Hugh Cornwell's third proper solo album since leaving the Stranglers, Hi Fi, ranks with the most confident and accessible work of his career. Any fans of Cornwell's old band should keep in mind that this most clearly recalls the latter-day pop-influenced Stanglers material, rather than the thuggish misogyny of their earlier work, and while Cornwell certainly sounds a bit cranky on several of these tunes, "One Day at a Time" and "Lay Back on Me Pal" reflect a welcome compassion that he's gained with the years. (Don't worry, though – "Leave Me Alone" and "Putting You In The Shade" prove he's still got plenty of problems with people. Nice to know some things never change.) For the most part, Hi Fi is pleasingly tuneful, with strong pop melodies and a winning psychedelic undertow on tunes like "All the Colours of the Rainbow," "The Prison's Going Down," and "Gingerbread Girl" (the last of which appears in two versions on the album's American release – the string-fortified original take, and a dubwise electronic remix from Black Dog Productions). Cornwell's vocals and songwriting are in fine shape, Laurie Latham's production is clean and serves the material well, and if Hi Fi isn't exactly a startling step forward for Cornwell.
Whether in its original serial form in the 1940s, in the low-budget films of the 1950s, in the television series of the 1960s, or even in the overgrown re-imaginings for blockbuster movies in the 1970s and beyond, the science-fiction genre on film (and videotape) has always had something cheesy about it, and that is part of its appeal. Even when the technical wizards at director George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic are dreaming up the next Star Wars movie, there is, at heart, a sense of the earliest, silliest versions of the genre still present. In that spirit come Neil Norman's souped-up and synthesized treatments of the various scores for sci-fi films and TV…
The band will be selling the album exclusively during their spring tour, followed by an official release date of June 9. if i had a hi-fi's eclectic choice of covers include Spoon, Depeche Mode, the Moody Blues, and Kate Bush.
Nimbus Supercut LPs were released as part of a special promotion available only to readers of Practical Hi-Fi and Hi-Fi today magazines in the UK during the early 1980s (this one was released for Hi-Fi Today). The records were only available in limited quantities and are now even rarer than releases from Mobile Fidelity, Nautilus, DCC and similar. Nimbus Records established the need for high quality record releases, as most mainstream vinyl at the time was haphazardly mastered from poor master copies and pressed on poor quality recycled vinyl. In contrast with this release, Nimbus Records went back to the original master tapes for an all-analog pressing, at half speed, for the best version of 'Feats Dont Fail Me Now' ever available. Nimbus Records also had the ICI company produce an extremely pure vinyl for the LPs, which has better frequency reproduction and is virtually noise free. Their pressings have dynamics and pack a punch that will blow your socks off!
Although brief at just over 42 minutes long, this is a satisfying effort from pianist Kenny Barron. His second Enja release documents a quintet consisting of trumpeter Wallace Roney, tenor saxophonist John Stubblefield, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Victor Lewis. The entire quintet is showcased on four Barron originals, the haunting melody of "Phantoms," the freebop of the title track, the relaxed swing of "Voyage," and the lovely waltz "Lullabye."