These recently released Vinyl sets, CD's, DVD's and books are sure to please
THE BEATLES - Stereo Vinyl Remasters (Apple/EMI, $319.00) Beatles fans, dust off your record players. The band's original studio album remasters, which were released on CD and iTunes to much fanfare in 2009 and 2010, made their stereo vinyl debuts on November 13 as part of an elaborate box set. The titles include the band's 12 original U.K. studio albums, as well as the U.S. version of Magical Mystery Tour, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two. The Beatles' first four albums have never been released in North America in stereo on vinyl. Each 180-gram album is available for individual purchase, or fans can own one of 50,000 copies of the box set, which are housed in a retro travel case and include a 252-page book by radio producer Kevin Howlett. There are chapters dedicated for each album, plus rare photos and audiophile-geared details about how the vinyl records were prepared. The Fab Four's catalog of albums -- including those titles not part of the stereo reissue series -- sold a combined 626,000 units in the U.S. the first week they were reissued on CD in 2009, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The biggest seller of the reissue series that week was 1969's Abbey Road, which moved 89,000 copies and debuted at No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. The "Stereo" and "Mono" boxed sets debuted at Nos. 15 and 40, respectively, on the Billboard 200. In 2010, the band's catalog was released on iTunes. That year they sold a total of 1.7 million albums. In 2011: 1.2 million. Year to date 2012: 544,000. * * * * * - Billboard
THE ROLLING STONES - GRRR! (ABKCO/Interscope, $24.16) As a 50th anniversary souvenir, the Stones have assembled a three-disc, 50-track compilation that is the best and most comprehensive collection of the band's high points available. "Doom and Gloom," one of two new songs here, is the Stones at their best -- nasty, funny, sexy and rocking hard. As for the rest, it's impossible to overstate the importance of these songs. The Stones' obsession with American blues and R&B ("Time Is on My Side," "Little Red Rooster") transforms into a sexually charged class critique ("19th Nervous Breakdown"). Finally, the indelible guitar statements, from "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" to "Start Me Up," are inextricable from the very idea of rock & roll. The third disc skims great moments like "Mixed Emotions" from the top of the band's underrated post-1989 material. Is GRRR! perfect? No. But as the band once said: You get what you need. * * * * 1/2 - Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone
AEROSMITH - Music From Another Dimension (Columbia, $10.80) And just like that, Steven Tyler's solo career seems like a strange dream we all had. The Aerosmith reunion album is the first collection of new tunes the bad boys from Boston have managed since 2001. Nobody knows why Aerosmith can't seem to do anything the easy way -- you'd think these five guys could knock out an Aerosmith album in their sleep. (And it wouldn't be the first time they made a record that way.) But that's just part of their long-running mystique as rock & roll's ultimate dysfunctional family. The usual forehead-slapping decisions are here" goopy Eighties production, tired synth horns, a Diane Warren ballad. "Tell Me" aims for the slow-jam style of their Alicia Silverstone years, and "Street Jesus" rewrites "Toys in the Attic." Sometimes it's easy to hear that Tyler and his bandmates aren't on the same page, or the same planet. When he duets with his fellow American Idol alum Carrie Underwood for "Can't Stop Loving You" (rhymes with "because it's all I wanna do"), it sounds like the rest of Aerosmith is off hiding in the next studio. The best thing about Music From Another Dimension is the chance to hear Joe Perry and Brad Whitford play guitar -- always the best thing about any Aerosmith album. "LUV XXX," despite the dippy title, revives the Rocks-style riff glory no other band can replicate. Best song by a mile: "Legendary Child," where they take on their own legacy, looking back musically and emotionally, as Tyler concludes, "We got that golden fleece from tokin' on that pipe 'o peace." * * * - Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
