Monday, February 25, 2013

Crash Course on Neil Young's album Time Fades Away!

Neil Young’s live album Time Fades Away was recorded during his 1973 tour which followed the release of his smash hit album Harvest. This is not your typical live album, consisting of all previously unreleased tracks. While none of these songs achieved the same mainstream success as Harvest, you may be familiar with a few including the title track Time Fades Away and Journey Through the Past.
Neil was set to tour with The Stray Gators, the band that he recorded Harvest with, but felt they could use one more guitar player. Neil called his friend Danny Whitten who was the guitar player in Crazy Horse. Danny accepted the offer and went to Young’s home for rehearsals. Unfortunately Danny was so messed up on heroin that he couldn’t keep up with the band and kept forgetting his parts. Neil decided that he had to fire Danny and sent him home buying him a plane ticket and giving him a small amount of cash. Sadly Danny overdosed that same night and died.

This tragic loss weighed heavily on Neil and as a result he was an emotional mess during this tour. This album is noticeably darker sounding than Harvest and his depression and attitude is evident throughout. Fans were not always happy seeing this tour as they were expecting Neil to play the same style music he played on Harvest. As is typical with Neil Young, he does not cater to people’s expectations but this was not as widely known in 1973.

The fans were not the only people not satisfied, Stray Gators drummer Kenny Buttrey wasn’t able to handle Neil’s emotional mess resulting in him leaving the tour early. He was replaced by drummer Johnny Barbata who was the former drummer of The Turtles, CSNY and Jefferson Airplane. None of Kenny Buttrey’s recordings made it on Time Fades Away. Although the remainder of the Stray Gators continued on the tour, there was constant tension throughout the band adding to the darker feel of these performances.

Being a difficult time in Neil’s life, he has never been happy with this album. Because of this, he still refuses to rerelease the album and it has yet to be put out on CD. This of course makes the original vinyl more collectible. If you come across this album in your vinyl hunts it is definitely worth checking out. It is a completely unique sound compared to any of Neil’s other releases. It’s interesting to hear the emotions of all the musicians through their playing on this tour. It really paints a picture of what Neil and the Stray Gators were feeling at this point in their lives.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Beatles & The Capitol of Canada "6000" Series - by Keltie Harding

The Beatles & The Capitol of Canada " 6000" Series

by Keltie Harding.

photo courstesy of

February 18, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Beatles single in Canada!!!! "Love Me Do" & "P.S. I Love You" were released February 18, 1963 in Canada by the Canadian division of Capitol Records. For years I  thought that Capitol of Canada was the first North American company to issue a Beatles recording (not counting "My Bonnie" from the Tony Sheridan sessions) but recently discovered that US company Vee-Jay was the first, releasing "Please Please Me" & "Ask Me Why" on Feb. 7, 1963.  Still, Capitol of Canada was the first to release "Love Me Do". (How's that for bragging rights!!)

Paul White was an A&R staffer at Capitol of Canada and was responsible for setting up the "6000 series" division, which focused on Canadian pressings of UK EMI music and foreign releases, as well as homegrown Canadian talent.  (The first 6000 series LP was Capitol T-6000,  "The Unforgettable" by UK jazz musician Freddy Gardner.)  The Capitol 6000 series issued a LOT of  EMI UK acts in the 60's in (mostly) unique LP compilations, in addition to Canadian rock acts such as The Esquires and Jack London & The Sparrows (pre-Steppenwolf). Capitol of Canada was the only North American label to release Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" in its original UK form. (The US version was titled "Pink Floyd" and had an altered track listing).  In the 1970's & 1980's, the 6000 series focused on more Canadian acts (Edward Bear, Anne Murray, Prism, Streetheart) and largely steered away from imported acts. Capitol of Canada issued its last 6000 series LP in 1989.  True, lots of good music was put out by Capitol on the 6000 series after the 60's, but its the 60's issues of British acts like The Beatles, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five and The Yardbirds (amongst many others) that has cemented the reputation of this particular release series.

