Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

The sound of this reissue is so spectacular, Classic can be forgiven for using the wrong cover art. They scanned a second pressing. The “SLP 18000 STEREO” is inside a mustard colored banner back and front on the first press, and the banner points to a Monument logo.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Whatever fans might hope for on a McCartney album is here: thoughtful pop tunes, accomplished melodic invention, focused, meticulous production and comforting glints of The Beatles. More importantly, what McCartney detractors (including the Beatles fans among them) might expect is missing: namely sugary confections, shlock-rock, and corny lyrics.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Back in the late 1950’s, veteran alto sax player, bandleader and arranger Benny Carter, who died at 95 back in July of 2003, spent much of his time arranging for television shows, among them Lee Marvin’s Chicago-based cop show “M-Squad”. Why no label has reissued 1959’s The Music From M Squad (RCA Living Stereo LSP-2062) remains a mystery to me. It’s got great big band “crime” music, much of which was arranged by Carter and written by him, session conductor Stanley Wilson, Count Basie and “Johnny Williams” (thatJohn Williams). Recorded by the great Al Schmitt at RCA Victor Music Center of The World, LA, it also sounds pretty damn good!

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

The release of “The Autobiography of Donovan, The Hurdy Gurdy Man,” last December, unleashed a publicity juggernaut that had the ‘60’s icon returning to the public eye with perhaps greater intensity than he experienced during the height of his original success (though without the #1 hits, of course).

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Veteran blues guitarist Walter Trout is obviously well known within blues circles and among blues fans I asked, but the name doesn’t elicit much of a response outside the blues core.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Issued in 1982 as the couple were going through a painful divorce, Richard and Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out The Lights became an immediate critic’s “must have” album. Despite the wildly enthusiastic world-wide press and the couple’s brave decision to tour in support of the album despite their personal acrimony, it was never a big seller.

Roger Hahn  |  Dec 31, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

This story, posted last fall, wondered about the fate of our Tracking Angle New Orleans correspondent Roger Hahn. Mid way through January, Hahn found us through a friend who\'d done an internet search on his name and came upon this piece, originally published in the Summer of 1998. Hahn will once again contribute, this time online at

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

At the end of Part 1, Mr. Porter had just left RCA Studios.

MF: Why did you leave?

BP: I left RCA because they tried to dictate to me and I wasn't gonna be dictated to.

MF: Dictate to you what?

BP: I had a small publishing company and they told me it was a conflict of interest. I said, 'How can that be, everybody else has got one. Chet has one.” “yes, but you work with a lot of different clients.” “Yes, but I'm not abusing the privilege.” So they said either the publishing company or you go. So I made my decision. The legal department said there was nothing wrong, but personnel did. Steve Sholes called and said “Now Bill, please don't leave.” “ I said story Steve.”

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 31, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  1 comments

BP: I didn't pull out all the live recordings I've done. This is Homer and Jethro from 1962. Now at all the live recordings at RCA, Victor went to extreme lengths to modify the tape machines to increase the signal-to- noise ratio. And I copied some of those same principles in the studio back in Nashville. And primarily, it's putting in low noise resistors-everything is tube amplified, of course-in the front end and changing to a high-quality capacitor. So they usually were able to get the S/N ratio about 10dB better. You were telling me a while ago that you couldn't hear any hiss on my recordings. That's one of the reasons. And also you're not hearing third and fourth generations on my recordings. I didn't let them out the door that way.

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

Porter, not really blindfolded, was kept in the dark about what he was listening to, then asked to comment before it was revealed. (The subsequent identifications have been edited out of the transcript).

1)Dionne Warwick: “People Got To Be Free” Soulful (Produced by Chips Moman and Dionne Warwick, no engineering credit) Scepter (German) SHA-S 401

BP: It's not bad. It's been electronically gimmicked slightly. You can hear it on the horns and voices. It sounds like, to me, a second-or third generation tape that's been equalized to compensate for whatever deficiencies they heard.