Why I Love Collecting Vinyl (Records)

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  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Oh yeah I got that on vinyl a few years before I even got a turntable! I played it recently, it's good, if you like that kind of thing, the wartime pianist Charlie Kunz is your man.

    Of course I got it because it's mentioned in a Fleming Bond novel, not sure which one, as I suspect is the reason Mr Potts did too.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Mr SnowMr Snow Station "J" JamaicaPosts: 1,733MI6 Agent

    Of course I got it because it's mentioned in a Fleming Bond novel, not sure which one, as I suspect is the reason Mr Potts did too.

    It's in DAF - Chapter 5 to be specific. caractacus potts mentions Tiffany Case at the bottom of his post.
    "Everyone knows rock n' roll attained perfection in 1974; It's a scientific fact". - Homer J Simpson
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Well, I got round to listening to the vinyl reissue of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

    :# I don't like it.

    It sounds way too smooth and somehow smothered, like the vitality has been taken out of it. There's nothing wrong with it exactly but I can't rave about it either.
    I'm talking about this vinyl really, not the body of work. It makes me want to hear the original LP version, to hear it properly.

    I don't know why there's this variation. I played a track off Voice of the Beehives' album and that just sounds great, so does the single I have. It really sells vinyl, but this doesn't.

    Band on the Run was also released in 73 and my copy makes it sound like a better album than Floyd's, and maybe it is, bit it's a second hand LP I picked up in a library sale in the early 1980s. It just sounds great, authentic. Maybe the reissue doesn't sound much however.

    Then I played the reissue of Please Please Me LP in mono analogue and again, it just doesn't work for me. It doesn't have that rattley, bluesy, fresh rock n roll authenticity. They did say at the time they'd tweaked it a bit for the modern age and that may be it, I'm playing these on a £120 turntable (Pioneer) and maybe they're doing these for turntables worth a grand.

    I won't be getting these reissues. I don't know why I can play Sinatra's Come Fly With Me and it sounds just great, then you get another copy and the vinyl quality isn't as rich, ditto for The Lion in Winter soundtrack by John Barry. One is rich quality, but scuffed so I get a replacement which looks the same and yet it isn't. Like getting corked wine.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    A Hard Day's Night LP.

    I picked up the mono vinyl with the yellow Parlophone label on eBay - the original, not the tweaked remastered version of recent years.

    It sounds great, just as the Beatles ought. In mono it has a darker, noisier more monochrome feel to it. It's more Northern Soul, so it gives an edge to what I might usually see as sappy pop songs like Tell Me Why and I'm Happy Just to Dance With You - the former is on this a dementedly jolly noisy stomper.

    It's all Lennon and McCartney, no covers perhaps because it was a movie soundtrack and they wanted to maximise profits. Ringo doesn't sing at all, possibly a bonus, as it often feels like they're just trying to do him a favour. Unusually, this LP has the singles of the day on it AND the B-sides such as You Can't Do That and Things We Said Today. Often, not even the singles made it on to the albums eg I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, I Feel Fine etc and B-sides never made the album.

    It's a great listen. I wouldn't bother with it at all on CD however. It's got to be mono, got to be vinyl, and really should be on the Yellow Parlophone label but again, not the recent remaster, which I found way too smooth.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent
    A Hard Day's Night
    yeh that's my favourite one prior to Rubber Soul, and one folks generally don't know about, assuming those first five albums were all simplistic teenybopper pop. A Hard Day's Night was a major step forward in songwriting and instrumentation. My favourite track is "If I Fell".
    It's all Lennon and McCartney, no covers perhaps because it was a movie soundtrack and they wanted to maximise profits. Ringo doesn't sing at all, possibly a bonus, as it often feels like they're just trying to do him a favour. Unusually, this LP has the singles of the day on it AND the B-sides such as "You Can't Do That" and "Things We Said Today".
    The EP Long Tall Sally is basically the non-lp single directly associated with the album in this case. I think those four songs on the EP all came from the same recording sessions and the artwork features the same font. Ringo sings the cover toon "Matchbox" on that EP, so maybe his usual vocal spot got shuffled onto the EP when they realised they had enough new Lennon-McCartney originals to fill a whole album. George sings "Happy Just to Dance with You", they would sometimes give him a weaker Lennon-McCartney toon to sing instead of a cover version, on the albums before he started writing his own material.

