Total Pageviews

Friday, December 29, 2017

Quiet Sun - "Mainstream" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 1975/2011 (Expression Records)

The world of Roxy Music is rich in many good stuff and recordings.  It's almost like Roxy Music is a virus and whoever becomes in contact, eventually will make their own album with either group or solo.  So being a Roxy fan is expensive over time, yet, I have not regretted the expenses being spent on their art.   Quiet Sun is Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera's band before he joined Bryan Ferry, Eno, and company.   Oddly enough I never purchased this album due to my fear of prog rock.  If one can even call Quiet Sun a prog rock band.  Mostly a group of misfits who border on the eccentricities of the time as well as being in the avant-garde angle in rock n' roll.   Beside the Roxy guitarist, the band consists of Bill MacCormick on bass, Charles Hayward on drums and some keyboards, and on the keys the noted Mathematician Dave Jarrett.   Eno helps on the noise part and legendary music writer Ian (McDonald) MacCormick, the brother of Bill on backup vocals.  

While Manzanera was doing his first proper solo album "Diamond Head" he also recorded this Quiet Sun album as well.  The band did split up when Phil joined Roxy, but they never made an album, and either due to the preservation aspect of Manzanera's music making, or just wanted to do a crazed album, is what is upon us for the last 40 or so years.   While I loved "Diamond Head" I was hesitant to purchase or listen to Quiet Sun, because of its aggressive fusion sound.   It took me many years (like yesterday afternoon) to finally get the album, as a reissue (on Manzanera's record label) and give this "Mainstream" a serious listen.  

The music is fusion, but these guys are creative at what they do. Manzanera is one of the great underrated guitarists.   His Hendrix accented echoey guitar sound (perhaps helped by Eno's treatment of the instrument) has always been a standout on all the Roxy recordings, and he doesn't let up on his own albums.   If Quiet Sun has a sister or big brother band, it would be Soft Machine.   One can imagine Robert Wyatt coming in doing the vocals.  So the mindset is on that part of the world and its aesthetics.   Riffs come and go, but what I find appealing as well is Charles Hayward's percussion.  A very imaginative drummer, and with MacCormick on bass a great rhythm section.  The one classic song off this album is "Rongwrong" which the title is based on and the same as artist Marcel Duchamp's art journal in the early 20th century.  It's a beauty of a song, and although written by Hayward, it reminds me of Wyatt's solo work.   A song diary of sorts, but a beautiful wistful melody, even as the long instrumental passages play on, it's an incredible song.  

Quiet Sun is not my favorite of the Roxy Music off-projects, but an essential part of the puzzle that is Phil Manzanera. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Armando Sciascia - "Violin Reactions" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 1974/2015 (The Omni Recording Corporation)

Armando Sciascia is an Italian musician, composer, arranger, and violinist.   Mostly for Italian soundtrack films, but also very much a huge figure in the music library world.  This is music used by film producers to select music to fit a scene in a movie.  It's not original music for that specific film, but more of stuff left in a closet, and one approaches the space for the perfect sound at that moment. "Violin Reactions" are set pieces with Sciascia's violin playing, as well as composition, that is a hybrid of strong melodies, beats, and electronically processed sounds.  Sciascia had his own record label for his music and studio as well.  By day he served the film industry, by night he got into his own weird groove. 

The photographs I see of Sciascia are always from the 1950s or even earlier, and they somewhat do not convey the sounds he made in the 1970s.  Here, in his studio, he's a combination of Brian Eno and Joe Meek as he experiments with aural tools to make a new world.  "Violin Reactions" is a title that doesn't disappoint.  Every piece of music here has a strong presence of Sciascia's violin playing, but it's the mixture or the soup that he places the violin within that gives this album much pleasure. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lou Reed - "Berlin" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, 2008/1973 (RCA)

Lou Reed's "Berlin" has some of his greatest songs, but as a narrative concept album, it's weak.  Side one is perfect, but the other side's pace is slow, almost an after-thought than anything else.   The beauty of Lou Reed is that he was very much of an artist who wanted to do something new on the next record.  The previous album "Transformer" is a masterpiece, and I think the last of his work that had traces of his years in The Velvet Underground.  "Berlin" is very much 1973 Lou, and what's interesting is that at the time of this recording of the album, he never been to Berlin.  So it's an artist's projection of a city and culture that he only got through second-hand channels. 

