Oyster’s 2015 New LPs

This year we saw small, new indie vinyl shops added to the community and the continual shrinkage of big guys like HMV. New vinyl sales continues to grow contributed in no small parts by better new music as well as quality reissues. Indeed, this is a very good year for vinyl retailers going by the many must-buy titles from artistes like Nils Lofgren, Roger Waters, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Eva Cassidy etc. Incidentally, Eva Cassidy’s 4LP Nightbird live set gets my vote for LP of the Year.

Here’s a rundown of some others I’ve got…

lp ACDC Rock Or Bust 2015AC/DC has been making the same type of record since their debut. The difference in this one vis-à-vis ‘Black Ice’ is that the songs are more memorable, more catchy and production is tad more sleek (LP cover especially).
Brian Johnson still has the angst but I can’t say the same of Angus’ solos.
lp Beyond Greatest Hits 2015Demand continues to outstrip supply in the pre-owned Cantopop LP scene this year. Now, even new but deleted titles of just 12 to 18 months old are asking for silly money. I am not a Beyond fan but this LP has the essential hit – 海闊天空. Sonic wise, regrettably painfully digitised.
lp MM Pale Emperor 2015My first and probably only Marilyn Manson title I may ever buy. Credit goes to the music recording and production. The part I couldn’t sit easy is the meaningless, often repetitive lyrics. The use of strong tribal rhythms and MM’s painted face remind me much of Adam Ant.
Nonetheless, this is not a listen once and stash away LP.
lp ChetBaker Chet 2015I got the affordable OJC version and was very much blown away by the sonic.
At Munich this year, I chanced upon a deleted, unplayed APO version and couldn’t resist. This time, I was also blown away – by the price.
Whichever issue, this is a desert island jazz LP worth being blown away.
lp Bob Dylan Time out of mind 2015Music Matters LPs are always priced lower even though they may come from the same pressing plant (RTI) as the other premium labels like ORG.
The digital signatures are everywhere on this one which is a huge letdown.
I missed buying the original and once you missed the boat, you’ll miss it.
LP Out of Mind.
lp Toto XIVFirst of all, Toto XIV is not a Toto V. To a good measure, the songs are almost as good as Fahreniet or The Seventh One. Toto’s ability to fill up an entire LP with new, quality materials would be an envy to many pension ready classic rock groups. AOR fans or Toto fans will be pleased with this one – I know I am. LP pressing wise, its not quite Toto’s usual standards though
lp ToniAmos Little EarthquakesProbably the happiest reissue LP this year.
Happy to finally own this in vinyl
Happy to no longer having to wait or pay for an original at eBay
Happy for the sound (well done!) with absolute absence of digital hardness.
lp Christopher Cross Cafe Carlyle SessionsThis 2LP studio remake of Christopher Cross’ music (2014), is my surprise find this year. The music may be tad soft and popish to some but the high quality recording / pressing may make the whole experience worthwhile.
A possible future reference pop LP (German pressing)
lp GovtMule DSOTMCan a tribute LP be more enjoyable than the original?
Better sounding than Pulse and in many parts more likable than Roger Waters’ In the Flesh, this one is literally as close as it gets.
The 2 standout tracks are Shine On Your Crazy Diamond and WYWH. Correspondingly, there are also 2 bump tracks to hurry you to lift up the tonearm.
lp LedZeppelin SRTS remasteredThat CD shop sold me this and ironically, that was the last time I saw them because shortly after, they closed the Raffles City branch.
You’ll find things to like in this Jimmy Page remastered series. I like the previously unreleased tracks, which make this  legendary live event complete. But I don’t like some of the new mixes on the guitars and live ambient. It confuses my brain.
lp RogerWaters Amused2Death APOThis lp along with Nils Lofgren’s Acoustic Live are perhaps the most anticipated releases of 2015.
Is the 2 years wait worth this reissue? In view of the ordinary sounding, original Sony label going for silly money, this deluxe reissue in extreme sonic could cause a price crash of the original. Buy this for the cinematic experiences and Jeff Beck’s guitar solos. Every which way, it’s a winner.
lp Lowell LoFans who grew up with his originals may find it hard to accept the reinterpretations. Nevertheless, it has none of the cliché jazz remake which is so yesterday now.
I enjoyed this thoroughly probably because I am not a fan and do not have to relearn the songs.
Somebody at Universal Music (HK) finally got it right.
lp David Gilmour Ratter that LockI enjoyed this more than DG’s last solo outing. David maybe finding it harder and harder to reach the higher registers but music wise, I like this more.No Doug Sax (anymore) for mastering but still keeping the Floydian standards.
lp ELO Alone In the UniverseI end my year with possibly the best of the comeback lot.
My interest in Jeff Lynne’s music was rekindled recently after watching ‘Mr Blue Sky’ documentary.
Literally, a one-man-band, the songs here are as melodic, as catchy as what he has been done in the past. While many classic acts are over the hill, Jeff Lynne is still up there.

 

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