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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Myvinylreview: Coming Soon in 2011 -- Vinyl From The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Bob Dylan, The Len Price 3, Robert Plant

2010 is now coming to a close, and no matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are you're either taking some time off from work, or at least following the slower pace so many can thankfully enjoy during this final week of the year. And hopefully, you're also enjoying some great music as well.

2011 brings the start of the third year for Myvinylreview--and with your increased support, you can expect to see even more of what you've come to expect--honest, unbiased reviews of new and reissue vinyl, along with the occasional live show review, music related art and photography feature, and a few other surprises along the way. And with a newly added Myvinylreview community on Facebook, I hope to explore some new ways to add value to your experience. But most importantly, you can continue to count on Myvinylreview for frank advice, to help you decide whether to part with your hard-earned cash for that latest and greatest reissue of your favorite album--or to simply pass. Here's some of what's coming up:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Preview: Bob Dylan -- The Original Mono Recordings Vinyl and Compact Disc Box Sets

Following the success of the Beatles Mono Box released in 2009, Sony/Columbia has just released box sets of Bob Dylan's first eight albums, using the original mono mixes. Going back to the original analog mono masters, this is the first time these versions have been available on compact disc. At the time of this writing, I still have not received the vinyl box, which has likely been mired by holiday postal delays. I have, however, spent some time with the compact disc mono box and I must say I'm impressed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Short Spin: Herbie Hancock -- Maiden Voyage (Analogue Productions 45 RPM Vinyl)

The Music
The latest release in the Analogue Productions 45 RPM Blue Note vinyl series, is the 1965 masterpiece from Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage. Rooted in both hard bop and Miles Davis-inspired modal jazz, this mood-setting jazz concept album goes from haunting, to serene, to ethereal as Hancock is joined by Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor sax, Ron Carter on bass, and Anthony Williams on drums.  And while it isn't quite as forward-thinking as other albums of the time, from the likes of Coltrane or Eric Dolphy, its accessability has earned it top placing on "best of jazz" lists year after year. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Myvinylreview's Best of 2010 and Year End Vinyl Giveaway

Myvinylreview's Best of 2010

2010 has been another big year for vinyl. With a dizzying number of reissues, super deluxe boxsets, and new vinyl releases coming out every month, it has become more important than ever to have some idea what you're getting when you plunk down your hard-earned cash. Here's a list of some of the best vinyl releases of 2010, along with a few other non-vinyl items of interest to the Myvinylreview reader. I hope you enjoy it! 

Myvinylreview's Year End Giveaway

As a year end Thank You, and to help encourage participation by those on Facebook, here's a little contest that you can easily enter: JUST CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON IN THE FACEBOOK BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE COLUMN, and you'll automatically be entered to win any one item of your choice that is featured in the Best of 2010 feature. Good Luck! *The winner will be announced the week of December 13, 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bruce Springsteen: The Promise --180 Gram 3 LP Vinyl (w/included digital download)

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of his 1978 masterpiece, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen has just released The Promise. This long-awaited set features twenty-two previously unreleased songs, which had their genesis during the turbulent three-year period between the Born To Run and Darkness albums. They are now available as part of deluxe dvd and  blu-ray box sets, on a  double cd, and on the three-record vinyl set reviewed today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Myvinylreview's Top Five -- November 15, 2010

This time of year, with so many new reissues, box sets, and deluxe editions coming out, Myvinylreview is here to help you decide which ones are worth your hard earned cash. In addition to last weeks's Paul McCartney and Tom Petty deluxe vinyl reissues, lots of folks have been searching for Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg--likely due to Richards' new autobiography, Life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Damn The Torpedoes -- ORG Deluxe 180 Gram Vinyl (including hi-res digital download)

In commemoration of the album's thirty-year anniversary, the Original Recordings Group (ORG) has released a deluxe vinyl edition of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' landmark 1979 record, Damn The Torpedoes. This two-record set includes the original album on disc one, as well as a second disc of nine tracks, consisting of bonus album cuts, alternate takes, b-sides and live versions--seven of which are previously unreleased.

Packaging and Pressing
The *black 180 gram vinyl was pressed at the Pallas facility in Germany, and the gatefold cover was constructed of medium-heavy cardstock. In a move that hopefully will become standard for audiophile releases, ORG includes a free digital download of your choice of 24/96, Apple lossless, FLAC. or 320k mp3 files. A twelve-page booklet containing photos, liner notes, and lyrics rounds out a very nice package. 

*A limited edition red vinyl pressing was also available and has sold out.

Paul McCartney & Wings: Band on the Run -- Deluxe 180 Gram Vinyl (w/included digital download)

Following the recent agreement between Paul McCartney's MPL and Concord Music Group, the first installment of a multi-album McCartney reissue program has begun, with the venerable 1973 effort from Paul McCartney and Wings, Band on the Run. Widely regarded as McCartney's peak as a solo artist apart from the Beatles, this album was a natural place to start the campaign--with multiple formats, including a super deluxe cd/dvd edition (including a code for downloading a hi-res 24/96 digital version of the album).

