Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Years before Burt Bacarach became "hip" once again, well before he had a part in an Austin Powers movie, or wrote songs with Elvis Costello and Ronald Isley, your editor interviewed him. Bacharach's insight into music writing, recording and performing are still fascinating.—MF

In 1970, Simon and Schuster published a book called " How to do Almost Everything" written by syndicated columnist Bert Bacharach. The title refers to a collection of helpful home hints, not son Burt's musical career, but it might as well have.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 03, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
Audio Research's long-promised "final statement" phono preamplifier has finally arrived, and its price is $3500 less than the originally rumored $10,000. That's a pleasant deviation from the audiophile norm, but at $6495, the Reference phono still boasts a steep ticket. That's more than twice the price of the $2495 PH3 SE, AR's previous best—a class sonic act itself.
Michael Fremer  |  Mar 19, 2005  |  0 comments

Does anyone alive sell a song as effortlessly and convincingly as Willie Nelson? Maybe Tony Bennett, and I'm sure there are a few others. Johnny Cash did it with Willie's brand of clarity and economy.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 03, 2005  |  0 comments

When MCA's UNI division originally issued this album in 1970, it became an immediate hit. Though it was Elton's second album (Empty Skies came first), but was issued later in the United States), it was his first produced by Gus Dudgeon and arranged by the brilliant Paul Buckmaster.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 03, 2005  |  0 comments

This famous 1957 “Living Stereo” three-track recording (originally LSC-2201, issued in 1958) was among the first series of bargain-priced BMG SACD's issued last year. A second set has recently been released. By focusing on the “audiophile community,” doubling up the content (two full LP's worth) and selling them for 12 bucks, BMG hit all the right notes, and apparently these are selling well-in the context of what that means in today's shrunken record biz.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 02, 2005  |  0 comments

Lennon's primal scream of a first solo album was, in addition to being a personal catharsis caught on tape, a grow up call to a generation of Beatles fans.

 |  Mar 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Sigur Rós's 1997 debut, recently issued in America, has the group exploring a dense, dark and forbidding subterranean, underwater cave, from which sharp icy tentacles protrude and hellish rumblings shake the firmament.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 01, 2005  |  0 comments

The cover art, a Rasta remake of Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home painted by Eric White, hits all the right notes and promises a good time. Bob's rolling a number, pout-faced into the camera, a bottle of Red-Stripe's on the mantle along with a portrait of the other Bob, and the LP's splayed out on the couch are the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, Bob Marley Live and Desmond Dekker and the Aces's Israelites, containing the hit single which was the first ska/reggae tune heard by most Americans, along with Peter Tosh's Wanted and one additional LP I don't know. There are images of Haile Sellasie on magazine covers, and even a Wailers poster from Wolf and Rissmiller's Country Club a Reseda, CA night spot.

Andy Goldenberg  |  Mar 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Well it took almost a decade but it was worth it! Whether the highly successful Pixies reunion was the catalyst or not, American Music Club (AMC) consisting of Mark Eitzel on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Vudi (Mark Pankler) on lead guitar, Danny Pearson on bass have come up with a set of songs that easily measure up with and perhaps surpass anything in their illustrious canon.

Matthew Greenwald  |  Feb 01, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

“Canvas the town and brush the backdrop…”

Brian was already smoking pot by late 1964, and his first efforts combining reefer and music were promising: most of the songs on side two of The Beach Boys Today, particularly “Please Let Me Wander”, showed Brian expanding on the beautiful, innocent vulnerability which began with “Surfer Girl”. His arranging skills in particular were growing into something completely different by this time, and culminated with the burnished spiritual gauze of Pet Sounds. Brian later revealed that the gleaming introduction to “California Girls” was composed following his maiden L.S.D. voyage. But, Brian Wilson, a man of delicate psyche to begin with, was probably not someone who should have taken large amounts of psychedelics. But along with this, speed - especially a compound called Desputol (sic) - was becoming more and more prevalent in Brian's world. The result was a man with many of the casebook symptoms of abusing the drug, the biggest and most obvious being overwhelming paranoia. Brian began talking about Murry bugging his house, Phil Spector (and his 'mind gangsters') attempting to freak Brian out via director John Frankenheimer's film “Seconds”. Brian's mind must have been like a spooky house of mirrors at the time. Van Dyke later commented, “If you go to the dark side of the moon, you're lucky that you don't get burned up on re-entry…”