Audiophile: Vinyl, May 2019

hfnalbum.pngBo Diddley
16 All-Time Greatest Hits
Sundazed/Checker LP5564 (white vinyl; mono)

Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Louis Jordan, Jackie Brenston – there are numerous claimants to the title of 'Father Of Rock 'n' Roll', but Bo Diddley's unique beat was easily the freshest departure from speeded-up R&B or 'un-rednecked' country. From Buddy Holly to The Rolling Stones and everyone in between, his chucka-chucka guitar personified the genre, and this best-of justifies his enormous ego – yes, he even rivalled Little Richard in this area. Fifteen magnificent originals and a peerless take of Willie Dixon's 'You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover' fill this slab of white vinyl, and it's so in-your-face that you will have to reassess your sense of rock history – and your attitude toward mono! KK


Big Brother & The Holding Co
Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills
Columbia/Legacy 19075863531 (two discs)

An important 50th anniversary reissue-of-sorts, this recalls The Beatles' Let It Be… Naked, which gave us that LP as the band intended. This provides a wealth of alternative versions and outtakes which represent Cheap Thrills (with its original risqué title) with greater authenticity. This is the album that established Janis Joplin as the voice of late-1960s rock, a belter par excellence, and even the band comes off better than history would have us believe.

A feast for Janis fans, the double LP contains 16 tracks of which 13 are previously unreleased, while the expanded, double CD [19075863522] contains 30 tracks, 25 of which are heard for the first time. KK


Holly Cole Trio
Don't Smoke In Bed
Analogue Productions APP049 (200g vinyl)

Superlative, small-group jazz, as definitive a recipe for audiophile acceptance as a concept gets, this absolute stunner from 1993 has long demonstrated the worth of a sound system at shows. Remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original master tapes and pressed on 200g vinyl, it delivers immediate satisfaction on every level, a rare case of the music matching the sonics. Silky sound, seductive vocals, refreshing reworkings of 'I Can See Clearly Now', 'The Tennessee Waltz' (covered so many times that it's a miracle one can find a new delivery), a cheeky but sincere 'Que Sera Sera' – this is a no-brainer purchase on every level: it's why we love LPs. KK


The Shadows Of Knight
Alive In '65!
Beatrocket/Sundazed BR145 (orange vinyl; mono)

What a find! The Shadows Of Knight were the definitive Nuggets/garage/punk (in the US sense) band of the mid-1960s, their hit version of Them's 'Gloria' creating the template for every bunch of teenage wannabees across the USA. This was recorded before they released their first LP and it shows them to have honed their chops with the catalogue that every collective of musicians who wanted to be The Rolling Stones would play: 'Not Fade Away', 'You Really Got Me', 'Memphis', 'Louie, Louie', 'Heart Of Stone' and eight others which populated every set played in bars and frat houses across the land. The difference is: these guys were brilliant. KK