Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Take the PowerPop Challenge!!!

And speaking as we were last week of the incomparable Brit chanteuse Sandie Shaw, behold in breathless wonder this 1966 clip of Ms. Shaw, absolutely live, on some French TV show in 1966.

Now -- tell me she wasn't the greatest white girl pop singer of her generation.

Go ahead -- I dare you.

[h/t JZ]

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beyond the Canyons of the Valleys of Your Mind

So the other day, over at the forever estimable Burning Wood blog, the proprietor (our chum Sal Nunziato) posted an intriguing playlist of (mostly obscure) pop psychedelia from the late 60s, and with it the following intriguing paragraph as part of his liner notes:

I wish I could find the interview, but I am pretty sure when [XTC's] Andy Partridge was asked if there were any songs he wished he had written, he said, "Autumn Almanac" by Ray Davies and "I Can't Let Maggie Go" by The Honeybus. Trust me.

This took me aback, frankly. "Autumn Almanac" is one of my all-time favorite singles, and if pressed I might even call it Ray's masterpiece, but The Honeybus song? I'm sure I must have heard that one on some Nuggets collection at some point, but I have absolutely no memory of it. Or as they used to say at the NY Times TV listings page, "not reviewed by us."

Anyway, here it is for your listening pleasure.

A very nice song and a charming period production and performance, but "Autumn Almanac" class? I don't think so. And I'll say it to Partridge straight up if I ever encounter that whey-faced git in person.

Okay, kidding aside, I should add that another song in the playlist with which I was heretofore unfamiliar -- by the enigmatically monikered Caleb -- had one of the best song titles ever. "Baby, Your Phrasing is Bad." Enjoy.


I should also add that -- as I should have guessed -- said Caleb turned out to be Caleb Quaye, a subsequently very successful and well known session guitarist who is perhaps most familiar from a long and profitable stint as a member of Elton John's touring and recording band in the 70s.

In the meantime to download Sal's complete playlist, click here and then scroll down to the word PSYCH.

Friday, July 27, 2012

And Speaking of Gorgeous (An Occasional Series): Special Bilingual Edition!

Chrissie Hynde appropriated her breathy vocal style (if not her barefoot stage act), and she's still pretty much my favorite white girl singer of the 60s, with the possible exception of Evie Sands.

Sandie Shaw, ladies and germs. They don't make 'em like they used to.

"Toujours un coin qui me repelle"

"Mais tu l'aimes"

And she's even better in the original French. Heh.

You know the songs -- listen to these versions, however, and be changed.

[h/t Steve Schwartz]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Have Guitar, Will Travel (An Occasional Series): The Present Day HoDad Refuses to Die

From 1964, and recorded in a home studio in their garage (which is pretty damned amazing for 1964) please enjoy obscure West Coast surf gods P.J. & The Galaxies and the sublimely catchy "Tally Ho."

This first came out on a really great anthology of obscure surf stuff in 1995; I bring it up now because of that Ventures album I posted yesterday.

The point being that the guys making this music didn't particularly think of what they were doing as surf -- what they thought (with reason) they were doing was (for want of a better phrase) instro-rock.

And it's worth pondering how bands like this might have developed and how rock history might have been changed if the British Invasion hadn't come along and rendered them obsolete.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Have Guitar, Will Travel

From 1965 -- before an audience of slack-jawed Japanese fans -- please enjoy The Ventures and their incomparably twangy assault on Richard Rodgers' "Slaughter on 10th Avenue."

Mick Ronson, eat your heart out.

Seriously, the Ventures live album from which "Slaughter" derives has just been remastered and reissued in all its glory by our good friends at Sundazed Records, still the coolest reissue label on the planet, and let's just say it's killer. At the time it came out, the Ventures brand of instro-rock couldn't have been more out of step with what was happening in the rest of pop, and in terms of public perception the band was decidedly uncool. Nevertheless, several generations of guitar players have stolen licks from it since the day it was released, and nearly half a century later it still sounds fresh as paint.

