would personally ask the band to perform with them and the band is preparing to do shows that will perform this album in its entirety. The album made the "Shortlist" for the Mercury Prize in 1994, and was ranked #31 in Kerrang magazines 100 Best British Rock Albums ever.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Ewing hammers out the intro on "Knives" as the buzzy guitar punches you in the gut. The band wastes very little time showing what they are all about. This trio hits it all hard. Cairns howls over the top and McKeegan gives the bass a good punch as the song is a quick in and out exercise in metal. There is a short guitar solo over a wall of screams before Ewing strikes the snare with authority before it all comes back in, and before you know it the track ends. Hardly a moment passes when the drums are right back in your face and "Screamager" begins. The "twap" sound of the drums is over the top and Ewing rolls the toms before Cairns gives a good double wall of guitar. McKeegan once more punches the bass over the driving tempo. The great intro is really a solid bed of music so they return to it after the chorus. Cairns once more runs a quick guitar run as Ewing makes steady work of his drum kit. With a scream of guitars the song ends and it segueways right in to "Hellbelly". One guitar is over dubbed, with the next. A choppy run of guitar riffs over some phased guitars. Ewing and McKeegan once more provide a rock solid back beat. Come the chorus everyone hits overdrive and its a barrage of sound. Like many "trios" you always have to say "wow, such a big sound from three members". The band never seems to let up and do a chant that leads into the second chorus. Backing vocals are not overly prevalent, but from time to time you catch them. A guitar solo is run, but Ewing holds court and it stands out what he does. They seem to slow it down some, with the vocals becoming hushed, yet still sounding like Cairns gargled with razor blades and it all comes running back up. It just won't let up. Big monster guitar and bass riffs open "Stop It You're Killing Me". It has this "hugeness" to it and you think the tempo is laid back, but Ewing counts it off and before you know it, you are in for another assault. This is one of "the" Therapy? songs. It has everything that had me fall in love with them. Big guitars, pounding drums and a rumbling bass mixed with great lyrics that really get you going. Even the vocal and instrumental break down later in the song hold your interest because it is not this same old "rinse/lather/repeat" style of song writing. You want guitars, we got em..and Cairns gives you his all on the intro to "Nowhere". A quick and swirly guitar buzz over the one two punch of McKeegan, who has the bass punched up nice in the mix, and Ewing. The drum lines are not overly complex, but one can appreciate the speed and heavy handed drumming style, the band has just NOT let up on the album. The band works with a little off tempos again, but are quick to keep the focus on. If you like guitars, this is really a record for you. No flashy guitar work, just in your face playing. "Die Laughing" has a big, full intro but seems to have a slower tempo at the outset of the other tracks. Cairns is a little more laid back on the verses, but come the chorus the lines of "I can't remember my own name..I think I've gone insane" the band gets to that good full sound and the backing vocals are more present. The guitar solo leads up with a choppy run, before a more focused guitar solo is played while the tempo is kept in check. The band all comes up vocally and Ewing slaps the kit hard as they bring back the big huge stadium guitar riff and sing the chorus a few more times. "Unbeliever" continues with that big guitar sound you've all fallen in love with by now. The mix is up on Ewings kit on this track all the while the bass rings out under it all. It is a more mid tempo song for the band, if there is such a thing, and it contains all the formulas the band has worked. Cairns has his longest guitar solo on the album here, but it quickly goes back to the focus of the tune. Ewing rolls the drums again and the the guitar slowly builds with a wall of feedback on "Trigger Inside". It feels a little slow to build, but once it gets started watch out. The bass is punchy across the bottom and Ewing hammers the kit per the norm all the while the vocals are blended nicely. McKeegan has a very short bass burst at the mid point of the song, its a simple note just punched at the listener. There is an interlude where the guitar is feeding back off the big wall of riffs before it all runs rampant. It sounds like dueling guitars on the same opening riff as "Lunacy Booth" starts. Again the tempo is not as quick as some of the others on the album but it still doesn't lack the heaviness. Lesley Rankine (Silverfish/Rank) offers a very strong female backing vocal with some howls and then harmonies. She adds such a great vibe to the song, and the tone that Cairns gets out of this guitar is to die for. As he sings "your just the same as me" over and over as the track fades you'll be hitting the "last track" button. The band takes on Joy Division for a cover of "Isolation". The dark and brooding song has the same feel as the original but the guitars and drums are a little more urgent than the original. The bass has a good drive on it and the cover is quite strong. "Turn" has a big guitar opening (shocker) but again is more of a mid tempo track for the band. The rhythm section continues to shine, holding it all together as Cairns gives the big rock arena vocal delivery. The band uses a second backing female on "Femtex". This time it is Eileen Rose who is not heard until the final verse/chorus but she adds a great feel to track. Future member Martin McCarrick plays cello on "Unrequited". The song has a a quick burst of guitar and the cello has these huge "slides" going on at the intro. The band is out of their mind frantic on this track. It tries to mellow as it leads to the second verse with he cello leading the way, but Ewing wants nothing to do with mellowing out so the band takes off once more. They do this a few times with strong results. The album wraps up with "Brainsaw" a great album closer that continues with the same tenacity as the big rockers on the album. A hidden track (or extension of Brainsaw) comes in with "You are My Sunshine". The song is sung and then the word "away" is stuck like a skipping record. This runs for over 20 minutes...sheer torture honestly.