Today, I review the deluxe two-record vinyl set, which includes remastered versions of the original album, three bonus cuts--including Helen Wheels (originally not on the UK version), as well as six live cuts from the One Hand Clapping television special.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Coming Soon: Paul McCartney and Wings -- Band on The Run Deluxe 180 Gram Vinyl

Following the recent agreement between Paul McCartney's MPL and Concord Music Group, the first installment of a multi-album McCartney reissue program has begun, with the venerable 1973 effort from Paul McCartney and Wings, Band on the Run. Reissued last week on multiple formats, including a super deluxe cd/dvd edition (including a code for downloading a hi-res 24/96 digital version of the album), as well as a deluxe two-record vinyl set, each version includes remastered versions of the original album tracks, three bonus cuts--including Helen Wheels (originally not on the UK version), as well as six live cuts from the One Hand Clapping television special.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Coming Soon: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Damn The Torpedoes Deluxe Edition 180 Gram Vinyl

On November 9, 2010, The Original Recordings Group (ORG) will release a deluxe edition of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' landmark 1979 record, Damn The Torpedoes. This two-record set will include the original album on disc one, as well as a second disc of nine tracks, consisting of bonus tracks, alternate takes, b-sides and live versions--seven of which are previously unreleased.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Short Spin: Foreigner -- S/T Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Mofi continues their foray into Seventies rock, with their reissue of the 1977 self-titled debut from British-American rockers, Foreigner.  Released at the peak of the disco craze, Foreigner offered an appealing alternative, with its mixture of straight-ahead rockers, such as Headknocker, radio-friendly mid-tempo numbers such as Cold As Ice and Feels Like The First Time, and a smattering of progressive and psychedelic influences--including an homage to the Who's Tommy, in the form of a coda to side one's closer, The Damage Is Done.  The album rose to #4 on the Billboard North American album charts, and went on to earn two top ten singles.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bonus Feature: John Lennon and Yoko Ono -- Double Fantasy Stripped Down; Myvinylreview's Top Five -- October 18, 2010

Double Fantasy Stripped Down [New Mix + Original Recording Remastered]

This week, Myvinylreview presents a bonus feature in addition to the weekly Top Five.  To coincide with with John Lennon's 70th birthday, Capitol/EMI, in conjunction with Yoko Ono, has released Double Fantasy Stripped Down, a brand new re-mix of the Double Fantasy sessions. The re-mix was prepared by the original mixing engineer Jack Douglas, with the cooperation of Yoko Ono. Also included with Stripped Down, is a remastered version of the original album mix. Both have been mastered by the original mastering engineer, George Marino.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chick Corea Trio: Live at Yoshi's Oakland -- October 11, 2010

Award winning pianist, Chick Corea, arrived at Yoshi's Oakland last night, for the first of a four-night stint with his trio. Accompanied by Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums, Corea took the stage at the intimate venue just after 8:00 p.m., and played a nearly eighty-minute set before a packed house that was eager to hear an acoustic set of Corea's special brand of jazz. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Neil Young: Le Noise 180 Gram Vinyl

Le Noise (180 Gram LP)

This summer, when I saw Neil Young on his Twisted Road solo tour, and he played eight new songs--six of which would make it onto his latest offering, I didn't realize that the ones he played on his electric guitar would ultimately prove the most compelling. I've always had a preference for the acoustic side of Neil Young, so when he interspersed these new unaccompanied electric guitar-based songs through his show, they seemed an interesting expression--but nothing I thought would have any real lasting impact.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quick Jazz Pick: Joe Henderson -- Inner Urge (Music Matters 45 RPM 180 Gram Vinyl)

If you've already subscribed to the Music Matters 45 RPM Blue Note jazz series, then you're used to receiving two great Blue Note titles every month--featuring beautiful glossy covers and gatefold photos, excellent pressing quality, and superlative mastering and sound.  If you're not a subscriber and are trying to cherry-pick some of the titles, it can become quite difficult to keep up--and costly as well, if a title slips past you and goes out of print.  Myvinylreview's Quick Pick, will endeavor to bring some of these titles, as well as other outstanding reissues to your attention.  And while this feature won't include lengthy comparisons to original pressings or earlier reissues, you can be assured that an offering won't be included unless it is extraordinary with regard to both music and sound quality.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Myvinylreview's Top Five -- September 27, 2010

In honor of John Coltrane's recent birthday, this week's list has been increased to six. For previous weeks, you can always go to the Myvinylreview's Top Five page link, located in the right margin.
Here's what people have been clicking on this week. Click on any image  to go directly to the review or feature:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coming Soon: Neil Young -- Le Noise 180 Gram Vinyl; Foreigner -- S/T Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Le Noise

