Murray Head – Nigel Lived (1973) [Reissue 2017]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 49:34 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 1,98 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 973 MB
Murray Head’s Nigel Lived is a groundbreaking classic and one of the boldest, most daring and inventive albums of all time. Recorded by the great recording engineer Phill Brown, Nigel Lived is from the golden era of all-analog recording, a sonic and musical masterpiece that every music lover and audiophile simply must have. This 45th Anniversary Edition was mastered directly from 1972’s analog tapes by Kevin Gray. As the master tapes can no longer be found in Sony’s vaults in the US or the UK (Sony bought CBS and its assets), Phill’s 1972 tapes are the de facto “original master tapes”. The sound quality on these tapes is a revelation, with deep but tuneful bass, sweet highs, gorgeous vocals and very wide dynamics!
Recorded in the summer of 1972 and released the following year, Nigel Lived is Murray Head’s first solo LP. A rarity for this singer, it takes the form of a concept album. A songwriter found the diary of a stranger and wrote songs out of some fragments. The booklet reproduces pages of the fake diary along with the lyrics, weaving a believable fiction that helps in distancing or objectifying the autobiographical nature of the songs. They are split between the “success” and “failure” sides of the LP and tell the story of an artist (actor? singer? – both would apply to Head) who leaves his small hometown, comes to the “big city” to make it, and, after an initial encouraging period, watches his life fall apart. Head is surrounded by an impressive cast of session musicians from folk, rock, and jazz realms, including Caravan flutist Jimmy Hastings, jazz clarinetist Tony Coe, and original King Crimson drummer Michael Giles. The whole album seems to foretell Chris DeBurgh’s Spanish Train and Other Stories, especially because of the daring arrangements (a Gregorian choir and a steel drums ensemble in “Religion”). Other comparisons would include Shawn Phillips and Cat Stevens’ records around the same time. Head still had to write a memorable song like “Say It Ain’t So, Joe,” but despite the lack of shining moments, Nigel Lived makes a solid and surprisingly uncompromising album. And “Junk” is the longest, weirdest song this singer ever recorded.
01. Pacing On the Station
02. Big City
03. Bed & Breakfast
04. The Party
06. City Scurry
07. When You Wake Up in the Morning
08. Why Do We Have to Hurt Our Heads
09. Pity the Poor Consumer
11. Nigel, Nigel
12. Miss Illusion
Mastered directly-to-DSD from recording engineer Phill Brown’s 1/4″ 15-ips analog tapes from 1972 by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.