God bless Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Their Legacy Series is featuring releases of classic albums in their original vinyl format.
Vinyl seems to be making a comeback of late. In fact 1.2 million new vinyl record albums were sold last year. When properly produced, pressed on superior vinyl and played on a good stereo system, the sound can be as clear and powerful as a CD. Sony Legacy has released the following albums as part of their fall catalogue.
1) Agents Of Fortune by Blue Oyster Cult. This was their breakout release. The first three Blue Oyster Cult albums were excellent hard rock assaults. This fourth release by the group was smoother and more pop sounding and was their commercial break through. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” remains a signature 1970’s hard rock song. While the album does not mention special vinyl, the disc feels heavier than a normal record album. The sound is crystal clear and the packaging down to the inner sleeve is faithful to the original.
2) Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus. This was Charles Mingus’ first release for the Columbia label and remains a seminal jazz album. Legacy has decided to issue this important American music album on 180 gram vinyl in order to enhance the sound quality and listening experience. Songs such as “Better Get Hit In Yo' Soul,” “Fables Of Faubus” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” find new life and vitality nearly a half century after their creation. Few jazz artists could paint musical pictures like Charles Mingus and Mingus Ah Um finds him at the height of his powers. Vinyl is a good way to hear him again or for the first time.
3) Berlin by Lou Reed. This was a difficult listen in 1973 and remains so today. Despite that, it is superior rock ‘n’ roll from one of the masters. Surrounded by such artists as Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Alice Cooper, Randy Brecker and others, he created accessible but dark music. 2007 found Reed touring and presenting a complete production of this release. A good way to listen to this re-mastered classic is to put on your head phones and block out the world.