AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer  |  Jan 05, 2020  |  9 comments
For every reason, from mastering to pressing to packaging and annotation—and pricing, Craft’s 5 LP Chet Baker Riverside box scores the highest marks.

The recent RSD mono release of It Could Happen to You—Chet Baker Sings signaled what this set might and turned out to be. For those fans who might have some of these albums on original or OJC reissues, you can be sure the audio here soundly beats those.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 16, 2019  |  19 comments
When first released in America in 1978 Dire Straits’ debut was an immediate sensation, though cautious record labels at first rejected signing the group until Warner Brothers bit. The original Vertigo release hit the U.K. earlier. Eventually, propelled by the catchy single “Sultans of Swing”, the album was Top Ten throughout Europe and much of the world.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 15, 2019  |  23 comments
Single-line guitarist Grant Green's fourth Blue Note album released in 1962 is as easy to listen to and relaxing as the title suggests. Kenny Drew is on piano with Ben Tucker, bass and Ben Dixon on drums in a set of six tunes with inspiration and/or vaguely religious themes, three of which are Green originals.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 04, 2019  |  12 comments
The French Record Company’s first release is a “never before released but should have been” 1958 recording of pianist Marcelle Meyer playing a Debussy program recorded for the Les Discophiles Francais label (DF 211-212).

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 03, 2019  |  21 comments
"What happens in Memphis stays in Memphis"—at least until you get these home (unless you live in Memphis!) might be Craft Recordings' slogan for this all-analog pair of Big Star reissues, probably the first all-analog reissues of these two ignored when first released but now highly regarded early '70s albums since Classic Records released them in 2009 AAA on Clarity vinyl.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 29, 2019  |  3 comments
Chet Baker was 29 years old when he recorded this album of vocals with occasional trumpet back in the summer of 1958 released today, 61 years later for RSD Black Friday.. He sounds like a kid. Actually you could argue he sounds positively girl-ish, which back then must have driven them pretty crazy—even crazier than did his chiseled, pugilistic face.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 26, 2019  |  6 comments
I'd be surprised if someone at UMe didn't look at the success of Blue Note's "Tone Poet" series and say to themselves "maybe the way to launch a Motown reissue series is to do it with the highest possible quality" because Motown/ UMe's new 5 LP Motown mono series duplicates in every way Blue Note's "Tone Poet" series: Kevin Gray cut from mono master tapes, RTI plated and pressed on 180g vinyl and the records are packaged in Stoughton tip on jackets.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 23, 2019  |  8 comments
Intervention's reissue of Gene Clark's classic White Light sold out, but it's currently being re-pressed and the company is taking orders. Don't miss out the second time!
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 23, 2019  |  0 comments
Craft Records just announced three all-analog reissues cut from original tape by Kevin Gray: (Chet Baker Sings) It Could Happen to You, originally released in 1958 on Riverside, Willie Colon's Asalto Navideño a 1971 Christmas album originally released on Fania, and Buffy Sainte-Marie's Illuminations a Vanguard release from 1969 that's achieved "cult" status due to its early use of synthesizers to produce an eerie backdrop.
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 21, 2019  |  69 comments
* (Not now convinced these were cut from tape).The Beatles just announced The Beatles: The Singles Collection, a limited edition, collectible box set containing 23 180-gram vinyl singles cut by Sean Magee from the original mono and stereo singles mix tapes. Between 1962 and 1970 The Beatles released 22 singles. Of the 44 A and B sides, 29 were not included on the group's British albums—singles were usually omitted in Britain, though the released albums contained more tracks than were issued per album in The United States (you probably already knew that!).

Ty Webb  |  Sep 22, 2019  |  5 comments
Yarlung Records has garnered accolades for its innovative series of 45 rpm records that feature a variety of classical and jazz artists. Expectations are bound to be high for its new LP If You Love For Beauty, featuring the talented mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke together with t
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  15 comments
This is the 45rpm version of IMPEX's 2017 33 1/3 all-analog reissue of Michel Legrand's somewhat overlooked musical and sonic treasure featuring many of the greatest jazz artists of the era. Nothing other than Legrand's passing has changed since the original reissue review, so I'm just repeating it, other than to add that it sounds even "Legrander" at 45rpm, though if you already own IMPEX's 33 1/3 version, it's not really necessary to buy it again, unless you must! An enticement might be the now glossy laminated jacket and gatefold booklet with a very useful and informed essay by KCRW's Tom Schnabel.

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 14, 2019  |  61 comments
Dexter Gordon led the Clubhouse session May 27,1965 with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Two days later Gordon recorded Gettin’ Around, trading Freddie Hubbard for Bobby Hutcherson on vibes but otherwise maintaining the same lineup. However, until 1979 the former didn’t see the light of day. What happened?

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 26, 2019  |  12 comments
If you'd have told me a few years ago when Vinyl Me, Please launched, that within a few years the curated based vinyl subscription service would be at the top of the vinyl reissue heap, I'd have said you've been inhaling too many PVC fumes. But here we are with a vinyl reissue that's perfect in every way.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Buddy Guy’s 1967 Chess release—his first— has nothing to do with San Francisco, nor was it recorded July of 1967 though the jacket says it was. No big deal. Someone (probably Leonard Chess) chose to reference San Francisco because “flower power” was happening and it seemed like a good way to grab the white kids’ interest. The recording date was chosen close to the original release date so it would sound current but in fact, this is a compilation that includes tracks recorded between 1962 and 1967.

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