Posts Tagged ‘180 gram’

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LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides  –  Lee Hazlewood           2012   180g Record Store Day Special Issue

014Psychedelic Country…You gotta love that shit. Lee Hazlewood’s music is like Lou Reed performing to a Bacharach-scored spaghetti western on acid…and that can’t be bad. Mr. Hazlewood has made a long career and a lot of albums(with femme fatales like Ann Margaret and Nancy Sinatra) full of songs that are so melodic and lush they would make Neil Diamond blush and so bizarrely haunting they could have been on Tom Waits’ mid-career lp’s. This 2 lp compilation, made for this year’s Record Store Day, is full of the fucked up vibes that you feel as though you’re listening to elevator music if you swallowed a fist full of molly just before the doors closed. Side C is where it’s at with No Train To Stockholm (Scandinavian cowboy music?), Won’t You Tell Your Dreams and my favorite, Hey Cowboy in all it’s bizarre-death-dream glory.

The 180 gram double lp collection was remastered and pressed beautifully here. The strings soar and the horns almost seem to drip giving Lee and his bombshells a beautifully strange environment to dance in. And once again, packaging reigns here…the pic speaks for itself. Fuckin’ Lee Hazlewood!

Hey Cowboy

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The amazing (almost)20th anniversary deluxe 4 lp re-master of Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness totally delivers everything it’s 90$ price tag promises and more. The packaging is lush and expansive, coming with a re-creation(albeit much larger) of the original cd lyric book as well as a book of essays about the album and song by song notes by the madman himself, Billy Corgan. Check the amazingly strange and beautiful art-work…remember this was during the height of the so-called “grunge” movement, so a double album with this bizarre psychedelic Victorian art stood out against the “we don’t give a fuck about production…cause our publicist told us not to” attitudes put forth by other big “alternative” bands of the time.

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  The detail is seen in every element, from the labels on each of the eight sides of LP’s to the liner notes and lyric sheets. Love it

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I just cant get enough of the whacked out decoupage art work.

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Still, to me the real reason I plunked down 90 beans is to hear a sonic upgrade on the only fault of the Pumpkins work…the mix. Billy was all about volume(as were many producers at the time) and this caused a muddied mid to upper range on his recordings. Thankfully, they went back in and cleaned up the masters and there is actually some discernible separation in the instruments, even though there is still some high end distortion on some of the noisier, harder tracks.

No matter the packaging, the re-master or even the 180 gram 4 lp vinyl release(thank fuck for that)…the songs are amazing. I remember skipping school(no big news here) to take the train to a record store that was gonna have this a week early, buying it, getting back on the train, heading home, running up the stairs and locking myself in my room for hours. Just listening to it over and over. This was my generation’s White Album or The Wall, even if nobody agreed with me.

Re-listening to this the other night, I was blown away all over again. The excitement came back. Maybe it was the packaging or maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t listened to this album straight through in many years but I was sitting in my room, holding the cover, and sitting there with my eyes closed just like when I was 15 or 16. What is this, the fucking wonder years? Anyway, even the overplayed hits were fresh and amazing…

Even their videos were great, if not some of the best ever…

The amazing thing is that shortly after this, they released a 5 cd set, culling the singles and the 5-6 extra, non-album songs that were on each single. They could have just as easily put out another 15 song cd and made the best triple album of all time(sorry, but Joe’s Garage is technically in 2 parts). On top of that the cd version of this re-release comes with an additional 20 songs that didn’t make the album from the same sessions.  that’s an amazing output for one band in a 6 month period. So now, years later, this still remains my favorite album of the 90’s for many reasons, but one is that if you could only buy one album, this would have you covered(except for hip hop). There is a bit of everything here, yet it is still somehow cohesive. There’s also Billy’s sheer ambition during a time where ambition was frowned upon. He didn’t give a fuck. He knew better than the public and because of that we have this monument to excess and pop song craft and metal and electronic music and gentle ballads and most things in between. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness…even the title…enough to make any Morrissey fan blush.