Saturday, June 13, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Deep Purple - Hush!

Michael Fremer Review

I am very proud to continue our new feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. In fact, his new DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" has hit the shelves and is selling out very quickly. This is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl, it is a true masterpiece.

Miles Davis (reissue)
'Round About Midnight

Columbia/Speakers Corner CL 949 180g mono LP

Produced by: George Avakian
Engineered by: Frank Laico
Mixed by: Frank Laico
Mastered by: Maarten de Boer at UMG Berliner

Review by: Michael Fremer

Miles Davis’s major label debut, recorded with his quintet in the fall of 1955 and late summer of 1956 while he was still under Prestige contract and released early in 1957, was not particularly well-received at the time, though it has grown considerably in stature since then.

Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and “Philly Joe” Jones has been together as a group for over a year at this time, working both in the studio and in live performance. Miles had played the title track at Newport in 1955, rebounding from what the liner notes call a “health” problem, but which was an addiction to heroin that he kicked in 1953 or 1954.

The version of the gorgeous, bluesy Monk tune that opens and highlights the album both reprises the pensive, post-Bop sound of the earlier Birth of the Cool and was a harbinger of Miles to come. The opening bars, with Coltrane’s warm tenor wrapped around Davis’s jagged muted trumpet set a sublime tone for the tune and the album.

Though the 30th street studio recording is mono, great depth is produced, with Davis up front and the others cleanly layered behind. The second tune, Charlie Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha” is more standard uptempo hard-bop and the side closes with a stately version of the cool Cole Porter standard “All of You” that would be equally at home in a supper club as a jazz joint.

Side two opens with a pleasing, smoothly flowing but hardly memorable take on the standard “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” with Coltrane hinting at future harmonic and rhythmic strategies in his long, productive solo. Whatever Rudy Van Gelder’s legend, capturing a clean piano sound wasn’t among his strong suits, especially early on in his long career, so here, Red Garland’s piano, recorded by Frank Laico attains a welcome, woody clarity lacking on most of the Prestige Van Gelder sessions.

Compare Garland’s coherent, non-boxy sound on the suave, jumpy cover of Tadd Dameron’s “Tadd’s Delight” to any of the Prestige recordings.

The album ends with a swinging, unusual rendering of a Swedish folk song “Dear Old Stockholm,” featuring a nimble, driving Paul Chambers bass solo that’s also well recorded, particularly given the year, though otherwise there are hints of overload on a few peaks. Coltrane takes a long squiggly solo and Miles takes the melody back with an uncharacteristically complex muted trumpet solo and conclusion.

The reissue does an excellent job of capturing the original’s warm aura, particularly getting right the spacious echo behind Philly Joe’s brush work on “Bye Bye Blackbird.” The reissue is actually cleaner and more extended than the original and represents more of a clarification of it rather than a revision. Coltrane’s sax doesn’t quite have the body found on the original but you can’t have everything. And you can bet the reissue is quieter than most originals you might find. A nicely done AAA reissue.

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved

Additionally, make sure to stop by his site, and bookmark it for further exploration. I certainly want to thank Michael for the exclusive rights to reprint his fantastic material.

SOURCE: Reprinted By Permission

Pick up Michael's DVD's Here:

Vinyl Records Come In All Shapes & Sizes

Records come in all colors and various shapes and sizes. My love is the picture disc, some sound good, others not so much. However, some of these were manufactured to look at and to be collected. Let's look at some great looking vinyl shapes:

Talk Talk’s 1986 single Living In Another World features on their successful third album, The Colour of Spring. Despite being later celebrated for pioneering post-rock, the band were initially compared to Duran Duran. The Colour of Spring saw Talk Talk take a more experimental direction. This shaped single was strictly limited edition, available only in the UK.

Grace Jones's Party Girl, released in 1987 on Manhattan Records, is from the album Inside Story, the eighth by the Jamaican visionary. The single only reached No 82 in the UK charts, but was massive in the US dance scene.

