This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today in 1960's News

Posted by Andrew R Tonry on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 6:12 PM

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While Bob Dylan is scheduled to play Edgefield next week, word of two albums of demos, plus re-issued mono recordings on vinyl have me more excited. (I like the ideal image I have of Mr. Zimmerman in my head too much to let it be replaced by today's croaky reality.) From the NY Times:

A new entry in Mr. Dylan’s Bootleg Series, “The Witmark Demos” (M. Witmark & Sons was one of his early publishers), will be released by Columbia Records on Oct. 19, Billboard reported. This two-CD release consists of 47 demo recordings that Mr. Dylan made from 1962 to 1964. Among the tracks are early versions of future standards like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” as well as songs that have not been previously released in any version, like “Guess I’m Doing Fine,” “Long Ago, Far Away” and “Ballad for a Friend.” Columbia will also release on Oct. 19 new vinyl versions of Mr. Dylan’s first eight albums, taken from their original mono mixes.

Also from the Old Grey Lady, Jimi Hendrix's studio, Electric Lady, which he used for just one month before passing, has outlasted many of its contemporaries. It just turned 40. The Times produced a little retrospective:

Founded by Jimi Hendrix in 1970, it was an oddity for its time. Instead of following the usual studio model — a big, impersonal box tended by buttoned-down staff engineers — it was a psychedelic lair, with curved walls, groovy multicolored lights and sci-fi erotica murals to aid the creative flow. Hendrix died less than a month after its opening party on Aug. 26, 1970, but he left libraries of tape from his sessions there, and the list of greats who have worked at the studio includes the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin.

...

For many artists Electric Lady has become a home away from home. The door to the upstairs bathroom has a small hole in it, just big enough to run a cable in there for when Keith Richards wants to cut his guitar parts in the most private kind of privacy. For Jimmy Page the personal imprimaturs of Hendrix and Mr. Kramer made all the difference when Led Zeppelin mixed parts of “Houses of the Holy” there in 1972.

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