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Mark Leviton

Mark Leviton

Los Angeles native Mark Leviton had his first national publication in Rolling Stone while still in high school (a vicious pan of David Peel’s American Revolution album that he now feels was a bit harsh) and has written on music, film and books for over three decades, with hundreds of credits in Fusion, Phonograph Record Magazine, UCLA Daily Bruin, L.A. Weekly, BAM Magazine, Music Connection, New Musical Express, Let It Rock, Cream, The Los Angeles Times, Mojo and many other fly-by-night publications. From 1979-2004 he was with the Warner Music Group in Burbank, overseeing the release of over a thousand compilation albums and boxed sets, including The Cure’s Join The Dots, Left of the Dial: Dispatches From the ‘80s Underground and Time-Life’s Rock and Roll Era series. Before that he managed one of the original Rhino Records retail stores in Claremont, California.

An Anglophile since 1963, Mark graduated in 1974 from UCLA with a B.A. in English, having spent his junior year at the University Of Birmingham (U.K.) where he managed to divide his time between drinking Newcastle Brown, gigs by Roy Wood’s Wizzard and his class on the Catholic novel with professor David Lodge. He currently divides his time between Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Nevada City, where he can be heard broadcasting his sixties-themed radio show Pet Sounds on KVMR-FM.
 

List of articles in the library by artist

The Adolescents, Circle Jerks: The Adolescents/Circle Jerks: The Starwood, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, January 1981

A PACKED house and a dance floor that demanded knee pads and crash helmets provided the Black Hole of Calcutta ambiance for an evening of ...

Ambrosia: Life Beyond Ballads

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, April 1980

LOS ANGELES — "About the time we were doing our first album we used to play a club up the street here on Lankershim that ...

Badfinger At The Crossroads

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, May 1972

ONE WOULD THINK that a group as successful as Badfinger, a group with their momentum (three top-selling singles, one LP million seller, association with Bangla ...

Joan Baez: Speaking Of Her Dreams

Interview by Mark Leviton, Village View, December 1989

NO DOUBT the desk clerk at the Registry Hotel in Universal City who gave Joan Baez her suite number was unaware that 1961 was a ...

Stephen Bishop's Escape From Hollywood

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, January 1981

IN APRIL 1975, an obscure singer-songwriter named Stephen Bishop wrote an article for the small Los Angeles publication Folkscene which stated he'd been writing songs ...

Black Flag

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, August 1983

LET'S FACE IT – much of what passes for music in our country is, in fact, nothing more than product, the worthless, soulless result of ...

The Blasters

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, May 1982

Records can be great, but hearing a great live performance is still, for me, the essence of music. Vinyl is only the documentation of a ...

Colin Blunstone: One Year (Epic)

Review by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, April 1972

AFTER the Zombies hit about two years ago with 'Time of the Season' they broke up for good. ...

Captain Beefheart: The Country Club, Reseda

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, February 1981

"YOU EITHER LOVE it or hate it," explained the guy standing behind me to his wary girlfriend during Captain Don's blistering set. "It's the weirdest ...

Cheap Trick Meet The Dream Police

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, LA Weekly, September 1979

IN THE conference room of Epic Records in Century City, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen is good-naturedly taunting the group's producer, Tom Werman, who can't ...

Fairport Convention: Rosie

Review by Mark Leviton, Let It Rock, April 1973

THE NEW Fairport Convention LP is going to alienate some fans – a radical change in musical approach by a popular band will always do ...

Flying Burrito Brothers: More Hot Burritos: the Flying Burrito Brothers

Report and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1980

LOS ANGELES — If tradition in music is meaningful in any way, it is because performers can emerge and fade, groups can split up and ...

John Fogerty: The Natural Is Back

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1985

WHAT BECOMES a legend most? You won't find John Fogerty in mink. He favors checked flannel shirts, suspenders, jeans and work boots, would rather go ...

Little Feat, Lowell George: Lowell George: A Feat Of His Own

Review and Interview by Mark Leviton, Blank Space, December 1978

FOR YEARS, fans of Little Feat have heard rumours about a solo album being prepared by Lowell George, the group's main songwriter, lead guitarist and ...

The Grandmothers: Grandmothers: We Are The Motherpeople

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, May 1981

LOS ANGELES — In Don Preston's Echo Park rehearsal room, a band is running through what they refer to as a "punk version" of Frank ...

Inspiral Carpets: Life

Review and Interview by Mark Leviton, Village View, December 1990

INSPIRAL CARPETS are not just another band from Manchester, England, the city that's become one of the most exciting music centers on earth, home of ...

Rickie Lee Jones: The World According to Rickie Lee Jones

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, December 1984

RICKIE LEE Jones is telling a story on the radio: "In the dreamscape where you write, there are people who shadow you. Like I have ...

Little Feat : A Fan Remembers America's Greatest Unsung Band

Retrospective and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, August 1981

LOS ANGELES – I have in my closet a roll of grainy 8mm silent film taken in spring 1970 at a concert near the base ...

The Long Ryders Shoot 'Em Up

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, September 1983

LOS ANGELES – Fringe jackets, mini-skirts, turtlenecks, striped trousers, long hair, 12-string guitars, LSD, acoustic instruments, garage rehearsals – lots of things are coming back ...

Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil: Still Going Strong After 20 Years

Retrospective and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, May 1983

HOLLYWOOD— The walls of their workroom are covered floor to ceiling in awards certificates, gold records and photographs of the biggest hit-makers of today and ...

