Saturday, April 22, 2023

Review: RSD Edition of the Rolling Stones' 'Beggars Banquet' on Colored Vinyl

When last ABKCO reissued The Rolling Stones'  Beggars Banquet on stereo vinyl, the record arrived as the usual black plastic disc but with a sly slipcover depicting the bowdlerized white-invitation cover and a bonus twelve-inch single featuring "Sympathy for the Devil" in its rare mono mix. That was for the LP's fiftieth anniversary. For its fifty-fifth, ABKCO is rolling the Stones' best out again but without the slipcover, the single, or the blackness.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Review: Paul McCartney and Wings''Red Rose Speedway' RSD Half-Speed Mastered Vinyl

Paul McCartney was the most exacting Beatle, the guy who wrote such classically structured perfections as "Yesterday" and "Martha My Dear" and such imaginative yet insightful lyrics as "Eleanor Rigby" and "You Never Give Me Your Money", and the guy who steered the band's most classically artful production, Sgt. Pepper's. So it was certainly more than a shock when he began his solo career with the utterly offhand McCartney and decided to cut his first album with his new band, Wings, without getting together many actual songs first. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Review: Howlin Wolf's 'Howlin' Blues: Selected A & B Sides, 1951 - 1962'

Sometimes I get a bit concerned that regular Psychobabble readers might be under the impression that I'm so dazzled by free records that I tend to go easy on them when it comes time to write my reviews. The truth is, most of my reviews skew toward the positive because I almost always review records by artists I really like and I've rarely encountered bungled pressings. Some mastering jobs may be too bass- or treble-heavy, or may feature some unwanted distortions, but such problems are rarely egregious, so I'll mention them in my reviews but refrain from harping on them.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Review: RSD Picture Disc Edition of 'Violent Femmes'

Violent Femmes managed to find an unexplored nook of punk's potential when they filtered Buzzcocks sexual angst and attitude through a sieve of gauzy acoustic instruments. The sound was invigorating and fierce but also deeply textured and quite beautiful, spectacularly new yet antiqued. Plus bassist Brian Ritchie proved that punk and virtuosity were not mutually exclusive. Few debut albums are better or more fully realized than Violent Femmes, and forty years down the road, I still can't think of too many bands with the audacity to cop its "folk-punk" sound (although you could probably convince me that Belle & Sebastian would never have existed without "Good Feeling"). 
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