Where are they now?
- Fyfe Ewing left the band in early 1996 saying he was tired of touring. The band has since had a few members (all on drums) but also added a second guitar player/cellist Martin McCarrick (whom has also since left). In November of this year the band plan to release a two disc live album called "We are Here Until the End". If any Irish readers are out there (or anyone else that can get this cd for me) that might be able to get me a copy (I'll pay for it of course) please let me know.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- Therapy? has not graced the US shores very much, and when they do I am sure to be there. The very first time I saw them was opening for the Rollins Band (FDF Looked at Weight) on May 12, 1994 at Avalon in Boston. The band was back on August 17, 1996 at Axis playing a blistering set. The opener cancelled and Therapy? just laid it down. My favorite part was being up front and having a blast and bassist Michael McKeegan stopping between songs saying right to me in his thick Irish accent "You know all the fucking words mate!". Somewhere in between those shows Therapy? opened for TAD (an FDF look at Infrared Riding Hood) at Axis, but I don't have a stub for that show so I am unsure of the date. I think it was the tail end of the Nurse tour, but I am not 100% sure. The final time was May 12, 2001 at Bill's Bar in Boston. That show was just awesome. The band was doing a very short US tour and they really laid it down hard. I met the guys after the show so that was a thrill. The one funny part (well not funny) was that on stage Andy said "Its been 6+ years since we've been to Boston and America...we promise you it won't be six more next time!". Still waiting Andy....still waiting.

FDF Overall Take - As a fan of this band it is easy to sit here and wonder why the band hasn't made it in the States. There is very little to NOT like. If you like a big sound, that is on the heavier side, this is a no miss collection of songs. Honestly, if you can track down any of their cds and you like the style of music there is really very little to NOT like. I'd love to see them get some recognition in the States, at least so I could see them live again!


Official site is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
If you put just about every track in to you tube you'll have a match. Here are just a few.

Knives live - here.
Screamager live - here
Isolation live - here
Die Laughing w/Tom Jones doing the intro - here
Trigger Inside - here

Buy the record here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Alarm - Showcase Live, Foxboro, MA September 16, 2010

Went to see The Alarm last night, review and pictures here.

FDF Volume 2: Issue 200 - U2 Zooropa

By: March

Album - Zooropa
Artist - U2
Key Players - Larry Mullen -drums, percussion and backing vocals. Adam Clayton - bass. The Edge - Guitar, piano, synthesizers and vocals. Bono - lead vocals and guitar.
Produced By - Flood, Brian Eno, The Edge

Release Date - July 5, 1993*

* I actually remember driving in to Boston that morning (worked there at the time) since Newbury Comics had an early morning on sale of the cd. I was in the record store at 615am and got a t-shirt and the cd..I still have both.

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Ahh its the 200th one of these that has been done and I haven't done U2 yet. This is also one of the records that I don't often think of, hence the pick.

Overview - Dublin Ireland based U2 released their 8th studio album "Zooropa" on the heels of the massively successful "Achtung Baby" album and subsequent tour. The album was written on a six month break of touring and was only intended to be an EP the band found a creative stride and the sessions actually needed to be completed on off days once the tour resumed. It would continue to push the band even further in to musical super stardom. The techno/dance feel of the record would be a direction the band would take on the 1997 follow up "Pop". Although it spawned three singles, none of them reached number one in the US. A few of the tracks are still concert staples.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - "Zooropa" has a very long fade up with piano and advertising playing underneath. It slowly builds even more and seems like bass notes resonate before the delay of guitar rings over and the talking ends. Almost two minutes in it starts to feel like a song. The guitars wave and the band comes in. Asking "what do you want" before Bono begins to sing in a mix of English and German. The vocals are hushed, and heavily effect laden and this is the norm for two verses. The Edge rings out guitar once more and it takes almost a whole new direction. Brian Eno guests on the synthesizers and the track gets a more rock feel to it. The vocals are still distorted some but come the chorus the backing vocals come out. It is curious to hear the band in this start of their change in direction musically. No one member takes charge of the track and the band works in unison. After a curious synth phase the track ends. There is a "chime loop" at the start of "Babyface" a laid back quieter song. Void of anything but the loop until the bass comes in and even through the chorus Mullen only keeps time on the snare before the Edge does a quick run on the guitar. There are some bass harmonics before the verses begin once more. This is actually the shortest tune on the album clocking in at an even four minutes. It is a pretty simple formula the band keeps. In doing that it sets up the track "Numb" all the better. Buzzing guitar feeding off a canned back beat this is one of the few tracks that the Edge takes lead vocals on. Bono and Larry are the backing vocalists on this, simply put, chanted song, but the Edge. Edge doesn't really sing (see Seconds on the War album for example) he choose to speak the lines over a buzzy guitar before some drums and keyboards fill out the back. As the track comes towards the two minute mark Bono offers a more falsetto backing vocal approach and almost seems to take the lead over the words of the Edge. The video that was for the video worked very well (see the links). The track has made it's way in to some recent tours set lists. Its not a show stopper, but its curious to see live. In a direction fans had yet to hear the band go the wavering keyboard intro and Bono's falsetto on "Lemon" are something to behold. Having almost a disco feel to it the band falls in to a dance groove that fans had not really heard before. The verses are sung high and then Bono will fluctuate on the chorus. The music feels a little "canned' at times with the bass and drums mearly holding court. (a trend that non fans of the band have historically made fun of). This is another song that worked well live and Bono would perform this under his "MacPhisto" persona during the tour. The piano seems to be a focus later in the track and the band works on some nice vocal chorus but the back beat remains constant keeping the song moving forward. Another song that did well live, usually in a acoustic settings was "Stay (Faraway, So Close!). Edge plays a few notes before the Clayton and Mullen join in. Bono is somewhat laid back on vocals at the start singing a little hushed. As the verse continues you begin to hear in the background the guitars start to swell more. The formula is repeated and Bono really soars vocally, this is one of the tracks that showcases his work with the Edge. The two have always fed off one another and its easy to see why they stripped this down live for just the two of them to work on. One of the fun, and not often thought of U2 gems (at least to me) is "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car". Using a sample from the band "MC900 Foot Jesus" the drums are effect riddled. The drum beat has a high ring to it, but is very punchy. The bass and guitar feel like they struggle to get going. By the time Bono comes in after the one minute mark he is singing over a looped back beat and he sings in whispered tones. As the song continues to build and Bono starts to sing a little more urgently. It keeps the tempo and by the third verse the drums are really pushed up. Edge works a series of distorted short notes on the guitar, but it is nearly impossible to escape the heavy drum sound. It gets a little chaotic by this point with the loops and drums firing with a few short bass guitar bursts dropped in. As the song works towards the close there are a series of vocal fades with the days of the week sung and an "all right" sung over it from time to time, as the song fades. Brian Eno had a lot to do with loops being used on the record and it returns on "Some Days are Better than Others". Clayton gets his first showcase with a simple swooping bass. Mullen joins in on hi-hat and Bono starts to sing. The guitar is not present until after the second verse (and first chorus). It starts to feel more like a song, and a very good one at that. The bass is still heavy in the mix, with Edge just using the guitar to throw out short progressive notes. Mullen and Clayton keep the track on task and Edge uses the wah wah before a very distorted short guitar solo. A rare occurrence on the record (distorted or otherwise). As the vocals come back in the solo changes direction and keeps going, but it kept under the vocal track. The music loop runs towards the end with the distorted guitar leading the way towards the fade. The band does the "ballad" thing on "The First Time" a very pretty sounding track. Brian Eno plays piano and harmonium in the background along with a lone guitar and Bono on vocals. The song gets fuller, but never changes from the piano and guitar delivery. The song has been performed live but only about 38 times total since debuting in 1993. "Dirty Day" is a track the band dedicated to Charles Bukowski and is a quieter track that has a few moments of a buzzy guitar that seems to stay in check. The song is not overly interesting and I actually had to skip back to it to add comments, but don't really have any. The final track on the album is "The Wanderer" which is sung by the legendary Johnny Cash. (check out and old FDF on The San Quentin album You'd never know its a U2 song as it has a buzzy synthesizer and the unmistakable vocals of Cash. The Edge offers some harmonies on the song, but there is never any guitar, bass or drums giving you that U2 sound, maybe a little with a guitar that slowly makes its way in, but even that is a stretch. A curious, yet effective album closer.

