Picking my top ten releases of 2012 was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I selected twenty-five titles at first, then had to whittle it down. I tried to include as much variety as possible while also keeping in mind resonance and importance. Ranking them one to ten is impossible, so these are what I feel to be the most important titles from the past year and the reason why:
1. Led Zeppelin – LZ Riders In AZ (Tarantura 121-1, 2, 3). This came out early in the year and it’s still impressive. All documents from Led Zeppelin’s 1972 US tour are valuable and worth having. Tarantura’s version of the Tucson show is superior to all the past releases and ranks among the best work the label has ever done.
2. The Rolling Stones – Everybody, Rattle Your Jewelry (Godfather Records GR 830/831) with the November 25th O2 show. I could have easily have posted its companion piece Champagne, Reefer And A Red Headed Woman (Godfather Records GR 832/833) with the November 29th show. Not only are these excellent sounding titles, but also capture an important moment in time of the Stones’, and rock and roll, history.
3. Queen – Wembley Stadium 1986 (Wardour-096). One of the nicest surprises by Wardour. Released last spring, it documents the famous two shows in Wembley Stadium on A Kind Of Magic tour from excellent audience tapes.
4. Bob Dylan – Night Before Hush (Chrome Horse Records CHR-07/08). Chrome Horse don’t release titles often, but when they do they are an event. Night Before Hush has a great sounding tape from the waning days of Dylan’s Street Legal tour in suburb packaging.
5. Bob Dylan – Live In Japan Vol. 3 (Tarantura TCDBD-3-1, 2). Tarantura released their first ever Dylan titles this year with Mr. Peach recordings from his first tour of Japan in 1978. Volume 2 was the first release, but Volume 3 has a much better show in equally good sound quality.
6. The Rolling Stones – Circus Krone 2003 (no label). The surfacing of the Munich footage was one of the nicest surprises for Stones collectors. The no label Circus Krone 2003 has the complete package with the video soundtrack on two audio CD’s and the video on one DVD in remastered sound quality.
7. Led Zeppelin – It’s Been A Long Time -MSG 1971- (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-014A/B/C/D). Graf Zeppelin releases titles infrequently but produce quality when they do. This is the definitive version of Zeppelin’s Madison Square Garden show in 1971 edited from two sources and sounding better than ever.
8. Pink Floyd – The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970 – 1974 (Godfather Records GR BOX 09). A daring romp through the five most important years of Pink Floyd’s career, this box caught me completely off guard. Four of the five shows make their silver debut and the fifth, the 1973 Munich show, sounds better than ever. This is already a legendary box for Pink Floyd collectors.
9. King Crimson – At Rainbow Theatre (Tarantura TCDKC-3-1, 2). Tarantura released several memorable King Crimson titles this year, but this is perhaps the most enjoyable, capturing the Larks Tongues’ In Aspic line up at their terrifying peak.
10. Queen – Love For An Hour Is Love Forever (The Godfather Box G.F. Box 11). Hot Space fans (like me) are still thanking Godfather for finally giving Queen’s underrated 1982 US tour the respect it deserves. Three of the best shows in excellent sound quality along with lots of goodies in the box. Love for an hour does indeed last forever…
Top 10 of 2012 by Pookie
In no particular order did I list these – just my favorites of 2012!
Eric Clapton – Memphis 1974 (Beano-067). My older brother attended this show at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on a blistering hot day!
Jethro Tull – Truth Is Like Freedom (Godfather GR 783)
The Who – Dutch Seduction (Godfather-828-821). Powerful, moving and a stellar recording.
The Rolling Stones – We Got a Good Thing Going (Godfather GR 756/757).
Led Zeppelin – The Intimidator (Empress Valley EVSD-72-73-74). An affordable way to obtain this splendid Zep performance with a very high grade sound.
Van Halen – Bottoms Up (Godfather GR751). A very fresh Van Halen playing some wonderful music.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Live At Global Citizens Festival (Godfather GR 814).
The Kinks-The Anthology of the Kinks-1963-2001 (Wonderland Records-WLR-2161). For the obscure tracks and great sound quality!
Free – Songs Of Yesterday (Godfather-822) Two shows from Stockholm,Sweden 12-12-1970 which has been released before and the rather obscure show from the Boston Tea Party-7-24-1969, both stunning shows (Paul Kossoff’s guitar is so unique!)
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Featuring Eric Clapton- Fillmore West 1970 (Beano-062) – Such soul and depth which Clapton’s guitar adds even more passion to this show.
Hello, here is my top list of 2012, only containing releases Crystal Cat and Godfather. I don’t have access to other labels :(
1. Bruce Springsteen – Gothenburg Second Wrecking Ball Night (Crystal Cat).
2. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Live At Global Citizen Festival (Godfather)
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Used To Be In A Band Called Oasis (Godfather Records GR 741/742)
4. Muse – Just In A Dream
5. Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band – The Italian Promise (Godfather GR 761/762/763)
6. Neil Young – One Of The Very Best Performances (Godfather GR 737)
7. Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band – Follow That Dream (Godfather Records GR 719/720/721)
8. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Wherever The Party Goes (Godfather Records GR 825/826)
9. Pink Floyd – The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970 – 1974 (Godfather Records GR BOX 09).
10. Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band – La Vie En Rose (Godfather Records GR 777/778 /779).
These are the best releases of the 2012. I only buy Godfather releases Because then you know what you get.
1. Kiss – The Lost Tapes (The Godfather Box G.R.Box 12)
2. Iron Maiden – British Metal Onslaught Maiden England 1982-83-84 (The Godfather Box 14)
3. Van Halen – Before The Eruption (The Godfather Records G.R.705/706)
4. Kiss – What Goes On Behind Closed Doors (The Godfather records G.R. 798/799)
5. Led Zeppelin – Ascension In The Wane (Godfather GR BOX 13)
6. Van Halen – Bottoms Up (Godfather GR 751)
7. Led Zeppelin – Berkeley Daze – 1st Night (Godfatherecords G.R. 722/723)
8. Led Zeppelin – Berkeley Daze – 2nd Night (Godfatherecords G.R. 724/725)
9. Queen – Love For An Hour Is Love Forever (The Godfather Box G.F. Box 11)
10. Jethro Tull – Truth Is Like Freedom (Godfather GR 783)
/ / Joppe
Hi together, top 10 by Frank in Germany.
