The Dark Side of the Moon, 30th Anniversary Edition
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this classi c, Capitol Records will be re-issuing Pink Floyd's the Dark Side of the Moon on the Super Audio CD (SACD) format. This is much more than an ordinary CD it's actually a Super Audio CD (SACD) that feat ures two disc layers. Dark Side of the Moon, originally released in 1973, is one of those albums that is discovered anew by each generation of rock listeners. This complex, often psychedelic music works very well because Pink Floyd doesn't rush anything; the songs are mainly slow to mid-tempo, with attention paid throughout to musical texture and mood. The sound effects on songs like "On the Run," "Time" and especially "Money" (with sampled sounds of clinking coins and cash registers turned into rhythmic accompaniment) are impressive, especially when we remember that 1973 was before the advent of digital recording techniques. This is probably Pink Floyd's best-known work, and it's an excellent place to start if you're new to the band. --Genevieve Williams
Brand: EMI Music
The classic original Beatles studio albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the Beatles catalogue has seen since its original release. Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
Manufacturer: Mountain Apple Company
Brand: Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel
Iz's breezy Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World medley brought legions of new fans to this 1993 album when it appeared on several TV and film soundtracks years later. His second solo album also features Kuhio Bay; Ka Huila Wai ; his take on Take Me Home, Country Roads , and more! To gauge the magnitude of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's popularity in his native Hawaii, consider this: following his death in 1997 (at age 38, attributed to his profound obesity), Kamakawiwo'ole's body lay in state in the state capitol, only the second person to receive such an honor. Kamakawiwo'ole's appeal lies in his love for prestatehood, precondominium Hawaii and the expressiveness of his gently passionate voice, which can float through higher registers with an ease that brings Johnny Mathis to mind. Several selections ("Ka Pua U'i," "White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i," the sun-kissed "La 'Elima") feature Kamakawiwo'ole in a traditional mood, using only his ukulele to adorn the charm of his native lyricism. Others, such as the Jimmy Buffett-like "Maui Hawaiian Sup'pa Man" add playful contemporary touches that suit Kamakawiwo'ole's style. Most touching are the string-backed laments that open and close the album, "Hawai'i '78 Introduction" and "Hawai'i '78," initially a reflection on his father's death, later on the passing of Hawaii's native culture. Best known is his medley "Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World," which played over the closing credits of the film Meet Joe Black. --Terry Wood
The most monumental of all the Beatles solo projects-and one of the most critically and commercially successful-George Harrison's All Things Must Pass here receives a complete make-over, with a complete new remastering and five new bonus tracks! Also here is a 20-page booklet annotated by George. It's hard to imagine, but Beatles resident mystic George Harrison has arguably become the band's most curmudgeonly cynic. We offer as evidence this splendidly remastered 30th-anniversary edition of his 1970 multidisc solo epic. If the mini-boxed set's booklet and twin inner CD sleeves won't convince you (the album's familiar cover is colorized and altered to include backdrops of a freeway-tangled cityscape and nuclear reactor cooling towers, respectively), then maybe his liner-note apology for Phil Spector's "big production" (kind of like Da Vinci grousing about Mona's crooked smile) or his laconic, stripped-down, 2000 rethink of "My Sweet Lord" will. With such a mindset, it's unsurprising Harrison has allowed a nearly decade-and-a-half gap to grow between recordings. Still, no amount of grumpy auto-revisionism can subtract from the admittedly overwrought majesty of these tracks, which were the logical sonic extension of Abbey Road. It remains Harrison's unequaled masterpiece. The devolved "My Sweet Lord" aside, the bonus tracks here offer new insight: the unreleased "I Live for You" further highlights the album's oft overlooked country facet; spare takes of "Beware of Darkness" and "Let It Down" underscore the strength of Harrison's songwriting; an alternate backing track of "What Is Life" demonstrates the meticulousness of Spector's production. And then there's the project's truly stellar session lineup, which included Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Jim Gordon, Dave Mason, Badfinger, Billy Preston, Ginger Baker, Carl Radle, Gary Brooker, Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Pete Drake and, it turns out, even Phil Collins! --Jerry McCulley
Canadian singer/composer Loreena McKennitt is self-managed, self-produced, and the head of her own internationally successful record label, Quinlan Road. In a recording career spanning nearly two decades, McKennitt's "eclectic Celtic" music has won critical acclaim worldwide and gold, platinum and multi-platinum sales awards in fifteen countries across four continents.
Note:99% of the time playability issues are a result of turbtables lacking a tone arm with adjustments for vertical tracking angle, anti-skating, and counter-weight system -- not a result of the vinyl record. "The French twosome behind Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, get away with an awful lot. They go around impersonating aliens and robots in their interviews, they put records out only once every three years, and they make music that evokes a million other artists--while not really sounding like any of them. The keyboard noodlings of Jean-Michel Jarre are in there somewhere, along with the otherworldly imagery and giant hooks of '70s rock icons like Boston or even Electric Light Orchestra. There are dashes of 1999-era Prince and oodles of new wave and disco cheese, from Harold Faltermeyer and Gary Numan to the Bee Gees, all set off with efficient house beats. So how have they managed to position themselves as electronic music's next great crossover artists? On Discovery, the follow-up to the 1998 worldwide smash Homework, the answer is obvious: they have no shame, and they know how to make us dance. Starting off with the irresistibly hummable "One More Time," the record blows through a head-spinning array of styles and samples, creating a pop-culture stew of funky loops and dance-floor anthems. "Aerodynamic" eschews breakbeats for an Yngwie Malmsteen-ish guitar interlude that somehow ends up meshing in a crazy blend of stomping bass lines and hyped-up harmonics. "Digital Love" starts off silly and gets sillier, but the monosyllabic lyrics lull the senses just right, allowing the song's summery groove to grab hold with authority. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is a resounding standout amidst the retro/Vocoder deluge that transpired after Cher's Believe turned the kitchy disco device into a worldwide pop music trend, spinning a clever groove around an ever-escalating string of computerized seduction. Everywhere on the record, gigantic beats are dropped with pinpoint precision, gi...