Audiophile: Digital, August 2021

hfnalbum.pngThe Band
Stage Fright
Capitol 02507 35243 (two CDs + Blu-ray + LP + 7in single)

After their eponymous second LP, arguably their finest album, Stage Fright was an anti-climax, without one moment to match its predecessor. That said, so-so Band is ten times better than just about anyone else, so this is an opportunity to hear 'The Shape I'm In', 'All La Glory' and eight other exemplars of roots music, with bonus tracks and on three formats. Extras in this lavish 50th Anniversary box set also include a superb concert from the Royal Albert Hall in 1971 (available as the second disc if you'd rather opt for the bargain 2CD set 02507 35239), a Blu-ray with the album in stereo and 5.1 surround, and the Spanish 7in single of 'Time To Kill' and 'The Shape I'm In'. Essential for the Band hard-core. KK


John Fogerty
Fogerty's Factory

Like Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens) Islam's 2020 re-recording of Tea For The Tillerman, instead of marking an anniversary with a reissue, John Fogerty has re-imagined a bunch of his solo and Creedence Clearwater Revival hits, plus a couple of cover tunes. Performed by his family and adorned with a remake of the artwork for Cosmo's Factory, it is also Fogerty's observation of the 'Year of COVID-19', very much a comment on lockdown – but the result is joyous rather than grim. It swings along with 'Proud Mary', 'Bad Moon Rising' and ten others, and the feel is as intimate as an unplugged session. CCR fans certainly won't mind. (Also on LP: BMG538633611.) KK


Tommy James & The Shondells
Celebration: The Complete Roulette Recordings 1966-1973
Grapefruit USA QCRSEGBOX085 (six discs)

This will confuse the British because Tommy James & The Shondells, Paul Revere & The Raiders, were huge back in the USA, but meant relatively little here, with a lone UK chart hit with 'Mony Mony'. (Fine: Marc Bolan, Slade and Cliff couldn't get arrested Stateside.) Even so, Billy Idol did well with that track, while Yank Rock connoisseurs belatedly appreciate 'Crimson & Clover', 'I Think We're Alone Now', 'Hanky Panky' and others which turn up in ads, movies, and '60s 'rockumentaries'. Superior pop in a bargain-priced box containing 141 tracks. Incidentally, James' autobiography is one of the best-ever books about the rock biz. KK


Tom Petty
Wildflowers & All The Rest
Warner Records 093624899112 (four discs)

A fine example of artistic redress: the late, sorely-missed Petty's esteemed 1994 solo title was cut down to 15 songs from his original listing as a 25-track double LP, through an executive decision that deemed it too long. It was, like The Beatles' original Get Back concept, a return to the basics, and the set was pure Petty. Assisted by all but one of The Heartbreakers, Petty produced a gem of an album even in its truncated form, which his family and band members arranged to be restored and expanded. This superior example of guitar-led American rock is now available with all of the deleted numbers, plus demos, home recordings and live tracks. KK