Berlin has always been a mythological metropolis to me. I went there in the 1980s when the wall was still up.  I liked the city, but I was disappointed that Sally Bowles wasn't around nor Bertolt Brecht. In other words, I totally had a "Berlin" in my head that no longer exists.   And on top of that, Berlin reminded me in parts, of Los Angeles, my hometown.   So when "Berlin" came out, I totally saw this project as a documentary or something Lou had experienced first-hand.  Then again, the role of the artist is always to do illusionary magic, and the album is very much an illusion as well in parts, a magnificent pop album.  

Besides the iconic Lou Reed vocals and lyrics, the album features the aggressive bass playing of Jack Bruce.  "Berlin" is one of my favorite 'bass' albums.   It's always thrilling to hear Bruce's work, and I think on this album he did a magnificent job.   Like Jah Wobble or Mick Karn, Bruce was a very strong bassist, who was equally unique in his playing or sound.   The other great thing about the album is the overall production by Bob Ezrin.   Overproduced and making the music sound like a huge production with full orchestra, powerful drumming (Procol Harum's B.J. Wilson and Aynsley Dunbar), plus the twin guitars of Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, this was a group of musicians who played huge on the aural soundtrack.   In a certain style, "Berlin" has an operatic quality of being bigger than life, and that's a plus for this album. 

In theory, it would have been great if the album was just an EP of the first six songs.   Side two is just over emotional and almost a bad taste Christmas card.  Still, it's an important Lou Reed album, in the context with the rest of his recordings. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

V.A./Jean-Luc Godard - "Bandes Originales 1959-1980" 2 x Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Limited Edition (500 copies) (Wildcat Strikes Disques)

Being a long-time fan of Jean-Luc Godard's cinema, it's interesting how important the music or sound is to all his films.   I don't imagine Godard ever thought about the separation of sound and image, but more with the relationship between the two mediums.  Over the years I have collected both on vinyl and CD numerous soundtrack compilations or the original soundtrack to Godard's works, but this hand-made bootleg, with the images pasted on the record sleeve, is perhaps the best of the lot.  

This compilation on vinyl goes from 1959 (A Bout de Souffle) to 1980 (Sauve qui Peut La Vie), and what one would consider the iconic Godard years.  Due to avoiding the legal issue, this album is the best representation of Godard and sound/music of those years.   The one thing that struck me is the sadness in the music. Composed by various writers such as Martial Solal, Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, Paul Misraki, Antoine Duhamel, Gabriel Yared, and singing by Chantal Goya (Masculin Feminin) which is superb French Yé-Yé and the ultra-rare (and the excellent) Claude Channes' "Mao Mao." The instrumental passages are very somber when you listen to it without the Godard images.  Not sure if Godard instructed the mood that is in the music for his film, but the above composers all wrote magnificent pieces for the Godard soundtrack. 

The album is not that easy to locate, but one can through by chance your local store, or more likely on the Internet.   If you are a fan of Godard, it's a must that you obtain this specific recording.  Beyond that the music here is gorgeous. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Joe Meek - "The Joe Meek Story" Compilation, 2 x Vinyl, LP, 1977 (Decca)

My first Joe Meek recording I have ever heard was The Honeycombs "Have I The Right," in 1964.  I was ten-years-old at the time, I knew nothing of the world of the record producer, or even aware of the identity of the songwriter.  I knew the artists that were The Honeycombs and they had a girl drummer.  Did I need to know more?  It wasn't until my year-long stay in Japan that I found a Joe Meek compilation at a swanky music store in Roppongi called 'The Wave.'  I was intrigued to hear more sounds similar to The Honeycombs, which from the very first time of the hearing, I was a life-long fan of that unique echo sound.  

Shortly I became a Meek addict, especially when I read his biography in various publications.  I have always had an interest in the Gay subculture in London, and Meek is a character that was very much part of that world.  Also the fact that he was insane and killed his poor landlady, and then committed suicide.  A tragic incident, but one can hear traces here and there in his recordings that expressed his interest in the after-life, UFOs, and perhaps hidden messages between men.  Meek, perhaps even more important, was a sonic genius.  Once you hear the sound of Meek, you will never forget it.

