The 70s were an incredible period that produced many foundation music recordings. Hamish Champ has captured this explosive decade in a new book, 100 Best Selling Albums of the 70s.
I own 75% of the recordings listed in my collection. It was an exciting era where music sold in tonnage. Artists achieved multi-platinum sales (Platinum = 1 million albums sold). Arena rock became the new concert experience (the reason rock impresario Bill Graham closed his Fillmore East and West venues).
The New Jerusalem, the latest book by Patti Smith – poet, punk legend and author of the bestsellers Just Kids and M Train – is now available for order. A stunning long prose poem in the tradition of St. John and William Blake, The New Jerusalem presents a prophetic vision of art and humanity, faith, and freedom; a vision of escape from the rituals of power and the mechanisms of social control.
Illustrated with color photographs and artwork by Patti Smith, this beautiful hardbound volume is a true collector’s item and will be irresistible to bibliophiles. With an introduction by Rob Riemen exploring the connection between art and spirituality in Patti Smith’s poem and in art more broadly, The New Jerusalem can serve as a reminder of the prophetic power of poetry and a guide to all who need it in these times of resistance.
I find the cover mesmerizing that Lisa colored and Pascal drew. The image is magically alluring and will entice readers to its pages. You can see more of their graphic art here.
Pascal and Lisa are partners who attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City (Class of 2008) and became friends with our son who is a graphics designer. It’s rewarding to see the book they worked on faithfully for nine years reach the publication stage. Pascal and Lisa were successful in securing the trust of Mary Guibert, Jeff Buckley’s mother and guardian of his estate. Mary was very hands-on in the creation of this book, so the authors had access to a terrific source of information about him.
Tiffanie DeBartolo is a novelist, filmmaker, and founder/CEO of independent record label Bright Antenna Records. The home to such artists as The Wombats, Mona, Flagship, Beware of Darkness, Middle Class Rut, Reuben Hollebon, and Cheerleader. Tiffanie authored the text for the Grace graphic novel.
I intend to write more about the book as time progresses and the publicity campaign is unveiled.
Right now I bide my time until there is an autographed hardcover edition sitting on my music library shelf, right Pascal and Lisa 😉
I liked hearing directly from Jorma Kaukonen. His words were very personal and revealing. I came away from the book with a better appreciation of who Jorma Kaukonen really is as a person and a musician. His challenges were shared in an honest fashion. As they say, the truth will set you free.
The album co-produced by Johnny and June Carter Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, features music chosen from Johnny Cash’s handwritten letters, poems, and documents discovered after the deaths of his parents.
The album showcases Rosanne Cash, Johnny Cash’s eldest daughter, who interpreted her Dad’s “The Walking Wounded,” marking just the second time that she has collaborated on a record with her half-brother John Carter Cash.
Filmed by David McClister at Johnny Cash’s childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas (part of the Dyess Colony Heritage Site and Museum).
“Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart,” John Carter Cash said in a statement. “I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted.”
Johnny Cash: Forever Words 1. Forever/I Still Miss Someone – Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
2. To June This Morning – Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves
3. Gold All Over the Ground – Brad Paisley
4. You Never Knew My Mind – Chris Cornell
5. The Captain’s Daughter – Alison Krauss and Union Station
6. Jellico Coal Man – T. Bone Burnett
7. The Walking Wounded – Rosanne Cash
8. Them Double Blues – John Mellencamp
9. Body on Body – Jewel
10. I’ll Still Love You – Elvis Costello
11. June’s Sundown – Carlene Carter
12. He Bore It All – Daily and Vincent
13. Chinky Pin Hill – I’m With Her
14. Goin’, Goin’, Gone – Robert Glasper featuring Ro James, and Anu Sun
15. What Would I Dreamer Do? – The Jayhawks
16. Spirit Rider – Jamey Johnson
Johnny Cash: Forever Words is the musical companion to the best-selling “Forever Words: The Unknown Poems,” a volume of Cash’s unpublished writing edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and curated by John Carter Cash and Steve Berkowitz.
The complete, definitive and never-before-published catalog of Hipgnosis,Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art finally does justice to the work of the most important design collective in music history, which, according to Roddy Bogawa, director of the documentary Taken by Storm (2011), ‘designed half your record collection’.
Founded in 1967 by Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Peter Christopherson, Hipgnosis gained legendary status in graphic design, transforming the look of album art forever and winning five Grammy nominations for package design.
Their revolutionary cover art moved away from the conventional group shots favoured by record companies of the day, resulting in the ground-breaking, often surreal designs which define the albums of many of the biggest names in the history of popular music: 10cc, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Syd Barrett, Throbbing Gristle, T. Rex, Wings, Yes and XTC, to name but a few.
Arranged chronologically, Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art features stunning reproductions of every single Hipgnosis cover – 372 in total – coupled with detailed information by Po and Storm Thorgerson on the artworks and the compelling stories behind their creation. Additional contributions by Peter Gabriel, Marcus Bradbury, and Pentagram’s Harry Pearce provide engrossing insights into the way these incredible artworks came into being; place the covers in a context, and reflect on their enduring impact on album design.
I look back with an awesome sense of wonder how the music in 1968 established my artistic consciousness. In those days I was listening to 12″ vinyl records on a hi-fi phonograph in my room and progressive rock music on a boom-box like radio from WNEW-FM 102.7 in New York City.
If you have any affinity for the Van Morrison sui-generis masterpiece recording Astral Weeks you should read Jon Michaud’s New Yorker article, “The Miracle of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks”. The article will whet your appetite to pursue further discovery surrounding the recording as well as the impact Boston had on Van Morrison’s muse in 1968.
When I think of the Bosstown Sound 1968 I flash on Ultimate Spinach, Beacon Street Union, Earth Opera, and Orpheus. Ryan Walsh expands substantially on the cultural experience Boston provided in 1968. I am elated to learn how the Boston scene proved integral to Van Morrison and Astral Weeks. I have always associated Astral Weeks with the hills of San Francisco. Little did I realize the astral plane was formed elsewhere.
Astral Weeks is one of a handful of LPs that I return to often. There is a special magic to these particular Van Morrison’s songs.
This video from the WNET Channel 13 Public Television Fillmore East broadcast, which I recall watching on my black and white TV complete with tin foil rabbit ears, shows Van getting caught one more time in “Cypress Avenue”. Watch the introduction from the late Bill Graham that captures Van’s essence perfectly why “It’s Too Late To Stop Now”.
One of my favorite music authors is Robert Gordon. He just released his latest book , Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown with Bloomsbury Publishing.
“Robert’s feel for his subject is very similar to the subjects’ feel for their music. Blues, being the wellspring of all American music for over a century, is always worth studying. Robert does it right.” – Keith Richards
Give it a glance. Robert Gordon, a Memphis native citizen has been writing about Memphis music and history for thirty years.
If you plan to be in LA on April 26th, this related event may be of interest to you.