Audiophile: Digital, October 2023

hfnalbum.pngThe Alan Parsons Project
The Turn Of A Friendly Card
Esoteric/Cherry Red BECLEC2833 (Blu-ray)

Long-time audiophile fave and prog-rock deity Parsons treats us here to the ultimate sonic edition of his 1980 release: he remastered and remixed it from the original tapes, so there's no challenging its absolute legitimacy by purists who are fed up with reissues produced without the artists' involvement. For those who cannot stretch to the 3CD/Blu-ray box set, this Blu-ray-only option gives you the original concept album in high-res stereo, a fascinating 5.1 mix for surround sound set-ups, and four promotional videos. Even if you only access the two-channel tracks, be sure to hook up a monitor for the soothing visuals accompanying playback. As a bonus, the booklet is intact, and now expanded by a superb new essay. KK


Eva Cassidy With The LSO
I Can Only Be Me
Blix Street Records G2-10121

Ordinarily, I pass on orchestra-backed versions of extant material (though I grew to love the strings added to Buddy Holly's last recordings). It's fairly harmless, but this raises a few questions. The late, sorely missed Ms Cassidy was one of music's saddest tragedies, dying before her music was discovered. Her voice was so transcendently beautiful that it's become an audiophile benchmark. But what few recordings she left us have been repackaged so often that it's becoming not just tacky but morbid. Gorgeous as these are, nine performances including 'Autumn Leaves' and 'Time After Time', they add nothing to the less cluttered releases. KK


The Kinks
The Journey – Part 1
BMG BMGCAT7400CD (two discs; mono/stereo)

Justice at last? The Kinks tie with The Yardbirds for unsympathetically compiled anthologies, but this, for the upcoming 60th anniversary, was created by the three surviving original members. Thus, only a pedant could challenge the choices: 36 hits and obscurities from 1964-73, starting with 'You Really Got Me', with each track accompanied by comments from Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory. Although lacking seven tracks, the warmer-sounding double [BMGCAT7400LP] might be preferred for greater period authenticity. Yes, there are cool box sets and LPs like The Great Lost Kinks Album but this earns kudos for being authorised. Roll on, Part 2. KK


Paul Simon
There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Mobile Fidelity UDSACD2217 SACD

Last month, the second of MoFi's Paul Simon One-Step releases earned a cool 90% (and LP of the Month) and so does the SACD version acquire that numerical rating. (Lest you wonder how they can earn the same percentage score, the numbers relate to the standards of each format, not to each other.) This is another justification for supporting the most underappreciated format since Elcaset, the vocals in particular showing how an SACD can slaughter a 'Red Book' CD on every level. If you missed out on the One-Step LP, this will comfort you, as there will be precious little FoMO when you hear 'Kodachrome', 'Was A Sunny Day', 'Loves Me Like A Rock' and all the rest. KK