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Hollywood VampiresIn 1969 the Hollywood Vampires were born in the upstairs bar at the Rainbow Bar & Grill. "To join the club, one simply had to out drink all of the members," says Alice Cooper, a founding member of the Vampires. "I would walk in on a typical night" Alice says, "and John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Bernie Taupin, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz would be there.
Three years ago, Alice and good friend Johnny Depp got together and decided the spirit of the Hollywood Vampires should live again. Alice and Johnny were joined by Joe Perry, producer Bob Ezrin and an amazing group of guests including Perry Farrell, Dave Grohl, Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Slash, Robbie Krieger, Zak Starkey, Brian Johnson and Kip Winger.
All artist proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.
SoundStageDirect will also donate all their proceeds to MusiCares.
MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.1. The Last Vampire
2. Raise The Dead
3. My Generation
4. Whole Lotta Love
5. I Got A Line On You
6. Five To One/Break On Through (To The Other Side)
7. One/Jump Into The Fire
8. Come And Get It
10. Cold Turkey
11. Manic Depression
12. Itchycoo Park
13. School's Out/Another Brick In The Wall
14 .My Dead Drunk Friends$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Spongebob Squarepants, The New Musical (Original Cast Recording)A legendary roster of Grammy Award® winners. A visionary director and Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world's most beloved and unforgettable characters. Turn them all loose on Broadway and what do you get? SpongeBob SquarePants, the new Broadway musical.
SpongeBob SquarePants is a one-of-a-kind Broadway musical with original songs written by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T. I., and a song by David Bowie. With additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and an additional song by Tom Kenny and Andy Paley.
Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seem lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.
Acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the groundbreaking designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig and Spring Awakening have brilliantly reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, bringing the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart and pure theatricality. With an original score from some of the biggest names in pop and rock, SpongeBob SquarePants explodes with energy. The production is conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, and orchestrations, arrangements and music supervision by Tom Kitt.LP 1
1. Prologue - Mark Ledbetter
2. Bikini Bottom Day - Company of SpongeBob SquarePants, The New Musical
3. No Control - Kelvin Moon Loh
4. BFF - Ethan Slater
5. When the Going Gets Tough - Nick Blaemire
6. (Just a) Simple Sponge - Ethan Slater
7. Daddy Knows Best - Emmy Raver-Lampman
8. Hero is My Middle Name - Lilli Cooper
9. Super Sea Star Savior - Sardines
10. Tomorrow Is - Company of SpongeBob SquarePants, The New Musical
1. Poor Pirates - Pirates
2. Bikini Bottom Day Reprise - Ethan Slater
3. Bikini Bottom Boogie - L'ogan J'ones
4. Chop to the Top - Lilli Cooper
5. (I Guess I) Miss You - Ethan Slater
6. I'm Not a Loser - Sea Anemones
7. Just a Simple Sponge Reprise - Ethan Slater
8. Best Day Ever - Lilli Cooper
9. Finale: Bikini Bottom Day Reprise - Company of SpongeBob SquarePants, The New Musical
10. SpongeBob SquarePants Theme - Company of SpongeBob SquarePants, The New Musical$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Get Your WingsRemastered from the original source tapes!
Contains the classics Same Old Song And Dance, Train Kept A-Rollin' and Seasons of Wither
Often overshadowed by the subsequent twin highlights of Toys in the Attic and Rocks, Aerosmith's 1974 second album, Get Your Wings, is where Aerosmith became Aerosmith -- it's where they teamed up with producer Jack Douglas, it's where they shed much of their influences and developed their own trademark sound, it's where they turned into songwriters, it's where Steven Tyler unveiled his signature obsessions with sex and sleaze. Chief among these attributes may be Douglas, who either helped the band ease into the studio or captured their sound in a way their debut never did. This is a leaner, harder album, bathed in grease and layered in grit, but it's not just down to Douglas. The band itself sounds more distinctive. There are blues in Joe Perry and Joey Kramer's interplay, but this leapfrogs over blues-rock; it turns into slippery hard rock. To be sure, it's still easy to hear the Stones here, but they never really sound Stonesy; there's almost more of the Yardbirds to the way the group works the riffs, particularly evident on the cover of the early 'Birds classic The Train Kept a Rollin'. But if the Yardbirds were tight and nervy, Aerosmith is blown out and loose, the sound of excess incarnate -- that is, in every way but the writing itself, which is confident and strong, fueled by Tyler's gonzo sex drive. He is the Lord of the Thighs, playing that Same Old Song and Dance, but he also slows down enough for the eerie Seasons of Wither, a powerful slow-churning ballad whose mastery of atmosphere is a good indication of how far the band has grown. They never attempted anything quite so creepy on their debut, but it isn't just that Aerosmith is trying newer things on Get Your Wings, it's that they're doing their bloozy bluster better and bolder, which is what turns this sophomore effort into their first classic.
