Pop & Rock

Concord Music Group

Stax Records will reissue two seminal albums by one of the most influential bands of the 20th century: #1 Record and Radio City by Big Star. Both releases, which have been out of print as individual CDs in the U.S. for many years, will be remastered from the original analog tape sources, and are due out September 2, 2014.



#1 Record and Radio City will be available digitally in standard, Mastered-for-iTunes and 24-bit high-resolution audio. LPs of the two albums are presently in print, available via Stax Records. Liner notes by R.E.M.’s Mike Mills (a vocal fan of Big Star, as well as a core musician on the “Big Star’s Third” concert series) will accompany the releases.



Big Star, considered to be among the founders of power pop, has been cited as an influence by many of the major alternative bands of the ’80s and ’90s, and continues to be a powerful presence in today’s musical landscape. Artists such as R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, The Replacements (who famously penned the song “Alex Chilton”) and Wilco all enthusiastically tout the artistic impact of the group. Mike Mills recalls Big Star as “a band who had gotten it right, who made records that sounded like rock and roll bands should sound. A band who wrote all the songs, from flat-out rockers to achingly beautiful ballads that were still somehow rock songs.”



The Memphis band formed in 1971, with a lineup of singer/songwriters Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, drummer Jody Stephens and bassist Andy Hummel. Heavily inspired by the British Invasion, Chilton and Bell drew on the Lennon/McCartney style of collaborative songwriting to create their debut — Chilton taking a visceral approach, often laying down guitar and vocal tracks in one take, while Bell added polish with overdubs and harmonies. Ardent Records founder John Fry engineered the album in his studio and released #1 Record on his Stax-distributed label in 1972 to sweeping critical success.



In the fall of 1973, following the departure of Chris Bell, the band regrouped and began work on album number two with Alex Chilton at the helm and Fry once again behind the console. Losing the creative input of a major talent such as Bell could have wreaked havoc on the band’s progress, however, Chilton was able to use this opportunity to shine, and prove himself to be an incredible songwriter on his own. Journalists and fans agreed: bearing another tongue-in-cheek title, Radio City garnered rave reviews and produced several cult favorites, including “September Gurls,” which has been covered by everyone from The Bangles to Superdrag.



The legacies of #1 Record and Radio City have far exceeded the original commercial letdowns of both albums, which are now considered to be milestones in the history of rock by critics and musicians alike. The two LPs made it onto Rolling Stone’s 500 “Greatest Albums of All Time” lists, while tracks from each album (“Thirteen” and “September Gurls”) are also among the magazine’s 500 “Greatest Songs of All Time.” Numerous artists (Elliott Smith, Beck and Jeff Buckley to name a few) have recorded covers of the band’s songs. Big Star has been honored with a tribute record (Big Star Small World, 2006), a documentary (2012’s Nothing Can Hurt Me) and a touring live show, “Big Star’s Third,” which features the sole-surviving original member of the band, Jody Stephens, on drums, guest vocalists, a chamber orchestra and a core band including Mike Mills, Chris Stamey of The dB’s, The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and others. The ever-changing ensemble performs Big Star’s album Third/Sister Lovers, as well as favorites from the first two records.



Of the reissues, Stephens says, “Very glad to see these two coming out with the sonic approval of John Fry. Grateful for Chris, Andy and Alex and for Jon and Ken. The music’s journey continues.”  Fry adds, “All I can say is that these were the best projects I have ever worked, with the best artists and friends I have ever had the pleasure to know. I love the music and the cast of characters: Chris, Alex Andy and Jody. I think fans will be pleased by the sound and the packaging. They may have to turn the volume up a bit, since we did not want to remove the analog dynamic range. Sit back and enjoy the definitive digital versions of #1 Record and Radio City, two of my three favorite albums.”  



The band’s enduring legacy can be attributed to many factors, but perhaps Mike Mills summarizes it best: “Songwriting has always been, for me, the most vital gauge of a band’s quality, and these guys were clearly masters … [Big Star] gave you something satisfying to listen to, no matter how many times you heard them.”




Duane Allman Skydog: The Restrospective
Concord Music Group

MPL and Concord Music Group confirmed plans to reissue Wings albums Venus and Mars and At the Speed of Sound as the next releases in the Paul McCartney Archive collection on September 22nd (UK) and September 23rd (US), 2014.



 



Both albums will be available in a variety of physical and digital formats. Starting with a 2-CD Standard Edition, the first CD will feature the original remastered album and the second CD will include bonus audio made up of material including demos and unreleased tracks. The 3-disc (2-CD, 1-DVD) Deluxe Edition will be housed in a hardback book featuring unpublished photographs, new interviews with Paul, material from Paul’s archives and expanded track-by-track information. The deluxe edition bonus DVD will be comprised of filmed material from around the time of each release, some of which has never been seen before.  The albums will also be available on special gatefold vinyl editions (vinyl editions include a download card). Digitally, Venus and Mars and At the Speed of Sound will be made available as both standard and deluxe versions – including Mastered for iTunes and Hi-Res formats.



 



Wings are one of the most successful acts the UK has ever produced, achieving no less than 14 US Top 10 hits and 12 Top 10 hits in the UK. Following 1973’s Band on the Run the mid ‘70s were a commercial heyday for Wings. Venus and Mars, the band’s fourth studio album was released in May 1975 ahead of the legendary Wings Over the World tour. Preceded by the US No. 1 single "Listen to What the Man Said," Venus and Mars hit the No. 1 spot in the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic and went on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide to date.  At the Speed of Sound was recorded in the midst of the same tour and released in March 1976. In the US it enjoyed the same chart success as its predecessor. Including the international smash hit single "Silly Love Songs," the album went on to become Paul’s most successful American chart album spending seven consecutive weeks at No. 1. In the UK it charted at No. 2, narrowly missing out on the top spot. Sales to date exceed 3.5 million worldwide.



 



As with all the Archive Collection, Paul has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues.  The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who has worked on all the reissues as well as the Beatles’ catalogue.  Since launching the Paul McCartney Archive Collection in 2010 Paul has received two GRAMMY Awards for the releases.  In 2012, he picked up Best Historical Album for Band on the Run, and this year Wings Over America picked up an award (Best Boxed or Special Edition Package) on the same night that Paul set a personal best by picking up five awards in just one night. In 2013, RAM was nominated for Best Historical Album.



 



Other titles released to date in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection are Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings Over America



 



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Concord Music Group

Spoon Premier Official Music Video for "Do You"

21 JUL 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP

 "The excellent single “Do You” now has a video by Hiro Murai that finds Britt Daniel sporting a head wound and driving a station wagon through an apocalyptic Los Angeles with a lady in the backseat."  — Stereogum



Spoon have premiered their new official music video for "Do You." You can watch it here via Urban Outfitters.

If that's not trippy enough, check out the visual for "Inside Out," the band's next song, out digitally July 22nd and on Vinyl Gratification 10".

Read the live chat and see how Spoon premiered "Inside Out" to their fans on Consequence of Sound.



Concord Music Group

Annie Clark, the mastermind and creative force behind moniker St. Vincent, has been steadily building steam since her 2007 debut, Marry Me, through her most recent, critically acclaimed release of 2014, St. Vincent. Before appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman Thursday, July 17, St. Vincent, one of Loma Vista's exciting marquee artists, will be making a special live performance on Wednesday evening (7/16/14) at 9PM EST via David Letterman's webcast. You can tune in to the live event here. If you haven't seen SV perform yet, be prepared to be enraptured by her unique, alluring sound and astounding musicianship.

You can download St. Vincent's single "Bring Me Your Loves" for FREE here.




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