Promotional Partridge – NOT FOR SALE – Tack That on Your “Bulletin Board”

Cast your mind back to October of 1973, those of you who are old enough to do so.

I was only seven years old at the time but I do remember a few things from that fall of ’73 –  trick or treating (which was a big thing for me at the time), grade school and Scholastic book orders (remember those?) and of course new music from The Partridge Family.

Even at the tender age of seven I watched “The Partridge Family” television show religiously and collected their records.

It just so happens that the last Partridge platter came out in October 1973, “Bulletin Board”, and much to my surprise it featured a more mature sound for the group. This last Partridge album had more in common with David Cassidy’s recent solo work which had Cassidy singing in a more soulful style.

(Note: By this time David Cassidy wasn’t getting along with producer Wes Ferrell who had produced all the Partridge recordings up until now. Respected background singer John Bahler supposedly produced and arranged the “Bulletin Board” album so that may account for the more adult approach that Cassidy preferred at the time.)

Songs like “Money, Money”, “Roller Coaster”, “Looking for a Good Time” and “Where Do We Go From Here” sounded more adult and less poppy than previous Partridge discs. There was also a little bit of added funk to the mix which was something new from the famous TV family.

Of course there were enough poppy songs on the album like “Oh, No, Not My Baby” and “How Long is Too Long” that the new style wasn’t a total shock but one could definitely feel things were different with the songs on this album

Truth be told sales for Partridge Family albums were rapidly falling as the television show was switched to Saturday nights opposite “All in the Family” in the fall of 1973 which caused the Partridges ratings to plummet.

Of course I received a copy of “Bulletin Board” that fall and at first I wasn’t too sure I liked this new sound but gradually the album became one of all-time my favorites and I rank it in my personal top five by the group. I think a lot of fans of the group still find the album less Partridge sounding and tend to not like it but I love this album and play it still to this day.

So why all this reminiscing now about a nearly fifty-year-old album? Well this week I happened to stumble on a promotional copy of the “Bulletin Board” and I must say it’s a beauty.

I often look for promotional copies of Partridge Family albums because they tend to be better pressings than regular stock copies and they sound much better as well.

(Note 2: Promotional copies were sent out to radio stations to gain airplay for the songs on the album. Promo copies were pressed in very limited quantities and since they were marked not for sale they are harder to track down. Plus promo copies tend to be beat up or marked up by radio stations so finding pristine ones can be tough.)

It’s fairly rare to find promo Partridges these days so I was more than thrilled to not only locate a promo copy of “Bulletin Board”, which isn’t even that common to find as a regular stock copy, but the fact that this copy looks like it has never been played is a wonderful bonus!

The other interesting thing about this copy of the album is that it comes with a terrific inner sleeve promoting of Bell Records releases including two other Partridge Family albums (“At Home with Their Greatest Hits” , “Crossword Puzzle”) as well as a solo David Cassidy album (“Rock Me Baby”).

I have never seen an inner sleeve like this and I own original copies of all the Partridge Family and David Cassidy Bell Records albums. Maybe it was just available with promo copies? Or maybe they were only on pressings from certain regions of the country? Interesting.

Anyway, because I rarely see promotional Partridge Family albums I thought it might be fun to show this gem off here. I know I’ve posted about the “Bulletin Board” previously on this blog but this groovy promo copy is too nice not to do a repeat post about it.

As usual take a gander above at photos of the album and inner sleeve.

That’s all for now. Until next time, be well and safe and see you soon!

Micky Dolenz Returns with the Brand New and Excellent “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” on Both Vinyl and CD from 7a Records

Well what have we here, a new vinyl/CD release? Even better a new Micky Dolenz vinyl/CD release you say?

Speaking only for me that’s an incredibly good way to brighten up a somewhat dull and rainy week full of otherwise generally grim news. Between the tragic happenings going on in Russia and the still lingering Covid pandemic any new music release is the perfect way to sooth the soul.

Just two days ago I happened to have received the new Micky Dolenz mini-album “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” on the 7a Records label in the mail and after giving it a good listen and I must say I’m impressed.

What’s a mini-album you may ask? Well technically it’s a four song e.p. and not an album. An e.p., for those who don’t know or remember, is an old-school reference to the extended play 45 releases of long ago that usually consisted of four songs vs the normal two songs that comprised a 45 r.p.m. single release.

An e.p. is basically a bonus release and that’s exactly the right word for “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.”

So why would Micky Dolenz release only a four-song e.p.?

Well the four songs on “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” are actually left over from last year’s superb Dolenz album “Dolenz Sings Nesmith”. I guess Dolenz and 7a Records, who released both the e.p. and the album, decided to hold these four songs back as they would probably have made “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” a tad too long and they must have felt it worked best as it was released.

Luckily for us Dolenz/Nesmith/Monkees fans the four new songs on this new e.p. not only meet but in one case may exceed what was on the “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” album.

(Note: “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” is available to purchase on CD as well as a lovely looking 10-inch blue vinyl pressing. I of course got both. My vinyl sounds great and may even sound a bit better than the CD. Both are great though and well worth having in either format.)

Song-by-song here’s my quick first impressions of this groovy new release:

“Soul-Writer’s Birthday” – what a treat to get an unreleased 1967 composition of a Mike Nesmith song that was never used for the Monkees or in his solo career.

I like the tune but I’ll have to give it a couple more listens to gain a lasting impression. I read online someone said it sounded like 1966 Monkees. To me it does remind me of the sixties but not the early ’66 Monkees.

The song sounds more to me like a cross between the song “She’s About a Mover” and oddly enough “Star Collector” from The Monkees fourth album “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.” A bit more rock and roll than the other songs on this e.p. but fun.

“Some of Shelly’s Blues” – this is a lovely take on one of Nesmith’s best tunes that Nesmith first recorded for the Monkees and again later for a solo album.

I swear the ghost of Peter Tork must have visited this session as the song is filled with what sounds like banjo to me. Whatever instrument it is it really adds a lot to the song and reminds me of a slower version of the banjo Tork played on the Monkees Nesmith song “You Told Me” from the “Headquarters” album.

Plus the pedal steel guitar solo just sounds so good on this track.

Truly a superb take on a terrific song. Too bad this one wasn’t on the album proper as it’s one of my favorite songs from the whole project.

“The Crippled Lion” – a slower almost mournful approach to this song which works really well. Micky sounds great and the orchestration really lends itself to this arrangement making it a little bit more melancholy than Nesmith’s earlier Monkees or solo version but truly lovely.

Another song that would have fit perfectly on the “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” album so I’m really glad it was finally released here.

