Audiophile: Vinyl, August 2020

hfnalbum.pngDire Straits
Love Over Gold
Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-469 (two 45rpm LPs)

Though no fan of Dire Straits, I mustn't be churlish and deny the sonic brilliance of this, their fourth LP, dating from 1982, and their first to hit No 1 in the UK charts. As ever, the musicianship is sublime, and Mark Knopfler's fluidity and inventiveness are enough to draw audiophiles to this release, but the self-indulgence counters the previous releases' greater accessibility. Indeed, the 14 minutes-plus of 'Telegraph Road' was causing me to lose the will to live, but suffering through it is what pays my mortgage. That aside, MoFi has done a spectacular job of reissuing the Dire Straits catalogue at this level, though it remains to be seen if one of the band's titles will earn One-Step status. KK


The Beatles
Japan 1966
London Calling LCLPC 5027 (180g coloured vinyl)

Another copyright-free live set from The Beatles, this time the oft-bootlegged 30th June 1966 gig from Tokyo, captured by Nippon Television. Because it was professionally recorded for broadcast, it's superior to most live releases, typically taped by audience members – you can actually hear the band playing 'I Feel Fine', 'Day Tripper', 'Yesterday' and eight others during one of their notoriously short concerts. The screams are there, but this sounds better than any CD or vinyl bootleg I've heard of it. It is, of course, a souvenir rather than an audiophilic glimpse of what The Beatles might have sounded like live, but I fear such recordings don't exist. KK


The Dave Clark Five
All The Hits
BMG CAT408DLP (two 140g LPs; part mono)

Don't hang about: this magnificent material is only released periodically and then withdrawn, as Disney used to do with its DVDs, because Dave Clark believes in making us want what we can't have. Twenty-eight tracks, many in mono, show why this underappreciated band deserves more respect. The music was joyous, stomping stuff, with a unique sound, turning the DC5 into chart-topping rivals to The Beatles during the early years of the British Invasion. Sonically, the out-of-print Starline Best Of The Dave Clark Five from 1970 is the better bet, with a true stereo 'Glad All Over', but this package's lower octaves will worry your woofers. KK


Clear Light
Clear Light
Sundazed LP5125 (clear vinyl)

A gem! I have the US original on Elektra, from 1967, and Edsel's 1988 reissue, the latter and this version adding the bonus track, 'She's Ready To Be Free'. Thus it contains the entire output of a nearly-forgotten band that shared generic affinity with The Doors, Love and other West Coast groups producing psychedelic music of a listenable mien. This edition sonically mirrors the '67 pressing's classic Elektra sound, its mix of acid rock, folk and blues making it a joyous return to the Summer of Love. Crucially, Clear Light matters because it features on numerous rock family trees, eg, drummer Dallas Taylor joined Crosby Stills & Nash (& Young). Enjoy! KK