Album review: Heaven & Earth by YES (2014)

YES has a new album called Heaven & Earth. First off, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Jon Anderson is not on this record (as in the previous effort, Fly From Here). This fact will immediately send many life-long YES fans into a whirling dervish of fists and elbows to tear it down. (“It’s not YES without Jon Anderson!”) And while it’s sad that he is not involved, it must be noted that Mr. Anderson had previous quit the band TWICE (1980 and 1989). So, let’s believe that Jon is truly happier as a solo artist and the band is best served moving forward with their new lead singer (also named Jon!) Jon Davison.

Oh look… another elephant in the room: YES cannot make another record on the level of The Yes Album, Fragile or Close to the Edge. It is impossible. So there will be no comparisons to that glorious tri-fecta that occurred in the magical years of 1971-1972. If one is to compare this record to anything, it should be to other bands with members in their mid-to-late-60’s, say Asia.

Heaven & Earth (named for the Roger Dean artwork of the same title) contains 8 songs. Seven are written or co-written by Jon Davison, who captures Jon Anderson’s “unique” sound so accurately, it’s a little strange. (How can they both have an identical and unique singing voice???) Although sometimes in the lower register, he sounds a bit like the lead singer in 1980, Trevor Horn. In fact, on the 1980 album “Drama” we find the only line-up difference is in the lead singer role (again, as in Fly From Here).

The opener, “Believe Again,” is an 8 minute mid-tempo song that incorporates a dark  Steve Howe solo in the middle before returning to its predominantly uplifting mood, singing about believing in love. During one’s first listening, you’ll be wondering, “is this the strongest, most energetic offering?”  If so, we might be in for a long haul or a good nap (which this writer did indeed have while listening.)

But we’re going to look at the album as a whole and this writer has listened in its entirety 3 times (awake).

“The Game” is a bit peppier and clocks in at nearly 7 minutes. There’s an undeniable light-weight-ness to the track. Again, we cannot compare it to the early cannon material; so, on its own it is pleasant enough.

I consider the third track “Step Beyond” as the weakest on the album. The tune, written by Davison and Howe, does benefit from the minor chord change in the pre-chorus, but I found it a bit too 80′s pop (and not in the 90125 Rock kind of way).

“To Ascend” has a rare co-writing credit to drummer Alan White. A ballad in 3/4-time with a driving 6/8 swing in the chorus. The song is well written and could receive decent airplay on AOR stations. The best song at this point.

The Davison/Chris Squire song “In a World of Our Own” is a very enjoyable track. It contains a feel never associated with YES; a mid-tempo shuffle similar to “Now She Knows She’s Wrong” by Jellyfish or The Beatles’ “Penny Lane.” The bridge section contains some tricky rhythmic playing. Might be the first true Prog-rock section of the album. At this point, the record seems to be getting better all the time (Beatles reference intentional.)

“Light of the Ages” is the first YES song written solely by Jon Davison. It begins with the what-must-by-patented-by-now Steve Howe guitar sound and some marching snare drum fills by White. Another good song adorned with Geoff Downes piano playing and more tricky rhythms. At the 4 minute mark, the tune shifts to an uplifting 3/4 swing. The song is also a slower tempo one that has clearly defined the album as a whole. But it’s a strong 7 & 1/2-minutes. I’d imagine if this was performed live while pushing the tempo a little, it could come across quite well.

The 7th song, “It Was All We Knew” was written by Steve Howe. The tempo has been picked-up to mid-tempo. It’s alright and helps to lighten the feel.

The final and longest song of the album is also its strongest. “Subway Walls” is co-written by keyboardist Geoff Downes and Jon Davison. It’s got lyrics like the word “existential” – so, it’s gotta be considered Prog-rock, right? Strong bass lines and lots of Chris Squire harmonies make this probably the truest-YES-like. There’s a funky li’l bass solo in the exact middle of the song. The instrumental break is an odd time signature that builds adding just the drums, then solos on keys and guitar; somewhat reminiscent of “Safe (Canon Song)” on Chris Squire’s solo album Fish Out of Water. It builds and breaks open into the final climax. The last 4.5 minutes are the finest on the whole record and leaves you wishing it was a couple minutes longer.