1. Pink Floyd: Yeeshkul (Sigma 80)
2. Pink Floyd: In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71)
3. Pink Floyd: Offenbach 1971 (Sigma 69)
4. Pink Floyd: An Italian Tale (Godfather Records GR 735/736)
5. Pink Floyd: Atomic Heart Beat In The Hall (Godfather Records GR 786/787)
6. Genesis: Man On The Hammersmith (Virtuoso 137/138)
7. Pink Floyd: Killesberg Halle 1970 (Sigma 81)
8. Pink Floyd: Eclipse of the Sun – Sigma
9. Pink Floyd: Sapporo 1972 – Sigma
10. Pink Floyd: Rave Master Matrix – Sigma
My Top Ten, no particular order and I believe the Rainbow set was actually released in December of 2011 but since I did not get mine and its relevance I chose to include. – relayer67
Rainbow – The Closing Night (Tarantura TCDNIJIFUNE – 10-1,2) Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Thursday December 16, 1976 Evening Show. The final night of the 1976 tour, incredible recording and the guitar case extra is incredible. T takes it to the next level.
KISS – The Lost Tapes (The Godfather Box G.R.Box 12) a deluxe treatment, so much great music from this legendary band and a release that really sets the standard of what collectors want from a box set.
Ozzy – Speak Evil Of Ozz (Shades 509) superb concert gets a nice silver release in stunning sound quality.
Iron Maiden – British Metal Onslaught Maiden England 1982-83-84 (The Godfather Box 14) Incredible release from Godfather showcasing the “glory” years of the legendary metal band.
Yes – Close To The East (Virtuoso 125/126/127/128/129/130) very good quality audience recordings of the bands 1973 Japanese tour + mini tour book to boot. A must have.
Pink Floyd – Atomic Heartbeat In The Hall (Godfatherecords GR 786/787) A must have show in acceptable quality, I have been clambering for a release of this show and glad it finally came.
Led Zeppelin – Detroit Rock City 1973 (Graff Zeppelin LZSC – 010A/B/C) Living close to Detroit, Led Zeps shows from that city have always fascinated me, The folks at Graf Zep provided something I have been wanting in my collection for some time, all existing tape from the bands 1973 shows at the famous Cobo Arena.
Black Sabbath – Eternal Void Of Doom – (No Label) An important concert in the bands career in excellent quality, the folks at No Label deliver on their Sabbath releases.
Pink Floyd – The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970-1974 (Godfather Box 09) I love the years that this incredible box focused on, truly the band at their improvised best and once again Godfather is the premium label for multi disc sets for the collectors / fans.
Judas Priest – Tyranny Unleashed In The East – (Tarantura TCDJUDAS-3,4) Released at the tail end of 2012 this amazing mini box set features both the early and evening shows from Tokyo from February 10, 1979 that would go on to make up the Unleashed in the East record. Both shows are from incredible Mr. Peach masters and the sound is unparalleled.
Here is my list of my favorite releases in 2012:
1. YES – Progressive Pop Festival 70 (1 CD, Virtuoso)
2. Led Zeppelin – Maryland Moonshine Box (12 CD Box, Empress Valley)
3. Led Zeppelin – Snowblind (6 CD Box, Empress Valley)
4. Van Morrison – Just like ways back in the days of old, Filmore West 1970 (1 CD, Godfather)
5. Rolling Stones – The Brussels Affair 73 (1 CD, No Label)
6. YES – Fly at Last (2 CD, Virtuoso)
7. Rolling Stones – LA Friday (2 CD, No Label)
8. YES – Close to the East (6 CD, Virtuoso)
9. Pink Floyd – The massed Gadget of Hercules 1970-1974 (10 CD Box, Godfather)
10.Led Zeppelin – Ascension in the Wane (10 CD Box, Godfather)
Have a great year in 2013, Cheers, Jens
Best of 2012 for Collector’s Music Reviews A pretty good year, I suppose, but I continue to lament the relegation of many of my favourite artists to cdr only status-Mott, Elton, Faces, Roxy Music, Dolls, etc. etc. would all have received silver releases in the past but those days are clearly long gone. It’s too bad, particularly since there are still plenty of old shows surfacing. In my fantasy world, the two great recordings of Elton John from the Seattle stand of the short Fall ’75 tour that surfaced on Dime a year or two ago would be released in a beautiful digipack with slipcase.
Anyway, here are my picks for 10 Best of ’12. It strikes me that the list is dominated by Tarantura and Godfather but I guess that’s just a reflection of the fact that there aren’t that many other labels left releasing silvers that cater to my particular tastes. I love that Godfather focuses on such a wide range of artists and I like Tarantura’s recent tendency towards Stones releases.
So, in no particular order:
Aerosmith-Good Condition in Kyoto (Tarantura) I’ve been on a real 70’s Aerosmith kick lately and this Mr. Peach recording from the ’77 Japanese tour is up to par with the other two from last year (The Wanderer and Bore Up Under Strain). Rocks was the first Aerosmith album I bought, age 13 in the summer of ’78, and the live renderings here of Lick and a Promise, Sick As a Dog, Last Child et. al. take me straight back there.
David Bowie-Wild Mutation (Godfather) I recall that when I first bought Stage, the official live album from the ’78 tour, I found the band way too keyboard-heavy. I warmed to it over the years, though, especially the Ziggy segment, so this good audience recording from Detroit ’78 was very welcome.
Rolling Stones-Live 666 (Tarantura) Of course, every Stones collector knows the common Paris, June 6, ’76 soundboard recording so it’s nice to have an alternate, audience source. The ’76 European tour is frequently maligned but I quite like it.
Runaways-Wasted (Scorpio) This Scorpio is U.K.-based, I believe, and, while these three radio broadcasts are not new discoveries, it’s nice to have them all together in one nice package, with individual sleeves and liner notes in a cool digipack.
Van Morrison-Just Like Way Back in the Days of Old (Godfather) I don’t think there is a whole lot of live Van from the early 70’s out there and this show makes me eager to hear more . I’ll have to look into that.
