Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beatles Rooftop Concert 40th Anniversary: Watch it here

Today is the 40th Anniversary of The Beatles rooftop concert. Watch part or all of the concert by clicking the screens located below (refresh your browser if image doesn't immediately appear).

Van Halen: S/T 180 gram vinyl --Audiophile Alert!


Ever wish you had a time-machine so you could go back in time and buy the records you failed to buy that are now out of print and go for big bucks?

As part of their ongoing vinyl reissue series, Warner/Rhino on Tuesday quietly released Van Halen's groundbreaking self-titled 1978 debut record on 180 gram vinyl. Advance promotion had credited Kevin Gray as the remastering engineer for the project, yet much to the surprise of those few who have now opened a copy, Gray's initials, "KG" are not the only ones scribbled into the deadwax. Instead, "KG/SH" can be clearly read. SH are the initials of Steve Hoffman, mastering engineer for the now defunct audiophile label DCC (Dunhill Compact Classics), who was also involved in this mastering. And if one looks further, LPZ-2066, the catalog number of the DCC release of Van Halen, can also be found. That's right, rather than remastering this title again, Warner/Rhino was somehow able to secure the rights to the DCC master and again press copies of what is undoubtedly the definitive pressing of this record.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bruce Springsteen: Working on a Dream 180 gram vinyl (w/ download code)


The Boss is back with a new two-record set of all-new material just in time for his halftime appearance this coming Superbowl Sunday. On the heels of his last record, the acclaimed Magic, Springsteen is back again with the E Street Band with Working on a Dream, this time with mixed results.

My Lucky Day is the kind of upbeat anthem in the tradition of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out that could have easily been on Magic and makes you smile every time you hear it. Other highlights of the record are the epic, Outlaw Pete and the somber ballad, The Wrestler. While the rest of the material on the record is fine enough and I suspect that most fans of The Boss will enjoy it, many of the songs either aren't particularly memorable or suffer from mediocre lyrics. This is far from a bad record, it just isn't up to the higher standard realized by Magic--and is a far cry from anything from the classic period of 1975-1985.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Fireman: Electric Arguments 200 gram vinyl (w/ included cd)


Paul McCartney is back with Electric Arguments, a collaborative, eclectic collection of songs. McCartney used The Fireman moniker to distinguish this as a true collaborative side-project with DJ and producer Youth, rather than merely another McCartney solo record, and in that he has succeeded. There are only a couple of fairly typical McCartney-romps, such as Highway, but most of the record is infused with a free-flowing style that can't be found on the usual McCartney releases. The second half of the record is much more experimental fare, such as the world-music infused Is this love? or the ehthereal Don't Stop Running, which clocks in at over ten minutes. This record may not be McCartney's finest work, but it certainly stands apart from the polished style he has fallen into over the years. For those hoping for another solo project, there could be disappointment, but for those wishing Sir Paul could break out with truly fresh material, Youth seems to have provided just the muse he needed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely 180 gram vinyl


Today's addition to the best sounding releases of 2008 is The Raconteurs' Consolers of the Lonely. If you're expecting a redux of Broken Boy Soldiers, this certainly isn't it. Brendan Benson plays a more prominent vocal role and the result is a welcome alternative to the shrieking vocal style of Jack White. This two-record set allows the band to showcase more than the proto-punk meets Led Zeppelin sound that White is famous for--expect to find elements of folk, punk, the restrained use of some Stax-inspired horns, and even some progressive rock--listen to Rich Kid Blues and you'll hear keyboards reminiscent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. What this record lacks in cohesion, it makes up for in performance, songwriting, and variety. This is simply an fascinating record that anyone who grew up listening to music from the 1960s and 1970s will in some way relate to.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cardinology blue vinyl (w/ free download)


The ever-prolific Ryan Adams is back again with the Cardinals in his latest effort, Cardinology. This time the songs are tighter than those found on his last few outings and while they still have that alt-country tinge to them, they rock a lot more. Adams channels U2's Bono more than once on this record and the result is his best record since the country-rock epic, Cold Roses.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Best of 2008 Vinyl Releases: Mudcrutch--S/T, Mudcrutch Live!

With the vinyl renaissance in full swing in 2008, there were quite a few vinyl releases--both reissues as well as new releases. In the next few segments, I will concentrate on the best new rock and pop vinyl releases of 2008 as well as a few reissues that you should be sure to pick up before they go out of print. Many of these releases are analog recordings, all are great musically, and all sound fantastic. Don't miss them--because as many of us have learned, buy them now or be sorry later!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Van Morrison: Moondance, Astral Weeks, His Band and the Street Choir 180 gram vinyl

Warner has finally released a trio of highly anticipated releases from Van Morrison on 180 gram vinyl.


Moondance is a beloved record to many and has always sounded so much better on vinyl than on cd. This reissue, mastered by the crackerjack team of Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman sounds great. Definitely more of an "audiophile" experience than the original, many of the instruments can be heard with greater detail and separation than on previous releases.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary boxset

Happy New Year! and welcome to myvinylreview. Please visit often as I will be continuing to add new reviews of current and reissued rock, jazz, and pop vinyl and the occasional cd with the hopes of helping you decide which new releases are worth parting with your hard earned cash.


What better recording to start with than what is perhaps the greatest jazz recording of all time? Sony has recently released their 50th Anniversary Kind of Blue boxset. This set features two cds, a dvd, a blue vinyl disc, a hardbound book as well as replica photos and notes.