Tag Archives: Vinyl

Up next, A series of blogs about Live LP’s…

My next project is to write a series of blogs about 3 very different, but highly collectible “Live” LP’s.  The first blog will be about the worst live album from one of the most famous live bands. I am referring to Steal Your Face” by the Grateful Dead.  This LP is widely considered to be the worst live recording of the Dead.  The LP is still highly collectible, however; because of the album cover.  Exterior condition is almost more important to the value of the LP than the interior condition of the actual vinyl.  Here’s what the cover looks like:

Cincopa WordPress plugin


This is the first appearance of the famous Grateful Dead logo.  I think the album is better than advertised.

Next up will be a “Live” LP from an artist who is also known for his high quality “Live” performances.  This record is a fantastic “Live” LP, but the artist has attempted to suppress it in spite of attempts by his fans to force him to re-release it.  The LP I am referring to is:  Time Fades Away by Neil Young.  When the LP came out it got great reviews and sold over 1,000,000 copies.  It was his first “Live” LP. It was never released on CD and Neil doesn’t even plan to include it in the next volume of his Archives.  He has his reasons and we will discuss them in the blog at that time…

Here’s the album cover:

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Last but not least is a “Live” LP from three Jazz giants: McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, and Sonny Rollins.  This is a truly great “Live” LP, and yet; I had never heard of this album before.  I bought this LP by chance when I bought over 500 LP’s for $50 at a garage sale.  I never knew the three of them had toured together and recorded a “Live” LP!  This is music making at a very high level.  It’s a mystery to me that this LP is not more well known.  The LP is called “Milestone Jazzstars:  Ron Carter, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner – In Concert”

Here’s the Album Cover:

Cincopa WordPress plugin

All three of these LP’s are collectible in their own right. Each is collectible for a different reason. I’m lucky to have all three. Each LP has a fascinating story behind it too. We will delve into each one. First up: The worst “Live” LP from one of the most famous “Live” bands in Rock-n-Roll history. The Grateful Dead – “Steal Your Face”…

Share this:


Share this page via Email


Share this page via Stumble Upon


Share this page via Digg this


Share this page via Facebook


Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Jazz Music, Rock Music, Vinyl | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Great Polk Audio Event at Jim A’s house yesterday!

My friend Jim is a member of an on-line chat room that is focused on Polk Audio Stereo Equipment.  He held a listening party at his house Saturday.  I really enjoyed this event a lot!  First of all I got to hear some great music I haven’t heard before.  Second, I got to hear some great stereo equipment.  The experience provided a rare opportunity to experience a wide variety of sound equipment as well as recording formats.  The equipment varied from small book shelf speakers and small amps to Floor standing speakers being driven by giant power amps.  The recording format went from LP records to digital FLAC files streaming through a DAC converter.  I brought my Rega P-2 and some LP’s as well as a number of different CD’s that were recorded with various audiophile techniques.

I heard a lot of great music.  One CD I enjoyed was Charlie Robinson “Life of the Party”.  Very cool outlaw country sound.  I heard some book shelf speakers that were unreal.  They were the Onix Reference One speakers. ($1200 per pair approx.)  The real treat to me was listening to an LP though a high end Tube Amp, pre-amp and phono-stage.  We listened to Supertramp “Crime of the Century” recorded in Half Speed Master by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and a regular recording of “L A Woman” by The Doors”  Wow what a sound that was!  Cosmic experience deluxe!  The tube amp and pre-amp were made by Golden Tube audio:   the SE40 and the SEP-1 respectively.  The other turntable we heard was an old empire that had major modifications that included a Rega tone arm and a lot of other stuff. I forgot to identify the tube phono-stage.  But it sounded so much better than the built in phono stage that was in the Music Hall integrated amp that we used to power my Rega P-2.  The sound of that old vinyl through all that warm beautiful tube equipment was just a real treat.

It was particularly sweet because yesterday was national Record Store Day.  A day where we celebrate all the Mom and Pop owned record stores in the country.  I think it was a great accidental tribute that Jim’s Polk crew put together.

Along the lines of vinyl vs. digital; check out the May/June Absolute Sound magazine that came out this last week.  They published a letter to the editor I wrote.  My letter concerned a gentleman that wrote in to complain about any coverage the magazine devoted to covering vinyl.  He was very blunt and nasty about his opinion and bashed any and everyone that wasted their time with the “inferior” format of vinyl.  I couldn’t help it.  I had to write  in and defend vinyl.