Over the years there have been numerous compilations on Meek's recordings, which in theory, is difficult to pull off, due to the fact that the record's ownership is often in question, due that Meek often licensed his recordings to other labels.   Therefore we have this Decca Records release "The Joe Meek Story" which is very good, but not complete by any means.  What excited me to have this record is to obtain Meek recordings that are not digitalized for the CD format.  It's not that difficult to find an original Meek production as a 45 rpm single, but locating vinyl compilation of his works is rather difficult.  Except for a handful of original vinyl releases, most of his work came out as singles. 

The plus side of the Meek compilations is that one comes upon a song or recording never released on another compilation.   I have at least 10 compilations of Meek's (all on CD) and often they don't repeat their songs/recordings.   "The Joe Meek Story" is missing some famous recordings, but it's the obscure tracks that I find totally fascinating and great.  Mike Barry and The Outlaws' (featuring Richie Blackmore on guitar) captures the essence of Meek's obsession with Buddy Holly as well as a weird outer-space version of Rockabilly.   Most of the songs here were written by Meek, and as a songwriter, he's never consistent.  But his productions never fail.  Someone like Phil Spector is more consistent with quality, but every Meek record has a tinge of weirdness or eccentricity.   Which is one of the reasons why I like to collect Meek, both on CD and more importantly on vinyl.  I feel each recording by this lunatic expresses a sense of hysteria and desire.  Meek was very much of his culture of the 1950s, that he rebelled against by becoming an independent producer with his own studio - mostly built by his own hands.  The majority of his work is from the early 1960s, yet there is something distant and far away from his music for that era.   He was an artist that wasn't attached to the times, compared to The Fab Four or the work of Andrew Loog Oldham.  Meek is or was very much an outsider artist.

"The Joe Meek Story" comes with fascinating liner notes.  A small biography as well as a breakdown of all the songs selected for this compilation.   The one odd thing is mentioning the suicide (not in detail), and staying away from the fact that he murdered someone before shooting himself in the head.   Art comes with darkness, like life itself. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Egisto Macchi - "Bioritmi" Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue (The Omni Recording Corporation)

I know little to nothing about Egisto Macchi, except that he's an Italian composer who worked on music for film and Television, and is a close associate of Ennio Morricone and is a member of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.  I have two albums by him, including "Bioritmi," and he's exceptional.  

Originally released in 1971, and reissued/remastered by the great label The Omni Recording Corporation, "Bioritmi" is a record of great feeling and beauty.  It's noted in its informative sleeve notes that there are traces or a hint of Moondog's music within its grooves.   The music here is very much a quartet of strings and distant percussion and it does move in a circular fashion just like Moondog. It's very machine-like but done by humans.  The music builds and then slowly releases its intensity.   Listening to this I think of insects working in a hive.  It's almost a musical portrait of a society working, but not necessarily a human's approach to society unless they're watching insects building a nest and obtaining food.   A quiet album or work, but with great feeling and the clockwork of giving and releasing makes "Bioritmi" a give and take the pull as one listens.  An amazing album and the composer is a genius.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Paul Jones / Mike Leander - "Privilege" OST, Album, Vinyl, 1967 (UNI Records)

Not a great film, but one that really impressed me as a 12-year old fan of Manfred Mann.  Paul Jones up to this time (1967) was the lead singer for the band Manfred Mann, and he left to go solo, but also starred in this odd film about a pop star being set-up by the Government to control youth.  It's an interesting commentary on pop stardom as well as the nature of marketing in the pop music world.  He and his management would wear 'almost-like' military formal wear and clearly, this is a projection of pop music in the 1970s.  