Delaney and Bonnie Featuring Eric Clapton-Fillmore West 1970 (Beano) I’m not a big Clapton fan but I really like his playing with Delaney and Bonnie. The two sets contained in this release just cook-I mean, what a smoking band! I bought the Rhino Handmade box set of the U.K. tour that came out a few years ago and this makes for a nice compliment to that.
Queen-In Hama (Tarantura) And Mr. Peach strikes again! A great show from Yokohama ’75. My only quibble here is that we don’t get a complete ‘In The Lap of the Gods Revisited’ as that is one of my favourite songs from my favourite Queen album. Other than that-beautiful gatefold sleeve as usual, mastered exceedingly loud as usual (sometimes that bothers me, here it does not).
Led Zeppelin-Ascension in the Wane (Godfather) Wow. I love Zeppelin but am not a completist so I only had two of these ’73 U.K. soundboards. That made picking this up a no-brainer. Beautifully put together and right up there with the other Godfather box set I’ve shelled out for, the Neil Young Road of Plenty set from last year. More box sets like this please, Godfather!
Rolling Stones-Live in Hot ‘Lanta (Tarantura) Just made it in under the wire. It’s nice to see a more obscure ‘75 show get the deluxe treatment. I’d wondered who was eventually going to release this on silver and I assumed it would be either DAC or the no-label folks. I hope Tarantura keeps the Stones releases like this flowing.
Neil Young-One of the Very Best Performances (Godfather) I actually had the old Silver Shadow release of this classic solo show from Royal Festival Hall, London ’71 but it’s nice to see it back out there and easy to pick up. The title does not lie.
So, those are my ten picks. I had to leave out a few titles that just made it out before the end of the year but that are still on their way to my mailbox: Rolling Stones-Champagne, Reefer and a Red headed Woman, Aerosmith-Rocks Budokan, Led Zeppelin-Quick Diet, Beck, Bogart and Appice-Live in Japan. Some of these could have made the list if they’d arrived in time.
Best of 2012, the 10 best silver pressed bootleg releases of 2012 (released between January 1st, 2012 and December 31st, 2012.)
1. Pink Floyd-The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970-1971 Godfather Records Box 09 (27 February 2012) .4 OF THE 5 CONCERTS FOR THE FIRST TIME ON CD!!!.
2. U2-Zoonited Kingdom Godfather Records Box 15 (18 October 2012).
3. Neil Young-Welcome To London,Ladies and Gentlemen Godfather Records 803-804 (18 October 2012).
4. Led Zeppelin-Berkeley Daze-1st Night Godfather Records 722-723 (27 February 2012) and 2nd Night Godfather Records 724-725 (27 February 2012).
5. Coldplay-Somethin Beautiful Godfather Records 726 (27 February 2012).
6. Pink Floyd-Rave Master Matrix Sigma 79.
7. The Who-The Dutch Seduction Godfather Records 820-821 (12 December 2012). THE DEFINITIVE PRE-FM VERSION!!!.
8. Queen-Au Poi! Godfather Records 764-765 (3 July 2012). FOR THE FIRST TIME ON CD!!!
9. Pink Floyd-Atom Heart Beat In The Hall Godfather Records 786-787 (20 September 2012). FOR THE FIRS TIME ON CD!!!
10. The Rolling Stones-Everybody,Rattle Your Jewerly Godfather Records 830-831 (17 December 2012). Champagne,Reefer And A Red Headed Woman Godfather Records 832-831 (17 December 2012).
I’m from Spain. I am a great fan of Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and Coldplay. You are doing a great job, really. Hugs from Spain. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013.
My Favorite Ten Silver Titles Of 2012 By Rod Serling
10.Van Halen-Before The Eruption-Godfather-mastering on this 2 cd set is inferior to European Party At ground Zero CD but this is the first complete VH pre debut silver pressed demo collection
9.U2-Real Life On A Cloud-Godfather-this superb 1981 Boston concert makes it`s first appearance on CD
8.Rolling Stones-Got Live If You Want It 45th Anniversary-Okay,this has all been released before, and the mastering sounds too bright and loud for my tastes, but there are so many of my favorite Brian Jones era performances all on this one CD that it just has an incredible flow all the way through.
7.Kiss-Fab Four From Hell-Tarantura-Superb Mr.Peach recording from a really good show.
6.The Scorpions-Blackout In Shinjuku-Shades-I love the setlist from this period.I hope this tour was professionally recorded as well as the Tokyo 1979 Pre FM Master.Unicorn
5.Led Zeppelin-Express-Scorpio-5/23/75 Earl`s Court complete show from best sources on CD
4.The Beatles-Blackpool Night Out-Unicorn
3.Beatles-Acetates Collection-Unicorn-Just great! I wish more people heard this stuff.
2.Judas Priest-Jawbreaker & Defender Of Gods-Okay here are two separate titles from the Shades label recorded May 2,and May 5,1984 for radio broadcast.Both of these are from superb sources and have the original dynamics of the recording intact without adding extra EQ & compression.Outstanding sound from a pair of energetic shows.
1.Ozzy Osbourne-Definition Of Blizzard-Zodiac-My top pick of 2012 comes from a great new label called Zodiac. All of their heavy metal titles have been excellent. These superb sources for the Ohio and Montreal shows along with some rare Quit Riot make this best sounding Randy Rhoads compilation existing on cd period.
I wish this set could be made available just as it is. People would love it!
Zodiac people, one request: Please issue The Scorpions Live In Hannover Germany 1984 on CD next!
*Honorable mention-Metallica-Demos 1982-83-No Life Til Leather-Power Metal-Megaforce. This CD has been in print in Germany for the past few years and is said to be a clone of an out print Japanese CD called The Real No Life Til Leather. This is alleged to be a straight transfer from the masters or lowest generation sources. The sound is outstanding and I personally enjoy these early recordings even more than the versions on Kill ‘Em All.
Top Ten Boots of 2012. ( In no particular order .. )
Bob Dylan “Nashville Sessions 1969 and more ..” ( Rattlesnake ) As ‘classic Dylan’ releases become fewer and fewer there had to be one shining example out of all of the rest and that, to me, was this release. 4 new outtakes from down home Dylan at the transition between his sandpaper rasp and his syrupy croon. A set of acetate tracks without overdubs, the Dylan / Harrison tracks in their best ever quality and refurbish of the old bootleg track “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”. We could be waiting a long time until the next big escape from the vaults so this one should be one to be relished.
