Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bronze Age Babies Bulletins: Free Starlog and Graffiti is Back


Karen: Just passing this on: Starlog magazine, that wonderful source of so much sci-fi/fantasy info for many of us back when the internet was just a gleam in a DARPA scientist's eye, has made all of their issues available for download. You heard me right. Any issue you want to get your hands on, you can! Just go to this site: https://archive.org/details/starlogmagazine and check out all the great articles from over the years.



Karen: This week the latest Led Zeppelin remaster came out: Physical Graffiti, almost 40 years since the original release. These have been uneven releases -some of the bonus material has included out-takes that sound barely different from the songs we know so well. In this case, the bonus disc has a few surprises; still not the live performances one might have craved (only the Led Zeppelin first album remaster has had that so far), but these rough versions of familiar songs are worth a listen. "Sick Again" is only instrumental, with no vocal track, and the opening sounds a bit different. The version of "Houses of the Holy" proves the old adage of less is more, as it is burdened with both a clunky cowbell part and weird backing vocals. An early version of "Into the Light," titled "Everybody Makes it Through," sounds almost like a different song, with what might be a harpsichord playing a prominent role. But beyond the bonus material, this is a great album, one of their best, and it sounds wonderful. With songs like "Kashmir," "Ten Years Gone," and "Boogie with Stu," it's an example of Zep's versatility and talent.


46 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

I stumbled onto the fact that the complete run of Starlog was at the Internet Archive a few months ago. Sorry for not passing the word along... :(

As for Physical Graffiti, the new release sounds interesting, but I'm perfectly happy with my CD of the original album. You have, however, put me in the mood to pop that one in the player - I haven't listened to it all the way through in ages. It's definitely one of Zep's strongest albums.

dbutler16 said...

Wow, thanks for the Starlog link! I just took a very quick gander at #1, and will have to read that Space:1999 article as soon as a get a chance. Yet another way for me to relive the good ol' days.

Colin Jones said...

About 15 years ago there was a UK version of Starlog but it's long gone now. In fact there are only two UK sci-fi magazines still existing (I buy both). When punk music first emerged in 1976 it was acts like Led Zeppelin that they were rebelling against. Just saying :)

Doug said...

On a note related to the re-release of Physical Graffiti, have any of you perused the price of vinyl records these days? I'm sure everyone knows they are making a well-deserved comeback. However, the price points are something else! Now I know Barnes & Noble isn't the optimum place to buy music, but I was checking out their supply a few weeks ago. A double-album like today's topic was priced at around $30. Wow...

I need to hit up the old Columbia House "take 12 for 1c with membership".

Doug

david_b said...

Some great topics today.., especially for a two-fer column.

Not to regurge toooo much from my previous comments on Starlog, but for those of us who remember back in the day, all the cheap sci-fi mags, the day I saw Starlog ish 1 on the newstands.., a whole kewl world had just opened up. Part due to Space:1999's premiere season and part to Trek's growing fanbase, Starlog at times seemed at least 1 or 2 year ahead of it's time. When Star Wars hit.., Starlog was already in place to showcase the best interviews and pics on such a nice format. When I met George Takei in Milwaukee in '78 and asked about his running for a local mayoral office in CA, he seemed quite surprised I had known about that..

(I then promptly told him where I read up on it.., with a big smile on my face.)

As for vinyl today, I can't talk for most folk, but I specifically buy favorites up just for framing. Actually, just picked up a vintage 'Two Virgins' album to frame.., um.., somewhere in my new home. But having some of those nice classic covers displayed are great man-cave decor.

As for all the extras ('bonus cuts') you can now hear, it's certainly a treat. Some of the material's truely for the diehard fan in mind, but a good chunk of it's actually pretty revealing. The 'Anthology' CD series always comes to mind.

Incidentally, I also bought a cool vintage copy of 'Some Girls' (with the original inside graphics..), and it's up in my guest bathroom. Pure attitude on display, but I digress.

Ewan said...

Physical Graffiti has some special meaning for me, as a guitar player as a kid I always put the earlier albums ahead of it. In college I ended up in a Zeppelin cover band, and Physical Graffiti finally hit me in a big way, having to listen to those songs over and over to learn them.

