Paul Simon’s 1986 Tour de Force: Still “Grace”-Full after 35 Years

By Nick Arietano Jr. The Record Lover

Hello Fellow Music Lovers!

Today’s discussion will revolve around Paul Simon’s 1986 Grammy Award Winning LP/CD “Graceland”, specifically the 25th Anniversary version 2 Disc Deluxe set.

These are (indeed sic) the days of miracle and wonder. This is the long distance call. The Way the camera follows us in slo-mo. The way we look to us all. Oh yeah.

Off we go to a musical and emotional journey courtesy of Paul Simon: A Musical and Poetic Genius. From his tenure with partner Art Garfunkel (1964-1970), to his fruitful solo career, Simon knew when to pull no punches when the time came to bare his soul to his audiences (i.e. “The Dangling Convesation”, “Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall”), and when to entertain (“The 59th Street Bridge Song”, “At The Zoo”). His previous solo efforts: “Paul Simon” (Self Titled), “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon”, “Still Crazy After All These Years”, “Hearts and Bones”, contained good-bordering on great songs. However, I must say, “Graceland” is where Simon completely enjoys himself. There are so many different styles of music on this masterpiece. “I Know What I Know” is a great pop/rock song (and my very favorite on the album! Love singing along with it every time it comes out of the speakers!), and of course “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”.

There are also some heavy hitting musicians and back up singers which add to the magic of “Graceland”. The Everly Brothers share the spotlight with Simon on the title track, Linda Ronstadt lends her angelic vocals on the beautiful “Under African Skies” and the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the tracks “Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes” (which also features Joseph Shambalala on the intro a cappella portion).

The bonus material on the 2 CD set is amazing. Whether you’ve been a fan of this Grammy Award Winner since August of 1986, or just experiencing it for the first time, you’re in for the treat of your lives.

  1. “Homeless” (Demo version )-breathtaking early arrangement of the album track .
  2. “Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes (Alternate Version)” -Features the bass (played awesomely by Bakithi Kumalo) and vocals only -WOW!
  3. “All Around the World or The Myth of Fingerprints (Early Version)”-Excellent!
  4. “You Can Call Me Al” (Demo) -Wonderful Alternate Instrumental recorded at Ovation studios in Johannesburg RSA (South Africa)
  5. “Crazy Love” (Demo) -Great instrumental also recorded in Ovation Studios Johannesburg RSA (South Africa)

The second disc contains the documentary “Under African Skies: Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey” (a wonderful viewing) with extended interviews featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Harry Belafonte, and the music videos “You can Call Me Al” (with Chevy Chase), “The Boy In The Bubble”, “Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes (original video)” and “Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes (From the Saturday Night Live Broadcast of November 22, 1986)”. Fans will also enjoy the full color booklet which features original liner notes from the LP back cover, as well as the lyrics to all of the songs.

The re-mastering of this CD set sounds fantastic! The soundstage and the instruments are evenly distributed through both the left and right channels, and the vocals are more clean and crisp sounding than the previous issues.

We come and we go. That’s A Thing I keep in the back of my head!


Your Friend and Mine,

Nick Arietano Jr The RecordLover


Favorites on 45: Don’t wait for Someday, Man…Listen To The Band!

By Nick The RecordLover

Happy Sunday My Fellow Record Lovers!

Today’s discussion is The Monkees 1969 single release “Someday Man” and “Listen to The Band” released on Colgems Records 66-5004.

To this day, I love both of these songs equally. When the song was first released on April 26, 1969 the picture sleeve promoted “Someday Man”(Written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams) as the A-Side. A good move, since Davy Jones, the heartthrob of The Monkees sang lead on it. However, when DJs started playing the B-Side, a great Mike Nesmith composition and a rockin’ tune (Nez also arranged it) called “Listen To The Band”, the latter song started to receive heavier air-play so “Listen” became the A-Side and the Picture Sleeve titles were reversed (See Below Photo).

