torsdag 21 september 2017

FLANAGAN AND ALLEN/THE FLANAGAN AND ALLEN STORY ENC 151 (-64) UK MONO

For more about this classic UK duo check my earlier post on the "Favourites" and "Successes" 10 inch albums. This compilation, issued around ten years later, has a couple of cuts coinciding with those, but also ones I didn't have before. Made the same way, by transfers from the old 78:s to vinyl and well done, resulting in pristine and embracing audio. I can't seem to get enough of these guys and their vaudeville style blend of comedy and catchy melodies. The voices may be unschooled, but very warm and personal and always hitting my spot, making me feel sentimental and happy at the same time. I guess music like this mostly attracts people my age and older who grew up with these tunes on the valve radio, but it should also do it for any age anglophile...cause it doesn't get more British than this. Listening as I write with a pleasant feeling in my gut and big smile on my face. Good moment. Also originally released in Australia (Columbia OEX 9369), but to my knowledge never reissued in any form. First UK had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover with EMI inner.

tisdag 19 september 2017

PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS/BAND ON THE RUN PAS 10007 (-73) UK

Another of those commonly known household records I got very little new to say about, but feel I have to have on this page one way or another. After four solo LP:s, with or without Wings, all met with mixed reviews and not always unconditional love from fans, he finally nailed it. A mix of catchiness and adventure, using old familiar ingrediences yet making them sound new and fresh. Everything fits - nine top songs performed so warm and embracing it's impossible not to get immediately caught though with enough twists and turns to make it special and last for a very long time, all conveyed by tophole audio. Guess so far I'm just preaching to the choir here, but if I can say something maybe not commonly known it'll be about the 1st UK stock press. As only the first issues came on Apple it is important for the collector to have one of those. But there are also distinctions between the Apples. Very first, apart from having early matrix no:s, came with a sturdier cover, while later are more floppy, and the labels are a lot clearer which can be distinguished by the band pics appears fuzzier on the later ones. Don't think there's much difference in audio - compared my "clear label" -1/-1 marix copy with the "fuzzy" -2/-3 and they sound about the same to me. All UK Apple pressings had label design as shown here, matt dated (7312) G&L cover with cut corner inner and pic poster. (BÄ*) (ÄPLÄ*) (MÄCC*)

söndag 17 september 2017

SCENE '65 /16 TOP R&B TRACKS 33SX 1730 (-65) UK MONO

Follow-up to the 1964 "On The Scene" r&b sampler (see earlier post). This comes with the same kind of set-up - a collection of sixteen single cuts, then non-LP in UK. An amazing blend of freakbeat and rocking r&b, recorded 1963-65. I get both rare 45 takes from well known outfits and even rarer cuts by shortlived today almost forgotten bands. At this time Zoot Money's Big Roll Band included Andy Summers (who would go on to Eric Burdon & the Animals and later world wide fame with Police) and Paul Williams (later in Juicy Lucy, Tempest and Blue Whale). Bo Street Runners incorporated both Mike Patto and Mick Fleetwood (who by then had moved on from The Cheynes, the band he played with appearing on the "On The Scene" sampler). Fairies has a certain John "Twink" Adler on drums (later inTomorrow, Pretty Things and Pink Fairies) . The Zephyrs at the time included both Jerry Donahue (Fairport Convention, Fotheringay) and Pete Gage (Vinegar Joe). To me it's beautiful, not one bad track. The mixes pristine close to the fact and the audio tophole - e.g. I've never heard Yardbird's "I Ain't Got You" clearer with better separation. Getting tons of good music, well sounding original recordings and a large portion rock/pop history on the same plate...I couldn't ask for more. Favorite tracks - Downliners Sect "Little Egypt", Bo Street Runners "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do", Fairies "Get Yourself Home" and Zephyrs "She's Lost You". To my knowledge this UK was the only release. It had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover with EMI inner. (SÄM*) (ÖGÄ*) (ÄNÄ*) (YÄB*)