Though I don't know how many times I can keep re-buying the same albums even with remastering (I think I've now purchased the entire Zeppelin catalog a few times in my life). Of course, I could say the same for all my redundant comic book reprint collections.

Doug, don't forget with Columbia House, you would then switch to BMG for awhile until you were eligble to start the whole cycle over again (I still have no idea how those guys made money with that model).

Karen said...

I find thrift stores are a great place to pick up albums just to use as art. Although admittedly a lot of the time they just have Perry Como and such. But sometimes you find a gem.

I don't even have a turntable any more...kind of sad. Or a dedicated CD player! Just my computer and the player in my car, which sadly is where I wind up listening to music the most. I need to remedy that. of course most of my music is converted to digital now. But I like having the hard copy.

Doug said...

I bought a Bluetooth speaker for my office at school -- Creative's SoundBlaster ROAR ($150 on Amazon). It is awesome -- would fill any room in your house with sound. We've used it on the patio as well and it's a very rich sound that is capable of being played pretty loud and maintaining integrity.

For Christmas my kids bought me a Vizio soundbar for our TV. It is also Bluetooth. That's what we use in the family room now -- just stream music from my iPhone.

Times, they have changed...

Doug

Humanbelly said...

y'know, HBGirl's "main" (sort-of) Christmas gift this year was a turntable-! 'Cause she wanted to be able to play the gazillion vinyl lp's HBSpouse & I still have from our junior-high-on-up years. . . as well as a number of hard-to-find Broadway Musical cast recordings. She staunchly insists that the sound from vinyl (excepting the cracks & pops, mind you) is quite superior to the cold sound of digital.

Although that may be her hipster-to-the-bone sensibilities speakin' for her. . .

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

By the way, on the subject of Starlog at the Internet Archive, back when I found out about that, I also found that there's some other magazines posted there that might be interesting to the regulars at this blog:
Omni
The National Lampoon (don't know why there's two different pages of listings...
Crazy Magazine
and a Warren Publishing archive that includes the complete run of Vampirella, plus a bunch of issues of Creepy, Eerie, etc., and - most interesting to me - the Spirit Magazine.

Doug said...

Edo --

Thanks for those links. I know next to nothing about Warren's crop of titles so that will be a fantastic diversion for me.

Ewan -- before BMG there was the RCA club. Did it morph into BMG? Agreed on the "how in the world did they turn a profit?" Numerous times did I partake of those introductory offers. But man -- the "regular" priced merchandise was super-inflated. Ah ha...

Doug

Martinex1 said...

I never checked out Starlog; I will have to look into this.

Regarding Physical Graffiti, I always thought that album cover was artistic. Its really nice to look at.

I was never a member of any record club. My friends and I would go to the record stores and sift through the cut off boxes (albums where they would notch the cover or cut off the corner and sell for around a dollar or two) and buy some lesser known or unappreciated albums like Yes's Tormato or Zeppelin's Coda. I had a lot of those. I had to save up for Physical Graffiti which never made it to the cut offs.

david_b said...

Doug, just looked at the SoundBlaster ROAR on Amazon.., does that auxillary plug for iPods..?

I need a home iPod speaker system, looking at some at Best Buy yesterday.

david_b said...

Sorry, too much multi-tasking.

Is that 'aux in' port good for pluggin' in iPods..? I have one of those iPod Classics that they've since retired and haven't gotten around to replacing it yet.

I read the description on Amazon's page.., nice features. Well touted.

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug and others, I did actually join one of those record clubs (I bought cassettes, though) when I was about 13 or 14. Yes, the prices of their regular offerings (of which I had to buy only three before I could cancel my membership) were inflated, but not that much. In fact, I recall that in college a friend of mine actually did the math, and figured that you had to remain a member and buy quite a few albums before the record club recouped the loss on that initial offer of 10 (or whatever number) for 1 penny or 99 cents, etc.
I also learned in college that a common practice for students living in the dorms was to order that initial sweetheart deal about a month or two before they moved out; apparently, after that there's no way for the record club to track you down. It's not like they asked for your social security or driver license number or some other identification data. So I'm also curious as to how they made any money...

