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Get Happy!!Elvis Costello and the Attractions masterful Get Happy!! is largely believed born of national scandal. While in a Holiday Inn bar, the English singer attempted to end an annoying conversation by baiting Stephen Stills with outrageous, offensive racial remarks about Ray Charles and James Brown. With everyone involved inebriated, the details are unclear, but the falloutdeath threats, radio embargos, protestsis infamous. The upshot? Costello and company retreated, scrapped a planned record, and created the soulful genius that is Get Happy!!, the bands fourth consecutive five-star effort.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, and pressed on two 45RPM LPs to replicate the very first promotional pressing in the UK, the 1980 LP has never sounded better on any format. Rather than cram nearly 50 minutes of music and 20 songs onto a single record, Mobile Fidelity has gone the extra mile and back to the album's UK roots with two 45RPM discs. For the first time, listeners can home in on the records signature sound that relates to the decision to record the vocals in a studios glass strings room. In addition, the dimensions and images associated with Steve Nieves penetrating organ, Pete Thomas punchy drumming, and Costellos bounding vocals know no limits. The music simply leaps off the proverbial page, the uptempo rhythms jumping and nimble bass lines kicking.
Clearly, the group is motivated, and the leader brings some of his very finest songs to the table, including High Fidelity, Riot Act, Motel Matches, and The Imposter. While some believe the drunken incident caused Costello to shelve a planned new-wave-leaning effort for the soul-stoked Get Happy!!, the vocalist claims that his ability to find so many great soul records in America from 1977 through 1979 inspired the group to change course. Whatever the cause, Get Happy!! is a start-to-finish wonder.
Paying homage to Northern soul, Motown, Stax, and Southern soul strains, and infused with smooth and gritty arrangements, Get Happy!! runs on an efficient R&B motor. Subtle tributes abound. High Fidelity quotes a Supremes song; Love for Tender borrows a Supremes riff; Opportunity tips its hat to Al Green; Clowntime Is Over bows to Curtis Mayfield. And two covers, of Sam & Daves I Cant Stand Up for Falling Down and the Merseybeats I Stand Accused, are recast as quick, R&B rave-ups. Theres not a misplaced note or bad step on this record. And for history buffs, the closing, searing ballad Riot Act is Costellos response to his hypocritical critics and finger-pointers.
As essential as anything in Costellos catalog, and one of the truly great records of the 1980s, you owe it to yourself to experience Get Happy!! in the supreme sonic fidelity that this numbered limited edition Mobile Fidelity double-LP pressing affords. For those intimately familiar with its contents, listening will be a revelation. And for fans that have never heard the record, prepare to be wowed.
Part of Mobile Fidelitys Costello catalog restoration series, Get Happy!! will make you positively ecstatic.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Love for Tender
3. The Imposter
4. Secondary Modern
5. King Horse
7. Men Called Uncle
8. Clowntime Is Over
9. New Amsterdam
10. High Fidelity
11. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
12. Black & White World
13. 5ive Gears in Reverse
14. B Movie
15. Motel Matches
16. Human Touch
17. Beaten to the Punch
19. I Stand Accused
20. Riot Act$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
No Love Deep WebDeath Grips shocked the world and their record label when they released their second release of the year No Love Deep Web, but upon listening it's pretty clear that this is a mixtape that the label had no intention of releasing. No Love Deep Web was probably just an elaborate way to hype up the band, and it's safe to say it worked. No Love Deep Web had over 34.2 million downloads on BitTorrent thanks to the help of Twitter, and I think its safe to say their plan worked. Speaking of the album itself, it employs very minimalistic stripped down beats and has a much chiller vibe overall compared to the previous two records. That doesn't mean the beats are soft though, because they are harder than the phallus on the album cover. No Love Deep Web is one big grimy middle finger to the music industry and one of the most sordid albums ever released by a group on a major label.
This isn't your father's hip hop, but that should be common knowledge by now. If you go into this expecting insightful lyrics and smooth flow over catchy beats you're going to have a bad time, hell even if you expect to understand the lyrics most of the time you're going to get very little out of No Love Deep Web. MC Ride is his schizophrenic self on tracks like No Love and World Of Dogs, but he also comes down to earth and actually calms down a bit on tracks like Artificial Death In The West adding a lot more depth to their sound. The whole album feels like the fever dreams of a severely withdrawn drug addict, tracks like World Of Dogs, No Love and Hunger Games sound like a sick drug addicts crash back down to earth and their gritty existence. The line I got some *** to say just for the *** of it perfectly encapsulates not only MC Ride's style, but No Love Deep Web, and Death Grips' whole career.