Rolling Stones “Everybody, Rattle Your Jewelry” / “Champagne, Reefer and A Red Headed Woman” ( The Godfather Records ) After that hiatus and in their 50th year we were expecting SOMETHING from the Stones and if the books, official bootlegs, apps and pop up stores weren’t going to cut it what we wanted was a return to the stage and this time we got what we wanted. While the inevitable audience recordings flooded out just after the shows on mid priced CDRs we didn’t have long to wait until the Don put out a set of IEM / Audience matrix masters in elaborate packaging and while the sound might have highlighted the bands deficiencies they’d only have been covered by a poor quality audience recording.
David Bowie “The Wild Mutation” ( The Godfather Records ) Bob Dylan “The Ballad of Paddock Wood” ( The Godfather Records ) One of Dylans more discussed shows, the show where the grand made it’s first appearance to the stage. Little surprise to the setlist but one of his better performances this year from a risible bunch and again, a show that was well captured from the Don. Add a few choice bonus tracks and you have a winner.
John Lennon “Oddities” ( His Masters Choice ) Yes! Another collection of John Lennon odds and ends, presumably from the ‘Anthology’ work tapes. Good Lennon releases are few and far between nowadays but upon release the best ones are notable for their brilliance. Trust HMC to bring us a few more scraps from their archives at the time when we least expected it. This is one of those great releases where everything here is a keeper and almost unique to your collection.
Bruce Springsteen an the E-Street Band “Apollo” ( Crystal Cat ) Rather than having my list look too label-centric and one sided I had to choose this release from the Crystal Cat catalogue. A storming show at the Harlem Apollo theatre where Bruce lit up the night, climbed across the scenery and tore through some old, soul standards once more.
Neil Young “One of The Very Best Performances” ( The Godfather Records )
Queen “Love For An Hour Is Love Forever” ( The Godfather Box ) With the apparent decent in CD sales it seems strange that the boxed set is still king. Researched and put together properly it’s a great scheme to lose yourself within the music for more than an hour or so than you would do with a singular or double disk set. A perfectly produced and written set with 3 rarely heard concerts only previously ‘released’ on CDR. A brilliantly rock but pop show where the band strode between the heady, heavy rock of their formative and fused it together, like David Bowie had done earlier on in the decade becoming the stadium filling, hedonistic, purveyors of pomp that would be their standard before Freddie’s untimely passing.
Bob Dylan “It Could Have Been A Myth” ( Lone Hearted Mystic ) Another classic Dylan show that has lain fully unheard until the auction of an acetate in 2011 rightly set it free. Another point in Dylan’s career in which change was in the air, the page was turning and his innocence was rapidly aging. Topped off with an upgrade of the Broadside demos – long a mainstay of bootlegs but showing fewer releases in the past few years and a couple of tracks from the Royal Festival Hall show in 1964 .. a tempting thought to think that we might get the songs from that show released.
This was tough for me GS as I bought a bunch of boots this past year but a lot of them were older releases. But for what it is worth here are the ones released in 2012 I bought.
1. Thin Lizzy- Wild Eyed Boys, Shades- Thin Lizzy silver cd’s are rare indeed so it is amazing that we get two complete excellent quality SB recordings from the classic lineup in one package. The Chicago show is a major upgrade over the old silver pressing and the Hammersmith show makes its debate on silver disc. Nice to have two shows from 2 different tours so there is a nice mix of songs. This is the best of the year for me.
2. Steely Dan- Live at the Rainbow, Masternote- This CD is a soundtrack for my youth as I grew listening to early Steely Dan. It is like a live greatest hits up to Pretzel Logic and the sound is near perfect but could use a little more mid bass warmth but I am guessing it is a rip from a Wolfgangs Vault Stream so it should not be surprising. This is close second for my boot of the year.
3. Rolling Stones Western Affair Vol 1, DAC- With the 69 tour being my favorite all time Stones tour I was extremely excited when this release was announced and I was not disappointed as it is a nice upgrade over the circulating versions of these two early tour shows. Nice to have both in one package.
4. Black Sabbath- Killing Yourself to Die– Starts out as a VG audience recording then clears up nicely and becomes EX. VG performance by the band and nice to have suck an excellent recording from the underrated Technical Ecstasy Tour.
5. Rolling Stones-L.A. Friday (RS750713)- While we already have the superb Millard tape for this show it is nice to have a properly mixed multitrack from the Stones archive. Hopefully there will be more shows to come.
6. Rolling Stones- Live At The Tokyo Dome, Nanker Records,- Old School Stones fans may not care for the reunited Stones shows but I am thankful for anything the Stones share with us through the Archive releases and this one sounds fantastic.
7. Rolling Stones- Palm Beach Off Reels, Idol Minds- As disappointing as it was that this release still had the speed issues it was still an improvement over the old releases, had clear crisp sound and it was nice to have a disc of the warm-up band songs. I am huge fan of the Stones 69 tour and love any upgrade we get for these shows and this is definitely an upgrade.
8. Mountain- Budakon 1973– This is an excellent audience recording with all instruments and vocals very clear and defined. Only downside is Corky Lang was not with the band for this tour due to a dispute with Felix and his drumming is sorely missed.
9. Yes Close To The East (Virtuoso 125/126/127/128/129/130)- These have all been released as individual shows and I don’t hear a tremendous upgrade in sound here but nice to have the March 9th Tokyo show complete now and all the shows in one package. Very good sounding audience recordings from this historic classic lineup tour.
10. Deep Purple Lyon 1973 (Darker Than Blue 131)- I don’t have any older versions of this show to compare too but have to say this new release of this show was a pleasant surprise as I thought the sound was VG+ to EX. Even causal Purple fans would enjoy this release.
Also if you have not already done so check out this streaming site of bootlegs it is amazing. http://tela.sugarmegs.org/alpha/Nu.html
1 – PINK FLOYD – The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules 1970 – 1974 The Godfather Records.