You can -- and very definitely should -- order it over at Amazon, or at The Sundazed Store where you can learn about more of their splendid audio products.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's a Dirty Joke in Here Somewhere, But I'm Not Going to Make It

So if you were here yesterday, you may recall I found myself enamored of The Singing Strings of Ernie Freeman, as heard on the otherwise execrable Vikki Carr version of Gene Pitney's "He's a Rebel."

I mention this because while contemplating said Singing Strings (may they live in infamy) I was reminded of the immortal Singing Bush, as seen in a scene from the oddly underrated '80s comedy Three Amigos.

I dunno why that strikes me so funny, but it does.

In any event, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader to identify the artist providing the voice for said Singing Bush. And no Googling, obviously.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Didn't I Get the Memo? (An Occasional Series): Special Hey, This is Bad! Edition

From 1962, please enjoy -- if that is the precise word -- Miss Vicki Carr and the original non-hit version of Gene Pitney's classic ode to non-comformity "He's a Rebel."

Apparently, Phil Spector heard this in pre-release, decided (wisely) that a less whitebread version produced by himself had genuine commercial potential, and thus rushed his more famous Wall of Sound version of the tune by The Crystals out on his own Phillies label. And the rest, as they say, is history.

For what it's worth, however, I rather enjoy The Singing Strings of Ernie Freeman that underscore Miss Carr's plaid stylings here. Actually, I think I mostly enjoy the fact that they're actually billed as The Singing Strings of Ernie Freeman on the 45 label.

h/t Todd Everett

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday at the Movies: Special Attack of the Killer Criterions Edition

You know, I've said it on numerous occasions, but some days I really love my phony baloney job. And very often those days are when the Merry Mailman brings me something of a video nature from the movie mavens over at the Criterion Collection. Come to think of it, a bunch of Criterion vids have been accumulating around Casa Simels over the last month or two, so while I wait for their forthcoming version of Quadrophenia -- a film which is perhaps closer to the mission statement of the blog you're reading, and which which has been poorly served by all its previous video incarnations on other labels -- let's take a gander at some of Criterion's characteristically swell (and recent) DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Have I mentioned that some days I really love my phony baloney job?

1. The 39 Steps

Alfred Hitchcock's peerless 1935 thriller features an innocent guy (the very charming Robert Donat) on the run from both cops and bad guys, with a gorgeous blonde (in this case, Madeleine Carroll, who I have loved since first viewing her on a Million Dollar Movie airing of The Prisoner of Zenda in the mid-60s) on his arm (literally -- she's handcuffed to him). Obviously, this (and The Lady Vanishes) provided the template for a lot of Hitchcock's later stuff, but Steps -- from a similarly entertaining John Buchan novel (Hitch added the battle of the sexes subplot to the mix) -- is probably my favorite. (Although if pressed, I might go for the lesser known Young and Innocent). In any case, apart from a great looking high-def restoration, you get the usual entertaining Criterion bonus stuff, including an excellent documentary on Hitch's career before the war, a TV interview with the great man from 1966, and (this is so cool) the complete 1937 Lux Radio Theater adaptation of the film, starring Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery.

2. David Lean Directs Noël Coward

Four films from the 40s -- two wartime sort of propaganda/morale boosters (In Which We Serve, This Happy Breed), the greatest tearjerker ever made about two people who don't really commit adultery (Brief Encounter), and a swank, sophisticated supernatural themed no-sex-we're-British-please comedy (Blithe Spirit) featuring the wowser Kay Hammond (that's her on the left below)...

...as the Ghostess with the Mostest (as used to be said about another sexy spectre, albeit on 50s TV). In any case, although you can probably guess my fave in the set, given that I've always liked Coward's famous self-assessment -- that he "had a talent to amuse" -- all four of these are more than worth your time, if only for Lean's often dazzling visuals, and all four have been gloriously transferred from the flawless 2008 BFI National Film Archive restorations (Blithe Spirit, as you can see from the pic, has Technicolor that you can eat with the proverbial spoon). Lots of interesting bonuses, as you might imagine, including a 1978 tv documentary on Lean and a 1969 audio-only interview with Coward and Dickie Attenborough. (I know he's Sir Richard Attenborough, but I just like calling him Dickie, for some reason).