    Also it's not just all Lennon-McCartney. It is almost entirely Lennon toons, I thing Paul wrote at most three and John wrote all the rest. John was at his creative peak at this time, way earlier than the albums generally considered cool to listen to, and I think this is the most Lennon-dominant album.

    Help! also included two singles on the album, I think because aHDN and Help!were both soundtrack albums someone felt the expected hits heard in the movie ought to be on the official soundtrack (also in both cases the first single was the title track of the movie, so it'd be strange to leave it off). But in the case of the two Help! singles, they each had non-lp exclusive b-sides: "I'm Down" and "Yes It Is".
    Otherwise, typically each British album had a corresponding non-lp single derived from the same recording sessions, it's a fun game to figure out which single corresponds to which album.
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    Picked up the Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition (4 LPs) of “The Beatles” (White Album) - the Giles Martin-remastered stereo version, and the famous acoustic Escher ‘demo sessions.’ I’ve heard the latter, which is great listening, and am looking forward to the former...should be a nice compliment to my mono edition -{
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Not to disregard Loeff's White Album post, but I've been meaning to respond to c potts.

    The journalist Maureen Cleeve is one to thank re the song A Hard Day's Night, as Lennon's original line went: 'But when I get home to you / I find my tiredness is through' and Ms Cleeve pointed out it was a bit of a weak line, and suggested instead 'I find the things that you do' which is a much sharper, sexier line.

    It's a bit like the edit Lennon did on Macca's I Saw Her Standing There, which originally went 'Well she was just seventeen / Never been a beauty queen'.

    Sadly Cleeve wasn't there to sit in on Lennon's other songs on the album, namely the awful line 'I'm gonna love her til the cows come home' on When I Get Home, and it's hard not to snigger when you hear him sing 'I've got a big surprise' on the closing track.

    That said, hearing all this in mono on the yellow Parlophone label (the original, not the recent reissues) none of this matters of course, as it all sounds so brilliant.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    I'll now discuss the mono version of Revolver.

    cover-1619972009.jpg

    Generally I'd say most of the early Beatles LPs are best in mono, as they were meant to be heard, with Beatles for Sale and Help! being possible exceptions.

    I got Please Please Me, the original mono, and it sounds great, really vibrant and bracing and loud, unlike the recent remastered edition on 180g don't you know, I mean really it just doesn't do it for me at all, it's like mogadon.

    That said, it is winter now and that harder, more brittle and darker sound maybe works better for this time of year. Beatles LPs did come out in winter quite a lot, I think. On my original LP - and this is the yellow Parlophone label, vinyl of course - it might be that some songs are prettier on stereo, such as Ask Me Why, and the backing vocals by George on Do You Want to Know a Secret and Anna sound a bit slurry and distracting.

    Now, this darker mono sound works well with Revolver's monochrome design. Taxman works well, it's rockier and messier and angrier, which helps distract from its rather routine melody. The stereo version is daft, really bad with rhythm section in one speaker and vocals in another. Now, Eleanor Rigby really has an awful stereo vocal jump early on, which you don't get on the mono (the best stereo version might be on the Yellow Submarine Songbook album). Aside from that, the mono is darker and quite gripping, almost apocolyptic. The stereo one is a bit George Martin doing a nice orchestral arrangement, it's a bit Pepperland. It's the same song, same arrangment, but it's far less cosy on the mono.

    Another one that benefits is Here, There and Everywhere - it's a bit tighter and cooler, the electric guitar backing comes through better.
    But otherwise, you could argue Revolver is a summer record and in the book Shout! the author does a great paragraph about how it summed up the summer of 66. And stereo does make for a lighter, more shimmering sound, it's a summer sound imo. So I'm Only Sleeping and Good Day Sunshine might be better in stereo and the whole thing might be more expansive.

    I'm afraid George's other songs sound quite dirgelike in mono and might be better in the other format. Part of me thinks, they could have put on Paperback Writer instead but of course his Indian thing did add another perspective.

    Maybe the true Beatle fan could have 2 versions of Revolver, one for winter and one for summer! :D
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Just me then...

    download.jpg

    I listened to the CD of this brilliant and quirky Who album which is not quite a concept album. It is spotted with spoof pirate radio jingles and ads of the day and such stuff, before plunging into a new song. It works really well, the jingles set up the new song really well and it flows great.

