AAA Vinyl

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Michael Fremer  |  Jul 18, 2018  |  16 comments
The Buffalo Springfield box set reissue fans have long awaited is finally here and it was well worth waiting for. Neil Young points out in the enclosed heavy paper full color "one sheet" that all five records were cut directly from the original master tapes, not tape copies. Each record has a Neil-created "SPARS code"

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Buddy Guy’s 1967 Chess release—his first— has nothing to do with San Francisco, nor was it recorded July of 1967 though the jacket says it was. No big deal. Someone (probably Leonard Chess) chose to reference San Francisco because “flower power” was happening and it seemed like a good way to grab the white kids’ interest. The recording date was chosen close to the original release date so it would sound current but in fact, this is a compilation that includes tracks recorded between 1962 and 1967.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  15 comments
Recording direct-to-disk is difficult enough. The entire side has to be cut in one long take. Consider a big band vocal album like this, which has four songs per side. The orchestra and singer have to be ready as soon as the cutting stylus hits the lacquer and then they have to perform flawlessly on each track, pausing but a few seconds between songs.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 26, 2017  |  20 comments
Bassist Scott LaFaro's death in a Geneva, New York car accident ten days after the Sunday, June 25th, 1961 recording of this Village Vanguard set did more than add a tragic luster to the story. It upended what might have been a very different track order here and on Waltz For Debby, the second record sourced using tracks recorded that day by engineer David Jones on a modified Ampex 350 using Scotch 111 tape.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2015  |  7 comments
Gerry Rafferty has long been under-appreciated. Oh, sure, "Stuck in the Middle" was an unlikely hit when first released by A&M in 1972 and later found its way into Quentin Tarrantino's "Reservoir Dogs" where the bouncy, anthemic, Dylanesque record company exec knock reached a new audience.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 05, 2018  |  3 comments
Buddy Holly's last album before "the day the music died" released in 1958 belongs in every rock-based record collection. It's not even a close call. And this reissue sourced from the original analog tapes still in superb condition and cut by Kevin Gray is by far the best sounding edition ever.

Malachi Lui  |  May 06, 2019  |  10 comments
Wouldn’t pairing a highly talented bluesman with one of the best house bands in the world result in a great record?

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 16, 2019  |  18 comments
When first released in America in 1978 Dire Straits’ debut was an immediate sensation, though cautious record labels at first rejected signing the group until Warner Brothers bit. The original Vertigo release hit the U.K. earlier. Eventually, propelled by the catchy single “Sultans of Swing”, the album was Top Ten throughout Europe and much of the world.

Michael Fremer  |  May 03, 2017  |  7 comments
While a great deal of attention rightly gets paid to Bill Evans' legendary Village Vanguard recordings early in his career, this superb set recorded in Paris, France shortly before his passing is equally worthy both musically and sonically.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 12, 2015  |  26 comments
Analogue Productions has just released Tea For the Tillerman on a double 45rpm 200g, numbered, limited to 3500 copies edition, mastered by George Marino. What? Didn't he pass away a few years ago? Yes. The double 45s were cut when the tape was available "just in case". And it's "in case" time. Especially since AP's license on the title is about to expire, so it's also "get it while you can" time, "in case" you really like this record.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 04, 2017  |  5 comments
Pianist Jamie Saft's trio recorded a well-received, sonically superb 2014 album called New Standard. If you need a group or individual backgrounder, please hit that hyperlink.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 22, 2019  |  36 comments
Mobile Fidelity's One-Step reissue of Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album What's Going On is long out of print but still deserving of a short review.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 02, 2016  |  31 comments
One of the great albums of the 1960s—for me an essential album— gets the double 45rpm treatment from Mobile Fidelity. Rhino reissued this a few years ago mastered by Chris Bellman and Bernie Grundman Mastering from the original tape.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  6 comments
You’ve probably seen or at least heard about Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land”, about a musician (Ryan Gosling) whose less than fully expressed mission was to “save jazz”. He brings his turntable and retro-record collection to Los Angeles where he lives in a crummy apartment and makes ends meet by playing in a piano bar.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 08, 2014  |  15 comments
31 year old Singapore-based vocalist Vanessa Fernandez is well known at home as a former member of hip-hop group Urban Xchange, known later as Parking Lot Pimp. That was more than a decade ago. More recently she's been the disc jockey "Vandetta" or "Miss Vandetta" on Mediacorp Radio's 987FM.

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