It accomplishes its goal leaving the listener with a feeling that this incarnation of YES is good on its own merit.

It’s hard to say who will enjoy this record, but it is recommended that one plays Fly From Here alongside Heaven & Earth to give the listener proper context for this current evolution of YES. Keep an open-mind, let the past-be-the-past, listen a few times, and one will find it is a fine record top-to-bottom.

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Led Zeppelin remasters on vinyl… VINALLY!




After endless speculation fueled by former guitarist Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin and Atlantic/Swan Song today announced the first wave in a new reissue campaign from one of the world’s most acclaimed rock bands.

Starting on June 3, with the first three Led Zeppelin albums from 1969-1970 – all self-titled, with Roman numerals appended to each “sequel” – Page has overseen remastered and expanded versions of each of the band’s albums, all featuring a disc’s worth of unreleased vault content, including studio outtakes, alternate mixes, live cuts and a few entirely unheard songs. In a statement, Page called these bonus discs “a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin.”

Each album will be available in multiple formats:

  • 1CD remaster in gatefold card wallet
  • 2CD Deluxe Edition
  • 1LP remaster on 180-gram vinyl with packaging “that replicates the LP’s first pressing in exacting detail (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut holes.)”
  • 2LP Deluxe Edition (3LP for the first album) featuring the same contents of the 2CD Deluxe Editions
  • Super Deluxe Box Sets featuring the Deluxe Edition contents on CD and LP, a 96kHz/24-bit audio download card (the live tracks on the first album will be in 48kHz/24-bit audio), 70+ hardback book with liner notes and photos, a high-quality print of the original album cover (the first 30,000 of each album will be numbered) and, in the Led Zeppelin box, a replica of the band’s original press kit

Led Zeppelin: Deluxe Edition (Atlantic/Swan Song, 2014)


Disc 1: Original album (released as Atlantic 588171 (U.K.)/SD-8216 (U.S.), 1969)

  1. Good Times Bad Times
  2. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
  3. You Shook Me
  4. Dazed and Confused
  5. Your Time is Gonna Come
  6. Black Mountain Side
  7. Communication Breakdown
  8. I Can’t Quit You Baby
  9. How Many More Times

Disc 2: Live @ The Olympia, Paris – 10/10/1969 (previously unreleased)

  1. Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown
  2. I Can’t Quit You Baby
  3. Heartbreaker
  4. Dazed and Confused
  5. White Summer/Black Mountain Side
  6. You Shook Me
  7. Moby Dick
  8. How Many More Times

Led Zeppelin II: Deluxe Edition (Atlantic/Swan Song, 2014)

Disc 1: Original album (released as Atlantic 588198 (U.K.)/SD-8236, 1969)

  1. Whole Lotta Love
  2. What Is and What Should Never Be
  3. The Lemon Song
  4. Thank You
  5. Heartbreaker
  6. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)
  7. Ramble On
  8. Moby Dick

Disc 2: Companion audio disc (previously unreleased)

  1. Whole Lotta Love (Alternate Mix)
  2. What Is and What Should Never Be (Alternate Mix)
  3. Thank You (Backing Track)
  4. Heartbreaker (Alternate Mix)
  5. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) (Backing Track)
  6. Ramble On (Alternate Mix)
  7. Moby Dick (Alternate Mix)
  8. La La (previously unreleased song)

Led Zeppelin III: Deluxe Edition (Atlantic/Swan Song, 2014)

Disc 1: Original album (released as Atlantic 2401002 (U.K.)/SD-7201 (U.S.), 1970)

  1. Immigrant Song
  2. Friends
  3. Celebration Day
  4. Since I’ve Been Loving You
  5. Out on the Tiles
  6. Gallows Pole
  7. Tangerine
  8. That’s the Way
  9. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
  10. Hats Off to (Roy) Harper

Disc 2: Companion audio disc (previously unreleased)

  1. Immigrant Song (Outtake)
  2. Friends (Outtake)
  3. Celebration Day (Outtake)
  4. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Outtake)
  5. Bathroom Sound (Instrumental Version of “Out on the Tiles”)
  6. Gallows Pole (Outtake)
  7. That’s the Way (Outtake)
  8. Jennings Farm Blues (Instrumental Version of “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”)
  9. Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind


1 LP versions:
2 or 3 LP versions:

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Record Store Day 2013, Nashville, Third Man Records, Grimey’s, The Groove

Here’s what I did on Record Store Day, 2013.

