Thursday, June 01, 2023

'Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project' Special 40th Anniversary Edition

Just announced - this is sure to be one of the most-anticipated reissues of 2023!..Robert Kinsler

Special 40th Anniversary Edition

Featuring Brian May, Edward Van Halen, 
Alan Gratzer, Phil Chen, Fred Mandel

2-CD, Vinyl Single & LP
Gold Series Release July 14, 2023 

Digital Single “Star Fleet” (Edited Single Version)
Leads In Release - available today, June 1

Pre-order Star Fleet Project

“It’s all here. ALL of it. Every note we played on those two days is right here, on show for the first time. I will take you behind the scenes into that studio with us for two unforgettably exhilarating days.” - Brian May

When Queen took a break for the first part of 1983, Brian May put his time to good use. Waking up one morning in Los Angeles, he decided to phone a few friends and invite them to collaborate on some tracks in California’s famous Record Plant studios. The resulting collaboration was a great success, and Brian would later mold the recordings into a unique mini-album, Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project.

This third release in the “Brian May Gold Series” offers an extensively revisited and expanded box set edition of these legendary sessions. The set is a complete document of the two days, April 21 and 22, 1983 that May spent in the Record Plant, Los Angeles accompanied by top rock music luminaries Edward Van Halen (guitar), Alan Gratzer (drums), Phil Chen (bass) and Fred Mandel (keyboards). The box set includes a spectacular 23-track CD filled with previously unreleased material. 

Containing two CDs, one vinyl LP, and a vinyl single, as well as other collector’s items, Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Sessions will be launched as a Deluxe Edition box set, worldwide on July 14th.  

A separate exclusive 7” double A-side single, also available on CD comes out on the same day, July 14th, featuring newly mixed single versions of “Star Fleet” and “Let Me Out.” A special red vinyl version will be available exclusively through the official Queen Online store and is available to pre-order at:

The July 14 box set release is ushered in with a special stand alone digital single, “Star Fleet (Edited Single Version)” which becomes available to coincide with today’s, June 1st, box set announcement. The single digital track is available immediately for digital download and streaming.  Listen to the track HERE.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Stranglers Four CD Boxed Set featuring their classic 1990s albums out July 7, 2023

It's great to see in the wake of the passing of keyboardist Dave Greenfield passing away in May 2020 (he had contracted COVID-19), that the legacy of The Stranglers is being celebrated via an exciting box set coming this summer...Robert Kinsler

Mercury Studios presents THE STRANGLERS







New York, NY (May 31, 2023) — Over the course of five decades, pioneering English rock band The Stranglers – one of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the 1970s UK punk rock scene – have crossed genres and fanbases, amassing 23 UK top 40 singles and 19 UK top 40 albums.

On July 7, 2023, Mercury Studios is proud to release The Stranglers, a four CD-boxed set compiling four of their classic 1990s albums: About Time (1995), Written In Red (1997), Coup de Grace (1998), and the live album Friday The Thirteenth: Live At The Royal Albert Hall (1997). These albums, which were all previously released by Eagle Records in the 90s, are now being packaged together for the very first time.

Originally brewed in the mid-70s UK pub rock scene, The Stranglers held a certain distinction from their local scene peers. They were ahead of the curve of the UK punk explosion, and though they could channel the aggressive spit-and-snarl of the time, they also harbored a unique musical hunger that kept them unchained to a singular genre. Exploring the wells of art rock, 60s psychedelia, new wave, goth, and pop music, their sound was a blend of underground influence and melodic pop sensibility.

This is evident on these crucial 1990s releases, which featured the line-up of Paul Roberts (vocals), Jean-Jacques Burnel (bass, vocals), John Ellis (guitar, vocals), Dave Greenfield (keyboards, vocals), and Jet Black (drums). About Time, their 12th studio album, peaked at #31 on the UK album charts and boasted hits “Golden Boy” and “Lies and Deception.” This was followed by Written In Red, which includes single “In Heaven She Walks” and a cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer In The City”, “

Friday The Thirteenth features the band performing a sold out show at the famed Royal Albert Hall in London. The set list features hit tracks like “Golden Brown”, “Skin Deep”, and “No More Heroes” given an emphatic new reinterpretation as the band are backed by the Electra Strings – an eighteen-piece string orchestra. In addition to their hits, The Stranglers deliver a sizzling version of The Kinks’ “All Day And All Of The Night.”

Whether a veteran fan or a new listener discovering the band’s music for the first time, this boxed set provides an eclectic, full-bodied presentation of The Stranglers’ music during this time period.