The beats on this thing are raw and stripped down, some of the tracks don't even have a melody some of the time, just drums and vocals like in Lock Your Doors. The beats are fidgety electronic bells and whistles, lots of interesting sounds and synths creating a gritty atmosphere for MC Ride to spit his insane lyrics over. The rawness and harsh production of the beats help point to the fact that this is a mixtape and not a studio release, the minimalistic approach also creates a fresh sound compared to the over produced and at times gimmicky production on The Money Store, and this approach will likely convert a few people who were not fond of the over the top nature of The Money Store.
No Love Deep Web inevitably sounds a tad rushed, no *** it was made in only a few months, but it definitely did its job as a hype generator. It doesn't do enough different to warrant its early release date and the band's sound is getting a bit tiring. The main problem though is the lack of standout tracks, with most of the hooks gone and with such stripped down beats a lot of the songs blend together in an unflattering way. Exhausting as it can be at times, No Love Deep Web turned out to be another great addition to Death Grips' ever expanding discography that is likely to turn a few heads just as all of their previous work has done.
- Robert Lowe (Sputnik Music)1. Come Up And Get Me
2. Lil Boy
3. No Love
4. Black Dice
5. World Of Dogs
6. Lock Your Doors
8. Hunger Games
9. Deep Web
12. Bass Rattle Stars Out The Sky$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Among The Ghosts (Pre-Order)Lucero's ninth studio album, Among the Ghosts, is their first for noted Nashville indie label Thirty Tigers. It was recorded and co-produced with Grammy-winning engineer/producer and Memphis native Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Drive by Truckers) at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service, the studio built by the legendary producer after outgrowing his Memphis Recording Service/Sun Studio.
Recorded primarily live as a five-piece, Among the Ghosts eschews the Stax-inspired horns and Jerry Lee Lewis-style boogie piano featured on some of the band's past recordings for a streamlined rock & roll sound that pays homage to their seminal influences as it seeks to push that legacy into the future. For a band who carried the torch of the alt-country movement back in the 90's and helped pave the way for what is now called Americana, Lucero have re-discovered what inspired them in the first place. The sound is more their own and at the same time not exactly like anything they've done before. This is a band settling into their craft. The 10-song disc's title is both a tribute to the spirits which roam the streets of their fabled city, as well as the hard road the determinedly independent band set out on 20 years ago. The band played around 200 shows per year for many of those 20 years.
With a nod to his younger brother Jeff Nichols, an acclaimed filmmaker whose movies include Loving, Mud, Take Shelter, Midnight Special, and Shotgun Stories; Nichols has written songs that are cinematic short stories, steeped in Southern gothic lore. There are nods to regional authors like Flannery O'Connor and Faulkner, as well as newer writers like Larry Brown (Big Bad Love, Fay), Ron Rash (The Cove, The World Made Straight), and William Gay (The Long Home).
As the first album he's written since his marriage and the birth of his now two-year-old daughter Izzy, Nichols approached the task as a narrator rather than in first person. It's a dark palette that includes tales of a haunting ("Among the Ghosts"), a drowning ("Bottom of the Sea), a reckoning with the devil ("Everything has Changed"), a divorce ("Always Been You"), and a shoot out ("Cover Me"). And that's just Side A. Side B is a letter from a battlefield ("To My Dearest Wife"), a crime ("Long Way Back Home"), a straight-out rocker ("For the Lonely Ones") and even a spooky spoken-word cameo from actor Michael Shannon, who has appeared in every one of Nichols' brother's films. The song's title "Back to the Night" references a line from Nick Tosches' Jerry Lee Lewis biography, Hellfire. In addition, there's a song Nichols wrote for his brother's movie Loving, which appeared in the film and on the soundtrack, re- recorded for Among the Ghosts with the whole band.
"You could also say there's a rescue, a getaway, a survival story and a middle finger to Satan himself," laughs Nichols. "It's all in your perspective."
Several songs juxtapose going off to battle with a rock & roll band's endless touring, shifting time periods like the spirits which haunt the album, the happiness of domestic bliss undercut with fears of loss and the specter of mortality. Among the Ghosts simultaneously reprises the past and looks to the future, while being firmly anchored in the present.
Musically, the band highlights range from co-founding member Brian Venable's Dire Straits-meets-War on Drugs guitar pyrotechnics in "Bottom of the Sea" and "Cover Me" to the Springsteen vibe of "For the Lonely Ones," Rick Steff's skeletal piano lines on "Always Been You," John C's bass lines in "Everything Has Changed" and "Long Way Back Home," and drummer Roy Berry's dynamic shifts from the powerful and brutal title track "Among the Ghosts" to the marching drive of "To My Dearest Wife" and the subtlety of "Loving." Throughout, Nichols' bourbon-soaked growl has become even more distinctive and commanding.
Among the Ghosts offers a timeless perspective on Lucero's distinctive sound. The lyrics could've been written 200 years ago or yesterday. Representing a new South compared to the one that's been mythologized, Lucero have formulated their own ideas and culture which, in some cases, contradicts what came before them (no Confederate flags), but also updates and reconsiders those traditions in a new light.
