Deadheads are either elated or screwed on new 60-disc European set
When the Grateful Dead announced the release of "Europe '72: The Complete Recordings," it was like a dream come true. It contains every note of every show of the band’s legendary 1972 European tour, a holy grail for Grateful Dead fans. It will be elaborately packaged and cost $450. And the limited pressing of 7,200 box sets sold out in less than four days.
That's where the trouble begins and success turns to possible failure.
The Dead came up with a compromise. Those who missed out can buy the music only – sans the elaborate box (of which they'd bragged "wait until you see the case in which the music is housed, the hard-bound coffee-table book, plus all of the other cool surprises we've been unearthing!").
But as MSN Entertainment Senior Producer/resident Deadhead Dave McCoy points out, the cost is still $450 – a price-point penalty to those fans who didn’t jump on board from the get-go.
The box itself, which doesn’t even come out till Labor Day, is already fetching four-figures on eBay.
Look, gauging demand for a product is a very hard science. Prince did up a slick, thick coffee-table book of his 21-night stand in London a few years ago, including a disc of live music from those stands, including a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Much as I wanted that disc, I wasn’t going to pay $50 for a vanity project. But I happily scooped it up at Border’s the other day, as dozens of copies sat, sealed, in the $4.99 bargain bin (and the live disc is damn good).
But the Dead is known for its elaborate boxes, including “The Golden Road” and “Beyond Description,” seen below.
Given the size and sheer endurance of the Deadheads – and the fact that many of those people are baby-boomers, who still buy more music each year than any other demographic – maybe 7,200 copies of the new box was shooting a bit low, yes?
So, to wrap it up: Deadheads who shelled out the money early thinking it was the only way to (legitimately) get the music now find out anyone can get the music. The upside: They get the nice packaging that others won’t.
Fans who didn’t get the music in time now find they still have to pay full price to (legitimately) get a much lesser product. Upside: They still get the music, and 60-plus discs at $450 comes out to about $7 per disc, and each disc averages more than an hour of music.
The Dead is stuck in the middle – if it dropped the music-only option price, the original buyers of the full box would howl. It kept the $450 original price, and the rest of the buyers are howling. Plus at the moment it's available only online (which means brick-and-mortar record stores that have supported the band for years are cut out) and only in the U.S. (so if you live in Europe and actually attended these shows, you can't buy it).
But in a community that has been used to “trading” for decades, be it cassettes, mp3s or CDRs, the Dead have created a ripe situation for fans to feel ill-treated and justify illegal downloads of the music, which I guarantee you will be available in lossless formats on a million bittorrent sites within hours of the official release, if not sooner.
Eastwood + Knowles in forthcoming Hollywood disaster?
Clint Eastwood is to direct Beyoncé Knowles in the latest remake of A Star Is Born, the classic Hollywood melodrama about a fading, drunken superstar who finds himself eclipsed by a younger model.
Eastwood is planning a musical version, mimicking the direction of the 1976 A Star Is Born, which cast Barbra Streisand alongside Kris Kristofferson and moved the story from the film industry to the music business. Deadline reports that studio Warner Bros had hoped to team Knowles with Will Smith, but this has not yet been confirmed. Robert Downey Jr and Mad Men's Jon Hamm are also rumoured to be under consideration, while Russell Crowe was reportedly in line for the role of the fading older star when news of the project broke last year.
A Star Is Born has already been remade twice. The original 1937 version starred Fredric March and Janet Gaynor as an ageing Hollywood actor and the bright young ingenue he takes under his wing. The film was remade in 1954 with James Mason and Judy Garland. Director Frank Pierson had wanted Elvis Presley for the 1976 version, but the singer reportedly turned down the role after being told he would not be given top billing, and it went to Kristofferson.
Eastwood will be taking on a musical for the first time as director, but the veteran actor and film-maker maintains an intense interest in music. His last film where appeared in front of the cameras, Gran Torino, featured Eastwood crooning over the end credits, and he composed scores for his recent films Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Changeling.
The Chairman of the Board lives on in new Rat Pack release
As U2's Bono was quoted after Frank Sinatra's death in 1998, "Sinatra was the 20th Century. He was modern, he was complex, he had swing and attitude. He was the big bang of pop...the man invented pop music."
But at the same time, like Elvis and Marilyn, Frank never went away.
"The Very Best of the Rat Pack" pulls together 18 tracks by Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, all songs representative of the singers' Las Vegas heyday, singing classic songs in classic rooms on the strip - many of which, sadly, no longer exist.
