Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Springsteen’

DAVID FITZPATRICK GREETS US WITH A WHIRLWIND THAT IS PARACHUTES IN HURRICANES

August 10, 2018

David Fitzpatrick puts his name on the line for Parachutes And Hurricanes. Photo courtesy the internet

I love Gary Tanin. I really do. He’s been a fan of this blog way back before it was this blog. The history between us goes back to when I was writing for Princeton Record Exchange. I don’t recall what review I wrote that garnered his attention there, but he came along when I decided to blow off the other two stores I was writing for and forge out on my own.

For that I will always be grateful. But I fear this is where all good things must end.

All throughout this blog’s history, I have made every effort to look for the unusual, the out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten path stuff. Having first been born and raised in the NJ/NY area, I was influenced by that fringe that was all around then. Free radios in cars blasted new and unusual stuff with the birth of FM radio. WPLJ, so on etc. So while I was getting the fresh info and news and new music, my family was imploding and my mother had to take me away from all that culture…

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THIRD TIME IS TRULY A CHARM FOR ALAN PARSONS I ROBOT

October 9, 2013
The revised cover for the newest version of The Alan Parsons Project, released earlier this year.  Bonus tracks, in-depth booklet and sanitized sound make this version the definitive for those yet to be initiated into the Parsons pack!

The revised cover for the newest version of The Alan Parsons Project, released earlier this year. Bonus tracks, in-depth booklet and sanitized sound make this version the definitive for those yet to be initiated into the Parsons pack!

My story begins many years ago, 1977 to be exact.  One of my early relaxation techniques was to enjoy some classical music, played at low volume, audible enough to induce calm, not loud enough to encumber sleep, at bedtime.

One night during my second year living in Scranton, my usual FM refuge, the local classical station made the industry standard decision of changing format to MOR Rock.  MOR standing for Middle Of the Road as in, they’ll play your average hit, something by Led Zepplin, ELO (who I love), Bruce Springsteen, but at the same time, play an entire album from time-to-time, some prog stuff, the average, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd (often) and if they went deep with acts like Genesis or King Crimson, it would be “Lamb Lies Down” or “Follow You, Follow Me” from the former (one for the Gabriel era, one for the Collins era), or ONLY selections from In The Court Of The Crimson King from the latter.

I happened to tune in for my nightly fix of musical sedation on one particular night and I heard a 70’s Macho-Manned-Deep-Voiced DJ bring a song from break and announcing that the new 107 was fast-approaching a new feature for their new format, their weekly album show featuring an entire album with only commercial breaks at the flip of side one to two (yes kids, we used to have to get up after a set number of songs and turn this big wax/vinyl disc over and reset it for the last batch of tunes).  I wasn’t sure of what to make of it, where is my usual monotone, refined, and in his own way, sedate radio personality who announces my FM version of Valium?

Testosterone Tom, my new night-time DJ at bedtime was saying the upcoming album was by Alan Parsons who engineered Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, was being featured with his second album (the first with enough mainstream success to garner being considered a weekly album feature) I Robot and yes, it is of the same concept as Asimov’s epic, classic novel I, Robot.  Notice the only change between the two titles is the removal of the comma after the “I” in the title.  This came about to the thinking of the late Eric Woolfson who, after a phone conversation with Asimov himself, came to the mindset that to circumvent the legal issue, the comma would be sufficient change enough to warrant an individual copyright.

They start to play the album while I am still trying to figure out where my symphonies went.

“Holy shit this music is amazing”, I thought to myself.  Sequencing synths cascading between individual headphones (closed ear, of course) ushering in dissonant organ tones, giving way to elegant soprano female solo vocal ad-lib.  I was hooked.  I sat through the entire album transfixed.

This memorization led to the purchase of one of Arista’s first acts signed to the fledgling label.  On one of those plastic discs.

The sound of the vinyl on my Krebstar (thanks Pete & Pete) HiFi was about the same as the FM broadcast, sans a few pops and clicks…  So I was elated to get my copy of the primary issue of I Robot on CD.  Then thirty years later an anniversary edition came out in 2007 with five bonus tracks, an unreleased track experiment that turned out to be the intro to the ‘rock’ structure of “I Robot”, three demos and a mash-up of examples or demos of each song into one, continuous song.

Well earlier this year, they came out with a thirty-fifth year anniversary version that has fourteen bonus tracks contained on a second CD, and an expanded booklet with new liner notes written by Parsons.  The above factoids about the album came from those liner notes.  These are worth the price of the disc alone.

Granted, some of the bonus tracks on the thirtieth anniversary edition are the same as on the thirty-fifth anniversary edition.  Those aforementioned five tracks, then some goodies we will discuss later on in the review.

Let me just say, if you need a reason to justify purchasing this new re-issue beyond new liner notes, (that is, for those of you who are not rabid Parsons fans) and nine new bonus features, in side-by-side comparisons in my usual review setting, the mastering on the new release was out of this world!!!  Then when you listen to the album tracks, astonishingly enough, they are cleaner than the thirtieth anniversary version!!!

The saying goes, ‘So clean you could eat off it’ but in this case, it is ‘So clean you can perform surgery on these tracks’.

Prepare the patient…

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TODD RUNDGREN BRINGS HEALING PSYCHEDELIA TO THE KESWICK THEATER, 9-14-10

March 15, 2013

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is another entry in our Friday Flashback series which revives and gives a permanent home to blogs previously posted to the syndication websites.  Some have maintained these pages and I not only appreciate that, but will be drawing these historical posts from those sites.  This entry, featuring the Todd/Healing tour from Todd Rundgren is significant for two reasons:  First, this exact show has been released on two separate DVDs.  I would invite you to purchase those DVDs to compare what I saw to what is on those DVDs, but those DVDs are so meticulously edited, what is on the DVDs is NOT what we saw at the show.  The second reason is, in April of this year, Rundgren will release his first studio album of new material in almost five years (five years in September), State.  Here is the review of the original live performance, just be advised this is a consolidation of a two part review.  So grab a lovely beverage and find your most comfortable seat in the house, settle in and enjoy:

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world.  Photo by Lynn vala

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world. Photo by Lynn vala

Glenside PA – I will have to explain the two albums being played live by Rundgren and company at the Keswick Theater before we get into the review.  The first is the self titled album Todd.  It remains my favorite album by him to date.  Starting out with some backwards masking (sounds played backward) of a voice asking for a little fanfare, it maintains a non-stop adventure right to the protracted fade of the last track, recorded live with a chorus of audience members from both coasts and mixed together (long before digital signal stretching in Pro-Tools) in one track.

The second album is a collection of songs pertaining to the science (?) of psychic healing.  Side one of Healing deals with the voyage of one who is anointed with the power to heal, and the taxation of a greedy society, all clamoring for the healing touch.  Trivia time:  The bonus 7” vinyl that was included with the original 12” plastic waffle release was the single from the album called “Time Heals” and was the 7th original video aired on MTV’s broadcast debut.

There weren’t many videos to choose from then, and Rundgren and MTV are not the best of friends.  Read on for more dish…

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