-All Music Guide1. Same Old Song and Dance
2. Lord of the Thighs
4. Woman of the World
5. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
6. Train Kept A-Rollin'
7. Seasons of Wither
8. Pandora's Box$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rock In A Hard PlaceOriginally released in 1982, Rock In A Hard Place is the only album in Aerosmith history to not include guitarist Joe Perry. The band still created world-class rock as evidenced in the title track as well as Prelude to Joanie, "Lightning Strikes," "Jailbait," "Bitch's Brew," and "Bolivian Ragamuffin.1. Jailbait (2012 Remaster)
2. Lightning Strikes (2012 Remaster)
3. Bitch's Brew (2012 Remaster)
4. Bolivian Ragamuffin (2012 Remaster)
5. Cry Me A River (2012 Remaster)
6. Prelude To Joanie (2012 Remaster)
7. Joanie's Butterfly (2012 Remaster)
8. Rock In A Hard Place (Cheshire Cat) (2012 Remaster)
9. Jig Is Up (2012 Remaster)
10. Push Comes To Shove (2012 Remaster)
$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rocks Donington 2014Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is much more than just a great gig. It is a lasting document of the powerful and explosive band that these five men - Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer - have made with each other and with fans of rock and roll everywhere.LP1
1. Train Kept A-Rollin'
2. Eat The Rich
3. Love In An Elevator
6. Livin' On The Edge
1. Last Child
2. Freedom Fighter
3. Same Old Song And Dance
4. Janie's Got A Gun
5. Toys In The Attic
6. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
7. No More No More
8. Come Together
1. Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
2. Walk This Way
3. Home Tonight
4. Dream On
5. Sweet Emotion
6. Mama Kin / Mannish Boy$45.99Vinyl LP + DVD - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Done With MirrorsDone with Mirrors is the eighth studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, originally released on November 9, 1985. The release marked the return to the band of guitarists Joe Perry, who had left the group in 1979, and Brad Whitford, who had left the band in 1981. It was also the band's first album released by Geffen Records.1. Let The Music Do The Talking
2. My Fist Your Face
3. Shame On You
4. The Reason A Dog
6. Gypsy Boots
7. She's On Fire
8. The Hop$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Step BackBlues legend Johnny Winter will release a new studio album, Step Back, via Megaforce Records. The album, the followup to 2011's Roots, will find Winter exploring a more aggressive vintage-blues style.
The album also will feature a host of special guests, including Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, Dr. John, Leslie West, Brian Setzer and Joe Bonnamassa.
"If there's good people, other good musicians, people enjoy it. I just love it, Winter says. [Step Back] is just to bring it to the people of today who haven't listened to the old music. It's better than anything they hear today.
Produced by Winter's guitarist, Paul Nelson, Step Back opens with "Unchain My Heart," which features Winter and his band joined by the Blues Brothers horns. ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons is featured on "Where Can You Be."
"I never had the opportunity to jam with him [in the Sixties and Seventies]," Gibbons says. "I was content to remain in awe and admiration."
"If it weren't for Johnny Winter, I would have never picked up the guitar," adds Aerosmith's Joe Perry, who joins Winter on Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mojo Hand."
