Label: Rhino Records - 8122 74746-2 • Format: 5x, CD Compilation, Numbered Box Set Limited Edition Deluxe • Country: UK • Genre: Jazz, Rock, Blues, Non-Music, Pop, Folk, World, & Country • Style: Folk Rock, Novelty, Acoustic, Garage Rock, Pop Rock, Prog Rock, Field Recording, Art Rock, Vocal, Soft Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Skiffle, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Blues Rock, Easy Listening, Electric Blues, Country Blues, Power Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Jazz-Rock, Southern Rock, Folk
This five-CD set which also includes a bonus CD-ROM is not the biggest, most massive box set that you've ever encountered Kenny - Fancy Pants back in the late '90s, Deutsche Grammophon had out something about the size of a cello case with a pair of handles on it that contained the label's entire recorded output of the music of Johann Sebastian Bachalthough, to be fair, that wasn't much more than a hyper-mega-packaging of existing CDs, CD sets, and box sets.
This set, on the other hand, is very much an elaborately designed creation, specifically remastered and assembled for this release, and its packaging is custom-conceived Face - The Banshee - Your Nice Habits the individual song En El Agua - The Kingston Trio* - Make Way! through to the outer box.
And in the context of popular music, this set is certainly in the running alongside some of Bear Family's most ambitious creations, for sheer size and weight -- anyone on any kind of heart medication who decides they want this set and doesn't own a car or feel like springing for a taxi should probably order it and have it shipped to their home, rather than buy it at a store and transport it themselves, at least unless they check with their doctor first.
Ironically enough, the very fact that this is, indeed, a "popular music" box set says something about the end of Elektra Records' history that is embraced by its contents, Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektraand a limitation in its scope Voodoo Woman - Various - Forever Changing - The Golden Age Of Elektra Records - 1963-1973 (Deluxe Ed content Voodoo Woman - Various - Forever Changing - The Golden Age Of Elektra Records - 1963-1973 (Deluxe Ed you won't mind buying it, but you'll heartily wish and would have bought it that much faster there were a companion volume of some sort covering the label's history from througha time when the company's output included such curiosities as physician-turned-folksinger Shep Ginandes who was to the postwar Gimme Some Lovin - The Ventures - On Stage 73 community in Boston the same kind of godfather that Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies were to home-grown blues in England and the soundtracks to documentary movies by Maya Derenand when founder Jac Holzman whose participation was all over this set would have been astounded to see Elektra's output designated as "popular" music.
On the other hand, the box at hand, opening as it does with Judy Collins ' "Turn! Those buying the set will need a good-sized and sturdy table on which to open it, and to dig down, past a folder containing art prints of four classic album covers from the label, a package of postcards devoted to a larger handful of significant artists, a set of publicity shots devoted to the DoorsLoveQueenand Tom Rush ; a pair of Elektra emblem pin badges; and a page hardcover book chock-full of information, essays, commentary, and more by Holzman and the artists themselves which is another reason one yearns for a volume covering Elektra's first decade -- those are the artists who are truly lost to time and very much need an account of this sort on their behalf.
With all of that material inside, the set isn't really devised for convenience of use, a fact of which you'll be reminded in your inability to find the "numbered exclusive certificate of authenticity" supposedly included, which hardly matters -- to borrow from the title of Holzman 's autobiography, which is represented here on the bonus CD-ROM, one buys this to "follow the music," not to prize a numbered edition, or as an investment the Mosaic Records boxes are wiser acquisitions in the latter regard.
Some of the artists on disc one, such as Judy CollinsJudy Henske whose "High Flying Bird" is one of the highlights of the whole set for anyone who doesn't know it -- and anyone hearing it for the first time may rightly wonder why she never got nearly as well-known or found as wide an audience as Grace Slick or Janis JoplinPhil OchsRichard Farina, Tom RushFred Neiland the Doors are obvious, but many are far less so, and keeping up with it means dealing with a listing separate from the handsome CD package itself, either in the hardcover book or one of the other documents in the package.
This CD probably straddles the greatest gap of the set, from reinterpretations of traditional folk to the Doors ' "Moonlight Drive," though the latter song doesn't convincingly belong on this CD, so much as on the next volume. Disc two is devoted to Elektra's gradual switch in mid-decade from folk to more elaborately conceived and arranged and heavily amplified music, opening with Love 's "My Little Red Book" and intermingling the work of the DoorsJudy CollinsTom PaxtonDavid BlueTim BuckleyClear Lightthe Holy Modal Roundersthe Paul Butterfield Blues Bandthe Incredible String Bandand Earth Operaas well as encompassing such less familiar names as the Zodiac Cosmic Sounds, Alasdair Clayreand Waphphle -- it marks the place where the folkies and blues artists all added instruments and began stretching out what they did with them, and the label also signed rock bands that knew distinctly more than three or four chords, and about a lot else besides playing music though the latter was true of virtually every artist that Holzman ever signed up.