So a great weekend event and it ended up honoring vinyl on national record store day.  Thank you Jim A. for hosting a great event!  All I have to say is dust off your LP’s and your turntables and use them.  If you don’t have  a turntable get one!  LONG LIVE VINYL!!!!!!!

Share this:


Share this page via Email


Share this page via Stumble Upon


Share this page via Digg this


Share this page via Facebook


Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Life Events | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Nektar to my ears?

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Have you ever heard of Nektar?  I, for one, had not.  This album is really cool.  I really enjoyed listening to it and researching this band.  Nektar was formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1969 by 4 Englishmen.  They started out making psychedelic rock albums.  Their third album was the first one released in the United States. It was called “A Tab in the Ocean”.  They developed a cult following largely by word of mouth.  The next album called “Remember the Future” (1973) was a big hit and made it up to the Billboard top 20 album chart.  It was a concept album about a blind boy who could communicate with Aliens.  The Album I have in front of me now was the follow up.  “Down to Earth” was released the next year (1974).  It is a concept album as well.  It is about a circus.  It also sold well and made it up into the Billboard top 40 album chart.  The album features their only single that made it onto the Billboard charts “Astral Man”.  in 1975 they released the album “Recycled” which is considered their masterpiece.  I have read that is sounds a lot like Gentle Giant.  What is really amazing to me is that they are still around performing and recording.  They reformed in 2002.  As a matter of fact they are in studio now recording a CD for release this year.  Check out their website at http://www.nektarsmusic.com/nn/home/home_new.asp

So let’s review the LP.
Side 1

Astral Man/Nelly the Elephant

Cincopa WordPress plugin

The Album starts with the sounds of a crowd and circus music.  Then the sounds of Astral Man.  It’s a very easy song to listen to.  Upbeat and happy.  All the songs were co-written by the entire band.  The song uses the Master of Ceremonies of the Circus to transition the song into the next cut Nelly the Elephant.  Nelly starts out with a great brass instrumental passacaglia over which the lead guitar blasts out this great fuzz guitar solo. The MC returns “Elephants are extremely fond of Oranges of which they consume an enormous quantity!”  The brass returns and fades out.

Early Morning Clown

Cincopa WordPress plugin

This is a short and very beautiful song.  It sounds like the Moody Blues to me.  I really like the complexity of the opening instrumental.

Side one closes with this great cut That’s Life.  Very jazz influenced.  Great instrumental work.  I really like the guitar work of Roye Albrighton (Lead Guitar, Lead Vocal).  The song closes with the return of the Ring Master on a rant and the chorus.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Side 2

Fidgety Queen:

Cincopa WordPress plugin

The German Ring Master begins side 2 telling us how much we are going to enjoy the show.  Fidgety Queen has the sound of Funk.  Great brass playing.  Once again a great guitar hook in the song followed by another great guitar solo.  The lead vocal has a McCartney like quality to it.

Oh Willy


Cincopa WordPress plugin

This is just a great Rock n Roll song.  It just makes you want to move.  Then it goes into this dream like instrumental section.  Awesome quiet guitar solo that leads to a crescendo and a recap of the rock section.

Little Boy


Cincopa WordPress plugin

This is one of the best songs on LP in my opinion.  It has great lyrics and melody.  It also has a memorable chorus.  It has a sound sort of like old Fleetwood Mac (Pre Buckingham/Nicks) or even old Moody Blues again.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Show Me The Way


Cincopa WordPress plugin

This song starts with great rock piano.  It has an interesting middle  section.  The transition to the slower middle section is very creative. I love the transition back to the main rock them where the vocalist repeats over and over “show me the way”

Finale


Cincopa WordPress plugin

The music fades in and we get one more taste of the great passacaglia of Nelly the Elephant and then fades out.  A really creative interesting album.  Nektar for my ears! n I loved it.

This album makes me want to explore more.  I’d love to find Remember the Future and Recycled.  I look forward to hear the newer music from Nektar as well.  Check them out.  You will not be disappointed.

Share this:


Share this page via Email


Share this page via Stumble Upon


Share this page via Digg this


Share this page via Facebook


Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Vinyl | Tagged , , | 2 Comments