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Blues Vinyl Records
The Genius Sings the BluesNumbered Limited-Edition 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity
1961 Collection Gathers 12 Must-Have Songs from Charles' Peak Era
Mobile Fidelity Has Righted the Sonic Wrongs That Plagued Earlier Versions - You Won't Find a Better-Sounding Ray Charles LP
Genius doesnt even begin to describe the greatness of The Genius Sings the Blues. Comprised of a dozen songs Ray Charles made between 1952 and 1960, the collection was released in 1961 by Atlantic Records to counter the singers migration to rival ABC Paramount. What Atlantic originally underestimated is that the album contained many of Charles greatest works, all unified by their bluesy emotions and stirring arrangements. A classic of the soul and R&B canon, The Genius Sings the Blues is a snapshot of the evolution of timeless American music captured by the pianists indelible rhythmic pace, gospel roots, jazz backgrounds, and Southern-styled accents. And its never sounded so good.
From the iconic cover art (a photo of Charles taken by legendary photographer Lee Friedlander) to the distinguished music within, everything about the thematic record is iconic. Now, nearly 50 years later, it can be heard in pristine fidelity sourced from the original mono master tapes. Mobile Fidelitys engineers have taken great pains to ensure that every clink of the piano keys, ache of Charles rolling voice, and rush of the backing arrangements sounds better than they have since first being recorded in the studio. This 180g LP simply lays waste to the competition.
Previous editions of The Genius Sings the Blues, including a remastered digital edition from Rhino, suffered from varying levels, distracting static and noise, and inconsistent vocal balances. Mobile Fidelity has gone back to the original mono master tapes to correct these problems, giving music lovers what is now unquestionably the best-sounding Charles album to stem from his peak era. And these performances are simply on fire.
Whether inhabiting the sadness in Night Time (Is the Right Time) or personifying the loss of Hard Times, Charles invests each song with supreme emotion and undeniable conviction that makes the lyrics ring true and the blues resonate with cathartic pathos. Uptempo country blues numbers (Im Movin On, Early in the Mornin) balance the mournful slow fare, and again prove Charles a master composer, interpreter, and musician who could make any style his own. The Genius Sings the Blues also speaks to legendary jazz pianist Billy Taylors initial impressions of Charles upon hearing him in a way in which few other Charles recordings do.
Taylor recalled: While playing through some new music for a projected Ruth Brown record date, I was asked to listen to an original song played and sung by a young composer and pianist from Seattle, Washington. I can still remember how surprised I was to hear this kind of music from a Northwesterner. He reminded me of Charles Brown, another pianist-singer who was very popular in the Forties, but he had a very personal sound and there was something different about his rhythmic approach. In his handling of melody he seemed to be using devices similar to those used by Dinah Washington and a small group of popular singers who allowed their gospel singing backgrounds to influence their interpretation of popular songs... I was intrigued by the emotional quality projected by both his piano playing and his unusual voice and was not surprised when Ahmet Ertegün said that he wanted to let the young musician record some of his own material. He communicates just like the old blues singers, Ahmet said."
Indeed, that innate blues aesthetic dominates this collection, as does Charles distinctive rhythmic mannerisms. Finally, hear them as theyve always been intended to be experienced.