    But should I get the album on vinyl? You do the research and it seems some like it in mono, others say the psychedelic era is better in stereo. Another says the American single of I Can See for Miles knocks all the others into a cocked hat. Most agree that one track on the mono has an awful bit of mixing or jump cut, but another says a later pressing rectifies this.

    Give a man a choice and you give him a dilemma. :(
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    Just me then...

    download.jpg

    I listened to the CD of this brilliant and quirky Who album which is not quite a concept album. It is spotted with spoof pirate radio jingles and ads of the day and such stuff, before plunging into a new song. It works really well, the jingles set up the new song really well and it flows great.

    But should I get the album on vinyl? You do the research and it seems some like it in mono, others say the psychedelic era is better in stereo. Another says the American single of I Can See for Miles knocks all the others into a cocked hat. Most agree that one track on the mono has an awful bit of mixing or jump cut, but another says a later pressing rectifies this.

    Give a man a choice and you give him a dilemma. :(

    I have the vinyl. I think you should get it {[]
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Ah, but which one? Mono or stereo?
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    Mine is stereo. Got it for a very friendly price, so I didn’t quarrel.
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    On a Bond-related note, I've recently (finally!) begun acquiring the original Connery Bond soundtracks on vinyl - all old, vintage copies - DN in stereo, FRWL and GF in mono(!), TB, YOLT, and DAF all in stereo. What a blast.

    P.S. Got OHMSS in stereo as well.

    They (literally) really don't make 'em like that anymore :007)
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Ah... there was a compilation I was going to recommend for you and never got round to it. :#
    download.jpg
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    Ah... there was a compilation I was going to recommend for you and never got round to it. :#
    download.jpg

    There is a vinyl release out there with the first 13 theme songs on it that I used to have...and might again - it's handy to have all of the main title themes in one place. Alas, I don't see any double- or triple-LP compendiums available with the full run. I'm sure they'll do it at some point.
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    I picked up Barry's soundtrack to Out of Africa on vinyl.

    Now, the theme to Out of Africa is famously brilliant and imo should have been released as a single, just as you come across second-hand singles of Lawrence of Arabia from back in the day. Then again, maybe not because the single of Chariots of Fire didn't dent the top 10 on its release, and that was a massive film. Out of Africa wasn't a massive hit.

    It appears that John Barry agreed with my assessment of the theme, as it features no less than three times on his soundtrack. It's an LP with a wide areola around the central nipple - that's the area where there is no music, the equivalent of a wide margin on a Word document, but I prefer the nipple/areola analogy myself.
    Another theme sounds a bit like Moonlight in Vermont, which is also duplicated in various forms. Another will have you going 'You Only Live Twice' 10 seconds in. One bit of music is by Mozart, which may be in the film I guess, but is a bit of a swizz, especially as one who bought the Moonraker soundtrack as a kid and expected to hear the classical bit accompanying the jokey gondola ride.
    Ironically Moonraker had cues to spare, which never made it on to any soundtrack, even the remastered extended CD, due to copyright reasons I understand.

    The Out of Africa soundtrack is just the wrongside of soporific to me. Maybe the film needed a change of pace, a dogfight or something, to allow Barry to liven things up! An album like Moonraker is streets ahead, but the film was not Oscar-worthy, as Barry more or less pointed out when he explained why some of his scores won Oscars and others didn't.

    I also picked up Barry's Cotton Club soundtrack from a local tat shop. Maybe I am in the wrong mood, but while this 1920s homage is lively, it's a bit thin sounding and anaemic. It's generic 1920s flapper music, or at least side 1 is, and would sound better in mono and on a 78. Some mid-80s vinyl cheats you out of the big experience.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Sticking with The Cotton Club, it seems that Barry only wrote two tracks for the album. The rest are reworkings of classic tracks by Duke Ellington et al. Barry produced the album, but oddly I understood that Richard Gere had insisted he play the coronet for the film, but he's not on the music credits at all.

    It would make a pretty good companion piece with The Untouchables which came out later in the decade. Really, one misses those Geoff Love type compilation albums, you could have a double album of 1980s soundtrack music, with one side consisting of Out of Africa, Chariots of Fire, Cotton Club and Untouchables cues, another side sci-fi stuff.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Now I'll break ranks and explain what I don't like about vinyl records.

