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Defying GravityMr Big's new album, DEFYING GRAVITY deftly showcases that patented MR. BIG blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut Open Your Eyes to the harmony-laden wonderment of Damn I'm in Love Again to the grateful/wistful nostalgia of 1992 (recalling the days when the band was flying high atop the singles charts with their international #1 smash To Be With You) to the barn burning slide-blues closer, Be Kind. Overall, DEFYING GRAVITY is prime evidence that the only thing MR. BIG remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence.
Original members Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band's 1989 self-titled debut, 1991's LEAN INTO IT and 1993's BUMP AHEAD) for an intensive six-day recording session in Los Angeles. While Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on DEFYING GRAVITY due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop.
It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson, says guitarist Paul Gilbert. Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the '80s and '90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on DEFYING GRAVITY. We basically played live in the studio. Over the years, we've all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it's still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I've worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record both melodically, and on the face-melting stuff.
DEFYING GRAVITY is the follow-up to 2014's THE STORIES WE COULD TELL (Frontiers Music Srl), which Ultimate-Guitar.com described as An exceptional offering of accelerated hard rock from one of the more dominant 'supergroups' of the late 1980s, MR. BIG return with a vengeance on THE STORIES WE COULD TELL.1. Open Your Eyes
2. Defying Gravity
3. Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
4. Damn I'm In Love Again
5. Mean to Me
6. Nothing Bad (About Feeling Good)
7. Forever and Back
8. She's All Coming Back to Me Now
10. Nothing At All
11. Be Kind$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Don't Mess Wit TexasThe album "Don't Mess Wit Texas" and it's hit single "Southside" were originally released in 1997, here on 2-disc
vinyl for the very first time. Included genre defining performances from an amazing guest list of performers that
have since passed away, like DJ Screw, Fat Pat, Big Moe and Rap-A-Lot star Mr. 3-2.
Honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by President Barack Obama for his music career and work with youth sports.1. Still Pimpin' Pens (Screwed)
2. It's Going Down
3. We Miss U 2
4. Baller in the Mix
6. Niggas Be Hating Me
7. Bounce & Turn
8. Something About the Southside
9. Don't You Know
10. Can You Feel Me
11. Money in the Making
12. Don't Mess wit Texas
13. Serious Smoke
15. Same Old G (Don't Change)
16. I'm on My Way
17. Coming Down Slow
18. If You Wanna
19. All in the Game
20. Still Pimpin Pens$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
SleepwalkerPressed On 180 Gram Black & White Swirl Vinyl
Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso At Friday Music & Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA With Ron McMaster
Manufactured At R.T.I.
First Time Gatefold & Poster Presentation
Includes 12 x 12 Poster
In 1977, the superstar Kinks embarked on an incredible musical journey which surely was developing into the most successful era of their four-decade career. Thanks in part to their first Arista Records smash album Sleepwalker, Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Mick Avory and John Dalton expanded their early 70's sound into a unique brand of album oriented rock and storytelling like no other legacy band at the time.
With nine solid new rockers like the autobiographical Life On The Road and smash singles like Juke Box Music and the stellar title track Sleepwalker, the entire LP seemed like a greatest hits album at the time due to the way rock radio was so receptive to this tremendous new masterwork from The Kinks.
Filled with even more favorites like Mr. Big Man, Sleepless Night and Life Goes On, the Rock Hall Of Famers' The Kinks truly delivered one of the most important albums of the classic rock era with the brilliant Sleepwalker.
Therefore it is with much pleasure to continue our lengthy reissue program with another fine installment in The Kinks/ Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series with their 1977 groundbreaking hit LP Sleepwalker. And what a better way to celebrate your holidays this year with this exclusive Friday Music release on limited edition Black & White Swirl Vinyl.
Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and Capitol Mastering in Hollywood, CA, the amazing release is also manufactured at R.T.I.
To further enhance your Kinks musical enjoyment, we are also presenting this stellar album in a first time gatefold cover, as well as including a 12 x 12 front cover LP poster insert.
So, please join Friday Music in welcoming back The Kinks and their legendary Sleepwalker LP.1. Life On The Road
2. Mr. Big Man
5. Juke Box Music
6. Sleepless Night
7. Stormy Sky
8. Full Moon
9. Life Goes On$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
Bringin' It (Awaiting Repress)Iconic bassist Christian McBride has been doing what the title of his upcoming big band album implores for years: Bringin' It. This highly anticipated release, which follows the Christian McBride Big Band's 2011 Grammy® Award-winning debut, The Good Feeling, puts his status and skills as an all-around entertainer on full display. With a list of growing accolades including his recent appointment as Artistic Director at the Newport Jazz Festival, hosting shows on SiriusXM ("The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian") and NPR ("Jazz Night in America," as well as frequent online contributions to various programs including "All Things Considered"), speaking engagements, and occasional DJ performances under the alias DJ Brother Mister, he's more than just a bandleader: Christian McBride is transcending that title to something more complete.
