Sunday, March 29, 2020

Anonymous - Inside The Shadow (1976) [Original US 1st Private Pressing]

Anonymous - Inside The Shadow (1976)
Original First USA Private Pressing
A Major Label ‎– AMLS 1002 (Discogs)
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full hi-res scans~

“Close to the perfect album; each element has been drawn from the best possible source, yet somehow Ron Matelic manages to fuse these massive building blocks into personal, deeply human music.” – Patrick Lundborg

It's not just good; it's great, a masterpiece. Anonymous stand out head and shoulders at the top... a record that could compete on the same level as every major label album by every major artist of the era. – Aaron Milenski

Long time top ten favorite with almost every head we know, a true classic recommended for everyone into amazing rock records of all varieties. – Light In The Attic

It is because of Patrick Lundborg's Acid Archives and Lysergia site that I (and many others) discovered this album, which has grown over the years to be one of the most well-known "unknown" records ever. While not the first person to discover or recognize this album for its greatness, Lundborg played a role in taking this and other underground albums of the '60s-'70s and posting them online for all, not just a group of knowledgeable collectors. Thanks, Patrick; I know you'll be jamming to this one on the other side. And huge thanks to my friend CF for inspiring this post!

The original front cover of Inside The Shadow, recorded and released 1976.
The central image is from a work by J. Heitzman, whose brother Tom was a friend of bassist Glenn Weaver. 

Anonymous formed primarily from the ashes of the '60s garage/psych band Sir Winston & The Commons, which released only two (both killer) period singles. After the demise of Sir Winston, the members worked playing locally and jamming with other musicians from Indianapolis, honing their craft and further developing their sound. After some years, guitarist Ron Matelic had coined a number of originals and gathered a group who mastered their performances well enough to craft Matelic's vision into an album of completely novel material.

Guitarist Ron Matelic was the
main creative force behind the band.
Travelling to Wisconsin, the (then-nameless) band birthed Inside The Shadow in friend Jim Spencer's studio, supposedly recording the entire album in one session and doing the mix a few weeks later. Tapes were sent off to a small Milwaukee manufacturing facility which produced a few hundred copies to distribute between friends as a keepsake of the band's time together. The album was credited to "Anonymous," as Matelic was afraid of coining a name which would induce prejudice about the band's sound.

The group's line-up continued to morph, and the band adopted the name J. Rider in 1977, beginning to play live gigs and further popularize their sound. More materials were recorded in 1978-1979, which were eventually released in 1996 on the OR label. These later recordings have a bit less root in the late-1960s sound, but they are still very good. The tracks recorded include an alternate version of Anonymous' "We Got More," which some even prefer to the 1976 original.

While never quite garnering the popular attention they deserved, the band has received high acclaim among international collecting circles since the 1980s. Ron Matelic and drummer John Medvescek continue to play with J. Rider bassist Grey Reynolds and guitarist Bill Kossmann in local Indy group The DoorJams, now with a more hard/southern rock tinge. It continues to amaze these musicians that they created what some have now called the best album of its kind. 

Later incarnation of Anonymous / early J. Rider proudly displaying their album.
(L to R): Ronnie Matelic, John Medvescek, Greg Reynolds, Justin Garriott. [Not pictured: Marsha Rollings, Glenn Weaver]

Indeed, the "Lama" was not the only old head to testify to this album's greatness. It seems that every record collector who has been in this game for 40+ years seems to have this album among their top favorites. In fact, more than one record dealer has told me its one of their best-loved albums. I'll be the first to admit, this initially baffled me. Anonymous, really? Upon my first listening to a reissue CD some years ago, I completely blew it off  I thought it sounded like an unimpressive attempt at Fleetwood Mac-inspired '70s hard-rock. But after a few forced relistens, I realized how wrong I was.