Perhaps a little known bit is that there is a "hidden" track after "The Wanderer" concludes. It is the sound of a ringing alarm, and based off what I've read it is an alarm DJ's hear when there is 10 seconds of "dead air". As a former DJ I either never had dead or or this is a myth.....anyway its not really a track but a curious "noise" you may choose to check out.

Where are they now? - U2 are still active as a studio and touring band, and have retained all original members. The rumors as of late is the band is working on upwards of three records at this time. They released their last studio album "No Line On The Horizon" in 2009. They also released a live DVD called " U2 360 at the Rose Bowl" in early 2010.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Its a sickness, sorry. By some standards its too much, by others it is not so much, but I've seen U2 live 17 times. The first was May 3, 1987 at the Centrum in Worcester. A co-worker of my mothers son had an extra ticket and I had my drivers license for about 2 weeks or so. One of the girls that went with us ended up on Irish TV and we were about 10-12 rows back on the floor..it was just stunning (but I'd one up that later). Two more times that year, September 18th at the Boston Garden then September 22nd at Foxboro Stadium. March 13, 1992 saw them again at the Centrum in Worcester. My older brother was trying for tickets for ages and finally got through. We had 300 level tickets,but we didn't care..this was the tour where it was going to be "indoors" for one show only etc. As the show approached the band released a ticket exchange meaning folks in the 300's could show up a week or so before and exchange for updated seats. Well, my brothers girlfriend at the time went out and landed us front row tickets. I mean FRONT ROW on the rail. The Pixies opened that show (check out the FDF on Doolittle) and it was Adam Claytons birthday. The show was great and I got the attention of Bono and he gave me the set list. That was my closest encounter ever. The band then did 3 shows in Foxboro in 1992 and I did the first two on August 20 and 22nd. These were just massive shows, the outdoor broadcast was just the biggest thing my eyes had seen. I was lower level, but more than halfway back both shows. It would be a long time since U2 toured and the next was again in Foxboro July 1st and 2nd 1997. A lot had changed for the band and for me personally. I was married, owned a home and was back in school. Night one I scored excellent pre-sale seats inside 20 rows back straight back. I had a summer course final that night as well, so I took it and then raced to the stadium. I made it in time! June 6, 2001 the band was back on the road and "indoors". The Fleet Center was venue for this and I'd go again on the 9th. I'd see them one more time in 2001 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence on October 30th. I had just a single ticket for this show and had floor/GA seats. May 24th and 26th I saw them again at the Fleet Center. Both nights I had General Admission tickets via the fan club. Night one my wife went with me and we landed the "inside the heart" tickets. We were on the side of the Edge and the band would walk past us often. They looked and sounded great both nights. The second night I was back on the floor so I could take "more of it" in. The band loved Boston this year and I was back for two more shows October 3rd and 4th. The final two times I saw the band live was in support of the current album. September 20 and 21st 2009 at Gillette Stadium. Again, had field general admission tickets and was close to the "VIP" area. I saw Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise on night one. The shows were good, and the stage was even bigger than I'd imagined.

