“Streetlife Serenader” is one the best Billy Joel songs but it doesn’t make most lists. Why? Because it’s too good. Probably best heard on the live album Songs In the Attic.


What would you say to an album that summed up the neural code of America in less than 60 minutes?

It seems astonishing to think that 45 years ago a band from the UK named Supertramp could create a #1 album worldwide that purports to understand the complexities of America. It turns out they could, because this nation has never been all that complicated.


If you are after the best reproduction of sound quality in recorded music for any performance you will want to collect direct copies of the original master tape. That’s true for everything recorded up to about 1985. After that most music was recorded digitally.

Of course, direct copies on tape are very hard to find or very expensive, or both. So most serious audiophiles spring for the original all analog LP record created the years the album was first released in the country where the music was recorded, mastered, and cut to vinyl. Continue reading “”



World Party, along with the newly coined day, is the name of a band led by the recently deceased Karl Wallinger. He was part of the Celtic group The Waterboys but left in the late ’80s to produce a string of stellar solo albums, including Goodbye Jumbo in 1990. Much of the world never paid attention to this non-grunge record at the time. Yet, in the UK it was hit, it was nominated for a Grammy, and made the best list at Q Magazine. Like all his records, they sound great on original vinyl, but an early CD will do just fine. You can also stream it dumbed down, or hear it remastered compressed and loud on a new CD or LP.

Wallinger’s music is a channeled mix of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, and Beach Boys set to catchy lyrics. There are some lessons for life enclosed in his albums for those who are bored with inconsequential music.

(Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

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It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Jimmy Buffett.

I’m not sure where to begin, except to say his music is what saw me through much of the ’80s.

I was traveling around the world with my camera, a bunch of film, and a walkman. I ended up shooting stock in tropical locations nine months of the year because I was good at it and it paid really well. I became a “citizen of the world”, and his music was my soundtrack. Continue reading “”


The 30th anniversary Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speaker is now available. It’s the classic shell-inspired, four-driver design that still looks out of this world after three decades of production.

This unique pair in Abalone Pearl is a one-off, hand-made to order visual, tactile and aural feast. Built in Worthing, England, each single enclosure takes over a week to build before sanding, painting, and polishing. The waitlist currently stands at over two years. Only $70,000… but you do get two speakers.



Still one of my favorite albums, full of feeling and imagery.

It is a superb record by Joni, a return to her jazz influences with the amazing Jaco Pastorius on bass. It’s a musical high point, a complete portrait of a true artist following her muse unencumbered. A great road album given the right mood. Still a best listen on LP.

(Cover Photo: Norman Seeff)