Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tubular Bells

80s club hit makers Book of Love have announced a September 25 show at New York's Highline Ballroom to commemorate the silver anniversary (25 years? It can't be!) of their self-titled debut album as well as the re-release of their catalog.

I don't remember seeing it reported anywhere at the time, but the band's Sire Records catalog was remastered - bulked up with the usual remixes, demos, live tracks, and rarities - and released back in May by Noble Rot/Collector's Choice. I didn't keep up with them past their first two records but those two pack some great singles. Tracklistings for the reissues:

Book Of Love
Disc 1
1. Modigliani (Lost In Your Eyes)
2. You Make Me Feel So Good
3. Still Angry
4. White Lies
5. Lost Souls
6. Late Show
7. I Touch Roses
8. Yellow Sky
9. Boy
10. Happy Day
11. Die Matrosen
12. Book Of Love

Disc 2
1. Happy Day (Live)
2. You Make Me Feel So Good (Demo)
3. Lost Souls (Demo)
4. Boy (Demo)
5. I Touch Roses (Full Bloom Version)
6. Modigliani (Instrumental)
7. White Lies (Demo)
8. I Touch Roses (Demo)
9. We Three Kings
10. Boy (Dub)
11. Boy (Live)

1. Tubular Bells
2. Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls
3. Sea Of Tranquility
4. Melt My Heart
5. With A Little Love
6. Witchcraft
7. You Look Through Me
8. Champagne Wishes
9. Oranges And Lemons
10. Lullaby
11. Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls (Extended Mix)
12. Tubular Bells/Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls (Regan's House Medley)
13. Lullaby (Pleasant Dream Mix)
14. Witchcraft (Extended Mix)
15. Enchantra

Candy Carol
1. Intro
2. Turn The World
3. Quiver
4. Butterfly
5. Sunny Day
6. Flower Parade
7. Wall Song
8. Alice Everyday
9. Counting The Rosaries
10. Miss Melancholy
11. Orange Flip
12. Candy Carol
13. Alice Everyday (Everyday-Glo Mix)
14. Alice Everyday (Sam The Butcher Mix)
15. Sunny Day (Single Remix)
16. Counting The Rosaries (Happiness & Love Mix)

1. Sunday A.M.
2. Happily Ever After
3. Sound And Vision
4. Hunny Hunny
5. Trouble In A Bubble
6. Chatterbox (Pt. 1)
7. Salve My Soul
8. Woyaya
9. Boy Pop
10. Flower In My Hand
11. Enchanted
12. Tambourine
13. Leap Of Faith
14. Chatterbox (Pt. 2)
15. Boy Pop (Go Bottom Go Top Mix)
16. Boy Pop (Swinging Boy Pop Mix)
17. Hunny Hunny (Sweet & Sticky Mix)
18. Chatterbox (Pt. 2) (Late Nite Chat Mix)

Listen to "Tubular Bells/Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls (Regan's House Medley)." I wore the groove out on this 12-inch back in eighth grade!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Deluxe Edition Madness

I've never been one to pretend that I understand record label strategy. In most cases, it's because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what they do. My relationship with them pretty much equates to a battered wife situation: I offer support in the form of hard-earned cash, they beat me, and I come back for more.

What's got me all hot and bothered lately is deluxe editions. Don't get me wrong, I love a good deluxe edition of a classic album as much as the next music fan but there are records that deserve it (REM's Murmur comes to mind) and those that don't (The Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience? Really?).

The criteria for a deluxe edition once seemed to be: is the record a classic? Does it deserve this treatment? Is there bonus material to make it worth buying again? Does it make any sense? The latest epidemic of deluxe editions of records mere months after they were originally released flies in the face of that thinking, turning admittedly fine records into classics before "earning" it.

In the coming weeks the indie music fan will decide whether or not to buy deluxe editions of records that have been out about a year or less:

The Friendly Fires record has been out since July of 2008. The deluxe edition is out now and includes a bonus DualDisc with new single "Kiss Of Life," remixes, videos, and a concert filmed in May.

Two Suns by Bat For Lashes has been out since April. The deluxe edition dropped this week and boasts eight bonus tracks and a documentary DVD.

Fever Ray's self-titled album was released in March. The deluxe edition comes out October 12 and has bonus tracks and a DVD of videos.

These are good records. They may even be worthy of a deluxe edition ten years in the future. But do they deserve a deluxe edition now, months after their original release? And what of the fans who have already bought the album? The new versions have been padded with decent bonus material that a fan would want but they'll surely feel a little put out to have to buy the album again.

I guess the point is that if you buy an album early, more and more often you can expect to have to buy it again within the year. So what is the savvy record buyer to do? Wait a year just to be sure a deluxe edition isn't released? I highly doubt the record companies would like that but they're not really respecting their consumer so why should the consumer respect them? It's no wonder people can't be bothered to buy music anymore.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Michael Jackson Dies, We're Covering "Blackbird"

The title song of The Dandy Warhols' Welcome To The Monkey House contained the lyrics:

"Wire's coming back again,
Elastica got sued by them
When Michael Jackson dies,
We're covering Blackbird.
But won't it be absurd, then
When no one knows
what song they just heard
Unless someone on the radio
tells them first?"

I've always thought these lyrics - the Michael Jackson line in particular - were hilarious; mostly because I'm a huge nerd who loves music industry in-jokes, but also because MJ's death seemed so unimaginable and far off that I figured the band would be covering "Blackbird" in their 70s.

But then he died, and the first things I thought of - aside from Jesus Christ, is this really happening? - were: a) who is going to get The Beatles publishing rights and b) are The Dandys going to make good on their promise?

It's anybody's guess who will get The Beatles publishing rights but The Dandy Warhols cover of "Blackbird" was released yesterday on the band's Beat The World label and is available as a digital download from their site as well as Amazon, etc. Genius!