As we all know the original first UK issue of "Love Me Do" contained the Sept. 4 1962 (Ringo) version.  The song was re-cut Sept. 11, 1962 with Andy White on drums.  EMI & George Martin decided early on after the first batch of pressings that White's version was superior to Ringo's, and that all further issues were to be pressed with White's version.  To ensure this, the 1/4" mono master for Ringo's version of "Love Me Do" was destroyed and the original 2-track multitrack erased to be re-used at Abbey Road.  (The 1/4" master for "P.S. I Love You" was not destroyed and still resides in the EMI archives.)  Note that Vee-Jay released this pairing in 1964 on the Tollie label, T-9008, but used the Andy White version.  The "Ringo" Love Me Do was never released in the US until its inclusion on the 1980 LP "The Beatles Rarities".

In early 1963 White was sent a factory sample copy of "Love Me Do" by EMI in England.  White liked what he had heard and decided to release the single in Canada. In order to issue "Love Me Do", White used the UK Parlophone factory copy as his source. He took the 45 to RCA Victor Studios in Toronto to get it dubbed directly to a new master disc.  According to the Capitol 6000 website, Capitol of Canada commonly used original UK and US vinyl singles as thier source material for Canadian pressed singles, and had the sources transferred directly to a new lacquer master disc. So if you have a single pressed on Capitol of Canada from the 50's and early 60's, there may be a possibility that your Canadian pressing is a needledrop of an original US or UK single. 

Its not known how many copies of the Canadian "Love Me Do" were originally pressed.  The website both state 170 copies and 1000 copies in different sections of its website. The website does confirm that the single didn't make much noise on the Canadian scene. Still, Paul White knew there was something special about this group.  After the Beatles made it big in the US, Capitol of Canada re-pressed "Love Me Do" (still, with Ringo's version) well into 1967. 

When "Please Please Me" became a smash in the UK, Paul White took notice and decided to release that single in Canada.  "Please Please Me" & "Ask Me Why" was released in Canada on  April 1, 1963 and again, the Canadian pressing was dubbed directly from a UK Parlophone single. 

White and Capitol released the next two Beatles UK singles "From Me To You" / "Thank You Girl" and "She Loves You" / "I'll Get You".  Capitol of Canada were about to give up on the Beatles after "From Me To You" but Paul White persisted and "She Loves You" eventually became a top 5 hit in Canada.  Successful enough for White to secure the Canadian rights to release the Beatles' newest album "With The Beatles".  The sleeve was altered slightly from the UK design and the Canadian version was issued as "Beatlemania! With The Beatles" (Capitol T-6051).  Unlike the past issues, this was the first Canadian Beatles record to be cut from dubs of the UK master tapes.  The album (as were most of Capitol of Canada's "pop" LP's) was originally released in Mono only.

Canadians felt the Beatlemania bug well before the US ever picked up on it.  And Capitol of Canada released another single to further boost The Beatles into the Canadian spotlight.  "Roll Over Beethoven" / "Please Mister Postman" was released in December 1963 as promotion for the "Beatlemania! "LP.  The British invasion sound was starting to infiltrate Canada and one of Canada's top acts "Chad Allan & The Reflections" (later renamed The Guess Who") were incorporating the harder UK "beat" sound into their "Shadows" influenced sound.  (The Shadows were also successful UK recording artists in their own right, in addition to being Cliff Richards' backing band.)

What I don't understand is why "I Want To Hold Your Hand" & "This Boy" was not released in Canada right away.  According to the Capitol 6000 website, IWTHYH was released Jan. 11, 1964 in Canada, yet was released almost 2 weeks earlier (Dec. 26, 1963) in the US. (From here on in, any US singles that Capitol of Canada released, they used US supplied masters and pressing plates.)

Capitol Of Canada released their second LP "Twist And Shout" (Capitol T-6054) in February 1964.  This LP was basically 12 cuts from the UK "Please Please Me" LP with "She Loves You" and the Andy White version of "Love Me Do" added.  The LP was a huge seller and was kept in print until the late 1980's!! The next "Canadian" Beatles LP was the great "Long Tall Sally" compilation (Capitol T-6063).  It used, for some odd reason, the same basic artwork as the US "The Beatles' Second Album".  It gathered 12 songs from recent singles, a few re-issued tracks from the "Beatlemania!" LP and was very strong compilation of rockers with a couple of ballads. 

