This Week in Music History (January 1st-7th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

1/1- On this day in 1960, Johnny Cash played a famous free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison in California. The recording of the concert was released as At San Quentin, Cash’s 31st album.

1/2- On this day in 1971, George Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass began a seven-week run at No. 1 on the US album chart. The spot made Harrison the first Beatle to score a No. 1 solo album.

1/3- On this day in 1976, Bob Dylan’s song “Hurricane” peaked at the No. 33 spot on the Billboard singles chart. The song received enough publicity to eventually get Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a former boxer, released from prison. The song was written to promote Carter’s innocence.

1/4- On this day in 1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played the first of what would be over 240 shows of that year. The band’s appearance on January 4th was at the Bromel Club in Bromley, England.

1/5- On this day in 1973, Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The album, which was recorded in a single week, only sold about 25,000 copies in its first year.

1/6- On this day in 1975, the mayor of Boston canceled a Led Zeppelin concert after 2,000 fans rioted while trying to buy tickets. The riot caused an estimated $50,000-$75,000 in damage to the venue.

1/7- On this day in 1971, Black Sabbath released Paranoid, their second studio album in the US. The album included songs that would go on to become the band’s signatures, including “Iron Man” and “War Pigs”.

You can own any of these or other music history gems—just head to our music marketplace and pick them out! All albums purchases include: CD, streaming, and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and Apple Lossless.

Get to Know a Murfie Staffer!

Murfie may be an internet-based company, but there’s a group of real peeps who work here (super-cool peeps, may I add!), all currently living around the Madison area. It’s our team of developers here at Murfie who are responsible for building the features on our site: everything from Wishlists and the album pages to the Android app and more. You can meet one of these folks today:

ZACH FOSTER

Where are you from? > I’m from a little town about 20 minutes north of Milwaukee called Cedarburg. It’s a quaint little town with a rustic main street. At some point, in some magazine or something, it was said to be number three on the top tourist attractions in Wisconsin, but though it’s cute, it’s not that cute.

How long have you been working at Murfie? What is your role? > I’ve been working at Murfie since August of 2011. I originally started as an Ops member, but gained enough knowledge to move into a developer role. I’ve been developing for almost a year now, and I absolutely love it.

What do you like about working at Murfie? > My favorite part of the job is my group of coworkers. I love having really motivated and creative people around me, and every day, Murfie employees are doing awesome things around Madison. Our gang is making Madison a better community, while making Murfie a better company. There’s nothing like good people.

What kind of music can be found in your collection? > Since I was gifted roughly 500 discs, my collection is a mess. That being said, it’s full of some of my favorites, artists like: Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, Phosphorescent, and The National. I drift heavily into the Folk/Indie/Americana side, songs with good lyrics and peaceful, spare melodies.

Who are your favorite artists/bands of all time? > Oddly enough, this is an easy question for me, I’ll give you three, two of which I already mentioned: Bright Eyes, Phosphorescent, and Bob Dylan. You’d be surprised by how similar they all are.

If you could have coffee with any musician, from any time, who would it be any why? > Definitely Dylan, but it would have to be when he was just getting started releasing albums, around when he released the self-titled. I don’t think I am interested in anything he’d have to say, but boy, I would love to hear him speak.

Are you a Beyoncé fan? > I went through a phase because I grew up with a sister three years older than me. That’s all I can reveal.

What album are you really digging right now? > Volcano Choir‘s Repave. I think “Comrade”, the third track, is etching itself onto my plaque of all time favorites.

Do you have any pets? > I do. I have two turtles who were given to me by Tyler, another sMurf, and I have a 1-year-old kitten named Matilda. She’s quite the little bundle.

What is your favorite food? > Curry. 4 stars.

What can people find you doing when you’re not at Murfie? > Too many things. I’m not good at sitting still and doing nothing. My current obsessions are exercising, watching Miyazaki films, and reading. I’m working on a couple side projects, including a social app for new parents and their children, and a developer bootcamp for others interested in obtaining job skills that one may not learn in school.

Now you know more about Zach, someone who does a lot for Murfie! Behind the scenes, we have a lot going on here!

This Week in Music History (November 20th-26th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

11/20- On this day in 1976, Paul Simon hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Simon appeared live with George Harrison, performing tracks including “Here Comes the Sun” and “Homeward Bound”.

