Category Archives: Music
Roxy Music has always been about style. Formed in 1971 from a bunch of art school dropouts (Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzenera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson, Brian Eno, et al) they would record 5 great albums back to back. The band looked sharp in space glam gear (later it would be expensive suits) and played a mix of rock, glam, psych, frak-out and pop that would, though not as highly regarded in the US, be in direct competition w/ David Bowie in the early 70’s. For the cover art of their first 5 LPs they chose women, (not band photos) to illustrate their style and their 1940’s mindset. Each had one of the 70’s hottest models on a beautiful gatefold sleeve, (with the band photograph inside). 1974’s Country Life saw a small break from form with 2 nearly nude models posed amongst some pine trees. Most of the copies got through uncensored but the US censored copy is hilarious (just the trees). Some were also delivered as the nude cover w/ an opaque green cellophane outer sleeve. Below are the original covers along w/ a few outtakes. Enjoy the covers then go buy the music. BTW Siren has the big hit “Love Is A Drug”.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop first met at NYC hotspot, Max’s Kansas City, in 1971, while Bowie was on tour with his album The Man Who Sold the World. The then-largely unknown Iggy made a deep impression on Bowie, (and was part of the inspiration for Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona). Bowie invited Pop, who was experiencing heroin addiction, to London, where he helped mix Iggy and the Stooges’ album Raw Power. Though the album would eventually become a classic, the band collapsed under the weight of Pops drug addiction and general bad behaviour. Returning to California, Pop would check himself into a mental institution in an attempt to overcome his heroin addiction. Bowie remained one of his few friends and visitors. In 1976 riding a wave of hits Bowie toured his most recent album Station to Station bringing Iggy along for the ride. The pair moved into an apartment in West Berlin, (over an auto parts shop) where Bowie would began the first of his Berlin trilogy of albums – LOW, and also collaborating on writing and recording Pop’s first solo album, The Idiot. In 1977, Iggy Pop finally went on a 30-date world tour as a solo act. His backup band included David on keyboards and backing vocals. Bowie remained truly in the background behind the keys. No costumes or stage show, Bowie wore bell bottom turned up jeans, flannel shirt and cap. It was meant to be Iggy’s show not the more famous Bowies’. That year the two also collaborated on Pop’s second album, Lust for Life, which would become Iggy’s long-awaited critical and commercial success, (with the title song eventually appearing in tons of commercials and films, most notably the opening for the Danny Boyle film Trainspotting). Iggy and Bowie would remain friends for the rest of Bowies’ life.
New York Dolls (The 1st LP) released in July of 1973 received widespread acclaim from critics when it was first released but sold poorly. The band toured the United States to promote the record, but they were difficult to market and developed a reputation for rock-star excesses. Despite its commercial failure, the album was an influential precursor to the 1970s punk movement and has since been named in various publications as one of the greatest debut records in rock and one of the greatest albums of all time. The photography by Toshi has become (somewhat) iconic. Many bands would emulate the Dolls style over the years (and still do) but no LP has really had the punch of seeing these 5 men in drag on an album released 43 years ago. It’s the outtakes that are even more interesting, somehow even glammier and more shocking. And who is kid in the back cover photos and where is he today?
Unless you’ve been living in a cave (or the midwest) you’ll know that vinyl records are back, and back big. Right now vinyl is outselling all formats of recorded music. I guess people were just bored w/ stealing badly compressed music off the internet – hopefully so. In order to give the buyer a completely different experience record labels have upped their game by producing unusual and uniques pieces. It’s usually the smaller record companies like Jack White’s Third Man Records that will do the real cool stuff – You may find a pink vinyl copy of Madonnas new LP from a major label but you’re never gonna’ find one filled with her hair and urine (honest to god – see below). Most of the records don’t play that great but what the hell – they’re just so damn cool.
In the cold war era Soviet Union, bootleggers built homemade recording machines and ingeniously copied and pressed forbidden records by the state on discarded X-Rays which they clandestinely obtained from hospitals. They would etch a copy of a record into the X-Ray, cut it into a circle with scissors, and use a cigarette to burn a hole in the middle, allowing the record to be played on any record player. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Hellmouth burned an old German Bible from the late 1800s and pressed the ash into the ‘Bible Ash’ variant of their Gravestone Skylines album, which was limited to a total of 33 copies.
Shout Out Louds, a band from Sweden managed to create a playable ice disk for their single ‘Blue Ice’ in collaboration with TBWA Stockholm. The track can be recreated on a record player but only a few people got the chance to use it. They sent a kit to ten select people along with a set of instructions on how to make the album, along with a mold and a bottle of water. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Zoetrope vinyl releases have printed or etched images on them that produce continuous moving pictures when spun on a record player.
Glassjaw‘s Coloring Book has 120 unique color combinations using yellow, orange, green, red, blue and white. The vinyl separates into a 7″, 10″ ring and 12″ ring and comes framed with a hand-numbered sticker on the back of the frame.
French DJ and producer Breakbot had a limited pressing of 120 copies of his single cast in edible chocolate and was intended to be played only once and then eaten.
The world’s first 3 RPM record, given away for free at Third Man Records‘s Three Year Anniversary Party. It’s cut at the slowest speed yet it plays super fast (and needs to be spun by hand as no turntable can play it). It’s a compilation of 7 inch records but packaged like a 12 inch, containing every Blue Series single released. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Emperor Yes’s LP – An Island Called Earth had a limited pressing of 100 records, containing crushed meteorite dust.
Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy had her blood mixed w/ clear vinyl for a limited release. The Flaming Lips went went step further for their LP Heady Fwends having the blood of Kesha, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono (among others) pressed into their LP.
Eohippus went even further with their single “Getting Your Hair Wet with Pee” single. That’s right yellow vinyl embedded w/ urine soaked hair.
Barren Harvest‘s Subtle Cruelties clear vinyl edition was pressed with real autumn leaves inside and was limited to 100 copies.
British company And Vinyly offers a unique service to their customers. They press your or your loved one’s ashes into a 12″ clear vinyl, containing music or any audio of your choice. All you have to do is to deliver the ashes to a pressing plant in London and pay the £3,000 for the ‘Basic Package’, which includes 30 copies of the record.
Both LPs for The Great Gatsby soundtrack are set are blindingly reflective metallized discs. Disc one is platinum and disc two is gold. These are the first-ever commercially available records made using these precious metals via this process. Not stopping there, the records come housed in an entirely unique laser-cut wooden LP jacket riveted to aluminum spines. If you can find one it’ll set you back about $400.
Normally, laser etching is only done on a non-playable side of a vinyl record. However, with some tweaking, laser etching can be done also on the groove side of the record without affecting the playing grooves. If hit by a light, the etching reflects in polychromatic colors.
Thanks to http://coloredvinylrecords.com
Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) He looked a bit like Burt Reynolds in his youth and a lot like Charles Bukowski in his old age. He did everything a country star of the 60’s was meant to do. He drank, he smoked and fought. He spent some time in San Quentin where he got in trouble for running a liquor and gambling operation. Had 6 or 7 kids and 5 wives. Along with Buck Owens (he married his former wife), Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield Sound (characterized by the twangy Fender Telecaster and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville recordings of the same era).
In 2006, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Haggard was also honored as a BMI Icon at the 54th annual BMI Pop Awards in 2006. During his songwriting career up to that time, Haggard had earned 48 BMI Country Awards, nine BMI Pop Awards, a BMI R&B Award, and 16 BMI “Million-Air” awards, all from a catalog of songs that added up to over 25 million performances.