Shortly after the release of "Long Tall Sally", Capitol of Canada began issuing the US compiled Beatles' LP's, using US supplied master tapes and pressing plates.  This became the norm for Capitol of Canada.  The first US-compiled LP that Capitol of Canada released was "Something New".

The Beatles' first US albums "Meet The Beatles" & "The Beatles' Second Album" did NOT see an initial Canadian issue in 1964.  (I did not know this!)  The first ever "Canadian" pressing of both LP's came in early 1967, in both Mono and Stereo and used the black & rainbow label. As Mono was phased out in the late 60's, these albums were subserviently available in stereo only.  A third Capitol US album, "The Early Beatles" (released in 1965) didn't see its first true (stereo only) Canadian issue until 1968 (Another fact I was not aware of.)  Other Capitol LP's that were available stateside in both Stereo and Mono were only released in Canada in Mono.  It wasn't until after mid-1966 when LP's like "Something New" and  "The Beatles' Story" were issued in Canada as stereo LP's.  However, from "Beatles '65" onwards, Capitol of Canada issued albums in both stereo and mono versions as per the US.

In the US, Capitol Records did not have rights to issue any Beatles recordings pre-"I Want To Hold Your Hand."  Because Capitol USA refused the chance to issue the recordings first, the rights to these tracks were placed with Vee-Jay records (and its subsidiary, Tollie.) Another tiny label, Swan Records held the rights for "She Loves You" & "I'll Get You" until mid 1965. Swan also absorbed the rights to "Sie Liebt Dich" as well.  As Beatlemania became big business, Capitol began to whine and they were in litigation with Vee-Jay over the rights to the early material. Capitol of Canada were safe and could issue the early Beatles recordings without problems from Vee-Jay. Seeing as how Capitol of Canada was their own little entity, Paul White had signed the Beatles to an exclusive Canadian distribution contract. 

The Beatles' Capitol LP's always had ads for other Beatles Capitol LP's on the rear sleeves.  However some of my Canadian pressed Beatles LP's (like "Something New" or "Beatles VI") didn't list "Meet The Beatles" or "The Beatles' Second Album".  Instead, pictures of "Beatlemania!" and "Twist & Shout" were subsitituted.  Now I know why (see above!)  Its amazing the new tidbits of information you learn over the years

Capitol of Canada, in addition to releasing the US Beatles singles, also released thier own unique pairings on 45.  They also released "Sie Liebt Dich" as a single, which, according to the Capitol 6000 website, did not sell well.

In 1966 Capitol of Canada deleted "Beatlemania!" & "Long Tall Sally" from its catalog. "Twist & Shout" remained in print however.   In 1971, for some reason, they decided to bring the 2 deleted LP's back into the catalog. "Beatlemania!" & "Long Tall Sally were again both presented in mono. It wasn't until the late 70's "purple dome" pressing that "Beatlemania! saw a true stereo release. "Twist & Shout" remained in mono & didn't get stereo mixes until the early 1980's "rainbow label" pressing.   "Long Tall Sally"'s stereo pressing was a mish-mash (or "hybrid") of both stereo and mono starting with the "purple dome".  I'm not sure about vinyl issues past 1980, but I do know a Capitol of Canada cassette tape from the mid-late 80's featured all stereo except "I'll Get You" which was mono.

In addition the different label variations of the post-1971 Capitol pressings, each particular pressing reportedly had its own sound. (I'm going by what others have posted on online discussion forums.  I guess the proof is in the listening.)  Reports of the orange label "Twist & Shout" note tinny sound, while the 1978 purple dome pressing (still in mono) sounds rich and fab.  (I know, I own a copy.)  There's also the discussion of "narrow" stereo mixes and "wide" stereo mixes appearing.  When I say "wide" stereo, I am talking about the "vocals in once channel, music in the other channel" stereo mixes with no bleed of the 2 channels at all.  "Narrow" mixes are just that.  The stereo image is somewhat narrowed.  So the vocal channel has a bit of the music and the music channel has a bit of vocal.  I'm assuming that each time the LP's were issued, the tapes were pulled from the vault and re-processed and a new master disc was cut.  This question would be a fine one for the folks at to research and untimately verify. 