This summer, as Neil Young took his Twisted Road solo tour across North America, his shows focused on new material. At the show I attended at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California, Mr. Young played six of the eight songs to be featured on his new album,  Le Noise. Recorded at the home of oft-U2 collaborator and producer, Daniel Lanois, Le Noise will be released on Sepetember 28, 2010. For the new songs he played live, Young used  his acoustic guitar on only a few--and on the remainder, he wielded one of his several electrics, played through a line of small tweed Fenders with a variety of delays and other effects.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Short Spin: Elvis Costello and The Attractions -- Armed Forces Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Armed Forces

Mofi's latest installment in their series of Elvis Costello's albums is his third effort, Armed Forces. Released in 1979, amidst a slew of releases from other new wave acts, such as the Police, Joe Jackson, the Cars, and the Talking Heads, Armed Forces moves beyond the caustic, borderline misogynistic messages of This Year's Model, toward more sophisticated themes, including politics and war.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Myvinylreview's Top Five

Today, debuts a new page, Myvinylreview's Top Five. This feature, to be updated regularly, will list Myvinylreview's hottest stories and reviews, based upon what you've been clicking on most.  Just click the  image to go directly to the review or feature. Following today's debut, the Top Five will be located at the top of the sidebar.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Short Spin: Frank Sinatra -- Sinatra at The Sands Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Live at the Sands

Mobile Fidelity continues their Sinatra reissue campaign with the 1966 time capsule, Sinatra at the Sands. Already on his new label, Reprise, for four years, Sands marked Sinatra's first-ever live release and would remain his most popular. Two other excellent live dates, Sinatra '57 and Sinatra in Paris, were released years later, but neither would ever reach the legendary status held by Sands.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Black Crowes: Croweology -- 180 gram 3 LP Vinyl (w/included digital download)


In conjunction with their Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys 2010 tour, the Black Crowes have just released Croweology, an expanded set of acoustic versions of many of their most loved songs. Pricing both the 2-cd release and the 3 LP vinyl set (reviewed here) like a single disc set, the album has been dubbed a thank you to fans for 20 years of support.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Coming Soon: Sinatra at the Sands Mofi Vinyl, Elvis Costello -- Armed Forces Mofi Vinyl, Black Crowes -- Croweology 3LP Vinyl

Live at the Sands

Mobile Fidelity's latest from Frank Sinatra is his 1966 time capsule, Sinatra at The Sands.  This two-record set, mastered by Rob Loverde, is more dynamic, carries a richer tonal palette, and removes a layer of grain from Sinatra's voice that can be heard on the first pressing original vinyl.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Horace Silver Quintet: Song For My Father -- Music Matters 45 RPM Vinyl


Music Matters continues their Blue Note jazz reissue program with the release of Horace Silver's 1965 classic, Song for My Father.  Recorded with two entirely different quintets over three sessions from 1963-1964, this album became Silver's most successful--and the title track, recorded during the final session, established itself as his signature song. The opening piano riff would also become instantly recognizable to an additional generation as the opening melody of Steely Dan's, Rikki Don't Lose That Number.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Beatles: Remastered Vinyl Update -- Paperback Writer b/w Rain 45 RPM Single


As we near the one-year anniversary of the release of the 2009 Beatles remastered catalog on compact disc, there is still no definitive release date for the mono and stereo albums on vinyl.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Miles Davis: Someday My Prince Will Come -- Analogue Productions 45 RPM Vinyl

Someday My Prince Will Come (Ogv)

While not everyone's favorite title from Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come has a strong contingent of fans. Released in 1961, after the departure of John Coltrane, but prior to the formation of his second classic quintet, this record features tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley on all of the tracks but one. Coltrane actually shares the tenor duties on one track and handles them alone on the track in which Mobley lays out.

Elvis Costello: This Year's Model -- Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Mofi is back with This Year's Model, the 1978 follow-up to Elvis Costello's debut album, My Aim is True, which they reissued earlier this year on 180 gram vinyl. This Year's Model was recorded with what would become his legendary backing band, The Attractions. It offers more of the catchy hooks, cynical lyrics, and propulsive beat, that introduced him to the world with My Aim is True, but adds more keyboard and synthesizer, bringing him to the fore of the New Wave movement.

Beck: Sea Change -- Mofi 180 Gram Vinyl

Sea Change [Vinyl]

Although I've had the SACD of Sea Change for years, and listened to it a few times, it never hit me the way this vinyl pressing from Mofi has. The first thing I discovered listening to it, was that this isn't an album that can be listened to on your car stereo as you blast down the freeway. Sea Change begs to be listened to at night, in your listening chair--either alone or perhaps with one other person.

Lee Morgan: Vol 3, Kenny Dorham: Round About Midnight at The Cafe Bohemia -- Music Matters 45 RPM Mono Vinyl

Volume 3 (Mono) 200g 33RPM LP

Music Matters continues to set the standard for the ultra-premium 45 RPM jazz reissue, with monthly releases of incredible sounding reissues of the best of the Blue Note catalog.  When the series was first introduced several years ago, Music Matters made sure to point out that, unlike some other Blue Note reissue campaigns, all of their releases would be in stereo unless only mono was available--or if there was something wrong with the stereo tapes. And in keeping with that promise, most--if not all of their releases for the first year or so were done in stereo.