Led Zappa Rolling Petty, E-Bay purchases

Over the course of a week or so, me and my wife (mostly me) went through an E-Bay bidding frenzy. There were a couple of targeted albums we were looking for: Fugazi, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, and Traveling Wilburys. We lost a couple of Fugazi auctions, specifically for Red Medicine. We have the CD but it's so damaged that much of it doesn't play (even through an EAC rip). We ended up getting a copy but it wasn't through an auction. We didn't win any Traveling Wilburys bids, those were all pretty expensive, to my surprise.

As for what we did win:

So this is a near mint copy of a 1973 original U.S. pressing of "Houses of the Holy", Run-off etching: ST-A-732783-E AT STERLING RL and ST-A-732784-D AT STERLING RL. Sounds great, includes the original inner sleeve, and was a great deal as well. When I was a kid playing metal in the late 80's, I remember learning songs like Rain Song, Dyer Maker, and the Ocean not only because they were pretty great songs, but because it impressed girls (whereas death metal, not so much).

Continuing on:

So the untitled Led Zeppelin album that most people call "Led Zeppelin IV" or Zoso or symbols or something. I've always refered to it as IV (four) because everyone I knew referred to it that way. This one is also a 1971 U.S. pressing, run-off etching: PORKY ST-A-712285-C AT/GP and PECKO DUCK ST-A-712286D AT/GP. This album is also great, but best of all, it has one of the most cliche Led Zeppelin songs, Stairway to Heaven. It's a good song, not having grown up in the 70's but instead grown up in a culture where that song was associated with jokes, I still kind of laugh at the jokes. But in general, all of these earlier Zeppelin albums are pretty solid.

And then, "Hot Rats". So I've read a bit about the multiple remasters of this particular album, and it starts off from the first time I've heard Hot Rats, a CD from the 90's. This was a remastered version of Hot Rats that Frank Zappa did himself for the 1987 CD release. This being the Hot Rats that I grew up with, when my good friend and old roommate bought a recent 2012 remaster (done by some guy not named Frank Zappa), listening to it seemed almost a bit of a barbarism of the original. We had instruments that were remix, removed, added, entire sections that were removed or newly added; essentially a really jarring set of changes that are immediately apparent.

I didn't know about the original, so this 1976 re-issue from Reprise records (run-off etching: RS-1-6356-G-3 30926-1 and RS-2-6356-G-3 30927-1) was also a bit jarring at first. This was released by Reprise, but I think it's the same or very similar to the Bizarre release, but the big realization is that the CD remaster is really different. Outside of everything sounding like it's recording in a smaller room, the instruments are more separated in the mix, there were a couple of major differences from the CD remaster.

The guitar solos, which were performed by Frank Zappa himself, and was a major feature of the album, seemed to actually have been run through more effects. Especially during "Willie The Pimp", the solo was put through effects that simply didn't exist in the CD remaster. The second side had some missing overdubs as well, especially Little Umbrellas and Gumbo Variations. Gumbo variations has none of the studio-talk but I think it ultimately got 4 minutes of music cut from it. In all, the mix sounded like there's a lot more space between the instruments, more like a recording of a 5 piece band that's just jamming, as opposed to a more heavily produced product that was the 1987 remaster.

Then there's Tom Petty

The Hard Promises album is a good one. But one of the cooler things behind it was that when Tom Petty was recording this album, John Lennon was booked to record at the same studio. Tom Petty, looking forward to meeting John Lennon for the first time, ended up missing the change because some crazy guy shot John Lennon. So as a tribute, he made sure the first pressing of the Hard Promises album includes in the run-off etching:

It's hard to see, but all these records are etched with: "We love you J.L." as a tribute to John Lennon.

I also own the "Full Moon Fever" CD, but haven't really listened to much after that. In my opinion, Tom Petty is one of those musicians that's iconic of an era, but that era has since past. I suppose a lot of musicians are like that, times change and the music kind of stays the same, but Tom Petty is sort of a music icon.

So this is actually an 80's release of the Doors album "Strange Days". The run-off says: EKS-74014-A-1 SP and EKS-74014-B-1 SP and the label has the small Elektra "E" vs, the re-issue from the 70's which has the larger one, so I got it at a cheaper price. This album contains a lot of the typical songs people associate with drug induced Doors, and admittedly was how I first heard the album. Songs like "Love Me Two Times" and "People Are Strage" are pretty standard, but the best part of the album is probably the 11 minute long "When the Music's Over".

Finally, a copy of "High Tide and Green Grass" by the Rolling Stones (Matrix run-off: ZAL-7167-1F/ZAL-7167-1A). The seller didn't mention what kind of release it was but it is in pretty pristine condition. Discogs doesn't have a listing for this matrix etching but it's definitely an NPS-1 release, and based on the label, either 1966 or 1968, US or Canada. It's a stereo compilation album of a bunch of earlier Rolling Stones songs, much of which are pretty standard. Songs like "Satisfaction", "Get Off of My Cloud", "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Playing With Fire" are probably songs everyone has at least heard of. The gatefold also folds out to include a nice little book of pictures.

Going to probably be a while before I look into another vinyl purchase.

Filed under: Music