Mike Leander, record producer, hustler, and the genius behind future star Gary Glitter, wrote the soundtrack, with a handful of Paul Jones vocals.   The songs sung by Jones on the soundtrack are superb.  "Free Me," is so angst driven, that it could have been a Morrissey song from the 1990s.  Patti Smith did a cover of "Free Me," which is equally fantastic.  The other great song here is "I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy."  Paul Jones had the ability to sing gritty blues to light pop.  An underrated vocalist, who was once a friend of Brian Jones, and one time was the original singer for The Rolling Stones.  Paul could have done great in that band.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - "Azioni / Reazioni 1967-1969" 5 x Vinyl, LP, Remastered, DVD, Box Set, Limited Edition (Die Schachtel)

Due to the scale of this project and just the 'oh wow' of it all, this is for sure on my top ten list of the greats from the 21st century so far.   Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (GINC for short) is a group of mostly Italian composers who got together to do improvise music.  Originally organized by Italian composer Franco Evangelisti, they have done numerous recordings and concerts throughout the 1960s.  How I discover them is all due to my music hero Ennio Morricone who is a long-term member of GINC.  

This five-disk vinyl box set captures them doing live performances that are stunning.  The music is all done on acoustic instruments, but either altered such the prepared piano (ala John Cage) or the electronic mikes on various instruments such as trumpet, sax, strings, organ, and all sort of percussion.  At times the music is pure noise, but there is a sense of construction and thought behind the playing.  In an essence, the musicians/composers are using their composing hat as they make music together.  In actuality, it is also about the relationship between these composers, and how they see music, and therefore the world. 

The box set comes with a DVD video of their performance and a beautiful book with essays in English by Evangelisti and others explaining the GINC aesthetic and philosophy.   For the new listener of GINC, they for sure will be reminded of John Cage's early works.  GINC has a different 'feel' for their instruments, and it doesn't rely on musical accidents or outside noise.  The sounds that GINC makes are very confined to space and time.  

The mind reels knowing Morricone's association with these sound bandits.  Most of the Italians here did music soundtracks or wrote music for libraries that store scores for future films and Television.  Most associate Morricone with the Spaghetti western, but if that is your knowledge of Morricone, you really don't know him at all.  I feel that GINC was or is a very important aesthetic for Morricone and throughout his career, he has touched on the avant-garde side of music composition for his various movie soundtracks.   His openness to explore the music landscape is breath-taking.  Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza is an essential listening experience for anyone who even has the slightest interest in modern music.  These five discs plus DVD and book is a worthy investment that will keep on giving for a very long time. 

Here's the full list of members of GINC. Each one contributes greatly to the music.  They are: Alessandro Sbordoni, Antonello Neri, Domenico Guaccero, Egisto Macchi (an incredible composer), Ennio Morricone, Franco Evangelisti, Frederic Rzewski, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Giovanni Piazza, Ivan Vandor, John Heineman (the only American in the group?), Mario Bertoncini, and Walter Branchi.

Robert Wyatt - "Old Rottenhat" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, 1985 (Domino)

My favorite commie pinko singer ever.   There is no such a bad thing as a Robert Wyatt recording.  Still, "Old Rottenhat" is my favorite of his later recordings from the 1980s.  For one, his lyrics are very political and direct.   He also wrote the entire album by himself, so this is very much a personal message (at the time) from artist to listener.  There's a moral outrage, but his anger is very much measured and restrained, and that's the art of Wyatt. 

I also love the minimalism of the recording.  Percussion and various keyboards, it's very much of a man in his studio making art.  Songs like "Alliance," "The United States of Amnesia," and my favorite "The Age of Self" cut through the bullshit and gets to the meat near the bone.  Wyatt's view is very much worldwide and he sees the political implications all connecting together.   It's like playing the game of hitting one gopher in the head, but the other head will pop out somewhere in the game landscape.  Sadly that we now live in the age of Trump, one could use Wyatt's voice.  The truth is not that much has changed since 1985.  Misery is still here, and Wyatt's art and voice will stay with us as long as there is a medium that allows us to play music. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holger Czukay - "Movies" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, 1982 (EMI)

It seems silly but I discovered the actual music by Can only in 2017!   On the other hand, I know Holger Czukay's solo album "Movies" since the early 1980s.   I also know his music and name due that he worked with David Sylvian around the same time that era.  "Movies" is a perfect snapshot when I lived in Hollywood, and listening to this album it brings back memories of my little studio apartment on Martel Avenue.   It's an easy record to get into, due that there is an endless groove among its experimental cut-ups and sound wise one never knows what is going to appear inside your stereo speakers. 