Martinex, those of us with eclectic taste in music could find some good deals in the record store bargain bins or boxes. Also interesting that you mentioned Yes: I got Tormato, Going for the One (definitely underappreciated) and Drama (not that good, actually) that way. Besides that, I also found the cassette re-issues of the first few albums by Styx (from the early '70s) for about 2 bucks each. There's some pretty good songs on those as I recall...

Doug said...

David --

I've never used that feature - only Bluetooth. I don't have an auxiliary cord here at school, but I can try to remember to check it out. My guess is that the answer to your question is a strong "yes", but I wouldn't want to swear to it and have you go spend money on something that doesn't meet your needs.

Doug

Anonymous said...

$30 for a double lp? What are you complaining about Doug? Sounds reasonable from this side of the Atlantic, I can tell you!
Worth pointing out though, that todays vinyl reissues tend to be a lot better - usually at least 180gm - than they were back in the 70s/80s. Certainly after 73 - the oil crisis - vinyl got thinner and thinner with terrible results. So really for decent sound - and proper thick cardboard gatefold sleeves! - you need original records from 72 or earlier, against which the price of new vinyl ain't too bad.

Never stopped listening to records myself; not much into Zeppelin though. Now, the recent 4lp box of old Decals-era Beefheart on the otherhand... Lots of great Jamaican 12 inch singles around here at the moment too - they were always playing where I grew up, and just don't sound right streamed digitally....

-sean

Doug said...

David (again) -

As fate would have it, the guy I share my office with has an auxiliary cord. Plugged my iPhone into the speaker and everything worked like a charm.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Edo - Just been looking at the Warren archive - thanks for the pointer! No Blazing Combat sadly, but great to see some issues of 1984 again (I used to get it for the artwork, honest!)
Seems to be plenty of Nino and Corben there... I can see I'll be wasting plenty of time over the coming days - thanks again.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Edo - In return, I have resisted the temptation to mock Styx fandom:)

-sean

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, don't worry about it, Sean. Not as big a Styx fan as I used to be (in fact, I'm not almost a bit embarrassed to admit how much I used to like them). So mock away...
On the other hand, I also never truly understood the divisions among various sub-genres of rock, etc. That is, I have an equal appreciation for prog, punk, acid, funk, metal, and so forth, so I'm a big fan of say, Led Zeppelin or Yes, but I also love the Dead Kennedys and the Buzzcocks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know what you mean - I really liked a lot of stuff like Joy Division and Pere Ubu in the early 80s and didn't have a problem with admitting to an interest in (for some strange reason) Blue Oyster Cult.
But, seeing as I'm free to mock, I draw the line at Styx:)

Funnily enough, actually, a lot of that stuff wasn't big here - like, I never even heard that Journey record before it was on the Sopranos. None of those MOR rock groups had even minor hits... Before the rise of MTV I guess; seems odd these days, now everythings more global.

Hmmm - going on a bit there; apologies to everyone else for going a bit off topic

-sean

Doug said...

Off-topic?

"The conversation is flowing organically."

That's more like it.

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Hunh-- I have a question, then, for ya, Sean & Colin (and any of our other Great Brits-!)-- there are a couple of rather cool/surreal BBC police series, LIFE ON MARS and then ASHES TO ASHES, that are period-set in the 70's and early 80's in London (I believe), and unless I'm mistaken, the soundtracks and incidental music from them contain a hefty amount of American pop music. Was that maybe not so much the case as modern-day producers seem to think? Or is that maybe a subtle lure for the shows' eventual broader audience, perhaps?

HB (how far. . . is a tangent-too-far-?)

david_b said...

Doug, my humble thanks sir.

You're such a blessing.

Anonymous said...

HB - Tangentially... Its more the late 70s/early 80s that I was on about (haven't actually seen Life on Mars, but its set in the early 70s?). Which isn't to say there weren't plenty of American pop hits - lots of stuff from Blondie to Michael Jackson to Prince were big - just those Styx and Journey types didn't make it. At all.

Don't Fear The Reaper was a hit though(:


-sean (actually a Mick rather than a Brit, btw)

Anonymous said...

