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Music Reviews

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December 29, 1993

Record Company Recap

Record Company Recap -- As a year-end summary, it seems appropriate to review some of the best (and worst) record companies in America. As you know, there's a ton of good music out there. Here's where to find it:

10,000 ManiacsWarner Bros. -- Warner Bros. is, without doubt, the prince of record companies. The folks at Warner are always cheerful and helpful, and their products consistently deliver. There's no end to the good stuff from Warner, including the great albums by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Daniel Lanois, and Velvet Underground.

Interscope Records -- Founded by ace producer Jimmy Iovine and Marshall Field heir Ted Field, Interscope Records is the most exciting and innovative record company in the business today. With terrific releases from Snoop Doggy Dogg,Kindness of Strangers, 4 Non Blondes, and My Life With Thrill Kill Kult, Interscope is quality all the way. Here's to their continuing success and integrity.

Mesa Records -- Mesa, a little record company from Southern California, is quietly redefining adult contemporary/jazz music. With excellent releases from John Martyn, Al Stewart,and Richard Barone, Mesa is carving out a niche that everyone should explore.

BodeansSlash -- What a label! Though Slash may have only released a dozen discs this year, each was outstanding. Look for their dynamite albums from Grant Lee Buffalo, Los Lobos, and BoDeans. Slash is true to its artists, and releases strong, uncompromising music.

American Records -- Formerly known as Def American Records and piloted by boy wunder Rick Rubin, American Records appears destined for a serious clash with the PRMC. American's grotesque releases from the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and Andrew Dice Clay are offensive (even to this thick-skinned critic). When Tipper Gore gets wind of this stuff, she's sure to blow a gasket. Mark my words, a storm is brewing at American Records.

RCA Records -- I hate to admit it, but once-proud RCA is now a skinny, wet puppy lost in a deep, dark cellar. It seems like everything from RCA is DOA. Somebody, please, breathe some life back into RCA.

TubaChristmas -- Every year on a Saturday before Christmas a group of 30 to 40 horn players from around the valley gather at Manchester Mall for the annual "TubaChristmas." TubaChristmas is actually a national event, as local tuba players of all ages and backgrounds gather in a hundred or more cities to entertain and play traditional holiday tunes the old-fashioned way.

This year's TubaChristmas was held on December 18 at 1:15 P.M. Featuring chestnuts like "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night," the musicians recalled a page from our history -- from about 1860 to 1910, the brass band was the most popular form of musical entertainment in the U.S. Thanks to all the fine folks (including the gentleman with the unusual double-belled euphonium) who contributed their time and energy to making TubaChristmas a success.

Teach Your Children Well? -- When recently asked by Billboardmagazine why he recorded his Crosby, Still, Nash & Young hit "Teach Your Children" for a T.V. underwear advertisement, Graham Nash responded that "Fruit of the Loom approached me and wanted to pay me an outrageous amount of money. A million and a half dollars to use 30 seconds of a song I wrote a quarter of a century ago. I said, 'Absolutely.'"

-- Randy Krbechek

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