FDF Overall Take - Love them or hate them U2 have been making music for over 30 years now. Some have been mis-fires, but the band has always pushed themselves and the audiences with mixed results. After this record the band released one of their least successful albums ever "Pop" and then returned to the formula for the follow-up. The band is pretty hard to escape on radio and Zooropa might be a welcome diversion from the worn out "hits".

The band's official page as well as myspace.

A very long and detailed talk on Wiki regarding the record can be found here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Official video for Numb
a funny "Lego" version of the same video here as well as a solo live Edge version here.
Live from Boston and acoustic version of Stay.
Daddy's Gonna pay for your crashed car live from Zoo TV here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

FDF Volume 2: Issue 199 - Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret

By: March

Album - Keep it Like a Secret
Artist - Built to Spill
Key Players - Scott Plouf - drums. Brett Nelson - bass. Doug Martsch - guitar and vocals.
Produced By - Phil Ek and Doug Martsch

Release Date - February 22, 1999

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- The other day the song "the Plan" came up on shuffle on my iPod from the their live album. I love(d) that song and realized it had been a long time since I went to the studio record. Its that simple..oh..and they are touring like mad men

Overview - Based out of Boise, Idaho Built to Spill have released seven full length albums. The album featured this week was the bands fourth, but second on a major label. Although leader Doug Martsch had intended to be the sole member with a rotating cast of players come this record Nelson and Plouf were full time members. The band would slowly gain momentum with this release and a Live album put out in 2000 would further solidify them as indie rock icons. The album would (and continues) to receive accolades. In 1999 Pitchfork voted the record album the 41st most important album of the 90's.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - With one guitar riff "The Plan" begins. Right out of the gates the whole band fires off. Its a wall of sound and Martsch has a unique vocal style to really add to it. For just three guys its a big, full sound. Nelson crawls over the frets on his bass while Plouf keeps a strong, but heavy beat. There are some great tempo changes, but the song is just so "full" it is hard to not fall in love. An awesome album opener and the first song I'd play for anyone that ever asked me "What does the band sound like". Great stuff. Even with the quick guitar runs and short solos the whole band is equal in the mix, a precedence laid out from the outset. "Center of the Universe" has an odd guitar intro, sort of a phase, meets twang. I am not doing it justice in these words. Plouf gets the band on task quick while Nelson runs these "chugging" bass riffs. The quirky guitar returns after the chorus, wish I had a good word to describe it. It is not bad at all, just something you don't always hear. Martsch has a buzzy guitar before it gets a lot more calm at the start of "Carry the Zero". He is almost playful with the notes as the bass and drums build the back side of the song. You can almost pick out a strong acoustic guitar chord progression, but its not that prominent. The brightness can be heard, but Martsch has a great early electric guitar solo that compliments it well. This song seems to have a little more "sing along" quality to it. The band is very full, and you have to remember it is just three guys (sure there are overdubs..but still). Just the "fullness" is something to behold. Towards the 4 minute mark the band gets together and hammers it out strong, wrapping up with a real strong jam, worth repeating. "Sidewalk" opens with the full band at a quick tempo. Plouf gets to work out on the drums but Nelson has his bass up in your face too. After a few bars the vocals come in and the whole band gets more urgent. By this fourth song you realize the band is very focused, and are comfortable with their roles. No instrument is buried in the mix, you hear it all. Up to this point this one of the quicker songs on the record, but don't let that fool you. The band likes to do curious breakdowns of tempo which is nice and it allows the band to re-focus and one person may strike a chord and the band feeds from that. "Bad Light" has a guitar trill, but a very focused guitar over dubbed at the start. The bass and drum are brought up as the guitar riff is repeated for a few bars then Plouf gets things rolling. The band is even more free on this with the extensive jam and time changes that are only offset but short vocal runs. The song hardly fades before "Time Trap" begins. Martsch works some buzzy guitar but the Nelson bass portion is clean and swooping. Just a terrific vibe on the bass guitar. For the first two minutes you are treated to just an instrumental wall of sound. It is just focused and driving, it is just..ohhh good. The song slows some as the vocals begin and the instruments seem to ease up to allow for the vocals to be higher in the mix. We are treated to another great instrumental section and Nelson has his bass right up, the only bummer is this one fades well before you are ready. A stand out track. "Else" begins similar to others with a short guitar run before the band comes in. It is a slower feeling song that others but it is not a ballad by any means. Once again though as the track progresses there is a great musical interlude that the guitar and bass just swallow you up. Plouf keeps the tempo in check, but the bass is just this swirling slice of excellence and once again before you know it the song is ending. "You Were Right" opens with an overdubbed guitar, one squealing over the top and a second fulling more chords. The song has this great blend as well, with only hold backs occurring during the verses. There is a great guitar portion about 1:15 in to the track where Martsch gets choppy but the song keeps its strong focus. This occurs a few times over. Vocals come up quick on "Temporarily Blind". Here there is more of a slide guitar that is being used. This song has a terrific interlude with choppy guitar feeding off the drums. It cuts right in to you begging you to pay attention, it works so well they do it a few more times, with each having a verse or solo filling any gap, yet another stand out track. The album concludes with "Broken Chairs". It feels "darker" than most of the album and we get a pretty familiar vibe both musically and vocally. We get an extended solo on the guitar as well as full band jam but for some reason it is lacking some of the things that kept other jams fun. Not a bad album closer, just expectations got to be so high.

