There is now a generation who have probably never bought a vinyl record. My six year old granddaughter had no idea what a record was when she came to visit. She was amazed that sound could come from a strange looking disc.
Sony/BMG, through its Legacy Series, has been reissuing classic albums in their original vinyl format. Some are being issued on 180 gram vinyl and others on regular vinyl. These remastered releases have a crystal clear sound when played on the proper equipment. They also contain the original art work, liner notes, and labels.
1) One Night Stand! Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club was recorded in January of 1963 which was a little less than two years before his death. Cooke was one of the first artists to regularly and successfully cross over from the rhythm & blues charts to the pop charts. His very smooth sound created such hits as “You Send Me,” “Chain Gang,” “Having A Party” and “Twistin’ The Night Away.” This live album returns his sound to its original vinyl form as a 180 gram audiophile pressing. It offers a rare opportunity to hear one of the great soul masters as he should be heard.
2) Red Headed Stranger was Willie Nelson’s first album issued for the Columbia Label. Nelson was over 15 years into his career when he issued this concept LP about a preacher on the lamb after shooting his wife and her lover. It would reach number one on the country charts and contain his first crossover pop hit, “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.”
3) Earth, Wind & Fire recorded for the Columbia Label for almost twenty years and Gratitude was their only live release during that period. This two record retrospective of their career would top both the pop and rhythm & blues charts and sell over three million copies in the United States. While the group has remained active, this reissued album finds them at the height of their career and provides some of the best R&B on record.
4) The Sony/BMG Legacy Series actually has a smaller series contained in their releases. Remixed & Reimagined by Nina Simone is a part of that series. Originally released as a CD in 2006, it is now brought to vinyl for the first time. Several different DJ’s remixed a number of her classic tracks to create this album. Songs such as “My Man’s Gone Now,” “Here Comes The Sun,” “The Look Of Love” and “Westwind” are changed and modernized. Nina Simone is a musical icon who has released over forty albums and this is a fine addition to her catalogue.
5) Blows Against The Empire was put together by Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane. Issued as by Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship, it was a science fiction concept album. This was a far different sound than that which The Jefferson Starship would ultimately produce in the late 1970s and 1980s. Members of the Airplane and The Grateful Dead plus solo artists Graham Nash, David Crosby, and David Freiberg all contributed to this classic album. A little known fact is that it was the only rock album to have been nominated for science fiction’s Hugo Award.
6) Trio Of Doom by John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius and Tony Williams was put together for release in 2007 by McLaughlin who is the only one of the three still alive. The music was recorded live in Havana in 1979 and in the studio later that same year.
The songs remained unreleased until now. This 180 gram vinyl audiophile pressing finally does justice to these long lost tracks.
While records may seem antiquated to many, they still provide a wonderful listening experience and for many of these classic albums, returns them to their original form. Depending on your musical tastes, they are all highly recommended.