“Grand Ennui” – while not quite new, this song was featured as a bonus track on the CD of last year’s “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” album, it’s still a terrific take on a terrific Nesmith song and makes its vinyl and digital debut with its release on this new e.p.

This song has a more blues feel to it with a rock punch as well. Very well done and I consider it a part of the album proper as it was on the CD I have of the album from last year. Great to hear it again here though.

So there you have it. Another superb batch of terrific Mike Nesmith covers by his bandmate and musical brother Micky Dolenz. It’s great to have these four wonderful bonus tracks and now that all the songs from the “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” sessions are out it’s time to ask where’s volume two?

There’s more than enough excellent songs from Mike Nesmith’s esteemed catalog to make a sequel that could stand up to this superb collection of well-performed and produced Nesmith gems.

I sure hope that Nesmith’s son Christian who produced the “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” sessions can get together with Micky Dolenz and comb through Nesmith’s catalog one more time as they’re efforts are stellar and well worth the time and energy to produce another album’s worth of goodies.

If you’re looking to buy this new “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” or even the full “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” album, the best place to track them down in physical form is through either Dolenz’ own Website https://mickydolenz.com/ or through http://www.deepdiscount.com.

(Note 2: You can also buy them through Amazon as well but Deep Discount usually has a better price and more stock on hand as all of 7a Records releases are made in England and imported to the United States.)

Also, if you order through Dolenz’ Website you can get a signed photo with your order if you so choose (see photo above) which is a nice treat for any Dolenz fan.

So whatever medium you choose be it a physical CD or vinyl or even a digital download or stream it’s well worth your time giving this new collection of songs a listen.

As usual take a gander above at both my vinyl and CD versions of “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The E.P.” and until next time be well and stay safe!

See you soon.

 

UPDATE: Simon & Garfunkel’s Holy Grail of Collectibles – the “Bookends” Mono Vinyl Pressing

 

NOTE: Today I’ve decided to update one of my earliest posts for this blog.

Shortly after starting this blog I happened upon one of my “holy grail” records, a mono copy of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1968 album “Bookends”. Not only is the “Bookends” album my favorite album by Simon & Garfunkel but it’s one of my all-time favorite albums by anyone.

To say I have been searching for a mono pressing of this album would be a major understatement as I have never seen another copy of it in over forty-five years of record collecting until I spotted it in a Midwest record store a few years ago.

The “Bookends” album was released at a time when mono pressings were being phased out so locating a mono copy of this album is darn near impossible!

The copy I bought and featured on this blog is in VG/VG condition but sounds great and after all this time of searching for it it is a true pleasure to own.

Since I originally posted here about my mono “Bookends”, I managed to track down the original poster that was issued with the album – it was missing from my copy. And for some reason my earlier posts lacked a lot of photos so I took a new series of photos of the album so anyone out there looking for one can see what it looks like so they can spot a mono pressing if they happen upon one in the wild so to speak.

I also added a self-made CD of this mono pressing as I don’t want to wear this copy out as I’m sure I’ll probably never locate another copy. By the way the copy I found is a stock copy. I’m guessing it’s much rarer than promotional mono pressings which I think come up more often though are still incredibly hard to find.

Anyway, enjoy this updated post and below is the original text from that long ago post about finding a mono pressing of “Bookends”:

“And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson …”

Good things come to those who wait – or so they say.

Last week, I was on vacation and in my usual round of record store hunting (sorry Doug! lol) I found a vinyl album that I have been searching for for over twenty – yes twenty – years. Okay, you have to be a record fan or you might have a bit of a queasy stomach about now.

BUT, I happened upon a mono pressing of Simon and Garfunkel’s best (in my opinion) album called “Bookends”. To say this album in mono is rare is a major understatement. It was released in April 1968 at a time when mono records were being phased out. Thank goodness this copy was under $40 as it tends to go for well over $150 to upwards of $300 if you can even locate a copy. This is the first copy I’ve found out in the wild as they say and not on ebay.

Okay, lesson time: In the 1960’s, pop music was available in either mono or stereo versions or mixes. Mono (one channel) had the sound dead center (all instruments and vocals coming out of the center if you listen on a two speaker stereo system) and stereo had two channels with the instruments and vocals spread out across the two speakers.

Modern stereo includes surround sound with sound coming out of your ears, under your seat and every direction known to man but in the 60’s it was either one or two channels.

Now, readers who aren’t music geeks – gee I’m wondering if you’re still even reading – need to know that most pop/rock music before 1968 was produced to be heard on tiny AM radios or small record players with tiny speakers and was predominately mixed in mono.

Mono generally is more in your face, louder and more shall I say it ballsy then stereo especially pre-1965 as stereo was a newer format and producers weren’t used to mixing in stereo. The mono mixes tended to sound more alive and cleaner and were meant to cut over the din of the tiny speakers people were using.

Anyway, back to “Bookends”, the mono mix of this landmark Simon and Garfunkel album is really quite lovely sounding. In fact any young readers out there (or anyone interested in vinyl frankly) should check out the first five Simon and Garfunkel albums which are available in mono – “Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.”, “Sounds of Silence”, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”, “The Graduate” (another really rare mono pressing) and “Bookends”.

The only way to get these albums in mono is to track down the original 60’s vinyl pressings and it’s well worth it. For some reason it’s rumored that Paul Simon won’t allow the Simon and Garfunkel mono versions to be reissued which is a shame if true.

Simon and Garfunkel in mono sound superb. They are punchier, the instruments – especially Paul Simon’s guitar work – really pop out at you as if you are in the recording studio with them. The stereo vinyl isn’t bad at all mind you. In fact the stereo mixes are great too it’s just that I have a preference for the mono mixes of these albums.

Another note, Columbia Records who own and release Simon and Garfunkel recordings had a practice in the 60’s and 70’s I’ve read in which they used the original master tapes (used to make the vinyl pressings) over and over again instead of making a dub thus wearing out the original tapes.

So if you want to hear Simon and Garfunkel closest to how the masters sounded when they were released, track down original stereo or mono pressings if you can find them in decent shape.

As for this pressing I just found last week, the cover is kind of worn but the vinyl is in nice shape thank goodness. The album is here in all it’s analog glory.

For those downloaders or streamers out there, you hear in analog and I think the reason some people are attracted to vinyl again is that the analog mixes are much easier on the ears and nervous system.

Instead of the one version available to download, each pressing of an album is unique and can sound different depending on the part of the country it was pressed in, the plant, the engineer, etc. It’s like a treasure hunt finding the best sounding version (okay, okay a tad obsessive I know but that’s what makes collecting fun!).