“Someday Man” is a wonderful production. The opening bass lines by Joe Osborn and Hal Blaine’s drums whisk us off into a dream world where there seems to be no cares in the world. Davy Jones’s vocals are at a premium here and he gives it his all on the chorus ” I was born a Someday Man, I’m A Maybe Child/I was Born A Someday Man, I Was Always wild. Tomorrow’s a NEW day baby, anything can happen…anything can happen at allll…”. I’ve always loved the lyric : “But for me, life can be a sweet holiday…”. The song was recorded on November 7, 1968 at Wally Heider’s Studio 3 in Hollywood CA and on January 10, 1969 at Western Recorders, Hollywood, CA. This song always lifts my spirits and the sun always shines when I hear it.

“Listen to The Band” is, by far, my favorite Michael Nesmith Composition during his tenure with The Monkees. Always loved the knockout intro and the drum fills (played by Jerry Carrigan) before Nez’s opening verse. I first heard this on the “That Was Then, This is Now” compilation CD circa 1987-1988. It’s been classified as The Monkees new “big band sound” being it features a great brass section during the instrumental break between verses. The backing band Nesmith used on this track were to become “Area Code 615” who had its origins in Tennessee. Nesmith chose them to record the song because they “were pure Nashville players playing with a rock and roll sensibility”. According to Michael, the lyrics were made up in the studio to “give me something to sing.” Nesmith sings from the point of view of a lonely man and speaks for all of those who are alone both in the song and on behalf of us fans. He points out the reality that we all have to move on from unrequited love, and music can help ease the heartbreak if we just give it a chance. Another song I can sing along with word for word. We can all “make it alone” if we just give music the chance to use its healing powers.

Happy Listening (to the Band)!


Sharing some fond memories of “The Early Beatles”

By Nick The RecordLover

Greetings, fellow Beatlemaniacs and Music Lovers,

Tonight’s feature is an album I grew up listening to during the Summer of 1980. It was one of the first Beatles records I owned which showcased “The Early Beatles”.

I remember the Summer of 1980 when my Grandmother and Mother took me to the dentist for a routine checkup. A week or two before, I noticed the LP “The Early Beatles” in Pathmark and was excited to get it after seeing the tracks that were listed on the front cover. I told my Mom that was the next Beatles album I wanted (the first one I owned was “The Beatles 1967-1970” Blue Album compilation). She said she would buy it for me after the dentist visit. It was a gorgeous Summer day and I couldn’t wait to go to Pathmark to pick it up. The price on it was $6.98 (the average price for a record in Sam Goody was around $8.99-$9.99), and I saw it on the record rack just waiting for me to bring it home and give it a listen. It was a reissue on The Capitol Purple Label with the original catalog number ST-2309 and in “Capitol Full Dimensional Stereo”. I always got a kick out of the back cover which had the FDS logo and underneath read, “Also Available In Regular Monophonic”.

“The Early Beatles” was a Capitol Records compilation released in March of 1965 in Mono T-2309 and Stereo ST 2309. Alas, my purple label copy has long been played to shreds, so I’ve spent the last ten years or so looking for an original Mono (See Below) and Stereo (Scroll for photos). The front cover reads “Eleven of their 1964 American Hit Recordings Now on Capitol”. Years later I found out that these tracks were released on an American album titled “Introducing The Beatles” on the short-lived Vee-Jay label in early 1964. Once Vee-Jay folded, Capitol Records jumped on The Beatles bandwagon and compiled this collection although by the Spring of 1965 The Beatles were working on songs that were to be released on the upcoming US compilation “Beatles VI” and both the American and UK copies of the “Help!” soundtrack.

