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Homeless Brother
Homeless Brother
Price: £11.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I'm Too Young To Feel This Old..." - Homeless Brother by DON McLEAN (1994 and 2008 Beat Goes On CD Remaster), 27 Nov 2014
This review is from: Homeless Brother (Audio CD)
Don McLean albums are often hit and miss affairs ("Homeless Brother" is no different) - but possessed of a way with melody that few artists have - when New York State Don hits that sweet spot the results are gorgeous and often impossibly moving. Back in 1994 Britain's Beat Goes On remastered much of his United Artists album catalogue from the Seventies - and this 1974 offering is one of those hidden nuggets. Here are the details...

Originally released November 1994 (reissued in December 2008) - Beat Goes On BGOCD 247 (Barcode 5017261202475) is a straightforward transfer of his 5th album "Homeless Brother" released November 1974 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29646 (38:26 minutes):

1. Winter Has Me In It's Grip
2. La La Love You
3. Homeless Brother
4. Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond)
5. The Legend Of Andrew McCrew
6. Wonderful Baby
7. You Have Lived
8. Great Big Man
9. Tangled (Like A Spider In Her Hair)
10. Crying In The Chapel
11. Did You Know

The 12-page booklet has typically excellent liner notes by JOHN TOBLER (dated 1994) followed by song lyrics and musician credits. The remaster was done at Sound Mastering (then in Cambridge) and is beautifully clean with only minor hiss issues on the very quietest of songs (doesn't say who did what). It's a top notch transfer.

McLean is a fantastic lyricist painting images that are so vivid - in "Lonesome Brother" we get "it was just a drunken hobo, dancin' circles in the night, pourin' whisky on the headstones in the blue moonlight..." and in "You Have Lived" he admires a social outcast "confined by fashion and peer...I love you for your courage in this frighten atmosphere..." Inspired by Fred Astaire and dedicated to him - McLean's "Wonderful Baby" would eventually be recorded by the master dancer himself in 1976 on Astaire's "Attitude Dancing" album (United Artists UK put the song out as a 45 in January 1975 on UP 35764 with "Homeless Brother" on the flip). The upbeat and decidedly fruity "La La Love You" has Don pleading with his lady to "just let me ride your box car...and I'll hobo with you..."

One of the huge songs on the album even made the news in the USA and changed a forgotten soul's final fate. "The Legend Of Andrew McGrew" tells the story of a tramp's body sat prostate in a straw chair - his mummified remains peddled for decades as a travelling-show exhibit. Highlighting McGrew's horrible treatment - the song finally saw the lost man be given a decent burial. The lovely ballad "Tangled (Like A Spider In her Hair)" sees him sing and play acoustic guitar with only the faintest of percussion from Ralph McDonald. He then shares an Acapella rendition of The Orioles 1953 Vocal Group hit on Jubilee "Crying In The Chapel" with The Persuasions - the lack of instruments give it a Fifties feel and make it all the more striking (the song was also covered memorably by Elvis in 1965 on RCA).

One of my favourites is the gentle opener " Winter Has Me In Its Grip" - a typically simple song that slays you. Yusef Lateef provides Flute as McLean does a truly gorgeous backing vocal duet with Kenny Vance (lyrics from it title this review). The album ends on one of the album's prettier songs "Did You Know" - again just McLean and acoustic guitar with a Willis Jackson Tenor Saxophone towards the end.

It's not "American Pie" (1971) or "Playing Favourites" (1973) but its moments are up there. A lovely reissue...

Blood on the Tracks
Blood on the Tracks
Price: £28.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...In The Tall Grass...In The Ones I Love..." - Blood On The Tracks by BOB DYLAN (2012 Mobile Fidelity Audiophile CD Remaster), 26 Nov 2014
This review is from: Blood on the Tracks (Audio CD)
The undisputed singer-songwriter champ/people's poet of the Sixties was all but commercially washed up by 1974. Neither the weedy "Dylan" from 1973 nor "Planet Waves" from 1974 were good as whole albums with only "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" and "Knocking On Heaven's Door" showing that old melody and lyrical magic. A pointless live double "Before The Flood" with The Band followed in July of 1974 and smacked of contract filler - damaging his reputation further. But come early the following year - all that lost faith was about to change...

Fast forward to April 1975 - and I'm scouring the singles boxes in Dublin's cool and trendy Dandelion Market (a sort of indoor Camden Town). Dealers would collect ex chart singles that were a few weeks past their sell-by-date from the city's abundant record shops and flog them for 50p or less. New and in their label bags - you'd pick up deals and take chances on new names. So I'm flicking through the Dawn and Bell label bubble gum pop when I spot "Tangled Up In Blue" by Bob Dylan on its Orange and Yellow CBS Records label (3160). I paid my 50p, took it home and hoped for the best when I put the needle down. My jaw promptly fell to the kitchen lino...and in many unhygienic ways...its been there ever since...

There can't be too many Dylan nuts who don't worship at the feet of CBS Records S 69097 and Columbia PC 33235 released January 1975 in the States and February 1975 in the UK. Charted at 4 in Blighty but going all the way to the top in America - "Blood On The Tracks" signalled that the man was back - and how. In all truth he hadn't sounded this vital (or confused) since "Blonde On Blonde" in 1966.

Let's get to the CD - two standard versions in 1989 and 1993 preceded the real deal - a proper remaster on a 2003 Columbia SACD Hybrid CD that contained both an SACD layer and a Standard STEREO mix. Easily available in a glossy card digipak - it has beautiful sound quality and should be enough for most. But this is Bob Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks" and if I can attain another microscopic ounce of audio quality out of yet another release - I'm gonna spend money on that sucker. So I bought this gorgeous USA-Only Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab audiophile pressing - and I'm thrilled I did. Here are the buckets of rain...

1. Tangled Up In Blue
2. Simple Twist Of Faith
3. You're A Big Girl Now
4. Idiot Wind
5. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
6. Meet Me In The Morning [Side 2]
7. Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts
8. If You See Her, Say Hello
9. Shelter From The Storm
10. Buckets Of Rain

USA released November 2012 (February 2013 in the UK) - this issue of "Blood On The Tracks" is an "Original Master Recording" CD on Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2098 (Barcode 821797209861). An Audiophile Hybrid Edition - it has both SACD and DSD CD layers and does not require an SACD player for playback (it will automatically default to the DSD CD layer once in standard machines). The transfer from the original master tapes used Mobile Fidelity's patented ULTRADISC UHR GAIN 2 Remaster System with mastering by ROB LoVERDE (assisted by SHAWN R. BRITTON). It's a straightforward 10-track transfer of the album at 51:48 minutes housed in oversized hard card repro artwork. An inner gatefold black and gold card sleeve houses the gold CD (itself in a gauze protective) and there's a numbered (embossed) square on the rear cover.

When you first hear the opening triple-whammy of brilliance - "Tangled Up In Blue", "Simple Twist Of Faith" and "You're A Big Girl Now" - the differences to my ear are the acoustic guitars and the beautiful clarity to the bass - they're floating around the room but not drowning out his impassioned vocals. The high hats and drum taps on "Big Girl" are crystal clear but again they're not amped to a point where they take over. It's properly beautiful stuff.

And as everyone now knows the album revolved around the dissolution of his marriage - so the lyrics and songs flit between apathy and stupor ("Meet Me In The Morning") to slighting bitterness ("Idiot Wind") and a sort of hurting reconciliation ("If You See Her, Say Hello"). But then they come roaring back to simplicity and lingering affection ("Shelter From The Storm" and "Buckets Of Rain"). Dylan ends Side 1 with the short but oh so sweet "You're Gonna Make Lonesome When You Go". It's typical of the album - confessional yet still guarded - its Sixties throwback sound and vocals has to be one of his loveliest songs -with lyrical rhymes that thrill to this day (words from it title this review). The smacking of the acoustic guitar strings on "Buckets Of Rain" have fabulous clarity and that double bass in the background is warm and full too. Wonderfully done...

