Audiophile: Vinyl, October 2020

hfnalbum.pngB B King & Eric Clapton
Riding With The King
Reprise 093624895206 (two discs, 180g vinyl)

To mark this superb LP's 20th anniversary, it has been remastered and boosted by two unreleased tracks. This was something of a dream come true for Clapton, whose friendship with King went back decades: duets of starry-eyed British blues pioneers playing with the genuine article date to the birth of the revival, and Clapton was there on one of the very first of such pairings – backing Sonny Boy Williamson while in The Yardbirds in 1963. This features classics from both their repertoires, and the fun lies in guessing who is playing which guitar break. One bonus track is 'Rollin' And Tumblin'', which Clapton performed with Cream, while the high-point has to be the 6m 'Hold On I'm Coming'. KK


Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Mobile Fidelity MFSL2-466 (two 45rpm LPs)

Their eponymous debut, the last of MoFi's Dire Straits reissues, which for some might prove the most satisfying. For one thing, it predates the obsession with studio trickery which proved increasingly a Dire Straits feature, while it presages the alt-country and roots movements of the next few decades. No kidding: for a first LP it is nothing short of remarkable, and that's not even counting 'Sultans Of Swing' – Mark Knopfler was already a world-class guitarist back in 1978, his playing on 'Wild West End' and 'Water Of Love' still dazzling. They knocked me out at the Hammersmith Odeon when 'Sultans' was in the charts, and they did it again with this pressing. KK


Idris Muhammad
Pure Pleasure TR110

Muhammad, a true journeyman jazz drummer, had a CV as long as your arm for working with others, so this 1980 title is a nice surprise as it's his name on the sleeve – and he produced only a dozen solo albums in 30 years. Joined here on bass by Ray Drummond and Pharoah Sanders or George Coleman on tenor saxes, with both of them playing on the opener, 'GCCG Blues', Kabsha is a cool set underscored by his R&B roots while sounding like a primer for the jazz styles of the late '50s. There are one or two screechy sax moments which will amuse those who find Sun Ra tame, but overall this is a gorgeous-sounding, late-night delight, with emphasis on the percussion. KK


Carly Simon
No Secrets
Speakers Corner ELEKTRA75049 (180g vinyl)

Like Tapestry or Sweet Baby James, this doesn't need its singer identified, and it still captivates after nearly a half-century. Simon differed from her distaff singer-songwriter contemporaries in that she was less the hippie and more the sophisticate, so the songs are less about protest, angst or political correctness and more about the personal. Few songs are as touching when dealing with nostalgia as 'The Carter Family' – Simon's take on The Beatles' 'In My Life' – in contrast to the LP's most famous number, 'You're So Vain', which could be grouped with that other ode to the louche, Peter Sarstedt's 'Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?'. This is a real gem. KK