And even though most of the performers here have their work represented on CD already, often in updated, audiophile-quality editions, the sound throughout this disc is still pretty damned impressive. Disc three is where it all blossoms, leaping the gap from amplified folk, blues, and pop variations to bolder messages and groups founded on harder sounds -- the Doors are still here, as are Judy Collins and Tom Rushbut Collins ' "Both Sides Now" is present as a representative of Joni Mitchell 's songwriting in the first acquaintanceship that most listeners had with it, and not entirely out-of-sync with Love 's "Alone Again Or" or Tom Paxton 's "Jennifer's Rabbit" in its rather elaborately arranged electric version.
Disc four opens with the Stooges ' "Down on the Street" and weaves across the work of Harry Chapin and Carly Simonas well as such label stalwarts as Judy Collins who was selling more records than ever and Hamilton Camp who wasn'tand takes us down roads old and new, into pop music as well as eclectic obscurities such as Cyrus FaryarPlainsongand Courtland Pickett, until we get to Queenwhose "Keep Yourself Alive" closes out the main section of the set.
There are also oddities such as the Judy Collins single "I'll Keep It with Mine" presenting the singer in a fascinating but ultimately abandoned electric folk-rock settingthe Charles River Valley Boys ' bluegrass Beatles stylings, and some of the company's very late signings before Holzman 's exit -- Simon Stokes ' swamp rock "Voodoo Woman" and Eclection 's Jefferson Airplane -influenced "Please Mark II " are the most interesting, but they're all well worth hearing -- when Elektra was absorbed into the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic corporate identity.
Each CD is mastered on a black-vinyl-style platter and re-creates one of the appropriate period Elektra label designs, and the whole release is an exceptional listening experience, but more to the point, it's all fun and enjoyable, mostly because the makers have avoided any obvious boundaries in doing their jobs: tracks such as Judy Collins ' "Both Sides Now" and Harry Chapin 's "Taxi," which were hated by many critics but sold millions of copies, are juxtaposed with pieces by the Stooges Voodoo Woman - Various - Forever Changing - The Golden Age Of Elektra Records - 1963-1973 (Deluxe Ed, which sold in the thousands but were immensely important and influential on two subsequent generations of musicians -- and they're on the same box with David Peel 's compellingly subversive "Alphabet Song"; it's diversity in the name of completeness and telling a great larger story engagingly through the music, which ultimately matters more than the elaborate packaging or the visual paraphernalia.
There's a good month's listening, at least here plus the CD-ROM, which is Mac- and Windows-compatible and includes Holzman 's Follow the Music plus an Elektra discography and a lot more reading to go with it if that's what one wants, and the only event that could make this release even better than it is in the listening would be a further volume devoted to the earlier history of the label, to fill in that end of the music.
Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Release Date January 23, Late Night Introspection. Track Listing - Disc 1. To Everything There Is a Aqui Vienen Las Lagrimas = Here Come The Tears - Judas Priest - Pecado Tras Pecado. Judy Collins.
He Was a Friend. High Flying Bird. Judy Henske. Dink's Song Fare Thee Well. Bob Gibson. Dick Rosmini. Shady Grove. Little Brown Dog. Voodoo Woman - Various - Forever Changing - The Golden Age Of Elektra Records - 1963-1973 (Deluxe Ed Track. The Even Dozens. The Even Dozen Jug Band.
Wild Child in a World of Trouble. Good Luck Child. Downtown Blues. Geoff Muldaur. I Ain't Marching Anymore. Phil Ochs. The Last Thing on My Mind. Tom Paxton. Pride of Man. Hamid Hamilton Camp. Tomorrow Is a Long Time. Black Mountain Rag. Green Rocky Road. Phil Boroff. West Egg Rag. Dave Ray. Two Trains Running. Oliver Smith. Joshua Gone Barbados.
Tom Rush. Other Side to This Life. Fred Neil. Dino Valente. Blues with a Feeling. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Moonlight Drive. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers - Just Once In My Life Doors. Track Listing - Disc 2. My Little Red Book.
Tim Buckley. So Easy She Goes By. David Blue. The Magic Carpet. Pat Kilroy. First Girl I Loved. The Incredible String Band. Alasdair Clayre. One Time and One Time Only. Hard Lovin' Loser. She Comes in Colors.
Arthur Lee. Light My Fire. Black Roses. Clear Light. Once I Was. The Zodiac Cosmic Sounds. Buy for Me the Rain. Steve Noonan. Fields of People. Ars Nova. Dame Fortune. The Holy Modal Rounders.