Music and Soundtrack Features

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Matt Hurwitz  |  Dec 03, 2021  |  0 comments
1968 was a busy year for The Beatles. They had traveled to India to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, launched their own record label, Apple, and spent months at EMI's studios at Abbey Road recording their mammoth double-album, The Beatles (aka The White Album). But even before that album was released, they were planning what would end up as their post-breakup album and film, Let It Be. That disc was recently reissued by Apple/Capitol/Universal in a super deluxe edition, remixed by Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell, complete with previously-unreleased bonus tracks, and the film has now been given a reimagining by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, in the form of The Beatles: Get Back on the Disney+ streaming service.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 19, 2021  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
Could May 1970's Let It Be possibly be The Beatles' most underrated core studio album—and is such a thing even possible? To be sure, when Let It Be initially dropped as the free-thinking 1960s gave way to the much grittier 1970s, the album was seen as an imperfect endpoint for a once-in-a-lifetime epoch in popular music—whereas September 1969's Abbey Road, which was actually completed after the Let It Be sessions but was still released eight months ahead of that album, actually serves as a better-suited final exclamation point and nod to their fans as the final, definitive statement of the fully active Beatles era.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 12, 2021  |  1 comments
Considering how much Roxy Music were deemed outliers in the 1970s as a band pioneering the blend of glam jams with progressive elegance, Avalon, their May 1982 masterpiece of rock chic, is truly a musical entity unto itself. Avalon lays bare the aural tenets of the très-cool Roxy aesthetic, taken to their most go-for-baroque extremes—all of it in the most ear-pleasing of ways.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 01, 2021  |  0 comments
Calling Bob Marley the king of reggae is a bit like saying Jamaica is a nice place to visit for fun in the sun. It's truly a shame Marley passed away from melanoma at age 36 in 1981 before he could get a full whiff of just how far-reaching the music he helped pioneer has rolled in the ensuing years, but Island Records founder and unyieldingly ardent Marley advocate Chris Blackwell and his forward-thinking label compatriots had the clear foresight to compile 14 of the man's top grooves and singles for inclusion on May 1984's Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers LP.
Mike Mettler, Al Griffin  |  Sep 17, 2021  |  2 comments
Back in May 2021, Apple significantly boosted the appeal of its Apple Music streaming service with the addition of two new features: Lossless Audio (including high-res versions for some albums and tracks) and Spatial Audio. While the term "Spatial Audio" might indicate that Apple has created a completely new surround sound music format, it's essentially Dolby Atmos—the same immersive, object- based mixing technology used for movie soundtracks.
Matt Hurwitz  |  Aug 05, 2021  |  2 comments
George Harrison had a stockpile—fantastic compositions overlooked by his bandmates over the years, along with some written more recently following The Beatles' official breakup. The band's final album release, Let It Be, came on May 8, 1970. But by that time, George had already put the ball in motion to begin recording his first true solo album later that month: All Things Must Pass. The triple-album set would join Paul's McCartney LP as the first Beatles solo albums to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 02, 2021  |  0 comments
Bob Clearmountain knows how to move mountains with his mixes. Ok, ok, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit here—but the fact is, Clearmountain has been a go-to mixer/engineer/producer for A-list musicians for decades, having shepherded the sound of landmark albums by artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, Bryan Adams, and Roxy Music. (And that barely scratches the surface of his top-shelf mixing C.V., btw.)
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 04, 2021  |  0 comments
Whenever we talk about artists who changed the course of rock history who aren't The Beatles, one group with perhaps the most unassuming yet wholly appropriate name tops the bill: The Band. Their homespun July 1968 debut Music From Big Pink literally turned the rock world on its collective ear to such a degree that contemporaries like Eric Clapton instantly renounced their virtuosic "look at me" playing styles and adjusted their thinking toward creating more organic and more authentic music truer to their essential selves.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 12, 2021  |  0 comments
It's not a complete misnomer to observe the audience for King Crimson music tends to skew more towards the male side of the listening ledger—but that statement in no way means their forward-thinking music holds little or no sway with female music aficionados and audiophiles alike. In fact, far from it.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 29, 2021  |  6 comments
"I like to upset people, because it means I'm doing the right thing."

And that, my friends, is Steven Wilson for you in a nutshell. The once and future king of surround sound has taken yet another giant creative leap forward with his new solo album, The Future Bites (Arts & Crafts), which, after a pandemically induced half-year deferral, is finally being released on January 29, 2021.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 18, 2020  |  2 comments
Gavin Harrison knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it. The critically celebrated, session-bred progressive-oriented British drummer vaulted into superstar status during his jaw-dropping eight-year stint as a member of Porcupine Tree, and he's since moved even further up the wide-acclaim foodchain thanks to all the mind-bending work he's done during his current, ongoing gigs behind the kit with both King Crimson and The Pineapple Thief. The thing is, Harrison pays little or no heed to the constant praise for his innovative drumming, nor does he spend much time ruminating over his impeccable legacy.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Like most musicians, Jakko M. Jaksyzk was not planning on spending the bulk of 2020 at home. For one thing, the celebrated progressive-leaning British guitarist/vocalist was more than ready to continue with King Crimson's ongoing 50th anniversary tour that had begun in earnest in 2019. (Sidenote: most of Crimson's 2020 dates have since been reset for 2021.). Not only that, Jaksyzk had composed a short set of experimental, narrative performance pieces that were commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for him to perform solo during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, but that event was also scotched.
Matt Hurwitz  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  1 comments
When Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon set out to create a music collection to honor the late John Lennon's 80th birthday, they knew that another greatest hits collection wasn't something fans needed or wanted. Instead, together with the core team that crafted 2018's highly successful Imagine The Ultimate Collection box set, they delivered John Lennon. Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes. Released by Capitol/UMe on October 9, Lennon's actual birthday, this box set includes not only new stereo mixes drafted from the original multitrack session tapes, but also high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes of each, available on an additional Blu-ray audio disc in the album's deluxe box set.
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