fredag 15 september 2017

JOHNNY AND THE HURRICANES/FEATURING RED RIVER ROCK HA 2227 (-59) UK MONO

Instrumental rock band from Toledo, Ohio. Founded as Orbits 1957 and after providing backing for rockabilly singer Mack Vickery on a couple of singles, renamed to Johnny and the Hurricanes and got a US hit with "Crossfire" 1959. The follow-up "Red River Rock" also became a hit in Europe and downunder and from that on they became a much bigger name outside US than on home turf, especially in UK with four top ten singles and three more top twenty up to 1961. This debute album has A:s and B:s of their first two singles - "Crossfire"/"Lazy" and "Red River Rock"/"Buckeye" - coupled with eight in the same style, where they mostly do older well known songs as instrumental up-tempo rock with saxophone, guitar or organ in the lead. Recordings are simple, direct and audio crystal. A style and sound that today probably seem obsolete to modern listeners with a clarity that may hurt younger synthesized ears, though for old blokes like me who have plained auditory systems and lots of good memories from the days still inspiring. Maybe not my first choice for close listening, but always a heartening background. Favorite tracks - "Red River Rock", "Rock-sha" and "Crossfire". Premiere US on Warwick (W 2007). Also originally issued in Australia, Canada and a couple of European countries. Japan 2015 CD on Oldays (ODR6146) came with seven bunus tracks. Early UK had label as shown here and laminated cover, some with flip-back.

torsdag 14 september 2017

THE SUPREMES/WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO MS 621 (-64) US STEREO

For full background check post on the corresponding US mono. This early Motown stereo sounds totally all right to my ears. At the time stereo wasn't a first choice for most people and many of those mixes made as an afterthought by some flunky in the studio crew. But this one seems elaborated enough. As far as I can hear "Long Gone Lover" is the only rechanneled cut, the rest true stereo. The tracks aren't mixed following the "bass drum to the right and the rest to the left" path, as appeared on many early sixties two-channels LP:s, and there's no excessive panning. You even get some overlapping which gives it a natural flow missing on many contemporary stereos. Somewhat thinner and less meaty than the mono, but interesting enough as a good early stereo made using a, from today's perspective, very primitive equipment. So even if I enjoy the mono more, this is a keeper for other reasons. Don't know how early this copy is. Matrix numbers stamped RR4S-6313-1-U/6314-1, both sides also with hand etched MS-621. (YZÄ*) (ZYZÖ*) (TÖMÖ*)

tisdag 12 september 2017

ARGENT/COUNTERPOINTS RS 1020 (-75) UK

After listening to and enjoying a vast range of music styles during the last sixty years I've become a man with many differing tastes. Good because the more you enjoy the more fun you'll have, but it also often means when I get one I miss the others. I do like psych and/or prog adventures, but also a sucker for romantic and simple catchy stuff, enthralled by both grimy garage and smooth high-pitch male vocals. On this I may miss the garage aspect, but the other ingrediences are there, blended to my gusto. It was the band's seventh and last album, following some recent member changes and a switch from Epic to RCA. It didn't sell, probably because of the genre crossovers - too much pop and rock to please the prog lovers and too proggy for the fans of melodic pop. To my ears it's an attractive swansong. Already the opening track "On My Feet Again" is filled with good - catchy melodies sung by high-pitch voices to tempo changes and adventurous rhythms. Same pattern goes for "Be Strong", "Time" and "Butterfly" - directly striking and memorable. "Road Back Home" is a simpler ballad, but beautiful with tons of feeling. Today an album not considered especially collectible by the vinyl in-crowd and therefore comparatively cheap when you find it. So now's the time to pick it up. Forgotten gems tend to get dearer when remembered and I'm sure this will be eventually. Originally also released in US and Canada (U.A. LA560-G), Germany, Italy and Spain (all RCA). To my knowledge never issued on CD. Premiere UK had labels as shown here and thin matt cover. (ZÖZ*)

söndag 10 september 2017

LOVE/DA CAPO EKL 4005 (-66) US MONO

Found this long after I discovered their masterpiece "Forever Changes". Probably unfair to compare the two, but up against that this is only half as good...and I mean that in a literal sense since the 18:57 "Revelation" covering side two to my ears is nothing more than a huge filler. One of those cuts you may be happy it exists, but never listen to. I've really tried to sit through and get the point, but all I hear is a mindless jam session. I would have appreciated it more on drugs late sixties, but listening with unpotted ears it makes no sense at all. That said..side one is exactly to my taste. Starting with the raunchy "Stefanie Knows Who" it goes on to be good psychedelic rock with a garage feeling. "Orange Skies" dreamy with some odd twists, "Que Vida" has nice flutes and rythms, "Seven And Seven Is" sounds like the band was on buckets of speed, "The Castle" and "She Comes In Colours" very emotional ballads. What lifts it above many other psych albums of the time is the songwriting - in the middle of the experimenting you also get good lyrics and catchy melodies showing on brain and perspective. In my world not up with "Forever Changes", but the good side almost there. Have no original stereo to compare with at the moment, but as I get from posts on Steve Hoffman and other places this mono is a separate mix. Original vinyl releases on Electra in US, Canada, downunder and Germany. French on Vogue (CLVLXEK 249). Also on 4-track, 8-track and reel-to-reel. 2002 CD on Electra/Warner came with both stereo and mono versions plus one bonus track. Premiere US had label as shown here and glossy cover. (YZÄ*) (ÖXCÅ*)

