Canned Heat – Boogie With Canned Heat

Complete with groovy 60s psychedelic album art, Canned Heat’s second album is anything but. It’s pure blues, containing perhaps the band’s most memorable tune, “On the Road Again,” featuring great guitar and harp work that comes through loud and clear on this reissue. The rest of the record, consisting primarily of Canned Heat originals, is equally as much fun, especially the group’s intro to “Whiskey Headed Woman.”

While this pressing sounds ever so slightly crunchy on the high end, Tony Hickmott, the head of Pure Pleasure Records said that he used the UK analog master tape and did the work at Abbey Road, “figuring the UK tape probably had less wear than the US version.”  The end result is remarkable for being over 40 years old.

The record boasts the trademark kind of spacious separation that graced records from its era, but vocals are clean and the electric guitar claims plenty of bite. I did not have a mint original for comparison, but my Columbia House copy—purchased in the late 70s—sounds terrible, overly compressed and somewhat rolled-off. Most repressings from late 70s sound similar and sell for $10 or less.

The Pure Pleasure reissue maintains the label’s high standards. The LP is flat, very quiet, and the artwork faithfully reproduced without having any of the heavy contrast buildup so often introduced by other reissue labels. With mint copies of the Liberty label original inching towards $100, this Pure Pleasure version is a safe bet and good deal at $35. —Jeff Dorgay

Pure Pleasure, LP