I don't know the history of this album, but I suspect that it was recorded during Can (the band he was in) recording sessions, due that all of the musicians are on "Movies."  It's very much a happy album, and it doesn't have the tension of sadness, but more of a beautiful exploration of the world through sound and rhythm.  There's a purity in its purpose, and my favorite cut is "Persian World," which features vocals from a radio station somewhere in that part of that world.  Czukay would do cut-ups of different cultures sound wise, and yet, both feet are on Western grounds.  The album is almost exotica territory in that it relays a sense of community and pleasure.  "Movies" is the inspiration for musicians like Brian Eno and David Byrne.   A great album.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Twink - "Think Pink" Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, Reissue, 2017/1970 (Noiseagonymayhem Records)

One of the most insane or demented albums released in 1970.  Twink's very presence in the late 1960s to the 1970s is a badge of honor for pre-punk rock that lived on the outskirts of one's sensibility.  As I listen to this album, and if you look at my face, it looks like I'm trying to answer a question that I have no understanding whatsoever.  "Think Pink" is an album of mayhem and I suspect an exotic amount of drugs that went into the kitchen that made this aural meal.  Twink is a drummer who eventually joined The Pink Fairies and The Pretty Things.  The other musicians that make a creative mark on this album are Paul Rudolph, who became a member of The Pink Fairies as well as ending up backing up Eno on his first solo album and live tour.  The other musician is Steve Took, who was once a member of Marc Bolan's Tyrannosaurus Rex (T Rex).  Together with Twink's girlfriend 'Silver' they made this anarchy in the studio into an interesting album. 

The most conventional songs are "Suicide" and "The Sparrow is a Sign."  Overall "Think Pink" can be the chosen iconic album for Psych-rock of that era.  In spots, it reminds me of the French band Red Noise, featuring the talents of Patrick Vian, Boris Vian's son.   While that band is Frank Zappa influenced, "Think Pink" is truly a unique album where I feel the major influence was Twink's everyday life at the time.  I can't imagine a serious record collector not having this album in their collection. They don't have to like or enjoy it, but it is a representation of a life that one is not exposed to anymore.  At least on that level that is Twink and his friends' sense of abandonment and fun. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tosh Berman's 2017 Favorite New (for me) Albums

For the world, a total nightmare of a year.  For me, standing near my turntable and stereo speakers, an excellent year.  Here, and in no special order, are albums that I  have heard for the first time in 2017.  Some of the releases are very old, and some came out this year - but all, were first listening experiences for the year 2017.  The Ork Records and Webern box sets, I may have heard some of the music some years ago, but these are new packages for me.  Even though I believer the Webern box set came out in the 1960s.   The majority of the albums (all vinyl) I purchased are used, but some I did buy if they were reissued, or I was lucky finding it online or more likely in a record store, either here in Los Angeles or in Tokyo.   Nevertheless, for me, this was totally new music for the year 2017.  So, again, in no special order, here are the albums.  And keep in mind, that I did write reviews of some of the titles, but there are albums here that I haven't had a chance to write on, or about the recordings.  So here it is:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

George Russell and His Orchestra, Featuring Bill Evans - "Jazz In The Space Age" Clear Vinyl, Album, LP, Limited Edition, 2016/1960 (Doxy)

The ultimate and very obscure Mid-Century America, with a ting of the Space Age, the jazz album. "Jazz in the Space Age" is John Cassavetes walking down Time Square in the middle of the night, and there's rain and he is smoking.  Or it could be "Sweet Smell of Success."  Nevertheless, this is a classic noir jazz album that sounds like an original soundtrack recording, but alas, it is not the case.  At the crisp of the 60s, this is an album that theme wise looks to the future, but in reality, it's a brilliant work with Bill Evans at his peak, with Paul Bley on the piano as well.  In fact, it's dueling pianos.  

