AAA Vinyl

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Mike Mettler  |  May 15, 2024  |  6 comments

Gaucho is the fifth entry in Analogue Productions' comprehensive 200g 45rpm 2LP Steely Dan UHQR reissue series, and this one has been sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ'd by Bob Ludwig, who also mastered the original album itself. Read AP editor Mike Mettler’s in-depth review to find out if the new Gaucho UHQR improves upon the original release’s Grammy-winning sonics. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  May 04, 2024  |  2 comments

Part 2 of our RSD 2024 Short Cuts roundup focuses on a pair of Holy Grail releases for reviewer Mark Smotroff — Gandalf’s self-titled 1969 debut and Parliament’s own 1970 debut, Osmium, the latter of which is now expanded into a 2LP Deluxe Edition. Read on to see if either or both of these RSD offerings are worthwhile additions to your own collection. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Mar 15, 2024  |  5 comments

In the circles of soul music fans, Isaac Hayes’ seminal June 1969 LP Hot Buttered Soul is well-known as a landmark recording, an album that helped break down conventions of what a hit soul recording could be. This four-song album originally went gold on the Enterprise label, but Craft Recordings just may have taken Hot Buttered Soul to new aural heights with their recently released AAA Small Batch 180g 1LP edition. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to see if the Small Batch version of this seminal soul LP belongs in your collection, STAT. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Feb 28, 2024  |  3 comments

Rhino High Fidelity (a.k.a. Rhino Hi-Fi) is tackling the first quarter of 2024 head on by serving up a half-dozen new AAA 180g 1LP offerings in their acclaimed series of limited-edition vinyl reissues. Read on to see which six albums — a combination of rock and jazz classics — made the 2024 Q1 AAA Hi-Fi cut. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Feb 22, 2024  |  1 comments

There are seminal jazz albums — and then there is John Coltrane’s January 1965 Impulse! masterpiece, A Love Supreme. Numerous Supreme LP upgrades have been issued over the years — including the most recent and most excellent 11/11 UHQR edition from Analogue Productions — and now VMP enters the picture with their upcoming 180g 8LP mostly AAA limited edition box set that’s been earmarked for a late summer release. Read on to see all that this historic Supreme vinyl box set entails. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Feb 16, 2024  |  4 comments

Craft Recordings’ new four-disc 40th anniversary deluxe edition box set celebrating the timeless, self-titled April 1983 debut LP from Violent Femmes, Milwaukee’s pioneering folk-punk trio, has as its centerpiece an AAA version of the original LP along with one additional LP full of demos and another LP with choice of-era live material, plus a bonus 7-inch single. Read Mark Smotroff’s review of this near-undefinable, infectious slab of post-new-wave, post-punk classic combined with a sizable collection of bonus material all adds up to a worthwhile analog spinning-and-listening investment. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Feb 09, 2024  |  6 comments

In February 1977, Elektra released Marquee Moon, the debut LP by New York’s groundbreaking art rock group Television — but finding a good-sounding vinyl copy of such an acclaimed album has historically been a bit of a challenge. But now, the new AAA 180g 1LP Rhino High Fidelity (RHF) edition of Marquee Moon may have just changed that distinction forever. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to see if this RHF edition finally helps Marquee Moon achieve the untethered, uncompromised, and uncompressed all-analog glory it so richly deserves. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 11, 2024  |  2 comments

Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds have just announced the latest entries in their rightly acclaimed Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series. An even-dozen AAA 180g 1LP titles will be released all throughout 2024, starting on February 23. Read on to see which titles will be in this rightfully acclaimed AAA LP reissue series, and when they’re coming. . .

Mike Mettler, Mark Smotroff  |  Dec 30, 2023  |  14 comments

Looks like another year has gone by with a seemingly endless release-cycle parade consisting of scores of brand-new LPs from both known artists and untested newcomers alike, along with a myriad of archival vinyl reissues and overstuffed box sets galore — a good number of them presented in the much-preferred AAA form to boot. With the calendar set to turn over to 2024 any day now, that means it’s high time to assess the best of what we’ve heard on wax during the past 12 months. Read on to see AP editor Mike Mettler and chief LP reviewer Mark Smotroff’s respective lists of the top archival and new LP releases of 2023. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Dec 28, 2023  |  5 comments

The inherent quality of Jack White’s songwriting and production skills ultimately elevated The White Stripes’ much-celebrated April 2003 LP Elephant to the next level — and Analogue Productions’ new AAA 200g 45rpm 2LP version takes it even higher. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to see why Elephant sets yet another benchmark in the ever-expanding UHQR series. . .

Mike Mettler, Mark Smotroff, Ken Micallef  |  Dec 22, 2023  |  7 comments

That’s right folks, don’t touch that dial — it’s another tag-team album review, just in time for that last-minute holiday push. This time around, AP editor Mike Mettler, along with ace reviewers Mark Smotroff and Ken Micallef, are combining forces to proffer a three-man review of the new 50th anniversary 180g AAA 2LP 45rpm edition of Frank Zappa’s top-shelf September 1973 release, Over-Nite Sensation, an album all three of us regard with great affinity. We also review the limited-edition 3LP version of ONS too, which contains an extra LP of bonus tracks. Read on to see how this Zappa-loving triumvirate of Mike, Mark, and Ken get reety-awrighty with their analysis of a stone-cold classic LP in its new 45rpm incarnation. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Dec 08, 2023  |  0 comments

It’s almost an impossible task trying to “review” an iconic album like Bill Evans Trio’s October 1961 live masterpiece, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, but a new 180g 1LP edition under Craft Recordings’ revival of the Original Jazz Classics series umbrella is most definitely worth a closer look — and listen. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to see why this AAA edition of an all-time jazz classic belongs in your collection. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 18, 2023  |  12 comments

Aja is the fourth (and first non-sequential) entry in Analogue Productions' comprehensive 200g 45rpm 2LP Steely Dan UHQR reissue series — and it’s possibly the most anticipated of them all. Does the UHQR edition of Aja stack up favorably with and/or sound better than the previous LP editions from the label likes of ABC, Mobile Fidelity, and Cisco? Read AP editor Mike Mettler’s in-depth review to find out if the Aja UHQR is worth every bit of those cool 1,500 dime dances it’ll run you tp pick it up (a.k.a. $150, in normal dollars parlance). . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Aug 17, 2023  |  8 comments

Mal Waldron Sextet’s Mal/2 — a new AAA OJC 180g 1LP reissue from Craft Recordings of what some might deem a “lost classic” of vintage, mid-century 1950s jazz — offers important and wonderful music for fans of not only titular pianist Mal Waldron, but also of saxophone legend John Coltrane in particular. Read Mark Smotroff’s review to see why he considers the new OJC Mal/2 LP is essential listening, and why it’s well worth adding to your collection. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Aug 10, 2023  |  21 comments

Pretzel Logic, the third entry in Analogue Productions' comprehensive all-analog 200g 45rpm 2LP Steely Dan UHQR reissue series, is indeed a bit of a different sonic animal than its predecessors, Can’t Buy a Thrill and Countdown to Ecstasy. That’s due in no small part to SD co-founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen wanting the album to have more of a first-call studio musician feel to it overall. Read AP editor Mike Mettler’s in-depth review to find out if the Pretzel Logic UHQR is the kind of record you want on your phonograph. . .

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