Friday, 22 August 2014

"The Compleat Tom Paxton - Recorded Live" by TOM PAXTON - A Review Of His 1971 Double-Album On Reprise Records - Now Remastered by Beat Goes On Records of the Uk in 2014...

This review is part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


"...To Love You Again..." - The Compleat Tom Paxton - Recorded Live by TOM PAXTON

The original vinyl double album "The Compleat Tom Paxton - Recorded Live" was taped across two nights in New York's famous Folk and Rock Venue "The Bitter End" in June 1970 and released in March 1971 on Elektra 7E-2003 in the USA and Elektra EKD 2003 in the UK (later reissued November 1975 as Elektra K 62004 in the UK). This superb 2CD reissue is a straightforward remaster (without bonuses) of that final double-album for Elektra Records (he signed to Reprise after that). Here are the Folk Troubadour details...

UK released June 2014 on Beat Goes on BGOCD 1148 (Barcode 5017261211484) - Disc 1 is the first LP  (13 tracks, 43:25 minutes) while Disc 2 is the 2nd (13 tracks, 43:05 minutes). Note: there is a now deleted 2004 Rhino Handmade 2CD set called "Even Compleater" which offers more from the gigs (see separate entry and price).

As with all these Beat Goes On reissues nowadays - it comes in a tasty outer card slipcase and features a very detailed booklet (20 pages) with great liner notes by noted musicologist JOHN O'REGAN. But the big news as ever is the new 2014 gorgeous remaster by ANDREW THOMPSON - it's very clean and warm. There is hiss on some tracks but its neither dampened by noise reduction nor amplified to impress. The music is as it was - just better.

Already a near 10-year musical veteran by the time he made this recording - Tom Paxton was comfortable with his songs, his voice, his conscience and knew exactly how to perform to a literate audience. There's a fabulous intimacy about the gig - and his repartee with a clearly enthralled crowd - oozes out of every track (I'm reminded of Don McLean's gorgeous "Solo" double live set from 1976). A good example of this is the long spoken preamble to "Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues" called "Bayonet Rap" where its wordplay/political undercurrent is beautifully thought out. It's about pre-training in Kansas for young American men drafted into the US Army and features very funny and perceptive observations ("Crawl in the mud under barbed wire...stuff you can use..."). It also touches on the madness of the war once the naive college kids got there - scared G.I.s discovering 'grass' in Vietnam ("The whole platoon was flying high...chanting something about Hare Krishna..."). Disc 1 finishes on an aural double whammy-high - a stunning story song called "Jimmy Newman" and his popular Sixties hit "Outward Bound".

The ballads are especially pretty - "All Night Long" and the plaintive "Leaving London" - a tune about longing for a girl, returning to her and flying home (lyrics from it title this review). And both "Leaving London" and the lovely "Angie" benefit hugely from the beautifully complimentary piano playing of David Horowitz. Disc 2 continues with more of the same - "About The Children" and "The Last Thing On My Mind" mellow and impressive.

This is a quality reissue by BGO and a good reminder of the power of a man, a guitar and a sharp mind...

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