onsdag 18 april 2018

THE BLUES MAGOOS/BASIC BLUES MAGOOS SR-61167 (-68) US

Had the band's first two LP:s early seventies but lost both many moons ago. I remember liking the garage psych though for reasons I can't recall didn't value them high enough to avoid trading. Listening today from various sources on the net I miss having them and will get new copies as soon as opportunity gives. Found this their third - and last album before original setting break-up - a while ago and as far as I can hear it's different from its predecessors. Apparently influenced by British psych pop/rock and to my great joy at least some by The Move. Not only through the cover of "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" - here more psychedelic than the original and very good as such - but also the lovely "Sibyl Green (Of The Inbetween)". A couple of the other tracks may slightly remind of The Who while others are just weird not reminding of anything else. A little uneven to my taste, yet the blend of UK and US psych, leastways partly profoundly played and produced, makes it worth while. Audio not entirely fitting my ears - too much treble - but it is what it is and as an original canonized since -68. Favorite tracks - "I Can Hear The Grass Grow", "Sibyl Green..." and the mighty heavy "I Can Move A Mountain". To my knowledge only originally issued on vinyl in US and Canada (same number). UK 2004 CD on Repertoire Records (REPUK 1051) came with six bonus tracks, where of four mono single mixes. First US had label as shown here and glossy fold/out cover. (YZÄ*)

måndag 16 april 2018

THE BEATLES/MONO MASTERS LC 0299 (-14) EU

In a way a superduper deluxe version of the 1979 UK/European variation of the "Rarities" album (see earlier post). Here a 3LP set containing 34 original mono mixes primarily unissued on LP in UK. As first part of the 2009 remastered CD box set/MP3 "The Beatles In Mono" it'd be fair to expect the same digitized stuff to show up on these vinyls, but luckily no. Apart from "Love Me Do" (see futher info on that below) it's all 100% analog prepared especially for this issue and the audio is perfect in every part - offering direct connection with the ability to take you back, but also to discover new things in many of the tracks. I've been trying to find all original Beatles mono mixes on LP:s for a long time now and have most of these already. New to me are "Across The Universe" and the ones that were already prepared, yet for some reason never used, on the "Yellow Submarine" mono - "Only A Northern Song", "All Together Now", "Hey Bulldog" and "It's All Too Much" (see earlier post). Those cuts were the reason I bought it in the first place, but there are also other things here that make me smile. It's on the dark Apple label, the vinyls are thick unflexible 180 g:s and the stickered triple fold/out sleeve is fully laminated with black polylined inners. Further the sleeve has a couple of rare images (the b/w:s enhanced here) and lots of info on sessions and recordings. I'm tempted to call it the final Beatles compilation. Not that I believe it's the last by any means, but the combination of all the above will make it very hard to surpass. Excellent work! (BÄ*) (PÖP*) (ÄPLÄ*)

lördag 14 april 2018

LULU/LULU'S ALBUM (-69) UK MONO SX 6365 VS. STEREO SCX 6365

Though with not many directly distinctive differences between the formats - e.g. "Mighty Quinn" mono fade out is a second or so longer and mono has partly more reverb - I have to say they sound like separate mixes. It's the audio - connecting the channels on the stereo gives a mostly damp and flat outcome, while the mono blossoms - big, clear and well separated all the way through. Not sure if they could have created such a big difference any other way, but knowing that producer Mickie Most made separate mono mixes for 45:s up to 1971 for the sake of audio my best guess is he didn't like the fold and therefore decided to make changes. I would like to know for sure, but till I do I stand by that this mono is true (and adding it to my other UK -69 issues with separate mixes - now also as a page link under "MISC"). This was her last collaboration with Mickie Most for a very long time, here with arrangements by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. I didn't like it much at first though have started to warm up to it lately. A cover album with quite a few good moments, like versions of "Show Me", "Mighty Quinn" and "Gimmie Some Loving" embellished by some good old Lulu power and there are also fine guitars here and there - reputedly played by Jimmy Page, but not confirmed. Not my collection's most exciting moment, but good listening nevertheless. US issue as "It's Lulu" (Epic BN 26536) came with different sleeve design. UK 2002 CD on EMI (7243 5 38850 2 1 ) coupled this stereo with the "Most Of Lulu" compilation as a 23-track. Premiere UK had labels as shown here and thin structured cover with EMI ad inner. (FÄV*) (YMÖ*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)