If it is true that jazz is a sponge for musicians to absorb and then squeeze out what they hear to produce their own sound, McBride has been "bringin' it" for quite a long time. From his amazing quintet, Inside Straight, to his avant-garde leaning quartet, New Jawn, the contemporary sound of his fusion group, A Christian McBride Situation, to the critically acclaimed music he's made with his trio, the bassist has always disseminated his own unique 360-degree view of jazz.
While the music played by the Christian McBride Big Band is on the cutting edge of 21st century large ensemble music, the orchestra's presentation, like its sound, respects the past while looking forward. Danny Ray, the legendary stage announcer for James Brown, travels with the group to give the leader an old-school intro before playing his thoroughly modern music. "I love having the show aspect of it as well, with Danny Ray there, and being able to create somewhat of a show while also having Melissa there as our vocalist."
That would be Melissa Walker, who graces Bringin' It on two tracks: "Upside Down," originally done by Brazilian superstar Djavan, and the unlikely slick arrangement of "Mr. Bojangles." In addition to maintaining a career in jazz, Walker is also the co-founder of Jazz House Kids, the award winning jazz education center and she's Mrs. Christian McBride.
Only two tracks on this 11-song set were not arranged by the leader: the "Upside Down" arrangement was contributed by Norman Simmons, while "Optimism" is from the person he's known the longest in his band, trombonist Steve Davis. Davis has the distinction of being the very last Jazz Messenger that Art Blakey hired before he died in 1990.
"I saw that last Jazz Messengers band that Steve was in," McBride remembers. "Blakey was a huge influence on me and because of that, Steve and I share the same compositional and arranging DNA. You see, even though I've been influenced by every great big band and every great arranger I've ever heard, three of my greatest influences - not just as composers but also as improvisers - are Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter and Cedar Walton. I mean before, after and during the period when they were with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers."
McBride played bass for Freddie Hubbard's quintet for nearly three years starting when he was 18. One of the songs he loved to play with the legendary trumpeter was "Thermo." A few years ago he brought this arrangement to a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. When the four trumpeters had to work hard to go over the riffs in the tune, McBride felt a certain pride. "I just thought that Freddie was somewhere up in heaven laughing," says McBride.
Perennial poll-topping arranger Maria Schneider has also been an influence on McBride. He cites times when he'd just bug her for hours, peppering her with questions, particularly on a recent trip to Europe. He honors her with his rendition of "I Thought About You." "She has an arrangement of 'Giant Steps' where she arranged the melody over a D pedal so I said let me try something like that," McBride recounts. "That's where that came from. She really gave me a lot of information and has been a great influence on me."
Another aspect that has helped the bassist find his voice as an arranger is the fact that, except for drummer Quincy Phillips, this is the exact same band that recorded with him six years ago. "These guys know my sound. They know my style. They know what my compositional and arranging DNA is. I've been able to keep the exact same unit, so like Duke Ellington used to do, I can write for my guys because I know their sound and style.
"As for my originals, they all have been recorded with my small groups," he continues on about the tracks "Gettin' To It," "Youthful Bliss," and "Used'ta Could." "As an arranger I'm still in the early stages of my development so it seems to me the best way to really make my hopeful ascension into a better arranger is to obviously take a song I've already written and try to add to that and make it a worthy large ensemble song."
While the Wes Montgomery smoker "Full House" isn't a McBride original, it is part of his development as an arranger - it's a big band chart he first created for guitarist Russell Malone at Jazz Aspen in 2009. He says he's tweaked it since then for his go-to guitarist Rodney Jones. For the McCoy Tyner classic "Sahara," the bassist channeled his 20+ years of playing with the legendary Chick Corea, for which McBride won two of his five Grammys. Another one of his Grammys came from a co-op project with Tyner. "I always thought of Chick, in his early years, as being a branch from the tree of McCoy Tyner, if you will," he commented.
McBride's work ethic is evident in the challenge he set for himself on the steamy old ballad "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning." "I decided to torture myself by writing that arrangement in the key of B. To me that's a very pretty key, but it is a very hard key for a double bass because I get to play no open strings," McBride explains. "When I play it live, every bass player in the house comes to me and says, 'is that in B? Why do you do that?' Maybe it's because I'm crazy, but I really wanted to do something difficult and keep myself on my toes."