Ah, but let’s go back to that wonderful Summer day of 1980. The minute I brought the record home I spun it on my very humble phonograph/stereo “system” (hey, in 1980 it was pretty state of the art for a 10 year old). Of course I knew “Love Me Do”, but I couldn’t wait to “Twist and Shout”! I remember singing along with John’s raspy vocal, trying to match him word for word and playing air-guitar like he did at The Royal Variety Performance in 1963. I immediately fell in love with the group’s cover versions of Arthur Alexander’s “Anna” and The Cookies’ hit “Chains”. I’ve since heard the originals, but to me they will always be associated with The Beatles. They’re loads of fun to sing along with, as is one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Ask Me Why”. “Ask Me Why” is one of the most beautiful songs John wrote. It’s such an honest, heartfelt composition. Ringo Starr gets his due with a cover of The Shirelles’ “Boys” and he rocks out with the best of ’em (To This day I love when Ringo yells “All Right, George!” before George Harrison wails with his rocking guitar solo). John gives it his best on the second Shirelles cover of “Baby, It’s You” with Paul and George doing the “sha-la-la-la…” backing vocals. “A Taste of Honey” is another fine cover written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow and first performed by Billy Dee Williams in the play “A Taste of Honey” in 1961. Lenny Welch would have a big hit with it in 1962 and Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass shot to the top of the charts with their version in 1965. As with all of the cover versions, I will always associate these songs with The Beatles. Theirs were the versions I grew up with and will remember fondly. Let’s not forget the show stopping originals “Please Please Me” with its outstanding harmonica and breathtaking vocals by John, Paul, and George with Ringo giving the song its driving beat, and the lovely John Lennon ballad “Do You Want to Know A Secret?” Always loved the doo-dah-doo backing vocals, and the middle eight verse “I’ve known a secret for a week or two, nobody knows, just we two…”

Now you may ask, which is better: The Mono or the Stereo version? Since the songs were originally meant to be heard in Mono, I would go with the mono mix. However, the Stereo version (“Love Me Do” is still in mono on the stereo version, since “Love Me Do” was never to this day mixed in true stereo) makes me feel I’m seeing The Beatles in concert and experiencing Beatlemania for the first time.

Peace, and Happy Listening!

Nick The Record Lover

You’ll feel like ‘Superman’ when you click with The Clique

By Nick The Record Lover

Hello Fellow Sunshine Pop/Rock Lovers!

Today’s discussion is The Clique’s Self-Titled 1969 release on White Whale Records in Stereo WW 7126.

The Clique originally released a cover of The 13th Floor Elevators “Splash I” in 1967 on Scepter Records. Between the years 1967-1969 the group went through some personnel changes, leaving only two original members: Lead vocalist Randy Shaw and David Dunham on sax and backing vocals. The newer members featured Tom Pena on bass, Sid Templeton on guitar and backing vocals, Jerry Cope on drums, and Oscar Houchins on keyboard and backing vocals.

When I first heard the group’s 1969 original version of “Superman” (covered quite nicely by REM on their 1986 album “Life’s Rich Pageant”), I was hooked on the sound and knew I had to hunt down their only LP on White Whale Records. A friend of mine located a copy available on Etsy , so I gambled 13 bucks for a very good copy (the cover was in its original shrink wrap). I was stoked to hear the other album tracks which surrounded the single “Sugar on Sunday” (a cover of the Tommy James and The Shondells track from the “Crimson and Clover” LP) and its B-Side “Superman”. “Superman” eventually took off on its own and was re-released as an A -Side. The rest of the album shines with The Bee Gees cover of “Holiday”, “I’ll Hold Out My Hand”, “Little Miss Lucy (which has a groovy bass lick and outstanding vocals)”, and The Brit-Pop influenced “Soul Mates”. A Majority of the tracks were co-written by Producer Gary Zekley and Mitchell Bottler (i.e. “Superman”, “Little Miss Lucy” and “Judy, Judy, Judy”). “Judy, Judy, Judy” has references to Laugh-In cast member Judy Carne aka the “sock it to me” girl (they pay homage by shouting “Sock it to Me”! during the “Judy, Judy, Judy” chorus).

The second copy I bought of this LP also has the original shrink-wrap, and it includes the post card from producer/songwriter Gary Zekley, on behalf of White Whale Records which reads “For Artistic Reasons, ‘Little Miss Lucy’ will now be heard on side one.” Found that LP in my go-to record shop under the “C” column of the $3.00 bin. Ah, the benefits of perseverance when record shopping….


Nick The Record Lover

“Ram On…Give this album to Somebody…Soon…Right Away…”

By Nick Arietano Jr. The Record Lover

Greetings fellow Music and McCartney fans!

Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Ram” has always had a special place in my heart. As of this writing, this has since become my favorite McCartney solo effort. I have collected many pressings and incarnations of this beautiful record, from the original 1971 release on Apple Records, to the Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl and Archive Book CD/DVD Boxed Set. The best way(s) to experience this masterpiece are The original Apple Release, The Yellow Vinyl and Archive Book CD/DVD versions. When I received the “Ram” Archive Book set for Christmas of 2017, I was blown away by the much improved sound quality on the Yellow Vinyl and Archive versions. The stereo separation is gorgeous especially on-well, the ENTIRE album. The clarity on each song is stupendous. Certain tracks like “Smile Away” and “Dear Boy” sounded compressed as though there was more to be heard on these tracks. Now you can hear the bongo drums on “Dear Boy” and the acoustic guitars on “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (a song which makes me stop whatever I’m doing at the moment-including writing this essay-to sing along and imitate word for word the “Admiral Halsey Notified Me…” middle eight verse) are brilliant. “Smile Away” rocks in the remastered version on the Yellow Vinyl and Book Archive collections. David Spinozza’s and Hugh McCracken’s guitar riffs are where they SHOULD be on “Smile Away”

Side two of the album begins with “Heart of The Country”, a great acoustic county ditty from Paul, and it sounds like you’re right in the studio with him. “Monkberry Moon Delight” sounds eerier than ever. “Eat At Home” is a great rocker featuring Linda’s vocals along with Sir Paul’s. The album finishes with the great “The Back Seat of My Car” and with the improved sound quality, puts me in the mood to take a day trip to anywhere my imagination takes me.

There are plenty of materialistic goodies which accompany the CD/DVD Archive edition of the album. A full page book recounting how and when the album was recorded, gorgeous 8 x 10 photos of Paul and Linda, reproductions of hand written song lyrics, and a mini book featuring shots of Paul with various sheep! It also contains bonus audio tracks (The singles “Another Day”/”Oh Woman, Oh Why”, “The Great Cock and Seagull Race”, the beautiful “Hey Diddle” and “Rode All Night”, all beautifully remastered), the “Ram” album in a true mono mix taken from the original master, and the “Thrillington” album which is a Jazz version of “Ram”, recorded in 1971, by Percy “Thrills” Thrillington (which in reality, is your friend and mine, Sir Paul). Pardon the Pun, but I was “Thrilled” to hear the Jazz version of the album-in fact, I was most excited to hear that first before the original album itself! You have to hear it yourself-no spoilers! The Bonus DVD includes a video documentary on “Ram” and the promo film for the song “Heart of The Country”. When I looked at the contents of the Book Archive Edition, I was wondering why the “Brung To Ewe By” Radio spots which Paul and Linda recorded to be played before the stations spun a song from “Ram”. The vinyl version of these promos are hard to find to this day. However, when I first put the DVD in-to my sheer delight, ALL of the “Brung to Ewe By” radio spots are included in the menu. I have memorized all of the dialogue and the “Now Hear This Song of Mine…Now Hear This!” jingles and love singing along!

So… “Ram on” …and share this album with somebody… “Smile Away” when doing so!

Your friend and Mine, Nick The RecordLover

Favorites on 45: Celebrating 55 Years of The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”/”Rain”

By Nick The Record Lover

On May 30 1966 The Beatles released their most electrifying single to date. “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” came out of the sessions the group were recording for the upcoming album “Revolver” which would hit the record stores in August of that year. I first heard “Paperback Writer” on the 1973 compilation “The Beatles 1962-1966” and then on the 1970 Apple Records release “The Beatles Again” (Also known as the “Hey Jude” album). It was 1983-1984 when I heard “Rain” for the first time. Ringo Starr had a Radio special on 66 WNBC called “Ringo’s Yellow Submarine”. He called it his “favorite Beatle track of all time”, and he “loved his drums on ‘Rain'”. I concur. It’s my favorite B Side released by The Fab Four, and my all-time favorite record. The Beatles were yet to record any songs as powerful as “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. It was a double A-sided single, with “Paperback Writer” reaching number one and “Rain” making the charts at number 23. When I first heard these songs on “The Beatles Again” (AKA “Hey Jude”) LP they were remixed for stereo (George Martin made the stereo mixes in December of 1969). It was in 1986 when I bought the Capitol “Star Line Super Oldies” 45 version of this single when I heard the songs in their original mono formats.