For the youngsters, the Rat Pack was an evolving cast of characters (actually started by Humphrey Bogart) that solidified into a classic lineup: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
The album doesn't go on sale until Jan. 25, but in an MSN Music exclusive, here's a never-heard alternate version of the Sinatra classic, "I'm Gonna Live Until I Die."
The album features solos, duets and a bunch of stone-cold classics including "Come Fly With Me," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Luck Be a Lady" and plenty more, including possibly the best-titled song of all time, Martin's "Ain't That a Kick in the Head." Here's the complete tracklist for you obsessive types out there. Get more info at www.Sinatra.com.
1. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
2. Ain’t That A Kick In The Head – Dean Martin
3. Too Close For Comfort – Sammy Davis Jr.
4. I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Frank Sinatra
5. Who’s Got The Action? – Dean Martin
6. A Lot Of Livin’ To Do – Sammy Davis Jr.
7. Ring-A-Ding Ding – Frank Sinatra
8. Eee-O Eleven – Sammy Davis Jr.
9. Luck Be A Lady – Frank Sinatra
10. Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) – Dean Martin
11. Birth Of The Blues – Sammy Davis Jr.
12. Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra
13. You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You – Dean Martin
14. I Get A Kick Out Of You – Frank Sinatra
15. Sam’s Song – Dean Martin & Sammy Davis Jr.
16. I’m Gonna Live Until I Die – Frank Sinatra (Alternate Version)
17. Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin
18. Me And My Shadow – Frank Sinatra & Sammy Davis Jr.
"Central Two-O-Nine" From "Band of Joy" Available as Free Download
Plus radio's going down the tubes as well
“Foreman says ‘These jobs are goin’, boys, and they ain’t comin’ back,” as The Boss once sang. Remember the days when the record companies couldn’t keep up with the demand for CDs? Well, Sony just closed a CD pressing plant in New Jersey that used to produce 18 million CDs a month. One has to assume some of those discs were, ironically, the “Born in the USA” album, with Bruce Springsteen's prophetic song “My Hometown” on it.
Bubba the Love Sponge has quit satellite radio, and one wonders if we'll ever experience joy again. On a serious note, it shows how badly radio is hurting these days; Sirius/XM demanded an 80% pay cut from Bubba, and similar take-it-or-leave-it demands are being placed on jocks on terrestrial radio too. The upshot? What you listen to is only going to get worse.
Artists, bootleg thyselves. That's what many have decided to do, figuring fans are just going to record the shows anyway. So there's a whole new wave of musicians who are releasing rare material.
Gather round, kiddies, let an oldster tell you a story. Once upon a time, when radio was good, stations would broadcast concerts in their entirety, commercial-free, sometimes for up to three hours depending on the artist (check out the Springsteen clip below from a New Jersey radio broadcast in '78).
Those days are long gone, but the tapes aren't. The "Live at Ebbets Field" volumes have become legends, taking tracks recorded at a tiny Denver club back in the day and making them available. The latest edition, available here, includes an incredibly rare live version of "Stars" by Dan Fogelberg, a guitar blowout on "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" from Freddie King, and cuts from the Marshall Tucker Band, John David Souther, Muddy Waters, Joan Armatrading and more. Well worth your while, with proceeds going to charity.
The C in MCA now stands for cancer-free
Beastie Boys rapper Mike D says the band will stick to their album release schedule following the illness of bandmate Adam Yauch.
The group will release the second part of new double album Hot Sauce Committee in spring 2011 as originally planned.
The release of the first part, still incomplete following Yauch's recent battle with cancer, will follow at a later point.
It is still unclear whether the group will tour in 2011.
Speaking to Radio 1's Zane Lowe, Mike D said: "It's still delayed - the first one. The second one is coming out as originally scheduled."
He added that Yauch's all-clear following his illness was "a good thing" and that "we're really happy about it".
With regards to touring Hot Sauce Committee II, he said the band was "open" to that suggestion.
"We're still going to have to see how he's [Yauch] doing."
Canadian Civil War on Billboard's Hot Tours chart!
Veteran Canadian singer Leonard Cohen is third on the list of top-grossing tours with totals reported from five of the final venues on his World Tour that spanned almost three years. The last dates on the tour, which began in the spring of 2008, were in western U.S and Canadian markets including Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. as well as Portland, Ore. and Oakland, Calif. The tour wrapped in Las Vegas with two sold out performances at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Dec. 10-11. Combined attendance for both shows was 5,777 with a gross of $744,667.
Show Venue/City (Shows/Sellouts)
Total Attendance (Capacity)
live local music on
Enter your ZIP code to see concerts happening in your area.
Data provided by Zvents