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I.B. BAD: TRUE
OR FALSE?
Who you gonna trust on these matters? (9/22a)
POST STREAMS AHEAD
OF TAYLOR, SAM
Nothin' but net—dude can't miss right now. (9/22a)
ALL SLOW HANDS 
ON DECK
No, not Clapton. We're talking Horan. (9/22a)
THIS HITS LIST IS SEASONABLY COOL
This is the autumn equinox, after all. (9/22a)
TRIPPING & WORSHIPING
A compelling argument for physical product. (9/22a)
HITS' 31ST ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
Big. Papery. Stupid.
PIZZA NOT DELIVERED
Someone's in trouble.
SAM SMITH'S STATEMENT
How he captures our moment.
THE BIGGEST RELEASE OF Q4
It's not what you think.
Critics' Choice
PRESENTING JULIANDER
9/22/17

Meet Swedish singer/songwriter Juliander, whose track "Same Moon" (Sony Music Sweden) is making noise at Spotify.

THE PSYCHEDELIC STONES
GET A SECOND LOOK
9/21/17

By Bud Scoppa

Their Satanic Majesties Request isn’t an obvious subject for the deluxe-reissue treatment—but the very fact that this so-called “answer to Sgt. Pepper” from 1967 is one of the most misunderstood and least highly regarded LPs in The Rolling Stones’ bountiful, classic-filled discography renders it an intriguing anomaly.

ABKCO, which owns the rights to the band’s recordings through 1969’s live classic Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!, has pulled out all the stops with Their Satanic Majesties Request – 50th Anniversary Special Edition . The package, which folds out to a card-table-sized 48 x 48 inches, contains stereo and mono mixes on two 180-gram vinyl discs and two SACDs, all newly remastered by Bob Ludwig. The record is especially immersive in mono, which was the preferred format at the time, as we’ve learned from reissues of the Beatles catalog. “In general, the mono version is much punchier than the stereo, with the bass and bass drum hitting the listener squarely in the solar plexus,” Rob Bowman accurately points out in his liner notes. The cover boasts the original album’s now-quaint 3-D lenticular band portrait by Michael Cooper.

“In the case of the critics, in December 1967 rock criticism was so new that most commentators were ruefully unequipped to properly evaluate the record, musically or historically,” Bowman writes, setting the LP in the context of the times. “On the Stones’ part, on both a personal and a group level they were working under insane pressure. Consequently, at the time the album was being made they were extremely dysfunctional, the sessions were not particularly pleasant, many were conducted with one or more members missing, and sessions were constantly interrupted for weeks at a time. It is not surprising that nobody, including engineer Glyn Johns, has pleasant memories of making Their Satanic Majesties Request. The result, in my opinion, is that, savaged at the outset by critical opinion, the band has bought into the critical mythology about the album and written it off (although Mick did say in 1974 that he had recently heard it and that he liked it). When I asked Charlie Watts about the album in 2003, he couldn’t remember any of the songs on it and had not had any interest in listening to it since it was made.”

But Charlie vividly remembered the vibe in the studio during the recording. “The sessions were a lot of fun because you could do anything,” he told Bowman. “It was so druggy—acid and all that. Also, I was listening to Albert Ayler, Sun Ra and people like that, which opened up a lot. Anything we did was nothing as radical as [what musicians like Ayler and Sun Ra were doing], so to me it was a natural step. But, for Mick and Keith it was a serious one. I don’t know if much good came out of Satanic Majesties because I can’t remember what’s on it, but I just remember that anything we wanted to do, we had a go at and most of the time we did it ourselves, which was great fun. After that it became very serious. If you wanted a tabla, you’d ask an Indian [musician] to come in and do it. In those days, if you wanted a tabla, you had to try and play the thing which is what we all did. Mick would be banging something and I would be banging something—let’s all play this song together.”

Here's the newly made lyric video to "She's a Rainbow":

 

DYLAN'S SPIRITUAL PHASE GETS
THE BOOTLEG TREATMENT
9/20/17

For the first time in the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, a film is being included in the deluxe package.

