Happy holidays from the Sphere! Here are some updates for you all as we transition into the New Year. (2011... Can you believe it?!?!)
It's unfortunate that 2010 had to go out on such a bummer with the loss of one of our heroes, the legendary Captain Beefheart. Old Don was a great man and a hero to many. From a personal perspective, I had just pulled out Trout Mask Replica for the first time in a couple of years and was listening to it when I heard the news of his passing. The combination of the ethereal sounds found on Mask and the emotional severity of the news made for a very spiritual experience for me. If you have yet to hear Trout Mask Replica for yourself, some kind soul has posted the entire album on YouTube. Though it's not an easy record to get into by any means, it's a one-of-a-kind statement that really rewards you when it finally clicks.
We are also working hard to get L.A. Gemstones: The Rock Box out as soon as possible. At the present time, sources are being compared and evaluated in order to attain the best possible sound quality. Rather than rush things and turn out something that we feel is sub-standard just to meet an arbitrary Christmas deadline, we want to make sure that the product is uniformly excellent before unleashing it. Trust me, the results should speak for themselves.
The other major project this winter has been the long awaited SMiLE box set. Currently this is about 80% complete, and should be done by March of 2011. This will be nothing less than the most complete assemblage of SMiLE sessions, acetates, mixes, remixes, concerts and outtakes ever compiled. While other large scale compilations have circulated (Big Bag of Vegetables, Project SMiLE and the mysterious "12 CD Box Set") the Crystal Sphere set should blow all of these away in terms of sound quality, historical accuracy (session dates, etc.) and overall completeness.
In between these two major projects, I also have some special soundboard audio recordings from the legendary Hollywood Bowl by artists such as the Seeds, the Animals, the Buffalo Springfield, Tommy James & the Shondells, Brenda Holloway, Hearts & Flowers, the Yellow Payges, the Rascals, Merle Haggard, Nat "King" Cole, Glen Campbell, Nancy Wilson and more. The historical importance of these shows cannot be overstated. They were literally rescued from a garbage can and lovingly restored, warts and all. A true time capsule in other words.
Finally, we'd like to officially endorse a new blog you may not have had a chance to check out yet. Classic Studio Sessions is a site devoted to just that-- the legendary sessions that produced some of your favorite tracks. They've just posted their first entry on a Wrecking Crew session for Sonny & Cher, and you will not believe the amount of information they were able to uncover using both photographs of the session as well as a first hand interview with legendary guitarist and arranger Don Peake!
Well anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print. I ran into a little trouble with SendSpace and some of the old stuff on the blog has been deleted, so if you'd like a re-up just drop me a message and I'll try my best to get it up for you. Until next time-- further! ~JP~