Capitol Records Embraces Its Past


Capitol Records Embraces Its Past

June 24, 7:10 PM

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Capitol Records has finally reissued some of the finest albums in their extensive vault on 180 gram vinyl dubbed "Capitol Vaults." Capitol has been reissuing classics in high-grade audiophile vinyl since last year, however the second batch of reissues has long been anticipated by many wax enthusiasts. 

To begin, Roxy Music's third and fourth albums have finally seen a vinyl rebirth nearly a year after their first two albums were reissued simultaneously. Nonetheless, both "Stranded" and "Country Life" were well worth the wait. Both albums are incredible, simply magnificent, curiously, no one in the U.S. had ever really heard of them (despite that they had two hits here with "Love Is The Drug" and "More Than This"). Pick these up if you can.

To quote Rolling Stone's Paul Gambacci in May 1974: "Roxy has constructed the modern English equivalent to the wall-of-sound. One instrument, either the guitar or the keyboard, will sustain or repeat a note, and the other instruments will build on top of it. Added to the thick mix is the unique voice of Bryan Ferry, who sounds alternately tormented ("Psalm"), frantic ("Street Life"), or about to sink is teeth into your neck ("Mother of Pearl"). He delivers his consistently clever lyrics in the most disquieting baritone in pop. Everywhere there is a menace."

A couple of forgotten '70s Beach Boys albums have also been reissued, "Sunflower" and "Surf's Up." Both albums are vastly underrated, and "Surf's Up" features the song "Feel Flows" – one of the best Beach Boys songs ever.

Among other notable Capitol Vault reissues are three '80s albums "Freaky Styley", "Uplift Mofo Part Plan", and "Mother's Milk" all by the Red Hot Chill Peppers. "Freaky Styley" is the Peppers second album, their funkiest, and widely regarded as their most underrated; it was produced by the Godfather of Funk: George Clinton.

Another great reissue is Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried", a truely seminal outlaw country album, full of country classics from top to bottom, and is said to have defined and perfected the "Bakersfield Sound."

If you don't have a turntable anymore, do yourself a favor and buy one; they're affordable and the sound quality is far superior to any other medium. You can purchase any of the records I've mentioned at, or check your local record store.


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