Where are they now? - Built to Spill are still active both in studio and as a live band. They have also expanded beyond three members.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- September 17, 2001 was the first and only time I've seen the band live. It was a the Paradise in Boston and it was part of a multiple night run. Tension was still in the air as we were only 6 days beyond the terrorist attacks. The room was tense but once the night of music began everyone seemed to ease up some. The highlight was a terrific cover of "What is Live" originally by George Harrison. They are touring my area like crazy right now but I can't seem to get to them. Last time they were here I was in Disney..just can't catch up!

FDF Overall Take - This was the introduction to the band for me, and I fell in love with them. They still are making good records and are decent enough live to garner your support. I strongly suggest this record, or if you are new to the band and are curious their Live cd is a terrific place to start. If you want to start flashing your "indie cred" around, this is a good place to start.


Official site is here and one of a few
fan pages
The band on myspace

Check out some clips!

A live version of the band doing M.I.A's Paper Planes
The Plan

Thursday, September 09, 2010

John Lennon - massive re-issue planned.

Just days ago we told you about an extensive re-issue of David Bowie's Station to Station, now, we can tell you that John Lennon is also getting some treatment!

EMI Music unveiled the complete tracklists and cover art for a broad selection of remastered John Lennon albums and new collections to be released on CD and digitally on October 5th in the US. EMI Music’s global John Lennon ‘Gimme Some Truth’ catalogue campaign is being overseen by Yoko Ono and commemorates the music legend’s 70th birthday October 9th. Featured are eight remastered John Lennon solo albums and new titles including Double Fantasy Stripped Down, Power To The People: The Hits, Gimme Some Truth, and the John Lennon Signature Box.

For the first time, Lennon’s classic solo albums and other standout recordings have been digitally remastered from his original mixes. Double Fantasy, 1980’s GRAMMY Award winner for Album of the Year, will be presented with a newly remixed 'Stripped Down' version produced by Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas, Lennon’s original co-producers for the album. Some Time In New York City has been restored to include the six ‘Live Jam’ recordings featured on the original album.

The deluxe 11CD and digital John Lennon Signature Box includes 13 previously unreleased home recordings, and Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and Julian Lennon have each written personal essays for the lavish collection.

The cover art for the new titles includes original drawings by Sean Lennon for Double Fantasy Stripped Down, while the cover of 1974’s Walls and Bridges is restored to its original artwork.

Here is the track listings!

1. Power To The People
2. Gimme Some Truth
3. Woman
4. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
5. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
6. Cold Turkey
7. Jealous Guy
8. #9 Dream
9. (Just Like) Starting Over
10. Mind Games
11. Watching The Wheels
12. Stand By Me
13. Imagine
14. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
15. Give Peace A Chance

(tracklist same as above)
1. Power To The People
2. Gimme Some Truth
3. Woman
4. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
5. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
6. Cold Turkey
7. Jealous Guy
8. #9 Dream
9. (Just Like) Starting Over
10. Mind Games
11. Watching The Wheels
12. Stand By Me
13. Imagine
14. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
15. Give Peace A Chance

Working Class Hero
1. Working Class Hero
2. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
3. Power To The People
4. God
5. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die
6. Gimme Some Truth
7. Sunday Bloody Sunday
8. Steel And Glass
9. Meat City
10. I Don't Wanna Face It
11. Remember
12. Woman Is The Nigger Of The World
13. I Found out
14. Isolation
15. Imagine
16. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
17. Give Peace A Chance
18. Only People
1. Mother
2. Hold On
3. You Are Here
4. Well Well Well
5. Oh My Love
6. Oh Yoko!
7. Grow Old With Me
8. Love
9. Jealous Guy
10. Woman
11. Out The Blue
12. Bless You
13. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)
14. My Mummy's Dead
15. I'm Losing You
16. (Just Like) Starting Over
17. #9 Dream
18. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
Borrowed Time
1. Mind Games
2. Nobody Told Me
3. Cleanup Time
4. Crippled Inside
5. How Do You Sleep?
6. How?
7. Intuition
8. I'm Stepping Out
9. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
10. Old Dirt Road
11. Scared
12. What You Got
13. Cold Turkey
14. New York City
15. Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)
16. Borrowed Time
17. Look At Me
18. Watching The Wheels
1. Be-Bop-A-Lula
2. You Can’t Catch Me
3. Medley: Rip It Up/Ready Teddy
4. Tight A$
5. Ain’t That a Shame
6. Sweet Little Sixteen
7. Do You Wanna Dance
8. Slippin’ and Slidin’
9. Peggy Sue
10. Medley: Bring It On Home/Send Me Some Lovin’
11. Yer Blues (Live)
12. Just Because
13. Boney Moronie
14. Beef Jerky
15. Ya Ya
16. Hound Dog (Live)
17. Stand By Me
18. Here We Go Again

Original Albums [digitally remastered]
- John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
- Imagine
- Some Time In New York City
- Mind Games
- Walls and Bridges
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Double Fantasy
- Milk and Honey
Home Tapes
1. Mother
2. Love
3. God
4. I Found Out
5. Nobody Told Me
6. Honey Don't
7. One Of The Boys
8. India, India
9. Serve Yourself
10. Isolation
11. Remember
12. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
13. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die
1. Power To The People
2. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
3. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
4. Cold Turkey
5. Move Over Ms. L
6. Give Peace a Chance


John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
1. Mother
2. Hold On
3. I Found Out
4. Working Class Hero
5. Isolation
6. Remember
7. Love
8. Well Well Well
9. Look At Me
10. God
11. My Mummy's Dead

Imagine (1971)
1. Imagine
2. Crippled Inside
3. Jealous Guy
4. It's So Hard
5. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die
6. Gimme Some Truth
7. Oh My Love
8. How Do You Sleep?
9. How?
10. Oh Yoko!

