torsdag 21 februari 2019

ROGER DALTREY/RIDING A ROCK HORSE 2442-135 (-75) UK

His second solo album, recorded at the same time he was taking part in Ken Russel's filming of "Lisztomania" and released a couple of months before "The Who By Numbers". As the debute "Daltrey" product of a close collaboration with Russ Ballard - at the time just out of Argent - who produced, wrote three of the songs and played on all but one. I like this a little better than "Daltrey". It's an on all levels well made soulish album and his voice sounds great. Though to my ears it would have been even better with a less perfect finish. Now very smooth and radio friendy, but without any real edge of the kind you always got from Who LP:s up to this point. It may be unfair to compare since he obviously tried to go his own way with a different sound. Still you can't blame an old fan of one of the all time classic rock bands for doing it anyway...can't help it. Only cut that goes to my gut for now is the Ballard-penned "Proud" - at the same time both cool and taut with very good vocals. The rest OK I guess, just not enough to make me jump up and down and scream with joy. Neveretheless an ought-to-have in any Who collection worth the name and sure a keeper for mine. Issued and reissued on every possible format all over the world through the years. First US on MCA (MCA-2147). US 2006 CD on UMe (B0006652-02) came with two bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here and fully laminated cover with credit inner. (WÖH*)

tisdag 19 februari 2019

MERIT HEMMINGSON/HUVVA! 4E 062-34273 (-71) SWEDEN

For backgound also check post on her "Merit Hemmingson Plays" and "Trollskog" albums - https://monolover.blogspot.com/search?q=merit+hemmingson . This was the first of three subtitled "Svensk Folkmusik På Beat" (Swedish Folk Music On Beat). Here she's rediscovering old tonal themes as "köuk" (herding calls) and "jojk" (a Sami prelingual avowal where surrounding phenonema are sung, thus creating a bond between singer and nature). There's also remakes of traditional Scandinavian folk tunes and an old fäbodpsalm (chalet hymn). All carefully dressed in modern drag as jazz or beat, yet with remaining pristine atmosphere. While the second in the serie - "Trollskog" (Troll Forest) - had twenty pieces woven together and can be percieved as scetchy and hard to get in to for the uninitiated, this has much better flow and to my ears a more tender outcome. Most of it instrumental with occational chanting. Backing very various - moving between jazzy, fully orchestrated and solo fiddling. And if you're like me and enjoy getting embraced by some good organ there's a lot of that too from Merit and her Hammond B3. Title word "Huvva" comes from a Swedish northern dialect. Hard to translate, but could mean "yikes" or sometimes "awe" when used in the compound word "huvvaligen" and then, depending on situation, connoting both "awful" and "awesome". This release was Swedish only, also on cassette (7C 262 35870) and some of the cuts can be found on the 2005 CD "Merit - Queen Of Swedish Hammond Folk Groove" (Amigo AMSCD 111). First had label as shown here and laminated fold/out cover. (SCÄ*) (CCÖ*) (FÄV*)

måndag 18 februari 2019

LAZYBOY FOR UK EMI AND DECCA MOTHER-STAMPERS

I guess many record collectors are familiar with this subject already as details can be found on various places on the net, but I still meet aspiring gathereres who'd never thought about it and also get questions on it by mail. If you don't wanna plow through expert articles here's a condensed lazyboy for quick learning. Most may know matrix number is cruisal for knowing how early the press is, but there is also a way to narrow it down further by checking the mothers and stampers. For UK Decca and EMI issues up late seventies you can find the matrix no. at six'o'clock on the dead vinyl, the mother no. at nine and the stamper letter at three. For UK EMI the stampers should be read G=1 /R=2/ A=3 /M=4 /O=5 /P=6 /H=7 /L=8 /T=9 /D=0. UK Decca used following B=1 /U=2 /C=3 /K=4 /I=5 /N=6 /G=7 /H=8 /A=9 /M=0. If you have one of those with 1st matrix, 1st mother and a single stamper letter that means a very early press. How many copies made from each stamper shifted a lot. For EMI up to the late sixties the numbers were somewhere between 300-800, while Decca in some cases used them for a longer duration. So if for exemple any of your Beatles Parlophone or Apple originals have earliest matrix and the 1/G, or the Stones on Decca 1/B, it is one of the very first copies pressed and should add considerably to the value. (ZLEÄ*)