One of the oddest re-issues of "Beatlemania" were stereo pressings with side 1 with the wide versions and side 2 having narrow versions. (Could have been a issue where different pressing plates were used.) However, Capitol at one point did something right and pressed a batch of late-70's "Beatlemania!" LP's with BOTH sides in full wide stereo, exactly like the original UK vinyl.  Fans have garnished praise over this particular pressing, claiming the mastering sounds BETTER than the UK stereo pressing.  Again, I happen to be lucky to own a "double wide" pressing and it sounds glorious.  I had no idea what I "had" until many years later when I began reading online audiophiles forums. 

The follwing quote comes from Beatle-ologist Bruce Spizer :

"The first three Beatles LPs issued by Canadian Capitol (6051, 6054, and 6063) were re-issued at least 6 times between the early 1960s and the mid-1980s using the black/rainbow, black/rainbow with brackets around the word Canada on the label perimeter print, red target (early 1970s), orange (mid-1970s)*, purple (late 1970s), and finally a «retro» black/rainbow label (early 1980s). Later re-issues post the mid-1970s used an "ST" prefix to denote stereo."
(* -Note, I saw 2 variations and different pressings both on orange labels listed on eBay.  I made note of this down below. - KH)

Here's a listing of the unique "Canadian Only" LP's and singles Capitol of Canada released: 


"Beatlemania! With The Beatles" (Capitol T-6051, mono.  Later issued in stereo as ST-6051) (Was mono only until the purple label pressings in 1978)

"Twist And Shout" (Capitol T-6054, mono.  Re-issued in mono & (post-1980) in stereo, BOTH as ST-6054. (The switch to the ST prefix took place circa 1975. Two different issues were presed with the solid orange Capitol label, both with different typeset.  The earlier orange labels have the T prefix, but the second (post-1975) issues have the ST prefix, but still played mono. Subsequent pressings (including my late 70's "purple dome" pressing) had the ST prefix but played mono until the early 1980's pressings with the revived "rainbow" label & full stereo.

"Long Tall Sally" (Capitol T-6063, mono.  Later issued in mono and much later, as a mono/stereo hybrid, as ST-6054)

Note: The Capitol 6000 website states that the orange label Capitol issues offered stereo versions of the three 6000 series LP's for the first time.  There were 3 different pressings/generations  of the orange label, according to the site.  But my "purple dome" "Twist And Shout" plays all mono.  Different tapes and plates sent to different pressing plants, who knows.  But this stuff is fascinating!)


Love Me Do / PS I Love You (Capitol 72076)
Please Please Me / Ask Me Why (Capitol 72090)
From Me To You / Thank You Girl (Capitol 72101)
She Loves You / I'll Get You (Capitol 72125)
Roll Over Beethoven / Please Mister Postman (Capitol 72133)
All My Loving / This Boy (Capitol 72144) (A late 1980's stereo re-pressing of this single came in a picture sleeve based on the "With The Beatles" sleeve, but with a new catalog number.)
Twist & Shout / There's A Place (Capitol 72146) (Again, this pairing was re-pressed in the 1980's, in stereo, no doubt brought of of the successful use of "Twist And Shout" in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".  Also released in the US as Tollie 9001). 
Do You want TO Know A Secret / Thank You Girl (Capitol 72159) (This pairing was also issued by Vee-Jay in the US as VJ 587)
Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) / I'll Get You (Capitol 72162)

All subsequent Capitol 45 RPM singles adhered to the US releases.

For a TON of information regarding the Beatles and Capitol Records of Canada, go to  A lot of my info for this article was sourced from that site.  I also used Wikipedia and the Steve Hoffman Music forums ( as reference material.  A thanks goes to those sites and its authors.  I just took the info and presented it here for you.

I grew up with these 3 Canadian Capitol LP's and still love the flow of the tracks on "Twist And Shout" & "Long Tall Sally".  These LP's are firmly cememted in the hearts and minds of endless Canadian Beatlemaniacs (and others around the world who also own copies!).  Thanks to Paul White of Capitol of Canada for taking a chance on The Beatles 50 years ago and for creating a unique perspective of the UK and Canadian music scenes via the Capitol 6000 series.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sly and the Family Stone's Fresh - revisiting a classic!


