Audiophile: Vinyl, May 2022

hfnalbum.pngThe Eagles
Mobile Fidelity UD1S 2025 (two One-Step 45rpm LPs)

Although divisive – Byrds fans remain offended that this group stole the country-rock crown, David Crosby thought they dialled in their note-perfect gigs, and punks hate 'em – The Eagles are among the most deservedly successful American bands of the rock era. This 1973 release, their second LP, suffered mixed reviews, but I adored every note, even the cod-outlaw mythology of 'Tequila Sunrise'. To hate the title track, 'Twenty-One', is to be a snob, like those who diss ABBA. It earns One-Step status as the music is glorious and the sound magnificent. If you love guitar-driven works (especially Bernie Leadon's) and sublime harmonies, you gotta have its eponymous predecessor, too [UD1S 2024]. KK


Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
Warner R1 1935 (two discs; 180g vinyl)

Despite a reputation for not knowing the meaning of 'brevity' when performing in concert, this – the Dead's second live album, aka 'Skull & Roses' and not to be confused with the eponymous debut – contains three sides of great songs and only one 18min dirge to challenge your will to live. One of their all-time best-sellers, this 50th Anniversary remastered edition is superb. Assembled from assorted gigs in March/April 1971, it features a dandy mix of country and rock 'n' roll, and the sound is warm and involving. However: as good as this is, you won't need it if you have MoFi's reissue of a few years back, unless you're a Deadhead completist. KK


Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
(It's A) Monsters' Holiday
Sundazed LP5599 (coloured vinyl)

If you can get past the worst cover art of his entire career, and don't mind skipping the comic title track that opens this LP, you'll be rewarded with a typical Buck Owens set of super-slick country music. An exemplar of 'the Bakersfield Sound', this album dates from 1974, the remastering is excellent – especially the bass on Side 2's opener, 'Meanwhile Back At The Ranch'. The tracks are a mix of the marginally weepy and the wry, eg, a parody of Shel Silverstein's 'The Cover of Rolling Stone', that was a hit for Dr Hook & The Medicine Show in 1972. In keeping with the title, the vinyl is a vile green, suggesting a decaying Frankenstein's reconstituted body parts. KK


Atlantic R1 83475 (two discs)

Christian nu-metal is not a genre with which I'm intimately familiar, but – lyrics and intent aside – it's affiliated with 'the meters' needles don't move' thrash which begs a question: is sound quality even an issue? Head-bangers who think Wayne's World is a behavioural guide will revel in this 20th anniversary re-mastering of P.O.D.'s Grammy-nominated, multi-million seller, while what impresses most (from an audiophile standpoint) is the sheer mass of the bass and the crisp attack. Shifting from a mid-level system to a high-end set-up exposes nuances in 'Alive', 'Youth Of The Nation', 'Boom' and the title track. So yes, this merits the heavy vinyl treatment. KK