Les Paul & Mary Ford

The New Sound

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The original ten-inch Capitol album rounds up all four of the wild-and-crazy groundbreaking singles that launched Les Paul's experiments in overdubbing and highspeed recording. That they could be done at all in those days was astounding, for Paul was still recording directly onto discs in 1947, with just himself and a drummer now and then. Sometimes his taste veered toward the crackerbarrel, hence "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," and his complicated breakthrough record "Lover" is a really hammy bit of work. But Paul's superb musical instincts often come through in standards like "Caravan" and "What Is This Thing Called Love?"; the intuitive harmonies are often sublime. The 12-inch version adds four numbers dating from well after this early period ("Nola," "Sleep," "Lady of Spain," "South"), which creates an abrupt change in tone.