You see, some albums are "growers." These are records that don't catch you on first listen, but as you enjoy them on repeated occasions, they break open inside your inner psyche and start to germinate. Many of my now-favorites had this effect for me, including Love Forever Changes, the Mothers' Freak Out!, and The United States Of America debut -- well, Anonymous, in fact, is the king of "growers." Just when you thought the growth was bunk and you're about ready to inoculate something else, the mycelium appears and starts to branch itself deep, and somehow manages to keep growing fuller until it bears some of the most delicious fruit I've had the privilege to experience.

The Buckingham/Nicks influence is definitely here, but after repeated listening I began to hear much, much more. Crawling through the marijuana smoke seeped deep into these grooves, one is likely to be impressed by the band's mastery of difficult prog moves -- and if you're not impressed, just try to play along! -- while the songs themselves still manage to stay totally accessible and groovy. The male/female vocal harmonies are reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane circa 1967-1968; the guitar playing is blistering yet consistently great; and the precision of the drummer invariably amazes. I totally breezed over these facets on the first few listens, given that the private nature of this release means production here is limited (the vocals are mixed a bit high relative to the impressive instrumental tracks), but once the ears become acquainted with the albeit lo-fi nature of this album, it reveals itself, rendering a really beautiful and deep experience. 

I doubt that these guys had any genuine Sandoz influence, but somehow they managed to achieve that innate acid vibe on their album which only the best west-coast '60s psych groups seem to have attained. This is due in no small part to the amazing lyrics, which are introspective, critical, and sometimes scathing:

Ron Matelic (L) and Marsha Rollings (R) are responsible
for the hauntingly beautiful vocal harmonies of Anonymous

You wake up findin'
That it's quarter after half past one
You realize that
You have slept a little much too long
Is that what you want?

Shadow lay, shadow lie
Shadow play, shadow die

You wake up findin'
That the time you wanted now is gone
You realize that
You can say it right and do it wrong
Is that what you want?

(R. Matelic -- from "Shadow Lay")

This is in fact a concept album to some degree, with the "shadow" here being the recurring motif. This shadow is almost certainly referring to the psychological "id," which contains the most primitive and instinctive components of human personality. The lyrics to these songs are indeed quite personal, and like all great music, the words integrate into the songs' total emotive power, and in some moments form their most central psychedelic component. 

So, all together now: I apologize for the long introduction for this rip, but I felt it necessary to explain that if at first this one doesn't catch you, try again. You might find it one of the most rewarding listens of music you've had in years, as I now have. It can be truthfully stated that there isn't a dull moment here.

The original release of Inside The Shadow in 1976 was followed by a second pressing produced in 1981, which rendered the old back cover artwork as the new front cover design in purely black-and-white (reproduced to the right). This reissue in fact appears to have used the same stampers as on the first pressings, but having suffered damage at some point in the five years previous, the reissue was rendered quite noisy and aurally inferior to the discs produced in the earlier run. After this, a string of even worse reissues followed. First was a reissue on the OR label contemporaneous with the first issue of J. Rider recordings, but instead of a tape source being used for the Anonymous album, a noisy & horribly mastered vinyl dub was used with speed errors. A similar treatment was given in 2013 when the Machu Picchu label reissued both titles, again using a bad vinyl source for Inside The Shadow with incorrect speed on both sides. The master tapes have never resurfaced for this great record, and are today presumed lost. Therefore original pressings are necessary in order to hear the album properly, but special care and attention must be payed for proper playback. 

One of the reasons that this album requires special treatment is that side 2 was pressed wildly off-center on all original pressings, rendering audible "wow" when played back from untouched copies. Most collectors are justifiably afraid to take an X-Acto knife to their expensive vinyl, but I indeed carefully applied minimal surgery to this near mint original copy to properly center both sides very accurately before playback and digital transfer. My usual manual restoration procedure followed, bringing this album up to its original fidelity.

