Audiophile: Digital, February 2020

hfnalbum.pngThe Doors
The Soft Parade
Elektra 603497851324 (three CDs + LP)

Continuing the 50th anniversary reissue programme, we're up to The Doors' fourth, which kicked off with the mournful/joyous 'Tell All the People'. They followed that with the magnificent 'Touch Me', the two openers cocking a snook at the emerging 'Big Band Rock' outfits like Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, et al. Punchy brass, sublime guitar-work stage right, even a commanding vocal from Jim Morrison: it wasn't enough to prevent negative reviews and so-so sales. Time hasn't been too kind, but some (like me) consider it vastly under-rated. Along with the remastered album are the stripped-down, horns-less mix, new solos by Robbie Krieger, an hour-long jam and a bonus original LP cut by Bernie Grundman. KK


Lol Creme/Kevin Godley
Caroline CAROLR085CD (five discs)

A guilty pleasure for 10cc fans, the debut of what became Godley & Creme, now regarded as rock video pioneers, was issued in 1977 as a costly triple-LP. It's inventive but limitlessly self-indulgent, with moments of pop brilliance, exquisite sound quality and a sense of grandeur marred by the usual 'concept LP' let-downs (unless we're talking The Who or The Kinks…). It helps if you love every utterance made by Peter Cook, only some of which is truly funny. This contains all of the LP set, the condensed Music From Consequences and a CD of highlights. At under £18, it costs a lot less in real terms than the £11 LP did 43 years ago: that's £75 in 2020 money. KK


Afraid Of Sunlight Deluxe Edition
Parlophone 0190295477219 (four CDs + Blu-ray)

Again uniform with Jethro Tull's expanded catalogue, this gorgeous long-box library-case contains enough material to occupy a fan – and this band's followers are hard-core – for a weekend binge. Marillion's eighth studio album, released in 1995, was their last for EMI. While it was cursed with little promotion, the group's payback was critical acclaim and you'll hear why from the opening tracks, even if prog-rock or Psychedelia 3.0 aren't your thing. The CDs contain a remix of the album, the original 1995 mix, a concert from Rotterdam in 1995 on two CDs, while the Blu-ray adds two stereo and two 5.1 versions in assorted formats, a documentary, jams and more. KK


Philadelphia Freedom/Summertime
Vocalion CDSML8561 (SACD)

Unusually, this pairing from 1975/6 features the first album in both stereo and with the optional quadraphonic mix, while the latter is stereo-only – a concrete indicator that quad had flopped. Most of you will play this in stereo regardless; suffice it to say that this SACD delivers the punch and scale of 'Philly Sound' disco/soul with all the requisite impact. More familiar than you might believe, the standouts include both title tracks – 'Philadelphia Freedom' an Elton John/Bernie Taupin number and 'Summertime' from Gershwin – and the sound is so rich that one of the bass-lines has been commandeered by Shaggy. As for the percussion – astounding. KK