I interviewed people standing waiting to get it. Some camped out over night. I caught a few artists performing and even visited the place where the vinyl is pressed into a record!

ENJOY installment #3 of “The Daily Vinyl Presents: Off The Record with The Daily Vinyl”

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The Basics (Gotye) – So Hard For You (demo) – Leftovers (TheDailyVinyl official music video #56)

You may remember the artist Gotye. He, uh, got naked with a hot chick while their bodies got painted and then reminisced about Somebody That They Used to Know. Well, his real name is Wally De Backer and Gotye is his solo project. His rock ‘n’ roll band is called The Basics. He’s the drummer & part-time singer with co-founder and co-writer Kris Schroeder & guitarist Tim Heath.

The band has released 3 full-length studio albums, a live record several EPs, and has just released 2 compilations, one of favorites (“Ingredients”) and one consisting of demos, live bits and alternate mixes called “Leftovers”.

I pre-ordered my vinyl copy from and got it on March 1, 2013.
Join me (and Bronte) checking out the first track for the first time. Spoiler alert – it’s AWESOME!
While the vinyl contains 13 tracks, the album also comes with a download card for 38 songs!!! SWEET!
Check it out.

Oh, and check out as well as my other YouTube channel,

From the last Basics-related recording session, Kris Schroeder had initially intended for the recording of “So Hard For You” and “A Night Inside Your Mind” to be used as demos to ‘sell’ to other artists. With the recording of his solo EP Patience in the Face of Control, these recordings were shelved and have never been released (let alone heard by anyone outside of the band.) Though Kris insists the song was written about the uneven relationship between celebrities and their entourage, there have been suggestions that the real meaning could be closer to home and involving someone close, thought this has never been substantiated.

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Review: Heart – Fanatic (vinyl LP)

HEART – FANATIC (October 2012)
Judging by the cover and the fact it was pressed to vinyl, I was hoping the new HEART record Fanatic would live up to to my expectation. Would this be a HEART record that rocked?

Fanatic – Title track did not let me down. Not at all over-produced. Vocals and guitar right up front. Drums lay down a solid groove.

Dear Old America – A bouncy rocker with strings with a decidedly Mellotron-style arrangement. (you don’t get more 70′s that using a Mellotron.)

Walkin’ Good – bust out the acoustic and bring down the tempo. Interestingly, the energy is not gone. Strong melody and harmonies on the pre-chorus and chorus. Reminds me of Aimee Mann (one of my favorites). Well, maybe it reminds me of Sarah McLachlan who is featured on the song. That makes sense.

Skin and Bones – A groovy, driving number. When the guitars kick in after the 1st verse, it totally kicked me in the face. Great tune!

Million Miles – Starts off with computerized drum & guitar loop. So far, the most “produced” track. And then the band kicks in on the chorus. It’s a smart blend of the technical & distortion. A great rocker.

Pennsylvania - Time to chill after having socks rocked off. I find the eerie backing bgvs the most interesting.

Mashallah - Yeah, this is a cool, driving tune! When Ann belts out “Mashallah!” swiming in echo… I got chill bumps.

Rock Deep (Vancouver) – a true ballad. I would be tempted to skip… except that it’s really good. The build up was strong enough to make me wish it wasn’t ending.

59 Crunch – “Crunch” is an appropriate word to describe the guitar that kicks off another rocker.

Corduroy Road – A nice way to end a very strong record. Nothing weak here. I love the string arrangement in the chorus, bridge and the ending. Nice dynamics. Again, I would’ve been totally happy if this song was longer and built even bigger. I would’ve loved to hear them go crazy on it. But I bet they save that for the live show.