    I've yet to get a good version of the Beatles single Paperback Writer. It just sounds a bit discordant (to be fair, the harmonies aren't Who standard). In fact, few of my Beatles singles really pass muster. Reasons may be because production values weren't so good back then, it seems to me most 70s singles sound better all things being equal. Abba's production was great, v thorough because of advances. Not saying Abba were better than the Beatles, but some of their songs or rather records sound better.

    It reminds me of an argument I had in the early 1980s when I said that modern records were only better because of the technological advances. 'Yeah, that's why they're better' the other guy replied, and he had a point.

    60s records may also sound worse because they're older and got played more, plus they got bought by teens who could not afford much because of pocket money restrictions, so those few records got played more and worn out.

    Also, 'modern' songs like the Kaiser Chiefs or the Killers - I bought the singles and they sound horrible really. Like someone took the digital track and just pressed it on vinyl, which is likely what happened. On the other hand, Supertramp's Logical Song, which is not a great song imo, sounds great on vinyl.
    You might argue this was done deliberately to make CDs and digital sound better, the idea being you run down the competition, that is run down one sector to enhance the other - a bit like what's happening to the NHS to benefit the private sector.
    I won't be getting any more singles from bands in the early Noughties, no matter how good the song. And the same applies to these modern vinyl reissues, even if they say it's 180g, they just don't sound right to me. Wish that they did.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent
    my understanding:
    rock/pop singles in the 1960s were aimed at teenagers who mostly listened to the music on transistor radios, car radios, juke boxes, or portable record players. So they were engineered to sound punchy on those types of systems, not hifi stereos.

    The parents was more likely to have a quality hifi stereo upstairs in the living room, and there was a whole separate set of music available for the parents: Sinatra, broadway cast recordings, exotica ... those types of records, marketed to parents in the early/mid60s, are more likely to have what we consider good sound than the rock/pop aimed at the kids.
    The original Casino Royale soundtrack, for example, is considered to have great sound quality, and that Burt Bacharach music wasn't aimed at the kids.

    It wasn't til the late 60s that the kids themselves were more likely to be listening to their records on quality equipment. Why the White Album was the first Beatles album to start with a dedicated stereo mix, instead of the format being an afterthought.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    That's an excellent and evocative reply. Makes sense. Mind you, some early singles sound good anyway - Everley Brothers, for instance.
    Ticket To Ride sounds good, as does Hello Goodbye B side I am the Walrus; in mono it's quite dark and punky.
    Certainly the Sinatra Capital albums that preceded all that sound much better.

    When reissuing and remastering the Beatles albums they tweaked them a bit most likely for the reasons you've given - but the Please Please Me mono remastered I paid out for is unlistenable to me, so I play the battered one I got off eBay, which is a bit brittle but rocks.
    Thing is, does it mean I should get a Dansette to listen to those old Beatle singles? It's all a bit much.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Beguiled at finding a slew of Beatles singles in my local tat shop, I snapped up a few. :) I never learn, do I? :#
    They just don't sound right. I go with what Potts says above, though some 60s singles like the James Bond theme and Goldfinger sound great - a bit raw, a bit bracing, but the real deal.
    Often vinyl is a moment of epiphany, when you go: 'That's how it's meant to sound!' The only Beatle singles I like the sound of are Ticket to Ride (it sounds great in mono, dark, grungey and forboding), Hello Goodbye's B-side I am the Walrus (quite punky in mono) and, okay, the double A of Something and Come Together, which for some reason is on a heavy quality single vinyl, as if it's an old 180g LP.
    Otherwise, the singles I have sound a bit tinny and wearing. You can see why having the Beatles on CD sounded better!

    This is in contrast to how they sound on the LPs of the time, in particular the yellow Parlophone label, where they sound great!
    But these songs usually did not show up on the LPs. Which begs the question, usually the US use of the Beatles stank, as they hived off songs for compilation albums and tinkered with them. One side of Help! for instance, is rubbish instrumental soundtrack music. Rubber Soul in America begins with I've Just Seen a Face, which was taken from Help! But in some instances, might there be examples where the US version might be better in that it would have had the Beatle singles included, and on quality vinyl (assuming it was quality in the US and not chlorinated chicken rubbish).

    Of course, you get to solo Beatles singles like My Sweet Lord, Band on the Run and No 9 Dream and they all sound Fab. Ironic.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    I bought the Beatles 'comeback' single Free As A Bird on vinyl.

