Monday, 17 November 2014

LED ZEPPELIN IV - The remaster

Back in the day when hanging around rock festivals was the norm for Granny I always wanted Jimmy Page to take me back to his pad and have his evil way with me. These days it would take a bag of viagra to get the Page-Pole into action...still I'm game if he is. But enough of that and on with the album.

What can be said about the album that hasn't been said already...many times. Suffice to say it's an all time rock classic. A super album that is excellent from start to finish. It's a folk rock masterpiece, and any real kind of rock fan will be familiar with the album.

Remastered wonderfully well...when played on a high end system the seperation is something to behold. I've never heard the Battle of Evermore sounding so good. And even the overfamiliar Stairway to Heaven sounds fresh. The quieter guitar led moments in the first section of the epic track just sound so organic. And onto side 2 - Misty Mountain Hop sounds brilliant as does Four Sticks with that driving riff. The penultimate track, Going to California has always been a track I love and I really dig the remastering here. Last tracks is the awesome When the Levee Breaks and once again the remastering is of better quality than the earlier Zeppelin CD's.

The bonus disc is a steaming turd of a disc. There's nothing new only slightly different versions of the songs on the original album. They don't sound as good as the originals so why bother.

OK 5/5 for the remastering
9008767654454343/5 for the original album
1/5 for the bonus disc

Rocking with Macca...The Art of McCartney

The Art of McCartney is a double album featuring some of the best known musicians in the world covering songs written by that exceptional talent that is Paul McCartney. It's at times gear and fab and at time a little wimpy. Here'sa Granny's track by track listing

Maybe I'm Amazed...this becomes a rocker in the hands of the downtown guy himself, Billy Joel
Things we Said Today...coming from the gravel voice of Bob Dylan this is awesome
Band on the Run by Heart is too wimpy, like 1970's radio friendly pop rock.
Junoir's Farm...a great song done well by Steve Miller
Long and Winding Road...sorry didn't like this. Up yours  Yusuf
My Love...Harry Connick gives us a Jazzed up version
Wanderlust...Brian Wilson, awesome. I love Brian so much I'd like the fluff from between his toes
Bluebird...Corinne Bailey Rae does a beautiful version
Yesterday...Willie Nelson gives us stoned beauty
Junk - Jeff Lynn, love it
When I'm 64...Barry Gibbs's always been a tosser and he's a tosser here, but all the same I like his version here. The Tosser does well.
Every Night is done by Jamie Cullen and it's okayish
Venus and Mars/Rockshow - Kiss rock this
Let me Roll it by Paul Rodgers AKA Freddy Mercurylite gives us a great version.
Helter which Roger Daltry tries to give us the rockiest song ever.
Helen Wheels..Def Leppard's take is better than the original
Hello Goodbye with the Cure featuring McCartney Jnr is punky and cool. Vibrates like Ann Summers on a fresh  set of batteries.

Side 2 kicks off with Live and Let die and this sees Billy Joel return but it's not as successful as his earlier entry.
Let it Be follows from Chrissie Hynde and it's OK but nothing more
Jet lifts off in the hands of Robin Zander and  Rick Nielsen  but only just clears the runway
Hi,Hi, Hi is stoned out stoner rock by Joe Elliot and it rocks. He emphasises the word Polygon is the infamous line.
Letting Go comes from Heart. Typical soft rock but a great song
Hey Jude by Steve Miller is OK
Listen to what the Man Said done by Owl City is better than the original.
Got to get you into my life is handled by Perry Farrell and it's gear
Drive my Car in the hands of Dion is poppy
Lady Madonna is done well by Allen  Toussant but his name is hard to spell. Tosser.
Let Em In by Dr John is funky as two cabbages
So Bad...was always a shit song and Smokey Robinson can't save it
No More Lonely Nights comes from the Toxic Event and it's fucking awesome
Eleanor Rigby done by Alice Cooper...actually a highlight of the album
Come and Get It with Toots and Sly and Robbie is done brilliantly with a cool reggae vibe
On The Way by BB King - WOW! Super,fab,gear and groovey
Birthday by Sammy Hager. Fuck hair rock
Cmoon by Robert Smith is a bonus track on the Amazon exclusive version. And is a straightforward copy of the original.
Put it There comes from Peter, Bjorn and John and it's OK.

Paul McCartney's always been a musical genius and for too long the critics have turned up their noses, calling his post Beatle output, twee and bland. Hey fuck you ctitics. Macca Rocks

Friday, 3 January 2014

They keep coming and we keep buying

Later this month there will be another major Beatles release -that is the box set which contains all of the Beatles Capitol albums and goes under the title of The US Albums. Now I already have all of the tracks on these albums and own the full set of the superior UK albums - the 2009 remasters are still on heavy rotation in Granny's Rock Shack. But I've still pre-order this set which at £150 is not exactly cheap.

A main plot is that the albums are both in mono and stereo - each CD has the album twice, once in stereo and then in mono, so that's a big selling point. Also I've never heard the Beatle US albums which are significantly different to the UK versions. For one thing I believe Help starts with the James Bond theme snippet as used in the movie. And of course there is the sleeve artwork and the handsome looking box with the picture of the Beatles sat before the stars and striped.

God bless America, surely the fabbiest of the fabbiest!

Yes this Beatlemania is an illness. I was born too late for the Beatles. I was only five years old when I the band split in a torrent of squabbles. And I didn't really start to get into the band until 1980 when I, as a fifteen year old stumbled on the album A Hard Day's night and from there on in my life changed. I started to search the record stores for the other albums and maybe over a period of two years I managed to get the full set, that's the UK albums of course. I'd heard of the US albums but were always led to believe they were inferior - after all the Beatles infamous Butcher album cover was said to be a dig at Capitol who the fabs felt were butchering their albums.

Of course these days the US albums have been deleted and the Yanks now have identical Beatle albums to the original UK versions. So the reissued, remastered Capitol set is enticing to Beatle nuts like myself.

Ahh well - it's the Beatles and they're still fab even after all these years.