About Mercury Studios: 
Mercury Studios is a multi-faceted content studio established to develop, produce, globally distribute and invest in innovative, music-rooted storytelling across a range of media including film, television, podcasting, publishing and live-streamed performance. Taking its name from the iconic Mercury Records label, Mercury Studios is powered by Universal Music Group and creates an open space for experimentation to unleash and amplify both emerging and established artists. With offices in London and Los Angeles, Mercury Studios harnesses its established relationships with best-in-class talent from music and film, seamlessly bridging the two worlds to create a completely distinctive community of trailblazers driven by original IP, innovation and collaboration.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Friday, May 26, 2023

Toad the Wet Sprocket announces 'Bonus Edition' of highly-anticipated 'All You Want' collection

I just saw this news on Toad the Wet Sprocket's official Twitter feed. Here are the details about "All You Want" and how to get the new collection...Robert Kinsler 

'All You Want' Bonus Edition cover artwork

All You Want (Abe's Records) is a collection of new recordings of fan favorites including Toad the Wet Sprocket's biggest hits including "All I Want," "Walk On the Ocean," "Fall Down" and "Something's Always Wrong," among others. The standard edition (out today, May 26, 2023) includes 11 tracks. The Bonus Edition (the artwork appears above) includes 19 tracks. Pre-order the Bonus Edition on audio CD or vinyl now via the band's official website HERE.

Toad the Wet Sprocket at The Coach House on Jan. 28, 2020.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

The band states: "Like most bands who recorded for major labels, we didn t actually own many of the recordings we did during that time. 'All You Want' is us reclaiming our past for ourselves. While making this album, we got to look under the hood at the parts we'd written so long ago, pull apart some of the magic of the originals, and in some cases, update arrangements, tempos or attitudes that we thought we could improve upon with the benefit of a little hindsight."

Read my most recent concert review featuring Toad the Wet Sprocket HERE.

Bonus Edition tracklisting for All You Want is below:

Architect of the Ruin

Come Down

California Wasted

The Moment

Good Intentions


Transient Whales


Starting Now

Best of Me (a new song)

Crazy Life

I Will Not Take These Things for Granted

All I Want

New Constellation

One of Those Days

Something's Always Wrong


Fall Down

Walk on the Ocean

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tina Turner Remembered

and Robert Kinsler discuss the passing of acclaimed singer Tina Turner and her incredible legacy. Watch the episode HERE

Essential R.E.M. titles returning to vinyl on July 14, 2023

For those who have not heard R.E.M.'s "Around The Sun" and "Collapse Into Now,", really do highly recommend those albums...Robert Kinsler





2004’s chart-topping Around the Sun includes the singles

“Leaving New York,” “Electron Blue,” and “The Outsiders”


The band’s acclaimed final studio album, 2011’s Collapse Into Now, includes “Überlin,”

“Oh My Heart,” and “It Happened Today”

Los Angeles, CA (May 16, 2023)–Craft Recordings celebrates the enduring legacy of R.E.M. with vinyl reissues for two long out-of-print titles from the second half of the band’s celebrated career: 2004’s Around the Sun and 2011’s Collapse Into NowThe chart-topping Around the Sun includes such highlights as “Leaving New York,” “Aftermath,” “Electron Blue,” and “Wanderlust,” plus “The Outsiders.”Collapse Into Now, which marks the band’s 15th and final studio album, includes the singles “Überlin,” “Oh My Heart” and “It Happened Today.” Arriving July 14 and available for pre-order today, both albums were cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Records Pressing. 


Additionally, fans can find limited editions exclusively at the 2-LP Around the Sun will be available on an Opaque White color variant, while the 1-LP Collapse Into Now can be found in Milky Clear vinyl, along with exclusive official merchandise.


One of the most revered acts to emerge from the American underground, Athens, GA’s R.E.M. was formed in 1980 by Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass), and Bill Berry (drums). An influential force in the post-punk college scene, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and multi-GRAMMY® Award winners rose to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed bands in the world, thanks to their idiosyncratic blend of brash tunefulness and poetic lyrics on such best-selling albums as Out of Time (1991)Automatic for the People(1992)and Monster (1994).


By the turn of the millennium, the band had ventured into new sonic territory, exploring electronic textures and the use of synthesizers with albums like Up (1998) and Reveal (2001). R.E.M.’s 13th LP, Around the Sun, continued that evolution. Written as America grappled with the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq War, the album reflected the somber tone of the era and found the band blending political commentary with meditations on love, loss, and a fast-changing world.


Marking the band’s final collaboration with producer Pat McCarthy (The Waterboys, U2) and their first with drummer Bill Rieflin, Around the Sun features the singles “Leaving New York” (a Top 5 hit in the UK and No.1 on Billboard’s AAA chart), “Wanderlust,” the melancholic “Aftermath,” and the trippy “Electron Blue.” Other highlights include the politically charged “Final Straw” and the poignant “Outsiders,” featuring guest vocals by rapper Q-Tip. Praised by Blender for its “arresting musical moods” and “strong choruses,” Around the Sun topped the album charts in the UK, Germany, and Sweden, among other territories, and landed at No.13 on the Billboard 200.


