Monday, October 29, 2012

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

JIMMY PAGE Remastering LED ZEPPELIN Catalog 

Peter Mensch, the manager of LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page, told the U.K.'s Sunday Times that the legendary axeman is holed up in a west London studio "remastering every LED ZEPPELIN LP." It is believed that the new remasters, which are tentatively due next year, will possibly include alternate takes and unreleased material as well.

Read the rest at Blabbermouth


album cover art of the day:

Arkham Witch Reveals New Album "Legions Of The Deep" Details

England's own traditional metal brigands Arkham Witch are returning with their 2nd album "Legions of the Deep," which will be released on November 9th through Metal on Metal Records. The label comments:

Read more at MetalUnderground


album cover art of the day, part 2:

WEAPONS TO HUNT To Release 'Blessed In Sin' In November

Dutch old-school death/thrash metallers WEAPONS TO HUNT, who released three albums under the name INFINITED HATE, last year transformed into WEAPONS TO HUNT. The group, featuring mainman Adrie Kloosterwaard (SINISTER) on vocals, Ron van de Polder (original and founding member of SINISTER) on guitar, Paul Beltman (ex-SINISTER, ex-SUPREME PAIN) on drums and Bastiaan Brusssaar (SINISTER, FONDLECORPSE) on lead guitar, will release its debut CD, "Blessed In Sin", on November 26 via Vic Records. The bass tracks on the effort were laid down by Erwin Harreman (ex-SINISTER, SUPREME PAIN).

Read the rest at Blabbermouth


album cover art of the day, part 3:

The Moor Reveals New Album "Year Of The Hunger" Details

Italian act The Moor sees a full-length debut titled “Year Of The Hunger” this coming November 16th, 2012 via Lion Music.

Read more at MetalUnderground


Al Green – Al Green Explores Your Mind – Hi Records (1974)/Pure Pleasure (vinyl)

If you like sweet soul music, this album is for you!

Al Green – Al Green Explores Your Mind – Hi Records (1974)/Pure Pleasure Records (2012) SHL32087 180-gram audiophile stereo vinyl, 29:19 ****:

(Al Green – vocals; Wayne Jackson – trumpet; Andrew Love – tenor saxophone; Ed Logan – tenor saxophone; James Mitchell – baritone saxophone; Jack Hale – trombone; Howard Grimes – drums, percussion; Leroy Hodges – bass; Charles Hodges – keyboards; Mabon “Teenie” Hodges – guitar; Archie Turner – piano; Michael Allen – piano; Rhodes, Chalmers & Rhodes – backing vocals; with The Memphis Strings; James Mitchell – string arrangements)

Al Green is an icon of soul vocalists. Like Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Sam Cooke, he was able to incorporate gospel and r&b into accessible music. His warm vocals and horn accompaniment became one of the calling cards for the seventies “Memphis Sound”. The collaboration with producer/engineer Willie Mitchell created unforgettable albums including Green Is Blues, Al Green gets Next To You and Let’s Stay Together. The latter’s title track became a trademark for Green and remains one of the greatest soul numbers of all time.

He became Reverend Al Green (of Full Gospel Tabernacle) in 1976 and devoted over a decade to gospel music. In 1988, he recorded a duet of “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” with Annie Lennox that was used in the movie Scrooged. This signaled a limited return to popular music. However, his passion still resides in his role as church pastor. Among his many accolades, Al Green was inducted into The Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame (2004), and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (2005).

Pure Pleasure Records has re-mastered Al Green Explores Your Mind to 180-gram vinyl, and the reissue is brilliant. Nine original compositions highlight the songwriting and vibrant performance of a quintessential r&b legend. It is evident from the opening notes of “Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy)” that the record was engineered to frame the Memphis-style arrangements around the silky, upper-register vocals of Green. As the strings (Memphis String Section) and horns are joined with lush backup vocals (Rhodes, Chalmers and Rhodes), a simple love song becomes soul artistry. Green is able to slip into falsetto with complete ease. It is a curiosity that “Take Me To The River” was never a huge success (although it did jump-start Talking Heads’ career). This version has a Delta-swamp vibe with warm, funky hooks and grooves, without doubt the definitive version.

While Green was still a practitioner of secular music, there is gospel nuance in a lot of the arrangements. In the case of “God Bless Our Love” a slower, laid back, Sunday feel is illuminated by this vocalist and his backup singers. Also, a detectable shade of ‘50s rock can be felt here, as well as the melancholic “School Days”. But the energy is at its finest on joyful soul numbers like “One Nite Stand” and “I’m Hooked On You”. Green is an excellent songwriter and combines with producer, Willie Mitchell to create accessible, rhythmic songs. His topical narrative appears on “The City”, which has a funky guitar chord presence that defines seventies r&b (not unlike Curtis Mayfield).

Pure Pleasure has done a masterful job in re-mastering this session to audiophile vinyl. Green’s smooth tones have a rich texture, even in falsetto. The strings and horn volume levels are just right, never becoming too dense. At less than thirty minutes, the album flows with grace and precision. Al Green Explores Your Mind is soulful bliss!

 Side One: Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy); Take Me To The River; God Blessed Our Love; The City; One Nite Stand
 Side Two: I’m Hooked On You; Stay With Me Forever; Hangin’ On; School

—Robbie Gerson

Buy the album at Amazon

I want to thank John over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.


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