Yoko Ono 1971 Album, Fly, To Be Reissued In July (2CD, 2LP, DD)

Yoko Ono has released quite a catalog of albums. In those, they have deviated wildly from extreme advant-garde, effective pop culture, and straight out attempts at acceptance. But no matter how you viewed the career of Yoko Ono, one cannot deny her place within the broadest borders of Rock and Roll. Personally, I based all of her contributions solely on their artistic merit. There are some that were quite good.

In her time, she has released thirteen solo albums beginning as early as 1970 with her eponymous debut, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. She followed that up with her accepted Fly album, issued in 1971. It charted and has since been reissued by Rykodisc just before the turn of the century.

On July 14, Secretly Canadian will reissue Fly. It will be reissued digitally for the first time ever, and be reissued on 2CD and vinyl 2LP for the first time since the turn of the new century.This new edition will provide new remastering, and will offer four bonus tracks that include the previously released “Between The Takes”, and “Will You Touch Me”, along with rare tracks, “The Path”, and “Headplay” (a medley of You/Airmale/Fly).

Secretly Canadian will also reissue Fly’s follow-up, Approximately Infinite Universe as 2CD, 2LP, and DD, same date! It will contain one bonus track, “Dogtown”.



Talia’s Notes: Thoughts On The Passing Of A Rock Vocal Legend: Gregg Allman

It is as obvious as anything could possibly be. It is engraved in the minds of anybody who’s ever given it any thought. Gregg Allman will go down as one of the undisputed great vocalists in Rock history. It can even be made into a legitimate argument that Gregg Allman may have been the greatest of all of them all. I honestly think nobody would ridicule you if you proposed it.

Gregg was one of the exceptional rare ones. One didn’t think of his form. The overwhelming thing about Gregg Allman was that when he sang, you could feel emotional pain coming from him unlike any other singer. It was the angle he or God chose that set him apart from others. His was from a combination of Blues and Soul which blended into his own unique vocal signature. What came out of him came from deep down within himself. He never had to contrive a feeling. His was the real deal.

The incredibly beautiful thing about Allman’s vocals was that he could take a basic theme within a song and make it come alive as his his own. By simply using that God-gifted voice of his to create an illustration of the depths of pain and sorrow that only the rare ones can pull off, he created a vocal take on the human condition that nobody else did. He could also do a take on somebody else’s song and make it as authentic in feeling as the original. The version of “Stormy Monday” (originally done by T-Bone Walker and then Bobby “Blue” Bland) from At Fillmore East jumps out at me.
Two more which spring to my mind immediately are “Dreams” from 1969 and his solo version of “Midnight Rider” from 1973. My God! He covered some tortured ground. In “Dreams”, he brought it home to everybody who has ever woken up knowing that the things they wanted to see at the end of the day were just going to be a repeat of what you saw the day before and the realization that the chase was futile. The merging of his voice (and his great organ work which should never be overlooked) with his late brother’s guitar (Duane) ended up creating one of the greatest expressions of disillusion I’ve ever heard in my life. Future generations of kids should be made to listen to this song and learn what it’s like to merge emotion with musical brilliance in order to create a timeless work. Rock, Soul, Blues and Jazz all merge into one during “Dreams”. Is it any wonder that Gregg managed to pull it off? Duane expected only the best from his brother and he got it.

Even after Gregg lost his brother, he managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and shake everybody to their core. Case in point. I was walking past the bedroom of my oldest brother in the house I lived in back in Santa Clara during the ’70s. He was playing the Laid Back album and I just happened to walk by just as “Midnight Rider” was on. I walked just a slight tad past his door and stopped dead in my tracks. I can still see it perfectly in my mind. It is often said that there’s the myth of being caught by a spirit or the devil at the crossroads. Well, something caught me. It was Gregg’s singing. It changed my outlook on vocalists. His voice helped me to come to the conclusion that I needed to never expect anything less than authenticity from a vocalist. It is on this particular version of the song that Gregg manages to convey the perfect encapsulation of what it is to want to escape from the trap of being the lonely outsider.