3. Jean Grémillon During the Occupation

A three film box set -- from a director I'm embarrassed to say I was heretofore unaware of -- and all of the pictures (naturalist melodramas, with the exception of Lumière d'été, a tragicomic love story that's a little harder to characterize) were shot under the obviously difficult conditions involving those Nazi guys who were goosestepping around the vicinity of French film studios at the time. In any case, in his homeland Gremillion is considered a consummate humanist filmmaker from the Golden Age, and after seeing the three examples of his work here -- particularly Remorques, with the great Jean Gabin as a tugboat captain drawn to a mysterious sexpot played by (woo hoo) Michelle Morgan -- I'd have to say the reputation is deserved; comparisons to Renoir do not seem at all far-fetched. All three films look pristine in Criterion's transfers, and the set -- released under Criterion's budget Eclipse imprint -- is something of a bargain at a mere 36 bucks list.

4. The Gold Rush

Little needs to be said about Chaplin's masterpiece -- the dance of the forks! the meal of the shoe! -- at this point, but it's hard to imagine a better presentation of it then the one Criterion serves up here. Disc one has stunning restored high-def transfers of both the original 1925 silent version (with Chaplin's original score newly recorded in surround sound) and the 1942 reissue, for which Chaplin added music, narration and sound effects. Disc two, meanwhile, has about a gazillion documentaries on Chaplin and/or the making of the film, including one featuring (personal hero of mine) historian and filmmaker Kevin Browlow. Needless to say, this one is about as essential as it gets.

I should add that all of the above can -- and should -- be ordered over at Amazon, or -- and if you'd like to learn more about them -- over at the Criterion website. And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Hmm...Somebody seems to have slipped a fish into my martini."

From 1960, pleathe please enjoy America's Poet Laureate, the immortal Percy Dovetonsils, and his "Ode to Stanley's Pussycat."

Percy, of course, was the creation of the late great Ernie Kovacs, one of my personal heroes since childhood, and the clip itself is a track from the just released Percy Dovetonsils....thpeaks, a comedy album that Ernie recorded in 1960, but that for some reason wasn't released at the time. It's out now thanks to the same vault researchers who have been unearthing Kovacs' TV work on DVD for Shout!Factory (along with some bonus tracks) and I can say without fear of contradiction that nothing released to the public this year will tickle the vicinity of your auditory canal any harder.

I should add that you can order it, in the format of your choice (CD, mp3 album or vinyl) over at Amazon here.

I should also add that "the vinyl release will be limited to 1000 copies pressed on limited edition lavender vinyl, with future pressings to be made available on black vinyl thereafter."

Words fail me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tales From the Real World

Actual important stuff to do today.

Regular blogging -- including a review of the "new" album by America's Poet Laureate, and that video roundup I've been threatening -- resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Moment of Shameless Filler (An Occasional Series): Special Going to the Country Edition

Uh, so that scheduled, pretentious, video roundup I mentioned yesterday is taking a little longer to get together than I'd planned.

In its stead, then, please enjoy another cover by Australian multi-instrumentalist/singer/producer Michael Carpenter...

...in this case, a sprightly remake of "Junior's Farm," one of the better artifacts of Sir Paul McCartney's post-Beatles band.

Hey -- I was gonna post Carpenter's cover of "Tapioca Tundra," so don't give me any grief about this.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Video Pick

A big, slightly pretentious, roundup of new DVDs and Blu-ray stuff will be going up tomorrow, but while I'm putting the finishing touches on it, I just wanted to say that the new (frame by frame) restored edition of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine is absolutely to die for.

Lots of neat bonuses with the set, including a commentary track featuring original animator Heinz Edelmann, plus some very cool reproductions of some original character design animation cels. And of course the soundtrack has been remixed into serene perfection.

But the movie looks just astonishingly good, especially on the Blu-ray. Actually, it's so beautiful that I've kind of changed my mind about the film itself, which I have always found somewhat less charming than most folks. In fact, at this point I can even overlook the fact that Erich (Love Story) Segal had a hand in it.

Better late than never, I guess.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekend Listomania: Special Glug! Glug! Glug! Audio/Video Edition

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental apple crumbcake Fah Lo Suee and I are off to picket outside the palatial mansion of Hollywood mega-player/writer/director James Cameron.

