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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 23, 2016 Published: Mar 01, 2016 1 comments
The Beach Boys Today!
Analogue Productions AAPP064 (LP). TT: 27:35
Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Analogue Productions AAPP065 (LP).
TT: 27:44
Both: 1965/2016. Brian Wilson, orig. prod.; Chuck Britz, orig. eng.; Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, stereo mixes; Kevin Gray, mastering. ADA.
Performance *****
Sonics *****

It's a classic case of addition by subtraction. On December 23, 1964, on a flight from Houston to Los Angeles, Brian Wilson had a panic attack—or, perhaps, a full-fledged nervous breakdown. Two more such episodes followed in quick succession, and Brian realized that he could no longer tour with the Beach Boys. At first, Glen Campbell was brought in to replace him in the band's touring edition, until Bruce Johnston permanently took his spot. In an interview conducted by Earl Leaf, quoted by Tom Nolan in the October 28, 1971, issue of Rolling Stone, Wilson had this to say about his decision:

"I told them I foresee a beautiful future for the Beach Boys group but the only way we could achieve it was if they did their job and I did mine. They would have to get a replace ment for me ... I didn't say 'they' I said 'we' because it isn't they and me, it's 'us.'

Robert Baird Posted: Feb 24, 2016 3 comments
All band photos copyright Capitol Photo Archives

Although there was a fall chill in the air, the front windows were open, and the sounds of perhaps the greatest Beach Boys ballad of all wafted into the Massachusetts night.

Perched on the edge of the couch, dear friend and Stereophile contributing music editor David Sokol—former editor-in-chief of New Country and Disney magazines, a man who's written about music for over 40 years and has yet to lose his passion for the stuff—was waxing poetic and weeping, ever so slightly, as the room filled with the intricate mix of voices that is "Kiss Me, Baby."

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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 19, 2016 2 comments
Tribute records are often a fascinating mix of those who try, who put emotion and thought into their tracks, and those who turn in lukewarm efforts.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 16, 2016 17 comments
Watching Johnny Depp play rock guitar dude was a bit squirm-inducing.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 05, 2016 4 comments
This is not a soundtrack record.
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 02, 2016 1 comments
"With all due respect, what the hell is the matter with you?"

Over the years, I've felt obligated to ask this question of several friends who somehow concluded that their life's work involved founding a record label.

"That is the best question isn't it?" Shane Buettner said with a big laugh. "Why do I want to hurt myself this badly and spend a lot of money doing it?" He smiled again, with a mild shake of the head.

"Actually, yes—that's exactly what I mean."

Robert Baird Posted: Jan 28, 2016 Published: Feb 01, 2016 2 comments
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters
John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, Art Davis, bass; Elvin Jones, drums
Impulse! 80023727-02 (3 CDs). 1965/2015. Bob Thiele, orig. prod.; Rudy Van Gelder, orig. eng.; Harry Weinger, Ashley Kahn, reissue prods.; Kevin Reeves, reissue mastering. ADD? TT: 2:43:31
Performance *****
Sonics *****

While every jazz fan has his or her favorite period of John Coltrane's career—the promising Prestige years, the "hits" on Atlantic, the single knockout punch of Blue Trane, his lone album for Blue Note—nearly everyone agrees that the intensely realized vision and sonic charms of A Love Supreme make that album his masterpiece. The recordings Coltrane made for his final label, Impulse!, at first swung between more free jazz outings like Impressions (1963) and more conventional recordings, such as duet albums with Duke Ellington and Johnny Hartman (both in 1963). A Love Supreme (1965) was his most coherent artistic statement, one grounded in his love for God, and embodying an affirmation of the power of love over dissension and division. The album also marked the beginning of Coltrane's final two years, in which he would relentlessly plumb new depths of meaning in his music, and hone an ever more assaultive, angular sound that seethed with emotion and an endless stream of ideas. The strident, dissonant, refractory music that followed A Love Supreme, and now known as his New Thing, remains controversial.

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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 29, 2016 2 comments
I’d love to hear what Gary Tallent thinks. Bass players never get to speak their piece.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 29, 2016 1 comments
The movement towards a super premium vinyl “experience,” and the larger notion of vinyl as a lifestyle is getting another eager supporter as a new subscription-only label, Newvelle Records, launched this week via a Kickstarter campaign.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 19, 2016 109 comments
Can anybody still listen to Eagles records these days?

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