Billboard | Arthur Lee’s Love, the Byrds’ Gene Clark Get Deluxe Reissues, Release Party

May 2, 2011 » Billboard

Billboard Magazine

By Phil Gallo

Los Angeles

High Moon Records, a specialty label focusing on the music of the 1960s and ’70s. held a record release party and concert April 29 recalling two Sunset Strip legends, Arthur Lee’s Love and the Byrds’ Gene Clark. Music from the label’s first two releases, Love’s “Black Beauty” and Clark’s “Two Sides to Every Story,” were played by musicians who backed the two late band leaders in the ’60s and ’70s.

The projects distinguish High Moon from other reissue labels — “Black Beauty,” recorded in 1973 by the only all-black lineup of Love, was never released; “Two Sides to Every Story” has been out of print in the United States for more than two decades. Initially scheduled for release on June 7, the two titles have been pushed back due to European rights issues and finalization of bonus tracks, label owner George Wallace said at the show held at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Calif.

Wallace and the label’s general manager Craig Hyman said future projects include reissues of music from Lotti Golden and Sopwith Camel plus unreleased material from the Ace of Cups, the only all-female ’60s San Francisco band. They are also in talks to reissue the only Love album not in print, “Reel to Real,” and live recordings and video of various acts from the era.home

“We’re students of reissue labels,” said Wallace, who has based High Moon in New York with co-owner J.D. Martignon. “We see the great things that have been done and try to do them one step better — better packaging, more liner notes, more unpublished photographs.

“This is a way to beat downloading. There are still people out there looking for aesthetically pleasing packages. Almost anything can be made quasi-commercial if it is contextualized in the right way.”

Hyman, who sees the label’s mission being a rock ‘n’ roll version of the folk and blues anthropological work of Harry Smith and Alan Lomax, added, “We’re not going into this to have hits. It’s to honor a vision and a passion and build a catalog.” The Love album will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally; the Clark album, licensed by his estate and Universal Music, will be physical only.

For the record release party, which attracted an healthy crowd of fans of both bands, was the first reunion of Love’s Melvan Whittington, drummer Joe Blocker and bassist Sherwood Akuna in 34 years. Clark was represented by the band of his son Kai Clark, who played “Two Sides” straight through, and a reunion of the Gene Clark Group from 1966, whose set included the Byrds classics “Feel a Whole Lot Better” and “Eight Miles High.”

“After all these years I’m glad I got to see it come out,” said Whittington, who was in contact with Lee up to his death in 2006. “Arthur does some great vocals on that album. I like playing this music so if it happens to (lead to) more gigs, I’d like to have more opportunities to say ‘thank you, Arthur.'”

— Phil Gallo, Los Angeles


New Label To Release Love’s Black Beauty

On June 7, High Moon Records–the new boutique reissue label–will launch with Black Beauty, the never-before-released masterpiece by Arthur Lee’s legendary psychedelic rock band Love. Set for release on CD, vinyl, and digitally, Black Beauty contains all ten original songs recorded in 1973 as well as rare bonus tracks, beautiful packaging with detailed liner notes by Ben Edmonds and never-before-seen photographs. The album was re-mastered by GRAMMY-winner Dan Hersch (Ramones, Alice Cooper).

Love is widely considered one of the most influential bands of the psychedelic era, and ‘Black Beauty” has long represented the Holy Grail for Love enthusiasts. Shelved shortly after its completion when Lee”s then-label Buffalo Records folded, ‘Black Beauty” was previously available only as a low quality bootleg. David Fricke wrote about the album in his guide to Arthur Lee and Love bootlegs for Rolling Stone: “Black Beauty might have been received as a strong comeback for Lee, a turn to steamy R with heavy-guitar punch — if it had come out.”

Black Beauty is the missing link in a catalog that also includes Forever Changes, the classic 1967 Love album the New York Times called “one of the most affecting and beguiling albums of all time.” It features Lee”s first all-black lineup and marked his return to the studio after his 1972 solo debut Vindicator for A&M Records.

