Audiophile: Vinyl, October 2021

hfnalbum.pngAnnette Peacock
Sundazed LP5589 Orange vinyl

In 1978 X-Dreams established Peacock as a jazz vocalist for rock fans. The American singer – imagine Rickie Lee Jones crossed with Captain Beefheart – enhanced her rock credibility with an array of heroes including Mick Ronson and Chris Spedding on guitars, drummers Bill Bruford and Rick Marotta and others who created what is a super-session, but of the abstract. More of a poetry reading than a songfest, X-Dreams was considered way ahead of the curve 40-plus years ago; the opener, 'Mama Never Taught Me How To Cook,' yanks this into 2021 with confessional content that's too topical to discuss here. And then there's a cover of Elvis's 'Don't Be Cruel'. One for the adventurous. KK


Brother Jack Mcduff
Tobacco Road
Speakers Corner/Atlantic SD1472 (180g vinyl)

In between rural blues at one end and avant-garde jazz at the other, various genres including soul, disco and R&B nudge each other, with crossover artists delivering eclectic, irresistible and accessible LPs such as this instrumental feast. For this 1967 release, organist McDuff interpreted 'Blowin' In the Wind', 'The Shadow Of Your Smile', the title song and six others in a jazz-funk manner of instant appeal to those who like nothing better than kicking back with a brandy to Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Wes Montgomery or Booker T & The MGs. The transfer is superb, the sound as fat, warm, rich and fluid as needed to sit you in front of a big-ass Hammond B3. KK


Union Square Music SALVOLP07 (180g vinyl)

As I'm not English, I never 'got' Madness, Suggs' flat twang nor the numbing, relentless reggae/ska bass. However, Madness were huge and this remastering of the third album – is calling it 7 more British wit that eludes me? – delivers an exceptional sonic experience. As a non-fan, I find it samey to the point of my losing the will to live, but those who regard the 1980s as a decade of merit can delight in 'Grey Day', 'Shut Up', 'Cardiac Arrest' and ten others, loving every woofer-threatening note. Facts: producer Clive Langer washed dishes in the restaurant where I worked in the '70s, and the owner's cousin married Suggs. I hope they'll forgive my ennui. KK


The Blues Album
Rhino RCV1 645676 (two 180g blue vinyl LPs)

From the opening salvos, this terrific set, completing the 'Red, White & Blues Trilogy', declares its hard-rock intent – the 'blues' in the title could be misleading because only a handful of the tracks are what, say, Elmore James might find familiar. Instead, this is mainly power chords and vocal swagger precisely as ordered by the fans. The 14 remastered tracks span 1984-2011 from six studio LPs and Coverdale's solo, Into The Light, a nicely-sequenced selection, with tortured moments like 'Too Many Tears' reminding us of their way with ballads, while the big hits here include 'Slow An' Easy' from 1984, and 'Give Me All Your Love' from 1987. Play it loud. KK