It goes way beyond just the three songs I have mentioned here. Just listen to all of the great Duane Allman Era Allman Brothers albums. Even on some of the post-Duane material over the years where I felt like the music wasn’t serving him as well as it could have, one could still find the gold in his voice. It is so easy to write about Gregg Allman tonight. It’s just too obvious. Really! It’s that simple.

It must be mentioned here as it is being mentioned in so many other music columns and music forums as this news has started sinking in. If there is one thing which we can all take away from the news of his passing is that we should all be happy that Gregg has now been reunited with his brother Duane and that they can now catch up on each other. Tonight, I feel especially sorrowful for Gregg’s niece, Galadrielle Allman. She was especially close to her Uncle Greggory (he preferred to be called Greggory in private). He was one of the people with whom she was able to learn more about her late father and develop an even deeper spiritual bond with him. She was still a baby when Duane passed away. Staying close to her Uncle made her become an even better Allman. For that, we should all be grateful. We can never forget that musicians are people too. If they are survivors and they have even half of a head left to use after all of the crazy years behind them, to help along someone who is close family is an accomplishment as great as their art.

It really hurts that we have lost someone as monumentally huge as Gregg Allman. However, I am so grateful tonight that I lived in a world that had a musically alive Gregg Allman in it.

Man! I am so damned lucky.



Introverse Media Releases The Co-Op Communique Volume Three

The Co-Op Communique Volume Three — a music compilation from Introverse Media’s Co-Op arts discovery outreach — is now available for free download here!

The Co-Op is intentionally introducing listeners to different artists, says the founder of the effort Dw. Dunphy. “The primary conceptual driver of the Co-Op project is the notion a rising tide lifts all boats. We intentionally went farther than ever before to get a few more recognizable names as well as artists in their first few years of their careers. They are all independent, but each has varying sizes of fan bases. The Co-Op Communique is an opportunity to cross-pollinate and to be heard where, otherwise, they might not.”

By establishing a series of compilations via a Bandcamp distribution channel, The Co-Op’s goal is to break the stalemate between an eager audience and the distribution channels that cannot come together. The third edition features a staggering 35 tracks by 35 different artists.

Dunphy said, “Previous entries of the series were multi-platform, but we found Bandcamp’s ability to link to other sites, artist-operated stores, and more to be so important to our goals that only they were uniquely positioned to support this. The Co-Op Communique is proud to make Bandcamp our home base for this music discovery effort.”

Thanks to the flexibility that the Bandcamp platform provides, participants in the previous Co-Op Communique releases will still have their music made available to new listeners, also for free. Said Dunphy, “We have several artists returning for the latest compilation including Lisa Mychols, Dann Gunn, Dan Pavelch, Rob Ross, and more, but the primary intention for this series is to expose artists to audiences, so it was imperative that those artists who were not returning for Volume Three retained the same level of exposure.”

Artists featured on The Co-Op Communique Volume Three: Josh Fix, The Ravines, Beki Hemingway, Jerry Woods, Mike Indest, And How, Lyndsay Wells, Michael Knott, Scarbrough Affair, The b-attitudes, Didi Favreau, Smile Factory, Chris Taylor, Rob Ross, Jeff Elbel + Ping, Crab Rangoons, Daniel Amos, Lisa Mychols, Dann Gunn, The Greek Theatre, Mike Errico, Son of Skooshny, The Successful Failures, Brandon Schott with Shana Dellos, Core Device, Chris Neri, The Deafening Colors, Ojo Taylor, Andy Klingensmith, Eddie Parrino, By Torchlight, Bill Shaouy, Vegas With Randolph, Gretchen’s Wheel, and Captain Wilberforce.

How did Dunphy manage to get so many musicians to commit to the project? “Honestly, I asked. It’s that simple. From every level of recognition, these people want to be found and want to be heard. I gave them my pitch and told them what my intentions were. I think everyone was impressed by what we were going to pull off here. More than that, because I’m not taking a cent from them and not from those who will be able to download the compilation, I believe they understood the sincerity behind the project.”

