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Stealers Wheel: Ferguslie Park

Ferguslie Park
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    Stealers Wheels’ sophomore effort from 1973—produced by industry veterans Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller—features the Scottish band’s core members, Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, bolstered by nine ace session players. Stylistically, the album ranges from the bouncy R&B-inflected pop of  “Good Businessman” to the feel-good anthem “Wheelin’” and the power pop of the Top 30 hit “Star.” The album also spawned the stunning “(Everyone’s Agreed That) Everything Will Turn Out Fine.” There are lush vocal harmonies, shades of lazy afternoon psychedelia, hints of Raspberries-era power balladry, and jazzy sax breaks that foreshadow Rafferty’s solo hit “Baker Street.” You might detect a Beatlesque sound—after all, the album shares former Fab Four orchestrator Richard Hewson. You also might hear an uncanny resemblance between “Who Cares?” and Sir Paul’s “Riding to Vanity Fair,” from 2005’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. This all-analog reissue of infectious lit pop, remastered from a pristine half-inch 30 ips safety copy of the original 15 ips stereo master, boasts striking sonics, with a deep and wide soundstage and tight, punchy drums and guitar. It’s part of the first batch of releases on Intervention, a new audiophile label devoted to first-ever vinyl reissues. 

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