Let me tell you, it was euphoria to the nth degree. First off, “Paperback Writer” just jumped out of the speakers as never before. The guitars were more punchy sounding, there can be high-hat drum sounds (or possibly the metronome ticking) before the “Paperback Writer” refrains, and echo on the final refrain. In other words, “Paperback Wri-Wri-Wri!!” The word “Psychedelic” is used loosely when it comes to mid-late 1960s music, but this is the first single The Beatles would release with that description. In “Rain”, John Lennon takes a jab at society. No matter if it rains or shines, people will never be satisfied. We can run from the rain, or let it cool us down on a hot Summer Day, and let the Sun bring us natural light rather than shield ourselves from it. On the original mono mix of “Rain”, you can actually “see” the rain and shine, and the weather is always fine when I hear it. Let us Beatles fans rejoice when we hear the AWESOME backward vocals during the coda and fade of “Rain”.

In the immortal words of John Lennon: “Can You Hear Me, That when it rains and shines, it’s just a state of mind..Can you hear me? Can you HEAR me….?”

Nick Arietano Jr (The Record Lover)

“Creedence Clearwater Revival-The Singles Collection” Review (Vinyl Version)

By Nick Arietano Jr.

Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the greatest and most successful American Rock ‘N Roll Bands of all time, and “The Singles Collection” proves it in more ways than one. This boxed set contains all of the songs that made the charts between 1968-1972 on the Fantasy Label as well as their first on the Scorpio label “Porterville”/”Call It Pretending” released in 1967 (the original release had the group’s name as The Golliwogs and is rather scarce in record collecting circles, so I was very happy that they included it in this set). Both of these songs were credited to T.Spicebush Swallowtail, whom in reality is your friend and mine, John Fogerty.

All 15 singles are neatly packaged in gorgeous cardboard picture sleeves, some being from other countries. These include “Suzy Q . (Pt.1)” and “Suzy Q. (Pt. 2)”, “Green River”/”Commotion”, and “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”/”Hey Tonight”.

The set also includes a beautiful full color booklet featuring an essay by former Rolling Stone Editor Ben Fong-Torres and pages of photos containing picture sleeves and promo ads for all of the CCR singles released foreign and domestic.

The Sound quality on all of the singles is superb! The Promotional “45 Revolutions Per Minute (Pt. 1)”/”45 Revolutions Per Minute (Pt. 2)” is in stereo and all of the original hit singles are featured in their AM/FM Radio Mono Formats. In my humble opinion, I much prefer the mono mixes of the singles, reason being songs like “Suzy Q . (Pt. 1)/”Suzy Q. (Pt.2)” and “I Put A Spell on You”/”Walk on The Water” just jump right out of the one channel (the feedback on “Suzy Q” in mono sounds like you’re right there in the studio next to the amp), and “I Put A Spell On You”/”Walk on The Water” sounds way more eerier and the ghostly guitar parts make me feel as though I’m watching the man “Walk on The Water” with John Fogerty.

If you’re a big CCR fan, or getting into the group for the first time, give this set a listen. It’s been brilliantly remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley CA the way these works of musical art were meant to be heard!

See you all “Up Around The Bend”! Happy Listening!

The Recordlover

Flip-Side Feature

By Nick The Record Lover

Hello Fellow Music Lovers,

Welcome to Flip-Side Feature, a new addition to my blog “Music: A Friend For Life”. Today we go back to 1962 and “Mr. Soul” himself, Sam Cooke.

I first heard “Somebody Have Mercy” by Sam Cooke on a CD compilation “Sam Cooke: The Man and His Music” from 1986. I purchased it around 1995 or so, and sang along with all of the classics (“Cupid”, “Shake”, “You Send Me”, and “Another Saturday Night”, to name more than a few). When I arrived at “Somebody Have Mercy”, I was blown away. This was one of the greatest songs I had ever heard in my young life. It sounded like it should have been an A-Side number one hit. Then I found out it was the B-Side of “Nothing Can Change This Love”.

