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Alice's Restaurant (Pure Pleasure)Although he'd been a fixture on the East Coast folk circuit for several years, Arlo Guthrie did not release his debut album until mid-1967. A majority of the attention directed at Alice's Restaurant focuses on the epic 18-plus-minute title track, which sprawled over the entire A-side of the long-player. However, it is the other half-dozen Guthrie compositions that provide an insight into his uniformly outstanding, yet astoundingly overlooked, early sides on Warner Bros. Although arguably not 100 percent factual, Alice's Restaurant Massacree -- which was recorded in front of a live audience -- is rooted in a series of real incidents.
This decidedly anti-establishment saga of garbage dumps closed on Thanksgiving, good ol' Officer Obie, as well as Guthrie's experiences with the draft succeeds not only because of the unusual and outlandish situations that the hero finds himself in; it is also his underdog point of view and sardonic delivery that maximize the effect in the retelling. In terms of artistic merit, the studio side is an equally endowed effort containing six decidedly more traditional folk-rock compositions. Among the standouts are the haunting Chilling Of The Evening, which is given an arrangement perhaps more aptly suited to a Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell collaboration.
There is a somewhat dated charm in Ring-Around-a-Rosy Rag, a sly, uptempo, and hippie-friendly bit of jug band nostalgia. I'm Going Home is an underrated minor-chord masterpiece that is not only reminiscent of Roger McGuinn's Ballad of Easy Rider, but also spotlights a more sensitive and intricate nature to Guthrie's craftsmanship. Also worth mentioning is the first installment of The Motorcycle Song -- which was updated and discussed further on the live self-titled follow-up release Arlo (1968) -- notable for the extended discourse on the 'significance of the pickle'.
- Arlo Guthrie (vocal, guitar)
Production: Fred Hellerman & Al Brown
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.1. Alice's Restaurant Masacree
2. Chilling Of the Evening
3. Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag
4. Now and Then
5. I'm Going Home
6. The Motorcycle Song
7. Highway In the Wind$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now