Last night, in Manilalike heat, I trekked southward on Manhattan Island to meet with Jim Davis, owner of Music Direct and one of his right hand men, Colie Brice. One of the best online sources for audiophile wares, both soft and hard, (now, now, let's keep those high fidelity minds up out of the gutter!), Music Direct, as many of you know, also owns the revived Mobile Fidelity label. MoFi was and maybe again THE proudest audiophile label of them all. The extra dynamics they squeezed out of Nirvana's Nevermind will forever amaze me.
At a time when the heads of most record labels barely know how to play a record, let alone make one, Manfred Eicherowner, founder, and inspiration of ECM Records, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010has been intimately involved in the making of nearly 1200 of them. How many, though, can he actually remember working on?
"When I listen back to them, I know the story of every record," he says without a smile or a moment's hesitation. "There is never an easy record. Every record needs a lot of input and concentration and dedication and passion to be made, that's clear. Create an atmosphere that is a productive search for music, and when this is the case, you have very memorable records."
A hit abroad but relatively unknown at home. That describes Cheap Trick who I wrote about here recently and also, believe it or not, Otis Redding. He was a big hit in the U.K. and even it seems in Paris before he hit at home with his final single, “(Sittin’ on the) “Dock of the Bay.”
Being a sixty year old rock star ain't easy, but there’s gotta be a better way for rock bands to grow old than the one Aerosmith has chosen. A symphony gig? What's next Disneyland on a co-bill with Up With People?