2 – THE ROLLING STONES – Champagne, Reefer And A Red Headed Woman – The Godfather Records
3 – LED ZEPPELIN – Maryland Moonshine – Empress Valley
4 – THE WHO – The Dutch Seduction – The Godfather Records
5 – LED ZEPPELIN – The Wanton Song – Scorpio
6 – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – The Bottom Line 1975 – Fanatic Records
7 – ROGER WATERS – US Wall – LEM
8 – RUSH – Hyperspace – Gypsy Eye
9 – THE FACES – Killer Highlights – Scorpio
10 – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Durham 1976 – JEMS [Pressed on Run South, Young Man on Godfather Records. – ed]
Thanks for this opportunity to list my favorites. I cannot wait to read everyone’s submissions. These lists are always fun and educational.
I can summarize my favorite 2012’s releases in two words “Box Sets”. All of my favorite releases are box sets, so I am doing a “Top 5” box sets list, isolating my favorite discs from each box set.
#1: Pink Floyd “The Massed Gadgets of Hercules 1970-1974” (Godfather Records)
This box set is great! This was a total surprise. Five shows from five different tours, which beautifully illustrate the Floyds evoulution from avant garde club band in 1970 to their post Dark Side stadium spectacle. This release gets top billing for several reasons: four of the five shows had NEVER been released prior to this; The sound quality of all five shows is excellent (by general Floyd boot standards); Finally (most importantly) all of the performances are of very high quality! These few facts make this (possibly) not only the best release of this year, but one of the finest Pink Floyd releases ever. For the casual or new collector it offers an instant historical cross section of the Floyds greatest live era, and for the seasoned collector, there is no question to its value. Four unique versions of “Careful with that Axe Eugene”, three versions of “Echoes”, and three complete “Dark side of the Moon” suites!!
The five shows included in the box (two discs each):
1. Meistersinger Halle, Nuremburg, Germany, 3/14/1970 (Great “Interstellar Overdrive”)
2. Student Union Bar, Technical College, Farnsborough, Hampshire, England, 2/13/1971 (Probably my personal favorite show of the set)
3. Township Audtiorium, Columbia, South Carolina, 4/16/1972 (Rare “Atom Heart Mother” Encore)
4. Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany 10/12/1973 (one of 1973’s best performances!)
5. Colston Hall, Bristol, Somerset, England, 12/14/1974 (Very early versions of “Shine On” and “Animals” tracks)
#2: Frank Zappa “I am the Clouds – Germany Tour ’88” (Godfather Records)
1988 was one of Zappa’s favorite tours (as represented on several official releases), but somewhat frowned upon by many fans. This was a band that was somewhat inconsistent, especially in America, but they were simply astonishing every night in Germany. Hopefully this box set will help show just how great this band could be. You may even say they are the best band you never heard in your life (ha ha). Innovative, inspiring and (at times) hilarious improvisations, set lists, solos and cover songs, every night.
Favorite three shows in the Box:
1. Carl-Diem-Halle, Wurzburg, Germany, 4/22/1988 (Hilarious show plus three versions of “Ring of Fire”!!)
2. Rudi-Sedimayer-Halle, Munchen, Germany, 5/9/1988 (Great “King Kong” and covers of “I am the Walrus” and “Whipping Post” with Dweezil”
3. Mozartsaal, Mannaheim, Germany, 5/25/1988 (Killer second set medley with “Lumpy Gravy” and a cover of “Stairway to Heaven”
#3 King Crimson “Larks Tongue in Aspic – Complete Recordings” DGM
This was a limited edition and officially released box set of all the known studio and live recordings of the short lived (and amazing!) King Crimson line-up of Fripp/Wetton/Bruford/Cross/Muir in 1972. Total of 15 CDs including: Really cool studio improvisations and alternate takes which help to show the creation of the “Larks Tongue” record; Remastered versions of the album, including 5.1 DVD and Blu-Ray mixes; Very cool video content of the band performing live in studio ; and Nine CDs of live material! The live material includes some amazing instrumental improvisations. Also the packaging includes some very cool reproduced handbills, photos, etc.
1. The live video content is great fun to see. Crimson video is very rare. Especially Jamie Muir’s percussion work is extremely entertaining.
2. Hull Technical College, 11/10/1972 (Two great improvs and a unique version of (21st Century Schizoid Man)
3. Portsmouth Guildhall, 12/15/1972
#4 Led Zeppelin “Ascension on the Wane” (Godfather Records)
Includes all the known January 1973 soundboards. This box is a great collection of some incredible music. All of the discs sound great and the packaging is the typical Godfather box and booklet (which is excellent). Only complaint is that much of it has been previously released.
This was an excellent period of playing for Zeppelin, and these soundboards (which Godfather has sounding as good as ever) really allow the playing to be heard. Featuring four excellent versions of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (my personal favorite Zep tune)
1. “One for the M6” Empire Theatre, Liverpool, England, 1/14/1973 (Great version of “The Ocean”)
2. “Grooving in the Garden” Trentham Gardens, Stoke, England, 1/15/1973 (this is a longtime favorite show of many collectors)
#5 Grateful Dead “Europe ’72 – Complete Recordings”
This release was conceived to celebrate the 40th anniversary of what many consider the Dead’s best tour. It includes the entire tour, remastered on CD in a beautiful steamer trunk. 72 discs!!! of some of the hottest, wildest, trippiest, and greatest live music ever. This is as cool as it gets. Every night European audiences were treated to three – five hour epic performances (many shows stretch over four cds). The highlight each night is undoubtedly the performance of either the great “Dark Star” or “The Other One” which alternate nightly. These spiritual improvisations would sometimes last close to an hour, weaving in and out of melody and space in a way that only the good ol’ Grateful Dead can achieve. This is psychedelic Americana for your head. These European audiences got a real treat. Now we can hear every last note of this legendary tour in crisp hi-def sound.
The playing is so consistent and the quantity of material is too vast for me to list any specific high points.
#6- Led Zeppelin “How the West was Won – Tapes Revisited” Box Set (Godfather Records)
#7- Velvet Underground “Velvet Underground & Nico – 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition” Box set which includes the complete live performance from Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, OH on 11/4/1966. AMAZING!
