The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Rudy

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👆 The big deal is that Mobile Fidelity released it on vinyl as a OneStep™ pressing (the pressing "mother" is made directly from the lacquer), and it's supposed to be the best it's ever sounded.

It was also released as an SACD. I was able to listen to a few tracks last night over planar headphones and did a brief comparison between this and the original Epic/Legacy SACD from 20 or so years ago. The original is a little brighter, but my ears were out of whack yesterday and I couldn't hear much else that was different. It's fascinating to hear this on headphones and discover all the little parts that Quincy Jones has buried in the mix. Hearing Vince Price so cleanly on the title track, especially his laugh at the end, is a goosebump-inducing moment. 😁

After all these years, my favorite track on the album is "Human Nature," written by Toto's Steve Porcaro with lyrical assistance from John Bettis. Porcaro tells the story of the song:




Steve Lukather (guitar) tells about his work with Quincy, Michael, and Paul McCartney on the album:




Porcaro's demo for "Human Nature":

 

jfiedler17

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My favorite track on Thriller is "Human Nature," too (with "P.Y.T." being my second choice; kinda weird that neither of my two favorite tracks on the album were actually written by Michael - "P.Y.T." having been written by James Ingram and Quincy - when Michael was really hitting his stride as a writer during this time ("Beat It" will always be my favorite of his self-penned songs)). Funny how close the music on Porcaro's demo of "Human Nature" is to the final recording; the arrangement is pretty much identical! I've always loved that story about how Quincy accidentally discovered that song. Imagine how different that album might have been if Porcaro's cassette hadn't kept playing!
 

Rudy

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Funny how close the music on Porcaro's demo of "Human Nature" is to the final recording; the arrangement is pretty much identical!
Quincy and John Bettis were wise to retain the feel of Porcaro's demo, and Quincy also has this ability to know magic when he hears it and doesn't want to tamper with what makes the song work. Bettis worked in some of the lyrics from the demo as well, although he reshaped it from its original topic of a schoolyard bully (which is what Porcaro is referring to regarding his daughter--he's told the story many times).

I'm betting it might have ended up on a Toto album at some point. Far as I know, Steve Porcaro has only had the one solo album release, Someday/Somehow, in 2016.

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I've liked "Beat It" from the first time I heard it, and I remember looking forward to hearing how Eddie Van Halen would sound on an MJ record. Short as that solo is, it's textbook Van Halen. (It was probably around the time of Van Halen's Diver Down album.)
 

Rudy

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Morning spin while doing some work troubleshooting...

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This one mostly covers their Warner Brothers recordings, which is my favorite era of theirs.
 

Rudy

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Not spinning anything at the moment, but yesterday I did some more shootouts on the Thriller versions (1999 SACD, MoFi SACD). I may post an article on it in the next week or so.

I have a Chess holiday LP (Have a Merry Chess Christmas) that I bought decades ago and never played. It's a variety (it goes from Ramsey Lewis to Chuck Berry), so I may have to clean it up and see how it plays.
 

Rudy

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A good morning for Soul Box. Spinning right now amidst a pile of work.

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This one is a good pick for fans of Bob James as he provides the horn and string arrangements here. And the lead-off track "Aubrey" (by David Gates, of Bread fame) will somewhat remind you of Bob James' own song "Angela." Other tracks here are by Marvin Gaye ("Trouble Man," from a soundtrack Gaye composed), Norman Whitfield, and fusion drummer Billy Cobham.
 

rockdoctor

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I picked up a copy of Ian and Sylvia's Greatest Hits at the thrift store a while back. I decided to put it on the turntable last night and it was really good. The condition was excellent. Whoever owned it before me bought it through the old Record Club of America.
 

Rudy

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I needed something fun this morning.



Colin James and The Little Big Band II

I came at this album, and the artist, in a rather strange way. I have Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii, and also have a few "modifications" done so I can play games not officially available. One was a hacked version called Mario Kart: Black that replaced some of the background and textures with "dark" graphics, renamed and altered the in-game characters, and replaced all the music. Someone even went so far as to create cover art for the disc case.

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A lot of the music was metal, industrial, etc. and it was hilarious to play the game with these modifications, but the song that stood out was "Triple Shot" from the album above.

Colin James is a Canadian blues rock guitarist and built his following in that style, but released the first Little Big Band album, based on a swing style, a few years earlier and it sold like hotcakes. And, this is the follow-up.
 

Rudy

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Followed by this, which is spinning now.



Another excellent Gerald Wilson album. This one, as the cover suggests, is very much in a Spanish/Mexican/toreador mood throughout, especially the title track. One of his legendary Pacific Jazz records.
 

DAN BOLTON

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I've been listening to 'Tis The Season For Los Straightjackets...one of two Christmas albums the group has recorded. Both are worth a listen or two, but "Tis The Season is my personal favorite. The sound is a mixture of TexMex, surf music and a bit of twang thrown in for good measure.
 