Some Time In New York City (1972)
1. Woman Is The Nigger Of The World
2. Sisters, O Sisters
3. Attica State
4. Born In a Prison
5. New York City
6. Sunday Bloody Sunday
7. The Luck Of The Irish
8. John Sinclair
9. Angela
10. We're All Water
1. Cold Turkey (live)
2. Don't Worry Kyoko (live)
3. Well (Baby Please Don't Go) (live)
4. Jamrag (live)
5. Scumbag (live)
6. Au (live)

Mind Games (1973)
1. Mind Games
2. Tight A$
3. Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)
4. One Day (At A Time)
5. Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple)
6. Nutopian International Anthem
7. Intuition
8. Out The Blue
9. Only People
10. I Know (I Know)
11. You Are Here
12. Meat City

Walls and Bridges (1974)
1. Going Down On Love
2. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
3. Old Dirt Road
4. What You Got
5. Bless You
6. Scared
7. #9 Dream
8. Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)
9. Steel And Glass
10. Beef Jerky
11. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)
12. Ya Ya

Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975)
1. Be-Bop-A-Lula
2. Stand By Me
3. Medley: Rip It Up/Ready Teddy
4. You Can't Catch Me
5. Ain't That A Shame
6. Do You Wanna Dance
7. Sweet Little Sixteen
8. Slippin' And Slidin'
9. Peggy Sue
10. Medley: Bring It On Home To Me/Send Me Some Lovin’
11. Bony Moronie
12. Ya Ya
13. Just Because

Double Fantasy Stripped Down (2010) / Double Fantasy (1980)
Stripped Down
Original Album, Remastered
1. (Just Like) Starting Over
2. Kiss Kiss Kiss
3. Cleanup Time
4. Give Me Something
5. I'm Losing You
6. I'm Moving On
7. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
8. Watching The Wheels
9. Yes, I'm Your Angel
10. Woman
11. Beautiful Boys
12. Dear Yoko
13. Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him
14. Hard Times Are Over

Milk and Honey (1984)
1. I'm Stepping Out
2. Sleepless Night
3. I Don't Wanna Face It
4. Don't Be Scared
5. Nobody Told Me
6. O'Sanity
7. Borrowed Time
8. Your Hands
9. (Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess
10. Let Me Count The Ways
11. Grow Old With Me
12. You're The One

For pictures of the cds and box set, check out this link.
Keep you eye on the official site for John Lennon for even more information.

Friday, September 03, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 198 - The Verve - Urban Hymns

By: March

Album - Urban Hymns
Artist - The Verve
Key Players - Simon Jones - bass. Peter Salisbury - drums. Nick McCabe - lead guitar. Simon Tong - guitar and keyboards. Richard Ashcroft - vocals/guitar.
Produced By - Youth, The Verve and Potter

Release Date
- September 29, 1997

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Barring the big single that you can't escape I can't even tell you the last time I listened to this all the way through. Also, by request of some readers trying to be a little less obscure on my picks...well for now.