I confess that, while I have appreciated the HEART of the 70′s, I have note immersed myself into them. Partly because I was more familiar with their 80′s material. Which was appropriate for the music of the day, but it didn’t turn me on. I can say, without reservation, I am a fan of “Fanatic” from start-to-finish! It makes me want to delve into their discography now and see what I’ve been missing all these years. And the vinyl sounds fantastic! It sounded so big. But it also includes an MP3 code so you can take the rock ‘n’ roll with you. Then there’s the performance of the Wilson sisters – wow! I believe they could keep their sound strong for a couple more decades. So, rock on, ladies, rock the f* on! I will be paying attention now.

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Gotye complete concert

I finally uploaded all the videos from when Gotye performed at Pease Auditorium in Ypsilanti (near Ann Arbor), Michigan.

Gotye is definitely one of the coolest dudes out there. Hope you can catch him on tour. In the meantime… enjoy this complete show:

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Alright, my lovey Vinyl fans. Here’s an argument that pops up on my Classic Rock YouTube videos from time to time… “They just don’t make music like this anymore. Everything new is terrible and we are all now dumber for having listened to it.”

Certainly every generation has its fair share of crap. And there have been long dry spells in my own life where I hated everything that was popular.

But I discovered an incredible musician, writer, producer and an excellent all-around bloke. His real name is Wally DeBacker but most people would recognize him by the name Gotye.

I first got in touch with Wally shortly before his 3rd album “Making Mirrors” was released in the U.S. I was trying to find a vinyl copy for the incredible song “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Wally responded via email that the record company should be releasing it on vinyl soon.

Moments after it was freshly delivered to my local record store here in Nashville (which is less than 4 miles from where the vinyl was pressed) I picked it up, filmed my vinyl video, uploaded and it is already my 8th most watched video.

But it doesn’t stop with that great song (which, as of this writing on June 1, 2012) has already been #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for FIVE WEEKS straight!!! The entire Gotye album “Making Mirrors” is phenomenal. Some of the best stuff I’ve heard since Peter Gabriel’s 1986 classic “So”. (which is being re-released and toured “back-to-front” by Peter). And in true completist fashion, I bought his 2nd album “Like Drawing Blood”. Once again… AMAZING! (His debut CD “Boardface” is available only through the Gotye webstore and is shipped from Australia. “Boardface” has some great moments, but pales in comparison to the newer releases.)

When Gotye did his first North American tour in March/April, I loaded up my family and drove 9+ hours to Michigan from Nashville to see the show with Kimbra as the opening act. Well worth the drive! and it gave us a chance to chat with him one-on-one backstage. What a class act and sweet guy! Poured my wife a glass of wine, grabbed me a beer, and gave us pizza.

Anyway, all this to say, I cannot stand it when someone complains that there is “no good new music out there.” Sometimes you gotta dig a bit, and sometimes it’s a freakin’ tidal wave!

I hope you are not tired of this song. I have 3 versions here:
1) The original TheDailyVinyl video that Wally responded “Thanks for the daily vinyl spot my man! I dig it, opening the sleeve and all :) [...] cheers for spreading the word.”

2) The live version filmed in Ypsilanti (near Ann Arbor) Michigan

3) The live version performed by Walk Off The Earth from their US Tour debut show in Nashville, TN


Pick up the vinyl from your local record store or order from Amazon:

Need it faster and cheaper? Download it DRM*Free:

Although I own (and recommend) the vinyl LP version, it must be ordered from Australia. So here’s the download link to “Like Drawing Blood”:

Debut CD “Boardface” may also be available from time-to-time from an individual seller:

The girl featured in the song “Somebody That I Used To Know” is also worth checking out. She’s more pop, but she writes smart lyrics with great hooks. I often hear 80′s/90′s influences like Tears For Fears & Bjork. Her debut album “Vows” has finally been released in the US.

If you want to hear complete songs before spending any money, Amazon has 2 of the songs for FREE download!!!!