“You know, The Co-Op Communique is not the only ‘exposure’ compilation out there. However, many of them do charge for placement, and many expect you to buy units of the final product if it is a physical release. I can’t do that. As a musician myself, I know the time and effort, and frankly the pain of putting a song together. That is as tangible an effort as any built object. Here I am essentially asking them to donate the song, and that’s a sacrifice. But again, if we are in this together, hopefully that rising tide will lift all boats and all participants will gain benefits from being a part of this. That’s my hope.”

When asked if there were expenses involved with putting this project out and promoting it, Dunphy was candid. “There are costs. The press release distribution is a cost. The social media ads are a cost. I don’t expect I’ll recoup that, but in our current political climate, let’s be honest. Arts funding is probably going away. Regardless of whether you’re for or against that, I think it is a non-partisan reality that arts funding is going away. Does that mean we don’t do these things anymore simply because the grants are gone? I hope that The Co-Op Communique stands as an example that we’ll have the will to continue creating, even if the previous infrastructures disappear.”

Dunphy also said that he “…hopes others steal the concept. If more people decide to make compilations like these, with the same principles baked in, we can bridge the gap between the audience and the artists. That was a role that radio once filled, which I don’t believe it handles as effectively as it once did. That’s what we want to do here and hope others emulate.”

The Co-Op Communique Volume Three is now available to download here!


First Two Laura Nyro Albums To Be Reissued In 2CD Mono Set – A Little Magic, A Little Kindness

One of my favorite female singers from the ’60s and ’70s was Laura Nyro. A creator of great music that found more chart action with other bands and singers’ versions than her own, Laura Nyro still commanded a genuine high respect. It always irked me that few knew of her genius. In fact, it is the love I had for Laura Nyro that consistently leads me to female singers like Marissa Nadler, who bears a striking visual resemblance to Ms Laura Nyro.

When labels return to her music, I’m always a bit overjoyed. The news that Real Gone Music will revisit Laura Nyro via Second Disc Records is a great bit of news. It also helps that Second Disc Records is helmed by highly respected friends of mine, Joe Marchese, and Mike Duquette, both who also run The Second Disc website.

The new 2CD album is called A Little Magic, A Little Kindness – The Complete Mono Albums Collection. It will feature two of Nyro’s early albums, More Than A New Discovery (1967), and Eli And the Thirteenth Confession (1968), a distributed promo Mono set. In addition to the original music, there are three bonus tracks which include the uncensored “Stoney End”, and “Eli’s Coming” as the album’s single, and “Save The Country”, the non-LP single.

A Little Magic, A Little Kindness – The Complete Mono Albums Collection is newly remastered for this release. This set will include a 24-page booklet with photos, credits, and a liner notes penned by Joe Marchese.

A Little Magic, A Little Kindness – The Complete Mono Albums CollectionLaura Nyro

CD1 (More Than A New Discovery, Laura Nyro, The First Songs)
1. Goodbye Joe
2. Billy’s Blues
3. And When I Die
4. Stoney End
5. Lazy Susan
6. Hands Off the Man (Flim Flam Man)
7. Wedding Bell Blues
8. Buy and Sell
9. He’s a Runner
10. Blowin’ Away
11. I Never Meant to Hurt You
12. California Shoeshine Boys
Bonus Track
13. Stoney End (Original Single Version with Alternate Lyrics)

CD2 (Eli and the Thirteenth Confession):
1. Luckie
2. Lu
3. Sweet Blindness
4. Poverty Train
5. Lonely Women
6. Eli’s Coming
7. Timer
8. Stoned Soul Picnic
9. Emmie
10. Woman’s Blues
11. Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)
12. December’s Boudoir
13. The Confession
Bonus Tracks
14. Eli’s Coming (Mono Single Version)
15. Save the Country (Non-LP Single Version)


UK To Release New Kiss Collection, KISSWORLD – The Best Of KISS

KISS has had quite a profound impact on Rock and Roll back in the ’70s. I knew few who were not as enthralled about their emergence as many were. And certainly, their ascendancy at that time was hot and fast. (For me, I could only like their third album, Dressed To Kill. Beyond – and before that – I was as uninterested in KISS as I could possibly be.) During their time, they have had internal issues, and departures, re-emergences, and more departures. But I guess fair is fair. The primary components of KISS (Gene and Paul) have helped to give the fans as much original KISS as well as new KISS. Which is more than I can say about other bands.