The mono mix which I first heard on a bootleg CD, which can probably be tracked down somewhere on YouTube, is really the way to hear this album. The opening song “Save the Life of My Child” sounds much more urgent and exciting and the female voices cry out as if from some pit of agony.

“A Hazy Shade of Winter” has much more bite and “Fakin’ It” has a more three dimensional sound if you can believe it and the English interlude has a much different feel than the stereo version. Every song has noticeable differences to their stereo counterparts with vocals and instruments popping up in different levels and places throughout the songs.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a mono copy of this album grab it! I’ve read the promo copy of this album in mono may be a tad more common than the stock mono copy which I bought. Though either would be a treasure in any record collection.

Well, that’s it for now kids. If you’ve made it this far, tune in next time (same Bat Channel, same Bat Blog) for some Rice Crispy records? No really, pass the milk …

Until then, check out some photos of this copy of “Bookends” above.

Bruce Spizer to the Rescue! – A Lovely Four Book Collection Called “The Beatles Album Series By Bruce Spizer: Sgt. Pepper, White Album, Abbey Road, Let it Be” By 498 Productions and Imagine & Wonder Books

Sometimes you stumble on the most unexpected things.

Take today for example. I was doing a little shopping at a bookstore called Half Price Books when all of a sudden from the corner of my eye I spotted a groovy little box I had never seen before. 

Granted I was almost across the store from the display that held the box but even from a distance I could see some very familiar pictures. As I rounded the corner to make my way to the display the image of four Beatles albums became clearer and clearer.

“What on earth is this?” my mind wondered as I reached for the display. The box wasn’t quite the size of an album so what on earth could it be?

As I picked the quite heavy box up I noticed that it contained four books by one of my all-time favorite Beatles authors Bruce Spizer. The box went by the title “The Beatles Album Series By Bruce Spizer: Sgt. Pepper, White Album, Abbey Road, Let it Be” and contained four smaller paperback versions of his books about these very albums.

Now as hardcore Beatles fans know Bruce Spizer has put out a series of lovely and somewhat pricey books on The Beatles that he self-publishes and sells at his Website http://www.beatle.net.

Books such as “The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay” and “The Beatles’ Story on Capitol Records – Part 1 & 2” have understandably been lauded as great reference books that any diehard Beatles fan should have in their collection.

I’ve purchased quite a few of Bruce Spizer’s books and can attest that they are superbly written and are also filled to the rim with great photos and are bound so beautifully that they are truly worth every penny of the asking price.

In the last few years Spizer has begun a new series of books that detail specific Beatles albums. I believe he started this new series when the newly remixed version of The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” album came out in various formats in 2017.

Since then Spizer has also tackled books about the “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The BEATLES (White Album)”, “Abbey Road” and “Let it Be” albums usually as those said albums have been remixed and reissued in spectacular multi and double CD or vinyl box sets.

Because many of these fantastic newer Beatles CD and vinyl box sets also contain nice hardback books detailing that particular album (“Sgt. Pepper”, the “White Album”, etc.) I decided that even though I love Bruce Spizer’s work I’d sit his new album series books out at least in physical form.

(Note: I did manage to get a couple of his album series books in digital form (great books as usual) but until today I had thought I’d totally pass on the physical forms of these books … famous last words.)

It’s not that I didn’t think Spizer’s Beatles album series books would be great but I’ve been trying to cut down on the physical books that I buy and the size of most of Spizer’s books seemed to be too much for me seeing as the deluxe Beatles sets already contained great books.

Until I walked into Half Price Books today I had no idea that Bruce Spizer had published smaller versions of his latest series and in paperback to boot. While these books do contain Spizer’s 498 Productions logo which is on all his self-published books this new set also says its being published along with Imagine & Wonder Books.

I took a glance online and it seems that this particular book set was released in August of 2021 with a pressing of 10,000 copies (the sets I saw were numbered but check out the number in the photo above, not quite under 10,000).  The price online is $80.00 for the set and I did manage to see if for sale online others places like Target around $60.

(Note 2: I do see this set for sale on Amazon with a price of $60.00. Amazon says the set came out in December of 2021 while Imagine & Wonder Books says it was released last August)

I’m sure other Beatles fans out there may have heard of this new and smaller collection of four of Bruce Spizer’s Beatles album series but it was a very welcome surprise for me. And to add to the excitement Half Price Books is selling this set for $39.99 which comes to $10 apiece for the four books in the set. That’s a fantastic deal!

Now the original hardback versions, which are still for sale on at http://www.beatle.net as well as other online sellers at $30 apiece, may be a bit more sturdy and printed on better stock but the four paperback books in this set are really beautiful and at that price a no-brainer for me and I’m sure others out there who may be interested in buying these books.

As for the books in this set they are all four very well done and like all of Bruce Spizer’s books worth the price of admission. If you happen to live near a Half Price Books (or check their Website) the $39.99 price is a steal and well worth adding this set to your collection.

I love the smaller paperback format for the books as they are much easier to hold and peruse and they are still full of great text and photos and these books are truly wonderful to behold in a physical format. Even the digital copies of these books sell for $20 each so this set is really a great purchase.

I wonder of Spizer will reissue some of his other Beatles books in smaller sets like this? Probably not but I love that he did with this album series and when he continues the series I hope he puts out another collection just like it for his future installments.

Well, that’s just a quick update on my latest Beatles find.

As usual take a gander above at this new collection and if you’re a Beatles fan it may be worth hunting this set up as these books are a great read and very informative.

Until next time be well and see you soon!

 

 

SEEING DOUBLE – The Beatles “Something New” Times Two

Today I’m going to start a new feature called Seeing Double.

The gist of these Seeing Double posts is that I will highlight two versions of a particular album from one group, in this case The Beatles, and show copies of that album as they were released in two different countries.

More than likely the two versions of the albums I show won’t be very different, like the examples today, except for some minor cover and record label differences. Also these double versions will mainly consist vinyl pressings from around the world but from time to time I may add different CD versions of the same album from different countries as well.

So let’s get started with today’s first Seeing Double – The Beatles “Something New”.

For those of you out there who are in the know and are Beatles fans you may already be aware that the “Something New” album from 1964 is one of Capitol Records hodgepodge records which were made up of stray Beatles tracks from various UK releases.

(Note: Capitol Records released The Beatles recordings exclusively in the U.S. starting with the “Meet the Beatles” Lp in late 1963. Instead of using the UK versions of The Beatles’ albums, which were put together by the group and their music producer George Martin, Capitol Records created shorter Beatles albums with a variety of songs that didn’t necessarily match the UK albums.