So while vinyl transfers of this album from the inferior 2nd pressing have circulated in some smaller circles, they are all of lesser quality than this properly-transferred and manually-restored remastering which I present here in high-resolution sound. Granted, this is not an "audiophile" recording; the mix is bright, and at moments it sounds like the drummer's snares are vibrating wildly without proper dampening. But I've maintained this sound as part of the original recording so that you can hear this masterpiece as it was intended to be heard upon release back in 1976. 

***In addition to scans of the original album cover and labels, I've thrown in scans of the original insert which contains the lyrics for every track on the album. I've also included scans of the insert from the 1996 and 2013 reissues, including liner notes written by Ron Matelic and Acid Archives contributor Aaron Milenski. 

Ron Matelic ‎– vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, electric 12 string guitar
Marsha Rollings (now Ervin) ‎– vocals
Glenn Weaver ‎– vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass
John Medvescek ‎– percussion

Track listing:
1) "Who's Been Foolin'?" ‎– 3:25
2) "J. Rider" ‎– 4.35
3) "Up To You" ‎– 3:27
4) "Shadow Lay" ‎– 6:09
5) "Pick Up And Run" ‎– 5:07
6) "We Got More" ‎– 5:20
7) "Sweet Lilac" ‎– 4:31
8) "Baby Come Risin'" ‎– 9:29

Equipment Lineage:
– Audio-Technica VMN40ML stylus on AT150MLx dual moving-magnet cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB direct drive professional turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA phono preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2020 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 audio editor (manual declicking, mono fold, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.3 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.5.1 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and check out my blog. I'd greatly appreciate it if you leave a small comment below. Notes from my readers are what inspire me to keep going. Thanks! 
Google Drive:
Enjoy! :) 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hollins And Starr - Sidewalks Talking (1970) [Original Quadraphonic Reel-To-Reel Tape]

Hollins And Starr - Sidewalks Talking (1970)
Original 7½ ips Discrete Quadraphonic Reel-To-Reel Tape
Ovation Records D 113 (Discogs)
~Transfer in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-resolution scans~

Here's something a bit different. I know, this isn't totally in line with my blog's supposed "vinyl" title, but this tape is rare and cool enough that it deserves to be shared here. The early days of quad are very interesting to me, mostly because they tend to have the music which mostly aligns with my tastes, but really the story of the format itself is just an immensely fascinating piece of music history. This Hollins And Starr album was released both in stereo and quad on vinyl, but the quad release was an early EV-4 na├»ve matrix-encoding, which means decoding with both good sound quality and strong channel separation is quite troublesome (neigh impossible) for the audio enthusiast. See my Rich Mountain Tower post here for a detailed analysis of EV-4. I'd basically resolved to indefinitely postpone working on this album, and then this reel appeared on eBay, whose existence was apparently previously totally unknown. I luckily won the auction, so I resolved to get it transferred and shared for all to enjoy.

I am much better at restoration of analog discs than anything involving tape, so I took this tape to a local specialist who has worked on some very "big" reissues over the years. To prevent exposing his identity, I'll suffice to say that the artwork to one of his latest projects was hanging on the wall in his office when I first entered -- I commented to him how it was one of my favorite modern releases, with sound quality that absolutely floored me, and he replied that he was the engineer behind that project. What an amazing coincidence! So with that bit of info and his top-notch rig used in this transfer, I think it's safe to say this is as close to as "perfect" as there might ever be for this album.

So how's the music? It's cool, and unique. There are sparse elements of psychedelia (fuzz guitar in "Hard Headed Women" and "Home?", which are the two rockers), and even early prog a la Poseidon-era King Crimson. Dave Starr plays a lot of flute on this album, which will turn some people off, but I think it's done very tastefully, in a less progy manner than e.g. Jethro Tull but still usually maintaining heady spaciousness. This album may be of interest to fans of the Mandrake Memorial: Puzzle, as this exerts the same kind of east-coast foggy folk-psych with elements of orchestral beauty added in various places to taste. Comparisons to Sweet Smoke or later Traffic could also be made. I really recommend it for a relaxing weekend afternoon or late-night 'tea'-influenced meditation.