Not long after the release of their following album, Accelerate (2008), the members of R.E.M. collectively decided to conclude their time together with one final album. Produced by Jacknife Lee (The Cars, Taylor Swift, U2), Collapse Into Now was recorded over the course of a year in Berlin, New Orleans, and Nashville. For their 15th studio effort, the band took a broader approach to their writing, allowing for an expansive collection of songs that spoke to universal themes.


Among the highlights is “Discoverer,” one of Michael Stipe’s only autobiographical songs. Featuring an appearance by Patti Smith (who also lends her voice to closer “Blue”) the song serves as a love letter to New York City. “It’s about realizing that the city offers you this unbelievable potential and opportunity; all the things you are looking for in your teens and your twenties,” Stipe told Interview Magazine. The album also includes the joyful “Mine Smell Like Honey,” plus singles “Überlin,” “Oh My Heart,” and the soaring “It Happened Today,” featuring guest vocals by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and The Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb. The breakneck “Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter,” meanwhile, finds Stipe duetting with Peaches, with a special appearance by longtime Patti Smith guitarist, Lenny Kaye.


While the band chose not to tour behind the album, they partnered with a variety of prominent filmmakers and artists (including Sam Taylor-Wood, Jim Herbert, and James Franco), who directed music videos for each track. Speaking to Interview, Stipe explained, “The idea was to present a 21st-century version of an album. What does an album mean in the year 2011, especially to generations of people for whom the word album is an archaic term? I wanted to present an idea of what an album could be in the age of YouTube and the Internet.”


Released one year after R.E.M.’s 30th anniversary, Collapse Into Now served as a triumphant cap to the band’s celebrated career, landing in the Top 5 in the US, UK, and across Europe, and drawing praise from outlets around the globe. Uncut noted that the album “bristles and fizzes with invigorating quantities of wit and fury,” while Under the Radar declared, “You’re listening to a legendary band utterly revitalized, operating at the peak of their formidable powers.” The Village Voice hailed the album’s “signature balance of folky and punky,” while Spin mused that it “sounds like a familiar friend – reliable in all the best ways, but still capable of quietly insinuating surprises.”


Click here to pre-order Around the Sun and Collapse into Now.


Around the Sun Vinyl Tracklist


Side A

1.      Leaving New York

2.      Electron Blue

3.      The Outsiders


Side B

1.      Make It All Okay

2.      Final Straw

3.      I Wanted To Be Wrong


Side C

1.      Wanderlust

2.      Boy In The Well

3.      Aftermath


Side D

1.      High Speed Train

2.      The Worst Joke Ever

3.      The Ascent Of Man

4.      Around The Sun



Collapse Into Now Vinyl Tracklist:



1.      Discoverer

2.      All the Best

3.      Überlin

4.      Oh My Heart

5.      It Happened Today

6.      Every Day Is Yours To Win



1.      Mine Smell Like Honey

2.      Walk It Back

3.      Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter

4.      That Someone Is You

5.      Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I

6.      Blue



About R.E.M.:

One of the most revered bands in popular music history, R.E.M. pioneered the alt-rock movement of the ‘90s, influencing future acts like Radiohead, Nirvana, Pavement, and Pearl Jam. Formed in 1980, the group enjoyed an extraordinary three-decade-long run of creative vitality and multi-platinum sales before amicably disbanding in 2011. Despite great success, the band members never lost track of their core values – remaining outspoken in their views about political, social, and environmental issues, and never wavering when it came to artistic integrity. Throughout their career, R.E.M. released a total of 15 studio albums, won three GRAMMY® Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.


About Craft Recordings:

Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most essential collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its storied repertoire includes landmark releases from icons such as Joan Baez, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Celia Cruz, Miles Davis, Isaac Hayes, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, R.E.M., Joan Sebastian, and Traveling Wilburys. Plus, the catalog recordings of celebrated contemporary acts including A Day to Remember, Evanescence, Alison Krauss, Nine Inch Nails, Taking Back Sunday and Violent Femmes, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Fania, Fantasy, Fearless, Musart, Nitro, Panart, Prestige, Riverside, Rounder, Specialty, Stax, Vanguard, Varèse Sarabande, Vee-Jay and Victory, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation—ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover. Craft is also home to the Billie Holiday and Tammy Wynette estates which preserve and protect their respective names, likeness and music through day-to-day legacy management of these cultural trailblazers. 


Craft Recordings is the catalog label team for Concord. For more info, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramTikTok, and YouTube.