In some respects it's a shame Columbia simply don't just get on with it and do a DELUXE EDITION of this most iconic of his albums - maybe they will with its 40th Anniversary looming in 2015. There are two outtakes on Biograph and a further four on "The Bootleg Series Volumes 1 - 3" and with the original withdrawn album mix - would make a corker of a reissue.

In the meantime - if it's the best sound you want - then the spondulicks spent on this lovely reissue of "Blood On The Tracks" will pay dividends...

Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...The Vice Is Nice..." - Rickie Lee Jones by RICKIE LEE JONES (2012 Warner Brothers Japan 'SHM-CD' Remaster), 25 Nov 2014
This review is from: Rickie Lee Jones (Audio CD)
I can remember when every London Hi-Fi store you went into in the late Eighties had two discs to demonstrate what the new fangled format of CD was capable of - and both were debuts. One was Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly" from 1982 and the other was "Rickie Lee Jones" - her beautifully produced self-titled debut from 1979. Yet for such audiophile titles both have remained 'un-remastered' in singular form for the average Joe to buy with ease for decades since. For Steely Dan's Donald Fagen you have to buy the hugely irritating and disappointing MVI Trilogy Box Set and for Rickie you have to go to Japan. And that's where this superb SHM-CD reissue comes in...

Released 12 June 2012 - Warner Brothers Japan WPCR-14508 (Barcode 4943674118373) is a straightforward reissue/new remaster of the album on the SHM-CD format and breaks down as follows (42:15 minutes):

1. Chuck E.'s In Love
2. On Saturday Afternoons In 1963
3. Night Train
4. Young Blood
5. Easy Money
6. The Last Chance Texaco
7. Danny's All Star Joint [Side 2]
8. Coolsville
9. Weasel And The White Boys Cool
10. Company
11. After Hours (Twelve Bars Past Goodnight)
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Rickie Lee Jones" - released March 1979 in the USA on Warner Brothers BSK 3296 and June 1979 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56628

A SHM-CD doesn't require a special CD player to play it on (compatible on all) nor does it need audiophile kit to hear the benefits. It's a new form of the format that picks up the nuances of the transfer better (top quality make). I own about 15 of them and they're uniformly superb. The 5" repro sleeve is typical of Japanese quality - beautifully rendered (quite what they mean by 'Light Mellow 2012' on the outer sticker is anybody's guess). The black and white 20-page booklet inside has the lyrics in English and Japanese and little else by way of credits (who remastered what and where) - but a nice touch is a repro of the $2 Warner Brothers deal inner bag that came with original vinyl copies. The CD has the Warner Brothers cream-coloured label of the time and a protective plastic to hold the slightly heavier SHM-CD in the $2 inner bag (lovely attention to there always is with these Japanese reissues). But the big news is the sound...

Fans will know that outside of Rhino's 3CD career overhaul "Duchess Of Coolsville" in 2005 (which had 6 of the 11 tracks here) - her staggeringly accomplished debut has never been fully remastered as an album for CD until now. It did receive a coveted Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab remaster in 2012 - but only on vinyl. Here you get the full album and the sonic results are brills - as lovely and as warm a remaster as you could have hoped for. For sure there is hiss on some tracks but its not been dampened or Pro-tooled out of existence in the transfer. Key tracks like "Night Train", "Danny's All Star Joint" and "Easy Money" (represented on the "Duchess" set by a Previously Unreleased 'Demo' Version) has never seen a remaster since the advent of CD - and they shine like audio gold here.

Right from the opening seconds of acoustic guitars, drums whacks and clicking fingers of "Chuck E.'s In Love" - you can hear the clarity of musicians like guitarists Buzzy Feiten and Fred Tackett, keyboard whizz kid Neil Larsen, Willie Weeks on Bass and Jeff Pocaro (of Toto) with Victor Feldman on Drums (Michael McDonald does his backing vocals magic here and there too). Produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman and mastered by Lee Herschberg - the audio was always going to be something special and this beautiful remaster on SHM-CD brings that out.

Not to be swamped in audiophile for the sake of it - the music is amazingly touching too - the best examples of which are "Night Train", "Company" and "The Last Chance Texaco". "I remember you too clearly...but I'll survive another day..." she pines on the gorgeous and affecting "Company" featuring truly beautiful string arrangements by Johnny Mandel. Its here you also hear her other secret weapon - those off the cuff streetwise lyrics that have depth and sass - flirty one minute - then aching the next - like a female Tom Waits. The squeaking of the acoustic guitar strings on "Night Train" sound amazing (even if the beginning of the track is a little hissy) - and I still get bowled over by those "broken like valiums and chumps in the rain that cry and quiver..." lyrics. The double-bass intro to "Easy Money" slides into definite Tom Waits "Blue Valentyne" territory where "A couple Jills with their eyes on a couple of bills..." and although it doesn't say so in the liner notes but I'd swear that's Dr. John on the slinky New Orleans keys with Victor Feldman on Vibes.

Funky genius comes in the brilliant Side 2 opener "Danny's All-Star Joint" sounding like Paul Simon's "Stranded In A Limousine" - a stunning mixture of brass and scat like lyrics that amaze. "Coolsville" is admittedly hissy (but it was on the original recording) but it still sounds awesome. "The Last Chance Texaco" features "sleepy diesel eyes" and a floating synth note that ominously backs up the big acoustic chords - it's fabulously accomplished stuff and lyrically grates at a raw nerve in us all about emotional success. Things get hip and street funk with "Coolsville" and the brilliant "Weasel & The White Boys Cool" where Sal is selling 'articles' to his people downtown. Two tracks were recorded Live on 22 December 1978 - the lovely piano and "years may go by" strings of "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" and the final cut "After Hours" where she croons about "America" and how some of its citizens may have lost their way but are still hopeful dreamers.

Rickie Lee Jones won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1979 and her follow-up albums "Pirates" (1981) and "The Magazine" (1984) articulate even more stunning emotional soundtracks - opting for longer songs and richer arrangements. But this is where her jukebox first went `doyt doyt'.

You could of course argue that you simply buy the "Duchess Of Coolsville" triple CD anthology and get a lot more bang for your bucks - but this is one of those occasions where only the 'whole' album will suffice. It doesn't just sound good - it is 'all' good...

Legend (Deluxe Edition)
Legend (Deluxe Edition)
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Redemption Songs..." - Legend by BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS (2002 Universal 2CD DELUXE EDITION), 24 Nov 2014
The biggest selling Reggae Album of all time is an obvious (and even lazy) choice for inclusion in Universal's DELUXE EDITION series of 2CD reissues - but have you actually heard it? The audio quality on this baby is astounding - not just good - but truly incredible. And it's one of those cool reissues where you get the best of both worlds - a superlative CD version of the album on Disc 1 - while Disc 2 is filled with brilliant alternate versions that actually warrant the word bonus. Here are the skanking details so you can lively up yourself and be no drag...