The rare glow-in-the-dark edition of Kraftwerk’s 1981 single Pocket Calculator came in a polythene picture cover that was issued in several different language editions – including the German version, Taschenrechner, and the French version, Mini Calculateur. It only reached No 39 in the UK charts, but the album it featured on, Computer World, charted at No 15

Marc Almond’s A Lover Spurned, released in 1990, only reached No 29 in the UK charts. But the artwork on this limited-edition single by notorious French artists Pierre et Gilles – most famous for their heavily stylized photography with Kylie and Madonna – makes it highly collectable. The song was a cover, originally sung by Gloria Jones in 1964

Judy is a Punk was the first Ramones single to be released on saw-blade, the vinyl cut unique to German label, Musical Tragedies (MT). Other artists who’ve released things in saw-blade format include Mudhoney, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Motörhead, Frank Zappa, Suicide and Can, among others. This split single, released in 2001, was shared with New York Dolls’ Human Being

Toto named themselves after the Latin phrase "in toto", meaning "completely" or "totally". Toto had huge success – releasing 19 albums and selling over 30m records worldwide. This shaped pressing of their 1982 single Africa was a UK limited edition, released by CBS Records

This Date In Music History-June 13


James Carr - Country/soul star (1942)

Paul deLisle - Smash Mouth (1963)

Rivers Cuomo - Weezer (1970)

David Gray - UK singer, songwriter (1968)

Robbie Merrill – Godsmack (1963)

Rolf Brendel – Nena (1957)

Howard Lees – Heart (1951)

Dennis Locorriere - Dr Hook (1949)

Bobby Freeman (1940)

They Are Missed:

"King of Swing" Benny Goodman died from a heart attack in New York City in 1986 at the age of 77.

Born on this day in 1934, Uriel Jones, session drummer for Motown Records' in-house studio band, the Funk Brothers, during the 1960s and early 1970s. Died on March 24, 2009.

Clyde McPhatter, original lead vocalist with The Drifters, died of a heart attack in New York in 1972. Joined Billy Ward & the Dominoes in 1950, formed The Drifters in 1953, had several solo hits including 1962 “Lover Please,” was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


In 1924, Vernon Dalhart recorded "The Wreck of the Old '97," country music's first million-seller.

Louis Armstrong started a six week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1964 with “Hello Dolly!”

In 1995, Alanis Morissette released “Jagged Little Pill.” The album went on to sell over 30 million copies world-wide making Morissette the first female Canadian to score a US #1 album.

The Arctic Monkeys made their live debut in 2003 at The Grapes pub in Sheffield, England.

In 1970, Grand Funk Railroad, supported by Steel Mill, (featuring Bruce Springsteen) appeared at the Ocean Ice Palace in Bricktown, New Jersey, tickets $5.00.

The Beatles started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1970 with “The Long And Winding Road,” the groups 20th US #1. The album “Let It Be” started a four-week run at #1 the US album chart on the same day.

John Lennon made his last ever TV appearance in 1975 we he appeared on “Salute To Sir Lew Grade,” performing “Slippin And Slidin,” and “Imagine.”

In 2005, Michael Jackson was cleared of all charges of child abuse by a jury of eight women and four men at the end of a 16-week hearing in Santa Maria, California. Jackson was found not guilty of all 10 charges including abusing a 13-year-old boy, conspiracy to kidnap and supplying alcohol to a minor to assist with a felony.

In 2008, a Chicago jury acquitted R Kelly of all 14 charges of child pornography against him. The US singer was found not guilty of making an explicit sex video that prosecutors had said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. Both Kelly and the alleged victim, now 23, denied they were the people shown on the tape, which the jury saw. The defense argued that the man in the tape did not have a large mole on his back as does Mr. Kelly, and that the tape could have been doctored.

In 1983, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble release their debut album, Texas Flood. By the end of the year, Vaughan wins Guitar Player magazine's awards for Best New Talent, Best Electric Blues Guitar Player, and Best Guitar Album - the first person to win all three awards since Jeff Beck in 1976.

Barry and Greenwich's "Chapel of Love," recorded by the Dixie Cups, and "Leader of the Pack," recorded by the Shangri-Las, reached #1 in 1964.

Metallica’s “St. Anger” debuts at #1 in 2003. The album’s release date was moved up to thwart bootleggers.

In 2006, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Mike Love, Beach Boys founders and survivors, appear together publically for the first time in 10 years to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic “Pet Sounds” album.