Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  1 comments

MF: Just to change the subject, do you know who P.D. Ouspensky is?

RR: Yes.

MF: Did you read “In Search of the Miraculous?”

RR: Yes.

MF: That book changed my life. I don’t live it but he managed to merge mysticism with science and create a music-based universe.

RR: Have you ever listened to the Gurdjieff piano pieces?

MF: Keith Jarrett recorded some, and Thomas D. Hartmann?

RR: Yes. They are so beautiful. I listen to those quite a lot.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  2 comments

MF: You seem like the kind of person who looks around and sees what’s bother you in music—things that are not being done—and you do them. I mean, that’s how you got started in music, essentially. So who’s out there now that’s lying fallow that need to be re-cultivated? Don’t say Yoko Ono.

RR: There are a couple, but I can’t talk about it yet. A couple that I think could really be special.

MF: Have you approached any of them?

RR: A couple.

MF: Well they’ve seen what you’ve done so I can’t imagine it will be as difficult as it might have been getting to Johnny Cash. How about Neil Diamond as a person to do a record with?

RR: He’s one of my favorite artists of all time. Incredible.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  3 comments

MF: For the most part, you chose the material; it was only a few people who…

Martin: Pretty well, pretty well. I mean the idea of Vanessa Mae doing "Because": The idea of a mini violin concerto came first, and I had to find someone to play it.

MF: But she put so much into that. Sometimes that kind of thing doesn’t work—when you try to “classical-ify” something. But that was very good.

So aside from the Beatles, who were the most memorable artists that you’ve produced? Any standouts?

Martin: Any other artists? Well, I’ve been so lucky to produce so many people. It’s difficult to name one. It’s like saying, what’s your favorite track? Obviously, Peter Sellers comes pretty high on that list. We worked very well together.

Dr. Flamboid S. Squeeziasky  |  Apr 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Patricia Barber’s familiar, well-loved live album Companion (so designated because Barber conceived of it as a “companion” to her previous studio album Modern Cool) —long available on180g vinyl and CD—is now out on a superb sounding hybrid SACD mastered via Mobile Fidelity’s Gain 2™ system. Three evenings worth of performances at Chicago’s famed Green Mill nightspot captured to high resolution digital by famed jazz engineer Jim Anderson were distilled down by Ms. Barber to create the original album. For this issue she’s allowed Mo-Fi to add the bonus track “You Are My Sunshine,” but all involved decided against a revisionist multi-channel remix, so 2 channels are all you get, which for many will be enough and for the real diehards is one too many.

 |  Apr 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Four producers, four colossal egos, and four radically different mindsets combined to produce an artistically schizophrenic, creative mess of an album. The addition of Young, brought a much needed electric shock to the folk group setting of the original CSN album, but for those of us old enough to remember Stills and Young in the far more daring and compelling Buffalo Springfield, CSN was predictable, pretentious and packaged and adding Young for the second round didn’t change things all that much.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Recorded live in the studio in four days, this collaborative effort produced by singer/songwriter Joe Henry attempts to revive the career of one of the great, though under-appreciated ‘60s soul singers, who has spent the past few decades in church and in relative pop-music obscurity. Back in the 1960’s in the heyday of soul, Burke, who has always straddled the secular/sanctified line, had a series of big hits on Atlantic, including “Cry to Me,” and “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” (co-written by Burke and producer Bert Berns) both of which were covered by The Rolling Stones.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Who producer Kit Lambert flew to New York Spring of 1969 to supervise the mastering of Tommy for American Decca’s 2 LP release (Decca 7205). With the lacquers cut, Lambert declared the results a “masterpiece” and celebrated by incinerating the tapes. So the oft-repeated story goes. Fortunately, it’s not a true story, for during the tape research for this special edition, the original 2 track master tape was discovered in a storage vault. That leads one to wonder what Mobile Fidelity used a few years ago for its “Original Master Recording” gold CD issue, but why cry over spilt polycarbonate and gold sputtering when this superb edition is now available?

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
I don't know Graham Slee from Gram Parsons, or which House he was in at Harry Potter's Hogwarts School, but let me tell you: If you'd just been listening to a bunch of budget phono preamps, as I had, then came upon the GSP Audio Era Gold Mk.V, you'd think someone had switched out not just the phono preamp but your entire system. You might think you were listening to a different pressing or a different cartridge. How can this be?
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2004  |  0 comments

By now Sean O’ Hagan must be tired of music critics writing about him having a Brian Wilson/Pet Sounds fixation (I just did it too), so on the latest High Llamas album O’Hagan de-emphasizes the Wilsonian percussion and electronica in favor of “acoustica.” The sense of floating, of well being, of whimsy that his other albums exude ensues though, and what he’s ended up with here is 21st Century chamber music that resembles Brian Wilson less and Van Dyke Parks more (one of the tunes offers “…a toast to V.D.P.").

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2004  |  0 comments

Judging by the mail from some visitors, music and politics don’t mix well. Jean-Luc Godard’s film “One Plus One” issued here as “Sympathy For the Devil”— a version of which he apparently disapproved—serves to back up that contention, but it won’t stop me from posting an occasional political note, nor should it keep even the most right-wing among you from watching this fascinating ‘60’s artifact.