#8- Grateful Dead “Spring 1990” another complete tour box set from the Dead. This one covers the Spring 1990 tour complete over 18 cds.
#9- Rolling Stones “Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965” Excellent cd/dvd box set which covers the very early Stones live in 1965. Excellent picture/sound quality and an excellent documentary/concert film!
#10- Robert Johnson “Complete Recordings – Centennial Edition” Reproduces all the blues masters original sides on thick 45rpm vinyl records, in an amazing album. Best sound ever for this incredible body of work.
What a year for music collectors! These box sets are all amazing, and I recommend them all highly. Thanks to all the great reviewers at CMR. Keep up the great work! Lets hope we get some amazing new music in 2013.
Peace and Love to everyone.
1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Hometown Boys (3CD Trifold ) Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, USA, September 7, 2012. () The Godfather Records. GR 808/809/810
2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Apollo (2CD+1Bonus CD) Radio Broadcast : Celebrating 10 Years Of Sirius XM, Fri, 9 Mar, 2012, The Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York City, NY, USA. (Radio SBD) Crystal Cat Records. 990/992
3. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Royal Mojo (2CD Trifold Papercase) Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 20th June 2012 Plus Bonus Tracks : Piazza Napoleone, Lucca, Italy, June 29, 2012. (AUD) The Godfather Records. GR-793/794
4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – My Homes Here In These Meadowlands (2CD Trifold) Izod Center, East Rutherford, NJ, April 4,2012. () The Godfather Records.GR743/744
5. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Italian Promise (3CD Trifold ) Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy, June 7, 2012. () The Godfather Records. GR 761/762/763
6. Bob Dylan – Game Got Rough (2CD) Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA September 8, 2012. () Tamourine Man Records. TMR 205/206
7. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Beneath A Peaceful Sky (3CD Trifold Papercase) Valle Hovin, Oslo, Norway. 21st July 2012 Plus Bonus tracks :Radhusplassen, Oslo, Norway, July 2012. (AUD) The Godfather Records. GR-795/796/797
8. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Seekin Shelter From The Storm (3CD Trifold Papercase) Stadio Artemio Franchi, Fierenze, Italy. 10th June 2012 Plus Bonus Tracks : New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Acura Stage, Fairground Racetrack, New Orleans, Louisana, April 29, 2012. (AUD) The Godfather Records. GR-788/789/790
9. Bob Dylan – Ballad of Paddock Wood (2CD Trifold Papercase) Paddock Wood, England. Hop Farm Festival. 30th June 2012 Plus Bonus Tracks: Dresden, Germany , Junge Garde,July 3, 2012. (AUD) The Godfather Records. GR-791/792
10. Bob Dylan – Down From The Castle (2CD) Schlosspark, Bad Mergentheim, Germany July 6, 2012 plus bonus tracks (AUD) Tamourine Man Records. TMR 207/208
I am a big Springsteen, Petty and Dylan fan. So when these guys and their bands are on tour, I focus on their titles. The one shout is for Petty, as he does not get the representation that Springsteen and Dylan does on these type of releases. So I was very happy to see Godfather give him attention when he played the Royal Albert Hall this past year.
Thanks for doing this contest and most of all thanks for all of your reviews, as they are most helpful when I am shopping at music shows.
Thanks for extending the dead line for submission. Keep up the good work, I like the site very much. A lot to read and learn from, even after all those years collecting bootlegs in all possible forms.
Here’s my list of faves in 2012:
1. [By far!!] Bruce Springsteen – Live In Florence 2012 5LP / 3CD / 1 DVD (Virgin Vinyl Records)
2. Bruce Springsteen – Gothenburg Second Wrecking Ball Night (Crystal Cat Records)
3. Tom Petty & Heartbreakers – Royal Mojo (Godfather Records)
4. Bob Dylan / Mark Knopfler – Glasgow Box (Crystal Cat Records)
5. Bruce Springsteen – Giants Stadium 2009 (No label)
6. Bob Dylan – Hammersmith Box (Crystal Cat Records)
7. Rolling Stones – Swiss Made (Tarantura Records)
8. Bruce Springsteen – Folk’n’Roll in the Temple of Soul (Godfather Records)
9. Bruce Springsteen – Second Night At The Capitol Theater (Godfather Records)
10. Bruce Springsteen – Last Night At The Capitol Theater (Godfather Records)
Kind regards from Switzerland. Thomas
My 2012 top 10 releases, ALEXANDRO TALAMINI (chambau), Curitiba, Brazil:
1. Iron Maiden – BRITISH METAL ONSLAUGHT, Godfather (6CD). My favorite GF box set. Production is top notch. Performances and sound are brilliant.
2. Genesis – SIX OF THE BEST: REHEARSALS & LIVE. Wonderful historic event. Set list contains what should be Genesis’ definitive official album.
3. Yes – FLY AT LAST. Wonderful sound. You get a great Yes in a different perspective.
4. Rush – DEFINITIVE CHICAGO. Rush in its best tour ever. Where else can you get all those classics in a single concert with such sound quality? Ah, and you also get the reggae version of Working Man: Fantastic!!
5. Led Zeppelin – THE WANTON SONG. The definitive version of this historical event.
6. Page/Plant – BOOTLEG DAZE. I love P/P in their 1996 Japanese tour. Great shows!!
7. Led Zeppelin – ASCENSION IN THE WANE, Godfather (10CD). Another stunning box from GF. It made me stop searching for those shows from other labels.
8. Rainbow – ROGER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY. Love Rainbow with Bonnet. This is probably the better sounding tape from that era.
9. Jethro Tull – TRUTH IS LIKE FREEDOM, Godfather (1CD). Great show. Great sound.
10. U2 – A REAL LIFE ON A CLOUD, Godfather (1CD). This is U2 in their beginning. Sound is wonderful.
7 The Cure – Fuck Rock ‘N’ Roll
8 U2 – Real Life On A Cloud
9 U2 – A Decade Of Difference-Clinton Foundation Concert 2011+Glastonbury 2011
10 Nirvana The Sun Is Gone And I Have A Light
As a kid in the 80s, regarding U2 wasn’t touring any more, still 8 great concerts or upgrades for my collection. The beautiful Zoonited kingdom box (6 UK complete Zooropa shows), my second Cure show ever, and a great soundboard by Nirvana, what else can you want? Eric
1. IRON MAIDEN : British Metal Onslaught (Godfather Box 14)
This has to be the best ever Maiden boot. Classic era recordings, all great quality & in a box that has the attention to detail that some boots of the golden era used to have.I just love everything about this release : they took the best recordings available & made something special. The tour programmes replicas are really nice. Every Maiden fan should own this set.The Godfather label is one of the most prolific labels & they seem to have the guts to take a chance on producing something a little out of the ordinary.