(and did I mention Kimbra is hella sexy!!!!)

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Who doesn’t like Free music

On the Amazon site, you can download FREE Mp3s. (I know, I know, not as cool as Vinyl… I’m with ya. But FREE is pretty darn cool too!)

Free Rock MP3 and Top 100

This list is filtered in the “rock” category, but — obviously — feel free to peruse around.

Oh, and if you happen to buy anything on Amazon through this link, one day I might get enough to download one of those sweet 89 cent MP3s. (still waiting for that glorious day! Glad I’m not holding my breath.)

Free MP3s and the current Top 100 ROCK downloads

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I finally launched my new YouTube channel: TheDailyVinylLIVE. I filmed everything in Nashville and I’ve uploaded my first 3 playlists for:
Paul Simon
The Wood Brothers

Be sure to watch in HD!

And I have just a handful of U2 songs left to go before I have a near-complete U2 concert.

Enjoy!!!! (And support the artists by buying the CDs or legally downloading their songs. Even cooler if you can them on VINYL!!!!!)


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It’s been too long!

Life has been busy in “The Dude’s” world. I have several vinyl videos filmed and ready to be edited and uploaded. Just trying to get the time. Sorry my Vinyl Video fans…! Coming soon, I promise.

In the meantime, I thought I’d talk about some cool things I want to get.

#1 — BOOK: Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image – The Complete, Unauthorized Story of The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ Sessions
I own the previous version of this book entitled “Get Back: the unauthorized… somethingsomtheingsomething.” And what a facinating read! It chronicled every musical performance during the recording & filming of The Beatles when they were creating the Get Back/Let It Be record in January 1969. The tapes were rolling and they were jamming all sorts of songs. Some of which I have acquired (primarily “Thirty Days” – a 17 CD set and various other sources). Apparently, this version has been completely re-written with more source material located.

2. — CD: Doves – The Places Between (The Best Of Doves) – 2CD + DVD!

Anyone following The Daily Vinyl knows that The Dude LOVES Doves! I cannot get enough of this band. This best of collection looks awesome. Although I do have all their albums & several b-sides, there is a DVD included with 13 music videos. (None feature The Daily Vinyl, unfortuately, but you can see the one I made for “Kingdom of Rust” and “Winter Hill” here:

3) DVD: Lagaan – Once Upon a Time in India

Ok, so my two little girls watched the movie which we borrowed from a friend. It’s four hours long and they completely hang with this Bollywood flick. The music is amazing (which is their favorite part.) It’s by A.R. Rahman, whom I just discovered. He also did the music for Slumdog Millionaire

4) 1/8″ or Headphone extension cable. So check this out. It’s only 1 cent! I’m totally getting, like, 2!

5) Book – yep another Beatles book. This looks fascinating too!

Let me know if you check any of these things out.

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Review: “Scratch My Back” – Peter Gabriel (U.S. release March 2, 2010)

In a word, the new Peter Gabriel album is Haunting. 53 minutes of voice, piano and orchestra. It’s dark. And mysteriously sinister throughout the 12 cover tunes. The “Scratch My Back” project has Peter Gabriel performing completely stripped-down arrangements of tunes by other artists. These 12 artists will then cover Peter’s original compositions on the to-be-released album “I’ll Scratch Yours.” Clever. You need to be in the mood for sure. But if you are, you will captivated, drawn-in, almost afraid to pull away. Because you might miss something important. And that’s the key. Is this album something important? Time will tell.

Gabriel has a knack for changing the course of music every decade. His experimentation with drum sounds and world music in the early 80’s was underratedly influential. The production of the 1986 album “So” changed what was expected in terms of a perfectly mixed album. In 1992 he released “Us” which changed how loops were used and the production was a bit, dare I say it, grundgy. Gabriel was also the first person I saw sport a goatee in the 90’s. Perhaps his influence in the 2000’s were minimal, but certainly his pursuit of international artists have exposed more than 65 performers to the rest of world.

