SOME STUFFS: Loggins & Messina’s “Full Sail” receives a new audiophile treatment from Audio Fidelity

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One of my all time favorite albums, one I’ve loved since I was introduced to it through my parents, has been remastered by Audio Fidelity. Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina released the incredible Full Sail album and it was released in proper stereo along with a quadraphonic pressing soon after. Audio Fidelity have given Full Sail the SACD treatment, meaning you’ll get to hear a new remastering via Steve Hoffman and the original quad mix will be heard on the SACD.

While the album did produce one single (“My Music”), it was not a hit but the album does feature such songs as “Lahaina”, “You Need A Man/Coming To You”, “Watching The River Run” and the Chicago stepping classic, “Pathway To Glory”. I’ve had this album on vinyl, cassette, and 8-track and the remaster Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) is nothing short of amazing and I’m sure Hoffman has done an incredible job with it too.

It was released last week and you can order it below via Amazon.com.

SOME STUFFS: Loggins & Messina second album, Sly & The Family Stone’s “Greatest Hits” get the SACD audiophile treatments

Audio Fidelity: Loggins & Messina/Sly & The Family Stone photo AFLogginsSly_covers_zpsyoegnicw.jpg

  • As a lifelong fan of Loggins & Messina, this new audiophile pressing on Audio Fidelity is going to be worth waiting for. Some call this the debut album by Loggins & Messina, at least by name but in truth, it’s their second album, their follow-up to the amazing 1971 album Sittin’ In. For most fans of pop music, this is the album that features their biggest and arguably only hit, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”. However, this album is also known for a number of key album tracks, including the amazing “Angry Eyes” (later covered by The Pointer Sisters), along with “Thinking Of You” and “Golden Ribbons”. This 1972 album helped keep the band on the charts and on the radio, with “Your Mama Don’t Dance” still getting airplay 43 years later.

    Steve Hoffman did the remaster on the regular CD audio.

  • Released in 1970, Sly & The FamilY Stone’s Greatest Hits was released while Epic Records was waiting for new music from Sly and friends. His performance at Woodstock in 1969 had been released in the film in March of 1970 and they wanted to be sure he would supply fans with new music. He wasn’t working on that pace, or any pace. Some have said Sly was working on what would become There’s A Riot Goin’ On but whatever was happening, it wasn’t driving him to finish anything new. Epic Records decided to do what was best by putting together a compilation of all of the hits Sly & The Family Stone had between 1967 and 1969 and give it to fans, which helped. As the saying goes, most greatest hits albums are usually the sign of death for an artist but not with Sly, for many of those songs were still getting a lot of airplay on many radio stations.

    The interesting thing about the Greatest Hits package is that a lot of the singles were mono only, in that proper stereo mixes were not made, since they weren’t intended for release on an album, back when it was customary to release mono and stereo mixes. What Epic Records did was “electronically reprocess” some songs to be fake stereo, so one channel had a lot of high end, the other channel had a lot of low end. Then something happened. A few years later, when quadraphonic albums were the hip thing to do, they went to the multi-tracks to make all new mixes for the album. In the process, by making quad mixes in stereo for the vinyl pressing, it essentially was the first time three songs made their stereo debut, including “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”, and “Hot Fun In The Summertime”. For the longest time, the quad mix became the hit album to get for those who preferred hunting down true stereo mixes. Slightly different stereo mixes were later released on compilation albums in the 80’s and 90’s but now you’ll be able to it in all of its true quadraphonic glory on the SACD. No word on if the stereo or quad-in-stereo mix was remastered.

    (Mahalo nui to Tom Hayes for the tip on both discs.)

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  • BOOK’S JOOK: Kenny Loggins’ “Whenever I Call You “Friend””

  • Book’s Jook is a column dedicated to placing a record within my dream jukebox, if I were to have one. The Seeburg jukebox shown below is similar to the one I have wanted since I was a kid. To read more on why I started this column, click here.

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    To say that I was musically raised by Kenny Loggins is putting it lightly. As one half of Loggins & Messina, he and Jim Messina introduced me to the world of live performances, as their show in Honolulu on the Native Sons tour was my first concert. My parents loved the albums Sittin’ In and Full Sail. Full beard? My dad had one, and thus Loggins was a bit of a father figure. When he said “I want to show you that peaceful feeling in my home” in “A Love Song”, I realized how much Loggins & Messina shaped my sense of what home could be, if not should be. On Stage was great, as the album cover was a facsimile of a concert ticket, along with the cover version album So Fine and the group’s last album as a band, Native Sons. While the world would celebrate Loggins through his soundtrack work in the 1980’s, I was a few years ahead of most, at least of people around my age.

