Audiophile: Digital, November 2022

hfnalbum.pngSteeleye Span
Good Times Of Old England: Steeleye Span 1972-1983
Chrysalis CRB1491 (12 discs)

Complementing the roots music feast from fellow traveller Thompson, opposite, this bargain of a box – £40 online – will delight fans of British folk music. Its 145 tracks include all the studio albums from the era, and (deep breath) 47 previously unreleased studio outtakes, two live sets (The Rainbow in 1974 and The Berklee Performance Center, Boston, 1976) and the Australia-only On Tour. As with Thompson, this shows greater depth to the band, a shock if you only know 'All Around My Hat'. It's full of surprises beyond the limits of the folk genre, and with bonus tracks sprinkled throughout, even seasoned fans will enjoy frissons of delight. The only shock is that they didn't call it Goode Tymes Of Olde Englande. KK


Clandestine Amigo
Things Worth Remembering
Octave Records OCT-0020 (hybrid SACD + Data DVD)

Clandestine Amigo's second SACD on the Octave Records label features an 'up-and-coming' Denver vocalist named Katie Mintle. A perusal of the notes reveals this is part of Octave's master plan: to discover new talent while producing recordings to dazzle anyone with a high-resolution system. Octave missed an opportunity by not identifying on which tracks she's singing lead, as her vocals aren't all that dissimilar from front-woman Jessica Carson's, but that adds to the audiophile fun. Overall, it's another super-smooth set which older readers might liken to Sade, as the moods it creates are just as seductive. Techno-nerds might start with the Data DVD. KK


The Police
Around The World – Restored & Expanded
Mercury 00602445204540 (CD + Blu-ray)

Police fans have enjoyed the remastering of the group's entire catalogue, but might crave more than a canon of only five studio albums, so this restored audio and video documentary of their first world tour of 1979/80 should satisfy any yearnings. The CD contains tracks from their first two LPs, six recorded in Kyoto, three in Hong Kong and two in Hammersmith – while obviously lacking 'Every Breath You Take' and the other hits which came later. The Blu-ray adds compete performances of 'Walking On the Moon', 'Next To You', 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Born In the 50s' to the one-hour video. (The LP version, MSVL851659, comes with a DVD of the documentary.) KK


Mary Wilson
The Motown Anthology
Motown 00602445379514 (two discs)

Overshadowed by mega-diva Diana Ross while she was a member of The Supremes, the recently-departed Ms Wilson was arguably a better singer. This much-needed, rather touching compilation brings together 38 tracks from The Primettes, which became the Supremes, The Supremes proper, and her solo career, of which 25 songs are either previously unreleased or alternate mixes. This collection eschews the obvious Supremes hits where Ross was the focus, so the real ear-opener is a surprisingly brave cover version: Wilson tackling 'Son Of A Preacher Man'. If you think I'm overstating her brilliance, just wait until you read the testimonials in the copious liner notes. KK