On April 23rd, it will be 50 years to the day that an über-cool 19-year old kid walked into a UK club to catch a set by a local blues band called the Rollin’ Stones.
Young Mr. Oldham promptly added a “g” to their name before making over their sound and style for long-term adulation by world teen-dom. You know the rest of the story.
Less known is how this young hustler then created one of the world’s coolest-ever labels – Immediate – where, inspired by Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, he arranged and released the cult classic – “The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra Play the Rolling Stones Songbook”.
Fast forward to 2011. The High Dials receive a call from Mr. Oldham’s Colombian headquarters. Would they like to be a part of Rolling Stones Songbook Volume 2? In a heartbeat, “She Smiled Sweetly” is snapped up, string sections are summoned and timpanis dusted off, all in time for the Stones’ golden jubilee.
Plenty far more famous people are also invited to the party- like Johnny Marr, Gryff Rhys and Elliot Easton of the Cars, each collaborating on a different Oldham-era Stones gem.
Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2 was released in Canada this past week on Universal. Get it via iTunes or Amazon. A High Dials video is also coming soon – details to follow.
The High Dials are currently recording for a new album (release date unknown).
Here’s a fly-on-the-wall view of the boys as they work a new song entitled “Flags”. No vocals in this preview, but an interesting background blend of folk, cumbia, and spaghetti western sounds that is bound to intrigue!
Keep your eye on this site for more studio updates over the coming months.
The High Dials begin work on a new studio album in June.
They’ll be collaborating with producer Marc Bell at Troublemakers Studio in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood.
The Montreal-based producer’s credits include production for Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Bran Van 3000, Malicious, Misstress Barbara, Jason Bajada, Cafe Fuego and Nadja. He is known for a genre-bending production approach that combines elements of soul, hip-hop, RnB, folk, rock and world music. His taste for diverse sounds and musical styles attracted The High Dials, currently finding inspiration in experimentation in the wake of recent film soundtrack work.
We’ll be posting some footage of the band working in the studio over the coming months as the project progresses.
Hours after stepping offstage at Osheaga in July 2011, The High Dials hunkered down in one of Montreal’s top studios for a mega recording marathon.
What could have lured the band away from Canadian cottage country and into confined city spaces on that hot summer week? An invitation from legendary rock ‘n’ roll svengali Andrew Loog Oldham to enlist in his international orchestral army and reinvent a classic yet oft-overlooked tune by the Rolling Stones from “Between the Buttons.”
Mr Oldham is best known as the discoverer and mastermind of the Stones, producing their string of early monster hits including “Satisfaction”, “Last Time” and “Ruby Tuesday” while guiding them to superstardom. He’s also the maestro behind the epic arrangement sampled by the Verve in “Bittersweet Symphony”.
The High Dials and Andrew have been mutual admirers since way back in 2005 when he appeared unannounced at one of their shows in Vancouver. Years of vague plans to do something creative together finally took shape as the band put their reworking of “She Smiled Sweetly” to tape.
In addition to managing the Stones and other legends like the Small Faces and Marianne Faithful at the height of the 20th century pop explosion, Mr Oldham dabbled in instrumental music, which he released as “The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra” on his ultra-hip and sadly defunct label Immediate.
The High Dials are in good company, joining the likes of Gryff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Johnny Marr (the Smiths), Al Kooper, Elliot Easton (The Cars), Vashti and Gary Lucas in participating in the project.
A video for The High Dials collaboration is in production. The album is slated for a 2012 release. Expect a sneak preview of the song on this site. According to Trevor, “our take is a pretty big departure from the original, with electronic and orchestral touches, plenty of High Dials swirl, and a downbeat church vibe.”
Hey High Dials fans, do some good this holiday season and vote “Teenage Love Made Me Insane” Coolest Song of the Year on Little Steven’s Underground Garage!
The lead track from the Dials’ latest LP has been nominated as best song of the year (!) and now the band needs your help to make it the winner.
All nominated songs are posted HERE. Voting begins today and ends on December 23rd. You can vote multiple times (once every 24 hours), so be sure to vote often!
With each vote, you can enter the draw to win a trip to The Hard Rock Café in San Diego, California. The contest winner will receive: airfare for two to San Diego, a 4-day/3-night stay at The Hard Rock, and 500 resort dollars. Just follow the contest banner after voting.
The winner will be announced on January 2nd during Kid Leo’s show on Sirius XM-21 (4-7pm).