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  • Rhythm Machine Rhythm Machine Quick View

    $36.99
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    Rhythm Machine

    Fania records founder Jerry Masucci nurtured a group of musicians who collectively defined the New York-based Latin American dance music called salsa. Masucci packaged his stars in touring revues patterned after the R&B revues mounted by Motown, Stax/Volt and others. The Fania All Stars could thus play such large venues as Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, promoting both their individual careers and recordings such as Rhythm Machine, which features some big-name jazz guests. Ruben Blades leads a stellar vocal lineup that includes Adalberto Santiago, Hector Casanova, Ada Chabrell, Nancy O'Neill, and Johnny Pacheco, who also plays flute and percussion. Jon Faddis and Randy Brecker are the headliners of a four-piece trumpet section, backed by three trombones, flutes, harp, vibes, and other assorted instruments. --John Swenson
    1. Ella Fue (She Was The One)
    2. En Orbita
    3. Awake
    4. Peanuts (The Peanut Vendor)
    5. Jubileo
    6. Verao Vermelho
    7. Steady (Fijo)
    8. Juan Pachanga (DayLight)
    Fania All Stars
    $36.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Speakers Corner) Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Speakers Corner)

    Beethoven had just finished writing his symphonies when - in 1830 - a young Frenchman created a sensation with his completely novel and exuberant orchestral music. Based on classical music form, Berlioz composed his »massive instrumental composition« as a five-movement musical drama. Such a stroke of genius, in which the ego and grief thereof are described, had never been heard before in the French Romantic period.


    Berlioz employs a very large orchestra with a big timpani section, four bassoons and military brass to present the young artist - an autobiographically motivated character - who dreams his way through the various episodes, hallucinating and frenzied. Here it is clear that it is Berlioz' declared intention to express the artist's visions radically and unmistakably in music - beginning with the ever-recurring delusional 'idÉe fixe' via a terrifying opium intoxication and ending up with the nightmare of his own burial.


    Of the many high-quality, often highly impassioned performances, this particular one by Dimitri Mitropoulos is certainly a benchmark recording. The great conductor makes the rhythms pulsate; he skilfully mixes the wealth of sound colouring, and blends the orchestral instruments so subtly that one notices previously unheard details with every listening.


    This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.

    Musicians:



    • Hector Berlioz (composer)
    • The New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos



    Recording: February 1957 in New York




    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 emphasise 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. I - Reveries; Passions
    2. II - Un Bal
    3. III - ScÉne Aux Champs
    4. IV - Marche Au Supplice
    5. V Songe D'Une Nuit Du Sabbat
    Hector Berlioz
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Hecto-Mania (Discontinued) Hecto-Mania (Discontinued) Quick View

    $13.99
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    Hecto-Mania (Discontinued)

    Be on the Look-Out
    Sin Dulzura
    I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
    Hecto-Mania
    Corozo
    Lo Mio Es Mio
    Now That I'm Your Man
    Pa' Que Lo Puedan Gozar
    Sweet Soul Baby
    No Creo En Amores
    Hector Rivera
    $13.99
    Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
  • Ravel - Sheherazade / Berlioz - Les Nuits D'Ete (Speakers Corner) Ravel - Sheherazade / Berlioz - Les Nuits D'Ete (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Ravel - Sheherazade / Berlioz - Les Nuits D'Ete (Speakers Corner)

    At the time when Ravel set down ShÉhÉrazade, and although he had already composed such works as Pavane pour une Infante defunte and Jeux d'eau, - regarded today as excellent - the young composer was still struggling for recognition. Five times he tried to win the prestigious Prix de Rome, France's highest musical award, but barely achieved more than limited acclaim.



    Ravel's provocative assertion that he didn't follow any particular musical direction, but was an anarchist is reflected in his free, wonderfully interwoven composition ShÉhÉrazade. A touch of the Orient is entwined with late-romantic harmony and an impressionistic, modern brilliance, whose depth calls for and merits repeated listening.



    Ravel shares the lot of a misunderstood genius with Hector Berlioz. Written in 1832, his cycle Les Nuits d'EtÉ, with its pulsating and arietta-like but also morbid and ghostly songs, provide a wonderful example of a composition from the French Romantic era. The present superb performance was highly acclaimed by producer and author G. A. Eckle, who stated »RÉgine Crespin is the embodiment of quality when it comes to French repertoire in her category




    Recording: September 1963 at Victoria Hall, Geneva (Switzerland), by James Lock

    Production: Michael Bremner





    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 emphasise 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. Maurice Ravel: ShÉhÉrazade
    2. Hector Berlioz: Les Nuits dEtÉ
    Ernest Ansermet
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Stay Together Stay Together Quick View

    $25.99
    Buy Now
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    Stay Together

    Kaiser Chiefs are back with their 6th album Stay Together, the follow up to the UK #1 Education, Education, Education and War, which will feature collaborations with MNEK and Wayne Hector.
    1. We Stay Together
    2. Hole In My Soul
    3. Parachute
    4. Good Clean Fun
    5. Why Do You Do It To Me?
    6. Indoor Firework
    7. Press Rewind
    8. Happen In A Heartbeat
    9. High Society
    10. Sunday Morning
    11. Still Waiting
    Kaiser Chiefs
    $25.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Hug Of Thunder Hug Of Thunder Quick View

    $25.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Hug Of Thunder

    "I don't want to go out there being presumptuous," Kevin Drew says, "because, I've worn those presumptuous shoes before, and you don't want it to feel like, 'Oh, what a let-down.'" That's the fear when you bring back one of music's most beloved names seven years after their last album. But with Hug of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, Drew and his bandmates have a right to feel presumptuous.

    They have that right because they have created one of 2017's most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. On Hug of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene - well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines - refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn't just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year - a song that will become as beloved as "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.