Planning to keep this group simmering while he simultaneously resurrects his Inside Straight band and introduces his new trio, Tip City, McBride is most excited to embrace the golden age of big bands while they continue bringin' it with more gigs and their first European tour. "With my big band I try to combine all of my journeys and goals as a musician and then try to put it in a wrapper of show business," the five-time Grammy® Award-winner comments. "I really think in that sense I'm following something of a big band tradition."1. Gettin' To It
3. Youthful Bliss
4. I Thought About You
6. Upside Down
7. Full House
8. Mr. Bojangles
9. Used 'ta Could
10. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
11. Optimism$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Basses LoadedIt's 2016 and the Melvins have an album called Basses Loaded coming out that features six different bass players. That's right SIX different bass players. NEW Melvins bass players for this go around are Steve McDonald from the legendary Los Angeles glam punk band Redd Kross and their old friend Krist Novoselic from Nirvana! Making return appearances are former and probably future bass players Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantomas), Jared Warren (Big Business) and Dale Crover.
Six bass players? Is this a joke? What IS the deal with these ceaseless idiots? Can't they just settle in and be happy with ONE line up?
I suppose it figures considering how many goddam bass players they've had up until this point.
Nonetheless Basses Loaded actually works!
According to King Buzzo, "More is more! As hard as it might be to believe, all of these bass players contribute something of their own to Basses Loaded which gives the whole album a good kick right in it's big fat ass."
Recording with Krist Novoselic is something that should have happened a long time ago but rumor has it that he's been busy doing things like playing bass with Paul McCartney and getting his ass inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's hard to believe he even bothered with this! Ha!
Butthole Surfer and Honky member Jeff Pinkus played on the Melvins' album Hold it In and has done shit load of touring with the boys in the last few years.
Trevor Dunn recorded the Freak Puke album with these guys as well as played bass on the Melvins' record setting US tour where they played all 50 states plus DC in 51 days. This was also released as a tour DVD last year entitled Across the USA in 51 Days, the Movie!
Jared Warren is a Melvins' veteran having recorded the Senile Animal, Nude with Boots and The Bride Screamed Murder albums as well as the Bulls and the Bees EP. Dale Crover is usually the Melvins drummer but slid over to bass when they brought back original drummer Mike Dillard for the Tres Cabrones album (this line-up was called Melvins 1983).
Steve McDonald has been in Redd Kross since he was 11 and he's a founding member of Los Angeles hardcore band OFF! plus he's got REALLY good stories about the "rock scene" in Los Angeles! The Melvins have a shit load of touring planned with Steven this year so this whole thing is a really big deal.1. The Decay of Lying (Steve McDonald)
2. Choco Plumbing (Jared Warren)
3. Beer Hippie (Dale Crover)
4. I Want To Tell You (Steve McDonald)
5. Captain Come Down (Jeff Pinkus)
6. Hideous Women (Steve McDonald)
7. Shaving Cream (Dale Crover)
8. Planet Distructo (Trevor Dunn)
9. War Pussy (Steve McDonald)
10. Maybe I Am Amused (Krist Novoselic)
11. Phyllis Dillard (Dale Crover)
12. Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Dale Crover)$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Leon Russell (Awaiting Repress)Pressed On 180-Gram Translucent Blue Vinyl
Leon Russell was born in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1941. He studied classical piano as a boy and took up trumpet in his teens. Not too many years later, he was on the road as a sideman to Jerry Lee Lewis and Ronnie Hawkins and ended-up on the west coast.
Leon remained in Los Angeles and quickly became one of the city's more prominent studio musicians also often working as an arranger, conductor and producer. Russell was one of Phil Spector's, "Wall of Sound" session people, he also played on The Byrds', "Mr. Tambourine Man," and arranged and co-wrote most of the big hits of pop star, Gary Lewis including She's Just My Style" and "Everybody Loves a Clown."
Leon Russell gained a higher public profile when the 1969 Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett album, "Accept No Substitute" became a major hit. Leon had arranged the album and played piano and guitar in his now distinctive style that became such a part of the sound of the group called Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.
Russell really skyrocketed when he got involved with Joe Cocker who was already a star. Cocker's producer, Denny Cordell hired Leon to arrange and co-produce the new Cocker album which included more hits for Joe including Leon's song, "Delta Lady." When Cocker set out to tour the US he logically recruited Leon to serve as bandleader and arranger for the now legendary 1970 "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour. That renowned cross-country tour has been preserved as a feature film and live album.
Following the critical success of the tour, Russell's reputation was strong enough that he and Cordell formed their own record company - Shelter - and launched the label with this very Leon Russell, "Leon Russell" album. The album features the first ever recording of "A Song For You" which has become one of Russell's best-known songs with versions released over the years by more than 40 different artists including the Carpenters, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Willie Nelson, Helen Reddy, Whitney Houston, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway and Christina Aguilera.
