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Monday, May 19, 2008

The most mysterious disc ever?

The music and records collector life is quite various, so full of tales, mysteries, sought-after and elusive items: a slight difference in a cover and the very same disc is worth big bucks: come to mind first mono Bob Dylan's, the first Jefferson Airplane's, the "big face" 1st Neil Young, with Last trip to Tulsa, which unpleased a fussy Neil and was re-recorded and disc re-issued on Reprise label... the few copies which circulated (I own one...) are worth... well, you got it... Roll Eyes, the Velvet's "torso" cover, where a guy involved in Warhol's Factory appeared, naked torso... after the first Velvet Undergound's sales, he asked for money... and the disc, to avoid legal hassles, was retired and re-issued with torso-less cover... voilà... no more money owed!

... the above are, of course, only some hints, the iceberg tip in the hard collector's jungle!

... but, here I'd wish to talk about another lesser known, obscure, niche disc... Tir Na Nog first record on Chrysalis green label.

It's worth - in the "right" (or wrong, depending on which side you're...) hands - fair amount of money, but listen...

Tir Na Nog was a duo of male singer, guitar players, a by-product of some Notting Hill life-style, back in late '60s... Sonny Condell and Leo O'Kelly's voices are angel-like and the cheapy Harmony Sovereign are so cleverly recorded by the magic ears and hands of sound engineer Nic Kinsey at his Livingston Studios in High Barnet, Northern London... it's a superdisc, a lion in sheep skin!

The production is by the giant of English folk music, Bill Leader, a man who, using a tube Revox recorder and a tube AKG C-12 pair made the history of music: Anne Briggs, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch... Transatlantic used in early '60s... Bill's dining-room or bedroom as a studio!!!

The record catalog number is typically Island of the Golden Years... ILPS 9153, Nic Kinsey and Bill Leader were typically Transatlantic chaps as is the sound, superb, I repeat... the Sovereigns' are captured smooth, natural... better, FAR better than expensive Martin's in lesser hands, studio ambient and voices sibilants, all is flawlessly "here" in this very disc!

How I'd wish to know "why" this collaboration happened... it's like if Rolling Stones would have recorded Paint it Black for EMI, with George Martin's producing, back in early '60s!!!

The songs are quite well done, still nice after almost 40 years, sounding not so dated, they aged pretty well.
... so what? Buy it, grab it if you find at some site or record market... I own two copies... like with Lumiere's cartridges... can't REALLY think me without this record!

Speaking about Island made me to go upstairs, looking for more... now listening to Traffic's "The low spark of long heeled boys"... Hidden Treasures, the first track, is really what I think about "my" music... hidden treasures among endless, infinite vinyl grooves... a world, a better universe!

Thanks Stevie... the tenor sax and hand-clapping on the titlesong are "so here"... you can't stop handclapping unison, too!!!


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