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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Short spin: Jet -- Shaka Rock 180 gram vinyl (w/included cd)

Shaka Rock [Vinyl]

Aussie rockers Jet are back with an all new album, Shaka Rock. Propelled in part by airplay on the popular television series The OC, Jet originally burst onto the scene in 2003 with Get Born, and their brand of classic rock mixed with punk swagger. Get Born proved to be a hell of a fun record and went on to sell in excess of three million copies.

Their 2006 sophmore effort, Shine On was a letdown, both musically, and for anyone who cares about good sound. A particularly glaring casualty of the loudness war, both the cd and vinyl versions of Shine On were terribly loud and compressed--to the point of being "brickwalled" so badly that I simply couldn't enjoy listening to them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 - July 17, 1967)

Yesterday, John Coltrane would have been 83 years old. Amazing, that he's now been gone longer than he was with us. Still, he continues to entertain and inspire us, day after day.

After two weeks of listening to virtually nothing but The Beatles, I've taken a break from them. And in celebration of Coltrane's life, I've been playing his music all day, and I hope that you'll join me in celebrating his larger than life spirit.

Below, I've included some of my favorite photos, as well as live performances of So What (with Coltrane on tenor) and My Favorite Things (with Coltrane on soprano and Eric Dolphy on flute). I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Beatles Remastered: Stereo Revolver -- Review and Vinyl Comparison

the beatles! Pictures, Images and Photos

In 1966, The Beatles released their seventh studio album, Revolver. Heralded as one of the first psychedelic albums, Revolver features the use of reverse guitar, tape loops, and other effects on songs such as Tommorow Never Knows and I'm Only Sleeping. Revolver may also be the height of George Harrison's influence, featuring three songs written and sung by him.

Unlike the stereo version of their previous album, Rubber Soul, which features hard-panned left-right placement of vocals and instruments--and a hole in the center, the stereo Revolver features a more natural stereo mix. Today, Myvinylreview reviews the remastered stereo compact disc, which is found in the Beatles Stereo Box Set and can also be bought as a single cd.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Second Listen: The Beatles in MONO Remastered Box Set -- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released in 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band marked the Beatles most ambitious recording project to date. Originally released on vinyl in both mono and stereo, the mono version quickly went out of print and has never been issued on compact disc until now. Favored by many hardcore fans as representing the true intention of the band, a mythology has developed behind the mono version and many younger fans are now hearing it for the first time.

While there will always be some debate over which is the greater version of the recording, there is no doubt that the mono Pepper remaster has been about as highly anticipated as any other of their recordings, save The Beatles (White Album) in mono. Given that interest, Myvinylreview reviews the Pepper mono remaster today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Listen: The Beatles in MONO Remastered Box Set (The White Album)

On September 9, 2009, EMI released the long-anticipated remasterings of the Beatles U.K. catalog. For the first time on compact disc, all of the albums originally released on mono will be available, along with a two-disc Mono Masters set, which collects all of the singles and non-album mono tracks. These mono discs are packaged in a box set entitled, The Beatles in Mono and the individual titles will not be available separately.

Unlike the stereo box set, the mono set is being produced in limited quantities and is likely to become a collectible in the future. This mono set was manufactured in Japan and has exquisite mini-LP packaging, which replicates the original vinyl packaging right down to the Sgt. Pepper's and White Album inserts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

First Listen: Beatles Remastered Compact Discs vs. U.K. Stereo Vinyl (Abbey Road)

Well, the day is finally almost here--9/9/09 is two days away. And if you haven't yet decided whether to buy the remastered cds, are wondering how they sound compared to your Blue Box or original U.K vinyl, or you're still waiting for newly remastered vinyl, you've come to the right place. While Myvinylreview can't make up your mind for you, we're going to try to help you over the next week with a review and comparison of a different album each day. First some stereo issues, then some monos.

Because this is first and foremost a vinyl review site, I do not plan on comparing the original issue 1987 compact discs to these remasters. Instead, I will compare them to original and reissued U.K. vinyl: Original Yellow and Black Parlophones, one-box, two-box (Blue Box era), '82 reissue Parlophone monos, and U.K. Apples.

Today, we'll start with the Beatles' last recorded effort, Abbey Road. Originally released on September 26, 1969, Abbey Road was the Beatles last recorded effort (though Let it Be was released later, it was actually recorded earlier) and is generally considered to be their album with the highest fidelity and is a perennial fan favorite.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It Might Get Loud: Movie Review and Extended Preview Trailer

From director Davis Guggenheim, comes a documentary film about the guitar and three famous players: guitar god Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, U2's The Edge, and Jack White III (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather).

Unlike much of the usual documentary fare, It Might Get Loud does more than follow these three famous guitarists around. Guggenheim has each musician take you on their personal journey of guitar discovery, and then allows you to be a fly on the wall during a two day "summit" at a Los Angeles soundstage where the three meet. Archival footage is interspersed sparingly to give context and only enriches the experience of meeting these artists.