Last year, we wrote about the very first US Festival, which took place in 1982, and this year, we’re writing about the very last US Festival, which took place in 1983, so…uh, yeah, it was not necessarily what you’d call the most successful recurring rock festival of all time. Still, when you look back at the lineup, you can certainly understand why Homer Simpson once described it as the one truly great rock festival of his lifetime.
For its sophomore year, the US Festival upped its run from three days to four, providing attendees with a New Wave Day, a Heavy Metal Day, a Rock Day, and a Country Day, and it’s a testimony to the bookers for the festival that, even though New Wave Day kicked off 32 years ago today, there isn’t a single artist who played the main stage on any of the four days that wouldn’t inspire most music fans to say, “Oh, sure, I know them, they sang [INSERT HIT SINGLE HERE].” Well, maybe one. But that’s it, we swear.
49 years ago today, Love reigned supreme at the Whisky A Go Go, as Arthur Lee and the gang headlined the famed Sunset Strip venue for five nights of shows which found a couple of soon-to-be-legendary bands serving as their opening acts.
In 1966, Love was a really big deal in Los Angeles – it would not be an understatement to suggest that they were, for all practical purposes, the face of Elektra Records at the time – so, in turn, it was a really big deal to get the opportunity to open for them, particularly at a venue as high-profile as the Whisky A Go Go. Clearly, all eyes were upon these two young upstart bands who took the stage first, but when your eyes are on The Doors and Buffalo Springfield… Seriously, triple-bills just don’t get much better than that.
Oui! Oui! This year we celebrate the 15th anniversary of AIR's incredible THE VIRGIN SUICIDES album - a newly repackaged version is set to be released on June 15th. This week, we have a setlist from the night in 2010 when they played the album in its entirety and followed up with a greatest hits selection. Lose yourself in their melodies here.
In honor of Wrestlemania’s 1985 debut at Madison Square Garden, here is a playlist of tunes that have no relation to said event. However, they all came out in 1985, so…synergy!
Electronic, Electronic: The term “supergroup” gets thrown around a lot in the world of music, but what other term would be apropos for the teaming of Bernard Sumner of New Order, Johnny Marr of The Smiths, and Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys fame? Yep, that’s what we thought, too, so “supergroup” it is, then!
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Sick of it All, Dragon Power: If you’ve been paying close attention to our past Digital Roundups, then you might’ve noticed that this live EP – originally released as a promotional item in Japan, oddly enough – was supposed to have hit our digital catalog some time back, but for reasons best known to folks well beyond this writer’s pay grade, it didn’t happen…until now. This unique release technically features nine tracks, but five of them are actually two-fers, although two of those two-fers are the same songs, just recorded in different locations. Y’see, the first four tracks were recorded in New York, the next two tracks were recorded in Nagoya, and the final three tracks were recorded in Osaka. Look, just trust us: if you’re a Sick of it All fan, you’ll want it all.
When folks think of Stephen Stills the work with his “supergroup,” Manassas, is left out of the conversation in favor of his more well known and commercially viable recordings (CSNY.)
Manassas is my favorite of Stills’ albums. As a whole this is where he peaked - where it all came together for him. Blues, jazz, latin grooves, folk, rock & roll and country all coexist within the album’s framework -- each with it’s own sub-category: “The Raven,” “The Wilderness,” “Consider,” and “Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay.” Keep in mind that when initially released in 1972, Manassas was a double album - meaning each side of the record had it’s own theme. Stephen Stills' wilderness realized.
If there’s any band that can rival The Grateful Dead when it comes to having diehard followers that are forever champing at the bit to hear live performances from their heroes, it’s got to be Yes. No matter what members may be in the lineup at any given time, there’s always a huge core audience that’s ready to turn up to their concerts and thrill to every last note. As such, if your first reaction when you heard about the new box set Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two was to think, “Geez, what band has the kind of fans who’d get excited about getting seven concerts from the same tour?” then we’re here to tell you that the answer is Yes.
In 1972, Yes was riding high on the success of Close to the Edge, and audiences were coming out in droves to see them reproduce that material in a live setting and, with any luck, they’d get to hear some of the band’s earlier material in the set, too. (They did.) Recently, the members of the band stumbled upon reel-to-reel recordings of seven complete concerts which took place only a short period of time before the shows that made up the live album known as Yessongs, and now that they’ve used the cutting-edge technology of 2015 to make them sound as pristine as possible, we here at Rhino are bringing the recordings to you.