THE ROLLING STONES - Charlie Is My Darling (ABKCO, $71.94) When the Rolling Stones hit Ireland for a two-day tour in September 1965, "Satisfaction" had just spent four weeks atop the American charts and was about to hit Number One in the U.K. That may explain the sustained frenzy of the live scenes in Charlie Is My Darling, Peter Whitehead's document of the tour: The Stones swagger through "The Last Time" with almost punk fury, and Mick Jagger goes so wild during "I'm Alright" that fans rush the stage and tackle the band like wolves. "You're not the same person you are onstage -- you have to be much more egotistical," says Jagger later. Commissioned by manager Andrew Loog Oldham as a screen test (he wanted the Stones to have their own A Hard Day's Night), the original cut ran only 35 minutes. This new version runs just over an hour, and it captures the Stones adjusting to scenes of airport pandemonium and other hassles of newfound fame. But you can sense they have a grander mission than being teen idols: "Kids are looking for a different moral value that was impossible 50 years ago," says Jagger. "A new basis of society could be accepted." The best bits are the intimate moments inside the bubble: In one hotel-room sequence, Mick and Keith duet on an acoustic run-through of "Tell Me," trade lines as they write "Sittin' on a Fence," and harmonize on lighthearted versions of "Eight Days a Week" and "I've Just Seen a Face" -- two partners enjoying an innocent moment, 50 years of success and drama ahead of them. * * * * 1/2 - Patrick Doyle, Rolling Stone
LED ZEPPELIN - Celebration Day (Atlantic/Swan Song, $32.02) In December 2007, at London's O2 Arena, Led Zeppelin shook off the ghost of Eighties reunion misfires and made their first show in 27 years one of the great, redemptive comeback performances of all time. This beautifully filmed document of that night (which coincides with its release as a live album) isn't just mind-blowing, it's heartening. Zep exude lion-in-autumn mastery and interpretive grace in a 16-song set that culls from every corner of their career. Golden-bearded Robert Plant finds fresh meaning in old lyrics, like a jazz or country great (he even makes the Mordor-travelogue "Ramble On" seem deep); Jimmy Page, dressed like a classy wizard, bores into the music, so a left-field pick like the self-lacerating blues "Nobody's Fault but Mine" is as powerful as a slam-dunk like "Whole Lotta Love" and "Black Dog." When drummer Jason Bonham, John's son, caps off an encore blitz through "Rock and Roll" by nailing his father's climactic solo, the other guys look on with a surrogate pride. The bonus DVD includes a full rehearsal and one drop-dead-classic bit of archival footage: an on-the-scene TV report from the 1973 show in Tampa, where Zep broke the Beatles' record for single-concert attendance in the U.S. "[They're] popular with the acid-rock crowd," the Kent Brockman-meets-Ron-Burgundy anchor informs. Zeppelin showed the clip before taking the London stage, as if to say that their classic-rock dominance speaks for itself. The show that followed proved that wasn't just history. * * * * 1/2 - Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone
THE BEATLES - Magical Mystery Tour (Apple Films/EMI, $16.99) "At this point in our history, a lot of what we were doing didn't make sense," Paul McCartney explains in his director's commentary on this restored DVD of the Beatles' largely self-made 1967 movie. The improvisatory, mostly plot-free film -- which focuses on the Fab Four and friends as they take a sightseeing bus ride through the English countryside -- captures the band at its most unguarded and uneven: The surrealist musical sequences, particularly the band lip-syncing "I Am the Walrus" in animal masks and rainbow-hued jackets, are defining psychedelic documents, though much of the absurdist comedy falls flat, even as it foreshadowed Monty Python. But the historical context suppled by McCartney's and Ringo Starr's observations and numerous outtakes make MMT a far more satisfying trip than it was 45 years ago. * * * * - Barry Walters, Rolling Stone
BRUCE - Peter Ames Carlin (Simon & Schuster, $16.18) Bruce Springsteen remains one of rock & roll's mystery men -- there aren't any other stories like this one. It sounds like his soul is entirely exposed in his music, yet nobody understands how he does it. The past decade has been his most prolific period ever, and the man has spent 2012 slaying crowds for nearly four hours a night. He's driven to keep re-earning his legend from scratch, proving it all night every night. He just turned 63. To tell this story, Bruce interviews Springsteen and his circle. Steven Van Zandt mentions that he and Springsteen have never discussed whether "Bobby Jean" is about their relationship; in the middle of the River sessions, Max Weinberg was ordered to take drum lessons. Springsteen is as candid as always, yet the mysteries of his life remain tantalizingly unrevealed. Most rock stars had their lost decade in the Eighties; Springsteen had his in the Nineties, when he dissolved his band and moved to Hollywood, feeling "Bruced out." It was pop culture's most pop-friendly era, yet he sat most of it out. Then he reunited his band, discovered anti-depressants and got back to work. So how did this admitted loner, who spent his formative years in hotels, write such intense songs about relationships? And how did he end up forging one of rock's most enduring marriages? Part of the charm of Bruce is that he doesn't pretend to understand it much better than his fans do. Somehow, he just has to stand back at let it all be. * * * * - Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