Thanks to T.F. for the help with this post!

The mix on this guy is pretty trippy. In the early days of quad the idea of having 4 discrete audio channels in a final mix was a totally novel and unexplored idea -- only a few years earlier, chart-topping groups like The Beatles were using this technology to record their multitrack master tapes! So there was some variation between the different strategies used for this new "quadraphonic" sound. Some labels/artists attempted to create a truly three-dimensional experience (as is done here); unlike today where a surround system is usually sold with focus on two main front speakers and generally smaller rear speakers to accent the sound in the back, in the early days dealers would have tried to sell customers 4 equivalent, matched speakers, with each channel ideally mattering in the mix as much as any other. The result is truly spectacular and entertaining when rendered properly, producing quite a nice treat for the ears & mind.

A note on commercial reel-to-reel tapes: most of these suckers were produced by dubbing at very high speed from a single master reel. This usually caused small errors in azimuth and alignment as the tape was recorded, which means a perfectly aligned machine will not always play them back exactly right -- in fact, to my knowledge, no machine can. Luckily, this one plays pretty damn good. Most of these reels were also created for playback speeds of 7½ ips, or (gulp) 3¾ ips, which are quite a bit lower speeds than the studio standards of 15 or 30 ips, so the treble can suffer. The engineer who transferred this tape was kind enough to include a recording of his MRL alignment tape with some various test tones, which roughly shows the standard expected NAB fall-off as one goes up in frequencies. The discerning listener may take a listen to this on his system, adjusting his EQ knobs until all tones sound at about the same volume before listening to this tape. I initially created a counter-EQ to correct for this, but found the result to be too bright, so I corrected back to the unadjusted levels, leaving it to the listener to tweak to their preference.

It appears that this tape has a slightly different track order than is on the vinyl version of the album. I haven't confirmed whether or not this is actually the case in terms of audio, so feel free to let me know below if you'd like to compare. If it is in fact different, this may have been because of time constrictions on vinyl with regards to flipping sides which just doesn't exist on tape. Regardless, whatever mix/variant this is sounds great, and I think you'll all enjoy it a lot. 

Track listing: 
1) Talking To Myself – 2:30
2) Krishna Dov – 2:04
3) Cry, Baby Cry – 3:14
4) Twin City Prayer – 1:24
5) Feelin' Good – 3:13
6) Hard Headed Women – 9:09
7) Home? – 3:42
8) Vivace (2nd Movement From Unaccompanied Sonata A Minor) – 3:00
9) Lovable – 3:54
10) Digress – 2:57
11) Stayin' High – 2:28
12) Sidewalks Talkin' – 3:36
13) John Hurt – 2:20

- Ampex ATR-104 4-track tape machine with 1/4" heads
- Mytek 8X96 ADC
- Audacity v2.3.3 (fades between tracks, split tracks, export to FLAC)
- foobar2000 v1.5.1 (tagging)

** Files are available in 4-channel FLAC, in the original 4 raw album-length WAV files, or in DTS-encoded CD format. 

Enjoy, and please feel free to leave comments below! :) 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music For The Mind And Body (1967) [Mono WLP]

Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Original 1967 White Label Promotional LP
Vanguard VRS-9244 ~ MONO MIX
~ThePoodleBites Rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-res scans~

This Berkeley, California-based group's legendary debut has been considered by some to be the most psychedelic record by anyone ever; whether or not you agree with that assessment, it probably does not overstate the album's importance to the genre. Electric Music For The Mind And Body appeared at a time when psychedelic music was still in its infancy, and indeed many themes present here would find their way onto other late-'60s records, e.g. Ultimate Spinach. Unfortunately the album has been quite misrepresented in the digital era by a plethora of bad CD reissues, leaving most fans to turn to scratchy original records on aging equipment to hear the music at least somewhat properly.