The rest, as they say, is history for Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2011 followed a few months later with induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.1. A Song For You
2. Dixie Lullaby
3. I Put A Spell On You
4. Shoot Out On The Plantation
6. Delta Lady
7. Prince Of Peace
8. Give Peace A Chance
9. Hurtsome Body
10. Pisces Apple Lady
11. Roll Away The Stone$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Deadworld Reborn (Picture Disc)Limited to 1,000 Hand Numbered Pieces
Limited Edition Picture Disc
Mr. Dibbs has become one of the most respected and innovative turntablist/dj style producers in the
game. Last year Mr. Dibbs died for approximately 53 seconds, one short month after the quiet release of
Held up in the hospital for a few weeks, Dibbs was an inadvertent resident of an impromptu hip hop
retirement home. Battling leukemia on the floor above him was his longtime friend Marcus "Skandal da
Ruckus Man" Mitchell. An epic MC and producer, of equally epic bodily proportions, Skandal's heart
was big, but his production skills and lyrical largesse were even bigger.
Mr. Dibbs was found... in the strong lifeline we've all come to know and love as Skandal. Skandal lost
his life in October last year, but even thru his passing he made Dibbs feel important enough to be reborn.
'Deadword Reborn' was digitally released last november with all procceds going to Skandal's daughter.
Now for the first time ever 'Deadworld Reborn' is available in physical form as a 12" picture disc vinyl.
Limited to 1,000 hand numbered pieces and featuring a long list of artists and producers including
Brother Ali, The Black Keys, Grayskul, Murs, JEL, Skandal Da Ruckus Man himself, along with
"What I could not see at the time was being reborn into the world of the living through someone else's
full-circle leaving." -DibbsA Side:
1. Dead Side
3. World Side
4. Good Knight
5. Where Pigs Fly$21.99Picture Disc Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
TriplicateTriplicate, is the new three-disc studio album from Bob Dylan. The collection features 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist's illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan's unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music's most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016.
For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood's Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters such as Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (Once Upon A Time), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (Stormy Weather), Harold Hupfield (As Time Goes By) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (The Best Is Yet To Come). The titles of the individual discs are 'Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin' Home Late. According to Bob Dylan, I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I've hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.
Dylan's two previous album of classic American songs, 2016's Fallen Angels and 2015's Shadows in the Night, were both worldwide hits and garnered Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Both albums received worldwide critical acclaim, with Randy Lewis writing of Fallen Angels in The Los Angeles Times, [Dylan] immediately liberates songs from the big band/big orchestra world from which they emerged, and in which they are most frequently revisited . [He] reaches to the blues at the core of many of these songs. Thus, they elicit the ache of romantic yearning and loss that often gets subsumed by swelling orchestral forces, background choirs or by singers who are more focused on crafting elegant vocals than finding emotional resonance. The Telegraph's Neil McCormick awarded Shadows in the Night five out of five stars and described the work as spooky, bittersweet, mesmerizingly moving [with] the best singing from Dylan in 25 years. Jon Pareles wrote of that album in the New York Times, Mr. Dylan presents yet another changed voice a subdued, sustained tone .Shadows in the Night maintains its singular mood: lovesick, haunted, suspended between an inconsolable present and all the regrets of the past.
Bob Dylan has sold more than 125 million records around the world.LP 1: 'Til The Sun Goes Down
1. I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans
2. September Of My Years
3. I Could Have Told You
4. Once Upon A Time
5. Stormy Weather
6. This Nearly Was Mine
7. That Old Feeling
8. It Gets Lonely Early
9. My One and Only Love
10. Trade Winds
LP 2: Devil Dolls
2. As Time Goes By
4. How Deep Is The Ocean
5. P. S. I Love You
6. The Best Is Yet To Come
7. But Beautiful
8. Here's That Rainy Day
9. Where Is The One
10. There's A Flaw In My Flue
LP 3: Comin' Home Late
1. Day In, Day Out
2. I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night
3. Sentimental Journey
4. Somewhere Along The Way
5. When The World Was Young
6. These Foolish Things
7. You Go To My Head
9. It's Funny To Everyone But Me
10. Why Was I Born$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Grand Stan (Pure Pleasure)
Mr. Levey worked with Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and many other singers, and with the big bands of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Stan Kenton. He was also a ubiquitous presence in Los Angeles recording studios for many years. But he earned his place in jazz history primarily through his work with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the leading lights of bebop.
A self-taught drummer who played left-handed even though he was naturally right-handed, Mr. Levey was still a teenager when he began attracting attention for the ease with which he handled the breakneck tempos and tricky accents of the modern style. Working with Gillespie and Parker, he also attracted attention for being one of two white musicians (the pianist Al Haig was the other) in an otherwise all-black group, by no means a common sight in the 1940's.
Stan Levey was born in Philadelphia on April 5, 1926. The son of a prizefight promoter, he took up boxing about the same time he took up drums, and for a few years pursued both careers. But boxing, at which he was never exceptional, soon lost out to drumming, at which he was.
