A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “Sound Quality Ceases to be an Issue – and (Almost) Nobody Notices… “

Hi-Fi Nerds have long been the butt of jokes. Our obsession with sound quality is seen as something suspect and even perhaps slightly unhealthy. Almost fifty years ago the comedy due Flanders and Swann wrote A Song of Reproduction which affectionately (?) ridiculed the man whose sole interest was high fidelity sound, and ‘…never did […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata – Three Decades of Sonic Progress Wiped Out.

A few days ago I compared Itzhak Perlman’s 1975 Decca recording of Beethoven’s Kreutzer violin sonata with the 1961 set on DG played by Wolfgang Schneiderhan – both on CD. As always, the Perlman recording sounded fabulous; big and full, with beautiful depth and spaciousness, yet plenty of body and presence. The piano tone was […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

Falling Sales mean No New Recordings That’s why it’s become more or less impossible for record companies to make new classical recordings. Certainly, the big-budget productions – major operatic projects or big symphonic cycles – are now (almost) a thing of the past. It’s sad. But really you can’t blame the record companies for not […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “No Mono Please, We’re a Hi-fi Shop.”

Back in the ‘70s, when I worked in hi-fi retail, I bought the EMI 3LP reissue of Otto Klemperer’s mono Beethoven recordings from the 1950s. I then made the mistake of playing one of the discs in the shop. Bad move. Customers and staff started pulling faces at the ‘poor’ quality of the sound. And, […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

“You can’t possibly listen to that – it was recorded 10 years ago… “ There was a time when every major new technological breakthrough rendered the whole back catalogue of older recordings obsolete – or so it seemed. Once you’d heard stereo, mono seemed flat and lifeless, completely lacking in spatial clarity. At last, it […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “Better Sound – Where Did It All Go Wrong, George?”

At some point – and it’s hard to say exactly when – a significant majority began to lose interest in sonic upgrades and technical improvements. It’s my belief the process began sometime in the late 1980s, though the trend would not become obvious until the early ‘90s. CD certainly rejuvenated the hi-fi market in the […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – Decca Get It RIGHT!

Throughout the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Decca, in my opinion, had the happy knack of making recordings that sounded great on the hi-fi of the day. Their classical LPs sounded amazingly vivid and highly detailed, with wide stereo and impressive dynamics. Decca’s engineers had a somewhat proactive approach to recording. Rather than just setting up […]

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A daily does of Hughes: Jimmy Hughes and his (sometimes) contrary views / Taking a step back”

Some years back I saw a TV programme about the Turin Shroud – a holy relic believed by some to be the burial cloth used to wrap Jesus Christ after He was taken down from the Cross. The Shroud carries what is in effect a ‘negative’ image of Christ’s body, and only fully reveals itself […]

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Lost Immortals: Truly great music that ‘disappeared’ and needs recognition

This great idea comes from the intellectually fertile mind of Mr. Roy Stannard and his acolyte Howard Popeck. That’s (almost) all there is to say because the group title says it all. However ….. Anyone is welcome to post contributions for consideration BUT moderation is tough (always) but fair – usually. Only the truly musically […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “Are valves returning from the dead?”

Despite a few dissenting voices, Valves were History. Indeed, the ‘comeback’ of the valve amplifier (which in the UK started with the Michaelson and Austin TVA-1 integrated) was something quite remarkable and virtually without precedent. For while there were a few diehard listeners who preferred 78s to LPs, or Mono to Stereo, there was never […]

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A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes – “I was shocked! I mean, as anyone who heard the Perlman / Ashkenazy Decca LP when …..”

I was shocked! I mean, as anyone who heard the Perlman/Ashkenazy Decca LP when it was first released has to agree, this recording set new standards at the time. When I first encountered it, it quite literally blew my socks off. A new era in recorded sound had arrived. At least, that’s how it seemed. […]

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Tony Besgrove’s pick of the day: Lindsey Buckingham; 2003 concert in Boston

Every few years, the music and guitar magazines run their ‘best guitar solo’ poll, and every year it is topped by either Dave Gilmour’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ or Don Felder’s & Joe Walsh’s ‘Hotel California’ solos – all magnificent pieces of guitar artistry. However, here’s one that seems to have been forgotten, but in my view […]

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Tony Besgrove’s You Tube Pick of the Day ‘The Unguarded Moment’ by The Church.

The Church were (and still are) a relatively unknown Australian band – at least outside of their home country. In 1981 they released their debut album, ‘Of Skins And Heart’. One track on that album became their first Australian top ten 45 – ‘The Unguarded Moment’. The Los Angeles Times described the band’s music as […]

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