HB - Probably because the whole media set up was different. Nothing much like American fm radio around at the time....

-sean

Humanbelly said...

Wait, isn't "Mick" one of those nicknames that it's offensive for anyone other than. . . a Mick. . . to use-? Yer lurin' me inta a trap, airen't ye? (See, now I'm talkin' like Banshee. . . )

But yep, you're right-- Life on Mars is set in '73 (I just checked). Thought it was a couple of years later 'cause I got the release dates of Band on the Run, and Venus & Mars reversed in my head. . . (extrapolate freely-).

I guess I didn't realize how specifically domestic our huge crop of "SuperGroups" were. Kansas, Journey, Styx, Cheap Trick-- hmm, what about Supertramp, Yes, Rush, and Queen? Those guys seem like they'd have a bit more European appeal to me.

Hey, the Columbia Records club-thingy? Even before the industry standard diminished them, those discs were OBVIOUSLY thinner and (presumably) cheaper than the identical ones you'd buy at the store. It's like they were cheaper pressings from the original master or something. My Mom joined at least a couple of times (fulfilling our lifetime quota of Andy Williams, the Carpenters, Percy Faith, and Englebert Humperdink. . . ).

HB ("And Ireland, long a provence be, a na-tiooooon ooooooonce a-gaaaaaaaaain!")

(To put this in context, my father's own family roots are DEEPLY embedded in the Emerald Isle-- the Hacketts and the Howleys [formerly O'Howley]-!)

Edo Bosnar said...

Er, HB, Supertramp, Yes and Queen are all English bands...

Humanbelly said...

I THOUGHT so! I THOUGHT so! Oh, why do I second-guessed my darned self, and then not check me facts?? Ha-- thank ya, edo! (Rush isn't a British band, then-?)

Soooo, I guess in a backward way the answer to my question is obviously, yes, they do indeed have a more European appeal, eh? Bein' from Europe and all?

HB (mortified as always. . . )

Colin Jones said...
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Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

HB - Wasn't trying to trip you up - just establishing that like you I am not subject to a monarch. Unless you're Canadian, but in that case you'd know so are Rush. They were popularwhen I was a kid as part of a general enthusiasm for metal, which was big - practically folk music - but didn't necessarily translate into huge sales unless the bands hit big in the US. Where kids had more of a disposable income I guess.

But that's a bit different to Journey and whatnot, isn't it?

You'll be pleased to know, though, that Country&Irish never outsold Johnny Cash (:

-sean

Anonymous said...

Thinking about it, is Canada still subject to the British monarch...? Apologies if I've offended any Canadians, such wasn't my intention.
Neil Young is deservedly huge everywhere, isn't he? On The Beach is great(:

-sean

Humanbelly said...

Man, I had to look it up, Sean. . . and dude, I don't even BEGIN understand how the heck Britain's broader federation works! Elizabeth II is, yes, the Queen of England, BUT that is somehow completely separate and unrelated to her status as ALSO being the Queen of Canada. Or something. I'm thinkin', "Sister, do you really have the TIME to be moonlighting like that? And on a different continent, yet?? I know belts are tightening for the Royal Family these days, but still. .. "

Colin, Colin-- help us out here. It also said she's the official sovereign of 15 other countries. What the heck?

HB

Anonymous said...

If it helps, my other half is from Australia and her passport says the head of state is the British queen, so I kind of assumed it was the same with Canada. On the hand, I don't think she's the empress of India anymore (the queen, that is, not my mrs) even though that's part of the commonwealth so... dunno either.

Errr...looks like I might have organically grown the conversation a bit. Not quite sure how that happened...

-sean

The Prowler said...

Hi, my name is The Prowler and I was a member of the Columbia Record and Tape Club. Mostly records. Then I'd make 8 track copies and play them in my sister's Trans Am. Good times.....

I think my ears are just to tin-ish to hear the differences in the remasters when the issue them. I do like when you have bands that would release their excess recordings as the B-side to the singles. When those get re-released with the album, I like that. "I like it a lot"!

