[UPDATE] Wishbone Ash 30CD Box – The Vintage Years 1970-1991

We now know that this limited Edition 30CD The Vintage Years 1970-1991 Box set featuring a TON of classic Wishbone Ash material including bonus session tracks will be released on April 20 of 2018. The set is limited to only 2500 copies worldwide and will carry a price tag of $337 (US), and £250 (UK).  This set is currently on pre-order.

We also know a bit more about inclusions. The set will not only contain remastered albums (many from original source tapes, as I’ve long understood Wishbone Four, and There’s The Rub original tapes to be considered gone for good) from the Wishbone Ash debut through Strange Affair albums, but also a wealth of bonus material. You can expect ‘rare album outtakes, B-sides, and 12 previously unreleased studio tracks’, all slipcased within mini-LP cardboard gatefold sleeves.

The Live collection will include the first  Live Dates album, Live Dates Volume Two, and Live in Tokyo. The additional live sets include eight previously unreleased live shows, all between the golden era of 1973 through 1980:

  • Portsmouth Guildhall 1973 (2CD) from the Wishbone Four / Live Dates tour.
  • Southampton University 1973 from the Wishbone Four / Live Dates tour.
  • Edinburgh Usher Hall 1976 from the New England tour.
  • Marquee Club 1977 from the Front Page News tour.
  • Newcastle City Hall 1977 from the Front Page News tour.
  • Bournemouth Winter Gardens 1978 (2CD) from the No Smoke Without Fire tour.
  • Guildford Civic Hall 1980 (2CD) from the Just Testing tour.
  • Chelmsford Odeon 1980 from the Blowin’ Free tour.

We know that tracks from the Portsmouth Guildhall show were used in the original Live Dates set. Here, we get the entire show over 2CDs. Unfortunately, that’s all from that album. (This means that a Deluxe Edition of Live Dates is STILL a viable grail set with ALL shows remastered and presented, along with a rich booklet of remembrances, and memorabilia included. C’mon Universal, Martin, and Andy! Please?!)

The Box will also include 156-page book of photos, memories, and other goodies. A 36-poster book is added as are four fold-out posters reproductions of original posters for: Christmas at the Palace Dec 1973, Live Dates European tour – Hamburg Musikhalle 1974, Europe 1975 tour, and the Front Page News tour – Empire Pool Wembley 1977.

A facsimile promo pack from MCA is stuffed into this box along with a 7″ flexidisc of “Blind Eye”. To finish the box, signed photos of the band members will be provided.

You can pre-order here. Don’t assume they will be there when you’re ready. Just sayin’!

Expect another update when we received the exact tracklist of every CD.

 

The Ambient Series: Steve Roach’s Spiral Revelation Up For Grammy Award

Sometimes, the music you love, even the most obscure, are classics that get recognized for their brilliance. Back in January of 2017, I posted a review of an album – something I rarely do these days. The artist is Steve Roach, an ambient magician of note that has created 125 albums thus far! The album, Spiral Revelation, has just been announced for a Grammy Award nomination. Stunning!

Spiral Revelation is nominated for Best New Age Album alongside of Reflection (Brian Eno), Songversation: Medicine (India Arie), Dancing On Water (Peter Kater), and Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai (Kitaro). Not only is this heady company and competition, it also speaks to the fact that Steve Roach is a world-class talent, something that is not lost on MusicTAP readers and fans of ambien music worldwide.

MusicTAP wishes Steve Roach (and by association, Projekt Records, and Spotted Peccary, both which released Spiral Revelation) all the best in this magnificent honor.

You can read my 2017 review of Spiral Revelation here.

For The Holidays: Projekt’s CDs of Holiday Music Are Ethereal Delights

As Christmas begins to round the corner, it’s likely that some of you have already begun to spin holiday music choices. I know I have. And like many of you, I have favorites. Several of my all-time favorites are actually from the same label.

Between 1995 and 2001, Projekt Records released three richly curated Holiday sets, all known as Excelsis. The three volumes were sub-headed to distinguish themselves. Between the three sets are 38 songs, none of which can be properly classified. Many of the tracks found on these three volumes are re-imagined traditional classics, and some are  new compositions.

All the contributing artists are from the Dark Wave genre, moved along with great supportive effort from the Projekt label owner, Sam Rosenthal. And while the music is gothic in nature (as were many of the original old traditionals), they are surprisingly beautiful and completely memorable.

Volume One is sub-titled A Dark Noel. But do not be deterred by the title (if it would threaten to deter you), the music transcends all expectations of sound. On the first volume (issued in 1995), you’ll be treated to a stunning version of “Welcome Christmas” by Love Spirals Downward, which features the beautiful vocals of Suzanne Perry , This Ascension’s haunting “Carol Of The Bells”, the unmatched sounds of Lycia, with their unique rendition of “We Three Kings”,  Area’s incredible version of “O Come Emmanuel”, and a fantastic bar period piece by Faith and the Muse of “A Winter Wassail”.

Volume Two, sub-headed as A Winter’s Song, is filled with equally captivating music. Of the album’s fifteen tracks, my favorite stand-out is “In The Bleak Midwinter”. But the album is generously populated with other songs like Julia Kent’s string instrumental of “What Child Is This?”, Lycia’s “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, The Crüxshadows’ version of the Lennon classic, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, and Thanatos’ version of “Silent Night”.

Volume Three – a prelude – was a response to the popularity of the previous two releases, but only issued as a nine-track Maxi-CD. Nevertheless, it beautifully caps off a rare and memorable trilogy of sets that you may not have heard the contents of. It displays Lynn Canfield’s lovely “Edelweiss”, “Aspen Glow” by Lovespirals, Frolic’s enchanting “Angels We Have Heard On High”, and an alternate version of “Silver and Gold” (first heard on the second volume) by  Faith & Disease.

Of the three CDs, the first one is completely sold out in physical form. However, it can still be purchased digitally here in a ‘name your price’ offering (here). The others are still available (here, and here).

Please understand that you WILL be surprised by what you hear. I highly recommend all three volumes!