torsdag 19 oktober 2017

WINGS/WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND PAS 10010 (-76) UK

An album that in retrospective stands as one of Wings' most successful. It spent seven weeks at Billboard #1, reached #2 in UK and top ten in a large number of other countries and in short time selling in excess of three million copies. With that in mind I'm feeling very lonely thinking it was an absolute low-point for McCartney and the band. I've really tried to open up and get in, but don't get caught at all. With "Silly Love Songs" I can admire the handicraft and skill of a true master - see and learn how a world wide hit is made - but that's it. The only track that moves a little is "Let Them In" - melodically simple but arranged with enough twists to make it stick. The rest of the LP is so meaningless to me I'll just leave it be. This shouldn't be a place for negative emotions, but it is McCartney so I have to post and it is my feelings so I have to tell...and for better or worse no Wings collection is complete without it. Luckily their next studio album "London Town" would be so much better. See You there later... (BÄ*) (MÄCC*)

tisdag 17 oktober 2017

ARGENT/ALL TOGETHER NOW EPC 64962 (-72) UK

The band's third album. Showing up after the beautifully soft and melodic eponymous debute, which in my book is situated on the same page as Zombies' "Odessey and Oracle", and the much proggier "Ring Of Hands". In comparison this sounds more rock'n'roll, at least superficially. Getting in you get a couple of very attractive melodies - like in "Hold Your Head Up" and "I Am The Dance Of Ages". Not as soft as what's on the debute, but with a similar feeling. There are also some odd twists and turns spread out more reminding of art rock - e.g. in the bluesy part of the "Pure Love" suite, carried by screaming guitars and borderline dodecaphonic vocals. I would have liked more such, more adventure, though unfortunately to me too much is too common contemporary rock or prog to call it special. More memorable melodies would have done it - like on the debute or their last album "Counterpoints". A keeper it is, but I do jump tracks a lot. Original releases all over the world. First US on Epic (KE 31556). US 1997 CD (Koch International KOC-CD-7941) came with seven bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here, matt fold out cover with pics and info about people involved in the recordings, and a four page insert with lots of pics and info on the band core. (ZÖZ*)

söndag 15 oktober 2017

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD/BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD AGAIN (-68) 588091 UK STEREO VS. 587091 UK MONO

After posting the UK mono a couple of years ago I got some helpful comments convincing me it wasn't a straight fold, due to guitar differences in "Hung Upside Down". But since that I've been eager to find a corresponding stereo to see if there was more and of course check if that had other things to offer. Now I have and to me it's evident all, or at least a large part of it, got separate treatment. Here follow just a few exemples. The "Mr Soul" mono (here titled "Hello Mr.Soul" on label) has bigger bass all through and comes on louder and tighter than what you get when connecting the channels. Folding "Sad Memory" gives a rather flat impression while the mono comes through big and clear, here the mono also has a three second longer end note. Connecting the channels on "Everydays" results in a very big bass, sounding more leveled on the mono. As a whole a fold would come on brighter and flatter, while this obviously true mono is tighter and pushier. Now skipping the folding and listening to the stereo as it was meant to be heard. And it's a good balanced one, more relaxing than the mono and further revealing. Both have their advantages, but if I was was forced to choose it'd be the mono...just for the importunate Mr. Soul. (YMÖ*) (ZHÄ*) (ÄTHP*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)

fredag 13 oktober 2017

ROXY MUSIC/STRANDED ILPS 9252 (-73) UK

After two superb glam psych LP:s Brian Eno left and a new chapter started for the band. As he was the one that from the beginning added most of the odd and cheeky to the band's music you'd expect his absence leading to the adventurous elements being kept under the hood or gone all together with this third album. Not at all. On the surface more elegant, but still as various and in the forefront. I get well written songs, produced and arranged with a fair share of inventive twists and turns made in a seemingly creative atmosphere. Maybe not so much "glam psych" anymore, but why not "art glam". Still the more venturesome parts can be seen as mere ornaments because it's actually the songs themselves that make it. Eight memorable numbers with melodies guaranteed to stick. So what you get is a blend of bold and catchy luring under a smooth and embracing surface. It should have been a recipe for world wide success at the time and it almost was, topping the UK list and reaching high in a number of other countries, but never made it big in US where it halted at #186. Sure hope the American market has become more friendly to it by now...cause it's such good listening. My favorite tracks - "Mother Of Pearl", "Amazona" and "Street Life". Issued and reissued on vinyl all over the world through the years, also on cassette, 8-track and CD. First US on ATCO (SD 7045). Japan 2015 limited edition SACD (UIGY-9667) came in a fold/out cardboard sleeve. Premiere UK had label as shown here and fully laminated fold/out cover. (ÄNÖ*)

