Murray Head. Yes, the one and the same of “One Night in Bangkok” fame. It’s funny how things work out sometimes—a reaction many may understandably have upon initially learning of this long-forgotten album’s existence as a reissue. But closer inspection reveals a performer with amazing talents never better witnessed than on this, his debut. Nigel Lived chronicles an artist’s successes and failures—a story applicable to anyone who dares to go beyond their own four walls and ventures out into the wide open from modest beginnings.
Narratively, the up and down swings mirror the album’s tempo. From the bluesy, funky “Big City” to “Bed & Breakfast” and the jam-like “City Scurry,” each of the cuts chronicle those days in life when you got up, got beat down, and got back up again. And each tune possesses a unique sound unlike any other on the set. It’s hard to believe “Religion,” a song that deals with the struggles with questions about life’s meaning and features steel drums and Gregorian chants, exists on the same album as the groovy, over-the-top romp “The Party.”
With Nigel Lived, Intervention Records continues its streak of focusing on remarkable titles most other audiophile labels wouldn’t likely consider for reissue. Drawing from the best-possible source material, Kevin Gray cut Nigel Lived from original engineer Phill Brown’s ¼-inch 15ips analog master tapes at 45RPM over two LPs. The sound is fantastically dynamic, open, and full-range, and the packaging—from the super-thick, high-gloss gatefold sleeve to the eight-page insert book printed by Stoughton—as good as it gets.
*VinylReviews.com is owned and operated by Intervention Records’ Founder Shane Buettner.
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