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John Holt : 1947-2014

Holt was born in Kingston in 1947. By the age of twelve, he was a regular entrant in talent contests run at Jamaican theatres by Vere Johns.

He recorded his first single in 1963 with “I Cried a Tear” for record producer Leslie Kong, and also recorded duets with Alton Ellis.

He achieved prominence in his home country as lead singer of The Paragons and they cut a succession of singles for Duke Reid at his Treasure Isle Studio and enjoyed a string of hits, including “Ali Baba”, “Tonight”, “I See Your Face”, and the Holt penned “The Tide Is High” (later made famous by Blondie and also covered by Atomic Kitten). “Wear You to the Ball” was another of his hits with The Paragons, and hit the charts again when U-Roy added a Deejay verse to it.

During his time with the Paragons, he also recorded solo material for Studio One (including “Fancy Make-up”, “A Love I Can Feel”, “Let’s Build Our Dreams” and “OK Fred”) and Prince Buster (“Oh Girl”, and “My Heart Is Gone”).

Holt left the Paragons in 1970 and concentrated on his solo career. By the early 1970s, he was one of the biggest stars of reggae, and his “Stick By Me” was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972, one of a number of records recorded with producer Bunny Lee.

His 1973 album, Time Is The Master, was successful, with orchestral arrangements recorded in London. The success of the string-laden reggae led to Trojan Records issuing a series of similarly arranged albums produced by Bunny Lee starting with the 1,000 Volts of Holt in 1973, a compilation of Holt’s reggae cover versions of popular hits (and later followed by similarly named releases up to 3,000 Volts of Holt).

1,000 Volts spawned the UK Top 10 hit “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (written by Kris Kristofferson), which peaked at number 6, and included covers of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and “Touch Me in the Morning” by Diana Ross.

Holt’s style, notably slower and more romantic than most of his contemporaries, is a recognisable forerunner of the lovers rock sub-genre.

His song, “Man Next Door”, has been covered by numerous other reggae artists including Dennis Brown, UB40 and Horace Andy. The latter sang in a more electronic vein for the Massive Attack album, Mezzanine.

Holt died on 19 October 2014 in a London hospital.

The beautifully designed artwork; the crinkle of the dust jacket; the creak of the needle; the crackle of the opening chords. Vinyl records are back in fashion and going through an unexpected boom. SAM BLACKLEDGE finds out why Plymouth’s music lovers are getting back in the groove.

FOR more than a century music has been shrinking. Wind-up gramophones gave way to record players, CDs became minidiscs, and eventually the tunes in our ears were digital, coming from a place we could no longer see or touch. Whether you like them or not, services like iTunes and Spotify have arguably done more to transform the record industry than anything before. But just when we were wondering what the next development might be – the new U2 album piped directly into our subconscious, perhaps – the past is back. And it means business.

Read the rest of the article from the Plymouth Herald here

UK vinyl sales set to crack the million mark for the first time since 1996

The wax resurgence is showing little sign of slowing down.

Vinyl sales in the UK this year have already surpassed the total number sold in 2013, and now good signs for vinyl enthusiasts are continuing, with UK sales figures for 2014 now set to exceed the one million mark for the first time since 1996.

Read the rest of the article here

The Led Zeppelin IV deluxe editions include unreleased versions of every song heard on the original album including alternate mixes of “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Four Sticks, ” mixes of “The Battle Of Evermore” and “Going To California” heavy with guitar and mandolin, and the fabled, alternate version “Stairway To Heaven, ” mixed at the Sunset Sound Studio in Los Angeles which lets fans hear one of the most revered songs of all time as they have never heard it before.

Led Zeppelin continues to be honored for its pivotal role in music history. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and a year later was awarded with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm.

Founding members Jones, Page and Plant – along with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham – took the stage at London’s O2 Arena in 2007 to headline a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend and Atlantic Records’ founder.

The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012.

In January of 2014, the band won their first ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album.

Pre-Order HERE

Announced in September, 2013, ROCK OR BUST is the new and highly anticipated studio album from AC/DC will be released in the US on December 2nd, 2014. This is the first album of new AC/DC material since 2008s multi platinum ‘Black Ice’.

The first single from ROCK OR BUST is “Play Ball”, which will impact radio formats October 7th. “Play Ball” is also currently being featured as part of Turner Sports’ 2014 Major League Baseball Postseason campaign.

ROCK OR BUST is available on CD and LP that features very special multi dimensional moving cover art, which gives the illusion of the band s iconic logo exploding as the package is moved in different directions. There will also be a standard package version of the CD available.

This title will be released on December 2, 2014.

zoo‘It’s all happening at the Zoo’ sang Simon & Garfunkel in 1967
…especially when the Zoo in question is a Rock ‘N Roll one.

We’ve worked with illustrator Tracy Worrall on our latest series of prints, creating 77 fantastical animals inspired by song titles.

Our slightly weird but very wonderful Rock ‘N Roll Zoo is home to animals large and small including;

Elephant Stone (The Stone Roses),

Eye Of the Tiger (Survivor),

Monkey Gone To Heaven (Pixies),

Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles),

Diamond Dogs (David Bowie),

Little Red Rooster (The Rolling Stones) and

Beetlebum (Blur).