Arthur Lee – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Melvan Whittington – Lead Guitar
Robert Rozelle – Bass
Joe Blocker – Drums, Percussion

Co-founded by George Wallace (President), J.D. Martignon (Vice President) with Craig Hyman (General Manager/Consultant), High Moon Records is New York City-based reissue label, specializing in unearthing exceptional, rare, previously-unreleased, and out-of-print material on CD, vinyl, digital, DVD, and books — from the ’60s, ’70s and beyond. The catalogue will comprise essential releases, ranging from lesser-known gems, to cult legends, to acknowledged music visionaries.

“We are honored to be launching our label with a record as singular/special as Black Beauty, says Wallace. “It is that rarest of Rock artifacts: a never-before-released, full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical genius. With Black Beauty, Arthur Lee manages to combine searing ’70s rock with gorgeous melodies and stellar songwriting – all topped off by one of the most astounding vocal performances I’ve ever heard in any genre of music.”

High Moon Rising: Reissues Coming Soon From Gene Clark and Arthur Lee’s Love

05/05/11 » The Second Disc

Hey, reissue fans! (That means you!) It’s time to welcome a new label to the club. High Moon Records has just been established by owners George Wallace and J.D. Martignon and general manager Craig Hyman to specialize in the sounds of the 1960s and 1970s, and the label has selected two titles to kick things off in a big way. Both releases were celebrated with an April 29 release party at the Roxy on (where else?) the hallowed Sunset Strip: Love’s 1973 unreleased album Black Beauty, and Gene Clark’s 1977 Two Sides to Every Story.

1973’s Black Beauty was recorded by the only all-black lineup of Arthur Lee’s famed band Love, but thanks to the collapse of Lee’s Buffalo Records label, it never saw the light of day. Previously available only as a bootleg, High Moon’s first-ever official release of this lost classic will be released on vinyl, digital and CD, with rare bonus tracks, photographs and a new essay by historian Ben Edmonds. High Moon’s release is a most welcome addition to the legacy of the psychedelic rock pioneers still best-known for the 1967 Forever Changes.

Former Byrd Gene Clark’s 1977 RSO album Two Sides to Every Story has been available on CD in the past, but currently commands upwards of $150 second-hand! It followed 1974’s No Other on the Asylum label. Though now considered by many to be the artist’s masterpiece, No Other was a commercial failure and a most unconventional record. Two Sides features more traditional songwriting and features Doug Dillard and Emmylou Harris among its guests. High Moon’s reissue will be released on vinyl and CD and adds bonus tracks, unseen photographs and new liner notes by John Einerson. Clark’s son Kai regards Two Sides as “a personal diary during this trying time in [Clark’s] life” and now fans of the influential country-rock legend’s balladry can experience it themselves. The album is released in cooperation with Universal Music Group and Clark’s estate.

When are these titles due for release? What’s in the pipeline from High Moon? Hit the jump for answers to those questions, plus core track listings and discographical information for both releases!

While initially scheduled for June 7, both Black Beauty and Two Sides to Every Story have been delayed; according to label owner Wallace at the Roxy show, European rights issues and bonus tracks are currently being finalized. Watch this space for a update as soon as a new date can be confirmed.

Wallace and Hyman confirmed to Billboard that future projects include reissues of music from Lotti Golden and Sopwith Camel plus unreleased material from the Ace of Cups, the all-girl San Francisco band. The New York-based label is also exploring the possibility of releasing Reel to Real, the 1975 Love album recorded for RSO. Wallace confirmed that High Moon promises “better packaging, more liner notes, more unpublished photographs,” which is music to our ears here at The Second Disc. He continued to Billboard, “This is a way to beat downloading. There are still people out there looking for aesthetically pleasing packages. Almost anything can be made quasi-commercial if it is contextualized in the right way.”

Arthur Lee’s 1973 Album Black Beauty Is Finally Being Released


03/03/11 » Dangerous Minds

via The Daily Swarm

Arthur Lee’s lost album Black Beauty is finally receiving an official release after nearly 40 years of being in bootleg limbo. Newly launched label High Moon Records is releasing it on June 7.

Originally planned to be released by Buffalo Records in 1973, Black Beauty was shelved when the label went bankrupt. It was recorded by one of Lee’s various incarnations of his band Love: Robert Rozelle, Bass Guitar ~ Joe Blocker, Drums ~ Melvan Whittington, Lead Guitar.

High Moon founder George Wallace stated in a press release that Black Beauty is “that rarest of rock artifacts: a never-before-released, full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical genius.”