I'm so excited to finally present this rip on my blog in stellar sound quality. I've been wanting to do this scarcer monaural version of this album for years, but found only a handful of noisy mono copies before this pristine white-label promo surprisingly dropped into my hands. This superior mono mix has only been issued twice, once upon original issue in 1967 and once again upon release of a dreadful revisionist CD reissue from 2013 (see my write-up below for details). The transfer & restoration presented here gives to my estimation the closest possible representation of the mono master tapes available to date. I think this will stand as the definitive version of this classic psychedelic LP. 

I originally ripped the stereo mix of this album some years before this blog existed, and was then surprised to find that the original stereo LP was superior to both the later CD and LP reissues by quite some margin. My restoration skills have evolved quite a bit since that original transfer, so I'm quite delighted to finally improve upon those existing shares now posted here. While not an altogether terrible mix, the stereo version of this album fell victim to bad mix-down choices which were common in the day (e.g. drums all in the right channel, poor balance upon fold-down, ...) which renders this tasty mono version sounding comparatively better today. Most will likely agree that the band's debut is best heard in the mono version presented here, and this WLP was pressed from the the very first original unworn stampers, a somewhat difficult thing to find these days with popular major-label releases.

The mono mix was first reissued on CD in 2013 by Vanguard/Ace, compiled with a first-ever reissue of the original stereo mix (heavily noise reduced vinyl transfer, avoid at all costs!). The mono mix appeared to be from master tapes, but with a few big issues. Firstly, the mastering was done way too loud -- every track is limiting, and the dynamics of the recordings are totally lost due to overuse of compressors. Secondly, the equalization was totally cranked for a "more modern" sound, again destroying the natural sound of the recording. Thirdly the CD speed is slightly too fast, as is easily determined by comparing to original LPs on various equipment or by noting the recording's hum is slightly above its nominal value. Finally (and perhaps most frustratingly), it appears that either the stereo mix or multi-track masters were used for some occasional splicing, heard most obviously at the end of "Bass Strings." On the original mono mix, Joe McDonald's voice is drenched in reverb and his whispering of "L.S.D." for the second time is completely inaudible in the song's fade out; on the CD remaster/remix, the reverb is covered up with Joe's voice being much louder, and the second "L.S.D." is loud and clear. It's despicable that, over 50 years after initial release, a rip is necessary due to professional engineers tampering with this record's history!

Given the rarity of pristine mono copies these days and my appreciation of this album's longstanding history, I've taken a very "hands off" approach to mastering this item. My intention has been to preserve as best as possible the mastering of the original release and the sound of the master tapes. That means that 60Hz hum and its various overtones, present from the mixing console and also heard on the CD remaster in the parts not blanketed with noise reduction, are present here, although it would have been trivial for me to take this out without any noticeable damage to the music. It also means that the non-vinyl distortions/clicks heard primarily in "Martha Lorraine" but also in other tracks such as "Super Bird" and "Grace" (which you may or may not even hear) have been left intact. All these noises are part of the historic sound of this recording and better off left alone. I was extremely careful about which clicks I removed versus left in, having compared 1:1 with the CD reissue to ensure I didn't harm parts of the original recording. I've downloaded files from other rippers who have said things along the lines of "all that noise is on the tape!" only to find a master tape CD myself and realize the ripper either 1) couldn't hear the noise that I could, or 2) was otherwise totally lying; followers of my blog here will know that I am picky about audio quality and that I can guarantee my results.

So, with all those details out of the way and now that you're salivating to actually hear this thing, I present to you: the Country Joe & The Fish debut album in gloriously unhindered mono beauty . . .

