Audiophile: Digital, July 2019

Decade: 1967-1976
Edsel LULUBOX01 (five diiscs)

Yeah, you're thinking, 'Lulu? You kidding?'. Think again: during this period, Lulu exercised her powerful pipes with the finest musicians on the planet, with songs from assorted Bee Gees (she was married to one for a while), The Beatles, Nilsson, Dylan, Tim Rose, Jagger/Richards and others. Producers? How about Dowd, Moroder or Bowie? Contained herein are her phenomenal and hugely-collectible LPs for Atco, the tail-end of her Mickie Most years, foreign language versions and too much more to list among the 102 tracks. On every level – sound, performance, material – this is an ear-opener. And I doubt you'll ever hear 'To Sir With Love' again without silently uttering, 'Respect'. She's a national treasure. KK


Bob Dylan
Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
Mobile Fidelity UDSACD2202

As soundtracks go, this is the rare kind that stands proud even without the film, but which wasn't made up of hits which fit the story à la American Graffiti. Dating from 1973, after New Morning and before the derided Dylan, it followed a three-year gap in his recording career and was his first movie score, propitiously working for another genius, Sam Peckinpah. But ignore that: this is sublime country-folk music, Dylan producing a collection that exudes the old West even without the film for which it was conceived. And there's a secret weapon amidst the tracks, one of Dylan's most beautiful and achingly tender classics: 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'. KK


Flamin' Groovies
Gonna Rock Tonite!
Grapefruit CRSEGBOX51 (three discs)

'The Complete Recordings 1969-71' is the sub-title here and this disc replicates three LPs with 14 bonus tracks, covering the band's first major label tenure. Impossible to fit into a genre, other than fan-boy cult object for worshippers of The Beatles, other British Invasion bands or any band on Nuggets, the Groovies are the industry's most notorious also-rans. Always out of step with trends, they played vintage rock 'n' roll in San Francisco during the Summer of Love and power pop when everyone else worshipped punk. Forget all that: this is delicious rock, ranging from the fiery title track to covers of gems such as 'The Girl Can't Help It'. File with The Smithereens. KK


Charlie Rich
The Silver Fox/Very Special Love Songs
Vocalion CDLK4169 (multi-channel SACD)

Quadraphonic mixing applied to country music? This pair from 1973/4 finds one of the genre's true geniuses in glorious surround sound, but – unlike the typical usage with rock music – the effects are subtle. No pun intended, but the spread adds richness to masterpieces like 'Behind Closed Doors' while the sheer polish of the two releases remains even if you switch to straight stereo. Rich had an amazing voice, was a peerless composer, played piano with the skills derived from classical training and represented the more sophisticated, less corny segment of C&W. Simply magnificent, though you may only want to hear the spoken introductions just once. KK