Audiophile: Digital, April 2019

hfnalbum.pngJohn Lennon
Imagine-The Ultimate Edition
Universal 0602567671268 (four CDs + two Blu-ray discs; part mono)

How to turn one album into six discs: complete remixing and remastering, new mixes, raw studio out-takes, mono mixes ('The Evolution Documentary'), singles, plus the whole lot on Blu-ray in 5.1 surround, 4.0 quad mixes (proper 1971 layout, this), stereo 96kHz/24-bit and much – maybe too much – more. It raises the question, as with Gaye's What's Going On: does Imagine justify such lavish treatment? More heresy, then: the title track is a maudlin piece of hippie drivel, half of the rest is so Yoko-fied as to be gag-inducing, but there are moments like 'It's So Hard' which stand out like specks of truffle in the middle of a basic mac'n'cheese. Considering the content, and his attack on Paul, Mac'N'Cheese is a more apt title. KK


The Debutantes
The Debutantes
BeatRocket/Sundazed BRCD146 (mono)

Before there were Bangles and Go-Gos, self-contained American girl groups obsessed with the British Invasion, eg, The Stones, The Animals, et al, and able to play their own instruments did exist, but none really broke through. Lost in the mists of time was this cool outfit, which issued three 45s and left nine unreleased tracks in the can. Now gathered together in a handsome gatefold CD in glorious mono are 14 covers and one original from 1966-7, a reminder for Baby Boomers of the time celebrated by Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do!. The usual suspects – 'Little Latin Lupe Lu', 'The Last Time', 'Kansas City' – populate this joyous, innocent, rocking disc. KK

Art Garfunkel
Angel Clare
Vocalion CDSML8534 (SACD stereo + multi-channel)

Garfunkel's 1973 solo debut is much loved and for good reason: he proved that he was as valuable as Paul Simon in that duo, whatever Simon's recent biography cares to suggest. If the airiest of voices (castrati would be jealous!) send chills up and down your spine, this is the master class. Simon & Garfunkel were literary snobs at the worst of times, so he named this after a character in Hardy's Tess Of The d'Urbervilles. More wisely, he chose songs from Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Paul Williams and Randy Newman, employed a host of A-list musicians and delivered a gem. Sonically, right up there with any S&G album, this is almost as good as his follow-up. KK


Jethro Tull
This Was – 50th Anniversary Edition
Chrysalis 0190295611484 (three CDs + DVD-A; part mono)

Uniform with Tull's other multi-disc sets, this is the band's amazing 1968 debut – and it's a far bluesier affair than their later, more rustic releases, eg, there's a Cream-like cover of 'Cat's Squirrel'. Absolutely staggering for a first album, it revealed well-honed musical prowess from every band member. Here are the original stereo and mono mixes, a new stereo remix, BBC sessions, singles and a DVD-A to delight those who still have surround set-ups. It contains a 4.1 DTS/Dolby AC3 mix, the US stereo version in 96kHz/24-bit PCM, and two tracks in 5.1. Tull fans, it seems, are the best-served by their heroes, and they're not scalped as are Led Zep or Macca fans. KK