This title is not eligible for discount.1.Early in the Mornin'
2.Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)
3.The Midnight Hour
4.(Night Time Is) the Right Time
7.I'm Movin' On
8.I Believe to My Soul
10.Mr. Charles' Blues
11.Some Day Baby
12.I Wonder Who
$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The Okeh Sessions (Pure Pleasure)Her mountainous stature matching the sheer soulful power of her massive vocal talent, Big Maybelle was one of the premier R&B chanteuses of the ‘50s. Her deep, gravelly voice was as singular as her recorded output for Okeh and Savoy, which ranged from down-in-the-alley blues to pop-slanted ballads. She appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, and acquired a large following among lovers of the blues, rhythm and blues, jazz and rock and roll. Near the end of her life she even covered hits by the Beatles and Donovan. Big Maybelle's career was hampered throughout and cut short by a severe drug addiction, but she packed a lot of living into her shortened lifespan. It's worth mentioning how, almost half a century later, the power in her Okeh sessions is still palpable. With her bold, gritty sound, she comes off like nothing so much as a female Howlin' Wolf, and one can't imagine her not being an influence on the full-throttle blues of Etta James, Aretha, Janis Joplin and countless others. "So Good to My Baby" features typically microphone-distorting belting from the singer, and an appropriately blazing horn section. "Gabbin' Blues", her 1952 Okeh debut smash, is a humorous dialogue between Maybelle and gossiping rival Rose Marie McCoy, the tune's co-writer. One of the most stirring cuts here is "Ocean Of Tears", a percolating, minor-key tune in which Maybelle bemoans her sorrowful state with an unforgettably cathartic angst. Also impressive, though, are ballads such as "You'll Never Know", "Ain't No Use", and "You'll Be Sorry", which show a pleasant, softer side to Maybelle's craft. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" - a song that she took to the top of the R&B charts before Jerry Lee Lewis turned it into a rock & roll anthem -, her 1955 single "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" and 1954's "I'm Getting 'Long Alright", are also standouts. New York session wizards such as tenor saxophonist Sam 'The Man' Taylor and guitarist Mickey Baker provide great support throughout. The tracks contained on this album showcase one of the greatest blues singers of all time, at her prime.
Recording: October 1952, June 1953, January and March 1954, March 1955
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.LP1
1. Just Want Your Love
2. So Good To My Baby
3. Gabbin' Blues
4. My Country Man
5. Rain Down Rain
6. Way Back Home
7. Stay Away From My Sam
8. Jinny Mule
9. Maybelle's Blues
10. I've Got A Feeling
11. You'll Never Know
1. No More Trouble Out of Me
2. My Big Mistake
3. Ain't No Use
4. I'm Gettin' 'Long Alright
5. You'll Be Sorry
6. Hair Dressin' Women
7. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
8. Don't Leave Poor Me
9. Ain't To Be Played With
10. New Kind of Mambo
11. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Hot Chili MamaBeausoleil has been steadily releasing albums of indigenous Louisiana music since the mid-'70s. Led by the incendiary fiddle playing of founding member Michael Doucet, the group draws on Cajun (a hybrid of American country and traditional French folk songs), zydeco (a hybrid of Cajun and R&B), rock, jazz, and blues. Though each of Beausoleil's releases is supremely roots-conscious, some, such as Hot Chili Mama, represent the spectrum of the group's influences.
Such conventional Cajun material as "Le Bons Temps Rouler Waltz" and the spicy, danceable title cut, which features standard zydeco percussion such as rubboard, triangle and spoons, alternate with touches of calypso ("La Chanson De Cinquante Sous"), and even a tongue-in-cheek stab at klezmer gumbo ("The Mosquito That Ate Up My Sweetheart in New Iberia Polka"). Fertile fiddle and accordion interplay and, of course, French lyrics bring the music's rich history to the fore, while the band's adventurous and vigorous approach makes these songs anything but museum pieces. Hot Chili Mama is one of Beausoleil's best, most representative efforts.1. Acadian Two-Step
2. Les Bons Temps Rouler Waltz
3. Joe Pitre's So Bad
4. Canray's Contredanse
5. La Chanson De Cinquante Sous
6. Je Veux Me Marier
7. Chanson De Sagesse
8. Hot Chili Mama
9. Je Suis Marie Avec Une, Mais En Amour Avec Un Autre
10. The Mosquito That Ate Up My Sweetheart In New Iberia Polka
11. Grand Mallet
13. Oberlin Two-Step
$13.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The Amazing Nina Simone1. Blue Prelude
2. Children Go Where I Send You
3. Tomorrow (We Will Meet Once More)
4. Stompin' At The Savoy
5. It Might As Well Be Spring
6. You've Been Gone Too Long
7. That's Him Over There
8. Chilly Winds Don't Blow
9. Theme From "Middle of the Night"
10. Can't Get Out Of This Mood
11. Willow Weep For Me
$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now