Archive for November, 2009

Bob Dylan and Miles Davis: Sony’s big box sets compared

November 13, 2009

As far as Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, its major assets, are concerned, Sony does a creditable job managing the treasures locked away in its priceless vaults.

However much hardcore fans might moan about the slow drip-feed of the unreleased Dylan legacy, Columbia Legacy is to be commended on its Bootleg Series.

Columbia Legacy also manages its Miles Davis assets pretty astutely, though some Miles aficionados whinge that Sony has released too much inconsequential blathering by the Prince Of Darkness!

But the imminent release of the Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection will leave Bobfans drawing unfavourable comparisons with the Zim equivalent, 2003’s Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series.

The two reissue projects are similar in key respects – all the albums in both collections have remarkable upgraded sound and both boxes reintroduce the original album artwork, in seductive digipak format.

But, in other ways, the new Miles box is more compelling:

* it pulls together all of the label’s Miles albums – Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series was selective, with only 15 titles, against the Miles box’s whopping 52, many of them double albums!

* many of the Miles albums carry worthwhile bonus tracks – the Dylan reissues eschewed any.

* even if you already own most of the original recordings, the incentives to buy the Miles box are persuasive – a newly released live DVD, a couple of previously unreleased CDs-worth of music, a substantial 250 page book by two leading Miles experts, and striking packaging.

* value: the “street” launch prices of the two boxes are similar, but the Miles box gives you far more bang for your buck.

Bottom line: I already had virtually all releases by both musicians. I passed on the Dylan box; I’ve ordered the Miles box.

Gerry Smith

New Age rock: But Is This Music for Grown-Ups? #1

November 4, 2009

The record label have sent me details of a new album “which transforms popular rock bands like Bob Dylan, The Beatles and U2 into relaxing meditation music.”

But is this music for grown-ups?

Gerry Smith


Information and song samples:


Slated for release November 17, the ³Modern Meditations² series¹ ³Rock Classics² and ³Modern Classics² 12-track collections feature meditative renditions of some of rock music¹s best-known
and most beloved songs. Also available on November 17 is an album dedicated to the songs of The Beatles. Aimed at introducing a brand new, modern rock perspective on ³new age² music fare, the ³Modern Meditations² series will be available for purchase at all traditional music retail outlets and online services, as well as distributed to many high-end lifestyle retailers.

Featuring the work of renowned producers from across the globe, ³Modern Meditations² has transformed contemporary rock favorites into meditation music for the rock & roll generation. Shimmering rock guitars and warm percussion create lush instrumental soundscapes. While yoga, Pilates, and meditation have all entered the mainstream, the music has not. The ³Modern Meditations² series aims to introduce an alternative to traditional new age fare to the growing modern rock audience.

The first of two compilation releases, ³Rock Classics,² features serene instrumental versions of songs from classic rock¹s most revered artists including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Police, Led Zeppelin and many others. ³Modern Classics² dives into the contemporary rock catalog with tranquil renditions of songs by The Verve, U2, The Cure, Oasis, R.E.M., Nirvana and more.