Audiophile: Digital, July 2020

hfnalbum.pngThe Flying Burrito Brothers
Burrito Deluxe
Intervention Records IR-SCD8

If you want to wind up Gram Parsons fans, just tell 'em you prefer this to the band's debut, The Gilded Palace Of Sin. I did 50 years ago and still do, falling in love with it even before discovering that 'Wild Horses' was lifted from The Rolling Stones, who'd release their version a year later. Purists aren't enamoured of Burrito Deluxe because it's less 'Parsons' and more 'the rest of the band', but it's still a prime example of undiluted country-rock, with the requisite Bob Dylan cover – a fine 'If You Gotta Go' – and enough nods to The Byrds (and foreshadowing of The Eagles) to ensure its permanence in the pantheon. If you adored its predecessor, this second release from the Burritos truly is Gilded Palace 2. KK


Blood Sweat & Tears
Mirror Image & New City
Vocalion CDSML 8572 (multi-channel hybrid SACD)

Timely, this, as I've been rediscovering BS&T through open-reel tapes of their earlier, hit albums, but this pair from 1974/5 finds the band slightly past it. Their most distinctive element, vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, was missing for the more funk-oriented Mirror Image but he returned for New City, and the generic sound came back with him. Even so, as of the mid-1970s BS&T still vied with Chicago as 'Best Big Band Rock Outfit', and this will certainly please completists, but few are the moments to match their first four LPs. Amusingly, one of them is a dandy cover of The Beatles' 'Got To Get You Into My Life' – which could have been written for BS&T. KK


Script For A Jester's Tear – Deluxe Edition
Parlophone 0190295316679 (four CDs + Blu-ray)

Here's where it all started, the 1983 debut album for that marvellous throwback to prog-rock, an anachronistic genre even 37 years ago. Script stands up well, though, and one can hear why it helped spawn neo-prog, which this scribe finds slightly less pretentious than the excesses of ELP. This set offers a remix and rarities galore, including a stereo remix of the rare Market Square Heroes EP, the Marquee Club gig of Dec 29th, 1982 (before Script was released) with live versions of all six album tracks, and a Blu-ray with 96kHz/24-bit stereo versions of the three, plus a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio remix of the album proper, promos and a new documentary. KK


Elvis Presley
Back In Living Stereo
Memphis Recording Service MRS10060066 (six discs)

Here's where the vagaries of international copyright law and one's conscience clash. Memphis Recording Service has no connection with the Presley Estate, RCA or Sony, yet it has issued a superbly-packaged, fabulous-sounding, pedantically-curated 6CD set with accurate title and sub-title: 'The Essential 1960-62 Masters, Rare Outtakes & Home Recordings'. This is, of course, post-rocking/pre-Vegas Elvis, when his films grew increasingly risible, but it was also the era of stunning songs like 'Fever', 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Girl Of My Best Friend', 'Suspicion' and others which belie accusations of vapidity. Strictly for hard-core fans… but, oh, the sound! KK