Audiophile: Digital (December 2018)

hfnalbum.pngThe Doors
Waiting For The Sun
Elektra/Rhino 603497857067 (two CDs + LP)

Uniform with the handsome anniversary set of The Doors' eponymous debut, this remastered, beefed-up edition of their third album, is from 1968. Adjudged more fondly with hindsight than it was then, it kicks off with 'Hello, I Love You' – a US No 1 hit which was just about as fine a chart single as that glorious, fecund year produced, followed by the jaunty 'Love Street.' Midway through comes 'Unknown Soldier' and it ends with 'Five To One' – surely these moody masterpieces rank with 'The End'? Rhino has added a CD of nine rough mixes and five live tracks, and the 12x12in package includes a fine booklet, as well as a fresh copy of the LP in stereo. The sound? Nearly as good as the Analogue Productions reissue. KK


The Guess Who
Road Food/#10
Vocalion CDSML8538

Continuing this label's much-appreciated disinterring of 1970s four-channel 'quad' mixes, this pair of albums on one SACD dates from 1973/4, when the Canadian rockers were past the peak period of hit-making, but the material was still first-class. The lineup was changing, soon to lose members to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, yet the remnants delivered gems like 'Star Baby', the novelty tune 'Clap For The Wolfman' and one or two others. The added charm is hearing true four-channel mixes left alone, rather than remixing to 5.1 – hats off to Vocalion. I wish they'd sequence these two-on-ones with the earlier release first, but that's just me being pedantic. KK


Billy Squier
Don't Say No
Intervention Records IR-SCD7 (stereo SACD)

A New Englander with a cool rock pedigree – his family tree's branches feed into The Beatles and The New York Dolls – Squier is one of those easy-to-overlook 1980s American artists who might be filed unjustly under 'Hair Rock' or 'Stadium Rock'. But that would be to deny serious chops: the guitar work throughout is superlative. This 1981 album is adjudged his best, and it was in the US charts for more than two years. The contents? Glossy hard rock with exceptional melodies, redolent of the era but far from clichéd. The opener and 'The Stroke' will make you sit bolt upright, because the chunky, massive sound is truly exceptional. And it is artist-approved. KK


Negro Church Music
Man In The Moon MITMCD34

Deep, pure, decidedly authentic gospel music, these 1959 recordings by the indefatigable Alan Lomax are both historically important and musically regenerating. It's enough that they were recorded in field conditions, yet they are also heard here in remarkable, early stereo. Unlike secular folk performances, this is undiluted religious music, best heard in a congregation at prayer. But whether you approach this with academic curiosity to sate your hunger for more about the history of sound, or because you have an open mind for roots material, you will leave it wanting more. The album is part of the Southern Folk Heritage Series. KK