UK released February 2002 - "Legend DELUXE EDITION" on Universal 586 714-2 (Barcode 731458671428) breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (73:16 minutes):
1. Is This Love (from "Kaya", March 1978 UK LP on Island ILPS 9517)
2. No Woman No Cry [Live] [Full Album Version] (from "Live! At The Lyceum", December 1975 UK LP on Island ILPS 9376)
3. Could You Be Loved (from "Uprising", June 1980 UK LP on Island ILPS 9596)
4. Three Little Birds (from "Exodus", May 1977 UK LP on Island ILPS 9498)
5. Buffalo Soldier (from "Confrontation", May 1983 UK LP on Island ILPS 9760)
6. Get Up Stand Up (from "Burnin'", November 1973 UK LP on Island ILPS 9256)
7. Stir It Up [Full Album Version] (from "Catch A Fire", April 1973 UK LP on Island ILPS 9241)
8. Easy Skanking (from "Kaya", March 1978 UK LP on Island ILPS 9517)
9. One Love/People Get Ready (from "Exodus", May 1977 UK LP on Island ILPS 9498)
10. I Shot The Sheriff (from "Burnin'", November 1973 UK LP on Island ILPS 9256)
11. Waiting In Vain (from "Exodus", May 1977 UK LP on Island ILPS 9498)
12. Redemption Song (from "Uprising", June 1980 UK LP on Island ILPS 9596)
13. Satisfy My Soul (from "Kaya", March 1978 UK LP on Island ILPS 9517)
14. Exodus (from "Exodus", May 1977 UK LP on Island ILPS 9498)
15. Jamming (from "Exodus", May 1977 UK LP on Island ILPS 9498)
16. Punky Reggae Party (Long Version) (originally a non-album B-side to "Jamming" issued as a UK 7"single in December 1977 on Island WIP 6410. The original &' single edit ran to 4:25 minutes, this 'Long Version' extends to 6:52 minutes)

Disc 2 - The Legend Remixes (71:55 minutes):
1. One Love/People Get Ready (Extended Version - Remix by Julian Mendelsohn - 7:01 minutes)
2. Waiting In Vain (Remix by Julian Mendelsohn - 5:57 minutes)
3. Jamming (Remix by Paul "Groucho" Smykle - 5:36 minutes)
4. Three Little Birds/Three Little Birds (Dub Version) (Remix by Julian Mendelsohn- 5:20 minutes)
5. Could You Be Loved (Remix by Errol Brown and Alex Sadkin - 5:26 minutes)
6. No Woman No Cry (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 4:11 minutes)
7. Coming In From The Cold (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 5:43 minutes)
8. Buffalo Soldier (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 5:25 minutes)
9. Jamming (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 3:22 minutes)
10. Waiting in Vain (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 4:13 minutes)
11. Exodus (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 8:51 minutes)
12. Lively Up Yourself (Remix by Eric E.T. Thorngren - 5:18 minutes)
13. One Love/People Get Ready (Dub Version) (Remix by Godwin Logie - 4:56 minutes)

The original May 1984 14-track LP is expanded to a 16-track CD with full album versions instead of the 7" edits that were often on the record because of vinyl space restrictions. While it might sound trite to say that the single mixes end too soon - never is this more evident for instance than on "Punky Reggae Party" where the 'Long Version' groove extends to nearly seven minutes instead of four and a half - and the difference in incredible - making it a hugely enjoyable and funky beats of a thing.

The sequencing is everything with "Legend" - flitting from the Eighties to the early Seventies with ease and clever choices. It opens with the fantastic crossover hit "Is This Love" - I can remember DJing parties when this just slayed the crowd - hundreds of people joining in on the chorus. The emotional "No Woman No Cry" (from 1975's amazing "Live! At The Lyceum") is given full album length reign - over seven minutes - what a winner. But again were quickly back to another stunning dancefloor killer "Could You Be Loved" - the remaster bringing out that tight as a Vatican purse rhythm section. One of my all time faves by Marley has always been "Get Up Stand Up" - politics and passion combine with Rasta Rhythms to produce a winner for the heart, mind and feet. Johnny Nash first brought "Stir It Up" to us in March 1972 (a year before "Catch A Fire" was even released) - while I personally don't have much time for Bob's original of "I Shot The Sheriff" (made famous of course by Eric Clapton in 1974 who put it on top of the UK singles chart and probably made the lad a few bob). "Waiting In Vain" is simply gorgeous with that wonderful guitar break and that irresistible backbeat (Annie Lennox does a lovely cover of it on her "Medusa" set from 1995 that's always being used in rom-coms). In fact the breakthrough masterpiece of 1977's "Exodus" casts it shadow over the remainder of tracks with the hugely popular "Jamming" sounding amazing in the transfer.

Disc 2 opens with a seven -minute extension of "One Love/People Get Ready" with the centre section going into amazing keyboard and bass jabs. The Mendelsohn remix of "Waiting In Vain" sounds a lot less polished than the album cut - but turns it quite deliberately into a far funkier affair with the vocals treated to slight echoes. The long version of "Could You Be Loved" is a DJ's dream - allowing that fantastic certain groove to stretch out like never before - it's frankly impossible to sit still while it plays (the girls giving in some slick vocals). The acoustic beginning of "Coming In From The Cold" (originally on "Kaya" from 1980) gives way to a cool keyboard groove that feels more Soul than Reggae - a great remix. The other nugget for me is a brassy Thorngren rejigger of "Lively Up Yourself" which doesn't top the original but is a brill "You Rock So!" groove that just doesn't quit. You're then hit with a final Audio Blast - the Dub Version of "One Love/People Get Ready" which isolates Marley's vocal and the girls. There are drum whacks and echoed bass plucks that will literally rattle your speaker cones...

Universal have not surprisingly done almost every Marley LP on Island Records in a 2CD DELUXE EDITION but for me this compilation is the Jah Lion of the Reggae crop.

"Let's get together and feel all right..." - Bob Marley sang in 1977 and his passing in 1981 aged only 36 years of age hurt. Millions have been taking his message of love and music to heart ever since. Robert Nesta was a giant and this brilliant Deluxe Edition proves that handsomely...

The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground & Nico
Offered by onepeecd
Price: £13.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...He's Got The Works..." - The Velvet Underground & Nico by THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO (2002 2CD DELUXE EDITION), 24 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can think of only two other albums like The Velvet Underground's debut that have influenced so much and so many - and had such a staggering and lasting cultural impact - "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles and "Never Mind The Bollocks..." by The Sex Pistols. When I worked at Reckless in the West End we kept at least 100 copies of the Velvet's debut on new 180grams reissue vinyl for eager punters to snap up on a daily basis - without question the biggest selling reissue album we ever had. No other LP short of Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" or Nirvana's "Nevermind" has had such a devoted and long-lasting following. And for those who can't afford (nor want) the Super Deluxe 6-Disc version that came out in October 2012 - this 2CD Deluxe Edition gives a scratchy arm all the needles it'll need. Here are the Femme Fatales and Andy Warhols...

Released June 2002 - "The Velvet Underground & Nico" is a 2CD DELUXE EDITION on Universal/Polydor 0731458958826 and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (60:18 minutes):
1. Sunday Morning
2. I'm Waiting For The Man
3. Femme Fatale [Vocals by Nico]
4. Venus In Furs
5. Run, Run, Run
6. All Tomorrow's Parties [Vocals by Nico]
7. Heroin [Side 2]
8. There She Goes Again
9. I'll Be Your Mirror
10. The Black Angel's Death Song
11. European Son
Tracks 1 to 11 are the STEREO VERSION of "The Velvet Underground & Nico" - their debut album released March 1967 in the USA on Verve V6-5008 and November 1967 in the UK on Verve SVLP 9184 [For Mono Variant see Disc 2]

12. Little Sister
13. Winter Song
14. It Was A Pleasure Then
15. Chelsea Girls
16. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
Tracks 12 to 16 are from "Chelsea Girl"- the solo debut album by NICO released October 1967 on Verve V6-5032 (Stereo) and finally released in the UK in September 1971 on MGM Select 2353 025 (Stereo)

