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Wonderful music from the late great Ronnie Lane - average reissue though
on 20 March 2014
This music is truly great and the two discs are crammed with songs (about two hours and a half).
The two records Ronnie Lane released for the Island label are presented almost in their entirety, with the exception of a few of the original tracks replaced by very good alternates. And there's the bonus of a whole BBC session from the era. So this is all very fine.
The ok-but-not-great news is that the sound is ok but by no means outstanding, nothing remotely comparable to other Island reissue from the same era (this might be partially due to the original recordings; Lane' Mobile Studio was surely professional but not comparable to, say, Sound Techniques studio run by top drawer engineer John Wood)
The two different, original Island labels used for the discs are a nice touch, but oddly they scrambled the chronological order, so most of the tracks from the later "One For The Road" are on the first disc (with the label to "Slim Chance"), and viceversa.
The booklet is even more confusing, with the artwork to "One For The Road" presented before "Slim Chance".
There's no info whatsoever about the recordings, no line-ups, which could have been particularly interesting for the unissued tracks and the Live at the BBC.
We're simply not told who is playing on these tracks.
The liner notes are a bit amateurish and skimpy - the kind that make you think you could do better just by looking it up on the internet - and certainly could have used an editor's eye (the last sentence is: "And that is why he so missed" (sic) - OH COME ON!)
So, great music - mediocre presentation.
PS anyone interested in some serious insight on the subject might rather check out Pat Gilbert's piece on the April issue of Mojo, very well written and with new interviews with bandmates and then-wife Kate. That's the way it's done.