On June 2, just right around the proverbial corner, the UK branch of Universal will release a 20-track CD ‘best of’ collection for KISS that is being called KISSWORLD – The Best of KISS. The collection will provide not only well-known and beloved KISS classics, but will also include the hits that were generated in the UK, like”Crazy, Crazy Nights”, and “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II”.

KISSWORLD joins a wealth of collections including 2014’s massive 40th Anniversary 2CD set, 40. And so, this may just be for avid KISS completists. Nevertheless, KISSWORLD – The Best of KISS will soon arrive.


01 – Crazy Crazy Nights
02 – Rock And Roll All Nite
03 – I Was Made For Lovin’ You
04 – God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II
05 – Detroit Rock City
06 – Beth
07 – Lick It Up
08 – Heaven’s On Fire
09 – Tears Are Falling
10 – Unholy
11 – Hard Luck Woman
12 – Psycho Circus
13 – Shout It Out Loud
14 – Calling Dr. Love
15 – Christine Sixteen
16 – Love Gun
17 – Shandi
18 – I’m A Legend Tonight
19 – Modern Day Delilah
20 – Hell Or Hallelujah

(Am I alone to find the cover for this to be a bit on the “wrong” side? For a new studio or Live set, I understand using current member faces. But for revered tracks that are found here, it might have been better to use something else rather than faces. I dunno. My thoughts.)


Remastered Neil Young Collection, Decade, To Be Made More Widely Available, CD and LP

neilYoungVinyl 4

By 1977, Neil Young had made quite an impression on his varied audiences. With the release of nine studio albums including his American Stars ‘N Bars set (1977), Neil Young was still in ascension. By then, he had been in CSN&Y, and gone. He had partnered with Stephen Stills in the Stills-Young Band, and had released such timeless songs as “Cinnamon Girl”, “Heart of Gold”, “Down By The River”, “Old Man”, “Sugar Mountain”, “Southern Man”, “Helpless”, “Cowgirl In The Sand”, “Winterlong”, 1975)”Ohio” (with CSN&Y), “and more. When 1977 arrived, he was swimming in popularity with solo albums like Zuma (1975), Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969), the immensely popular Harvest (1972), On The Beach (1974), Tonight’s The Night (1975), and his most current (at the time), American Stars ‘N Bars.

It made complete sense to release an expansive retrospective for many of Neil Young’s classics. That came in the form of a 3LP set appropriately titled Decade. Released in 1977, Decade included 35 important songs from the songbook of Neil Young. Immediately, fans took to this classic collection and bought millions of copies worldwide.

On June 23, Reprise will once again revisit the classic Decade set with a 3LP reissue, as well as a 2CD reissue. This set will feature brand new remastering. Earlier this year, for the Record Store Day event, Reprise offered limited LP copies. Of course, not everyone can get out to a RSD event or even have the patience for it. Or worse, stand in line for several hours only to find it sold out before you were given entry to the store. And so, it’s good news to find that no only will Reprise Records provide this remastered gem for purchase (outside RSD), but will also provide it on a 2CD set as well.

Time to grab your copy if you’re so inclined!


New Grizzly Bear Album, Painted Ruins, Planned For August

The band, Grizzly Bear, has been around since 2002. From the untamed arena of NYC (Brooklyn, to be exact), this band plays a warm and incredible blend of Rock and Folk, with a mix of Psychedelia within the mix. With a library of four previously released sets, they have recently signed with a big label (RCA Records) for their anticipated fifth album. Their last set, Shields, was issued way back in 2012. It comfortably followed the success of their notable third album, Veckatimest (2009), which hit the charts high in almost every imaginable market in the world. Grizzly Bear is an easy band to love.

