Tracking Angle contributors  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Henry James, in another of his sour moods, once characterized then-President Theodore Roosevelt as "the mere monstrous embodiment of unprecedented and resounding noise." Thankfully, the Master died before hearing Cheap Trick. We think we know this record, and the Trick, too. A generation of rockers have dined out on the chops served up on the original (and brutally truncated) 1979 Epic release. The party crowd (i.e., all of us) has shaken sufficient booty, tail, and keister to make it one of the essential rock albums. And why not? The noise quotient is high enough for blare-oriented ideologues and the giddy fun intrinsic to the band's power-pop attack gets everybody else. The Tricksters make damned sure of that.

Various writers  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

It's 1970. Brian Jones is gone, The Beatles are on their way out, and The Stones have just reached their first peak, after an interesting pop-psychedelic period and a fine roots-country album, 1969's dark, powerful Let It Bleed. Keith Richards handled almost all the guitar on that one, and masterfully too, but he prefers the give-and-take of working with a partner, and on this set he is: trading licks with Mick Taylor, who toured with The Stones throughout the year. The result is this stunning document.

various  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Produced by Steve Smith and Chris Blackwell
Engineered by Steve Smith
Mixed by Phill Brown
Island/Tuff Gong ILPS 9376 (LP), 422-846 203-2 (CD)


Before Bob Marley cut Live! at the Lyceum in London, Marley's producer Chris Blackwell remembers how the fanaticism surrounding the singer was escalating. “At his shows he was doing 'No Woman, No Cry' and the audiences were singing so enthusiastically. I thought, 'Boy, I've got to record this live', because it sounded so incredible.”

Tracking Angle contributors  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Live Dead
Produced by The Grateful Dead, Bob Matthews, and Betty Cantor
Engineered by Bob Matthews, Betty Cantor, Owsley, and Ron Wickersham
Warner Bros. 1830 (2 LPs)


So many musical icons have bitten the bullet this decade, so friends have asked me why Jerry Garcia's death bothered me more than the demise of Frank Zappa, John Cage, or Sun Ra. Are they less significant? Not in the least. The analysis is simple: Frank Zappa is best remembered for his recorded legacy - and he had enough warning (unfortunately) of his demise that he properly documented and established distribution arrangements for his collected recordings, including unreleased material.

Tracking Angle contributors  |  Sep 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Live at the Five Spot Vols. 1 & 2; Memorial Album
Original Recordings Produced by Esmond Edwards
Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
Reissue produced by Eric Miller
Digital transfers and editing by Dave Luke
Original Jazz Classics OJC 133, OJC 247, OJC 353 (CD)

Music: 10
Sound: 8

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 04, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
"My original goal was simply to design a better turntable than the Linn because at that time in the UK, Ivor Tiefenbrun was the man—he was the patron saint and all that. And all the hi-fi mags were full of Linns. He did for turntables, in a way, what Mark Levinson (the man) did for amplifiers."
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  2 comments

I conducted this interview with the great Steve Albini way back in 1993, before MP3, before the iPod, back when all but a few outspoken critics like Albini, Neil Young and a few others had anything negative to say about the digital recording revolution. It's fascinating to read Albini's thoughts today. He was right on target then, as he is today.

-Michael Fremer

He's the dean of alternative rock engineers, a thirty-something (now 43) veteran of literally thousands of get 'em in, get 'em out recording sessions, mostly with young, inexperienced bands who can't spend a great deal of money, but who have something to say and who don't want to be restrained in the recording studio. More than anything, they want to recognize themselves when they hear the final product.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

MF: Do you have studio that you work out of now?

SA: I have a 24 track studio in my house-all top of the line equipment-but more importantly than the studio, I have a large collection of very high quality microphones that I tote with me whenever I go anyplace else to make a record.

MF: How did you accumulate them and what are some of them?

SA: Well I got them by buying them......There's the Calrec Soundfield- an amazing microphone that sounds really good.

Michael McGill  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  1 comments

The Libertines, on their debut album Up the Bracket album (issued in the UK, October, 2002, and March, 2003 in America), deliver well-written punk-pop in a ragged-but-right style that teases with echoes of The Clash, The New York Dolls and Pavement. Avoiding the polar pitfalls of Green Day's predictability and Modest Mouse's endless demands on the listener's patience, they thread the skinny needle of superb garage rock, coming out the other side grinning, sweaty, and deserving of your buying them a Guinness.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2005  |  1 comments

Leonard Bernstein was probably the first classical musician to boldly champion rock music when he enthusiastically endorsed The Beatles back in 1964-well before the group's true artistry flowered. Bernstein wrote a short, joyous, almost inappropriately flowery introduction to Geoffrey Stokes's 1980 book “The Beatles,” which you can read at