MICK JAGGER - Philip Norman (Ecco, $17.49) It's said that everybody is either a Beatles fan or a Stones fan, but Philip Norman has proved that you can move comfortably between the two camps. He has written an important Beatles book (Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation), a deep, affecting biography of John Lennon and a well-regarded Stones chronicle. But with Mick Jagger, he's taken on the most vexing subject of all. Where Lennon poured out his heart in songs and interviews, Jagger is a mystery even to those closest to him. Characteristically, he did not cooperate with Norman, and the result is a book that stands as the most ambitious and comprehensive Jagger biography to date -- but also fails to penetrate the alluring surface of his life. The book is extremely well-researched. In one stunning sequence, Norman reveals FBI involvement in the infamous 1967 drug bust of Jagger and Richards at Keith's home in Sussex, England. "J. Edgar Hoover hated Jagger probably more than any other pop-cultural figure of his generation," one FBI man says. Later, a filmmaker marvels at how much the singer "still loved being Mick Jagger," a concise way of getting at the element of performance in all aspects of his life. Like Bob Dylan, Jagger invented a character at a young age and has been playing it ever since. It's thrilled audiences and confounded girlfriends and wives -- and biographers. Mick Jagger makes a valiant effort to reveal the man behind the mask, but, as usual, the subject keeps dancing free. * * * 1/2 - Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone
Jimi Hendrix's legendary 1969 Woodstock performance
by 1888 Media
London, UK -- In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's birth, for the first time ever, Hendrix fans can see his unforgettable August 1969 Woodstock concert in select cinemas globally.
This special edition theatrical presentation, under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. has been carefully reassembled from the extensive archive of film footage helmed by Academy Award winning director Michael Wadleigh and his hand picked team of skilled camera operators and support personnel under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, LLC, the Hendrix family owned company. What they captured was a Jimi Hendrix performance unlike any other. Jimi premiered a new band and his extraordinary performance on that August morning included unforgettable renditions of such signature Hendrix songs as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," "Fire," "Purple Haze" and "Foxey Lady" as well as his dramatic interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner."
Jimi's fascinating road to the Woodstock festival is revealed by way of never before seen footage and interviews with his band members such as Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, engineer Eddie Kramer and Woodstock's promoter Michael Lang. Directed by Grammy Award winner Bob Smeaton [Beatles Anthology, Band Of Gypsys, Festival Express], the documentary, which precedes the performance footage, reveals the struggle to stage the legendary festival and secure Hendrix as its headline artist.
Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock performance stands as one of the finest ever in rock music history. This presentation features the original 16mm footage digitally restored together with a new 5.1 audio surround mix by legendary engineer Eddie Kramer. Kramer originally recorded the Woodstock festival and also served Jimi Hendrix as his recording engineer throughout his entire career.
Hendrix 70: Live from Woodstock will see a worldwide theatrical release by Omniverse Vision with limited screenings from November 26. Tickets for the theatrical screenings will be available at jimihendrix.com.
Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and CEO of Experience Hendrix: "All of us at Experience Hendrix are thrilled with the fact that 'Live At Woodstock' will be shown in theaters. This film reflects a legendary event in our history as well as a true pinnacle of Jimi's career. We celebrate his 70th birthday as we continue to celebrate his legacy."
Songs performed in original sequence:
"Message To Love"
JIMI HENDRIX - LIVE AT WOODSTOCK
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