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Audio Fidelity Sets Two 24 Karat Gold CD Releases for June 21

In its ongoing program of reissuing classic rock and pop albums, Audio Fidelity will release 24 Karat Gold CD versions of Carly Simon's 1972 NO SECRETS and Bad Company's 1975 STRAIGHT SHOOTER on June 21.  The discs will be issued as numbered, limited editions that will be retired after their initial runs have sold out, and will be available from both online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

First issued in November of 1972, NO SECRETS was Simon's breakthrough LP and remains her best-selling recording to date, having held the No. 1 position on Billboard's album chart for five weeks and ultimately gone Platinum five times over.  Her third long-player, NO SECRETS contains Simon's signature single, the chart-topping "You're So Vain," which features Mick Jagger on backing vocals, as well as its follow-up, "The Right Thing to Do."  The album introduced eight new Simon originals, as well as a cover of James Taylor's "Night Owl," and enlisted an all-star cast of support players.  Taylor joins Simon on vocals for "Waited So Long," which also boasts contributions from Little Feat's Lowell George (slide guitar) and Bill Payne (organ), while Paul McCartney, Bonnie Bramlett and Doris Troy (of "Just One Look" fame) lend vocal assists on "Night Owl."  Richard Perry (Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Ringo, Tiny Tim) produced NO SECRETS, and Paul Buckmaster, best known for his work with Elton John, provided string and woodwind arrangements on "When You Close Your Eyes" and the choral arrangement on "Embrace Me, You Child."

STRAIGHT SHOOTER was the sophomore album by British hard-rockers Bad Company.  Released in April of 1975, it earned the quartet of Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell its third and fourth hit singles:  "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" (penned by guitarist Ralphs) and "Feel Like Makin' Love" (a Ralphs co-write with vocalist/guitarist Rodgers).  The latter track was a Top 10 hit and has enjoyed a storied pop-culture legacy, having been covered by, among others, Kid Rock, ska-punkers Goldfinger and country singer Philip Claypool, and used on episodes of The Simpsons and South Park.  In addition to the singles, the album contained the FM-rock-radio staples "Deal with the Preacher" and "Shooting Star" (which Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs have explained was inspired by the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison).  STRAIGHT SHOOTER climbed to No. 3 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts and was subsequently certified for triple-Platinum status.  Bad Company produced the album, which was engineered and mixed by Ron Nevison, whose credits include The Who's Quadrophenia and the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'N Roll.

Agnes Obel Covers Elliot Smith's 'Between the Bars'

Play “Just So” to anyone in Germany and they’ll tell you it’s the music from the Deutsche Telekom television advertisement. Which it is. The kind of exposure many an artist would die for. Well not literally, obviously. Or the kind of publicity an independent spirit might agonize over, venturing into the commercial arena.

I can’t help feeling that Agnes Obel is not going to have her feathers ruffled by something, in the greater scheme of things, as inconsequential as a song placement in an ad. Yet is not intriguing how a few bars of music can seep into our consciousness and set us off wondering where they came from?

This facebookish world of ours offers us the illusion of getting to know people we don’t really know. Who their friends are and what they like. Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel likes Alfred Erik Lesley Satie and Sonic Youth. Debussy and Dylan. Hitchcock and PJ Harvey. But what people like is not necessarily the same as what he or she is like. Clues, perhaps, but as fans of Hitchcock well know, not every clue leads you where you think it might.

So we focus on the facts. Agnes Obel is from Copenhagen but she lives in Berlin. She studied at the University of Roskilde, a town renowned for a Glastonbury style music festival and home to a marvellous viking ship museum. She possesses the rare gift of a songbird’s voice and is about to release her debut album.

Then, like a good detective, we study the photograph. The owl and Agnes. Except their watchful gaze leaves you feeling its they who are looking at us, rather than the other way around. Did you know that an eagle owl’s eyes do not move, instead owls can move their heads almost three quarters around without moving their body? Agnes, meanwhile, seriously beautiful, looks a little like Liv Ullmann in Bergman’s “Persona,” or Tippi Hedren in self-assured Marnie guise rather than the catatonic figure in The Birds. She appears perfectly balanced alongside the eagle owl, both mutually protective of their proud serenity. A clue staring us in the face, yet conjuring up more questions than answers.

Listen to Anges Obel's beautiful cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars"

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Agnes Obel Tour Dates:
6/4: SANTA MONICA, CA @ McCabe's
6/6: HOLLYWOOD, CA @ Hotel Cafe 8pm
6/7: SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Rickshaw
6/9: PORTLAND, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
6/10: SEATTLE, WA @ Freemont Abbey Center
6/13: WASHINGTON, DC @ Sixth & I
6/14: NEW YORK, NY @ Joe's Pub
6/15: PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Tin Angel