fredag 8 september 2017

THE MOODY BLUES/IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD UK STEREO SML 711 VS. MONO DML 711

One of their best and an all time classic. For more details and all about my true love for the issue please check post on the mono. Though being a straight fold it has its pros - strong, collected and well balanced showing on a very good compatible. After that being my only format for decades I was curious if this stereo could add a lot to the picture in making it more separated and revealing. It does add, but not by much - very centered with soft edges and lots of overlapping, somewhat wider and without doubt a true stereo mix, though if you don't use earphones or sit directly in front of the speakers the formats come out very much alike. The stereo will reveal somewhat more reverb and space, but that's about it. So If you're not a sound freak or Moody Blues completist and got one you don't really need the other... at least not for audiophile reasons. A masterpiece it is and truly enjoyable whichever you choose. (MBÅL*) (DÄRR*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)

torsdag 7 september 2017

JOHN MAYALL/MOVING ON 2391-047 (-72) UK

A kind of follow-up to the 1971 "Jazz Blues Fusion" live album with abourt the same crew, this time recorded live at the Whiskey A GoGo, Los Angeles, July 10 1972. I'm seeing reviews it's in many ways subpar to the JBF forerunner, but since not familiar with that so far I can listen and enjoy without prejudice. All songs signed "Mayall" and though non of them can be called catchy or especially memorable - that's not what makes the record. I get top musicians doing good fusion in a cozy club atmosphere. Audio and mixing top notch, providing true connection. And this record bringing me close is what makes it. I am at that club and they're playing for me. Mayall himself may not have the most beautiful vocals, but we already knew that and at least it's personal. Some of the solos are really great - I especially like the soft flute in "Christmas '71" and perky guitar in "Red Sky". As a whole maybe not the best album carrying his name, but still enjoyable listening and a time travel as good as any. Early issues on vinyl in all parts of the world. First US on Polydor (PD 5036). 2009 UK CD on Lemon Recordings (CDLEM 116). Premiere UK had label as shown here and thin glossy cover. (LYBÖ*) (MÄH*)

tisdag 5 september 2017

SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOHS/WOOLY BULLY MGM-C-1007 (-65) UK MONO

Following is what I wrote about the US mono 3,5 years ago - "This is personal. The song 'Wooly Bully' is connected to some strong memories from my early teens. I remember school dances and first puppy loves with sweaty hand palms and blushing cheeks at a loss for words. I must have sat through hundreds of Truth or Dares or bottle spins just to get a little closer to some sweet girl. Always akward, never really there. In other words a rather normal mid-sixties teenager. A few years on things would change considerably with drugs and the sexual revolution, but this was still innocent days. Back then 'Wooly Bully' was as wild as it got in the northern town where I grew up - a simple melody with nonsense lyrics to an enthralling bouncy rythm. Perfect for our first meetings with alcohol and early trials on the dance floor. No skill or preparation needed - just jumping up and down and shouting was enough. Good times. I've worn out a couple of singles through the years, but never had the LP till I found this copy a while ago. Listening today it's surprisingly good thoughout. Messy party music with a true garage feeling - uninhibited yet confident. 'Haunted House' reminds of early Them, 'Go-Go Girls' feels like a latin Bo Diddley and 'Every Woman I Know' is pure fifties rock. In many cases an album follow-up to a million selling '45 just contained that and nine or eleven fillers, but this is more. A tophole party LP filled with positive vibrations". I see no reason to change any of that when describing this UK mono now. It sounds exactly the same with the same joyful atmosphere and the connected memories remain. Only differences are this has the first design MGM LP label, skipped in US 1959 but used in UK up to 1968, and wrapped in a common Garrods & Lofthouse laminated flip/back cover instead of the US plain. That could maybe make it a little yummier for some collectors, but if it's just the music and audio you're after...it's a tie. (CPYC*) (ÖGÄ*)