Audiophile: Digital (October 2018)

Breakfast In America
Mobile Fidelity UDSACD2189

Is there an audiophile alive, at least any over the age of 50, who doesn't already own this in some form? I have no idea how many times it's been reissued – Discogs lists hundreds of editions, and MoFi issued it on LP as far back as 1982 and gold CD in 1990. Possibly targeting a new audience (or merely satisfying those of us who adore SACD!), MoFi has presented a gloriously glossy, airy transfer that's so lush and open that it sounds as fresh as it did in 1979, when it graced the turntables of every hi-fi shop on the planet, and voiced every hi-fi show demo one might attend. Pretentious, bombastic, prog-ish – yes, it's all of those. But try not getting caught up in its epic sweep. And nostalgia has nothing to do with it. KK


Gene Clark
White Light
Intervention Records IR-SCD9

If you have a penchant for cult artists, there's no box un-ticked by Gene Clark – ex-Byrd, pioneer of country rock, dead at 46, remembered for a half-dozen sublime albums. Every time I hear this plaintive release, shaking my fists at the gods for making Gram Parsons more celebrated, I despair. But that's a plea for you to discover him if you haven't already. Intervention has done a sensational job with this SACD edition of his 1971 release, his most celebrated. While I prefer his eponymous debut with The Gosdin Brothers, it ranks as among the best singer-songwriter albums of the era, its lone cover – Dylan's 'Tears of Rage' – worthy of The Band itself. KK


Jethro Tull
50 For 50
Chrysalis/Parlophone 0190295659295 (three discs)

What a tagline: '60 million album sales, 36 different band members, 21 albums, 1 Ian Anderson'. Unlike the multi-disc versions of each album, this isn't for the hardcore Tullist. Instead, it's a superb intro for newbies or those who just want a best-of – 50 tracks out of the 250 the band recorded, and all the highlights are here. Culled from albums and singles, not in chronological order, it emphasises the heavier side of the band, though you get enough of folky, woodsy material to remind of you their versatility beyond the 'prog' badge. The sound, too, is superb, though nothing suggests remastering. And, yes, my fave track of all-time remains 'Teacher'. KK


The Who
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
Polydor 6744485 (two discs)

Pre-Tommy, pre-Live At Leeds, pre-Woodstock, this is one of the most evocative ways of experiencing this magnificent band in a transitional period, after their breakthrough at Monterey Pop the previous summer. Recorded at the legendary New York venue in April 1968, it's rich with the classic singles and LP tracks that the band created prior to Pete Townshend's move to concept LPs. I don't know how they managed it, but it's one of the best-sounding, too, ideal for rousing takes of 'I Can't Explain', 'I'm A Boy', 'Happy Jack'. These and ten others on CD1 are merely an appetiser for CD2: a wild, 33min version of 'My Generation'. KK