    Its title, Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group's comeback, and how they sound playing together again: "It's just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder."

    Broken Social Scene had reconvened, in varying forms, several times over the past four years - the odd festival show here and there, preferably ones that involved the least possible traveling. But the idea that they might turn their hand to something more than greatest-hits sets had been stirring since November 2014, when producer Joe Chiccarelli told Drew the group needed to make a new album.

    "He started showing up at our label, asking if we were going to make an album," Drew recalls. "He just didn't give up; he just kept saying, 'You've got to strike, you've got to do this, the time is now,' and so finally we agreed."

    As might be expected to be the case with a many-headed hydra of a group, getting all the principals to agree wasn't easy. Drew's co-founder Brendan Canning was keen, but Drew and fellow BSS lifer Charles Spearin took more persuading. A turning point for Drew came with the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, which made him feel the world needed an injection of positivity: "It just sort of made us want to go out there and play. Because I think we've always been a band that's been a celebration."

    Canning picks up the story: "By autumn of 2015 we had started getting together and trying some ideas out, just getting back in that jam space, in Charles' garage. Then we set up shop in my living room and we were starting to come together in a very familiar kind of way, jamming in the living room, eating meals in the kitchen together, because that's what the band is about: 'Hey, let's all get on the same page and get the energies flowing in the same direction.'"

    Recording finally began in April 2016 at The Bathouse studio on the shores of Lake Ontario, with later sessions in Toronto and Montreal, before the group went right back to basics. "It was very beautiful the way that it ended in Charlie's little rehearsal garage space," Drew says, "after going to all these studios. We just worked there, doing backup vocals and handclaps and all the shit we used to do when we were younger." And then it was to Los Angeles, where the album was mixed.

    The result is a panoramic, expansive album, 53 minutes that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: "Stay Happy" lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. "Gonna Get Better" makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That's not to say it's an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring "There was a military base across the street," the listener is caught in the division between the national security provided by national defense, and the menace of the same thing.

    The gestation of Hug of Thunder was no idyll. When You Forgot It in People made their name, Broken Social Scene were young men and women. Fifteen years on, they were adults in or on the cusp of middle age, and - as Drew puts it - "all the adult problems in the world were happening around us individually, whether it was divorce or cancer". Three members of the band lost their fathers while the album was being recorded, "and it seemed like the days of going in the studio, getting stoned, drinking five beers and saying, 'Who gives a fuck?' were over".

    Then there's the fact of the size of the ensemble, and the number of competing voices. "You don't always get the final say with Broken Social Scene," Canning says, with a certain degree of understatement. He compares the process of getting everyone to agree on a song to party politics: "It's like you're trying to get a bill passed through the House - you have to be really committed to wanting to win."

    But, still, if they were to return, it had to be with everybody, no matter if that meant things might get unwieldy. "I'd like to believe that Broken Social Scene can be whatever it can be," Canning says, "but I think the fact we'd gone away for so long meant we really, we really couldn't have done the same thing without everyone involved, you know?" The story of Broken Social Scene, he insists, was built on the involvement of everyone, and so if the story was to be continued, those same people had to return.

    "The thing that has changed is that the relationships between us are established," Drew suggests. "And in a family, you ebb and flow and you come and you go and you're in love and then you're annoyed - but it's established now, the relationships aren't going anywhere, you know? And I think through time, because we've been through so much together, personally and professionally, when we're all on stage, everybody knows what they're doing, everybody has a melody to back up someone else, you feel supported, you're a crew, there's nothing but protection all around you."

    Canning picks up the theme: "Before we were making this record, I said to everyone: 'We all basically want the same thing, we might just have slightly different roadmaps on how to get there. So how do we stray off on certain country roads but get back onto the main thoroughfare?'"

    That Broken Social Scene was a family again, driving along the same main road, became apparent to UK fans in September 2016, when the group - with Ariel Engle the latest woman to assume the role of co-lead vocalist - came over for less than a handful of festival shows, to test the waters. Their Sunday teatime appearance at End Of The Road - an ecstatic hour of maximalist music, physically and emotionally overwhelming - ended up being one of the biggest hits of the festival. It achieved what Drew has always felt music needed to do: it created transcendence, a pocket of time where everyone present was living only in the moment.

    "My 11-year-old nephew asked me, 'Uncle Kev, why do adults get drunk?' and I looked at him and thought, 'OK, brilliant question, I'm going to give a brilliant answer,'" Drew recalls. "And I looked at him for about 10 seconds and I said, 'Because they want to feel like you. Because they want to feel like a kid again, they want to forget everything, they want to be innocent.' We are built in a way now where you can't do that because you're walking around with the anti-transcendence box in your pocket, and in your hand, and in your home, and on your bedside table: it's the anti-transcendence. It's called your phone! And we're getting killed, we're getting killed!"

    So what do Broken Social Scene want listeners to take from Hug of Thunder? Canning wants it to make them "pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes". For Drew, it's about what it's always been about: making the connection. "I just hope they understand that there's others out there, that they're not alone," he says. "I know that's silly! But you'd be surprised how many times I've had to tell people, 'Hey, you're not alone on this, you're not alone thinking these things.' I mean, with the title Hug of Thunder, I want to hold people. I want to fucking hold them. And when we do shows, I'm not: 'Look at me, I'm elevated up on the stage,' It's: 'We're here with you, this is us together.' Broken Social Scene is about the people, and it's always been about the people."

    1. Sol Luna
    2. Halfway Home
    3. Protest Song
    4. Skyline
    5. Stay Happy
    6. Vanity Pail Kids
    7. Hug of Thunder
    8. Towers and Masons
    9. Victim Lover
    10. Please Take Me With You
    11. Gonna Get Better
    12. Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse
    Broken Social Scene
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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