Marvin gaye – Let’s get it on

Enticed by the bright orange carrot of 15 extra tracks, which I've never seen on another vinyl edition of 'Let's get it on', I finally plumped and bougght my first 180grm record by the Vinyl Lovers label.

 As previously announced here in News some months ago the Vinyl lovers label released a slew of interesting titles on vinyl. Owned or associated with Lilith records the very name of the label inspired excitement in me and no doubt many other vinyl fanatics. Strangely the music was licensed from Universal Music Russia, making it sound like a possibly dubious operation. But apparently it was all legal and even the neighbourhood shop close to you is bound to have a few titles.

 I already have a copy of this record on a re-release from the last five years or so. Pressed on shoddy vinyl and the sound is equally unimpressive. I was looking forward to teh possible improvements that Vinyl Lovers could bring to mylong suffering stylus.

 The record comes in the original gatefold sleeve, inclusive of Marvin's little penned tribute to the wonder of sex, and how really, we shouldn't feel too guilty about it. Sex is different to love though but is simply marvellous in its own right. Err, thanks marvin.

The records are excellent vinyl pressings, flat and silent. They're housed in my favourite paper sleeves with the plastic lined inners. Its all looking good.

I put the record with the fancy house label on the turntable, drop my  stylus and …..Ouch!! Possibly one of the brightest, most ear-piercing sound I've ever had the misfortune to hear. I really don't know how they managed this. My entire CD collection is more natural sounding than this atrocity of sound while my downloaded mp3 collection certainly comes close. It is reasonably detailed and clean sounding if that's what you're looking for.

 Really, what is the point?? If we're listening to vinyl record, its not because we're neanderthals who can't read the small print on a cd!! Or is it? Maybe that today makes up the majority of 'Vinyl Lovers' and who this record is aimed directly at.

You, dear reader, would be far better off saving your money to buy the entire Sundazed reissues of 'Sly and teh family stone'. Funky, warm and natural sounding.

 

Incidentally(it should really be the focus), the music on this record is of course peerless and its nice having the extra tracks. Its not as earth conscious awakening or inspiring as 'Heal the worl…' err I mean 'What's going on' but its a highly enjoyable and slightly sleazy listening experience. But you're probably better off joining me in the search for an original in good condition.

WASP – Headless Children

WASP – Headless Children

 

            Certainly not bad for a quid! To begin with I was attracted by the album cover, which can be compared to The Beatles Sergeant Peppers. It shows some great illustrations of various evils and faces, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler, followed by a giant skull in the background. Very interesting to look at for a while.

            The album also has one of those cool card dust covers that I always like to see. Definitely better than the thin: ‘Home taping is killing music’ sleeves (ha).

            Before buying this album I hadn’t really heard anything about WASP, or their music. Just thought I’d experiment with some new bands. Whilst I admit the songs are all painfully similar, they’re well put together and a good listen. The opening track ‘The Heretic’, is one of the best album openers you are likely to hear in metal. It builds up a marching suspense and quickly erupts into the distorted guitars that countinue throughout the album. Very imaginative, and it’s the song that you always seem to remember after listening. It also somehow matches the album art if that makes sense. Probably not, but oh, well.

            I normally like to hear a wall of sound from metal bands and this is a great example of it, especially in the track ‘Real Me’. The vocalist, Blackie Lawless does a great job of using the ‘screamy’ style, but in a way that is subtle and sounds half melodic at the same time.

            ‘Forever Free’, the ballad of the LP, also greatly matches the vocalist. Forever Free also breaks the album nicely, as it does begin to become slightly monotonous by this stage. I’d imagine the CD version would emphasize this, with no definite side one and two. Not only that, but you couldn’t admire the full album cover.

            To conclude on that, I would say the music is great, but needs variation to avoid becoming ‘Motorhead like’. I think most people would know what I mean by that.

            The record itself is in very good condition, so I have no idea why it ended up in the reduced bin alongside Mike Oldfield and Jazz Britania. The record is very thin but doesn’t have many scratches that are sometimes associated with this. The cover and dust cover are also in great condition and would go well for a pound anytime. I would pass this on to any fellow metal fan.

Eleanor McEvoy – Out There

Eleanor McEvoy – Out There

 Diverse records has been one of my favourite record labels. I've been disappointed because they have been very quiet for the past couple of years. But I am delighted to see the following announcement. Eleanor McEvoy's 'Yola' was magnificent. I have not heard this new album but hope it reaches the same highs.

 

We are delighted to announce that the next release on the Diverse Records label will be the 5th album by the Irish singer songwriter, Eleanor McEvoy "Out There".

Forever associated with 'Only A Woman's Heart', massively underrated Irish singer songwriter Eleanor McEvoy raises the stakes with an ambitious self-produced, self-arranged album. It tackles Marvin Gaye and Lowell George and includes a Dave Rotheray collaboration along with her own immaculately tuneful, lyrically potent tales of love and life.
"Out There" has already been a hit at the hi fi shows this year on SACD, but along with "Early Hours" and the repress of "Yola", we're hoping it's going to sound even better on the Diverse label proprietory 180g audiophile vinyl.

As usual, mastering duties will be handled by Ray Staff at Alchemy Mastering, and pressing at Pallas in Germany. Release date to be confirmed at the moment, so please keep your eye out for more news as it breaks.

Useful link: http://www.diverserecords.com

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

My Bloody Valentine started life off in London as a slightly fey indie band typically associated with the London indie scene at the time, NME etc.

In 1988 they released ‘Isn’t anything’ on creation Records. This was a huge step forward into noise rock and the scene which was later to become known as shoegazing. For many this is still their best album.

For the next three years, Kevin Shields, Colm O’Coisig and the rest of the band holed up in a studio and produced and engineered what was to become the masterpiece, not just of MBV, but of the era.

Loveless is like nothing else you have ever heard. The record cover, a pink haze which might depict the fender of a guitar suggests at what is within. A common tale at the time was that when people first put it on they thought their record player was broken.

A testament not so much to the playing on the guitar as to the production that followed, Loveless contains brilliant tunes shrouded in guitar feedback, overdubs, reverb and, well, noise.

Belinda Butcher, and apparently a speeded up Kevin Shields, provide glimmering translucent vocals amongst this dreamlike cacophony. The voices were to be used more like an instrument than voices in their own right. They are part of the whole and not the primary focus. The lyrics themselves are indecipherable but apparently a lot of the songs are about making love.

Much of the album follows this pattern, ‘Only shallow’ and ‘To here knows when’ being some highlights. Right at the end of the record when you think it couldn’t get any better ‘Soon’ appears and introduces a lolloping dance beat which sets dance floors alight.

Loveless truly is in a class of its own.

Loveless is such a mind melding blend of sonics that it is difficult to criticise the actual sound quality of it. I had a Creation pressing. When I bought the recent Plain recordings issue, I did discover that it was clearer and somewhet more distinct. Its on excellent quality vinyl and in a nice gatefold sleeve. Plain are from the Runt distribution group of labels, the same group who bring you 4 men with beards.

If you see it, buy it!