Dark side

I have just watched classic albums recorded on Sky Arts. The feature was DSOTM. I have never owned this and now wonder, is there any received wisdom on which vinyl version, release, pressing is the best for SQ?




Original Post

Generally feelings are that the early originals and the MFSL issues (particularly the rare and very expensive UHQR) are the ones to go for.  The 30th Anniversary issue is a bit lacklustre so avoid that one.  I'd go for a mid to late '70s or early '80s issue.  These will generally be affordable yet still sound good.  Go for the best condition you can find.  If it's missing the poster etc.. then it should go for less.

I've got a lot of these, and a lot of them sound very different from each other. IMHO (of course) the early UK pressings are best - first press, with the solid prism label sounds superb but is very expensive. I've got a UK 4th pressing which sounds brilliant, and I picked it up for a tenner.

The MFSL is a bit boring so I would avoid that (I sold mine about 10 years ago), although I've not heard the UHQR version. Avoid the US Capitol ones, and, as Richard says, the 30th anniversary one is bit lacklustre, as is the 2011 reissue.

The EMI Centenary of 1997 (stickered, LPCENT 11) is excellent, but there's another 1997 pressing (EMD 1114) which is cut from a digital file and which is rubbish.

Finally, there's the 1978 Toshiba-EMI Pro Use Series issue (EMLF-97002) which sounds very "wet". I really like it but it might not be to everyone's taste.

I have three CD and four LP versions including including the MFSL in each format. Bottom line is that any one is excellent to listen to because the engineering and recording of the album was superb. Some folks are critical of the MFSL vinyl but it plays extremely quiet which I find great during the quiet passages. I think Kevin's advice to get an early UK pressing is good and I'd be willing to pay for one in VG+ or better condition. Shouldn't be difficult as there are millions of them out there. Really though, the bottom line is just get yourself a copy in decent condition and I doubt you'll be disappointed. It's only when you get a second copy and start fretting over comparisons that you may get critical.

Bodger posted:

Guys, just seen a 1973 Canadian pressing, excellent condition, SMAS-11163. Not one of the numbers quoted above however. Any ideas?




Dave, you can do better with a UK (Harvest) or Japanese (EMI) rather than a North American Capitol (I've got an early 80s SMAS-11163, mastered by Wally Heider, and it's not great to be honest). Depends on how much they want for it, and whether it's got the posters and stickers.

I have 2 copies my original 1978 copy (10th pressing posters /stickers long gone) and recently got a 4th pressing complete with posters/stickers for £20 in EX- condition.

4th pressing is a lot better. I have seen earlier pressings without posters/stickers in worse condition for £40+. Only ever seen one 1st pressing not in good condition still asking £200 for it.

Personally I would wait for the current reissue campaign to deliver DSOTM - reasonable price and nice clean copy available hopefully before Christmas. 

The 30th is analogue and is held in high regard but but first pressing is king - finding a good copy for reasonable cash is pretty difficult......


I purchased the MFSL 24 Karat gold CD in the early 90's and can vouch for how good this sounds. Others may have a different view but I have played this more times than I can recall and it always sounds superb to my ears. To this day I regret not buying the MFSL 24 Karat gold WYWH album... 

Likes (0)