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Buddy Holly, Led Zeppelin, Velvet Revolver and The Stones...
11 Jul 2004

What a week! It�s taken us the last 3-4 days to gather material and release information to a jam-packed release schedule. After fussing over what to cover, it became clear that we just utilize the news ticker to spoon feed some of the pertinent info and profile a stand-out title here. We�ll let our reviewers fill in the rest.

Prism Records has assembled what could be the title of the year and they�ve chosen a high-profile project for it�s inaugural release! A superbly crafted and thought out Buddy Holly collection, �The Music Never Died: A Rock And Roll Revelation�. The artist is as important to Rock And Roll as anyone�and what has been packaged for us here is nothing short of amazing.

�The Music Never Died� is a 41 track CD with a special bonus DVD that includes some extremely rare Holly TV appearances. It all comes housed in a special DVD clamshell and slipcase cover, worthy of such a superb collection�special bonus poster...and a 36-page booklet that has to be seen to be believed. Exhaustive information about each of the tracks on the disc(s) with black and white unpublished photos. Breathtaking and incredible are words that come to mind. To paraphrase from the opening paragraph in the booklet� �the usual hum-drum biographical introductions should be forsaken�� �you are already familiar with the standard information about his career and are obviously seeking something special this time around. What you are about to discover by way of this collection, however, transcends anything that might meet the criterion of �special�.�

Those statements set the stage and have a greater impact while looking at this material first-hand�.I assure you. To gain a perspective on what this release brings to Buddy Holly fans and rock & roll collectors, let�s again extract a couple of facts pointed out in Prism�s accompanying booklet. The only product that assembled anything close to what �The Music Never Died� was Vigotone�s 1995 �What You�ve Been Missing�. This was a 4-disc, 143 track compilation that essentially brought all of the previously known Buddy Holly performances, promos, interviews, etc. together in one collection. Out of the entire 143 tracks, there was only one �new� piece for collector�s. This was the Pat Barton interview from January 31st, 1958 and it had never been available or aired in it�s entirety. So, in essence only a portion of 1 track in 143 was something new! Granted, there is much value for having all known gems of any performer compiled in a nice tidy package. But as collector�s we always want something new and special for our collections. Here it is�

�a �convergence of almost seventy-five minutes of indisputably new audio and video related to the man himself, the vast majority of which has positively never been available before�even to the most elite of collectors.� And� �What makes this compilation even more compelling is the fact that several key items found herein were not even know to exist prior to the late 1990�s!�

For example, included here for the first time ever to collector�s is the infamous �Decca Records Phone Call�. This is a superbly recorded phone call of Buddy Holly talking with the head of Decca Records about his contract not being renewed and if he could get the tapes from an unused session he had recorded recently. It is a brutal example of how cold the industry is and we hear a very disappointed and even desperate, but polite, Buddy Holly finally thank him and hang up. This is real shit folks!

I need not say more. You will hear more about it, without question. A full review to be posted this week as we are still waiting on a copy of the DVD for this set.

In other news, the Japanese Tarantura Label is back at their old tricks for Zeppelin collectors. Over the weekend the particulars have been revealed, regarding 3 different versions of Delirium Treatment (Tarantura TCD-YUZUKI-4-1~3) to go on sale July 17th. This is another release featuring the excellent audience recording from Los Angeles Forum on June 25th, 1977. The sixth night of their �77 stand in LA. Tarantara has issued a Jimmy Page Cover (150 copies), John Bonham Cover(50 copies) and paper sleeve promo version (60 copies). (With a Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Peter Grant cover to be released later in the year?) How ridiculous is this?�but we digress, and we�ve been through this exercise before. The early word on this title though, is that it is quite excellent and worthwhile�if you can find one! Word also has it that this title sold out upon pre-order, which always happens as dealers snap them up and subsequently put them back up for resale. Patience is key but not always satisfying....other Zeppelin releases include 2 "Scorpio Rising" Titles from the Akashic Label. These seem to be expensive re-releases of the Scorpio titles, "Studio Daze" & "Jennings Farm Blues"....The Akashic versions are "The Studio Masters" & "The Bootleg Masters".....have you got that Straight?....Right.

Another Japanese DVD Label, Project One, has a good-looking Velvet Revolver title scheduled for July. Simply titled �Kansas 2004�, it features the band performing at Memorial Hall in Kansas City on May 14th. No indicator whether this is an audience or pro-shot production. We�ll tell you more as we go.

I had a chance to view the relatively new Rolling Stones L.A. Blues DVD from Ganja this weekend. Finally!�a decent release of the pro-shot 7/11/75 tape has emerged! This is quite enjoyable and all Stones fans should seek this version out. That can also be said for the Jointrip Hampton 1981 Extended version 2DVDR. (Hampton 1981 comes in 2 versions: Extended 5. 1 Dolby Surround or in True 24-bit Stereo.) The best and a must-have. Jointrip & D-Stone are both Japanese DVD-R Stones related labels. They provide the best titles and should be a staple in any true Stones collection. Now, if I could only track down a copy of the recent Jointrip release, Mick Jagger At Webster Hall 1993! The appetite becomes insatiable.

OK. That�s it for now. I�ve got to post some reviews! Plenty of titles plowed through over the weekend and look for reviews by The Faces, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Queen, Dream Theater, and on�and on� and on we go! Have a great week!

July 11th, 2004