Vinyl Reissues: Sorting Wheat from Chaff.

Richard Dane posted:

So here's another really excellent reissue that I bought recently.  Frank Zappa's Hot Rats.

Compared to my 1970 UK 2nd issue (admittedly getting on a bit and has seen some play over the years), it's like listening to a completely new performance - clarity and dynamics are much improved as is the apparent bandwidth.

This is a good sounding record even on my CD from the 80s is pretty good. I was listening to one just a few days ago. Then again most 70s rock/pop records sound great. ( pity they don't make like that any more )

As you say, it would be interesting to compare it to the minty original US pressing. UK pressing tends to be very different from the US EQ.

joerand posted:

OTOH, I would be interested in a more lively re-issue Deja Vu as you suggested. I have two original LPs and the original CD of that album. Each is a similar standout for vocal quality, but any tightening of the percussion and speedier bounce of bass lines would be welcomed. 

You got me curious. I bought the original just for the 'Our House' and never bother to play the rest of the album. :/ I think I'm gonna spin the whole thing and see if i can hear soft bassline and transient attacks.

You are right, the vocal is just outstanding. this is a good example of 70s era natural sounding recording.

Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon.  US Rhino reissue from 2009. 

My favourite JM album.  Compared to my '80s R/S Alsdorf pressed issue, this one brings the music to life - a superb cut and issue. So well done Chris Bellman, and well done RTI for a beautifully flat, centred and noise-free pressing. Get this one while it's still available at a reasonable price.

It makes me wonder just how many albums I don't play because they are poorly recorded/pressed and as such offer an underwhelming sonic experience. Time to start a 'test record' thread methinks, although the term is somewhat pedestrian if not downright blasphemous in some circles!

Richard Dane posted:

Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon.  US Rhino reissue from 2009. 

My favourite JM album.  Compared to my '80s R/S Alsdorf pressed issue, this one brings the music to life - a superb cut and issue. So well done Chris Bellman, and well done RTI for a beautifully flat, centred and noise-free pressing. Get this one while it's still available at a reasonable price.

Thanks Richard, this is v. useful for me. I have a few Joni albums, but not this one. I like the 3 tracks highlighted in the sticker on the album in your pic, so I think this is a safe bet for me. I see a 2009 release on What Records site, but not many details there. label is Warners. Do we think that’s likely the right one ? If not, any steer on where I can buy it please?

Kevin, for the Chris Bellman cut, make sure it's the 2009 US Rhino issue, not the UK/Europe issue. It's still available  in a few places for around £20-30. What Records have it at £24.99. One thing I forgot to mention is the card stock used for the gatefold - really nice and heavy, like US albums of old.

Richard Dane posted:

Kevin, for the Chris Bellman cut, make sure it's the 2009 US Rhino issue, not the UK/Europe issue. It's still available  in a few places for around £20-30. What Records have it at £24.99. One thing I forgot to mention is the card stock used for the gatefold - really nice and heavy, like US albums of old.

I don’t have Ladies of the Canyon but several of the other US Rhino pressings of J Mitchell and they are excellent.

I can recommend the vinyl issue of Dylan’s More Blood, More Tracks. The vinyl from the Dylan Bootleg series is generally well mastered and pressed. The music here is stunning and I think I may have to get the 6 CD version too!

Clive

kuma posted:
Richard Dane posted:

So here's another really excellent reissue that I bought recently.  Frank Zappa's Hot Rats.

Compared to my 1970 UK 2nd issue (admittedly getting on a bit and has seen some play over the years), it's like listening to a completely new performance - clarity and dynamics are much improved as is the apparent bandwidth.

This is a good sounding record even on my CD from the 80s is pretty good. I was listening to one just a few days ago. Then again most 70s rock/pop records sound great. ( pity they don't make like that any more )

As you say, it would be interesting to compare it to the minty original US pressing. UK pressing tends to be very different from the US EQ.

Plenty of differences between US and UK issues.  Sometimes subtle, but often not. Unfortunately UK issues of US albums were regularly cut from later generation tapes (similar situation vice versa - but not always).  Best scenario was when a US album was pressed in the UK from US metalwork. I have a fair number like that - some of the '70s and early '80s UK Masterdisk, Sterling and TML pressings were killer. And the vinyl itself was quite different; US vinyl tended to be slightly more pliant, whereas UK vinyl was harder - take the same album pressed from equivalent metalwork but on US and UK vinyl, and you get a subtly different sound to each, the US sounding slightly "creamier", but often with a softer, less concise top end.

