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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 27, 2013 11 comments
Sexual obsession, ugly betrayals, bitter kiss-offs, working men's tribulations, murder and mayhem— all of the traditional British balladry fare continue to preoccupy Richard Thompson as they have for decades. While he's moved on occasion through musical fashion, he always manages to return, as he does here, to his ground zero (dis)comfort zone.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 24, 2013 4 comments
Everyone knows that composer John Williams cribbed Holst's "The Planets" for his "Star Wars" soundtrack. Fewer know that the main theme and even the arrangement for "Star Wars" is almost a complete rip of Eric Wolfgang Korngold's score for the movie "King's Row" starring Ronald Reagan, Ann Sheridan and Robert Cummings. People absolutely freak out when I play it for them.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 22, 2013 1 comments
The first 27 of the hundreds of Analog Corners written for Stereophile have now been published on this site with many new accompanying photos courtesy of Ariel Bitran, Stereophile's hard working editorial assistant.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 22, 2013 16 comments
Our intrepid reporter had no idea why 650,000 records were in a warehouse in York, or who owned them, but he took the bait nevertheless. Photos by Michael Fremer.

I heard this story from a manufacturer whose car broke down somewhere in a rundown Queens neighborhood one afternoon: He went into a bodega to make a phone call and struck up a conversation with the owner. Their talk led to audio, then to a trip to the basement of the former record store, where thousands of Living Stereos and other audiophile treasures had been sitting for decades, gathering dust and value. The manufacturer would visit each week and walk out with a few hundred unplayed gems, for which he'd pay a few bucks each.

True story? Audiophile wet dream? Who knows? Who cares? We love this stuff. So when I got a call from Rick Flynn (proprietor of Quality Vinyl, a mail-order, audiophile-oriented record dealer) about 650,000 records—every one of them stone-cold mint—locked in a warehouse in York, Pennsylvania since 1973, and would I like to have a look...I bit.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 20, 2013 8 comments
Here's a company that fell well below my radar screen for years until a reader alerted me to its website. The Electric Recording Company and its founder Pete Hutchison is dedicated to reissuing on vinyl much sought after classical music fare from the early LP era, including those of legendary violinist Johanna Martzy as well as recordings by violinists, Leonid Kogan and Gioconda De Vito, ‘French School’ pianists Yvonne Lefébure and Germaine Thyssens-Valentin and cellist János Starker.. Or as the website describes the musical choices "...iconic 'Holy Grail' recordings by the most revered classical performers."
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 20, 2013 11 comments
With his influences clearly imprinted on his creative sleeve, Adam Duritz and friends created in 1993 one of the last great analog rock recordings. Duritz understood that sound mattered as did producer T-Bone Burnett who continues to treasure the basic sense even when working with diminished budgets.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 19, 2013 4 comments
A record label forensic specialist might be required to trace how The Allman Brothers Band ended up an Island/Def Jam property issued on Mercury Records, all now owned by Universal Music Group. The original was issued in 1969 on the ATCO division of Atlantic Records. Perhaps it had to do with the sale of the late Phil Walden's Capricorn imprint, through which the ATCO deal had been made.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 19, 2013 3 comments
"Record Cleaning Made Difficult", Michael Wayne's definitive and fanatical record cleaning article originally published in The Tracking Angle back in the mid '90s includes use of Allsop's no long in production Orbitrac™, which was a pad based cleaning system that fit over the turntable spindle, allowing you to easily rotate it around the record.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 16, 2013 5 comments
Everything from Nevermind to Damn the Torpedoes was recorded at Sound City. Everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Neil Young recorded there. Now analog tape based Sound City is gone. What a shame.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 16, 2013 10 comments
If you didn't buy the deluxe Pink Moon box set reviewed here by Randy Wells, you are in luck: the upcoming domestic UMG standard reissue, selling for far less, will still be pressed at Optimal in Germany, mastered AAA at Abbey Road, just like the deluxe box set's LP.