Because of this the U.S. had many more Beatles albums released than the UK and with different song lineups and covers. Much to the chagrin of The Beatles themselves these U.S. albums not only looked different but sounded different too as Capitol also processed the sound for what they thought the U.S. audience would enjoy.

When talking about The Beatles Capitol albums just be aware that the Beatles albums that Capitol released from 1964 up until 1967 were very different from their UK counterparts.)

“Something New” is the third Beatles album that Capitol Records put together in 1964.

It consisted of songs from the group’s first film “A Hard Day’s Night” plus stray tracks from the UK “A Hard Day’s Night” LP plus a couple of songs from a British EP as well as a German version of their breakthrough US smash “I Want to Hold Your Hand” entitled “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”.

Because United Artists, the film company that released “A Hard Day’s Night”, had the exclusive rights in the U.S. to release a soundtrack for The Beatles first film Capitol Records had to figure out a way in which they could also use some of those same tracks without calling it a soundtrack.

The “Something New” album as released in the U.S. used five songs from the film plus several spare Beatles tracks that Capitol had access to making the album a more complete Beatles experience. The United Artists “A Hard Day’s Night” soundtrack by comparison contained only seven Beatles songs plus instrumental music from the film.

(Note 2: The British “A Hard Day’s Night” album was a much better deal for fans as it contained seven songs from the film “A Hard Day’s Night” on side one and six extra Beatle songs on side two. Compared to the United Artists soundtrack which has only seven measly Beatle songs on it plus instrumentals.)

Thus while “Something New” wasn’t an official soundtrack album for “A Hard Day’s Night” it did serve its purpose as Capitol’s unofficial soundtrack in the process creating another monster selling album for both Capitol and The Beatles.

In actual fact while I do enjoy the “Something New” album it isn’t really one of Capitol Records better hodgepodge collections. I must admit the thing I like best about the album are some of the unique mixes on the mono version of the album (“I’ll Cry Instead”, “And I Love Her”, “When I Get Home”, “Any Time At All”) that were exclusive to this collection.

And so today I thought I’d share a couple of versions of “Something New” that I’ve happened to locate in the last couple of years – one copy which is an original mono pressing from Canada and the other which is a first pressing stereo copy from Germany.

I love having both mono and stereo pressings of Beatles albums as they each are fun to listen to and each one has a variety of mix differences which are interesting to contrast and compare.

As you can see from the photos above both the Canadian and German copies of “Something New” use basically the same front cover artwork and track listings as the U.S. Capitol pressing of the album. The German stereo copy though does add its own unique rear cover which is a fun change and one of the best parts about collecting foreign Beatles pressings.

As for sound I’d say that both of these copies pretty much stack up to their U.S. counterparts. While the original Capitol pressings may have a bit more punch and sound a bit more open both of these pressings sound pretty good and also sound like they use copies of the same tapes that Capitol used for their U.S. versions.

Actually of the two I’d say that because the Canadian mono copy hasn’t been played as much it was a better listen than the German stereo but really both are very decent sounding and make nice alternatives to the original U.S pressed copies.

I also love the unique inner sleeve to the German pressing with its photos of other albums including the German version of the “With the Beatles” album.

(Note 3: The German copy sounds like the master it used may be a generation lower than the U.S. Capitol version as it sounds bit more muffled than a U.S. pressing though is still sounds pretty decent.)

Anyway, there you have it. I thought it would be fun to see photos of each of these unique versions of the “Something New” album as you never really see many detailed photos of these kind of pressings online.

As usual take a gander at the photos above and until the next installment of Seeing Double be well and safe and I hope you’ve been surviving the month of February which is the worst month of winter in my humble opinion.

Take care and see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poppin’ Fresh Beatles – The Beatles Collection “Bread Box” CD Set Along with a Slice of Compression

Once upon a time my young friends there were these small silver discs called CDs …

Okay maybe a tad bit dramatic but actually that’s not too far off base.

Of course, CDs are still among us – barely. Every day that goes by though the death of physical media looms like a hawk in the night waiting to swoop down and take our beloved musical objects.

Alright, lol, I’ll stop with the hysterics.

I do feel though that the point of this blog is to share some of what it was like collecting music in the late twentieth and even the early twenty-first century. I’ve spent years putting together a nice physical media collection and it’s hard to just switch gears and go strictly non-physical digital. 

For me collecting music from say 1986 until now involves collecting mainly compact discs, CDs for short. CDs are no hassle to play, they can be programmed, they sound great and there are no pops and groove wear and don’t need to be endlessly cleaned.

Plus the artwork is carefully protected by a plastic jewel box that can be thrown away if it gets broken and easily replaced – what’s not to love?

For you streamers out there one of the other major bonuses of collecting physical media is the fact that over the years there have more than likely been several different “masterings” of most kinds of music released on say either vinyl, cassette, CD or what have you.

What is mastering exactly you say and why is it important? Those are good questions.

Mastering music involves processing the mix (either mono or stereo) into its final form to be listened to on a physical or digital medium. The mastering of the music determines how loud the songs are, how dynamic they are and how they sound when played on different audio devices.

Mastering of music after say 1995 or so usually involves making the music sound very compressed. This compressed sound sucks the dynamics of the music being played making it sound louder and more aggressive.

This modern approach to mastering the sound of most pop/rock music louder is because of the advent of earbuds and music being played in cars or ipods or more likely nowadays phones.

Music sounds better in a pumped up state on these smaller devices but for people like me who grew up listening to music on home stereos the modern approach to mastering music is a major assault on the ears.

Older music especially loses a lot of its magic and majesty when songs you’ve known for years and years sound louder and less dynamic. People say they’ve lost their interest in music but is it actually the music itself or the way it’s been mastered that changes ones perception of the quality of the music?

The reason that modern compressed mastering matters to people my age (over fifty, yikes!) is that a lot of the music that I love and purchase was recorded and released before 1980.  The previous issues of this music on physical media (vinyl, cassette, eight-track and pre-1990 CDs) retain their full dynamics so people my age and collector’s seek out the older masterings of this music as they sound better.

So where does this lead me for today’s blog post? Well today I’m sharing a lovely black “bread box” style CD collection called “The Beatles Collection”. The reason I’ve been sort of ranting about sound and compression is that this bread box, as I like to call it, is filled with the first issue CDs of the entire Beatles catalog.

Let me back up a bit for a minute.

