New Eric Burdon & The Animals box set coming from Esoteric in February

When most people think of Eric Burdon, they think of The Animals.  More specifically, they think of The Animals’ hit-making period between 1964-66.  They might even think about Eric’s recordings with War, a brief association that spawned cult albums in 1970.

Between these two high profile periods, Burdon continued to record.  Much like Fleetwood Mac’s “wilderness period” that caused a drought of UK success between 1971 and 1975, Burdon’s output in 1967 and 1968 is often overlooked, yet in a little over a year, he released a string of non-charting albums credited to Eric Burdon & The Animals.

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THE DOORS – London Fog 1966

For many years, The Doors seemed poorly served in terms of live material. Even after their music had turned on a new generation of fans in the early 90s, it seemed the only way to experience a Doors live show was via the double ‘In Concert’ CD – itself a repackaging

of the out of print ‘Absolutely Live’ coupled with a couple selections from ‘Live At The Hollywood Bowl’. In terms of audio releases, there was no way to actually experience a complete show.   It wasn’t really until the arrival the “Super Deluxe Edition” and box sets becoming far more commonplace that the band finally got their due with regards to live releases. From 2000 onwards, the Bright Midnight label set about raiding the archives and finally unleashed complete shows. Despite being of varying lengths and qualities (The Doors were never the most consistent of live acts), each release represented a fan’s dream, but he six disc ‘Live In New York’ – featuring every note played at four shows at The Felt Forum in January 1970 – went above and beyond what anyone expected.

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ALICE COOPER – Pretties For You

With the release of ‘Killer’ in 1971, Alice Cooper – the band, as they were then and not just the man – had perfected a blend of hard rock, art rock and glam. Tracks like ‘Under My Wheels’ had – and continue to have – a destructive brilliance, while even the more throwaway material like ‘You Drive Me Nervous’ provided a great, rough hewn alternative to the closest British equivalent in the Sweet. Somewhere between, the dark artistry of ‘Halo of Flies’ and ‘Dead Babies’ transpired the horror schlock of the band’s notorious live show into the kind of audio nightmares that irked America’s moral guardians.

Perfection doesn’t come over night of course, and it had taken the band three albums to really hit their stride. Their 1969 debut ‘Pretties For You’ – aside from one obvious exception – bears absolutely no resemblance to their not too distant hit making future. The Alice Cooper of the late 60s were a chaotic art band and most of the music that filled their debut (released on Frank Zappa’s Straight Records in the summer of that year) is certainly closer to Mothers of Invention than the glam/proto-metal that would gain them worldwide acclaim.

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Grapefruit Records pre-Xmas sale! Lots of psych and quirky 60s music at knock-down prices!

As part of Cherry Red’s pre-Xmas sale extravaganza, Grapefruit Records (their psychedelic arm) are offering various anthologies and box sets at knock-down prices for a strictly limited time.

This is a golden opportunity for those who love the nooks and crannies of British psych and pop-sike to explore various semi recent releases at bargain prices.

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