Audiophile: Vinyl, March 2022

Son Of Schmilsson
Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-499 (two 45rpm LPs)

Although the title suggests more of the same relative to its masterpiece predecessor, Nilsson Schmilsson, which earned him a Grammy for 'Without You', this will shock anyone lulled into thinking that Nilsson – once regarded as The Beatles' favourite songwriter – would make so obvious a career move. Instead, it's a challenge to the listener, including those who considered themselves hard-core fans by the time of this, his ninth or tenth LP (depending on which you regard as his first). The material ranges from glorious pop to screeching rock to ballads almost as aching as 'Without You', all served up with panache, energy and a hint of madness. As puzzling and eclectic as a Zappa LP, and just as rewarding. KK


Original Soundtrack
School Of Rock
Atlantic Records RCVI803694 (two discs; orange vinyl)

An enjoyable film despite the irritating Jack Black (does anyone really find Tenacious D witty?), the might of Atlantic Records means that this 2LP set mixes dialogue and songs from the film with original recordings from true A-listers, the same track lineup as the 2003 CD. With the vinyl revival, it rightly makes the transition to LP, and even if the film isn't part of your preferred viewing, it's a nifty set from no less than The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, T Rex, The Doors, Stevie Nicks, The Black Keys and Wylde Ratttz, plus the imaginary No Vacancy from the film. File with soundtracks from This Is Spinal Tap, Bad News, Wayne's World, et al. KK


Annette Peacock
The Perfect Release
Sundazed LP5590 (red vinyl)

Last October, Peacock's X-Dreams [Sundazed LP5589] deservedly earned LP of the Month. This 1979 follow-up would have repeated the success were it not (admittedly ironically) for The Perfect Release being even more accessible and commercial than X-Dreams. Huh? Y'see, for a certain type of fan, that is a failing because cult figures aren't allowed to be popular. I actually prefer this. Regardless of the heavy poetry aspect, the prescient rap cadences and – again – sentiments that will resonate in today's socio-political climate, here she's as ear-friendly as Rickie Lee Jones, Sade or Patricia Barber. It's utterly delicious, cool jazz, however you dissect it. KK


Lou Rawls
The Best Of Lou Rawls
Philadelphia International 19439859861

Er, not quite: over 55 years, Rawls recorded around 60 albums for over a dozen labels, and this compilation deals solely with his post-jazz/standards comeback on Philadelphia, during 1976-1981. Huge sales, however, render it historically if not quite musically, as crucial as his work for Capitol (1962-1970), because Rawls was the man who owned the smooth, sexy and seductive baritone, years before (most notably) Barry White made it a funk fixture. This was the era of grown-up disco, with 'You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine' kicking off the ten-song collection. It's not just Rawls' velvety voice that will tickle your woofers: this is a bass 'n' drums buffet. KK