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Agenda Publications
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The recording industry has seen a big change in the way records become hits. In the old days if a record did not make it in six months or so, it was considered a dud. Now some records aren't noticed for quite a while and then turn into monster hits. Temple of the Dog's album was deleted by A&M due to poor sales and then, about a year and half after its original release date, was reissued to sell over a million copies. Blind Melon's record was out for over a year before MTV made it a megaseller. Now, with songs a couple thousand years old and recordings from as far back as 1 973, the Bénédictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos have what could become the biggest selling classical recording of all time. "Chant" (Angel) is a compilation of recordings that is selling like wildfire. It has sold over 1 00 copies at S.K.R. (School kids' classical outlet) and over 300 copies at Tower Records. It's been the number-one best seller at Tower (out-selling Smashing Pumpkins, Counting Crows and Pink Floyd) since it was released. Go figure, Gregorian Chants topping the pop charts? Every time I put this on, I get a silly grin across my face thinking about those robed chanters in "The Holy Grail" hitting themselves in the head. After this passes, the recording really has a calming effect. All your troubles just melt away. This is not the first, or only, Gregorian chant record out there. If you really like this, I suggest you talk to the folks at S.K.R. or Tower. They should be able to find other recordings that you will also like. By the way, all the big classical labels have plans to release or reissue other chant records in the next few weeks, so there should be plenty to choose from. Repeat after me: Classical music is not intimidating. Ask for help at your favorite record store and you will get it. And now for something completely different... Sir Douglas Quintet caught me off guard with a great little rocker of an album called "Day Dreaming at Midnight" (Elektra). BandleaderandsongwriterDoug Sahm can really kick ass, rock 'n' roll style, when he wants to. About half the songs have a John HiattTexas Tomados (Doug's other band) feel to them and the other half is just good ol' rock 'n' roll. Rockers are "Dylan Come Lately," "She Would If She Could, She Can't So She Won 't," and "Romance Is All Screwed Up." "Instruments of Terror" (Upstart) by La i ka & The Cosmonauts is afun album. They do a great surf version of "Mission Impossible." They are kind of a cross between Shadowy Men and The Ventures. If you like rewed up surf guitar, but dcxVt want the vocalist to get in the way, this Is the record for you. "Always Say Goodbye" (Gitanes) by Charlie Haden's Quartet West is a fine jazz album. Once again, Charlie is using records from his collection and mixing them with his band. This time the album starts off with dialogue from "The Big Sleep." It's cool to hear Coleman Hawkins (from 1 962), Jo Stafford (1944), Django Reinhardt (1949) and a special guest performance from StephaneGrappelli, Duke Ellington (1959) and Chet Baker (1955) mixed together with this modern band. Listen to this with the lights out - it's great!


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