Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nick Mason - Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports (1981)

And we're back. Still trying to sort out all this gear, but I'm happy with it so far. This is the very first needledrop with the new stylus and the V-LPS phono preamp.

Here's a bit of an oddity. The first solo album by Nick Mason, drummer from Pink Floyd. Now, I'm not the world's biggest Pink Floyd fan (although I do have the obligatory Dark Side of the Moon and a couple of other records) but I really like this.

This is often spoken of as a de facto Carla Bley album, since all she wrote all the words and music, and many of the other performers here are often associated with her work (not to mention a couple that she's been married to at one time or another). This probably does a bit of a disservice to Mason, who clearly thought this music was important enough to release as his first (and I think only) solo album. He also had a hand in the engineering (with Michael Mantler) and production (with Carla Bley). It was recorded in 1979 but not released until 1981. I can just imagine the suits at Columbia records talking to their higher-ups: "well, it's not exactly like a Pink Floyd record... it's sorta... uhh..."

Mason, of course, had already established his avant-garde bona fides, having produced Wyatt's Rock Bottom album. Bley, for her part, had dabbled in the world of rock music, having been in Jack Bruce's touring band a few years earlier, and had Wyatt's old mucker Hugh Hopper in her own touring band. Wyatt had also appeared on a couple of Michael Mantler records with Bruce and Bley, so there was a bit of a mutual admiration society around these musicians at the time. Mason, being a rock guy, doesn't really swing in any appreciable way, so he lends more of a rock sound to Bley's compositions than they might otherwise have had. I daresay he enjoyed working on material that was witty and fun for a change too (meow!).

Robert Wyatt: Vocals
Karen Kraft: Vocals
Chris Spedding: Guitars
Carla Bley: Keyboards
Gary Windo: Tenor/Bass Clarinet/Flute
Gary Velente: Trombones
Mike Mantler: Trumpets
Howard Johnson: Tuba
Steve Swallow: Bass
Nick Mason: Drums & Percussion
Terry Adams: Piano (on Boo to you Too), Harmonica and Clavinet (on Can't Get My Motor to Start)
Additional Voices: Gary Windo, Carlos Ward, D Sharpe, Gary Valente, VIncent Chancey, Earl McIntyre)

CBS/Sony, Japan. Cat # 25AP 2047

A1: Can't Get My Motor To Start (3:39)
A2: I Was Wrong (4:12)
A3: Siam (4:48)
A4: Hot River (5:13)
B1: Boo To You Too (3:26)
B2: Do Ya? (4:35)
B3: Wervin' (3:58)
B4 I'm a Mineralist (6:14)

320kbps mp3
[Links fixed 21/1/12]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back Soon

Just waiting on some supplies: A new stylus and a new - hopefully superior - phono stage.
With exchange rates being the way they are, it works out more than 50% cheaper to buy these things direct from overseas than to buy them locally. Sorry, Mr High St Hi-Fi Retailer.
Do keep those comments coming, though. I know people are downloading these things, and it's nice to get a little feedback once in a while. You never know - I just might be able to fill some requests.