Record Reviews

Neil Young Songs For Judy Released

By Harvey Kubernik © 2018   

Neil Young has just issued Songs For Judy on CD and digitally on November 30. A vinyl edition is out December 14.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros./Shakey Pictures Records

Songs For Judy is the debut release on Shakey Pictures Records, Young’s own imprint distributed by Reprise Records. Songs for Judy is available in hi-res at NYA, Neil Young Archives.com.

Songs For Judy houses live acoustic performances culled from Neil’s November 1976 solo tour and features twenty-two songs recorded at various cities along the tour.  Writer and Cameron Crowe and photographer Joel Bernstein curated this collection.

This song cycle of live recordings is particularly unique. Young had spent much of the year traveling around the world on tour with Crazy Horse.

When touring on his own, he recharged and focused on songs that would not surface in recorded form for several years. Of the albums many treasures, “No One Seems To Know” would not see the light of day until now and it remains unreleased in any other iteration.

The raw versions of the tracks found on Songs For Judy find Young allowing the songs to breath and to find their own shape when performed in a solo performance. Continue reading

VERVE RECORDS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO ITS LEGENDARY FOUNDER NORMAN GRANZ AND HIS CENTENNIAL

APTLY- TITLED ALL-STAR FOUR- DISC BOX SET THE FOUNDER OUT ON DECEMBER 7TH VIA VERVE/UME    

BY HARVEY KUBERNIK c 2018

In jazz circles, few names command more respect than Norman Granz. Although he wasn’t a musician, Granz (1918-2001) was as

Courtesy of Verve/UMe

responsible as any individual for popularizing jazz and promoting the careers of many of the genre’s greatest artists.

Granz’s incredible half-century career first took off with his creation of the groundbreaking Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series. But Granz was equally influential for the series of record labels that he launched in the 1940s and 1950s: Clef, Norgran and Verve. 

Those companies became home to many of jazz’s most important and influential artists. And, unlike many of his contemporaries, Granz combined his love for the music with a passion for social justice, championing African-American musicians at a time when those musicians were often exploited and disrespected.

Now, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of Norman Granz’s birth, Verve/UMe has assembled The Foundera four-CD/digital box set celebrating his remarkable life and career. The historic package features a massive chronological assortment of music spanning Granz’s remarkable career and featuring music by most of the great musicians he recorded. Continue reading

ELECTRIC BLUES ICON HOWLIN’ WOLF’S LEGENDARY 1959 DEBUT LP MOANIN’ IN THE MOONLIGHT

REISSUED ON VINYL AHEAD OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY

 By Harvey Kubernik ©  2018

Chester Arthur Burnett, (June 10, 1910-January 10, 1976) better known to blues fans as Howlin’ Wolf, remains one of the essential

Courtesy of Geffen/UMe

exponents of the electric blues. With a raw, booming voice and explosive guitar and harmonica styles to match, the Mississippi-bred Wolf made music that was unmatched in its primal ferocity.

In the process, he, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Etta James and others helped to put the Leonard and Phil Chess owned Chess Records on the map as America’s preeminent blues label.

Now, just in time for the 60th anniversary of Moanin’ In The Moonlight’s original high-fidelity release, Geffen/UMe has made available a special vinyl edition of the mono album. 

Remastered from the original flat master tape, this new edition features a high quality 150-gram black vinyl pressing housed in a printed sleeve with scans of the analog tape box and comes in a distinctive tip-on jacket reproducing the album’s distinctive original cover artwork by

Don S. Bronstein. The LP displays the 1959 liner notes from Billboard editor Paul Ackerman.    Continue reading

ROLLING STONES BEGGARS BANQUET 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

AVAILABLE ON SUPER AUDIO CD DECEMBER 7 FROM ABKCO RECORDS;

ROLLING STONES ANNOUNCE SPRING 2019 US TOUR

By Harvey Kubernik © 2018

On December 7, ABKCO Records will release The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (50th Anniversary Edition) on limited edition hybrid Super Audio CD. In comes on the heels of the November 16 domestic release of Beggars Banquet (50th Anniversary Edition) on limited-edition vinyl, CD and digital formats.

The SACD package itself is designed to look like a miniaturized replica of the 12” gatefold double-vinyl edition, sized to be a convenient 7” gatefold, and contain 2 hybrid SACDs, a flexi disc and expanded packaging elements exclusive to this edition. This bespoke packaging is manufactured in Japan and is of the highest quality to match the SACD audio.

Special elements of the package include: replica packshots of two Japanese 7” single picture sleeves (“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man”) and both versions of the Beggars Banquet sleeve art are included. This SACD set is a Japanese release, which will be imported into North America in a limited quantity.  Continue reading

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society 50th Anniversary Edition Released in October

50th Anniversary Multi-Format Releases: Super Deluxe Box Set, 1CD, 2CD Deluxe, LP, Digital, MFiT & HD

By Harvey Kubernik c 2018

The Kinks have just released a 50th anniversary special edition of one of the greatest rock albums of all time The Kinks Are The Village

Courtesy Of BMG Music

Green Preservation Society on BMG.

This essential album by one of the world’s best ever bands is defined by the extraordinary catalogue of Ray Davies’ songs, driven by brother Dave Davies’ power pop guitar and became the foundation of generations of British guitar pop. The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society cemented Ray Davies reputation as one of Britain’s finest songwriters of his and any generation.

“I think The Village Green Preservation Society is about the ending of a time personally for me in my life,” says Ray.

“In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.”

Somewhat overlooked upon its release in November 1968, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is now regarded as one of the best albums ever recorded.

Created in difficult circumstances by a band on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion, it is an album of timeless, perfectly crafted songs about growing up and growing old, and the decline of national culture and traditional ways. Enduring and unsurpassed, with its wit, sadness, quiet anger, regret and charm, it is generally considered the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career and Ray Davies’ masterpiece. Continue reading