    When Loggins went solo, I find myself enjoying his new work on the Celebrate Me Home album. He followed it up with the Nightwatch album, which I’d see at all the record and department stores I visited with my parents but for some reason we stayed away from it. However, the first single from the album was purchased, and this was a song I liked a lot. “Whenever I Call You “Friend”” was interesting in a few ways, for the song was co-written with Melissa Manchester, whose album on Arista Records was also a big part of my listening habits as a kid, as my auntie loved her and her songs. Yet the lady in the song was definitely not Manchester. I recognized the voice as that of one of the ladies on the Rumours album, and back then, who didn’t have Rumours? It was Stevie Nicks, and yet she was not credited on the label, which I thought was odd. She may not have been Loggins’ Kiki Dee, but at least Kiki Dee got a co-credit for “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.

    What I liked about “Whenever I Call You “Friend”” was how the song seemed to go through a few movements, if not actual moods. The best part of the song was the intro before the actual lyrics are sung, it appears that Loggins is telling his singers to prepare for the start of the song, a bit of studio dialogue. The song then starts, Loggins reaches his high falsetto, and then there’s another voice which sounds like someone is stepping close to the mic, repeating a word, and then walking away from it with assistance from reverb. I found this to be fascinating and I had wished that part of the song was the entire song, if Loggins could do it for the four minute duration, it would be a much better song. Eventually, Loggins begins to sing and the song sounds like a ballad, all before Nicks comes in with her harmonies. His background singers come in to say “forever and ever” and now the song is in disco mood, or at least it sounds like the rhythm has a bit of a disco swagger. This leads to a complimentary saxophone solo. The chorus was interesting to me as a seven year old:
    Sweet love’s showin’ us a heavenly light
    I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight
    See love glowing on us every night
    I know forever we’ll be doing it

    What are they doing and when they speak of doing it, what’s “it”? Well, even at that age, it was something not to be talked about and in truth, I knew nothing about the act of “it” but it seemed Loggins and Nicks were going to be doing “it” forever. Wow. The next favorite part of the song is the end when they start to share their “sweet love” and how they’re ad-libbing their way until the song fades. It just sounded like a song of courage, especially the line “now I know my life has given me more than memories/day by day, we can see/in every moment there’s a reason to carry on”. It was a very nice song, not exactly “Vahevala”, “Watching The River Run”, or “Peacemaker” for Loggins but with that aforementioned disco swagger, it was very much of the times and it sounded good. I’d play the 45 many times over, always emphasizing on the intro. As for the B-side, I never liked “Angelique”, at least not back then but it was the hit that mattered most.

    The song is also notable for being produced by Bob James, whom I didn’t know of at age 7, even though I knew of his theme to Taxi. James meant nothing to me then, but would become important as I explored hip-hop and with that, looking into other jazz besides what my dad loved, which lead to finding out about the CTI label, which of course lead to knowing who James is.

    At the end of 1978, Loggins found himself on the radio backing up The Doobie Brothers in the great “What A Foo Believes”, that falsetto vocal from Loggins could not be mistaken. A year later, Loggins would come out with “Keep The Fire” and “This Is It”, the latter featuring vocals from Michael McDonald. Loggins had always been music I heard on my dad’s Sony phonograph, and now he was getting some significant radio time. By 1980, once he released “I’m Alright” (for the film Caddyshack), Loggins would enter a new phase and yet he would keep to his old tricks by keeping the studio “errors” in his songs, specifically the bridge and the doo wop part when Loggins says “I’m” before the proper cue. He would pull this off again with “Footloose”, where the intro has a guide vocal that seems out of place but to me, this was Loggins, he knew what he was doing, and forever he would be doing it, doing it, doing it, and in a rightful manner.

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  • SOME STUFFS: Linda McCartney honored with benefit album to raise funds for cancer care

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    A benefit album in the name of the late Linda McCartney was released today, featuring various Paul McCartney, Wings, and Beatles songs covered by a wide range of artists. The album is called “Let Us In” Nashville – A Tribute To Linda McCartney, and all profits will be going to the The Women and Cancer Fund, a not-for-profit charity led by Dr. Alicia Alvarez and established in the memory of Linda McCartney. The benefit album has Sir Paul’s approval.