    But it really is a dog of a record, I cannot be turned on to it. I'm glad it didn't get to number 1.

    It's a dirge.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,314Chief of Staff
    I bought the Beatles 'comeback' single Free As A Bird on vinyl.

    But it really is a dog of a record, I cannot be turned on to it. I'm glad it didn't get to number 1.

    It's a dirge.

    Whilst it’s not a patch on the stuff they knocked out in their heyday, I think calling it “a dirge” is a tad strong :o

    I think it suffers most from the fact the surviving 3 each had too much input into how it sounded...instead of leaving it to the producer.
    YNWA 97
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent
    Vinyl sales the highest for 30 years, says the news today oh boy.

    My Christmas purchases were among them: Macca's new album, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and Michael Buble's Christmas album (it's like buying the bbq set when summer comes, it's that kind of purchase.)

    I've yet to listen to Macca's, I'm prepared to be disappointed. He's sort of still got it, but he sabotages his own output. Will listen with a bottle of red. Thing is, it IS amazing that he and his Fab mates released their first single I think the same week that Dr No came out, and so many decades on they still seem to be working in tandem. I thought I have the pleasure of his new output, just as I might buy the new Bond continuation novel.

    But I won't be buying any new vinyl.

    It just doesn't sound right to me. Smells Like... sounds muted, too mellow, the tannin taken out of the red. I want it to fire me up and so on, not sink back into an armchair. I've found this with every new vinyl reissue, be it Pink Floyd's Dark Side, the Beatles' Please Please Me (I then got one of the original ones and it sounds great) and so on.

    It's eBay from now on. The whole thing seems a massive swizz. Why can't they make vinyl like they used to?
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent

    Well, I did get around to playing my vinyl copy of McCartney III.

    It is really rather good. I don't want to talk it up too much... it is on vinyl, which lends it a warmer sound. This particular vinyl sounds brilliant, unlike the other stuff I've been getting.

    Macca's voice doesn't sound so bad on this, it's sort of buried in the mix. This is a sunny afternoon second glass of French Malbec sort of record. The vibe is the album Let It Be, though no songs specifically remind you of any of that. It's just natural, acoustic-ish. Macca's now thin voice is not overwhelmed by big modern studio production sounds.

    The songs are very natural, nothing contrived in the lyrics, no 'we'll pad this out' middle eights, a common Macca flaw of late. They are also finished, rather than sounding like lazy jams or inspired B-sides or throwaways.

    I'll admit that I heard Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt which is brilliant and yet his voice is kind of shot on that, it's just, it works to the song's advantage. Now, I bought McCartney III on the basis that, basically, this guy is still alive while Lennon got shot 40 years ago. Imagine if Lennon were alive suddenly, you'd snap up his album to celebrate the fact. Why not Macca? And there's a song on the first side that sounds to my ears as good as Cash's Hurt, but then you remember of course - McCartney actually wrote this. It's not a cover.

    I've only listened to Side 1 of this album. Why? Because after that I'm done. It really does seem that good, likewise I've not listened to Side 2 of The Who Sell Out. Side 1 ends with I Can See For Miles, it peaks really a bit like Side 1 of The White Album.

    This is the first McCartney album I've bought since Electric Arguments I think, and while Macca's voice is not really there as in days of yore, it just doesn't really matter. The album has been remade with other vocals on it - St Etienne for instance, and Beck - but it got slightly snippy reviews I think because a) Really the instrumentation on the original is very good, it doesn't need to be remade and b) The project puts me in mind of those Beatle cover albums of Revolver or Sgt Pepper that mags like Mojo used to put out, you'd look forward to it but then realise the Beatles nailed it the first time round really. I can't think of many Beatle covers that improve on the original frankly, be they by Bassey, Monro or Sinatra.

    The album is called McCartney III as a kind of sequel to McCartney (1970) and McCartney II (1980) so it's to mark the turn of a decade and also reflect the social distancing of lockdown, the idea being he sort of noodles around and plays everything himself. Ironically, if he produced this himself, as I think he did mostly on Band on the Run, then he seems to do a better job than the producers he gets in.

    I recommend this album for Beatle fans, along with the French Malbec you can pick up from Asda for just a fiver.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent

    Napster said:

    Beguiled at finding a slew of Beatles singles in my local tat shop, I snapped up a few. I never learn, do I?