2.IRON MAIDEN : Living in the Golden years (Godfather Records GR 633/634) Leicester 14-10-86
The Godfather does it again! Iv’e got many recordings from the ’86 tour & the stand out best are Leicester & Sheffield (1st night). I’ve always preferred the sound of Leicester. The great thing about this being one of the earlier shows of the tour is that “Where eagles dare” was still in the set list. This show has since been released on a Japanese label,but, i prefer Godfathers mastering.
3. ROLLING STONES : LA Friday (RS750713) LA Forum 13-7-75
I love the fact that finally there’s a fantastic soundboard from one of the legendary Stones boots from the ’70s. I just love the irony of how the bootleggers have eventually forced the hand of the labels/bands to give the fans something that they want. Just think, if it wasn’t for the bootlegs, the record companies wouldn’t have had the “idea” lol to have added outtakes,live cuts etc to the remastered/rehashed studio albums which no longer sell ;-)
4.VAN HALEN : Definitive Fresno (Shades 474) 25-3-79
Absolute classic Halen show with superb sound. This is also available on the Godfather label.
5. YES : Definitive Tourmato (Wembley 28-10-78 (FM) (2CD+ DVD)
As a kid i remember listening to my older sisters tape she’d made from the “Friday Rock Show” broadcast on Radio1.It was recorded on a C120 tape & as anyone from the era will know, they were prone to dying quite easily (never did tell my sis about the dropouts at the beginning of side2) Anyway, this for sure is the definitive version of the show. The DVD with 8mm clips synched to the broadcast is a nice bonus, but doubt i’ll watch it again.
6.BLACK SABBATH : Live Longest…Die At Last (no label) Asbury Park,NJ ’75
This is just perfect. Tapes that came from KBFHs archives. Superb sound, killer gig.
7. IRON MAIDEN : Slavery Master (Zodiac002) Milwaukee 19-11-84 (AUD) + Paris 29-10-84 (FM) (2CD)
As far as i’m concerned, this is THE best audio from the ’84 tour. The US set was shorter than the UK, but the quality of recording is astounding. Recorded down the front by someone who knew what he was doing. The audience isn’t too intrusive & all instruments are up front. If you get any Maiden recording from ’84, THIS is the one to have. Then, as a bonus the Paris ’84 radio broadcast is added. A very nice touch. I had a tape of the radio show but always thought it was a bit to “raw” with way to much audience mixed in. Having not listened to it since the ’80s, this new version sounds better than my memory & the energy in the performance is really there. It’s still not a pristine radio broadcast (I think it was only broadcast locally) but it’s such a rarity for there to be a Maiden radio show from back then.
8. BLACK SABBATH : Devil & Daughter (Langley Deluxe 016) Sheffield 2-9-89 (2CD)
Superb show with the underrated Tony Martin on vocals. This new release uses the master tapes & the sound is superlative.
9. U2 : Real Life On A Cloud (GF740) Boston 14-11-81
Classic radio broadcast from the Godfather. Typical quality production.
10. AC/DC : The complete soundboard collection With Bon Scott 1976-1979 (WLR-2149)
Ok, this didn’t come out in 2012, but that was when i finally tracked it down. An outstanding collection of the radio broadcasts from the Bon era.To finally have these recordings in the best quality available, in one box set is a must. Love it.
If i was to have some requests for 2013 it would be for IRON MAIDEN Sheffield ’86 CD+DVD package. Another thing I’d like to see, which i think only Godfather would do, is a GARBAGE reunion show from a radio source or even a dvd. Years back there were many Garbage boots & their fans were obsessive collectors. Whilst it would be a gamble, i think a quality Garbage release would be nice. Cheers – G.A.
2012 was definitely the year of Godfather Records! Amazing box sets that finally have great sound as well as delightful offerings.
11. As an honorable mention, I have to put Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day. Of course, I already had two versions of this. Why did it take five years to be released?
10. Black Sabbath: Sabbath Early Sabbath Outtakes 1969-71. These were great to hear. Most of us have never heard these old versions.
9. Roger Waters: Another Bass in the Wall. I went to the Tampa show. I get to watch it over and over! The next best thing to seeing Pink Floyd live.
8. U2: Zoo Tour. Such an awesome box set. Also, a great era for U2.
7. Pink Floyd: Tearing Down the Coliseum Wall. Three shows! From the original Wall Tour. They may be audience recordings, but the box set is awesome!
6. KISS: MK V. Kiss from the long, lost 80s and without make up. Also, an awesome box set.
5. Led Zeppelin: Ascension in the Wane. So much here from Godfather! It takes forever to digest it all.
4. Roger Waters: Defining Moment. Roger Waters doing The Wall tour with David Gilmour as a guest! Enough said! Awesome!
3. Black Sabbath: Download, Donnington Park, UK. June 10, 2012. Awesome! Ozzy back with Black Sabbath. The past tours were amazing! And, new material is coming.
2. Tool: January 14, 2012; Reno Events Center. This is an audience recording, but Tool finally toured again! Orgasmic!
1. Iron Maiden: British Metal Onslaught. Finally! A Maiden box set! This one is superb. And, in Maiden’s heyday The big record labels should use this a model for how to create box sets!
This was a hard list to make! So much great stuff out there.
All the best, Wes
Hi chaps, Hope I’m not too late.
Last year my list would have been dominated by Floyd and Rainbow, for me. This year some old friends got a look-in.
CD Aerosmith – Counterpart Masters (Shades 461). A superb upgrade of the radio broadcast, and on silver this time. Where they found this source, I can only imagine. The tape is such a low generation (master, surely, as they claim) that on track 4 we have the DJ and band discussing levels in what would have been gaps filled by pre-recorded ads and jingles on the actual broadcast.