söndag 17 februari 2019

THE LONDON HOWLIN' WOLF SESSIONS COC 49101 (-71) GERMANY

This may not belong to the "lost gem" or "sadly forgotten" compartments, but worth a lot more attention than it's getting nowadays. There are many reasons for love. First and foremost it's a very good blues album, well played with top guitars and a number of catchy moments. But even more important, at least to me, it's performed by a supergroup with an exceptional setting together for this occation only. Recorded in a five day session May 1970 at Olympic Sound in London with futher overdubs made at Chess studios in Chicago. Apart from Wolf himself and his band guitarist Hubert Sumlin you also hear Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood doing it to the then Rolling Stones rhythm section - Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Ian Stewart - and on this version of "I Ain't Superstitious" Klaus Voorman provides bass and Ringo Starr (here credited as "Richie") plays the drums. Either you're into American black blues, Eric Clapton, or anything connected to Rolling Stones or Beatles, it should be worth while. Myself I have an almost childish delight for odd collaborations, so "I Aint Suprestitious" here would be enough for keeps - Wolf backed by Sumlin and Clapton on guitars, supported by Ringo and Voorman on drums and bass plus Bill Wyman on cowbell. And getting lots of Clapton playing with parts of Rolling Stones is just dandy by itself. As a Stones fan I also fancy to have it on their own label . Maybe die-hard collectors would prefer a UK or US 1st, but this German comes with such great audio - wide and natural - I don't need to look further. Initially issued and re-issued pretty much all over the world on vinyl and cassette - either on Chess or Rolling Stones Records. US 2002 2xCD on MCA/Chess (088 112 985-2) came with the entire original album, three newly remixed versions and twelve alternate takes and/or mixes. First German had label as shown here and laminated fold/out cover. (GÖXÄ*) (RÅ*) (RYNX*) (CÄRÄ*)

fredag 15 februari 2019

DAVID BOWIE/SCARY MONSTERS BOW LP 2 (-80) UK

Sometimes when writing a post I have to reach down deep to find something interesting to handle in connection. Here it's the opposite - so much going through my mind I don't know where to start. Maybe with it was the last LP so far giving me goosebumps at very first listen. Record dealer told me he just got the new Bowie album and played the whole thing in the shop. Already at the "It's No Game" intro, with the count in and the desperate Japanese chant, I froze and and then stood put like a Lot's wife for the rest. That was thirtyeight years ago and the record still feels fresh, like a never ending story constantly offering new things to discover and enjoy. The perfect blend of catchy and experimental, melodic and daring, with lyrics going from explaining to unintelligible. At a point you can wonder what the hell is going on and just seconds later be caught in something warm and familiar. And what a crew it was. Apart from Bowies usual expert trio Carlos Alomar, Dennis Davies and George Murray also Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Roy Bittan (E Street Band) and Pete Townshend (The Who) among others. All supervised by studio wiz Tony Visconti. Recorded layer on layer with some strata almost hidden deep below, hard to immediatley detect but crucial for the entirety. Impossible for me to pick favorite tracks. Once I set the needle to the vinyl I'm stuck and can't stop till the last note is played...then feeling both shaken and stirred in the best possible way. Issued and reissued on every possible format through the years, some with bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here and thin matt cover with folded lyric insert. (PKÅ*)

onsdag 13 februari 2019

DONOVAN/DONOVAN'S GREATEST HITS BXN 26439 (-69) US/HOLLAND

Had the UK mono version for a long time now (see earlier post) and always been quite happy with that - the Pye label, the heavy vinyl and laminated sleeve with booklet. Don't like the audio though, coming through very uneven - some tracks ok while others sounds muffled and/or unbalanced. Never sat down for a throrough comparison, but to me that has all features of a fold. And as this compilation was a US project from the beginning I wanted to find a such stereo original hoping for better audio. So when this showed up in a used bin a while ago I picked it up for the US sleeve and number, expecting a US vinyl, though as it turned out the label was Dutch. First suspecting a swap, but since the matrixes are US - stamped "o XSB 138953/4-1A" - together with the US sleeve and number, it could be tagged as an American made, exported and then pressed in Holland. "Mellow Yellow" slightly re-channeled, the rest true stereo. The audio is great - loud and very clear...don't think "Hurdy Gurdy Man" have ever sounded better regardless of format. So now I've found my stereo keeper and even if not the exact one I wanted from the the beginning, my search is over. Issued and reissued on about every format all over the world through the years. US 1999 CD (Epic EK 67530) came with "Atlantis", "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting", Barabajagal" and "Riki Tiki Tavi" as bonus tracks. Premiere Dutch had label as shown here and sturdy matt US sleeve with six page booklet. (TÖW*) (HÖLX*) (PÖP*)