Country Joe McDonald - vocals, guitar, bells, tambourine
Barry "The Fish" Melton - vocals, guitar
David Bennett Cohen - guitar, organ
Bruce Barthol - bass, harmonica
Chicken Hirsch - drums

Track Listing:
1) "Flying High" – 2:51
2) "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" – 4:33
3) "Death Sound" – 4:28
4) "Porpoise Mouth" – 2:53
5) "Section 43" – 7:23
6) "Super Bird" – 2:09
7) "Sad and Lonely Times" – 2:28
8) "Love" – 2:27
9) "Bass Strings" – 5:11
10) "The Masked Marauder" – 3:13
11) "Grace" – 7:09

Vinyl Condition: M-

Dynamic Range: DR 13

Equipment Lineage:
– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2019 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, mono fold, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.3 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.5.1 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and check out my blog. I'd greatly appreciate it if you leave a small comment below. Notes from my readers are what inspire me to keep going. Thanks! 
Google Drive:
Enjoy! :)

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf (1968) [2019 Sundazed Mono]

Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf  (1968)
2019 Sundazed LP 5558 Mono LP (Discogs)
Newly surfaced true dedicated mono mix!
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-res scans~

The origins of hard rock / heavy metal music, along with Black Sabbath and the Vanilla Fudge, is deeply linked to the legendary music of Steppenwolf. While probably best remembered today for their Easy Rider hits "Born To Be Wild" and "The Pusher," I'd argue the best moment on their debut is actually "The Ostrich," which boasts more poignant lyrics than most bands accomplish in their entire careers. Some tracks are perhaps disposable but the album is certainly more often great than mediocre. After being surprised with massive success the band would prolifically produce albums for ABC/Dunhill surmounting in what would many consider their best record, Steppenwolf 7, only 2 years later!

For this debut I've ripped 3 original US mono copies of this album (two of which were only mono on one side), and I can confirm with some certainty that these copies sound very much like a re-equalized stereo fold-down. However, this recent Sundazed release shows that the album was mixed in mono at some point in time, but whether or not it was released in 1968 remains definitively unproven. Whatever the history, this mix is 100% worth hearing. I've included a 44.1kHz / 16bit downsample of this one as it appears to have been cut from CD-quality source material.

Thanks to my buddy Aaron R. for making me aware of this reissue so that I
could purchase, rip, & share it for all!

I've found it impossible to scan the foil cover, so I've robbed this photograph from the Sundazed website.

For the record, Sundazed's engineer boldly makes some claims about this mix on their website, some of which are untrue, so be forewarned that there still are all the guitars in "The Ostrich" and you'll also find double-tracked vocals on your stereo mix of "A Girl I Knew." How a professional engineer in a high-end studio could make these blunders is beyond me... but there's one other mastering mistake here, and that's that it appears whoever transferred the tape did so with a stereo tape head and then folded to mono, not realizing that the channels were slightly out of phase when doing so, thus leading to some spectral cancellations in the high frequencies. Whooops! But, we're stuck with this as it's the only confirmed source for this mix, and damn does it still sound good. I'd venture as far as to say that "The Pusher" must be heard in mono to hear in its definitive form!

It's also worth mentioning that these mixes are quite different than the single versions, which have all been conveniently compiled in great sound quality on the Real Gone retrospective set. So, for some of these tracks, at least 3 period mixes are known to exist! Boy are we lucky... :)

Track Listing:
  1. "Sookie Sookie" – 3:15
  2. "Everybody's Next One" – 3:01
  3. "Berry Rides Again" – 2:51
  4. "Hootchie Kootchie Man" – 5:14
  5. "Born To Be Wild" – 3:30
  6. "Your Wall's Too High" – 5:47
  7. "Desperation" – 5:47
  8. "The Pusher" – 5:52
  9. "A Girl I Knew" – 2:42
  10. "Take What You Need" – 3:33
  11. "The Ostrich" – 5:48
Vinyl Condition: Mint (brand new)
Dynamic Range: DR12

– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2019 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.0 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.5.0 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Google Drive:
Enjoy, and please leave comments below. Merry Christmas to all! 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Legend - Portrait Of Youth / Enjoy Yourself [Original Single]

The Legend - "Portrait Of Youth" b/w "Enjoy Yourself"
Original 45 RPM Mono Single
Megaphone ‎– R 703
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-resolution scans~

