Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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

Compilation (various artist)

And... without further ado... I believe this is what many of you fine folks have been waiting for. The Rock Box is finally here! As promised, 150 of the best tracks out of Los Angeles and SoCal from 1964-69. The entire L.A. rock music scene on five discs, sequenced in exacting chronological order so that you can see for yourself just how fast music was progressing during this halcyon era: from Johnny Rivers to CSN in under 5 years! Dance with go-go girls at the Whisky; check out The Byrds at Ciro's; hang out in the garage; get in a riot outside Pandora's Box; drop some acid at the first Griffith's Park love-in; hitch a ride up to Monterey for the Pop Festival; get hassled by the pigs; swim naked in Peter Tork's pool, and then go ride horses in Topanga when it all gets too heavy, man. The music will take you there.

We'd also like to take the opportunity to introduce our new L.A. Gemstones Blog. From now on, all L.A. in the sixties' content will be centered over there. I will be writing liners for both Gemstones sets (the notes for discs one and two are already up there-- go read 'em!), compiling a ton of great YouTube content and rare photos, and trying to get discussions going on all things L.A... We hope to have some very special guest contributors lined up soon as well.

Anyway, I'll save the long-winded comments for the new blog. Enjoy the set!

Also still available-- L.A. Gemstones: The Pop Box

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Rock Box cometh...

Well the day some of you have been waiting for is finally almost at hand. Through a Vast Crystal Sphere's new five CD L.A. Gemstones: The Rock Box has officially been compiled, tagged and quality controlled. All that's left is the artwork, which should be arriving here any day from now, and then we will post the entire set immediately. We understand that this has been a long, drawn-out process and specifically wanted to assure you that the additional delays were made in the service of tracking down rare, out-of-print titles and cleaner source material, so that sound-wise this collection would rise to the same standard set by last year's L.A. Gemstones: The Pop Box.

The Rock Box includes 150 of the very best songs from Los Angeles and Southern California, beginning with Johnny River's 1964 hit "Midnight Special" and closing with the Cascades' uplifting 1969 sutra "Indian River". In between you'll encounter all the top show bands, instrumental virtuosos, folk- and garage-rockers, chart superstars, mind-bending practitioners of psych, and the many talented blues- and country-rock acts that defined what it was to live in SoCal during that magical era.

We hope that you'll be as stoked as we are!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Goffin/ King demos surface!

Pretty self-explanatory, no? We can never get enough of Carole over here at the Sphere, and so of course we were stoked to see not one but two more unreleased Goffin/ King demos pop up on the YouTubes!

In keeping with the theme of our lauded Phases set, we will present the demo version of each, followed by a more recognized commercially released one. Enjoy!


- Interesting to hear Carole use the word "girl" in both songs. We can clearly deduce that these were only meant to be demos by this fact alone.

- I'm guessing Phil Spector didn't really do all that much to garner his co-compositional credit on "Just Once in My Life". The song already sounds fully formed at this early stage.

- Not to give the short shift to Gary Goffin here, but Carole always wrote the melodies and Gary was just a wordsmith, right?

- Also, how sad that Carole never got the chance to record an album of her own prior to The City. Even something along the lines of those quasi-legit first Nilsson or Jimmy Webb albums would be a revelation to hear today.

- Sorry for the drastic volume dip in that Turtles clip. It was the only version of that song on YouTube.