Other highlights include Winter's guitar and vocal trade-offs with Harper on Willie Dixon's "Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby)," Winter and Clapton's rendition of Bobby Bland's "Don't Want No Woman" and Winter and Dr. John honoring Fats Domino with "Blue Monday."
"When you hear that sound come out of that Firebird guitar, you know it can be the one and only Johnny Winter," says Setzer, who is featured on Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Okie Dokie Stomp."
- Jackson Maxwell (Guitar World)1. Unchain My Heart - Johnny Winter
2. Can't Hold Out (Talk To Me Baby) - Johnny Winter with Ben Harper
3. Don't Want No Woman - Johnny Winter with Eric Clapton
4. Killing Floor - Johnny Winter with Paul Nelson
5. Who Do You Love - Johnny Winter
6. Okie Dokie Stomp - Johnny Winter with Brian Setzer
7. Where Can You Be - Johnny Winter with Billy Gibbons
8. Sweet Sixteen - Johnny Winter with Joe Bonamassa
9. Death Letter -Johnny Winter
10. My Babe - Johnny Winter with Jason Ricci
11. Long Tall Sally - Johnny Winter with Leslie West
12. Mojo Hand - Johnny Winter with Joe Perry
13. Blue Monday - Johnny Winter with Dr. John$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rhythm & BluesDouble LP Features Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Gary Clark, Jr., Beth Hart And Aerosmith Members Steven Tyler, Joe Perry And Brad Whitford!
Six-time Grammy Award winner and 2012 Kennedy Center Honoree Buddy Guy releases his studio album, Rhythm & Blues, on RCA Records. The follow-up to his 2010 Grammy Award winning album Living Proof, this double-disc masterpiece features first time studio collaborations with A-list artists Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Gary Clark, Jr., Beth Hart and Aerosmith members Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford.
Produced by Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter and longtime collaborator Tom Hambridge (Skin Deep, Living Proof), Rhythm & Blues captures the 76 year-young Guy at the peak of his creativity. Replete with heartfelt vocals, straightforward lyrics and mesmerizing guitar licks, Rhythm & Blues not only exemplifies how blues continues to be the foundation of all genres of today's music, it also illustrates why Guy has been influential in the careers of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more.
The Rhythm disc includes rhythm and blues-style blues with deep grooves, such as the Junior Wells' 1960 hit "Messin With The Kid" featuring Kid Rock, the touching "One Day Away" with Keith Urban, and "What You're Gonna Do About Me," a rousing duet with Beth Hart. Guy rounds out the disc with "Best In Town," "Whiskey Ghost," Guitar Slim's "Well I Done Got Over It" and more.
The Blues disc taps into the genre's rich history with "Meet Me In Chicago," "I Could Die Happy," "Never Gonna Change" and "All That Makes Me Happy Is The Blues." Aerosmith's Tyler, Perry and Whitford contribute to the musical lesson with "Evil Twin" while Gary Clark, Jr. joins Guy on "Blues Don't Care."
In a career that spans nearly 50 years with over 50 albums released, the incomparable Buddy Guy recently added the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors and NARM Chairman's Award for Sustained Creative Achievement to his long list of achievements. Guy is the recipient of 30 awards and accolades, including 6 Grammy Awards, 28 Blues Music Awards (formerly W. C. Handy Awards), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the first annual Great Performer of Illinois Award, a Billboard Music Awards' Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, the Presidential National Medal of Arts, in addition to being listed as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone.LP 1
1. Best In Town
3. I Go By Feel
4. Messin' With The Kid (Feat. Kid Rock)
5. What's Up With That Woman
6. One Day Away (Feat. Keith Urban)
7. Well I Done Got Over It
8. What You Gonna Do About Me (Feat. Beth Hart)
9. The Devil's Daughter
10. Whiskey Ghost
11. Rhythm Inner Groove
1. Meet Me In Chicago
2. Too Damn Bad
3. Evil Twin (Feat. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry & Brad Whitford)
4. I Could Die Happy
5. Never Gonna Change
6. All That Makes Me Happy Is The Blues
7. My Mama Loved Me
8. Blues Don't Care (Feat. Gary Clark, Jr.)
9. I Came Up Hard
10. Poison Ivy$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Toys In The AtticRanked 228/500 On Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Remastered From The Original Source Tapes!