måndag 11 februari 2019

MANFRED MANN/MANN MADE CLP 1911 (-65) UK MONO

For more background check post on the UK debute - https://monolover.blogspot.com/2014/11/manfred-mannthe-five-faces-of-manfred.html - or read the liner notes below. This second album became the final with the original setting as both Paul Jones and Mike Vickers left after the sessions. It was also their last recorded at Abbey Road, since the band then moved to Fontana, while Paul Jones stayed with HMV. To my ears the debute was close to a killer with a fearless and for its time very inventive blend of blues, jazz and soul. This comes out a little lighter with more soul and sometimes almost pop-adjacent, but nontheless a very good album. Though somewhat more crowd-pleasing I still get some jazzy twists and turns, just enough to keep it afloat, and Paul Jones sings like a god most of the time. There's so much feeling in cuts like "Since I Don't Have You", "The Way You Do The Things You Do", "You Don't Know Me", "I'll Make It Up To You" and they even manage to blow some life into the silly pop song "Hi Lili, Hi Lo". Audio and mono mix just fine all together providing pleasant listening. Issued on vinyl and/or reel pretty much all over the world in the sixties. US on Ascot (ALM/S 13024). Canadian on Capitol (T 6187) removed "Hi Lili, Hi Lo", "You're For Me" and "I Really Do Believe" and replaced them with "Pretty Flamingo" and "She Needs Company". Japan 2012 CD (EMI TOCP 67111) as "Mann Made Plus" came with twelve bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover. (MÄNÄ*)

lördag 9 februari 2019

CLIFF RICHARD/SINCERELY CLIFF RICHARD SCX 6357 (-69) UK

His last sixties effort and almost a 10 year anniversary. You can hear things had happened in and around him during that time. Though the music here partly coincides with some of his earlier trials this comes out in an alltogether softer atmosphere, still neat but with a sincerety showing on a more solid ground like he's closer to home. Like it or not...it depends on what you're after. Not even near exciting or back straightening, but so well done it's still very good listening should you feel relaxed and idle in the most innocent way. His vocals immediate and uncorrupted, orchestral arrangements made by a number of expert conductors - Mike Leander, Norrie Paramor, Brian Bennet, Mike Vickers, Bernard Ebbinghouse and Alan Hawkshaw - are just lovely and the stereo mix and audio on this UK press perfect. Feels a little stange for this fan of his early Shadows period, but the overall high quality does it for keeps. Favorite tracks - "Time" having a distinct fifties ambience with nice background quires and "When I Find You" uptempo with some odd arrangements making it the most adventurous on the album. That said it's not one I'm listening a lot to now, but will probably fit just fine when I get older and gentler so I'll save it for then. Originally issued on vinyl in Canada (Capitol ST 6340), Japan (Odeon OP 9511) and a couple of European countries, but to my knowledge never in US. EU 2004 CD (EMI 724347 34022) came with three bonus tracks. Premiere UK, also as mono (SX 6357), had label as shown here and thin matt cover with EMI ad inner. (CXÄ*)

torsdag 7 februari 2019

SVENSK POP SP 07 (-79) SWEDEN

A sampler probably most interesting for collectors of obscure Scandinavian groups, but may also do it for the openminded international punk fan. Cause even if the title promise "Swedish Pop", most of it is punk rock and reggae with aims far from any mellow pop scene. Both The Push songs are reggae sung in English, the rest with Swedish lyrics. The band Noise were a couple of 13-14 year old:s here doing two up-tempo punk numbers imbued by rattling guitars, hard working drums and a pleasantly disturbing organ - https://youtu.be/D0WAC7ntS7s . Torsson's two songs describes life in their home town in a kind of grey realistic way. The most outstanding track would be Kriminella Gitarrer (Criminal Guitars) and their "Knugen Skuk" - eng. translation would be "The King Scock" (you figure it out) - showing on a big interest for a certain royal organ. In all there's nothing embellished or glamorous here. The prosaic lyrics, the simple melodies and right-on recordings may be percieved as uninteresting for the average pop fan, but to me that's what makes this compilation special. Snap-shots of Sweden in the seventies, recorded with a minimum of production or other exterior meddling and thus for better or worse 100% honest. To my knowledge this Swedish vinyl was the only issue, with some copies on a yellow/black label. Both variations in identical thin matt covers. (SÄM*) (SCÄ*) (CCÖ*) (ÖGÄ*)

tisdag 5 februari 2019

TEN YEARS AFTER UK MONO DML 1015 VS. UK STEREO SML 1015

Sat down to search for distinguishable differences between the formats from UK 1st press mono and stereo copies, but don't get a lot. Connecting the channels on the stereo gives about the same result as the mono. "Losing The Dogs" mono has about six seconds longer fade out and a couple of the other tracks deviates about a second or so. There are also some miniscule distinctios in reverb, volume and balance so with all certainty separate mixes, but not by much. I guess most owners of mono buttons would get about the same pleasure by just pushing those as from the real deal. But when unhanding the button more differences occur. Albeit the stereo played as it should is totally ok without too much panning giving a natural flow most of the time, the mono sounds more pristine all the way and hit me harder. So if I have to choose - mono it is! EU 2015 2xCD (Deram 472643-8) came with both mono and stereo version plus single edits and some BBC live takes. First US on Deram (DE 16009/DES 18009). Premiere UK had labels as shown here and laminated covers. (DÄRR*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)(XYÄ*)