Please James -- shelve your plans for all those sequels to Avatar The Worst Movie Ever Made©. We've suffered enough.

Anyway, that being the case, and because things will most likely be fairly quiet around here for a couple of days, here's a hopefully amusing little project to divert us from the sad screeching existential emptiness of our lives. Or at least help us beat the heat.


No arbitrary rules, except for that beer and wine thing, you're welcome very much, and now (hic!) it's post time!

Which means my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:

5. Tom Waits -- Jockey Full of Bourbon

Waits has got a zillion great booze songs, of course. I was gonna post "The Piano Has Been Drinking," but since I can't understand a word of this one, I thought it was a particularly apt choice.

4. Warren Zevon -- Desperadoes Under the Eaves

Two relevant lyrics.

"All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles/I'm gonna drink 'em up."

And "Still waking up in the mornings with shaking hands." Hell, you can practically feel the hangover. And the rest of the song is even more amazing.

3. Beth Orton -- Absinthe

Supposedly, it makes the heart grow fonder. I wouldn't know, actually -- I've never tasted the stuff.

2. Jeff Beck Group -- I've Been Drinking

An obscure b-side, and perhaps the best thing Rod Stewart ever committed to magnetic tape. I'd never heard this stereo mix until yesterday, and frankly words fail me. I should add that my 70s band covered it, but as fond as I am of the results, we didn't even come close to the gorgeousness of the original.

And the Numero Uno party-till-you-puke song of them all simply has to be...

1. The Kinks -- Alcohol

Not really a top rank Kinks song, but as you can see from the clip, it was one of the great performance pieces of its era.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special Kids Today, With Their Loud Hair and Long Music! Edition

So a few weeks ago, some younger friends asked a certain Shady Dame and myself to join them at a performance by a young, unsigned band that they rated rather highly. And given that I feel a certain critical responsibility to lend an ear to the occasional rockers who actually got together in the current century, off we went.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you -- Bound by Substance.

What did they sound like? Well, over at their official website they describe themselves thusly...

Rock ‘n’ roll with a splash of whiskey. That’s the best way to describe the sound of Bound By Substance. Drawing from the heavy blues influences of early 70′s rock bands and blending it with the heavier melodic sounds of early 90′s rock, BBS has forged a unique, refreshing sound. Couple that with the NYC elements of grit and urgency and what you are left with is a rock sound that has a perfect balance of darkness, beauty, sadness and joy.

...and as you can hear from the live clip below...

...that's not a bad summation of what these guys do. In fact, they strike me as a slightly poppier mashup of a contemporary blues/jam band like North Mississippi All-Stars and 90s New York punk/blues outfit Raging Slab.

Which is, needless to say, a good thing.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader who gleans the relevance of all of this to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Moment of Motor City Madness (An Occasional Series)

The MC5, live on German TV in 1972.

I've seen a song or two from this before, but I think this is the first time I've seen the complete performance.

Apart from (of course) "wow," three things need to be said at this juncture.

1. This is the band as they were falling apart, what with heroin, no record deal, and a guy filling in for original bassist Michael Davis, who had apparently gone back to Detroit somewhat disillusioned. Which is to say that the clip is great, but not as transplendent as the 5 probably were on other occasions.

2. It's fucking criminal that the astounding 2002 MC5 documentary A True Testimonial, which has a shitload of performance footage even better than this, still isn't on DVD due to legal wrangling between the filmmakers and (if memory serves) guitarist Wayne Kramer.

3. Dave Marsh, who may be an obnoxious little death dwarf who has yet to cop to the fact that he made fun, big time, of Bruce Springsteen's second album in the pages of CREEM, once famously said that if The Rolling Stones at their peak and The MC5 at their peak had been playing at clubs across the street from each other on the same night, he would have opted to see the 5.

And he might not have been wrong about that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Your Tuesday Moment of "...and Speaking of Gorgeous™": I Don't Care If Mike Love is a Dick Edition

Seriously, I really don't any more. Not when the current tour is producing stuff like this.

The surviving Beach Boys in an unplugged set at the Rolling Stone magazine studios on June 6 of this year.