“Somebody Have Mercy” was written by The man himself, and he pours his heart out over a woman who does him wrong no matter how hard he tries to satisfy her. When I first heard the chorus which starts off the song-“Somebody Have Mercy, and Tell me What is Wrong with Me” it brought tears to my eyes. Young love is anything but what you see in the movies. I mean dig those lyrics “I’m gonna grab me an arm full of Greyhound, and ride just as close I can…and BLOW that thing for me yeah..” Then the blues harmonica comes in and all hell breaks loose. He could have just wrote that he was “taking a bus and getting the hell out of here”, but instead it’s “An Arm Full of Greyhound”. Genius! It makes me wonder if the band just started jamming an R&B feel, and Sam just started singing away. This is indeed one of the best (if not THE best) of Sam Cooke’s underrated songs and in the original mono mix.

Happy Listening!

Nick The Record Lover

The Rolling Stones “Between The Buttons” Album Review

By Nick The Record Lover

The Rolling Stones “Between The Buttons” has become my go-to record from this group lately. I received “The Rolling Stones in Mono” CD set as a gift a few years back ( a steal for 40 bucks brand new on EBAY), and enjoyed listening to The Stones first few albums. The sound quality is so crisp and clear (much superior to the 1986 CD releases) and I have to say, bar none, these albums belong in their original mono formats. My favorite album of The Rolling Stones has always been “Flowers”, a 1967 compilation featuring the singles “Ruby Tuesday” “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in The Shadow?” It also included previously unreleased tracks: Their cover version of The Temptations classic “My Girl” and “Ride On Baby”, recorded the previous year during the group’s “Aftermath” album sessions.

I picked up the first CD release of “Between The Buttons” back in 1994-95 after watching the coming of age 1987 film “Some Kind of Wonderful”. When Eric Stoltz’s character Keith gets prepped for his big date with Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson), the opening chords start off to The Rolling Stones “Miss Amanda Jones” I was hooked. I knew it was The Rolling Stones, deciphered that it was from back in their 60s heyday, and immediately started asking what album “Miss Amanda Jones” appeared on. The ones I asked only knew it was from the movie, so I had to continue my search. When I visited Compact Disc World in Edison New Jersey, I went up to the computer and punched in the title of the song (remember when we had to do that? Oh, how times have changed) to see what album it was a part of. The picture of the “Between The Buttons” album cover appeared in the lower right corner of the screen. I said to myself, “Miss Amanda Jones” is on the same album as “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend The Night Together”? I was going to buy it anyway because (A) I was (and still am) a big Rolling Stones fan, and (B) I was yet to have it in my collection. When I first heard the CD, I thought the sound quality was OK, as it read on the bottom of the case that it was “Digitally Remastered From Original Master Recordings”. “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend The Night Together” were mixed a tad different than the versions on “Flowers” and the recording levels of both songs sounded much lower. I wasn’t thinking so much of sound quality at the time, just that I added the album to my collection and I could finally listen to “Miss Amanda Jones” in its entirety. I gave the other tracks a listen, and loved “Connection”, “Cool, Calm, and Collected” and “Something Happened to Me Yesterday”. I remember playing this album very often throughout the mid-late 1990s, blasting “Miss Amanda Jones” and singing along with nearly every verse. I finally figured out that one of the verses is “She’s the darling of the discotheque crowd/”Of her lineage she’s rightfully proud, Miss Amanda Jones…” And that’s just since I listened to the Mono Boxed set version. Which would make that over a year ago. Since then I rediscovered this underrated Stones gem.

The mono boxed set version contains all of the UK incarnations of the Rolling Stones early catalog released in their original formats. Most of the albums were repackaged in The United States with different track listings.

Which brings me to the ultimate gist of today’s blog post. Which version is superior? The UK version (Released on January 20, 1967) in mono, the UK version in stereo, or the US version(Released on February 11, 1967) in stereo? I’ve Yet to hear the US version of “Between The Buttons” in mono (which I could assume sounds very similar to the mono released in Britain).