Disc 2 (77:33 minutes):
1. Sunday Morning
2. I'm Waiting For The Man
3. Femme Fatale [Vocals by Nico]
4. Venus In Furs
5. Run, Run, Run
6. All Tomorrow's Parties [Vocals by Nico]
7. Heroin [Side 2]
8. There She Goes Again
9. I'll Be Your Mirror
10. The Black Angel's Death Song
11. European Son
Tracks 1 to 11 are the MONO VERSION of "The Velvet Underground & Nico" released March 1967 in the USA on Verve V-5008 and November 1967 in the UK on Verve VLP 9184 [For Stereo Variant see Disc 1]

12. All Tomorrow's Parties (Single Version),
13. I'll Be Your Mirror (12 and 13 issued July 1966 as the A&B-sides of a US 7" single on Verve VK-10427. Both tracks feature NICO on Lead Vocals, are in MONO and were not issued in the UK as a single. "I'll Be Your Mirror" the 'single version' features an alternate ending to the cut on the LP)

14. Sunday Morning (Single Version)
15. Femme Fatale (Single Version) (14 and 15 issued December 1966 as the A&B-sides of a US 7" single on Verve VK-10466. "Femme Fatale" features NICO on Lead Vocals, is in Mono and was not issued in the UK)

Compiled by BILL LEVINSON and remastered by BOB LUDWIG and JEFF WILLENS - they've done a fantastic job with an album that is notoriously lo-fi on purpose (Produced by Andy Warhol with Nico credited as a 'Chanteuse'). The foldout flaps of the digipak feature reviews of the album from various trade papers of the time, album credits, suitably blurry photos of the band beneath the see-through trays and a 28-page booklet that has classy black and white snaps of the group's famous shows (mostly live shots) and some studies of Nico. The Dave Thompson liner notes (Pages 3 to 12) go deep into the album's explosive history, there's lyrics to all the songs and original US issues (Universal 314 589 624-2) even has a 'peelable' banana on the front flap to repro the rare first pressings on vinyl (now worth a King's ransom).

Flower-power ladies, loved up hippies and peace-in-our-time acid droppers got the fright of their lives when "The Velvet Underground & Nico" was released in the spring of 1967. It painted a seriously dark picture of a counter-culture that was already writhing in sweaty withdrawal. Drugs and their all-pervasive effect of everything you hold dear permeates almost every song - scoring them ("I'm Waiting For The Man"), doing them ("Venus In Furs") and then selling your body and eventually your soul to get more ("Run, Run, Run"). And all of this despair is wrapped up in jagged melodies, droll voices (American and German) and distorted guitars that sound like they're being tortured by CIA operatives determined to find a Communist. But I suspect that like "Bollocks" - the real reason the album has endured so long is precisely because it's so brutally honest - where one track is actually called "Heroin" - and the others barely disguise such a controversial subject matter. And yet there's inexplicable prettiness too - the gorgeous opener "Sunday Morning" sung by Lou Reed as if he hasn't a care in the world - while Nico scores massively with three vocal beauties - "Femme Fatale", the ragged piano of "All Tomorrow's Parties" and the delicate "I'll Be Your Mirror". Even now it's an extraordinary piece of work and 'influential' barely touches on its true impact down through the decades. It also has something you can't invent - it's effortlessly cool...

Of the two versions I actually find the MONO mix to be more powerful and direct (unavailable since its 1967 release) - the wild soloing of "Heroin" is so stunning and the jangly guitar of "There She Goes Again" much cleaner as it escapes your speakers. And with Sterling Morrison, Lou Reed and John Cale all contributing to the NICO solo tracks - it's hardly surprising they bookend Disc 1. The flute and dry nature of "Chelsea Girls" with "Bridget all wrapped in foil..." matches the Velvets album perfectly while the eight-minutes of the (admittedly hissy) "It Was A Pleasure Then" feels just as druggy as anything on the "Banana Peel" debut.

Will we ever know its like again? Will I ever find an unpeeled 'banana sleeve' in a dollar bin or carboot sale - no is the answer. But at least with this superb Universal DE Edition you can get to understand what all the fuss and iconography is about.

"$26 in my hand...more dead than alive..." Lou Reed sings on "I'm Waiting For The Man". Well in 2014 you'll get your fix for a lot less now - and in this case - it's worth every blood red cent...

Spirit Of Joy: Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967-1974
Spirit Of Joy: Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967-1974

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I Bring You..." - Spirit Of Joy: Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967-1974 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (2008 Box Set Remasters), 23 Nov 2014
Hocus Pocus and Fiddly Dee - but I love these 3CD box sets. Having said that - 2008's "Spirit Of Joy" still has a few irks worth mentioning (outweighed it has to be said by far more positives that negs). There's a heap of detail to get through so here are the laminate gatefold sleeves and red label bags...

Released September 2008 - Spirit Of Joy: Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967-1974 on Universal 530 799-2 (Barcode 600753079928) breaks down as follows:

Disc (Card Sleeve Pictures CREAM - 75:39 minutes):
1. Prelude - Nightmare - THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN
3. Fire - THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (tracks 1 to 3 are from the album "The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown" released June 1968 on Track Records 612 005 (Mono) and 613 005 (Stereo) - Stereo mix used)
4. How Does It Feel To Feel - THE CREATION (A-side of a UK 7" single released January 1968 on Polydor BM 56230, non-album track)
5. Feelin, Reelin', Squealin' - SOFT MACHINE (B-side of "Love Makes Sweet Music", their debut UK 7" single released February 1967 on Polydor 56151, non-album track. Soft Machine featured KEVIN AYERS, DAEVID ALLEN and ROBERT WYATT)
6. Good Times - ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS (A-side of an August 1967 UK 7" single on MGM Records MGM 1340)
7. It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft - FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on their debut LP "Fairport Convention" released June 1968 on Polydor 582 035 (Mono) and 583 035 (Stereo) - Stereo mix used)
8. We're Going Wrong - CREAM (on their 2nd UK LP "Disraeli Gears" released November 1967 on Reaction 593 003 (Mono) and 594 003 (Stereo) - Stereo mix used. CREAM featured ERIC CLAPTON, JACK BRUCE and GINGER BAKER)
9. This Wheel's On Fire - JULIE DRISCOLL, BRIAN AUGER & THE TRINITY (A-side to their UK 7" single released April 1968 on Marmalade 598 006)
10. Sunshine Day - JETHRO TULL (A-side of their debut UK 7" single (miscredited as JETHRO TOE) released February 1968 on MGM Records MGM 1384, non-album track)
11. Born On The Wrong Side Of Time - THE TASTE (A-side is a UK 7" single mix released March 1969 on Polydor 56313 [Non-album version]. TASTE was RORY GALLAGHER's band before he went solo)
12. People You Were Going To - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (A-side of their January 1969 UK 7" single on Polydor 56758)
13. Dogs - THE WHO (their 10th UK 7" single released June 1968 on Track Records 604 023, non-album track)
14. Grandma's Lawn - CARAVAN (on their debut UK album "Caravan" released October 1968 on Verve VLP 6011 (Mono) and SVLP 6011 (Stereo) - Stereo mix used)
15. Reality - SECOND HAND (on their UK album "Reality" released 1968 on Polydor 583 045 (Stereo))
16. All Is One - ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS (on the US LP `The Twain Shall Meet" released May 1968 on MGM Records CS 8074 (Stereo))
17. Road To Cairo - JULIS DRISCOLL, BRIAN AUGER & THE TRINITY (A-side of a UK 7" single released September 1968 on Marmalade 598 011, non-album track. It's a cover version of a DAVID ACKLES song)
18. Magic Mirror - APHRODITE'S CHILD (B-side of "I Want To Live" - a 1969 UK 7" single released on Polydor 56769, non-album track. The band featured VANGELIS and DEMIS ROUSSOS)
19. Firebrand - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (B-side of "People You Were Going To" - a UK 7": single released 1969 on Polydor 56758, non-album track)
20. Deserted Cites Of The Heart - CREAM (on the double-album "Wheels Of Fire" released August 1968 on Polydor 582 031-2 (Mono) and 583 031-2 (Stereo) - Stereo mix used)