The Beatles catalog was first issued on CD in 1987/88. In late 1988 or 1989 a complete collection was put together and sold in these black box cases (see photos above and below). Not only was “The Beatles Collection” box set available on CD but it was also made available on cassette and vinyl as well and each in a different size black bread box.

By the way all of the various bread box sets were derived from the then current 1987/88 digital masters.

(Note: you could also call these box sets roll-top style boxes but I like the sound of bread box better.)

As for these first digital masters I view the sound of many of them as really quite good and much less compressed and easier to listen to than the more current remasters that were issued on CD in 2009 (and on 180-gram vinyl in 2012).

From the “Revolver” album onwards I’d say that these 1987/88 CD versions are superior in sound to the more current remasters. Don’t get me wrong, the 2009 Beatles remasters sound good but these first issue CDs retain more of the dynamics of the original recordings and aren’t fiddled with like the 2009 remasters.

(Note 2 : the 2009 Beatles remasters while not using noise reduction have eq settings and digital processes that take out vocal pops and mistakes thus altering the sound of the original masters, cleaning them up so to speak.

The 2009 remasters are by no means bad but albums like “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the “White Album” especially sound much more natural and dynamic with less bloated bass on the 80’s CDs thus sound a bit better to my ears.)

Weirdly enough the bread box set I own is not the set that was put out for sale originally. You see some of these bread boxes were made available by themselves without the CDs inside, or so I was told.

About twenty years ago I purchased an empty bread box still in its packaging (see photos) that did not contain the small booklet that was issued with the set and no CDs inside.

This empty box, according to the person who sold it to me on ebay, was bought from the UK directly from EMI. I don’t know how many empty sets were sold or if indeed this set was sold empty or if the ebay seller got rid of the CDs and sold an empty box but whatever I received a brand new empty “The Beatles Collection” bread box.

A few years later I managed to also score the small booklet that originally came with the full set, also on ebay btw, at a decent price so I now have that booklet included it inside my box.

Since my box was empty I decided to fill it with a grab bag of original issue 1987/88 CDs.

The CDs from “Please Please Me” to “Revolver” in my bread box collection are all first issue West Germany CD pressings while my “Sgt. Pepper” and “Magical Mystery Tour” CDs are original UK CDs and my “White Album” is a later Canadian CD issue with the original 80’s first CD mastering.

My copies of “Yellow Submarine”, “Abbey Road” and “Let it Be” are all first issue US pressed CDs and both my “Past Masters” are also first issue US CDs but they were made in the UK.

And of course I still own the original long boxes for these CDs as well just in case you were wondering but I prefer to keep these early CD pressings together in this lovely old style black bread box.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of these early Beatles CDs and see some photos of the cool black box “The Beatles Collection” CD set that resides in my collection.

I also wanted to give some sort of perspective why collectors chase down different issues of CDs and vinyl. There are sometimes many different masterings of particular albums and the fun is tracking down these different issues and comparing the sound.

Unfortunately those who go the streaming route are most likely stuck with the latest and loudest version of a particular album or recording which is a shame. Granted younger listeners probably won’t care but for those who want to seek out the best sounding versions of not only The Beatles recordings but many others artists as they’ll have to go to physical media to hear how good these albums can truly sound.

Rant over.

Just a quick look at the fading but to me still alluring compact disc and one of my favorite CD box sets of all-time!

As usual you can see photos of this groovy box set and its CDs and if you’re curious these 1980’s Beatles CDs aren’t hard to track down and are a fun listen if you decide to pick one up and give it a spin.

Well, that’s all for now.

Until next time be well and safe and I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day yesterday!

See you soon.

The “What If?” Game … “The Partridge Family – “Yearbook” and “Scrapbook” Lp’s from 1974

Okay, let’s have some fun shall we?

Since I’m on a Partridge Family kick I thought I’d continue today with yet another Partridge post (Sometimes when you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood).

My last post focused on some rare and previously unreleased Partridge Family tracks that have appeared on various CDs and that got me thinking. Why look at just a few unreleased tracks? Why not take a look at the motherload of unreleased Partridge Family tracks?

There are almost thirty known songs that for one reason or another were recorded but never made it onto vinyl, 8-track, cassette or CD.  Out there in Webland many of these thirty or so tracks are available to listen to and/or purchase if you know how to find them.

(Note: A bootleg CD compilation entitled “Missing Pieces” in fact contains all of the known unreleased Partridge Family tracks and in good quality stereo to boot. I’m guessing many or most of these tracks come from so-called Screen Gems discs.

Screen Gems discs are vinyl discs made for the cast and crew of The Partridge Family so they could learn the songs to lip-sync to them in each specific episode. Strictly limited to the cast and production crew these discs were not made for public consumption and contained not only many of the unreleased studio Partridge tracks but several alternate versions of well-known and loved tracks that were on the show.

Screen Gems by the way is the name of the company that owned and filmed “The Partridge Family” TV show.)

As I stated in my previous post several songs were recorded and used on the show yet never made in onto an album. As it turns out a nice chunk of those said unreleased tracks came from the later part of the Partridge years from 1972-73.

As fans of this fictitious group know The Partridge Family released eight studio albums from 1970 to 1973. Five of those albums went Gold (500,000 to a 1,000,000 copies sold) plus a greatest hits album called “The Partridge Family At Home with Their Greatest Hits” also went gold and it contained the exclusive track “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” which was the last Top Thirty Partridge hit.

As you can see six gold albums is nothing to sneeze at thus making The Partridge Family one of the more successful groups of the era. It also made David Cassidy one of the leading heartthrobs of the era as well which is why there is still interest in the group and their recordings to this day.

By the time the of the fourth and last season of the Partridge Family TV show (1973-74) sales of Partridge albums and singles took a nose dive. That nose dive in record sales coincided with The Partridge Family show itself being switched from its winning Friday time slot to Saturdays where it was up against the number 1 show at the time “All in the Family”.

With the show’s ratings and record sales down plus younger fans of the group growing older and looking for other music to love the need for new Partridge vinyl came to a standstill.

In the Fall of 1973 the group’s final album “Bulletin Board” was issued and pretty much sank without a trace along with the group’s single from the album “Looking for a Good Time”/”Money Money”.

Seeing as how each season of The Partridge Family generated two albums of studio material what did this mean for all the songs that filled out the rest of season four? Several songs from the last half of season four of The Partridge Family would most likely have been on a ninth studio album had it come out.

Their eight album “Bulletin Board” happens to be one of my favorite Partridge records but it did stray a bit from the more pop oriented sound of all the previous seven albums. Several songs on “Bulletin Board” added a funk and grit that the other Partridge material lacked.