11/21- On this day in 1970, Jimi Hendrix shot to No.1 on the UK singles chart with “Voodoo Child”, the closing track on Electric Ladyland. The track was Hendrix’s only No.1 UK single, and his guitar solo was named the 11th greatest solo of all time in Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

11/22- On this day in 1965, Bob Dylan married Sara Lowndes in a secret ceremony in Mineola, Long Island. The couple had a son, singer Jakob Dylan, but Lowndes filed for divorce in 1977.

11/23- On this day in 1899, the world’s first jukebox was installed in San Francisco at the Palais Royal Hotel. The term “jukebox”, however, only became popular in the 1940s.

11/24- On this day in 1966, The Beatles returned to the studio for the first time after their US summer tour. They spent the day recording “Strawberry Fields Forever”, a track that would go on to become their next single and one of their most famous of all time.

11/25- On this day in 1984, some of the biggest names in British music gathered at S.A.R.M. Studios in London to record the hit single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. The single, which featured artists like Bono, Boy George, Sting, George Michael and Paul Young, sold over three million copies in the UK.

11/26- On this day in 1958, Johnny Cash made his debut on the US top country chart with “Cry, Cry, Cry”. The song hit number 14 on the chart, but his next seven singles would all reach the country top ten.

So you wanna own any of these gems, or hear them in lossless formats? Well, we just so happen to have them for sale! Find these albums and more pieces of music history in our marketplace!

This Week in Music History (October 23rd-29th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

10/23- On this day in 1963, Bob Dylan recorded his hit album The Times They Are A-Changin’ at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. The album, Dylan’s third, was his first to feature only original compositions.

10/24- On this day in 1962, soul legend James Brown recorded his world-famous Live at the Apollo album. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 24 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

10/25- On this day in 1968, Led Zeppelin played their first show after changing their name from The New Yardbirds. The show took place at Surrey University in England, and a poster for the gig later sold at auction for £2400!

10/26- On this day in 1970, a wake was held in San Anselmo, California to celebrate the life of late singer Janis Joplin. Joplin, who passed away after an accidental drug overdose, had left money in her will specifically for throwing a party in the event of her death.

10/27- On this day in 1975, after releasing the incredibly popular and successful album/single combination Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen was featured simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines. Born to Run was a huge commercial and critical success, selling six million copies by 2000!

10/28- On this day in 1978, Queen played the first night on their 79-date tour for their album Jazz. The first show took place at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The tour became famous for the spectacle and showmanship Queen displayed at the shows.

10/29- On this day in 1965—speaking of tours—The Rolling Stones kicked off their fourth North American tour. The 37-date tour began at The Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Are you looking to own a piece of music history, or download it in lossless format? Check these albums out on our marketplace!

What Makes a CD Collectible, Part 2

Before we begin, there’s something key to point out here: any CD can be collectible, in the sense that it can be a part of your beloved Bob Dylan collection or your neighbor’s endless collection of ‘80s dance music. What we’re really talking about here is what makes a CD valuable. Although someone may be highly impressed by that ‘80s dance music collection, they’re unlikely to pay top dollar for it. We dug up what makes CDs the most valuable when being sold, traded and archived.

In the internet age, music aficionados have noticed a troubling trend: with so many CDs being sold online, it’s become increasingly easy to slap a “collectible” label on a CD and jack up the price. While there are lots of questionably valuable CDs floating around on the internet, there are four tried-and-true criteria that guarantee that that CD you have your eye on is the real deal.

1. Artist signature or inscription

If the CD is signed by the creator his/herself, you’re looking at a valuable, collectible CD. Just make sure the signature is authenticated!

2. Limited edition packaging/pressing

Occasionally, artists will release copies of a disc with rare, limited-edition packaging in just a select few copies. This is especially common with anniversary releases, like a “40th Anniversary Edition”. Verifying that the artwork matches that limited edition release is another surefire way to know you have a collectible.

3. CDs originally released on vinyl/other formats with limited release on CD

Many albums were originally released on vinyl, and had only a limited release in CD form. As a result, the few CDs available are considered collectible! One example is the album Love, Love by Julian Priester, which was only released in CD form in Germany.

4. Import-only albums

A CD that can only be imported into the US, rather than released here, is considered a collectible. For example, Japan-exclusive editions of albums—often including bonus tracks on major label releases—are common.

What does this mean for me?

If you’ve identified any of these types of valuable CDs in your collection, that’s awesome. That’s also where we at Murfie can help you out. When you send your CD collection to be ripped for downloading and streaming, we keep your same physical copy of your disc in our warehouse. That means that if you send us a collectible, you don’t lose that signed disc or other feature that makes it valuable (unless you decide to sell it in our marketplace!). It’s yours to keep, sell or trade as you choose. Happy collecting!

