Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Elektra Retrospective Box, Bill Klemm Electric Rock

Originally posted on October 19, 2007

There’s a box set that has been out a little while that I have been listening to. It is a compilation of the now defunct Elektra Records called Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 (5-CD, Rhino Elektra). What amazes me about it is how it covers so much ground—and how the folk/rock scene changed so dramatically in those ten years. The cuts were selected with some care. There are things you might expect to find—like “Light My Fire” or “You’re So Vain.” And there are things that you may have passed by, too. There’s a wealth of folk acoustic cuts from the early days—Richard Farina, Fred Neil, The Dillards, etc. And there are some obscure rock groups too, like Leviathan, Clear Light, The Rainbow Band. It is all quite enjoyable if you like that era or are discovering the less frequented, non-Clear-Channel haunts of the music. Not everything is a top-40 hit, of course. Those were the days when it was cool to like that. Maybe those days are still with us.

A CD I’ve taken to recently was created by an old bandmate from years back. He’s Bill Klemm and his latest CD Bar Chord Heaven has that unmistakable mid-Beatles, early psychedelic rock sound. It is straightforward band rock, and his original tunes deftly showcase a different twist on retro-as-contemporary. You can find it at

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