So here we are, 2010. How will this deeply intense record effect the next 10 years of music. There are no drums, percussion, guitars, bass guitar, synthesizers. Perhaps the I-cover-your-song/you-cover-mine will be the more influential element here?

Here is the track listing with the original artists

1. “Heroes” – David Bowie 4:10
2. “The Boy in the Bubble” – Paul Simon 4:28
3. “Mirrorball” – Elbow 4:48
4. “Flume” – Bon Iver 3:01
5. “Listening Wind” – Talking Heads 4:23
6. “The Power of the Heart” – Lou Reed 5:52
7. “My Body Is a Cage” – Arcade Fire 6:13
8. “The Book of Love” – The Magnetic Fields 3:53
9. “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” – Randy Newman 2:34
10. “Après moi” – Regina Spektor 5:13
11. “Philadelphia” – Neil Young 3:46
12. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” – Radiohead 5:06

Stephin Merritt’s (The Magnetic Fields’ frontman) has covered “Not One Of Us” and Paul Simon’s version of “Biko” is expected to be the second release on March 28. Both songs are from Gabriel’s 3rd self-titled album. Radiohead will be covering “Wallflower” from Gabriel’s 4th self-titled album.

I rate the album 4 out of 5 record sleeves.

There are two versions available. The Deluxe version w/ a 2nd disc of remixes:

And the standard single-disc version:

Pick one up, fer sure! Let me know if you do.

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The Daily Vinyl video #37: “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Peter Gabriel (RARE!)

This classic soul number was performed by Peter Gabriel in Chicago 1979. It was released on the Bristol Recorder. Which was apparently a record with a magazine attached to the gatefold sleeve and produced in Bristol, UK. This was the 2nd volume released like this. To my knowledge, this recording is NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE! (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

Peter’s notes on this track (and references to 2 other live songs “Not One Of Us” and “Humdrum” for possible future TheDailyVinyl release) are as follows:
“A cassette recording featuring my Alexis Korner impersonation on the intro. The band were Tony Levin: bass. Larry Fast: synthesiser. Allan Schwartzberg: drums. Jimmy Maelen: percussion. Phil Aaberg: piano. Steve Hunter: lead guitar. Robert Fripp: rhythm guitar (partly concealed). These cassettes were dug out of the live cassette box, so the quality of sound is rough. Certain of the vocal bits made me cringe so I spent a little time ‘doctoring’ ‘Not One Of Us’ and ‘Ain’t That Peculiar.’ In the profession, we call this cheating.” (You can hear how his vocals are “double tracked”)

Pre-order the new Peter Gabriel record “Scratch My Back”

Description on Amazon:
Peter Gabriel s Scratch My Back album project is the first part of a series of song exchanges in which Gabriel and other leading artists reinterpret each other s songs. To help craft his recording of the album s eclectic array of cult favorites and classic tracks, Gabriel enlisted former Durutti Column member John Metcalfe, composer, arranger and the expertise of producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd’s The Wall , Lou Reed’s Berlin ) and engineer, mixer and producer Tchad Blake (Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Tom Waits).

Gabriel describes this as a very personal record with twelve songs performed only with orchestral instruments and voice. He made the choice not to include guitar or drums. The album’s richly diverse sounds include the sparse romance of Lou Reed’s The Power of the Heart , the powerful musical journey of David Bowie’s Heroes and an epic arrangement of Arcade Fire’s My Body Is A Cage. Gabriel and his collaborators recorded the album at George Martin’s Air Lyndhurst Studios and the Real World Temple with further editing and mixing at his own Real Worlds Studio in Wiltshire. The Scratch My Back release is one of the most creative and engaging records from an iconic artist in a long time. The marketing focus is to penetrate Peter Gabriel’s core fan base as well as fans of all genres and in all demographics given the scope of artists being covered as well as its depth of composition.