I always keep my eyes open for funk albums when I am crate digging. It’s a far stretch from the punk rock, rap rock, classic rock and jazz I often talk about on Maritime Vinyl but it holds its own as one of my favorite genres of music. Besides the obvious catchy rhythm section, the various styles of playing all of the instruments that requires such feeling and talent is incredible and it could only work together as one in a funk band. It always keeps me wanting more.

At the top of many lists of greatest funk bands sits Sly and the Family Stone. Their greatest hits album has had heavy play time on my turntable over the past few years giving me my Sly fix while I’ve been patiently waiting to score more albums. I lucked out recently and found a nice copy of Fresh. Just going by the influence this album has been known to have on so many great artists would gave me enough reason to buy it, but in reality, I would have bought it just for the cover alone.


Fresh was Sly and the Family Stones sixth album. All songs except one (Qué Será, Será ) were written, arranged and produced by Sly Stone himself. Fresh was released after the greatest hits album I own so all of these songs were new to me. Sly was more heavily involved in this album than prior albums doing most of the work himself. This was mainly caused by tension between the band members as well as some new members being introduced.

The main shuffle was in the rhythm section which is of course critical in a funk band. This is the first Sly and the Family Stone album without original bass player Larry Graham playing on the entire album. Larry is credited by some as inventing the slap bass technique on the electric bass. This slap bass technique has become heavily associated with the funk music genre. Larry was replaced in the Family Stone by nineteen year old Rusty Allen during the recording of this album. Rusty plays bass on the songs In Time, Let Me Have it All, and Keep On Dancin while Larry Graham plays bass on Que Sera, Sera and If It Were Left Up To Me. Sly handles the bass on the remainder of the songs. Drummer changes were also frequent in the Family Stone and Fresh was the first album for drummer Andy Newmark. This rhythm section shuffle really worked well for this album and gave it a unique sound opposed to the previous albums.

If You Want Me to Stay was the biggest hit from this album becoming the last Sly and the Family Stone song to ever hit the top 20. Other notable are Frisky and Qué Será, Será (which is the only cover song ever released on an original Sly and the Family Stone album). I'd have a hard time choosing any one track as a favorite, the entire album works so well together. I want it all.



Sadly the new rhythm section is not all that can be attributed with the new sound, some of this would have to do with Sly and The Family Stone being heavily addicted to drugs. While the drugs didn’t yet seem to be affecting their musical ability, it came soon enough as this was the last album that reached this level of success. I guess it’s not my place to say that it was even the drugs that caused their decline, but this sure seemed to be the turning point. Hard to say how productive Sly could have been had he not dabbled in drug. The last time I saw him in the news headlines it was reported that he was homeless and living in a van. Sad.

Fresh is noticeably darker than their greatest hits album that I am used to. After further reading I guess Fresh is considered much more upbeat and brighter than the previous release There’s a Riot Going On. This darker style of funk is a welcome change to me; I’m looking forward to hearing Riot now.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Damned Damned Damned - box set review!

I have always loved punk rock but have to admit that I have never had many punk rock albums. Last year I found the Clash on Broadway box set at Value Village (rare score) and happily picked it up. This was a great place for me to start in my punk collection. As punk fans know, original punk albums from the 70’s tend to get a pretty high price on eBay and at your local record store. It’s expensive to start out by buying punk rock albums when you don’t even know exactly what you’re getting. The Clash box set was a great place to start and narrowed down my vinyl search as I liked some of their music more than others (personally I prefer pre London Calling Clash).


I decided to try the box set approach again. This time I went with new The Damned 4 CD box set. The Damned were part of the first wave of punk rock bands from England, they were part of the first big three with the others being the Sex Pistols and The Clash. While the latter bands tended to become more household names, The Damned need to be appreciated for what they were, one of the founders of punk rock.


This box set is solely based on their debut album, Damned Damned Damned. Besides being The Damned’s debut album, this was the debut album for British punk rock. That’s right, the first punk rock album. Sure the Sex Pistols and The Clash were playing too, and often sharing the same stages with The Damned, but The Damned were the first to release an LP. They were also the first British punk band to release a single. This single was New Rose and is found on this album.


