Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lost Acetate Day

As go Big Jack's mercurial moods, so goes G.O.M.E. Sometimes you simply have to make room for an unsung obscurity or two. I enjoy just about every kind of music, depending on my mood at any given time. Most of the music here at G.O.M.E. will be drugged-up, fuzzed-out psychedelia because...well...let's just get to the music.

NEIL YOUNG - CHROME DREAMS (1975 - unreleased)
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This oft-bootlegged gem has been the subject of much controversey, and many second-class pressings proclaiming to be the best version. For a long time, Chrome Dreams was thought to be the "lost NEIL YOUNG album". As it turns out, according to YOUNG himself, it's just a widely-bootlegged acetate named after a David Briggs painting that YOUNG called "Chrome Dreams". Regardless, there's some great stuff here, and it would've made a hell of an album. Particularly interesting (at least to me) is the 1975 version of "Too Far Gone". This song was always one of my favorites from YOUNG's 1989 Freedom LP. Who knew it had been recorded 14 years prior?

There are quite a few versions of this floating around. Some of them have a bunch of (unnecessary) "bonus tracks" tacked on to the end. This version is simply the 12 tracks from the Chrome Dreams acetate, in order, though I did edit them for sound quality.

1. Pocahontas
2. Will to Love
3. Star of Bethlehem
4. Like a Hurricane
5. Too Far Gone
6. Hold Back the Tears
7. Homegrown
8. Captain Kennedy
9. Stringman
10. Sedan Delivery
11. Powderfinger
12. Look Out for My Love


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THE VELVET UNDERGROUND is one of my all-time favorite bands, so I was more excited than most to get word of The Norman Dolph Acetate in 2002. For those who are unaware of this particular treasure, here are the basics: A collector from Montreal named Warren Hill ended up at a flea market in NYC. For 75 cents, Hill purchased a VELVET UNDERGROUND acetate dated 4/25/66 (the VELVETS' debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, was released in January of 1967). Along with the date, the label was marked with "ATT Mr-N-Dolph". Well, the "N" stands for Norman, and he was a sales executive with Columbia. By offering one of his paintings, Andy Warhol (who was "managing" the VELVETS at the time) convinced Dolph to anonymously oversee a one-day recording session at Scepter Studios. The results are on this long-forgotten (at least until Warren Hill's thrift-shopping spree) acetate. Every song was at least remixed by Tom Wilson (though Andy Warhol is officially credited as the producer) before the band's 1967 debut, and most are completely different takes altogether. Warren Hill eventually tracked down Norman Dolph himself, who via the serial numbers scrawled on the acetate, confirmed the record's legitimacy. Also of note is that since the brief VELVETS/Dolph parnership was a clandestine affair, all the other tapes from the Scepter session were destroyed, leaving The Norman Dolph Acetate as a true ONE OF A KIND. Warhol shopped this record (both to Dolph's employer, Columbia, as well as other labels before landing at Verve) with the intention of putting the record in stores in this form. Obviously, for the benefit of both the VELVETS and our ears, that didn't happen...but this recording represents what Andy Warhol wanted THE VELVET UNDERGROUND to be.

It should also be noted that Mr. Warren Hill put The Norman Dolph Acetate up for auction on eBay last year. In December, the auctioned close with a winning bid of $155,401. Not surprisingly, the commitment was not honored. Hill ultimately sold this little 75-cent piece of rock n' roll history for $25,200.

1. European Son
2. Black Angel's Death Song
3. All Tomorrow's Parties
4. I'll Be Your Mirror
5. Heroin
6. Femme Fatale
7. Venus in Furs
8. I'm Waiting for the Man
9. Run Run Run


1 comment:

mdsgcg said...

hi, the neil young link still working...couldn't get through...nice blog btw