Richard Dane posted:

Kevin, for the Chris Bellman cut, make sure it's the 2009 US Rhino issue, not the UK/Europe issue. It's still available  in a few places for around £20-30. What Records have it at £24.99. One thing I forgot to mention is the card stock used for the gatefold - really nice and heavy, like US albums of old.

Whilst on the subject may I ask, are the Rhino issues generally good? I was looking at getting a heavy metal album (Sepultura-Chaos AD) but dont want to get it if it's just an average quality.

iliria posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Kevin, for the Chris Bellman cut, make sure it's the 2009 US Rhino issue, not the UK/Europe issue. It's still available  in a few places for around £20-30. What Records have it at £24.99. One thing I forgot to mention is the card stock used for the gatefold - really nice and heavy, like US albums of old.

Whilst on the subject may I ask, are the Rhino issues generally good? I was looking at getting a heavy metal album (Sepultura-Chaos AD) but dont want to get it if it's just an average quality.

Over all, I'd rate Rhino as good to great, with some duffers here and there.  There are some really superb reissues from Rhino, up there with the best, but there are also exceptions, and I know that their earlier reissues had problems, however, if you look for cuts by Chris Bellman, Bernie Grundman, Kevin Gray, Steve Hoffman etc.. and pressing by RTI in the US, or Optimal in Europe, then you're usually on fairly safe ground.  It's useful to check on a site such as Discogs for whichever issue you're interested in. Check the dead wax info carefully. What can be frustrating is that there are some reissues, such as the Joni Mitchell Ladies Of The Canyon discussed above, where the US issue is cut from the analogue tapes by Chris Bellman, yet the European issue is cut at Optimal by someone else from what is presumably a digital file.  They will certainly sound different, and usually favouring the US issue.  To confuse further, other EU Joni Mitchell reissues, such as Hissing of Summer Lawns use US metalwork for the Optimal pressings, and the quality is superb, any differences really just boiling down to vinyl formulation and pressing.  So it pays to do your homework.

Bob the Builder posted:

MFSL45UD1S-008-2T

I paid for my copy of this back in September sometime but am still eagerly waiting for it to arrive has anyone bought any One Step Ultra Discs and compared them to other remasters.

Bob, yes, I know that at least a couple of us here have got the One Step Simon & Garfunkel BOTW.   I haven't opened it yet. I have only original UK issues with which to compare, not the other currently available reissues.

Now these were a very pleasant surprise. The Cure - Seventeen Seconds & Faith, UK reissues on Fiction, "Remastered by Robert Smith".

My originals to both of these are long gone, having not made it back to the UK from the States. I did sell quite a few of my UK LPs to friends, thinking I could replace them (the LPs, not the friends) back home. I didn't replace them immediately - instead I bought the Standing On The Beach, Staring At The Sea compilation of A and B sides on cassette, then bought the CDs. In more recent years I bought the expanded deluxe CD reissues and the Join the Dots B side and rarities set. So, while the music is ever so familiar,  coming back to the first three Cure albums on vinyl was nostalgic.  Why did I bother?  Well, they were selling cheap at a tenner a piece or less, so how could I resist? Sadly the copy I received of Three Imaginary Boys had a terrible tearing noise during the intro to Meat Hook - probably non-fill -  so a new copy is on the way.  No quibbles and great service from Universal/Sound of Vinyl.  Anyway, I wasn't expecting too much from these, so the clean, flat and centred pressings (TIB issue notwithstanding), decent presentation with nicely printed inners, and great sound was a revelation.  I don't know whether these were cut from tape or file, likely the latter, but that doesn't matter, because these issues can stand for themselves purely on what you hear from the grooves.  It took me right back to hearing these albums for the first time, something the CDs, whether original or remastered, never quite managed to do. On the basis of these two reissues I have decided to delve further into the series.  I'm just hoping that my replacement copy of Three Imaginary Boys is not similarly afflicted  with non-fill.  