torsdag 12 oktober 2017

YVES MONTAND/LES FEUILLES MORTES CPMC 4 (-59) UK EXPORT MONO

Export album issued as an extended version of the 1958 UK Parlophone EP "The Inimitable Yves Montand" (GEP 8654). Here containing the four EP cuts plus ten more recorded 1948-55, most of them originally 78 rpm only. Not sure how many, if any, of the cuts were transformed directly from the shellac and which already existed on tape, but the whole album has a kind of pristine sonic glow reminding of those old 78 recordings. With this I'm back in front of the old valve radio I spent so much time with as a small kid in the fifties. Feeling snug I can almost scent the dinner my mom's cooking while I'm listening to just one more song. The melodies were warm and the performance friendly. I didn't understand any lyrics back then, it was all about the atmosphere. And in a way it still is. Going beyond intellect, experience and the almost sixty years inbetween - dirctly to my gut. This issue was UK only and presumably pressed for export, hinted by the XEEX matrix numbers. First had label as shown here, laminated flip/back Garrods & Lofthouse cover, with the songs interpreted in English on rear, and EMI inner. (PÖX*) (GZÅ*) (ÖXÄP*)

tisdag 10 oktober 2017

THE BEATLES/WITH THE BEATLES PMC 1206 (-63) UK MONO

Gotta post this but not sure what to write that isn't common knowledge already, so I'll just start from scratch and see where it goes. My copy isn't even a very first press...well not a true second press either, but somewhere inbetween. The cover - with large mono on front and the misspelled "You Really Gotta Hold On Me" - is 1st and so are the matrix no:s (-1N/-1N). But the label has the correct "You Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Belinda" credit for "Money", while the very first has "Jobete". As I understand the YRGAHOM spelling on label was corrected at about the same time they abandoned the first matrix settings, and in that case this may be one of the the very last on -1N/-1N. The mother/stamper no:s are also very high (side one 10/RLA, side two 10/RAR), so a change may have been needed to maintain quality. A transition copy it is, showing these pressings often didn't have waterproof bulkheads between them, there was also overlapping at times. Btw the label also has "Recording first published 1963" without the "Sold in UK..." and the vinyl is thick and unflexible. If You're interested in variations also check post on the Australian issue with alternate front cover https://monolover.blogspot.se/2017/01/the-beatleswith-beatles-pmco-1206-63.html. (BÄ*) (PÖX*)

söndag 8 oktober 2017

JOHN MAYALL/LOOKING BACK (-69) UK STEREO SKL 5010 VS. MONO LK 5010

Compilation of non-LP tracks - six 45 B-sides, four A:s and one previously unreleased - recorded 1964-67. Songs involving participation from a large number of famous names that passed through Mayall's bands those years - among them Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Aynsely Dunbar, Keef Heartly and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Like a "Who's Who" of British white blues in the sixties, showing on Mayall's enormous influence as gatherer, moulder and disrtibutor within the genre. Probably indispensable for any fan of Mayall or the British blues scene in general, but even if I get the well needed stuff it doesn't feel all right to me. The cuts only existed in mono prior to this release and apart from "Mr. James" being rechanneled, all were remixed to real stereo. Good enough to my ears with a pristine feeling, but not historically correct. And as the mono (see earlier post) is a fold from these stereo tapes I'm not all in with that either. So choosing between newly made stereo mixes and an fold from those...I don't know. Both have some advantages, but if I have to it'll be the stereo since at least a little more honest. Favorite tracks - "Stormy Monday" (with Clapton and Jack Bruce playing together 1965. More from the same sessions on the 1977 "Primal Solos" album - see earlier post), "Looking Back" and "Jenny". Issued all over the world through the years, also on cassette, reel and CD. German as a 2-LP with different tracking. First US on London (PS 562). Premiere UK had label as shown here and laminated fold/out cover with die-cut mono/stereo hole on back. (MÄH*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)