CD Black Sabbath – Killing Yourself To Die – The Legendary Master. On this new title, we get an upgrade some 35 years after the tape first appeared on vinyl. The previous best silver of this, on Bondage, was a transfer from that legendary vinyl; all other silvers were ripped from this, to the best of my knowledge. This new source has the tracks in the correct running order (no vinyl time-limits), an extra 6 minutes of material (generally chit-chat, but hey!) and slightly better sound. For me personally, it was an upgrade 25 years after first hearing. Back then, I had only a handful of bootlegs, so my tape from my own vinyl got played, and played, and played. I know every note, every cymbal crash, every cough. I least, that’s what I had thought, and therein lies the beauty of the 2012 release.
Black Sabbath – ‘Definitive Pittsburgh’. 2 famous Sabbath radio shows finally get the silver treatment they deserve. This means we get the best version out there of ‘All Moving Parts (Stand Still)’, played solely on the 1976-77 tour. That fills a gap in the collection – one that Sabbath seem unwilling to fill on official releases – and that makes me very happy.
Black Sabbath – Unsung Memories (Seventh Star Instrumental Demos 1995). SQ on the first 10 tracks, the Seventh Star instrumental demos is excellent, with only a slight buzz apparent between tracks. I bought SS on release and immediately loved it. 3 years between albums back then was an eternity. These tracks are not the final mix minus vocals – we get differences, mostly subtle, but sometimes more apparent. Best of all? At the time of the album’s release Tony Iommi appeared on ‘The Friday Rock Show’ on BBC Radio 1, for a 25 minute interview. During this he said that ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ had evolved from a jam. The album version is 6:38 long long – the longest of the two versions on ‘Unsung Memories’ is 11:32, the increased timing being due to an extended guitar solo. Tracks 11-18 have a SQ that is VG. Mostly jams, they three times feature Jeff Fenholt. However, we are also given ‘The Thrill Is Gone’. This is Lita Ford and Iommi demoing a song intended to be on one of Lita’s albums, before it was shelved. This release speed corrects it from an earlier release on Bondage. Some people view this era of Sabbath as being unloved and, at best, underappreciated. Never by me, though. Never by me.
Keep up the good work. Alister Blockley
1 Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan – Sessions 1969 (Hook n’ Jab)
2 Led Zeppelin – Ascension in the Wane (Godfather Records)
3 Various artists – Howlin’ For Hubert (no label)
4 Bruce Springsteen – Rocking Down The Giants (Godfatherecords G.R. 451/452/453)
5 The Rolling Stones – Champagne, Reefer And A Red Headed Woman (Godfather Records GR 832/833)
6 Iron Maiden – Fiery The Angels Fell (The Godfatherecords G.R. 322)
7 Various artists – Texas Hurricane (Mid Valley MVR 332/333)
8 Kiss – Buenos Aires Freak Show (The Godfatherecords G.R. 828/829)
9 Eric Clapton – Excellence & Elegance (Beano-069)
10 The Rolling Stones – Exiles In Rubber City (Tarantura TCDRS-13)
It’s a wonderful idea for a contest, and I’m happy to submit a list of some fave titles from 2012. I’m a bit of completist, but also a long-time collector who doesn’t buy every version of every show or new release of an older title. So, while I’m a huge Beatles fan, my collection has not expanded to include 2012 releases of Fabs titles that are essentially mining the same vein as things which have long-since been released.
My list is going to look like a plug for Godfatherecords, as these are all on their label. I have spent a small fortune this year with The Don.
My choices for “best of the year” are those titles that have a themed-purpose for their release. The first category would be “original tour that was celebrated in the current tour”. This would include Iron Maiden’s “London Blaze”, a great show and recording from the original “Maiden England” tour in the ’80s. This was the tour that the band honored in their 2012 tour. The “Blaze” show indeed blazes, even though there could have been a better choice for title of the release. Some of us mistakenly thought initially that it was a post-Bruce Dickenson show from the era that fans hate with sub-par vocalist Blaze Bayley. Thankfully, it’s only a bit of wordplay by Godfatherecords.
There are also the themed-purpose releases that might be grouped in the category of “tape ’em all, release ’em all”. In 2010 and 2011, that honor went to U2 for “the Don’s” near-obsessive release of any and all shows from “the claw” tour. In 2012, it went to The Boss. Yes, he’s been a mainstay of Godfather releases for many years, but in 2012, he played so many varied shows across the globe, and the Don was there to make sure that many were documented. It is impossible to pick a favorite, as all Boss shows are unique unto themselves. Always have been, always will be. We enjoyed various aspects of the tour: Europe, with “Italian Promise 2012”, “Spanish Eyes”, “La Vie en Rose”, “Au Claire de Lune” and “Beneath a Peaceful Sky” and US Shows “Hometown Boys”.
Then there’s the “We found it! We found it!” shows — Bossman’s “Last Night at the Capital Theatre 1978”. Wow. Wow. Too good to be lost all these years.
Then — the themed released BOX SET titles: Way too cool for “official release”, but a shame that it has to be the Don to put out DEFINITIVE box sets: Pink Floyd’s Massed Gadgets of Hercules” — great shows from when they were still a college-crowd stoner band (the crowd, not the band) up through the preview run-through shows of post-Dark Side 1974. In a similar multi-year vein, there was Iron Maiden’s “British Metal Onslaught”. These guys should have ruled the radio and MTV in those early-80s Bruce Dickenson days — certainly eons ahead of the drivel that passed (and still passes) for “metal” from lesser bands. There were also box sets that focused on one tour: Led Zep’s “Ascension In the Wane” – a box of gems featuring complete soundboard shows from a run of shows in January 1973 — and U2’s “Zoonited Nations” (a nod to the Zoo Station and Zooropa shows, in a modern era that saw the official re-release of the studio and accompanying live shows by the band’s label).
The box sets are like Christmas day for a kid — great packaging, great posters, great reproductions of tour programs. Everything except magnifying glasses to be able to read them.
All in all, a great year for live CDs released by the Godfatherecords wizards.
Mark GasperIf you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)