måndag 31 oktober 2016

SMALL FACES/THE AUTUMN STONE IMAL 01/02 (-69) UK

An album today widely considered a classic and as the originals getting rarer also often sold dearly by dealers and at auctions. At first glance it's good - a double LP with lots of odd cuts hosted in a nicely designed cover. But how about the music and audio, is it really that good listening? Not entirely, not to my ears anyway. I get five outtakes from the recordings of the planned but deleted "1862" album - two instrumentals and three vocal - non very impressing and certainy far from the genius pervading their previous Immediate albums. Five live recordings of ok bootleg quality - interesting from an historical perspective but not much more. An alternate mix of "Wam Bam Thank You Mam" which in this case means the vocals are tuned down so they're hardly audible. A couple of Decca A-sides with some kind of faked re-mixes - don't know if to call it re-channeling or enhanced mono, a little of both I guess. (If you want all Decca A:s and B:s on vinyl original mono with beautiful audio I truly recommend an early press of the 1976 Decca budget compilation "The Singles Album" instead.) Now to the better stuff. An alternative version of "Afterglow" - not as good as the first chosen, but ok in its own way. "Tin Soldier", "Itchycoo Park" and "Here Come The Nice" in true stereo, using about the same mixes as on the US 1967 "There Are But Four Small Faces" (only minisclue differences). My own favorite track is the last single approved by the band - "The Universal". Great song with top audio and not that easy to get on early LP. To my taste as a whole unsatisfying. A few good moments, but also lots of half-baked stuff that as well could have stayed in the vaults. Original Immediate releases in Germany, Holland, Australia and New Zeeland. Canadian on Daffodil Records (SBAB 16023) with alternate "silver" cover. Japan 2009 CD (Immediate VICP 70109) came with one bonus track. Premiere UK had label as shown here and matt fold/out cover. (SXÅH*)(YDÄ*)

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