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L.A. Turnaround
L.A. Turnaround
Price: 7.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Reissue (just a shame it opens with an edit), 22 Aug 2010
This review is from: L.A. Turnaround (Audio CD)
I won't comment critically on the album - if you like Bert then you will love it, and be thankful that it has finally seen the light of (the digital) day.

However, as is unfortunately the case with most remasters and reissues nowadays, the original source work has been altered for its second coming. The opening track (unarguably one of the best on the album, and one of Bert's all-time greats) 'Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning' has been edited. On this remaster you are not able to sample what music biographer Colin Harper describes [in his book DAZZLING STRANGER: BERT JANSCH AND THE BRITISH FOLK AND BLUES REVIVAL] as 'pastoral ambience exquisitely captured' since the opening 10 seconds (!) have been deleted. So gone is the remote chirping of birds as Bert recorded this track out in the country garden that morning.

'Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning' in its orginal form is a special track and a significant part of this is the that special scene-setting introduction made by nature itself; when you throw in the story behind its recording - for this do check out Harper's great book - it becomes all the more significant and hence all the more disappointing to hear that it has been axed for this remastered reissue.

However, I am not going to bother to surmise here why this has happend, on whether it was a technical or authorial decision - this of course would be pointless.

But if you do want to hear the original version on CD then I can point you to the Jansch anthology DAZZLING STRANGER, as it is the opening track on the 2nd disc of that excellent compilation. Ironically this was curated well before the recent re-issues, and done so well by Mr Harper again.

It shouldn't really be that you have to reference another work to hear something in its original format - and when I say reference I also mean spend again. I am not keen to perversely reward this edit/hack job by encouraging another purchase but I will say it is worth it - and while you are at it, make sure you buy Mr Harper's book Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival for as a companion piece alone it will add another level of listening enjoyment to Bert's songs. Colin's work across this text, the aforementioned compilation CD, countless articles in the music press as well as his presence in the DREAMWEAVER documentary without a doubt played a significant part in the Jansch comeback so one can only say - hats off to Colin Harper. And one can also only wonder if those 10 seconds would still be there if he had been also involved with this release...

To conclude - it is undeniably brilliant that L.A. TURNAROUND is out again and overall this is a lot better than most other remastered re-issues out there, both in terms of quality and real justification for going through with the whole exercise in the first place. So do purchase it as one of the greatest works by one of the greatest guitarists. And then buy the DAZZLING STRANGER combination I have already mentioned.

The fact that its key opening song is cut before it even starts is probably best described by the phrase Bert himself later employed at the start of his environmentally-concerned song 'Lost And Gone', as found on his subsequent album SANTA BARBARA HONEYMOON - 'what a bloody shame' indeed.
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