I have to admit, this is the first time I ever played any album by The Damned, and being the first punk rock album I guess I had low expectations. I was expecting raw, lo-fidelity and shitty songs. Boy was I wrong. Whether it be the ripping guitar solos by Brian James, the crazy drum fills by Rat Scabies, the steady bass rhythm of Captain Sensible or the strong rock vocals of Dave Vanian, these guys deserve recognition for being a talented bunch of punks. The songs were great, a little longer than the short punk rock songs that would come from over in the USA, and catchy guitar riffs. I was completely blown away by the quality of this album. There is a good chance that even if you are not familiar with who The Damned are you may recognize the first two singles released from this album: New Rose and Neat Neat Neat.


Included in this box set was the original album; two CD’s of live recordings, b-sides and broadcasts; and an interview/documentary disc. Now sure the live recordings are poor quality but these were taken from cassette tapes in a boom box that were recorded going on 40 years ago. It is what it is and they were definitely a fun listen. I really loved the interview/documentary disc. This gave the full story behind the Damned and this album. It was loaded full of interesting facts including how Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders and even Lemmy from Motorhead were almost members of The Damned. I won’t spoil anymore; this again far exceeded my expectations. I figured this disc was just a throw in for really diehard fans but on the contrary, this was perfect for The Damned newbies like me.


This is hands down the best packaged box set I have ever come across. They really took pride in this and I really felt like I got my monies worth. It was all kept in a nice sturdy box with the albums cover on the front, but the inside was full of goodies.

First it had a booklet containing the story behind The Damned, a lot of this is repetitive to the interview/documentary disc, but it was easier to follow some of it on paper. I read this before I listened to the disc so I found it easy to follow along with the story.


Next was a hard cover book containing all the song lyrics, as well as mini biographies of band members (very mini, one paragraph). My favorite part of this book was pictures at the end showing all the 7” singles and picture sleeves, I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for a few of these.

Next we have a poster of the band on one side that is a copy of the original album release poster. On the backside of the poster is a rock family tree created by Pete Frame. This is my first introduction to these rock family trees. A friend of mine is a big fan of these and has a few books containing most of the trees created by Pete Frame. These are great; really give you an easy to follow history of these bands. I'm going to keep my eyes open for his books.


Also included was this cool little cardboard box containing three The Damned Pins. What a great addition.


Last but not least are the 4 CD’s packaged in attractive cardboard sleeves.


Again, what great packaging. A lot of times these box sets tend to have a few nice things and a bunch of fillers, no fillers here. Everything is this box is quality items. I highly recommend this box set to add to your punk rock collection as it has everything: history, music, and memorabilia.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chrysalis Records!

The record label Chrysalis was created in the late 1960’s by Chris Wright and Terry Ellis in the United Kingdom. Chris and Terry were friends in their early 20’s that previously started a talent agency called Ellis Wright. This agency concentrated on managing bands and booking them at local colleges. Bands that they were managing included some soon to be well known names, including Ten Years After and Jethro Tull.


Chris and Terry wanted to start releasing albums by these bands; therefore, wanted to start their own record label. This of course would cost some serious cash so they struck up a deal with a successful independent record label called Island Records. Basically the deal was that they would license some of their bands to Island for distribution and if these albums were successful, Island in return would create a label for Chris and Terry.


This deal was successful and Chrysalis was born! The name Chrysalis was a play on both their names, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis


The bands Chrysalis had under them, Ten Years After and Jethro Tull, were of course successful and this helped them to sign many more bands. One notable band they signed during this period is one of my personal favorites Procol Harum.


Throughout the early 70’s, Chrysalis released countless great albums and therefore helped create some very successful bands. Later in the 70’s music would change considerably with the introduction of punk rock and new wave music. Chrysalis rolled with the trend and signed some of the most successful bands in these genres including Blondie and Billy Idol (who was in “Generation X).


Now that Chrysalis was growing so quickly they were able to pursue some pretty decent business deals including buying a small record label called Ensign. This brought over some more artists including Sinead O’Conner which would be a huge asset to Chrysalis.


