There was an article about this in the Guardian the other day, basically saying how much better it sounded. They cooked the books a bit by doing their blind tastings using about £10,000 worth of equipment, but the consensus seemed to support the proposition. I’m lucky enough not to have chucked out my turntable (not that I would have done, it cost me all of £250 ten years ago), and I have several hundred of the lovely squiggly groovy things, so I’m giving it a go, album or two a day, A to Z. (If you expect me to sustain this through to Frank Zappa, prepare to be disappointed.)
So right now I’m listening to something called “Juju Music” by King Sunny Adé And His African Beats. Apart from the occasional click, it sounds bloody marvellous. Of course, I’d have to buy the CD or MP3 equivalent to prove this, but that’s not going to happen. I’m slightly apprehensive, though, about how ‘Electric Ladyland’ is going to hold up, given the abuse it suffered in 1968. In fact, I’m going to give it a spin right now. King Sunny is great but a bit samey. Pause.
End pause. I'm halfway through Voodoo Chile (the slow blues take with Stevie Winwood on Hammond). I needed to turn the volume up a bit, records weren’t as loud back then. Amazingly, not even any clicks so far. Every note is clear and defined, the bass is deep and unmuddy. I know the cliché is ‘warm’, but honestly, it’s true. Oops, a click just there. And now, oh chit, it’s sticking. Scuse me while I give it a nudge…
So there are downsides – you have to look after the things, and keep them clean. Bit like ourselves, really, I suppose. And talking about sides, you have to get up and turn them over after 25 minutes max, which is good mental and physical exercise, and leads me into a whole broader vein of thought that will have to be saved for another day. Meanwhile, I might just try a burst of Mose Allison before bed.