Jennifer Lebeau’s Trouble No More: A Musical Film, which combines unreleased footage from Dylan's 1980 tours with new material written by Luc Sante and performed by Michael Shannon, is part of the nine-disc deluxe edition of Bob Dylan—Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13/1979-1981. Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will release the set, along with two-CD/four-LP standard versions, on 11/3.

Of all the editions in the series, Trouble No More tackles Dylan’s vexing era—his “religious phase.” The period covers the trilogy of Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981), years when Dylan’s fans were mystified by his turning to songs of praise, worship and devotion; it has no connection with Street Legal-Desire period prior nor the polished records from the back half of the ‘80s. Out of Dylan’s 50-plus year career, this is an era most in need of re-examination.

At the time, Dylan’s move cost him a fan base. Almost overnight, Dylan went from being an arena act to a theater act after word got out his was singing about salvation instead of simple twists of fate.

Dylan’s live shows during the period, as the film shows, are intense and jubilant thanks to an ace band—Spooner Oldham, Fred Tackett, Tim Drummond, Jim Keltner and three gospel singers—that stayed with him for multiple tours and brought a cohesion to the performances. Oddly enough, in 1979, he made his only appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing his best-known song from the era, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Trouble No More comprises six discs of live performances, 31 previously unreleased outtakes and performances and a bonus DVD of six concert performances.

The deluxe box set includes a hardcover book with liner notes by Amanda Petrusich, Rob Bowman and noted atheist Penn Jillette.

The tracks: 

Disc 1: Live

  1. Slow Train (Nov. 16, 1979)
  2. Gotta Serve Somebody (Nov. 15, 1979)
  3. I Believe in You (May 16, 1980)
  4. When You Gonna Wake Up? (July 9, 1981)
  5. When He Returns (Dec. 5, 1979)
  6. Man Gave Names to All the Animals (Jan. 16, 1980)
  7. Precious Angel (Nov. 16, 1979)
  8. Covenant Woman (Nov. 20, 1979)
  9. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking (Jan. 31, 1980)
  10. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others) (Jan. 28, 1980)
  11. Solid Rock (Nov. 27, 1979)
  12. What Can I Do for You? (Nov. 27, 1979)
  13. Saved (Jan. 12, 1980)
  14. In the Garden (Jan. 27, 1980)

Disc 2: Live

  1. Slow Train (June 29, 1981)
  2. Ain't Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody (Unreleased song - Apr. 24, 1980)
  3. Gotta Serve Somebody (July 15, 1981)
  4. Ain't No Man Righteous, No Not One (Unreleased song - Nov. 16, 1979)
  5. Saving Grace (Nov. 6, 1979)
  6. Blessed Is the Name (Unreleased song - Nov. 20, 1979)
  7. Solid Rock (Oct. 23, 1981)
  8. Are You Ready? (Apr. 30, 1980)
  9. Pressing On (Nov. 6, 1979)
  10. Shot of Love (July 25, 1981)
  11. Dead Man, Dead Man (June 21, 1981)
  12. Watered-Down Love (June 12, 1981)
  13. In the Summertime (Oct. 21, 1981)
  14. The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar (Nov. 13, 1980)
  15. Caribbean Wind (Nov. 12, 1980)
  16. Every Grain of Sand (Nov. 21, 1981)

