Monday, August 23, 2010

L.A. Gemstones: The Pop Box compilation (5 CDs)

Compilation (various artist)
So here it is as promised: 149 tracks of L.A. Pop goodness spread like Peter Pan Creamy across five Cee Dees. You can read the complete introductory essay posted earlier on this 'ere site: For now I'll just explain why this is such a monster upgrade over the version I originally posted here two years ago.

It all starts with a groovy young lad name of Ian Zamboni who contacted me with an ambitious plan. He dug the set, but made a very valid point that the sound quality just wasn't worthy of the music. 160/192k mp3's might be cool for the typical shit you'd throw on your iPod, but this set was meant to be listened to. Hell, the producers, sound engineers, console designers and studio architects are every bit as important as the musicians in this story! L.A. had the best studios in the entire World back in the sixties, so why present it in such a lossy fashion?

And so began the undertaking to reassemble the set at 320k, and using only the best available mixes. A lot of times this meant tracking down mono single mixes to replace some of those early wide-stereo two track sonic nightmares. Other tracks could only be found on eBay, where we sought out the best existing available quality of long lost singles. A few times it actually involved tracking down the original artist to hit them up for copies.

Anyway what does this have to do with anything? Well it just *sounds better*. Way better. Because let's face it; Ian Zamboni is
the man.

Anyhoo, did I mention no more overlap with Rhino's Where the Action Is? Yes, we removed all the tracks that Rhino put on their wonderful compilation and replaced them with some "new" stuff that we know you're gonna dig., So now you can just power up your CD changer or iPod or WinAmp playlist or Maxell Metal grade cassette tape or whatever the hell you're listening on, and just pile everything in there and ROCK OUT TO THIS GROOVY FUCKING MUSIC.







WHAT THE CRITICS BE SAYIN':
"Unofficial this may be, but I'm thinking this could be reissue of the year for me. The fact there are another five discs of this...and not a single track's overlap with the Rhino L.A. Nuggets box...pretty handily blows my mind."-- This Here Dream Machine (Black Cat Bone)

"good job on the pop box bro."-- Aeroplane (hipinon)

"holy fuck." -- Naturemorte (hipinion)


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | notes

51 comments:

  1. This is by far one of the best comps EVER! However, your link to disc 5 is the same as your link to the notes.

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  2. Beautiful! This set is sounding so good! It's a perfect musical accompaniment to the LA-style heatwave we're enjoying up here in SF right now. Can't wait to hear the revamped Gemstones "Rock" Box when it's ready...

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  3. Thanks to both of you! I'll fix that link pronto.

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  4. simply, wow. there are no words to thank you enough.

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  5. You're very welcome, Dan... Enjoy and watch out for part II, coming late this year!

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  6. fantastic. This sounds great. Thank you so much!

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  7. Truly, a fantastic compilation. It's a constant joy, through and through.

    Still working on that SMiLE compilation, of every tidbit of stuff accumulated? The idea of that still makes my mouth water.

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  8. Wow, thanks. Frankly I'm blown away by the near-unanimous praise I've been getting with this set. I'm very excited to get the Rock Box out to you guys by years end.

    The audio portion of the SMiLE project is 50% complete. It's incredible just how much tape survives from those sessions, and it's been absolutely enthralling listening to and trying to make sense of it all. I'll post an update as I come nearer to completion.

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  9. awesome compilation, thanks!

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  10. This is weird>
    Everytime I've tried to download this, it has come with a 45-60 seconds of blank space at the end of each track. CD 1 is the longest...loading it into my CD burner, it's 20:44 over the 80 minute limit. The other CD's aren't as long, maybe 45 seconds of blank space.
    Anybody else have this problem? Anybody know how to fix this?
    It gets worse...I tried to edit in audacity and it created an abrupt edit at the beginning and it made the tracks play too fast!!?
    This also happened with the GBV comps, like 20 blank space at the end of the tracks, but I've downloaded other stuff that was fine!
    I really want this comp...it's cool beyond belief!

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  11. That is completely random! As best I can guess, it's some sort of incompatibility between the files Ian tagged and your player. I think he was using Foobar 2000?

    I can re-up this stuff on my server with my tags if you like. Sorry I've been out of the mix lately (personal stuff) but leave me a comment here and I will get those files re-hosted for you. Thanks for the heads up.