Overview - Wigan, England band "The Verve" were formed in 1990 and by 1991 they were wowing live audiences. They'd release their first record in 1992 and there would be three singles released from in in the UK. By 1994 the band had a few more releases and were touring but drugs and alcohol began to take their toll. The band was also facing legal issues with the jazz label "Verve". The band released a record in 1995 and decided to break up, only to reform a few months later. Then came Urban Hymns in 1997. The band became world wide hit makers but with that tensions would arise and by 1999 the band had split up again. They'd re-form yet again with original members and tour with massive success but by 2009 it was really all over....for now. With all this the band received critical praise for the record and it would make best of year list and decade lists. It would go platinum in the United States but 8 times platinum in the UK.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album opens with the band most well known single "Bitter Sweet Symphony". This song is famous for the "loop" and has been sampled time and time again. The Verve got hit with a lawsuit from the Rolling Stones over the use of the sample, but its not the main loop you hear. Underneath the sample is some strings, that was lifted from a symphony orchestra version of the Stones song. The Verve have been rumored to received no royalties from the song . due to this lawsuit. It is hard to really talk up this song when it is so well known and when you listen you wonder "why it works", but it just does. Listen to how "simple" musically it is. The sample might be the most complex part of the song. "Sonnet" opens with acoustic guitar before the full band comes in. The track is laid back and Ashcroft has a unique voice. Strong, but hesitant at times. As the chorus approaches the band gets a little more rowdy, but it falls back in to place with some slide guitar and piano fills. "The Rolling People" has more a strong organ intro from Tong. The full band comes in after 20 or so seconds and for the first time you feel the band is ready to get things moving. The tempo is good with Salisbury putting down a basic back beat. Jones fills the void with bass but the guitars tandem off each other. McCabe seems to take command and Ashcroft has a particular drawl to his voice. The percussion comes out as the band has a good interlude before bringing the song back to the early progression. McCabe gets a solo again which is just the right length and the band has almost a jam session to wrap it up in full. "The Drugs Don't Work" starts with a solo guitar and Ashcroft. Its a laid back, quiet song that is introspective of the bands past issues with the subject matter. By the second verse the guitars a subtle and there is some quiet keyboard fills. Ashcroft repeats the line "I know I'll see your face again" as the full band comes in and it gets orchestrated again. There are some call and response vocals as well as harmonies that ads a real nice touch. It is easy to see why this song is covered by other artists today. "Catching the Butterfly" has a deeper bass line and swirling guitars as the drums climb up. Once more Ashcroft keeps a low profile singing in hushed tones but its the Jones bass work that seems to get pushed up in the mix. McCabe does some nice guitar work and the song is a lot more atmospheric than a "straight ahead rocker". The delay pedals are used and some feedback is evident at times, but it again doesn't steal the focus of the track. Once again we do have a stronger jam session on the backside of the track. The band feeds off one another but no one instrument really takes off. The drum beat keeps it all in check and Ashcroft chimes in with a quick few words. A trippy and great track. Guitars slowly get to work at the start of "Neon Wilderness". It is slow to build with the drums and guitars seemingly looking to find a strong foothold. There is not a strong sense of a "verse" either as the vocals are hushed and looped over each other. Its is more a throw away track. "Space and Time" gets back to the feel of the album. Guitars once more flip between acoustic and electric and Tong plays some nice chords. Ashcroft at this time pushes himself more vocally. He has a great voice and only from time to time will he go up an octave and when he does it, it really stands out. This has my vote as strongest song on the record (at least so far). Sure Bittersweet is good, but this just seems to sum up the band. Strong vocals, tight band with a good sense of song structure. It could have, and should have been huge. We switch back to the more mellow formula on
"Weeping Willow". Guitars have more reverb and slide across the strings while the bass and drums hold steady. It is a far cry from a throw away, but what you hear is what you get. A pretty straight forward tune. Another single from the album was "Lucky Man". Acoustic guitar and organ are the focus as the song begins. By the time Ashcroft sings it falls to the tempo and acoustic guitars are complimented with organ fills and the occasional electric guitar fill. Ashcroft soars on the back side of the chorus. The tambourine shake has you tapping your feet in time longing for the sing-a-long of the chorus. There is an electric guitar solo and the vocal over dubs begin as the song heads towards the end. It builds with strings and keyboard fills, the song ends very strong. Easy to understand why this was a single from the record. Tong plays a few bars of music on keyboards to start out "One Day". The track is another more somber track. The laid back drum beat is complimented with the guitars and keyboards, but it seems hesitant to break its formula. It is a pretty song, but feels "safe" at the same time. The more up tempo "This Time" is a nice change. Although not crazy, the vocals are sung a little quicker and the percussive instruments are used to set the tempo. Guitars burst quick notes but it has one of those tempos you notice more the music than vocals. It has a particular bounce to it. "Velvet Morning" uses the slide guitar with an acoustic playing along. Salisbury and Jones keep things in check and Ashcroft comes in with some compressed sounding vocals. He still sounds good, but the compression feels and sounds a little off. The song is a mellow track and from time to time you'll feel it wants to get rolling. Come the chorus it does move a little, but the band is cautious once more. As the song works towards the end it gets more of the full band treatment and the band grows more tense, but once again, they maintain their direction The liner notes and track listing indicate that "Come On" as the final track. It is a slower swirling intro of guitars before the bass and drums come in. The track grows and grows with a lot of guitar work and a big wall of drum sound. It continues to just build with Ashcroft shouting at the listener towards the end. The band all seem to get a workout and it suits them well as an album closer...so you'd think. After the track ends there is about 7 minutes of silence before the track "Deep Freeze" is revealed. Its an instrumental trippy song that is only about 2 minutes long. Babies seem to cry in the background as spacy bleeps and bloops appear over the guitar. Some may not realize it is even there, but you don't need to go out of your way to dig out this track.

Where are they now? - Richard Ashcroft said in an interview in July of 2010 the band was "over for good". McCabe and Jones have started a new project "The Black Ships". Salisbury has kept busy, he was the touring drummer for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He owns and runs a drum shop as well and was the studio drummer for each of Ashcrofts solo albums. Tong is currently a member of Erland and the Carnival and Transmission. He has also played as part of Blur, Gorillaz and the unnamed super group responsible for The Good, the Bad & the Queen. Richard Ashcroft has released a three solo records and has formed a new band
RPA & The United Nations of Sound, which released an album on 19 July 2010 but it has not been released stateside.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The only time I saw the band live was July 27, 1995 at the Paradise in Boston. Honestly I went for the opening band Hum more than the Verve. This tour was well before Urban Hymns even was out and the band was having some drug issues. The stage was packed with gear and there was just so many lights for a smaller stage. The only other thing I can confirm about the night is I didn't stay until the end.

FDF Overall Take - My live experience aside it is easy to hear why this record struck a chord with so many. There are some real shining moments on this record and the stuff I didn't care for much others would probably love. This is probably already in your collection...and for good reason. Check it out once more.

The official site here and also, the myspace page.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
The official video for Bittersweet Symphony
The same tune, only live, and in front of a massive audience
Official video for Lucky Man as well as Sonnet

Finally, a very cool cover of "The Drugs Don't Work" done by Ben Harper.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Big re-issue news - David Bowie Station to Station!

David Bowie fans have good reason to celebrate. On September 28, 2010 his 10th studio album "Station to Station" will get a terrific re-issue. There will be a standard version as well as deluxe editions for you to get your hands on! Included in the set will be an unreleased and sought after live concert from Bowie in 1976.

There are two versions, one is a 3CD Special Edition while the deluxe edition is a 5 CD/DVD heavyweight vinyl version.

Here is a breakdown of the formats:

Both the Special and Deluxe Editions come with the original album - taken straight off the analogue master - and the much bootlegged live favourite and previously unreleased Live Nassau Coliseum '76. Additionally, the Special Edition includes:

- A 16-page booklet
- 3 postcards of Bowie in the studio, on stage…TBC

*Along with the 3-CDs in wallets, it's all packaged in a lift-off-lid box.

