The Beatles In Mono | The Beatles | Apple/EMI
Flashback Release Of The Month
I'm here to say this over-the-top box set really is that good. Yeah, for the price you could buy a new chrome doo-dad for your bike, but chrome will rust before this music gets old. And this will probably be the one and only Beatles set you'll ever need to own because it's Ultra Glide-loaded. For the price of a detail job you get 10 Beatles albums, packaged like little LP records in their original sleeves. Even the inner sleeves are re-produced. And each is packaged in a protective outer sleeve. Cool, except if you're old enough to remember the Beatles you're probably gonna need glasses to read the small print. The discs themselves are reproductions of the original record labels. And there's a great 44 page booklet and other bonus material too. Trust me, you may wanna burn copies to put in your sadllebags because, honestly, if you spill some 20w-50 on these, you'll be heartbroken.
I'm not sure how they did it (actually I do, but don't have the space to explain it here), but Apple has made these mono reissues sound better than the stereo ones (also newly available separately). If you're familiar enough with your old Beatles CDs, you'll be blown away by these, which in mono has subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the overdubbing, editing, and mixing. Mono isn't meant for headphones, but it sounds great blasting away through speakers-which is, after all, the way the Beatles first played it. If you ever listened to the Beatles on a transistor radio, you'll have an epiphany. On a bike cruising down the highway, it becomes obvious that, just as it is with our machines, sometimes old technology works best.
Santana Legacy Edition | Santana | Sony
While many cities lay claim to being the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, one thing that's certain is that San Francisco was most instrumental in nurturing and helping to define it. In the '60s, the holy diverse triumvirate of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana all hailed from the Bay Area and wielded a mighty influence on the future of rock. Is it any wonder that this part of the country also offers up a diverse cornucopia of favorite motorcycle-riding roads? From the beaches to the redwoods, this part of northern California is inextricably tied to motorcycle pop culture. Harleys were never manufactured there, but much of their perceived rough-and-tumble imagery certainly was born by the bay.
Santana was an outlaw band of sorts. They didn't fit the usual pre-conceived notion of rock groups, which were mainly white at the time. Like Hendrix, Mexico-born Carlos Santana opened up the definition a bit more by bringing elements of Latin, Afro-Cuban and other cultural sounds into play. Their debut album, released in 1969, blew many minds, thanks in part to the songs "Soul Sacrifice", "Jingo" and "Evil Ways." Santana's epic performance at Woodstock may have helped make them a legit rock band, but the groups' playing went way beyond the image itself. Carlos and Greg Rollie were the parents and both contributed heavily to the band's hybrid sound.
Listening to this album while riding can result in pure ecstasy, so long as the road ahead is open and scenic. Hell, even cruising the concrete canyons of San Francisco itself is fun, even with those pesky cable car tracks. Sony did an amazing job with this re-mastered edition (released in 2004) and even included a bonus CD of Woodstock performances and tracks from the album sessions. It's a priceless item of rock 'n' roll history.
*Note: Wheels represent ratings from 1 to 5 (best).