I really enjoy the Mono UK Mix originally released in January of 1967. All of this material was recorded between the late Summer and early Winter of 1966. The singles “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend The Night Together” were recorded in December of 1966 and released in January of 1967. The Mono UK Mix, in my opinion, is the far superior version than the US and UK Stereo. There’s more punch to the songs, especially “Connection” (which also has a longer fade in mono), as does “Cool, Calm, Collected”. “Miss Amanda Jones” jumps right out of the left channel, the way it was meant to be heard. The vocals sound more snide, and one can tell the group put their all into the Mono Mixes. Plus, it’s an album which didn’t need the single “Ruby Tuesday”/”Let’s Spend The Night Together” to make it relevant. It’s a unique and complete album that stands well on its own. It includes the great ballad “Backstreet Girl” and the Bo-Diddley inspired psychedelic “Please Go Home”. This is the second Rolling Stones album which featured all original compositions, and showcases different styles of music, and tackled more adult material featured on the great Bob Dylan inspired “Who’s Been Sleeping Here?” and the grungy “My Obsession”. Mick shines on the shuffle type ballad “She Smiled Sweetly”, and the band shows their creativity of mixing raga and honky-tonk with “Cool, Calm, Collected.”

One of my favorites to sing along with is the closing track “Something Happened to Me Yesterday.” It shows the “Bad Boys of Rock” could joke with the best of ’em, especially when the sing the refrain of “Something Happened To Me Yesterday” and Mick sneaks in the opening of “Yesterday” by The Beatles, and later on ad libs “What kind of joint is this?” This is also the first time Mick and Keith Richards trade vocals. Mick tells the story of something happening that was “Oh so Groovy” in the verses, while Keith takes the lead on the choruses “He don’t know if it’s right or wrong…”

Well my fellow music lovers, there’s my take on The Rolling Stones much under-rated “Between The Buttons. The Mono UK wins by a landslide. So to paraphrase Mick, Keith, Brian, Charlie and Bill:

Thank You very much and it’s time for me to go. So from me to you, not forgetting the “Boys in The Band”. I’d like to say, God Bless. So if you’re out tonight, don’t forget, if you’re on your bike, wear white.

Evening All!

Happy Listening!

Nick The Record Lover

“Sometimes ‘Rumours’ are great to hear”

By Nick The RecordLover

I’ve been familiar with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” since forever. What classic rock fan has yet to hear this landmark album? Here’s the rub, though. It took me 40 years (yes, you read that right) to FULLY appreciate it. I can remember hearing the tracks “Go Your Own Way”, “You Make Lovin’ Fun”, “Dreams”, and “Don’t Stop” played on almost every FM station in 1977. I loved all of the tracks, but “Go Your Own Way”, “You Make Lovin’ Fun”, and ” Don’t Stop” were my favorites.

I’ve heard this album in many formats: The original 1977 LP, The 5.1 Surround Sound DVD audio, and as we speak, the 2019 4 CD boxed set. The sound of the LP has that warmth that only emits from that format. The DVD Audio (which I bought used for 50 bucks on EBAY), sounds flawless, and to have the entire album spread through 5 channels (keep in mind, the DVD Audio was released in 2001), is a euphoric experience. Christine McVie’s and Stevie Nick’s vocals sound dreamier and more angelic than ever. Lindsey Buckingham’s guitars especially on “Second Hand News” and “Never Going Back Again” Mick Fleetwood’s drums sound like they are right in the room. John McVie’s bass is more up front in the mix.

If you’ve yet to hear the 5.1 DVD Audio (I would assume you already own the LP), definitely search and strike while the iron’s hot.

The 4 Disc collection of “Rumours” contains the original album beautifully remastered, a “Live” 1977 “Rumours” World Tour, one disc dedicated to early takes and demos, including an instrumental and vocal track of “Keep Me There” “Planets of The Universe” and a short ballad demo of “Doesn’t Anything Last”. Disc 4 has more recording sessions and outtakes mostly from the LP, and outtakes such as “Planets of The Universe”, “Butter Cookie (The Early title of Keep Me There). I really enjoyed listening to Disc 3 and 4, reasons being I experienced how this masterpiece of an album was put together. I love the outtake versions of “Go Your Own Way”, “Silver Springs” and “I Don’t Want to Know”.

Do yourselves a great treat. Pick up the 4 disc set. It can still be found on EBAY for a great price. If you enjoy it as much as I did (and still do), spread the “Rumour”!


Nick The RecordLover

%d bloggers like this: