Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pop on the Rocks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pop on the Rocks

Article excerpt

Some folks will still argue for the sound superiority of the vinyl LP over the CD. That's a debate I'm hardly qualified to join in on, since back in the vinyl days I was so broke I spun discs on the cheapest Close and Play known to man. As a result, today my ton of vinyl plays like one big, scratched mess.

Back in the blacklight day, I was never one of those who carefully tended to their wax platters with cleaning fluid and those velvety fuzz scrapers. No, I belonged to the "tape a couple nickels to the arm if the needle starts to skip" school. Because of that, I'm in no position to put on one of my old albums and judge the fine sound distinctions as compared to a CD.

Also, whatever deep attachment some may have to vinyl, CDs sure make life a less back-breaking experience on moving day. And last but not least, along with the CD revolution has come the reissue revolution. Now, records long out of print, hard-to-find gems, and career retrospectives come down the path at a fast and furious clip. Vinyl is still great, but it sure is nice to open the mail and have a great piece of the past staring out on a silvery disc. Here are a few recent releases of note. The Best of Julie Andrews (Rhino) It's weird. Even the most hardbitten of souls have been known to grow misty-eyed over the sight of the young novitiate Maria cresting that mountain, tilting her chin to the sky, and pealing out with "the hills are alive with the sound of music." This is the power of Julie Andrews, the sweet, lovely songbird of stage and screen. Collected on this disc are a number of Julie's signature tunes, many drawn from original Broadway cast recordings and film soundtracks. There are several cuts from the 1956 stage production of "My Fair Lady," including "I Could Have Danced All Night." There are entries from "Camelot," which includes "What Do the Simple Folk Do," the priceless duet between Queen Guinevere (our dewy Julie) and King Arthur (the sodden Richard Burton). Julie stares off this CD cover with a fresh, freckled face. She leaps off the grooves with that crisp, precise English accent that would sound cloying coming out of anyone else. Who can resist our thoroughly modern Julie? Rated X-Traordinaire: The Best of Johnnie Taylor (Columbia/Legacy) When Johnnie Taylor sings "Shake it up/Shake it down" on "Disco Lady," he's not mouthing idle words. Taylor comes by his deep grooves the real way. He did time in the legendary gospel group the Soul Stirrers (replacing the groundbreaking Sam Cooke), then left his own extraordinary soul mark at Stax/Volt. This release collects some of Taylor's `70s work, in which the "Soul Philosopher" held fast to his soulful/R&B groove despite the disco maelstrom. Johnnie Taylor will be appearing Friday night for two shows, 8 and 11 p.m., at Club 54, 2543 N. …

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