Album Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 30, 2015  |  7 comments
Back in the late 1990s Speakers Corner released the 180 gram LP Oscar Peterson The Lost Tapes (MPS 529-096-1) featuring ten tracks recorded between 1965 and 1968 in the Black Forest villa of MPS Records owner and recording engineer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 20, 2015  |  68 comments
Only one of them had actually ridden a surfboard. They weren’t hot rodders or drag racers and by the time the group formed in 1961 lead vocalist Mike Love was already 20 years old and arguably more a man than a “boy”. Al Jardine was 19 as was Brian Wilson. Brothers Dennis and Carl were, respectively, 17 and 15, so they qualified as “boys”.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 06, 2015  |  61 comments
Born out of desperation (hence the name), with the release of its eponymous debut album containing "Sultans of Swing", Dire Straits was an instant commercial success. Cynics at the time said the tune made Dylan safe for average folks. The album was eventually certified double platinum.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 25, 2015  |  37 comments
If you think audio reviewers can be grouchy, search opinions of this performance of Mahler's 9th Symphony, his final complete work before passing away at age 51.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 22, 2015  |  6 comments
What can these two tow headed little brothers pictured on the cover know about Big Bill Broonzy? Obviously plenty as you'll hear on this inspired collaboration—the Alvin brothers' first together in almost thirty years.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 21, 2015  |  7 comments
The further you get in time from this story the more focused, three-dimensional and confounding it becomes. How deep do you want to dig and how far down have you already dug?

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 05, 2015  |  53 comments
Though Bob Dylan pays tribute here to Frank Sinatra who recorded for Columbia, Capitol and Reprise (which he founded), the record label is a Blue Note facsimile. The cover art also draws from a Blue Note: a blue tinted variant of Freddie Hubbard’s album Hub Tones (BST-ST84115). The back cover is a photo of a tuxedoed Dylan perusing with a masked woman an unidentifiable Sun 45rpm single.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 28, 2015  |  19 comments
You could produce a jazz record today using ProTools at 192/24 or lower resolution, create a CD master, have it manufactured and then release it. To get in on the “vinyl resurgence”, you could use that 16 bit/44.1k master to cut lacquers and press records at a commercial pressing plant. It’s done all too often, I’m sure.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 23, 2015  |  27 comments
While this much-loved Blue Note lists Adderley as the group leader, this pick-up session—recorded in 1958, just before Kind of Blue—sounds, for the most part, as if Miles Davis is in control and was labeled as an Adderley session due to contractual issues.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 23, 2014  |  11 comments
Second albums make or break pop artists. If the first one was a smash the second one had also better be or you risk the "one hit wonder" label. That's what happened to Christopher Cross, Marshall Crenshaw and more recently James Blunt, even though Cross and Crenshaw followed up their debuts with many good records—or at least good tunes. They just didn't produce chart hits.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 10, 2014  |  26 comments
On the analogplanet we greet with great enthusiasm news of a carefully considered reissue project like this, but clearly that’s not the case elsewhere. While poking around the Internet looking for background information I came upon a bizarre and surprising series of comments on, of all places Rolling Stone magazine’s website.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 09, 2014  |  9 comments
If you already own Sunday at The Village Vanguard and Waltz For Debby you have two album's worth of material from that magical afternoon and evening of June 25, 1961 that the producer Orrin Keepnews deemed worthy of releasing.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 05, 2014  |  48 comments
The Internet has diminished the number of "record fairs" but there still are some. When I go to "record fairs" l like to "play against type". If I see a vendor who looks like Elvis Presley (and there is/was one), I know his 50s rock records are going to be good but expensive so I'd rather rummage through the boxes of $1 records he's put on the floor under his table. That's where he puts the "junk" about which he knows nothing.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 26, 2014  |  2 comments
This double LP compilation pressed on "tie dyed" colored vinyl includes previously released Mardi Gras Records recordings from the seven brass bands featured on this surprisingly entertaining set.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 17, 2014  |  47 comments
The third Led Zeppelin album has its heavy moments but most often the pace is faster, the groove lighter and at times it's downright celebratory.

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