torsdag 12 april 2018

MARIANNE FAITHFULL/BROKEN ENGLISH M1 (-79) UK

Sometimes it pays to get back to records you didn't fancy or even hated long time ago. Bought this at release to my then girlfriend. But while she played it over and over, learning all the songs, I rejected it totally because of the synths and the feeling didn't catch me at all. After we broke up the LP stayed in my collection forgotten for decades. Then a while ago I saw a documentary about Faithfull on TV, was impressed and to my surprise I still had the record so I picked it out a went for a spin. And now I'm quite touched. The synths doesn't bother me so much anymore as I hear a balance from other instruments and they actually help to set the mood. Tracks a blend of self-penned, collaboratios and covers. Though from differing sources performed in a way they all seem to reflect her previous years as a derelict tainted by heroin abuse, homelessnes and depression. It's dark, but described by a mature discerning woman, not a victim. I'm enjoying it a lot, especially the hard-core "Why D'Ya Do It" with its Fripp-inspired (?) guitars, the cover of Shel Silverstein's "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan" and the title track. But it's so evenly produced and performed you wanna play it in one sweep, reluctant to miss a bit. And the best thing is - it's new to me! If digging it from the start I might have been slightly fed-up by now, as you can get by listening to favorites over and over, but in my world it's now a novelty, fresh and something to get in to and discover. So I'm glad I missed it back then. Issued and reissued all over the world through the years in every possible format. First US on Island (ILPS 9570). Premiere UK came with two different label designs - one with colored title/logo and one all black/white - both apparently using the same matrixes with "ILPS 9570" scratched out and replaced with etched "M1-A1" and additional ISLAND JONZ on side one and side two having "M1-B1" with ISLAND SOUND CLINIC . No clue which was first. This b/w copy came with thin fully laminated cover and polylined black inner. (FÄV*)

tisdag 10 april 2018

THE BEACH BOYS/THE BEST OF BEACH BOYS CP 7228 (-67) STEREO JAPAN

Japan only fourteen track compilation with some interesting features. As expected a blend between true stereo and rechannels, but the audio so warm and soothing the fakes hardly matter. Of the about seven thousand Beach Boys stereo collections with period pieces I've heard so far this is among those that provide best listening...either through close connection or hearing it from an adjacent room...like I do now when writing this. Package is lovely - a very thick laminated fold/out cover containing three large band images and what I believe to be presentations of the group and songs in Japanese. There' s also an insert with lyrics in English and translated song titles. The ad inner has a large fold-over on top to further protect the record. And to put more icing on the cake - the vinyl is red. Originally sold with an "obi" which is missing on this copy. Some day I may clean up in my collection of Beach Boys records, but when I do this will for sure be one of the keepers. (BÅB*) (ÄZÄ*) (PÖP*)

