Friday, 29 May 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 33 (Intro)

May 29th

Howdy, howdy, howdy, hi hi hi and welcome to a special edition of everybody’s favourite monkeynuts newsletter. June 1st this year marks the 40th anniversary of the first CSN album, a special event that broke the mould for singer-songwriters in so many ways. As well as our old friends CSN, however, this issue marks the debut of a much more recent talent, nelson, whose semi-regular column is all set to study developments in the music business past, present and future. First up, though is the news – and there’s rather a lot of it to get through this week, so without any further ado….


Beatles News: Yet more interesting developments in the world of music auctions. One of John Lennon’s earliest guitars, one that dates back to the Quarrymen days, is due to come up for auction this month. The guitar has been in the hand of a private collector until now and, as far as I know, was thought to have been destroyed or lost a long time ago as it has never been seen since. Those of you who have been following this column for the past few weeks will know that this is in fact the third interesting Beatles artefact to come up for auction in the past three weeks, following the discovery of an unpublished George Harrison lyric and a revealing George fan letter.

CSN News: Happy 40th birthday CSN! While sadly the anniversary date seems to have been forgotten by the media (no TV, radio or even magazine articles this month by the looks of things), record label Rhino earn our respect once more by releasing a special CD full of unpublished demos from the key CSN years of 1968-71. The idea of releasing an album full of CSN demos was mooted as far back as 1991, when Nash was digging through old tapes for the CSN box-set, but to date only a handful have appeared. It’s not yet clear whether the 12-track album, released at a special budget price on June 1st, will include many previously released recordings or any unknown tracks, although ‘Almost Cut My Hair’, ‘Deja Vu’ and an early version of ‘Long Time Gone’ are included (all of the above may be the same as the demos released on Crosby’s ‘Voyage’ retrospective of 2006, but then again – given how many recordings the trio used to make together and apart in this era – they may not). There is at least one new recording , Stills’ demo for his biggest solo hit ‘Love The One You’re With. Remember, the years might seem limited, but the material produced in this period by all three members is staggering, covering the 1st CSN album, the 1st CSNY album, the first C-N album and no less than four solo albums. More news come release day!

Kinks News: Ray Davies has finally released the Khoral Kinks album he’s been threatening us with for the past few years. ‘The Kinks Choral Collection’ is by ray solo, with no input from any other members of the band worse luck, and includes several of his most famous songs performed by a 65-piece choir, The Crouch End Festival Chorus. Bet brother Dave is furious!

♫ Pentangle News: Guitarist Bert Jansch’s three post-Pentangle records have had a chequered history since former Monkee Mike Nesmith rescued him from labeless obscurity and landed him a deal with Lindisfarne’s label Charisma. The first of these albums, ‘L.A. Turnaround’ has often been called a ‘forgotten classic’ (wasn’t all of Bert’s releases?! Ed!) and is out now, to be joined by the other two CDs ‘A Rare Conundrum’ and ‘Santa Barbara Honeymoon’ sometime in the near future. I’m not sure about the other two albums but ‘LA’, at least, has some intriguing bonus tracks – a 13-minute DVD film, recorded during the album’s first sessions. Watch this space for more! 

Rolling Stones News: batch two of the post-60s Rolling Stones re-issues are due for release this week, including remastered editions of 1978’s impressive ‘Some Girls’, 1980’s torrid ‘Emotional Rescue’, 1981’s patchy  ‘Tattoo You’ and 1983’s under-rated ‘Undercover’. The four CDs don’t have anything new in the way of bonus tracks but do have better sound so I’ve heard. The four CDs join May’s re-issue of ‘Sticky Fingers’, ‘Goat’s Head Soup’ ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Black And Blue’ and will soon by joined by all the albums from ‘Dirty Work’ onwards, plus a deluxe edition of ‘Exile On Main Street’ due for re-release before the end of the year.

Neil Young News: Neil Young archives blah blah blah….will honestly be released this month definitively blah blah blah…will feature 30 hours of music now with 128 tracks (48 unreleased) on 8 CDs, 10 DVDs and a book or 10 Blu-Ray discs and a book, blah blah blah…if you get the Blu-Ray set you can download new bits and pieces as they become available (actually, this is a new one on me – it’s the first ‘new’ bit of info we’ve been told since the set was re-commissioned a few years ago)…this is the first volume spanning 1963-72 blah blah blah… out on June 8 honestly absolutely no way Neil is going to change his mind…blah blah blah will break your bank balance blah blah blah… (to be followed up next month by the new that Neil has changed his mind, no doubt!)      


Anniversaries: Happy jiving birthdays this week (May 29th-June 4th) include Ronnie Wood (guitarist with The Rolling Stones 1976-present) who turns 62 on June 1st, Charlie Watts (drummer with the Rolling Stones 1962-present) who turns 68 on June 2nd and Michael Clarke (drummer with The Byrds 1965-68) who would have been 65 on June 3rd. Anniversaries of events this week include: Roger McGuinn plays his first solo gig in nine years on May 29th 1973, following eight years’ worth of involvement in The Byrds; CSNY release their second album ‘Deja Vu’ 39 years ago this week (may 30th 1970); John Lennon records his first ‘proper’ solo single ‘Give Peace A Chance’ during one of John and Yoko’s bed-ins at a hotel in Canada on May 31st 1969; The Who break the record for the loudest ever gig during a 1976 show at Charlton Athletic Football Ground on May 31st that year; it was 42 years ago today that the Beatles told Sgt Peppers to play, with the releae of that seminal album on June 1st 1967 and finally ‘5th Beatle’ Jimmy Nicholl fills in for a poorly Ringo Starr on June 3rd 1964, the only time a  Beatle was replaced on-stage.  

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