Made in Japan - is it just me?

I bought a copy of this excellent album when it was first released back in 1972.  After some years I sold it and have regretted doing so many times since.  Recently I acquired a 2014 CD release and while enjoying it I have been a little underwhelmed.  My memories of the original are of a more energetic presentation.   However, last night I noticed that on this CD, Ritchie Blackmore appears (predominantly) on the left channel and Jon Lord on the right.  I never saw Deep Purple live, but all the video I have seen would suggest that they always set up with Ritchie on the right and Jon on the left.  I cannot check against the vinyl original for the reason given above.  Is it me? or was this CD released with the left and right channels reversed?  Can anyone advise?

Original Post

That's interesting! Thank you.  I'm surprised I have never seen that commented on before.  It seems a shame that the opportunity wasn't taken in the re-mastering to correct the earlier error.  It would have saved me an hour this morning checking with other albums I have on both vinyl and CD, that there was nothing wrong with the wiring of my system!   

I bought MiJ when it first came out (obviously vinyl), and although enjoyable I always preferred the sound quality of the studio albums. I never had the CD issue, just my own vinyl rip on CD when I ripped all my LPs back in about 2008/9. Then two or three years ago, after I had switched to streaming, I saw a newly released remastered high res copy offered for sale on the Linn records website, and got that - and it is so much better, that I actually now prefer it to the studio albums! Far from underwhelming...

turning to your question, In the Mk 2 lineup as in MiJ AFAIK - and I saw them about half a dozen times, indeed they were the first live band I saw, in 1970 -  Ritchie always on the right and Jon on the left. Same on a videos and photos I’ve seen. Once when he smashed up his guitar and chucked it in tne audience the lucky guy in front of me caught it (for the price of a new neck he’d have a Strat, and one with history to boot - but that is a digression). I’ll have a listen to that hires copy, but probably not until tomorrow eve at earliest.

Ok, Deep Purple evening! And very interesting indeed:-

Made in Japan: 2014 remaster 24/96 version Rirchie on left. So I dug out my original release vinyl,  first pressing, ripped by me: and lo and behold Ritchie was on the left.

I checked my wiring (easy because simply DAC-Poweramp-Speakers: all correct. Dug out a ripped CD test disk with channel and phasing tests: all correct. So, definitely both of my copies ate reversed, given that it is a live recording - and the album sleeve photo matches exactly the stage layout I had seen at gigs around the same time, with Ritchie on the right. (Weird, though, I’d never picked that up before!)

Then I played all the Mk 2 lineup studio albums: Deep Purple in Rock, CD version; Fireball, 2010 CD version; Machine Head 2001 CD version; Who do we think we are? CD version. Some tracks have varying panning, including swapping sides and cenrt positioning (even more so with organ than guitar), some tracks had Ritchie on the right, but the majority put him on the left. So maybe actually Richie on the left was a deliberate intent for Made in Japan to follow what the studio albums mainly had done, rather than an error at the time of original mastering.

Enjoyable evening, not hard work, though it wss easy to forget about noting where the guitar was! I had first pressings of all, but most had worn to much that I ended up seeking digital copies once I started streaming, hence the CD versions. Made in Japan is the only one of which I’ve got the rip on my music store, though I may still have the other rips on a backup drive.

Thank you for confirming that.  I would have thought that as the whole purpose of a live album is to 're-create' the live performance as closely as the technology will allow, they would have taken the trouble to get Ritchie on the right!  Or, maybe, explain the positioning and their thought process in the album notes.  That said, it took me a while to realise something wasn't quite right.  Perhaps people don't care.

Having just listened to Made in Japan on original vinyl here is my tuppence.

Ritchie Blackmore can be heard on the left with Jon Lord on the right. When listening to the drums the Hi Hat can be heard right of centre. With Ian Paice being a 'Lefty' and the HiHat on the right, the mix is from behind the band  and not facing them.

The picture on the cover would reflect this fact. 

 

Iron Cobra posted:

Having just listened to Made in Japan on original vinyl here is my tuppence.

Ritchie Blackmore can be heard on the left with Jon Lord on the right. When listening to the drums the Hi Hat can be heard right of centre. With Ian Paice being a 'Lefty' and the HiHat on the right, the mix is from behind the band  and not facing them.

So if anyone has a CD copy of MiJ with Rotchie on the roght as you would see/hear in the audience, as I think someone mentio ed, either the. d mastering was reversed...or their system is.

But your last point above may be significant, especially when considered in the light of the studio albums: maybe they are mixed to sound correct to the band, who after all are facing the opposite way to the audience. 

I’ll have to start considering that with recordings of other bands, whether live or studio.

Easy way to check the mix, listen to the drummer.

Right handed drummer, HiHat on the right with fills going round to the left, he is facing front.

Rush albums are good for this as Neil Peart is always facing front

I haven't checked Purple recordings, as Ian Paice is 'Lefty' it would be HiHat on the left, fills to the right

I never got to see Dee Purple, so the stereo presentation is not so important to me. I recall that one of my fellow students at university had a copy of Made In Japan and he would frequently play that version of Child In Time. I've been thinking that I ought to have a copy, but which version? I don't trust Discogs or eBay for secondhand vinyl, so I'd be looking to buy new. Then I guess the latest vinyl releases would have been digitally remastered. So that leaves the CD or digital downloads. I notice there's now also a version with a black sleeve as well as the original gold. So which one comes closest to those original vinyls?

I'd guess the 25th anniversary edition will be 1998. I have a copy somewhere, but I suspect it's now in the possession of my son.

I have it on original vinyl, but not in mint condition. It was, but a few years ago I was examining the discs, I dropped one from about 10” onto a carpeted floor. It broke into two pieces like an old 78.

Iron Cobra posted:

Easy way to check the mix, listen to the drummer.

Right handed drummer, HiHat on the right with fills going round to the left, he is facing front.

Rush albums are good for this as Neil Peart is always facing front

I haven't checked Purple recordings, as Ian Paice is 'Lefty' it would be HiHat on the left, fills to the right

The guitar and organ are so obvious that I’m sure the positioning would be evident on a cheap boombox with very little soundstage, so no need to focus on the drumkit. However, the drumkit might be interesting to assess (assuming you know the ‘handing’ of the drummer) to see if the instrument is recorded the ‘right’ way round when the overall mix is reversed (or vice versa). However I really have no interest in such analysis, just getting lost in the music - which may be why i never noticed the reversal myself, despite having played those Purple albums thousands of times collectivelt over the decades, a good proportion of which during the release years when I also saw them live 3 or 4 times.

Having a son that has played drums for 12 years, to a very high standard I might add (see stuff I love in my profile) I tend to notice where the drums lie in the mix.

Also knowing a bit about the drummers in bands makes the enjoyment of listening to them and what they are playing interesting. 

Made in Japan is, and always was, my favourite Deep Purple album, and as mentioned above Child in Time is just superb.  I have 2 copies on vinyl, one from my school days in the 70s and a re-issue bought in the last couple of years.  I also have a 24/96 downloaded version, remastered and it is currently sounding superb with Richie Blackmore most definitely in the left and a Jon Lord on the right.  What a great album - I have the studio albums but none come close.  

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