söndag 8 april 2018

THE ROLLING STONES/UNDERCOVER 1654361 (-83) FRANCE

I'm repeating what I've said here before, just with other words - All Rolling Stones LP:s up to and with "Goat's Head Soup" are to me pure magic. There was a special feeling in all the band's work up to then, an "it" factor impossible to describe but omnipresent for the tuned in listener. After that most of their albums have a couple of magic moments each, but there's something missing at large. Probably due to lots of things - like changes in band settings, members personal tastes and studio equipments - but it doesn't really matter. Everything changes and few bands managed to keep the original feeling and ambience as long as The Rolling Stones. This is a pretty good rock'n'roll album and in the larger scheme of things one of the better such from the period. I get one killer track that has all of the old feeling - "She Was Hot" - one that could have been on "Exile" or "Goats". "Too Tough" and "Tie You Up" are pleasantly dirty and some of the rest ok rock'n'roll, but to me the overall connection is gone and I don't enjoy the record full out. Still...however all that may be it is the frickin' Rolling Stones and therefore a keeper. Issued and reissued all over the world on every possible format through the years. First French had label as shown here and fully laminated cover with picture/credit inner and two inserts - one picture/lyric and one subscription form. (RÅ*) (MFÄX*)

fredag 6 april 2018

JOHN MAYALL/EMPTY ROOMS 583 580 (-69) UK

His first studio album after moving from Decca to Polydor and second for the new label after the "Turning Point" live, here backed by the same band. I'll get back to that and them later, but for now I can't help comparing this with his last Decca studio LP - "Blues From Laurel Canyon" - and they differ quite a lot. While that partly was built on a sturdy blues/rock foundation with if not big hit potential so at least a more crowd-pleasing assembly, this sounds a lot more personal and down to earth. As I understand most of the lyrics are about his then girlfriend and their relationship, the arrangements are relatively sparse with no drums involved leaving a naked almost vulnerable impression much reminding me of his 1967 "The Blues Alone" album. Not all customarily beautiful, but honest and well done and appealing as such. Personally I've always been more intrigued by his Decca stuff and then especially the "Bluesbreakers", Bare Wires" and BFLC LP:s, but it seems back then most of his old fans adjusted, or he'd found new ones, as the album managed #9 in UK, #33 in US, top ten on a couple of other lists and remains one of his biggest sellers so far. Favorite tracks - "Something New" soft jazzy blues with moody saxophone by Johnny Almond and "To A Princess" carried by an inventive bass duet from Steven Thompson and Larry Taylor (then just out of of Canned Heat). Originally released on vinyl over Europe, South America, Downunder, Japan, Canada and South Africa. First US on Polydor (24-4010). There's also been a number of CD reissues through the years, but to my knowledge non with any kind of bonus. Premiere UK had label as shown here, thick vinyl, thin matt cover and pic/lyric/discography insert (missing with this copy). (MÄH*)

onsdag 4 april 2018

HERMAN'S HERMITS/BLAZE SCXC 35 (-67) UK EXPORT STEREO

If someone had asked me 1966 which major act was least likely to do a psych album Herman's Hermits would certainly have come to mind. Then the epitome of simple catchy pop, all positively performed with a crooked smile and big selling as such. But apparently they did and here it is. Albeit the foundation still is pop, there are enough twists and turns in production, arrangements and some of the guitar work for it to be tagged psych. I've always liked listening to music where the catchy and embracing are spiced with more or less unusual whims, keeping me relaxed and alert at the same time. And most tracks here are blessed with that combination. For exemple the odd string arrangemets in "Don't Go Out Into The Rain" and "One Little Packet Of Cigarettes, the dissonant guitar backing "Moonshine Man" and the warped Bo Diddley feel in "Ace, King, Queen". Outcome probably a result of producer Mickie Most smoothing the band into a more contemporary 1967 style to maintain healthy sales. Apparently that didn't work cause it didn't sell a lot and became their last original recording for MGM. The audio on this pressing is superb - collected yet clear. The only downer for me is the very short play time - clocking in at about twentyfive minutes, leaving lots of dead vinyl on both sides. But it is what it is and what I get is good. Premiere US on MGM (E/SE 4478). Japan 2014 CD (Parlophone WPCR 15496) came with seventeen bonus tracks - by the band or Pete Noone solo. Not released domstically in UK, this was for export only. It had label as shown here and laminated flip-back cover with EMI-ad inner. (HÄHX*) (ÖXÄP*)