George Russell plays "beats and timed drums."   He also wrote all the pieces on this album.  It's a combination of orchestrated jazz but with interesting 'bop' type of solos and improvising sections within the orchestration.  especially from Evans and Bley.  I was sort of expecting a Joe Meek like recording, and that is not the case.  Still, the playing by Evans and Bley are incredible.  Since I got this album last week, I have played it a lot in the house.   The album cover is great, but the music is not kitsch whatsoever or even space exotica.  But it is Evan/Bley-tastic. 

The Cramps - "Songs The Lord Taught Us " Vinyl, LP, Album, 2016/1980 (Drastic Plastic Records)

The first full-length Cramps album.  Originally released in 1980.  Alex Chilton is the producer.  If I was at these recordings in the studio, I would sit by the exit just in case something weird breaks out.  More likely nothing odd happened during the recording of "Songs The Lord Taught Us" but sound wise it sounds like mayhem and within its vinyl grooves there are these people trapped within those grooves and they're trying to break free.  In other words, this is very much an intense listening experience.   It is also the perfect rock n' roll album.

The genius aspect of the early version of The Cramps is that they didn't have a bass player, neither an electric or stand-up bass.   It's two electric guitars, a voice, and drums without cymbals.  On paper, it sounds primitive, and that is an often descriptive term for their sound, but for me, that is like saying Harry Partch's music is primitive.  It's actually so simple that it's complex within the wave of sounds between the two guitarists with the addition of the big beat of the drums. 

Alex Chilton doesn't smooth out the sound but allows it to go crazy within the studio landscape.  It's Sun Records, but leave out the sanity button on the mixing/recording table.  It's both a tribute to the Sun sound and also acknowledging that it is using that 'sound' as the foundation to go onward.  The beauty of The Cramps is not their originality (which they have plenty of those ingredients) but also the fact that they are curators of a sound that they know well, and what they convey to the listener is the real deal. 

Chilton is the perfect producer for The Cramps.   The band knows a fellow traveler by instinct and it's interesting that afterward they never used an outside producer for future recordings.  In that sense, The Cramps became an isolated group that kept their world within its reach, and never comprise its sound or image to another corporation or another artist - unless it's a tribute to their sensibility of rock n' roll history.    In the nutshell, the perfect band making the perfect album, with the perfect producer of that time.  The Cramps with the help and assistance of Alex Chilton.   Perfection in practice. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

V.A. - "James Bond Greatest Hits" Vinyl, LP, Compilation, UK, 1982 (Liberty)

As our deeper pleasures are being taken away from us, James Bond is a treasure of passions that are buried deep into the cinema goers consciousness.  The appeal of Bond is a man who serves a common good for his culture, but also never eliminates the joys of the flesh and the alcohol.  In other words, he has a win-win situation.   Most of us customers only have a win-lose-win something in our lives, and Bond can express one who has it all.  The treatment of the world is not based on fact, but on desire, and therefore seeing a Bond film is like being on a vacation.  But one that only lasts for two hours or so.   Equally important to the entire Bond package, is the music.  John Barry served his master (Bond) as well as to the customer.  It's hard not to hum or whistle the Bond theme or whatever the main title song was of that time of that particular Bond film. 

The truth is, the best part of a James Bond film is the first 15 minutes.  Here you get the action sequence that is usually fantastic, and then the great montage that announces the title, and of course, the mixture of Monty Norman's Bond theme, mixed in with Barry's music.   To be honest, one can leave the theater after the opening and be pleased like after having a great meal.  The rest of the product is tourism, women, fight scenes, and the character (each different by various actors playing Bond).  The next best thing after seeing the film is having the soundtrack albums.  In 1982, Liberty Records put together a great compilation of Bond theme songs as well as some of its wonderful incidental music used in the films.   My personal favorites are "From Russia With Love" by Matt Monro, with lyrics by Lionel Bart (one of the more fascinating characters to come out of the 1960s music world) and John Barry.  And of course, "Goldfinger" sung by Shirley Bassey, written by Anthony Newley, Barry, and Leslie Bricusse.  Which by the way, I strongly recommend that you find Newley's recording of "Goldfinger," because it's incredible.

There are other in-depth Bond compilations out there, but this one is a favorite because it was the first for me, and second, Barry and others have done their best work, regarding serving the master, that is James Bond.