Here is the complete track listing:
1. Heroes (David Bowie)
2. The Boy In The Bubble (Paul Simon)
3. Mirrorball (Elbow)
4. Flume (Bon Iver)
5. Listening Wind (Talking Heads)
6. The Power Of The Heart (Lou Reed)
7. My Body Is A Cage (Arcade Fire)
8. The Book Of Love (The Magnetic Fields)
9. I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Randy Newman)
10. Apres Moi (Regina Spektor)
11. Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12. Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead)

The Deluxe special edition has a 2nd disc with:
1. The Book Of Love (Remix)
2. My Body Is A Cage (Oxford London Temple Version)
3. Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks) (Oxford London Temple Version)
4. Heroes (Wildebeest Mix)

The Release Date is March 2nd!!!

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Tom Petty releases `Live Anthology’ disc set

By NATALIE ROTMAN, Associated Press Writer Natalie Rotman, Associated Press Writer – Mon Nov 30, 10:24 am ET
LOS ANGELES – Tom Petty has grown up, but not too much.

The 59-year-old spent a year going through thousands of hours of live concert recordings covering Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ tours across three decades.

The result is “The Live Anthology” — not a greatest hits album, but a multiple-disc set. There are no overdubs, and the notorious perfectionist can now see why his hard-driven mates were “a good little rock ‘n’ roll band.”

Petty, who said the process was like looking at a family photo album, talks about how watching three films a day helped hone his acclaimed music videos and how his love of English as a kid helped him write some of America’s most beloved rock songs.


The Associated Press: What made you want to pull out hours and hours of tape?

Tom Petty: Well, it seemed like a good time to do it and I thought it would be a chore in a way. I started to do it and I just fell in love with the project. … I spent a year digging out stuff and mixing it. It was great. It was like looking at a photo album, but you can all be in the picture.

AP: Did you ever get overwhelmed?

Petty: Well, you can. But we knew we had plenty of time to do it. So, we just went bit by bit and pretty soon into the project, we told them that this wasn’t going to fit on two CDs. … To get an idea of what the band was and is, there is a lot of stuff you have to hear to take in an accurate document of all those years.

AP: Did you find anything that surprised you about yourself going through all that footage?

Petty: I was surprised that we were as good as we were. I really didn’t listen to us when we were back in our 20s and starting out. It was a really good little rock and roll band. I see why it caught on.

AP: What inspires your writing?

Petty: I always did really well in English in school. … I like language. I like words. … For the longest time, I think, everything I did I wrote the music, and the words just kind of flowed in at the same time. As time went by, I started to concentrate more and more on the lyric and try to make that better and better.

AP: Your videos are iconic. Did that come from your love of film?

Petty: I probably watch three or four movies a day. … I love film. It wasn’t hard to make something better than everyone else. … I was amazed at just how bad MTV was. … Terrible videos and terrible songs, and most people made them almost all the same. … I thought let’s just get out of the box here and do something different.

AP: What do you think this all means? This album, this life that you have been handed?

Petty: It was a gift I was given and what it means I don’t know. Johnny Cash once told me, he said, “It was a noble job.” And I said, “Really?” And he said, “Well, it makes a lot of people happy.” … It does. It makes a lot of people happy. You can lose sight of that. People come to me and stop me on the street and tell me how some song played some role in their life or how it got them through a hard time or this and that and I just think, “Damn, that’s what it is about.”


On the Net:

Sweet… 4 CDs for only $21!

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The Dude wants to know… Were you ever into britpop?

Did you ever get into the late 90′s britpop thing? I really got into BLUR. I didn’t “get” them until I heard “Song 2″ (which you may know as the one that goes “WOO-HOO! When I feel heavy metal. WOO-HOO! And I”m pins and I’m needles. WOO-HOO!…”) Suddenly it all made sense to me. But I haven’t listened to them in probably 8 years. I link to this 2 CD set popped-up in my Facebook ads and I really enjoyed listening to all the samples. SO many songs I forgot about completely! Songs like “Blue Jeans” “Badhead” and “Strange News from Another Star”. Brilliant stuff. I’m glad I had some distance from it, but I think I’m ready to pick it up again.

If you aren’t familiar with their stuff, listen to samples here.

The Dude really wants to know what you think of it. Does it sound dated to you? Do you dig it?

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New Music

You listening to anything new that you’d like to share with the class?

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