This change in sound was probably due to David Cassidy refusing to be produced by Wes Ferrell, the man who produced all their recordings, and the fact that Cassidy’s solo material was taking the same funkier route.

Some Partridge fans don’t like the direction of “Bulletin Board” but I loved it. So that leads me to what would a ninth album have sounded like? What would it be called? What songs would it include?

Today I decided to create that ninth studio album with songs I think would have been a perfect fit. And since all of the Partridge studio albums have a name that comes from an object I thought since it was the last season of their show what better title than “The Partridge Family Yearbook”.

A yearbook conjures up looking back and remembering and since this was the last season of The Partridge Family this yearbook would have represented a graduation away from the series and the recordings so to me “Yearbook” really works as the title.

Would this album have sounded very different from the previous album? Actually from the unreleased songs from the later half of season four this ninth album, “Yearbook” as I call it, would have sounded very similar to the “Bulletin Board” album but maybe a tad less funky.

Several of the season four songs like “I Wanna Be with You” and the covers of “Crying in the Rain” and “Workin’ on A Groovy Thing” would have fit the “Bulletin Board” perfectly. Ditto for the newer originals “I Was Running the Opposite Way” and “When Love’s Talked About”.

To my “Yearbook” album I’ve added some of the more recent Partridge castoffs like “I Don’t Care”, “Sunshine Eyes” and “Me Loving You” which hearken back to the more pop oriented Partridge sound of the previous albums. “Yearbook” I’m guessing would probably have sounded more poppy than the “Bulletin Board” record but it would still be a good listen for sure.

Below you can see my track listing for the “Yearbook” album. I also added a tenth album that I would call “Scrapbook”. This album would contain the rest of the unreleased material dating from the pilot episode to the present.

I would have made the “Scrapbook” album more of a budget release as it’s highly unlikely Bell Records would have been willing to spend much on such a release at that time.

Of course all of this is definitely in the”what if?” category but it’s a fun little exercise in what would have come out if they  had indeed released anther Partridge album.

The unreleased Partridge tracks are a lot of fun and it’s just too bad that more than likely they will never see the light of day. If you can search around online and find these tracks. I think if you like The Partridge Family you’d enjoy hearing these gems.

Also I took the liberty of creating album covers (above) for each of my 1974 albums. I’m no commercial artist but I think the album covers are fun and would have fit the bill nicely for each record.

That’s all for now. Check out my track listings below and the artwork above.

Until next time be well and see you soon!

The Partridge Family

“Yearbook” – Bell Records 1140 (1974)

Side 1:

I’m Into Something Good

I Was Running the Opposite Way

Crying in the Rain

I Wanna Be with You

Sunshine Eyes

When Love’s Talked About

Side 2:

I Don’t Care

Me Loving You

Listen to the Sound

It’s Time That I Knew You Better

Workin’ on A Groovy Thing

Single release: “I Wanna Be with You”/ “I’m Into Something Good”

The Partridge Family

“Scrapbook” – Bell Records 1144 (1974) Budget price release

Side 1:

C’mon Get Happy!

Together (Havin’ a Ball)

Love Songs

Stephanie

Find Peace in Your Soul

God Bless You Girl

Side 2:

Let the Good Times In

Baby I Love, Love, I Love You

Whale Song

Warm My Soul

End Theme

A Pear Tree Full of Partridge Family Rarities – Three Partridge CD’s Worth Seeking Out

“Hello, hello” … a greeting that’s certain to take Partridge Family fans straight back to 1972 to their fifth studio album “Shopping Bag”. The Song “Hello, Hello” was the lead off song on side two of that album and was also featured on The Partridge Family TV show.

Speaking of The Partridge Family, today seems like a good day to take a look at some Partridge Family rarities.

Why, you may ask? Why not I reply.

If you’re a fan of the 1970s TV show “The Partridge Family” or the recording group of the same name then you’re surely familiar with several songs that were featured in various television episodes but never made it to record release.

Songs titles like “Working on a Groovy Thing”, “It’s Time That I Knew You Better”, “All of the Things” and “Together (Havin’ a Ball)”, just to name a few, just may conjure up a memory or two in the recesses of your mind.

(Note: Of course that mind would more than likely be over forty-five years old as all these songs appeared on Partridge Family TV episodes which aired originally from 1970 to 1974. Does that make you feel old? Me too.)

In fact there are over twenty songs that were either featured on the series or just plain left on the cutting room floor of the vaults of Bell Records, the record label that released The Partridge Family recordings.

So where does all that bring me?

In this post today I’m going to look take a look at three particular CD’s that features rare songs by The Partridge Family:

“David Cassidy Partridge Family Favorites” – Slamajama (1998) 

“Come On, Get Happy! The Best of The Partridge Family” – Arista (2005)

“Playlist – The Very Best of The Partridge Family” – Bell Records/Legacy/RCA (2013)

 

Let’s begin with “David Cassidy Partridge Family Favorites”:

This CD was sold through QVC by David Cassidy himself through his own, I believe, Slamajama record label. 

As I remember it this CD was sold along with a current David Cassidy CD “Old Dog New Trick”, also on Slamajama, and made available only on the home shopping network QVC. 

“David Cassidy Partridge Family Favorites” is basically just that, Partridge Family songs that Cassidy himself picked as his favorites.

Besides original recordings of most of The Partridge Family’s biggest hits like “I Think I Love You” and “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” the main draw of this CD for Partridge Family fans is that it contains two of the infamous unreleased Partridge Family tracks from the vaults – “Warm My Soul” and “It’s Time That I Knew You Better”.

Both of these tracks are exclusive to this particular CD and both sound great and are obviously from the studio masters.

“Warm My Soul” is an early Partridge track that Cassidy wanted as their second single and was recorded around the time of the “Up to Date” Partridge Family album.  As it’s a much funkier and more rock oriented song Partridge producer Wes Ferrell passed over the song as a single or album release and thus it remained in the vaults.

The other unreleased Partridge track, “It’s Time That I Knew You Better”, was featured on the Partridge Family TV episode “Where Do Mermaids Go?” from late 1971 that featured guest star Meredith Baxter later of “Family Ties” fame.

“It’s Time That I Knew You Better” is one of the better tracks from the early albums and was and is certainly worthy of release. It would have fit nicely on the “Shopping Bag” or “Notebook” albums so it’s pity it never appeared anywhere until its release on this CD.

Add in two unreleased Partridge Family era David Cassidy demos, “Sweetness” and “Mystical Lady”, and you have one terrific Partridge CD and one that’s particularly hard to locate though it does pop up for sale from time to time online.

