Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Cars: S/T MFSL 180 gram vinyl

In 1978, with new acts like Blondie and Elvis Costello already tasting some success, The Cars burst onto the new wave scene with their self-titled debut album. The band went on to release five more albums over the next ten years, including the massively successful 1984 release, Heartbeat City, which netted four top 15 hits.

Despite this commercial success, fans of the band almost universally agree that the band never again reached the heights they acheived with their debut, which is considered by many to be one of the finest debut rock albums ever. The Cars not only plays like a greatest hits album, but has aged quite well and doesn't have the dated sound that plagues so many synth-based records of the era.

Monday, August 24, 2009

SNEAK PREVIEW: The Black Crowes -- The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion 180 gram vinyl

In 1992, at the height of the grunge movement, one band could be counted on to release a straight-ahead rock album in the tradition of The Rolling Stones, The Faces, and the Allman Brothers. That band was The Black Crowes. Led by brothers Rich and Chris Robinson, The Black Crowes originally broke onto the rock scene in 1990 with their highly successful debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker, which spawned two number one album oriented rock hits--their cover of Otis Redding's Hard to Handle, and the acoustic ballad, She Talks to Angels.

Their followup effort, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, was released in 1992, and is widely considered by fans to be their best. It took the band to even greater heights than their first, garnering them four number one album oriented rock singles: Remedy, Sting Me, Thorn in My Pride, and Hotel Illness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Short Spin: Stephen Stills -- Just Roll Tape (April 26, 1968) 180 gram vinyl

Almost two years ago, Stephen Stills released his archival recording entitled, Just Roll Tape (April 26, 1968), to very little fanfare. And late last year, in the midst of the vinyl release of Neil Young's Massey Hall concert and the increasing speculation about his forthcoming Archives project, Rhino released Just Roll Tape (April 26, 1968) on 180 gram vinyl.

As Young's live archival releases, Live at the Fillmore East, Live at Massey Hall, and Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House, continue to receive richly deserved attention, I think this archival release from Stephen Stills deserves your attention as well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beatledrops: Samples of Beatles Mono and Stereo Vinyl, CD, Remasters

NEW: Click here to read the Review of the 2009 Remastered cd of Abbey Road

NEW:First Listen: The Beatles MONO Box Set (The White Album) Review and Comparison to U.K. Vinyl

With the remastered Beatles compact discs arriving in less than a month, interest in Beatles pressings, both vinyl and cd, stereo and mono are at a high not seen since the original compact discs were released over twenty years ago.

September 9, 2009 cannot come soon enough for many, but don't expect vinyl collectors to dump their collections-- with the price of the mono and stereo boxsets each topping $200, not everyone will automatically pony up the bucks for the remastered cds. Many are hoping for remastered vinyl, others will continue to search for the best sounding vinyl already out there on Ebay and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Dead Weather - Horehound 180 gram vinyl review

Jack White is back with his latest supergroup, The Dead Weather, and their first release, Horehound. With Jack White (The White Stripes and The Raconteurs) on drums/vocals, Jack Lawerence (The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes) on bass, Alison Mosshart (The Kills) on lead vocals, and Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar, synthesizer, and organ, White shows once again that he has a knack for bringing just the right mix of talent together.

Funky grooves, fuzzed-out bass, eerie organ lines, Cream-era fuzztone guitars, vocals straight from hell, and White's John Bonham-inspired drumming combine to create a consistent mood throughout the record that evokes part Crossroads, part Hell's Kitchen. For those who found Robert Plant's foray into the swamp with Alison Krauss much too angelic, this Alison goes the opposite direction, and her vocals, like White's, take the listener to a much darker place--in fact, their voices are so similar, that when they're singing together, their voices tend to meld together as one.