A Mutual Admiration Thing

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(Pictured: the Osmonds rock the hell out at the Rainbow in London during a 1972 tour. Could this have been the night a famous rock drummer met the band backstage?)

Here’s another list of things I wish I had written that have turned up on my Twitter feed over the last couple of weeks:

—It’s worth noting that only a small fraction of all the music ever recorded has been released on CD or otherwise preserved digitally. The vast majority was/is on physical media such as records, tapes, and cylinders, and physical media is subject to physical deterioration. (As are we all.) Vox discussed the work of sound archivists and their efforts to save important cultural history before it vanishes.

—You may not know Jim Marshall’s name, but you’ve seen his work, including the iconic photograph of Johnny Cash flipping off the camera. A new book of his photographs of the Haight Ashbury scene deserves a place on any coffee table.

—It’s occasionally noted that Bob Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” all by himself, and that John Lennon and Paul McCartney created some of the world’s most enduring music sitting on hotel beds by themselves, but the glorified rhythm tracks that become hit songs today often credit six or seven authors. It turns out there’s a reason for the proliferating credits, one both derived from and contributing to the fact that every pop record seems to sound the same as every other one.

—As part of its fascinating Steely Dan Sunday series, Something Else! Reviews has collected several outtakes and alternates and organized them into what would be a highly worthwhile new Steely Dan album, if Walt and Don were inclined to release it. Incline yourselves, Walt and Don.

—Glen Campbell is slipping away with Alzheimer’s Disease, but he’s managed to record a magnificent farewell called “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” Unlike many singers of his age, Campbell has retained much of his range and still sounds very much like the singer he was 40 years ago—which makes his impending adios all the sadder.

—The new WKRP in Cincinnati complete series box set comes out at the end of the month. Shout! Factory has done heroic work trying to clear the original music, but they weren’t able to get permission for all of it. Thus the new set will contain some substitutions—and some other changes that run the gamut from understandable to bizarre. An intrepid poster at Home Theater Forum ran down the list of changes, which is fascinating. If you were already inclined to buy the set, do the changes have any effect on your decision?

—One of the highlights of the Ken Burns documentary Jazz is the segment on Coleman Hawkins’ recording of “Body and Soul,” a magnificent improvisation that represents a turning point in jazz history between big bands and bebop, was the first straight jazz recording to become a hit single, and is beautiful besides. It was recorded 75 years ago this month, and you should go and listen to it right now.

—You’d never guess that the Osmonds and Led Zeppelin had a mutual admiration thing going on, but they did. Read about “the secret history of Mormon heavy metal” here.

For more like this, follow me on Twitter. Also head over to this blog’s companion Tumblr site, which has much goodness along the same line, and other lines.

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