    The title suggests country music, and this album does feature a few country artists but also a number of artists, musicians and songwriters who have either dabbled in country throughout their careers or who are heavily involved in creating that “studio magic” we know and love. Here’s the complete track listing:

    1. SHeDAISY – “With A Little Luck”
    2. Timothy B. Schmit, Mark Hudson, Laurence Juber, Denny Seiwell – “Every Night”
    3. Sarah Darling – “Blackbird”
    4. Steel Magnolia – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
    5. Phil Vassar – “Lady Madonna”
    6. Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr) – “Junk”
    7. Cheyenne Kimball – “Mull Of Kintyre”
    8. Juliana Cole – “Bluebird”
    9. Ricky Skaggs – “Listen To What The Man Said”
    10. Jeff Daniels – “Heart Of The Country”
    11. Nikki Shannon Fernandez – “I Saw Her Standing There”
    12. Jordyn Shellhart – “I Will”
    13. Chuck Wicks – “No More Lonely Nights”
    14. Nancy Siranni – “Calico Skies”
    15. Samantha Landrum – “Pipes Of Peace”
    16. Tommy Emmanuel – “She’s A Woman”

    https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F26451710
    Blackbird by ‘stache media

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    RECORD CRACK: Loggins & Messina’s “Sittin’ In” gets audiophile treatment

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    This album has been with me for most of my life. My dad loved this album, played the record a lot and also would jam with friends when they came over. I loved the sound of it, grew up loving it even more, and when I became a record collector and obsessive music maniac, I would notice this record everywhere. One might argue “it’s because it’s trash” but I say it’s because enough people loved the album the first time, and they’re cleaning out their garages for the next generation.

    Some facts. Kenny Loggins was a young singer/songwriter who caught the attention of Jim Messina, previously of Buffalo Springfield and then of the group Poco. Loggins was actually signed as a solo artist and this album was meant to be a solo album, thus the credit “Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina“. The title was meant to say that buddy Messina was merely Sittin’ In on this album to give this artist a shot. Instead, he found himself sittin’ in with Loggins for five years, where they recorded some of the best music of the early 1970’s, and definitely of my childhood. My very first concert was Loggins & Messina at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center (the NBC Arena, or for some, the HIC, when it was called the Hawai’i International Center. My parents called it this and I still call it that) on their Native Sons tour, so I am and will always remain a fan of these two.

    An album that has become a dollar bin/thrift store favorite has been given the audiophile treatment, and will be released as a 180g virgin vinyl pressing on May 10th. Sittin’ In features songs like “Nobody But You”, “Vahevala”, “Listen To A Country Song”, “House At Pooh Corner”, “Back To Georgia”, and a great three song medley featuring “Lovin’ Me”, “To Make A Woman Feel Wanted”, and “Peace Of Mind”. When I realized that this was meant to be a Loggins solo project, you realize what other people had heard: these two were incredible as a duo. Messina was meant to play the role of the producer, someone who would offer vocal harmonies and play guitar, but this is very much Messina’s album as it is Loggins, and yet you can hear the emphasis on Loggins in “House At Pooh Corner” and a song that showed my dad was a fan of the music of Jamaica far earlier than I had known, “Vahevala”. In fact, I would say my love of ska and reggae may have come from hearing this song, Paul Simon‘s “Mother And Child Reunion”, and Charlie Nash‘s “I Can See Clearly Now”.

    The point is, this album was recorded incredibly well. There are two audiophile CD pressings that are worth seeking out: the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) pressing:
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    and the CBS Mastersound disc:
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    I love both pressings for different reasons. The MFSL silver disc has a bassier feel to it, more “woodsy”, and I use that term as a way to describe how my parents and grandparents used to listen to music with wood cabinets, speakers, and in rooms with wood walls. In my mind, it’s a “woodsy” sound, a warm feel if you will. On the other hand, the CBS Mastersound disc is brighter and offers a different sense of clarity that the MFSL pressing arguably lacked. Yet I love both discs for those reasons: if I want warm, I go for MFSL. If I want it to sound slightly cleaner, I shoot for Mastersound.

    So what will this new pressing offer to fans? It’s being released by Friday Music, a great label who have released and reissued an incredible selection of albums. Sittin’ In was remastered by Joe Reagoso and Kevin Gray, both of whom have done incredible jobs on the albums they have made over the last two decades. On top of that, Friday Music’s pressing of Sittin’ In will have something that the original LP did not have: a gatefold cover.

    When it comes to this album, I do not joke around. I love the fact that it’s being remastered, and that it’s being pressed up audiophile style. The album will celebrate its 40th anniversary at the end of the year, so celebrate in style by hearing an album that has been a partial soundtrack to my life.

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