Here are my 2013 new LP purchases (old LPs not included). Like previous year, don’t read this as a review but just my thoughts about buying them. The score combines how I like the music and the recording.
|Searching For Sugar Man (OST) This is my first of three separate purchases of Rodriguez’s music. I am a late comer to him but who isn’t? After watching this movie twice, I just have to support this underdog (now no more), give this humble guy the credit and loyalties he so deserves. This 2LP set is the perfect summary to this singer/songwriter’s unknown catalogue. Rolling Stones magazine’s Best 2012 reissue. Music with no time stamp. 5 out of 5.|
|Rodriguez – Coming From Reality This was my second Rodriguez LP after the above. Thank you Light At The Attic, for also reproducing the 3D cover. 3 out of 5.|
|Rodriguez – Cold Fact Rodriguez’s debut LP (original sealed) was traded at eBay for US$750 in 2013. For once, I am glad to own a reissue and never a moment I Wonder how the original Sussex (SXBS7000) would sound. Sonically, this reissue is thinner than the overall, better mastered Searching For Sugar Man OST. If the music business could turn back the clock, this would have been 1970 Grammy winner for Best New Artist. 5 out of 5.|
|Black Sabbath – 13 Listen up classic rock fans, we’re into the last 5 years to enjoy the original members of any decent rock bands (those started in the 60s or early 70s), playing live or recording anything new. This Black Sabbath record has that urgency and the fans know. 43 years to earn their first #1 shows that the fans (the old and the very old) are still out there. Old dogs do not need no new tricks, just do the old honestly and properly. A championship winning team has a great manager and Rick Rubin was one. A good example of how a heavy metal record should sound – Oh Yeah 4 out of 5.|
|Manfred Mann Earth Band – Live Budapest I am a sucker for Manfred Mann’s moog sound. This reissue was purchased out of a moment of weakness and fatigue in search of an original. Highlights of the live set include For You and a Bob Marley cover Redemption Song. At this stage, MMEB was drifting away from prog rock towards pop. 2.5 out of 5 (an original copy is still on my watch-list)|
|Various Artists – Re-Machined Deep Purple’s Machine Head Trying to improve a classic? Don’t even go there. What about giving a different spin to a classic? Ok… I was drawn to buy this after watching the Lazy cover featuring Joe Bonamassa (guitar) on YouTube. The swinging in-and-out of Blackmore’s styling gives me boogie goosebumps. The other standout track is Metallica’s take on When A Blind Man Cries. Two tracks maketh an album? You bet. 3 out of 5.|
|Mao A Min (毛阿敏) – 天之大 (Huge Sky). Like last year, a Chinese LP rounded off 2013 for me but this one is slightly different. This is not one of those PYT, me-too Jazz covers made for hi-fi systems. Rather, a recording with all original compositions in traditional, folkish-pop fused from a mainland Chinese singer. The production is impeccable and the result reflects that. Besides the excessive packaging, the sound quality is impressive (read: analogue) renewing hope that this loss art of recording/mastering still exists. This is quite a refreshing listen and a worthy addition to your Chinese music collection. 4 out of 5.|