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Aladdin Sane
(Virgin / EMI)

The acclaimed follow up to Ziggy Stardust, the 1973 release of Aladdin Sane provided the finishing touches for David Bowie’s ascent to superstardom. If Ziggy Stardust was the screenplay of Bowie’s rising rock persona, than Aladdin Sane was the movie soundtrack of the net result. Bowie became a living proof of his own karma, debuting here in the U.S. for the first time during the Fall of 1972 with a catalog of written material second to few. In 2003, 30 years after the initial arrival of Aladdin Sane on RCA Records on April 13, 1973, Capitol / EMI plunder the vaults to come up with a 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition of Aladdin Sane. Disc one features a newly remastered version of the original ten track album while disc two features an alternate view complete with rare live and studio tracks, singles and b-sides recorded during Bowie’s debut tour here starting back in mid September 1972. The extensive CD booklet features interviews with key members of Bowie’s inner circle including Mick Rock and more. Another Bowie-related title of interest on EMI is Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - The Motion Picture. The 30th Anniversary of Bowie’s final ‘Spiders From Mars’ gig—with Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansey and Trevor Bolder—live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on July 3, 1973 was reissued by Virgin / EMI as both a 20 track 2 CD set and a 21 track DVD. The original Ziggy movie was remastered in stereo and 5.1 surround sound by long time Bowie cohort Tony Visconti. The new DVD still startles and is now complete a unique alternate version of the movie featuring commentary track from Visconti and original movie producer D.A. Pennebaker. Featuring songs from each of Bowie’s early albums, except his first World Of classic, Bowie got to live out his Ziggy persona in this essential Bowie-related concert movie. The CD soundtrack of the movie features extensive liner notes from Pennebaker, a poster of the movie and a complete itinerary of the now historic Ziggy tour which ran from January 29, 1972 till the final show on July 3, 1973.



ID Music
(Rev-Ola / Collector's Choice)

Okay, this has only taken 35 years but it’s worth it. We’re talking about the one and only album from the NYC-based pop group The Third Rail, which was reissued on CD in 2003 over in the U.K. on the Rev-Ola imprint. Back during the Summer of ‘67, The Third Rail burst on the pop scene with their catchy as hell, neo-bubblegum hit “Run, Run, Run” written by up and coming popsters Joey Levine and Artie Resnick. During the Summer of Love—the same summer that saw huge hits from The Beatles (“All You Need Is Love”) and the debut single from Pink Floyd (“See Emily Play”)—that Third Rail single stood out like a pink elephant in an crowded elevator. Levine was barely out of high school when “Run, Run, Run” hit the charts and although he went on to become one of main songwriters at the upcoming Buddah Records bubblegum hit factory (he also wrote “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” for the Ohio Express) his recordings with The Third Rail are well worth reexamining. Rev-Ola’s ID Music pairs 18 tracks from the short-lived group, including two versions of “Run, Run, Run” (stereo and mono single versions) with a number of other quasi-psychedelic bubblegum delicacies. The liner notes—featuring an interview with Levine—shines the spotlight on an ephemeral yet extremely compelling moment from the dawn of FM radio days. ID Music is available in the U.S. through the vast CD/DVD catalog of Collector’s Choice Music. Other interesting new CDs on Revola include their own U.K. reissue of an overlooked classic by The Tokens entitled Intercourse. First released in 1969, the album was a huge departure from the oldies favorites who scored big with their dawn of the ‘60s hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” A bit of oldies-style vocal psychedelia from The Tokens, the CD features the entire album with great liner notes. Also on Revola is a Revola CD reissue of Six Star General, a 1973 release from Vinegar Joe. Unique R&B style pop discovered by Chris Blackwell at Island, the group featured the unique vocal team of Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks. Thanks to Rev-Ola for these unique CD reissues. /


Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues
(UMG / Sony Legacy)

In the words of famed film director Martin Scorsese, “If you already know the blues, then maybe these selections will give you a reason to go back to it. And if you’ve never heard the blues, and you’re coming across it for the first time, I can promise you this: Your life is about to change for the better.” Scorsese’s 2003 film project, The Blues is actually a seven part PBS TV series featuring blues documentaries from seven directors including Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Wim Wenders. To help usher in Scorsese’s visionary 21st Century celebration of the blues the seven films have been assembled together as a seven disc DVD collection (with seven separate CD soundtracks) featuring footage from every major blues artist of the 20th Century Guitar in addition to performances from greats like Otis Rush, Jeff Beck and singer Lucinda Williams. Taking part in Scorsese’s panoramic blues series, Universal Music Enterprises and Sony Music have also put together their own Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues CD series featuring 12 individual artist CD releases from blues-rock icons including The Allman Brothers Band (pictured above), Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King (from UMG) and Taj Mahal, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan (from Sony) just to name a few. Each Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues CD release on Sony and Universal collects some the best blues-driven tracks from all the above artists, adding in notes by Scorsese, photos and detailed liner notes. There’s also a companion book entitled Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey. The PBS series, the book and the vast array of artists taking part in this underscores Scorsese’s large scale vision of the blues as one of America’s great contributions to music history. Or as Willie Dixon said, “The blues are the roots; everything else is the fruits.” /


Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
(Columbia Legacy)

One of the major Summer 2003 reissues on Columbia Legacy is a new double CD Legacy Edition of from rock pioneers, The Byrds. Following the progressive pop innovations of the 1967 recording / January ‘68 release of Notorious Byrd Brothers, Byrds’ founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman joined forces with Gram Parsons on Summer 1968’s Sweetheart Of The Rodeo To say the least, Sweetheart Of The Rodeo was a major jolt to the many fans who’d followed The Byrds from their “Mr. Tambourine Man” days and who were still reeling from incredible grandeur of the Notorious album. Out of The Byrds was the great David Crosby and in was a relative newcomer, a shit-kicking cosmic cowboy named Gram Parsons, who sort of came on the scene and defined the genesis of country-rock influencing all sorts of bands, from the Dead and the New Riders and beyond. Seemingly, in an instant, the psychedelic ‘60s were gone in a flash. Despite all the negative ramifications at the time, Sweetheart turned out to become a major influence for a host Country-rock bands to come. Produced by the late, great Gary Usher, Sweetheart went on to define the Byrds’ sound as they entered their final years as a band. Following the departure of Parsons and Hillman’s for the Flying Burrito Brothers, McGuinn would revamp the band with equally interesting, and often better, results. In retrospect, of course nothing can compete with the Byrds’ classic mid ‘60s lineup and their first five albums. 35 years after it’s initial release, Columbia Legacy have admirably rebuilt Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, the Byrds’ sixth album, as a double CD set packing it with fascinating rarities and well documented outtakes from the sessions, including 14 previously unreleased Parsons-related tracks along an excellent booklet topped off with eye-catching artwork.

California Melodies
(Collector's Choice)

Guitar great Les Paul is a 20th Century American music renaissance man. His incredibly influential guitar playing—coupled with his discovery of multi-track recording and his innovations and design of the solid body electric guitar—are a significant part of music history. Born Lester William Polsfuss on June 9, 1916, Les was just 19 in 1936 when he made his first ‘hillbilly’ recordings on the Montgomery Ward label as Rhubarb Red. In 1944, following his discharge from the Army, Les formed Les Paul and His Trio with rhythm guitarist Cal Gooden, Clint Nordquist (bass) and Tommy Todd (piano) and began appearing and recording on a host of network variety shows, including the CBS radio series called California Melodies, a series that ran from 1932-1947. Collector’s Choice Music has done a great service for fans of the guitar great, assembling 16 tracks recorded live by Les and his trio during the 1944 California Melodies season. Featuring classic jazzy, bluesy pop songs from the musical archives of mid-20th Century American music (“Begin The Beguine”, “Oh, Lady Be Good”, “It Had To Be You”), the CD also adds in four additional tracks Les and the trio recorded for for other shows like Bing Crosby’s Kraft Music Hall. A fabulous introduction to one of the most gifted guitarists ever, the 20 track instrumental California Melodies CD comes with three pages of invaluable liner notes and sounds simply amazing.


The Very Best Of The Korgis
(Castle / Sanctuary)

One of the finest U.K. bands of the ‘70s, Stackridge was made great by the songwriting genius of Andy Davis. Stackridge recorded a number of now classic Beatles-style albums—including The Man In The Bowler Hat, produced by Fab Four producer George Martin in ‘74—yet by the close of the ‘70s they broke up. At the height of the post-punk New Wave movement, Davis and his Stackridge bandmate James Warren formed The Korgis towards the end of the ‘70s and together they recorded several fine albums, the best of which is recalled on Don’t Look Back - The Very Best Of The Korgis. Signed to Sire Records early on, their 1979 debut Lp featured pop classics such as “Young And Russian” and “Chinese Girl” and while their most popular hit “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime" climbed the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, they ceased by the early ‘90s. In 2003, Sanctuary sets the record straight with a fine double CD set featuring most of the group’s recorded output including music from their ‘93 comeback album, The World’s For Everyone. Topped off by extensive liner notes and photo memorabilia, the double CD set compiles 34 prime pop relics from one of the most overlooked musical bands of the 20th Century.

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