Contains the classics Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, & Toys In The Attic
After nearly getting off the ground with Get Your Wings, Aerosmith finally perfected their mix of Stonesy raunch and Zeppelin-esque riffing with their third album, Toys in the Attic. The success of the album derives from a combination of an increased sense of songwriting skills and purpose. Not only does Joe Perry turn out indelible riffs like Walk This Way, Toys in the Attic, and Sweet Emotion, but Steven Tyler has fully embraced sleaziness as his artistic muse. Taking his cue from the old dirty blues Big Ten Inch Record, Tyler writes with a gleeful impishness about sex throughout Toys in the Attic, whether it's the teenage heavy petting of Walk This Way, the promiscuous Sweet Emotion, or the double-entendres of Uncle Salty and Adam's Apple. The rest of Aerosmith, led by Perry's dirty, exaggerated riffing, provide an appropriately greasy backing. Before Toys in the Attic, no other hard rock band sounded like this. Sure, Aerosmith cribbed heavily from the records of the Rolling Stones, New York Dolls, and Led Zeppelin, but they didn't have any of the menace of their influences, nor any of their mystique. Aerosmith was a gritty, street-wise hard rock band who played their blues as blooze and were in it for a good time; Toys in the Attic crystallizes that attitude.
-All Music Guide1. Toys in the Attic
2. Uncle Salty
3. Adam's Apple
4. Walk This Way
5. Big Ten Inch Record
6. Sweet Emotion
7. No More No More
8. Round and Round
9. You See Me Crying$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: Volume 1 (Colored Vinyl)
Limited Edition Purple Colored Vinyl
Unforgettable Musical Collaborations Like Tom Petty With Prince And Mick Jagger With Bruce Springsteen
Original Members Of Cream Take The Stage For The First Time In 25 Years For A Blistering "Sunshine Of Your Love
Includes performances from legends like Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cream, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Tom Petty, Green Day, James Taylor, Al Green, Chuck Berry and more
Jam-filled performances of chart-busters like "Johnny B. Goode, "Ironman", "Blitzkrieg Bop, "Can't Get No Satisfaction, and a show-stopping performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
For over a quarter century, rock and roll's biggest stars have gathered annually on one special evening for an exclusive party: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. Honoring music's most influential figures with the most prestigious of awards, it's also an evening where both artists and fans celebrate rock and roll with once-in-a-lifetime performances. For the first time on vinyl, Time Life has pressed a selection of the most memorable moments in the history of the induction ceremony, previously only available in digital and physical formats. ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME LIVE: VOLUME 1 is a unique, collectible vinyl album featuring an unforgettable "set list" including the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.1. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry With Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1995)
2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1999)
3. A Change Is Gonna Come - Al Green (1995)
4. The Train Kept-A-Rollin' - Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea And Metallica (2009)
5. Iron Man - Metallica (2006)
6. Woodstock - James Taylor (1997)
7. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream (1993)
8. Blitzkrieg Bop - Green Day (2002)
9. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen And The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Band (1988)
10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison And Prince (2004)$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Raising HellUp until Raising Hell, the rap juggernaut we know as Run-DMC was still in its building and breaking-down- doors phase. In 1986 that
changed, and in a dramatic way. With their third long-player, the group had reached the mountaintop. It was THE record that proved
hip-hop wasn't a fad.
Raising Hell marked an important and significant new era for the group. Leaving producer Larry Smith for up-and- coming sonic
innovator Rick Rubin (still co-produced by Run's brother Russell Simmons), they began to fully transition not only their own sound, but
the sound of the entire genre. Less live playing - with some exceptions - and a slicker, tighter sonic attack. Musical aesthetics aside,
though, at their core they stayed true to the essence of hip-hop: two turntables and a microphone, or two.
It's impossible to talk about the album without its worldwide smash, "Walk This Way," which hit #4 on the Billboard pop charts and saw
the group digging in the rock crates to summon Aerosmith in the flesh, combining Steven Tyler's and Joe Perry's musicianship with the
group's own take on the '70s classic. The song's video cemented Run-DMC as legit MTV
idols, and both groups rode its wave to new heights.
