Audiophile: Digital, November 2020

hfnalbum.pngThe Guess Who
American Woman/Share The Land
Vocalion CDSML8564 (SACD: multi-channel and stereo)

For this devotee, American Woman is the Canadian band's finest release, owing to the inclusion of the magnificent hits 'No Time', 'No Sugar Tonight' and the astounding, oft-covered title track, also charting for Lenny Kravitz in 1999. Its follow-up that same year – 1970 – isn't far off, with the 'Hand Me Down World' and its title track as stand-outs. This is a perfectly balanced mix of hard rock, early stadium rock and even a bit of activism, burnished by Burton Cummings' magnificent vocals and guitar work which later powered Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Like Keith Relf on this page, The Guess Who deserve more respect (Vocalion has also issued a couple of other Guess Who two-on-ones). KK


Grateful Dead
Workingman's Dead
Rhino 603947846986 (three discs)

And those 50th anniversary deluxe reissues keep on comin'… If you love this album (and you should even if you find the Dead tedious at times), you should buy Mofi's superb version on two 45rpm LPs [HFN Oct '15]. This expanded package, though, will part you from £12 or so thanks to a complete, unreleased concert from 1971 on two CDs. As ever, this remains hummable, accessible, country-flavoured Dead not requiring hallucinogens to make it palatable: a true classic augmented by a contemporary live gig for context. And for the hard-core Deadhead, there's also a handsome, limited edition picture disc of the original LP [Rhino RPD1 1869]. KK


Joe Jackson
Body And Soul
Intervention Records IR-SCD4

With 25 albums under his belt since 1979, Jackson continues to astound and confound, most people forgetting he was part of the new wave/skinny-tie crowd. He soon segue'd into Costello-esque material, revealing a deep appreciation for jazz and standards by 1981, with Jumpin' Jive and Night & Day a year later. This masterful set from 1984 is harder, take-no-prisoners jazz, all the material original and sounding not unlike a later Steely Dan album (and that's meant as a total compliment). Sensational rhythmic patterns throughout, passionate vocals – go straight to 'You Can't Get What You Want' to hear a track worthy of any audiophile's demo list. KK


Keith Relf
All The Falling Angels
Repertoire REPUK138

For Yardbirds fans, a fine collection of the hard-to-find material from lead vocalist Keith Relf's solo career. Relf, who died in 1976, formed a number of groups including Together, Armageddon and Renaissance, each represented here with a track or two, while much of his solo material suggests a fascination with West Coast folk-rock and the more serious elements of sunshine pop. Eleven of the 24 cuts are previously unissued, and the sound quality varies, but this is an excellent study of one of the most inventive, pioneering yet criminally unsung performers of the 1960s, with much here for those who love psychedelia, prog rock and anything with a mystical flavour. KK