Audiophile: Vinyl, March 2021

hfnalbum.pngEric Clapton & Friends
Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019
Rhino R1 628789 (six discs)

Clapton's occasional fundraiser marked its 20th anniversary with yet another 'Who's Who' of guitar heroes. Its 42 tracks are spread over six LPs, and the live feel is what makes this set a perfect document of the event: the show was produced and mixed by Simon Climie, then mastered by the inimitable Bob Ludwig. Guests included Albert Lee, Billy Gibbons, Andy Fairweather Low, Bonnie Raitt, The Buddy Guy Band, Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, Keb' Mo', Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Sonny Landreth, Susan Tedeschi and more, playing loads of blues numbers and covers of Eric-related milestones. Sales will benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua which treats drug addiction, so spring for a superb set. KK


Bob Dylan/Original Soundtrack
Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
Mobile Fidelity MFSL1-487 (180g vinyl)

You gotta love soundtracks which stand up on their own, independent of seeing the film, eg, A Hard Day's Night or Performance. I venture that, as good as was the film, this 1973 release ended up in more record libraries by people who didn't see it than did. After all, it includes 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' – surely one of Dylan's finest, most elegiac masterworks – while the musicians form a roster of giants: Roger McGuinn, Byron Berline, Booker T, Jim Keltner, Russ Kunkel. As Dylan had, by this time, conquered the musical sub-genres which travel under the names of 'roots', 'Americana' and 'alt-country', it sounds more current now than 48 years ago. KK


Love Songs
Rhino R1 643449 (two 180g discs in red vinyl)

As Spinal Tap-ish as the notion of 'Whitesnake' and 'Love Songs' may seem, this second in the 'Red, White & Blues' trilogy attests to the band's mastery of power ballads. Fans will love the remixes, the sound a tad more polished without losing power. Standouts in this hit-laden package include 'Now You're Gone', 'Midnight Blue', 'Is This Love' and 'The Deeper The Love', while two unreleased tracks ensure mandatory purchasing by completists: 'Yours For the Asking' and 'Let's Talk It Over'. The coloured vinyl pressings are excellent, but I have to admit to wry amusement at the inclusion of a lyrics sheet, as karaoke fodder this is not. KK


Jackie Wilson
Demon DEMREC685

As one who'd argue that Wilson just may be the greatest, most versatile male singer since recording began, I have to give this a thumbs-up for content. If you have ever heard Wilson – and not just this LP's No 11 (US) hit, 'Whispers (Gettin' Louder)' – you know he was a belter who tempered soul and funk with Motown-like sophistication, abetted by a vocal range that included the operatic. This is classic, mid-period Wilson, which, while showcasing that voice, makes you wish all the more he'd defected to Stax, Volt, Atco or any other label that didn't try to turn him into Sinatra. Northern Soul devotees will love this, especially the perfect facsimile sleeve. KK