Ray Manzarek Opens Another Door

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, November 1983

FEW MUSICIANS have the opportunity, or possess the talent, to expand the capabilities of their instruments, to redefine for ensuing generations just how far musical ...

McGuinn, Clark & Hillman: McGuinn Clark and Hillman: Flight From The Past

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1979

LOS ANGELES — To examine the fates of original Byrds members Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman as they form a new act for ...

Merry-Go-Round, Emitt Rhodes: Emitt Rhodes: On And Off The Merry-Go-Round

Retrospective by Mark Leviton, UCLA Daily Bruin, November 1973

MY FIRST MEMORY of Emitt Rhodes is still very vivid — he was on the television program Where the Action Is as a part of the group ...

The Motels: Checking In With The Motels

Interview by Mark Leviton, Music Exchange, April 1982

SHE'S HAD LOVE affairs and bands break up around her, and she has steered a course to a successful career by combining the tough pragmatism ...

Maria Muldaur: Maria Muldaur

Review by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, October 1973

I CONSIDER it unfair, even immoral, for Maria Muldaur to look and sing so well. I mean, a reviewer like myself can get pretty worked ...

Michael Nesmith: Mike Nesmith: Nevada Fighter

Review by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, September 1971

MIKE NESMITH is about as noncommital as a person can be. Ask him about his music's derivation and he's likely to say that no, he ...

Randy Newman: Ragtime to Riches

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, January 1982

EVER SINCE his 1968 debut album, many have considered Randy Newman one of the greatest songwriters in America. ...

Randy Newman: Sail Away

Review by Mark Leviton, Words & Music, September 1972

Randy Newman deals with subjects and values that are all but forgotten in contemporary pop music, reflecting in his ironic, witty songs some profundities which ...

Van Dyke Parks: Discover America

Review by Mark Leviton, Words & Music, September 1972

Van Dyke Parks, surely one of the most inventive musical minds in the business, is definitely not for everybody. His first album Song Cycle came ...

Christine Perfect/McVie: Fleetwood Mac's Songbird Flies Solo

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1984

"’Got a Hold On Me’ is totally fictional, 'cause at the time I wrote it no one did have a hold on me. If all ...

Pink Floyd: Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1980

MONEY CAN'T buy you love, but it can buy you the most expensive, elaborately mounted rock show you've ever seen. As spectacle, there's no question ...

Procol Harum, Robin Trower: Procol Harum: Grand Hotel and Robin Trower: Twice Removed From Yesterday

Review by Mark Leviton, Let It Rock, June 1973

TIME WAS when I'd say that my favourite group and guitarist were Procol Harum and Robin Trower. It seemed all so simple, the steady intelligence ...

Terry Reid: Still Making Waves

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, December 1978

SANTA MONICA — Suppose for a moment you're a member of some English supergroup in the midst of a 30-city tour of the United States ...

Boz Scaggs: Middle Man (Columbia)

Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, April 1980

WATCHING THE degeneration of an artist's talents is no fun, especially when they've done truly classic work in the past. Boz Scaggs has never recovered ...

Seatrain: Marblehead Messenger (Capitol)

Review by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, November 1971

SEATRAIN WAS the first major splinter of the Blues project (now reformed in rather truncated version) and have consistantly been one of the best recording ...

Sparks

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, April 1983

THE BEVERLY CENTER IN LOS ANGELES is a mod-a-go-go kind of shopping mall, acres of parking, chock full of stores devoted to video equipment, "intelligent ...

The Specials: The Whisky, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, March 1980

BEFORE THERE was reggae as we now know it, Jamaica had a ferociously happy, syncopated music variously called bluebeat, rock steady or ska. ...

John Stewart: Wheels of Thunder

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, April 1980

If you can laugh in the face of the fireIf you can dance in the light of the flamesAnd if you don't look down when ...

Rod Stewart: Never A Dull Moment

Review by Mark Leviton, Words & Music, November 1972

ONE CAN ALWAYS COUNT on Rod for superb vocalizing, but his recordings sometimes slip because of the spottiness of the material, from marvelous to mediocre. ...

Wall of Voodoo: Separating The Myths From The Lies

Profile and Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, November 1980

HOLLYWOOD – They warned me. They all warned me. The woman at Index Records warned me. The disc jockey who interviewed them on the air ...

Bob Welch: Three Hearts Up His Sleeve

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, February 1979

IT ISN'T EVERY DAY that a song, Phoenix-like rises from the ashes of its own failure and goes on to be a hit. It's even ...

Wizzard: Mayfair Suite

Review by Mark Leviton, Phonograph Record, February 1973

...AND I WAS STILL raving about it the next week: And they had this piano player (assulter more like it) named Pianos Demolished who pounded ...

X: Heart of the City

Interview by Mark Leviton, BAM, September 1980

A Journey Into the Dark Underbelly of L.A. ...

Frank Zappa: Chunga's Revenge

Review by Mark Leviton, Creem, March 1971

THIS ALBUM IS a preview of what is the ultimate rock opera-symphony, 200 Motels, which is constantly growing and taking on amazing proportions. ...

List of genre pieces

Undisputed Heavyweight Champions of the Mix Tape: 30 Years of Transatlantic Friendship on Cassette!

Memoir by Mark Leviton, Rock's Backpages, August 2009

MY ENGLISH FRIEND Neil and I have one of the longest, strangest, and most voluminous correspondences in the history of the world – a correspondence ...

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