Here's another really cool single from my colleague C.F. Both songs have been comp'd (the A-side most famously on Boulders, and the flip-side on A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych), but I think this new and freshly restored transfer transcends the audio quality available elsewhere. The Legend also released an eponymous album on the short-lived Megaphone label, but that album was recorded in part by session musicians in a band-unapproved move towards the pop-rock style; the songs on this 45 are both heavy psych monsters. Breaking from their management, the Legend rebranded themselves Dragonfly and released one killer psych-/hard-rock long-player on the same label in 1968. Dragonfly also features a re-recorded version of "Enjoy Yourself" but most will prefer this single version, which should've justifiably been a major hit. 

Thanks for C.F. yet again for lending out this rare psych monster from his archives!

Track Listing:
1) "Portrait Of Youth" -- 2:47
2) "Enjoy Yourself" -- 2:53

Dynamic Range: DR11

– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2019 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.0 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.4.8 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Google Drive:
Enjoy yourself & happy Thanksgiving! :)

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck - Funny Feeling / I (1969) [Original 2nd Canadian Stereo Single]

Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck - "Funny Feeling" / "I"
Original 45 RPM Stereo Single (2nd Version)
1969 Duck Records D.R. 1
~ThePoodleBites rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-res scans~

As a compliment to the mono first version of this single, which I ripped here, here is the re-recorded stereo version which the band released the following year on their own private label. These versions are notably more polished than those on the rawer mono record. It's also worth mentioning that the stereo version of "Funny Feeling" is a noticeably different mix than on the Home Grown Stuff CD. So, which of the versions do you prefer? Leave a comment below and let me know! :)

Thanks again to C.F. for loaning out this record for a proper restoration!

Track Listing:
1) "Funny Feeling" -- 3:38
2) "I" -- 3:14

Dynamic Range: DR12

– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2019 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.0 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.4.5 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Enjoy & please leave comments below! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck - I / Funny Feeling (1968) [Original 1st Canadian Mono Single]

Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck - "I" / "Funny Feeling"
Original Mono 45 RPM Single (1st Version) 
London Records M. 17363 / TCP Records TCP. 106
~ThePoodleBites Rip in 96kHz / 24bit FLAC + full high-res scans~

Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck is a well-known Canadian psychedelic group who managed to release two solid albums on Capitol Records in '68-'69. Before both of those records, though, the band had a little-known non-LP single, which is presented here digitally for the first time. This single was originally released on London Records and TCP Records (distributed by London) in 1968. While technically on a major label, obviously not many copies were produced, as by 1969 the band had re-recorded both sides in glorious stereo for reissue on their own Duck Records label. The earlier 1968 first version (in mono) is the more raw recording of the two. To my ears there are strong California vibes here, bringing in a rural wave a la early Jefferson Airplane or The Byrds. Nevertheless both sides are worth enjoying & be sure to check out their full-length records if you haven't already been turned on to them.

Thanks to C.F. for his major contributions: both for lending out these 45s and
for the help with research!

Both the orange-label London release (likely a promotional variant of the stock blue-label version, which also exists) and the TCP version were made with identical stampers. I've included raw transfers from both as usual, and ended up using whichever one played cleaner for the final restoration. Scans of the labels from both variants are included as well.

Track Listing:
1) "I" -- 3:19
2) "Funny Feeling" -- 3:43

Dynamic Range: DR12

– Audio-Technica AT150MLx Dual Moving-Magnet Cartridge
– Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable (internal stock preamp/ADC removed)
– TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp (new regulated power supply, added LM7812 regulator)
– Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 MkII (96kHz / 24bit)
– Adobe Audition CC 2019 (recording)
– iZotope RX 7 Audio Editor (manual declicking, EQ subtraction, additional adjustments)
– Audacity 2.3.0 (fades between tracks, split tracks)
– Foobar2000 v1.4.5 (tagging, dynamic range analysis)

Google Drive:

Enjoy, & feel free to leave a comment below! :)