Disc 2 (Card Sleeve Pictures THE WHO - 79:03 minutes):
1. Amazing Journey - THE WHO (on the double-album "Tommy" released May 1969 on Track 613 013/4)
2. Weird Of Hermiston - JACK BRUCE (on his debut album "Songs For A Tailor" released September 1969 on Polydor 583 058)
3. Banquet - AUDIENCE (on their debut LP "Audience" released 1969 on Polydor 583 065)
4. Break Out - JULIE DRISCOLL (on the UK LP "1969" released 1971 on Polydor 2383 077. The track is arranged by BLOSSOM TOES and features JIM CREEGAN of Rod Stewart's future band on Guitar)
5. Something In The Air - THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN (the edited 7" single mix released May 1969 on Track Records 604 031 - it was written by SPEEDY KEEN who also had his own Solo album on Track Records)
6. Extrapolation - JOHN McLAUGHLIN (on the UK LP "Extrapolation" released 1969 on Marmalade 608 007)
7. She Was Naked - SUPERSISTER (released as an A-side single in Europe in 1970 (with "Spiral Staircase" as its B-side) - it was later released in 1972 in the UK on 7" single as the B-side of "No Tree Will Grow" on Polydor 2001 379)
8. One Word - (THE TONY WILLIAM'S) LIFETIME (UK 7" single released 1970 on Polydor 2066 050)
9. Sinner Boy (Live) - TASTE (on the LP "Live At The Isle Of White" released August 1972 on Polydor 2383 120. Recorded in 1970 - the studio track for "Sinner Boy" finally turned up on his self-titled debut in May 1971 - see 12)
10. Gypsy Escape - ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME (on the UK album "Galactic Zoo Dossier" released 1971 on Polydor 2310 130)
11. Let Me Ride - GINGER BAKER'S AIR FORCE (on the UK album "Air Force 2" released 1970 on Polydor 2383 029)
12. Can't Believe It's True - RORY GALLAGHER (on his debut UK Solo LP "Rory Gallagher" released May 1971 on Polydor 2383 048. A rare outing that sees him play Alto Sax as well as guitar)
13. No Tree Will Grow (On Too High A Mountain) - SUPERSISTER (on the UK album "To The Highest Bidder" released 1971 on Polydor 2310 146)
14. Wargirl - THE PINK FAIRIES (on the UK LP "Never Neverland" released 1971 on Polydor 2383 045
15. Time Is Passing - PETE TOWNSHEND (on the UK album "Who Came Next" released October 1972 on Track Records 2408 201)
16. Sunrise In The Third System - TANGERINE DREAM (on the German LP "Alpha Centauri" released April 1971 on Ohr OMM 56.012)
17. Spirit Of Joy - ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME (on the UK album "Journey" released 1973 on Polydor 2310 254)

Disc 3 (Card Sleeve Pictures THE PINK FAIRIES - 78:40 minutes):
1. Prologue - THE PINK FAIRIES
2. Right On, Fight On - THE PINK FAIRIES (tracks 1 and 2 from the 1972 LP "What A Bunch Of Sweeties" released on Polydor 2383 132)
3. Naked Eye [Live] - THE WHO (from the 1974 compilation "Odds & Sods" - it was recorded Live at The Young Vic, 26 April 1971 - later became part of the extras on Disc 2 of the DELUXE EDITION of "Who's Next")
4. There's A Forest - JACK BRUCE
5. Morning Story - JACK BRUCE (tracks 4 and 5 on the UK album "Harmony Row" released 1971 on Polydor 2310 107)
6. A Better Land - BRIAN AUGER'S OBLIVION EXPRESS (on the album "A Better Land" released October 1971 on Polydor 2383 062)
7. I Spider - THE WEB (on the UK LP "I Spider" released 1970 on Polydor 2383 024)
8. Meadow Meal - FAUST (on the UK LP "Faust" released 1971 on Polydor 2310 142)
9. Epic Forest - RARE BIRD (on the UK album "Epic Forest" released 1972 on Polydor 2442 101)
10. Rising Sun - MEDICINE HEAD (on the UK LP "Rising Sun" released July 1973 on Polydor 2058 389)
11. Are You Receiving Me - GOLDEN EARRING (on the UK LP "Moontan" released January 1974 on Track Records 2406 112)
12. The Great 1974 Mining Disaster - BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST (on the UK LP "Everyone Is Everybody Else" released June 1974 on Polydor 2383 286)
13. Hocus Pocus - FOCUS (full album version 6:41 minutes) (on the UK LP "Moving Waves" released October 1971 on Blue Horizon2931 003 [later pressings on Polydor])

Like the other box sets in these ongoing Universal label trawls - the clamshell box is lovely to look at and inside houses three glossy picture card sleeves for each compilation. But it's the truly superb 48-page booklet that stuns if you're a collector. This is a MARK POWELL production so there are loads of label adverts, album covers, promo photos and so on. The artists are lined up in alphabetical order with each given a minimum of a page's info (many with two or more) followed by comprehensive reissue credits. One again the remasters are handled by tape whizz-kid PASCHAL BYRNE who along with POWELL have now handled more Progressive Rock reissues that you and I have bought EMITEX cleaning cloths. 24-bit remastered from original master tapes - the sound is uniformly brill - and on uber-rarities like the withdrawn Van Der Graaf Generator single sides and the Soft Machine 45 - better than anything that went before.

As you can imagine with a retro like this - getting the balance right is a tricky one - and if I'm honest they got 95% there. While there's loads to dip into and much to discover (even for an old hand like me) - fans will rightly moan that exclusions are many. Blossom Toes, Fat Mattress, Ashton, Gardener & Dyke, Zoot Sims and Ten Wheel Drive or maybe even a bit of Cat Mother or John Mayall's Turning Point - all missing. And of the ones we do get - some don't exactly fit the `Underground' moniker (excepting "Naked Eye" the Who tracks aren't exactly enlightening either). But because the compilation has been able to dip into Polydor affiliate labels like Track, Reaction, Marmalade and MGM - we get a nice mixture of well-known remastered hits (Arthur Brown, Cream, Thunderclap Newman and Julie Driscoll) running alongside genuine Underground artists like Second Hand, Faust, Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime and The Web who all deserve more exposure.

On Disc 1 highlights for me include the genius cover of the David Ackles song "Road To Cairo" by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - while the `single mix' of the Taste track "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" (different to the LP version) is unavailable on CD anywhere else to my knowledge - and being a massive Rory Gallagher fan - I had to own it. Another classy choice was always going to Aphrodite's Child but which song - clever clogs Powell has picked the brilliant and funky B-side "Magic Mirror" - the kind of face-paced organ-driven fuzzy-wuzzy guitar gem that drives collectors wild (Mods included). Prog fans will look at the name Fairport Convention and wonder what the f??? But their debut album on Polydor hadn't quite invented Folk-Rock just yet (that would be next year on Island Records) - so we get a funky little guitar groover called "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft" which sounds not unlike Ten Years After returning to the studio after a few nights on the razzle.

Disc 2 is a cool mix of Fusion one moment, Prog the next with straight up Rock as a chaser. The very Blodwyn Pig "Banquet" by Audience opened their uber rare debut album (what a great track) while the flute-trippy "She Was Naked" by Supersister is a 'philosophy' song from 1970 (oh dear) with a genius fuzz-break that redeems proceedings. I wish someone would put the Ginger Baker Air Force single "Man Of Constant Sorrow" from 1970 on a CD compilation like this because (and I'm open to correction on this) - it's a studio version and not the track on the live double? Maybe one of those moog Lifehouse Elements outtakes ("Baba Mi") instead of the weedy Townshend track "Time Is Passing" but the buzzing synths of Tangerine Dream's "Sunrise In The Third System" more than make up for it. A very snappy inclusion goes to Rory Gallagher's "Can't Believe It's True" where he plays a rare Alto Sax giving the track a slightly unusual feel for him and of course the wonderful Box set title track by Arthur Brown's Band Kingdom Come.