You know all the songs, obviously, but the opening "In My Room" is, particularly, beyond transplendent. I'd listen to it under the headphones, if I were you, but barring that, crank it with decent speakers.

And I know I say this a lot, but -- words fail me.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Your Monday Moment of "...and Speaking of Gorgeous ™": Phase One -- In Which Steve Realizes He is Not Quite the Dazzlingly Sophisticated Urbanite He Fancies Himself

So anyway, this Saturday morning just past I was talking with a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance about that gorgeous Michael Carpenter remake of The Hollies' "Look Through Any Window" that I posted here on Friday. And I mentioned that it had just occurred to me that in some ways the remake was an attempt to give the song a more modern sound along the lines, specifically, of Del Amitri's 1997 "Not Where It's At." A record which as I have noted here on previous occasions is perhaps my favorite piece of power pop twelve-string jangle of the last two decades.

Here's the artifact in question; I have appended the lyrics for reasons that will be soon be obvious. Give it a listen, won't you?

With some girls it don't matter who you hang with With some girls it don't matter how you talk And some girls they are easy to be yourself with

But the one girl that I want, ain't easy to please with what I've got

With some girls it don't matter where you're aiming With some girls it don't matter how you act And some girls they don't care what car you came in

But the one girl that I want, she wants that one bit of geography I lack

Yeah she don't want me 'cos I'm not where it's at

Yeah I'm not where it's at

And some girls they will worry about reactions And some girls they don't give a damn for that

But somehow I ain't ever in on the action 'Cos the one girl that I want, she wants that one little quality I lack

Yeah she don't want me 'cos I'm not where it's at

Yeah I'm not where it's at

I don't have my finger on the pulse of my generation

I just got my hand on my heart I know no better location

Yeah she don't want me 'cos I'm not where it's at

Yeah I'm not where it's at

You're welcome.

In any case, I proceded to make my case to said Shady Dame by putting up a YouTube of the song which had the lyrics scrolling down as the tune progressed, and the following conversation ensued. [Note: All dialogue rendered verbatim.]

ME: See what I mean? Sounds a lot like Carpenter's "Look Through Any Window."

SHADY DAME: Yeah, absolutely.

ME: Of course, the Del Amitri song could have been a hit in 1965 also.

SHADY DAME: Well, except for one thing, obviously.

ME: What do you mean?

SHADY DAME: The girl in the song is gay. That might have been a problem back then.

ME: Gay? What are you talking about? She doesn't want him because he's not where it's at, i.e. he's not trendy enough. As he says "I don't have my finger on the pulse of my generation."

SHADY DAME: Uh Steve -- "The one girl I want, ain't easy to please with what I've got."

ME: Come on, that doesn't...

SHADY DAME: "The one girl I want, she wants that one bit of geography I lack..."

ME: Oy gevalt.

And there you have it, folks. It's official -- I'm the densest humanoid on the planet.

Seriously -- I can't believe I've been singing along to that record for almost twenty years and never noticed the, uh, subtext.

Also -- don't try to tell me Paul Lynde was gay, because I know for a fact that was just a rumor.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Your Friday Moment of "...and Speaking of Gorgeous™"

From earlier this year, please enjoy amazing Antipodean singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Michael Carpenter and an absolutely drop dead exquisite cover of The Hollies' "Look Through Any Window."

Seriously -- if this doesn't give you goosebumps, seek immediate medical attention.

How do I love this? Let me count the ways. For one, the song itself -- by the great Graham Gouldman, obviously -- and the original recording by the Hollies are both on my short list of greatest things in rock-and-roll (not just power pop) ever. For another, I can't think of another good cover version; in fact, the only one I can remember off the top of my head is by the usually admirable Loud Family, on that otherwise wonderful Sing Hollies in Reverse tribute album from the early 90s, and which is at best meh.

This one, however, despite being a tad slower than I think is appropriate, and despite the fact that Carpenter's drumming isn't as exciting as Bobby Elliott's on the original (and frankly, who else's could have been?), is simply spine-tingling, and every other one of the changes Carpenter has wrought on the song -- from the little phrasing fillips on the backup vocals to the psychedelic guitar-solo mid-section to the slightly drawn out finale -- totally work for me. Not to mention the choirboy harmonies are so angelic I can barely listen to the damn thing without swooning.

