Audiophile Vinyl

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Ken Kessler  |  Aug 28, 2019
This month we review: Tony Joe White, Julie London, Buck Owens and Linda Ronstadt
Ken Kessler  |  Jul 25, 2019
This month we review: Bo Diddley, Big Brother & The Holding Co, Holly Cole Trio and The Shadows Of Knight
Ken Kessler  |  Jun 20, 2019
This month we review: Marvin Gaye, Gene Clark, The Remains, and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson
Ken Kessler  |  May 14, 2019
This month we review: The Beatles, The Band, Little Willie John, and The Kinks
Ken Kessler  |  Apr 03, 2019
This month we review: Simon And Garfunkel, The Police, Rolling Stones, & Twisted Sister
Ken Kessler  |  Mar 06, 2019
This month we review: King Solomon, Mel Henke, Sarah Mclachlan, & Matthew Sweet
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 01, 2018
This month we review: Doug MacLeod, Ruth Brown, The Minx Soundtrack, and Matthew Sweet
Ken Kessler  |  Nov 01, 2018
This month we review: Buffalo Springfield, Paul Rodgers, Ultimate Spinach, and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Ken Kessler  |  Oct 01, 2018
This month we review: Michael Nesmith, John Butler, Carmen McRae, and Nina Simone.
Ken Kessler  |  Sep 01, 2018
This month we review: Slim Harpo, Lynyrd Skynyrd, A Sea For Yourself, and The Rising Storm.
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 10, 2010
If you’re bemused by the current obsession with ‘the American Songbook’ – even the BBC got in on the act with a week of specials devoted to it – this is an ideal time to hear one of the finest practitioners of the genre, before it became retro-cool. Ms Lee, arguably one of the half-dozen or so finest female popular music vocalists of the 20th Century, sexily slides through a dozen lesser-known gems, including her politically-incorrect composition which provides this LP with its utterly non-contemporary title. But stuff that: this is an album to play after you’ve run out of Mad Men DVDs, when you long for a time when men were men and women didn’t mind it. Sound Quality: 85% .
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 10, 2010
This LP’s rarity value alone commands attention: Topham was the Yardbirds’ founder guitarist, who had to leave the band because he was only 15. By 1969, at the age of 22, he delivered this solo LP, a long-forgotten take on the blues, far removed from the Yardbirds. Despite its Blue Horizon pedigree, it’s not of the Brit Blues school per se and is a stylistic mish-mash, more akin to Andrew Loog Oldham’s covers of the Stones’ canon, but its worth to Yardbirds hard-core is unparalleled. If you could find a mint original, you’d have to part with £100+.
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 10, 2010
It simply doesn’t get any better than this if you’re a Motown addict. This LP from ’67 contains a half-dozen gems, eg, ‘Bernadette’, that are forever associated with the ’Tops, plus a couple of covers they made their own: ‘Walk Away Renee’ and ‘If I Were A Carpenter’. With 20/20 hindsight, considering that The Monkees have been reassessed and found not to be the infra dig swill that snobs once deemed them to be, we learn here just how appealing was the material they chose: the ’Tops cover two of their hits, turning ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ and ‘I’m A Believer’ into almost-credible Motown stompers. Reach Out is the quintessence of the group’s and the label’s sound.
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 10, 2010
A heartbreaker, as it’s the sole LP from one of the finest of the wave of mid-1960s US bands who wished they were the Beatles. Like the equally fragile Left Banke (yes, that’s how they spelled it) with their leader Michael Brown, this group boasted a song-writing genius in Emitt Rhodes, and gave off a whiff of ‘Sunny Afternoon’, Kinksian Englishness that permeated the whole LP. While ‘You’re A Very Lovely Woman’ is equally well remembered, their biggest hit – ‘Live’ – had the kind of catchiness that made songs like the La’s ‘There She Goes’ so memorable. Yes, it was that good.
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 10, 2010
Christmas in July! Here, in glorious mono – but of course – is what many regard as the greatest rock ’n’ roll Christmas LP of all time: Phil Spector’s deliriously joyful showcase for his Philles Records stable of pop maestri, from 1963. You get the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans, backed by one of the finest assemblies of session players ever to enter a studio: the amazing Wrecking Crew, with Leon Russell, Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono in its ranks. The package offers 13 Christmas pop standards, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever hear a more uplifting take of ‘White Christmas’. The Wall of Sound rules, beyond prison walls.