Disc 3 is opens with the in-studio buffoonery of "Prologue" which launches into the eight-minute chug of "Right On, Fight On" (drums sound amazing) - offset by the vocal pirouettes of Jack Bruce on his "Harmony Row" double offering. Things go very Prog-Fusion with Auger's brilliant "A Better Land" (a groove I love) and the near nine-minute keyboard linger of The Web's "I Spider" - a brilliantly structured tune that grows on each listen (shades of Camel). Medicine Head's "Rising Sun" even charted in 1973 at Number 11 and a smart choice is the more Saxophone orientated "Are You Receiving Me" by Golden Earring rather than the perianal "Radar Love". And it ends on the full album version of every one's favourite headbanger "Hocus Pocus" - 6:42 minutes of truly fabulous Jan Akkerman guitar and Thisj Van Leer yodelling and flute insanity. Nice...

"Spirit Of Joy" has been deleted a while now and can in some places sting your wallet for more than thirty or even forty quid - but if you can locate a copy under a twenty spot - then dig in and remember those days when that Polydor logo up in the corner of a album sleeve used to send a tingle down the spine...

Price: £11.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Georgia Rhythm..." - Third Annual Pipe Dream/A Rock And Roll Alternative by ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION (2009 BGO Remasters), 22 Nov 2014
Arising out of the ashes of Roy Orbison's Candymen and Sixties hit makers The Classics IV (Keyboard player Dean Daughtry and Drummer Robert Nix) - Atlanta Rhythm Section hailed out of Doraville in Georgia. In the early days they were a Country Rock act with strains of Lynyrd Skynyrd moving quickly into more commercial Chicago Funky Rock territory in the mid to late Seventies. This superb-sounding CD gathers together two albums from 1974 and 1977 - with "A Rock And Roll Alternative" featuring the huge Radio smash "So In To You" - a number 7 in the USA and a regular on oldies playlists to this day. Here are the details...

UK released August 2009 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 877 (Barcode 5017261208774) breaks down as follows (69:36 minutes):

1. Doraville
2. Jesus Hearted People
3. Close The Door
4. Blues In Maude's Flat
5. Join The Race (To Inner Space)
6. Angel (What In The World's Come Over Us) [Side 2]
7. Get Your Head Out Of Your Heart
8. The War is Over
9. Help Yourself (You Gotta Help Yourself)
10. Who You Gonna Run To (When You're Thru Walkin' On Me)
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 3rd album "Third Annual Pipe Dream" - released September 1974 in the USA on Polydor PD-6027 and February 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2391 136

11. Sky High
12. Hitch-Hikers' Hero
13. Don't Miss The Message
14. Georgia Rhythm
15. So In To You [Side 2]
16. Outside Woman Blues
17. Everybody Gotta Go
18. Neon Nites
Tracks 11 to 18 are their sixth album "A Rock And Roll Alternative" - released January 1977 in the USA on Polydor PD-1-6080 and March 1977 in the UK on Polydor 2391 255

There's an outer card slipcase, an 8-page inlay with Daryl Easlea liner notes and the remaster is by ANDREW THOMPSON at Sound Performance. The sound is superb - well-recorded albums (Bobby Buie Productions) now given a chance to shine. The clarity is great.

The commercial Country Rock opener "Doraville" with "Who You Gonna Run To" on its flip was put out a US single in late 1974 on Polydor PD 14248 and January 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2066 488. It did no business in the UK but managed a chart placing of 35 in the States in November 1974. Polydor tried again with "Get Your Head Out Of Your Heart" and "Angel (What In The World's Come Over Us)" on both sides of the pond (Polydor PD 14273 in the USA, May 1975 in the UK on Polydor 2058 560) but neither side of the water took to it. A cool funky Rock tune is "Help Yourself (You Gotta Help Yourself") which I've put on many 70's FEST compilations.

1977's "A Rock And Roll Alternative" still sees Ronnie Hammond on Lead Vocals and their sound is Funky Boogie Rock exemplified by "Don't Miss The Message" and the rocking Skynyrd vibe of "Outside Woman Blues". But the album is dominated by the huge hit "So In To You" - the kind of Boz Scaggs commercial song that would make you double take if you heard it even now coming out of a radio - asking - who's that? "Neon Nites" tries to get close to its sound and succeeds with its plucked guitars and slinky beat.

Atlanta Rhythm Section's brand of Country Rock won't be everyone's cup of Horlicks nowadays and a lot of it feels lightweight with the passing of time (they had neither the integrity of Skynyrd or the sheer balls-to-the-wall Blues Boogie of Foghat) - but those slinky moments in between are worth the purchase (and that top audio quality).

"Captured by your style..." Hammond sings on "So In To You". You may feel the same...

Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings [Limited]
Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings [Limited]
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £125.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Funky Fingers..." - Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings by TONY JOE WHITE (2006 4CD Box Set Remasters), 22 Nov 2014
Born in 1943 Louisiana as the seventh son (literally) in the White Family and reared on a weekly diet of Gospel and Church music - one fateful day Daddy White brought home a Lightnin' Hopkins album and the young Tony Joe was solid gone. Cut to the Union Chapel in Islington, London in 2014 and that young boy now walks on stage with an electric guitar and a voice that rattles a church to its core as he simply says - "Evening y'all!" Minutes later as he launches into his one-man Soul Francisco vibe - his loud boogie feels like the beginning of JJ Cale morphing into a one-man ZZ Top. The effect as you can imagine is quite awesome... But then amongst certain circles (especially within the industry) - Tony Joe White has always been a little bit special in the Mojo stakes...

"Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings" was put out Stateside in September 2006 by Rhino Handmade on RHM2 7731 (Barcode 603497773121) and across 4 CDs and 83 tracks - offers three full albums, the A&B's of 10 x US 7" singles (many non-album) and a whopping 41 Previously Unreleased. There are a lot of details to get through - so here are the dangerously well endowed Sheriff's Daughters and Dusty Marshmallows...

Disc 1 (75:37 minutes):
1. Willie And Laura Mae Jones
2. Soul Francisco
3. Aspen Colorado
4. Whompt Out On You
5. Don't Steal My Love
6. Pork Salad Annie
7. Who's Making Love [Side 2]
8. Scratch My Back
9. Little Green Apples
10. Wichita Lineman
11. The Look Of Love
Tracks 1 to 11 are his debut album "Black And White" released 1969 in the USA on Monument Records SLP 18114 (Stereo) and Monument LMO 5027 (Mono) and SMO 5027 (Stereo) - Stereo Mix Used

12. Willie And Laura Mae Jones (Alternate Version)
13. I Protest
14. A Man Can Only Stand Just So Much Pain (13 and 14 are the A&B-sides of a 1969 US 7" single on Monument 1070)
15. Toil & Trouble (Early Version)
16. Georgia Pines (A-side of his 1968 debut USA 7" single on Monument 1003, Produced by Ray Stevens)
17. It's Not What You Got
18. Prison Song
19. Hung up On You
20. Ten More Miles To Louisiana (B-side to "Georgia Pines", see 16)
21. Let The Party Roll On
22. Watching The Trains Go By (Alternate Version)
23. Georgia Pines (Alternate Version)
24. Baby Please Don't Go
Tracks 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23 and 24 are Previously Unreleased