    They just don't sound right.

    were these singles on the Parlophone label or Capitol?

    the early Capitol releases (ie the American versions) were remixed by an employee named Dave Dexter, to give them a more American pop music sound, typically more reverb like the Motown records of the time. That could explain the difference in sound you hear. Also the records may have been well played by teenagers long ago, worn out grooves would have lost information.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent

    They were UK singles. The whole Capital thing is odd - the albums weren't the same as the UK ones, were they - different tracks on them.

    What is odd that older Beatle fans may prefer the 'messed about' singles if that's what they came to know and love. I think these just were played too much but there's hardly ever a time when I hear one and think. 'That's it!' I've had that with some of the early Beatle LPs in mono - in particular A Hard Day's Night, though some like Beatles for Sale and Help! are said to be largely better in stereo.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent

    if you ever want to see nerds swearing bloodfeuds over popculture detritus, check out some of the threads on the Steve Hoffman Forum where they argue if the Beatles' Capitol albums actually qualify as albums. We are such well behaved nerds compared to some of the other nerd communities online. These poor people: the standardised ceedee catalog revealed their entire childhood memories were a lie! but wait, the reason we still remember the Beatles is because of their success in America, therefor its the UK catalog that's not valid! oh yeh? yeh! oh yeh? yeh! oh yeh? yeh! etc...

    I know George Martin did crude stereo mixes for the first couple albums: voices hardpanned to one speaker, instruments hardpanned to the other. He did proper stereo mixes for the next couple, then went back to the crude mixes for one or two when you'd expect them to sound better, before getting serious again with Revolver. I don't remember exactly which is which, but Beatles for Sale (a lesser loved album) has a very lush detailed stereo sound, especially the opening guitars in Words of Love. Whereas Rubber Soul (one of their best regarded albums) is back to the crude voices/instruments split. I don't think there even are stereo mixes for the first couple singles.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,193MI6 Agent

    I wonder if any Capital albums are actually better than the Parlophone ones? Possibly Meet the Beatles - renamed from With the Beatles as the Fabs had only just broken America then? It kicks off with I Want to Hold Your Hand then I Saw Her Standing There before going with It Won't Be Long, the original debut track.

    I also wonder if there were any Capital Odds and S*ds releases around 65 or 66 that might hold up?

    One reason that Sgt Pepper may have blown them away was that it was the first time any Beatles' LP had gone straight to shelves without this kind of chlorinated chicken watering down that the Americans did back then. What's odd is that even Do You Want to Know a Secret? - a simple decent track off the first album - was made a single in the US where it climbed to No 2. Okay, it was covered and Top Tenned in the UK so it had legs but even so. No quality control.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent

    being on the wrong side of the pond, I started with the Capitol discography, so heard them all the "wrong" way for years. I did pick up a UK Revolver, because that was an obvious upgrade (3 extra Lennon songs, and no substitutions to complicate things) but it was over a decade before I got the "real" Rubber Soul and another decade before I got the rest of the early ones (plus the British Rarities for the b-sides). I used to try to make cassette dubs with the songs in the "correct" order, but that was a lot of work. Thankfully we now have playlists to do that sort of thing in a matter of seconds.


    Capitol albums that are arguably better?

    Meet the Beatles as you say is a good one: by adding the a and b side of the current single and removing most of the cover versions, it presents an album of almost all originals including one George song, thus proving the case they were songwriters not just performers (and was the album that fueled Beatlemania in the States, thus arguably the foundation of their long-term legacy) . Then the leftovers form most of the Beatles Second Album, almost all fast noisy rocknroll covers, a good consistent listen on its own.

    similarly Beatles 65 strips Beatles for Sale down to the very best bits plus once again including both sides of the current single. (Though personally I never appreciated this era until I heard Beatles for Sale.)

    Best of all is the American Rubber Soul, which replaces some of the more up-tempo numbers with mostly acoustic leftovers from Help!, resulting in a more consistent folk rock album truly worthy of the cover.

    The Odds n Sods release from round 66 is Yesterday and Today. All those singles and leftover album tracks from Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver sound very good together like that. Though I think there's two(!) Ringo toons so its not perfect.

    Magical Mystery Tour is of course an American album that got added to the British catalog sometime in the 70s. Those songs were all originally released as ep's or singles in the UK. I think it actually adds up to a better psychedelic album than Sgt Pepper.

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