I should add that I knew absolutely nothing about Carpenter until long-time reader and friend of PowerPop FD13NYC sent me the link to this yesterday and I am deeply in his debt. If you would like to know more about the artiste, hie thee hence -- as did I -- over to his official website, where among other things you can marvel at his exquisite taste and (more to the point) download more of his music.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Life is High School (An Occasional Series)

Okay, this is actually freaking me out.

A friend just forwarded me this 1965 yearbook photo.

I assumed it was somebody in my own graduating class from Teaneck High School, and I immediately pulled out my yearbook to find her.

She wasn't there, of course. In fact, this is one of the most iconic female rock stars of our lifetime, and she did not go to my old school. In fact, she probably wouldn't have been caught dead in New Jersey.

Obviously, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded the first reader who guesses her identity.

[h/t Ida Langsam]

Thursday Mystery Track

From 1980, please enjoy...well, for obvious reasons, I'm not gonna tell you who, but their song -- from their sole, and eponymous, LP -- is called 'She Was Something Else."

Pretty cute, albeit utterly derivative of just about every other skinny tie record on the radio that year.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded the first reader who correctly identifies the band without Googling.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Why Didn't I Get the Memo? (An Occasional Series): Special I Don't Care If It's the Fourth of July, I Want to Get This Off My Chest! Edition

From Milwaukee USA (of all places), please enjoy The Shivvers, live on WMTV-TV in Madison in 1980, with the utterly-transcendent-should-have-been-a-monster-power-pop-hit-and-an-immortal-radio-classic "Teen Line."

Seriously, these guys and that gal(!) are as good as it gets on every level. But I have two questions.

1. Why didn't they get signed to a major label?


Now excuse me, while I head on over to Amazon and order a copy of...

...which apparently collects everything they ever recorded during their barely four years together.

C'mon, aren't you glad I posted the above rather than the obligatory clip of Springsteen singing about the 4th in Asbury Park?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Why Didn't I Get the Memo? (An Occasional Series)

Our chum Sal Nunziato posted this -- the obscure B-side of a 1968 single by Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones -- the other day, as part of a larger (and very cool) set list, but in case you missed it, I feel compelled to share because of the supporting cast.

None other than Paul Samwell-Smith and Jeff Beck(!) of The Yardbirds plus (in Sal's phrase) "a little known rock drummer by the name of Paul McCartney(!!)."

I think we can all agree that this doesn't represent the best work by any of the participants -- the song is a throwaway, frankly, and McCartney's drumming is perhaps most accurately described as undistinguished.

That said, what I really want to know is how I remained blissfully unaware of the damn thing's existence until last week?

Monday, July 02, 2012

High Art for Low People

The things I do for you guys.

Okay, the short version. Heh.

The above two LP set derives from a 1951 NBC radio broadcast adaptation of the Shakespeare play. I got it out of the Teaneck public library when I was ten or eleven years old, and -- perhaps because it was my first exposure to Shakespeare, and definitely because I was already at that time a huge fan of radio dramas of a slightly less respectable type (The Lone Ranger, Suspense!, Space Patrol, The Green Hornet) -- I just flipped over it. And over the next couple of years I checked it out of the library countless times.

Seriously -- I had it memorized word for word, and that includes every one of the actor's inflections. You know how some people do air guitar? Well, I was the first kid in the world to do air Shakespeare.

Of course, not too long after, I was exposed to both the actual Shakespeare play on the printed page, and to various other versions (both live and on film), and I discovered that this one was, shall we say, rather severely abridged. And the other day, listening to it for the time in decades, I realized with some bemusement that Gielgud actually kind of sucks in the role.

That said, the album has never been on CD, and probably never will, so I took the liberty of having the LPs (which I got on eBay recently for more money than a sane person would have paid) professionally transferred and cleaned up by a pro engineer of my acquaintance (also for more money than a sane person, etc).

And so, here it is, more or less exactly as it was heard on my mono record player in 1959.


Side 1

Side 2

Side 3

Side 4