Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  1 comments

I'm not sure how many Roy Orbison completists are out there. I know two: myself and my friend Frank Doris. Classic has issued Orbison's Crying in both mono and stereo and a good case can be made for either edition, once the case has been made for the music, which is a bit of a more difficult proposition.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Maybe you kicked yourself for not buying Steve Hoffman’s outstanding re-mastering of The All Tme Greatest Hits of Roy Oribison issued by DCC Compact Classics almost a decade ago. Maybe you didn’t have a turntable back then. Or maybe you have a copy of that limited edition release and you think it is now gaining value.It's not, now that this edition is about to be released.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Producer Norman Granz's “songbook” concept, made possible by the invention of the LP, proved to be one of his most popular and enduring ideas. Ella sang Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, and of course Gershwin, but this one, pairing two of the biggest names of the last musical century, with Ella performing with three ensembles, was perhaps Granz's most ambitious undertaking. Ella and the Duke were signed to different labels, and both had busy concert and recording schedules, but after Ella performed with Ellington at a Jazz at the Philharmonic date, Granz set about getting the two together in a recording studio for a songbook production.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

At a time when glam “hair bands” reigned, and “synth bands” waned, two guys named David and a producer named Davitt decided to make a grittier sound—a rock-roots kind of album—yet one that didn’t stray completely from the synth strains still permeating pop music.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  1 comments

With heartfelt help and support from his friends, Warren Zevon's musical sendoff is like a good funeral: a mixture of tears, laughter, fond remembrances, and in the end, a celebration of a life worth living, and one that obviously touched both those close at hand, and those seated in the audience.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  0 comments

That’s how they spell “hippie” in the UK, I guess, so don’t blame me. Sherwood is a well-respected re-mix artist who’s spent the past twenty years re-mixing or producing the work of others. This danceable double LP, saturated with rhythmic collages, melds dub-style reggae, old school Jamaican “toasting,” Pakistani Qawwal, and a potpouri of other world musical paraphernailia—heavily spiced with sound effects and musique concrete—into a delicious and nutritious sonic stew.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2004  |  2 comments

One of the problems with 180g LPs is that they're usually expensive, so when something interesting, but minor gets released, like this recently discovered tape, buyers hesitate. Fortunately, Sundazed keeps their prices down to around CD level and below, so this previously undocumented live performance by the “classic” lineup, recorded sometime in July of 1964 becomes a feasible addition to one's Yardbirds/Clapton archives.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

MF: Why are there so many guest drummers on your records?

LP: Because I'm a guitar player. I think what happened in the ’70s with all the disco kind of stuff — all the drummers became, like, machines? So that kind of drumming became a prerequisite....

MF: And how did you feel about that? Was that pushed on the band?

Unidentified voice: The White man again! [Laughter]

MF: That was pushed on the band....

Unidentified voice: The evil White Demon! [More laughter]

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Los Lobos On Record

This survey omits the group's first independent release (1978), and the La Bamba Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)

(Album covers can be found in the Photo Gallery, accessible below the picture of the site mascot, Mr. Eno).

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

The Tracking Angle Interview: Los Lobos- America's Band

By Michael Fremer

The goodies were stacked on a big table in the corner of the stars' dressing room: an industrial size sack of M&M Peanuts, big bags of Herr's tortilla and potato chips, a jar of Pace brand Thick and Chunky Salsa, fresh fruit, a ten pack of Kellogg's cereals, a plate of muffins, a cheese, tomato and deli platter, jars of Hellman's mayonnaise and Grey Poupon mustard, and some local color- loaves of Stroehmann's Pennsylvania Dutch and white bread and a big red box of Ivins' "Famous Spiced Wafers."

"Did the Los Lobos guys really ask for Pace salsa in a jar? Or did the Electric Factory people figure the beaners would expect it? If Al Kooper plays there do they put out knishes and Cel-Ray tonic?," I'm thinking. I was hungry, but I wasn't going to help myself to the band's food. If I couldn't eat it, I'd memorize it, which I did. And I waited. And waited.