Disc 2 (78:30 minutes):
1. Elements And Things
2. Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin)
3. Woodpecker
4. Rainy Night In Georgia
5. For Le Ann
6. Old Man Willis [Side 2]
7. Woman With Soul
8. I Want You
9. I Thought I Knew You Well
10. The Migrant
Tracks 1 to 9 are his 2nd LP "...Continued" - released 1969 in the USA on Monument SLP-18133 (Stereo) and in the UK on Monument LMO 5035 (Mono) and SMO 5035 (Stereo) - Stereo Mix Used

11. Watching The Trains Go By (Single Version)
12. Old Man Willis (Single Version) (11 and 12 are the A&B-sides of a 1968 USA 7" single on Monument MN45-1053
13. Funky Fingers
14. Soul Britches
15. Dusty Marshmallow
16. Toil & Trouble
17. What Does It Take
18. This Guy's In Love With You
19. Woodpecker (Alternate Version)
20. Laying Out All Night
21. I Want Your Sweet Love
22. Keep A Movin' Train
Tracks 13 to 22 inclusive are Previously Unreleased

Disc 3 (73:30 minutes)
1. Stud Spider
2. High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parrish
3. Widow Wimberly
4. Conjure Woman
5. Save Your Sugar For Me
6. Hard To Handle [Side 2]
7. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
8. My Friend
9. Stockholm Blues
10. Boom Boom
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 3rd album "Tony Joe" released 1970 in the USA on Monument SLP-18142 and in the UK on Monument SMO 5043

11. Groupy Girl (B-side of the 1970 USA 7" single "High Sheriff" on Monument MN-45-1193
12. Prisoner
13. Do You Want My Love
14. Gospel Singer
15. I Hate To See You Cry
16. Dusty Marshmallow
17. I Can't Stand It
18. Mississippi River
Tracks 12 to 18 are all Previously Unreleased

Disc 4 (76:30 minutes):
1. Mississippi Delta
2. Chain Of Fools
3. Woodpecker
4. The Ballad Of Hollis Brown
5. Blue Monday
6. Tobacco Road/Dead End Street
7. Caress Me Babe?
8. Dusty Marshmallow
9. Just Look At You
10. Skinny Legs And All
Tracks 1 to 10 recorded at Barclay Studios March 1969 - all Previously Unreleased
11. Boom Boom (Live)
12. Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin) (Live)
13. I Want You (Live)
14. Groupy Girl (Live)
15. Stud Spider (Live)
16. Pork Salad Annie (Live)
17. Save Your Sugar For Me (Live)
Tracks 11 to 17 recorded live at the Isle of Wight Festival 28 August 1970

This Box set will allow fans to sequence all of the following American singles:

US 7" SINGLES Discography:
1. Georgia Pines b/w Ten More Miles To Louisiana, 1967 on Monument MN 45 1003
2. Willie And Laura Mae Jones b/w Scratch My Back, 1968 on Monument MN45-1036
3. Watching The Trains Go By b/w Old Man Willis, 1968 on Monument MN45-1053
4. I Protest b/w A Man Can Only Stand Just So Much Pain, 1968 on Monument MN45-1070
5. Soul Francisco b/w Whompt Out On You, 1968 on Monument MN 45-1086
6. Pork Salad Annie b/w Aspen Colorado, 1968 on Monument MN45-1104
7. Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin) b/w The Migrant, 1969 on Monument MN45-1169
8. High Sheriff b/w Groupy Girl, 1970 on Monument MN 45-1193
9. Save Your Sugar For Me b/w My Friend, 1970 on Monument MN45-1206
10. Old Man Willis b/w Scratch My Back, 1970 on Monument MN-45 1227

Compiled by BILL INGLOT and MASON WILLIAMS with Tape Research and Mastering done by BILL INGLOT and DAN HERSCH - the mini box set features a flip-back lid with 4 repro sleeves and a booklet contained within. The quality of the oversized card sleeves is superb with most of the rear liner notes and credits perfectly readable (even on the hard-to-read rear sleeve of the "Tony Joe album). The sepia-feel 36-page booklet is numbered on the rear page to 5000 and features detailed liner notes by BEN EDMONDS and interviews with Tony Joe White, Friend and Musical Advisor Bob Beckham and Producer Billy Swan. Interspersed between the dense texts are full-page shots of several Monument 7" singles (some demos) and comprehensive reissue details at the rear. The remasters are fantastic - bringing out that deeply funky groove and far better than what I had before.

His debut has huge fan craves like "Soul Francisco" ("some of those children got something to say...") and the equally cool "Pork Salad Annie". The realistic "Willie And Laura Mae Jones" proved just too gritty for US radio. The tail end of three covers is the album's undoing though - saccharine versions of "Little Green Apples" where you can feel his Soul wincing. Far better is his "right there!" cover of Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back" and amongst the previously unreleased are great discoveries like "Prison Song" ("breaking up rocks in the hot, hot sun...").

Produced by Billy Swan (who would later have huge hits of his own on Monument Records in the mid Seventies) - the "...Continued" album did what it said on the tin - more Swamp Music tales of strange families ("Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night of The Mossacin)", leery moonshiners ("Old Man Willis") and perplexing ladies "(I Thought I Knew You Well"). Another nuggets include "I Want You" - a fantastic groove with chugging guitar and Mike Utley putting in some funky organ. But it's strange now from the distance of 2014 to think that one of his most famous songs "Rainy Night in Georgia" never made it onto a US or UK 7" single. Both Brook Benton and Eddie Floyd did fabulously soulful versions of it in 1970 while Randy Crawford would make it a worldwide hit in 1981 (and probably paid a few TJW bills in the meantime). Fans of that `groove' are gonna die for the double-whammy of "Funky Fingers" and "Soul Britches" amongst the previously unreleased tunes - cool groovers with fabulous brass and organ backing. And as they play you can just see nattily dressed go-go dancers giving it some serious hip swivelling in some hip 6T's nightclub. Yeah baby...

Amongst its ten tracks the 3rd album "Tony Joe" harbours six originals and four superbly chosen covers - Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle", Jr. Walker & The All Stars "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)", John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" and a new one from Donnie Fritts and Dewey Oldham called "My Friend". Like Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and Eddie Hinton - Alabama-born white soul boy Donnie Fritts has been an underground hero for over 40 years - he would in fact record his own version of "My Friend" on the "Prone To Lean" album on Atlantic Records in 1974.

For fans Disc 4 is a total treat - the studio tracks are basically him playing funky solo renditions of songs he likes in his own inimitable way - Bobby Gentry's "Mississippi Delta", Don Covay's "Chain Of Fools", a jagged "Ballad Of Hollis Brown" by Dylan and Joe Tex's "Skinny Legs And All". But best for me are TJW originals called "Blue Monday" and "Caress Me babe?" where he gets closest to his slyly sexy Lightnin' Hopkins roots. The "Isle Of Wight" stuff is live and rough but you can hear the crowd grooving to his passionate Swamp Funk on "I Want You" where he goes at with bravado. And with his Fogerty growls and Harmonica on "Stud Spider" - he sounds like a funked-up Dylan determined to shock his audience.

I've long been of the reasoning that J.J. Cale nicked it from Tony Joe, Clapton nicked it from Cale and Mark Knopfler nicked it from all three for his Dire Straits debut. Tina Turner would take his "Steamy Windows" and make another worldwide hit too. Whatever way you look at it - this is a fabulous (if not illusive) box set. If only Rhino Handmade would do the same for his fabulous Warners Brothers albums that quickly followed his termination with Monument Records.

In the meantime "Swamp Music" is the very best of starting points and a cool way to sample why so many followed/half-inched Tony Joe White's Crocodile shoes...