Beyond "Walk This Way," the platter is full to the hilt with undeniable classic singles: "You Be Illin'"; "It's Tricky"; "Peter Piper" and the
fashion-world shifting "My Adidas." Each song was new proof that Run-DMC's sound was indeed new, but still familiar, and full of the
energy, charisma and innovation that drew fans to their first two LPs.
Aside from the singles, the reason the album stands up so well is the fact that there is virtually no filler. "Proud To Be Black" remains a
pioneering and underrated cut when people talk about "conscious" hip-hop. And to make sure they never lost the streets that gave them
their start, "Hit It Run," "Son Of Byford," "Is It Live" and "Perfection" all bring it back to the group's early days in the park.
Besides the triple platinum status the album achieved, it was more than just a pop smash. It signaled a new era for rap music, and it was
the no-turning- back point for the entire genre. This was the beginning of what we now call the Golden Era, and it still sounds as fresh
today as it did three decades ago.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Peter Piper
2. It's Tricky
3. My Adidas
4. Walk This Way
5. Is It Live
7. Hit It Run
8. Raising Hell
9. You Be Illin'
10. Dumb Girl
11. Son Of Byford
12. Proud To Be Black$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Studio One Dub Volume 2Studio One Dub 2 is a second collection bringing together some of the finest dubs from the legendary Studio One Records, Kingston, Jamaica. Dub music was the creation of a generation of brilliant recording studio engineers in Jamaica. But although Clement Coxsone Dodd's Studio One is hailed as the greatest of the Jamaican recording labels, and although many talented engineers worked the board at Dodd's Brentford Road studio over the years (including Sylvan Morris, Syd Bucknor, Overton Scientist Brown and Dodd himself), Studio One was never typically known as a centre for dub. This is because for many fans the studio's commercial and stylistic heyday was in the 1960s, prior to the rise of dub as a distinct sub-genre of Jamaican music in the 1970s. By the 1970s, however, dub music was the rage in Jamaica's sound systems. Always the pioneer - and since Sylvan Morris had left the Studio One operation around 1972 - Coxsone supervised the dubs till leaving Jamaica at the end of the decade. This meant that for the most part, for example, the twelve Studio One dub albums released during the 1970s were mixed by Dodd himself, using the moniker Dub Specialist. Throughout the decade, the mixes became more sophisticated and atmospheric. Along with the first volume of Studio One Dub, the cuts here demonstrate that Studio One's contribution to the innovative musical form of dub was substantial, and go straight to the head of listeners who feel that the only centres for dub were studios such as King Tubby's, Lee Perry's Black Ark, Channel One, or Joe Gibbs's. The tracks on this compilation are taken from this period in the 1970s when dub was the cutting-edge of Jamaican music studio production. Most of them are the dub-version flip-sides of rare Jamaican 45s, and none have appeared on CD before. Michael E. Veal, author of Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan University Press, 2007).LP1
1. Sound Dimension - I'll Be Around
2. Soundstorm - Dub Rock
3. Albert And The Gladiators - Watch Out Version
4. Brentford Reggae Band - Moses Version
5. Brentford Disco Set - Peace Version
6. Brentford Disco Set - Natty Ting A Ling PT.2
7. Marcia Griffiths - Feel Like Jumping PT.2
8. Drum Bago And The Rebel Group - Reggae Version
9. St. Ct. And The Gladiators Band - Soul Locks
1. Freddie And Sound Dimension - How Could You Version
2. Sound Dimension Band - Run Run Version
3. Holt And Sound Dimension - Any Where Version
4. Alton And Sound Vendors - Live And Dub
5. Freddie Mckay - Drunken Sailor Version
6. Ital Sound - Welding
7. Dub Specialist - Dar Es Salaam
8. Dub Specialist - Always Dubbing
9. Dub Specialist - Mojo Papa$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.
Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!
There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.
So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.
Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.
The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.
While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.
Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.
There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.
Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.1. Babel
2. Whispers In The Dark
3. I Will Wait
4. Holland Road
5. Ghosts That We Knew
6. Lover Of The Light
7. Lovers' Eyes
9. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The BlackbyrdsThe debut album by the American rhythm and blues/jazz-funk fusion group, The Blackbyrds, this eponymous release is the product of six full-time Howard
University students taking the direction of department head and jazz great Donald Byrd into the Fantasy Studios along with the aid of production wizard
Larry Mizell (Jackson 5, Gary Bartz). The end result is nothing less than stunning as the band lays down some of the tastiest groove-oriented jazz music
ever recorded. With Joe Hall on bass and Keith Killgo on drums, the rhythm section anchors a solid foundation capable of keeping the dancefloor full and
providing a base for the rest of the band's soulful explorations. Kevin Toney supplies supple keyboard work and Barney Perry keeps it funky on the guitar,
setting the pace for what would be a genre-defining LP and a breakthrough in jazz-funk crossover. Essential listening for all fans of jazz, funk, and feel good pop music.1. Do It, Fluid
2. Gut Level
4. The Runaway
5. Funky Junkie
6. Summer Love
7. Life Styles
8. A Hot Day Today$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Not RealNot Real' is the second album by Stealing Sheep which has been written, recorded and produced by band members Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer at their studio in Liverpool. The band met in 2010 and work together creating music and visual art.
The unifying theme of the new album 'Not Real' is an interplay of fact and fiction; the edge of dreams and limits of reality. These visions are grounded by bright melodies and insistent beats and unified by vocal harmonies; sometimes metronomic and chant-like, sometimes choral and pop.
It follows their debut, 'Into the Diamond Sun', released in 2012 by Heavenly Recordings. The first album morphed their individual styles to create a 'medieval-kraut-folk' inspired sound. They were described as an unanticipated 'pagan pop revival' and since its release have toured as guests of Postal Service and Alt-J, opened for St.Vincent in Paris, performed the songs of David Lynch at the Barbican and collaborated with the Radiophonic Workshop on an original soundtrack to the cult 70's science fiction film 'Le Planete Sauvage'.
For the second album they have concentrated on developing the sonic aesthetic of their new music. "We are more focussed about what we are trying to do. Everything has a reason for being there." They have been experimenting with tuned percussion, programmed beats, trigger samples and worked with effected synths, utilising the guitar and lap steel more sparingly and introducing more processed sounds. They've drawn inspiration from 50's exotica, electronic music and 80's pop and have been greatly influenced by the likes of Grace Jones, Can, Delia Derbyshire, Eden Ahbez, Moon Dog and John Carpenter. Grayson Perry's pop-folk art and the band's self-created mythologies were also a source of inspiration for song writing.
This is an alternative pop record that has been 'self-manufactured' by the band. Having learned new skills in the studio over the last years, the band (assisted by Sam Crombie and Joe Wills) have self-produced the album. They have used the studio not only as a writing tool but also as an instrument; experimenting with post production and varying instrumentation and layered textures. "We started off in pre-production doing all the demos ourselves" say's Becky "the demos captured an atmosphere that we wanted to carry forward to the album. The result was a hypbrid of casual takes and more considered recordings
Individual songs on the album have different environments and creatures that go with them, often inspired by the galactic rather than earth-bound imagery. Becky: "I imagine dehumanised worlds, planets with creatures that have evolved in a completely different way
The visual side is highly important to the band, all of whom have art backgrounds. "We like to be involved in all the aspects of the presentation because it's symbiotic to the music." They collaborate with artists and with 'the costumologists', coming up with ideas like "outfits that texturally reflect rhythms" and "frequency triggered, light-up costumes". The colourful and organic album cover, a collaboration between photographer Charlotte Rutherford and collage artist Louise Mason, shows their confident image for this record: as they tread the lines of surreal pop.
There is no stopping the imaginations of Stealing Sheep - but like lucid dreams, these are controlled fantasies and skilfully created worlds. Follow them on a hypnagogic journey as they sing: "listen to yourself and look within".1. Sequence
3. Not Real
4. This Time
10. She$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now