Rudy

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I have Yuletide Beat as well as 'Tis The Season, and there seems to be a third album where Los Straitjackets backed Nick Lowe on a live recording called The Quality Holiday Revue. And there was a 2018 release called Complete Christmas Songbook. I haven't had time to cross-check some of the single releases they've had in recent years, like the single with Nick Lowe from 2020 with "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow."

They're somewhat in the same wheel house as The Mavericks, especially with the twang (the Mavs started as a country band but quickly evolved out of it) and the Tex Mex feel. Their Hey! Merry Christmas! is styled like a throwback to the 60s sound of Phil Spector.
 

Rudy

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Well, look at what I stumbled across... 😁



Ultraje a Rigor is a Brazilian rock band that formed in 1980 as a cover band for 60s rock, Beatles, new wave, etc. The album that "Mae" is from also features the Green Hornet theme, "Walk, Don't Run," Rawhide," "Sleep Walk" and "Pipeline" (a pair of popular rock instrumentals that we've all heard at some point), "Perfidia," "Caravan," and the theme from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

And all this is from clicking the link in Roon Player...

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DAN BOLTON

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Well, look at what I stumbled across... 😁



Ultraje a Rigor is a Brazilian rock band that formed in 1980 as a cover band for 60s rock, Beatles, new wave, etc. The album that "Mae" is from also features the Green Hornet theme, "Walk, Don't Run," Rawhide," "Sleep Walk" and "Pipeline" (a pair of popular rock instrumentals that we've all heard at some point), "Perfidia," "Caravan," and the theme from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

And all this is from clicking the link in Roon Player...

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Sorta like what Link Wray and the Wraymen would sound like today...cool...
 

JOv2

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Another excellent Gerald Wilson album
Wilson came to our university (Humboldt State) round about '91/'92 and worked over our lab band. The charts he brought were great -- but many of us were bummed (and really didn't know what to think) when he pulled out a chart of The Doors' Light My Fire. Just could not get into the song or its arrangement for a lab band.
 

Rudy

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Sorta like what Link Wray and the Wraymen would sound like today...cool...
I listened to about half of the album and it is similar. They have a "tough guy" look on the cover, but they're having a lot of fun with the music. Enjoyable listen!
 

Rudy

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I was picking through a few of the Shorty Rogers albums this evening and happened to give this one a spin via Qobuz.

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And it's always good to hear Pete Jolly:

 

Rudy

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This one, and the Mixed Masters reissue, and even though both have a bit of wear (both were purchsaed used many years ago)....both versions wipe the floor with the Mobile Fidelity OneStep version. The version pictured is a promo double-A side which I bought used in the mid 80s for $1.97. You'd be lucky to find a clean version of its non-promo version for under $30.
 

Mr Bill

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They have a "tough guy" look on the cover...Enjoyable listen!
There's nothing "tough" about a group of hombres looking at their phones, LoL. But, yes, it's an enjoyable listen!

--Mr Bill
 

Rudy

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The photo kind of had a "Metallica with smartphones" vibe going, I'll give it that... 🤣 The guy on the right definitely resembles James Hetfield.
 

Rudy

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This record isn't DynagrooVe, it's DynagroovY!

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OK, maybe not completely groovy, but an interesting time capsule of its time, not to mention a dancing girl with, apparently, a stump for a left arm. And musically it's a far cry from the sophisticated style we'd know Claus Ogerman for on all those CTI albums over the years, although all of the songs here are nicely arranged despite sounding a bit "busy" at times. After all, "Latin."

This is another one of the accidental finds I came across via Roon Player and Qobuz. And digging a bit more on Discogs, there are other albums on RCA that seem to be of a similar style, like Saxes Mexicanos, Watusi Trumpets, and a soul-oriented album called Soul Searchin'. He also recorded an album of "serious" music from Fiddler on the Roof.
 

JOv2

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(Ha! At first glance, I though the LP cover was a counterfeit given the stylized LATIN ROCK is not consistent with RCA's art department offerings for their non-rock LPs in '67.)
 

Rudy

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(Ha! At first glance, I though the LP cover was a counterfeit given the stylized LATIN ROCK is not consistent with RCA's art department offerings for their non-rock LPs in '67.)
Oh I know it! 🤣 Yeah, it has a little of a K-Tel vibe to it. There is Latin percussion throughout, but there isn't much "rock" to be found on the record.

I mean, what a juxtaposition! Here, Ogerman puts his spin on "Cuchy Frito Man"...




...and yet his lush strings on the following track can be goosebump-inducing.

 

Rudy

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This one has grown on me quite a bit over the past few days. It's a classic Creed Taylor sound, and all the familiar CTI artists back up Idris Muhammad on this Kudu date. Bob James did the arrangements on this record.

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All the tracks are good, but this one is my earworm for the day:

 

Rudy

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When I'm listening to a box, I don't mess around. No small, medium or large box here.

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Interesting side-long track to open the album--it's a mashup of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Bird of Fire."
 
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