Available as an open edition print for £20 and a choice of 4 types of 12″ ‘box sets’ for £30 plus P&P.

Shop the new range here >

Pixies’ ‘Doolittle’ getting reissued

As part of the album’s 25th anniversary, Pixes will release the B-sides, Peel Sessions and demos from Doolittle onto vinyl, for the first time. The vinyl release is on double black vinyl and as far as I can tell, doesn’t include the actual album (strange choice, yes?). The records are packaged in a gatefold jacket, while a download card does include the LP tracks, plus four additional bonus ones.

You can see the vinyl tracklisting below. The reissue will be released on December 1st/2nd.

Doolittle – B-Sides
‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ B-Sides
A1. Manta Ray (2.40)
A2. Weird At My School (1.58)
A3. Dancing The Manta Ray (2.14)
‘Here Comes Your Man’ B-Sides
A4. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) (3.02)
A5. Into The White (4.43)
A6. Bailey’s Walk (2.24)

Doolittle – Peel Sessions
Peel Session Recorded 18th October 1988
B1. Dead (3.18)
B2. Tame (1.58) *
B3. There Goes My Gun (2.18)
B4. Manta Ray (1.49)
Peel Session Recorded 2nd May 1989
B5. Into The White (4.11) *
B6. Wave of Mutilation (2.31)
B7. Down To The Well (2.14)

Doolittle – Demos
C1. Debaser (3.00)
C2. Tame (2.10) *
C3. Wave of Mutilation (First Demo) (2.04) *
C4. I Bleed (1.46) *
C5. Here Comes Your Man (1986 Demo) (3.07) *
C6. Dead (1.35) *
C7. Monkey Gone To Heaven (2.52) *
C8. Mr. Grieves (1.42) *
C9. Crackity Jones (1.21) *

Doolittle – Demos
D1. La La Love You (2.08) *
D2. No. 13 Baby – VIVA LA LOMA RICA (First Demo) (2.17) *
D3. There Goes My Gun (1.29) *
D4. Hey (First Demo) (3.22) *
D5. Silver (2.11) *
D6. Gouge Away (1.42) *
D7. My Manta Ray Is All Right (2.30) *
D8. Santo (2.17) *
D9. Weird At My School (First Demo) (1.53) *

Source: Modern Vinyl

Offspring’s ‘Americana’ coming to vinyl again

Americana, the 1998 full length album from The Offspring, is coming to vinyl for the first time since 1998. The pressing is coming through Org Music and indie stores will have an exclusive 180-Gram red color. This release is part of the Department Of Record Stores’ “Vinyl Club” series. You can pre-order at Bull Moose, here.

The colored pressing will be released on February 24th. Black copies will arrive for wide release on March 24th.

Source: Modern Vinyl

Soundtrack for ‘The Knick’ up for pre-order

Over at Milan Records, you can now pick up the 2xLP set for The Knick, the TV show by Steven Soderbergh that features a score from the great Cliff Martinez (Drive, Spring Breakers, Only God Forgives). They don’t list any pressing details, but there is some exclusive art, which you can check out above and below.

The pressing will be released on December 23rd.

Source: Modern Vinyl

History of the Eagles, the iconic band’s acclaimed documentary, is now available on Netflix.

The Emmy Award-winning film features rare archival material, concert footage, and never-before seen home movies that explore the evolution and enduring popularity of one of the world’s biggest-selling and culturally significant American bands.

History of the Eagles made its television broadcast debut on Showtime last year, earning the network its highest ratings for a music documentary in eight years. Its subsequent 3-disc DVD/Blu-ray release became the best-selling music documentary of 2013 and was certified Platinum in the U.S. & Australia; Diamond in Canada; and Gold in UK, France and New Zealand. It charted Top 5 in 13 countries, of which 11 were #1 (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, UK & USA).

Part One premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 and the Sundance London Film And Music Festival in April 2013 to great acclaim, dedicating two hours to the chronicling of the band’s creation and rise to fame in the 1970’s through its breakup in 1980.

More than 25 new and exclusive interviews were conducted with all current band members — Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit – as well as former members Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder. Also featured are new and exclusive interviews with Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, Irving Azoff and many other seminal artists and band contemporaries who have been closely involved with the Eagles’ history.

Part Two reveals the personal and professional struggles members faced while the band was apart, and chronicles the group’s dramatic reunion in 1994, as well as its resurgence in recording and performing throughout the next two decades. Among the band’s many achievements since reforming are its triumphant Hell Freezes Over tour, the 2007 release of Long Road Out of Eden (which sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide and earned two GRAMMY® Awards), and its ongoing ascendance as an international supergroup.

Directed by Alison Ellwood and produced by Alex Gibney, History of the Eagles was created with a select crew of filmmakers including: Blair Foster, Executive Producer; Alison Ellwood and Ben Sozanski, Editors; Karim Karmi, Co-Producer; and Erin Edeiken, Line Producer.

Source: VVN


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