Disc 3: Rare and Unreleased

  1. Slow Train (Soundcheck – Oct. 5, 1978)
  2. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others) (Soundcheck – Dec. 7, 1978)
  3. Help Me Understand (Unreleased song – Oct. 5, 1978)
  4. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking (Rehearsal – Oct. 2, 1979)
  5. Gotta Serve Somebody (Outtake – May 4, 1979)
  6. When He Returns (Outtake – May 4, 1979)
  7. Ain't No Man Righteous, No Not One (Unreleased song – May 1, 1979)
  8. Trouble in Mind (Outtake – April 30, 1979)
  9. Ye Shall Be Changed (Outtake – May 2, 1979)
  10. Covenant Woman (Outtake –February 11, 1980)
  11. Stand by Faith (Unreleased song – Sept. 26, 1979)
  12. I Will Love Him (Unreleased song – Apr. 19, 1980)
  13. Jesus Is the One (Unreleased song – Jul. 17, 1981)
  14. City of Gold (Unreleased song – Nov. 22, 1980)
  15. Thief on the Cross (Unreleased song – Nov. 10, 1981)
  16. Pressing On (Outtake – Feb. 13, 1980)

Disc 4: Rare and Unreleased

  1. Slow Train (Rehearsal – Oct. 2, 1979)
  2. Gotta Serve Somebody (Rehearsal – Oct. 9, 1979)
  3. Making a Liar Out of Me (Unreleased song – Sept. 26, 1980)
  4. Yonder Comes Sin (Unreleased song – Oct. 1, 1980)
  5. Radio Spot January 1980, Portland, OR show
  6. Cover Down, Pray Through (Unreleased song – May 1, 1980)
  7. Rise Again (Unreleased song – Oct. 16, 1980)
  8. Ain't Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody (Unreleased song – Dec. 2, 1980)
  9. The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar (Outtake – May 1, 1981)
  10. Caribbean Wind (Rehearsal – Sept. 23, 1980)
  11. You Changed My Life (Outtake – April 23, 1981)
  12. Shot of Love (Outtake – March 25, 1981)
  13. Watered-Down Love (Outtake – May 15, 1981)
  14. Dead Man, Dead Man (Outtake – April 24, 1981)
  15. Every Grain of Sand (Rehearsal – Sept. 26, 1980)

Disc 5 - Live in Toronto 1980

  1. Gotta Serve Somebody (April 18, 1980)
  2. I Believe In You (April 18, 1980)
  3. Covenant Woman (April 19, 1980)
  4. When You Gonna Wake Up? (April 18, 1980)
  5. When He Returns (April 20, 1980)
  6. Ain't Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody (Unreleased song - April 18, 1980)
  7. Cover Down, Pray Through (Unreleased song - April 19, 1980)
  8. Man Gave Names To All The Animals (April 19, 1980)
  9. Precious Angel (April 19, 1980)

Disc 6 - Live in Toronto 1980

  1. Slow Train (April 18, 1980)
  2. Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others) (April 20, 1980)
  3. Solid Rock (April 20, 1980)
  4. Saving Grace (April 18, 1980)
  5. What Can I Do For You? (April 19, 1980)
  6. In The Garden (April 20, 1980)
  7. Band Introductions (April 19, 1980)
  8. Are You Ready? (April 19, 1980)
  9. Pressing On (April 18, 1980)

Disc 7 - Live in Earl's Court, London – June 27, 1981

  1. Gotta Serve Somebody
  2. I Believe In You
  3. Like A Rolling Stone
  4. Man Gave Names To All The Animals
  5. Maggie's Farm
  6. I Don't Believe You
  7. Dead Man, Dead Man
  8. Girl From The North Country
  9. Ballad Of A Thin Man

Disc 8 - Live in Earl's Court - London - June 27, 1981

  1. Slow Train
  2. Let's Begin
  3. Lenny Bruce
  4. Mr. Tambourine Man
  5. Solid Rock
  6. Just Like A Woman
  7. Watered-Down Love
  8. Forever Young
  9. When You Gonna Wake Up
  10. In The Garden
  11. Band Introductions
  12. Blowin' In The Wind
  13. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  14. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Disc 9: Bonus DVD 

Trouble No More – A Musical Film

DVD EXTRAS:
Shot of Love
Cover Down, Pray Through
Jesus Met the Woman at the Well (Alternate version)
Ain't Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody (Complete version)
Precious Angel (Complete version)
Slow Train (Complete version)

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