So Chrysalis was becoming a very large label. Terry Ellis was running the American side of the business in Los Angeles. Over in the States he was releasing some huge albums by bands like Huey Lewis and the News and Pat Benatar.


Terry was having a hard time releasing all of these albums as they were still only an independent record label. To help solve this problem Chrysalis made a deal with Columbia Records in the USA to distribute their albums.


Around this time I think it is safe to say that Chrysalis grew much larger than being a small independent label. It seems when any business gets to a certain size they tend to take on a life of their own. That seems to be what happened here.


In 1985 Terry Ellis sold his half to Chris Wright. Also in 1985 Chrysalis became a public company by doing a reverse takeover of Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck’s company called Management Agency and Music Plc.I have to admit that when I read that they did a reverse takeover I had no clue what they were talking about. So for those of you like me, this is what I found out. A reverse takeover is basically (at least in this case) when a company buys a public company just so that they can go public. Apparently there is a bunch of bullshit to go through to become a public company, so by buying a company that already is public, they are able to skip all of the BS and become a part of an existing public company. (boring…)


In 1990 Chrysalis sold half of the company to major label EMI and sold the remainder the following year. This is basically the end of the record label Chrysalis. The company still went on but they no longer had the record label portion; therefore, this is where my interest ended.


So that in a nutshell is the story of the record label Chrysalis. Pretty interesting to see how just a couple of guys who were managing some bands formed a small label to release some records, and then it blew up into such a huge business. Now there is more involved in the story of Chrysalis, including some sub labels and many releases by bands considered in the New Romantic genre, but again this is just the story in a nutshell. When I get too deep into the details I lose interest and it just goes in one ear and out the other; however I find the big events that created these labels interesting (which I know us who are interested in this type of thing are few and far between).




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moncton Spring Record Expo - 2013!

Hey! Make sure to mark your calender for the spring record expo in Moncton. I've never left empty handed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Yellow Balloon!

Discovering a classic album is always the highlight of acquiring a record collection. I don’t mean something that you already heard of or an album by a band that you already know and like. I’m talking about that unknown album at the bottom of the pile that you’ve never seen before. You put the needle on and love it, do a little research and realize that once upon a time this album was actually a pretty big deal.

A recent example of this for me is when I found a self titled album called The Yellow Balloon. The Yellow Balloon were a pop rock band in the late 60’s, back when pop rock was actually talented and not like the money grab it has become today (think The Beach Boys, The Monkees, The Turtles, etc..). This album was created around a successful single called The Yellow Balloon. This song was written by producer and songwriter Gary Zekley. He wrote it and started shopping around for a label to release it on. Canterbury records loved the song and agreed to release it. Gary originally recorded the song himself with studio musicians and released it under the group name The Yellow Balloon. This single was getting a considerable amount of play and fans of the songs were excited for the band to release an album and start touring. Unfortunately, there was no Yellow Balloon band. So Gary Zekley decided to create the band himself and produce their record so he could capitalize off the success of his single (so really I guess pop music was a money grab back then too.. ah well, at least the music was better!).


**Fun fact** The yellow Balloon creater/writer/producer Gary Zekley also co-wrote the song “Superman” that was originally recorded by The Clique and later made famous by R.E.M.

During the 60’s and 70’s there was a successful sitcom on television called “My Three Sons”. The actor who played “Robbie Douglas” on this sitcom was Don Grady who was also a drummer  signed to Canterbury records. He was Gary Zekley’s first choice as a band member. Grady filled the other voids in the band with musicians that he knew. So The Yellow Balloon band was created. The band members consisted of:

Alex Valdez – lead singer
Frosty Green – keyboards
Don Braucht – bass
Paul Canella – lead guitar
Don Grady - drums

Gary Zekley went on to right 8 more of the 11 tracks on this album. Two of the other tracks were written by Jill Gibson, former singer of The Mamas & the Papas.
So The Yellow Balloon was a one hit wonder at every sense of the word. Even more so, they were created for one hit song that was already released. The rest of the album seemed to be recorded just to capitalize off the success of this song and give the fans what they wanted. That being said, this album is solid all the way through with not a bad song in the batch.
Found a clip on YouTube of The Yellow Balloon. Enjoy!