Tuesday, September 9, 2014

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 9/9/14



The big expensive box you see above is now available to purchase. That's right! The Beatles, in mono, on vinyl. And though it is almost $400, it is the first time the tapes from the thing with the original mixing board with the knob in the original building with the guy are being used. So, if you think you know what "Rubber Soul" sounds like, EMI guarantees you don't.

TIP O' THE DAY:
If you buy each album individually, the total cost is about $100 less than buying the box. I guess the big hardcover book with never before seen pictures of George Harrison's sister Ruth and essays about how good The Beatles are is what sets you back the extra c-note.

Finally, if you think I can just ignore this whole set, you don't know me at all. I purchased a couple of them. I'll get back to you regarding the sound in a day or two.







I thought about not discussing the new Robert Plant record, daunted by the inevitable anti-Zep comments that would most likely follow. But it is a fantastic release so I'll take my chances that for just a few hours, the Jimmy Plagiarist taunts can rest.

Robert Plant has been very vocal about not wanting a Led Zeppelin reunion. I understand completely. As long as Plant continues to create fresh new music as satisfying as "lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar," the rigors of the road and having to slog through the same old material becomes less and less appealing.

On this record, Plant and his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, offer a collection of music that covers British folk and blues, with heavy Celtic overtones, and yet still feels very riff-heavy, as to not let you forget that the singer was once in a very popular hard rocking band. Plant's vocals rarely rise above a whisper or croon and that's not a negative. The man is singing and is singing beautifully.

There is a lot going on here, but it remains incredibly musical. Yet another strong release from Robert Plant, starting with 2005's "Mighty Rearranger." Jimmy Page should listen to Robert's advice and put away any thoughts of a reunion tour, pick up the acoustic, and write some new tunes the way he did at Headley Grange in 1970. Plant has already said he'd be happy to sing them.


There is also a new record from Ryan Adams, live archive releases from both the Grateful Dead (Nassau Coliseum, 3/29/90) and Queen (Live At The Rainbow, 1974), as well as a rather odd tribute to the great Laura Nyro. (see below)


14 comments:

Matt Davis said...

Are you a Sloan fan, Sal? Have you heard the new one coming out today?

Shriner said...

From what I recall, Sloan (like Robyn Hitchcock) is one of those groups that Sal never got.

I still respect him anyway. ;-)

Sal Nunziato said...

@Matt

Shriner has a good memory. On paper, I am supposed to love Teenage Fanclub, Robyn Hitchock and Sloan. But I don't. I have tried, time and again, with real persistence. Not like some who hear "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me" and then write off Cheap Trick. I've listened through and through. They all leave me cold.

whattawino said...

I was lucky enough to catch Robert Plant and his excellent band this year at Jazzfest....I really liked what I heard and it sounds like you do too. I reckon I'll be jumping on that album asap. Thanks, Sal.

Anonymous said...

I really like Plant's new one though I have to say I'm growing a little weary of his err... soft vocal delivery. Ever since Raising Sand, he's been singing a bit like, dare I say, a girl. Which is not a bad thing ... if you're a girl. I realize he's not in his twenties anymore and I'm not asking for Zep banshee screams, but it would be nice if every once in awhile he would stray from the very limited vocal range he has been singing in of late. Killer songs though, great band (it's the Sensational Space Shifters, though). I can't think of any other seventies artist that is putting out such a consistently strong, everchanging catalogue of music. Oh, and by the way, welcome back - you were missed greatly. Randy

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks Randy. I've corrected the band name.

Bulletins From Mars Hill said...

My review of the Robert Plant from my Facebook page: The album is a Joy to listen to, multi textured and multi influences weave through one another like a complicated knitting pattern, but the result is perfection. Clarksdale, Memphis, Texas and the Black Country meld into the best stew you have ever eaten.
I remember when Plant released his first album I was listening to it in my favourite record shop. (It was that long ago) The manager who was a mate wasn't sure. I was and offered the opinion that I was relieved that he didn't do an album of Rockabilly covers. Robin (The Manager) said he would have preferred it if he had. I lost contact with Robin a long time ago, but I think he would enjoy this album. Those early rock stylings are there, although not in a pastiche way. They are just part of the pallet of Plant's life soundtrack. When he sings Blue Days Black Nights in House Of Love, Buddy Holly is present without ever dominating. When he sings "And if the sun refused to shine" in Pocket Full Of Golden you find yourself doing a double take and asking did I hear that right? It in no way sounds like Zeppelins Thank You, but instead is more like he's blowing a kiss to a former lover.
I know Neil Young posits the idea that when we listen to digital music we hear everything first time, but there is just too much here to hear first time. Revisits will be an ongoing joy of discovery

Sal Nunziato said...

@Bulletins From Mars Hill

Fantastic review.

dogbreath said...

My local record store (what's one of them, daddy?) was playing the new Plant album yesterday when I was in & it sounded pretty darn fine to these old ears. Even though I'm one of those diehards who can't let go of the Plant/Zep thing, it was almost enough to make me buy a copy. Almost. More listens needed, I think.

cmealha said...

I've been looking forward to the Plant album based on the small samplings I've heard. You've got to give him credit. He may not have the voice he once had but he's not resting on his laurels. He's pushing boundaries. Very inventive. Glad you like it.

A walk in the woods said...

I'm really more of a Zep fan than Robert Plant solo fan, but your review (and Mars Hill review above) got me intrigued, so I listened in...

wow! I'm impressed. Might have to get this one.

As for the Beatles mono releases, please do review them and don't worry about boring us with tiny details - go long with the review, 'cause I want to know if it's worth it to buy these LP's literally a 4th or even 5th time. I'll do it if it's worth it!

peabody nobis said...

Glad to have your input on the new Plant, Sal. Oh, And welcome back, too.
I've been mesmerized by this record. Mr. Plant deserves all accolades for this amazing release, as well as for not acceding to the lazy Page's desire for a "reunion tour".
Music is a living thing; performing CPR on 45-year old material to make a buck is simply not Mr. Plant's way.

Rob said...

Hello Sal. I'm glad you changed your mind about leaving. I know I'm not the most regular of contributors but I always liked dropping in now and then and just listening quietly to what was going on. Yours is an island of taste and sanity in an ocean of dross and harshness. I watched the Percy and the Space Shifters set at Glastonbury on tv and absolutely loved it - Juldeh Camara's one string-fiddle playing had me pretty much hugging myself with delight (my 82 year old dad who watched it with me loved it too - I throw that in without comment)so I'm really looking forward to listening to Lullaby and... very soon.

Bombshelter Slim said...

The Laura tribute album IS odd... Ms. Nyro was sure soulful, something that Billy Child's "reimagining" seems to ignore.