Curtis Knight & the Squires:

I`ll start with some additions to my first review of No Business followed by a review of the vinyl release. John McDermott comment on some of the parts that were unclear to me when I was writing about the cd so here is a "sequel" to the first review. I`ve also added this information to the original cd review, if you haven`t read it I suggest you see that one first.

1 "UFO"
John Mc Dermott confirmed that this is a contemporary Eddie Kramer mix.

2 "No Business"
John Mc Dermott confirmed that this is a contemporary Eddie Kramer mix.

4 "Gloomy Monday [Alternate]"
John Mc Dermott confirmed that this is a contemporary Eddie Kramer mix.

5 "How Would You Feel [alternate]"
John Mc Dermott: "[How Would You Feel] is included to show how Chalpin was looking at trying to make a 'new' song so that he would have enough material for an album. This became moot when JH returned in August. That is the original mix that Chalpin made."

7 "My Best Friend [Takes 3/4/5]"
John Mc Dermott confirmed that this is a contemporary Eddie Kramer mix.

11 "Taking Care Of No Business"
12 "Working All Day"
13 "Two Little Birds"
14 "Suddenly"
15 "UFO"
16 "Better Times Ahead"
17 "Everybody Knew But Me"
18 "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody"
19 "My Best Friend"

John Mc Dermott repeated the information given in the liner notes that the demo recordings were done at Studio "76", according to him these were NOT home recordings (which was my conclusion based on listening to the recordings):

"[...] the 1965 demo was cut at the studio. It was done quickly and simply but it was among Ed's tapes. It was not a multi-track recording. In typical Chalpin fashion, he pulled it out in July 1967 (after the first JH return to Studio 76) and attempted to overdub studio instrumentation over it. The second session in August removed the need for such an attempt and he abandoned the idea. He now had sufficient material to compile at least two albums (by his standards)."

Vinyl album review
Then, the vinyl album. As was the case with You Can`t Use My Name some of the tracks on the No Business -cd have been dropped for the vinyl release. 7 out of the 9 demo tracks on the cd have been omitted from the lp leaving only "Taking Care Of No Business" and "Working All Day". The musical content of the rest of the album is identical to the cd so I´m not going to repeat my comments here, for my take on the recordings included see the updated cd review.

spinning the vinyl

The brown color of the vinyl looked a bit odd in the pre-release ads but it works quite well when you have the vinyl in hand, a refreshing change from all the purple Hendrix vinyl. The disc has no scuffs, scratches or other marks and is flat. All of which should be a given when it comes to new vinyl hot off the press but nowadays more often than not isn`t.

Most of the time "hot off the press" is exactly the problem when the vinyl isn`t allowed to properly cool down and is warped as a result, I`ve unfortunately received and returned more problem vinyl in the last 5 years than in the preceding 25 years.

The album is pressed on 150 gram vinyl by Quality Record Pressings. The mastering is good, I just turned the bass up a bit and the audio sounds great. Bernie Grundman is listed as the mastering engineer in the credits and the deadwax has the "BG" initials.

The pressing / vinyl used however may not be of the best possible quality. There is occasionally a bit more crackling than I`d expect from brand new vinyl, not continuous surface noise which there is very little of but some crackles / distorted peaks here and there.

A wash might or might not help, I haven`t tried it. But I do know that I haven`t been overly impressed by some other QRP products in the past so this might just not be that great a pressing. It`s not a major problem but just last week I played a US pressing of the Winterland vinyl box which had no crackles even though it surely must have been much harder to master, cut & press a live Experience recording than a Curtis Knight studio jam.

The lp version is split into 1967 and 1965-1966 sides. The sides are not labelled as such but that´s how the material is divided and it works rather well, perhaps better than the cd running order. This way you are listening to recordings from two very different periods split across two sides of an lp which gives the brain time to adjust when flipping the record over.

Surprisingly the liner notes are NOT quite the same as on the cd version. Apart from small changes to the text where it has been amended to reflect the different track list and running order of the lp the big difference is that the vinyl version has all of the recording dates & locations for the songs listed separately in the credits, track by track.

Here is the recording info, exactly as given in the lp credits:

"Taking Care Of No Business (Demo)" and "Working All Day" recorded at Studio 76 in October 1965.

"UFO" and "Hornet`s Nest" recorded at Allegro Sound, New York in 1966.

"I Need You Every Day [Sick & Tired]" and "Suey" recorded at Studio 76 in 1966

Alternate vocal recorded for "How Would You Feel" at Studio 76 on July 18, 1967

"Taking Care Of No Business" and "My Best Friend," recorded at Studio 76 on July 17, 1967.

"Gloomy Monday," "Hush Now," and "Love, Love" recorded at Studio 76 on August 8, 1967

There are two big question marks here. First, "Hush Now" and "Love, Love" are listed as being recorded 8 August 1967 in the lp liners. The cd booklet, however, reproduced a tape box with versions of these tracks with Curtis Knight vocal overdubs. The reel is dated 31 July 1967. You can`t overdub tracks that haven`t been recorded yet so if the date on the reel is correct then the two tracks must have been recorded 17 July 1967 and not 8 August 1967.

Secondly, the lp lists "My Best Friend" 3/4/5 as being recorded at Studio 76 on 17 July 1967. This looks like a mix up, based on the information that we have these takes were recorded at Allegro in 1966 and the tapes were later purchased by Ed Chalpin from Jerry Simon. There IS a 1967 recording of the song from Studio "76" which is not included on the album so I assume that the recording info for the two different sessions has gotten mixed up in the lp credits?

Overall this is a fun lp release but as with the first volume a bit pointless as it does not include all of the material that was included on the cd. The same approach has been used on all of these studio & live Curtis Knight releases by Experience Hendrix, since you still have to get the three cds if you want to have all of the music these vinyl issues are mainly just collector`s items. It would have been a better option to issue a 3 lp box with all of the studio recordings compiled in one set.

29 December 2020

1 emails from John McDermott 22 November 2020 and 13 December 2020