“Come On, Get Happy! The Best of The Partridge Family”:

This CD contains the motherload of unreleased Partridge tracks as it features four tracks that appeared on the TV show yet for some reason never made it to records in the 1970s.

“Together (Havin’ a Ball)” and “Let the Good Times In” were both featured in the pilot episode of The Partridge Family (each without a Cassidy lead vocal) while “Stephanie” and “Baby I Love, Love, I Love You” also came from first season episodes yet were never issued on record.

(Note 2: Both “Together (Havin’ a Ball)” and “Let the Good Times In” are featured in full length versions on the “Come On, Get Happy! The Best of The Partridge Family” CD. They were truncated on the pilot episode and even though these two tracks didn’t include Cassidy vocals they were so well known to fans that they were a much welcome addition to this best of CD.)

I have to say that because of these four unreleased tracks as well as the stellar sound the “Come On, Get Happy! The Best of The Partridge Family” CD is one of the better Partridge CDs out there and well worth seeking out.

It’s too bad that when David Cassidy was alive he supposedly was not very cooperative in having many unreleased Partridge tracks coming out (rumor was he demanded too much money) so to have the six unreleased Partridge Family tracks from the previous two CDs above is fantastic and is probably the only official unreleased tracks we’ll ever get. 

“Playlist – The Very Best of The Partridge Family”

This particular CD doesn’t really contain any unreleased songs but it does include an exclusive stereo remix of the last Partridge Family Top Thirty hit “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” and features what I consider some of the best remastered sound of any Partridge Family CD out there.

It’s hard to beat the songs on this CD:

Tracklist

1   Come On Get Happy 1:04
2   I Think I Love You 2:52
3   I Can Feel Your Heartbeat 2:05
4   Point Me In The Direction Of Albuquerque 3:49
5   Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted 2:47
6   I’ll Meet You Halfway 3:49
7   Echo Valley 2-6809 3:04
8   I Woke Up In Love This Morning 2:41
9   Summer Days 3:12
10   It’s One Of Those Nights (Yes Love) 3:35
11   Am I Losing You 2:23
12   Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Previously Unreleased Stereo Mix) 2:32
13   Looking Through The Eyes Of Love 3:04
14   Roller Coaster 2:22
 
It’s a superb sounding CD that has a nice, concise selection of the best Partridge Family hits and album tracks and the addition of the new remix makes this CD a must have if you can locate a copy. It was only available for a short time and is now pretty hard to find.
 
Well that’s all for this journey into some Partridge Family rarities. If you have these CDs enjoy them and if you want to track them down the “Come On, Get Happy! The Best of The Partridge Family” is still readily available while the other two can be tracked down online though they are getting to be a tad expensive if you can find them.
 
As usual check above and below to see some photos of these groovy CDs.
 
Until next time be well and safe and as the man said … Come on, get happy!!!

When You Wish Upon a Rooftop – The Beatles “Get Back – The Rooftop Performance Expanded Edition” CD

Practically on the eve of what would have been the February 8th release of Peter Jackson’s fascinating and exquisite Beatles documentary “Get Back” on both DVD and Blu-ray, Beatles fans were disappointed to learn that the physical disc release of this epic documentary has been delayed.

Why you may ask? Apparently there was some kind of problem with the discs that were pressed or the sound of those discs so the delay was announced last week but currently the new release date is undetermined.

The over eight hour “Get Back” has been streaming on Disney+ since late November of 2021 but since many Beatles fans, including me, were looking forward to perusing the Blu-ray or DVD to isolate their favorite moments from the show this is a big disappointment.

Many people who watched the “Get Back” documentary only got Disney+ during a free trial period thus cramming in all eight plus hours left precious little time to savor the many cool hours of previously unreleased Beatles footage that could be easily isolated and better digested on a physical release.

(Note: For those who don’t know the “Get Back” documentary documents the thirty days that Beatles spent in January 1969 recording what would become their swansong album “Let it Be”. A small fraction of these sessions were previously seen in the 1970 “Let it Be” film but nearly sixty hours of unused footage was restored and compiled to make the new Peter Jackson “Get Back” documentary.

Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” sheds new light on what was once thought to be a totally dreary experience. In the new documentary The Beatles are seen as a still functioning unit that had more good times than bad thus the whole “Let it Be” saga was not quite the end of the road saga that it has been portrayed as since 1970.)

So what brings me to write a blog about a delayed documentary release? Well my fellow Beatle friends just a couple of weeks ago the audio from the famous rooftop concert, the last live performance The Beatles would ever give, was made available to streaming platforms in stunning new remixed sound.

Not only was the sound remixed but the entire forty minute performance was included which is something most Beatles fans have waited over fifty years to hear in this kind of quality.

Okay, so you may ask?

Well I don’t usually go over to the dark side of collecting on this blog (bootlegs) but since this concert is so fantastic I thought I’d share a CD of this very remixed concert that has just seen the light of day in a remarkably fast fashion (welcome to the 21st Century).

Entitled “Get Back – The Rooftop Performance” Expanded Edition” this newly minted CD-R bootleg not only features the entire remixed rooftop concert in stunning sound it also includes the true 1969 mix of Glyn Johns first “Get Back” album compilation that happened to sneak out in Japan this past November as part of their “Let it Be” SHM-CD Deluxe box set.

(Note 2: Glyn Johns helped supervise and produce the sound on these 1969 sessions. He compiled four versions of a unreleased Beatles album called “Get Back” that features more raw and unissued versions of songs from the January “Get Back/Let it Be” sessions that would eventually make their way to the Phil Spector produced 1970 “Let it Be” album. The 2021 release of the 1969 Glyn Johns mix of the “Get Back” album is the first official release of any of his unissued “Get Back” compilations.)

The 1969 Glyn Johns “Get Back” mix that was released for the rest of the world in their deluxe “Let it Be” vinyl and CD sets contained a mixture of the 1969 version with some1970 mixes that Glyn Johns made thus the very welcome release of this better sounding true 1969 mix on the much, much cheaper bootleg alternative.

I must say that the “Get Back – The Rooftop Performance” Expanded Edition” on VooDoo Records is excellent on every level. The cover is great, everything is well produced and looks very professional (even the fake Apple label on the disc is pretty stunning) and this CD just sounds wonderful!

The remixed rooftop concert is so good that The Beatles company Apple and Universal really should have included the concert in their recent “Let it Be” Deluxe vinyl and CD box sets which is where the remixed rooftop concert was originally intended to be placed.