    Jason

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  12. This is fantastic and your ID tags look perfect to me. Can't wait for the rock box. When's it coming?

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  13. We're shooting for Christmas 2010 for the Rock Box. My intrepid partner Mr. Zamboni has been taking some time off for personal reasons, but I hope that we can reconvene shortly. Believe me, it *will* be worth the wait. Some real goodies have recently been unearthed!

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  14. Any news on the Rock Box???

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  15. Yeah any news on the rock box! I check Zambonis blog every day!

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  16. Inquiring minds wanna know just what is the status of the Rock Box???

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  17. just wanna say thanks for this great comp. and all of the great Who comps and monkees stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Beautiful work, man. I've downloaded vols 2-5, but for some reason vol 1 keeps coming up with an error message or 'file not found.' Am I not doing it right?

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  19. Wow, I have just found your blog, and I love everything I see and hear here. Thanks so much for going to so much effort to keep this music out there. I have one little issue, when I go to d/l the pop box volume 1, Sendspace gives me a "Sorry, the file you requested is not available." error. Is there another way to get these files?

    Thanks again!

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  20. jp, got to add my kudos. this is killer stuff. like several others, tho, i always get the "file not available" message for volume 1. could you please repost? thank you for this and the rock box. superb.

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  21. The Sendspace link for vol. 1 is down. Can you please re-up it? Thanks in advance. Collin

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  22. All the links are down :(

    Cue Vader-style "NoooOoooOoooooOoo!"

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  23. Now that this has been linked to at http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2011/12/07/la-gemstones-compilations-the-rock-boxpop-box-10-discs/ , it would be wonderful if these could be re-upped. Currently vol 5 is available. Thanks in advance!

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  24. Sendspace link is down for all. Can you please re-up it? Great stuff.

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  25. Ian reupped the pop box but the links died in a matter of days ...i missed them :( any chance of getting this? it looks amazing....thanks

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  26. Thanks for the great work. Volume 5 is amazing, though I wish you would re-up the other 4 volumes.

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  27. i'll just second what all are saying here . . . please, any chance of re-upping? thanks soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much

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  28. Just re-upped the whole set. Enjoy everybody!

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm reading Dominic Priore's Riot on Sunset Strip and this is the perfect companion to the book. Matt

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  29. Thanks very much. The perfect companion to Dominic Priore's Riot on Sunset Strip which I'm currently reading

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  30. Thanks for the praises, Matt! Please be sure to check out LA Gemstones: The Rock Box (also to be found on this site) if you enjoyed Dominic's book.

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. You're welcome AnnMargretFan... and enjoy!

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  33. Absolutely wonderful. Puts the "professional" compilers to shame - even allowing for the the fact that you're not exactly limited by, ahem, clearance. Not sure if it's deliberately sequenced, but this works beautifully - and achieves what I guess you set out to do - evoke an era in a definition sufficiently high for the listener to believe that they might just have time-warped back to 1966, and switched on the radio. Congratulations. It worked.

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  34. I just got done listening to this set and am amazed at how many great songs i'm hearing for the first time. This set is amazing. This is how an official set should be done and the sound is superb. Many thanks

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  35. cgm and A-Mfan-- so sorry I didn't find your posts sooner! I've been very neglectful of this blog over the past year.

    Your thanks means a lot to me. Both of these Gemstones sets were a labor of love, and believe me much thought was put into the sequencing.

    Appreciate the comments on the sound quality and the overall enjoyment. I love this music and am so happy to spread the good vibes; "clearance" be damned. 90% of these artists wouldn't see a penny anyway, so better to get it out there and shine light on all these overlooked geniuses.

    JP

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  36. The link to Disc 5 of the Pop Box is down, which is a pity since it is the only one missing in my collection... Is there a chance it could be re-upped? Many thanks in advance!

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  37. Sure, I'll see if I can get that up there for you!

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  38. Yes, please. Gemstones Pop 5 seems to be gone again!

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  39. I live in hope. Checking for a new Part 5 link every day... 8-)

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  40. Brilliant! But #3 & #5 are kaput.

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    1. Hi there; I am trying to find a good method to replenish all these dead links that will keep them online for the long term. If you have any suggestions, please check out my April 2014 post entitled "Moving Forward". Thanks.

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  41. Yes. Brilliant stuff. Fingers crossed that #3 and #5 will re appear

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  42. YEs can u please put 3 & 5 back up? THX

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