Audiophile: Vinyl, February 2019

hfnalbum.pngSimon And Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Mobile Fidelity UD1S 2-004 (One-Step Limited Edition, two 45rpm LPs )

With expectations so high, it's no surprise that the fourth MoFi One-Step release (7500 pressings) is arguably the finest of this sublime duo's canon. The title track alone is enough to justify purchase, sounding so majestic that it borders on the sacred. It's here where One-Step yields its benefits, especially with an LP that has been 'audiophiled' to death – even at first listening nuances are revealed that seem to have been hidden for the near-half-century since its release. Garfunkel's voice has never sounded more angelic, the scale of production is dazzling. Better still are the intimate moments from the leaner numbers, while 'The Boxer' is almost too poignant to hear without Kleenex to hand. KK


The Police
Every Move You Make – The Studio Recordings
A&M/Polydor 0256763250 (six 180g vinyl LPs)

Following on from the half-speed-mastered LPs of 2016, which included Cream, John Martyn, etc, The Police's entire studio output has received the same treatment to create this superlative box-set. (Note: Ghost In The Machine was part of that series: it's here with a different catalogue number.) Along with a bonus 12-track LP, Flexible Strategies, with non-album cuts and B-sides, the box includes a 24-page, 12x12in photo book. It's likely that these LPs were taken from digital masters, the cause of controversy back in 2016, but that's irrelevant: all sound fast, powerful and punchy, with no audible nasties. Reggae-inflected hard rock of the finest sort. KK


Rolling Stones
Beggar's Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
ABKCO 0018771851615 (180g LP + 12in single + FlexiDisc)

Easily the best version I've ever heard of what many consider to be the band's finest album, it opens with a sonically-dazzling 'Sympathy For The Devil' – the bonus 12in single contains the mono mix – followed by nine more masterworks. 'Street Fighting Man', 'Prodigal Son', 'Stray Cat Blues' – these have been remastered to perfection by the inimitable Bob Ludwig, presented in exquisite packaging that wraps the 'invitation' sleeve around the withdrawn, graffiti-covered loo photo. Also included is a replica of a rare Japanese bonus flexi-disc containing a phone interview with Mick Jagger from 1968. Significantly, this was the last LP with the original lineup. KK


Twisted Sister
Live At The Marquee 1983
Atlantic 603497861378 (two red vinyl LPs)

Surprisingly popular in the UK, given this country's resistance to US glam/metal, Noo Yawk ass-kickers Twisted Sister tapped into British irony because they didn't take themselves too seriously. The group could rock Reading, Hammersmith and other venues, but they really clicked at the Marquee. Previously only available as a limited-edition 5000-copy CD, and never issued in its entirety on LP before, this speaker-busting set is simply proof that they were more than purveyors of air-punching anthems and sassy videos. Raw vocals, fiery axe-work, surprising covers ('Leader Of The Pack'!) and monumentally epic sound. How so? The lead guitarist is an audiophile. KK