His work with Gillespie and Parker in 1945, when bebop was new and controversial, won him the admiration of his peers but not much of a living. Greater success came a few years later when he began working with big bands.
In 1954, after two years with Kenton, he settled in Los Angeles, where he spent five years with the Lighthouse All-Stars, the group in residence at a popular local nightclub. He was also in great demand for studio work, recording with many of the best-known musicians in jazz and playing on hit records like Peggy Lee's Fever. In addition, his drumming was heard on the soundtracks of hundreds of movies and television shows, including five Disney documentaries for which he wrote the music.
- Conte Candoli (trumpet)
- Frank Rosolino (trombone)
- Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone)
- Sonny Clark (piano)
- Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
- Stan Levey (drums)
Recording: August 1955 in New York City
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Yesterdays
2. Angel Cake
3. Why Do I Love You
4. Grand Stan
5. Hit That Thing
6. Blues At Sunrise
7. A Gal In Calico
8. Tiny's Tune$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Manley Steelhead RC Phono Stage
Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.
Handcrafted in the USA
We debuted to the world a killer frikkin' cool phono stage at CES 2001. It was called, aquatic naming theme continuing, The Steelhead®, as it is an upstream device and has a very clever MC variable load auto tranny that we designed and our very own Manley Magnetics department executed (which makes the MC stage so very clever). Iron=transformer=steel makes sense to me...
It has two Moving Coil inputs with selectable impedance load 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 Ohms via Mr. Clever Steelhead transformer/autoformer. It also has variable and selectable Moving Magnet input impedances too 25, 50, 100, 200 Ohms and 47 kOhms. Very nifty is the selectable-dial-able-in-able-from-the-faceplate-able capacitive loading for all three of the MM & MC inputs 0 to 1100 picofarads in 10 picofarad steps. Very cool! Equalize baby! TEN picofard steps! Wow! Now you can really dial this in for perfect cartridge matching with ZERO penalty. None of this switching detracts from the sound quality or adds any extra anything to the signal path. Rest assured.
It's got six tubes. 2 x 6922 plus 4 x 7044 or 5687. It's got a big honkin' volume control. It can drive an amplifier directly if you want, if you don't do digital. Hey and if you happen to have three turntables set up, we give you 2 x MC and 1 x MM selectable inputs! It's got variable and fixed volume outputs. And All-tube really low Z tube buffered outputs. Like inherently 20 Ohms plus the little 47 Ohm OK drive those high capacitance audiophile cables why doncha resistor, so it's real output impedance is only 67 Ohms. No wanky cathode follower (oh bor-ing) output here like the other guys. We got your real low impedance all-tube outputs right here! It will drive anything and everything. Long cables, no problem.
It's got selectable gain 50, 55, 60, 65dB on a switch that even auto-mutes as you change it so no nasty bangs. Gain switch markings are referred to from the input of the 1st active electronics at 1 kHz to the fixed output @ 10k load, regardless of whether source is MM or XFMR stepped-up MC. It is not really practical to include MC step-up gain on the front panel markings due to the variable SOURCE impedances of the MC cartridges and the variable LOADING that the input XFMR will have on any given cartridge. All of this total MC gain variability should be confined to about 3 to 12 dB of range though. XFMR step-up gain plateaus as the load Z on a given MC cartridge is optimised...producing no VOLTAGE gain but in fact a bit more POWER gain... All this means you should set a load Z which sounds best with your particular MC cartridge and adjust gain to suit your system's operating level. Whatever you like. You will not blow anything up.
(Bottom line: there is plenty of gain... enough to do justice to your fave lo-output MC cartridges).
It's got a mute switch. It's got a just turn it down while I cue up so I don't throw my woofer cones across the room but I still want the same volume I was listening at before I flipped the side DIM switch. And what goes with DIM better than SUM which would be the MONO button... It has a killer hyper-regulated outboard power supply that plugs in on the huge-est connector you ever saw. And you can just hit the standby button to keep everybody off while you take a small holiday to Tahiti. A backlit MANLEY STEELHEAD illuminated badge reflects back to vinyl-days-of-yore while the millions of BLUE LEDs remind you that this is modern tube engineering design, baby!
The VARIABLE Outputs are controlled by the precision film dual NOBLE® volume control. They are SMOOTH action these days as the fashion went against the detented ones.
This is a tweak-o-holic tube-lover's dream...$8,400.00Manley Steelhead Phono Stage Buy Now
What A Way To DieThe archetype for the '60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock & roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.
The Quatro girls had been brought up in a musically-minded family, nurtured with classical piano and vocal lessons. As Patti recalls, "By 1964, I had been taking guitar lessons, hanging with musicians in the local music scene. We had seen a Beatles concert, and I was quite dazed and focused at the event, watching the audience cry and scream out of control. It was my epiphany moment, and I was determined to start an all-girl band."
Shortly thereafter, the first lineup of the Pleasure Seekers fell into place with Patti Quatro (lead guitar), Marylou Ball (rhythm guitar), Suzi Quatro (bass), Diane Baker (keyboards), Nan Ball (drums) and vocal duties shared by all. Around the fall of 1965 the girls dared local teen club manager Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular Hideout Club, claiming they were better than most of the other live bands there. "You're on," responded Leone, "in two weeks. Three songs!"
The Pleasure Seekers were soon a popular feature at the club, honing their skills alongside the likes of the Rationals, the Amboy Dukes and Bob Seger & the Last Heard. "In the beginning, there was a lot of skepticism," remembers Patti, "especially the first night. The boys crowded the stage, the girlfriends pulled them away with laughter, as if 'Girls playing?! Yeah, right!' It was always satisfying to see them be silenced quickly when we began playing. We grew used to seeing slack jaws open in surprise." Next they were asked by Leone to record and release a single on his Hideout label.
That March 1966 release is now regarded as the greatest "girl garage" single of the era: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" b/w "What a Way to Die." "Dave brought lyrics, and we put the songs together quickly," remembers Patti. "We felt very legit in making this record at a small local studio. Nan was the sexy voice on 'Never Thought You'd Leave Me,' and there was lots of laughter as Marylou added the screams on 'What a Way to Die.'" Suzi Quatro remembers the recording as "very important and memorable."
The Pleasure Seekers were soon in demand in the region, playing teen clubs, parties, colleges and local TV shows. After a series of lineup changes, the band brought in older Quatro sister Arlene (keyboards) and Darline Arnone (drums), the first female drummer sponsored by Slingerland Drums. A short time later, Pami Benford joined-up on guitar and bass (that lineup lasting through most of 1968). "It was a very versatile group," remembers Patti, "with Pami and Suzi sharing bass, and Pami and I sharing lead and rhythm guitars."
"The gender bias was my hot button," recalls Arlene, "along with confidence in our musical abilities. With women musicians dismissed as a novelty, I delighted in watching the audience go from skepticism/ridicule, to shock/cheers." For Suzi, though, this period was where she learned her craft: "I considered myself a musician, and didn't really think about gender too much." Two tracks recorded in 1967, but unissued at the time, "Elevator Express" and "Gotta Get Away," highlight the band's growing musical maturity since their Hideout debut. "Detroit was the best learning ground in the world for musicians," recalls Suzi, "with an amazing energy and creativity that is in every successful artist that has come out of the city." "We were actually one of the earliest Detroit bands traveling the country," adds Patti. "Everyone wanted this unusual all girl band who rocked an entire Motown revue (changing instruments and singers throughout) and an entire Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour revue, as well as covering English bands, acid rock and everything in between."
Signing up with Associated Booking Corporation, the group began making the transition from local to national act. Producer Dick Corby caught the Pleasure Seekers at Trude Heller's in New York's Greenwich Village and signed them to a Mercury Records deal in early 1968. To keep rein on their finances in NYC, Patti recalls, "We booked Arthur's nightclub for a month, staying at the infamous rock Gorham Hotel, recording by day-playing by night." Also in residence were the Who, the Blues Magoos and an assortment of other bands. "Hitting NYC as young teens, it was exciting, scary, fun-all emotions churning," she continues. "We felt we had hit the big time, going from the tiny local Hideout session to the huge Mercury professional studio facility, complete with session people adding strings and other elements."
A single pairing "Good Kind of Hurt" and "Light of Love" was released in April 1968, while a third song, "Locked in Your Love," remained in the can. The group then headed out to the Northwest for a lengthy tour. "The Northwest tour was awesome," remembers Patti. "We were billed with Canned Heat, Boyce & Hart and Merilee Rush, and were held over six weeks to tour with Eric Burdon and the Animals. The Mercury single was out, momentum was surging." Both sides of the single were getting airplay, but ultimately it failed to gain any traction. "Really neither song reflected our own sound," admits Patti. "We rearranged 'Light of Love' for live performance, feeling disconnected to the record, yet realizing we had to play ball with the executives to keep us rolling."
Ultimately Mercury's vision for the Pleasure Seekers clashed rather sharply with the band's vision. "The suits wanted tits and ass," recalls Darline, "wowing Vegas crowds, playing tinkly tunes in lavish costumes." "In that male-dominated music era, we were strictly a novelty, and a high-risk endeavor," adds Patti. "The record executives felt women musicians would fall in love or get pregnant so were not worth investing the time and money. We had to kick down many doors. We were serious musicians, and in it for the right reasons. In the end, we were not happy with a forced direction that Mercury Records had in mind, and ended up leaving the label to rock our music in our own fashion."