I appreciate the newer cleaned up digital versions of my old favorites but what I get when I listen to my mp3s of my albums, all those crackles and pops are memories. As discussed in Karen's headphone post, all those nights lying in bed with the big cans on......Good times. Good times.

What's fun about the internet is being able to listen to BBC Radio. There's one guy that talks well past the singing starting. And fades early to talk some more!!!! Good times, good times.

(And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama, if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.

You should never argue with a crazy mind
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with the overtime
Is that all you get for your money?

And if that's what you have in mind
Yeah, if that's what you're all about,
Good luck, moving up, 'cause I'm movin' out!)

Colin Jones said...

HB - the Queen is Queen of the United Kingdom (and I think she's separately Queen of England and Queen of Scotland - Wales is counted as a "principality" and I haven't got a clue about Northern Ireland). Also she's Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various small countries scattered around the globe - the remnants of the British Empire in other words. She's also the Head of the British Commonwealth which comprises about 50 or more countries but most of those are republics. If you're further interested - twice a year there's the birthday and New year's Honours list when the Queen hands out knighthoods and various things like the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) or the M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) and once a year the Queen opens Parliament. As it happens, I'm totally opposed to this medieval Royal nonsense - and if Australians and Canadians want to keep the Queen perhaps they could pay some taxes towards the Royal Family's upkeep which is rather expensive :) By the way, you can also get an "honorary" knighthood if you're not in the Commonwealth - in the '80s one was given to Caspar Weinberger who was Ronald Reagan's Defence Secretary or Secretary of State (I can't remember which).

Colin Jones said...

Despite all that the Queen is a powerless figurehead. Apparently Sarah Palin thought the Queen was in charge but she definitely isn't. She doesn't even choose who gets the knighthoods that she hands out.

Humanbelly said...

When did that governmental power-shift happen? At what point was the Queen no longer able to command "Orf wiv 'is 'ead!" at will?
Was Queen Victoria the last with that kind of power, or did that evaporate at an earlier point?

HB

Redartz said...

Prowl- your comment about lying up at night listening to pops and hisses reminded me of a similar nocturnal activity. I used to love listening to AM radio late at night, scrolling up and down the dial to hear distant stations. The music and voices would come through the static from such exotic places as New York, Davenport Iowa and Windsor, Ontario. This, long before the net gave us instant, crystal clear digital worldwide access...

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough tiny little Trinidad & Tobago achieved independence from Britain in 1962, became a Republic in 1976, thus replacing the Queen as Head of State with a local President. Although not an executive President as in the USA (executive power lies with the Prime Minister) and as such being a mainly ceremonial position, the President of T & T is still the highest position in our country. It's always amazed and amused me how older and bigger countries like Canada and Australia still have the Queen as their Head of State.

Karen, thanks for the Starlog link! Edo, thanks for the Warren link! Man, these are two publishers whose mags I read years ago and badly wanted to read more of their stuff. God bless the Internet and the World Wide Web! I'll definitely be spending some major quality time on these two sites.


- Mike 'gonna vote in the general election this year' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

HB - I don't really buy that stuff about the British monarch being just a figurehead myself, but it seems that puts me in agreement with Sarah Palin, so... that might be my cue to drop out of this thread.

Although I do feel like its only fair to our hosts to say something about the post first. Tricky, as I'm not into Led Zeppelin and never read Starlog.
Um... I DID see the odd issue of Starburst, which I believe was an imitation of Starlog, published by Marvel UK (maybe that's what Colin had in mind earlier) Didn't do much for me.

Liked what I saw of Omni, but that was quite a different mag I think.

-sean


Karen said...

I'm so impressed. This was a dashed off, almost 'throw-away' post on my part, and you guys ran with it, managing to cover not only the topics presented but record clubs, speaker systems, Warren magazines, MOR rock, and the British monarchy! Well done lads! Truly the spirit of the BAB 'comic shop lounge' on display in all its glory!

Colin Jones said...

HB - the last time the monarchy had power like that was Charles I who had his own head chopped off in 1649. And Sean - I definitely meant Starlog not Starburst.

Edo Bosnar said...

All this talk of Elizabeth II puts me in the mood to listen to the Sex Pistols' rousing rendition of "God Save the Queen" ... :P

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