I really like Giles Martin and respect most of his decisions but I read in a recent interview that he thought rooftop concert worked better with visuals thus the deletion from the 2021 deluxe “Let it Be” box set. To me that’s BS. This concert would have been the highlight of the box and belongs on this set.

But no use crying over split milk – what’s done is done.

I do hope that Apple reconsiders and does a physical release of the complete rooftop concert but quite frankly I doubt they would top this bootleg release as it’s fantastic. The addition of the true 1969 Glyn Johns mix makes this CD the perfect companion to the recent deluxe “Let it Be” box set and truly brightens up the news of the “Get Back” DVD/Blu-ray delay.

As usual you can find photos of this fantastic disc above. As for how one would go about getting the “Get Back – The Rooftop Performance” Expanded Edition” CD? Well the only comment I will say is that all you have to do is some basic Google searching and you should have no problem tracking it down.

Really, it’s an amazing CD of an amazing performance. Who would have thought we’d get any kind of remix of this concert like the one on this disc plus the infamous 1969 Glyn Johns “Get Back” album together on one CD. Truly mind blowing.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

I hope you get to stream either Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” documentary or the audio of the newly remixed rooftop concert. They really are fantastic and I can’t imagine any Beatles fan not being pleased with either of them.

For those of you who crave physical media this disc is out there in the wild so to speak. All you have to do is click your heals or make a wish upon a rooftop and you should find it.

Bye for now and I hope all is well in your part of the world.

Until next time be safe and healthy.

TTFN

 

 

 

Wings’ First Venture Out of the Gate – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue of “Wings Wild Life”

Hello out there in Webland!

Speaking from the snowy white tundra that has engulfed the state where I live I hope this weekend finds you either snowless and happy or snowy yet shoveled and content.  I know there are a lot of people out there who enjoy snow and February but I’m not one of them.

So, what better way to get through this drab and dull February and to celebrate being alive than taking a look at some newly released vinyl. And not just any new vinyl mind you but some new Paul McCartney vinyl!

Well not new exactly but rather a new reissue as yesterday, February 4th, was the release of another 50th anniversary Paul McCartney vinyl reissue – Wings’ first album release “Wings Wild Life”.

Released in late 1971 “Wild Life” was McCartney’s third album release since his split from The Beatles in 1970. To say that this album was greeted with a muted and lackluster reception is an understatement.

Not only were reviews pretty much terrible for this first fledgling Wings release but quite a few McCartney fans to this day still disdain this album and rank it fairly low in all of McCartney’s recorded catalog. McCartney was not in good critical standing after the break-up of The Beatles and this third album didn’t help matters one bit.

What most people didn’t like was that many of the songs on “Wild Life”, especially from side one, seemed rushed and half-finished. To ears accustomed to the fairly recent polished and melodic McCartney of the “White Album” and “Abbey Road” era the songs on “Wild Life” seemed weak and unfocused and down right dull.

McCartney purposely recorded the “Wild Life” album quite quickly and was going for a spontaneous and care-free feel that focused more on a vibe than on being a meticulously crafted and honed product that he was known for in his The Beatles songs.

McCartney’s first two solo releases – “McCartney” (1970) and “Ram” (1971 and credited with his wife Linda) – both sold quite well but were also greeted with scorn and apathy from music critics. Even McCartney’s three ex-band mates through shade at these albums saying he could do much better.

But as time has gone on both “McCartney” and “Ram” are now seen as two of the highlights of McCartney’s now long and winding solo career. In fact “Ram” is now viewed by many fans (me included) as McCartney’s high water mark since leaving The Beatles.

Lo and behold as “Wild Life” reaches its 50th birthday it too has also grown in stature and though not as fondly regarded as his first two solo albums it is now seen by many as a very good record. In fact its because of its looseness and carefree vibe that it stands out among McCartney’s many recordings as a rocking and low key burst of creativity that relies more on feel than structure.

There is quite a large group of younger folks who also love this album and see it as a quite lovely, lo-fi yet terrific album. In fact a lot of people in their twenties and thirties see “Wild Life” as a sort of birth of the indie style, low key album approach that has been very popular in the last twenty years or so.

As for me I’ve always quite enjoyed side two of “Wild Life” very much but as time has gone on since I first heard this album in the late seventies I too am really fond of the whole record. I’ll be damned if it’s not one of the better, though certainly quirkier, releases of McCartney’s solo career.

Long ago I stopped questioning the lyrical content of songs like “Bip Bop” and “Mumbo” and now really enjoy them as a burst of energy filled with that classic rock McCartney vocal style that was at its peak around this era.

Which finally brings me to this new 2022 vinyl reissue of the “Wild Life” album.

“Wild Life” was recently reissued in a lovely deluxe CD box set (see my previous review on this blog) a few years ago in 2018 as well as on a double vinyl set.

I bought the CD box set but skipped the vinyl reissue which is a good thing as this new 2022 remaster is based on that 2018 vinyl transfer but tweaked for this release without any sort of compression from a hi resolution transfer from a digital copy of the original master tape from 1971 (see photos above).

Much like the previous 50th anniversary vinyl reissues of both “McCartney” and “Ram” this new issue of “Wild Life” mimics all the elements of the original UK vinyl release from the cover down to the original labels that graced the first British pressing.

As for the sound you say? The sound of this new 2022 reissue of “Wild Life” is superb. The pressing I got was dead quiet and everything sounded full and alive and nearly perfect in every way.

Much like the original vinyl issue of “Wild Life” this new 2022 pressings isn’t a sonic masterpiece as the original is a bit dull in spots and not the best engineered recording of McCartney’s career yet this new pressing is probably as good as you’re going to get this album to sound and is quite enjoyable and definitely a pleasure to listen to and enjoy.

There is supposedly a digital glitch somewhere in the song “Love is Strange” though I didn’t hear it. I’ll have to pay more attention in the future but really overall I found this new reissue terrific sounding and it stacks up quite nicely to the original  UK pressing that I also own of this album.

My UK pressing is a bit worn so the quietness of this new 2022 issue may make it the better listen overall though pretty much in line with how an original UK vinyl copy sounds.

So there you have it. If you want to brighten up a dull February day and your a McCartney fan than you need to pick up a copy of this new issue of “Wild Life” and have some fun. 

And maybe if you’ve never heard the album you might be pleasantly surprised at how good it sounds and see another side to Paul McCartney that shows off his mastery of pop music even in its rough and ready form instead of the softer McCartney sound from his later seventies and more polished eighties hits.

That’s it for now. As usual take a gander at some photos above of this groovy new “Wild Life” vinyl reissue.

Be well, safe and warm and see you next time!