Richard Dane posted:

Over all, I'd rate Rhino as good to great, with some duffers here and there.  There are some really superb reissues from Rhino, up there with the best, but there are also exceptions, and I know that their earlier reissues had problems, however, if you look for cuts by Chris Bellman, Bernie Grundman, Kevin Gray, Steve Hoffman etc.. and pressing by RTI in the US, or Optimal in Europe, then you're usually on fairly safe ground.  It's useful to check on a site such as Discogs for whichever issue you're interested in. Check the dead wax info carefully. What can be frustrating is that there are some reissues, such as the Joni Mitchell Ladies Of The Canyon discussed above, where the US issue is cut from the analogue tapes by Chris Bellman, yet the European issue is cut at Optimal by someone else from what is presumably a digital file.  They will certainly sound different, and usually favouring the US issue.  To confuse further, other EU Joni Mitchell reissues, such as Hissing of Summer Lawns use US metalwork for the Optimal pressings, and the quality is superb, any differences really just boiling down to vinyl formulation and pressing.  So it pays to do your homework.

Thank you very much Richard. Very useful info to someone like me who is just starting the vinyl journey. Out of curiosity is there a pressing of Hejira album that you would recommend? I have been looking at the 2014 reissues. Whatrecords have it but they dont give much info and Amazon also have it and it's the European version (pressed at Record Industry).

Richard Dane posted:

Coincidentally, I recently ordered a copy of the Rhino reissue of Hejira from What Records.  I ordered the 2014 European reissue as, according to Discogs, it seems it's the same as the US one - Chris Bellman cut and RTI pressed. Let's hope that's right...

Richard, is that Hejira numbered 8122795858 ?

Richard Dane posted:

Kevin, yes, that’s the one.

Cool. By luck more than judgement that’s the one I bought a few weeks ago from What Records. Agreed , it does sound very good indeed and stood out from a bunch of purchases along with this one: Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. A 2016 Sony Issue #8985378491. Vivid sound takes you ‘Cell side’ at the event ..

 

Some of the most recent vinyl reissues that have been really impressive;

Neil Young - Zuma.

I didn't buy this reissue straight away.  I have a couple of original Uk issues and I thought they sounded pretty darn good.  Good that is until I bit the bullet and bought this reissue from Neil's Archive Official Release Series.  Cut from analog masters by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Pallas.  You get the textured sleeve as well as the illustrated card inner.  The LP itself comes in it's own paper inner sleeve, but why, oh why, after taking so much care, is the inner just paper, without an anti-static liner?  Still, can't complain too much.  This one is inexpensive, and sounds FABULOUS - probably the best so far from the ORS Archive series.

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Daylight Again.

Yowzer - another great sounding reissue and another one cut by Chris Bellman from the original analog masters (I'm detecting a pattern here). The pressing is not quite up to the standard of the CSN reissue - it's very slightly off-centre, not enough though to reject, but not absolutely perfect either, and there are one or two sleeve scuffs and tics on this brand new copy. However, while I don't have my original any more, this fills the gap very nicely indeed.

Stephen Stills - Manassas.

I gave my UK issue away it was so disappointing compared to the HDCD CD reissue of over a decade ago. So it was with some trepidation that I put down the £30 needed to get this US Rhino double album reissue from 2010.  I shouldn't have worried though.  The album itself was always designed for four sides of vinyl, and the sound quality here is top notch.  Cut by Bernie Grundman and I would guess pressed at Pallas (it's a perfect pressing), this is lovely.

Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead & American Beauty.

Fantastic sounding reissues from Rhino, and not expensive either. American Beauty is perhaps marginally the superior of the two, but not to have both would be ridiculous. Essential, even if you're not sure you like the Grateful Dead.

Abbey Road Half Speed remasters have been a mixed bag for me the Marvin Gaye - What's Going On 3LP box set was good in parts average in others and the Amy Winehouse - Back in Black double LP was no improvement at all (although I haven't listened to the live recording yet) and will need a good clean before I play it again as in some sections I had to check there wasn't dust on the needle. 

Yesterday I recieved The Who - Live at Leeds 3LP remaster that I have very high hopes for and but am pretty aprehensive about playing TBH, this along with Quarophenia was my most played rock LP as a youngster and I only bought this version as it was a Black Friday purchase £21.99 I have been on the lookout for a reasonably priced 1st press so I don't want to be disappointed in the same way I as with the Amy Winehouse.

My other half is on a night shift tomorrow night and as it's not her cup of tea at all  I will take the oppurtunity have a listen. Is there a better live rock LP or a better live rock track than Young Man Blues? Daltrey's voice is absolutely spot on and the band in between Tommy and Quadrophenia were something else IMO.

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