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Robert Layton 1930-2020

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Posted on November 19, 2020 at 15:54:55
robertkeir
Audiophile

Posts: 163
Joined: November 28, 2005

I just learned today that Penguin author/contributor Robert Layton died earlier this month. He was the last of the three main contributors alive. March died a couple of years ago and Greenfield a few years before that. Together they produced the amazing, perhaps unique, perhaps indispensable, Penguin Stereo Record Guide. Over the years, the Penguin changed to include first cassettes and then CD's. It also expanded a great deal when the majors released more and more reissues as well as their new stuff, and smaller recording companies got in the game. Yes they had their biases especially toward British composers and conductors. (They also seemed to like almost everything HvK touched.)

I bought the first edition when it came out in 1975, the second in 1977, and most of the subsequent editions until about 1990 or so. After that I probably bought every other one until the 2008 edition. They were so very helpful in the early years when I was building my record collection. Toward the end of their run, I suppose, they had become less essential as the internet provided everyone with reviews from multiple sources. Nevertheless, I always kept the latest edition close by and consulted it frequently.

I still have all my old copies.

 

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Sad. I used to bury myself in those books for hours. Tower usually had a few kicking around. Very helpful, posted on November 19, 2020 at 17:32:42
jdaniel@jps.net
Audiophile

Posts: 21732
Location: No. California
Joined: December 16, 2003
pre-Internet.

 

RE: Sad. I used to bury myself in those books for hours. Tower usually had a few kicking around. Very helpful, posted on November 20, 2020 at 04:08:37
frankwm
Audiophile

Posts: 397
Location: Yap
Joined: July 16, 2007



Previously a "Stereo Record Guide" contributor from 1968 - Ivan March's 1960-on precursor to the Penguins. Happened to be reading his 1970 HMV sleevenote to Kondrashin's Shostakovich Sym.4 that day: seem to recall many of his Gramophone reviews ending with "the recording is good - the surfaces are smooth....."

 

"recording good, surfaces smooth." : ) Now it's "download smooth, last three notes not truncated." : ) nt, posted on November 20, 2020 at 06:23:18
jdaniel@jps.net
Audiophile

Posts: 21732
Location: No. California
Joined: December 16, 2003
,

 

RE: Robert Layton 1930-2020, posted on November 20, 2020 at 11:12:08
fstein
Audiophile

Posts: 2214
Location: fstein
Joined: May 18, 2006
"This unknown provincial English orchestra playing music depicting a cow looking over a fence, is surpassed only by van Karajan's epic "Eine Kuh, die über einen Zaun schaut", of which I have the only copy.

 

RE: Robert Layton 1930-2020, posted on November 21, 2020 at 16:35:58
classfolkphile
Audiophile

Posts: 501
Location: Florida
Joined: December 17, 2002
Yes, R.I.P. I also started my classical collecting consulting the Penquin Guide, at Tower Records.
It was useful for a beginner even if its limitations soon became apparent. I eventually discovered the much superior ARG.

 

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