After a memorable 1968 Far East tour, playing for wounded returning American soldiers from Vietnam, the Pleasure Seekers (with new drummer Nancy Rogers) returned to a Detroit that was now, in Patti's words, "exploding with heavier sounds. That sparked us to change direction with new ideas we had been exploring. Arlene left the band and we brought in our youngest sister Nancy (vocals). With Suzi's Joplinesque vocals combined with Nancy's wailing 'female Robert Plant' style, we enjoyed a harder edged, 'double-punch' effect."
The last four songs on the album, "White Pig Blues," "Brain Confusion," "Where Have You Gone?" and the atmospheric psychedelic mover "Mr. Power," all date from this 1968-69 period when the Pleasure Seekers were playing the Grande Ballroom alongside the MC5, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes and SRC. With this change in musical direction and the departure of Arlene and Pami, the band forged on as Cradle. Suzi Quatro departed for England in 1971, launching a successful solo career. Patti and Nancy continued with Cradle until 1973 when Patti joined another pioneering female rock group, Fanny.
The Pleasure Seekers reunited recently in April 2012 (minus Suzi) for a well-received show in their hometown, where they were inducted into Detroit's Hall of Fame. "I think all of us Quatro girls are extremely proud of our pioneering days" reflects Patti. "In a renaissance-era of music, we kicked down doors for women to rock heavy. There were key times in our lives of making decisions that may have turned us towards larger fame, but less happiness-depending on your philosophy of such things. The Pleasure Seekers could have been a Las Vegas show act bringing in buckets of money or on Motown, turned very formulaic girlie-soul. But we stayed true to our goals, and I don't think any of us have any regrets of staying our course and playing the music that moved us. It's all been a thrilling ride with great memories."
- Mike & Anja Stax (Ugly Things magazine)1. Intro By DJ The Lord
2. Gotta Get Away
3. Never Thought You'd Leave Me
4. Light Of Love
5. Good Kind Of Hurt
6. What A Way To Die
7. Elevator Express
8. Locked In Your Love
9. White Pig Blues
10. Brain Confusion
11. Where Have You Gone
12. Mr. Power$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cancer For CureIndependent rap icon El-P is set to release his long awaited new solo album Cancer For Cure, at his new home Fat Possum. The new album marks his first full length rap album since 2007's critically acclaimed I'll Sleep When You're Dead, though El-P's rap trajectory has been on a steady ascent following a prolific year that saw high profile appearances on Das Racist's mixtape and debut album, a hugely buzzed Adult Swim single "Drones Over Bklyn," a verse (which made Stereogum's top 10 guest verses of the year) on one of the year's biggest online hits, Mr. Muthafuckin' Exquire's "Huzzah," among several other honors.
The record is arriving hot on the heels of the new Killer Mike album R.A.P. Music, which El-P produced in full and is already making huge noise with its first single "Big Beast (featuring Bun B, T.I. and Trouble)," which was awarded Pitchfork's rare 'Best New Track' designation.Cancer For Cure takes another huge leap forward from the production work of his 2010 instrumental album Weareallgoingtoburninhellmeggamixxx with a bombastic collision of synths, bottomless bass tones, live instrumentation, ear-worming melody, and tightly coiled drum patterns, setting the standard for hip hop production higher than ever.
The obvious diversion from the previous album is the presence of El-P's ever-developing vocal style, continuing to raise the bar on his already highly verbose flow that swiftly and muscularly navigates a rapidfire explosion of syllabic conundrums and quick-witted elocutions full of heart, purpose, style and grit. Rounded out by feature appearances by a host of high profile guests including Killer Mike, Danny Brown, Mr. Muthafuckin' Exquire, Paul Banks (Interpol), and more, this will easily be one of the year's most talked about albums.1. Request Denied
2. The Full Retard
3. Works Every Time (with Paul Banks of Interpol)
4. Drones Over Bklyn
5. Oh Hail No (with Mr. Motherfucking Exquire & Danny Brown)
6. Tougher Colder (with Killer Mike and Despot)
7. True Story
8. The Jig Is Up
9. Sign Here
10. For My Upstairs
11. Stay Down (with Nick Diamonds of Islands)
12. $ Vic/FTL (Me And You)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Echo In The ValleyWith one eye on using the banjo to showcase America's rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn's second album Echo in the Valley is simultaneously familiar and wildly innovative.
"Some of the most interesting things in the world come together in strange and unique ways and show our diversity," reflects Bela, a fifteen-time Grammy award winner who is often considered the world's premier banjo player. "The banjo is just one of those things. It's a great example of how the world can combine things and create surprising hybrids," a reference to the ancestral African roots of the banjo combining with Scotch-Irish music in Appalachia.