On August 18, watch for Painted Ruins. It will offer eleven brand new GB songs, an event that many of us have waited patiently for. Painted Ruins will be available on CD, DD, and a vinyl 2LP set.

You can listen to two songs off the upcoming album: the first being “Three Rings” now available as an official video, and their recently released “Mourning Sound” as an audio-only YouTube offering. (Hear both below!) The band will begin a world tour in support of the new album beginning in early October 2017. Tickets are now available for some dates.


Two LP Editions of Beach Boys Classic, Pet Sounds, In July

Beach BoysPet Sounds is no stranger to being fussed over. From its inception, it heralded a new approach for the popular band from the ’60s. Since, there have been many editions to keep us aware of its importance. For LP aficionados, here comes another opportunity that’s a collectible one.

On July 7, Analogue Productions will re-release Pet Sounds in two forms that will include 45RPM cut, 200g-weight vinyl LPs. One of them will be a Stereo edition; the other Mono. Both editions are newly remastered by Kevin Gray of CoHEARant Audio. The Mono version was oversaw by Brian Wilson himself.

The LPs are high-quality gatefold editions. Treat yourself to both!

New Alice Cooper Album, Paranormal, Supplies Three Cuts With Original Band – In July

Alice Cooper is a unique part of Rock and Roll. When the original five recorded machine gun style, they recorded some fine material. Not counting their first two, starting with Love It to Death (1971) Killer (1971)  School’s Out (1972) to Billion Dollar Babies (1973), and then closing out with Muscle of Love (1973), a period of only two and a half years passed. To me, that’s some high level of creativity. From there, some normalcy occurred in recording periods with more than a year’s space between them. For me, I still adore all of the albums from the original band. From the solo years, I have a give and take attitude. When Alice Cooper reunited with the remaining members, I was as excited as I could be. When the rumors circulated that the original band would record together, well…!


On July 28, Alice Cooper will release his newest solo effort with a surprise packaging inclusion. The new album is a 12-track original to be called Paranormal. It is being released in a 2CD digipak, the expected DD, and a limited edition 2LP package. The 2CD digipak is one CD for the solo work, and the bonus CD will include three new songs written and recorded with the original band (Michael Bruce, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway. Glen Buxton died in 1997). Other tracks planned for the bonus CD will be selected live tracks.

Who’s excited?


New The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Album, The Echo Of Pleasure, In July

Some years ago, I ran into a band by the unlikely and quite adventurous name of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Their point of origin is NYC. They released their first album in 2009 and have since released two more full-length albums along with a string of audio-delicious EPs including their last from 2015. The band has been around since 2007, but have also lost many members. (this seems to be a trend as we have seen this with Bloc Party, and Heartless Bastards, where there is a mainstay member and that’s it.)

Kip Berman is the sole remaining member of this band from the S/T debut. Given the ¡=WOW=! factor of the first album, and the musical maturation of the subsequent sets (not always the same thing), I’d say that the promise of their next album, once thought near release with the availability of their 2015 EP of “Hell”, should be pretty good. To help with that, the band has released a single from their finally arriving new album. The song, “Anymore” (heard below) is a good indication of the direction the band is taking.

On July 14, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart will release their next album, The Echo of Pleasure via their own Painbow Records label. The new album will hold nine new tracks including the new “Anymore” song (hear below) that you can listen to now.

The Echo Of Pleasure will be released on CD, DD, and a short run of vinyl availability that includes 1500 of black vinyl, 500 of a limited pressing of gold vinyl (with gold foil packaging), and a very limited run of 100 clear blue cassette editions. Each pre-order will provide a download of the complete album (on July 14). There is also an album specific tee available at the band’s website.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart will undertake a massive world support tour beginning in the UK near the end of May. I hope to be at their First Avenue show on June 22!

I like them still!