Special shout-out to John Kruse for his help with this blog post!

This Week in Music History (June 19th-25th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

8078-large6/19- On this day in 1988, Michael Jackson played a concert next to the Berlin Wall, on the west side. He pumped the music way up so that people on the east side could hear. Any east sider who tried to get close to the wall to listen was violently kept back by police.

13335-large6/20- On this day in 1974, Bob Dylan & the Band released Before the Flood, a double live album with final recordings taken from Los Angeles and New York shows.

MI00029147286/21- On this day in 1991, Little Richard received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The “overjoyed force of personality in his singing” is one that is easily recognized in tunes like “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Tutti Frutti”.

20864-large6/22- On this day in 1990, Billy Joel performed an epic concert at the old Yankee Stadium. It’s been claimed that this was the first major concert in the stadium’s history. 60,000 fans were in attendance, which was more than the seating capacity of baseball games at that time.

102505-large6/23- On this day in 1929, June Carter Cash was born. Performing with her family from a young age, she was already a country music star. Her success continued throughout her entire life, including the 35 years she was married to Johnny Cash.

40960-large6/24- On this day in 1977, some quirky stuff went down in Madison. Elvis was in town for a show, and he spotted a fight between some young men when he was riding down East Washington avenue. After getting out of his limo, he allegedly warned the men, saying, “I’ll take you on.” Not only did this make the men stop fighting, but it left them amazed to have spotted Elvis.

222995-large6/25- On this day in 2009, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away at age 50. His music will forever influence genres from pop/rock to rap and R&B, and many more.

Oh, so you want to own any of these awesome albums here, or hear them in lossless format? Well we just so happen to have them for sale! Find your new favorite for as little as $1!

Happy Earth Day 2013!

Happy Earth day to all our fellow Earth citizens! Today is the perfect day to pick out some tunes that deepen our appreciation for this great blue/green planet.

What music inspires you to think about nature? What music ignites your environmental activist flame? What music makes you think of flowing waters, fields of flowers, and happy squirrels?

Here’s what our Murfie staffers have to say!

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Steel PulseAfrican Holocaust
Kayla: The song “Global Warning” is a smash hit. It points out the harsh reality that a lot of environmental problems are created by humans. But it is hopeful, calling us towards a common goal to re-arrange.

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Earth – Pentastar: In the Style of Demons
Jeff: A wall of slow, crushing sludge-rock from the forefathers of doom. How could this album not make you think about the Earth, especially its immense size, and how it would feel if it rolled over you?

1dbb9dc8-e007-11e1-af0b-12313d184814Ani DiFrancoRed Letter Year
Noah: The song “The Atom” is almost a hymn, calling for taking care of the Earth and disparaging the use of nature to destroy.

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R.E.M.Green
Matt: Look at the title and cover. Need I say more?

MI0000392903Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack
Matt: Best experienced while sailing on a windy night, listening to this soundtrack really puts me in the groove of the ocean.

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Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
Glynnis: “Green Arrow” has always perfectly encapsulated a lazy, aimless summer evening for me. Follow it up with “Autumn Sweater”, and you’ve got me longing for all my favorite kinds of weather, ready to go outside and enjoy a nice evening breeze.

e1d4cafe-85cb-11e1-9f65-1231381d530bBen Sollee 
RJ: My pick for Earth Day is any album by Ben Sollee. The reason I picked this wonderful musician is because he travels by bicycle when he tours. You can’t get any more earthy then Ben!

Bob DylanThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan6840-large
Tiffany: Bob Dylan hails from Minnesota and his music always seems to come straight from the agricultural heart of the Midwest. This album was the one that put Dylan on the map as a folk protest singer.

MI0001645112Nick Drake Fruit Tree
Pete: Fruit Tree by Nick Drake is my choice. As well as being a great song in itself, it’s also the title of a four-disc box set featuring all three of Nick Drake’s studio albums. His music always reminds me of the English countryside. 6748-large

 

Midnight OilDiesel and Dust
Preston: The track “Dreamworld” in particular makes me feel all warm and full of hope.

MI0001767347GojiraFrom Mars to Sirius
Keith: Not many people know this, but a lot of metal can be spiritual. Many of Gojira’s songs are about getting energy from the Earth and from nature. This is a great album, although it’s not for those who are new to the traditional death-metal sound.6351-large

RadioheadHail to the Thief
Henry: Stick it to the man.

We’re hoping that everyone gets a bit of sunshine today, and a chance to think about the great planet that we call home! Maybe one of these albums will become your top Earth Day pick too!