Offered by cheapcdsdvds
Price: £8.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...No Musical Fool..." - Ommadawn by MIKE OLDFIELD (2010 Virgin 2CD/1DVD DELUXE EDITION Remaster), 21 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ommadawn (Audio CD)
As I recall an "Ommadawn" in Ireland was a bit of an eejit - a fool - a dunderhead. I don't know if that was Mike Oldfield's intention - but as the South African group JABULA play the final percussive repeated refrain on "Part 1" - Clodagh Simonds of the cult Irish Folk group MELLOW CANDLE sings "Ommadawn ag ceoil..." which roughly translates from the Gaelic into "Fool singing music..."

Along with his first two albums "Tubular Bells" (1973) and "Hergest Ridge" (1974) - 1975's "Ommadawn" was always going to be a DELUXE EDITION contender and Universal have done a wonderful job on this intensely layered masterpiece and firm fan favourite. Here are the Hertfordshire themes...

Released June 2010 - "Ommadawn DELUXE EDITION" is a 2CD/1DVD set on Universal 532 676-1 (Barcode 600753267615) and breaks down as follows:

CD 1 (51:19 minutes)
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback [Side 2]
Previously Unreleased 2010 Stereo Mixes by Mike Oldfield of the 1975 album

3. In Dulce Jubilo
A-side of a UK 7" single released October 1976 on Virgin VS 163

4. First Excursion
5. Argiers
6. Portsmouth
Tracks 4 to 6 originally released October 1976 in the UK on the 4LP Box set "Boxed" on Virgin VBOX 1

CD 2 (53:39 minutes):
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback
Original 1975 Stereo Mixes. Tracks 1 and 2 issued as the album "Ommadawn" released 25 October 1975 in the UK on Virgin V 2043 and in the USA on Virgin PZ 33913

3. Ommadawn (Lost Version - 1975 Demo)
Previously Unreleased

DVD (All Regions):
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback
Tracks 1 and 2 are 2010 5.1 Surround Mixes by Mike Oldfield

3. In Dulce Jubilo (Original Promotional Video)
4. Portsmouth (Original Promotional Video)

One of removable stickers you have to cut open criss-crosses the base of the glossy DELUXE EDITION digipak and when opened - you get what were the pictures of the inner sleeve of the original 1975 Virgin Records LP. The 20-page booklet features pictures of Oldfield at his Hertfordshire home where Virgin installed 24-track recording equipment for him, snaps of the huge numbers of instruments he played on the record, a foreign picture sleeve of the "In Dulce Jubilo" single and excellent liner notes from MARK POWELL (including interviews with Oldfield about the difficulties of recording - tapes disintegrating etc). Both MARK POWELL and PASCHAL BYRNE (names who've handled huge amounts of reissues for Universal) did the tape research with Oldfield and Paschal Byrne handling the 24-bit remasters.

The 2010 version is a revelation. Side 1 was always this dense mass of music that felt too packed in some ways - the remaster and remix brings so much more to the fore. There sweet clarity to the acoustic and Spanish guitars and the ethereal vocals floating in the background. And if I re-listen to the 2000 HDCD version for Side 2 where Paddy Maloney's Uilleann Pipes (The Chieftains) come sailing in - the 2010 version has gorgeous depth - making his beautiful air even more spine tingling. It's been decades since I heard the "Boxed" tracks and I'd forgotten how good they actually are - especially the guitars of "First Excursion" sounding like Eno or mellow King Crimson. "Argiers" feels like a Steve Hackett Genesis instrumental circa "Foxtrot" with a Flute added - while "Portsmouth" has only ever annoyed me (and still does). But you have to say that best of all is the 5.1 Surround Mix on the DVD - which I've admittedly only heard once on a mate's system - it's properly amazing - like the Steve Wilson remixes of the Yes and Crimson catalogues. Gotta invest...

After a critical drubbing and overkill backlash for "Hergest Ridge" in 1974 - Oldfield had time to record and build "Ommadawn" from the bottom up. It felt `accomplished' on release in 1975 and still does to this day.

Nice to hear this 2010 DE remaster give its dense layers that extra oomph. The multi-instrumentalist all-dancing fool rises to play his song once more...and how...

Night At The Opera, A [CD + Bonus DVD]
Night At The Opera, A [CD + Bonus DVD]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...You Make Me Live..." - A Night At The Opera by QUEEN (2005 EMI `30th Anniversary Collectors Edition' CD+DVD Remaster), 21 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Too many anniversaries and way too many excuses to reissue a classic yet again - but which is the best version to buy of this iconic Seventies album? I'd argue the '30th Anniversary Collectors Edition' beats all the others on two fronts that should matter - an amazing CD remaster on Disc 1 - and a genuinely fan-pleasing Bonus DVD with heaps of quality extras. Here is the Scaramouche and do the Fandango...

Released November 2005 - "A Night At The Opera 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition" is a CD and DVD set on EMI 00946 3 38478 2 5 (Barcode 094633845725) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (43:08 minutes):
1. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...
2. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
3. I'm In Love With My Car
4. You're My Best Friend
5. `39
6. Sweet Lady
7. Seaside Rendezvous
8. The Prophet's Song [Side 2]
9. Love Of My Life
10. Good Company
11. Bohemian Rhapsody
12. God Save The Queen
Tracks 1 to 12 are their 4th album "A Night At The Opera" - released December 1975 in the UK on EMI Records EMTC 103 and in the USA on Elektra 7E-1053

DVD, PAL, 4:3:
The DVD had months of preparation where the original tapes were microscopically remastered into a 5.1 Surround Mix thereby genuinely giving the best possible remaster. It also features for the first time visuals for every track on the album (the original video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been digitally restored) with "Good Company" created especially for this release. The Main menu allows you to select the album in PCM 24-Bit STEREO or 5.1 SURROUND as well as allowing Song Selection. Off the Set Up tag - you also find the option to play each of the twelve tracks and their videos with an Audio Commentary (mostly Brian May). There are even lyrics and subtitles in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

While many of the original of-the-time videos looks decidedly blurry (despite cleaning it's the way they were lit and shot) - the new videos have allowed the band to put together hundreds of images and memorabilia shots for say "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" - it's properly amazing stuff and must have taken forever to do.

The outer 30th Anniversary Plastic Slip Case looks nice at first but is so prone to serious scuffing given any kind of use. The gatefold digipak has BRIAN MAY liner notes on the extensive work put into the reissue and an embossed front sleeve like the original vinyl album did. The beautifully laid-out 20-page booklet keeps it simple - just the lyrics with photos of the band and album artwork interspersed between the words. Both the CD and the DVD have the famous David Costa crest and logo.

Having had the 1994 CD for years - the upgrade in sound here is kind of shocking. The wild guitar and piano intro of "Death On Two Legs" now sounds properly mean - as do the Brian May screaming guitar parts on "I'm In Love With My Car". That keyboard opening on "You're My Best Friend" is punching with the menace of an irate kangaroo while the grungy guitars of "Sweet Lady" flit from speaker to speaker with a vengeance - coming at you in clever Roy Thomas Baker production ways.

But if there was one track on this album that would show sure-fire improvement over previous versions (apart from the obvious "Bohemian Rhapsody") - it was always going to be near nine-minute Side 2 monster "The Prophet's Song". Wow! The vocal gymnastics by Mercury and indeed the whole band now comes at you with astonishing clarity (this must surely have made its way into the grey matter of a young Kate Bush). And then there's `that' song - "Bohemian Rhapsody". I'm of the age when I remember the video on Top Of The Pops astonishing audiences everywhere across the Christmas of 1975 and into the New Year. It sounds fantastic and I can't hear that amazing guitar break now without thinking about the `dudes' giving it some head banging in the car.

2015 will see a 40th Anniversary and greed will no doubt dictate yet another uber deluxe reissue - but as Brian May says in this 2005 reissue "I doubt if it can ever be bettered!" He's been there and back on this one and he would know...

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