Echo in the Valley is the follow up to Bela and Abigail's acclaimed, self-titled debut that earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. This time around, the mission was to take their double banjo combination of three finger and clawhammer styles "to the next level and find things to do together that we had not done before," says Bela. "We're expressing different emotions through past techniques and going to deeper places." The results are fascinating, especially considering their strict rules for recording: all sounds must be created by the two of them, the only instruments used are banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele to an upright bass banjo), and they must be able to perform every recorded song live.
Fleck and Washburn met at a square dance and began playing music together a dozen years ago, beginning with the Sparrow Quartet. They married shortly thereafter and became parents to a cute little tot. They've been touring the globe as a duo for years, almost nonstop but for each other's performances with various other musical iterations: Bela with the likes of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Chick Corea and Chris Thile, among many others, and Abigail with Wu Fei (a master of the ancient 21-string Chinese zither), The Wu-Force and Uncle Earl.
With the exception of a few restyled traditional tunes, all tracks on Echo in the Valley are originals, and are largely co-written - a different creative approach from their first album, where songs were mostly his or hers.
"This time, we really wanted to truly write together," Bela adds. "We spent a lot of our time on the lyrics, deciding what we want the songs to communicate, both literally and under the surface."
Echo in the Valley reflects relevant issues while simultaneously connecting us to our past through wild re-imaginings of traditional pieces. New original tunes range from "Over the Divide," a song inspired by Hans Breuer, who worked to ferry Syrian refugees to safety, to "Blooming Rose," inspired by Native American voices and lamenting a continual distancing from nature, and "Don't Let It Bring You is an emphatic mantra for hard times.
With I don't wanna cry, cry, cry, oh, "Let it Go" is ultimately about release from the pain of transition, surrendering to growth. The song acknowledges that we must let our children grow up; the concession that youthful innocence will one day give way to adult cares and worries.
Clarence Ashley's "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" has been turned into a rural blues, and Bela's well-known piece "Big Country" is framed by the traditional Appalachian tunes "Sally in the Garden" and "Molly Put the Kettle On," a medley Bela and Abigail performed hundreds of times on stage before recording. "'Big Country' is one of the most beauty melodies I have ever heard played on the banjo," says Abigail, who takes the lead on this version.
"Come All You Coal Miners" is the point-of-view of coal-miner advocate Sarah Ogan Gunning, whose passages remain poignant and powerful today. "This song came from a very emotional, mother-driven, daughter-driven, wife-driven place, and there are not many songs throughout history from that perspective, so I am incredibly moved by her," says Washburn.
As the story goes, Bela was struck by the sound of Mr. Earl Scruggs' banjo when hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. He got hold of a banjo, took his musical namesakes (Bela for Bartok, Anton for Weburn, Leos for Yanecek) to heart, and has since continuously broken new musical ground with his instrument. Fleck has the distinction of being nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and has brought his banjo through scorching hot newgrass, traditional bluegrass, otherworldly funk, modern jazz, African originals, transatlantic Celtic, and classical realms, with two self-composed banjo concertos to his name (The Impostor and Juno Concerto), with a third one in the works.
Abigail was similarly jolted into life as a banjoist, but for her it was hearing Doc Watson.
"I was proud to discover that I came from a country where you can hear that ancient sound - from Africa, from Scotland, from Ireland - all mixed up in this beautiful new sound, with those ancient tones in it," Abigail reflects. "The ancient sounds of our culture remind us who we are, and in them, we see a constellation of who we are becoming."
Washburn has imbued this philosophy in all aspects of her work, from the string band Uncle Earl to her acclaimed solo albums, Song of the Traveling Daughter and City of Refuge, and her semi-autobiographical theatrical work, Post-American Girl, as well as in her musical ambassadorship with China, a country with which she has a long, profound history. Abigail is deftly following in the footsteps of the founding mothers of folk, and has become a prominent voice of old-time in our time while bringing to light those ancient sounds of American and Far East cultures in new and exciting ways.
Bela and Abigail's creative process on Echo in the Valley is sonically made manifest in the record's major themes of harmony, empathy and surrender. As Abigail explains, the intense, intimate collaboration that Fleck and Washburn put forward on this project required "a spirit of staying strong, but also a willingness to release into the other's ideas to create something new," possibly something bigger and more beautiful than one could do on one's own.1. Over The Divide
2. Take Me To Harlan
3. Let It Go
4. Don't Let It Bring You Down
5. Sally In The Garden / Big Country / Molly Put The Kettle On
6. My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains
7. Hello Friend
8. If I Could Talk To A Younger Me
9. On This Winding Road
10. Come All You Coal Miners
11. Bloomin' Rose$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now