"I think we've tried to remake this place that we love and cherish in our own fashion. We are very proud of where we are from and we've spent the last 20 years trying to bring a bit of our version of home to the rest of the world It may have taken 20 years, but everything has fallen in place right where it needs to be," acknowledges Nichols. "There were some dark days in those middle years, but we've learned how to do this and survive. We still write heartbreak songs, but now, with a family at home, it's a whole new kind of heartbreak."
Among the Ghosts lays out that new territory with alacrity, as Lucero shines their Morning Star, burning just as brightly, if not more so, 20 years later. As one of the album's song titles so aptly puts it, "Everything Has Changed," but one thing hasn't Lucero's music remains more vital than ever.1. Among the Ghosts
2. Bottom of the Sea
3. Everything Has Changed
4. Always Been You
5. Cover Me
6. To My Dearest Wife
7. Long Way Back Home
9. Back to the Night
10. For the Lonely Ones$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Ripe Dreams, Pipe DreamsCameron Avery has arrived as a new breed of nocturnal crooner, a train-wreck romantic creating timeless, ambitious music for the modern age. Utilizing his soulful wit, shrewd arrangements, and a deep, husky baritone, Avery harnesses the dark power and humor of artists like Nick Cave, Scott Walker, and Tindersticks to expertly walk the fine line between vulnerable and venerable.
Hailing from the late 2000s-era Perth, Australia, a healthy scene of hard-hitting garage rock bands, including a long stint as the drummer of Pond, Avery found his musical footing while playing with friends but sought the reward of his own outfit. Encouraged by his friend Kevin Parker of Tame Impala to record on his own, Avery started The Growl as his solo project in 2007, making an EP and an album of aggressive, distorted psychedelic rock and roll. When Parker asked him to join Tame Impala as its touring bassist in 2013, Avery jumped at the chance and rose with that band to the top of the psych-rock heap, but all the while remained focused on carving out his singular identity as an artist and following his own muse.
On a break from touring, Avery decided to head to the US to work on his album. He would settle in Los Angeles at the behest of Jonathan Wilson, the Echo Park musician and producer who also encouraged Avery to shine a spotlight on his baritone singing voice, unlike the snarling, obscured vocals of The Growl. It was a lofty idea, but one to which Avery aspired, encouraged by the challenge.
Melancholic machismo is written into the very DNA of Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams. From the classical, finger-picked guitar on the opener "A Time and Place" and the orchestral vamping of "Do You Know Me By Heart?" to the bombastic, self-assured swagger of "Dance with Me." He takes an emotive page from the Leonard Cohen songbook-of-longing on "Big Town Girl" just as naturally as he thumbs an aggressive note of Bad Seed strut and Cramps rut on "Watch Me Take It Away." And by the time he purrs that earnest refrain of "Baby, it's you" on the album's closer "C'est Toi," Avery has surely mastered that drunken tightrope dance. Now a resident of New York City, Avery looks to continue his search for the ultimate sensations from a fresh vantage point.1. A Time and Place
2. Do You Know Me By Heart
3. Dance With Me
4. Wasted On Fidelity
5. Big Town Girl
7. The Cry Of Captain Hollywood
8. Watch Me Take It Away
9. An Ever Jarring Moment
10. C'est Toi (extended)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sibelius: Violin Concerto (Speakers Corner)Not always do composers of instrumental works take the playability of their ideas into consideration. Jean Sibelius - himself an excellent violinist - must have been aware of the enormous challenges to the soloist, but he did not, however, envisage that the première of his violin concerto would be badly received due to the inadequacy of the violinist. That his op. 47 would become a showpiece of romantic violin repertoire is certainly not only due to the first-class soloists of our time, but also thanks to the work's broad and expressive melodies. In the short introduction of the second movement, the leaping intervals of the violin - as though from nowhere - develop into a broad symphonic dialogue with a late-romantic inflection, which is unleashed to create an emotional climax in the 20-bar main theme of the second movement. Seemingly purposely written for the nimble fingers of the world-class violinist, David Oistrakh and the evenly matched Philadelphia Orchestra present a superbly virtuosic and powerful rendering right up to the rousing finale. As an encore we hear The Swan Of Tuonela sing its tender, sublime song in a substantial solo on the cor anglais.
- David Oistrakh (violin)
- Philiadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Recording: December 1959 and January 1960 at Broadwood Hotel, Philadelphia (PA)
Production: Howard Scott
About Speakers Corner
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, Speakers Corner 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 existant 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 Speakers Corner 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 have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
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 - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Allegro Moderato
2. Adagio Di Molto
3. Allegro Ma Non Tanto
4. The Swan Of Tuonela, Op.22$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
- David Oistrakh (violin)