The individually numbered Deluxe Edition is the ultimate fan's experience, featuring extensive additional content:

- A 24-page booklet, including:

*NEVER SEEN BEFORE Steve Schapiro photo
*Geoff MacCormack photos
*Andrew Kent live Nassau photos
*Extensive memorabilia from the Bowie.net archives

- CD: Station To Station - RCA CD Master
- CD: 5-track Singles Versions E.P. incl. previously unreleased version of Station To Station, and for first the time on CD, Word On A Wing

- 3 x 12” heavyweight vinyl (see page 4 for details)
- DVD (see page 4 for details)
- 6 panel folded poster - Steve Schapiro photo

Onstage folder
- Replica Backstage pass
- Replica Biog
- Individually numbered Replica Ticket
- 3 x 10 x 8” press shots

- Replica Fan Club folder
- Replica Fan Club Membership card
- Replica Fan Club certificate
- 2 small Collectors cards
- 2 photo prints
- Replica biography
- 2 Badges

*Along with the 5-CDs, it's all housed in a foam-packed box, 325x325x50mm.

Digital release: The 3-CD set is also available as a Digital Download, with an exclusive bonus track.


Special Edition & Digital Download
CD 1: Station To Station (original analogue master)
1. Station To Station (10.11)
2. Golden Years (4.02)
3. Word On A Wing (6.01)
4. TVC15 (5.31)
5. Stay (6.12)
6. Wild Is The Wind (6.02)

CD 2: Live Nassau Coliseum '76 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
(Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY, USA March 23, 1976):
1. Station To Station (11.53)
2. Suffragette City (3.31)
3. Fame (4.02)
4. Word On A Wing (6.06)
5. Stay (7.25)
6. Waiting For The Man (6.20)
7. Queen Bitch (3.12)

CD 3: Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
1. Life On Mars? (2.13)
2. Five Years (5.03)
3. Panic In Detroit (6.03)
4. Changes (4.11)
5. TVC15 (4.58)
6. Diamond Dogs (6.38)
7. Rebel Rebel (4.07)
8. The Jean Genie (7.28)

Super Deluxe Limited Edition

CD 1: Station To Station (original analogue master) - tracklisting same as above.
CD 2: Station To Station (1985 RCA CD master) - tracklisting same as above.
CD 3: Singles Versions E.P. (see below for further info)
1. Golden Years
2. TVC15
3. Stay
4. Word On A Wing (first time on CD)

CD 4: Live Nassau Coliseum '76 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (tracklisting same as above)
CD 5: Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DVD: Audio only:

Station To Station (original analogue master, 48/24 LPCM stereo)
Station To Station - (new Harry Maslin 5.1 surround sound DTS 48/24 and Dolby digital)
Station To Station (new stereo mix 48/24 LPCM stereo)

LP 1: Station To Station (original analogue master)
Side 1:
1. Station To Station (10.11)
2. Golden Years (4.02)
3. Word On A Wing (6.01)

Side 2:
1. TVC15 (5.31)
2. Stay (6.12)
3. Wild Is The Wind (6.02)

LP 2: Live Nassau Coliseum '76 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
(Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY, USA March 23, 1976)
Side 1:
1. Station To Station (11.53)
2. Suffragette City (3.31)
3. Fame (4.02)

Side 2:
1. Word On A Wing (6.06)
2. Stay (7.25)
3. Waiting For The Man (6.20)
4. Queen Bitch (3.12)

LP 3: Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Side 3:
1. Life On Mars? (2.13)
2. Five Years (5.03)
3. Panic In Detroit (6.03)
4. Changes (4.11)
5. TVC15 (4.58)

Side 4:
1. Diamond Dogs (6.38)
2. Rebel Rebel (4.07)
3. The Jean Genie (7.28)

*CD 3: Singles Versions E.P.

1. Golden Years

The first single released from the album Station To Station, it was released in edited form in November 1975 (RCA 2640), appearing the following year in full-length on the album. This single version has been subsequently released on various Bowie compilations including the Best Of Bowie LP, The Best Of David Bowie 1974/1979 and the multi-territory differing Best Of Bowie. The single peaked on the singles charts at number 8 in the UK and number 10 in the US.

2. TVC15
Released in edited form as the second single from Station To Station (RCA 2682) in April 1976. This particular single edit has been released subsequently on CD including the Christiane F. soundtrack and The Best Of David Bowie 1974/1979. It was also pressed as the flip side to the 'Station To Station' edit (RCA 42549) also featured on this disc. The single peaked on the singles charts at number 33 in the UK and number 64 in the US.

3. Stay
This edit was released as the third single from Station To Station in the US (RCA PB 10736) in July 1976 and several other countries outside the UK. In the same month in the UK it appeared as the B-side to a coupling on single with Suffragette City (RCA 2726). The edit, which almost halves the duration of the album version, has also been previously released on the Christiane F. soundtrack LP and CD.

4. Word On A Wing
Appearing on the reverse of the original Stay single (RCA PB 10736) in July 1976, this particular edit is making its official debut here on CD.

5. Station To Station
This is an extremely edited version (down from 10 minutes 13 seconds) appeared on a very rare French factory single sample (RCA 42549) in 1976. This edit eliminates the entire first part of the song. This marks its first official release.

all this and new liner notes by director/author Cameron Crowe

Whew....so..you think you want it?

Check out the official site for the release here.

Amazon has your hookup. The link to pre-order/purchase the 3 Disc set
here, but if you want the deluxe version you want this link.