Updated: Jun 29, 2021
Anyone remember iTunes LPs? Please discuss.....
Artist: Emilie-Claire Barlow
Album: Live in Tokyo
Release date: June 2, 2014
- LIT was first released as an iTunes LP! (scroll down for more thoughts on that)
- This is Emilie-Claire Barlow's only live album
Voice: Emilie-Claire Barlow
Guitar: Reg Schwager
Tenor Saxophone: Kelly Jefferson
Piano: Mark Kieswetter
Bass: Ross MacIntyre
Drums: Fabio Ragnelli
Produced by Emilie-Claire Barlow & Steve Webster
Arrangements by Emilie-Claire Barlow
Recorded by Taro Moriyama at Cotton Club Tokyo, Japan
Recorded on October 14th and 15th, 2013
Additional engineering: Taylor Kernohan
Mixed by John "Beetle" Bailey at The Drive Shed Recording Studios, Toronto
Mastered by Peter Letros at Wreckhouse Mastering, Toronto
Photography: Yasushi Yoneda
Hair & Makeup: Natsuki Tozawa
Dress: Fashion Crimes, Toronto
Recording a live album at Cotton Club in Tokyo seemed like a no brainer. They are known over the world for having absolutely pristine gear and incredible sound technicians. It's one of the things we marvel at each time we play there. The sound team is one of the best we've ever encountered. There is a dedication to excellency and an individual attention to each musician and instrument that we have yet to encounter anywhere else.
That attention to detail is then complimented by a wonderfully warm and attentive audience. If you're coming from a place like Montreal, it takes a minute to adjust to audiences in Japan. There is not the same rambunctiousness and interaction throughout - but it feels like there is a great investment of focussed listening that then erupts with pent up energy at the end of the show. It's really wonderful.
Looking back on this process - I would have given myself a little more time to acclimatize to the time change in Japan, to get physically and mentally ready to better enjoy the process of recording an album. We were in that road-mode where time and space cease to exist.
Every show is different and some of the most amazing performances have occurred during or after times of extreme stress, fatigue or challenging circumstances. I don't think this album suffered at all - I'm speaking more about my own enjoyment of the process. But perhaps that's too greedy!
I love this record.. It captures some very special live moments with a wonderful band.
There was a time - a brief moment in time - where iTunes LPs were a thing. The promise of iTunes LPs was that the purchase of the album would contain a full package of artwork, photos, liner notes, extras, videos.
The challenge (at least for us) was that there were many hoops to jump through, parameters to adhere to.... It ended up being a very expensive & time consuming task (above the cost of making the album) to create a package for iTunes that met their strict ITLP criteria. Seriously - we had to hire an iTunes approved design company and sign with a different (approved) distributor for the ITLP release.
After committing to all of that - it turns out that iTunes/Apple was not at all invested in the promotion of the ITLPs - to the point of making them difficult to find on the platform.
Ultimately I think that the format was well intentioned, but got lost in the shuffle of other major DSP developments. It was an attempt to satisfy the customer that wants the liner notes and is willing to spend a bit more to have a higher quality audio and some extras. But ultimately - the platform nor the customers committed to this format.
I am curious to know - did any readers purchase iTunes LPs? What were your thoughts? Did you love it? Was it a good idea that was not well executed? Or....?
Leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on this - would love to know.
These videos were originally made to accompany the iTunes LP. They are available on YouTube! Links are below....
Filmed by Taka Watanabe / Da Works, Inc.
Edited by Steve Webster
Sound and lighting: Taro, Miya, Shima, Sachie & Rieko at COTTON CLUB, Tokyo
Additional Production: Hiroshi Sato, Rune, Arei, Ikue, Kaori and COTTON CLUB's "driving force" - Go !
1. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (Live) Burt Bacharach, Hal David
2. All I Do Is Dream Of You (Live) Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed
3. Águas De Março / Waters Of March (Live) Antonio Carlos Jobim
4. Surrey With The Fringe On Top (Live) Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein
5 (I've Got) Just About Everything I Need (Live) Bob Dorough
6 Sunshine Superman (Live) Donovan
7. Like A Lover (Live) Dori Caymmi, Alan Bergman, Marylin Bergman
8. La Belle Dame Sans Regrets (Live) Sting, Dominic Miller
9. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Live) Lee Hazelwood
10. The Beat Goes On (Live) Sonny Bono
11. Blame It On My Youth (Live) Oscar Levant, Edward Hayman